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Climate Change Chicanery And The Federal Agency-Academic Complex

Written by Lawrence Kogan, dailycaller.com

Confident that it can, once again, breach the constitutional separation of powers and bypass Congress, this time, by recasting a complex multilateral environmental treaty as a simple executive agreement not requiring Senate approval, the Obama administration touted its climate change bona fides to the world this past week at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. Kogan

The President crowed about how the U.S. has significantly reduced its carbon emissions since 2006, and alluded to Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) automobile and power plant greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions control regulations triggered by EPA’s controversial 2009 Clean Air Act GHG Endangerment Findings.

Apparently, the president had been misinformed about the legal soundness of those findings and the regulations they have spawned. Indeed, White House officials should have told him that many of the climate assessments cited as scientific support for such findings did not satisfy the strict scientific peer review standards imposed by the U.S. Information Quality Act (“IQA”).

Undoubtedly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), the U.S. government’s lead climate change agency, like EPA, would prefer to bypass the IQA if possible. The IQA requires all federal agencies to ensure the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of the scientific information that federal agencies rely upon as the basis for regulations.

As the Daily Caller and other media have reported, the nonprofit Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (“ITSSD”) has called upon EPAand NOAA, in new separately filed Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests, to produce records substantiating that the peer reviews performed of NOAA and other agency-developed climate assessments supporting EPA’s GHG Endangerment Findings had satisfied the IQA’s strict peer review standards. Neither agency has responded substantively to these requests, despite the EPA’s assessment of an estimated document search fee of more than USD $27,000.

As InsideEPA recently reported, ITSSD’s new NOAA FOIA Request shows that the peer reviews of each of ten NOAA-developed assessments supporting EPA’s Findings had failed to meet the IQA’s standards. These peer reviews had been performed by NOAA, the interagency U.S. Global Change Research Program/Climate Change Science Program (“USGCRP/CCSP”), which is overseen by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (“NRC/NAS”).

NOAA had classified nine of these ten assessments as “highly influential scientific assessments,” (“HISAs”) since they relied upon novel and controversial Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) assessments, concernedunsettled science involving compound uncertainties (limiting the usefulness of computer models developed to define them), and engendered an estimated multi-billion dollar impact on national, state and local economies. This classification subjected these assessments to the IQA’s most rigorous and least discretionary subject matter objectivity/bias, intellectual independence and conflicts-of-interest standards.

NOAA had failed to satisfy these standards primarily because the peer reviews of these assessments suffered from pervasive institutional conflicts of interest and lack of intellectual independence. ITSSD’s new FOIA clearly shows that they had been unduly influenced by the deep interconnections existing between NOAA, the USGCRP/CCSP, NOAA grant-funded universities and nonprofit institutes, the NRC/NAS, and each entity’s respective scientists.

ITSSD’s FOIA identifies the names and affiliations of numerous scientists who had served as members of NRC/NAS peer review panels, panel report review committees, and/or oversight boards and committees, while they had been affiliated with universities and nonprofit institutes with other scientists serving as author-contributors to the very assessments being peer reviewed. In addition, scientists from the same federal agencies (e.g., NOAA, NASA, NCAR-NSF) had served simultaneously as author-contributors to assessments then being peer reviewed and/or as members of the NOAA, USGCRP/CCSP and/or NRC/NAS peer review panels, committees and/or oversight boards reviewing them.

This FOIA also identifies many nongovernment scientist-authors and peer reviewers who had been affiliated with universities and nonprofit institutes then participating in NOAA grant-funded climate science research-related programs, the development of which NOAA had solicited via broad agency announcements of funding opportunity (“BAA”s). The NOAA BAAs explicitly directed universities and nonprofit institutes to perform specific types of climate science and other related environmental research to support agency and administration climate policy priorities in exchange for NOAA’s funding of these programs.

These programs were not the result of scientist-initiated applications to secure government grant monies for individual research efforts. The FOIA shows, for example, that NOAA awarded more than $750 million of congressionally appropriated funds to universities and nonprofit institutes participating in only one (NOAA’s Cooperative Institute Program) of nine identified NOAA grant-funded climate science research-related programs!

ITSSD’s FOIA, furthermore, shows that each of the parties concerned had been handsomely remunerated by these arrangements. Policy-conforming universities and nonprofit institutes received significant sums from NOAA to establish, maintain or reestablish climate change science-related Cooperative Institutes governed by five-year agreements subject to renewal. Staffed by university and overseen by government scientists, these programs attracted the participation of additional universities, institutes and scientists that together helped to promote and advance NOAA as well as administration domestic and international climate change policies

. The research findings generated by the scientists affiliated with such programs often later appeared in the form of peer-reviewed scientific journal publications which NOAA incorporated expressly or by reference into the climate assessments it had been developing. The EPA then used these NOAA-developed assessments as the scientific foundation, in part, of its GHG Endangerment Findings. The EPA has continued to reference these assessments as the scientific basis for each of the GHG emissions regulations it has since enacted and proposed.

The NRC/NAS, too, was enriched by such arrangements. It derived lucrative contracts from NOAA and other federal agencies to peer review the NOAA-developed climate assessments and to develop new complementary climate assessments for agency and administration use. For example, the National Academy of Sciences’ audited financial statements for FYEs 20082010 and 2012reveal that it had earned $202.8 million, $242.7 million and $251.6 million in government contract revenues, respectively.

These assessments significantly helped NOAA and successive administrations to advance their climate policies and agendas and to satisfy their reporting obligations under the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990. Moreover, they provided Obama’s former EPA administrator with sufficient data upon which to base a public welfare endangerment analysis and final findings in response to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA.

Lastly, the peer reviews performed of NOAA’s assessments violated the IQA’s most rigorous objectivity standards. ITSSD’s FOIA identifies the names and affiliations of more than two hundred scientists employed by NOAA and other U.S. federal agencies and by universities and nonprofit institutes then participating in NOAA-grant funded programs that had made author-contributions to or had reviewed the Working Group I and/or II portions for each of the IPCC Third and Fourth Assessment Reports. This occurred during the Clinton and Bush administrations.  

As ITSSD documented in public comments it filed with EPA this past August, which the Daily Caller reported, the Obama administration continued this practice for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. That successive administrations had invested substantial resources to develop and shape IPCC climate science belies the notion that the resulting U.S. government/international ‘consensus’ was unbiased, and that public stakeholders possessing climate science evidence contrary to that ‘consensus’ could ever have received a fair and objective legal hearing.

In sum, the multiple NOAA and EPA violations of the IQA’s strict peer review standards occurred largely during the Bush administrations and mostly for reasons of expediency. The Obama administration, however, has since engaged in a grand cover-up of these IQA compliance failures, contradicting its public claims of unprecedented government transparency and accountability, to ensure the success of its progressive domestic and international climate agenda. For the time being, it has ‘changed’ the rules and procedures of science, including peer review, and effectively exploited for political ends a previously unknown federal agency-academic complex that has quietly emerged from behind a curtain of secretly funded federal programs.

Read more at dailycaller.com/

Lawrence Kogan is CEO for the Institute for Trade, Standards, and Sustainable Development. Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Principia Scientific International.

Comments (12)

  • Avatar

    Physicist w. 50 yrs experience

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    You see, when you (eventually) come to grips with the reality of the gravito-thermal effect and how it determines all planetary temperatures and how it supports surface temperatures at the base of a planet’s troposphere, then you realise that climatology got just about everything wrong.

    Climatologists think water vapour warms the surface, the more the merrier – well, the warmer. It doesn’t.

    Climatologists think that isothermal conditions are the norm in the absence of radiating molecules. They aren’t. The gravito thermal effect sets the temperature gradient (which has nothing to do with lapsing from hot to cold regions) and it sets it from the cooler regions downwards to the warmer regions. Radiating molecules (like water vapour) lower the gradient and cause cooler surface temperatures.

    Climatologists think the Sun’s direct radiation warms planetary surfaces like those of Venus and Earth, and they think the surface then warms the lower troposphere. It doesn’t. It’s the other way around.

    Climatologists think carbon dioxide warms the surface. It doesn’t.

     

  • Avatar

    Mervyn

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    Yes, there is nothing mankind can do to control climate.

    It would also seem true that there is nothing anyone can do to control President Obama from the abusing the American Constitution and his powers.

    Never before has a US president spent more time trying to by-pass the Constitution and the Congress.

    What we are witnessing is a political system that has so many holes in it, that it can even elect a man whose father was not even a natural born American citizen as required by the Constitution. It shows that even the great American system of government is not full proof.

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    Physicist w. 50 yrs experience

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    Just because the oceans hold more thermal energy than the atmosphere does not mean that they control the temperature. Solar radiation mostly passes through the thin surface layer. Yes, it gets absorbed in the regions below that, but these are colder regions and so they do not transfer that thermal energy back to the warmer surface in the non-polar regions where most of the sunlight entered. Instead the thermal energy in those waters (usually colder than 10C) follows isotherms until it reaches the surface in polar regions.

    Nor does radiation from the colder atmosphere raise the temperature of the warmer surface. And the Sun’s radiation cannot explain the surface temperature of the ocean surface in the first place, so slowing of radiative cooling by water vapour and carbon dioxide (not evaporative cooling etc) does not explain the surface temperature either.

    The only phenomenon that can be explained with valid physics and which does explain the ocean surface temperature is the gravito-thermal effect, first explained by Josef Loschmidt, and never correctly rebuked because it is a direct corollary of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The gravitationally induced temperature gradient, just like the density gradient can each be proved to exist using the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    [b]The back radiation conjecture depends upon a concept wherein thermodynamic equilibrium would be isothermal, but that is totally contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and hence the greenhouse conjecture depends upon an assumed violation of the Second Law, and thus it is smashed.[/b]

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    Physicist w. 50 yrs experience

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    People should heed the work of the brilliant 19th century physicist who was first to determine the size of air molecules. Josef Loschmidt was also first to explain (indirectly) through his gravito-thermal effect the answer James Hansen et al sought as to why planetary surfaces are hotter than radiating temperatures. We don’t need Hansen’s hypothesis about back radiation and the consequent (but necessary) garbage about the Second Law applying to a combination of independent processes. What is in this comment has profound consequences. Think on it!

  • Avatar

    D o u g 

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    In regard to the issue of the temperature gradient and subsequent convection, this is explained in great detail in the book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide” for which you can read reviews on Amazon. As stated in Wikipedia and physics websites, the Second Law of Thermodynamics “states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy.” Now in thermodynamic equilibrium “there are no net macroscopic flows of matter or of energy, either within a system or between systems. In a system in its own state of internal thermodynamic equilibrium, no macroscopic change occurs.” Basically, this is because it is the state of maximum entropy within the constraints of the system. Thermodynamic equilibrium embraces all forms of internal energy, but, in the assumed absence of phase change and chemical reactions, we are mostly just interested in considering the mean kinetic energy of molecules in a region (this relating to temperature) and the mean gravitational potential energy. Because there are no net flows of energy we have no unbalanced energy potentials. This means that it is the mean sum (kinetic energy + gravitational potential energy) which must be homogeneous at all altitudes. Hence, because potential energy varies, so too does kinetic energy, this meaning we have a temperature gradient. The kinetic energy difference can be represented by the energy required to raise mass [i]M[/i] by a temperature difference [i]dT[/i]. We get this using the specific heat [i]Cp[/i]. We equate this with the difference in potential energy for a height difference [i]dH[/i].

    [i]M.Cp.dT = M.g.dH[/i]

    So the temperature gradient is ..

    [i]dT/dH = g/Cp[/i]

    where the direction of the gravitational force is of course the opposite of that of dH

    This is the dry rate. However radiation between two small regions (in contrast to the diffusion and convection process) has a temperature levelling effect, as is well known. But there’s not a high percentage of radiating molecules in the atmosphere and the gravitationally-induced gradient is only reduced by about a third by water vapour (plus a very small amount by carbon dioxide) and that is why the “wet” gradient is less steep and thus leads to a lower supported surface temperature.

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    D o u g 

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    John O’S –

    Feel free to publish the above as an article.

    Note how Rosco has supported me on another thread. Also read the peer-reviews of my book on Amazon. What more do you need John? I’ve been right all along about the “heat creep” process.

    Without the 21st century new paradigm you leave PSI with no valid explanation for the missing energy going into any planetary surface to maintain its temperature. That’s sad in light of your original purpose to slay the advocates of the radiative GH conjecture.

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    D o u g 

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    (continued)

    Roy, you write “the environmental movement has been hijacked by anti-capitalists” but that’s just hand waving.

    Firstly, what is the environmental movement? Is it all just about carbon dioxide? Not at all. None of us wants real pollution that is indeed a health hazard. There’s no need to assign a political motive to such a “group” if indeed it could be defined.

    Some of us just simply recognise that the “science” promulgated by the IPCC and yourself is false. So why should we believe what you and they write about back radiation? Because that’s what it all comes down to: what does back radiation from carbon dioxide do? Well, it certainly does not help the Sun to raise the temperature of the thin transparent surface layer of the oceans through which most of the solar radiation is transmitted (without warming that layer) and all of the back radiation is blocked from even entering. Spread black asphalt over the oceans and its mean temperature would be minus thirty five degrees C.

    Well, for a globe paved in asphalt, it would be -35C if and only if the climatologists were right in thinking that a planet’s surface temperature is primarily determined by incident solar radiation. But it isn’t, because it isn’t -35C or colder.

    You mocked me when I first wrote that radiation is not the primary determinant of planetary surface temperatures, Roy, but I am right about that. That’s physics.

    You only have to consider the 350Km high nominal troposphere of Uranus where its 320K (hotter than Earth) at the base thereof. There’s no long term cooling of the 5,000K small solid core thousands of kilometres further down. There’s no convincing evidence of internal energy generation from matter and no significant net energy loss at TOA. And being nearly 30 times further from the Sun than we are, the top of the Uranus atmosphere receives little more than 1/900th of the solar flux that Earth’s TOA receives. None of that penetrates to the base of the Uranus troposphere where there’s no surface to get warmed anyway. So what radiation, Roy, is the primary determinant of the temperature down there, which, by the way, would be very similar to that of a solid surface if such existed there?

    It is the supporting temperature at the base of a planet’s troposphere (as determined by the gravito-thermal effect) which is the primary determinant of the surface temperature, slowing cooling at night and allowing the Sun to warm more in the limited time it has during the day. But not all that solar warming is by actual radiation into the surface.

    Until you realise that the Second Law of Thermodynamics provides an explanation for the “heat creep” process, transferring thermal energy from the top of the troposphere downwards by convection and conduction into the surface, you will never understand what’s going on or from where the missing energy needed to warm the surface comes.

  • Avatar

    D o u g  C o t t o n 

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    (continued)

    You don’t realise yet Roy that the concept that convective heat transfer is always from hot to cold is just a corollary of the Second Law and there are prerequisites that have to be met for it to be applicable. It does not apply (as a generalisation) if other forms of energy vary, as does gravitational potential energy in a vertical plane.

    The state of thermodynamic equilibrium thus has a density gradient in a vertical plane – as we can deduce from the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Likewise that state has a temperature gradient.

    Thus when new thermal energy is absorbed from insolation at the top of a planet’s troposphere it will disturb the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Hence some of the new thermal energy has to move downwards to warmer regions in order to restore the thermodynamic equilibrium with its associated temperature gradient. That gradient also has to take into account the temperature levelling effect of inter-molecular radiation, and that’s the real reason why the “wet adiabatic lapse rate” is less steep.

    Is this relevant to the question of global warming? You bet it is. James Hansen did not understand the gravito-thermal effect, and that is why he got his physics in such a mess and had to try to explain the missing energy needed to help the Sun’s radiation to warm the surface. Back radiation can never help the Sun to get the surface up to its observed temperature in the first place. It sure doesn’t help supply the needed energy to raise the temperature of the Venus surface by 5 degrees in 4 months. Indeed, when considering Venus, that is when climatologists really had to let their imaginings run away with them.

  • Avatar

    D o u g  C o t t o n 

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    OPEN LETTER to DR ROY SPENCER

    Below is a copy of what I have posted on his current thread …

    Why don’t more people care, Roy?

    Because you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    Already a survey here in Australia has shown about 40% believe climate change is not man made. That percentage is growing when people like Alan Jones and myself get on radio or TV and explain why it’s not carbon dioxide after all, as I have explained with cogent physics and numerous empirical examples.

    Even with your “A” in thermodynamics, Roy, you are still way out of your depth when it comes to understanding the process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    I doubt that you even know the difference between thermodynamic equilibrium and thermal equilibrium. You could learn from someone like me who has specialised study in the field, but you don’t deign to put yourself in the position of a student. It would, in the long run, serve you well and help you to save face if you did in fact secretly read my book and the paper on Radiated Energy cited therein – if you came to realise I’m correct and admit it openly – the sooner the better.

    What I have written is supported by empirical evidence from throughout the Solar System. I can explain temperatures and energy flows everywhere.

    You can’t even explain where the necessary energy comes from to maintain the temperature of the thin transparent surface layer of the oceans. As I have pointed out, even if the whole Earth were covered in asphalt paving, the incident solar radiation of 161W/m^2 could only maintain a mean temperature of -35C. That’s not a typo – minus thirty five degrees C.

  • Avatar

    D o u g  C o t t o n 

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    There is nothing mankind can do to control climate. Climate is governed by natural cycles which are based on the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and the planets. The correlation is too good to ignore.

    If the greenhouse conjecture were correct then moist rain forests would be about 40 degrees hotter than dry regions at similar latitudes and altitudes. They aren’t: they’re cooler.

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