Awhile ago someone said that maybe this site and its writers should mention more often when we were right and the prevailing trend or “wisdom” was wrong. No one likes I-told-you-so posts because they occur after the fact and therefore are not useful, but maybe a reminder is in line.
Air pollution is more dangerous to the health of the average person on planet Earth than smoking or alcohol, with the threat worsening in its global epicenter South Asia even as China fast improves, a study showed Tuesday.
Fine particulate matter is linked to lung disease, heart disease, strokes and cancer.
Tobacco use, by comparison, reduces global life expectancy by 2.2 years while child and maternal malnutrition is responsible for a reduction of 1.6 years.
In other words, smoking was an ideal scapegoat because it kills some people and can be banned, where trying to reduce air pollution is a much harder problem. Humans go after the scapegoat because it is tangible where the big problem is too complex to be tangible.
Saner methods of smoking like pipes and cigars require more time and therefore clash with anything but a strict work-from-home method, while dubious propaganda about secondhand smoke is taken at face value without evidence:
I believe the lesson was that with a catchy name, a strong policy position and an aggressive media campaign, nobody will dare to criticize the science, and in short order, a terminally weak thesis will be established as fact. After that, any criticism becomes beside the point. The war is already over without a shot being fired.
That was the lesson, and we had a textbook application soon afterward, with second hand smoke. In 1993, the EPA announced that second-hand smoke was “responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in nonsmoking adults,” and that it “impairs the respiratory health of hundreds of thousands of people.” In a 1994 pamphlet the EPA said that the eleven studies it based its decision on were not by themselves conclusive, and that they collectively assigned second-hand smoke a risk factor of 1.19. (For reference, a risk factor below 3.0 is too small for action by the EPA. or for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example.)
Furthermore, since there was no statistical association at the 95% confidence limits, the EPA lowered the limit to 90%. They then classified second-hand smoke as a Group-A Carcinogen. This was openly fraudulent science, but it formed the basis for bans on smoking in restaurants, offices, and airports. California banned public smoking in 1995. Soon, no claim was too extreme. By 1998, the Christian Science Monitor was saying that “Second-hand smoke is the nation’s third-leading preventable cause of death.” The American Cancer Society announced that 53,000 people died each year of second-hand smoke. The evidence for this claim is nonexistent.
In 1998, a Federal judge held that the EPA had acted improperly, had “committed to a conclusion before research had begun,” and had “disregarded information and made findings on selective information.” The reaction of Carol Browner, head of the EPA was: “We stand by our science; there’s wide agreement. The American people certainly recognize that exposure to second hand smoke brings a whole host of health problems.” Again, note how the claim of consensus trumps science. In this case, it isn’t even a consensus of scientists that Browner evokes! It’s the consensus of the American people.
Meanwhile, ever-larger studies failed to confirm any association. A large, seven-country WHO study in 1998 found no association. Nor have well-controlled subsequent studies, to my knowledge. Yet we now read, for example, that second-hand smoke is a cause of breast cancer. At this point you can say pretty much anything you want about second-hand smoke.
If you wanted to eliminate smoking deaths, you would prioritize lower-risk methods of consuming nicotine like smoking pipes and smoking cigars, both of which do not involve inhaling the smoke and therefore (unlike air pollution) do not add particulate pollution to the lungs.
However, the voters would apparently rather have two-flush low-water toilets and “green” washing machines that take two loads to do what was once done in one, while further reducing smoking as a type of religion, to tackling the international problem of air pollution.
The slaves select their slavery with their votes.
The WSJ Dollar Index nears its highest close since November and the DXY is approaching its May peak. The rise reverts weakness seen late last week. Bannockburn’s Marc Chandler says in a note that “the greenback is consolidating and has not seen follow-through buying.” Key inflation and labor data are due later this week. Today, June’s 12-month Case-Shiller 20-City home price index was a negative 1.2%, compared to May’s 1.7% contraction. Economists polled by WSJ expected a wider 1.5% shrinkage. The data could support bets on tight monetary policy for longer, beefing up the dollar.
For Biden, this works because he and his friends with hedge accounts see their investments go up on this dollar index, which essentially measures demand for the dollar and does not distinguish between speculation and long-term investment.
Conservatives favor supply-side economics, or increasing production so that the value of the nation rises, with secondary issues like law and order, functional institutions, and stable (relatively unchanging) government to support those production increases.
This is the “rising tide that lifts all boats” because the average citizen sees more money coming in at the same time that prices — unencumbered by unions, regulations, taxes, and legal risk — fall. This means that citizens gain wealth.
However, that does not provide stability for government. Those who rule you feel most secure when your average person is dependent like a heroin addict on his salary and has no extra money he can use to move around in the system or cause trouble.
It turns out that democracy only works in a Leftist context when “you own nothing and like it.” In the meantime, speculators and investors make out bigly because the high demand for the currency allows them to move properties around quickly.
Most of the whining from illiterates about capitalism, the elites, and the wealthy comes from this two-level society, with masses of wage slave McJob cucks and a few overeducated people who own everything, but no one points the finger at the free stuff from government.
The slaves select their slavery with their votes.