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Junk Science and Climate Change: Thoughts from the Federalist Society's 1997 Colloquium on "Junk Science, the Courts, and the Regulatory State"

In recent months global climate change has once again taken center stage in the public policy arena. In December 2009 world leaders gathered in Copenhagen for a long-anticipated summit meeting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on December 7, 2009 its formal “Endangerment Finding” that greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, constitute air pollution that endangers public health and welfare under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. In November 2009 the unauthorized disclosure of e-mail communications among leading climate-change scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit in Britain suggested that some scientists may have had an intent to manipulate scientific data. Just days later anti-regulatory activists uncovered the past destruction of some raw data used by the same scientists to provide the statistical underpinning for climate-change models that the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) employed in 2007 to anchor its case for anthropogenic climate variability...