Of course, we grow weary of noting all the times Donald Trump has contradicted himself. And those who thought he would in the end support sensible environmental controls were either fools or not listening. But it is true that more than once during the campaign, Trump reassured voters that “Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important” (NYTimes Trump Interview Transcript). Of course, this statement is a coherent excerpt from an incoherent ramble on climate change denial.
But even this claim is utterly confounded by Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Honestly, I wonder why we should bother working to protect our children, when with one swipe of an odious hand, all our efforts are wiped away. Even the most basic protections, hard-earned over decades, are at risk. We can expect more sick and dead children and adults as a direct result. Given the imminent perils of climate change, however, none of that may seem important in another generation or two. How can it be conservative to destroy the very basis of life on this planet? Despite the undeniable reason for despair, however, we are not entitled to sit back and watch it happen, at least not if we care about the future of civilization. I hope readers will join me in trying to move from grief to rebellion, from surrender to activism. At the very least, let us be on the right side of history, even if we fear that someday soon, there will be no one left to read it.
Had Donald Trump spent an entire year scouring the country for someone to weaken clean air and clean water laws and repudiate America’s leadership role in the global battle against climate change, he could not have found a more suitable candidate than Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, whom he picked on Wednesday to run the Environmental Protection Agency.
This is an aggressively bad choice, a poke in the eye to a long history of bipartisan cooperation on environmental issues, to a nation that has come to depend on the agency for healthy air and drinkable water, and to 195 countries that agreed in Paris last year to reduce their emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases in the belief that the United States would show the way. A meeting Monday between Mr. Trump and Al Gore had raised hope among some that the president-elect might reverse his campaign pledge to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord. The Pruitt appointment says otherwise.
Since becoming Oklahoma’s top legal officer in 2011, Mr. Pruitt has been a bitter opponent of the E.P.A., joining in one lawsuit after another to kill off federal environmental regulations. He has challenged standards for reducing soot and smog pollution that cross state lines. He has fought protections against mercury, arsenic and other toxic pollutants from power plants. He has sued to overturn an E.P.A. rule modestly enlarging the scope of the Clean Water Act to protect streams and wetlands vital to the nation’s water supply.
More recently — and of greater interest to the world community — he has joined with other states in a coordinated effort to overturn the E.P.A.’s Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Obama’s regulatory efforts to reduce carbon pollution. If approved by a federal court, the plan could transform the electricity sector, close down hundreds of coal-fired power plants and encourage the growth of cleaner energy sources like wind and solar.
Read the full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/opinion/an-enemy-of-the-epa-to-head-it.html?_r=0
New York Times. 2016, November 23. Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview: Full Transcript. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/us/politics/trump-new-york-times-interview-transcript.html
New York Times. 2016, December 7. An Enemy of the E.P.A to Head It. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/07/opinion/an-enemy-of-the-epa-to-head-it.html?_r=0
I am very pleased to announce that I will be serving my MPH internship at my first choice institution: The Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health (PEHSU) at UIC’s School of Public Health. The Center is our region’s Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, supported by the EPA and the ATSDR. I will be conducting an educational outreach on children’s environmental health.
In advance of this work, I am piloting a survey about people’s perceptions of their children’s environmental health in their specific neighborhoods. I would be very grateful if people would give this survey a try. I am new both to Survey Monkey and to the discipline of Public Health; please save your energies for a more complete measure someday in the future!🙂
Feel free, even if you do not have children but have an opinion about environmental health in your area, to answer on behalf of the children in your life, or in your neighborhood.
Top Ten Easy Ways to Avoid Childhood Cancer, Autism, ADHD, and Lower IQs from Environmental Chemicals
- Remove shoes before entering the home, and if exposed to chemicals at work, wash work clothes separately from family laundry.
- Filter home tap water and carry and store in stainless steel, glass, or BPA- and phthalate-free containers. Microwave food and beverages only in ceramic or glass.
- Reduce exposure to pesticides by choosing organic foods or washing thoroughly. Choose free-range meat raised without medications and avoid eating process, charred, or well-done meat.
- Make informed choices about purchases by consulting the Household Products Database (USDHHS 2016).
- Choose non-toxic and environmentally safe chemicals, eliminate landscape pesticide and fertilizer use, and dispose of toxic chemicals safely.
- Cut down on fossil-fuels consumption by turning off lights, driving a fuel-efficient car, and walking and biking when possible.
- Avoid second-hand tobacco smoke.
- Limit electromagnetic energy when using cell phones, check radon levels, and weigh risks of medical radiation against diagnostic benefits.
- Wear protective covering and sunscreen to limit ultraviolet radiation.
- “Each person can become an active voice in his or her community. To a greater extent than many realize, individuals have the power to affect public policy by letting policymakers know that they strongly support environmental cancer research and measures that will reduce or remove from the environment toxics that are known or suspected carcinogens or endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Individuals also can influence industry by selecting non-toxic products and where these do not exist, communicating with manufacturers and trade organizations about their desire for safer products” (PCP 2010, p. xx).
These tips are adapted from the President’s Cancer Panel‘s recommendations for what individuals can do to reduce their cancer risk from environmental causes. That’s President Bush, BTW, just so you know.
President’s Cancer Panel (PCP). (2010). Reducing environmental cancer risk: What we can do now. Retrieved from http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf
Please take a moment to sign. If you regularly read this blog, you know that pesticides are linked not only to childhood cancer but to autism, ADHD, lower IQs, birth defects, auto-immune disease, and more.
“Nearly every American would agree that we should do everything possible to keep our children healthy and safe. Ironically, our children’s schoolyards and athletic playing fields are typically covered in poisons – a toxic mixture of pesticides used to kill fungus, weeds, and insects. There are currently no federal laws to prohibit pesticides used to improve the cosmetic appearance of lawns on school grounds.
“Of the 36 most common pesticides used in lawn care, 14 are probable carcinogens, 15 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 24 with neurotoxicity, 22 with liver or kidney damage, and 34 are irritants.
“Children are especially sensitive to the harmful effects of pesticides. Children between the ages of 6-11 show higher levels of pesticides in their blood than people of any other age category. Unfortunately, their developing organ systems make them less able to detoxify chemicals than adults. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that exposure to home and garden pesticides increases the risk of childhood leukemia by 7 times. Even low levels of exposure to lawn pesticides are linked to nervous and endocrine system disruption, immune suppression, and asthma.
To read the full petition and put your name to it, please visit http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/626/012/933/?taf_id=29541445&cid=fb_na