Today on KUOW, Steve Schere interviewed Bill McKibben, Jim Hanna, and Matt Cohen about the public hearing that the Environmental Protection Agency will hold tomorrow, May 21st, in Seattle on whether global warming pollution is a threat to public health and welfare. It was an interesting interview and lots of good information was discussed over the various issues we are facing here in America.
Weekday: Is Carbon Dioxide a Danger to Public Health?
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On Thursday, May 21st, the EPA is holding the second of two hearings on the “Proposed endangerment and cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act”. Primarily they will be determining the following:
The Administrator signed a proposal with two distinct findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:
- The Administrator is proposing to find that the current and projected concentrations of the mix of six key greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)—in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. This is referred to as the endangerment finding.
- The Administrator is further proposing to find that the combined emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, and HFCs from new motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of these key greenhouse gases and hence to the threat of climate change. This is referred to as the cause or contribute finding.
This proposed action, as well as any final action in the future, would not itself impose any requirements on industry or other entities. An endangerment finding under one provision of the Clean Air Act would not by itself automatically trigger regulation under the entire Act.
What does this mean in English?
- Do various gases emitted by autos and industry form a threat to us and our descendants in the form of global warming and other types of harm?
- Do cars contribute to global warming because of their emissions?
- And even if they do, the EPA won’t do squat about regulating them at this time.
You can register to speak on this subject at the EPA site. You can also attend a rally being planned at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center by several groups. For those of us in the North King County area, I suggest RSVPing at Northeast Seattle Neighbors’ Sustainability Network. Or you can register at 1Sky to attend the rally.
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