By Nick Magel
June 29, 2011
8pm Monday, as every Monday, saw Channel 4 broadcast its programme Dispatches . Only this week, it was called The Real Price of Gold and looked at where the gold for jewellery comes from.
Presenter and businesswoman Deidre Bounds was shown visiting a number of high street jewellery retailers encountering a storm of confusing and inaccurate sales patter from staff at high street jewellery stores about where their gold comes from.
Next we saw her travel to Honduras and Senegal to witness the process of how gold is mined. Footage showed a 14 year old boy in Senegal, working in an illegal mine, and handling toxic mercury with his bare hands. Then we saw children suffering health effects, which villagers near the Goldcorps mine in the Siria Valley in Honduras, link to mining. Here, a 14 year old boy was shown with headaches, sores on his skin, and hair loss. Tests found that he had more than double the safe limit of lead in his blood.
So what about the solutions? The programme highlighted Fairtade and Fairmined Gold where workers have safer working conditions and are guaranteed a fair wage. But at present just some 20 designer makers have access to this gold.
By Alan Septoff
June 24, 2011
Earthworks is part of the Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling coalition that works to protect New York's water from irresponsible drilling.
Recently, a few famous New Yorkers got together to help out.
Zo Saldana, Nadia Dajani, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Charles, Ethan Hawke and Amy Ryan made this spot to encourage New Yorkers to speak out against dirty drilling -- and for the water upon which tens of millions of people rely.
After you watch the video, head on over to Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling to spread the word.
By Lauren Pagel
June 22, 2011
Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a bill that would shift regulatory powers over water and wetlands from U.S. EPA to the states. Among the legislation's provisions is a clause to limit EPA's ability to veto Clean Water Act permits for mining proposals that would have unacceptable adverse effect on water. States would have to approve the move before any such veto could take effect.
HR 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011, could have a serious impact on water quality throughout this country. Nowhere would that impact be felt more than in Alaska s Bristol Bay, where the proposed Pebble Mine threatens to destroy the world s largest sockeye salmon fishery. And with it, the livelihoods of the commercial fisherman, sport fisherman and native communities who rely on area waters to live.
June 21, 2011
When they say fracking goes miles deep and miles wide, they aren t kidding.
Recently I learned that EOG, aka Enron Oil and Gas, is planning to start a frack sand mining and processing plant in Cooke County near the beautiful Saint Jo. The planned 1,400-acre facility will handle all stages of production and transportation. Although EOG has only applied for and has not yet been granted the permit by TCEQ, they have already done a lot of construction and water well drilling at the proposed site. You can see aerial photographs acquired through the efforts of local citizens at the Save The Trinity Aquifer blog spot.
By Alan Septoff
June 20, 2011
Secretary Salazar's Remarks from Mather Point at the Rim of the Grand Canyon