Environment

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    Recession Hurts Recycling Efforts Paid Member

    Recycling has suffered with the recession. Here's more bad news: Just months after riding an incredible high, the recycling market has tanked almost in lockstep with the global economic meltdown. As consumer demand for autos, appliances and new homes dropped, so did the steel and pulp mills' demand for scrap, paper and other recyclables. Cardboard that sold for about $135 a ton in September is now going for $35 a ton. Plastic bottles have fallen from 25 cents to 2 cents a pound. Aluminum cans dropped nearly half to about 40 cents a pound, and scrap metal tumbled from $525 a gross ton to about $100. More here. More »
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    Thai King a No-Show; Methane Capture in the Netherlands Paid Member

    In the midst of extremely difficult times in Thailand, the king failed to give his traditional birthday speech. The king’s absence was disconcerting to many Thais, who had hoped his words would help reconcile the increasingly dangerous political and social divide emerging in the country. The king, whose moral influence overrides the temporal power of politicians and generals, has intervened in the past at critical moments to avert bloodshed. “I’m frightened because everybody is waiting for his speech,” said Sujittra Chanchaicharoengul,30, a writer for a woman’s magazine. “I was shocked when I heard this. I didn’t want to believe it, because normally, no matter what, he will come as our esteemed king and the spirit of the people. More »
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    More Grotesque Miscarriages of Justice in Burma Paid Member

    It's getting a bit repetitive talking about arrests in Burma but the world needs to keep condemning the junta for human rights violations such as this outrage: A regional human rights body has condemned the Burmese military rulers for arbitrarily sentencing two lawyers, who were acting as defence counsels for political activists and called for their immediate release. Could there be a more grotesque mockery of due process than jailing defense lawyers? More »
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    Recycling takes a hit Paid Member

    You've seen a great example of recycling at work with the Buddhist temple made from beer bottles (pic above.) But it seems that with the world economic downturn, piles of paper and other goods that China used to buy are piling up in the U.S. and Europe. That's an unexpected result of the recession -- and isn't it depressing that it seems to be cheaper to kill trees than recycle paper? Until it's cheaper, what hope does it have? More »
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    Agent Orange's Toxic Legacy Lives on in Vietnam Paid Member

    More than thirty years have passed, and Vietnamese people of all ages are still suffering. Children who weren't even born when the war ended were exposed either though their parents or through environmental contamination. The government of Vietnam cannot afford to help the many dioxin victims. Many U.S. veterans have received money from the several companies that produced Agent Orange, but will the Vietnamese ever see any compensation or help? More »
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    The war on food miles Paid Member

    More on the war on food miles. Ronald Bailey from the conservative reasononline argues that air freighting food accounts for a small fraction of the CO2 emitted in getting food from farm to our plates, and that we're better off growing food where it's cheapest to do so. Of course, this is capitalism's answer for everything, and explains why it's cheaper to make New York City's manhole covers in India. More »