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And other words from readers

A number of the following comments on campaign 2000 and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader are responses to a set of letters published previously.   Dear Editor: I read all the letters posted on the Nader-Gore-Bush debate. I had planned to vote for Ralph Nader, but with the benefit of so many other perspectives, I realize that my vote is more important to keep Bush out of office. I live in Texas and it is clear from an environmental and educational standpoint that Bush is a Neanderthal and a pawn for the oil and gas industry. Sure, Gore and Bush …

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Amanda Gibbs, Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society

Amanda Gibbs, a former radio and print reporter, is a senior associate with the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, or IMPACS. Canada's first nonprofit public relations and media training organization, IMPACS regularly works with large and small conservation and social justice groups to help "turn up the volume" on citizen action, participation, and debate. Monday, 25 Sep 2000 VICTORIA, British Columbia If it's Monday, this must be Victoria. This motel room, though charming with its bolted-down television set and one-of-a-kind mallard watercolor print slung a bit too low over the double bed, isn't feeling as exotic as it …

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And other words from readers

Dear Editor: I'm a little concerned with the pressure environmental groups are putting on less developed countries (whose standards of living are below those of the U.S.) to halt what many in these countries might see as improvements in their daily lives. I say this mainly because many people living in these areas look to the U.S., with its many conveniences like highways and shopping malls, cars and air conditioning, as something that they would love to emulate. What right do we have to halt highway development in Vietnam without halting suburban sprawl and the construction of additional roads and …

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The Prisoner's Dilemma

Rodolfo Montiel Flores, a poor Mexican farmer and environmental activist who was arrested in May 1999 on what enviro and human rights groups say are trumped up charges, was sentenced yesterday to nearly seven years in prison. A district judge in the Mexican state of Guerrero found Montiel guilty of drugs and weapons crimes, though human rights groups say he was tortured into signing a confession to the crimes. Montiel, the leader of a small environmental group in a rural area of southwestern Mexico, claims that he was arrested because he led locals in protests aimed at stopping the excessive …

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The Chemical Bothers

Phthalates, a family of chemicals used in everything from plastics to beauty products, have been detected in humans at levels that some scientists believe are worrisome. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested urine samples from people around the U.S. and were surprised to find phthalates at much higher levels than other pollutants routinely detected in people, such as PCBs. Phthalates, which may cause birth defects and disrupt hormonal systems, have been banned from use in baby toys in Europe, and some American manufacturers have voluntarily removed them from baby items. But this latest research, which is …

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Drawing the Short Straw

Over the next 25 years, the number of people facing chronic or severe water shortages could increase from 505 million to more than 3 billion, according to a report released this week by Population Action International. The report said water shortages would be worst in the Middle East and much of Africa. But -- you'd never guess this -- the group said its finding were good news in some sense. "These figures are an improvement over what we thought would happen a decade ago," said PAI President Amy Coen. She attributed the improvement to more family planning and the reduced …

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Born in the Sign of Cancer

Exposure to toxic chemicals in food, water, and air may be leading to a dramatic surge in childhood cancers, asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome in Canadian children, according to a report released earlier this week. For example, the report by the Canadian Institute of Child Health found that childhood cancers have increased by 25 percent in the last 25 years, and that some of the cancers, such as acute lymphocytic leukemia and tumors of the central nervous system, have been tied, at least in part, to exposure to environmental contaminants. Trevor Hancock, chair of the Canadian Association of Physicians …

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Owling in the Wilderness

Ten environmental groups in the Northwest filed suit this month against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, claiming that the agency has not done its duty to protect the northern spotted owl, which is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit contends that the USFWS has allowed logging in critical owl habitat and has permitted the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to "take," or kill, some owls without keeping track of the effects on the overall owl population. "The U.S. Forest Service has a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy with regard to owl …

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