Environment and Health

The Lineup: Week of June 28-July 4, 2010

Here’s what you’ll find in this week’s OtherWords editorial package, which features a Donald Kaul column on Rep. Joe Barton’s foot-in-mouth problem and a Martha Burk op-ed about a potential threat to Social Security. The cartoon accompanies the op-ed by Philip Mattera about BP’s weak corporate ethics. You can get it all in your inbox by subscribing to our weekly newsletter. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do.

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Joe Barton’s Honest Mistake

A clever politician can get away with a lot; standards in the profession aren’t high. But if there is one thing Americans will not put up with from their elected officials, it’s complete honesty. The only truly unforgivable sin in Washington is sincerity.

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Spilling Subsidies to BP

BP’s catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates how risky oil and gas drilling really is. For the 11 crew members killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Gulf communities, ocean water and wildlife, the impacts were immediate. The long-term repercussions will also be devastating. Stopping the leak, cleaning up the mess, and restoring the economic viability to the Gulf’s many industries that rely on clean, healthy water is going to be an enormous challenge.

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It’s Time to End our Dependence on Oil

What I have seen during my visits to the Gulf of Mexico is shocking, horrifying, and heartbreaking. One bird, covered in oil, struggled again and again to take off from the water. It’s the kind of image you want to share, not because it’s beautiful, but because you want so badly for people to understand.

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It’s Your Fault

You. Yes you there, wearing your complacency like a suit of medieval armor, proud that you only have three cars in your family and that you keep the thermostat at 70 degrees in the winter.

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American’s Health-Care System Endangers Mothers’ Lives

Here in my tiny outreach maternity clinic on the west side of Orlando, we achieved in 12 months something that the U.S. health care industry has failed to accomplish in more than a quarter century. We dramatically improved birth outcomes among poor pregnant women living in central Florida, an area desperately lacking in health-care services. What’s more, all the women we cared for–including several with risk factors, such as pre-existing health problems and poverty–had healthy hospital births.

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