The State Of Air Quality

Reason Senior Fellow Joel Schwartz and Stephen Hayward have analyzed the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report, and have some comments on the science and advocacy therein. Stephen Hayward and Ryan Stowers of the Pacific Research Institute have published their eighth annual Index of Environmental Indicators, and Joel Schwartz has a forthcoming AEI study entitled “No Way Back: Why Air Pollution Will Continue to Decline”. Joel and Stephen has also put together some suggested questions for reporters to ask the Lung Association’s authors.

Clearly “State of the Air” is designed to generate alarming headlines—and aid fundraising for the American Lung Association—rather than provide the media and the public with accurate information on air pollution. Last August Andrew Goldstein of Time magazine wrote: “Fuzzy math and scare tactics might help green groups raise money, but when they, abetted by an environmentally friendly media, overplay their hand, it invites scathing critiques. . .” (From “Too Green for Their Own Good?” Time magazine, August 26, 2002.)