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Author Topic: Pollution  (Read 14819 times)

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #750 on: March 18, 2019, 07:27:52 pm »
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March 18, 2019

No, Air Pollution Isn’t Racist. But People Are, and the Trump Administration is No Exception.

Last week, research published in PNAS documented how white people cause more PM2.5 air pollution than their communities experience, while black and brown communities experience significantly more pollution than their consumption produces. In the absence of systemic racial inequities, one would expect the ratio of pollution produced to pollution experienced to be even. But in our country, per the study, “Blacks and Hispanics on average bear a ‘pollution burden’ of 56% and 63% excess exposure, respectively, relative to the exposure caused by their consumption.”

The reaction from the deniersphere was, of course, denial. Preeminent scholar of all things science and race Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that “now we have RACIST AIR. This insanity has to stop.” (Surely it’s “just a joke”...)

Meanwhile, per Media Matters, black Fox host David Webb  told Fox and Friends that the study is “gobbledy gook.” Webb explained that, and we’re not kidding about this, the study was done by “a ‘peer-reviewed group’” and that “these enviro-terrorists, these eco-terrorists, they want to sell you a narrative. So they peer review it and say it’s a study, they don’t apply the scientific method.”

While on some level it is hysterical that Webb chose to criticize the study for being peer reviewed (huh?), there are lives on the line here. Lives that, in part because they’re more likely to be brown and black, the Trump administration is all too happy to sacrifice in the name of protecting polluters’ profits.

It’s happening right now on the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). We raised this issue back in November 2017, when Scott Pruitt followed the instructions of former tobacco defender and current fossil fuel promoter Steve Milloy and installed a handful of tobacco and fossil-fuel supported deniers on to advisory committees. Then it came up again last October when some, but not all, of Pruitt’s pro-polluter PM2.5 denial policies were backbenched, not long after reporting showed how Trump’s own paperwork acknowledged that the PM2.5 regulatory rollbacks would lead to some 40,000 additional deaths. 

As expected, the tobacco and fossil fuel hacks installed on the committees are fighting against the science showing that PM2.5 kills people. Though it is a complicated story in the details, Marianne Lavelle at InsideClimate News provides some concise (and un-paywalled) coverage of the story.

In broad strokes, it looks like this. Tony Cox 🦕, who has worked on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute, is now chair of the CASAC. He sent a letter to the EPA attacking the draft of a recent EPA report on PM2.5, criticizing it for not including (bogus) studies he and his buddies have been paid by polluters to produce in order to make it seem like that pollution is no big deal.

In response, one of the scientists whom Pruitt 🦖 kicked off the panel, Christopher Frey 👍of UNC, submitted his own comments indicating that Cox was out of line for sending that letter to the EPA as though he spoke for the entire advisory council, because doing so  would be a violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

It’s now in the hands of the EPA to finalize the report on PM2.5 pollution, and it can choose whether or not to incorporate the PM2.5 denial studies suggested by Cox. Meanwhile, House Democrats are working on legislation to protect these panels, as well as science in general, from politicization by the administration.

But while we wait for the slow wheel of Congress to legislate, the science is clear that PM2.5 air pollution is deadly ☠️. And though communities of color are responsible for producing less of it, they’ll bear more of the burden. A cost they will pay with their bodies.

Not all racists use guns to kill the people they consider unwelcome in their white nation, but that doesn’t make them any less deadly. The Trump administration is pushing for policies that, if allowed to go forward, will literally kill tens of thousands of people. And black and brown communities will continue to bear the greatest burden of that suffering

But please, do go on about how the Green New Deal is wrong to incorporate racial justice, and is “tantamount to genocide.”

Read more:

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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