Today the EPA has submitted a proposed finding suggesting that greenhouse gases pose a danger to public health and welfare, an action that could trigger regulation under the Clean Air Act. The EPA’s “rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific analysis of six gases — carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride” that lead to these proposals followed a 2007 order by the U.S. Supreme Court to do so. The next step before the findings are finalized is a 60-day public comment period.
A separate process is necessary to propose specific steps to regulate GHGs under the Act. Both EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and President Obama have said that they prefer to address the issue through Congressional action.
Interestingly, the review also noted:
disproportionate impact climate change has on the health of certain segments of the population, such as the poor, the very young, the elderly, those already in poor health, the disabled, those living alone and/or indigenous populations dependent on one or a few resources
as well as that…
climate change also has serious national security implications. Consistent with this proposed finding, in 2007, 11 retired U.S. generals and admirals signed a report from the Center for a New American Security stating that climate change “presents significant national security challenges for the United States.” Escalating violence in destabilized regions can be incited and fomented by an increasing scarcity of resources – including water. This lack of resources, driven by climate change patterns, then drives massive migration to more stabilized regions of the world.
But, none of this should come as any surprise. The UN’s IPCC has been saying this for quite a while.