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Visit the Perrier Crystal Springs Bottling Plant in Florida.

Click Here to Learn Why


We Hold Its Value to Be Self-Evident
Ecuador approved a new constitution that, among other things, grants inalienable rights to nature, the first such inclusion in a nation's constitution, according to Ecuadorian officials. "Nature ... where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions, and its processes in evolution. Every person, people, community, or nationality will be able to demand the recognition of rights for nature before the public bodies," the document says. The specific mention of evolution isn't accidental; besides being an activity nature arguably likes to do anyway, evolution as we know it has close ties to Ecuador's territory of the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin formed his famous theory. Ecuador's constitution grants nature the right to "integral restoration" and says that the state "will promote respect toward all the elements that form an ecosystem" and that the state "will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems, or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles."

1st & 3rd Tuesdays
Sweetwater North Meeting:
at the Quaker Meeting House, corner of 5th and Oak in TC. Cafe / sweets will be served. Next meeting posted by e-mail list and/or on our website: www.waterissweet.org


Perrier Corp. operates a 250,000 sq. ft. water bottling facility near Stanwood, pumping up to 720,000 gallons per day from the heart of the Great Lakes basin at a profit of as much as $1.8 million dollars per day.

“If it was possible to bottle sunshine, well I guess they would do that and sell it back to us.”


* Since 1950, the global renewable freshwater supply per person has fallen 58 percent as world population has swelled from 2.5 billion to 6 billion.

* By 2015, nearly 3 billion people-40 percent of the projected world population-are expected to live in countries that find it difficult or impossible to mobilize enough water to satisfy the food, industrial, and domestic needs of their citizens.

* Today Asia has approximately 60 percent of the world's people but only 36 percent of the world's renewable freshwater.

* Currently water-stressed countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East account for 26 percent of global grain imports. China, India, and Pakistan - all presently grain self-sufficient-will likely join the ranks of grain importers in the near future because of decreasing water availability per capita.

* On July 6, 2000, thousands of farmers in China's lower Yellow River basin clashed with police over a government plan to recapture runoff from a local reservoir.

* Two or more countries share some 261 of the world's rivers. These international watersheds account for about 60 percent of the world's freshwater supply and are home to about 40 percent of the world's people.

* An analysis of 1,831 international water-related disputes over the last 50 years reveals that two thirds of these encounters were of a cooperative nature while one fourth were hostile. On 37 recorded occasions, rival countries went beyond verbal antagonism and fired shots, blew up a dam, or undertook some other form of military action.

* The only recorded incident of an outright war over water was 4,500 years ago between two Mesopotamian city-states, Lagash and Umma, in the region we now call southern Iraq. Conversely, between the years 805 and 1984, countries signed more than 3,600 water related treaties.

* Some 51 countries within 17 international river basins are at risk of water disputes over the next decade. Eight of these river basins are in Africa, primarily in the south, while six are in Asia, mostly in the southeast.

* China was just one of three countries that voted against a 1997 United Nations convention that established basic guidelines and principles for the use of international rivers.

* Since agriculture accounts for two-thirds of water use worldwide, and 80-90 percent in many developing countries, increasing the productivity of irrigation water is critical to averting conflict over water.

* Water treaties that provide for effective monitoring and enforcement are often remarkably resilient. The Indus Waters Treaty, signed by India and Pakistan in 1960, survived two wars between the signatories.

Source: worldwatch@worldwatch.org

Where the Salmonella Really Came From
The cause of this outbreak is factory farming, which has also been the cause of virtually every instance of bacterial food contamination we have seen here in recent years. [Editor: More specifically, the problem is traced to the practice of mixing dead and diseased animal slaughter house waste into the feed livestock and poultry eat today. Something that had never been done before we began to see the outbreaks.]

Plastic: Degrading Poisons into Ocean Water
Mounting evidence shows there is no time to wait for people to decide to catch on in their own time. No better example of this exists than the plastic plague. Until we stop participating in trashing the planet and ourselves we are slashing away at our planetary wrists in ecocide.

Bottled water sales dry up
For the first time in decades, the $11.1 billion bottled water industry is stuttering. Experts say that an increasing sense of environmental awareness across the U.S. is influencing consumer choices. Environmental groups take credit after campaigning for years against the industry over waste, safety concerns and the corporate privatization of water.

Toxic Chemicals on Tap: How Natural Gas Drilling Threatens Drinking Water
Humans need very few things to survive: air, shelter, food, and water. Fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) pollute the air with smog, soot and global warming pollution, but their effect on water is often overlooked. Natural gas, which the industry touts as the “cleanest of all fossil fuels,” threatens to dirty drinking water with toxic chemicals used in drilling.i Rivers, lakes and groundwater already face threats from industrial pollution, agricultural runoff, and overdevelopment. Adding an unnecessary threat to one of the most valuable resources is dangerous. The government must act to safeguard drinking water. In light of the increased pressure to drill for more natural gas in states across the country, this report focuses on the dangers to drinking water from gas drilling. In particular, we examined hydraulic fracturing (often called “fracking”), a commonly used process gas companies employ to extract natural gas or oil reserves. Natural gas exists in bubbles underground, much like bubbles in carbonated soda. Getting to these pockets of gas requires injecting millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals into the ground in order to crack open these bubbles in the rock to allow natural gas to flow to the surface.

Millions in U.S. Drinking Dirty Water
That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage. Regulators were informed of each of those violations as they occurred. But regulatory records show that fewer than 6 percent of the water systems that broke the law were ever fined or punished by state or federal officials, including those at the Environmental Protection Agency, which has ultimate responsibility for enforcing standards.

Tanning beds as deadly as arsenic
International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. For years, scientists have described tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation as "probable carcinogens." A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30. Experts also found that all types of ultraviolet radiation caused worrying mutations in mice, proof the radiation is carcinogenic.

Our diet is killing us
I've been catching up on my magazine reading and I came across a fascinating piece in a recent issue of New Scientist, which is usually a few steps ahead of the non-scientific press. It is a serious journal - not given to hyperbole - for scientists, although it does try to match scientific rigor with accessibility for interested lay people. The cover title of this usually staid magazine's March issue? Earth 2099: Population crashes, Mass migration, Vast new deserts, Cities abandoned. In order to survive, humans may need to do something radical: rethink our society not along geopolitical lines but in terms of resource distribution.

One Bite at a Time: A Beginner's Guide to Conscious Eating
I heard from a lot of people who wanted help in making the transition to a vegetarian (or mostly vegetarian) diet. Let's face it: If you've been eating meat all your life, this sort of a change can be daunting even just to think about, let alone act on. Happily, it's easier than ever today to make the transition from meat-eater to vegetarian, and the following suggestions should help even the most die-hard carnivores make the switch.

What You Should Know about Swine Flu
The genetic fingerprint of the virus was just published, and the main ancestor of this deadly virus is a triple hybrid mutant first found on factory farms in the United States in 1998. When thousands of pigs are overcrowded into cramped stalls and pens inside massive, unsanitary, warehouse-like sheds, it's a veritable breeding ground for disease. As the former executive director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Animal Farm Production described, "Industrial farms are super-incubators for viruses."

Spam's carbon footprint
Not only is spam a nuisance and sometimes criminally deceptive, it's got a carbon footprint. The mere act of people around the world deleting spam and searching for legitimate e-mail falsely labeled as junk creates the annual energy consumption equivalent in the U.S. of 2.4 million homes using electricity and the same greenhouse gas emissions as 3.1 million passenger cars using two billion gallons of gas. If spam filters were used universally, the energy saved would be equivalent to taking 2.3 million cars off the road, the report said.

Vegetarian for a Day
According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. See how easy it is to make an impact? Other facts to consider include a savings of : 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months; 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year; 70 million gallons of gas -- enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare; 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware; 33 tons of antibiotics. Switching from standard American diet to a vegan diet is more effective in the fight against global warming than switching from a standard American car to a hybrid.

Perchlorate found in virtually all infant formula
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested infant formula for traces of perchlorate because of concerns that the chemical can damage thyroid function. Their findings were published last month in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. Perchlorate has been found in the drinking water of at least 35 states and the District of Columbia. The chemical can inhibit the thyroid gland's iodine uptake, interfering with fetal development. "Infants fed cow's milk-based powdered formula could be exposed to perchlorate from two sources -- tap water and formula," said Anila Jacob, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group. "That suggests that millions of American babies are potentially at risk." Jacob's group is urging U.S. EPA to regulate perchlorate in water. Last year, the agency said it saw no need for such regulations because they would offer no "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction."

Perchlorate Found in Drinking Water PDF
In January 2009, EPA issued an interim health advisory to assist state and local officials in addressing local contamination of perchlorate in drinking water. The interim health advisory level of 15 micrograms per liter (µg/L), or parts per billion (ppb), is based on the reference dose recommended by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The Agency is also seeking advice from the NAS before making a final regulatory determination on whether to issue a national regulation for perchlorate in drinking water.

There will be a veggie garden at the Presidents House on Pennsylvania Avenue
In the current down economy, more and more people are turning to gardening to cut food bills, and it seems like 'Victory Gardens' are sprouting everywhere. It's a terrific move for the White House to adopt a grow-your-own project both as an economic recovery idea, as an example of going green and as an educational tool, as well as a symbol of how crucial Farmers are to America. Having your own garden is also swell, BTW, in the event of bio terrorism, which Ob Fo hates to mention, but new Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been very busy revamping personal preparedness policies. A White House garden is also a nod to White House history, and to one of the Founders most important to our ideas of being Americans: Thomas Jefferson planted the first garden at the White House, after all, back in the days when it was still called 'The President's House.'

Eating Red Meat Raises Chances Of Dying Early
Eating red meat increases the chances of dying prematurely, according to the first large study to examine whether regularly eating beef or pork increases mortality. The study of more than 500,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans found that those who consumed about four ounces of red meat a day (the equivalent of about a small hamburger) were more than 30 percent m

We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction
All measures to thwart the degradation and destruction of our ecosystem will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, if we continue to reproduce at the current rate, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. This is a 50 percent increase. And yet government-commissioned reviews, such as the Stern report in Britain, do not mention the word population. Books and documentaries that deal with the climate crisis, including Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," fail to discuss the danger of population growth. This omission is odd, given that a doubling in population, even if we cut back on the use of fossil fuels, shut down all our coal-burning power plants and build seas of wind turbines, will plunge us into an age of extinction and desolation unseen since the end of the Mesozoic era, 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared. A world where 8 billion to 10 billion people are competing for diminishing resources will not be peaceful. The industrialized nations will turn to their militaries to ensure a steady supply of fossil fuels, minerals and other nonrenewable resources in the vain effort to sustain a lifestyle that will, in the end, be unsustainable. The collapse of industrial farming, which is made possible only with cheap oil, will lead to an increase in famine, disease and starvation. Perhaps the chaos and bloodshed will be so massive that overpopulation will be solved through violence, but this is hardly a comfort. Scientists believe that the Earth is currently overpopulated by a factor of about seven. As the planet overheats - and we do nothing to halt this process - overpopulation will make all efforts to save the ecosystem futile. ore likely to die during the 10 years they were followed, mostly from heart disease and cancer. Sausage, cold cuts and other processed meats also increased the risk. Among women, those who ate the most red meat were 36 percent more likely to die for any reason, 20 percent more likely to die of cancer and 50 percent more likely to die of heart disease. Men who ate the most meat were 31 percent more likely to die for any reason, 22 percent more likely to die of cancer and 27 percent more likely to die of heart disease.

Unquenchable: American's Water Crisis
"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water," observed Benjamin Franklin in 1774. But he was wrong. In the United States, we utterly fail to appreciate the value of water, even as we are running out. We Americans are spoiled. When we turn on the tap, out comes a limitless quantity of high-quality water for less money than we pay for our cell phone service or cable television. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to water. In almost every state in the country, a landowner can drill a domestic well anywhere, anytime-no questions asked. Many states don't even require permits for commercial wells unless the pumping will exceed 100,000 gallons a day (that's 36 million gallons annually). Water lubricates the American economy just as oil does. It is intimately linked to energy because it takes water to make energy, and it takes energy to divert, pump, move, and cleanse water. Water plays a critical role in virtually every segment of the economy, from heavy industry to food production, from making semiconductors to providing Internet service. A prosperous future depends on a secure and reliable water supply. And we don't have it. To be sure, water still flows from taps, but we're draining our reserves like gamblers at the craps table.

Lethal air pollution booms
International experts are warning that potentially lethal air pollution has boomed in fast-growing big cities. The World Health Organization estimates that about two million people die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution, while many more suffer from breathing ailments, heart disease, lung infections and even cancer. Fine particles or microscopic dust from coal or wood fires and unfiltered diesel engines are rated as one of the most lethal forms or air pollution caused by industry, transport, household heating, cooking and coal or oil-fired power stations.

Lake Michigan water supply: Something to be treasured
“Even in this region, water resources are not infinite, they are finite,” said Daniel Injerd, chief of Lake Michigan management for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “Aquifers in and around Chicago are being pumped faster than they can recharge,” said Josh Ellis, program associate for the Metropolitan Planning Council. “As the population continues to grow, that will only be exacerbated.”

Wind power growth means manufacturing opportunity for Michigan
The decline of manufacturing in Michigan and the United States has closely followed globalization and its downhill trajectory toward sourcing components and assembly from low-cost nations like China and Mexico. But the gradual emergence of a domestic U.S. wind energy industry appears to be countering that trend by coupling concerns over economic and environmental sustainability with logistic practicalities. "The directive we have in my group is to look for localized content 100 percent. So sourcing America for America," said Gene Cuenot, a purchaser for Vestas' nacelles division. Last year marked the best year ever for the U.S. wind industry, which recently surpassed Germany as the largest market for installed wind turbines, said Jim Walker, president of the American Wind Energy Association. Total investments in wind energy projects in the U.S., which made up 42 percent of all power capacity installed, grew from $700 million in 2004 to nearly $18 billion last year.

State regulators order changes after power outages last year
State regulators told Michigan's two major utilities Thursday to make changes after residents were frustrated by long power outages caused by storms last June. The Public Service Commission wants Detroit Edison Co. and Jackson-based Consumers Energy to better notify customers of a $25 credit they can get on their bill if electricity is not restored on time.

People harmed by medicines can sue, court rules
In a resounding victory for consumers over the pharmaceutical industry, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that patients harmed by medication can sue the drugmaker for neglecting to list known dangers on the product's federally approved warning label. The 6-3 decision upheld $6.7 million in damages to a musician from Vermont who lost an arm to gangrene after being injected in 2000 with an anti-nausea drug manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

How You Can Green Your Home and Cash in on Stimulus Money
Tax incentives to encourage investments in energy efficiency took effect last week when President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill. That means homeowners with drafty windows, old heating systems, or other root causes of high energy bills can be rewarded in tax season if they make improvements in 2009 or 2010. "This is by far the most the federal government has done in the past several decades" to reward energy-efficiency investments

Ms. Jackson Makes a Change
Less than a month into the job, and with only a skeleton staff, Lisa Jackson, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has already engineered an astonishing turnaround. In a memo to her employees last month, and later in an interview with The Times, she indicated that it was only a matter of time before she complied with the Supreme Court’s nearly two-year-old decision ordering the E.P.A. to address the effects of greenhouse gases from vehicles and regulate them if necessary. The Bush administration had dodged that one, too. Then, last week, Ms. Jackson said she would reconsider a Bush administration declaration that the law did not allow it to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new coal power plants. Just as obeying the Supreme Court decision could lead to the first nationwide limits on carbon dioxide from vehicles, this latest decision could lead to the first greenhouse gas limits on utilities.

EPA to regulate mercury from cement plants
TRAVERSE CITY — Federal regulators have agreed to set standards for mercury emissions from cement plants under a legal settlement with activists and nine states. “Every inland lake in Michigan has a high level of mercury — high enough to be of concern to women of childbearing age and small children in the context of fish eaten from those lakes,” said Brian Beauchamp, policy specialist with the Michigan Land Use Institute in Traverse City. “Any new regulations with respect to mercury emissions are good things for people in our state.” Mercury is a toxic metal that can damage the brain and nervous system, particularly in young children. Once spewed into the atmosphere as a vapor, it can fall into waterways and move up the aquatic food chain. Pregnant women who eat tainted fish can pass mercury to their fetuses. Michigan's cement kilns are located at the Lafarge North America Inc. plant in Alpena, the Holcim Ltd. plant in Dundee and the St. Marys Cement Inc. plant in Charlevoix. The LaFarge plant is the second-largest mercury emitter in the state, the Department of Environmental Quality says.

A green future for all Americans
We are on the verge of a clean energy revolution that has potential to create millions of new jobs, revive our economy, and finally free us from our dependence on foreign oil. It is refreshing that we will soon have a president that understands the importance of investing in the green economy to secure America's future prosperity and security. But, it is equally important that we invest our money in programs that are working. Last week, President-elect Obama announced that the nation's economic stimulus plan - will double alternative energy production in three years, cut the use of fossil fuels by improving energy efficiency in 2 million homes and 75 percent of federal buildings, and invest heavily in public transportation. As Congress debates Obama's plan to create millions of green jobs, it is critical to ensure that these jobs are inclusive and our money is spent wisely.

The Bush Administration's Dirty Legacy
From the beginning of President George W. Bush's first term through 2005, NRDC compiled a comprehensive account of his administration's actions on environmental matters. You can use the links above to search the Record's hundreds of stories or to browse by topic, or click to view by date.

State to ask Obama for $3 billion for Great Lakes
The State of Michigan plans to ask the Obama administration for more than $3 billion in funding for Great Lakes cleanup, management and development. Advertisement Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry and Ken DeBeaussaert, director of Michigan's Office of the Great Lakes, unveiled the plan Tuesday in Detroit. The Great Lakes, which contain one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water, are responsible for 823,000 jobs in Michigan, and support portions of the state's $12.8-billion tourism industry, according to the state. The new plan calls for, among other things, $54 million to clean up contaminated sediment and $3.8 million to prevent beach closures. Michigan Sea Grant's Mary Bohling organizes local groups to revegetate Great Lakes shorelines, attack invasive species and increase tourism revenue. She said she is hopeful about the plan, despite misconceptions about the Great Lakes' importance. "They're looking at the Great Lakes as a possible source for water," she said. "It should be looked at at the same level as the Everglades, the same level as Chesapeake Bay." The report can be found online at www.michigan.gov/deqgreatlakes. Click on "protection and restoration."

Wind 'is the way to go'
An ever increasing interest in energy alternatives brought more than 100 farmers and landowners to a series of wind energy workshops provided by the Michigan State University Extension of Leelanau County, the latest held at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station. "Michigan has a lot of good opportunities for good wind energy production," said Dr. Stephen Harsh of Michigan State University, as he provided information on small wind systems and the economic, zoning and funding opportunities available for interested northern Michigan landowners. Pointing out the benefit a thriving turbine industry can have in turning around a sluggish economy, Harsh sees wind as eventually becoming the least expensive way to produce energy as well as bring down greenhouse gas emissions. According to Harsh, $20 billion leaves the Michigan economy each year in non-renewable fuel costs.

More species invasions in Great Lakes
Dozens of foreign species could spread across the Great Lakes in coming years and cause significant damage to the environment and economy, despite policies designed to keep them out, a federal report says. The National Center for Environmental Assessment issued the warning in a study released this week. It identified 30 nonnative species that pose a medium or high risk of reaching the lakes and 28 others that already have a foothold and could disperse widely. Among them are fish such as the tench ("doctor fish"), the monkey goby and the blueback herring. "These findings support the need for detection and monitoring efforts at those ports believed to be at greatest risk," the report said.

Heart attacks drop 41% after smoking ban
This three-year study suggests the initial reduction in heart attack hospitalizations observed after a smoke-free law takes effect is sustained over an extended period. Smoke-free laws likely reduce heart attack hospitalizations both by reducing secondhand smoke exposure among non-smokers and by reducing smoking, with the first factor making the larger contribution, the report said.

Hey There, Wait Just One Second Will Ya!
The world's official timekeepers have added a "leap second" to the last day of the year on Wednesday, to help match clocks to the Earth's slowing spin on its axis, which takes place at ever-changing rates affected by tides and other factors. The U.S. Naval Observatory, keeper of the Pentagon's master clock, said it would add the extra second on Wednesday in coordination with the world's atomic clocks at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC.

How Air Quality and CO2 Emissions Affect the Sea
If the rising level of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is a slowly ticking time bomb, some scientists say, the CO2 building in seawater is a depth charge about to explode. The world’s oceans are growing more acidic at an increasing – and some say alarming – rate. More and more environmentalists and scientists are saying it may take a severe lowering of CO2 levels to keep ocean life from facing major disruptions, including possible mass extinctions of species.

December 22, 2008 Coal Ash Spill, Coal can never be clean. It's not possible! - Now imagine clean safe energy from the wind and the sun!

We don't need coal fueled power plants in Michigan when we already have much cleaner Natural Gas fueled base load power plants that have been built and paid for by ratepayers. These plants can be lit today and begin to produce energy for Michigan.

We do need to develop sensible energy alternatives such as wind, solar, and water power.

This is the Clean Coal they are talking about for Michigan Power Plants!
This spill is over 48 times laarger than the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska! This is the kind of scary thing that people living with coal worry about every day. It's this sort of thing that really makes the proposition of clean coal so absurd. Even if you can scrub all the CO2 out of it, you still have so many other toxic waste products associated with burning coal that have to be stored that carbon emissions are just a part of the problem. How many other holding ponds are out there waiting to burst? This is part of the mountain of stuff that is left over after TVA burns their coal is called coal ash. Coal ash contains mercury and dangerous heavy metals like lead and arsenic - materials found naturally in coal are concentrated in the ash. TVA has a huge mountain of this coal waste material stored in a gigantic pile next to their Harriman (Kingston) power plant, alongside a tributary of the Tennessee River. On Monday morning Dec. 22 around 1:00 am, the earthen retaining wall around this mountain of coal ash failed and approximately 500 million gallons of nasty black coal ash flowed into tributaries of the Tennessee River - the water supply for Chattanooga TN and millions of people living downstream in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. "The really sad thing about this spill is that it's only a small example of the damage coal causes," Smolski added. "Add in global warming, tens of thousands of annual premature deaths from power plant pollution, and hundreds of mountains leveled across Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia, and that's the real picture of coal. We can't afford more coal disasters and more dangerous global warming impacts. MORE COVERAGE | PHOTOS | JOBS AND ENERGY FOR MICHIGAN | CLEAN ENERGY NOW: MICHIGAN

The Environmental Protection Agency does NOT regulate fly ash as a hazardous waste material... said Laura Nilles, a spokeswoman for the agency.

"Clean Coal" Ash Disaster
A major environmental disaster occurred yesterday, but few news outlets outside Tennessee appear to be covering it: 2.6 million cubic yards (about 525 million gallons) of fly ash sludge poured out from behind an earthen embankment at the Kingston coal plant (source: The Tennessean). S&R’s Wendy Redal blogged about the October, 2000 Massey Energy coal slurry flood earlier this month - this ashslide is bigger, and while it’s more solid, it still covers 400 acres in up to 6 feet of toxic coal ash. To put this into scale with the Exxon Valdez spill, this coal ash release is presently estimated to be 48 times larger (in volume) and as dangerous. The release is on a tributary of the Tennessee River, which provides water to millions of people in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky before joining up with the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. MORE COVERAGE

What Is Worse Than Coal in Your Stocking? Coal Toxins in Your Drinking Water
The massive coal ash spill like we saw yesterday in Tennessee is extremely dangerous with long lasting consequences. You're talking about hundreds of acres of toxic sludge, the residue plants create by burning coal to produce energy, which includes mercury, arsenic and lead, spilling into the tributaries of the Tennessee River, poisoning the water supply for multiple communities, including Chattanooga. And it's a direct result of our continued reliance on an industry that makes us sick but uses slick PR terms like "clean coal," happily parroted by politicians of both parties, to maintain viability. “This spill shows that coal can never be ‘clean,’” said Kate Smolski, Senior Legislative Coordinator for Greenpeace. “If the Exxon Valdez was a symbol of pollution 20 years ago, the Tennessee Coal Spill of 2008 is the symbol of it today.” Incredibly, this spill occurs at a time when the Bush Administration is trying to loosen environmental rules that would allow the coal industry to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining into nearby streams. In other words, they want to make a disaster like this the norm. Environmental groups are suing to stop them, but what will stop the coal companies from their inattention to basic safety? It is time to take a critical look at companies whose very existence threatens public health and the future of a sustainable planet. And making sure that existence doesn't continue.

New Energy Secretary Chu: “Coal is my worst nightmare”
President-Elect Obama’s new Secretary of the Department of Energy has not been shy about the fact that the United States has to transition away from coal to survive.

Great perils of the Great Lakes
Taken together, the Great Lakes are a vast inland sea representing over one-fifth of all surface fresh water on the planet. More than 40 million Canadians and Americans draw their drinking water from the lakes, which play a vital role in public health, the environment, industry, commerce, and leisure. But there are causes for concern: invasive species, declining water levels, uncertain quality of drinking water, and pressures to divert water from and into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin. Signed into law by President George W. Bush Oct. 3, the Great Lakes Compact takes effect Dec. 8. The binational agreement, the fruit of regional initiatives, obliges eight American states and two Canadian provinces to work together to protect the lakes system.

We're saving $1 billion a day on gasoline
Americans are paying $1 billion less per day for gasoline now compared with mid-July, when the national average price was more than $4 per gallon, an energy analyst says. Advertisement In Michigan, the average price of gas Friday was $1.62 a gallon.

The Good Life Doesn't Have to Cost Us the Planet
In 2008, humanity overshot its global biocapacity on September 23. It was the world’s earliest “ecological debt day” since humanity first started going into the environmental red in the mid-1980s. We were pursuing economic growth for its own sake, but it was completely unsustainable, and the people it was most supposed to benefit -- the poorest -- were getting a shrinking slice of the benefits. Perversely, because of the way the world economy worked, to get tiny amounts of global poverty reduction required massive amounts of destructive overconsumption by those who were already rich. In the face of inescapable economic chaos and ecological upheaval, we finally woke to find that we already had most of the solutions under our noses.

How We Got the Worst Health Care System Mountains of Money Can Buy
As Americans respond to President-elect Barack Obama's call for town hall meetings on reform of the American health care system, an understanding of how that system came to be the way it is can be crucial for figuring out how to fix it. The American health care system is unique because, for most of us, it is tied to our jobs rather than to our government. For many Americans, the system seems natural, but few know that it originated not as a well-thought-out plan to provide for Americans' health, but as a way to circumvent a quirk in wartime wage regulations that had nothing to do with health.

Coal Plants: The Next Round of Subprime Loans
Banks like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Moody's, Standard and Poor's, and Fitch Ratings are betting against the next President of the United States and making a new round of subprime loans. Coal plants cost billions of dollars to build, and this requires bank loans. In turn, those banks are expecting us to buy power from the utilities for decades, at a high enough price to cover operating costs and pay back the loans. Coal plants are also very dirty, spewing millions of tons of global warming pollution and toxic particles into the air. So far we have given companies a free pass, letting them emit as much carbon dioxide as they want. But with President-Elect Obama and Congress committed to strong action on global warming, the free pollution days are over. So if companies build new coal plants - 100 plants currently proposed at a cost of more than $250 billion - we will be paying higher electricity prices for more pollution. In short, we aren't going to need the power from new coal plants. Just like we didn't want gas-guzzling cars, we don't want pollution-spewing coal plants. Americans want energy-efficient technology. So when banks and utilities are suddenly without customers willing to buy coal power, expect banks and utilities to be next in line for bailouts. As energy demand drops further, companies that build risky new coal plants will only have two options - default on loans or raise energy prices even higher. Defaults on loans hurt the banking system and local communities. Higher prices hurt residential consumers and chase businesses away. We've seen this cycle before.

Hemlock plans up to $1B Michigan investment
A solar power technology company says it will invest up to $1 billion in Michigan, creating about 300 jobs. Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. told the Michigan Economic Growth Authority about its plans Monday morning, and the economic development panel formalized tax breaks for the project. Hemlock is a leading maker of polycrystalline silicon for solar cells and semiconductor chips. The Michigan-based company is a joint venture between Dow Corning Corp. and two Japanese companies, Shin-Etsu Handotai Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp.

Obama Names Energy, Environmental Team
President-elect Obama formally announced the members of his energy and environment teams Monday, making good on promises to focus on global warming with the appointment of a strong slate of candidates that includes Nobel laureate Steven Chu. "The team that I have assembled here today is uniquely suited to meet the great challenges of this defining moment. They are leading experts and accomplished managers, and they are ready to reform government and help transform our economy so that our people are more prosperous, our nation is more secure and our planet is protected," Obama said before introducing his "green team" at an afternoon news conference in Chicago.

Bush Administration Rampage Continues into Last Days: Eviscerates Endangered Species Act
The Bush administration today issued a final rule eliminating the Endangered Species Act requirement that federal agencies consult with independent scientists. "This action eviscerates key protections that have helped safeguard and recover endangered fish, wildlife and plants for the past 35 years," said John Kostyack, Executive Director of Wildlife and Global Warming for the National Wildlife Federation. "Our government is founded in a system of checks, balances and accountability," he said. "President Bush has violated each of these principles by finalizing this rule in his waning days of power." The rule comes after eight years of overt hostility toward the Endangered Species Act, saving the worst attack for last.

Michigan's population declines
For the third year in a row, Michigan's population has fallen and it is one of only two states -- tiny Rhode Island is the other -- to have a shrinking population, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Michigan's loss rate increased, with an estimated 46,368 fewer people in the state on July 1, 2008. The bureau estimated the state lost 34,000 people the year before, and nearly 10,000 in 2006. If the state maintains its losses for another year, its population could fall below 10 million for the first time since 2000. According to the Census Bureau, Michigan has 10,003,422 people. Overall, Michigan lost nearly 0.5 percent of its population; Rhode Island lost 0.2 percent. All other states showed an increase, with Utah, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Colorado showing the biggest percentage increases. Texas had the largest increase in people, adding 483,542 residents.

Ancient skills 'could help reverse global warming'
Trials are to be started in Sussex and Belize early in the new year, backed with venture capital from Silicon Valley, on techniques to take carbon from the atmosphere and bury it in the soil, where it should act as a powerful fertiliser. The plan is to scale up rapidly into a worldwide enterprise to reverse the build-up of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, in the atmosphere and eventually bring it back to pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

On creating uninhabitable habitat, or who gives a #$%^&! Do you?!
Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in less than 100 years, as a result of habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species, and climate change.

The Prophet of Climate Change: You're probably not going to like this
James Lovelock, one of the worlds most eminent scientists of our time says that global warming is irreversible — and that more than 6 billion people will perish by the end of the century.

Why Do We Willingly and Willfully Destroy Our World?
As we struggle on various levels today to reverse ecological damage, we sometimes forget to ask why we must have the problem in the first place. As one reader named Gary wrote to us on Nov. 12, 2008, Why do industrialists pollute the world they themselves live in? Why are capitalists so greedy? Why does man seem so hell-bent on his own destruction? The day before, I was incorporating that basic question into what might be a new theory. I was alternating in my mind between despair over the way we destroy nature, and worrying about my own needs and desires being met. It seemed to be one mindset or the other -- not integrated, I realized. My notion of a new theory came as I wondered -- trying to relax while feeling some confusion -- “How we can let the world be destroyed?” (By "we" I mean modern people.) So I put all these facts together and I pinpointed this...

Group Meets to Fix the Great Lakes Compact
Traverse City—The initial goal is to pass a Michigan constitutional amendment, either through the legislature or by popular referendum, that would accomplish two things: No. 1, eliminate what some environmentalists feel is a dangerous loophole in the recently passed legislation designed to protect waters of the Great Lakes basin and No. 2, clearly establish that Michigan citizens own their water and only they have the right to determine whether and who would be able to sell it for private gain. The legislation of concern, the Great Lakes Compact, is now federal law after having been ratified by legislatures in the eight states with land in the Great Lakes basin. The law prevents diversions of water to outside the basin except under some very specific and controlled conditions. But the law allows companies to ship water out of the basin in containers of 5.7 gallons or smaller if the diversion does not cause certain, specified environmental damages. Buried in the fine print, the Compact by definition also excepts "water produced as a product" from the ban on diversions. “This sets up a climate where hungry states, corporations, or nations outside the basin could tap Great Lakes water if it is packaged in any size containers,” says environmental attorney James Olson, an organizer of the November 16 event.

Close loophole in Great Lakes pact
For years environmental attorney Jim Olson has been a voice in the wilderness. Long before the Great Lakes states (including Michigan) and Congress approved the Great Lakes Compact, Olsen was warning that wording included in the final version of the pact created a massive loophole that would allow Great Lakes water to be considered a commercial product and sold as a commodity. His warnings were often met with a shrug. Those writing the compact language disputed his interpretation. For many environmentalists and others, the most important task was simply to get the compact passed by the legislatures of the Great Lakes states, signed by the various governors, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. So an honest reading of the document that raises concerns even among laymen must be addressed.

How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth
There is an emergency. In less than a decade we will have to change course, but there are a few major obstacles blocking the way. First of all, received wisdom -- prejudices really -- so loaded that they orient collective action without anyone really thinking about them. The most powerful of these preconceived ideas is the belief in growth as the sole means of resolving social problems. That position is powerfully defended even as it is contradicted by the facts. And it is always defended by putting ecology aside because the zealots know that growth is incapable of responding to the environmental issue.

Mich. law restricting ballast dumping is upheld
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a Michigan law designed to prevent oceangoing freight ships from bringing invasive species to the Great Lakes. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected a challenge to the law filed by shipping organizations. The 2005 law requires saltwater ships calling at Michigan ports to get a permit from the state Department of Environmental Quality. The permit certifies that the ship will not discharge ballast water in port or has technology to kill any live organisms in the water before it's dumped. More than 180 invasive species are in the Great Lakes. Many of them are believed to have arrived in ship ballast.

Toxic Chemicals to Blame for Gulf War Illness
Gulf War illness, dismissed by some as a psychosomatic disorder, is a very real illness that affects at least 25 percent of the 700,000 U.S. veterans who took part in the 1991 Gulf War. It's likely cause was exposure to toxic chemicals that included pesticides that were often overused during the war, as well as a drug given to U.S. troops to protect them from nerve gas, a frequent weapon of choice of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. And no effective treatments have been devised for the disorder. Gulf War illness is frequently described as a collection of symptoms that includes memory and concentration problems, chronic headaches, fatigue and widespread pain. Other symptoms can include persistent digestive problems, respiratory symptoms and skin rashes.

Why Can't We Just Stop Drinking Bottled Water!
Human beings are basically a watertight envelope filled with fluid and a few bony bits. We need water. Plus, it's great for your skin. But the main reason the bottled water industry has exploded over the last decade isn't because tap water is unsafe. It's because, with the market for soft drinks basically flat, beverage manufacturers needed a new growth industry. They piggy-backed the chic of bottled water sold in restaurants in places like Europe (where the quality of tap water can sometimes be iffy) onto health worries of all kinds and mounted large advertising campaigns, complete with pictures of snow-capped mountains, pristine streams, and healing mineral springs. And we bought it. Big time.

Statement of former Governor William G. Milliken On Conservation of Michigan Wetlands
As the Governor and Michigan Legislature review the status and determine the future of Michigan’s Wetland Protection Act, I would like to urge them to take the long view of what is best for the state and its natural resources. I am proud to have signed the Wetland Protection Act into law in 1979. Enacted with bipartisan support, the law has protected large amounts of valuable wetland resources from alteration and destruction. Estimated annual losses of wetlands covered by the law have slowed from thousands of acres per year to a few hundred. Where alteration or destruction of wetlands has occurred, the law has required the creation of wetlands and the permanent protection of existing undeveloped wetlands.

Mood changing drugs affecting fish
When you're sick, you might take medications to help you fight off infection, lower a fever or clear a stuffy nose. But once those drugs leave your body, chances are they will find their way into nearby lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Drugs end up in a body of water because you excrete them in urine. When you flush a toilet, the wastewater travels to a treatment plant. There, bacteria and other material are filtered out and the cleaned water is returned to natural bodies of water. The trouble is, wastewater treatment plants don't filter out drugs. Some people even flush unused drugs down the toilet, only adding to the problem.

High Court Case Tests Power Plants' Water Rules
The U.S. Supreme Court hears an important environmental case Tuesday, testing whether utilities must use the best technology available to minimize harm to the nation's waterways. At issue is the physical impact on fish and the financial impact on companies. The states point out that the utility plants sit on state lakes and rivers and use their water for free. In Rhode Island, for example, the Brayton utility plant takes in a billion gallons of water a day, killing every living thing in the water, says state Assistant Attorney General Tricia Jedele. Environmental lawyer Reid Super adds that utility plants are enormously profitable. "The company never said it couldn't afford it," Super says. "They just said they didn't want to do it."

Wanted: A Climate Bailout
What a difference an emergency makes. Scare people enough and $700 billion can materialize almost overnight. The White House can repudiate its core economic philosophy--government should leave markets alone--within hours. Congress, where spending bills sometimes wait years to reach the floor, can pass one of the costliest laws in its history within days. Even the endlessly fickle media can provide 24/7 news coverage, making the emergency the topic on everyone's mind. When will we see this same sense of urgency devoted to the greatest emergency of our time? You wouldn't know it from our politicians or TV shows, but the climate crisis is even more serious than the financial crisis. The financial crisis, while painful and severe, can be resolved, given time and wise policies. The climate crisis, not so. The earth's climate system has tipping points beyond which no return is possible. Yet there is a very real danger right now that sliding oil prices will lull the public into an even deeper complacency.

Manufacturing Thirst: The Hidden Water Costs of Our Industrial Economy
The rampant waste of freshwater for general public use -- lawn watering, the creation of suburban fake lakes, excessive bathing and household washing -- has been well documented, as has the politically charged use of water in US agriculture. But the use and abuse of water in various parts of the global industrial economy is often overlooked. From the mining of raw materials for manufacturing to energy production, to the manufacturing process itself, the US industrial economy uses a significant amount of water every year. Exact numbers for the amount of water used outside of agriculture or home consumption are difficult to come by. The US Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that industry uses about five percent of all the water in the US, but does not include mining or electricity generation in that figure. A report from Dow Chemical puts the figure much higher, at around 20 percent. And perhaps more importantly, neither number takes into account the volume of water pollution that occurs in the course of industrial processes.

Two Greenhouse Gases on the Rise - Scientists are Concerned
The gases are methane and nitrogen trifluoride. Both pale in comparison to the global warming effects of carbon dioxide, produced by the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels. In the past couple of years, however, these other two gases have been on the rise, according to two new studies. The increase is not accounted for in predictions for future global warming and comes as a nasty surprise to climate watchers. Methane is by far the bigger worry. It is considered the No. 2 greenhouse gas based on the amount of warming it causes and the amount in the atmosphere. The total effect of methane on global warming is about one-third that of man-made carbon dioxide.

Why Can't We Just Stop Drinking Bottled Water!
Human beings are basically a watertight envelope filled with fluid and a few bony bits. We need water. Plus, it's great for your skin. But the main reason the bottled water industry has exploded over the last decade isn't because tap water is unsafe. It's because, with the market for soft drinks basically flat, beverage manufacturers needed a new growth industry. They piggy-backed the chic of bottled water sold in restaurants in places like Europe (where the quality of tap water can sometimes be iffy) onto health worries of all kinds and mounted large advertising campaigns, complete with pictures of snow-capped mountains, pristine streams, and healing mineral springs. And we bought it. Big time. So what's wrong with us? It's not as safe, it's bad for our planet and it's clearly more expensive. It's just become a nation wide nasty habit. So let's all start today and SAY NO to bottled water. Done. Finished. Never again.

Bottled Water
It’s not a great time to be in the bottled-water business. More companies and consumers are turning back to using tap water and filters. Environmental groups have gone on the offensive against those millions of used plastic bottles. On top of all this, a new report today finds a “surprising array of chemical contaminants” in 10 brands of bottled water, including byproducts of chlorination, small amounts of caffeine and acetaminophen, and fertilizer residue. The report, by the Environmental Working Group, a public-health watchdog organization based in Washington, said that contaminant levels in some water samples exceeded the industry’s own voluntary standards. Further, the group said, levels of contaminants found in bottles of Sam’s Choice water — a Wal-Mart brand — that were purchased in California exceeded that state’s standards.

Michigan Leads America’s Dirty Power Grab
Clean-energy innovation is the greatest economic opportunity to come Michigan's way since the invention of the Model T assembly line. Yet, in Michigan, energy companies are headed the other way. They have proposed no less than seven new coal-fired power plants for the state—more than for any other in the nation—and that, clean-energy entrepreneurs say, will make it more difficult for Michigan to “go green.” Yet, across the country, other states are using innovative policies to attract companies that develop, manufacture, and deploy wind turbines, solar panels, other renewable power sources—and new technologies that blend green electricity into a solid clean-energy supply.

Smoke and Mirrors
Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information from a corporation or organization to the public. Often time lobby and other special interest groups and will employ Public Relations firms to influence government policy, corporate policy, or public opinion. In public relations, “spin” is sometimes a pejorative term signifying a heavily biased portrayal in one's own favor of an event or situation. While traditional public relations may also rely on “creative” presentation of the facts, "spin" often implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics. The techniques of "spin" include Selectively presenting facts and quotes that support one's position (cherry picking), the so-called "non-denial denial," phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truths, euphemisms for drawing attention away from items considered distasteful, and ambiguity in public statement (promising the world, but offering no details or substance). I believe this to be the situation with the new web site MichiganJobsAndEnergy.org

No to Coal
One-hundred -plus coal-fired power plants are currently proposed to be built. If even a small portion of these plants are constructed the global warming pollution pumped into our air will make all our other efforts to reverse climate change irrelevant. Michigan is the nation’s 14th-windiest state, yet special interests in Michigan want us to embrace 19th-century energy. Coal plants are the dirtiest, most regressive source of energy possible - poisoning our communities and environment.

Bottled Water Toxicity Shown To Exceed Law
Bottled water brands do not always maintain the consistency of quality touted in ads featuring alpine peaks and crystalline lakes and, in some cases, contain toxic byproducts that exceed state safety standards, tests show. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization with offices in Oakland, tested 10 brands of bottled water and found that Wal-Mart's Sam's Choice contained chemical levels that exceeded legal limits in California and the voluntary standards adopted by the industry. The tests discovered an average of eight contaminants in each brand. Four brands besides Wal-Mart's also were contaminated with bacteria. The environmental group filed a notice of intent to sue Wal-Mart Tuesday, alleging that the mega-chain failed to warn the public of illegal concentrations of trihalomethanes, which are cancer-causing chemicals.

The Bottled Water Industry: When It Pours, It Reigns
Hey, all you sewer-clogging, turtle-choking, shrub-smothering plastic bags, go jump in a lake! Or an ocean — where you can be reunited with the rest of your baggy brethren in that swirling vortex of cast-off plastic we call The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We’re just not that into putting things into you, anymore. Now, if we could only stigmatize your rigid, landfill-lovin’ cousin, the plastic water bottle. Because whereas you, my crinkly little symbol of fossil-fueled folly, are destined for history’s trash heap (where you will defiantly, proudly, refuse to decompose), bottled water is still socially acceptable, despite the fact that it threatens to poison the very wellspring of our democracy. Think that’s some kinda Kunstleresque hyperbole? Consider what Lyndon B. Johnson said forty years ago: A nation that fails to plan intelligently for the development and protection of its precious waters will be condemned to wither because of its shortsightedness.

The time to stand up for Michigan's waters is now.
The State Senate just narrowly passed legislation that would allow up to 25% of some of our precious lakes and rivers to be open for withdrawal! Yes, you heard me right, up to 25% of some of our best waterways. If that wasn't bad enough, the Senate allowed provisions that undermine public control over our water. Without strong laws that support public control of the Great Lakes, our state is vulnerable to corporations and special interests that seek to export and misuse our water. The State House can fix this, but they need to hear from you, not just corporate special interests. Take action now - http://michiganwaternotforsale.com Tell your State Representative to reject the Senate proposal (SB 860). Instead they should pass tough new laws that protect our Great Lakes and inland waters for generations to come by strengthening public control. Tell them to reject a special interest driven proposal that would allow up to 25% of some of Michigan's water to be open for withdrawal.

What To Do When There Are Too Many of Us
All historical eras are shaped by the material and environmental realities of their time. Our own reflects the adjustments society and nature have made to accommodate the unprecedented 6.7 billion human beings now alive. And those changes are dramatic. The planet is warming dangerously as a result of the heat-trapping byproducts of our daily lives. Half of the primeval forests that existed at the end of the last ice age are gone. A mist of mercury and other toxic metals from coal combustion falls continuously on land and ocean, and to eat fish is to absorb these metals yourself. Half of us are now urban, rarely if ever meeting up with creatures wilder than crows, cockroaches, and, in some cities, packs of feral dogs. And this is just where we are today, while the beat of growth goes on.

Water Scarcity: The Real Food Crisis
June 9, 2008. In the discussion of the global food emergency, one underlying factor is barely mentioned: The world is running out of freshwater. Climate change, overconsumption and the alarmingly inefficient use of this most basic raw material are all to blame. I wrote a book three years ago titled When The Rivers Run Dry. It probed why the Yellow River in China, the Rio Grande and Colorado in the United States, the Nile in Egypt, the Indus in Pakistan, the Amu Darya in Central Asia, and many others are all running on empty. The confident blue lines in a million atlases simply do not tell the truth about rivers sucked dry, for the most part, to irrigate food crops.

Freshwater fish species in peril
About four out of 10 freshwater fish species in North America are in peril, according to a major study by U.S., Canadian and Mexican scientists. One biologist called it "silent extinctions" because few people notice the dramatic dwindling of certain populations deep in American lakes, rivers and streams. And while they are unaware, people are the chief cause of the problem by polluting and damming freshwater habitats, experts said. In the Great Lakes, four native species are extinct, three are possibly extinct, two species are threatened and eight are vulnerable, according to the study. The extinct species include the Arctic grayling, blue pike, harelip sucker and deepwater cisco.

Will the Great Lakes become a nuclear dump?
We must join together and make our voices heard. The Canadian government plans to build a dump site right on the shores of Lake Huron to store radioactive waste from 20 nuclear plants for hundreds of years. As if that wasn't bad enough: Oil company Shell Canada wants to build a giant refinery along five miles of the St. Clair River that will process 250,000 barrels of heavy crude oil daily - and put one of our most important waterways at risk. Canada is already treating Michigan like a dumping ground, sending millions of tons of their garbage each year to our communities. Now, it wants to give us more mercury, more sulfur dioxide, more CO2 emissions, more overall pollution and radioactive waste that will put our citizens at risk for hundreds of years. Lake Huron and the St. Clair River provide drinking water to millions of Michigan citizens. They are an important waterway that carries trade and commerce on the Great Lakes, creating jobs and opportunity in Michigan. Putting a dangerous nuclear dump and a highly polluting oil refinery along these bodies of water threatens our health and quality of life. The nuclear waste site and the oil refinery pose a real danger to our families today and for generations to come.

Frightening Food for Thought
You may know Monsanto for its role in those old chestnuts PCB, dioxin and Agent Orange, poisons so pervasive and so stubborn they have spread their toxic stain from pole to pole. But did you know the 100-year-old company is a major player in the GMO revolution? Under the plausible guise of eradicating world hunger with genetically modified seeds resistant to Round-Up, a best-selling herbicide it also developed, Monsanto has launched an insidious campaign to achieve worldwide market supremacy, regardless of the social cost to small farmers and rural economies.

Are We Doomed? Why Civilizations Like Ours Fall (audio)
The Bryant Park Project via National Public Radio (NPR) Are we doomed? Debora MacKenzie, the author of a recent New Scientist cover story, says our survival depends on how connected we are to each other. "A civilization is a system whereby people get what they need. They get the basics of life - food, water, shelter, civil order, and some kind of satisfaction," she argues. "When they fall is when they can no longer meet their people's basic needs using the mechanisms that have evolved.

Our Obsession with Dieting Boosts the Economy But Destroys the Earth
Our obsession with dieting, including the low-carb Atkins fad, may be good for our economy but it's a nightmare for the environment and our health. All weight-loss products and services create a bigger burden than do those old-fashioned, well-proven measures that will be recommended by any nutritionist who isn't trying to sell you something: eating less, eating out rarely, cooking with food in its least-processed form, limiting consumption of animal products, drinking mainly water, avoiding between-meal snacks, and, whenever possible, walking, running or cycling instead of driving. To have all overweight people follow that and other prosaic advice for good health would avert conflict between humans and other animals; it would emphasize our reliance on natural systems; it would be more affordable for everyone regardless of income.

Compounds from Household Products Found in Human Blood
Evidence is piling up that emissions from the production of synthetic compounds in non-stick cookware, cleaning products, and a host of other common products may cause cancer and other health problems.

Lab animals fed irradiated food have developed illnesses from cancer to immune system failure. So why is the government pushing the same food on you? Foodborne illness, largely the result of industrialized food production, has sown panic both here and abroad. Once-harmless bacteria are mutating into deadly strains that medicine can't keep up with. For instance, E. coli, a common bacteria in feces mutated into a the deadly 0157:H7 strain, which has killed hundreds of people. Yet very few industry and government leaders are interested in fundamental, long-overdue reforms of the food safety and inspection system that would address this issue.

Is Your Shower Curtain Killing You?
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shower curtains are sold across the United States in well known retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Sears/Kmart, Macy's, and Bed Bath & Beyond to name a few. What many consumers do not know is that their rubber ducky shower curtain could be off-gassing more than 100 different kinds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; loss of coordination; nausea; and damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Some VOCs have been known to cause cancer in humans.

A new approach for the age of $4 gasoline
Recognizing the deeper, structural issues at work, a growing number of planners and policy analysts are seeking to prepare for the future with a fundamental overhaul of the nation's systems of transportation and of land and energy use. Those systems were built on the premise that fossil fuels would serve as a cheap, abundant, and environmentally benign source of energy into the indefinite future. Demand for oil is outpacing supply, escalating prices to $140 a barrel and more. At the same time, the emerging consensus on global climate change - both presidential candidates support a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - will inevitably reinforce the trend of higher energy costs until the transition from overreliance on fossil fuels is achieved. There is no better moment to launch a major redirection of US policy

The Cure That Kills
When the side effects of medications are worse than the ailments they're prescribed for. When, near the end of one of those ask-your-doctor commercials, a fast-talking disembodied voice reads off a drug's side effects, usually over a scene involving fields of waving grass and a puppy dog, it tends to sound like a lot of nasty stuff that's going to happen to someone else. But while reading and writing about the pharmaceutical industry over the past couple of years, I started wondering about what life is like for the real people who do experience those side effects.

Why We Face Both Food and Water Crises
The world renown activist reminds people that corporation-friendly economic schemes got us into this mess in the first place. Never has there been this rate of escalation in food prices worldwide as we witness now with the global integration of the food economies under the coercive and bullying force of the WTO.

Climate Destruction Will Produce Millions of 'Envirogees'
Chew on this word, jargon lovers. Envirogee. It carries more 21st century buzz than its semi-official designation climate refugee, which is a displaced individual who has been forced to migrate because of environmental devastation. Maybe the buzzword will catch on faster and shed some much-needed light on what will become a serious problem, probably by the end of this or the next decade. In short, immigration is about to enter a new phase, which resembles an old one with a 21st century twist. For thousands of years, humanity has fled across Earth's surface fearing instability and in search of sustainability. But that resource war has kicked into overdrive thanks to our current climate crisis -- a manufactured war with its own clock. And the clock is ticking.

GM Foods the Problem, Not The Solution
BONN - The food crisis has prompted some looks towards genetically modified food production as a solution. That in turn has led to stronger warnings over the consequences of such food for health and the environment. These concerns have been raised again as more than 3,000 delegates from 147 countries met for the UN conference on biosafety. The conference has sought to ensure safe use of modern biotechnology. Feeding the debate, scientists, farmers and environmental activists in many countries continue to warn that genetically modified agriculture presents a risk, and not a contribution, to food production.

How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It
The outrageous success of bottled water, in a country where more than 89 percent of tap water meets or exceeds federal health and safety regulations, regularly wins in blind taste tests against name-brand waters, and costs 240 to 10,000 times less than bottled water, is an unparalleled social phenomenon, one of the greatest marketing coups of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But why did the marketing work? Today, kids like having their hands on a personal water bottle, but they have no interest in washing that bottle out, to be reused another day, or otherwise taking responsibility for their waste.

House passes defective farm bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is joined by Rep. Rahm Emanuel... (05-15) 04:00 PDT Washington - -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi marshaled a 318-vote, veto-proof majority to pass a $290 billion farm bill that will lock in the nation's food policy for five years while granting $3 billion in first-ever money to support California fruits and vegetables. Even Bush criticized the payouts to wealthy farmers when consumers are paying higher food prices.

How Lethally Stupid Can One Country Be?
Watching George W. Bush in operation these last couple of weeks is like having an out-of-body experience. On acid. During a nightmare. In a different galaxy. As he presides over the latest disaster of his administration (No, it's not a terrorist attack -- that was 2001! No, it's not a catastrophic war -- that was 2003! No, it's not a drowning city -- that was 2005! This one is an economic meltdown ... But let's give credit where credit is due. This is precisely by design. This is exactly the outcome intended by the greatest propaganda-promulgating regime since Hermann Göring set fire to the Reichstag. It was Göring himself who famously reminded us that, "Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Sure worked in Germany. And it worked even better here...

Oil Rules!
It's strange that the business and geopolitics of energy takes up so little space on American front pages -- or that we could conduct an oil war in Iraq with hardly a mention of the words "oil" and "war" in the same paragraph in those same papers over the years. Strange indeed. And yet, oil rules our world and energy lies behind so many of the headlines that might seem to be about other matters entirely. Take the food riots now spreading across the planet because the prices of staples are soaring, while stocks of basics are falling. In the last year, wheat (think flour) has risen by 130%, rice by 74%, soya by 87%, and corn by 31%, while there are now only eight to 12 weeks of cereal stocks left globally. Governments across the planetary map are shuddering.

Billionaire oilman backs wind power
Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens is sinking billions of dollars into a new wind farm in Texas. It is likely to become the biggest in the world, producing enough power for the equivalent of 1.3 million homes. CNN's Ali Velshi asked the oil legend why he thinks wind could be the answer to this country's energy problems. But we are going to have to do something different in America. You can't keep paying out $600 billion a year for oil.

Boycott Kellogg's Take Action!
Organic Consumers Association and allies sent a letter to Kellogg's, requesting that Kellogg's not use sugar from genetically engineered sugar beets in its products or face a consumer boycott.

Ecological Collapse: Failing Ecosystems the Mother of All Bubbles
The converging mortgage, financial, food, fuel and climate crises are all symptoms of a massive global ecological bubble --- Ecological overshoot whereby humanity exceeds the Earth's carrying capacity is the mother of all "bubbles". Within the current sub-prime mortgage and financial bubbles, and food and energy price increases, we are witnessing the logical and inevitable economic consequences of over-population, resource scarcity, inequitable and unreasonable consumption, and unsustainable economic growth. Growth and livelihoods based upon unreasonable presumptions of continued resource outputs from dwindling ecosystems are a dangerous, unprecedented "ecological bubble" that threatens civilization and mass apocalyptic death.

Dusk on planet Earth
There's a number -- a new number -- that makes this point most powerfully. It may now be the most important number on Earth: 350. As in parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It's like the doctor telling you that your cholesterol is way too high and, if you don't bring it down right away, you're going to have a stroke. So you take the pill, you swear off the cheese, and, if you're lucky, you get back into the safety zone before the coronary. It's like watching the tachometer edge into the red zone and knowing that you need to take your foot off the gas before you hear that clunk up front. In this case, though, it's worse than that because we're not taking the pill and we are stomping on the gas -- hard. Instead of slowing down, we're pouring on the coal, quite literally. Two weeks ago came the news that atmospheric carbon dioxide had jumped 2.4 parts per million last year -- two decades ago, it was going up barely half that fast. And suddenly, the news arrives that the amount of methane, another potent greenhouse gas, accumulating in the atmosphere, has unexpectedly begun to soar as well. Apparently, we've managed to warm the far north enough to start melting huge patches of permafrost and massive quantities of methane trapped beneath it have begun to bubble forth. And don't forget: China is building more power plants; India is pioneering the $2,500 car, and Americans are converting to TVs the size of windshields which suck juice ever faster.

America Out of Gas
These days, the price of oil seems ever on the rise. A barrel of crude broke another barrier Wednesday -- $123 -- on international markets, and the talk is now of the sort of "superspike" in pricing (only yesterday unimaginable) that might break the $200 a barrel ceiling "within two years." And that would be without a full-scale American air assault on Iran, after which all bets would be off. Considering that, in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, oil was still in the $20 a barrel price range, this is no small measure of what the Bush administration years have really accomplished. Today, it's hard even to remember not 9/11, but 11/9 -- November 9, 1989 -- the day that the Berlin Wall fell, signaling that, soon enough, after its seventy-odd year life, that Reaganesque Evil Empire, the Soviet Union, was heading for the door. In 1991, it disappeared from the face of the Earth without a whimper. Until almost the last moment, top officials in Washington assumed it would go on forever; and, when it was gone, most of them couldn't, at first, believe it. Soon enough, however, the event was hailed as the greatest of American triumphs -- "victory" not just in the Cold War, but at a level never before seen. Finally, for the first time in history, there was but a single superpower on the planet. At the dawn of a new century, the administration of George Bush the younger, packed with implacable former Cold Warriors, came to power still infused with that sense of global triumphalism and planning to rollback what was left of the old Soviet Union, an impoverished Russia, into an early grave.

Blanchard, Milliken: Protect the water
TRAVERSE CITY -- Two former governors -- Republican William Milliken and Democrat James Blanchard -- prodded legislators Thursday to prevent large-scale uses of Michigan water that would not be in the public interest.

It's National Drinking Water Week
From May 4-10—Communities across North America will celebrate all those things that "Only Tap Water Delivers" during Drinking Water 2008. Drinking Water Week provides a natural opportunity for all of us to pause and consider the immeasurabl value that a safe, reliable water supply plays in our daily lives. We have some of the highest quality water in the world and this week we can all celebrate that achievement and also remind ourselves not to take it for granted.

Is Organic Food Really Healthier?
The U.S. government's food policy suggests an apple is an apple, regardless of how it was grown. Scientific data suggests otherwise.

Grains Gone Wild
Over the past few years the prices of wheat, corn, rice and other basic foodstuffs have doubled or tripled, with much of the increase taking place just in the last few months. High food prices dismay even relatively well-off Americans — but they’re truly devastating in poor countries, where food often accounts for more than half a family’s spending.

Beach Cleanup Tally: 6 Million Pounds of Trash
Last September, the Ocean Conservancy sponsored a worldwide beach cleanup effort. This week it released its findings: 6 million pounds of garbage was cleared from beaches in a single day. The biggest single source of debris was from smoking materials.

The Hidden Battle to Control the World's Food Supply
The rise in global food prices has sparked a number of protests in recent weeks, highlighting the worsening epidemic of global hunger. The World Bank estimates world food prices have risen 80 percent over the last three years and that at least thirty-three countries face social unrest as a result. Several causes factor into the global food price hike, many linked to human activity. These include human-driven climate change, the soaring cost of oil and a Western-led focus on biofuels that critics say turns food into fuel.

Amid the debate, energy gets cleaner
Forget the arguments over whether global warming is real. Many American businesses and researchers are well past all that and are scrambling to find ways to make money in a world that must slash its use of fossil fuels. Energy entrepreneurs have sparked an energy revolution that's just starting in the United States but already producing new ideas, more jobs and growing exports. "You have a cavalcade of human intellect springing forth just when we need it," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., a co-author of "Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy." "The ice is melting in the North Pole, but the ice also is melting to resistance to progress here in this country," he said. "It's a race to figure out who will win, and I'm betting on our grandkids." But for renewable energy to really take off, the federal government will have to end subsidies for fossil fuels, put a limit on greenhouse-gas emissions and charge for putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

Fight Global Warming in Michigan
It is time for Governor Granholm to declare CO2 emissions a global warming pollutant. While the Governor has already called on the legislature to stop the advance of global warming, including a strong proposed renewable energy standard requiring Michigan produce at least 25% of our electricity from non-polluting, renewable sources by 2025 and recruitment of renewable energy manufacturing jobs to Michigan it is time for action. Join me by signing a petition that will be sent to the Governor to declare carbon dioxide a global warming pollutant at http://progressmichigan.org/page/s/globalwarming

Amid the debate, energy gets cleaner
Forget the arguments over whether global warming is real. Many American businesses and researchers are well past all that and are scrambling to find ways to make money in a world that must slash its use of fossil fuels. Energy entrepreneurs have sparked an energy revolution that's just starting in the United States but already producing new ideas, more jobs and growing exports. "You have a cavalcade of human intellect springing forth just when we need it," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., a co-author of "Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy." "The ice is melting in the North Pole, but the ice also is melting to resistance to progress here in this country," he said. "It's a race to figure out who will win, and I'm betting on our grandkids." But for renewable energy to really take off, the federal government will have to end subsidies for fossil fuels, put a limit on greenhouse-gas emissions and charge for putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

Fight Global Warming in Michigan
It is time for Governor Granholm to declare CO2 emissions a global warming pollutant. While the Governor has already called on the legislature to stop the advance of global warming, including a strong proposed renewable energy standard requiring Michigan produce at least 25% of our electricity from non-polluting, renewable sources by 2025 and recruitment of renewable energy manufacturing jobs to Michigan it is time for action. Join me by signing a petition that will be sent to the Governor to declare carbon dioxide a global warming pollutant at http://progressmichigan.org/page/s/globalwarming

Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation
While we've now become accustomed to the barrage of prescription drug commercials on prime-time TV, it's jarring to learn that this advertising is legal only in the United States and New Zealand. The pharmaceutical industry doesn't just target Americans directly, but also spends roughly $25,000 per physician per year. With the aid of information from data mining companies, a pharmaceutical representative knows exactly how many prescriptions for what medication a doctor has written, allowing the industry to individually target them.

Homeowner Associations Ban Eco-Friendly Practices
Homeowner association regulations often make environmental responsibility impossible by outlawing clotheslines, solar panels -- even gardens.

Europe Turns Back to Coal, Raising Climate Fears
At a time when the world’s top climate experts agree that carbon emissions must be rapidly reduced to hold down global warming, Italy’s major electricity producer, Enel, is converting its massive power plant here from oil to coal, generally the dirtiest fuel on earth. In the United States, fewer new coal plants are likely to begin operations because it is becoming harder to get regulatory permits. Of 151 proposals in early 2007, more than 60 had been dropped by the year’s end, many blocked by state governments. Dozens of other are stuck in court challenges.

Environmental Groups Slam G8 Leaders for Not Doing More on Global Warming
In Japan, world leaders at the G8 summit have announced they would work toward cutting carbon emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050. The White House hailed the declaration as a major step forward, but environmental campaigners criticized the lack of a commitment to midterm targets. Global warming ties into other big themes, such as soaring food and fuel prices, being discussed at the three-day summit. We go to Hokkaido to speak with Walden Bello of Focus on the Global South.

Senate passes genetic discrimination bill
The Senate unanimously passed landmark legislation today that would outlaw discrimination by health insurance companies and employers because a person's genes raise their risk of breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease or any ailment that has a hereditary component. The vote on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act - or GINA - was 95-0.

A message to our grandchildren by Steward and Lee Udall
Arizona native Stewart Udall was perhaps the most influential secretary of Interior ever. He served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations from 1961 to 1969, and played a part in some of the nation’s landmark environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Wilderness Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. Americans must finally cast aside our notion that we can continue the wasteful consumption patterns of our past. We must promote a consciousness attuned to a frugal, highly efficient mode of living. In closing, I leave you with these thoughts, and hope you will hold to these ideals throughout your lives: Foster a consciousness that puts a premium on the common good and the protection of the environment. Give your unstinting support to all lasting, fruitful technological innovations. Be steadfast enemies of waste. The lifetime crusade of your days must be to develop a new energy ethic to sustain life on earth.

Bush Administration Policy of Compulsory Ignorance
Today we are facing a full-fledged national crisis over the role of scientific information in public policy-making. It's a subtle crisis in some ways, often obscured by the complexities of scientific disputation. But it is a crisis nonetheless, one that threatens every one of us because it affects not only public health and the environment, but the way we treat knowledge itself in American society. Daniel Marsula, Post-Gazette Click illustration for larger version. Chris Mooney is the author of "The Republican War on Science," published this month by Basic Books. He is Washington correspondent for Seed Magazine. The crisis is a direct consequence of continuing, and well-documented, misuses and distortions of scientific information by the Bush administration, on issues ranging from global climate change to embryonic stem-cell research. The extensiveness of the administration's abuses, combined with the fact that it refuses to acknowledge or apologize for its offenses, leaves us with a deep conundrum.

This Is Not Your Grandma's Arts & Crafts
To casual observers it may look like adults making toys and keeping them, but embroidery hoops and homemade clothes are officially cool.

Pickens Eyes Pipelines in Drought-Ridden U.S.
Pickens is in the planning stages of a $1.5 billion initiative to pump billions of gallons of water from an ancient aquifer beneath the Texas Panhandle and build pipelines to ship them to thirsty cities such as Dallas.A drought has drained water from Texas and much of the rest of the United States. That could make water an increasingly profitable commodity for those who hold the rights. According to his Web site, Pickens owns rights to more water than anyone else. "In general, there's a lot of it, it's just not in the right place," says Robert Stillwell, legal counsel for Mesa Water (and board member of the water supply district), which continues to acquire water rights in rural Texas. He dismisses questions about whether the water would be cost-competitive. For cities looking at their future water needs, he says, "cost becomes irrelevant." As far as Mesa's pipeline snaking across the Texas heartland, Stillwell insists that "it's going to happen, it's just a matter of when." [Editor: Pickens has also been seen expressing an interest in the water of the Great Lakes region.]

Women More Likely To Regret Tattoos and Seek to Remove Them
According to a report in the July issue of Archives of Dermatology more women than men visit dermatology clinics for tattoo removal and maybe motivated by the social stigma associated with tattoos and negative comments by others. The main reasons listed for seeking tattoo removal included just deciding to remove it (58 percent), suffering embarrassment (57 percent), lowering of body image (38 percent), getting a new job or career (38 percent), having problems with clothes (37 percent), experiencing stigma (25 percent) or marking an occasion, such as a birthday, marriage or newly found independence (21 percent). 2006 survey also found that participants were more likely to be women (69 percent vs. 31 percent men) who were white, single, college-educated and between the ages of 24 and 39.

Tattoos Often Have Hidden Health Consequences
Everyone knows that non-sterile tattoo needles can lead to AIDS and hepatitis. However, according to research by Ronald Petruso, lecturer of chemistry at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA, there are other, overlooked, risks of getting a tattoo. At Northern Arizona, Ingram has found traces of lead in tattoo pigments. Meanwhile, at Delaware Valley, Petruso with the help of two students found carcinogenic substances in a common tattoo pigment.

Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Weight Gain
Want to lose weight? It might help to pour that diet soft drink down the drain. A study appearing in the February issue of Behavioral Neuroscience cites laboratory evidence that the widespread use of no-calorie sweeteners may actually make it harder for people to control their intake and body weight. Authors Susan Swithers, PhD, and Terry Davidson, PhD, theorize that by breaking the connection between a sweet sensation and high-calorie food, the use of saccharin changes the body’s ability to regulate intake. That change depends on experience. Their findings match emerging evidence that people who drink more diet drinks are at higher risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome, a collection of medical problems such as abdominal fat, high blood pressure and insulin resistance that put people at risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Do you use too much water? Find out
If we are to stay within the bounds of our planet's resources, we need to consider much more than just carbon. A next step is water. Many of us in the developed world rarely give it a thought. We turn on our drinking and shower taps, and clean water comes out. We flush our toilets and magically, the waste disappears. We turn on our sprinklers and green lawns abound. We run our dishwaters and washing machines and fill up our pools and hot tubs, often without thought. As our climate crisis becomes a part of daily consciousness, our energy future will need to match our water future. The two are inextricably linked.

The Growing Battle for the Right to Water
From Chile to the Philippines to South Africa to her home country of Canada, Maude Barlow is one of a few people who truly understands the scope of the world's water woes. Her newest book, Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, details her discoveries around the globe about our diminishing water resources, the increasing privatization trend and the grassroots groups that are fighting back against corporate theft, government mismanagement and a changing climate.

Bidding for Deadly Biohazards
What would it take to convince you that your town should play host to the world's most feared human and animal pathogens? Believe it or not, five states are locked in fierce competition over a proposed bioterror lab that would have them doing just that. Every potential location for the bioterror facility lies close to large human and animal populations.

Chemical in Plastic Poses Risk to Humans and Other Living Things
The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, concluded that there was "concern" that fetuses, babies and children were in danger because bisphenol A, or BPA, harmed animals at low levels found in nearly all human bodies. An ingredient of polycarbonate plastic, BPA is one of the most widely used synthetic chemicals in industry today. It can seep from hard plastic beverage containers such as baby bottles, as well as from liners in cans containing food and infant formula. Some scientists suspect that exposure early in life disrupts hormones and alters genes, programming a fetus or child for breast or prostate cancer, premature female puberty, attention deficit disorders and other reproductive or neurological disorders.

Private RU-486 Confounds Anti-Abortionists
Don't look now, but the front lines of the abortion battle are shifting. Thanks to advances in medical technology and the introduction of the drug mifepristone (aka RU 486), which gives women the option of having safe, early abortions in private locations instead of public clinics, the raving crazies who tape pictures of bloody fetuses to their bodies, stalk Planned Parenthood and howl "murder" at anyone who walks through its doors, may suddenly find themselves all dressed up with nowhere to go -- and no one to terrorize. If Islamic Jihadists had done even a tenth this much damage, every last Muslim in America would be doing stress-position calisthenics in a concentration camp somewhere in the Nevada desert right now. But since this impressive achievement in domestic terrorism was almost entirely accomplished by white Christian men -- well, y'see, it's Not Terrorism when we do it -- the public has barely batted an eye.

Intern/ Field Producer Wanted to produce environmental film
Part-time and Internship positions for Environmental Documentary. A documentary feature film production is seeking a part time researcher/field-producer and research and editing interns for a documentary about the state of the planet. No film experience necessary but must be a quick study and willing to question everything. This is a rare opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a feature film being produced primarily in Michigan.Work from home and/or at our office. Please email jeffgibbstc@gmail.com for more information or call 231-668-1130.

The Bush War on Science
The Republican War on Science
The Intersection
Bush Abuse of Science

What the Government Doesn't Want You to Know About Global Climate Change
Famed NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen tells the depressing story of government censorship of years of impeccable research. Dr. James Hansen is widely regarded as the leading climate scientist in the country. It was his testimony to a Senate committee in 1988 that first brought the threat of global warming to the world's attention. For the past quarter of a century he has headed the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA's premiere climate research center. Just over a year ago, Dr. Hansen went public with a charge that made headlines around the world, that the Bush administration had been trying to silence his warnings about the urgent need to address climate change.

State Law Slows Farm-to-School Progress
TRAVERSE CITY—Earlier this week, the Michigan Land Use Institute hosted a sold-out conference called Farm to School: Healthy Kids, Thriving Farms in our community. More than 300 school administrators, cooks, teachers, parents, and farmers from Northwest Michigan attended. The fact that the Institute had to turn away still more folks who wanted to be there is a testament to intense community interest in bringing our local farmers’ products into our schools’ dining rooms.

Coal Industry Hopes to Sway Public Opinon
A group backed by the coal industry and its utility allies is waging a $35 million campaign in primary and caucus states to rally public support for coal-fired electricity and to fuel opposition to legislation that Congress is crafting to slow climate change. The group, called Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, has spent $1.3 million on billboard, newspaper, television and radio ads in Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina. One of its television ads shows a power cord being plugged into a lump of coal, which it calls "an American resource that will help us with vital energy security" and "the fuel that powers our way of life." The ads note that half of U.S. electricity comes from coal-fired plants. The group has also deployed teams on the campaign trail; about 50 people, many of them paid, walked around as human billboards and handed out leaflets outside Tuesday's Democratic debate in Nevada with questions for voters to ask the candidates.

Court Says EPA Rule Allowing More Power Plant Mercury Is Illegal
EPA violated the law by evading required power plant mercury reductions WASHINGTON, DC - February 8 - A federal appeals court ruled this morning that a rulemaking by the Environmental Protection Agency violates the Clean Air Act by evading mandatory cuts in toxic mercury pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The decision invalidates the agency's so-called "Clean Air Mercury Rule," which would have allowed dangerously high levels of mercury pollution to persist under a weak cap-and-trade program that would not have taken full effect until well beyond 2020.

Great Lakes : Danger Zone
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. Researchers found low birth weights, elevated rates of infant mortality and premature births, and elevated death rates from breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer. The 400-plus-page study, Public Health Implications of Hazardous Substances in the Twenty-Six U.S. Great Lakes Areas of Concern, was undertaken by a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the request of the International Joint Commission, an independent bilateral organization that advises the U.S. and Canadian governments on the use and quality of boundary waters between the two countries.

Stormier Weather
You can bet the house, whatever its current value, that hard times are on the way—more layoffs, fewer new jobs, lower wages, tighter family budgets, more debt, and higher poverty levels. This year will see rising economic hardship even if the U.S. economy scrapes by without sinking into an official recession, usually defined as two straight quarters of declining output. How do I know this? Hard times have been the hallmark of the U.S. economy during this decade, even as the economy expanded. We will be in for more of the same, but worse, as the economy slows and the inevitable downturn in the business cycle exacerbates the economic injuries many people have already sustained thanks to long-term shifts in the U.S. economic system.

Senate Rewards Millionaire Farmers, Again
The U.S. Senate, last week not only caved in to Republicans on the energy bill by jettisoning renewable energy requirements and restoring oil company subsidies, but also caved in to lobbyists on the farm bill by rejecting a proposal to limit subsidies to the richest of the rich. With the Senate's passage of the farm bill, as the Corpus-Christi Caller-Times put it, "Now the way is all but clear for the passage of a $286 billion farm bill that is again loaded with hundreds of millions of dollars for corporations and for millionaire farmers under the guise of helping small family farms stay afloat in tough times."

WHEREAS, Section 1 of Article V of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 vests the executive power of the State of Michigan in the Governor;

Governor Granholm takes on Alternative Energy
W hile the re-election campaign ended over a year ago, Governor Jennifer Granholm finds herself still out on the campaign trail. Term limits will keep her from running again, at least for Governor - and being born in Canada, she is not eligible for the U.S. Presidency - so Granholm finds herself on a different type of campaign trail. Some may view it as a campaign for her gubernatorial legacy while others see it as a Governor who is committed to seeing Michigan get back on the right track. Granholm is campaigning for Michigan to become a leader in the alternative energy industry. She believes that the same ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit that led Michigan to become the one time automotive manufacturing capital of the world exists for it to become a leader in the rapidly growing field of alternative energy.

Combating Climate Change: Farming Out Global Warming Solutions
Forest depletion ultimately contributes more GHG emissions than all the cars and trucks in use worldwide, says Werner Kurz, a forest ecologist with Natural Resources Canada, who was not involved with the study. "What we are doing in these tropical forests is really a massive problem."

Don't Eat Anything That Doesn't Rot
Consumers are getting duped by the food industry, paying the price with their health. Acclaimed author and journalist Michael Pollan argues that what most Americans are consuming today is not food but "edible foodlike substances.

Are your products safe? You can't tell.
Labels often fail to list compounds that can disrupt biological development. Scientists first suspected that endocrine disruptors were wreaking havoc decades ago when they began observing freakish abnormalities in wild animals, particularly along the Great Lakes with its legacy of industrial pollution. They were seeing female gulls nesting together, birds with twisted bills and frogs with severe deformities, including one with an eye growing inside its mouth. Frustrated at the lack of action, a consortium of environmental, patient advocacy and labor groups filed a federal lawsuit, prompting the EPA to promise that screening would begin by the end of 2003. But the agency repeatedly has missed its self-imposed deadlines as well as those set by law.

Retailer Bans Some Plastic Bottles
December 8, 2007 OTTAWA, Dec. 7 — A line of water bottles that had become a symbol of environmental responsibility has been removed from the shelves of Canada’s leading outdoor gear retailer over concerns about a chemical used in its manufacture. Skip to next paragraph Polycarbonate plastic bottles are transparent and almost as hard as glass. The Mountain Equipment Co-op, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, removed the bottles, sold under the brand name Nalgene, and other polycarbonate containers from its 11 large-scale stores on Wednesday. The retailer said that it would not restock the bottles, which are made by Nalge Nunc International in Rochester, a unit of Thermo Fisher Scientific, until Health Canada completed a review of bisphenol-a, or B.P.A., a chemical used to make hard, transparent plastics as well as liners for food cans.

WARNING: The chemical bisphenol A has been known to pose severe health risks to laboratory animals.
It's in baby bottles, soda cans and 93% of us. It causes breast cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes and hyperactivity in lab animals, according to 80% of studies analyzed by the Journal Sentinel. But U.S. regulators side with the chemical-makers and say it's safe. PART 2

Michigan Glow Job
The way the big-money boys see it, nuclear is just too huge an investment risk without the guarantee taxpayers will be there to bail them out if something goes wrong. As environmentalist and author Chip Ward was recently quoted saying, "Wall Street won't invest in nuclear power because it's too risky. ... The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island taught investment bankers how a $2 billion investment can turn into a billion-dollar clean-up in under two hours." Ever since the TMI incident and the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl plant in what was then the Soviet Union, neither the public nor the financiers are all that hot on nukes. But with the support of George "Nukular" Bush, a technology the president can't even pronounce correctly is gaining new traction. Ironically, a power source that could kill millions if there's a serious mishap and that produces lethal radioactive waste for which there is still no safe disposal is being hailed as a green technology that will supposedly help curb the production of greenhouse gasses that are causing the Earth to heat up.

Stop $50 Billion Handout to Nuclear Power!
Act now to stop the nuclear power industry scooping up $50 billion in taxpayer money for new nuclear reactors. That's $25 billion a year for an industry that puts our lives at risk every day.

The Nuclear Power Danger
Nuclear Power Hinders Progress on Climate Change Nuclear power cannot address climate change. Greenhouse gases are emitted throughout the nuclear fuel chain, from the mining of the necessary fuel - uranium - to its enrichment, transportation and the construction of nuclear plants. Nuclear plants take too long to build - up to a dozen years or more. The planet is already in crisis with experts pointing to rapid climate change already underway and less than ten years left to pre-empt disaster. There is no time to wait for nuclear plant construction. Nuclear plants are too expensive - at least $6 billion or more apiece. The planet and its inhabitants need faster, cheaper and safer energy sources without the risks presented by nuclear power: daily exposure to routine releases of radiation; the risk of radiological catastrophe from a serious accident or attack; piles of lethal radioactive waste stored unsafely at reactor sites; and the proliferation dangers and ties to nuclear weapons development. Expansion of nuclear power invites war. This has been most ominously demonstrated by the September 6, 2007 bombing by Israel of a suspected nuclear site in Syria, and the sabre-rattling around Iran's nuclear power program.

The genius doctor who diagnosed Nuke Power's deadly disease
The nuke power industry now wants $50 billion and more in loan guarantees to build new atomic reactors. As it strong-arms Congress, the warnings of the great Dr. John Gofman, who passed away last week at 88, loom ever larger. One of history's most respected and revered medical and nuclear pioneers, Gofman's research showed as early as 1969 that "normal" radioactive reactor emissions could kill 32,000 Americans per year. At the time, Gofman was the chief medical researcher for the Atomic Energy Commission. He told the AEC that reactor emissions must be radically reduced. The AEC demanded he change his findings, then forced him out when he refused.

Michigan House Committee Passes Great Lakes Compact
(Lansing)—The Michigan House of Representatives Great Lakes and Environment Committee today approved legislation ratifying the Great Lakes Compact, taking a crucial first step toward protecting Michigan's water resources from abusive withdrawals and diversions. The multi-state, and a companion multi-nation agreement establishes basic guidelines to prevent Great Lakes water diversions and ensure resource sustainability; the Compact requires each state to pass implementing legislation.

Where do you stand on the water question?
Each day all over the United States people have their water turned off in the ultimate gun-to-the-head move by water authorities to make people who are struggling to make ends meet, face death as an alternative to paying their overdue water bill. While there are countries where carrying water to meet ones needs, in order to sustain life, is commonplace, in the United States it is patently impossible to walk to a nearby water source and collect what is needed for survival. We in the United States have come to rely on pipes carrying water to us. We may or may not have hot, as well as cold water, but overall we generally have water provided by a system of pipes if we live in a city. In the country we may have our own well, and that is entirely aside from the questions I want to raise here. The first question is: Do we agree that water is necessary for life? Is this a clever turn of a capitalistic thumb screw (read faucet handle) in the best interests of compliance? Or is it a technique as ethically questionable as waterboarding? If it's all right to subject a possible terrorist to a near death experience in order to make him or her talk, is it all right to subject an ordinary person who is short of funds -- for all necessities, not just water -- to an experience which will end in death if prolonged?

Great Lakes advocates not pleased with Bush's spending plan
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Map, News) - President Bush's proposed budget would shortchange efforts to clean up the Great Lakes and to keep problems such as sewage overflows and exotic species invasions from getting worse, critics said Wednesday. Federal spending for Great Lakes water quality programs would be slashed 16 percent from this year's total under the president's fiscal 2009 spending plan released this week, advocacy groups said.

Eating Red Meet Linked to Several Forms of Cancer
A new medical study links high consumption of red and processed meats to an increased risk of different forms of cancer. Health experts already knew red meat increased the risk of colon cancer. Now researchers have found an increased risk for a number of other cancers, as well.

How Much of Your Food is Being Nuked Before it Hits the Shelf?
India alone grows 1,000 varieties of mangoes in such delectable variations as the sweet, orange-skinned Alphonso, the Bombay Green and the Bangalora. Here in the U.S., we rarely see more than one lonely variety at the local supermarket, but that’s all about to change. Soon consumers will be able to sample the sweet and tart nectars of many more imported fruits and vegetables from Thailand, India and Mexico piled high in the produce section. But there’s a catch: this fruit will arrive irradiated. Shoppers may not be the wiser.

Spray-On Solar-Power Cells Are True Breakthrough
Scientists have invented a plastic solar cell that can turn the sun's power into electrical energy, even on a cloudy day. The plastic material uses nanotechnology and contains the first solar cells able to harness the sun's invisible, infrared rays. The breakthrough has led theorists to predict that plastic solar cells could one day become five times more efficient than current solar cell technology. Like paint, the composite can be sprayed onto other materials and used as portable electricity. A sweater coated in the material could power a cell phone or other wireless devices. A hydrogen-powered car painted with the film could potentially convert enough energy into electricity to continually recharge the car's battery.

Carbon cuts a must to halt warming-US scientists
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - There is already enough carbon in Earth's atmosphere to ensure that sea levels will rise several feet (meters) in coming decades and summertime ice will vanish from the North Pole, scientists warned on Thursday. To mitigate global warming's worst effects, including severe drought and flooding, people must not only cut current carbon emissions but also remove some carbon that has collected in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, they said. "We're a lot closer to climate tipping points than we thought we were," said James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "If we are to have any chance in avoiding the points of no return, we're going to have to make some changes."

The peak oil crisis: revolt of the teapots
In the last 25 years, China has come a long ways from its old soviet-style command economy to a rather bizarre mixture of traditional Communist centralism and free-wheeling capitalism. This bifurcated system has brought China undreamed of economic success in recent decades, but from time to time, problems turn up. Someday, the unprecedented environmental mess they are busily creating will do them in, but currently Beijing’s major concern is a nationwide fuel shortage. In other times, Chinese waiting in gas lines would be of minimal concern to most Americans so long as enough stuff was still getting through to the WalMart. These are not “other times,” however, and shortages in China may be only weeks or months away from becoming shortages in other places— perhaps even at your favorite gas station. Thus it may be more important than you realize to keep track of gas lines in China for we are living in a globalized world.

Take Action in Michigan to Slow Global Warming Worldwide
Let's make a difference! By signing this petition, we can stop new coal plants from coming to Michigan and polluting our air, lakes and streams. Join me in telling your legislator that coal plants are just dead wrong for Michigan. http://progressmichigan.org/

State Senate Great Lakes ‘protection’ plan would open spigot to drain Michigan’s rivers
A proposed Great Lakes protection package being considered in the State Senate would allow large water users to drain huge percentages of some of Michigan’s finest rivers and streams, according to an analysis by the Great Lakes, Great Michigan coalition. “There’s no way you can take that much water out of a stream and not destroy it. I’m sure there are plenty of people and corporations who’d like to get their hands on the Au Sable’s spring-fed water, but the State Legislature shouldn’t be helping them do it.”

Plastic bag ban goes into effect
As of yesterday, is it now illegal for large grocery stores in the San Francisco to offer their customers plastic bags in which to carry home their purchases. The ordinance, which was passed earlier in the year, will be enforced starting on December 1st.

Biofuels Could Kill More People Than the Iraq War
If the governments promoting biofuels do not reverse their policies, the humanitarian impact will be greater than that of the Iraq war. Even the International Monetary Fund, always ready to immolate the poor on the altar of business, now warns that using food to produce biofuels "might further strain already tight supplies of arable land and water all over the world, thereby pushing food prices up even further."

Opponents vow to fight DEQ approval of UP sulfide mining permit
Community and environmental leaders united today in their opposition to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s issuance of a permit for a dangerous sulfide mine on the Upper Peninsula’s Yellow Dog Plains. Some opponents are now poised to legally challenge the flawed decision that would allow the mine to operate beneath a critical Lake Superior tributary. The nickel mine would generate hundreds of thousands of tons of acid-leaching waste rock from underneath the Salmon Trout River near Marquette, putting the region’s water at risk, including Lake Superior. "We are extremely disappointed that after all the work which went into crafting the law governing non-ferrous mining in Michigan that the DEQ has chosen to simply ignore key components of that law. They’ve granted Kennecott a permit which clearly doesn’t even meet the intent, let alone the letter of the law," stated Anne Woiwode, state director of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.

All Terror, All the Time Is Giving Americans Heart Failure
A new UC Irvine study suggests that the Bush Administration's attempts to intensify fears of terrorism for political gain have significantly contributed to Americans' heart problems. Researchers showed that stress responses to the 9/11 attacks—particularly those that persisted for years afterward—were linked to a 53 percent increase in cardiac ailments. The most common triggers of renewed stress were videos of the attacks in the media (thanks, Rudy!) and—you guessed it—the rise and fall of DHS' terror alert levels. All that politically opportunistic drum-beating has actually made us sick. Perhaps if Americans had universal health insurance, the government would think twice about such callous manipulation.

The 20 Worse Foods in America
To further enlighten you on the prevalence of preposterous portions, we spent months analyzing menus, nutrition labels, and ingredient lists to identify the food industry's worst offenders. Our primary criterion? Sheer caloric impact. After all, it's the top cause of weight gain and the health problems that accompany it. (As you read, keep in mind that 2,500 calories a day is a reasonable intake for the average guy.) We also factored in other key nutritional data, such as excessive carbohydrates and fat, added sugars, trans fats, and sodium. The result is our first annual list of the worst foods in America.

Senate overrides Bush's veto on water projects
November 8, 2007 – As expected, the U.S. Senate today concluded the first-ever override of one of President George W. Bush’s vetoes, easily approving a bill full of water-related projects across the nation with bipartisan support. The vote was 79-14 two days after the House overrode Bush’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes some $23 billion in projects, including many for the Great Lakes region and Michigan.

Climate wars threaten billions
A total of 46 nations and 2.7 billion people are now at high risk of being overwhelmed by armed conflict and war because of climate change. A further 56 countries face political destabilisation, affecting another 1.2 billion individuals. Conflict triggered by climate change is not a vague threat for coming years, he added. 'It is already upon us.'

Michigan leaders push U.S. for fix in St. Clair River
With no natural relief -- like more rain and snow -- on the horizon, three powerful Michigan politicians are prodding federal bureaucrats to dust off decades-old ideas about doing something unnatural to help restore water levels now at near-historic lows on Lakes Huron and Michigan. Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats, and U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, a Macomb County Republican, have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider a quick fix at the head of the St. Clair River to stymie the flow out of Lake Huron and help shippers, boaters and wildlife suffering from low water levels.

Inch by Inch the Great Lakes Shrink
From his office at the port here, Jonathan Daniels stared at a watermark etched on the rocks that hug one of the commercial piers — a thick dark line several inches above the surface of Lake Ontario — and wondered how much lower the water would dip. Water levels in the Great Lakes are falling; Lake Ontario, for example, is about seven inches below where it was a year ago. And for every inch of water that the lakes lose, the ships that ferry bulk materials across them must lighten their loads by 270 tons — or 540,000 pounds — or risk running aground, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association, a trade group for United States-flag cargo companies. As a result, more ships are needed, adding millions of dollars to shipping companies’ operating costs, experts in maritime commerce estimate.

Dueling water bottlers consider Evart
By the time Ice Mountain decides whether Evart is the best spot for its new plant, another privately owned water bottler could be in operation in the same industrial park. The city expects to hear by early next year if it is the winning site for Nestle Waters North America's second Midwest bottling plant for its Ice Mountain brand. Meanwhile, City Council members also are mulling plans by a local trucker, Duane DeWitt, to start a small-scale competing operation.

United Nations: Global Environmental Outlook Report
The United Nations Environment Programme says that major threats to the planet such as climate change, the rate of extinction of species, and the challenge of feeding a growing population are among the many that remain unresolved, and all of them put humanity at risk. The warning comes in UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook: environment for development (GEO-4) report published 20 years after the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission) produced its seminal report, Our Common Future.

What is behind the bee wipeout
The flurry of media attention given this winter's bee losses, now labeled "colony collapse disorder," has updated the world of bees for a heretofore-clueless public. Our image of honeybees is a lot like our bucolic images of farm animals -- and just as far from the brutal truth of today's corporate agriculture. We picture fields of clover, blossoming orchards, the wildflowers beneath the trees, filled with happy bees industriously gathering nectar and pollen to take back to the hive. As the bees gather pollen, they transfer it from plant to plant, thus assuring cross-pollination. Bee researchers have been calling bees "the canary in this coal mine," a different version of the birds and the bees. A quote attributed to Albert Einstein has been popping up all over the Internet: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." Einstein never said it, but the instant ubiquity of the sentiment says everything.

Bush chooses war and tobacco company profits over children's health care
As promised, George W. Bush has vetoed a highly popular bipartisan bill that would provide health care for uninsured low-income American children. These children happen to have parents who aren't lucky enough to have jobs that provide health care benefits for their families. That is not an unusual situation to be in these days. But Bush has no empathy for these children. He has always enjoyed the best medical care when he's needed it. As he once told one of his professors at Harvard Business School, Bush believes that "poor people are poor because they're lazy." Absurd and pathetic as that attitude may be, it is even more absurd and pathetic to make the children pay the price. By the way, this is the same George W. Bush who has called himself a "compassionate conservative." So where is the compassion in depriving America's innocent children of health care that could save their lives? America's uninsured children can just suffer and die, and we'll use that money instead to bomb more innocent Iraqi children.

Is carbon-offsetting just eco-enslavement?
If you thought that the era of British bigwigs keeping Indians as personal servants came to an end with the fall of the Raj in 1947, then you must have had a rude awakening last week. In a feature about carbon offsetting in The Times (London), it was revealed that the leader of the UK Conservative Party, David Cameron, offsets his carbon emissions by effectively keeping brown people in a state of bondage. Whenever he takes a flight to some foreign destination, Cameron donates to a carbon-offsetting company that encourages people in the developing world to ditch modern methods of farming in favour of using their more eco-friendly manpower to plough the land. So Cameron can fly around the world with a guilt-free conscience on the basis that, thousands of miles away, Indian villagers, bent over double, are working by hand rather than using machines that emit carbon. Welcome to the era of eco-enslavement.

How Hospitals Systematically Harm People
The minute you're admitted into the hospital, you confront a disturbing paradox: Most hospitals aren't particularly healthy places. As a patient, you're likely to encounter toxic chemicals, eat lousy food, breathe unhealthy air and suffer stress triggered by an often-dismal and alienating environment. Even worse, you may find yourself at the mercy of drug-resistant "super bugs" or overworked staff members who make mistakes -- all in a place that's supposed to help you heal. It's enough to make you sick. And sometimes it does. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 2 million people a year contract infections in hospitals, and nearly 100,000 are expected to die from them this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although such statistics are deeply troubling, hospitals around the world also contribute to a subtler but equally insidious threat: They expose patients and staff to a host of substances and practises that can harm their health.

Hard to Break
My moment of plastic panic came a few months ago. As a science writer, I've spent the past several years following the steady stream of research into the disturbing effects of the chemicals that leach into our bodies from everyday plastic objects. I'd managed to stay pretty calm about these unsettling discoveries, but then I went to yet another presentation where renowned scientists described new, peer-reviewed findings on how plastic's ingredients may cause reproductive abnormalities and obesity. Afterward, I huddled with the other journalists present, brimming with uneasy questions: Does this mean we should ditch our refillable plastic water bottles? Is it safe for our kids to chew on plastic toys? Should we try to go completely plastic free? "Today there are no babies born without measurable levels of phthalates," says Dr. Shanna Swan, director of the Center for Reproductive Epidemiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Phthalates, which are used to give flexibility to pvc (a.k.a. Recycler Image 3 plastic—though it's rarely labeled), turn up in bath and teething toys, shower curtains, upholstery, flooring, medical equipment, and countless other products, including cosmetics. Animal studies have linked phthalates to the same genital abnormalities that are now among the most common birth defects in American baby boys. "We're not yet sure what level of exposure produces these adverse effects, but they are a real concern," explains Dr. Paul Foster, a senior researcher at the National Toxicology Program.

The Government Sanctioned Bombing of Appalachia
Thanks to Bush, Big Coal uses 3 million pounds of explosives each day in West Virginia to fuel our addiction to dirty energy. On a calm, clear morning in the forested mountains of southern West Virginia, 12-year-old Chrystal Gunnoe played outdoors in the green mountain valley where her family has lived for hundreds of years. It was Veteran's Day and a school holiday. Chrystal's mother, Maria Gunnoe, 38, was inside when she heard her daughter yell for help.

Area physicians pass resolution opposing sulfide mine
September 20, 2007 – 1:17 pm MARQUETTE – Area physicians concerned about the public health implications of a proposed sulfide mine voted overwhelmingly last week to pass a resolution opposing the project. At a quarterly medical staff meeting, 117 physicians cast their vote in favor of the resolution, which expressed their wish to “urge the Michigan DEQ to deny the permits (air, water, mining, and state land use) for the Kennecott sulfide mine proposed in Marquette County.”

Bush Vetos Child Health Care Bill
President Bush on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance, after saying the legislation was too costly. The State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, is a joint state-federal effort that subsidizes health coverage for 6.6 million people, mostly children, from families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford their own private coverage.

Study May Tie Food Additives to Hyperactivity
Some parents have suspected for years that certain additives or colorings in processed food seem to have an effect on their children's attentiveness and behavior. Now, a study in the medical journal Lancet suggests that there might be something to that theory.

Ignoring science: Not just for Republicans anymore!
Newt Gingrich, claiming a mandate to make government smaller, actually managed to abolish only two offices: the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). The OTA was a widely praised, nonpartisan board that helped Congress understand and deal with technical issues -- exactly the kind of office you don't need if you get your understanding of biology from Genesis, your thoughts on telecommunications from K Street, and your opinions on energy from Exxon. The OTA was probably one of the least-known but best performing offices in all of D.C. Oddly, Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan just killed the Michigan Environmental Science Board, which was composed of volunteer scientists appointed by the Governor. The only cost to the state was for member travel when on assignment, and for preparation and distribution of reports.

British Petroleum: Lake Michigan Polluter
Already one of the largest contributors to pollution in Lake Michigan, BP (British Petroleum) has recently received approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to increase its dumping of ammonia into Lake Michigan by more than 50 percent. This would put more than 1400 additional pounds of ammonia into the lake each day, on top of what BP dumps already. Also, BP would be allowed to dump large amounts of toxic sludge into the lake every day. (BP is also seeking a variance to permit an increase in the plant’s emissions that contribute to air pollution.) This new dumping would seriously harm the lake ecosystem and would degrade the quality of the drinking water supply that more than eight million people rely on. One of the rationales for granting the variance was the potential creation of 80 new jobs. That is one job for roughly every 100,000 people who currently get their drinking water from Lake Michigan. Ammonia is a nutrient for algae, so an increase in ammonia will create algae blooms that choke off the oxygen that the fish in the lake need to survive. Fresh water is a precious resource. The additional dumping would be done at BP’s one-hundred-year old oil refinery just over the border from Chicago in Whiting, Indiana where BP is expanding that refinery's capacity. BP and other petrochemical giants have, in recent years, shown record profits. BP doesn’t want to spend the money to clean up its discharge. It could clean the discharge. The technology is available and proven. It just doesn’t want to bother.

Mother Earth can't live without a Solartopian vision
At last our dying Mother Earth has taken center stage. Thanks to Al Gore's global concert, the major media are finally filling with coverage of the climate crisis. It all comes with a dire dual realization: our economy will collapse, and we could all die, if something drastic is not done. But what? There are many piecemeal formulas out there. But there's also a holistic vision of a post-pollution civilization that is clear, absolute and all-encompassing. It's a "Solartopia" built around a democratic, green-powered millennium. It is as simple as it is necessary. Along with wind, solar and bio-fuels, Solartopian energy comes from the waves, currents, rivers and tides; from the geothermal heat beneath the earth's crust; from the interplay of solar-heated water at the oceans' surface and the frigid deep. Hydrogen and electricity are the chief power carriers, but they are always produced by clean Solartopian means.

The Great Biofuel Hoax
Biofuels invoke an image of renewable abundance that allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to present fuel from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as a replacement for oil that will bring about a smooth transition to a renewablefuel economy. Myths of abundance divert attention from powerful economic interests that benefit from this biofuels transition, avoiding discussion of the growing price that citizens of the global South are beginning to pay to maintain the consumptive oil-based lifestyle of the North. Biofuel mania obscures the profound consequences of the industrial transformation of our food and fuel systems -- the agro-fuels transition.

The real cost of bottled water
The Environmental Law Foundation has sued eight bottlers for using words such as "pure" to market water that contains bacteria, arsenic and chlorine. Bottled water is no bargain either: It costs 240 to 10,000 times more than tap water. For the price of one bottle of Evian, you can receive 1,000 gallons of tap water. Clearly, the popularity of bottled water is the result of huge marketing efforts. The global consumption of bottled water reached 41 billion gallons in 2004, up 57 percent in just five years. Even in areas where tap water is clean and safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing -- producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy. So what is the real cost of bottled water? Most of the price of a bottle of water goes for its bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, retailing and profit. Transporting bottled water by boat, truck and train involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels. More than 5 trillion gallons of bottled water is shipped internationally each year. Here, we can buy water from Fiji (5,455 miles away) or Norway (5,194 miles away) and many other faraway places to satisfy our demand for the chic and exotic. These are truly the Hummers of our bottled-water generation. Just supplying Americans with plastic water bottles for one year consumes more than 47 million gallons of oil, enough to take 100,000 cars off the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, according to the Container Recycling Institute. Billions of plastic water bottles end up in landfills each year, taking up valuable landfill space, leaking toxic additives, such as phthalates, into the groundwater and taking 1,000 years to biodegrade. That means bottled water may be harming our future water supply.

Office smoking hits non-smokers hard
Working in an environment where smoking is allowed is especially harmful for non-smokers, as they immediately absorb a potent carcinogen that is not considered safe at any level, a study has found. The study was carried out by researchers at the Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Department of Human Services who found that non-smoking workers have elevated levels of the carcinogen NNK, which is found in the body only as a result of using tobacco or breathing secondhand smoke. They also found that levels of NNK, which is known to cause lung cancer, increased by 6 percent for each hour of work.

Ex-surgeon general faults White House
President Bush's first surgeon general testified Tuesday that his speeches were censored to match administration political positions and that he was prevented from giving the public accurate scientific information on issues such as stem cell research and teen pregnancy prevention. "Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried," Dr. Richard H. Carmona, who was surgeon general from 2002 to 2006, told a congressional committee. "The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation — not the doctor of a political party."

The high cost of opening the door to GM crops
An international coalition of independent scientists is gathered in Brussels to present evidence for a worldwide ban on genetically manipulated crops. They will present "damning evidence piling up against the safety of GM food and animal feed" to the European Parliament. The GM companies and their lobbyists are fighting people power with empty promises. There is no market demand for GM foods anywhere in the world so they claim that GM crops will solve problems of drought, famine, malnutrition, synthetic chemical use, and soil salinity. Among the few GM foods that have been adequately tested, some are clearly unsafe. CSIRO's GM field peas caused serious adverse effects in mice. UK toxicologist Dr Arpad Pusztai found the immune systems of rats fed GM potatoes were damaged and their organs were more vulnerable to disease than control animals. [NOTICE: Yet a majority of the food sold in American supermarkets contain these very same, and possibly harmful GM ingredients. Write to you Congressional representative and demand labeling laws that indicate the presence of Genetically Modified products.]

A Shopper's Guide to the Typical American Frankenfood Diet
I could hear my mother's voice in my head as I leafed through Andrew Kimbrell's new quick-guide to genetically engineered foods. "Oh, the government says they're OK. And if they were such a big problem, we'd all be falling down dead by now. They're no different than regular hybrids," she'd say, handing me a pot to wash with a dismissive snort. Know it or not -- like it or not -- you are probably eating Genetically Modified Food every day -- especially in processed foods, because corn, soy and canola are the Big 3 GE food crops. For people like my mother, this may not be a problem. But for many people who know they don't want to eat GE foods, or for whom the jury is still out, it may be. "Since our government has refused to label these foods, how do we avoid buying and eating these foods?" asks Kimbrell, an attorney who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Food Safety, a vocal opponent of GE foods.

Bottled Water Bad for Environment
Bottled water, one of the world's fastest growing beverages, faced fresh criticism this week for contributing towards increased packaging that ends up in landfill sites. The report, published last week, will fuel proposals being considered in the EU that would impose sanctions against companies that do not meet prevention, recycling and reuse targets. Environmental researchers, Worldwatch, said the growing trend towards non-carbonated healthier drinks has led to an increase in the demand for bottled water packaging, the recycling rates of which are falling. While global consumption has doubled between 1997 and 2005, reaching $10bn (€7.4bn) in the US alone, the country sends two million tons of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottled water packaging to landfill each year.

Boom / Doom / Solartopian Green?
We are all now desperate runners in the epic race between doom and boom. It's a global- warmed dead heat between apocalyptic ecological collapse, versus a Solartopian green-powered prosperity. Defeat is defined by a death spiral that decimates our planet. Victory means the wealth, jobs and organic well-being that can come with renewables, efficiency and a post-pollution prosperity. A middle ground is likely along the way, but would almost certainly happen by dividing humankind even further between rich and poor. That polarization is ultimately unsustainable, and will demand correction, one way or the other. The "tipping point" where climate chaos becomes self-accelerating and irreversible may be as close as ten years away. Some believe we're already over the edge. Despite the nay-sayers, such a Solartopian transformation is physically and financially do-able. But can we do it by 2030? The answer: Ecologically, and economically, we have no choice.

GOP Blocks Tax Breaks for Renewable Energy Development
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a $32 billion package of tax breaks for renewable energy that would have been financed mostly by new taxes on major oil companies. Democrats came three votes short of overcoming a threatened GOP filibuster that was keeping the measure from being attached to a broader energy bill.

Why American's Keep Getting Fatter
A long-running contradiction in U.S. farm policy is fattening the waistlines of Americans and the profits of agribusiness at the same time. For the 30 years that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been issuing dietary guidelines, there has been a stark inconsistency between the federal government's advice and its food funding. True, the USDA has been doing more, over time, to promote health through dietary guidelines, food pyramids and other nutrition programs. And yet more than $20 billion yearly -- more than one-fifth its budget -- is sunk into a farm bill that supports many of the foods its recommendations warn against. At the same time, the department virtually ignores incentives to produce, promote and consume some of the healthiest foods: fruits and vegetables. This contradiction may play a role in today's obesity epidemic and is in part driven by a counterintuitive farm policy, highlighted by the farm bill, which is up for renewal this year in Congress.

Nestlé / Ice Mountain Seeking The Right to Pollute With NO Accountability
Nestle wants to carve out a legal exception so it and other polluters can destroy the air, water, and natural resources of the state, like wetlands and headwaters of streams, on their own property, by making environmental laws unconstitutional such as the protections currently provided by MEPA. When enacted in 1970 under the leadership of the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, MEPA was hailed nationwide as a monumental accomplishment in the effort to protect the environment through citizen action. STORY DEVELOPING...

Buy Local: Organic, Sustainable, Fair TradeFood for Thought: Before You Pull out Your Wallet

  • Who profits from this sale?
  • Are you buying this product from a national chain, or buying locally from an independent business, coop, or family farm?
  • Where was this item grown or made?
  • How far did it travel?
  • Were farmers’ or workers’ rights protected?
  • Did the producer receive a living wage?
  • Is it certified organic or Fair Trade?
  • Is the company making or selling
    this item socially responsible?
  • Is this product genuinely ecological & healthy?
  • What would be an organic, local,
    and Fair Trade or Fair Made alternative?

Lethal Virus Hits U.S. Great Lakes Species
A virus in the Great Lakes region of the U.S. threatens 19 species of fish, including muskellunge, walleye and small-mouthed bass, and may harm New York state's $2 billion-a-year sports-fishing economy. An infection called viral hemorrhagic septicemia, which causes anemia and severe bleeding, has led to the death of hundreds of thousands of fish in the state this year, according to a statement released today by Cornell University scientists in Ithaca, New York.

Outbreak of Eye Infections Puzzles Officials
Health officials and eye doctors are puzzled by an outbreak of a rare but potentially blinding eye infection that led the manufacturer of a contact lens cleaning solution to withdraw one of its products this weekend. The outbreak resembles one last year that was linked to a different manufacturer’s lens solution and a different microbe. In both instances, the cornea, the eye’s transparent outer covering, is at risk. Acanthamoeba keratitis is caused by a parasite, can be difficult to detect and is hard to treat. Epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have linked the acanthamoeba keratitis outbreak to AMO Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution. Advanced Medical Optics of Santa Ana, Calif., manufactures the solution, which is used to clean and store soft contact lenses.

Staving Animals to Death in Crawford County
On January 11th, a severely emaciated male yellow labrador (Thor) was picked up by Crawford County animal control. The dog was immediately taken to Grayling Hospital for Animals, where the Animal Shelter of Crawford County Director made the decision to try to save the dog's life. On January 23rd, 2007, acting on a tip from the author of this site, Roscommon County animal control removed six labrador retrievers in various stages of starvation and neglect from a pole barn/residence (a licensed kennel) in Roscommon County, Michigan. Although the conditions of these animals were deplorable, Roscommon County has not brought charges against the man responsible for these six labradors. In fact, on March 9th, 2007, almost two months AFTER the removal of the dogs, the individual responsible was re-issued a kennel license, and at this writing, has EIGHT dogs under his 'care'. Meanwhile, the six labradors removed from this 'kennel' (along with the one 'discovered' in Crawford County) have struggled to survive, and, as of this writing, several have not found permanent homes.

Hershey and Nestle Chocolate Factories Want to Sell you "chocolate" containing NO chocolate
Shouldn't chocolate contain, you know... chocolate? By which I mean cocoa butter and solids, derived from the cacao tree, which the dictionary specifically says is "the source of chocolate." No, says Hershey, Nestle, and other industrial candy makers that are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to let them blatantly lie to us consumers about what's in their confections. They want to be able to use no chocolate at all – instead substituting artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated and chemically-modified vegetable fats, and other artificial ingredients – yet still get to call their product "chocolate." You don't have to be a chocoholic to see that this is a raw deal. To add insult to injury, Hershey even blames us for its proposed rip-off, claiming that the deceptive label is needed to keep up with the changing "consumer taste preference." Oh, right – I'm sure there’s an explosion of pent-up consumer demand all across America for that yummy taste of chemically modified trans fats. Who wants that old cocoa richness when we could have the waxy texture of the artificial stuff? Boycott Hershey and Nestle

For Sale: Condo W/Chicken Coop
Forget the golf-course community or the manicured subdivision. A number of developers are now offering homes on working farms. Catering to Americans' desire to live "green," developers around the country are creating communities on or adjoining farms, pitching views of sorghum fields, grazing livestock, and local -- very local -- food, such as eggs residents collect from the property's henhouse. The communities, however, aren't necessarily in the boondocks. Some are in suburbs or near cities. [Editor: This is a good solution for many of our problems in Michigan. Now we need to get to work on changing the rules in subdivisions to allow various levels of personal agriculture.]

The Disturbing Truth About Doctors and Your Medical Safety
Each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, two million Americans acquire an infection while they are in the hospital. Ninety thousand die of that infection. The hardest part of the infection-control team's job, Yokoe says, is not coping with the variety of contagions they encounter or the panic that sometimes occurs among patients and staff. Instead, their greatest difficulty is getting clinicians like me to do the one thing that consistently halts the spread of infections: wash our hands.

Doctors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.
The U.S. health care system may contribute to poor health or death. According to Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 250,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors, making this the third-largest cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Starfield has documented the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm in the following statistics:

FTC Says Whole Foods, Wild Oats Merger Unhealthy
Whole Foods Market, one of the leading retailers of organic and natural foods, and Wild Oats announced Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission will file a lawsuit barring Whole Foods from buying its rival because of concern that the acquisition will squash competition in the natural and organic food store market. The FTC’s position is that the organic food store is its own business and that Whole Foods (nasdaq: WFMI - news - people ) would create a monopoly by buying its competitor.

Consumer Advisory: And Just How Far Was That?
I wasted money, so that you don't have to. It's that time of the year when it just is more fun to be outside. Many of us run or walk for fun and fitness. I am no exception. Last year I joined "Let's Get Moving Northern Michigan" (along with about 1,700 others). As this is a walking contest, with prizes I might add, it was important for me to figure out the best way to accurately measure the distance travelled. If you have a desire to measure the distance your body travels, read this article to learn from my experience.

Liquid Coal is Not the Answer
It amazes me that with all of the scientific evidence on global warming, that I even have to write you, asking you to tell Congress to do the right thing. But unfortunately, some members of Congress are still pushing so-called solutions that take us in the wrong direction. New energy legislation in Congress could include liquid coal, which is about as energy-efficient and practical as it sounds. Think of it as turning a hybrid into a Hummer.

Panel Urges Schools To Replace Junk Foods
A prestigious scientific panel urged the government yesterday to ban soft drinks, sugary snacks and other junk food from schools, saying the typical fare available in vending machines, at snack bars and at class birthday parties is contributing to the growing obesity of America's children. The Institute of Medicine report, which Congress requested, said less-nutritious items should be replaced with healthier stuff such as fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It emphasized adding snacks with more whole grains and less sodium, saturated fat and added sugar.

Gene mutation linked to cognition is found only in humans
The human and chimpanzee genomes vary by just 1.2 percent, yet there is a considerable difference in the mental and linguistic capabilities between the two species. A new study showed that a certain form of neuropsin, a protein that plays a role in learning and memory, is expressed only in the central nervous systems of humans and that it originated less than 5 million years ago. The study, which also demonstrated the molecular mechanism that creates this novel protein, will be published online in Human Mutation, the official journal of the Human Genome Variation Society.

Stop Using / Producing Non-biodegradable Plastic NOW
Plastic is particularly damaging because it is not biodegradable, he says, and plastic particles, although invisible, remain unmoving in the water and eventually become part of the food chain. In oceans, areas called gyres, which have strong currents facilitated by circular wind movement, pull in waste and become densely populated by a stagnant surplus of plastic. Becker says that in some gyres, there is five times more plastic than zooplankton. The plankton, he says, have plastic debris in their bodies, which means plastic has entered the food chain, since zooplankton are at the core of the marine food chain. Unfortunately, that is not the worst of it. Plastic is a bigger danger than global warming, or at least it is in the immediate sense, considering it is snuffing out the lowest common denominator in the food chain, says Neil Seldman, a waste recycling expert and president of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, an organisation with a long track record of promoting sustainable communities. Seldman, like Becker, also sees potential for companies to ease the problem, both by creating public awareness of a not-so-highly-publicised issue and by greatly downsizing the use of plastic altogether.

F.D.A. Expands Suicide Warning on Antidepressant Drugs
The Food and Drug Administration ordered drug makers yesterday to add warnings to antidepressant medications, saying the drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior in some young adults. The expanded warnings, which will appear in a black box displayed prominently on the prescribing information, are the strongest caution that regulators can impose.

Research questions worth of vaccine
New data on the controversial HPV vaccine designed to prevent cervical cancer has raised serious questions about its efficacy, researchers are to report today, undercutting the efforts in many states, including California, to make vaccination mandatory. Although the Merck vaccine, called Gardasil, blocked nearly 100 percent of infections by the two HPV strains it targets, it reduced the incidence of cancer precursors by only 17 percent overall. The data also hinted that blocking the targeted strains may have opened an ecological niche that allows the flourishing of HPV strains previously considered to be minor players, partially offsetting the vaccine's protection.

Say What!?! That's NOT Chocolate
The Pennsylvania champ of snacks seems to be allergic to its own concoction and itching to get out of the chocolate business and into the imitation chocolate business. They recently petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to legally redefine the term "chocolate" so that it includes artificial sweeteners, milk substitutes, and trans fats. That's right. They're about to become the foremost manufacturers of something destined to be known as Mockolate.

We're Number Two: Canada Has as Good or Better Health Care than the U.S.
Despite spending half what the U.S. does on health care, Canada doesn't appear to be any worse at looking after the health of its citizens. The relative merits of the U.S. versus Canadian health care systems are often cast in terms of anecdotes: whether it is American senior citizens driving into Canada in order to buy cheap prescription drugs or Canadians coming to the U.S. for surgery in order to avoid long wait times. Both systems are beset by ballooning costs and, especially with a presidential election on the horizon, calls for reform, but a recent study could put ammunition in the hands of people who believe it is time the U.S. ceased to be the only developed nation without universal health coverage.

Natural Baby, Poisonous World
While raising a child more naturally does involve buying more organic and nontoxic products, it's also about fostering the kind of instinctive bond that's so easily lost in our high-stress, pre-packaged world. Raising a natural baby in a chemical world is not so easy. Watchdog groups like Children's Health Environment Coalition (CHEC) and Environmental Working Group (EWG) regularly release frightening studies about the levels of toxins in everything from mother's breast milk to jarred baby food, from crib mattresses to pacifiers. It's a boon for the organic baby product machine, but overwhelming for already stressed-out eco-minded parents. While these organizations offer recommendations on how to steer a child's development in a healthier direction, nothing short of a chemical suit seems safe.

Wal-Mart Slapped for Misleading Organic Consumers
In a letter to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., based in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection stated they'd found numerous instances of conventional food products improperly labeled as organic by the retail chain. Specifically, Wisconsin authorities told Wal-Mart's legal counsel that "use of the term 'Wal-Mart Organics' in combination with reference to a specific non-organic product may be considered to be a misrepresentation and therefore a violation" of Wisconsin state statutes.

Research confirms theory that all modern humans descended from the same small group of people
The research confirms the “Out Of Africa” hypothesis that all modern humans stem from a single group of Homo sapiens who emigrated from Africa 2,000 generations ago and spread throughout Eurasia over thousands of years. These settlers replaced other early humans (such as Neanderthals), rather than interbreeding with them. Academics analysed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome DNA of Aboriginal Australians and Melanesians from New Guinea. This data was compared with the various DNA patterns associated with early humans. The research was an international effort, with researchers from Tartu in Estonia, Oxford, and Stanford in California all contributing key data and expertise. The results showed that both the Aborigines and Melanesians share the genetic features that have been linked to the exodus of modern humans from Africa 50,000 years ago.

U.S. Department of the Interior Bushwacked
A recent report by the Inspector General of the Interior Department documented many examples of Bush administration political appointees interfering in science at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The report focused on the actions of one official, Julie MacDonald, who was the deputy assistant Secretary of Interior until she resigned last week. The report found that MacDonald bullied field biologists, rewrote their conclusions to favor business interests, and gave lobbyists internal department documents.

The Property Cops: Homeowner Associations Ban Eco-Friendly Practices
On April 14, in more than 1,400 locations from coast to coast, Americans rallied around the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent within the next four decades. On April 22, the San Francisco Chronicle's Earth Day editorial spoke for millions of us when it urged, "The whole planet, with billions of people and scores of governments, must work together on the same page. It's the only way to curb the global threats of rising temperatures, dirty air and polluted and life-depleted oceans. One day in late April isn't enough." But too many cities, counties, towns and subdivisions are still working off the wrong "page" by banning ecologically sound practices and even mandating consumption and waste. Rooted in outdated aesthetics and plain old snobbery, those regulations make less sense than ever on a planet in peril.

[Shockingly Ignorant] Grand Traverse County Commissioners Slam Global Climate Change
TRAVERSE CITY — Grand Traverse County residents who celebrated Earth Day this weekend may want to reflect on the thoughts of three of their elected leaders. County commissioners Addison "Sonny” Wheelock, Dick Thomas and Margaret Underwood all recently opined on the state of the environment and the concept of global warming. "I believe the Sierra Club, along with Al Gore, President Carter and the United Nations are socialistic organizations that are trying to change the government of this country, and I am opposed to everything they support or try to (foist) on us to do,” Underwood said at a March 14 public meeting. "I cannot support this unproven theory of global warming.” I think it's important for voters to know how our elected officials are formulating their opinions. Now the public has a right to decide if these are the people, or the mindset, they want representing them in local government.

Researchers: Global warming already changing Michigan
Global warming is already affecting Michigan and as the globe and the state get even warmer over the next century, the effects on humans, plants and animals could create some stark changes, local scientists and researchers said Friday. Key parts of the state’s economy, from the cherry industry to recreational fishing and skiing, are likely to be hurt, the researchers said. Advertisement Some already show signs of change. The conference had earlier lapsed into an unprecedented showdown between scientists and politicians over authors' concerns that governments were watering down their warnings. The United States, China and Saudi Arabia raised the most objections to the phrasing, most often seeking to tone down the certainty of some of the more dire projections.

Kellogg Takes on Obesity in Michigan
In its statement, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich. said it had awarded nine groups across the country $500,000 apiece "to create a community action plan" to battle poor eating habits and a lack of exercise. "The problems of obesity, poor nutrition and physical inactivity present a major threat to the well-being of our children and our country," Sterling K. Speirn, the Kellogg Foundation's president and chief executive officer, said in prepared remarks yesterday.

Invaders take Big Lake food from game fish
The volume of prey fish in Lake Michigan -- the food supply for big sport fish -- plunged last year to the lowest level ever recorded, while foreign invader mussels and the troublesome goby enjoyed population explosions, according to the latest government data. Scientists familiar with the data said the findings do not spell doom for Lake Michigan's thriving salmon fishery. But they warned that the near-record salmon catches of the past two years likely won't last much longer. "We're in the midst of some major ecological changes in the Great Lakes," said David Jude, a research scientist at the University of Michigan.

Biofuels are unsustainable and a threat to America
Ethanol is an agribusiness get-rich-quick scheme that will bankrupt our topsoil. There are many serious problems with biofuels, especially on a massive scale, and it appears from this report that they cannot be surmounted. So let the truth of Alice Friedemann’s meticulous and incisive diligence wash over you and rid you of any confusion or false hopes. The absurdity and destructiveness of large scale biofuels are a chance for people to eventually even reject the internal combustion engine and energy waste in general. One can also hazard from this report that bioplastics, as well, cannot make it in a big way. The author looks ahead to post-petroleum living with considered conclusions: "Biofuels have yet to be proven viable, and mechanization may not be a great strategy in a world of declining energy." And, "…only a small amount of biomass (is) unspoken for" by today’s essential economic and ecological activities. To top it off, she points out, "Crop production is reduced when residues are removed from the soil. Why would farmers want to sell their residues?" Here’s an Oh- god-she-nailed-it zinger: "As prices of fertilizer inexorably rise due to natural gas depletion, it will be cheaper to return residues to the soil than to buy fertilizer." Looking further along than most of us, Alice has among her conclusions: "It’s time to start increasing horse and oxen numbers, which will leave even less biomass for biorefineries."

Climate Change: Why We Can't Wait
The country's leading climatologist gives us the five necessary steps we need to take to prevent catastrophic climate change. There's a huge gap between what is understood about global warming by the relevant scientific community and what is known about global warming by those who need to know: the public and policy-makers. We've had, in the past thirty years, one degree Fahrenheit of global warming. There is hope, if we act now. Here's how.

Fruit and Vegetables to the Rescue
There is mounting evidence that telling one to eat their vegetables is good advice after all. After many meticulous studies, cancer experts say they are now very sure that nearly 70% of all cancers are caused by poor diet, not having enough exercise and by smoking.

US Health Freedom On Verge Of Collapse
A new attack against health freedom, drug safety, and dietary supplements was launched last week by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) with major support from Michael Enzi (R-WY). It is called the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act (S1082). This legislation was planned over the past few years working hand-in-glove with the FDA's dysfunctional management and legal team – meaning this legislation was written for the profits of Big Pharma and Big Biotech AT THE EXPENSE OF SAFETY AND HUMAN HEALTH. S1082 is a Trojan Horse bill that pretends to address safety issues. Unbelievably, the bill turns the FDA into a drug development company that will expose Americans to new and dangerous biological drugs that have little testing to prove safety or effectiveness. And to top it off, the bill gives broad new regulatory powers to the FDA that can be used to frivolously attack dietary supplements and forward the FDA management's anti-American globalization agenda.

Lawsuit opens new front in battle over Great Lakes invaders
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- Shipping companies, scientists and environmentalists have long debated how to stop the onslaught of exotic species such as zebra mussels in the Great Lakes. Now, lawyers are getting involved. Many of the 183 invasive species known to inhabit the lakes arrived in ballast water dumped by oceangoing ships. A Michigan law that took effect this year requires freighters to sterilize ballast before discharging it into the state's waters.

Healthy foods recommended for U.S. school children
Regular colas, candy and salty snacks should not be the choice of children during school hours, and should be replaced by whole-grain crackers, low-fat yogurt, fruit and water, recommended the U.S. Institute of Medicine on Wednesday. The institute gave new standards for school snacks and foods that would sharply limit calories, fat and sugar while encouraging more nutritious eating. [Editor: As a parent or educator you may wish to contact Local Plates. Click Here.]

Corporate Accountability is this Earth Day’s Inconvenient Truth
The great green bandwagon that came of age this Earth Day has been a very long time coming. Its lag time has been no accident. From Rachel Carson’s 1963 Silent Spring and Earth Day 1970 and the first arrests at the Seabrook Nuke in 1976 and the decades of writing and marching and organizing and fundraising, the landmarks to a growing green consciousness are epic. This on-going grassroots fervor is the essence of democracy, the lifeblood of our ability to survive and grow. Today, another specific cause—this time the environment—has finally become fashionable. But this moment has been long reesisted by big corporations that profit immensely from the destruction of the Earth, and that intend to continue. From Exxon to Ford, from Mobil to Monsanto, the world’s worst polluters buy fuzzy, feel-good advertising with an environmental message. Columnists and politicians who’ve pushed catastrophic policies like utility deregulation and the war in Iraq now genuflect at the media’s green altar. Without a hint of irony, some claim authorship of a movement they’ve scorned for decades.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: a Summary for Policymakers PDF
The Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report describes progress in understanding of the human and natural drivers of climate change1, observed climate change, climate processes and attribution, and estimates of projected future climate change. It builds upon past IPCC assessments and incorporates new findings from the past six years of research. Scientific progress since the TAR is based upon large amounts of new and more comprehensive data, more sophisticated analyses of data, improvements in understanding of processes and their simulation in models, and more extensive exploration of uncertainty ranges. MAPS & GRAPHS

A Milestone Report on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPPC, says the world is getting warmer, sea levels are slowly rising and there's a higher likelihood of extreme weather events such as heatwaves, stronger tropical storms and floods. The panel also says there is at least a 90% certainty that greenhouse gas emissions are to blame. The head of the United Nations Environment Program, Achim Steiner says this day will go down in history as the day that the question of whether humans are responsible for climate change was answered. He says any leader that doesn't listen to the evidence and respond to the challenge now will be considered irresponsible when history is written.

United Nations Environmental Network
This portal is a central source for substantive work and information resources regarding climate change. Use the navigation on the left to find information based on the key issues within climate change or select a specific type of resource. For a detailed search use our advanced seach function on the right.

UN  ChronicleCurrent Reports from the United Nations on Climate Change
On the occasion of the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) assessment of present and future impacts of climate change, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer has said that the world urgently needs to launch an agreement on future international action to combat climate change as well as to look for effective ways to generate the funds needed for adaptation.

Report warns climate change deadly
Global warming's effects on daily life are here already, still more pesky than catastrophic. But a new authoritative scientific report says that when the Earth gets a few degrees hotter, inconvenience will give way to danger, death and extinction of species.

Dire warming report too soft, scientists say
Some nations lobbied for changes that blunt the study, contributors charge. The U.N. forecast is still bleak. By Alan Zarembo and Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writers April 7, 2007 A new global warming report issued Friday by the United Nations paints a near-apocalyptic vision of Earth's future: hundreds of millions of people short of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a landscape ravaged by floods and millions of species sentenced to extinction. Despite its harsh vision, the report was quickly criticized by some scientists who said its findings were watered down at the last minute by governments seeking to deflect calls for action. "The science got hijacked by the political bureaucrats at the late stage of the game," said John Walsh, a climate expert at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who helped write a chapter on the polar regions. Even in its softened form, the report outlined devastating effects that will strike all regions of the world and all levels of society. The report is also an indictment of the world's biggest polluters — the industrialized nations.

Apocalyptic vision in global warming report
A new global warming report issued Friday by the United Nations paints a near-apocalyptic vision of Earth's future: more than a billion people in need of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a planetary landscape ravaged by floods and millions of species becoming extinct. But despite the harsh vision, the report was quickly criticized by scientists who said its findings were watered down at the last minute by government bureaucrats seeking to deflect calls for action. E-mail this story Printable format Search archives RSS "The science got hijacked by the political bureaucrats at the late stage of the game," said John Walsh, a climate expert at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who helped author a chapter on the polar regions. Even in its softened form, the report outlined a range of devastating effects that will strike all regions of the world and all levels of society. Those without resources to adapt to the changes will suffer the greatest impact, according to the study from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The new report, in a sense, is a more focused indictment of the world's biggest polluters, most notably the United States (worse polluter), China (second worse polluter), Russia and Saudi Arabia. [Editor: More than 2,500 leading scientists from around the globe agree that there is a 90%+ chance of this scenerio if YOU don't change your lifestyle and energy consumption habits today. There is no more time to speculate. The time to act is now!]

US admits climate challenge, kind of
The United States acknowledged the "global challenge" posed by climate change, after a major report on Friday by UN experts warned of devastating damage to all continents from global warming. "Climate change is clearly a global challenge and we all recognise that it requires global solutions," said Sharon Hays, leader of the US delegation at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after the unveiling of a summary of a major IPCC technical report in Brussels. "But most impacts of climate change will be felt very regionally," she added. The report warned that climate change is set to hit poor countries hardest, and threatens nearly a third of the world’s species with extinction. Global warming is set to inflict damage in every continent, and in the Americas would power up tropical storms and heatwaves in the north and threaten hunger and extinction of species in the south. "The key message there, I think, is that these projected impacts are expected to get more pronounced at higher temperatures," Hays said. Draft versions of the summary were fiercely disputed during a week of tense negotiations. Publication was delayed after politicians from the United States, China and Saudi Arabia objected to the tough wording of certain parts.

IPCC Report Says Global Warming Already Affecting Earth
The latest report (PDF of summary) from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds that the earth’s climate and ecosystems are already being affected, for better and mostly for worse, by greenhouse gases

UN Warns of Global Warming Consequences
Global warming will cause massive damage earlier than predicted, temperatures will increase between 1.5 and 2.5 degrees, 30 percent of species will disappear and the sea level will rise. This apocalyptic prediction comes not from astrologists, but from a UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on Friday in Brussels. The UN IPCC warns that coral reefs, the poles, boreal forests, and Mediterranean regions, as well as oceans, will be negatively affected. The Artic, Sub-Saharan Africa, smaller islands, and large deltas in Asia will be the worst hit, with the poor as the main victims.. It also estimated that drought and thaw will leave one billion people without fresh water, with 50 million of them in the basins of southern, eastern, and central Europe, while hundreds of thousands are already doomed to face floods resulting from the rise of seas. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation call the text a definite warning, and urged governments and organizations to increase investments to help communities most vulnerable to climate change outcomes.

Experts approve bleak climate change report
On Friday more than 100 nations belonging to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed a final text in Brussels after all-night disputes. The report, the second of three being published by the IPCC, lists numerous consequences on people, the climate and ecosystems. It will guide policy in coming years on issues such as extending the UN's Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. A warming world will place hundreds of millions of extra people at greater risk of food and water shortages and threaten the survival of thousands of species of plants and animals, the scientists said. Floods, heat waves, famines, storms and droughts are all expected to increase, with people in poorer countries suffering the worst effects.

Extinctions, Shortages, Conflicts
Global warming threatens to extinguish hundreds of millions of human lives and nearly a third of the planet's wildlife, an international panel of climate scientists said in a report issued today. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the world's poorer nations face spiraling rates of death and disease due to increased risk of droughts, floods, storms and other severe climate effects spurred by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Global sea level change map Enlarge Photo _ Printer Friendly Email to a Friend RELATED * Global Warming "Very Likely" Caused by Humans, World Climate Experts Say (February 2, 2007) * Warming to Create Previously Unknown Climates, Study Says (March 27, 2007) * Global Warning: Signs From Earth Up to 30 percent of animal and plant species could be wiped out by a global temperature rise of 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius), experts said. The IPCC forecasts a rise of between 3.2 and 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.8 and 4 degrees Celsius) by the end of this century.

Organic food is better for you, say scientists
New evidence has emerged showing that organic food does contain nutrients that deliver health benefits. Scientists in Britain, France and Poland examined organic carrots, apples, peaches and potatoes and discovered that they have greater concentrations of vitamin C and chemicals that protect against heart attacks and cancer than non-organic produce. The studies found that organic tomatoes had more vitamin C, beta-carotene and flavonoids, which are known to help against cancer and heart disease, though they also had less lycopene, which is thought to help prevent skin ageing, diabetes and osteoporosis. Organic apple puree was found to contain more phenols, flavonoids and vitamin C than non-organic versions. "This research shows there are benefits," said Dr Kirsten Brandt of Newcastle University, which led the research. "The reason why it's such a grey area is because it's extremely difficult to measure the health benefit in any food, but we can say that if you eat 400g of fruit and vegetables per day you would get 20 per cent more nutrients in organic food." Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found "many" organic products had lower ecological impacts than conventional methods using fertilisers and pesticides.

National Food Market Promotes 'Buy Local'
To offer customers the lowest prices, U.S. food retailers need to buy in volume, and that often means turning to producers who are thousands of kilometers from where shoppers fill their grocery carts. But as consumers grow more concerned about fossil fuel consumption and sustainable agriculture, they're demanding more locally grown food on their store shelves. And some retailers are responding.

Europe welcomes organic regulation change
The European Parliament has passed an amendment to regulations on organic agriculture, lowering the maximum allowable figure for accidental contamination by GMOs from 0.9 to 0.1. Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food International, said: “This is a very important result and one that we’ve been working towards for a long time now, both nationally, with Slow Food Italy’s entry into the GMO-free coalition, and at European level with the support of all our national associations.” [Editor: While American Corporations have nearly captured the U.S. food market with Genetically Modified food, the rest of the world is turning away from this American corporate mad science experiment and promoting "real food".]

Supreme Court Puts the Pressure On
The Supreme Court's decision this week that global warming is a problem the EPA can't ignore any longer should be an incentive for the rest of us to keep up the political pressure.

Is Earth near its 'tipping points'
Earth is spinning toward many points of no return from the damage of global warming, after which disease, desolation and famine are inevitable, say scientists involved in an international report due Friday on the effects of climate change. Opinions vary about how long it will take to reach those "tipping points" and whether attempts to cut planet-warming gases churned out by power plants, vehicles and other human industry can slow, halt or reverse the harmful effects in coming decades. Irreversible effects on plants, animals, farming and weather already are apparent, says biologist Camille Parmesan of the University of Texas in Austin, one of the scientists assigned to review the report. Studies weighed in the report show that warming has eliminated about 70 animal species and affects 59% of wild species surveyed.

One Roof at a Time
If you're like most Americans, you've spent your life invisibly attached to an electric meter. When you wake up and switch on the light, you nudge it forward a little faster. When you toast bread, watch TV, open the fridge, flick on the computer, you push its pace. For all practical purposes, it only goes one way. But in the last few years, a small but quickly growing band of Americans have found out that you can make the meter spin backward.

The Ungreening of America: Dirty Secrets
News: No president has gone after the nation's environmental laws with the same fury as George W. Bush -- and none has been so adept at staying under the radar. Few American's fully appreciate the scope and fury of the Bush administration's anti-environmental agenda. "What they're doing makes the Reagan administration look innocent," says Buck Parker, executive director of Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. The Bush administration has been gutting key sections of the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, laws that have traditionally had bipartisan support and have done more to protect the health of Americans than any other environmental legislation. It has crippled the Superfund program, which is charged with cleaning up millions of pounds of toxic industrial wastes such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and vinyl chloride in more than 1,000 neighborhoods in 48 states. It has sought to cut the EPA's enforcement division by nearly one-fifth, to its lowest level on record; fines assessed for environmental violations dropped by nearly two-thirds in the administration's first two years; and criminal prosecutions-the government's weapon of last resort against the worst polluters-are down by nearly one-third. So why aren't more people aware that George W. Bush is compiling what is arguably the worst environmental record of any president in recent history?

Universal Red Blood Cells Could Relieve Blood Bank Shortages
An international team of academic and industry scientists, led by the University of Copenhagen, is reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology.has come up with a feasible way of making universal red blood cells that are stripped of their blood type. The hope is that it can be developed into a viable way of relieving blood bank shortages. The study is published in the early online edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Farming in the City
In the United States there is a huge unrealized potential for urban gardening. A survey indicated that Chicago has 70,000 vacant lots, and Philadelphia, 31,000. Nationwide, vacant lots in cities would total in the hundreds of thousands. The Urban Agriculture report summarizes why urban agriculture is so desirable. It has “a regenerative effect…when vacant lots are transformed from eyesores—weedy, trash-ridden dangerous gathering places—into bountiful, beautiful, and safe gardens that feed people’s bodies and souls.” Given the near inevitable rise in future oil prices, the economic benefits of expanding urban agriculture, even in affluent societies, will become much more obvious. Aside from supplying more fresh produce, it will help millions discover the social benefits and the psychological well-being that urban gardening can bring.

You Still Eat Meat?
The report released this week by the world's leading climate scientists made no bones about it: Global warming is happening in a big way and it is very likely manmade. The U.N. report that came out soon after made a critical point: "The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." And yet, so many environmentalists continue to eat meat. Why? Being part of the solution can be a whole lot simpler -- and cheaper -- than going out and buying a new hybrid. We can make a huge difference in the environment simply by eating a plant-based diet instead of an animal-based one. Factory farming pollutes our air and water, reduces the rainforests, and goes a long way to create global warming. View Video, Click Here

Real solutions require a change of culture
When I first met Alexis Ziegler in 2005, I proudly picked him up in my new-to-me Jetta Diesel. I had aspirations of homebrewing biodiesel, thinking I had outsmarted "the Man" once again. It took me quite some time to wrap my head around what he told me about my biodiesel band-aid. With biofuel poised to seamlessly replace our petroleum addiction, it's looking more like switching from Coke to Diet Coke. In his discussion of Peak Oil in his new book, Culture Change: Civil Liberty, Peak Oil, and the End of Empire, he outlines these points: if we could find a new source of cheap energy, it would do more harm than good; biofuel is not a substitute for fossil fuel, but rather could be the trigger for a global-scale genocide; and the solutions to our energy problems are, from a mechanical perspective, relatively simple. Real solutions require a change of culture.

Going to Extremes on Midwestern Slopes
Unheard of in the Midwest, Mount Bohemia in Michigan has chutes, cornices and cliffs. A sign at the entrance to the resort reads “Warning: NO BEGINNERS ALLOWED.”

DEQ Withdraws Proposed Decision on Kennecott Mining Application
The Department of Environmental Quality announced today that it has withdrawn its proposed decision to approve a permit for the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company to conduct mining operations at the proposed Eagle Project Mine. The decision was made after discovering that two reports on the structural integrity of the mine were not properly made part of the public record or given a comprehensive technical review.

Another Reason for American's to STOP Eating Factory Farmed Foods
Salmonella was found at a ConAgra Foods Inc. processing plant in Sylvester, Georgia, that was the source of contaminated Peter Pan peanut butter, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. The fact that FDA found salmonella in the plant environment further suggests that the contamination likely took place prior to the product reaching consumers. ConAgra is the third-largest U.S. food manufacturing company. [Editor: Homemade peanut butter recipe... dump roasted peanuts in food processor. Blend. Serve.] CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROBLEM WITH FACTORY FARMED FOOD

Newsweek Hides Global Warming Denier's Financial Ties to Big Oil
So Newsweek is running an opinion piece about global warming titled: "Why So Gloomy?" The piece is authored by Richard Lindzen, a well-known meteorologist, and his thesis about the potential melt-down of our climate can be boiled down to this: Don't worry, be happy! Sounds like he's on the up-and-up, no? After all, the guy's not one of those scientists who denies global warming and then cashes nice checks from a bunch of big energy firms, right? His research may be funded entirely by the government, but Lindzen himself -- his kids' college tuition, his mortgage payments -- have at least in part been funded by Big Oil and Big Coal, including OPEC for crying out loud!

Who's Funding Global Warming?
Find out which banks are part of the problem, and which are part of the solution, in the fight against global climate change.

The Ethanol Hoax
The other day the French sent one of their trains hurtling down a railroad track at 357 miles per hour. France has more than 1,000 miles of high-speed railroad track. The United States does not have one inch. The United States sticks with its climate-warming, congested and inefficient Eisenhower-era transportation system. Americans, who seem to spend an ever greater percentage of their waking hours bragging about how much better they are than everybody else, have not noticed they are falling behind. It is, for example, the French, the Japanese and the Germans who are competing to sell a high-speed railroad system to the Chinese. Visiting American tourists will enjoy the ride. ...consider the contribution our transportation chaos makes to global warming. Actually, it is something we try not to consider or act on at all. Here we are after thirty years of warnings about what carbon dioxide is doing to life on the planet and the United States has no plan or program for curtailing its own magnificent donation to what Al Gore calls earth's "fever." The Bush position is: Why should we do something if the Chinese are not doing anything? As long as they are ruining the earth, we must do it first and bigger. Bush is hardly by himself on this one. It seems almost every major industrial group in the country is as committed to inaction as he. In a few years the articles and books about the ethanol hoax will begin to appear, and we will learn who got rich while the earth got warmer and almost nobody--at least nobody important, nobody with influence and power--took note.

Ethanol Will Not Be Our Clean, Green Savior!
As much as we may hope to the contrary, ethanol will not save us. Instead it will lead to more food and water shortages, and feed our unchecked consumption. Citizens in industrialized societies, will cling to their extravagant lifestyles and massive over-consumption for a while yet, it seems. Global climate change is still seen by most people -- even those who have no doubt of its human origins -- as something that can be fixed by legislation, tougher rules and punitive penalties on big polluters. More than three billion people in the world are being condemned to a premature death from hunger and thirst. The corn and grains that the ethanol pushers are talking about -- wheat, sunflower seeds, canola and other foodstuffs are already being used and targeted by, amongst others, the big oil companies. In fact, if 10 percent of the fuel used were corn-based ethanol [in other words, if it were used in all vehicles], greenhouse gas emissions would drop by approximately one percent. Instead of yet another energy plan that contributes to the problem, we need an energy plan that reduces consumption (i.e. mass transportation).

Killer Weather Ahead
There is implicit good news in the mostly bad news in the latest big global warming report: From now on, politicians will find it harder to do little or nothing to fight this problem. The release of the report on February 2 by the world's leading scientific body on global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ranks as a landmark development. Using unusually blunt language for a scientific document, the report describes global warming as "unequivocal" and says it is "very likely" caused by humans. As for the bad news in the report, it confirms that the battle to prevent global warming has been lost. Now the race to survive it has begun. Because we waited so long to act, the best humanity can do now is slow global warming down to where we can hope to endure it with relatively manageable damages.

Fish-killing virus confirmed in Lake Huron
The Department of Natural Resources said it had confirmed the presence of viral hemorrhagic septicema, or VHS, in fish samples from waters as far north as Cheboygan - only about 15 miles from where Lake Huron meets Lake Michigan. VHS previously had been found in only two of the Great Lakes - Ontario and Erie - and in Lake St. Clair, which links lakes Erie and Huron. But officials have predicted the virus eventually would spread across the entire lakes system, where the $4.5 billion fishery is a crucial segment of the economy.

Hot Topic: Global Warming Report Scary to Human Race
After six years of research and debate, a group of international scientists say that global warming is “very likely” man-made and "would continue for centuries,” despite the best efforts of humans to reduce pollution ...

Behold the Rise of Energy-Based Fascism
The Pentagon is helping to create a grim future for all of us: a struggle for energy primacy abroad and Big Brother at home.

100-Mile Diet: Your Body Will Thank You
The increasingly popular ecological approach of eating food that was grown near where you live is also very good for you.

The Solution to Global Warming Is US
It is time to shift from personal denial to personal responsibility when it comes to climate change.

What Al Gore Hasn't Told You About Global Warming
George Monbiot's new book "Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning" picks up where Al Gore left off on global warming, offering real solutions without sugar-coating the large personal sacrifices they will require. George Monbiot, a reporter for the British newspaper, Guardian takes up where Al Gore and many others leave off. Heat is a remarkable book. For it is not written to convince the unconvinced global warming, but to educate the already-persuaded, those who exited the theater after watching An Inconvenient Truth with fire in their bellies, ready to fight the incoming menace about what must be done, and ready to face the significant sacrifices that will have to be made along the way. Monbiot's assumptions differ only modestly from those of Al Gore. Both believe the window of opportunity is short, and closing. Both believe we must immediately freeze greenhouse gas emissions and then reduce them by up to 60 percent below current levels by about 2030. (Gore may use the 2050 time frame). Monbiot recommends more rapid reductions than others, but he argues persuasively that an ounce of reduction in the early years can avoid the need for a pound of reduction in the later years. Monbiot argues for a global carbon emissions cap allocated on a per capita basis. Since all of humanity shares the biosphere, which has only a limited absorptive and cleansing capacity and all humans are created equal, then each should have equal use of that capacity. Purchase HEAT: Click Here (available July 10, 2007)

UN Study Backs Climate Theory
2,000 scientists all but end the debate: Human activity causes global warming by Peter Gorrie A major new United Nations report shows global scientists are more convinced than ever that human activity is causing climate change, the Toronto Star has learned. The rate of warming between now and 2030 is likely to be twice that of the previous century, it says.

Coast Guard shelves plan for shooting range in the Great Lakes!
The U.S. Coast Guard said Monday it was withdrawing plans to periodically close 2,500 square miles of the Great Lakes for live machine-gun firing exercises, responding to safety and environmental concerns.

Pricey Gas? That's Reality
We simply cannot face the fact that time has run out -- that our lease is expiring -- for a society dependent on cars. In the United States, oil production peaked in 1970 and has been declining ever since. We extracted about 10 million barrels a day in 1970 and just under five million barrels a day now. Because our consumption has only increased steadily, we've made up for the shortfall by importing oil from other countries. There is now powerful evidence in the production figures worldwide that we have reached global peak oil production. The collective nations of the earth will not make up for this by importing oil from other planets.

Ten Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society
The best way to feel hopeful about our looming energy crisis is to get active now and prepare for living arrangements in a post-oil society.

Radiation Free Nuclear Power
The fusion process recommended by Dr. Bussard takes boron-11 and fuses a proton to it, producing, in its excited state, a carbon-12 atom. This excited carbon-12 atom decays to beryllium-8 and helium-4. Beryllium-8 very quickly (in 10-13 s) decays into two more helium-4 atoms. This is the only nuclear-energy releasing process in the whole world that releases fusion energy and three helium atoms -- and no neutrons. This reaction is completely radiation free.

Sustainable Energy from Ocean Waves
Energetech is a renewable energy technology development and industry advisory company. The company has developed a new and commercially efficient system for extracting energy from ocean waves and converting it to electricity or desalinated water. The Energetech technology now makes it possible for wave energy to provide a cheap, sustainable source of power or water to grid-connected and remote users.

USA: Wanted for Crimes Against the Planet
Center for American Progress EnviroHealth: World leaders recognize that time is running out to halt global warming, but the next Congress needs understand just how high the stakes really are.

Climate Change is MORE Serious than WMD
UN chief Kofi Annan demanded that world leaders give climate change the same priority as they did to wars and to curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the U.N. conference on climate change Wednesday that it's clear it will cost far less to cut greenhouse-gas emissions now 'than to deal with the consequences later.

Massive Ice Shelf 'May Collapse without Warning'
The Ross Ice Shelf, a massive piece of ice the size of France, could break off without warning causing a dramatic rise in sea levels, warn New Zealand scientists working in Antarctica. A New Zealand-led ice drilling team has recovered three million years of climate history from samples which gives clues as to what may happen in the future. Antarctica stores 70 per cent of the world's fresh water, with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet holding an estimated 30 million cubic kilometres. In January, British Antarctic Survey researchers predicted that its collapse would make sea levels rise by at least 5m, with other estimates predicting a rise of up to 17m.

Foe of Birth Control to Head Family Planning
Women's groups, health advocacy organisations and 21 members of the U.S. Congress are strongly lobbying against the recent appointment of an anti-birth control activist as head of the nation's family planning programme. Last week, the George W. Bush administration named Dr. Eric Keroack to oversee the country's family planning programmes at the Department of Health and Human Services, despite the fact that he was well known for his extremist views on abortion and birth control, including for married women. The fact that Keroack was appointed soon after the Bush administration lost control of both houses of Congress to the opposition Democratic Party early this month has raised further suspicions that Bush wants to use his office to advance a far-right agenda. "His appointment is an insult to American women. It's outrageous," June Zeitlin, executive director of the New York-based Women's Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO), told IPS. The DASPA is responsible for providing family planning and preventive health care services to more than five million poor women. Since its creation some 35 years ago, the federal family planning programme has helped women avoid an estimated 20 million pregnancies.

Toxic Poison
Earlier this year we warned you about a bill in Congress that would revive controversial research on the use of toxic, mold-like fungi called mycoherbicides to kill illicit drug crops in other countries. This provision could unleash an environmental disaster of monumental proportions. But Congressman Mark Souder and Senators Hatch and Biden are rushing it to the House and Senate floors this week.

Corporate Ag Takes Us Down Wrong Road
Self-reliance is not a bad thing. While Emerson's thoughts on "Self Reliance" were controversial enough to get him banned from Harvard University, it seems that most Americans have willingly ceded their own self-reliance and therefore their right of choice into the hands of corporate America. They have given up choice in media, health care and even food. When nearly 75 percent of the U.S. market spinach crop is grown in one valley in California and repeated bacterial contaminations ensue, we need to question our reliance on the corporate food system. When millions of pounds of beef are recalled due to bacterial contamination and when, by the count of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 73,000 cases of E. coli infection and 63 deaths occur in the United States each year, we need to question our reliance on the corporate food system. When large numbers of U.S. adults and many American children are obese, we need to question our reliance on the corporate food system.

Stuck in Traffic
Our addiction to driving has us in the fast lane to environmental calamity. A true free-market approach to highways and mass transit could slow us down.

Gas Mileage - Not Gulf Oil - Can Bring Energy Independence
Environmentalists are unimpressed by reports this week of a massive, new oil find in the Gulf of Mexico. "If it turns out to actually have amount of oil that they're currently speculating, the fact is it's just a fraction of the oil we use every day as a nation," Mark Farullo, director of the organization Environment Florida told OneWorld. The group has been at the forefront of efforts to limit oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. "We consume roughly 6 billion barrels of crude oil each year," he said. "That's a quarter of the world's oil use. With this find, we would at best have 4 percent of the world's oil reserves but we consume 25 percent of the world's supply."

Impact from the Deep
Strangling heat and gases emanating from the earth and sea, not asteroids, most likely caused several ancient mass extinctions. Could the same killer-greenhouse conditions build once again?

Fun While it Lasted
Living in expectation of this civilization’s collapse, which I do, can be isolating. It’s like having historical-epochal halitosis. You don’t get invited back to dinner parties after trying to engage people on the topic of our imminent decline and fall.

The 'Poison Plastic' Retailers Won't Talk About
PVC plastic (commonly used in toys, shower curtains, bags, shoes and more) has been linked to cancer and birth defects -- so why won't big-box stores stop selling it? Products made with PVC include some children's toys, shampoo bottles, lunch boxes, and home building materials. Many of these seemingly innocent items may pose serious health and environmental threats in production, at home, and in the trash, releasing dangerous chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects. When you smell that new plastic tablecloth, you are inhaling toxic fumes. When a baby chews on a new vinyl plastic toy, they could be ingesting harmful chemicals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put vinyl shower curtains to the test and found some alarming results: one new shower curtain can lead to elevated levels of indoor air toxics for over one month. Why is it that the problematic additives in PVC toys have been banned in Europe, but they're still sold in our country? VIEW A MOVIE ABOUT PVC

Fat People Cause Global Warming
First we said they were ruining their health with their bad habit, and they should just quit. Skip to next paragraph Related Times Topics: Obesity Readers’ Opinions Forum: Fitness and Nutrition Then we said they were repulsive and we didn’t want to be around them. Then we said they were costing us loads of money — maybe they should pay extra taxes. Other Americans, after all, do not share their dissolute ways. Cigarette smokers? No, the obese. Last week the list of ills attributable to obesity grew: fat people cause global warming.

The Incredible Growing Brain
Science, it seems, is always butting heads with some deeply entrenched, and abstractly comforting, human belief. It disproved our tidy assumption that Earth is the center of the universe. It has forced us to get comfortable being the descendants of apes and the genomic equivalent of mice. And now, in a particularly damaging blow to our feel-good beliefs about the democracy of human effort, science has another whopper: When it comes to brain development, the playing field isn't equal.

The 'Poison Plastic' Retailers Won't Talk About
PVC plastic (commonly used in toys, shower curtains, bags, shoes and more) has been linked to cancer and birth defects -- so why won't big-box stores stop selling it? Products made with PVC include some children's toys, shampoo bottles, lunch boxes, and home building materials. Many of these seemingly innocent items may pose serious health and environmental threats in production, at home, and in the trash, releasing dangerous chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects. When you smell that new plastic tablecloth, you are inhaling toxic fumes. When a baby chews on a new vinyl plastic toy, they could be ingesting harmful chemicals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put vinyl shower curtains to the test and found some alarming results: one new shower curtain can lead to elevated levels of indoor air toxics for over one month. Why is it that the problematic additives in PVC toys have been banned in Europe, but they're still sold in our country? VIEW A MOVIE ABOUT PVC

The fraud of primitive authenticity
Why, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, does popular culture portray primitives as peace-loving folk living in harmony with nature, as opposed to rapacious and brutal civilization? Jared Diamond's Guns, and Steel, which attributes civilization to mere geographical accident, made a best-seller out of a mendacious apology for the failure of primitive society.

The Package May Say Healthy, but This Grocer Begs to Differ
For many grocery shoppers, the feeling is familiar: that slight swell of virtue that comes from dropping a seemingly healthful product into a shopping cart. Skip to next paragraph Multimedia Star SystemGraphic Star System Alan Zale for The New York Times Products promoted as nutritious get a second opinion. But at one New England grocery chain, choosing some of those products may induce guilt instead. The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford’s formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you.

How Close to Catastrophe?
Several new books explore technological innovations and the need for radical lifestyle overhaul in the race against time to save the planet.

Global Warming
The average surface temperature of earth has increased more than 1 degree Fahrenheit since 1900 and the rate of warming has been nearly three times the century-long average since 1970. Almost all experts studying the recent climate history of the earth agree now that human activities, mainly the release of heat-trapping gases from smokestacks, tailpipes, and burning forests, are probably the dominant force driving the trend. The gases add to the planet's natural greenhouse effect, allowing sunlight in, but preventing some of the resulting heat from radiating back to space. Drawing on research on past climate shifts, observations of current conditions, and computer simulations, many climate experts say that without big curbs in greenhouse gas emissions, the 21st century could see temperatures rise 3 to 8 degrees, weather patterns sharply shift, ice sheets shrink and seas rise several feet. Articles and multimedia about global warming published in the New York Times

If America's So Great, Where's Our Health Care?
The rest of the industrialized world gets universal health care. The U.S. gets limited access at a far higher cost. It's time for Americans to get the health care system they want, and the savings that go with it. The United States spends by far the most on health care per person -- more than twice as much as Europe, Canada, and Japan which all have some version of national health insurance. Yet we are near the bottom in nearly every measure of our health. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the U.S. health care system well below most of Europe, and trailing Chile and Costa Rica.

The Right to Eat
Most people would agree that we have a right to live; so a right to food--essential to life--doesn't seem like a stretch. Declaring healthy food a right of citizenship in Brazil's fourth-largest city, the new administration drew together voices from labor, the church and citizen groups. Their innovations, coordinated by a new city office of food security, range from twenty-five fair-price produce stands supplied by local farmers to open-air restaurants serving 12,000 subsidized meals daily to city-sponsored radio broadcasts leading shoppers to the lowest-priced essentials. These and many more city-led initiatives to end hunger consume only 1 percent of Belo's budget, but they're working.

Energy Bill Burning You?
Ever wonder where your money is going? Yes, some is heading down the drain (check your water-heating costs). And you might be surprised how the rest disappears. Here's where you can save on your energy bill.

Big Ag, Oil, and Tobacco Will Kill You For a Profit
Big ag, big tobacco, big war, big oil, and their enablers on Wall Street always congratulate themselves on "wealth creation". This is what the "free market" does -- it takes something that was supposedly worthless, like mountaintops in West Virginia or corn varieties in Mexico or oil deposits in Alaska, and gives them "value".

Study Says Buying Local Food Would Boost State Economy
Forecast sees almost 2,000 new jobs, jump in farm profits.

Royal Society Tells Exxon: Stop Funding Climate Change Denial
Britain's leading scientists have challenged the US oil company ExxonMobil to stop funding groups that attempt to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change. In an unprecedented step, the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific academy, has written to the oil giant to demand that the company withdraws support for dozens of groups that have "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence".

Military Waste in Our Drinking Water
Most of us are vaguely aware that war devastates the environment abroad. The Vietnamese Red Cross counts 150,000 children whose birth defects were caused by their parents' exposure to Agent Orange. Cancer rates in Iraq are soaring as a result of depleted uranium left from the Gulf War. But what about closer to home? Today the U.S. military generates over one-third of our nation's toxic waste, which it disposes of very poorly.

Scientists Find New Global Warming 'Time Bomb’
Methane trapped in a special type of permafrost is bubbling up at rate five times faster than originally measured, according to a study in the Thursday, Sept. 6, 2006, issue of the journal Nature. (AP Photo/Nature, Katey Walter) Methane - a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

The Sickly State of Health Insurance
Let's make no mistake about this: insurance companies are middlemen. Their sole job is to connect the dots that stand between you and your medical treatment. More often than not, it seems like their job is actually to create red tape between you and your wallet. Why do we put up with them? Because these companies are so entrenched in our daily lives that we can't imagine an alternative. But there are other options, whether or not the Bush conservatives want to acknowledge them. A recent study found that national health insurance, financed by the federal government instead of private insurance companies would save Americans about $286 billion annually in paperwork alone. This would be enough to give all uninsured Americans full prescription drug coverage. President Bush goes out of his way to ignore these obvious statistics. He goes out of his way to bolster our current system, which is only getting worse. Medical expenses rose faster than inflation in the 1990s as insurance companies created plans to limit our treatment options through something they like to call "managed care." To me this translates as: we manage our (enormous) profits, you wing your (shoddy) coverage.

Scientists Begin to Grasp the Stealthy Spread of Cancer
The moment when a cancer begins to spread throughout the body — metastasis — has always been the most dreaded turning point of the disease.

Worse Yet to Come
If you thought the sight of the great American jazz city New Orleans flooded to the eaves -- its people trapped in attics or cowering on rooftops -- was the nightmare hurricane scenario, think again. Max Mayfield, director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center, says there's plenty of potential for a storm worse than Hurricane Katrina. Mayfield, a 34-year veteran of the hurricane center became its public face in 2000, is a tireless campaigner for hurricane preparation, warning the 50 million people who live in U.S. coastal counties from Maine to Texas that they are all in the path of a future storm.

Every Breath You Take
The protections outlined in the Clean Air Act aren't keeping pace with a growing body of scientific evidence linking air pollution to numerous ailments.

Flex-Fuel Lowers Emissions and Economy
According to Consumer Reports, the 85-percent-ethanol, 15-percent-gasoline mixture called E85 may not live up to its hype.

Oil Companies Manipulate Markets and Gouge Consumers, Harming Both Economy and Environment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans are paying more for gasoline than they would if they had access to competitive markets, and oil companies are using the windfall profits to buy back their stocks rather than make investments in sustainable energy, according to a report released today by Public Citizen.

Children and farmers devastated, Food Security at risk
Areas suitable for growing premium wine grapes could be reduced by 50 percent - and possibly as much as 81 percent - by the end of this century, according to a study Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

There's No Such Thing As Eco-Tourism
Tourism in the post-9/11, post-colonial era remains a minefield of moral issues. Colonialism is alive and well every time you travel from the First World to the Third and come home bearing photographs of sharks and storms and slums, of scorpions fried for snacks, sunflowers bigger than your head, stalled buses whose aisles are slick with spit, and then you tell your friends and co-workers, "Oh man, it was so great, you gotta go."

New warnings on ADHD drugs
Several drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder must include new warning information about the risk of heart problems and psychotic behavior, US health officials said on Monday.

Astronomers offer proof of unseen 'darkmatter'
US astronomers say they have found the best evidence to date for “darkmatter”, the mysterious invisible substance that is believed to account for the bulk of the universe’s mass.

Worst is yet to come, US hurricane chief says
If you thought the sight of the great American jazz city New Orleans flooded to the eaves -- its people trapped in attics or cowering on rooftops -- was the nightmare hurricane scenario, think again. ...

Bye, Bye Birdie, Goodbye
Human activities are driving animals to extinction 1,000 times faster than the normal rate, according to the just-released report, Global Biodiversity Outlook 2. The report echoes the United Nations' Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, published last year, and proclaims that a "sixth mass extinction" is under way, the worst loss of species since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.

Processed Meat Linked to Cancer
People who eat more processed meat such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, salami, ham, and smoked or cured meat show an increased risk of stomach cancer, a new review finds. Stomach cancer accounts for nearly 10 per cent of total deaths from cancer, and about 700,000 deaths from stomach cancer occur every year worldwide, the institute noted.

Earth 'on Verge of Major Biodiversity Crisis'
Mindful that life on Earth is seriously threatened by the continued loss of thousands of plant and animal species, an international group of scientists is calling for the creation of a global forum to help officials craft plans to preserve biodiversity on the planet. "There is an urgent need to bridge the gap between science and policy to take action," says a statement from the 19-member group that cautions against the possibility of a "major biodiversity crisis" facing the Earth. If governments fail to take appropriate actions in due course of time, the group says it is quite likely that before the end of this century a large number of plant and animal species will have completely disappeared.

Demand for Organic Food Outstrips Supply
America's appetite for organic food is so strong that supply just can't keep up with demand. Organic products still have only a tiny slice, about 2.5 percent, of the nation's food market. But the slice is expanding at a feverish pace. Growth in sales of organic food has been 15 percent to 21 percent each year, compared with 2 percent to 4 percent for total food sales. [It was only a matter of time before American's caught up with the rest of the world and said NO to genetically modified food in the grocery store chain]

Soylent Green: Is Lab-Grown Meat in Your Future?
Scientists growing meat in petri dishes say it's safer, healthier, more humane and less polluting. But can we get past the 'yuck' factor?

Black Gods: Big Coal Cons America
Finally there is a good, concise starting point for understanding what we are really facing in trying to sweep problems under the carpet: Big Coal. It is the product of the keyboard of Jeff Goodell, a journalist whose work appears in Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, and who already has a bestselling non-fiction book to his credit. In short, this is the product of a man whose life is finding out facts and casting them into words that tell a story. He divides his into three parts, "The Dig," "The Burn" and "The Heat."

Biofuels: E85 What Is It?
E85 is an ethanol-gasoline blend that is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. There are many potential benefits to ethanol, which is currently made mostly from corn. For one, they can reduce dependence on foreign oil. And it is a growing source of energy -- the Agricultural Working Group has called on farmers to meet 25% of America's energy needs by 2025. But the environmental benefits of biofuels are not universal. For example, global warming pollution savings from biofuels can vary substantially depending on how crops are grown and how the fuel is made. How do I find out if I can use E85 in my car? Today, while nearly every car can run on E10 (gasoline blended with 10% ethanol), only about one in forty cars can run on E85. Find out if your car can run on ethanol, then use the alternative fuel station locator to find out where to fill up.

How to Recycle Practically Anything
Recycling has leap-frogged ahead, meaning if you haven't checked the recycling scene since the mid-1990s, it's possible that much of what you thought you knew is wrong. Not only can you recycle more things, but your discards are very much in demand, perhaps more than you realize.

New Autism Study Shows Discrepancy in Brains
Men and boys with autism have fewer neurons in a part of the brain involved in memory and emotion, according to a new study by scientists at the University of California in San Diego and the MIND Institute at UC Davis. The study, which appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience, offers the latest evidence that this area of the brain, called the amygdala, may be one of the keys to understanding autism.

Greeenpeace And Nestle Clash Over GM Coffee
By Staff, Agence France-Presse via Terradaily
Here's some news that might wake you up: The European Patent Office just granted Nestle, the world's largest food producer, a patent for a genetically modified coffee plant. Agence France-Presse reports that the patented technology is designed to make the coffee more soluble, while Nestle representatives insist that no genetically modified organisms are currently being used in its coffee production. In spite of such assurances, the environmental watchdog Greenpeace is opposing the technology, calling on Nestle to withdraw all patents on genetically modified food.

How Corporate America Perpetuates the Health Care Crisis
Let's be honest--very few political operatives, politicians or pundits actually want to explore the real-life, day-to-day economic challenges facing the American people, because to explore them would ultimately force us to admit that our entire venerated political system is totally corrupt.

"Green" Pay, Not Crop Subsidies
The outmoded U.S. crop subsidy system should be replaced by a farm safety net that pays farmers and ranchers for land stewardship and protects their income through crop insurance and similar devices. The federal government spends about $20 billion a year on farm subsidies under a law due for overhaul by Congress in 2007.

Send an Email - US Fisheries and Seafood in Trouble

Our ocean resources are dwindling. Fish populations and popular seafood are only a fraction of what they were just 50 years ago. The U.S. House will soon vote on oceans legislation that would cause important fish species to decline even further. Send an email to oppose this harmful oceans bill.

The Food We Eat
No longer guided by "the cultural tools that once helped us choose our meals, people are "going one-on-one with the food supply." The lowest cost has become the best option, and a sort of don't-ask-don't-tell relationship has developed between individual consumers and their food. Questions about who raised it, how it was raised, and how far it traveled to get to you, simply float downstream like so much run-off from pesticide-ridden fields.

Poisoning Our Children
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., -- recently sold the future of our children to Big Pharma for a paltry $4 bucks a pop. That's the additional cost to produce a safe vaccine, a vaccine minus the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. Mercury is a deadly neurotoxin that has long been known to cause serious learning disabilities and death, and is strongly suspected in contributing to autism.

Vital Arctic Climatic Area in Danger
A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover.

Renewable Energy Saves the Day
Despite having public support and advantages over other energy sources, renewable technologies have been repeatedly characterized as unable to meet our energy needs. People have been presented only a choice between conventional fossil fuels and nuclear power. This, however, is a false choice. Renewable energy can reliably generate as much energy as conventional fuels, and can do so without producing carbon emissions or radioactive waste. CLICK HERE Tell your Senators: Stop blocking offshore wind energy generation

While Washington Slept
The Queen of England is afraid. International C.E.O.'s are nervous. And the scientific establishment is loud and clear. If global warming isn't halted, rising sea levels could submerge coastal cities by 2100. So how did this virtual certainty get labeled a "liberal hoax"?

Grow Your Own Organs, A Revolution In Transplantation
Scientists at Wake Forest, USA, have implanted bladders grown from patients' cells. The seven patients had myelomeningocele, a congenital condition which causes a weak bladder. Several years later their bladder functions have significantly improved.

URGENT: Michigan seed pre-emption bill rears its ugly head again in the Senate!
The Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Tourism committee now plans to vote on the bill, SB 777, on Wednesday, March 22nd, with no further testimony. Contact the committee members, your Senators and the Governor NOW and tell them NOT to pass this dangerous bill. A bill containing language that prevents counties, towns and cities in Michigan from introducing ordinances, resolutions, or other legislation relating to agricultural and other seeds is back in the Senate Agriculture Committee. This seed pre-emption bill, like other bills that have been passed or have moved towards adoption in at least fourteen states around the nation, is an orchestrated biotech industry response to recent local actions on genetically modified organisms.

Support the (Revised) Combating Autism Act!
We are experiencing an explosing in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, among our children. Twenty years ago the incidence of autism was approximately 3 or 4 cases in 10,000 children. Today around 60 children in 10,000 are diagnosed with autism, a fifteen fold increase. Once considered rare, autism is one of the most common serious chronic diseases afflicting our kids. It is an epidemic. A crisis.

For a list of cosponsors of the "Combating Autism Act" go to the following:

Company drops bottled water lawsuits against Michigan
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A water bottler Monday withdrew lawsuits against the state of Michigan over regulations that limited the company's ability to sell its product outside the Great Lakes drainage basin. Nestle Waters North America Inc. filed state and federal suits last year after the Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit for Nestle to buy water from the city of Evart for bottling at its Ice Mountain Spring Water plant in Mecosta County. The permit said the Evart water couldn't be sold outside the Great Lakes basin. Some environmentalist groups pledge a fight to overturn the bottled water provision, saying it sets a precedent for classifying water as an economic commodity instead of a public resource.

Chemical Combo Could Cause Carcinogen in Sodas & Juice Drinks
28 FEB 2006—In 1990, without notifying the public, the FDA asked beverage manufacturers to remove chemicals in soda and juice drinks that can combine to form the cancer-causing chemical benzene. Apparently many companies did not comply, and an ongoing FDA investigation has found benzene in juices and soft drinks.

Add to Bush's Follies the Rape of his Own Country
What do we care if another million acres of the Appalachian mountain range are lost to strip mining? If the habitat of the flying squirrel and the cerulean warbler is blown up and bulldozed? If one of the oldest temperate forests in the world with some 80 species of trees is destroyed by the greed of a few coal companies? Why should it matter to us?

Flooding fears as glaciers melt faster
A sharp rise in the volume of water produced by melting ice in Greenland has prompted scientists to warn of faster-than-expected rising sea levels over the next century.

The Anti-Abortion Paradox
Rights and Liberties: Pro-life tactics have actually helped encourage abortions and have led to riskier sex, especially among teens.

Congress Poised to Pass Bill Taking Away Your Right to Know What's in Your Food
March 2, 2006—Tell your Congressman or Congresswoman to vote "No" on House of Representatives Bill H.R. 4167, the "National Uniformity for Food Act," coming to a vote in Washington, D.C this Thursday, March 2. The House of Representatives will vote on a controversial "national food uniformity" labeling law that will take away local government and states' power to require food safety food labels such as those required in California and other states on foods or beverages that are likely to cause cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, or mercury poisoning. This bill would also prevent citizens in local municipalities and states from passing laws requiring that genetically engineered foods and ingredients such as Monsanto's recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) be labeled.

GM Food Goes on Trial
The fundamental rule of retail is: The consumer is always right. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has once again disregarded this rule by declaring the majority of European consumers wrong. In poll after poll, Europeans have voiced their skepticism of food that's been altered at the genetic level. Their governments initially responded with a moratorium on new GM products and subsequently adopted a Europe-wide policy on product labeling. But in its latest ruling, the WTO did some labeling of its own, declaring Europe's cautious policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO) an unfair barrier to trade. [Editor: Labeling in reasonable and fair as the long term affects from human consumption of GM crops are not yet known. Already several health conditions have been attributed to the consumption of Genetically Modified foods.]

Fat children take over the world
Fat children are taking over the world. On every continent childish waistlines are expanding, driven by low-energy lifestyles and high-energy foods. Global fattening poses an equal threat to global warming, according to obesity specialists.

New Studies Back Benefits of Organic Diet
Organic foods protect children from the toxins in pesticides, while foods grown using modern, intensive agricultural techniques contain fewer nutrients and minerals than they did 60 years ago, according to two new scientific studies. A U.S. research team from Emory University in Atlanta analyzed urine samples from children ages three to 11 who ate only organic foods and found that they contained virtually no metabolites of two common pesticides, malathion and chlorpyrifos.

Stop Mad Cow
The brains of cattle, as well as the rest of the carcass, to be fed to pigs and chickens, and pigs and chickens are fed to cows. Cow blood is fed to calves as milk replacer. The FDA said it was banning these dangerous materials in January 2004 but never acted on its promise. “We shouldn’t wait for a major outbreak of mad cow disease to take preventive action. There is no question that we should not be feeding the remains of any mammals to food animals, and by not closing this dangerous loophole, we are exposing the American public to unnecessary risk,” says Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a biologist with Consumers Union.

Survey's matter of life, death
Responses to a series of questions can help determine your lifespan within next the 4 years

Company drops bottled water lawsuits against Michigan
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- A water bottler Monday withdrew lawsuits against the state of Michigan over regulations that limited the company's ability to sell its product outside the Great Lakes drainage basin. Nestle Waters North America Inc. filed state and federal suits last year after the Department of Environmental Quality issued a permit for Nestle to buy water from the city of Evart for bottling at its Ice Mountain Spring Water plant in Mecosta County. The permit said the Evart water couldn't be sold outside the Great Lakes basin. Some environmentalist groups pledge a fight to overturn the bottled water provision, saying it sets a precedent for classifying water as an economic commodity instead of a public resource.

Cough Medicines a Bust?
Over-the-counter cough medicines may be a waste of time and money, says a panel of America's top lung specialists. Consumers spend billions each year on nonprescription cough syrups, drops, and so-called cough and cold medications. But an expert panel concluded that these products rarely help a cough.

Our Medicare Misery
The new Republican Medicare bill is about to kick in, and what it offers to seniors isn't pretty.

You Can't Trust the Gorton's Fisherman
The Gortons Fishmeran I've been writing to you for weeks about Gorton's, the fisherman you used to trust. But you know now that Gorton's parent company plans to slaughter nearly 1,000 whales this year. We can't stand by and let that happen.

Antioxidants May Reduce Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
A diet with a high intake of beta carotene, vitamins C and E, and zinc is associated with a substantially reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration in elderly persons, according to a study in today's issue of JAMA.

Large daily vitamin dose 'can halve risk of cancer'
US researchers found the "natural" form of the vitamin, known as D3, could dramatically reduce the chances of developing breast, ovarian and colon cancer, as well as others, by up to 50 per cent.

Arctic drilling rejected
Environmentalists on both sides of the border are hailing a dramatic vote that turned back the latest bid by George W. Bush and Republican senators to open a pristine Arctic refuge to oil drilling. Canadian Environment Minister Stéphane Dion said he felt it was crucial that North America provide a proper environmental example to the developing world and he said he hoped American legislators would not again try to tag such issues on to unrelated bills.

DuPont must pay record $10.25m fine in Teflon case
DuPont will pay a record $10.25 million fine for failing to tell the Environmental Protection Agency what the company knew about a chemical used to make Teflon, including studies that found the substance in human blood and say it should be considered ''extremely toxic."

Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts
SCIENTISTS have for the first time found evidence that polar bears are drowning because climate change is melting the Arctic ice shelf. The researchers were startled to find bears having to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food.

Save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge NOW
It's now or never if we want to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the White House and Republican leaders in Congress are stacking the odds against us. They're using underhanded procedural tactics to sneak through legislation to destroy the Arctic Refuge. Now they want to sneak ANWR back in through the Defense Bill. Maria Cantwell has declared she will lead a filibuster. Will we support her or not?

Gene mapping project promises new targeted cancer therapies
Government researchers in the United States have this week launched a pilot project to find all the little genetic changes that cause cancer in the hope it will lead to a whole new world of targeted cancer therapy.

The Truth About Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs (Statins), Cholesterol and Health
With at least 12 million Americans taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, mostly statins, and experts' recommendations that another 23 million should be taking them, it's important to remain educated on this issue, the primary one being that they're linked to many, many dangerous side effects.

Can Childhood Vaccines Cause Autism?
Many officials in the medical establishment would be very pleased if you and I knew as little as possible about the controversial topic of this report. The ABC report concerned the association between childhood vaccines and autism. The topic was raised when Rolling Stone magazine published an article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., titled "Deadly Immunity." In a nutshell: Mr. Kennedy accuses the medical establishment of helping drug companies cover up evidence that autism may be caused by vaccines that contain the mercury-based preservative thimerosal.

Whether or not the new drugs work any better, they make a lot of money for the drug companies. While a month's supply of an old drug like Haldol costs less than $30, a month's supply of Zyprexa can cost over $500. To determine if these drugs are worth their outrageous price, the National Institute of Mental Health conducted one of the largest and longest independent studies ever, the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness, or CATIE. Four years and $44 million later, the CATIE study, published in September 2005, reached a startling conclusion: the new drugs "have no substantial advantage" over the old ones.

Web forum aims to connect those with interest in Great Lakes
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) -- A forum created by the Biodiversity Project offers users a chance to discuss and debate issues affecting the Great Lakes. On the Web site, called Great Lakes Town Hall, people may share personal stories and photos, read Great Lakes-related articles and participate in online discussions and debates with scientists and policymakers.

Attorney warns of dangers in water protection plan
When governors of the Great Lakes states endorsed a strategy for preventing water raids by covetous outsiders, some of the loudest cheers came from leaders of environmentalist groups. But an attorney known for leading the fight against a water bottling operation in Michigan's northwestern Lower Peninsula doesn't share their enthusiasm.

Residents can view TC waterfront ideas
Residents can review design ideas for Traverse City's waterfront drafted by Michigan State University students.
The university's Small Town Design Initiative worked with the city and residents for months to develop six conceptual designs for the city's 12,000 feet of bayfront.

Hopes high for new climate pact despite US snub
America's dogged refusal to engage in negotiations on climate change was always going to present a formidable challenge to international efforts to tackle global warming. Tony Juniper, of Friends of the Earth, said: "The US has walked away from a global effort to tackle the problem of climate change. The rest of the world is right to push ahead and leave the obstructive President Bush behind. We can only hope the next administration cares more about the future of the planet than its mates in the oil industry."

Worse Than Fossil Fuel
Over the past two years I have made an uncomfortable discovery. Like most environmentalists, I have been as blind to the constraints affecting our energy supply as my opponents have been to climate change. I now realise that I have entertained a belief in magic. In 2003, the biologist Jeffrey Dukes calculated that the fossil fuels we burn in one year were made from organic matter "containing 44 x 10 to the 18 grams of carbon, which is more than 400 times the net primary productivity of the planet's current biota."(1) In plain English, this means that every year we use four centuries' worth of plants and animals. The idea that we can simply replace this fossil legacy - and the extraordinary power densities it gives us - with ambient energy is the stuff of science fiction. There is simply no substitute for cutting back.

Chimney Sweeps to the Rescue
Traverse City—The consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that over 45,500 chimney fires occur each year. These fires are often a result of poor maintenance and inadequate cleaning of the chimney. Each year families in northern Michigan lose their homes to defective and dirty chimneys. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you have a dirty chimney!

The Climate
You would think that the Bush administration officials attending the international climate change conference in Montreal this week were deeply committed to cutting emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Unfortunately, these claims are more Bush hot air that does not stand up to examination.

Organic Standards Gutted
Despite our hard work and the massive effort by thousands of organic farmers, food companies, consumers and activists, behind closed doors, without a single vote or debate, the Organic Foods Production Act was amended at the behest of large food processors without the benefit of the organic community. With the changes by Republican corporate food activists numerous synthetic food additives and processing aids, including over 500 food contact substances, to be used in organic foods without public review.

HealthWrap: If you`re an apple, beware
It has long been known, are not a good thing when it comes to fitness and longevity. But this new study confirms that a roly-poly ring around the middle is much worse than big buttocks. Among other things, mid-body fat has been shown to pump out harmful chemicals that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

A heartfelt message for your child
Lack of exercise and an unbalanced diet can lead to stress and depression, something I see a lot more in my work with even very young children. Endorphins are essential to our sense of wellbeing and the more we exercise, the more endorphins we release. Staying involved in physical activity and sport can have an impact on a young person’s feelings of self-esteem.

Kiss steals the life of a girl with an allergy
Christina Desforges, a Canadian teenager allergic to peanuts actually lost her life after she stole a kiss with her boyfriend who had just consumed a peanut-based snack. The allergy that affects just over a percent of the population caused the 15-year old to go into anaphylactic shock despite an immediately administered adrenalin shot. The girl eventually died four days after the lethal kiss of respiratory failure.

Bush Plan Shows US Is Not Ready for Deadly Flu
A plan developed by the Bush administration to deal with any possible outbreak of pandemic flu shows that the United States is woefully unprepared for what could become the worst disaster in the nation's history.

Eating fish may slow down onset of dementia
For those eating two or more fish meals a week the rate of cognitive decline was 13 per cent slower than non-fish eaters, revealed the study published online yesterday, ahead of the December print issue of the Archives of Neurology (vol 62, 1-5).

Marijuana may make your brain grow
The researchers injected rats with HU210, a synthetic drug that is about one-hundred times as powerful as THC, the high-inducing compound naturally found in marijuana. They then used a chemical tracer to watch new cells growing in the hippocampus. They found that HU210 seemed to induce new brain cell growth, just as some antidepressant drugs do, they report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation1. This suggests that they could potentially be used to reduce anxiety and depression, Zhang says. He adds that the research might help to create new cannabinoid-based treatments.

Amazon rainforest vanishing at twice rate of previous estimates
The Amazonian rainforest is being destroyed at double the rate of all previous estimates, according to research published today in the journal Science. The destruction is leaving the forest more prone to fires and allowing more carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere, according to scientists. 6,000 sq miles lost a year as valuable trees removed. Selective logging causing 25% greenhouse gas boost

Engines of Ecotourism, Understaffed Wildlife Refuges Still at Risk
Our national wildlife refuges are not only beautiful places where fish and wildlife can flourish, they are also economic engines for their local communities, providing jobs, customers for local businesses, and tax revenue for local governments.

Scientist Recommends Isolation for Animals Showing Signs of Canine Flu
With a new, highly contagious canine flu spreading, dogs that are coughing should be kept at home for up to two weeks, a scientist who first described the illness said yesterday.

Warmer seas linked to growing strength of hurricanes
Hurricanes are growing ever stronger as sea surface temperatures rise, the latest research has suggested. Storms as fearce as Katrina are unusual, but a global survey shows they are becoming more frequent. In the past 35 years, the number of category four or five storms worldwide has doubled. Over the same period, global sea surface temperatures have risen

Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger, Study Says
Warming ocean temperatures appear to be fueling stronger, more intense hurricanes around the world. The study finds that the increase in hurricane intensity coincides with a rise in sea surface temperatures around the world of about 1ºF (0.5ºC) between 1970 and 2004.

Calculate Your Greener Future
A veritable green toolbox for the environmentally concerned is just a few mouse-clicks away. Several online green auditing tools can help you calculate your environmental impact and answer pressing questions about how you can lessen the stress you place on the planet.

An Apple a Day? Try a Cup of Coffee
A team of Japanese researchers reported in February that people who drank coffee daily had half the liver cancer risk of those who never drank it. The protective effect occurred in people who drank one to two cups a day and increased at three to four cups, said the report that appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Last year, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking coffee cut the risk of developing the most common form of diabetes. Men who drank more than six 8-ounce cups of caffeinated coffee per day lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by about half, and women reduced their risk by nearly 30%, compared with people who did not drink coffee, said the study.

Wake-up Call: Oceans Warming Up
About 15 years ago, some of us in the scientific community were met with a firestorm of criticism from some of our colleagues when we said that the episodes of mass coral bleachings during the 1980s and 90s were probably due to climate change," says Environmental Defense marine ecologist Rod Fujita. "Many scientists thought we were crazy, and many thought the oceans could absorb the extra heat pretty well. Why has the scientific community now reached a consensus?

Coffee is number one source of antioxidants
Coffee provides more than just a morning jolt; that steaming cup of java is also the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Scranton (Pa.). Their study was described today at the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

British Scientists Say Carbon Dioxide Is Turning the Oceans Acidic
Whether or not it contributes to global warming, carbon dioxide is turning the oceans acidic, Britain's leading scientific organization warned yesterday. In a report by a panel of scientists, the organization, the Royal Society, said the growing acidity would be very likely to harm coral reefs and other marine life by the end of the century. The burning of fossil fuels by cars and power plants releases more than 25 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year. Roughly a third of that is absorbed by the oceans, where the gas undergoes chemical reactions that produce carbonic acid, which is corrosive to shells.

Glaxo's Paxil Linked to Suicide
Aug. 22—GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Paxil antidepressant is linked to a higher risk of suicide attempts in adults, according to a review of 16 studies by researchers in Norway and published in BMC Medicine journal.

US obesity rates on rise-report
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans are getting fatter in every state, with the exception of Oregon, and those living in the southeast are the most likely to be obese, according to a report issued on Tuesday.

Bad to the Last Drop
It's summertime, and odds are that at some point during your day you'll reach for a nice cold bottle of water. But before you do, you might want to consider the results of an experiment I conducted with some friends one summer evening last year. On the table were 10 bottles of water, several rows of glasses and some paper for recording our impressions. We were to evaluate samples from each bottle for appearance, odor, flavor, mouth, feel and aftertaste - and our aim was to identify the interloper among the famous names. One of our bottles had been filled from the tap. Would we spot it?

The little rock causing a galactic storm
Astronomers have found a new world orbiting the Sun. The giant lump of rock and ice is larger than the planet Pluto and is now the farthest known object in the solar system. The discovery was announced by US scientists yesterday and the object has unofficially been named Xena. Preliminary observations suggest Xena - officially known as 2003 UB313 - is an extremely strange world. It is currently 9 billion miles away from the Sun, roughly 100 times more distant than the Earth, and is now about three times more remote than Pluto. At its present distance, the Sun will appear so small in the sky it will almost be indistinguishable from other stars.

Plugging in to the Wind and Sun
Live off the grid without losing the modern comforts of life. Solar panels and small-scale wind turbines can provide ample power for a family home, and plenty of websites and green-living companies are out there to help potential back-to-the-landers electrify their refuges.

In the Hospital, a Degrading Shift From Person to Patient
Entering the medical system, whether a hospital, a nursing home or a clinic, is often degrading. At the hospital where Ms. Duffy was a patient and at many others the small courtesies that help lubricate and dignify civil society are neglected precisely when they are needed most, when people are feeling acutely cut off from others and betrayed by their own bodies.

Monsanto files patent for new invention: the pig
It's official. Monsanto Corporation is out to own the world's food supply, the dangers of genetic engineering and reduced biodiversity notwithstanding, as they pig-headedly set about hog-tying farmers with their monopoly plans. We've discovered chilling new evidence of this in recent patents that seek to establish ownership rights over pigs and their offspring.

Junk Food Nation
In recent months the major food companies have been trying hard to convince Americans that they feel the pain of our expanding waistlines, especially when it comes to kids. Kraft announced it would no longer market Oreos to younger children, McDonald's promoted itself as a salad producer and Coca-Cola said it won't advertise to kids under 12. But behind the scenes it's hardball as usual, with the junk food giants pushing the Bush Administration to defend their interests. The recent conflict over what America eats, and the way the government promotes food, is a disturbing example of how in Bush's America corporate interests trump public health, public opinion and plain old common sense.

Scientists Aim for Lab-Grown Meat
15 August 2005—Researchers are dishing up the perfect conundrum for vegetarians - meat grown in a laboratory dish, not on the hoof. While it may be years before you savor laboratory-raised meat from your backyard barbecue, researchers say the technology exists now to produce processed meats such as burgers and sausages, starting with cells taken from cow, chicken, pig, fish or other animal. Seafood is amoung the first to be laboratory cultured. "We actually did cook the fish meat we grew."

West Nile virus off to slow start in
The packages arrive at a Michigan State University laboratory from virtually every corner of the state. The remains of birds and blood samples hold the potential clues to the spread of West Nile virus, making its fifth annual appearance in Michigan this summer. The mosquito-borne virus does not appear to be the threat it once was. The seven counties where West Nile has been detected -- Chippewa, Grand Traverse, Midland, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw and Washtenaw -- are scattered about the state.

Pee-powered Battery Smaller Than a Credit Card
Tired of holding it in? Well, now you can let 'er rip for the sake of sustainability. Physicists in Singapore have developed a battery that harnesses the chemical power of urine. Small enough to fit in a wallet, the battery has the potential to power medical test kits for diseases such as diabetes, and maybe even charge a cell phone in an emergency.

Lead, secondhand smoke levels down — Cadmium, Mercury, Pesticides a Problem
We're getting the lead and secondhand smoke out of our bodies, scientists said, but other environmental chemicals are replacing them.

A sweet way to keep blood pressure low
Eating half a bar of dark chocolate each day may lower high blood pressure, according to a new study--though experts cautioned that the results should not be read as an invitation for chocoholics to pig out.

Ducks are 'a big' bird flu threat
Domestic ducks may pose a major threat of spreading avian flu to animals and humans, scientists believe. Not only do they harbour the virus with few signs, making it hard to spot, the virus mutates in them, meaning they could cause a large human outbreak.

Some Parkinson's Drugs May Trigger Compulsive Gambling
MONDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Eleven people with Parkinson's disease temporarily became compulsive gamblers after taking a class of drugs designed to control movement problems caused by the illness.

Quitting smoking helps heal chronic gum disease
Smokers are more than 6 times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers but kicking the habit can prevent them from losing their teeth prematurely

HHS Abstinence Web Site for Parents of Teens Contains Inaccurate, Misleading Information, Review Says
An HHS Web site designed to help parents discuss sexual abstinence with their teenage children contains inaccurate and misleading information about condoms, sexual orientation, dangers associated with oral sex and single-parent households and potentially could lead to riskier behavior among young people or alienation among families, according to medical experts who reviewed the material.

We are Killing the Planet. That is Not an Exaggeration
The statistics released yesterday are a wake-up call to individuals and families that we're all responsible for climate change. Too many people think: "Climate change has nothing to do with me - it's the fault of government and industry." But statistics like this show the cumulative effect of millions of people doing the wrong thing.

Dolly Coming to a Grocery Store Near You
Scott Davis, former president of ViaGen, the company famous for cloning Dolly the sheep, is expecting to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market genetically modified meat products in US grocery stores. Davis now heads Start Licensing, which is pegging its financial hopes on a favorable FDA ruling. But to the chagrin of the genetically modified meat industry, the FDA is taking its time coming to a final decision.

Buying Health Insurance Online
Soon, a health subcommittee in the House of Representatives will hold hearings on a bill that would completely change – for the better – how we purchase health insurance a serious concern to most taxpaying working gay Americans.

Teflon Concerns
An EPA panel says one of the chemicals used to make the coating in Teflon and other non-stick surfaces should be classified as a "likely" carcinogen.

Even low-level radiation has cancer risk, scientists say
Even low doses of radiation pose a risk of cancer over a person's lifetime, a National Academy of Sciences panel concluded.

US moves to spoil climate accord
The United States, over the past two months, has been secretly undermining Tony Blair's proposals to tackle climate change. The documents obtained by The Observer represent an attempt by the Bush administration to undermine completely the science of climate change and show that the US position has hardened during the G8 negotiations. The documents show that Washington officials: Removed all reference to the fact that climate change is a 'serious threat to human health and to ecosystems'; Deleted any suggestion that global warming has already started; Expunged any suggestion that human activity was to blame for climate change. ...

Study Links Red Meat to Cancer
Eating red meat, particularly processed meat, is associated with a third higher risk for colorectal cancer, a large European observational study has found. [Editor: Of course vegetarians suggested this decades ago.]

Standing on Whose Shoulders? Why Race and Class Matter to the Environmental Movement
Go digging for the roots of environmentalism and you'll find more than just John Muir. You'll find a movement built upon the civil rights struggles of Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. There are also the insights of Henry Thoreau, Louis Marshall, and Zora Neale Hurston -- individuals whose concerns for nature didn't exist in a social-justice vacuum. Michel Gelobter suggests that theirs are the shoulders environmentalists should be standing on as they seek to revitalize an embattled movement. -- Hannah Lobel

Chemical linked to abnormalities in boys
In a study released today that will appear in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers for the first time have demonstrated a significant relationship between a chemical commonly added to plastics and personal care products - such as deodorants, fragrances, hairspray and soaps - and a marker for reproductive abnormalities in baby boys.

Pain Study Finds Gap in Minorities Seeking Help
Hispanics who suffer from severe chronic pain are less likely than members of other ethnic groups to seek professional help for their ailments, according to a study by the research arm of a major pharmaceutical company.

What Is Depleted Uranium?A Scientific Perspective
Interview with Leuren Moret, Geo-Scientist
A Military Perspective
Interview with Dr. Doug Rokke, Ph.D, former Director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project
A Survivor’s Perpsective
Interview with Melissa Sterry, Gulf War Veteran who is surviving the effects of depleted uranium

What is Depleted Uranium: a Scientific Perspective
Leuren Moret is a geoscientist who works almost around the clock educating citizens, the media, members of parliaments and Congress and other officials on radiation issues. She became a whistleblower in 1991 at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab after witnessing fraud on the Yucca Mountain Project. She is currently working as an independent citizen scientist and radiation specialist in communities around the world, and contributed to the U.N. subcommission investigating depleted uranium. According to Wikipedia online encyclopedia, Moret testified at the International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan in Japan in 2003, presented at the World Depleted Uranium Weapons Conference in Hamburg, Germany, and spoke at the World Court of Women at the World Social Forum in Bombay, India, in January 2004.

Some sun protects from many cancers
For years we have been told to stay out of the sun, paste ourselves with sunblock, sit in the shade and wear a hat. Now, it seems that we should be spending some of that time out in the sun, without the hat or sunblock, if we want to have a plentiful supply of Vitamin D and reduce our chances of developing cancer. Recent studies have found that the vitamin D you get from the sun protects you from lymphoma, colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and even skin cancer.

Groups Seek Tougher EPA Rules on Mercury from Power Plants
Washington - Some of the nation's top environmental groups said Tuesday they will join the efforts of at least 13 states hoping to force industry to install mercury pollution controls tougher than those imposed this spring by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA in March issued new regulations that it said would cut mercury pollution from power plants in half by 2020, from 48 tons a year now to 24.3 tons. The new rules rely on the markets to reduce pollution, with companies buying and selling allotted pollution limits. Opponents of the new rules contend the agency should have required each plant to install the most effective technology to capture mercury emissions.

Check it out
Since 1992, Northwoods Wilderness Recovery (NWR) has been working to protect the forests of the unique bioregion from which our group's name derives. As a nonprofit organization headquartered in Marquette Michigan, in the beautiful Upper Peninsula, we represent a diverse consortium of concerned citizens throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. NWR seeks to address the root causes of forest decline in the northern Great lakes area, and is ultimately interested in the restoration of forest lands damaged by generations of commercial abuse. Towards this general goal, our group engages in three main categories of projects.

Biology Prof. Resigns Over Gvt. Use of Plant Research
We speak Dr. Martha Crouch, a former biology professor at the University of Indiana. She ran a lab dedicated to cutting edge plant research but decided to end her career when she found out that biotechnology companies were co-opting her research for profit.

Plant-based food has the power to reduce fat and cholesterol
New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine re-enforces what Mum always told you, eat those veggies and those other nutrient-dense foods because they’re good for you!

Sulfide Mining and Sulfuric Acid Mine Drainage in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
New mining ventures in Michigan's Upper Peninsula could drastically alter the character and environmental health of this area. A Vancouver, Canada, company has bought mineral rights in Michigan U.P. counties and is exploring for Nickel/Copper/Gold/Zinc and other minerals. These minerals are imbedded in sulfide ores, and so a significant byproduct of this mining technology is sulfur, which forms sulfuric acid when it comes in contact with water. This sulfuric acid is also called Acid Mine Drainage, or AMD.

GM industry puts human gene into rice
Scientists have begun putting genes from human beings into food crops in a dramatic extension of genetic modification. The move, which is causing disgust and revulsion among critics, is bound to strengthen accusations that GM technology is creating "Frankenstein foods" and drive the controversy surrounding it to new heights.

900,000-year-old ice may destroy US case on Kyoto
An Italian expedition to the Antarctic has taken a sample of ice which is more than 900,000 years old and could give scientists evidence of past climate changes which would discredit global warming doubters.

Study Says Antarctic Glaciers Are Shrinking, Sea Levels May Climb
Most of the coastal glaciers along the 1,200-mile Antarctic Peninsula have shrunk as temperatures have risen over the past 50 years, and sea levels may climb if the trend continues, according to a study published today in the journal Science.

Antarctic Survey Shows Widespread Glacial Retreat
The most comprehensive survey yet completed of glaciers in the Antarctic has discovered widespread movement, especially in the past five years. The findings, published today in the journal Science, indicate that the rate of sea-level rise could increase if ice shelves in the area continue their retreat.

Drilling in the Artic Approved
The House approved a broad energy bill Thursday aimed at boosting domestic production, including provisions to allow oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge and to shield makers of a gasoline additive from water contamination lawsuits. Of course the U.S. government ignores the fact that drilling in the Sacred Place Where Life Begins would be a violation of the human rights of the people of the Gwich'in Nation.

New EPA Mercury Rule Omits Conflicting Data
When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff. What they did not reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion. That analysis estimated health benefits 100 times as great as the EPA did, but top agency officials ordered the finding stripped from public documents, said a staff member who helped develop the rule. Acknowledging the Harvard study would have forced the agency to consider more stringent controls, said environmentalists and the study's author.

Climate Models Reveal Inevitability of Global Warming
How to best curb greenhouse gas emissions is a hotly debated topic. But new research suggests that putting the brakes on greenhouse gas levels is not enough to slow down climate change because the ocean responds so slowly to perturbations. The study results, published today in the journal Science, indicate that even if greenhouse gas levels had stabilized five years ago, global temperatures would still increase by about half a degree by the end of the century and sea level would rise some 11 centimeters.

No Tanning Beds for Kids Under 18, Experts Warn
No person under age 18 should use a tanning bed because the device's ultraviolet rays pose an increased risk of deadly skin cancer, the World Health Organization advised Thursday.

Genetic Mutation Linked To Major Eye Illness
Researchers have identified a genetic mutation linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness among the elderly.

'Clear Skies' Plan: The Battle Heats Up
25 February 2005— Ten state attorneys general are accusing the Bush administration of diluting air-pollution standards. The congressional fight over the Bush administration's clean air plan has turned into a political knock-down, drag out at several levels. Ten state attorneys general are publicly opposing it. Environmental activists and labor unions are at odds over the measure, illustrating the classic split over jobs versus the environment. Meanwhile, speakers at the annual meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science this week complained that the administration "has distanced itself from scientific information" on such issues as environmental protection.

Safe swimming standards:
Both U.S. EPA and Michigan State Standards for enterococcus levels require that a single sample value be <100. Dangerous levels are highlighted in red.

Greenhouse gases may have greater impact than previously thought
The finding shows that recent warming is man-made and that a doubling of greenhouse gas levels from their pre-industrial state could cause more than double the maximum temperature rise.

World's Most Powerful Nation is Sick
The World Health Organization has announced that the U.S. now has shorter life expectancies and higher infant and child mortality rates than Canada, Japan and all of Western Europe, except Portugal. Factors contributing to this decline in public health include weaker laws on toxic chemicals, higher levels of economic disparity, junk food diets, and a lack of health care access for millions of families.

Rocket Fuel in Your Lettuce
Perchlorates, recklessly discharged into streams and rivers near military bases and weapons manufacturing facilities, have contaminated drinking water in 35 states, and have been detected in measurable amounts in 93% of lettuce and milk samples

Illness May Lead To Bankruptcy In The US
The thought of getting ill and losing everything you own is frightening and a new study confirms that Americans may be just one illness away from going bankrupt.

Overconsumption threatens ecological balance
People are consuming the planet's resources at a rate that outstrips its capacity to support life.

Americans Are New Guinea Pigs for $500 Billion Pharmaceutical Industry
Thousands of Americans are getting sick and many are dying each year from prescription drugs that were pushed onto the U.S. market ahead of the rest of the world. Nearly 60 percent of all the genuinely new drugs sold in the world in 2003 - those with active ingredients never before marketed - were first dispensed in America. While the FDA has no official estimate on the number of people killed by these drugs, the agency says 106,000 people a year die from all types of drug reactions. One new drug, the painkiller Vioxx, which was pulled from the market this fall, may have caused 55,000 deaths, a top FDA scientist said recently.

Common Pesticide Causes Agression and Brain Damage
Glufosinate, a pesticide used widely in the U.S. and whose residues have been found in the food and water supply, has been verified to cause brain and hormonal damage. Glufosinate, which is used as an herbicide on several varieties of genetically modified canola and corn, is also linked to neurological defects that increase the rate of hyperactivity and decrease IQs.

The Air That I Breathe
Soot, also known as particulate matter, is what comes out of power plant smokestacks, trash incinerators and diesel exhaust. Soot particles are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (a 30th the size of a human hair) and can easily lodge in the lungs. According to the EPA, "While fine particulates are unhealthy for anyone to breathe, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children are especially at risk. Exposure to elevated particulate levels can increase respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, can aggravate heart and lung diseases, and can cause premature death of people with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly."

Professor Canned for Relasing Paper on Corn GMO Contamination
A well-respected and popular professor at the University of California in Berkeley has been fired after publishing a scientific paper regarding the uncontrolled contamination of irreplaceable native Mexican corn varieties by genetically engineered corn. Dr. Ignacio Chapela, whose corn contamination article was published in the science journal "Nature," was denied his tenure due to pressure on the University from the biotech company Monsanto.

The Enemy of Nature
Corporations are established for one purpose – to make money for shareholders by converting nature and labor into capital. Corporate managers are legally required to maximize profit for the investors. If they place the interests of workers, community, or environment ahead of the profit interests of shareholders, they can (and probably will) be sued for breach of fiduciary duty. Trying to graft environmental ethics onto capitalism is like trying to mix oil and water: it takes considerable agitation and then doesn’t hold together very long.

Study Links 200 or More Diseases to Pollution
Doctors from the University of California and the Boston Medical Center have released findings linking common chemical pollutants to at least 200 different human diseases. Health and environmental activists believe the study's findings warrant the release of information by manufacturers on the potential risks associated with use of their products. Meanwhile, the Bush administration is working hard to prevent such mandatory information disclosure, which it argues would have economic impacts.

GMOs Pose Significant Threat to World Food Supplies
Genetically modified organisms arecontaminating natural crops around the world and triggering mounting economic costs as farmers lose markets and organic producers lose their certification, writes Claire Hope Cummings in "Trespass: Genetic Engineering as the Final Conquest." Worse, consumers are eating GMOs whether they like it or not, and even GMOs not approved for human consumption have shown up in food products such as taco shells. Moreover, writes Cummings, patents awarded for the commercial use of genetic engineering technology are giving agrochemical companies ultimate control over the means and methods of food production.

Protecting Kids from Environmental Hazards
Expectant mothers are notorious worriers. As the nesting instinct kicks in, they will lower their bellies down to the floor to scrub every corner with a toothbrush. In some cases, it makes them ban all solvents, bleached paper products and imported grapes from the premises. Considering all of the health threats children face today, clearing away environmental hazards should be a parental priority.

U.S. Buys Flu Shots Not Approved Here
The Bush administration made a special exception Tuesday to buy up to 4 million doses of a flu vaccine produced in Germany that is not licensed in the U.S. Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said the Food and Drug Administration authorized the purchase of the vaccine, called Fluarix, which was manufactured in Germany by the British firm GlaxoSmithKline.

Bush Sets Out Plan to Dismantle 30 Years of Environmental Laws
George Bush's new administration, and its supporters controlling Congress, are setting out to dismantle three decades of US environmental protection. In little over a month since his re-election, they have announced that they will comprehensively rewrite three of the country's most important environmental laws, open up vast new areas for oil and gas drilling, and reshape the official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Study Links 200 or More Diseases to Pollution
The study shows strong correlations between various common pollutants and a wide range of diseases, including asthma, testicular atrophy, cerebral palsy, kidney disease, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, dermatitis bronchitis, hyperactivity, deafness, sperm damage and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Pollutants also were linked to 37 different types of cancers.

EPA Will Use Poor Kids as Guinea Pigs in New Study on Pesticides
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by Bush appointees, plans to launch a new study in which participating low income families will have their children exposed to toxic pesticides over the course of two years. The study entitled CHEERS (Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study) will look at how chemicals can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed by children ranging from babies to 3 years old. For taking part in these studies, each family will receive $970, a free video camera, a T-shirt, and a framed certificate of appreciation. Sign the petition to stop this insanity.

NASA Scientist Rips Bush on Global Warming
The Bush administration is trying to stifle scientific evidence of the dangers of global warming in an effort to keep the public uninformed, a NASA scientist said Tuesday night.

Give Us Your Trees, Your Air, Your Crystal Waters
In his first four years in the White House, George W. Bush was accused of being the worst environmental president in American history. So what can we expect this self-proclaimed "good steward of the land" to do for an encore?

Report warns of larger impact on Arctic from human-made warming
The ACIA is a four-year, multimillion dollar undertaking involving the eight nations of the Arctic Council to assess the consequences of climate change on the Arctic region and support policymaking in the area. In November, ACIA Chairman Robert Corell will present the 1,800-page study to ministers in Reykjavik, Iceland. Eight nations comprise ACIA: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian, Sweden and the United States (Greenwire, Oct. 7).

Overconsumption threatens ecological balance
People are consuming the planet's resources at a rate that outstrips its capacity to support life.

A nightime satellite view of the United States shows supercities are already emerging along the East and West Coasts, Florida, and across the Midwest.

420 Million: America’s New Population Boom
Just like rising energy demand, global warming, and racial distrust, America’s population boom is escaping serious attention from both presidential candidates. The United States is growing more rapidly than it ever has before. By 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 420 million people will live here, 140 million more than in 2000.

Environmental Hogwash
Chicken has taken on a whole new meaning for Faye Lear, of White Plains, in western Kentucky, who lives 300 feet from two giant barns containing thousands of birds. There are the sickening wafts of ammonia and bird feather dust that chase her inside from her front porch. Clouds of well-fed flies swarm her car windows. Once a year, when the barns are emptied for cleaning, mass infestations of mice overrun the neighborhood. "It's like an open sewer for a big city," says Lear, who works as a nurse. "It's nauseating, it burns your eyes. I wouldn't call them a farm-they're like an industry." Across the country, thousands of these "factory farms"-each warehousing thousands of tightly confined hogs, chickens or cows-produce potentially toxic air emissions. These fumes are the byproduct of 1.3 billion tons of waste created annually by the sprawling compounds, which are the top polluters of America's waterways according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Four More Years for the Earth
President Bush tried to defend his environmental record. He said, "I guess you'd say I'm a good steward of the land. The quality of the air is cleaner since I've been the president." Nothing could be further from the truth. By every measure the Bush record on the environment is atrocious and terrifying. The Natural Resources Defense Council has compiled a list of more than 300 rollbacks, rule changes and policy initiatives that Bush has used to hand out precious natural resources and subsidies to his corporate cronies at great cost to the rest of us.

Refinery Report Becomes Environmental Hot Potato
A government advisory panel has delayed releasing a report on ways to boost U.S. oil refining capacity, and one source familiar with the report attributed that to the Bush administration wanting to avoid a fight over environmental regulations before the national elections. The report by the National Petroleum Council to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham had been scheduled for release on Thursday and was eagerly awaited by the oil industry, which saw U.S. crude oil prices hit a record $50.47 a barrel this week.

Breakup Of The North Pole
I am stunned almost to speechlessness. The northeast passage across the siberian polar ice is open. The glaciers on Ellesmere Island and the northern and northeastern shores of Greenland are collapsing within a matter of days. The channel between Greenland and Ellesmere Isalnd is open. And only about 250 miles of ice remains on the north shore of Greenland connecting it to the polar ice. And that is breaking up.

Heat Waves to Worsen
While some may like it hot, the forecast means misery for many, and hotter weather can affect crops, drive up fuel prices and can kill the old and weak. Using a new computer model that takes into account increasing levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, Gerald Meehl and Claudia Tebaldi of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, found heat waves might become more common as global warming heats the Earth.

Traveling Light
Over the past decade, there’s been a rise in eco-friendly bed-and-breakfasts. Here you can find wonderful rooms cleaned with all-natural products and pure cotton sheets and towels. Breakfasts are mostly organic, often vegetarian, and feature local, seasonal produce—often harvested from the B&B’s farm or garden. Special diets are usually cheerfully accommodated.

Trading Away the Environment?
NAFTA allows private firms to sue governments for actions, seen to be "tantamount to expropriation." Under this provision, private firms have been successfully filing claims against U.S., Mexican and Canadian environmental laws. The claims interpret new costs associated with complying with environmental law as "tantamount to expropriation."

Meet Meat
The head moves, the eyes are wide and looking around. Moreno, a slaughterhouse worker in Washington State, says that on a bad day, many of the cows that reach him are still alive and even conscious, even after having gone through the "tail cutter," the "belly ripper" or the "hide puller." As Moreno puts it, "They die piece by piece."

Pollution Triggers Bizarre Behaviour in Animals
Hyperactive fish, stupid frogs, fearless mice and seagulls that fall over. It sounds like a weird animal circus, but this is no freak show. Animals around the world are increasingly behaving in bizarre ways, and the cause is environmental pollution. The chemicals to blame are known as endocrine disruptors, and range from heavy metals such as lead to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and additives such as bisphenol A.

The More We Grow, The Less Able We Are to Feed Ourselves
The world is consistently failing to grow enough crops to feed itself, alarming official statistics show. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) latest report on global food production says that this year's harvest is expected to fall short of meeting consumption for the fifth year running. Even a forecast record harvest this year is failing to ease the crisis. This suggests that rising demand, through population growth and increasing affluence, is outpacing production, fulfilling the gloomy predictions of Thomas Malthus over 200 years ago.

GOP Policy Ruins Natural Land
The list of public lands abuses by the current administration is long; it includes trying to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (designated by GOP President Eisenhower); clear-cutting the Tongass National Forest in Alaska; opening of public lands along the Rocky Mountain front to oil and gas development; and the dismantling of the U.S. Forest Service Roadless Rule. Hunters and anglers are taking note of a party leadership and president who have absolutely no idea what wild, public land means to the sportsman.

Plastic from Plants
Plantic is a biodegradable packaging product made from plants. If you use rigid plastic packaging you need to see Plantic. Plantic is certified compostable to European standards. Plantic is commercially competitive.

Mercury in U.S. Lakes - Trust the CEOs!
On August 24, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that more than "one-third of the nation's lakes and nearly one-fourth of its rivers contain fish that may be contaminated with mercury, dioxin, PCB and pesticide pollution." CEOs understand that mercury and chlorine emissions from their coal-fired power plants will alter the chemistry of the waters. Corporate executives know that mercury and PCBs seep out in the processes of burning hazardous and medical waste and that they end up in rivers and lakes. Unlike some toxic elements, which lose potency over time, mercury's ability to damage the nervous system endures. Man-made emissions need to be reduced and regulated.

Group Blasts Bush on Appalachian Trail
About one of every 13 miles of the Appalachian Trail between Maine and Georgia passes through national forests where a Bush administration plan could allow clear cutting of wooded areas, an environmental group said Tuesday. The Campaign to Protect America's Lands said it found that 163 of the popular trail's 2,174 miles fall within the 58 million acres where the Bush administration proposed lifting a ban on logging, road-building and other development." I don't think that walking through clear cuts or mines is what people are looking for," said Peter Altman, director of the campaign, which is part of the Rockefeller Family Fund's Environmental Integrity Project.

Mercury Kills
The Bush administration continues to stonewall on the subject of reducing mercury emissions, even though the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, Michael Leavitt, admitted August 24 that fish in almost all of the country’s rivers and streams are heavily dosed with the toxic heavy metal. The fish are contaminated by emissions from coal-fired power plants, incinerators and other industrial facilities that end up in the water, where mercury turns into its organic form, methylmercury, and accumulates in fish tissue.

Mushrooms: Not Just For Salad Anymore
A visionary biologist says mushrooms are potent antiviral and antibacterial agents, as well as key boosters to the human immune system. They also might end up saving the Earth.

Global Warming to Worsen Heat Waves in American and European Cities
Researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado released findings last week predicting that cities in the U.S. and Europe would likely suffer from more frequent and intense heat waves in years to come as a result of global warming.

Elusive Dead Zone Tracked in the Pacific
"What I think we are seeing is a tipping of the balance of the ecosystem," said Jack Barth, a professor of oceanography at Oregon State. There are more than 30 human-caused dead zones - scientists call them hypoxic or low-oxygen events - around the world in enclosed waters. Naturally caused dead zones in open water, are rare and less well understood. Others have been found off the coasts of Peru and South Africa.

U.S. Waterways Contain Polluted Fish
More than one-third of the nation's lakes and nearly one-fourth of its rivers contain fish that may be contaminated with mercury, dioxin, PCB and pesticide pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

Clean Energy Goes to College
There is a new wave of activism sweeping across college campuses. Student groups are coordinating efforts to reduce fossil-fuel dependency by pushing for more renewable alternatives, and putting forth specific goals for their colleges.

Blueberries 'lower cholesterol'
Other studies suggest blueberries may fight cancer and diabetes. Blueberries could provide an alternative way to lower cholesterol, according to US researchers.

Number of Americans Who Have High Blood Pressure Up Sharply
The number of Americans who have high blood pressure has increased dramatically in the past decade, with almost one-third of adults now suffering from the life-threatening condition, federal researchers reported yesterday.

A History Of Sometimes Fatal Secret Experimentation On US Citizens
1931 Dr. Cornelius Rhoads, under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations, infects human subjects with cancer cells. He later goes on to establish the U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama, and is named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. While there, he begins a series of radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients.

Kerry Eyes Energy Independence with 10-Year Plan
In a nod to conservation-minded voters, Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry has proposed a 10-year, $30 billion plan to move the U.S. closer to energy independence. The linchpin of Kerry’s ambitious plan would be providing financial incentives to manufacturers and consumers to increase the energy efficiency of the nation’s automotive fleet. The plan also calls for the nation to derive 20 percent of its power from renewable sources-including solar, wind, ethanol and biodiesel-by 2020.

Blackening the Skies
Why was the Lake Michigan coastal city of Manistee, population 6,600, targeted for a $700 million, 425-megawatt coal-powered electric power plant, the largest proposed in Michigan in two decades? And why, in the face of an abundance of electric power that has driven wholesale prices in the Midwest to the lowest level in more than a decade, was an immensely polluting plant even being considered in a heavily forested region with some of the loveliest wild rivers and clearest lakes in the nation?

Hungry world 'must eat less meat'
Animals need much more water than grain to produce the same amount of food, and ending malnutrition and feeding even more mouths will take still more water. Scientists say the world will have to change its consumption patterns to have any realistic hope of feeding itself.

Getting There: A Guide to Planet-Friendly Cars
As a nation, we love our cars. America invented the drive-in restaurant and drive-in bank. NASCAR racing is one of the fastest growing spectator sports, and car magazines have millions of subscribers. We love our cars so much, we have more of them than we do drivers. We also love big cars, and are buying as many light trucks as passenger automobiles. The result is that the U.S. is the largest per-capita consumer of oil and the largest per-capita producer of global warming gases.

Help Protect Michigan's Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands
At the state Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee, several prominent scientists testified that coastal wetlands are some of the most ecologically valuable areas in the Great Lakes, providing fish and wildlife habitat, erosion control, and water quality protection, and that so-called "beach grooming" activities can impair all of those functions.

Millions Against Monsanto
If you're talking about PCBs, Agent Orange, Bovine Growth Hormone, water privatization, biopiracy, untested/unlabeled genetically engineered organisms, or persecuting small family farmers, you're talking about the Monsanto Corporation.

Stay Calm--Prozac in Your Drinking Water
It should make us happy, but environmentalists are deeply alarmed: Prozac, the anti-depression drug, is being taken in such large quantities that it can now be found in drinking water.

So You're an Environmentalist; Why Are You Still Eating Meat?
Evidence shows a meat-based diet is bad for the environment, aggravates global hunger, brutalizes animals and compromises health. So why aren't more environmentalists vegetarians?

Michigan Safe Beachs
With e-Coli readings skyrocking everywhere this Beach Advisory and Closing On-line Notification directory can help you find the safest beaches in Michigan in which to recreate.

Beachcombing Ban Ripples Across Great Lakes
Fences like this one in Ohio could soon interrupt Michigan’s Great Lakes shoreline if the state Supreme Court upholds a lower court decision. Like a boulder crashing into a quiet pond, the recent Michigan Court of Appeals ruling against Great Lakes beachcombing is making big waves across the Great Lakes Basin. The Appellate Court decision, Glass v. Goeckel, has delighted property rights activists

How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America’s Food Supply
For most people who put even passing thought into what they eat, a trip to the meat counter brings a vague sense of discomfort. It's not the eating animals thing, usually. If you are that concerned about your place on the food chain, you wouldn't be shopping for meat in the first place.

Forest for the Trees
There are several ways to measure the effectiveness of a democracy. One is to look at how much the public is included in community decision-making. Another is to evaluate access to justice. The most telling aspect of a government, however, is how it distributes the goods of the land. Does it safeguard the commonwealth - the public trust assets - on behalf of the public? Or does it allow the shared wealth of our communities to be stolen from the public by corporate power?

Our Forests May Be on a Road to Ruin
A century ago, Theodore Roosevelt warned against despoiling the environment, saying "to waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed." As president, I worked hard to heed that warning.

Pocket Seafood Selector (in Acrobat PDF format)
The Environmental Defense online Seafood Selector features a printable, pocket-sized Eco-Best and Eco-Worst Seafood Choices list. Fish for which limited consumption is advised due to chemical contamination are annotated. Print out a copy to carry in your purse or wallet, and give a copy to a friend.

Bush Administration Calls for Delisting of Eastern U.S. Gray Wolf Populations
Soon after the announcement about plans to take the bald eagle off the endangered species list, the Bush administration says that gray wolves have rebounded so well in the Great Lakes region that they, too, no longer need Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection in the eastern half of the U.S.

Republicans Blast President Bush on Environment
Russell Train, a Republican, was the EPA’s second chief under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. But he said Bush’s record is so dismal he’s casting his presidential vote for Democrat John Kerry in November. "It’s almost as if the motto of the administration in power today in Washington is not environmental protection, but polluter protection," he said. "I find this deeply disturbing."

Lost in Space
A focus of the American environmental movement has been conservation, and that's why there is such rage at the Bush administration's efforts to log, mine or drill patches of wilderness from the Arctic to Florida. President Bush has done more than any other recent president to shift our environmental balance away from conservation and toward development. Presidential fingerprints on a country usually fade quickly, but an exception is the decision to preserve or develop the wilderness. Teddy Roosevelt's imprint on 21st-century America is enormous because he preserved wild spaces for future generations, while Mr. Bush's 22nd-century legacy may be the permanent scarring of those same spaces.

Bush's Wacky World of Science
From global warming to breast feeding, when the White House's views are contradicted by an inconvenient scientific fact, the science is not refuted; it is simply discarded or ignored.

The Stinky Tobacco Deal
The Senate overwhelmingly voted last night to grant the Federal Drug Administration jurisdiction over the tobacco industry, a long-overdue move. But the price for getting senators from tobacco-growing states on board is an unseemly $12 billion handout to tobacco growers, who have already been coddled for far too long by protectionist quotas meant to keep out cheaper foreign-grown tobacco.

Medical Class Warfare
If past patterns are any guide, about one in three Americans will go without health insurance for some part of the next two years. They won't, for the most part, be the persistently poor, who are usually covered by Medicaid. They will be members of working families with breadwinners who have jobs without medical benefits or who have been laid off.

Eco-Refugees Seek Asylum
Every day thousands of people around the world join the ranks of 'environmental refugees' – fleeing deforestation, natural catastrophes and nuclear and industrial disasters.

Dirty Dealing on Clean Air
Despite the fact that most Americans think the environment has gotten dramatically better in their lifetimes, the air in 31 states fails to meet federal health standards for smog. I’m breathing some of that bad air myself...

White Papers, Red Flags, Green Goo, Grey Goo (and Red Herrings)
Issue: In sharp contrast to the political climate one year ago, the potential health and environmental risks of some nano-scale technologies are now being openly discussed in Europe and North America. In recent months, governments on both sides of the Atlantic have reluctantly conceded that current safety and health regulations may not be adequate to address the special exigencies of nano-scale materials. Ironically, they’re talking about the need to be proactive, failing to admit that they’re at least one decade late: nanotech products are already commercially available and laboratory workers and consumers are already being exposed to nanoparticles that could pose serious risks to people and the environment.

Try Not To Breathe!
An industry spokesperson offers this cheap solution to the problem of air pollution: on "bad air" days "asthmatic kids need not go out and ride their bicycles" – the idea being that industrial facilities should not have to take steps to reduce health risks caused by their pollution; rather individuals should take steps to avoid these risks.

Toxic Pollution Rose 5 Percent in 2002, Reversing Trend
Toxic chemical releases into the environment rose 5 percent in 2002, marking only the second such increase reported by the Environmental Protection Agency in nearly two decades, and the first since 1997. The biggest polluters in recent years have been hard-rock mining companies and coal-burning power plants according to the EPA.

Bush Administration Accused of Trying to Isolate U.N. Agency
The Bush administration, which cut off its share of financing two years ago to the United Nations agency handling population control, is seeking to isolate the agency from groups that work with it in China and elsewhere, United Nations officials and diplomats say. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a New York Democrat at the fore of efforts to restore support to the fund, said the administration was jeopardizing programs in women's and family health that should not be considered contentious.

Charlie Tuna: Unsafe At Any Speed
Remember when fish was the healthy choice? Today, the pluses of seafood - being low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 oils - are offset by creepy mounting knowledge about how much pollution has become a part of most fish flesh. And, just when you may have been getting a handle on which fish are safe to eat, the seascape has once again shifted.

Bush Seeks Shift in Logging Rules
The Bush administration on Monday proposed scuttling a rule from the Clinton administration that put nearly 60 million acres of national forest largely off limits to logging, mining or other development in favor of a new system that would leave it to governors to seek greater - or fewer - strictures on road construction in forests.

Rocket Fuel Found in Milk
A toxic chemical in rocket fuel has been detected in California's milk supply, although environmentalists and toxicologists disagree over whether the levels are high enough to pose a health threat to infants and young children.

Pharma Crops Spreading
The biopharmaceutical corn that will sprout in Colorado will look like regular corn, but the seeds have been injected with a gene from the E. coli bacillus. Researchers hope the gene will produce a protein that can be processed to produce a vaccine to treat severe diarrhea that kills thousands of children in developing counties.

Creating GE-Free Zones Across the Americas
People across the U.S. and the world have been inspired by the historic David versus Goliath victory in Mendocino County, California on March 2, 2004 where voters banned the production of genetically engineered crops and animals.

Coca-Cola Exploiting Child Laborers in El Salvador Sugar Cane Fields
From 5,000 to 30,000 Salvadoran children, some as young as eight years old, are working in El Salvador's sugarcane plantations where injuries, particularly severe cuts, are common, according to the report, 'Turning a Blind Eye: Hazardous Labor in El Salvador's Sugarcane Cultivation.'

Monsanto PR Propaganda Campaign
Two conflicting reports about the results of Bt cotton have come out. One, paid for by Monsanto, claims that yields have gone up, pesticide use has gone down, and farmer profits have increased dramatically. The other report, commissioned by the Andhra Pradesh Coalition in Defence of Diversity, shows the complete opposite. Bt cotton has had barely any impact on yield, has only allowed for a small reduction in the use of pesticides, and yet the seed costs so much that farmers are even worse off than before.

Seeds of Doubt: A special series on Genetically Modified Food
Much has been written about biotechnology's hope - to feed the hungry, to limit pesticides - and much has been written about its hazards. What we found was propaganda where there should be probing; superficial talk where there should be deeper truths.

Mutant gene led to athlete's son being born muscle-bound
When the baby boy emerged, midwives and doctors immediately knew he was special. His head looked normal, but his body was remarkable. With bulging biceps and rippling pecs, this was a child like no other.

HMOs Win Supreme Court Malpractice Case
The unanimous decision invalidated an important part of patient rights laws in several states and tossed a political hot potato back to Congress. Lawmakers have tried repeatedly and failed to pass national patient protections. The last and most promising effort foundered on a wronged patient's right to sue.

With Nature There Are No Special Effects
Climate change is real, not just fodder for summer blockbusters. We -- as individuals, as a society, as a planet -- are capable of doing something about global warming other than wringing our hands or looking fixedly down at our feet.

Science backs theories about global warming
Hawaii—Two miles up, above black lava fields and a white blanket of clouds, a tower rising from this U.S. government observatory gulps in some of the clear, crisp air and gets a taste of man's future on Earth.

Earth's golden age of sunshine has faded
Bank Holiday sunseekers this weekend may find it harder to get a tan. And cinema-goers emerging from the global warming blockbuster, The Day After Tomorrow, will have something new to worry about.

New Studies on Pesticide Residues Alarm Consumers & Farmers
New data proving that an array of pesticides have reached alarming levels in the general population are galvanising calls for a ban on the most harmful chemicals and greater investment in sustainable farming strategies. Among people who had both their blood and urine tested, 100 percent showed pesticide residues.

UN honors Michigan boy for horse-drawn lawn care
A 13-year-old boy who co-founded a horse-drawn lawn-moving service in his small West Michigan town has won an honored role as an organizer of a United Nations environmental conference for children.

Antibiotics increase the risk of asthma: Study
The pill that you pop down to ward off your allergy or to cure asthma might be the one responsible for the problem in the first place. A new study conducted by scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School has revealed that antibiotics are responsible for the growing incidence of immunity- related disorders such as allergies and Asthma. Antibiotics are also widely used in chicken and beef.

Environmentalists Rejoice at Monsanto GM Decision
Environmentalists and consumer groups across the world have campaigned against the introduction of so-called Frankenstein crops, saying they spelled death to the countryside and were unproven on human health. "This is great news for the environment, for farmers and consumers," Greenpeace GM expert Ben Ayliffe told Reuters.

Gender-Bender Hormonal Pollution
Great Lakes Researchers revalidate accelerating trends of gender-bending sex hormone impersonation, as it were, and so, gene–embryo damage and infertility, from Detroit to Toronto. Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada reproductive research reaffirms that many species, including human beings, suffer from increasing exposure to so-called gender-bending pollutants — industrial and military pollutants which mimic and confuse sex hormone cells and so cause fetal genetic damage rates to rise. These trends concern documented, heightening fetal and genital abnormalities in fish, humans, panthers, and alligators. Over 50 synthetic compounds assault, corrupt, and destroy hormonal systems, among them, dioxins, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and chlorine–plastic compounds.

Governor’s Conservation Bill Treads Water
Three months after Governor Jennifer M. Granholm presented the Michigan Legislature with a “comprehensive plan” to improve stewardship of the state’s unmatched fresh water resources, the cornerstone of her Great Lakes initiative is swiftly losing political momentum.

Huge water bottler scouting this area
The Nestle Waters company has scouted out some of Emmet County's plentiful spring water sources to potentially help feed its Mecosta County plant, where Ice Mountain bottled water is packaged, according to a company spokeswoman.

Mad Pork Disease: The Energy Bill
Supposedly downsized from the version that failed to pass the Senate last fall, the bill still ladles out the pork to the biggest and fattest industries while doing little to shift the nation to renewable energy. Here are some of the worst provisions:

The Pentagon Sounds The Alarm On Global Warming; Why Isn't President Bush Listening?
If he's smart enough to use it, the Democratic nominee may have just been handed the perfect cudgel with which to pummel President Bush - and cripple Karl Rove's attempts to position his man as America's go-to guy on national security. The weapon in question is a new report on the grave and gathering threat posed by global climate change - and the potentially cataclysmic consequences of the Bush administration's obstinately ignorant approach to global warming.

Contamination of Conventional Seed with Genetically Engineered Material Prompts Call to Protect Organic Seed
"The evidence is mounting, as this survey by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows, that GE contamination is happening," said Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Organic Trade Association.

Lake Michigan Springs a Leak
Using deep wells that reach further into the ground than Chicago’s tallest skyscrapers soar into the sky, communities hugging Lake Michigan’s west coast are pumping the aquifers beneath them so hard that they now pull water in through the bottom of that Great Lake. According to the nation’s top natural science agency, the wells are reversing a flow as old as the lake itself.

Hard Lessons
Okemos High School, according to a new study by the Michigan Land Use Institute, was at the leading edge of a boom in school construction that is causing school districts to actively compete for students, and is reshaping the urban, suburban, and rural landscape in Michigan.

Coal Burning Plant Fires Up Hot Dispute in Manistee
The Northern Lights plant would be the first coal powered generating station to open in Michigan since 1990. The plant requires a state air emission permit from the Department of Environmental Quality that will test Gov. Granholm’s commitment to eliminate from Michigan by 2020 all polluting sources of mercury – a dangerous neurotoxin contained in coal. The Northern Lights plant also is influenced by White House proposals to weaken air quality standards for mercury, and by the Bush administration’s proposed energy strategy, which provides billions of dollars in tax breaks, subsidies, and direct grants to promote production of coal and other fossil fuels, and significantly diminishes public investments for cleaner alternatives.

Concerns About Yucca Mt. Leaks Echoed
New data the past year substantiate decade-old concerns an independent U.S. panel of scientists have raised about potential leaks at a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

The Pentagon Tells Bush: Climate Change Will Destroy Us
Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters

The Fat of the Land
The World Health Organization's new diet plan, meant to be culturally responsive, has provoked an outcry from the American food industry.

Scientists warn of farmed salmon contamination
No one should eat farmed salmon because of the high level of contaminants, scientists say in a report today. The research, published in today's edition of Science, casts a cloud over the fast-expanding fish farming industry and adds to confusion over the health benefits of fish.

Worst environmental exploits of the year
Sierra Club readers rank Bush Administration's 2003 attacks on the environment

T.O. hospital waste shipped to U.S., Michigan alleges Cambridge, Ont. firm charged with dumping 'bloody' material
Macomb County prosecutors have filed charges against a Canadian trucking company they accuse of illegally transporting medical waste for dumping in a county landfill. "The inspectors found (numerous) loose bags spilling out with syringes, bloody gauze, bloody medical gowns, IV tubing ... bloody gloves and bloody bags," said the county's assistant prosecutor, Mark Richardson.

Pot discovery fuels imported trash battle
Michigan politicians and environmental advocates are railing against Canadian trash imports again after nearly a ton of marijuana was found last week buried in a truckload of garbage crossing the Blue Water Bridge. Some anti-trash activists said the drug bust -- one of the largest in the state in at least a decade -- will help them build momentum to ban Canadian trash.

CT Scan Radiation May Affect Kids' IQ
Children who suffer a head injury are often routinely examined by a CT scan. Now, a Swedish team has found that radiation doses typically delivered by such a scan during infancy may harm intellectual capacity later in life.

USDA Misleading American Public about Beef Safety
It is not surprising that the U.S. has mad cow disease given our flaunting of World Health Organization recommendations. What is surprising, however, is that we actually found a case given the inadequacy of our surveillance program, a level of testing that Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner, probably the world's leading expert on these diseases, calls simply "appalling."

Long String of Countries Suspend Imports of American Beef
Concern over the possible spread of mad cow disease has impelled the largest international markets for American beef to suspend imports from the United States

Cook Nuclear Plant Enters Emergency Plan At Lowest Level for Internal Filter Leak
A leak Friday evening in a filter for a system that supplies water to the reactor coolant pump seals at American Electric Power's (NYSE: AEP - News) Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 2 resulted in a brief entry into the plant's emergency plan.

Cook Nuclear Plant Completes Refueling Outage
Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 returned to service Nov. 26 after a 39-day refueling outage. About 50 percent more work was completed during this outage to support Cook's equipment reliability initiatives and improve post-outage plant operation.

Scientists Predict Worldwide Flu Outbreak Coming
Funny how these predictions started just as the US Government started tinkering with the recovered 1918 flu virus.

Lose Weight and Use Up Global Resources!
Some scientists are looking beyond human health to weigh the possible ecological consequences of Atkins-style diets.

Drink can shrink the brain: study
You may want to go easy on the holiday tipples. A study says moderate alcohol use may reduce the size of your brain and - contrary to previous studies - may not reduce the risk of a stroke.

EPA's Mercury Proposal: More Toxic Pollution for a Longer Time
The proposal, an early Christmas gift to the Bush administration's friends in the energy industry, speaks volumes about the administration's unspoken policy toward America's children. Toxic mercury emissions from power plants put 300,000 newborns each year at risk for neurological impairment. But not only children suffer from mercury exposure. Adults also are threatened. Mercury exposure can damage adult cardiovascular and immune systems, and 8 percent of American women of childbearing age have mercury in their blood above EPA's "safe" level. That's nearly 5 million women.

The Meatrix
A two-minute animated short called "The Meatrix" has exploded across the web, putting a comic spin on an uncomfortable issue -- factory farming. Watch it now...

Environmental Fight
Michigan DNR leasing thousand of state mineral rights to International Mineral Mining Interests. We need your help! Upper Michigan is facing becoming the "next gold mining capitol" of the United States. Michigan will face the same kind of mining (not iron ore, like we have known for years) that the western states are attempting to clean up - gold, silver, diamond, lead, zinc, nickel, copper.

Open to Attack
The Bush administration gives in to U.S. chemical companies, leaving the nation vulnerable.

Ashcroft's Attack
Never before in U.S. history has an entire organization been prosecuted for a peaceful protest by its supporters.

Bush Exempts Pesticide Companies from Lawsuits
The Bush Administration has initiated a new federal policy that eliminates a farmer's right to sue a pesticide company if the chemical doesn't do what it claims to do or destroys the farmer's crops. This is a major setback for U.S. farmers and a massive victory for pesticide companies who sell two billion gallons of chemicals to U.S. farmers every year (a $33 billion global industry).

Biopharm Corn Spreads Fear
On a secret farm in northeastern Colorado, an experimental genetically engineered pharmaceutical corn is being grown that can never be eaten and is so dangerous, no other crops can be grown within a mile radius. The plant is still in its development phase, but has such a high risk of reeking havoc on the environment, human health and the agricultural economy, it is being grown in an undisclosed location more than 3,000 miles away from the company who "invented" it. According to toxicologist Suzanne Wuerthele, "Producing pharmaceutical compounds in food crops is a really, really bad idea. The chance of it contaminating the food supply is great, and once that happens, it will destroy our export markets."

Crimes Against Nature
George W. Bush will go down in history as America's worst environmental president. In a ferocious three-year attack, the Bush administration has initiated more than 200 major rollbacks of America's environmental laws, weakening the protection of our country's air, water, public lands and wildlife.

Recycling Task force has issues to resolve
The report of a state Senate task force charged with finding ways to increase recycling in Michigan - particularly of beverage containers - doesn't go as far as it could have.

Pushy people risk hypertension
The study, done by researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US, reinforces the belief that people with type A personalities and those who are depressed and have constant anxiety run a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than more placid individuals.

A New Kind of Genomics, With an Eye on Ecosystems
Scientists are moving to a more audacious challenge, sequencing "metagenomes," the DNA of entire ecosystems. The new efforts seek to read all the DNA in the bacterial communities found in a patch of soil or seawater or even the lining of the human gut. Deciphering the genetic blueprint of all of the microbial species may help tell scientists which species are present and how they work together. Thousands of previously unknown micro-organisms may be unearthed, as well as new drugs, chemicals and ways of harnessing bacteria to fight pollution.

Talking Trash
By the time you finish reading this, Michigan will have received more than seven tons of trash from around the nation and Canada. State House Democrats claim that every minute more than seven tons of garbage are imported to our fair state. In fact, they have gone so far as to invent the Trash-O-Meter, a very large digital clock that tracks imported waste by the minute. View Trashometer

The Empire Strikes Out
Today a globalized corporate empire is menacing the future of the entire biosphere. We all know that empires are castles made of sand that always crumble and fade away, but by the time this empire strikes out, the biological game could be all but over. Corporate globalization is killing off its host – and ours – mother Earth.

Cancer toxin in baby food jars worldwide
Scientists have discovered a toxin linked to cancer in jars of baby food sold worldwide, and parents in Britain have already been advised to start making their own food if they are worried.

The fall of petroleum civilization
U.S. foreign policy can be glimpsed more and more clearly in its drive to maintain its oil-fueled, corporate-based empire. For a new report on our precarious dependency on natural gas for food production and preparation.

Eating Fossil Fuels
Some months ago, concerned by a Paris statement made by Professor Kenneth Deffeyes of Princeton regarding his concern about the impact of Peak Oil and Gas on fertilizer production, I tasked FTW's Contributing Editor for Energy, Dale Allen Pfeiffer to start looking into what natural gas shortages would do to fertilizer production costs. His investigation led him to look at the totality of food production in the US. Because the US and Canada feed much of the world the answers have global implications.

Rejection Really Hurts, UCLA Psychologists Find
" While everyone accepts that physical pain is real, people are tempted to think that social pain is just in their heads," said Matthew D. Lieberman, one of the paper's three authors and an assistant professor of psychology at UCLA. "But physical and social pain may be more similar than we realized."

U.S. eyes conservation law
The Bush administration is proposing far-reaching changes to conservation policies that would allow hunters, circuses and the pet industry to kill, capture and import animals on the brink of extinction in other countries.

Michigan may slow flow of trash
Toronto waste officials are scrambling to gauge the impact of new Michigan legislation to control the garbage going into its landfills.

Scientists Study Lake Michigan For New Class Of Pollutants
Scientists are testing water from Lake Michigan in hope of determining how a new class of chemical pollutants managed to spread through the environment and how dangerous the toxins are. Included among the chemicals are PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which are used as flame retardants in everything from chair cushions to computer plastics. Their use is so ubiquitous that levels of PBDEs in humans, wildlife and the environment have been doubling every four to five years, according to the EPA.

Air Pollution Tied to Stroke Risk
New research shows high air pollution levels may make people more susceptible to suffering a stroke.

US food supply vulnerable to attack - FDA
There is a "high likelihood" within the coming year of a deliberate attack or accidental outbreak in the US food supply that sickens a large number of people, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

Aids becoming 'a teenage disease'
Aids has become a disease of teenagers and young adults, with half of all new infections occurring in 15 to 24-year-olds, according to a United Nations report released today.

Oil and gas running out much faster than expected, says study
World oil and gas supplies are heading for a "production crunch" sometime between 2010 and 2020 when they cannot meet supply, because global reserves are 80 per cent smaller than had been thought, new forecasts suggest.

Nerve cell damage in mammalian brain after exposure to microwaves from mobile phones
It might be time to get serious about using your headset when talking on your mobile phone and encouraging your family members to do the same.

'Baby Hair' Study Shows Autistic Children may have link to Mercury poisoning
A study published this month in the International Journal of Toxicology, the official journal of the American College of Toxicology, provides the strongest clinical evidence to date supporting the theory that mercury exposure is tied to autism.

Shifting the Burden
For the better
part of a generation, Congress, the White House, the public and legal experts appeared to agree: Industry should bear responsibility for cleaning up pollution it causes. Now, in at least two instances, Congress and the White House have begun to alter that balance -- to shift responsibility away from industry and onto taxpayers.

Automobile Industry Largest Source of Lead Pollution Today
The use of lead in cars accounts for the largest remaining source of lead pollution, finds a new report released today.

The Health of the Oceans — military waste accumulates
The following article, although written in 1992 remains true to this day. It describes the peril to the oceans in the form of pollutants created and generated by military activitiesthat is getting virtually no press at all! Space programs, nuclear powered ships and nuclear and missle testing all cause grave toxification and lethal danger to ocean and human life.

Smallpox vaccine may fend off HIV
A group of U.S. researchers said Thursday that the smallpox vaccine might shield people against infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to the Reuters news agency.

Confrontation Between Survivors of Bhopal Disaster and Dow Executives
Eight days into an indefinite fast, two women survivors of the world’s worst chemical disaster in Bhopal India brought the disaster home to top executives of Dow Chemical, Union Carbide’s new owners.

Global Warming Will Alter Character of Great Lakes Region
A comprehensive new study by a team of leading scientists from Midwest universities and Canada examines the potential impacts of climate change upon the various ecosystems in the Great Lakes Region. By the end of the century, temperatures will likely warm by 5 to 12°F (3 to 7°C) in winter, and 5 to 20°F (3 to 11°C) in summer.

Major New 'Don't Trash Michigan' Campaign Launched to Target Communities, Lawmakers
Nearly two dozen Michigan environmental organizations, community and religious groups unveiled a comprehensive campaign to curb out-of-state trash and empower local communities to take measures toward a cleaner, greener Michigan.

Dirty Secrets
No president has gone after the nation's environmental laws with the same fury as George W. Bush -- and none has been so adept at staying under the radar.

Power of Positive Thinking May Have a Health Benefit, Study Says
In recent years evidence has accumulated that psychology can indeed affect biology. Studies have found, for example, that people who suffer from depression are at higher risk for heart disease and other illnesses. Other research has shown that wounds take longer to heal...

One in Ten Tree Species at Risk of Extinction
More than 8,000 tree species, 10 percent of the world's total, are threatened with extinction, and the situation has grown worse over the past five years. One thousand globally threatened trees are threatened in part by unsustainable levels of logging, Rose warns.

EPA Misled Public on 9/11 Pollution
White House ordered EPA officials to lie about air quality, report says.

Dust and Deception
Under pressure from the White House, the E.P.A. systematically misled New Yorkers about the health risks of the World Trade Center's collapse.

Bush Administration to Gut Clean Air Act: Rule Would Allow More Pollution at 17,000 Facilities
"The Bush administration, using an arbitrary, Enron-like accounting gimmick, is authorizing massive pollution increases to benefit Bush campaign contributors at the expense of public health," said John Walke, director of NRDC's Clean Air Project. "Corporate polluters will now be able to spew even more harmful chemicals into our air, regardless of the fact that it will harm millions of Americans."

Mexican Activists Block GE Maize Coming from US
It's not just a case of double standards - the US administration continues to ride roughshod over the rights of people around the world who say no to genetically modified organisms. The latest scientific analysis shows that one third of US maize entering Mexico is contaminated with GE varieties from Monsanto. Mexico is the centre of diversity of maize, one of the world's three most important food crops and it's at serious risk from GE contamination.

Support Grows for Maine Dairy Sued by Monsanto
Support is growing for the small family owned Oakhurst Dairy, which is being sued by the $5 billion Monsanto Company for labeling their products as rBGH-free. Realizing that the results of the lawsuit could set a precedent for rBGH labeling on a national scale, dairy producers, concerned consumers and even Ralph Nader are donating time and money to the lawsuit. Oakhurst says they have the right to let their consumers know that there are no artificial growth hormones in their milk. Monsanto claims consumers shouldn't need to know whether or not the company's chemicals are in their milk or not.

Painkillers could be key in Parkinson's fight
Research done by the Harvard School of Public Health shows the risk of developing the disease was 45 per cent lower in people who use drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, at least twice a week than in non-users.

Asthma drugs to carry new warning
Two asthma drugs, Serevent and Advair, will be carrying new warnings about a risk of life-threatening asthma episodes.

Our Fellow Creatures Have Feelings - So We Should Give Them Rights Too
Pressured by animal rights activists and by growing public support for the humane treatment of animals, these companies have financed research into, among other things, the emotional, mental and behavioural states of our fellow creatures. What the researchers are finding is unsettling. It appears that many of our fellow creatures are more like us than we had ever imagined. They feel pain, suffer, experience stress, affection, excitement - and even love.

With eyes wide shut
Climate change threatens the future of humanity, but we refuse to respond rationally

Energy Bill Bankrupts Our Future
This legislation will guarantee long-term environmental damage, a rise in cancer rates and thousands of years of monitoring of toxic and radioactive waste.

Ostrich Nation?
The June 20 New York Times offered readers a prime illustration of how those in power manipulate "science" to their needs. In an editorial entitled, "Censorship on Global Warming," the Times chastised the Bush administration for displaying "ostrichlike behavior," vis-à-vis the dangers of global warming and possible human contributions to climate changes.

Biopirates in the Americas
American corporations are taking advantage of "free-trade" agreements to find plants, animals and even people they can patent and turn into profit.

U.S. Healthcare: The Free Choice to Suck
Not only are Americans paying more for worse medical care than those in other modern countries, our miracle drugs are almost entirely developed using tax dollars. Why?

Mediterranean Diet: More Than Olive Oil
In the largest study ever done on the Mediterranean diet and one of the few to test it in adults of all ages -- in Greece, no less -- researchers found that the real bang of this ballyhooed magic bullet appears not to be olive oil but a combination of all food in the diet.

Vaccines May Fuel Autism Epidemic
Autism, a severely incapacitating developmental disability, has been increasing at an epidemic proportion over the last decade. Insight magazine’s “Vaccines May Fuel Autism Epidemic,” by Kelly Patricia O’Meara, details the argument that childhood vaccines may be to blame for the increasing cases of autism.

A Polluter Behind a Mask
Steingraber, herself a highly-regarded biologist with a PhD from the University of Michigan, documents in this important book the connection between the spread of toxic chemicals in our environment ... and the epidemic of cancer in our society.

Environmental groups warn President against appointment of Engler to head EPA
Twenty six Michigan environmental groups warned President George W. Bush not to appoint outgoing Governor John Engler as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying that Engler is "unfit for duty" in the agency.

Commercial use of aquifers could strain Great Lakes
A key battle over Great Lakes water is being fought in quiet, rural Mecosta County, 50 miles from Lake Michigan.

Duped and Betrayed
How can we maintain Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security at today's tax rates? We can't.

A boycott led by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth recently spread to North America.
Right now, shareholders are alarmed at a new report from Claros Consulting of London, England (Download Report in PDF Format [21k]), which argues that ExxonMobil could take a $100-billion bath for continuing to ignore climate change. The greatest oil barons in history suddenly seem spooked and vulnerable, and boycotters can deepen the scare. Nothing personal. It's just business.

US Court Lifts Ban On Human Tests Of Pesticides
A federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a U.S. ban that prohibited testing pesticides on humans

Oceans in Peril
A new report in the journal Nature confirms that fishing fleets are causing drastic declines in fish stocks.

US launches GM trade war
The United States wants the European Union to repeal its five-year moratorium on GM foods, or face trade sanctions under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

U.S. Lettuce Supply Likely Contaminated With Rocket Fuel
Winter lettuce crops in California are contaminated with perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, which can harm humans. Exposure to perchlorate, which is highly water-soluble, can cause mental retardation, loss of hearing and speech, and motor skill deficits in developing fetuses.

Hydrogen's Dirty Secret
President Bush promises that fuel-cell cars will be free of pollution. But if he has his way, the cars of tomorrow will run on hydrogen made from fossil fuels. Under Bush's plan, more than $22 million of hydrogen research for 2004 will be devoted to coal, nuclear power, and natural gas, compared with $17 million for renewable sources.

Is Your Water Really Safe? Start with a No-cost Evaluation to Find Out
Research further supports the controversial theory associating aluminum with Alzheimer's disease as a study found the disease is more common in regions where levels of aluminum in drinking water are highest.

Is Hidden True Cause Of Alzheimer's Your Toothpaste?
Common white toothpaste is made largely from Aluminum Dioxide, which is a mildly abrasive, brilliantly white powder. They'll simply add a sudsing agent to make the bubbles, a flavoring agent to make it palatable, perhaps a food coloring agent, some water, and presto - toothpaste.

An Out-of-Whack Food Chain
We always start out at the Zupan's pastry counter, where today free samples of cinnamon rolls and pound cake are on display. I give one of each to my 7-year-old son and my 5-year-old daughter. Then we head to the produce section, where chunks of pineapple and orange beckon. While I bag lettuce and carrots, my children jostle over toothpicks and pieces of fruit...

More SARS Cases Are Reported; Virus Found to Persist in Patients
Dismaying developments in three nations yesterday underscored the capriciousness of SARS, the respiratory virus that had seemed to be coming under control in many countries.

Down on the Factory Farm
For cheaper grocery prices, are we risking our health, the environment and squeezing out small farmers?

Study shows high levels of chemical in local produce
Perhaps it's a sign of the times. A new study suggests that some of the foods that we tend to think of as healthy may be causing serious health problems, or putting our health at risk.

Sugar industry threatens to scupper WHO
World: The sugar industry in the US is threatening to bring the World Health Organisation to its knees by demanding that Congress end its funding unless the WHO scraps guidelines on healthy eating.

Bush's War Against Nature
For three years, the Bush administration's anti-environment army has practiced the same brand of warfare America has been watching on TV for three weeks.

Aspartame is an rDNA derivative, a combination of two amino acids. The Pentagon once listed it in an inventory of prospective biochemical warfare weapons submitted to Congress. But instead of poisoning enemy populations, the "food additive" is currently marketed as a sweetening agent in some 1200 food products.

Feds Attack On Ephedra Cover For Aspartame Poisoning?
Before you knowingly eat or drink a product sweetened with aspartame, click the link above. If you still aren't convinced that aspartame is an FDA-approved poison, then it must be your fate to become sick and eventually succumb to a painful death after suffering from a variety of chronic illnesses.

Dear Natural Person:
(... as opposed to an artificial 'Corporate Person')
Welcome. We are activists who have spent the last several years researching corporate, labor and legal histories, rethinking our organizing strategies and talking with people about democracy. Now we want to engage you.

Oil industry suppressed plans for 200-mpg car
The original blueprints for a device that could have revolutionised the motor car have been discovered in the secret compartment of a tool box.

Using Patriotism To Sell Extremism
" The Bush administration sees dollar signs where the rest of us see parks and trails, lakes and wilderness. We prize clean air and water; they see development opportunities

Insects Thrive On GM 'Pest-Killing' Crops
Genetically modified crops specially engineered to kill pests in fact nourish them, startling new research has revealed.

Cautionary Notes From Alaska
A new study presents a good argument for not drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Can You "See" Any Sociopaths Around You
Antisocial Personality Disorder is also known as psychopathy or sociopathy. Individuals with this disorder have little regard for the feeling and welfare of others. They do not consider other people's wishes, welfare or rights. They can be manipulative and may lie to gain personal pleasure or profit. The disorder can affect anybody. Even the President.

For 60 million, the cure may kill
Mother's intuition may have saved Melissa Schweitzer's life. Doctors didn't figure out until Melissa was 11 that she lacked a natural supply of three infection-fighting antibodies, which put her at risk of a massive infection — from the live virus, called vaccinia, used to make smallpox vaccine.

Michigan Considers Use of Potent Herbicide
A powerful new herbicide that has contaminated waterways in other states could be used this year on Michigan's 2.2 million acres of corn fields.

Arctic Refuge Damaged, Scientists Find
As Congress prepares to consider opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas production, an elite scientific panel reported Tuesday that 30 years of energy development in Alaska had already damaged the region's environment and culture.

Bush Plan a Boon to Drug Companies
Health care economists said the drug benefit President Bush proposed for Medicare yesterday would be a bonanza for the pharmaceutical and managed-care industries, both of which are huge donors to Republicans.

Smallpox: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?
Smallpox is difficult to acquire nowadays, though just how difficult remains to be seen. After its eradication, the World Health Organization ordered that all smallpox samples be destroyed or sent to one of two places: the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States or the Research Institute for Viral Preparations in Moscow. The American stockpile is presumably secure; in 1994, the stockpile in Moscow was secretly moved to Siberia.

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