Mar 11, 2019

Everywhere: Plastic’s Health Risks

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----- Forwarded message ----
From: Brendan <>
Date: Sat, Mar 9, 2019 at 6:11 AM
Subject: Plastic's Health Risks

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Message From the Editor
Virtually all plastic on Earth is made from fossil fuels, and a new report follows the life cycle of plastic from the moment an oil and gas well is drilled to the time plastic trash breaks down in the environment, finding "distinct risks to human health" at every stage.
But industry groups are eager to create a new "Plastics Belt" in the Ohio River Valley, driven by fracked oil and gas, and argue that it's better to make plastic and petrochemicals here than in places like China, with its infamous air pollution problems.
In the latest installment of our Fracking for Plastics series, Sharon Kelly digs into these claims and others that try to justify a shale-fueled expansion in the U.S.
Have a story tip or feedback? Get in touch:
Brendan DeMelle
Executive Director
By Sharon Kelly (15 min. read)
A new report traces the life cycle of plastic from the moment an oil and gas well is drilled to the time plastic trash breaks down in the environment, finding "distinct risks to human health" at every stage.
Virtually all plastic — 99 percent of it, according to the Center for International Environmental Law report — comes from fossil fuels. And a growing slice comes from fracked oil and gas wells and the natural gas liquids they produce.
The report concluded that plastics bring toxic or carcinogenic health risks to people at every stage. Read more.
By Justin Mikulka (7 min. read)
The U.S. exported a record 3.6 million barrels per day of oil in February. This oil is the result of the American fracking boom — and as a report from Oil Change International recently noted — its continued growth is undermining global efforts to limit climate change. The Energy Information Administration predicts U.S. oil production will increase again in 2019 to record levels, largely driven by fracking in the Permian shale in Texas and New Mexico.
And the U.S. is not alone in trying to maximize oil and gas production. Despite the financial failures of the U.S. fracking industry, international efforts to duplicate the American fracking story are ramping up across the globe. Read more.
By Ashley Braun (2 min. read)
By now, it's no secret that oil companies have been long aware of the risks of climate change from burning fossil fuels. Exxon had "no doubt" that carbon dioxide was a global threat by the late 1970s, and Shell wrote in 1988 that the resulting climate change might lead to "the greatest [changes] in recorded history."
But decades before, the oil industry was already privy to — and giving its own internal warnings about — the climate threats of carbon pollution from burning its products. In fact, as one science-and-art collaboration illustrated this week, that was happening before humans even landed on the Moon in 1969. Read more.
By Dave Pomerantz, Energy and Policy Institute (6 min. read)
The hedge fund trying to buy a New Mexico coal plant slated for closure has pitched legislators on its plan: it wants to install expensive technology to capture the plant's carbon pollution, despite the fact that the plant is closing because it cannot compete economically with renewable energy.
The City of Farmington, which is in talks to sell the plant to Acme, asked New Mexico legislators on Saturday to amend a bill currently under debate, the Energy Transition Act, to allow Acme the time it says it needs to install the carbon capture technology. Legislators planned to consider the amendment on Monday. The bill aims to transition the state's economy to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050. Read more.
By Climate Investigations Center (3 min. read)
In February, the Climate Investigations Center's Kert Davies was an invited speaker at a collaborative conference held at Brown University on the economic impacts of climate change and the opposition to policy advances. The day long event, America's Climate Change Future: Housing Markets, Stranded Assets, and Entrenched Interests, gathered experts on a range of climate change topics ranging from increased flood risk and stranded assets in fossil fuels, to the climate change countermovement and misinformation campaigns.
Alongside keynote speaker Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Brown professor Timmons Roberts, Davies participated in a discussion on a recently published paper by Justin Farrell of Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The paper's focus on the "institutional and corporate structure of the climate change countermovement" helped shaped a discussion which outlined the existing body of research the paper built on. Read more.
By Zeke Hausfather, Carbon Brief (10 min. read)
A misleading graph purporting to show that past changes in Greenland's temperatures dwarf modern climate change has been circling the internet since at least 2010.
However, warming is expected to continue in the future as human actions continue to emit greenhouse gases, primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels. Climate models project that if emissions continue, by 2050, Greenland temperatures will exceed anything seen since the last interglacial period, around 125,000 years ago. Read more.
By Climate Denier Roundup (3 min. read)
DeSmog published a story this week from the Climate Investigations Center that touches on an interesting angle that's emerging in the climate world as kids lead the way.
The article describes a conference last month at Brown University that featured a 90-minute panel built around a recent study in Nature Climate Change showing how decades of concerted misinformation played a key role in the current climate of climate denial. The event was convened by Brown's Climate Development Lab. Brown students at the lab recently compiled and published a report giving the backstory on a dozen climate denial coalitions. Read more.
By Karen Savage, Climate Liability News (9 min. read)
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a 123-year-old trade group that has worked diligently to defend Big Oil in the burgeoning climate liability battles, has also taken on another opponent to the status quo: investors.
In addition to filing briefs in defense of the fossil fuel industry, launching campaigns to discredit the communities filing suits and intervening on the side of the federal government in a landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, NAM has rallied behind efforts to keep corporate shareholders from influencing how oil companies conduct business. Read more.
Patrick Moore is a Canadian business consultant, often incorrectly referred to as a founder of Greenpeace, who believes that humans are not to blame for global warming. In addition to his role as policy advisor for the climate-denying Heartland Institute, Moore has worked for the mining industry, the logging industry, PVC manufacturers, the nuclear industry, and in defense of biotechnology. Recently, Moore gained attention on conservative news outlets such as Fox News for attacks on Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal.
Read the full profile and browse other individuals and organizations in our research database.