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U.S. Senate
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President Barack Obama
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To reach State Senators
Ohio Statehouse
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To reach State Representatives
Ohio House of Representatives
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30th Floor, Riffe Center
Columbus, OH 43266-0601
(614) 466-3555


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Essays, Articles & Information

July/August 2010

Facts 'N Fallacies of Cycling
“Three Big Lies” about cycling. Here are some facts to refute the lies....
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March/April 2010

Heading Back to the Pre-penicillin Era
It's hard to imagine, never mind accept, that the looming spector of antibiotic resistant bacterial disease will make today's AIDS epidemic look like an outbreak of chicken pox. We are heading back to the pre-penicillin era as emerging strains of bacteria are resisting ...
...Read More

What Global Warming?
So I harassed my fellow climate activists as they arrived at our recent meeting of the Cleveland Climate Watch, and the Coal Committee of the Northeast Ohio Sierra Club. With a foot of snow on the ground and temps in the teens and twenties, I borrowed denier lingo for a little self-inflicted humor....
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January/February 2010

Birth of a Nation in the Peruvian Amazon: The Council of the Shipibo-Konibo - Part 2
As my plane landed in Pucallpa, Peru, I noticed large deforested areas surrounding this jungle city. Pucallpa, located on the Ucayali River, was a small jungle frontier town until 1945, when a highway was built connecting Pucallpa to Lima. Now Pucallpa is...
...Read More

Want to Eat? Save the Honeybee!
One out of every three bites of food that we consume is due to the work of those crucial pollinators, the honeybee. Yet our food supply may be severely impacted by the recently identified Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) syndrome that...
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November/December 2009

Vote NO on Issue 2!
Issue 2 is not simply a new law--it would amend Ohio's constitution. The League of Women Voters of Ohio oppose Issue 2 because this measure is an inappropriate use of the state constitution. By voting to amend the constitution, a dangerous precedent is created which sets a permanent place for special interests......
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Social Injustice and Environmental Destruction in the Peruvian Rain Forest - Part 1
This past spring, I was in the Peruvian Amazon learning from an indigenous curandero about the amazing pharmacopoeia of the jungle. A curandero, or healer, channels the powers of nature to help heal the sick...
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September/October 2009

Do you want the Fox guarding the Hen House?
Did you know? Most animals on your dinner plate are raised in extremely small crates or cages where they can barely move around. Big agribusiness wants to keep it this way through political maneuvering and streamlined action through the Ohio General Assembly. As a result...
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CSU - Cleveland's Crown Jewel of a Campus Fit for a King
A chance encounter with a Cleveland State University (CSU) student brought to my attention the exciting changes that former President Michael Schwartz had dynamically brought to the CSU campus complex ...
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Girls Scouts Embrace the Art of Advocacy at Hiram College Conference
More years than I care to admit have passed since I taught vocal music to students of varying ages. So when I received an invitation to speak to area Girl Scouts, who were scheduled to attend a three-day conference this past June at Hiram College, I was reluctant to commit...
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July/August 2009

Thoughts on the Eve of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: How Will We Help?
For environmentalists, patience is not a virtue - it's a necessity. We are nearing the 40th anniversary of the great Cuyahoga River fires (that is plural) of June 1969. Around that time, with soap suds building up at Buffalo, Lake Erie had been essentially declared DOA. Some good did come out of...
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SMELL GREEN
The National Academy of Sciences estimates that 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances can lead to a slew of health repercussions, such as central nervous system disorders, migraines, sinus problems, birth defects and cancer. Acute symptoms may include...
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Know Your Fish, Protect Your Health
Human exposure to methyl mercury is a global concern. Mercury poses greater risk to children, women of childbearing age, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. Small amounts of mercury can damage the brain and nervous system of a fetus, infant, or young child, which may lead to...
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Edible School Gardens
The NEO Sierra Club recognizes the importance of teaching children about FOOD. Where does food come from? Does food have to be shipped thousands of miles to end up on our plates? Can food be grown without toxic chemicals? How does growing food locally....
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March/April 2009

Is Climate Change a Public Health Issue?
Experts recently reported at an American Public Health Association meeting that as the earth heats up, it's expected that more climate related diseases will ensue. "Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats facing our nation," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, the association's executive director...
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Toxic Sugar
Monsanto is up to more mischief. This huge multinational manufacturer of agrochemical and genetically manipulated (GM) crops now expects to increase its bottom line through our craving for sugar ...
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Expel the Hormones from School Milk
The School Milk Campaign wants Congress to make the smart choice for school lunches: Milk that is free of artificial growth hormones. The Federal Nutrition Program is a major provider of milk to our nation's school cafeterias. Unfortunately, a significant amount of this milk ...
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January/February 2009

Public Lands Under Attack
All over the country public lands are being opened up to oil and gas exploration especially in the western states, due to exemptions from environmental laws put in place by the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The pro-industry push for public land is greater than ever before. After Bush’s first year in office, permits to drill rose 11%. Permits continued to climb from 3580 in 2001 to an all time high of 6,581 in 2007. A mind boggling figure of 44 million acres...
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November/December 2008

Iraqi Order 81
When George W. Bush spoke of planting the seeds of democracy, few realized he might have had in mind Monsanto seeds. Under Bush, Paul Bremer drafted a series of laws, or Orders, to govern Iraq, which at the time had no legally constituted government. Among the Bremer laws was Order 81, which states: "Farmers shall be prohibited from re-using seeds"...
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September/October 2008

BIOFUEL DANGERS
Invasive plant species may result from the rush to grow plants for biofuels around the world. As plants are introduced on foreign continents to produce biofuels the threat of them escaping cultivation in unique ecosystems grows. Some plants being considered could overwhelm native plants threatening the health of natural ecosystems...
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Slower Population Growth Would Benefit People, Birds, and Climate
Like canaries in the coal mine, birds are an important indicator of our planet's health. For thousands of years, they have been one of our most important early warning systems, predicting the change of seasons, the coming of storms, and the rise of toxic levels of pollution in the food chain. Today, birds are telling us that our climate is changing...
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July/August 2008

Think Twice about Lawn Chemicals
How have times changed…now the commercial lawn chemical services came along and through their marketing methods have re-shaped our vision of what a lawn should look like. They convinced us that anything in the lawn other than a blade of grass is a terrible thing. "It must be destroyed ...
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The Real Villain in the World Food Crisis
What's behind the world food crisis? Yes, the growing world population is a huge contributor to the need for more food. Yes, reckless food-and oil-seed-based biofuel subsidies have added to the problem. Yes, the climate crisis will contribute enormously. Yes, greater prosperity by previously vegetarian consumers in India and China will increase demand for feed grains. But the media only occasionally touch on why we are having this particular food crisis...
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May/June 2008

Springtime brings more than buds on trees
It's that time of year. We're receiving phone calls and mailings from lawn care companies. We're reading advertisements in newspapers selling lawn chemicals. What are they really trying to sell us?....
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Just one word ... Plastics.
I well remember the one-liner in the 1967 movie The Graduate. A businessman offered advice to a young man who was considering his career options - "Just one word ... Plastics." Without debate, plastics have provided many benefits, such as the use of intravenous tubing, which has saved lives. So what's the brooha?...
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March/April 2008

WATER
"The future is clear. Global warming will intensify drought." This is a quotation from Stephen Schneider of Stanford University in the 8/20/07 Washington Post. Wells are being drilled around the clock in California's central valley, one of the most productive food-growing areas in the world. The drilling must burrow deeper and deeper to tap into the sinking water table. It's expected that farmers may not be able to afford the exorbitant cost to pump it...
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Lawn Chemicals and Wildlife Don’t Mix
Spring in Northeast Ohio brings many delights. Birds building nests, spring peepers calling out in the night and the Forsythia starting to bloom all signal the start of a new season. The first new blades of grass emerging in a suburban lawn is another sign of spring. But is that grass a blessing or a curse?...
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January/February 2008

What is SRI?
As a new member of the Sierra Club Northeast Ohio, by way of introduction, I’d like to say that Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is my Purpose, Passion, and what I Persevere to educate others on. Why SRI?...
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Fair Trade
Fair trade is an innovative approach that guarantees farmers will receive a fair price for their products. This allows them higher living standards, sustainable farming practices and improved working conditions...
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Will climate change lead to mass migrations?
Climate change is now being considered a threat to human security. Recent projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimate that by 2080, billions of people will face water scarcity and hunger and millions of homes will be hit hard by coastal flooding. People will be at risk of displacement, causing an environmental crisis of global proportions...
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Toilet paper’s link to climate change
One very simple way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use recycled-content toilet paper instead of the fluffy virgin-wood kind (most of the mainstream brands, such as Charmin and Cottonelle). According to the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), if everyone in the US switched just one virgin roll to recycled content, we'd save 424,000 trees...
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November/December 2007

Organic Labeling
The demand for organically grown food is soaring. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) organic sales increased 22 percent in 2006. As conscientious consumers we want this trend to continue. The way to make that happen?...
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Leaf Blowers: The Scourge of Suburbia
My name is Robert Carillio and I serve as an Ohio contact for Noise Free America -- a national grassroots advocacy dedicated to restoring reasonable peace and quiet to our communities through education about the hazards of noise pollution...
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September/October 2007

Will Environmental Justice be Served?
Thousands of Central American agricultural workers filed lawsuits claiming they were left sterile after being exposed to DBCP, a pesticide used primarily in banana plantations. The lawsuit claims that Dow Chemical Company noted atrophied testes in laboratory animals exposed to the pesticide, yet Dow suppressed information about its toxicity and continued to market...
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July/August 2007

Protect the Environment, One Bite at a Time
As a hamburger patty is thrown on the grill, it's easy not to think about the huge impact that lone burger has on our environment. Large amounts of fossil fuels are used to produce that hamburger and transport it to our dinner plate, including petroleum based fertilizers and agrichemicals used to grow livestock feed...
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Choosing Healthy Fish
A healthy diet is of utmost importance where our families are concerned. Fish, which is high in protein and many other nutrients, is still considered to be a healthy choice. As a source of lean protein, low in saturated fat, seafood provides essential omega 3 fatty acids that are important for cell function. The American Heart Association recommends consumers eat two servings of fish per week to prevent coronary heart disease. However, today's processing techniques are very complex, and some fish choices are healthier than others....
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May/June 2007

The Truth About Corn Ethanol
When I first heard about corn ethanol, I thought it sounded wonderful. Then I read the March 28, 2004 front page story in the Plain Dealer called "Ethanol Subsidies Fuel Heated Debates". Dan Becker, director of Sierra Club's energy program was quoted as saying "Ethanol, especially from corn, is not a good idea"...
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The Birds and the Bees and the Flowers and the Trees
Those words in a 1960's song bring memories of slow dancing in a high school gym. I had other things on my mind then. It hadn't occurred to me that birds, bees, and other creatures have a purpose other than poetic words for a love song. It became very clear when I learned about the 10/18/06 report by the National Research Council which indicates that long-term population trends for many North American pollinators are "demonstrably downward."...
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March/April 2007

Mountaintop Removal
This hollow is like so many others-a twisted, narrow ribbon of fertile bottomland separating the steep, convoluted mountains of Southern West Virginia. Here, as in all these valleys, it's easy to see that this sheltering, isolating landscape molded the culture of the Appalachian folk as they made a living off what they could harvest both from above and below the ground...
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Spring Planting Fever
When I met ethnobotanist Peter Gail, he said to me, “People are always talking about what not to do. I like to talk about what to do.” He spoke excitedly about dandelions, a topic that makes some people shudder. When he said that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dandelions are one of the top five nutritious plants that a person can eat, he had me hooked...
...Read More

January/February 2007

Conserve Our Water Resources
Less than 1 percent of the world’s water is available for human use. The rest is mostly in our salty oceans (97.5% of it), with much of the remaining 2.5% locked up in glaciers and icecaps (the largest being Greenland and Antarctica), or beyond our reach underground ...
...Read More

November/December 2006

Climate Change and Biodiversity
If you have seen an Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s documentary about global warming, you are probably convinced that climate change is at least something that we should be worried about and more likely something that must be addressed sooner rather than later. Gore’s film did an excellent job of outlining the process of climate change and its likely consequences. However, the film was short on specifics concerning the impact on biodiversity. Polar bears are going to be in trouble, but they represent only the tip of the metaphorical melting iceberg ...
...Read More


September/October 2006

Climate Change – Are We Capable of a Serious Response?
The brilliant cartoonist Tom Toles made a pointed comment on mankind’s ability to ignore compelling scientific evidence in a series of panels he drew in 2002. Three men are sitting in a steaming Jacuzzi, and one says “So these scientists did this experiment that if you drop a frog into boiling water he jumps out, but if you put him in warm water and heat it slowly, he just swims around until he’s cooked.” “What’s the point ofthat experiment?” asks the second man ...
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Emerging Diseases and the Environment
Global Warming continues to spiral out of control – disrupting the delicate balance of disease in nature. One can’t turn on the news without hearing about some new virus or bacteria, or the latest outbreak of the Bird Flu or West Nile virus. This piece was originally published as an op-ed in 1995. Eleven years later, it’s even more relevant than ever before ...
...Read More


May/June 2006

Club Member’s Journal: The Bird Feeder
Several years back, I wrote about our bird feeder, a housewarming gift for our new digs. We had problems with squirrels and with the pole that held the feeder. Also, it was about ten or fifteen feet from the dinette window, too far from ...
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Low Price is No Excuse
Where can you find a store that causes many of the longstanding established ‘mom and pops’ which can’t compete to close, leaving main street with empty storefronts? Where can you find full-time employment defined as a 28 hour work week, ...
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Who Does Poverty Serve?
Here in West Virginia, we have a long history of poverty and a long history of business coming in and getting rich off our backs. Our poverty serves big business. Our state courts big business. If you have jobs our state ...
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March/April 2006

Facts about Lawn Pesticides
Pesticides, which are chemicals that kill weeds, insects and fungus, are potentially harmful chemicals used in lawn care. For example: “weed and feed” contains pesticides. Both granular chemicals and spray forms are poisons.
...Read More

January/February 2006

Save Money and Reduce Climate Change!
Here are a few reminders about how to quickly and easily save energy this winter:...
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November/December 2005

Hurricanes Cause Extreme Natural Gas Shortages
Motorists saw an instant jump in gasoline prices to above $3.00 a gallon when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have also managed to shut down a huge portion of America's natural gas production.
...Read More

September/October 2005

Go Native in the Garden
Native plants of North America come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. When landscaping, seek information as to where the plant you are purchasing comes from. If it is from another continent it may become an invasive species when it goes to seed in its new home.
...Read More
The Environmental Impact of Bottled Water
Recent articles have been telling us that Americans are drinking bottled water at rates that astound even the purveyors of the bottled water. It's interesting that every study that's ever been done shows that most water drinkers cannot tell the difference between the bottled or tap water.
...Read More

May/June 2005

Bagging It
Recent articles have been telling us that Americans are drinking bottled water at rates that astound even the purveyors of the bottled water. It's interesting that every study that's ever been done shows that most water drinkers cannot tell the difference between the bottled or tap water.
...Read More
Fair Trade Coffee Supports Sustainability
Americans sure love coffee. Each morning, nearly 100 million of us get things going with a piping hot cup of Joe. But most of us know very little about this product that has become such a part of our everyday lives.
...Read More

2002

Are Pesticides Safe?
Resources for Risks From Exposure to Synthetic Pyrethroids
Colombia Overview (Rainforest Committee)
Conservation Work In Colombia (Rainforest Committee)
The Herbicide Threat - Colombia (Rainforest Committee)

2001

West Nile Virus Fact Sheet
Recommended Surveillance and Control Plan for WNV

1996

Integrated Pest Management Plan & Policy for Schools
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