Green Energy Failure of the Week

Anyone remember the radon scare of the late 1970s and early 1980s? One of the typically perverse outcomes of that era was the finding that insulating houses actually increased radon levels in homes because it reduced ventilation. Of course, as so often is the case, we later recognized that the radon hazard was way overblown—even the New York Times figured this out by the late 1980s. Another “I-told-you-so” moments for skeptics of environmental alarmism.

But in the “same damn thing over and over again” department, enjoy this story from The Guardian:

Asthma could be worsened by energy-efficient homes, warns study

The number of Britons with asthma could almost double by 2050 because the air inside homes is becoming more polluted as they become more energy-efficient, a new report warns.

The trend towards airtight houses could also worsen allergies as well as breathing problems, and even exacerbate lung cancer and heart problems, according to a leading expert in indoor air quality. . .

It predicts that by 2050 – the date by which Britain is supposed to have achieved an 80% cut in carbon emissions – declining indoor air quality could have led to:

■ An 80% rise in the 5.4 million people already suffering from asthma.

■ Concentrations of volatile organic compounds – chemicals linked to the use of aerosols – being 60% above World Health Organisation 24-hour limits.

■ Nitrogen dioxide levels rising to 30% above the WHO’s limits.

But of course. Why would you have expected any other result? And who needs Volkswagens to juice NOx levels when you’ve got “green” home insulation doing the job for you so much more effectively.

Green Weenies all around I say.