December 13, 2006 The Pump Handle 2Comment

Could anyone besides the Economist dare to think it could overturn three of green shoppers’ sacred labels in a mere three pages? Its 12/7/06 article “Voting with Your Trolley” tries to debunk organic, Fair Trade, and local foods all at once. I didn’t find it very convincing.

December 8, 2006 The Pump Handle 1Comment

Health and environmental bloggers have covered a wide array of topics this week. Some highlights: Steve at Omni Brain (don’t click the link while eating) displays graphic warnings from Belgian and Thai cigarette packs Merrill Goozner at GoonzNews posts an excerpt from his just-published article (cover story of The Scientist, for those with subscriptions) on […]

December 7, 2006 The Pump Handle

Earlier this year, President Bush nominated Susan E. Dudley of the Mercatus Center to replace John Graham, PhD, as the head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The office oversees all of the Administration’s regulatory policies, including public health and environmental rules, and is often the last major hurdle faced by agencies like […]

December 7, 2006 The Pump Handle 1Comment

By David Michaels According to a report in the Wall Street Journal published last December (by Peter Waldman, 12/23/05), product defense experts at ChemRisk pulled off a particularly audacious scam on behalf of Pacific Gas and Electric, the California utility that was being sued for contaminating drinking water with hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen. ChemRisk’s scientists […]

December 5, 2006 The Pump Handle

While India’s population has been growing, its rice harvests have been declining. Two of the culprits, reports the BBC (citing a study from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), are particulate and greenhouse-gas pollution.

December 1, 2006 The Pump Handle 1Comment

By David Michaels The Bush Administration is manufacturing uncertainty about global warming, even as its allies in the carbon producing industries are abandoning it. Last week, the Washington Post’s Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin reported that “top executives at many of the nation’s largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and […]

November 30, 2006 The Pump Handle 1Comment

By David Michaels In a move that recognizes the post-election climate change in Washington, the EPA has told two Democratic Senators that it is revising plans to roll-back the reporting requirements of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). In a post yesterday, I wrote about TRI as an important (and cost-effective) example of “Regulation by Shaming” […]

November 29, 2006 The Pump Handle 1Comment

By David Michaels Last week, public scorn forced Rupert Murdock, powerful chief executive of the News Corp, to cancel “If I Did It,” OJ Simpson’s book and Fox TV tie-in. While shaming has fallen out of favor in the field of criminal justice, the heaping of public scorn and anger – dating back to putting […]

November 28, 2006 The Pump Handle

by Liz Borkowski  Parties to the Basel Convention—the international treaty dealing with the transport and disposal of hazardous wastes—are meeting this week in Nairobi, and e-waste is on their agenda. Each year, consumers generate 20 – 50 million tons of e-waste (waste from electrical and electronic equipment), and it’s full of hazardous substances: heavy metals […]

November 20, 2006 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH

by Celeste Monforton From the Ground Zero construction site to an expansion of the Los Angeles International Airport, the tide seems to be turning for cleaner diesel engines, particulate filters and low-sulfur fuels.  As Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter Alex Frangos writes: “Instead of belching black smoke, the bucket loaders, cranes and other diesel-power behemoths” are […]