Good news: air quality in the US has improved!
Summary: This post will get little traffic, like most that give good news. “If it bleeds, it leads.” Articles about the last faux-doomster news get traffic, re-enforcing the widespread belief that the ecology of the USA slowly (or rapidly) rolls down to Hell. How sad.
Althought a disappointing for “the environment is going to hell” greens, the rest of us can rejoice in this good news.
- Air quality
- It’s not just air quality that’s improving
- Intensive propaganda convinces many people that the US environment grows worse
- Foolish quotes by greens predicting doom
(1) Air Quality
This picture tells the tale, from Mark Perry (Prof Economics, U Michigan), at his blog Carpe Diem.
The longer term term picture shows the progress since the first Earth Day in 1970, esp impressive considering the impressive growth in GDP since then. And the growth of energy consumption and population — both of which the doomsters of 1970 said were utterly incompatible with reduced pollution. From “Our Nation’s Air – Status and Trends through 2008“, EPA, February 2010. This report is a must-read re-education for green doomsters (but few will, of course).
(2) It’s not just air quality that’s improving
Excerpts from EPA’s “2008 Report on the Environment“:
- The overall extent of wetlands in the lower 48 states declined over the past 50 years. The rate of loss has slowed over time, however, and the most recent data show a net gain in wetlands acreage nationwide. … These data do not evaluate wetland quality or condition. Wetland condition is difficult to characterize fully, and there is no national indicator to measure it directly.
- The total acreage of forest land nationwide declined between the 1930s and the 1970s, but increased over the last three decades.
- Blood lead levels show a steady decline since the 1980s. . … Between 1999 and 2002, 1.6% of children aged 1 to 5 years had elevated blood lead levels, decreasing from 88% in the late 1970s.
- Overall, the health of the U.S. population has continued to improve. Mortality rates continue to decline, and life expectancy continues to increase, due to factors such as improved medical care over the past few decades.
The report provides no broad metrics of water pollution, no long-term trend lines. This report makes no mention of the great improvement in the Great Lakes and other rivers, once toxic dumps and now filled with fish.
(3) Intensive propaganda convinces many people that the US environment grows worse
From Gallup’s 2009 survey on the environment:
At least the truth is slowly spreading.
(4) Foolish quotes by greens predicting doom
Some of these might be accurate, but they’re all fun reading:
- “Earth Day, Then and Now“, Ronald Bailey, Reason magazine, May 2000 — “The planet’s future has never looked better. Here’s why.”
- “Earth Day 2008: Predictions of Environmental Disaster Were Wrong“, Washington Policy Center, 22 April 2008
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