Fighting words from former EPA leader

first_imgSpeaking at Harvard this week, former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy urged an audience of climate scientists and health experts to stop sulking over the Trump administration’s anti-climate-science stance, to get to work, and to speak out.“Get the mopes off your faces and pull up your big-boy pants,” she said.The long-term nature of climate change ensures that the efforts of one administration will have little impact, McCarthy said, listing several reasons why momentum for addressing the crisis will be difficult to slow. Chief among those reasons, she said, is work at the state and local level.McCarthy, who served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 2013 until January, addressed an audience of about 100 at Jefferson Hall as part of Climate Week at Harvard. In a talk that was by turns humorous, grim, and hopeful, she insisted that the country is in a different place than it was when President Obama took office eight years ago. More citizens — business leaders among them — accept climate science, and supporters of action on the issue are finding their voices, she said.The average cost of wind power, meanwhile, fell 61 percent between 2009 and 2015, while that of solar declined 91 percent, meaning that clean energy has gotten cheap enough that even unfavorable government policies can’t kill it, McCarthy said. The real threat of such policies, she said, is that the U.S. risks losing a leadership position in the energy technology of the future.Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Director Michael VanRooyen spoke on the first panel regarding the mass migrations that will result from the effects of climate change. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer“The clean energy train has left the station. It’s not going back,” McCarthy said.To those scientists who fear politicizing their work, McCarthy warned that staying silent will make things worse. Recent proposals would add industry voices to the EPA peer review process and bar scientists who’ve received EPA grants in recent years. In effect, she said, opponents of climate action are moving beyond ignoring research and trying to block the science from even being conducted.“Your only way of not being political is to get in the fray because what these bills do is make your world political,” McCarthy said, urging scientists to talk in their role “as a public citizen who is well informed.”“Talk, as one human being to another, about what the science tells you and what you want to have done to protect your children and your children’s future,” McCarthy said. “If it’s important to you, it should be important to the person next to you who doesn’t know what you know.”McCarthy, who is on campus for fellowships at the Kennedy School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, spoke at an event titled “Human Health in a Changing Climate,” sponsored by the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) and the Climate Change Solutions Fund. President Drew Faust offered introductory remarks, calling skepticism about science in Washington, D.C., “unfounded” and “unwarranted.”“This permeates public discourse across our country,???? Faust said. “Research that is essential to national and human progress is under assault, and the expansion and perpetuation of knowledge, for the first time in my lifetime, seems to be something that none of us can take for granted.”In addition to McCarthy’s talk, the event featured panels on climate change and human migration, climate from a physician’s point of view, and ways to communicate the health impact of climate.In the discussion on migration, Jennifer Leaning, the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, and Michael VanRooyen, head of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and a professor of emergency medicine, talked about ways in which climate effects — longer droughts, flooding, stronger hurricanes — force people to move.Leaning offered Syria as an example of that process. Internal migration was prompted by a severe drought, one that scientists say was exacerbated by climate change. Farmers moved to a part of the country less affected by drought and already hosting refugees from Iraq. The subsequent strains led first to protests and then to the violence that drove millions of Syrians out of the country and into neighboring nations.FXB Center for Health and Human Rights Director Jennifer Leaning discussed how the Syrian Civil War grew out of a severe drought that scientists believe was exacerbated by climate change. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerIn her talk, McCarthy struck a hopeful note, reminding listeners that states have significant power to enact climate-related solutions. California — with the world’s fifth-largest economy — has enacted a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, and the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative uses a cap-and-trade system for the region’s power industry.The president’s executive orders will have little effect on environmental rules that have been finalized, McCarthy said, as undoing those rules is as time-consuming as proposing them. In addition, she said, regulations that have been supported by sound science in the rule-making process can’t be undone without opposing science — and, if presented, that science will have to be explained in court.“I know what it takes to put those rules together. They ain’t got it,” McCarthy said. “We have not lost, they have just set a stage for a battle in a different location.”McCarthy acknowledged that Trump’s proposed EPA cuts would devastate significant functions of the agency. If adopted, the cuts would reduce the agency budget by a third, and the money for science by half. Though the rationale would be to return responsibility for regulating pollution to the states, the proposal would also cut state funding by 45 percent, McCarthy said. A possible bright spot, she said, is that Congress has a long history of ignoring presidential budget requests as it drafts its own spending priorities.last_img read more

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P1-B aid to increase WV rice production

first_imgThree sub-projects of the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) have been implemented in this region. They were the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), Expanded Inbred Rice Production and Expanded Hybrid Rice Production in Suitable Areas.These three projects are expected to benefit around 210,000 farmers.DA-6 procured hybrid and inbred varieties suitable for the wet season while the central office handled the procurement of fertilizers.A total of 359,756 bags of inorganic fertilizers have been allotted to RCEF beneficiaries to complement the distribution of inbred seeds covering 179,878 hectares of targeted rice areas in this region. RECOTER. PNA Hybrid seeds, meanwhile, have been distributed under the Expanded Hybrid Rice Production subproject for 68,234 hectares. This is on top of the regular allocation from the National Rice Program covering 11,766 hectares. “At least we are assured of our staple food. We can likewise provide other regions of their deficit,” she said. ILOILO City – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking to increase the rice production in Western Visayas amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.   Around 153,000 bags have been distributed to almost 75, 000 farmers through various drop-off points in this region. Recoter said that as of July 23, almost 72 percent or about 502,000 bags of the 604,000 bags of fertilizers allocated for Region 6 have been delivered. On the other hand, certified seeds have been earmarked for 15,000 hectares of rice plantation under the Expanded Inbred Rice Production subproject together with 30,000 bags of fertilizer. “Our expectation is 10 percent additional production for the wet season,” she said. Recoter said DA-6 has completed the procurement of 15,000 bags of certified seeds for Guimaras and Capiz.She added that 9,541 bags or almost 70 to 71 percent of the target distribution have been released to 7,614 farmers. Recoter said that if the weather cooperates, then they look forward to around 200,000 metric tons of additional production this year from last year’s 2.077 million metric tons. “We are hoping that by end of July the deliveries will be completed,” she said. DA-6’s distribution of hybrid seeds is also ongoing. As of July 23, 25,000 bags out of the 68,000 hybrid seeds have been released to 16,136 farmers. This region’s current rice sufficiency level is at 117 percent. Agriculture regional executive director Engr. Remelyn Recoter said last week the department has allocated P1.06 billion assistance for Western Visayas rice farmers under the Bayanihan We Heal as One Act. A total of 240,000 bags of inorganic fertilizer will also be partnered with these hybrid seeds. Recoter said that it was the first time for the national government to extend massive subsidy to farmers, which could help reduce their cost of production in terms of seeds and fertilizers. The increased production would also mean an increase in this region’s share to the national output. Western Visayas currently shares around 11 to 12 percent of the national production. “Hopefully by end of July we will be at 80 percent,” she said, adding that some farmers are still in their land preparation as the planting in this region has been delayed by one and one-half to two months due to late onset of the rainy season. Those who utilize good seeds or home-saved seeds will also be provided with fertilizer support of about 65,148 bags which are good for 32,574 hectares of rice area. Other than increasing sufficiency level, DA is also looking into the uncertainty in rice importation due to COVID-19. (With a report from PNA/PN)last_img read more

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Chris Paul leads Clippers to Game 1 win over Spurs

first_img Game 2 is Wednesday night.The Clippers led by 18 points (79-61) late in the third quarter and by 17 (86-69) early in the fourth before the Spurs cut that to nine (90-81). But a 7-0 run, starting with a 3-point play by Blake Griffin, restored order.• VIDEO: Chris Paul on Game 1 winGriffin had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Jamal Crawford scored 17 off the bench and shot 7 of 10. And DeAndre Jordan had nine points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.“They played harder longer,” San Antonio’s Tim Duncan said. Griffin agreed.“We came out with great energy and made stops,” he said.Kawhi Leonard led San Antonio with 18 points and Duncan had 11 points and 11 rebounds.The Clippers played outstanding defense, holding the Spurs to 36.6-percent shooting. The Clippers shot 51.3 percent.A big key to the victory was holding off the Spurs when they made that run to cut the deficit to nine points. With 7:35 to play, there was still plenty of time left for the Spurs to come all the way back.“You have two very good teams and there is no lead safe with either team,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “One of the things we talked about coming into this series, we were going to have to have great resolve.”Paul, in particular, was just a beast. He scored 13 of his points in the fourth quarter. His counterpart, Tony Parker, was impressed.“He does a little bit of everything,” said Parker, who tweaked an ankle but still played 28-plus minutes, scoring 10 points but had just one assist. “He got it going. He got his outside shot going. We try to take away the lobs and he made the shots.”Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was matter of fact when assessing the game.“The game was, their defense was better than our offense,” he said. “Their aggressiveness, their physicality, their athleticism really hurt us offensively.”Rivers referred to Paul just the other day as being a man on a mission. Paul has not been past the second round of the playoffs during his career, and that is always a topic of conversation once the postseason gets under way.Paul didn’t want to really go there postgame.“It’s not about my sense of urgency, it’s about the team’s sense of urgency,” he said.The Clippers, as an organization, have never been past the second round, either.It appeared Paul had that special look of determination in his eyes.“I don’t know, he was making shots,” Rivers said. “He put a lot of pressure on the defense. And what makes Chris and Parker both so good is if you try to take away their shots, then they beat you with the pass. If you try to take away their passes, they can beat you with the shot.”Paul beat the Spurs with his shot, and much more, in this Game 1 that had several big plays. One that really got the crowd going came midway through third quarter when the Clippers’ Matt Barnes got into a vicious wrestling match for the ball with San Antonio center Aron Baynes.The two went tumbling over photographers. When Barnes emerged from the fracas, he pounded his chest and the fans went wild.“I thought there were a lot of little moments for us in the game like that,” Rivers said. “Matt’s play, and I thought Jamal making shots in that stretch right before the end of halftime (was big).”Crawford had struggled mightily with his shot in the four games he played since coming back from missing 17 games with a calf injury. He said he’s starting to feel like himself again.“Yeah, I did,” he said. “I thought the days in between last game and this game, I was able to get some work in, get my conditioning right.”Not to be left out, Griffin threw down a tomahawk dunk in the third for a 77-61 lead that nearly brought down the house. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Chris Paul of the Clippers admitted Sunday morning he woke up with butterflies.“Yeah, I guess, every game,” he said.They must have been gone by the time Game 1 of the Clippers’ Western Conference first-round playoff series rolled around Sunday night because Paul played spectacularly. He scored 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting, doled out six assists and grabbed seven rebounds and the Clippers came through with a rousing 107-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs before 19,309 at Staples Center.• PHOTOS: Clippers beat Spurs in Game 1last_img read more

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