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MiddletownMarty

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 3:38:00 PM

The Criminal Element -- Lead

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.

And with that we have our molecule: tetraethyl lead, the gasoline additive invented by General Motors in the 1920s to prevent knocking and pinging in high-performance engines. As auto sales boomed after World War II, and drivers in powerful new cars increasingly asked service station attendants to "fill 'er up with ethyl," they were unwittingly creating a crime wave two decades

Amazingly simple and yet compelling evidence. Rick Nevin has written a similar piece showing the same correlations in other countries. Per Drum, Nevin forecasts:

The USA violent crime rate is now down about 50% from its peak in 1991, and I expect that the violent crime rate in Western Europe will be down by about 50% from its peak over the next 20 years, with the largest part of that decline over the next ten years.

Eastern Europe will follow the same trend, but will take a few years longer because they left gasoline lead levels quite high through the end of the Soviet era.

Crime will also plummet over the next 10 to 20 years in Latin America, where leaded gasoline use and air lead levels fell sharply from around 1990 through the mid-1990s.



Mother Jones

Rick Nevin manuscript (1999)
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streetrider
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 9:14:31 PM

It is widely believed among scholars that lead in the pottery lead to the down fall of Rome.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 23, 2013 7:41:40 AM

"Read it all..."

--Well, there's the weeder right there. Bloviation has no such requirement. The similarity in the curves between leaded gasoline use and crime with the 23 year shift are startlingly similar in location after location and in different time periods. Every other conceivable explanation has been explored. This appears to be THE most plausible theory and none other even comes close.

But that won't stop those who refuse to take the time to read the entire article from pooh poohing the obvious conclusions.
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xrdc
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 3:34:35 PM


Calm down.
Geez...

The Science is Still Out

"Drum correctly notes that the correlation is insufficient to draw any conclusions regarding causality. The research (pdf) published by economist Rick Nevin was simply looking at associations, and saw that the curves were heavily correlated, as you can quite clearly see. When you look at data involving large populations, such as violent crime rates, and compare with an indirect measure of exposure to some environmental risk factor such as levels of TEL in gasoline during that same time, the best you can say is that your alternative hypothesis of there being an association (null hypothesis always being no association) deserves more investigation. This type of design is called a cross-sectional study, and it’s been documented that values for a population do not always match those of individuals when looking at cross-sectional data." [...]

"By all means, we should try to make a stronger case for government to actively minimize exposure to lead in children more than we currently do, but we really, really should avoid statements like this:

--Needless to say, not every child exposed to lead is destined for a life of crime. Everyone over the age of 40 was probably exposed to too much lead during childhood, and most of us suffered nothing more than a few points of IQ loss. But there were plenty of kids already on the margin, and millions of those kids were pushed over the edge from being merely slow or disruptive to becoming part of a nationwide epidemic of violent crime. Once you understand that, it all becomes BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS (emphasis mine). Of course massive lead exposure among children of the postwar era led to larger numbers of violent criminals in the ’60s and beyond. And of course when that lead was removed in the ’70s and ’80s, the children of that generation lost those artificially heightened violent tendencies."

Read it all...



[Edited by: xrdc at 1/22/2013 3:35:42 PM EST]
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 3:05:45 PM

panama: "Evidently, they become too stupid to breathe."


So their carbon footprint goes to zero? Hmmmm.... Maybe the left should rethink this lead stuff.....


mudtoe
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xrdc
Champion Author St. Louis

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Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 2:51:36 PM


"The article was in Mother Jones"

As if she then gave birth to it?
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 2:01:03 PM


mudtoe, "So when someone gets shot they die of lead poisoning?"

Evidently, they become too stupid to breathe.

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TadeuszK
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Message Posted: Jan 22, 2013 1:25:28 PM

The specs for interior paint that was to be used inside of tanks and armoured cars in World War Two was for lead free paint only.
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MiddletownMarty
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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2013 7:09:51 PM

'The EPA now says flatly that there is "no demonstrated safe concentration of lead in blood," and it turns out that even levels under 10 µg/dL can reduce IQ by as much as seven points.' --from the Mother Jones article

Hmmm...
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2013 6:18:12 PM

" However, the amounts in our environment, even including leaded gasoline exhaust, was orders of magnitude less than what someone would get from eating or drinking from lead plates and cups day after day."

--And besides. The article was in Mother Jones. So why bother to read it?
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mudtoe
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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2013 6:15:12 PM

MM: "Gee... lead and alloys of lead are used to make a great deal of ammunition. Hmm... "


So when someone gets shot they die of lead poisoning? ROFL!


mudtoe
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MiddletownMarty
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2013 6:05:43 PM

Gee... lead and alloys of lead are used to make a great deal of ammunition. Hmm...
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mudtoe
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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2013 5:50:50 PM

oilpan: "Some people believe the fall of rome was partly due to the rise in lead use and sometimes abuse (see lead(II)acetate, aka sugar of lead). "


Lead was used by the Romans in making things like cups and plates. Add a little acidic food or wine to a lead container, which chemically reacts with the lead to bring some of it into the food or drink faster than normal; then eat or drink from that container often enough and you can get lead poisoning. However, the amounts in our environment, even including leaded gasoline exhaust, was orders of magnitude less than what someone would get from eating or drinking from lead plates and cups day after day. The kid would have to be eating lead paint chips on a regular basis to achieve a similar effect.





mudtoe



[Edited by: mudtoe at 1/10/2013 5:56:03 PM EST]
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2013 5:23:23 PM

Very interesting about Rome!

Yup. It was in Mother Jones so the blinders came out.

That's obvious.

The article left little room for doubt.

But facts are so easily displaced by myths.
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oilpan4
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Message Posted: Jan 10, 2013 2:13:17 AM

Some people believe the fall of rome was partly due to the rise in lead use and sometimes abuse (see lead(II)acetate, aka sugar of lead).
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MiddletownMarty
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 7:00:17 PM

"To anybody who thinks this is baloney: Read the entire MJ article before telling us how you know better. Show us how the article is wrong."

That's the real problem. Nobody bothered to read the article and consider the empirical data presented. They all saw "Mother Jones" and dismissed it. I linked to a secondary source, but the blinders were firmly in place by the end of the post, I suppose.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 6:52:50 PM

To anybody who thinks this is baloney: Read the entire MJ article before telling us how you know better. Show us how the article is wrong.

If you can.

Urban areas have a greater effect than rural. This is because there is so much more traffic and auto exhaust in cites. There is a greater density of roads, cars and people. This partly explains the greater violence in cities than in the country.

'boomers'

--This has been a rather thorough study. Many other possible contributing factors were considered. None had so startling a correlation as the ~23 year offset link between leaded gasoline and crime rates.

And it is not just violence. This also explains the alarming number of nervous ADHD kids.

It's funny how so many conservatives will attack GM if liberals want to save jobs but then turn right around and defend them if we say their product caused a lot of social problems. No biggie. Just calling it as it is.
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Panama19
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 11:06:54 AM


Interestingly, the baby boomers reaching and passing through the age in which criminal activity is the highest also fits the curve.

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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 10:57:21 AM

Ya beat me to it Marty. I read the MJ article and was about to post a topic when I saw you had already done it.

If any of you doubters actually read the article with an open mind you would be convinced. The evidence to back up this postulation is overwhelming. There are two very good reasons why:

Indisputable reason number one: When leaded gasoline was phased out it was not done so uniformly. Some areas of the country had leaded for many years while other areas had already switched over to unleaded. This created a perfect comparison set of data to see if the crime trend followed the leaded gasoline usage. And guess what? It did. Cities that had leaded gasoline experienced higher violent crime rates (approx 23 year lag) than cities which did not.

Indisputable reason number two: The first studies linking leaded gasoline to violent crime were all done in the USA. If the conclusion were really true it should also hold true for other nations which switched from leaded gasoline to unleaded. So the researchers looked at data for Australia. And guess what? Same exact relationship between leaded gas and violent crime with a 23 year lag. Then they looked at the UK. Same thing again. And they looked at more nations. Every time the same comparable curves could be seen between leaded gasoline usage and violent crime when the curves were advanced by 23 years. Actually the article said that they could not find a nation where this did not hold true.
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jdhelm
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 8:13:23 AM

amused that in another thread, "Fox News and Before It's News" are called not newsworthy or inaccurate - yet "Mother Jones" isn't?

Next thing, mother jones will blame cancer deaths on bovine gas, fetus abortions on corn dust, and hair loss on stress caused by large poultry farms.
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jeskibuff
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 6:55:07 AM

MiddletownMarty said: "Simple answers fully satisfy simple minds."

The article said: "Amazingly SIMPLE and yet compelling evidence."

Uh...looks like you just implicated yourself, Marty! ;)
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jeskibuff
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 6:51:45 AM

mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
then mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
then just for good measure, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
and to emphasize, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
so we would get the point, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
or maybe to pump up Marty's thread, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
to add insult to injury, mudtoe then said: "It fits the narrative..."
because the sky is blue, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
just because he could, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..." again
because there is still freedom of speech, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
since one free post deserves another, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."
or perhaps because mudtoe's icab browser has been degenerated by lead poisoning, mudtoe said: "It fits the narrative..."

;)
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MiddletownMarty
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 6:20:36 PM

"Wow, so it had to do with lead... Imagine that..."

The evidence is compelling.



"wonder who will benefit from this... Unfortunately I see this as a tool for lawyers...."

That's the American way.
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ber5
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 6:16:13 PM

Wow, so it had to do with lead... Imagine that...

wonder who will benefit from this... Unfortunately I see this as a tool for lawyers....
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MiddletownMarty
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:55:20 PM

Simple answers fully satisfy simple minds.
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flyboyUT
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:42:21 PM

Hey mudtoe - while the truth really does bear repeating --- are there limits.... Smiling and smiling some more....
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101Speedster
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:27:24 PM

When I saw "Criminal Element," I thought this topic was going to be about ILLEGALS.
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mudtoe
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:26:07 PM

Sorry, I keep forgetting that I can't post to this forum with the icab browser on my iPad cause it creates duplicates. :(
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mudtoe
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:19 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:18 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:17 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:16 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:15 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:14 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:13 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:11 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:10 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:09 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:08 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:24:07 PM

jesk: "Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals?"


It fits the narrative. You aren't responsible for your behavior, instead some rich person or corporation made you do it. As those folks are considered the devil by the left, I guess Flip Wilson was right in that: "The devil made me do it!"



mudtoe
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jeskibuff
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Message Posted: Jan 6, 2013 5:12:38 PM

What a crock!

From the Mother Jones article: "Today, homicide rates are similar in cities of all sizes."

Tell that to the residents of Detroit and Chicago!

Why is it that liberals always want to blame bad behavior on some sort of chemicals? Why do bad parents think that medicating their children with Ritalin, etc. is a way to correct a chemical imbalance in their offspring when the real reason for the bad behavior is their poor parenting? Simple answer: they foist the blame on anything but their own failures.
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