It’s easy to misinform when perspective and facts are left out

fennec fox by eviltomthai
Fox News on EPA endangerment finding: “Some skeptics say regulating carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, may be a difficult task, especially since people emit carbon dioxide with every breath”:
[Via Climate Progress]

How does the other side get their warped views? Consider a Friday story from FoxNews titled, “Don’t Exhale: EPA Expected to Declare Carbon Dioxide a Dangerous Pollutant. Here’s the opening:

Don’t exhale.

That advice may need heeding if the Environmental Protection Agency declares carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases dangerous pollutants, a move – expected in the next couple weeks – that would require the federal government to impose new rules limiting emissions.

But some skeptics say regulating carbon dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, may be a difficult task, especially since people emit carbon dioxide with every breath.

And, no, sadly, this isn’t intended to be humorous story. It’s just run-of-the-mill disinformation disguised as a “straight news” story.

Interestingly – or perhaps I should say typically – FoxNews doesn’t actually offer any “skeptics” who say regulating CO2 may be difficult because people exhale CO2. It was apparently just the reporter’s own inane idea.

[More]

The article also says this:

That’s just the start, however. Aides say later rules will extend to other sources and require a permit from the EPA to build anything that emits more than 25,000 tons of these pollutants. That could include schools, nursing homes or a Walmart.


The rules themselves, which have not been directly released yet, appear to only deal with structures that produce 25,000 tons of CO2 a year. That is 50 million pounds.

A back of the envelope suggests that a single human exhales about 400 liters of CO2 a day or 146,000 liters a year. Under standard conditions, CO2 has a density of about 2 grams per liter. This results in about 300,000 grams a year being exhaled per person which works out to 660 pounds.

So, a town with over 80,000 people would not produce enough CO2 to hit the 25,000 pound limit. The top 10 power plants in the US average about 20 million tons of CO2 each produced annually!! That means each plant produces as much CO2 as 60 MILLION people. They produce almost twice as much CO2 than the entire population of the US exhales.

Exhaling will never be part of any regulation from the EPA. No nursing home will be regulated, simply because its residents breathe. But CO2 producing power plants will. And if my child was in a school that produced 25,000 tons of CO2 a year, I’d look for a different school. (80,000 kids is a lot for any school to deal with)

That is what will be regulated, not people exhaling. Never, ever only use FOX to get facts. They use few. It makes it easier to mislead.

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