CA Study: "Dirty Air Kills More Than Car Accidents." Or Not.

ca study dirty air kills more than car accidents or not

Another day, another hysterical headline demonizing the automobile. This one arrives to us thanks to a study from California State University [via the SF Examiner]. Now, I’m no epidemiologist, nor do I play one in the autoblogosphere. But whenever I see the media glom onto research that promotes a particular political agenda, I want to see the methodology. (Hell, even if a study doesn’t become the darling of a crusade, I still want to see the methodology.) OK, so, “Hall and colleague Victor Brajer analyzed ozone and fine particulate concentrations across the two [most pollluted] basins in five-by-five kilometer grids from 2005 through 2007. The researchers applied those numbers to the health affects they are known to cause, then assigned peer-reviewed economic values to each illness or death that could result.” Fair enough. And then… “To illustrate its point, the study noted that the California Highway Patrol recorded 2,521 vehicular deaths in the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast Air Basin in 2006, compared to 3,812 deaths attributed to respiratory illness caused by particulate pollution.” See? Now who asked them to do that?

“The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world.” This one was $90k, out of last year’s $483,654,925 in grants and disbursed $426,384,396 in grant and gift payments (shazam!). Did the grant giver and grantee had an agenda here? “‘For decades there has been a tug of war over what to do about air pollution,’ said Jane Hall, lead author of the study and an internationally recognized expert in the economics of regulation and the environment at Cal State Fullerton. ‘We are paying now for not having done enough.'” Or, in this case, getting paid.

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  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Nov 15, 2008

    Hey, don't work up a sweat empiricising and attributing now. The folks that really are trying to do something that's good for the kids might need that ac to cool themselves off. We don't want to waste it.

  • Dacobb Dacobb on Nov 15, 2008

    Could it be that safer cars are messing up this "ratio"? Remove the air bags, median barriers and speed limits. Stop safety inspections on all commercial vehicles. Put bicycle and pedestrian lanes on the freeways. In a few years nature should straighten things out for the few that are left. Seriously, I can't believe somebody was paid to do a study that shows us something everybody already knows. LA has air pollution? What a shock!

  • TyL Ticket Scalpers...the lot of 'em.
  • FreedMike Needed more ride height, some plastic cladding, and some fake-outdoorsy name like “Cadenza Dirt Cross”. Great success!
  • Zang Guys, its a 370z with a new hat.
  • Art Vandelay The X-90 was the one to get!
  • Art Vandelay I can get a minty MKIV Supra for that money if I've just got to own this sort of car. As a bonus it will be better built and garner more attention down at the Cars and Coffee and in 6 months nobody will say "I only paid 40k for mine!" I can only figure that the dealer just wants to keep it on the showroom floor to get you in there where they will then order you one for later delivery at a sane price.