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Study blames obesity epidemic on rising CO2 levels

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The question of whether carbon dioxide should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency has been a political football for the past decade.

In 1998, the Clinton administration decided that it was, but in 2003, the Bush administration reversed this policy. And in 2007, the Supreme Court split things down the middle, ruling that the EPA had the authority to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases but was possibly not required to do so.

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All of that took place within the context of the contentious argument over global warming. But now there is a new charge against carbon dioxide that may strike more deeply at the heart of American public opinion: The claim that it promotes obesity.

That is the conclusion of Danish researcher Lars-Georg Hersoug, who examined 22 years worth of data on weight gain in Denmark and found that skinny people showed proportionately as much weight gain as those who were already overweight. This suggested to him that the cause must lie not in lifestyle but in some more general factor, a possibility supported by data showing eight different species of laboratory animals also gaining weight despite being fed a controlled diet.

But why blame CO2? The evidence here is more circumstantial, but Hersoug notes that atmospheric levels of the gas have risen during the same period and that in the United States, obesity has increased most rapidly on the East Coast, where CO2 concentrations are highest.

Hersoug has so far conducted just one test of his hypothesis, an experiement in which six young men were placed in special climate rooms for seven hours. They were then given the opportunity to eat as much as they wanted, and those who had been exposed to increased CO2 levels ate six percent more than those who had not.

Hersoug believes that hormones in the brain are affected by CO2 and may in turn alter our appetite and metabolism. He also suggests that CO2 in beer may be to blame for beer bellies and recommends spending more time outdoors, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and engaging in vigorous exercise to pump excess CO2 out of the bloodstream.

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Geekosystem.com, which reported on the study, notes that Hersoug’s single small-scale experiment should be considered more anecdotal than scientific. Fortunately, however, Hersoug appears more than ready to continue his research.

Photo by Dori (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-us (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons


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‘He doesn’t care about those kids at all’: Anderson Cooper tears into Trump for pressuring schools to reopen

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On CNN Wednesday, Anderson Cooper blasted President Donald Trump's attempts to push schools to reopen without a plan to keep students safe.

"Today the president of the United States did something rare: he expressed a notion that we can all agree on, that kids belong in the classroom," said Cooper. "But then made it quite clear beyond what it means to himself and his re-election, he doesn't actually care about those kids at all. He doesn't care about their health and safety, nor the health of their teachers and parents, and federal guidelines for keeping them safe."

"The president bragged today about getting the CDC to change their guidelines to weaken them, and lo and behold, the CDC, which used to be a world-respected organization, they are going to come up with new guidelines, less difficult ones," said Cooper. "Just think about that. The CDC puts together guidelines based on science to protect kids and teachers, staying six feet apart and masks and having air flow in rooms and washing hands, and because the president thinks it's too difficult, the CDC is going to weaken them."

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New attack featuring Trump’s sexual comments about his daughters spurs #CreepyTrump hashtag trend

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President Donald Trump's comments about women have been bad enough, but when it comes to his comments about his own daughters, it gets even worse.

As a baby, Trump was already thinking about whether his second daughter, Tiffany, would have breasts like her mother. In appearances on "The View" and "The Wendy Williams Show," Trump talked about how he wishes he could date his first daughter Ivanka and that "sex" is something they have in common.

The bizarre statements add to the strange videos of Trump watching young women dance with his friend Jeffrey Epstein. Ultimately, Epstein was arrested after years of sex with underage children.

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2020 Election

‘This spells disaster’: Columnist says GOP is heading for a wipeout in the Senate — and beyond

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On Wednesday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Henry Olsen said the electoral signs are getting grimmer for the GOP by the day — for their prospects of maintaining control of the Senate, but also of their seats further down the ballot.

"Elections in both the House and Senate are increasingly syncing with broader presidential races," wrote Olsen. "In 2016, every Senate race was won by the same party that won that state in the presidential contest. In 2018, House races largely correlated with Trump’s approval rating, with even the most popular GOP incumbents unable to run more than a few points ahead of the president. Polls for Senate races this year show the same trend, with Republican incumbents’ totals closely matched with Trump’s. This spells disaster for the party."

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