Oh, the humanity!
Well, if only the Left were merely weepy – as opposed to rabid – whenever it meets with disagreement.
Most especially, official disagreement.
This just happened – on Thursday morning – when one of the last of this session’s Supreme Court decisions was published in the case of West Virginia v. EPA. It had to do with whether the federal regulatory apparat – specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency (as these apparats are blandly, deceptively styled) is authorized by law to “regulate” the dread inert gas, carbon dioxide, by redefining it.
Back in 1970 – thanks to Republican President Richard Nixon, who was the same Republican who saddled this country with the precursor of Obamacare via HMOs, a subject for another day – a new apparat/agency was hey, presto’d into existence. It has plagued us, ever since.
In 1970, a new law was passed – at the behest of Republicans (again) who crawl over each other to show Democrats just how much they agree with them – that endowed the new EPA with mighty (and mightily general) power to “regulate,” among other things, “emissions.”
These included vehicle exhaust emissions, though the definition wasn’t limited to just them. But it only encompassed compounds that were understood to cause or exacerbate air pollution, create or contribute to the formation of smog – and so on.
The EPA used its new authority to decree vehicle exhaust emissions standards, among other things. This fleshed out in several ways. On the manufacturing end, the car companies were obliged to “clean up” the exhaust stream of the cars they offered for sale, which they did via both wholesale re-engineering of engines, including their fuel-delivery systems (e.g., the switch from carbureted or mechanical fuel delivery to electronically controlled fuel injection) and via the addition to chemical exhaust scrubbers (i.e., catalytic converters).
Car owners were also obliged, in what were (and are) styled “non-attainment” areas – bureaucratic argot for areas where there was/is smog or the air is suffused with beyond-a-certain threshold of various contaminants traceable to vehicle exhaust emissions – to have their cars’ emissions regularly or periodically tested.
This regime dealt a mighty blow to smog, which now exists mostly in old movies about LA. The air today is extremely clean, on account of the emissions coming out of the tailpipes of cars made since the ’90s being very clean.
So clean, in fact, that smog and air pollution generally are no longer a problem, insofar as vehicle exhaust emissions can be blamed for causing them. Most people unfamiliar with the Byzantine categorization methodology of the EPA apparat have no idea that this is so, precisely because the EPA does not want them to know it is so. It is why you will hear and read news stories about the latest regulatory ukase assuring that vehicle exhaust emissions will be reduced by another 20 percent – or even 50 – which sounds both wonderful and necessary.
It is never explained to people – if the EPA (like the CDC and the FDA) can help it – that the “20 percent” or whatever the percent reduction claimed is in fact a reduction of less than 1 percent; i.e., it is a fractional “gain” of immaterial effect, often at great cost – to those who get to pay for it.
The fractional gain is the best that can be gained – because the big (whole number) gains have long-ago been made. The exhaust stream of any modern car – any recently made (as in the past 20-plus years) car is better than 96 percent free of the emissions that cause smog or foul the air. Further gains – in the whole numbers – are essentially impossible as there will always be something emitted when anything is combusted. No one demands to know, however, whether the minuscule amounts currently (and recently) emitted are materially harmful.
The evidence – of our eyes (and noses) – indicates strongly otherwise. Where is the smog? Where is the “dirty” air? If there is an issue, then EPA ought to be obliged to demonstrate (rather than assert) it, as via evidence that it so – as opposed to might be so – in view of the cost of the imposition relative to the absence of any provable benefit.
It is why EPA oilily redefined “emissions” to encompass carbon dioxide – which the authorizing legislation, the 1970 amendments to the Clean Air Act – never authorized it to do.
The Supreme Court just said exactly that, in the decision it handed down.
It essentially left it up to Congress to pass a new law, endowing EPA with the lawful power to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. God help us, if Congress does that – because unlike vehicle exhaust emissions as they were formerly defined, carbon dioxide “emissions” can only be reduced by us doing less. This includes breathing – as all living fauna “emit” C02.
Such a law would empower the EPA apparat to regulate essentially everything. And it would do so based on hysteric assertions about “climate change” as opposed to facts about whether the “climate” is in fact “changing” in a threatening way, on account of human activity vs. natural causes over which humans have no control.
It is of a piece with the way hysteric assertions about a “virus” were used to justify other arms of the apparat – both federal and state – imposing heretofore unimaginable harm, both economic and psychological, upon almost the entire population, the minions of the apparats excepted, of course.
And there is the additional parallel of the redefining of experimental palliative (supposedly) drugs as “vaccines.” Previously, that definition only applied to concoctions that immunized the recipient, as these “vaccines” manifestly do not.
So, a small blow for honest language – as well as lawful process.
Two things the apparat – and the Left – cannot abide, even as they wail in Hindenburgian dirges about the endless “threats to our Democracy.”
Oh, the humanity!
. . .
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