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Friday, July 20, 2012

Ralph Nader Book Picks and Interview • Top Republican Donor Investigated for Criminal Activity • Fox News Denies Facts and Shows Racism • Meat Will Destroy Earth • Climate Change • Fox News Says Pollution is Good For You • more

- Jolting the Mind for Action: A Summer Reading List
    These are suggested summer readings from Ralph Nader to activate the citizen’s mind:
- Q&A: Ralph Nader on The Green Party, Obama and Romney
    ...we asked Nader about his problems with the two-party system, discourse between the two major candidates and the media’s coverage of the race.
- Comically Awful Survey Says 83 Percent Of Doctors Might Quit Over Obamacare
    The survey question is entirely worthless as a barometer of professional medical opinion regarding the Affordable Care Act. Which is likely the reason no one paid it any mind when DPMA released it last month. But then the dim bulbs at the Breitbart empire picked it up, followed by the Daily Caller and Drudge, leading to its inevitable appearance on Fox News this morning. It's a uniquely awful survey, but it served up a shocking, headline-friendly number, which is why it's driving the right-wing media's coverage of health care policy.
- Fox & Friends Fails To Discredit Obama's Manufacturing Job Record
    Fox & Friends rarely misses an opportunity to deny the successes of Obama, even when empiricism would suggest otherwise. This is only the most recent example.
- Fox & Friends Echoes GOP Spin On Welfare Rule, Leaves Out The Facts
    Fox & Friends criticized changes to the federal welfare program with deceptive talking points that were identical to a Republican senator's press.
- Wells Fargo Accused of Discriminatory Lending
    Protesters say that Wells Fargo and some other major banks offer higher mortgage rates to minorities.The US Department of Justice says they have reached a settlement with one of the lenders, Wells Fargo - which has agreed to a $175m payout. However, that sum is tiny in comparison to the $4.2bn profit the bank made in just the first quarter of this year.
- Solyndra and the Republican Outrage Machine
    The attacks on Solyndra are more than just attacks on Obama—they’re attacks on the notion of government as a place where we can come together to take on big challenges, drive economic innovation and advance our common interests while securing a sustainable future. The Solyndra scolds don’t just want to take down Obama—they want to hold back our politics. Let’s not let them.
- Right-Wing Blogger Hoft Criticizes Summer Heat Relief For The Elderly And Chronically Ill
    Right-wing blogger Jim Hoft expressed outrage Friday that an Ohio county is distributing air conditioners for needy families to bring relief from record-high summer temperatures.
- AMA Addresses Light Pollution
    Researchers are raising several possible health concerns related to nighttime light exposure, among them a higher risk of cancer.
- Inside The Investigation Of Leading Republican Money Man Sheldon Adelson
    Billionaire psychopath who is funding all Republican/Tea Party candidates under criminal investigation
- Fox "News" Bill O'Reilly says Black Americans Vote For Dems Because Dems "Gave Them All Kinds Of Entitlements, Making Them Dependent"
    Fox "News" and Bill O'Reilly again show their racism.
- Beyond Nuclear Denial
    Now, on a planet still overstocked with city-busting, world-ending weaponry, in which almost 67 years have passed since a nuclear weapon was last used, the only nuke that Americans regularly hear about is one that doesn’t exist: Iran’s. The nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons on missiles, planes, and submarines possessed by Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China, Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea are barely mentioned in what passes for press coverage of the nuclear issue.
- Investigation: As Black Lung Cases Doubled In The Last Decade, The Coal Industry [and Republicans] Fought New Health Protections
    In the last ten years, as cases of black lung among American coal miners doubled — hitting “epidemic” scale — the coal industry and anti-regulatory politicians have fought to prevent federal agencies from creating new standards that would improve miner safety.
- Record U.S. heat unlikely to be random fluke
    The National Climatic Data Center has just released its “State of the Climate” report for June 2012. The last 12-month period on the mainland United States, it notes, were the warmest on record. What’s notable, however, is that every single one of the last 13 months were in the top third for their historical distribution–i.e., April 2012 was in the top third for warmest Aprils, etc."The odds of this occurring randomly," notes NCDC, "is 1 in 1,594,323."
- Ice island twice as big as Manhattan breaks off Greenland glacier
    chunk of ice 46 square miles in area has parted from the Petermann glacier, which feeds into Nares straight along the northwest coast of Greenland. It split off July 16 according to researchers at the University of Delaware and Canadian Ice Service.This is the second major calving event for the Petermann glacier in the last three years. In August 2010, an ice island four times the size of Manhattan (an area of roughly 97 square miles) separated from the glacier.
- Why Conservative Columnist George Will Is Wrong About Weather And Climate
    Scientific observation and analysis have established that human-induced climate change makes extreme heat events more common. But when heat waves hit, many reporters hesitate to mention climate change without appending disclaimers of the sort that you don't see on other beats.
- Fox News thinks pollution is good for the planet
    Not that it’s a HUGE surprise that Fox News has beliefs about the environment that are the opposite of true, but just FYI, they are now apparently telling viewers that pollution is good for forests.
- Havoc as monsoon displaces millions
    Six million people have been forced to flee their homes in India's north-east as heavy monsoon rains caused massive flooding that has claimed the lives of more than 120 people.
- Fight Global Warming by Going Vegetarian
    Global warming has been called humankind's "greatest challenge" and the world's most grave environmental threat. Many conscientious people are trying to help reduce global warming by driving more fuel-efficient cars and using energy-saving light bulbs. Although this helps, science shows that going vegan is one of the most effective ways to fight global warming.
- Could Veganism End World Hunger?
    This video from the Evolve! Campaign summarizes some startling facts from 2010 about how a plant-based diet and vegan choices could END world hunger. While this may sound too good to be true, you may be surprised to find out that the amount of grain produced globally today is enough to feed the world TWICE over, but instead the majority of it is being fed to farmed animals!
- Is Meat The World’s Most Inefficient Food?
    As the infographic below explains, the manner and scale at which our society currently raises animal for human consumption contributes to climate change in major way. It also wastes water, pollutes our soil, and contaminates fresh water supplies.
- Meat Production Wastes Natural Resources
    Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and contributes to animal suffering.According to the United Nations, raising animals for food (including land used for grazing and land used to grow feed crops) now uses a staggering 30 percent of the Earth's land mass. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals, and according to scientists at the Smithsonian Institution, the equivalent of seven football fields of land is bulldozed worldwide every minute to create more room for farmed animals.
- Canadian Scientists 'Mourn Death of Evidence' under Harper Government
    A funeral procession of scientists wearing white lab coats and mourners dressed in black will take to the streets of Ottawa today to "mourn the death of Evidence" and protest what they see as an attack on environmental science by the Harper government.The scientists say a rash of recent cuts exposes the government's hostility to evidence-based research and is putting the public at risk. Despite claims by government officials that the cuts are a necessary part of a cost-cutting and efficiency plan, the scientists claim they are directed at research programs critical of the government's energy development plans, specifically the tar sands mining taking place in Alberta.
- Extreme Weather Linked to Man-Made Global Warming: Now What?
    Crippling droughts, suffocating heat waves, and devastating floods—welcome to the rest of our lives ---- In 2011, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which The New York Times has called a “judicious group” (read: cautious), concluded that global warming will make heat waves, droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events a common occurrence.  These trends cannot be explained by natural variation. “Only with the inclusion of human influences can computer models of the climate reproduce the observed changes,” according to the website Climate Communication, which indexes leading scientific research on climate change.
    If these statistics aren’t doing it, see for yourself. Mouse over to NASA’s Climate Time Machine, where you can watch the planet’s polar ice caps melting, track increases in carbon dioxide, witness sea levels rise, and see global temperatures increase in shades of orange and red.
- Welcome to the rest of our lives?
    Watch this powerful video and share with friends and family. Then help fight climate change denial by joining Forecast the Facts.
- On Global Warming, Republicans Burying Their Heads in the Dried-Up Soil
    They rightly chided the Republicans for being know-nothings: “Willful ignorance of the science,” they said, “is irresponsible and it is dangerous.” And they quoted several leading scientists, including Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton, who said: “What we’re seeing really is a window into what global warming really looks like.”
- We Can't Put a Price on Nature
    A group of international scientists says that the earth is dangerously close to its tipping point of irreversible damage. Clearly, we need a way out of the mess we've made of the planet.
- Hot Enough for You? Time to Teach Against Fossil Fuels
    director of meteorology at the Weather Underground website, said recently on Democracy Now!, “What we’re seeing now is the future. We’re going to be seeing a lot more weather like this, a lot more impacts like we’re seeing from this series of heat waves, fires, and storms. . . . This is just the beginning.”
    And yet, the fossil fuel industry continues to lead the climate change denial parade. On June 27, a day when almost 200 high temperature records were broken, Rex W. Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, gave a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, pooh-poohing climate change, saying that the problem was activist organizations that “manufacture fear.” Tillerson said that the problem was an “illiterate public,” which needed to be taught that all environmental risks were “entirely manageable.”
    And conservative pundits proudly wave the same flat-earth flag. Arguing with E. J. Dionne on ABC’s This Week, George Will said, “You asked us—how do we explain the heat? One word: summer. . . . We’re having some hot weather. Get over it.”

    In our editorial, “Our Climate Crisis Is an Education Crisis,” in the spring 2011 issue of Rethinking Schools, we wrote that the climate crisis is “arguably the most significant threat to life on earth,” and urged educators to respond with the urgency that the crisis deserves. The events of this summer have added an exclamation point to our editorial.