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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. michael sweet at 01:36 AM on 17 July 2024
    Fact brief - Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    David Acct:

    The OP points out that "climate-gate" was invegestated by 9 separate imvestigations.  All of them found that there was no misconduct.  Your factoid that one of the investigations did not relate to Mann & MBH98 & MBH99 is simply off-topic since the OP is about climate-gate emails and not the Mann papers.  Please try to stay on topic with your posts.

  2. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    As far as David-acct's claim that industry accountants are better than government accountants, I can imagine that this is quite possibly true. I think the accountants at Enron and Arthur Andersen were probably a lot brighter that the IRA accountants. At least, they were a lot more creative. Glad that worked out so well for everyone.

  3. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    David-acct @ 58:

    Well, I think you are over-generalizing, and I will make two points in response to your two points.

    On the constitutional aspects:

    The Chevron deference is not about agencies making new law - it is about interpreting existing law when the law is vague. Read the OP: the decision process (in court) had two steps (emphasis added):

    • In Step 1, the court asks whether Congress directly addressed the issue in the statute. If so, then both the court and the agency have to do what Congress directs.
    • In Step 2, however, if Congress is silent or unclear, then the court should defer to the agency’s interpretation if it is reasonable because agency staff is presumed to be experts on the issue.

    The agencies do not get to ignore Congress. The discussion in the comments points out the risks and problems associated with waiting for Congress to act on every tiny detail that is unclear in existing legislation.

    On the subject of experts:

    Your "almost always" claim that government experts are worse than industry experts is condescending twaddle. This may come as a surprise, but the "A" in "EPA" is not "Accounting". Your narrow experience in one specialty does not necessarily extend to all disciplines.

    In areas of science, such as climate, water quality, atmospheric pollution, etc., government research groups are often at the cutting edge of the discipline. And the research component within government is usually strongly tied to the monitoring and regulatory components. In the case of such areas of expertise, the "real world experience" involves going out into the field and actually observing the natural environment and how humans interact with it. Government monitoring and research agencies do this in spades.

    I have worked in industry, academia, and government. In industry, the "expertise" is often brought into play through the use of consultants. As OPOF points out, "The problem with industry 'experts' can be that they are expert at hiding evidence, failing to investigate potential harms, and making up misleading statements because they have interests that conflict..."

    • I once worked for an individual that was supposed to be an expert in permafrost engineering. He had developed a computer model to calculate soil/ground temperatures. In a meeting with a prospective client, he was asked "will the model handle the difference between south-facing and north-facing slopes?". He confidently answered "Yes, it can."
    • After the meeting, he said (in private) "what difference does it make? South-facing or north-facing?" In spite of his supposed "expertise", he was completely unaware that south-facing slopes receive more sunlight than north-facing slopes (in the northern hemisphere). This leads to warmer surface temperatures (and thus, warmer soil). This carries through to lower likelihood of permafrost on south-facing slopes, and higher tree-line in mountainous areas.
    • In other words, south- or north-facing is very important. And this industry "expert" was clueless.
    • ...and this industry "expert" was quite willing to lie to a prospective client about what his model could do, just to get the contract.

    Once things get to court, it is often a "battle of the experts". The government side will rely on its experts. The industry side will rely on its experts. The Chevron deference does not allow the agency to make unreasonable interpretations - it just sets a priority of trust.

    If courts end up shifting to "we'll wait for Congress to act" every time something is unclear, then agencies will be unable to proactively deal with anything. We'll shift to a purely reactive management style - closing the door after the horses have escaped.

  4. One Planet Only Forever at 12:36 PM on 16 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    David-acct @58,

    The problem with industry 'experts' can be that they are expert at hiding evidence, failing to investigate potential harms, and making up misleading statements because they have interests that conflict with helping others learn to be less harmful and more helpful.

    And the over-ruling of Chevron deference can be understood to be an unreasonable judgment for the reasons presented in many comments.

    What you have said appears to ignore or deny the reality of the ways that pursuits of reward and status are known, more so now than when the Constitution was written, to create 'interests' that conflict with learning to improve a social system and correct its potentially unsustainable and harmful developments.

    You also appear to believe that if it isn't explicitly 'conclusively provable to be against the current laws' it is totally OK. If that were true there would be no need for any new laws. That ignores or denies the reality of the many ways that competition for reward and status results in people doing things that are understandably unacceptable, but claiming it isn't able to be proven to be against the currently written laws (as they interpret them) so they can do as they please.

    You should read Daniel Kahneman's book "Noise" that I refer to in my comment @48. The book includes extensive points about the potential problems of attempting to get improved, less biased and less noisy, judgments through rigid wording rather than clear guidelines open to improvement via input from helpful experts, skeptically questioning the input to be sure there is no conflicting interest influence.

  5. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    I am going to make two points

     

    US Constitutio

    Under the US Constitution, the legislative branch (article 1) makes the law, and the executive branch (article 2) enforces the law.  It is not the place of executive branch agencies to make law.  The chevron decision allowed government agencies to make law.  The overruling of chevron only places the making of law back to its proper place - Congress 

     

    Experts 

    Several commentators have made comments about the experts many of which show misconceptions about who are actual experts.   

    You will almost always find much greater levels of expertise in industry than you find in government positions.  I happen to be a CPA with an expertise in federal and state taxation.  fwiw, the average CPA has vastly greater accounting and tax expertise the most any IRS agent.  The point being is dont over rate experts who dont have any real world experience.  

  6. Fact brief - Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Since the article discusses the climate gate investigations, its worth pointing out one of the major misconceptions of the investigations which was the investigation of M Mann by the NSF. Its investigation was limited to misconduct as defined in the NSF Research Misconduct Policy, which concerns only “fabrication, falsification and plagiarism … in research funded by NSF.” It stated that Mann “did not directly receive NSF research funding as a Principal Investigator until late 2001 or 2002.” Because the MBH98 & MBH99 falsification allegations pre-dated 2001, the NSF had no jurisdiction over these allegations. In summary, Mann's HS was not investigated by the NSF. Unfortunately, many advocates falsely have been led to believe that Mann & MBH98 & MBH99 were investigated by the NSF.

  7. One Planet Only Forever at 08:08 AM on 16 July 2024
    How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles

    There is an error in the Yale Climate connections item:

    In the section headed by: Why rural Americans are uniquely positioned to benefit from EVs, the following statement is made:

    And rural “superusers” who make up just 3.6% of the U.S. population consume around 1,950 gallons of gas annually, or nearly 13% of total gas consumption — much more than the entire gasoline use of Russia, India, Japan, or Canada, according to Rural Climate Partnership analysis.

    The Rural Climate Partnership item that is linked to by the Yale Climate Connections item actually states the following:

    Top rural drivers, representing just 3.6% of all US drivers, consume 12.5 billion gallons of gasoline — which is nearly as much or more gas than the entire gasoline use of Russia, India, Japan, or Canada.

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 07:54 AM on 16 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Correction of my comment @56,

    It should have been: BTW, regarding the following quote from TWFA @52,...

  9. One Planet Only Forever at 07:23 AM on 16 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA,
    It is important to not be governed by interests that conflict with learning to be a more helpful and less harmful member of humanity. Note that current time period societies, like political party tribes in a nation, are sub-sets of global humanity including all future generations.

    I recommend seriously considering the points I shared from Kahneman’s book “Noise”. Also, consider reading the entire book as well as his earlier book “Thinking Fast and Slow”. Otherwise a person is likely to produce nonsense noise on matters because of biases keeping them from thoughtful slow consideration and learning.

    I also recommend reading “How Democracies Die” by Levitski and Ziblatt. They explain how institutions are important to democracy. But institutions need to be protected from corruption by harmful interests.

    Sustaining and improving the responsible and reasonable freedoms of all members of a society (what democracy aspires to achieve) requires responsible reasonable civil society members to effectively govern what happens to protect the institutions of the democracy from being captured and controlled, or being significantly influenced, by interests that conflict with learning to be less harmful and more helpful.

    The actions of the US SC regarding Chevron deference are just one of many examples of how the SC institution has been captured and controlled by interests that conflict with maintaining and improving democracy in the US. And that capture and control of the SC is the result of the US Republican Party failing to keep itself from being captured and controlled by harmful interests that conflict with learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others. And the US Democratic Party has also failed by allowing its leadership actions to be significant influenced by harmful interests in conflict with learning to be less harmful and more helpful.

    To be more pointed regarding climate change impacts, the harmful fossil fuel interests try to influence and control whatever political players are required to achieve their harmful interests (Tea Party, Joe Manchin...). They can be expected to take maximum advantage of the new SC decision regarding Chevron deference.

    So the reality is that the ‘SC institutional leg of the US democracy stool’ has been harmful captured by interests in conflict with maintaining and improving US ‘Democracy for all’. The SC was significantly compromised before. But now the SC is significantly controlled by bias against learning to be less harmful and more helpful. What institution(s) can counter and limit the harms done by decisions made by such a biased SC?

    BTW, regarding the following quote from TWFA @42,

    for example a Clean Air Act of 1850 to control draft animal farts is applied to CO 60 years later, whether the regulators should have the power to decide on their own

    Methane (CH4) from livestock is the concern (not CO). Also, the methane is in the burps, not farts, from animals like cows. Work animals commonly referred to as ‘draft animals’, like horses, do not digest their food in the same way as livestock. So, draft animals are not likely to be a methane generation problem. And a ‘general rule limiting sources of methane from human caused activity’ would not require legislators to spend time updating a detailed list of problematic methane sources that get identified by ‘experts in the matter’ (note that people wanting to benefit from harmful methane releases are unlikely to inform legislators of the harms their interests produce). And a ‘non-corrupted SC’ would be an effective check and balance institution to ensure that how the regulators identified and restricted harmful methane releases were reasonable.

  10. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Thank you for the entertainment, TWFA @52.

    Your mention of "draft animal farts" and the production of CO gas . . . is a [typo?] of Justice Gorsuch-ian expertise.   Asphyxiatingly funny ~ if you really meant CO2 gas.

    I shall abstain from a pun about horses, mules, asses, and "asphyxiation".   Also, TWFA, don't risk confusing H2S and H2O.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Dial it back. This is not constructive commentary.

  11. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @ 52:

    Of course, you are right that you have no obligation to answer questions posed to you. You also have no obligation to support any of the assertions you make. You have no obligation to provide a consistent position, nor any obligation to clarify unclear statements that you make. You have no obligation to connect your opinions to reality, or base them on any observable phenomena. You have no obligation to change your opinions when others point out the errors in your logic, or provide information that contradicts your opinions.

    And nobody else has any obligation to think that you have any constructive contribution to the discussion. Nobody else has any obligation to think that you really understand any of this, or that you have really given this any sort of comprehensive thought. Nobody else has any obligation to respect anything you say.

    ...and you finish with "it's about who has the final say over the regulators if their mandate is unclear", in spite of the fact that after many comments, you still won't actually explain who has "the final say" (clue: even with the Chevron deference, the courts always had the option to decide that the regulatory agency position was not reasonable) and you still won't say who you think should be regulating the regulators, and how that would work differently from the experts in the agencies in question.

    In other words, you are unwilling to explain or defend your position or elaborate on your opinion. You just keep re-asserting it, as if repetition is some form of discussion. But I knew that would be the case. It has been your MO since you started commenting here.

  12. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Monitoring compliance with road rules is a bit different from monitoring of profit-making business for compliance with industry regulation. Industry levies or fees are how that is normally done here. Traffic speed enforcement is widely believed to be "self-funding".

  13. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Actually Bob, don't hold your breath, this is not an inquisition, I owe no answers or fealty to you, and I don't fall for false "all or nothing" choices here or in life in general, such as that we either have taxpayer funded monitors or there would be none at all, or that if left unregulated all corporations and "most other people", or at least those who do not think as you do, are selfish, ignorant and bent upon self destruction, we were not Haiti or Nigeria prior to the growth of the regulatory state.

    We have taxpayer funded state police who monitor drivers for speeding, we don't require drivers to pay the salary of an officer sitting in the right seat, on the other hand we do have taxpayer funded "monitors" in orders of magnitude greater numbers per active airliner flight deck... both ultimately the result of the collective outome desired by the people, and with the third leg of the stool restored now a bit less subject to the will of the regulators or the government, and a bit more to the people, and that is good, in my opinion, because I believe the mojority of my fellow citizens ARE civilized and of good will.

    All of this bruhaha gets far from the original point... that if Congress is incomplete or unclear about something guiding legislation, or if times change, for example a Clean Air Act of 1850 to control draft animal farts is applied to CO 60 years later, whether the regulators should have the power to decide on their own, it is not about more or less regulation, or tyranny vs anarchy, it's about who has the final say over the regulators if their mandate is unclear.

  14. One Planet Only Forever at 09:26 AM on 15 July 2024
    2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    The following NPR article exposes an example of blatant promotion of misunderstanding:

    Biden faces criticism over his gas car ban. But he doesn’t have one.

    The following quote from the article includes a quote from the promoters

    The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade group with major fossil fuel members, announced multimillion ad buys this year spotlighting state and federal policies for new car production. The ads urge viewers in the key presidential and Senate swing states of Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Montana, Ohio and Texas to oppose Biden-era rules that improve fuel economy. AFPM’s ads claim, without evidence, that the rules ban gas vehicles.

    “We're not coming in in support of a candidate or an opposition of a candidate,” said Chet Thompson, AFPM President. “This is about informing people that this is happening and where they can go to get more information and to weigh in.”

    So they claim to not be political campaign marketing ... because they want all candidates to fear upsetting them (they may have been part of the group of misleading promoters who made Joe Manchin, a Democrat, so fearful he would vote like a New Age fearful Republican on fossil fuel matters).

  15. One Planet Only Forever at 08:46 AM on 15 July 2024
    2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    The Story of the Week’s focus is well summarized as:

    We believe this is helpful background information for making fully joined-up decisions in an important election year. After all, in general it's best to choose leaders who reliably can see and employ crisp facts rather than spout useless ideology when administering our affairs.

    Since ‘decision making’ is ‘making judgments’ the following are relevant quotes from Daniel Kahneman’s (an expert on the matter of human judgment) recent book “Noise – A Flaw in Human Judgment” (with Oliver Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein).

    Quote from Chapter 18 with my additions in ( )

    Judgments are less noisy and less biased when those who make them are well trained (in the subject matter of the judgment), are more intelligent (have fundamentally high levels of cognitive ability), and have the right cognitive style (are passionate about learning). In other words: good judgments depend on what you know, how well you think, and how you think (italics by the authors). Good judges tend to be experienced and smart, but they also tend to be actively open-minded and willing to learn from new information (new evidence and reasoning).

    Quote from Chapter 4 about Matters of Judgment

    ...A matter of judgment is one with some uncertainty about the answer and where we allow for the possibility that reasonable and competent people might disagree.
    But there is a limit to how much disagreement is admissible. Indeed, the word judgment is used mainly where people believe they should agree. Matters of judgment differ from matters of opinion or taste, in which unresolved differences are entirely acceptable.

    Based on that ‘hard to argue against understanding’ it is important for everyone who cares to be a reasonable responsible member of society to be interested in learning from experts to be less harmful and more helpful to others, appreciate that on many matters there are strict limits on diversity of acceptable judgments (no misunderstanding), and vote according to that constantly improving understanding.

    An example of diversity of options within the constraints of pursuing being less harmful and more helpful is structure design and construction (and related design codes). There are a diversity of materials, structural systems, and methods of construction that can meet a high level of safety and reliability requirements.

    All political groups could also have unique approaches ad corresponding judgments while adhering to the governing objective of constantly learning to be less harmful and more helpful.

    Important Note: Restricting a person’s ability to promote misunderstanding or limiting their ability to benefit more from more harmful actions is not ‘harming them’.

  16. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    In NZ, fishermen having to pay for observers has been a sore point with fishermen too, but franky they brought in on their own heads. Previous to this regime, the fishermen were allowed "self-regulation" and self-reporting on things like bycatch, sealions killed etc. When observers were trialled (at taxpayer expense), it was instantly obviously that the industry was cheating on a massive scale. A wild fishery is a common, and free-for-all exploitation is not a right. Overall, the fishing industry does want a sustainable fishery; the public do want critically-endangered species protected. The problem is that short-term profit is not served by either. If you want to make money on an enterprise, then it befalls on you to accept the costs that allow such an enterprise to happen in a way acceptable to society. The same applies to say diary farmers who do not have some imaginary right to destroy waterways for other users, nor to miners to offload costs of restoration and pollution onto taxpayers. if your business plan calls for below-minimum wages and/or ignoring worker safety, then you dont actually have a business plan.

  17. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    OPOF brings up a point I had also thought of - but not expressed - earlier. The Chevron decision had centered on the question of [quoting the OP] "whether the U.S. secretary of commerce could require commercial fishers to pay for onboard observers they were required to bring on some fishing voyages to collect catch data."

    As OPOF points out, if the fishers don't cover the costs, then all taxpayers cover the costs. TWFA was arguing that it is unfair for the fishers to have to pay for a regulatory system they did not set up (see his comment 3). I'm not sure what sort of solution TWFA would propose:

    • All taxpayers cover the costs - in which case people who had no involvement in creating the regulations, no involvement in the fishing industry, and perhaps live half way across the country are being unfairly asked to pay? This would be more unfair than asking the fishing industry to pay, methinks.
    • Have no observers - so the data isn't collected and the regulation of the industry can't function?
    • ...or, as has been suggested more than once by TWFA, we need someone to "regulate the regulators", so we have additional observers on board the ships to watch over the observers - at additional cost

    I'll probably see clarification from TWFA on his position about the same time I see him answering the questions I raised in comment 23.

  18. One Planet Only Forever at 04:02 AM on 15 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Regarding the following quote from TWFA @3,

    Not only that, you had no recourse when their regulations were written and enforced, theirs was the word of God and the courts and the people had no say other than public commentary for 30 days or whatever, typically ignored as the train has long left the station.

    I totally agree regarding anyone, especially an 'expert judge of a matter', declaring that their interpretation of something written is 'unchangeable. The Republican appointed members of the SC include people, particularly Justice Barrett, who believe they can 'like a god' accurately establish a rigid 'correct' interpretation of the US Constitution's wording.

    It is scarier that groups have been successful at pushing for the election of representatives who would 'properly' interpret religious wording (written long ago by men - no women involved back then - claiming it is the word of god) and make that 'firm belief' govern over other considerations that are actually based on improved understanding that are still open to improvement.

  19. One Planet Only Forever at 03:21 AM on 15 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    I will limit my comment to ‘the SC judgment regarding Chevron deference’ and ‘related applicable understanding regarding judgments’.

    TWFA’s @1 prompted me to consider making a response. I thoughtfully and reasonably revisited Daniel Kahneman’s (an expert on the matter of human judgment) recent book “Noise – A Flaw in Human Judgment” (with Oliver Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein). Kahnemans’s earlier book “Thinking Fast and Slow” is also relevant as it points out the flaws of System 1 ‘gut reaction, impulsive, instinctive (mediocre)’ decision making vs. the better System 2 slower process of thoughtful thinking).

    I have been following this discussion while working on developing a hopefully helpful contribution. Hopefully everyone is passionate about he pursuit of learning to make better judgments, with the understood objective being limiting harm done and helping those who needs assistance to live decent lives, including assistance with learning to be less harmful and more helpful.

    Regarding the SC ruling on Chevron deference

    Good governing judgment would have the people wanting to benefit from an activity that needs to be restricted to be sustainable and limit harm done (avoiding a Tragedy of the Commons result from too much freedom) pay for reasonable required monitoring of the activity. The alternative is ‘increasing taxation on everyone else’ to monitor the activity which is understandably less desirable (except for people wanting to benefit in less sustainable and more harmful ways desiring the avoidance of costs or other restrictions). If the legislators who wanted monitoring of the fishing operators had not wanted the monitored operations to pay for the monitoring they would have included a budget line item for the costs of monitoring. A lack of such a provision would lead a reasonable judge to decide that the legislators intent was to have the operators, and ultimately the consumers, pay for the monitoring. The ‘majority decision’ based on a simplistic interpretation of the written law can reasonably be judged to be an ‘Unreasonable and unjustly biased Judgment’.

    It is a tragedy for the future of humanity that humans can be easily impressed by bad judgments based on misunderstanding things, especially when they are competing for personal benefit and status relative to others. Poorly governed (inadequately limited – too much freedom) systems like capitalism tragically amplify the problem of popular misunderstanding, especially if there is freedom to promote misunderstanding to fool people and excuse understandably unacceptable beliefs and actions.

    A major problem, affecting more systems than capitalism, is the desires some humans will develop to evade the understandable objective of a written rule by strictly interpreting it as they wish and ignoring a rule they dislike (the rule breakers vs abiders of rules). That makes the making of written rules less effective than the constantly improved presentation of the objectives (based on learning from experts) that are to be thoughtfully used to evaluate what is being done.

    Related relevant points from Daniel Kahneman’s book “Noise”.

    Quote from Chapter 18 with my additions in ( )

    Judgments are less noisy and less biased when those who make them are well trained (in the subject matter of the judgment), are more intelligent (have fundamentally high levels of cognitive ability), and have the right cognitive style (are passionate about learning). In other words: good judgments depend on what you know, how well you think, and how you think (italics by the authors). Good judges tend to be experienced and smart, but they also tend to be actively open-minded and willing to learn from new information (new evidence and reasoning).

    Quote from Chapter 4 about Matters of Judgment

    ...A matter of judgment is one with some uncertainty about the answer and where we allow for the possibility that reasonable and competent people might disagree.
    But there is a limit to how much disagreement is admissible. Indeed, the word judgment is used mainly where people believe they should agree. Matters of judgment differ from matters of opinion or taste, in which unresolved differences are entirely acceptable.”

    If there are different resulting judgments it is expected that differing ‘good judges’ would learn through collective interaction and reduce the ‘noise’ in the collective judgment group. Bias would restrict the ability of the judges to reduce the noise. It only takes one judge being unreasonably (ideologically) biased to maintain (and potentially amplify) the noisiness, degree of variation among the differing judgments. And all the judges being ‘biased the same way’ would result in Bad Judgment without the appearance of noise (Authoritarian groups think this way).

    Other thoughts

    I would add that an essential governing criteria for good judgments is that the open-minded learning of ‘good judges’ be focused on being less harmful and more helpful to others.

    A last note: Believing that actual experts make poorer and more harmful judgments than the less informed and potentially seriously biased representatives collectively elected by ‘mediocre citizens’ is Absurd no matter how popular or common that non-sensible unreasonable belief is.

  20. Philippe Chantreau at 10:10 AM on 14 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Indeed. In fact, they are the same planes. Because of strict regulatory requirements on their maintenance, and good sturdy designs to start with, airplanes are very long lived machines. If you look up the tail numbers of the planes you flew, there is a pretty good chance you will see them still in service somehwere.

  21. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Sorry, Phillippe. Yes, I should have made it clearer in my comments 38/39 that you were summarizing TWFA's position, not expressing your own, when you wrote "Actor 2 should be punished". I think TWFA's irony meter is broken, though.

    "Blaming the regulator" when a regulated bad actor acts bad is not surprising. The "cut red tape" crowd frequently seem to argue "still too much red tape" when cutting red tape for private industry leads to Bad Things™. In my government experience, the politicians that are keen on cutting red tape for private industry also show little interest in cutting red tape within government itself. Instead, they put up more roadblocks and audits and processes that make things even less efficient. No price is too high when it comes to making sure that $100 was spent wisely!

    Your inside information on FAA processes is interesting, My PIC time is limited to Cessna 150/152 and Cessna 172 aircraft - although I also managed to get a very small amount of (uncredited) stick time on a Bell 47 one summer. It sounds like the low-end airplanes are not much different from the last time I was in one over 40 years ago.

  22. Philippe Chantreau at 08:55 AM on 14 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Bob at 39,

    Yes, although in all fairness punishing the regulator was TWFA's idea. What is supremely ironic is why they would get punished: doing exactly what libertarians advocate, i.e. lightening a government agency's role, oversight, regulating power, etc. Of course, when such steps lead to failure, then the regulator is blamed. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    I have been a pilot and flight instructor for close to 30 years. I have dealt with the FAA on a regular basis, for operations under part 141(approved pilot schools) and part 135 (on demand transportation). I have not dealt with them in part 121 operations (scheduled service, i.e. airlines). Overall, I have found inspectors to be competent and reasonable people, always ready to be accommodating when they see that they are dealing with honest and sincere aviators or mechanics. On some occasions, their decisions are puzzling (see the Trent Palmer case), but most of the time they are simply consistent with their role. They are very sensitive about some areas, one being air transportation of any kind offered for compensation. Just like I would not want to be in the shoes of a police officer in most situations they face, I do not envy the role of the FAA.

    About airplane technology having advanced far more than automobile over the past century, I would say yes and no. The immense majority of GA light airplane's engines are still running on magnetos. Fuel injection is not electronically controlled and mixture control is manually accomplished. Automobiles have used electronic ignition and injection for decades and their engines nowadays are in fact extremely reliable and efficient. Continental and Lycoming have this market pretty much covered. They do have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. Lycoming recently had drop in replacement electronic ignition units approved for certified engines. Rotax is making progress in the certified aircraft market. Perhaps it will help evolution, but they are confined to smaller planes. In the large piston engine segment, things are still stuck in the past. Compression engines (diesel) offer potential but retrofit are prohibitively expensive and their power to weight ratio is not as good as 100 Low Lead ICEs. Nonetheless, diesel presents the huge advantage of running on Jet-A and hopefully SAFs. 

    More sophisticated GA planes tend to be turbine powered. In that area, the P&W PT-6 is king, numbering more powerplants than all others combined. Although it has evolved, it is still fundamentally a late 50s early 60s design. The improvements have been realized in other areas: some aerodynamic, lots of electronics, electronic engine management, and of course GPS based electronic navigation and flight management systems.

  23. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @35. Your analysis of the regulation of pilots versus car drivers looks ok as far as it went. There are probably additional reasons pilots are so strictly regulated, tested and evaluated and more so than car drivers. Its just practical and cost efficient. Far smaller numbers of pilots than car drivers. Aircraft are used for trade in goods (often critically important goods) as well as transporting people so you just dont want aircraft falling out of the sky on a frequent basis. An aircraft crash can cause huge damage if it hits a city. Imagine if one hit a nuclear power plant.

    If we made car drivers all go through the same level of testing the costs would become onerous and they would rebel. Low income people would not be able to drive. Then you need complicated subsidies  for them. And would additional car driver training achieve much anyway? The problem with bad can drivers looks like an attitude thing where they dont pay attention and they take risks. You can identify and fire pilots who do that easily enough. Good luck trying to properly evaluate millions of car drivers for attitude. Its just not very practical to do and it would make it impossible for many millions of people to drive. 

    My point is the regulatory system ultimately reflects multiple factors and comes down to whats practical, and the extra level of regulation training and scrutiny of pilots does make sense. Having said this I do worry about the bad standard of peoples car driving and we should always look to how we can improve this in practical ways.

    Coming back to some other points. Despite the USA being highly regulated, based on your statement about tens of thousands of pages of regulations,  it hasn't stopped them being one of the most innovative, wealthy countries on the planet. There is a good argument that a strong regulatory framework has caused much of this innovation, by forcing companies to innovate meet the regulations. Plenty of studies on this if you google the issue.

    The people that fight regulations seem to be a noisy minority with vested interests. Bob Loblows and others concerns about regulatory capture are very valid and its astounding something isn't done to stop this. Of course theres a possibility of a bureaucratic governmnet organisation over regulating, but there are checks and balances because politicians have to decide whether a regulation is passed into law, and the public can vote in what politicians they want.

  24. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @ 41:

    Once again, you underestimate the ability of a small well-funded and vocal minority to enage in regulatory capture, against the wishes of the majority.

    In Canada, seat belt usage (as far as I remember) is much higher in jurisdictions with regulation, compared to other countries that don’t make it the law. Compliance? Persuasion? Hard to tell.

    And you contradict yourself again. On the one hand, you argue that things should only happen if the majority want it. On the other hand, you argue that the majority should not rule over the minority. "Enough people to clog the streets of Ottawa.." represented a very small minority trying to force their views on the majority. Heck, some of them even wanted the Governor General to remove the duly-elected Prime Minister and government, and replace them with a hand-picked group of extremists. Talk about "democracy".

    It seems that you want majority rule when the majority agrees with you, and you want "freedom" when the majority does not agree with you. Rule by TWFA.

    "...they would have the option of electing representatives..." is clearly not true in large regions of the United States. The districts are so gerrymandered, and the population so unwilling to consider voting for "the other party", that many, many seats are guaranteed wins for one party or the other. Voters that can't see past party devotion are not choosing on the basis of policy or principle. The only place any choice is exercised is at the party nomination stage, which is very expensive and often hijacked by rich special-interest groups. North Carolina has managed to get something like 60% of the seats with 40% of the vote. Majority rules, my @$$.

    But to get back to the OP, and the role of experts, when am I going to see answers to my questions in comment 23?

  25. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Bob Loblaw @40 :

    Yes, definitely a SNAFU at the SCOTUS level.

    Are you paying attention to reality, TWFA ?  Your own desires for a truly effective legal system would require the SCOTUS to be expanded to 100 Justices (or more) combined with a staff of 1,000 - 2,000 Law Clerk assistants . . . plus a similar number of scientific/technical assistants [are we allowed to call them "experts" ? ] .

    And that's just at the SCOTUS level.   Lower-level Federal Courts would require a comparable massive amount of support staff.   And then there's the State level.

    By Golly, TWFA . . . it may be dawning on you (when you trouble to think it through) that the Chevron Deference is a very sensible policy.  And saves the tax-payer a bigly-yuge lot of money.  As well as saving everyone a bigly-yuge amount of time.  By a lot  [to quote an eminent politician] .

    Come along, TWFA.  Get your act together.  You've presented a great jumble of confused & self-contradictory arguments . . . which are indeed entertaining . . . but only entertaining in the sense of a batsman who entertains the crowd by continually striking himself in the face, rather than striking the ball.

    Please, TWFA . . . Be Better  (if I may misquote the current wife of the same eminent politician).

    [ Or are you really hoping  (@41)  for a tyranny by a Libertarian minority . . . plus simultaneously by a Totalitarian minority ? ]

  26. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Bob,

    "And how do you know that this is the majority opinion of the public?"

    I know just as certainly as I do not know, but apparently it is, otherwise we would have more regulations and the public would be willing to comply with them. I would hope that if a majority of Canadians said "We demand seat belt compliance" or "We don't need no stinking seat belts" they would have the option of electing representatives to pass laws to enact or repeal such regulations in accordance with the collective will and judgement of the people they SERVE... you don't agree?

    People get the government and governance they deserve, if one group of provinces wishes to have power over another they need to make the case beyond "Majority rules!", tyranny of a majority is just as damaging to the social order as tyranny of a minority operating through the power and instrumentality of government. At some point when enough people can't fight city hall they bring torches and burn it down, or clog the streets of Ottawa with trucks...
    Canadian Harmony

  27. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Eclectic @33:

    Touche. I had heard about that SNAFU by Gorsuch.

    You'd think that a SCOTUS judge would be amongst the best and brightest of the country's judges. You know: someone that would demonstrate a higher skill level than the lay people have. The lay people where TWFA said "To assume that the lay people cannot grasp and distill complex areas of research..."

    To quote Sheldon Cooper "It's not an assumption."

  28. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Myself @ 38:

    I realize that Phillippe is actually talking about punishing the regulator, not the people that acted in bad faith. My comments in 38 apply to punishing Actor 1, not Actor 2.

    Punishing the regulator (Actor 2) has even less effect on the behaviour of Actor 1.

  29. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Phillippe @ 36: "TWFA: Actor 2 should be punished."

    ...and perhaps gets punished by fining them, thus reducing (but not eliminating) the profit they made from their actions? In such a case, it becomes a licence fee to continue the bad behaviour. To whit, the Ford Pinto exploding gas tank decision - it would be cheaper to pay of the burn victims than it would be to recall and fix the cars they'd sold (although it is debatable whether Ford Motors actually took this view - and in the end it cost them a lot more).

    Punishment after the fact only works in a world where fear of punishment acts a deterrent. In a world where people think they won't get caught (no inspectors, no regulators, no oversight), the risk of punishment has little effect.

  30. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @ 35:

    "...the public chooses to take on the bulk of that risk themselves knowing that operator error is overwhelmingly the greater threat and are not willing to pay for similar scrutiny of themselves and their fellow operators"

    And how do you know that this is the majority opinion of the public? Did you take a survey? Or is this the result of a small group of vocal opponents of any form of government control, who have managed to hijack the regulatory system and prevent sensible regulation of drivers that would save lives? The same people that want to ignore existing regulations, such as speed limits, traffic rules, DUI regulations, etc? The same ones that complain "why are the police pulling me over for an illegal left turn, instead of chasing real criminals? What makes them an 'expert' in evaluating my driving skills?".

    I remember the outcry from a minority of the population in Canada when provinces began enacting legislation requiring drivers (and children) to wear seat belts at all times. Instead, manufacturers were required to introduce more expensive passive restraint systems such as air bags. Just because the cry of "freedom!" meant some people were not willing to wear a seat belt.

    And you, TWFA - as a pilot - should know that seat belts are not just to reduce injuries in a crash. When an aircraft starts to move wildly, it is an important mechanism to keep the person in their seat. You know, the place the pilot or driver needs to be to maintain control over the aircraft or vehicle.

    When a driver loses control, the person they kill may be an innocent person in another vehicle or standing on the side of the road. The driver's decisions behind the wheel are not just personal decisions.

    I am still waiting for answers to the questions I asked in comment 23.

  31. Philippe Chantreau at 23:11 PM on 13 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    A summary of the situation:

    -Actor 1 (manufacturer): "We can save you a lot of time and manpower if you let us do most of the tedious work that you used to do in this certification thing, we know it well and are well equipped, we have done this type of thing many times before."

    -Actor 2 (FAA): Well, in order for us to allow that, you would have to respect certain conditions, follow a rigorous process, do the testing we would do, record and communicate all your results, and be completely transparent about all of it."

    -Actor 1: "Sure, you've got it, you can trust us."

    **** Reality **** Adverse events *** Scrutiny ***

    Conclusion: 

    Actor 2: "We acted in good faith but we were deceived."

    Actor 1: "Well, now that all the evidence is out, we can't really hide the fact that we acted in bad faith and were deceitful."

    TWFA: Actor 2 should be punished.

    Really? What would be a direct consequence of that? More regulation, more red tape, more power to government agencies, less flexibility for private actors, less trust between public and private actors, bigger government. Like Bob said, when high levels of integrity exists, there is no need for lawyers.

  32. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Phil, tombstone engineering has had much to do with the comparatively slower, at least from the public view, devlopment of aviation, however I would venture to say that in the past 117 years aircraft have advanced far more than automobiles by almost every measure despite stringent regulation.

    But the very stringent regulation in aviation is doubtless the result of far greater fear of flying among the public than driving, so the public has demanded and gotten the regulation they wish at a cost they feel is rational. If the cost of air travel suddenly became, say, three times as high because regulators on their own interpretation of their mandate decided to require the airlines to pay for thousands of FAA observers in all the cockpits, cabins and maintenance crews to make sure they are compliant, the 44% flying segment of the public would probably feel differently. They might want to know on what authority the government could take such action, the Chevron defense would doubtless not be persuasive and then you would have a battle over whether it was regulators run amuk or evil airline "corporations" with some warped desire to kill their own customers for the sake of profit.

    With autos you don't have the high visibility of dozens or hundreds of folks dying at a time due to operator or equipment faults, even though collectively and statistically far more do per passenger mile, almost 120 a day in the US, but the public chooses to take on the bulk of that risk themselves knowing that operator error is overwhelmingly the greater threat and are not willing to pay for similar scrutiny of themselves and their fellow operators, for example mandating annual driving and drug tests, or twice-annual physicals, eye tests and mandatory revocation of their privileges at age 65 just like ATP pilots.

    So instead they apparently prefer to make cars safer for unsafe drivers and pass the responsibility to the manufacturers who, for some inexplicable reason seem willing to take on more and more of that liability and doubtless even more regulation. For example self-driving cars, which should prove a bonanza for the legal profession when it is found that but for a few lines of code or a bit faster AI processing the car "would have or should have known" that a few seconds later the deceased child could have been chasing that soccer ball that had rolled across the road ahead.

    But that is grist for another mill...

  33. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @ 32:

    In your many comments on this thread, I can't think of a single one where you have given any clear indication of where you would actually accept the opinion of a government expert. You repeatedly choose wording that suggests that you want every single decision to be reviewed by someone who can "regulate the regulators". You continue to use inflammatory terms such as "regulation addicted". In terms of "selling your viewpoint", I see someone who hates "experts".

    In this latest comment, you have again said "it is better for the people to be able to regulate those who work for them". Yet again, you have utterly failed to present any sort of practical process where "the people" can be demonstrated to have the relevant knowledge and expertise to be able to regulate others. You have utterly failed to provide any sort of process by which that "regulation of the regulators" would work.

    Once again, I am still waiting for answers to the questions I asked in comment 23. If you need time to think about them, say so. Otherwise, I am likely to think that you either do not have answers, or you know that the answers weaken your position.

  34. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Re ~ we don't need no stinkin' experts ...

    Since the SCOTUS Justice Gorsuch has already gotten into this thread . . . I can mention that "Forbes"  has reported that in June 2024, Gorsuch handed down an EPA-related opinion where he [five times] confused nitrous oxide ("laughing gas" anesthetic) with the harmful pollutant forms of nitrogen oxide.

    Which is rather akin to a non-expert confusing cyanide paste and cyan paste.   Fortunately, an expert later pointed out the Justice's error, and the opinion received a correction.

    # Which raises the question :  Would things be best under a traditional (non-political) Common Law code ~ or under the 200-year-old Napoleonic Code ~ or under the imminent Trumpeonic Code (due perhaps in 2025) ?

    Even TWFA might be wise to have an up-to-date Passport, ready for 2025 (or 2029?) .

    .

    PhilippeC @26 :

    Thank you for your passing reference to General Aviation planes.  As a non-expert, I had innocently assumed that the very slow development/evolution of light planes had derived entirely from a desire to retain high reliability based on the continued use of proven designs.  And that the reliabilty was the prime aim of GA purchasers.

    Quite unlike the fashion-churn & innovation-for-its-own-sake approach seen in the bi-ennial "refreshes" made by car manufacturers . . . leading to the widespread & recurring bouts of mechanical unreliability & recalls which we enjoy.

  35. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Bob, for you to put words into my mouth and suggest that I believe all regulators are incompetent or corrupt is as absurd as if I were to suggest based upon your multiple and consistent examples cited that all corporations subject to regulation are big, evil and dishonest... you certainly don't think that, or do you?

    In starting and throughout this thread all I was saying is that overturning Chevron is not the end of the world for either the regulators or regulation addicted, and that it is better for the people to be able to regulate those who work for them than the other way around, if you have a problem with that, so be it, it will be churned into the collective wisdom of the people.

  36. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Phillippe @ 26: "In fact, "the price" that people pay is exactly the reason why regulations and their strict enforcement are very much needed in this particular area,"

    I have spent time dealing with government procurement of meteorological sensors. For larger contracts, a bidding system is required. Many people complain about the complexity of the bidding process, but one of the main reasons for that complexity is because you need to be very careful about all the specifications.

    Why? Because  you know that there are vendors that will lie and cheat and steal and be dishonest about their product in order to win the bid. And once they have a contract, they know the government will have to pay them - because the product "met the specs" - even if it turns out that the product is a piece of $#!^,

    Same thing with regulations. If you say "that factory cannot release waste water containing more than 1g/L of arsenic", they'll just add more water to the arsenic mix until is "passes". You need to specify absolute amounts that can be released, regardless of dilution levels, if the river's ecosystem if affected by the total, not the dilution.

    When high levels of integrity exist, nobody needs lawyers.

  37. Philippe Chantreau at 11:30 AM on 13 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA, you are making my point better than I could do myself.

  38. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @ 27:

    You're asking the wrong question. It should be:

    Who in the FAA was fired or lost their career because they argued that Boeing should not be allowed to self-police?

  39. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @ 25:

    Ah, yes. The good old "if they're such experts then why can't they explain it to morons?" argument. I'm sorry, but I've spent 45 years learning about climate, and I'm still not finished, and when I run into someone like you - that has steadfastly refused to learn much of anything during your time spent here at SkS - I don't think you have a good argument for "the average Josephine can always learn enough" to be able to deal with a lot of complex decisions.

    Court cases depend on the judge or jury deciding "which experts do I believe?", and that belief is not going to be related to the jurors learning enough science in a highly specialized area to be able to understand and analyze the science itself.

    In the U.S. a lot of time is spent is screening potential jurors to avoid people with obvious bias and inappropriate background. Lawyers are always in search of jurors that they think will actually listen to the evidence and be able to come to a logical conclusion. (Unless, of course, they have no case, at which point they want jurors they can bamboozle.) This takes much time and money. It is not an efficient process.

    Do you really think that hundreds - no, thousands - no, probably tens of thousands - of regulatory decisions can be made in a reasonable time frame by having a court case for every one? Trials should be the last place to try to decide anything of this sort. A functioning regulatory structure is needed so that most of these decisions can be made in a reasonable length of time.

    You said you were (maybe still are) a pilot. Do you really think that the decision of whether or not you should get a pilot's licence should be made by a jury? When I got my licence, I had to do a flight test with a qualified examiner. If I had not passed, I would not have expected to have the right to a jury trial, where the examiner presented his evidence, and I presented mine, and a jury made the decision.

    You keep ignoring the fact that the Chevron deference decision was not a dictum that the agency was always right. I quoted the OP in comment #9: "if Congress is silent or unclear, then the court should defer to the agency’s interpretation if it is reasonable".  If the agency's interpretation is unreasonable (in the court's view), the agency loses. The plaintiff opposing the agency has the opportunity to refute the agency's argument and try to show that it is unreasonable. The deference applies when the law is unclear, and the agency is considered to be "innocent until proven guilty". You, on the other hand, have clearly decided that the agency and it's experts are guilty, and no evidence will every get you to change your mind.

    Time will tell if the courts end up rejecting a huge number of agency regulatory decisions as a result of this Supreme Court decision. Rest assured that the people that can challenge things in court will be the rich industry people, not the small individuals. The power shift is not headed in your direction.

    I'm still waiting for answers to the questions I asked in comment 23.

  40. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Phil, who in the FAA was fired or lost their career or life for "allowing Boeing to fool them in the miserable 737Max fiasco"?

  41. Philippe Chantreau at 10:32 AM on 13 July 2024
    What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    I don't mean to dogpile, but I find the turn that this argument has taken quite intriguing, especially this bit about aircraft design, manufacturing and certification: "if an accident results from flawed design, manufacture or operational procedure only the private sector participants pay the price, the regulators who type, production and airworthiness certified the equipment pay no price." If this was the incentive structure, one has to wonder why title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations is so thick and contains such stringent rules about these subjects. In fact, "the price" that people pay is exactly the reason why regulations and their strict enforcement are very much needed in this particular area, a strange argument coming from someone who seems so opposed to the very idea of a regulator.
    It appears to be a swipe at the FAA for allowing Boeing to fool them in the miserable 737Max fiasco, and if so, it is the most underhanded turning of the world on its head that one could ever think of. It is the equivalent of the abuser telling the victim "look what you made me do!"

    The certification process for an aircraft is notoriously throrough, long, difficult, and has been an object of constant complaining from many "private" actors in the aviation industry for decades. Some have argued, rightfully in some cases, that it stifles innovative designs and slows down progress, although that is probably more true in the general aviation sector. Nonetheless, the level of safety that has been achieved by this industry is truly remarkable. It is owed in large part to the efforts of regulators and to the sincere cooperation between industry and regulator, at least back in the days when industry had principles. Everyone (outside of McDonnell Douglas) knew that these pesky regs have been bought by blood, and that they pay dividends in saved lives on the long run.

    Fast forward: Boeing realized they did not have a suitable airplane to compete with Airbus. Instead of designing one, they attempted to iterate yet another reincarnation of their 1960's worhorse. It is now well known that the short legs of "Fat Albert" (the 737's nickname) were a problem, that could only be adressed by potentially dangerous design compromises. They probably would have done better using he 757 as a basis, but that is another story. The solution was one from the modern world: flight envelope protection software. However, the essentially new flight characteristics would normally mandate crews to be retrained into a full new type rating, because of, you know, pesky regulations. The ubiquitous Airbus cockpit, consistent flight characteristics and control laws make it very easy for crews to transition from one airplane to another, requiring minimal expenses for transition. So, to get the same benefits, the software was made "silent" and the full extent of its scope and role was essentially hidden from the regulator. This was made easier because Boeing had prepared the terrain by convincing the FAA to let them do their own self certification of a lot of subparts of the process. Kinda like an airframe and powerplant mechanic doing all the tasks involved in an annual inspection and then having an Inspection Autorized A&P review the work and do a quick examination of the plane before signing the books. This can work, when high levels of integrity are maintained.

    For Boeing, this self policing did not work. That was clearly demonstrated in the years following type certification. Boeing took it as license to make bucks on the back of quality and safety, and that's exactly what they did. Incidentally, it led to more scrutiny and the full extent of the company's decay was revealed.

    So, indeed, a flawed design was allowed by the regulator to hit the market, because the regulator was convinced to let the designer self discipline. Faulting the FAA is like saying: "this is your fault because you should have known we were crooks, despite all the clever arguments we used to convince you we weren't." Hardly a case for less stringent regulations and enforcement.

    As for this bit "only the private sector participants pay the price." It really does not apply to all private participants. Dave Calhoun, as private a participant as there was in this sad story, presided over the final blows to a once exemplary and legendary aircraft maker, that was the envy of the World. He never put forth even the slightest attempt at changing direction. His price to pay? Walking away with 30 million dollars of severance, give or take (published umbers vary).

  42. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    DK_ID... great points, I should have expanded on the revolving door problem, like the FDA receiving 2/3 of its funding from the very companies it regulates, so for a variety of reasons we should not be making assumptions about the purity and infallibility of the regulatory state and deferring to judgement and edicts by default.

    To assume that the lay people cannot grasp and distill complex areas of research, or more importantly suggest that the experts in the fields are not smart or skilled enough to do so for them sells both the citizens and the experts short, one should not assume that those with knowledge incomprehensible to others also possess judgement superior to others.

    If true, why don't we just dispense with juries of our peers when it comes to complex criminal cases involving medical and forensic scientists and/or trained and experienced criminal investigators, all on the governemt payroll, with defense experts disallowed due to a Chevron deferral, and have a jury of prosecution experts issue the verdict and be done with it. It's the way they did it for decades behind the Iron Curtain, still alive and well in China, Singapore and elsewhere, think of all the lawyers we could put out of business.

  43. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    DK_ID @ 22 brings up some interesting points. Yes, I was aware that Neil Gorsuch is the son of of an EPA director with a questionable history.

    On the subject of EPA directors, James Inhofe passed away recently. In my local paper, the headline described him as "a prominent denier of human-generated climate change". (He has a DeSmog entry on that subject.) He was a politician, not an EPA director, but the obituary talks about his role in recommending one of his proteges - Scott Pruitt - as Director of the EPA under Trump. (Inhofe had described the EPA as "a Gestapo bureaucracy".) In short order, many of Inhofe's former staff members were working at the EPA, and working hard to dismantle many environmental protections that had been established over the years.

    Pruitt had previously built a career suing the federal government over environmental regulations. Pruitt eventually resigned over ethics controversies, but Inhofe lobbied to get Andrew Wheeler appointed to replace him. Wheeler was a former coal lobbyist.

    Regulatory capture at its best. Why lobby when politicians are willing to give you the keys to the castle?

  44. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Oh, my. TWFA has continued his baseless accusations that regulators bear no consequences for their decisions. In previous comments, he used phrases such as "presumed infallible", "word of God", "masterminds", etc.  Now he is adding phrases such as "love regulation",  "regulators's interest", "activists", "sacred scrolls", etc.

    And he continues to assert the falsehood that public servants can't be fired, etc. I've seen public servants get fired. I've seen public servants in temporary positions not be renewed (effectively ending their employment). I've seen people working for government on contract where contracts are not renewed. And I've seen government programs get cut. TWFA's use of "never" does not hold water. (I have also known more than one government employee to lose their life in work-related activities.)

    TWFA says he's "not against regulation in the public interest," and "I simply want to make sure we are regulating the regulators". Yet I see nothing in TWFA's posts to tell us how he thinks such "regulation of the regulators" would occur.

    • Regulators must, by law, perform regulatory actions as prescribed in the enacting legislation. If they don't, they can - and will - end up in court to defend that. They don't get to just "make stuff up".
    • TWFA mentions "FOIA requests to see what pharma reps have been meeting with which regulators".  This goes to Regulatory Capture - where regulations get crafted in favour of a particular interest group. To quote the Wikipedia page I link to: the regulator "is co-opted to serve the commercial, ideological, or political interests of a minor constituency, such as a particular geographic area, industry, profession, or ideological group".
      • Who does most of this co-opting? Private industry, politicians funded by private industry, etc. Exactly the kind of people that TWFA seems to think should be "regulating the regulators".
      • There are industry-funded think tanks in the US (and other countries) that invest much time in supporting sympathetic politicians, and will literally provide them with draft legislation or regulations that favour their industry supporters. These people are not acting "in the public interest".
      • Politicians can be accused of many the bad things TWFA accuses government experts of: only interested in their own careers, how to keep their political funding, how to derive the most personal financial benefit, etc.

    TWFA: you issue a challenge on "salesmanship". That works two ways: we are not buying what you are selling. If you want to sell your view, you might start with the following:

    • Since you seem to dismiss any government-employed "expert" as corrupt (due to lack of accountability, it seems), explain exactly how you would modify the process of hiring and using experts within a framework where government plays a role in regulation.
      • If your answer involves the legislative or judicial branches of government, explain how those branches will employ "experts" that are not subject to exactly the same problems that you see in executive branch "experts".
      • If your answer involves moving government completely out of the equation, explain how your alternative ensures regulation in the public interest, rather than just private self-interest.
    • When it comes to "regulating the regulators", please explain how the people that are doing the second stage of regulation will meet the following needs:
      • Develop suitable expertise to be able to act as experts capable of judging the actions of the first-stage regulators.
      • Avoid the pitfalls of 'unaccountable regulators" that you are convinced saturate the group of first-level regulators.
    • Explain whether you think that the people "regulating the regulators" also need to be regulated. And if so, by who (and how they'll be different from the previous stages - i.e. not corrupted the same way.) Try to not end up in a "Turtles all the way down" loop.

    Basically, what is needed is some form of regulation that can be carried out with a minimum of influence by small special-interest groups. And that independent regulator, for scientific questions, needs to have suitable expertise. Handing the "regulation" over to people without the necessary expertise is not a good solution.

    To tie back to the OP, the Chevron deference was a decision that said that when the agency provided a reasonable interpretation of vague or unclear legislation, the agency is the most likely place to find suitable expertise.

    I don't expect TWFA will actually make any attempt to answer any of those questions - but maybe he'll surprise me.

  45. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    In my humble opinion, the above comments, and the press about SCOTUS rulings are naive. Many congressmen have limited knowledge about technical issues. Industry lobbyists are happy to step in and explain issues and help write legislation. This follows the example set in Nixon’s administration of big-ag writing the annual Farm Bill.


    Also, the idea behind Chevron Deference falls apart if the federal agency becomes corrupted by industry representatives. Read Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA, written by a former EPA scientist

    As an aside, how many know that Neil Gorsuch is the son of Reagan’s EPA director, Anne Gorsuch? She bragged about not enforcing any environmental regulations. Neil was in high school when his mother was forced to resign.


    My suggestion---broaden your knowledge, Read Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein and research neo-conservative economics. Read Democracy in Chains, read Dark Money. Research Milton Freidman, James Buchannan, Charles Koch. Watch Inequality for All and Citizen Koch.

    This stuff is important. The founding fathers knew the benefit of educated citizens but it is so much easier to adopt what your buddy at the water cooler thinks.

  46. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @20 :

        On the contrary, your worldview is very relevant to the case (whether OT or OP . . . ? )

    Also, thank you for not describing me as a Nasty Woman +Man +Person +Camera +TV .   It is bigly appreciated !

    Is it not interesting that some people have a Round-Earther worldview, while others have a Flat-Earther worldview?  And you yourself would not be posting on this science-based website, unless you were wishing (at least partially )  to test and/or re-evaluate your current set of ideas.

    But, TWFA, your position is difficult for others to understand.

    I gather that you have some Libertarian leanings, since you favor doing nothing more than "persuading folks to do as wished on their own"  [unquote] . . . (e.g. the Ten Commandments are viewed as merely suggestions or voluntary guidelines, entirely optional.)

    At the same time, you have Totalitarian leanings, since you wish to have the Power of Law to deprive some regulators (presumably including Congressmen) of their job positions and pensions and benefits, let alone their their lives  [unquote].  And forcibly to be regulating the regulators  [unquote].

    TWFA, you seem to be all over the place, as well as self-contradicted.

    But perhaps I am misunderstanding the subtlety of your position.  (Possibly owing to my new moniker Dyslexic ~ although your joke would have been better if you had spelled it in the Greek Alphabet.)

    And yes, I would genuinely like to understand how you come to believe what you believe (and how you manage to justify it to yourself).  And no, I am not trying for salesmanship awards.

  47. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Dyslexic on his high horse @19, I do not believe the OT was about my world view, only about the effect of Chevron on the power of regulatory agencies, obviously I am glad it has been overturned for the reasons I have stated.

    You make a very good example for my point about the lack of salesmanship, you are free to hand down to we little people your sacred scrolls if you wish, I probably care as little about your world view as you do mine, if all you want to do is argue, go to the argument clinic.

  48. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    TWFA @18 :

    Bless your heart ~ it's unsurprising that you are used to criticism.

    But you haven't given a coherent description of your worldview.

    ~ That also, is unsurprising.

    .

    Please draw up a fresh sheet, and say how you would arrange things, given your druthers.

    I looked through your lengthy and slightly discursive screed (above) . . . but didn't see mention of sharks & boats with huge electric batteries ~ so I am happy to accept that you are not suffering from Fronto-Temporal Dementia.  So please feel free to express yourself, without fear of recrimination.

  49. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    I appreciate all the insults and vituperative assertions as to my ignorance and wickedness, not very persuasive, but I am used to it, actually amused.

    I understand that climate activists, like many others, generally love regulation because it is more efficient and easier to achieve their aims by lobbying for regulation than persuading folks to do as wished on their own... compulsion for their own good whether they know it or not. Persuasion requires far too much marketing and creativity outside their skill set to present the proper value proposition that closes the sale, skills like those of a successful capital equipment sales rep flying an ICE aircraft around the country as I was years ago... you know, the deplorables.

    It's not that I am against regulation in the public interest, the point I was making is that there is no accountability for regulators and the process is far from public... how many people have the means to file FOIA requests to see what pharma reps have been meeting with which regulators and go to court when such requests are routinely ignored?

    Pilots under the influence, fatigued, or who allow their equipment to fly race tracks in known ice while on autopilot and gossiping about the job, only to have the AP disengage and hand them an unflyable aircraft, or for 20 minutes descend in a full stall into the Atlantic while arguing over which law their fly-by-wire aircraft is operating under pay the same price as their charges.

    On the other hand if an accident results from flawed design, manufacture or operational procedure only the private sector participants pay the price, the regulators who type, production and airworthiness certified the equipment pay no price. They might get reassigned, but they never get fired and never lose their pensions and benefits, let alone their lives.

    Again, I am not against regulation in the public interest, but I am absolutely against regulation in the regulators' interests, and I simply want to make sure we are regulating the regulators, or at the very least have a means for protecting ourselves from the regulators, and that would be the other two branches of government.

  50. What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on their goals

    Bob Loblaw @14 :

    Thanks. More good points, to be sure.

    Marvellous, how Libertarians & Communists keep insisting on making the old mistakes over and over again.  But twas ever thus.

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