A typical scene along the banks of the Yangtze River as China's growth engine redlines. (Photo by eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr)
Which prominent American government official said the following this week?
- “The conflict between humankind and nature has never been as serious as it is today.”
- “The depletion, deterioration and exhaustion of resources and the worsening environment have become grave impediments to the nation’s economic and social development.”
- “We must not any longer sacrifice the environment for the sake of rapid growth and reckless roll-outs, as that would result in unsustainable growth featuring industrial overcapacity and intensive resource consumption.” Continue reading
A word cloud (the more often used, the larger) generated from a speech by Governor Bobby Jindal in 2009. (Photo by Jason-Morrison/Flickr)
While the problems caused by industrial-scale pollution of air, water and land rise inexorably to nostril level, any and all efforts to deal with them are hampered by the deliberate release of toxic words into our language. Like poisons and endocrine-disruptors, toxic words cloud our intentions, weaken our will and muddle our efforts. If we can’t talk clearly about where we want to go and why, we can’t get there. Continue reading
This view of a former mountaintop in Pike County, Kentucky, which is now lying in nearby valleys, shows what's left when the coal is gone. (Photo by iLoveMountains.org/Flickr)
In a singular act of courage and principle — the likes of which we will probably not see again while the Know-Nothings rule in Washington — the US Environmental Protection Agency last week acted decisively and dramatically to crimp the coal-mining method known as mountaintop removal. The EPA yanked the permit of an Arch Coal Company sudsidiary to devastate a mountain ridge in central southwest West Virginia.
The action was remarkable for several reasons: Continue reading
The EPA was thinking of restraining air pollution such as this, into Chicago's air in January. But it has thought twice. (Photo by Andrew Ciscel/Flickr)
Since industrial America lost its grip on the White House, when its first wholly-owned and -operated president, George W. Bush, was replaced by the upstart Barack Obama, it has been pouring money into reasserting its grip on the Congress in order to prevent governmental interference with the making of profits. And Wednesday was payoff day. The Environmental Protection Agency surrendered. Continue reading
Coal burning power plants, like this New York City veteran, are fast becoming industrial dinosaurs because they do more harm than good. (Photo by futureatlas.com)
Last week, the East Kentucky Power Cooperative abandoned plans to build two coal-burning power plants in Clark County. This major setback for Big Coal in the heart of Big-Coal country, comes just a year after Ohio’s American Municipal Power gave up its attempt to build a coal fired electric plant on the Ohio River near Cleveland. And according to a Sierra Club tally, it brings the number of coal-fired generating plants planned, announced and then abandoned in recent years to over 100. Continue reading
Photo by cjohnson7/Flickr
The stress on the global web of life applied by a century of industrialization continues to increase as systems within it begin to break down. Nearly buried in the industrial media, amid the relentless stream of industrial optimism — the “we can do it, technology will find a solution” school — that floods our receivers, these stories, this week, reveal glimpses of the dark underbelly of the American way of life to which the world aspires: Continue reading
Exploited for decades as food source, sewer, dump and playground, the largest estuary in the world is near death.
Since the 1970s, Maryland, Virginia and the Federal government have from time to time announced new initiatives to “clean up” the Chesapeake Bay. The term is quaint, and brings to mind activities like hauling old tires and discarded refrigerators out of the water. Would that it were that easy. Continue reading