Extreme Temperature Diary- May 23rd, 2018/ Topic: Refineries and Coal Power Plants- Not In My Backyard

Wednesday May 23rd… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. Here is today’s main climate change related topic:

Refineries- Not In My Backyard

Let’s pretend for a moment that we live in a much better alternative universe in which CO2 was not a greenhouse gas and other factors kept our planet at just the right temperature for civilization as we know it to persist. Now let’s pretend that as of 2018 in this alternative world that wind and solar power technology are on a par with what we have in this world as well as the same methods for extracting energy from fossil fuels. Also, fossil fuels are just as dirty but just as profitable in both worlds. In the alternative world would we still want facilities like coal fired power plants in our backyard? The answer would be a clear no, and most would want a switch to clean, green energy. Now add to that the climate crisis in this world, a big reason for people to be stampeding towards the fossil fuel exit doors. Today I saw one more case why fossil fuels should become part of history, and not just because of the climate crisis…because they probably cause premature births.

Here is the Inside Climate News article that I will be referring from today:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/22052018/air-pollution-coal-power-plants-oil-health-risks-premature-births-california

Quoting from the article:

Shutting down power plants that burn fossil fuels can almost immediately reduce the risk of premature birth in pregnant women living nearby, according to research published Tuesday.

Researchers scrutinized records of more than 57,000 births by mothers who lived close to eight coal- and oil-fired plants across California in the year before the facilities were shut down, and in the year after, when the air was cleaner.

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that the rate of premature births dropped from 7 to 5.1 percent after the plants were shuttered, between 2001 and 2011. The most significant declines came among African American and Asian women. Preterm birth can be associated with lifelong health complications.

Without getting into the weeds of the abortion issue conservatives, and for that matter people of all stripes, would like mothers to have healthy, happy babies after nine months of a good pregnancy. Air pollution is an existential threat, almost being like a method for abortion that nobody wants. A lot of times babies that are premature often have health issues that the will have to suffer and contend with the rest of their lives. Also, their are high medical costs for families having to raise an unhealthy child. I don’t know about you, but I would be treating fossil fuel facilities like Chernobyl…getting as away far from these stinky things as possible.

On a related health issue, is there a higher risk for cancer living near a refinery or coal fired power plant? Oh hell yes among many other ailments:

As with other toxic chemicals, health problems from oil may be difficult to prove because they take a long time to affect people. But most people who live and work near oil drilling sites and refineries are familiar with the pollution of air and water from oil. Drilling for oil, refining it, and burning oil as fuel all lead to many serious health problems, such as the ones listed below and those discussed in more detail on the pages that follow:

  • blurred vision and other eye problems
  • headaches, hallucinations, euphoria (sudden feelings of happiness), tiredness, slurred speech, brain damage, coma
  • convulsions and unusual deaths
  • nose sores and nose bleeds
  • ear infections
  • asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases
  • lung and throat infections and cancers
  • increased risk of TB (tuberculosis)
  • heart attacks
  • digestive problems, including vomiting, ulcers, and stomach cancer
  • damage to liver, kidneys, and bone marrow
  • menstrual problems, miscarriages, stillbirths, and birth defects
  • skin rashes, fungus, and cancers

I’m getting this information from the link below, which is worth a long read:

http://en.hesperian.org/hhg/A_Community_Guide_to_Environmental_Health:Oil_Causes_Serious_Health_Problems  

After reading the article I would advise people to buy gas masks to wear before gassing up at the filling station. I wonder just how much damage people have been doing to their health just by gassing up all of their adult lives? Heck, by doing so and getting some weird looks from strangers, you can wear a gas mask as a public protest against big oil before getting that all electric car.😉 People will get the point. 

Galveston, UNITED STATES: An oil refinery is pictured 22 September 2005 on Galveston Bay in Texas City, TX. Hurricane Rita threatens a large portion of the US oil and gas operations industry in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Texas coast just weeks after a devastating blow to the sector from Katrina. Oil producers and refiners were attempting to secure their facilities in the face of a storm that threatens about 27.5 percent of the industry, said Red Cavaney, president of the American Petroleum Institute. AFP PHOTO/Robert SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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The Climate Guy

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