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ENN ENN Commentary



The Double Standard on Trading Contaminated Chinese and U.S. Consumer Products
The dangers of cheap Chinese exports of contaminated consumer products has received extensive media coverage, besides the formation of a Cabinet-level Product Safety Panel. These exports include personal care products, such as toothpaste contaminated with the anti-freeze diethylene glycol, honey contaminated with dangerous antibiotics, and food contaminated with banned drugs, pesticides and carcinogens.

Water Tables Falling and Rivers Running Dry
As the world's demand for water has tripled over the last half-century and as the demand for hydroelectric power has grown even faster, dams and diversions of river water have drained many rivers dry. As water tables fall, the springs that feed rivers go dry, reducing river flows.

Conserving and Rebuilding Soils
In reviewing the literature on soil erosion, references to the "loss of protective vegetation" occur again and again. Over the last half-century, we have removed so much of that protective cover by clearcutting, overgrazing, and overplowing that we are fast losing soil accumulated over long stretches of geological time.

Waiter, There's a Shark Fin in My Soup!
Hunted for food, medicine and souvenirs, sharks are in serious decline. Love them or loathe them, as top predators, sharks play an important role in the marine ecosystem -- their decline is symbolic of all that's gone wrong in the oceans as a result of mismanagement and greed.

Worldwide Shift to Compact Fluorescents Could Close 270 Coal-Fired Power Plants: A Guest Commentary
Switching light bulbs is an easy way of realizing large immediate gains in energy efficiency. A study for the U.S. government calculated that the gasoline equivalent of the energy saved over the lifetime of one 24 watt compact fluorescent bulb is sufficient to drive a Prius from New York to San Francisco.

Yellowstone's Future: The Trend Toward Holistic River Restoration
The Corps of Engineers held a meeting recently in Livingston, Mont. to solicit public comment on a special area management plan for the Upper Yellowstone River. An important item the Corps may consider for the Yellowstone is changing its guidelines on the use of hard armor riprap to stabilize banks and prevent flooding.

Are Personal Care Products in Need of a Makeover?
In our looks-fixated, aging-averse society, we hold our personal care products in great esteem. However, now the emphasis on skin vigor is becoming tempered with worry over endocrine health as ingredients in these products are shown to be hormonally active.

One Word: Solar
In a world where the gravest threats to the future are no longer characterized as merely an ethos, but as a planetary physical transformation, global climate change now trumps the comparatively mild worries faced by the baby boomers of the sixties.

Montana Legislation Threatens Fish and Wildlife Resources of the Last Best Place
In Montana today legislation threatens the state’s fish and wildlife resources by attempting to eliminate practical and legal access to groundwater for the beneficial use of fish and wildlife habitat.

World May Be Facing Highest Grain Prices in History
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects that distilleries will require only 60 million tons of corn from the 2008 harvest. But here at the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), we estimate that distilleries will need 139 million tons—more than twice as much.