EPA Chief: ‘Absolutely no reason’ to measure the global temperature impact of our climate regs

Asked by Montana Senator Steve Daines “what the impact to global warming will be from [EPA’s] Clean Power Plan”, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says, “while we can’t define the exact reductions that would be achieved from any one action in climate, there is absolutely no reason to do that because we know it will take a lot of efforts to actually make those reductions”.

Hearing to Review the FY17 Environmental Protection Agency Budget Request
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
Senate Appropriations Committee
April 20, 2016


128 Responses

    1. Essentially what she’s been saying for years: the benefits are for supposed leadership purposes – to get other nations to agree to do something that will have no effect on temperature. Never mind that other nations are abandoning their green energy policies because they caused such high energy policies. A longer version of the video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zPpAcUe2Yc She quantifies nothing. This is the way she talks in every interview/testimony she’s given. She is a master of beating around the bush but never saying anything meaningful. She states financial benefits, but doesn’t say what they are.

  1. McCarthy graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology in 1976. In 1981 she received a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy. She lacks a background in hard science. Her education trained her to be a bureaucrat in environmental matters.

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    1. Lowering CO2 is actually harmful to the environment. It’s depriving plants of essential CO2. She’s not “protecting” the environment, she’s harming it. Atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant – it’s not carbon. But I’m preaching to the choir here….

      1. There is a well know phenomena called crank magnetism; cranks are attracted to cranky ideas, just like magnets.

        Is there a crank theory that you do not believe in?

        1. “There is a well know phenomena called crank magnetism; cranks are attracted to cranky ideas, just like magnets.

          Is there a crank theory that you do not believe in?”

      2. Raising CO2 warms the planet, threatening both plant life and animal life. Alters precipitation patterns too, including more droughts.

        Are more droughts a good thing for life on Earth?

        1. Riiiiight. Basking in late spring cold – expecting frost this weekend. Nothing is “global” unless we get struck by an asteroid.

            1. It’s not just “my little acre”. Maine just got record snow 😛 One ski area had their 3rd snowiest season. If that was heat, we’d never hear the end of it.

                1. Oh for pete’s sake. We’re talking about larger areas than the examples were in. You think Maine can get snow w/o the rest of the region having something going on? Again, if this was record heat, we’d never hear the end of it. In fact, we never heard the end of “record highs” even though you’d never be able to discern them with a regular thermometer. Get over yourself.

                  1. You cited Maine. For just one season.

                    Maine is what percentage of the globe’s surface area?

                    Do I have to do the calculation for you?

                    1. You want to compare size now? What percentage of the globe’s surface area is New Hampshire?

                    2. That’s exactly the point — neither ME or NH is a sizable fraction of the globe, separately or together.

                      So what happens there is not indicative of the global average.

                    3. Proving Jim Steele correct. “The global average is rarely indicative of what’s going on locally”
                      I would go even further and say a global average tells you nothing.

                    4. The global average is indicative of the global energy imbalance, that is, of manmade global warming.

                      That can’t be measured in any way other than global averages.

                    5. No, it’s a statistic. The opposing seasons make averaging temps and the term “energy imbalance” meaningless. (Or maybe not. I sure feel like there’s an “energy imbalance” when we’re freezing our keisters off.)

                    6. Baloney. The planet has a net global energy imbalance. That’s precisely why it’s warming.

                    7. No. They’re measuring microwave emissions from oxygen molecules at all levels of the atmosphere.

                    8. Are you aware of how many problems that equation has? The only constant is day and night.

                    9. Yes, there are a huge number of problems with the temperatures calculations from satellite data.

                      That’s why people are coming to recognize they are not very trustworthy.

                    10. I’m talking about the image you posted. The only thing you know for sure is how much day/night there is (and that changes daily). The calculations for everything else (like how much energy is reaching the ground) depends on cloud cover, input from the sun (it’s not constant – but you should know that), tilt of the planet, distance from the sun, etc.

                    11. These satellite calculations are extremely complicated. Extremely.

                      Go read the work of Stephen Po-Chedley of U Washington….

                    12. The satellites use reflection of microwaves and a complex model to calculate temperature in the troposphere. Carl Mears considers the direct surface thermometers more reliable than the satellite models. Christy has even made mistakes in the computer model that had be corrected. The satellites have also been corrected for orbital drift, sensor aging and mistakes in figuring out the effects of time of day on temperature. Scientists consider the satellite data but generally consider the surface of the earth thermometer data more reliable.

                    13. jmac There is no standard for doing that. Sorry. They can figure it any old way they want to. Comparing how they measured the temps 100 years ago and now are like comparing apples to steak.
                      Question for both of you. They say most of the warming is in winter at the poles. Where is the catastrophe in that? Are you aware it only takes one anomaly to drive the number out of whack? Do you know you can actually have a cooler day with a higher average than one that got warmer? About 10 years ago, even alarmist scientists admitted that even if the average was going up it could be getting colder. They are right. Play with the numbers and see for yourself. I really don’t have time to continue this conversation. The planet doesn’t operate on averages. Only real temps mean anything – and they’re only meaningful locally. 100 in Chicago won’t melt ice at the poles.

                    14. “The satellites use reflection of microwaves….”

                      Wrong. The microwaves are emitted by oxygen molecules, not reflected.

                    15. Obviously. It’s the surface temperature measurements that matter. And they show rapid warming.

                      Right now we’re at or near record highs. Explain that without GHGs.

                    16. Does not solve the problem. Sunlight does not hit the surface equally, no matter how you slice it.

                  2. In 2012 New Hampshire saw the warmest year in the records, which go back to 1895.

                    Last year it saw the warmest May, and the 2nd warmest Sept and Dec.

                    In the last 30 years NH has warmed by +0.64 deg F per decade.

                    So you wanna talk about climate change? Bring it on.

                    1. See what I mean? 2nd warmest. Where were you when Iowa had it’s 6th coldest year in 2014? Global nothing.

                  1. Maine is what percentage of the globe’s surface area?

                    A whopping 0.02%

                    Maine is a miniscule part of the planet. You must use numbers for the system as a whole.

      1. So, if I could reason with you, then you will accept that anthropogenic climate change is not false?

        Such a pity that you already admitted that you can’t be reasoned with due to being irrational.

    1. “…then why measure the global temperature impact of anthropogenic CO2?”

      Because temperatures are rising with more atmospheric CO2, just as expected.

      1. David – is your reasoning based on screaming about CAGW or altering it?

        If you’re intention is fear-based then I understand why you don’t care about the outcome.

        If your intention is outcome-based then you should be all about measuring the response of actions taken. How else would you decide if the outcome warrants the expense?

        Would you continue to pay for a medical procedure if it had no value? Would you continue to pay an HVAC technician if his work didn’t yield a more functional furnace? Do you look at reviews before buying a car?

        Why would you sponsor a very expensive action plan and then NOT track it’s utility?

        Fair warning – this is a very old post and I’m no longer interested, so any further response will receive zero attention. Just wanted to get you thinking like a buyer rather than a spender. Look inside and decide if you’re a screamer or a doer.

          1. How do you know if you propose “no need to measure” the results?
            You didn’t answer any of my questions regarding your discrimination on personal purchases, so I understand your answer.
            You’re a screamer not a doer…… and certainly not a measurer.

            1. I never proposed “no need to measure.” Estimating the warming avoided due to a specific cutback is quite straightforward:

              It’s 1.5 C per trillion metric tons of carbon not emitted, plus or minus about a third. See:

              “The proportionality of global warming to cumulative carbon emissions,” H. Damon Matthews et al, Nature v459, 11 June 2009, pp 829-832.

              1. Good luck on your modeling. It works out just fine until someone checks the outcome. I’m sorry – that’s climate science as a whole…. not just your modelling.

                  1. +/1 one-third is neither accurate, sensitive nor specific (as science demands).
                    If that is, in fact, your uncertainty then you must admit the science is anything but settled.

                    1. It is specific — as specific as the data allows.

                      And 1.5 Ttc/degC is far greater than zero, even within the 2-sigma limits.

                      Carbon emissions warm the planet — that’s simply a fact.

                    2. +/- 20% amounts to “I don’t know”. If you don’t know – stop professing to know…
                      Please feel free to spend your money as you wish. Leave my wallet alone when your caveat is – I don’t know.

                    3. “If that is, in fact, your uncertainty then you must admit the science is anything but settled.”

                      All scientific results carry uncertainty with them.

                      All of them.

                      If you don’t know that, you aren’t qualified to discuss the science.

                    4. Scientific results with +/- 20% uncertainty are certainly not a basis for either action or expenditure. It’s not your data that sucks – it’s your model.

                      Yes sir, I’m 97% certain that $30K car will cost you somewhere between $24k and $36K. Just sign on the dotted line and we’ll see how it goes.

                      Oh, I get it…. you’re a public servant and that’s ‘good enough for gov’t work’.

                    5. Yes, 2-sigma results between 1.0 C and 2.1 degC/TtC certainly mean we need to act, given our high levels of carbon emissions. It implies a warming rate of 0.10 – 0.21 C/decade — any value in that range is unacceptable large.

                      You aren’t buying a card here, dude. We’re talking about protecting society from seriously, potentially catastrophic harm.

                    6. Yes, catastrophic….. 1.0C is like moving south to Portland, ME and 2.1C is closer to Portsmouth, NH.
                      Dear god, we all know nobody can exist in those hellholes. Truly catastrophic.
                      Wait a minute, they have a growing season over 90 days. OMG it’s catastrophic! This just in…. people do manage to live in those towns.

                    7. Since I have no idea where you live, your comparisons make absolutely no sense to me. (Or anyone else here.)

                      Except that I doubt the difference between Portland ME and Portsmouth NH is 1.1 C. (I used to live in Ogunquit, ME and Lee, NH, so am very familar with that area.)

                      Prove it.

                    8. That’s why I moved it N from Portsmouth to Portland. Farmington has a mean annual temp of 42.6F (5.89C) and Portland has a mean of 46.4F (8.00C).
                      So, yes, there is a 2.1C difference between Farmington and Portland. Never said there was 1.1 between Portland and Portsmouth. Easily checked though for those who don’t rely on the gov’t for doctrine.
                      I can’t even imagine living in that heat. Uninhabitable. And that difference would be spread over what timespan?
                      Your assertion that it’s catastrophic and demands action is null and void.

                    9. I didn’t move anywhere. If you look 2 posts back I said I’d only need to move south to Portsmouth to get weather 2.1C warmer than Farmington. At the end of the post I amended that to Portland rather than Portsmouth because when I checked the mean temps I wouldn’t have to go as far south as Portsmouth.
                      I never moved – I was giving a comparison of how short a distance I’d have to move to hit weather like I would see in Farmington in 100 years….. if it really warms continuously at the rate you state.
                      It’s a statement of how non-catastrophic even your worst-case scenario would be.
                      Hypothetical seems to elude you.

                    10. I’ve lived in Newmarket, Ogunquit, Lee and Gilford. So I am very familar with Farmington.

                      I looked at a place to rent in Rochester. A dumpy town.

                      You can’t do better?

                    11. I’ve lived in all quadrants of our great country and can find none better. I could make more money elsewhere, if that’s what you mean…. but I make a boatload here and don’t need any more. Who needs 2 boatloads?

                    12. You live in a dumpy town, well known to be the armpit of NH.

                      You should move to Portland — it’d be a big step up for yuou.

                    13. Jokes on you – even Mr T knew I was talking about Farmington, ME. Pity da foo….
                      So, howsabout keeping the snide geography jokes to yourself.

                    14. I’ve never aspired to “fitting in” anywhere I’ve ever lived.

                      I choose to go my own way, not their way.

                    15. Oh contraire, you’ve found just the right place to get into goose step. Socially unacceptable and preaching the internet gospel for an imaginary crisis which will soon enough be relegated to the dustpile of failed causes.
                      When this one’s kicked unceremoniously to the wayside I’m sure you’ll find another. Or, you can move to another locale with better welfare

                    16. You’re the one concerned about “fitting in.”
                      You’re the one goose stepping.

                      I know the science behind climate change.
                      You clearly do not.
                      Why are you proud of your ignorance?

                    17. It’s funny — those who go by the science don’t give a hoot what Al Gore has ever said — which is just communicating the science, of which he does a good job.

                      It’s those who are politically motivated who stress what Al Gore said.

                      I guess I can understand that, somewhat. But it means you aren’t looking at the science….

                    18. Gore lost me when he claimed to have invented the internet when we had been using it for 10 years at FTD prior to his introduction to the technology.
                      Heil Hanson if you prefer.
                      No more please. We’re off on vacation to Quebec and I promise to not question your motives for most of a week.

                    19. Aren’t you proposing dramatic action and taxation over 2 degrees of warming? Why then would you suggest it’s really not worth moving over?
                      Uh, oh – your hypocrisy is showing more than a little.

                    20. I’m not proposing anything.

                      I’m talking about what’s going on.

                      Your move from NH to Portland ME is not equivalent to 2 C of global warming — the latter has far more implications than what you experienced — sea level rise, heat wave impacts, extreme weather increases, etc.

                    21. The uncertainty is +/- 1/3rd, Einstein, not “20%.”

                      You can’t even get that right.

                    22. I’m trying to cut you some slack here. Anything over 20% is considered a guess (WAG) in the engineering world. Go back to the drawing board until you can get it under 10% (SWAG). If you can’t then design a model which resembles empirical data within 10%. Stop diddling the data to make it so.
                      Then we can talk about spending money…… and even then – the results MUST be tracked over time in order to discontinue any useless expenditures or increase underfunded performance. Unless you plan on spending your own money and then you can do so with no performance criteria.

                    23. “Anything over 20% is considered a guess (WAG) in the engineering world.”

                      We all know that engineers stink at real science. (I know — I spent my first semester in college as an engineering major. None of them could calculate anything unless it was explicitedly laid out for them. They were too busy talking about how much money they would make after graduating.)

                      The data are such that a 1/3rd uncertainty is all they will give at present.

                      Even with that, the climate sensitivity is AT LEAST 1 C/TtC — already quite high.

                    24. …no, engineers don’t stink at real science – accomplish or perish.

                      …and we all know scientists stink at accomplishing anything – it’s publish or perish in their world.

                      I’m trying to picture it – ‘what’s the chance your pilot will die during the test….. oh, 25% plus or minus 20%’ ….ok, who wants to be my test pilot?

                      The hell you’re gonna spend my money with that outcome. Eff your models, give me some empirical data that hasn’t been massaged to fit your curve.

                    25. “25% plus or minus 20%'”

                      Dummy. Those are not the numbers.

                      They are 1.5 degC warming per trillion tonnes of carbon emitted, +/- one-third.

                    26. Have you heard of an analogy? Oh, yeah – it’s 8th grade You’ll get it soon enough. Copy it from a friend, most likely.

                    27. The numbers come from observations.

                      Did you even read the original paper?

                      “The proportionality of global warming to cumulative carbon emissions,” H. Damon Matthews et al, Nature v459, 11 June 2009, pp 829-832.

                    28. ….and, were the observations based on original data or NOAA ‘massaged data’?

                      NOAAs massage has doubled the delta T slope between categorically cooling old data and maladjusting recent/present data.

                      Or, was it taken from those dastardly (in warmists eyes) USCRN sites which require no adjustment, autoreport, and autocalibrate? You know, that system you like to blow off because it’s too modern?

                      Lest you go there, let me remind you that I fully believe the climate is warming (as it has for 12K years) and it’s not catastrophic.

                    29. Do you understand the scientific reason for adjustments — to correct for biases?

                      Do you need a few articles to read on the topic?

                      Do you know that the adjustments LOWER the long-term warming trend?

                    30. You misunderstood the number.

                      It is 1.5 degC/TtC +/- about 33%, not 25% +/- 20%.

                      The latter number has an uncertainty of 80%, not 33%.

                    31. “…oh, 25% plus or minus 20%’…”

                      I can tell you’re an engineer, because you keep blundering the scientific numbers.

                      I hope you don’t build a bridge I ever travel across.

                    32. By the way, do you buy fire insurance for your home?

                      If so, then tell me how many days in the future your home will burn down, +/- 1/3rd.

                    33. There’s a payback for fire insurance if and when your house does burn. Lovely Gina M. has stated thee will be no payback for our investment. Americans don’t pay for symbolism…. at least tax-paying americans don’t.

                    34. There’s no payback for fire insurance if your house doesn’t burn down. And most houses don’t.

                      So why buy first insurance for your home?

                    35. Because the investment has proven worth the risk over time. We have actuaries for that. You have (admittedly) bad guesses and suggest no payback.

                    36. The money spent on fire insurance only pays off if your house burns down.

                      Yet everyone buys it.

                      It’s the same with climate change, except the future damage is more certain than a house fire.

                1. “Plus or minus a third?”

                  That’s what the science gives. Would you rather make up numbers instead of going by the rigorous scientific data?

                  1. If you call “plus or minus a third” rigorous science……
                    Jeez, I don’t know where to start.
                    That’s not even a SWAG…. it’s a full-blown WAG.
                    No wonder you’re happy with no outcomes. You certainly don’t want actual empirical evidence.

                    1. All scientific results have associated uncertainties.

                      A result like (1.5 +/- 1/3rd)deg C is certainly rigorous, and includes the science of how uncertain it is.

                      And it is far from zero or negative terrority — as modern warming attests.

                2. “Your “don’t know the outcome but keep sending money” attitude is disturbing to those of us who pay taxes.”

                  You are already paying higher taxes because of climate change, and this will only increase in the future.

                  You can either pay to avoid climate change, or you can pay for its consequences. You choice.

                  The former is cheaper.

  2. Senator Daines read the purpose of the CPP (reduce climate change) and reasonably defined the best metric of measurement of that objective ( global temperature). He then stated the expected resulting measurement-demonstrating the designed failure of the stated goal. This rule should have never got beyond preplanning stage let alone into cost -benefit analysis where it shows another utter failure.
    Doesn’t the EPA have some conditions it must follow in rule making that require consideration of potential failure and cost-benefit analysis?

  3. “We have to make the reductions before we can define the reductions.” “We have to pass the bill before we can read the bill”. “We have to demonize CO2 before we can find out if it should be demonized”.

    There you have it folks. Millions of years of evolution, scientific advancement and enlightenment on display. wow

    1. There is a well know phenomena called crank magnetism; cranks are attracted to cranky ideas, just like magnets.

      Is there a crank theory that you do not believe in?

  4. As far as the “Anointed” are concerned, including Ms. McCarthy, evidence or data should not interfere with Ideology.

    “In short, numbers are accepted as evidence when they agree with preconceptions, but not when they don’t.”

    “. . ideology. . . is an instrument of power; a defense mechanism
    against information; a pretext for eluding moral constraints in doing or
    approving evil with a clean conscience; and finally, a way of banning
    the criterion of experience, that is, of completely eliminating or
    indefinitely postponing the pragmatic criteria of success and failure.
    —Jean-François Revell”

    See: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/55220-the-vision-of-the-anointed-self-congratulation-as-a-basis-for-social-po

    1. 800 years from now, scientists of all stripes will look back on this period as a Mini Dark Age, following the Holocene Scientific Optimum of the previous five centuries.

      1. There is a well know phenomena called crank magnetism; cranks are attracted to cranky ideas, just like magnets.

        Is there a crank theory that you do not believe in??

  5. When the Berlin Wall came down, little did we realize the reason: Communism had already gained a foothold in all the influential institutions and governments outside the wall – like the UN, academia, the US bureaucracy, the legacy media, and now the Oval Office – so, there was no reason to remain inside.

    The EPA’s primary objective is to destroy Capitalism as directed by its Marxist President.

  6. The environmental impact will not be measured because the desired and resultant effect is not environmental in nature. It is economic in nature, and involves the dynamics of its redistribution, and the power shifts that must precede and follow. It will be very accurately measured and analyzed economically and politically.

  7. McCarthy could have — and should have — responded with the carbon-climate response function that is well known to both scientists and policy makers like her: warming is 1.0-2.1 degC per trillion tons of carbon emitted — mean value is 1.5 degC/Tt C.

    This determines warming that doesn’t happen from carbon emissions that don’t happen.

    This well-known result comes from

    “The proportionality of global warming to cumulative carbon emissions,” H. Damon Matthews et al, Nature Vol 459, 11 June 2009, doi:10.1038/nature08047

  8. These tax paid bureaucrats don’t give a damn about the ordinary people and the serious adverse impacts their decisions have on the people. They’re heartless. It’s typical of what one expects in a communist country. Hopefully, a President Donald Trump will close down the EPA.

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