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Old Aug 3rd 2013, 10:47 AM
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Default Murder rate falling in South America



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I've posted about the link between violent crime and leaded gasoline several times. Here's some new information from South America and we are seeing exactly the same thing.

San Paulo is particularly significant because it is home to the Brazilian ethanol industry and thus dropped off lead consumption before anywhere else in South America. And guess what? San Paulo is the first place in South America to note a massive and significant drop in violent crime.
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Old Aug 14th 2013, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Murder rate falling in South America

Are you aware that this whole topic originates back to a single person's crusade (Rick Nevin)? There are no academic studies on the subject anywhere to be found. That neither confirms or denies the validity of the claims. It just makes it impossible to ascertain that.
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Old Aug 15th 2013, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Murder rate falling in South America

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Are you aware that this whole topic originates back to a single person's crusade (Rick Nevin)? There are no academic studies on the subject anywhere to be found. That neither confirms or denies the validity of the claims. It just makes it impossible to ascertain that.
Its a fair bit wider circle and it is increasing rather quickly these days as more and more people become aware of it.

And yes, I'm perfectly aware that the origin of this theory is not from science.

I'm also aware that correlation does not equal causation. I'm also aware that sociologists as well as police chiefs and criminologists are fanatically opposed to the very idea that crime might fall for some reason that isn't in their own self-serving theories and they are working very hard to marginalize this theory.

That being said, the fact of the matter is that historical records show a huge rise in violent crime starting in the 1960's (USA), peaking the 1980's and then falling steadily throughout the 2000's. No one has been able to offer any plausible explanation of this phenomena that makes any kind of sense or fits the data - except the lead theory.

Now we are getting the exact same data coming out of South America that supports exactly the same theory. That is to say, only the 'lead-theory' fits ALL the facts.
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Old Aug 15th 2013, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Murder rate falling in South America

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Its a fair bit wider circle and it is increasing rather quickly these days as more and more people become aware of it.

And yes, I'm perfectly aware that the origin of this theory is not from science.

I'm also aware that correlation does not equal causation. I'm also aware that sociologists as well as police chiefs and criminologists are fanatically opposed to the very idea that crime might fall for some reason that isn't in their own self-serving theories and they are working very hard to marginalize this theory.

That being said, the fact of the matter is that historical records show a huge rise in violent crime starting in the 1960's (USA), peaking the 1980's and then falling steadily throughout the 2000's. No one has been able to offer any plausible explanation of this phenomena that makes any kind of sense or fits the data - except the lead theory.
It isn't a theory yet, it's just a hypothesis. To attain the status of theory a survey would have to be made for all countries followed by a statistical analysis of the correlation. If any. For starters one would have to look at central America where four nations (Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and Guatemala) are in the top ten of the intentional homicide rate per capita.
For the hypothesis to be validated there would have to be an exceptional situation vis-à-vis lead in these quarters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Now we are getting the exact same data coming out of South America that supports exactly the same theory. That is to say, only the 'lead-theory' fits ALL the facts.
Actually São Paulo is in the middle of a huge surge of violence and murder:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st article
The numbers are almost too much to take in: 4,100 murdered this year. This figure does not refer to a war-torn country, but to São Paulo state: the biggest driver of Brazil’s economy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st article
For a decade, violence in São Paulo had been steadily declining. But recent months have seen a bloody wave sweeping South America’s biggest city
http://www.americasquarterly.org/con...s%C3%A3o-paulo

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Economist
In the past two months more than 300 people have died in the state capital in an undeclared war between police and the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), a drugs gang, twice the tally for the same period last year
http://www.economist.com/news/americ...eets-revisited

Did they reintroduce leaded gasoline ?

Here's a list of countries and their respective date of phasing out leaded gasoline:
http://www.ilmc.org/rptcard.pdf

You will see that there is no correlation with the aforementioned homicide rate list. Honduras e.g. is amongst the 40 countries to have phased out leaded gasoline first while it's No. 1 in homicide rate. Australia on the other hand hadn't phased it out in 2005 and is nevertheless amongst the countries with the lowest murder rate in the world.
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Old Aug 21st 2013, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Murder rate falling in South America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
It isn't a theory yet, it's just a hypothesis. To attain the status of theory a survey would have to be made for all countries followed by a statistical analysis of the correlation. If any. For starters one would have to look at central America where four nations (Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and Guatemala) are in the top ten of the intentional homicide rate per capita.
For the hypothesis to be validated there would have to be an exceptional situation vis-à-vis lead in these quarters.
I'm perfectly aware that this theory is not yet supported by any substantive or peer-reviewed science. It is indeed, quite unlikely ever to be scientificially studied because it requires cross-disciplinary studies and our contemporary academic environment is not condusive to that (that's being polite). Fact is, studying this issue cannot be construed as a PhD study because it doesn't fit neatly into any academic box - therefore no PhD student is going to study this issue. Likewise with academic research funding and tenure-track faculty - studying issues outside of one's core discipline is a waste of time.

Thus, the only possible way to get some academic or scientific establishment to undertake such a research program is for the public to scream very loudly about data that looks like it is meaningful. Even then, the chances of this being studied are very, very low for the above stated reason. Anyone familiar with modern academia knows how the game is played. It isn't rigged, but it is heavily biased in certain directions - and in this case, the structural basis of academia is biased against even looking at this issue at all.

So we are left with a whole lot of data that makes it look like lead contamination contributes to violence on a large-scale social level and we will never actually know the truth, nor will we stop contaminating people with lead. All we can do is keep collecting data and keep screaming about it and hopefully, maybe, we can embarrass some research establishment into actually studying a relevant research topic instead of that which generates funding from their political friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Actually São Paulo is in the middle of a huge surge of violence and murder:
No one ever said that lead contaimination is the sole and unique cause of human violence. Human violence happens for a lot of different reasons (drug or gang wars errupting is one of them). But that doesn't detract from the ten year long remarkable drop in the violent crime rate in San Paulo.
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