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May 04, 2007

Shifts to support nuclear power and to avoid increased climate change deaths, illness and costs

The Asian Development Bank may end its long-standing rejection of nuclear energy and embrace it as a green power source for rapidly expanding Asia, the bank's energy chief said Friday.

The ADB, which was founded four decades ago to fight poverty through economic growth, has a standing policy of not advocating atomic power out of concerns of safety and possible conversion to weapons use.

But under increased pressure to promote alternatives to the fossil fuels that fan global warming, the ADB is considering the use of nuclear power under a new energy policy to be adopted in three months, WooChong Um, ADB director of energy, told The Associated Press in an interview at the ADB's annual meeting.


Global warming could lead to a return of insect-borne diseases in Britain such as malaria, and increased incidence of skin cancer caused by exposure to the sun, a UK government report warns today

The nuclear industry hails the IPCC report (pdf for policymakers). The report from scientists with pro-renewable energy biases also admits the necessary and beneficial role of nuclear power.

Climate change and the rise in allergies and asthma have been linked

20 million suffer from asthma. Even though the air in many cities is much cleaner than in the past, the prevalence of hay fever has increased in the U.S. over the past few decades. In 2004, asthma affected more than 6 percent of the American population, up from a little over 3 percent in 1980, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Childhood asthma is increasing at an even faster rate. The percentage of children with asthma jumped to 9 percent in 2005 from 3.6 percent in 1980, according to the CDC.
In 2004, a Harvard Medical School study linked the childhood asthma "epidemic" among inner-city youth to climate change. Stating that higher carbon dioxide levels in cities promote pollen production in plants, fungal growth, and opportunistic weeds, the study noted that asthma among preschool children grew 160 percent between 1980 and 1994, more than double the increase for the overall U.S. population.

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