Archives for category: Videos

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New research is showing that carbon dioxide is not only causing global warming, but it’s also causing sea water to become more acidic. As this ScienCentral News video explains, the implications of this on underwater life is becoming a hot topic for everyone from scientists, to IMAX filmmakers.

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From Earth Justice:

Each year, nearly one billion pounds of pesticides are sprayed into fields and orchards around the country. As the families who live nearby can tell you, those pesticides don’t always stay in the fields and orchards.

Erin Clayton at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health wasrecently interviewed about her leading-edge research on the effect of BPA and other chemicals on people’s immune systems.

You can link to the podcast here.

Professor Brenda Eskenazi discusses the “Environmental Chemical Influences on Neurobehavioral Development of Children: The CHAMACOS Study.”

John Wargo is a Professor of Risk Analysis, Environmental Policy, and Political Science, and Chair of the Yale College Environmental Studies Major and Program. He has been a professor at Yale since 1985 and has lectured extensively on the limits and potential of environmental law, with a focus on human health.

His latest book, Green Intelligence Creating Environments that Protect Human Health, winner of several prestigious awards, compares the history of five environmental threats to children’s health over the twentieth century: nuclear weapons testing, pesticides, hazardous sites, vehicle particulate emissions, and hormonally active ingredients in plastics.  Below is a video of  the introductory portion of a public-radio interview he gave about the book.

From wnycradio:

Yale University professor John Wargo discusses the impact of chemical exposures on women and children, and how, although people are growing more environmentally aware, there are still more than 80,000 synthetic compounds whose effects on human health havent been sufficiently studied. In his book, Green Intelligence: Creating Environments that Protect Human Health, he explains our misunderstanding of everyday chemical hazards and offers a plan for improving our awareness.

Listen to the entire interview here.

Click here to listen to John Wargo interviewed on NPR’s Living on Earth.

The Story of Cosmetics, released on July 21st, 2010, examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo. Produced with Free Range Studios and hosted by Annie Leonard, the seven-minute film by The Story of Stuff Project reveals the implications for consumer and worker health and the environment, and outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives. The film concludes with a call for viewers to support legislation aimed at ensuring the safety of cosmetics and personal care products.

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Center for Public Integrity: Big polluters freed from environmental oversight by stimulus.

In the name of job creation and clean energy, the Obama administration has doled out billions of dollars in stimulus money to some of the nation’s biggest polluters and granted them sweeping exemptions from the most basic form of environmental oversight, a Center for Public Integrity investigation has found.

The administration has awarded more than 179,000 “categorical exclusions” to stimulus projects funded by federal agencies, freeing those projects from review under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. Coal-burning utilities like Westar Energy and Duke Energy, chemical manufacturer DuPont, and ethanol maker Didion Milling are among the firms with histories of serious environmental violations that have won blanket NEPA exemptions.

Even a project at BP’s maligned refinery in Texas City, Tex. — owner of the oil industry’s worst safety record and site of a deadly 2005 explosion, as well as a benzene leak earlier this year — secured a waiver for the preliminary phase of a carbon capture and sequestration experiment involving two companies with past compliance problems. The primary firm has since dropped out of the project before it could advance to the second phase.

Agency officials who granted the exemptions told the Center that they do not have time in most cases to review the environmental compliance records of stimulus recipients, and do not believe past violations should affect polluters’ chances of winning stimulus money or the NEPA exclusions.

The so-called “stimulus” funding came from the $787-billion legislation officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in February 2009.

Documents obtained by the Center show the administration has devised a speedy review process that relies on voluntary disclosures by companies to determine whether stimulus projects pose environmental harm. Corporate polluters often omitted mention of health, safety, and environmental violations from their applications. In fact, administration officials told the Center they chose to ignore companies’ environmental compliance records in making grant decisions and issuing NEPAexemptions, saying they considered such information irrelevant.

Some polluters reported their stimulus projects might cause “unknown environmental risks” or could “adversely affect” sensitive resources, the documents show. Others acknowledged they would produce hazardous air pollutants or toxic metals. Still others won stimulus money just weeks after settling major pollution cases. Yet nearly all got exemptions from full environmental analyses, the documents show.

More . . .

Dr. Robert Lustig (Sugar: The Bitter Truth) speaks at Yale’s Peabody Museum on the policy and politics of the “Sugar Pandemic.” Hosted by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.

From Rollbackcampaign:

Camden has the second highest cancer rate in New Jersey, and the eighth highest in the nation thanks to over 100 toxic waste sites. When the St. Lawrence Cement Company tried to build yet another polluting factory in Camden, citizens banded together and convinced a district court to halt construction. Then the Supreme Court ruled in Alexander v Sandoval that citizens could not sue based on discriminatory effect. In order to block the construction of yet another polluter, citizens would need to show that there was intentional discrimination.

This clip is part of a video made by award-winning documentarian Stanley Nelson, which exposes the negative consequences of a federal judiciary that is increasingly opposed to civil rights protections. Mr. Nelson puts a human face on what has come to be known as the “rollback” of civil rights.

From Expose:

Bis-Phenol A is an additive in clear, hard plastics. It is used in water bottles, baby bottles, soda can liners, etc. and is known to leach into the foods and liquids which are stored in it. It is in recycling category 7 (on the bottom of the bottle, in the triangle). Independent academic studies suggest it presents a variety of risks to humans. The government, relying on industry studies, claims the facts are unclear.

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Visit the PBS archives to see the complete show and more of Bill Moyers.
http://www.pbs.org/moyers

From :

The Hertog Global Strategy Initiative, The Department of History, The Center for the History & Ethics of Public Health at the Mailman School of Public Health, and the Columbia University Global Strategy Seminar present: Laurie Garrett on “The Future of Global Health”

From Harvard Gazette:

he legacy of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 goes beyond the resultant war on terror and continued fighting in Afghanistan to include lies about public health threats at the time, ongoing health problems today, and a public health system that may be less secure in the present and future, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author said Thursday.

In a talk at the Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) Kresge Building, Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, outlined a litany of ongoing public health troubles and missed opportunities, beginning with 9/11 and extending through anthrax attacks and outbreaks of SARS, bird flu, and swine flu.

“A lot of the most important public health aspects of 9/11 were completely buried and overlooked, and continue to be even today,” Garrett said.

Garrett touched on ongoing health problems stemming from the attacks themselves, including elevated rates of cancer and depression among responders; a U.S. public health system still vulnerable to major pandemics, such as from bird flu; and the proliferation of facilities containing dangerous microbes, a situation she compared to the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Garrett’s talk drew on material from her 2011 book, “I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks.” She is the author of two other books and won her Pulitzer while a reporter at Newsday for coverage of the 1995 Ebola outbreak in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Garrett, who was introduced by HSPH Dean Julio Frenk and who was a fellow at the School’s Center for Health Communication from 1992 to 1993, was the first speaker in this year’s Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

Garrett, who was in New York on 9/11, said that what was overlooked in the focus on the immediate lives lost were the effects of the “horrible black plume” that emanated from the pile of World Trade Center rubble for months.

‘We now know that even as we were told by [EPA Administrator] Christie Todd Whitman … that there was nothing dangerous in the air whatsoever and no cause for concern, that we were lied to,” Garrett said.

The public health threat to New Yorkers living downwind of the site has been given little attention, Garrett said, and inquiries about possible health effects from surrounding residents can seem almost unpatriotic compared with the sacrifices of responders who lost their lives. Still, Garrett said, the plume is known to have been highly alkali and to have contained harmful chemicals, including asbestos, chlorine, and other halogens from the computer equipment in the towers.

Firefighters who worked at ground zero have been found to have a 19 percent increase in all cancers, while construction workers laboring on what was known as “The Pile” had increased respiratory ailments. Psychological problems were also seen, including a huge increase in post-traumatic stress disorder and depression among police responders, stress-related problems such as bed-wetting and depression among children who witnessed the attacks, and an increase in spontaneous abortions among pregnant women who viewed the attacks on television.

Garrett compared the U.S. response to the attacks with the response of Great Britain, which was targeted by al-Qaida attacks in 2005. After those attacks, the British ran a series of advertisements on television warning the population that loved ones might be suffering psychological trauma from the attacks and that free care was available. Lasting effects from the attacks there appear to be minimal, she said, emphasizing that post-traumatic stress disorder is treatable if help is provided.

The U.S. anthrax attacks that followed 9/11 brought the potential of bioterror and the need for biosecurity to the forefront, Garrett said. They also highlighted the inadequacy of microbial forensics, the techniques that allow tracking of specific microbes. She disputed the FBI’s conclusion that scientist Bruce Ivins was responsible for those attacks and said that evidence that might link them to al-Qaida was not fully pursued.

The United States spent billions of dollars on biodefense in response to the attacks, including constructing more biosafety level-4 labs, which handle the most dangerous microbes. This parallels an increase in those types of facilities internationally. The result, Garrett said, has been a proliferation globally of the most dangerous microbes, deadly and easily transmittable to humans. The situation, she said, is akin to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, particularly because there is no single agency in charge of security at these facilities, even in this country.

In addition, Garrett said, recent budget cuts have reduced the resources available to the state and federal agencies responsible for identifying and fighting such microbes, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The world is taking a Band-Aid approach to the threat, she said, providing resources when there’s an outbreak of a potentially deadly ailment, and then cutting back when the scare subsides.

The result, she said, is a health system that really isn’t ready for major new threats, such as that posed by H5N1 bird flu, which grabbed global headlines in the mid-2000s and then receded. Although bird flu isn’t in the headlines anymore, the threat remains, Garrett said. The virus, which killed 60 percent of the humans infected, has evolved to infect more kinds of birds, allowing it to spread to the bird populations of 67 countries, though none yet in the Western Hemisphere.

“It’s evolving and evolving fast,” Garrett said.

Although billions of dollars have been spent since 9/11, and some technological solutions are still being sought — such as a universal flu vaccine — the first line of bird flu defense for wealthy countries remains quarantining regions where the flu breaks out and killing poultry in poor countries, further impoverishing their populations.

“We have asked the poor countries of the world … to slaughter chickens over and over and over again,” Garrett said. “It’s not the rich world bearing the brunt of protecting itself; it’s the poor world protecting the rich world.”

From TEDxTC:

A skyrocketing demand for food means that agriculture has become the largest driver of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental destruction. At TEDxTC Jonathan Foley shows why we desperately need to begin “terraculture” — farming for the whole planet.

Jonathan Foley studies complex environmental systems and their affects on society. His computer models have shown the deep impact agriculture is having on our planet.

From :

A new study comparing past and present ocean temperatures reveals the global ocean has been warming for more than a century. Join Dean Roemmich, Scripps physical oceanographer and study co-author, as he describes how warm our oceans are getting, where all that heat is going, and how this knowledge will help scientists better understand the earth’s climate. Learn how scientists measured ocean temperature during the historic voyage of the HMS Challenger (1872-76) and how today’s network of ocean-probing robots is changing the way scientists study the seas.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta compares how the U.S. and the European Union regulate chemicals.

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