Cashing In!


“Exxon Mobil is seeking permission from the U.S. government for approval to resume drilling around the Black Sea with a Russian partner, state-owned Rosneft, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The oil giant’s request is being reviewed by the Trump administration and is certain to draw extra scrutiny because it involves a company formerly run by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who cultivated close ties with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.”

AP Source: Exxon Seeks OK to Resume Russian Oil Venture, By MARTIN CRUTSINGER and DAVID KOENIG, Associated Press

Border Wall: What Happens to the Animals?

(cc) Rebajae  South side of the United States-Mexico border wall in Progreso Lakes, Texas. March 2016

Many people think of the U.S.-Mexico border being located in an empty, lifeless, desert. Nothing could be further from the truth. The desert is home to many animals that migrate from north to south and back again across the border. Far too many of these creatures are listed as endangered.  For environmental reasons alone, the Twitler’s border wall should be canceled, in toto.

The Texas Tribune published a story a few weeks ago that is a good summary of the important environmental issues that are in play here. “Scientists say Trump’s border wall would devastate wildlife habitat” is well worth your time to read.



Sabotaging Healthcare


“On Wednesday, President Trump announced that he plans to use the powers of his office to jeopardize health-care access for millions of low-income people, while destabilizing America’s insurance markets — because he believes that voters will blame the ensuing chaos on the Democratic Party, leaving Chuck Schumer desperate to negotiate with the White House over Obamacare repeal.” Read the rest of Eric Levitz’ article here.

California Lists Glyphosate as Carcinogen


By USDA Photo by: Charles O’Rear [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup. This chemical is widely used throughout California, particularly in the Central Valley. This is the first time a regulatory body in the United States has listed glyphosate as a carcinogen. The federal Environmental Protection Agency claims: Glyphosate products can be safely used by following label directions.

Monsanto is not pleased with this situation and is fighting (i.e., litigating) California’s decision. For more information see: Cancer Worries Over a Common Weedkiller.

Coal Museum Adds Solar Panels

US Steel Coke Plant, Clairton PA, 1973. Public Domain, National Archives and Records Administration

Grist reports that “A coal museum in Kentucky is switching to solar power. Long live irony!” The museum will save money on electrical costs by installing solar panels on the roof. All excess energy produced will feed into the town’s power grid. In the past election, 85% of the voters in Harlan County, where the museum is located, voted for The Twitler who promised to bring back coal jobs. Yea, right….

Food Desert / Food Mirage

chili pepper

Stephen Tucker Paulson wrote an article in the JAN/FEB 2017 issue of Mother JonesThe Depressing Truth About Hipster Food Towns. It was the first time I saw the term “food mirage” used. A food mirage occurs when gentrification has encouraged the entrance of high-priced food markets into a neighborhood that either had no markets (food deserts) or had small food markets that have been priced out of the market. The mirage is the presence of good, healthy food stores that many local residents cannot afford. It’s an interesting article, starting with Brooklyn and continuing to the food mirages in Portland, Oregon.