Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse gas’

Air pollution linked to apendicitis and ear infections

Monday, October 12th, 2009

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Will the list ever end? Here’s the latest about urban smog and health in the the L.A. Times. Link.

” … Research on air pollution has been conducted worldwide for decades and is part of the basis for government regulation of air quality. Study after study has found more hospitalizations and higher death rates when certain pollutants are high. In addition to respiratory effects, research has established that air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular events such as arrhythmia, heart attack and stroke, and the incidence of certain cancers.

In the appendicitis study, published Oct. 5 in the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal, researchers examined records for 5,191 adults admitted to Calgary hospitals for appendicitis from 1999 to 2006. The dates of the patients’ admissions were compared to air pollution levels in the preceding week, using data from three air quality surveillance sites in the city.

The scientists found a significant effect of pollutants on appendicitis rates in the summer months among men, but not women …”

We hunker down and focus on the connection between good ol’ L.A. smog, in its many permutations, and the physical wellbeing of millions of Southern Californians exposed to it pretty much daily for years on end, in our book, Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles.

How does one L.A. clean-air activist find unpolluted breathing? She hits the road, crosses the border and tries not to cringe when she flies home. A virtual trip worth taking. Our airborne toxins are never so conspicuous until your lungs get a break. Without further ado, here’s oxygen without the exhaust

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Donna Barnett, a former reporter and current environmental activist and consultant, has a fabulous blog (where, in full admission, she did praise our book Smogtown) that’s unlike anything else we’ve found. She knows how to make her cause entertaining, visual, fun and more than a little alarming. Have you taken the smog glove test? If you do, make sure you have some Tide at home.

Chasing Clean Air site is here

Puff (as in particulates) and stuff (as in melting icesheets) and burying CO-2

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

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Los Angeles’ cancer alley – an un-love story of vulnerable lungs, put-upon people and a globalized transhipment mecca that coughs out our biggest air pollution threat. There’s a new environmental justice army (well, sort of new) tackling the issue.  From today’s fine L.A. Times story:

” … Eight years ago, he ran into an old friend at a sweatshop protest in a Glendale mall: Gilbert Estrada was working on a master’s thesis on highway building through East L.A.’s Mexican neighborhoods. They traded tales of aching chests from air pollution, of chemical spills that sparked evacuations in elementary school, and of playing around 55-gallon drums marked with skulls and crossbones …”

And in case you thought smog was now our the green version of a red-headed stepchild, check out this story about the Obama White House and EPA reviewing an important ozone standard.  MSNBC reports.

Is it really possible to keep greenhouse gases from even hitting the air? A New York Times story looks at one model.

“Poking out of the ground near the smokestacks of the Mountaineer power plant here are two wells that look much like those that draw natural gas to the surface. But these are about to do something new: inject a power plant’s carbon dioxide into the earth …”

Plus, a GW call for world unity. How’s that working out? Link (from N.Y. Times) Could be the issue of our time.

 Miscellany:

Green propoganda, corporate-style, from Newsweek:

“… Hotels are not the only offenders in this kind of petty green fakery. Environmentalism is “in” at the moment, and corporations feel great pressure to prove their credentials. But it’s not easy being green. Some companies, like those at the top of NEWSWEEK’s 2009 Green Rankings, have embraced conservation for real. They build headquarters with solar panels and rainwater collection systems; they think of the environmental impact of every aspect of their businesses and actually change the way they do things to reduce waste. But this is labor intensive, often expensive, and takes commitment. Faced with that, many corporations take a different approach: They don’t do much of anything to change the way they do business, but make a big show of their dedication to Mother Earth …”

The mob gets in on the pollution racket. Like duh. From MSNBC.

” … Giordano said the former mobster, Francesco Fonti, from the Calabria-based ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate, has claimed the mob sank “hundreds” of barrels of illegally disposed of waste …”

Backloading the news … been busy

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

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You want links? You got ‘em:

The fantastical cap-and-trade fraud story involving former Pasadena emissions broker Anne Sholtz and a cast of shadowy players has kicked up a bit of dust, and they’ll followups. The story, which originally appeared in the Pasadena Weekly/Southland Publishing chain and here, has now run as a two-part installment in the California Energy Circuit (click here and here), and will make its debut on newgeography.com this Thurday. They’re both terrific sites, but I’m biased.

The story certainly has tickled emotions about whether a greenhouse gas market can work without massive white-collar fraud, and generated some conspiracy minded notions about Sholtz’s entanglements with men claiming to be currency hunters with CIA, Special-Ops and military backgrounds.

In other news …

Has cap-and-trade worked where it’s been rolled out? A very good enviro writer takes a swipe at answering this.

The Station Fire that chewed and flattened and burned so much of the Angeles National Forest blew enough smoke, ash and detrius to remind Southern Califorians of their decades strangled by man-made smog. Let’s hope it stays nostalgia. Relief is here.

What’s the future of the San Joaquin Valley? Bleak without some changes. Newsweek covers it.

While we dealt with recession, terrorism, subprime mortgages, and rising Earth temperatures, California showed it hasn’t lost all of its environmental courage in setting standards for chromium six, a subject I know a little about.

Monday melange — President Obama’s greenhouse gas market/energy revolution debated, and new revelations about the toxic qualities of good, old smog

Monday, June 29th, 2009

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From the L.A. Times story about the House’s passage of the so-called Waxman-Markey bill:

” … It’s the most important environmental and energy legislation in our nation’s history,” said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. “A huge achievement.”

Passage is far from certain. Democrats are balking. Read this Wall St. Journal story.

But passage could prove trickier in the Senate, where many Democrats hail from coal, farm or factory states, and where the bill probably would need 60 votes to advance. The Senate product is likely to emerge from a combination of bills passed by the energy and the environment and public works committees, further complicating the negotiations.

After the House vote, Obama expressed confidence that the Senate would rise to the challenge, portraying the debate as one between supporters of the status quo and those who want to position the United States as a leader in the 21st century economy.

Less-aggressive climate bills have failed in the Senate in recent years, but Democratic leaders in the chamber have promised to move swiftly this year, debating a measure as early as September or October. And they cheered Friday’s vote as an important step.

How it’s supposed to all work: a Q&A

Smog and auto emissions and public health …

Fetal brains and carbon monoxide: the UCLA study.

Premature babies and freeway emissions: the story.

Air pollution and cancer risk. Link.