Scientist and economist Dr. Alan Carlin was a model civil servant for nearly forty years, serving as a science analyst in the federal Environmental Protection Agency. But in 2009, he made a bad career move. He told the truth.
As one of the EPA staff members assigned to assess the warming effect of added CO2 in the atmosphere preparatory to formulating emissions regulations, Carlin deviated from the EPA’s play book of accepting as gospel the pronouncements of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Instead, based on his own studies, he—rightly, as study after study is showing—concluded that CO2’s warming effect is very small and therefore not dangerous and that therefore there was no reason to emissions.
That didn’t fit the Obama Administration’s political strategy, so his superiors tried to silence him and moved him out of his long-time position to where he couldn’t be quite so dangerous to their predetermined conclusions. When the Competitive Enterprise Institute leaked Carlin’s extensive, scientifically first-rate internal memo, EPA had mud all over its face but didn’t back down. Carlin wound up resigning, which gave him time to think and write about a lot he’d seen while serving inside EPA over the years.
It’s a good thing. The result was his book Environmentalism Gone Mad: How a Sierra Club Activist and Senior EPA Analyst Discovered a Radical Green Energy Fantasy (Mount Vernon, WA: Stairway Press, 2015), which I’m in the midst of reading–and enjoying–and which consulting meteorologist and Cornwall Alliance Contributing Writer Anthony Sadar reviewed in yesterday’s Washington Times. Here’s an excerpt from Sadar’s review:
Mr. Carlin was at the EPA almost from its inception in 1970. He came from research work at the RAND Corp. in Santa Monica, Ca., to work with the EPA in Washington, D.C. from 1971 to 2010. In early 2009, after submitting serious negative comments on the EPA’s draft technical support document for the endangerment finding on the adverse effects of increasing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, Mr. Carlin had been maligned by the EPA powers-that-be for challenging the Obama administration’s poor economics and science represented in these findings. Yet, as an EPA senior analyst with an undergraduate degree in physics from Caltech bolstered by a doctorate in economics from MIT, Mr. Carlin surely knows his stuff.
He asserts that even if EPA’s current effort to control carbon-dioxide emissions are successful, “it will not change the climate or extreme weather in any measurable way even though Obama has proclaimed it will. It will simply increase the rates paid for less reliable energy, with lower-income Americans bearing most of the burden along with the slow recovery of the U.S. economy.”
Throughout his lengthy personal recounting in “Environmentalism Gone Mad” of the rise and fall of EPA adherence to science over politics, Mr. Carlin engages the reader with essential details. These include not only an insider’s perspective on the operation of the EPA but also numerous, specific and sensible short-term and long-term recommendations on how to “get out of this mess”—a mess largely brought about by the current administration’s adherence to radical leftist environmentalism. The need to consider reasonable costs versus benefits in air quality rules, as exemplified in the recent Supreme Court decision in Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, is a move encouraged by Mr. Carlin.
Read the whole review. Better yet, read the whole book. It’s an education in how the EPA became the rogue agency it is today and a good justification for its complete overhaul or, better, abolition and replacement with a “committee of the whole” of state environmental protection agencies.