Every time I think the climate change alarmists have hit peak stupid, they take that as a challenge to prove me wrong.
How One Commonly Used Asthma Inhaler is Damaging the Planet
The problem with MDIs is not carbon dioxide (the most common greenhouse gas), but rather methane, which represents a far smaller share of greenhouse emissions, but a much more powerful one, with up to 84 times the heat-trapping power of CO2. Even the least polluting inhaler was found to emit methane at levels equal to up to 10 kg (22 lbs.) of carbon dioxide into the air over the course of its 200-puff lifetime. The worst emitted the equivalent of more than 36 kg (79 lbs) of CO2.
Jeffrey Kluger (Twitter) is talking about this study, which he clearly didn’t read.
Let’s look at the first problem, which most clearly illustrates Kluger’s remarkable (dare I say “peak”) stupidity. The study didn’t mention methane. That isn’t what they looked at. At issue is something hydrofluoroalkanes (HFAs), the propellant in inhalers. (Update: After four days, they finally corrected the “methane” error. But they added another one saying that only one type of MDI uses HFAs.)
But let’s have a little fun. HFAs are allegedly potent greenhouse gases, according to the paper around 1,300 times as potent as CO2. Thus, 1 ounce of HFA is the “warming” equivalent of 1,300 ounce of CO2.
The “worst” inhaler in the study is good for 120 doses. Depending on the use, you might use it as often as twice a day, or no more than twice a week. Let’s roll with the twice a day scenario. It should last two months, yielding the CO2 equivalency of 36.5 kilograms, or 80.5 pounds.
That works out to 1.34 pounds of CO2 equivalency per day. Remember; this is the worst case scenario: most usage of the worst inhaler.
The best case is twice a week with the best inhaler in the paper, good for 200 doses. That’s the CO2 equivalent of 0.027 pounds per day.
Putting that in perspective: the average human exhales 2.3 pounds of actual CO2 per day.
So, in the time from when Kluger exposed his idiocy to now, he has exhaled around 9.2 pounds of actual CO2. A worst case inhaler user would have averaged 5.36 pounds equivalency in the same period. A best caser user would be at 0.11 pounds.
Just by breathing, Kluger has contributed 1.7 to 83.6 times as much CO2 equivalent as an measured-does inhaler.
I won’t call this one peak stupidity, out of fear of what “horrifying” doomsday scenario they’s dream up next.
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