CO2, EPA, Politics, and all that

In a stunning act of political kowtowing, the EPA caved to special interest groups and politics and declared CO2 a “dangerous pollutant”, even though it is part of the natural cycle of life. Now the gloves come off and the real fight begins during the 60 day public comment period. If you’ve never stood up to “consensus” before, now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. See instructions below for submitting public comment. – Anthony

co2-dichotomy

Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act

Background

On April 2, 2007, in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act. The Court held that the Administrator must determine whether or not emissions of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare, or whether the science is too uncertain to make a reasoned decision. In making these decisions, the Administrator is required to follow the language of section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. The Supreme Court decision resulted from a petition for rulemaking under section 202(a) filed by more than a dozen environmental, renewable energy, and other organizations.

Action

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page.  See EPA’s PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

The Administrator signed a proposal with two distinct findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:

  • The Administrator is proposing to find that the current and projected concentrations of the mix of six key greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)—in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. This is referred to as the endangerment finding.
  • The Administrator is further proposing to find that the combined emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, and HFCs from new motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of these key greenhouse gases and hence to the threat of climate change. This is referred to as the cause or contribute finding.

Today’s proposed action, as well as any final action in the future, would not itself impose any requirements on industry or other entities. An endangerment finding under one provision of the Clean Air Act would not by itself automatically trigger regulation under the entire Act.

Proposed Finding

The Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act was signed on April 17, 2009, and will be published in the Federal Register and available in the Docket (www.regulations.gov) shortly under Docket ID No. [EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171].  A pre-publication copy is provided below.  While EPA has taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this Internet version of the document, it is not the official version.

Technical analyses developed in support of the Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act may be found here:

Submitting Comments on Proposed Finding

The public comment period is open for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. (Please note that official comments on the proposed finding cannot be submitted until the Federal Register publication).

Written Comments

Written comments on the proposed finding (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171) may be submitted by using the following instructions:

When providing comments, please submit them with reference to Docket ID No.  EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171.

Public Hearings

There will be two public hearings for this proposed finding.  EPA requests those who wish to attend or give public comments, to register on-line in advance of the hearing.  EPA will audio web stream both public hearings.  The meeting information pages will be updated with this information as it becomes available.

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Antonio San

Anthony you have to read this one from AP Seth Borenstein:
“SETH BORENSTEIN
The Associated Press
April 14, 2009 at 4:23 PM EDT
WASHINGTON — A new scientific study finds that the absolute worst of global warming can still be avoided if the entire world cuts emission of greenhouse gases the way U.S. President Barack Obama and Europe want.
A computer simulation by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado looks at what would happen by the end of the century if greenhouse gas levels were cut by 70 per cent.
The result: The world would still be a warmer world, but by about one degree Celsius instead of two degrees.
Arctic sea ice would shrink but not disappear, and sea level would rise less.
About half the temperature increases and changes in droughts and floods can be avoided compared to a scenario without emission cuts, according to the study, which will be published next week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Future heat waves would be 55 per cent less intense.
Thawing of permafrost in the far north would also be reduced.
The study is one of the first to use computer models to quantify how much of the effects global warming can be avoided, compared to a world if nothing is done about the problem.
While the study looked at what would happen with dramatic cuts in future pollution, history has shown that reductions are much easier to talk about than to make. The controversial 1997 Kyoto Protocol called for industrialized countries to cut emissions but since then levels worldwide have gone up 25 per cent. In the United States, where emissions are up six per cent in the last decade, Congress is fiercely arguing over a plan to reduce pollution.
“If we follow on the path that Obama has outlined of cutting emissions by 70 or 80 per cent and the rest of the world does it, then we can make a big difference on the climate by the end of the century,” climate scientist and study chief author Warren Washington told The Associated Press.
But if the United States and Europe cut back on carbon dioxide and China, India and other developing countries do not, then the world is heading toward a harsher hotter future, not the one the study shows, Mr. Washington said.
The study mapped areas that would benefit the most by emission cuts, comparing what would happen with less carbon dioxide pollution and what would happen if greenhouse gas continue to grow. The difference between the two scenarios is starkest for temperatures in Alaska and the mountain west, which would see temperatures rise a couple degrees less with emission cuts. Reduced carbon dioxide would also significantly lessen predicted future droughts on the Pacific coast and flooding in the Northeast.
Much of Europe, Russia, China and Australia would see the biggest temperature benefits from reductions in greenhouse gas pollution, while the Mediterranean, Caribbean and North Africa region would benefit the most in predicted changes in rainfall from less global warming.
If the world cuts back on fossil fuels, “it isn’t going to be as bad,” Mr. Washington said.”
So if they re-elect Obama for the next 20 years, we may even enjoy a glaciation…
And this gem: “Future heat waves would be 55 per cent less intense.” Guys not half, but 55- FIFTY FIVE-, all is in the extra 5%… LOL

tokyoboy

As a chemist having studied the molecular mechanism of photosynthesis for 30 years, I watched with much delight the fine collage at the article top. Let me please use this at a debate with AGWers to be held next Saturday.

REPLY:
Take my art, please. – Anthony

Cliff Huston

What, the number one greenhouse gas is left off the list?
REPLY: Water vapor, of course, but its a natural part of the earth’s environment and cycles, so regulating it would be just crazy, oh, wait….

David L. Hagen

Anthony
May I propose setting up a proforma post for each major section of the two documents:
* Pre-publication copy of the Administrator’s Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act
* Technical Support Document for the Proposed Findings
Then let readers post substantive references and comments to each of those sections. e.g. see
Nature Not Human Activity Rules the Climate
(Strongly recommend all readers cut the flak and focus on substance in these sections.)
Readers could then work together to write well documented responses to those sections citing the technical literature and data.
It would help to have links on the side to these posts to easily access them over the next 60 days while other posts continue.

David Segesta

It seems our government has become detached from reality (i.e insane!) This is reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984; “war is peace”, “freedom is slavery”, “ignorance is strength”.
In this case; lots of ice is no ice, cold is hot, a beneficial gas is dangerous, etc.

Ron de Haan
David L. Hagen
Craig Moore
Ron de Haan

tokyoboy (20:01:59) :
“As a chemist having studied the molecular mechanism of photosynthesis for 30 years, I watched with much delight the fine collage at the article top. Let me please use this at a debate with AGWers to be held next Saturday.
REPLY: Take my art, please. – Anthony”
tokyoboy:
For your information:
1. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/reprint/markey_barton_letter.html
2. http://www.ilovemucarbodioxide.com
3. http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2009/04/stop-epa-before-it-destroys-america.html

Dave Wendt

Obama announced his intention to do this back during the campaign, but I guess no one believed him, or they just didn’t realize how much more dangerous this is than even the worst cap and trade scheme. If this goes through, every proposal, plan, or action by any corporation, business, governmental unit, or even individual will become immediately subject to the extortionate legal predations of the ravaging hoards of the environmentalists lawyers. It will not take long for the entire economy to come to a screeching halt. We are already experiencing the litigation costs inflicted across the economy, in health care, development,equal opportunity, and other areas where the reach of the regulations is a minuscule fraction of that which these rules will provide. If this colossal folly is allowed to stand we will have reached a “Will the last one out please turn off the lights” moment. Unfortunately, these donkeys have such an advanced case of cranio-rectal inversion syndrome, that no amount of public outcry may dissuade them. But we had all better give it our best shot anyway, because, unlike the catastrophe fantasies of Algore and Hansen, our lives will really be on the line if this stands.

Imran

This is the mother of all political correctness gone completely mad ….
In fact I find the whole thing terribly sad … it just shows that we, the human race, have not travelled very far from the days when we locked up Gallileo for daring to state that the earth went around the sun.
It is beginning to remind me of some of the sci-fi books I used to read as a kid where futuristic society behaves in some ridiculous fashion – like not going outside because air would kill you …. under the management of some “Big Brother” government which just maintained the lie for no other reason than control.
The damage done to science and progress will last a generation and I just hope that the debacle of this issue from the first decade of the 21st century will be used as a learning and as an example about the dangers of political dogma gone crazy – it is the opposite of every good value we teach our children.
Anthony is right – now is the time to stand up and say “THIS IS NONSENSE”.

timetochooseagain

Pat Michaels has shredded the “Technical Support Document”:
http://cato.org/pubs/articles/michaels_ANPR_EPA.pdf

Ben Lawson

[snip – not interested in your opinions on lead, take it somewhere else – Anthony]

Let the games begin.
Folks, do not panic. This is only one more step in a process that will grind on until everyone thoroughly sick of it.
The EPA issued a proposed finding. Now they have to hold hearings, which should be quite droll. Once they have done that. and the comment period has closed. They must review the mountains of comments they will receive and the hundreds of hours of testimony they will have to transcribe. Then they must prepare findings. All of that will take months. The EPA will have have to propose a remedy. (I do not think that anything but automobiles is on the table here so cap and trade, and coal fired power plants will not be issues).
Then the litigation begins. I see at least two trips to SCOTUS. Of course, Congress could still act (your life, liberty and property are not safe).
The administration will discover that it is of two minds about most of these issues, being firmly converted to Gaia worship, but also having sunk or committed to a $Xe11 stake in the US auto industry. Try to figure out how to bail out that pup without sell SUVs.
Overall, I think that it is fairly safe to bet on a new ice age starting before this clusterf*** is resolved. Generations of lawyers will send their children to college, and fund their IRAs off of the litigations. Millions of trees will die needless deaths. And still nothing meaningful will have happened.
Make no mistake, the administration wants to use this development to push a “cap and trade” or carbon tax through congress, not to appease the Goddess, but to find a source of money to pay for their bailouts and for socialized medicine. I doubt that it will work for them in that way.

Gauntlet Dropped. Grass Roots need to add fertilizer.
I already sent a protest to the “EPA Chief Administrator” (Lisa Jackson) who spoke for the media stories. You can find her bio here on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_P._Jackson
My suggestion is that EVERYONE who reads this blog and disagrees with the IPCC conclusions (Al Gore, Hansen, et al)…needs to fill out the EPA public comment form without delay.
You can find Lisa’s email by typing her name in here: http://cfpub.epa.gov/locator/index.cfm
You would be surprised how these people actually takes your comments seriously. It’s how we recalled a governor in CA and beat down some votes in our legislature.
And President Obama says he wants to hear from you. You can write to him here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/ But be careful, and respectful. Once you hit SEND…you don’t want a visit from the FBI or Secret Service.
…and don’t be a Hansen or Joe Romm. Be *nice*: we are presenting science, not emotion.

Ohioholic

Time for a tea party, carbonated of course.

Ohioholic

As a matter of fact, if this goes through, civil disobedience is in order. Not the Hansen variety, the Henry David Thoreau variety.

P Folkens

Every student who passed high school biology knows at least the fundamentals of the carbon cycle, so there shouldn’t be any point in restating it here. However, the higher reaches of the government don’t seem to understand that if CO2 is a pollutant, then O2 must also be a pollutant. Hey gang: plants use CO2 from the air and sequester the C part in the form of, well, plants, and in the process, release the O2 part. Animals use the O2 from the air, eat the plants, and sequester the C part from the plants in the form of, well, a carbon-based animal and, in the process, release CO2 into the air or CH4 (methane, another one of the bad-ass gasses which produces more CO2 when burned in the presence of O2). When the animal dies, the C part is released again in the form of CO2 which is used by the plants . . . and so on infinitum.
This is getting aggravating!

[Don’t feed the trolls -Anthony]

This is an excellent opportunity to be heard by the EPA.
I want to share some thoughts about making public comments, as I attend many public hearings on various issues before agencies and commissions, listen to the comments, observe the commenters, and read many of the written comments that are submitted. I also make comments from time to time. I meet with various commissioners and members of public agencies, and get their views and feedback on comments and those who make the comments.
One of my public comments on California’s Global Warming law is here:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/lists/scopingpln08/1554-arb_letter_sowell_12-9-08.pdf
Comments are made in all forms and styles. Some are more effective than others. For those who want to view some comments on other issues, for style and content, please have a look at the link below. Some comments are one or two sentences, and others extend for several pages. Length does not matter, but content does.
For the most effect, it is a good idea to consider the following format for a comment:
Use letterhead. When the letter is complete, scan it and attach the digital file to your comment.
Identify yourself and / or your organization, describe what you do or your experience. It is a good idea to thank the EPA for the opportunity to make comments. (They like reading this, even though they are required by law to accept comments). If you work for an employer who does not support your view, it is important to state that your views are your own and do not represent anyone else.
Organize your comments into paragraphs.
Use a form letter only if you must. It is far more effective to write a comment using your own words.
However, if someone else’s comment states what you wanted to say, it is fine to write and refer to the earlier comment, by name and date, and state your agreement with what was written. The agency appreciates that, as it reduces the number of words they must read.
It is important to know that the agency staff reads the comments, categorizes them, and keeps a total of how many comments were made in each category. So, the number of comments do count. Encourage your friends to make comments, too.
Make your statement/point in the paragraph, refer to actual data where possible, and give the citation or link. Tell them why you hold your view. Try to maintain a positive, reasonable tone, and if criticizing the EPA, tread gently. Point out the inconsistencies of their view compared to other respected publications, or to accepted methodologies.
It is a good idea to describe how you are affected, or will be affected, by this proposed rule.
Close by thanking the EPA for considering your view.
Sign your name (comments get much more serious consideration when signed).
The link to public comments on U.S. government issues:
http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?css=0&&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&N=8099&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055&Ntt=comments&sid=120B596A7935

Ohioholic

Save the environment! Outlaw beans at once!

Robert Bateman

I wrote the President and Lisa Jackson.
Something tells me they are not listening.
Something tells me that the bus is going the wrong way on the freeway.
The only one who is against this in my neck of the woods in our Republican Congressman, Wally Herger.
In fact, I would say in this politically charged war on C02, you will be whistling in the wind writing to any Democrat. They buy AGW.
Find a Republican and write them instead.

Anthony,
Does UP EPA consider submissions from outside the US? If this goes through other pseudo green lobby groups are likely to use it as a precedent.

Pofarmer

But wait, it gets even better.
Vilsack names head of Environment and Climate
By Lisa M. Keefe on 4/17/2009
Handtmann, Inc
As the controversy over global warming — and meat production’s contributions to it — gains steam, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that an executive of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is appointed Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Environment and Climate.
In this position, Robert Bonnie, EDF’s Vice-President for Land Conservation and Wildlife, will help guide broad policy and program decisions with an emphasis on those concerning the nation’s natural resources and climate issues.
Bonnie is described as a leading national expert on the use of markets as a means to reward stewardship on farms, ranches and forest lands, including carbon crediting and conservation banking for endangered species.
“Robert Bonnie brings to USDA 14 years of experience at the Environmental Defense Fund where he worked to conserve natural resources and protect the climate on America’s farms, ranches and forest lands,” Vilsack said in a release.
“President Obama has been clear that two of his top goals for the department are related to the environment: expanding the capacity of our land, our farms, and our ranches to produce alternative forms of energy and fuel; and developing the research that will help agriculture transition away from its significant dependence on fossil fuels.
“Robert’s work on conservation incentives and markets, as well as conservation policy, will help guide USDA as we address some of the most challenging issues facing our nation’s future.”
A Harvard graduate, Bonnie holds a master’s degree in resource economics and forestry from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, Durham, N.C. He grew up on a farm in Kentucky and now lives in Virginia.
Yeah, radical enviromentalists within USDA. What could go wrong?

Jon Jewett

Why this call to action is important: In that respect this is not OT.
I am a history buff and have learned something about economics. This may sound ‘too basic and silly” but….
Money only has value because it represents “stuff”, i.e. goods and services. A special hand picked organic apple is sold for $1. Everyone agrees (except maybe me) that a perfect organic apple is the equivalent of a piece of paper that has a “$1” on it.
But suppose that one player in the economic game says that we have printed so many $1 that your $1 is no longer worth that perfect apple. Let’s imagine that player says that they will not take any more pieces of your paper i.e. loan you money or accept your money in trade. Should (heaven forbid) that idea catch on, soon nobody will believe that your paper has any value at all. Your paper (and everything denominated in your paper) will not only be worth less, but literally worthless.
See here from the UK Times, it talks about our biggest creditor:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/5160120/A-Copper-Standard-for-the-worlds-currency-system.html
Here are some examples as to why you should be concerned:
http://www.brazilbrazil.com/inflat.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Zimbabwe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic
The expected regulations will add a giant tax to the economy of this country. To pay for that tax (if the Chinese aren’t stupid enough to loan us the money) will require that the government print a gadzillion dollars. See what happened in the Weimar Republic, above.
I am at the age when I can no longer start over.
I am concerned-very concerned.
Regards,
Steamboat Jack

This needs to be addressed on 2 fronts…
Cap and Trade and the EPA Clean Air Act
Both most be stopped or this battle is lost, and maybe even the war. Do not kid yourselves into thinking the bloated bureaucracy of DC will hinder the EPA, the regulations are drafted and the funding for enforcement is in place courtesy of the Stimulus Bill providing a 50% increase in funding or 3.6 Billion per year for two years on top of the 7.2 Billion operating budget, what do you think that funding was for?
In either scenario the EPA will receive enforcement powers, and they intend to use them.
The Chamber of Commerce has been subverted already as have the Oil Companies and Steel Workers Union. Utilities have been green lighted to pass the costs to consumers thanks to Sen Boxer neutering the Thune Ammendment.
The units are all in place, the battlefield has been selected and the command to advance given.
Lets send the Administration to Copenhagen empty handed, which is their greatest fear on the International Stage, an embarrassed President communicating the real will of Americans to the world.

Dane skold

O/T
In a refreshing acknowledgment of the lack of predictive capability in AGW climate models, “scientists” hope that using cheap, error-prone computer hardware will introduce randomness into the models and thereby increase predictive accuracy. In other words, their super-computers are too accurate to produce reliably predictive results?
Why don’t they just engage 7th graders to do the math for them since they’re looking for computational errors?
“Cheap and noisy chips could improve climate predictions. As scientists fill out the picture of a future dramatically changed by global warming, the use of climate models is increasingly important. Simulations on cheap computer chips that produce results tainted with random noise could improve those models. New Scientist, England. 17 April 2009.”

Ben Lawson

Re: [snip – not interested in your opinions on lead, take it somewhere else – Anthony]
[snip again ~ charles the moderator this time. Seriously, if you want to contribute then contribute, but hurl insults somewhere else]

Matthew C. Wiatt

My post to the EPA and Whitehouse. Keep it clean, keep it science, keep them coming!
I am a retired Air Force member. I worked in Meteorological and Astro-Geophysical forecasting for 26 years.
The changes in temperature observed around the world are a result of variations in the Solar Cycle which in turn drive the oceanic oscillations. While the variation in solar output is only 0.1%, certain energy spectra are much more affected. These variations produce more or less cloud cover which cause increases or decreases in the amount of heat in the oceans. The oceans, covering nearly 75% of the earth’s surface are what set our planets climate.
While CO2 is a green house gas, its effect is miniscule compared to the solar forcing effects on our oceans. To say CO2 is causing the observed change in weather patterns is to suggest that a monkey jumping into a tree caused it to fall while ignoring the elephant pushing the tree over. The Solar cycle in the 20th Century was very active and produced the warming we have seen in the recent past. The Solar cycle has entered a much quieter phase and global temperatures as a result are declining.
CO2 is part of the natural environment and the earth knows how to recycle it in a myriad of ways without help from humans. To treat CO2 as some detrimental pollutant is to try and solve a non-issue. This will only distract scarce resources from real human problems.
Sincerely; Matthew C. Wiatt, USAF Retired.

timetochooseagain

Robert Bateman (21:20:13) : I’m no Dem, but there are “not now” Dems we could appeal to, and just trying to get the minority party to listen gets us nowhere. With even one R, the activists have cloture, and they’ve got ol’ John McCain in the bag. But if you say to the Dems “please don’t let them do this to us, please don’t do it to us yourself, not now, not when we are still hurting from the economy” you’ll find that in their high minded “empathy” they may have a hard time not listening.

theduke

Ohioholic (20:32:41) :
As a matter of fact, if this goes through, civil disobedience is in order. Not the Hansen variety, the Henry David Thoreau variety.
———————————————————–
Why wait until it “goes through?” This represents the most egregious attack on the rights and well-being of American citizens that I have witnessed in my lifetime. We need to be “taking (this) to the streets,” as the song says. Environmental authoritarianism, which is what this represents, is, or should be abhorrent to all Americans.
I read the list of authors and expert reviewers of this finding. The only name I recognized was Gavin Schmidt’s. I don’t recall ever voting for any of these people. I don’t believe they should have the power to change the very nature of constitutional government in this Republic. And let’s be clear: that is what they are intending to do.
Political power in the United States has always been and always should be subservient to the economic power, since it is the power of the economic system that pays for government and allows it to function. Does government regulate and provide stability? Yes, of course. But stability is dependent on the ability of people to act freely to create wealth and prosperity. What this finding does is give the government, in the name of speculative, unproven science, the power to strangle growth and economic dynamism.
In a Republican Congress, this kind of finding by the EPA would have been laughed at. In a Democrat Congress, anything is possible, given that Henry Waxman is in the pivotal position of power on these issues. I urge everyone to contact your Representative and express your outrage and disbelief at this assault on the fundamental economic rights of all Americans.

F. Ross

CO2 declared a “dangerous pollutant”!
This is a recipe to bring our republic, the greatest experiment in government ever created, to its knees … and if followed, means back to the dark ages for the USA.

Pofarmer

You folks can write all you want. But, I truly beleive this is a done deal. They’ll wait the 60 days then enact whatever regulations they’ve written. Simple as that. They don’t CARE what we think. Look at the bailouts, look at the stimulus bills, they were 100 to one or more calls and e-mails against and they got passed. Buy some warm clothes and a generator if you are in a cold climate. You’ll need them when the lights go out.

Eric Anderson

Agree with David Hagen and Roger Sowell.
A couple of additional points for those making comments to the EPA:
– The second proposed finding, namely that emissions from new motor vehicles contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of the 4 named greenhouse gases emitted by motor vehicles, is probably not worth spending a lot of energy on. To be sure, there are weaknesses in the EPA’s position, particularly in terms of whether “new motor vehicles” is to be understood as “additional” motor vehicles that will also be driven full tilt, or whether it is understood to mean “new” in the sense of replacing older motor vehicles (e.g., when I bought my new car last year, I stopped driving the old one). Nevertheless, this second proposed finding largely follows from the first proposed finding. Thus, the real meat of the discussion needs to be on the first proposed finding.
– The first proposed finding, namely that “greenhouse gases in the atmosphere endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations,” is where the real battle should lie. There are several potential attack points in this first proposed finding:
First, it appears that the EPA is claiming that the *current* concentrations threaten the public health and welfare of the *current* generation. The larger pre-publication document is less direct on this point than the summary sheet, but it appears that this is the EPA’s position. This is a significant weakness, as the evidence marshalled by the EPA in support of this position seems to consist only of blanket statements that recent events have been caused by climate change, coupled with concerns about “likely” projected future events. Further, the idea that *current* concentrations threaten the public health and welfare today is a significant departure from even most CAGW supporters, other than perhaps the most fanatical fringe, a la Hansen. Almost all CAGW alarm is directed at future possible events, and there are numerous public acknowledgements that it is impossible to link any particular current catastrophic event to climate change.
I have not researched the issue enough to be certain, but I believe the EPA’s claim that the current concentrations threaten public health and welfare here and now may be necessary in order to bring the matter under the EPA’s purview or at least under particular sections of the Clean Air Act. In other words, if the EPA were to conclude that some anticipated future concentration would constitute a threat to public health and welfare in the future, would the EPA still have the full slate of regulatory tools at its disposal? I suspect not, but if anyone can point us to chapter and verse, please do so.
In either case, the EPA’s position that the current concentrations are a threat here and now, is, in my estimation, the weakest chink in the EPA’s findings from an evidentiary standpoint.
Second, the EPA is specifically not seeking to regulate CO2 because it is directly harmful to humans. The EPA acknowledges that it is not, and that it is only through the secondary effects of climate change that the threat exists. I believe this is a significant departure from the EPA’s standard operating procedure, namely, that a specific pollutant can be shown to have a direct and demonstrable link to health and/or welfare. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know. If I am correct in my assessment, this represents perhaps the weakest legal link in the EPA’s position.
Third, and the part that jumps out at most people, is that there are dozens of statements of “fact” that are widely in dispute. These will hopefully be challenged one by one, but permit me to suggest that most individuals who provide comments to the EPA need not get bogged down in each and every one of these misstatements. I would recommend that if you have good evidence — particularly peer reviewed literature — to counter specific statements, then by all means present it. Otherwise, I believe the old adage “silence is better than a bad argument” should rule. For example, be wary of random links to graphs and charts on the Internet that are not well documented — you argument will be better served by not proffering questionable evidence. Commenters who do not have the time or expertise to challenge each of the EPA’s “factual” statements can still provide valuable input on the absurdity of regulating CO2, the failure of models to adequately predict current climate events, the fact that even if warming occurs, it will not necessarily be net detrimental, etc.
Fourth, the pre-publication document has a section on uncertainties. This section should be exploited by pointing out how the EPA has vastly understated the uncertainties in its findings, while vastly overstating its confidence in projections and models that have to date proven inadequate to the task.
– Finally, some have asked about water vapor. The full pre-publication findings do spend about 2 pages discussing water vapor, but solely for the purpose of explaining why it should not be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Specifically, the EPA states that “direct water vapor emissions from human activities have only a negligible effect on atmospheric concentrations of water vapor” and that “changes in water vapor concentrations are not an initial driver of climate change, but rather an effect of climate change which then acts as a positive feedback that further enhances warming.” This is not the most worthwhile area to spend time on in comments to the EPA, but there may be some value in a couple of brief, well-placed challenges to these statements.

Ray

Those politiciens are stuck in a Gorian loop. They keep recycling the untruth from Gore’s movie. God, stop voting those people in, please.

nvw

I agree with Fat Man (20:28:05) that the time before anything comes to pass will take years, however there is a simpler solution to the problem.
First, realize the reason CO2 was declared a “pollutant” was via the Supreme Court. If you thought the IPCC was a loosely credentialed scientific organization, what does that make the Supreme Court?
The Obama administration is floating a trial balloon by having the EPA start this process. The Administration agenda right now is to solve: financial crisis, health care, energy, Iraq, immigration, and on and on. The political reality is that not everything can be done. As soon as they meet serious resistance they will switch to a different topic. And they most certainly will meet resistance when the public realize that following the EPA down the path of CO2 = pollution is a one-way ticket to national poverty.
The best solution to the problem will be to force Congress to rewrite the Clear Air Act. Clearly written statutes from Congress will remove any possibility for the courts to make mischief with their interpretations. A Clean Air rewrite may be the first bipartisan bill of the current Congress, as Republicans and centrist/rust-belt/Blue Dog Democrats unite to support American economic and reform the environmental laws that have lead us to this current fiasco.
So by all means submit comments to the EPA, but I suggests a more fruitful approach would be to lobby your Representatives and Senators and demand a Clean Air Act rewrite now.

GK

This has become so political, that there is NO POINT in trying to argue this with science or facts. It`s fact global temperatures are cooling. It`s a fact sea ice is increasing. It`s a fact water vapor is not increasing as their models demand. It`s a fact all of the AGW climate models fail spectacularly. Considering this, do you think they will EVER acknowledge the truth ? Of course not. These people are not and have never been interested in the actual science. AGW is just a mechanism to spread and enfore the new socialist ideology of the “Western Socialist Left”.
The only way these con artists will come clean, is if they know that they will face criminal and financial charges for their mass fraud.
There needs to be a “movement” (political or not) that will proposed to charge these people with crimes such as treason, criminal fraud, etc. And not only criminal charges, but they will also be personally liable to pay financial compensation. I’m not talking about a “republican” movement, they arent much better (with few exceptions like Inhofe etc). This needs to be something like the current US “Tea Party” movement.
Outside of that, we are all wasting our time. If these people are prepared to ingore all the fact (temps cooling, sea ice increasing, no water vapor), then what`s the point pointing out more facts ? They will just continue to ingore it and lie so more. Why will more facts make a difference to frauds and liers?

MRCXS

Wait, there may be some hope yet. There is a techhnology known only to GWAs that deniers haven’t been told about yet. There are large tanks of this toxic CO2 gas in the storage rooms of hundreds of thousands of restaurants all over the world.
Somehow this gas known to cause serious harm to humans, as it travels through a special tube to a top secrete machine, is mixed whith certain chemicals and served as refeshinng drink.
In all seriousness, the health dept did come by and lable my CO2 tank as a toxic gas. If it sounds too incredible to be true check with the Riverside, Co CA health Dept as to how all CO2 tanks are labled.
How long before CCola is sued? My guess is that GWAs would rather not have attention drawn in that direction because the general public won’t go along with any regulation that messes with their fav soft drink.
Best to stick with endless studies on the contribution of cow farts to AGW. We haven’t gotten hooked on drinks made with those yet.

Troppo

Please correct me if I am wrong…but the picture on the left (behind the burning CO2) is of a power station and that is steam coming out from the stacks not smoke…yes I know this is favourite shot of the AGWers for its dramatic, but highly misleading, effect.

GK, you make some good points. However, the politicians and EPA under Obama do not listen and will not listen to anything but the AGWers. Al Gore, Hansen, and others have effectively made their song the only one on the radio (or IPod).
The AGWers have waited a very long time to get to this point in history, and they are not about to let anything stand in their way, not facts, not evidence, not credentials, not persuasive arguments made by eloquent speakers, not even record cold and snow. The AGWers have painted the picture so that everything that happens can be and is made to be a result of man-made GHGs. Very clever, these AGWers. No-lose situation for them.
Given all that, an outpouring of comments, well-written, and pointing to facts as Eric Anderson wrote above are still necessary to show the level of disagreement. Even then, the EPA will issue the proposed finding. This is not about the facts, and never has been.
One can only hope that entire industries write comments, with threats to shut down factories and lay off thousands (millions) of people should this CO2 regulation be passed. Americans out of work by the millions is about all a politician cares about. Out-of-work voters do not vote for the party that put them out of work.
We are seeing industries shutting down or moving out already in California, and Texas has made rumblings about shutting down refineries and chemical plants if their costs to operate increase due to carbon cap and trade. Shell in Australia made similar arguments a few weeks ago – said they would shut down the refinery (a major employer) and simply import gasoline and diesel and jet fuel. And that threat is real. Several major refineries either just started up, or are under construction around the world, so there is plenty of refining capacity.
Every industry that uses energy (and that includes EVERY industry) will be impacted, steel, aluminum, copper, electronics, textiles, aircraft, automobiles, refining, defense, lumber, every single employer will see their costs rise. Only import tariffs will keep America competitive, and those are generally forbidden by international agreements.
Once the manufacturing is gone overseas, all the other satellite industries are finished, too, such as finance, banking, and mortgage lending. With millions out of work, retail and entertainment collapse, and restaurants and coffee shops soon follow. Construction collapses too.
It is far cheaper for manufacturing to move overseas and ship the goods back to the U.S.A. Many millions will be out of work, as there are not enough hamburger joints in the U.S. for all of us to get a job sprinkling salt on the fries. People will resort to making their own baloney sandwiches again, like we did in the 1950’s.
And the ironic thing is, the Democrats and AGWers can always point to the economic crisis that started under George Bush, and blame it all on Bush. They will never accept any blame for CO2 caps causing any problems. Their economic models show that capping CO2 is good for the economy and increases employment. By the way, those economic models make the GCMs look great.
Still, we can and should write the comments. At least we can later point to the comments and say I Told You So. I’m drafting mine now.

Pete Stroud

I heard Obama promising this ridiculous change in the law during his campaign together with the promise to bankrupt the coal industry. My thoughts then were that he was only making these claims to win the environmentalists vote and would quietly forget all about such rubbish when elected. How wrong I was. As a UK citizen living under a socialist high spend, high tax government I sympathise with your plight.
You have a fight on your hands and I guess our idiot politicians will follow suit.

Richard111

It will require a police force larger than the military to police this.
How will they decide who is guilty of which emissions by how much?
Welcome to Brave New Worlds.

great blog, personally I fully support the EPAs stance.

PT

Isn’t the issue to focus on how and why CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas ? That this is absolutely paramount to the debate ?
On the one side we have temperature and ice recordings that are diverging from measured CO2 trends in the atmosphere. That’s good
On the other side we don’t have good enough models and explanations (both amoung scientists and for the layman?) to show that CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas. This is very important, no ?

John Edmondson

Does this mean a genuine debate? Can we submit to the EPA from the UK?

carlbrannen

Fatman is right that this will take years and before it’s done, we’re likely to see a planet sufficiently cold that the idiots will not be able to maintain the political power required to do anything really dangerous to the economy. Some lawyers will make money.
Having done my share of environmental permitting, I further believe that if they did declare CO2 a pollutant, the agencies would have to consider the cost of avoiding the pollutant, and that this cost would not be economic in almost all situations. Industry is required to use “best management practices (BMP)”, not “zero pollution”. Sure, it would be possible to use EPA to halt all (new) industrial development in the US but this is not going to happen.
An “air permit” is basically a legal agreement between a business and the government where the business gets to pollute in certain ways and amounts but not in other ways, and which, in return, the business is made immune to lawsuits over its pollution. See the EPA description of air permits.
Once you get a permit, all you have to do is stay within its limits. Then lawsuits on our pollution have to go to the permitting EPA office, not us. If the EPA system really were as extreme as a lot of people (who have never had to deal with it) believe, industry would have halted long ago in the United States. The permitting agencies are state agencies, not US government. In those states which desire industrial growth, permits are made easier because states are not that stupid; they know business knows how much time permits will take and avoid states with long permit delays.
I believe that this global warming stuff will have no effect on US industry even over the very long term and even if we weren’t diving into a cold spell. It’s basically grandstanding for the left wing voters who gave Obama all that money. He’s gone back on his other campaign promises, this is the only thing he’s doing. But the way this is going, it will have no real effect. Obama’s gig seems to be another politician simply after power, more like Clinton than a true believer.

john k

All these nice people trying to save the world and all I am doing is exhaling the foul substance 24/7 I feel so bad, maybe if they taxed breathing it would expiate my guilt. Can someone lend me a copy of Alice in wonderland or AiW2 the computer simulation?

Alan Chappell

Anthony,
as you have one million plus visitors here every month, of which the majority are concerned as to where the AGW movement are leading us, what would happen if even half of your visitors sent an email to the White House expressing there concern as to the direction this administration is heading? I think that if 500,000 emails arrived to the President on a particular subject even he, just might spend a few seconds to reflect.

jeez

Just so that there is no false rumors started. Anthony gets about about 1.5 million page views a month, not visitors. He gets about 120k visitors a month, about half are from the US. Just over 43% are regulars (visit more than once a month). These are not bad stats, but not as high as you stated.
jeez aka charles the moderator

PT (01:23:50) :
Isn’t the issue to focus on how and why CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas ? That this is absolutely paramount to the debate ?
On the one side we have temperature and ice recordings that are diverging from measured CO2 trends in the atmosphere. That’s good
On the other side we don’t have good enough models and explanations (both amoung scientists and for the layman?) to show that CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas. This is very important, no ?
– good point, surely it could be easily disproved if it is so untrue, why no papers disproving it yet? maybe there are political motivations but that wouldnt stop one of the posters here writing a paper proving once and for all that CO2 is an insignificant greenhouse gas one would think.

old construction worker

Well it’s official. The EPA has ruled (based on junk science) CO2 is DANGEROUS GAS and if Congress doesn’t regulate it, they will!
This a BIG BLUFF on the part Polosi/Obama and the EPA. The last thing Polosi/Obama and the EPA want is a lawsuit against the EPA and have the issue in front of the Supreme Court again. Science and the facts are not on their side. CO2 does not drive the climate.
Polosi/Obama and the EPA need this CO2 cap and trade Scam in order to pay for their over spending
We better start sending a clear massage to Congress
NO CO2 TAX/CAP AND TRADE
NO CO2 REGULATIONS.
CO2 TAX, The NEW TEA TAX!