Monday, May 4, 2015

Scientists Say Curbing Coal Burning Would Save Thousands Of Lives...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

The Obama administration’s proposed curbs on coal-burning power plants could prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart attack and respiratory disease, scientists said Monday in the first peer-reviewed study to examine the measure’s health impacts.

Many parts of the country could see immediate improvements in air quality as a side-effect of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Clean Power Plan” regulations, which are primarily intended to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, the researchers said in a study published in Nature Climate Change.

Depending on implementation, the proposals could prevent about 3,500 premature deaths a year, mostly from respiratory disease, said the study’s authors, scientists from Harvard and Syracuse universities and four other institutions.

“The bottom line is, the more the standards promote cleaner fuels and energy efficiency, the greater the added health benefits,” said lead author Charles Driscoll, a professor of environmental systems engineering at Syracuse.

The finding comes as the Obama administration deliberates over the final shape of the proposed rules, which have drawn a fierce backlash from the Republican-controlled Congress. GOP lawmakers are gearing up to battle the measures on Capitol Hill and in the courts, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has written letters to the governors of all 50 states urging them not to support the regulations. McConnell has called the proposals harmful to the coal industry and the economy.

Let the jousting begin. Science and Health versus Anti Science and Economics. It will be typical rhetoric and disinformation no doubt.

More at The Washington Post.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. As long as China keeps pumping their filth into the atmosphere not much of what we do here will make that much if a difference

    1. So, what you're saying is since China acts irresponsibly with no concern for the environment we should do the same?

    2. We dont act anywhere near as irresponsible as China

  2. And Obama didn't get them to do diddly

    1. Wow Lisa, and what specifically could Obama do? What do you think he should do?

      Let me ask a simple question. Do you really believe there is no diplomatic discussions with the Chinese? Or how about this, what do you think the USA would say of China leaned to hard on use to change our mfg. policy.

      International pressure and negative trading consequences would be by far more effective than unilateral ptrssure from the USA.

  3. He went there and took a victory lap for making a verbal agreement with them to reduce their emmissions by a small percentage by 2030

  4. For a country that was forced to shut down all industrial production just to clear the skies for the Olympic games, China is well aware of its pollution problem. For years, China has dumped solar panels on world markets – to secure a position of dominance when the time comes to transition away from carbon-based energy. Pinocchio nose -- long on opinion but short on knowledge – refuses to learn anything about:

    Human over-population
    Drought and extreme weather patterns
    Disappearing glaciers and melting polar ice caps
    Rising sea levels and coastal flooding
    Mass extinctions and loss of biodiversity

    Famine, pestilence and war alone will not bring on the Zombie Apocalypse, but this will …

    Study finds steady decrease in sperm counts from 1940 to 1992:

    [Professor Niels Skakkeback, a Danish scientist, and his team] reviewed 61 international studies involving 14,947 men between 1938 and 1992. They found that the average sperm count had fallen from 113 million per millilitre in 1940 to 66 million in 1990.

    In short, plastics and the estrogen-mimicking compounds in plastic account for changes in male infertility. Humanoids are a garbage species responsible for their own undoing.

    Pinocchio Nose should be cleaning up her own Skank Tank instead of pointing fingers at China.

    Cephalopods shall inherit the Earth.

    1. oh so when do you think the time to transition will be genius? Didn't Al Gore say by 2012 the sea levels would rise 20 feet?
      maybe infertility is good for over population.
      Maybe we should be worried about a nuclear arms race. I think that problem is closer that Climate Change

    2. maybe infertility is good for over population.

      Yup, good for extinction too Lisa.

      Maybe we should be worried about a nuclear arms race.

      Yup, probably, especially if the neo-com battle cry war mongering MIC advocates and Bibi have their way.

    3. Lisa,
      On second thought, there is no need to wait for climate change. I agree with RN: Your sock puppets are already shooting blanks.

      One minor point of clarification: Given the length of your Pinocchio nose, do your sock puppets approach you from behind so as to avoid being speared in the neck?

  5. Hey Lisa, in keeping with the questionable intellect of your sites "real Americans" rather than that "victory" lap you mentioned Obama should have......... ............ {waiting patiently}

    1. As the human haploid count haplessly dips to zero, Pinocchio Nose will be forced to change her blog from Who’s Yours Daddy to Blues for Daddy when all her sock puppets start shootin’ blanks.

    2. Start shooting blanks? Methinks their chambers have long been empty.

    3. RN: You mean her questionable site that often comes across like an issue of "Hustler" written by 13 year old KKK boys?

  6. The IEA is Predicting that by 2018 Global Coal Consumption Will Overtake Global Oil Consumption, and this is a good thing; the fact that there are over a billion people on the planet who don't have electricity and the only energy option that can match up in terms of scale and affordability is coal. Yes, it will probably add some pollution to the atmosphere (though it must be added that it probably won't be worse than the charcoal, palm oil, and dung that the third world is currently burning and it will actually mean less deforestation, indoor air pollution, etc.) but the only way that these countries will ever be able to achieve wealth and progress is to go through the same evolutionary process that we went through and unfortunately that means burning more fossil fuels. I'm sorry but that's the hard, honest truth.

    1. if this is true, and I an NOTsaying it isn't, would it not make reasonable sense for the planet that advanced industrialized nations work to bring the less industrialized up to speed?

      Just thinking outside the box here, for a moment

    2. Asserting that the billion people (mentioned above) have to go through the same evolutionary process that we went through is completely within the box thinking. AGW denialism doesn't negate the fact that that don't have to. Going green also reduces pollution and the associated deaths (as the article RN quotes above points out). Couldn't even a rabid AGW denier get behind green energy for this reason?

    3. I think that every person should be coaxed into taking a course in the history of energy. You see, that way these environmental nut-cases who constantly go around bashing fossil fuels would be forced into seeing just how intensely miserable that human life was prior to their discovery; the poverty, the pitiful life-spans, the fact that people couldn't breath in major cities like New York due to the thousands of wood stoves and thousands of tons of horse manure that were lining the street, etc. (and, so, yes, fossil fuels have saved far more lives than they've taken). And, while, yes, I do understand that these folks aren't always capable of learning, at least the rest of the populace would be better informed, not so easily persuaded by crazy-assed nonsense, etc., and that that would be a good thing.


  7. The Real "Inconvenient Truths"; a) That the most intense warming effects of CO2 are in the first 20 ppm, and that with each additional 20 ppm, the effects are logarithmically reduced.............b) That the climate models of the early '90s (even those that had factored in significant reductions in CO2) all predicted significantly higher warming than we've had (there's been virtually zero increase in warming since 1998).............c) That there are nearly 1,900 studies on the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age - the vast majority of which have stated that these time-frames were real, global, and possessive of temperatures that are different from those of today.............d) That there are numerous geological studies which have shown that CO2 levels have quite often been higher than those of today and that there has never been a runaway greenhouse effect (in fact, some of the time-frames have actually been glaciations).............e) That there has been no significant change (over the past 100 years) in the number and/or intensity of tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, etc. (yes, there's been more coverage due to the fact that we have more media, more people who are willing to reside in harm's way, etc. but, no, no significant changes have been noted).............f) There has been no significant reduction in global sea ice (this, per the University of Illinois's Arctic Science Research Center) and no significant increase in sea level (this, per the NASA satellites).............g) That the satellites have actually been measuring more escaping radiation from the stratosphere, not less.............h) That the world's polar bear population has actually been increasing and it is currently approximately 300% over what it was in the '70s (yes, come of that is due to the ban on hunting).............i) That there is no geological evidence of global warming ever having triggered a mass extinction on earth (global cooling, asteroids, and gassing are all far more likely to cause extinctions).............j) That in almost every instance of CO2 and warming coexisting, it is the warming which plainly precedes the the increases in CO2 (by as much as a thousand years).............k) By almost any calculation possible (including those of Yale's Richard Nordhaus), it will be far less costly to adapt to global warming than it will be to prevent it (not that humans can necessarily control the planet's thermostat anyway, mind you).............l) That wind energy will more than likely never be a viable alternative to fossil fuels (it is far too inefficient and intermittent and has far too low of a power density ratio).............m) That the United States is already one of the most energy efficient countries on the planet and that this has largely happened because of market forces and not because of government mandates, U.N. agreements, etc..............n) That the correlation between solar cycles/ocean patterns and global warming is far more positive than the one which exists between CO2 and warming.............o) That the largest percentage of 20th Century warming took place prior to 1940, at a time when atmospheric CO2 was still well under 300 ppm.............p) That there have been zero hot-spots noted in the lower troposphere of the equator (yep, yet another untrue prediction by the IPCC/computer models).............q) That James Hansen literally did away with (via his various "adjustments") 35 years of global cooling (this, after having championed it in the '70s); 1940-1975.............r) That nearly half of those supposed 2,500 scientists who signed the IPCC report weren't actually scientists but reviewers and/or bureaucrats, and that, even of the scientists involved, a fair number of those actually disagreed with the "findings" and requested (mostly to no avail) that their names be removed (Paul Reiter actually sued the United Nations and won) from the document.


  8. And to Those of You Who Think that the United States is Lagging in Energy Efficiency
    you're largely incorrect. According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S carbon intensity fell by 43.6% from 1980 to 2006 (a 40% BETTER reduction than that of the E.U.), its energy intensity (the amount of energy needed to produce $1 of GDP) fell by about 42%, and its per capita energy consumption fell by 2.5% (better than Canada, the Netherlands, France, Norway, Japan, Australia, and Brazil - all of which showed a per capita INCREASE and all of which exceeded the global average). Yes, we're still using more in terms of energy than other countries but that is principally because we're far more prosperous (that and the fact that we often have to travel greater distances) and how many of us truly want that to go away?

  9. The level of ignorance that politicians and environmentalists have when it comes to energy is absolutely stunning. Just take some of these emission reduction targets, for example. In order for the world to achieve a 50% reduction in emissions by 2050 (factoring in both population growth and increased power needs), we would have to a) completely eliminate coal consumption, b) completely eliminate natural gas consumption, and c) reduce our petroleum consumption by 40%, and in order to achieve these targets, we would either have to build 12,000 nuclear power plants (close to one a day for the next 36 years), 2,000,000 solar thermal plants (close to 150 a day for the next 36 years), or 8,000,000 wind turbines (close to 600 a day for the next 36 years). I ask the sane and reasonable folks out there, does this seem even remotely possible? Sources; energy experts Vaclav Smil, Robert Brice, Roger Pielke, and Jesse Ausubel.

  10. There are only four possible ways that a country/planet can go about decarbonizing; reducing the population (which ain't gonna happen), constricting GDP (which ain't gonna happen, at least not wittingly), improvements in efficiency (which are helpful but which all too often simply lead to further consumption), and lowering one's carbon intensity in relation to energy (which we have been doing for well over a Century now, just not fast enough). That's it, guys, that's the entire menu - ROTSA RUCK.............So, how do we go about reducing the world's carbon intensity? Again, the menu of viable options (i.e., those which can measure up in terms of cost and scale) is tiny; nuclear (which emits no carbon emissions but which the environmentalists don't like because of the waste), hydro (which also emits no carbon emissions but which the environmentalists don't like because you have to build dams), and natural gas (which emits a lot less in terms of carbon emissions than coal but which the environmentalists don't like because of fracking). That's it; no magic bullets and the options that are frequently put forth (wind, solar, biofuels) are woefully inadequate (high cost, high resource intensity, low power and energy density, etc.). Time for these stupid politicians to get educated, I'm thinking.............And what folks have to realize is that, even if we were to stop using fossil fuels COMPLETELY, that act would in no way guarantee that CO2 levels would remain the same. CO2 levels have varied markedly throughout the earth's six billion year history and there have even been periods where the levels have been 10 to 20 times higher (even during glaciations)....I really think that we need to get over ourselves here.

  11. On the Assertion by Folks Such as Al Gore and Barack Obama that the World Already has the Technology Necessary to Meet the World's Burgeoning Energy Needs While Simultaneously Also Decarbonizing - They are either ignorant or they're lying. I cites specifically the research of Martin Hoffert of NYU which clearly shows that even if we were to implement ALL of the stabilization wedges (many of which aren't even feasible in the first case; wind turbines replacing coal-fired plants, for example) that the environmental lobby has been advocating, we still wouldn't even come close to the goals of a) stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels at 500 ppm (it gets even more comical if the goal is 350 or 400 ppm) and b) securing the additional 255 quads of energy that the world will need by 2030 (derived at via a 2% annual increase - a 3% annual increase being even more imposing)........................................................................................I think that we just have to face it here, guys - our leaders are living in a fantasy world and, because of that, don't even remotely comprehend the scope of the upcoming challenge. In the words of environmental scientist and policy expert, Roger Pielke from the University of Colorado, "One can even invent seemingly more realistic scenarios involving the deployment of a new nuclear power station somewhere in the world every day for the next four decades or the deployment of 2,000,000 (emphasis mine) wind turbines, but these are not practically realistic scenarios. The fact is that no one knows how to decarbonize a large economy, much less the world, using existing technology on timescales implied by emission-reduction targets currently suggested by policy makers. Throwing everything we can think of at the problem is not nearly enough." Well stated, Mr. Pielke, well stated.

  12. The collateral damage of coal-fired power seems to be the trade off. Check out a map
    of air indexes and toggle around between relatively
    pure Australia, moderately polluted eastern US and most of China. There is a coal lobby and they
    have been working hard to convince the gullible that plant retrofits are too expensive, too inconvenient and too difficult. Bulls**t.

  13. Thank you, BB-Idaho, for calling Will out on this. Here is another part of the climate change story: two missing researchers and unsettling questions about a warming planet:

    The search and rescue became a recovery mission, with the goal of bringing home the men’s bodies and equipment (...) The disappearance did not receive an enormous amount of mainstream news coverage, but as word of the tragedy spread, blog posts began to appear from people who had traveled with one or both men in the Arctic, memorializing the lost researchers and, in nearly all cases, commenting on the biting irony of the circumstances in which they were presumed to have died: having fallen through the ice.”

    Men risk their lives to collect data, men whom Will Hart characterizes as ...

    environmental nut cases
    living in a fantasy world

    If there is anything “absolutely astonishing,” it is the callous disregard Will Hart holds for men of science who sacrifice their lives in search of knowledge. Even more astonishing is the arrogance of a man – little more than a hospital orderly – who thinks he is smarter than 2,000 of the world’s leading scientists.

    Bullsh*t, indeed!

  14. For a simple guy like myself it just makes sense to start preparing for what might be the inevitable if we do little or nothing.

    Will can call me a nutcase, ignorant, living in a fantasy world, or whatever, but I'll lean towards science on this one.

  15. RN: Will can call me... ignorant... or whatever, but I'll lean towards science on this one.

    I think he did. You, along with everyone who doesn't agree with him, is going for the "dumbed down" narrative. Totally.


As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 3/4/18 Anonymous commenting has been disabled and this site has reverted to comment moderation. This unfortunate action is necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or irrelevant to the post subject.

While we appreciate and encourage all political viewpoints we feel no obligation to post comments that fail to rise to the standards of decency and decorum we have set for Rational Nation USA.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.