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Editorial: ‘We All Breathe the Same Air’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the Missoulian (Montana):Montana is home to one of the top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases in the nation. The coal-fired power plant at Colstrip is by far the largest industrial source of greenhouse gases in Montana, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Nevertheless, thanks to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Montana was finally on its way to charting a course for cleaner energy. In the past few years the state had put together a blueprint of sorts for complying with the plan, and earlier this year Gov. Steve Bullock announced the members of a 27-member advisory council charged with making recommendations on how to cut carbon pollution in the most environmentally effective, least economically damaging way possible.Then the Clean Power Plan got tangled up in the courts, coal began a steady global collapse and Montana’s leaders seemingly abandoned efforts to help mitigate climate change in order to focus their attention on saving the Colstrip power plant.Montana’s state and federal leaders have been spending a great deal of time talking about how to keep Colstrip viable. Bullock is even taking steps to put together a working group addressing Colstrip’s future.They are taking this train in the wrong direction. Regardless of how the Clean Power Plan plays out in court, Montana must get back on track. It must not commit public resources to propping up an industry that damages public health. Montanans must remind our governor and congressional delegates that the state still needs to plan for a future that includes a strong, diversified energy industry, good-paying jobs and most of all, clean air.There’s no reason to delay, and every reason to move forward with urgency. Montanans’ health depends on it.Just this month, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released a new report that links the effects of climate change with public health, and noted that if things don’t change, Montana can expect to see more drought, soil erosion and dust activity, for instance. The report, “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment,” connects these outcomes to human activities including agriculture, livestock grazing, irrigation and the like.It also, of course, notes that Montana can expect more wildfires and more smoke – and therefore, poorer air quality.In Missoula and Ravalli counties, poor air quality is particularly concerning. Although Missoula has made some headway thanks to local standards, it is still losing ground and its air quality continues to receive the poorest possible grade from the American Lung Association.The American Lung Association will be releasing its annual State of the Air report later this month. Last year’s report, which studied the years 2011-2013, showed that hotter, drier summers – with their more frequent, more intense wildfires – were responsible for increased particle pollution in places like Missoula and Ravalli counties. In Missoula County, for example, 86 percent of the poor air quality days were directly attributed to wildfire smoke.Consequently, Missoulians can expect to see more cases of chronic illness and respiratory disease. Children and the elderly, pregnant women, and people with heart or lung disease are especially vulnerable. Climate change is even extending the allergy season, including more – and more potent – airborne allergens.County-level air quality standards are effective, but they can only go so far. Montana must join the national push to mitigate wildfires by curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and it can accomplish this by dramatically reducing the use of coal as an energy source.And then what? Montana must continue to hold a statewide discussion that focuses on replacing polluting energy sources with cleaner ones, making use of new energy technologies and training a workforce equipped to overcome the inevitable challenges of such a massive transition.Recent polling data shows Montana residents want to do something about climate change, but are skeptical of the Clean Power Plan. A poll released last month by the University of Montana and Stanford University found that 54 percent of Montanans agree that climate change’s effect “pose a serious problem for the state.” And a whopping 71 percent would prefer to see the state “develop its own plan to reduce emissions” instead of allowing the federal government to call the shots.Montanans can already see that climate change is costing us immensely, and we shouldn’t wait to begin taking steps to reduce that threat by implementing our own standards. Bullock ought to reconvene the Clean Power Plan advisory council, and direct the group to continue working on this issue.The council should be given the support to continue to develop state-level solutions to the global problem of climate change.Montanans may remain divided on the Clean Power Plan, whether to lend public support to propping up Colstrip and, if so, how far to go. Regardless of those divisions, it would be wise to keep in mind that we all breathe the same air.Missoulian Editorial: Return focus to clean energy, healthy air Editorial: ‘We All Breathe the Same Air’last_img read more

Walters makes quick recovery

first_img Press Association The 30-year-old was due to rejoin his international team-mates for the United States leg of their summer programme after a trip to Dubai when he was laid low by a mystery virus. Doctors even prescribed medication for meningitis as a precaution as they looked for a cause before eventually attributing his symptoms to a bug. He said: “I was trying to get over but Alan, the doctor, said to stay away for a couple of days and see how your daughter is first, make sure everything is okay. “I was desperate to get over really. I came over on Friday, which was a long day. I just made the bus to get to the Costa Rica game.” Walters warmed up with his team-mates at PPL Park, but did not play any part in the game, and he is keen to get his chance against another of the World Cup finalists, Portugal, in New Jersey during the early hours of Wednesday morning. He said: “I would like to be involved – hopefully I will be. There are a lot of lads who want to play, so we will see what team he [manager Martin O’Neill] picks. But I’d like to be involved. “It’s their [Portugal’s] last game before the World Cup starts, so depending on who plays, I’m sure there will be players who will want to impress. “It’s great. They are the games you want to be involved in.” Walters endured a frustrating end to a good season for club Stoke when a red card and subsequent three-match ban cost him his place in the team. He was dismissed for a high challenge on Norwich’s Alex Tettey on March 8 and two months on, still feels the decision – or at least the punishment – was harsh. The frontman said: “I took a bad touch off my chest and it bounced. We have both gone for it and he’s literally just nicked it before me. “Yeah, it was harsh, like as if I head-butted him. I got sent off for violent conduct – that’s what I got marked down for. “I think the scream got me sent off. I went in to see the referee after and he just said he had to put it down as violent conduct.” Ireland striker Jon Walters will hope to face the might of Portugal barely a week after finding himself on a drip in hospital. Walters said: “I had woken up in Dubai and started to get headaches and my eyes got worse. “By the time I landed, I was struggling to drive home from the airport. I got a good night’s sleep, but the next morning I woke up the same, just really, really bad headaches. “My eyes were really sore and I couldn’t look up at the light. I was struggling all day and went to hospital that night. “Because I had headaches and the like, they put me straight through and put me on a drip and gave me antibiotics for meningitis just in case. “They have to take it as a worst-case scenario, so they gave me that on a drip and then a few hours later, I had a blood test. Then at 1am, they said it had all come back clean and it could be a migraine. “But that evening, my daughter had the same thing, headaches and she was throwing up all night, so it must have been a bug. But they don’t know, all the blood tests came back clean.” Walters’ condition – and that of his daughter – improved so rapidly that he had a flight booked to America for the day after he was released from hospital. However, Ireland doctor Alan Byrne advised him to remain at home for a couple more days, and he arrived in Philadelphia on Friday just in time to board the team coach for the friendly clash with Costa Rica. last_img read more