Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Coming Siege of Austerity

Thanks To J R Chamberlain_Green Earl

"J R Chamberlain \(Yahoo\)"

"Thermal Solar Power and Advanced Transit Supporters for Obama"
The weekly musings of James Howard Kunstler , author of “The Long Emergency” which 3 years ago predicted much of what we’re going through now.

April 13, 2009
The Coming Siege of Austerity

It's a curious symptom of the consensus trance zombifying the American public and its auditors in the media that something like a "recovery" is now deemed to be underway. And, as events compel me to repeat in this space, it begs the question: recovery to what? To Wall Street booking stupendous profits by laundering "risk" out of bad loans with new issues of tranche-o-matic securitized paper? This I doubt, since there isn't a pension fund left from San Jose to Bratislava that would touch this stuff with a stick, even if it could be turned out in collector's editions of boxed sets. Does it mean that American "consumers" (so-called) are awaited momentarily in the flat-screen TV sales parlors with their credit cards fanned-out like poker hands, ready for "action?" Not too likely with massive non-performance out in cardholder-land, and half the nation's electronics inventory wending its way onto Craig's List. Are we expecting more asteroid belts of new suburbs carved in the loamy outlands of Dallas and Minneapolis, complete with new highway strips of Big Box shopping and Chuck E. Cheeses? Go to banking's intensive care unit and inquire (if you can) among the flat-lining production home-builders and the real estate investment trusts on life support when they expect to rev up the heavy equipment.
The idea that we're about to resume the insane behavior that induced the current epochal malaise of economy is so absurd it will only be heard in the faculty dining halls of the Ivy League. And if America is not picking up where it left off eighteen months ago -- the orgy of spending future claims on wealth unlikely to accrue -- then what is our destiny? Based on what's out there in the organs of public thinking, it seems that we don't want to think about it.
So many forces are arrayed against a return to the previous "normal" that we will be lucky, in another eighteen months, to still find ourselves speaking English and celebrating Christmas. What's "out there" is a panorama of mutually reinforcing critical problems pertaining to how we live on this continent. Like the obesity, heart disease, and diabetes that plague the public, these problems are disorders of lifestyle habits and the only possible "cure" is a comprehensive revision of lifestyle. With the onset of spring weather and the cheez doodles and monster truck rallies and Nascar tailgate barbeques and the drive-in beer emporiums all beckoning, can the public shift its attention from these infantile preoccupations to saving its own ass?
So far, the most striking piece of the economic fiasco is the absence of any galvanizing spirit among the millions getting crushed in the tragic unwind of our relations with money. It will be interesting to see, for instance, if there is any uproar over the evolving story of Goldman Sachs's latest raid on the US Treasury, after booking billions in taxpayer-funded payouts funneled through AIG, based on double-hedged credit default swaps. Such magic tricks are understandably hard to follow, but a dozen-or-so federal attorneys with a middling background in differential calculus might suss out the trail that leads from Ben Bernanke's work station to Lloyd Blankfein's cappuccino machine.
Something similar may be said in regard to revelations last week of White House economic advisor Larry Summers' connection with a number of hedge funds shoveling millions into his deep pockets for showing up once a week to cheerlead their "innovations" -- not to mention his shadowy visits to the Goldman Sachs gravy train even after he signed onto the Obama campaign. As long as the stock markets seem to rally -- no matter what else is really going on in America -- nobody will pay much attention to these disgusting irregularities.
Since it is that time of year, and I am haunting the gardening shop, one can't fail to notice the many styles of pitchforks for sale. My guess is that the current mood of public paralysis will dissolve in a blur of blood and spittle sometime between Memorial Day and July Fourth, even with Nascar in full swing, and the mushrooming ranks of the unemployed lost in raptures of engine noise and fried cornmeal. It doesn't take too many determined, pissed-off people to create a lot of mischief in a complex society.
On the agenda in the second quarter of '09 are ominous rumblings in the oil and food sectors. Half a year of cratered oil prices have decimated the oil industry and we're driving at 100-miles-an-hour straight off a cliff into a new kind of supply crisis -- even if industrial production and global exports remain moribund. So many drilling rigs are being decommissioned that the oil industry itself looks like it's preparing for its own death, investment in exploration and discovery has withered with the credit markets, and the world may never recover from the year long hiccup in oil industry activity -- translation: peak oil is biting back now with a vengeance. Its peakness will look peakier and the yawning arc of depletion beyond will look steeper and pose a threat to every globalized and continental-scale enterprise in the known world.
So many dire elements are ranging around our food production system (i.e. farming), from widespread drought and water table depletion to "input" shortages (especially fertilizers) to sickness in credit availability, that we're all one bad harvest away from something that will make Pieter Bruegel-the-elder's "Triumph of Death" look like Vanity Fair's annual Oscar Party in comparison.
Barack Obama, charming as he is, had better drop his pretensions about kick-starting the old consumer economy, fire the Wall Street clowns and parasites who are running that futile exercise, and start preparing a US Lifeboat Economy aimed at reducing the scale and scope of our outlays so we can survive the coming siege of austerity. Meanwhile, I'm glad that he finally got a dog for the White House, because the President knows full-well where to turn in Washington if you want some genuine love and affection.

bruegal's Triumph of Death

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EnvironmentalistsforObama] Re: Full Version. Win Susan Win. Susan Boyle - Britains Got Talent.
Saturday, April 18, 2009 6:48 AM
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Friday, April 17, 2009

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Energy Saving Products - Top 10 Devices for Money Saving Miracles by Ed W

A range of modern energy saving devices now exists for virtually all home appliances and electrical equipment. The more energy efficient products you use the more you will save on your energy bills. A range of modern energy saving devices now exists for virtually all home appliances and electrical equipment. The more energy efficient products you use the more you will save on your energy bills.

Looking to reduce your carbon footprint? We all love energy-saving and water-saving products that make a sustainable lifestyle much easier - and energy saving devices are a great way to save energy around the home.

So, if you're looking for some inspiration on how to become a more energy efficient citizen, below is a list of my favourite top 10 energy saving devices. Using these, you'll soon reap the rewards of cheaper energy bills.

1 . Solar charger

This simple energy saving device uses the energy from the sun to charge your electrical gadgets such as IPods, Digital Cameras, PDAs and usually any device that has a USB port. Left in a sunny spot in the morning, the batteries in the charger will be fully charged by early afternoon ready to charge up your gadgets.

2. Electricity Monitor

An electricity usage monitor shows you how much electricity you use, how much the electricity costs, and how much carbon dioxide emissions you are contributing to the environment. You can use this information to reduce your electricity consumption and save around 25% on your electricity bill. Modern wireless versions are also now available for even greater convenience.

3. Night Lights

Night lights are an energy efficient way of keeping your kids happy at night time. They can run 24 hours a day for 365 days a year for under a dollar. Modern versions emit a cool blue green electro-luminescent light, perfect for night lighting in bedrooms, hallways and corridors. I bet you didn't even know such an energy saving device existed.

4. Energy saving light bulbs

A fantastic energy saving device, energy saving light bulbs are now cheaper than ever. In most homes, lighting accounts for around 10-15 per cent of an electricity bill. Traditional light bulbs waste a lot of their energy by turning it into heat. Each energy saving bulb can save you $15 a year. They also last, on average, up to 12 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.

5. Water saving spout

Save up to 70% of your usual water consumption with an automatic, touch-free auto spout which simply attaches on to your existing tap. The infrared sensors mean you just move your hands under the spout to activate the water-flow, making it a hygienic eco-friendly alternative to a conventional tap.

6. Creative showerhead

These are shower heads with a 'twist'. Basically you can now buy water saving shower heads which simply attach to your existing fitting, conserving water and energy without sacrificing pressure. These amazing showerheads can make water savings of between 30 and 70%. The shower head technology uses less water but the flow feels the same as it accelerates, energises and oxygenates the water.

7. Eco Kettle

It is estimated that, on average, we boil twice the volume of water needed every time, which means twice as much energy. An eco kettle accurately measures the amount of water to be boiled using an internal reservoir which holds a full capacity of water ready for use, while the measuring button allows the necessary quantity to be released into a separate chamber for boiling. The result is exactly the right amount of water every time. Another great energy saving device.

8. Toilet Water Saver

These devices consist of a plastic bag which sits in the toilet cistern conserving about 3 litres of water each time a toilet is flushed. When the toilet is flushed, the water confined in the bag is saved. If you find the bag impairs the flushing, you can usually cut off one of the bottom corners of the bag to make more space in the cistern. This saves approximately 33% of water used in a toilet, and 10% of total water used in a house.

9. Energy Saving Plug

This is a great energy saving device. Plug your PC into the master socket and extensions into the side plugs, and when your PC is switched off or on 'standby' the power will automatically be shut down to the extensions as well. Average annual electrical savings including the savings from speakers, and printer equal around 84KWh.

10. The Intelligent Mains Plug Panel:

This fantastic energy saving device remembers to be eco-conscious even when you forget. Specifically made for desktop computers, it automatically switches power to connected peripherals off, when the computer is on stand by or has been turned off completely.

About the Author

Ed W, Energy Saving Expert

For more great energy saving devices as well as information on energy saving, reducing your energy bills and for a complimentary e-course on the subject visit

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do You Think The Tea Baggers Really Want Progress For America...Read This

Online Version Link In Title Above_Green Earl

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April 15, 2009

by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Ali Frick, Ryan Powers, and Lee Fang
Tea Baggers Against Obama

While Americans across the country prepare to pay their taxes today, many right-wing activists plan to spend the day dressed in colonial tri-corner hats as they wave tea bags in the air. Conservatives are calling for these "tea party" protests, allegedly modeled on the Boston Tea Party, to oppose President Obama and to denounce taxes. Though the "tea" in tea party supposedly stands for "Taxed Enough Already," no American household or business will face higher taxes this tax day. In fact, the economic stimulus package signed into law by Obama enacted one of the largest tax cuts ever for middle-class families, making good on Obama's campaign promise to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. The first benefits from these cuts arrived in paychecks earlier this month. What's more, a recent Gallup poll found that Americans' views of income taxes are among the most positive since 1956. In his budget proposal, Obama has recommended raising the top income tax brackets back to rates under the Clinton administration and closing corporate loopholes, two issues he campaigned on, in order to strengthen America's economy by funding health care, clean energy, and education reform. Well-heeled corporate lobbyists are helping engineer today's "tea party" protests as an act of opposition to the Obama agenda.

SPONTANEOUS UPRISING?: Although spokesmen of the tea parties have made significant efforts to portray the protests as organic uprisings of like-minded citizens, corporate lobbyists have engineered much of the planning and execution of the events. The corporate front group FreedomWorks, run by lobbyist and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), had its staff organize the very first tea party on Feb. 27 in Tampa, FL, following CNBC's Rick Santelli's call for a Boston Tea Party-like upheaval to protest Obama's housing plan. Soon after, FreedomWorks began planning nationwide tea party protests and had their operatives help coordinate logistics, call conservative activists, and provide activists with everything from organizing tips to sign ideas. Americans for Prosperity, a front group run by corporate lobbyist Tim Phillips (a former partner to Ralph Reed), assisted with the effort, drawing upon its extensive field staff to plan events, write press releases, and distribute talking points for people on the ground. Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future -- which is funded by polluters and helped orchestrated the "Drill Here, Drill Now" campaign last summer -- has also signed on to support the protests.

FOX NEWS MEGAPHONE: Both Fox News and Fox Business have run back-to-back promotions explicitly encouraging viewers to attend the tea parties. The Fox broadcasts are in turn being used by the tea party organizers to promote their protests. Promising "fair and balanced" coverage, Fox News hosts such as Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto, and Sean Hannity are all planning to broadcast live from the events. The segments for the tea parties are replete with enthusiastic endorsements, like the recent announcement of one Fox pundit that it's "time to party like it's 1773!" In their drive to promote the protests, Fox is fueling paranoia by making unsubstantiated, conspiratorial claims that the Obama administration may send "spies" to the tea parties. Another claim Fox asserts to justify its nonstop promotional coverage is that the network provided similar coverage for the Million Man March in 1995. However, Fox News didn't launch until 1996.

A POLITICAL STRATEGY: Congressional Republicans have fully embraced the tea parties as a channel for opposing Obama. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is speaking at a tea party in Bakersfield; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be speaking at an Americans for Prosperity tea party in Madison. Over 35 other Republican lawmakers have been invited to speak at other tea party rallies. Republican governors who opposed the economic stimulus package -- such as Rick Perry of Texas and Mark Sanford of South Carolina -- plan to address tea party protests in their own states. Even after being rebuked by organizers of the tea parties, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has moved the RNC to officially support the protests. If the GOP's effort to brand and own the protests weren't already apparent, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation formally honoring April 15th as "National Tea Party Day." "It's going to be more directed at Obama," observed Daily Beast reporter Ana Marie Cox on the Republican Party's obsession with the tea parties. "This is very much, I think, part of the midterm strategy."

THE UNIFYING MESSAGE -- OPPOSE OBAMA: Despite steady, high approval ratings for President Obama, the proponents of the tea parties seem intent on demonizing him as the cause of the country's problems. The ostensible anti-tax platform of the tea parties in fact has not resonated with all the participants. The events have drawn various elements of the fringe right-wing movement, with gun rights militias, secessionists, radical anti-immigrant organizations, and neo-Nazi groups currently working to contribute to the organizing effort, bringing with them their own pet issues. Past tea parties have featured gatherings of people inspired to protest Obama over conspiracies related to the President's birth certificate. One of the most prominent Obama birth certificate conspiracy theorists, Alan Keyes, is the keynote speaker of the Washington, D.C. tea party today.

RADICAL RIGHT -- DHS REPORT: AFTER OBAMA'S ELECTION, RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 'MAY BE GAINING NEW RECRUITS': The extreme right -- those who are "hate-oriented," "mainly antigovernment," or those dedicated to a "single issue" -- is a legitimate threat that law enforcement must deal with, according to a new assessment from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The report, which was coordinated with the FBI and is being given to federal, state, and local law enforcement, warns, "The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment." Most extremists have made "rhetorical" statements and have "stopp[ed] short of calls for violent action," but since the 2008 election, right-wing extremists are "reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers." The DHS under President Bush was apparently more reluctant to make such assessments about the right. According to CQ, a 2005 report outlining terrorist threats "does not mention anti-government groups, white supremacists and other radical right-wing movements." Conservative bloggers -- such as Michelle Malkin and Newsbusters -- are up in arms over the report. A DHS official responded to the right's criticism, noting that DHS did an assessment of left-wing extremism in January. "This is nothing unusual. ... This is about awareness," the official said.
IMMIGRATION -- REPORT: 75% OF IMMIGRANTS DEPORTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED NON-VIOLENT CRIMES: A report by Human Rights Watch finds that "the U.S. government's stepped-up enforcement in recent years has led to the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants convicted of nonviolent crimes," despite the government's claims that it is prioritizing violent criminals. According to the report, nearly 75 percent of the 897,000 immigrants deported between 1997 and 2007 after serving criminal sentences were nonviolent offenders, and one-fifth were legal permanent residents. "The top reasons for deportation during the 10-year period were entering the U.S. illegally, driving while under the influence of alcohol, assault and immigration crimes, such as selling false citizenship papers." The report comes just days after the AP released an investigation showing the the U.S. has imprisoned or even deported "dozens, probably many more" of legal U.S. citizens. "A monthslong AP investigation has documented 55 such cases, on the basis of interviews, lawsuits and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. These citizens are detained for anything from a day to five years. Immigration lawyers say there are actually hundreds of such cases." Last week, Obama administration officials said the White House's push to enact comprehensive immigration reform could come as early as this year.

MEDIA -- EDITOR: 'I'M EMBARRASSED' I PUBLISHED REP. BACHMANN'S CAP AND TRADE LIES: On April 8, global warming denier Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) published an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that attacked green economy legislation by claiming that "cap and trade" is really "cap and tax." To make her argument, Bachmann wrote, "[A]ccording to an analysis by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the average American household could expect its yearly energy bill to increase by $3,128 per year." This claim, however, was a flat lie, as a letter to the editor published the very next day pointed out. In fact, Bachmann's lie had been debunked publicly by MIT's John Reilly with on Tuesday, March 24. Reilly also sent a letter to the congressional Republican leadership denouncing their repeated use of the fabricated figure. In an interview with the Wonk Room's Brad Johnson, Eric Ringham, the opinion page editor of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, acknowledged that the MIT lie was fully debunked before the column was submitted by Bachmann. "It wasn't on my radar. I'm embarrassed to have let it go unchallenged," said Ringham. Ringham told Johnson that with both the limited resources he has and the role of the opinion page as a forum for argument, it is "an uncomfortable role" for an op-ed editor to run corrections after a column's publication. "I'm not equipped -- or really inclined -- to go, after the fact, probing someone's assertions," said Ringham. Despite the fact that a correction will not be run, Ringham said, "You can rest assured this study is never going to be represented in the paper again without confirmation it's being accurately portrayed."


Forty-one percent of Americans now believe that lower-income people are paying their "fair share" of federal taxes, up from 32 percent last year, according to a new Gallup poll. At the same time, just 23 percent say that upper-income taxpayers pay their “fair share," while 60 percent say they pay too little.

The Obama administration plans to "disclose the conditions of the 19 biggest banks in the country." Administration officials concluded that "keeping many of the findings secret could send investors fleeing from financial institutions rumored to be weakest." All the banks are expected to pass the "stress tests," but "some are expected to be graded more highly than others."

While details remain vague, "clues are now emerging" that suggest President Obama intends to strengthen President Bush's No Child Left Behind law by toughening "requirements on topics like teacher quality and academic standards" and increasing the law's emphasis on helping failing schools.

"The Obama administration is leaning toward keeping secret some graphic details of tactics allowed" in CIA interrogations, which include stories about head smashing. Top CIA officials and "some in the White House...argue that disclosing such secrets will undermine the agency's credibility with foreign intelligence services."

A 21-year-old Guantanamo detainee, Mohammed el Gharani, called Al-Jazeera "to say he was severely beaten for refusing to leave his cell." Al-Jazeera would not disclose how it managed to speak with el Gharani, whom a judge ordered to be released in January.

Human Rights Watch reports that the government has deported hundreds of thousands of immigrants convicted of nonviolent crimes in recent years, despite its claim to prioritize violent criminals for deportation. "Nearly three-quarters of the roughly 897,000 immigrants deported from 1997 to 2007 after serving criminal sentences were convicted of nonviolent offenses, and one-fifth were legal permanent residents."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today "that he was preparing a new proposal to resolve disputes with the West over Iran's nuclear program, opening the door to talks with the United States." Ahmadinejad "did not elaborate on the contents of the proposal," but his announcement appeared to be a response to the recent U.S. decision to join discussions with Iran on its disputed nuclear program.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told an audience at Morehouse College that "recently we have seen tentative signs that the sharp decline in economic activity may be slowing," noting that housing and consumer spending may be flattening. "A leveling out of economic activity is the first step toward recovery," he said.

And finally: It seems that fallen governor Rod Blagojevich isn't quite ready to get out of the spotlight. Since losing his gubernatorial perch, Blagojevich has filled in as a talk radio host on WLS radio in Chicago. Now he may star in an NBC reality TV show called "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here."

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Under the Radar
Think Fast


Today, a U.S. ship carrying food aid destined for Kenya "foiled an attack by Somali pirates" who are pledging revenge for their recent defeat by Navy SEALs.

THINK PROGRESS: Sen. John Ensign (R-NV): Republicans will revive "Drill Here, Drill Now" push this summer.

WONK ROOM: Ralph Peters plays his only tune, "crush the barbarians."

YGLESIAS: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is trying to start bank runs.

FIREDOGLAKE: Newt Gingrich's American Solutions spent over $3 million on private planes in 2008.

ALASKA: Gov. Sarah Palin (R) says global warming is real but advocates more drilling to solve it.

ILLINOIS: Former governor Rod Blagojevich pleads not guilty in federal court to sweeping corruption charges

CALIFORNIA: Los Angeles school district plans to lay off more than 5,000 teachers, counselors, custodians, and other staff.

>"There's a big difference between covering something and promoting it."
-- Fox Business's Charles Payne, 4/14/09, on Fox News advocating for the tea parties


"It's now my great duty to promote the tea parties."
-- Fox News's Stuart Varney, 4/13/09

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where Was The Tea Party When....??? By Green Earl

Community Blogs Welcome, Earl Allen.
Manage | Logout | Search Blogs
Post from Earl Allen Boek's Obama Blog:

Tea Party Pee Party, Where was the Tea Parties when.....???
By Al Boek - Apr 14th, 2009 at 11:14 pm EDT
Also listed in: 9 groups

Comments | Mail to a Friend | Report Objectionable Content Tags: Pee Party, Tea party, Where were the tea bags when....???

Where were the tea parties when we attacked the wrong country?

When we wasted and killed thousands, of innocents? When we lost thousands more

of our finest and wounded ten of thousands? Where were the tea parties, when the

babies and their mothers heads rolled in Gaza? Where were the tea parties when

we discovered that Cheney was involved with Halliberton? When Billions disappered

right before 9/11? Where were the tea parties when Bush took away or rights and

plundred our constitution? Where were the tea parties when Billions went missing in

Iraq? Where did another $TRillion go as the crooks left office? Where are the tea

parties as they retired to the beaches of the world?

You people make me sick. Pee on your tea party.

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Environmental Destruction: Tangible Consequences In Our Time...Must Read


Environmental Destruction: Tangible Consequences In Our Time


While certainly we, as a country, seem to have developed a more pronounced environmental conscience in recent years, it is likely that not all people will fully appreciate the full scope of the problem. That’s OK, because all we need is a desire to learn and change our attitudes to begin to turn things around. One aspect of environmental destruction that is unlikely to be at the forefront of the average person’s knowledge regarding the health of our planet is the planet’s health as it relates to human health. Let us examine a few tiers of real health consequences being caused by or that exist as bi-products of environmental destruction.

The first of the health consequences associated with backwards environmental attitudes are the direct consequences. In areas with high smog indices (smog as it is associated with carbon fuel emissions) we see a much higher incidence of asthma among those who live in the surrounding areas. In areas with depleted atmospheric ozone such as South Africa and Australia (associated with the release of chlorofluorocarbons) we see skin cancer rates higher than anywhere else on earth, due mainly to the constant barrage of unadulterated ultraviolet light that is typically cut by the denser ozone layer on other parts of the planet.

Then there are more indirect health hazards posed by destructive environmental attitudes. Working conditions, for instance, in many of the dirty industries associated with environmental hazards are among the worst in the modern world. In the processing of oil and petroleum, exposure to asbestos and benzene (both associated with the development of cancer) is common. For this reason, it should be no surprise that mesothelioma (cancer associated with asbestos exposure) incidence is much higher in oil refinery workers. In addition to asbestos cancer, incidences of cancers associated with benzene exposure (brain cancer, lung cancer, and blood cancer) are likewise higher in those who have worked in petroleum processing.

We can reverse course on this however. The health effects we see today can be avoided in the future if we begin to adopt progressive energy policies un-reliant on traditional fossil fuels and invest in alternatives. Ozone depletion is serious in some parts of the world, but can be halted through responsible emissions regulations. What we stand to gain is not only a cleaner planet for our children to inherit, but also a healthier planet for us to inhabit in our time.

By Jack Bleaker

Posted at the request of:

Brian Turner

Public Relations Assistant

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