The Trump administration moved this week to freeze fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and trucks, undoing Obama-era rules that would have required automakers to steadily improve fuel efficiency and curb pollution. The administration is also seeking to revoke California’s authority to set stricter environmental standards. In a New York Times op-ed, Obama administration counselor for energy and climate Jody Freeman writes that “transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, with the biggest share coming from cars and trucks. Yet the government now plans to freeze fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards indefinitely at levels set for 2020, thwarting progress on addressing climate change.”
Anti-violence protesters in Chicago briefly shut down Lake Shore Drive on Chicago’s affluent North Side and prayed outside Wrigley Field. The Chicago Tribune reports that “in the days leading up to the march, organizers conducted a series of media sessions to spotlight an event they said was intended to “redistribute the pain” that gun violence causes in other parts of Chicago. “The reality is this: Our community is bleeding every day,” said Tio Hardiman, an organizer. “We need some resources on West, East and South sides of Chicago.””
The Washington Post reports on the role of unsafe gun storage in the home in arming children who carry out school shootings and the possibility of charging parents for storing deadly weapons irresponsibly: “Since 1999, the shooters in at least 145 acts of gun violence at primary and secondary schools have been under the age of 18, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. Discussions about how to curb shootings at American schools have centered on arming teachers or improving mental health treatment, banning military-style rifles or strengthening background checks. But if kids as young as 6 did not have access to guns, The Post’s findings show, two-thirds of school shootings over the past two decades could not have happened…. Yet The Washington Post found that just four adults have been convicted for failing to lock up the guns used.” The Post reports that only 14 states and the District of Columbia have laws that can hold adults criminally liable for negligently storing guns, laws that often are not enforced.
CityLab accompanied Summer Lee, the first black woman to represent Pittsburgh in the Pennsylvania state legislature, on a tour of her district, where she spoke about the challenges her community faces, including environmental hazards and police brutality. '“Our air quality is the worst in the country, and because of the funding schemes for housing and education, we're stuck in this cycle. We can't get out of this area that is killing us. So that's how I stumbled into environmental justice.”… Though health issues may seem separate from those around policing, when it comes to saving the lives of the black children in this district, Lee sees no difference. “How do we make changes in this district?” Lee lets the question hang in air. “You gotta talk about [economic] opportunity, and increasing wages, and pollution. You gotta talk about all this stuff as one thing.” Her challenge now is to persuade establishment politicians to also see these issues as “one thing,” when they’ve been barely responsive to them even as stand-alone issues.'
The Brookings Institution reports on “place, isolation, and diseases of despair”: “The perilous connections between economic decay, deepening despair, and the shocking rise in related overdoses and suicides—in Hagerstown and around the country—have been well-documented. As Elizabeth Kneebone and Scott Allard demonstrate in a 2017 report, almost every county in the United States experienced an uptick in drug overdose deaths between 2000 and 2015; none registered a decline. Moreover, it is largely poor counties—and counties that became poorer between 2000 and 2015—that have been among the hardest hit. New U.S. Department of Health Human Services research confirms that, on average, areas with lower economic prospects have higher rates of opioid prescriptions, hospitalizations, and overdose deaths… The location, accessibility, and offerings—for everyday needs as well as everyday pleasures—of [community] outlets and amenities matters. The placemaking movement, in fact, is centered on helping citizens create streets and spaces where they feel comfortable and safe, that foster sociability and interaction, and, importantly, in which they feel a sense of pride, ownership, and belonging. Where these places don’t exist, or have been lost, we can become—by virtue of distance, inconvenience, and the extra effort it takes to “reach out” rather than “run into”—unmoored from our community and each other, including those who might help save us from ourselves when things go south.”
In STAT News, Andrea Caracostis and Jo Carcedo describe how the HOPE clinic, a community-centered health home in Houston, is collaborating with nail salon workers across the Houston area to improve working conditions and protect them from chronic pain and exposure to toxic chemicals. The authors credit PI with the initial development of the CCHH model, which encourages health clinics to address living and working conditions outside of clinic walls that affect patients' health