Examiner Editorial: EPA needs to rethink effort to regulate carbon output 

Among the great virtues of free markets is their ability to adapt and adjust quickly to changing environments and customer demands. By contrast, change necessarily comes slowly in government, especially when bureaucratic policy and turf are involved.

A disturbing illustration of this reality is unfolding on the global warming issue. Evidence is steadily mounting that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is fundamentally flawed due to political and ideological bias and manipulation of data. Concerns about those problems are among the reasons the campaign to pass a cap-and-trade bill in Congress has slowed.

Meanwhile, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson continues, hell-bent, to regulate every nook and cranny of the U.S. economy that depends on carbon-based energy, which is to say pretty much all of it. Jackson has embarked on a breathtaking power grab that needs the U.N. report for its justification.

But Jackson should back off because the problems with the report render it all but useless as a justification for any government action regarding global warming. On Wednesday, Canadian climatologist and physicist Andrew Weaver, who has co-authored chapters in three editions of the report, called for the resignation of climate panel Chairman Rajenda Pachauri because “there’s been a dangerous crossing of that line” between neutral science and political advocacy. Weaver also believes the panel has become a cause in itself: “The problem we have is that the IPCC process has taken on a life of its own. I think the IPCC needs a fundamental shift.”

Weaver and others here in the U.S. and elsewhere point to last week’s admission by panel officials that a key claim in the most recent report — that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 — was not documented but was kept in the report for propaganda purposes.

“We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policymakers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action,” said panel author Murari Lal, according the Daily Mail in London.

The melting Himalayan glacier claim originated in 1999 with the World Wildlife Federation, but has never been documented. Similarly damaging the panel’s credibility was exposure last year of highly damaging e-mails among its authors and allies in the scientific community, government and mainstream media describing manipulation of data to conceal actual temperature trends over time, along with efforts to silence global warming critics.

Jackson should put carbon regulation by the EPA on permanent hold.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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