My friend Alan Carlin’s long-awaited book “Environmentalism Gone Mad” (published by Stairway Press) discusses “How a Sierra Club Activist and Senior EPA Analyst Discovered a Radical Green Energy Fantasy.”
Educated as a Caltech scientist and MIT Ph.D. economist, Carlin is a true environmentalist, not an ideological wild-eyed dreamer. He explains how “the environmental movement of the 1970s has been hijacked by a radical fringe who are attempting to change the way of life for all Americans through EPA regulations drafted in response to a blueprint prepared by the movement itself and aimed particularly at forcing those who do not accept their radical ideology to abide by it by Federal fiat.”
Carlin refers to a “climate-industrial complex” patterned after a “military-industrial complex” term that President Eisenhower warned against in his 1961 farewell address.
As Eisenhower observed in a less well remembered threat in that speech: “The prospect of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of scientific-technological elite.”
Alan’s book reveals evolutionary EPA experiences and insights through the eyes of an environmentally-dedicated Los Angeles/Orange County Sierra Club chapter leader who later served the agency for nearly 39 years beginning in 1971 under the Nixon administration. That period and throughout the present has witnessed dramatic changes.
The EPA enjoyed substantial administrative policy and budget independence during its early years. This rapidly began to change when President Clinton came into office with an alleged pre-election deal to appoint an assistant administrator from the Sierra Club who carefully and methodically removed the policy office’s independent analytical integrity.
By the 1990s the agency had become highly politicized. Early hires began leaving and were replaced by more radical staff, a circumstance which rapidly rose to epic proportions when the new Obama administration later swept through the EPA bureaucracy overnight.
Alan Carlin’s professional life in the agency took a consequential downturn upon determining strong scientific reasons to challenge EPA regulatory rulemaking based upon U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global warming projections attributed to fossil fuel CO2 emissions.
IPCC’s alarmist claims had dismissed a number of natural climate influences which seemed to more logically explain observable phenomena such as temperature fluctuations correlated with solar cycles.
Those observations ran counter to the Obama EPA’s crash efforts to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gasses through a public health and welfare Endangerment Finding under the Clean Air Act premised upon climate change mitigation.
This current no-holds-barred attack on the coal industry is a sequel to previously failed liberal efforts to pass congressional cap-and-trade legislation. In addition to lacking a valid scientific basis for such policies, any emission reductions achieved would be minuscule compared with large increases already occurring in Asia and other regions.
Obama’s political shot at his predecessors vowing that “the days of science taking a backseat to ideology are over” has missed the mark by a mile. So has his commitment to create an unprecedented level of transparent openness in Government.
Carlin’s internal research report conclusions were ignored with an explanation that: “The administrator and the administration has [sic] decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.”
His supervisor added: “I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”
That wasn’t the end of it. Dr. Carlin was then directed not to spend any more EPA time on climate change, and was even forbidden to speak with anyone outside the agency regarding endangerment issues.
EPA’s rulemaking reliance upon alarmist IPCC claims continues despite the fact that virtually every climate model-based prediction has proven grossly inconsistent with reality. Determined to implement an even more draconian “Clean Power Plan” regulatory agenda, they are digging themselves into an ever larger scientific credibility hole. Their solution is to continue digging even deeper.
Carlin emphasizes that responsible policies must be based upon reproducible and verifiable scientific methods and realistic cost-benefit analyses. As he notes, “The problem with the current EPA structure is that it is overly responsive to political pressure from the party/president in power or from public fads rather than to careful science and economics.”
His experience reveals how easily regulatory agencies can be corrupted by minority interest views using an alleged “crisis” of their own making to propel themselves into positions of even greater power and influence at great involuntary expense to the rest of us.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012).