Archives for April, 2008

Earth Day About People (Not Just Earth)

Angry Toxicologist makes a good point about Earth Day: What’s wrong with Earth Day? The name, for one. Earth day. Protecting mother earth. Saving the environment. What’s wrong with these? They’re all about the earth. No humans mentioned. For a day that’s supposed to highlight the damage we are doing and to energize some action,…

Earth Day: Changes I Can Make

by Lindsay Wheeler Although today’s the official Earth Day, I’ve been reflecting more and more on my own lifestyle and the efficiency with which I live.  It started a few months ago, when I was watching the BBC series Planet Earth with my brother, and I found myself almost to the point of tears thinking about what…

What’s MSHA’s Excuse this Time?

For more than two years, the Cook family has waited for answers about the coal-truck crash that took the life of Chad Cook, their son and brother.  Their long ordeal began immediately after 25-year old Chad’s death, when an MSHA inspector decided that the fatal crash occurred on a public road and therefore would not be…

Removing Mountains to Power DC

The front page of yesterday’s Washington Post provided a stark reminder of the cost of powering the DC region: a scarred and denuded landscape once graced by mountains and wildlife. Mountaintop removal mining (MTR) in West Virginia feeds coal-powered plants that have been demanding more and more of the fuel; in the DC area, demand…

Safety Awards Gone Bad

Pork plant in illness probe wins worker safety award Safety award to Massey mine where two miners were killed   First, I thought these were bad April Fools’ jokes or maybe an article from the ONION.  But no, these headlines are no joke.  A pork packing house in Austin, MN, a worksite where at least 12 workers have developed an autoimmune disorder, is receiving the Award of Honor…

Friday Blog Roundup

Bloggers approach food issues from a variety of angles: At Gristmill, Aimee Witteman and Tom Philpott discuss the prospects for the Farm Bill and Sharon Astyk looks at the many costs of food. Andrew Schneider at Secret Ingredients shares the frightening things he learned at a food safety conference. Barbara Fisher at Tigers & Strawberries…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Last month, five fishermen died when their boat, the Alaska Ranger, went down off Unalaska Island. They joined the more than 400 killed since 1999, when a Coast Guard panel warned Congress that weak regulations allow unseaworthy boats to continue fishing. Congress has failed to solve the problem, the Seattle PI’s Daniel Lathrop and Levi Pulkkinen…

Slate on Doubt is Their Product

Doubt is Their Product is the focus of the second piece in a three-part series by Slate’s Daniel Engber on “radical skepticism and the rise of conspiratorial thinking about science.” After describing the strategy of manufacturing doubt, from its tobacco-industry roots to its use by energy and drug companies and politicians, Engber suggests that anti-regulatory…

Bisphenol A Saga Continues

Today the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other news sources report that the National Toxicology Program has issued a draft brief stating concerns about the effects of low levels of bispehnol A on fetusus and children. Exposure to bisphenol A can interfere with the development of children’s brains and reproductive organs, including alterations to…

Justice Sought for 54 (Dead) Burmese Workers

The story barely received a blurb in the U.S. press (Thurs, 4/10/08).  Inside a refrigerated truck designed to transport seafood, a group of 121 Burmese women, men and children were suffocating inside, just hoping to make it to their destination—work–a job–in the resort towns on the Andaman coast of Thailand.  According to the Asia Times, the truck was following a…