Monday, December 11, 2006

With all of Bush's (likely) empty rhetoric about coming together with the opposition party for the good of the country, there still exists many troubling environmental items that need addressing.
EPA Air Pollution Decision Threatens Public Health. Disregarding and misrepresenting recommendations from their own scientists, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized new air pollution standards that do not sufficiently protect public health. The new rules apply to fine particulate matter pollution, sources of which include agricultural activity, vehicle exhaust, and emissions from coal-fired power plants. Over 2,000 recent studies have linked particulate matter exposure to heart disease, respiratory ailments, and premature death.

Pollution 'putting millions of children at brain damage risk'. Millions of children throughout the world may have suffered brain damage as a result of industrial pollution, researchers say. Common pollutants may be causing a “silent pandemic” of neurodevelopmental disorders by impairing the brain development of foetuses and infants, scientists writing today in The Lancet medical journal say.

EPA scientists file mass petition for action on global warming. Majority of Entire EPA Workforce Calls for Regulation of Greenhouse Gases. In an unprecedented action, representatives for more than 10,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists are calling on Congress to take immediate action against global warming, according to a petition released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The petition also calls for an end to censorship of agency scientists and other specialists on topics of climate change and the effects of air pollution.

Carbon emissions show sharp rise. The rise in humanity's emissions of carbon dioxide has accelerated sharply, according to a new analysis. The Global Carbon Project says that emissions were rising by less than 1% annually up to the year 2000, but are now rising at 2.5% per year. It says the acceleration comes mainly from a rise in charcoal consumption and a lack of new energy efficiency gains.
For more, click here.

An immediate step towards improvement comes from getting rid of crackpot Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) as head of the environmental committee. Barbara Boxer and the Dems plan on correcting all of the many wrongs perpetrated by this administration under the rubber-stamping of the Republicans. Boxer said environmental rollbacks from this administration "in the dead of the night" are history, "that's over. We are going to bring these things into the light."

And hopefully this item is a sign of things to come: "The Bush administration, looking at the prospect of stronger oversight from a Democratic-led Congress, is withdrawing a proposal to let big polluters report less often on what they spew from their smokestacks."

Just a year ago, this would've been one of those rollbacks, occurring in the still of the night, threatening our health and environment all for the sake of big business. Thankfully, there's a new sheriff in town, and already many of the bad guys are high-tailing it the hell out. Good riddance.

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