Monthly Archives: August 2016

What we can learn from anti-zika spraying

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 8/9/16

Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and people.

So, health authorities have been working on the twin challenges of eradicating mosquitoes and educating people.

Transmission of Zika virus from mosquitoes to people (and vice versa) in the continental US has occurred only in one small tropical enclave: a square mile (or now it seems even less) of Miami. Pennsylvanians might worry about catching zika from travelers returning from the Rio Olympics but not from mosquitoes this summer so far north. (1)

However, we should be worrying about the effects of being sprayed with pesticides, of which there is really no safe level for the environment and human exposure.

As someone involved in the current campaign to cut down on both mosquitoes and pesticide spraying in West Chester, I think we can learn a lot from zika, even if it is not currently being transmitted by mosquitoes anywhere near us.

Many insects, like the viruses that attack the human body, reproduce quickly and can develop resistance to whatever we throw against them. As doctors turn from one antibiotic to another to find one that still kills a given virus, so health officials experiment to see what still kills different mosquito species.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, the chief transmitter of zika, is particularly problematic for traditional mosquito elimination programs and the standard anti-mosquito pesticide permethrin, a pesticide usually applied from ground-based equipment such as trucks. (2) …

continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester, 8/9/16

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You Are My Perfect Muse

by Lindy Li, Huffington Post, 8/4/2016

One evening you send me a picture of gorgeous serenity, a vignette of America’s heartland, a scene of unadulterated beauty. My sense of awe is tinged by unease, as I wonder how much longer our country could remain this perfect, peaceful, and pristine, given the reckless behavior of industry and individual alike… Just as I wonder how long you and I will last — forever or for a mere season?


After The Sierra Club told me about a legal loophole that allows Brunner Island Power Station to pollute with impunity, I decided to drive there to see for myself. This massive facility near Harrisburg is the only coal-fired power plant in our state without the pollution controls that would protect vulnerable Southeastern Pennsylvanians from large quantities of nitrogen oxide (NOx). Americans in Philadelphia, Berks, Chester, Lebanon, and Montgomery Counties have suffered for years from the smog. Because of this loophole, sickly looking yellow smoke disgorges into the atmosphere, with no buffer between the contaminants and your lungs….

continue reading at Huffington Post

Brunner Island coal

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Proposed Mariner East gas pipeline route

from SE PA Sierra Club. Download Sierra Club handout here: fullPage_AreWePrepared

Proposed pipeline

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