A graph taken from Alan Carlin’s report. The solid line illustrates global temperatures were decreasing during this period, while the dotted line shows carbon dioxide levels were increasing.
WASHINGTON — Global warming may not be occurring primarily because of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Alan Carlin, who has worked for the EPA for more than 35 years and has a bachelor’s degree in physics and a doctorate degree in economics from Massachusetts Institution of Technology, co-wrote a report for “Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act.” According to the report, there are some inconsistencies with the theory that humans have caused global warming because of increased carbon dioxide emissions.
“The problems become particularly evident when one examines the downtrend period from roughly 1940 through the early 1970s,” Carlin stated in the report. “There does not appear to be any relationship between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures.”
This report was written before a controversial climate change bill, also known as cap and trade, was discussed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill was designed to limit the amount of carbon dioxide industries released into the air, and would be one of the largest tax increases in U.S. history. But Al McGartland, director of the EPA National Center for Environmental Economics, decided not to release the information publicly and censored the report from lawmakers before they cast their vote.
“Alan, I decided not to forward your comments,” McGartland said in an e-mail to Carlin on March 17, 2009. “I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”
McGartland was contacted for a response regarding how the information would have a negative impact on the EPA, but declined to comment.
Just eight minutes after that e-mail, McGartland sent Carlin another one outlining the restrictions he was placing on his research:
“You need to move on to other issues and subjects. I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change. No papers, no research etc., at least until we see what EPA is going to do with Climate.”
Despite McGartland’s fear the report may give the EPA a negative image, Carlin was not trying to debunk the theory of global warming.
“All this is not to argue that the greenhouse gas explanation of current global warming is wrong – only that the climate system may be more complicated than our current understanding of it and that there exists more uncertainty than is often acknowledged,” Carlin stated in the report.
Carlin said there are other factors besides carbon dioxide that can be attributed to climate change.
“Changes in the sun’s eruptional activity, solar wind, and magnetic field, among other characteristics, have been major determinants of global temperatures here on Earth,” Carlin stated.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, was established to provide lawmakers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change. Carlin criticized the panel for not attributing other factors besides carbon dioxide to the effects of climate change.
“Since this had not been taken into account in almost all the IPCC models to date, these models may need to be changed to do so if they are to more accurately reflect reality,” Carlin stated.
According to Carlin, the IPCC models for forecasting need to be changed because they are using computer models to predict future climate and temperatures. “These models are only as good as the relationships they assume,” Carlin stated.
“It is all too easy to develop models that explain historical data by ‘fitting the data.’ It is much harder to accurately predict future events using such models.”
McGartland, who suppressed the report,stated in another e-mail to Carlin that “in light of the tight schedule and the turn of events, please do not have any direct communication with anyone outside of NCEE on the endangerment (report). There should be no meetings, e-mails, written statements, phone calls, etc.”
Carlin broke that rule when he contacted the Ada Evening News. But until all the scientific evidence can be brought to attention, no one may ever know the true causes of global warming.