EPA says greenhouse gases endanger human health

Dec 07, 2009 By DINA CAPPIELLO and H. JOSEF HEBERT , Associated Press Writer
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson makes announcement on climate during a news conference in Washington, Monday, Dec. 7, 2009. The EPA took a major step Monday toward regulating greenhouses gases, concluding that climate changing pollution threatens the public health and the environment. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency took a major step Monday toward regulating greenhouses gases, concluding that climate changing pollution threatens the public health and the environment.

The announcement came as the Obama administration looked to boost its arguments at an international climate conference that the United States is aggressively taking actions to combat global warming, even though Congress has yet to act on climate legislation. The conference opened Monday in Copenhagen.

The EPA said that the scientific evidence surrounding climate change clearly shows that greenhouse gases "threaten the public health and welfare of the American people" and that the pollutants - mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels - should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

"These long-overdue findings cement 2009's place in history as the year when the United States government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at news conference.

The action by the EPA, which has been anticipated for months, clearly was timed to add to the momentum toward some sort of agreement on climate change at the Copenhagen conference and try to push Congress to approve climate legislation.

"This is a clear message to Copenhagen of the Obama administration's commitments to address global climate change," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., lead author of a climate bill before the Senate. "The message to Congress is crystal clear: get moving."

Under a Supreme Court ruling, the so-called endangerment finding is needed before the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases released from automobiles, power plants, and factories under the federal Clean Air Act.

The EPA signaled last April that it was inclined to view heat-trapping pollution as a threat to public health and welfare and began to take public comments under a formal rulemaking. The action marked a reversal from the Bush administration, which had refused before leaving office to issue the finding, despite a conclusion by EPA scientists that it was warranted.

Business groups have strongly argued against tackling global warming through the Clean Air Act, saying it is less flexible and more costly than the cap-and-trade bill being considered before Congress. On Monday, some of those groups questioned the timing of the EPA's announcement, calling it political.

"The implications of today's action by EPA are far-reaching...individual Americans and consumers and businesses alike will be dramatically affected by this decision," said Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association. Drevna, in a statement, said "it is hardly the time to risk the remainder of the U.S. industrial sector in an attempt to achieve a short-term international public relations victory."

Any regulations are also likely to spawn lawsuits and lengthy legal fights.

The EPA and the White House have said regulations on greenhouse gases will not be imminent even after an endangerment finding, saying that the administration would prefer that Congress act to limit such pollution through an economy-wide cap on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Nevertheless, the EPA has begun the early stages of developing permit requirements on carbon dioxide pollution from large emitters such as power plants. The administration also has said it will set the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for automobiles and raise fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2016 to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The EPA's readiness to tackle climate change is expected to give a boost to U.S. arguments at the climate conference opening in Copenhagen this week, where the United States offer a provisional target to reduce greenhouse gases.

While the House has approved climate legislation that would cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and about 80 percent by mid-century, the Senate has yet to take up the measure amid strong Republican opposition and reluctance by some centrist Democrats.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., lead author of the Senate bill, has argued that if Congress doesn't act, the EPA will regulate greenhouse gas emissions. He has called EPA regulation a "blunt instrument" that would pose a bigger problem for industry than legislation crafted to mitigate some of the costs of shifting away from carbon emitting fossil fuels.

The way was opened for the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to cut climate-changing emissions by the Supreme Court in 2007, when the court declared that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are pollutants under the Act. But the court said the EPA must determine if these pollutants pose a danger to public health and welfare before it can regulate them.

Industry reacts to EPA climate ruling

(AP) -- Political, costly, and likely to choke off growth. That's how the energy industry and companies that use a lot of energy describe the Environmental Protection Agency's announcement Monday that greenhouse gas emissions are a danger and must be regulated.

Almost all energy and energy intense industries hope that Congress will step in with new climate laws, namely through a cap-and-trade system that limits greenhouse gas emissions while allowing companies to buy or sell emissions credits.

If not, companies say, jobs will be lost, an economic recovery will be hamstrung and everyone will pay more for energy.

Here's what some are saying about the EPA announcement:

---

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said EPA regulations could lead to "a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project."

"The devil will be in the details," Donohue said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents 3 million businesses and is dominated by small companies with 100 or fewer employees.

---

National Association of Manufacturers

Keith McCoy, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy, said an EPA regulation on its own would make energy more expensive and force manufacturers to cut jobs.

"Unemployment is hovering at 10 percent and many manufacturers are struggling to stay in business," McCoy said. "It is doubtful that the endangerment finding will achieve its stated goal, but it is certain to come at a huge cost to the economy."

The National Association of Manufacturers represents about 11,000 companies worldwide.

---

The American Petroleum Institute

The main lobbying group for oil and gas companies called the EPA announcement a political maneuver, burnishing President Obama's environmental record ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit. The Clean Air Act was not meant to regulate greenhouse gases, said API President Jack Gerard.

U.S. oil and natural gas companies spent $58 billion between 2000 and 2008 on technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Gerard said. That's "more than either the federal government or all other U.S.-based private industry combined," he said.

API represents oil and natural gas companies, which supply more than 60 percent of the nation's energy.

---

National Petrochemical & Refiners Association

President Charles T. Drevna also attacked the timing of the announcement, saying that the EPA based its decision on "selective science" that fails to account for the impact on the economy.

"It is hardly the time the risk the remainder of the U.S. industrial sector in an attempt to achieve a short-term international public relations victory," Drevna said in a statement.

NPRA represents nearly all U.S. refiners and petrochemical companies that supply filling stations with gasoline and their products make up everything from diapers to auto parts.

---

Edison Electric Institute

EEI says that Congressional climate legislation could achieve the same results without wreaking economic harm to industries and consumers. Congressional climate bills include a cap-and-trade system that would allow utilities to ease into the carbon market, buying carbon allowances to help meet emissions targets.

In pending House and Senate bills, "emissions cuts are made where they are the cheapest. That can't happen under the Clean Air Act," EEI spokesman Dan Riedinger said.

EEI represents power companies that provide the majority of the electricity generated in the U.S.

---

National Mining Association

The main lobbying group for mining companies hasn't stated a preference for EPA regulation or new federal laws that govern carbon emissions.

"There are clearly pitfalls with each approach, but we've never thought the Clean Air Act was well suited for a sweeping regulatory program that some envision," association spokesman Luke Popovich said.

Coal mining companies provide the primary energy source for powering America's electricity grid.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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defunctdiety
3.7 / 5 (9) Dec 07, 2009
it was inclined to view heat-trapping pollution as a threat to public health and welfare

They seem to be forgetting earth would be a blasted ball of ice if it weren't for green-house gases.

People, seriously, this is a complete raping of democracy and a very dangerous stance to take on a literally life giving aspect of our atmosphere.

Appropriate notice to the People of the Nation was not provided such that People who wanted to could provide comment. Who heard about this until the time was already elapsed?

I will be looking into avenues where YOU can contact appropriate checks and balances to let them know that You feel your rights were violated via this backdoor law-making. Check back for details. Please get the word out.

Hopefully we can get this repealed.

I feel like I'm going to be sick...

I can't believe this is happening.
defunctdiety
3.2 / 5 (9) Dec 07, 2009
Cathy Milbourn, Milbourn.cathy@epa.gov, 202-564-7849, 202-564-4355

A name, email addy and phone number related to the Press Release. Contact this woman, and let her know that you do not feel the Notice of Comment period was not significantly disseminated to the People for such an important issue, hopefully she HAS to give you the appropriate venue to file a complaint. I will be finding out more directly. Please stay tuned.

Cathy Milbourn is a media relations person, start by flooding her voicemail and email with your concerns. Again stay tuned for more direct means.
freethinking
2.8 / 5 (11) Dec 07, 2009
defunctdiety, we dont agree on a lot of issues, but on this one I agree. We need to hold those that lie, those that mislead accountable. Do you think we should start calling ABC, NBC, CNN and ask them why they're not covering climategate? If you have their contact information I'll call them as well.

BTW AGW believers, you are now a pollution source even as you sleep. If you didn't know, people who breath give off a large amount of C02. Even Polar Bears are pollution sources. To end the global warmthing threat... do we destroy all the polar bears?
defunctdiety
3 / 5 (6) Dec 07, 2009
Climate Change Division at (202) 343-9990

This is the EPA Climate Change Divisions phone number, the weasels don't provide an email, leave a message...

http://www.epa.go...tm#Smith

At the bottom of this page is a list of Regional EPA contacts for the Climate Change division, find out what Region you're in (there's a map) and you can contact the appropriate individual with your concerns as well.

Health Risk Assessments - petteway.latisha@epa.gov office 202-564-3191 cell 202-329-4271
Velanarris
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 07, 2009
Commenting so I can find the article and information when I get home;.
marjon
2.8 / 5 (9) Dec 07, 2009
EPA => Extreme Propaganda Agency

When did the Supreme Court become a scientific body?
defunctdiety
3.3 / 5 (7) Dec 07, 2009
I don't think there has ever been a more dire need for the People's voice to be heard, please contact your local media, senators, House representatives and/or governor. Whomever you can think of that might get your voice heard.

I cannot fathom how they can even pretend to have legitimately came up with this ruling. This is absurd... unreal...

Even the AGW proponents have to realize the ridiculousness and danger of precedence in this.

I may be getting a little dramatic here, but I wish I could cry, I feel like I should over the death of my Nation.

I really don't know if there's any hope anymore.
freethinking
2.5 / 5 (8) Dec 07, 2009
defunctdiety..... I agree AGW believers have the upper hand with the media in their pockets. But I am now a lot more hopefull than in the past. For years I have been called stupid, hateful, ignorate, childkiller, destroyer of the world, and even accused of getting money from the oil companies (I wish that one was true), but now the truth is out their for all to see. We just need to shout it out until the media has to report on it.

I always have hope, so should you, if you only have dispare you wont do anything..
sams
3 / 5 (4) Dec 08, 2009
"We just need to shout it out until the media has to report on it."

Or you could get it published in a science journal. Or perhaps not.
omatumr
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 08, 2009
What A Travesty!

a.) Plants are food for animals.

b.) CO2 is a waste product from animals.

c.) CO2 is food that plants use in photosynthesis for plant growth.

d.) That is the cycle of life for plants and animals.

The EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson knows these scientific facts, but she is obviously working for the same group that controls the UN's IPCC and uses Al Gore as a spokesperson.

What a travesty !

Oliver K. Manuel
Emeritus Professor of
Nuclear Chemistry and
Space Sciences
Former NASA PI for Apollo
and Chemistry
freethinking
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 08, 2009
Since it has been proved that AGW fanatics will not allow proper science to be published, is the reason very little true science is published.
Velanarris
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 08, 2009
Or you could get it published in a science journal. Or perhaps not.


Little difficult when the proponents of the legislation are colluding to prevent that.
sams
3 / 5 (8) Dec 08, 2009
"Little difficult when the proponents of the legislation are colluding to prevent that."

Really? You've tried have you? You can't expect sane people to believe that a couple of hundred countries have managed to put together some massive global conspiracy to make their climate scientists come up with an intricate and yet highly consistent set of bogus data and theories to pull the wool over the eyes of the public so that ... (and so on down the winding track of paranoiac conspiracy theories). Get your tin foil hat off, please.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (4) Dec 08, 2009
Get your tin foil hat off, please.


In one e-mail, as a response to an e-mail indicating that a paper in the scientific journal Climate Research had questioned assertions that the 20th century was abnormally warm, Michael Mann wrote:

"I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal."

Michael Mann, from his email, speaking in regards to "Climate Research" a research journal that published research that conflicted with Mann's assessment of global climate.

"If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted." -Tom Wigley

Mr. Wigley also wrote this once the editor was "removed" from his seat.

"The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/new editorial leadership there."
ricarguy
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 08, 2009
Person #1: "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
Person #2: "Better run and tell the king!"

Person #3: Oh crap, that WAS the king.
ricarguy
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 08, 2009
So here we have the EPA ruling on a new health hazard based solely on prediction and conjecture, with no empirical evidence supporting it whatsoever. No laboratory studies like with PCB's in rats, no thin, cracking egg shells like with DDT in "raptor" birds, no real, proven, cause and effect. With this, the Obama Administration does not need an act of Congress to push forward his ideology. This is a pure political power grab by the "enlightened" elite over the people.
I'm all for the idea of sustainability and conservation of resources, but so little of this makes real sense. So few realize that this is, in effect, a war on civilization.
freethinking
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 08, 2009
Is it now obvious that Communists, socialists hate people? They think humans are nothing but pollution.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 08, 2009
"Little difficult when the proponents of the legislation are colluding to prevent that."

Really? You've tried have you? You can't expect sane people to believe that a couple of hundred countries have managed to put together some massive global conspiracy to make their climate scientists come up with an intricate and yet highly consistent set of bogus data and theories to pull the wool over the eyes of the public so that ... (and so on down the winding track of paranoiac conspiracy theories). Get your tin foil hat off, please.


Check out climateaudit.org and discover how difficult it has been to get the source data from Science, Nature and Mann.
Also you will find the Wegman Roport the provides an independent statistical review of Mann's data. Mann is no statistician, and it shows. Wegman also documents how the climate research community is so small there is no independent peer review.
danman5000
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 08, 2009
Check out climateaudit.org and discover how difficult it has been to get the source data from Science, Nature and Mann.

I found that last part nicely poetic.

This move is very disturbing, and I agree with ricarguy above in that no good data has been presented and yet they go ahead and legislate anyway. Now that every animal on the planet is a certified pollution source, I wonder if they will justify hunting species to extinction as "curbing emissions."
marjon
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 08, 2009
Check out climateaudit.org and discover how difficult it has been to get the source data from Science, Nature and Mann.

I found that last part nicely poetic.

This move is very disturbing, and I agree with ricarguy above in that no good data has been presented and yet they go ahead and legislate anyway. Now that every animal on the planet is a certified pollution source, I wonder if they will justify hunting species to extinction as "curbing emissions."


How far away are we from death camps? The government now has two reasons, health care costs and CO2 to eliminate the population. (Recall that people said the Holocaust could NEVER happen.)
freethinking
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 08, 2009
Now for some AGW humor....

Its easier to get Gore to spout poetry than it is to get source data from AGW "scientists"

or...

Al Gores poetry is as bad as the "science" produced by AGW "scientists"
defunctdiety
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 08, 2009
I always have hope, so should you

There is of course still hope, but this was a grievous blow to a freer People, democracy and a free market. The precedent has been set, the danger "made official".

I sent out about 20 emails yesterday, zero responses coming up on 24 hours later.

The government has demonstrated it will act in absence of public support and in the presence of indirect and inconclusive evidence. They've probably had the ability for awhile but now we know they have the will to do whatever they want.

They don't serve the People anymore or even respect their right to file a complaint.

The only hope is massive public outcry, but with a populace that is too apathetic to even vote for President, the chances are slim that anything will change now.

We are pretty much stuck with an unlikely to rebound devaluing dollar, inevitable inflation from trillions of dollars created for bailouts and ineffective stimulus, and looming cost of living increase in carbon legislation.
freethinking
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 08, 2009
What I like about the US system of Government is that every 2 years, the president can be hamstrung by having the Senate and Congress change hands.

We need to work to get this President hamstrung. Tell the people about his lies, how anti science he is, and tell them to VOTE in November. Vote for people of integrity (of either party), people who are honest, who understand science and technology.
danman5000
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 08, 2009
The average male adult human takes on average 16 breaths per minute, his breath volume is around 500mL, 4% of each breath is composed of CO2, and his average life span (in the US) is 77.5 years. Using these figures, you can calculate that John Q. Public expels over 13 million liters of EPA-certified harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Grab your rifles gentlemen, it's time to curb some emissions.

Disclaimer: all numbers are from Wikipedia, are averages, and were put together with napkin math. Breath rate is especially highly variable - this was just a quick estimate. But I'm sure that won't stop the EPA from using it in their next ridiculous campaign.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Dec 09, 2009
Well I'm sure the healthcare bill will encourage people to exercise. That would raise their average breath rate and further pollute the planet. So we'll have to tax exercise as harmful to the environment.

Perhaps we can remove ventilators and other breathing aids as they further CO2 pollution.

"They tax the land, then they tax the sea, get your gun when they tax what you breathe."
PinkElephant
2 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2009
@Velanarris (and the rest of the comedy parade):

Time to learn the distinction between carbon that naturally CIRCULATES (i.e. the carbon cycle) -- everything you breathe out had been shortly before sequestered from the same atmosphere to which it returns -- from ADDITIONAL carbon that we dig/pump/squeeze out from underground and throw up into the atmosphere. Breathing doesn't add any extra CO2, no matter how hard or fast you exercise. Burning fossil fuels adds extra CO2. Got it? Fourth-grade Earth Science class dismissed.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2009
Hey PE,

Do us all a favor and hop off that high horse and take your own advise.

If you want to play games of scale and insist in natural vs man made, clearly delineate what you're talking about.

Cattle farming is considered a massive aspect of the AGW hypothesis due to their "natural" emissions.

The Earth's natural emissions aren't considered detrimental to the planet.

Now you want to delineate my breathing vs my sitting on the couch using electricity.

Your fourth-grade science class should probably realize that all that CO2 comming from fossil fuels was originally composed of trees which died over time millions of years ago, and that if we didn't dig them up and burn them, we'd eventually have all that CO2 come out in the form of volcanism anyway.

Up your game if you're going to be insulting because your above comment is ignorance personified.
PinkElephant
1.7 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2009
Cattle farming is considered a massive aspect of the AGW hypothesis due to their "natural" emissions.


Confusing CO2 with CH4? Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas (though it is much more short-lived in the atmosphere, due to UV-driven decomposition.)

...all that CO2 comming from fossil fuels was originally composed of trees which died over time millions of years ago, and that if we didn't dig them up and burn them, we'd eventually have all that CO2 come out in the form of volcanism anyway.


"Eventually" is not the same thing as "immediately". "Gradually" is not the same thing as "all at once". If you drink one glass of water a day for a year, you'll be fine. If you drank that amount of water in one day, you'd explode.

The carbon gradually emitted by volcanoes tends to be balanced out by carbon sequestered away (in sediments) over time. We are grossly distorting that long-term balance.
defunctdiety
5 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2009
The carbon gradually emitted by volcanoes tends to be balanced out by carbon sequestered away (in sediments) over time.

Provide citation.

This is one of those lovely assumed parts of AGW theory that they cannot quantify, ever.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2009
The carbon gradually emitted by volcanoes tends to be balanced out by carbon sequestered away (in sediments) over time.

Provide citation.

This is one of those lovely assumed parts of AGW theory that they cannot quantify, ever.


Eh? This isn't "AGW theory". This is standard Geology 101. Next, you'll be asking me to provide a citation for "2+2=4". Sorry, it's not my job to give you course material on this forum (and the 1000 word limit would make that rather difficult, anyway); you can obtain it for yourself by taking a class at the nearest community college.

But ok, here's one link to get you started:

http://en.wikiped...ine_snow
defunctdiety
3 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2009
This is standard Geology 101.

Ahhh, right. Shoulda figured. Like any AGW theorist, when asked for your data (even just a simple citation), just spout angrily that it's accepted and settled science, as if that will make it true.

Nevermind that if it's true it should be easy to prove and you should be happy to do so. Just repeat it over and over and it will eventually become true.

Your desperation is pathetic and your cluelessness laughable. I asked something very simple. Show me how and where this has been quantified or how it is estimated, you refuse to do either, therefore you are nothing more than a parrot. At least those who haven't figured it out by now, now know that they can disregard what you say out of hand.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2009
Nevermind that if it's true it should be easy to prove and you should be happy to do so.


It *is* easy to prove. Ask any geologist how they scout for oil and gas deposits. They will tell you that they look for areas where ancient seafloor subducted under the continent. I can't help you if you insist on remaining ignorant.
defunctdiety
5 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2009
Neither your link nor your inane anecdote of oil and gas exploration proves anything as to the veracity of your pointless assertion.

Your baffling premise was that carbon emissions released by volcanoes (do you mean all geologic processes?) is always roughly at equilibrium with (oceanic?) sedimentation (do you mean all natural carbon sequestration?).

To prove this you would have to quantify carbon released geologically and carbon sequestered through sedimentation directly, because there are other variable factors in the carbon cycle (such as organic life). And since we know atmospheric carbon varies drastically naturally, at least one of these interactions is never at equilibrium.

The very presence of fossil fuels tells us carbon is sequestered naturally much faster than it is released.

You made such an indefensible statement that it's hard to believe anyone would be stupid enough to try and assert it as true or even something they'd want to claim.

Care to take another shot?
PinkElephant
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2009
Your baffling premise was that carbon emissions released by volcanoes (do you mean all geologic processes?) is always roughly at equilibrium with (oceanic?) sedimentation (do you mean all natural carbon sequestration?).


Yes, "roughly" being the key word of course; it's never an *exact* equilibrium. (which would be why CO2 concentrations slowly vary on the time scale of millennia.)

The very presence of fossil fuels tells us carbon is sequestered naturally much faster than it is released.


If that were the case, then after a few billion years (our planet is 4.6 billion years old) there would be no carbon left in the atmosphere. Hopefully that alone is enough to convince you that your objections are rather inane.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2009
Nevermind that if it's true it should be easy to prove and you should be happy to do so.


It *is* easy to prove. Ask any geologist how they scout for oil and gas deposits. They will tell you that they look for areas where ancient seafloor subducted under the continent. I can't help you if you insist on remaining ignorant.

So that's how the earth creates oil. Biomass from the seafloor is cooked under the crust and boils up to replenish the oil wells.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Dec 14, 2009
More or less, marjon (and honestly, if you didn't even know something so basic, then what are you doing debating AGW and such?)

Unfortunately, the rate at which oil (and gas) deposits are replenished is far (like, several orders of magnitude) slower than the rate at which we're using it up even now -- never mind taking continuing worldwide growth into account. So it's a simple and inescapable geological fact that we *are* going to run out. And actually, by the figures, worldwide oil production is already at its highest peak: it will never go any higher (because even as new discoveries are made, in places and of quality that is ever harder to reach and extract, older more accessible fields yielding higher quality product continue to decline at a fast pace.) Meantime, global demand continues to escalate exponentially, and our entire economy dangles from that noose. That's Peak Oil in a nutshell.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2009
More or less, marjon (and honestly, if you didn't even know something so basic, then what are you doing debating AGW and such?)

Unfortunately, the rate at which oil (and gas) deposits are replenished is far (like, several orders of magnitude) slower than the rate at which we're using it up even now -- never mind taking continuing worldwide growth into account. So it's a simple and inescapable geological fact that we *are* going to run out. And actually, by the figures, worldwide oil production is already at its highest peak: it will never go any higher (because even as new discoveries are made, in places and of quality that is ever harder to reach and extract, older more accessible fields yielding higher quality product continue to decline at a fast pace.) Meantime, global demand continues to escalate exponentially, and our entire economy dangles from that noose. That's Peak Oil in a nutshell.


How does the price stay low?
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 15, 2009
If that were the case, then after a few billion years (our planet is 4.6 billion years old) there would be no carbon left in the atmosphere. Hopefully that alone is enough to convince you that your objections are rather inane.

Except for the fact we have carbon based oxygen respiration as the basis for animal life on the planet.

As for your inane comment on whether I can determine methane of CO2, what does methane break down into on short timescales in the atmosphere?

Oh right, CO2 and H2O. Just a little tip here, most people with even an inkling of knowledge in chemistry don't look for the effects of short term volatiles in the atmosphere due to the extremely low concentration and slow replenishment rate.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2009
Except for the fact we have carbon based oxygen respiration as the basis for animal life on the planet.


Haven't we already established that such processes do not ADD any carbon to the atmosphere? All the carbon that's 'respirated' back, originated in the atmosphere to begin with. So if sequestration chronically outpaced geological outgassing, we'd have no carbon left (and no biosphere, by implication.)

As for your inane comment on whether I can determine methane of CO2, what does methane break down into on short timescales in the atmosphere?


That CO2 (once again...) is the equivalent of CO2 previously captured from the atmosphere by plants (which the cattle then consume...) So no net greenhouse gain. Except CH4 -- brief though its life may be -- is a much more potent greenhouse gas, and if continuously replenished in large quantities, will enhance greenhouse effect on a continuing basis.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Dec 15, 2009
How does the price [of oil] stay low?


Does it? Do you remember what it did a year ago, when it went to $140/barrel, and everyone was predicting $200/barrel by year-end?

It is currently low (relatively speaking) because of currency deflation: massive amounts of debt turned out to be bogus, wiping out huge quantities of electronic money, thus removing liquidity from the overall system -- which in the end tends to lower the currency-expressed prices on everything (oil included.) However, note that while absolute price may be "low", relative price remains high (because everything else got cheaper, and people's earnings and credit dropped as well.)

Anyway, unless you expect a continuously ongoing economic crash and continuing deflation for the next several decades, this condition cannot be viewed as anything but transient.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2009
How does the price [of oil] stay low?


Does it? Do you remember what it did a year ago, when it went to $140/barrel, and everyone was predicting $200/barrel by year-end?

It is currently low (relatively speaking) because of currency deflation: massive amounts of debt turned out to be bogus, wiping out huge quantities of electronic money, thus removing liquidity from the overall system -- which in the end tends to lower the currency-expressed prices on everything (oil included.) However, note that while absolute price may be "low", relative price remains high (because everything else got cheaper, and people's earnings and credit dropped as well.)

Anyway, unless you expect a continuously ongoing economic crash and continuing deflation for the next several decades, this condition cannot be viewed as anything but transient.

It is called supply and demand.
What is wrong with falling prices or deflation? Money is worth more and things cost less. Win-win.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Dec 15, 2009
What is wrong with falling prices or deflation? Money is worth more and things cost less. Win-win.


Suppose you bought a very expensive item that you had to finance. You had $500,000 in debt. Suddenly, a year later your house is worth $200,000 less (so you're paying extra money for essentially nothing), and compared to your diminishing earnings, that 500,000 debt is suddenly unsupportable. It might've been 3x your household income before, but now it's 6x your household income... oops

Analogous problems arise for companies/businesses, except for them the problems are even more magnified because they tend to depend even more on leveraged financing and thus large debt-to-income ratios.

Also, in deflationary economy people spend a lot less on discretionary items, because they will be a lot cheaper just a bit later -- so consumption is suppressed, and consequently so is production.

So a you can see, deflation on the whole is a lose-lose. Just read up on Japan's "lost decad
PinkElephant
not rated yet Dec 15, 2009
sorry, duplicate post while trying to edit a preceding one (forum system malfunction?)

The last sentence got cut off due to 1000-character limit. It should've been:

Just read up on Japan's "lost decade".
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Dec 15, 2009
"deflation is not an act of destruction but rather the economy’s healing itself from the inflationary boom that has busted. That’s right; far from being disastrous, deflation is a sign that the economy is moving in the direction of recovery."
"when government authorities expand the amount of money, they also change the relationships between goods and factors, which means that we have relative changes in the values of things. Certain goods and factors during the early stages of an inflation-fed boom become more valuable relative to other things. (We saw this during the housing boom, when housing prices skyrocketed even though prices of other goods were not rising as quickly.)
"When the government tries to reflate the financial bubbles, as we see now, such actions actually prevent the recovery from occurring. "
http://fee.org/fe...economy/
BHO is already badgering banks to make more loans and start the inflation all over again.
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 16, 2009
It is called supply and demand.
What is wrong with falling prices or deflation? Money is worth more and things cost less. Win-win.

Because all your debt becomes worth more money as well.

Deflation is good if you have cash and no debt. Inflation is awesome if you have no cash and all debt.

We're certainly not in a state of deflation in America. Oil prices went down primarily due to South America's newly founded oil wells producing at record capacity.

Except CH4 -- brief though its life may be -- is a much more potent greenhouse gas, and if continuously replenished in large quantities, will enhance greenhouse effect on a continuing basis.
Yeah and that certainly wasn't formed by the digestion of grass, was it? You pick and choose what CO2 to count and what not to count. That's about as unscientific as you can get. Count it all or just get out of the conversation.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Dec 16, 2009
Except CH4 -- brief though its life may be -- is a much more potent greenhouse gas, and if continuously replenished in large quantities, will enhance greenhouse effect on a continuing basis.
Yeah and that certainly wasn't formed by the digestion of grass, was it? You pick and choose what CO2 to count and what not to count. That's about as unscientific as you can get. Count it all or just get out of the conversation.


CH4 is *more potent* than CO2. So if you take a given amount of C, and express it as CH4 instead of CO2 even temporarily, then you have achieved an enhancement of the greenhouse effect over that period. I don't see what's so hard to comprehend about this.

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