Two prominent climate scientists have taken on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new rules to cut CO2 emissions in electricity generation, arguing in testimony that the regulations “will be disastrous for the country, for no scientifically justifiable reason.”
Citing extensive data (pdf) to support their case, William Happer, professor emeritus in physics at Princeton University, and Richard Lindzen, professor emeritus of atmospheric science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), argued that the claims used by the EPA to justify the new regulations are not based on scientific facts but rather political opinions and speculative models that have consistently proven to be wrong.
“The unscientific method of analysis, relying on consensus, peer review, government opinion, models that do not work, cherry-picking data and omitting voluminous contradictory data, is commonly employed in these studies and by the EPA in the Proposed Rule,” Mr. Happer and Mr. Lindzen stated. “None of the studies provides scientific knowledge, and thus none provides any scientific support for the Proposed Rule.”
All of the models that predict catastrophic global warming fail the key test of the scientific method: they grossly overpredict the warming versus actual data,” they stated. “The scientific method proves there is no risk that fossil fuels and carbon dioxide will cause catastrophic warming and extreme weather.”
Climate models like the ones that the EPA is using have been consistently wrong for decades in predicting actual outcomes, Mr. Happer told The Epoch Times.
“That was already an embarrassment in the ‘90s, when I was director of energy research in the U.S. Department of Energy,” he said. “I was funding a lot of this work, and I knew very well then that the models were overpredicting the warming by a huge amount.”
He and his colleague argued that the EPA has grossly overstated the harm from CO2 emissions while ignoring the benefits of CO2 to life on Earth.
Many who have fought against EPA climate regulations have done so by arguing what is called the “major questions doctrine,” that the EPA does not have the authority to invent regulations that have such an enormous impact on Americans without clear direction from Congress. Mr. Happer and Mr. Lindzen, however, have taken a different tack, arguing that the EPA regulations fail the “State Farm” test because they are “arbitrary and capricious.”
“Time and again, courts have applied ‘State Farm’s’ principles to invalidate agency rules where the agency failed to consider an important aspect of the problem, or cherry-picked data to support a pre-ordained conclusion,” they stated. The case they referred to is the 2003 case of State Farm v. Campell (pdf), in which the Supreme Court argued that “a State can have no legitimate interest in deliberately making the law so arbitrary that citizens will be unable to avoid punishment based solely upon bias or whim.”
According to Mr. Happer and Mr. Lindzen’s testimony, “600 million years of CO2 and temperature data contradict the theory that high levels of CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming.”
They present CO2 and temperature data indicating much higher levels of both CO2 and temperatures than today, with little correlation between the two. They also argue that current CO2 levels are historically at a low point.
“The often highly emphasized 140 [parts per million] increase in CO2 since the beginning of the Industrial Age is trivial compared to CO2 changes over the geological history of life on Earth,” they stated.
In addition, the scientists’ testimony to the EPA stated that the agency’s emissions rules fail to consider the fact that CO2 and fossil fuels are essential to life on earth, particularly human life.
“Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere create more food for people worldwide, including more food for people in drought-stricken areas,” they stated. “Increases in carbon dioxide over the past two centuries since the Industrial Revolution, from about 280 parts per million to about 420 ppm, caused an approximate 20 percent increase in the food available to people worldwide, as well as increased greening of the planet and a benign warming in temperature.”
More CO2 in the atmosphere leads to more plant growth and higher farming yields, they argued. In addition, synthetic fertilizers, which are derivatives of natural gas, are responsible for nearly half the world’s food production today. “Net zero” goals would reduce CO2 emissions by more than 40 gigatons per year, reducing the food supply proportionally, they said