(Washington, DC) The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to classify
water vapor as a pollutant, due to its central role in global warming. Because
water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, accounting for
at least 90% of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect, its emission during many human activities, such
as the burning of fuels, is coming under increasing scrutiny by federal regulators.
Until now, the carbon dioxide produced during the burning of fuels has been the main concern.
The extra carbon dioxide causes a manmade enhancement of the greenhouse effect. But water
vapor is also produced by combustion of most fuels, as well as by industry and utilities
that use water for cooling. The EPA would be able to regulate its manmade sources if
it is classified as a pollutant.
EPA Director of the Department of Pollutant Decrees, Ray Donaldson, said, "Back before
carbon dioxide was dangerous, we simply assumed that water vapor was also benign.
But all reputable scientists now agree that the increased water vapor content of the
atmosphere from such sources as burning of fuels and power plant cooling towers will
also enhance the greenhouse effect, leading to potentially catastrophic warming."
If successful, the push to classify water vapor as a dangerous pollutant would
impact virtually everyone. For instance, homeowners could see a wide variety of common
activities that cause evaporation being regulated: watering the lawn, or using a
hot tub or swimming pool.
"Right now, we are not so concerned about the water vapor exhaled by people.
That is low on our list of priorities", said Mr. Donaldson. "We'll tackle that
manmade source at a later time." One likely result of such regulation would be an
additional tax on fuels used by cars, trucks, passenger jets, and a wide variety
of industries and utilities.
Predictably, the Bush Administration has voiced opposition to any regulation of water vapor
emissions. White House staffer Lew Moninsky told ecoEnquirer, "This is simply ridiculous.
The EPA wants to regulate all human activity out of existence. What about the massive
amounts of water vapor being evaporated from the world's oceans every second? That's
OK?, but human production of small amounts of vapor isn't? If it weren't for water
vapor, there would be no rainfall! Give me a break!"
"Well, of course the Administration would say thatů", said Mr. Donaldson, "..they're
in the pocket of 'big oil' anyway."
The EPA is rumored to have a rather extensive list of potential pollutants in addition
to water vapor, and some insiders claim that all known chemical compounds are targeted
for future regulation. When informed of the rumored list of chemicals, Mr. Moninsky
asked, "Well, since everything is made of chemicals, I guess that means that even every molecule
of your body will be subject to regulation as well, doesn't it?"
Asked for their position on the matter, Greenpolice spokesperson Rainbow Treetower
stated, "Our basic policy is, if it's good for people, it's bad for the planet."
Breaking News: Tenth Bali Global Warming Conference Ends with Historic Agreement