Leaded

APEC “rubbish blog politics” special edition, part II

So if atmospheric lead levels really do affect crime rates, why assume that it stops there? Poor kids weren’t the only ones breathing air in the 20th century. The new generation of lead-free and so somewhat-less-troubled youth came online in the 90s and 00s, but banks and governments aren’t run by teenagers, so we’ll have to wait a few decades more before we have leaders who weren’t exposed to neurotoxins in their formative years.

The test will be the timing: tetraethyl lead was phased out in the States in the mid-80s, but Australia and Europe didn’t stop selling it till just now. In 2030, the unleaded Americans will be in their mid-forties, just coming to power; the rest of us will have to wait until the middle of the century before we are back to normal.

So there will be a couple of decades when the USA are way ahead of the rest of us on such metrics as IQ and impulse control. It will actually make sense for us to ride their foreign policy coattails.

In the meantime, I’ll be watching television. Apparently, it makes you smarter.

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