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water pollution

How Crony Capitalism and Deregulation Poisoned Toledo's Water

By Carl Gibson - Occupy.Com, August 15, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Toledo's recent water crisis isn't unlike this year's water-related crises in West Virginia and Detroit. As in those other events, the poisoning of Toledo's water is ultimately tied to corruption at the highest levels of state government by corporate special interests.

Freedom Industries's toxic chemical spill in Charleston's Elk River in January, which poisoned drinking water for 300,000 people, was a direct result of West Virginia's state government deregulating coal, the state's top industry, and selective enforcement of environmental laws when it concerns big campaign donors in the coal business.

In Detroit, the poorest 40 percent of the city stood to lose water in their homes – something the UN has declared a basic human right. The Detroit water shutoffs were proposed by an unelected emergency manager who singlehandedly made the decision to pay off big foreign banks with $537 million meant for city water infrastructure, while making the most vulnerable foot the bill.

Toledo's water crisis would never have happened if agricultural runoff had been properly regulated – and if Ohio's government hadn't systematically diverted tax dollars meant for cities and counties to upgrade infrastructure, meanwhile rewarding corporations and the rich with more tax breaks.

Report: World's Oceans on Brink of Collapse Global Ocean Commission says rescue needed within five years

By Nadia Prupis - Common Dreams, June 23, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The world's oceans face irreparable damage from climate change and overfishing, with a five-year window for intervention, an environmental panel said Tuesday.

Neglecting the health of the oceans could have devastating effects on the world's food supply, clean air, and climate stability, among other factors.

The Global Oceans Commission, an environmental group formed by the Pew Charitable Trust, released a report (PDF) addressing the declining marine ecosystems around the world and outlining an eight-step "rescue package" to restore growth and prevent future damage to the seas. The 18-month study proposes increased governance of the oceans, including limiting oil and gas exploration, capping subsidies for commercial fishing, and creating marine protected areas (MPAs) to guard against pollution, particularly from plastics.

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