Climate & Environment News Round-Up

EWG Study Finds Hundreds of Pollutants in Nation’s Drinking Water

Global supply of rare earth elements could be wiped out by 2012

Air Pollution Can Harm Human Reproduction

Six Deadly Chemicals You’re Carrying in Your Body

Environmental Coverup: Radioactive Groundwater Contamination in the Chesapeake Bay

Video: ‘Birth defects’ from Israeli bombs

India’s generation of children crippled by uranium waste

Uranium Weapons, Low-Level Radiation and Deformed Babies

Whale-Shaped Floating Garden Cleans the World’s Rivers

Ethanol burns dirtier than gasoline, study finds

One quarter of US grain crops fed to cars – not people, new figures show

The Effects of Genetically Modified Foods on Animal Health

Three Approved GMOs Linked to Organ Damage

See You in Cochabamba! Evo Morales Plans Bolivian Alternative Climate Summit for April

2.4 Million Pounds of Plastic Pollution Enter the World’s Oceans Every Hour

Compact Fluorescent Lights Dumping Mercury Directly into Landfills

Greenwash 101 Fact Sheet

Darwin’s Finches are Evolving Again

EPA Releases Interactive Map of Facilities Guilty of Eco-Crimes

Point and Counter-Point Chart Sums Up the Climate Change Debate

If you’re looking for a great graphic that sums up the climate change debate, check out this handy chart by Information is Beautiful. All of the major debate points from climate change deniers on one side, with the counter points by climate change activists on the other side. Information – pure and simple – lays out the debate, including graphics.

It’s too large to past the whole graphic here, but Information is Beautiful provides the entire thing. Debate points like “We don’t even have accurate temperature records” and “It was actually hotter in medieval times than it is today” are all addressed, along with the oh-so-relevant “When the evidence doesn’t fit, scientists edit the evidence.”

The mini ice age starts here (UK)

Climategate investigated by – WTF? – the ‘National Domestic Extremism’ team

No Rise of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Fraction in Past 160 Years, New Research Finds

Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems.

Rolling Stone Calls Out the 17 Worst ‘Climate Killers’ in the US

Carbon trading fraud in Belgium – “up to 90% of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities”


Even more reasons not to use biofuels

Stan Cox : Biofuel’s Drug Problem – CounterPunch 6/9/09

Corn Ethanol Worse than Oil? California Rules Yes – Treehugger 4/20/09

So Thirsty: Corn Ethanol Uses Up to 300% More Water than Previously Thought – Treehugger 4/14/09

Robert Bryce : Why the Promise of Biofuels is a Lie – CounterPunch 2/21/09

 The Higher Cost of Biofuels – Center for Media and Democracy 2/11/09

A new study found that there is a higher health cost associated with corn-based biofuels than with traditional energy forms. The researchers “found the total environmental and health costs of gasoline are about 71 cents (50p) per gallon, while an equivalent amount of corn-ethanol fuel has associated costs of 72 cents to $1.45, depending on how it is produced.” The health concerns include “increased cases of heart disease, respiratory symptoms, asthma, chronic bronchitis or premature death.” There is also concern that using a food crop for fuel will continue to drive up the cost of foodstuffs, affecting everyone, but especially the most vulnerable populations. There is evidence that the costs associated with the next generation of biofuels could be much lower. Those products may be produced from organic waste or plants that are grown on non-agricultural land.

Biofuels may increase global warming – Raw Story 2/14/09

New Study Finds Corn-based Ethanol More Harmful Than Oil-based Gasoline – Treehugger 2/7/09


Previously: Biofuel Posts

Alternative energy , poisons in your products, and other notable environmental news


Palm oil offers no green solution – BBC 12/1/08

A major international study says palm oil plantations reduce plant and animal diversity, and do little to reduce carbon emissions.

Salt Water As A Fuel – EVTV1

Wind Power Exposed: The Renewable Energy Source is Expensive, Unreliable and Won’t Save Natural Gas – Energy Tribune 11/25/08

Ocean currents can power the world, say scientists  – Telegraph, UK 11/29/08

A revolutionary device that can harness energy from slow-moving rivers and ocean currents could provide enough power for the entire world, scientists claim

Biodiesel makers get subsidy as they sell fuel abroad – Houston Chronicle 11/29/08

$15-Million Marine Energy Prize Launched in Scotland  – National Geographic 12/1/08

The race is officially on for the team who can find the best way to harness the oceans’ power as a serious energy alternative to fossil fuels.

Hawaii to build statewide electric car network – CNN 12/2/08



Pregnant women warned off make-up  – Independent, UK 11/30/08

90 Percent of U.S. Infant Formula May Be Contaminated with Melamine; FDA Abruptly Declares Chemical Safe for Babies – Natural News 11/29/08

Study Shows How Meat Spurs Cancer Growth – Natural News 12/1/08

You may Not Know: Your Food has been Genetically Engineered   – Natural News 12/1/08

One in three toys is toxic: Group – CNN 12/3/08

New York’s Water Threatened by Natural Gas Drilling? – Alternet 12/3/08

For months public concern has been growing that upstate mining may be threatening the water supply for New York City’s 9 million people.

FDA admits mercury fillings have neurotoxic effects on children – PrisonPlanet 12/3/08

“Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses,” reads a statement that has been added to the agency’s Web site. “Pregnant women and persons who may have a health condition that makes them more sensitive to mercury exposure, including individuals with existing high levels of mercury bioburden, should not avoid seeking dental care, but should discuss options with their health practitioner.”



Corporate Water Abusers Should Not Be Trusted As Stewards of the World’s Water – Alternet 12/3/08

Large corporations have convened to talk about reducing their “water footprint” but the real stakeholders have been left out.

Forget the Polar Bears — The Climate Crisis Is About All of Us  – Alternet 12/3/08

Do we want to be remembered as the generation that saved the banks and let the planet collapse?

FEMA’s Nightmare: A Big Midwest Shaker – Miller McCune 11/21/08

The “Big One” assumed for California or other Pacific Rim states and provinces will almost certainly arrive some day, but FEMA said Thursday that the most catastrophic quake in the United States probably is destined for mid-America.

Spy fly collects secrets without risk – Raw Story 11/24/08

Military engineers work to disguise bugs as, well, bugs to record, attack insurgents.

Major Green Groups Offer Plan to Obama   – Alternet 12/1/08

How should Obama act on the environment? A report by 29 major enviro groups gave Obama a list of actions and policies.

PHOTOS: Pacific Shipwrecks Potential Toxic Timebombs – National Geographic 11/25/08

Film Review: GenerationRx Documents Chemical Abuse of Children by Pharmaceutical Industry, Modern Psychiatry – Natural News 11/26/08

The Dangers of Nanoparticles – Natural News 11/26/08

TreeHugger: Nature’s Wonders: Untouched Landscapes – Treehugger 11/28/08

Water Neutral: Is the Latest Eco-Term Just Corporate Hype? – Alternet 12/1/08

As companies like Coca-Cola start throwing around the term, it has many people highly skeptical, and for good reason.

Inside The World’s Super Dumps  – Forbes 12/2/08

From toxic trash in China to mountain-sized landfills in Michigan, the world is awash in waste.

Total Decarbonization: Our Last Shot to Prevent Runaway Climate Change – Alternet 12/3/08

The latest science suggests that preventing runaway climate change means total decarbonization. Can we do it?

Soil Not Oil: Why We Need to Kick Petroleum Out of Our Farms – Alternet 12/3/08

Biodiverse farms offer us more food, better food, higher incomes for farmers and a defense from climate disasters.

VIDEO: Antarctic Survey’s Stunning Species – National Geographic 12/1/08

Scientists have discovered that islands near Antarctica’s main peninsula hold more species than even the Galápagos Islands, the experts claim.

Ant invader knocks on UK’s door – BBC 12/2/08

A recently identified ant which wipes out native species is finding new homes in northern Europe.

20 (More) Strange and Exotic Endangered Species – Ecoist 12/2/08

Selenium Curbs AIDS Virus, may Fight Cancer – Natural News 12/2/08

Seawater holds key to future food – BBC 12/4/08

Growing crops in salt water is becoming necessary to overcome shortages of fresh water, scientists say.

Studies Prove that Obesity has Nothing to do with Bad Genes – Natural News 12/4/08

Iraq veterans exposed to cancer-causing dust sue contractor – Raw Story 12/3/08

The Guardsmen charge that KBR was aware of dangerous levels of sodium dichromate on the premises, used to remove corrosion from pipes. Part of its chemical makeup is hexavalent chromium, which is known to cause lung cancer and birth defects. Sergeant First Class David Moore of Dubois, Indiana, was among those said to be affected: he died this year of chronic interstitial lung disease. His death was ruled service-related.

“It’s not right,” said Mark McManaway, 55, the main plaintiff in the suit. He has suffered rashes and nosebleeds he blames on the exposure. Their attorney, Mike Doyle, is also representing ten KBR workers in arbitration (Langford v. Halliburton, American Arbitration Association, 70-480-00649-05) who echo the charge, saying that their employer chose to cover up the exposure after neglecting to issue them the proper protective gear. Ed Blacke, who worked as a medic at Qarmat Ali, testified to a Senate panel in June that he was fired when he discovered the toxic dust and tried to warn others. “A day’s exposure could write you a death warrant,” he added. “Just one day’s exposure.” He said that the chemical contamination was an act of sabotage by the Iraqi Baath party.

“The Tell City Guardsmen were repeatedly told that there was no danger on site, even after KBR managers knew that blood testing of American civilians exposed onsite confirmed elevated chromium levels,” Doyle said in the complaint…The Guardsmen’s complaint includes a copy of an internal KBR memo, dated June 2003, in which managers discussed sodium dichromate at the plant, and a statement from the Army confirming that there was “high potential for direct exposure” to the chemical during the time the Guardsmen were stationed at the plant.


Biofuel News Round-Up

World Bank Secret Report confirms Biofuel Cause of World Food Crisis – Global Research 7/10/08

Biofuel Sustainability Embraced by US Department of Energy: National Biofuels Action Plan Unveiled  – Treehugger 10/8/08

“Economic Colonialism” Rears Its Ugly Head in African Biofuel Market – Treehugger 9/9/08

Largest Biodiesel Company in Country was Hit by Hurricane Ike – Treehugger 10/5/08

Ethanol Mandates: The Single Most Misguided Agricultural Program in Modern American History – Treehugger 9/15/08

U.S. biofuel plants go bankrupt on feedstock costs – Reuters 7/27/08

Biofuels main reason for food price rises: World Bank (Reuters) – Reuters/Yahoo 7/28/08

Midwest Flooding Brings to Light the Vulnerability of Corn Ethanol – Treehugger 7/1/08


Obama Camp closely tied to Ethanol Industry – NYTimes 6/23/08


Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance Sets Out Draft Principles for Sustainability Practices – Treehugger 8/20/08


Reconsider EU Biofuel Goal Says Incoming President – Treehugger 6/30/08

EXCERPT: “Can anyone think of the exact moment when the biofuel backlash first reached its tipping point? In any case, it seems like, finally, people are realizing that liquid biofuels aren’t quite the green panacea they were once made out to be. Not to demonize them, it’s just that (like most things) there are plusses and minuses to each feedstock and production method and these need to be carefully considered when formulating policy. It seems like the incoming EU president, France, has gotten the message.”

CONSUMERISM & THE ENVIRONMENT: How we are slowly exterminating humanity


Mobile Phone Use ‘Raises Children’s Risk of Brain Cancer Fivefold’ – Cryptogon 9/23/08

Methane ‘Fart’ from the Earth Poses Enormous Global Warming Risk – Alternet 9/24/08

Are Boys Disappearing Because of Gender Bender Chemicals? – Treehugger 9/22/08

Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are – Alternet 9/18/08

Rob Walker, author of a new book on consumer culture, explains how consumers embrace brands as part of their identities — often without knowing it.

We Are Just Beginning to Pay the True Price for Dams  – Alternet 9/18/08

Decades ago three new dams were started every day. But the debts of temporary prosperity are all coming due and payable today.

Govt. Report Says Fluoride Added to Water Supply May Harm Population – Natural News 9/15/08

A government-sponsored report has concluded that levels of fluoride that people are regularly exposed to in drinking water can cause serious malfunctioning of the thyroid glad, leading to even more serious health problems

New Generation of Drug-Producing GM Crops Could Threaten Food Supply and Devastate US Farmers – Natural News 9/11/08

Nonstick Cookware Chemicals Found in Human Breast Milk – Natural News 9/11/08

Toxic chemicals used in nonstick coatings and stain-resistant fabrics were found in the breast milk of every woman tested in a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Doubts Surfacing About Flu Vaccine’s Effectiveness for Elderly – Natural News 9/11/08

Almond Growers Sue USDA – Treehugger 9/13/08

Fifteen almond growers and nut handlers filed a suit against the USDA over a legally mandated treatment of California-grown raw almonds.

What the Chemical Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know about Everyday Products – Alternet 9/15/08

Boatloads of Trouble: How We Are Importing Our Way to Destruction– Alternet 9/5/08

As our consumer goods travel thousands of miles by boat, train and truck, they’re leaving a trail of soot and cancer in their wake.

Liver-Damaging Effects of Cholesterol Drug Zetia Hidden by Merck, FDA Documents Reveal – Natural News 9/4/08

U.S. Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate – Natural News 9/4/08

Reducing Carbon One Garbage Can at a Time – Miller McCune 9/3/08

With a clear cash incentive to reduce garbage, the “one-can” concept gains ground.

Germany Bans Eight Pesticides Linked to Honeybee Population Collapse; Clothianidin Chemical Found Contaminating Dead Bees – Natural News 8/29/08

Bayer in the Dock Over Pesticide Linked to Colony Collapse Disorder – Treehugger 8/26/08


Alaska Chooses Largest Gold Mine Over Clean Water – Alternet 8/29/08


Tobacco Companies Hid Information on Radioactive Polonium in Cigarettes – Center for Media and Democracy 8/26/08


A Video Clip Is Worth … Linfen, China: The Most Polluted City in the World – Treehugger 8/25/08


Lyondell plants to pay $6.5 million to end Texas smog probe – Houston Chronicle 8/25/08


12 states sue US govt. over refineries – Raw Story 8/25/08




The True Price of Fiji Water – Alternet 10/3/08

Watermill pulls drinking water from thin air – EnGadget 10/2/08

The Harsh Economics of the Global Water Crisis – Alternet 10/1/08

The Middle East’s Water Crisis: Will the Jordan River Run Dry? – Alternet 9/24/08

Free Water: Collecting Rainwater Is Catching on in the U.S. – Alternet 9/3/08

Great Lakes Danger Zones – Center for Public Integrity 8/30/08

For more than seven months, the nation’s top public health agency has blocked the publication of an exhaustive federal study of environmental hazards in the eight Great Lakes states, reportedly because it contains such potentially “alarming information” as evidence of elevated infant mortality and cancer rates.



VIDEO: Arctic Ice in “Death Spiral” – Nat’l Geographic 9/16/08

NASA animations show dramatic Arctic ice melt again in 2008, which saw the second smallest Arctic sea ice cover on record

North Pole becomes island as ice melts – Raw Story 9/1/08

Fabled North-West and North-East Passages open first time in history.

This place is the bomb – Salon 8/31/08

Something wild is happening on Christmas Island, once ground zero for nuclear test explosions.

Honeybees Could be Wiped Out in 10 Years, Warn Beekeepers – Natural News 9/15/08

EU in crop biofuel goal rethink – BBC 9/11/08

On The Road To Extinction: The Fate of Extinct and Endangered Species on Planet Earth – Global Research 8/26/08


How to Use Herbs Safely and Effectively – Natural News 8/11/08

Dot Earth: Ecuador Grants Rights to Nature – NYTimes 9/29/08

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

Temple University Physicist Developed Simple Device that Boosts Gas Efficiency 20% – Cryptogon 9/27/08

No, I Did It First! The Same Sugar-to-Gasoline Method Discovered by Two Research Teams – Treehugger 9/22/08


Obama & Biden News Round-Up

Donna J. Volatile : The Obama Construct – CounterPunch 8/28/08

Worthwhile reading 


Obama: the senator from ethanol-land – Socialist Worker 8/21/08


Obama and McCain: The Stakes Are Too Huge for ‘Civil’ Politics – Alternet 8/25/08

R.I.P., ‘Change We Can Believe in.’ The fierce urgency of the 21st century demands Change Before It’s Too Late.


Steve Conn : Obama and the Mining Cartel – CounterPunch 8/23/08


Nicole Colson : Obama and Big Corn – CounterPunch 8/23/08


Report: MBNA paid Biden son at critical time for bill – Houston Chronicle 8/25/08


Joe Biden’s pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record – CNet 8/23/08


Joe Biden’s War on Terror – Alternet 8/24/08


Praise of McCain could haunt Biden – Politico 8/24/08


Extreme-interventionist, Iraq/drug war fanboy is now the Democtratic VP Candidate – via MParent 8/23/08


15 Biden Quotes – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – SomeDork 8/23/08


Biden at Work – Mother Jones 8/27/08


Anthony DiMaggio : The Myths of Joe Biden – CounterPunch 8/27/08


Joe Biden: Russia, China, India: “The Real War” – Global Research 8/28/08


Motormouth Joe Biden – Warmonger, Wordmonger And Political Hit Man  – Propaganda Matrix 8/26/08


Biden: The antidote to hope – Socialist Worker 8/25/08


Previous 2008 Election Coverage, including Obama does not represent change; he is intended to placate the ‘Left’ (7/13/08)


Biofuel use ‘increasing poverty’ – BBC 6/24/08

Harvesting Kudzu for Ethanol? – Treehugger 7/22/08


Corn, Incorporated: The Ethanol Scam – Alternet 7/14/08

Biofuels the source of world food crisis: leaked report – Guardian, UK 7/3/08

The Great Biofuels Con – Telegreaph, UK 7/12/08 

US and EU urged to cut biofuels by World Bank President – BBC 7/7/08

Corn Ethanol Worsens Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’ – Treehugger 6/12/08