A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the EPA is “unambiguously correct” in its assertion that industry and vehicle emissions are a danger to public health — one of the central tenets of their argument that they have ample justification for regulating greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act.

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit strenuously backed the EPA’s finding that the climate-altering emissions pose a danger to public health and welfare. It also upheld the agency’s early requirements for vehicles and new industrial plants while rejecting every challenge brought by a host of industry groups, states and other critics. …

“The court’s decision should put an end, once and for all, to any questions about the EPA’s legal authority to protect us from industrial carbon pollution through the Clean Air Act,” said former White House climate adviser Carol Browner, who is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. “This decision is a devastating blow to those who challenge the overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change and deny its impact on public health and welfare.”

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, White House regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) also registered their pleasure with the ruling. …

Climate skeptic Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) lamented: “This ‘big win’ for the Obama EPA is a huge loss for every American, especially those in the heartland states which rely on fossil fuel development and the affordable energy that comes with it.”

Le sigh. Whenever the EPA wins, we’ve all reasonably learned to expect that the economy, jobs, and energy prices are all going to necessarily suffer — the Obama administration’s arbitrary emissions standards don’t come cheap. Does this mean that once the EPA determines an emission poses any sort of a “danger” to the general welfare, they get to regulate it? How far are they going to be allowed to take that one? The independent federal agency isn’t exactly establishing a reputation for self-restraint (it seems to me that they’re making it their personal mission to persecute every type of affordable energy for having the audacity to not be wind and solar!).

And, sidenote: As far as the “overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change” — it looks like even the most zealous of environmentalists can find it in their hearts to step back and take a calm look at the facts behind the immediate and existential threat that is supposed to be man-made global warming.

James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his “Gaia” theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being “alarmist” about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too. …

However, the professor admitted in a telephone interview with msnbc.com that he now thinks he had been “extrapolating too far.” …

“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said.

“The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said.