EPA: $8 million to study "indoor" climate change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova – The American EPA has just awarded $8 million to study the impact of climate change on the indoor environment.

According to the Washington Times;

Forget violent storms, raging wildfires and steamy outdoor temperatures, the Obama administration’s war on climate change is heading indoors this time.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday awarded $8 million in grants to nine universities to help better understand the impact of climate change on indoor air quality.

The agency said climate change’s impact on indoor air pollutants like mold, mildew and asthma triggers isn’t well understood.

“Learning how air quality, climate, and energy interact in an indoor environment will help us design buildings that better protect people’s health,” explained Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/12/obama-administration-wants-study-climate-change-in/

Seems like a perfect job for today’s computer obsessed climatologists – a daring field trip to furthest reaches of the office broom closet. No doubt the results of this vital study will be published in some future IPCC report.

84 thoughts on “EPA: $8 million to study "indoor" climate change

    • Pfft, it’s only a lousy $8m, no way a government agency can get any real work done with a pittance like that.
      Still, maybe if they try really (really) hard they can get something done in time for the Paris conference. It will of course show the need for much more EPA-led investigations of the alarming results from this study, if only because it’s so alarming how badly it’s understood.

    • What a great job this will be. You can study climate change at your desk and don’t even have to go to some inconvenient place 🙂 Maybe someone will release a paper about increased C02 emissions caused by increased climate model computing. (much /sarc here)

    • I already have the studies and the conclusions. Do I get a penny? As a direct result of climate change policies, the following impacts are measurable outcomes:
      7.8 million women and children die every year from bad indoor air – from using wood stoves and dung because The Greens prevent any energy.
      3.4 million people die every year including 760 000 children. The Greens block the fuel needed to run drinking water and sanitary systems. http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/
      850,000 people die every year because refrigerated vaccines cannot be maintained…The Greens block any electrical services and think a 6 solar panels powering a single surgery room light bulb is enough to also run a refrigerator.
      2 million women and children die every year and another million go blind because the Greens will not allowed Golden Rice, which is free, to be grown.
      Now those are measurable outcomes of Green policies while the Greens are incapable of justifying any of their claims.

      • @ empire, it is enough to tear your hair out. Whenever I point this out I get bombarded with every excuse under the sun, some are legit ( like dictators skimming millions from the UN etc), but mostly people just get embarrassed and use limp arguments like the usual “oh but WUWT is paid for by the oil industry..”

      • You can add to the list the number of sick and dead New Zealander’s who live in damp, mouldy and unheated “State Housing”.

  1. EPA may be gunning for the Nobel in Literature Prize since it does not need falsifiable data, methods, result or techniques, not even logic. Just a blender, dictionary and 8 million $ and Voila. Perfect for Paris.
    Ha ha

    • The EPA comprise of one bunch of crooks with unlimited funds (YOURS) giving it to another bunch of grant seeking crooks ( NOT YOUR FRIENDS) for a crooked venture to enrich their grubby handwringing warmest alarmist, (WHO DON’T KNOW WHAT AN HONEST JOB IS). This is inbreeding at it’s very best. Roll in Mr Trump and fix this cesspool PLEASE!!!!!

      • Would this be the same Mr. Trump who got his govt friends to use eminent domain so that he could seize properties for his various enterprises?
        Would this be the same Mr. Trump who recently bragged about buying access to politicians so that he could get favors when needed?

      • MarkW The problem is not Trump buy politician to get the access he needs, it the system that allows politician so much power businessmen must buy access to get anything done. Hell in the city i live in you need permission from the local government to move into a home you had built, as if some bureaucrat has more interest in you receiving a house well built that you do, but that not the case again it the often unnecessary and expensive mandate they put on building either for so call safety concerns, as if the average home want and unsafe house, the worst part even with inspections and regulation the unscrupulous still build substandard home the get approved and the homeowner gets bilked both coming and going.
        We don’t need campaign finance reform we need a government operating under the constitution and a court system that make sure contracts a enforced by what in them not by who sign it. we would not have businessmen buying politician if the politicians had nothing to sell.Each year we have more and more corrupt system and Mark people like you blame the victim of the system rather that the racketeers who benefit from it, not only do the racketeers benefit from it they created it for maximum benefit to themselves why they sell you the bill of good that it for your benefit I do understand that a lot of money businessmen spend is to by special protection for their business, but again it is the corrupt system that allows that.

  2. The biggest impact on the indoor climate will prove to be the EPA’s mission to increase electricity prices. I don’t stay late at work because the facilities folks (under a directive from HQ) shuts down the air system around 1630. I’ve never gone in on a weekend, but I have temperature logs* showing the weekend schedule isn’t very friendly to getting real work done. Fortunately we have a decent work from home policy and network access.
    * Temperature loggers were purchased from http://weathershop.com/dataloggers.htm of course

    • Do you turn off your desk computers before going home? Temperatures like you are describing aren’t conducive to long life for them.

    • I go to work sometimes on holidays and weekends in the non winter months and same as you, HQ shouts down the air and it can be unbearable after 4 hours.

  3. One of the roots of near-infinite power grabs by agencies like the EPA can be found in the fact that when government can create almost unlimited money out of thin air, officials can fund their Utopian dreams. Single payer health insurance, endless “benefits”, endless rules and the people to enforce them, open borders welcoming future voters too. The hard truth is that when Utopians are in power, nearly infinite fiat money enables nearly infinite government.
    The first order of business of an Article V convention of the States must be to restrain government’s ability to create more money than the citizens want to send in the form of taxes upon themselves. We must stop near-infinite money so we stop near-infinite government.

    • A Constitutional Convention can only address one thing. There is not a shopping list of things to do. And a Balanced Budget Amendment would validate ALL of the UnConstitutional departments and agencies we have now such that we could never easily move back to a smaller government. Once validated, getting rid of a department or making it smaller or trimming it’s spending will be much more difficult if possible at all.

      • Where does it say that a constitutional convention can only address one thing? The last time we had a constitutional convention they ended up completely re-writing the constitution.
        As to the balanced budget amendment, it would force then to either defund the agencies, or raise taxes to pay for them. They obviously aren’t willing to raise the taxes, and it’s doubtful the economy could withstand taxes being raised that high anyway.

  4. Well, it is worthy of study.
    The results will be junk, of course, because they will take the flawed climate models as an input.
    But indoor air quality is worthy of study.

    • About the only impact I can think of on indoor mold and pollen would be the result of AC being run less because of EPA requirements. Absent that, there will be little to no change in indoor temperatures because it’s conditioned, obviously.
      I do not believe mold uses CO2 in it’s life cycle.

      • Unless you live right above the boiler room in which the entire building gets their hot water from like I do…conditioned my ass! I blame global warming of course…

    • MCourtney, we do live into our 80s and 90s now with indoors unviolated by government. I don’t have links but it seems I’ve read of such studies quite awhile ago and the report was the indoors are bad – what did one expect. This time, it will be worse with the athsma already reportedly double what it was after huge Obama grants to the heart and lung foundation or whatever it is . An administration that’s happy to see a few billion die of poverty to save the planet (the Ehrlich/Holdren plan) and the US’s once magnificent economy go down the drain, doesn’t really care about health of Americans unless it can be the underpinning of a policy they are going to go ahead with come hell or high water. I’d support a study of indoors in poor countries where they are burning dung and twigs in the middle of their house floor to cook. They won’t do this because cheap energy is the only policy that could be entertained as a solution. Incidentally, American homes have more ventilation, air conditioning, vapor barriers in home construction than anywhere else on earth and in reality, I believe the real findings are that indoors in America are pretty good.
      People don’t need saving. They need a quality education – a sector that has declined from what had been considered unsatisfactory half a century ago. America showed the world what more ‘freedom to do’ could accomplish in the previous century when they created an economic miracle that won a world war and then repaired the economies of both sides. Like the Romans, they have been roundly hated for this demonstration of what was possible (and what is impossible elsewhere with heavy milking of the productive sector to fund wasteful programs, and support indolence, caused by dystopian ideologies) and were naturally a target of the UN and the community of nations. Instead of bringing themselves up, they preferred to pull the giant down. They have succeeded grandly. Even the right wing won’t be able to save it with what has been done to the population by the left.
      I’m predicting that the rest of the world, to their great surprise and chagrin, is going to find itself very much impoverished just by this ‘success’ all by itself. Moreover, the peaking of population will be delayed and reach a higher level because of this impoverishment.
      Sorry, a bit of rant broke loose at how good an idea it was to fund indoor climate change.

    • I think, as someone has pointed out, that much of this has already been done and the major problem (as I recall) is with less and less air turnover (to the outside) caused by a continuing need to reduce energy consumption. Reduced air turnover results in higher CO2 and contaminant levels from such items as carpet/flooring and even furniture residues among others. Continued pushup of energy costs will only make this worse with an eventual requirement to routinely install expensive air exchange units and maybe this is where the EPA is really headed.

      • I am going to spend some time to finding out who makes these air exchanges which one of them has the government (connections, (ie the money to bribe, the State they are located and who is their gov, House rep and senators, etc) and buy some stocks , thanks for the tip !

  5. This sounds like a make-profit project for all the HVAC companies out there looking for for more customers. “Look, the expert government scientists say your home’s climate is dangerous, so buy a brand new furnace/air filter/air conditioner/etc. from us to protect the children, of course.”

  6. ‘The American EPA has just awarded $8 million to study the impact of climate change on the indoor environment.’
    flies to sh*t is probable the a good way to sum this up ,
    Its is therefore no surprise to find no matter how ironically good the reality and how bad wrong their claims are , climate ‘science’ is still seen has a good area to work in . Even better you only have to produce the ‘right results’, honesty not required , and you can look forward to even more funding no matter how bad the work you done actually is .

  7. $8 Million???? I can think of a multitude of things that should be spent on!
    ” “The agency said climate change’s impact on indoor air pollutants like mold, mildew and asthma triggers isn’t well understood.
    “Learning how air quality, climate, and energy interact in an indoor environment will help us design buildings that better protect people’s health,” explained Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office”
    We don’t need buildings designed to prevent asthma. We were told by other so-called experts that asthma was linked to tobacco smoke and a host of other causes. The reality is that in the majority of cases the cause is a child’s developing immune system having too little stimulation, because their play and environment is too clean, with no exposure to bacteria and viruses. The immune system in the child becomes the enemy.

    • If they’ll give the money to me, I’ll promise to spend less time indoors, which will make the quality of indoor air less relevant. To me at least.

  8. The agency said climate change’s impact on indoor air pollutants like mold, mildew and asthma triggers isn’t well understood.
    …are they going to wait until the climate changes first?

    • How will the baseline for this study be set? If they perform ambient indoor condition monitoring today, with what they consider to be ongoing warming conditions outdoors, how will they know what the ambient mold/mildew or other indoor air quality drivers are supposed to have been there, prior to the onset of warming? Also, as the domicile is ‘used’ daily, the collection of human hair/skin cells increases, dirt and dust are continually tracked indoors by the residents, and if there are domesticated pets or vermin indoors, the particulates from those source loads increase over time as well. What would be considered the ‘control’ home? One just-built but never occupied? This reeks of make-work.

  9. That tears it! I’m applying for an 8 million dollar grant to study the effect of climate change on navel lint.

    • Gotta love the statement/disclaimer:
      “As with many indoor plants, this houseplant (Snake Grass) is toxic when eaten, so please keep away from pets and children.”
      My cat loves to eat grass. We have to keep the spider grass plants in rooms she can’t get to.

  10. Name any field of “study”, no matter how ridiculous, and add how the magical mythical manmade climate change supposedly affects it, and voila, gravy train city.

  11. Here is a fun experiment for EPA’s social office coders.
    Windows Phone with Cortana
    Apple iPhone with Siri
    CO2 meter.
    Place phones close to together so Cortana can hear/speak to Siri and Siri can hear/speak to Cortana.
    Experiment Start: Get Cortana and Siri talking together, to each other.
    Science Question #1: How long does it take to get a ‘Cat Fight’ started?
    Science Observation #1: Cortana and Siri do not emit CO2.
    Science Question #2: Did the room temperature increase during the Cortana and Siri Cat Fight?
    If the answer to SQ#2 is Yes, then why, since Cortana and Siri do not emit CO2?
    [Of course the room has to be evacuated of live people, or dead ones for the matter, and no air con on and no window, the real ones, open either.]
    Ha ha

  12. Indoor air ‘quality’ is usually worse than outdoor air quality because dust collects in carpets, curtains, soft furnishings etc and become airborne easily and then breathed in. It cant get into the outdoor atmosphere easily because of windows, ceilings etc so unless filtration is used it is significantly worse than outdoor air quality – in airborne particulate terms
    Warning next bit contains sarcasm
    Now comes the wierd bit, how much of this dust contamination is down to CO2 ?
    To determine that we need is a ‘Dust proxy’ to see how much dust was in the ‘indoor atmosphere’ during the ice ages, MWP, etc. Perhaps examining old caves where stoneage people lived then measure the dust over 10,000 years and you watch that hockey stick grow,

  13. The funds will be distributed to Harvard University, Florida State University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rutgers University, Portland State University, the University of Oregon, Washington State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    After those 9 universities’ Offices of Research and the academic departments take their overhead “piece of the action”, $8 million spread that thin won’t buy much in terms of quality research and study. Probably can buy season basketball or hockey tickets for a few faculty and students to take portable air monitoring equipment into a few arenas. And then there are so many dynamics of any arena. A hockey arena in a warm climate would have distinctly different ventilation needs from a basketball arena. With so many variables at play, so many different scenarios would need to be measured and compared to isolate variables of active ventialtion by HVACs vent placments and air turnover, number of people, air volume, etc.
    In reality it’s about keeping the gravy train feeding the climate priesthood with other people’s money.

    • A break down of the money and number of Democrat senators (114th Congress) in that state:
      Harvard, Massachusetts – 2 Democrat senators.
      Florida State, Florida – 1 Democrat senator
      Illinois State, Illinois – 1 Democrat senator
      Missouri U, Missouri – 1 Democrat senator
      Rutgers U. New Jersey – 2 Democrat senators
      Portland State and Univ of Oregon, Oregon – 2 Democrat senators
      Washington State U, Washington – 2 Democrat senators
      UC Boulder, Colorado – 1 Democrat senator
      Number of states with 2 Republican senators: 20
      Number of states with 2 Democrat senators: 16
      Number of states w/1 each D and R senator: 14
      Without knowing which schools submitted grant proposals for the EPA money and making some assumptions such as the two schools within the same state getting selected (Oregon) on the remaining submissions:
      I figure it’s about a 3% chance { 0.031 = (0.68)^9} that partisan politics didn’t play a role in that grant competition.

      • Correction to above: that should have be 0.01 = (14+16)/50)^9. So about 1% chance.
        That turned around means a 99% chance that politics were involved in selection. IOW, Texas, North Carolina, Souh Carolina, Utah, Tennessee. etc. universities, if they submitted applications, they were likely wasting their time for that EPA study money.

      • Thanks Joel do any of those States have HVAC manufacturing? And if so who has the most money to bribe these wonderful senators ( I am working on a portfolio)but offhand I’d pick Illinois the rest look a little cerebral or too stoned!

  14. Before I retired from EPA around 2005, it was clear that climate change had sucked up all the grant money–the only way to get a grant in any subject was to link it to climate change. When EPA was studying real pollutants such as particles, volatile organic compounds (benzene, formaldehyde), radon, and even pesticides, it became clear in the 1980s that indoor exposures were generally higher (sometimes an order of magnitude higher) than outdoors. For particles, smoking and cooking were the main sources. For VOCs, it was generally consumer products (particularly air fresheners (para-dichlorobenzene), mothballs (naphthalene), pressed wood and particleboard (formaldehyde). For pesticides, it was indoor application or infiltration of various insecticides (chlordane, diazinon), etc. Even old-fashioned CO (gas appliances, charcoal briquettes)) was often higher indoors. Indeed, the only environmental pollutant appearing on death certificates is CO, often from an indoor source. So human exposure and indoor air pollution is a worthy area of study. I will bet that most of the work on the grants will be useful, and the investigators will throw in a few last-minute paragraphs on the effect of climate change to justify the grant.

      • Lance’s comments are sensible about a area of study that is legitimate. What is not sensible is “it became clear in the eighties…” THAT THERE WAS SUCH OVERBEARING BIAS IN THE EPA SYSTEM that no sensible science could be done without tipping is hat to the institutional prejudice. I submit that is not an environment that gets ANY good science done at all

      • fossilsage, the same comment would apply to any science funded by govt in general. Not just the EPA specifically.

    • The legitimate study of indoor air quality should be conducted outside the EPA, which technically lacks authority to regulate indoor pollutants. That minor obstacle hasn’t really slowed down the agency’s mission creep into radon standards, etc.

  15. As someone who does home inspections for energy efficiency, here’s 2 cents saying that the most effective thing we could do to improve indoor air quality is reduce energy prices, so that HVAC systems could be run more and properly.
    Many, many homes have issues with humidity, which leads to a variety of problems. Many commercial buildings suffer from either too much or too little run time (over-air conditioning, or cutting back to reduce costs as someone mentioned above).
    It’s always a tradeoff, though, as in everything. Better HVAC in part comes from a more airtight building, which is not as conducive to better interior air quality (unless the HVAC is installed and run accordingly, e.g. with forced heat recovery ventilation etc.).

  16. 8 M would fund a largish group (10-12) people for about 5 years, assuming about 60% is paid on salaries. Rest to contract work and maybe building supplies.
    I bet the EPA interest is the connection between energy efficiency and ventilation. Too many houses have no way to ventilate. It’s either AC or the heat. And in bigger buildings it’s both at the same time.

  17. How’s about a study of how particulates like sand,dust,soot,etc affect indoor air quality. And while they are it, how about polluting our ecosystem with flooding rivers from bursting dams caused by the unintended consequences of dumb save the earth policies (hello EPA),and things like wildfires because campers can’t burn deadfall? (Hello eco-cultists) . When humans think we can control Mother Nature, and LIV’s start electing said parasites, it is not a pretty picture with the human controlling laws they bring in. We are soooooooo fubared!

  18. And as an afterthought…..what’s 8 Billion? The national debt went up that much in the time it took me to type that.

    • Yeah, Justthinkin,
      Mere millions are not even chump change for governments anymore.
      Every little helps
      [(c) Tesco, but not untrue.]
      [Trouble with Caps Lock. . . , ,]

  19. I’m with Tony Heller re: the EPA. It’s past time to shut down the EPA, that place is too badly infested with environmental activism, and too willing to ignore the law. It is now too infiltrated with NRDC, GreenPeace, and WWF activists in their civil service ranks, that it can never be trusted to perform unbiased impact reviews, write regulations that comply with the laws etc., and not leak information on internal discussions over to activist organizations (moles) before rules are released for public comment.
    The next President needs to transfer the EPA’s regulatory responsibilities over to the USDA, Interior Dept, OSHA, etc. Then only reassign those civil service folks who have no prior professional affiliations with either the energy, mineral extraction industries, or the environmental groups. If the next President worked with Congress to make the necessary reforms and reassignment of responsibilities, then clean-up of the activist, partisan debacle at the EPA could be done.

  20. Aren’t they looking at the cooling towers now as the source for the legionars outbreak? Not global warming but maybe worth looking at.

    • They have known about cooling towers and Legionnaire’s since the first outbreak. Nevertheless, that would be for CDC or other agencies to investigate, not EPA.

  21. “The agency said climate change’s impact on indoor air pollutants like mold, mildew and asthma triggers isn’t well understood.”
    Can’t they just compare indoor air pollutants in warmer climates with those in cooler climates?

  22. I’d be a lot more interested in studying the effects current U.S. energy policy will have on the indoor environment. When the cost of electric power hits 40-cents, I predict our indoor environment will suck, particularly in summer!

    • Ironic isn’t it that faked dangers of absorption refrigeration by the environmentalists killed it off when it would have made totally solar powered air conditioning used for cooling really cheap compare to current ones and absolutely free to run with almost zero maintenance.

  23. Makes perfect sense to me.
    CAGW is also only found inside buildings on computer simulations so this is a logical sequence.
    Probably they can find the consequences of their Climate Change in the only place it seems to exist, on the same computers.
    So it is all an inside job.
    After all these years of doom and gloom, manmade global warming is yet to be measured anywhere out in the real world.
    Nothing says Climatology like researching the effect on an entirely manmade environment of a nonspecific external weather event.

    • At high temp, a microprocessor can make miscalculations or just crash. I have seen that on a badly designed, badly cooled, set-top box.
      Will global warming affect computers? Will global warming affect computer simulations of climate?
      Will computer simulations of climate affect energy needs? Will computer simulations of climate generate more CO2?
      Is there a tipping point where computer simulations of climate are not possible?

  24. I’m sure these studies have already been done, since we are routinely advised to stay indoors for almost every instance of the outside conditions deviating from the norm.
    UV index…stay indoors
    Pollen count…stay indoors
    Ozone …stay indoors
    Forest fire…stay indoors
    Wind chill… stay indoors
    Terrorists… stay indoors
    Earthquake… get outside and face those other hazards. Good luck!

  25. God I thought the leaders in the UK were the dregs but you are really suffering in the US right now with a pathetic wierdo for a president and a very dubious businessman as the most likely replacement.

  26. In my increasingly cynical view, I see this proposed study as a means for the EPA to intrude on the private lives of citizens even further. It used to be that a person could do what they want inside thier domicile as long as the activity did not release visible/detectable emissions to the air, soil, or water outside of the domicile. I see this as the EPA just finding another way to control human activity inside a private residence. Not so far-fetched, I would say. Sarcasm not intended here, sadly.

  27. “EPA: $8 million to study “indoor” climate change”
    Hmmm…those with air conditioning will be cooler in the summer and those without it will be hotter in the summer.
    Study done.
    Who do I tell where to send my check?

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