Sunday, April 03, 2022

More people may be hospitalized with low sodium levels due to climate change

This must be about the most twisted piece of reasoning I have seen. In plain language, hyponatremia is a low level of salt -- common table salt (NaCl) -- in the blood. It is very rare. We mostly have excess salt in our diet.

People who work hard and sweat a lot can lose too much salt. But salty food soon fixes that. Marathon runners can be endangered if the large amounts of water they drink while running contains no salt but people involved with that are aware of the danger and act accordingly. "Sporting" drinks generally contain salt

The main cause of hyponatremia is hospitalization. Hospitals have absorbed the "dangers" of salt and keep it out of the food they give to inpatients.

But aside from that, people run no risk of being low on salt

A new study has found that more people become hospitalized due to hyponatremia in temperatures above 15 degrees Celcius.
With climate change expected to increase temperatures across the world, the study predicts that an increase of 2 degrees Celsius could increase cases of hyponatremia by 13.9%

The human body needs sodium for various body functions — from conducting nerve impulses to regulating heart rate, digestion, brain activity, and blood pressure.

A person with mild hyponatremia may have no symptoms but if sodium levels drop too low or too fast, symptoms might include difficulty concentrating, headaches, and nausea. In more severe cases, symptoms can include confusion, seizures, and coma.

Seasonal changes in temperatures have also been linked to an increase in the prevalence of hyponatremia

In a recent study, researchers at the Karolinska Institute quantified the effect of outdoor temperature on the risk of hospitalization with hyponatremia.


House Democrats Block American Energy Again

Democrats in the House of Representatives blocked Republican efforts to move ahead with consideration of the American Energy Independence from Russia Act on Thursday that would have reopened U.S. energy projects to combat the rising cost of fuel caused by the Biden administration's anti-fossil fuel agenda.

218 Democrats voted against considering the proposal offered on the House floor by Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), defeating the House GOP's plan for the fourth time and stopping the Republicans' plan to to bring relief to Americans who saw gas prices hit their all-time average high in March.

The legislation offered by Republicans would have green-lit the Keystone XL pipeline project, stripped restrictions on liquified natural gas exports, jumpstarted oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters, protected energy development from further attacks by President Biden, and required plans to replenish oil drawn from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Speaking on the House floor Thursday, House Republicans made the case for the legislation initially drafted by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR).

"We should restart construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, overturn Biden's energy leasing moratorium, and expedite permits for pipelines and natural gas exports," said Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). "We need the American Energy Independence from Russia Act."

"Biden continues to wage war on our domestic oil and gas industry that provides sustainable, reliable energy to the American people," said Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK). "This week, Biden doubled down his attack by releasing a budget that includes an astonishing $45 billion in tax hikes on the American energy producers."

"In his budget, President Biden has chosen to put solar panels ahead of natural gas, he has chosen to put windmills ahead of coal, he has chosen the Green New Deal ahead of Pennsylvanians," noted Rep. John Joyce. "Now, the president has decided to recklessly release oil from our strategic reserves without a concrete plan to refill them."

Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) pointed out that, "Instead of turning to America's own energy sector to meet our energy needs, this administration is asking countries like Iran and Venezuela to compensate for the ban on Russian imports and ignoring America's energy producers. In doing so, they are prioritizing oil produced by dictators over American energy producers who support jobs and businesses here at home," he added.

"This is a self-imposed tax on all Americans. For those of us that have come from energy producing states, we know we can do better," reminded Rep, Blake Moore (R-UT). "It's past time we get back to what we were doing in 2019 when the United States was a net-exporter of energy — It's better for our economy and our environment when we produce domestically. In Utah we understand this because we do this," Moore said.


UK: Boris Johnson to ‘bet big’ on nuclear energy despite Sunak’s reservations

Rishi Sunak is Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasury secretary)

Boris Johnson wants his promised energy security strategy to “bet big” on nuclear despite Rishi Sunak’s reservations – but he has cooled on more onshore wind turbines in England amid a Conservative backlash.

The prime minister is determined to press ahead with plans to build up to eight new nuclear power stations even though the chancellor has concerns about the cost, projected to reach more than £13bn.

It is understood the energy strategy, expected to be announced next week, is likely to contain targets for nuclear but will not put a figure on the cost.

Johnson will also commit to a “stretching” target on offshore wind, according to a Whitehall source. But he is now said to be less enthusiastic about the possibilities of onshore wind in England, believing Scotland offers a better landscape for new turbines.

One ally of the prime minister said he would “not really [be] pushing for onshore wind in England” although it would “be in the strategy as an option where people want it, which realistically means in Scotland”.

Johnson and Sunak are understood to have discussed the new strategy this week, which was commissioned to ensure security of supply amid soaring gas prices fuelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The document was delayed owing to a row over the scale of its ambitions on nuclear, but is now likely to be published at the end of next week.


Washington State Plans to Outlaw Most New Gas-Powered Cars

SB 5974, which was recently signed (pdf) by Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee, establishes that “all publicly owned and privately owned passenger and light duty vehicles of model year 2030 or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in Washington state be electric vehicles” and creates an “interagency electric vehicle coordinating council.”

During the bill signing this week, Inslee said that the measure is climate-related and will “move us away from the transportation system our grandparents imagined and towards the transportation system our grandchildren dream of.”

Reports indicate that electric vehicles are cost-prohibitive for many Americans, with an average price for an electric car hovering around $50,000. According to local media, just 1.3 percent of cars on the road in Washington state are battery-powered.

Jeremy Horpedahl, an economist at the University of Arkansas, said the 2030 target is “overly ambitious.”

“A better approach would be to gradually encourage consumers to switch to electric vehicles and for private enterprise to build the charging infrastructure with incentives,” he told The Center Square, adding that consumers shouldn’t be forced to purchase electric vehicles.

“But whatever the ideal approach is, using economic incentives to encourage” electric vehicles is “far better than a strict mandate that bans fossil-fuel automobiles,” Horpedahl concluded.

Republicans in the state Legislature said they were cut out of negotiations over the transportation package. The bill, they argue, is not realistic.

“They want to force everybody into an electric vehicle for whatever reason they deem fit,” said Yakima Republican Sen. Curtis King, the ranking member of the Senate Transportation Committee, according to the Yakima Herald. “They want to take the choice away from the people because they think government knows more than anybody else.”

“There’s a lot more to it than just having the cars available,” Rep. Andrew Barkis, another Republican, told the paper. “We’ve got a long way to go for power supply and infrastructure and everything that goes along with it.”

There have also been concerns raised about electric vehicles’ spent lithium-ion batteries. According to the International Energy Agency, a predicted 23 million electric vehicles sold in 2030 could produce 750,000 tonnes of retired batteries by 2040.

It comes as AAA data shows that as of Friday, gas prices across the United States have remained close to historically high levels. The average price of a gallon of regular gas costs about $4.21 per gallon, AAA data shows, while Washington state averages about $4.72 per gallon




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