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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

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07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

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07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

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07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

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07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

07.18 Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

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  Print view: Gaza's Poisoned Water
MORE SLOW-MOTION GENOCIDE:

Gaza's Poisoned Water

Why does Israel embargo fuel, electricity and materials necessary for Gazans to build, repair and operate waste water and sewage treatment facilities?

by Stephen Lendman
Saturday, 14 August 2010
The Gaza Strip is, quite literally, being poisoned from partially treated or untreated sewage dumped in the Mediterranean Sea, polluting about 90% of its coastal aquifer, the essential water source for residents. The water is now hazardous and undrinkable.

My earlier article explained how Israel exploits Palestinian water resources, using most of it, forcing them to find ways to get by. Water, of course, is essential to life, rights to it natural and usufructuary. Belonging to everyone as part of the commons, it must be used, not owned or abused, an essential truth Israel corrupts.

On August 5, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) published the latest in its "Narratives Under Siege" series, titled "There's Something in the Water: The Poisoning of Life in the Gaza Strip."

"THIS BEACH IS POLLUTED" signs dot Gaza City beaches, posing serious health hazards because of daily raw sewage dumped into the Mediterranean Sea through 16 discharge sites along the coast. Yet thousands fill them despite the dangers, including children, taking advantage of one of their few sources of respite - available, convenient, and free, but not safe.

For Gazans, the sea is part of their lives - to fish, gather with family, swim, and for children, play in the sun on hot days, a joy this writer recalls growing up on America's Atlantic coast. Summers were always the best time. The memories remain.

"Without the sea there is no Gaza," explains Abdel Haleem Abu Samra, Public Relations Officer of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' Khan Younis Branch. Being unsafe is especially unsettling - its state in some form since 1991, but especially under siege, prohibiting equipment, construction materials, and spare parts to build new wastewater treatment facilities and repair existing ones.

In addition, conditions are exacerbated by an acute fuel and electricity shortage, vital to run waste treatment cycles properly. As a result, about 20,000 cubic meters of raw sewage are dumped daily into the sea, according to Monther Shoblak, Director General of the Coastal Municipality Water Utility, and in some areas it's up to four times that much - a shocking, completely avoidable situation.

Gaza's once pristine shores are polluted, the grave implications clear - "the Gaza Strip is, quite literally, being poisoned," affecting about 90% of its coastal aquifer, the essential source for residents. Yet it's hazardous and undrinkable, given its high nitrate and chloride levels - six to seven times higher than World Health Organization's (WHO) safe levels.

As director of Gaza's water, Monther's job is challenging, forcing him to improvise to make due, managing wastewater created by 1.5 million trapped people, 80% of them in refugee camps, living cramped in the world's largest open-air prison, out of sight and mind to those outside it, except activists, friends, and supporters who care. Plagued also by inadequate infrastructure, creating hazards unimaginable in the West.

Monther compares Gaza's facilities to an old car still in use despite lack of spare parts needed for upkeep. Eventually falling into disrepair, it pollutes heavily, relevant for Gaza where even adulterated gasoline is the normal input for cars.

Compounding things further, Gaza's population is growing rapidly (about 3.6% annually), producing greater amounts of waste, current facilities only able to handle about 32,000 cubic meters a day, about half its needed capacity. As a result, the overage gets dumped, entirely or mostly untreated, much of it washing back onshore, polluting beaches, creating hazardous swimming conditions, and poisoning drinking water.

In northern Gaza's Beit Lahia, deterioration is especially severe, one of its three facilities receiving over 25,000 cubic meters daily, double its operating capacity. Worse still, the facility has no access to the sea, so wastewater flows directly into the surrounding area, creating a 450 dunum sewage lake, untenable contamination, exacerbated in March 2007 when its embankment broke, killing five people by toxic flooding.

High nitrate levels are especially hazardous, Monther calling them "a silent killer"- colorless, odorless and tasteless, its continued intake reducing oxygen to vital tissues like the brain. Children and infants are greatly at risk, their developing organs unable to cope. Severe damage and at times death the result.

The longer-term consequences are worrisome, Sara Roy saying:

"Nowhere else in the world has such a large number of people been exposed to such high levels of nitrates for such a long period of time. There is no precedent, and no studies to help us understand what happens to people over the course of years of nitrate poisoning."

The harm is undeniable because the coastal aquifer along much of the Strip provides about 90% of its water. For Gazans like everyone, it's life, nature's gift, and essential. There's no substitute, making it vital to conserve and keep safe, for drinking and Gaza's agriculture, especially its citrus farms, deservedly famous, now threatened by toxic and dangerous pollution.

Only 10% of Gaza's aquifer is safe, and without changes, Monther fears it'll all be poisoned, making it hazardous for any purpose. A 2009 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report warned that today's damage "could take centuries to reverse." Under siege, Gazans have no choice but to cope, pitting them against nature, never a fair fight when it's hostile.

A Final Comment

A July 22 Electronic Intifada report headlined "Gaza's strawberries spoil under siege," explaining:

"The northern Gaza Strip area of Beit Lahiya is famous for its agriculture," an ideal environment for growing fruit under normal conditions, absent under siege. Besides polluted water, farmers like Abdulfattah al-Khateeb worry about his strawberries reaching West Bank, Israeli and European markets, their destination for over 20 years.

Since 2007, however, closure cut him off from the rest of the world, leaving "tons of his strawberries....rot(ting) while waiting in vain at the Israeli border." As a result, he fears his livelihood is being lost.

Before 1967, Gaza's citrus was called "yellow gold," renown for its quality. Under Israeli control, many orange groves were bulldozed, farmers turning instead to flowers and strawberries. They adapted, producing "the best strawberries in the world," according to Abdulfattah, former head of Beit Lahiya's Strawberry Farmers Society.

Now he and others are forced to abandon their crops because of export restrictions. "The effects have been disastrous," farmers reporting a 40% drop in income, losing millions of dollars.

"The Israelis tell us how and what to plant, what to use to plant it, and where the plants we use must come from, (and) when we do what (they) want, they just create another problem," he explains. Half of Gaza's strawberry farmers have given up. The others are threatened, especially by Cast Lead's destruction of nearly half of Gaza's farmland. Relentlessly, Israel is destroying a way of life in Gaza, a little reported story vital to highlight and contest.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on August 14, 2010.
 

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