Lack Of Long-Term Planning, Underinvestment Hamper Energy Restore

Imagine a 100-year planning horizon. This is not a far-fetched idea, according to Brian Colle, a professor of atmospheric science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

NEW YORK — Two days after Hurricane Sandy walloped the East Coast, electrical utility companies warned hundreds of thousands of customers from Long Island to New Jersey that they may be left in the dark for more than 10 days.

Critics said cost-cutting was holding back recovery efforts, and long-term planning around climate change and extreme weather is lacking. The the industry pointed to downed trees, knocked-out facilities and the devastating reach of the storm to explain the duration of outages.

“You cannot make infrastructure hurricane-proof. We had a nine-foot storm surge on top of high tide. You cannot protect your infrastructure against that sort of damage,” said Chris Eck, spokesman for Jersey Central Power & Light, which had 940,000 customers without power Wednesday.

But several utility and climate experts maintained that utilities, faulted in many places for their response to Hurricane Irene a year ago, should look further back in geological history, and further ahead toward the destabilizing effects of global warming, as they prepare for natural disaster.

In New York City, researchers warned in 2008 that the shoreline was highly vulnerable to a massive surge. Brian Colle, a professor of atmospheric science at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, said higher surges could have been foreseen by looking at geological history.

“If you’re planning for New York City to be around for more than 100 years — which I would hope so — then I think it’s prudent to have a flood mitigation plan or strategy that goes beyond 100 years,” Colle said.

via Hurricane Sandy Utility Outages May Be Worsened By Underinvestment, Lack Of Planning.

New Scientific Data Forces Government to Reverse Its Stance on Fluoride in the Water Supply | The Alliance for Natural Health USA

EPA and HHS now recommend the level of fluoride in drinking water to be set “at the lowest end of the current optimal range”—that is, no more than 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water instead of the current recommended range which goes as high as 1.2 milligrams.

via New Scientific Data Forces Government to Reverse Its Stance on Fluoride in the Water Supply | The Alliance for Natural Health USA.

Municipalities will be wise to revisit their water fluoridation policies in light of new studies that address safety and efficacy of fluoride in drinking water to allegedly reduce tooth decay. While topical application of fluoride directly to the tooth enamel may prevent cavities, it has been shown that ingesting fluoride has the opposite effect, damages teeth and all major organ systems. Surely, cities can find an alternate means to dispose of the by-products of aluminum production? If the answer is no, they are not trying hard enough.