Right Hooks

When Energy Efficiency Becomes Harmful

New study suggests some energy efficiency standards increase asthma.

Jordan Candler · Sep. 24, 2015

One of the benefits claimed by the environmental Left in regards to the Clean Power Plan is its impact on Americans’ health. According to an EPA fact sheet, the regulations are expected to eradicate 3,600 pollution-related premature deaths annually once fully implemented — a finding mimicked by a supposedly independent study that wasn’t so independent after all. The EPA fact sheet also asserts that 90,000 asthma attacks will be prevented each year. “Because these pollutants can create dangerous soot and smog, the historically low levels mean we will avoid thousands of premature deaths and have thousands fewer asthma attacks and hospitalizations in 2030 and every year beyond,” the EPA website states. Of course, any effort to clean up the environment — albeit without unconstitutional government mandates — is praiseworthy. The danger comes when authority figures begin dictating rules in the name of “settled science.”

Which raises an interesting point about the EPA’s asthma claims, courtesy of our friends across the pond. A new study out of Great Britain, a nation that’s likewise in the process of slashing carbon emissions, suggests energy efficiency may actually be harmful to our health. The Guardian reports, “The number of Britons with asthma could almost double by 2050 because the air inside homes is becoming more polluted as they become more energy-efficient, a new report warns.” How so? “Airborne pollutants created by cooking, cleaning and using aerosols such as hairsprays will increasingly stay indoors and affect people’s health as homes are made ever more leak-proof to help meet carbon reduction targets, a report by Professor Hazim Awbi claims.” Ironic, isn’t it, that spending more time indoors — and expecting to be shielded from the elements thanks to “green” directives — can theoretically leave you worse off than enjoying the outdoors, where the atmosphere is designed to regulate fossil fuels naturally. It’s the law of unintended consequences. There’s a reason human progress is best left to the free market. Life expectancy and wealth are remarkably higher today thanks to the fossil fuel industry. And the private sector has managed to increase efficiency and drastically decrease pollution through new technologies. Beware of leftists bearing gifts in the name of “settled science.”

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