Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Making CO2 illegal [update 2]

stop_breathing_epa

In the face of Obama’s flagship cap-and-tax scheme collapsing in the Senate (collapsing in the unlikely shadow of Senators standing athwart the legislative guillotine saying “No!”) Obama’s tame flunky at his mis-named Environmental Protection Agency has stepped up to rescue him, announcing instead –- all ready for the Messiah’s appearance at CopenHagen -- that she is preparing to make CO2 illegal.

Illegal?  Yep. The quango set up by Richard Nixon to battle pollution that was setting rivers afire and smog that was choking Los Angeles* has now officially labelled carbon dioxide a “public danger.”

CO2: the gas that is a natural part of earth’s atmosphere.

CO2: plant food; the fertiliser for earth’s green revolution.

CO2: the gas that you and I breathe out.

As the Vodka Pundit says,

_quote EPA declared CO2 a pollutant, and I joked that maybe I should stop breathing. Then realized that was the whole point.”

Ayn Rand said back in 1971 that “the logic of environmentalism leads to a society without technology.” Ask yourself what a society without CO2 would look like – or just one where it’s controlled by the government as a “public danger.”

carbon dixode emission control authority

UPDATE 1: This is “the ultimate win-win situation” for the ObaMessiah, says The Objectivist Individualist. 

Look at all the special interests you can make happy and beholden to you . . .”

UPDATE 2: Welcome to Vodka Pundit readers and viewers. Salut!

While here, why not trawl the rest of NOT PC including the recent weekly ramble round the interweb so you don’t have to.

And there’s posts aplenty here on ClimateGateGlobal Warming and all the other fish in today’s poisonous political seas.

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22 Comments:

Anonymous Bruce Hamilton said...

The EPA is merely bringing CO2 emissions ( particularly from vehicles ) into their regulation - as required by the recent US Supreme Count ruling.

That means they can now mandate CO2 emission requirements from sources such as future new vehicles. It's all about helping reduce a local global pollutant, and we should applaud their actions. As with other toxins they control - they regulate sources.

Controlling CO2 and other chemical emissions can be an effective supplement to fuel consumption rules.

NZ's almost non-existent vehicle emissions controls have always been a tragedy for the planet.

As noted elsewhere, NZ population has greatly increased energy emissions by purchasing new or cheap, second-hand, oversized vehicles over the last decade or so. We can easily do better, and should.

12/09/2009 08:21:00 am  
Blogger Sean said...

Bruce,

What do you mean "merely"? Regulation as a terrible eneffective thing. Why would an expansion of regulation be viewed so innocuous?!

"We can easily do better, and should." By what standard do who make this claim and on what evidence?

12/09/2009 08:55:00 am  
Blogger twr said...

CO2 is not a pollutant. If it was, then the 97% of it that naturally occurs would have a detrimental effect on the planet.

By the way, your use of the phrase "local global" is interesting. Another example of the warmists claiming that black is white and true = false.

12/09/2009 08:59:00 am  
Anonymous Bruce Hamilton said...

As a means of changing individuals' behavior, I think regulation is a bad idea. However, as a means of changing corporate behavior it can be very effective - because it creates a level playing field.

The removal of lead from petrol in the US was driven by the need to reduce pollutant emissions from vehicles - the Pb stopped the exhaust catalysts working, and they were needed to meet the limits on CO and HC.

In NZ, lead was removed because it, and associated scavenger compounds, were health hazards.

The EPA has not accepted this role willingly, it has reuired the Us courts to confirm that CO2 is a hazardous emission it must control.

It now has another tool to help reduce pollution. Emissions of xx g CO2/km during a driving cycle ( as used in Europe ) can motivate manufacturers to improve efficiencies.

Especially as consumers are realizing that 100g CO2/km vehicles can be cheaper to purchase and use than 200g CO2/km, yet perform the same task.

Have a look at the recently-released transport energy data for NZ household fuel consumption, it's greatly increased compared to many other countries over the last decade.

Any chemical that shouldn't where it is can reasonably be classed as pollutant.
If it's also hazardous to health at some concentration it's also a toxin.

Hydrocarbon from vehicles are pollutants, even when larger quantities of the same hydrocarbons are released via natural gas, geothermal activity, or animal farts.

Sorry about missing the "and" between " local global ", but I'm glad the paranoid were able to build a conspiracy theory around my accidental omission.

12/09/2009 09:51:00 am  
Blogger Sean said...

"because it creates a level playing field."

What are you talking about? Regulation means that only big firms that can meet the comliance cost of said regulation can exist in the market, while smaller more inovative firms are squeezed out. Your entire premise is false.

Further, I ask again, by what standard should NZ be doing better by?

12/09/2009 10:17:00 am  
Blogger twr said...

Most things are toxic at high enough quantities. Water, food, etc. Doesn't make them pollutants though. As far as I can gather from your sentence "Any chemical that shouldn't where it is can reasonably be classed as pollutant.", you are trying to say that carbon dioxide shouldn't be in the atmosphere? Where should it be then, pray tell? Do you think trees should pop along to the carbon traders to get their allocated share of it? And how on earth do you come to this inexplicable conclusion : "Hydrocarbon from vehicles are pollutants, even when larger quantities of the same hydrocarbons are released via natural gas, geothermal activity, or animal farts."??? How about hydrocarbon[s] from power stations? What if that power station is powered by animal farts? Why don't you just admit that in your opinion human progress=bad and cave dwelling (without fires of course) = good?

And you probably should have noticed that regulations on car manufacturers were what caused the US companies to build trucks instead of cars, because they weren't subject to the rules. Maybe a whole lot more regulation to try and plug the loopholes will make everything better?

Or maybe the greenies who are howling about how terrible peak oil would be should just sit back and wait for the market to sort the problem out when the price of the increasingly scarcer oil makes other alternatives viable.

12/09/2009 10:21:00 am  
Blogger Craig Milmine said...

@Bruce

C02 can cause very mild drowsiness when it reaches levels over 1% of the atmospheric content. The atmospheric level of CO2 is currently 0.036%. The most dire predictions of CO2 emission growth have that level rising to 0.08% over the next century. So your claim that CO2 emissions must be controlled due to human health concerns are a load of rubbish.

Even at very high concentrations, CO2 does not cause long term health damage.

Lead and particulates are another matter and there are very good reasons to reduce their level in the atmosphere for human health reasons. But to imply that lead and CO2 are equally toxic is so far off the mark, it is laughable. Well it would be laughable if Obama weren't trying the same trick.

12/09/2009 11:26:00 am  
Blogger Julian said...

PC
I remember that cartoon from a Free Radical magazine a long time ago. (Nick's cartoons were great). I can't believe that something that was drawn back then (jokingly) to illustrate an extreme logical implication of an idea, is now that much closer to reality given the recent decision by the EPA.
Julian

12/09/2009 11:45:00 am  
Anonymous Bruce Hamilton said...

Sean said,

" Your entire premise is false. "

If you say so...

" Further, I ask again, by what standard should NZ be doing better by? "

NZ has failed to meet it's Kyoto obligations. We have a vehicle fleet that is increasing in average age ( 12 years ). We only banned the removal of catalytic converters from used or new cars last year - the Us did that in the 1970s.

Used petrol-powered imports have only had to meet Euro 3 ( 2000 ) Standards from this year, used CI only have to meet Euro 4 ( 2005 ), new petrol-powered cars only had to meet Euro 4 from last year, whereas Europe is now requiring Euro 5 compliance ( which includes stringent particulate material 10 emissions ).

We probably exceed Bangladeshi standards, but I haven't checked.

Twr said...

" As far as I can gather from your sentence "Any chemical that shouldn't where it is can reasonably be classed as pollutant.", you are trying to say that carbon dioxide shouldn't be in the atmosphere?

No, because it obviously should be there.

"And you probably should have noticed that regulations on car manufacturers were what caused the US companies to build trucks instead of cars, because they weren't subject to the rules. Maybe a whole lot more regulation to try and plug the loopholes will make everything better?"

I was clearly discussing US vehicle emissions regulations, whereas the CAFE regulations were a consequence of the 1970s oil shock. Different rules for different reasons, but don't let that divert you...

Craig said

" Even at very high concentrations, CO2 does not cause long term health damage. "

However, if you want to add sufficient CO2 to the atmosphere to kill people locally, you can. There have been plenty of cases of CO2 poisoning from man-made sources, as well as natural, eg Lake Nyos = 1700 dead.

I've already noted that the US Supreme Court listened to a lot of experts ( were you one? ) and decided that CO2 was a human health risk. It was not the EPA that made the determination.

My contribution ends here.

12/09/2009 12:06:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

Bruce, I drive an old Mercedes, in immaculate condition, kept well-tuned and serviced.
The total contribution of this vehicle to pollution is far less, I'm willing to bet, than a more modern "economy" car that's stuffed with plastics and that will last about a third of the time the Benz will.
The number of grams of co2 coming out of the exhaust pipe is a small part of the overall picture when it comes to the use of resources and the impact on nature.
Environmental zealots seldom look at the broader picture because they're so often technically illiterate--or the immediate "feelgood" factor is more important to them.
(And the EPA regulations concerning Co2 are most definitely an end-run around the accepted processes of government in the U.S.)

12/09/2009 01:13:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Bruce

You are an ignorant pillock. Still, let's not let that get in the way of giving you the spanking your mother should have administered to you....

The various regulations and "standards" you mention have served to restrict who can legally build motor vehicles and what designs can be legally built and how many may be built. The regs you praise have resulted in the situation where only increasingly shaky manufacturers are allowed to supply certain markets. The costs of entry for new, innovative small manufacturers is now prohibitively high. In effect the government in the USA has guaranteed existing giants a market. It is backfiring in that less and less people see the need to replace their vehicle every three years. Now, in desperation, they are turning to such measures as paying people to buy new cars and scrap old ones (not recycle, scrap- all parts must be destroyed).

In NZ the situation is heading along similar lines. The requirement for used imports to meet the latest Euro, US and Jap emissions laws (really this is retrospective legislation) has resulted in certain importers and franchise holders being put in the position where they are going to command a far larger market share than otherwise would have been the case. This favour comes to them at the cost of hundreds of small businesses in places like South Auckland (where many car related businesses have closed) and thousands of jobs- not that the likes of you would care a whit, since those jobs were predominantly held by Maori and Polynesian.

As for catalytic converters- most of them do not work anyway. Taking them off REDUCES the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere- but of course, you are too stupid to know about that. What a goose!

By the way, there is NOTHING wrong with keeping an older vehicle on the road. If you simply must be an enviromentalist then you ought to consider that the amount of CO2 (and all the various substances enviros abhor) produced by a motorcar in the first five years of operation is less than what is produced in actually building the vehicle. Scrapping older cars or preventing them from being imported from Japan and elsewhere to new owners in NZ simply increases the demand for production of new cars. This, in turn, causes more emission from the manufacturing process, as more cars are built to satisfy demand.

What I or anyone else wants to drive is none of your half-witted business. Stay out of other people's business.

As for the rest of your "contribution", it's all B.S. I'm glad you've decided to end your "contribution" at this stage. No need to continue to subject people to your lies.



LGM

12/09/2009 01:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Sebastian said...

Guys,

Why are you bothering to engage with Bruce? He doesn't answer any of your questions. Instead he evades them and rants on about irrelevant nonsense. Clearly he is one of these religious types that can't be convinced by reason. He only has faith in the environmental movement to do his thinking for him.

12/09/2009 01:25:00 pm  
Blogger Craig Milmine said...

@ Bruce
However, if you want to add sufficient CO2 to the atmosphere to kill people locally, you can.

Sure, very high concentrations of CO2 kill people. However, vehicles do not emit anywhere near the level of CO2 concentration to cause any ill health effects.

The recent US supreme court ruling says that CO2 can be regulated because of its effects on global climate - not because of the direct health effects from CO2.

If you want to debate CO2 emissions in terms of the greenhouse effect then there is a valid debate, however, your claims that we should reduce vehicle CO2 emmissions because of its toxic health effects are complete rubbish.

12/09/2009 01:40:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Bruce: The planet doesn't have tragedies, it is a lump of solid and liquid matter. New Zealand has not taken a vehicle emissions control strategy for several sound reasons:

1. New Zealand is a technology taker in vehicle design, so it can take advantage of ever increasing improvements in safety and fuel efficiency without having to do anything.
2. New Zealand's vehicle fleet has traditionally been very old because protectionism hiked up the price of new cars. The removal of this has seen the fleet reduce in age, increase in efficiency and safety. It's a reasonable assumption that when people buy imported used cars it is an improvement on what they have, so it is a net benefit for them.
3. With the exception of Auckland and a few localised sites, most air pollution problems in New Zealand are related to solid fuel home heating, not transport.
4. New Zealand increased emissions not because the vehicles were secondhand, but because vehicles became cheaper and car ownership increased. Much like China and India are doing now. New Zealand's low value currency and low per capita GDP meant most could hardly afford new imported vehicles.

Restricting vehicle entry does the following; makes the fleet older as less can afford to replace vehicles, and makes the fleet less safe and less fuel efficient as a result.

CO2 is no more a pollutant than water, which I ingest and emit, and which in high enough quantities will kill me, and kills hundreds every year across the country. The simple point you raise Lake Nyos demonstrates how desperate you are to make the point.

Craig concluded well. You can argue CO2 and climate change, but not CO2 being a pollutant like others.

12/10/2009 01:01:00 am  
Anonymous Bruce Hamilton said...

" 1. New Zealand is a technology taker in vehicle design, so it can take advantage of ever increasing improvements in safety and fuel efficiency without having to do anything. "

Removing catalytic systems from vehicles adversely affects emissions and performance, and that was only banned last year. We buy imports because they are cheap, but we don't maintain them because we're cheap.

"2. The removal of this has seen the fleet reduce in age, increase in efficiency and safety. "

Our vehicle fleet has been aging for most of the last decade. We replaced purchase of new cars with second hand cars, so eventually the fleet starts to age again. For the 2000 - 2008 data that I have handy, the average age of the light fleet has increased year on year, trucks and buses have stayed about the same, and the bus fleet has also increased.

It was expected that the emissions rules on imports that started in 2008 ( used petrol had to meet Euro 2, Diesel Euro 4 ) and continued this year could start another decrease, as older imports were effectively banned, and some people may purchase new instead of higher priced imports.

http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/Documents/The%20NZ%20Vehicle%20Fleet%202009.pdf

In NZ, people can still commit suicide and even kill possums by CO poisoning from vehicle emissions, overseas the numbers have dropped because of catalytic converters, and other suicide methods have to be used. I only tossed that sentence in to point out that safety comes in many forms, but I'm not going to respond further.

" CO2 is no more a pollutant than water, which I ingest and emit, and which in high enough quantities will kill me, and kills hundreds every year across the country. The simple point you raise Lake Nyos demonstrates how desperate you are to make the point.

Craig concluded well. You can argue CO2 and climate change, but not CO2 being a pollutant like others."

The point was that the EPA could not ( under it's Clean Air Act mandate ) place controls on CO2 emissions unless the gases are demonstrated to adversely affected human health - ie was a pollutant.

The EPA argued the same case that posters above have made, but lost when it eventually was taken to the Supreme Court. The court ruled that the EPA must treat CO2 ( and other greenouse gases ) as a pollutant that adversely affects human health and thus establish suitable emission controls.

" With this proposal, the Administrator is responding to the April 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA Supreme Court decision, in which the court found that greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act."
http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/04/epa-co2-is-a-da.html

I'm not really fussed whether people like my off-the-cuff definition of pollutant. It was entertaining to see how easily people are wound up and decide I'm a cretin because I don't agree with them, and also how quickly they decided.

Google is the friend of those who may wis to pursue this further. Those links I posted probably also have slective data that confirms almost any theory. Bye

12/10/2009 08:47:00 am  
Anonymous Bruce Hamilton said...

Oops, sorry about the links. Not sure how to post them, so please combine the following, or search the sites.

http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/
Documents/The%20NZ%20Vehicle
%20Fleet%202009.pdf

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/
scienceinsider/2009/04/
epa-co2-is-a-da.html

Also the comment about bus age increasing applied only up to 2007, as it decreased, as expected, in 2008, effectively making it about the same.

12/10/2009 09:19:00 am  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Bruce, are you by any chance related to or a descendant of William Hamilton, whose general formulation of classical mechanics of which has now been widely adopted as Hamiltonian Quantum Mechanics Formulation?

Just curious, because you don't seem to argue like a real Hamilton.

12/10/2009 09:36:00 am  
Blogger twr said...

"Removing catalytic systems from vehicles adversely affects [...] performance."

Um, no, actually the opposite is true, that's why people remove them.

12/10/2009 10:24:00 am  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Of course one could conclude by saying it isn't "our" fleet and "we" don't buy anything. Individuals make choices based on balancing price with benefits of vehicle ownership in various dimensions. Nobody is better placed to make those decisions than consumers, on average. Restricting imports puts up the price of vehicles, that much is known.

However, things may be different if roads were privately owned. Road owners may set standards to avoid lawsuits on safety or even nuisance and trespass of emissions. Property rights, in other words, can deal with pollution from road transport.

12/10/2009 11:20:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Bruce

I concluded you to be an ignorant pillock because the evidence supports that conclusion.

Libertyscott writes: "New Zealand is a technology taker in vehicle design, so it can take advantage of ever increasing improvements in safety and fuel efficiency without having to do anything. "

You evaded that point entirely- probably because it blows your position completely out of the water. So not only are you seen to be an ignorant pillock, but a dishonest one as well.

You assert: "Removing catalytic systems from vehicles adversely affects emissions and performance."

That's a lie. The presence of a catalytic converter INCREASES the consumption of fuel and REDUCES performance. Efficiency is REDUCED. CO2 emission is INCREASED by the presence of this device.

Fact: vehicle performance is reduced when engine torque and power output is reduced. The presence of a functioning catalytic converter reduces power and torque output while increasing fuel consumption. The presence of a faulty or non-functional catalytic converter is even worse. Removal allows the vehicle to gain performance and economy by reducing exhaust back-pressure and allowing leaner air/fuel mixtures (less fuel burnt) to be employed. This improves efficiency. In comparison with a faulty or non-functioning cat-con, removal improves engine-out emissions. Removal reduces CO2 output whether the cat-con was functional or not.

Catalytic converters contain rare earth metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium. They are expensive. They are not worth replacing when they fail. Failure is inevitable. In NZ that is partly down to available fuels. But that is not the sole cause of cat-cons failing over the long term. They all fail sooner or later.

>

12/10/2009 11:52:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

You mindlessly write: "Our vehicle fleet has been aging for most of the last decade. We replaced purchase of new cars with second hand cars, so eventually the fleet starts to age again. For the 2000 - 2008 data that I have handy, the average age of the light fleet has increased year on year, trucks and buses have stayed about the same, and the bus fleet has also increased."

It's not "our" fleet, dicko. It certainly isn’t yours. Anyway, selectively quoting data you have "handy" without finding out the WHY once again demonstrates why you are an ignorant pillock. Making baseless assertion is a habit you need to grow out of.

The age of the fleet has increased as the direct result of new and ever more restrictive legislation, regulation, tax and other imposts being levied upon those who purchase and operate vehicles. For but one example among many, check out the amendments made to the registration rules. These added significant new costs for many people. Older cars tend not to be de-registered now. Instead, registration is put "on-hold" or kept "alive". This means the average age of the fleet increases even though many older vehicles are not operated at all.

BTW no-one needs to replace their vehicles every three years or even every five years. Nor is it any of your business whether they do or not.

You write: "some people may purchase new instead of higher priced imports."

That's right. SOME MAY. The vast majority can't afford to do that and so they now have no alternative other than to keep a car that they normally would have replaced. In this regard your silly regulations are completely self-defeating. On the other hand, in terms of benefiting those who had more than a little to do with lobbying for them to be imposed, as the means of benefiting certain importers and franchise holders they will be more than a little helpful. Some extra revenue will be diverted into those pockets, but that occurs at the expense of everyone else. Too bad for the businesses that were destroyed, the people who have to pay extra or those who lost their jobs. Shills like you tend to be silent on that aspect of your twisted and corrupt ideas.

As far as the EPA and the Supreme Court in the USA is concerned, that's another example of the corruption endemic throughout politics these days. It would be a really good idea for the Supreme Court to actually apply the Constitution as it was written, instead of playing word games with it. Devices such as the EPA and its activities are un-Constitutional. You might like to try reading the Constitution and see for yourself.

LGM

12/10/2009 11:54:00 am  
Anonymous Jack said...

increased levels of CO2 will have benefits (increased photosynthesis) and hazards (decreased respiration) which go well beyond AGW. My general feeling is that if all or part of the increased CO2 is due to human activities it’s probably not a good idea for this not to go on forever. The solution to the problem is to gradually switch over to nuclear energy. The nuclear industry has almost been regulated out of existence and in a freer economy would probably be the major form of energy production and AGW would not even be an issue. This is the solution that environmentalists should be advocating. Why aren’t they?

12/10/2009 08:31:00 pm  

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