Withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement is Patriotic

Patriotism: noun meaning national loyalty, devoted love, support and defense of one’s country.

President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement (United Nations 2013) is most definitely an act of patriotism. It avoids surrendering the national sovereignty of the United States to a faceless, formless glob of coming “rules, modalities and procedures” (Article 6, Paragraph 7) in pursuit of specific goals determined by a “global stocktake” (Article 14, Section 1). These specific goals are to further sustainable development, eradicate poverty, safeguard food security, end hunger, transition the global workforce from crappy jobs to “decent work and quality jobs”.

The Paris Agreement is also anti-American because it is sexist and Islamophobic.  It promotes “gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity.” So much for our Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.  And I guess the authors don’t want Islamic countries to join the Agreement, since Islam is anything but a gender equal, female empowerment culture. You’d think the authors of this would bend over backwards to get Middle Eastern countries to sign on, since they sit on such a large mass of fossil fuels.

But wait, there’s more. The Paris Agreement is also homophobic and anti-LGBT community. The whole purpose of this Agreement is to control the environment to protect “sustainable lifestyles.” This must be code-speak for traditional marriage because the only way to sustain life on this planet is for male humans and female humans to have sex with each other enough times for sperm to fertilize an egg. Two guys can’t make a baby, nor can two women. As a matter of pure logic, gays and lesbians need not apply for the critical job of procreation.

And it’s not enough just to have babies. They must live long enough to produce the next generation of babies. And so on. But this is still not enough.  They must grow up and have sex to produce more babies.  If simply not enough babies make it to adulthood and procreate, human life becomes unsustainable. Have we forgotten that re-population is required to sustain life too? Well, the Paris Agreement at least got this part right, even if it’s un-American as Justice Kennedy (Justice, SCOTUS), wrote in Obergefell.

The globinous substance of this Agreement is in effect a technocracy carried out by a Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and a Subsidiary Body for Implementation (Article 18, Section 1). These people with all the knowledge about science and technology necessary to control society are to make sure that participants’ adaptive actions are “gender-responsive”, “based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems.” (Article 7, Paragraph 5). I think this means the best available science trumps everything else listed after it.  But the text says nothing about how to resolve conflicts between traditional knowledge and knowledge of indigenous peoples. Looking back in time, how would these technocrats have resolved differences between European settlers of America, and the Native Americans? Even in today’s time, just start with the conflict over peyote.

As an environmental lawyer I hate to see sovereign nations submit themselves to international treaties on environmental issues. I think you would be surprised to learn about all the international treaties we already have that relate to the environment.  Being good stewards of Mother Earth is critical, and my sarcasm in this post is not meant to denigrate that ultimate truth. But the Paris Agreement set up a framework that would have led the United States to surrendering its sovereignty in pursuit of unattainable goals based on hotly contested theoretical explanations of the natural world. Better to love, support and defend the USA by letting this opportunity pass.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

To subscribe to the free Enviropinions Blog, please enter your preferred Email address in the right column under “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL”. There is no set schedule for postings. I write them as I am inspired.

DISCLAIMER

This post is subject to the disclaimers here: http://www.texasenvironmentallaw.com/disclaimer.

CREDITS

Enviropinions are original writings of Mark McPherson.
© 2017, Mark McPherson. All rights reserved.
15950 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75248
214-722-7096 Office
214-540-9866 Facsimile
www.TexasEnvironmentalLaw.com

A Lesson for Ferguson, MO, From the Pages of History

It’s amazing how some things just don’t change. Riots like those currently happening in Ferguson, MO, have happened over and over throughout history. I attended Clinton Senior High School in East Tennessee. In 1958, three bombs ripped the high school building apart in protest of court-ordered integration. I wrote a research paper in high school about this bombing and the events leading up to it, which was then published in a local periodical.

Clinton High School was the first state-supported public school in the Southeastern United States to be integrated. And it was integrated by court order of federal judge Robert Taylor, whose order said Clinton High School was to be desegregated with “all deliberate speed.” And so in 1956, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education (1954), twelve African-American students enrolled in Clinton High School.

They attended class for the first time on August 27, 1956, and came to be known as the “Clinton Twelve.” On the morning of each school day they would walk together down Broad Street from Foley Hill to Clinton High. There were no problems that first day of class. But then the agitators arrived from out of town. Perhaps most notably, New Jersey white supremists John Kasper and Asa Carter came in and stirred the pot. Speaking publicly at the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton on September 1, 1956, they rallied anti-integration campaigners and protested the desegregation order.

Violence was narrowly avoided that day, but the agitators got what they wanted when riots broke out in early September of 1956. Tennessee Governor Frank Clement called up the National Guard and stationed units in Clinton throughout September. Sporadic violence and threats continued for the next two years. The protests resulted in a jury trial for criminal contempt, of which seven of ten defendants were convicted.

On the morning of December 4, 1956, Rev. Paul Turner, the white minister of the First Baptist Church, was severely beaten after escorting the Clinton Twelve to school. The violence culminated on October 5, 1958, when bombs ripped through the Clinton High School buildings. An estimated 75 to 100 sticks of dynamite had been placed in three locations in the building. No one was injured, but school officials estimated damages at $300,000 (in 1958 dollars). While the school was rebuilt, Clinton High School students had to be bused to Oak Ridge (of the Manhattan Project fame) where the school operated in the recently vacated building that had housed Linden Elementary School. Clinton High School reopened in its own building in 1960.

Here’s the moral to this true story. Those outside agitators left town and all the destruction had no negative effect on them. The only ones who suffered were the local residents, and in this case their kids. The same thing is happening in Ferguson. Outside agitators tip the delicate scale of tension in favor of violence, and all hell breaks loose. I sat in my house the night the Ferguson grand jury no-bill was announced and watched the riots live. The violence only hurts the local community. This is in no way Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream. Protect your own community. Turn a deaf ear to the outside influences.

Personally, I would like to see the agitators prosecuted for conspiracy to commit all this violence. To oversimplify, encouragement = common purpose = conspiracy. It would admittedly be a tough case, but at some point these folks need to learn that their actions have consequences for them too.

What Does “Out of the Woods” Really Mean in Ebola Cases?

According to an article here: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebola/14-october-2014/en/, the World Health Organization has concluded that 95% of confirmed Ebola cases have an incubation period in the range of 1 to 21 days, while 98% have an incubation period that falls within the 1 to 42 day interval. So from 21 to 42 days the probability of a quarantined person not having Ebola goes up another 3%.

Dallas is only confining potential Ebola-exposed individuals to a 21 day quarantine. This means someone has decided that the additional 3% certainty is not worth an additional 21 days of quarantine. Said person could be at the CDC because the 21 day quarantine recommendation comes from the CDC.

Just understand that it is entirely possible for some of the individuals released from quarantine in Dallas to still develop Ebola. For the first group quarantined, the 42-day deadline is November 10, while for the second group, that date is Friday, November 28. Perhaps we should delay Thanksgiving by one day this year.

This is a continuing series of blog posts on the Ebola outbreak in the Dallas area. Please subscribe to this blog for notice of future posts.

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To subscribe to the free Enviropinions Blog, please enter your preferred Email address in the right column under “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL”. There is no set schedule for postings. I write them as important or interesting developments occur.

REFERRAL NETWORKS

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DISCLAIMER

This post is subject to the disclaimers here: http://www.texasenvironmentallaw.com/disclaimer.

CREDITS

Enviropinions are original writings of Mark McPherson.
© 2014, Mark McPherson. All rights reserved.
15950 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75248
214-722-7096 Office
214-540-9866 Facsimile
mark@texasenvironmentallaw.com
www.TexasEnvironmentalLaw.com

So What Now, Since the First Us Ebola Outbreak Seems to Be Contained?

Before coming to a specific answer for this question, let’s briefly review the history of this small Ebola outbreak in Dallas, and consider what would have happened had the outbreak continued or been larger.

I am going to walk you through my answer to this question, and explain why that is my answer. Ultimately, we will each answer this question for ourselves, and a no-response is itself a response.

You may have heard Thomas Eric Duncan occasionally referred to in the news as Patient Zero. This is because, in medical science, the index case or initial patient in the population of an epidemiological investigation is called Patient Zero. Epidemiology is the science that studies the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. It is the cornerstone of public health, and informs policy decisions and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare. So Duncan was termed Patient Zero because someone thought he fit this definition.

Major areas of epidemiological study include disease etiology, transmission, outbreak investigation, disease surveillance and screening, biomonitoring, and comparisons of treatment effects such as in clinical trials. Epidemiologists rely on other scientific disciplines like biology to better understand disease processes, statistics to make efficient use of the data and draw appropriate conclusions, social sciences to better understand proximate and distal causes, and engineering for exposure assessment. You should know this information because government officials sometimes rely on epidemiologists, to varying degrees, in determining governmental responses to outbreaks.

If you intend to do something in response to an outbreak, be it Ebola or otherwise, ask yourself this question: at what point in time should I begin to take action? Here is the Dallas Ebola timeline.

Sept. 19: Patient Zero flies from Liberia to Brussels
Sept. 20: Patient Zero flies from Brussels to Washington, DC
Sept. 20: Patient Zero flies from Washington, DC, to Dallas
Sept. 25: Patient Zero goes to the hospital ER, is treated and released
Sept. 28: Patient Zero goes to the hospital ER, is admitted
Sept. 30: Patient Zero confirmed to be infected with Ebola
Oct. 8: Patient Zero dies
Oct. 12: Nurse Nina Pham confirmed to be infected with Ebola
Oct. 14: Nurse Amber Vinson confirmed to be infected with Ebola
Oct. 19: Mandatory Quarantine ends for 43 people who came in contact with Patient Zero
Nov. 7: Quarantine ends for 120 people who came in contact with Pham and Vinson

It seems to me most logical to begin being concerned about a possible outbreak when a patient is confirmed to be infected with a deadly virus. We all have a limited amount of energy, focus, and time. Other than general preparation, getting too wound up prior to a confirmed case seems to risk burning too much energy, focus and time with no definitive benefit. The concern should escalate with each new confirmed case.

In my opinion, the more practical answer to “when” depends less on patients, and more on government officials. I was concerned about the Ebola outbreak and intentionally followed it in the news. Every morning, the first thing I did was check the news to see if any more cases had been confirmed. But I was moved to action by government officials’ responses to it. Specifically, on Friday, October 17, 2014, I watched (live via the Internet) the Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting. That scared me much more than any of the confirmed Ebola cases.

That Friday I watched the Commissioners debate about whether to adopt a disaster declaration. In Texas, disaster relief is bottom-up. It all starts at the local level-cities and counties. State resources are not generally brought to bear until a local government asks for help. Federal resources are not generally brought to bear until a local or state government asks for help. In outbreak situations, force may be required. The government actually used police power force in the Dallas Ebola outbreak. Hence my concern over the Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting. The disaster declaration would have been the next step to the local government seizing more control over persons and property.

And the Commissioners seriously considered whether or not to adopt a disaster declaration. At least one Commissioner indicated she would vote yes. Now, at this point, 3 cases of Ebola had been confirmed in Dallas. Patient Zero was dead, one nurse was in Maryland, and the other nurse was in Atlanta. What I realized from watching that meeting is that the patients are a tangential concern. We should keep them in our peripheral vision, but our focus must be on the governmental bodies who are responding to the situation. And those officials are more concerned over who else may become infected.

If the Dallas area had experienced another one or more confirmed Ebola cases over the weekend of October 18-19, 2014, it is likely that the Dallas County Commissioners would have, in short order, adopted an emergency disaster declaration. Everyone is still on high alert until November 7, 2014. What does that mean, practically?

While impossible to know, having researched applicable law in advance, I think the next response from the government would have been to impose an area-wide quarantine. I’m not sure exactly what that would look like, but I think it is well within the realm of the possible that the government would have asked us residents to voluntarily self-quarantine for some period of time, maybe a week to start, with the risk of the government extending the quarantine up to 21 days (the time it takes Ebola to show symptoms). If that didn’t work, and the Ebola continued to spread, I think the voluntary quarantine may have quickly become a mandatory quarantine backed up with state and local police power.

I mentioned above that Dallas actually employed state force in this case. The day Patient Zero tested positive for Ebola, Dallas County health officials asked his fiancé and others who had been staying in the same apartment with him, to stay inside the apartment (at the time, with soiled/contaminated bed linens, rags, towels, etc.). They refused. Because they were not sick, they couldn’t technically be quarantined.  So David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, issued a “confinement order.”  The order required them to stay inside the apartment. Later, Dallas County moved them to secure quarters for continued monitoring. I am still investigating this order, but it appears to be based on the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Act in the Tex. Health & Safety Code.

In the case of some 120 medical workers who treated Patient Zero or the two nurses, Dallas County gave the workers two options: either voluntarily agree to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms, or, if they refused or broke the self-quarantine, the State would issue a confinement order forcibly quarantining them. Of course they all agreed to voluntarily self-quarantine, and the government has generally kept hush-hush the coercive nature of the agreement.

So here’s what I did. Very shortly after the Commissioners’ meeting ended, I called my doctors and got 30 day advance supplies of my prescriptions. Come to find out, that’s not as easy as it sounds. For a couple of mine, the insurance company had to approve the advance supply for it to be covered, and for another I had to actually go to the doctor’s office and pick up the written prescription. If you have medications you take every day, I strongly suggest you run this exercise to see what obstacles you may encounter.

Then I stocked up on food items and cleaning products and toiletries, things I would use regardless of the outbreak. Costco plus the grocery store. I made sure the LP gas tanks (grill) and my vehicle’s gas tanks were full. I did not stock up on water. I assumed water and electricity would continue. I didn’t see this Ebola situation as threatening the termination of those services. I work with folks who work at the utilities. They know how important it is to keep providing those services. It will take a lot to terminate utilities services.

Fortunately I can work at home as efficiently as anywhere else, and with electronic filing capabilities with the TCEQ, State Office of Administrative Hearings, and the courts in which I have cases, a quarantine would not affect my work as long as I can connect to the Internet. So all I needed was to bulk up on paper.

And that was basically the extent of my preparation. Next thing I knew the Cowboys were 6-1 and former Tennessee Vol Peyton Manning set the NFL touchdown passes record.

The world didn’t change when Patient Zero arrived in Dallas. It just caused us to recognize more of the risk that is present every day. Be practical with preps, and carry on with life.

And watch the government’s response to disasters and possible disasters. Disease in the area will not restrict your movements. It’s the government that can and will take away your freedom. Individuals have due process rights and protections available in emergencies. In these instances it is my job to be prepared to hold the government accountable to the law, protecting my clients’ rights and property.

This is a continuing series of blog posts on the Ebola outbreak in the Dallas area. Please subscribe to this blog for notice of future posts.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

To subscribe to the free Enviropinions Blog, please enter your preferred Email address in the right column under “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL”. There is no set schedule for postings. I write them as important or interesting developments occur.

REFERRAL NETWORKS

Your new client referrals are a big part of our continued success, and the same is true about this blog. Please take a moment to think about friends and colleagues you know who might enjoy receiving notice of new Enviropinions blog posts and forward this to them. Individual subscription information is below.

DISCLAIMER

This post is subject to the disclaimers here: http://www.texasenvironmentallaw.com/disclaimer.

CREDITS

Enviropinions are original writings of Mark McPherson.
© 2014, Mark McPherson. All rights reserved.
15950 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75248
214-722-7096 Office
214-540-9866 Facsimile
mark@texasenvironmentallaw.com
www.TexasEnvironmentalLaw.com

What Happens to the Property in an Ebola Case

Sometimes fear can be dispersed with good, solid information. I’m not a health care professional, but I am an environmental lawyer, so I will focus on the part of the process and law about which I have expertise. This post is a timeline of what happens to a person’s property when that person is diagnosed with Ebola, with details from the local cases as examples. Here’s what will happen, probably mostly the same in every case.

1. A test result indicates someone has tested positive for the Ebola virus. You don’t have to worry about not knowing the identity of someone who has tested positive for Ebola. The activities described below, and the knowledge of the neighbors as to who lives in what residence, should provide plenty enough information to disclose the identity of the patient.

2. Within one to three hours, police and first responders will set up a staging area close to the person’s residence. They first stand guard at the residence to prevent ingress and egress. Nobody in, nobody out. If other persons are there, they probably will load them up in an ambulance and send them to a health care facility to be tested for Ebola. This will take time, depending on how the first responders want to isolate these individuals.

3. During this same time frame, police will begin making autocalls, passing out fliers, and going door to door to contact the neighbors of the infected person. In Nina Pham’s case, they contacted a 4 block area. The police will tell the neighbors about the Ebola diagnosis and warn them that a hazmat crew will be on the scene shortly, do not be alarmed. In Amber Vinson’s case, the notice said:

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE CITY OF DALLAS. Please be advised that a health care worker who lives in your area has tested positive for Ebola. This individual is in the hospital and isolated. Precautions are already in process to clean all known potential areas of contact to ensure public health. While this may be concerning, there is no ongoing danger to your health. The virus does not spread through casual contact. The City of Dallas is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dallas County, Dallas Independent School District, and Community Leaders to protect your health. For more information please call 311 or Dallas County Health and Human Services at 214-819-2004. The reverse side of this flier contains relevant information regarding the Ebola virus. [the reverse contains 11 bullets of information about Ebola, from the CDC]

4. In a few more hours, a hazmat crew will decontaminate the exterior of the patient’s building.

5. During this same time period, a hazmat crew will show up at the hospital and decontaminate the vehicle the patient used to drive to the health care facility.

6. Several more hours will pass while the police continue to prevent ingress and egress to the building, then the hazmat crew that will decontaminate the interior of the residence will arrive, and begin their work. For the Liberian Duncan, this took 15 people 4 days. They filled 140 55-gallon barrels with everything-EVERYTHING-inside the residence, down to the concrete floors and paint on the walls. They cut up the mattresses and large items of furniture so they would fit in the barrel. The hazmat crew then fit the barrels into 27 containers, and sealed them shut.

7. A biohazard materials shipping company will then come, load the containers, and ship them via truck, over roads, to a disposal company. They will load the sealed containers into the incinerator, and the incinerator, reaching temps of 1,500 to 2100 degrees, will reduce the sealed containers and their contents to ash, plenty hot enough to destroy any Ebola. The disposal company will then load the ash in required packaging, and ship it to a landfill that holds a permit authorizing it to accept biohazardous material.

8. Meanwhile, the patient will hopefully be recovering. Upon being discharged, however, the patient will walk back into a residence with literally nothing inside. No furniture, curtains, carpet, blinds, TVs, phones, food, small appliances, dishes, pots, pans, plates, memorabilia, pictures, art, wall hangings, clothes, shoes, belts, jewelry, literally nothing.

9. The health department will send the bill for the decontaminations (residence and vehicle) to the person whose residence and car was just decontaminated. But at least the former patient has their life.

All through this process, the owners and occupants of these buildings have rights, but they must be asserted at the right time, and that means very quickly. If you become the patient, I suggest you keep the focus on restoring your health.

If, on the other hand, you are the landlord of the contaminated property, or the investor, or maybe the lender, you may want to consider engaging a qualified environmental attorney immediately upon learning your property is going to be decontaminated, to protect your property (and pocketbook) as much as possible.

This is a continuing series of blog posts on the Ebola outbreak in Texas. Please subscribe to this blog for notice of future posts.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

To subscribe to the free Enviropinions Blog, please enter your preferred Email address in the right column under “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL”. There is no set schedule for postings. I write them as important or interesting developments occur.

REFERRAL NETWORKS

Your new client referrals are a big part of our continued success, and the same is true about this blog. Please take a moment to think about friends and colleagues you know who might enjoy receiving notice of new Enviropinions blog posts and forward this to them. Individual subscription information is below.

DISCLAIMER

This post is subject to the disclaimers here: http://www.texasenvironmentallaw.com/disclaimer.

CREDITS

Enviropinions are original writings of Mark McPherson.
© 2014, Mark McPherson. All rights reserved.
15950 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75248
214-722-7096 Office
214-540-9866 Facsimile
mark@texasenvironmentallaw.com
www.TexasEnvironmentalLaw.com

Getting Logical About Ebola: A Practical Initial Response

So do we keep calm and carry on with no changes to our daily routines, or are there some things we can do, specific actions we can take, to help defend ourselves from Ebola?

At the outset I think we should all prepare, emotionally, inconvenience ourselves. We may need to do things we don’t want to do, and we may need to refrain from doing things we want to do. This situation obviously calls for heightened discipline. The facts on the ground today are materially different than yesterday.

Let’s just walk through a contamination situation. First, remember that ebola is a virus. It is spread from person to person like a virus. How do you avoid catching any virus? You keep the virus out of your body. How best to do that? Don’t share physical space with those who have, or may have, the virus. And there’s the inconvenience.

Should you get your own PPE suit and wear it any particular time? This is a completely impractical idea unless you are trained in how to put it on and how to take it off, and you have access to a decontamination area/chamber to wash down the suit as you take it off. For myself, I have latex gloves and duct tape, and not much else, simply because I think this is probably the outer limit of my capabilities. Figure out your limit and then decide for yourself whether you want to suffer whatever inconvenience your limit may cause for you.

So what I have concluded for myself, is that the practical, common sense actions I can take to prepare for Ebola include preparing to shelter in my house for an extended period of time, to isolate myself away from the public as Ebola makes its way around, IF it makes its way around. I have multiple LP gas tanks for grilling. I have a full cabinet of canned goods (Costco, baby), and meat (protein) in the freezer. I have some quantity of bottled water, although I don’t at the moment (Oct. 16, 2014) foresee losing my tap water supply to contamination, so it’s not much quantity. I do have many water filters for the tap water, but that’s mostly because I prefer to drink filtered water regardless of Ebola. I have a big stock of toiletries. And I have the ability to work from home.

So I monitor the news, and listen to medical science experts, to see if and when it may make common sense to begin reducing the amount of time I spend in public spaces. So far my biggest inconvenience was giving up going to the Texas State Fair this year, something I always look forward to. I just decided that with the flight Amber Vinson was on back to Dallas, that potential exposure introduced more risk into a State Fair trip than I was personally comfortable with. We all must make our own decisions about these sorts of things, and I fully expect yours to be different than mine. As we all learn more about this outbreak over time, I would expect to see our decisions begin to become more similar.

The second thing I am doing is making sure I know what to do if I ever thought I had contracted Ebola. At that point, my goal would be to avoid contaminating more people with the virus. This means I would recognize that I’d need to drive myself to the hospital. No more kisses for the wife until I know it’s safe. I’d understand that there’s a chance the health officials would quarantine the vehicle I drove to the doctor or hospital, and could destroy it (Texas law allows this). So I’d drive my least necessary vehicle.

The third thing I’m doing is making sure I know where to go. In situations such as this, Texas law gives government health officials the power to determine where cases are treated. For now, all Ebola cases in Dallas must go to Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas Hospital. If other areas experience Ebola cases, I’m pretty sure the health care professionals will let that area know where to go. If I were outside Dallas, I’d investigate the hospitals closest to me and I’d identify those with the best capability to deal with a potential Ebola case. Here’s how to do that.

As I understand it, the ideal treatment facility for Ebola is one with a Level 4 Bio-Safety Lab (BSL). And as I understand it, there are only 4 hospitals in the US with Level 4 BSLs: the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, has 3 beds; Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, has 10 beds; Emory Hospital, Atlanta has 3 beds; and St Patricks Hospital, Missoula, has 3 beds. That’s 19 Level 4 BSL beds for 317,000,000 people. And actually at the moment, Emory Hospital is down to only 1 remaining bed, and NIH is down to only 2 beds. If you live in these areas, this is where you should go. Otherwise, you’ve got some more digging to do.

Hospitals are also designated by levels of their trauma facilities. While viruses are not traumatic (think auto wrecks, broken bones, severe falls, burns, etc.), I personally feel I’d be more comfortable at a comprehensive Level I trauma center than I would at a basic trauma facility. You may be different. In Texas the Texas Dept. Of State Health Services maintains a list of designated trauma centers on their website at http://dshs.state.tx.us/emstraumasystems/etrahosp.shtm. So you can look up the ones around you and decide, in advance, where you would prefer to drive yourself if necessary. These designations, by the way, are set by each state and each state may be different.

And that is about the limit of my initial, practical preparations for a possible Ebola outbreak where I live. Prepare to isolate myself, stock up, and know where to go and what to do if I didn’t do it soon enough.

This is a continuing series of blog posts on the Ebola outbreak in the Dallas area. Please subscribe to this blog for notice of future posts.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

To subscribe to the free Enviropinions Blog, please enter your preferred Email address in the right column under “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL”. There is no set schedule for postings. I write them as important or interesting developments occur.

REFERRAL NETWORKS

Your new client referrals are a big part of our continued success, and the same is true about this blog. Please take a moment to think about friends and colleagues you know who might enjoy receiving notice of new Enviropinions blog posts and forward this to them. Individual subscription information is below.

DISCLAIMER

This post is subject to the disclaimers here: http://www.texasenvironmentallaw.com/disclaimer.

CREDITS

Enviropinions are original writings of Mark McPherson.
© 2014, Mark McPherson. All rights reserved.
15950 Dallas Parkway, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75248
214-722-7096 Office
214-540-9866 Facsimile
mark@texasenvironmentallaw.com
www.TexasEnvironmentalLaw.com

Let’s Get Logical About Ebola, Part 1

So much fear. Driven by unanswered “what if” scenarios. Authorities seemingly more interested in maintaining the appearance of calm than communicating reality. But all this does is make them look self-delusional. BioHazMat crews on TV decontaminating living quarters. Do I need personal protection equipment (PPE)? Is it safe to live or work in Dallas?

Let’s get logical about Ebola in the hopes of removing some fear, and maybe rightfully focusing some where it needs to be for our protection.

We are practically watching a jury trial where We The People are in the jury box. On one side, the defense, are those who think everything’s fine and there’s nothing to worry about. On the other side, the prosecution are those who are arguing for more to be done. And make no mistake. This outbreak of Ebola is a trial. Unfortunately, the politicians seem to be jumping from prosecution to defense, repeatedly, with the only seeming goal to be “correct” in hindsight. They just want us jurors to cast our vote for them. But this is instead adding to our fears.

In the midst of such uncertainty, I suggest we each act like the juror that we practically are. Listen to what competing sides have to say. Exercise independent thought. Judge the credibility of the person doing the talking, those offering “evidence” for our consideration. Don’t be afraid to determine that, if something waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it’s a duck! regardless of how many people are arguing to us that it is not a duck. Be wise.

The role of the juror is to sift through the evidence offered by the prosecution, and the defense, and decide which is credible, and if so how credible. It is not to just accept all evidence as credible, nor is it (worse) to determine the credibility of evidence through politicized lenses. Once upon a time THIS was known as being prejudiced. So perhaps the first step toward sanity is to give more credibility to those with medical expertise, and less credibility to those whose primary expertise is to win elections.

I don’t know how this is going to turn out. Nobody does. Each day we will learn more, whether or not there are more cases. But I have my suspicions and concerns. So for the moment, I am focused on being the environmental law expert that I am, and using my expertise to help deal with contaminated property and dispose of contaminated waste as needed.

This is a continuing series of blog posts on the Ebola outbreak in the Dallas area. Please subscribe to this blog for notice of future posts.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

To subscribe to the free Enviropinions Blog, please enter your preferred Email address in the right column under “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL”. There is no set schedule for postings. I write them as important or interesting developments occur.

REFERRAL NETWORKS

Your new client referrals are a big part of our continued success, and the same is true about this blog. Please take a moment to think about friends and colleagues you know who might enjoy receiving notice of new Enviropinions blog posts and forward this to them. Individual subscription information is below.

DISCLAIMER

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CREDITS

Enviropinions are original writings of Mark McPherson.
© 2014, Mark McPherson. All rights reserved.
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