Pollution

Politics

Letter from prison: Tim DeChristopher speaks

From a prison in Utah, climate activist Tim DeChristopher speaks out with a handwritten letter to Grist extolling the power of words.

European farmers spend millions on knock-off pesticides

Buying a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag is one thing, but in Europe, farmers are buying knock-off pesticides. Counterfeit pesticides have become a multimillion industry over there, and if that sounds like bad news, it is: According to the Wall Street Journal, these knock-offs contain a solvent that the European Union banned because it's a huge problem for pregnant women. The WSJ's article also makes the E.U.'s efforts to deal with the problem sound like a giant clusterf*ck.  There are loopholes in counterfeiting laws that mean customs can't seize the fake pesticides. The company that's been ripped off has to deal with the goods and try to recoup costs from counterfeiters, who are obviously the sort of people who'll say, "Whoops, you found me! Here are the millions of euros I made selling nasty, dangerous goods under your name!" (Or, as the WSJ puts it: "[P]ractically this can prove complicated and even impossible, as many of these companies are beyond EU jurisdiction or completely bogus.")

Koch Industries fights anti-terrorism regulations

Here's another bit of info to include in your "man, the Koch brothers are eeeevil" file. In environmental circles, the Koch family is best known for its funding of climate deniers, but Koch Industries also owns 56 facilities that use petrochemicals. The government is a teensy bit worried about the attraction these facilities could hold for terrorists, but the company has spent its time and money lobbying against stricter safeguards for chemical facilities. Hey, regulations are regulations, whether they protect against pollution or terrorism, and all regulations are for liberal weenies! iWatch News found that 4.8 million people live within risky distance of these plants, and that: