A Few Rounding Errors Amongst Friends
What does cause tremendous health affects is unemployment.
– Dr. James Enstrom (HT: Martinezgazette.com)
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has been caught making environmental policy based on badly flawed and intentionally dishonest estimates of PM2.5 pollution admissions. How bad is bad? Try a 340% overestimation of diesel particulate pollution levels? No way? Way!!
The pollution estimate in question was too high – by 340 percent, according to the California Air Resources Board, the state agency charged with researching and adopting air quality standards. The estimate was a key part in the creation of a regulation adopted by the Air Resources Board in 2007, a rule that forces businesses to cut diesel emissions by replacing or making costly upgrades to heavy-duty, diesel-fueled off-road vehicles used in construction and other industries.
The CARB staff blames this “oversight” on the recession and the resulting termination of many construction projects. Independent reviewers argue that applying the current methodology to existing data still gives terribly inaccurate results. The data then was used to produce the predictable Malthusian Scare Statistics. 18,000 premature deaths per year were attributed to diesel emissions according to the 340% inaccurate research. This has since been revised downward, after the monies were expropriated from construction firms operating diesels, to 9,200.
Given the intelligent and diligent people that work at CARB, this should surprise everyone. Well, ok, whom am I kidding? Maybe it shouldn’t. According to Dr. James Enstrom of UCLA and others who offered a 100 page critique of the “science” used by CARB, the regulatory commission was not exactly fielding the varsity when it undertook the analysis to support the regulations.
The year-long process of development of the new regulations resulted in some very revealing public commentary, accusations of complicity in the scientific review process, and even misconduct by CARB officials.
In the biggest scandal, opposition scientists found the lead author of the key study by CARB had faked his Ph.D. and lacked expertise in air pollution research. In addition, CARB hired reviewers to review their own papers, naturally resulting in approval of the scientific studies that claimed the death and health effects.
In order to properly fertilize the science, the authors of the “scientific research” had to use PM2.5 data that did not come from a California Airshed. The Heartland Institute points out that five separate independent researchers claim no significant link exists between PM2.5 and premature deaths in CA. One reason no link exists stems from the fact that California has the 4th lowest death rate in the nation and extremely low rates of diesel pollution compared to prior years.
This suggests that reasonable observers may well have valid gravamen to contest the merits of the scientific brilliance of a study that links the deaths of people who are still walking around town to substances that are very, nearly almost absent from the air that said cadavers are currently continuing to breathe. However, based on the deliberately falsified science by the CARB, the following regulatory findings were handed down.
All Drayage diesel trucks older than 1994 must be retired from service. Those built between 1994 and 2003 must undergo a costly retrofit — a soot trap ranging in price from $12,000 to $25,000, depending on the age of the vehicle. Leo Kay, the Communication Director for the ARB, said that there are approximately 20,000 affected trucks in California. ARB offered $11 million in grants for the affected truckers. Each trucker could potentially receive $5,000 toward the retrofit of their diesel….
(Martinez Gazette – Ob. Cit.)
So what? The dedicated environmentalist may ask. We protected the planet. The Precautionary Principle went into effect. Thus; despite the fact that the lead author of the scientific study used to buttress the regulatory finding was revealed as a fraud, the regulations remain in effect. It’s a precaution, you see.
For those on the public payroll, safely farting through silk, this could be argued as a point. Yet for the California Dump Truck Owners Association (CDTOA), things are not as hunky-dorey. This precaution has caused 600 honest blue-collar workers to join the ranks of the welfare rolls. The membership of the CDTOA in 2007 was 1,400 drivers. As of January, 2009, 800 independent dump truck operators remained employed. I hope no one informs the scientific geniuses of the CARB that people emit CO2 every time they exhale.