Thursday, March 10, 2016

This is what a scientist sounds like, Mike MacCracken PhD

It makes for a refreshing change.  Please note the difference between how this man goes about explaining his business compared to the likes of Mr. Steele and our good 1000frolly.  Here is Dr. MacCracken's statement submitted as a "Declaration in Support of Plaintiffs".  It offers a concise summation of our situation.
{I've added highlight and some paragraph - no changes to the wording}

Case No.: 6:15-cv-01517-TC
In Support of Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss;
Oral Argument: February 17, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
Case 6:15-cv-01517-TC Document 44 Filed 01/06/16 - 15 Pages

I, MICHAEL C. MacCRACKEN, hereby declare as follows:

1. I am a scientist who has devoted forty-five years to studying the causes and impacts of global climate change. After twenty-five years focused on climate modeling studies at the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, I served from 1993 to 2002 as senior scientist on global change with the Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), where I also served as the Office’s first executive director from 1993-97 and as executive director for the National Assessment Coordination Office that facilitated the first national assessment of climate change impacts on the US from 1997-2001. 

In these capacities I helped coordinate research on climate change and its impacts across a dozen federal agencies and participated preparation of official U.S. reports on climate change and its impacts. Over the past twenty-five years, I have also served in various capacities in preparation of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I have been a member of various other scientific committees and teams that prepared reports on the causes and impacts of climate change.1

2. Continuing the current rate of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, much less allowing them to continue to increase, will result in increasingly severe environmental and societal consequences over expanding areas of the nation and the world over coming decades; only cutting emissions to near zero can eventually halt this trend. Building upon twenty-five years of international scientific assessments on the causes, effects, and impacts of climate change, a strong international consensus has developed that the changes in climate, sea level, and ocean chemistry caused by human-induced emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases pose an increasing threat to environmental systems around the world that will affect human health and well-being and the stability of local, national, and international economies and societies. 

Efforts must begin during the next few years by all nations, but particularly by the United States, to get on a path that will lead to substantial cutbacks in CO2 emissions over the next few decades to limit the risk of triggering catastrophic and irreversible impacts of climate change and ocean acidification. With the United States being the largest historic emitter and still second in the world in total CO2 emissions, delay in establishing an aggressive effort to reduce emissions of CO2, other greenhouse gases, and soot will not only contribute to very disruptive further changes in climate, but also send an unfortunate signal to other nations that they can also delay reducing emissions, creating a global “tragedy of the commons” outcome where all experience severe consequences by thinking that they are a special case that need not act as all must act collectively.

3. The federal agencies named as Defendants in this action already influence, control and/or have the power to regulate a large share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the Department of Energy (DOE) sets energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment, lighting products, electronic devices, furnaces, air conditioners, and a multitude of other residential, and commercial, and industrial products; they are particularly important for efficiency improvements are widely recognized to be a very cost effective type of action to be taking. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy has various authorities over the import and export of natural gas, the interstate commerce of fossil fuels, and along with the Department of State, over new and existing international pipelines. 

The Department of Interior has authority and control over the leasing of substantial federal lands, both onshore and offshore, for the extraction of fossil fuels. The Department of Agriculture, in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management, also controls the leasing of substantial additional federal lands for the extraction of fossil fuels. The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency have the authority to set fuel economy and emissions standards for motor vehicles and other modes of transportation. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has authority to regulate and set standards for greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, methane emissions from pipelines and fossil fuel processing facilities, and greenhouse gas emissions from other point sources (e.g., waste disposal and sewage treatment facilities). While by no means an exhaustive list, these are a few examples of the areas where the federal government exercises and can exercise control over greenhouse gas emissions.

4. The United States is responsible for approximately 27% of total global emissions of CO2 since 1850;2 no other nation has contributed a larger share. As of 2012, an analysis of emissions by nations around the world recorded that annual U.S. CO2 emissions totaled approximately 5.5 billion tons per year, or just over 16% of annual global emissions,3 while the U.S. population constituted only about 4.5% of global population. Since 1990, total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 5.9%.4

Using a metric that focuses on the long-term warming influence of CO2, CO2 emissions account for approximately 82% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.5 Emissions of methane contributed most of the rest of the total. Warming contributions by air pollution and soot are not counted in traditional inventories, but their influences must also be cut back.

5. The EPA Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks6 provides a breakdown of U.S. emissions from fossil fuel combustion by end-use sector. The agencies named as Defendants in this action control and regulate emissions from these various sectors. For 2013, the EPA national emissions inventory listed U.S. fossil fuel emissions of CO2 alone as follows:   __ IMAGE __

6. The transportation and electricity generation sectors combined, areas where the Federal Defendants have regulated extensively and have control over emissions, accounted for ~3760 million metric tons of CO2 in 2013. This total represents ~72.8% of U.S. CO2 emissions and ~10.6% of global CO2 emissions; indeed, total emissions from these two sectors alone are larger than the emissions of all of the world’s nations except China and more than 75% larger than the emissions of India, which is the third largest emitter of CO2 even though India had a population in 2014 that was about four times that of the U.S.

7. On a per capita basis U.S. CO2 emissions are approximately 16 metric tons/year, while the average for the rest of the people in the world is just over 4 metric tons/year. The range among countries is large, with countries in Europe being about twice the non-U.S. global average and dropping, countries undergoing industrial development such as China approaching twice the average for the rest of the world’s people and rising, and countries such as India that are just starting to develop being less than half the average for the non-U.S. population and increasing. 

Clearly, on a per capita basis, citizens of U.S. are contributing a much larger per capita share of emissions than citizens of other nations (and these numbers do not account for emissions occurring in one country producing products for those in other countries, which would further exacerbate the U.S. disparity). 

For there to be any possibility of slowing climate change and as the largest economy in the world, the U.S. needs to show exceptional leadership and demonstrate how a modern economy can prosper with low CO2 emissions, creating an example for other nations. Authoritative analyses have outlined how, if reasonable, equitable, and economically viable government actions are taken, much greater reductions in emissions can be achieved than are provided by existing government policies and regulations.8

8. Approximately 25% of all fossil fuels extracted in the United States come from federal public lands, controlled by the Defendants named in this action. Despite this, the U.S. government has been continuing to offer leases to continue and even expand extraction of coal, petroleum, and natural gas from these lands. 

These lands have been set aside in the public interest and for the benefit of future generations, yet the ongoing extraction of fossil fuels is going directly against the public interest in limiting climate change and passing along the heritage of these lands to future generations. CO2-induced climate change is altering the very conditions that are essential for the natural flora and fauna of these lands, shifting the conditions that define the favorable zones for virtually all species. 

Thus, the ranges of terrestrial species are shifting poleward in extent and upward in altitude, the rivers and streams with conditions viable for key fish species are changing, the areas vital to the seasonal migrations of waterfowl and marine mammals are changing in ways that are disrupting the timing, routes, and layover locations for migration. Climate is indeed changing so much that lands scraped aside for coal extraction can no longer be returned to their former vegetation cover. Landscapes are changing so much that extirpation of species is occurring in various regions as a prelude over future decades to increased rates of extinction.

9. Because all emissions of greenhouse gases is important, the emissions at issue in this case greatly exceeds the amount at stake in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), for which I submitted an expert declaration to the district court. 

In considering the points made in that declaration,9 the majority opinion of Justice Stevens in the Supreme Court’s decision found that, for example, sea level rise due to human- induced climate change is indeed causing concrete harm by inundating coastal lands, in that case citing specific taking of lands from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Such inundation and thus taking of land is occurring not only in Massachusetts, but also in virtually all coastal states,10 and affecting land held by governments, organizations and individuals. In that case, just that one specific harm out of the many disruptive impacts being caused by climate change was sufficient to grant standing.

10. Because the United States is the world’s largest economy and plays a leading role in all manner of global affairs, U.S. participation and leadership are essential to galvanizing and sustaining global efforts to curb CO2 emissions. 

If the U.S. takes steps to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, options become available for other countries to take similar actions regarding their own greenhouse gas emissions using technology developed in the U.S.,11 thereby multiplying the total emission reduction benefit of U.S. actions. 

Substantial further reductions in emissions can be achieved and will be required to discernibly and significantly reduce and delay the increasing disruption of the weather and climate and the ongoing acidification of ocean waters. 

The more that is done now to reduce emissions and slow the pace of climate change, the greater will be the time available for additional development and use of even better technologies in the future. 

With enhanced efforts to reduce emissions through available efficiency improvements, accompanied by progress in limiting other emissions by switching to other technical approaches, the more likely it will be that the most catastrophic and irreversible consequences of climate change and ocean acidification can be avoided.

11. The first report on the likelihood and onset of human-induced climate change was delivered to President Johnson and the Congress by the President’s Scientific Advisory Council in 1965—more than fifty years ago. 

Since the first international scientific assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1990, their four subsequent comprehensive assessments have made clear again and again that human-caused climate change and the associated impacts that will result (including shifting of climatic and landscape zones, intensification of extreme precipitation and weather, a greatly increased rate of sea level rise and coastal inundation, ocean acidification, and more are place the world on a path that will lead to significant, irreversible disruption and alteration of Earth’s climate and environment

The induced changes are very likely to force relocations of peoples out of many arid and coastal regions, reallocation of economic resources from increasing overall well-being to adjusting to environmental change and recovering from increasingly disruptive extreme weather, and dealing with increased stresses on and even failures of communities, peoples and institutions.

12.  Scientific and other expert analyses make clear that urgent action in limiting emissions will reduce the overall impacts of climate change and that delays in emissions will lock in further long-term climate change and make preventing the worst effects of climate disruption more difficult, if not impossible, as thresholds of nonlinear and irreversible consequences are exceeded.  Decades of scientific research and economic analyses make clear that continued delays in acting at the fastest pace possible to limit emissions ignores the increasing pace of impacts that climate change is already imposing on society and the environment12 and sets a disappointing precedent for rational decision-making based on scientific understanding.  

As Nobel Laureate Professor Sherwood commented: "What's the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions, if in the end, all we're willing to do is stand around wait for them to come true?"13 

I certify under penalty of perjury in accordance with the laws of the State of Maryland, and to the best of my knowledge, that the foregoing is true and correct.

DATED this 6th day of January, 2016 at Bethesda, Maryland.
Michael C. MacCracken 
{footnotes are listed at the end of this post}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Michael MacCracken has been Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute in Washington DC since 2002; he was also elected to its Board of Directors in 2006. Both of these positions are held on a volunteer basis.

Dr. MacCracken received his B.S. in Engineering degree from Princeton University in 1964 and his Ph.D. degree in Applied Science from the University of California Davis/Livermore in 1968. His dissertation used a 2-D climate model to evaluate the plausibility of several hypotheses of the causes of ice ages. Following his graduate work, he joined the Physics Department of the University of California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as an atmospheric physicist. 

His research in the ensuing 25 years included numerical modeling of various causes of climate change (including study of the potential climatic effects of greenhouse gases, volcanic aerosols, land-cover change, and nuclear war) and of factors affecting air quality (including photochemical pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area and sulfate air pollution in the northeastern United States). At LLNL, he also served as division leader for atmospheric and geophysical sciences from 1987-1993 and as deputy division leader from 1974-1987.

From 1993-2002, Dr. MacCracken was on assignment as senior global change scientist to the interagency Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) in Washington D.C., also serving as its first executive director from 1993-1997. 

From 1997-2001, he served as executive director of the USGCRP's National Assessment Coordination Office, which coordinated the efforts of 20 regional assessment teams, 5 sectoral teams, and the National Assessment Synthesis Team (which was constituted as a federal advisory committee) that prepared the national climate impacts assessment report that was forwarded to the President and on to the Congress in late 2000. During this period with the Office of the USGCRP, Dr. MacCracken also coordinated the official U.S. Government reviews of several of the assessment reports prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and he was a co-author/contributing author for various chapters in the IPCC assessment reports.

When Dr. MacCracken's assignment with the Office of the USGCRP concluded on September 30, 2002, he simultaneously retired from LLNL. In addition to his activities with the Climate Institute, he served on the integration team for the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment from 2002-2004. Dr. MacCracken is also near completing a 4-year term (2003-2007) as president of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS), members of which are the national academies of science or their equivalent in about 50 nations. As president of IAMAS, Dr. MacCracken also serves on the executive committees of International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and the Scientific Committee for Oceanic Research (SCOR). 

From 2004 to 2005, he served on a panel of the Scientific Committee on Problems in the Environment that prepared a report on what is known about the likelihood and consequences of an asteroid or comet impact, and from 2004-2007 on a scientific expert group convened by Sigma Xi and the UN Foundation at the request of the UN's Commission on Sustainable Development to suggest the best measures for mitigating and adapting to global climate change.

Dr. MacCracken is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a member of the American Meteorological Society, the Oceanography Society, and the American Geophysical Union, among other organizations. His affidavit relating global climate change and impacts on particular regions was recently cited favorably by Justice Stevens in his opinion in the recent decision in Massachusetts et al. versus EPA.

Essays & Other Writings:
A letter to Representatives Dingell and Boucher, March 17, 2007. RE: Dealing with Transportation Emissions in Climate Change Legislation (PDF)
Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable, a report prepared for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (Dr. MacCracken was one of the lead authors). (PDF)
Beyond Mitigation: Potential Options for Counter-Balancing the Climatic and Environmental Consequences of the Rising Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases (PDF). Background Paper to the 2010 World Development Report, prepared for the World Bank by Dr. MacCracken

Articles, Statements and Presentations
What We (also) Need to Know is How the Weather is Changing (PDF).  Presented at the Fall 2010 Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, recorded on January 8, 2010 in the United States House of Representatives Canon House Office Building.
The Science of Climate Change Feb 3, 2010. Dr. MacCracken's presentation at the Center for American Progress with Christopher Field.  Also see How We Know Humans Are Changing the Climate, an interview by Joe Romm.
Climate Change: A Challenge We Must Address (PDF) March 27, 2009. Presentation to Washington Area Model United Nations Conference
Power Point Presentation: The Changing Climate: Our Responsibility (PPT, 12.7MB)
Photo Slideshow of presentation at Hofstra University: The Increasing Pace of Climate Change and Its Impacts
Footnotes to Case 6:15-cv-01517-TC Document 44 Filed 01/06/16 MacCracken's statement:

1 For a more detailed description of my qualifications and experience, see Exhibit 1 to my Declaration.
2 Mengpin Ge et al., World Res. Inst., 6 Graphs Explain the World’s Top 10 Emitters (Nov. 25, 2014),’s-top-10- emitters.
3 International Energy Statistics, U.S. Energy Information Admin., (accessed November 24, 2015). 

4 See U.S. EPA, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2013, EPA 430-R-15-004, ES-4 (2015), available at Main-Text.pdf.
5 Id. at ES-8.
6 Id. at ES-11-12.
7 Slight differences in column totals are a result of rounding.

8 For example see: (a) The Labor Network for Sustainability & Synapse Energy, The Clean Energy Future: Protecting the Climate, Creating Jobs, Saving Money (2015), available at _10212015_main.pdf; (b) Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute, Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, Chelsea Green Publishing (2014), available at Energy/dp/1603583718/.
9 See Mass. v. EPA, 549 U.S. at 515-24.
10 In a few coastal areas, rebounding of the land from the depression experienced during the last glacial period and/or uplift due to earthquakes are still slightly in excess of the rate of sea level rise; as the rate of sea level increases with further warming, this will no longer be the case.
11 As an example, the U.S., led by the Department of Energy, has greatly increased efficiency in the lighting sector, and the products of these efforts are being adopted around the world. Sponsorship of research, support for development, and regulatory actions by DOE have all played a role in this, leading to very large reductions in the demand for electricity and in CO2 emissions because much of the electricity was being generated by combustion of fossil fuels.

12 Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Thomas Stever, RISKY BUSINESS: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States (2014), available at
13 See Paul Brodeur, Annals of Chemistry: In the Face of Doubt, The New Yorker 70 (june 9, 1986).

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