False Reports Of Air Pollution Forcing Families To Move Out Of Cities

The Guardian, as ever, manages to get the story wrong, it’s not air pollution forcing families out of cities. It’s false reports of air pollution forcing families out of cities. This is terribly easy to prove too:

An increasing number of parents are shunning good schools because of the local air quality while some are even looking to move out of cities altogether, as fears over the effects of diesel emissions on health mount.

Last week a major study published in the Lancet found that pollution from diesel vehicles was stunting the growth of children’s lungs, leaving them damaged for life.

The research, conducted with more than 2,000 schoolchildren in London, was the first study in a city where diesel pollution is a significant factor.

The point here being that air in British cities is cleaner than it has been for centuries. London’s certainly is cleaner than it was in the 1500s, when deliveries of sea coal became commonplace.

So, if the air is cleaner then it cannot be dirty air prompting the moves – rather, false reports about how dirty the air is. But then, you know, The Guardian and the environment….

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david
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david

A few months ago, I tried a Google search for the original science paper on which the ‘40,000 premature deaths in London’ meme was based. Nothing found. Lots of assertions without any citations of the scientific source. Some papers which assume the assertion and then look for evidence of its truth. (If it’s been shown to be true in earlier research, why was it necessary to look for evidence that it’s true?).

Q46
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Q46

‘An increasing number of parents are shunning good schools because of the local air quality while some are even looking to move out of cities altogether, as fears over the effects of diesel emissions…’

Would these be the same parents driving their kids to school in diesel 4x4s and adding to those emissions?

Ian Reid
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Ian Reid

Of interest to Tim I got something in my facebook feed saying the scam is now about to be rolled out to Bath, and some of the locals are objecting. As an earlier poster has said the science itself is pretty laughable. My recollection is that all the claims go back to one single study done in the nineties. I have actually seen it, and read some contemporary criticism of it. IIRC for instance the number of deaths didn’t increase in all the cities studied. I haven’t read the study on lung development but wouldn’t be at all surprised to… Read more »