Here's what's on tap: The how-to of COVID-19 testing ... an extremely well-informed skeptic wonders about our pandemic actions ... a possible silver lining to the massive economic fallout ... and what's behind the long lines of climbers trying to summit Mount Everest?
How do you measure the number of lives lost from air pollutants? As is often the case, it depends. In the United States, by and large, these studies have been designed to support regulatory interests under the Clean Air Act rather than scientific inquiry. The EPA selects the pollutants of concern, the outdoor locations to be monitored and the timeframes of interest. But what, if anything, is really being measured?
The global mortality rate from air pollution is estimated to be 8.8 million people per year. That's 18% higher than the 7.2 million lost annually from tobacco. Do you believe it? There is room for doubt. Let's take a look.
In criticizing the journal Science, when it rains it pours.
A niche publication, E&E News, reports to a wide variety of institutional stakeholders on environmental and energy issues before Congress and federal regulatory agencies. Last week, in its report on the EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, its editors felt it better to report half-truths.
Air pollution remains a contentious issue. While everyone is in favor of cleaner air, there is less unanimity over which pollutants, in what concentrations, can harm our health. The linkage between air pollution and disease is beset with problems of accurately identifying a dose-response (a biologic gradient), a clear temporal connection, and, most importantly, biologic plausibility – how does a pollutant cause a disease.
The press reports global estimates of 7 million premature deaths associated with air pollution. That's despite dramatic improvements in air quality. How clean is clean enough?
A weekly look at what's also interesting, even though it didn't make it into Dispatch or onto our website.
Tule fog is a very dense fog found in California's Central Valley, and it's the source of many traffic accidents and fatalities annually. But over the last 30 years Tule fog is seen less often, and for shorter times. Apparently, it's not a result of climate change but of improving air quality.
Air quality is very good pretty much everywhere in the United States. This fact stands in stark contrast to utterly absurd claims in the media, such as blaming air pollution for killing 155,000 Americans. Take a look at the maps provided by the World Health Organization.
Cosmetics and cleaners are not the great Satan of atmospheric pollution that the media suggests. But why let facts get in the way of a good story?
It's no secret that air pollution is bad news (but no longer in the U.S.). It's also no secret that people write sensationalized junk that poses as science to drive home a point or support an agenda. Today we're having a two-for-one special. You get both. And no – small particulate matter does not affect IQ. This is beyond ridiculous.