Green-News: Friday 8.01.08
- Apparently the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t feel it’s important to track the use of pesticides and fertilizers on American farms anymore. ENN reports:
The move has left scientists, industry groups, and public advocates surprised and confused about how to carry on their work without this free information. The canceled program was the only one to make freely available to the public nationwide data on the amount of pesticides and fertilizers applied to U.S. farms. In May, USDA announced that it had published the last of its Agricultural Chemical Usage reports, which are based on detailed surveys of farmers’ chemical use, collected since 1990 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). In an unusual alliance, industry and environmental groups are lobbying USDA and Congress to restore the program, which costs $8 million out of an annual NASS budget of $160 million.
The program had many users and supporters in academia, industry, environmental and community groups, and government agencies. “The industry and the people who do dietary risk assessments in companies could not be more upset by this,” says Leonard Gianessi, director of the Crop Protection Research Institute at the CropLife Foundation, a nonprofit research center funded largely by CropLife America and other industry groups.
- The United Nations is combating global warming by turning up the thermostat at their New York City headquarters. Josh Loposer of GreenDaily explains:
Starting Friday, the building's AC will be set at 77°F instead of its usual 72°F on workdays and the switched off on the weekends. To mitigate the expected heat -- not that 77°F is exactly sweltering -- members are encouraged to wear their national dress, suit jackets optional.
The pilot program is called Cool U.N. and it probably won't be very popular since the building is notoriously drafty and uncomfortable. Despite the fact that it was designed by a coalition of the world's top architects, the building is apparently an energy sinkhole. That's why the UN's environmental gurus have come up with the initiative -- it's also why the building is set to be renovated next year.
- The Environmental Protection Agency is warning staff not to talk to its own internal watchdog. Via ENN:
Over the past seven years, the Environmental Protection Agency has redefined its mission from fighting pollution to serving as a guardian angel for big business, energy companies and land developers. On every front, from undercutting state efforts to ignoring greenhouse gas emissions to opening public lands for exploitation, the agency charged with protecting the environment has sided against environmental protection.
Not surprisingly, the agency's political appointees would like to keep the many dedicated civil service employees from sharing that bad news with the press, Congress and the agency's internal investigators. An e-mail sent to managers of the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance by division chief of staff Robbi Farrell admonishes them to forward all inquiries from the EPA inspector general, the congressional Government Accountability Office or journalists to a designated senior staffer. According to the e-mail, "Please do not respond to questions or make any statements."
Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Dr. Fuhrman's Executive Offices
4 Walter E. Foran Blvd.Flemington, NJ 08822