Cap the Gas

Already, atmospheric carbon dioxide—much of it from coal-fired power plants—is at 390 parts per million and growing.

A campaign is afoot to set an aggressive national pollution standard. The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity is aiming to gather 500,000 signatures that will be delivered to the Environmental Protection Agency to set an upper limit of 350 parts per million on allowable greenhouse gas pollution. High profile early petition signers include NASA climate scientist James Hansen, author Barbara Kingsolver, country music star Bonnie Raitt and actor Ed Begley, Jr. Coordinated with the organization, this "People’s Petition" asks the EPA to make the Clean Air Act truly accountable. As Begley said in a release: "Setting climate policy without a scientific target is like driving with your eyes closed. You don’t know where you’re going and you"ll probably crash."

The number 350 has garnered worldwide attention as the highest safe level of carbon dioxide the earth can sustain. Already, atmospheric carbon dioxide is at 390 parts per million and growing. The EPA is reviewing the request and is supposed to make a decision later in the year.

SOURCE: Center for Biological Diversity