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Thursday, October 30, 2014
EPA to ban Argon, one of the largest components of the atmosphere

Did you know that Argon, an inert “noble gas” element, one of the basic building blocks of nature, is the fourth most plentiful substance in our atmosphere? It’s true. There’s more Argon in our atmosphere than anything other than molecular Nitrogen and Oxygen, and then Water.


So now the science deniers in the Obama EPA are banning Argon.

In chemistry, a “noble gas” is one of the elements on the periodic table that is usually listed on the far right side*, which represents an element whose electron configurations are ‘full.’ What this means is that these elements don’t really react much. They don’t even usually form molecules**, rather just preferring to float around as lone atoms. They don’t react, they don’t corrode, they don’t do anything really.

Think about the difference between Hydrogen and Helium. Hydrogen is a strongly reactive gas, explosive in the right conditions, as we saw in the Hindenburg disaster. Helium however is a noble gas, and is perfectly safe, unlike Hydrogen. Argon is another noble gas, about as reactive as Helium.

I guess the Obama folks never took Chemistry in school, spending all their time in racist studies courses, and so don’t know what ‘inert’ means. However they have their work cut out for them trying to ban 1% of the global atmosphere.

*I guess someone told the EPA that Argon is a far right Koch element.

**When noble gases do form molecules, they are created artificially, with the heaviest noble gases like Xenon, and are highly reactive. For example XeF₄ must be kept in special containers of Nickel, and will spontaneously react with any water, including in the air, so can only be used it completely dry environments. This illustrates just how difficult it is to get a noble gas into a molecule. Even if you cram it in there, it’ll try to get out.

Environmental Protection Agency

Office of Pesticide Programs

Supporting document to docket# EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558

Listing of 72 chemical substances proposed for removal from the currently approved inert ingredient list.


The full list

My locally saved file: EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558-0002 (PDF)


As a commenter said, “Wish the EPA would ban jackasses...then they would all have to “find” a secure place to live.”

Another atmospheric scientist bemused:

“It is the theater of the absurd.  As we now know, the enviros are now writing many of EPA’s rules.  Unfortunately, knowledge of any science is not a prerequisite.  Unfortunately, it is not a requirement for being a lawyer or judge either.  However, you have to look at it through the eyes of an enviro.  The concentration of Ar in the atmosphere is 9,400 ppm and the concentration of CO2 is 400 ppm and we know that is bad.  So anything at 9400 ppm must be bad!”

Posted on 10/30 at 10:05 AM
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