HEJE Overview 1-27-18: Environment


Children playing feet away from open pools of raw sewage; drinking water pumped beside cracked pipes of untreated waste; human faeces flushed back into kitchen sinks and bathtubs whenever the rains come; people testing positive for hookworm, an intestinal parasite that thrives on extreme poverty.”

Thinking Haiti, or El Salvador, or some random African country?

Well, you’d be wrong. Today’s quote characterizes a county in Alabama, U.S.A.

Today’s HEJE Overview returns to environmental issues. Of note: Puerto Rico, four months after Hurricane Maria, is privatizing its power system; the richest men in the U.S. want to “save” the Rust Belt, their way; Pueblo, Colorado is contemplating going 100% green, but can a poor city afford environmental awareness?; dicamba update in advance of the 2018 planting season; the U.S.S. Lead Superfund site in East Chicago, IN: environmental justice advocate Catherine Flowers fights for water and sewage justice in rural Alabama, and finally (whew), some good environmental news for Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

There’s a wealth of environmental injustice recounted below the fold. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 1-27-18: Environment”


HEJE Overview 11-18-17: Environment


We are entering a period of consequences and are in danger of being too late… I have come to note that greenhouse gas climate forcings are accelerating, not decelerating, and sea-level rise and ocean acidification are accelerating. We confront a mortal threat, now endangering the very existence of island and low-lying nations in the Pacific and around the planet. Accordingly, ambition must be increased and enforced.”

–former NASA scientist James Hansen

It’s been another bad week for the environment, the mother of us all.

In today’s HEJE Overview-Environment: conclusions from COP23 (three links/excerpts); pipelines (DAPL, Keystone XL, Dominion Energy’s proposed pipeline expansions in Appalachia, drilling in the ANWR), and environmental injustice (two links, including one that provides handy charts and data on the most polluted states/counties/cities in the U.S.). We conclude with “Today in ‘we can’t believe we’re reading this’”: the Interior Department’s proposed lifting of the ban on importation of big game/wild animal “trophies” from Zimbabwe and Zambia, plus the president’s yesterday-evening decision to retain the ban, issued via tweet. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-18-17: Environment”

HEJE Overview 11-13-17: Environment

Destroying the environment, one (de-)regulation at a time


“If we are serious about feeding the planet while fighting climate change, the world needs to urgently invest in a transition to food systems that hinge on small-scale producers, agroecology and local markets. These systems provide for moderate levels of meat and dairy, but they do so in a way that regenerates soils, provides livelihoods to rural and urban communities and makes crops and animals resilient to the vagaries of an unpredictable climate.”

–“Big Meat and Dairy’s Supersized Climate Footprint

Following a link to a must-save timeline of all this administration’s environment-adverse actions, we review: fossil fuel emissions in 2017 (highest ever); the livestock industry as major contributor at every stage of production to climate change (2 articles); the cargo shipping industry (which burns the world’s dirtiest fuel); the Monsanto-dicamba debacle (2 articles), and conclude today’s Environmental Overview by excerpting from an interview with Robert Jay Lifton on how awareness that climate change is real, here, and now gives him hope. Hint: awareness can’t be stopped.

Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-13-17: Environment”

HEJE Overview 11-1-17

Today’s 11-1-17 HEJE Overview: in HEALTHCARE, Bernie Sanders’ visit to Toronto, Canada to inspect the Canadian healthcare system up close, and the state-of-play of the Affordable Care Act as of the end of October; in ENVIRONMENT, Puerto Rico’s contract with Whitefish Energy, Inc. (now cancelled) from several vantage points, and in EDUCATION, more bad Illinois news as charter schools seem to have hired people placed on the CPS “Do Not Hire” list. Also, student stress and anxiety levels have been rising since January 2017. BONUS: A look at two recent long-form pieces on the Secretary of Education. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 11-1-17”

HEJE Overview 10-16-17

DSO: Today we review four long-form pieces, focusing on one per area: Healthcare (Why Medicare for All means freedom); Environment (A just rebuilding in the wake of Harvey, Irma, and Maria); Justice (How Chicago gets a few of its guns); Education (The demise of Midwestern flagship Research I universities).

Selections from Jacobin (Healthcare), The Center for American Progress (Environment), ProPublica Illinois (Justice), and The Atlantic (Education).

Oh, and a bonus piece in “Health” (courtesy Mother Jones) on the opioid epidemic as it plays out on a daily basis in northeastern Ohio.

Enjoy! Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-16-17”

HEJE Overview 10-14-17

Is Anybody Still Listening?

As a citizen, voter, and human being, I am writing this message to anybody who’s still listening to express my grave concern over a great many issues arising in the past few weeks/days/hours.

These include—but are not limited to—the following. Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-14-17”

HEJE Overview 10-11-17: Environment

Puerto Rico Three Weeks On: A Compendium

Weeks after a Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico, it was reported that 95 percent of residents on the island were without power, 35 percent of grocery stores were closed, 50 percent of roads needed to be cleared of debris, 86 percent of cellphone towers were not functioning, and 25 percent of shipping ports were closed.”

From Harper’s Weekly Review, by Joe Klein

The president has not yet responded to Mayor Cruz’ most recent assessment of Puerto Rico and the response from the U.S. government. The White House press pool said he was golfing at another of his properties on Saturday.” (October 8)

We stand by everything we proposed in our September 29 post, “A Progressive Shock-Doctrine for Puerto Rico“. Every. single.word.


Continue reading “HEJE Overview 10-11-17: Environment”