Human Events falsely claims EPA's Carlin a “scientist” who was “silenced,” links him to CRU email “scandal”

Human Events' Jed Babbin falsely claimed that Alan Carlin - who Babbin called a “leading EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] scientist” - had been “silenced” because “EPA regulators refused to consider” his report “rejecting the theory that emission of greenhouse gases causes global warming,” and compared this “coverup” to the “scandal” over the purported contents of emails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU). In fact, Carlin is an economist, not a scientist; both Carlin and climate scientists have pointed to “flaws” in his report; the EPA nonetheless reportedly stated that his report had been reviewed for use in their final report; and Carlin is indeed listed among the “authors and contributors” of that final report.

Babbin: Carlin a “leading EPA scientist” who was “silenced”

In a December 9 HumanEvents.com piece headlined “EPA Scientist Silenced in Coverup,” Babbin wrote:

Monday's declaration by the Environmental Protection Administration that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health is apparently a regulatory fraud. It was made after EPA regulators refused to consider a report from a leading EPA scientist rejecting the theory that emission of greenhouse gases causes global warming.

The EPA's highly-publicized action declared, "...GHGs [greenhouse gases] are the primary driver of climate change, which can lead to hotter, longer heat waves that threaten the health of the sick, poor or elderly; increases in ground-level ozone pollution linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses; as well as other threats to the health and welfare of Americans."

Carlin is not a climate scientist, but some of his “ideas” were still “included and addressed” in EPA report

Carlin is an economist, not a climate scientist. According to his EPA staff profile, Carlin is a Senior Operations Research Analyst at EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology. [EPA.gov, accessed 12/9/2009]

EPA reportedly stated that Carlin's report was reviewed by EPA, with “some ideas... included” in the final report. FoxNews.com reported:

The EPA said in a written statement that Carlin's opinions were in fact considered, and that he was not even part of the working group dealing with climate change in the first place.

“Claims that this individual's opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false. This administration and this EPA administrator are fully committed to openness, transparency and science-based decision making,' the statement said. ” The individual in question is not a scientist and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue. Nevertheless the document he submitted was reviewed by his peers and agency scientists, and information from that report was submitted by his manager to those responsible for developing the proposed endangerment finding. In fact, some ideas from that document are included and addressed in the endangerment finding." [FoxNews.com, 6/29/09]

Carlin listed as contributor to EPA endangerment finding. Indeed, Carlin is listed as among the “EPA authors and contributors” to the Technical Support Document the EPA's endangerment finding.

Carlin said Bush EPA ignored his ideas. In an interview with TPMMuckraker published July 1, Carlin stated that he similarly provided global warming reports to the EPA when President Bush was in office but that "[t]o the best of my knowledge, the Bush administration never followed up on my ideas." [TPMMuckracker, 7/1/2009]

Climate scientists, Carlin himself noted “flaws,” “problems” with his report

Climate scientists have criticized Carlin's report. Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has pointed to “a number of basic flaws” in Carlin's report, including “the complete lack of appreciation of the importance of natural variability on short time scales, the common but erroneous belief that any attribution of past climate change to solar or other forcing means that CO2 has no radiative effect, and a hopeless lack of familiarity of the basic science of detection and attribution.” [RealClimate.org, 6/26/09]

Carlin acknowledged “problems” with his report. In his TPM interview, Carlin also acknowledged of his report, “I didn't have time to fix all the problems -- and they still aren't fixed.” Carlin reportedly claimed that he produced his report over the span of “a few days,” whereas he “normally write[s] research papers and reports, which take six months to a year.” [TPMMuckracker, 7/1/2009]

Babbin said false Carlin claim of 11-year “downtrend” in global temperatures “seem[s] to debunk directly” “global warmists'” claims

In his Human Events piece, Babbin wrote:

Other conclusions of the Carlin report -- which the EPA refused to consider in making its Monday determination seem to debunk directly some of the main assertions of the global warmists. Among them are:

* “Global temperatures have declined -- extending the current downtrend to 11 years... At the same time atmospheric CO2 levels have continued to increase and CO2 emissions have accelerated;” [Human Events, 12/9/2009]

Short-term variation does not undermine consensus on warming. Climate experts reject the idea, advanced by Carlin and Babbin, that the relatively cooler global average temperatures in several of the last 10 years are any indication that global warming is slowing or does not exist. Scientists have identified a long-term warming trend spanning several decades that is independent from the normal climate variability -- which includes relatively short-term changes in climate due to events like El Niño and La Niña -- to which they attribute cooler temperatures in some recent years.

AP: “Statisticians reject global cooling.” In an October 26 article headlined, “AP IMPACT: Statisticians reject global cooling,” the Associated Press reported: “In a blind test, the AP gave temperature data to four independent statisticians and asked them to look for trends, without telling them what the numbers represented. The experts found no true temperature declines over time.” The article later added:

The AP sent expert statisticians NOAA's year-to-year ground temperature changes over 130 years and the 30 years of satellite-measured temperatures preferred by skeptics and gathered by scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Statisticians who analyzed the data found a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers, but could not find a significant drop in the past 10 years in either data set. The ups and downs during the last decade repeat random variability in data as far back as 1880.

Saying there's a downward trend since 1998 is not scientifically legitimate, said David Peterson, a retired Duke University statistics professor and one of those analyzing the numbers.

Identifying a downward trend is a case of “people coming at the data with preconceived notions,” said Peterson, author of the book “Why Did They Do That? An Introduction to Forensic Decision Analysis.” [AP, 10/26/09]

Babbin repeated debunked claim that CRU emails show data were “manipulated” to declare Carlin EPA's “own 'Climategate'”

From Babbin's piece:

Global warmists such as former VP Al Gore have insisted for years that there was no doubt that the consensus among scientists was that man-made carbon dioxide emissions were the cause of global warming.

That theory was severely damaged last week when a hacker (or whistleblower) disclosed about 61 megabytes of e-mails to and from global warming scientists at the UK's East Anglia University Climate Research Unit. The CRU e-mails are now widely quoted to show that weather temperature data were manipulated to produce false results -- results that “proved” the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

Hence the “Climategate” scandal. Two university professors are under suspension and some researchers -- who took U.S. government grant or contract money -- may be civilly or criminally liable under the False Claims Acts.

The CRU e-mails have created a firestorm of criticism against the liberals -- including President Obama -- who insist that we enact the “cap and trade” energy tax without further delay.

And now the EPA has its own “Climategate.” It is in the report by EPA's Dr. Alan Carlin who was -- according to this July 16 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson -- subjected to a gag order. [Human Events, 12/9/2009]

Conservative media repeatedly distorted stolen emails in latest attack on global warming consensus. Since the reported theft of emails from the CRU at the University of East Anglia, conservative media figures have aggressively claimed that those emails undermine the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activities are causing climate change, dubbing the supposed scandal “Climategate.” But these critics have largely rested their claims on outlandish distortions and misrepresentations of the contents of the stolen emails, greatly undermining their dubious smears.

It's not news: Babbin claimed report was “disclosed” December 8, but draft was released in June

Babbin writes: “The report was disclosed by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) at a Tuesday afternoon press conference in which he said that the report was not considered by EPA in reaching its Monday determination.” But the Competitive Enterprise Institute released a draft of the report on June 25. CBSNews.com subsequently reported on Carlin's report on June 26 and it received extensive coverage on Fox News, including a June 30 Fox & Friends interview with Carlin himself.

Carlin report discussion jumps from GOP presser to Fox News

During a December 9 Fox & Friends segment about the EPA's announcement that it will issue an endangerment finding allowing it to regulate greenhouse gases, co-host Steve Doocy brought up Barton's GOP press conference, which Doocy claimed was about “a bombshell internal EPA report that showed that the White House was interfering with the EPA's investigators who were looking into the effects of carbon dioxide.”