(Editor’s Note: This post, by Kathleen Peine, originally appeared at L.A. Progressive.)
There’s something buried in a new Pennsylvania law and it’s every bit as toxic as the chemicals used to unearth natural gas through that process called fracking. Lurking in that law is a form of enforced ignorance.
And as Will Rogers said, “When ignorance gets started, it knows no bounds.”
In this law there is a provision that essentially gags physicians when they want to tell their patients what particular chemicals they have been exposed to, should they become ill from exposure to fracking chemicals. The doctors will be required to sign confidentiality agreements in order to find out the components in their quest to treat stricken individuals. The law is advanced as a protection of proprietary secrets……as if we’re talking about New Coke here.
Last week I made up my first Twitter hashtag: #wonkygeekheaven. Which is exactly what the first Los Angeles Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference was for me. There was lots of talk about LAANE’s Don’t Waste LA campaign (which my company, Isidore Electronics Recycling, is a new partner of), passionate discussions with labor and environmental groups, analysis of the economic impact of climate change policy on cities and a rally against a big bad waste company.
Like I said, #wonkygeekheaven.
I never thought I would start an electronics recycling company. But while in my twenties I did a stint in (then) City Council President Eric Garcetti’s office, where I focused on public safety and gang intervention and prevention. There, I saw the same truth over and over: At-risk people and those exiting prison need jobs. I headed to graduate school to figure out how to make that happen,
By Kate Sheppard
(This post originally appeared on Mother Jones .)
Climate Central has released a new in-depth report on the combined impacts of rising seas and storm surges. With rising water levels, more people and property are at risk—especially during storms, which force water farther inland. Here’s an excerpt from the executive summary:
Global warming has raised sea level about eight inches since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating. Scientists expect 20 to 80 more inches this century, a lot depending upon how much more heat-trapping pollution humanity puts into the sky. This study makes mid-range projections of 1 to 8 inches by 2030, and 4 to 19 inches by 2050, depending upon location across the contiguous 48 states.
Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. For more than two-thirds of the locations analyzed (and for 85% of sites outside the Gulf of Mexico),
We drove north out of Santa Fe, through Espanola and past Abiquiu, the village where the artist Georgia O’Keefe lived, until we reached a narrow road in the high country. Then we drove until we came to a dirt and gravel road that led another 10 miles to a small cluster of houses and buildings named Ganado, the Spanish word for “cattle.” My wife, Susan, would live for a week at an encampment with a hundred other women, creating rituals and raising consciousness — while I headed back to Santa Fe with a stack of books.
But when I picked her up, she was not happy. The conference had been great, and the women amazing, but the noise had kept her mostly awake day and night. Just over the hillock someone was digging for natural gas, and by day the trucks rolled through and the drilling machines whined, and by night the pumps roared and the pipes rattled.
Since when did one’s mode of transportation become about politics? Who ever thought that riding one’s bike to the grocery store, taking the bus to work or driving to run errands could be a sign of one’s political stripes?
In some cities, such as New York and San Francisco, riding the train defines the experience of everyone living there. Entire movies, books and blogs have documented the romance and day-to-day life of riding public transit and navigating busy sidewalks. Can you even imagine what a New York free of subways, buses and pedestrians would look like? Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, you’re on the train.
Just ask Mitt.
Mitt Romney is among a vocal set of Republicans who have decided that certain forms of transportation are more democratic than others; he subscribes to the belief that roads are a given right of Americans, but that public transit is not.