Environment and Health

Another BP Outrage

With BP’s well capped and CEO Tony Hayward exiled to Russia, perhaps you thought that the BP horror story is coming to a close, that surely there will be no additional revelations to enrage you. But now comes this: Prison labor.

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Red Tape Can Kill Green Innovation

Imagine putting solar panels on your roof for no money down. You partner with your city or municipality to cover the up-front cost of your new renewable energy system, which you pay back to the city as an add-on to your property taxes. You spread your payments out over 20 years and most likely the savings from your lowered electricity bill more than cover your higher property tax.

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Dying Patients Deserve Better

Remember the hullabaloo over so-called “death panels,” last summer? Faced with screeching right-wing opportunists who tried to kill healthcare reform by accusing the Obama administration of being out to snuff out our grandparents, the folks responsible for writing the legislation excised a sensible provision that would have made it easier to stop wasting money on the exorbitant, painful, and often futile tests and procedures that tend to make the last months of Americans’ lives miserable.

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No Message on the Bottle

There’s plenty to look at on bottled water labels: claims of purity, images of mountain springs, and fine print on filtering processes. The problem is, amidst all the clutter, consumers can seldom find information to verify the marketing claims being made.

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Corporate Negligence by any Other Name

The BP oil disaster is wrecking many things, including company’s brand. Americans don’t seem to be losing interest in driving their cars, but many of us aren’t willing to refuel at a BP pump any more. “Some BP-branded gas stations reported sales declines of 10 to 40 percent from Florida to Illinois,” the Associated Press reports.

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Kids, Condoms, Controversy

A few weeks ago, a tiny resort community on the tip of Cape Cod found itself at the center of a national firestorm. Media descended in droves. People called the town “absurd” and “disgusting.” Even the governor of Massachusetts got involved.

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After the BP Oil Disaster

I have been to the Gulf Coast several times since the BP oil disaster started. I’ve spoken with affected residents, and I’ve taken boat tours to see the tragic images of oil-soaked birds and wetlands up close. Each time I go, everything seems to hit me even harder than the previous visit.

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Let’s Shelve New Nuclear Power Initiatives

President Eisenhower is well remembered for correctly warning the public in his final address to the nation to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence…by the military-industrial complex.” In that same speech, Ike further cautioned that “we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” It’s time to pay close attention to this second warning too.

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