Green Tape: America's Chaotic Environmental Regulation
The constant tug-of-war between governmental bodies over environmental policy, and industry's endless stream of legal challenges, create substantial economic waste.
What's the Latest Development?
In late 2011, new regulations on interstate air pollution were struck down by a federal court just two days before entering into force. In 2010, the EPA proposed tightening restrictions on ozone three years ahead of schedule. Currently, new rules restricting mercury and soot from power plants face a wall of legal challenges. This sort of confusion over environmental regulation results in wasted money and reluctant investment from industry. That translates into higher prices for consumers and fewer jobs at a time when they are sorely needed.
What's the Big Idea?
Nobody doubts the necessity of environmental regulation but the current process by which rules are formulated and applied is haphazard. In an attempt to calm businesses, the Obama administration have twisted the Clean Air Act to exempt all but the biggest polluters from coming greenhouse gas restrictions but, by not issuing any rules for them, have created more uncertainty. The courts may be the biggest source of unpredictability. Any rule issued by the EPA is now assumed to face challenges from industry, yet another source of instability.
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Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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