On the face of it, the idea of the government being able to regulate how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted into the atmosphere seems absurd. After all, it's a gas emitted by, among other things, human breathing.
That's the point Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was making when he criticized the new policy that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2 - much to the chagrin of MSNBC "The ED Show" anchor Ed Schultz.
"The Republican from Texas, Barton has already made it clear he's one of Congress' biggest deniers on man-made climate change," Schultz said during his "Psycho Talk" segment on his May 13 broadcast. "Now he's got a new one. The Congressman spoke with Newsmax - there's a news source - on Monday. Now, based on his interview, if you were a runner, I'd be a little bit of nervous about your favorite sport."
Schultz didn't like Barton's pointing out that by breathing alone the individual human emits between four-tenths and seven-tenths of a ton of CO2 a year.
"Barton says the Obama administration's efforts to regulate carbon dioxide could close down - get this, close down the New York and Boston marathons," Schultz said.
Schultz cited Barton's remarks published by Newsmax on May 11, where he was clearly making light of the absurdity of government regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
"If you put 20,000 marathoners into a confined area, you could consider that a single source of pollution," Barton said. "And you could regulate it. They key would be whether the EPA said that 20,000 people running the same route was one source or not."
According to Schultz, human-emitted CO2 and so-called industrial CO2 are two separate things.
"This is a classic conservative argument against greenhouse gas regulation," Schultz said. "We exhale CO2. Now it's natural, therefore, if you want to regulate emissions, you'll have to regulate natural sources as well."
Schultz justified his distinction by maligning oil and coal and somehow labeling deforestation as an "industrial" source of CO2.
"Ok, let's start from the beginning," Schultz said. "There are natural sources of CO2, then there are industrial ones - you know like burning oil and coal and deforestation, yeah. Now the EPA says since the Industrial Revolution, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have climbed 35 percent. It is the industrial ones that are the problem here."
The Industrial Revolution of the 1800s is the epoch global warming alarmists like to point to as the beginning of the end for the planet's climate. However, always left out of the equation, as Schultz did in his rant, is the boom in the planet's population - currently at levels five times what it was during the height of the Industrial Revolution.
Although there are serious doubts that CO2 has an impact on climate to anywhere near the extent the environmental left contends, that same environmental left downplays the impact of human-exhaled CO2 as a variable in the so-called global warming equation.
"The EPA wants to regulate the industrial ones, Congressman," Schultz said. "No more marathons? Cut me some slack, man. I'm trying to lose some weight. This is another case of Republican fear-mongering. Carbon dioxide fear-mongering - it's a new one."