Water and Food Scarcity, Fire Retardant Forests, Toxic Sludge and other environmental news

The Global Crisis: Food, Water and Fuel. Three Fundamental Necessities of Life in Jeopardy – Michael Chussudovsky on Global Research 6/5/08

A very sobering, worthwhile read.


Water Scarcity: The Real Food Crisis – Alternet 6/9/08


Lakes across Canada face being turned into mine dump sites – CBC, Canada 6/16/08


Will the Toxic Sludge Industry Be Held Accountable for Human Health Risks? – Alternet 6/1/08


Toxic pollen from genetically modified corn kills monarch butterflies – Nature Magazine via Cornell University 5/20/99


Freakonomists on the merits of local food – Treehugger 6/10/08


The Vegetable Patch Takes Root – Wall St Journal 6/5/08


The Price of Food- 2007-2008 – Cattle Network 6/20/08


Percentage of Corn Crops Used For Ethanol – Cattle Network 6/20/08


The Human Right to Eat – CounterPunch 6/28/08


Uranium Poison Gas Dispersal Plants Slated for Widespread Expansion – AxisOfLogic 5/7/08


Uranium Bonfire: Air Force incinerates radioactive waste – Salt Lake Tribune 4/21/08


Will the Last Superpower Recognize In Time What We Must Do to Save the Planet? – David Korten/YES! Magazine on Alternet 6/27/08

“In a time when the old order is shattering, a global movement is emerging to challenge the use of war as a tool of statecraft.”


Australia’s long drought withering wheat, rice supplies – National Geographic 5/29/08


Gene Giants: Climate saviors or profiteers? – RealNews via MParent 5/29/08


U.S. rice farmers want class action against Bayer – Reuters 5/23/08


Video: Rocket fuel, Pesticides and Pharmaceuticals Swirl in America ‘s Troubled Waters – Alternet 5/26/08

EXCERPT: “Polluters dump about 240 million pounds of toxins into our waterways each year, and the long-term effects on human health and the environment could be disastrous. Thirty five years after the Clean Water Act became law, the American News Project explores why our fish are changing sex and our water contains rocket fuel, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.”


Irony at its’ best: Environmentally friendly bombsLiveScience 5/27/08


The Environment and the 2008 election – CounterPunch 5/24/08


Video: Is “Clean Coal” Causing Blood Cancer? – CoalIsDirty

In a single year, a rate of fewer than one in 100,000 Americans contract a rare form of blood cancer. In Pennsylvania coal country, the rate is nearly five times higher. Many suspect “clean” coal is the cause.”


Biodiversity: Privatisation Making Seeds Themselves Infertile – IPS 5/22/08


Pesticides: Germany bans chemicals linked to honeybee devastation – Guardian UK 5/23/08


Bees, plankton and CO2 canaries – Treehugger 5/23/08


Fears grow that MRSA variant has entered food chain – Independent, UK 6/10/08


The US has NO remaining grain reserves – TriState Observer 6/6/08

EXCERPT: “According to the May 1, 2008 CCC inventory report there are only 24.1 million bushels of wheat in inventory, so after this sale there will be only 5.73 million bushels of wheat left the entire CCC inventory,” warned Matlack [President of the American Agriculture Movement]. “Our concern is not that we are using the remainder of our strategic grain reserves for humanitarian relief. AAM fully supports the action and all humanitarian food relief. Our concern is that the U.S. has nothing else in our emergency food pantry. There is no cheese, no butter, no dry milk powder, no grains or anything else left in reserve. The only thing left in the entire CCC inventory will be 5.73 million bushels of wheat which is about enough wheat to make about 1/2 of a loaf of bread for each of the 300 million people in America.”


Concerns as Object Floats From Shuttle – NYTimes 6/14/08

EXCERPT: “On Friday, a day before the space shuttle Discovery is supposed to return from orbit to its landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center, members of the crew noticed an object floating away from the shuttle into space. Such objects can be worrisome, since they could indicate a broken part of the shuttle. But in the past, they have simply turned out to be bits of ice or errant plastic bags floating out of the payload bay.”



Los Angeles approves plan to seed clouds with silver iodide – Treehugger 6/12/08

EXCERPT: “How bad has the drought gotten in Los Angeles? Bad enough that the L.A. County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $800,000 cloud seeding proposal last week to elicit more rainfall for the drought-stricken Southland, reports the Pasadena Star-News‘ Jennifer McLain. This unorthodox practice has already been used several times over the last 5 decades to varying degrees of success (emphasis on “varying” here).”


Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist – Guardian, UK 6/23/08

EXCERPT: “James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.  Hansen will use the symbolically charged 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking speech (pdf) to the US Congress – in which he was among the first to sound the alarm over the reality of global warming – to argue that radical steps need to be taken immediately if the “perfect storm” of irreversible climate change is not to become inevitable.”
“Speaking before Congress again, he will accuse the chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy of being fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are spreading. In an interview with the Guardian he said: “When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organisations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that’s a crime.”  He is also considering personally targeting members of Congress who have a poor track record on climate change in the coming November elections. He will campaign to have several of them unseated.”


Sludge fertilizer program spurs concerns – AP/Yahoo 4/13/08

EXCERPT: “Scientists using federal grants spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on yards in poor, black neighborhoods to test whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil. Families were assured the sludge was safe and were never told about any harmful ingredients. Nine low-income families in Baltimore row houses agreed to let researchers till the sewage sludge into their yards and plant new grass. In exchange, they were given food coupons as well as the free lawns as part of a study published in 2005 and funded by the Housing and Urban Development Department.  The Associated Press reviewed grant documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and interviewed researchers. No one involved with the $446,231 grant for the two-year study would identify the participants, citing privacy concerns. There is no evidence there was ever any medical follow-up.”


Northeastern US forests inadvertently made fire-resistant – Treehugger 11/28/07

EXCERPT: “A study by Indiana University researchers found the chlorinated flame retardant Dechlorane Plus in the bark of trees across the northeastern United States, with by far the highest concentrations measured near the Niagara Falls, N.Y., factory where this chemical is produced…Hites said the study demonstrates that tree bark can be used as nature’s own passive sampling device for detecting the presence and relative concentrations of chemicals in the air. Rough, porous and high in lipids, tree bark soaks up airborne gases and particles, then keeps them protected from the elements.”


“The study, “Dechlorane Plus and Other Flame Retardants in Tree Bark from the Northeastern United States,” provides the first data on the prevalence of the chemical in the atmosphere outside of the Great Lakes area. It identifies the epicenter of DP concentrations as being near the factory where the chemical is produced by OxyChem – Occidental Petroleum Corp.. Concentrations in tree bark within a few miles of the factory were several thousand times higher than those found in bark at more distant sampling sites, including Indiana, Virginia and Maryland. We humans have lipids in and under our skin, just like tree bark? See the point?”

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[…] Water and Food Scarcity, Fire Retardant Forests, Toxic Sludge and other environmental news – 7/3/08 […]

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