WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will early next week, possibly as soon as Monday, officially declare carbon dioxide a public danger, a trigger that could mean regulation for emitters across the economy, according to several people close to the matter.
Such an "endangerment" decision is necessary for the EPA to move ahead early next year with new emission standards for cars. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has said it could also mean large emitters such as power stations, cement kilns, crude-oil refineries and chemical plants would have to curb their greenhouse gas output.
In answer to exhaling, the government in their great wisdom had this to say.
Q. Should we be concerned with human breathing as a source of CO2?
A. No. While people do exhale carbon dioxide (the rate is approximately 1 kg per day, and it depends strongly on the person's activity level), this carbon dioxide includes carbon that was originally taken out of the carbon dioxide in the air by plants through photosynthesis - whether you eat the plants directly or animals that eat the plants. Thus, there is a closed loop, with no net addition to the atmosphere. Of course, the agriculture, food processing, and marketing industries use energy (in many cases based on the combustion of fossil fuels), but their emissions of carbon dioxide are captured in our estimates as emissions from solid, liquid, or gaseous fuels. [RMC]
How many of you eat pine trees?
I know, there are dangers from "tree huggers" attacking you while you try to do a Euell Gibbons and eat a pine cone.
You see, high amounts of carbon dioxide breed more pine trees.
Pine trees grown for 12 years in air one-and-a-half times richer in carbon dioxide than today's levels produced twice as many seeds of at least as good a quality as those growing under normal conditions, a Duke University-led research team reported Aug. 3 at a national ecology conference.
You would think that was good since carbon dixode is used in photosynthesis in trees and plants.
As the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – largely resulting from the burning of fossil fuels – continues to increase, forests are seen as an effective way of capturing and locking up some of the carbon and reducing atmospheric levels.
Moreover, if plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, shouldn't we be eating less plant life? And how is it you can have a closed loop by adding CO2 to the air by breathing and eating plants that take CO2 out of the atmosphere?
Is the government trying to say that there is no net gain in the CO2 because you consumed a plant that has CO2 in it? So there is no net gain of CO2 in the atmosphere?
Still confused on the whole topic of carbon dioxide? Don't hold your breath to get a logical answer to the question about CO2 and exhaling CO2 from the government in the near future.