The New York-based Toxics Targeting went through the Department of Environmental Conservation’s own database of hazardous substances spills over the past thirty years. They found 270 cases documenting fires, explosions, wastewater spills, well contamination and ecological damage related to gas drilling. Many of the cases remain unresolved. The findings are contrary to repeated government assurances that existing natural gas well regulations are sufficient to safeguard the environment and public health. The state is considering allowing for gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale watershed, the source of drinking water for 15 million people, including nine million New Yorkers.
Earlier this year, the IMF and the World Bank warned that the financial crisis posed a serious challenge to reducing poverty. The World Bank predicted that the economic crisis could push another 53 million people in the global South into poverty. Well, according to the latest numbers from the United Nations, we’re now up to 2.7 billion people around the world who survive on less than two dollars a day, one billion of whom live on less than a dollar a day. Given the dire statistics and the widening gap between the rich and the poor, how can we see the eradication of poverty? That’s the central question of a new documentary called The End of Poverty?
John Perkins calls himself a former economic hit man. He has seen the signs of today’s financial meltdown before. The subprime mortgage fiasco, the collapse of the banking industry, the rising unemployment rate—these are all familiar to him. Perkins was on the front lines of monitoring and helping create these very events that were once just confined to the Third World. From 1971 to 1981, he worked for the international consulting firm of Chas T. Main, where he was a self-described “economic hit man.” He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Confessions of An Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of the American Empire.
News & Current Affairs
Nov 10, 2009, 17:12:21
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