Thursday, July 27, 2017

Gore’s new health warning: ‘Every organ system can be affected by climate change’

Supported by a testimonial from a gullible woman doctor.  She saw heat-related problems among her patients and that was enough to convince her of Anthropogenic global warming.  She had no evidence that such problems were once less common nor did she have any evidence that the heat was anthropogenic.  And most of all she took no account of the fact that cold (winter) is the big killer.  So anthropogenic global warming would actually save lives on balance.  The woman is an airhead.  I would hate to be one of her patients

In Al Gore’s new book, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”, the former Vice President features a professor of pediatrics warning that global warming is impacting our health.

“Every organ system can be affected by climate change. When I say that, I get goosebumps,” says Pediatrician Susan Pacheco, a professor of pediatrics at University of Texas McGovern Medical School, in Gore’s new book.

Gore’s book features Pacheco and her climate change health warnings and touts the fact that the professor was inspired to get involved in climate activist after seeing his original film.

The book is a companion to Gore’s new film being released this month, a sequel to his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”  The book is being billed as “Your action handbook to learn the science, find your voice, and help solve the climate crisis"

Gore wrote, “The obvious and overwhelming evidence of the damage we are causing is now increasingly impossible for reasonable people to ignore. It is widely know by now that there is a nearly unanimous view among all scientists authoring peer-reviewed articles related to the climate crisis that it threatens our future, that human activists are largely if not entirely responsible, and that action is needed to urgently prevent catastrophic harm it is already starting to bring.” (Climate Depot Note: Blaming extreme weather on “climate change” is not supported by evidence)

Pacheco warns in Gore’s new book that climate change is already making us sick. “There’s heart disease, there’s lung disease, there’s kidney disease,” she says in Gore’s book. Gore writes that Pacheco “didn’t become concerned with climate science until 2006. Her eldest son was learning about climate change in school,, so she took the family to see An Inconvenient Truth.”

“Pacheco became convinced she could see the effects in her own clinic’s waiting room, in the Texas children she saw suffering from asthma, heat sensitivity, and allergies. Children and the elderly, she discovered, tend to be the most vulnerable. And while many adults have lived for years in an environment less affected by climate change, today’s youth will grow up with an entire lifetime of exposure. The potential for damage and illness, she suspects, is much higher,” Gore wrote.

“Pacheco also founded the Texas Coalition for Climate Change Awareness. In 2013, the White House bestowed Pacheco with the illustrious “Champions of Change” award in recognition of her efforts,” Gore wrote.


Scott Pruitt Ready To Help Trump Give America Better Environmental Outcomes, Economic Growth /b>

President Donald Trump’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, believes the EPA has room to be resized in terms of budget, staffing and authorities.

The former attorney general for Oklahoma says in this exclusive interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, “When you’re spending a million dollars for gym memberships, you have room to contract.”

Pruitt tells TheDCNF the EPA should “not be an agency trying to set energy policy, use its authority to pick winners and losers, acting outside the rule of law, acting outside of process, re-imagining their authority under their statutes, or creating uncertainty in the marketplace.”

Under his new leadership, Pruitt expects to help Trump deliver better environmental outcomes, certainty in the marketplace, and economic growth in the nation. The notion that you can’t be pro-environment and pro-growth is one Pruitt rejects out of hand.

TheDCNF interviewed Pruitt during the week his EPA “killed” a power-grabbing Obama 2015 water rule that caused paralysis and confusion for landowners. A revised rule, expected later this year, he promised, will have objective clarity and be more tethered to the statute.

Pruitt applauds Trump’s leadership in pulling America out of the Paris climate accord. The agreement former President Barack Obama’s team got the U.S. into was “a surrender of sovereignty,” and a “bad business deal.”

Pruitt says it put America at an economic disadvantage, as it exposed the nation to legal liability when other industrial nations were not held to similar account. In reality, America makes environmental progress through innovation, technology, stewardship and development, and that will continue.

Pulling the curtain back on the myth of Obama’s environmental achievements, Pruitt says, the former president’s environmental team “talked a lot but did very little.”

When Obama left office, Pruitt says, 40 percent of the nation did not meet air quality standards. Two environmental debacles happened on his watch — the Flint, Mich., water crisis and the Gold King Mine Colorado error. They also failed to regulate CO2 twice.

Lastly, he mentions Obama had more Superfund sites when he left office than when he came into office.

As for his critics, Pruitt dismisses them as mere “noise” from people who want him to be in the re-imagination business, like Disney, to create new authority for his agency. Scott Pruitt is a talented, impressive man committed to an improved EPA.


A Step Toward Scientific Integrity at the EPA

The Trump administration in May began the process of replacing the small army of outside science advisers at the Environmental Protection Agency. In June, 38 additional EPA advisers were notified that their appointments would not be renewed in August. To Mr. Trump’s critics, this is another manifestation of his administration’s “war on science.” Histrionics aside, the administration’s actions are long overdue.

The most prominent of the EPA’s myriad boards of outside advisers are the Science Advisory Board and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, or CASAC. Mostly made up of university professors, these boards also frequently draw members from consulting firms and activist groups. Only rarely do members have backgrounds in industry. All EPA boards are governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires that they be balanced and unbiased. While the EPA is required by law to convene the SAB and CASAC, the agency is not bound by law to heed their advice.

The EPA’s Obama -era “war on coal” rules and its standards for ground-level ozone—possibly the most expensive EPA rule ever issued—depend on the same scientifically unsupported notion that the fine particles of soot emitted by smokestacks and tailpipes are lethal. The EPA claims that such particles kill hundreds of thousands of Americans annually.

The EPA first considered regulating fine particles in the mid-1990s. But when the agency ran its claims past CASAC in 1996, the board concluded that the scientific evidence did not support the agency’s regulatory conclusion. Ignoring the panel’s advice, the EPA’s leadership chose to regulate fine particles anyway, and resolved to figure out a way to avoid future troublesome opposition from CASAC.

In 1996 two-thirds of the CASAC panel had no financial connection to the EPA. By the mid-2000s, the agency had entirely flipped the composition of the advisory board so two-thirds of its members were agency grantees. Lo and behold, CASAC suddenly agreed with the EPA’s leadership that fine particulates in outdoor air kill. During the Obama years, the EPA packed the CASAC panel. Twenty-four of its 26 members are now agency grantees, with some listed as principal investigators on EPA research grants worth more than $220 million.

Although the scientific case against particulate matter hasn’t improved since the 1990s, the EPA has tightened its grip on CASAC. In effect, EPA-funded researchers are empowered to review and approve their own work in order to rubber-stamp the EPA’s regulatory agenda. This is all done under the guise of “independence.”

Another “independent” CASAC committee conducted the most recent review of the Obama EPA’s ground-level ozone standards. Of that panel’s 20 members, 70% were EPA grantees who’d hauled in more than $192 million from the agency over the years. These EPA panels make decisions by consensus, which has lately been easy enough to achieve considering they are usually chaired by an EPA grantee.

Would-be reformers have so far had no luck changing the culture at these EPA advisory committees. In 2016 the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, where I am a senior fellow, sued the agency. We alleged that the CASAC fine-particulate subcommittee was biased—a clear violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. We found a plaintiff who had been refused CASAC membership because of his beliefs about fine particles. Unfortunately, that individual was not willing to take a hostile public stand against the EPA for fear of professional retribution. We ultimately withdrew the suit.

The EPA’s opaque selection process for membership on its advisory boards has opened the agency to charges of bias. In 2016 Michael Honeycutt, chief toxicologist of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, was recommended in 60 of the 83 nominations to the EPA for CASAC membership. The EPA instead selected Donna Kenski of the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium. Ms. Kenski received only one of the 83 recommendations. While no one objected to Mr. Honeycutt’s nomination, Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.) lodged an objection to Ms. Kenski’s nomination, claiming she had exhibited partisanship during an earlier term on the committee.

Congress has also tried to reform the EPA’s science advisory process. During the three most recent Congresses, the House has passed bills to provide explicit conflict-of-interest rules for EPA science advisers, including bans on receiving EPA grants for three years before and after service on an advisory panel. The bills went nowhere in the Senate, where the threat of a Democrat-led filibuster loomed. Had they passed, President Obama surely would have vetoed them.

President Trump and his EPA administrator have ample statutory authority to rectify the problem. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt spent years familiarizing himself with the EPA’s unlawful ways. He is in the process of reaffirming the independence of the agency’s science advisory committees. This won’t mean that committee members can’t have a point of view. But a committee as a whole must be balanced and unbiased. Mr. Pruitt’s goal is the one intended by Congress—peer review, not pal review.


ALL petrol and diesel cars to be banned in Britain from 2040

 Pollution crackdown could also see tolls introduced on dirtiest roads to improve air quality as electric vehicles set to take over

Parliaments that can make laws can also repeal them

New petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040 to improve air quality.

The crackdown could also see the introduction of levies on busy roads for owners of the most polluting vehicles.

And hopes of a major scrappage scheme to help those who were encouraged to buy diesels appear to have been dashed.

The strategy will be launched today by ministers Michael Gove and Chris Grayling. It was forced on the Government by defeat in a High Court case on air pollution.

From 2040, drivers will be able to buy electric cars only – ending the near 150-year reign of the internal combustion engine.

From around 2020, town halls will be allowed to levy extra charges on diesel drivers using the UK’s 81 most polluted routes if air quality fails to improve.

Diesels might even be banned at peak times. Judges ruled the Government was breaking the law by allowing concentrations of nitrogen dioxide to build up in urban areas.

ClientEarth, an environmental law organisation, argued successfully that ministers were not doing enough to tackle the issue.

A judge ordered ministers to unveil the new air quality strategy to cut illegal levels of pollution from diesel vehicles by next Monday.

The Government also faces fines from the European Commission, which has sent Britain a final warning to comply with EU air pollution limits for NO2 or face a case at the European Court of Justice.

Any suggestion that drivers of diesels should be penalised will be greeted with anger from motoring organisations. They point out that the last Labour government had encouraged people to buy the vehicles.

It was thought that efficient diesel engines were the best way to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It later emerged that the nitrogen dioxide they emit was harming air quality.

Levels have been above legal limits in almost 90 per cent of urban areas in the UK since 2010.

New guidance to councils will see them urged to introduce a range of measures to bring down pollution.

These include making buses more environmentally-friendly, changing the phasing of traffic lights, removing speed bumps and changing road layouts. Town halls will be told to do all they can to avoid hitting diesel drivers, who bought the cars in good faith, with punitive measures.

But if these do not work, the Government will allow town halls to charge drivers of the dirtiest vehicles using the most polluted roads.

They could also restrict the times of day when they can use these roads – banning them during peak hours, for example. Town halls will not be allowed to bring in city-wide restrictions. They will only be able to take action on the 81 most polluted roads in the country.

A Government spokesman said: ‘Our plan to deal with dirty diesels will help councils clean up emissions hotspots – often a single road – through common sense measures which do not unfairly penalise ordinary working people.

‘Diesel drivers are not to blame and to help them switch to cleaner vehicles the Government will consult on a targeted scrappage scheme – one of a number of measures to support motorists affected by local plans.

‘Overall we are investing £3billion to tackle the effects of roadside pollution and supporting greener transport initiatives.’

The clean air plan will be unveiled by Mr Gove’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Mr Grayling’s Department for Transport. The Government said poor air quality was the largest environmental risk to public health

Evidence from the World Health Organisation shows that older people, children, people with pre-existing lung and heart conditions, and people on lower incomes may be most at risk, a spokesman said.

Mr Gove will tell councils to concentrate its action to reduce emissions on some of the busiest roads and junctions. Analysis of more than 1,800 of Britain’s major roads by the government’s Joint Air Quality Unit shows that 81 – 4 per cent – are affected, with 33 roads outside London.

In many areas – including Nottingham, Bolton, Bristol, Cardiff and Middlesbrough – a single road is affected. Although ministers have not ruled out charging and restricting access to polluting cars at the busiest times, they want town halls to exhaust all other options first. An extra £255million will be given to councils to help them bring in the plans, which will have to be drawn up by the end of 2018.

The Government will also invest money in a Clean Air Fund. Councils will be able to bid for money to support improvements that avoid the need for restrictions on polluting vehicles. But ministers accepted that if this did not succeed in reducing emissions, councils may need to consider restrictions on polluting vehicles using affected roads.

It could mean preventing polluting vehicles using some of the roads at certain times of the day – or introducing charging, as London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced.

A source said: ‘The Government is clear that local authorities should exhaust other options before opting to hit drivers with new charges for using vehicles they bought in good faith. ‘Any restrictions or charging on polluting vehicles should be time-limited and lifted as soon as air pollution is within legal limits and the risk of future beaches has passed.’

A consultation will also be launched in the autumn on mitigation measures including a possible scrappage scheme to support drivers affected by any restrictions on polluting vehicles.’

Last week a cross-party group of MPs wrote to Mr Gove demanded restricted access for polluting vehicles in urban areas.


UK: Anti-fracking police chief accused of pulling force from protests

A police and crime commissioner has been accused of abusing his position because his force stopped sending officers to protect a fracking site hit by protests after he intervened.

Arfon Jones, 62, was an anti-fracking campaigner and took part in a protest in Lancashire before being elected as commissioner for North Wales last year. His force is one of seven that policed demonstrations at a site near Blackpool, where Cuadrilla plans to carry out the first fracking in Britain since 2011.

After Mr Jones complained, the force stopped helping Lancashire constabulary, which has been struggling with protesters blocking roads and threatening businesses that supply Cuadrilla. More than 100 officers a day are policing the site, and there have been 200 arrests since January.

The residents’ group Backing Fracking said: “It is disgraceful that Mr Jones thinks he can use his political appointment to try to downgrade the policing response to the fracking protests. That’s the definition of cronyism.”

Mr Jones, a member of Plaid Cymru and former police inspector, said he had been a “prominent member of Frack Free Wrexham” and helped to persuade the Welsh government to issue a moratorium on fracking in 2015. He said: “I was told last week that there would be no further deployments after I made representations around capacity issues in North Wales and questioned how [we] could justify sending officers to Lancashire . . . The decision not to send any more officers . . . after this week may be down to a number of factors, my opposition being only one.”

North Wales police said that it had aided Lancashire colleagues from July 9-14 and July 23-28, sending six constables and a sergeant, but could not continue “due to high demands”. Cuadrilla is to start drilling within a month.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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