Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Enschnared

Kate Shepard at Mom Jones tries to advance the David Schnare broke all sorts of ethics rules when he represented ATI against UVa story, but alas, not much new since we all enjoyed Eli's last bout of SchnarenfreudeGreg Laden is a bit more straightforward with Kate's story, but blogger ethics panels are not as strict as editors.

Schnare worked not only for ATI, but for a period of time, he also workedfor the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In order for this to have been ethical and legal, Schnare would have had to seek and obtain permission from the EPA to carry on outside activities related to EPA work. Schnare claimed to have sought permission but the University of Virginia has argued that Schnare did not inform the EPA of this outside work until about nine months after first engaging in it. Schnare claims that the letter requesting permission was prepared on or near November 16th, 2010, but there is no record at the EPA that any such letter existed. The letter, which exists now, seems to have been prepared much later in time.
All of this raised significant concerns over the trustworthiness of of those representing ATI.
And yes, the Pope is also German.  News at 11.  However, Eli is an indirect bunny with a mischievous bent, or, as some would say, a bent bunny with an indirect way of looking at things and there is something ATInteresting on the horizon.  Spurred on by Steve Milloy, ATI has filed suit against the EPA for testing the effect of small aerosols (PM 2.5, refers to the size) on human subjects.

Based on epidemiological studies EPA knows that PM 2.5 (particulate matter of ~ 2.5 microns in size) causes a significant amount of death and illness in the general population but the biological mechanism is not clear.  Therefore, the agency has set up at least one study to investigate in human subjects.  This, as they say, is a big deal because the emissions come primarily from diesel engines and restricting them would require better and more expensive filters. Milloy, of course, is a shill for industry, and cutting off the human subject studies would make EPA rule making harder and subject to more of a challenge in court (It's an EPA rule bunnies, you think it will not end up in court?).

Since Schnare worked for the EPA on enforcing clean air standards, this also looks ethically interesting if anyone jumps on it.  Much more direct than the UVA case, because our David is suing the agency he worked for on things related to his work.

Take it from Eli, in the original filing David Schnare does the full shark jump with a double Godwin
I was named after David Steiner, a man who died of starvation in Buchenwald concentration camp on May 3, 1945. Tattooed on his body was the number 59059.  He was witness to horrors that, today, we have a hard time even contemplating, something that I thought would never exist on this planet again – the abhorrent practice of giving human subjects poisons in order to determine what subsequently happens to them.  I have always been deeply affected by the circumstances of my great-uncle’s death. It is a heavy burden to carry the name of such a victim. . . .
This case involves the intentional exposure of human subjects to “fine particulate” matter, also known as PM2.5. EPA obtained their PM2.5 from a diesel truck. It is difficult to overstate the atrocity of this research. EPA parked a truck’s exhaust pipe directly beneath an intake pipe on the side of a building. The exhaust was sucked into the pipe, mixed with some additional air and then piped directly into the lungs of the human subjects. EPA actually has pictures of this gas chamber, a clear plastic pipe stuck into the mouth of a subject, his lips sealing it to his face, diesel fumes inhaled straight into his lungs.
Eli, of course, is a bit cynical, so he went and found the IRB description of how the exposure was to be done, and, of course, it is very different.  If nothing else, puffing on the tailpipe gets you a whole lot of other pollution ranging from SOx to NOx to CO2, and so forth.  Not good for your health, but don't ride your bike behind the bus.  What actually happened was
CAP Exposures-Concentrated particles will be generated by drawing ambient air from above the roof of the Human Studies Facility and passing the air through a 2 stage aerosol concentrator which produces up to a 20-fold increase in particle number and mass. Particles larger than about 2.5 microns will be excluded by a size-selective inlet from entering the concentrator at the rooftop intake. During the particle concentrating process, ambient air pollution gases will be diluted by a factor of four. Air temperature and humidity will be monitored and maintained to ensure proper operation of the concentrator. An air conditioner in the chamber can be utilized to both heat or cool chamber air for subject comfort. The flow of air into the chamber will be 65 liters per minute, with approximately 15 liters per minute diverted for analytical instrumentation and filter devices attached upstream from the chamber. The remaining approximately 50 L/min will be provided to the subject through a face mask. Since the air will be pulled into the chamber by a suction blower connected downstream of the chamber, the chamber will be slightly below atmospheric pressure.
The concentration of particles delivered to the chamber will vary depending on the levels of naturally occurring particles in the Chapel Hill air. Although 24 hr averages seldom exceed 15-20 ug/m3, peak values in the summer can be as high as 50-60 ug/m3 with lower values during the rest of the year. A face mask is used to reduce the daily and seasonal variability of PM concentration. Our past experience provides a basis to expect the particle mass delivered to the mask will be up to 600 ug/m3. The particle burden, on a mass basis presented to the volunteer will not exceed an exposure an individual receives over a 24 hour period while visiting a typical urban center in America on a smoggy day. The particle mass of the outdoor air entering and exiting the aerosol concentrator will be monitored continuously. Filter samples will be obtained from the devices located upstream from the chamber and analyzed for both mass and chemical composition of particles. If it is confirmed that particulate mass levels exceed 600 ug/m3 for greater than 6 minutes, exposure will be terminated.
Now Eli could really fisk the whole filing, a questionable piece of special pleading, but that would be unfair.  In the IRB and the other filings by the government there is much about informed consent, monitoring of the paid volunteers,  and what you would expect for such a study, but doubt it not, the denialsphere is all over this.  Still, there was a problem
the party seeking such an injunction must make a “clear showing” that temporary equitable relief is necessary. Mazurek, 520 U.S. at 972. The movant therefore carries a heavy burden not only of demonstrating that “he is likely to prevail on the merits” but also that “he will suffer irreparable injury” without injunctive relief.
As, the government points out in its reply filed Oct 4,
Perhaps in recognition of this fatal flaw in Plaintiff’s motion for emergency relief, Dr.
Schnare filed a Supplemental Declaration (ECF No. 6) asserting that his knowledge of the studies authorized by EPA has caused him emotional distress.
Eli has never seen such a river of tears south of Climate Audit
10. Having learned of the unethical and immoral activities conducted at the Human Studies Facility, I can no longer visit the UNC-CH campus because it causes me emotional distress simply contemplating the activities going on so close to my former home and school. I suffer from more than merely the psychological consequence of EPA’s activities. Their activities deny me the opportunity to enjoy alumni activities on campus. The horror of illegal EPA human experimentation denies me the ability to reminisce while walking the campus, to revisit the chapel where I was married, to see the neighborhood where I raised my son. Because of this I feel marginalized and excluded from normal alumni activities. Because of ongoing EPA’s activities on the UNC-CH campus, I feel that going to the campus is like visiting a working death camp. The aesthetics of this once beautiful campus, the Old Well, the tree-line walks, these have been destroyed. They now look to me like no more than a Potemkin village behind which is hidden a gas chamber. EPA has destroyed the aesthetic of this campus for me and until UNC and EPA begin to comply with the laws of human experimentation, I cannot in good conscience or with spiritual and emotional freedom visit my former home. 
11. During my employment with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) I worked in the Ariel Rios building at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., in Washington D.C. This building is an architecturally beautiful building. My wife and I have taken many pictures of the building, its graceful front and its spiral staircases. EPA’s Office of Compliance has used one of my photographs as a logo for various informal and internal publications. 
12. In the past I have taken people on tours within the building to see the stunning collection of WPA artworks, murals, which decorate the walls of each floor. I have routinely included showing the building to family and friends who visit from out of town. 
13. My work requires me to travel to Washington D.C. routinely and specifically in the Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th street area which is most closely served by the Federal Triangle metro stop. In that area I meet with attorneys and scientists whose offices are nearby. In addition, I have a standing invitation to participate in EPA’s seminars offered by the Office of Policy’s economic staff, and have routinely participated in those sessions – sessions held in and near the Ariel Rios building. 
14. Since I learned of the immoral and illegal human experimentation conducted by EPA, the building has completely lost it beauty. It has, for me, become a symbol of the power of government to trample the rights of its citizens by its failure to comply with laws it wrote for itself. When I travel to the District of Columbia, I can no longer use the Federal Triangle metro stop which sits directly below the Ariel Rios building because to do so causes me spiritual and emotional upset. I am too uncomfortable to attend the environmental economics seminars and have lost forever the opportunity to participate in those seminars or hear the interaction of those present, and continue to lose that opportunity for each succeeding seminar. EPA’s immoral and illegal human experimentation has caused me to change my conduct in adverse ways by forcing me to limit my use of opportunities that previously had been open to me.
A classic.  As Nick wonders in the comments "Will they let Schnare out of rehab,or just videolink,for this case? " It will be interesting to watch the rulings from the bench on this.

33 comments:

John Mashey said...

Well, Schnare does teach his methods to GMU law students. Maybe this will be a case study.

Martin Vermeer said...

That anyone would do this, with a non-zero expectation of success, tells more about the current state of American society than most Americans care to know. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a link for the govt response?

Nick said...

Will they let Schnare out of rehab,or just videolink,for this case?

Jeffrey Davis said...

In Schnare's defense, the language alleging harms used in tort filings is usually hyperbolic at best. Bathetic scenarios penned by lawyers are not apt to remind one of the best (worst) of Dickens.

Anonymous said...

The best part of the lawsuit is the argument that "EPA shouldn't gas people! And, in relief, we demand that EPA be prevented from putting in place air regulations! Thereby, ensuring that the whole population of the country will be gassed equally and continuously, rather than just exposing a few carefully screened test subjects in controlled conditions... oh, wait..."

-MMM

Lars Karlsson said...

Yes, I also found it a bit ... weird that Schnare effectively compares diesel fumes to ZyclonB in order to prevent regulations that would reduce the harms from diesel fumes.

EliRabett said...

Eli added a link to the US Government reply. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...


This Schnare blog is also somewhat revealing:
http://web.archive.org/web/20090623175832/http://thehardlook.typepad.com/

"I note in passing, by the way, that many environmental activists quietly rejoice over the potential of millions (billions?) of starving people."

-MMM

ps. The Schnarenfreude link seems to point to the wrong webpage (eg, not a Rabett Run post).

Anonymous said...

And, while I'm here: did you see the WTFUWT post on the subject?

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/23/major-landmark-lawsuit-filed-against-the-epa-for-immoral-human-experimentation/

A nice picture of the "gas chamber" is included... except it turns out to be a picture of a pulmonary test machine according to Julie Dinkins-Borkowski. But Watts doubles down, claiming that EPA had provided the picture (but no links to back up his claim), and that he'll "take the word of an attorney who has to prove these things" over her claim. Of course, another commenter actually read the Schnare brief, found the linked study, and quoted the experiment description (I'll note that this appears to be a different study from the one you describe above, or from the one described in the gov't brief):

...the paper (linked to conveniently from the lawsuit as reference number 1: http://www.smw.ch/content/smw-2012-13597/) which states, “DE is introduced into the exposure chamber (1.83 m x 1.83 m x 2.44 m) after a 1:30 dilution with clean and humidified air to yield a feedback-regulated concentration of 100 to 300 μg/m3 (fig. 1B).”

-MMM

Jeffrey Davis said...

"I note in passing, by the way, that many environmental activists quietly rejoice over the potential of millions (billions?) of starving people."

Can I withdraw my defense of Schnare? The guy's bathetic pleadings aren't the result of the distortions of the legal system.

I would quietly rejoice to see him make his accusation about an actual American citizen.

Jack Ripper said...

I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and inpurify all of our precious bodily fluids

Its incredibly obvious isn't it? Foreign substances introduced into our precious bodily fluids, without the knowledge of the individual? Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard core Commie works.

Dr. Strangelove a.k.a.: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Tiny Particulates

Gp. Capt. Lionel Mandrake (retd.) said...

Uh...tell me, tell me, Jack: when did you first.....become.....well, develop this theory?

Anonymous said...

Schnare errs: I knew a former prisoner who survived Buchenwald (barely); he was assigned a number but not tattooed with it. He said the prisoners who 'ran' Buchenwald often took the names of dead prisoners and swapped with Jews or those most in danger.

Auschwitz was the only place to use tattoos

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007056

Anonymous said...

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007056

from Snow Bunny

Anonymous said...

Snow Bunny says::

a minor point of difference between Nazi prisoners and EPA subjects is the issue of choice.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

2 things

First, if it is indeed the policy of the EPA that a former employee must notify them of outside work relating to the EPA, that's ridiculous. I can also assume that Schnare has long been retired from the EPA since Eli omitted the information. In normal business, a salesmen who is leaving may be required to sign a non compete, which would disallow the exiting salesperson to compete for the same business.

Regarding a court case though, Schnare is an excellent choice to prosecute the EPA. None of you have mentioned a problem with the fact that Al Gore's family made a lot of money of tobacco.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous/indoctrinated snow bunny

you may want to look at what you just wrote, especially the part about not being tattooed.

"Schnare errs: I knew a former prisoner who survived Buchenwald (barely); he was assigned a number but not tattooed with it. He said the prisoners who 'ran' Buchenwald often took the names of dead prisoners and swapped with Jews or those most in danger."

Auschwitz was the only place to use tattoos

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd. owning eli rabett daily.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

ho ho ho ho. Before I forget, before I forget...Mr. Big Shot John Mashey had his clock cleaned by none other than...the arbiter.

"Mashey’s claim that no one used the Lamb graphic after 1992 is refuted on its face by Crowley 1996. This doesn’t prove that Deming’s recollection is valid, only that Mashey’s argument that “nobody in 1995 would have been worried about “getting rid of the MWP” is completely imaginary."

Of course all Eli has to do is disappear that Crowley paper and presto! It never happened!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lupus Loopytooth: From the linked document, you could find that Schnare left his EPA job on September 30th, 2011. While the current lawsuit postdates that, and therefore he did not need to notify EPA about the lawsuit, the previous lawsuit was most definitely concurrent with his employment and there is where he apparently ignored the regulation.

-MMM, BS, MS, PhD.

David B. Benson said...

They are all insane, both inside and now outside the Beltway.

Jack Ripper said...

Well I uh... uh first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love. Yes. A profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence. I can assure you it has NOT RECURRED, Mandrake. Women sense my power and they seek my tiny particulates. I do not avoid women Mandrake. But I do deny them my tiny particulates.

Dr. Strangelove, a.k.a. How I Stopped Worrying About Tiny Particulates and Learned to Wack Off While Jumping The Shark

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Gen. Ripper and Mandrake,

Now you are going to make me dig out my old Laserdisc copy of good Dr.'s movie and watch it.

Hank Roberts said...

The American corporate dream, illustrated.

It doesn't matter what low-level damage you do -- just keep the damn epidemiologists, statisticians, and bloggers out of the picture.

Without the epidemiologists and statisticians discovering and thereby exaggerating these small* effects -- ones you wouldn't likely see in your own family or your own neighbornood -- nothing less than a large effect will convince the American courts and American voters that business could be doing harm.

*(Nothing short of body bags is a large effect, aka 'immediate and present danger of severe body harm'.)

I tell ya, statisiticians and epidemiologists are underminin' the American corporate way of life by discovering stuff.

Something must be done about these scientists.

Steve Bloom said...

OT: I'm seldom completely surprised by climate papers these days, but I sure was by this one. Would you be willing to have a look at it, Eli?

General Turgidson, EPA said...

this experiment is perfectly ethical: i'm not saying they wouldn't be getting their air mussed, but i do say no more than ten to twenty million gassed! tops! uuuh, depending on the breaks.

Anonymous said...

Schnare engages at one blog in the comments:

http://www.southernstudies.org/2012/10/did-attorney-for-climate-science-attack-group-violate-ethics-rules.html#comment-5743

-MMM

EliRabett said...

Just glanced at the abstract for a moment, busy day, but it is not surprising that inclusions would weaken a crystal esp since crack tips are so small.

The key point will be how the CO2 screws up the ice matrix and molecular modeling should be good at that.

Anonymous said...

In terms of the CO2-ice crystals paper: I wouldn't be surprised that there would be an effect of, say, swapping out a N2/O2 atmosphere for a CO2 atmosphere, but I think I _would_ be surprised if the effects on ice crystals of doubling ambient CO2 concentrations from 280 to 560 ppm would be of the scale that we'd care about,

-MMM

Anonymous said...

Also, again in terms of the CO2-ice crystals paper: the modeling experiment seems to be looking at a vacuum bubble with a couple of CO2 molecules. As far as I can tell, the modeler did not do the appropriate control experiments with N2 or O2 in place of the CO2...

-MMM

Johnny Vector said...

For Lumpus: As noted above, what he did while he worked for EPA certainly falls under their rules. But yes, what he does after leaving government employment certainly is limited by law. It looks like he filed the suit less than one year after leaving EPA. If he had any part in any decisions that affected ATI while he was at ATI, then he broke the law.

http://www.oge.gov/Topics/Post-Government-Employment/After-Leaving-Government/

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lumpus Spookytooth, phd.

@Johnny Vector

I stand corrected sir, my apologies. I am surprised Eli did not write that the guy left the EPA as recently as 2011. He probably had a nice chuckle at my expense though. I would have guessed the guy left EPA at least 5 years ago.

chek said...

@ Dr Lumpussy Cadbury

Apologies? It's not like you're unknown as a specialist in promoting mis/disinformation.