EPA Puts a Mafia-Style Hit on Sound Science

Source: Heartland Institute

Written By: James M. Taylor

In its finding that carbon dioxide emissions threaten public health and welfare – a necessary prerequisite to stepping in and regulating carbon dioxide – EPA’s scientific analysis essentially deferred to the scandal-ridden United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report. Yes, this is the same IPCC report in which key findings were supported solely by propaganda reports from the World Wildlife Fund, the same IPCC report in which the relative handful of lead authors included staff from Environmental Defense and Greenpeace, the same IPCC report in which these same lead authors rejected literally thousands of critical comments and suggested corrections from fellow IPCC contributors, and the same IPCC report that was shaped by the disgraced scientists is at the heart of the Climategate scandal.

Simply deferring to IPCC is hard to justify given the ongoing IPCC scandals and the calls even from IPCC participants for major reforms in the IPCC process. Worse yet, in its Response to Public Comments, EPA flippantly dismissed competing scientific findings that were compiled without the scandal and bias of IPCC. This flippant dismissal of inconvenient science demonstrates extreme bias, extreme stupidity, or both. We have sadly witnessed the equivalent of a La Cosa Nostra-style federal government hit on sound science and objective scientific research.

In response to many submitted public comments urging EPA to give equal weight to Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, EPA argued, “EPA has reviewed and considered the NIPCC report and found that it lacks the rigorous procedures and transparency required to serve as a foundation for the endangerment analysis. A review of the NIPCC Web site indicates that the NIPCC report was developed by “two co-authors” and “35 contributors and reviewers” from ‘14 countries’ (http://www.nipccreport.org/index.html). The organization does not appear to have established any procedures for author selection and provides no evidence that a transparent and open public or expert review was conducted.”

Let’s take a look at the authors and procedures involved in the writing of Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), and compare them to the IPCC paper to which EPA defers.

The two authors of the NIPCC report are S. Fred Singer and Craig Idso, both of whom are giants in the climate research community. Singer is President of the Science & Environmental Policy Project and distinguished professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. His previous government and academic positions include Chief Scientist, U.S. Department of Transportation (1987- 89); Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970-71); Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water Quality and Research, U.S. Department of the Interior (1967- 70); founding Dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences, University of Miami (1964-67); first Director of the National Weather Satellite Service (1962-64); and Director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Maryland (1953-62).
Singer has received numerous awards for his research, including a Special Commendation from the White House for achievements in artificial earth satellites, a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award for the development and management of the U.S. weather satellite program, and the first Science Medal from the British Interplanetary Society. He has served on state and federal advisory panels, including five years as vice chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmospheres.

Idso is the founder and former president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and currently serves as chairman of its board of directors. He has published scientific articles on issues related to data quality, the growing season, the seasonal cycle of atmospheric carbon dioxide, world food supplies, coral reefs, and urban carbon dioxide concentrations, the latter of which he investigated via a National Science Foundation grant as a faculty researcher in the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University. He has lectured in meteorology at Arizona State University. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, Arizona-Nevada Academy of Sciences, Association of American Geographers, and Ecological Society of America.

The NIPCC report contains more than 800 pages of scientific findings supported by hundreds of references to the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Its 35 contributors and reviewers include impeccably credentialed university professors and researchers from around the world. Neither Environmental Defense nor Greenpeace (nor oil or coal groups, for that matter) were represented as lead authors.

EPA claims the NIPCC report “lacks the rigorous procedures and transparency” of IPCC. The IPCC report, however, is rigorous and transparent only in its clear and blatant bias, nefarious attempts to tamper with and misrepresent science, internal dissent regarding its published findings, and reliance on discredited junk science.

How EPA can, in the wake of Climategate, Glaciergate, Amazongate, etc., call IPCC a model of rigorous procedures and transparency would be laughable if not for the serious negative impacts heavy-handed EPA regulation will have on the American economy. Perhaps the federal government should be building a RICO charge against itself.