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Posted Jan 4, 2008 What’s Your Consumption Factor? NY Times op-ed by by Jared Diamond estimates that the average citizen of the developed world has 32 times the impact of somone in the "developing" world.

Posted Jan 4, 2008 :A Solar Grand Plan by By Ken Zweibel, James Mason and Vasilis Fthenakis, Scientific American Jan 2008."A massive switch from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power plants to solar power plants could supply 69% of the U.S.’s electricity and 35 % of its total energy by 2050". Solar cells, mirror arrays, storage and transmission discussed.

Posted Jan 4, 2008: 350 Parts Per Million is James Hansen's new CO2 limit, given at a Dec 13 American Geophysical Union meeting. This makes Bali look "quaint" says Bill McKibben in a Dec 28 Washington Post Op-Ed. Actual CO2 level today: 383 ppm. [Google Hansen 350 to see some of the commentary]

---------------------------------2007---------------------------------------------

Posted Dec 31, 2007:Youth Rising to the Climate Challenge Report of a recent national conference of young environmental activists hosted at the U of MD and organized by Energy Action, a coalition of 40 youth organizations. Posted Dec 28 on Znet. Videos made by participants posted on YouTube ( search for Powershift07); see sample video.

Posted Dec 31, 2007: A Question of Blame When Societies FaillWas Jared Diamond, author of “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" guilty of blaming the victim? Has he neglected factors such as contact with hostile neighbors or imperialism? NY Times, 12/25

Posted Dec 26: FBI Prepares Vast Database of Biometrics by E Nakashima, Wash Post Dec 23: he FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, ... to identify individuals in the United States and abroad. Commented the ACLU: "It's enabling the Always-On Surveillance Society."

Posted Dec 26 (reposted Jan 15, with repaired link - sorry!) : What IQ Doesn't Tell you About Race , by Malcolm Gladwell in the Dec 17 New Yorker - a clear discussion of the misconceptions about the meaning of IQ.

Posted Dec 26 Our Decrepit Food Factories. "70 percent of the antibiotics used in America are fed to animals living on factory farms. Raising vast numbers of pigs or chickens or cattle in close and filthy confinement simply would not be possible without the routine feeding of antibiotics to keep the animals from dying of infectious diseases", writes Michael Pollan int the Dec 17 NY Times (posted in Common Dreams). More from Pollan in our Oct 1 Newsletter

Posted Dec 15:Study Finds Humans Still Evolving, and Quickly. Altogether, the recent genetic changes account for 7% of the human genome, according to the study led by anthropologist John Hawks, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Some of he selective pressures were attributed to diseases that swept through new agriculture-based stable societies in which large groups lived in close quarters for a long time. L.A. Times Dec 11.

Posted Dec 15:Climate Science Manipulation Alleged A Dec 12 AP release quoted from a new Congressional report issued by Henry Waxman that concluded that Bush & Co. had "engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming". [Surprise.]

Posted Dec 15: We Are What We Eat, review of "Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed", Ed. Vandava Shiva, 2007."The more we buy mass-produced foods, the more it empowers agro-business and the fewer farms there will be. The more we shop at supermarkets, the fewer neighborhood markets there will be". Posted Dec 10 on AlterNet.

Posted Dec 15: U.S. Prison System Incubator of Deadly Staph Infection "Media headlines have emphasized the existing or potential presence of MRSA [a highly-antibiotic-resistant form of staphylococcus aureus]" especially in emergency rooms and public shelters "but there is no question that the biggest incubators of all are the nation's 5,000-plus prisons and jails" Article posted Dec 4 on AlterNet by Silja Talvi author of

Posted Dec 5: See "The Story of Stuff" - a clever short film about mass consumption and its consequences, just released - a project of The Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, Tides Foundation and Free Range Studios.Posted Dec 5: Study Details How U.S. Could Cut 28% of Greenhouse Gases ( NY Times, Nov 30), but the changes "still face tremendous barriers"

.Posted Dec 5: "Science changes with every generation and with new discoveries, and God doesn't," he says. "So I'll stick with God if the two are in conflict." - candidate Mike Huckabee, Nov 14 Rolling Stone interview

Posted Dec 5: Global Campaign Vows to Fight Corporate Drug Monopoly. BANGKOK - Public health and HIV/AIDS activists from the developing world are seeking to break the monopoly over drugs held by pharmaceutical giants through a new global campaign designed to influence international debate over the issue: Nov 26 IPS report on recent 3-day meeting in Bangkok

Posted Dec 5, 2007: Wind Energy, Esthetics and Tourist economies - the debate continues. NY Times, Nov 25

Posted Nov 27: Jonathan Schell, Pakistan, Bush, and the Bomb - insights into the post-9/11 nuclear proliferation story, tomdispatch.com , Nov 13 article by Tom Englehardt.

Posted Nov 27:"Stop trying to prove that one group of people are genetically inferior to your group. Just stop", says one blogger, in commenting on the newly-reheated debate on genes and intelligence. See "...New Worries About Prejudice" by Amy Harmon, NY Times, Nov 11.

Posted Nov 27: Plundering the Moon: China yesterday unveiled an image from its first moon probe, closely following the success of Japan. India has scheduled an attempt for April. What's behind the new space race, prestige? Scienctific progress? More likely, territorial claims for mineral resources, wrote Andrew Smith in the Oct 27 Guardian

Posted Nov 27: Forests losing the ability to absorb man-made carbon: Climate change-induced stresses on boreal forests are turning these regions from a carbon sink to a carbon source, reports The Independent's science editor Steve Connor (Nov 1) .

Posted Nov 27: A 40% surge in Chinese birth defects over the last 6 years is linked to pollution in regions with chemical industries, according to Beijing (Reuters, Oct 29).

Posted Nov 27, 2007: Climate Change's Uncertainty Principle: "Scientists say they can never be sure exactly how extreme global warming might become, but that's no excuse for delaying action", Scientific American, Oct 25

Posted Oct 25: Check out this outstanding link for climate and climate change posted May 11 by realclimate.org. Provides a wealth of articles at various levels, beginner to informed, and a generous section of FAQ's. Good reading until the website freeze ends a month from now!

Posted Oct 25: Outsourcing Government In an Oct 20 LA Times Op-Ed by Naomi Klein writes. "...this debacle (the failures of tests of the U.S.-Mexico virtual fence) points to more than faulty technology. It exposes the faulty logic of the Bush administration's vision of a hollowed-out government run everywhere possible by private contractors."

Posted Oct 25: Supreme Court Halts Va. Inmate's Execution; Ruling Could Lead To National Hiatus In Lethal Injections - Washington Post, Oct 18: "The Supreme Court stopped the execution of Virginia death row inmate Christopher Scott Emmett yesterday, a move that legal experts said might signal a nationwide halt to lethal injections until the justices decide next year whether the procedure amounts to cruel and unusual".

Posted Oct 15: Legal or Illegal, Abortion Rates Compare From NYT, Oct 11: "...global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it". The WHO study confirmed also that where they are illegal, the death rate from abortions is sharply higher. The Lancet.

Posted Oct 10:Can Anyone Stop It? A review by Bill McKibben in the NY Review of Books of four significant books on global warming, including Cool It, by holdout skeptic Bjorn Lonborg; Break Through...the Politics of Possibility, by Nordhaus and Shellenberger, on American attitudes; What We Know About Climate Change, by Kerry Emmannuel, a concise explanation of the science; and Climate Change: What it Means for Us..., essays collected by DiMento and Doughman.

Posted Oct 10: Arctic Melt Drives Thouands of Walruses Ashore. According to an Oct 7 AP article in the San Jose Mercury News, the animals appeared on Alaska's northwest coast in what conservationists are calling a dramatic consequence of global warming melting the Arctic sea ice. Alaska's walrus, especially breeding females, in summer and fall are usually found on the Arctic ice pack. But the lowest summer ice cap on record put sea ice far north of the outer continental shelf, the shallow, life-rich shelf of ocean bottom in the Bering and Chukchi seas.

Posted Oct 3, 2007:Arctic Melt Unnerves Experts: - From Andrew Revkin, NY Times of Oct 1: ". . .the floating ice dwindled to an extent unparalleled in a century or more, by several estimates ...pace of change has far exceeded what had been estimated by almost all the simulations used to envision how the Arctic will respond...to global warming". Excellent interactive graphic showsannual edge of ice cover in motion from 1979-2005; map shows a large open section, five times the size of California, that had never been ice-free during the 26-year period. According to an Oct 2 Science Daily: Ice cover may be around 50% of the probable 1950's cover.

Posted Sep 22: Dying for Clean Air - Why Black Mayors Should Support Tougher Ozone Standards. According to the article by Robert D. Bullard posted Sep 19 in Dissident Voice, polluting industries and some Black mayors are making spurious economic arguments against tightening ozone standards. EPA analyses show that meeting the ozone standard can prevent - every year, hundreds of emergency room visits for asthma; thousands of hospital admissions for asthma and other lung diseases ... hundreds of thousands of school absences; and more than a million days when people have to reduce their activity - and their productivity - because they are suffering from reduced lung function and other ozone-related respiratory symptoms. Air pollution claims 70,000 lives a year, nearly twice the number killed in traffic accidents...

Posted Sep 22: NH Town First in Nation to Ban Corporate Water Mining. The citizens of Barnstead, New Hampshire,used local law to keep corporate giants out of their water. Check out this excellent review in Yes magazine of the historical expansion of corporate rights and how one small town recently stood up for the rights of its citizens and won.

Posted Sep 22: Keep Space for Peace Week- Oct 4-10.
The Nuclear Weapons Working Group and WILPF are seeking participation and support for activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UN Outer Space Treaty with a week of protest to stop the militarization of space. See http://www.space4peace.org/ for info.

 Posted Sep 14: Epidemic of Traumatic Brain Injury Disables Thousands of Iraq Vets: In a Sep 10 story, picked up widely in many media, including the Navy Times AP reporter Marilynn Marchione writes that "these blast-caused head injuries are so different from the ones doctors are used to seeing from falls and car crashes that treating them is as much faith as it is science". Sandy Schneider, director of Vanderbilt University’s brain injury rehabilitation program, states “I’ve been in the field for 20-plus years dealing with TBI. I have a very experienced staff. And they’re saying to me, ‘We’re seeing things we’ve never seen before,’”. Marchione adds, "most TBIs are mild, and most of these patients recover within a year. But one-fifth of the troops with these mild injuries will have prolonged or lifelong symptoms and need continuing care, the military estimates. Nearly all of the moderate and severe ones will, too."

Posted Sep 14: U.S. and UN schedule Competing Climate Meetings: Thalif Deen, in a Sep 13 article carried by IPS news service asks, "Are the United Nations and the United States trying to outdo each other by hosting two parallel summit meetings on the same subject -- climate change -- during the same week at the end of September?"

Posted Sep 6: Turning Point Seen for Needle Exchange in DC: In a September 4 press release, PreventionWorks, Washington D.C.'s only needle exchange program, announced the departure of its long-time and respected Executive Director, Paola Barahona, the first and only person to hold the position. In her nine years of service, Barahona has raised more than $3.5 million in private funding to support and sustain the work of PreventionWorks which, until this year, was prohibited by an act of Congress from receiving or utilizing public funding for its needle exchange services.

Posted Sep 6, 2007: Corporate Tampering with Wikipedia: In an August 29 press release, Abbott Laboratories Deletes Safety Concerns from Web, Jeffrey Light of Patients not Patents revealed evidence that "employees of Abbott Laboratories have been altering entries to Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia, to eliminate information questioning the safety of its top-selling drugs. ... The changes are part of over one thousand edits made from computers at Abbott's offices... "

Posted Aug 29: Cancer in Iraq vets: As reported in the Arizona Daily Star of Aug 26, reports of rising cancer rates among both GI's and Iraquis has led Congress to order a comprehensive independent study, due in October, of the health effects of depleted uranium exposure on U.S. soldiers and their children. And a "DU bill" — ordering all members of the U.S. military exposed to it be identified and tested — is working its way through Congress. "Basically, we want to get ahead of this curve, and not go through the years of painful denial we went through with Agent Orange that was the legacy of Vietnam," said Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., a co-sponsor of the bill.
 

Posted Aug 18: Transit Racism on the Buses of LA: Writes Eric Mann of Black Agenda Report, (Aug 15) "one epicenter of the new movement [against environmental racism] is Los Angeles, an environmental nightmare for people who need mass transit, but are constantly assaulted by the rich and their public servants". Despite strong opposition, on May 24, 2007, the MTA board of directors voted to raise the daily bus fare from $3 to $5 a day, a move which may "force many low-income people off the buses, and compel people to use or buy old cars instead of taking public transit". The mass-based Bus Riders Union's main had organized a mass campaign, calling the fare hikes racist because "they would impose an unfair burden on low-income Blacks and Latinos, while subsidizing suburban rail lines that carry a higher percentage of white, affluent riders".The BRU, which had packed the May public hearing with 1500 supporters is now bringing MTA to state court jointly with NRDC. Posted Aug 18: Children of color being left behind.:From Aug 16 San Francisco Chronicle , by Nanette Asimov: "A frustrating and persistent achievement gap between black and Latino students and their white and Asian American peers shows no sign of abating in the latest state test results for nearly 5 million students across California. Overall, students of all backgrounds made minimal progress in English during the past year and no progress in math".

Posted Aug 15: South Africa: AIDS Action Relapse, from AfricaFocus Bulletin Aug 14. A collection of articles reflecting "...a loud chorus of condemnation coming from South African AIDS activists and medical professionals, joined by supporters around the world, in response to the dismissal of Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe MadlalaRoutledge. She is widely credited with energizing South Africa's response to AIDS over the last two years. While President Mbeki's government is unlikely to reverse its decision, it faces virtually unanimous condemnation for this signal of reversion to previous erratic policy on the AIDS crisis."

Posted Aug 15, 2007: Immigrants and Health Care — At the Intersection of Two Broken Systems. Posted in the Aug 9 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, this piece by physician and Washington Post journalist Susan Okie writes "Immigrants live, work, and attend school in communities throughout the country; laws and bureaucratic barriers that reduce their use of key preventive health services, such as immunizations and screenings for infectious disease, make for bad public health policy, and denying immigrants primary care ultimately increases health care costs for everyone".

Posted July 30: Fare-Free Public Transit? According to Dave Olsen in a July 26 Alternet piece, "the time has come to stop making people pay to take public transit. ... And politicians are getting the message. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has ordered his staff to seriously examine the costs of charging people to ride public transit..." Olsen authored a 5-part series in The Tyee, a Vancouver-based on-line news service. A dissenting commentary posted July 29 by The Tyee  assistant editor Bryan Zandberg raises some doubts, based on crime problems experienced in Austin and anticipated in larger cities.  

Posted July 17: Reality Check on Sanjay Gupta 's "Reality Check":  FAIR(Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) posted (July 11) a refutation of Gupta's attempt (below) to discredit "Sicko". Typical of Gupta's piece was his citation of a Commonwealth Fund study of six industrialized nations - not to show that in shortness of waiting time to see a physician, the U.S. ranked 5th out of the six - but that we beat Canada!

Posted July 11: Michael Moore unleashed on live TV! Here's the video (posted on alternet .org) of Moore July 10 blitzing Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Situation Room., preceded, of course, by a "reality check" from his medic-in-residence Sanjay Gupta, and followed by sardonic put-downs of Moore by Jack Cafferty and Lou Dobbs. See it.

Posted July 11: The Biofuel Myths "The term 'biofuels' suggests renewable abundance: clean, green, sustainable assurance about technology and progress. This pure image allows industry, politicians, the World Bank, the United Nations and even the International Panel on Climate Change to present fuels made from corn, sugarcane, soy and other crops as the next step in a smooth transition from peak oil to a yet-to-be-defined renewable fuel economy. But in reality, biofuel draws its power from cornucopian myths and directs our attention away from economic interests that would benefit from the transition, while avoiding discussion of the growing North-South food and energy imbalance..." From Eric Holt-Giménez, in Food First and also July 10 International Herald Tribune.

Posted July 7: "How War was turned into a Brand " - Political chaos means Israel is booming like it's 1999 - and the boom is in defense exports field-tested on Palestinians. Naomi Klein argues in her Jun16 Guardian article that Israel, in spite of the war is now prospering, "selling fences to an apartheid planet. Many of the country's most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel's status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of 24-hour-a-day showroom, a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war. And the reason Israel is now enjoying supergrowth is that those companies are busily exporting that model to the world."

Posted July 3, 2007: "Sicko" - Michael Moore's demolition of the U.S. health insurance industry is already attracting crowds. Its opening weekend was the second best of any documentary in film history, losing out only to his own "Farenheit 9/11". Roger Friedman of Fox News called it "brilliant and uplifitng"(!!!) Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post criticized some Moore for one-sidedness. A.O. Scott of the NY Times liked it; David Denby of the New Yorker didn't. Go see it and decide for yourself. Here's the trailer.

Posted June 24: Vertical Farm Project:The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes, a wide variety of herbs, and other produce has been in vogue for some time. What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another 3 billion people [by the year 2050]. An entirely new approach to indoor farming must be invented, employing cutting edge technologies. The Vertical Farm must be efficient (cheap to construct and safe to operate). Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world's urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply ...(see link above )

Posted June 17: The Pentagon as Global Gas Guzzler:
iIn the June 14 Mother Jones, Michael Klare finds that the Pentagon's energy consumption is greater than the entire country of Sweden. And, according to a Pentagon-funded study by the LMI Corp, if current Pentagon strategy is such that "our forces must expand geographically and be more mobile and expeditionary so that they can be engaged in more theaters and prepared for expedient deployment anywhere in the world", then in view of the coming "Peak Oil" crisis there will be a "severe...disconnect" between this policy and likely energy-supply futures.
   David Schwartzman of DC Metro Science for the People responds that the Pentagon consumption amounts to only 2% of total U.S. consumption, but is studying the use of coal-derived sources of energy.  

Posted June 17: Yes Men Strike Oil Activist trickster collective the Yes Men used the Gas and Oil Exposition 2007 in Calgary, Alberta to stage their latest theatre of corporate absurdity, with Exxon/Mobil and the Natural Petroleum Council playing the fools, proposing that the bodies of human victims of the coming catastrophe be used as an alternate source of fuel, "vivoleum". See their June 14 press release and video, Exxon Proposes Burning Humanity for Fuel If Climate Calamity Hits 

Posted June 17: 'Synthetic Life' Patent Published J. Craig Venter and his team, working to build a life form from scratch have applied to patent the broad method they plan to use to create their "synthetic organism"(BBC News, June 8). The Venter Institute team intends to construct an organism with a "minimal genome" that can then be inserted into the shell of a bacterium. But, the Canada-based non-profit ETC Group, which monitors developments in biotechnology, calling on patent offices to reject applications on synthetic life forms, warned against "the start of a high-stakes commercial race to synthesise and privatise synthetic life forms".

Posted June 17: Air Force Looked at Spray to Turn Enemy Gay: From The Guardian, June 13:What if it could release a chemical that would make an opposing army's soldiers think more about the physical attributes of their comrades in arms than the threat posed by the enemy? And thus the "gay bomb" was born. Far from being the product of conspiracy theorists, documents released to a biological weapons watchdog in Austin, Texas confirm that the US military did investigate the idea. It was included in a CD-Rom produced by the US military in 2000 and submitted to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002. The documents show that $7.5m was requested to develop the weapon.

Posted June 4: See The Other Einstein , a fascinating and informative essay by physicist Lee Smolin on the life and works of the great scientist in the June 14 issue of the NY Review of Books.

Posted June 4: Vaccine Case to be Heard in DC Court: A case alleging that the use of mercury-based thimerosal in vaccines can cause autism in children will be heard on Thursday June 7 in U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The case may have a bearing on our local campaign to prevent mandatory HPV vaccinations of DC schoolgirls.

Posted Jun 3, 2007: Dangerous Human Interference with Climate, conludes new NASA Report: The paper, from NASA's Columbia University Earth Institute published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics May 7 and highlighted in a May 29 ABC News report, argues that with as little as 10 more years of business-as-usual " carbon emissions it becomes "impractical" to avoid "disastrous effects." The report, authored by James Hansen and 47 collaborators emphasizes previously underestimated feedback loops due to disappearing arctic ice and snow, advancing low-reflectivity northern forests and methane release from melting tundra. The work involved climate simulations with a new coupled ocean-land-ice-atmosphere model.
   Meanwhile just as Bush brings his new voluntary emission-reduction proposal to the G-8 conference, Bush-appointed NASA chief Michael Griffin apparently thinking even his boss is too alarmist about the issue tells us: “I am not sure that it is fair to say that is a problem we must wrestle with”, in a May 28 NPR interview .

Posted May 31: Psychologists Played Key Role in Prisoner Abuse, Reveals Declassified Pentagon Report: A just-declassified Inspector General's report details the role of Army psychologists in training and advising torturers in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. See report by Stephen Soldz in Counterpunch, May 29

Posted May 26: Free seedlings (veggie, flower, herb) for DC youth & community gardens. While quantities last - DC Urban gardeners.More info

Posted May 24: HPV vaccine: Judicial Watch reports deaths and adverse effects: Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released documents obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, detailing 1,637 reports of adverse reactions to the vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV), Gardasil. Three deaths were related to the vaccine.(released May 23)

Posted May 24: NIRS Releases New Nukewaste Transport Maps: The maps, showing rail, road and water routes to be considered for shipment of high-level nuclear wastes from reactor sites in the northeast to the federal Savannah River, SC reprocessing site are part of the report released May 22 by John Stikpewich, “A Study of the Problems With Transport and Reprocessing of Nuclear Waste in the Carolinas". The SC site is one of 11 being considered under the federal Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP), which if fully implemented would move high-level waste from 75 sites in 33 states

Posted May 21: New Nuclear Weapons Development Protested in UC Berkeley Hunger Strike: Students, professors and community members brought their continuing anti-weapons protest and hunger strike to a meeting of the UC Board of Regents. The weapons are part of a giant program, Complex 2030 to revamp the nuclear weapons complex in order to restart production and create new nuclear weapons, the first of which (RRW-1) is already being designed at the Livermore Lab. Read more.
(received May 18)

Posted May 21: Stealth shipment of Radioactive Waste: An intensely radioactive reactor pressure vessel is about to make a long rail trip from the Dairyland nuclear power plant at Genoa, WI to a radioactive waste disposal site in Barnwell, SC. The exact time and route of the shipment are secret. Nukewatch is helping to co-ordinate an interstate campaign to alert local media. (received May 17)

Posted May 9: New Evidence of Cancer Risk from Depleted Uranium: A study at the University of Southern Maine posted May 8 on Common Dreams showed that the radiation from DU, used by U.S. forces in bullets and shells in Iraq and Bosnia, caused genetic damage in human lung cells in the lab. Discussion follows the article. See also SftP Newsletter article from 5/1/06 on DU.

Posted May 8, 2007: Supreme court anti-abortion decision blasted. The international womens rights organization, MADRE, said in "The Christian Right's Global Agenda", (May 1)that the '...Court's decision is about much more than a woman's right to safely end a pregnancy. That's because today's Supreme Court is a product of the Bush Administrationand [which] is a product of the Christian Right... criminalizing abortion is just the tip of the Christian-fundamentalist iceberg...[which includes]...the "global gag rule," which bars organizations that receive US funds from...providing information on abortion. [It] has forced ... whole clinics to shut down, ”all of them in the world's poorest countries..."

Posted May 8: Progressives at odds on politics of climate change. In his article in Counterpunch "Is Global Warming a Sin? ", Alexander Cockburn likens the selling of carbon credits to papal indulgences, and then goes on to question the existence of global warming. Georges Monbiot blasts back in "Response to Cockburn"on Znet accusing him of scientific ignorance and of using the same tactics that C. had criticized among the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Also on Znet are reponses to Monbiot and a detailed analysis by David Noble "The Corporate Climate Coup" of the use of fear of global warming to generate a new race for corporate megaprofits through green washing.

Posted May 8: Bush Administrations Cuba Travel Ban to be Challenged. Restrictions on academic travel to Cuba are so harsh that they have brought such travel virtually to a halt. Now 450 academics are joining in a law suit to challenge the policy. Baltimore Sun, April 30.SftP on RADIO AGAIN Metro Science for the People presented its third show on Sat. Apri 28, 1-2 PM. The show featured Jeffrey Light discussing his work with the non-profit, Patients Not Patents about the effects of the patenting system on affordable drugs.


Posted April 26:Three important articles were posted on Portside during the last week:
  1. Toxic waste and race: Report confirms no progress made in 20 years, from the U. of Michigan. Environmental injustice in people-of-color communities is as much or more prevalent today than 20 years ago, say researchers commissioned to conduct a follow-up to the 1987 landmark study, "Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States".
  2. Acting Now To Save Life On Earth, by E.O. Wilson. "Save biodiversity during the next half century or lose a quarter or more of the species...species do not occur evenly over the land and sea, but in concentrations called hot spots." Publ. 2/21 on Alternet.org.

Posted April 9, 2007: Now more than ever! Beloved folk singer renews call for pre-emptive nuclear war. Randy Newman appeared on the Colbert show last October and did a reprise of his famous 1970's hit, "Political Science" Listen for yourself... Posted April 9: From the Times Literary Supplement (UK): The World's Problem, by Robert May. ..."The distractions and misrepresentations of the well- funded denial industry are helped by the fact that, for understandable reasons, most of us find it hard to get an intuitive feeling for the real seriousness of the threat that climate change poses. For one thing, the time lags outlined above mean that the grave consequences of today's and tomorrow's greenhouse gas emissions will not be fully experienced for at least a couple of generations. Neither we as individuals, nor our institutions, act today on behalf of a seemingly distant future. We could call this the Easter Island Problem..." Review of six current books. See also: Bill McKibben's April 9 piece in In These Times and our Calendar on the upcoming April 14 demo

In These Times article: Resisting the War on Science, by Jacob Wheeler.... 'Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing on Feb. 7 to explore allegations that the government has attempted to censor 150 climate scientists by pressuring them to delete references to "global warming" or "climate change" from scientific papers and reports, and avoid talking with the media.... The UCS presented its "A to Z Guide" in the form of a mock Periodic Table of Elements with a different color to represent each subject. The violations of scientific integrity date back to 2002, and range from "Abstinence Only Sex Education Science" to "Ground Zero," from "Arms Control Advisory Panel" to "School Vouchers."
'...

Posted April 3: Check the current SftP calendar - there's a very full schedule of important local events coming up this month, starting with a DC Social Forum planning meeting April 5. There's also an ongoing series of workshops in radio journalism, open to all.

Posted March 27: Nano Risk Framework: Comments were needed by March 30.
A co-operative effort begun in October 2005 between Environmental Defense Fund and DuPont Corporation(!) has produced a risk management framework for nanotechnologies. To look at the proposal and submit your comments, go to nanoriskframework.com

Posted March 10, 2007, by Jane Zara
A proposal to administer a mandatory anti- HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine to DC schoolchildren was discussed at a DC Town Meeting on March 3. Important issues were raised, including the mandatory nature, the timing, the Merck test results and more...

Posted Feb 15, 2007 from Information Clearing House: Behold the Rise of Energy-Based Fascism, by Michael T. Klare. "...will affect nearly every person on the planet. Either we will be compelled to participate in or finance foreign wars to secure vital supplies of energy, such as the current conflict in Iraq; or we will be at the mercy of those who control the energy spigot, like the customers of the Russian energy juggernaut Gazprom in Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia; or sooner or later we may find ourselves under constant state surveillance, lest we consume more than our allotted share of fuel or engage in illicit energy transactions..." Published 2/20/07

SftP on RADIO Metro Science for the People is on the air. Our first show was Feb 10; the next show will be sometime (TBA) in April. You can listen online: go to www.fcac.org, then select "WEBR free form radio", then to "listen" mode (via e.g. media player...).The show was a success, featuring interviews with Dr. David Schwartzman and John Kelly, as well as vintage music from Kate Bush, Beth Orton and Neil Young.  Hope you can tune in next time.
Posted Feb 7, 2007 From NIRS: Global Mobile Chernobyl - George Bush's Department of Energy is attempting to put together an over-the-top nuclear theme park plan, the centerpiece of which would relieve US nuclear reactor owners of the burden of their high-level radioactive waste.The plan is to move the high-level waste to one (or more) of 11 communities  “and to also bring radioactive waste from all over the world to the same site(s) for eventual reprocessing" . See official site of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. .
Posted Jan 27, 2007 From Boston Review, via realclimate.org: - the human hand in climate change, by Kerry Emmanuel."Long, but lucid, and well worth the effort of working your way through. Excellent discussions of how the greenhouse effect actually works, how a variety of factors interact as climate changes, how climate scientists separate the effects"
Posted Jan 2, 2007 From The Independent's Review of the Year: Global Warming -Our worst fears are exceeded by reality."
   
"During the past year, scientific findings emerged that made even the most doom-laden predictions about climate change seem a little on the optimistic side. And at the heart of the issue is the idea of climate feedbacks - when the effects of global warming begin to feed into the causes of global warming..."  Published 12/29/06.Posted Dec 10: Solar mirrors (from The Guardian, Nov 10). Two German scientists, Dr Gerhard Knies and Dr Franz Trieb, calculate that covering just 0.5% of the world's hot deserts with a technology called concentrated solar power would provide the world's entire electricity needs, with the technology also providing desalinated water to desert regions as a valuable byproduct...
Posted Nov 20: Dazzling debunking of climate-change science? George Monbiot of The Guardian demolishes as "pseudo-scientific gibberish" the two-part series that ran in recent issues of the Sunday TelegraphPosted Nov 8: Unionizing Postdocs Struggles to organize postdoctoral students (mostly in hard sciences) at Stanford and other campuses.Posted Nov 1: How close to catastrophe?Reviews of five recent books on global warming by Bill McKibben in the Nov 16 NY Review of BooksPosted Oct 23: Development:Hunger due to Injustice not Lack of Food
Millions of people die of hunger-related causes every year. However, that is not because of actual shortages of food, but is a result of social injustice and political, social and economic exclusion, argue non-governmental organisations that launched a campaign in Spain on World Food Day.Posted Sep 25: Princeton Scientists Create Vote-Stealing Program for Diebold AccuVote-TS A paper (and accompanying video) published by a group of Princeton computer scientists said that they created demonstration vote-stealing software that can be installed within a minute on a common electronic voting machine. The software can fraudulently change vote counts without being detected.

Sep 12 - Lebanon warns pollution caused by war could kill many (From London Independent, via Democracy Now - see article)

Geo-engineering: InVogue-realclimate.org

Human Fingerprints: Fact Sheet on Global Warming - Union of Concerned Scientists

CARGILL: Eating the Amazon : rainforest to soybeans

Global Warming and Hurricanes:     Scientists vs. Journalists


Alaska Oil Pipeline Leak - SftP member interviewed on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Aug 8
 
 
ARTICLES by DC METRO SftP

Education Research vs. Rhetoric: Congressional Hearings on No Child Left Behind, by Tim D'Emilio (Jan 4, 2007) Torture: America's Brutal Prisons, by John.Kelly (Jan 5, 2007)Salvage Logging - A New Scientific Scandal, by Doug Boucher(Aug 15, 2006) Junk Science, Wrongful Convictions and Terrorism, by John Kelly (Aug 20, 2006)Research Evidence and the Debate on Education: Reform vs. Change, by Tim D'Emilio (Aug 20, 2006)Somethin's Fishy About Agricultural Biotechnology, by Preston Covington and Jane Zara (Aug 31, 2006) Response and Resistance to Corporated-Backed Agrobiotechnologyby John Tharakan (Aug 31, 2006)

 


 
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