Monthly Archives: March 2008

A Greener World for All of Us

In today’s world every time you think green you can make small changes that add up to a big improvement in your life and the life of our planet. Here are a few tips that may save you money as well as being better for the environment.

  • Don’t use plastic or waxed paper bags. They aren’t good for you or the environment. They both use petrochemicals, they aren’t easily recyclable, and they aren’t economical. Use reusable containers and stop filling our waste dumps unnecessarily.
  • Stop using chlorine bleach. This stuff is nasty and releases carcinogenic dioxins into the atmosphere eventually getting into our food and water then into us. Use chlorine free products like Bi-O-Kleen Oxygen Bleach Plus, Ecover Non-Chlorine Laundry Bleach, OxiClean, Oxy-Boost, or Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Bleach.
  • Don’t use air fresheners. They contain harmful phthalates and they do nothing more than cover up bad smells.
  • Drop fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Use baking soda in the rinse cycle instead and it soften fabrics and eliminate static cling.
  • Don’t use paper napkins, switch to cloth only.
  • Lower your thermostat in cold weather to 62 degrees when you aren’t at home and/or at night (at least to 65 at night).
  • Stop wasting food. The average family throws away 14% of their food. Yikes.
  • Think about what you can do driving wise to save 1 gallon of gas a week. At $3.25 per gallon that adds up to $169 a year. Not bad when you think about it.
    • Accelerate slower
    • Drive at 65 mph max. Some say 55 other 60, but the speed limit set at 65 is smart. For every 5 mph over 60, you lose 5-10% gas efficiency.
    • Plan your trips so you travel shorter distances and don’t track back and forth.
    • Make sure you aren’t carrying extra unnecessary weight in your vehicle. Every 100 pounds of unneeded weight cuts you fuel efficiency by 1-2%.
  • Go one day a week minimum without eating meat. It takes a lot of energy to produce meat. Also, you’ll save money in the mean time.

Another National Shame – Politics Over Science

In yet another sad loss to science, the Bush Administration has superceeded science in the name of politics. Since 2001 this politically motivated administration have made it almost impossible to denote an animal species as being endangered which has already led to the extinction of a number of creatures that are part of our world. This despite the protestations of numerous scientists within the Department of the Interior.

Furthermore, the present “Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has not declared a single native species as threatened or endangered since he was appointed nearly two years ago.” George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton averaged adding around 60 species per year but these people see fit to blame everyone else but not themselves for this global shame.

We have the moral obligation to preserve life but I guess when you have such a low respect for science which this administration has, nothing is off limits and their is no shame. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is not conservatism versus liberalism. This is about the total lack of respect for our people, our land, and the creatures who inhabit our country. It is a true national tragedy. You can read the full story here at

The U.S. is Not the Leader in the Fight Against Toxicity

In a remarkable book written by Mark Schapiro Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power, he details how the European Union (EU) has supplanted the United States as the leader in the fight against environmental toxicity. On June 1, 2007, the parliament of the EU voted for a new law called REACH Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals.

One part of this law forces companies to prove the safety of chemicals before they come to market. More importantly, it forces previously grandfathered chemicals to be tested for safety which was vehemently opposed by not just the American Chemical Society but by our own government. It scared them so much that they sent in C. Boyden Gray, the heir to the RJ Reynolds tobacco fortune to lobby against it. This is the same Republican operative who worked to eviscerate the EPA under Reagan by applying cost-benefit analysis over risk-based decision making. In other words, make money first, care about peoples health second. According to the magazine the New Republic, “So many different money trails lead to, by and through Gray it is bewildering.”

In retrospect, I’m glad my government in their ultimate arrogance decided to lobby as hard as they did because in the end, this we’re better than you attitude is what pushed the EU parliament to pass the bill. According to one European diplomat quoted in Mr. Schapiro’s book “If their only message is why we should not do anything more than they’re doing in the United States, then why should we listen? The more the United States give the impression of mounting an attack against REACH, the less we listen….. We are not going to ask the United States for permission. If we were to listen to the United States, how would we explain to European citizens where the two hundred chemicals in their bodies came from? What are we doing to them? This is the same not just for Europeans, but for Americans and every country in the world.”

The Bush Administrations steadfast belief that it is more important to make a dollar today for their big buddies than protecting the citizens of the United States is causing us to lose the leadership role we had for decades. He has lost us the respect from the world, not just because of the ill-conceived war, but because the world sees us as only caring for profits, not for people under the guise of jobs. How many jobs could we create by leading the world in the research of safer products? Millions of them. Sad to say, we won’t see a change soon unless there is a change in the White House come this November. We need it to save our children and the billions of children unborn coming to this world in the next hundred years.

Truth about the Tax “Rebates”

Before you become jubilant because you are about to get what the President and Congress claim is a rebate understand that it is nothing of the sort. What the money is really is an advance from the 2008 tax year (the return you file in 2009). Bottom line is that they are giving you your own money back! What a sham.

It is a smoke screen, a scam, a big fat lie. Give us $600 now and take it back next year. Imagine all the hardships that will occur next year when people who are expecting a refund on their taxes won’t get it. It is a shell game economically that will not help our country but hurt it in the long run. But then again, politicians don’t care about our future, they care about the election this year. Shame on Washington D.C. for scamming the American public yet again and shame on the media for not making this issue clearer.

Buying Bottled Water in a Restaurant – Snobbery or Just Bad Idea?

The United Kingdom’s Consumer Council for Water, launched a campaign to try to get restaurants to stop pushing bottled water to customers. The main reason is the transport of said water accounts for 32 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year in the UK alone (probably ten times that amount in the United States). Yve Buckland, the council’s chair was quoted as saying “It’s not good enough for diners to be treated as cheapskates just because they asked for tap water.”

For some diners, it’s snobbery that makes people buy bottled water at their local eatery, for others, it is a straight forward lack of knowledge that makes them think that bottled water is somehow superior. Additionally, in my many lectures, people don’t really think about all that goes into getting that bottle of water to the store and your hands. Go to this post of mine to see how utterly ridiculous Fiji Water is when it comes to its carbon wasting footprint.

The next time you go out to eat, make the conscious chioce to not buy bottled water. If your friends ask why, tell them it’s because you care about your world.

NFL Draft Part III – Picks 21-32

My last picks.

21 – Washington Redskins – Chris Williams OT Vanderbilt – He could go much higher but the Redskins would be happy with him here thank you.

22 – Dallas Cowboys – Jonathan Stewart RB Oregon – If they don’t trade up with the Pats for McFadden, they pick the next best thing here.

23 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Gosder Cherlius OT Boston College – They solidify their line with this pick.

24 – Tennessee Titans – Limas Sweed WR Texas – Another weapon for Vince Young.

25 – Seattle Seahawks – Kentwan Balmer DT North Carolina – They want to make a run at the Super Bowl again and this helps improve their defense.

26 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Early Doucet WR LSU – They would be thrilled if he lands here at #26.

27 – San Diego Charges – Dan Conner OLB Penn State – Everyone they want is off the board but they can solidify an already marvelous linebacking crew with this guy.

28 – Dallas Cowboys – Felix Jones RB Arkansas – Again if they don’t trade up, they take the other Arkansas running back.

29 – San Francisco 49ers – James Hardy WR Indiana – I feel that someone will jump up here and trade for Brian Brohm but if not, hardy is the obvious choice.

30 – Green Bay Packers – Dustin Keller TE Purdue – Brett Farve does not retire after seeing this pick.

31 – New England Patriots – Forfeited pick.

32 – New York Giants – Keith Rivers OLB USC – This is what they need and they are overjoyed to get Rivers at #32.

Preventive Health Care – What is it really?

Preventive health care has gotten a lot of wind from the people running for President of the United States. Hillary Clinton says, “focus on prevention: wellness not sickness.” Mike Huckabee said that focusing on prevention “would save countless live, pain and suffereing by victims of chronic conditions, and billions of dollars.” Obama added that “too little is spent on prevention and public health.” But what is preventive health care.

According to the pharmaceutical industry, it would be statin drugs to prevent heart disease, except, it really doesn’t do that but they won’t admit to that. Screening tests, like blood and urine are deemed too costly because they are used willy nilly and expenisve procedures like MRIs and PET scans are way overused. In a recent (February 14th) issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the Prospective omitted one type of prevention, nutrition.

Making our food supply real again would cut back on disease and would improve the quality of life more than anything out there. Eating real foods, not processed junk, would stem the tide of obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease and cancer yet they talk about everything else instead of the cause of high medical costs. Stop subsidizing big agriculture and helping them make things that have no business being called food is one way. Another, is to help educate Americans about what real food is.

Unfortunately, the government is not where this is going to happen. It will only happen when each and everyone of us makes a conscious choice at the supermarket to buy real food and avoid junk. The dollar speaks mightier than the legislative pen. Buy organic, buy local, buy real.

NFL Draft Part II – Picks 11-20

Here is my second in the three part series.

11 – Buffalo Bills – Malcolm Kelly WR Oklahoma – The Bills need offensive weapons and this kid looks like the real deal.

12 – Denver Broncos – Ryan Clady OT Boise State – One of the better tackles in the draft, this is a definite need position for the Broncos.

13 – Carolina Panthers – Calais Campbell DE Miami – Could go for Philip Merling another DE but I’m betting on Campbell

14 – Chicago Bears – Sam Baker OT USC – They need help on the line and I just can’t see them taking QB Brian Brohm this high.

15 – Detroit Lions – Aqib Talib CB Kansas – Holy cow, they don’t pick a WR in the first round. They need help in the secondary and if Talib is available, they go for him.

16 – Arizona Cardinals – Philip Merling DE Clemson – They may like either RBs left Mendenhall or Jonathan Stewart but they really need help on the defensive side more.

17 – Minnesota Vikings – Mario Manningham WR Michigan – Amazing how they still need a WR despite picking so many in previous drafts but they do.

18 – Houston Texans – Rashard Mendenhall RB Illinois – They have a tough choice between him and Stewart but I believe this guy has better upside potential.

19 – Philadelphia Eagles – DeSean Jackson WR California – This will greatly help their offense which hasn’t had a top-notch WR for a while.

20 – Tampa Bay Bucs – Jeff Otah OT Pittsburgh – So many of the players they want are gone but this guy is no slouch.