Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Okay, that does it. The guy is a spy

From CBS News: Listening to the protests of Republicans and business leaders, President Obama today overruled Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson and asked her agency to withdraw its proposal for tougher ozone standards. In a statement, the president said he decided to ask Jackson to withdraw the request after considering "the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover."

Note that CBS News is scientifically illiterate. The accompanying illustration of the so-called "ozone hole" over the antarctic is completely irrelevant. We want ozone in the stratosphere where it attenuates UV radiation. Where we don't want it is here on the ground where people and animals have to breathe it. The reason you don't want to breathe it is because it can kill you by triggering asthma attacks and causing or exacerbating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and reducing lung function over time.

What is outrageous is not only that Obama has done this, but that he has gone out of his way to justify his action in terms of conservative ideology. Our economic problems have nothing whatever to do with "regulatory burdens," and as for uncertainty, just allowing the regulations to take effect would have taken care of that. The reason we need regulations in this case is because the market does not account for the cost of ozone pollution. Therefore if we impose regulations to reduce it, we get a net economic benefit, including the jobs created by developing and installing the new technologies that will achieve the regulatory standard, as well as the value of better health and avoided medical costs, among others.

And what those might be? Ozone pollution is for all practical purpose entirely, 100%, caused by burning of fossil fuels and to a lesser extent evaporation of volatile compounds derived from fossil fuels. The people who don't want these regulations are the Koch brothers and their allies. The people who do want them are children, people with lung diseases, old people, and everyone else who at one time or another was or will be in one of these categories -- and a lot more of us will have lung diseases if we don't continue to reduce ozone pollution.

There are two possibilities. Maybe the invertebrate in chief really believes he will get credit for this from the nihilistic greedheads who run the fossil fuel lobby and they'll go easy with the attack ads next year, in which case he is an idiot. Or maybe he really believes what he says, in which case he is an even bigger idiot. Or both in which case . . .


C. Corax said...

Every time I think that he's done something that is the final nail in the coffin of my supporting/voting for him, he comes up with something else. There's no wood left: It's all f*cking nails at this point.

kathy a. said...

and in the other corner -- the contenders look to be people i cannot possibly live with.