Previous 'Amazing' Snippets

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February's 10

  • Our enormously productive economy...demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing rate. - Victor Lebow (Retailing analyst).
  • Food labelled "fresh" in UK supermarkets can be months old. "fresh egg pasta" was found with a shelf life of 2 years!
  • Euratom directive 96/29: Old limit for uncontrolled disposal of Krypton-85 in waste, 400 Bq/kg.
    New limit 100,000,000,000 Bq/kg. Not a modest percentage increase, but 2,500,000 times the old limit!
  • Free Trade? Airbus, the world's number two aircraft manufacturer, pays no taxes, and it is estimated that the company has received $20 billion in government subsidies since 1970.
  • Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western Civilization, replied:
    "I think it is a very good idea".
  • NAFTA: Proponents claimed that 200,000 jobs would be created in the US in its first 2 years.
    - 400,000 jobs were lost.
  • NAFTA: In Mexico, in 1996, over half the population could be considered 'extremely poor', as opposed to less than a third in pre-NAFTA 1993.
  • East Timor: Western backed massacres in East Timor by invading Indonesian troops, resulted in 200,000 deaths, which is one third of their population.
  • East Timor: Just as the Indonesian assault reach its peak of near-genocidal ferocity, media coverage in the West reached flat zero.
  • Benomyl has never been analysed in New Zealand in spite of being used on a wide range of fruit and vegetables.
  • January's 10
  • "In Gore, Oklahoma, a uranium processing plant is disposing of low-level radioctive waste by licensing it as a liquid fertilizer, and spraying it over 9,000 acres of grazing land."
    Reported in the Seattle Times.
  • Some 100,000 chemicals are now on the market worldwide and another 1,000 are added each year, only a fraction of which are adequately tested for toxicity and persistence.
  • "More than 25% of all UK companies pay no corporation tax". -The Observer 9/4/95
  • A British 'think-tank' has proposed 'privatising' entire African nations - giving corporations the responsibility of running them in exchange for an agreed-upon return from earnings.
  • "They aren't children so much as what I like to call 'evolving consumers'."
    - CEO Prism Communications
  • Zeneca, an ICI spin-off, earns $300 million each year from sales of the carcinogenic herbicide acetochlor, while at the same time earning $470 million each year marketing the world's best-selling cancer therapy drug, tamoxifen citrate.
  • The breast cancer rate in the US, Canada and Europe is 5 times higher than in Asia. When women from Asia migrate to Western countries their rate of breast cancer jumps, within a generation, to that of native born women.
  • At a national meeting on breast cancer, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, 67 speakers dealt only with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Not one spoke on prevention.
  • More American women have died of breast cancer in the past 2 decades than all the Americans killed in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined.
  • A survey commissioned by the Australian Department of Health, found that hospitals were the third largest killer in Australia. 14,000 patients died in hospitals in 1992 as a result of mistakes.
  • December's 10
  • NASA's 'Cassini Project' gamble - it has 72.3 pounds of plutonium-238 on board.
    In a worst case scenario accident, Dr Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at Pittsburgh University estimates that the death toll could reach 30-40 million.
  • Climate change: $100 billion of public subsidies support fossil fuels in G7 countries.
  • Climate change: $100 billion worth of damage was caused by weather extremes in 1995.
  • Haitian women sewing Disney T-shirts are paid just 17 pence an hour.
    It would take a Haitian worker 14 years to earn the $36,250 that Michael Eisner, Disney's chief executive, earns every hour.
  • Over 100 of the biggest US corporations are urging President Clinton to make no commitment at Kyoto. 1500 of the world's most distinguished scientists are urging immediate action.
    In the US it is claimed that reducing greenhouse emissions by 2010 to 10% below 1990 levels would generate 773,000 new jobs and save the average household $530 a year in energy bills.
  • US corporations spend $1 billion a year waging a propaganda war against environmentalism.
  • Global trade is set to expand massively in the interests of the Transnational Corporations.
    Already 4,000,000,000 tonnes of freight were exported by ship worldwide in 1991, which required 8,100,000,000,000,000,000 joules(8.1 exajoules) of energy, supplied by fossil fuels.
  • The average American is exposed to some 3000 advertising sermons every day. More money is spent persuading Americans to be consumers than is spent on higher education or Medicare.
  • About half the world's mangrove forests have been cut down, many for prawn farming. 120,000 hectares were destroyed in Ecuador. In South Thailand's "rice bowl", yields have crashed as chemical runoff from 15,000 acres of prawn farms have polluted irrigation canals.
  • To cure tobacco, every year the trees from about 12,000 square kilometers are cut down.
    55 cubic metres of wood are burnt to cure every tonne of tobacco.
  • November's 10
  • CFCs are under control, the ozone layer is safe. Myth! The Montreal Protocol is full of holes. Unscrupulous companies like Du Pont are still producing hundreds of thousands of tons.
    Also there's a huge, thriving black market.
  • Every pound of CFCs produced and released, destroys 70,000 pounds of ozone.
  • People living within 1 km of waste incinerators suffer significant increases in cancer. Dioxins also affect sperm count and damage the immune system. The UK government is going ahead with plans to build incinerators in most major UK cities.
  • Quangos: There are now 60,000 unelected quangocrats compared to 25,000 elected councillors in the UK.
  • Vac'n'store: Shrink-wraps and hermetically seals out-of-season clothes, blankets etc, to save space. You can now use the space saved to store .... errrr ............ the Vac'n'store.
  • 41,000 species of insect have been identified in 1 hectare of Peruvian tropical forest.
  • Biological genocide is now in full swing. The World Resource Institute estimates that 18 million acres of closed moist forest are being destroyed each year, indicating that nearly all tropical forests may be destroyed in 20 years.
  • One per cent of the US defence budget would go a long way to establish 1,000 preserves of 600,000 acres each, ensuring the preservation of 10% of the world's tropical forest.
  • The US chief negotiator at one of the preparatory meetings for the Rio Conference estimated that 80% of America's own environmental legislation could be challenged and declared illegal before WTO panels.
  • One third of the global fish catch(28 million tons) is used for animal feed, fertilizer and oil. 100 pounds of fish processed into animal feed produces just 1 pound of chicken or beef.
    Third World people, many dependent on fish for their main source of protein, are often obliged to sell us fish for animal feed to service their debts.
  • October's 10
  • "78% of people do not trust the government on Food Safety"
    From a pre-election Lib Dem Local Newsletter.
  • In the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances was astonished to hear of a study suggesting that the 4 commonly used pesticides were up to 1000 times as toxic in combination as individually. This is "a very,very new issue for us" the EPA said, despite the fact that warnings have been sounded for years.
  • Each year British food retailers give away enough carrier bags to cover the City of London with over 600 layers of bags.
  • Of all the world's private wealth, more than 60% is held in offshore tax havens.
  • Between 1982 and 1992, despite a 20% rise in profits, the total UK corporation tax collected fell by 32%. No wonder we have no money for schools, health, and other essential services, the multinationals can move money around using Tax Havens to 'manage' their tax.
  • "Pool Cue Laser Targetter". The Laser Cue targetting system mounts on top of your pool cue and projects a beam of light onto the ball, so that you always know where to hit it and you never miss the pocket. Never again need pool be a game of skill.
  • Seven out of ten adults will become clinically overweight by late middle age.
    Health Survey for England.
  • Overfishing - The mouth of one of the largest trawl nets measures 30,000 square metres.
    One 30% bigger is under construction.
  • In 1900 the world's forests covered about 50% of the land surface.
    By 2020, after yet more hacking down, acid rain, burning for ephemeral agriculture use, this is projected to drop to just 25% of the land surface.
  • Since 1972, oil companies have dumped over 19,000,000,000 gallons of untreated toxic production wastes in the Ecuadorean rainforest.
  • September's 10
  • McDonalds feeds 35 million people every day, spends 1200 million a year on advertising and opens a new store every 3 hours. (Sorry, I'll try not to make them ALL so depressing!)
  • Research from Denmark - "Men who eat organic food have twice the sperm count of those that don't". (Get a Sex Life - Eat Organic!)
  • More than 30,000 small farms in the USA are being bought up every year because they can't compete with the big corporations, who grab most of the subsidies.
  • "How to Own your own Private International Bank". Easy-to-follow manual explains how to use offshore banking facilities to borrow and invest. It's the "Ultimate Power and Prestige Investment Tool". Order your copy now - be a Complete Banker! (Nearly made a typo there!)
  • A million American farmers work in high density animal housing on intensive animal farms. A study of pig farm workers in Iowa revealed nearly 70% suffer from respiratory difficulties.
  • "None of the government agencies involved with pesticides seem to have made any serious attempt to gather data on the chronic effects of pesticides on human health"
    Report of the Agricultural Committee of the House of Commons.
  • Sheep are smarter than you may think. Faced with a cattle grid, sheep in the New Forest have been seen rolling across to get to the lush gardens beyond.
  • Shell owns or leases some 162 million hectares of land, which makes it larger than Alaska.
  • Climate change: The possibility of millions of half-starved Africans marching on a middle class and affluent Fortress Europe is actively considered as a possible early- to mid- 21st Century scenario by the American CIA.
  • "The UK's environmental technology businesses may be losing as much as 2 billion in annual sales due to weak regulation and poor enforcement".
    Report by the Environmental Industries Commission.
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