EPA chief sued for doubting global warming hysteria

EPA chief Scott Pruitt has been sued for his recent comments on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

The lawsuit is here. The media release is below.


For Immediate Release: Apr 13, 2017
Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

Pruitt Should Put Up Evidence Supporting Stance or Cease Climate Denials

Posted on Apr 13, 2017 | Tags: climate, EPA

Washington, DC — A lawsuit filed today seeks the data that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt relied upon in making statements that human activity is not a “primary contributor” to climate change. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) also seeks to determine whether EPA possesses a single study that supports Mr. Pruitt’s stance.

In a March 9, 2017 interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Pruitt stated that as to carbon dioxide created by human activity “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” He also said “there’s a tremendous disagreement about of the impact” of “human activity on the climate.…”

The next day PEER filed a FOIA request asking to see the studies upon which Pruitt based his claim and also to see if there is any EPA scientific finding that human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change. Notably, EPA’s own climate change webpage cites as “basic information” that:

“Humans are largely responsible for recent climate change. Over the past century, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy, although deforestation, industrial processes, and some agricultural practices also emit gases into the atmosphere.”

“This lawsuit tells Mr. Pruitt to put or shut up – produce his evidence or stop spouting deceptive climate pseudo-science,” stated PEER Staff Counsel Adam Carlesco who filed suit after EPA failed to produce the requested materials within FOIA’s statutory deadlines. “His confirmation as EPA Administrator does not entitle Mr. Pruitt to ignore existing agency research and proclaim his own set of alternative facts.”

Additionally, his statements are contrary to official EPA policy as articulated in the agency’s EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding, which declares that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to climate change, endangering the public health and welfare. This finding was based on a comprehensive review of available science and still remains EPA’s official policy.

“Mr. Pruitt spoke on television in his official capacity and must do so in a manner that honestly represents EPA’s scientific findings,” added Carlesco, noting that any other EPA employee would be subject to disciplinary action for presenting personal views as official policy. “Even if Mr. Pruitt is presenting his personal opinion, he must specify that he is not speaking for the agency – a disclaimer he did not make.”

EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy requires all employees to “communicate science with honesty, integrity, and transparency” and enjoins employees to “not knowingly misrepresent, exaggerate, or downplay areas of scientific uncertainty.” Last month, the Sierra Club filed a formal complaint that Pruitt’s “Squawk Box” statements violate this policy. Pruitt, however, has not committed to respect EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy. Meanwhile, agency employees report concerns that Administrator Pruitt will order a purge of EPA scientific work that conflicts with his political positions.


57 thoughts on “EPA chief sued for doubting global warming hysteria”

  1. “ate of rise 170 times faster than any natural change found in the paleo record” and, what is the time resolution in the paleo record? Do you seriously claim that the short period of modern warming would be noted in a paleo record?
    170 times faster indeed. Why not look at todays models instead? 2-3X faster than the observations in rate. What does that tell us? And don´t peek into SkS now, that´s cheating and they are more often wrong than right anyway because they can´t even spell the word “balanced”.

  2. Warren
    If the trees can’t discriminate how do they just leave the fossil fuel CO2 year after year leaving all the increased CO2 in the atmosphere coming from fossil fuel ? Shouldn’t the amount removed be the same proportion as the whole atmosphere and some other explanation for the increase need to be found? If we put about 1 part in 30 into the atmosphere each year and the sinks remove it in the same proportion but the content only grows by an amount equal to about 1/2 of the fossil fuel emissions one would think that the sinks must have to process the whole atmosphere
    in a couple months to be able to remove half of the fossil fuel CO2 each year. I think it is more likely that the natural sources and sinks are so large and variable that the fossil fuel emissions are lost in the noise of the process and that is why there is no correlation of fossil fuel emissions and rate of change of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The Humlum paper is “The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature”
    (Global and Planetary Change 100 (2013) 51–69). There are monthly updates posted at Climate4you.com

    Here is a note about the problem in the Soloman paper:
    Solomon et al. (2009) neglect to consider other
    alternatives, however, such as that offered by
    Segalstad (1998), who addressed the 50 percent
    “missing sink” error of the IPCC, showing the
    Revelle evasion “buffer” factor is ideologically
    defined from an assumed model (atmospheric
    anthropogenic CO2 increase) and an assumed
    preindustrial value for the CO2 level, in conflict with
    the chemical Henry’s Law governing the fast ~1:50
    equilibrium partitioning of CO2 between gas (air) and
    fluid (ocean) at Earth’s average surface temperature.

  3. Trees differentiating between natural and Man made CO2? They don’t, of course.
    ‘Refuting Humlim’? You’ll have to reference the specific paper before I can respond.
    I don’t know a specific paper by Solomon attributing all the CO2 rise as Anthropogenic. If you have one in mind as you seemed to imply previously, cite it.

  4. Warren
    Thank you for the appraisal. I will study harder before I try to share any of my poorly thought out ideas again.
    Do you know how the trees differentiate between natural CO2 and fossil fuel CO2? That one really has me stumped. And I do need help in refuting Humlum. I have found only 1 such paper and even I can see the logical faults in it. Did you have a reference to Susan Solomans analysis paper(s) attributing all the rise in CO2 to human sources for me to study?
    Thanks again

  5. Salby is an incompetent, who can’t get published anymore because of poor work quality.
    Susan Soloman, in contrast, is a highly competent award winning scientist, and your accusation that she started with an assumption that she set about to prove is preposterous; your use of it means you don’t read or understand science, but merely look for tidbits in anti-science blogs you can throw out to see what will stick to the wall.
    The rest of your comments about the ‘length of the anthropogenic effect’, and ‘nuclear test ban measurements’ have no scientific merit, or relevance to the discussion.

  6. Warren
    What is independent in the studies done to conclude that the increased CO2 in the atmosphere is all anthropogenic? As near as I can tell Susan Soloman started with that assumption and made some effort to determine the length of its effect, concluding it was over 200 years when other studies indicated about 4.5 yrs. based on nuclear test ban measurements. I don’t remember the IPCC ever questioning the source of the increased CO2. So the work of Salby, Humlum, and others is not referenced in the IPCC reports at all either by design or omission.

  7. Are you telling me that when scientists doing research come to the same conclusion independently, they must be WRONG? So therefore if they come to different conclusions they must be RIGHT…..WHAT? Your argument is absurd.

  8. Warrens belief in consensus is pretty funny. I guess that Warren also believes in the consensus that the Earth is the center of the universe, that tectonic plates don’t exist, that an ice age was starting in the 1970s and that the pyramids were built by aliens since humans were too dumb to build anything sophisticated. There are probably a few thousand other similar consensuses (sic?) i have left out.

  9. 1. The hot spot is not a unique greenhouse signature and finding the hot spot doesn’t prove that humans are causing global warming. Conversely, not finding the hot spot doesn’t disprove anthropogenic globe warming. https://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot.htm
    2. natural sources and sinks of CO2 are essentially equal. Man’s addition of CO2 to the atmosphere is all incremental, and reality calculated: https://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-increase-is-natural-not-human-caused.htm
    The fact that the increase in ACO2 from 1750 to today is 100% anthropogenic is settled science.

  10. A real scientist/mathematician [e.g. Feynman] would devise a set of differential equations which related [among other factors]:
    1. Rate-of-rise in atmospheric temperature to rate-of-rise in atmospheric [CO2] and related this to;
    2. Rate of combustion of hydrocarbons and carbohydrates to rate-of-change in global photosynthesis and in turn related these to;
    3. Rate of forest depletion to rate of forest regeneration [i.e. rate of change in total photosynthetic capacity] and related this to;
    4. Total solar radiation available at the earth’s surface.
    The answers would certainly indicate that the most idiotic human actions would include the cutting down of American trees to make wood pellets to ship [using fossil fuels] to England to burn in power stations instead of coal….
    For the greenhouse effect to be self-regulating, real scientists/engineers need to be hired to make sure human action is directed to controlling the situation instead of having nihilist ‘activities’` [like politicians’/junk scientists’ bickering] screwing it up………IMHO

  11. Warren
    Look at https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/wwww-ths-rr-091716.pdf for Wallace.
    The first sentence in the SkS post is the tip off to their error. The long tern correlation shows Temp leading CO2 and ACO2 not correlated to temp. ACO2 rose through out the 20th century but not in concert with temp. The rate of ACO2 tripled in 2002 but had no effect on rate of atmospheric CO2. Go to Climate 4 you to see accurate analysis of short term CO2.
    I have not seen any realistic refutation of the papers you call bogus. If there is peer reviewed refutation please point it out. In my opinion their methods and data were good. I could not find any real obvious errors in either methodology or conclusions.
    Consider this: since natural sources and sinks are about 30 times larger than anthropogenic sources and the rate of CO2 rise in the atmosphere is pretty constant on an annual basis but varies from positive to negative during each year and the anthropogenic sources are mostly constant, then your contention of all CO2 increase being anthropogenic implies that the sinks are controlled so as to just take enough ACO2 to keep the atmospheric rate constant. I cannot imagine a mechanism capable of doing that. In fact I cannot think of a mechanism that can differentiate between “natural” CO2 and fossil fuel CO2.

  12. Wallace 2016 states that their analysis falsifies all three of the points relied on for the endangerment finding.
    Humlum 2013 demonstrates that fossil fuel emissions are not correlated to atmospheric CO2 content growth.
    Harde 2017 finds that anthropogenic CO2 is less than 4.5% of the increased CO2 in the atmosphere.
    There are dozens of peer reviewed papers that show fault with the models that are the only support for the human caused climate change hypothesis. The models are utterly unskillful in prediction of climate perimeters including temperature rainfall (either regional or global), cloud evolution, decadal climate phenomenon, or propagation of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    This suit is our best chance to put the lie to the “evidence” invoked here by Warren and get the science based on data out to the public.
    Will the media publish the results of the discovery and defense? Lets hope so.

  13. AFAIK, [Correct me if I’m wrong, S.M.] This site aims to expose and trash junk science .[i.e. non-scientific / subjective / obfuscatory claims used to promote political agendas]……
    Illiteracy is not compulsory, however,…..it doesn’t help at all in fooling the literate, but non-analytical, general population…..

  14. Junk science [i.e. non-scientific / subjective / obfuscatory] statements like…..;
    ‘scientific papers would be of higher quality…….,’ or
    ‘pass the smell test……..,’ and especially clangers like ‘nitrous oxides……..’
    identify junk, [or at least non- ], scientists as full members of the general BS /MSM community.
    A few wide-awake people such as S.M. are working tirelessly to alert the public to the gross SNAFUs generated by legislators fooled by half-truths and non-sequiturs……….

  15. 1. You still haven’t answered the question: Scientific papers can go to publication either with or without review. Which scenario do you say will yield better quality?

    2. The peer reviewed science doesn’t say anywhere ‘we’re all gonna die’. What science source are you reading?

    3. You are incorrect. The data shows that the difference between daytime highs and nite time lows is diminishing, and that both daytime highs and nightime lows have been rising since about 1900; nightime lows have been rising somewhat more rapidly than daytime highs.
    4. I never said I was ‘alarmed ‘. That’s not a scientific term, but something you chose to use. Go the IPCC 5th Assessment to see what the scientific consensus projects for future impacts and decide if you are ‘alarmed’.

  16. Your faith in peer review is sweet. Toddle over to Retraction Watch and see how often it fails.

    Of the 25 000 peer reviewed papers you mention how many link to damage estimates and what are the error bars on those estimates? Leaping from CO2 is a radiative molecule to “we’re all gonna die” is a feat that not even Evel Knievel would have attempted.

    So far what we have is that most of any effect of man made global warming would be felt at high latitudes, at night, in winter. That effect would be one of ameliorating extreme weather, however you define that, thanks to decreasing thermal gradients. That is all courtesy of the IPCC itself.

    In the meantime you are alarmed Warren, why?

  17. Seriously? You argue that scientific papers would be of higher quality if they weren’t reviewed by other scientists before publication?
    Your argument doesn’t pass the smell test.

  18. Karl Popper would have had a great time trashing ‘peer review’, but there was no such silliness in his day…
    Half a century ago, when real scientists published their research in full and invited other scientists to replicate or refute their findings, the idea of getting some of your friends to look at your results and pronounce them to be plausible would have been regarded as ridiculous…….
    But of course political correctness rules now….
    Having used up large amounts of taxpayer funds, you can’t afford to have your findings challenged by others…
    Could someone please explain how any scientific progress can be made when a new finding can’t be published until it has been ‘approved’ by third parties who have not replicated the research and cannot therefore be qualified to assess it????

  19. Bill-
    You don’t ‘have it straight’:
    1. The IPCC doesn’t disagree with the 170x claim in the statement you cited, or in any other statement in any of their Assessments. Quantification of the RATE OF RISE vs natural changes has only been done in scientific research AFTER the last IPCC Assessment, and those results were published in the scientific journal cited in the Guardian article.
    2. The Guardian and WaPo indeed are not peer reviewed. But the references they cited as their sources are peer reviewed.
    3. The IPCC is not a ‘governing body’, nor does it do any research. It’s an organization of hundreds of unpaid volunteers, mostly scientists, who summarize the peer reviewed research conducted independently by scientists from around the world. In the last, 5th Assessment, the IPCC summarized the contents of approximately 10,000 peer reviewed papers.

  20. Let me get this straight….every time someone links contrary to your 170x claim (which the IPCC doesn’t agree with) you say “not peer reviewed.” Then, your own links to show that you are correct are….theguardian and washingtonpost. Sorry, Warren, those aren’t peer reviewed.

    Your claims are not supported by the IPCC which, I think, is one of the governing bodies in this field on which you seem to place your trust.

  21. Read the IPCC 5th Assessment. You’ll find everything that Science has learned in decades of research, including the probability that the warming since 1950 is caused by Man (95%). Recent papers have quantified the average rate of warming since then as 170 times any natural warming in the paleo record.
    There you go.

  22. Make them quantify “climate change”. When they cannot, then they have no standing to proceed.

  23. Not a peer reviewed source, and contradicted by the peer reviewed science, as summarized in the IPCC assessments.

  24. Phil Jones was commenting on the comparison of warming rates of the 1980s and late 1900s — both part of the Anthropogenic warming that began about 1900.
    The ‘Anthropocene’ article’s analysis of 170 times the natural rate compares industrial age warming of 1.5C in 160 years with natural warming occurring before the industrial era.

  25. Your link is to an article that is not peer reviewed science…and in fact is junk science. Every institution of science in the world (there are 270) conclude Industrial Age warming is man made.
    And it’s not me that concludes the current warming is 170 the rate of natural warming. But Science does. The article, in ‘Anthropocene Review, is summarized here:

  26. “The climate is warming at a rate about 170x as fast as any natural cycle in the paleo record.”
    BULL SKAT(#2)!!!!
    Evidence: the Holocene records up to 8000 years before present, from several ice cores were examined.
    . . . The average standard deviation of temperature was 0.98 ± 0.27 °C. This suggests that while some portion of the temperature change observed in the 20th century was probably caused by greenhouse gases, there is a strong likelihood that the major portion was due to natural variations.
    From: An Estimate of The Centennial Variability of Global Temperatures, Philip J. Lloyd, DOI: 10.1260/0958-305X.26.3.417, http://multi-science.atypon.com/doi/abs/10.1260/0958-305X.26.3.417

  27. Warren Beeton says: April 16, 2017 at 9:46 AM
    “The climate is warming at a rate about 170x as fast as any natural cycle in the paleo record.”
    BULL SKAT!!!! Even alarmist Phil Jones admitted that the recent warming was at the same rate as the late 19-800s and the early1900s. See: http://www.debunkingclimate.com/jonesinterview.html
    BTW, even the IPCC says that man’s CO2 had little effect before about 1950, so don’t include pre 1950 in your wild claims.

  28. Your link provides no scientific reference or evidence to back up their statements –which are mostly about their dislike of the solutions, not the phenomenon itself.
    My post is supported by the peer reviewed science, and every institution of science in the world, including America’s premier institution of Science, the National Academy, which all conclude the same: ‘Earth is warming, Man is the cause (Primarily through the burning of fossil fuels), and the net effects are strongly negative.’ http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf

  29. Warren look at this linkhttps://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/22/apple-and-google-pour-billions-down-a-green-drain/

    Tell me where any of you statements have a grain of truth in them, you can live with you myths, the rest of would rather not.

  30. 1. The climate is warming at a rate about 170x as fast as any natural cycle in the paleo record.
    2. The consensus estimate of climate sensitivity – 3C per doubling- lead to an expected temperature rise of 8F by 2100, with a greater than 10% chance of 11F rise. Over northern hemisphere land areas (e.g., the US) , the estimated rise is nearly double, or 16F. And temperatures keep rising thereafter.
    3. Research in any scientific field is never ending, but science can be quite certain abut many things, including the conclusion of every scientific institution in the world, that ‘Earth is warming, Man is the cause, and the net effects are strongly damaging’. Or similar. No exceptions. All conclude the same.
    4. Water vapor is not the cause of the warming. Industrial age increases in atmospheric CO2 (up 40%) , methane (tripled) and Nitrous oxides (up 20%) are the cause.
    The temperature rise never stops until Mans stops burning fossil fuels, which add to atmospheric CO2 concentration.

  31. So it’s warmer. So what? So human emissions have contributed. So what? The weather is fine generally. Extreme weather events are either trendless (like total acreage under drought conditions) or in decline (like hurricanes and tornadoes). I don’t really see this as climate change, but if it is, then the climate is improving. Certainly our post Little Ice Age climate is better than the nasty LIA.

    All the disasters from climate are….. well, in the future. And the future keeps getting pushed back. The IPCC says climate sensitivity is 1.5C to 4.5C, which is totally unheplful — 1.5C = “no problema”; but 4.5C = “we’re all gonna fry.”

    Climate science is a young science and a lot is still unknown (like the science of clouds). The data (e.g., the historical temp record) are a mess and not to be trusted. And the whole area is rife with politics.

    The science part (e.g., the radiative forcing from CO2) is pretty benign (1.1C of warming for 2x CO2 ppms). The alarmist spin is all based on vapor — extra water vapor enhancing this 1.1C to as much as 2 or even 3 times what we’ve observed in the actual temperature record since 1880. This is not science, because it’s not empirical. Indeed NASA’s NVAP and NVAP-M data show declining tropospheric water column for the 21 years ending 2009 — years of increasing C02 and warmth. Without the extra water vapor, the whole alarmist meme collapses.

  32. ‘These fools’ include every institution of science in the developed world, over 25,000 peer reviewed rear he papers published by roughly 17,000 scientists on every industrialized country . The ‘trace gas’ effect you refer to is the atmospheric greenhouse effect, discovered in the 19th century, and increasing as mans burning of fossil fuels continues to add CO2 to the atmosphere.

  33. False. The global average temperature trend line, from either satellite or land based measurement, extending from about 1900 to the present shows an unambiguous, and statistically significant, rate of rise 170 times faster than any natural change found in the paleo record. For which the only scientific explanation is the correspondingly rapid increase in the atmospheric greenhouse effect, due to a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1750, a tripling of atmospheric 10% methane, and a 20% increase in nitrous oxides.

  34. This is all a distractive smokescreen. The best thing Scott Pruitt can do it take them to court and have them make their case. Computer models aren’t evidence, and the actual data doesn’t support their case.

    Here is a ready-made court case for Scott Pruitt:
    Climate “Science” on Trial; The Criminal Case Against the Alarmists

    Climate Science Behaving Badly; 50 Shades of Green & The Torture Timeline

    Scientists Not Served Here; Real Scientists Need Not Apply

    The Days of “Trust Me” Science Are Over

    Climate “Science” is Pseudo-Science; A Point-by-Point Proof

    Climate “Science” on Trial; How Does Ice Melt In Sub-Zero Temperatures?

  35. It is on these fools who irrationally believe a trace gas, that is absolutely essential for life on earth, CO2, can possibly cause the earth’s climate to do anything. Let them produce the experiment that proves that CO2 controls the climate. It will be a very long wait before that evidence is provided.

  36. There is no honest evidence to show human activity is the prime cause of climate change. Current climate change is well within the range of natural variability.

  37. This lawsuit might have merit..if the EPA had ever done a single study proving that human activity is the main driver of climate change. But it hasn’t. So yeah, let’s get it alllll out in the open, geniuses 🙂 Even the press won’t save them this time – America is quickly tuning out the propaganda machine that’s LITERALLY owned by the liberal elite.

  38. EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy requires all employees to “communicate science with honesty, integrity, and transparency” and enjoins employees to “not knowingly misrepresent, exaggerate, or downplay areas of scientific uncertainty.”

    Well, given that employees have not been following that standard, I’m stunned that Pruitt is being called out.

  39. To me, I think the first question should be: Does the federal have legal jurisdiction, under the U.S. Constitution, to be involved in environmentalism?. Second: Is the information (I don’t think there is much in the way of facts) about man caused global warming (or other terms), true or contrived to produce a desired result?.

  40. ‘Sue and settle’ now to become ‘Sue and open the EPA’s scientific can of worms’ for real scientists to challenge, and the public to evaluate………..?

  41. Public employees for environmental responsibilities may soon learn that elections can have consequences.
    It may also provide a field in which to look for public employees excess to requirements.

  42. The belief by some that the EPA’s top administrator’s opinions must be based solely EPA studies is “nuts.” Is the FDA required to perform all the testing for a new drug? No, it’s done primarily by the drug companies and other non-government people. Is the US Dept. of Agriculture required to perform all the testing for a new pesticide? No, its done primarily by the chemical companies and other non-government people. IMO I don’t think they have a legal leg to stand on here.

  43. A different agency, of course, but Jim Hansen (formerly of NASA) never seemed to be concerned about truth or the Hatch Act of 1939 (also known as “An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities,” how appropriate) so the old double standard is in full bloom against Pruitt.

    I say bring it. A British judge in 2007 put restrictions on showing Algore’s inconvenient slide show in schools for nine errors of science. Let’s have it out in open court!

  44. EPA doesn’t do climate science. NOAA/NASA does. The lawsuit has no jurisdictional applicability.

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