Global Warming’s Missing Link

Commentary, Climate, Frontier Centre

The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing the greatest regulatory intervention in US history, seeking to declare that carbon dioxide poses an “endangerment” under the Clean Air Act, threatening human health and the environment. To hear the EPA tell it, CO2 – which nonetheless remains indispensible to life on earth and without which plants die, more of which produces higher crop yields, etc. – will kill us all.

This proposal is a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s attempt to bring the energy sector of the economy under state control just as it seeks to do with health care, essentially ruining something in order to take it over in the name of cleaning up capitalism’s mess. It’s an old play, which the statists have run for decades, certain that every now and then it will break for a big gain. But an inconvenient EPA career professional just doing his job assessed the premise and informed his superiors, in the sole substantive report presented in the Agency’s internal deliberations, that upon scrutiny CO2 clearly does not drive temperatures or climate but oddly enough, the sun and oceans do. His boss told him to shut up, that nothing good could come to their office by injecting this analysis into the process, as the decision had been made.

One problem with that, of course, is that the decision is not allowed to be made before the process has run its course. That is the entire purpose of an internal debate which, internal documents now prove, was truncated and in fact illusory.

For his troubles, this physics graduate of Cal Tech and MIT PhD economist – which are why he had his job – was subjected to the ritual smear job as unqualified by the thugs running the global warming industry. The nicest thing said about him was “He’s not a climate scientist!” shrieked by legions of non-scientists nonetheless cocksure of their own wisdom, insight and informed judgment on the matter.

Left unmentioned were the scientific credentials of the EPA administrator, President Obama, and the 535 members of Congress who are tasked with deciding the issue. “He’s just an economist!” the non-scientists’ line continued, ignoring that whole physics-degree thing and that, ah, well, the UN’s “chief climate scientist” is “just an economist.” Again, as the whistleblower Dr. Alan Carlin learned, facts have little weight in this debate. Still, one key truth that Carlin brought to the fore exposes how – assuming that sanity prevails in the Senate and Congress is unable to impose “cap-and-trade” energy rationing – his exposé will carry the day in court.

This is man-made warming theory’s missing link. The global warming industry and its political enablers have been getting away with an amazing stunt of backing out from the equation inconvenient things which your lying eyes might tell you. Amid the cries of “warming proceeding even faster than predicted” – an actual, common claim among alarmists, politicians and the media – observations reveal that the recent cooling has brought us to the average of the entire 30-year history of the satellite temperature record.

Climate changes and temperatures go up and down, that’s what they do, so it is surely an amusing coincidence of statistics to see no temperature change following a three-decade-long cooling spell that ended with the coldest decade of the century (the 1970s). To see this as “global warming” hysteria hijacks the policymaking process of a major economic power is staggering.

The crux of what Carlin revealed is that the alarmist campaign has, through indignant repetition and an absurdly flawed syllogism, substituted man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a proxy for temperatures. The disfavored human activity somehow now equates with the weather, a bizarre apples-and-stethoscopes comparison.

To grasp this we need a quick history of the campaign. By the late 1980s “global cooling” had given way to warming as a vehicle for various types to rally the public around their agenda (the Club of Rome admitted this in its 1991 book “The First Global Revolution”). This global warming industry coalesced to demand fealty to a strange premise: Mankind would agree to employ the gentle ministrations of national and, preferably, supranational bureaucrats to keep the earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius higher than “pre-industrial” temperatures.

Now, “pre-industrial” is code for the most cynical statistical cherry-picking of our time, given the approximation with the end of a geophysical phenomenon known as the Little Ice Age, a miserable, cold and cloudy period of crop failure, infant mortality and disease.

This “two degree solution” didn’t last long, thanks to what I can only guess was a nagging fear that the public are aware that temperatures go up and down. It soon gave way to a metric of keeping atmospheric GHG concentrations below a “dangerous” level, though the UN scientists (economists, whatever) tasked with asserting what that level is refused to do so.

This was never about climate anyway but population, lifestyle, energy use and, above all else, control, so such obstacles were ignored and the industry moved right on to a metric even more convenient for them, GHG emissions. This is the tortured path bringing about the oddity of alarmists citing emissions going up faster than predicted as proving that global warming is proceeding faster than predicted, while temperatures are flat and even cooling. To date, it’s worked.

EPA’s “endangerment finding” is rife with this absurd non sequitor: CO2 concentrations are going up, Man’s CO2 is surely behind this, therefore man is causing climate change. In its “finding” the EPA, like the UN’s IPCC, fail to establish the missing link, that CO2 drives climate. Instead, EPA just points to the IPCC, which in turn simply proclaims the relationship, having itself also never having cited any authority establishing (rather than assuming) that CO2 drives temperature or climate, in the past or now.

While never the subject of a US court’s scrutiny, this premise for the entire enterprise will by necessity be a principal focus of any challenge to EPA. It seems highly doubtful that EPA could support such a line of, for lack of a better word, reasoning, particularly in light of Carlin’s stifled analysis and recent peer-reviewed literature. This will only occur by avoiding the panic-stricken acceptance by industry holdouts of some (they hope) a less-bad deal in the Senate for fear of EPA.

Upon scrutiny, covered industry has no option for long-term survival but to pursue victory. This begins in the Senate, which still lacks the votes to pass climate legislation. Neither peace nor concern is for sale, and industry should not cut a deal. The alarmist industry has never been forced to make its case. The EPA can be forced to make it, and it is unlikely that they can.