EPA rules greenhouse gases threaten public health; winter storm pounds U.S.
In a press release yesterday the EPA announced: "After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. The ruling comes in response to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants, and paves the way for the EPA to regulate CO2 as a pollutant. In the event Congress does not pass legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA now has the power to do that on its own. In the words of the press release, "President Obama and Administrator Jackson have publicly stated that they support a legislative solution to the problem of climate change and Congress. efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation. However, climate change is threatening public health and welfare, and it is critical that EPA fulfill its obligation to respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants." The first EPA rule to limit CO2 would likely affect cars and light-duty trucks. Over 23% of U.S. greenhouse gases emissions are caused by on-road vehicles. Rules drafted on September 15, 2009, if imposed, would require vehicles sold between 2012 - 2016 to average 35.5 MPG.
Release of hacked emails had "organization and orchestration", UEA official says
Prof Trevor Davies, pro-vice chancellor at the University of East Angelina where the "climategate" hacked email controversy began, said in an interview yesterday: "A lot of people have remarked that it seems an unlikely co-incidence that this happened just before Copenhagen. There are indications that the people who stole this data and documents have had them for some time. They have clearly had the chance to go through them and we have had to check them ourselves. I think from the way that this has mushroomed and the very rapid responses on various blog sites, it seems to me that it has some organization and orchestration".
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the FBI is investigating death threats made against two U.S. climate scientists involved in the emails. Clearly, meteorologists involved in tornado and hurricane chasing are risking their lives in the cause of science, but who would have thought that meteorologists sitting behind a computer crunching numbers would be risking their lives? Crazy life!.
Other posts on the hacked climate change email affair
Don't shoot the messenger
Embattled UK climate scientist steps down
The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy
Is more CO2 beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?
Ricky Rood in Copenhagen
Our Climate Change expert, Dr. Ricky Rood, is in Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change summit. His post on the "climategate" affair is one of the more intelligent and diplomatic commentaries I've seen.
Major winter storm blasts the Plains and Western U.S.
Meanwhile, back in North America, it is winter. The season's first widespread heavy snow event is here, with a fierce winter storm that is the pounding the west. The storm will dump heavy snow along a wide swath across a large region of the country, from California to Michigan. The storm brought blizzard conditions and a foot of snow to northern Arizona today. Fierce thunderstorms with winds gusts up to 74 mph hit the Phoenix region, causing widespread tree damage and power outages for 250,000 people. California's Sierra Mountains recorded over 3 feet of snow, and 1 - 3 feet of snow is expected in the mountains of southern Utah and in Colorado. Up to a foot of snow is expected tonight through Wednesday across Kansas, Iowa, southern Minnesota, and southern Wisconsin, with blizzard conditions likely in Iowa.
Some snow amounts from the storm so far (with distances in miles from the city included, where appropriate):
ALPINE MEADOWS 42.0
CISCO 5 ENE 35.0
KINGVALE 1.3 WSW 29.0
HOMEWOOD 2 SE 27.0
PROSSER CREEK RESERVOIR 24.0
FAIR PLAY 2.8 ESE 17.0
PLACERVILLE 2.9 WNW 13.0
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE 13.0
VOLCANO 5.4 NE 12.5
GRASS VALLEY 5.5 ESE 11.5
COLFAX 3.1 SW 11.0
ALTA SIERRA 0.4 WSW 10.0
SUSANVILLE 3.2 SSW 8.8
LAKE OF THE PINES 8.0
NEVADA CITY 5.4 W 5.2
FOLSOM 3.4 ESE 0.5
CARMICHAEL 1.4 W 0.3
SACRAMENTO 8.0 NE 0.1
HEAVENLY VALLEY 24.0
MT ROSE SKI AREA 23.0
CARSON CITY 1.3 NW 18.0
DAYTON 1.7 SW 13.0
RENO 7.1 N 12.0
GRAND CANYON ARPT 3.0
VERDURE 8 WNW 25.0
My next post will be Wednesday.