Rattle That Regulatory Saber

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"OBAMA
TO REGULATE u2018POLLUTANT' CO2" screams the headline. Thus does
our most recent fearless leader thumb his nose at We the People.
Not trusting to democratic institutions like Congress, Obama hides
behind EPA's
skirts
in a spineless ploy to have his way mandated upon us.

Straightforward
or transparent legislation was not
looking promising.
The U.S. Senate voted
down
Obama's climate plan. Climate czar Carol Browner has been
so rebuffed
by the Senate moderates that no
one was wagering
that cap and trade climate legislation was
going to get passed. Did Browner put her old EPA hat back on to
help rattle this saber? How embarrassing for greens to hold so many
political Democratic Party cards and still be so impotent.

It overall
is a very bad day for pushing expensive climate change alarmism.
Climate policies are shifting toward reason, sobriety, debate, engaged
real science, and fiscal restraint.

Obama ought
to have second thoughts about the advice he's being given when so
many prominent scientists are freshly skeptical:

  • Freeman
    Dyson, professor
    of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton,
    has become outspoken and critical of the computer models which
    are driving climate alarmism. Dyson says, "I have studied
    the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve
    the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of
    describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans.
    They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the
    chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They
    do not begin to describe the real world that we live in."
    Dyson tackles these bogus
    climate models
    along with stratospheric
    cooling
    in two short YouTube videos.
  • Antonio
    Zichichi,
    president of the World Federation of Scientists, is now saying
    that "models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
    Change (IPCC) are incoherent and invalid from a scientific point
    of view."
  • Richard
    Lindzen,
    Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, takes a harder look at
    negative
    climate feedbacks
    . "Future generations will wonder in
    bemused amazement that the early 21st century's developed world
    went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature
    increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross
    exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined
    into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate
    a roll-back of the industrial age."
  • Australia's
    foremost Earth scientist, Ian
    Plimer
    , publishes Heaven
    And Earth: Global-Warming – The Missing Science
    .
    The inconvenient professor Plimer states that "The
    hypothesis that human activity can create global warming is extraordinary
    because it is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics,
    astronomy, history, archaeology and geology."
  • A U.S. Navy
    physicist
    warns
    of possibly "several decades of crushing cold temperatures
    and global famine." Concern
    about cooling
    becomes commonplace. Mother Nature might even
    be credited with saving capitalism if this climate realism can
    end the suffocating alarmism. Russia
    airs cooling concerns freely. The Russians say our twelve-thousand-year-long
    warm period is ending and we are entering another ice age.
  • Scientific
    graphs
    (within the PDF report) show global temperature has
    been falling for seven years. The graphs also show "CO2
    concentration had been rising at about half the UN’s central estimate,
    requiring its warming projections to be halved and rendering them
    harmless; and that 20 years of satellite observations of changes
    in outgoing long-wave radiation had demonstrated conclusively
    that the UN had exaggerated the effect of CO2 on temperature by
    a factor of 7–10. The economic graph showed the cost of adapting
    to “global warming” (if and when it resumed) as being many times
    cheaper than the cost of attempting to mitigate it."

Obama's running
out of time to force us to swallow his catastrophic global warming
agenda. The catastrophe evaporates as the harsh reality of the economic
costs of such a global climate bureaucracy become clearer. Climate
policies in Europe are changing rapidly. France's most eminent climate
skeptic, Claude
Allegre
, is likely to become that country's equivalent head
of the EPA. The G-20 meeting in London earlier this month ignored
climate change. The G-20's written statement mentioned the word
"climate" only two times out of 3,146 words. Expectations
are falling rapidly for the Copenhagen Climate Convention efforts
this December to birth Son-of-Kyoto.

"OBAMA’S
GREEN POLICY WILL KILL U.S. ECONOMY, SAYS OIL CHIEF"

screams another headline. Has this President forgotten already
that our U.S. economy is in a protracted nosedive? His budget calls
for a $646
billion climate tax
through a carbon-trading system that will
throttle taxpayers. White House officials already admit this tax
could be three times larger. A family of four could have to shell
out nearly $45,000 in climate taxes during the coming decade. And
that is all before the EPA gets started regulating. Whatever is
he thinking of?

Some states
have not waited for any EPA to tell them they can't breathe out.
They've gotten a jump on rationing energy. One victim is protesting.
An electric utility
sues
New York over CO2 regulation. The utility valiantly fights
the state on claims broadly ranging from "impermissible taxation"
to Constitutional violations. I wish the utility well, but our government
has never met a tax that was "impermissible" and doesn't
appear to give a flip about the Constitution.

That
having been said, you can take
action on the EPA's proposed action
. The EPA's action is that
the EPA Administrator signed a proposal with two distinct findings
regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air
Act:

  • The Administrator
    is proposing to find that the current and projected concentrations
    of the mix of six key greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide (CO2),
    methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons
    (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
    — in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of
    current and future generations. This is referred to as the endangerment
    finding.
  • The Administrator
    is further proposing to find that the combined emissions of CO2,
    CH4, N2O, and HFCs from new motor vehicles
    and motor vehicle engines contribute to the atmospheric concentrations
    of these key greenhouse gases and hence to the threat of climate
    change. This is referred to as the cause or contribute finding.

This proposed
action would not itself impose any requirements on industry or other
entities. An endangerment finding under one provision of the Clean
Air Act would not by itself automatically trigger regulation under
the entire Act.

The public
comment period is open for 60 days. Take the gloves off. Submit
written comments. Attend one of two hearings. Support those who
do. Obama has to already know that this issue is going to take him
down. Whatever is he thinking of?

April
20, 2009

Floy
Lilley [send her mail]
is an adjunct faculty member at the Mises Institute. She was formerly
with the University of Texas at Austin’s Chair of Free Enterprise,
and an attorney-at-law in Texas and Florida.

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