Friday, April 30, 2004

We're Dying, Here! The news is terrible on the smog front:
More than half the nation's population lives in counties -- many in California -- with hazardous smog levels, according to a report released Thursday. San Bernardino topped counties nationwide in ozone pollution.

The annual American Lung Association study says about 159 million Americans, or 55 percent of the country, reside in 441 counties threatened by air that's heavily polluted with ozone or tiny particles of soot, known as particle matter.

Christ-ola, it's the 1970s all over again! [What's next? A "Starsky & Hutch" remake? -- Ed. Ha. Like anyone could be that dumb.]

But wait: The whole story is a little more complex, but you have to read right down to the next-to-last paragraph to find out that

The Environmental Protection Agency said its own analysis, to be released next month, shows ozone levels were down significantly across the country, with many areas seeing their lowest concentrations since 1980.

"You wouldn't realize we have made such incredible progress in reducing pollution from this report," said Joel Schwartz, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Here's a bonus story, one of a type that so often show environmental "experts" pursuing their quixotic agenda of environmental stasis.
Poor and minority children are likely to develop asthma at worsening rates due to global warming and air pollution, environment experts predicted on Thursday.

They . . .

[This is verbatim, goddammit! They? They?! Who the f*ck is they? We're past the lead paragraph now, chief, so the pronoun they, referring to the antecedent "environmental experts" doesn't cut it. We're not told who they is until the eigth paragrapgh. And this is a professional writing this?]
. . . released a report showing that as the climate gets warmer, allergens such as pollen and mold will flood the air, interacting with urban pollutants such as ozone and soot to fuel an already growing epidemic of asthma.

"The combination of air pollutants, aeroallergens, heat waves and unhealthy air masses -- increasingly associated with a changing climate -- causes damage to the respiratory systems, particularly growing children, and these impacts disproportionately affect poor and minority groups in the inner cities," the report reads.

"This is a real wake-up call for people who think global warming is only going to be a problem way off in the future or that it has no impact on their lives in a meaningful way," said Christine Rogers, a senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Actually, no. First, it's not a "real wake-up call" if the evidence shows only association. I can show you that fatal car accidents are "increasingly associated with the drinking of bottled water"; this, of course, would say exactly nothing about the relationship between drinking bottled water and fatal car accidents.

Second, and more to the point, what kind of public policy is required to keep the earth's climate exactly where it is? I mean, now that the enviro-left has determined that the earth's climate is exactly where it needs to be, and any increase in temperatures would disproportionately affect "[p]oor and minority children," wouldn't it in fact be criminal to allow temperatures to rise?

These people don't know the first goddamn thing about science. They're shills, hacks, and two-bit advocates masquerading as scholars at the most politically compromised institutions in the country: America's universities.

By the way, here's the story's explanation of the greenhouse effect:

The carbon dioxide forms a kind of invisible blanket that traps the sun's radiation.

While average temperatures warm, the effects are not predictable and even. Storms may become more severe and some areas may get colder weather.

This is the great elephino dodge. (As in, What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino? Elephino. [Said with the same intonation as "Hell if I know."]) What's going on in these climate models? Why does global warming make temperatures go down? What's this I hear about a new ice age? Why do atmospheric trends indicate much less warming than sea trends, even though atmospheric trends are supposed to be the leading trends? Should I fake my orgasms?


Actually, the answer to that last one is "Yes." My point is that, in real science, saying "the effects are not predictable" is the same thing as saying "this theory is ridiculous on its face." After all, what is a crappy, useless theory if not one that can't accurately predict results?

Sidebar: Doesn't that "poor and minority children" bit scream for the old joke about newspaper sub-heads on the headline "World to End Tomorrow"?

New York Times: Poor, minorities hardest hit

WSJ: Futures down

New York Post: Jacko grilled over bed-sharing tots!

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