Trump Is Hardest Working President Since WW2, Say Republicans


Trump Is Hardest Working President Since WW2, Say Republicans

Graham Lanktree, Newsweek              October 26, 2017

A majority of Republicans believe Donald Trump is working harder than any other president since World War II despite the fact he has spent nearly one in four days playing golf.

When asked by the pollster YouGov to compare Trump’s work ethic to other Presidents, 58 percent of Republicans said that Trump is a “harder worker” than any of them, including Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In the poll released Wednesday, 66 percent of those who voted for Trump called him a harder worker than any other president.

U.S. property mogul Donald Trump holds a golf club during a media event on the sand dunes of the Menie estate, the site for Trump’s proposed golf resort, near Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain May 27, 2010. David Moir/Reuters

But of 1,500 people polled, 41 percent said that Trump works “less hard” than other presidents, up to 59 percent among African Americans.

Republicans were also critical of Trump’s organizational skills, with just 32 percent saying he is more organized than past presidents. A 53 percent majority said he is “less organized.”

Trump was a frequent critic of President Barack Obama’s work ethic during his presidency, accusing him of playing too much golf and taking too many vacation days.

In August it was reported Trump took three times as much holiday as Obama during the same period of time into his presidency.

Read more: President Trump has the work ethic of a bored, lazy child

According to an NBC News tracker of the number of days Trump spends on his golf courses, October 22 marked the 75th day of Trump’s 279 day presidency spent playing golf. That means that Trump has played golf on average every 3.7 days.

The president has spent the bulk of this time at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and Bedminster, New Jersey golf club.

“I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said on the 2016 presidential campaign trail. In 2015 he insisted that he “would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done.”

“I would not be a president who took vacations,” he said. “I would not be a president that takes time off.”

In a Fox News poll Wednesday President Trump’s approval rating reached 38 percent—its lowest mark in any poll conducted by the broadcaster. Trump’s approval ratings are at historic lows for any modern president this far into his presidency.

During his trip to Japan to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November Trump has arranged to play with Hideki Matsuyama who is ranked the world’s fourth best golfer and five-time winner on the PGA Tour.

Koch Network Targets Baldwin With $1.6 Million in Attack Ads

Bloomberg   Politics

Koch Network Targets Baldwin With $1.6 Million in Attack Ads

By John McCormick October 26, 2017     

  • Campaign designed to pressure Democrats to support tax plan
  • New ads follow $4.5 million TV blitz targeting three senators billionaire Koch brothers are turning up the heat on vulnerable Senate Democrats in a move to pressure some of them to support the Republican tax-cut plan.

A group backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch is adding $1.6 million to its advertising attacks on Senate Democrats facing challenging 2018 re-election bids. Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce said it plans to start running three week’s worth of television and digital ads against Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin beginning next Monday. She’s one of 10 Senate Democrats facing re-election next year from states won by President Donald Trump.

This latest round of political spending by a Koch-affiliated organization comes as the tax overhaul promised by Trump and GOP congressional leaders has taken center stage in Washington. House Republicans set a goal of releasing a bill on Nov. 1 and getting it passed by the end of the year, provided the House adopts a budget that’s already made its way through the Senate. The budget vote is scheduled for Thursday.

“It seems like the harder we work, the more Washington takes from us,” one of the spots says. “Senators like Tammy Baldwin are the problem.”

A second ad features a Wisconsin construction company president suggesting that if Baldwin “opposes tax reform, it’s proof that she opposes jobs, she opposes higher wages.”

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin said that the ads were “dishonest” and that Baldwin supports tax cuts for working families in the state.

“The dishonest smear attacks continue as out-of-state special interests pour in millions of dollars to take down Tammy Baldwin and replace her with someone willing to sell out Wisconsin families,” said Brad Bainum, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman for the 2018 Senate race.

The spending follows an Oct. 5 announcement in which another Koch group, Americans for Prosperity, pledged to run $4.5 million in ads over three weeks against Baldwin and two other Democratic senators, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

“Wisconsin deserves a senator who will fight for more jobs, higher wages and greater financial security for all Americans,” Freedom Partners spokesman Bill Riggs said in a statement. “Tammy Baldwin is fighting to protect the rigged system, and Wisconsin is paying the price.”

Baldwin is serving her first term after winning the seat with 51 percent of the vote in 2012, a little more than 1 percentage point less than the statewide share received by then President Barack Obama. Since then, Republican Governor Scott Walker has bolstered his party’s political apparatus in the state. Two Republicans with strong financial backing locally and nationally are among those who have already announced challenges to her next year.

Trump won the state in 2016 by 22,748 votes out of almost 3 million cast.

The Koch network has said it plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on policy and political campaigns in 2017 and 2018 — up from the roughly $250 million invested in the 2016 campaign season.

Of the three Democratic senators directly targeted so far by Freedom Partners and AFP, Donnelly is the only one who didn’t sign on to a list of conditions issued by 45 Senate Democrats for supporting any tax legislation: that it not add to the federal deficit, that it not increase the burden on the middle class and that it go through the regular order process in Congress. He’s said he needs more details before he can endorse a tax plan.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, in Milwaukee, pitches higher tax deduction for business startups

USA Today

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, in Milwaukee, pitches higher tax deduction for business startups

Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel      October 21, 2017 Alex Brandon, Associated Press)

Pitching legislation that would increase a tax deduction for business startups by fourfold, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin was in Milwaukee on Saturday to meet with a group of entrepreneurs.

Baldwin, a Democrat who faces re-election next year, met with small-business leaders at gener8tor, a program that supports the growth of companies through mentoring, connections to investors and technologists.

Gener8tor also operates programs in Minneapolis and Madison. It’s ranked among the top 16 accelerator programs in the U.S. by the Seed Accelerator Rankings project.

Baldwin discussed legislation she introduced Thursday that would increase the startup tax deduction for new small businesses from the current $5,000 to $20,000, allowing business owners to put money back into their companies sooner.

The deduction’s phase-out threshold would be raised from $50,000 to $120,000. Also, the current startup tax deduction would be extended to include organizational expenditures regardless whether a business is organized as a partnership or corporation.

RELATED: Record funding raised for startups in state tax credit program

Baldwin said her legislation, named the “Support Our Start-Ups Act” is aimed at helping businesses as they are getting started.

“It takes an upfront investment for all sorts of things before you can open the doors and start selling your product or providing a service,” she said.

“Right now there’s a very limited tax deduction, so the incentive isn’t as strong as it could be.”

The legislation comes as Republicans in Congress are tackling an ambitious overhaul of the nation’s tax system that would deeply cut levies for corporations and double the standard deduction used by most average Americans.

“The easier we can make it for entrepreneurs to create startups and succeed, the better,” Joe Kirgues, co-founder of gener8tor, said in support of Baldwin’s legislation.

Baldwin referenced a report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that for the third year running ranked Wisconsin 50th among 50 states in startup activity.

Not only was Wisconsin last; the gap between Wisconsin and the next lowest states widened significantly from 2016 and 2015. Among large metropolitan areas, Milwaukee ranked second to last, ahead of Pittsburgh.

“We hate that low ranking,” Baldwin said.

Earlier, Gov. Scott Walker’s office said the Kauffman report was not a comprehensive analysis, and that it failed to include data such as wages, employment, industry and the long-term success of startups in each state.

“Senator Baldwin has lost all credibility on any sort of tax plan after voting more than 400 times in favor of higher taxes and fees — including a vote against a tax cut for Wisconsin small businesses,” Alec Zimmerman, communications director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said Saturday.

Human Exposure to Glyphosate Has Skyrocketed 500% Since Introduction of GMO Crops


Human Exposure to Glyphosate Has Skyrocketed 500% Since Introduction of GMO Crops

Lorraine Chow      October 26, 2017 being sprayed in a North Yorkshire field. Chafer Machinery / Flickr

Glyphosate—the most widely applied herbicide worldwide and the controversial main ingredient in Monsanto’s star product Roundup—is not just found on corn and soy fields. This pervasive chemical can be detected in everyday foods such as cookies, crackers, ice cream and even our own urine.

In fact, researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that human exposure to glyphosate has increased approximately 500 percent since 1994, when Monsanto introduced its genetically modified (GMO) Roundup Ready crops in the United States.

“Our exposure to these chemicals has increased significantly over the years but most people are unaware that they are consuming them through their diet,” said Paul J. Mills, PhD, UC San Diego School of Medicine professor of Family Medicine and Public Health and director of the Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health.

For the study, published Tuesday in JAMA, the research team analyzed the urine excretion levels of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in 100 people from a Southern California community over five clinic visits between 1993 to 1996 and 2014 to 2016. AMPA is one of the primary degradation products of glyphosate.

“The data compares excretion levels of glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid in the human body over a 23-year time span, starting in 1993, just before the introduction of genetically modified crops into the United States,” Mills explained.

“What we saw was that prior to the introduction of genetically modified foods, very few people had detectable levels of glyphosate. As of 2016, 70 percent of the study cohort had detectable levels.”

Of study participants with detectable levels of these chemicals, the mean level of glyphosate increased from 0.203 micrograms per liter in 1993-1996 to 0.449 micrograms per liter in 2014-2016. For AMPA, the mean level increased from 0.168 micrograms per liter in 1993-1996 to 0.401 micrograms per liter in 2014 to 2016.

The controversy surrounding glyphosate started in 2015 when the World Health Organization’s cancer assessment arm classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” California also listed glyphosate as a carcinogen in July. And just yesterday, the European Parliament, representing 28 countries and more than 500 million people, voted in support of phasing out glyphosate over the next five years and immediately banning its use in households.

Monsanto has adamantly defended the safety of its product and denies it causes cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also considers it safe for use. Europe’s food safety authority (EFSA) also concluded that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

The researchers did not study the health outcomes of the participants but Mills and his colleagues are planning several follow-up studies, according to Consumer Reports.

Additionally, Consumer Reports noted that the concentrations that the researchers measured were far below the EPA’s daily exposure limit of 1.75 mg/kg and the European Union’s limit of 0.3 mg/kg.

However, experts are concerned about this increasing glyphosate exposure. As Jennifer Sass, Natural Resources Defense Council Senior Scientist, wrote:

“Unfortunately, it is difficult to know what these levels in our bodies mean for our health risks, since the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to conduct a proper risk assessment for glyphosate that includes the aggregate of all our glyphosate exposures—as required by law—from food, drinking water, and residential uses of the herbicide. Even worse—federal agencies don’t even know how much glyphosate is in our food and drinking water because glyphosate has never been included in the federal pesticide residue testing program. This is completely outrageous given that it is used at approximately 300 billion pounds annually in U.S. agriculture, including on food crops like corn and soybeans. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only recently started to test for residues of glyphosate in common foods, and only after tremendous public pressure.”

Monsanto has also come under heavy scrutiny over reports that EFSA lifted text from the company’s glyphosate renewal application. Documents also suggest Monsanto employees had ghostwritten safety reviews to cover up glyphosate’s health risks. The agri-tech giant is facing more than 250 lawsuits from plaintiffs alleging that they or their loved ones developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma due to exposure to Roundup.

Mills recommended more studies on the human health impact on the increasing exposure to glyphosate from food.

“The public needs to be better informed of the potential risks of the numerous herbicides sprayed onto our food supply so that we can make educated decisions on when we need to reduce or eliminate exposure to potentially harmful compounds,” he said.

India And China Both Struggle With Deadly Pollution — But Only One Fights It


India And China Both Struggle With Deadly Pollution — But Only One Fights It

Leeza Mangaldas, Contributor           October 25, 2017

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. men play cricket amid heavy smog in New Delhi. (Photo credit: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

India tops the world inn pollution-related deaths, accounting for 2.5 million of the total 9 million deaths attributed to pollution worldwide in 2015, according to a recent report by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. China was second on the list, with 1.8 million total fatalities due to pollution.

The biggest problem: air pollution

The primary cause is air pollution. In 2015, 1.81 million or 28% of the 6.5 million air-pollution-linked deaths worldwide occurred in India. China saw 1.58 million deaths. The report illustrated that globally, air pollution accounts for twice the number of deaths than those linked to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and for nearly 15 times as many deaths as war and all forms of violence. The majority of air pollution-linked deaths are due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, respiratory tract diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

Major contributors to bad air quality include auto emissions due to increasing urban traffic congestion, fossil fuel powered heavy industry, construction, and the burning of agricultural land post harvests. policemen protect their faces with masks amid heavy smog in New Delhi (Photo credit: MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Poor children are the most vulnerable

The study found that nearly 92% of pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Children face the highest risks because small exposures to chemicals even during pregnancy and in early childhood can result in lifelong disease, disability, premature death, as well as reduced learning and earning potential.

India and China are among the worst hit

According to the WHO, PM 2.5 levels should not exceed 25 micrograms per cubic meter over a 24-hour period and 10 micrograms per cubic meter on average over a year. But in cities like Delhi and Beijing, there are days when PM 2.5 levels surge to almost 1,000, which is so high that it’s literally off the scales of many pollution monitoring devices.

PM 2.5 refers to fine particulate matter — microscopic particles that are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, minuscule enough to be absorbed right into the lungs and blood. Sustained exposure to high levels of PM 2.5 can cause respiratory diseases like bronchitis, asthma and inflammation of the lungs, and even heart attacks and strokes. WHO. Graphic by Nick DeSantis, Forbes Staff.

India hasn’t yet seen state efforts of a scale that can revolutionize pollution control (although this Diwali, India’s Supreme Court banned the sale of fireworks in an effort to preserve air quality — despite resistance from Hindu religious groups and citizens alike). China on the other hand, woke up to its pollution problem some years ago. According to analyses of NASA satellite data, the levels of fine particulate matter got worse across India by 13% between 2010 and 2015, while China’s fell by 17%. Delhi’s average annual PM 2.5 concentrations are in the vicinity of 150 μg/m, compared to about 60 μg/m for Beijing. Overall, Delhi’s PM 2.5 tends to about three times the Beijing mean and 15 times the WHO guidelines. in India (Photo credit: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

India can learn from China

India should take a lesson out of China’s book. Both are large nations seeking to move their massive populations from poverty to wealth via industrialization. Environmental deterioration has long been the collateral damage of this process, as already experienced by most developed economies, from the United States to Japan.

But, as journalist and author of Choked: Everything You Were Afraid to Know about Pollution Pallavi Aiyar points out, for governments and citizens to begin to care about pollution as much as they do about economic growth usually requires an “inflection point.” In Beijing, she notes that this point was “the 2008 Olympics Games,” when unprecedented international attention “dragged [China’s] dirty air into the headlines, where it has stayed since.” wear masks to protect themselves from pollution in Beijing on December 19, 2016. Hospital visits spiked, roads were closed and flights cancelled as China choked under a vast cloud of toxic smog. (Photo credit: GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Pollution control initiatives in China over recent years have ranged from setting up city specific targets for air quality progress, and a vast network of air quality monitoring systems, to requiring companies to complete environmental impact assessments and punishing violators with heavy fines. Despite being a major source of energy in China, coal-fired power plants and steel factories have come under the hammer. Restrictions on vehicle ownership and usage have also been implemented, given that auto emissions are a major source of air pollution.

But making environmental protection a priority is often a long and conflicted process.

Pollution control can be profitable

Many developing Asian cities are among the most polluted in the world because of the pervasive but false belief that pollution is an inevitable and profitable part of the development process. In fact, inaction and environmental degradation come with significant costs, while solutions can fuel economic growth.

To illustrate this point, the Lancet report points out that welfare losses due to pollution are estimated at $4.6 trillion per year — 6.2% of global economic output. But in the United States alone investment in pollution control has returned $200 billion each year since 1980 ($6 trillion total). Let’s hope India takes note.

This Year’s Crazy Fires, Freezes, and Floods Cost Farmers At Least $7 Billion

Mother Jones

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This Year’s Crazy Fires, Freezes, and Floods Cost Farmers At Least $7 Billion

The climate change predictions are coming true.

Tom Philpott         October 20, 2017 A farm in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, destroyed by September 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Hector Alejandro Santiago/AP Images

So far, the nation’s largest and most productive agriculture regions—the Midwestern Corn Belt—have largely escaped the most cataclysmic events of what has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for climate-related mega-disasters.

That means the price and availability of most foods have been mostly unaffected. But that’s just dumb luck—these regions are by no means immune, as the Central Valley epic, recently-ended drought, and the Midwest’s 2012 drought and 2008 and 2013 floods show.

Meanwhile, several more-minor farming regions have been hit hard this year, racking up billions of dollars in cumulative agriculture losses. Relentless recurrence of such events appears to the shape of things to come. In a 2013 peer-reviewed paper, federal researchers found that the “frequency of billion dollar mega-disasters” like the ones that hit Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and California wine country have shown a “statistically significant increasing trend” of about 5 percent annually over the past several decades.

South Carolina lost 90 percent of its peach crops due to a late freeze, and Georgia lost 90 percent.

Here is my attempt to put a price tag, in terms of agricultural losses, on the biggest climate-related disasters of 2017. The data remain pretty sketchy at this point, as researchers scramble to assess the damage. I’ll update this post as new information emerges.

The Southeast’s Late Freeze

Back in March, the Southeast’s most valuable fruit plants bloomed more than three weeks early, “due to unusually warm temperatures during the preceding weeks,” according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. Then came a three-day bout of record-low temperatures. That’s a nightmare scenario for fruit growers because buds are highly vulnerable to freezes. South Carolina lost as much as 90 percent of its peach crop and about 15 percent of strawberries; Georgia surrendered as much as 80 percent of its normal peach haul and up to 80 percent of its blueberries. The NCEI estimates a total hit to the region’s fruit growers of about $1 billion.

The West’s Rangeland Fires…

Starting in June, fires roared through the rangelands of Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, scorching 8.4 million acres, a combined land mass bigger than Maryland. Montana’s iconic cattle ranches took the brunt, with 1 million acres succumbed to flames. The NCEI estimates total fire-related losses to the region of $2 billion, but that figure includes hundreds of destroyed houses. Local and federal sources I spoke to said no ag-related loss estimates have been made yet. But the damage is extensive. The Billings Gazette reported that Montana ranchers had lost nearly 1,400 miles of fencing to the flames.

… And Drought

California’s massive drought officially ended in 2017—just in time for a new one to start a bit to the north and east. “Extreme drought cause[d] extensive impacts to agriculture in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana,” the NCEI reported. “Field crops including wheat were severely damaged and the lack of feed for cattle forced ranchers to sell off livestock.” The drought also “contributed to the increased potential for severe wildfires” (see above.) NCEI reckons total ag-related damages from the drought at $2.5 billion.

Hurricane Harvey

Back in August, Hurricane Harvey roared onto the Texas coast and stayed for days. The storm tapped into the “warm Gulf of Mexico for a seemingly endless supply of water, which it turned into torrents of rain from Corpus Christi to Houston to Beaumont,” as NOAA’s site put it. While those densely populated areas took the brunt of the damage, the region’s cotton, rice, and cattle farms were also hammered. State and federal agencies have yet to release ag-related damage figures, but they will likely be high. Gene Hall, communications director of the Texas Farm Bureau, estimates losses to cotton farmers alone at $135 million.

Puerto Rico’s secretary of agriculture estimated that the island had lost 80 percent of its crops to Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane Irma

Just days later, Hurricane Irma lashed Florida, striking the heart of the state’s robust agricultural industry. In a preliminary assessment, released in October, the state’s agriculture department estimated total ag damage at a stunning $2.5 billion, including $760.8 million for citrus, $180.2 million for non-citrus fruits and vegetables, and  $624.8 million for greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture crops. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam added that “We’re likely to see even greater economic losses as we account for loss of future production and the cost to rebuild infrastructure.” Orange juice lovers, take note: The state’s vast orange groves grow mainly for the juice market; and The Washington Post reports that the Irma wiped out up to 70 percent of this year’s harvest, meaning prices will likely rise.

Hurricane Maria

Shortly after Irma subsided, Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, a US territory claimed during that colonialist spasm of 1898 known as the Spanish-American War. A former Spanish sugar and coffee colony that has spent more than a century in the shadow of the US ag behemoth, the island never had much of a chance to develop a robust local agriculture economy. Puerto Rico imports more than 80 percent of its food. Back in May, NPR reporter Dan Charles reported on a “new wave of interest in food and farming” there. “People are thronging to new farmers markets,” he added. “Chefs are making a point of finding local sources of food.” Irma obliterated all of that—Puerto Rico residents now struggle to find any food at all. In early October, Puerto Rico’s secretary of agriculture, Carlos Flores Ortega estimated that the island had lost 80 percent of its crops to the storm—an estimated hit of $780 million.

Wine Country fires

As Napa and Sonoma County residents survey the wreckage after California’s deadliest-ever week of wildfires, it’s way too early to tally the damage to the region’s prestigious wineries, vineyards, and orchards. Again, costs are likely to be high. Mother Jones’ Maddie Oatman reports that “In Sonoma County alone, agriculture and livestock, including 30,000 dairy cows and 35,000 sheep and goats, is worth close to $900 million,” while Napa and Sonoma Counties together “produce the majority of the state’s high-end wine grapes and house more than 1,000 wineries.” Here is Fortune’s list of damaged wineries.

So, I have no hard data on the Montana and the wine country fires, and incomplete and/or preliminary data on all the other events. Tally what I do have up, though, and you get about $7 billion in agricultural losses. To put that number in perspective, consider that the severe drought that parched Midwestern corn and soybean country in 2012 exacted damage of at least $30 billion. In a sense, then, we got lucky this year, when it comes to protecting our plates from climate change. That’s a sobering thought, given the storms and droughts that are on the way.

Tom Philpott is the food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones. He can be reached at

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These single use dinner plates biodegrade in 30 days. It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade.


These single use dinner plates biodegrade in 30 days.
It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade.

Learn about plastic pollution:

These single use dinner plates biodegrade in 30 days.It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade.Learn about plastic pollution:

Posted by EcoWatch on Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Frequency of excessive summertime heat seen rising


Frequency of excessive summertime heat seen rising across U.S.

By Laura Zuckerman, Reuters       October 25, 2017 family plays while cooling off at the beach in Cardiff after sunset during what local media reported to be a record breaking heat wave in Southern California, U.S., October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) – Nearly two-thirds of Americans, mostly in Western states and on the Eastern seaboard, have endured more days of extreme summer heat over the past 10 years than in previous decades, a leading environmental group said in a study unveiled on Tuesday.

The analysis compared daily summertime high temperatures recorded at thousands of U.S. government weather stations across the country from 2007 through 2016 with the same data in the years 1961 to 1990, and showed a pattern of more frequent extreme heat nationally.

The study, issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, identified 21 states and the District of Columbia as being the hardest hit. In each one, at least 75 percent of residents now face more than nine summer days in which temperatures are higher than the top 10 percent hottest days of June through August during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, according to the report.

The group said its findings add to a growing body of evidence that climate change attributed to emissions of heat-trapping “greenhouse” gases, caused by fossil fuel combustion and other human activities, is having direct consequences that are being felt today.

The NRDC also cited government data showing 65,000 people end up in U.S. hospital emergency rooms each summer from heat-related illnesses and that summer heat waves were to blame for at least 1,300 deaths across 40 major U.S. cities from 1975 to 2004.

“This analysis gives a sense of the degree to which the present is really not like the past,” said Kim Knowlton, a senior NRDC scientist. “Climate change is fueling more extremely hot days and poses a clear and present threat to public health.”

Release of the NRDC study coincided with an October heat wave in Southern California that has led forecasters to predict record highs for Tuesday’s World Series opener at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Authorities also have warned of elevated risks of wildfires and heat-induced ailments across the region.

California is one of 11 Western states ranked by the NRDC report as the most affected by extreme summer heat. But the current bout of blistering triple-digit temperatures came as an early fall phenomenon linked to the region’s seasonal hot, dry Santa Ana winds.

The NRDC report was accompanied by an interactive U.S. map showing the growing extent of extremely hot summers – affecting nearly 210 million people – and projections for more of the same across much of the country (

The trend poses the greatest risk to children, the elderly and others vulnerable to respiratory distress and dehydration, said Dr. Samantha Ahdoot, a pediatrics professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Pinedale, Wyo.; Editing by Steve Gorman)

California braces for a third day of triple-digit heat

ABC Good Morning America

California braces for a third day of triple-digit heat

Karma Allen, Good Morning America      October 25, 2017

Residents in California experienced record-breaking heat on Tuesday as temperatures soared past 100 degrees in southern parts of the Golden State.

Meteorologists said residents should expect more triple-digit heat on Wednesday, bringing the blistering heat into its third day, but temperatures should cool after that.

The hottest temperatures were recorded in San Luis Obispo and San Diego, where temperatures reached 108 degrees.

More than a dozen heat records for the day were broken throughout the state on Tuesday and the National Weather Service said more records will be challenged on Wednesday. Los Angeles, Burbank and Woodland Hills are all forecast to see highs of least 100 degrees on Wednesday.

Downtown Los Angeles broke a 108-year-old record when temperatures hit 104 degrees on Tuesday, topping the previous record for that day of 99 degrees.

Temperatures at the San Luis Obispo Airport touched 108 degrees on Tuesday afternoon, tying the nation’s high temperature of the day with the Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego, according to the NWS.

The NWS warned that the heat, coupled with gusty winds, could create the most dangerous fire weather conditions seen in the past few years.

Several wildfires broke out on Tuesday, but many were quickly put out, authorities said. Nearly 120 acres were charred in a rural area of Ventura County, located an hour northwest of Los Angeles, before firefighters stopped it from spreading. No homes were threatened, but two firefighters were injured: one for smoke inhalation and the other for multiple bee stings, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

The fire, dubbed the Vista fire by authorities, was about 50 percent contained as of late Tuesday evening.

Craig Digure, 46, who has lived in Los Angeles for less than a year, said the heat was too brutal to sun himself at Echo Park Lake near downtown.

“It’s kind of crazy. I’m from Minnesota, so I’m not used to this in October. It’s 40 degrees back home, almost ready to snow,” he told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I thought summer was over. But it’s just not seeming to end.”

Temperatures are forecast to lower by a few degrees late Wednesday, but they will still be well above normal highs, according to the NWS. It expects to see further cooling on Thursday and Friday.

A Weed Killer Is Increasingly Showing Up in People’s Bodies


A Weed Killer Is Increasingly Showing Up in People’s Bodies

Alice Park, Time        October 24, 2017 study shows an alarming spike in levels of Roundup & #39;s chemicals in people’s urine

The latest study to look at the long-term effects of Roundup, a popular weed killer developed by Monsanto in the 1970s, raises questions about the herbicide’s possible contributions to poor health in certain communities.

The study, published Tuesday in JAMA, tracked people over the age of 50 in southern California from 1993-1996 to 2014-2016, with researchers periodically collecting urine samples during that time.

TIME Health NewsletterGet the latest health and science news, plus: burning questions and expert tips. View Sample

Researchers led by Paul Mills, professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego, found that the percentage of people who tested positive for a chemical called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, shot up by 500% in that time period. The levels of glyphosate also spiked by 1208% during that time.

Read more: Study Links Widely Used Pesticides to Antibiotic Resistance

Exactly what that means for human health isn’t quite clear yet. There are few studies of the chemical and its effects on people, although animal studies raise some concerns. One trial from the UK, in which rats were fed low levels of glyphosate throughout their lives, found that the chemical contributed to a higher risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat accumulates in the liver and contributes to inflammation and scarring of the tissue. Mills says that the levels of glyphosate documented in the people in his study were 100-fold greater than those in the rats.

To follow up on these results, Mills plans to measure factors that track liver disease, to see if the levels of glyphosate he found are actually associated with a greater risk of liver problems in people. He heads the Herbicide Awareness & Research Project at UCSD, an ongoing research project in which he invites people to provide urine samples to test glyphosate levels. By gathering more information about people’s exposure, he is planning to tease apart how much of it comes from actually ingesting products sprayed with the chemical, and how much can be attributed to breathing in particles that have been sprayed into the air, especially in farm communities.

Read more: Here’s Which Produce Has the Most Pesticides

For now, he says the findings should make people more aware of what they are ingesting along with their food. While Roundup was developed to eliminate most weeds from genetically modified crops — and thus reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on them — recent studies have found that many weeds are now resistant to Roundup. That means growers are using more Roundup, which could only exacerbate potential negative health effects on people who consume those products. Eating organically grown produce may help to reduce exposure to some pesticides and herbicides, but it’s not a guarantee that the products are completely free to potentially harmful chemicals.

“From my perspective it’s remarkable that we have been ingesting a lot of this chemical over the last couple of decades,” says Mills. “But the biomedical literature hasn’t said much about its effects on people. That’s a gap that we endeavored to address and bring more awareness to with this study.”