Tuesday, March 22, 2011

American Lung Association is out of puff

It seems reasonable that heavy air pollution has adverse health effects of some kind but the situation is not as clearcut as one might think. I know the research literature on that rather well and have often critiqued it on my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog.

In summary: Evidence from human studies in the Western world is very equivocal -- consisting of epidemiological speculation based on weak relationships in studies that do not control for important potential confounders. But that literature focuses on particulate pollution -- and CO2 is a gas, not a particle. And the idea that CO2 -- which we all produce and breathe out -- might be damaging to health is simply laughable.

So the lungies are deliberately misrepresenting the attack on the EPA. The attack does NOT aim to interfere with regulation of particulate pollution -- only with CO2 regulation.

Political corruption has crept into the management of even the most prestigious medical journals (Lancet and BMJ, for instance, often push Leftist causes) so I don't suppose we can expect much integrity from the lungies

The American Lung Association strongly opposes Chairman Fred Upton, Senator James Inhofe, and Representative Ed Whitfield’s bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) authority to update clean air standards. If passed by Congress, this legislation would interfere with EPA’s ability to implement the Clean Air Act; a law that prevents tens of thousands of adverse health effects caused by air pollution, including asthma attacks, heart attacks and even premature death each year. A report released earlier this week by EPA found that cutting pollution through the Clean Air Act will save $2 trillion by 2020 and prevent at least 230,000 deaths annually.

“Chairman Upton’s and Senator Inhofe’s bill is a reckless and irresponsible attempt to once again put special interests ahead of public health, a maneuver the public is staunchly opposed to,” said Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association.

In a poll conducted by the American Lung Association in February 2011, nearly 70 percent of Americans oppose Congressional action that interferes with the EPAs efforts to update clean air standards. Three out of four voters support the EPA setting tougher standards on specific air pollutants, including mercury, smog and carbon dioxide, as well as setting higher fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty trucks.

Connor continued, “The enactment of the Upton-Inhofe-Whitfield bill would strip away sensible Clean Air Act protections that safeguard Americans and their families from air pollution. Americans have these protections because over the past 40 years Congressional leaders of both parties worked together to protect the lives and health of their constituents. We strongly urge Congress to reject this approach and support the continued implementation of this vital law.”


CO2 causes asthma???

Seeing we all breathe out CO2, there sure must be a lot of asthma about! There's not a skerrick of honesty in this. But the words of wisdom below come from "the nation's most effective environmental action group" so I guess we should not be too surprised at the warped thinking

Well, for the moment “the most anti-environmental bill to come before Congress in the last 40 years” has run into trouble: the bill that the American Lung Association called “toxic to America’s health” didn’t attract enough votes to pass through the Senate today, which means that the fight over the federal budget and efforts to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency using riders and budget cuts will continue.

Meanwhile, another drama fills the stage this morning as the House Energy and Power subcommittee takes up Fred Upton’s bill to stop the EPA from updating clean air safeguards to protect public health from dangerous carbon pollution.

Let’s just call it the Asthma Aggravation Act of 2011. Much as some members of Congress would like to pretend otherwise, continuing to allow power plants and other polluters to dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our air will – among other things – aggravate asthma by making smog pollution problems worse and by raising pollen levels. [CO2 is not a smog component and more pollen would be a sign of plant health. Are healthy plants to be avoided?]

I’ve already pointed out that Fred Upton’s own constituents don’t like his proposal to block the EPA, and that the constituents of many of his own committee members don’t either.

Nevertheless, Upton and his band of asthma aggravators seem pretty determined to ignore the will of the people, not to mention the science and the health impacts.

But we’ll be watching the proceedings this morning anyway, just to see what happens and what they really do. So stay tuned for some live blogging and tweeting (look for "@NRDClive") as we get ready for the first stage of the Asthma Aggravation Act of 2011. May it run short of breath soon.


Religious logic: Warming kills birds by bringing colder winters

And we were always told that it was actual warm warming that killed birds. How come cold is now killing them? More Greenie logic of convenience

Federal wildlife officials are proposing to double habitat for a threatened West Coast bird in response to global warming.

The western snowy plover nests in shallow depressions on beaches, some of them in Orange County, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to provide the birds with more territory at higher elevations.

The idea is to protect the bird from expected sea-level rise, which the U.S. Geological Survey estimates at three to four feet over the next century, said Jim Watkins, a Fish and Wildlife biologist who is the recovery coordinator for the plover. "This is our best estimate of what the plover needs for recovery," he said. "We're asking for public comments."

Under the proposal, part of Fish and Wildlife's response to litigation over the bird, the agency would designate 28,261 acres on the California, Oregon and Washington coasts as "critical habitat" for the plover. That is more than twice the acreage designated in 2005.

Watkins said the plover populations are essentially stable, although some breeding areas showed a downturn since 2006, likely because of some colder winters.


$60 Mil To Study Climate Change Effects On Crops, Forests

How are they going to study the effects of climate change when there isn't actually any climate change going on? Even the recent cold winters are "just weather" according to the Warmists

With a national debt that tops $14 trillion and a colossal budget deficit, the U.S. government is dishing out $60 million to study the effects of climate change on crops and forests.

The multi million-dollar studies will focus on the impact that global warming will have in three key areas that government officials claim could lead to food shortages; southern pine forests, wheat in the northwest and Midwestern corn. Because climatologists predict global warming will transform cool, wet areas into dry and hot ones there needs to be a variety of crops that can adapt to the changes, according to the federal official who’s handing out the cash for the projects.

Otherwise, he assures that there will be shortages in certain kinds of foods. To avoid that potential crisis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving three public universities—in Florida, Iowa and Idaho—$20 million each to help ensure that farmers and foresters can keep producing food and timber by minimizing the toll of a changing environment. The USDA is calling it a “major scientific investment in studying the effects of climate change on agriculture and forest production.”

A professor of tree physiology at the University of Florida will head the forestry study, which will focus on southern pine and establish a network to monitor the effects of climate on “forest carbon sequestration.” A sociologist at Iowa State University will lead the corn project which will evaluate the impacts of various crop management practices under different “climate models” and an entomologist at the University of Idaho will monitor how wheat grows amid changes in soil carbon and nitrogen levels.

Just last month a group of esteemed scientists from several public universities warned that climate change will make food “dangerous” and consequently lead to the malnourishment of millions worldwide. That’s because global warming will provoke increased levels of food contamination from chemicals and “fungal pathogens” as well as diseases like cholera and shellfish poisoning. Some foods will become scarce, prices will increase and civil unrest will ensue, according to the scientists who presented their case at a Washington D.C. gathering.

Previous government evaluations on the ills of global warming have determined that it will cause mental illness and cancer as well as national security threats by spreading disease among people and animals. Check out the government’s mental/illness cancer report and read about the national security threats.


Remember when global warming caused less snow, before it caused more snow? Now it causes less snow again

We read:
For the first time in her 13 years of February snowshoe trips, Tshankuesh (Elizabeth) Penashue was forced to turn back. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” she said. “The weather is really changing.”

Tshankuesh had planned on making this year’s snowshoe trek into the Mealy Mountains — a trip that should have taken at least three weeks. Instead she was forced to turn back before the trip was completed.

There wasn’t enough snow on the ground for a large portion of the trail, and the snow that was there was not suitable for snowshoeing. “The snow was soft, like sand,” she said. She made it as far as the Mealy Mountains before making her return journey.

Tshankuesh is not the only person noticing some drastic climate changes in Labrador.


It is Warmism, not warming, that threatens our future

Japan is grappling with a triple tragedy: earthquake, tsunami and possible nuclear radiation. This has brought rolling blackouts, as authorities strive to meet electricity demands with reduced supplies and crippled transmission lines.

However, power cuts and inadequate power are routine in developing countries like India. For them, going without electricity for hours or even days is the norm, not the exception.

But now, the UK’s power grid CEO is warning Brits that their days of reliable electricity are numbered. Because of climate change and renewable energy policies, families, schools, offices, shops, hospitals and factories will just have to “get used to” consuming electricity “when it’s available,” not necessarily when they want it or need it.

UN IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri justifies this absurd situation by sermonizing, “Unless we live in harmony with nature, unless we are able to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and adopt renewable energy sources, and until we change our lifestyles, the world will increasingly become unfit for human habitation.”

Thus, people in poor countries who never had access to reliable electricity may be denied it even longer, while people in rich countries could soon face new electricity shortages.

Citizens of the world’s poor and emerging economies: Beware of claims that the greatest threat we face is from manmade climate change. They are wrong. The real threat is from energy starvation policies implemented in the name of preventing climate change.

Everywhere one looks, people are enjoying modern technologies, improving their lives, realizing their dreams. Other people want the same opportunities for themselves and their children – and they should have them. Every citizen of the world should someday enjoy access to similar levels of energy that people in developed countries enjoy today.

The technologies, trade and transportation networks, the legal, property rights, economic and banking systems have all been developed. If countries and communities take advantage of them, a better future will require only one more thing: energy.

Energy is the Master Resource, the key to everything else. Only our Ultimate Resource – our creative intellect – is more important. People who have abundant, reliable, affordable energy – and the freedom to use it – can turn dreams and ideas into reality.

Those who must rely on human and animal muscle, or open fires, remain poor. Certainly, wind turbines and solar panels are far better than primitive energy. They can bless remote villages with electricity. But they are nothing compared to reliable electricity from hydrocarbon, hydroelectric and nuclear power.

However, policies based on false claims that we can control Earth’s climate restrict access to energy and increase its cost. They perpetuate poverty, and prevent people from building better homes, having comfortable lighting and heating, using computers and modern conveniences, preserving food and medicines, and even surviving natural disasters and adapting to climate change.

Using computer models, thousands of scientists say human carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for recent warming. But thousands of other scientists say the sun and other natural forces still control our complex, unpredictable climate.

Earth’s climate has changed repeatedly throughout history. Its temperature rose slightly during the last century, as our planet recovered from the Little Ice Age, but not in a straight line. It went up 1900-1940, then cooled until 1975, warmed again until 1995, and has been steady since then – all while global CO2 levels were rising. Flood, drought, hurricane and other weather patterns also change periodically.

Earth’s climate is influenced by far more factors: solar, planetary, atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial. Climate models are useless, even harmful, for setting energy policy.

But even if carbon dioxide does affect climate, China, India and Brazil are building power plants and automobiles at a record pace. Their people are rapidly climbing out of poverty, using coal, oil, natural gas and hydroelectric power to achieve their dreams.

Leaders of these countries are not going to tell their still-poor people that they cannot enjoy the benefits that plentiful, affordable, dependable energy can provide.

Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States became modern economic powerhouses by using fossil fuels. They gave people wondrous technologies, improved their health and living standards, and doubled their life expectancies – using hydroelectric and hydrocarbon power.

Some people in rich countries talk about ending their fossil fuel use. But they have not done so – and cannot afford to. They talk about switching to wind and solar power. But they can no longer afford massive renewable energy subsidies that destroy two jobs in other sectors of their economy for every “green” job they create.

People in rich countries will not give up their modern living standards, electricity, automobiles, airplanes, hospitals, factories and food. Mr. Pachauri certainly will not. Why, should people in poor countries give up their dreams?

During the Cancun climate summit, rich nations said they would give poor countries $100-billion annually in “climate change reparation and adaptation” money. But these are empty promises, made by nations that can no longer afford such unsustainable spending.

Poor countries that expect this money will end up fighting over table scraps – and whatever funds do flow will end up in the overseas bank accounts of ruling elites. The poor will see little or none of it.

For awhile longer, rich countries will continue supporting global warming research and conferences. Researchers, bureaucrats and politicians will continue issuing dire warnings of imminent catastrophes, while they enjoy the benefits of modern energy, traveling on airplanes, attending talk fests at fancy hotels in exotic locations – all powered by coal and petroleum.

They may continue telling the world’s poor how important and admirable it is that we keep living traditional, sustainable, environment-friendly lifestyles; getting by on small amounts of intermittent, unreliable, expensive electricity from wind turbines and solar panels; and giving up our dreams of a better, healthier, more prosperous life.

Ultimately, the climate change debate is really over just two things. Whether we, the world’s poor, must give up our hopes and dreams. And whether we will determine our own futures – or the decisions will be made for us, by politicians who use climate change to justify restricting our access to reliable, affordable energy.

Which should we fear most? Climate change that some say might happen 50 or 100 years from now? Or an energy-deprived life of continued poverty, misery, disease, and forgotten hopes and dreams? Our future is in our hands.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: