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U.S. EPA’s Futile, Costly Crusade Against CO2 (Part 1)

By James Rust -- July 9, 2014

“CO2 emissions are quite the opposite of the dirty soot (sulfur dioxide, or SO2) that older people remember turned snow black in the winter, ruined laundry hung outside to dry, and coated outside parked cars. EPA’s power grab is a direct attempt to deceive the public about the nature of the hazard being foisted upon them.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is off environmental track. Having addressed the real pollutants, the agency has invented an unconquerable “pollutant” to regulate–not to enable more and better human living but to satisfy an anti-industrial agenda and give itself new purpose for money and power.

The emission at issue is carbon dioxide (CO2), the green greenhouse gas, also accurately characterized as the gas of life.

EPA’s mantra has worked against what otherwise is man-made energy abundance. The regulatory result is higher energy prices, as well as a recession in coal country beyond that from increased competition from natural gas. Such has contributed to the U.S. economic malaise of the last several years.

June 2nd Power Plant Proposal

The latest assault occurred last month with the EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards, a proposal to require a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from existing power plants below the 2005 level by the year 2030.

The year 2005 was a high CO2-emission time for the United States with total carbon dioxide emissions of 6.723 billion tons and 2.642 billion tons for electric power generation (39 percent).  A 30 percent reduction in power emissions by 2030 is 0.793 billion tons, leaving no more than 1.85 billion tons of carbon emissions for electric power generation.

CO2 emissions are quite the opposite of the dirty soot (sulfur dioxide, or SO2) that older people remember turned snow black in the winter, ruined laundry hung outside to dry, and coated outside parked cars. EPA’s power grab is a direct attempt to deceive the public about the nature of the hazard being foisted upon them.

Countering Climate Alarmism

The EPA has long claimed carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes catastrophic global warming (CAGW). CAGW is stated to cause increased flooding, drought, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and sea level rise, etc.  The EPA maintains scientific support for carbon dioxide threats are a series of five assessment reports by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC) between 1990 and 2014.  These documents are accepted without question.

To counteract omissions, half-truths, and false statements in these reports, the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) was formed in 2003.  Since 2009, the NIPCC has released six reports that give authoritative, easily-read information about vast amounts of experimental data showing negligible influence of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels on climate, benefits of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, financial losses from mitigation, and proper role of adapting to climate change. 

The NIPCC is supported by three non-profit organizations—Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Science and Environmental Policy Project, and The Heartland Institute. There is plenty of peer reviewed science in the NIPCC effort, despite 1) a determined effort in the IPCC orthodoxy to discourage non-alarmist science (per Climategate) and 2) government-funded garbage-in, garbage-out alarmist studies.

A host of data exists to show all catastrophic events allegedly caused by CAGW occurred in the past when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were lower and constant. For many weather events, the rate of occurrence has recently declined.

The lack of global warming the past 16 or more years, when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased the highest rate in thousands of years, is conveniently ignored.  The NIPCC reports cover all these omissions.

Failed Warming Predictions

A lifetime could be spent studying past global temperatures, theories about causes of climate change, and failures to predict the future. Three recent examples are noted here.

A June 24, 2014, article by P. Gosselin, “Laughing Stock Met Office—2007 “Peer-Reviewed” Global Temperature Forecast A Staggering Failure,” reports an August 10, 2007, Science article claimed global temperatures would rise 0.54 degrees F. from 2004 to 2014. At least  half this temperature after 2009 would be above the highest recorded (1998 super El Nino) up to that time.

In actuality, a global cooling of 0.025 degrees F. occurred over the ten-year period, and no reading was above the 1998 temperature.

Since 1890, the U. S. Weather Service has collected temperature data across the country that is stored in the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). This data is published by USHCN and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

In the last few decades, this data has been adjusted as reportedData Tampering At USHCN/GISS”. The measured data set shows a decline in U.S. temperatures since the 1930s. However, after adjustments to the data, the cooling trend since the 1930s had been changed to a warming trend.

An article by Tom Harris in the June 30, 2014 Washington Times quoted a statement by President Obama to the League of Conservation Voters on June 25 in Washington.  President Obama said, “We know that carbon dioxide traps heat. We know that the levels of carbon dioxide are higher than they’ve been in 800,000 years. We know that the 20 warmest years on record for our planet all happened since 1990 — and last month was the warmest May ever recorded.”  President Obama got his information from NOAA (May 2014 warmest ever and 1.33°F above the 20th century average 58.6°F), for which the preceding paragraph shows doctors their data.

However, if you examine satellite temperature data from the University of Alabama at Huntsville you get the following numbers:  May 2014 temperature 0.59 degrees F., May 1998 temperature 1.01 degrees, and May 2010 temperature 0.83 degrees—all temperatures above the global average from 1981 to 2010.  The Wood For Trees data site which contains British HADCRUT 4 global mean temperature data also showed May 1998 was warmer than May 2014.  This is another example of shaky data used to promote EPA’s policies.

There are other examples, such as Science magazine’s Richard Kerr reporting in 2009 the climate modelers predicting that the “pause” was soon to be replaced by a warming jolt. It did not happen. Nearly five years later, the pause continues.

The World: Not Following Suit

The EPA and President Obama claimed that their new carbon-dioxide reduction plan would convince the rest of the world to cut back on their use of fossil fuels.  And after EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards were announced, Reuters reported that China planned to cap its carbon dioxide emissions.

The source came from remarks by Chinese Professor He Jiankun at a conference in Beijing. But Professor He soon corrected himself:

What I said today was my personal view. The opinions expressed at the workshop were only meant for academic studies. What I said does not represent the Chinese government or any organization.

More evidence of energy reality versus Obama/EPA hope. A Reuters article, “German state allows Vattenfall to expand brown coal mining,” announced that a new project to mine 200 million tons of brown coal after 2016.  Why? Such supply is cheaper and more reliable than renewable energy.

Another follow-up is Robert Wilson’s article “What a difference a decade makes:  an updated reality check on the global energy system” for the Energy Post.

He reported China in a decade and a half built the equivalent of the entire American electricity grid.  “China today consumes 4 billion metric tons of coal and has a commitment to 500 GW of new coal capacity. It is unlikely China’s coal use for electricity generation will be significantly lower 30 or 40 years from now.” China’s carbon dioxide emissions are twice that of America’s today.


James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering and policy advisor The Heartland Institute. Professor Rust endows annual engineering scholarships of $2,500, $6,000, and $6,500.

One Comment for “U.S. EPA’s Futile, Costly Crusade Against CO2 (Part 1)”

  1. The Elephant's Child  

    The EPA can always predict with complete accuracy just how many children will die from asthma in future years. Quite as dependable as climate derived entirely from computer programs.

    The EPA is now trying to claim the ability to garnish the wages, without any court order, of anyone they accuse of an environmental violation. Wyoming welder Andy Johnson built a small pond on his rural property which attracts wildlife in an arid region. The EPA has ordered its destruction and immediate restoration to the ‘before’ state, and in fining Johnson $75,000 a day.

    They published their new rule on July 2, just before a 3-day weekend in the hopes no one would notice. Someone did comment, so they extended the comment period to September 2, but they intend to go ahead with the regulation in conformation with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, which they claim requires them to garnish wages. Comments are needed to put a stop to it.


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