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Big turnout for 'environmental action' group

Original post made on Mar 6, 2008

More than 100 enthusiastic people filled the Palo Alto Council Chambers Wednesday afternoon, eager to help fight global warming through the newly created Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP).

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 11:46 PM

Comments (42)

Posted by Howard, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2008 at 12:12 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
What they refuse to acknowledge is that, just by chosing to live in this extraordinarily moderate climate, we all are earning "carbon credits" that put us way ahead of 99% of the rest of the world. We are absolutely the last people on earth who should be doing anything whatsoever out of the ordinary to conserve energy, "go green" etc. I for one am content to stand by and wait for New York, Chicago, India, China and all the other true energy hogs to do their part and at least catch up to us vis-a-vis reduced energy consumption before changing my lifestyle one iota.


Posted by Jody, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2008 at 1:49 am

We can impart a true love and appreciation for nature and respect for the environment to our children through our own actions.

Children will remember and learn from the actions taken by their parents, teachers, and their city on environmental issues.

Our children and grandchildren will remember us, and thank us for our dedication and work in our conservation efforts, and the lessons they have learned indirectly through our actions.

Irrespective of what others may be doing, we must be proactive by doing our part (no matter how small), to make a concerted effort to show we genuinely care about the future of our planet.

Appreciation and respect for our environment is the ultimate legacy that we can leave for our children and grandchildren, since they will inherit our earth.

The ultimate unselfish gift is conservation.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2008 at 4:52 am

Well, I thought what is happening here is a drop in the bucket compared to China's pollution/environmental problems that get into the jet stream and are impacting the entire world. In meantime, full steam ahead for their economy!


Posted by Walt Hayes As The New Hitler?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2008 at 5:11 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 5:28 am

Just what we need - another bunch of Carrie Nations. They will dissipate capital on fool's errands.


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2008 at 8:00 am

This is another extension of our city council's, and specifically our former, current and future mayor's, personal jihad for their climate change pipe dream.
we have already heard of plans for the entire city to go on a "low carbon diet" in the coming month. I am sure this will look good in the papers and provide plenty of photo-ops for our climate change troika or Yoriko, Larry and Peter.
Meanwhile, our libraries and roads are in disrepair. Our tax base is diminishing. Rome burns while the 3 stooges of climate change fidlle around and feed their egos.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 8:37 am

I just wonder how many of the 100 people who showed up at City Hall for this rally walked, biked or rode the cross town shuttle Downtown yesterday to attend this meeting? I never read anywhere that the cross-town shuttle had been overloaded with riders. I bet most of them drove their cars to City Hall.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2008 at 9:13 am

Until this city bans wood burning fireplaces, inside and outside, I refuse to believe that the City is taking the environment seriously.

The amount of pollution from these fireplaces winter or even outside on summer evenings is only locally, but local air is what we all breath. If we start with our own air first, we will make more of a difference than trying to close the hole in ozone layer by ourselves.


Posted by Donald, a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 10:01 am

Leadership by example is the best way to generate action. Waiting for other people to act before you do anything is selfish, petty and unproductive. Would you listen to diet and health advice from an obese doctor who smokes?


Posted by Drinking The Koolaid Is Not Optional, a resident of Monroe Park
on Mar 6, 2008 at 11:23 am

Walt Hayes is another of the "global con men" or the Al Gore School.
The City Council needs to take note of what the competent Climate Scientists are saying:

Web Link

Climate change and global variability
5 March 2008
A significant drop in global average temperature in January 2008 has led to speculation that the Earth is experiencing a period of sustained cooling.

Global Cooling:
Web Link


Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm



I understand that about 33% of the air pollution in the Bay Area comes from Asia mainly China.

It would be more constructive to take economic action against those nations that pollute our air, food supply, toys and medicines.



Posted by Donald, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 1:00 pm

I don't believe that 33% of our air pollution comes from China. Even if it did, how can you convince another country to take action if you are not willing to do something yourself? If you set a good example then you have a decent chance of convincing others to follow you, otherwise you are just a whiner and a hypocrite.


Posted by Breathing China's Dirty Air, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2008 at 1:10 pm

> I don't believe that pollution from China is coming to the
> Bay Area ..
----
Web Link
MOUNT TAMALPAIS STATE PARK, Calif. — On a mountaintop overlooking the

Pacific Ocean, Steven Cliff collects evidence of an industrial revolution taking place thousands of miles away.

The tiny, airborne particles Cliff gathers at an air monitoring station just north of San Francisco drifted over the ocean from coal-fired power plants, smelters, dust storms and diesel trucks in China and other Asian countries.
----

BELIEVE IT!


Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 1:27 pm


Breathing China's Dirty Air


Thanks for the link above. We need to act to stop this contamination of our air now.

I understand that Trader Joes will no longer sell food from China because so much of it is poisoned--- buy at Trader Joes!!!!

What about the contaminated medicines and toys and pet foods and human foods from China? What are the health and economic costs to USA from poisoned imports from China?

We can us the Olympics as a forum to protest and stop this outrage.



Posted by perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm

absolutely hilarious.

well, if these folks want to spend their time on this stuff, let 'em. It makes them feel useful. Too bad, I can think of many more MUCH more useful volunteer jobs they could be doing. Oh well.

Just don't try to regulate my life for me, thank you. Like the wood burning fireplaces stuff...what happened to people when that was ALL there was for heat?
give me a break.


Posted by mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm



Here is an article from NYT about poisoned medicine from China Web Link

I understand that China is building a new grossly polluting Coal Fired Power Station every 2 weeks.

Guess where all that mercury and pollution ends up?

In our food, water and air that is where.




Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm

To answer the question of midtown perspective.

The average lifespan of people has increased enormously from when burning wood was the only source of heat and that is due not only to advances in medicine, etc. but from the cleaner air we breathe.

You may think it wonderful to pollute the air, but for many of us, we would rather you didn't. You may not like doing it voluntarily, but one of these days, wood burning will be gone like smoking tobacco, done by the embarrassed few.


Posted by Joan, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 6, 2008 at 2:42 pm

If we are breathing China's polluted air; Europe is breathing polluted air from the United States. Time to practice what you preach. Don't criticize China for something you are doing to Europe!!


Posted by AL, a resident of Southgate
on Mar 6, 2008 at 2:57 pm

But if Europe is breathing polluted air from the U.S., then China is breathing polluted air from Europe. Maybe everybody should stop preaching.


Posted by sue mom, a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2008 at 3:03 pm



Joan

Where is the evidence for your claim that the USA is poisoning Europe?

The Europeans do not make such claims.

The evidence that China is poisoning our air is clear and accurate see Web Link

Also we have evidence about poisoned food, toys and medicines, see the link from NYT in that mike a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood posted above.

These maybe inconvenient truths but they are truths.

Your moral equivalence argument is false and misleading


As a mother I want the truth about the poison that can harm my children.





Posted by Jackass, a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Every time an automobile (even the symbol of liberal piety, the Prius) runs over a pothole it is forced to rev up thereby causing more pollution to be released into the environment than is necessary. Thus, if the City really wanted to reduce Carbon emissions it should fix all of our dilapidated streets! But this CEAP nonsense is just a way for all good eco-liberals to publicly display their love for their own wrapped sense of righteousness, because all liberals live by the rule that if you can't make a spectacle out of something then it is not worth doing.

If a conservative picks up a piece of trash in the forest, the forest is cleaner. If a liberal picks up a piece of trash in the forest, it is only because they must have called a press conference to announce the event, in which case the forest gets trampled and violated in the process.


Posted by mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 6, 2008 at 4:17 pm



The moral equivalence argument is indeed false

"Coal is indeed China's double-edged sword — the new economy's black gold and the fragile environment's dark cloud.

Already, China uses more coal than the United States, the European Union and Japan combined. And it has increased coal consumption 14 percent in each of the past two years in the broadest industrialization ever. Every week to 10 days, another coal-fired power plant opens somewhere in China that is big enough to serve all the households in Dallas or San Diego." NYT article, see link Web Link


Posted by Donald, a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 4:24 pm

The people above have seriously misunderstood the article that they are quoting. There are a few isolated locations that have little local pollution and can detect pollution from China. However, the article also states that "Most air pollution in U.S. cities is generated locally..." I don't know where anybody got the 33% number from. The article does say that 1/3 of the Asian pollution is dust, but it never states that this pollution is significant compared to what we in urban areas generate ourselves.


Posted by Richard, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Donald, the article does say "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that on some days nearly 25 percent of the particulate matter in the skies above Los Angeles are from China." It doesn't say what percentage of total air pollution is particulates, so this doesn't help to get an overall perspective.

It also says "Some experts predict China may one day account for a third of all California's air pollution." That is a weak and speculative statement which has been blown up into current fact by some readers.


Posted by let us all stand up, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2008 at 11:52 pm

what does it matter what is happening around the world - pointing to others who abuse the enviornment more than PA - why point to those in colder climates - yes - wood was the staple for heat in 1860 - lead the way - take responsibilty and change the world for the future generations


Posted by Joan, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 6, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Sue Mom, since the jet stream travels west to east, Asia's pollutant come over to us. Likewise, since the U.S. is still the heaviest polluter in the world, our pollutants also travel west to east, thus they cross the Atlantic to Europe. And so on, Europe's pollutants probably end up over Russia. Now, we're back to Asia again. All pollutants continue to travel round the world on the jet stream west to east.




Posted by Jody, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 7, 2008 at 2:33 am

Since trends are contagious, let's show our commitment to the environment and hope rapidly developing countries will copy us on this.

We have a diverse population, and hopefully people will share our concerns with their friends back in their homelands.

When people see it is trendy to reduce consumption and promote conservation, maybe they will decide to copy us on some of our ideas.

Copying is a form of flattery.

We all share the earth.

What happens in China does have an impact on us, and likewise, what happens in the Bay Area impacts other areas.

Before you are quick to point a finger at specific people on our council for acknowledging climate change, or adopting "Green Policies", please take a minute to check out what some of our neighboring cities are doing.

Please start with San Francisco.

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

I commend our council members and city staff for addressing this important issue.



Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2008 at 8:52 am

All fleas have little fleas that sit on their back's and bite 'em
Little fleas have even smaller fleas, and so on ad infinitim

Not mine, but no idea where it came from


Posted by Buy-American, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2008 at 9:21 am

> Already, China uses more coal than the United States,
> the European Union and Japan combined.

This coal (and other energy sources) gets turned into consumer products which undercut US economic interests.

One way to help fight pollution in China is to stop buying Chinese imports.


Posted by sue mom, a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2008 at 10:01 am



I cannot believe the amount of Denial about China poisoning our air , food, childrens toys and medicines.

The most vulnerable to the mercury China sends to the bay area in their toxic plumes are pregnant women and children.

The next export, given Chinas corrupt public health system, will be bird flu and SARS.

People attending the Olympics in China will be essentially chain smoking once they get off the plane until they get back on the return flight.

Athletes from abroad are bringing their own food and water to protect their health during these events-- but they cannot bring their own air.

Stores like Whole Foods and Safeway should follow Traders Joes example and stop selling poisonous food from China.



Posted by nothing wrong with clean air, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2008 at 12:56 pm

> the can not bring their own air ..

Well .. that's not exactly true ..

Web Link

athletes would not be permitted to wear breathing appartuses during their on-field activities, but they could wear them when not directly participating in the games.


Posted by mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 7, 2008 at 1:40 pm


Already, China uses more coal than the United States,

> the European Union and Japan combined.

Human-generated sources such as coal plants emit approximately half of atmospheric mercury.

Mercury damages the central nervous system, endocrine system, kidneys, and other organs, and adversely affects the mouth, gums, and teeth. Exposure over long periods of time or heavy exposure to mercury vapor can result in brain damage and ultimately death. Mercury and its compounds are particularly toxic to fetuses and infants. Women who have been exposed to mercury in pregnancy have sometimes given birth to children with serious birth defects (see Minamata disease).

Mercury exposure in young children can have severe neurological consequences, preventing nerve sheaths from forming properly. Mercury inhibits the formation of myelin, the building block protein that forms these sheaths.[8]

There is some evidence that mercury poisoning may predispose to Young's syndrome (men with bronchiectasis and low sperm count).[9]

Mercury poisoning in the young has been hypothesized as a cause of autistic behaviors.[10][11]


Posted by Mercury Is A Natural Metal, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Mercury can be found in all manner of things--

----
Web Link

Watersheds tend to concentrate mercury through erosion of mineral deposits and atmospheric deposition.

Plants absorb mercury when wet but may emit it in dry air.

Plant and sedimentary deposits in coal contain various levels
of mercury.

Like plants, mushrooms can also accumulate mercury from the soil
----
Web Link

UC Engineering Researchers Find Mercury In Cicadas
ScienceDaily (Jun. 1, 2004) — Think twice before you eat one of Cincinnati's Brood-X cicadas. That's the warning from researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, who have found surprising levels of mercury in these insects
---

Vilifying coal is not going to reduce the natural occurance of Mercury--

Sources of Mercury
Web Link

Alkali and metal processing, incineration of coal, and medical and other waste, and mining of gold and mercury contribute greatly to mercury concentrations in some areas, but atmospheric deposition is the dominant source of mercury over most of the landscape. Once in the atmosphere, mercury is widely disseminated and can circulate for years, accounting for its wide-spread distribution. Natural sources of atmospheric mercury include volcanoes, geologic deposits of mercury, and volatilization from the ocean. Although all rocks, sediments, water, and soils naturally contain small but varying amounts of mercury, scientists have found some local mineral occurrences and thermal springs that are naturally high in mercury.
----


Posted by mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 7, 2008 at 2:17 pm



Some scientists have estimated that 30% or more of the mercury settling into America's ecosystems comes from abroad – China, in particular.

Web Link


Web Link


Posted by Mercury Is A Natural Metal, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2008 at 2:44 pm

> Mercury from China ..

And how many people in the US have been proven to die from Mercury from China (excluding Mercury in products and food that is shipped into the US for sale in the retail market?


Posted by mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm

re US Mercury pollution from China

"
The Mt. Sinai researchers based their calculations on mercury exposure data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and on studies that link elevated mercury levels with IQ loss. The study reports that approximately 300,000 to 600,000 children each year are born with mercury in their blood at levels associated with a loss of IQ.

While these statistics are staggering in themselves, the health and societal costs are likely to be much larger, said Dr. Sass. "The Mt. Sinai study limited its calculations to the costs associated with loss of intelligence only," she said. "There also are data from Europe suggesting that mercury poisoning is associated with increases in deaths from heart disease, which is the top killer in the United States."



Posted by Mercury Is A Natural Metal, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2008 at 3:34 pm

> While these statistics are staggering in themselves,
> the health and societal costs are likely to be much larger,

"Study" after "study" after "study" produce reams of paper--filled with doom and gloom and alarmism--but precious little else.

In site of all of these studies, over the past one hundred years, trace metals like mercury have increased marginally in our environment without any mass extinctions of humans (or other life forms). In fact, the average life expectancy of humans has dramatically increased.

Clearly--trace level Mercury increases have no demonstrable impact on the human race.


Posted by I Want My IQ Back, a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 7, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Mercury is a Natural Metal:

Way to pick & choose what Mike wrote. Try the next line,
"The study reports that approximately 300,000 to 600,000 children each year are born with mercury in their blood at levels associated with a loss of IQ."

So maybe mercury ain't killing us outright, but it making us stupid! But hopefully not stupid enough to shallow what you wrote.

Oh, and by the way, lead is a natural metal too, so I guess you think lead poisoning is overblown too.


Posted by im off to trader joes, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 8, 2008 at 4:17 pm

more poison from China this time in Germany


The German authorities said Friday that they had asked all German producers of the blood thinner heparin to check whether their ingredients came from China, after allergic reactions to the drug there were linked to two Chinese suppliers.


In cases where China did supply the raw ingredient, manufacturers were asked to test for any irregularities. The German authorities recalled the suspect heparin on Wednesday after receiving reports of allergic reactions in about 80 patients.

Heparin manufactured with Chinese ingredients has been linked to 19 deaths in the United States. Federal drug regulators there said sophisticated tests had found what might be a counterfeit ingredient in the heparin associated with the deaths and serious allergic reactions in more than 700 patients.






Posted by Mercury Is A Natural Level, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2008 at 8:30 pm

> "The study reports that approximately 300,000 to 600,000
> children each year are born with mercury in their blood
> at levels associated with a loss of IQ."

Sounds like a natural disability that they ought to be given accommodations for in the public school system -- failure by virtue of increased mercury levels ..

Give me a break! If this were real there would be another Al Gore-back special interest group demanding "points" on every test given by the school system.

But maybe to be on the safe side you might want to walk around your living quarters looking for a broken thermometer or two ..


Posted by Fix-the-Real-Problems, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2008 at 10:16 am

People in the US are bombarded by the kinds of extremism and alarmism from "environmentalist" daily. Yet, simple questions about "increased mortality" associated with the bugaboo of the day go unanswered.

Folks need to realize that (perhaps) 100,000 people die yearly in our nation's hospitals due to medical errors--which are preventable:

ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/advances/vol4/Nguyen.doc

According to the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report in 2000, between 48,000 and 98,000 annual U.S. hospital deaths result from medical errors.
--

While the number of Mercury-related deaths from electricity production based on coal-fuel is probably zero (save ingestion), this carnage in our hospitals goes unmitigated.

Do the math .. and then turn off the dial on these yahoos and focus on problem that need to be fixed and can be fixed.


Posted by julie, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:20 am



The purpose of the meeting was to launch Community Environmental Action Partnership (CEAP)

Not to deal with Medical Malpractice-- there is a thriving mass of trial lawyer profiting from dealing with hospitals and MDs.

The Daily News reported that 95+% of the participants in the CEAP meeting were white--

does not bode well for theory that concerns will filter back to China about the poisons it is pumping into our air--






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