“Pollution causes 200,000 deaths each year in the U.S.”

Classic junkscience brought to us by MIT. Not only does pollution purportedly cause 200,000 premature deaths every year, people dying from air pollution lose a decade of life. “A public health burden of this magnitude clearly requires significant policy attention…” There you have it.

Pollution Causes 200,000 Deaths Each Year in U.S.

MIT, Jennifer Chu

This  graphic shows the annual average concentrations of fine particulates from U.S. sources of combustion emissions from (a) electric power generation; (b) industry; (c) commercial and residential sources; (d) road transportation; (e) marine transportation; (f) rail transportation; (g) sum of all combustion sources; (h) all sources. Image: Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have come out with some sobering new data on air pollution’s impact on Americans’ health…

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20 responses to ““Pollution causes 200,000 deaths each year in the U.S.”

  1. GoneWithTheWind

    Intentionally dishonest. This technique is used by pseudo-scientists to prop up wild ass theories. This is not new and has been going on for many years.

  2. My father and his father were both educators and I taught school myself for a while. When I became interested in “giving back” my first choice was education, but after studying the matter for 2 years, I concluded that education in the US was broken and unfixable. My impact might just make things worse, so I moved on to addressing world poverty.

    What’s my point? I feel education in the US has gone completely off the rails into the la la land of the politically correct and the irrelevant. Exceptions would be the practical studies which apparently only foreigners pursue. It may have to be destroyed before it can be fixed (I’m [mis-]quoting an old Vietnam news-bit)

    • The inevitable result of government involvement.

      It is fixable: return control to locals. Get the Feds out of it.

    • I teach at a private high school, davidrussell22. I was a NASA contractor, engineer and businessman for 25 years before that. Today I teach high school physics to kids and I begin with “science is defined by the experiment”. I get no interference from administration, parents, or students. I tell them that science….real science requires an experiment and the veracity of any science lies entirely within the quality and quantity of the experimentation.
      Science is not judged by the quantity or quality (expertise) of men and women. We are all fallible. And so must hypotheses be fallible, unless they approach the “truth”. “Truth is never achieved, but at some point you, as a human, leap to belief, maybe faith. My example to them is that I ride on airplanes designed with science based, in part, on Navier-Stokes equations. Mathematicians will tell you that N-S equations are not provable. Engineers will tell you that they are powerful, but you have to watch out for boundary conditions. Whatever. Model, design, build prototype, build production……..use the thing. Every time you use the thing, you are testing.
      Climate Science? Hahahaha.
      I send 25 to 30 students out every year who question authority. At least with the notion that “somebody oughta do a real experiment, dammit!”

  3. “people dying from air pollution lose a decade of life. “A public health burden of this magnitude clearly requires significant policy attention”

    Going to tables that show the life expectancy at various ages, we find that the loss of 10 years of possible life has a male dying at the age of 76.5 and a female dying at the age of 79.5.

    Those are the average ages of death these days.

    Amazing, they have ‘proved’ that pollution causes some people to die just when you would expect them to die.

  4. The “science” tells us that if we only had a little more government we could live forever, or so.

  5. Yet our life span just keeps getting longer and longer.

  6. This is death by computer model.-, not pollution.

  7. I don’t want to live longer if I have to live in the dystopian future these people are advocating.

  8. Ross McKitrick, in the Financial Post on May 16, 2011, (Ontario’s power trip: the failure of the green energy act) looked at premature deaths from particulate pollution in Ontario, Canada, and had this gem of a comment-

    “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.

    Of course such a conclusion is absurd,…”

  9. Bev Common Sense

    Pollution and Climate Change are two different entities. It’s like comparing apples with oranges. Everybody wants to do what they can to get rid of pollution but climate change happens in spite of man and industry.

  10. Robert of Ottawa

    Show us the bodied!

  11. Academia now operates with the Chicago Way. Corruption, bribes, and incompetence dominate the politically correct scene. No wonder the US has fallen off the charts of educated people. US Academia is dumber than a 5th grader.

  12. wilbert merel robichaud

    Maybe these are some of those millions of Climate refugees, we were going to get by 2010. are now dying off after that terrible exodus they had to endure.

  13. My God, this Chu person has uncovered the reason why Ehrlich’s population bomb hasn’t happened. We keep dying off too quickly to detonate it. So, either it’s a good thing or we’re doomed anyway. That may not be science, but it is environ-mental. Everything we do to increase our life makes it shorter?

    There’s probably a way to follow through with her numbers to find the contradiction, McKittrick style, such as how man-made PM2.5 is insignificant in relation to the model death that should result from natural sources. I just don’t have the stomach or the time to do it every time a new study using assumptions and models comes up. Just a game of spotting the maybes and the what-if assumptions in the non-results.

  14. The article said nothing about how each “premature death” was determined. I doubt if Ms. Chu perused obituaries or analyzed the victims’ autopsy results. Yet you see this statistic all the time, so there must be a cookie-cutter formula used to determine it. Does anyone know how the magic is done?

  15. I read article twice. What exactly are they dying of? Cancer? Unable to breath? Sucking on tailpipes?

  16. The concept of attribution of real premature death is empirical and works in the opposite direction of the hypothetical model approach. And it’s quite the achievement to be able to say that – having miraculously attributed a real premature death to dust – you can say empirically that it was ten years earlier than the person would have died anyway.

    Another problem is that all death causes other than “old age” can be typed as premature. In the end, you’re going to die of something and something can be caused by anything – alone or in combination. In the population of all anythings and just within the population of all dust, anthropogenic global dusting is empirically less than insignificant.

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