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Showing posts from October 22, 2006

The Bottled Water Lie

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The Bottled Water Lie

By Michael Blanding, AlterNet. Posted October 26, 2006.

The corporations that sell bottled water are depleting natural resources, jacking up prices, and lying when they tell you their water is purer and tastes better than the stuff that comes out of the tap.

When Antonia Mahoney moved to Boston from her native Puerto Rico 35 years ago, the first thing she noticed was how much better the water tasted. Over the years, however, the water she was receiving from her tap began to lose its appeal. "Little by little, the taste changed," says the retired schoolteacher, who eventually gave up tap water altogether and began paying over $30 a month to get bottles of Poland Spring water delivered to her house.

Walking through Boston's Copley Square on a sunny day last month, however, she was intrigued by a banner advertising something called the "Tap Water Challenge." As she approached the table, a fresh-faced activist behind it told her the "challeng…

Drought In Africa: Ethiopia's Bitter Harvest

Drought in Africa: Ethiopia's bitter harvest

By the time the October rains arrived last week, five of the 13 heads of families in the village of Magado had hanged themselves, tormented by the loss of their cattle and livelihoods. Cahal Milmo reports from southern Ethiopia on what has become an international failure

Published: 24 October 2006

The skeletal acacia trees that surround Magado village are testimony in more ways than one to the drought that has destroyed the lives of its inhabitants. The bare branches and parched earth are evidence of the six months of rainless heat that has wiped out up to 70 per cent of the livestock owned by the 11 million nomadic pastoralists spread across the Horn of Africa in the worst drought for a decade.

But in Magado, a tiny isolated community of herdsmen deep in the arid bush of southern Ethiopia, the acacia trees have helped extract a terrible price for the drought and the failure of the outside world to react quickly to their plight. Humanitaria…

Australian Farmers Committing Suicide Due To Drought

Australian Farmers Committing Suicide

Australian farmers commit suicide as hope evaporates
By Michael Perry Thu Oct 19, 2:44 AM ET

SYDNEY (Reuters) - One Australian farmer commits suicide every four days, defeated by the country's worst drought in 100 years which has left them with dust-bowl paddocks and a mountain of debt, says a national mental health body.

As drought rolls into a sixth year, stoic farmers are reduced to tears under the stress of trying to produce a crop and hold onto land sometimes farmed by the same family for generations. One male farmer every four days is committing suicide," Jeff Kennett, chairman of beyondblue, said on Thursday.

"My fear is that when under prolonged stress and when they see their assets totally denuded of value, that we will see an increase (in suicides)," Kennett told local radio.
The rate among male farmers and farm workers is more than twice the national average, the NSW Farmers Association says.

The figure is all the more worry…