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Health & Environment

What is fuelling floods and fires?


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  • While most climate experts say that it is too soon to draw any conclusions about a link with climate change, many agree that current events fit in with the warnings issued by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over the past 20 years.
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  • The truth: Still there, still inconvenient
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  • Who Cooked the Planet?
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Julia Slater and Renat Künzi, Swiss Info

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Tourists in Moscow wear face masks against the smog (Keystone)

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As flooding in Pakistan disrupts millions of lives, and huge areas of Russian forest burn, many people are wondering whether they are linked.

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Flooding of a 1,000km stretch along the Indus river has already claimed about 1,600 lives, and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes. Over 13 million people have been affected.

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In Russia temperatures have stood for weeks at almost 40 degrees; fires have destroyed villages and forests, while a pall of smog lies over large stretches of the country, including Moscow. More than 50 people have died as a direct result of the fires, while the mortality rate has doubled in the capital, the authorities admit.

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The truth: Still there, still inconvenient, James P. Lenfestey, Star Tribune | MN
As 'Climategate' scientists are cleared, no doubt about warming remains.

Who Cooked the Planet? Paul Krugman, New York Times | NY<www.nytimes.com>

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  • Will any of the deniers say “O.K., I guess I was wrong,” and support climate action? No.
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  • The truth: Still there, still inconvenient
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Climate Change: Concocting the “Consensus”

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  • We have all heard this before.
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  • What Is Global Warming?
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Andrew Gavin Marshall, Global Research

The debate is over! There is a consensus! The time for discussion has ended and the need for action is paramount!

We have all heard this before.

Yet it is important to keep in mind that these types of statements are inherently inimical to scientific inquiry; the debate and discussion should never be over. As new information surfaces, it should be taken into consideration, analyzed, discussed, debated and ultimately it will aid in the advancement of knowledge and scientific understanding. To declare the debate as over is to declare information and knowledge as irrelevant. Progress has never come from holding onto antiquated ideas. The attainment of knowledge does not come from the refusal to reflect. Climate change is no exception. In light of events of the past year, it has become clear that there was a concerted effort on the part of a small clique of elite scientists at the UN and in supporting institutions, governments and universities to concoct the climate change “consensus” to pressure governments and public opinion into supporting the political, economic and social agenda of elites.

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What Is Global Warming, National Geographic
Is It All A Hoax?

Corporations scoff at workers' rights--even the right to come home from work alive

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OSHA, the agency scorned by labor haters, has been meek and weak

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Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown

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Their names probably won't mean mean anything to you, but these people ought to have some modicum of personal recognition: Jason Anderson, Aaron Dale "Bubba" Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Curtis, Gordon Jones, Roy Wyatt Kemp, Karl Kleppinger, Blair Manuel, Dewey Revette, Shane Roshto, and Adam Weise. These are the 11 workers who were killed when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico on April 20.

Four months after the disaster, national media outlets continue extensive coverage of BP's calamitous well--as they should--showing us satellite pictures of the spreading plumes of pollution, footage of dead pelicans, estimates of the ecological horror on the ocean floor, analyses of the frantic efforts to stop the oil, commentaries on the astonishing arrogance of corporate executives, feature stories about the slick's impact on Gulf tourism, interviews with lawmakers demanding much tougher environmental protections, etc. ... but what about those people?

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In West Virginia, coal miner's slaughter, Michael Winship, Salon

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  • Upper Big Branch's owners bought themselves virtual impunity with campaign contributions. The result was tragedy
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  • David Roberts of the environmental magazine Grist described Massey's president and CEO Don Blankenship as "the scariest polluter in the U.S. ...The guy is evil and I don't use that word lightly."
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  • The responsible capitalists: Will anyone fill their shoes?
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A misguided push to dump health board

Bills would protect special interests, not taxpayers.

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Star Tribune | MN

It's no coincidence that the attack on a game-changing measure to cut Medicare costs is being led by a senator from a state notorious for how much the government program spends per elderly enrollee.

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Over the weekend (Aug 21-22), the New York Times outed the self-serving attempt by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to repeal an innovative cost-control mechanism in the health reform act: the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The 15-member board would recommend strategies to cut excessive costs; these would be implemented if Congress didn't act to rein in the $440-billion-a-year Medicare program.

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Rotten Eggs

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Please ask your senators to make recalling unsafe food mandatory.

Andre Delattre, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG)

Wright County Egg, which distributes nationwide under 16 brand names, has sold the American public 380 million eggs with a high risk of salmonella contamination. [1]

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But, because food recalls are entirely voluntary, people have been getting sick from these eggs since May. This recall is in response to an FDA investigation, but the FDA can't actually order Wright County to recall the eggs, regardless of the threat to public health. [2]

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Let's change that now. The Senate has a bill in front of it that would give the FDA the power it needs to protect consumers.

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Please ask your senators to make recalling unsafe food mandatory.

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Let's turn this crisis into an opportunity and push our senators to pass the FDA Food Safety Modernization Bill. This bill will increase inspections and testing of the foods -- like eggs -- that are the most susceptible to bacterial contamination, and it will give the FDA the authority to order mandatory recalls when unsafe food threatens public health.

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Please ask your senators to prevent dangerous food from ending up on the breakfast table.

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Notes:

[1] Egg Producer Expands Recall After Links to Salmonella, New York Times, Aug. 19, 2010.
[2] If you have purchased eggs covered by the recall, you are asked to return them to the store. For more information, click here.

Healing of Memories Workshop October 25-27

Please pass along to vets, service members, family members, and those who care for them that you know.

Sheila Laughton, Loyola Spirituality Center

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

The Healing of Memories Working Group of the Warrior to Citizen Campaign at the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College is trying to get the word out about an opportunity to attend a local Healing of Memories workshop. This will be an “open” workshop-- we expect veterans, service members, family members, and those who care for them.  Clergy and spiritual directors are also invited because of their unique pastoral care ministry.  Pain is universal and we all have memories we need to heal.

Attached is registration information for the October Healing of Memories Workshop with Fr. Michael Lapsley.  Attachments include a  one-page flyer suitable for posting and a brochure with insert to register or donate towards scholarships for vets or service members.

For further information, to register, and/or to make a donation for scholarships, please call Sheila Laughton at 651-641-0008 ext 13 with any questions.

Please share the workshop information with anyone you think might benefit from this experience.  We are limited to 20 in this workshop but hope to create an "interested" list for future workshops with local facilitators.

New study: 85% of Big Pharma's new drugs are "lemons" and pose health risks to users

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According to Donald Light, Ph.D., a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who authored the study, the pharmaceutical industry is a "market for lemons" and Big Pharma spends a fortune to sell those lemons to the public.
This Is Your Country on Drugs

Sherry Baker, Natural News

For years, natural health proponents have been sounding the alarm about the dangers of new drugs being pushed on consumers. But is that a one-sided, inaccurate view? Not at all. In fact, new research now shows the problems with Big Pharma's hugely hyped medications are far worse than most people have even dreamed. Independent reviewers found that about 85 percent of new drugs offer few if any new benefits -- but they carry the risk of causing serious harm to users.

According to Donald Light, Ph.D., a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who authored the study, the pharmaceutical industry is a "market for lemons" and Big Pharma spends a fortune to sell those lemons to the public.

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This Is Your Country on Drugs, George Kenney, In These Times
Melody Petersen talks about how we’re hooked on Big Pharma. She has been writing about the pharmaceutical industry for more than 10 years, including as a staff reporter for the New York Times. Her recent book, Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), should be required reading for anyone who’s serious about healthcare reform.

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