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... Vapors over vapors

| Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kudos to 's Steve Milloy for debunking suspect blame-mankind research behind demonization of humanity's mercury emissions.

A new Harvard University study links such emissions with increasing levels of methylmercury -- "inorganic" smokestack and tailpipe mercury in the food chain -- and reproductive problems in black-footed albatrosses over the last 140 years.

But as Mr. Milloy points out, the study is manifestly flawed.

Its sample -- just eight birds' feathers -- is too small for reliable conclusions. And those feathers showed accumulation rising for methylmercury and decreasing for inorganic mercury.

Other data show the birds' numbers more than tripled from 1923 to 2005 -- while mercury emissions rose. And the Harvard researchers relied on prior studies of avian methylmercury levels and reproductive problems that leapt -- without substantiation -- from correlation to causation.

Nature accounts for about 70 percent of worldwide mercury emissions, coal-fired U.S. power plants for only about 1 percent. Yet Milloy expects "the EPA to nevertheless hang the mercury albatross around their necks."

Whether it targets mercury or carbon dioxide, blame-mankind policy is based on worthless "science" -- and just as economically destructive.

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