US regulator shrugs off climate deniers

America's environmental watchdog has rebuffed challenges to a scientific study it published declaring climate change real, man-made and a threat to human health and the natural world.

Ten formal petitions disputed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) determination in last year’s study that climate change is real and accused the regulator of being part of a global conspiracy.

The EPA is obliged under US law to consider the evidence in these petitions and report back on how it might impact on its initial assertion, known as the Endangerment Finding.

EPA head Lisa Jackson said: “The endangerment finding is based on years of science from the US and around the world.

“These petitions, based as they are on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy, provide no evidence to undermine our determination. Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare.”

“Defenders of the status quo will try to slow our efforts to get America running on clean energy. A better solution would be to join the vast majority of the American people who want to see more green jobs, more clean energy innovation and an end to the oil addiction that pollutes our planet and jeopardizes our national security.”

The petitions highlight a series of scandals, which have rocked climate science credibility.

These range from the University of East Anglia’s “Climategate” e-mails to incorrect claims from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about the speed Himalayan glaciers are melting and the proportion of the Netherlands likely to be flooded by rising sea levels.

But the EPA is defiant, declaring climate change is already here and humans are contributing to it.

“The global warming trend over the past 100 years is confirmed by three separate records of surface temperature, all of which are confirmed by satellite data,” it said in a statement.

“Beyond this, evidence of climate change is seen in melting ice in the Arctic, melting glaciers around the world, increasing ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, shifting precipitation patterns, and changing ecosystems and wildlife habitats.”

David Gibbs

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie