Connecting the Dots between health, food, and
environmental science, policy, action, and community...
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Archive for Environment and Health

Now that the Senate turned thumbs down on the Keystone XL Pipeline, it’s time to celebrate a big win for the environment. It was just last fall that Bil MCKibben warned that, “It’s game over for slowing climate change, if we proceed with the Tar Sands XL Keystone Pipeline.” So says Bill McKibben of 350.org quoting NASA scientist James Hansen. Back in November,  McKibben invited people  to join him at the White House for the Tar Sands action, calling it “the flashpoint for environmental protection.”
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Don’t Frack With Mark Ruffalo, Josh Fox (or the Delaware)

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Josh Fox and Mark Ruffalo have a message– the people don’t want fracking. According to a recent Forbes magazine article, Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Gas, and the chief proponent for fracking, consumes $20,000 bottles of wine. Like many CEO’s, he travels by corporate jet. Yet in an employee memo, McClendon felt himself bested by the citizens calling for water and health protection. He warned his employees that “Our opponents are extremely well-funded.”

But on Monday when hundreds of people from all parts of the Mid-Atlantic region converged on Trenton, N.J. for a rally to protect the Delaware River from fracking, McClendon’s “well-funded” opponents traveled by bus, carrying their signs and their bag lunches with them. And yet in a time of economic crisis, this dedicated citizenry is making itself heard over the better funded corporate P.R. and advertising campaigns.

With a surprise setback to fracking occurring late last week, the rally on the steps of the War Memorial, and the walk to the State legislature was one part cautious victory celebration, one part rededication rally. Read More→

Oh, No! GMOs? What the Heck Are You Eating?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Back when President Obama was a Senator, he promised to label GMO foods, to support the consumer right to know “where their food comes from. Americans should know what they are buying,” he said  (see video here.) But despite these promises, it hasn’t happened. Family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations filed suit against Monsanto in New York court over six months ago, but still no action from the President. According to the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) which filed on their behalf, the plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from future accusations of patent infringement when Monsanto’s genetically modified seed contaminates their crops, something which cannot be prevented once GM seeds are released. Read More→

Hurricanes, Floods, and Climate Change: How Can Farms Survive?

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Even without grokking the science of climate change, it’s obvious that novel weather events have increased around the country and the world. Thanks to Hurricanes Irene and Lee, at summer’s end, torrential rains swept the Northeast region, flooding the areas where New York’s food comes from. In these upstate regions in Ulster, Sullivan, and Delaware counties, there’s a new breed of organic and sustainable farming. But will those farmers, their farms, and their food survive changing weather patterns to continue to grow and supply the foods health and environmentally conscious people prefer to eat? Read More→

Many urgent social concerns don’t get attention without a star attached to the cause. Fortunately, some celebrity performers are taking the spotlight off themselves and focusing it on crucial matters that affect us all.  Read More→

New York’s Governor Cuomo issued his plan to fracking New York. Politicans cutting deals with powerful multinational companies wishfully believe that you can tell contaminated water to stay put in one place. They believe that if they prohibit fracking in the area surrounding the upstate NYC water reservoir, NYC’s water will be safe. Too bad water and air currents don’t stay within the electoral districts that politicians are accustomed to compromising about. Join the Sierra Club and take action here.

A newly discovered pathogen, visible only under an electron microscope, is destroying plants and undermining the health of livestock, thereby posing a deadly risk to the U.S. food supply, a senior plant pathologist warned USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. In a January 2010 letter to Vilsack, (a former Iowa governor and agribusiness champion, appointed by President Obama), Dr. Don Huber advised caution in introducing additional GMO crops. But just weeks later, the USDA approved expansion of GMO crops to include alfalfa, the most widespread animal feed crop. Read More→

Connect the Dots: Action Links April 16, 2011

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Connect the Dots: Actions Links
After covering toxic chemicals, the Gulf Oil spill, GMOs, and gas drilling and its impact on the water, food, environment, economic, and political structures of the regions it invades, I really could never have imagined that something even worse would come along. Now it has.

A year ago, I wrote in my ezine, “It seems incredible to us that politicians would allow billion dollar industries to pollute our region. But with certain exceptions, overall community activism for public health is notable by its absence.

Where industries focus on cutting corners rather than assuring safety and limiting health risk, there’s a shadow side to technology and product development– Read More→

Helen Caldicott on Connect the Dots

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Tune into the Connect the Dots on Saturday, April 2nd at Noon ET to hear my conversation with Helen Caldicott, MD who will discuss the health risks and misunderstandings about radiation and nuclear power. Dr. Caldicott has devoted the last 35 years to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction. Dr. Caldicott’s website is: http://www.nuclearfreeplanet.org

Last week’s show, a conversation on radiation and our disconnect from our environment with writer, Susan Griffin can be heard here.

News flash: Become a friend of mine on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @AlisonRoseLevy to receive more health information.

“Today is Independence Day for America. Monsanto’s threats and abuse of family farmers stops here.  Monsanto’s genetic contamination of organic seed and organic crops ends now.” Declared Jim Gerritsen, a Maine family farmer, who is President of the lead plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. “Americans have the right to choice in the marketplace — to decide what kind of food they will feed their families — and we are taking this action on their behalf to protect that right to choose.”

To support the organic growers who are fighting for our food supply, go to selected links for Food Democracy Now, the Cornucopia Institute,and Organic Seed Growers.

Our second action this week is curbing the nuclear threat here in the U.S. There are two featured actions. First, tell President Obama not to use taxpayer dollars to fund nuclear power. Second, let’s close down all GE Mark nuclear reactors here in the U.S. Third, while we’re at it, let’s ask GE to pay their taxes. That’s right, they’re not paying any. Hey, how could that be? I thought corporations are people?