Is global warming a hoax and why should we care?

I think Global Warming deniers who claim it’s a hoax are ignorant fools, and here’s a sampling of who loves them: the Koch brothers, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Monsanto in addition to five other corporations — BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta, collectively known as the “Big 6”.

Think Progress.org reports that the oil, gas and coal industries have spent over $2 billion lobbying Congress since 1999, and the Political Economy Research Institute ranks Koch Industries as the 14th worst air polluter in the U.S.—more than oil giants like BP, Shell and Chevron and large coal utilities like American Electric Power and Duke Energy.

Koch Industries and the Koch family spend millions of dollars on lobbyists to fight climate and energy legislation, millions more on politicians, and still more millions on organizations denying climate change. Through the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation as well as Koch Industries and the other Koch family foundations, numerous and substantial donations go to organizations that deny, skepticize or belittle the significance of global warming. Compared to ExxonMobil, which has spent over $27.4 million on skeptic groups since 1998, foundations linked to Koch Industries have spent over $70 million in traceable contributions to the same network of organizations, with addition untraceable funding funneled through organizations like Donors Trust.  Polluter Watch.com

But even if we were to remove global warming as an issue, the danger of CO and CO2 to the quality of life still remains.

CO is carbon monoxide and it is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood do not burn fully. Burning charcoal, running cars and the smoke from cigarettes also produce carbon monoxide gas, and did you know that carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling combustion fumes. When there’s too much carbon monoxide in the air, your body replaces the oxygen in the hemoglobin of your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This keeps life-sustaining oxygen from reaching your tissues and organs.

The CDC says the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death.

What about the cost of CO poisoning? In 2007, alone, the hospital cost for confirmed CO poisoning was more than $26 million. Multiply that number by ten years, and we are talking about more than a quarter of a billion dollars. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

What about CO2, better known as carbon dioxide? EPA.gov says, “The main human activity that emits CO2 is the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation. … Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. In 2012, CO2 accounted for about 82% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

LiveStrong.com says, “Cases of CO2 poisoning have been linked to central nervous system damage and permanent deterioration of respiratory functions. Because of these findings, CO2 is considered not just a simple asphyxiant, but a gas with acute systemic effects as well. … If your blood becomes saturated with too much CO2, you develop the condition known as hypercapnia. Increased levels of CO2 also affect the pH level of your blood, turning it more acidic. This condition is called acidemia and, if prolonged, causes acidosis, which is injury to the body’s cells by a rise in acidity that leads to faltering functions of the heart. … You can suffocate on CO2 without any visible abnormality or obstruction of your breathing. If the oxygen content of the air you breathe is insufficient, you slowly suffocate due to selective oxygen depletion until you experience permanent damage or death.

What about the medical costs of excessive CO2 exposure? Poor childhood health caused by environmental factors, such as air pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals, cost the United States $76.6 billion in 2008, according to a new study in the May issue of Health Affairs.

In fact, Perry Sheffield and coauthors at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine examined the little-studied relationship between fine particulates or pollutants in the air and the cost of bronchiolitis, a type of lung infection in children. They discovered that children exposed to such pollutants were more likely to have higher health care costs from treating this respiratory illness. … Such exposure can lead to long-lasting health and academic problems for children, write Paul Mohai, Byong-Suk Kweon, and colleagues at the University of Michigan. They examined the extent of air pollution from industrial sources near public schools, finding that schools located in areas with the highest air pollution had the lowest attendance rates (a marker for poor health) and the highest proportion of students failing to meet state educational standards.

Conclusion: There’s more at stake here than a possible unproven hoax claim that carbon emissions ( CO and/or CO2) are not contributing to or causing global warming. If you have supported the oil and coal industries when they claim that global warming is a hoax to help them defeat environmental bills designed to clean the air, water and soil, you are just as guilty as the Koch brothers, because you are contributing to the suffering of millions of children and adults and billions of dollars in annual medical costs that has nothing to do with global warming being a hoax.

In fact, people who protest because they think global warming is a hoax may also be murderers. The Voice of America reports that “Air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year in the United States according to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In ten years, that’s 2-million deaths thanks to billionaire oligarchs like the Koch brothers.

Do you really think they care if global warming is real or not? The Wichita Eagle says, “In a little more than a decade, while a lot of companies were contracting, Koch Industries has doubled its revenue.”

In 2000, revenue at Koch industries was $55 billion. By 2011, it was $110 billion. The Koch brothers thank all of the people they fooled—for believing their claims of a global warming hoax—who supported them in defeating bills in Congress that would have helped clean the air, water and soil and save millions of lives from painful early deaths, and help more than 7-million children under age 18 who suffer from asthma. American Lung Association

Discover the suffering and lost chances caused by the Koch brothers and the oil industry: Poverty with Pollution–Its impact on the education of children

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Who do Americans trust and why we should elect a nurse for President

Conservatives—studies show they are better organized than liberals—are great at spreading cherry-picked facts (better known as propaganda, lies and misinformation) to fool and confuse America, and I read an example of this recently. I wasn’t sure it was an example until I did some Google digging.

Newsmax.com (March 23, 2014) reported a Fox News Poll that claimed President Obama’s Approval Ratings Keep Sliding. “The Fox poll shows 54% of Americans disapprove of how he has done his job.” Reverse that and he enjoys a 46% approval rating.

But what happens when we compare President Obama’s approval rating with others. For instance, the Republican Party.

Examiner.com reported in January 2014 that “According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 80 percent of Americans don’t trust the Republican Party.”

Wow, does that mean only 20% trust them—less than half Obama’s trust factor?

I wonder why neoconservative Rupert Murdock’s Fox News didn’t report that fact.

Did you know that the Libertarian Koch brothers are spending tens of millions to influence the 2014 Congressional elections? Probably not, but they are. You may want to read “Covert Operations” published in The New Yorker to discover just who these billionaire brothers are and how they are subverting democracy and don’t forget, they are libertarians.

The New Yorker says: The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.” In addition, “Koch Industries (is) one of the top ten air polluters in the United States.”

Do you trust the Koch brothers now?

Then I wanted to know how many American’s trust libertarians—after all the Koch brothers are the wealthiest, most powerful libertarians in America—according to Politico.com on September 11, 2013, “The poll surveyed all voters, not just those on the right, and overall 27 percent said they didn’t know enough to offer an opinion of libertarianism. About 40 percent of 18-to-32-year-olds view the word ‘libertarian’ favorably, although about a third don’t know what it means.” Having 60% of Americans either ignorant of what libertarianism means or against it still isn’t as good as the 46% who trust President Obama.

What about the tea party movement? After all, they are very loud. DailyKos.com says, “Americans still wouldn’t trust them with scissors.” A recent Bloomberg National Poll asked “Do you consider yourself a supporter of the Tea Party Movement?” Only 24% said yes and 66% said no. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll had the same results.

The Democrats don’t do much better with 72% of Americans lacking confidence in them—doesn’t say anything about not trusting them, just a lack of confidence. However, according to Politicususa.com, “Americans View Democrats as More Ethical and Honest. … Despite spending years attacking the character of President Obama and the Democrats, a new Pew Research Center survey found that the American people trust Democrats more than Republicans 41% to 31%.”

Is there anyone Americans trust more than Obama? Gallup answered that question with a December 17, 2013 poll. I think that’s recent enough to still be trusted.

Eighty-two percent of Americans trust Nurses and 70% grade school teachers. At the bottom are political lobbyists at 6% and members of Congress at 8%. Even newspaper reporters were trusted by only 21%. In fact, 34% think the wealthy are less honest.

I then wondered why a nurse or grade school teacher hasn’t run for president. But since we don’t have a nurse or grade school teacher as President, I guess we’ll just have to live with President Obama who does a whole lot better with the trust factor than everyone who’s badmouthing him in the media—like neoconservative Rupert Murdock’s Fox News and all those negative political ads the infamous libertarian Koch brothers are paying for to make democrats running for reelection look bad so Americans lose trust in them and vote for a Republican instead.

Since I was a teacher for thirty years and taught mostly 7th, 8th and 9th grades, I wanted to know what Americans thought about all public school teachers, not just grade school teachers. The Christian Science Monitor reported last August 2013 that “Americans remain largely critical of the US education system as a whole, but parents, especially, are increasingly pleased with their neighborhood schools and more displeased (unhappy) with the rising use of standardized, multiple choice tests to evaluate, and potentially punish, teachers, a new Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll suggests.” And “72 percent of respondents say they trust the men and women who are ‘teaching children in the public schools.’”

Maybe a nurse should run for president and a teacher for vice president. In fact, let’s fire Congress and fill those seats with nurses and public school teachers and let them run the country. In the meantime, President Obama still has the highest approval rating compared to both parties, Congress, the tea party people, the media, neoconservatives and libertarians. Do you think we can trust the media to report that?

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy. He was a public school teacher for thirty years (1975 – 2005)

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Understanding the wealthy who are robbing the rest of us and why we have to fight back

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun TzuThe Art of War

I read Diane Ravitch’s Blog daily and the names of wealthy robber barons and wolves of Sesame Street appear often, because these billionaire oligarchs are behind the push to destroy the democratically run public schools in the United States and then use that tax money to fund for-profit private schools that usually aren’t better than the public schools and are often worse. And little seems to stand in their way.

Taking advice from Sun Tzu, I wanted to understand the enemy—as I see them—and decided to do a bit of research starting with The American Conservative.com that said, “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens. … Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?”

Payscale.com says, “The psychology of the rich is different than the psychology of the poor. … some studies suggest they lack empathy. For example, a study in California showed that drivers of the most expensive cars defied the law and did not stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, while drivers of more common cars obeyed the law and waited for pedestrians to cross the street.”

And if you think most Americans can depend on members of Congress to stop this robbery, think again. ABC News.com reported, “In contrast to lawmakers’ $1,008,767 median ‘average’ net worth calculated by the Center for Responsive Politics, median household net worth in the U.S. was $68,828 in 2011, the most recent year for which the U.S. Census Bureau has estimated household net worth.”

In addition, President Obama’s net worth is listed as $12.2 million. (CelebrityNetWorth.com)

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about welfare and how deadbeats are living off taxpayers—for instance, free school lunches for the 21 million kids who live in poverty or food stamps for Wal-Mart employees who are paid poverty wages, but I’m also sure you haven’t heard much about how the Government spends more on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs.

And the evidence suggests that the Congress takes care of its own, because the wealthy are never satisfied with what they’ve got and always want more. According to Think by Numbers.org, “About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.”

In fact, BigThink.com says, “Recent experiments have demonstrated that people who associate greed with positive values—a view that correlates highly with having wealth—are more likely to behave unethically in a host of circumstances, including cutting off drivers in traffic and cheating while gambling. In fact, research shows that simply being in the presence of physical wealth reduces people’s propensity to share. Of course not all financial professionals are liars and cheats but the industry, by its nature, seems prone to unethical behavior.”

In conclusion, if you are familiar with what’s happening in the war to destroy the democratic public schools in the United States and the billionaire oligarchs—for instance, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdock, Michael Bloomberg, the Koch Brothers and the Walton Family, etc—who may profit off America’s middle class tax payers who pay taxes to support the public schools, you may have a better understanding of why they’re doing this.

This doesn’t excuse what these billionaires are doing. What it means is that the rest of us, the other 316+ million Americans who are not wealthy, have to fight back to hold on to what little we have left.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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