Equinox Event 2014

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Chemistry professor corroborates whistleblower's claims; links mercury in vaccines to autism, neurodevelopmental issues

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) A retired professor of chemistry from the University of Kentucky has come out in condemnation of mercury in vaccines, corroborating information released by a top scientist-turned-whistleblower from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who recently...

Monsanto funds trip for Indian parliament members in bid to get GMO trial ban overturned

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) Within weeks after India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) negated an effort to conduct field trials for 15 genetically modified crops, a group of lawmakers from the party, as well as other Indian politicians, made plans to travel to the United States for a week-long junket...

China refuses to permit GM rice and corn to be grown by research groups

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) The Chinese government will not permit the issuance of new biosafety certificates to research groups that were once allowed to grow genetically modified rice and corn, likely part of Beijing's ongoing effort to prevent the spread of GM crops in the world's most populous...

5 Home remedies for acid reflux, that work

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) Acid reflux can go from mild to chronic in a very short period of time. There are medications than can help manage the symptoms of acid reflux, such as antacids. However, they aren't necessary, because there are many natural remedies that are simple and easy to use....

Killer robots must be outlawed immediately, warns UN official

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) Robotics is a technology that has been around for decades, and indeed has been used to streamline manufacturing -- often at the cost of human labor. Over the years, robots have become much more sophisticated and capable, but not everyone believes that is a good thing...

GMOs likely to be approved by EPA and USDA will contribute to environmental degradation and human health decline

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) are readying to approve a powerful new herbicide, as well as three genetically modified organisms (GMOs) engineered to resist it, that has not been adequately vetted for either safety or effectiveness...

Saw palmetto can treat hair loss, enlarged prostates and urinary tract infections

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a small palm native to the southeastern United States and is characterized by its sprawling trunk and large, spear-like leaves. The plant bears dark red, olive-sized berries that have a long history of use as both a food and medicine...

Nuclear industry hides from public huge radiation spikes at power plant reactors

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) A nuclear insider has unleashed a bombshell about how radiation is actually released from nuclear power plant reactors -- and what he has to say might shock you. During a recent interview with Nuclear Hotseat host Libbe HaLevy, radiation biologist Dr. Ian Fairlie spoke...

Vermont quits hypocritical, failed War on Drugs; plans to treat heroin addiction epidemic as health issue

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) Vermont is taking a novel approach to its treatment of epidemic heroin addition: State officials are beginning to treat the problem as a health issue rather than continuing to pursue the failed policies of uber-drug-enforcement with little emphasis devoted to rehabilitation...

Pistachios reduce the body's reaction to stress in type 2 diabetes

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) We all have stress, but for people with type 2 diabetes, this can be especially hazardous, considering their high risk of heart disease. Any natural way to relieve or reduce their body's natural response to stress could be beneficial (that goes for all of us as well...

Social media users are more likely to conform to the perceived group opinion, censoring their own unpopular views

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) For any number of reasons, more and more people are beginning to shun social media, but nevertheless, billions of people continue to depend on it for a "daily fix" of interaction, much of it done anonymously.Increasingly, we are finding that, while aspects of that...

Medical marijuana legalization reduces painkiller overdose deaths

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) A massive joint study (no pun intended) by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City was conducted to determine the impact on reducing...

Plastic bag ban may be signed into law in California

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) The California state legislature enacted a ban on single-use, plastic bags. Many cities, (several in California, Washington, and Texas) have made it illegal for grocery stores and restaurants to use plastic bags at checkout, but if the bill is signed into law, California...

Waking up confused is now called 'sleep drunkenness'; how long until we can buy a pill for that?

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) Infectious disease medicine and psychiatry have motivated Big Pharma with incentives to provide pills for everything real or imaginary. And only America and New Zealand allow TV advertising with Big Pharma's inventions for often made-up diseases.The made-up diseases...

Dogs feel jealousy and seek attention just like humans

Natural News - 58 min 42 sec ago
(NaturalNews) The debate over whether or not animals experience human-like emotions has been a subject of interest for many over the years. While skeptics insist that animals are only driven by instincts, others disagree, pointing out that all mammals share the same neural apparatus...

For Walkers and Cyclists, A Swedish Road Planning Strategy Helps Save Lives

Yes! Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 04:31

Photo by Ed Yourdon/ Flickr.

More than 4,500 pedestrians are killed and more than 68,000 are injured by motor vehicles every year on the streets of America. The victims are disproportionately children, seniors, and people of color.

A recent report from the National Complete Streets Coalition found that from 2003 to 2012, more than 47,000 people were killed crossing the street. That's 16 times the number of people who died in natural disasters over the same period.

“Vision Zero is about changing the culture of our dangerous streets.”

The pedestrian safety crisis is even more dire internationally. Worldwide, more than 270,000 people are killed while walking every year—that's 22 percent of a total 1.24 million yearly traffic fatalities, according to the World Health Organization.

“It’s like an airplane falling out of the sky every other day. If that actually happened, the whole system would be ground to a halt until the problem was fixed,” said Scott Bricker, executive director of America Walks, a coalition of walking advocacy groups. “We need to address this terrible problem with the same urgency.”

Unfortunately, pedestrian deaths—and all traffic fatalities—are viewed as an inevitable side effect of modern life. “People accept this as normal, just as 100 years ago most people accepted that women could not vote,” observes Gil Penalosa, executive director of 8-80 Cities, an international organization that's working to make streets safe for people of all ages.

Yet recent history offers genuine hope for making our streets safer. A generation ago domestic abuse and drunk driving were seen as sad, unalterable facts of human nature. But vigorous public campaigns to prevent these tragedies have had remarkable results, offering clear evidence that destructive human behavior can be curbed when we put our minds to it.

Sweden paves the way for zero traffic deaths

From Philadelphia to Chicago to Oregon, campaigns to reduce pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist deaths to zero are now taking shape around the country.

The campaigns are based on a new safety strategy called Vision Zero, which is modeled on successful efforts in Sweden. Pedestrian deaths in Sweden have dropped 50 percent since 2009, and overall traffic deaths have been cut in half since 2000—making Swedish streets the safest in the world, according to the New York Times.

Campaigns to reduce pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist deaths to zero are now taking shape around the country.

The Economist reports that Sweden accomplished this by emphasizing safety over speed in road design, and attributes the impressive drop in traffic deaths to improved crosswalks, narrowed streets, lowered urban speed limits, and barriers that separate cars from bikes and pedestrians.

Sweden took a far different approach than conventional transportation planning, where “road users are held responsible for their own safety” according to the Vision Zero Initiative website. Swedish policy believes that to save lives, roads must anticipate driver, bicyclist, and walker errors, “based on the simple fact that we are human and we make mistakes.”

This is similar to the Netherlands’ Forgiving Roads policy, which has reduced traffic fatalities by 75 percent since the 1970s. In comparison, there's been less than a 20 percent reduction in the U.S. over the same period.

Utah, Minnesota, and Washington have adopted aggressive measures that are similar to Vision Zero to cut traffic deaths. All three states have seen traffic fatalities decline by 40 percent or more—25 percent better than the national average.

Streets of New York

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio won office last year on the promise of reducing traffic deaths in a city where someone is killed or seriously injured by a motor vehicle every two hours on average.

“The fundamental message of Vision Zero is that death and injury on city streets is not acceptable, and that we will no longer regard serious crashes as inevitable,” he wrote in a letter to New Yorkers. “They happen to people who drive and to those who bike, but overwhelmingly, the deadly toll is highest for pedestrians—especially our children and seniors.”

To save lives, roads must anticipate driver, bicyclist, and walker errors: “We are human and we make mistakes.”

Traffic accidents are the largest preventable cause of death for children under 14 in New York, and the second highest cause of fatal injuries for people over 65.

In May, New York’s city council passed 11 bills and six resolutions to implement de Blasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan across many city departments.

The plan includes teaching street safety in schools; allowing the city legislature to lower speed limits to 25 mph; increasing police enforcement for speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, and dangerous driving; and creating a permanent Vision Zero Task Force at City Hall.

According to walking and bike advocates, one of New York’s biggest problems is that the police department focuses more resources on street crime than on street safety—even though in 2013, there were 356 traffic-related deaths (half of those killed were pedestrians or bicyclists), compared to 333 murders.

Advocates cheered when de Blasio chose as his police chief William Bratton, who has spoken out about the need to curb traffic injuries and deaths.

“It’s really impressive what Mayor de Blasio has done,” said Noah Budnick, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives. “He has put his money where his mouth is” by finding funding for street safety projects and increased police enforcement in an era of tight budgets.

Streets of San Francisco and beyond

After New York, San Francisco has advanced the farthest with Vision Zero planning. The city saw a near-record high of 25 pedestrian and bike fatalities last year. To combat the rising number of fatalities, Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition launched the Vision Zero Coalition with the San Francisco School District and more than two dozen community organizations. Their mission is to encourage city officials to:

  • Fix dangerous intersections and streets;
  • Ensure “full and fair enforcement of traffic laws,” with an emphasis on curbing dangerous behavior;
  • Invest in training and education for all road users, focusing on helping frequent drivers share the road with walkers and bicyclists;
  • Eliminate all traffic deaths in the city by 2024.

“Vision Zero is about changing the culture of our dangerous streets,” wrote Nicole Schneider of Walk San Francisco and Leah Shahum of the San Francisco Bicyle Coalition. “[It] is also about empowering historically under-represented communities that are disproportionately burdened by traffic injuries.”

The plan has already been endorsed by the San Francisco Police Department.

A number of local advocacy organizations around the country are working with the national Alliance for Biking and Walking to launch the Vision Zero Strategic Collaborative. The collaborative will push for these policies across the nation.

America’s emerging walking revolution

America is on the verge of a walking revolution. After many decades in which walking continually lost ground to other modes of transportation and recreation, there’s growing interest about restoring walking as a way of life.

A diverse network of organizations came together last year at the first-ever walking summit to champion walking as one solution to our health care crisis (one-half hour of walking each day reduces the risk of many major diseases); as a tool for strengthening our hometowns (people out walking heighten the sense of community and security); and as a clear route to reducing climate change (more folks walking means less CO2 emissions).

“We won’t increase walkability—which is good for people’s and communities’ health—until we make the streets more safe and comfortable for walking,” said Katherine Kraft, America Walks’ National Coalition Director and Coalition Director of Every Body Walk!

Vision Zero, Kraft says, is the path toward a better life for all of us.

Jay Walljasper is the author of the Great Neighborhood Book; he writes, speaks, and consults about how to create safer, sustainable, more enjoyable communities.

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Categories: Ecological News

Grassy Narrows: The lost science of mercury poisoning.

Environmental Health News - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 19:30
Canadian officials have never admitted to a single case of Minamata disease in northwestern Ontario despite documented mercury contamination of the people at Grassy Narrows.
Categories: Ecological News

Japanese mercury experts push Canada to help Grassy Narrows.

Environmental Health News - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 19:30
The world's leading experts in mercury poisoning are urging Canada to recognize, and treat, the wide-ranging human health impacts of contamination on two First Nations in northern Ontario.
Categories: Ecological News

Since 1990, billions more have access to clean water.

Environmental Health News - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 19:30
More people worldwide have gained access to an 'improved' source of drinking water, or one that is not likely to be susceptible to outside contamination, says the World Health Organization.
Categories: Ecological News

Mining company, allies spent freely to get Wisconsin bill approved.

Environmental Health News - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 19:30
The recent disclosure that Gogebic Taconite donated $700,000 to a Wisconsin political group is the latest example of how the mining company and its supporters used money, influence and the allure of jobs to persuade lawmakers to relax state environmental regulations.
Categories: Ecological News
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