EPA must get serious about ship pollution

first_imgMaybe it won’t take an international conference after all to clean up the gross polluters of the sea. That’s been the excuse for many years. Nobody could do anything about oceangoing ships that belch the world’s foulest exhaust because this was a worldwide problem. Not the local ports’ problem. Not the shippers’ problem. Not the problem of anybody who could actually do something about it. Now somebody has. California’s attorney general, Jerry Brown, last week filed a legal petition asking federal regulators to act against greenhouse gas emissions from cargo ships, cruise ships and other large vessels. What this amounts to is an invitation to do the right thing before the state takes the federal Environmental Protection Agency to court. Such a lawsuit could do some good. Ships cause horrendous pollution to regions adjacent to shipping centers – and those downwind. The real subject here, however, is money. Ships burn bunker because it is cheap. But it’s also the dirtiest of fuels. Switching to low-sulphur diesel fuel will cost the consumers of imported goods more. But first the EPA, target of Brown’s lawsuit, will have to stir itself. If it does, any new regulations would affect about 6,000 ships calling on the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The port complex and its many diesel-powered parts are the single biggest source of diesel pollution in the L.A. Basin. Will the EPA have to wait until, say, Singapore agrees to a ban on bunker? Not necessarily. Nations can legally limit environmentally harmful activity within their territories, which can extend seaward for 200 miles. Bunker fuel has sulfur content of up to 27,000 parts per million, compared with 15 parts per million in diesel burned by cars and trucks in the United States. The ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, mandated last year, results in lower emissions of nitrous oxides, an ingredient of smog, and particulates, which are known to cause cancer. Californians now are looking forward to the favor of a reply from the EPA to our invitation. There is more than enough reason to accept. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Another Five Years for the Space Station?

first_imgJean-Jacques Dordain, director of the European Space Agency (ESA) has called for the backers of the international space station (ISS) to keep it flying beyond 2015, when current funding runs out, until at least 2020. ISS will finally be completed this year and once the last shuttle has flown (also this year) only Russia will be able to carry astronauts into orbit. NASA has made no commitment to support the station after 2015, but that decision is awaiting the results of a human spaceflight review ordered by President Barack Obama. “I am convinced that stopping the station in 2015 would be a mistake because we cannot attract the best scientists if we are telling them today, ‘You are welcome on the space station but you’d better be quick because in 2015 we close the shop,’ ” Dourdain told a press conference yesterday.last_img read more

Woke posttruth added to Oxford English Dictionary

first_img(WSVN) – New words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary, and millennials may be happy to know one of them is “woke.”Often times seen in memes and used jokingly, “woke” is now accepted as a proper word, according to the Oxford Dictionary. Before “woke” was accepted, only “woken” was used as the past participle of the verb “wake.”According to Oxford Dictionary, “woke” means “to being ‘aware’ or ‘well informed’ in a political or cultural sense.”“Post-truth” was also accepted into the Oxford Dictionary, defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping political debate or public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”The other words and some forms of current words accepted are as followed and defined by Oxford:Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more