EPA in the Ozone

I have been looking at this new EPA ozone level proposal where they even state that it is justified because courts have ruled cost is not to be considered . It looks to me that they are outlawing nature. What first raised the question was when I followed the link from news.google to the Salt Lake Tribune in neighboring Utah. Problems in Utah?! So I looked at the counties which would flunk the new levels. Many of them are desolately rural, with populations in the 10s of thousands with population densities of a handful per square mile. I looked at Michigan. The same thing is true. Some of the most isolated rural counties in the state, for instance Benzie county, across Lake Michigan from equally rural Door County Wisconsin, with a population of 15,000 in an area of 860 square miles, mostly water and the rest wooded, would fail.

Click the thumbnail for EPA’s somewhat ambiguous map of mean maximum summer ozone concentrations. It’s clear any correlation with population centers is weak if one exists at all.

EPA Ozone levels

Ozone, of course, is that fresh smell after thunderstorms. It is created by UV light, electric discharges and breakdown of hydrocarbons by sunlight. Tree resin is a hydrocarbon. So one might expect a lot of natural ozone in forests with resinous growth in hot sunny climates – like the California interior. Ozone was assumed to be the cause for the fresh smell of oceans, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone says that’s caused by dimethyl sulfide from plankton – also dangerous in high concentrations. But one has to wonder about the raised levels surrounding Lake Michigan, and perhaps the shores of all of the Great Lakes .

What a fantastic scam if you can tax and otherwise boss people around for something which is a natural phenomenon. As our measuring instruments get more precise, and we start talking parts per billion, as we are with ozone, we are bound to get down to the natural”noise” level on many of these molecules .

They claim ozone can contribute to asthma. I get asthma from dogs, cats , horses and hay (and the winter after 9/11). But ozone, in thunderstorm quantities, smells good to me, like a breath of very fresh air.

2 comments for “EPA in the Ozone

  1. July 3, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Huh ? Northern Minnesota , even Colorado quite north and west of Denver ? The entire fringe of Lake Michigan ? I know some of these areas . They are emmpty of much of anything other than trees , deer and bears .

    I’m not arguing that urban areas may cause raised ozone levels , That would create a correlation which is ought to be more clear cut at higher concentrations . But something natural is also creating ozone at levels the EPA wants to outlaw .

    We’re talking here about 7 O3 molecules in every 100 million .

  2. E2
    July 3, 2007 at 10:00 am

    I have to disagree that there is a limited correlation between that map and population centers.

    With the exception of the random lower-right corner of Utah/upper-left corner of New Mexico dark spot, just about every other concentration does correlate with population centers.

    Not to say that its CAUSED by people or that, even if caused by people, they are to BLAME and to be held financially responsible.

    Just that I would disagree that the correlation is 0…

    Certainly not 1. But I’d bet even money its way closer to 1 than 0. FWIW.

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