Hope2012


Environmental News Round-Up

Getting the Recovery Right – Alternet 2/5/09

How to achieve environmental sustainability, social justice and economic recovery.

Van Jones: “This Is Not Your Grandma’s Environmental Movement Anymore” – Alternet 2/5/09

The tanking economy is also changing the environmental movement. Van Jones talks about what we should be doing next.
 

For those that don’t know who James Lovelock is here’s the one sentence bio: Originator of the Gaia hypothesis, chemist, did work on atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons which eventually led them from being banned, advocate of nuclear power. Which is to say, that when James Lovelock says humanity only has one chance left not to get annihilated by the effects of climate change in the 21st century, it’s worth shutting up and listening to what the man says.

Bat-killing syndrome spreads in Northeast (AP)  – Yahoo 2/3/09

A mysterious and deadly bat disease discovered just two winters ago in a few New York caves has now spread to at least six northeastern states, and scientists are scrambling to find solutions before it spreads across the country

Common chemical causes locusts to swarm (AP)  – Yahoo 1/29/09

Seratonin can transform easygoing desert locusts into terrifying swarms that ravage the countryside, scientists report.

Is America on the Brink of a Food Crisis? – Alternet 1/29/09
 
How to Reduce Your Impact on the Earth – Natural News 1/30/09

Knowledge Gap of How We ‘Fit In’ is Greatest Threat to Environment – Treehugger 1/29/09

We know that trees can increase the thickness of clouds with terpenes, and lizards can drink water from wet sand with their feet, but we have very little understanding of how we fit into the environment and how the environment fits with us. The 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) found that 60% of the ecosystem services (you know those things that provide clean air, water, and food) are being degraded or used unsustainably. But an even bigger problem is that we don’t understand how these systems work, or why they are failing.

Control Of the World’s Oceans. Prelude To War?  – Global Research 1/30/09

Most Adorable Renewable Energy Video Project Ever (VIDEO) – Treehugger 1/25/09

Our Renewable Nation is possibly the most adorable project ever conceived to advocate renewable energy. It’s an eco-video project helmed by the McCullough family, who are traveling across the country in a vegetable oil powered VW Beetle. They’re visiting wind farms, solar installations, talking to companies developing sustainable technologies, and documenting all their interviews and travels on video.

Scientist: New fault could mean major Ark. temblor (AP)  – Yahoo 1/21/09

A previously unknown fault in eastern Arkansas could trigger a magnitude 7 earthquake with an epicenter near a major natural gas pipeline, a scientist said Wednesday. Haydar Al-Shukri, the director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said the fault is separate from the New Madrid fault responsible for a series of quakes in 1811-12 that caused the Mississippi River to flow backward.

Jar of plutonium found in US dump – Raw Story 1/21/09

Lizards Evolving Rapidly to Survive Deadly Fire Ants – Nat’l Geographic 1/20/09

Long legs and skittish behavior are recently evolved traits that allow fence lizards in the southeastern U.S. to co-exist with lethal and invasive fire ants, providing hope for species facing abrupt climatic changes.

11 Eleventh-Hour Bush Environmental Rule Changes – Nat’l Geographic 1/15/09

Last minute environmental-regulation changes by the Bush Administration could have lasting effects. How good or bad are the new rules? Can they be reversed? Conservationists weigh in.

‘Immortal’ jellyfish swarming across the world  – Telegraph, UK 1/29/09

Turritopsis Nutricula is technically known as a hydrozoan and is the only known animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self.  It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation.  Scientists believe the cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal.

Sea jellies ‘taking over’ oceans – Raw Story 2/2/09

 
 

GLOBAL WARMING or CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS

 
American Institute of Physics’ history of the science of climate change – Boing Boing 2/4/09
 
Top independent, peer-reviewed research indicating that climate change is real, deadly, and caused by humans – BoingBoing 2/4/09
 
Cool Interactive Map Shows Water Stressed Areas Over Next 60 Years – Treehugger 2/4/09 

Australia Faces Collapse as Climate Change Kicks in: Are the Southwest and California Next?  – Alternet 2/2/09

Calif. facing worst drought in modern history – USA Today 1/30/09

Millions lack drinking water as drought worsens in China– USA Today 2/5/09

7 Geoengineering Solutions Which Promise To Save Humans from Climate Change – Treehugger 2/2/09

Global Warming to Create “Permanent” Ocean Dead Zones? – National Geographic 1/28/09

Is the American Southwest Running Dry? – Alternet 1/23/09

Environment Blamed in Western Tree Deaths – NYTimes 1/22/09

Rising temperatures and the resulting drought are causing trees in the Western U.S. to die off at more than twice the pace they did a few decades ago, a study found.

Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide – Oregon Institue for Medicine & Science

A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.

Acid oceans ‘need urgent action’  – BBC 1/30/09

Marine ecosystems risk being severely damaged by ocean acidification unless there are dramatic cuts in CO2 levels, warn scientists.



Toxic Danger Round-Up: Industrial Contamination of Environment

Recognize Toxic Chemicals in Body Care Products – Natural News 2/3/09

No More Shiny, Silky Hair in Canada: Shampoo Ingredients Declared Toxic  – Treehugger 2/4/09

Hundreds of Birds Fall From Iowa Sky – WUFYS 1/28/09

Federal Agency Kills Thousands of Birds with Pesticide – Natural News 2/2/09

Imagine going outside and counting 150 dead birds on your property. On January 24, 2009, New Jersey resident, Andrea Kepic, called the police to report this very situation. She was told she would have to clean up the birds. Police read from a prepared statement recommending using a shovel, gloves and plastic bags to get rid of them.

Directed Mutagenesis Heralds Next Wave of Genetic Engineering – Treehugger 2/5/09

The German chemical giant BASF has announced the development of “a new generation of genetically altered crops, by precisely manipulating the plant’s own DNA without inserting foreign genes.” BASF refers to the genetic manipulation as “directed mutagenesis”

The Hidden Dangers of Roundup – Natural News 2/5/09

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs are Making People Sick – Natural News 1/20/09

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are filling home and office environments with dangerous electromagnetic pollution, causing devastating health effects on some people. Neurologists are increasingly taking notice of the headaches and migraines being reported by people exposed to compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Ban Against Incandescent Bulbs: Argentina Joins – Treehugger 1/20/09

Consumers’ Guide Identifies Genetically Engineered (GE) Ingredients – Treehugger 1/22/09

Study Reveals Chemotherapy Hastened or Caused Deaths of Many  – Natural News 2/2/09 

FDA Admits Cloned Meat, Milk May Have Already Entered Food Supply – Natural News via Cryptogon 1/31/09

Green Inc.: New Study Tallies Ethanol Costs – NYTimes 2/5/09

Academic researchers find that cellulosic ethanol is substantially less costly than corn-based ethanol in terms of its effect on emissions and health.

Next Stop for Radioactive Waste: Texas – Treehugger 2/3/09

High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated with Toxic Mercury, Says Research (opinion) – Natural News 1/27/09

New research published in Environmental Health and conducted in part by a scientist at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has revealed that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is routinely contaminated with the toxic heavy metal mercury.

Enviros cite NV mercury concerns – Raw Story 1/27/09

Toxic Chinese Drywall Making People and Pets Ill, Coroding Wires, Destroying Electronics – Herald Tribune via Cryptogon 1/25/09

Pesticides in Pet Products: Why Your Dog or Cat May Be at Risk – Alternet 2/2/09

Before leaving office, Bush approved new Protective Action Guides (PAGs) for radiation releases  – Global Research 1/21/09

Fire Retardant Chemical Found in Children at Three Times the Level of Their Parents – Natural News 1/29/09

Green Inc.: Next-Generation Nuclear Waste – NYTimes 2/2/09

Stewing Over Nuclear Weapon Leftovers – Miller McCune 1/28/09

In Part One of a three-part series, the author of America’s Nuclear Wasteland analyzes what it will take to clean up the mess left by the nuclear arms race.

Continue reading



Talking About Solutions: Practical Actions Big and Small – Part 2

The Challenge for Our Movement – Dissident Voice 10/1/07

How to put an end to the American empire – via MParent 5/27/08

“My assignment here today, as I understand it, is to enlighten you all on how to quickly end the war in Iraq. And how to prevent the United States from attacking Iran. Or Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia. In short, how to put an end to the American empire.”

The Real Power of the Social Movements – Mabblog 10/13/08

Deconstructing The Power of the Global Elite: Brute Force, The Power to Hurt, and Psychological Control – Global Research 10/8/08

Grassroots Movements, Global Elites and Political Economy in Times of Panic – Dissident Voice 10/3/08

It Is Time to Change from Fighting Against Something to Fighting for Something – Alternet 11/7/08

To do that we need a broad effort of wise, compassionate forces in society and the enlightened self-interest of the green business community.

The Most Civilized Country. – via Metafilter 5/18/08

Article challenging conventional notions of how best to have a society.

Why We Need a Revolution – Alternet 8/27/08

Efficiency tweaks won’t save us. Even if every car in the world were a hybrid, growing demand would dwarf savings.

What Americans Really Want: 10 Policies We Can All Agree On  – Alternet 12/13/08

Here is an agenda that the majority of Americans support, whether they vote red, blue, green or something else.

Re-establish Respect for the Constitutional Separation of Powers – Miller McCune 12/22/08 

The Problem Is Simple: Too Many People, Too Much Stuff – Alternet 8/7/08

But an equitable and humane solution to overpopulation and overconsumption may actually be possible.

If We Want to Survive the Climate Crisis We Must Change– Alternet 3/15/08

Either we build real community — with mass transit and local food — or we will go down clinging to the wreckage of our privatized society. 

Mankind at the Turning Point: Interdependence is Totalitarian  – Global Research 3/3/08

“Challenging Authority” : The Role of Social Movements  – Global Research 5/15/08

Ziga Vodovnik : Rebels Against Tyranny: an Interview with Howard Zinn on Anarchism – CounterPunch 5/12/08

Psychological Control: States of Mental Disempowerment – Global Research 10/25/08

Video: Jared Diamond on Why Societies Collapse – Treehugger 10/30/08 

Evolution of the Apocalypse: Empire’s Demise, ­Human Renaissance – Global Research 10/7/08

Michael Pollan: Eating Is a Political Act – Alternet 11/8/08 

 

Broken Agriculture: It will take more than gardening to fix our food system – Counterpunch 5/31/08

Robert Jensen: Beyond Peace – CounterPunch 3/17/08



Talking About Societal Solutions: Actions Big and Small – Part 1

“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.”  – Jerry Garcia

The Transition Handbook: Community Resilience in the Face of Peak Oil – Treehugger 2/27/08

Building Resilience: Meeting Peak Everything With Systems Thinking – Treehugger 3/17/08

Bioneers: Groundbreaking Ways to Save the Earth: Interview with Kenny Ausbel – Alternet 10/19/07

10 Ways YOU Can Fight Fascism Around the World – Brainsturbator 11/17/07

Green “How-To” Community of Creative Citizens Launched – Treehugger 5/27/08

A Handbook for Guerrilla Gardening – Treehugger 4/28/08

Community Environmental Health Toolkit Now Available Online – Treehugger 7/30/08

A Community Guide To Environmental Health (Guide), published by Hesperian and now available online, is one of the most comprehensive guides empowering communities to deal with environmental health issues in the 21st century.

How to Address Humanity’s Global Crises? Challenge Corporate Power, Embrace True Democracy – Vandana Shiva on Alternet 10/1/07

The physicist, activist and author outlines the scope of the “triple threat” represented by the end of cheap oil, human-induced climate change, and resource scarcity.

Post-apocalypse without the militias: the OutQuisition – BoingBoing 7/13/08

Renew The Social Contract – Dissident Voice 11/18/08

When change isn’t enough: revolution – Raw Story 2/22/08

Why We Need the 28th Amendment to the Constitution: Separation of Corporation and State (VIDEO) – Alternet 11/11/08

Marine biologist, author, fisherma’am, and Exxon Valdez survivor, Dr. Riki Ott has a new vision that can help save American communities.

Become an Un-Consumer, Join The Compact, Save Money, Reduce Your Eco-Footprint – Treehugger 11/19/08

Felice Pace : The Big Change: Can “Civic Unreasonableness” Save the Earth? – CounterPunch 10/30/08

Turning Your Lawn into a Victory Garden Won’t Save You — Fighting the Corporations Will – Alternet 6/23/08

The corporate agriculture industry would like nothing better than to see us spend all of our free time in our gardens and not in political dissent.

Simple Steps Towards Change – Dissident Voice 4/28/08

The Amish Technological Vanguard – Forbes 10/31//08

The really radical alternative technology is living off the grid–and who knows how to do it better?

Ecotopias in Forbes Magazine – Treehugger 4/18/08

Forbes Magazine, “the capitalist’s tool” as it is known, runs a surprising series of articles on modern utopianism, with coverage of eight modern utopias

Transition Towns and Cities Emerge in the US Too – Treehugger 10/22/08

The “Greater Depression” Can Be a DIY Renaissance [DIY] – LifeHacker 9/28/08

There Is an Alternative to Corporate Rule – Alternet 9/1/08

Transition Town Training – Coming to a Continent Near You – Treehugger 11/21/08

Principle Confronting Power – Global Research 3/1/08

Protesting Power – War, Resistance and Law – Global Research 2/28/08

Surviving Peak Everything: The Guardian on Community-led vs Individual Responses – Treehugger 5/4/08

Mass Media and Social Movements – Global research 4/22/08

The Delusion Revolution: We’re on the Road to Extinction and in Denial – Alternet 8/15/08

Our current way of life is unsustainable. We are the first species that will have to self-consciously impose limits on ourselves if we are to survive.

How Many Earth Days Do We Have Left? – Alternet 4/22/08

Lester Brown, author of Plan B 3.0, shows us how we can change in enough time to save life on earth, as we know it.

We Are What We Do

We’re not another charity. We’re not an institution. We Are What We Do is a movement. Our aim is to inspire people to use their everyday actions to change the world. Whoever they are. And wherever they are. And that includes you.

We live by the maxim small actions X lots of people = big change. It’s not rocket science but it does work!

We started back in 2004 by bringing together 100 simple, everyday actions that can improve our environment, our health, and our communities and make our planet and the people on it much happier. We believe that if enough of us do these actions we will start to make an impact on some of the biggest problems we are all facing. And in joining together in this way, we will create a new community of like-minded “do-ers”; people united by a belief in the possibility of change and our individual responsibility in making it happen alongside that of governments, corporations and other institutions and networks.



Another World Is Possible – Practical Steps to Heal the Earth

How Do We Go from Empire to Earth Community? – Alternet 6/16/08

Bolivian President Evo Morales: 20 Ways to Save Mother Earth and Prevent Climate Change – Alternet 12/15/08

Competition and the thirst for profit without limits of the capitalist system are destroying the planet.

Why Our Food Waste May Be Our Greatest Asset – Alternet 7/17/08

How We Can Save Our Country’s Water – Alternet 7/16/08

 

Detroit diggers – BBC 7/10/08

“Motown becomes Growtown as urban farming takes root “

 

Shoppers Buy Slices of Farms– NYTimes 7/9/08

The Environmental Pyramid – Miller McCune 11/4/08

A respected geochemical engineer proposes a new way to deal with toxic waste: Make it into shrines that people can work, shop and even live on.

Return of the natives – Guardian, UK 11/15/08

Once upon a time Scotland was covered in woodland. It’s about to be again. Kevin Rushby takes a walk through what will soon be a coast-to-coast forest 

Edible Landscaping and Permaculture Activist magazine – Treehugger 10/29/08

Lessons in Biomimicry – Part 3 Natural Processes – Treehugger 10/29/08

Lessons in Biomimicry – Part 2 Natural Systems – Treehugger 10/28/08

A Handbook for Guerrilla Gardening – Treehugger 4/28/08

5 Steps to an Environmental Revolution – Alternet 8/27/08

Urban Homesteading: Learn All About It – Treehugger 8/8/08

Agitate, Educate, Pollinate! That’s the battle cry for the new Institute of Urban Homesteading in Oakland California. It doesn’t matter what you call it–urban homesteading, urban farming, or just plain growing your own vegetables.

Serve Your Country Food – an interesting and inspiring project by The GreenHorns

“Serve Your Country Food” is an interactive online mapping and database site. The map collects a variety of economic, ecologic, demographic and cultural information about farmers under forty in America. It is the start of a very ambitious mapping initiative, as well as a critical census of discovery about the obstacles, networks and political vision of the ‘next generation’ in agriculture.” 

EXCERPT from the manifesto: “Call to arms: Arms strong and hands calloused, eyes open to the beauty of every morning. Our spirits are prepared for the long row still to hoe, our hearts full with the support of family and community. Let us unite, young farmers! Let us fight for the right to farmable land! To the pursuit of an equitable marketplace, and for recognition from society. We are here, we are indispensable, we are a cornerstone of the future of food. Let us welcome many new entrants into agriculture, striving to share our lessons, seeds and stories with generations to come. Now is the time for action.

Frugal Green Living: The Return of the Root Cellar – Treehugger 11/10/08

Seeding is Believing in Vermont – Treehugger 9/27/07

In this video by YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip), which is made up of a trio of friends chronicling a year-long “eco-expedition” through all 50 United States, a green economy is seeded in Vermont.

War Gardens: Over the Top Victory – Grit 6/12/07

Community Fruit Harvesting is Spreading – Treehugger 8/29/08

 

Farming Innovations in a Slum – AfriGadget 9/4/08

 

Urban Revitalization: Small Steps Yield Big Results – Treehugger 2/14/08

 

As economy stumbles, gardeners turn to yard-grown produce – USA Today 5/20/08

Food Swapping is Growing Trend – Treehugger 9/9/08

Food Foraging for the Faint-Hearted – Treehugger 9/2/08

Save Money by Converting Your Lawn Into a Garden [Environment]  – Lifehacker 11/18/08

Bikes Point the Way to a Sustainable Future – Alternet 12/18/08

Act Locally: Create a Blue Trail – Treehugger 11/11/08

The Blue Trails Guide will give you access to all the resources needed to establish a thriving blue trail in your community. To have a successful blue trail you need to have a healthy river, which is why the guide focuses on river conservation. The guide has step-by-step instructions and practical advice on planning, building, and managing for conservation as well as case studies from experienced practitioners across the country.

In addition to the obvious recreational benefits, blue trails help communities in a variety of ways. They can stimulate the local economy by increasing property values, reducing infrastructure costs, and supporting tourism and recreation based businesses. A healthy river also provides cost effective flood control and clean drinking water.

When people get out and enjoy their rivers, they start to care more about them. That’s why blue trails can be the driving force behind stopping pollution, removing dams that no longer make sense, protecting against poorly planned development along rivers, and building support for protections such as Wild and Scenic River designations.



Visions of a New Economy

Creating a New Progressive Era – Dissident Voice 7/3/08

How can poverty and grave economic inequality be significantly reduced in the United States? Under what conditions might it be possible to bring about a period of significant progressive reform that would address our country’s major social problems?

Time Banking – via Metafilter 3/13/08

Will the Youth Movement Save the Labor Movement? – Alternet 11/19/08

Joining a union would not only help young workers improve their own status, it’d halt a steady decline in union strength.

Having a ‘Better’ Economist in Obama’s Treasury Won’t Cut It – Alternet 11/17/08

How Closing Manufacturing Plants Can Be Transformed into Community-Saving Business Ventures – Alternet 11/12/08

David Macaray : What Does a Radical Labor Union Look Like? – CounterPunch 8/7/08

Victory Gardens: War on Waste – Treehugger 5/30/08

The Rise of the ‘Locavore’ – Business Week 5/20/08

Leung : Cooperative Economics – ZNet 8/14/08

Citizens’ Economic Stimulus Plan: Stop Paying Credit Card Debt – Global Research 11/24/08

End the Fed, End Wall Street Bankster Rule, End the Derivatives Depression – Global Research 11/23/08

Unions Create Their Own MoveOn – Alternet 9/1/08

The Future of Work: Where the Labor Movement Is Heading – Alternet 9/1/08

Financial Collapse, Systemic Crisis? – Global Research 11/23/08

Paper introducing the World Forum of Alternatives, in Caracas, October 2008

David Macaray : Seven Reasons You Should Join a Union – CounterPunch 11/24/08

Living the Good Life on $5,000 a Year – Alternet 11/25/08

Stanley Heller : Time to Design a New Economy – CounterPunch 10/8/08

Become an Un-Consumer, Join The Compact, Save Money, Reduce Your Eco-Footprint – Treehugger 11/19/08
Let the Banks Fail: Why a Few of the Financial Giants Should Crash – Alternet 12/15/08

The finance industry still owns mountains of bad paper and must absorb these losses — or else we’ll face a very long recession.

Let’s Cut Out the Banks and Finance American Innovation – Alternet 12/12/08

Then the U.S. government can be an investor instead of a reluctant donor.

Milwaukee neighborhoods could print own money – Chicago Tribune 12/3/08

Alternative Currencies Grow in Popularity – Time 12/14/08

Green Paper Gold: How to Pay for a Global ‘New New Deal’ – Alternet 12/27/08

The paradox of our economic crunch is that the world’s resources are “out of service” at the very time they’re needed to fight global warming.

Practicing ‘Thrival’ Not Survival: A Radical Response to Climate Change – Alternet 8/6/08

We can use the coming crises as the wake up call we need to change our communities and not just survive, but thrive.

Breaking the Consumption Addiction: Can You Be Clever? – Alternet 12/23/08

PREVIOUSLY here and here



Environmental News: What Our Industrial Society Hath Wrought

Tennessee has ‘toxic nightmare’ – Raw Story 1/2/09

Coal ash disaster will alter area ecosystems ‘for generations,’ says expert.

Massive Tennessee Toxic Ash Spill May Have Been Prevented by Fixes Rejected by TVA Officials – Treehugger 1/4/09

Can America Clean Up from Its Worst Environmental Disaster? [Contains Photo Slideshow] – Alternet 1/5/09

With the breaking of a coal waste dam in Tennessee, environmental and human health is threatened by millions of pounds of toxic chemicals.

Hundreds of Coal Ash Dumps Lack Regulation – NYTimes 1/7/09

Most of the coal byproduct dumps across the United States are unregulated, although they contain chemicals considered threats to human health.

TX city spills 9 million gallons of sewage – Raw Story 12/30/08

State environmental inspectors expect no risks to human health from raw sewage that leaked into a creek feeding Lewisville Lake.

The Costly Compromises of Oil From Sand – NYTimes 1/6/09

Oil On Water: Shale Oil Industry Mixing It Up In The US West With The Aid Of A Federal Bailout Package – Treehugger 12/29/08

One estimate has oil shale extraction needing 10 barrels of water per barrel of oil produced. And, with Colorado’s proposed oil shale operations at full capacity, by mid-century, the industry could require as much as 14 times more power than currently generated by the state’s largest power plant.

Chem spill estimated at 10k gallons – Raw Story 1/9/09

Second TVA spill in three weeks

Study warns of dire overheating of crops,food crisis by 2100 – USA Today 1/8/09

Global Warming May Become the Instigator of World War IV – Treehugger 1/3/09

VIDEO: Mystery Pelican Die-Off in Calif. – National geographic 1/7/09

Pelicans fall out of sky from Mexico to Ore. – Seattle Times 1/7/09

First Bees, Now Birds – George Washingon blog 1/8/09

Bush Administration’s Abysmal Environmental Record in Cool Interactive Graphic Form  – Treehugger 1/7/09

Environment: Paradise lost on Maldives’ rubbish island – Guardian, UK 1/2/09

It may be known as a tropical paradise, an archipelago of 1,200 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. But the traditional image of the Maldives hides a dirty secret: the world’s biggest rubbish island.  A few miles and a short boat ride from the Maldivian capital, Malé, Thilafushi began life as a reclamation project in 1992. The artificial island was built to solve Malé’s refuse problem. But today, with more than 10,000 tourists a week in the Maldives adding their waste, the rubbish island now covers 50 hectares (124 acres).  So much is being deposited that the island is growing at a square metre a day.

More Americans getting multiple chronic illnesses (Reuters)  – Yahoo 1/6/09 

Orange drinks with 300 times more pesticide than tap water – Daily Mail, UK 1/5/09

Fizzy drinks sold by Coca-Cola in Britain have been found to contain pesticides at up to 300 times the level allowed in tap or bottled water. A worldwide study found pesticide levels in orange and lemon drinks sold under the Fanta brand, which is popular with children, were at their highest in the UK.

Bugs in your food: how to know? – Raw Story 1/5/09

As it turns out, there really may be a bug in your soup. The Food and Drug Administration has finalized a rule that will require food companies to list cochineal extract and carmine on the label when they are used in food and cosmetics. But the new rule contains one glaring omission. It doesn’t require companies to tell you that the ingredients come from a bug

UK faces court case over air pollution breaches – Guardian, UK 1/1/09

The European Union is planning to take Britain to court for consistently breaching air pollution laws, which could result in unlimited daily fines.  Air pollution near many roads averages well over twice the UN’s World Health Organisation maximum recommended level, which has led to constant infringements of EU air quality laws.  In particular, diesel engines emit large quantities of minute, sooty particles known as PM10s which are linked to asthma and heart disease. The government’s own figures estimate they result in 12,000 to 24,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

Report Shows Long Term Use of Cell Phones Linked to Brain Tumors – Natural News 12/28/08

Only Two Companies in US Confirm Using BPA-Free Cans – Natural News 12/19/08

NYC: Gas Drilling Will Raise the Cost of Water by 30 Percent – Alternet 12/16/08

NYC’s chief accountant warned state officials that drilling could have “crippling implications” for the city’s water system.

Beauty Secret: Your Make-Up Can Kill You – Alternet 12/16/08

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Paralyses 12-Year-Old Girl– Cryptogon 12/14/08

Amazon pollution suit hits Chevron – Raw Story 12/20/08

Drugmaker Merck seeks Gardasil approval for boys – USA Today 1/6/09

The City Concealed – Metafilter 12/16/08

The creek is the site of a 17 million gallon underground oil-spill (50% larger than Exxon-Valdez) which remains to be cleaned up, resulting in a Supreme Court battle between residents and oil companies.

Mystery Cancer Cluster Hits Illinois Community – WCBS TV 12/15/08

An amatuer video shows residents in McCullom Lake Village. It is a community of a thousand people – but every person in the video either has a brain tumor, lives with a relative with one or lost someone to brain cancer.  There, in a community of about 1,000 people, 14 residents have developed brain cancer. Nationally the rate is roughly seven out of 100,000.  Coincidence?

Attorney Aaron Freiwald says “absolutely not.” He represents the McCollum Lake Village residents in their lawsuits against multi-billion dollar chemical company Rohm and Haas. Rohm and Hass has had a plant there since 1963. It makes specialty chemicals that are used in a variety of industries – from plastics to pesticides. And it has 140 different facilities in 27 countries…
The company admits that for 20 years ending in 1979, it dumped toxic chemical waste in an eight-acre pit on its property. The goundwater beneath the plant is polluted with gallons of chemicals – some are known human carcinogens. In May, the county tested only 14 of the water wells around McCullom Lake Village and found no contamination.

But local residents say no testing was done during the time Rohm and Haas was dumping chemicals.

FDA Stuns Scientists, Declares Mercury in Fish to be Safe for Infants, Children, Expectant Mothers!  – Prison Planet 12/18/08

Genetically Modified Hawaii – Scientific American 12/8/08

Hairspray Exposure in Pregnant Women Increases Risk of Common Birth Defect in Boys – Natural News 12/26/08

How the West’s Energy Boom Could Threaten Drinking Water for 1 in 12 Americans – Alternet 12/26/08

A rush to develop domestic oil, gas and uranium deposits along the Colorado River and its tributaries threatens its future.

Environmental Spill Disaster Devastates Tennessee; 48 Times the Size of Exxon Valdez – Alternet 12/25/08

Approximately 500 million gallons of coal ash sludge has broken through a holding pond at a coal-fired plant.

Europe to Ban Cancer Causing Pesticides – Treehugger 12/24/08

Pesticides have been found in half the foods eaten by Europeans, with six of the most dangerous consistently in the top ten measured. But the battle to act against the risks of pesticides pits productivity, reductions in disease vectors, and other benefits against the difficult to prove risks of developing cancer or the hypothesis that sharp declines in bee populations can be attributed, at least in part, to pesticide contamination in the environment.

Dead Animals Found in Children’s Crayons – Natural News 12/19/08

Time, nature threaten La. island and Native American tribe – USA Today 1/5/09

Isle de Jean Charles is disappearing, mauled by rising sea-level, coastal erosion and an estimated 10,000 miles of canals dug by oil companies. Threatened along with it: the Biloxi-Chitimacha tribe, a French-speaking Native American tribe that has inhabited the island for generations. Nearly 20 families remain on the island, down from a peak of 68 families in 2000, tribal chief Albert Naquin said.

Quitting Coffee is One of the Easiest Ways to Help The Planet and Yourself – Treehugger 1/4/09

Coffee is the 2nd most traded commodity after oil. Some claim that coffee has health benefits while others claim that it is an addictive substance that taxes the body’s adrenal glands, depositing adrenalin (a poison) daily into our bodies, stressing out our digestive tracts at the same time. Whatever you believe, coffee is not essential to our lives and thus it is one commodity worth considering giving up entirely in order to benefit the planet and our pocketbooks in a time of economic and ecologic peril.

USA’s trashed TVs, computer monitors can make toxic mess – USA Today 12/29/08 

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