TCS Daily

Courting Regulatory Disaster - or Clarity

By Roy Spencer - July 6, 2006 12:00 AM

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case being brought by a dozen states, several major cities, and environmental groups who want carbon dioxide, widely believed to be contributing to the current global warming trend, to be designated as a pollutant. The plaintiffs are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's decision in 2003 that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant that would come under the regulatory portions of the Clean Air Act. That decision has been upheld by two lower court rulings.

A Supreme Court decision siding with the plaintiffs could have wide-ranging consequences, since it would open the door for the regulation of myriad human activities that produce carbon dioxide, especially the use of automobiles and the production of electricity by utilities.

To examine the role that carbon dioxide plays in our daily lives, let's review a little basic science. Whether we like the sound of it or not, everything is made of chemicals; including people. Many chemicals are absolutely necessary for humans to live, for instance oxygen. Just as necessary, human metabolism produces by-products that are exhaled, like carbon dioxide and water vapor. So, the production of carbon dioxide is necessary, on the most basic level, for humans to survive. (We haven't heard yet whether the plaintiffs will later want to see water vapor regulated, which is by far the Earth's most important greenhouse gas.)

Moving beyond our body's needs, for humans to thrive we use a variety of fuels to get the necessary work done. Burning of these fuels releases larger amounts of carbon dioxide than do our bodies, and as a result the CO2 concentration of the global atmosphere has risen by about 30% over the last 100 years: from 300 parts per million (ppm) in the early 1900's, to its present value of about 380 ppm.

The carbon dioxide that is emitted as part of a wide variety of natural processes is, in turn, necessary for vegetation to live. It turns out that most vegetation is somewhat 'starved' for carbon dioxide, as experiments have shown that a wide variety of plants grow faster, and are more drought tolerant, in the presence of doubled carbon dioxide concentrations. Fertilization of the global atmosphere with the extra CO2 that mankind's activities have emitted in the last century is believed to have helped increase agricultural productivity. Doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will probably occur late in this century.

And even though carbon dioxide formation requires oxygen, there is no danger that the production of carbon dioxide will deplete the vast store of atmospheric oxygen, which is 550 times as abundant as CO2.

In short, carbon dioxide is a natural part of our environment, necessary for life, both as 'food' and as a by-product.

Yet, the possibility that there might be some negative consequences associated with its production has led some to want to regulate it. This harkens back to the 'precautionary principle': if something has potential negative side effects, don't do it. Those that advocate the precautionary principle apparently haven't noticed that no one lives his life according to it.

Central to the argument that CO2 be regarded as a pollutant subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act is that it "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare." This will be difficult to prove scientifically, since we have no way of proving that current global warmth is due to carbon dioxide emissions. While some theoretical modeling research that has suggested that all of the current global warmth could be explained by the extra CO2 we have produced, there is an element of circularity inherent in this type of science. The computer models built to predict climate fluctuations were based upon knowledge of what the answer was to begin with. Natural climate fluctuations (such as a small change in cloudiness) can also cause temperature changes, but since we don't understand what causes them, we can't model them.

But even if the 1 deg. F warming in the last 100 years can be convincingly demonstrated to be due to humans, it will be just as difficult to prove harm to human health and welfare. This is why the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiffs last year.

Proving harm from global warming is confounded by natural climate fluctuations that are so large that the global warming signal becomes lost in the noise. Note that the 1 degree of warming in the last century is much less than what humans routinely endure as part of normal weather variations and the progression of the seasons. And throughout human history, warm has always, on balance, been better than cold.

And, contrary to what Al Gore's movie implies, we have always had droughts, floods, major hurricanes, tornadoes, and ice calving off glaciers and falling into the ocean. There is no convincing evidence that weather has gotten more severe, more drought-prone, or more flood-prone, as a result of global warming. Yet we are exposed to claims that 'global warming is killing people now'.

Even if CO2 production has some negative consequences, it is not at all clear at what level the costs associated with increasing carbon dioxide concentrations would even come close to the benefits associated with its production. Our risk-adverse culture tends to forget that our daily lives involve balancing a wide variety of risks and benefits. The risks and benefits of one possible decision are weighed against the risks and benefits of another decision. It would be hard to find a more beneficial natural resource, with fewer risks, that has elevated humanity to new heights in prosperity, health, and longevity, than fossil fuels.

Nevertheless, it could be argued that in some sense, all human activities, products, and by-products represent 'pollution' and pose a possible "danger to public health and welfare." Car accidents claim 40,000 lives each year in the U.S. alone. Why don't we regulate everything out of existence that has the potential to cause harm? Because the things we use on a daily basis provide benefits that greatly outweigh the risks.

Assuming that CO2 is eventually classified as a pollutant, and the EPA is given regulatory authority over potential ingredients of climate change, it seems critically important to avoid past regulatory mistakes. The government has a long history of instituting regulations that end up doing more harm than good. It would be difficult to imagine a regulation that carries so much potential for harm to humanity as the regulation of carbon dioxide.

Dr. Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA's Aqua satellite.



If any atmospheric gas is a pollutant...
it is not carbon dioxide, but--OXYGEN.

After all, the Earth's atmosphere was originally composed of carbon dioxide and water vapor (with traces of nitrogen and others, but NO oxygen). Oxygen was released ("dumped," in EnviroWeaselSpeak) into the atmosphere as a waste product of plant photosynthesis. So where's the crusade to ban oxygen? Oh, that's right--with every breath, you, I, Al Gore and all other animal lifeforms inhale a gaseous form of plant excrement without which we would die VERY quickly (and uncomfortably). How, er, inconvenient...

Moreover, declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant makes as much sense as condemning water vapor--a byproduct of human (and animal) metabolism as well as of fuel combustion. There's a LOT more water vapor around than CO2 and, as Dr. Spencer pointed out, it is THE major greenhouse gas. Without its contribution, we would have an average global temperature of ZERO degrees Fahrenheit--some 60 degrees lower than today's value. The implications for biodiversity are obvious.

So, why pick on CO2? Answer: It's a way to beat up on Western civilization--all that science, technology and free enterprise stuff that keeps us from living in the Neolithic. Anybody who wants to go back there--go right ahead, but leave the rest of us the hell alone with your ignorant demonization of the gas that is the very feedstock of life on this planet. Oh, and don't even think of exhaling--that's adding to the CO2 "pollution," don't you know...

Amen - - - -
Well said, Dr., thanks. Even lefty, watermelony, control freaks are made of atmospheric CO2. They're the true pollution.

Ironically, life on Earth will ultimately cease due to a lack of atmospheric CO2...

August 24, 2005

To Economist Editors,

Your recent Economist article on global warming still misses the point - the corrected satellite measurements tend to confirm that there is no global warming crisis.

Even Roy Spencer's trend of 0.12 degrees C per decade is too high. It is simply a linear regression line fitted through all the Global Lower Troposphere temperature anomaly data from Dec 1978 to July 2005 - but just look at the data - there is no warming trend for the majority of the period - from inception in December 1978 up to April 1997.

See Excel spreadsheet with chart (attached), LT temperature data sourced from Roy Spencer at University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) which incorporates UAH's latest corrections for satellite drift, from

Summary of LT Global Temperature Anomaly Chart:

No warming trend in LT from 12/1978 to 04/1997, just oscillation around zero - then the huge 1997-98 El Nino spike peaking in 04/1998 which quickly reversed itself; possibly 0.2 degree C warming from 2000 to 2005 but note the complete lack of correlation with atmospheric CO2 levels, which have been rising consistently, at least since measurements began in 1958 -

Note the "possible" warming from 2000-2005 may still reverse itself as past upward oscillations have done - also note there is no evidence that the possible 2000-2005 warming was caused by increased atmospheric CO2 levels - it was more likely caused by solar variation.

Also, even this alleged warming, if caused by greenhouse gases, is not linear, it is logarithmic (warming flattens with increased atmospheric CO2 concentration) - so linear extrapolations of 0.0x degrees C per decade greatly exaggerate future warming (unless we assume ridiculously high increases in future CO2 levels like the IPCC has done).

Since atmospheric CO2 levels are near all-time lows for the planet, and have been more than 20 times higher than present levels in the past, does this not also tend to disprove the much higher model estimates of warming and bolster the lower estimates? If the higher model estimates were indeed correct, life on earth would likely not have survived as it did through periods of such high past CO2 levels. Ironically, life on Earth will ultimately cease due to a lack of atmospheric CO2, which has been declining due to the natural CO2 sequestration that has been happening since life began on our planet.

Correlation of past temperatures with CO2 concentrations is poor to non-existent, indicating CO2 is a weak driver of warming. Also CO2 lags temperature, does not lead it. Correlation of temperature with solar activity is much stronger than with CO2 concentration. Could it be the Sun is more important than CO2? - see Jan Veizer's latest paper (Geoscience Canada, March 2005). Veizer proposes that the primary driver of Earth's climate is solar and celestial, which drives the water cycle, which in turn drives the CO2 cycle. In summary, CO2 is not the driver, but the result.

The Antarctic is cooling, as is the eastern Canadian Arctic. It is interesting that the alarmists always point to the western Canadian Arctic, which is warming, and ignore the rest.

Is global cooling a much greater concern than AGW? The next Ice Age is less than 5000 years in the future.

We can bound the AGW problem at the lower end (less than 1 degree C from a doubling of CO2 levels due to humankind) - the much higher IPCC climate model estimates are out of bounds.

The high probability is that AGW (Kyoto, etc.) is a non-issue and a massive waste of scarce global resources that should be used to solve real problems, not squandered on fictitious ones.

Regards, Allan

Is global cooling next?
Apparently NASA's James Hansen thought it unnecessary to comment on this news - probably the most significant climate-related information ever to come from NASA. Perhaps this is because it foretells global cooling, not warming.


Solar Cycle 25 peaking around 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries - NASA

"This is interesting news for astronauts. Solar Cycle 25 is when the Vision for Space Exploration should be in full flower, with men and women back on the Moon preparing to go to Mars. A weak solar cycle means they won't have to worry so much about solar flares and radiation storms."

"On the other hand, they will have to worry more about cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are high-energy particles from deep space; they penetrate metal, plastic, flesh and bone. Astronauts exposed to cosmic rays develop an increased risk of cancer, cataracts and other maladies. Ironically, solar explosions, which produce their own deadly radiation, sweep away the even deadlier cosmic rays. As flares subside, cosmic rays intensify-yin, yang."

Strangely they don't mention the effect of cosmic rays on low-level cloud cover, modulated by the 11-year solar cycle, and the resultant effect on climate - Cold!

For those that don't understand:

Brighter sun Þ enhanced thermal flux + solar wind Þ muted galactic cosmic ray flux Þ less low-level clouds Þ less albedo(reflectivity) Þ warmer climate.

Less active sun Þ reduced thermal flux + solar wind Þ lack of muted galactic cosmic ray flux Þ more low-level clouds Þ more albedo(reflectivity) Þ colder climate.

That's how the bulk of climate change works.

Paul Biggs

NASA Press Release: Solar Cycle 25 peaking around 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries.

Long Range Solar Forecast


Solar Cycle 25 peaking around 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries.

May 10, 2006: The Sun's Great Conveyor Belt has slowed to a record-low crawl, according to research by NASA solar physicist David Hathaway. "It's off the bottom of the charts," he says. "This has important repercussions for future solar activity."

The Great Conveyor Belt is a massive circulating current of fire (hot plasma) within the Sun. It has two branches, north and south, each taking about 40 years to perform one complete circuit. Researchers believe the turning of the belt controls the sunspot cycle, and that's why the slowdown is important.

"Normally, the conveyor belt moves about 1 meter per second—walking pace," says Hathaway. "That's how it has been since the late 19th century." In recent years, however, the belt has decelerated to 0.75 m/s in the north and 0.35 m/s in the south. "We've never seen speeds so low."

According to theory and observation, the speed of the belt foretells the intensity of sunspot activity ~20 years in the future. A slow belt means lower solar activity; a fast belt means stronger activity. The reasons for this are explained in the Science@NASA story Solar Storm Warning.

"The slowdown we see now means that Solar Cycle 25, peaking around the year 2022, could be one of the weakest in centuries," says Hathaway.

This is interesting news for astronauts. Solar Cycle 25 is when the Vision for Space Exploration should be in full flower, with men and women back on the Moon preparing to go to Mars. A weak solar cycle means they won't have to worry so much about solar flares and radiation storms.

On the other hand, they will have to worry more about cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are high-energy particles from deep space; they penetrate metal, plastic, flesh and bone. Astronauts exposed to cosmic rays develop an increased risk of cancer, cataracts and other maladies. Ironically, solar explosions, which produce their own deadly radiation, sweep away the even deadlier cosmic rays. As flares subside, cosmic rays intensify—yin, yang.

Hathaway's prediction should not be confused with another recent forecast: A team led by physicist Mausumi Dikpata of NCAR has predicted that Cycle 24, peaking in 2011 or 2012, will be intense. Hathaway agrees: "Cycle 24 will be strong. Cycle 25 will be weak. Both of these predictions are based on the observed behavior of the conveyor belt."

How do you observe a belt that plunges 200,000 km below the surface of the sun?

"We do it using sunspots," Hathaway explains. Sunspots are magnetic knots that bubble up from the base of the conveyor belt, eventually popping through the surface of the sun. Astronomers have long known that sunspots have a tendency to drift—from mid solar latitudes toward the sun's equator. According to current thinking, this drift is caused by the motion of the conveyor belt. "By measuring the drift of sunspot groups," says Hathaway, "we indirectly measure the speed of the belt."

Using historical sunspot records, Hathaway has succeeded in clocking the conveyor belt as far back as 1890. The numbers are compelling: For more than a century, "the speed of the belt has been a good predictor of future solar activity."

If the trend holds, Solar Cycle 25 in 2022 could be, like the belt itself, "off the bottom of the charts".

More on global cooling: 2020 foresight?
Excerpted from my earlier note on this subject:

The issue I'm most concerned with is actually global cooling. While it is technically gratifying to have predicated in print >three years before NASA that we are going to enter a global cooling phase by about 2020, this is not good news for the planet. During cooling periods, civilizations do much worse than during warming cycles.

Here are some of the historical cycles of warming and cooling:

...over the past 3000 years there was "an alternation of three relatively cold periods with three relatively warm episodes." In order of their occurrence, these periods are described by Desprat et al. as the "first cold phase of the Subatlantic Period (975-250 BC)," which was "followed by the Roman Warm Period (250 BC-450 AD)," which was followed by "the Dark Ages Cold Period (450-950 AD)" which "was terminated by the onset of the Medieval Warm Period (950-1400 AD)," which was followed by "the Little Ice Age (1400-1850 AD), including the Maunder Minimum (at around 1700 AD)," which "was succeeded by the recent warming (1850 AD to the present)."

They didn't call it the "Dark Ages" for nothing. Cold periods have typically been characterized by famine, plague and war. However during the Little Ice Age there were clear indications that civilization was starting to adapt to natural climate change. Let's all hope we do better during the next cooling phase.

The big question remains: How much of the current warming is natural - I would guess over 80% - and the coming cooling will probably overwhelm the current warming.

Best regards,
Allan M.R. MacRae

Oxygen becomes poisonous under pressure.

Deep sea divers must use reduced oxygen mixtures or they will die from too much oxygen.

Oh, and if we could get rid of all that damned O2 there would be much less corrosion and free radicals created.

I always knew I could count on Doctor Who. Your new shows are excellent.

The true test is to yell...

See how all arguments fall before its mighty power?

Americans sure do like to (what is that cute expression in English?)shoot themselves in the foot, or is it shoot their own wieners off. Too bad though that the reds-turned-greens have so much influence through their domination of the schools, universities and MSM, so their propaganda gets believed by so many. A lot of us foreigners are amazed that the US which has so many natural resouces including oil, refuse to even use the stuff, like off the coasts, etc. Most other countries, including in euroland, would be drilling in Yosemite Park if they thought they could find a few drops. Can you imagine the brits or norwegians saying they'll not drill offshore because it might hurt the view of the sunset for some intertainer flakes like Barbara Streisand; I don't think so. Good comments above.

You're right about oxygen-- sort of
Oxygen's fine right now, Doctor Tongue-in-cheek. It's at an acceptable level. But just let it build up to the point where it's no longer 19-20% of our atmosphere but 23-24% of our atmosphere. At that point fires spontaneously combust around the world with no need for an ignition source. Carbon-containing matter will start bursting into flame worldwide.

Not so good, right? So if we ever get to the point where the oxygen fraction of the air starts increasing, let's be sure we get very excited about the problem, and spare no effort in trying to correct it. That would be the sane approach.

Your agenda is showing
Allan-- Certainly you're aware that ancient CO2 levels are beside the point. For much of the earth's history it has been a carboniferous swamp as far north as Greenland. Is that the planet we want to engineer for our grandchildren? Or do we want something in which current real estate values, for instance, hold with some predictability?

I always find it interesting when someone refuses to look at the mountain of evidence with such determination. The rate of melting in Greenland, Antarctica and the tropical mountain glaciers is not just exceeding deposition, it is increasing with every survey they take. The same is true for late summer melting in the polar seas. Any honest observer will come to the conclusion that the present era is singular, with no precedent since prior to the Ice Age.

I note the zeal with which you've been plastering the pages of this forum with lengthy expositions recently. Are you on sabbatical? Is this now your job? Where do you find the time?

I know it's idle speculation, but I wonder whether your concerted attempts to convince everyone that carbon dioxide is not deleterious to the planet has anything to do with the fact that the Canadian tar sands operations are a major emitter among all the sources on earth?

Hope you're not offended. The question kind of jumps off the page after reading all your comments on this theme.

What's not a pollutant?
Ordinary salt surely isn't a pollutant. Unless it saturates the water table and renders agricultural land infertile.

And certainly water can't be a pollutant-- the source of life itself? Except for the fact that if a living body ingests too much water the cell walls burst and death ensues.

The same with oxygen-- read my comment above, titled You're right about oxygen--sort of.

So how could carbon dioxide be considered a pollutant? Because we are upsetting the norm in the earth's carbon cycle with our industrial civilization. Normally carbon is sequestered in the earth's soil, in living things, and in fossil deposits where it is out of reach. The sea/air interface regulates the flux, acting as the world's lungs.

We've changed all that in little more than a century. Between land clearing and burning, many industrial processes like making concrete, and of course fuel burning whether coal, gas or wood, we have suddenly injected an anomalously large amount of carbon into the atmosphere.

In time the earth will digest it, of course. But until that happens we will see some serious signs of indigestion. And the world that results won't be the same as the one we knew in the 20th century. Ignorant simplists will bicker that we can't just stop living an advanced technologic life-- and of course it's true, we can't nor will we. But we can and must employ our human brains to devise new technologic processes that will minimize the shock to the planetary system.

If we don't, the serious consequences we are already seeing will get much more grave and impossible to deflect. And if we do, it will still be a rough ride in the best case scenario.

Gotta agree with you
Thanks to the regulatory disaster that is the environmental movement in this country we can barely access any of our natural resources nor can we build nuclear power facilities. You can't build refineries, drill offshore, or drill in the arctic wastelands.

The religion of environmentalism has gutted our ability to provide for our energy needs. It doesn't help much when our government panders to this crowd either.

I would like to blame the Democrats for all this but the Republicans have had the numbers to overturn a great deal of this nonsense and have chosen not to follow what is right but to follow their PR firms who fear having them look like the "despoilers of the earth" or shills for Big Oil(!). Don't get me wrong, the liberals and progressives have no right to talk about how expensive energy is but neither to the conservatives.

This is a complete failure of the government for the last two or three decades.

Kyoto Scorecard (Re-post).
Hi Roy,

You should know by now not to question my motives or my integrity - you are better than this.

For me, it's not about right versus left, it's about right versus wrong. Below is my Kyoto Scorecard. I've posted many references on TCS to back up my statements.

Bottom line: Kyoto and other such CO2-abatement schemes are technically non-issues, and politically are massive wastes of scarce global resources.

See Bjorn Lomborg's Copenhagen Concensus about the latter (and Lomborg even buys into the exaggerated pro-Kyoto science, being a mere economist). :-)

Best regards, Allan




Kyoto has many fatal flaws, any one of which should cause this treaty to be scrapped.


Kyoto focuses primarily on reducing CO2, a relatively harmless gas, and does nothing to control real air pollution like NOx, SO2, and particulates, or serious pollutants in water and soil. WE DO HAVE AN URBAN AIR QUALITY PROBLEM - IMAGINE THE IMPROVEMENTS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED BY NOW IF WE HAD FOCUSED THE HUGE KYOTO EXPENDITURES ON URBAN AIR QUALITY, INSTEAD OF BOGUS HUMANMADE GLOBAL WARMING.

Kyoto wastes enormous resources that are urgently needed to solve real environmental and social problems that exist today. For example, the money spent on Kyoto in one year would provide clean drinking water and sanitation for all the people of the developing world in perpetuity. REVIEW BJORN LOMBORG'S COPENHAGEN CONCENSUS. ECONOMIST LOMBORG EVEN ACCEPTS THE BOGUS PRO-KYOTO SCIENCE, AND HE STILL SAYS THERE ARE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WAYS TO SPEND THE MONEY.


Kyoto will actually hurt the global environment - it will cause energy-intensive industries to move to exempted developing countries that do not control even the worst forms of pollution. SEE PREVIOUS COMMENT - THE MOVE BY INDUSTRIES TO "POLLUTION HAVENS" HAS ALREADY BEGUN.

Kyoto's CO2 credit trading scheme punishes the most energy efficient countries and rewards the most wasteful. Due to the strange rules of Kyoto, Canada will pay the former Soviet Union billions of dollars per year for CO2 credits.

Kyoto will be ineffective - even assuming the overstated pro-Kyoto science is correct, Kyoto will reduce projected warming insignificantly, and it would take as many as 40 such treaties to stop alleged global warming. THE PROJECTED REDUCTION IN WARMING DUE TO FULL KYOTO IMPLEMENTATION WAS 0.06 DEGREES C. EVEN THE MOST STRIDENT KYOTO SUPPORTERS HAVE NOW ACCEPTED THAT THIS STATEMENT IS TRUE.

The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply - the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels. CORN ETHANOL, WIND POWER, SOLAR POWER, ETC. ARE PROVING EXPENSIVE AND INEFFECTIVE. NUCLEAR POWER IS THE ONLY ANSWER TO REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS, AND KYOTO FANS ALSO HATE NUCLEAR - SO THEY OFFER NO PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS.

roy's science is off by several orders of magnitude.
as usual

Hospitals as mass murderers
In 23% O2 is enough to cause spontaneous combustion, how does one explain the 100's of thousands of people every year who are given 100% O2 while in the hospital?

When Greenland was a swamp, it was also a lot further south.

when you run out of science, question the other guys motive
It's the only cudgel roy has left.

I wonder why roy never questions the motives of rhampton?
The cut and paste king.

roy reveals the source of his irritation
It's a religious thing. Man is disturbing mother gaia, which is the worst possible crime.

word play
The fact that some amount of CO2 is good does not mean that more is good, as Spencer and even Mark certainly can understand. Mark's brilliant gaia line doesn't change that.

The Supreme court might have to face the issue of scientific consensus if case turns on the issue of whether GW is real. It will be interesting to see which of the conservatives believe in science.

CO2=> more food, ethanol and biodiesel
If plants grow better with more C02, it must be a fertilizer and would therefore help decrease our dependence upon crude oil and coal.

Word play is the name of the AGW alarmists game
Let us hope that the Supreme Court relies on scientific FACT rather than the unscientific concept of CONSENSUS.

Or they can just rule that they should not label it a pollutant because of the FACT that there is no CONSENSUS. That would be a rather refreshing idea.

It will be interesting to see which Justices on the court understand such weighty, scientific concepts. LG may see this a battle between liberal/conservative but I see it more as a battle between real science and junk science.

I knew it would come to this
The environmentalists haven't won many original battles in the Congress, almost their entire agenda and advancement came originally through the courts. I figured they would try this approach with Kyoto and Carbon Credit trading as well.

The Supreme Court should never have taken this case, now that they have let's hope they shoot it down and quickly. But I don't really expect that to happen. I would be surprised if they don't come up with some muddy decision that shows partial agreement with the watermelons.

Roy's arguing that any man caused change is bad.
not whether a little is good and more is bad

Not that LG is capable of understanding such a subtle difference.

Global CO2 isn't the Killer
The real killer is the amount of toxic particulate matter we spew into our local skies every day. Increasing numbers of kids in India and China suffer from chronic respiratory diseases because of all the air pollution. Many children in various urban areas across the U.S. suffer in the same way. This is a real public health hazard with tangible, measurable effects on human beings. Clearing, as opposed to reducing, our local skies of toxic particulate matter ought to be high on the environmentalists' agenda!

Instead we're subjected to this vaccuous, partisan cacophony of claptrap about what MIGHT happen in 100 years or 500 years if we go on producing CO2 at current levels.

Children in the world's most densely populated areas are sick and dying of the filth we spew into the air and the best these so-called environmentalists can do is villify Bush and sing songs of praise to Gore and his gaggle of whoremongering "scientists".

Yeah - liberals really do care about "the People".

Roy is arguing nothing of the kind
He's pointing out that some potential human caused changes could be catastrophes, just as some potential naturally caused ones could be.

Check out the wording...
>"He's pointing out that some POTENTIAL human caused changes COULD BE catastrophes, just as some POTENTIAL naturally caused ones COULD BE."

So uncertain! And quite telling.

And with no ability to determine or forecast the POTENTIAL changes and the POTENTIAL catastrophes, not to mention the absence of the ability to determine what is human caused and what is naturally occurring, what is the point in labeling CO2 a pollutant?

I partly agree
I agree with Tlaloc's:

> I see it more as a battle between real science and junk
> science.

But not:

> Let us hope that the Supreme Court relies on scientific
> FACT rather than the unscientific concept of CONSENSUS.

Any debate about science before a court (evolution vs. "creation science", vegatative state of Terry Schiavo, certainty of DNA evidence, ...) becomes a battle of experts. The side with the most and most prestigeous experts wins. It's hard to imagine how it could be otherwise with judges without scientific training.

Not the point
What was said was that Roy was claiming any human-caused changes were bad in and over themselves, because they human-caused. He was saying nothing of the kind.

If you want to get into how certain problems from CO2 are, that would be something to get scientific advice about. Or would you prefer guesses or, better still, just assume everything's ok because some guys on TCS say so?

Really! Who needs scientific consensus? Let's use this technique on math
If some skeptics and many ordinary people think that the value of pi should be set at exactly 3, for convenience and to avoid the confusion and embarassment of using numbers widely known to be "irrational," why should anyone worry what so-called "experts" say?

We may have to quit breathing...
Since we emit CO2 each time we exhale perhaps worldwide mass suicide is in order--of course, the "special" people, that is, the wacko environmentalists, are excused from this self-sacrifice. After all, only they know what is best.

Alternatively, we can each tote a nice tree around with us wherever we go;it can mop up the CO2 after us.

You are right on
But it gets even worse. Using paleoclimate studies as an indicator, we are due for another glacial advance at any time. The upcoming cooling cycle could very well be the beginnings of that.

If it does prove to be the beginnings of another glacial advance period, we better hope man-caused global warming is a reality or we are in for some bleak times indeed. The last glacial period lasted around 100,000-120,000 years and it got cold and ugly.

Even if this next cooling is a relatively light and short one, (200-400 years; 1 degree C drop in mean tempatures for example) it will mean trouble for many in the poorer parts of the world. Countries like China and India my find themselves in deep trouble trying to find food resources. Even the U.S. could see it's present dietary diversity cut as some items are priced completely out of reach for the common man and others just aren't available.

I have said it before and I will continue to repeat the mantra: I've studies some paleoclimatology and anthropology and I've come to the conclusion that I would rather live in a time of warming, even somewhat extreme warming, than in a cooling period of any notable magnitude. For me, it is a no-brainer!

That is why I don't get the outcry against global warming; let it warm (at least a bit more)!!

King of the Strawman
Thank you for showcasing your ignorance once again.

The value of Pi is scientifically proven as a constant. Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi is always the same number, no matter which circle you use to compute it. The Egyptians knew this, the Babylonians knew this, and now you know it.

Now does this rely on a consensus? No. Only one scientist in the world could claim the value of Pi and they would be correct. A million scientists agreeing that Pi should be exactly 3, or 33, would not make them correct.

Perhaps you can explain how a mathematical constant is the same as the theory of AGW? I would really like to hear it.

Nice job stupid. Now go change your name again.

The part you disagree with...
>"Any debate about science before a court (evolution vs. "creation science", vegatative state of Terry Schiavo, certainty of DNA evidence, ...) becomes a battle of experts. The side with the most and most prestigeous experts wins. It's hard to imagine how it could be otherwise with judges without scientific training."

I would say a group of learned people would not be impressed by calls of a consensus when one can easily be proven not to exist.

You seem to think that the number of scientists that pack the chamber will be the deciding factor but I believe that the Justices will be able to discern the fabricated and unrealiable nature of computer models and the impact that over-reacting to a very unscientific lobby would entail.

One does not need to be a scientist to determine when the rules of science have not been followed. Whoever is in charge of defending against the AGW alarmists should have no problem with demonstrating the many fallacies that AGW alarmism depends upon.

I would absolutely love it if the opening statement was, "I would like to supply evidence to the esteem Justices of the Court but, damn, it would just go over your silly little heads. Here is a big group of scientists and actors who believe in AGW. See? Much larger than there side." How well would that work I wonder?

A little unclear on the concept
>The value of Pi is scientifically proven as a constant.

Not scientifically. Mathematically. But thank you for demonstrating that you know what pi is.

>Now does this rely on a consensus?

I never suggested that it does. I was positing a situation in which the kind of arguments that have been brought forward against good science were brought forward against good mathematics.

>Nice job stupid.

Blow me, shithead.

The point is your head
I know he got what Roy said wrong. That wasn't my point.

The point is that you clearly showed the state of the AGW theory without even realizing it. There is POTENTIAL and various SCENARIOS that COULD BE indicators of future calamity but there is nothing solid and real that bears this out. After the scare-mongering wears off people of reason can see that they have not been told the whole truth.

Real science is beginning to take control of the PR scam that is AGW alarmism. Europe is starting to wake up from its Kyoto-induced insanity and questioning the pseudo-science that was sold to them. Even the NAS(!) is looking into the tactics and models of the AGW alarmist and is beginning to temper its past enthusiasm and certainty.

What is so sad is this statement:

>"If you want to get into how certain problems from CO2 are, that would be something to get scientific advice about. Or would you prefer guesses or, better still, just assume everything's ok because some guys on TCS say so?"

Do you really believe that the only scientific voices of AGW skepticism are here at TCS? Do you not investigate the counter-evidence to AGW or the lack of consensus in the scientific community over AGW? Or do you just like to go to and sit in an echo-chamber that reaffirms what you believe in? This statement shows a profound lack of an open mind much less an intelligent one.

Just wait. AGW is going to be like the coming Ice Age, the Population Bomb, and running out of oil by the year 2000. All alarmism that demanded action in its day when the consensus was so certain of its approach.

More of the same
>I know he got what Roy said wrong. That wasn't my point.

That was my point, shithead. And it was accurate, as you acknowledge.

Save your second-hand scientific drivel for people it will impress. Why not throw in a little lecture on CO2 chemistry? You're the expert.

If that winds up being the case,
then the SC should throw out this suit on summary judgement.

as usual
eric declares that only people who agree with him are experts.

There are plenty of experts who question the scare tactics of the AGW crowd. And many of the work for the NAS and AGU.

He's pointing out nothing
just his belief that any change that is caused by man will be disasterous.

I'm still laughing about roy's claim
that a 15% increase in O2 concentration in the atmosphere would cause organic material to start spontaneously combusting all over the world.

skies have been getting cleaner
over the last 30 years. At least in the US.

If you can't legislate, litigate.

Maybe the tide is shifting. NY court just said the legislature should define marriage, not the court.

Liberals are so tolerant, except for the democratic process.

Toxic O2
I'd like a source for spontaneous combustion in pure O2. Those % seem a bit low.

But, pure O2 is toxic.

The Mule steps in it.
>"Not scientifically. Mathematically. But thank you for demonstrating that you know what pi is."

Math is science dummy. Science is a wide umbrella and the scientific method covers math just as much a climatology. Just because you are currently taking remedial math during second hour and remedial science during fifth hour does not mean they are separate.

If consensus is the last refuge of the AGW alarmist then inaccurate nit-picking to cover your stupidity is the second-to-last refuge.

>"I never suggested that it does. I was positing a situation in which the kind of arguments that have been brought forward against good science were brought forward against good mathematics."

Your inaccurate division of science and math not withstanding, what you are describing is a strawman argument. You are substituting your non-topical and inane argument to dispute a logical, topical argument. One that I can knock down without addressing the real argument.

How about this: I will say your argument is not a strawman. It is just plain old stupid, inaccurate, and non-applicable. Better?

Either way, I am all about second chances and will allow you to attempt to get back on target.

>"Blow me, shithead."

You have a nice day as well.

The Mule and short term memory loss
>"That was my point, shithead. And it was accurate, as you acknowledge."

It's always about you isn't it? I am glad to affirm your existance by acknowledging you on an internet forum.

>"Save your second-hand scientific drivel for people it will impress. Why not throw in a little lecture on CO2 chemistry? You're the expert."

I doubt even the first-hand scientific drivel would impress you or penetrate your Neanderthal-like skull.

As for the CO2 lecture, I think your last screwed-up attempt to use this very, very funny insult puts that ball firmly in your court. But I will let you keep your little jab. It is the only one you have.

wrong front to back
>Math is science dummy.

No, it is not. mathematics is the language of science, and is used to express scientific understandings. But mathematicians don't consider themselves scientists, nor do scientists consider themselves mathematicians. See;

> will say your argument is not a strawman. It is just plain old stupid, inaccurate, and non-applicable. Better?

You're still dead wrong. But go ahead and express your opinion, shithead.

then why worry about it going to court
The judges will certainly see that the sceptics are the real scientists -- I mean, it's obvious, surely...

The CO2 reference was not an insult.
It was a reference to posts in which you showed complete ignorance of the most basic high school chemistry. It was a completely accurate statement of fact: you were dead wrong, but stubbornly insisted you knew what you were talking about. It's not an "insult" to point this out.

The above notwithstanding, you are a blowhard shithead. That is an insult.

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