Public Health and Safety

The whole enchilada on our front porch

Submitted: Jul 02, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 An editor of Badlands Journal was once studying agricultural economics at a great UC campus established firmly on the back of California agriculture. One night, shortly before leaving these studies, the future Badlands editor looked up from his equations, gazed out into a hot summer night, and formulated the one scientific thought he had ever had: The San Joaquin Valley of California is the greatest laboratory in the world to demonstrate all that is wrong with agribusiness.

As usual, his thought was puny compared to the onrushing reality. -- blj

 

 

 

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It's the principle of the thing

Submitted: Jun 30, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In late October, 2011, during a previous Greek finance crisis, former Prime Minister George Papandreou called for a referendum on the terms of a bailout to the horror of the heads of state of Germany, France and the US, retreated from it and resigned, leaving political and economic chaos in his wake.

The stakes are high. If the Greeks vote to stand up to the "troika" (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF), the "OXI KREOS" option, they may inspire other peripheral European Union countries to follow suit -- Ireland, Spain, Portugal and, largest of all, Italy.

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Air pollution: profits and costs

Submitted: Jun 29, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

“Agencies have long treated cost as a centrally relevant factor when deciding whether to regulate,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote. “Consideration of cost reflects the understanding that reasonable regulation ordinarily requires paying attention to the advantages and the disadvantages of agency decisions.” ... Mercury emissions from power plants fall into water and accumulate in fish, while other toxins like arsenic and hydrochloric acid also poison the environment and endanger public health. Regulators estimate strict emissions controls can prevent between 4,200 and 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 non-fatal heart attacks annually.

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Water lawsuits scream overhead

Submitted: Jun 28, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There have been a slew of articles this past 10 days about California water-rights lawsuits following the state's announcement of its intention to "curtail" the rights of senior water-rights holders. There have also been articles that try to explain California water rights. And there have been articles about cities and towns under mounting water-supply stress and about farmers ignoring various orders to stop using various sources of water to which they believe they are entitled. Throughout is stated the generally agreed upon ratio that agriculture uses 80 percent and municipalities 20 percent of California water resources.

 

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Thanks, guys, for your rendition of "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"

Submitted: Jun 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Thanks guys, for another rendition of that same-old/same-old Country favorite, "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"(the Trans-Pacific- Partnership version). Thanks for all the bribery and corruption enabling  our cowardly, venal and crooked members of Congress to vote to blind themselves from what's in the trade agreement.  Thanks for all the lies and corporatist "rules" of secrecy. Thanks for helping further close the American mind -- what's left of it -- for your profits. Thanks for shrugging your shoulders about Global Warming. Special thanks in advance for all the jobs this trade "agreement" will cost the US -- surely many entrepreneurs and dues-paying members of the Chamber of Commerce will arise from all that involuntary leisure.  Thanks for your treason, all bunted up in the red, white and blue.

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The pope and the water gurus

Submitted: Jun 23, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The world's water challenges are technical, economic, political, and social issues, but the Vatican Encyclical reminds us that ultimately they are ethical and moral issues as well. This is a valuable and timely reminder. -- Dr. Peter Gleick, Huffington Post, June 18, 2015

 

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The Pope, capital, environment & water

Submitted: Jun 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The pontiff later denounces past failures to enact bolder environmental policies. “The failure of global summits on the environment makes it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance. There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected,” he writes. -- Francis X. Rocca, Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rattle some sabers, kills some whales, etc.

Submitted: Jun 20, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Keep in mind that this sort of far north drilling can only go on because the past drilling and burning of fossil fuels has helped melt Arctic sea ice and open up its potentially vast energy reserves to exploitation.  It’s a little like watching the proverbial snake eat its tail. -- Tom Engelhardt, Tomdispatch.com, May 21, 2015

This time, in other words, the bombs will be falling far closer to home. Whether it's war-torn Iraq or "peaceful" Alaska, Sunnis and Shi'ites or salmon and whales, to me the omnipresent “footprint” of the U.S. military feels inescapable. -- Dahr Jamail, Tomdispatch.com, May 21, 2015

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Finest young minds confront California drought

Submitted: Jun 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences recently developed a tool to quantitatively evaluate these water management options. Working with the Nature Conservancy, we designed the model to assess strategies for restoring populations of native fish on Mill Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River. -- Jenny Ta, Joshua Viers, California Water Blog, June 14, 2015

 

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The horror! The horror!

Submitted: Jun 16, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

6-13-15

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