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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Don't Exhale: EPA Expected to Declare Carbon Dioxide a Dangerous Pollutant

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected in the next few weeks to declare that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are pollutants, a move that would require the federal government to regulate them. For those of you who slept through High School science class, people breath in air and breath out carbon dioxide. Lots of carbon dioxide. Human breathing is estimated to produce around 9% of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year. And now according to the EPA our breathing equals polluting.

It's not just people who breath/pollute. It's all animals - from those cute tap dancing penguins to the endangered pandas to the very fish in the sea. Has anyone calculated the carbon flipperprint of whales? Their lungs are huge. Just think of all the pollution coming out of their blow holes.

And let's not forget cows. They're doubly bad. Sure they give us milk and cheese and Big Yogurt. But in addition to breathing out carbon dioxide they emit methane from the other end too. Is the EPA going to ban cows to help save the planet?

What about insects? They may be small but there are a lot more of them than there are of us. Will the EPA regulate insects? By some calculations the CO2 exhaled from insects around the world is twice as much as the CO2 released from all human activity. Granted having the government rid us of mosquitos and black flies doesn't sound all that bad. Especially if it fights global warming. But do we have to eliminate lightening bugs and butterflies too?

And it's not just breathing that releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. What about the tens of billions of carbonated beverages Americans consume every year. To the EPA those fizzy bubbles in your soft drink, sparkling water, or adult malt beverage are dangerous greenhouse gasses that must be regulated. Somehow celebrating the founding of our country at a Fourth of July picnic just won't be the same if the EPA mandates flat soda and beer.
Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't exhale.

That advice may need heeding if the Environmental Protection Agency declares carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases dangerous pollutants, a move -- expected in the next couple weeks -- that would require the federal government to impose new rules limiting emissions.

But some skeptics say regulating carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, may be a difficult task, especially since people emit carbon dioxide with every breath.

"The EPA doesn't have the manpower to implement the regulations the way they would have to be," said David Kreutzer, senior policy analyst in energy economics and climate change at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Kreutzer said new regulations would trigger a flood of lawsuits, would create massive paperwork and the EPA should have no reasonable expectation that people would comply. (more)

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