Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Monday, April 02, 2007

EPA took the wrong position on global warming - and lost

The Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to regulate pollutants. Emissions of air pollutants such as lead, hydrocarbons, CFC's, and other chemicals is not only within the EPA's jurisdiction but is critical to correcting environmental mistakes that have occurred as we have grown as an industrial society.

Pollutants are chemicals that are byproducts or waste products of processes that are harmful to the environment in that they are poisonous to living creatures (including humans) or cause the destruction of the land, atmosphere or water. Webster's Online dictionary lists the definition of a pollutant as

Noun Waste matter that contaminates the water or air or soil
or more specifically,
Generally, any substance introduced into the environment that adversely affects the usefulness of a resource or the health of humans, animals, or ecosystems.. (references)

Physical, chemical or biological substance or factor that produces pollution, nuisance or a danger to health. Source: European Union. (references)
It is on this basis that the statement: "CO2 is not an air pollutant and should not be treated as one," is indeed factual and accurate.

The Bush administration's approach to the challenge posed by the state of Massachusetts was to proclaim that the EPA has no authority to regulate CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gasses. This was a poorly calculated error. Now the SCOTUS has, in a close decision, barged through the door that was left open by the administration. The court decided that the EPA does indeed have the authority as written in the Clean Air Act.

The administration should have argued that CO2 is not a pollutant and expounded on the reasons why. Arguing that CO2 is not within the authority of the EPA allowed the court to accept that CO2 is a pollutant.

Unfortunately, Webster's also lists a scientific definition of a pollutant as:
Strictly, too much of any substance in the wrong place or at the wrong time is a pollutant. More specifically, atmospheric pollution may be defined as the presence of substances in the atmosphere, resulting from man-made activities or from natural processes that cause adverse effects to human health, property, and the environment. (references)
This definition leaves open the ability for those who feel that global warming is man-made and is bad to claim that CO2 is the culprit and must be regulated as a pollutant.

CO2 is an essential trace gas in the atmosphere. There are several greenhouse gasses that contribute to trapping warmth within the atmosphere.

The vapor with the highest concentration is water with a concentration from 0.8% at freezing temperatures to over 3% during the summer.

Carbon dioxide has been measured at approximately 380 ppm (0.03%) . 1/100 th of the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide is the natural, desired, end product of all combustion reaction of organic materials when carried to completion. Basically, everything that burns - volcanoes, wood, paper, oil, gasoline, forests and grasslands - all contribute carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Normal respiration of air breathing animals causes the expulsion of carbon dioxide. Plants both on land and in the water absorb CO2 naturally to create oxygen via photosynthesis.

All regulated sources of pollutants can be controlled from point sources. Carbon dioxide cannot be controlled because the amount of natural sources are too many to count. Carbon dioxide does become a pollutant once it's concentration reaches around 5000 ppm (15 times higher than current values). The reason it is a pollutant at this concentration is because it becomes poisonous and dangerous to life. At 250 - 600 ppm is is essential for life.

The EPA and the Bush administration has committed a grievous error in allowing CO2 to be defined as a pollutant. The effects of this ruling will be far reaching and will have a detrimental impact on our lifestyle. Prices for cars, fuel, all goods that are transported, all transportation, essentially our entire economy will be stifled as unreasonable restrictions on a natural gas that we exhale will have to be controlled even while the effect of such control is unknown and expected to be negligible.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Blog @, Perri Nelson's Website, Mark My Words, The Random Yak, guerrilla radio, Adam's Blog, basil's blog, DragonLady's World, The Bullwinkle Blog, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Conservative Cat, Pursuing Holiness, LaTogaStrappata®, Rightlinx, third world county, stikNstein... has no mercy, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, Planck's Constant, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

NOAA West Atlantic & Caribbean Radar (courtesy of

NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of