No Mr. President, Asthma is NOT caused by Outdoor Air Pollution

Dear Pres. Obama,
This recent research by Dr. Corrine Keet of John’s Hopkins Children’s Center is pretty clear in its results, having studied more than 23,000 children of various ethnic backgrounds and various living arrangements and socioeconomic factors. Here are the conclusions: Although the prevalence of asthma is high in some inner-city areas, this is largely explained by demographic factors and not by living in an urban neighborhood. “Our results highlight the changing face of pediatric asthma and suggest that living in an urban area is, by itself, not a risk factor for asthma,” lead author Keet, a pediatric allergy and asthma specialist at Johns Hopkins, said in the study. “Instead, we see that poverty and being African American or Puerto Rican are the most potent predictors of asthma risk.”

Similarly, the NERA Economic Consulting July 2014 report did not support the notion that lower ground-level ozone levels are worth the expense, saying “Employing our integrated energy-economic model (NewERA), we estimate that the potential emissions control costs would reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $270 billion per year on average over the period from 2017 through 2040 and by more than $3 trillion over that period in present value terms. The potential labor market impacts represent an average annual loss of 2.9 million job-equivalents. Employing our integrated energy-economic model (NewERA), we estimate that the potential emissions control costs would reduce U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $270 billion per year on average over the period from 2017 through 2040 and by more than $3 trillion over that period in present value terms. The potential labor market impacts represent an average annual loss of 2.9 million job-equivalents.
This same NERA report gave EPA a tongue lashing, saying in summary“In particular, EPA needs to make a concerted effort to specify the full set of controls needed to achieve attainment of various ozone standards. A concerted effort is needed because currently EPA’s “known” controls represent only one-third of the estimated reductions needed to achieve a 60 ppb standard, with the remaining two-thirds consisting of unspecified (“unknown”) controls. Finally, need I remind you that Dr. Peter Valberg, Gradient Corporation principal, already testified on the US EPA’s Projections of Mortality Reduction Achieved by Reducing Levels of Particulate (PM-2.5) in Our Ambient Outdoor Air, and he found that “The dollar value of EPA’s calculated benefits is dominated by promised reductions in deaths that EPA assumes to be caused by Particular Matter (PM25) in our ambient air. Asthma is also monetized by the EPA as a ambient-air concern.”
Mr. Valberg, in his testimony, described EPA’s attempt to correlate changes in mortality with differences in Particular Matter (PM) as being fatally flawed. He finalizes by saying that the evidence doesn’t add up.(to support EPA’s attempt to lower the PM2.5 limits)

I believe that you could more easily correlate asthma deaths with How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime, in this excellent presentation by Ms. Nadine Burke Harris, rather than correlation with PM at any level.

So please direct your EPA administrator, Ms. Gina McCarthy, to abandon her efforts to reduce ground-level ozone essentially by forcing enormous reductions in fossil fuel usage. Also, please direct your science advisor, Mr. John Holden, to take some lessons in how to read graphs and other climate-related literature, like these, PowerPoint Presentation – Ice Cores, jwbishop_6a.29712462..- Is there global cooling?, Dr. Vincent Gray on historical carbon dioxide levels, Global Warming: A closer look at the numbers , and EngrCritique.AGW-Science.v4.3.pdf .Both you and Ms. McCarthy claim to be following the science, but it seems to me that both of you are following a ideological bent on destroying carbon-based energy sources.

Here you are in Panama City, Panama, saying that for 50 years, our approach towards Cuba was not working, and it’s time for something new. Well Mr. Pres., for more than 100 years, the fossil fuel industry has been supplying America with all of its energy needs quite successfully, so why change that right now?

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