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

Iraq declares curfews as gunfights rage

first_imgFive people were killed on Wednesdayand more than 200 were wounded in renewed clashes nationwide, the largestdisplay of public anger against Abdul Mahdi’s year-old government. Two werekilled on Tuesday.(Reuters) Demonstrators disperse as Iraqi security forces use tear gas during a protest in Baghdad, Iraq on Oct. 2. REUTERS/THAIER AL-SUDANI BAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister AdelAbdul Mahdi declared a curfew in Baghdad after at least seven people werekilled and over 400 were injured during two days of nationwide anti-governmentprotests.      center_img Curfews were imposed in Nassiriya,Amara and Hilla as protests began on Tuesday over unemployment, corruption andpoor public services while counter-terrorism troops opened fire on protesterswho were trying to storm Baghdad airport.last_img read more

Copa Del Rey Watch: Madrid Survive Fuenlabrada Scare; Leganes And Malaga Experience Contrasting Fortunes

first_imgReal Madrid have qualified for the Round of 16 but they had to do it the hard way after the European champions suffered a scare against Segunda B side Fuenlabrada in their Spanish Copa Del Rey last 32 second leg clash.The visitors took a 1-0 first half lead courtesy Luis Milla’s strike to pull the aggregate score back to 2-1 as goals from Marco Asensio (penalty) and Lucas Vazquez (penalty) had earlier given Real Madrid a 2-0 lead in the first leg.Fuenlabrada held on till the 63rd minute before two Borja Mayoral goals in seven minutes gave a second string Madrid team a 2-1 lead on the night however the lowly team didn’t go down without a fight and they deservedly equalised through Portilla to earn a respectable 2-2 draw against their continental city rivals at the Estadio Santiago Bernebeu on Tuesday and a 4-2 aggregate loss over two legs.The other two Spanish La Liga sides in action on Tuesday, Leganes and Malaga, experienced contrasting fortunes after respective aggregate scoreline against lower oppositions.Leganes defeated Real Valladolid 1-0 at home courtesy Tito’s 34th minute strike to secure a 3-1 aggregate win thereby qualifying for the Round of 16.Malaga, on the other hand, have been eliminated after they drew 1-1 with Numancia at home to fall to a 3-2 aggregate loss to their less fancied opponents.RelatedSpanish Copa Del Rey Latest: Vazquez Double Takes Madrid Into Quarters; Leganes And Alaves Are Also ThroughJanuary 11, 2018In “Europe”Lowly Leganes Stun Real Madrid Out Of Copa Del ReyJanuary 25, 2018In “Europe”Copa Del Rey Recap: Sevilla Beat Giantkillers Leganes To Book Final SpotFebruary 8, 2018In “Europe”last_img read more