Global Climate Change and U.S. Law 1st Edition
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"Global Climate Change is an impressive work of legal scholarship from the ABA's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, a collaborative effort of the most knowledgeable and experienced practitioners in the field, guided by the steady editorial hand of Michael B. Gerrard, former SEER Chair and partner at Arnold & Porter. It is supported by a very useful website to keep readers updated on related legal developments." -- The Environmental Forum, Nov/Dec 2007
"Michael Gerrard and a topflight list of authors have pulled together thoughtful, critical commentaries that can help key sectors in our society craft responses to what is surely the environmental challenge of this century - indeed, a major economic challenge as well - the earth's changing climate. Many thanks to ABA for this timely publication and Website that can keep us abreast of fast-breaking developments in this field." -- William K. Reilly, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1989-1993
"This is a spectacular book. Offering both impressive breadth and depth in its description and analysis, Global Climate Change and U.S. Law provides the legal community with an extraordinarily useful tool for understanding the wide ranging ways that current and quickly emerging laws address what promises to be the nation's greatest environmental challenge. Wholly accessible to those not themselves expert in environmental law, any lawyer or policymaker seriously interested in the global climate change should have a copy." -- Richard Lazarus, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
"This volume serves as a comprehensive desk reference of legal issues related to climate change, which any lawyer or policymaker in the environmental field would find useful and informative. The book provides an outstanding overview of the field, particularly helpful for individuals seeking an introduction to climate change law." -- Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Fall 2007
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Nevertheless, it's astounding what a negligible increase of 0.8 degrees Celsius in the world's temperature over the past 150 years, coming at the end of the Little Ice Age, will do to fuel the collective, and collectivist, mindset among the nations and citizens of the world. These temperatures have variously risen and fallen for eons. Indeed, some of the most highly qualified climate scientists have painstakingly documented the existence of a 1,500-year climate cycle over the entire globe. In a monumental 1983 study of mile deep Greenland ice core samples by Denmark's Willi Dansgaard and Switzerland's Hans Oeschger (results confirmed a few years later on Antarctica, and by scores of proxy studies) revealed a 250,000-year world climate history which reflected the moderate climate cycles of the sun. What characterizes the present era, however, is a lot of bad science anxious to tap unlimited sources of government funding for climate research, a gullible media, quasi-religious environmental organizations, and the nefarious influence of politics upon the scientific enterprise. The fruits of that "research" include Michael Mann's now thoroughly debunked "hockey stick" representation of the most recent 1,000 years of climate history, which, nevertheless, became a prominent feature of Al Gore's global warming sideshow, and which finds naïve acceptance by the editor of this volume (see Figure 1-1). The "presentist" mindset, which interprets the current climate experience as a unique and threatening phenomenon, reveals a sorry lack of historical perspective. Most significantly, the carefully documented climate record reveals that temperatures were 2-4 degrees higher in the medieval warm period (900-1300 A.D.) than they are today, when CO2 levels are higher, and that CO2 levels are actually an 800-year lagging indicator of global warming, not a causal factor. Many of the scientists who contributed to the 1996 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) documented these findings, concluding that no such "human fingerprint" had been found in the recent global warming, but their statements were shockingly removed from Chapter 8 of the IPCC's 1996 report by U.N. bureaucrats and U.S. politicians in the Clinton administration anxious to manufacture "consensus" regarding anthropogenic global warming. This is the context in which books like the Global Climate Change and U.S. Law are produced. Regardless of the flawed presentation of the science presented in this volume, however, lawyers stand to make a good living off the complex legal and regulatory schemes detailed in this book, including the implementation of an elaborate system of emission cap and trade programs, as well as the more benign efforts to conserve energy, and develop renewable energy sources.
Building upon this flawed scientific analysis, Part I of this volume describes the national and international framework of climate change regulation, the impact of the Kyoto Protocol on U.S. business, clean air regulation, civil remedies, climate change in facility permitting, and international trade and development. Part II describes the emerging regional, state and local actions, together with a 50-state survey of state responses to climate change. Part III examines a variety of corporate actions, including disclosure issues, fiduciary duties, insurance and climate change, and subsidies, tax policy and technological innovations. Part IV examines the legal aspects of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, such as voluntary efforts, emissions trading, and carbon sequestration. It also includes a list of important resources, a glossary of climate-related terms, a list of acronyms; endnotes, and index. Twenty-four authors contributed to this volume under the editorship of Michael Garrard, a partner in the New York office of Arnold & Porter LLP, where he heads its environmental practice group. The views of the individual authors stand alone, irrespective of the views of the other contributors.
For more authoritative and balanced views of the science of global climate, see Fred Singer and Dennis Avery's Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); Lawrence Solomon's "The Deniers" (Richard Vigilante Books, 2008);" Iain Murray's "The Really Inconvenient Truths" (Regnery, 2008); Roy Spencer's "Climate Confusion" (Encounter Books, 2008); and Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder's The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change (Icon Books, 2007), which argues that the interplay of clouds, the sun, and cosmic rays has a far more profound effect of climate than carbon dioxide. Readers are also directed to Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas' metanalysis of studies related to the existence of the climate cycle, the Medieval Warming Period, and Little Ice Age (see "Reconstructing Climatic and Environmental Changes of the Past 1000 Years: A Reappraisal," Energy and Environment 14, no. 2/3 (March 2003), 233-296. They discovered 112 studies about the Medieval Warming Period, 92% of which showed evidence of warming, 124 studies from around the world addressing the existence of the Little Ice Age, 98% of these confirming the era's cooling. Finally, they examined 102 studies containing information on the question of whether the 20th century was the warmest on record, 78% of which found earlier periods lasting at least 50 years that were warmer than any period in the 20th century.
Ironically, despite all the hoopla about "global warming" or, as it is increasingly called as temperatures have fallen, "climate change," global mean temperatures are now at roughly their 3,000-year average.
The EPA, led by Lisa Jackson and its socialist "global warming" czarina Carol Browner, has now declared carbon dioxide to be a "pollutant." This is surely the most scientifically unfounded decision and the most damaging to our economy and freedom in the history of that agency. And, if implemented, it will rank with the banning of DDT as the most deadly action every perpertated by the U.S. government on the world's poor. But that won't stand in the way of thousands of lawyers trying to make a buck off their, and our, misery.
**Since this review was written, the so-called "Climategate" scandal has implicated the Hadley Centre's Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK, a leading source for the U.N.'s climate data, in an orchestrated effort to fudge climate data and impugn the integrity and publication efforts of those who fail to toe the alarmist line. Among those exposed by more than a thousand e-mails were the Center's director Phil Jones, and Michael Mann, author of the infamous hockey stick graph. As a result of the fallout, many scientists have admitted a much higher degree of uncertainty in the climate record than previously acknowledged. Thus, this review, which was written before the scandal erupted, has been largely vindicated by subsequent events; and public concern for the alleged threat of "global warming" or "climate change", has declined significantly.