Environment and Health

Warning: Fracking May Harm Public Health

Warning: Fracking May Harm Public Health

What do public health advocates like me tell people all the time? Get tested. Use protection. In practice, that means we’re always explaining how everything from cancer screenings to immunizations to bike helmets can save lives. The same logic ought to apply to...

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Neighbors Don’t Let Neighbors Frack

Neighbors Don’t Let Neighbors Frack

All my life, I’ve been a good citizen. I vote. I volunteer. I know my neighbors. Moreover, I take care of my property. I garden. I make jams and jellies to give away for Christmas. In short, I fulfill my obligations as a rural homeowner. Still, there's one additional...

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These Boots Were Made for Waiting

These Boots Were Made for Waiting

Heads are finally rolling because of the Department of Veterans Affairs' assorted waitlist scandals. Some 1,000 or more workers may lose their jobs over chronic bottlenecks and fake waitlists, VA chief Robert McDonald disclosed shortly before Veterans Day. Then,...

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The Fracking Rush Hits a Pothole

The Fracking Rush Hits a Pothole

Ever heard of Bryan Sheffield? The baby-faced tycoon enjoyed a brief blast of fame a few months ago when he became one of those rare non-tech billionaires under 40. What ignited his rise to the ranks of Americans with money to burn? He owns a company called Parsley...

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Berkeley Beats Big Soda

Berkeley Beats Big Soda

While the Republicans were busy wiping the floor with Democrats on Election Day, the citizens of Berkeley, California were making history. An overwhelming majority of Berkeley's voters — 75 percent — passed the nation’s first soda tax. The penny-per-ounce tax on all...

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The Unbearable Politeness of Being Gus Speth

The Unbearable Politeness of Being Gus Speth

James Gustave Speth garnishes reflections on his many accomplishments with self-deprecating humor. And the man who helped establish two influential environmental organizations, piloted a United Nations agency, and served in the Carter White House wants you to know he...

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Denton Tells Big Oil to Frack Off

Denton Tells Big Oil to Frack Off

The University of North Texas, best known for its top-notch jazz program and sometimes for its "Mean Green" football team, might soon become known as Frack U. UNT (where I went to college back in the Paleocene Epoch) and the good people of the surrounding city of...

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Wal-Mart Scrooges Us All

Wal-Mart Scrooges Us All

Gosh, time flies when it's pushed along by a jet stream of greed. It seems like only yesterday that Wal-Mart announced, with much self-congratulatory fanfare, that the super-rich retailing colossus wasn't a scrooge after all. Indeed, while the world's largest purveyor...

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Here Come the Rain and Drought

Here Come the Rain and Drought

What is it about natural disasters and irony? Just as local authorities in Detroit were denying thousands of people access to running water, the bankrupt city experienced an epic downpour. More than 4.5 inches of rain pounded Motown in mid-August, causing $1.2 billion...

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