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Precedent supports climate skeptics

By Dennis T. Avery
web posted June 27, 2011

The skeptics of man-made global warming have now created an important legal precedent for rejecting man-made warming alarmism. Earlier this month the Montana State Supreme Court denied a petition demanding state regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The Montana court said its role was to deal with questions of law -- and a Motion to Intervene had shown there were many serious, unresolved questions of fact behind recent warming. The Court said these questions of fact would have to be examined by lower courts.

The Motion to Intervene was based on "two key scientific exhibits," according to its author, Dr. Ed X. Berry, a member of the American Meteorological Society. He said the first key exhibit is a 321-page report on "more than 1000 scientists" who have publicly dissented from claims of man-made warming -- and from the so-called "scientific consensus."  That report was the work of Marc Marano at Climate Depot, a project of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

The second key piece of evidence is the 900-page Global Warming Reconsidered: the Report of the Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change. The report pulls together point-by-point peer-reviewed evidence, which the IPCC had rejected or ignored -- and that countered the claims of the alarmists. The massive document was assembled by Dr. S. Fred Singer of the Science in Public Policy Project, and Dr. Craig Idso of the Center for CO2 Science.

The two skeptical reports now become legal precedents that can, and almost certainly will, be cited in future court cases. Our Children's Trust, an attorney-driven spinoff of The Earth Island Institute, had filed a petition in May claiming that a "scientific consensus exists that increasing emissions of greenhouse gases are affecting the Earth's climate." Our Children's Trust attorneys demanded that the atmosphere be immediately designated as a public trust deserving special protection. Similar lawsuits and regulatory petitions were filed across the country last month by attorneys "representing youth nationwide," said the Associated Press.

The Montana ruling forces future litigants to first prove the credibility of their global warming science. The Environmental Protection Agency recently declared that man-made warming has been "proven" by unconvincing reports and computer models used by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The non-warming of the past 13 years and the charges of manipulation of data raise serious doubts about both.

I take a small amount of pride that in 2007 I published the first list of more than  500 scientists whose own research had documented the long, moderate  natural climate cycle that has delivered seven global warmings in the past 9,000 years. Those scientists had already been cited in Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years, the book I co-wrote with Dr. Singer.

In 2009, Dr. Brice Bosnich wrote, "After reading Climate Change Reconsidered, one is left wondering how such a poorly supported scientific theory could have such political traction." Bosnich is professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Chicago.

The new legal precedents will become increasingly vital as courtrooms become the major battleground over "blame" for the earth's present temperatures. The alarmists continue to claim we will all soon be parboiled, despite the recent step-change in our weather and a new prediction from the U.S. National Solar Observatory that a quiet sun will bring declining temperatures through the next several decades. ESR

Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, is an environmental economist.  He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421, email to cgfi@hughes.net. or comment at www.cgfi.org.


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