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CO2 Cuts And GDP

May 12, 2008 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 86, Issue 19

I noted with interest in the article "Mixed Impact of Cutting CO2" that the Environmental Protection Agency had conducted an analysis of the cost of controlling carbon dioxide emissions (C&EN, March 24, page 13). The analysis states that growth in gross domestic product (GDP) will be reduced by 0.9-3.8% by 2030 and by 2.4–6.9% by 2050 if Congress passes bill S. 2191, which requires greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 40% by 2030 and 56% by 2050.

I do not understand how EPA could make such an analysis without considering other factors. Shouldn't the effects of global warming be considered? What is more surprising is that EPA has ignored its own findings. An EPA report entitled "The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States" (EPA-230–05–89–050) considers a number of factors that would affect GDP. These include, but are not limited to, changes in forests, rainfall, wetlands, coasts, and fisheries. Finally, there are health effects. How do all these changes affect GDP?

It seems EPA has taken this Administration’s position in discrediting the existence of global warming. What a shame that a once-great agency should fall prey to political shenanigans!

Joseph J. Bufalini
Cary, N.C


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