Environment and Health

Riled West

For a Yankee, driving to the West can painfully confirm many previously unverified suspicions. First, of course, one must stifle guilt for driving at all. This burden is fortuitously lightened by discovering that the car, which normally gets 40 mpg around home, ramps up to 45 on the road.

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Climate Currency

If the recent record-breaking temperatures and freak thunderstorms in Washington were nature’s way of telling Congress that climate change is real, it’s here, and it’s time to do something about it–it didn’t work.

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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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