Verizon Sponsoring Anti-Climate Rally Backed By Coal Giant

Submitted by Eternity on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 21:52.

Max Eternity - It has long been apparent to me that in so many instances one will find  the same crowd that endorsed the Bush pResidency, hangs with the same crowd that's against healthcare, is the same crowd that is pro-war, is the same crowd that denies global warming, is the same crowd that watches and believes everything they hear on FOX News. 

There is more than enough available data that easily connects all these dots together.  And in yet another unsurprising twist, comes (see below) this story.  Why is this relevant?  Because for the last 7 years or so, in my own thorough, independent research, I've discovered an definitive link between cell phone radiation and the sharp rise in cancers occuring (amongst cell phone users) in various parts of the head, including the brain; with (as is the case with most dis-ease) children being most vulnerable.

Shoudl cell phones be outlawed, not necessarily.  Should coal be outlawed, not necessarily.  BUT, we should be told the full, transparent, unvarnished truth about the impact these things have on our health and well being.

Making money--having a thriving economy does not automatically mean a slow walk to self-destruction.

From ThinkProgress:

On Labor Day, tens of thousands of people will be gathering for the coal-powered “Friends of America Rally” in Holden, WV. The point of the gathering is to rail against the Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation. It will feature right-wing guests such as Sean Hannity and Ted Nugent (who once ranted about killing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton), and is being pushed by mountaintop-removal mining company Massey Energy. Last week, Massey CEO Don Blankenship even recorded a video inviting people to attend the rally, saying they would learn about how “environmental extremists and corporate America are both trying to destroy your jobs.”

The sponsors for the rally are mostly regional oil, gas, and coal companies. However, the list also includes the Science and Public Policy Institute — a fringe climate-denial organization — and Verizon Wireless. Read more.

Big Coal is very REAL in NEO

Eternity, you have no idea how much the coal industry controls in Ohio - it holds back Northeast Ohio big time. We'll be talking about this lots in the near future...

Disrupt IT

The Myth of Clean Coal

  Is why we suffer Bill Mason as the big wind head of the Great Lakes Energy Task Force, why the majority of Cleveland's City Council boble-headed our future away and signed a 50 year agreement * with AMP Ohio and why the Jackson administration encourages human experimentation with a trash incinerator in my west side neighborhood and Case's coal plant in Norm's east side neighborhood.

*except Brian Cummins and Mike Polensek


 CPP also uses "clean" coal. 

Our Ohio Energy Portfolio Part 1 Live Show Pt 1 & Pt 2 Feb 07 20

I am just recommending that you consider watching this video, from our friends over at the Midtown Brews Site ( on Our Ohio Energy Portfolio, from Feb 07 2008, if you find this topic of interest...

The lady who traveled up here from Meigs County, down on the Ohio River, was a wonderful, but heartbreaking speaker.

She spoke from the heart about the conditions down in her county, that she had seen with her own eyes, and how the county has some 5 huge coal burning power plants along the Ohio River.

It was a  "Real" conversation about Northeast Ohio exporting our pollution to Southern Ohio for the next 50 years...

...a rather eye opening experience (IMO) 

By refusing to deal honorably with others, you dishonor yourself.

Interesting video, but have you heard of Tinyurl?

Bill, that's a very informative video.  Too, I love the whole Midtown Brews round table discussion format.  However just as a sidebar, I couldn't help but notice the super long link that you provided for the video.  So I wanted to ask, are you familiar with Tinyurl? 

It's great, it's free and it turns long links into really short ones.  Like for instance, check out the new link I just created at Tinyurl, which is the same link that you provided above.

Here it is:

Still, in reference to Big Coal in NEO, I wish you guys all the best.  And you are so right, when (at the end of the vid) that lady was talking about all the coal plants...I mean, it just sounds like a horrible way to live. 

Did you notice that she said that they were thinking about adding another 4 plants, which would make that region the bearer of the largest concentration of coal plants in the United States!!!

What a nightmare.


RE: tinyurl...

Yes, I have heard of those folks, and I am sure that they provide a wonderful service.

But...what I don't know is "how long".

As we live in an everchanging world, what happens to all those "nice convenient free" links that they provide when they go out of business???

(Just a thought from a crazy old man who was learning web design before the bust, and learned a couple of things from those thymes (and others).)

BTW, glad you enjoy the 'Brews, I plan on being part of the "peanut gallary" again this year, if they will continue to let me.

If you should be in the neighborhood and choose to be part of one, please be sure to introduce yourself to me... Always mice to meet the person behind the fingers.



By refusing to deal honorably with others, you dishonor yourself.

A long-distance friend


Were I a physical resident of NEO I would take you up on your offer.  Though I guess I'm what you might call a virtual resident.  I'm engaged in what's happening there (at least to a limited degree) but my physical self is not actually somewhere else. 

I live in Atlanta.

How I got involed in REALNEO is kind of a long story, but just ask Norm, Jeff B or Susan M., they can fill you in.

Still, thanks for the invite to meet face-to-face.  In due time, it will happen.


I never knew coal was in Ohio

Coal in Ohio?  This is news to me.  I always heard about it being in the core Appalachian states like Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, etc., but never in Ohio.

Yea, but I did know that that whole clean coal thing was a total lie.  It's like cleal nuclear, it doesn't exist.

And you know, on solar alone, the sunshine that hits America is enough to power the entire world.  Never mind wind, geo-thermal, hemp, etc.

I think about the insanity of this and I just can't help but think about guys like my brother (the one closest to me in age).  Here's a guy who's a year and a half older than me, who is so unhealthy, my 75 year old mother can walk as fast as he.  He's 150 lbs overweight, he's been diagnosed with too many conditions to list and it's all self-inflicted.

He will not, WILL NOT, quit smoking.  He will not give up his diet of bacon, ham, sausage, pork ribs, fried potatoes, pork chops, soda, white bread, etc.  He will not exercise.  He just won't change. And when you talk to him, he will actually try to sit there and tell you that he's doing the best he can.

It's the same story as oil, coal, et all.  The whole line of...this is our best option.

This is out best option, that's what we're told.  And sadly, a lot of people buy into it to the lie.

Welcome to the America.


Unfortunately, most Ohio coal has about 3.5 percent sulfur

Southern Ohio is big coal county, our current Governor Strickland was elected on his promise to push Ohio coal - and Ohio coal is high sulfur:

Unfortunately, most Ohio coal has about 3.5 percent sulfur, a compound that forms sulfur dioxide when the coal is burned. Most swamps in which Ohio coal formed were near the sea. Periodically, sea water flooded the swamps resulting in the formation of pyrite (iron sulfide) and other sulfur compounds. The Clean Air Act of 1970, and later amendments, caused a rapid decline in production of Ohio coal from the all-time annual high of 55 million tons in 1970. Coal-cleaning techniques to remove sulfur compounds and techniques to remove sulfur dioxide from power-plant emissions have helped to keep Ohio coal a marketable commodity. About 25,000 tons are produced annually.

You will learn a lot about Ohio coal on REALNEO in the future.

Glad you are here to discuss this with.

Disrupt IT


 Max, sounds like you need to love your brother while you have him. Debbie

Debbie, Well hallelujah


Well hallelujah Deb.  How long you been wating to say that?  How long you been waiting to scold me on the sly?

What's your motives, where are you going with this Deb?

Better question, what have you added to this conversation; ya know, the discussion about coal and Verizon's endorsement of it?

But, since you mention it. 

Did you mean love as in, do most of my brother's house work, cause he's too out of shape to do it for himself and do other stuff like install a new sink in his bathroom and put tile on the wall in his shower, fix his computer (many times) and console my mother when she's freaking out in fear that he's gonna eat himself to death before he reaches 50, or steam clean his carpets and other stuff like that.  Oh, then I guess I do love him.

But then again Deb, since you're the moral authority, why don't you pass some judgement here.  Am I living up to your expectations, your holiness?

I have love for my brother, and all people, even Bush and Cheney.  HOWEVER, if I see someone doing wrong, causing harm to themselves or others, they you better believe I'm NOT going to sit by and say nothing--do nothing.

What would you do, give him another piece of cake in an act of feigned affection?

Debbie, that's the problem with America, we shy away from the truth.  When in truth, the truth is our first line of defense; benefiting everyone...even the apologists.

But lets not muddy the waters.  This post is about a cancer causing coal company and a [cancer causing] cell phone company forming an evil alliance.

Would you like to comment on that Debbie?



September 30th is the first annivesary of the death of a younger brother. As Labor Day approaches, I am having memories of the last one and my interactions with my brother. He is the 7th sibling of mine to die. That is where I am coming from in regards to you comments on the poor health of your brother. Apologize though for extending any thoughts to you. You can be assurred that it won't happen again as life is too short.


Shape shifting

  See--compassion, too, can be misinterpreted on line.  Too bad for all of us--the new media has some serious problems.  We all need to take care of each other.

India's generation of children crippled by uranium waste

Observer investigation uncovers link between dramatic rise in birth defects in Punjab and pollution from coal-fired power stations

Gurpreet Sigh being treated at the Baba Farid centre for Special Children in Bathinda

Gurpreet Sigh, 7, who has cerebral palsy and microcephaly, and is from Sirsar, 50km from the Punjabi town of Bathinda. He is being treated at the Baba Farid centre for Special Children in Bathinda Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain

Their heads are too large or too small, their limbs too short or too bent. For some, their brains never grew, speech never came and their lives are likely to be cut short: these are the children it appears that India would rather the world did not see, the victims of a scandal with potential implications far beyond the country's borders.

Some sit mutely, staring into space, lost in a world of their own; others cry out, rocking backwards and forwards. Few have any real control over their own bodies. Their anxious parents fret over them, murmuring soft words of encouragement, hoping for some sort of miracle that will free them from a nightmare.

Health workers in the Punjabi cities of Bathinda and Faridkot knew something was terribly wrong when they saw a sharp increase in the number of birth defects, physical and mental abnormalities, and cancers. They suspected that children were being slowly poisoned.

But it was only when a visiting scientist arranged for tests to be carried out at a German laboratory that the true nature of their plight became clear. The results were unequivocal. The children had massive levels of uranium in their bodies, in one case more than 60 times the maximum safe limit.

The results were both momentous and mysterious. Uranium occurs naturally throughout the world, but is normally only present in low background levels which pose no threat to human health. There was no obvious source in the Punjab that could account for such high levels of contamination.

And if a few hundred children – spread over a large area – were contaminated, how many thousands more might also be affected? Those are questions the Indian authorities appear determined not to answer. Staff at the clinics say they were visited and threatened with closure if they spoke out. The South African scientist whose curiosity exposed the scandal says she has been warned by the authorities that she may not be allowed back into the country.

But an Observer investigation has now uncovered disturbing evidence to suggest a link between the contamination and the region's coal-fired power stations. It is already known that the fine fly ash produced when coal is burned contains concentrated levels of uranium and a new report published by Russia's leading nuclear research institution warns of an increased radiation hazard to people living near coal-fired thermal power stations.

The test results for children born and living in areas around the state's power stations show high levels of uranium in their bodies. Tests on ground water show that levels of uranium around the plants are up to 15 times the World Health Organisation's maximum safe limits. Tests also show that it extends across large parts of the state, which is home to 24 million people.

The findings have implications not only for the rest of India – Punjab produces two-thirds of the wheat in the country's central reserves and 40% of its rice – but for many other countries planning to build new power plants, including China, Russia, India, Germany and the US. In Britain, there are plans for a coal-fired station at the Kingsnorth facility in Kent.

The victims are being treated at the Baba Farid centres for special children in Bathinda – where there are two coal-fired thermal plants – and in nearby Faridkot. It was staff at those clinics who first voiced concerns about the increasing numbers of admissions involving severely handicapped children. They were being born with hydrocephaly, microcephaly, cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome and other complications. Several have already died.

Dr Pritpal Singh, who runs the Faridkot clinic, said the numbers of children affected by the pollution had risen dramatically in the past six or seven years. But he added that the Indian authorities appeared determined to bury the scandal. "They can't just detoxify these kids, they have to detoxify the whole Punjab. That is the reason for their reluctance," he said. "They threatened us and said if we didn't stop commenting on what's happening, they would close our clinic.

"But I decided that if I kept silent it would go on for years and no one would do anything about it. If I keep silent then the next day it will be my child. The children are dying in front of me."

Dr Carin Smit, the South African clinical metal toxicologist who arranged for the tests to be carried out in Germany, said that the situation could no longer be ignored. "There is evidence of harm for these children in my care and... it is an imperative that their bodies be cleaned up and their metabolisms be supported to deal with such a devastating presence of radioactive material," she said.

"If the contamination is as widespread as it would appear to be – as far west as Muktsar on the Pakistani border, and as far east as the foothills of Himachal Pradesh – then millions are at high risk and every new baby born to a contaminated mother is at risk."

In the Faridkot centre last week, Harmanbir Kaur, 15, was rocking gently backwards and forwards. When her test results came back, they showed she had 10 times the safe limit of uranium in her body. Her brother, Naunihal Singh, six, has double the safe level.

Harmanbir was born in Muktsar, 25 miles from Faridkot. Her mother, Kulbir Kaur, 37, watched her slowly degenerate from a healthy baby into the girl she is today, dribbling constantly, unable to feed herself, lost in a world of her own. "God knows what sin I have committed. When we go to our village people say there is a curse of God on you, but I don't believe so," she said. "Every part of this area is affected. We never imagined that there would be uranium in our kids."

A few miles down the road in Bathinda, Sukhminder Singh, 48, a farmer, watched his son Kulwinder, 13, staring into space while curling his hands up under his chin. Tests showed Kulwinder has 19 times the maximum safe level of uranium in his body. He has cerebral palsy and has already had seven operations to unbend his arms and legs.

"The government should investigate it because if our child is affected it will also affect future generations," he said. "What are they waiting for? How many children do they want to be affected? Another generation? I can leave the house for work, but my wife is always with him. Sometimes she cries and asks why God is playing with our luck. Every morning he sends a new trouble."

Doni Choudhary, aged 15 months, is waiting to be tested, though staff say he shows similar symptoms to those who have tested positive and are treating him for suspected uranium poisoning. His mother, Neelum, 22, from the state capital, Chandigarh, says he was born with hydrocephaly. His legs are useless.

"He is dependent on others. After me, who can care for him?" Neelum asks. "He tries to speak but he can't express himself and my heart cries. When will he understand that his legs don't work? What will he feel?"

India's reluctance to acknowledge the problem is hardly unexpected: the country is heavily committed to an expansion of thermal plants in Punjab and other states. Neither was it any surprise when a team of scientists from the Department of Atomic Energy visited the area and concluded that while the concentration of uranium in drinking water was "slightly high", there was "nothing to worry" about. Yet some tests recorded levels of uranium in the ground water as high as 224mcg/l (micrograms per litre) – 15 times higher than the safe level of 15mcg/l recommended by the WHO. (The US Environmental Protection Agency sets a maximum safe level of 20mcg/l.)

Some scientists have proposed that the ground water may have been contaminated by contact with granite rocks that rise above the ground about 150 miles away to the south in the Tosham hills, in Haryana state. A continuation of these rocks is believed to run deep below the thick alluvial deposits that form the plains of Punjab.

Increasing demands for water, in particular to irrigate the rice crop, have led to greater dependence on tube wells. That in turn is depleting the water table in the state at an alarming rate – by at least 30cm a year, according to one study – with the result that water is being drawn from ever deeper levels. However, this theory seems to be in conflict with evidence from parents of many of the children, who say they use the mains supply, which comes from other sources.

There have also been claims that the contamination may have been exacerbated by depleted uranium carried on the wind from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At a seminar in Amritsar in April, Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, a former chief of the naval staff, suggested that areas within a 1,000-mile radius of Kabul – including Punjab – may be affected by depleted uranium. Although the prevailing monsoon winds blow either from the north-east or the south-west, there are times when a depression originating in the Mediterranean can result in rainfall in Punjab.

Meanwhile, smoke continues to pour from the power station chimneys and lorries shuttle backwards and forwards, taking away the fly ash to be mixed into cement at the neighbouring Ambuja factory. Inside the plant last week, there was ash everywhere, forming drifts, clinging to the skin, getting into the throat.

Ravindra Singh, the plant's security officer, said that most of the ash went to the cement works, while the rest was dumped in ash ponds. It would be more efficient to burn better quality coal that left less ash, he said. Every day the plant burned 6,000 tons of coal. He had no idea how much ash that generated, but the stream of lorries to take it away was continuous.

The first coal-fired power station in Punjab was commissioned in Bathinda in 1974, followed by another in nearby Lehra Mohabat in 1998. There is a third to the east, at Rupnagar.

Tests on ground water in villages in Bathinda district found the highest average concentration of uranium – 56.95mcg/l – in the town of Bucho Mandi, a short distance from the Lehra Mohabat ash pond. Such a concentration of uranium means the lifetime cancer risk in the village was more than 153 times higher than in the normal population. Tests on ground water in the village of Jai Singh Wala, close to the Bathinda ash pond, showed an average level of 52.79mcg/l. People living there said they used the ash to spread on the roads and even on the floors of their homes.

Scientists in Punjab who have studied the presence of uranium in the state have dismissed the government denials as a whitewash. "If the government says there is a high level of uranium in an area that would create havoc – they don't want to openly say something like that," said Dr Chander Parkash, a wetland ecologist working at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

Both he and Dr Surinder Singh, who works at the same university and has also carried out tests on the state's ground water, said it was clear that uranium was present in large quantities and should be investigated further.

Another scientist, Dr GS Dhillon, a former chief engineer with the irrigation department, is convinced that the uranium has come from the power stations and accuses the authorities of failing to control the ash ponds, which he believes have contaminated the ground water.

Their concerns are bolstered by a report from the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, Russia's leading state organisation for nuclear research, published last month in the Russian Academy of Sciences' Thermal Engineering journal. The report's author, DA Krylov, raised serious doubts about the safety of coal-fired thermal power stations (TPSs), concluding that radiation from ash residues and from chimney emissions built up around coal-fired power plants and posed an additional risk to those living and working in the area.

"Natural radionuclides contained in coals concentrate in ash-and-slag wastes and gas-aerosol emissions as these coals are fired at TPSs, with the result that an elevated man-made radiation background builds up around TPSs," the report stated. The situation became worse, the report said, if ash was used as a construction material or as a filling material for roads.

A previous report in the magazine Scientific American, citing various sources, claimed that fly ash emitted by power plants "carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy", adding: "When coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels."





By refusing to deal honorably with others, you dishonor yourself.

Shapeshifter and friend

  Bill, you are always welcome here at REALNEO as part of the peanut gallery as you accurately call it.  The old models do not work for us... and the new models are not magical. It will take a concerted effort on the part of all of us, to put elitism and social Darwinism aside, to work for the benefit of all, not the chosen few.  We are too removed from our own ecology.  We need to stop overly complicating our lives.  REAL community is paramount.