U.S. must lead fight against killer pollution

first_imgHarmful particulates, toxic chemicals and smog-forming gases result from fuel burning, from primitive dung-fired cooking stoves to massive coal-burning power plants.These and other forms of pollution promote asthma, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and other maladies.Premature death is only one problem.Long-term impairment before death also results in human misery and material impoverishment. Developing nations, many of which lack strong environmental enforcement, are much worse off than developed countries, the study found.Poor and middle-income nations account for 92 percent of the premature deaths globally.Pollution drives a full quarter of deaths in some lower-income countries. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post. A major study published last month in the Lancet, a British medical journal, found that there is a global killer responsible for more yearly deaths than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.Pollution.The problem is pervasive, affecting every country on the planet.It is expensive, costing the globe a whopping $4.6 trillion a year — about 6 percent of global gross domestic product — in hours not worked, premature deaths, health spending and eroded quality of life.The study associated pollution with 1 in 6 premature deaths, 9 million people in 2015.Even if the numbers are off a bit, the magnitude is striking.Air pollution is the leading culprit, linked to 6.5 million deaths, followed by water pollution, with 1.8 million. The study’s authors argue that this human toll is not the inevitable price of development, nor a problem that will simply disappear with growth; countries should not “wait for an economy to reach a magical tipping point that will solve the problems of environmental degradation and pollution-related disease,” they write. Instead, the authors insist, developing nations should look to the United States.The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and the enforcement of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, each passed in the early 1970s and updated since, resulted in dramatic reductions in harmful pollution, over a period of time in which the economy more than doubled in size.Not every pollution restriction that environmentalists dream up makes sense.But mandating relatively cheap pollution controls or, when possible, simply taxing polluters for the damage they do can result in a good value proposition for developing and developed nations alike. Poor countries struggling to pull their citizens out of abject poverty may yet find it tough to take the long view.Many Americans, including those in the Trump administration, still fail to do so. Conservative critics of environmental rules often overstate the potential costs of pollution controls and discount the benefits.The Trump administration is on this basis weakening pollution rules across the board, sending an early signal about its approach by tapping Scott Pruitt, a climate-change denier, to lead the EPA.Yet the United States has hardly finished the job; the nation still sees tons of pollution pumped into the air, directly harming people and contributing to global warming.Meanwhile, the federal government has not yet addressed other forms of pollution, such as toxic chemical exposure, with needed rigor, and the Trump administration has sent negative signals about its intentions to do so. The Lancet study should remind leaders in the United States and elsewhere that, though there are costs associated with restricting pollution, countries also incur costs by failing to do so.Finding the right balance requires acknowledging both sides and weighing them carefully.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Dec. 28

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOppose new toll/tax on upstate driversHere we go again. New York just keeps finding new reasons to take more of our hard-earned money.We’ve seen proposals for toll hikes to pay for the Tappan Zee Bridge, then for license plate replacement fees, and this time targeting drivers without E-ZPass. A new proposal from the Thruway Authority would increase tolls for drivers who pay cash, 30% more to be exact, and another $2 for each billing statement.It’s completely unfair to force drivers to have E-ZPass or pay more. This amounts to nothing more than another tax. I’m ready to fight tooth and nail against any toll hikes on upstate drivers.We pay more than enough already, but it seems like the state will never stop trying to take more.Angelo SantabarbaraSchenectadyThe writer represents the 111th Assembly District in the state Legislature.Focus on positives to boost your spiritsI have been trying to figure out why I am having difficulty getting into the Christmas spirit this year.In the past, I related it to my career, which I retired from three years ago, of a public safety dispatcher.The constant barrage of complaints, the domestic calls, serious accidents and life-threatening medical calls always made it very difficult. So why this year?Since I retired, it was easy to get in the spirit. But I finally have figured it out. It is due to the constant barrage of negative news, complaining and griping, on the television and at social locations, such as my gym and other locations. All you hear is the negative.Politics, starting at the top, both local and national, and encompassing all parties and levels, has caused a caustic, negative and damaging effect to all levels of the social economic system. The few positives that come out are very soundly trounced by the negative.I was taught, by a very good manager at one of my previous employments, that negativity is like a cancer: Once it starts, it takes over. Positive thoughts and actions have a very difficult time conquering the negative, but when it does, everyone feels better.I, for one, choose to look at the positive and push the positive. I challenge the aforementioned, and everyone else, to do the same and see what a difference each of us can make.That will give us the Christmas and giving spirit all year long.David W. GallupScotia‘Trump Impeached’ photo showed biasA number of readers of The Daily Gazette have written letters to the editor decrying the newspaper’s “left leanings” or “liberal bent.”I personally do not recall any letters alleging the opposite.In fact, I have always considered The Gazette to be a fairly unbiased and impartial publication.Until, that is, I saw the front page of the Dec. 19 edition.Under the larger-than-normal, bold-faced headline, “Trump Impeached” was a huge photograph of Donald Trump with his arms outstretched at his sides, his eyes half-closed, and a somber, somewhat somnolescent expression on his face.Of all the many photos of this man that were available, The Gazette chose to print one that clearly portrays him as a persecuted victim of crucifixion, unmistakably evoking images of another historical figure who claimed to be leading his followers to their salvation. Seriously?Paul DeierleinSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Studying the form

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Industry rounds on planning reforms

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Talk of the towns: Glos, Herefords and Worcs

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Eurotunnel to dispose of Kent development land

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PREMIUMSmelly water: Bekasi regency residents bear brunt of overloaded dumpsite

first_imgLog in with your social account Linkedin Facebook Forgot Password ? Topics : Google LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here An unpleasant odor filling the air is not the only issue people living in Burangkeng village, Setu, Bekasi regency face, as the Burangkeng final disposal site (TPA), which is operating beyond its capacity, has also contaminated their groundwater, further posing risks to their wellbeing.People living in Burangkeng village are susceptible to water contamination, as garbage from their local disposal site has infested their houses. Those living in close proximity to the landfill have slightly yellow and oily water, with an unpleasant odor coming emanating from it when stored for at least two hours in a reservoir.Among those affected is Mulyani, a 31-year-old scavenger who was born and raised in the village long before the disposal site became overloaded, when living conditions she claimed were better. The sole disposal site of the rege… water dump-site disposal-site landfill-facility Bekasi Bekasi-regency West-Java Burangkeng WasteManagement waste garbagelast_img read more

First coronavirus death on US soil confirmed, Trump calls for calm

first_imgThe first fatality from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed on US soil, as President Donald Trump on Saturday urged Americans not to panic.Health officials said the man who died in Washington state was one of a handful with no known links to global hot zones to have contracted the virus — indicating that the pathogen was now likely spreading in communities.The death occurred in King County, the most populous in the state and home to Seattle, a city of more than 700,000 people, officials told AFP. “Our country is prepared for any circumstance,” Trump insisted, calling on “the media and politicians and everybody else involved not to do anything to incite panic.”Trump identified the victim as “a wonderful woman,” but the CDC later said it had misinformed the president in an earlier briefing.Washington state also reported on Saturday the country’s first case of coronavirus in a health care worker and the first possible outbreak in a nursing home. This comes after the states of Oregon and California confirmed late last week the first instances of infected US patients who had not traveled overseas or come in contact with anyone known to be ill.”While there is still much to learn about the unfolding situations in California, Oregon and Washington, preliminary information raises the level of concern about the immediate threat for COVID-19 for certain communities in the United States,” the CDC said.- ‘We will see more cases’ -Trump said he would meet with leaders of big pharmaceutical groups at the White House on Monday to discuss treatments and efforts to develop a vaccine to combat the virus.The president said the number of cases detected by the US public health system now stood at 22. Combined with patients who were repatriated from abroad, the overall number of infected on US soil is now about 70.”We will see more cases,” Health Secretary Alex Azar told the White House press conference.”But it’s important to remember, for the vast majority of individuals who contract the novel coronavirus, they will experience mild to moderate symptoms.”Their treatment will be to remain at home and treat the symptoms as they would the flu, he added.The president and other officials also announced a more complete ban on travel from Iran, which has seen a rapid spread of the disease, and encouraged Americans to avoid travel to hard-hit areas in Italy and South Korea.Vice President Mike Pence, charged by Trump to lead efforts against the virus, said that an existing ban on travel from Iran had been expanded to include any foreign national who has visited the Islamic republic within the last 14 days.Trump also said the United States was ready to assist Iran with its coronavirus outbreak and that “all they have to do is ask.”An American citizen died of the new coronavirus in early February at the Chinese epicenter of the global outbreak, the city of Wuhan, the US embassy confirmed at the time.Worldwide, the virus has hit about 60 countries across the globe, with more than 2,900 people killed and over 85,000 infected since it was first detected at an animal market in Wuhan late last year.Topics : The victim was in his 50s and had “underlying health conditions,” said Jeff Duchin, public health officer for Seattle and King County.”It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19,” Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement, sending condolences to the victim’s loved ones.Inslee declared a state of emergency over coronavirus, freeing up funding for state agencies and allowing the use of the Washington National Guard, if necessary.Speaking at a White House news conference Trump said that “additional cases in the United States are likely,” but added that “healthy individuals should be able to fully recover.”last_img read more

FIFA boss looking at soccer reform after coronavirus crisis

first_imgFIFA president Gianni Infantino believes the global coronavirus crisis could bring about a reform of football which he does not expect to return to action by May.”Without panic, let’s face it, we will play when we can without endangering anyone’s health,” the head of world football said.”Health first. Then everything else. And the rest, for managers, means hoping for the best but also preparing for the worst.” “But let’s look at the opportunities. We can perhaps reform world football by taking a step back. With different formats. Fewer tournaments, maybe fewer teams, but more balanced. “Fewer games to protect the health of the players.”It’s not science fiction, let’s talk about it. Let’s quantify the damage, see how to cover it, make sacrifices and let’s start again. “Not from scratch. But let’s all save football together from a crisis that risks being irreversible.”Infantino revealed he was working on temporary derogations on footballers’ contracts to avoid the June 30 deadline.”Now let’s think about the national team calendar, and about temporary changes and dispensations for the regulations on the status of players and transfers. “To protect contracts and adapt registration periods. Tough measures are needed tough. But there is no choice. We will all have to make sacrifices.”Infantino, meanwhile, dismissed talk of a planned European Super League for the top clubs.”It makes me laugh,” he said. “And what else? From what I see, others are already planning and organising tournaments around the world, outside the institutional structures, and without respect for how domestic, continental and world football are organised.”In the future we must have at least 50 national teams that can win the World Cup, not just eight European and two South American ones. “And 50 clubs that can win the Club World Cup, not just five or six European ones. And twenty of these 50 will be Europeans, which seems to me better than today’s five or six. But this is not the time to talk about it now.”Topics : World football has been thrown into turmoil by the pandemic which has killed 15,000 and confined more than a billion people at their homes.The Euro 2020 and Copa America tournaments have already been pushed back while uncertainty remains over the inaugural 24-team Club World Cup from 2021.”We need an assessment of the global economic impact,” the 50-year-old Swiss told Monday’s edition of Gazzetta Dello Sport. “We don’t know when things will return to normal. last_img read more

Indonesia calls on G20 to improve access to medical needs, better social protection

first_imgAhead of the first Group of 20 Summit to be hosted virtually on Thursday evening, Indonesia called on member countries to create better access to drugs and medical equipment while also protecting vulnerable groups from a possible pandemic-induced global recession.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is still expected to attend the teleconference, hosted remotely by G20 chairman Saudi Arabia and led by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, although he is still grieving over the passing of his mother on Wednesday. Leaders from the United States, Russia, China and France are also expected to take part in the remote crisis talks.The President is to be accompanied by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, according to the Office of the Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister. Another point Indonesia was prioritizing for the G20 statement was to support and ensure the safety of medical personnel in accordance with World Health Organization standards, urging ease of access to medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE).Indonesia, among many other countries around the world, has been overwhelmed by a lack of PPE, underscored by President Jokowi’s statement that 180 countries were fending off one another to get the equipment.Rizal said the government also raised the issue of affordability and availability of vaccines and other medical supplies.“In this case, Indonesia requests that each G20 country will be able to [better] facilitate trade and mobility of drugs and other medical needs, including through the relaxation of export-import procedures,” he said.The global Doctors Without Borders (MSF) previously urged for supplies to be shared across borders according to where the needs were the greatest.“This needs to start with states in Europe sharing their supplies with Italy. It will soon need to extend to other regions that will be hit by this pandemic and whose ability to cope is already compromised,” MSF analysis department director Jonathan Whittall said in a statement on Thursday.Indonesia pointed out, however, that all forms of global financial contributions must still refer to national conditions and priorities. “This is in view of differences in domestic needs and priorities of each affected country to mobilize all available resources,” Rizal said.Leaders of the G20 countries are also being called on to commit to creating stronger cooperation to prevent a deeper global economic recession as a result of a prolonged pandemic.The death toll from the virus, which emerged in China late last year, rose past 21,000, with the number of infections globally closing in on half a million, according to official tallies. An estimated 3 million people have also been forced into lockdown.Indonesia has supported a proposal from Saudi Arabia to include a social safety net as one of the efforts to protect the poor in the face of COVID-19, especially among developing countries. It also approved Japan’s proposal to include a paragraph in which G20 leaders support the Japanese government’s announcement to delay the 2020 Olympics as a result of the outbreak.Topics : Acting as Indonesia’s G20 sherpa, the deputy chief for international economic cooperation at the Office of the Coordinating Minister, Rizal Affandi Lukman, attended on Wednesday an online teleconference for drafters of a G20 leaders’ statement on COVID-19.Rizal said that the leaders’ statement must recommend concrete and actionable steps for handling COVID-19, stressing that any statement would only be beneficial if each G20 member country was committed to working together to contain the pandemic.“On this occasion, Indonesia delivered a number of main points that were recommended to be part of the leaders’ statement. First, increasing social protection for vulnerable groups including the elderly, micro, small and medium enterprises and low-wage workers,” Rizal said in a statement received on Thursday.According to the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry, Indonesia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for 99.9 percent of total businesses, employ up to 97 percent of the total workforce and contribute more than 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.last_img read more