Thursday, April 22, 2010

Truthout 4/22

Confessions of a Former Oil Industry Consultant
Christine Shearer, Truthout: "Jeremy Leggett has undergone quite a few large career changes, from oil industry consultant to Greenpeace scientist to solar power entrepreneur. A geologist by training, he worked with the oil industry until his studies brought him face-to-face with the growing evidence of climate change. In an industry refusing to change, Leggett went to work for Greenpeace and was part of the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) talks up to the non-binding, international climate change treaty, the Kyoto Protocol."
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Goldman Plays, We Pay
Robert Scheer, Truthout: "The story of the financial debacle will end the way it began, with the super-hustlers from Goldman Sachs at the center of the action and profiting wildly. Never in US history has one company wielded such destructive power over our political economy, irrespective of whether a Republican or a Democrat happened to be president."
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From Drunken Party Girl To Climate Change Activist
Paul Rogat Loeb, Truthout: "When we try to engage people politically, we never know who will respond or when someone will shift from reveling in their apathy to taking powerful public stands. With Earth Day coming up, here's a striking example of one such transformation."
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The Good News About the Very Bad News (About Climate Change)
Rebecca Solnit, "These days, I see how optimistic and positive disaster and apocalypse movies were. Remember how, when those giant asteroids or alien space ships headed directly for Earth, everyone rallied and acted as one while our leaders led? We're in a movie like that now, except that there's not a lot of rallying or much leading above the grassroots level."
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Hawaii: Model in the Battle for Biodiversity
Jon Letman, Truthout: "This year marks the 40th observation of Earth Day, and so it's fitting that the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. The world body selected this year with the goal of halting the loss of biodiversity and, at a minimum, raising general awareness of the rich, complex tapestry of life which is considered a basic barometer of the Earth's health and a leading indicator of how rich (or poor) we are as a planet."
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What Would Jesus Insure?
Lindsay Beyerstein, The Media Consortium: "Christian groups are trying to create a run around health care reform by setting up alternative, unregulated religious health care bill collectives - and movement conservatives are cheering them on. Religious right-watcher Sarah Posner reports on so-called Christian health care-sharing ministries in the American Prospect."
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Who Let the Blue Dogs Out?
Norman Solomon, Truthout: "This is a grim story about the care and feeding of a Blue Dog. Right now, Congresswoman Jane Harman is facing a serious primary challenge from a genuine progressive, Marcy Winograd, in Southern California's 36th Congressional District."
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Cut the Budget? Then Arm the Citizens, Judge Says
Connie Schultz, Truthout: "You may have heard the latest those-folks-are-crazy story coming out of my home county in Ohio. It started two weeks ago with a local television station's tiny sound bite starring Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey. The judge was asked what advice he'd give to the 100,000 or so residents after budget cuts left them with only one sheriff's cruiser to patrol about 700 square miles along Lake Erie."
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Israel Rejects Obama's Call for Building Halt in East Jerusalem
Ben Hancock, The Christian Science Monitor: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a call by US President Barack Obama to halt new construction in East Jerusalem, his aides confirmed Thursday. The rejection, which was delivered privately over the weekend, appeared likely to further complicate American efforts to broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians."
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Michael Honda Backs Afghanistan Military Withdrawal Timetable
Robert Naiman, Truthout: "On Tuesday, Rep. Michael Honda signed his name to legislation put forward by Sen. Russ Feingold, Rep. Jim McGovern and Rep. Walter Jones that would require the president to establish a timetable for the redeployment of US troops from Afghanistan."
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Earth Day Greenwashing From the World's Worst Polluter
Mickey Z, Truthout: "On Earth Day 2010 (April 22), the US Navy is going to stage a demonstration of its F/A-18 Super Hornet (a.k.a. the Green Hornet), powered by a 50/50 biofuel blend (made from the Camelina sativa plant). Before you attempt processing that nugget, I've got something else you may want to factor in: The USS Makin Island, the 'world's first hybrid fuel warship.'"
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RED STATE ROAD TRIP 2: The Good Times Are Over (Video - Part II)
In 2005, filmmaker and truthout reporter Chris Hume took the nation's pulse. He traveled to the forgotten corners of America, and let the people speak. It was a disturbing, humorous and surprising odyssey. In the pivotal year of 2008, he traveled even further. Short videos from the documentary will appear every few days.
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Earth Day, Labor and Me
Joe Uehlein, Truthout: "The approach of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 provides us an opportunity to reflect on the 'long, strange trip' shared by the environmental movement and the labor movement over four decades here on Spaceship Earth."
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The Value of the "Obama Effect"
Joe Conason, Truthout: "As approval ratings for Barack Obama decline at home, world opinion of the United States is rising steadily under his stewardship. A new international survey by the British Broadcasting Company reveals that views of the US around the world have 'improved sharply' during the first year of the Obama presidency, with positive opinion outweighing negative for the first time since 2005, when the BBC first polled this question."
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Awaken, Eaarthlings! (An Earth Day Missive)
Jill S. Schneiderman, Shambhala Sun: "In his recent book, 'The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology' (2008), the great Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh asserts that Buddhism, as a robust type of humanism, allows people to learn how to live on our planet not only responsibly, but with compassion and loving kindness. Every Buddhist practitioner, he says, should have the capacity to 'protect' the environment and determine the destiny of the Earth."
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Bad Service Dressed as Good Service
Froma Harrop, Truthout: "More service is not necessarily good service. And bad service dressed as good service is even worse. Here are examples: Restaurants. A waiter breaks into a lively conversation to ask, 'How is the meal?' Being courteous people, we feel obliged to respond that everything is fine, only to have the robot-server walk away in our mid-sentence. So one gesture of fake concern leaves us both interrupted and disrespected."
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Counting Wins and Losses on Earth Day
Lewis Beale, Miller-McCune: "April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and with it, the symbolic beginning of the environmental movement. The event was the culmination of a number of trends that began in the 1950's when scientists began to note how industrialization was impacting on the Earth's ecosystem. Then, in 1962, Rachel Carson's groundbreaking book 'Silent Spring,' which documented the effects of pesticides on the environment, caused an international sensation and led eventually to the banning of the pesticide DDT in the United States."
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