This is a major victory for the Environmental Protection Agency, environmentalists, President Obama, and all people who enjoy breathing clean air. According to grist.org, “Finally controlling mercury and toxics will be an advance on par with getting lead out of gasoline.” Considering this political climate and the amount of heavy opposition the EPA has been getting this is quite a feat and great news during the holiday season. Continue reading
Photo Credit: Smog over Skyline from São Paulo city in Brazil by Gaf.arq
Ever so quietly this Labor Day Weekend President Obama announced he is directing the EPA to withdraw smog standards that would have cut smog pollution from power plants, refineries and even cars. The smog limits would have prevented 2,200 heart attacks and 23,000 asthma attacks annually. A little more smog might not seem like such a big deal but air pollution was recently found to be worse for you than cocaine. Considering the alarming asthma rates in African-American communities (every 1 in 6 has asthma) President Obama is putting his black supporters and environmentalists in a tough position when it comes to re-election. Continue reading
“The asthma forced me to really go against the issue and push the envelope in terms of breath control and doing runs that I wouldn’t probably try if I didn’t have asthma. If I didn’t have asthma, I’d probably rhyme like the Hip Hop rock-the-spot [style]. But the fact that that shit is an element that I was fighting against, I was like, ‘Fuck that, let me make that battle, lyrically [speaking].’” -Pharoahe Monch
Since recently releasing his latest album W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), Queens rapper Pharoahe Monch spoke about his battles with asthma recently, making the gas mask on his album cover somewhat ironic. Other rappers suffer or have suffered without the condition like Tyler, the Creator and the Notorious B.I.G.. So what exactly is asthma? Continue reading
A settlement of up to $657.5 million has been reached for the workers who helped in the rescue and cleanup after September 11th. That’s a lot of cheddar but you can’t buy good health. The workers eventually sued the city over the numerous health problems, “most commonly asthma and other respiratory illnesses”, they claimed they got working in the heart of the World Trade Center debris.
10,000 plaintiffs will be compensated according to how severe their illnesses got and their level of exposure to the contaminants at the World Trade Center site.
What about all the other people who were exposed that Continue reading
Below are the words of New Orleans native Lisa Jackson, the first African-American Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sometimes I think we spend a lot of time being concerned with what President Obama does, but he has a cabinet and a staff.
Obama is not the only name we should know. These other people have names and we can’t even think of holding them accountable as well if we don’t know their names.
One of my African American colleagues told me about how, every year as winter was coming, his grandmother would get up on a chair and put up plastic sheeting over the windows.
She didn’t say she was ‘greening her home.’ She didn’t say she was ‘weatherizing the house.’ She didn’t call herself an ‘environmentalist.’
From her perspective, she was just keeping out the cold and saving money on the oil bill. But the issues that we label ‘environmentalism’ were an important part of her life.
The first step is to communicate ‘clearly’ the many ways people’s stake in the environment is greater than they may realize. In the newspaper a couple of weeks ago there was a story about an environmental curriculum being taught in inner city schools.
One of the teachers quoted in the article got right to the heart of the matter when she said, ‘You can’t have a kid in a violent neighborhood and say, ‘Let’s talk about the polar bear.’” Continue reading
Why is it called “the swine flu”?
“Novel H1N1 (referred to as “swine flu” ) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. This virus is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spread. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of novel H1N1 flu was underway.” ~answers.flu.gov
Who is swine flu affecting?
“The illness, unlike other flu strains, has been particularly tough on children and young adults and appears to have a disproportionately high fatality rate in pregnant women.” ~nytimes.com
What about the vaccine?
The H1N1 vaccine is controversial. Some consider it more dangerous than the flu itself. “The federal vaccination program for H1N1 flu is VOLUNTARY, just like the seasonal flu vaccination Continue reading