Out of Control Policy Blog

No Link Between Global Warming and Air Quality

Last fall, the Natural Resources Defense Council released an alarmist report claiming that hotter temperatures caused by global warming would speed the formation of smog, resulting in fewer healthy air days, restrictions on outdoor activities, and increased health threats to those with asthma and other respiratory troubles.

But don't worry...our friends in the free-market think tank world (including Reason Senior Fellow Joel Schwartz) smelled something fishy and have offered a response:

    A comprehensive new analysis by top air quality and climate experts refutes recent claims that global warming will lead to more bad air days in more than a dozen U.S. cities. The analysis shows that the air quality in Atlanta and throughout the U.S. has dramatically improved over the last thirty years and that there is no strong link between temperature and ozone. Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions will have no effect on air quality.

    Results of the analysis, Air Quality False Alarm, An Analysis of the Natural Resources Defense Council's "Heat Advisory" Report, were published today by United for Jobs, The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives, The John Locke Foundation and the Pacific Research Institute.

    "The Natural Resource Defense Council's analysis is faulty and its conclusions are false and misleading," said Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council and United for Jobs co-chair.

    According to EPA ozone monitoring data over the last 30 years ozone levels have declined even though urban temperatures have increased. On average cities have achieved a 95% decrease in the average number of "red alert" days (1-hour ozone exceedances) per year and a 75% decrease in the number of "orange" alert days (8-hour ozone exceedances). Increases in temperatures in cities is attributable to urban heat island effect, rather then global warming.

The full study is available here.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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