Thursday, April 02, 2009

Coal Will Kill You...After You Live Longer Than Any Previous Generation

A few months ago I was again invited to be one of many judges in our local high school forensic debate competition. The hot topic this year was on energy. What amazed me is the false presupposition that we are subtly teaching out kids. In every single debate, the assumption was that the almighty government was the solution. No one ever challenged the idea that government might actually be the problem.

Be that as it may, there was one argument used by a couple of teams I thought was simply nonsense. An EPA study on air pollution was cited against coal fired plants. This study supposedly demonstrated that fine particles were a cause for cancer and therefore the cause for higher medical bills and, of course, more deaths. This article states something similar to what I heard in the debate.
The risk is from what scientists call combustion-related fine particulate matter - soot emitted by cars and trucks, coal-fired power plants and factories.

The researchers took into account other risk factors for heart and lung disease such as cigarettes, diet, weight and occupation.

Lung cancer death rates were compared with average pollution levels, as measured in micrograms per cubic meter of air. The researchers found that the number of lung cancer deaths increased 8 percent for every increase of 10 micrograms. Other heart- and lung-related causes of death increased 6 percent for every 10-microgram increase.
The last line of this quote simply amazed me. The idea that we may be dying due to coal dust is just silly. This is a great example of how we are able to lie to ourselves simply because we hate Capitalism, freedom and liberty.

The evidence is literally all over the place that even if we grant that coal pollution is bad for us, that coal fire plants actually help in our living longer lives. Americans are living longer lives today than any generation ever! Yet we are actually presenting evidence such as coal pollution to be shortening our lives. Live Science reported in 2005,
The average life expectancy for Americans is 77.6 years, a record high according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC released the numbers Monday. Life expectancy is calculated based on mortality in 2003, the most recent year for which substantially complete data is available.

The figure is up from 77.3 in 2002 and comes in spite of a decades-long rise in obesity reported by the agency in October.

According to this article,
Cleaner air over the past two decades has added nearly five months to average life expectancy in the United States, according to a federally funded study.
Wow, five months have been added to our lives. Yet clean water and technology (technology such as burning coal!) has increased our life spans much more. The evidence is overwhelming. Yet the Political Left hates our way of life. It should be obvious that man has a great ability to lie to himself.

Why are Politically Left leaning groups self-deceived? There are all kinds of reasons why people do what they do. Overall, I think the reason is simple. It is the same reason dictators and thugs take over countries. Power.

Let's keep our freedom and liberty. I say bring on the smoke stacks baby!

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