Friday, May 4, 2012

Real And Present Danger

K:        We do not discharge our weapons in view of the public! 
J:         Man, we ain't got time for this cover-up bullshit! I don't know whether or not you've forgotten, but there's an Arquillian Battle Cruiser that's about to . . .
K:        There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they do . . . not . . . KNOW ABOUT IT! 
           —Tommy Lee Jones as K, and Will Smith as J in Men In Black

This is going to shock some of you who are regular readers of this space, but I feel I must speak out on a matter of critical environmental concern.  While I am not normally a rabid Greenie, I do care for the Earth, and I fear that organizations like EPA and the Sierra Club have allowed themselves to become distracted with political issues to the point that they’re missing one of the gravest dangers of our time.  And we are all at risk.

For years now, those at the vanguard of the environmental movement have been crusading against greenhouse gases, among them CO2.  That’s carbon dioxide: you know, the stuff you exhale when you breathe, and that green plants use in photosynthesis (a critical byproduct of which is oxygen).  Never mind that the planet was under an endless cycle of warming and cooling for billions of years before humans arrived on the scene, that there are serious issues with fraudulent data, or that a significant number of scientists dissent from the Leftist party line that the planet is catastrophically warming and it’s all our fault.  Even giving them the benefit of the doubt, we’re talking about a threat that’s relatively abstract and long term.  I’m concerned with an immediate and concrete threat we face right now:

This dangerous compound is colorless and odorless.  It is 100% volatile, yet not biodegradable, meaning once present in the environment it exists forever in an endless cycle of evaporation into the atmosphere and condensation onto the surface.  This compound is widespread, and multi-faceted in the dangers it presents.  Among its evils:

--          Over 1.2 million people, mostly children, die each year from accidental inhalation;
--          Exposure to certain forms of the compound causes severe tissue damage, in some cases leading to infection, limb loss, and even death;
--          Contact under certain conditions can cause severe burns;
--          It has been known to be found in biopsies of cancerous lesions;
--          Can lead to hypothermia in some environments;
--          Ingestion in excessive quantities leads to unpleasant physical side effects, including bloating, weight gain, and increased urination;
--          Physical dependency can make withdrawal fatal within a matter of days;
--          Identified as a major contributing factor to certain forms of erosion;
--          Extremely corrosive, and can lead to mechanical and electrical failures;
--          Suspected by many scientists to be a key factor in violent weather phenomena such as hurricanes, and also a contributor to El Nino;
--          Responsible for millions in property damage annually.

Worse, this compound has become so widely used in our modern society that it is almost ubiquitous.  You have almost certainly been exposed to it at one time or another, and some studies have indicated that in the United States and other industrial nations it may be present in as much as 100% of the population.  It is used as an industrial solvent and coolant, in the development of weapons of mass destruction, and as a fire retardant.  It was an essential component in the Nazi death camps.  It is found in pesticides, known carcinogens like ethyl alcohol, and in caustic and explosive compounds such as sulfuric acid and nitroglycerine.  It is a major constituent of acid rain.  As I type, some scientists and prominent activists are already warning of dangerous, potentially catastrophic increases in levels of this compound in coastal areas.  

Why are we wasting time on what CO2 might do at some undefined point in the future, when dihydrogen monoxide is killing and harming so many and costing so much right now?  We must do what we can to get the engines of government focused on this urgent and life-threatening issue.  Please contact your congressman today and urge them to pressure EPA to quit spinning its wheels on CO2 and Big Oil, and start taking seriously the imminent dangers of dihydrogen monoxide before it’s too late.

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