Yet another excuse to control everybody

A new report draws racial inferences from pollution – and uses them as a rationale to propose additional restrictions and controls on society.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

A study published Monday in the journal PNAS adds a new twist to the pollution problem by looking at consumption. While we tend to think of factories or power plants as the source of pollution, those polluters wouldn’t exist without consumer demand for their products.

The researchers found that air pollution is disproportionately caused by white Americans’ consumption of goods and services, but disproportionately inhaled by black and Hispanic Americans.

“This paper is exciting and really quite novel,” says Anjum Hajat, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington who was not involved in the study. “Inequity in exposure to air pollution is well documented, but this study brings in the consumption angle.”

Hajat says the study reveals an inherent unfairness: “If you’re contributing less to the problem, why do you have to suffer more from it?”

. . .

While more research is needed to fully understand these differences, the results of this study raise questions about how to address these inequities … Diez Roux thinks that stronger measures may be necessary.

“If want to ameliorate this inequity, we may need to rethink how we build our cities and how they grow, our dependence on automobile transportation,” says Diez Roux. “These are hard things we have to consider.”

There’s more at the link.

I think any racial angle in the study is almost certainly grossly overstated.  All over the world, poorer people of any and every race live in less desirable, less pristine, more polluted and/or overcrowded neighborhoods than those with more money.  Poorer people also buy less than more affluent consumers.  To try to insinuate that exposure to pollution is therefore a racial problem, because whites consume more than blacks or hispanics, is (IMHO) stretching things way too far.

However, as always with left-wing talking points, note the sting in the tail.  Just like alleged anthropomorphic climate change, if this is a problem, then obviously we must do something to fix it:  and the way to fix it is to impose greater controls on society.  To hell with free choice – it’s for the chiiiiiiiiillldren!  We must order people around and restrict their independence!

Funny how often moonbats come up with that answer, isn’t it?



  1. Yeah, I'm sure the greedy, white owned corporations sited their factories and power plants in the middle of black/hispanic neighborhoods just so they could "poison" the poor unfortunates. The reality is usually the opposite. Industrial facilities are often located out side of cities or towns where land is cheap and rail and road access is available. As part of construction, utilities are installed. As the cities grow neighborhoods (usually low income housing) grow up around the industrial facilities because the land, although improved, is still cheap. Often those living in the vicinity of the facilities, also work there and take advantage of the reduced commute time.

  2. No, no, no… We can't allow workers or minorities to have agency and choose where they live. We, the Elite Planners, MUST tell them where to live for their own good.. /sarc

  3. What Nuke Warrior said.

    Think of the companies saying,”where do we put our factory? The cheapest land that meets the specs or the most expensive?” What about garbage dumps? City or county or whatever. Does the government choose the cheapest land or the most expensive?

    And which land does the lowest income quartile move to?

  4. One more click of the ratchet:

    A proposed law that would phase out diesel trucks in California was introduced Friday in an ongoing effort by state legislators to control pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, but it will likely face major opposition from trucking companies and other businesses that transport products in big rigs.

    The bill, by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would direct the California Air Resources Board to require a 40 percent reduction in diesel emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050…

  5. The Cult of City Planning predates Communism and is at least as hard to kill. It seems like common sense; if there isn't some overall plan, the cities will be chaos! But the history of City Planning suggests otherwise. The planners never account for everything. If nothing else, they tend to fail to correctly project social change brought about by technology. And once a plan is in place, it becomes politically expensive to derail, even when (perhaps especially when) the plan is clearly FUBAR.

    I suppose some degree of planning and projection of future needs is necessary and inevitable; but it should be reined in tightly. Allowed to run amok, it produces cities nobody wants to live in.

  6. I call bovine excrement on that concept. At the power utility I worked for, their oldest coal-fired plant was built on the then outskirts of Minneapolis, and as noted elsewhere a community grew up around it. Oddly, at least in the early- to mid- parts of the 20th century 'Nordeast' Mpls. was *not* welcoming to 'persons of color'. The coal-fired plant I worked in was built just post WWII on the other side of a major river from the metropolis and is now located in Burnsville, not exactly a concentration of 'disadvantaged' people. Both of these plants have since converted to burning natural gas, which reduces their 'greenhouse gas' emissions significantly. The largest coal-fired plant in the state is Sherco located in the middle of a cornfield in Sherburne County in central MN. All those (still mostly white) farmers are sacrificing their health so that urban dwellers can have power in their lives.

    And re: the trucking restrictions in Cali, I wonder if the author of the bill checked with her Teamster union backers before proposing such idiocy?

  7. CA has been diligently working to eliminate diesel vehicles for over a decade. Just saw an ad for a truck that noted it was legal for CA road use until 2021, and would have to be removed at that point. Plus, it had had an expensive upgrade for an exhaust injection system back in 2012.

    One of the problems these idiots are ignoring is that there are two processes used to break petroleum oil into useful fuels and lubricants. We use the version that produces the lesser amount of diesel, about 25%, and Europe uses the one that makes more. That portion is fixed, as is the amount of gasoline. Convert our trucking fleets to gasoline, and cars get less. I don't think we have built a new refinery since the 70's. Hello rationing! We might end up importing gasoline. That'll get expensive.

  8. This is why conservatives and most libertarians don't care about global warming or cooling or climate change or whatever the hell the term du jour is. When the answer is ALWAYS more government control, we stop giving a damn what the question was.

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