Jun 20 2011

Why The Law Fails When Faced With Science

Published by at 11:49 am under All General Discussions

Scientists and Engineers have no idea about the nuances and precedence of law – which is why they make poor lawyers.

But sadly the reverse is also true. Lawyers and judges are notoriously weak in the basic of math and science. Trust me, I know a lot of top notch legal minds, and they don’t get math and science even at an advanced HS level. It is one reason I tutored so many kids in my life.

So when the Supreme Court decides to make a determination on what is within the boundaries of the EPA, it makes a huge blunder – based completely on the dept of their ignorance:

The Supreme Court blocked a federal lawsuit Monday by states and conservation groups trying to force cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The court said that the authority to seek reductions in emissions rests with the Environmental Protection Agency, not the courts. The ruling was 8-0.

CO2 as an emission? I guess this makes all Aerobic life now the largest polluters on the planet:

good example would be the oxidation of glucose (a monosaccharide) in aerobic respiration.

C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 38 ADP + 38 phosphate ? 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + 38 ATP

Note the ’emission’ of life are two of the top Green House Gases (CO2 and water). When compared to this biomass, human industrial output is a tiny, irrelevant fraction.

Almost all animals, most fungi, and several bacteria are obligate aerobes.

Human biomass is tiny compared just to plankton, let alone all other sources of CO2 emission:

Humans comprise about 100 million tonnes of the Earth’s dry biomass,[26] domesticated animals about 700 million tonnes, and crops about 2 billion tonnes.[citation needed] The most successful animal species, in terms of biomass, is probably Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, with a fresh biomass approaching 500 million tonnes.[23][27][28] However, as a group, the small aquatic crustaceans called copepods may form the largest animal biomass on earth.[29] A 2009 paper in Science estimates, for the first time, the total world fish biomass as somewhere between 0.8 and 2.0 billion tonnes.[30][31]

The Supreme scientific ignorance on display with this decision is another reason why we need to dismantle the federal bureaucracy before it destroys modern civilization. EPA does not have a mandate to control the biomass, which means it cannot control CO2 emissions. We The People, however, do have the power to dismantle this out control edifice to human incompetence we call the Federal Government. And it is well past time to exercise that power.

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “Why The Law Fails When Faced With Science”

  1. WWS says:

    Your points about Science are all very good in this post, and your observation about most lawyers being scientifcally illiterate is dead-on. But, with all due respect, and I *really* am trying to be helpful here, not critical, I have to say that you completely missed what this decision was about. (Refer back to the first line of your post) The case that caused all the trouble was Massachusetts vs EPA, back in 2007, and all of your criticism is very correctly directed toward that decision, in which Anthony Kennedy sided with the 4 liberals on the court to override the conservative wing. The Court today was not prepared to overturn that decision, especially when it was not what was really at issue, and that’s why they let it stand and incorporated the ruling into todays decision. The Court never overturns standing precedents on issues that are only incidental to the case at hand.

    But there was a reason this was a Unanimous decision today; that is rare, and happens only when both the law is incredibly clear and all the factions on the court (right, left, and Kennedy in the middle) have their own reasons for supporting it.

    Allow me to opint that this was a very *Good* decision by the Court today, and a very powerful building block for implementing rational environmental policies in the future! But that isn’t clear unless you examine what was really at issue here, legally. This was about procedure and authority, and had nothing to do with whether or not CO2 can be regulated. Admittedly, the article you linked did an extremely poor job of explaining what was really going on here.

    THIS was the source of this case: back in 2004, several States were angry that the Bush administration would not do anything about Global Warming, and they decided to try and force the issue through the Court system. Their goal was to get legal injunctions against emitters and have the courts either fine them or shut them down directly. This may sound crazy, but the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals supported this effort, as did the Attorney Generals of these States.

    What the Supreme Court said today was Fuhgeddaboudit. They ruled that the EPA is the ONLY game in town. If you want more regulations, then you HAVE to go through the EPA, no Court has the power to order these actions on their own. This is why all the factions on the Court could agree. Before today, there was an effort by the EPA to regulate CO2, and also a parallel effort by these 8 States to use the Federal Courts to regulate CO2. That parallel truck has now been shut down for good.

    So does this hinder the EPA? Of course not! But the answer to that problem is easy – change the Administration, and we change the EPA. There is now no longer any legal basis on which to override the EPA’s authority on this matter. And once the EPA regulations are knocked down, then this entire issue is dead – no more court challenges, thanks to today’s ruling.

    The Court today put the final resolution back in the hands of the voters and of the Congress – and that’s where it needs to be. Now it’s up to the rest of us to do our part.

  2. Redteam says:

    First I agree with what you said above. one suggestion might be:
    In the formula you used above, which I understand is just an example, would better illustrate the point you were making, if you had completed it with either back and forth arrows or a circle to show that when C and O’s start separately they eventually get together to make a CO (or CO2) but then they eventually also become C’s and O’s again. As you said in an earlier post, it’s not created or destroyed, it just changes form.

    C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 38 ADP + 38 phosphate ? 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + 38 ATP

    C + 2 O’s CO2

    As I said I’m not trying to teach you anything, you already know this, just trying to make it simple for the lawyer/judge types.

    I wish/hope/think most everyone knows that humans breathe in O’s and exhale CO’s and trees breathe in CO’s and exhale O’s . But the judges and lawyers want to stop the humans breathing out CO’s..

  3. Redteam says:

    there was supposed to be back and forth arrows in my formula above, between the O’s and CO2 but the comment moderater(word press) apparently edited them out

  4. Jonas Parker says:

    Strata, are you familiar with Agenda 21 ?

  5. WWS says:

    This post got me thinking again about the differences in the outlooks of lawyers and engineers, especially since I’ve got feet in both worlds.

    Lawyers specialize in the man made, political world, and engineers in the natural world. It’s always fascinating to see the interplay, as shows up decisions like this.

    What’s most fascinating is that right now, the legal world “gets” something that the engineers haven’t been able to believe yet, and it’s evident in this decision.

    This isn’t about science anymore.

    In a very real way, science has nothing at all to do with this fight anymore – that is just the excuse with which one powerful faction is trying to make a power grab. In truth, *everyone* with sense in the legal world (there are quite a few) knows that the official “science” could turn on a dime tomorrow. SO – that means that the faction that can grab power from supporting warming needs to make their play now, and the other side needs to delay and block until the official “science” changes and they can get control of the apparatus of government.

    It’s all a power play, and what’s more, everyone who’s playing knows this. This is how the game of power is played. “Science” is just an excuse for what’s happening, not a reason. And that is why “science” can never settle this fight, no finding, no paper, will ever matter all that much. Politics is what will settle this fight – winning elections, and replacing the power grabbers who are trying to push this, eliminating those who corrupted the peer review process in order to push an agenda, THAT is the only thing that will settle this fight! It’s a long hard slog, but we’re on our way.

    We often hear the complaint that science shouldn’t be politicized. Here’s news – happened a long time ago, and now it’s far too late to unring that bell. Now we either fight on the field our enemies have chosen, and defeat them – or we lose.

    And that field is a purely political one.

  6. AJStrata says:


    Don’t sell us engineers short yet (BTW, I too live in both worlds). The quickest way to destroy power is to destroy its credibility. Once it power is transformed into incompetence and impotence it is neutered.

  7. WWS says:

    AJ, I actually fear what you describe is the true hidden agenda behind the most powerful movers and shakers pushing this – men like Soros. These men are well informed enough to not only know that AGW is a scam, but to know that they are intentionally promoting a scam. Their underlings and the “true believers” may still have Faith, but the men at the top don’t, and probably never did.

    So why are they doing this? Because they have figured out that they can’t lose. They see that there are really only two options coming out of this mess:

    option 1) the AGW theories are accepted – and this has already happened in Europe, although it’s falling apart in the US.

    In this case, the men pushing this from the top profit directly due to the fact that they have agents in place which will game the requirements to benefit the corporations and agencies they control. This is the primary game being played here, BUT – there is a back-up plan, which is:

    Option 2) – the AGW movement fails worldwide: To the great discredit of all scientists worldwide, the general public now believes that “Science” has bought into AGW wholeheartedly. Where were the real scientists when Hanson was showboating in front of Congress? Every article in the NYT, every magazine that has been trumpeting how “99% of Scientists Agree!” has served primarily to establish this premise in the mind of the general public.

    So guess what – when this whole scam falls apart, the General Public is going to conclude, from the evidence they’ve been shown, that “99% of Scientists” are idiots and that Science itself is just another big scam.

    Why would this benefit the people pushing this? Because a society that believes in nothing and no one is always going to be bitter, angry, and – easy to divide and control by those who are most cynical and most willing to push the levers of manipulation.

    THAT is the double game being played here! If they can’t win outright, they will win by permanently destroying the credibility of any who would oppose them. And “science”, by not believing that the credibility of the entire profession could ever be threatened, has walked right into the trap.

  8. Teresa in Fort Worth TX says:

    It only took an hour of research on the Internet and a bare minimum of mathematical knowledge to blow a hole in the “science”:


    They honestly expect us to worry about an increase in man-made emissions of 267 km^3 per year? In an atmosphere of over 4,600,000,000 km^3?


  9. Jonas Parker says:

    Strata and others… I’m an elected Republican party official in Az. I tell you that because you’ll be surprised that I would direct you to the first site that I’ll mention. I was recently astounded to learn for the first time about UN Agenda 21. It was adopted in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in 1992, and it was signed for the US by GHW Bush. It is easily ‘googleable’. What is not so obvious though, are the details of what it entails. I promise, we are farther down ‘the road’ than you think, from what I have read on this blog. To say that you will be shocked, angry, and probably somewhat fearful when you understand the intent, scale, method, and current level of implementation of Agenda 21 is positively a dramatic understatement.

    This is not whacko tinfoil stuff, as I first thought when a member of my legislative district sent me an email about it. There is a lot of info on the internet about it, but the first interesting site I would point you to is


    The owner of that site is a woman by the name of Rosa Koire.

    The next site is a Youtube of Rosa explaining Agenda 21 to the East Bay Tea Party in Danville Ca. Pretty amazing in and of itself that a liberal like Koire is speaking to a tea party. What is even more amazing is what she has to say about Agenda 21. If you get past the introduction and listen to her for 5 or 10 minutes, you probably won’t be able to stop watching this video, and at the end you will say to yourself ‘holy moly, how could this huge conspiracy be going on to the extent it is and be nearly completely ‘under the radar’ of public perception, especially an intelligent and aware person such as myself 🙂 ‘

    Check it out:


  10. WWS says:

    fascinating stuff, Jason – I’ve never heard of that before.

    It’s a pity that even most Republicans are still terrified to admit that we need to pull OUT of the UN, even as the UN gets more and more anti-American every day. When’s the last time the UN actually did something GOOD for us? I can’t remember it.

    and come by more often, there’s always something interersting on top! Btw, although I live in Texas now, I’m an old Arcadia High alum myself.

    (no, I never knew Steven Spielberg of Linda Carter – before my time. I did get to see Stevie Nix as head baton twirler for the other side once! Of course Alhambra clobbered us)

  11. Jonas Parker says:

    I’m a native and went to Camelback H.S. Grew up just west of 40th St, so almost in Arcadia district. My wife grew up in Arcadia district. We just sold her folks old house there a couple years back. We’ve lived in Tempe since ’82. Though I was contemporary with Carter and Nicks, never ran into them to my knowledge. I did jam with Vince Furnier back then couple times. (Alice Cooper) He was two years older than me, and I was more into Clapton/Cream 🙂 Alhambra had some good years !!

  12. AJStrata says:


    We should talk. I am not surprised or shocked by schemes for power and money (corporations of all sizes do the same ‘planning’).

    I tend not to be too worried because usually these schemes are based on foolish and naive assumptions. Assumptions easily disproved if needed.

    With that said, I love to dismantle such things, and would love to make a living doing it. I have made a living fixing government screw ups – and usually that begins with knocking down all the false ‘truths’ that got the projects and programs into the ditch in the first place.

    To get on the right path requires realizing how far off you are at the moment. Only then can you turn things around.

  13. Jonas Parker says:

    Would love to talk, Strata. This thing needs to have light shined on it. Probably simple awareness would go a long way to derailing it. I think that the Youtube gives an idea of how far off we are. It is addressing the situation in CA, but I’m aware of many of the things she talks about that are happening right here in AZ. Phoenix and many surrounding cities are ‘ICLEI’ members, and they are implementing this agenda, as are many other municipalities around the country. Chances are good your own city is a member.