In their own words:
The Commons Blog is a collaborative web log dedicated to the principle of promoting environmental quality and human dignity and prosperity through markets and property rights. Put more simply, it’s about free markets protecting the environment.
The blog is named after the famous 1968 Garrett Hardin essay, The Tragedy of the Commons, where he established that common ownership of land and natural resources tended to lead to the degradation of those “common” resources. The free-market environmentalist movement exists to demonstrate that property rights have time and again proven the bulwark against such degradation. You can read more about the theory on our page “About Free Market Environmentalism.”
Today's post considers the recent EPA report "America's Children and the Environment". It is useful to take the following paragraph (the rest of the post can be read by following the link) and contrasting this with the numbers from my post yesterday.
First, a reminder from "EU Air Pollution Rules: a high death count?"
As a last minute edit metalfloss write:
Today, the World Health Organization estimates that 4.6 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution.
Then we consider the Common's post called "Enviros ignore EPA in favor of own story"
EPA's new report "America's Children and the Environment" notes that air pollution declined, but asthma prevalence continues to rise. One possible conclusion from this is that air pollution is not actually a cause of asthma. In fact, that's the most plausible conclusion. Every pollutant we measure has been dropping for decades pretty much everywhere, while asthma prevalence has been rising pretty much everywhere. This is true throughout the entire western world, not just the U.S. In fact, asthma incidence is highest in countries with the lowest levels of air pollution. Asthma is rare in developing countries with much more polluted air. Asthma incidence is simply unrelated to air pollution. Asthma attacks are probably unrelated as well. But even if air pollution can cause asthma attacks, it is a minor cause, responsible for less than 1% of all asthma attacks. EPA's own published estimates implicitly say this, but EPA never makes the percentage explicit, because that would undermine one of the agency's most potent weapons for creating unwarranted public fear.
It is certainly worth reading the whole article and other posts on this site for an interesting perspective on many of the issues discussed in this blog.