IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: In Rio Olympics' opening ceremony, Brazil goes big on global warming and the environment; U.S. government to use global warming 'litmus test' for all new projects; Melting Arctic ice uncovering anthrax and toxic waste; Happy Earth Overshoot Day; PLUS: Florida gets approval to release GMO mosquitoes... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): What Happens to the U.S. Midwest When the Water's Gone?; Researchers find unsafe levels of industrial chemicals in drinking water of 6 million Americans; Climate Changes at Rio Olympics is Risky For The Health and Performance of Athletes; Chevron Wins Big in $9.5 Billion Oil Pollution Case. But It’s Not Over; A Year After Toxic River Spill, No Clear Plan To Clean Up Western Mines; Two former Republican EPA administrators throw support to Clinton... PLUS: Customers Could Pay $2.5 Billion for Nuclear Plants That Never Get Built... and much, MUCH more! ...
On today's BradCast, voters head to the polls in West Virginia and Nebraska; The Philippines elects its own version of Trump (but worse); and the FDA issues deadly new rules that may wipe out an industry and help kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American. [Link to full audio below.]
First up, it's Primary Election day again, this time in West Virginia and Nebraska (Republicans only). In WV, many voters will be forced to vote once again on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems, though Donald Trump tells voters not to vote at all, at least until the general election. At the same time, new polling from Quinnipiac [PDF] shows Hillary Clinton virtually tied with or losing to Trump in three key swing-states (OH, FL and PA), while Sanders outpaces Clinton in each, beating Trump in all three crucial states.
Meanwhile, in elections overseas, London elects its first Muslim as Mayor, though he's worried he may not be able to visit other Mayors in the U.S. if Trump becomes President and, in The Philippines, it looks as if they have elected a new President who is even more disturbing than Donald Trump. So, yes, it can happen.
Then: the FDA issues insane new rules for electronic cigarette and e-liquid manufacturers which could end up killing the vaping industry that is currently helping to prevent the tobacco-related deaths of some 500k Americans each year. Chris Hughes, President of the PA Chapter of the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, and owner of the Fat Cat Vapor Shop, explains the new onerous regulations and how Democrats are supporting them despite scientists and experts, such as those at UK's Royal College of Physicians who recently announced: "in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes...as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking."
If the misguided FDA rules are finalized, it could cost as much as $1 million to receive approval for every single vaping product, e-liquid flavor (including each level of nicotine). The only companies likely to afford that process are the Big Tobacco companies that the bulk of the vaping industry is hoping to put out of business. In turn, millions of folks who have quit smoking by moving to vaping (which has almost none of the dangers of tobacco cigarettes) are likely to begin smoking again. "People smoke for the nicotine but die from the tar," explains Hughes, adding, "there are over 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. And many of them act in concert with nicotine to make it more addictive." That is not the case for vaping products!
As someone who, thanks to vaping, was able to quit the deadly habit after decades of smoking myself, this is a very disturbing development. It's made even more disturbing by the particular big name Democrats (some of the otherwise best Dems --- Hughes names names!) who support the new regulations that will only help both Big Tobacco and, as Hughes notes, "the same giant pharmaceutical corporations that make nicotine patches, lozenges and gums [and inhalers!] and view my business, and thousands of other small businesses in the country, as competitors."
"This plan, if its fully implemented," he says, "will close every vape shop like mine in the United States. The only other thing we can say certainly will happen is smoking rates will skyrocket again across all demographics. There are currently over 9 million adults using these products regularly in the U.S. and those people will seek an alternative product. The alternative for them may be to go back to smoking in many instance. Half of those people will die prematurely as a result of smoking. And that's the catastrophe."
While I try to contain my rage here, even in writing this item, Hughes suggests those who would like to support the effort to kill smoking by saving vaping should stop by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA.org). They offer a number of things you can do immediately. He also suggest you "call your representatives and tell them --- politely --- that you feel very strongly that the Senators should re-evaluate their stance on vapor products."
Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with disturbing climate change news and, thankfully, even a bit of hope...
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MONTHLY BRAD BLOG SUBSCRIPTION
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Way too much water now falling on the Arizona desert; Another day, another toxic spill, this time in the Ohio River; New breakthrough recycles old car batteries into solar panels; Wind energy prices hit an all-time low in U.S.; PLUS: An innovative water wheel auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Pregnant women should avoid tuna entirely; Transparent solar turns your windows into mini-solar cells; Solar boom causing global solar panel shortage; Solar thermal plant torches birds in mid-air; World's ice sheets melting at fastest rate ever recorded; Leonardo DiCaprio voices climate change film; Homeowners associations blocking residential solar installations; California has allocated 5x more water than it actually has ... PLUS: Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Network news managed to notice extreme weather, but not climate change in 2013; Congrats, Fox 'News'! Someone finally found fraud at the EPA!; Amnesty for the Arctic 30; Good news for Ecuadoran villagers suing Chevron; The #1 Environmental Story of the Year; PLUS: RETHINK your holidays --- make 'em greener! ... All that and more in our last Green News Report of the year!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Yep, we feed cows chicken poop (thanks, FDA); Pres. Eisenhower was an environmentalist (video); November 2013 warmest on record; Chevron failed to maintain SF refinery; L.A. mandates 'cool roofs'; Japan's battle to prove Fukushima fish are safe; Obama & climate change: the real story; BP's oil still killing dolphins; 60 watt incandescents phased out Jan. 1 ... PLUS: In the Deep South, dirty energy and disenfranchisement go hand in hand ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sorry Tucker Carlson and Fox "News", November 2013 was the hottest November on record; Wacky winter weather strikes around the world; Ski the Italian Alps while you still can; Plastic pollution now confirmed in all of the Great Lakes; PLUS: An ingenious new solution to the plastic pollution problem ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 45 fossil fuel disasters industry doesn't want you to know about; Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in water at CO fracking sites; Reddit Science bans climate science deniers; BP targets celebrity chef over oil spill payments; Warren Buffet buys $1B in wind energy; Even slight global warming endangers water supplies; PacNW coal terminals threatened by low coal prices; Only endangered species that provide 'economic benefit' will be saved ... PLUS: Funny: How the media will report the apocalypse! ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Scientists warn of abrupt climate change; Prominent scientists call for a carbon tax... while Big Oil is secretly planning for it; FDA moves to ban some antibiotics in factory farming; PLUS: After moving to claim the North Pole as their own, Canada promises to protect Santa from the Russians ... All those new fronts in the War on Christmas in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Can We Avert the End of Elephants?; Competitive hunting of wolves, coyotes in Idaho sparks outcry; We can get 100% of our aluminum from recycling using only 5% of the energy; US fracking boom destroying homes' real estate value; Extreme weather worries insurers, farmers; Arctic Warming Drives More Extreme Summer Heat Waves, Droughts And Deluges; Japan to store radioactive Fukushima soil; Chinese media touts the 'benefits' of extreme pollution, while government trains airline pilots to land in extreme smog; EPA to cut back on inspections ... PLUS: Iraq and Climate Change are both case studies in the failure of journalism ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Shutdown's 'non-essential' food safety workers discovered essential after all in widespread salmonella outbreak; International community moving forward on climate solutions; Natural Gas War on Coal closes dirty coal plants; "The New Normal" - a time frame for climate change; PLUS: Climate science deniers now denied access to the L.A. Times ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): VIDEO: What’s Funnier than a Climate Denier at a Science Fair?; Latest leak at Fukushima plant contaminates 6 workers; ND suffers first big oil spill; Drought the culprit behind CO pine-beetle epidemic; Big Oil sues over ethanol mandate; Enviros urge WGBH to dump Koch on board; Shell exec says oil companies could lead in carbon capture technology; Shutdown means a delay in Keystone XL pipeline review ... PLUS: Fusion "Breakthrough" at NIF? [Uh, Not Really] … and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Government Shutdown-palooza begins, and it affects a lot of 'green' stuff; It's Yosemite National Park's 123rd birthday - but Yosemite's now closed, too; Florida sues Georgia over water; India to build world's largest solar plant; PLUS: BP back in court over Gulf Oil Disaster ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The real budget crisis: our 'carbon budget'; Exploding Fuel Tankers Driving U.S. Army to Solar Power; NBC cancels show after NRA lobbyist shoots elephant in face, compares critics to Hitler; Fracking chemicals unknown, even to drillers; Billionaires Steyer, Paulson, and Bloomberg begin climate change campaign; NC man who made sea level rise disappear; Chile invests in tidal/wave power; FERC nominee Ron Binz withdraws amid coal pushback ... PLUS: VIDEO: What our idyllic, non-dystopian future would look like if we fixed the world ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Amidst the understandable sound and fury of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions on marriage equality and their activist zeal to gut the Voting Rights Act in their determination to legislate from the bench that which is specifically mandated by the Constitution to be legislated by Congress, a number of their other end-of-term decisions managed to fly largely beneath the radar.
One of those decisions came late last month when the five right-wing members of the Court ruled that citizens who are severely injured, maimed or even killed by FDA-approved --- but unreasonably dangerous --- generic prescription drugs, have no right to seek compensation from the giant pharmaceutical companies which manufacture and market them to unsuspecting consumers.
In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito described her injuries as "tragic" and acknowledged that over 65% of Bartlett's body "was burned off, or turned into an open wound. She spent months in a medically induced coma, underwent 12 eye surgeries, and was tube fed for a year. She is now severely disfigured…and is nearly blind."
For Alito, and the rest of the Court's right-wing majority, the severity of Bartlett's injury proved inconsequential when measured against Big Pharma's bottom line and their interest in selling generic drugs, which account for 75% of the prescription drugs sold in the U.S.
As a result, as it applies to generics, for the first time in our nation's history, FDA permission to market has been treated as a final stamp of approval as to the generic drug's safety, irrespective of the scope of subsequently obtained scientific evidence that reveals otherwise.
Anyone who is now injured, maimed or killed by what turn out to be generic, poison pills are S.O.L....