Tag Archives: Pollution

FDA/USDA ~~ October 2017 Alerts&Safety Farmers&Ranchers extra time to file Claim Losses


AARP ~ Surprising Airline Rules ~ AARP


 Bumpy Air Travel Rules

by Eileen Ambrose | AARP | April 12, 2017

En español | Unless all your devices have been on airplane mode, you’ve seen the video of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight so his seat could be given to one of the carrier’s employees.

United’s CEO initially defended the forced — and bloody — removal, saying the airline has a right to bump passengers even though they paid for their tickets and were already seated. For many consumers, this was a shocking education on passenger rights — or lack of them.

“There are hundreds of rules that are listed in different documents that nobody reads,” says Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare, a travel information website. “It’s like your Apple phone. It asks you, ‘Do you agree to the terms?’ and it’s a 60-page document. Who is going to read that before they press ‘yes’?”

You’ll find the rules are spelled out in each airline’s “contract of carriage” or “conditions of carriage.” They vary from carrier to carrier. Here are some of them:

Overselling and bumping The practice of selling more tickets than there are available seats is legal. Airlines have been allowed to overbook to financially protect themselves against passengers who don’t show up and then claim a refund. Empty seats cost airlines money. Carriers also are permitted to bump passengers if too many of them show up.

In this recent case, the flight was fully booked — not oversold — when four United crew members tried to get to their destination by bumping passengers. Typically, airlines will first offer a financial incentive. They can offer any amount to people who voluntarily give up their seat, starting, say, with a $100 voucher for a future flight.

Under federal requirements, domestic passengers who are involuntarily bumped can receive up to $1,350 — and get it in cash. (You are most likely to be involuntarily bumped if you’re not part of the airline’s loyalty program, you purchased a cheap ticket and checked in close to takeoff, Seaney says.)

But this overselling practice is no longer needed, Seaney says. Years of experience and computer technology help airlines forecast cancellations, he says. Plus, now that some airlines charge a $200 fee to change a flight — about the cost of many tickets — it’s rare for passengers not to show up, he says.

United’s offer didn’t receive any takers, so the airline said it randomly selected seated passengers to be involuntarily bumped. One man balked and was dragged off.

“Once a pilot, flight attendant or gate agent says you are going to be removed from a plane, there is zero tolerance for [resistance] in the age of terrorism,” Seaney says.

“It should have never got to that situation,” he adds, saying the airline could have made a more generous offer before anyone boarded. It may have cost United a couple thousand dollars, but it would have saved the airline tens of millions of dollars in bad PR, he says.

“You’re wearing that?”: Airlines can prevent you from traveling on their planes if what you are wearing is deemed inappropriate. United, again, made headlines last month when it stopped two teens from embarking because the girls wore leggings. The girls were flying on a type of ticket for United employees and their dependents, but the airline told the New York Times that a dress code applies to all travelers.

The rules are vague, and it’s up to individual airline employees to decide whether you violate them, Seaney says. “They are the judge and jury. Definitely, certain people have different moral codes than others,” he says.

Size matters: As with attire, airline staffers have discretion on whether you’re taking up too much room and must buy another seat. (Some airlines, though, will seat “passengers of size” next to an empty seat if it’s available without charging them extra, Seaney says.)

Pay up front: Make a purchase through a retailer, say Amazon, and the retailer won’t charge it to your credit card until the item is shipped. But airplane tickets are considered contracts, Seaney says, so the charge will appear on your credit card at the time of booking — even though your flight may be months away.

And what if you are entitled to a refund for a canceled flight? Instead of crediting your account immediately, airlines can wait up until two billing cycles to refund your money, Seaney says.

Broken items: If you place electronics or other valuable items in your checked luggage and they break in transit, you’re out of luck. They aren’t covered by the baggage insurance, and you won’t be compensated.

Lost luggage: You are entitled to compensation if your luggage is lost or damaged. But you’ll get much more if this luggage problem occurs on a domestic flight — which comes under federal regulations — than on an overseas flight that’s governed by international law, says George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com, a travel information website.

If you are traveling overseas and concerned about not being adequately compensated for lost luggage, consider purchasing insurance for checked bags from the airlines, Hobica says.

No guarantees: Transportation is not guaranteed — and neither are many other features of flying, Hobica says. “Most contracts say, ‘We don’t guarantee to get you there on time. We don’t guarantee that you will have a particular seat on the plane. We are not obligated to serve you,’” he says.

Of course, there are many more rules on air rights that would be useful for travelers to know. Hobica suggests that consumers at least once in their lives read an airline’s “contract of carriage.”

“Do it while they’re not listening to the safety demo,” he says.

Help protect the public from toxic air pollution ~~ a repost from 2011


Toxic air pollutants from power plantsmercury, lead, arsenic, and others—are linked to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks, and even premature death. Mercury, for example, is a potent neurotoxin that poses a threat to fetal and infant brain development. And coal plants are far and away the greatest source of mercury air emissions in the United States.

Shockingly, there are currently no national limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic pollutants that power plants can spew into the environment. This gap in our public health protections is all the more disturbing since the Clean Air Act required the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to start regulating toxic pollutants more than two decades ago. Thankfully, in mid-March, the agency finally proposed a mercury and air toxics rule, which will limit hazardous air pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

Even though the new standards are affordable and would deliver enormous health benefits, some energy companies and their allies in Congress are already working to block or weaken them.

The EPA is now accepting comments on its proposed mercury and air toxics rule. The agency needs to hear from concerned citizens like you, who want a strong rule that protects the public from these dangerous pollutants.

Take Action Today!

Sincerely,

Kate Abend

National Field Organizer

UCS Climate and Energy Program

Fuel … Bio-fuel Algae


Fuel – A different way of thinking?

Posted on 23. Jun, 2010

by friends


As you may or may not be aware, I don’t feel that Carbon Dioxide is the the villain at the centre of the world’s problems .

I personally believe that is a convenience for Governments to generate revenue amongst other things, a distraction from other more important matters. What I do believe, is that we are extremely wasteful of dwindling resources and are polluting our planet at an alarming rate… More kids are suffering with asthma than ever before. More people have respiratory illnesses than ever before.

We are killing ourselves and the planet with pollution and waste in a thousand different ways.

So I was pleased to find The Fuel Film website

A few pollution information gems to consider:

• The levels of toxic diesel fumes inside school buses are 4 times higher compared with outside the buses.

• According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2 million premature deaths are caused each year due to air pollution in cities across the world

• A Scottish study has shown that jogging with traffic around results in reduced blood flow to the heart. This is particularly dangerous for people with stable heart disease, because it can trigger off cardiac arrhythmia or even a heart attack

• Every year 335,000 Americans die of lung cancer, which is a direct result of air pollution

And we are not talking CO2 pollution here, just all the other nasties that get pumped into our atmosphere for us to breath.

http://www.thefuelfilm.com

The Fuel Film… Educational, Informative and surprisingly entertaining

The Big question from sceptics is: … That crops for bio-fuel takes away the ability of the world to feed it’s growing population, this is answered in a couple of ways in the film.

One solution of several is in using marginal land, another is algae
For those that don’t know: Marginal land is land that is difficult to cultivate and is not being used for food crops. This land could be used to grow biomass crops to be used for bio-fuels. California has apparently 1 million acres of marginal land that could generate 5 billion gallons of bio-fuels per year.

Now, while not 100% convinced that it is possible to ‘grow’ all our fuel requirements, it nice to know that there are alternative possibilities and people willing to fight to get them heard.

All it needs now is the desire from Government and vested interests to make it happen… Having said all that what is happening in the Gulf is a wake-up call for the world….

But is anybody listening? Because as sure as death and taxes we are not going to give up our love affair with the car easily

For more information click here

Photo courtesy: U.S. Department of Energy. Pretty, isn’t it? …. In case you’re wondering it’s Bio-fuel Algae

 

Consumer Unions : the EPA needs to hear from you


Cleaner Air:

****************************

****************************

Let’s get this done!

Last month the Senate finally confirmed new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and she has a lot of important work to do. That includes a clean-car plan that is widely supported by health groups, cities, enviros – even the auto industry.

With some minor changes to new cars, and cleaner gasoline that would add about a penny per gallon, this plan would remove the equivalent of 33 million polluting cars from our roads!

But Big Oil is digging in against it. They don’t want to make changes in their refineries, and they want your family to live with the consequences – dirtier air, dirtier environment.

Let’s show the new EPA Administrator that Americans support this common-sense plan. Send a quick email of support now, and show Big Oil that they don’t run our country!

Policy and Action from Consumer Reports

EPA needs to hear from you, not Big Oil!If Americans speak out in support of a plan that will clean up our gasoline and our air, we can beat back Big Oil. But we have to get this done by the end of the year. Tell the EPA’s new boss to approve it now!Take action

,

The clock is ticking on a clean-car plan that will dramatically slash pollution in our cities – the equivalent of taking 33 million cars off our roads!

The Environmental Protection Agency has only four months to finalize a plan that would clean up our gasoline so it doesn’t emit so much pollution when it’s burned. And with a new EPA administrator now on board, we have a great opportunity to get it moving!

Of course, Big Oil is out in force trying to kill it. They don’t want to make needed changes in their refineries, and they expect you to live with the consequences – tens of thousands of more respiratory problems in kids and adults, and the resulting environmental problems.

Tell new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy you support the clean-car plan. She needs to hear from you, not just Big Oil.

While many of us would like a world without polluting cars, we’re just not there yet. But we can make a huge dent in pollution by cleaning up the gas our vehicles run on. The air near our roadways has high concentrations of particulates, ozone, carbon monoxide, lead and sulfur – over 50 percent of which come from vehicles.

This plan would add under a penny to a gallon of gas, and less than $150 to the cost of a new car in 2025. It’s widely backed by public health officials, cities, environmentalists – even the auto industry is on board.

But Big Oil is digging in! They’re hoping to run out the clock or get Congress to intervene and kill it. That’s why it’s so important EPA Administrator McCarthy finalizes the plan soon!

Send a quick email of support right now. It’s a common-sense way to clean our air and improve the environment.

If you have friends and family who would join you in action, please forward this email to them. Let’s show the new EPA director that Big Oil doesn’t run our country!

Sincerely, Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Consumers Union Policy and Action from Consumer Reports