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Oil Spills in the Sky – July 28, 2016

Looking back at a 1997 Earth Island Journal report on pollution from the airline industry

On July 25, CBS News joined the rest of the mainstream media to acknowledge mounting concerns over atmospheric pollution from jet aircraft. "The government has found that jet engine exhaust is adding to climate change and endangering human health, and needs to be regulated," CBS reported. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to employ the Clean Air Act to reduce the impacts of jet-pollution.

American Airlines B777, N730ANphoto by Aero Pixels, on FlickrEarth Island Journal’s Summer 1997 issue drew attention to the airline industry’s impact on Earth’s atmosphere.

The EPA’s action came in the wake of a… more

by: Gar Smith

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The Pentagon’s Hidden Contribution to Climate Change – January 18, 2016

World’s single greatest institutional consumer of fossil fuels remains exempt from reporting its pollution

During the November 15, 2015 Democratic presidential debate, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders sounded an alarm that “climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism.” Citing a CIA study, Sanders warned that countries around the world are “going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops and you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict.”

Army Air Corps Lynx Mk9A Helicopter Refuelling at Camp Bastion, Afghanistanphoto by Defence Images, on FlickrAn Army Air Corps helicopter at a refueling point in Afghanistan. The Pentagon has admitted to burning 350,000 barrels of oil a day.


by: Gar Smith

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Washington’s Columbia Generating Station Is a Seismic Timebomb – May 5, 2014

New studies reveal nuclear plant is near major faults

The landscape of eastern Washington State is deceptively tranquil: a pastiche of vineyards, farms, scrub grass, ridges and windmills. But what appears peaceful and settled in the moment has proven restive and violent over geologic time. Beneath the glacial trough of the Puget Lowland, and extending east through the Cascades to the Columbia Basin, lies a hidden landscape of geomorphic rubble – broken basalt, vast shards of continental rock, volcanic ash, and layers of ancient sediment. Like a picnic blanket spread over a minefield, the Columbia Basin's flat meadows and rolling hills veil an oft-times explosive past.

Hanford Nuclear ReservePhoto by the US Department of Energymore

by: Gar Smith

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Another Take on Pandora’s Promise – June 28, 2013

Pro-nuclear power film obscures as much as it reveals

You’ve got to give the producers of Pandora’s Promise credit for gumption. It takes a lot of chutzpah to release a pro-nuclear polemic in the wake of the triple meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. The film also suffered the ignominy of opening the same week that the owners of California’s troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station announced the permanent shutdown of the facility’s two crippled reactors. Even the film’s title takes a bit of nerve; it was Pandora’s Box, after all, that unleashed a host of once-contained evils into the world.

movie poster

So, given the extensive history of nuclear mishaps and near-catastrophes, how do the… more

by: Gar Smith

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Fukushima: Living With the Consequences – March 11, 2013

An excerpt from Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth

This time no one dropped a bomb on us. . . . We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.

Haruki Murakami, Japanese novelist

photoname Photo by Flickr userM1K3Y
Even with a cleanup,the health risks of long-term exposure to remaining low-levels of radiation are unclear.

In Japan, as in every other nuclear nation, the unresolved problems and unthinkable consequences of nuclear energy were ignored, minimized, or hidden. The former residents of Fukushima now are paying the price for the hubris and denial that fueled the Atomic Age.… more

by: Gar Smith

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