Community New & Politics - Articles

Food waste is a huge issue in America, especially in light of the growing divide between the profligate rich and the hungry poor. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss Project, we throw away more than 25 percent—some 25.9 million tons—of all the food we produce for domestic sale and consumption. A 2004 University of Arizona study pegs the figure at closer to 50 percent, finding that Americans squander some $43 billion annually on wasted food.


For decades, many ecologically-minded Americans have sounded the warning that unless something is done about emissions, our weather conditions will become dangerously distorted. What was the reaction of politicians? They treated these whistle blowers as anything from unrealistic alarmists to, of all things, Socialists!


By most accounts, deforestation in tropical rainforests adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than the sum total of cars and trucks on the world’s roads. According to the World Carfree Network (WCN), cars and trucks account for about 14 percent of global carbon emissions, while most analysts attribute upwards of 15 percent to deforestation.


 This morning as I walked to my favorite coffee shop for breakfast, I noticed that no one was smiling. My neighborhood, Hell's Kitchen, was saved from the ravages of the hurricane. Apart for some strong wind and heavy rain, we were untouched by a disaster that devastated millions of lives.


As the flood waters recede, we all want to get our homes, our places of employment, our communities, and our roads, rails, bridges, and tunnels clean and back to normal as quickly as possible. However, be cautious, hurricane cleanup and restoration work may have serious risks. Doing the wrong thing can endanger your safety, your health, and possibly your life.


Most of the time, life just goes on, with its usual ups and downs. We learn to ride out the low points praying that the magic of Time will help us handle whatever daunting challenges show up. There's a pun that says, "No one gets out of Life alive!"


The non-profit League of Conservation Voters (LCV) helps Americans sort out the good guys from the bad when it comes to the environmental track records of candidates in important high-level races across the country. Besides endorsing specific candidates, the group also keeps a running “dirty dozen” list of the politicians with the worst environmental records. Meanwhile, the group’s LCV Action Fund is a related political action fund that can channel funding to the candidates it supports.


None of us can escape being bombarded by advertisements touting the health benefits of products lining the shelves of countless stores. The buzzwords, “Natural” preceded by “All” and “100%' even “Organic” are RIDDLED WITH LIES! Companies are jumping on the bandwagon of increased health consciousness and cleverly wording their packaging to dupe you into believing their claims are true.


Now that Hoylman has won the State Senate race, the hard part begins. What will his initiative do about the critical issues facing SoHo? Will affordable housing be preserved? WIll the abusive and retaliative landlord attacks on rent-stabilization and rent-control (with the assistance of the courts), be investigated and prosecuted? Will the remaining guerilla art, such as the Bob Bolles sculptures in “Sunflower Park”—which should be renamed “Bob Bolles Park”—be returned from Randall’s Island preserved?


Americans squander a lot of electricity keeping things lit up at night while most of us sleep. This light blocks our view of the night sky and stars, creates glare hazards on roads, messes with our circadian sleep-wake rhythms, interrupts the patterns of nocturnal wildlife, and is by and large annoying. It also takes a financial toll: The federally funded National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) reports that poorly-aimed, unshielded outdoor lights waste $2 billion (17.4 billion kilowatt-hours) of energy in the U.S. each year.