PATH: BS | Science | Environment

The Consequence of Global Climate Change

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[Environment]
Youtube user "potholer54" is gaining quite a reputation for his instructive and well-referenced videos debunking myths and showing the truth behind various social, cultural and scientific issues. In his latest post, he tackles pragmatic issues regarding global climate change, and looks deep into the skeptics and the resources they use to see who's really telling the truth...

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2014-04-15 08:01:24 | Comment on this Article

Celebrities Misled By 'Restore The Gulf' Campaign

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[Environment]
Not long ago, many celebrities got together to make a PSA for the "Be The One" campaign, urging people to sign a petition to save the Gulf of Mexico on the website RestoreTheGulf.com (very similar to the government's website at RestoreTheGulf.gov, which might have caused confusion). This all seems good, until you look at the fine print and dig below the surface... Which is what DeSmogBlog did. It turns out that the campaign's sponsors are "America's WETLAND Foundation", a front group for oil companies (Shell, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, etc), and "Women of the Storm", a Louisiana group with strong ties to America's WETLAND (the founder of the former is married to the chairman of the latter).

The end result seems to be a carefully-orchestrated snowjob by the oil and gas industry to try and get taxpayers to fund the cleanup of their own messes...

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2014-02-15 23:49:48 | Comment on this Article

Fish You Should Not Eat

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[Environment]
Did you know that the "catfish" on that plate you're eating is not legally defined as a "catfish" by the US Federal government and is therefor exempt from certain regulations restricting the use of drugs and antibiotics?

But that may be just the tip of the fin...

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Tilapia: True "Chicken Of The Sea"

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[Environment]
Americans ate 475 million pounds of tilapia last year, four times the amount a decade ago, making this once obscure African native the most popular farmed fish in the United States. Unfortunately, it's not like other fish, nor does it offer the same health benefits commonly associated with eating fish...

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2011-05-04 20:16:43 | Comment on this Article

The Last Mountain

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[Movies]
[Environment]
It's easy to forget that each time we turn on a light, we are contributing to the ecological damage caused by the coal that generates electricity in this country. The Last Mountain gives us plenty of reasons to remember.

Watch an incredible journey these filmmakers take in chronicling a small community's attempt to fight for their lives and the lives of half of America who is downstream.

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Just How Bad Is The Deepwater Horizon Disaster?

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[Environment]
It goes without saying that most people no longer believe what British Petroleum is saying publicly about the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf and the condition of the well structure. The reality is much more frightening... In a few crevices in Cyberspace, experts in the industry are whispering what they think is really going on...

READ MORE | 13 comments since 2015-02-23 04:57:37 | Comment on this Article

Top 10 Crazy Facts About The BP Gulf Oil Disaster

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[Environment]
[Industry]
It's been more than seven weeks since BP's offshore oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, crude oil has been hemorrhaging into ocean waters and wreaking unknown havoc on our ecosystem -- unknown because there is no accurate estimate of how many barrels of oil are contaminating the Gulf.

Though BP officially admits to only a few thousand barrels spilled each day, expert estimates peg the damage at 60,000 barrels or over 2.5 million gallons daily. (Perhaps we'd know more if BP hadn't barred independent engineers from inspecting the breach.) Measures to quell the gusher have proved lackluster at best, and unlike the country's last big oil spill -- Exxon-Valdez in 1989 -- the oil is coming from the ground, not a tanker, so we have no idea how much more oil could continue to pollute the Gulf's waters.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster reminds us what can happen -- and will continue to happen -- when corporate malfeasance and neglect meet governmental regulatory failure.

The corporate media is tracking the disaster with front-page articles and nightly news headlines every day (if it bleeds, or spills, it leads!), but the under-reported aspects to this nightmarish tale paint the most chilling picture of the actors and actions behind the catastrophe. In no particular order, here are 10 things about the BP spill you may not know and may not want to know -- but you should.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2010-08-17 10:43:24 | Comment on this Article

Oil Permeates Louisiana Coast - "Who's In Charge?"

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[Environment]
[Industry]
A first-hand account of heading along the Louisiana coast and examining the effect of the BP Horizon oil spill.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2010-05-25 11:08:38 | Comment on this Article

BP Oil Spill Destroying Coastlands; Action Not Happening

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[Environment]
Plaquemines parish president, Billy Nungesser makes a plea to the government to take over the project and stop British Petroleum's control over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as he watches the coastal marshes become irrevocably destroyed by the oil slick...

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Note To Fox: Corellation Does Not Equal Causation

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[Environment]
[Pundits]
Right now large areas of the United States are blanketed by a snowstorm, and as predictable as the eventual accumulation of flies on a turd, the conservatives have come out of the woodwork to champion these atypical weather events as "proof" that there is no global warming. Rachael Maddow and Bill Nye respond to the current trend using some amusing analogies...

READ MORE | 7 comments since 2010-03-09 03:03:23 | Comment on this Article

Declassified Photos Show Bush Global Warming Cover Up

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[Environment]
The Obama Administration recently declassified about 1,000 satellite photographs of Arctic ice the Bush Administration had kept under wraps. The photos didn?t make much of a splash until recently, when two English newspapers, the Guardian and the Daily Mail, published some startling examples of the effects of global warming and how the Bush administration sought to cover this up.

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Investigation Reveals GOP Climate-Change "Scientists" Are Quacks

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[Environment]
The Center for Inquiry recently did an investigation into the credentials and references of a U.S. Senate Minority Report criticizing legislation to help address global climate change. The GOP-led report cited close to 700 people as being references for their position. After review, more than 80% of these so-called "scientists" had no peer reviewed work published.

As usual, it seems to be an amazing coincidence that the vast majority of "experts" in the field that claim global climate change is not a man-made event, nor threatening, just so happen to be tied to various lobbying organizations.

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Court Documents Confirm Dumping Of Toxic Waste In Pirate Waters

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[Environment]
Documents have emerged which detail for the first time the potentially lethal nature of toxic waste dumped by British-based oil traders in one of west Africa's poorest countries.

More than 30,000 people from Ivory Coast claim they were affected by the poisonous cocktail and are currently bringing Britain's biggest-ever group lawsuit against the company, Trafigura.

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IL Congressman: The Bible Says There's No Global Warming

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[Environment]
If you thought that having an ex-Arabian horse trainer as head of FEMA was an unusual assignment under the Bush administration, take a look at Illinois Republican Congressman John Shimkus, member of the House Energy and Air Quality committee, who actually made a statement before Congress citing the "infallible word of God" in the old testament of the Bible that proves there is no such thing as global warming and only God will decide when the earth will end, before which we'll hear a trumpet call...

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2011-02-17 09:54:22 | Comment on this Article

17 Year Old Discovers Problems With Splenda Sweetener

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[Environment]
Leave it to a 17-year-old foreign student to run some tests on the popular sweetener sucralose that is Splenda, and find out that the substance does not seem to break down in normal wastewater treatment and might be around in our water supply for a long time, in possibly high enough concentrations to cause harm to people and animals..

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Tennessee Coal Plant Causes Huge Environmental Disaster

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[Environment]
[Industry]
Just after midnight on December 22, levees broke at the The Kingston coal power plant, and a man-made pond containing toxic ash - essentially the leftovers from the nearby coal-burning power plant - burst its walls, and more than one billion gallons of coal ash spilled into the Tennessee River and its tributaries.

The spill is 40 times larger than the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, and one of the greatest environmental disasters in our nation's history. Imagine a river nearby to where you live: healthy, full of aquatic life, essential to community, ecology and economy. Now imagine that same body of water now filled with a grey-black sludge almost volcanic in proportion and density, full of toxins and poisons.

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Is Piracy A Cover For Nuclear Waste Dumping Off Africa?

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[Industry]
[Environment]
Who imagined that in 2009, the world's governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy - backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China - is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labeling as "one of the great menace of our times" have an extraordinary story to tell -- and some justice on their side.

READ MORE | 11 comments since 2011-11-21 00:19:40 | Comment on this Article

Environmental Group Exposes EPA Whitewashing

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[Environment]
Preliminary water tests from rivers near a huge coal ash spill in Tennessee show elevated levels of pollutants such as mercury and lead, a environmental group said on Friday.

"We're concerned that the water poses a greater risk to residents in the area than has been revealed so far," said Matt Wasson, a program director at Appalachian Voices, a environmental group that coordinated the testing of the water with scientists from Appalachian State University.

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Are YOU At Risk For Levee Failure?

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[Environment]
Every state in the country has U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, and many of them are in dangerous "vulnerable" condition. If you think what happened in New Orleans couldn't happen to you, think again. Now Levees.org has put together a searchable database by zip code so you can check to see if your community is at risk.

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Bush Halts Solar Plants Citing Environmental Concern

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[Environment]
Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years.

The Bureau of Land Management says an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

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Vatican Says Believing In Space Aliens Is OK

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[Environment]
The Vatican's chief astronomer says that believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said that the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

In an interview published Tuesday by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures.

No mention was made by Funes regarding upon which day God made aliens or space ships.

READ MORE | 4 comments since 2011-04-18 23:43:44 | Comment on this Article

Your Drinking Water Probably Contains Drugs

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[Environment]
A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

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Top Eleven Katrina Myths

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[BSAlert *exclusive*]
[Environment]
Here is BSA's top 11 Katrina Myths - issues relating to the destruction of New Orleans: fact and fiction.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2010-12-14 13:25:19 | Comment on this Article

Georgia Plans To Move Border To Steal Tennessee Water

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[Environment]
Tennesseeans reacted with humor, anger and defiance Thursday to Georgia's legislative attempt to move the border north so the drought-plagued state can tap into the Tennessee River.

"Us good Tennesseeans will take our long rifles up to Lookout Mountain and fire when ready," said Justin Wilson, a Nashville attorney and former deputy governor.

Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) and Rep. Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell) introduced resolutions this week to, in essence, move the state line a mile north which would run the border right through a bend in the river. Then, the legislators say, Georgia could send billions of gallons of water to parched Atlanta without Tennessee's permission.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2015-11-28 16:32:54 | Comment on this Article

Farmers Resell Discounted Water Back To Municipality

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[Environment]
With water becoming increasingly precious in California, a rising number of farmers figure they can make more money by selling their water than by actually growing something.

Because farmers get their water at subsidized rates, some of them see financial opportunity this year in selling their allotments to Los Angeles and other desperately thirsty cities across Southern California, as well as to other farms.

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The Story of Stuff

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[Environment]
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

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Georgia's Drought Solution: Pray for Rain

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[Environment]
As global climate change threatens to bring flooding to some areas, and drought to others, the southeastern U.S. is in the grip of the worst drought in decades. One small town in Tennesse has completely run out of water. Water use restrictions in Alabama and Georgia aim to conserve the dwindling reservoir supplies until the rains come at last.

What's Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue's solution? Address global warming by cutting greenhouse gas emissions? Task America scientists to study changing rainfall patterns, to develop new water distribution schemes that will work when the weather takes on new patterns?

READ MORE | 9 comments since 2009-02-08 09:16:09 | Comment on this Article

Save the Trees, Support the Boobs

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[Environment]
It's a new modern environmental nightmare: disposable chopsticks. Really. China produces about 45 billion pairs of these little wooden marvels each year, to be used once and then tossed into the nearest landfill, wasting whole forest's worth of trees for a quick rice bowl and the thrill of not having to lug around your own chopsticks.

But now, environmentally-minded designers in Japan have the answer: the Chopstick Bra.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2007-11-08 16:10:50 | Comment on this Article

New Orleans: Two Years Post-Katrina

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[BSAlert *exclusive*]
[Environment]
I've been making it a regular job to go around the city every now and then and take pictures of the "Rebuilding Effort" that has been going on since the Army Corps of Engineers destroyed the city of New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Come take a look at the latest installment...

READ MORE | 26 comments since 2010-06-26 07:04:03 | Comment on this Article

Latest Global Warming Threat: Mammoth Poop

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[Environment]
Global warming. It has many causes, primarily human burning of fossil fuels. But there are a number of factors that may add to it. For example, as polar ice caps melt, sunlight that would have once reflected away from the earth is now absorbed by the darker land and water underneath, making things even warmer. It's the global warming feedback loop.

Another such feedback loop is taking place as the once-frozen tundra at the top of the world begins to thaw. What used to live on the tundra? Mammoths. And they pooped. A lot. And that poop froze into eternally frozen poopsicles.

Until now.

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Boy Babies Vanishing Among Inuit; Who's Next?

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[Environment]
The Inuit, the native peoples of the world's Arctic regions in Russia, Canada, Alaska, and Greenland (you may know them by the old name, Eskimo), have a little problem. They're having more girl babies than boy babies. A lot more. In some cases, twice as many. And in at least one area in northern Greenland, they're only having girl babies.

This is sad, but why do we care? We're (most of us) not Inuit living in the far north. But they may simply be the exaggerated end of a trend that is growing in other areas as well.

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Time Magazine Story Identifies What Really Destroyed New Orleans

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[Environment]
The most important thing to remember about the drowning of New Orleans is that it wasn't a natural disaster. It was a man-made disaster, created by lousy engineering, misplaced priorities and pork-barrel politics. Katrina was not the Category 5 killer the Big Easy had always feared; it was a Category 3 storm that missed New Orleans, where it was at worst a weak 2. The city's defenses should have withstood its surges, and if they had we never would have seen the squalor in the Superdome, the desperation on the rooftops, the shocking tableau of the Mardi Gras city underwater for weeks. We never would have heard the comment "Heckuva job, Brownie." The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was the scapegoat, but the real culprit was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which bungled the levees that formed the city's man-made defenses and ravaged the wetlands that once formed its natural defenses. Americans were outraged by the government's response, but they still haven't come to grips with the government's responsibility for the catastrophe.

READ MORE | 3 comments since 2007-08-14 06:44:40 | Comment on this Article

Corporate Low-Down Depot Mart and the Tall Trees

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[Environment]
So you want to keep the weeds out of your flower bed. How about some nice mulch? How about some nice, cheap mulch made by clear-cutting and grinding up the cypress forests that help to prevent coastal erosion, weaken hurricanes, and provide habitat for wildlife? I mean, trees grow back, right?

They do. But they take years to recover. Cypress forests that were clear-cut in the 1930's are only now starting to look like healthy forests again...if they grew back at all.

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Project Phin: A Funny Way To Promote Conservation

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[The "Buzz"]
[Environment]
What happens when an environmentalist decides its his sole responsibility to change the world? He learns Final Cut Pro, rounds up a few hollywood bigwigs and creates a very funny series of viral videos...

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Wild Fish May Be History By Mid Century

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[Environment]
There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the seas by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a major scientific study. Stocks have collapsed in nearly one-third of sea fisheries, and the rate of decline is accelerating, according to international team of researchers in the journal Science.

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CNN: The Most Trusted Name In... Corporate BS And Misinformation

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[Environment]
According to MediaMatters, CNN has crossed the line. On Wednesday, the self-proclaimed "Most Trusted Name in News" aired an hour-long special on Global Warming that was anything BUT news.

The special, "EXPOSED: The Climate of Fear," on CNN Headline News was hosted by Glenn Beck, whose long history of factual distortions on Global Warming have been well documented...

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Google Rolls Back Map Imagery - Makes Katrina Damage Disappear

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[Environment]
Google's popular map portal has replaced post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery with pictures taken before the storm, leaving locals feeling like they're in a time loop and even fueling suspicions of a conspiracy.

Scroll across the city and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and everything is back to normal: Marinas are filled with boats, bridges are intact and parks are filled with healthy, full-bodied trees.

UPDATE: Accused by a Democrat in the U.S. Congress of "airbrushing history," Google said it has now replaced pre-Hurricane Katrina satellite images of the Gulf Coast region with more recent aerial photographs.

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More Examples of White House Doctoring Climate Change Reports

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[Environment]
[Industry]
The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released documents showing "hundreds of instances" where a former and current oil industry lobbyist had edited government reports to downplay the impact of human activities on global warming trends.

Committee chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said the documents suggested "a systematic White House effort to minimize the significance of climate change." The edits were by Philip A. Cooney, the former chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Cooney, who has no scientific credentials, worked for the American Petroleum Institute prior to the Bush administration position and is now working for Exxon Mobil. Cooney said that his edits were meant to reflect the "most authoritative and current views of the state of scientific knowledge." NASA climate expert Dr. James Hansen warned at the House hearing, "If public affairs offices are left under the control of political appointees, it seems to me that inherently they become offices of propaganda."

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The Great Global Warming Swindle Swindle

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[Environment]
[Liars]
A British documentary that claimed global warming is a swindle was itself flawed with major errors which seriously undermine the program's credibility, according to an investigation by The Independent, one of England's prominent newspapers.

"The Great Global Warming Swindle" was based on graphs that were distorted, mislabelled, or just plain wrong. The graphs were nevertheless used to attack the credibility and honesty of climate scientists.

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Gov. Goes After Man Running Car On Vegetable Oil

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[Environment]
79-year old David Wetzel has been doing his bit to keep expenses down and leave a smaller environmental footprint, starting with his 1986 Volkswagen Golf, that he converted to run on recycled vegetable oil.

So imagine Mr. Wetzel's surprise when two agents from the Illinois Department of Revenue showed up and demanded that he pay a tax on the vegetable oil he's been using for his car! Not only that, should his taxes be the same as on diesel fuel? Oh no, he has to pay five times higher taxes!

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2007-03-08 17:30:14 | Comment on this Article

US Solution To Global Warming: Block The Sun

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[Environment]
The US government wants the world's scientists to develop technology to block sunlight as a last-ditch way to halt global warming. It says research into techniques such as giant mirrors in space or reflective dust pumped into the atmosphere would be "important insurance" against rising emissions, and has lobbied for such a strategy to be recommended by a major UN report on climate change, the first part of which will be published on Friday.

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Iowa Farmers Make Out Like Bandits Due To Katrina Disaster

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[Environment]
When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, the aftershocks rippled all the way to Iowa. Grain shipments down the Mississippi River were shut down and the price of corn plunged. While people were drowning in New Orleans, the government had systems in place to make sure farmers up north wouldn't feel the pain themselves, to the tune of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

What resulted was a virtually unprecedented flood of government cash to Iowa's farmers, triggered by the drop in prices.

Iowa growers and landowners collected $2.24 billion in subsidies last year

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U.S. Committed To Battling Global Warming, Except When It's Not

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[Environment]
The head of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. climate conference in Nairobi (motto: "Good GOD it's hot") says that the U.S. is committed to battling "the serious global challenge of climate change." This after Secretary General Kofi Annan told the conference that those who would deny global warming (*cough*America*cough**hack*) and delay acting are "out of step" and "out of time," and that there's a frightening lack of international leadership on the issue. The U.S., one of two industrialized nations not to sign the Kyoto protocols and with an outgoing Congress that believes global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people", is committed to battling global warming, for sure, as long as it doesn't affect the economy.

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United States: Eighth Best Country To Live In

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[Environment]
[Society]
Woo Hoo! We're #8!

The United States was ranked in eighth place, after Canada and Japan, in the report that rates not only per-capita income but also educational levels, health care, and life expectancy in measuring a nation's well-being.

Topping the list were Norway, Iceland, Australia, Ireland, and Sweden, but Africa's quality of life has plummeted because of AIDS, said a U.N. report released on Thursday.

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More Than Half Of New Orleans' People Are Gone

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[Environment]
[Travel]
A recent population survey from the Louisiana Recovery Authority has reported that of the pre-Katrina population of 454,000 people in New Orleans, only about 187,000 remain today. More than a year later, 59% of the population has not returned since the hurricane and the large-scale flooding caused by the failure of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' faulty flood protection system.

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Africam - A Live Webcam From Africa

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[The "Buzz"]
[Environment]
This is one of the neatest webcams ever. Imagine a live camera on a watering hold streaming live video from Africa.

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White House Caught Censoring Weather Experts

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[Environment]
In February, there were several press reports about the Bush administration exercising message control on the subject of climate change. The New Republic cited numerous instances in which top officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and scientists at the National Hurricane Center sought to downplay links between more-intense hurricanes and global warming. NOAA scientist Thomas Knutson told the Wall Street Journal he'd been barred from speaking to CNBC because his research suggested just such a link.

At the time, Bush administration officials denied that they did any micromanaging of media requests for interviews. But a large batch of e-mails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request shows that the White House was, in fact, controlling access to scientists and vetting reporters.

Check 'em out.

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Army Leader Who Admitted New Orleans Errors Quits

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[Environment]
The head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who in June admitted that design flaws in the levees his agency built to protect New Orleans caused most of the flooding during Hurricane Katrina, has asked to retire, the Army said on Thursday. In an after-hours announcement, the Army issued a statement saying Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, commander and chief engineer of the corps, had requested his retirement from the military "based on family and personal reasons," Reuters reports. The announcement came a bit more than two months after the corps issued a 6,100-page report admitting to its blunders in the design of storm walls and earthen levees that were supposed to protect the New Orleans area.

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China's Pollution Reaches U.S. West Coast

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[Environment]
On a mountaintop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Steven Cliff collects evidence of an industrial revolution taking place thousands of miles away.

The tiny, airborne particles Cliff gathers at an air monitoring station just north of San Francisco drifted over the ocean from coal-fired power plants, smelters, dust storms and diesel trucks in China and other Asian countries.

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Old Ladies Knit Sweaters for Penguins

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[Environment]
[Diamond Studded Toenail Clippers]
I know, I know...it sounds really goofy. Little old ladies knitting sweaters for tiny penguins; this is like the crazy woman who dresses up a squirrel, right?

It sure sounds that way, but no. For once, this is actually a heart-warming (or at least penguin-warming) tale. Instead of knitting hideous sweaters for grandchildren who wouldn't be caught dead in them or afghans for unappreciative relatives, a group of volunteers from all over the globe are putting their knitting needles to work to save oil-contaminated penguins from near-certain death.

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