Posts tagged with 'water'
It won’t be long before the world has to confront its diminishing supply of clean water.
“We’ve had the same amount of water on our planet since the beginning of time, ” Susan Leal, co-author of Running Out of Water, told GritTV’s Laura Flanders. “We are on a collision course of a very finite supply and 7.6 billion people.”
What’s worse, private industries—and energy companies in particular—are using waterways as dumping grounds for hazardous substances. With the coal industry, it’s an old story; with the natural gas industry, it’s a practice that can be nipped in the bud.
In many cases, dumping pollutants into water is a government-sanctioned activity, although there are limits to how much contamination can be approved. But companies often overshoot their pollution allowances, and for some businesses, like a nuclear energy plant, even a little bit of contamination can be a problem. (more…)
Ed. Note: The Mulch is participating in Blog Action Day 2010, an initiative led by Media Consortium member Change.org that asks bloggers around the world to publish posts on the same issue on the same day. This year’s topic is water.
Last week, rivers in Hungary ran red with toxic sludge, creating the perhaps most powerful image of water contamination possible. Imagine, for a second, if every chemical leaching into waterways in this country had such a brilliant hue. What color would our water be?
Less than crystal clear, certainly. We still don’t know, for instance, what chemicals the government and BP poured into the Gulf Coast after the Deepwater Horizon spill, as Mother Jones‘ Kate Sheppard reports. Beyond one time dumps, American industries and consumers are steadily polluting our water system. Energy companies contaminate waterways. So do massive, industrial farms. Sewer systems overflow, and landfills leach waste. Even household chemicals — pesticides applied to suburban lawns, for instance — contribute to the problem. (more…)
Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) have set a timetable for healthcare reform by this fall–a major step on the road to passing legislation this year. The Senators’ plan, set out in a letter to President Obama, calls for a bill by June, committee markups over the summer, and a final vote in the fall. (Just in time for delayed-action budget reconciliation, should the Republicans prove recalcitrant.)
As Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly notes, timetables matter, politically. Furthermore, as Ezra Klein explains at TAPPED, a pact between Baucus and Kennedy is a big step forward: these two key committee chairs now have a plan to avoid the turf wars that stymied reform in 1994. This time, the two Senators have pledged to work together to write similar bills, instead having their respective committees produce very different legislation, like they did last time.
Experts agree that successful healthcare reform must work on two fronts: Paying for care while simultaneously keeping the cost of care in check. Elsewhere on TAPPED, Klein discusses why American healthcare costs so much compared to other countries. He points to a study by the famous McKinsey consulting company showing that the extra cost is not because we’re sicker, nor because we consume more healthcare:
Marcia Greenberger of the National Women’s Law Center outlines what’s at stake for women in the healthcare reform debate at RH Reality Check. She writes:
Speaking of raw deals, Martha Rosenberg describes how big pharma distorts science to get approval for yet more drugs of questionable safety and efficacy in AlterNet. Rosenberg notes that the Justice Department is cracking down on AstraZeneca and Forest Laboratories for hiding key scientific evidence that called the safety of their products into question.
What pharmaceutical companies aren’t dumping onto the market, they’re dumping into the water supply, according Lauren Kirchner of Air America Radio: 271 million pounds of drugs, from antibiotics to tranquilizers, have been legally dumped into the U.S. water supply over the past 20 years.
The Vatican keeps nixing Barack Obama’s picks for ambassador to Vatican City for being pro-choice, according to the American Forum. Carolyn Kennedy was a front-runner until she was disqualified for being personally pro-choice. I would note that there’s something of a Catch-22 here. Minor ambassadorships are, after all, rewards for big time political backers. The only reason anyone is in line for this job is because they helped the pro-choice Barack Obama get elected. This could take a while.
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