The mission of MCS America (MCSA) is to propagate medical, legal, and social recognition for multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) as a disorder of organic biological origin induced by toxic environmental insults; to provide support and referral services to the individuals with all illnesses of environmental origin; and to ensure that environmental toxicants are identified, reduced, regulated, and enforced through lobbying for effective legislation. © MCS America
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Everyday chemicals may be harming kids, panel told
"CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a witness at Tuesday's hearing
The issue was the focus of the CNN special "Toxic America"
Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey is holding hearing in his home state"
Our tax dollars shouldn't fund disinformation about pesticides in food!
"The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), a California-based pro-pesticide, big agriculture group, has gone on the attack. It makes the bizarre charge that Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides has influenced people to eat fewer vegetables. In fact, conventional produce consumption is flat -- but demand for organic fruits and vegetables is booming.
We were shocked when the California Department of Food and Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture handed $180,000 of your money to this front group -- specifically to counter "claims by activist groups about unsafe levels of pesticides."
If you think financing attacks on non-profit food safety watchdog groups like EWG is an outrageous way to spend your tax dollars, the USDA needs to hear from you today.
Fill out the form below the petition to add your signature.
As a California produce consumer and supporter of Environmental Working Group, I do not want my federal tax dollars spent to discourage consumers from buying organic or low-pesticide residue food. If major users and vendors of agricultural chemicals want to try to convince consumers that pesticides aren't a problem, they should do it on their own dime.
The federal Specialty Crops Block Grant was designed to support research, marketing and nutrition programs to help make produce, nuts and flower crops more competitive, accessible and, in the case of research, more sustainable. I want this program used to promote greater consumption of organic, locally-grown, and sustainably produced fruits and vegetables. Awarding a federal grant to large conventional agribusiness for a pro-pesticide public relations campaign undermines the country's growing organic industry and public health.
Please investigate who approved a $180,000 grant for the Alliance for Food and Farming and ensure that the USDA does not rubber stamp more outrageous grants like this one."
Wash. compiles list of chemicals toxic to children
"Johnson & Johnson, Mattel Inc. and other manufacturers of children's products would be required to report whether toys, cosmetics, jewelry, apparel and other items contain certain harmful chemicals, under new rules proposed by Washington state."
Study: Scented consumer products emit toxic chemicals
"Top-selling scented products including those that claim to be "green" emit many chemicals not listed on the label, including some considered toxic and possibly carcinogenic, a study today says."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Breathe carefully: air emissions of benzene may cause birth defects.
"Neural tube defects are a common type of birth defect that originate within the first four weeks after conception. In the affected fetus, the nervous system the brain and spinal chord does not form properly. Spina bifida and anencephaly are two well-known types of neural tube defects.
Infants with these birth defects experience a host of short and long-term health consequences, including paralysis, stillbirth and death. While taking folic acid before and during pregnancy can prevent the condition, the cause of these severe defects, in most cases, remains a mystery to doctors and scientists."
Senate panel examining how chemicals in daily life affect kids' health
"Pregnant again after two miscarriages, Molly Gray was desperate for answers that could help prevent losing a third baby.
When she heard about a small study to test the blood of pregnant women for chemicals, she signed up. The result was shocking: Gray's blood tested high for mercury, a heavy metal that can cause brain damage to a developing fetus."
When Hormone Creams Expose Others to Risks
"Veterinarians around the country are reporting a strange phenomenon: spayed dogs and cats, even some puppies and kittens, are suddenly becoming hormonal.
In female pets, the symptoms resemble heat: swollen genitals, bloody discharge and behavioral problems. Male animals are showing up with swollen breast tissue and hair loss. Standard treatments and even repeated operations have had no effect.
Now vets have identified the culprit. The pets were all owned by women who used hormone creams on their hands, arms and legs to counter symptoms of menopause. Animals who licked or cuddled their owners, or rubbed up against their legs, were being inadvertently exposed to doses of hormone drugs."
Scented consumer products shown to emit many unlisted chemicals
University of Washington
(NOTE: researcher contact information at end)
For Immediate Release
Oct. 26, 2010
"The products emitted more than 420 chemicals, collectively, but virtually none of them were disclosed to consumers, anywhere," Steinemann said.
Because product formulations are confidential, it was not possible to determine whether a chemical came from the product base, the fragrance added to the product, or both.
Steinemann is currently a visiting professor in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. Co-authors are Ian MacGregor and Sydney Gordon at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio; Lisa Gallagher, Amy Davis and Daniel Ribeiro at the UW; and Lance Wallace, retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The research was partially funded by Seattle Public Utilities.
For more information, contact Steinemann at 206-616-2661 or email@example.com. Steinemann is currently at Stanford University as a visiting professor in civil and environmental engineering.
Battelle media contacts: Katy Delaney at 614-424-7208 or firstname.lastname@example.org and T.R.
Massey at 614-424-5544 or email@example.com.
More information on the project is at http://depts.washington.edu/exposure/
More information on volatile organic compounds is available from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html) and the National Library of Medicine
Monday, October 25, 2010
Epidemiological Evidence for a Health Risk from Mobile Phone Base Stations
Vini G. Khurana, Lennart Hardell, Joris Everaert, Alicja Bortkiewicz, Michael Carlberg, Mikko Ahonen
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Vol 16, No 3 (2010)
Human populations are increasingly exposed to microwave/radiofrequency (RF) emissions from wireless communication technology, including mobile phones and their base stations. By searching PubMed, we identified a total of 10 epidemiological studies that assessed for putative health effects of mobile phone base stations. Seven of these studies explored the association between base station proximity and neurobehavioral effects and three investigated cancer. We found that eight of the 10 studies reported increased prevalence of adverse neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at distances < 500 meters from base stations. None of the studies reported exposure above accepted international guidelines, suggesting that current guidelines may be inadequate in protecting the health of human populations. We believe that comprehensive epidemiological studies of longterm mobile phone base station exposure are urgently required to more definitively understand its health impact.
Recent exposure to fine particle pollution linked to lupus disease activity.
"Small, airborne particles released from vehicles may within days of exposure spark lupus symptoms in those with the disease. Certain key markers of the autoimmune disease increased in lupus patients when particulate air pollution levels were elevated in their city of Montreal, Canada. This is the first study to link fine airborne particles to this specific autoimmune disease and adds to prior research that indicates air pollution can trigger autoimmune disorders."
Few docs recognize "chronic" Lyme disease
"Despite lots of media attention, "chronic" Lyme disease is only recognized by a small group of doctors in Connecticut, where the tick-borne infection was first discovered."
ADA study confirms dangers of fluoridated water, especially for babies
"Advocates of fluoridated water insist that the chemical additive is good for teeth, but actual science routinely shows otherwise, including a new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association confirming fluoride as a toxic substance that actually destroys teeth, particularly those of developing young children and babies."
Association of glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 gene polymorphism with oxidative stress in diabetic and nondiabetic chronic kidney disease.
Department of Biochemistry, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, (University of Delhi), Delhi, India.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Three groups of patients (50 in each): diabetics without CKD (DM), diabetic CKD (DM-CKD), and nondiabetic CKD (NDM-CKD) and 50 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were recruited. Genotyping was done for GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction. Serum GST and malondialdehyde (MDA) as a marker of oxidative stress were measured spectrophotometrically.
RESULTS: Based on genotyping, subjects were categorized as GSTM1+/GSTT1+, GSTM1-/GSTT1+, GSTM1+/GSTT1-, and GSTM1-/GSTT1-. Serum GST levels were lower among subjects with deletion in one/both GST genes, whereas MDA levels were found to be correspondingly raised. A negative correlation for MDA versus GST levels was observed among genotypes with one/both gene deletions. Presence of GSTM1+/GSTT1- and GSTM1-/GSTT1- was significantly higher among patients with CKD in both diabetics and nondiabetics. Interpretations and
CONCLUSIONS: GSTM1 and GSTT1 deletions singly or together were associated with lower GST levels and higher oxidative stress in both diabetic and nondiabetic CKD. Interestingly, GSTT1 deletion appears to be associated with both diabetic and nondiabetic CKD irrespective of the GSTM1 status.
PMID: 20954980 [PubMed - in process]
Sunday, October 24, 2010
2009 - DeVader - Fragrance in the Workplace is the New Second-Hand Smoke
Perfume Leads To Store Evacuation
"This Cantonment Tom Thumb convenience store was evacuated Saturday evening due to a strong, irritating odor that turned out to be perfume. NorthEscambia.com photo by Kristi Smith, click to enlarge."
Los pájaros de la mina (Canaries in the Coal Mine)
This video is in Spanish, but even in Spanish, this video speaks loud and clear. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a devastating disease. The way people with MCS are treated is disgraceful, and even more devastating than the disease itself.
Key Words: multiple chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivities, MCS, EI, environmental illness, sick building syndrome, idiopathic environmental intolerance, fibromyalgia, chronic fatiuge, FM, CFS, mold illness, clinical ecology, alternative medicine, environmental medicine, neuropathy, encephalopathy, toxic, chemical
Radiation research on humans staged in Richland
"The rows of freezers in a new metal building near the Richland airport hold tissue samples from the women who used radioactive radium in the 1920s to paint the glow-in-the dark dials of watches and clocks.
With them are organs waiting to be processed and tissue samples from their more recent counterparts -- former DOE nuclear weapons workers, including those at Hanford, who were exposed to radioactivity on the job and later volunteered to donate their bodies to science when they died."
Parents voice health concerns
"Gas drilling near Argyle schools making kids ill, residents tell board"
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Commonwealth Club Program on Health Effects of Cell Phones, Wireless Technologies & Electromagnetic Fields
Commonwealth Club of California
595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105
Tel.: 415-597-6700 415-597-6700 or www.commonwealthclub.org
NOVEMBER 18, 2010 – 11:15 a.m. Registration and Light Lunch.
Program: 12:00-4:30 p.m. ($20 members/$32 non-members/$10 students)
Friday, October 22, 2010
MCS CONGRESS ON UNIVERSITY OF ALICANTE SPAIN
This conference will be a streamed videoconference in Spanish, except the presentation by Dr. Monro Breakspears Clinic which will be in English and then translated into Spanish. For more information, please see: http://www.asquifyde.es/noticia-detalle.aspx?noticia=697
Next on 4, 5 and 6 November, will be held at the University of Alicante (Salon Alfredo Orts Optics Building) the conference "THE EFFECTS OF CHEMICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE IN WOMEN'S HEALTH. THE CASE OF MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY SYNDROME AND OTHER DISEASES ASSOCIATED (FIBROMYALGIA, CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME ELECTROHIPERSENSIBILIDAD) "in which the collaborating organization Interuniversity Institute for Social Development and Peace and the Department of Community Nursing, Preventive Medicine and Public Health and History Science from the University of Alicante, and ASQUIFYDE. To attend pre-registration is required.
These scientific conferences are aimed at updating knowledge on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, a condition estimated to affect approximately 500,000 people in our country. It also will address the diseases that are normally associated as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Electrohipersensibilidad. The title has been referred to the women because they presented more risk factors, however, are diseases that also affect men.
Through the presentations there will be an interdisciplinary approach, addressing both aspects of its etiology and mechanism, as the clinical and therapeutic approach. In each of these aspects with the participation of some of the most qualified experts.
Also contemplate the consequences of these diseases are for the sick person from a family perspective, social, occupational, legal and economic.
The Conference will include the participation of associations and affected patients, who may interact with professionals and researchers who act as rapporteurs.
Another aspect that should be high on the agenda of the Conference is the official presentation of the Environmental Management Guide: An Alternative Fitness.
Interested persons unable to attend may continue the conference by video conferencing via the following address:
Alicante University is making an effort to maintain the highest possible environmental control in the spaces with which they can have contact those affected by these diseases. Among other precautions have been taken into account a few weeks before spraying is not on campus.
For the same reasons, those responsible for the organization at the University of Alicante beg the audience to come without any fragrances and turn off cell phones before entering the classroom.
For more information about this news can be accessed at the website of the association co-organizer of this event: www.asquifyde.es or contact:
Francisca Gutiérrez Clavero
Cristina López Fernández
Sociology professor and member of the Interuniversity Institute for Social Development and Peace
Sequencing the "Exposome": Researchers Take a Cue from Genomics to Decipher Environmental Exposure's Links to Disease
"Technological and analytical advances are helping to take environmental exposures the route of genetic profiles in predicting a person's disease risk with greater precision."
Study Reignites Debate About Viral Agent in Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2010;304(15):1653-1656. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1421
"A study linking chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in humans to a family of retroviruses that cause leukemia in mice appears to validate a controversial study published last fall. But far from settling the debate about the role of viruses in the disease, the new findings raise a host of questions about why other scientists, including a team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have failed to find such a link, and about the potential clinical and public health implications. The study was published in August in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Lo S-C et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi:10.1073/pnas.1006901107 [published ahead of print August 23, 2010]).
"These results raise as many questions as they answer," said Steve Monroe, PhD, director of the Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology at the CDC."
World Awash In Environmental Armageddon
By Dr. Tom Termotto
Is there any doubt that planet Earth has been undergoing an environmental armageddon for decades? We are not just referring to the spate of oil spills all over the world such as the BP Gulf Oil Spill, or the many other toxic deluges which go unreported unlike the Hungary Toxic Sludge Disaster, or the ongoing destruction of the world's rainforests like those being systematically wiped out in the Amazon Basin. We are also alluding to the "unseen" worldwide chemical apocalypse, the global proliferation of electro-pollution (EMR), the major uptick in man-made geopathic stress events on both the micro and macro levels, as well as the relentless contamination of living environments throughout the planet with radioactivity.
There are many other forms of ecological apocalypse taking place which, when viewed in the aggregate, are taking an immense toll on human, animal and plant life. Many of these ongoing assaults against the biosphere have unforeseen and collective ramifications which are extremely far-reaching and of great consequence to the viability of the planet. We ignore them at our peril, and will continue to suffer from a plague of alphabet soup diseases, multi-infection syndromes and infectious disease epidemics which have exploded on the healthcare landscape during the 21st century.
Just how far-reaching? How consequential? Are these environmental issues, which have been occurring for well over a century, so urgent that we need to address them now? Does the fate of humankind really lie in the balance? How about the future of the planet Herself – our Mother Earth?
May we speak plainly about the awesome challenges which humanity is now facing? Truly, the fate of the planet lies in the balance at this great juncture between the ages. The future of humanity is being determined every moment by the collective consciousness and actions of every resident of planet Earth. As a race, there can be no doubt that we have veered way off the straight and narrow, and have been going in a dangerous direction since the beginning of the industrial revolution. We now "sit in the stink" of all the misguided foundational paradigms, which were laid down throughout this age of commerce and industry.
If one were to just consider the deleterious effects of the Hydrocarbon Fuel Paradigm alone around the globe, they would quickly see the ravages of this single industry – Oil & Gas – which in and of itself has wreaked havoc wherever oil rigs, natural gas platforms or refineries are found. Waging war for oil and gas deposits, oil spills on land and undersea, awesome amounts of water and air pollution outside of spills, oil and gas pipeline explosions, exploitation of precious lands and water bodies for oil and gas,sinking oil tankers, peoples oppressed because they live on or near oil and gas deposits, refinery accidents and explosions, etc.
But back to the original question: Why is the world rushing headlong into environmental armageddon? How did we get here when the signs and messages at every milestone were so obvious about where the civilization was heading?
What follows is a partial list of major co-factors of environmental destruction which must be considered, if one is to formulate a global response to this predicament.
- Technospheric Breakdown – the entire planet is blanketed by a multi-faceted technosphere, all of which is in the steady state of disintegration, much of which is unseen
- Worldwide Economic Depression - Increasing unemployment/joblessness + general business contraction + real estate market collapse = declining tax bases, receipts and revenues for every nation, state and province, county and city; shrinking budgets provide less money to fix and repair, maintain and service, upgrade and modify, rehabilitate and remediate that which is necessary
- Universal Unenlightened Government Leadership + Highly Corrupt, Arrogant and Ignorant Superpower Nations
- World Shadow Government which uses divide and conquer strategy to control Earth's natural resources
- Equipment/Technology which has not been proportionately upgraded to meet obvious requirements, ever-growing needs and newly emerging challenges & contingencies of the 21st century
- Inherently Unsustainable Platforms, Technologies, process & procedure, etc. across the board of modern civilization, especially throughout industry
- Urbanization of the World – proliferation of the megalopolis and all the inherent problems with such extraordinary population density
- Globalization of the Economy; centralization of power everywhere (e.g. EU) and subsequent incapacitation of local authority to respond appropriately to dire needs
- Planetary Population approaching 7 billion, and the material fulfillment of the real and perceived needs/wishes of so many
- Consumer Society with so much artificial demand created by a global marketing machine (e.g. TV) which caters to a carefully cultivated materialistic mindset and lifestyle
- Rule by Corpocracy/Oligarchy/Plutocracy which lacks any degree of social responsibility, respect for human life or stewardship for the planet
- Global Climate Change due to human activity; Global Warming due to major changes in the behavior/activity of the sun, as well as other transformative shifts on earth (El Nino/La Nina) and throughout the solar system
- Accelerating Uptick in Seismic activity and Volcanic events around the globe, as demonstrated by the major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions of 2010
- Capitalism is in its Death Throes, which necessarily creates a worldwide climate of desperate exploitation of all the earth's resources because fiat currency is soon to be devalued, before becoming worthless
- Destructive Technologies/Agendas and their unintended consequences and unforeseen collateral damage - HARRP, CERN ( Large Hadron Collider), Chemtrails, GMOs, Nuclear Testing, Bio-engineered Pathogenic Microorganisms & Plagues
- Mother Earth's rapidly changing Vital Signs – Decreasing Magnetics, Increasing Schumann's Resonance, Ocean Current Shifts (Gulf Stream, Loop Current), Increasing Greenhouse Gases, Ozone Layer Depletion, Shrinking Bio-diversity, Polar Icecaps Melting, Increasing # of Icebergs, Sea Level Rise
- Civilization always contains the Seeds of its own Destruction – Political, economic and social institutions and systems do reflect the predominant undergirding religious paradigms and philosophical blueprints. The more flawed and skewed these paradigms, the more imperfections appear throughout the structures of civilization.
- End of Kali Yuga = End of Mayan Calendar (Long Count) – "2012" represents the inevitable transition between the ages including the Galactic Creation Cycle – a 13 year period distinguished by much more destruction than creation on the earth plane
- Outworking of War as a means of (i) theft – the strong stealing natural resources and labor from the weak, (ii) genocide – depopulation and (iii) control of the masses – fear and chaos of war softens up a nation to accept a new control matrix (especially new forms of mind control programming re: Mother Earth)
- Communism & Capitalism – the fric and frac of 100 years of godless society – Wherever true spirituality is lacking (both isms are godless – one overtly, one covertly) common sense and reason always flee; then self destruction is a foregone conclusion so that the "Phoenix" of a new order can rise from its ashes
Although this list goes on, we'll stop here, as the scope of this essay is limited to just one of these contributing co-factors, and perhaps the most profound and significant of them all.
Technospheric Breakdown – a major co-factor in societal collapse
Technospheric breakdown is something that occurs everywhere around the globe, 24/7, without interruption, and with tremendous repercussions. Let's start with anything this is manufactured in the factories of the modern world or built on the surface of the Earth. Simply put, everything is in the constant state of breaking down, degeneration, deterioration. Makes sense, you say, but just how does this translate.
What does this really mean when we say that every bridge is slowly breaking down, every road is in greater disrepair with each passing day, every reservoir is gradually degrading, every office building, every factory, every school, every home, etc. most of which adhered to very low building standards in the first place?
What does it mean when the infrastructure for every sewer system, municipal water division, electrical grid, airport, railway station, etc. is in a slow but sure process of degrading and breaking down. You might say, "Well we fix it." No, not quite. You don't just wake up one day and decide to fix the entire New York City subway system. And, yes, that entire system would be found wanting today if subjected to a rigorous safety assessment and integrity testing. Now multiply NYC times all the subway systems in the world in order to understand the enormity of this challenge.
Many will respond to this type of scrutiny by saying, "Well I ride the NYC subway every day for years, and never had a problem." We don't dispute that, but it does not speak for the future. Here's the point.
There are many people today who simply will not fly anymore, unless they absolutely must. They do not trust the airline industry and all the cost cutting and lax regulation and shoddiness of practice throughout the industry. Not a good industry to have run by profiteers. These "non-flyers" intuitively know that the worldwide fleets of aero-planes and jumbo jets and turboprops and helicopters is an aging group of flying dinosaurs, especially given the extraordinary assaults of the ever-changing weather patterns around the world. Everything about the entire airline industry is in continuous technospheric breakdown. This is not an area where many people feel comfortable cutting any slack, because the very slim margin of error can easily translate to a major airline catastrophe, and often does.
If we look at this issue from an industrial viewpoint, we need to look no further than the recent Hungary toxic sludge disaster. This aging reservoir, whose massive size just about guaranteed a collapse of this nature, especially in the absence of any effective regulation or maintenance, is a perfect example of the many other failures and accidents waiting to happen around the world. This deluge of toxic, chemical sludge was the result of systemic failures across the board, where everything probably went wrong at the perfecttime. How often do we hear about the Perfect Storm that has been brewing for many days, months or years.
Clearly, the incidence of these perfect storms has increased geometrically over the past many years, and not without much input (read misguided initiative) and inaction (read willful neglect) on the part of those most responsible. Whether this responsibility lies with a corporate overlord, government authority or other bureaucratic entity, it is virtually always the same story.
As a nation, India illustrates just how much can go wrong in a single day due to these various perfect storms coming out of nowhere. Whereas the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal is a dramatic example, one need only scan the daily national headlines to read about the latest train wreck, ferry sinking, bridge collapse, bus-over-the-cliff, chemical plant explosion, or GMO crop contamination. It may come as a surprise to many that the status quo in India is where the rest of the world is heading as a result of the confluence of the many aforementioned co-factors of environmental degradation.
The larger the technological society, the more pervasive the breakdown
It is important to understand that everything in our civilization is in the state of constantSLOW MOTION breakdown. Therefore, the more technology there is to breakdown, the more computers, and sensors, and fax machines, and relays, and compressors, and digital cameras, and automobiles, and airplanes, and super-carriers, and ocean liners, andsupertankers, and electrical power lines, and cell phones, and cell phone towers, and transformers, and power plants, and oil rigs, and natural gas platforms, and bulldozers, 18 wheelers, moving cranes, and railroad tracks, trains, & stations, etc. will be caught up in the relentless cycle of failure, mishap and disintegration.
That the greatest degree of this ongoing process of technospheric disintegration is always taking place under the radar is the biggest problem of all. Out of sight; out of mind. When very few even know about such an insidious and inexorable phenomenon, who or what organization is going to do anything about it? As for those who do understand – usually academics in institutions of higher learning who have very little influence with those in power to effectuate the necessary changes – they typically look at the many symptoms rather than the core issues which require radical and, what is often considered to be, socially unacceptable change.
Indeed, the Industrial Age brought upon us most of what is breaking down very quickly these days, and frequently with greater and greater consequences. Therefore, it can be stated with certainty that the deeper we move into this age, the more evidence we will see of a technological society caught up in an ever quickening downward spiral of technological degeneration and subsequent societal collapse.
Just as all the largest cities of the world (aka megalopolis) will eventually become black holes of microcosmic technospheric breakdown – because of either the impossibility and impracticality of maintaining so much infrastructure, some of which is virtually inaccessible – so too will much of the global technospheric superstructure become vulnerable to the same forces of time and flux.
Modern society tried mightily to overlay many different technological and engineering platforms, one on top of the other in every place around the world, over many decades, and was able to get away with it for a while. An exploding planetary population, however, got in the way. As did the many instances of incompatibility and one shoe fit all approach to many of these overlays. Just like you cannot force fit western-style capitalistic democracy onto nations emerging from a communist political economy, there are much smarter ways of integrating technology platforms in places that are far from a complex and sophisticated USA-type technological model.
Why is there virtually no response to, or even acknowledgement of, these pressing matters facing humanity?
The Powers That Be (TPTB) are fully aware of these many contributing factors to the ongoing global environmental armageddon. By the way, environmental armageddon here is defined as any environment – local or global, national or regional, which is under assault, siege or war of any type which contributes to its destruction. Disaster capitalism* – a TPTB creation if there ever was one – actually thrives in the currentclimate, and is an established policy which was formulated at the highest reaches of covert world governance in order to capitalize on the many inevitable manifestations of technospheric breakdown. Why not make money on it, as well as utilize it to exact greater command and control on the entire planetary prison system? They refer to it as the PPP – the Permanent Planetary Prison.
*Disaster capitalism, along with environmental terrorism and corporate sabotage, are routinely employed by the TPTB to bring about selective ecological apocalypse.
TPTB do have access (they own it all) to the best and most advanced technology on Earth, and therefore, they know full well exactly what is in front of the world community. Their interest is not in fixing roads or replacing antiquated electrical grids; that would cost too much of their money and give us too many jobs? They also have access to some very serious reverse-engineered technologies that allow them to spy on the far reaches of the universe. In so doing, they have an immediate understanding of what truly is coming down the pike relatively fast and furiously. Just a glimpse of the major changes occurring on and in all the other planets in our solar system (which they view daily from their many high-powered telescopes) is enough to put them on notice about the unstoppable planetary changes around the proverbial corner.
Because so much of technospheric breakdown is taking place in slow motion and is imperceptible by our senses, very few of us even know it's happening. Even those of us who are aware often fail to notice its effects on our life or grasp its pervasiveness in our own little worlds, much less the greater one. In this regard we, as a race, could be likened to the story of the frog who sits in the warm water (WARNING: cruel frog experiment) that is increased daily by one degree until he boils to …. and without complaint. Truly, this IS the current predicament of the entire human race.
So, why the blog if this ineluctable devolution of the planetary landscape and technosphere cannot be altered or addressed in any meaningful way (How do you effectively address the environmental carnage and ecological mayhem known as Mumbai, Tokyo, Sao Paulo or NYC anyhow?!). Because knowledge and relevant information can be quite empowering. For those who wish to stay out of harms way, an awareness of what is going on around you, or what very likely could happen near you, can be very self-preserving, Yes?
The good folks living in Kolontar, Hungary living downstream from the toxic sludge reservoir, which was also used as a dumping site for all sorts of poisonous heavy metal wastes, probably would have assumed a different posture if they really knew what was in their backyard. Mind you, there are thousands of similar toxic reservoirs and chemical holding ponds around the world with even fewer safeguards and less oversight in place. Here's a comment left by a thoughtful reader of our previous blog on the Hungary catastrophe:
"The thing that struck me most about this story was not that it ruptured, nor that they lied and said the sludge was not dangerous; but the acceptance of the idea to simply store HUGE, open air, toxic waste in the first place.
When looking at the pictures, I was amazed how BIG this project is. And the reservoir is near full. It is no doubt, seeping into the lower land levels and water tables and interacting with the air. But that someone thought it was a swell idea to simply store thousands of cubic meters (does anyone actually know how much?) of toxic, heavy metal sludge in an above ground, man-made lake is simply (beyond) amazing to me."
– James A. Jancik (host of Feet to the Fire Radio)
Although we have only scratched the surface of #1 – Technospheric Breakdown, we are compelled to continue the larger discussion by taking a closer look at #6 – Unsustainable Platforms, and more specifically at the most destructive and pervasive energy source and technology platform in existence – the Hydrocarbon Fuel Paradigm.
Tom Termotto, BCIM, DCAE
Healthcare Professionals for Clean Environment
Residents rise up against new Verizon cell tower plan
"Battling the phone companies to save their scenic vistas is not untraveled territory for the residents of Vernon Township. Earlier in the year, the community fended off a proposed cell tower on Silver Spruce Drive in the Glenwood area."
Nanometals Induce Stress and Alter Thyroid Hormone Action in Amphibia at or below North American Water Quality Guidelines
Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology, P.O. Box 3055 Stn CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C., Canada, V8W 3P6, Pacific Environmental Science Centre, Environment Canada, 2545 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, V7H 1 V2, and School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, P.O. Box 3065 Stn CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 3V6
Nanometals are manufactured to particle sizes with diameters in the nanometer range and are included in a variety of consumer and health products. There is a lack of information regarding potential effects of these materials on aquatic organisms. Amphibians are regarded as environmental sentinels and demonstrate an exquisite sensitivity to thyroid hormone action, a hormone that is essential for human health. This present study assessed the effect of exposure to nanometals on stress and thyroid hormone signaling in frog tissue using a cultured tail fin biopsy (C-fin) assay derived from Rana catesbeiana tadpoles. The C-fin assay maintains tissue complexity and biological replication while multiple chemical responses can be assessed from the same individual. We tested the ability of nanosilver (0.06 μg/L−5.5 mg/L), quantum dots (0.25 μg/L−22 mg/L), and nanozinc oxide (0.19−10 mg/L) to alter gene expression in the presence or absence of 3,3′,5′-triiodothyronine (T3) using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results were compared to exposure to micrometer-silver, silver nitrate, and micrometer-cadmium telluride. Nanosilver (≥2.75 mg/L) and quantum dots (≥0.22 mg/L) altered the expression of transcripts linked to T3- and stress-mediated pathways, while nanozinc oxide had no effect. Lower concentrations of nanosilver (0.6 to 550 μg/L) perturbed T3-mediated signaling while not inducing cell stress. The observed effects were orders of magnitude below acute toxicity levels and occurred at or below the current North American water quality guidelines for metals, underscoring the need for evaluating nanoparticles separately from their constituent chemicals.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Organic Bytes: SOS 2010 - Save Organic Standards
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#247, October 21, 2010
SOS 2010 - Save Organic Standards
In this issue:
Quote and Essay of the Week
SOS: OCA's Ongoing Campaign to Safeguard Organic Standards
"Over the last twelve years the OCA has been forced to organize a series of national campaigns to safeguard organic standards. While the OCA and our allies have basically been able to prevent the standards from being significantly watered down, constant vigilance and mobilization have been necessary... The new organic dairy regulations banning feedlots and requiring mandatory pasturing of cows are a good start, but we need to apply similar standards to poultry production. We need an independent National Organic Program Peer Review Board. We need to officially ban nanotechnology from organic production. And we need a number of currently allowed non-organic substances or inputs to be prohibited in organic products, as there are now organic options available. Over the next decade it will take constant vigilance and mobilization on the part of consumers, natural food stores, and farmers to uphold organic standards and prevent a takeover of the organic industry by corporate agribusiness."
- By Honor Schauland and Ronnie Cummins - October 20, 2010
Action of the Week
Safeguard Organic Standards
Chemical and energy-intensive industrial food and farming poses a mortal threat to life on the planet. Monsanto and Food Inc. are rapidly destroying the soil, contaminating water, reducing biodiversity, and destabilizing the climate. Meanwhile consumers are being stuffed with junk foods that make us fat and sick. Industrial agriculture's fatal harvest includes trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and filthy, disease-ridden factory farmed animal products laced with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, nano-particles and bacteria.
While a cornucopia of healthy food alternatives are available at the local level, from small organic farmers to urban gardeners to raw milk distribution networks and community supported agriculture projects, the USDA National Organic Program is the only system to provide certified national and global standards for organic food that is distributed regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Foods labeled "USDA Organic" are the gold standard for health and sustainability at the retail and wholesale level. Organics provide a beacon of light in grocery store aisles to guide consumers away from GMOs and chemical-tainted junk foods. Consumer demand for healthy and eco-friendly food has built the organic market into a $30 billion a year powerhouse, and has forced even the largest retailers, wholesalers and brand names to get into organics.
While we oppose the "Walmartization" of organic, we are happy to see that even our adversaries are being forced to market and sell organic products. While OCA's campaigns against worker abuses, GMOs, factory farming, and the many poisons used in industrial food production are aimed at tearing down a deadly system, our work to keep organic standards strong guarantees that even the big corporate players must "play by the rules" if they are to call their products organic.
Unfortunately the big players (Monsanto, Kraft, Wal-Mart, General Mills, et al.) keep trying to change the rules, which means we've got to keep fighting them.
This year, 2010, the biggest attacks on organic standards are coming from the following companies:
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is holding its twice-yearly standards-setting meeting in Madison, WI next week. Organic Consumers Association political director Alexis Baden-Mayer will be speaking at the meeting on behalf of our quarter-million active members and we need you to back up her testimony with letters to the NOSB on the topics that are most important to you.
Support the OCA! Save Organic Standards
We depend on your donations to preserve strict organic standards, to fight against Monsanto and GMOs, and to build a global climate justice movement based upon organic food and farming. Please send us a tax-deductible donation today and we'll send you a free "Millions Against Monsanto" bumper sticker so you can help spread the word in your community. Please be sure to put "sticker" in the comments field of your donation.
Climate Justice: Join the OCA at the Historic Global Climate Crisis Summit in Mexico
Please join OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and other OCA staff on a week-long escorted delegation to the historic teach-ins and rallies for climate justice and organic agriculture at Global Climate Crisis Summit in Cancun, Mexico Nov. 29-Dec. 6.
The OCA delegation, limited to 80 people, will include international experts on organic agriculture and climate justice, including OCA Directors Ronnie Cummins, Alexis Baden-Mayer, and Ryan Zinn; organic farm leader and author, Will Allen; noted blogger and food activist Jill Richardson, and renowned GMO specialist and critic Dr. Michael Hansen. Outstanding speakers at Cancun will include Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, Maude Barlow, Pat Mooney, and other global climate justice leaders.
OCA's seven-day escorted tour, starting Thanksgiving weekend, November 29 and extending through Dec. 6, includes all lodging, meals, and transportation costs (airfare not included). Early Bird Registration (before November 7) is only $750-$950.
It is also possible to stay for the entire 11 day event from November 29-Dec. 10.
For more information or to register for the OCA delegation to Cancun contact firstname.lastname@example.org; or call 415-307-8914.
More information about the OCA delegation to Cancun
Video of the Week
Scrambled Eggs: A New Video from the Cornucopia Institute
Imagine 80,000 laying hens in a single building, crowded in confinement conditions, on "farms" with hundreds of thousands, or even a million birds.
Is this organic?
How about a tiny enclosed concrete porch, accessible by only 3%-5% of the tens of thousands of birds inside a henhouse. Does that constitute "outdoor access" as required by federal organic law?
Industrial-scale egg producers are gaming the system with their so-called "livestock management" shortcuts and are placing family-scale organic farmers who play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage. Some pasture-based organic farmers have already been driven out of the organic egg business.
Turning Asphalt Into Edible Education -read more
Beef Industry Woes May Mean Poorer Meat -read more
Is the National Organic Standards Board Embracing Nanotechnology? -read more
For Organic Hops Farmers in Washington, Government Obstacles -read more
We are Facing the Greatest Threat to Humanity: Only Fundamental Change Can Save Us -read more
LOCAL HI NEWS OF THE WEEK
HI - Get Involved Locally
Message from our Sponsors
Dr. Bronner's is Celebrating Our 60th Anniversary!
Marking the 60th Anniversary of the company, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps is pleased to announce that all classic liquid & bar soaps are now not only certified under the USDA National Organic Program, but also certified Fair Trade! In addition, we are pleased to introduce a revolutionary new range of high-quality organic products, from hair rinses to shaving gels – all certified under the same USDA program that certifies organic foods.
Please visit us on the web at DrBronner.com
Become an OCA Sponsor!
Every issue of Organic Bytes now goes to 250,000 organic consumers with a thousand new subscribers each week. Please help us and your business by letting our subscribers know who you are and that you support the work of the OCA. Please contact us if you want more information! (Note: select "Sponsorship Coordinator" from the dropdown menu)
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