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

Louis van Gaal is appointed manager of Manchester United

first_imgLouis van Gaal has been appointed manager of Manchester United on a three-year deal and vowed to “make history” at the club. The Holland coach will officially start work at Old Trafford in July after his commitments at the World Cup are over.Van Gaal emerged as United’s preferred choice shortly after David Moyes was sacked but the club asked Ryan Giggs to take temporary charge until the end of the season while they concluded a deal with the Dutchman, who has vast experience of coaching at the top level.His previous jobs include spells with Ajax, Bayern Munich and Barcelona. He won the domestic title with each of those clubs and also with AZ Alkmaar.Ryan Giggs will be his No2 with Frans Hoek and Marcel Bout joining as assistant coaches.Ed Woodward, the United vice-chairman, said in a statement from the club: “In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today. He has achieved many things in his career to date and Old Trafford provides him with a fitting stage on which to write new chapters in the Manchester United story.”Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the club’s history. His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us. People know him as a larger than life character but I have also been extremely impressed by his intelligence, thoughtful approach to the role and his diligence. I’m looking forward to working with him. “I’m delighted that Louis has chosen Ryan as his assistant. Ryan’s association with the club spans over two decades and his knowledge and stature will be of great use to Louis. In addition, this is a fantastic opportunity for Ryan to learn his trade alongside a world-class manager whose attacking instincts and belief in youth are tailor-made for Manchester United.”Van Gaal said: “It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League. To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud. I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are. This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history.”Executive co-chairman, Joel Glazer, added: “I am delighted that Louis will be our next manager. He has an outstanding pedigree as a coach, both as a man who motivates his teams to win trophies and as someone who believes in giving young players a chance to prove their worth. I am sure he will make a big impression on the club, the players and the fans.”Van Gaal said last week that would love the United job and described the club as the biggest in the world. He takes over after a difficult season at Old Trafford which ended with the club finishing seventh in the Premier League, meaning they will compete in neither the Champions League nor the Europa League.The rebuilding of the squad is expected to include the signing of the left-back Luke Shaw from Southampton. Tottenham had hoped to lure Van Gaal for the start of next season but United proved a bigger draw for the 62-year-old. His official unveiling by United will take place after the World Cup.Giggs said: “I am thrilled to have the chance to serve as assistant manager. Louis van Gaal is a world-class coach and I know I will learn a lot about coaching from being able to observe and contribute at such close quarters. Manchester United has been a huge part of my life and I’m delighted to be able to continue that relationship in such a key role.”Frans Hoek is the Netherlands’ goalkeeping coach and has been instrumental in the development of keepers such as United legend Edwin van der Sar and Barcelona’s Victor Valdes. Marcel Bout joins as assistant coach, specialising in opposition scouting, having previously worked for Bayern Munich, Telstar, AZ, FC Volendam and Feyenoord.last_img read more