4 thoughts on “The “Acid Rain” Scare and the Science-Industrial Complex

  1. Don’t worry. Your past understanding was essentially correct. This piece is not an objective assessment of the work of NAPAP nor the governmental response to its findings. Classic example of cherry-picking to make the political point which you find at the end of the paper . . .

    “These are situations that do not end well, for so much of politics is based upon lies and rigging outcomes to satisfy progressive political constituencies. And just as progressives have proven to be destructive at governance, they are equally destructive of science and inquiry themselves. Nothing that progressives touch remains uncorrupted.”

    The clear implication of the entire piece is that regulation of SO₂ and N₂O emissions is not scientifically justified. That is not the belief of very many serious observers as a little bit of using Google will confirm.

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    1. RE: “The clear implication of the entire piece is that regulation of SO2 and N2O emissions is not scientifically justified.”

      Whatever the imaginative implication may be, I was struck by the finding that the acidic lakes were acidic to begin with, the acidity having natural causes. It doesn’t follow from this that SO2 and N2O emissions don’t need to be managed. However, the finding makes for a useful case study in the political misuse of science.

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      1. “acidic lakes were acidic to begin”

        As I noted, cherry-picked data. Sure, there are a thousand variations in the natural acidity of lakes and lots of varied factors that can affect it. That does not change the fact that acid deposition from fossil fuels played a major role in moving lakes towards the acid end of the scale and that with better control of SO2 and N2O they have moved away from the acid end of the scale.

        Whatever “misuse” you see, these pollutants needed to be controlled.

        Personally, I see cherry-picking of atypical studies to be a “political misuse of science” and that is what this author has done.

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        1. RE: “As I noted, cherry-picked data.”

          Whatever it takes to maintain your illusions. First you describe the NAPAP as reliable, then you ignore this statement in the article: “The NAPAP reported in 1990. The findings were explosive: first, acid rain had not injured forests or crops in US or Canada; second, acid rain had no observable effect on human health; third, only a small number of lakes had been acidified by acid rain and these could be rehabilitated by adding lime to the water. In summary, acid rain was a nuisance, not a catastrophe.”

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