ECOstrive – Well folks, be prepared to monitor your breathing. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Massachusetts regarding the question on whether the EPA has to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as a “pollutant” in the terms of the Clean Air Act. But humans may be contributing more by breathing than any other source.
Massachusetts contends that global warming is caused by pollutants such as CO2 and that global warming is causing a rise in sea levels, thus causing damage to the state in the form of losing coastal property.
The EPA cited a study by the National Research Council that concluded that “a causal linkage” between greenhouse gases emissions and global warming “cannot be unequivocally established.” EPA said it was inappropriate for the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions without more understanding about the causes of global warming.
The problem is that regulating CO2 emissions is a very daunting task. Since each of us takes in air that has about .033% CO2 by volume, and exhale air that has around 5% CO2 by volume. That is quite a conversion rate, especially considering there are over 6 billion of us doing it. Most animals have a similar conversion rate. So, we are all contributing a lot of pollutants to the atmosphere according to the ruling. Our automobiles that burn gasoline average only 3 times that.
I worry the most, because I believe that there are many more than 3 times the animals and humans than there are automobiles. In the U.S. there seems to be about 50 million more people than there are vehicles. It is hard to quantify how many animals exist, bit I am sure that there are many hundreds of millions in the U.S. Also, animals, including humans, exhale CO2 ALL of the time. Vehicles are only driven part of the time.
I feel that if we were to quantify all of the CO2 exhaled from living things, we would find that vehicles and power plants emit a small percent of the total. Automobiles emit more CO2 now, not from some great conspiracy, but because we determined that carbon monoxide (CO) is deadly and we needed to reduce those emissions. We were successful since CO emissions of a typical combustion engine are less than .5%.
So, in conclusion, the biggest polluters from the CO2 standpoint are animals, including humans. I, for one do not want to stop breathing, nor do I want to kill all of the animals, so we are in a bind, and may need to change legislation to allow us to breathe. We may also need REAL scientist to analyze the global climate, and determine how best to prepare for the inevitable cycles that will occur.