Claim: We should focus on Air Pollution, let Climate “take care of itself”


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Guardian has published a hilariously confused post, which seems to claim that climate change is important, vital, and big, but we should focus on other issues, and kindof let climate take care of itself.

It is the greatest environmental hazard of the age. Nothing focuses our concern for the future more, divides rich and poor, exercises science, business, politicians, old and young. It is an existential threat, a generational battle. All political and financial resources must be concentrated on stopping climate change.

But now that governments have signed up to the unambitious Paris climate agreement and pledged to try to limit greenhouse gas emissions, we must ask whether we have lost sight of everything else. Is the environment just about carbon and parts per million of gases in the atmosphere? What about the environment that we can smell, see and touch today?

For 20 years or more concerns about nuclear waste, food production, the quality of river water, the health of our soils and seas, the fate of our forests, the impact of road-building and many other important ecological issues have been steadily marginalised, starved of resources or pushed off the agenda by climate change.

Most heinous of all the sins of emissions is what has happened to our air quality since climate change climbed the political agenda 20 years ago. No government wants us to know that far more people will suffer grievous illnesses and will die from the filthy air shrouding our cities than from any warming of the atmosphere in the next 30 years. Climate change may give us a glimpse of the terrifying future we are heading towards if we don’t change our ways, but toxic air is already here, and killing us in ever greater numbers.

We have been distracted by climate change and have let governments dictate the agenda. Now we must return to basics, and address all those issues that have been conveniently dropped. Who will get angry about the degradation of water quality, the plague of plastic in our seas? Mining? What about computer and smart phone waste? Litter? Population control? Endangered species? Unless we address mass consumption – the root of our environmental crisis – climate change will not only worsen, we will be left with a degraded world.

Rather than solely trying to tackle the vast problem of climate change, we must address all the many factors which make it worse. It’s a case of looking after the green pennies and letting the green pounds take care of themselves.

A few days ago, WUWT highlighted how greens are trying to find a replacement for the failed climate scare. I think the plastic pollution crisis is pulling ahead of the field, but the filthy air crisis might still be in the race.

101 thoughts on “Claim: We should focus on Air Pollution, let Climate “take care of itself”

    • I think even a lot of of the UK’s greeny urban armchair warriors were forced to “take stock” of their perceived “The Science is Settled”, “CO2 is the Devils farts”, “nothing else is remotely important” ideology when the proof came in in spades that because of this ridiculous tunnel vision/myopia on CO2, diesel cars were given incredible tax incentives for urban transport.

      The result being that people actually died and are still dying and will continue to die because of the diesel particulates and NO2 emissions.

      As far as the “true believers” are concerned – they would have supported vehicles that belched Cyanide and Plutonium as long as its CO2 footprint was zero.

      So whilst this article is confused (and it does make one cringe at the authors likely need of a good Proctologist due to their desperate fence sitting) it is surely to be welcomed due to the breath of reality it indicates just may be on the horizon?

      Is it possible that the good solid standards of Environmental Science could be making a comeback from the spin and political doctrine we have all seen it be dragged down to?

      • Not all diesel cars. Only the recent ones, usually with turbos, get the reduced VED. The worst kind for NOx emissions, in fact, because of the high combustion pressures and temps.

        As I have pointed out to our MP, this makes no sense at all from a pollution point of view, but it also makes no sense from a climate change point of view either (assuming you consider that a valid problem) because it is actually giving a tax incentive to higher performance cars which will likely be driven faster and use more fuel, and therefore emit more CO2 per mile.

        In one such case a 175bhp saloon capable of 140mph is taxed at £100, whilst a 75bhp runabout from the same manufacturer is taxed at £220 simply because it is non-turbo. The two vehicles return a similar measured fuel economy, although since this is at the same speed for both, you betcha the saloon will use more diesel in practice.

        To cap it all, the VW cars involved in emissions test cheating are seemingly not going to have to pay the tax that should apply to their level of pollution.

    • For goodness sake it’s not “Enviros looking for a job to ….. ” they are journalists , not climatoologists.

      Why decry those you disagree with when they show a grain of common sense?

      Quit the yaboo! , we told you so, attitude. If enviros are starting to recongise that they need to refocus on the REAL environmental issues happening now instead of what they mistakenly think may happen in 100 or 1000y times. GREAT. A bit freaking sense is coming back into the argument.

      Don’t expect total capitulation, a U-turn , or anyone one to stand up and say : OK we scewed up and got it all completely wrong. Give the rat a way out the corner, don’t force it to jump and start clawing at your face or die.

      If they are finally realising that there are more urgent and real issues: great! Maybe we can work together on that.

      • As global cooling really gathers speed which it might if the sun goes ‘quiet’ with few sun spots like it did during the Little Ice Age, ‘Climate Change’ will make a very swift U turn. In less than five years.

      • agree:-) there really IS serious pollution requiring cleanup
        the crap from all the Rare Earth mining n processing for turbines and lekky cars for one problem
        the agw scam really has taken the attention n funding that would have been far more usefully spent sorting real problems out for over 20 years.

  1. This has always been one of my main objections to this climate change meme, that climate change is the only environmental problem worthy of consideration. I taught science for 27 years, and throughout that time, I could count the number of students on one hand who had even heard of the Love Canal. But every last festering one of them had heard of climate change. I tried my best to remedy that situation, but the problem festers worse than ever, I’m afraid.

    • kamikazedave –

      I’m of an age that I saw the TV and print reports of Love Canal as the story unfolded. That was nasty stuff!

      • As a child I grew up in housing that had lead paint on all the trim and windows, not to mention, the outside of the house. As a teenager and adult I drove cars using (gasp!) leaded gasoline. You probably believe we were busy poisoning the environment, but it was mostly propaganda. Had proof been required about the paint the propagandists would have been laughed out of court. It was an excuse to label black inner city kids as damaged instead of correcting the education systems in inner cities. Good Democrats at work.

        The clouds of pollution over many cities came about from nitrogen compounds spewed by the new unleaded gasoline we were burning in our cars. The excuse used there was the finding of lead compounds along roadsides. I don’t remember anybody mentioning studies to find out just how harmful it was. I do remember a lot of propaganda. The real danger in Washington, DC, was from carbon monoxide, which reached such high levels, occasionally, in the suburbs we were told not to barbecue in our backyards.

        I consider that stuff to be right up there with the banning of DDT and a horror of nuclear power plants.

        The Love Canal horror was real, however, even tho there was much leftist propaganda made out of it.

    • Dave, you have that right. Of course it is far worse than that. The same children (I am hesitant to call them students) are being taught by teachers that entered teaching to avoid STEM. Their understanding of science is whatever the politicos deem as “consensus”. And then these folks are advising the EPA that carbon dioxide (or carbon) is a pollutant! And our courts agree!
      In the US and Europe clean water and clean air legislation has made a significant positive impact. London, Pittsburgh and LA are no longer perpetually shrouded in smog (now that has shifted to Beijing and Delhi). People fish in the rivers surrounding NYC and the conditions of the Great Lakes no longer is dire.
      The warmist crowd is supporting the power grab in government sucks up money to support the warmist causes. This draws funding away from all sorts of functions and the public. This cycle continues to be the toughest to break.

      • In England, cities such as Sheffield, Birmingham and the Potteries 5 towns were far worse than London because that was where all the heavy polluting industries were situated following the Industrial Revolution. The Clean Air Act was introduced in 1956 because of the smog in London in 1952, but the worse situation in the other cities had been ignored until London started to suffer from the effects of domestic coal-fires. It has always been thus – the rest of the country is ignored by the ‘elite’ in London.

    • Now the Lord can make you tumble
      And the Lord can make you turn
      And the Lord can make you overflow
      But the Lord can’t make you burn

      Burn on, big river, burn on
      Burn on, big river, burn on
      -Randy Newman

  2. The global warming advocates have a minor little problem that people remember their dire predictions. Al Gore predicted doom by last year sometime. However, the other Greens have the problem that Paul Ehrlich and The Club of Rome predicted doom thirty or more years ago. Barring a “1984” ministry like Winston Smith worked in to continually correct history to fit political concerns, they cannot avoid looking silly.

    • Most people never heard their dire predictions, much less remember them. They do note that there doesn’t appear to be much change in summer weather and that winters in the middle of the country and back East are getting snowier and colder. For the average citizen, whose big deal for the day is to go to work or line up in welfare offices, its just weather, and they know it has to be lived with, regardless.

      It is only a big deal to those of us who hang out at online spaces like WUWT and attend various climate conferences.

  3. Are they saying we should attempt to restrict actual pollution?

    Got to admit, at least that make more sense than what the CAGW, the IPCC, and the Paris folks want to do with the non-polluting CO2.

  4. “Rather than solely trying to tackle the vast problem of climate change,…”

    “Rather than solely trying to tackle the half-vast problem of climate change,…”

    There – fixed it.


  5. […] but toxic air is already here, and killing us in ever greater numbers. […]

    Where are the corpses? Show me the death certificates that list “Toxic Air” as the cause of death.

    • Chai Jing documents the effects of PM<2.5 micron particulates in Under the Dome – Investigating China’s Smog. Some ~10 million views on Yoku from within China itself before it was 404’d last March. Over a million views since on youtube, amazing for a 2 hour documentary in this attention deficit era. China is the canary, in the continental US and Europe better emission controls and atmospheric circulation help to reduce the impact of coal.

    • It is a well-known internet fact that the person who wrote this quote is now dead from breathing TA (toxic air).

    • there are virtually none in the U.S. or any of the developed nations. China, India and the like have reportedly had issues- – -although even there, no bodies are shown- –

  6. Where are the corpses? Show me the death certificates that list “Toxic Air” as the cause of death.

    Well they show up as lung cancer, emphysema, extreme asthma and many many other ’causes’

    When did you last see a death certificate with ‘tobacco smoking’ or ‘habitual drunkeness’ on it?

    Done be more inane than is utterly necessary.

    • The assumption that “Toxic Air” is the cause of an increasing number of deaths is a false one. I don’t know whether statistics support that statement, but I do know that my wife, along with many other asthma sufferers have suffered asthma since birth, and cannot be attributed to toxic air. My wife can have an attack in a clean air environment, but has never had an attack on the many occasions we have been in London and Athens; both cities reputed to be dangerously high in toxic fumes. Likewise I know of emphysema sufferers who have been plagued with the disease for most of their lives, with little relief from a clean air environment. The implication that lung cancer is caused by toxic air is also unproven; I’m sure the illness would not be eradicated were it possible to provide clean air for all of us. And incidentally my mother smoked heavily all her life and died at the early age of 92, I warned her that smoking would get her in the end!

      • I agree it’s not air quality that’s the issue. I found that food additives (particularly 220s) caused breathing and other health problems for me. Government “ideals” of high carb/low protein didn’t help either. I’ve taken charge of what I put into my system, avoid packet foods, and my health has improved tremendously.

      • Lordy, you are young! I remember LA in the sixties when the wind stopped and the toxins made the air brown and it peeled paint and breathing was very difficult.

  7. Our Prime Minister in Canada seems to think the budget will balance itself. He said that.

    It seems these people have a deeper understanding of these things than an average shmoe like me. 8^D

  8. “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper.”

    T.S. Eliot’s poem, possibly alluding to Guy Fawkes’ death whimper, Guy Fawkes being the inspiration for that ubiquitous Fawkes/vendetta mask that is the required affectation for the properly posed on-camera anarchist, perfectly describes what suddenly seems to be happening to man-made global warming post-Paris.

    Nobody’s going to come right out and say, “Nevermind, sorry for any inconvenience.” No, it will end like this, with articles saying “Climate Change, its important and all, but just for right now we need to focus on this other pressing issue.” And as these articles stack up, CAGW will recede in the public imagination the same way Population Bomb did. Never actually refuted, just possibly postponed by the continued stubborn insistence of humanity on adapting to a changing world as we always have.

    • you could add to that the Ozone Hole issue supposedly “handled” by the Montreal Protocol’s elimination of chloro-fluorocarbons in 1987. Since then, the hole has waxed and waned in size but no real progress in closing that hole has been exhibited. But interest in the topic died when legislations was passed. Maybe the same will happen now that Paris has “solved” the CO2 problem?

  9. The Diesel car is promoted as good green transport as it will reduce carbon footprint per journey.
    I have UK road tax of £30 instead of £180 for an equivalent petrol car.
    However the journey produces more particulates and NO2 giving rise to serious air pollution in towns with health implications for the vulnerable.
    Many UK cities have air pollution well above danger level on an almost permanent basis.

  10. I’ve been blocked from the Guardian comments and had so much deleted for pointing out that real biopartiulate nanotech and chemical pollution (like C8 that you probably all have in your bodies) that are worth tackling.

    The thing with those particular problems is you have to take on the corporate world, something the greenies won’t do because well, it just wont happen.

    One problem is nano and biotech pollution in the oceans, some of the former kills photo plankton by reacting with UV.

    C8 is in the blood of most Americans (not an exaggeration) and is passed from mother to fetus, it does not break down, thanks Dupont.

    NANO pollution is a present danger, and one worth keeping an eye on as some of it can pass right through your skin

    • Mark, this is the trouble with these things. Like a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of pollution of a certain kind breeds unnecessary alarm. Yes we should aim for as clean an environment as we can. But the effect on longevity seems to be barely noticeable. It’s like US gov tallying BS statistics on galloping incidents of asthma with rising CO2. Here is the longevity statistics by country:

      Note that Hongkong, Macau, Singapore and Japan are in the top 7 – mainly Chinese and Japanese countries. Pacific islands with a whole half a world of ocean fresh air aren’t doing as well as North America and Europe where all this arcane pollution is supposed to be taking place. Look at the list. It’s not the ambient environment but rather economics, hygiene, medicine, and diet. US is a bit below Canada and most European countries probably because of highway deaths, murder and a generally more harried lifestyle.

      Keep things in perspective Mark. The nano and bio stuff probably in balance enhances longevity. The incidence of the problem?? I don’t even know what C8 is and aren’t motivated to find out.

      • 3M and DuPont apparently knew the dangers of C8 decades ago, but continued to produce the chemical because something like $1 billion in profit depended on it.

    • …C8 is in the blood of most Americans (not an exaggeration)…

      The mass spectrometer must be a favourite tool of the environmentalists. With it, you can detect an atom of ANY element anywhere you look…

    • mate theyre using it in foods and supplements and grandfather it..even though they admit it changes properties dramatically for many compounds..
      they can use far less ingredient
      and theres NO regulatory body or oversight for it
      the cat got loose way ahead of the watchdog even waking up

  11. They’ve discovered a new bogeyman – “mass consumption”. Hey, I know, let’s just kill economies, especially the nasty, richest ones like in the US. We need more recessions and even depressions. “Problem” solved.

    • Do you see anyone listening to this? REALLY? Hand-wringing Kafka-reading undergrads giving up their Nikes, their IPhones and their air travel anywhere YOU’VE been? It’s really easy to appear Earnestly Concerned by clucking and shaking one’s head while plugging the phone-charger into the car, that takes you to the plane, that takes you to a place where you can pig out on foods grown on the far side of the earth and shop duty-free stuff that rode a container ship in from China. Tired of these greenwashing hypocrites!

  12. As for air quality, plant billions of trees in and around cities, that’s gotta help, I live in Helsinki, I don’t know how the air quality is, but there is so much land for trees and vegetation that it must help air quality surely? I’m assuming here of course, massive concrete jungles without substantial areas of plant life you would think would lead to reduced air quality

    • funny thing is?
      theyre ripping trees OUT of cities and suburban areas in Aus
      they drop leaves or gumnuts and the risk of accident claims…
      or the leaves making a “mess”
      upsets the tidy town ftards who think an artists pic of tortures plants in tubs and astroturf is how the world should look to be neat n tidy and aseptic

  13. “In order to make diesel cars more competitive, weaker toxic emission standards were granted
    compared to petrol cars (e.g. for nitrogen oxides, or NOx) from the mid-1990s.European emissions legislation allowed – and continues to allow – lower air pollution standards for diesel, as set out in a series of regulations known as Euro 0 to Euro 6.”

  14. “Mining.” It strikes me that the writer of this drivel lacks imagination. Without mining, we are back to the Stone Age. Mining is evil?

    The left contend that CAGW is caused by wasteful lifestyles, once again, lacking imagination. They want everyone to turn off the heat and lights, and stay home all day leaving the car in the garage?

    My sister is on her second Prius, and yet has bought a second home down South for the winters. Amazing…

    • Funny how she appears to have worries about global warming but through her own actions unknowingly admits warmer is better.

  15. I lived in New Haven, Connecticut 25 years ago and when the summer wind was blowing from the south it got so hazy you couldn’t see the Knights of Columbus building from a mile away. That air was blown in from New Jersey and New York. It was terrible. But now I live on the southwest coast of Florida where we always have clean air and because idiots went chasing after CO2 instead of the real pollutants, I don’t give a rat’s ass about it. Let them breathe cake.

  16. G On Feb 20, 2016 4:09 PM, “Watts Up With That?” wrote:

    > Eric Worrall posted: ” Guest essay by Eric Worrall The Guardian has > published a hilariously confused post, which seems to claim that climate > change is important, vital, and big, but we should focus on other issues, > and kindof let climate take care of itself. It is the g” >

    [??? .mod]

  17. The claims illustrate a lack of historical context: “toxic air is already here, and killing us in ever greater numbers.”. In developed countries, the air is massively cleaner than 50 years ago. Air pollution only is killing more people now because there are more people and globally more have moved into cities. This ignores two things, however:
    1) In the same countries that are urbanizing and smog is “killing more people”, lifespans have increased. So net effect of urbanization and development is positive.
    2) Indoor air pollution from cooking/heating fires in the poorest homes is far worse than smog in a city. Go share a hut with someone who cooks with dung or branches and then tell me their rural lifestyle is “healthy”.
    It is of course a good thing to clean up the air, but let’s have our facts straight.

  18. The Guardian article has it mostly right — except for the alarmist tone. Where air pollution is a real problem — the mega-cities of China and India, for example — it should be vigorously addressed by local and national governments. In Africa and some other third-world countries, where women still cook inside over smokey wood/dung fires, indoor air pollution is another real problem that affects the health of real people.

    The “shocking statistics” on deaths by air pollution are an epidemiologists dream — cobbed together by massive statistical chicanery from huge masses of incoherent data. The fact that the statistics and claims are hugely exaggerated doesn’t mean that there isn’t a real problem. The “deaths” stat is another of the “fruit salad metrics” — they combined the problem of outdoor/industrial air pollution with that of the non-industrial third-world indoor cooking fire air pollution. Try to find a common solution?

    I grew up in Los Angeles, California in the days when school had to be let out on some days and children kept indoors because of the smog.

    In the developed world, air pollution has been reduced to almost nothing — except in those few places that have geography problems — valleys prone to inversion layers [a layer of the atmosphere in which there is a temperature inversion, with the layer tending to prevent the air below it from rising, thus trapping any pollutants that are present.] like Los Angeles, Denver (I think), Mexico City, etc.

  19. Enviro-numpties wail and moan about “toxic air” and other environmental problems (both real and imagined), yet never seem to get the fact that it is wealthy economies which are able to address said issues. They despise wealth, the very thing that enables us to clean up the environment. They actually use “the environment” as a means to an end. They don’t give a damn about people.

    • Read between the lines. They have vague inklings that their lives are to be spent in corporate slavery, pushing meaningless pixels for The Man. The economy enslaving them is therefore the cause of all human misery, and if they could only “return to the garden” of Nature, all would be well–organic veggies, flat abs and hot sex three times a day. Because all they know about “Nature” is what they read in publications from NatGeo and WWF, they think “natural” is “beautiful” and “peaceful.” These twits think ski resorts are “winter,” and they’re all “activists” who need a “cause” for their life on social media.

  20. Air pollution we can do something about because we create it. Climate change we can’t do anything about because it’s always been here.

  21. This is a most fascinating article :ERP Compliant is run by Tom Clarke, a Virginia hospital executive and climate change activist. In addition to bidding on U.S. Steel Canada’s operations, Clarke has been scooping up mines from bankrupt coal producers Patriot Coal Corp. and Walter Energy Inc., betting he can help revive the struggling Appalachian region by selling coal bundled with carbon credits accrued by planting trees — something he thinks will appeal to utilities struggling to meet new environmental standards.ERP Compliant has submitted a bid for the steel operations in Hamilton and Nanticoke, Ontario, and Essar Steel and several others are expected to submit offers by the Feb. 29 deadline, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The assets are valued at about $1.5 billion, including debt, the people said.

    • Then follow the links to the carbon credits and tree planting plan that utilities might be interested in. Touted as a way to save coal mining jobs.

      Nanticoke, ON is also the place where a 1,000 MW, HVDC underwater Lake Erie, merchant cable will run to the Erie, Penn. area with another 1,000 MWs possible if enough subscribers sign on. Cables, two 500 MW in progress now.

      • According to Google maps, The U.S. Steel Canada: Lake Erie Works, Nanticoke, is only a short distance to the west of where the 1,000 MW Lake Erie Connector transformer station will be located.

  22. All,

    In my (sometimes somewhat misguided) mind, it make sense to research, develop and deploy equipment that cleans as much bad stuff in the exhaust of our existing technology as possible. But with the proviso that it is economically feasible to do it. That meaning the technology involved is subject to the supply and demand laws of economics – not bleeding edge in other words.

    Research into improved devices should continue for both energy efficiency (overall) and environmental care is important and should continue. We don’t need to be dirtying our nest more than we need too.


  23. Here is what is making us all sick Big Food and Big Pharma :Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines | Sarah Hallberg | TEDxPurdueU ;Tim Noakes and what good scientists do when faced with the evidence :If the latest US dietary guidelines prove anything at all, it’s how seductively enduring is the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. And when it’s scientists who are the ones demonstrating this crazy behaviour pattern, it bodes badly for public health worldwide. Other countries, including South Africa, slavishly follow the US guidelines. The 2016 guidelines that have just been published are updated every five years. They might just as well not have been. Last year, the US government’s very own expert dietary advisory group declared that dietary cholesterol was ‘no longer a nutrient of concern. It seemed that nutrition scientists were finally doing what all good scientist should do, and just as University of Cape Town emeritus professor Tim Noakes did in 2010, when confronted with the evidence proving that their popularly held belief was false: change their minds.

    • Do you, or ANYONE you know, actually pay the slightest attention to how the Government tells you to EAT?

      Right. Didn’t think so. Mostly a problem if you’re in jail.

    • The whole cholesterol issue is strange. Dr Dzugan has over 80% success rate getting people back into the reference range with simple hormone injections. Not only that but the other 20% improve drastically as well, they just don’t make it back into the reference range.

      His approach is that the body makes 80+% of the cholesterol so he asked “why?” and “what is cholesterol used for by the body?”. The body uses it to make hormones. Now if the body detects low hormone levels it will create more cholesterol but if the body can’t convert it then what? It keeps supplying more.

      Dr Dzugan’s approach was to see which hormones were low and top them up. The body then stopped producing so much. Nice work. Pity there is a $30 billion statin drug industry dead set against it. Sort of like the peptic ulcer issue times 10.

  24. The signature of these types who write articles like this is always revealed. Note “population control” is slipped into the list as an also-ran (horse racing term for horses that didn’t come in in the money). Check out longevity:

    Most of the top 7 (which includes two Chinese cities, Japan and Singapore) are big sea food eaters.
    You can’t beat economic strength, hygiene, medicine and diet as the most important factors and diet seems to trump the others. The first one- economy- is even necessary to take care of the environment properly.

  25. Reality check on isle 5 please!! It’s about time IMHO. We have so many real problems, like air pollution in China, that wasting money on a non-pollutant (CO2) is stupid. Now they still pay homage to the religious mantra of CO2 being the biggest threat but nice to see them check into reality once in a while.

    Stay a while folks. You’ll see that reality isn’t such a bad place and with a bit of work will be darned nice. I know that working on a “fix me up” is less glamorous than your “save the world utopia” but it’s a lot of fun and you get to actually SEE RESULTS.

  26. The Guardian article just goes to show the state of mass journalism these days. The mass media, both television and newspapers, are only peddling cliches, catchy phrases, disjointed bits of items, and never mind the absence of a co-herent plot as long as their glassy-eyed, shallow-minded readers and viewers keep reading and viewing. True journalism, i.e. investigative journalism, is only found in books or blogs written and presented by intelligent individuals where they will be read by intelligent, all-comprehending guys (like us!).


    I may myself be a victim of misinformation, in which case I would appreciate being set straight. But my understanding is that using the Love Canal excavation (it was never finished) as a waste disposal depot was in accord with all environmental regulations of the day and, if the clay cap over the top of it remained intact, the contents would have remained trapped by the clay through which the canal was being dug.
    When the Niagara Falls school authorities said that they wanted the land to build on, the Hooker Chemical people tried to block them but (possibly due to eminent domain laws- I’m not sure) the school board authorities insisted that they would have the land and Hooker Chemical was forced to sell. But before they sold they showed the school authorities what would happen in the clay cap were disturbed.
    Once the school authorities had obtained the land they build a school on or nearby, and they punctured the clay cap for water lines. After the clay cap was punctured the chemicals leaked out.
    Naturally, Hooker Chemical was given the blame for the leakage and not the school authorities.

    Ian M

    • The Love Canal started life as a barge canal. That is to say, a big ditch lined with 5 feet of clay on the sides and bottom to create an impervious seal and allow the canal to be filled and retain water. The canal project was abandoned before completion, due to the changing economics of freight transport.
      Now, when it comes to hazardous waste disposal, one of the Big problems is moving/seeping/flowing/migrating groundwater. It was properly understood that the clay barrier works both ways and so would make the site environmentally stable. And so the site was selected as a waste site, and in time filled up with all kinds of nasty stuff.
      What went into the canal site, and who dumped it is a story in itself. The City of Niagara Falls, Chicago, and The Manhattan Project. It was rumored that the worlds first nuclear reactor, the “under the stadium, in Chicago”, or at least pieces of it, ended up in the canal. Both chemical and radiological waste from the nuclear weapons project found it’s way there. Of course, all of this was classified way above “Top Secret”, as all nuclear weapons work would be. The result of this was that it was impossible to make a full inventory of the contents of the site. But what was known was “Bad, Very Bad”, and that, actually, was enough.
      Eventually, the site was filled and sealed with a 5 foot thick clay cap. The clay cap was impermeable to water and so provided long term environmental stability to the site. The waste was effectively sealed away due to the 5 foot clay cap. And so matters should have stayed.
      But things never stay.
      Hooker Chemical sold the site to the Niagara School Board for the princely sum of $1.00, under threat of eminent domain. The $1.00 price served two purposes. First, Hooker showed no profit from the sale, and second, legal responsibility for the waste site came to the School Board. The School Board knew well and truly why the price was what it was. They were fully informed. In fact, the dangers of the site was why Hooker has resisted the sale, and why the School Board had started Eminent Domain proceedings.
      The School Board Plays The Hero:
      The School Board sold most of the site to a developer, who promptly subdivided the site and started building homes. The School Board made a handsome profit off the sale and so could build a new school for the new neighborhood without any taxpayer monies. They sung their own praises far and wide. There was just one trouble with the site. There was a big 5 foot high earthen embankment of some sort running diagonally through the subdivision. So the contractor removed it.
      The Disaster:
      The removal of the clay cap did not just open up the site, it was way worse than that. Remember, the site was originally a canal with clay sides and bottom. The canal filled with water. Steel drums rusted and burst, and the rising water floated the hazardous materials upward. The horrible stuff oozed upward, bubbling up on peoples lawns, backyards, and into the basements of homes.
      As we all know, a small scale environmental disaster ensues, with a full blown media fiasco. Everybody blames everybody else, with lots of finger pointing and recriminations, with one exception. Both the government and the media are quite incurious about the role of the School Board.
      The Solution:
      The site is a total loss, remediation and cleanup is deemed impossible. There is no other solution.
      The canal must be sealed with a 5 foot clay cap.

      • Thank you Ian, Tom, and Tony.

        I was too young to be interested in the blame game at the time, but I was impressed by the nastiness of the chemicals.The rusted, oozing barrels of toxic gunk made quite an impression. That was real pollution.

        Nice to find out after all these years where the real blame should have been placed. Thanks again.

  28. In some ways, I’m all for trying to ‘wean the greens’ off global-warming and the obsession with fossil fuels and CO2: I honestly doubt that they could find another obsession that was actually more harmful to the human race than trying to make energy more expensive (apart from things like insisting that all humans drink less water and breathe less oxygen).

    But on the other hand, indulging the green fear of anything and everything “chemical” or “toxic” is what got us into this woeful state in the first place. Allaying exaggerated fears is best in the long run, and an understanding that not only can our environment never be perfect, but that it never was. In the west it used to be a lot worse when we include warmth, shelter, and food availability in the equation. In much of the rest of the world it still is a lot worse, for the same reasons.

  29. Tens of millions of people have suffered premature deaths because of pollution in our air, water and soils.

    Cumulative number of humans dying prematurely from breathing ambient levels of CO2?

    Cumulative number of humans/animals that have suffered health problems and that will suffer health issues from breathing projected higher levels of ambient CO2?

  30. There are unintentional real consequences of the climate wars. The idiots think they are saving the world and they are actually the reason why we cannot solve any problems. The cult of CAGW is one of the key reasons why there are problems which we have not even discussed that have reached the crisis stage.

    As the entire CAGW paradigm is built on mistruths/lies, forced acceptance of the completely incorrect end of the world warming paradigm, was turned the ‘climate change’ issue into a war.

    Lying and propaganda is OK, in a time of war, as the end (horrible imaginary consequences of climate change) justifies the means. Lies lead to more lies. De facto the creation of the climate wars set of beliefs which is unsupported by scientific evidence/analysis, has forced there to be a cultural/political machine/media machine that suppresses the normal unbiased scientific and economic analysis of all problems and issues a steady stream of propaganda.

    We have spent decades talking about a problem that is not a problem. Anthropogenic CO2 emissions is not a problem. It is a fact supported by observations and analysis that there is absolutely no scientific reason to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions. That is a good thing not a bad thing. The planet is about to abruptly cool and atmospheric CO2 will drop. That is a bad thing which we are completely unprepared to address.

    Problem 1: Due to the climate wars scientific and economic analysis has been hi jacked to push/support idiotic paradigms. Due to problem 1, the developed countries face real problems that have gone unaddressed for decades.

    Problem 2: The developed countries have run out of money to spend on everything. The general population has no idea what is going to happen next as surely as the sun will rise in the east. Developed and developing countries are going to be forced to make hard unpopular choices. Developed and developing countries will be forced to spend less money on everything which will result in real hardship and changes.

    Stimulus spending and the crazy/madness ‘quantitative easing’ (QE is a fancy name for printing more money) does not and has not fixed ‘structural’ problems in the developed countries. Simulate spending does not create more higher paying manufacturing jobs. The structural problem is the higher paying manufacturing jobs have gone to China, India, and so on, and in addition automation has reduced the number of higher paying manufacturing jobs. The real problem is a lack of higher paying jobs not a lack of ‘inflation’.

    Zero interest policies and QE (printing money) leads to more deficit spending which will and has led to a Greece, Italy, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, US, UK, and so on deficit/debt crisis rather than more higher paying jobs.

    More immigration and/or higher birth rates will not create more higher paying jobs in developed or undeveloped countries. More people does not solve the structural problems. More people will only lead to more people on the dole and higher unsustainable deficits. The developed countries have run out of tax money to spend on everything.

    When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence. By Stephen King. Yale University Press

    Mr King also worries that developed countries have become stimulus “junkies”, fondly believing that, with the right policies, the old rates of growth can resume. But persistently low interest rates are a sign of economic failure rather than a harbinger of future recovery. The factors that boosted growth in past decades, such as demography, have turned negative as the baby-boomers retire and even the rise of emerging economies is not as helpful as it used to be, since their need for raw materials drives up commodity prices and acts as a tax on Western consumers.

    This lack of growth may have severe consequences. In a stagnant economy, people may resist the reforms needed to allow growth to return. Entrepreneurial spirit vanishes, replaced by a desire only to protect existing income and wealth. One class will turn against another. After 30 years of dramatic increases in income inequality in the Western world, economic stagnation threatens to destabilise an already tense relationship between rich and poor. The rise of fringe parties in Europe suggests this may already be happening; the danger is of a retreat to the nationalist and protectionist policies of the first half of the 20th century.

    Given this bleak outlook, Mr King has no easy solutions. Free labour movement is one part of the answer, along with fiscal union in the euro zone, so that workers and resources can move where they are needed; countries should also commit to reduce their budget deficits over the medium term, but with the ability to opt out of this commitment when their economies tip into recession; central banks should target the level of economic output (nominal GDP) rather than inflation

    Problem 3: Cost and Policies to get from world CO2 emissions A to A/2. Ignoring the fact that the planet is about to abrupt cool and atmospheric CO2 will fall. Problem 3 there is zero chance that we will ever reduce world anthropogenic CO2 by let say 50%. How much would it cost and what lifestyle changes would be required if the entire cult of CAGW paradigm was not based on lies?

    i.e. One indication that lies lead to more lies is a realistic, honest, non propaganda back of the envelop estimate of costs and impacts on everyday life of people to get to A/2 has never been done.

    To reduce world anthropogenic CO2 emissions by let say 50% would require draconian, Stalin like policies such as banning all tourism air travel, forced population reduction, banning second homes, and so on. There is zero chance democratic governments would get support for ending tourism, banning second homes, and so on.

    • Productivity, the fundamental problem in the developed economies of US Europe etc. is falling productivity, partly due to complacency but not helped by the plethora of government regulations, typically in environment, administered by a swelling intrinsically unproductive bureaucracy (e.g. EPA US)— and of course the ever-growing work-age welfare dependent class.
      End of rant.

  31. Mike:

    Has it not occurred to you that air pollution comes directly from industrial processes that ALSO emit CO2?
    Industrial processes require energy – which currently is mostly via fossil burning.
    In other words the two come together CO2 and pollution..
    Reduce one and you reduce the other.

    • Co2 is a gas vapour (beneficial to all plant life, thus beneficial to all lifeforms) Pollution (NOT beneficial to plant life, thus NOT beneficial to ALL life forms) particulate matter, kinda like rocks and float some hanging out in the air,

      What Mike said bears repeating:

      Tens of millions of people have suffered premature deaths because of pollution in our air, water and soils.

      Cumulative number of humans dying prematurely from breathing ambient levels of CO2?

      Cumulative number of humans/animals that have suffered health problems and that will suffer health issues from breathing projected higher levels of ambient CO2?

    • No Toneb,

      Most of the particulate pollution that does so much damage could be greatly reduced by the provision of modern HELE (High Efficiency Low Emission) coal fired or other fossil fuel electricity. These modern systems remove basically all real pollutants and particulate matter, leaving only life-giving CO2 and H2O.

      It is the big tragedy that these systems are being denied to countries that need them so badly to get rid of their sooty inefficient local wood, dung etc fires.

      A tragedy that hangs fairly and squarely around the necks of the anti-CO2 AGW agenda.

      Are you part of that agenda?

  32. [G]reens are trying to find a replacement for the failed climate scare

    I figure they’re working on it with the sugar scare in the UK, AW.

  33. I think folks are missing the point. The Guardian article is taking aim at “consumerism” and by that I think if you scratch the surface you will discover they really mean “high standards of living” for the great unwashed. Very easy target “material possessions” as contributing to pollution and nasty mineral extraction and on and on. It’s time for all you people to look forward to a reduced standard of living in the new green world on our way to solving the long term problem of Climate Change. Sounds like they are restating the Club of Rome’s position when viewed from the bottom up.

    • Environmentalism is an Original Sin religion: “We lived in Eden until man ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Therefore we are banished for our greed and sin. If you would be saved, you must accept your guilt, and you must grant power and influence to the environmentally righteous.”

    • fossilsage,

      “I think folks are missing the point.”

      I agree, I don’t read this as an attempt to switch away from CAGW to anything else, but to treat “the long war” against global warming as a done deal, a given, a “fact of life” from now on. Something we ought not pay much real attention to anymore, such as any indications that there is a lack of global warming.

      This is psyop stuff, to my eyes . . not confused anything.

  34. A trillion $ war that could be used towards the real problems facing this Earth like real pollution, massive overpopulation, Endless climate conference’s, endless grant seeking rent seekers………..
    Then we with the Guardian’s permission “kindof let climate take care of itself”

  35. At least the filthy air crisis is a real and valid one with known and affordable solutions, however it does not need a global bureaucracy so it will not make the grade.

  36. @Harry Passfield

    …[G]reens are trying to find a replacement for the failed climate scare

    I figure they’re working on it with the sugar scare in the UK, AW….

    Sugar is ALMOST ENTIRELY Carbon! Obviously the Devil’s sweetener…

  37. To counter 1970’s environmental movement, the multinational companies to protect their vested interests, pressurized the UN agencies through their mentors – powerful countries of the West – to counteract this movement.

    In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm, and for the first time united the representatives of multiple governments in discussion relating to the state of the global environment. The [Late] Indira Gandhi the then Prime Minister of India Chaired the Session. This conference has led directly to the creation of environmental agencies by individual national governments and the United Nations Environment Program [UNEP]. This has culminated introduction of environmental Acts in India also – in 1974 Water Act and lead the establishment of a environmental ministry, Pollution Control Boards at the Centre and in the States, in 1981 Air Act & in 1986 the Environmental Act and with this presented action plans on wide range of subjects relating to Environmental issues.

    Unfortunately after UN Rio Summit, the environmental issue was sidelined by “one point goal”, namely “Global Warming and carbon credits”. In the case of pollution control, the laws provide a means of illegal earnings to officials and politicians at the cost of environment. The creators of global warming hysteria and creators of pollution have been rewarded with awards including noble prizes with trucks loads of currency.

    India with 17.5% of world population, whether rich or poor, are suffering from pollution [air, water, soil & food] created by transport, industry, agriculture, urbanization, etc but not from carbon dioxide and yet United Nations is more worried on Carbon Dioxide over pollution to protect the multinational companies interest that are destroying the environment with their “poor” technological innovations, including IT [high power consuming] with severe health hazards. We have seen this even at Paris meet [COP21], wherein MNC fought and were successful in not including the pollution aspects in the final agreement document, even though Pope Francis emphasized this in his encyclical.

    On these two counts I am fighting since 2000 – though working since 1970s on adapting to climate change in agriculture-water resources –. The warmist friends look at me as an alien.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  38. Air Pollution is where you find it. Unlike Europe, or the rest of the World, when toxic air was a problem America adressed the problem ever since mid 20th century. Epecially since the’70s, America has been inovating,( Catalytic converters, EGR, SCR, et cetera) ,and genuinely cleansing its air by limiting emissions. By and large Europe and the rest of the Developed World did little but declaime how the World was going to the dogs, proclaim plans to eventually clean up, and in general talk a good show, but do little in fact.

    Enter the Green fools and talk shifted to limiting CO2 a non-toxic and neccessary plant food while continuing to spew NOx, SOx, Carbon Monoxide into the Air. Euro politicians loved creating higher taxes with the excuse of CAGW.

    The result? Out of some 2500 counties in the US, only about half a dozen have not attained the EPA’s Air Quality Compliance, and that half dozen are measurably closer to attaining it. Meanwhile America has cleaned its rivers and the job is also near done there too.

    It is about time that America declare VICTORY, we have done our job and showed the rest of the World it could be done and how to do it.

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