Leaving flat earth to save the earth.

What is the U.S government doing to stop air pollution?

Leaving flat earth to save the earth.

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:04 pm

Leaving flat earth to save the earth.
President Obama speaking about climate change. / APFiled Under

Predictably, President Barack Obama’s forceful call last week for steps to slow global warming, in part by cutting emissions from coal-burning power plants, was met with a blast of hot air from Kentucky’s two U.S. senators.

“Declaring a war on coal is tantamount to declaring a war on jobs!” thundered Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Louisville Republican and Senate minority leader.

Sen. Rand Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, lamented that President Obama’s policies “are threatening the very way of life that has sustained Kentucky communities for generations.”

Kentucky, a major coal-producing state, already contributes to the problem through an over-reliance on coal — it gets nearly all its electricity from coal-fired power plants. And Kentucky’s two senators are among officials who reflexively defend coal rather than look for ways to diversify Kentucky’s sources of energy and jobs.

So instead of working to position Kentucky for a future not so dependent on a single — and shrinking — industry, the two are among leaders who fall back on empty rhetoric about the “war on coal” with little to offer Kentucky’s working people in terms of future solutions.

The president may well have been talking directly to Senators McConnell and Paul when he warned of the urgency the country and the world face from climate change and global warming.

Mr. Obama made a compelling case, based on science, that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, caused by burning fossil fuels, are trapping heat, making the worlder warmer and threatening the safety and future of citizens in this country and others.

“I don’t have much patience for anyone who denies this challenge is real,” the president said Tuesday in a speech at Georgetown University in Washington. “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat earth society. Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.”

For those willing to face the challenge, the president laid out an ambitious, some might say historic, plan to cut carbon pollution. For the first time, President Obama would create federal limits on the amount of carbon pollution power plants put into the air.

Coal-fired power plants account for almost 40 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gases which scientists say are heating the planet at an alarming rate, according to a story Wednesday by The Courier-Journal’s Washington reporter, James R. Carroll, and environmental reporter James Bruggers.

The United States is the world’s second-largest producer, just behind China, in such carbon emissions.

Because any action from a gridlocked Congress is unlikely, President Obama said he will direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop carbon-emission standards for new and existing power plants. Any such standards are sure to have a profound impact on Kentucky, which ranks third nationally in coal production and gets more than 90 percent of its electricity from coal-fired plants.

That’s also true for Indiana, which relies on coal for 83 percent of its electricity and ranks eighth nationally in coal production.

The president also proposes increasing reliance on natural gas, which is cheaper and cleaner, renewable sources of power such as wind, and improving fuel efficiency for vehicles and energy efficiency for homes.

Not all Kentucky’s elected officials provided the kneejerk reactions offered by its U.S. senators.

Gov. Steve Beshear, who once called on Washington to “Get off our backs!” in his 2011 State of the Commonwealth speech, struck a more moderate tone Tuesday.

While he said he remains concerned about “unreasonable emission standards,” Mr. Beshear added his administration “recognizes the need to address greenhouse gas emissions from all sources.”

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, offered a refreshing note of reason when he spoke about the need to improve poor air quality that he said aggravates the asthma of so many children and adults in his 3rd District.

“Louisville’s air quality is among the worst in the nation,” said Mr. Yarmuth, Kentucky’s only Democrat in Congress. “And yet there are no federal regulations in place to regulate carbon.”

The president’s plan, Mr. Yarmuth said, “not only will make the air we breathe safer, it will also spur investments in clean, sustainable energy technologies that will help our businesses grow and create new jobs.”

Yes, create new jobs. Mr. Yarmuth recognizes the potential in innovation and change the president observes could bring new opportunities for states and officials willing to seize them.

“Don’t bet against American industry,” President Obama advised. “Don’t bet against American workers.”

Too many are willing to bet against the future, among them Senators McConnell and Paul, who instead choose short-term political exploitation. Let them stay with the flat-earthers.

Kentucky needs to join those willing to take on the president’s challenge.

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbc ... ck_check=1

Barack Obama issues a call to action on climate change.
With little bipartisan support, the president plants a stake in the ground on global warming

June 29, 2013
Comments President Barack Obama's speech last week on climate change was a welcome call to action on one of the great challenges of our time. If the science is right — and there is no reason to believe that it isn't — climate change is here and could have severe consequences for human health, the environment and the economy. Meeting the challenge will be difficult and costly but also affords opportunities, especially for job growth in green industries.

As the president said Tuesday, "the question is not whether we need to act."

The problem is that similar calls to action have been issued for decades and not much has been done to curb the belching of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Utilities such as We Energies, car manufacturers and some governments have taken important steps to reduce air pollution from a number of sources and have worked to reduce carbon emissions. They deserve credit for that.

But reductions of carbon dioxide significant enough to have an impact on climate change have remained elusive.

If Obama wants to change that pattern, his administration needs to follow through. The trick will be to do so without harming economic growth. New rules also need to be based on available cost-effective technologies that can actually reduce emissions. It can be done. And while the president's plan may be light on details, he is at least pointing the country in the right direction.

Obama is directing his administration to launch the first-ever federal regulations on heat-trapping gases emitted by new and existing power plants, boost renewable energy production on federal lands, increase efficiency standards and prepare communities to deal with higher temperatures.

This is not a "war on coal" or a "war on jobs," as some Republicans charged after the speech. It's a war on the human contribution to climate change, which some of these critics, such as Wisconsin's own Sen. Ron Johnson, still either deny is a cause or downplay despite overwhelming scientific evidence. Obama noted that the same arguments have been used in the past when other environmental regulations were proposed.

"That's what they said every time," he said. "And every time, they've been wrong. We don't have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society."

The American people seem to understand the problems, even if flat-Earth Republicans don't. As we noted last fall, a national survey then showed a large majority of Americans (77%) saying global warming should be a "very high," "high" or "medium" priority for the president and Congress.

The survey by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication also reported that nearly all Americans (92%) say the president and Congress should make developing sources of clean energy a "very high" (31%), "high" (38%) or "medium" priority (23%).

And a large majority of Americans (88%) say the United States should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.

Most Americans understand that although last year's drought and heat wave — and extreme weather events in recent years — may have been anomalies, the safe bet is to mitigate human effects on climate change as much as possible. The president argued Tuesday that "we know that the costs of these events can be measured in lost lives and lost livelihoods, lost homes, lost businesses, hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency services and disaster relief. In fact, those who are already feeling the effects of climate change don't have time to deny it — they're busy dealing with it."

And those weather events are hitting close to home.

The White House noted in a news release that "Midwesterners will experience increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to climate change, including heat waves, floods and lake-effect snow. In 2011, 11 of the 14 U.S. weather-related disasters with damages of more than $1 billion occurred in the Midwest."

The release also noted that in 2011, "power plants and major industrial facilities in Wisconsin emitted more than 55 million metric tons of carbon pollution — that's equal to the yearly pollution from more than 11 million cars." Reducing those emissions in the state and across the country deserves a high priority.

"As a president, as a father, and as an American, I'm here to say we need to act," Obama said Tuesday.

The president is right — and most Americans agree. But the critical question will be does the administration have the will to do what's necessary and the competence to get it right.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/ba ... 02371.html
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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