Our chief scientific adviser & one of the word’s leading climate scientists, the US-based Dr. Patrick Michaels, writes:
Back in primary school (which I seem to recall was in the last ice age), we were taught that our republican democracy was far superior to anything else, especially the clunky parliamentary systems of Great Britain and its (then) colonies and their ilk.
History appears to have changed things. With regard to onerous climate change regulations (your carbon tax, our federal dictates on light bulbs, cars, power plants ete…) Australia has much more capability for change than we do.
So far as this Yank can tell, your government has committed both national and statewide suicide with the carbon tax (you rock, QLD!) and is about one Labor Party scandal away from blowing apart, with the ultimate repeal or dissolution of that levy.
We are stuck.
I am going to (incorrectly) stipulate that Mr. Romney becomes president and that he has promised to reign in our dictatorial Environmental Protection Agency, which is currently pretty much in the business of destroying anything associated with anything that emits a bunch of carbon dioxide. (The reality is that Romney is a green squish and that his current global warming advisor thinks cap-and-trade is just peachy.)
Campaign promises notwithstanding, Romney will be incapable of stopping his own EPA. That’s because of an unfortunate 2007 decision by our Supreme Court, Massachusetts v. EPA. In it, the court held that if the Agency found that dreaded greenhouse gases “endanger” human health and welfare, then it must regulate them to, presumably, the point where they no longer do. The Court’s abominable decision was based upon a cockeyed reading of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments passed during the Bush I Administration, an interpretation vehemently challenged even by the Democratic (Labour to you) authors of the legislation.
So, in order to stop regulating, the EPA must somehow reverse the Finding of Endangerment that it published in December, 2009. That was based upon a voluminous and biased literature search that was required by a previously passed legal insanity.
Fat chance, mates. What scientist on the global warming gravy train is going to do that? EPA therefore must regulate. If Romney orders it to cease and desist, my greener friends will be in court in a heartbeat, waving Mass. v. EPA.
The other way to stop our suicide is to remove two controversial sentences from the Clean Air Act, but that would require 60 (mostly Republican) senators to allow it to come up for a vote. Under any electoral scenario, that’s simply an impossible number.
I should say that, for the last year or so, along with my nefarious and few friends, I have been preparing the comprehensive rebuttal to EPA’s endangerment finding—one that cites all the inconvenient science that they ignored. For what it’s worth, their document has 569 citations in it, and mine is already over 950. They left out more science than they included. It is my hope that my tome will be used by the legal community to compel a repeal.
But, anyway, none of this is going to happen anytime soon. We are stuck—stuck with a Supreme Court that is just fine with our EPA running our lives, while you, The Lucky Country, are about to throw the bums out.
Patrick Michaels serves as Chief Scientific Adviser to Stop Gillards’ Carbon Tax. Dr. Michaels is a Senior Research Fellow for Policy and Economic Development at George Mason University, and a Senior Environmental Fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. Michaels was also a research professor of Environmental Sciences at University of Virginia for thirty years. Michaels is a contributing author and reviewer of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007