Archives for December, 2010

Less than two months after taking office, President Obama issued a memorandum on scientific integrity, which stated: The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological information is developed and used…

by Eileen Senn, MS OSHA’s intention to finalize a list of chemicals on which to focus the agency’s efforts to address outdated rules on workplace chemical exposures was officially announced in the December 1 issue of OSHA Quick Takes and described in my November 17 post, “OSHA Poised to Action on Chemical Hazards.” No matter…

by Elizabeth Grossman In an incident that brings to mind the Triangle factory fire that took place in New York almost 100 years ago, the fire that broke out on December 14th on the 9th and 10th floors of the building housing the Ha-meem Group’s “That’s It Sportswear” factory in the Ashalia industrial district outside…

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is running a fascinating in-depth series on air pollution in Western Pennsylvania. While it’s got a local focus, I’m sure people from other regions can identify with some of the problems it highlights, like the difficulties in regulating pollution that easily crosses state lines and the frustration of seeing inadequate Clean Air…

Why We Need the Individual Mandate

Yesterday a federal judge struck down the new healthcare law’s individual mandate, which requires everyone to have health insurance. (Actually, the mandate doesn’t apply to everyone: those who’d have to spend more than 8% of their income on coverage are exempt, as are undocumented immigrants – and if you don’t have coverage, you pay a…

New Solutions: The Drawing Board is a monthly feature produced by the journal New Solutions. Read more about it here. By Charles Levenstein and Dominick Tuminaro [In press, International Union Rights journal, volume 17(4), due out 20 December; posted with permission] There is an important intersection between the movements for international trade union rights and…

by Elizabeth Grossman On November 30th, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) released a bulletin reporting on the accidental release of sulfur dioxide at the Murphy Oil refinery in Meraux, Louisiana. The Bucket Brigade tracks these releases as part of its work to reduce refinery accidents, and they explain that the November 30th release is “just…

Why Do We Live Where We Do?

It’s been an interesting week of discussing urban issues, and I want to thank Sharon Astyk of Casaubon’s Book and all of our commenters for making it so fun. I learned some interesting things from the comments – especially that vertical agriculture probably doesn’t make sense, even if it sounds like a great idea to…

Yesterday I mentioned sewer systems as an indispensable part of urban infrastructure, and today I want to focus on the more visible issue of transportation. The efficiency with which people and goods move into and within cities has a huge impact on both energy use and air quality. And the availability of non-driving modes of…

In Monday’s post I mentioned how much I loved London when I visited – but London wasn’t always such an appealing place. During the Industrial Revolution, it was filthy and polluted. The stench was appalling, and an episode of particularly foul smells from the Thames River in 1858 was known as the “Great Stink.” Life…