Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Did You Know that Splenda is in Your Drinking Water?

November 23, 2010 1 comment

Posted By Dr. Mercola | November 23 2010 | 18,784 views

drinking waterThe human body can’t break it down, or use it in any way. And as it turns out, modern wastewater treatment methods don’t break down Splenda either.

Smitha Ramakrishna, a finalist in the 2009 Intel Science Talent Search, found that the sweetener can accumulate in the water supply after people excrete it. This could potentially cause harm to fish and other living creatures.

Scientific American reports:

“She tried to start doing research at Arizona State University, though since she was the first high schooler her lab had ever had … [E]ventually she was allowed to subject sucralose to various treatments, like bacterial digestion, typically used in wastewater treatment plants.

She found that sucralose resisted most of these treatments … that means almost all the sucralose people eat or drink winds up in the ecosystem.”


Scientific American March 9, 2009



Banks spying on your bills, rent payments, paychecks: report

November 7, 2010 Leave a comment

By Daniel Tencer
Saturday, November 6th, 2010 — 10:25 pm

The age of the plain old credit score is gone, says a report at the Wall Street Journal, and it’s been replaced by ever more intrusive efforts by banks and credit agencies to gauge exactly what you’re worth, and what you can pay.

To that end, financial firms are now tracking their customers’ bank deposits, rent payments or home values, and even utility bills to figure out who may soon become a financial risk, reports WSJ‘s Karen Blumenthal.

So, for example, if your employer pays you through direct deposits and those deposits stop, financial institutions can now have warning that your money situation is likely to tighten, and may deny you credit on that basis.

But the efforts don’t end there. A new area of research, income estimation, “took off earlier this year,” WSJ reports, and involves financial firms collecting information about mortgages, personal loans and credit history to determine how much an individual makes and how much credit they should be given.

In this new era of deep data-mining, even your utility bills and rent check aren’t out of bounds.

An estimated 40 million consumers, including young people and people who prefer to pay in cash, have too little credit experience to generate a useful credit score. But they are likely to pay rent or utility bills, which could help credit bureaus better assess their credit-worthiness.

Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, bought RentBureau—which collects rental-payment data from large property managers—and expects to integrate that information into credit records before the end of the year.

Credit bureaus say they also would like to offer data on cellphone payments, but have run into concerns over privacy issues, which may require legislation to untangle.


The WSJ report comes as new concerns emerge over the extent to which businesses are digging into the lives of their customers in order to assess risk or market products.

Raw Story reported this week on SocialMiner, a new software application from Cisco Systems that allows businesses to monitor social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The software has raised concerns over the prospect of employers spying on the personal lives of their employees.

“With more and more Web-based conversations taking place over these social platforms, it’s now more critical than ever that businesses are aware of what their customers are saying about them and are able to respond to general inquiries or rectify customer service issues so as to enhance and protect brand reputation,” Cisco stated in a press release.

Meanwhile, a federal class action lawsuit alleges that numerous media companies, including Fox News and CNN, received detailed personal information on millions of cellphone users from an advertising company that circumvented security measures on their phones. Courthouse News reports:

Delaware-based Ringleader “stamped” a “Unique Device Identifier” into customers’ cell phones, compatible with iPhone, iPad, iTouch and PDAs and other devices, the complaint states.

Once entered into their phones, the class claims, say the code sent their private information to a database that Ringleader shared with AccuWeather, CNN, ESPN, FOX News, Go2 Media, Merriam-Webster, Travel Channel, and WhitePages, all of them named as defendants.

“Essentially, defendants hacked the mobile phones of millions of consumers … by embedding a tracking code in each user’s mobile device database to circumvent users’ browser controls for managing web privacy and security,” the complaint states.

The class claims the database collected information about “gender, age, race, number of children, education level, geographic location, and household income.”

When they learned about the invasion of their privacy, some customers tried to delete the code, but it was programmed for “perpetual re-spawning, creating in effect: ‘Zombie Databases,'” the complaint states.


Nature provides $5.4 billion a year in Greater Vancouver

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

By Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun, October 27, 2010 7:03 PM
‘Vancouver and the suburbs are sitting on [some of the best] natural assets that include wetlands, forests and farmland,’ says Faisal Moola, science director for the David Suzuki Foundation.

‘Vancouver and the suburbs are sitting on [some of the best] natural assets that include wetlands, forests and farmland,’ says Faisal Moola, science director for the David Suzuki Foundation.

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop, PNG

VANCOUVER — In economic terms, how much is Mother Nature worth?

About $5.4 billion a year, or $2,462 per person to the Greater Vancouver region, according to a study released Wednesday by the David Suzuki Foundation and Pacific Parklands Foundation.

The report examines the extent of the region’s “natural capital” — forests, fields, wetlands, watersheds and other ecosystems; it estimates the economic values the ecosystems provide.

The report, which encompasses Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley in an area extending from Hope in the east to Squamish in the north to the U.S. border in the south, looks at the ecosystem’s benefits, such as climate regulation, clean air, flood protection and water regulation, waste treatment, water supply, pollination, salmon habitat, recreation and tourism, local food production, and air pollution absorption in trees, plants and soils.

“Vancouver and the suburbs are sitting on [some of the best] natural assets that include wetlands, forests and farmland,” David Suzuki Foundation science director Faisal Moola said. Sprawling development remains a major threat to the region’s natural capital, he added.

“And we estimated that, conservatively, it’s worth $5.4 billion annually in natural benefits like clean air and clean water. The problem is that the decision-makers often take these benefits for granted, that they have no value.”

Other threats cited in the study are air and water pollution, including run-off from urban centres, agricultural production and sewage treatment plants, which increase the amount of nutrients, sediments and toxic compounds in surface and groundwater.

Moola said that, though nature provides services for free, the benefits can’t be ignored and that’s it’s time to account for the economic value by better managing the region’s growth.

“In the last two decades, we’ve lost 1,300 hectares of wetlands, mostly due to urban sprawl,” he said. “And our current stock of wetlands stores 3.5 million tons of carbon. We estimated that carbon is worth about $23 million based on the avoided costs of the greenhouse gas emissions that will happen if you destroy those wetlands.”

The study found that the ecosystems with the highest values are wetlands ($4,000 to $6,000 per hectare) and forests ($5,900 to $7,400 per hectare). It found that the greatest economic benefits provided by the natural world are climate regulation ($1.7 billion per year), water supply ($1.6 billion), and flood protection and water regulation ($1.2 billion).

Moola cited forests on the North Shore mountains as an example of how the nature provides economic benefits.

“Those trees on the North Shore mountains are keeping that mountain intact,” he said. “If we cut those trees, we’d have to keep the mountainside intact by investing in retaining walls and other engineering to replace a service we’re otherwise getting for free.”

Bryan Wallner, vice-president of the Pacific Parklands Foundation, said the study “reinforces the importance of protecting and restoring parklands and green spaces within our Lower Mainland communities and across the country.”

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun


CNN concurs with Gregg Hall: Oil lurks 6 inches below top beach sand

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

  • October 18th, 2010 3:12 pm ET

Mainstream breaking news helps break mass public denial

Mainstream news has intervened in Breaking News to help break mass public denial about the Gulf Operation by reporting what Pensacola reporter, “Pcola” Gregg Hall has been finding daily, denied by government and local tourism official. CNN reports finding layers of oil and tarballs from the Deepwater Horizon BP #oilspill buried in the sand in Florida and Alabama. (See CNN report (video))

Hazardous beaches and waters

Skytruth recently received this report on its Gulf Oil Spill Tracker site:

“We live on Navarre beach Florida. While walking along the Santa Rosa Sounds yesterday 10.14.2010, I say many, many tar balls that had washed up on the beach of the Sound. There were still others attached to the sea weed still in the water.”

Jeff Rense recently interviewed Hall who spoke about caked oil being found that is as moist as a “sticky chocolate brownie just out of the oven.”

Hall also documents that clean-up crews have not been allowed to dig below six inches. Their shovels were then taken so they could not dig to clean the beaches.

Workers have been filling buckets of poison using their hands and kitty litter scoopers to “clean” the beaches upon which children are encouraged to play, according to Hall.

In CNN’s report, Rob Marciano interviews research scientists, one of whom states that the “reality” is that oil is still there.

As Hall and Rense discussed, crude toxins are seeping into Gulf Coast water supplies. This means deadly toxins are moving into homes, into bathing and drinking water.

Public health realities

Gulf beaches and water are hazardous to public health, as explained in the Rense-Hall interview. (

Hall is among many Gulf Coast residents experiencing numbness of extremities, a symptom of neurotoxins. His feet are numb. He tested positive for six of the nine VOCs. (Also see report from Gulf Coast resident “Elizabeth Brown” who became ill after the Gulf Operation and has “dead arms” plus is internally bleeding: Censored Gulf news: Chemically raped, bleeding mom mourns bayou, Examiner)

In October, an Examiner reader commented after reading about Brown, the chemically rape Bayou Chico mom who is internally bleeding and experiencing numb arms:

“ugh…… these are my very symptoms. i’ve started taking some heavy metal detox pills that are helping curb the nose bleeds. my heart cries out to her. i hope she will take dr. ott’s letter to the doctors with her. i’ve heard one report of a doc. in daytona reading and following her instructions. i hope we can get some help down here soon. but so many people are scared of the system these days.”

Florida Oil Spill Law has posted three videos of Doctor Harbut entitled, Cancer Specialist: Endocrine disruptors, mutagens in Gulf are a 900 pound elephant in the living room.”

Hall and Rense discuss the tragic and frustrating apathy of American environmental organizations apparently not facing reality.

“Where are the environmentalists? Where are the environmental groups? Where are the people who believe in what we are trying to do? Where are the people who could support what we are doing?” asked Hall.

Even in Halls’ recent report of body parts washing ashore as discussed in the Rense-Hall interview, , there has been little public response much less outrage and investigations called. (See: Censored Gulf news: Human body parts washed-up, covered-up (video)

“Everyone wants someone else to fight the fight for them,” said Hall, inviting the reader to go down to the Gulf Coast and walk it with him.

“We spend every nickel we have. I could put everything I own in the back of my truck with 150,000 miles on it,” said Hall. “Where are the people who could help?”

Perhaps the CNN report will influence Americans to better understand the gravity of the Gulf ecocide and genocide that has been ongoing for almost six months.

Learn more: Listen to Jeff Rense and Gregg Hall to learn many of the most important aspect of the Gulf Operation reality. Click here or see
For articles tracking reality of the crime against humanity and the planet, see Gulf Operation.
Follow the Gulf atrocities on with a long list of related news daily:

Oil Catastrophe – Quickest Updates!

Copyright Deborah Dupré, 2010. All rights reserved.

Deborah Dupré, with post-graduate science and education degrees from U.S. and Australian universities, has been a human and environmental rights advocate for over 25 years in the U.S., Vanuatu and Australia. To support her work, subscribe to her articles. Tweet this, email the link of this article to friends and colleagues, or repost only title and first paragraph linked to this Examiner page. Dupré welcomes emails: . Send Gulf illness news tips to her with your name or anonymously. See Dupre’s Vaccine Liberty or Death book plus Compassion Film Project DVDs.

Obtain a Toxic Survival Kit or have one delivered to a Gulf Coast resident in need. See Gulf Coast Barefoot Doctors online or email Learn to become a Gulf Coast Barefoot Doctor here..

If you are a Gulf Coaster wanting to evacuate but need help, please ask! If you can assist a Gulf Coaster in evacuating, please advise! See —

Make Gulf incident reports and view the ongoing, rapidly increasing incidents at Mobile phone users can text or call in reports to (504) 27 27 OIL. Reports can also be sent to and through Twitter with the hashtag #BPspillmap. LABB recommends if in danger or witness an emergency, contact your local emergency response agency immediately.




September 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Bedbugs are invading Google’s New York office!A Googler in marketing JUST tweeted, “jeepers i am not immune from the bedbug epidemic. bedbugs have been found at work.”

bedbugs invade Google


Earlier this summer, New York’s bedbug invasion shut down Time Warner, a Hollister store, and Hachette Filipacchi’s Elle Magazine..

Don’t panic!

Click here to learn how to identify and destroy bed bugs >

Read more


Enbridge oil pipeline leaking in Illinois

September 12, 2010 1 comment

Company said it was stopped


A second spill in a pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy Partners, this time in Illinois, was leaking 200-600 barrels of oil an hour late Friday, despite the company’s insistence earlier that the leak had been halted. The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the company to stop the leak by noon Monday.

Enbridge already is under fire for the biggest oil pipeline spill in the Midwest after its pipeline burst in July near Marshall, leaking at least 820,000 barrels of oil into the Kalamazoo River.

The leak near Romeoville, Ill., on the company’s 34-inch 6A pipeline, was noticed Thursday shortly after noon. Oil splashed onto a road and then flowed into a nearby retention pond. The company said the pipeline was shut down minutes after the discovery, and the leak was contained.

But the EPA said Friday that was not true. The agency said oil was flowing from storm and sanitary sewers to the retention pond, which was nearly full. The EPA ordered the pond to be pumped so it didn’t overflow.

In a conference call, EPA officials told congressional staff that although the pipe had been closed off at either end, oil still was flowing and no one knew exactly where the leak was located.

Pipeline 6A is Enbridge’s largest and runs from Superior, Wis., to Griffith, Ind. Because of its shutdown, oil futures spiked Friday. The pipeline delivers oil to midwestern refineries.

Pipeline 6B runs from Griffith through Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. That line has been shut down since Enbridge’s July spill near Marshall, and there’s no certainty if or when it will reopen.

Enbridge has been under fire from federal regulators for the maintenance and flaws in its 1,900-mile Lakehead pipeline system, which delivers oil from western Canada to the U.S.

Reports reviewed by the Free Press show that as long as eight years ago, the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which inspects pipelines, noted problems with maintenance and repairs on the system. In February, Enbridge officials were summoned to Washington, D.C., to meet with regulators about correcting those problems.

U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer of Battle Creek has been critical of Enbridge’s history of spills. “This most recent spill by Enbridge left me stunned, but not entirely surprised,” he said.

Congress plans hearings on Enbridge’s conduct Wednesday.

Contact TINA LAM: 313-222-6421 or


America’s Grand Strategy: Militarizing Space

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

September 8, 2010

By Stephen Lendman

On January 3, 2001, the UN General Assembly’s Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space Resolution A/55/32 said:

“The exploration and use of outer space….shall be for peaceful purposes and be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. (The) prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security.”

Over 140 nations agreed. Only two declined support, both abstaining – America and Israel.

On August 9, 1996, in Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, then Commander-in-Chief US Space Command, Joseph W. Ashy asserted:

“It’s politically sensitive, but it’s going to happen. Some people don’t want to hear this, and it sure isn’t in vogue, but – absolutely – we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space. That’s why the US has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. We will engage terrestrial targets someday – ships, airplanes, land targets – from space.”

On April 18, 2002, the Center for Defense Information’s Theresa Hitchens headlined, “Weapons in Space: Silver Bullet or Russian Roulette,” saying:

Weaponizing space “could actually undermine, rather than enhance, (America’s) national security….There is nothing to be gained, and potentially much to be lost, by (pursuing) a momentous change in US space policy.”

Co-founder and coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Bruce Gagnon warned:

“If the US is allowed to move the arms race into space, there will be no return. We have this one chance, this one moment in history, to stop the weaponization of space from happening. The peace movement must move quickly, boldly, and publicly,” what so far hasn’t happened, most people mindless to the danger.

First revealed in the 1998 US Space Command document, Vision for 2020, it was later released in 2000 as DOD Joint Vision 2020 calling for “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to wage and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively, ultimately from space, America wanting unchallenged control.

The Pentagon’s Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) plans an array of sophisticated weapons to achieve it, some operational, others being tested, and new ones under development for its Operations Plan (OPLAN) 8010-08 Strategic Deterrence and Global Strike use, the US Strategic Command’s (STRATCOM) Strategic War Plan.

Since at least WW II, America’s strategy has been permanent war, a topic discussed earlier, accessed through the following link:

click here

On June 17,’s Jeremy Hsu headlined, “Air Force Sees Hypersonic Weapons and Spaceships in Future,” saying:

“A recent (Air Force) scramjet test has hinted at a future where hypersonic vehicles,” traveling five times the speed of sound, fly around the world and in space, an “experimental X-51A Waverider,” achieving the longest ever Mach 5 flight on May 26, using a rocket booster and air-breathing scramjet.

Charles Brink, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s X-51 program envisions future hypersonic weapons flying “600 nautical miles in 10 minutes,” including in space. NASA’s James Pittman, principal investigator of its hypersonics project, hopes to have “large vehicles for access to space using air-breathing propulsion.”

Earlier X-43A hypersonic scramjet test flights reached Mach 6.8 in March 2004 and Mach 9.6 in November that year – about 7,000 MPH. The X-51A project uses a more sophisticated scramjet engine, but hasn’t yet matched or broken the X-43A’s record, nor can it reach orbit, a goal Boeing Phantom Works/Defense hypersonics director Joseph Vogel hopes to achieve in the next 15 – 20 years, saying he expects the technology will be able to fly missions not possible today, the X-51A showing early promise.

In April, after years of development, the Air Force successfully launched the X-37B, its robot space shuttle, a reusable spacecraft traveling like an aircraft at Mach 5 – perhaps another future space weapon. Global’s John Pike told that projects like the X-37B may “represent the tip of a space weapons program hidden within the Pentagon’s secret ‘black budget,’ or they might be nothing more than smoke and mirrors,” intended to deceive America’s rivals, fueling a space arms race, hoping they’ll “waste money chasing down dead ends.”

For its part, the Air Force denies wanting the X-37B for an orbital weapons delivery system or for surveillance. Others disagree, journalist Sharon Weinberger saying “the most daring job of a space plane, and the one least discussed, is (its) role (as) a bomber, (letting it) fly over targets within an hour of launch to release cone-shaped re-entry vehicles that would both protect and guide weapons through the atmosphere.”

It would also be able to “carry 1000 or 2000-pound re-entry vehicles armed with precision munitions like bunker-busting penetrators or small-diameter bombs (including mini-nukes more powerful than the atom bombs destroying Hiroshima or Nagasaki), or simply use the explosive impact of kinetic rods cratering at hypersonic speeds to destroy targets.”

On the other hand, the X37B’s main function may be a test platform, perhaps for developing even more destructive space weapons, part of America’s permanent war strategy, waging future ones from space, using technologies adversaries can’t match.

OPLAN-08 – The Pentagon’s Strategic War Plan

OPLAN 8010-08 is a “family of plans” against six or more potential adversaries, including Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and other “terrorist” states. In 2002, the Bush administration asserted the right to:

“do whatever is necessary to deter the use of (undefined) weapons of mass destruction against the United States, its allies, and its interests. If a weapon of mass destruction is used against the United States or its allies, (or it such use is imminent or threatened), we will not rule out any specific type military response,” including first-strike nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.

Under Obama, the policy remains in force. His May National Security Strategy “reserve(s) he right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend our nation and our interests.” In other words, to wage preemptive wars, using first-strike nuclear weapons “to keep the American people safe (and advance the nation’s) values and ideals,” ones pursuing unchallenged global and space hegemony, ruling it by intimidation and war.

OPLAN 8010-08 – Updating SIOP

Unlike the Cold War’s Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP), OPLAN 8010-08 contains “more flexible options to assure allies, and dissuade, deter, and if necessary, defeat adversaries in a wider range of contingencies.” It includes conventional strike options, but it’s mostly nuclear, custom designed for each potential adversary.

The nuclear options include the Emergency Response Options (ERO), Selective Attack Options (SAO), Basic Attack Options (BAO), and Directed/Adaptive Planning Capability (DPO/APO) options, specific details, of course, highly classified.

Options range from limited ones to massive “shock and awe” strikes against many targets, by manned and drone aircraft, ICBMs, and from attack submarines and surface ships, using hundreds of strategically located warheads.
The Pentagon’s National Target Base includes four categories – military forces, WMD infrastructure, military and national leadership, and war supporting infrastructure – a post Cold War strategy to deter all so-called WMDs, the Bush administration saying America: 
 has made it clear for many years that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force to the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, our people, our forces and our friends and allies. Additionally, the United States will hold any state, terrorist group, or other non-state actor fully accountable for supporting or enabling terrorist efforts to obtain or use weapons of mass destruction, whether by facilitating, financing, or providing expertise or safe haven for such efforts.” 
The policy remains unchanged under Obama, OPLAN 8010-08 for preventive or retaliatory “strategic deterrence” and preemptive “global strike.” STRATCOM describes the former as its “first line of operation….that includes nuclear force operations.” The latter expands national and theater operations globally, the terms Prompt Global Strike and Global Strike used interchangeably, whether with conventional or nuclear weapons, or if prompt or deliberate. 
The Air Force’s nuclear/conventional command is called Global Strike Command, using America’s full attack capabilities to destroy targets, including WMDs preemptively, STRATCOM’s counterproliferation strategy designed to destroy all WMDs “before they can be used….(a) preemptive….counterforce….or offensively reactive” strategy. 
While claiming to “put an end to Cold War thinking (by) reduc(ing) the role and number of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy,” Obama’s National Security Strategy puts old wine in new bottles, rebranding it to appear softer while keeping hardline policies in place, backed by a growing arsenal of globally positioned sophisticated weapons, asserting the right to use them preemptively against perceived threats. 
During the Cold War, MAD (mutually assured destruction) held both sides at bay. Today’s strategy includes “more flexible options (for) a wider range of contingencies (with weapons) to optimize performance,” meaning destroy an adversary’s capabilities preemptively, then target another.
With America on a nuclear hair-trigger, it’s reinvented MAD in new form, threatening potential global nuclear winter, defined as “a long period of darkness and extreme cold that scientists predict would follow a full-scale nuclear war, a layer of dust and smoke in the atmosphere cover(ing) the earth and block(ing) the rays of the sun, (causing) most living organisms (to) perish.”
Anti-nuclear expert Helen Caldicott says “one single failure of nuclear deterrence could end human history (quickly). Once initiated, it would take one hour to trigger a swift, sudden end to life on this planet.” Only nuclear disarmament and abolition of nuclear weapons can stop it. 
In their joint July 1955 Manifesto, Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell put the nuclear threat bluntly: 
“Here, then, is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war? (The) best authorities are unanimous that a war with H-bombs (or today’s arsenal) might possibly put an end to the human race.” For some, it will be instant, but “the majority (will experience) a slow torture of disease and disintegration.” It’s our choice. So far we’ve made it badly. 
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. 


Author’s Bio: I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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