EPA: Yup, greenhouse gases still unhealthy

EPA: Yup, greenhouse gases still unhealthy

Summary: Why do I have the feeling that we'll be arguing this point for the rest of my life and probably the lives of my niece and nephew, to boot?Thought it worth pointing out that the U.

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Why do I have the feeling that we'll be arguing this point for the rest of my life and probably the lives of my niece and nephew, to boot?

Thought it worth pointing out that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today said that after "months of serious consideration" it has rejected 10 petitions that challenged its declaration last year that greenhouse gases represented a threat to human health and the environment.

The EPA made its controversial declaration last spring, a finding that was challenged when the whole Climategate situation suggested that much of the science around global warming was flawed. That the numbers were cooked, in some sense.

Here's what the EPA Adminstrator Lisa Jackson wrote in defense of the EPA's original finding AND in this latest affirmation of same:

"The endangerment finding is based on years of science from the U.S. and around the world. These petitions, based as they are on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy -- provide no evidence to undermine our determination. Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare. Defenders of the status quo will try to slow our efforts to get America running on clean energy. A better solution would be to join the vast majority of the American people who want to see more green jobs, more clean energy innovation, and an end to the oil addition that pollutes our planet and jeopardizes our national security."

For your extra credit reading, the latest national State of the Climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was actually released this week, too. Its finding: Things were hotter in the 2000s than they were in the 1990s. What we are inclined to do about this, though, seems increasingly tied to politics and not to data.

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14 comments
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  • Re: NOAA Report

    The NOAA report offers no causes as to the warming, however, so you should make that clear, instead of the lazy way you've "connected" EPA policies concerning some greenhouse gases with empirical proof of warming.
    joeschmo1of3
  • The NOAA link

    The NOAA report that Heather links to contains yet another link which contains data showing an apparent relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide:

    http://www.climate.gov/#climateWatch

    Please notice that I said "apparent relationship." I'm not convinced that the relationship is causal or significant.
    Bill4
    • Appearances

      @Bill4

      [i]Please notice that I said "apparent relationship." I'm not convinced that the relationship is causal or significant. [/i]

      The role of carbon dioxide, water, and methane in the Earth's radiation balance has been known for over a century. It's [i]really[/i] basic physics, as in lab experiments I did in high school. As in, satellite measurements of the spectral content of the Earth's radiation of heat into space correlated to surface and upper-atmosphere measurements of gas concentrations.

      Now, it's conceivable that the observed increases in the Earth's temperature over the last few decades and the increases in known greenhouse gases are only coincidentally related despite the physics. Perhaps, indeed, there is a totally unknown reason why the gases aren't causing the warming and a totally different mechanism which is.

      If so, though, I haven't heard it proposed.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • RE: EPA: Yup, greenhouse gases still unhealthy

        @Yagotta B. Kidding

        "If so, though, I haven't heard it proposed."

        You're ignorance of other theories, willfully suppressed as the Climategate emails show, is not proof that your high school "simple physics" tinkertoy explanations are the causes of how the earth has warmed since the 1850's.
        joeschmo1of3
      • Suppressed knowledge

        @joeschmo1of3

        [i]You're ignorance of other theories, willfully suppressed as the Climategate emails show, is not proof that your high school "simple physics" tinkertoy explanations are the causes of how the earth has warmed since the 1850's. [/i]

        I'm guessing that you're relying on second-hand sources for your interpretation of the CRU emails. I gather that you discount the multiple reviews and investigations since then as being in one way or another untrustworthy.

        In any case, just which "suppressed" conjectures did you have in mind? Or alternately, have they been so thoroughly suppressed that nobody knows what they might have been?
        Yagotta B. Kidding
      • RE: EPA: Yup, greenhouse gases still unhealthy

        @Yagotta B. Kidding
        Lots of guessing and gathering there (what a surprise...)
        You've got access to a search engine, maybe several, so look those alternative theories up own lazy self. Or if that's too much work, just click on this: http://tinyurl.com/27kqrp7
        joeschmo1of3
      • Ah, yes!

        @joeschmo1of3
        [i]You've got access to a search engine, maybe several, so look those alternative theories up own lazy self. [/i]

        Ah -- the "it's too much trouble for me to actually make up something, so I'm going to have you waste your time trying to guess what I'm talking about" gambit.

        Worthy of Maxwell Smart, that.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
      • RE: EPA: Yup, greenhouse gases still unhealthy

        @Yagotta B. Kidding Whatever the case, we've gone from an endless snowy cold winter to an absurdly hot rainy endless summer.

        More seriously, my feeling is that the data is insufficient for an conclusions on AGW. I suspect that it is truly the case, but don't think we need to destroy what little is left of America on inadequate data. As you recall from the first Earth Day--and I am old enough to remember it clearly--reputable scientist were telling us that they had irrefutable evidence that the world would end by 1980 unless industrial civilization were shut down immediately. Also, like a lot of people, I was snookered into believing the BP oil spill would screw up the Gulf for decades to come; now, as I'm typing, Dianne Sawyer is telling me otherwise.... Let's keep calm for a few more years.
        Bill4
      • Re: Ah yes

        @Yagotta B. Kidding

        Wow, too lazy to guess even after the lmgtfy link.

        More seriously, the suppression of papers from climate journals concerned how certain parts of the CO2 enabled AGW theory did not match collected data, or how the math and models underlying the so-far accepted theory are actually full of errors and non-reproduceable by other teams. For a scientist, that's pretty insulting, especially if you've placed so much of your credibility on your methods, which is very different than placing your credibility in your theories. Scientists are not so concerned with their theories being proved wrong (activists are different matter), but being called a dumbass for not understanding how to use basic statistics packages in MatLab, well, there might be some pique raised from that.

        And always, remember, correlation does not equal causation. Greenhouse gases were rising from the 1940's to the 1970's, yet global temperatures were declining, and none of the 22 climate models in use today can explain that. And all the temperature proxies from the tree cores used to make the temperature graphs for the last 2000 years all show desperate decline from the 1960's onward (known as Divergence in the dendrochronology discipline), which is at extreme odds with satellite and surface station data. There is no known explanation for that either. CO2 enabled AGW is a big house of cards, dependent on many little theories being correct for the entire whole to be correct, and this theory should have been dead in 1995 when the tree proxy crowd couldn't provide any answers. Yet here we are, still talking about it...
        joeschmo1of3
  • Conservatives need to take the EPA to court and disprove ...

    ... global warming is manmade - or at the very least, establish that it cannot be proved. Stop playing footsie with these guys. Conservatives need to also defund global warming research ASAP, and maybe give the money to the energy department, to help the US establish energy independence. Time and time again you look at proponents' numbers, only to realize (by looking at data elsewhere) that they show some of the data, and hide the rest. They do it all the time. Its ridiculous.
    P. Douglas
  • Why?

    [i]Why do I have the feeling that we?ll be arguing this point for the rest of my life and probably the lives of my niece and nephew, to boot?[/i]

    Because we've seen this playbook before? It's really sad when you actually see events play out in the news that were actually foretold on [i]The Onion[/i] long ago:

    1) Deny that the Earth is warming
    2) OK, the Earth is warming, but it's just a natural cycle and nothing to do with us.
    3) OK, the Earth is warming due to human activity, but warming is a [b]good[/b] thing.
    4) OK, maybe it's not a good thing, but we're an ingenious and adaptable species and we'll come up with a solution when we really need one.
    5) OK, maybe we can't undo the damage fast enough to maintain habitability for large parts of the Earth -- people can move.
    6) OK, so maybe the wars, famines, droughts, and heat waves are killing people by the millions. Well, the world [i]is[/i] overpopulated.
    7) What do you mean the only place I can go skiing this year is Dubai?
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • RE: EPA: Yup, greenhouse gases still unhealthy

    AGW augments are very poor, for very lucid reasoning why see -
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/07/17/derivative-of-integral-chaos-is-agw/
    he explains it so much better than I.
    Agnostic_OS
  • RE: EPA: Yup, greenhouse gases still unhealthy

    Follow the money.
    dkchal
  • Scientists

    I object to the use of the term "scientist" when speaking of what actually are global warming propagandists. No reputable scientist would be caught dead advocating any particular legislative action. A real scientist only does the research and leaves advocacy to others. Thus members of "The Union of Concerned Scientists" are, by definition, anything but scientists. I vote for "slimey propagandists."
    nikacat