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Health & Environment

Health, Science & Environment

It's the Opportunity, Stupid!

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The elected officials who steered this turnaround have abdicated their responsibility to uphold our nation's best interests, and have shown us, and the world, an America woefully deficient in both leadership and ingenuity.

Robert Redford, Huffington Post

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

A small minority of Senators robbed America of a cleaner, more prosperous future last week (July 18-24). In the middle of the biggest oil disaster in American history, the hottest summer on record, and a war with an oil-rich nation, this group of cynics blocked efforts to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation. This was the moment brimming with potential for new jobs, a more robust economy and cleaner environment -- this bill would have guided America down a profoundly safer and more productive path.

So therefore, the Senate is left to vote on an anemic energy bill of such remarkably limited scope that it could have been passed during the Bush era.

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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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Related:

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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