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Our President Needs a Science Lesson

Of his new plan to address climate change, President Obama says:

This plan will cut the dangerous carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. For years, groups like the American Lung Association have warned us that carbon pollution threatens our health and the air our children breathe. We limit the mercury, sulfur, and arsenic in our air and water, but today, there are no federal limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can pump into the air. That’s not safe. So we’ll work with states and businesses to set new standards that put an end to this limitless dumping of carbon.

Apparently our President choomed his way through high school science class…

  • The problem is not “carbon”, it’s carbon dioxide, CO2.
  • Unlike mercury, sulfur and arsenic, carbon dioxide is not toxic. EPA wants to regulate it because it is a greenhouse gas.
  • Carbon dioxide is necessary for photosynthesis. It is an input in green plant respiration; oxygen is an output. Higher CO2 concentrations stimulate plant growth.
  • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at current levels around 400 ppm (0.04% concentration) cannot “threaten our health and the air our children breathe.”
  • The carbon dioxide concentration of the air we exhale is 4 to 5.3%, over 100 times the concentration in the air we inhale.
  • The American Lung Association’s position (pdf link) supports the EPA’s stricter carbon dioxide emission standards because of Global Warming, not because of concerns over toxicity or health-damaging air quality. They think Global Warming will lead to increased levels of smog and ozone.

And it’s the Climate Change community who accuse skeptics of being anti-science?

Cross-posted.

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