Environment

News media ultimately responsible for predicted, emerging catastrophes

August 26, 2012

An Aug. 23 segment on NPR's Morning Edition about the 2012 drought touched my sentimental side when a Kentucky farmer's voice quivered while he spoke to correspondent David Schaper. "My wife and I just look at each other every night, and we look at our children's faces before they go to sleep, and we wonder, will this be one of the last days?" he said. The piece was titled "Drought Extends Reach, Some Farmers Ready to Quit." I've spent a lot of time in Kentucky and writing about the place. I've met guys like this one.

Sadly but predictably, nowhere in the story did Schaper mention the drought's relation to climate change. Neither did the one that preceded it – "How Smokey the Bear Effect Led to Raging Wildfires" – nor any other segment on that morning's story list. Indeed, a search for "climate change" on the NPR website shows no Morning Edition stories the entire month of August. Talk of the Nation, yes. All things Considered, yes. But Morning Edition, no.

While I do sympathize with this family, especially the children, I'd have to advise the Logan County cattle farmer featured in the piece to look in the mirror. He's a victim of manmade climate change. And as a Kentuckian, he bears as much or more responsibility for his fate as anyone in the world. He and his bluegrass neighors, along with all the rest of us, brought the climate-induced 2012 tragedies of drought and wildfires upon ourselves. Payback is indeed a bitch. And we've only begun to pay.

August 17, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene. This week's edition includes:

  • Great Lakes action on nuclear reactor risks
  • Activists halt operations at mountaintop removal coal mine
  • Dow requests approval for GE soy resistant to 2,4-D
  • EPA stalling on bee die-offs
  • Pennsylvania to shut down one of biggest U.S. coal ash ponds
  • Establishment of the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
  • U.S. clean-up of Agent Orange-contaminated Vietnam
  • Hazards of “green” household cleaners
  • Nigerian oil spill near Exxon operations
  • Ukrainian environmentalist murdered

August 14, 2012

News Release
Valley Watch

Last week, headlines in this region showed that Kentucky placed first and Indiana fourth in the release of toxic chemicals to our air from coal plants, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

None of the stories looked at the cross border figures like the region considered the “tri-state” of Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. Therefore Valley Watch decided to take this ominous study a step further and did its own analysis of those coal-fired power plants that currently operate within a 100 kilometer radius (62 miles) of Vanderburgh County.

Our analysis of EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory and EPA’s eGrid power plant data base reaffirms the shocking problem we have in this area which sports the largest concentration of coal plants in North America, if not the world, at 15,113 megawatt total capacity.

Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee biased against environmental studies

August 11, 2012

The federal panel charged with allocating funds for autism research has squandered hundreds of millions in taxpayer money on ideological, nonscientific priorities. Its decisions have been financially irresponsible and practically ineffective. Its chairman should be fired and many board members replaced.

So says the Brooklyn-based Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA) in a stinging critique of autism policy under the Bush and Obama administrations titled "A Critical Review of the Performance of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee" (IACC).

"From the controversial appointment or retention of committee representatives, to the troublesome history of committee members themselves, to the lack of accountability for the few advances made in autism research, to the questionable direction of the Strategic Plan, it is fair to state that the IACC is not living up to Congress’ and the public’s expectations," the July 10, 2012, report says.

August 3, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene. This week's edition includes:

  • ArcelorMittal agrees to clean up contaminated Lake Michigan site
  • Latinos’ attitudes toward the environment
  • Rainforest havens at risk
  • Fracking: who’s in control?
  • Texans poisoned by oil and gas facilities
  • Utilities spend millions on attacking EPA action while deaths accumulate
  • Murder of environmental activists
  • Oil company threatens 284 remaining beluga whales
  • Oil dispersants disrupt the ocean food chain

Citizen, physician concerns ignored by public-private conspiracy

July 24, 2012

In his state of the city address on Feb. 16, 2010, Bill Schmitt, mayor of the southern Indiana city of Jasper, addressed the topic of what to do with the city’s idle coal-fired power plant. One option, he said, according to the Dubois County Herald, would be to convert the plant to a “green-energy-producing facility.”

Little did anyone realize at the time that his comment would turn out to be an early salvo in what has become a bitter, protracted battle between the people of Jasper and their local government.

July 20, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene. This week's edition includes:

  • Push for high-speed rail in Indiana
  • Earth First! temporarily halts fracking operation
  • Fossil fuels draining water supply in middle of drought
  • Four environmental victories in two weeks
  • Victory for baby sea turtles in Puerto Rico
  • Critical fight to save Alaska’s Bristol Bay wilderness
  • Problem at California nuclear power plant is worse than originally thought
  • Dirty Dozen, Clean 15 produce
  • Big polluters opposing EPA’s regulations on soot
  • Bureau of Land Management to safeguard public lands from fracking, with public pressure

July 13, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • 2012 likely to be journalists’ deadliest year so far
  • Protestors charged with third-degree riot for defending house from foreclosure
  • Aid for Haitian earthquake victims goes to build hotels
  • Facts about inequality in the U.S.
  • Community-labor alliance spurs unionization effort
  • War Resister confined to sanctuary of Canadian church
  • Military recruiting troops through motorsports marketing
  • Texas Wal-Mart becomes nation’s largest single-story library
  • Chinese Apple workers undergoing superexploitation
  • Torture in CIA 'black site' secret prison in Poland

July 6, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene. This week's edition includes:

  • Help stop a coal-to-gas plant in Rockport, Indiana
  • Council of Canadians calls on provinces to ban fracking
  • NAACP joins lawsuit to defend mercury and air toxics standards
  • Navy testing, training exercises a dire threat to marine life
  • Germany to close all nuclear reactors by 2022
  • Murders of environmental activists on the rise
  • Drilling for oil in the Arctic
  • Exxon Mobil project for Rocky Mountains defeated
  • Indigenous people in Malaysian Borneo fight proposed dam
  • Toxic liquid pour into the earth poisons groundwater

Process reminiscent of '93 Brown County State Park hunt

June 30, 2012

A recent late-night walk with my border collie Zoe has transported me back to one of the darkest, dreariest days of my 30-year journalistic career. Following her gaze down a utility easement east of Bryan Park a half mile south of downtown, I saw a young whitetail deer, frozen by our presence, hauntingly backlit by a streetlight half a block to the south. Since then, I have read documents from, and stories about, the Bloomington-Monroe County Deer Task Force, which is poised to recommend that city deer be shot.

"Many an urban deer’s days may be numbered if Bloomington adopts the expected recommendations for 'lethal solutions' from its deer task force," a May 15, 2012, Bloomington Herald-Times story began. The group's report includes several such deadly solutions, among them sharpshooters baiting and plugging deer in city parks and on private property, an image that took me back to the Dec. 5, 1993, story I wrote for the H-T titled "Park hunt kills 370 deer."

Syndicate content