Hurricanes. climate change and human health

The old slogan, “If it bleeds it leads” seems to be playing out.  The second one, is “the closer to home the better.”   Tragic losses due to Florence aren’t here yet, but they’re coming.  But the singular focus on Florence kind of makes all the newspapers look about the same.

But, there are the few exceptions, thank God.  You can find them by googling “global warming” and  “hurricanes” and then check News.   Worsening hurricanes is only one horrible affects of global warming.  The more extreme weather events are real, with cyclones in Hawaii and the South Pacific and prolong droughts in Africa. Lives are being lost.

In the prior blog,   I stated the EPA is doing nothing to curb carbon emissions.   Unfortunately, this is a bit of an understatement.   The Trump administration is making things worse- as they  are attempting to eliminate regulations in place, under the Obama administration to reduce our carbon emission.  As reported by the New York Times:

The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere.

Methane, which is among the most powerful greenhouse gases, routinely leaks from oil and gas wells, and energy companies have long said that the rules requiring them to test for emissions were costly and burdensome.

The Environmental Protection Agency, perhaps as soon as this week, plans to make public a proposal to weaken an Obama-era requirement that companies monitor and repair methane leaks, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times. In a related move, the Interior Department is also expected in coming days to release its final version of a draft rule, proposed in February, that essentially repeals a restriction on the intentional venting and “flaring,” or burning, of methane from drilling operations.

The new rules follow two regulatory rollbacks this year that, taken together, represent the foundation of the United States’ effort to rein in global warming. In July, the E.P.A. proposed weakening a rule on carbon dioxide pollution from vehicle tailpipes. And in August, the agency proposed replacing the rule on carbon dioxide pollution from coal-fired power plants with a weaker one that would allow far more global-warming emissions to flow unchecked from the nation’s smokestacks.

The New York Times article is provided in the links below.   The article does not mention that methane is not only a greenhouse gas contributor, in a big way, but also acts to deplete the ozone layer, allowing for more harmful UV sun rays to pass through the upper atmosphere..   Increases in incidences in skin canker can occur.

Unlike EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, I don’t expect Andrew Wheeler to be making public  appearances following hurricane Florence as he follows in Pruitt’s steps of industry friendly policies.

It is crazy to think of carbon emissions and air pollution as a state issue as  some Republicans want to do.   Global warming awareness needs to shift from a focus on political ideology/affiliation or economics, to  real health issues.

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Release Methane Into Air

NASA (2005):  Methane’s Impacts on Climate Change May Be Twice Previous Estimates

USA Today: Why hurricanes are doing more damage: It’s not the storms. It’s us.

The last article is at least, asking the right questions.    More expensive homes along the shore is a contributing factor.   The article concludes, as I did, that global warming doesn’t increase the number of hurricanes, but makes them more devastating in terms of rainfall.   There is research showing that they are more likely to intensify when there is warming water.

 

 

 

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