Warm Globally, Don’t Warn Locally
For the first time since 1995, the U.S. EPA’s annual report on air pollution trends, released earlier this month, has no section on global warming. The EPA, which deleted the chapter with White House approval, said the decision was made because the agency had released two other reports on global warming earlier in the year and because this particular report was meant to discuss only pollutants, like lead or sulfur dioxide, that directly threaten people or ecosystems. Global warming is still mentioned twice in the report, once in a passing reference, and another time in a paragraph that points readers to the deleted section on climate. (Presumably, at least the second instance was a mistake.) Industry representatives and some conservatives praised the move to strike the section, agreeing that carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, should not be considered a pollutant; environmentalists, unsurprisingly, were frustrated by the decision.