Friday, March 7, 2014

Doctor claims no global warming is public health emergency causing asthma, ADHD, blue baby syndrome, gastroenteritis, arsenic poisoning...

Add them to the incomplete list of all things caused by global warming

Doctor contends that global warming is a public health emergency

By Harold Reutter, The Independent

Thursday, March 6, 2014 10:59 pm

Asthma, hay fever, ADHD, blue baby syndrome and gastroenteritis. As Dr. Wendy Ring noted, those are all medical conditions that affect humans.

But Ring told an audience at Central Community College-Grand Island Campus, audiences at CCC-Columbus, CCC-Hastings and CCC education centers at Holdrege, Kearney and Lexington Thursday, the cases of all those human illnesses are increasing because of global climate change.

During her presentation, she encouraged audience participation by having people make a medical diagnosis of the illness, then form a hypothesis of on how global climate change is connected to that illness.

Ring said the number of asthma cases in the United States is rising because of increasing ozone levels in the atmosphere [which is not due to global warming]. She said children are especially susceptible to asthma for a number of reasons, including the fact that their respiration rate is faster than the rate for adults.

Exercise means children breathe even more rapidly, she said. As a result, children who play three outdoor sports in an area with high levels of ozone are three times more likely to develop asthma than the kid who might be labeled a couch potato.

“Ozone is a fancy name for smog,” said Ring, who said high ozone levels are not confined only to big cities like Los Angeles or Denver. The family physician said one source of ozone is coal-burning power plants and she noted the emissions from smokestacks at such plants travel very long distances.

As a result, coal-plant emissions from Asia travel across the Pacific Ocean and help make the mostly rural San Joaquin Valley in central California one of the smoggiest areas in the United States.

During her opening remarks, Ring noted that global warming is caused by rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. She said carbon is produced anytime something is burned, whether it be gasoline, oil, coal or natural gas.

She said the production of carbon — actually the production of carbon dioxide or CO2 — creates an atmospheric blanket [no] that does not allow the heat to escape. As a result, the way to slow down global warming is for humans to “quit burning stuff,” or at least quit burning stuff at the current rate.

CO2 also increases pollen production, which is why global climate change is a factor for people who have hay fever, Ring said. Because the earth is getting warmer, the hay fever season is getting longer. [there is no statistically significant warming past 20 years]

While CO2 helps produce more pollen, it cuts down on yields for crops such as corn and especially on a crop such as soybeans, she said. [she got that backwards] Global climate change also can help create drought conditions.[no evidence for that concludes IPCC]

Ring said that when farmers apply nitrogen fertilizer to fields, they apply it at the rate for the high-yielding crop they hope to harvest in the fall. However, if drought kills the corn crop, then there are no corn plants to take up nitrogen from the soil. Even if there is not a total crop failure, greatly reduced yields will mean less removal of nitrogen from the earth.

As a result, when it does rain, nitrogen fertilizer is leeched from the soil into the groundwater, she said. If high-nitrate groundwater becomes part of a drinking water supply for people, then it’s possible for a baby to develop a rash and become irritable. More importantly, that baby might also develop blue-tinged skin because of an inability to process oxygen properly due to the high nitrates in the drinking water used for baby formula. [has nothing to do with AGW]

Ring said high nitrates also can have bad health effects on adults.

Lead poisoning in children has been declining because of the removal of lead from gasoline and from paint, she said. However, rain still can wash lead from the atmosphere to the ground, where once again, the substance works its way into the groundwater, which may be used for human consumption.

Ring said the worst thing about lead poisoning is that once it happens to a child, the damage is permanent. It cannot be undone. [has nothing to do with AGW]

Arsenic is often a naturally occurring substance in soil and rocks, she said. However, if drought causes the water table to drop significantly, arsenic that is part of underground rocks can be exposed to air and oxygenated, creating a substance called arsenite that can be 100 times more toxic than the original arsenic. 
[has nothing to do with AGW]

Cyclospora is found in warm climates. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach and gut cramping and weight loss. Ring noted that a number of people who dined at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants — including people from Nebraska — became ill last year because of imported foods that were used to make salads at the restaurants. [does she expect locally sourced salads from Nebraska?]

Ring said that with the drought now affecting California, it is quite possible that Americans will be eating more vegetables imported from countries that do not have the same stringent safety standards for food as the U.S. “Wash your vegetables well,” she said.

Ring’s talk was called “Nebraska on the Edge: How Climate Change Threatens Public Health.” At the beginning of her presentation, the doctor said that Nebraska is “on the edge” because it has not suffered the severe drought that some states farther west have had to endure. But as the atmosphere continues to warm, some of the problems that have plagued western states will become more common in Nebraska.

She pointed out that Nebraska already is seeing increased outbreaks of toxic blue-green algae blooms in lakes and ponds.

In addition to all the diseases that become more prevalent, intense heat alone can be a killer, said Ring, who said heat waves that last for days or weeks before breaking can kill people. She said heat waves that once occurred somewhere in the world once every 30 years may become an annual event at various spots on the globe by the middle of this century.

Ring was adamant that individual initiative — driving hybrid automobiles, using energy-efficient light bulbs, recycling — is not enough to halt global climate change. She said the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere must be dramatically reduced by 2030 and individual initiative won’t make enough of a difference.

“Some people can’t afford to give up their cars. Some people can’t afford to go out and buy hybrids right away,” said Ring, who noted much faster action is needed, so that is why the country cannot wait for enough individuals to take action to have an impact on global climate change.

She said climate change is a public health issue and needs a public health solution.

British physician John Snow traced a deadly cholera outbreak to a public water pump on Broad Street, she said. But he did not go door-to-door warning individuals not to drink water from the pump.

“He took the handle off the pump,” said Ring, who noted that solution is why Snow is considered the father of public health.

When it comes to climate change, “the handle must be taken off the pump,” she said, noting that that means greater reliance on renewable energy sources so that the human race is “burning less stuff.”

Ring said that approach means limiting global warming to 4 or 5 degrees, which our children and grandchildren can survive, rather than a temperature increase of 7 to 12 degrees, which they cannot.

1 comment:

  1. I am also a rural Family Physician and one of the great benefits of rural life is that you very quickly learn to recognise various types of manure.

    Dr Ring's presentation sounds very much like horse $h*t