Climate Kiddies’ Lawsuit: Evidence That Every President Since JFK Ignored Warnings About… Something.

Guest gainsaying by David Middleton

From E&E News (which really should be renamed ?&E News because their articles are rarely relevant to energy):

WHITE HOUSE

Every president since JFK was warned about climate change

Benjamin Hulac, E&E News reporter Climatewire: Tuesday, November 6, 2018

John F. Kennedy was warned about “climate control” in February 1961, becoming perhaps the first American president to learn about people’s impact on planetary temperatures.

The warnings never stopped. Every president since then has been exposed to similar scientific findings. Sometimes it was called “climatic change,” other times it was “air pollution.”

[…]

?&E News

Mr. Hulac was doing just fine up until JFK and then the wheels came off.  He was apparently relying on snippets of documents from the Climate Kiddies’ lawsuit.

  • Every president since JFK was warned about climate change.
  • No… Every President since JFK was *not* warned about climate change.

President John F. Kennedy Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

Senator Clinton Anderson (D-NM) “warned” JFK that Godless Red Hordes might attack these tangentially United States with ice ages and hurricanes. Senator Anderson was otherwise quite sane for a Democrat, pro-space program and pro-nuclear power…

Anderson’s main accomplishment as a senator was being one of the most outspoken proponents of the space program. He was instrumental in gaining funding for the program while chairing the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences from 1963 to 1973. As chairman of the committee during the most active period of space explorationand the most important time of the space race, Anderson held a key policymaking role in Washington, not to mention the purse strings for NASA.

Anderson sponsored the final wilderness bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 73-12 on April 9, 1963, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 373-1 on July 30, 1964, and it was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 3, 1964. Richard McArdle, chief of the Forest Service from 1952-1962, remarked, “Without Clinton Anderson there would have been no Wilderness Law.”[3] Anderson is also known for the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.

He also served as chairman of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (84th and 86th Congresses), Joint Committee on Construction of Building for Smithsonian (84th92nd), Joint Committee on Navaho-Hopi Indians (84th92nd), Special Committee on Preservation of Senate Records (85th and 86th, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (87th and 88th), Special Committee on National Fuel Policy (87th).

Wikipedia

President Lyndon B. Johnson Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

The paragraph above was from a 300+ page book, Restoring the Quality of our Environment.  The section on carbon dioxide is quite interesting…

Section I. CARBON DIOXIDE FROM FOSSIL
INVISIBLE POLLUTANT

INTRODUCTION

Only about one two-thousandth of the atmosphere and one ten- thousandth of the ocean are carbon dioxide. Yet to living creatures, these small fractions are of vital importance. Carbon is the basic building block of organic compounds, and land plants obtain all of their carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide. Marine plants obtain carbon from the dissolved carbon dioxide in sea water, which depends for its concentration on an equilibrium with the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere. Marine and terrestrial animals, including man, procure, either directly or indirectly, the substance of their bodies and the energy for living from the carbon compounds made by plants.

All fuels used by man consist of carbon compounds produced by ancient or modern plants. The energy they contain was originally solar energy, transmuted through the biochemical process called The carbon in every barrel of oil and every lump of coal, as well as in every block of limestone, was once present in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Over the past several billion years, very large quantities of carbon dioxide have entered the atmosphere from volcanoes. The total amount was at least forty thousand times the quantity of carbon dioxide now present in the air. Most of it became combined with calcium or magnesium, freed by the weathering of silicate rocks, and was precipitated on the seafloor as limestone or dolomite. About one-fourth of the total\ quantity, at least ten thousand times the present atmospheric carbon dioxide, was reduced by plants to organic carbon compounds and became buried as organic matter in the sediments. A small fraction of this —  organic matter was transformed into the concentrated deposits we call. coal, petroleum, oil shales, tar sands, or natural gas. These are the fossil  fuels that power the world?wide industrial civilization of our time.

Throughout most of the half-million years of man’s existence on earth, his fuels consisted of wood and other remains of plants which had grown  only a few years before they were burned. The effect of this  the content of atmospheric carbon dioxide was negligible,only speeded up the natural decay processes that continually recycle carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere. During the last centuries, however, man has begun to burn the fossil fuels that locked in the sedimentary rocks over five hundred million years, and this combustion is measurably increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide.

In the geologic past, the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was determined by the equilibrium between rates of weathering and and the rate of injection of volcanic carbon dioxide. On an earthwide average, both weathering and photosynthesis must speed up when the carbon dioxide content of the air is increased, and slow down when it is diminished; consequently, over geologic time the carbon dioxide in the air must have risen when volcanic activity was high, and must have gone down when volcanoes were quiescent. On a human scale, the times involved are very long. The known amounts of limestone and organic carbon in the sediments indicate that the atmospheric carbon dioxide has been changed forty thousand times during the past four billion years, consequently the residence time of carbon in the atmosphere, relative to sedimentary rocks, must be of the order of a hundred thousand years.

The present rate of production of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion is about a hundred times the average rate of release of calcium and magnesium from the weathering of silicate rocks. As long as this ratio holds, precipitation of metallic carbonates will be unable to maintain an unchanging content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Within a few short centuries, we are returning to the air a significant part of the carbon that was slowly extracted by plants and buried in the sediments during half a billion years.

Not all of this added carbon dioxide will remain in the air. Part of it will become dissolved in the ocean, and part will be taken up by the biosphere, chiefly in trees and other terrestrial plants, and in the dead plant litter called humus. The part that remains in the atmosphere may have a significant effect on climate: carbon dioxide is nearly transparent to visible light, but it is a. strong absorber and back radiator of infrared radiation, particularly in the wave from 12 to 18 microns; consequently, an increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide could act, much like the glass in a greenhouse, to raise the temperature of the lower air. [Water vapor also absorb-s infrared radiation, both in the range of the CO2; band centered at 15 microns, and at wave near 6.3 microns. With the average concentration of water vapor in the lower air at mid latitudes, the effect of carbon dioxide absorption is reduced to about half that which would exist in an absolutely dry atmosphere. (Möller, 1963.) Ozone, which is an important constituent of the upper air, also absorbs some infrared at wave around 9.6 microns, but its principal effect on air temperature is due to its absorption of ultraviolet and visible sunlight]

The possibility of climatic change resulting from changes in the quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide was proposed independently by the American geologist, T. C. Chamberlain (1899) and the Swedish chemist, S. Arrhenius (1903), at the beginning of this century. Since their time, many scientists have dealt with one or another aspect of this question, but until very recently there was little quantitative information about what has actually happened. Even today, we cannot make a useful prediction concerning the magnitude or nature of the possible climatic effects.But we are able to say a good deal more than formerly about the change in the quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and about the partition of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion among the atmosphere, the ocean, and the biosphere.

I’m working on putting together a readable version of the rest of this document.  But two things stand out:

  1. “Even today, we cannot make a useful prediction concerning the magnitude or nature of the possible climatic effects” is not a warning.
  2. LBJ knew what Exxon Knew (Möller, 1963)

Among the many #Exxon Knew documents was this gem…moller-c_2moller-c_2

Well, being a scientist, a sedimentary geologist to be more specific, I was curious. So I looked up Möller (1963) and found the abstract to this seminal publication…

On the influence of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of the Earth’s surface and on the climate

F. Möller

Abstract

The numerical value of a temperature change under the influence of a CO2 change as calculated by Plass is valid only for a dry atmosphere. Overlapping of the absorption bands of CO2 and H2O in the range around 15 μ essentially diminishes the temperature changes. New calculations give ΔT = + 1.5° when the CO2 content increases from 300 to 600 ppm. Cloudiness diminishes the radiation effects but not the temperature changes because under cloudy skies larger temperature changes are needed in order to compensate for an equal change in the downward long-wave radiation. The increase in the water vapor content of the atmosphere with rising temperature causes a self-amplification effect which results in almost arbitrary temperature changes, e.g. for constant relative humidity ΔT = +10° in the above mentioned case. It is shown, however, that the changed radiation conditions are not necessarily compensated for by a temperature change. The effect of an increase in CO2 from 300 to 330 ppm can be compensated for completely by a change in the water vapor content of 3 per cent or by a change in the cloudiness of 1 per cent of its value without the occurrence of temperature changes at all. Thus the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content becomes very questionable.

Journal of Geophysical Research

This was priceless!!! So I spent $6 to rent the paper for 48 hours. Here are some highlights:

In this case, we must distinguish between the assumptions that the water vapor content (in cm l.e.) remains unchanged in spite of heating (cooling) of the atmosphere and that it increases (decreases). Constant absolute humidity means that the relative humidity (f) decreases from 75 to 70.34 per cent with a 1° or lowered by 4.66 per cent per deg. According to the above-mentioned calculations, an increase in CO2 from 300 to 600 ppm gives us a temperature change ΔT = +1.5° for Δf = -4.66 per cent per deg, and a temperature change ΔT = +9.6° for Δf = 0.

[…]

We recognize that for Δf = 0.8 per cent per deg the temperature change becomes infinite. Very small variations effect a reversal of sign or huge amplifications.

It is not too difficult to infer from these numbers that the variation in the radiation budget from a changed CO2 concentration can be compensated for completely without any variation in the surface temperature when the cloudiness is increased by +0.006 or the water vapor content is decreased by -0.07 cm l.e.

[…]

These are variations in the cloudiness by 1 per cent of its value or in the water vapor content by 3 per cent of its value. No meteorologist or climatologist would dare to determine the mean cloudiness or mean water content of the atmosphere with such accuracy; much less can a change of this order of magnitude be proved or its existence denied. Because of these values the entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is becoming questionable.

So, way back in 1965, ExxonMobil and LBJ knew exactly what we know today:

The entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is questionable.

President Richard M. Nixon Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

Pollution ≠ Climate Change

President Gerald R. Ford Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

“We don’t know… So we’re going to measure some things”… is not warning.  And it is reassuring to know that the government of these somewhat United States was not giving any serious attention to Dr. Evil type stuff in the 1970’s.

President James E. Carter Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

“We need more money”… is not a warning.

President Ronald W. Reagan Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

The Precautionary Principle is not a warning and it’s fracking moronic to boot.  The possibility that climate change could have taken us back to the Eemian or back to the Wisconsin… is how we got from the Eemian to the Wisconsin to the Holocene.  However greenhouse gas emissions haven’t taken us anywhere outside of Holocene norms; nor is it likely to.

No Eemian for you!

And no Wisconsin for you!

President George H. W. Bush Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

He wrote a note to himself, reminding himself to talk about it… “Read my lipsNo new climate change!

President William J. Clinton Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

WTF is this?

President George W. Bush Was Not Warned About Climate Change

Court records filed by the plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States

He politely told proponents of the Kyoto Protocol to go to HELL!

President Barack H. Obama Didn’t Need to Be Warned

.He didn’t need to be warned about climate change… He constantly annoyed us with warnings about it.

 

Not quite…

96% of atmospheric scientists agree climate change is real. 67% agree that it’s at least 50% man-made, 38-50% agree that it has been or will be dangerous and 41% think we can ignore it. President “Trump thinks scientists are split on climate change”… He’s right, Dana Nuccitelli is wrong

President Donald J. Trump Was Apparently Handed a Bar Chart

A bar chart prepared by by the folks who find only what they shine a light on…

Climate Etc. 2.25 Wm-2… Two-point-two-five Watts per meter squared… Makes me think of this classic Highland Appliance store commercial from the 80’s…

“Fifty watts per channel, babycakes!”

Two-point-two-five Watts per meter squared from 1750-2011… Is that a lot?  Not really.

Top pic: top-of-atmosphere (TOA). Bottom pic: downwards, at the surface. Note that this data is from a climate model, not observation. The difference is accounted for by atmospheric absorption and reflection. William M. Connolley using HadCM3 data., Wikipedia.
It’s a safe bet that Mr. Connolley would not endorse my use of his image.The RCP2.6 scenario reflects 2.6 Wm-2 of additional radiative forcing in 2100 relative to preindustrial times.  The RCP2.6 spaghetti strands are near the bottom of the spaghetti plot, along with UAH 6.0…

Spaghetti plot from Climate Lab Book. UAH 6.0 from Wood For Trees.

Conclusions

None of the examples provided by Mr. Hulac constitute evidence that any presidents since JFK were warned about climate change.  It’s mind-boggling to think that these snippets are “evidence” in the Climate Kiddies’ lawsuit against the U.S. government.  Unlike, most of my critiques of stupid and/or ignorant articles on climate change, the recognition of the fact that these were not warnings about climate change does not require any scientific expertise… Just basic reading skills.

Mr. Hulac appears to have an educational background consistent with decent reading skills:

  • Columbia University – Graduate School of Journalism, Master’s Degree, Journalism, 2013 – 2014
  • Lehigh University, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.),  StudyPolitical Science and Journalism, 2009 – 2013

How could he possibly have misconstrued these snippets as evidence that every president since JFK had been warned about climate change?

An even more perplexing question… How could the plaintiffs’s attorneys in Juliana v. United States or any judge with reading skills of at least a fifth-grader misconstrue these snippets as some sort of actionable evidence in a public trust doctrine lawsuit?

I can’t wait for the Climate Kiddies’ lawsuit to reach the Supreme Court.

On October 22, 2018, plaintiffs filed their response, requesting that the trial be permitted to start as scheduled the next week.[40][41]. On October 24, Judge Aiken filed an order vacating the trial start date of October 29 and placing a hold on the rest of the trial schedule.[42] On November 2, the Supreme Court (by a 7-2 vote) denied the government’s request for a writ of mandamus and vacated the stay, because the government could still be granted pretrial relief from the Ninth Circuit.[43][44] In its order, the court noted that, even though the Ninth Circuit had already denied the government’s request for relief twice, the reasons supporting its denials on the prior occasions “are, to a large extent, no longer pertinent.”[45] Plaintiffs’ counsel stated that they would request the trial begin the week of November 12;[44] however, the order was issued without prejudice, leaving open the possibility that the case could return to the Supreme Court again prior to trial, depending upon the actions taken by the Ninth Circuit.[45]

Wikipedia

SCOTUS denied the writ of mandamus because the Ninth Circuit might actually still toss out this moronic lawsuit.  The denial was “without prejudice,” meaning that SCOTUS is willing to revisit the mandamus issue if the Ninth Circuit continues to act like the Ninth Circus…

 

 

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November 8, 2018 at 11:34AM

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