Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

30 April 2009

CO2 is a Pollutant?

The EPA has recently ruled that CO2 is a pollutant. The EPA is now busy making draconian regulations for limiting CO2 emissions due to human activities under the Clean Air Act. Is there any possible rational basis for this?

Aside from the fact that the maximum absorption frequency for infrared radiation is somewhat different for CO2 and water vapor, their activities as greenhouse gases are very similar. Of course, water vapor has an effect which is about 18 to 20 times greater, owing largely to its about 100 times greater concentration in the atmosphere and its ability to form a wider range of dimers, trimers, and other forms to absorb infrared radiation across a broader spectrum than does CO2. So, if CO2 is a pollutant because it is a greenhouse gas, then so is water. We should next expect to see the EPA drawing up restrictions on the human use of water which may add to the water vapor concentration in the atmosphere. I would assume that this will mean no more farm irrigation and no more watering of lawns as a start. The formation of more lakes and ponds by man must also be stopped.

Or perhaps it is a pollutant because it is toxic? Well, if it is, then humans and plant life are at war. For plants, CO2 is absolutely essential if they are to grow. The more CO2 they have, the more oxygen they transpire, which last I knew we humans and other animals need every bit as much as plants need CO2. In fact, before the EPA ruling, all rational minds agreed that plants and animals, including humans, needed one another very badly. Perhaps the EPA now knows better?

And what is the basis for holding that CO2 is toxic? If humans were deprived of oxygen because the CO2 totally crowded it out, maybe it could be regarded as toxic, but then so are nitrogen, argon, and even water, if that is the criteria. As noted above where would our oxygen come from anyway without CO2 as an essential plant input so plants can produce O2?

Scorecard, the pollution information site does not list carbon dioxide as a recognized health hazard. In the last 14,000 years or so, the CO2 concentration has increased greatly as a result of the oceans warming after the last major ice age. Is there any evidence that developmental, neurological, reproductive, or respiratory problems have greatly increased for man during that time and that they are attributable to the omnipresence of CO2 in our environment. How odd it would be if this ubiquitous chemical were harmful to man and yet his evolutionary biochemistry never adjusted to this fact! Or for those of you who do not believe in evolution, how odd that God overlooked this little issue.

The EPA has apparently decided that CO2 is toxic because if there were enough CO2 in the atmosphere, some awful poor computer models used in the 4th IPCC report have suggested that more of Greenland's ice might melt and there might be a 2 inch rise in sea level due to it. From such exaggerations, Al Gore has manufactured a much greater exaggeration of a 20 foot rise in sea level. This is apparently so scary to the EPA that they have ruled that CO2 is a pollutant in what is a very unique definition of a pollutant. So, a possible 2-inch rise in sea levels makes CO2 a pollutant, but does not make water a pollutant! Go figure.

This EPA ruling must clearly be considered absolutely one of the most irrational actions ever taken by an agency assigned to be a scientific watchdog over the health of Americans. There are many other highly irrational rulings by government agencies tasked with our safety ranging through:
  • Let's haphazardly store nuclear waste all over the country rather than in a well-researched ($7.7 billion), well-regarded Yucca Mountain facility.
  • Let's allow a resurgence of malaria, rather than allow the continued controlled use of DDT.
  • Let's avoid the political embarrassment of drug side-effects no matter how many lives might be saved in balance by some prescription drugs authorized by a patient's doctor.
  • Let's throw a few 100,000 people in jail for eons so they can be bored senseless and crime gangs can be well-funded, rather than allow citizens to become mellow occasionally on marijuana.
  • Let's use a large fraction of our farmland to produce ethanol from corn, so we can pay more for many foods and create no net energy and in no way reduce pollution.
I conclude that the EPA has taken the prize for the absolutely most irrational declaration of supposed science and economics ever. This absurdity has been brought on not by science and economics, but by an overwhelming lust for power. The extreme irrationality of the decision can only be reconciled with madness brought on by this lust for power. The result will be rulings massively aimed at undercutting our industrial, mobil, well-housed, and individual-choice society.

This is a clear message that America is now ruled by tyrants and they mean to rule as madmen.


cedrac said...

This is a great article! I never would have guessed that based off of this logic we could link water to C02. I posted a brief blog about your article on my blog as well. Very informative, thanks again!

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Thanks for the comment here and for the comment in your blog on this blog entry Cedrac.

The decision about which government foolishness is the all-time most irrational would be a difficult one requiring the consideration of many good candidate possibilities. But in the end, a very fundamental attack on the very possibility of human life on earth ought to be carefully considered for the award for most irrational government action.

I know of no current movement to declare oxygen a pollutant, but if CO2 is a pollutant and plants need it as badly as we need oxygen and we need plants for food and to produce oxygen, then declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant is effectively the same as declaring oxygen a pollutant. Because of the greenhouse gas similarity between CO2 and water, I concentrated on that connection, but one can also emphasize the CO2 and oxygen relationship.