Climate change is the biggest public health issue

September 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Climate change is the biggest public health issue

More than 220 of the world’s top  public health  and medical journals have published a  joint plea  for the global population to reduce carbon emissions immediately. Humanity already faces irreversible public health threats, the editors wrote. We can’t wait for the pandemic to end before we face the task of reducing emissions. “Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world, a state of affairs health professionals have been bringing attention to for decades,” said the call for action, which was published in multiple health journals worldwide, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet and the British Medical Journal. “The science is unequivocal: a global increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius [2.7 degrees Fahrenheit] above the pre-industrial average and the continued loss of  biodiversity  risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse.” Related: Climate change is a public health issue amounting to billions in medical costs The full name of the call for action, published September 5, is “Call for Emergency Action to Limit Global Temperature Increases, Restore Biodiversity, and Protect Health.” It lists some of the health problems that higher temperatures exacerbate, such as renal function loss, pregnancy complications, tropical infections and dermatological malignancies. In the last two decades, deaths related to  heat  have increased by more than 50% in people over 65 years old. Global warming  is also threatening crop production, leading to food insecurity. Like many effects of climate change, undernutrition disproportionately affects poorer countries and poorer regions and neighborhoods within more developed countries. Children, seniors, ethnic minorities and those with preexisting health problems are especially at risk. The call to action points out that those who suffer most are often those who contributed to climate change the least. The  medical  journal editors asked for fairness, saying that the richer countries most responsible for our current crisis should do more to support lower-income countries. They suggest that funding be equally split between mitigating damage already done and adapting to avoid more. Instead of loans, the call says richer countries need to give grants to poorer countries and erase large past debts. After all, we’re in this together, and “we are globally as strong as our weakest member,” says the call to action. “The greatest threat to global public health is the continued failure of world leaders to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5° C and to restore  nature .” Via HuffPost Images via Pixabay

Read the original:
Climate change is the biggest public health issue

Can the first US ‘chief heat officer’ build a model for future resilience?

September 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Can the first US ‘chief heat officer’ build a model for future resilience?

The chief heat officer’s responsibilities include education, disaster response training and infrastructure that considers extreme heat alongside other public health safety considerations.

Original post:
Can the first US ‘chief heat officer’ build a model for future resilience?

Why the Paris Agreement poses major stranded asset risk to Indonesian palm oil

September 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Why the Paris Agreement poses major stranded asset risk to Indonesian palm oil

Research lays bare scale of stranded asset risk facing Indonesia’s palm oil sector if Paris Agreement climate goals are met.

See the original post:
Why the Paris Agreement poses major stranded asset risk to Indonesian palm oil

Wildfire smoke linked to almost 20,000 COVID-19 cases last year

August 17, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Wildfire smoke linked to almost 20,000 COVID-19 cases last year

The coronavirus  pandemic  and raging wildfires were two heinous events of 2020. And in one of life’s unfair twists of evil synergy, a new study from Harvard says that smoke from West Coast wildfires increased the cases of COVID illnesses and deaths. The study, published in the journal  Science Advances , attributed 19,742 additional COVID cases — and 748 deaths — to last year’s heavy blanket of wildfire smoke in  Oregon , California and Washington. Tiny particulate matter, aka PM 2.5, was the culprit. Wildfire smoke carries small pieces of ash full of zinc, nickel, iron and other stuff you don’t want to breathe in. Once these particles lodge in your lungs, you become more susceptible to all kinds of respiratory diseases, including the infamous star of 2020, COVID-19. And when these particles worm their way into your bloodstream, you might also suffer neurological and cardiovascular problems. Related: Siberian wildfires send smoke to North Pole in historical first “We weren’t terribly surprised by the results as  scientists ,” said study co-author Kevin Josey, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “But as humans, we are dismayed about the impacts.” The study authors examined air quality records and satellite images from 92 counties in California, Washington and Oregon. They focused on the nine-month period from March 15 to December 16, 2020, calculating  wildfire -related PM 2.5 exposure in each county. They then correlated increased PM 2.5 exposure with increased COVID-19 cases and deaths. The authors linked wildfire smoke with an 11.7% increase in cases. Deaths also went up by 8.4%. The relationship was more striking in some places than others. For example, Whitman County, Washington and San Bernardino, California , saw an enormous increase of COVID-19 cases and deaths related to excessive PM 2.5 exposure. And now it’s wildfire season again, and the Delta variant of  COVID-19  is raging. The best defense? Get vaccinated. Minimize your smoke inhalation. Stay inside on the smokiest days. And prepare for more. By mid-century, we’ll likely be facing annual “smoke waves,” or periods of at least 48 hours where wildfires push PM 2.5 concentrations past the range of safely breathable air. Via EcoWatch , Grist Lead image via Pixabay

More: 
Wildfire smoke linked to almost 20,000 COVID-19 cases last year

House in the Dunes modernizes an original Gwathmey design

August 17, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on House in the Dunes modernizes an original Gwathmey design

Charles Gwathmey was an influential architect for many decades in the 1900s, so when one of his works showed up in need of renovation in Amagansett, New York, architecture and design studio Worrell Yeung enthusiastically jumped on board. The home, originally known as the Haupt Residence, was constructed in the 1970s and has remained unchanged, standing as an example of Gwathmey’s work. The team at Worrell Yeung approached the project with reverence. Max Worrell, co-founder of Worrell Yeung said, “We’re big fans of Gwathmey – particularly his early stuff. So we were very excited when we got the call about the house. Especially given that it was in its original condition, totally untouched.” He continued, “Our intention, at first, was really to do as little as possible.” Related: Self-sufficient Sail House by David Hertz Architects looks like a ship While the result was a full renovation of the exterior and some changes to the inside, restoration was really at the forefront of the theme. Worrell says they had the original drawings to work from, so they made gradual changes while trying to maintain the original design. Worrell says, “At every stage of the process we were asking ourselves, ‘What would Gwathmey do?’” The team had good bones to work within the four-bedroom home dubbed House in the Dunes. It sits on an acre of land with surrounding views of dunes and the ocean.  The outside reflects the coastal vibe with gray  cedar cladding, but it was showing the wear of the years so the team preserved the essence of the original design while bringing a modern appeal in a new roof, cedar siding, doors and windows, skylights, and pool deck. The inside benefits from the  natural light  streaming in through doors and windows. These openings also connect the indoors and the outdoors, allowing the owners to seamlessly move from the living space to the pool to the ocean beyond. To achieve this flow, Worrell Yeung made a small but impactful design change by removing a half wall between the living room and kitchen.  With relatively small structural changes, the Worrell Yeung team moved onto  interior design  with respect to Gwathmey’s original designs, replacing white pine trim and matching the original kitchen laminate. + Worrell Yeung Photography by Naho Kubota

Read the original: 
House in the Dunes modernizes an original Gwathmey design

Fine particulate air pollution linked to increased dementia risk

August 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Fine particulate air pollution linked to increased dementia risk

Researchers at the University of Washington have found a relationship between increased levels of fine particle pollution and the risk of dementia. In a  study  that borrowed data from two long-running studies in the Seattle area, researchers established that high levels of particulate matter in the environment corresponded with a greater risk of dementia. The data used was borrowed from a study that has measured air pollution in the Puget Sound region since the 1970s and a study researching risk factors for dementia since 1994. While analyzing the data, the researchers found a link between dementia and increased rates of pollution. Related: Air pollution from US meat production causes 16,000 deaths annually “We found that an increase of 1 microgram per cubic meter of exposure corresponded to a 16% greater hazard of all-cause dementia. There was a similar association for Alzheimer’s-type dementia,” said lead author Rachel Shaffer. More than 4,000 Seattle area residents were enrolled for the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Study run by the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in conjunction with the University of Washington. Of the 4,000 participants, 1,000 were diagnosed with dementia at some point since the ACT study began in 1994. “The ACT Study is committed to advancing dementia research by sharing its data and resources, and we’re grateful to the ACT volunteers who have devoted years of their lives to supporting our efforts, including their enthusiastic participation in this important research on air pollution ,” said Dr. Eric Larson, ACT’s founding principal investigator. In their analysis, the researchers found that just one microgram per cubic meter difference in PM2.5 pollution (particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or smaller) between residences correlates to a 16% higher incidence of dementia. While the research shows a relationship between rates of dementia and particulate matter pollution, the researchers say that many other factors have to be factored in, given the long time it takes for dementia to develop. “We know dementia develops over a long period of time. It takes years – eve ndecades – for these pathologies to develop in the brain , and so we needed to look at exposures that covered that extended period,” Shaffer said. Via NewsWise Lead image via Pixabay

Continued here: 
Fine particulate air pollution linked to increased dementia risk

LA County beaches close after an 8-hour sewage spill

July 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on LA County beaches close after an 8-hour sewage spill

On Monday night, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an  order to close  several beaches along Santa Monica Bay following a raw sewage spillover on Sunday. An estimated 17 million gallons of untreated sewage were discharged into the water after the Hyperion Water Reclamation sewage treatment plant experienced a power outage. Treatment plant officials said they had to release 6% of the plant’s daily load to avoid an even bigger problem. The spill lasted for over eight hours and led to the closure of all public beaches within the affected area, including El Segundo Beach and Dockweiler State Beach. According to the closure notice, all the beaches will be closed for at least one week and will only reopen after water tests show no elevated level of bacteria. Related: Atlantic has 10 times the microplastics previously thought Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn has condemned the occurrence and says that she is still looking for answers from the officials at the sewer plant. She has questioned the amount of raw sewage discharged and the time taken for the plant to notify the public. “What happened yesterday was unacceptable and dangerous. Not only did the Hyperion Plant release seventeen million gallons of sewage into our ocean — the public had little to no information about it for hours,” Hahn said in an interview. “We need answers from LA City Sanitation about what went wrong and led to this massive spill, but we also need to recognize that LA County Public Health did not effectively communicate with the public and could have put swimmers in danger.” Spills in L.A. County have almost become a norm, with several minor spills occurring already this year. According to Heal the Bay , a total of 75 sewage spills have happened in Los Angeles County between 2020 and 2021. These minor spills account for 346,888 gallons of sewage waste.  The county’s last major spill occurred in 2015 when about 30 million gallons of waste were released into Santa Monica Bay by Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant. Although the plant had to pay a settlement of $2.26 million, this clearly hasn’t stopped recurring sewer spills.  Via CBS News Lead image via Pixabay

More here: 
LA County beaches close after an 8-hour sewage spill

LA County beaches close after an 8-hour sewage spill

July 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on LA County beaches close after an 8-hour sewage spill

On Monday night, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an  order to close  several beaches along Santa Monica Bay following a raw sewage spillover on Sunday. An estimated 17 million gallons of untreated sewage were discharged into the water after the Hyperion Water Reclamation sewage treatment plant experienced a power outage. Treatment plant officials said they had to release 6% of the plant’s daily load to avoid an even bigger problem. The spill lasted for over eight hours and led to the closure of all public beaches within the affected area, including El Segundo Beach and Dockweiler State Beach. According to the closure notice, all the beaches will be closed for at least one week and will only reopen after water tests show no elevated level of bacteria. Related: Atlantic has 10 times the microplastics previously thought Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn has condemned the occurrence and says that she is still looking for answers from the officials at the sewer plant. She has questioned the amount of raw sewage discharged and the time taken for the plant to notify the public. “What happened yesterday was unacceptable and dangerous. Not only did the Hyperion Plant release seventeen million gallons of sewage into our ocean — the public had little to no information about it for hours,” Hahn said in an interview. “We need answers from LA City Sanitation about what went wrong and led to this massive spill, but we also need to recognize that LA County Public Health did not effectively communicate with the public and could have put swimmers in danger.” Spills in L.A. County have almost become a norm, with several minor spills occurring already this year. According to Heal the Bay , a total of 75 sewage spills have happened in Los Angeles County between 2020 and 2021. These minor spills account for 346,888 gallons of sewage waste.  The county’s last major spill occurred in 2015 when about 30 million gallons of waste were released into Santa Monica Bay by Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant. Although the plant had to pay a settlement of $2.26 million, this clearly hasn’t stopped recurring sewer spills.  Via CBS News Lead image via Pixabay

Read more:
LA County beaches close after an 8-hour sewage spill

Complaint alleges continued ‘war on science’ at the EPA

July 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Complaint alleges continued ‘war on science’ at the EPA

Several scientists working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have raised concerns over disregard for scientific data by the organization. Through Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), four EPA scientists have  filed a formal complaint  with the organization’s Office of the Inspector General requesting an investigation. The complaint states that high-level employees at the EPA regularly alter vital information or delete it entirely to give a sanitized impression of toxicity and pollution. The group has also written to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Environment asking lawmakers to investigate the trend. According to PEER, high-level EPA officials modify the language in reports to downplay the adverse effects of chemicals . Some of the words often omitted from reports include toxicity, neurotoxicity, mutagenic and carcinogenic, among others. Further, the complaint alleges that report conclusions are often altered to give a contrary impression to the scientific findings. Related: EPA finalizes rule to make efforts against climate change more difficult During former President Trump’s era, the EPA was also accused of altering scientific findings and exposing citizens to highly toxic substances. Some expected that this issue would improve with President Biden taking over. However, persistent problems are prompting whistleblowers to come out. “These alterations of risk assessments are not just artifacts of the Trump administration; they are continuing on a weekly basis,” said Kyla Bennett, science policy director at PEER and former EPA employee. The Toxic Substances Control Act mandates that the EPA evaluate the risk of existing chemicals and those to be imported. Failure by the agency to follow protocol and prevent the importation or distribution of toxic substances puts millions of Americans at risk. “The resulting Material Safety Data Sheets lack information vital to prevent harmful exposures, such as proper handling procedures, personal protection needed, accidental release measures, first aid, and firefighting measures,” said PEER. The four employees also say that managers at the agency have, in some instances, altered the levels of substances considered safe for consumption in reports. According to  The Hill , managers at the agency increased the recommended level of consumption for a certain chemical by 10,000 times. “All of these altered assessments need to be pulled back and corrected in order to protect both workers handling chemicals and the American public,” said Bennett. “EPA’s lack of accountability for scientific misconduct poses a direct danger to public health . Inside EPA, scientific integrity has become an oxymoron and a cure will require a complete overhaul.” Via Common Dreams Lead image via Pexels

Here is the original:
Complaint alleges continued ‘war on science’ at the EPA

New bill regulating carbon offset market could attract farmers

July 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New bill regulating carbon offset market could attract farmers

Some farmers are turning to carbon capture to make cash outside of traditional farming practices. A new Senate bill could help attract even more farmers to these programs. One farmer taking part in carbon capture programs is Kelly Garrett, a western Iowa farmer who runs a 7,000-acre farm. Traditionally, Garrett has farmed corn and soybeans, but he began incorporating carbon-sequestering processes for income last year. Since contacting Nori, a carbon-market broker, Garrett has earned $150,000 through carbon capture in his soil . Although Garrett’s farm was already ripe for carbon harvesting when he started, it’s difficult to estimate the actual amount of carbon stored.  Related: Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere reach record high Quantifying the amount of carbon absorbed by farmers has been a big challenge since these programs began. After all, as a report by Grist explains, the carbon offset market “is built on the idea that money will persuade someone, somewhere, to remove  additional   carbon dioxid e from the air.” Critics argue that most carbon offset projects do not work and instead allow corporations to pay money to avoid taking responsibility for their pollution.  The first offset scheme started in 1989 when AES Corporation sought to build a carbon-neutral coal -fired power plant north of New London, Connecticut. The company paid about $2 million to small farmers to plant about 50 million trees that were supposed to absorb all CO2 emissions produced by the plant over 40 years. Although the project worked to some extent, most farmers ended up cutting the trees before the 40 years were up. To address the lack of regulation in carbon offset markets, the U.S. Senate passed a bill last month to get the federal government fully involved. The Growing Climate Solutions Act could help hold corporations responsible and provide farmers with the support needed to adopt practices they have been reluctant to try for years. However, this all depends on how the bill is enacted. Again, critics worry that this carbon offset process falls short of actually helping the environment. “The atmosphere might not be winning here,” said Lauren Gifford, a geographer at the University of Arizona who has studied carbon policy. “But these carbon offsets have provided a very fruitful funding source for conservation .” Via Grist Lead image via Pexels

Original post: 
New bill regulating carbon offset market could attract farmers

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 6694 access attempts in the last 7 days.