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July 31, 2002

Enviro Wednesday (7-31)

Roundup of environmental stories, July 31

  • As famine returns to Africa, it's worth focusing on new studies linking the 1970-85 famine to industrial pollution, whose implications demand a more serious discussion of the responsibility of the US and the West for poverty that we often blame on "natural causes."
  • Along those lines, I'd call attention to Mike Davis's Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World which, as this review describes, highlights the way environmental changes were converted into mass death by the policies of colonialism.
  • This all puts into context the global rifts appearing over the agenda for the Earth Summit, the gathering of world leaders discussing the environment and development this month in South Africa on the tenth anniversery of the Rio Summit. But many countries are protesting the likely boycott of the Summit by Bush.
  • Closer to home, funding for state environmental agenices is increasingly a casualty of state budget crises, as most states have cut environmental enforcement budgets for a second year in a row.
  • Greenpeace details how little has been done to regulate chemical plants that could be a prime target of terrorism, yet outrageously the government is trying to use that threat to deny the public information on the health threats of local industry.

    Posted by Nathan at July 31, 2002 08:02 AM

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