February 14, 2002
Miscellaneous Subjects #128: The Irony Of It All...
Much of the articles in this compilation use a satirical slant to get their points across. But of course this is all NO laughing matter...
I can't really say "enjoy" this time - except for the attached picture...
Oh! And happy Valentine Day to all of you ;-)
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
"War is the American way of teaching its citizens geography."
1. Bush Counts On War Without End
2. Bush and Sharon agree on policy
3. You Cant Touch Pug Winokur
4. Book Review: Fateful Harvest
5. Chemtrail Exposure Illnesses -- Home Grown Terrorism, your tax dollars at work!
6. When the Army Owns the Weather
7. Environmentalists Sue U.S. to Save Sharks
MANY AFGHAN TRIBES SELLING DRUGS, ROBBING TRAVELERS, AND FIGHTING EACH OTHER
IRRADIATED FOOD FIGHT (The Pros and Cons of Irradiated Food)
See also all the EnviroHealth issues at http://www.alternet.org/?IssueAreaID=18
Jeff Rense show: John Robbins on How Your Diet Could Save The Planet
This needs RealPlayer to hear it. Robbins segment begins 2 hours into the show which aired 3 days ago. Recommended by "Mark Graffis" <email@example.com>
From: http://www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm (click on "Walkom: War Without End" under Terror/War)
Bush Counts On War Without End
by Thomas Walkom
February 05, 2002
The war against terrorism is a brilliant construct. It may not have been started by George W. Bush, but it certainly works to his advantage.
It has provided oomph to the sagging U.S. economy and a new raison d'etre for the alliance of politicos, defence contractors and security specialists who make up what former U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower christened the military-industrial complex.
What makes this war so superior, in political terms, is its vagueness. Since the terrorist, by definition, can be anyone the man in the next apartment, the person lurking on the subway platform we can never be sure who the enemy is. More important, we can never know when we've won. As a result, this war has the capacity to go on forever. It will be called off only when those in charge choose to do so. And why would they?
Thanks to the war, Bush has been transformed from a figure of fun into a national icon. Before Sept. 11, the U.S. president was viewed as a slightly moronic frat boy mocked even on prime-time television. The very legitimacy of his election was in question.
Now the frat boy is a war president, every patriotic American's commander-in-chief. Those who mock Bush now -- those who even dare criticize him -- do so at their peril.
For Bush, an end to the war against terrorism could spell political disaster. Look what happened to his father. George Bush Sr. was an immensely popular president when he was waging war against Iraq. But as soon as the fighting stopped, his ratings tumbled. Without war to focus their attention, Americans remembered why they disliked the elder Bush and threw him out of the White House.
By contrast, Bush Jr. has discovered the perfect way to avoid his father's fate, war without end. The war against terror can go on indefinitely because, unlike the Gulf War, or World War II or even the Cold War, it involves no measurable criteria of success.
Is Afghanistan defeated and its former Taliban government in chains? No matter, says U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Afghanistan is small potatoes, the Taliban mere tools. The terrorists, we are told, live on. They are everywhere, part of the international conspiracy known as Al Qaeda.
Yet even Al Qaeda escapes definition. Each time its alleged leaders are identified, we are warned that more are hiding in the shadows. And whenever the world's attention flags, a new discovery is made. A notebook found in a bombed-out house in Kabul proves that Al Qaeda is planning a nuclear attack. A videotape found in Singapore demonstrates that Al Qaeda is preparing another terror bombing.
Luckily for us, these fanatic anti-modernists make plenty of videos. They video each other plotting, video attack plans, video their dinner parties, then leave the videos lying about.
Luckily also, they write down many of their schemes in English. In November, for instance, journalists searching through a Kabul home said to be an Al Qaeda training centre found hand-printed plans, in English, on how to manufacture a multi-million-dollar, homemade stealth bomber.
Other reporters found jars of "foul smelling liquids" and notebooks filled with equations, all of which were taken as evidence of an Al Qaeda germ warfare factory.
Even when the New York Times reported that the most well-publicized find plans for the manufacture of a homemade nuclear bomb had probably been cribbed from a hoax website, the thunder of fear and condemnation continued.
Not since novelist Ian Fleming invented SPECTRE, the shadowy force of evil dedicated to eliminating 007 agent James Bond, has the world's imagination been seized in quite the same way. Is there a rebellion in the Philippines? Al Qaeda is responsible. A plot in Malaysia? Al Qaeda again.
Like Fleming's SPECTRE, Al Qaeda has access to unlimited funds. Its leaders, like the villains of Bond movies, live in vast underground complexes staffed by fanatical minions.
Even the occasional intervention of reality has no effect. In Afghanistan, the underground complexes turn out to be cramped, primitive caves rather than sumptuous subterranean cities. No matter. All it proves is that the real Al Qaeda headquarters are somewhere else perhaps Yemen or Somalia.
In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, the enemy of the state is personified in Emmanuel Goldstein. Goldstein is the Osama bin Laden figure of the novel, an elusive figure who is never seen, never captured but believed by all patriotic citizens of Oceania (Orwell's fictitious state, an amalgamation of North America and Europe) to be an evil genius bent on their destruction.
Since Goldstein is never captured, Oceania's battle against him must never cease. Sometime it wages war on one country said to be aiding the nefarious Goldstein, sometimes on another. The battleground may change but the war never ends. It cannot. The government's very existence depends upon it.
Sent by Ken <NCEpanacea@aol.com>
February 3, 2002
Bush and Sharon agree on policy
By ERIC MARGOLIS
When President George Bush called for a "crusade" against terrorism last fall, flustered aides quickly claimed he had misspoken and really didn't mean to invoke the medieval Christian invasions of Muslim nations.
But in his bellicose state of the union speech last week, evangelical Christian George Bush left no doubt that a crusade was exactly what he had meant. Better a crusade than facing the spreading Enron scandal or explaining away a looming deficit brought on by reckless spending.
Or explaining the mess made by the administration in Afghanistan: spreading chaos and warfare; Russia's takeover of the north; full force resumption of heroin exports to the U.S. thanks to the overthrow of Taliban; 5,000-plus civilians killed by punitive U.S. bombing; murder or inhumane treatment of captured enemy fighters; and, of course, the escape of Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida leadership.
No matter. Afghanistan, trumpets the White House, was a great military victory that will be duplicated against other Muslim malefactors who resist America's will.
Bush proclaimed in Churchillian tones that an 'axis of evil' composed of 'terrorist nations' Iraq, Iran, and North Korea threatened the U.S. and the world. This silly, simplistic reduction of complex foreign policy issues into comic book terms, and Bush's threats of more military action around the world, made good political theatre in the U.S., where war fever has been stoked to fever pitch by the White House and the all too accommodating American media.
Interestingly, the most-wanted on America's new hit list -- Iraq, Iran, and North Korea -- just happen to also be top enemies of Israel. (North Korea supplies missile components and technology to Israel's Arab foes and Pakistan.)
A near unanimity of policy and views has developed between the Bush administration's super-hawks and Israel's hard right Likud government led by Ariel Sharon. Both are intent on liquidating any Muslims who resist, both have declared war on the PLO and its chief, Yasser Arafat, both view resistance by Muslims as "terrorism," and both disregard international law and UN resolutions.
In short, Gen. Sharon's iron-fisted policies have become those of George Bush. Bush's speech made it disturbingly clear that the U.S. has become the enemy of the Muslim world. Muslim nations must either bow to American diktat or be deemed hostile.
White House claims that Iran is a mortal danger to the U.S. because: a) it supports Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, and b) is trying to develop limited strategic weapons. This shows how disconnected from reality the administration has become, and how much its policies are being shaped by parties who do not always place America's interests first.
Hezbollah waged a long, dirty guerrilla war against Israel's long occupation of southern Lebanon. Israel and its media supporters branded Hezbollah "terrorists." But most nations regarded Hezbollah as a legitimate national resistance movement fighting to free Lebanon from Israeli occupation, which was repeatedly ruled illegal by the UN and in violation of international law.
Iran helped arm and finance Hezbollah, whose guerrillas were to Iran what the Nicaraguan Contras and Afghan "freedom fighters" were to America. To brand Iran a "terrorist state" because of its support of a legitimate resistance movement is mendacious and Orwellian.
Iran has opposed U.S. hegemony in the Mideast, sometimes by covert operations. But bombings of U.S. military bases, long blamed on Iran, were done by the al-Qaida group. Before damning Iran, look at America's own record.
During WWII, the U.S., Britain, and the USSR invaded Iran, an independent nation. In 1953, the U.S. and Britain overthrew Iran's government when it sought to gain control of its own oil resources. The U.S. put Shah Mohammed Pahlavi on the throne and kept his outrageously corrupt, kleptomaniac regime in power through the army and the dreaded U.S. and Israel-trained secret police, SAVAK, which tortured and killed tens of thousands of Iranians.
Funding Iraqi military
After the Shah was overthrown by the 1979 Iranian revolution, the U.S. sent Iraq's Saddam Hussein to invade Iran and crush its Islamic government. The U.S. secretly supplied Iraq with money, arms, intelligence, and chemical and biological weapons. The U.S. shot down an Iranian civilian airliner and waged a naval war against Iran in the Gulf. Iraq's invasion cost Iran 250,000 - 500,000 dead.
The U.S. repeatedly sought to overthrow the Iranian government, even financing the terrorist Mujihadin-i-Khalq organization, which assassinated much of Iran's leadership with bombs.
Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons, but is developing medium-ranged missiles that may reach Israel. Such weapons, claims Iran, are for self-defense, to counter Israel's nuclear/bioware arsenal. Israel has openly threatened Iran with nuclear attack. If Iran's missile and strategic weapons program is "terrorism," then Pakistan, India, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Taiwan, South Korea, Turkey, and many other nations are equally guilty.
Instead of threatening war against Iran, a nation of 68 million, the U.S. should be pressing all Mideast nations -- including Israel -- to scrap their weapons of mass destruction and work for peace in Palestine. The terrible 9/11 attacks were the result of America's five decades of policy blunders in the Mideast. The U.S. does not need any more enemies.
In the Feb 9 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald there was an article with the heading:
CHENEY said Hang Arafat
The Israeli Defence Minister says the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, told him Israel could "hang" Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as far as he was concerned, an Israeli newspaper reported yesterday. "The Vice-President told me: "As far as I am concerned, you can even hang him," Binyamin Ben Eliezer told Yediot Aharonot, adding that he heards similar comments from advisers of the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. There was no response from the US to the claim. The US National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice, and Mr Cheney told him in Washington on Thursday that talking to Arafat was "a waste of time," and the vice-president was the most extreme on this point, Mr. Ben Eliezer told a press conference in the US Capital.
This additional bit of information was sent by Biannca
You Cant Touch Pug Winokur
Herbert Pug Winokur was the chairman of the Enron Finance Committee that approved the loss hiding and profit boosting accounting measures blamed for the bankruptcy of the largest company in US history.
He is also on the ultra-secretive non-elected Board of Governors of the Harvard Corporation.
And he is a director of DynCorp a mega-corporation in the security, telecomms and military contracting arena which provides security and communications systems to most of the US Government including the Department of Justice - and many of the US banks and mega corporations. It also provides mercenaries to the war on drugs in Colombia among other things.
Several members of the George W. Bush cabinet are former executives and shareholders in Enron including the Vice President.
Many also have ties to Dyncorp and George himself went to Harvard.
Pug Winokur is believed to have been involved in the Harken Energy deal that connects George to financing from Osama bin Laden. (See The GW Bush - Osama Bin Laden Connection http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0109/S00108.htm)
Hopefully you by now have the picture.
Now, according to the US President's spokesman no special care need be taken with ensuring the Department of Justice investigation into Enron is sufficiently independent.
In Sludges view if ever there was a case for having a special counsel appointed for investigation of a President and his Government ala Kenneth Star then now is that occasion.
According to the rule of law no-one should be untouchable from investigation. CLIP
Sent by BILL DERAU <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Book Review: Fateful Harvest
By Duf Wilson, investigative reporter for the Seattle Times.
Quincy, Wa. had been a sleepy northwestern farming town until its rest was disturbed by a shocking secret discovered beneath its once fertile fields: chemical manufacturers were disposing of leftover toxic waste by selling it to unsuspecting farmers as fertilizer. The tainted fertilizer - containing arsenic, cadmium, lead and dioxins - is now believed to have been destroying crops, sickening animals and endangering the nation's food supply. And, owing to a gaping regulatory loophole, it is completely legal.
Up against the secrecy and greed of powerful mega-corporations, a local mother of four made an impassioned stand. Patty Martin began her fateful journey that led to her election as mayor, but also invited the resentment of most of her neighbors for daring to confront the agribusiness industry that had been Quincy's lifeblood. Martin was joined by an investigative reporter and a small number of brave, outraged farmers in the fight against insurmountable odds - all looking to expose the truth. They learned that toxic waste is turned into fertilizer around the world, spread on food-growing lands, absorbed by plants, and, ultimately, consumed by all of us.
Read Patty Martin's shocking "David-vs-Goliath" tale. Order from First Amendment Books: 1-888-699-NEWS
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002
Subject: Chemtrail Exposure Illnesses -- Home Grown Terrorism, your tax dollars at work!
(Comment: After the September 11 attacks, it "seems" that there is more Chemical spraying going on over U.S. cities. This "home grown" terrorism in our own skies in broad daylight seems to go unnoticed by the majority of the population except when they get sick from it. Then they wonder what the heck caused their illness or the sudden death of a family member. I received this list of symptoms and illnesses linked to the "Chemtrails". You might want to print this out and keep it on hand.)
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Over the past three years, through research and the personal accounts of many individuals, it has become apparent that the barium salt mixture, polymer fibers, and other chemicals in the atmosphere are the irritants that are either directly or indirectly responsible for health problems on the rise in the United States and elsewhere. These chemicals are absorbed rapidly from the gastrointestinal tract and are deposited in the muscles, lungs, and bone. Listed herein is an overview of health problems reported to researchers from private citizens.
1) Nose and lung bleeds (the latter including several reports from nursing homes of elderly dying from lung bleed outs, we believe being directly attributable to atmospheric aerosols);
2) Asthma and allergies;
3) Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) (fungus on the lungs in both infants and adults),
4) Flu, Bronchitis and Pneumonia (in epidemic proportions, with doctors commenting to their patients on the many weeks it sometimes takes to improve and the lack of effective antibiotics to treat, including reports of pets having the flu, whole families being decimated), meningitis (inflammation/infection of the brain);
5) Upper respiratory symptoms (wheezing, dry cough), including Pulmonary Distress Syndrome (PDS) (in newborns, infants and adults alike), Sudden Infant Death (SIDS), and increased nationwide reports of the sudden death of athletes (reported in the news media as having possibly been attributable directly to air particulates/pollution);
6) Deaths from black mold; black or red mold on food crops (farmers reporting pH changes of soil and water), in buildings and ventilation systems (including school buildings);
7) Arthritis-like symptoms and muscular pain (young and old alike, sometimes crippling, and in pets);
8) Gastrointestinal distress (young and old alike, and in pets);
9) Bladder and yeast infections (includes bed wetting, not just in infants but adults);
10) Extreme fatigue (young and old alike);
11) Ringing of the ears, dizziness (increasingly reported immediately preceding or after a storm or weather system);
12) Blurry vision / nervous tics after exposure to the air outdoors;
13) Dry/cracking skin and lips, rashes, sores and fungal infections, aging of the skin;
14) Mental confusion/slow thinking and/or the feeling of mentally "being in a fog" (young and old alike, increasingly reported after actually being in heavy mists and fog banks);
15) Autoimmune disorders (LUPUS, thyroid, Crohn's and Addison's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis).
It should be noted that many of the private citizens check the HAARP magnometer and note spikes, as well as the existence of aerosol operations underway directly overhead when health symptoms or illness occur. It should also be noted that data from the Yahoo Chemtrailtrackingusa Club of aerosol operations corresponds frequently with pockets of outbreaks across the nation.
I RECEIVED THIS COMMENT FROM Cheryl Magill <email@example.com> ON THIS ABOVE
Hi, Jean and thanks again and again for being such a good resource!
I am going to be tracking invasive technologies from the viewpoint of real property rights deteriorating as a direct result thereof these new conditions which stem from these new technologies. Certainly, if Chemtrails are part of a significant change if the chemicals or bio-agents involve our soils and air quality. But let me also add that if these new mold problems we're discovering are related to Chemtrails, then Realtors and insurance companies will soon be waving their fists at the formerly friendly skies.
The news on these molds is devastating!
Subject: Weather Manipulation
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002
When the Army Owns the Weather
Bob Fitrakis, Columbus Alive
February 5, 2002
Humans have long sought to control the weather. Early people learned how to make fire and modify their micro-environments; rain dances and other rituals to alleviate droughts are part of our folklore. So news that the government is engaged in secret experiments to control the weather should come as no surprise -- especially after a long history of "cloud seeding," "atom splitting" and cloning revelations.
In fact, a vast majority of people would be shocked to learn that this orphan of the cold war is still in practice. As the U.S. and former Soviet Union spent trillions of dollars on their militaries, their commitment to mutually assured destruction led to extensive experimentation with the use of weather as a weapon. In 1977, the Saturday Review cited a CIA report hinting that the U.S. government already had the power to massively manipulate the weather for war purposes.
As the Soviet Union disintegrated, a 1993 Isvestia article suggested the U.S. might want to partner with the Russians in peddling their top-secret technology to the world. Oleg Klugin, a high-ranking KGB officer, bragged of his involvement in geophysical weapons research to a London newspaper. The grid patterns of jet chemtrails now spotted throughout the Western world are likely the application of these technologies to new military and civilian uses.
The military is not attempting to hide its long-term goals. "Weather is a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025" is a white paper that can be found on a Pentagon-sponsored website. The paper's abstract reads: "In 2025, U.S. aerospace forces can "own the weather by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies towards fighting applications. Such a capability offers the war fighters tools to shape the battle space in ways never before possible. In the U.S., weather modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications."
Wired magazine wrote about the paper and extensively quoted physicist Bernard Eastlund in its January 2000 article "Activate Cloud Shield! Zap a Twister!" The article detailed the military's plan for "made-to-order thunderstorms" and "lightning strikes on demand."
Eastlund managed programs for Controlled Thermal Nuclear Research for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission from 1966 to 1974; he was a key researcher in the 1980s' Strategic Space Initiative (aka Star Wars). Since 1996, Eastlund served as CEO and president of Eastlund Scientific Enterprises Corporation. The company boasts on its website that it specializes in "weather modification" and "tornado modification" among other high-tech services.
Eastlund considers the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska a smaller version of what he envisions for weather modification. In response to Michael Theroux of Borderland Sciences -- who asked Eastlund whether the HAARP station could affect the weather -- Eastlund replied: "Significant experiments could be performed. The HAARP antenna as is it now configured modulates the auroral electrojet to induce ELF waves and thus could have an effect on the zonal winds."
At the Space 2000 Conference and Exposition on Engineering, Construction, Operations and Business in Space, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Eastlund outlined his plan for zapping tornados with an electromagnetic radiation beam from the proposed Thunderstorm Solar Powered Satellite he's developing with the help of the European Space Agency and Jenkins Enterprises.
U.S. patent number 6315213, filed on November 13, is described as a method of modifying weather and should concern the public. A scientist from Wright Patterson Air Force Base acknowledges that planes are spraying barium salt, polymer fibers, aluminum oxide and other chemicals in the atmosphere to both modify the weather and for military communications purposes. The patent abstract specifically states: "The polymer is dispersed into the cloud and the wind of the storm agitates the mixture causing the polymer to absorb the rain. This reaction forms a gelatinous substance which precipitate to the surface below. Thus, diminishing the cloud's ability to rain."
Answering the age-old question, Who'll stop the rain?: Apparently our government and a few of their closest friends in the military industrial-complex. The emergence of Edward Teller promoting this startling technology is more than scary. (Teller was the father of the H-Bomb and grand promoter of Readi Kilowatt, our perky little radiation friend from the '50s; one of his bright ideas from the '50s was to create harbors by nuking our own coastline.) The April 24 New York Times reported that Teller "has promoted the idea of manipulating the Earth's atmosphere to counteract global warming." The computer simulations on the use of aluminum oxide to counter global warming come from the Lawrence Livermore Weapons Laboratory, where Teller serves as director emeritus.
There should be little doubt that this would be a priority for the government -- or for for-profit military contractors. While 2001 was the second-hottest year on record (1998 holds the record as the hottest year), the nine hottest years on record have occurred since 1990. But why would the government conduct anti-global warming experiments in secret?
Investigative reporter William Thomas holds that there's a link between the recent increase in asthma, allergies and upper respiratory ailments and the chemtrail spraying. Sound crazy? Remember, it sounded absurd when reports first came out that the government had conducted radioactivity experiments on U.S. citizens and released radiation from nuclear plants to test the effect on civilian populations. It sounded bizarre when news first filtered out that the government was engaged in the MK-Ultra mind-control experiments using LSD. The CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency admit they were responsible for many of the UFO sightings in the 1950s in order the explain away experimental military technology.
>From public documents to mainstream news accounts, the record is filled with reports of weather-modifying technology left over from the Cold War. Now we have a right to know what, if anything, the government plans to do with it.
Environmentalists Sue U.S. to Save Sharks (January 29)
TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Environmentalists have filed suit against the U.S. government to halt overfishing of sharks as demand grows worldwide for such delicacies as shark filet and shark-fin soup, environmental groups said on Tuesday.
In a lawsuit filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida, the National Audubon Society, Earthjustice and The Ocean Conservancy alleged that the National Marine Fisheries Service has failed to prevent overfishing and to rebuild U.S. coastal shark populations.
Loathed by swimmers -- particularly after a highly publicized series of attacks last summer -- sharks have become more popular at the dinner table in recent years.
The increasing use of shark meat, coupled with the value of the fins as the key ingredient of Asian soups, has made sharks the prized target of commercial fishers along the U.S. east coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
As a result, scientists say populations are declining rapidly. As an example, the sandbar shark, one of the most commercially popular species, has declined by about 80 percent since the 1970s, said Sonja Fordham, a fish conservation manager with The Ocean Conservancy.
Despite their reputation as "trash" or "pest" fish, sharks actually need more protection than some other marine species because they grow slowly, mature late and produce few young, leaving them vulnerable to overfishing, Fordham said.
"This combination of lacking restrictions and their strained reproductive capacity leads to troubled populations not just here, but all over the world," she said.
Environmentalists say sharks took a bad rap last summer during a series of attacks in which two swimmers were killed off North Carolina and Virginia and Jessie Arbogast, 8, had his arm torn off by a shark near Pensacola, Florida.
But experts say shark attacks on humans are relatively rare and result from increasing numbers of people swimming in shark habitats. While only a few humans are killed by sharks each year, humans kill millions of sharks, they say.
In-depth coverage about Animal News
In-depth coverage about Animal Rights Issues
In-depth coverage about Endangered Species
In-depth coverage about Environment and Nature News
In-depth coverage about Whales and Whaling
In-depth coverage about Climate Change
In-depth coverage about Pollution News
Special report on the impact of humans on the environment, and what it may portend for life in the 21st century. Main Topics covered: Brazil: Earth's Laboratory - Surviving the Greenhouse - The People Bomb - March of the Desert - Africa: The Infectious Continent
Global warming is the real threat to our security
(...) The warning centered on global warming. It was signed by 100 Nobel laureates on the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize. "It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls," they wrote. "Instead, we must persist in the quest for united action to counter both global warming and a weaponized world." CLIP Of course, we can applaud additional resources put into homeland security -- and long-overdue attention to the U.S.-Canada border, witness today's trip by President Bush to Maine. But our security hereabouts will be determined more by what the fisheries panel described as "what can be done to counter the effects of human activities that are impacting climate change." How much will we hear about this threat in next week's State-of-the-Union speech? Don't hold your breath.
EPA Reports on Sewer Overflows (Jan 29)
WASHINGTON - More than 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage pours into waterways each year from aging sewer systems designed to overflow when it rains, the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. (...) Two-thirds of the 772 communities that rely on these systems don't comply with minimum federal standards, prompting "serious public health and water concerns," the EPA said in a report required by Congress under a 2000 law. Cities with newer systems are designed to treat all sewage. Most of the raw sewage discharged by the older systems spews into rivers and streams, but some also flows into ditches and canals, oceans and lakes. (...) As many as 81 percent of the systems lack an approved long-term plan for controlling sewer overflows, the agency said. The cost of bringing all the older systems into compliance was estimated at $45 billion in 1996. The EPA said federal loans for upgrading systems totaled $2 billion from 1989 to 2000, only about 5 percent of what was needed to bring them into compliance. Congress also has appropriated more than $600 million in grants for 32 communities in the past decade.
Money devoted to the military (not counting the covert black budgets) in the new Bush budget: Well over $380 billions.
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