Environment and Health

Big Pharma Divorces Billy Tauzin

Some marriages are made in heaven, some in hell. The matrimony of Billy Tauzin and Big Pharma was definitely hellish—especially for us innocent bystanders.

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Strange Snow Patterns Consistent with Climate Change

Strange Snow Patterns Consistent with Climate Change

Freak snowstorms plunged the nation’s capital and the rest of the mid-Atlantic United States into utter chaos in February. The federal government shut down for nearly a week, many schools turned President’s Day into an unexpected 10-day-long “snowcation,” public transportation ground to a screeching halt, and suburban power outages drove some families to burn Freak snowstorms plunged the nation’s capital and the rest of the mid-Atlantic United States into utter chaos in February. The federal government shut down for nearly a week, many schools turned President’s Day into an unexpected 10-day-long “snowcation,” public transportation ground to a screeching halt, and suburban power outages drove some families to burn furniture in their fireplaces to keep warm.

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Warning: Consumer Products May Be Harmful to Your Health

A recent report by some of the nation’s leading public health professionals describes the toll that toxic chemicals are taking on our health and our budget. This report, called the Health Case for Reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act, summarizes the insidious contribution of environmental toxins to an array of chronic health problems.

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Agribusiness Profits, Mutant Germs, and Us

For decades, we have benefited enormously from the healing wonders of antibiotics. These drugs save millions of lives that would otherwise be lost to microbial infections. But more and more of the antibiotics in America’s medical kit are proving to be ineffective against the plethora of germs that endanger us. Why? Too much of a good thing.

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Is Our Democracy Becoming a Joke?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a dramatic press conference in October. The group promised to stop lobbying against pending climate legislation, and pledged to help make it even stronger. A few minutes later, the jig was up when an authentic Chamber representative barged in, sputtering, aghast.

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Save Winter: Stop Tar Sands

Unfortunately, as the excitement of the winter games builds in Canada, that country is also pursuing an energy policy that could have a huge impact on winter sports by accelerating global warming—and the U.S. may soon start taking part.

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As Death Nears, Be Prepared to Suffer

Have you heard about the Belgians? They now allow assisted suicide. Takers have quickly risen to two percent of the failing population. The Swiss too have developed a relaxed view of dying. Their immediate goal is to keep from becoming a one-way destination for sick Englishmen, where terminal pain is just part of the stiff-upper-lip image. But even that fine old tradition is now shredding, as a poll shows that 74 percent of Brits favor death with dignity. Of course mere popular support is often insufficient impetus to change such an ancient pointless policy.

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Let’s Pretend to Do Something about Climate Change

More than 190 nations have now agreed: Climate Change is bad and we ought to do something about it…let’s meet again someday to decide what. Naturally, low-lying islands want quicker action. So do lands whose life-giving glaciers are melting, or whose rivers are drying up, and whose wells have gasped their last.

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Health-Care Reform: A Good Start

When you strip off the rhetoric and the partisan politics and remove the fear factor, the health-care legislation working its way to President Barack Obama’s desk is, for most Americans, the healthiest medicine ever offered. Sure, there are missing pieces and probably things that should not be there. Instead of trying to produce perfect reform legislation, which has failed in the past, the Democrats in Congress, under pressure from Obama, have made a good start.

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