As appeared in Atlanta Business Chronicle, March 26, 2010
EPA’s global warming findings unraveling
by Shannon L. Goessling, Southeastern Legal Foundation
As a national Gallup survey recently indicated, public opinion is following the same downhill trajectory as scientific opinion about the hash made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its global warming “Endangerment Finding” issued last December. Forty-eight percent of Americans now believe that global warming’s effects have been exaggerated, a record in the survey’s 13-year history.
More significantly, 67 percent of Americans strongly disagree that global warming will pose a serious threat to our way of life during our lifetimes, also a survey record. Within the past 24 months, the shift in public opinion has been “striking,” according to Gallup.
Yet during the same period of time, an unprecedented $300 million in advertising has flooded American television, radio and internet in support of draconian measures to stave off the apocalyptical effects of man-made climate change.
In 2009, as cap-and-trade legislation was fast-tracking its way through Congress, the EPA opened a public comment period to solicit input on 600-plus pages of costly regulations it planned to roll out on carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas emissions. Serving as the scientific juggernaut, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports were “definitive” and reflected the “consensus of scientific opinion,” according to former Vice President Al Gore and his allies on Capitol Hill and Wall Street.
Therefore, the 300,000-plus submissions to the EPA, many of which point out staggering flaws in the scientific data underlying the global warming assumptions, were discounted – at least, they were certainly not included in the EPA’s final Endangerment Finding.
Enter Climategate. First exposed as a series of email exchanges between IPCC-contributing scientists acknowledging unwarranted modifications in key data, the scandal has evolved with near-daily exposures of faulty climate numbers, reliance on fraudulent and non-peer-reviewed research, and flat-out serious mistakes in the IPCC reports on which the EPA fully relies for its mandates.
Consider a few of the recent public disclosures: Overt error and potential fraud in IPCC reports promising a) extreme weather events increasing in frequency and severity; b) Himalayan glaciers melted by 2035; c) African crop yields collapse by 50 percent; d) large swaths of Amazon rain forest would become dry savanna grassland; and, e) mischaracterized results from scientific studies skewed to appear to endorse temperature increases – leading to public admissions by IPCC-related leaders of accident, overstatement, and manipulation of data.
And what of the new EPA regulatory regime? At a staggering estimated cost of $1 trillion, Americans can expect the new regulations to inflict huge increases in utility bills, consumer goods, and the cost of transportation, as well as a loss of 4 million jobs over the next two decades. Top scientists have signaled that the EPA’s measures will have less-than-measurable impact on the climate. In short, it’s the worst “investment” in American history.
And, since it’s terminally flawed and perhaps fraudulent, the EPA’s regime is also the subject of legal action. Representing 15 Congressmen (including 7 U.S. Representatives from Georgia) and 17 companies and professional associations who will feel the initial brunt of the new regulations, Southeastern Legal Foundation has challenged the EPA in court and administratively.
American common sense, demonstrated by public opinion, demands that the nonsense must stop – we simply cannot afford it.
Goessling is executive director and chief legal counsel of Southeastern Legal Foundation. SLF is an Atlanta-based constitutional public interest law firm currently representing 15 congressmen and 17 companies and associations in legal challenges against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.