The nation’s largest business group is asking U.S. EPA to hold a public debate on climate change science — or face litigation — as the agency prepares to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

“They don’t have the science to support the endangerment finding,” Bill Kovacs, the chamber’s vice president for environment, regulatory and government affairs, said in an interview. “We can’t just take their word for it.”

Comments

  1. #1 djfav
    August 25, 2009

    Just found out about this, too. The comparison to Scopes in the LA Times is patently absurd.

  2. #2 Stephanie Z
    August 25, 2009

    Best quote from the NY Times article:

    Kovacs envisions the EPA proceeding as a modern-day “Scopes Monkey Trial,” where the science of global warming — rather than evolution versus creationism — would be debated. The 1925 trial, which pitted prominent defense attorney Clarence Darrow against three-time presidential candidate Williams Jennings Bryan, centered on the prosecution of John Scopes for violating a Tennessee law by teaching evolution in a high school classroom.

    Yes, I’m thinking that’s exactly what he wants, given how the Scopes trial turned out.

  3. #3 djfav
    August 25, 2009

    Suppose I should get off my lazy duff and post the link to the LA Times story. Here.

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    August 25, 2009

    Wakey, wakey, CC!

    That trial was held a few years ago, and you missed it. Suing the EPA for complying with a Federal Court order affirmed by the United States Supreme Court isn’t going to go very far.

  5. #5 MadScientist
    August 26, 2009

    @D.C.Sessions: Yes, that would be interesting. “Don’t comply with a court order or I’ll sue you!” However the court did not order the EPA to create regulations on CO2, the court ruled that the EPA does have the authority to do so and therefore should do so if they must to protect the environment and population.

    It’s a tricky situation to be in; if nothing effective is done then there will be damage. How much damage and when? No one knows – it’s pure speculation. The Chamber of Commerce is basically saying “don’t do anything until we’re suffering the effects and have some idea of how bad it’s really going to be.” I’d expect that because the Chamber of Commerce is only interested in protecting short-term gains; they genuinely couldn’t care less that they’ve put their necks in a noose especially since the worst effects are expected in some future date beyond the individuals’ expected lifetimes.

    However, despite speculation on what damage will occur, how much and when, we can be absolutely certain of a number of things: more CO2 = warmer atmosphere, humans are responsible for essentially 100% of the increase in CO2, warmer atmosphere = farms need to move about to find climates best suited for their crops/animals. Not every farm can simply change crops; some may become entirely unviable for agriculture.

  6. #6 NoFear
    August 26, 2009

    “They simply don’t have the science.”!!!

    What? I recall reading a rather long report by the IPCC that was filled with science. Just about every reputable scientist I have heard speak on the issue has had a pretty bleak outlook on climate change and definitely atribute the coming problems to man. Remember these are mainly the people who think we don’t have the science for evolution by natural selection either.

  7. #7 Virgil Samms
    August 26, 2009

    From the NYTimes article: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a 21-page petition with EPA today, asking the agency to approve an on-the-record proceeding with an independent trier of fact who would allow EPA and environmental and business groups to engage in a “credible weighing” of the scientific evidence that global warming endangers human health.

    An “independent trier of fact” – sure. We could give it a snappy title, too, such as IPCC.

  8. #8 Paul Lamb
    August 26, 2009

    I wonder if the “public debate” they want is something like the health care “debate” we currently have.