Lomborg: Let’s get our priorities right

By Bjørn Lomborg (via his Facebook page)

About a quarter of all deaths in the developing world comes from mostly easily curable, infectious diseases.

The biggest environment problem, by far measured in human deaths, is air pollution.
Global warming, which creates a lot of attention, is on an entirely different and smaller level. The World Health Organization estimate (a very maximal estimate) is about one-fortieth of the deaths from air pollution. Even if you assume all deaths from floods, droughts and storms, the number is an even smaller two-hundredth of air pollution.

And no, the number of deaths from global warming won’t increase, but more likely decrease over time, as many infectious deaths will disappear because of increasing wealth, and because fewer cold deaths will increasingly outweigh increasing heat deaths.

Source:  Communicable deaths and air pollution deaths from Global Burden of Disease, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61766-8.

Infectious diseases are about 10m of 52.6m global deaths, and 9.2m of 39.7m developing world deaths.

Air pollution lies between 3.5m and 6.9m (indoor and outdoor air pollution is somewhat overlapping, because indoor air pollution contributes 16% to global outdoor air pollution, and because there is no good estimate of how close most people stay to homes when outside). Here, just using the mean, which is likely an underestimate.

WHO global warming estimate is 141,000 deaths (
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/). Lower estimate is just 28,266/year for the past decade , using estimates of deaths from flooding, droughts, heatwaves and storms, and assume they’re all from climate change, (http://www.csccc.info/reports/report_23.pdf).

Long-term development of deaths from Richard Tol’s chapter for my upcoming book, How Much have Global Problems Cost the World? A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050 (http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/economics/economic-development-and-growth/how-much-have-global-problems-cost-world-scorecard-1900-2050).

For now, see the estimates from Bosello et al. for 2050 showing global warming *saving* about 850,000 lives (1.76m saved from cold, vs 820,000 more dead from heat), http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800905003423.

 

 

 

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119 Responses to Lomborg: Let’s get our priorities right

  1. Gene Selkov says:

    Show us the bodies. Even if they include those killed by Sarin in the air pollution category, that won’t make 5.2M.

  2. milodonharlani says:

    CACCA’s goal is not to save lives but to reduce the number of humans & bring the cowering, impoverished, powerless survivors to bay as craven subjects of the global bureaucratic class.

  3. TRM says:

    SANITATION!!!!!!! There is nothing like clean water to drink/cook and excrement handled intelligently to fix that first column or at least most of it.

  4. Kevin Schurig says:

    This sounds more like an attempt to switch tactics since the AGW scare is not working. So let’s revisit an oldie but goodie, air pollution.

  5. Mark Bofill says:

    I’m sorry, maybe those knowledgeable on this topic take it for granted, but I didn’t realize there was a relationship between air pollution and easily curable infectious diseases. I think the article could be improved by explaining some of the basics of this, if this is in fact so.

  6. Mark Bofill says:

    Or, if there isn’t, then why are we talking about both air pollution and easily curable infectious diseases in the same breath? I’m a little confused.

  7. Chris B says:

    What about deaths from starvation exacerbated by subsidized biofuel production pushing out food production?

  8. I hate to bring this up, but Global Warming and Air Pollution aren’t exactly independent. Particularly after Pres. Obama has taken on the slogan, “Carbon Pollution” and using the Clean Air Act to conduct his War on Coal.

    So, from Obama’s point of view, he does have his priorities right by equating Climate Change = Global Warming = Carbon Pollution = Air Pollution. More is the pity for the Developed and Developing World’s people.

  9. Latitude says:

    and because fewer cold deaths will increasingly outweigh increasing heat deaths
    ====
    I say we can easily correct that….
    …let’s raise energy prices

  10. higley7 says:

    As we are cooling, or at least have not warmed in 15 to 21 years, it might be safe to say that deaths due to global warming are very low, looking a lot like ZERO.

    These numbers are literally dreamed up around a table as they make guesses at attribution. The WHO even admitted so a while back. They pose a question asking how many people do you think die per million people due to global warming. As no one can show any direct effects of a tiny bit of non-existent warming, they make up a number and then use the world population to figure out how many people that would be. Then, they elevate this dreamed up number to a statistic and publish it.

    The exact same method is used on air pollution and, recently in the US, on particulates.

  11. John West says:

    Bjørn Lomborg makes an excellent point, but alarmists have proven time and time again that they have no sense of scale, perspective, or decency.

    I understand accepting the higher climate related deaths for arguments sake; but, really, if one thinks about it, one would have to be pretty inadaptable to actually die from climate change.

  12. Richard Lewis says:

    This particular “article” by Lomborg (not particularly well written) must be read, I believe, with an understanding of his macro view that indoor air pollution deaths in the developing world can best be reduced by providing access to inexpensive fossil fuels or fossil fuel generated electricity, global warming concerns being almost totally inconsequential in comparison to the benefits. Further, access to clean, inexpensive fossil fuel based energy reduces the negative environmental pressure of scavenging for primitive sources of energy, primarily wood.

    Lonborg, an economist, is a realist in that he believes that adaptation to “global warming” is far preferable to the misguided strategies of mitigation through “green energy” initiatives which are having disastously negative effects on the world poorest. His more formal writings are quite worthy of reading and consideration.

  13. ‘the number is an even smaller two-hundredth of air pollution’, well there is nothing like being economical with the truth!

    ‘There were supposed to be 50 million climate refugees by the end of last year, so where are they?…was it all a myth? ,…a New Scientist investigation reveals how international agencies failed to make even the most cursory calculations…we found that while there are undoubtedly millions of people…who have had to abandon their homes due to factors linked to climate…’

    www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028104.600-searching-for-the-climate-refugees.html

    Because if the climate refugees are not been counted correctly then it’s 1 will get you10 that deaths are not either! And the deaths from air pollution? Would that be coal fired power stations,,fumes from internal combustion engines, etc, etc.

  14. John West says:

    @ Mark Bofill

    The common denominator is that they both (air pollution and diseases) kill people in great numbers unlike climate change which is really just an inconvenience.

  15. Mark Bofill says:

    John West –
    Thank you, I see now.

  16. Joe Public says:

    Clean water trumps clean air. Every day of the week.

  17. alexwade says:

    Where is the big money in providing sanitation and basic health care to poorer countries? Until someone finds a way to blame the people in rich countries for causing treatable disease (and not be related to another so-called crisis, i.e. AGW causes more disease) then nothing will happen. And then when something happens it will be only to enrich certain individuals and make the chosen few more powerful while those that need help still suffer.

  18. Jimbo says:

    Let me be clear: Warmists’ priorities are not preventing preventable disease deaths but climate scare tax, spending, the destruction of industrial infrastructure and an end to modern levels of consumption. Their priorities are to ignore deaths from preventable disease hoping they will kill even more poor people and reduce poor peoples’ pressure on the world’s resources while not affecting them. Co2 is just a means to this end.

    Read the lines and between the lines.

    http://www.green-agenda.com/

    http://www.green-agenda.com/agenda21.html

  19. RobRoy says:

    Deliver first world Fossil-fueled, prosperity to the “developing” world – problem solved.

  20. Jimbo says:

    How have they differentiated climate deaths as opposed to weather deaths?

  21. milodonharlani says:

    Trying to ameliorate negligible to non-existent man-made global warming has indeed killed at least thousands of people.

  22. Jon Jewett says:

    Joe Public

    I suspect that “CLEAN WATER”comes under easily cured infectious diseases along with malaria.

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  23. Joe says:

    It often strikes me how many people here immediately attack any numbers etc in a post like this, even when the message is quite clearly that, even allowing the alarmists’ numbers there are far higher priorities out there.

    I’d normally find that sort of knee-jerk mindset amusing, except that in this case it simply hands evidence to the alarmists about how unthinking all us sceptics are :(

  24. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Ulaanbaatar says:

    In order to make a meaningful reduction in health consequences of indoor air pollution exposure must be reduced by 90% or more. This is no mean feat because fuel switching is almost invariably expensive. For the worst cases, which are caused by indoor cooking smoke, it is particularly difficult to accomplish while retaining the same fuels because of habits, resistance and unjustifiable optimism about the performance of alternative technologies.

    One positive experience is the MCC funded domestic stove programme in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia which has reduced outdoor air pollution 30% in 18 months. The WB and UB City government will continue this programme with the tender process for the next 45,000 stoves in a few weeks. Air quality can be dramatically improved for reasonable sums, but it is not nearly as simple as waving a wand or pledge of good intentions.

    Improved health is a worthy goal. It should not be an either / or choice in a “climate change” contest.

  25. Bruce Cobb says:

    Jimbo says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

    How have they differentiated climate deaths as opposed to weather deaths?

    Fortunately they don’t have to, as the climatological cognoscenti have now determined that weather = climate.

  26. Well, blow me down under.

    On the subject of “Carbon Pollution” and Obama’s June 25, 2013 speech, I thought I’d see what changes might have happened in Google Trends on the search term “Carbon Pollution”

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=carbon+pollution#q=%22carbon%20pollution%22&cmpt=q

    Image capture: http://i39.tinypic.com/2ag56op.jpg

    Apparently “Carbon Pollution” was a phase invented in Australia in July 2008, peaked Aug 2008, bounced around from 47 to 96 in Nov. 2009, then stays below 30 except for brief spikes Mar-May 2010, and May 2011. May-Jun-Jul 2013 was 17, 22, 18.

    Looking at region: Australia 100. USA 4.
    So Obama is getting on the “Carbon Pollution” bus just as the Australians are getting off.…. or maybe not.

  27. If WHO says millions die from air pollution … I don’t believe them. It is just part of the war on coal.

    It is possible they are right, but WHO and the other lefty organizations cannot be believed. They and the Lancet et al are serial liars.

  28. Also, I’ll bet that most of those air pollution deaths are actually malarial deaths caused by the banning of DDT.

  29. Billy Liar says:

    sunshinehours1 says:
    July 20, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Read the comments before commenting.

    You would have learnt that the air pollution deaths are from indoor pollution caused by cooking with dung and using soot emitting lighting.

  30. geran says:

    Jimbo, you are applying WAY too much logic…

    Jimbo says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:27 am
    How have they differentiated climate deaths as opposed to weather deaths?

  31. Lance Wallace says:

    The estimates of deaths from indoor air pollution (nearly 2 million per year) http://www.who.int/indoorair/health_impacts/burden_global/en/
    are based on very solid data, including
    (1)multiple studies measuring smoke from cooking and heating using wood and dung in homes without chimneys, and
    (2) mortality statistics showing that most of the deaths occur among women and children.

    China supplied about 800,000 improved cookstoves to rural communities, and other nations including Bangladesh and India are also working on this. The World Bank has a useful discussion of the latest technologies here:

    http://climatechange.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/documents/Household%20Cookstoves-web.pdf

  32. Dr. Bob says:

    The Sierra Club got its priorities right. Take funding from the evil fossil fuel industry (NG in this case), fight coal with their money, then turn on them when they are being used to reduce carbon (dioxide) emissions from a coal fired power plant. It works for them, and they still say that evil oil and coal fund skeptics. Here is the article from Buffalo, NY on this issue:

    http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130714/CITYANDREGION/130719505/1109

  33. Steve Garcia says:

    @Gene Selkov at 9:30 am:
    “Show us the bodies. Even if they include those killed by Sarin in the air pollution category, that won’t make 5.2M.”

    @TRM at 9:39 am:
    “SANITATION!!!!!!! There is nothing like clean water to drink/cook and excrement handled intelligently to fix that first column or at least most of it.”

    I have to agree with both of you. WATER pollution/contamination, yes. Air? Come on! If 5.2 million people died every year from air pollution it would be in the news BIG TIME.

    But sanitation? Absolutely.

    The source, “Communicable deaths and air pollution deaths from Global Burden of Disease” (no link provided), wouldn’t include a discussion of sanitation deaths. Sanitation deaths are neither communicable nor air pollution.

    One ALSO has to ask if they are using the EPA’s recent “CO2 is pollution” dictate. REAL pollution – like the world USED TO HAVE – is rarely really included in discussions, even here.

    I agree with Gene Selkov. I doubt if even at the time of the Killer fogs in London 5.2m died in a year from air pollution. If so, where?

    Let’s see… I didn’t find that exact title, “Communicable deaths and air pollution deaths from Global Burden of Disease,” but I found “Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010″ [Lancet] and it showed these:

    …lower respiratory infections (from 3•4 to 2•8 million), [7.3% to 5.3%]…
    …Tuberculosis killed 1•2 million people in 2010. [2.2%]…
    …1•5 million (19%) were from trachea, bronchus, and lung cancer. [2.8%]…

    Those were the only main respiratory deaths included, and they total up to 5.5 million.

    How one distinguishes what portion of each of those to assign to air pollution? WHO the heck know? (pun intended)

    TB is a communicable disease and comes from a virus. Cancer does not have any provable connection with air pollution, but certainly not all the trachea, lung and bronchus cancer deaths can be assigned to air pollution; to do so is as unscientific as one can get. A great number of them come from tobacco. Lower respiratory? Various causes – some could be from air pollution, but which and how many?

    Again, I have to agree with Gene Selkov. That air pollution number is bull.

    5.2m out of those 5.5m are supposed to be from air pollution?

    In what alarmists’ wet dream?

  34. Day By Day says:

    John West says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:09 am
    @ Mark Bofill

    The common denominator is that they both (air pollution and diseases) kill people in great numbers unlike climate change which is really just an inconvenience.

    I wish you wrote this article becasue I didn’t understand what he was saying.

    Was this kind of reporting special WHO speak? Becasue it whizzed past my feeble brain: “Infectious diseases are about 10m of 52.6m global deaths, and 9.2m of 39.7m developing world deaths.”

    If you are going to write in shorthand, it would help if you gave us a glossary.

    And a sentence like this: “Here, just using the mean, which is likely an underestimate.” That isn’t even a sentence, So hats off to John West who understood it, because I certainly didn’t.

  35. Greg says:

    Do the figures for air pollution deaths include Obama’s “toxic” CO2 ?

    Apparently it’s toxic “like mercury and arsenic” except that there is not 400 ppmv or arsenic or Hg vapour in the atmosphere, so there must already be millions dying from this “toxic” air-borne poison already.

    How long before the EPA starts fulfilling it’s legal obligations and fines the 640 million American citizens who a deliberately and flagrantly breaking the law thousands of times each day, releasing toxic gases into indoor and outdoor environment by exhaling?

    Those not able to pay the fines should be physically restrained from polluting in the future.

  36. R. de Haan says:

    Air pollution BS. If there is any problem with air pollution it in-house air pollution from open fire places burning wood, coal, kerosine, etc, in combination with bad ventilation. In the West we see an increase of lung problems thanks to the insulation epidemic causing increased dust, moist and mould and mould spurs among other problems like toxic emission from insulation materials like pur foam. The greener the solution, the deadlier.

  37. jdgalt says:

    Raw numbers of people killed by each type of hazard are only step 1. Now show us the steps you propose we take to alleviate each one, and be sure to show their costs per year of life expectancy saved, especially costs in lives.

    EPA’s clean air regulations, for instance, kill thousands every year by forcing people into smaller cars where they are more likely to die in wrecks. That dwarfs any believable number saved by the reduction in emissions.

  38. Berényi Péter says:

    Gene Selkov says:
    July 20, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Show us the bodies. Even if they include those killed by Sarin in the air pollution category, that won’t make 5.2M.

    Lomborg is talking about burning the warmists’ dream biofuel, dung indoors for cooking. Or low grade coal in home stoves for heating.

    If you use dung as a fertilizer instead, burn coal in power plants cleanly and deliver abundant healthy food to homes along with electricity for cooking (or natural gas extracted by fracking from almost anywhere), air pollution (both indoors & outdoors) goes down sharply.

    There is such a thing as air pollution, that’s how its global distribution looks like. It has nothing to do with CO₂, which is not a pollutant (except in EPA regulations and EU directives), but a fertilizer. I can still remember the time when in the city I live most homes were heated by coal fired stoves. It was not pretty, believe me, it stank. On calm winter days one could hardly breathe. It is not the case any more, coal is burnt in power plants in a controlled environment with all kinds of filters installed, releasing nothing else to the environment than water vapor & plant food. Also, 40% of our electricity comes from a nuclear power plant with no emissions whatsoever. And, of course, we have an extensive natural gas delivery network now. That stuff can be burnt cleanly even in home utensils, releasing only H₂O & CO₂ to the environment again.

    Unfortunately in the countryside poor people still burn biofuel (wood) or even recycled stuff (plastics) from sheer necessity, which releases heavy smoke, with thousands of unidentified chemicals in it.

  39. M Courtney says:

    Air pollution does increase the risk of lung cancer and stresses the heart (oxygen less easily absorbed when reflex expulsion of particulates takes place).

    So (CONTROVERSIAL); smoking tobacco was healthy until about the 1960s, in the UK. Air pollution was more harmful than the tobacco. And the tobacco was toxic to bacteria that would have exacerbated the problems.

    Tobacco is better than TB from a health viewpoint, in a dirty-air environment.
    Not now obviously.

  40. Steve P says:

    Steve Garcia says:
    July 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    TB is a communicable disease and comes from a virus.

    TB is indeed communicable, but it is caused by bacteria:

    Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus) is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    –Wikipedia

    Abundant power solves many problems, and is one of the main pillars of modern civilization.

  41. Gene Selkov says:

    Péter, everybody knows pollution is bad; we know that some kinds of pollution are very bad.

    The problem is, it is almost always impossible to point your finger at a dead body and say, “This person died of air pollution by X”. A near exception to this is tobacco smoking, and even that is controversial, depending on whom you ask. Having seen hundreds of post-mortem lung samples from smokers, I can tell you I don’t need statistics to conclude that smoking is bad and can kill. But people die from all sorts of things, and it often happens that smokers die from stroke, from alcohol abuse, or in a car accident before their self-inflicted harm by pollution has a chance to kill them. But smoking is an extreme form of pollution. It is even harder to link any deaths with milder forms of it, like secondary smoke, diesel exhaust or dung burning.

    So when you see any figures named, you can be certain they are not based on measurements. These figures are no more credible than the number of deaths from climate change.

  42. James Cross says:

    As a Progressive, I take the rare position among my kind of agreeing with Lomborg.

    For the life of me I cannot understand how Progressives can misunderstand their own priorities.

    I believe there is plenty we should be doing that could mitigate the effects of global warming and the best part of it is that, if global warming isn’t the problem most Progressives think it is, they are all things that we should be doing anyway.

    We should be investing in alternative energy technologies because eventually we will need them. It be five, ten, fifty, or more years but eventually it will make economic sense to not use fossil fuels.

    We should be improving sanitation, water, and health services in the poor and developing world. Just because we should.

    We should be improving agricultural and water management practices not only the developing world but in our own. Nothing good comes from the agricultural runoff waste we dump in the oceans and we can’t continue to grow our urban areas on finite water supplies.

    http://broadspeculations.com/2012/08/26/climate-of-change/

  43. Dr Burns says:

    Silly looking figures. It looks like this is the source “In their study, the researchers used an ensemble of climate models to simulate the concentrations of ozone and PM2.5 in the years 2000 and 1850.” Prove anything you want with a model.

  44. JY says:

    Can anyone answer my question for me?

    “If CO2 is at the same level as of 15 million years ago then why are we cooler by 5-10 degrees and sea levels lower by 75-120 feet? This would indicate there’s no CO2/temp/sea level relationship.”

  45. Before you get conned by the PM10 / PM2.5 kills millions, read Ross McKitrick.

    “According to Environment Canada, dust from unpaved roads in Ontario puts a whopping 90,116 tonnes of PM2.5 into our air each year, nearly 130 times the amount from coal-fired power generation. Using the Clean Air Alliance method for computing deaths, particulates from country-road usage kills 40,739 people per year, quite the massacre considering there are only about 90,000 deaths from all causes in Ontario each year. Who knew? That quiet drive up back country roads to the cottage for a weekend of barbecues, cozy fires and marshmallow roasts is a form of genocide.”

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/05/16/ontarios-power-trip-the-failure-of-the-green-energy-act/

  46. Doug Huffman says:

    Kevin Schurig says: July 20, 2013 at 9:43 am “So let’s revisit an oldie but goodie, air pollution.”
    Bad-air’s earlier name was MIASMA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miasma_theory

  47. Steve Garcia says:

    @Mark Bofill at 9:45 am:
    “Or, if there isn’t, then why are we talking about both air pollution and easily curable infectious diseases in the same breath? I’m a little confused.”

    Lomborg’s POV on all this is that the massive amounts of money being spent now and the much more massive amounts proposed to fight global warming could be much better spent on fixing things that are “easily curable” with enough money, such as many infectious diseases.

    He makes a lot of sense. IMHO. Throwing money at Kyoto or its offspring for something that has iffy payback and long lead payback is not the most common sense way to spend the money.

  48. Steve Garcia says:

    O/T, but personally I think the same arguments can be made about massive military expenditures. In the early 1960s there used to be a big conflict/controversy about “Guns or Butter.” I still think butter is better, but I get outvoted anytime I bring it up. Still, much the better part of a trillion a year for a military-industrial complex that is big enough to invade Jupiter, but that is so incompetent that it can’t beat Iraq or Afghanistan, or build effective interceptor missiles – are we spending wisely? And we have to go around picking fights just to justify it all. Not smart.

    Snip if you must, Anthony.

  49. geran says:

    James Cross says:
    July 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    we should be building more nuke plants, because we should….

    (LMAO)

  50. Bjorn is off the mark. The biggest environmental problem(s) are POVERTY and IGNORANCE. They kill far more people, indirectly, than anything else, but they DO kill them.

  51. ShrNfr says:

    But, but dung is a renewable resource. Burning it may kill the people who breathe the polluted air from the cook fire, but dung is constantly produced by “natural” means. Death cattle forever! No more coal trains!

  52. Air pollution lies between 3.5m and 6.9m (indoor and outdoor air pollution is somewhat overlapping, because indoor air pollution contributes 16% to global outdoor air pollution

    The indoor/outdoor distinction isn’t that meaningful, because in warmer climates, where gas or electricity isn’t available, people cook outside, precisely because of the smoke.

    I was recently in central Myanmar in the pre-monsoon season, where most cooking is still done using open fires. Everywhere there was a thick smoke haze, so thick that the blue sky and clouds were completely invisible. The sky varied from dirty white to a darkish grey.

    The solution to air pollution deaths is energy infrastructure; electricity from power stations and piped or bottled gas.

    I’d add, distribution of simple gas stoves and bottled gas would save many thousands of lives, and help save forests currently being cut down for firewood.

    It’s not generally appreciated that when electricity (and in some places piped gas) were introduced in the developed world, their main use, apart from lighting, was to replace fires for cooking.

  53. u.k.(us) says:

    umm,
    it is about taxation.

  54. Blade says:

    Stephen Rasey [July 20, 2013 at 9:47 am] says:

    I hate to bring this up, but Global Warming and Air Pollution aren’t exactly independent. Particularly after Pres. Obama has taken on the slogan, “Carbon Pollution” and using the Clean Air Act to conduct his War on Coal.

    So, from Obama’s point of view, he does have his priorities right by equating Climate Change = Global Warming = Carbon Pollution = Air Pollution. More is the pity for the Developed and Developing World’s people.

    I think you nailed it. The leftists sense that the AGW carbon scare is collapsing so it is time for them to do what they do best – blur two completely different topics together to regain some traction, in this instance: CO2 and air pollution. And why not? They do this often and it sticks because of the brain dead media herding the sheeple into easily manageable groups. Sowing the seeds of confusion seems to be an easy payoff for the climate scoundrels.

    We have seen CO2 often referred to only as “Carbon”. We have even seen the clueless and useless media interchange carbon monoxide with carbon dioxide. The Supreme Court and EPA and countless leftists have already set the stage for CO2 classed as a pollutant, so naturally they want to complete that meme. What is astounding is that we don’t have to go back too many years to remember a time when such a comparison would be considered grounds for clinical insanity, I mean in our very own lifetimes. CO2 was in every fire extinguisher. It was what we wanted to breath in a paper bag when our fingers went numb and lips tingled. Most importantly it was that magic plant food. They embarked on quite a trek here to demonize this particular gas.

    Let’s not forget how often they pull this stunt. One of the popular defensive memes they parroted during Climategate was blurring the difference between public and private, as in email discussions by taxpayer funded scientists stored on taxpayer funded computers. Frankly, the entire AGW hoax lies in blurring the difference between weather and climate because now every rainstorm or dry spell now shows up as climate change, regardless of timescale. It is reflexive Alinsky-esque propaganda. It’s what they do. It’s all they know.

    But it’s certainly nothing new. If we set the DeLorean time circuits to almost any year say between 600 AD to 1600 AD we would easily find their counterparts screaming that ‘the sky if falling’ or ‘the end is near’ or ‘Repent sinners! God is angry’. If a comet was visible in the sky for a few days any event that occurred during that period would be correlated to it. Plagues, bad weather, crop failures? Sacrifice a few cattle, slaves, or witches, whatever was handy during that particular century. So now we have CO2 appearing in the sky and once again we are asked to repent. Nothing has really changed has it?

    Consequently, the AGW madmen will need to disregard what Lomborg specifically says here because it draws a bright line right where they least desire it. And it makes me wonder if Lomborg also senses their corrupt strategy of blurring CO2 with air pollution and thus wrote this article.

  55. Blade says:
    July 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Well said.

    I’d add the media is complicit in the ‘carbon pollution’ fraud. Every story in the media about CO2 is accompanied by a picture or film of smoke belching from chimneys, or as often as not, steam coming out of cooling towers.

    Unfortunately, it seems to be working. I’ve spoken to several people who think reducing CO2 will mean cleaner air.

  56. Willis Eschenbach says:

    I certainly agree with Lomborg that we should go for the low-hanging fruit. I also agree that the low-hanging fruit involves clean water, and clean indoor air. From the WHO reference Lance gives above:

    In the year 2004, indoor air pollution from solid fuel use was responsible for almost 2 million annual deaths and 2.7% of the global burden of disease (in Disability-Adjusted Life Years or DALYs). This makes this risk factor the second biggest environmental contributor to ill health, behind unsafe water and sanitation.

    Having spent a reasonable amount of time inside the huts and shanties and shacks and mud huts of the global poor, I can assure you that indoor air pollution is a huge problem. You would not believe how many older women I’ve seen with trachoma from constant eye irritation, and that doesn’t even count breathing the stuff.

    However, it’s not clear where he’s getting the total numbers. For outdoor air pollution the WHO says:

    The analyses on which this report is based estimate that ambient air pollution, in terms of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5 ), causes about 3% of mortality from cardiopulmonary disease, about 5% of mortality from cancer of the trachea, bronchus, and lung, and about 1% of mortality from acute respiratory infections in children under 5 yr, worldwide. This amounts to about 0.8 million (1.2%) premature deaths and 6.4 million (0.5%) years of life lost ( YLL).

    So that adds up to only 2.8 million, not the 5.2 million he claims.

    However, that is a minor point. The billions spent on increasing energy prices push up the numbers of deaths, not down. Lomborg is right, there’s much better places to put our energies than a fruitless battle against CO2.

    w.

  57. James Cross says:

    greran

    Don’t disagree. I think nuke plants are one of many options.

  58. Chuck Nolan says:

    Bruce Cobb says:
    July 20, 2013 at 11:04 am
    Jimbo says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

    How have they differentiated climate deaths as opposed to weather deaths?

    Fortunately they don’t have to, as the climatological cognoscenti have now determined that weather = climate.
    ————————————————————-
    See Jimbo, that’s what you get for leaving off the /sarc tag
    cn

  59. Michael Larkin says:

    blackadderthe4th says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

    “…a New Scientist investigation reveals how international agencies failed to make even the most cursory calculations…we found that while there are undoubtedly millions of people…who have had to abandon their homes due to factors linked to climate…’

    www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028104.600-searching-for-the-climate-refugees.html”

    The full article (april 2011) is here:

    http://www.350resources.org.uk/2011/04/28/counting-climate-change-refugees/

    In the end, they manage to twist things round in favour of catastrophism:

    ‘For all this, dismissing Myers’s numbers on these grounds would be too simple, says Brown. There are almost certainly millions of people around the world who have been forced to move, in part to escape worsening climate and rising tides. In his 2008 study he wrote that “predictions of 200 million people displaced by climate change might well be exceeded”.

    ‘Just because we haven’t counted them or cannot attribute migrants’ moves wholly to climate change does not mean they are not there, Brown says. Rather, ignorance has proved rather convenient for governments keen to avoid their responsibilities. “There has been a collective, and rather successful, attempt to ignore the scale of the problem,” he says.

    ‘Myers told New Scientist: “It may be very difficult to demonstrate that there are 50 million climate refugees, but it is even harder to demonstrate that there are not.” He sees no reason to change his estimate.’

  60. JPeden says:

    “Using the Clean Air Alliance method for computing deaths, particulates from country-road usage kills 40,739 people per year, quite the massacre considering there are only about 90,000 deaths from all causes in Ontario each year.”

    Looks like a lot of people just don’t realized that they’re already in Heaven, so that they can keep on driving those dusty roads without further risk. Once a friend of mine and I were hiking up some beautiful mountain, when suddenly it came to him: “Hey, how do we know that we’re not in Heaven?”

  61. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Ulaanbaatar says:

    @Berényi Péter

    “If you use dung as a fertilizer instead, burn coal in power plants cleanly and deliver abundant healthy food to homes along with electricity for cooking (or natural gas extracted by fracking from almost anywhere), air pollution (both indoors & outdoors) goes down sharply.”

    +++++++

    I would like to raise a hand for the ultra-low emissions coal stoves that are being developed and rolled out in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the most polluted and coldest capital city in the world. They are up to 99.9% lower in PM emissions than the baseline products. For CO they are lower than power stations and for delivered energy cost (compared with a power station burning the same fuel) they are far more efficient (approximately 2.3 times as efficient as a power plant) because the main application is space heating.

    The coal is ‘low quality’ (in reality meaning having a high hydrogen, high volatiles content) and it can be burned cleaner than any power station in a well suited stove. The recent call by UB City for proposed technologies that ended in May was followed by testing at the SEET Laboratory in Ulaanbaatar. There are 4 qualifying products (over 90% reduction), two of which can give any European power station with electrostatic precipitators and scrubbing a run for their money for a microscopic fraction of the cost per kW. We should not underestimate how well a combustor can be matched to a known fuel. ‘Smoke’ from coal is often (almost always) caused by burning a coal that is not matched to the combustor design.

    I know it is a wearying almost lost cause to talk about clean combustion of coal but millions of people depend on it, and they are largely very poor. Further, it is the fuel for which the greatest advances in technology have been made in the past 5 years. It surprises me how easily the rich are willing to take away the energy source from the poor to solve a problem the rich admit they created but that ‘we all have’.

    The Lone Ranger: “Tonto, it looks like we’re surrounded by Indians!”
    Tonto: “What do you mean, ‘we’?”

  62. M Simon says:

    Harry Ostrer is doing work on this:

    Ostrer has a tremendous interest. He has been lobbying the New York City Council for half a million dollars to buy four gene-sequencing machines for the medical college. They would be used, he says, to analyze genetic risk factors for diseases like prostate cancer or diabetes in the African-American and Hispanic populations that surround the college in the East Bronx. “The council seemed very receptive to my argument, which is that the poorer people in New York should have access to the most modern medicine,” he says.

    http://chronicle.com/article/The-Chosen-Genes/131481/

  63. JPeden says:

    ‘Myers told New Scientist: “It may be very difficult to demonstrate that there are 50 million climate refugees, but it is even harder to demonstrate that there are not.”

    No doubt Myers’ biggest fear is that we’ll find out where George Booosh has hidden them. Once a few liberals were trying to tell me that Bush had made people disappear, so I asked them how people could disappear and no one would notice that they were gone. One guy got a quick couple of words out, before he realized that he’d better shut up.

  64. george e. smith says:

    It would be an uphill battle, to convince me that “air pollution”, is a major cause of death, world wide.

    Water pollution maybe, but that is just a sub category of infectious diseases.

    And I am one who can smell a cigarette from 100 yards away. There is only one problem with cigarettes; they just don’t kill people fast enough.

    Trying to determine the cause of death, to where a coroner or doctor will sign his name to a death certificate, certifying “air pollution”, as the immediate cause of death, is just plain silly.

  65. george e. smith says:

    “”””””…..Crispin in Waterloo but really in Ulaanbaatar says:

    July 20, 2013 at 7:03 pm ……””””””

    I’d be interested in an explanation of how “high hydrogen” coal is “low quality”. I would think that ALL Hydrogen would be the highest quality coal of all.

    How does the heat of combustion (per mole) of Hydrogen, compare to that of carbon.

    Is not methane the highest energy content of all hydrocarbons , or does acetylene somehow beat that out; CH / / / CH ??

  66. rogerknights says:

    ‘Just because we haven’t counted them or cannot attribute migrants’ moves wholly to climate change does not mean they are not there, Brown says. Rather, ignorance has proved rather convenient for governments keen to avoid their responsibilities. “There has been a collective, and rather successful, attempt to ignore the scale of the problem,” he says.

    ‘Myers told New Scientist: “It may be very difficult to demonstrate that there are 50 million climate refugees, but it is even harder to demonstrate that there are not.” He sees no reason to change his estimate.’

    1. That “wholly” looks like he’s trying to count as refugees anyone who’s move has been even slightly affected by weather events (which he will similarly attribute to climate if even a slight connection can be made).

    2. Why would governments have a motive to conceal migrants’ moves to climate? it would seem like a great way to get themselves off the hook for their distress. No one government can be blamed for global warming. In addition, by blaming climate, such governments could increase the stridency of their demands for compensation from the West.

  67. Aussie Luke Warm of Australiastan says:

    Greens are also fixated with the idea that there should be “traditional” peoples out there in far flung countries along with unspoilt forests, etc. Greenies have these views because they want interesting places to go to when they holiday.

  68. rogerknights says:

    PS: 3. 50 million hidden refuges sounds impossible—the claim that they’re there but can’t be found sounds like special pleading, similar the “hidden heat in the deep oceans” special-plea.

  69. george e. smith says:

    @Willis Eschenbach

    “””””…..Having spent a reasonable amount of time inside the huts and shanties and shacks and mud huts of the global poor, I can assure you that indoor air pollution is a huge problem. You would not believe how many older women I’ve seen with trachoma from constant eye irritation, and that doesn’t even count breathing the stuff……”””””

    Well while agreeing with your observation; I would not categorize that as “air pollution”.

    Deaths from living in a house full of poisonous spiders or snakes, (crocodiles too) would hardly be “animal pollution.”

    Now you did say “older women”, didn’t you Willis ? A person to whom I used to be related, is the only member of her family who ever made it more than half way through their 50s. She’s two decades beyond that, by paying attention to her special risk factors.

  70. miker613 says:

    George, I’ve heard Lomborg speak on other occasions. This indoor burning stuff is exactly what he means when he says air pollution. He says often that you could save a lot of lives if you could enable people to burn fossil fuels instead of dung or wood.

  71. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Quite a few seem to believe that “air pollution” does not exist, or if it does, it does not kill people.

    I refer them to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smog which describes the Great London Smog of 1952, In four days about 4000 people EXTRA to the normal death rate were killed. (Extra means that the death rate over those four days was far higher than the normal death rate for four days in early December). This was easily measurable, not a figment of imagination. Subsequent examination showed that the true figure resulting from the air pollution was probably about 6000, and estimates range up to 12000 deaths as a result of the smog. Note the 4000 was additional deaths that occurred during the smog. There was a tail to the increased mortality, which is where the additional deaths are estimated from, the differing figures being the result of where investigators decided the tail disappeared into the natural variability of the death rate.

    Low quality coal – with large sulphur and high hydrocarbon content that did not burn well in what were comparatively low temperature domestic fires (compared to power station furnaces) created the problem. i remember seeing the coal bubble and hiss out non-burnt ‘smoke’ in our open fires. Not for nothing was the coal called “bituminous” (or worse, ‘nutty slack’).

    Anything in air that is deleterious is ‘air pollution’. Very important are particulates from diesel exhausts, and especially the smallest size particulates. It is believed that the smallest particulates get furthest into the lungs, larger particles tend to be trapped in the trachea and bronchi, where heavy coughing can eject them. When they get to the alveoli, you are stuck with them, metaphorically as well as literally. Many of the compounds in the particulates are known to be carcinogenic – hence undesirable!

    George e. smith says:at July 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm
    “It would be an uphill battle, to convince me that “air pollution”, is a major cause of death, world wide.” Quite possibly an uphill battle, but, just consider a back of the envelope calculation. Assumptions – total world population 6 800 000 000, and average life span 68 years. Then by simple arithmetic 100 million people die every year. The estimate given by Bjorn Lomborg is that 5.2 million people die of air pollution each year. Hence 5.2% of the world’s population die of air pollution each year. Now, whether this is a “major cause” or not depends on your definition of major.

    And just a thought, if you smoke, and you get lung cancer, there is a probability that the lung cancer was due to carcinogenic material inhaled from your cigarettes. By definition, this was “air pollution”. So even though the immediate cause was lung cancer, the root cause for your death was air pollution. Period!

  72. AntonyIndia says:

    Any sensible view like this one that takes people away from the tunnel vision on CAGW is welcome. There maybe less money, spectacle and votes in it but it is much closer to the truth.

  73. climategrog says:

    ‘Myers told New Scientist: “It may be very difficult to demonstrate that there are 50 million climate refugees, but it is even harder to demonstrate that there are not.” He sees no reason to change his estimate.’

    Hey, I’m a climate refugee.

    I fled Britain to go and live somewhere with a decent climate !! ie Hotter.

    I’m sure Myers is counting me too.

    Then there’s all the economic refugees from Poland and the Baltic states that decended into the rest of the EU. All the turkish “Gastarbeitern” in Germany, all the spanish and portugese economic migrants in France.

    Without interviewing everyone to see whether they moved because they saw the oppertunity for a better life or because they were overwhelmed by the 0.4 deg C rise in the last 50 years, I guess we’ll just have to guess which is the more likely.

    You can prove whatever you want with statistics.

    Meyer’s statement that it would be as difficult to disprove his figures as to prove them is a pretty clear admission that his estimates are completely without foundation.

  74. climategrog says:

    Dudley says: “And just a thought, if you smoke, and you get lung cancer, there is a probability that the lung cancer was due to carcinogenic material inhaled from your cigarettes. By definition, this was “air pollution”. So even though the immediate cause was lung cancer, the root cause for your death was air pollution. Period!”

    That’s pretty stupid “definition” of air pollution. That’s called drug taking.

    Someone that injects smack and dies from an O.D. does not die of water pollution.

  75. climategrog says:

    Crispin says: “I would like to raise a hand for the ultra-low emissions coal stoves that are being developed and rolled out in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the most polluted and coldest capital city in the world. They are up to 99.9% lower in PM emissions than the baseline products. For CO they are lower than power stations and for delivered energy cost (compared with a power station burning the same fuel) they are far more efficient (approximately 2.3 times as efficient as a power plant) because the main application is space heating.”

    Very interesting. I was unaware of the numbers. I did not realise that small scale combustion could be cleaner than centralised, large scale plant. Thanks for that information.

    Since converting heat to electricity is very inefficient it is an awful waste of energy to convert it back to heat for any reason.

  76. rogerknights says:

    Crispin said:

    I would like to raise a hand for the ultra-low emissions coal stoves that are being developed and rolled out in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the most polluted and coldest capital city in the world. They are up to 99.9% lower in PM emissions than the baseline products. For CO they are lower than power stations and for delivered energy cost (compared with a power station burning the same fuel) they are far more efficient (approximately 2.3 times as efficient as a power plant) because the main application is space heating.

    The coal is ‘low quality’ (in reality meaning having a high hydrogen, high volatiles content) and it can be burned cleaner than any power station in a well suited stove. The recent call by UB City for proposed technologies that ended in May was followed by testing at the SEET Laboratory in Ulaanbaatar. There are 4 qualifying products (over 90% reduction), two of which can give any European power station with electrostatic precipitators and scrubbing a run for their money for a microscopic fraction of the cost per kW. We should not underestimate how well a combustor can be matched to a known fuel. ‘Smoke’ from coal is often (almost always) caused by burning a coal that is not matched to the combustor design.

    I know it is a wearying almost lost cause to talk about clean combustion of coal but millions of people depend on it, and they are largely very poor. Further, it is the fuel for which the greatest advances in technology have been made in the past 5 years.

    Do these stoves resemble so-called rocket stoves (in which fuel and air come in from the bottom, and there is a secondary combustion chamber where smoke gets burnt)? Does the coal need to be ground into small pellets?

    Here’s a link to a DIYer’s how-to rocket stove space heater (more complex and efficient than a cook-stove version): http://www.iwilltry.org/b/build-a-rocket-stove-for-home-heating/

    It’s too bad there are no off-the-shelf rocket stove space heaters available in the US.

  77. rogerknights says:

    PS: Do you have links to sites where the design of these coal stoves is discussed?

  78. Justthinkin says:

    Steve…TB is caused by bacteria.

  79. izen says:

    @- JY
    “Can anyone answer my question for me? If CO2 is at the same level as of 15 million years ago then why are we cooler by 5-10 degrees and sea levels lower by 75-120 feet? This would indicate there’s no CO2/temp/sea level relationship.”

    Time lag, look up the difference between transient response and equilibrium or Earth system sensitivity.
    It was also warmer during the Miocene optimum because extensive glaciation had not yet spread over the poles. The gap between North and South America was still open and the Himalaya range was still forming. Both have significant influences on the ocean and air currents that distribute energy in the climate system.

    By the way, the link between CO2 and climate os found in the fossils from the period. As episodes of glaciation started the change in CO2 levels can be detected.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5958/1394.abstract

    @- higley7
    “As we are cooling, or at least have not warmed in 15 to 21 years, it might be safe to say that deaths due to global warming are very low, looking a lot like ZERO.”

    It is possible to get no significant trend around the 15 year mark because 1998 was very hot. But for the last five years it has been warming twice as fast as before.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2008/trend/plot/uah/from:2008

  80. izen says:

    Lombard presents a false dichotomy. Disease and pollution may be the dominant killers globally, but that has as much to do with poverty as with medicine or replacing open fires with better sources of energy. It is not either deal with energy povery OR climate change, the two are linked.

    It is not possible to give the global population access to the same level of resource use of the average US citizen. That would mean increasing fossil fuel use almost tenfold. Quite apart from the logistical impossibility of extracting fossil fuels ten times faster than at present, there is the matter of exhaustion. Fracked natural gas reserves and coal deposits that are predicted to last a twenty five to a hundred years on present rates of usage would be gone in less than ten years. Because further improvement in the energy wealth of the global poor cannot come from fossil fuel use as practised by the US, or even France which gets most of its primary energy generation from non-fossil source, the improvements that will deal with the major killers of the global population have to come from non-fossil source.

    The efficient household ovens that burn low grade fuel more efficiently are certainly a step forward. They reduce deaths from air pollution AND reduce CO2 by using less fuel for the same ends. Both goals are achieved in a complementary fashion. Depressing that because it represents an initial capital outlay for the consumer and a reduction in consumption by the producer the free market has not been more successful in spread this simple technological improvement. It seems to be mainly liberal ‘help the poor’ type groups that are involved.

    Making the world wealthier to prevent disease and air pollution from open fires will largely depend on increasing access to energy. Even without concerns over AGW increasing energy resources from fossil fuel is not possible. And inherently finite. Whatever method might be successful in lifting those in poverty out of disease and pollution and into an energy rich lifestyle that improves the life of all, it will not involve fossil fuels as it did in the West. Alternative means of generation and use will have to be the dominant part of any such advance.
    And that will also as a symbiotic benefit deal with the climate threat from fossil fuel burning.

  81. John Silver says:

    Climate is the new weather.

    Weather is the new climate.

    Lomborg, define the two or shut up.

  82. johnmarshall says:

    The ”climate caused death” figures are from WHO and they are fully paid up members of the AGW bunch. Their figures are not to be trusted.

  83. Grey Lensman says:

    Very nice Crispin, how about a link and a technical review?

  84. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    sunshinehours1 says:
    July 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Before you get conned by the PM10 / PM2.5 kills millions, read Ross McKitrick.

    Thank you for this. I followed the link and thoroughly enjoyed the article — another indictment of “science” as promoted by various interest groups. We need to to what McKitrick does: cross-check the various number cited for a basic sanity test. When you do that it is clear that at least some of the number claimed are way, way off.

  85. Stephen Richards says:

    It sounds like the old UK attempt at brainwashing to drive slowly. SPEED KILLS.! It’s stupidity that kills and the faster you perform that stupidity the more likely you are to kill or be killed. When challenged 4ù of ACCIDENTS (not deaths) were directly attributable to excessive speed.

    Climate change ? I wonder ? Has anyone ever been killed directly by climate change. It’s not like a speeding vehicule, you can see and hear it coming and it arrives immediately but climate change!

    John Silver says:

    July 21, 2013 at 2:31 am
    Climate is the new weather.
    Weather is the new climate.
    Lomborg, define the two or shut up.

    This is one thing that annoys me as well but let it pass. The definition has no bearing on the problem at hand.

  86. Stephen Richards says:

    Dudley Horscroft says:

    July 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm
    Quite a few seem to believe that “air pollution” does not exist, or if it does, it does not kill people

    The pollution of which you speak was far worse than anything seen anywhere before or since. I was in London during that smog and the subsequent episode in the autumn of ’62 and, in fact, being the apprentice, was told to walk in front of the lorry for the 2 miles to the depot. Even the smoke in the far east appears not to be quite as bad. However, the ’52 deaths wer real and as always took put the weak and infirm, mostly. I appeared to have suffered no lasting damage as I have outlived all of my familly and they all died from other non related problems.

    Air pollution is a very complex subject. Needs a lot more unbiased research.

  87. Kon Dealer says:

    Note that “Air Pollution” is not CO2- it is ozone, nitrogen oxides and diesel particles (PM10s)- and photochemical smog that often results.

  88. Kon Dealer says:

    Note that “air pollution” is NOT CO2, rather ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, PM10s and other partial combustion products from poorly maintained vehicles/power stations and open cooking fires- and the photochemical smog that often results.

  89. Mike Hohmann says:

    Major re-thinks seem required: some scientists’ recent views that I found, should be more widely investigated; they are quoted on my blogsite a thttp://t.co/vZKx895Hty amongst other considerations. Some IPCC revelations in my post of 04 October 2011 could also be of interest. As to so-called ‘climate models’ – I couldn’t find a single one yet, viz http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/snippets-questions-2-climate-models.html.

  90. Coach Springer says:

    Lomborg is shopping for environmentalists willing to be more reasonable (less than totally unreasonable). But he’s shopping with a large chunk of junk. And to no avail. I’m not handing over governmental and global regulation of all activity based on an irrational fear of dust / fine particulate matter. You can count deaths from disease and starvation. You can’t count and must only attribute percentages of death to “air pollution.” That said, coal saves lives. Period.

  91. Gail Combs says:

    higley7 says:
    July 20, 2013 at 9:57 am

    As we are cooling, or at least have not warmed in 15 to 21 years, it might be safe to say that deaths due to global warming are very low, looking a lot like ZERO…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    WRONG! In the UK alone, last winter you had 7,800 people die[d] because of global warming….

    OH Wait, that was actually Democide – Death By Government but that is OK, the UK fixed it by redefining Fuel Poverty.

    (Do I really need /sarc?)

  92. Gail Combs says:

    blackadderthe4th says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:06 am
    ….And the deaths from air pollution? Would that be coal fired power stations,,fumes from internal combustion engines, etc, etc.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No, it is from cooking and heating over un-vented wood, dung and rubbish fires inside hovels.

    Home fires: the world’s most lethal pollution
    Smoke from family stoves kill two million people a year

    The world’s deadliest pollution does not come from factories billowing smoke, industries tainting water supplies or chemicals seeping into farm land. It comes from within people’s own homes. Smoke from domestic fires kills nearly two million people each year and sickens millions more, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    An unventilated cooking fire in Bhutan is fuelled by yak dung and wood. Smoke from indoor stoves causes cancer, child pneumonia and obstructive pulmonary disease.

    A new UN project has now been set up to try to reduce this appalling toll. It aims, over the next nine years, to put 100 million clean cooking stoves into homes in the developing world.

    The WHO ranks the problem as one of the worst health risks facing the poor. In low-income countries, such as those in Africa and Asia, indoor smoke from cooking has become the sixth biggest killer. Globally, it kills more people than malaria, and nearly as many as Aids – and far more insidiously than either.

    The problem is partly the fuels used, partly the lack of ventilation. Cooking on open fires and stoves without chimneys, using basic fuels such as wood, animal dung, crop waste and coal, emits hazardous smoke that causes irreversible ill health and killer diseases. Small soot or dust particles penetrate deep into the lungs, causing lung cancer, child pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Women and children, whose traditional place is in the kitchen, are the the most common victims….

  93. Luther Wu says:

    James Cross says:
    July 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    As a Progressive, I take the rare position among my kind of agreeing with Lomborg.

    For the life of me I cannot understand how Progressives can misunderstand their own priorities.
    ______________________
    I would suggest that you might re- examine what you thought were the goals of those “Progressives” who are pulling the strings; especially the goals as those leading the “green” efforts.

  94. North of 43 and south of 44 says:

    rogerknights says:
    July 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    It’s too bad there are no off-the-shelf rocket stove space heaters available in the US.

    __________________________________________________________________

    For a wood pellet version see http://www.wisewaypelletstove.com/

  95. Thomas says:

    So Lomborg wants to deal with infectious diseases and other serious problems. It’s a noble goal but it does cost money. What about a carbon tax to raise that money? It’s hardly worse than any other tax, and if AGW turns out to be a problem (however unlikely that may seem to most of the readers here) such a tax will have reduced CO2-emissions somewhat.

    Berényi writes “If you use dung as a fertilizer instead, burn coal in power plants cleanly and deliver abundant healthy food to homes along with electricity for cooking”

    Or you use the dung to produce methane, using the residue as fertilizer. Methane is a much cleaner fuel. Burning coal is not a useful alternative for the world´s poor rural population as an efficient power plant has to be large and the infrastructure of distributing power to every village is too expensive. For those villages solar or wind with battery backup is a lot more attractive. For cities and larger industrial regions it would be much better to develop standardized nuclear reactors that are easy to operate than to use coal, which can never be a clean or even very cheap fuel.

  96. Gail Combs says:

    James Cross says:
    July 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    As a Progressive, I take the rare position among my kind of agreeing with Lomborg.

    For the life of me I cannot understand how Progressives can misunderstand their own priorities….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You might want to read these articles. From the Guardian: Eugenics: the skeleton that rattles loudest in the left’s closet: Socialism’s one-time interest in eugenics is dismissed as an accident of history. But the truth is far more unpalatable and The eugenics movement Britain wants to forget and 2004: Why is Royal Society hosting pro-eugenics conference?

    Plain speaking by a Fabian Socialist and UNESCO, Huxley and Eugenics

    Then go look at the UK’s Liverpool Care Pathway.
    Top doctor’s chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year

    60,000 patients put on death pathway without being told

    Now sick babies go on death pathway

    UK Hospitals Paid To Put Patients on Death “Pathway”

    And in the USA

    Margaret Sanger:Founder of Planned Parenthood, In Her Own Words

    “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” ~ Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

    How eugenics poisoned the welfare state

    Former Eugenics Founder of Planned Parenthood to lead President Barrack Obama’s Orginization in North Carolina

    I will leave it to you to connect the dots.

  97. Kevin Kilty says:

    Being an economist, Lomborg just doesn’t understand that the things he proposes help the poor, wheras AGW politics help the elite. Lomborg should put on his “public choice” goggles.

  98. DirkH says:

    Gail Combs says:
    July 21, 2013 at 7:24 am
    “You might want to read these articles. ”

    Amazing finds, Gail! Cameron a Fabian! Ok, there’s no hope left for the UK then.

  99. Gail Combs says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    July 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Blade says:…Well said.

    I’d add the media is complicit in the ‘carbon pollution’ fraud. Every story in the media about CO2 is accompanied by a picture or film of smoke belching from chimneys, or as often as not, steam coming out of cooling towers.

    Unfortunately, it seems to be working. I’ve spoken to several people who think reducing CO2 will mean cleaner air…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
    I agree Well said Blade.

    As for the mass Progaganda Outlets media, never forget who owns the press controls the press. Follow the Money yields banker/energy company interests almost every time.

    Enron And BP Invented The Global Warming Industry

  100. Gail Combs says:

    izen says: @ July 21, 2013 at 12:58 am

    By the way, the link between CO2 and climate os found in the fossils from the period. As episodes of glaciation started the change in CO2 levels can be detected.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5958/1394.abstract

    …..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That link give this:

    ….The carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere has varied cyclically between ~180 and ~280 parts per million by volume over the past 800,000 years, closely coupled with temperature and sea level….

    The problem is C3 plants like trees stop growing at ~180 ppm and certainly do not have the ability to grow flower and produce seed.

    As carbon dioxide is plant food and something that is often missing in discussions of CO2 concentration is its relation to altitude. You have trouble breathing at the top of Mount Everest even though the “concentration” of oxygen in parts per million is the same as at sea level. The total density of the air is much less so the actual amount of oxygen available per cubic meter is also much less. The same is true of carbon dioxide. Air density at 1000 meters altitude is about ninety percent of its sea level value, and crops grown at that altitude have access to ninety percent of the CO2 at sea level despite the fact that the “concentration” as usually given (ppm) is the same. Half of the land surface of the earth is above 840 meters above MSL, and the absolute concentration of CO2 there is correspondingly less. This can lead to confusion – or deception.

    Remember plants are not dealing with just the % CO2 in the air but with the partial pressure of CO2 that decreases with elevation. – PDF

    …While [CO2] does not vary with elevation, CO2 partial pressure decreases in proportion to total atmospheric pressure. Under modern conditions, partial pressures of CO2 at high-elevation sites are 10–30% lower than at low-elevation sites, producing an even more conservative comparison between glacial and modern conditions….

    …According to Barnola et al (1987) the level of CO2 in the global atmosphere during many tens of thousands of years spanning 30,000 to110,000 BP were below 200ppm. If this were true then the growth of C3 plants should be limited at the global scale because their net Photosynthesis is depressed as CO2 concentration in air decreases to less than about 250ubar (less than about 250ppmv)(McKay et al 1991) This would lead to the extinction of C3 plant species . This has however not been recorded by paleobotanists (Manum 1991). Link

    …Plants use all of the CO2 around their leaves within a few minutes leaving the air around them CO2 deficient, so air circulation is important. As CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels of below 200 ppm will generally cease to grow or produce… http://www.thehydroponicsshop.com.au/article_info.php?articles_id=27

    As CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels – below 200 PPM – will cease to grow or produce. …Plants use all of the CO2 around their leaves within a few minutes leaving the air around them CO2 deficient. Without air circulation and ventilation the plant’s stomata are stifled and plant growth stunted…. https://greenair.com/old/pdf/efs/co2-efs.pdf

    ….With the advent of home greenhouses and indoor growing under artificial lights and the developments in hydroponics in recent years, the need for CO2 generation has drastically increased. Plants growing in a sealed greenhouse or indoor grow room will often deplete the available CO2 and stop growing. The following graph will show what depletion and enrichment does to plant growth:

    GO TO SITE for CO2 vs Plant Growth GRAPH

    Below 200 PPM, plants do not have enough CO2 to carry on the photosynthesis process and essentially stop growing. Because 300 PPM is the atmospheric CO content, this amount is chosen as the 100% growth point. You can see from the chart that increased CO can double or more the growth rate on most normal plants. Above 2,000 PPM, CO2 starts to become toxic to plants and above 4,000 PPM it becomes toxic to people….. http://www.hydrofarm.com/articles/co2_enrichment.php

    At 180 ppm Class 4 plants (grasses) could possibly survive but would not have the “energy” to produce seed. At 200 pm CO2 trees starve http://biblioteca.universia.net/ficha.do?id=912067 (That link of course has since been purged from the internet – SURPRISE – not).

  101. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..Dudley Horscroft says:

    July 20, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Quite a few seem to believe that “air pollution” does not exist, or if it does, it does not kill people……”””””

    Well don’t count me among those who believe it doesn’t exist.

    Everybody knows that the “air” in the neighborhood of a fire, is not comprised of 79% Nitrogen, 20% Oxygen and 1% argon, plus trace gases.

    But most people don’t think it’s a good idea to inhale the “air” in the immediate vicinity of a fire.

    I’ve read, that in places in India, a very common cause of death in people’s homes, is “exploding stoves”, that burn the lady of the house to death. I have no idea, why the phenomenon is peculiar to India; but you would think, that all those educated entrepreneurial engineers that the USA is trying to import, would be able to design a kitchen stove, that doesn’t blow up, and roast their spouse..

    But I wouldn’t put that down on a death certificate, as “air pollution”.

    In California, our air is now mandated to be cleaner from dust and particulates, than it was, before the first covered wagons crossed the border, into the territory.

    Let’s not confuse the real issues of poverty, with air pollution.

    And more people die from old age, than from air pollution.

  102. george e. smith says:

    Besides, a good fraction of “air pollution”, is quite natural; like forest fires, and sand storms. Anything natural, is NOT pollution.

    It may be hazardous; so stay away from it; or quit complaining; like polar bears for example are not pollution, just because they are extremely dangerous.

  103. James Cross says:

    Gail,

    I recognize there is quite a bit of contradictions in both the mainstream Conservative and Progressive brands of politics. Most mainstream Conservatives (not Libertarians) see nothing wrong with banning abortion or regulating drugs, prostitution, gambling, and some wouldn’t even have a problem regulating sexual activity between consenting adults. Mainstream Conservatives and Libertarians also readily conflate the rights of individuals with those of corporations as as does our legal system, which in my view wrongly decided this issue a long time ago and now persists in extending the error to ever greater lengths of absurdity.

    I am trying to find a sort of middle way between Progressive and a Libertarian approach based primarily on the a few key ideas: 1) Governments should mostly stay out of the lives of individual; 2) Governments have a role to play in fostering an environment for prosperity of its citizens; 3) Corporations are fair game to regulate since they are government creations at their core, although any regulation should be carefully weighed as to its potential negative consequences.

    If your references to eugenics in any way are a reference to a Julian Huxley posting on my blog, please note that I explicitly disavowrf any of Huxley’s views on that issue.

  104. Gunga Din says:

    Jimbo says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:27 am
    How have they differentiated climate deaths as opposed to weather deaths?

    =========================================================================
    Jimbo, I’m surprised at you! You should know that differentiations between “weather” and “climate” only matter as to placing the fulcrum for the “hockey stick” as a lever to power.

  105. Gail Combs says:

    James Cross says: @ July 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I recognize there is quite a bit of contradictions in both the mainstream Conservative and Progressive brands of politics….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I agree with much of what you have said.

    Remember it is the Ruling Class who wants to shove us into little labeled boxes so they can keep the “Let’s You and He FIGHT” crap going on so we do not see what they are actually up to.

    Me? I consider myself a ‘civilized human being’ and on employment applications I always mark “Other” for race because I refused to play the mind games.

    The whole idea of government boils down to two basic concepts:

    1. We are free individuals and as civilized humans we ALLOW others to form a government with OUR CONSENT and act in OUR INTERESTS.

    2. The government’s ( often called society’s) interest are more important than that of any individual and therefore the individual’s freedom of action are always subordinate to that of the government. The government grants us only the freedom of action it wishes and can deprive us of that freedom of action any time it wishes to. In other words we are the serf/slave belonging to the government.

    If you have not looked at Rummel’s Democide – Death by Government you should.

    Introduction

    It is true that democratic freedom is an engine of national and individual wealth and prosperity. Hardly known, however, is that freedom also saves millions of lives from famine, disease, war, collective violence, and democide (genocide and mass murder). That is, the more freedom, the greater the human security and the less the violence. Conversely, the more power governments have, the more human insecurity and violence. In short: to our realization that power impoverishes we must also add that power kills.

  106. izen says:

    @- Gail Combs
    “The problem is C3 plants like trees stop growing at ~180 ppm and certainly do not have the ability to grow flower and produce seed. … At 180 ppm Class 4 plants (grasses) could possibly survive but would not have the “energy” to produce seed. At 200 pm CO2 trees starve…”

    The influence of lower CO2 during the glacial period in displacing tropical forest with grasslands is well known.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2486.2003.00577.x/abstract

    The evolution, and dominance of C4 plants over C3 plants during the last few million years is driven by the lower CO2 levels during glacial times. Biology is rarely so neat in its distinctions that at precisely 180ppm ALL C3 trees and plants go extinct. There would be selection of the variants most able to withstand the low CO2 levels.
    Extinction clearly did not happen, pollen from such plants coexists with evidence of the low CO2 levels. But those low levels certainly did favor C4 plants and the shift in pollen ratios shows that.
    Its another indication of the two-way link between CO2 and climate.

  107. otropogo says:

    I am disturbed by Lomborg’s uncritical acceptance of World Health Organization statistics on air pollution.

    Although I can’t comment authoritatively on air pollution generally, I do have some technical and personal experience with a small but (according to the WHO) significant portion of it – that of indoor Radon pollution.

    Any reader can do a quick search of on the websites of the WHO, the EPA, and Health Canada, and find there unanimity that indoor Radon pollution is the second greatest cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. However, he will also find the suggested building mitigation thresholds to be set at 2.7, 4.0, and 5.0 picoCuries per Litre, respectively.

    If he digs a little deeper, he will also find that, until five years or so ago, the mitigration threshold was set at 20.0 pCi/L by Health Canada.

    What he will not easily find is any explanation of these varying thresholds between organizations with access to the same data sets. Nor will he likely find details of the methodology by which the statistical assertions as to the health risks of inhaling Radon were generated.

    Another search on Radon alarms and Radon detectors, their operative limitations and costs, in comparison with existing EPA maps of Radon pollution by county in the USA should have any critical thinker wondering what secret technology might have produced the data from which these maps were generated.

    Then, if the intrepid reader is not yet sufficiently uncertain about the magnitude of the threat, he need only jog over to:

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/nuclear.html

    to review the totally contrarian position – that a minimal amount of Radon absorption is (as with some trace minerals, such as Selenium) essential to good health, and that, in lab mice at least, removal of all Radon from food, water, and air was reported to cause a 25% reduction in longevity.

    Lomborg’s eagerness to jump on any bandwagon going his way undermines his credibility.

  108. James Cross says:

    otropogo

    Hormesis? Not such a wild idea. A low dose of something bad is good but too much, of course, is still bad. The line between good and bad might be thin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis

    There was a fad, I think, at one time of going into old mines specifically to be exposed to radon. If you goggle around, you can find mines still open for this.

  109. Gary Pearse says:

    Lomborg and the rest of we CAGW skeptics may be unaware that the global warming issue is only a small fraction of what a world-changing juggernaut freedom lovers face on all fronts. Nine billion a year is spent already by “benevolent” foundations alone in ever increasing restrictions on space and permissible activities. “Priorities” are not the sensible arrangements Lomborg visualizes. We are to a large degree being unwittingly shepherded into pens to be managed and choked off for ever. Lomborg’s stuff reads like we have a little problem called global warming advocacy. Man, this is only arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The Michigan Militia’s priorities might turn out to have been more along the lines of what we should be taking up. I think CAGW is merely a distraction.

    From: Eco-Fascists: How Radical Conservationists are Destroying our Natural Heritage, by Elizabeth Nickson (who tried to subdivide16.5 acres of land on Saltspring Is. British Columbia she shared with a friend who had had a stroke and needed the cash from his share for his medical care). Elizabeth Nickson is a journalist – former foreign correspondent for Time magazine, European bureau chief for Life magazine; later, she was a columnist for The Globe and Mail and the National Post.

    “Let us look closer at the coalface of how actual operations work. Here is an“ example: An ENGO takes control of the debt of a poor country in exchange for a tax receipt issued to the (usually) Western bank to which the debt is owed. The ENGO, now owning the debt of the poor country, offers to liquidate it in

    exchange for land that can then be conserved forever as pristine wilderness. This means that it is to be purged of human beings. New villages are promised. Healthcare is promised. Green ecotourism jobs are promised. Windmills and solar panels are promised. (Have we heard this before?) What we get are armed guards protecting the new wilderness park by keeping humans away from their former homes. So far, we in the rich countries have created approximately

    20 million displaced persons in this way, which compares favourably with the 4 million created in the aftermath of World War II. The ENGOs involved? The sainted World Wildlife Fund, the blessed Nature Conservancy and the holy UN- affiliated Conservation International….”

  110. Manfred says:

    Gene Selkov says:

    So when you see any figures named, you can be certain they are not based on measurements. These figures are no more credible than the number of deaths from climate change.
    ————————————–

    That is not true. If an effect is as large as air pollution on life expectancy, it can be easily detected and measured:

    See here for Europe

    And here for China:
    “Researchers studying the health impact of China’s air pollution say that people in the south of the country are living on average 5.5 years longer than their counterparts in the north”

    http://www.voanews.com/content/air-pollution-in-northern-china-blamed-for-drop-in-life-span/1697885.html

  111. Jimbo says:

    Jimbo says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:27 am
    How have they differentiated climate deaths as opposed to weather deaths?

    Various responses……..

    OK, my question was rhetorical because I know they are pulling facts right out of their arses. According to the IPCC and the WMO climate is 30 YEARS or more of weather data. Claims of climate deaths in the last 25 years are just lies. Sorry, I’m just following consensus.

  112. Willis Eschenbach says:

    george e. smith says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    @Willis Eschenbach

    “””””…..Having spent a reasonable amount of time inside the huts and shanties and shacks and mud huts of the global poor, I can assure you that indoor air pollution is a huge problem. You would not believe how many older women I’ve seen with trachoma from constant eye irritation, and that doesn’t even count breathing the stuff……”””””

    Well while agreeing with your observation; I would not categorize that as “air pollution”.

    Deaths from living in a house full of poisonous spiders or snakes, (crocodiles too) would hardly be “animal pollution.”

    I don’t understand that. The indoor pollution is the smoke from the wood, coal, or dung that they burn in their stoves, which pollutes the indoor air, sometimes horribly, particularly in winter when you don’t want to open windows. How is that not air pollution? And despite the nay-sayers, yes, breathing thick wood smoke every day of the year for a lifetime does indeed kill women, although their death certificate may say “pneumonia”.

    Now you did say “older women”, didn’t you Willis ? A person to whom I used to be related, is the only member of her family who ever made it more than half way through their 50s. She’s two decades beyond that, by paying attention to her special risk factors.

    Again, I don’t understand your point here. In the mud huts of the poor of the world, someone in their 50s may well be the oldest person in the family, and the only risk factor anyone in the family has is being blindingly, crushingly poor. Following your brilliant plan, they pay all the attention they have to that risk factor … and they’re still blindingly, crushingly poor.

    So why would either they or I care if your ex-relative paid attention to her special risk factors? What does that have to do with women going blind from trachoma as a result of a lifetime of indoor coal smoke?

    w.

  113. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Thomas says:
    July 21, 2013 at 7:02 am

    So Lomborg wants to deal with infectious diseases and other serious problems. It’s a noble goal but it does cost money. What about a carbon tax to raise that money? It’s hardly worse than any other tax …

    Thomas, do not speak of a carbon tax. Call it what it is. It is an energy tax, and it is the most regressive tax in the world. It hits the poor harder than any other tax, because there is no exemption and no bottom limit. If you make less than $X you pay no income tax … but even the poorest of the poor pay energy tax.

    So It is much, much worse than just about any imaginable tax. See my post called “Firing Up The Economy, Literally“, as well as my posts on the many, many problems with the BC energy tax.

    w.

  114. george e. smith says:

    @ Willis Eschenbach

    “””””…..
    Now you did say “older women”, didn’t you Willis ? A person to whom I used to be related, is the only member of her family who ever made it more than half way through their 50s. She’s two decades beyond that, by paying attention to her special risk factors.

    Again, I don’t understand your point here……”””””

    The subject was apparently premature deaths due to “air pollution”.

    As evidence of that, you cited an anecdote about some women of your acquaintance who had various apparently respiratory diseases. I pointed out that you described these women as “old”, which doesn’t jibe with premature death.

    So I cited an also anecdotal case of a woman with known disease risk factors, who nevertheless, had avoided problems by simply not doing high risk activities.

    No I never expected, that you would care about the case I cited; that’s not why I cited it.

    So how many readers here do you suppose care much about the situation YOU described. We all tend to deal with issues where we might be able to make a difference.

    You can bankrupt the entire developed world; and it wouldn’t make a dent in the problems of the undeveloped world.

    You can’t force people to change their behavior, simply because someone says they are doing things that might harm them.

    You only have to look at immigration into the United States, to realize that even bringing people into a land of plenty (used to be), will not stop them from conducting themselves in the same manner that created the problems that meddlers want to eliminate. (usually with other people’s money).

  115. Grey Lensman says:

    Is this it Crispin, Spill the beans please.

  116. North of 43 and south of 44 says:
    July 21, 2013 at 7:00 am
    rogerknights says:
July 20, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    It’s too bad there are no off-the-shelf rocket stove space heaters available in the US.
    __________________________________________________________________
    For a wood pellet version see http://www.wisewaypelletstove.com/

    Thanks. Here’s a link to the YouTube demo:

    It looks very nice. It has a water heater attachment & wheels. Weighs 113 lbs. Zig-zag gravity feed runs 1 day or 36 hours on low. Two combustion trays stacked above ash tray. Holes in bottoms. Empty ash tray once a day. Clean once a year outdoors with water hose. Costs $1600-2200.

    Order from 541-946-8108
    gary@wisewaypelletstoves.com

  117. otropogo says:

    James Cross

    “Hormesis? Not such a wild idea. A low dose of something bad is good but too much, of course, is still bad. The line between good and bad might be thin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis

    There was a fad, I think, at one time of going into old mines specifically to be exposed to radon. If you goggle around, you can find mines still open for this.”

    Presumed thinness of such lines needlessly delayed the adoption of Selenium supplementation for decades in North America, even many years after it had been massively applied in China. This situation persists today with Vitamin D supplementation, where, after years of clinical tests with thousands and even tens of thousands of milligrams per day of supplementation for weeks or months showing no “toxic” effects, the RDA is still set a a few hundred mg., and some savants persist in claiming that no one needs D supplementation beyond that provided by sun-exposed skin.

    The position of the EPA has been particularly schizophrenic when dealing with nuclear radiation. While maintaining that no amount, no matter how small, of ionizing radiation should be tolerated where Radon is concerned, it quickly reverses itself when pollution caused by nuclear weapons plants or nuclear reactors is concerned, deeming its injurious effects unproven or “harmless”. This is hypocrisy is documented gruesomely in the excellent book”Full Body Burden”:

    and was clearly in evidence during the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and its aftermath.

    It’s no different up here in Canada. Where pharmacists co-operated with the federal government in refusing to provide thyroid-blocking tablets to the public, supporting the government lie that it could and would distribute these to the public “if and when” needed.

    In China, even while it was publicly reported that radioactive cesium and iodine had been found in leafy vegetables as far West as Beijing, it was equally impossible to buy thyroid blockers. The Chinese government characterized the level of radioactive pollution as “harmless”, and this evoked no objection from either the EPA or the WHO that I could see. Yet the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo stocked a supply of thyroid blocking tablets sufficient to protect every Canadian in Japan.

    As for Radon therapy being a “fad” – I find this characterization unfairly dismissive. Unfortunately, clinical analysis of the benefits of breathing Radon are difficult, if not impossible, to find online. However, I recall watching documentary footage of people suffering from advanced osteoarthritis who reported that an hour or two of breathing Radon in a mine shaft resulted in several months of significant pain alleviation for them.

    I believe it’s a crime against science and humanity that such reports have not and are not being properly investigated due to prejudice in the awarding of research grants.

  118. Gene Selkov says:

    Ed Darrell: you are so right to ask this question. Death is really not a good moment to measure the impacts of anything, except perhaps bullets. At death, you don’t have a simple, testable system — it is usually very messy — and, of course, forget about controlled experiments.

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