Saturday 15 January 2022

The corrupted tobacco economist network Part 63 - National Center for Policy Analysis

Overview of previous posts here

The National Center for Policy Analysis was another think tank where the corrupted social cost economist could spread their word

The next battleground: Indoor air

Dwight R. Lee
 in 1992 wrote the NCPA report The next environmental battleground: Indoor Air, opposing any form of regulation of indoor-air quality (IAQ). The report is also one of the first examples of a social cost economist questioning EPA's objectivity and neutrality. 

On top, it is making outrageous claims like government regulations on IAQ would kill 1900 extra people a year [sic]. 

Lee proposed the Tobacco Institute to make a presentation of the report at the EPA's 23rd International Symposium on Environmental Analytical Chemistry. 

Tobacco Institute's Karen Fernicola Suhr wasn't sure what to think of the proposal as she Lee's claims were so ridiculous:

It wasn't the only weird thing about this report. The Tobacco Institute also was wondering why the NCPA cared about Indoor Air Quality at all

The Tobacco Institute in 1992 wasn't really sure why the think tank bothered to write on indoor quality. A 1993 letter sent by Tom Hockaday (of PR-firm APCO Worldwide) to Philip Morris hints the report actually was written on the command of APCO

S. Fred Singer, Dwight R. Lee

Nor Singer (a physicist), nor Lee (an economist) have any qualifications to judge indoor air-quality science.

Meanwhile, the program of the 23rd International Symposium on Environmental Analytical Chemistry shows Lee was one of the speakers, so despite the "cookiness", the Tobacco Institute probably paid him the $9.000 he asked for. Lee wrote an article after the presentation.

It's hard to decide  which my favorite sentence is in the article: "EPA is no better at central planning than the Soviets were" or "Each polluter is better informed than EPA authorities on how to reduce pollution at least cost and is certainly more motivated"

I do understand why Karen Fernicola Suhr staed the tobacco industry had to decide if it felt comfortable with his message. And Why she felt his message borders on kookiness.

Attacking all environmental sciences

But even beofre the 1992 report above,  the National Center for Policy Analysis was already attacking almost all environmental sciences, in the 1991 report Progressive environmentalism: a pro-human, pro-science, pro-free enterprise agenda for change. The head of the taskforce writing the report was Richard L. Stroup, another tobacco economist from the network.

The taskforce consisted of an interesting list of names, besides tobacco economists there are a lot of people listed who would get known as climate skeptics.

Network economists involved in the NCPA environmental task force were (besides Stroup) : Terry L. Anderson, Allen Dalton, Bruce Johnson and of course  Dwight R. Lee

Other tobacco consultants mentioned in this task force were Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Kent Jeffreys, S. Fred Singer and  James H. Miller. And a lot of people from other think tanks, like Joseph Bast (Heartland Institute), Fred L. Smith (Competitive Enterprise Institute), David J. Theroux (Independent Institute).

The reports attacks a wild array of environmental topics. The report might be an early example showing how libertarians started attacking all environmental sciences, not because they have much knowledge on the subject, but rather because it doesn't fit their worldview.

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