County Shorts Pension Fund

{ Submitted by admin on Fri, 2008-11-21 10:57 }

In a clumsy move receiving little attention in the media, Cook County Government managed to wriggle out of paying its pension fund obligations this year.

The move may lead to a cascade of financial difficulties for the Cook County Pension Fund which will soon be forced to sell off reserves at enormous losses. No one is sure what happens if the County Commissioners allow the plan to fail.

Feds in Push for More Nuclear Power Plants

{ Submitted by wesler1 on Thu, 2008-11-20 14:11 }

Most people are under the impression that the issue of nuclear power plants is dead. The Bush administration doesn't agree, and they apparently have reason to believe that the incoming Obama administration sees things the same way. The way is being cleared for plutonium breeder reactors, and the public is blissfully unaware.

On Thursday, December 4, a meeting will be held and the organizers have tacitly agreed that it would be better for all concerned if the public stays on the sidelines. They've gone ahead and made all the necessary preparations.

Will Obama Backwater on Pledge to Remove Mercury?

{ Submitted by Kathy Cummings on Thu, 2008-11-20 00:28 }

In 2006 then Senator Barack Obama pledged to "support the removal of thimerosal (49.6% ethyl mercury) from all vaccines." Now the Illinois Vaccine Awareness Coalition (IVAC) is concerned about a name being mentioned with increasing frequency as someone President-Elect Obama is likely to appoint to a position of influence. The name they are concerned about is that of Dr. Eric Whitaker, former director, Illinois Department of Public Health.

New NRC Standard: One Cancer per 125 Exposures

{ Submitted by admin on Wed, 2008-11-19 22:58 }

The State of Nevada has filed suite to block a proposed new rule raising the acceptable levels of radiation hazard from the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility.

An Economic Blind Spot: Herman Daly

{ Submitted by wesler1 on Wed, 2008-11-19 18:49 }

Herman Daley is warning that mainstream economics has a fatal blind spot. Writing in New Scientist, Daley argues that failure of classical economics to recognize that there are limits set by the environment is leading the world to disaster. Special report: Economics blind spot is a disaster for the planet.

Natural Gas Drilling Method Polluting Water Supplies

{ Submitted by admin on Wed, 2008-11-19 00:55 }

Scientific American has an article about the effects of hydraulic fracturing, a method used to make underground rock permeable so that deposits of natural gas can be extracted. Toxic chemicals used in the fracturing process have been entering the water supply. The problem is blamed on weak regulatory oversight.

Loop Rally Against Bailout Planned for Noon Friday

{ Submitted by wesler1 on Wed, 2008-11-19 00:07 }

Chicago Jobs With Justice is planning a lunch hour rally to demand a "Bailout for Main Street." The event will take place at the Federal Plaza (Dearborn&Jackson) from 12:00 to 1:30pm on Friday, November 21.

They are asking as many people as possible to show up, especially those who work in the Loop. They need help in getting publicity for the rally. A copy of the flyer can be down loaded at:
(in doc format).

Dead Zones Expanding: CO2 Emissions Blamed

{ Submitted by wesler1 on Tue, 2008-11-18 13:40 }

Marine dead zones have been expanding and the rate of expansion is set to take off, writes Quirin Schiermeier in the latest Nature.

Rising carbon dioxide emissions are blamed.

The report appears in the latest Nature. Oxygen levels have been dropping and this will have devastating effects on oceanic life according to research published in Science.

Obama Set to Move Against US Tech Workers

{ Submitted by admin on Mon, 2008-11-17 22:35 }

President-elect Obama is said to be set to greatly expand the H1b Program, a goal he shared with rivals McCain and Clinton. The H1b visa program permits employers to advertise high skilled US jobs to lower paid foreign workers. US workers are not permited to apply.

National Greens Asking Input on Water Crises

{ Submitted by wesler1 on Mon, 2008-11-17 16:06 }

The National Green Party's Eco-Action Committee is asking for input on the nation's developing water crises. The full text of the proposed resolution is below the fold. . . .

Mexico May Halt Oil Exports to US

{ Submitted by wesler1 on Sun, 2008-11-16 13:40 }

Mexico, a key oil supplier to Gulf area refineries, will soon be forced to halt oil exports to the US, according to the former head of mexico's Electricity Commission. Rogelio Gasca Neri blamed rising internal demand. The IEA predicts falling Mexican oil production.

Chicago: City Employees Receiving Pink Slips

{ Submitted by admin on Sat, 2008-11-15 19:49 }

Chicago, Friday, November 13, In a development not previously reported by local media, City employees were telling union stewards that they had received pink slips. Among those said to be heavily affected were employees at Department of Streets and Sanitation and the City's Departments of Public Health and Mental Health. Some AFSCME activists were saying that they had heard that the layoffs would be coupled to moves to sell off or privatize City functions.

EPA Ruling Reversed: Must Control CO2

{ Submitted by admin on Thu, 2008-11-13 22:27 }

The Environmental Apeals Board today ruled that the EPA must reverse its refusal to control CO2 emissions from coal and gas fired power plants. The ruling represents a major victory for environmental groups. If fossil fuel power plants are forbidden to emit CO2, utilities will be forced to switch to renewables.

Amphibians Disappearing: Agricultural Chemicals Implicated

{ Submitted by admin on Thu, 2008-11-13 15:02 }

The world's remaining frogs, toads, and salamanders are disappearing. New research implicates two commonly used agricultural chemicals, the herbicide atrazine and phosphate fertilizers. The research appears in Nature, Volume 455, 1235-1239 (30 October 2008) behind a paywall.

To read the editors' summary: Disappearing Amphibians: Agrochemicals Implicated (free).

NASA Carbon-Sniffing Sleuth Arrives

{ Submitted by admin on Thu, 2008-11-13 00:04 }

NASA announced today that their first spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide (CO2) has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Carbon dioxide is the most important green house gas. The new satellite adds important capabilities, which include the ability to track CO2 from its sources, and to identify CO2 sinks (regions such as forests which can absorb CO2).

Click here more information about the Orbiting Carbon Observatory

Kucinich Campaign Adviser on Global Class Warfare

{ Submitted by admin on Wed, 2008-11-12 19:56 }

Europe and Asia's class war chickens are coming home to roost, says Michael Hudson in an article published in Counterpunch, October 27. 2008. The financial turmoil they are now experiencing is a direct consequence of "class war policies" he says.

"The internal contradiction in this industrial and financial class warfare is now clear: To the extent that it succeeds in depressing labor’s income, it stifles the domestic consumer-goods market."

Solar: Photovoltaic Defies Predictions

{ Submitted by admin on Tue, 2008-11-11 17:59 }

In SolarServer (November 8, 2008) Paula Mint analyzes the surprisingly strong growth of photovoltaic generating capacity. The industry is growing at an annual rate of 34%. Full text (pdf) is available at Solar Magazine.

Classical Economics Flawed

{ Submitted by admin on Tue, 2008-11-11 17:19 }

An essay which appeared in Nature (Vol 455 October 2008) challenges the economic assumptions used by mainstream economists. Physicist Jean-Philippe Bouchaud says that classical economics is build on untested assumptions about markets and the "rationality of economic agents."

The essay can be read (behind a paywall) at

Jeff Rubin: Oil Shock Driving Recession

{ Submitted by admin on Fri, 2008-11-07 23:54 }

Oil Shortages are driving the current economic downturn according to Economist Jeff Rubin. Writing in the October 31 StrategEcon, Rubin analyzes previous oil shocks, showing how each predictably led to a recession.

Falling oil prices may provide temporary economic relief, he says. That may end if economic activity returns to pre-recession levels.

Jeff Rubin, Just How Big Is Cleveland?
StrategEcon (pdf)

Inflation Hurricane Feared

{ Submitted by admin on Fri, 2008-11-07 23:31 }

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have been talking about the consequences. That doesn't mean there won't be any. The Federal Reserve is pumping money into the economy. Massive inflation is likely to result, says financial analyst Adrian Ash, writing in Safe Haven.

The US is about about to be hit with massive inflation. This promises grief for many, real pain for those whose incomes are fixed. The quantity of base money jumped 25% in October.

US Inflation: Like a Hurricane!
Adrian Ash, Safe Haven.

North Side Greens: