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Posts Tagged ‘commentary’
 

 
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Actually Supporting Homeless People Does Not Mean Housing Them Yourself

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

A brief guide to the absurd, circular logic of people who don’t want to deal with homelessness.

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Take Part in the World’s Biggest Anonymous Drugs Survey

Posted November 18, 2019 by VICE Staff

The Global Drug Survey wants to understand how the world uses drugs, and help them do so in the safest possible way.

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We Still Don’t Know What Gina Haspel Really Knew About the CIA’s Torture Program

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Despite fifteen years of scandal and investigations, it’s still not clear that Trump’s CIA Director learned the right lessons.

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My God, Look at These Horny Roku Channels

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Need to run some “Beautiful Butts” on your TV in the background? Roku has some screensavers for you.

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Stadia the Technology? Awesome. Stadia the Service? Not So Much

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Streaming games is here and very real, but Google’s Stadia is launching without much to play and without much beyond “Hey, isn’t this neat?

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Ticketmaster’s Anti-Scalping Technology Actually Helps Scalpers, Not Fans

Posted November 18, 2019 by Jason Koebler

Buying tickets on Ticketmaster continues to be a complete disaster for everyone who doesn’t make a living buying tickets.

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Prince Andrew Had A Very Bad Weekend Indeed

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

A woman who says she was Jeffrey Epstein’s “sex slave” says she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York when she was 17. He tried to clear his name with a BBC interview, and it did not go well.

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Memphis Is Making Old Gospel New Again

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

The deepest roots of Memphis music are in the Black church. The record label Bible & Tire is tapping a new generation of musicians, and an old one, to give the music new life.

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This Artist Is Rewriting the Narrative of a Segregated Chicago

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Tonika Johnson opens up about her acclaimed Folded Map Project, growing up in Chicago, and her plans for 2020.

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Gritty’s Reign Has Just Begun

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Mascots are safe to love in an era when nothing is. Gritty and Phang, Philly’s newest mascots, exemplify why.

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The Corollary To If You Serve It We Will Eat It (If You Don’t, We Won’t)

Posted November 18, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

I’ve written before how as human beings, if you serve it to us, we will eat it, with examples from medical conferences, medical resident events, and dietetic conferences, and published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine is it’s corollary, if you don’t serve it, we won’t eat it, or at least we’ll eat it less.

The paper, Association of a Workplace Sales Ban on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages With Employee Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Health explores what happened to sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption in the 10 months after the University of California at San Francisco banned their sale from campus and medical centre venues (including in their cafeterias, vending machines and retail outlets). People were of course still free to bring whatever beverages they wanted to work or school. Specifically researchers were interested in the impact the sales ban would have on those with heavy SSB intake (defined as a pre-intervention consumption of more than 12 fl oz daily for the prior 3 months).

For two months prior to the intervention, they canvassed for heavy intake participants, and once the SSB sales ban was enacted, half were randomly assigned to receive a 15 minute motivational intervention targeting SSB reduction, half were not, and 10 months later, all of their intakes were again explored.

The findings weren’t particularly surprising. When SSBs aren’t sold, fewer are consumed.

How much fewer?

Half as much overall, with those receiving the brief motivational intervention seeing their consumption decrease by roughly 75%, and those who didn’t by 25% (though it should be noted, especially among those who received the motivational intervention, social desirability bias may have influenced their self-reported consumption reductions).

Bottom line though, it certainly stands to reason that if you don’t serve or sell it, we won’t eat or drink it, or at the very least, we’ll eat or drink much less of it, and so as far as public health interventions go, likely wiser to reduce access to hyperpalatable and indulgent fare rather than simply encouraging people to just eat less of them.

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DeSmog Was Created to Combat Climategate-Style Misinformation. We’re Still Going

Posted November 18, 2019 by Brendan DeMelle
pow!

Read time: 4 mins

DeSmog was launched in January 2006 to call out the public relations industry for working with fossil fuel industry clients to sow doubt and seed misinformation about climate science. In those early years, we focused most of our attention on the merchants of doubt who were scuttling political action to address global warming in the United States. 

Little did we know that climate science denial was spreading throughout the English-speaking world, and we would have to follow it to the UK and beyond.

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Where Are the Ring-Leaders of the Manufactured Climategate Scandal Now?

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous
I don't believe in global warming

Read time: 12 mins

Ten years ago, leading climate scientists at the University of East Anglia had a mass of email correspondence stolen from their computers and broadcast around the world, in what became known as ‘Climategate’.

Climate science deniers pounced on the leaked emails as supposed proof that scientists were manipulating data and creating panic about climate change out of nothing.

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Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous
Flooded trash bins

Read time: 7 mins

Excessive media coverage of an email hacking tilted the outcome of a critically important event against the victims of the crime. Sound familiar?

In 2016, it happened to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. That was déjà vu for climate scientists, who seven years earlier had experienced a nearly identical chain of events leading up to the 2009 UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. 

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Interview: Climategate Felt Like a Disaster, But Climate Science Is Now Stronger Than Ever

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

Read time: 4 mins

There was this incredible hullabaloo,” says Robert Brulle, recalling the moment that the Climategate scandal broke, 10 years ago today. He remembers thinking that it was all much ado about nothing: a coordinated PR campaign by climate deniers to discredit the science of global warming. 

Brulle is a professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, who has researched the environmentalism movement for more than two decades, and has focused in recent years on the funding of climate denial. In some sense, his prediction would be proven correct. 

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How the Climategate Email Hack Laid the Foundations for the Fake News Era

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous
I wish this were fake news poster

Read time: 8 mins

DeSmog UK’s first editor, Brendan Montague, shares his personal experience of investigating climate science deniers at the time of Climategate.

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#371 Old people holding hands

Posted November 18, 2019 by Anonymous

It’s what life’s all about. Seeing old people holding hands is a symbol of a lifelong companionship full of knowing glances, inside smiles, and warm feelings in waiting hearts. As you watch them mosey down the boardwalk during the sunset you can’t help see the connection of two hands that helped shape the world. Those […]

The post #371 Old people holding hands appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Great tweets of the day

Posted November 16, 2019 by Anonymous

Beluga Whale playing some rugby pic.twitter.com/OhRINNfYoq

— Animal Life (@animalIife) November 9, 2019

Any hope of getting my prowl on today is #BuriedUnderTheSnow. #CatsOfTwitter pic.twitter.com/nwk2mcxru5

— 🐾Beware of Dogma🐾 (@ellelljaytoo) November 16, 2019


SUMMARY OF THE DAY SO FAR:

“It’s like every five minutes a new warhead lands on Trump’s dick.”

— Martin Longman (@BooMan23) November 16, 2019


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Creating a New Market for Coal in the Push to Mine ‘Critical Minerals’ for National Security

Posted November 15, 2019 by Anonymous
Duke coal ash pond

Read time: 9 mins

With the backing of the mining industry and anti-regulatory groups, the Trump administration has been seeking to expand mining on public lands and further loosen environmental rules under the banner of weaning the United States off importing minerals deemed “critical” to national security. 

This move may have particular implications for the struggling U.S. coal industry and its promoters, which have begun rallying behind efforts to extract some of these so-called “critical minerals” from coal and its by-products.  

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Why the Climategate Hack was More Than An Attack on Science

Posted November 15, 2019 by Anonymous
Denied facts are still facts placard

Read time: 5 mins

From its tense soundtrack and flickering images of suspicious-looking wires, you could mistake the BBC’s latest documentary on climate change for some kind of cyber spy thriller. And that’s kind of what it is. 

The BBC documentary, Climategate: Science of a Scandal, begins with Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University recounting how he opened a letter and unleashed wafts of white powder. “My first thought was: I may have been subject to a deadly substance, anthrax,” he says. “All because I decided to study applied math and physics, and move into climate science.”

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#372 Umbrella Karma

Posted November 15, 2019 by Anonymous

Umbrella karma is when you lose your umbrella somewhere but then randomly find another one somewhere else. Whoops, left your rainshade in the restaurant? No worries, there’s an extra one in your front closet from last week’s party. Shoot, did you leave yours at the back of the bus? Well don’t worry because there’s six […]

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New Paper Reveals Rail Industry Was Leader in Climate Denial Efforts

Posted November 14, 2019 by Anonymous

Read time: 7 mins

A recent paper analyzing the major players in the organized efforts to attack climate change science and delay action had a surprising revelation — the biggest contributing industry/sector was not oil and gas but rail/steel/coal with the most active organization in the climate denial movement being the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

In the paper, Networks of Opposition: A Structural Analysis of U.S. Climate Change Countermovement Coalitions 1989-2015, author Robert Brulle, looks at “key political coalitions that worked to oppose climate action. In conjunction with their allied trade associations, these coalitions have served as a central coordination mechanism in efforts opposed to mandatory limits on carbon emissions.”

And the allied trade association that was most active was the AAR. Why would the rail industry care about climate change and be active in promoting denial? Coal.

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Searching for new caves in West Kootenay, B.C.

Posted November 14, 2019 by Anonymous

In August, a team of cavers set up camp on this karst plateau in West Kootenay, B.C. to investigate a series of cave entrances, the largest of which they called Jawdrop, pictured. (Photo: Douglas Noblet)

It all started with a simple question: is t…

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#373 When you think you’re all out of candy but find one more left in the pack

Posted November 14, 2019 by Anonymous

Also known as the M&M Encore. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Subscribe to my newsletter to receive articles on intentional living —

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In Oregon and Five Other States, Youth Are Making Legal Cases for Climate Action

Posted November 13, 2019 by Anonymous
Youth vs. Gov climate lawsuit rally

Read time: 5 mins

The Oregon Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday, November 13 to decide the fate of one of a half dozen state-level climate lawsuits filed on behalf of American youth. The plaintiffs in the Oregon case, appealing a state appellate court decision in January, charge that the state has a public trust obligation to protect the atmosphere on behalf of future generations.

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“I’m not racist! How dare you say that?”

Posted November 13, 2019 by Anonymous
Those of you calling for Stephen Miller to be fired by the White House because he has been revealed (again) to be a white supremacist do not understand that’s the reason why he was hired.

— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) November 12, 2019

Employers favor men not because they are prejudiced against women, but because they have the perception that men perform better on average at certain tasks. https://t.co/RRcBSRCQfA

— Quartz (@qz) November 12, 2019

There’s something bizarre about the way some people define “racism” (and sexism, and homophobia, etc, but I’ll just use “racism” as a shorthand to mean all of these things.)

They recognize it, and condemn it, but just cannot admit that they, themselves, could do it.  Its an odd form of “othering” where the “other” is actually an uncomfortable part of their own personality.

So they can say “I’m not racist, I just don’t like black people” (or Aboriginal people or Asian people or whoever) of “I’m not sexist, I just don’t think women can do things as well as men can” or “I’m not homophobic, I just don’t like gay people”. And they remain blithely ignorant of their own racist impulses and behaviour. 
You see, they KNOW that being racist is bad.  So it makes them VERY uncomfortable to think of themselves as racists.  So when they DO racist things and THINK racist thoughts, they have to tell themselves there is actually nothing wrong with what they did or thought because their motives are pure and their actions are just.  They take refuge in the belief that they are actually just telling the truth.
So Don Cherry can talk about “you people”.  And Trump can say there are “good people” on “both sides” of Charlottesville.  And neither of them will ever even think they have said anything racist, because after all they don’t think of themselves as racists. Today, we see pundits who are actually surprised that Stephen Miller has been “revealed” to be a white supremacist.  Of course he is — who else would come up with a government policy to imprison 70,000 immigrant children? Only a racist could ever think up something so grotesque and cruel, and then get upset to be booed out of a Mexican restaurant.
Here’s the tell — racists think we all actually secretly agree with them. They think we just don’t admit it because we’re all Politically Correct cowards, whereas the racists are courageous truth-tellers.  “Now admit it, you know I’m right!” is what they will say. 
Image result for racism cartoons
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#374 Laughter at a funeral

Posted November 13, 2019 by Anonymous

We’re all going down. People, it’s sad but it’s true: nothing’s gonna stop your big final drop. So live it up now, live it up large, because at the end of the day you aren’t really in charge. Look, we’re not spinning, gninnips, spinning on this wet rock for long, so let’s all enjoy singing […]

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Koch Industries Ramps Up Lobbying Against Clean Car Policies

Posted November 12, 2019 by Anonymous

Read time: 4 mins

Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in the United States, has significantly increased its lobbying spending this year, including efforts to influence policy on key climate and transportation issues and legislation. 

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New Systematic Review Concludes No One Will Ever Successfully Maintain Their Lost Weight. Or Does It?

Posted November 12, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

From the Journal I Can’t Believe This Ever Got Published (ok, in this case from Obesity Reviews) comes The challenge of keeping it off, a descriptive systematic review of high-quality, follow-up studies of obesity treatments.

The paper apparently is meant to be a counterpoint to other systematic reviews of long term weight loss where,

conclusions are generally positive and give the impression that weight loss interventions work and that weight loss can be maintained

Well we can’t have that now can we?

It appears these authors sure couldn’t because here are the criteria they used in selecting papers for their systematic review that concluded long term weight loss is impossible:

  1. Studies must have follow up periods of at least 3 years
  2. Patients must not have had any continued interventions during the follow up period
  3. Medications approved for weight management aren’t allowed

So what they ended up with were 8 studies of varied protocols being administered temporarily for a chronic medical condition. But guess what, chronic medical conditions require ongoing treatment, and what happens when you actually provide it? Well you get studies that would spoil the impossible narrative as noted by the authors of this paper,

“several of the non-included studies report a majority of participants achieving satisfactory weight loss and little regain, especially among studies with continued interventions during the follow-up period.”

Imagine that! Appropriately treating a chronic medical condition with continued interventions works!

And this notwithstanding the fact that many (most? all?) of those studies that provided ongoing interventions likely did not include the appropriate prescription of medications to either help with losses or to prevent regain (just as we would with any other chronic condition) because weight loss medications are almost always excluded from use in weight loss diet studies. Which is odd by the way. Consider hypertension for instance. Sure some people might be able to resolve theirs by way of such things as lower sodium diets, increased exercise, and weight loss, but there’s zero doubt that patients with hypertension will receive regular ongoing follow up visits with their physicians, and where appropriate, will be prescribed medications to help. Why? Because that’s how chronic condition are managed! Which is why we’ll never see a systematic review of hypertension treatments demonstrating that brief lifestyle counselling and the explicit exclusion of medications didn’t lead to lower blood pressure 3 years later.

Leaving me to wonder, why publish a paper with the literal conclusion,

that the majority of high-quality follow-up treatment studies of individuals with obesity are not successful in maintaining weight loss over time

when really all your systematic review (of just 8 papers all with different dietary/lifestyle interventions) has proven is that delimited, lifestyle counselling doesn’t miraculously cure a chronic medical problem, and where you admit in your paper that the appropriate provision of ongoing care might well in fact lead to sustained treatment benefits?

But I don’t really need to wonder. Because the only reason that this paper was conceived and published is because of weight bias, whereby obesity has different rules applied to it, in this case, the notion that unlike so many other chronic medical conditions that are impacted strongly by lifestyle changes (eg. hypertension, type 2 diabetes, GERD, heart disease, COPD, gout, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and many more) people believe that for obesity some brief counselling should be enough to do the job, because that in turn plays into the trope of obesity being a disease of willpower and a deficiency of personal responsibility.

(Thanks to Dr. Andrew Dickson for sending my way)

Thanks to your generosity I’m over 2/3s of the way to my $3,000 Movember fundraising goal. While I’ll never monetize this blog, this is my annual fundraiser and if you find value here, consider a donation! Remember, every dollar counts, it’s tax deductible, and you can give anonymously! To donate, simply click here

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Great tweet of the day

Posted November 12, 2019 by Anonymous

“missed me, you big stripy fuck”

📹: https://t.co/Rq7dW7lgS9 pic.twitter.com/wHvXQwmTiR

— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) November 10, 2019

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#375 Realizing someone has the exact same birthday as you

Posted November 12, 2019 by Anonymous

Finding out someone shares a birthday with you feels like stars aligning, hearts criss-crossing, and lives twisting and tangling together. If they share your actual year it’s even more special because you grew up sharing moments and memories and histories and horoscopes, too. Libra to Libra, Pisces to Pisces, you break it down around town […]

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Maybe now I can watch hockey again

Posted November 11, 2019 by Anonymous
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Mapping the world of plastics

Posted November 11, 2019 by Anonymous

plastic waste reduction map

A map of spots around the world making positive change to reduce plastic waste. (Map: Chris Brackley/Can Geo)

In conjuction with Canadian Geographic’s 10,000 Changes program, this map was created to showcase developments and policy changes related to plastic reduction and waste happening around the world. We’ve highlighted locations engaged in initiatives that are reducing or eliminating single-use plastics, developing plastic alternatives and reducing plastic use in the long-term. Click on a location to learn more.

Know a spot we should add to this map? Tell us here.

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#376 Realizing you still remember all the words to that song you haven’t heard in years

Posted November 11, 2019 by Anonymous

Your brain is a machine. Yes, that soft and squishy lump is bursting with colors and pictures and people and places and smells and sights and sounds. Your brain knows things it hasn’t even told you yet. Sometimes it surprises you with forgotten flickers, crystal-clear connections, or moments of sparkling intensity. Lightning bolts zap, connections […]

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Lest we forget

Posted November 10, 2019 by Anonymous

Chief Petty Officer Margaret Louise Byam — my mother.  I have often wondered now why she did it, but she died before I thought to ask her.  A small-town Prairie girl, the youngest of four daughters, she joined the Wrens during World War…

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Has Climate News Coverage Finally Turned a Corner?

Posted November 9, 2019 by guest

Read time: 6 mins

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

This piece is published in partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 380 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

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Saturday Stories: Mary Cain, Fatal Powerpoint, And Echo Chambers

Posted November 9, 2019 by Yoni Freedhoff

Mary Cain, in the New York Times, tells her story of the intersection of abuse and elite sport.

Jamie, in McDreeamie Musings, on the Powerpoint slide that killed 7 people.

C Thi Nguyen, in Aeon, on the dangers of echo chambers

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As New York Takes Exxon to Court, Big Oil’s Strategy Against Climate Lawsuits Is Slowly Unveiled

Posted November 8, 2019 by guest
Rex Tillerson

Read time: 12 mins

By Dan Zegart

Last week, in a historic first, the former CEO of a major oil company took the witness stand in a New York City courtroom and spent four hours defending his company against charges that it misled investors about the potential impact of global warming on its viability as a business.   

Rex Tillerson, who led ExxonMobil from 2006 until the end of 2016 when he became U.S. secretary of state, was grilled by an attorney for the New York State attorney general for allegedly participating in a “longstanding fraudulent scheme” by Exxon to fool investors. More specifically, the company is charged with exaggerating the stringency of its financial safeguards in pricing risks from regulations restricting greenhouse gas emissions, according to the complaint filed last year in New York state court.    

But Tillerson’s appearance was just one of several recent watershed moments for efforts to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its dominant role in causing climate change.

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Financial Disclosures Show Why Toyota and GM Sided With Trump’s Clean Car Rollbacks to Preserve Profits

Posted November 8, 2019 by Anonymous

Read time: 6 mins

It’s been a bumpy ride for the auto industry in the ongoing battle over clean car regulations and California’s authority to set stricter rules for vehicle emissions. The industry is now divided as several automakers reached a deal over the summer with California to embrace a cleaner emissions standard through 2026, while a coalition of other carmakers recently backed the Trump administration in a lawsuit challenging the administration’s withdrawal of California’s waiver allowing it to set tougher tailpipe pollution controls. That coalition, which includes auto giants like General Motors and Toyota, claims to support “year over year increases in fuel economy” but also opposes California’s authority to set tailpipe emissions standards aligned with that increase.

The announcement by the Toyota and General Motors group was “not surprising, but it’s disappointing,” according to Don Anair, deputy and research director for the Clean Transportation program at Union of Concerned Scientists.

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