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Donald F. Boesch
President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Donald F. Boesch

Donald F. Boesch, an oceanographer, is president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Vice Chancellor for Environmental Sustainability for the University System of Maryland. ALL POSTS

A finding based on inescapable evidence

Q: Do you think EPA's finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health will prod Congress to agree on its own method for limiting emissions? If not, what do you think would be the environmental and economic impact of the EPA regulations? Will this convince other countries that the U.S. is likely to make deep cuts in carbon in the near future?

In April 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases are a pollutant subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act and ordered the EPA to re-examine its refusal to limit the emissions of these gases from vehicles. When the Obama Administration came into office, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson responded to the Court by beginning a process to determine whether these emissions posed a threat public and health and welfare. What she did on December 7 was sign endangerment and cause to contribute findings that affirmed such a risk based on extensive analysis.

Because of the mounting weight of scientific evidence, these findings seem inescapable Just within the last week we have new reports that: (1) the warming expected from doubling of CO2 concentrations is likely greater than previously thought; (2) 2009 will probably end as the fifth warmest year on record and this decade as the warmest; and (3) sea level may well rise three times faster than the IPCC projections. And none of this information has any relationship at all to the data or results discussed in that purposeful distraction, the ClimateGate/SwiftHack (take your pick) emails.

Congress now has a choice: either enact comprehensive legislation specifically designed to effectively and efficiently reduce the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, thereby limiting the danger of climate change, or reduce those emissions through the blunter instrument of the existing Clean Air Act. Almost no one prefers the latter, although Administrator Jackson observed in Copenhagen that "This is not an either-or moment. This is a both-and moment."

EPA's endangerment finding alone is not likely to convince other countries that U.S. will actually reduce its emissions. However, it will add some assurance that President Obama's other commitments will be followed up in legislation. While world attention is focused on Copenhagen, it clearly has one eye fixed on 60 U.S. Senators.

By Donald F. Boesch  |  December 10, 2009; 8:15 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: EPA regulation is doable, legislation is preferable | Next: A closer look at developing country climate pledges


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The EPA is choosing the harder more complicated method that does not solve the problem.

New technology, jobs and money are not the solution; they continue the same employment lifestyle that pollutes our air, land, water and food leading to disease and death. It leads to corruption, bribery etc. like the Climate Change ideas in Copenhagen.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference process is

Reducing CO2 emissions cuts growth capacity of plants necessary for SURVIVAL.

Signing a BINDING AGREEMENT under United Nations takes away FREEDOM.

Promising poor nations money to sign a binding agreement is bribery to take their authority to govern their resources leading to conflicts and wars.

CAP and TRADE is a loophole for rich nations to avoid compliance and
it invites and creates bribery, corruption, bondage and servitude.

The employment lifestyle causes the world problems.
A garden paradise lifestyle would reverse and solve them easily, quickly, fairly and inexpensively. It is the only sustainable lifestyle that reverses and solves the pollution of our air, land, water and food, energy crisis, disease, war, immigration, reoccurring financial crises, and social problems including youth and elderly care.

The Employment Lifestyle Failed. The Garden Paradise Life Wins.
Let's Learn the Lesson Now.

Posted by: MarieDevine | December 13, 2009 9:17 PM
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"The warming ... is likely ..."

"2009 will probably ..."

"Sea level may well rise ..."

Hmmm. Is likely. Will probably. May well. Such positive, confidence-building statements. Another way of saying this is that the warming may not be likely, 2009 may not be the warmest year, and sea levels may not rise.

Is this an example of how climate scientists post their findings to the community? If so, then it's little wonder that there is such a controversy going on right now.

Posted by: c0lnag0 | December 13, 2009 7:53 PM
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There are, unfortunately, a number of things that Dr. Boesch does not say. He does not define what is meant by the record when he talks of "the fifth warmest year on record." The temperature record as measured by thermometer does not go back that far, and thus the record of which he speaks is not nearly as impressive as he makes it sound.

There are other records, however, the tithes from the churches in Greenland, for example, which show that farms there, in Medieval times, contributed to the Catholic Church for centuries - from land that is today still under permafrost. There are Roman ruins emerging from under glaciers, to show that it was warmer in the Alps in those times.

Sadly the facts emerging from the information from the Climategate release show that information from earlier times, was, when used, known to be inaccurate at higher temperatures (such as during the Greenland farming times). Yet these distorters of the record have been shown to have control of the peer reviewed process for discussing such topics. That destruction of the integrity of the scientific press has not been assuaged by the supportive editorials from those running Nature and Science. Rather that strengthening or reforming the integrity of the peer-review process they have seen fit to support the viewpoint of the cabal of scientists controlling the process, and strengthened the impression that opposing views or evidence need not apply for publication.

Posted by: HeadingOut | December 12, 2009 12:57 PM
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Donald says, "Because of the mounting weight of scientific evidence, these findings seem inescapable." The REAL inescapable fact is that you cannot believe him. Liberal scientists make up data or claim too much certainty based on faulty computer models. What he conveniently neglected to tell you is that the "purposeful distraction" was about how to cover up the decade long decline in global temperatures. I might add, his political agenda is revealed by his attempt to join the chorus of blackmailers of Congress.

Posted by: vanhook99 | December 11, 2009 9:03 PM
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