Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The fox isn’t guarding the henhouse…

The fox has paid the farmer to leave the henhouse unlocked. That’s how this system works.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MERCURY STORM BREWING IN GULF OF MEXICO LAVACA BAY, TX, June 22, 2006 –/WORLD-WIRE/– Calhoun County fishermen, environmental activists, and concerned Calhoun County residents say state and federal agencies were in collusion with Alcoa over the mercury cleanup in Lavaca Bay. They say the recent December 2004 settlement between U.S., Texas, and Alcoa over the Lavaca Bay Mercury Superfund not only failed in its attempt to address the health impacts of mercury on the mostly poor minority fishing communities, but it also under-estimated the amount of mercury released to the environment and therefore the cleanup. Sediments in Lavaca Bay were contaminated with mercury from past operations at Alcoa’s Point Comfort, Texas facility. From l967 until l979 Alcoa operated a chlor-alkali processing unit at the plant and discharged wastewater containing mercury into Lavaca Bay. Federal EPA documents state that Alcoa discharged an average of 67 pounds per day into Lavaca Bay from l967 until 1970. Internal and confidential Alcoa documents and transcripts uncovered from a 1994 court case in Washington between Alcoa and their insurers estimated l,223,755 pounds of mercury was released between l967 to l979 and that on a 5 day normal working period in the chlor-alkali unit, 1500 pounds of mercury was lost and flow charts showed mercury going to the bay. Diane Wilson, founder of Calhoun County Resource Watch who coordinated the meeting in Port Lavaca, said, “We need an explanation for the hundreds of thousands of pounds difference between what was reported in documents recovered in a court vault in Washington and what federal EPA superfund documents say was dumped. Was there collusion? Then, too, explain to me a memo that showed Alcoa and a Texas A & M scientist considering a study to show the mercury levels in crabs from Lavaca Bay by ‘blending’ them with clean crabs from another bay.” [ cont'd ]


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..