Archives for January, 2008

Welsh Coal Miners Did it Their Way

Back in 1994, 240 coal miners in Hirwaun, Wales bought the Tower Colliery where they were employed.  The UK government was de-nationalizing the coal mines and the pit was scheduled to close.  The miners took charge of their own livelihood, used their severence-layoff pay and borrowed money, to buy the coal mine. “In its first…

On Monday February 4th, I’ll be doing the Public Health Reports’ monthly webcast, discussing the recent article Celeste Monforton and I wrote entitled Beryllium’s “Public Relations Problem”: Protecting Workers When There is No Safe Exposure Level. Here’s some background: In a 1947 report, entitled Public Relations Problems in Connection with Occupational Diseases in the Beryllium…

Maybe Global Warming Just Isn’t A Problem

Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), a coal industry “astroturf” organization, is sponsoring the Republican presidential debate tonight and Democratic debate tomorrow night, both in California and hosted by CNN. Think Progress has noticed that ABEC has sponsored three previous debates on CNN, and, in each one, there have been no questions about global warming.…

Don’t Turn Off That TV!

Catch Devra Davis on BookTV this weekend, talking about her terrific book The Secret History of the War on Cancer. More details, including broadcast times, are here.

Occupational Health News Roundup

On January 20th, Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper published the results of six months’ worth of interviews with employees from the building site of Beijing’s Olympic stadium: CHINA has systematically covered up the accidental deaths of at least 10 workers, and perhaps many more, in a rush to construct the futuristic “bird’s nest” stadium in Beijing…

Banning the Bag

In San Francisco, large grocery stores are no longer allowed to give out the disposable, non-biodegradable plastic bags that have formed a giant patch of plastic (twice the size of Texas) in the Pacific Ocean and caused a host of other problems. The Whole Foods supermarket chain will halt plastic-bag distribution on Earth Day this…

Bush’s Actions Louder than SOTU Words

In his last state of the union address, President Bush glossed over the seriousness of some of the most pressing problems facing our country, and suggested they could be solved with something that’s been in short supply during his tenure. “Global climate change” got one brief mention, as something that the nation is committed to confronting with cleaner…

Bush’s FOIA Antics

Earlier this month, I wrote in Restoring FOIA about recently passed amendments to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which were signed into law by President Bush on Dec. 31, 2007.  Supporters of the OPEN Government Act, including the Society for Environmental Journalists (SEJ), are hoping that these new FOIA requirements will bring easier and speedier access…

Stop Toying With the CPSC

UPDATED BELOW Annys Shin of the Washington Post has reported that Dr. Gail Charnley, a well-known corporate product defense expert, is the White House’s leading candidate for the chairmanship of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. We’ve written extensively here about this beleaguered agency. Finally, after the nation watched helplessly at the recall of millions of…

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released new information concerning the massive explosion on December 19 at the T2 Laboratories plant in Jacksonville, Florida.  The disaster killed four men out of the nine total who were working at the time.  In their announcement, the CSB investigators indicated that 33 people—more than double the number originally reported—suffered lacerations,…