Today's symbolic but politically crucial move by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes greenhouse gases as a danger for humans and Earth alike. That would open the doors for new regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, power plants and factories, according to the New York Times.
The EPA first announced its proposed finding on greenhouse gases in April, and is expected to make a finalizing announcement this afternoon. The Obama administration hopes that the EPA finding can prod Congress into passing legislation to control emissions, and will also demonstrate U.S. resolve at the United Nations climate change conference that began today in Copenhagen, Denmark.
An energy and climate bill remains locked by debate within the U.S. Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives barely passed the first legislative attempt to regulate carbon emissions this past summer.
Obama's administration has already reached a deal with automakers this past spring on including stricter tailpipe emissions and better fuel economy standards in new regulation efforts. The EPA also announced a proposed rule in late September that would focus regulation on 400 power plants that emit more than 25,000 tons of carbon emissions per year.
Both industry groups and the United States Chamber of Commerce have objected to the proposed regulations, and may launch lawsuits to challenge such actions.
Such steps point to the growing urgency within the U.S. and across the world to take action in addressing climate change. As if to emphasize the point at the start of the Copenhagen climate conference, 56 newspapers from around the world published a joint editorial today that urged world leaders to take steps that can limit rising temperatures.
"Kicking our carbon habit within a few short decades will require a feat of engineering and innovation to match anything in our history," says the joint editorial. "But whereas putting a man on the moon or splitting the atom were born of conflict and competition, the coming carbon race must be driven by a collaborative effort to achieve collective salvation."
Keep an eye on PopSci for updates from the ongoing Copenhagen conference, as we parse the implications for energy efficiency, greener technologies and the environment.
1,200 Limos and 400 planes travel to and around Copenhagen for this "green" initiative. Europe is not the place to get environmental information. Under Kyoto, Europe increased their carbon footprint. The US, meanwhile reduced their footprint. Maybe we should have a New York summit to discuss the reduction of our carbon footprint
So since the begining of time we have been breathing in poisen, since water vapor is a greenhouse gas. I got a great idea, how about the people at the EPA stop breathing!
So, 96% (arbitrary number) of life on earth is fueled by carbon dioxide. What a terrible evil thing. Let's tax it and make it expensive for everyone to breathe and drive. That'll get our economy boosted! No CO2 means more jobs! What a bunch of morons. It's like California exploded and and bits of hippy got into our politicians. And then they bred. Ugh.
I just freaking love it when the government tells me what to do! More regulations! Fascists...
If by "growing urgency" you mean growing more strident or more panicked, you're correct. But if you mean more people are becoming concerned about global warming, actually the opposite is happening. More people are realizing that there's nothing to worry about. The alarmists are growing more urgent to do something before even more people discover this great little secret.
It will be interesting to see how The Collective propose to "kick our carbon habit." If we manage to do so, we would be the first living organisms in the history of the planet to sidestep the carbon cycle...which will be quite an achievement.
It seems as though they didn't download the emails yet from East Anglia. Prepare for taxation my fellow heathens.
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
Jeremy and POPSCI, it is about time you read your comments, and see that people don't want your propaganda. We will science, not pseudo science. It is best you give the market what it wants, or it will put you out of business just like it has others.
We will science is suppose to be we want science.
It amuses me when people will post quotes from Orwell in response to an article about environmental regulation, but don't seem so inclined to comment in alarm on articles about monitoring citizens' telephone calls or tracking their internet habits (or perhaps, the ethics of hacking e-mail accounts, though I don't guess most of you have a problem with that in at least one particular case, right?), wasting billions on missile "defense," or developing other technologies that demonstrably will decrease freedom and help authoritarian regimes. Speaking of authoritarian regimes, most of the posters here seem to be on the same page as the Saudi representative at Copenhagen today, insisting that the entire science of human influence on climate change itself had been called into question by the notorious e-mail incident. But of course Saudi Arabia is altruistically looking out only for the best interests of the rest of the world, and not it's own obscenely concentrated oil wealth. Good company to keep, huh? I'm not holding out a lot of hope for Copenhagen, but at least some steps are being taken in the U.S. and abroad to address a problem that blind denial won't cause to go away.
Mike_R have you ever even read any of the comments on any of the story types you listed that you say people don't complain about? People have ripped up all of those things into little pieces and spit them out. Most of the people here seem to have a very strong independent streak and aren't afraid to say so.
You seem to have a strong belief but I've never heard any backing for your beliefs. Every comment I've seen from you has been a litany of accusations and complaints but nothing else.
I've tried to explain my position as clearly as I'm able, please can you?
This email scandal seems to be conveniently close to these Copenhagen climate talks. I fear this is just a fabricated way for oil lobbyist to continue generating enormous amounts of wealth for themselves unhindered by global warming. Which in itself completely demotes scientific progress.
It amuses me that Mike R and vaddix are in denial about what these emails really say. Not only did these leading climate 'scientists' use fraudulent statistical techniques in deriving their infamous "Hockey Stick" graph, which has been the underpinning evidence the IPCC uses for the claim of man-made global warming, but these same climate 'scientists' destroyed the raw data used to create the graph. They also colluded to deny legitimate scientific criticism of global warming from getting a fair hearing by strong arming editors into blackballing these critics. As well, they colluded with the IPCC itself in covering up the caveats and the uncertainty in the whole global warming theory.
Anthropogenic Global Warming is a scam.
Oh, and as for the EPA and the idea that CO2 is a pollution... The same CO2 we exhale and the same CO2 needed by plants for photosynthesis. How moronic. That's like if plant life declared oxygen a pollutant.
It's simple, really. Before all the carbon was put into coal deposits and oil reserves, it was in the atmosphere. And we had 3-ft long dragonflies and the largest mammal could fit in your palm. Hey, any guesses what happens when we put all that carbon back? In the mean time let's just hand the monopoly on clean renewable energy (where this whole thing is heading, in the end anyway) over to the Germans, Spanish, Danish, and Chinese! Let's keep mailing checks to Osama's best friends in Saudi Arabia! And let's call anybody who says we should do otherwise a FASCIST!
Fascism is government based on doing what is popular instead of what needs to be done for future generations. And for what, $100 per year in taxes? Your lack of common sense and foresight makes George Washington roll in his grave.
Oh, yes. CO2 is good for you. Good for the planet. Just walk into a room filled with 100% CO2 and take a deep breath.
Of course our atmosphere is not going to go that far, but it does illustrate how normally harmless gasses or chemicals can become harmful when their levels get too far out of balance with everything else in the environment.
Don't believe that humans could have that big an effect on the planet? Microbes can. They created most of the oxygen in our atmosphere back when the Earth was young. Surely 6 billion people with a lot of technology can have as big an impact as a bunch of microbes.
EParker and HBillyRufus both presented specious arguments.
No one is arguing that new technologies NOT be developed, but one thing for certain, there is less of a chance of developing those new technologies if a large percentage of our wealth is being transferred to the Third World via some inane cap and trade scheme.
Fascism is not government based on doing what's popular instead of what is necessary. That's a plain old democracy, but fascist governments often do what they think are necessary when it's contrary to what's popular.
Oh, and CO2 is still a trace gas that is only 0.04% of the atmosphere.
Fascism is government based on doing what is popular instead of what needs to be done for future generations. And for what, $100 per year in taxes? Your lack of common sense and foresight makes George Washington roll in his grave.
Wow. I'm not sure what to say about this ignorance. You really believe that what they want to do is only going to cost "100 dollars a year"? Since you want something done so bad how about you double your share, and I'll keep my share. If they can't even predict next weeks weather with great accuracy, then what the fonk makes you think they can predict what weather is going to be like in 50-100 years?
Also, you do realize that we wouldn't be here without "Greenhouse gases" right? We have to have something to trap radiation so this planet can support life. Lastly, if we didn't emit CO2, then we would have NO plants. If we had no plants then nothing would exist to take in the CO2 and break it down to sugar and O2(you know the stuff we breath in). And the whole planet would be dead. Everything. Have fun believing this pseudo science.
Mike_R, just because I believe that Global Warming is a fraud doesn't mean that I agree with War or not having privacy. All three of these things are WHY I HATE ALL GOVERNMENT. Left, right, black, white it matters not to me. Government makes problems so they can fix them and be the hero. Even though I don't agree with how the emails came out that doesn't mean that they should be ignored. If you had a friend come up to you and tell you your wife was cheating on you, would you care about HOW he got the information, or just the information that was revealed?
The refusal of alarmists to investigate the facts surrounding both climate science and the recently divulged fraud evidenced by the CRU emails demonstrates either a lack of intellectual honesty or a stubborn faith in their belief in "global warming".
While the truth is often painful to look at, it is necessary in the long term to examine it in order to move forward. The sooner the alarmist community comes to terms with the fraudulence of these researchers, the sooner the science can begin moving forward.
Until that time, any further blathering by adherents to this theory, whether on an internet blog, at a conference in Copenhagen or as an administrator of the EPA, is nothing more than so much hot air. The courts and the court of public opinion will settle this, and no amount of whining by these zealots makes their assertions true or worthy of discussion.
SCAM! This is just the tip of the iceberg for a very elaborate scheme that goes way beyond just the argument about greenhouse gases and climate change.
Google: Cap and trade big oil behind
Do it. And be prepared to boycott popsci if they don't have the balls to step up to the plate.
A room filled with 100% CO2 is not what is killing you, it is the fact that there is 0% O2.
Just for grins, try spending about 15 mins in a room filled with 100% O2. Let me know how you feel.
lnwolf41 With todays technology why couldn't they all do teleconference thus saving all the fuel used to fly to coppenhagen?. Instead of spending bilions on reducing co2 why not spend billions on growing more trees,grass,bushes.
There is plenty of water around irrigate the deserts around the world.
It's not that we don't want facts researched and acknowleged. We do! We just want the facts, not some cooked up figures. Also going back to climategate, the emails also tell that other agencies, NASA, EPA to name two, uses the numbers put out by the IPCC to check there numbers. That means they could not accurately chech there caculations because they where checking them against false numbers. It puts a lot of years of gathering data back at square one because of it. Lets also not forget that when the EPA moved to there new building they threw away all there paper documentation, because the IPCC was a digital system that stored all there original data, oh wait the data was changed... guess the original data is worthless now.
Face it, you deniers aren't crusaders for truth in science, you're a tiny, powerless, whining attention-seeking minority, on a planet full of people who don't care about your consipracy theories. We're all too busy building wind turbines and solar panels and writing laws. Be honest with yourselves, you've already lost, and every schoolchild from now on is going to know that our burning fossil fuels caused a severe climate shift. Get used to it.
E, have you seen any of the latest polls?
This scam they call science is losing ground at a very rapid pace. People are beginning to realize they have been fooled. I'm sorry you're to naive to see that. Lastly, if I have anything to say about it you will not indoctrinate my children in to believing your propaganda. BTW, the US government was created to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Not to exert it's will where ever it pleased.
Ironic how terms like "zealots," "propaganda," and "indoctrinate" are thrown about so casually by folks who claim to be the reasonable one. But then again, proclaiming your independent thinking to the world while acting like you're in a high school clique isn't too reasonable either. It's really amazing how contentious a discussion of scientific research has become, though I suppose it shouldn't be, with the various vested interests involved and the human tendency to look for the easy way out (such as inaction) when faced with a problem. Anyway, I'm not arguing with these folks anymore, not when they've had preconceived notions about the whole subject way before a few controversial e-mails were hacked (with rather convenient timing, I might add) to produce supposed proof that the entire field of studying human impact on global temperatures was fraudulent. Kinda like claiming a faked fossil disproves evolution, if you ask me.
Some of my fellow posters have made a valuable point, though. The issue of global warming, and what to do about it, will indeed be decided in the courts and the court of public opinion. I'm neither a lawyer nor a judge, so for my part, I simply ask a favor from that segment of the undecided portion of the public with scientific curiosity, and which despite that fact read beyond the first few posts on this subject. Do this favor not for me or anyone else on this poster board, but do it for yourself and your children.
Don't get your information about this issue from anyone like me or any of the nice folks who've responded to me like a kennel of pit bulls on a steak. Instead, look for the least opinionated and most factually presented sources you can find. If you feel Popsci has become somehow politicized, go read articles from Popular Mechanics, Discover, Time, or Newseek. Better yet, get a little more scholarly, and read some of the drier articles on climate studies in Scientific American. If you want to see the original research, consult scientific journals like Nature, Science, and other scholarly publications. Check out old library books from the 1970s and 1980s on the subject of terraforming Mars by releasing extra carbon dioxide and producing other greenhouse gases to warm the planet -- this was before any scientific consensus had been reached regarding the effect of greenhouse gases on this planet. Google terms like "Solomon Islands," "sea level rise," "global CO2 levels," "melting glaciers," "Northwest passage," and "arctic sea ice" -- but again, look not for any blogger's opinion, but simply the facts. Ignoring public opinion polls, instead do a search for polls of scientists involved in climate studies, if you wish to see what the constitutes the majority of the best informed opinions. Also, avoid opinion blogs and editorials, left & right, pro- and anti-global warming, and just stick to finding as many objective news stories as you can on the issue (CNN, NPR, Fox, and network news is fine, just as long as you differentiate opinion from news reporting).
Having perused the best data available on the likelihood that global warming is occurring, and the likelihood that humans are affecting it, you should next see what are the likely effects of the proposed course of action or inaction. You can check business publications about the possible impact of climate change legislation, but also note articles regarding the opportunities the paradigm shift away from fossil fuels might provide for entrepreneurs and potential technological breakthroughs in energy production. Likewise, read articles regarding the projected impact of a 3-6 degree (farenheit) rise in temperatures on human civilization.
Having discharged your duty to be an informed citizen, now ask yourself if you think there is a greater than 50% chance that humans are contributing to global warming. If so, next ask yourself whether you would prefer to take action at the risk of certain sectors of the economy, or risk all portions of the economy and possibly human civilization itself, should global warming prove to be as real a threat as some of us believe. Regardless of how you decide the issue, if you have at least made an effort to decide for yourself based on all the facts, and not cherry-picked facts or the opinions of others, you've truly proven yourself an independent thinker and someone whose own opinion should be valued.
When did I ever say that someone has "faked a fossil"? If I had then yes, you might have an argument. And if that had happened, then yes, you should question it's validity. Also those terms that I used are exactly what I meant. If you're being forced to believe something, that has very little, if any real proof, then it is "indoctrination", and "propaganda". Would you like the definitions of each? I'll provide them anyway just so there is no doubt.
And before you start saying that I'm a "Repubican", "Conservative" or whatever, you're wrong. I am an anarcho-capitalist. I believe in no government, because government is the very root of all evil. It's not easy to claim this, and stand behind it, if you haven't spent a few sleepless nights reading about this. Now, back to the point.
First you should ask yourself what science is before you say it is settled. Science is NEVER settled. EVER. If you have ever taken a college level science class you should know that. That is my field of study, as I'm an engineer. If we didn't question what was already told to us, then we would never have come up with the true model for an atom. We would still be stuck with the Rutherford model. What about Galileo questioning the church? Shall I continue? I have looked at the actual data time and time again. And it varies from .5 of a degree one way, to .5 degree another. 1 degree is not enough change to completely collapse an economy over. Or at very minimum stagnate it further than it already has been.
Second, you say look at stuff from the 70's. Well I have. They were worried we were all going to freeze to death in the next ice age. Did that happen and I'm not aware of it?
I think we need something more than just a few GOVERNMENT funded studies that say this is happening and we're all going to die from it. What if we purposely melted the poles in the 70's to stop global cooling? That was just one of the many methods being considered.
It is time for you to take a step back and QUESTION EVERYTHING you currently know. Then if you still come to the same conclusion, more power to you.
Another good read if you care.
Thank you, Mike_R. I'm sure intelligent people can figure out how to find data on global warming. Unfortunately, as you've demonstrated, even reviewing the data doesn't seem to help unless you can interpret it and put it into perspective. Heck, the scientists at CRU had access to the data and still managed to weasel out an unprecedented warming trend by cherry-picking (as they admitted in the leaked e-mails).
I've taken a deep dive myself into sea level rise, temperatures, CO2, glacier melting, arctic sea ice minimums, Greenland and Antarctica, and unlike you I see no cause for alarm. It appears the globe may have warmed about 1 degree F in the last century and sea levels risen 4 to 8 inches (varies by location). The trends aren't alarming and look reasonably close to historical trends over the last several hundred years. There is nothing to indicate that the trends won't reverse as the earth has gone through numerous cycles of warming and cooling without human input.
There is a link between CO2 production and warming, but it's a logarithmic function meaning, all other things being equal (and they aren't), we would have to double the CO2 saturation of the atmosphere to get about a 0.4% (that's 4 tenths of a percent) increase in temperature amounting to about 2 F. Because we're still learning new things about natural carbon sinks and other mechanisms that inhibit the warming suggested by the math, it's likely that we'll actually see less than the possible 2 F warming. The only scientists making the unreasonable claim that CO2 production causes uncontrollable warming are the computer modelers who have a long way to go to refine their models so they reflect the real world.
The fact that the Mauna Loa CO2 readings continue to trend upward at a constant rate while over the same time period global temperatures have gone up, down and sideways is fairly convincing evidence that the correlation between CO2 and warming is weak at best. In fact, that's exactly what the science says. CO2 has a very small impact on warming compared to other factors.
As for your 3 to 6 F rise in temperatures, the evidence isn't there. There's a possibility, if current trends continue, that the globe may warm 1 degree F in the next century, but that's only an educated guess based on the last century's trend.
The best you can say about the science is that it's far from settled. There's a lot to learn yet.
By the way, all that out-of-control 1 degree of warming over the last century has been a good thing. In fact, a couple degrees of warming is a much better thing than a couple degrees of cooling, but it doesn't make much difference either way because humans have adapted quite nicely to both colder and warmer climates.
agrees with above.
Personal attacks and an unwillingness to acknowledge the flaws in AGW theory are the hallmarks of an impotent argument. When the best you can come up with to defend your case is to call those skeptical of it a "denier", it shows that you're not a serious person interested in truth. As I stated, your name calling and whining is not worthy of further discussion.