Fred Lipfert – My Favorite Things in 2023

By Fred Lipfert, PhD — Dec 28, 2023
In 2019, I joined ACSH's contributing writers group because I admire the mission, and sought an outlet for some long-held dilemmas concerning the health effects of air pollution. Since then, my interests, along with those of my long-time colleague Sheldon Lipsky, have morphed along three tracks: air pollution, climate change, and original research on COVID-19. Here are a few articles on those topics.
Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

My “favorites” are those that I felt might contribute to a better understanding of critical issues; I apologize if I tend to love the newer ones best.


Can current levels of air pollution cause new cases of chronic disease?

No. Chronic diseases like COPD or cancer can only result from continuing exposures, frequently over decades. Smoking is the prime example; no one dies from lighting up, and quitting can undo the damage. Urban air pollution hit prime time with the Great London Fog of 1952 that pushed the frail over the brink, from which the city recovered. Polluted cities may be unhealthy, but we can’t separate cause from effect.

From the Archives: Timing the Health Effects of Air Pollution


Is the US doing its share to alleviate climate change?

Yes. The issues are global, and “shares” should be defined based on populations. Global relief will depend on the actions of the most populous nations.

Climate Change: What About Diversity & Inclusion?


Do we really understand the ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic?  

Yes and no. Causes and effects changed as the pandemic evolved and new virus variants arrived, but the overall trends are downward, especially with hospitalized mortality. Vaccination and masking helped some regions more than others, but benefits have been limited by poor public participation. Treatment of long COVID remains problematic.

The COVID-19 Pandemic is Over. What Was the Damage

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