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EPA Finally Acknowledges Climate Change is a Threat to Public Health

EPA Finally Acknowledges Climate Change is a Threat to Public Health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is finally acknowledging what environmentalists have long known: greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contribute to air pollution which in turn poses a health threat. Last Friday, the EPA issued a finding that identified six greenhouse gases in the atmosphere “endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” 

The six GHGs are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the EPA to conduct a thorough review of greenhouse gases pollution and air pollution.

The finding is now in the public comment stage, which is part of EPA’s deliberative process. Two public hearings will be held, the first one in Arlington, Virginia on May 18, 2009, and the other in Seattle, Washington on May 21, 2009. The public can register to speak at the hearings. The EPA is also accepting written comments about the finding.

The finding acknowledged that the high concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere is the “unambiguous result of human emissions.” The finding also listed ten effects of climate change that are currently being observed and are projected to occur in the future:

  • The increased likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves
  • More wildfires
  • Degraded air quality
  • More heavy downpours and flooding
  • Increased drought
  • Greater sea level rise
  • More intense storms
  • Harm to water resources
  • Harm to agriculture
  • Harm to wildlife and ecosystems

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said, “This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation.”

 

The EPA’s finding could likely spur the Congress to take action to regulate GHG emissions. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called the finding a “wake-up call for Congress.” Boxer chairs the Senate committee that deals with climate legislation.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) said the EPA’s finding “now changes the playing field with respect to legislation. It’s now no longer doing a bill or doing nothing. It is now a choice between regulation and legislation.”

 

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19 comments

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10:41PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Thank you.

10:40PM PST on Jan 10, 2013

Thank you.

9:04PM PDT on Apr 28, 2009

If we don't do something now then where are we going to live?

11:22PM PDT on Apr 22, 2009

OMG they're finally admitting there's a problem. Most politicians and companies have been denying this for years. Al Gore tried waking up people for years and he was laughed at, riddiculed, and ignored. My nine year old has known we have a serious problem for two years and yet a 45 yr old politician cannot see it. Here is a list of the top ten polluters in the U.S.

Regional Sanitation Distannual emissions: 470,481,000.85
pollutants: 38 sources: 97
Burney Forest Productsannual emissions: 452,615,399.90
pollutants: 20 sources: 20
Georgia Power Company, Bowen Steam-Electric Generating Plantannual emissions: 443,124,323.33
pollutants: 75 sources: 386
Rio Rancho Facilityannual emissions: 409,126,000.00
pollutants: 20 sources: 61
Reliant Energy Keystone Power Plantannual emissions: 403,284,644.74
pollutants: 77 sources: 198
W. H. Sammis Plantannual emissions: 382,822,785.55
pollutants: 74 sources: 560
Allegheny Energy Supply Co/Hatfields Ferry Power Staannual emissions: 378,112,509.21
pollutants: 80 sources: 292
Bethlehem Steel Corp. - Burns Harborannual emissions: 362,134,004.70
pollutants: 67 sources: 1967
Reliant Energy/Keystone Power Pltannual emissions: 359,198,970.89
pollutants: 26 sources: 131
Psi Energy - Gibsonannual emissions: 352,794,755.70
pollutants: 88 sources: 594

These are the first companies that need to be held accountable. Heres the website I took this from

http://www.planethazard.com

7:44PM PDT on Apr 22, 2009

This problem is not just greenhouse emissions. It is the total pollution of our air, our water and our food. Why do we have so many men and women and children with various forms of cancer? Why is there so much childhood asthma? Why is there so much bowel cancer etc? Our well fed, well brought up, well educated Baby Boomers are NOT going to live as long as their parents because we have so many different adverse chemicals in our systems and our children have more. We cannot control the growth and spread of have not nations who now produce our goods like Asia and continue to pollute like our Western countries. Governments are not going to take on large corporations to limit pollutants on and in our earth. Only we can make the first attempts. We must also look at past civilizations and how they polluted or destroyed their environments in their day. Sincerely Timothy Kritsch

10:07PM PDT on Apr 21, 2009

Being in the Navy for 20 years and submarines I know a little about the falsehoods that are being spread to deepen someone else’s pockets.
All the ocean data is skewed to what they want to see. I did ocean measurements in the same spot(s) and at various depths. Our ships have water temperature histories that go back 50 to 100 years in some spots in the oceans. All that data proves that the oceans water temperature has changed not even a fraction of a degree!
If you don’t know here is a dirty little secret. Most if not all the temperature probes used in these hoax studies can only read +/- 2 degrees. They are not calibrated and are not cared for.
As for the young man whose dad is out of a job, Green jobs are not going to be the cure to help your dad. Building up heavy industry and allowing him to seek new technology that is not dictated by government will help him retire happy and healthy
If you dad wants to be the next A. Nobel have him work for and industry that wants to make a profit. Give him a “green job” and he will be like all the scientists’ in Germany who where “green” only because the government funded it.
Where is John Galt?
spots.

7:38PM PDT on Apr 21, 2009

For those who say that addressing climate change and global warming will hurt the economy, you must think again. As many economists and scientists point out, a “green” economy is an investment in the future, sort of like beginning to tackle the large deficit that has been passed down by many presidents. Now some of you skeptics will say that I am an affluent suburban teenager who has no idea what it is like to experience financial hardship that you say will be cause by tackling global warming. Please think again. My father was a chemist employed at his dream job for 20 years, but when the recession hit, his lab was forced to fire him because of lack of funding. While I am currently by no means poor, my father’s misfortune has left our family in a somewhat difficult situation.
Now, we have any opportunity to help millions of other Americans like my father. If our country (you guys and girls in Congress) decide to invest in my future with green technologies, my father might be able to work again. And yes investing in renewable energy and green technology is MY future. Long after all 535 of you are gone, I would like to live in a safe and prosperous planet, not a planet where I have to worry about where I find my next meal, or my next glass of water. If we continue to allow global warming to go unchecked, that scenario is not exactly science fiction, it could and very well may become reality.
So today, on the 39th Earth Day, I ask every single member of Congr

7:37PM PDT on Apr 21, 2009

I wrote this letter to Congress asking them to seriously consider climate change legislation. I plan on mailing this to my representatives in Illinois, and if any of you wanted to mail it to yours, maybe they would really consider something serious. I don't know, we can dream cant we.

Dear Congress,
My name is Daniel Knickelbein and I am 17 year-old high school student from Oak Park, Illinois. I guess you could call me an “environmentalist,” based on the fact that I believe that global warming is a serious threat to mankind and I believe in the conservation of natural lands and resources in their purest form. But I don’t think I can be labeled as a crazy left-winger because, well, who doesn’t like clean water, or land available for fishing or hiking, or restoring natural forests to their original beauty.
The reason I am writing this letter is because I believe that starting TODAY, the United States Congress must act to pass serious climate change legislation, and must also recognize that we must conserve the few natural lands we still have left in this country.
The science on global warming is unmistakable. When 97 percent of climatologists in this country believe that global warming is man-made and will have serious effects on our world, we must act to do something about that. It is unfathomable to me how some of you in Congress can not address this issue, while you sit and bicker about party ideals.
For those who say that addressing climate ch

5:19PM PDT on Apr 21, 2009

It's so great that government is waking up to this fact. Let's hope for some positive changes really soon.

In the meantime, there are little things we can all do that really add up. Driving, eating, and shopping smarter are all starts!

A great site that shows you how impactful little actions can be: www.carbonrally.com

1:44PM PDT on Apr 21, 2009

What the major societies of the world have done is damaging. Do we really believe that we can change our own country, much less others? We will be dinosaurs

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