By Emmarie Huetteman, Kaiser Health NewsOriginally published on Monday, November 11 House Democrats are poised to pass sweeping legislation to lower drug prices using strategies President Donald Trump has endorsed. A Trump aide urged the Republican-controlled Senate to vote on a different package curbing drug prices that was drafted by a senior Republican. But at least right now, neither measure appears likely to attract enough bipartisan support to become law. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable, with voters from both parties agreeing that reducing the cost of prescription drugs should be one of Congress' top priorities, according to a poll last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) With such broad and bipartisan support, why do the odds look grim for Congress to pass significant drug pricing legislation this year? Because whether it's sharing the credit for a legislative victory … [Read more...] about Voters Say Congress Needs To Curb Drug Prices, But Are Lawmakers Listening?
Tucked away in volume three of the technical data for Britain’s £53bn high speed rail project is a table that shows 20m tonnes of concrete will have to be poured to build the requisite 105 miles of track, culverts, bridges and tunnels. It is enough, it has been calculated, to pave over the entire city of Manchester. A more modest 3 million tonnes of concrete will be needed to construct the Hinckley B nuclear power station in Somerset, and the proposed new runway at Heathrow will require one million tonnes. Cement, the key component of concrete and one of the most widely used manmade materials, is now the cornerstone of global construction. It has shaped the modern environment, but its production has a massive footprint that neither the industry nor governments have been willing to address. Because of the heat needed to decompose rock and the natural chemical processes involved in making cement, every tonne made releases one tonne of C02, the main greenhouse warming gas. … [Read more...] about Concrete is tipping us into climate catastrophe. It’s payback time
For over 200 years, modern civilisation has been built on fossil fuels; now climate science says we must phase out fossil fuel pollution in just a few decades. That’s a colossal challenge – especially if we are to keep anything resembling current lifestyles while also ending the poverty that blights the lives of more than 1 billion fellow human beings. We are already seeing a significant shift in thinking. The Rockefeller Foundation is divesting from coal and tar sands. Oxford University is considering similar action. And the Bank of England is analysing the impact on financial systems of fossil fuel investments becoming “stranded assets” – in other words worthless – if the world gets its act together on climate change. I want this year’s UN climate change negotiations to be the seminal moment when humanity faces up to these challenges. That’s why I’m strongly backing the Guardian’s campaign to raise the profile of the … [Read more...] about Britain must signal the beginning of the end for coal investment
The city of Nadym, in the extreme north of Siberia, is one of the Earth's least hospitable places, shrouded in darkness for half of the year, with temperatures plunging below -30C and the nearby Kara Sea semi-permanently frozen. But things are looking up for this Arctic conurbation halfway between Europe and China. Over the next 30 years climate change is likely to open up a polar shipping route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, cutting travel time to Asia by 40% and allowing Russia's vast oil and gas resources to be exported to China, Japan and south Asia much faster. Nadym stands to benefit from a warmer climate more than any other Arctic city – the Russian government plans to connect it by road and rail to other oil and gas centres; Gazprom, the world's largest gas company, is building a port nearby with French oil major Total; and if the new northern sea route is open for even six months of the year, Nadym will find itself on the 21st-century equivalent of the ancient … [Read more...] about Russian Arctic city hopes to cash in as melting ice opens new sea route to China