Judge stipulates what science has failed to prove
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled June 26 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was “unambiguously correct” in applying the Clean Air Act to combat carbon dioxide. The court deferred to the scientific judgment of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in the agency’s endangerment finding that this gas, which is produced by all humans, becomes harmful to human health when it is a byproduct of man-made technological advances such as automobiles.
The Coalition for Responsible Regulation, composed of industry organizations and several states, sued the EPA, arguing that the agency relied on flimsy science to justify imposing heavy air-quality regulations that damage economic growth. The federal judges reviewing the case didn’t care. “This is how science works,” read the opinion. “EPA is not required to re-prove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.” In other words, the court accepted the EPA-approved notion that global warming is “settled science” and any further consideration is unnecessary.
True science is never settled. As a systematic process of inquiry, it relentlessly searches for a better explanation for an observed phenomenon. When new information invalidates a previously held belief, a fresh hypothesis replaces the discredited one.
The global warming theory argues that combustion of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, which traps the sun’s rays in an atmospheric greenhouse effect. Unless we trade in our motorcars for bicycles, they argue, rising temperatures will cripple the planet’s ecosystem. If this frightening tale were true, there would be a clear correlation between increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and rising temperatures. However, while carbon dioxide levels have increased steadily with the advent of the industrial age, global temperatures haven’t risen in concert. Rather, they have fluctuated, failing to demonstrate a cause-effect relationship. The science is hardly settled.