Friday, April 17, 2009

EPA declares greenhouse gases a health threat | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Headline | National News

EPA declares greenhouse gases a health threat News for Dallas, Texas Dallas Morning News Headline National News

Many are unaware of the role CO2 plays in human and, in fact, all animal physiology. We all recognise CO2 as a metabolic by product, but CO2 plays a far more critical role as the primary regulator of acid base balance. This critical acid-base balance is our most closely guarded homeostatic mechanism. We regulate the acid-base balance by our breathing. If we breath a little faster or deeper we reduce the CO2 concentration in our blood and thus move the balance to the -base side of the equation. CO2 diffuses as carbolic acid in the blood, and by breathing off CO2 from our lungs we reduce the acid content of our body. Not good, if we thus increase the pH -- that is lowering the H+ ion concentration -- we change the K+ ion, the Ca++ ion and others that are critical to life. The reverse is true from holding our breath or otherwise retain more CO2.

Environmental changes in CO2 has the same effect. Up to a point we can compensate for increased environmental CO2 by breathing faster, additionally to a limited extent our kidneys can compensate as well. I am unaware of there being many studies of long term exposuree to moderately increased CO2. The consequences may not have been adequately considered. Hibernation may involve changes in pH that would be similar to increased environmental CO2. Obesity may already be a reflection of our present higher levels.

The consequences of higher levels of CO2 will surely be sever. I read in a recent article that atmospheric CO2 at 570 parts per million will acidify the oceans to the point of completely dissolving of the coral reefs. The ocean, from a mineral standpoint, is completely analogous to our own mineral makeup.

The EPA seems right on target by declaring these changes a critical challenge to our health. I think, however, that we will need to put Rush Limbaugh in a phone booth with a canister of CO2 to get the point across.


I have not posted here for a long time. We are struggling to grow from a small niche market of churches and sports teams to a national distribution. I can't say we are winning, but indeed, the Eco-coffee market is growing. The buyer's recognition of and access to good coffee, however, is still not what it ought to be. There is not an industry wide grading system. Without an industry wide certification of quality, there is no way for the customer to identify good taste or good quality. The importer of the quality stuff too finds him or herself at a cost disadvantage and is motivated to cut corners.Environmental and social justice coffee is not necessarily good coffee; it should be because the good stuff comes from the most remote, inaccessible, high mountain rain forests, and that is where fair trade coffee usually - but not always - comes from. The high mountain coffee matures more slowly, more disease free to a more mellow taste. The best, when properly screened, is graded SHB, for strictly hard bean, the highest quality grade. The big labels, big names, usually blend small amounts of the good stuff with the much less expensive commodity coffee to achieve what the roaster thinks is a good taste. It does not take the second cup to tell the difference.Then, there is the issue of stale coffee. The bigger the coffee company the greater the inventory and thus the probable age of the coffee. Let me tell you from a logistics standpoint - and that's what I do - the greatest challenge is achieving sufficient turnover to insure freshness and -- financial sustainability for the company.It is hard to be all things to all people: quality, organic, chemical free, shade grown, carbon-offset, rain-forest and fair trade, never mind good taste. --- How do you know when advertising has little to do with reality?