This summer and global warming
Explain to future generations why destroying the environment was good for the economy.
Smoking marijuana has just got to be bad for the lungs, since it’s been made abundantly clear that cigarettes wreak havoc. Or so it would seem.
But the record on marijuana and lung health has been confusing at best. The latest study is typical: It shows that pot smokers’ lung function actually improves, at least if they’re not smoking a lot.
Smoking a joint a week for up to seven years doesn’t hurt lung function, according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. They came up with that number after following more than 5,000 people for 20 years. The results were just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In fact, those occasional pot smokers actually had improvements in some measurements of lung function. That may be due in part to the stretching involved in the deep tokes typical of marijuana use. By contrast, both past and present cigarette smokers had impaired lung function.
But the pot smokers didn’t get a completely clean bill of health. Heavy marijuana users, which the study defined as smoking more than 20 times a month, did see a decline in lung capacity. But that’s after exposure to more than 10 “joint-years,” which the scientists calculated as a joint a day for a decade. That’s a fair amount of weed.
Cigarette use and marijuana use was self-reported, leading some Shots contributors to wonder just how how reliable those pothead reminiscences could be. Indeed, the scientists said that previous studies have shown that people’s recollection of cigarettes smoked generally squares with nicotine levels in the blood. But they didn’t test pot smokers’ blood to see if that was true for them, too.
The lack of ill effect for occasional pot smokers may be good news for people considering marijuana for pain control or other medical purposes, the researchers conclude. But “our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavy use,” the scientists wrote, “and a resulting need for caution and moderation.”
It would seem that the Labor/Green coalition is not on the same page with regard to the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would pump “tar sands” from Canada to Texas and create 20,000+ private sector construction jobs, but it could put Midwest aquifers (that supply water for the “American bread basket”) at risk if anything goes wrong.
IBEW: Construction Workers Tell Obama: ‘We Can’t Wait’ for Keystone XL Jobs
“The Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO has launched a new campaign encouraging President Obama to take action on good construction jobs by supporting the Keystone XL pipeline project.
The proposed $7 billion project would transport unrefined petroleum from the oil sands of northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, creating an estimated 20,000 private sector positions”
Building Trades President Mark Ayers wrote on Huffington Post:
[I]t is America’s workers who are clamoring for the expedited approval of this important project. As President Obama has rightfully declared when it comes to the creation of jobs, “WE CAN’T WAIT.”
Clean Energy President Embraces Dirty, Dangerous, and Expensive Future:
“So begins a November 3rd story from Reuters assessing the potential political fallout from an administration decision to green-light the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada Corp’s plan to move crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to refineries in Texas.
Back in 2008, Obama the candidate seemed to understand the threat posed by global warming, and he spoke often of moving away from carbon-heavy fuel sources like tar sands. Now, a good part of what is considered the president’s “base,” it seems, understands that the transcontinental pipeline is not only a danger to farmlands and aquifers, but also a betrayal of a campaign promise.”
Unsure. America is hurting for jobs, but we need to get off oil. Until the glorious oil-free day arrives though, this could help the pain at the pump for the working class. Pardon my French: If this pipeline gets fucked up and it fucks up the Midwest’s ground water, then we’re super fucked. So I guess it depends: Either everything goes well: We get cheaper North American gas (in theory) and put tens of thousands of union workers back on the job. Of course this still means that we pump carbon into the air. Or: Everything goes wrong and we screw Midwest farming up forever. Or: We don’t go through with it and don’t create 20,000 good-paying private sector jobs. As I said: dilemma.