How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio actually makes a case against austerity and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
About one tenth of China's farmland is polluted with heavy metals, with whole villages being poisoned. All too frequently, local governments have reacted by ignoring the problems and even denying treatment (HRW report).
An experiment done in the 1990s exposed children to various levels of lead. The lawsuit filed in 2001 by the parents of over 100 participants accuses the Kennedy Krieger Institute that the scientists knowingly used the kids as test subjects in toxic dust control study. [more inside]
Subsidizing Healthy Foods by Taxing Unhealthy Foods. Mark Bitman proposes a "national program that would make progress on a half-dozen problems at once — disease, budget, health care, environment, food access and more — while paying for itself." [NYT] [more inside]
Over fifty years after Los Angeles' first nuclear meltdown, the State of California is finally getting around to decontaminating the radioactive fallout.
'Priceless collection' in Russia was never registered so is therefore worthless and does not officially exist, say developers
In 1926, Nikolai Vavilov founded the world's first modern seedbank, and amassed a collection which today contains over 90% unique varieties of plant, contained in no other collection in existence. For his opposition to Lysenkoism he died in prison, and several of his colleagues famously starved to death instead of eating their specimens during the Siege of Leningrad. Now the Pavlovsk seedbank facility has been seized by the Federal Agency for Public Estate Management, and pending a court ruling will be demolished - contents and all - to build a housing development. The collection cannot be moved in time because it is a working seedbank of living plants.
Moving beyond GDP for an information-based society - If indeed[1,2] "A 'Quantum Leap' in Governance" is needed then, as part of the solution, we might start looking past GDP[5,6] and perhaps more toward "betterness instead of business, pursue awesomeness instead of innovation — and maximize good, instead of quarterly profits..." [more inside]
New York Magazine has crunched the numbers, Park Slope has taken the title of most livable neighborhood of New York. [more inside]
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
SpaceTimeTV collects and lets you watch all the best educational videos online from full length documentaries (such as the 50 minute long Is There Life on Mars) to short video clips such as this one on glaciers and global warming. There are hundreds of videos on topics including history, space, technology, and nature.
"Good Guide provides the world's largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home." Now in iPhone.
Talk about plastic accumulating in the North Pacific gyre has popped up on and off for quite a while now. Vice is running a series on the state of the gyre, as part of their "Toxic Series". Given the fact that most plastics are not biodegradable, we need to start looking more carefully at how much damage we are doing to ourselves through our use of plastic, and what we can do about it. [more inside]
Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin. This Saturday will mark this article's four year anniversary. Frankly, I was mildly surprised not to have found it mentioned before in MeFi. It's a good read about a sad state of affairs; how our government is turning its own people into outlaws, because freedom has been traded in for an illusion of security. ...but then we already knew that. Don't we?
Kerr Magee had applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to call their waste an "experimental fertilizer" and just spread it over the top of the land.
Depleted uranium is now understood to have many medical consequences unique to its modern application as munitions, due to its incendiary, aerosolizing behavior when pulverized. (Rosalie Bertell explains, youtube) It has become a leading candidate for the cause of Gulf War syndrome, and was associated with massive increases in cancer and birth defects in Basra. The EU has called for a moratorium on its use four times, and WHO is deeply concerned with its consequences, but the USA (with Canadian complicity) and Russia continue to use it in Iraq and elsewhere. (prev: 1 2 3 4 5)
Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.
Bisphenol A: this extremely common chemical leaches out of food packaging and plastics, and was long considered safe. But a number of recent studies link it to developmental problems and cancer in lab animals in doses far lower than the current regulatory limit. Canada and the United States both review the scientific data available in the coming months, but critics already worry the process will be corrupted by industry. Industry, of course, insists that BPA is safe.
Interactive Toxic Town from Natl Library Medicine This NLM link shows relatively small everyday sources of toxics around town. Most worry over envirodisasters like Love Canal and Libby Montana but toxics in homes, schools, and small biz can add up to a bigger dose for most of us. The toxic town thread from June 2nd shows the incredible scale of industrial negligance at the nasty sites. Time capsules are neat when you stumble into something gramps left in the attic to remember his hey day. But hazwaste sites are time capsules of a different sort, left behind by industries escaping their environmental liabilities. These sites tell the story of utter disregard for the environment and community as hazwaste was poured down floor drains, dumped into soil and unlined lagoons, or directed into nearby streams. Most of us live far enough away from these chemical bullseyes to not be directly affected. But even more unbelieveably, sometimes the industry was able to pawn off its waste as "clean fill", getting rid of the stuff and spreading it all over town. Prime examples: Grand Junction CO and Stratford CT. But you don't need that for your street to harbor toxic waste - there are thousands of small waste sites in various stages of discovery or cleanup embedded in every state, rural/suburban/urban towns alike. Leaking tanks beneath gas pumps, dry cleaners, small industry, farms, nurseries,and even some homes can be toxics hot spots. Vermont's statewide hazwaste site list broken down by town is an example - it would be smart to find the list for your town.
Wal-Mart urges Congress to raise minimum wage and "unveiled a series of initiatives designed to present a kinder, gentler face for the world's biggest retailer... exploring ways to use the company's heft and resources to have a more positive impact on society." In its bid to turn over a new leaf, Wal-Mart also announced it's going green and lowering health care costs for its workers. Is this a new sign of rethinking the social responsibility of business where the kind of growth matters as much as the amount? Or is it right to be skeptical of it as a ploy to help open more stores like its critics charge?
Two great tastes that taste great together. Are you a scat fan? Well, Congress will soon vote on a bipartisan measure that would block the EPA from allowing sewage blending. Scientists & environmentalists gave BushCo some flak on this, but notice how bipartisan the bill is: it's sponsored by Bart Stupak (D-MI) as well as Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) The whitehouse site yielded inconclusive results (searched for sewage blending) This issue first caught my attention on another site (rhymes with 'bark') and I discovered it matters, at least to me, because people crap in my drinking water all the time and apparently the municipal waste treatment systems aren't handling it.
"Bring 'Em On:" A Certain Four Horsemen Rein Up to Inquire of The Taunt -- or "The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq (PDF)." An independent survey just released by the UK global health charity Medact, finds that "the war on Iraq and its aftermath exacted a heavy toll on combatants and civilians, who paid and continue to pay the price in death, injury and mental and physical ill health. Between 21,700 and 55,000 people died between March 20 and October 20, 2003." According to the BBC, the report says that the "conflict and its aftermath have put the most vulnerable in society - women, children and the elderly - at risk", and "there has been a reported increase in maternal mortality rates, acute malnutrition has almost doubled from 4% to 8% in the last year and there is an increase in water-borne diseases and vaccine-preventable diseases."
The NY Times is running a series of fishy articles about the ocean environment, fish and health. Of note the Java Interactive Feature "Heavy Toll" (see link 1) has an underwater cam of a trawlnet to help visualize ocean floor carpet bombing. Article links 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Dow and Their PR Agency got more than a pie in the face, more like egg all over 'em. Two different activist parody productions exposed their continuing despicable behaviour toward the Union Carbide release in India back in '84 when thousands died and many more continue with serious health problems. Dow and said PR firm tried to get the sites shut down, which just generated a WHOLE BUNCH more negative publicity. The sites were moved, but remain for you viewing pleasure.
Oh No - Not the O-Zone Layer AGAIN! It seems that our wonderful ozone hole over the Earth has split in two... Now you don't need to wear 100 sunblock just on Australia and Antarctica. But scientists *sound* a little happier, or perhaps I'm just reading into it a little too much.
"a huge victory for breathers" of course industry "experts" beg to differ: "EPA tends to overstate health concerns," said Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute.
Toxic Exposure Near Ground Zero EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman said a week after the attacks: "I am glad to reassure the people of New York...that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink." Yet now: "Dust taken from an air vent in the apartment building's hallway contained 555 times the suggested acceptable level for asbestos.....Many of those who live or work downtown report strikingly similar symptoms: nosebleeds, sore throats, bronchial infections and an endless racking cough." How long do we need to wait until we see some full blown investigative reporting?
Pollution Linked to Birth Defects in Recent Study. There is no better example of "terrorism" than maiming children simply to further bloat the wallets of the rich. Of course, our fearless right-wing leaders are right on top of the problem.