Thursday, January 7, 2010

Health or dollars?

Can we start by agreeing that air pollution is bad? Probably. But where we'll disagree is on how much air pollution is acceptable and how much we're willing to spend to reduce it. The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed tougher smog standards, just a couple of years after President Bush ignored scientists’ recommendations and set a higher smog standard than what they proposed. Actually, ignored is probably not the right word. Bush heard what they said, but when electric utilities and other companies complained, he sided with industry over the health of Americans. The new, tighter standards are not cost-free, by any means. The EPA says it will cost tens of billions to meet the called-for smog reductions, but the agency says billions eventually will be saved in terms of avoided emergency room visits, premature deaths, missed work, etc. We can't control what other countries do around the globe, but we can, and should, do what we can to improve our environment. And that includes, for some people, admitting that climate change is real and that our actions are largely to blame for it. And admitting that we need to do more – much more – to develop alternatives to our current fuel sources.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

but the agency says billions eventually will be saved in terms of avoided emergency room visits, premature deaths, missed work, etc

You say any change will cost billions to remedy the problem. That is undoubtedly right.

Looking at your list with regard to ER, deaths, missed work, etc, people could take responsibility and eliminate 17,000 deaths each year, eliminate 40,000 injuries, and avoid huge amounts of missed work and lots of property damage. It will not cost one penny.

Stop drinking and driving. Why do we always look to other sources for minimizing deaths, missed work, blah, blah, blah when there is an easy path to follow? I guess it is easy to point fingers at others, saying it is the problem of somebody else. How easy it is to eliminate 17,000 deaths, 40,000 injuries. Why not? Oh yes, easy to point fingers at others.

January 7, 2010 at 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And that includes, for some people, admitting that climate change is real and that our actions are largely to blame for it."
How do you explain the ice ages and the subsequent retreating of the glaciers? If we are causing the climate change what caused that environmental event? Just curious.

January 7, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

But tighter environmental standards will cost the rate payers more, Brant. Bush was looking out for the consumers. I'm sick of reading the hateful crap on your blog.

January 7, 2010 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I have no doubt that the way we live is harmful to the environment. But I have a real problem buying into the whole "climate change" argument...a name, which by the way, was adopted after "global warming" didn't quite catch on.

The earth's climate is cyclical, and we might be heading towards a warming trend. But it's tough to argue that the "planet has a fever" as Gore says when there are record snowfalls in places that rarely see snow.

I applaud you, Brant. You're taking a stand on this during a pretty rough stretch of winter. But I think that's where the global warming zealots run into credibility problems. How about that conference in Copenhagen recently? Denmark didn't have enough limousines to accommodate the climate "experts" who are the biggest proponents of this argument. The airport had to shuffle schedules to make room for all of the private jets. And the city endured a blizzard while the conference was going on. How can people take it seriously?

The average temperature around the world rose less than two degrees between 1900 and 1999. I'm not too worried about the polar ice caps engulfing my home any time soon.

January 8, 2010 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I certainly didn't see any "hateful crap" in this post, MJ. Can you enlighten me please?

January 8, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Pri, better switch on your sarcasm detector. ;-)

January 8, 2010 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Sorry, Pri. I've been in sarcasm mode for about six months now.

I definitely agree with you on the Copenhagen talks and all of the diplomats' limos/private jets. If they're serious about climate change, then they need to first show it in their actions rather than flapping their gums (I know it's what politicians do best).

January 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Apparently someone switched off my sarcasm detector over the holidays. It's working now, though.

January 9, 2010 at 6:58 AM  
Anonymous x anonymous said...

We can agree that pollution is real, but to sign a treaty that would kill off jobs faster than two coke heads in White House. Well that ain't right, it's like two cousins... kissing! That goes for cap and trade also.

If you want to see harmful intentions take a ride to W.VA! We all have read about mountain top removal. I always thought it was a non union vs umwa. I don't care if you are union or non. I enjoy the mountains of W.VA. I grew up hunting and fishing all over W.VA. The filthy rich owners of the strip mines don't care what they do our backyards. They are changing the landscape of W.VA just so they can save money by not putting in a pit mouth! I grew up in Greene County. I'm use to seeing herds of deer. BUT! I seen herds of deer in the day time all over rt 19. Right after DEER SEASON. Hell I think blackpowder is still in. The deer are confused.
I'm no tree hugger, but I've always tried to leave an area better than I found it!

January 11, 2010 at 12:14 AM  
Anonymous x said...

*** off the issue @ hand ***

must watch for everyone.

You wanted change! Well we have Chicago Style!

January 11, 2010 at 8:26 AM  

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