94 World Mayors Call for Green New Deal, Blast Slow National Actions
The C40 group of mayors — who represent 94 cities, more than 700 million people and one quarter of the global economy — announced their support Wednesday for a Global Green New Deal to fight the climate crisis, The Guardian reported.
"As mayors our first priority is to protect the safety of our citizens," Mayor of Paris and outgoing C40 Chair Anne Hidalgo said in a press release. "It will soon be four years since the Paris Agreement was signed in our city. World leaders met in New York just last month and once again failed to agree anything close to the level of action necessary to stop the climate crisis. Their ineptitude directly threatens all people around the globe as time keeps running against us. There is no other solution but a Global Green New Deal to be the pivotal instrument to win this race against the clock. All decision-makers must take responsibility in making it a reality."
C40's vision for a Global #GreenNewDeal is founded on 4️⃣principles 👉 🆘Recognizing the #ClimateEmergency 🌡Committ… https://t.co/AXnLrUqKzZ— C40 Cities (@C40 Cities)1570623488.0
The announcement came on the opening day of the group's World Mayors' Summit in Copenhagen, The Guardian explained.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is taking over as chair of the group, said the Global Green New Deal would be his priority.
"This will be the defining decade not only of our lives, but of life itself for human beings on this planet," Garcetti said at a press conference reported by The Guardian. "I have no doubt that we can and will get it right, because human beings have this stubborn desire to survive."
The Global Green New Deal has four major principles, according to the group's press release.
- Recognizing the climate emergency
- Honoring the Paris agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which means halving emissions by 2030
- Putting climate action at the center of urban planning
- Calling on partners to also acknowledge the climate crisis and act to resolve it
Alongside their call to action, the group shared some good news. The emissions of 30 cities have already fallen below peak levels, as MarketWatch reported. This suggests that cities can continue to grow their economy while lowering emissions, the group said. But some disagree with this approach.
Protestors at the Copenhagen summit, organized by local group Klima Aktion DK, set up a "green illusions scanner" that the attendees had to pass through and carried binoculars to show the mayors they were being watched.
"The entire framework around the C40 has the wrong approach," organizer Kirsten Kværnø told The Guardian. "They're taking the wrong starting point: that technology and green growth is going to save us from this crisis."
Federal govs are failing to act on the climate crisis. We can’t wait for others to lead. That’s why I’m in Copenh… https://t.co/9Uo8luySuk— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1570628477.0
"I am inspired by this coalition and the commitments made for a global Green New Deal," she said in a statement reported by MarketWatch. "If we work to join forces globally, we will be able to defeat our greatest threat and realize our greatest opportunity."
City action is essential, C40 Executive Director Mark Watts told The Guardian, because the U.S., Brazil, Russia, Australia and Turkey are now "essentially representatives of the fossil fuel industry."
"[I]n the context of those really powerful nations not only holding back their own actions but blocking the whole of the United Nations, we've got to have momentum coming from somewhere else," Watts told The Guardian.
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In Major Win for Indigenous Rights, Supreme Court Rules Much of Eastern Oklahoma Is Still a Reservation
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
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It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.
Where Does the Deficiency Begin?<p>Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. The question of when a deficiency starts is correspondingly controversial. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular.Not only is the pseudo-scientific literature on the "sun vitamin" experiencing an upswing, but the number of published studies has also increased enormously in recent years. For example, in 2019 <a href="https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/40/4/1109/5126915" target="_blank">a study found that</a> Vitamin D is responsible for keeping the skeleton functional and is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer. <br></p>
An All-Rounder<p>Vitamin D levels in the body rise and fall according to sun exposure. If sufficient UV rays reach the skin, the body is able to produce the vitamin itself. However, the human body only derives an estimated 10 to 20 percent of its daily requirement from food.</p><p>The vitamin D that we synthesize from sunlight or food is not biologically active at first. Before the kidneys can produce the biologically active form of the vitamin, known as calcitriol, and release it into the blood, some metabolic processes must take place beforehand.</p><p>In addition, many organs have receptors to which the precursor of calcitriol binds. Further, this substance is also present in blood.</p><p>From this precursor, the organs then produce calcitriol themselves, which the body then uses for countless other processes in the body. This form of vitamin D thus regulates insulin secretion, inhibits tumor growth, and promotes the formation of red blood cells as well as the survival and activity of macrophages, which are important for the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/7/2502/htm" target="_blank">immune system.</a></p>
Low Vitamin D, Severe COVID-19 Disease?<p>A research study carried out <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364620300067?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">at the University of Hohenheim</a> has now established a link between vitamin D deficiency, certain previous diseases, and severe cases of COVID-19.</p><p>According to the study, "there is a lot of evidence that several non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome) are associated with low vitamin D plasma levels. These comorbidities, together with the often accompanying vitamin D deficiency, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 events."</p><p>"This statement is completely correct," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg. However, he qualifies that it is a pure association, "i.e. a mere observation that these events occur together.</p><p>Dr. Fassnacht is very critical of the hype surrounding vitamin D, but not because he denies the vitamin serves important functions. However, studies on humans have not been able to show that vitamin D has the healing powers many often propagate.</p><p>Fassnacht says, "If you take a closer look, the hopes that the administration of vitamin D has a healing effect have not been confirmed so far."</p>
Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
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