If it is April, it must be time for the American Lung Association to slander Pittsburgh with the claim that it has filthy air. And yes, it is the same old story. Virtually the entire southwest region of Pennsylvania is labeled as having high particulate pollution based on two monitoring locations, both just downwind from factories with relatively high particle releases. But monitors in the rest of the region continue to show the air to be perfectly acceptable. Indeed, counties with no monitors are deemed polluted because they happen to fall in the EPA’s western Pennsylvania district that contains the two offending monitors.
For several years the fallacies in the American Lung Association’s annual report on Pittsburgh have been pointed out so vociferously that almost no one who has bothered to look at what they are doing assigns any credibility to their asininity.
As we noted in a Policy Brief dated May 1 last year, the mortality rates for every age group in polluted southern California are lower than the rates in Laramie, Wyoming which consistently ranks among the cleanest air cities in the nation. We asked the Lung Association to explain this and to determine to what extent air quality plays a role in determining age specific mortality rates and why the discrepancy in their implicit predictions of what will happen and what is actually happening with death rates is so large. We are still waiting for those answers.
Every year about this time-including last week’s report on 2011 results-the American Lung Association reports on air quality across the country, singling out the cities and regions with the dirtiest air and the cleanest air. The Association reports also include a list of all the people in each area who are presumably most susceptible to pollution and likely to suffer serious negative health effects from the pollution.
As sure as robins returning in the spring, along comes the American Lung Association with its preposterous perennial pollution rankings. The Pittsburgh region is tarred as one of the nation’s worst-ranking third this year-because of readings taken at one monitoring station in Liberty Borough. No matter to the geniuses at the Lung Association that other monitors in the region, which covers a seven county area, are well below target limits for pollution levels.
Local officials have followed Allegheny Institute analysis and recommendations to fight back against this pseudo science and call the Lung Association conclusions what they are: drivel.
Hearing the reasonable complaint of county officials against the tarring over hundreds of square miles of the region with the brush of one monitor’s readings, the Lung Association responds with a lame brained excuse. Their spokesman’s comment? People from the metropolitan area travel into and out of those areas (with high monitor readings) to work, shop, visit and travel. It would be interesting to know just how many residents of Butler, Washington or Armstrong County make it to Liberty Borough each day to work, shop, or travel. Indeed, one might actually want to know how many West Deer, Moon or Ross Township residents get to and spend 20 minutes in Liberty Borough in a year before using the silly explanation offered for their rationale.
The Lung Association’s justification for smearing Pittsburgh is pure politics. If looney tunes science and analysis can be used to shut down the coke plant causing Liberty Borough’s problem that would suit the zealots in the Green movement and the global warming religion adherents perfectly fine. After all, for these true believers, the ends justify the means as we have seen recently with the global warming hoax.
Tripe must be recognized for what it is and called out otherwise politically correct nonsense will completely destroy reasoned, rational debate and policies.