Environment and Health

How about Saving all the Miners?

Remember the joy shared by millions around the world as we watched as the Chilean miners were rescued one by one? Celebrating their survival made me wish that the global mining industry could find itself in the spotlight too, with lights glaring at each aspect of its destructiveness and criminality.

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Reaching the Boiling Point

President Barack Obama recently announced plans to modernize our crumbling roads, rails, and airports while providing jobs for the construction industry. While we certainly need to fix our nation’s transportation infrastructure, there’s another form of infrastructure begging for a similar level of attention in the United States: that for our water.

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It’s Still Not Easy to Die Peacefully

It’s been 25 years now since an AP poll revealed that a majority of Americans thought terminally ill patients should have the right to die. Assuming, of course, that they wanted to. Fat lot of good that poll did. Not one state legislature has followed it.

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Confronting the Reality of Climate Change

It got so hot in downtown Los Angeles the other day that the thermometer broke. The National Weather Service’s device hit 113 degrees at about noon (the highest temp ever recorded in LA), then just quit. Climate change hawks were quick to seize on this as evidence that global warming is revving up and we ought to do something about it before it’s too late.

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More Jobs, Less War

The Great Recession may be officially over but the United States is stuck in a prolonged economic crisis, with joblessness hovering around 10 percent. Millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans are fed up. They want jobs. But many lawmakers are reluctant to invest more revenue in job creation because of concerns over the national debt.

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Leading the Way to a Smarter Future

Moments of crisis offer two options: You can respond out of fear by hunkering down, arming yourself, and planning to shoot anyone that comes near your end-of-days outpost. Or you can embrace a smarter option by banding together and taking creative action toward a positive transition.

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Strong Federal Safeguards Needed for Coal Ash

Paul Kysel and his family didn’t know it when they moved in, but their house was only a mile from a closed dump site where for almost 20 years, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) dumped its toxic coal ash. Coal ash is the by-product of burning coal for electricity and it’s loaded with toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, selenium, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, boron, thallium, and aluminum. Coal ash is also known to be radioactive.

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