The EPA and December 7th: A date that will live in infamy

CHICAGO, December 7, 2012 — December 7, 2009 is a date that will live in infamy. Not in memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but the day the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

The 52-page EPA Endangerment Finding can be summarized simply. The agency concluded that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases emitted by US industry and vehicles were causing dangerous global warming. The EPA stated that these gases “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” The agency relied on studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations, the U.S. Global Climate Research Program, and the National Research Council.

That ruling is bizarre. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is an invisible, odorless, harmless gas. Your body produces it and expells it with every breath you exhale. Green plants depend on it to make the sugars and starches we eat, the cellulose in our paper and our timber, and the oxygen we breath. It does not cause smoke or smog. The rising visible plumes from the smokestacks of a power plant are not CO2. That’s condensing water vapor. We can’t see carbon dioxide.

The EPA ruling failed to include nature’s most abundant greenhouse gas, water vapor. Scientists estimate that 75 percent to 90 percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect is due to water vapor and clouds. As any eighth-grade chemistry student learns, burning hydrocarbon fuel produces both carbon dioxide and water vapor. When natural gas (methane) is burned, two water vapor molecules are produced for each carbon dioxide molecule. Since water vapor is a greenhouse gas produced by human industry, the EPA should declare water a pollutant by its own logic.

Read more at The Washington Times. By Steve Goreham.

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