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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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Ky. weapons depot confirms mustard gas leak

The first mustard gas leak in three years was confirmed Tuesday at a chemical weapons stockpile in Kentucky, less than a month after workers there found a leak inside a separate storage igloo housing a deadly nerve agent.

Mustard agent is among the least lethal of the Cold War-era weapons set to be destroyed at storage sites in Kentucky and elsewhere by 2017 to comply with an international treaty. The agent causes a debilitating but usually nonfatal outbreak of severe blisters over the body of anyone coming in contact with the chemical. It often requires immediate medical attention.

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EPA Managers Warned Not to Answer Inquiries

A senior official in the Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement office has warned managers they should direct inquiries from reporters, congressional investigators and the agency's inspector general to designated officials rather than answering the questions themselves, according to an e-mail obtained by The Washington Post.

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EPA E-Mail Concluded Global Warming Endangers Public Health, Senator Says

Under a subpoena threat from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Environmental Protection Agency late Wednesday sent the panel a copy of its Dec. 5 proposal to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act -- as a brief loan.

The White House never opened the document and instructed EPA to retract it. Instead, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson backed away from the conclusions that he and his staff had reached and last week issued an "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking" that invited public comment on the question of whether to regulate emissions linked to global warming. It took no stand on the question the court had asked it to address: whether global warming poses a threat to human health or public welfare. 

TVNL Comment: Another example of how the George W. Bush administration poses the greatest threat to our lives. We should be able to stop them, by any means necessary...in self defense!

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Our National Water Policy: Oh, Wait, We Don't Have One

Tragically, as it turns out, faced with the urgent need to change our management of U.S. waters, Congress has, for decades, been standing "up on the watershed" -- just as in the Indigo Girls song -- and they've been floundering. But you can't say it hasn't been a bipartisan effort.

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Colony Collapse Disorder Debunked: Pesticides Cause Bee Deaths

The great mystery of bee deaths has been solved. Colony Collapse Disorder is poisoning with a known insect neurotoxin. Clothianidin, a pesticide manufactured by Bayer, has been clearly linked to die offs in Germany and France.

Bayer says that their use is safe for bees, when used according to instructions. This involves using a glue that keeps the pesticides stuck to the seeds on which they're used.

There are many problems with this. Agribusiness corporations are known to evade anything that costs them money. The glue costs money. The equipment and personnel required to apply it costs money. More careful pesticide application to try to keep it from becoming airborne costs money. Obviously, both unscrupulous agribusiness farmers and unknowing small farmers -- not to mention home gardeners -- will, at least occasionally, not use the glue.

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Population bomb 'ticks louder than climate'

Global population growth is looming as a bigger threat to the world's food production and water supplies than climate change, a leading scientist says.

''Climate change is one of a number of stresses we're facing, but it's overshadowed by global population growth and the amount of water, land and energy needed to grow food to meet the projected increase in population. We are facing a world population crisis.''

TVNL Comment: This is something I have said MANY times to many people. Here is something I wrote on this topic back in December 2005: Stop Having Children! PLEASE!

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Report links Cheney office, oil giant to global warming policy shift

A congressional investigation has produced new details on the degree to which senior Bush administration officials favored using the Clean Air Act to limit greenhouse gas emissions — until pressure from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, ExxonMobil and others in the oil industry led the Bush administration to change course.

Committee Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said in a news release: "This is the dysfunctions and motivations of the Bush administration laid bare. The fact that they can, with near unanimity, completely switch positions on global warming to please the oil industry is shocking, and yet disappointingly predictable."

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