This made me laugh. Anthony Watts is all excited because a bunch of clowns have filed a brief supporting a whole mob of litigants to the US Supreme Court, who want to stop the EPA from regulating CO2 emissions. This isn't the first time and probably won't be the last.
What caught my eye was this mob that Anthony Watts is promoting (archived here) are trying to pass themselves off as:
...highly regarded scientists and economists [who] have expertise in a wide array of fields implicated by this rulemaking, including climate research, weather modeling, physics, geology, statistical analysis, engineering, and economics. One or more of these scientists and economists has the relevant expertise to support every statement made in this brief. These scientists and economists all have publications in peer reviewed journals and are respected in their fields of expertise by their peers.
Look at the list, six of them have already graced the pages of HotWhopper, some several times. I guess you could call that regarded, though not at all highly. The list is below. It reads like an excerpt from who's who of the extreme right wing of the denial machine.
- Joseph S. D’Aleo - who fails Meteorology 101 at WUWT and is one of Cato Institute's 100 deniers
- Dr. Harold H. Doiron is one of the 49 retired NASA science deniers (they couldn't even get to 50 out of all the thousands of retired NASA employees!)
- Dr. Don J. Easterbrook - AKA Denier Don who pretends that the ice sheet on the top of a summit in Greenland is a good proxy for global surface temperatures, but can't even get the chart of Greenland temperatures right!
- Dr. Theodore R. Eck - unknown, described as Fulbright Professor of International Economics, Former Chief Economist of Amoco Corp. and Exxon Venezuela Advisory Board of the Gas Technology Institute and Energy Intelligence Group
- Dr. Gordon J. Fulks is an ordinary run of the mill denier who writes crank opinion pieces for any newspaper dumb enough to print them and is also one of the infamous Cato Institute 100 science deniers
- Dr. William M. Gray - who thinks the water vapour feedback loop is "weakly negative" and that although global surface temperatures have already gone up by 0.8 degrees, a doubling of CO2 should be expected to cause a global warming of no more than about 0.2-0.4oC. (I can't wait for global temperatures to drop by 0.4 to 0.6 degrees!). William is also one of the Cato Institute 100 science deniers
- Dr. Craig D. Idso - co-author of the really dumb "CO2 is plant food" and "it's the sun" Not the IPCC report. Craig is also one of the Cato Institute 100 science deniers
- Dr. Anthony R. Lupo - according to DesmogBlog, Anthony is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute. Despite his rejection of science, he seems to have managed to retain his job and even managed a Chair at the University of Missouri. Anthony is also one of the Cato Institute 100 science deniers
- Dr. Harrison H. Schmitt - who has a habit of anthropomorphising carbon dioxide
- Dr. Thomas P. Sheahen - whose name is spelt in myriad ways all over the internet and who is one of Cato Institute's 100 science deniers
- Dr. James P. Wallace III - unknown. Described in the writ as an engineer.
- Dr. George T. Wolff - unknown. He managed a reference in SourceWatch. He was Chair of the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee for a period back in the 1990s.
EPA Endangerment Finding
What this motley lot are trying to argue in their writ is that greenhouse gases don't cause the greenhouse effect. And they claim to be "respected"! They take issue with the Endangerment Finding of the EPA and try to refute the lines of evidence described on page 66518 of the Rules and Regulations:
The attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic activities is based on multiple lines of evidence. The first line of evidence arises from our basic physical understanding of the effects of changing concentrations of greenhouse gases, natural factors, and other human impacts on the climate system. The second line of evidence arises from indirect, historical estimates of past climate changes that suggest that the changes in global surface temperature over the last several decades are unusual. The third line of evidence arises from the use of computer-based climate models to simulate the likely patterns of response of the climate system to different forcing mechanisms (both natural and anthropogenic).
The tropospheric hotspot is a feature of warming from any forcing
First these fake sceptics go on and on about the tropospheric hot spot, which they wrongly characterise as evidence of greenhouse gas warming. (It's not. It's a feature of warming from any forcing, not just greenhouse gases, as explained at SkepticalScience and by Bart Verheggen). Who knows why they pick on that and ignore the expanding oceans, the melting ice and all the other signs of global warming. It's a strange point with which to lead off their argument.
Earth is heating up
Then they do make a switch to discussing surface temperature, arguing that because not everywhere on earth has heated up at the same rate it's not global warming. Did I say they are nutters? They get quite cheeky when they claim:
These data thus demonstrate that EPA’s second line of evidence—the claim that there has been unusual warming on a global, that is, worldwide, basis over the past several decades—is invalid.
Let's see about that:
|Data sources: NASA GISTemp, NODC/NOAA Ocean Heat, U Colorado sea level, PIOMAS Arctic Ice|
Observations are not inconsistent with climate model projections
They also try to argue that the models are "wrong". In their writ they include a very weird chart describing it as:
Figure 5 contrasts the forecasts through 2025 with the actual trend line of global average surface temperature (GAST) data from the Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia (CRU) for 2000-2012 (identified as “HadCRUT4 Trend/Forecast” on the chart).:
|Data source: the writ from the not respected|
HadCRUT4 is observations not a forecast. Maybe they meant with HadGEM or HadCM, in which case they couldn't argue that observations are out of kilter. Either that or they are arguing that they've made observations of the future three years and this future they've already observed doesn't match their version of climate models.
Thing is, observations are within the range of modeled climate projections:
|Source: IPCC AR5 WG1|
Here is a chart of a CMIP3 model run, showing that periods of hiatus do show up in some runs - from realclimate.org.
CO2 is a waste by-product of burning fossil fuels
This mob surely can't be serious when they claim that CO2 isn't an "unwanted by-product" by arguing that it is indeed a waste by-product. They make it sound as if they want to add CO2 to the atmosphere:
CO2 is not in any sense an unwanted by-product of the production of useful energy. Rather, the combustion of carbon based fuels to produce CO2, and the capture of the energy released by that process, is the whole idea....
And they can't do their case any good by arguing that 82% of energy production still emits CO2!
While a modest portion of energy production in the United States (and other countries in general) comes from non-carbon sources (nuclear, wind, solar, hydro), the proportion that comes from fossil fuels in the U.S. is approximately 82 percent (sic).
From the WUWT commentsNot too many fake sceptics at WUWT are as excited as Anthony Watts about this silly writ. (Archived here.)
Bloke down the pub says:
December 17, 2013 at 9:49 am
They won’t be allowed to win that.
December 17, 2013 at 9:49 am
I wish them luck but I have no faith in the Supreme court as it is now staffed.
LT confusingly or confusedly calls for more regulation, not less:
December 17, 2013 at 9:55 am
That is good news, the EPA is a burden to society they need tighter regulations placed on them than even a BP refinery.
December 17, 2013 at 10:02 am
pi**ing in the wind, snowball in Hell’s, US winning the World Cup, not a prayer, the Arctic will be ice free in our lifetime. You get the message about how much chance this has of succeeding.
December 17, 2013 at 10:03 am
SCOTUS accepts for hearing only about 5% of the requests for Writ of Certiorari.
Don’t get your hopes up.
December 17, 2013 at 10:35 am
“snowballs chance etc.”
Negative defeatists many of you. There are people out there fighting your battles. What are you guys doing, except whining?
Roger Sowell puts the writ in perspective and says:
December 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm
This is one of at least eight briefs filed in this case. This amicus brief is only advisory to the Court. The Court will consider the question or questions raised in the petitioners’ briefs.
More later, hopefully tonight 12-17-13.