‘A Conservative Climate Solution’: Republican Group Calls for Carbon Tax

James A. Baker, seen here at former first lady Nancy Reagan’s funeral in March 2016, is a member of the Climate Leadership Council. Despite its impeccable Republican credentials, the group faces long odds with its carbon-tax idea. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

nytimes.com by John Schwartz - February 7, 2017

A group of Republican elder statesmen is calling for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change.

The group, led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury, says that taxing carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels is “a conservative climate solution” based on free-market principles.

Mr. Baker is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, the senior adviser to the president, and Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, as well as Ivanka Trump.

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Miami Doctors Publish Study of First Locally-Acquired Zika Transmission

This is a rash on patient's stomach.
Credit: The New England Journal of Medicine

submitted by Alicia Juarrero

sciencedaily.com - January 12, 2017

Source: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Summary: Following the recent Zika outbreak in Miami-Dade County, a multidisciplinary team of physicians has published a case study describing in detail the nation's first locally-transmitted case of Zika.

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CLICK HERE - NEJM - Cutaneous Eruption in a U.S. Woman with Locally Acquired Zika Virus Infection

 

 

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Climate Change - Tipping Points

Under the Trump administration, the EPA may be shifting away from its focus on preventing climate change and toward a posture where it deals much more with helping the country adapt to its impacts.  President Trump needs a better understanding of the Climate Change Tipping Points, and the effects of its aftermath.  The necessary actions needed to prevent the catastrophic effects after Climate Change Tipping Points have been reached requires both climate mitigation, which refers to actions that prevent further global warming, as well as adaptation.  The general scientific consensus is as follows . . . “Without immediate meaningful action, our governments will be stressed and most if not all will likely fail within this century. All indications are that working together increases survivability. But we must avoid passing deeply towards, or beyond the tipping points in order to mitigate the impacts” . . .

References:

OSS Foundation - Tipping Points ( Climate Change )
http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/tipping-points

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Video - Natural Cycles: Climate Change, Lines of Evidence: Chapter 7

This video from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides an excellent summary on what is occurring with Climate Change.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_10jtPCjQw&index=7&list=PL38EB9C0BC54A9EE2

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We Are Grossly Unprepared for Major Outbreaks

submitted by Alicia Juarrero

           

CLICK HERE - The BMJ - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action

CLICK HERE - Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action (8 page .PDF report)

globalbiodefense.com - January 26, 2017

The world remains “grossly underprepared” for outbreaks of infectious disease, which are likely to become more frequent in the coming decades, warn a team of international experts in The BMJ.

They reviewed reports on the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and say better preparedness and a faster, more coordinated response could have prevented most of the 11,000 deaths directly attributed to Ebola and also the broader economic, social, and health crises that ensued.

. . . a research team, led by Suerie Moon at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, synthesized seven major post-Ebola reports and laid out the key problems and recommendations they highlighted.

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Highest Radiation Reading Since 3/11 Detected at Fukushima No. 1 Reactor

           

Based on image analysis, a two-meter hole has been found in the metal grate under a pressure vessel in reactor No. 2's containment vessels at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. | TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY HOLDINGS INC. / VIA KYODO

japantimes.co.jp - KYODO, STAFF REPORT

The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said.

Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core.

The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.

At 530 sieverts, a person could die from even brief exposure, highlighting the difficulties ahead as the government and Tepco grope their way toward dismantling all three reactors crippled by the March 2011 disaster.

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Staff ‘Overwhelmed’ at Nuclear Plant, but U.S. Won’t Shut It

Diane Turco, the director of Cape Downwinders, which is opposed to the Pilgrim nuclear plant, speaking at a public hearing on Tuesday. Credit M. Scott Brauer for The New York TimesImage: Diane Turco, the director of Cape Downwinders, which is opposed to the Pilgrim nuclear plant, speaking at a public hearing on Tuesday. Credit M. Scott Brauer for The New York Times

nytimes.com - February 1st 2017 - Katharine Q. Seelye

One by one, ordinary residents confronted the federal regulators, telling them during a three-hour meeting Tuesday night that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station here was not safe and should be shut down.

Their chief piece of evidence? An internal email written Dec. 6 by the leader of a federal inspection team and sent accidentally — thanks to autofill in the “to” line — to Diane Turco, a citizen activist opposed to the plant.

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Questions multiply over Bannon’s role in Trump administration

Video: As nationwide protests against President Trump’s immigration mandate rage on, he reshuffled the National Security Council and put chief strategist and former Breitbart News chair Stephen Bannon in an unprecedented national security role. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

washingtonpost.com - January 29th 2017 - Karen DeYoung

President Trump’s elevation of his chief political strategist to a major role in national security policy, and a White House order banning refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries from U.S. entry, appeared to come together as cause and effect over the weekend.

Stephen K. Bannon — whose nationalist convictions and hard-line oppositional view of globalism have long guided Trump — was directly involved in shaping the controversial immigration mandate, according to several people familiar with the drafting who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

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California Professors Sign Open Letter To Trump Urging Action On Climate Change

“We are treading a thin line on whether it’s possible to avert major climate change, and it is absolutely imperative that we do everything we can.”

huffingtonpost.com - byMollie Reilly - January 31, 2017

More than 2,300 faculty members from California public universities signed a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to take the threat of climate change seriously.

The letter, signed by faculty members from the University of California and California State University systems and released on Tuesday, asks Trump to maintain the U.S. commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as specified in the Paris climate change agreement President Barack Obama signed last year. Trump, who has characterized climate change as a hoax, has promised to pull out of that agreement.

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First Zika Infection in a Pregnant Texas Resident Who Did Not Travel Outside the State

dshs.texas.gov - January 25-31, 2017

Texas has identified the first instance of a laboratory-confirmed Zika infection in a pregnant Texas resident who did not travel outside the state. The woman, a resident of Bexar County, traveled to Brownsville in November, around the time six Brownsville residents acquired cases of Zika virus disease from mosquitoes there. She did not get sick and was tested for Zika during regular prenatal care. Because the infection was not transmitted in Bexar County, it does not represent an increased risk of Zika there.

The infection could have been transmitted by mosquitoes or through sexual contact with a partner who was infected. DSHS urges everyone, especially pregnant women, to continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites when visiting Brownsville and other parts of the state where mosquito activity continues throughout the winter months. Pregnant women should also protect themselves against sexual transmission from partners who travel to those areas by avoiding sexual contact or using condoms for the duration of the pregnancy.

CLICK HERE - First Zika Infection in a Pregnant Texas Resident Who Did Not Travel Outside the State

CLICK HERE - Texas DSHS - Zika in Texas

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Here’s How We Know Trump’s Cabinet Picks are Wrong on Human-Caused Global Warming

           

Summary of observational evidence that human carbon dioxide emissions are causing the climate to warm. Photograph: John Cook, SkepticalScience.com.

The research is clear – humans are responsible for all the global warming since 1950

CLICK HERE - IPCC - Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)

theguardian.com - by Dana Nuccitelli - January 30, 2017

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report – which summarizes the latest and greatest climate science research – was quite clear that humans are responsible for global warming . . . 

 . . . In fact, the report’s best estimate was that humans are responsible for all of the global warming since 1951, and greenhouse gases for about 140%. That’s because natural factors have had roughly zero net effect on temperatures during that time, and other human pollutants have had a significant cooling effect.

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'It's A Big One': Iowa Pipeline Leaks Nearly 140,000 Gallons Of Diesel

           

Crews clean up the diesel fuel spill after a pipeline broke in Worth County, Iowa on Wednesday.  Chris Zoeller/Mason City Globe Gazette/globegazette.com

npr.org - by Rebecca Hersher - January 26, 2017

An underground pipeline that runs through multiple Midwestern states has leaked an estimated 138,000 gallons of diesel fuel, according to the company that owns it, Magellan Midstream Partners.

Clay Masters of Iowa Public Radio reported diesel leaking from a 12-inch underground pipe was initially spotted in a farm field in north-central Worth County, Iowa, on Wednesday morning. Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Iowa Department of Natural Resources joined representatives of Magellan and other local officials at the site, Masters reported.

"It's a big one — it's significant," Jeff Vansteenburg of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources told the Des Moines Register.

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U.S. Government Scientists Go 'Rogue' in Defiance of Trump

           

Badlands National Park in South Dakota is pictured in this July 16, 2014 handout photo.
Badlands National Park/Handout via REUTERS

reuters.com - by Steve Gorman - January 26, 2017

Employees from more than a dozen U.S. government agencies have established a network of unofficial "rogue" Twitter feeds in defiance of what they see as attempts by President Donald Trump to muzzle federal climate change research and other science.

Seizing on Trump's favorite mode of discourse, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other bureaus have privately launched Twitter accounts - borrowing names and logos of their agencies - to protest restrictions they view as censorship and provide unfettered platforms for information the new administration has curtailed.

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A Message to President Donald J. Trump - EPA - Climate Change

An important message to President Donald J. Trump regarding his pending decision to remove the “Climate Change” page from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) website, as reported by Reuters on January 25, 2017  . . .

CLICK HERE - Reuters - Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website: sources - (Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Dear Mr. President,

If you order the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the “Climate Change” page from its website in an effort to sideline scientific research on climate change, you will not succeed.  Thankfully, most of the important climate change research has already been archived within websites not under your control where scientists and interested citizens can easily access this important information (links to two such websites will be provided below).

As President, you should do your homework before making such crucial decisions, as the future of our children and grandchildren will depend on the decisions you make.  Please do not prioritize money and economic gain ahead of health and human security.

Respectfully yours,

Kathy Gilbeaux

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Hidden Data Suggests Fracking Created Widespread, Systemic Impact in Pennsylvania

           

Annual citizen complaints reported to PA DEP compared to the annual number of new unconventional oil and gas wells. © Public Herald

Trends Show Impacts Are Getting Worse

publicherald.org - by Melissa A. Troutman, Sierra Shamer and Joshua B. Pribanic

After a three-year investigation in Pennsylvania, Public Herald has uncovered evidence of widespread and systemic impacts related to “fracking,” a controversial oil and gas technology.

Ending over a decade of suppression by the state, this evidence is now available to the public for the first time.

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