Climate Change Lessons from 2023

By Fred Lipfert, PhD — Jan 05, 2024
The climate is changing while concerns about air pollution linger on.
Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay

Climate Change

This issue has been with us for decades and now results in much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. My concerns include the need to consider energy systems globally rather than locally.

  • Complex atmospheric modeling shows greenhouse gases heat the planet, leading to climate change. Global relief depends on major emission reductions from developing nations, for which the metrics should be emissions per capita and the relative abatement costs. Climate Change: "We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is Us."Cultural and societal factors contribute to our inability to address the issue. Advanced technologies could help. Let’s Ask ChatGPT - Climate Change





  • Human respiration contributes. It is easier to install new renewables than to retire old polluters. When energy is scarce, coal can be a lifeline. Digging Deeper Into Climate Change




Bottom Line: The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) closed with an agreement that signals “the beginning of the end,” to which I would respond, “Show me the money.”  Nations and systems with the lowest costs per ton of CO2 or methane reductions should have priority.

Air Pollution

My interests here go back 50 years; I might claim to be its oldest living researcher. My skepticism about whether exposure to urban air can initiate chronic disease has continued throughout, even as this canard persists and is applied globally.

  • Clean air is a negative that depends on not polluting. EPA monitors and tries to control all kinds of particles rather than focusing on toxic ones like diesel smoke.  Even if the outdoors were pristine, we are still exposed to uncontrolled indoor pollutants. Why Can’t We Totally Eliminate Air Pollution



  • PM2.5 is studied because that’s what EPA monitors and regulates as presumed protection from various disorders. They don’t seem to realize that initiating a chronic disease requires decade-long exposures, as with smoking. PM2.5 & Lung Cancer: Promotion or Predilection?






Bottom Lines: Air pollution can be unpleasant and may adversely affect the frail elderly, but indoor exposures have been ignored, and initiation of chronic disease has never been demonstrated. As we shelter from the heat, indoor air quality becomes more critical