Sunday, August 6, 2017

How to stop the deadliest drug overdose crisis in American history - Vox

"We have a lot of complex problems in this country," Beletsky said. "Without really addressing all of those physical, emotional, and mental health problems, just focusing on the opioid supply makes no sense — because people still have those problems."

Some places have put such ideas into policy. Iceland built an anti-drug plan that focuses largely on providing kids and adolescents with after-school activities, from music and the arts to sports like soccer and indoor skating to many other clubs and activities. Iceland coupled this approach with other policies — setting drinking and smoking ages, banning alcohol and tobacco advertising, enforcing curfews for teenagers, and getting parents more involved in their kids' schools — to further discourage and fight drug use.

Researcher Harvey Milkman told journalist Emma Young, who profiled Iceland's experiment, that it's "a social movement around natural highs: around people getting high on their own brain chemistry … without the deleterious effects of drugs."

As a result, Iceland, which had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, has seen adolescent consumption fall. The number of 15- and 16-year-olds who got drunk in the previous month fell from 42 percent in 1998 to just 5 percent in 2016, and the number who ever smoked marijuana dropped from 17 percent to 7 percent in the same time frame. In a similar time period, from 1997 to 2012, the percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who participated in sports at least four times a week almost doubled — from 24 to 42 percent — and the number of kids who said they often or almost always spent time with their parents on weekdays doubled, from 23 to 46 percent.

Electric cars are not the answer to air pollution, says top UK adviser

Electric cars are not the answer to air pollution, says top UK adviser
Desdemona's Blog  / (Jim)

Average growth in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) in school-age girls (open circles) and boys (closed circles) during an 8-year period, plotted against average NO2. Each dot represents a separate community. As background NO2 increases in communities, the rate of growth in FEV1 decreases. A similar effect was observed for background PM. Adapted with permission from Gauderman, et al. Graphic: Massachusetts Medical Society

By Damian Carrington
4 August 2017

(The Guardian) – Cars must be driven out of cities to tackle the UK's air pollution crisis, not just replaced with electric vehicles, according to the UK government's top adviser.

Prof Frank Kelly said that while electric vehicles emit no exhaust fumes, they still produce large amounts of tiny pollution particles from brake and tyre dust, for which the government already accepts there is no safe limit.

Toxic air causes 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK, and the environment secretary, Michael Gove, recently announced that the sale of new diesel and petrol cars will be banned from 2040, with only electric vehicles available after that. But faced with rising anger from some motorists, the plan made the use of charges to deter dirty diesel cars from polluted areas a measure of last resort only.

Kelly's intervention heightens the government's dilemma between protecting public health and avoiding politically difficult charges or bans on urban motorists. "The government's plan does not go nearly far enough," said Kelly, professor of environmental health at King's College London and chair of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, official expert advisers to the government. "Our cities need fewer cars, not just cleaner cars."

Ministers were forced to produce an air pollution plan after being sued twice in the courts over illegal levels, but it was criticised as "woefully inadequate" and "lacking urgency" by city leaders and "inexcusable" by leading doctors. The government's own research showed the fastest and most cost-effective measure to cut the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution largely caused by diesel engines is to charge dirty cars to enter urban areas.

Electric vehicles emit no NO2 but do produce small particle pollution from the wear on brake discs and tyres and by throwing up dust from roads. A recent European commission research paper found that about half of all particulate matter comes from these sources. [more]

Electric cars are not the answer to air pollution, says top UK adviser

Original Article:

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay"
Oregon Public Empowerment News (