26 August 2009

The Latest Really Bad Idea

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to have a "global warming trial":
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.

Chamber officials say it would be "the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" -- complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect.

"It would be evolution versus creationism," said William Kovacs, the chamber's senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. "It would be the science of climate change on trial."


  1. Roger,
    Vincent on WUWT, suggested that the suit might address not the science, but whether EPA had exercised due diligence in their selection of the POV which they propose regulation and legislation be based.

    That might be, but I suppose it inescapable that the science itself will be adjudicated with a result that could only be divisive.

    The problem is that both our judicial and legislatives systems depend on the public interrogation of "expert" witnesses by inexpert attorneys. This is a good system, especially in the absence of "hard" evidence.

    But not for everything - definitely not evolving science.

  2. He certainly picked a particularly poor analogy. Then again, the Scopes trial was a win for creationism. As a luke-warmer, the analogous result wouldn't bother me a bit.

  3. I’m confused Roger.
    Why is it a bad idea?
    We’re on the verge of massive legislation, worldwide. There is a political consensus that we’re all on the brink of something.
    I kinda like politics. Because they do what they are suppose to do! – If something, does not matter what, true or false, gets critical mass to become a “political fact”, it gains a live of it’s own and in a incremental, step by step, one piece of legislation after another, way realizes itself. That’s why politics exist. At this point in time, politically, the road is perfectly clear. You yourself are somewhat critical of that path!
    Now, the only way to reverse this path, yes you guess it, is by political show offs, that manage to create critical mass to become a political fact. That is what this trial show is all about.
    See, politics is not about convincing people is about making them act in a certain manager in spite of what they believe. Right now, politically, the AGW “own the street!”.
    There are millions and millions of people worldwide (I’m Portuguese) that actively operate as if all AGW “facto” is real. working on projects, working on changing business plans, and prepare for the consequences of the legislation that is coming.

  4. Roger-I'm unclear why this is a "bad idea". Mostly because you just say so without explaining.

    The gist of CoC's complaint is that the EPA's justification for "endangerment" was wholly inadequate and based on totally bogus claims.

    To get an idea just how remarkably bad the TSD for the ANPR was:


  5. Yes indeed, determining the validity of science in a court of law is a bad idea.

    However; having a political appointee declare that the validity of science is determined by whether it supports their political agenda is much worse.

    Bring on the suit and make the EPA justify their regulations under the bright lights of the adversarial system.