Irish Cement should not be allowed compromise public health

first_imgFacebook General Election 2020 to be held on Saturday, February 8 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Whiff of trouble lingers over gasworks TAGSClaire KeatingEnvironmental Protection AgencyIrish CementKieran O’DonnelLimerick Against PollutionMinister of State Sean Kyne Twitter Print Advertisement NewsIrish Cement should not be allowed compromise public healthBy Alan Jacques – May 10, 2018 1021 Linkedincenter_img Previous articleRebuilding Ireland Home loan scheme requirements to be easedNext articleThree plays by Pat Kinevane Alan Jacques A passionate advocate for change Limerick Post Show shines at Digital Media Awards Thousands brave the rain to ‘Speak with their feet’ at Limerick protest Minister asked to review need for more incinerators in Limerick Email WhatsApp IRISH Cement’s €10 million plan to replace fossil fuels at its Castlemungret plant in Limerick should be scrapped if it is going to pose a threat to public health.“That’s the bottom line,” Fine Gael Senator for Limerick, Kieran O’Donnell told the Limerick Post this week.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Speaking in the Seanad on the issue last week, Senator O’Donnell stressed that people living in the vicinity have “grave worries” that what’s being proposed by Irish Cement will be harmful.“They are looking at burning 90,000 tonnes per annum and the problem here is that there’s a move away from fossil fuels in terms of carbon credits. However, the question here is if it is safe or less safe?” he asked.Senator O’Donnell went on to say that there has been very little engagement from Irish Cement. He feels very strongly that the company should hold a public meeting to “put people’s minds at rest”.“I made contact with Irish Cement to encourage them to attend the public meeting in the South Court Hotel.“They declined.Limerick Senator Kieran O’Donnell“There’s been some engagement but not enough and I know from talking to residents in the area that there is a distinct lack of trust among the public in terms of what’s happening with Irish Cement in terms of ‘blowouts’.“Irish Cement maintain this development is essential to ensure the long-term viability of the Mungret factory. They say it will reduce the company’s dependence on fossil fuels, will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 40,000 tonnes per year, and will help recover valuable resources.Senator O’Donnell has asked for assurances that it will be properly regulated.“The Council have granted planning for the physical storage structure. The licensing of the operation of the alternative fuels forms part of the incineration function, which is licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” he explained.“The EPA should licence the activity first before its goes for an application to the council for the physical structure. This way it cannot be implemented without dealing with the environmental concerns.“There is a worry. You have three new schools in the area, lots of young families and an awful lot of houses built very near the Irish Cement plant.”Responding to Senator O’Donnell, Minister of State Sean Kyne said that the EPA has “a sufficient range of powers under the legislative code to adequately regulate and monitor such facilities in order to protect the environment and human health, ensure that key standards are met, and enable the public, particularly local communities, to input should any issues relating to the day-to-day operation of any facility emerge”.Limerick Against Pollution (LAP), made up of residents opposed to Irish Cement’s plan, will hold a protest this Sunday, May 13. Leaving from outside City Hall on Merchant’s Quay at 1pm and marching to the People’s Park, the protest will show opposition to the granting of planning to Irish Cement.“We will not stand down and allow a company like Irish Cement burn toxic industrial waste in order to make their shareholders richer at the expense of our health and wellbeing,” LAP spokeswoman Claire Keating declared.“We are currently preparing a detailed submission for the EPA regarding the granting of an Industrial Emissions Licence before the deadline of May 16. It is therefore essential that the most senior political and public figures in this city are seen to stand shoulder to shoulder with the citizens of this city now more than ever.”last_img read more

Mitigating the risk of geoengineering

first_img Harvard achieves science-based climate goal set in 2008 Curbing carbon on campus The planet is warming at an unprecedented rate, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases alone is not enough to remove the risk.Last year’s historic Paris climate agreement set the goal of keeping global temperatures no higher than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. Emission reductions will be central to achieving that goal, but supplemental efforts can further reduce risks.One drastic idea is solar geoengineering — injecting light-reflecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere to cool the planet. Researchers know that large amounts of aerosols can significantly cool the planet; the effect has been observed after large volcanic eruptions. But these sulfate aerosols also carry significant risks. The biggest known risk is that they produce sulfuric acid in the stratosphere, which damages ozone. Since the ozone layer absorbs ultraviolet light from the sun, its depletion can lead to increased rates of skin cancer, eye damage, and other adverse consequences.Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have identified an aerosol for solar geoengineering that may be able to cool the planet while simultaneously repairing ozone damage.The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“In solar geoengineering research, introducing sulfuric acid into the atmosphere has been the only idea that had any serious traction until now,” said David Keith, the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at SEAS and professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, the first author of the paper. “This research is a turning point and an important step in analyzing and reducing certain risks of solar geoengineering.”This research fundamentally rethinks what kinds of particles should be used for solar geoengineering, said Frank Keutsch, the Stonington Professor of Engineering and Atmospheric Science at SEAS and professor of chemistry and chemical biology, a co-author of the paper.Previous research focused on ways to limit the ozone-damaging reactions produced by nonreactive aerosols. But Keutsch and Keith, along with co-authors Debra Weisenstein and John Dykema, took a completely different approach, targeting aerosols that are highly reactive.“Anytime you introduce even initially unreactive surfaces into the stratosphere, you get reactions that ultimately result in ozone destruction, as they are coated with sulfuric acid,” said Keutsch. “Instead of trying to minimize the reactivity of the aerosol, we wanted a material that is highly reactive but in a way that would avoid ozone destruction.” Related In order to keep aerosols from harming the ozone, the particles would need to neutralize sulfuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acid on their surface. To find such a particle, Keutsch turned to his handy periodic table. After eliminating the toxic elements, the finicky and rare metals, the team was left with the alkali and alkaline Earth metals, which included sodium and calcium carbonate.“Essentially, we ended up with an antacid for the stratosphere,” said Keutsch.Through extensive modeling of stratospheric chemistry, the team found that calcite, a constituent of limestone, could counter ozone loss by neutralizing emissions-borne acids in the atmosphere, while also reflecting light and cooling the planet.“Calcite is one of the most common compounds found in the Earth’s crust,” said Keith. ”The amounts that would be used in a solar geoengineering application are small compared to what’s found in surface dust.”The researchers have already begun testing calcite in lab experiments that mimic stratospheric conditions. Keith and Keutsch caution that introducing anything into the atmosphere may have unanticipated consequences.“Stratospheric chemistry is complicated and we don’t understand everything about it,” Keith said. “There are ways that this approach could increase global ozone but at the same time, because of the climate dynamics in the polar regions, increase the ozone hole.”The researchers emphasize that even if all the attendant risks could be reduced to acceptable levels, solar geoengineering is not a solution to climate change.“Geoengineering is like taking painkillers,” said Keutsch. “When things are really bad, painkillers can help but they don’t address the cause of a disease and they may cause more harm than good. We really don’t know the effects of geoengineering, but that is why we’re doing this research.”The research is supported by the Fund for Innovative Climate and Engineering Research and the Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research.Keith and Keutsch are among several faculty who will be part of the Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program, a University-wide, interdisciplinary research effort that will be launched in the spring. Housed within the Harvard University Center for the Environment, it will be one of the largest and most visible solar geoengineering research initiatives.last_img read more

As his shot improves, Oshae Brissett has forced opponents to respect him behind the arc

first_imgFive weeks ago, that play wouldn’t have been possible for Brissett, because it was unthinkable defenders should be afraid of him from deep. He still sometimes frustrates coaches with his shot selection, but now things have changed beyond the arc. Brissett’s 16 points and 12 rebounds were key in Syracuse’s (18-9, 7-7 Atlantic Coast) 62-55 win at Miami (18-8, 7-7). The Orange will rely on Brissett, one of three players who can create offense for himself, to remain a weapon outside and in to help shove this team off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament.“He’s our best 3-point shooter,” said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. “… He’s playing as well as you could ask a freshman to play.”At the beginning of ACC play, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest played off Brissett. All year, he had predicated his game on bruising drives enabled by strong fakes, but the fakes stopped working. Opponents wanted him shooting jumpers because he couldn’t make them. By the end of the loss to the Demon Deacons on Jan. 3, Brissett had hit one of his last 11 3-pointers and 15-for-58 overall.Then, three days later, Brissett flipped defense’s scouting reports. He drilled his second shot of the game against Notre Dame, a 3-pointer. He hit another. And another. All three of his makes on 15 shots (seven 3-point attempts) were beyond the arc. Though he struggled to finish at the rim, Brissett noticed how Notre Dame defenders closed out more aggressively as the game progressed.“They weren’t coming out at me at all (before) and I couldn’t hit,” he said. “(During Notre Dame), they’re coming out a lot more and it’s helping the team, so I can get back in (the paint) and get fouled, or kick it back out to one of our guards.”In the 11 games since UND, Brissett hasn’t cooled off. He’s taken at least three 3s in every contest, always made at least one and overall has hit 20-for-47 (42.6 percent). The blossoming dimension of Brissett’s game is important further because Syracuse isn’t a great 3-point shooting team, but it always seems to have someone hitting when the team needs them to. Brissett did that through filling the void left by Howard when he came down from his scalding stretch from behind the arc in late January.“When people are running out at me,” Brissett said, “I can easily go by them. I feel like I’m pretty quick off the bounce so a lot of taller guys can’t keep up with me when I’m driving past them, so that’s helped me a lot.”The advantages in stretching the floor, and in convincing opponents you can stretch the floor, are two-fold, said fellow forward Marek Dolezaj. He has seen Brissett’s presence alone increase spacing because defenders play him further out now, which opens driving lanes for everyone.Yet this 3-point emergence has also coincided with an inability to finish consistently at the rim. After the Jan. 16 win against Pittsburgh, Boeheim said Brissett’s game had taken a step back.Associate head coach Adrian Autry chalked it up to the physical nature of ACC play and ran Brissett through a drill to finish with balance and off two feet to try and remedy the situation. Brissett understood he also needed to improve from 3.At practice in late January, a TV crew waited to interview Brissett as he shot 50 triples from varying spots around the arc. After Brissett finished, he walked over to the interview and, on his way there, Autry said to the crew: “Don’t worry, he’ll get more of those up after practice.”Saturday served as a perfect case study for Brissett’s progression, because he made Waardenburg slip on the dunk, and then justified his worries three minutes later with a 3-pointer. The difference was his ability to finish at the basket — and not just with the jam. He went off the dribble a few times better than normal, Boeheim said, and he finished “a couple plays that he hasn’t always finished.” One of them, on a Dolezaj dime, was a particularly difficult finish that Brissett dropped in. UPDATED: Feb. 19, 2017 at 5:08 p.m.CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Early in the first half against Miami, Syracuse freshman forward Oshae Brissett caught a pass behind the arc in the left corner and rose up to let a shot fly. Or at least looked like he was going to.Miami’s Sam Waardenburg, who was guarding Brissett, was caught in a dilemma: Stop SU point guard Frank Howard from getting into the lane or stay tight on Brissett. He chose Howard, so Howard passed to Brissett and then Waardenburg saw his man open where he’s become the most dangerous.Waardenburg lunged toward Brissett off-balance and realized a split-second too late it was a fake. Waardenburg slipped. Brissett blew past him. With Waardenburg trailing behind him, Brissett posterized Miami’s forward, Dewan Huell.“He’s that good,” Howard said. “When you’re that good, (plays like the dunk) become the norm.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 18, 2018 at 9:09 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR “When there’s a smaller guy, I attack him down low,” Brissett said Saturday. “When there was a bigger guy, I beat him off the dribble. That’s every game. It doesn’t matter who’s on me.”Brissett’s self-confidence and the Orange’s offensive needs have afforded him opportunities this season to learn and grow on the court. He has played through mistakes and developed how to wield his outside shot. He knows the Orange needs him, and when he’s struggling inside, he knows sometimes it works to start outside. Commentslast_img read more