Reply to Dr. Oliphant

This is in response to a letter in the London Free Press by Dr. Robert Oliphant


Thank you Dr. Oliphant for your alarmist comment.

Please produce a real death certificate for even one of the 21,000 people you claim were killed by air pollution in 2008 which states air pollution as the cause of death.  Furthermore, if air pollution is so deadly, why have not the families and estates of the supposed 63,000 people killed by air pollution since 2008 not launched a class action law-suit against the McGuinty Liberals who canceled all efforts to fit pollution controls to our existing coal-fired generators when they were first elected?  Are you suggesting this Government is deliberately negligent of human life and such large numbers of its citizens?  If this is true then as a Liberal MPP from 2008 to 2011 are you are in part responsible for those deaths?

I note you believe the results of computer models published by CAPE and the Canadian Medical Association which predict unbelievable numbers of deaths from air pollution.  Despite the fact that these models have been proven to be irrevocably flawed (read studies by R. McKitrick and others) and when air pollution data from the 1960’s is used they produce more deaths from air pollution alone than the total number of deaths in Ontario from all causes combined during those years.  Furthermore the weak correlation such studies show between deaths and air pollution are more an exercise in the ‘missing factor’ fraud than they are scientific research.   If you omit the true factor or factors, such as temperature, age, smoking and income, from the data then the true correlation between these factors and deaths becomes falsely attributed to air pollution.  In actual fact it is well known amongst medical professionals that  Smoking and income are the most significant factors in explaining respiratory ailments.

Between 2003 and 2011 Ontario’s coal-fired electricity production dropped from 40TWh to 4TWh due to reduced electricity demand and increased nuclear generation in the Province.  Given the deadly health impacts you claim for coal generation one would expect to see a big drop in Asthma and Deaths from Respiratory illnesses.  However the data shows no statistical change in the Provincial Deaths per 100,00 from Respiratory Illnesses and a slight increase in Provincial Asthma rates.

The majority of the air pollution in Ontario is the result our automobiles, industry, as well as emissions from the Ohio valley, not our coal fired generation.  This is especially the case when you consider that Ontario’s two remaining coal-fired electricity generators only produced 2.7% of our electricity in Ontario in 2011.  Furthermore given the 36% to 60% excess generating capacity in the Province since 2008, the Government could have closed down all coal-fired generation years ago.

That you would say ” Further, greenhouse gases contribute directly to climate change” reveals your profound misunderstanding of climate and climate science.  Your statement is patently false.  Green house gasses do not directly contribute to climate change.  Green house gases help to slow the cooling of the planet, the way insulation in your house slows its rate of heat loss.  More insulation in your walls does not heat your house up.  Over the past 2,000 years CO2 levels remained fairly constant, yet the climate changed dramatically, there was the Roman Warm Period, the medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the present warm period.  There have been times in the past when CO2 levels were 10 to 15 times higher than present, yet the Earth was locked in an Ice Age.

I can only ask – given that you choose to believe these prophecies despite the fact there is no empirical evidence that air pollution has ever caused a single death – do you want to buy a bridge?


About lsarc

LSarc is grassroots protection of Lake Superior through citizen science and volunteerism.  If you are interested in preserving intact ecosystems and restoring biological integrity of the Lake Superior watershed using the scientific method to test hypotheses and research, then you are LSarc LSarc is proud to be a member of the John Muir Trust and the 60th member organization of Wind Concerns Ontario
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