The EPA Lied — Nobody Died

The EPA human experiments controversy is now over. As between choosing whether EPA committed multiple felonies vs. lying to the Congress/public about PM2.5 killing people, the National Academy of Sciences has chosen the “lying’ option. Total victory achieved.

The EPA lied — Nobody died
By Steve Milloy
April 7, 2017, Washington Times

A controversy that first appeared in these pages five years ago, came to an end last week. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concluded that human experiments with air pollutants conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were not dangerous — meaning EPA has been lying to the public and Congress for years about the extreme danger of the “pollutants” in question.

In April 2012, I broke the news that EPA had been quietly conducting human experiments with certain outdoor pollutants that EPA had claimed were, essentially, the most toxic substances on Earth. EPA had repeatedly claimed since at least 2004 that any level of inhalation of fine particulate matter emitted from smokestacks and tailpipes could cause death within hours or days. The old, young and sick were most vulnerable, according to EPA.

The reason EPA conducted the experiments, as admitted in litigation with me, was to try to hurt the study subjects in order to validate its unreliable statistical studies it claimed showed particulate matter was associated with death. So the agency constructed a gas chamber at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine into which it placed its human guinea pigs and pumped in diesel exhaust (from a truck idling outside), other concentrated forms of particulate matter, smog, combinations thereof, and even chlorine gas (like that used in World War I trench warfare).

If EPA was correct in its assessment of the particulate matter’s lethality, then the experiments conducted on human subjects would be patently illegal and the physicians involved would be guilty of many hundreds of counts of felony battery. The only way EPA and its physicians didn’t have such criminal liability was if particulate matter was not as deadly as EPA claimed. In the latter case, EPA would be guilty merely of having lied to the public and Congress in order to advance its regulatory agenda. It was a logical box with no third option.

I doggedly pursued EPA and its henchmen on these pages and in Congress, in federal court, with state medical associations, with the federal Office of Scientific Integrity, at the Presidential Bioethics Commission and more. Finally in March 2014, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General issued a report confirming my allegations and producing worldwide headlines.

But rather than admitting to either conducting criminal experiments or lying to Congress and the public about particulate matter, the EPA secretly hired the National Academy of Sciences to whitewash its own inspector general’s report in hopes of laying the scandal to rest and continuing the experiments. I only found out about the EPA-NAS project in June 2016, after the NAS had basically wrapped up its efforts.
With the help of these pages, I was able to expose the attempted covert whitewash and force the NAS to reopen its review. The NAS then held a special public meeting at which several of my colleagues and I testified about the logical box in which EPA had imprisoned itself. At the hearing, it became clear that the fix was in for EPA.

The committee members exhibited no interest in the documented evidence we presented. They asked no questions about the evidence and undertook no follow-up — even though they were shown documents indicating EPA had withheld evidence from, and otherwise materially misled the committee. That the fix was in came as no surprise as the NAS board members that organized the committee were two-thirds either EPA cronies or agency research grantees. We did, however, force the NAS committee to hold at least one more closed meeting. One can only imagine what was discussed: “What do we do now? Do we conclude that the EPA committed multiple felonies or merely lied to the public?” So this week, we got the answer.

The NAS committee did the only thing a government organization could do — bless the EPA’s human experiments and hope the agency could ride out the obvious but unspoken conclusion that it had lied to the public and Congress about the dangers of particulate matter.

So when the first Obama EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, testified to Congress that “Particulate matter causes premature death. It does not make you sick. It is directly causal to dying sooner than you should,” that was a lie, one compounded by her next false claim that particulate matter kills about 570,000 Americans per year. When the second Obama EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, wrote to Congress; chief outside EPA science adviser Jonathan Samet wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine; and EPA-paid university researchers working with the American Heart Association said that there was no safe exposure to particulate matter those too were lies.

As it turns out, the only time EPA told the truth about particulate matter was when it told its human guinea pigs that the experiments were harmless. Meanwhile the Obama EPA used the phony killer particulate matter scare — backed by almost $600 million in utterly fraudulent scientific research and fueled with secret scientific data — to virtually wipe out the U.S. coal industry, severely harming coal miners, their families and their communities.

Who is going to prison over this? So far, no one. But we can always hope justice will be done. Meanwhile, the irony is that, despite the green light from the National Academy of Sciences committee, the pointless EPA human experiments program is likely on the Trump administration’s budgetary chopping block. It’s hard to imagine President Trump borrowing money from China to fund EPA’s pointless experiments on the young, old and sick in its twisted gas chamber.

• Steve Milloy publishes and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” (Bench Press, 2016).

20 thoughts on “The EPA Lied — Nobody Died”

  1. One can partition the atmosphere for analysis any way he wants. I can take a cubic centimeter 100 meters above the ground and call it a point. I can even call it emitting point because I know stuff in that volume emits something. Calling it so will be especially pertinent if I am interested in distant effects of that emission. Your observation that the same can be done all the way down to earth is precisely what kills the greenhouse nonsense, and Gary takes a very good account of that. Even the title image on that page represents that view, and if you clicked on it, it would take you to this page

    where you can see a diagram (repeated twice) that depicts the multi-scattering problem you mentioned.

    Planck’s law is just a curve; it can’t be invalidated as such. It describes the behavior of an instrument. Make a meaningful statement about its relationship to the atmosphere, and I will give you the data invalidating it.

  2. OK, let’s start here.

    Gary says; “We could compare the temperature of a cubic centimeter of air at the emitting point to a cubic centimeter of earth which absorbs the back radiation”

    There is no such thing as some particular “emitting point” in the atmosphere. Every cubic centimeter at any point in the atmosphere absorbs and emits radiation. Further the “back” radiation is absorbed and re-emitted, in every cubic centimeter, all the way down to the earth—a prodigious multi-scattering problem as you well know. This is how our atmosphere actually operates, and he takes no account of it. No vacuum exists between his “emitting” point and his “absorbing” point. How could his calculation make any sense?

    Your turn: document your statement using your criteria– references, measurements, etc., that invalidates Plank’s rule. Law is commonly accepted usage, but let’s not get into a quibble about words. I’m OK with rule…as in Newton’s rules, Maxwell’s rules, Einstein’s rules, etc.

  3. You are still distracted (or are attempting to distract). How can I get you back on track to provide a single fact (an experiment involving some measurements) to support the greenhouse nonsense or, if you can’t do that, at least refute any of Gary’s arguments, which are as simple as 2 + 2 (or in the worst case, 2 + 2 + 2) and should be super-easy to refute with data?

    Diluting falsities with irrelevant and abstract truths does not make them less false. It makes you a less competent ideologist.

    Nothing in nature is governed by any laws. Some summaries of observations have traditionally been dubbed “laws”, justly or not. The Wikipedia explains:

    The term “law” has diverse usage in many cases: approximate, accurate, broad or narrow theories… They are developed either from facts or through mathematics, and are strongly supported by empirical evidence.

    Planck’s law is mathematical in nature and it is not strongly supported by empirical evidence, excluding that which was engineered to support it (at the cost of millions of dollars a piece) and does not occur in nature. It is weakly supported, in a limited temperature range, in the case of solid opaque non-colored bodies with high surface emissivity (basically, metals painted with soot). Your greenhouse thingies are intensely colored, emphatically non-solid, non-vacuous non-cavities, always in rapid heat exchange with their neighbors. Planck does not “govern” them. They do whatever they please.

    I will accept all your true statements, such as “The atmosphere absorbs and emits radiation”, but I must note that none of the statements you have made so far changes the plausibility of your proposition. I will even accept as fact, without checking, that you stood on a receding glacier. It seems plausible enough to me. It would have been just as plausible if you said you stood on an advancing glacier. In either case, we can only talk about these “basic facts” seriously if you show the chain of inference linking these plausibilities to your proposition, and I would also request that each proposition in that chain is supported by observations. Alternatively, you could just point out a single error in Gary’s multiple refutations. See that sidebar on his website? You’re in a target-rich environment. Surely you must be able to find something either factually incorrect or logically contradictory with some of that. Please do. Looking for contradictions and finding errors of fact is a very noble effort.

  4. It is indeed a dark and forbidding place, but ideologies don’t die there. They get created there. And Gary is right up front. I have no idea what he means by back radiation, but I know this. All entities in the known universe. from atoms on up, absorb and emit radiation, the amount depending on the physical characteristics of the entity. And the radiation generally fills 4 pi steradians i.e. every direction, unless there is some focusing mechanism involved. All this has been well known, proven as “hard science” to use your words,, and is not in dispute by anyone who actually studies and understands basic physics.

    The earth, which of course includes the atmosphere, intercepts radiation from the sun, absorbs it and re-emits it. All parts of the system are in dynamic radiative equilibrium, constantly absorbing and re-emitting. All this is governed by Planck’s law, more “hard science”. The atmosphere absorbs and emits radiation, since it is made up of atoms and molecules just like the ocean, land, trees, people, etc, etc. Making the atmosphere radiatively thicker by adding material to it will change its radiative properties. How, and to what degree? Well, ask the glaciers! I have stood on one that has lost 200 meters of thickness in the last 40 years. Why? lce is incompatible with heat, as even Gary would probably agree. But maybe not

    Are people responsible? Well, they are certainly contributing to the problem. Whether they are the, or even a major, cause or not is definitely open to question, but no one can disagree that people are contributing material to the atmosphere.

    Some folks seem to have trouble accepting these basic facts. As best I can tell, Gary seems to be one of them.

  5. This is a dark and forbidding place. This is where ideologies come to die. If you want to keep yours alive, get out of here.

    If you want to hang out more, don’t get distracted. What do black radiation and Planck have to do with any of this, and why does Gary need to go back and read about that stuff?

    Your question about back radiation makes doubt that you have read Gary’s article beyond its title, as it starts with this paragraph:

    “A point of contention that seems to have evolved into a hinge point is back radiation. The claim by promoters of the global warming hype is that heating of the upper atmosphere by carbon dioxide results in radiation flowing back toward the earth increasing the temperature near the surface of the earth.”

  6. Thanks for your suggestions about Gary Novak—of which I was unfamiliar. I read his article–he needs to go back and read about black body radiation and Planck’s law. Back radiation? What is the definition of that? If this is your idea of hard testable hypotheses in science, and that you don’t do speculations here, then wow! I guess I have stumbled into a dark and forbidding place.

  7. If you don’t accept greenhouse (then it follows that “thereby” won’t work), then what mechanism do you propose to keep the earth warmer than outer space?

    I’m really curious here.

  8. I don’t accept “greenhouse” and I don’t accept “thereby”. There is nothing sound about what you call basic science; what we have been sold as science is an untested conjecture from faulty “first principles”. If that’s news to you, please read a detailed explanation by Gary Novak (it is too good to repeat or rephrase):

    You might enjoy reading his book that covers many of popular errors:

    Science is testable knowledge. The red line in your engine metaphor represents exhaustively tested knowledge about the engine. There is nothing testable about the greenhouse nonsense. Meanwhile, we know from much testing what our red lines for carbon dioxide are: 200 ppm and 5,000 ppm, and we are dangerously close to one of them.

  9. I am not sure what you don’t say. But if you accept that humans are contributing to greenhouse gases, and thereby potentially enhancing global warming, then I am more than pleased to hear that. Much of the global warming hype is beyond the pale, but the basic science is sound. As far as my car analogy being false—strong statement. Unnecessary perhaps, particularly to people who understand the basic issues of global warming, such as you folks. I wish there were more around who did.

  10. No, we don’t say any of that. Speculation is not favored here, nor are false metaphors such as your car/motorcycle.

  11. So, here we go on the EPA and global warming.

    !st question: What keeps the earth warmer than outer space?
    Oh, greenhouse gases you say?

    2nd question: Then , if it is greenhouse gases, are humans contributing to them? Answer no?—oh my…

    3rd: Your vehicle car/motorcycle) has a red line on the tachometer. Do you know why it is there? Do you run your engine over the red line on a regular basis? Do you have any idea what will happen?

    Welcome to climate change

  12. sad that Europe is now trying to ban diesel vehicles based on the danger of diesel exhaust. I see numbers of estimated deaths bandied about, but no mention of any science behind them. I assume they are all relying on the EPA experiments and either haven’t got the word yet or more likely don’t care.

    London is proposing a special charge on all diesel cars entering the city area.\

  13. The gas chamber tests should continue, with all the subjects being GS-11 and above EPA employees.

    Just to be sure.

  14. By virtue of the NAS finding we now know the EPA was lying about the toxicity of PM2.5. Why did they lie? Did the doctors and staff that participated in the “experiments” know they were participating in a lie? If they were they should be liable in a class action suit to recoup our tax dollars. McCarthy , Jackson and Samat knowingly misled the Congress to be able to grant large amounts of tax dollars to their cronies who were very likely complicit in the deceit.
    This should not die here with no one on the hook just because they didn’t break the medical laws against endangering test subjects.

  15. If the PM 2.5 danger were true, Shanghai alone would have a death rate of 250,000 per day. Many of them wear paper masks but that only keeps out the jackrabbits. Steve, keep up the good work. If you and others who have common sense keep on them, it might make a difference.

  16. I mentioned it elsewhere a bunch of times: there are many swamps to drain in this country; many separate ones just inside EPA, and the one around PM 2.5 is but a small swamplet, in the big picture of things. But I celebrate Steve’s achievement as the first of many more to come. It demonstrates the general approach to draining swamps: expose them. Check whether things add up.

  17. “Lying option.” Lying puts a person in a hole that is difficult to get out of. Pride keeps them there and keeps them digging.

  18. Congratulations Steve! Job very well done. You are my hero!

    Isn’t it odd how government moves at the speed of light to prosecute a man who built a pond without a permit.

    But when government breaks the law it takes years to resolve.

    And in the end it is never really resolved!

    We can be sure this outcome will once for all wipe out all of EPA’s bogus economic analyses that almost totally rely on “health benefits” from reduction of fine PM (especially rules that do not even regulate fine PM).

    I will not hold my breath on that one.

  19. Congratulations! Now it can be told that the NAS says the EPA has been lying about PM 2.5 since the beginning.

  20. Terrific work; you have performed a genuine public service requiring years of smart investigation, dogged determination and eyes-on-the-prize perseverance. Senator Manchin of West Virginia should make you an “honorary Mountaineer.” I hope Congressional Republicans, especially Senator Inhofe, exploit the opening that your effort has provided in their war on climate change religious dogma.

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