BY Marcia G. Yerman ON September 11, 2018
As a new season begins, sweltering heat lingers and wildfires continue to blaze across the nation, while dangerous hurricanes rapidly intensify.
Here are some important climate stories you may have missed:
- In August, there were seventeen wildfires in California. This included the “Mendocino Complex” fire, the largest wildfire in the history of the state. It started at the end of July. Fire officials have stated that they expect to fully contain the fire soon.
- West Virginia, long considered home to coal country Trump supporters, will be receiving a dubious “gift” from the administration — the notification of a roll-back to regulations on coal-fired powered plants. This puts residents of the state, particularly in the northern two-thirds of the state, at a far greater risk for lung, heart, and other illnesses.
- Air pollution is harmful to your brain. A study conducted by Beijing Normal University in China looked at verbal and math scores from 31,000 citizens, in juxtaposition with air quality stats during the 2010 – 2014 time period. They discovered definitive “cognitive decline” in regions where air pollution was acute. Findings also concluded that the results were worse within the groups of older men and men without post-primary school education.
- Air pollution also impact the structure of human hearts. Queen Mary University in London conducted research on how people were impacted by pollution based on the location of where they lived. They determined that “exposure to ambient air pollution is strongly associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.”
- Trump is moving forward to gut the advancement in air pollution regulations, major achievements during the Obama years. America’s Clean Power Plan is a key target. Appointing Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a piece of that plan. His record is clear. Kavanaugh’s written decisions have additionally encompassed challenges, in previous rulings, to what is called “co-benefits.” These are measurable benefits that can impact pollutants not specifically regulated.
- The EPA is working on projected revisions to the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS). This means they want to relitigate the Obama rulings that are in place to protect Americans from the neurotoxins arsenic, nickel, and mercury. It is important to note that children are particularly at risk.
- The EPA watchdog “Inspector General” has officially “found fault” with ex-administrator Scott Pruitt’s $3.5 million twenty-four-hour security expenses, citing “no threat analysis or documented decision” for said expenses.
- A federal court of appeals ordered Trump’s EPA to ban the toxic chemical chlorpyrifos within a sixty-day period of their ruling. The Trump administration had continued to question the “science” around the findings that chlorpyrifos caused neurodevelopmental damage to children. (This is another case that the EPA could try to kick up to the Supreme Court.)
- Candidates who are firmly pro-environment, are including those talking points in their campaigns and visibly in their literature. (If you’re not sure where an elected or challenger stands, check out the our questions to ask.)
- Women are on the ground pushing for a seat at the environmental table. We’re hosting a panel at the Global Climate Action Summit, “Climate Action is Female: How Women Are Supercharging Local Leadership for Climate Solutions.”