CO2 emissions

Okay. I’ll be the one to ask, what do you all think about the recenet ruling that the EPA can regulate CO2 without needing a legislative standard to go by?

Personally, I think a dangersou precedent has been set. And I think the EPA will attempt to regulate ICEs out of existance.

Ok I’ll bite. CO2 should not be regulated by anybody. The amount of CO2 released by humans has nothing to do with the environment, it is a harmless gas.

I don’t know how people think that CO2 does nothing to harm the environment. I mean, we can’t keep pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and expect that nothing bad will happen. I like the ICE as much as the next guy, but there must be a time where the government steps up and forces automakers to bring alternative-fueled cars to market, and create the infrastructure necessary for them.

We can ignore the question about whether CO2 affects the environment. Why? Because the US is a tiny part of the problem going forward. India, China, and the rest of the developing world’s use of fossil fuels will swamp anything the EPA does in the US. Of course, their pointless actions could easily stunt the limited economic recovery, and put the US at a major disadvantage to the rest of the world.

After the U.N. “Scientists” got caught cooking the books, cap and trade is going to be a tough sell…

That’s a bunch of baloney. Firstly, they weren’t from the UN-- they were a private institute. That one lab had some iffy e-mails (out of the thousands and thousands stolen) is only going to discredit the enormous body of evidence for climate change among those who have already chosen to ignore it.

It’s true that Co2 isn’t a pollutant in the traditional sense, in that it’s not toxic in small concentrations, but it is absolutely true that it has an effect on the climate (and hence the environment). I don’t see any point in dickering about what is and isn’t a “pollutant”-- it is a substance that changes the environment in the quantities that are being introduced. If too much oxygen were being put into the atmosphere that would also be an environmental issue.

While I’ll agree that it’s not a traditional environmental issue, the EPA is the government agency that has the best apparatus in place to deal with these issues-- I don’t see how anyone could have a genuine objection to this on merely jurisdictional grounds. Suggesting that they’re going to ban cars or whatever is just a bunch of fearmongering by people who don’t want anything to be done period, and they would no doubt object to whatever agency or legislative body is doing it.

Even if that is true, it’s no reason for us not to take action.

And I agree with GreasyJack on the whole email hacking thing.

Governments worldwide have a very poor record, coming up with solutions that turn out to be worse than the problem. Europe mandated biodiesel, so guess what, the rainforests of Indonesia are being cut down to plant palm oil trees. The EPA could easily enact rules that result in shutting down US refineries and factories, moving jobs offshore with ZERO net reduction in greenhouse gasses. Quick answers to this very complex problem will in all likelyhood be wrong. Shoud emissions be reduced for CO2? Yes. Is cap and trade the best way, or even a good way to do it? Probably not. The governments (here and abroad) want to conceal the taxes through layers of complex regs, instead of enacting simple, but unpopular, taxes. Put $1 a gallon on gas, see what happens.

Biodiesel was only a very small part of European climate initiatives. Many European countries have had effective reductions in Co2 emissions through solar, wind, and nuclear and investment in public transportation.

I think that a legislative body is more likely to come up with an ineffective half blown plan. Having a government agency with a broad mandate that is at least quasi-non-political (obviously the EPA is beholden to presidential election cycles) is more likely to come up with effective action. I think the outsourcing of carbon emissions is a serious issue, so I do believe that action should be aimed at things like energy supply that can’t be effectively outsourced and the carbon impacts of imports should be taken into account.

I just don’t see why the EPA, which has the most related experience, wouldn’t be the agency to handle this. The only real alternative I’d see is making a separate agency (maybe a division of NOAA with regulatory power?), but I don’t really see the point.

I wouldn’t trust our government to pour pee out of a boot even if the boot had instructions on the heel…everything- and I do mean EVERYTHING that our government does is politically motivated. No matter which side of the political spectrum you find yourself, you should be honest enough to admit this much.

Here’s what makes me crazy about the current attempt to “fix” our climate-
The Earth has been around for untold millions of years before man came along. Ice core sampling and the fact that where I now live has ocean fossils in the ground tells any THINKING INDIVIDUAL that climate change has been going on forever. The Earth is constantly changing and going through hot and cold spells. Back in the 80’s, I remember National Geographic warning of the coming Ice Age…now they are beating the global warming drum. If they can’t make up their mind, what sort of faith should you have in what they say? Take off your blinders and think for yourself, for crying out loud! Don’t let anyone sell you on an idea that is so easily refuted. Al Gore isn’t fit to think for you unless you wish to have an idiot for a mentor…he is using you to make millions for himself off of potential cap and trade legislation. Always follow the money.
Now, let’s agree that the climate is changing…it is always changing. What gives anyone the right to insist that the current climate is the “correct” climate for the Earth??? What if I want a warmer climate like the Earth had before the last Ice Age? You want a colder climate which will require more energy to heat homes…I want a warmer climate that will require more energy to cool homes…Who is right? What person on this Earth has the wisdom to play God? Not Al Gore or Michael Moore.
It is a feel-good tax grab. The taxes collected will be used to buy more votes and to keep the filthy politicians in good favor with the idiots who keep electing them…it all makes me sick. America is dying and I don’t feel so good myself.
End of rant…

Ideas, invention, innovation, involvement, technologies, public and private will, and governance will produce and apply the solutions for inefficient and polluting machines and engines. There WILL be replacements for the inefficient internal combustion engine (I.C.E.). The replacements will be in DIFFERENT forms, from several different technologies. Mankind CAN save itself from its own pollution, if it has the will. Mankind is you, and me, and us, and them.

What I don’t get is. The earth has had ice ages in the past, but somehow was able to warm up by itself without the aid of mankind. It’s entirely possible, nay, entirely likely that the current change in climate is natural, and nothing we can do will stop it. Also, in the 1970’s wasn’t global cooling a big concern? And then there’s the issue of volcanoes. Supposedly every time a volcano erupts, it releases more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than mankind has been able to produce over the course of human history.

The idea that man is responsible for global warming seems implausible to me.

Don’t take my word for it, regarding costs/complexity/etc, here’s a NY Times article:

Short answer on costs? TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS!
That’s with a “T”, not a "B"
And I think there’s a very real chance it (cap and trade) won’t work.
Quite a gamble, if you ask me…

Unlike the pollutants that the EPA governs up until now, CO2 is the product of economic prosperity. There is a simple relationship between a country’s GNP and its CO2 emissions. Are tweaks possible? Sure. But major changes through unproven means ripe for corruption, cheating, and inefficiency? We’re playing with fire…

Well, wouldn’t the easiest way to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere simply be to plant more trees? Just fill all the major cities with trees in every available space, and let the trees do their part to clean up the CO2 that humans breathe out, and cars and trucks release from their tailpipes.

Oddly enough, if you add more trees to the major cities, the temperature will cool down a couple of degrees with all the extra shade.


The “scientists” were indeed from an obscure British University, but they had a high position on the U.N.'s Global warming committee…

Destroying the economies of The West so The East can develop unfettered makes no sense to me. When I hear someone in power bring up “Overpopulation” then I will listen…

Interesting posts so far. Europe already regulates the tailpipe CO2 emissions and so far it’s forcing car manufacturers to become extremely efficient and keep engine size and vehicle weight down. The result is very interesting cars from all manufacturers.

The US faces a worse problem (than climate change) in excessive petroleum imports as a result of wildly excessive consumption. California (pop 35 million) uses more gasoline than ANY COUNTRY ON EARTH, except the US, of course. Those countries include Germany with 90 million people, France with 50 million, Britain with 60 million, Japan with 100 million, Brazil with 190 million and so on.

The value of the US dollar and the general solvency of the whole country is in jeopardy due to this spending on imports, and enormous deficits by government. If every US driver drove a European size car, a very large part of the petroleum import bill would be eliminated, as well as many terrorist threats.

The fact that the EPA can now set tailpipe CO2 emissions without it being torpedoed by congress may finally force the use of smaller cars and reduce oil imports. On the whole the country will benefit and if most of the coal fired generating stations get converted to burn gas, the US will be a shining example of environmental compliance as well.

So, even if you don’t believe that global warming is an issue, forcing more energy-efficient cars on the road will greatly help the US economy. Car manufacturers are already preparing for this; next year we’ll have the Chevy Spark, Mazda 2, Ford Fiesta and the Fiat 500 from “Chrysler”, plus many more.

Okay, a couple of points here. First off, it is true that most carbon emissions are natural. However, it is an equilibrium process-- nature emits vast amounts of carbon dioxide, but it also removes vast amounts. If the rate of emission equals rate of removal, the Co2 concentration in the atmosphere remains stable. So it is true that man’s contribution is small, but it is the defining contribution that has moved the system out of equilibrium.

As for natural climatic changes, these have mostly been the result of very gradual processes (the changes in climate between ice ages and interglacials took millenia, not decades like the current climate change). Short term climate changes do indeed occur in the geologic record, but they are usually associated with events like meteor impacts or large outbreaks of volcanism (larger than anything seen in recorded history-- stuff like the Yellowstone supervolcano or flood basalts that cover hundreds of square miles). Since there hasn’t been any sort of cataclysm like that, the increase in human-caused carbon emissions is the only explanation.

As for the global cooling myth, give this a watch:

Basically, the idea of global cooling was always theoretical, not an observed trend, and the threat of global warming from industrial Co2 emissions has been recognized since the 1950’s at least, and was observed to be occurring by the late 1970’s. This isn’t a new concept, but the rate at which it is occurring is speeding up exponentially.

“Unlike the pollutants that the EPA governs up until now, CO2 is the product of economic prosperity.”

Nonsense. Industry has said the exact same thing about every other pollutant that has been threatened with regulation. I will admit that Co2 is much harder to reduce than other pollutants, but there’s no reason to think it’s impossible.

I never said it was impossible, just difficult, and I have great doubts about the chosen mechanism (cap and trade). It’s open to cheating, corruption, and requires a large new buracracy. I think there are better, cheaper, more effective ways to do this, but no politician wants to say ‘tax’.