Sunday, February 06, 2022

Another study of air pollution showing that it has negligible if any health effects

The authors have a different conclusion but that is what their data shows. These studies seem to come out about once a year. I have demolished many of them. So I am glad that Wm Briggs is doing the critique this time

I’m always on about Experts, which are credentialed trained individuals who support the regime, so I thought it well to show Experts in action. One way is through the use of the Epidemiologist Fallacy, which happens when a scientist says X causes Y, but where X is never measured, and the cause is confirmed by a wee p-value.

Now there is nothing more embarrassing in science than a researcher running around, simpering “Look at my wee p! Look at my wee p!” Yet it happens all the time. I won’t here prove that every use of a p-value contains a (separate) fallacy, but it is so. For proof go here.

You’d also think claims like “fracking natural gas kills people” would be based on measuring the cause, in this case measuring fracking natural gas exposure or, rather, intake. But you’d be wrong. Neither natural gas exposure or intake in the study I’m about to describe was measured. At all.

Yet the researchers still claimed that natural gas killed old people.

How do they get away with it? I’ll tell you. You won’t believe me, but I swear to you the reason I give is true. They get away with it because everybody else commits the Epidemiologist Fallacy, too. And misery loves company. Here are many examples.

Our example today is the peer-reviewed paper “Exposure to unconventional oil and gas development and all-cause mortality in Medicare beneficiaries” by Longxiang Li and a host of others in Nature Energy. Following a depressing trend, most of the paper is shunted to supplementary material. You cannot understand what is happening in papers anymore.

Here’s their main claim:

We found evidence of a statistically significant higher mortality risk associated with living in proximity to and downwind of unconventional oil and gas wells. Our results suggest that primary air pollutants sourced from unconventional oil and gas exploration can be a major exposure pathway with adverse health effects in the elderly.

The paper is constructed from the Epidemiologist Fallacy. They want to say X (natural gas) causes Y (death in the elderly) but they can’t measure actual exposure to natural gas or its effluvia.

So what do they do?

Like many before them, they use exposure to zip codes: “For each beneficiary’s ZIP code of residence and year in the cohort, we calculated a proximity-based and a downwind-based pollutant exposure.”

Zip codes are used to classify people who live within some distance to a natural gas source. Address is taken to be exposure/intake.

Were people at their zip codes the entire time? Did some have their windows open, some closed? Did some use air filters and others not? What about those who ate what the government recommended (not a wise idea) and those who didn’t? What about the actual level of exposure to natural gas and its combustion products?

Were the people who lived right next to gas wells or fires poorer than those living in more placid lands? And therefore, being poorer, suffer more for various other reasons besides gas?

We’ll never know.

Now it is not impossible that somebody sniffing natural gas fumes will live a shorter life next to somebody who breathes only pristine air. But there must be some great uncertainty in measuring the distance from a gas source and saying that distance is exposure or intake, even if intake does in fact lead to shorter lives.

I don’t know what this uncertainty is, but it cannot be small. But it exists and should be applied to any claims of cause. Here’s what I mean. If they say that there’s a certain percent chance you’ll die sniffing gas or its byproducts because of the gas, but don’t measure exposure but only distance, you must multiply that percent chance by the uncertainty in the proxy.

Suppose they say you have a 1% chance of dying from sniffing gas. But they don’t measure sniffing, but only distance. And the chance that distance truly represents sniffing is, say, also 1% (a plausible number).

That makes the real chance (based on this evidence) that gas kills you 1% x 1% = 0.01%.

The real result doesn’t sound as exciting, does it.

Our authors’ result, even before doing this necessary calculation, sounds even worse. I won’t explain the model, but it’s a regression stuffed aplenty with, well, stuff, one thing of which is distance/zip code.

Before that, here’s a table of their raw data, to show you the effect of modeling (and recalling all models only say what they are told to say).

The “PE” is “exposure”, i.e. zip code. And the “DE+/-” is wind direction “exposure” (read the paper). You can see the raw mortality rates. They barely differ across the levels of “exposure”. There certainly isn’t any strong signal that greater “exposure” leads to more death.

To get that, they had to use a model, the output of which was a “hazard ratio”, which is a multiplicative effect to the chance of dying right now, at this moment. The lowest “exposure” had a HR of about 1.01. The highest “exposure” had an HR of just over 1.02, which rose to almost 1.03 in the downwind category (see their Table 4; supplementary Table 2). But these differences, because of the massive size of the data, gave them wee p-values to wave around.

All this means the effect, even if genuine, is tiny. Before accounting for the uncertainty in the proxy as cause (and the over-certainty in this parametric and not predictive analysis). Once we do that, and recognize that in the raw data there was no signal at all, we must conclude that THERE IS NOTHING TO SEE HERE.

Back to Experts. The paper we now see says nothing. Yet the regime picked it up and touted it. Here’s a headline from Inside Climate News: “For the First Time, a Harvard Study Links Air Pollution From Fracking to Early Deaths Among Nearby Residents.” Science Daily: “Living near or downwind of unconventional oil and gas development linked with increased risk of early death”.

Linked is the supreme weasel word in Science. It’s like convicted in court on purely circumstantial evidence.


COVID Masks environmentally destructive

Liberals always claim to care a lot with the ocean and the surroundings but the truth is they are actually destroying it as we converse.

Hypocritical liberals killing marine life and polluting seashores with their beloved COVID masks.

According to the Specialists at OceansAsia said that greater than 1.56 billion face masks utilized in 2020 will find yourself within the ocean.

Additionally, they predict that face masks would add as much as round 4,860 to six,240 tons of additional plastic waste within the oceans.

And that analysis was accomplished earlier than Fauci and Biden and the remainder of the clown present advised everybody to put on TWO masks. So these numbers are even larger now.

But, we don’t even have any stable proof that masks are stopping the unfold of COVID.

The CDC and Fauci are all around the map in terms of masks. Put on none, put on one, put on two, possibly three. It’s baffling how anybody can take these so-called “consultants” severely.

We all know Rand Paul doesn’t take Fauci severely in any respect. As a matter of reality, he’s repeatedly referred to as him out for “masks theatrics.”

The piece goes on to say that masks by no means really break down – as a substitute, they break up into smaller items and exit indefinitely.

A current examine discovered that one masks can shed as much as 173,000 tiny plastic microfibers in simply sooner or later.

Specialists say which means the harm from masks is cumulative and is actually piling up within the ocean over time. The consultants go on to say that the state of affairs is critical, and our present waste programs should not geared up to deal with it.

Option to go Dems. You’re actually creating an enormous environmental disaster by pushing masks that don’t have any science even proving in the event that they work or not.

However Dems don’t care, do they? The dirtier the ocean, the more cash these environmental teams can rake in.

It’s all an enormous money-making scheme, and it has little or no to do with really caring in regards to the “surroundings.”


Rethink net zero plans, British Cabinet urges, as country faces biggest cost-of-living crisis in a generation

Senior Cabinet ministers believe there should be a rethink of the Government's net zero plans as the country faces the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation, The Telegraph can disclose.

A number of ministers have expressed concern that the pace of the planned switch to renewable energy is too fast and is increasing costs for consumers. They believe Britain should use more of its own gas in the short-term.

On Thursday, it was announced that energy bills will rise by almost £700 from April – an increase of more than 50 per cent and the largest on record.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, announced a £9billion bailout, which will see rebates of £200 for all bills and a £150 council tax cut for those in less expensive homes, to help households cope with the unprecedented rise.

However, a controversial green energy levy, which will add £153 a year to the average bill from April, has been kept.

The Bank of England also raised interest rates to 0.5 per cent, warning that inflation would hit seven per cent by April amid growing fears over a cost of living crisis.

Andrew Bailey, the Bank’s Governor, said the country was facing the worst crunch to household incomes since its records began in 1990. However, he also urged workers not to ask for big pay rises or they would risk making inflation worse.

Wage growth slowed to just 4.2 per cent at the end of last year, meaning workers will require an 8.7 per cent pay rise for their salaries to keep pace with current levels of inflation.

Cabinet ministers are increasingly uneasy about Downing Street’s focus on its net zero target and have warned that the cost of living crisis should be given more priority in the coming years.

One said the UK “should not be running towards net zero so aggressively”, describing the 2050 pledge as one of the “most aggressive targets in the world”.

“We've stigmatised gas, and that’s wrong,” the minister said. “Gas has to be part of the answer.”

Another Cabinet minister told The Telegraph: “The priority should be the cost of living – 2050 is a long way away, and our own gas is a valuable transition fuel in the meantime.” That view is understood to be shared by at least another two Cabinet ministers.

Mr Sunak indicated that he may share these concerns, and highlighted that North Sea gas “plays an important part of our transition to net zero”.

He told a Downing Street press conference: “I want to make sure that people acknowledge that we should also exploit our domestic resources. We have resources in the North Sea, and we want to encourage investment in that because we're going to need natural gas as part of our transition to getting to net zero.

“And in the process of getting from here to there, if we can get investment in the North Sea that supports British jobs, that's a good thing. So that has to be part of the mix as well.”


California urged to keep nuclear plant open to meet climate goals

Nearly 80 scientists and academics, including a former U.S. energy secretary, on Thursday urged Governor Gavin Newsom to delay closure of California's remaining nuclear plant to comply with state laws on fighting global warming.

"The threat of climate change is too real and too pressing to leap before we look," said a letter to Newsom from Steven Chu, a former U.S. energy secretary, and the others. "Considering our climate crisis, closing the plant is not only irresponsible, the consequences could be catastrophic."

The letter was organized by Isabelle Boemeke, a model and founder and executive director of Save Clean Energy, a nonprofit group that promotes the emissions benefits of nuclear power.

Faced with rising costs for operating the plant's two reactors, the utility PG&E (PCG.N) decided in 2016 to allow their licenses to expire in 2024 and 2025, which would close the last nuclear plant in the nation's most populous state.

Environmental groups concerned about earthquakes, nuclear waste, and use of seawater to cool reactors, had also pushed for the closure.

As concern about climate change has mounted, however, so has the call to keep open Diablo Canyon, which backers say is the state's top source of emissions free power.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a Reuters interview in November that she would be willing to talk with California officials about the possibility of keeping it open once the federal government makes progress on dealing with nuclear waste, an issue for which there is no permanent fix.

Granholm said then that there is a "change underfoot about the opinion people may have about nuclear." The Department of Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Erin Mellon, a spokesperson for Newsom, said retail energy providers are in the process of procuring projects to replace power generated by Diablo Canyon and that California has the technology and plans to meet its clean energy goals.

PG&E said its focus is on safely operating the plant until the end of its licenses.

Diablo Canyon can withstand earthquakes larger than nearby faults are capable of triggering, the letter said. It cited an assessment that PG&E sent in 2018 to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission finding no significant seismic or tsunami hazards to the plant.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit group that has studied seismic risks to nuclear plants, says Diablo Canyon is one of the top 10 U.S. plants most vulnerable to earthquakes and was built to a more stringent, though insufficient, standard than reactors in the U.S. East.




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