The Importance of Lead Abatement

Kevin Drum has an article in Mother Jones arguing that the use of leaded gasoline is the real explanation for high crime rates from the 60s through the early 90s and that ending its use explains why crime began dropping thereafter. I’ve long argued that this was at least one factor in the trends in crime rates as well.

The biggest source of lead in the postwar era, it turns out, wasn’t paint. It was leaded gasoline. And if you chart the rise and fall of atmospheric lead caused by the rise and fall of leaded gasoline consumption, you get a pretty simple upside-down U: Lead emissions from tailpipes rose steadily from the early ’40s through the early ’70s, nearly quadrupling over that period. Then, as unleaded gasoline began to replace leaded gasoline, emissions plummeted.

Intriguingly, violent crime rates followed the same upside-down U pattern. The only thing different was the time period: Crime rates rose dramatically in the ’60s through the ’80s, and then began dropping steadily starting in the early ’90s. The two curves looked eerily identical, but were offset by about 20 years.

So Nevin dove in further, digging up detailed data on lead emissions and crime rates to see if the similarity of the curves was as good as it seemed. It turned out to be even better: In a 2000 paper (PDF) he concluded that if you add a lag time of 23 years, lead emissions from automobiles explain 90 percent of the variation in violent crime in America. Toddlers who ingested high levels of lead in the ’40s and ’50s really were more likely to become violent criminals in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s…

Put all this together and you have an astonishing body of evidence. We now have studies at the international level, the national level, the state level, the city level, and even the individual level. Groups of children have been followed from the womb to adulthood, and higher childhood blood lead levels are consistently associated with higher adult arrest rates for violent crimes. All of these studies tell the same story: Gasoline lead is responsible for a good share of the rise and fall of violent crime over the past half century.

But this is really just the beginning. Lead in paint continues to be a real problem, especially in the inner cities, where the housing stock is considerably older than the suburbs. And that may have a significant impact on the development of children who are exposed to it, meaning primarily poor and minority people.

A team of researchers at the University of Cincinnati has been following a group of 300 children for more than 30 years and recently performed a series of MRI scans that highlighted the neurological differences between subjects who had high and low exposure to lead during early childhood.

One set of scans found that lead exposure is linked to production of the brain’s white matter—primarily a substance called myelin, which forms an insulating sheath around the connections between neurons. Lead exposure degrades both the formation and structure of myelin, and when this happens, says Kim Dietrich, one of the leaders of the imaging studies, “neurons are not communicating effectively.” Put simply, the network connections within the brain become both slower and less coordinated.

A second study found that high exposure to lead during childhood was linked to a permanent loss of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex—a part of the brain associated with aggression control as well as what psychologists call “executive functions”: emotional regulation, impulse control, attention, verbal reasoning, and mental flexibility. One way to understand this, says Kim Cecil, another member of the Cincinnati team, is that lead affects precisely the areas of the brain “that make us most human.”

So lead is a double whammy: It impairs specific parts of the brain responsible for executive functions and it impairs the communication channels between these parts of the brain. For children like the ones in the Cincinnati study, who were mostly inner-city kids with plenty of strikes against them already, lead exposure was, in Cecil’s words, an “additional kick in the gut.”

We need to put serious resources into identifying every house that still has lead paint and safely replacing it. We may also need to replace the soil around those houses. The cost of that program would easily be justified by the benefits to future generations.

74 comments on this post.
  1. jeremydiamond:

    “The cost of that program would easily be justified by the benefits to future generations.”

    Future generations… of poor people, so of course it will never happen.

  2. marcus:

    “The cost of that program would easily be justified by the benefits to future generations.”

    I am such a fucking cynic, I find it hard to believe that very many of our esteemed legislators are going to give a rat’s ass about this situation. I hope to be proved wrong.

  3. jamessweet:

    Eh, I’m skeptical:

    http://boingboing.net/2013/01/01/correlation-between-autism-dia.html

    Fascinating hypothesis, though.

  4. Raging Bee:

    Jamessweet: you’re “skeptical” based on a glib and mostly fact-free post on boingboing? Seriously?

    In the case of lead and crime, we don’t just have correlation, we have a well-established possible mechanism of causation: we know how lead affects brain function. Not only that, we have VERY CLOSE correlation, which (unlike that boingboing chart) shows correlation in the decrease of crime, not just the increase. That still doesn’t prove causation, of course, but it does give us TWO correlating trends, instead of just one.

  5. slc1:

    Re jamessweet @ @3

    A certain caution is in order, based on the old saw that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.

  6. lagnar:

    I seem to recall the Romans added a lead substance to their wine
    which led to the downfall of the empires structure. I just can’t find
    the citation yet though.

  7. Michael Heath:

    Ed writes:

    We need to put serious resources into identifying every house that still has lead paint and safely replacing it. We may also need to replace the soil around those houses. The cost of that program would easily be justified by the benefits to future generations.

    If we assume science has already found or soon finds a causal relationship between lead ingestion and future crime rates; what are the odds that conservatives and conservative-libertarians will deny such a causal relationship exists?

    Their motivations to do so are many and obvious. And as we observe from their denial of the fact of human-generated global warming and the results of such warming, they have demonstrated the lack of integrity and thinking skills needed to repeat such behavior on other matters.

  8. lofgren:

    Thank god the libertarians and neocons are here to save us from the tyranny of the EPA.

  9. Raging Bee:

    lagnar: what I heard was that the Romans used lead in their aqueducts, not their wine. Not sure about the correlation between lead in one city’s water and the downfall of the whole fookin’ empire, though. I’m guessing the gradual fall of an empire over centuries would be MUCH harder to link to any one phenomenon than a mere rise and fall in violent crime rates over a few decades.

  10. frog:

    lagnar and Raging Bee: It was in the pipes bringing water to Roman houses, and they used it as a seasoning, fer Crom’s sake. According to this EPA document, lead was mostly available to the wealthy, which could explain a certain rotting-from-the-top concept.

    http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/perspect/lead.html

  11. jamessweet:

    @Raging Bee: I feel the sting of your rage!

    I just posted that because I happened to see it today and I got a kick out of how tight the correlation was. It was a shorthand way of saying that the correlation with crime rates, no matter how remarkable it is, could just be coincidence, given that there are numerous social factors that could also explain the increase and decrease in crime rate over that time — and which would be a much more mundane explanation.

    I did say it’s a fascinating hypothesis though; I’m not rejecting it, I’m just saying a big heaping helping of caution is in order, since it is all too easy to find striking (but superfluous) correlations when you are looking at society-wide data over this kind of time scale. Epidemiology is hard, what with there not being any sort of control group.

    Lead abatement is still a good thing, and the way that it disproportionately affects the poor is another reason to advocate even more strongly (since those sorts of problems get swept under the rug). I’m just saying, the idea that it explains the rise and fall of violent crime over the last half of the 20th century, I consider that to be an interesting hypothesis but nothing more at this point.

  12. Raging Bee:

    frog: good points, but I still think that, in the overall picture of the decline and fall of Rome, lead is even in the top forty list of causes. For starters, if the ruling families of an empire show themselves to be consistently retarded, they tend to get replaced (or at least disempowered) by interest-groups who need competent leadership — such as the military. (Did generals consistently drink the same water as the posh types? Not if they spent a lot of time in the field.)

    And besides, it’s not like Rome was the only empire ever to decline and fall.

  13. slc1:

    Re MH @ #7

    I wonder what our old pal Sir Lancelot would have to say about this?

  14. Raging Bee:

    jamessweet: you’re right, of course, I was just mocking the particular source you cited. I would like to know if there have been any articles disputing the specific “lead —> violent crime” thesis. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it disputed, though I don’t know if the disputes are credible.

    And as I said before, most of those easy correlations you rightly mock involve nothing more than two things going up over the same period of time — which could easily be explained by other things increasing, like population, pollution, vaccination rates, reporting rates, etc. I take this lead-and-crime thesis seriously because we have both a correlated increase, then a correlated decrease, and that looks a LOT less like coincidence. But it still could be explained by some other set of factors; and we all know that crime rates are affected by HUGE numbers of social and environmental factors.

  15. Didaktylos:

    I believe that in the case of the Romans, this low-level lead poisoning has been cited as a contributing factor in the declining birthrates that blighted the core territories of the Western Empire.

  16. Raging Bee:

    slc1: let me try to anticipate Lance in as few words as possible:

    Thief! Thief! Thief! Liberals! We hates it! We hates it!! We hates it forever!!!

  17. democommie:

    The romans used lead to make their wine sweeter;

    http://io9.com/5877587/the-first-artificial-sweetener-poisoned-lots-of-romans

    One of the articles I read on the subject about twenty years ago said the the problem was that the children of wealthy romans were most likely to be affected and that did contribute to the eventual downfall.

  18. Raging Bee:

    Didactylos: okay, that’s a more believable claim — depending on how you define “core territories of the Western Empire.” Were all of those “core territories” served by the same lead-lined aqueducts?

  19. Area Man:

    I seem to recall the Romans added a lead substance to their wine which led to the downfall of the empires structure.

    Some wine merchants added lead acetate to their wine to sweeten it. Lead acetate is also what makes lead paint chips taste good and causes young children to eat them.

    Adulterating wine in that manner was considered unscrupulous, and few historians think that lead exposure was a major contributing factor to the decline of the Empire. No doubt that some small fraction of the population had major exposure though.

  20. Area Man:

    “Were all of those “core territories” served by the same lead-lined aqueducts?”

    The aqueducts and other plumbing were not a significant route of exposure. They quickly formed mineral deposits on their inside that kept the lead from entering the water.

    The real problem with the lead = downfall hypothesis is that the Romans used lead in much the same way for many centuries. You’d have to find some new, widespread application starting about 200 CE to explain why the Empire started declining over the next century, whereas before it had been ascendant. I’m not aware of anything like that, and besides, there is no shortage of better explanations.

  21. jayarrrr:

    Lead Acetate aka “Sugar of Lead” was a common wine adulterant through the 18th Century.
    It’s also seen use in “Grecian Formula 16″, that hair dye Ronnie Ray-Guns supposedly didn’t use.

  22. Raging Bee:

    Thanks, Area Man, as far as I’m concerned, that pretty much settles the “lead —> fall of Rome” theory.

    In fact, I’d be inclined to think lead in the aqueducts would have had a WORSE effect in the early days of Rome, simply because it was just one city, more or less uniformly served by one set of aqueducts; whereas in the later days, there would have been plenty of Roman citizens outside the aqueduct system. So if lead could have caused the fall of Rome, it would have prevented it from rising in the first place.

  23. Sastra:

    I recall reading an attempt to use lead poisoning to explain why Caligula was … Caligula. A lot of the Roman Emperors were pretty nuts. One likes to imagine it was just the cooking pots..

  24. wscott:

    Steven Pinker has a whole chapter on the rise & fall of crime rates from the 1960s on in “Better Angels Of Our Nature.” Lead is one of the factors he looks at. (I *think* he cites the same study Drum does, but I don’t have the book handy.) But he also looks at a ton of othe rfactors, both envionmental and social/cultural. My tl;dr of his conclusion: lead likely played a big part, but there were other factors as well.

    As for lead causing the fall of Rome: I was skeptical of that claim when I first read about it 30 years ago, and I haven’t seen anythign since then to change my mind. Besides, I never understood why everyone always focuses on “Why did Rome fall?” when the much more interesting question is “Why did their empire last as long as it did?”

  25. Raging Bee:

    wscott: the fall of Rome fascinates us because it’s one of Christendom’s central “Golden Age” origin myths. Sort of like a real-life version of Atlantis — except, of course, that a lot of people misunderstand and misrepresent Rome, and color the history/pseudohistory with their own moralistic agendas (particularly the Christian agenda and its thinly-disguised variants), until their narative of rome is not much more real than the Atlantis stories.

  26. Raging Bee:

    As for why we focus more on asking why Rome fell than on why it rose, that’s probably because the rise of an empire representing white civilization is seen as part of Manifest Destiny/The Natural Order of Things by white people, while its fall is a frightening thing that needs to be explained — and, if possible, blamed on something so we can feel we can avoid such tragedies in the future.

  27. Area Man:

    “It was a shorthand way of saying that the correlation with crime rates, no matter how remarkable it is, could just be coincidence…”

    If you read the article though, what you see is that the correlation exists not just in one data set for country-wide crime rates. It also exists at the state, county, and even neighborhood levels, even though lead pollution rose and fell at different time points in different places. It also exists across different countries, though again, lead exposure did not rise and fall at the same time everywhere (according to the researcher who discovered this, he has yet to find one single country in which crime doesn’t track lead). And, of course, the correlation continues down to the level of individuals who had been exposed as children. That’s a lot of coincidence to explain.

    That’s not to say that the whole thing couldn’t be wrong, but the evidence appears very strong. You seem to agree that lead abatement is a worthy goal anyway, so I won’t belabor the point, I’m just saying that we’re not dealing with a single chart here.

  28. democommie:

    “As for why we focus more on asking why Rome fell than on why it rose, that’s probably because the rise of an empire representing white civilization is seen as part of Manifest Destiny/The Natural Order of Things..”

    Well, yeah, but…It rose when it was the godswaytoomany pagans runnin’ things. Unfortunately for the Holy Roman Empire, GOD’s aim is as bad in time as it is in locality.

  29. Modusoperandi:

    “We need to put serious resources into identifying every house that still has lead paint and safely replacing it. We may also need to replace the soil around those houses. The cost of that program would easily be justified by the benefits to future generations.”

    What?! And be soft on crime? You’ve got it all backwards. The criminals are hiding their lead in the walls. We should save hard-working taxpayer dollars and put bars on those so-called “dens of scum and villiany”. And throw away the key.
     
    lofgren “Thank god the libertarians and neocons are here to save us from the tyranny of the EPA.”
    Look, the Free Market will decide how much lead poor people are exposed to.

  30. frog:

    Raging Bee: <blockquote"For starters, if the ruling families of an empire show themselves to be consistently retarded, they tend to get replaced (or at least disempowered) by interest-groups who need competent leadership — such as the military."

    …Which is pretty much exactly what happened. And the military guys who successively took over were generally from further afield than the Immortal City.

    None of which is to argue in favor of the “lead killed Rome” theory; it’s just fun to speculate. In my other-other life, I write court-intrigue fantasy fiction. This stuff is highly entertaining to think about.

  31. Raging Bee:

    Look, the Free Market will decide how much lead poor people are exposed to.

    Yeah, that’s exactly what our Free Firearms Market is doing.

  32. chilidog99:

    The ironic thing about the issue of LBP in inner city housing stock is that it is the former, high end, housing that tends to have the most lead.

    in and of itself, the presence of LBP is not the issue, it if the upkeep of the buildings and the maintenance of the painted surfaces that controls the majority of lead exposure issues,

  33. scienceavenger:

    But Rome didn’t “fall”, it sort of slid downhill over centuries, which I suppose is why the analysis of the causes of the slide continue to this day. If it truly fell, it’d be easier.

  34. WMDKitty (Always growing and learning):

    Lead abatement is of the good, but linking criminal behavior to lead ingestion just gives the criminals another “out” to argue that “I’m not responsible for my behavior because blah blah blah.”

  35. Michael Heath:

    WMDKitty:

    . . . linking criminal behavior to lead ingestion just gives the criminals another “out” to argue that “I’m not responsible for my behavior because blah blah blah.”

    The number of defective arguments approaches infinity; before and after this correlation was found.

  36. WMDKitty (Always growing and learning):

    Michael Heath

    What the hell are you even saying?

    All I said was that this is going to be another Twinkie defense — “I ate lead paint, so I’m not responsible for my violent and criminal behavior.”

    I didn’t say it was a good argument, but you know someone’s defense team is going to twig to this and push it as a defence, while the defendant is instructed to put forth a sympathetic image of a person so impaired, so broken and messed up by lead, that they couldn’t possibly know the difference twixt right and wrong. (IIRC, this has already been a plotline on SVU.)

  37. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    Lead abatement is of the good, but linking criminal behavior to lead ingestion just gives the criminals another “out” to argue that “I’m not responsible for my behavior because blah blah blah.”

    So what are you suggesting?

  38. jnorris:

    Has anyone done testing for lead poisoning in career criminals and professional politicians?

  39. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    This makes me extra-proud of the role my father played in the phaseout of leaded gasoline in the US.

  40. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    …I wonder if the lead also explains the Tea Party?

  41. dysomniak, darwinian socialist:

    linking criminal behavior to lead ingestion just gives the criminals another “out”

    And what if it does? Believe it or not people don’t actually do bad things because they’re EVIL, they do them for REASONS. Are you saying that we shouldn’t attempt to understand those reasons? Or that we should hide the results to make sure nothing gets in the way of your knee jerk urge for JUSTICE?

    Seriously, every time you post I think you can’t be more lacking in empathy yet you continue to top yourself. Has it occurred to you that you might feel more at home as a republican?

  42. WMDKitty (Always growing and learning):

    dysomnniak

    I don’t know what your problem with me is, but knock it the fuck off. I do not “lack empathy”. I have plenty of empathy — it’s just that none of it is wasted on violent wastes of oxygen who think they have some kind of “right” to use other people’s bodies at a whim.

    My abuser had a fucking sob-story to get out of everything. Excuses on top of excuses on top of excuses on top of broken promise after broken promise after broken promise, all topped with bullshit about “I have multiple personalities” and “I’m a werewolf”. (Along with, “I was drunk”, “I blacked out”, “well, that’s how things are done in the South”, and other bullshit meant to portray his behavior as either not-his-fault or this-is-normal.) Do you really think I’m gonna buy it when some rapist or chimo says, “I couldn’t help it, I have lead poisoning”?

    Pardon me for being a bit cynical about “lead poisoning made me do it”.

    BTW, the Republican party is subhuman — why would I want to be part of that cesspit?

  43. dysomniak, darwinian socialist:

    And once again you drag out your past trauma as an excuse for your current assholishness. You clearly don’t care about preventing crime, only punishing the BAD PEOPLE. Wanting revenge is natural, but it’s hardly noble.

  44. WMDKitty (Always growing and learning):

    You have yet to demonstrate that I “lack empathy”.

    You have leveled nothing but personal attacks against me.

    I care about preventing crime, but I ALSO care about keeping VIOLENT OFFENDERS out of society. If reducing lead exposure will reduce future crime rates, GREAT! But that doesn’t help anyone NOW, especially those who are subjected to the behavior of the forementioned violent offenders.

    So, please do demonstrate where I “lack empathy” in regards to violent criminals and their acts. Go on. I’m waiting.

  45. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    WMDKitty, it’s not clear what your position here is. Are you merely arguing that people shouldn’t lose sight of the reality of criminals’ choices and their culpability, even if we gain insight into factors that influence the choices they ultimately make? Or are you arguing that we should ignore, avoid seeking, or dismiss evidence that external factors influence those choices because it may strengthen criminals’ attempts to evade justice? Or something else?

  46. dysomniak, darwinian socialist:

    WMDKitty, On rereading my comments I feel I may have have gone a bit over the line in my personal attacks towards you. This isn’t a retraction, or even really an apology, but I do believe that I allowed my extreme distaste for your knee-jerk reactions to provoke an equally stupid jerk from me.

    Since there are several other people here who seem willing and able to argue with you in a more reasonable fashion I will leave them (and you) to it.

  47. dingojack:

    Yes because America in the 50′s is exactly like America in the 80′s. No Civil Rights
    Movement, no pill, no increase in urbanisation, no drugs, no population increases, no increase in economic inequality, no changes to gun control laws, no nuttin’ – therefore LEAD!!!.
    Colour me unimpressed.
    Dingo

  48. WMDKitty (Always growing and learning):

    Are you merely arguing that people shouldn’t lose sight of the reality of criminals’ choices and their culpability, even if we gain insight into factors that influence the choices they ultimately make

    This one. The factors that influence choices should be investigated, OF COURSE! But I don’t want to see violent, impulsive types let off out of pity or a sense of “they were made to do XYZ violent acts by factors ABC”. It’s just too damn close to “she made me hit her” and “she was asking for it” for comfort.

    And yeah, I’m fucking cynical about this — I’ve seen too many shitty “shift the responsibility to anything but the offender” arguments. Most of those were up close and personal like and a few involved fists because “shut up, bitch”, but I see it online, too. Hell, I see it here on FTB every goddamn time some douchenozzle pops up to spew bile about some of our beloved bloggers, and then whine that “they made me do it because they criticized [person -- usually a white, hetero, able-bodied male] for doing/saying something [promoting harassment/sexist/homophobic/ableist/otherwise bigoted/attacking {name}].” (Usually followed up with ban-hammering, and some variant on “so and so banned me for disagreeing, HIVE-MIND!!!!”)

    I apologize if my cynicism came across as a lack of empathy — I’m just tired of victims getting the short end while nasty violence-prone specimens of humanity walk free to prey on others.

  49. lancifer:

    slc1,

    I wonder what our old pal Sir Lancelot would have to say about this?

    Pretty much agree with James Sweet’s remarks.

  50. corkscrew:

    Does anyone know if the 23-year lag actually has any sort of theoretical basis, or if it’s just an experimentally-derived fudge factor? That would make a big difference to how plausible this argument looks.

    I’ve got mixed feelings here. On the one hand, it does seem to be a serious scientifically-minded investigation. On the other hand, the idea itself is pinging the crazyometer. In particular:
    1) Why is increased criminality apparently the only detectable effect? Shouldn’t there be increased risk of brain damage in the affected areas too?
    2) On a related note, what is the mechanism by which lead damage to the brain causes increased criminality?
    3) What other factors and combinations of factors have they considered as alternative explanations? Why did they reject them?
    4) Have there been any studies that counted against this hypothesis? In a field with dozens of papers, you’d expect one or two to be negative purely by chance. Why have we not heard about them?

  51. slc1:

    Re Sir Lancelot @ #49

    Is Sir Lancelot’s level of skepticism relative to deleterious effects of lead as high as his level of skepticism as to the deleterious effects of global warming?

  52. Nick Gotts (formerly KG):

    Movement, no pill, no increase in urbanisation, no drugs, no population increases, no increase in economic inequality, no changes to gun control laws, no nuttin’ – therefore LEAD!!!.
    Colour me unimpressed. – dingojack

    Most of these factors have continued to change in the same direction since the 1980s, while levels of crime, and specifically violent crime, have fallen.

    2) On a related note, what is the mechanism by which lead damage to the brain causes increased criminality? – corkscrew

    Try reading the text quoted in OP.

    Here’s the abstract of a recent review article (the full article is behind a paywall):

    The possibility that lowering of intelligence is correlated with criminal behavior has had a long and checkered history in the medical and social sciences, and lead poisoning has become part of the debate because it is known to impair mentation in children. Pooling of data and meta-analyses of results of a large number of epidemiological studies from different parts of the world, buttressed with extensive information from experimental animals, provide a strong evidence that lead exposure at low dose has a negative effect on the intelligence quotient and mental development of preschool and school-age children. A major accomplishment in environmental health sciences in recent years is the demonstration that some mental health disorders are pathophysiologically linked to low-level lead exposure in early childhood and this has fostered the neurotoxicity hypothesis to explain the relationship between childhood lead exposure, conduct disorders, and proclivity to violent behavior later in life. Much uncertainty still surrounds the etiological role of lead in offending behavior mainly due to the difficulty of ascertaining the dose–response relationships of chronic low-level exposure that characteristically results in vague and insidious symptoms. Nevertheless, there is understandable and growing concern that some young adults are being consigned to a life of criminal behavior for environmental injuries that occurred prenatally or while they were young infants.

    IOW, the hypotheses that low-level childhood lead exposure reduces IQ and that it increases the chances of developing some mental health disorders are well-established; the hypothesis that it increases offending is less so, but is widely considered plausible. Likening this hypothesis to simple correlations between variables with no plausible causal connection is just ignorant. Or of course in lancifer’s case, dictated by a fuckwitted ideology.

  53. democommie:

    “…I wonder if the lead also explains the Tea Party?”

    The U.S. Tea Party–the ugly unintended consequence of mandatory flouridation of drinking water. True story!

  54. dingojack:

    Nick – so all other causes can be ruled out because they move in the same direction – except lead levels in petrol and crime rate (especially violent crime rates) because they move in the same direction.
    Well I for one am convinced , sign me up.*
    Dingo
    ——–
    * I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘confounding variables’ and ‘negative correlation’
    (as well as the old chestnut: ”correlation is not causality’).

  55. tommykey:

    To cite lead as a possible factor in the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the West, one would then have to explain why it did not lead to a similar disintegration in the East.

  56. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    I’ve got mixed feelings here. On the one hand, it does seem to be a serious scientifically-minded investigation. On the other hand, the idea itself is pinging the crazyometer. In particular:
    1) Why is increased criminality apparently the only detectable effect? Shouldn’t there be increased risk of brain damage in the affected areas too?
    2) On a related note, what is the mechanism by which lead damage to the brain causes increased criminality?
    3) What other factors and combinations of factors have they considered as alternative explanations? Why did they reject them?
    4) Have there been any studies that counted against this hypothesis? In a field with dozens of papers, you’d expect one or two to be negative purely by chance. Why have we not heard about them?

    Perhaps increased criminality is the most easily tracked, and most extensively historically tracked, consequence of impaired impulse control related to lead toxicity?

    It’d be interesting to see how this correlates with, say, car accidents or alcohol abuse.

  57. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    Nick – so all other causes can be ruled out because they move in the same direction – except lead levels in petrol and crime rate (especially violent crime rates) because they move in the same direction.
    Well I for one am convinced , sign me up.*
    Dingo

    That’s some pretty fucking impressive word-twisting.

  58. lancifer:

    slc1,

    My “level of skepticism” is independent of the issue being considered. Skepticism is the basis of all scientific inquiry.

    Merriam Websters online dictionary, scientific skepticism: an impartial attitude of the mind previous to investigation

  59. dingojack:

    Azkyroth – Allow me to quote ‘the master‘:
    “Most of these factors have continued to change in the same direction since the 1980s, while levels of crime, and specifically violent crime, have fallen”.[as has lead content in petrol].

    So, why exactly is what I said wrong and how, exactly, did I twist Nick’s words?

    Dingo

  60. composer99:

    dingojack:

    Is your skepticism based on what you have read in the OP and comments? IMO that’s not very skeptical because blog posts like these aren’t going to be conclusive summaries of the research.

    The MotherJones article (and an article by George Monbiot reviewing it) has extensive links to the literature (possibly duplicates), noting both statistical correlations and physical/physiological bases for this phenomenon.

    Also, you have misinterpreted Nick because his intent was to note that civil rights, use of contraception, population growth, urbanization, and so on have all continued to grow – in contrast with crime rates – whereas leaded petrol, like crime rates, peaked and began to decrease.

    lancifer:
    Given the basic physics, lab experiment, and empirically-observed data (such as, say, the observed decrease in outgoing longwave IR matching the theoretical predictions of the effects of an enhanced greenhouse effect) supporting the reality of rapid human-caused global warming, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not believing a word you say about your “scientific” skepticism, whatever the subject.

  61. bradleybetts:

    Hmm, until they come up with a mechanism by which lead degrades the myelin and pre-frontal cortex, I think I’ll have to remain sceptical yet hopeful… if it does turn out to be fact then this could really help with preventing future violent personalities.

    @WMDKitty

    “Lead abatement is of the good, but linking criminal behavior to lead ingestion just gives the criminals another “out” to argue that “I’m not responsible for my behavior because blah blah blah.””

    They wouldn’t be able to argue that, because there is a difference between a reason and an excuse. The ingestion of lead would explain their violent personality, but it wouldn’t excuse it. I can certainly see why you would be worried a defence lawyer would try this, those people would try anything (it is, in fairness, their job to do so); but I don’t think any sane judge would agree tha this absolves the defendant of legal responsibility.

  62. lancifer:

    composer99,

    Given the basic physics, lab experiment, and empirically-observed data (such as, say, the observed decrease in outgoing longwave IR matching the theoretical predictions of the effects of an enhanced greenhouse effect) supporting the reality of rapid human-caused global warming, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not believing a word you say about your “scientific” skepticism, whatever the subject.

    I’m sure you’ll excuse me for telling you to go fuck yourself. Or not… I don’t really care.

    I didn’t study math and physics to impress anonymous blowhards on political blogs.

    Your acceptance of the lead-criminal behavior link, based on a Mother Jones article, fits perfectly with your other “beliefs”.

    “It’s them evil oil companies what’s responsible for all that ails us.”

  63. Michael Heath:

    lancifer writes:

    I didn’t study math and physics to impress anonymous blowhards on political blogs.

    You’ve yet to demonstrate any comprehension of physics in this forum while repeatedly demonstrating an incredible volume of misunderstanding and outright misrepresentation regarding physics related to climate; where there is no close second.

    You’ve also repeatedly claimed skepticism while demonstrating abhorrent behavior unrelated to skepticism.

  64. Modusoperandi:

    lancifer “Your acceptance of the lead-criminal behavior link, based on a Mother Jones article, fits perfectly with your other ‘beliefs’. ‘It’s them evil oil companies what’s responsible for all that ails us.’”
    Considering, alone, the casual evil of Ethyl Corporation

  65. lancifer:

    Modus,

    Yes, lead is toxic. That’s a long way from proving that it causes criminal behavior.

  66. lancifer:

    Michael Heath,

    You are an unhinged and vicious zealot when it comes to the subject of climate change. You have no interest in rationally discussing the issue. Your only goal is to enforce your own extreme views even if you must resort to the basest and most dispicable tactics to do so.

    Get help.

  67. Michael Heath:

    lancifer writes to me:

    You are an unhinged and vicious zealot when it comes to the subject of climate change. You have no interest in rationally discussing the issue. Your only goal is to enforce your own extreme views even if you must resort to the basest and most dispicable tactics to do so.

    Since this is demonstrably untrue, the interesting question here is whether you believe this or know you’re lying.

    lancifer writes to me:

    Get help.

    Nice projection. Are you really so deluded you feel people who accept confidently held scientific consensuses and have no tolerance for liars and ignoramuses on matters of critical importance need help? Or is this one more cowardly rhetorical dodge to avoid your confronting what is obvious to anyone literate in scientific methodology and what climate scientists understand when they confront your comment posts?

  68. lancifer:

    Your first statement above was pure personal attack.

    “You’ve yet to demonstrate any comprehension of physics …”

    The second is more of the same.

    You toss words like “coward” around while making anonymous posts on a left leaning political blog. I challenge you to a face to face debate on neutral ground.

    Put up or shut up asshole.

  69. Michael Heath:

    lancifer writes to me:

    You toss words like “coward” around while making anonymous posts on a left leaning political blog. I challenge you to a face to face debate on neutral ground.

    Put up or shut up asshole.

    I’m the one using my actual name here where you’re the one posting comments anonymously. Your projection of your own behavior on undeserving others is truly amazing to watch.

    No one is hindering either of us from posting in this forum with the exception that there’s a two link limit per post to avoid moderation. And given the fact you’re the one who avoids peer-reviewed citations while I depend on them, that’s an enormous advantage to you. In spite of this advantage, I think its obvious both us are on the record in this forum, so we’ve both already “put up”. I’m comfortable with my positions and don’t need a “do over”. You don’t set the terms of my behavior, I do.

    Your persecution complex that has you denying the fact you already have a forum is par for the course when it comes to those who deny reality as you repeatedly do. In addition, this is not about me, it’s about climate science vs. what you pull out of your ass or that of other non-scientist denialists – which is exactly why I ridicule you. Ridicule you’ve earned every time you misrepresent others and what science has reported.

    If you want to challenge any of my assertions, have at it. That chance already exists.

  70. lancifer:

    My name is Lance Harting. I have posted it many times douche bag. I teach for the School of Science at Indiana University Purdue university at Indianapolis.

    I have posted dozens of links to peer reviewed studies you lying sack of excrement.

    So you aren’t willing to “put up” and debate me in person?

    Then shut the fuck up.

  71. lancifer:

    Michael Heath,

    If you want to challenge any of my assertions, have at it.

    OK. You asserted “And given the fact you’re the one who avoids peer-reviewed citations…”

    this assertion is easily shown to be false. In our most recent conflagration on whether Co2 was beneficial to plants I posted the following list of peer reviewed studies backing up my position. You of course only provided naked assertions and abusive personal attacks.

    Aben, S.K., Seneweera, S.P., Ghannoum, O. and Conroy, J.P. Nitrogen requirements for maximum growth and photosynthesis of rice, Oryza sativa L. cv. Jarrah grown at 36 and 70 Pa CO2. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 26: 759-766.

    Alberto, A.M.P., Ziska, L.H., Cervancia, C.R. and Manalo, P.A. 1996. The influence of increasing carbon dioxide and temperature on competitive interactions between a C3 crop, rice (Oryza sativa) and a C4 weed (Echinochloa glabrescens). Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 23: 795-802.

    Baker, J.T. 2004. Yield responses of southern US rice cultivars to CO2 and temperature. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 122: 129-137.

    Baker, J.T., Albrecht, S.L., Pan, D., Allen Jr., L.H., Pickering, N.B. and Boote, K.J. 1994. Carbon dioxide and temperature effects on rice (Oryza sativa L., cv. ‘IR-72′. Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida, Proceedings 53: 22-25.

    Baker, J.T., Allen Jr., L.H., Boote, K.J. and Pickering, N.B. 1997. Rice responses to drought under carbon dioxide enrichment. 1. Growth and yield. Global Change Biology 3: 119-128.

    Baker, J.T., Allen, L.H., Jr. and Boote, K.J. 1990. Growth and yield responses of rice to carbon dioxide concentration. Journal of Agricultural Science 115: 313-320.

    Baker, J.T., Laugel, F., Boote, K.J. and Allen, L.H., Jr. 1992. Effects of daytime carbon dioxide concentration on dark respiration in rice. Plant Cell and Environment 15: 231-239.

    Bannayan, M., Kobayashi, K., Kim, H.-Y., Lieffering, M., Okada, M. and Miura, S. 2005. Modeling the interactive effects of atmospheric CO2 and N on rice growth and yield. Field Crops Research 93: 237-251.

    Baysa, M.C., Tremmel, D.C., Reynolds, J.F., Rivero, G.C. and Tabbada, R.A. 2003. The interactive effects of elevated CO2, temperature and N supply on N concentration and allocation in rice (Oryza sativa L.). The Philippine Agricultural Scientist 86: 117-122.

    Chen, F., Wu, G., Ge, F. and Parajulee, M.N. 2011. Relationships between exogenous-toxin quantity and increased biomass of transgenic Bt crops under elevated carbon dioxide. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 74: 1074-1080.

    Cheng, W., Sakai, H., Hartley, A., Yagi, K. and Hasegawa, T. 2008. Increased night temperature reduces the stimulatory effect of elevated carbon dioxide concentration on methane emission from rice paddy soil. Global Change Biology 14: 644-656.

    Cheng, W., Sakai, H., Yagi, K. and Hasegawa, T. 2009. Interactions of elevated [CO2] and night temperature on rice growth and yield. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149: 51-58.

    Cheng, W., Yagi, K., Xu, H., Sakai, H. and Kobayashi, K. 2005. Influence of elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 on CH4 and CO2 entrapped in rice-paddy soil. Chemical Geology 218: 15-24.

    Cheng, W., Yagi, K., Sakai, H. and Kobayashi, K. 2006. Effect of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations on CH4 and N2O emission from rice soil: an experiment in controlled-environment chambers. Biogeochemistry 77: 351-373.

    De Costa, W.A.J.M., Weerakoon, W.M.W., Herath, H.M.L.K. and Abeywardena, R.M.I. 2003. Response of growth and yield of rice (Oryza sativa) to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide in the subhumid zone of Sri Lanka. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 189: 83-95.

    De Costa, W.A.J.M., Weerakoon, W.M.W., Chinthaka, K.G.R., Herath, H.M.L.K. and Abeywardena, R.M.I. 2007. Genotypic variation in the response of rice (Oryza sativa L.) to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and its physiological basis. Journal of Agronomy & Crop Science 193: 117-130.

    De Costa, W.A.J.M., Weerakoon, W.M.W., Herath, H.M.L.K., Amaratunga, K.S.P. and Abeywardena, R.M.I. 2006. Physiology of yield determination of rice under elevated carbon dioxide at high temperatures in a subhumid tropical climate. Field Crops Research 96: 336-347.

    Fan, G., Cai, Q., Li, X., Xie, H. and Zhu, J. 2010. Yield components and its conformation responded to elevated atmospheric CO2 in three rice (Oryza sativa L.) generations. African Journal of Biotechnology 9: 2118-2124.

    Imai, K., Coleman, D.F., and Yanagisawa, T. 1985. Increase in atmospheric partial pressure of carbon dioxide and growth and yield of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Japanese Journal of Crop Science 54: 413-418.

    Imai, K. and Murata, Y. 1979. Effect of carbon dioxide concentration on growth and dry matter production of crop plants. Japanese Journal of Crop Science 48: 409-417.

    Jitla, D.S., Rogers, G.S., Seneweera, S.P., Basra, A.S., Oldfield, R.J. and Conroy, J.P. 1997. Accelerated early growth of rice at elevated CO2. Plant Physiology 115: 15-22.

    Khan, M.A.H., and Madsen, A. 1986. Leaf diffusive resistance and water economy in carbon dioxide-enriched rice plants. New Phytologist 104: 215-223.

    Kim, H.Y., Lieffering, M., Miura, S., Kobayashi, K. and Okada, M. 2001. Growth and nitrogen uptaike of CO2-enriched rice under field conditions. New Phytologist 150: 223-230.

    Kim, H.-Y., Lieffering, M., Kobayashi, K., Okada, M., Mitchell, M.W. and Gumpertz, M. 2003. Effects of free-air CO2 enrichment and nitrogen supply on the yield of temperate paddy rice crops. Field Crops Research 83: 261-270.

    Kim, H.-Y., Lim, S.-S., Kwak, J.-H., Lee, D.-S., Lee, S.-M., Ro, H.M. and Choi, W.J. 2011. Dry matter and nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in rice (Oryza sativa L.) exposed to experimental warming with elevated CO2. Plant and Soil 342: 59-71.

    Li, J.-Y., Liu, X.-H., Cai, Q.-S., Gu, H., Zhang, S.-S., Wu, Y.-Y. and Wang, C.-J. 2008. Effects of elevated CO2 on growth, carbon assimilation, photosynthate accumulation and related enzymes in rice leaves during sink-source transition. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 50: 723-732.

    Li, Z., Tang, S., Deng, X., Wang, R. and Song, Z. 2010. Contrasting effects of elevated CO2 on Cu and Cd uptake by different rice varieties grown on contaminated soils with two levels of metals: Implication for phytoextraction and food safety. Journal of Hazardous Materials 177: 352 -361.

    Liu, H., Yang, L., Wang, Y., Huang, J., Zhu, J., Yunxia, W., Dong, G. and Liu, G. 2008. Yield formation of CO2-enriched hybrid rice cultivar Shanyou 63 under fully open-air field conditions. Field Crops Research 108: 93-100.

    Lou, Y., Inubushi, K., Mizuno, T., Hasegawa, T., Lin, Y., Sakai, H., Cheng, W. and Kobayashi, K. 2008. CH4 emission with differences in atmospheric CO2 enrichment and rice cultivars in a Japanese paddy soil. Global Change Biology 14: 2678-2687.

    Ma, H.-L., Zhu, J.-G., Liu, G., Xie, Z.-B., Wang, Y.-L., Yang, L.-X. and Zeng, Q. 2007b. Availability of soil nitrogen and phosphorus in a typical rice-wheat rotation system under elevated atmospheric [CO2]. Field Crops Research 100: 44-51.

    Ma, H., Zhu, J., Xie, Z., Liu, G., Zeng, Q. and Han, Y. 2007a. Responses of rice and winter wheat to free-air CO2 enrichment (China FACE) at rice/wheat rotation system. Plant and Soil 294: 137-146.

    Makino, A., Harada, M., Kaneko, K., Mae, T., Shimada, T. and Yamamoto, N. 2000a. Whole-plant growth and N allocation in transgenic rice plants with decreased content of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase under different CO2 partial pressures. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 27: 1-12.

    Makino, A., Nakano, H., Mae, T., Shimada, T. and Yamamoto, N. 2000b. Photosynthesis, plant growth and N allocation in transgenic rice plants with decreased Rubisco under CO2 enrichment. Journal of Experimental Botany 51: 383-389.

    Morison, J.I.L. and Gifford, R.M. 1984. Plant growth and water use with limited water supply in high CO2 concentrations. II. Plant dry weight, partitioning and water use efficiency. Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 11: 375-384.

    Olszyk, D.M. and Wise, C. 1997. Interactive effects of elevated CO2 and O3 on rice and flacca tomato. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 66: 1-10.

    Olszyk, D.M., Centeno, H.G.S., Ziska, L.H., Kern, J.S. and Matthews, R.B. 1999. Global climate change, rice productivity and methane emissions: comparison of simulated and experimental results. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 97: 87-101.

    Pang, J., Zhu, J.-G., Xie, Z.-B., Liu, G., Zhang, Y.-L., Chen, G.-P., Zeng, Q. and Cheng, L. 2006. A new explanation of the N concentration decrease in tissues of rice (Oryza sativa L.) exposed to elevated atmospheric pCO2. Environmental and Experimental Botany 57: 98-105.

    Sasaki, H., Aoki, N., Sakai, H., Hara, T., Uehara, N., Ishimaru, K. and Kobayashi, K. 2005a. Effect of CO2 enrichment on the translocation and partitioning of carbon at the early grain-filling stage in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Plant Production Science 8: 8-15.

    Sasaki, H., Hara, T., Ito, S., Miura, S., Hoque, M.M., Lieffering, M., Kim, H.-Y., Okada, M. and Kobayashi, K. 2005b. Seasonal changes in canopy photosynthesis and respiration, and partitioning of photosynthate, in rice (Oryza sativa L.) grown under free-air CO2 enrichment. Plant and Cell Physiology 46: 1704-1712.

    Sasaki, H., Hara, T., Ito, S., Uehara, N., Kim, H.-Y., Lieffering, M., Okada, M. and Kobayashi, K. 2007. Effect of free-air CO2 enrichment on the storage of carbohydrate fixed at different stages in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Field Crops Research 100: 24-31.

    Sakai, H., Hasegawa, T. and Kobayashi, K. 2006. Enhancement of rice canopy carbon gain by elevated CO2 is sensitive to growth stage and leaf nitrogen concentration. New Phytologist 170: 321-332.

    Schrope, M.K., Chanton, J.P., Allen, L.H. and Baker, J.T. 1999. Effect of CO2 enrichment and elevated temperature on methane emissions from rice, Oryza sativa. Global Change Biology 5: 587-599.

    Seneweera S. 2011. Effects of elevated CO2 on plant growth and nutrient partitioning of rice (Oryza sativa L.) at rapid tillering and physiological maturity. Journal of Plant Interactions 6: 35-42.

    Shimono, H. and Bunce, J.A. 2009. Acclimation of nitrogen uptake capacity of rice to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration. Annals of Botany 103: 87-94.

    Shimono, H., Okada, M., Yamakawa, Y., Nakamura, H., Kobayashi, K. and Hasegawa, T. 2008. Rice yield enhancement by elevated CO2 is reduced in cool weather. Global Change Biology 14: 276-284.

    Shimono, H., Okada, M., Yamakawa, Y., Nakamura, H., Kobayashi, K. and Hasegawa, T. 2009. Genotypic variation in rice yield enhancement by elevated CO2 relates to growth before heading, and not to maturity group. Journal of Experimental Botany 60: 523-532.

    Tako, Y., Arai, R., Otsubo, K. and Nitta, K. 2001. Application of crop gas exchange and transpiration data obtained with CEEF to global change problem. Advances in Space Research 27: 1541-1545.

    Teramura, A.H., Sullivan, J.H. and Ziska, L.H. 1990. Interaction of elevated ultraviolet-B radiation and CO2 productivity and photosynthetic characteristics on wheat, rice, and soybean. Plant Physiology 94: 470-475.

    Tokida, T., Fumoto, T., Cheng, W., Matsunami, T., Adachi, M., Katayanagi, N., Matsushima, M., Okawara, Y., Nakamura, H., Okada, M., Sameshima, R. and Hasegawa, T. 2010. Effects of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) and soil warming on CH4 emission from a rice paddy field: impact assessment and stoichiometric evaluation. Biogeosciences 7: 2639-2653.

    Uprety, D.C., Dwivedi, N., Jain, V. and Mohan, R. 2002. Effect of elevated carbon dioxide concentration on the stomatal parameters of rice cultivars. Photosynthetica 40: 315-319.

    Watling, J.R. and Press, M.C. 2000. Infection with the parasitic angiosperm Striga hermonthica influences the response of the C3 cereal Oryza sativa to elevated CO2. Global Change Biology 6: 919-930.

    Weerakoon, W.M., Olszyk, D.M. and Moss, D.N. 1999. Effects of nitrogen nutrition on responses of rice seedlings to carbon dioxide. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 72: 1-8.

    Xu, Z., Zheng, X., Wang, Y., Han, S. and Huang, Y. 2004. Effects of elevated CO2 and N fertilization on CH4 emissions from paddy rice fields. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 18: 10.1029/2004GB002233.

    Xu, Z., Zheng, X., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Huang, Y. and Zhu, J. 2006. Effect of free-air atmospheric CO2 enrichment on dark respiration of rice plants (Oryza sativa L.). Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 115: 105-112.

    Yamakawa, Y., Saigusa, M., Okada, M. and Kobayashi, K. 2004. Nutrient uptake by rice and soil solution composition under atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Plant and Soil 259: 367-372.

    Yang, L., Huang, J., Yang, H., Dong, G., Liu, G., Zhu, J. and Wang, Y. 2006a. Seasonal changes in the effects of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) on dry matter production and distribution of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Field Crops Research 98: 12-19

    Yang, L., Huang, J., Yang, H., Zhu, J., Liu, H., Dong, G., Liu, G., Han, Y. and Wang, Y. 2006b. The impact of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) and N supply on yield formation of rice crops with large panicle. Field Crops Research 98: 141-150.

    Yang, L., Huang, J., Yang, H., Dong, G., Liu, H., Liu, G., Zhu, J. and Wang, Y. 2007a. Seasonal changes in the effects of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) on nitrogen (N) uptake and utilization of rice at three levels of N fertilization. Field Crops Research 100: 189-199.

    Yang, L., Liu, H., Wang, Y., Zhu, J., Huang, J., Liu, G., Dong, G. and Wang, Y. 2009. Yield formation of CO2-enriched inter-subspecific hybrid rice cultivar Liangyoupeijiu under fully open-air condition in a warm sub-tropical climate. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 129: 193-200.

    Yang, L., Liu, H., Wang, Y., Zhu, J., Huang, J., Liu, G., Dong, G. and Wang, Y. 2009b. Impact of elevated CO2 concentration on inter-subspecific hybrid rice cultivar Liangyoupeijiu under fully open-air field conditions. Field Crops Research 112: 7-15.

    Yang, L., Wang, Y., Dong, G., Gu, H., Huang, J., Zhu, J., Yang, H., Liu, G. and Han, Y. 2007. The impact of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) and nitrogen supply on grain quality of rice. Field Crops Research 102: 128-140.

    Yang, L., Wang, Y. Kobayashi, K., Zhu, J., Huang, J., Yang, H., Wang, Y., Dong, G., Liu, G., Han, Y., Shan, Y., Hu, J. and Zhou, J. 2008. Seasonal changes in the effects of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) on growth, morphology and physiology of rice root at three levels of nitrogen fertilization. Global Change Biology 14: 1844-1853.

    Yoshimoto, M., Oue, H. and Kobayashi, K. 2005. Energy balance and water use efficiency of rice canopies under free-air CO2 enrichment. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 133: 226-246.

    Yun, S.-I., Kang, B.-M., Lim, S.-S., Choi, W.-J., Ko, J., Yoon, S., Ro, H.-M. and Kim, H.-Y. 2012. Further understanding CH4 emissions from a flooded rice field exposed to experimental warming with elevated [CO2]. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 154-155: 75-83.

    Zeng, Q., Liu, B., Gilna, B., Zhang, Y., Zhu, C., Ma, H., Pang, J., Chen, G. and Zhu, J. 2011. Elevated CO2 effects on nutrient competition between a C3 crop (Oryza sativa L.) and a C4 weed (Echinochloa crusgalli L.). Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 89: 93-104.

    Zheng, X., Zhou, Z., Wang, Y., Zhu, J., Wang, Y., Yue, J., Shi, Y., Kobayashi, K., Inubushi, K., Huang, Y., Han, S., Xu, Z., Xie, B., Butterbach-Bahl, K. and Yang, L. 2006. Nitrogen-regulated effects of free-air CO2 enrichment on methane emissions from paddy rice fields. Global Change Biology 12: 1717-1732.

    Zhong, L., Yagi, K., Sakai, H. and Kobayashi, K. 2004. Influence of elevated CO2 and nitrogen nutrition on rice plant growth, soil microbial biomass, dissolved organic carbon and dissolved CH4. Plant and Soil 258: 81-90.

    Zhu, C., Zeng, Q., Ziska, L.H., Zhu, J., Xie, Z. and Liu, G. 2008. Effect of nitrogen supply on carbon dioxide-induced changes in competition between rice and barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli). Weed Science 56: 66-71.

    Ziska, L.H., Manalo, P.A. and Ordonez, R.A. 1996. Intraspecific variation in the response of rice (Oryza sativa L.) to increased CO2 and temperature: growth and yield response of 17 cultivars. Journal of Experimental Botany 47: 1353-1359.

    Ziska, L.H., Namuco, O., Moya, T. and Quilang, J. 1997. Growth and yield response of field-grown tropical rice to increasing carbon dioxide and air temperature. Agronomy Journal 89: 45-53.

    Ziska, L.H. and Teramura, A.H. 1992. Intraspecific variation in the response of rice (Oryza sativa) to increased CO2 — photosynthetic, biomass and reproductive characteristics. Physiologia Plantarum 84: 269-276.

    Ziska, L.H., Tomecek, M.B. and Gealy, D.R. 2010. Competitive interactions between cultivated and red rice as a function of recent and projected increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Agronomy Journal 102: 118-123.

  72. Michael Heath:

    lancifer writes:

    So you aren’t willing to “put up” and debate me in person?

    Then shut the fuck up.

    You don’t get to decide how I act; so ah, no I won’t, “shut the fuck up”. And I as I already noted, I’ve already “put up” and will most likely continue to do whenever I decide to do so. So that’s just another lie on your part.

  73. Michael Heath:

    Me earlier:

    And given the fact you’re the one who avoids peer-reviewed citations…”

    lancifer writes:

    this assertion is easily shown to be false. In our most recent conflagration on whether Co2 was beneficial to plants I posted the following list of peer reviewed studies backing up my position. You of course only provided naked assertions and abusive personal attacks.

    None of the above cites even addressed your assertion, let alone validates it, not even remotely. That dishonesty was already pointed out in that thread by everyone who responded. These cites are about rice, the topic was the impact of increased CO2 in the present climate on fauna in general, not merely one species. That was the topic by the person Ed ridiculed, the topic Ed expounded upon which had you dissenting with Ed’s point, and the topic where we challenged you to the point you eventually started this whopper of a Gish Gallop which you repeat above in spite of its specular failure previously.

    In addition, your past record has us continually pulling teeth to get cites out of you, including on that thread where you never did provide even one cite relevant to your assertion. Most of the time you avoid cites as I previously noted, which can be easily demonstrated in every single thread in Ed’s forum where you’ve been challenged on your misrepresentation of climate science and climate scientists, including the very thread you reference here. Your dishonesty is really something.

  74. lancifer:

    Obviously no one study is going to demonstrate that CO2 is beneficial to plants, not that a scientifically literate person would challenge this obvious fact.

    I started with the most important food crop on the planet, rice.

    One of my next posts was on the increase in plant bio-mass of the largest continent, Asia, from increased CO2.

    That review was also supported with many peer review studies.

    So again all you have is more lies and personal insults.

    You are pathetic. You are so emotionally vested in your carbonphobia that you can’t even fathom the thought that you may be wrong, for this admission would devastate your whole world view. You’re like the fundies that must cling to creationism lest their entire mental framework crumble.

    This explains the ever increasing level of vitriol and venom in your irrational replies.

    I’m going to have to put you in the “not worth responding to” category along with other irrational and politically motivated lightweights like RagingBee and Raven.

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