Lancet: Climate Change is Passive Smoking on a Global Scale

Sun, 2009-12-13 11:07Richard Littlemore
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Lancet: Climate Change is Passive Smoking on a Global Scale

In a comment piece entitled Climate Policy: Lessons from Tobacco Control, the medical journal The Lancet, Maria Nilsson, et al, point out the similarities between tobacco and climate change:

“In addition to causing huge damage to population health, both cause substantial adverse social, economic, equity, and gender effects. Both have long lead times between cause and effect, and both require long-term policies and monitoring systems. The number of countries implementing the policies effectively is far too low. Negative effects are increasing over time and will have greatest effects in low-income countries and poor populations. Both issues are influenced by strong vested interests; moreover, delaying tactics and the use of “junk science” by opponents of change have impeded effective policies.”

The authors also make the pointed observation that climate change is both deadly on a global scale and clearly a case of the richest countries in the world blowing a particularly dangerous smoke at the poorest:

“Climate change can be compared to passive smoking because those who generate the damage are not the same people as those who suffer (in the case of tobacco) or the same country (in the case of climate change); greenhouse gases are the largest externality the world has ever experienced.

And here, if we actually need it, is the article’s unassailable conclusion:

“The main lesson from tobacco for the Copenhagen conference is that delay in agreeing on international policy and poor implementation will cost countless lives. We must act now in the interests of future generations.”



The lesson of tobacco is that consensus on health affects and efforts to fight the industry by education, taxation, and the banning of it’s use in more and more places all add up to nothing.

Worldwide tobacco use is projected to rise and not just in the developing world but also in the US and most developed nations.

There was never any victory over tobacco. They won.

Kinda scary with Exxon-Mobile is using the same tactics to stall action on climate change.

Except Exxon is doing no such thing. You can’t do propaganda on pennies.
Time to kill this green myth.

Pennies? Another case of denying the obvious. See;

Thanks for the backup Arie. It’s true, propaganda can’t be done when you spend less then a penny a person per year.

And a note to Greenpeace: It isn’t a secret when the numbers are in public documents. Duh.

Do you get your information from all such neutral sources, you seem to be so well propagandized, I thought I would ask.

Passive smoking is what the main stream media does.

Both are hazardous to the health and well being of people. So far, the greenies are on board, but as they realize that they have been had by corporate interests wanting subsidies for corn, windmills, solar, alternative fuels, and no money goes to stop CO2..

Then even the dullest of greenies will wake up. Well, maybe that is expecting too much!

And that is the evidence I want, demand, to see. What evidence do any of you have that shows a warming climate is a health hazzard?

‘And that is the evidence I want, demand, to see.’

I guess you are just not smart enough to understand the links between a hotter globe and famine-flood-pestilence on scales hitherto unknown.

Plenty of source material has been cited. Check out the full IPCC FAR for a start:

And please do not repeat that BS mantra of IPCC being based on politics not science, I have been through that with you elsewhere.

In some ways tobacco and petroleum can be compared.

So lets break the habit.

First thing we do is outlaw petroleum use on private flights, phase 2 we outlaw it on public flights so that only emergency flights where life is at stake are allowable. Non essential shipping of every kind must also stop.

Next step we outlaw private non electric vehicles. Everyone must walk, bike or plug in. Next we outlaw coal and we ration electricity from other sources so that everyone has just a little.

I’m game - how about you? This would all be a minor adjustment for me.

Oh boy the second hand smoke dilemma. Nevermind that humanity has been smoking tobacco long before our generation came along. You must think that anyone who gets cancer that doesn’t smoke is a victim of second hand smoke. There is no way to prove that somebody contracted cancer through second hand smoke. Oh well, good thing nobody listens to extreme environmentalists.

Whether we accept it or not, smoking has a large impact about climate change.

Tobacco/cancer ‘skepticism’ did indeed provide a model for climate science ‘skepticism’ (corporate-sponsored idiocy would be a better term).

The first statistical evidence showing a link between smoking and cancer was published in 1929, and largely ignored. Further studies in the 1950s confirmed the connection, and in 1964 the US Surgeon General issued a Report on Smoking and Health that helped bring the issue to public consciousness.

For many years, however, ‘skeptics’ continued to deny that there was any causal connection between the two, despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary. There were even a few supposedly scientific studies that purported to cast doubt on the link (for example by the psychologist and statistician Hans Eysenck). We now know that these studies were, almost without exception, paid for and promoted by the tobacco industry.

We are now in much the same position with the science of global warming. We know it is happening, and we know that it is being caused mainly by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, as with any scientific knowledge, we cannot say that there is absolutely no chance of the vast majority of climate scientists being wrong about this – but we can be as sure about the link between manmade greenhouse gases and global warming as people were in the 1960s about the link between lung cancer and smoking, and we would be exceptionally foolish to do nothing about it.

Tellingly, of the very few scientists who question the strength of the case for anthropogenic global warming, several of the most prominent are known to have taken money from the fossil fuel industry. Even more tellingly, some of these have in the past also taken money from the tobacco industry to produce studies favourable to that industry’s interests. One of these is Dr Fred Singer – see for example this discussion of Dr Singer’s activities:

Another well-known climate ‘skeptic’, Richard Lindzen, is on record as denying that there is strong evidence linking smoking and cancer (see Lindzen also has strong links with the fossil fuel industry, as described at

The campaign to rubbish climate science is being carried on by many of the very same lobbyists who have a history of taking payment from tobacco companies to cast doubt on the links between smoking and cancer. One of the best known (and most slimily repellent) of these is Steven Milloy, proprietor of and frequent contributor to Fox News, who has been pocketing payments from both tobacco companies and oil companies for many years - see

‘Skepticism’ doesn’t come into it with people like Milloy. Better words to describe their activities would be ‘cynicism’ and ‘greed’.

We all know that smoking is bad to our health. Just think that when you smoke inside your house, your children inhaled it and we all know that it is more hazardous to your child’s health than yours because they inhaled more than yours. Just think of it. And I if your renting your house, I have some good news for you.. Fannie Mae just released their new Deed for Lease, or D4L, program. It’s a program that allows homeowners to sign a deed in lieu of foreclosure and then rent back their home from the lender. Throughout when they are “renting,” they can stay in the home and restructure the debt to make it easier to afford. According to Fannie Mae VP Jay Ryan, the D4L Program “helps eliminate some of the uncertainty of foreclosure, keeps families and tenants in their homes during a transitional period and helps to stabilize neighborhoods and communities.” Some areas, particularly areas like Detroit saw enormous amounts of foreclosures during the peak of the recession.


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The report, titled “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines,” describes a string of failures by the EPA to control leaks of one of the most potent greenhouse gases, methane, from the rapidly...

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