Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shame on Eastman Chemical - redux

I posted an item here on January 13, 2009, criticizing Eastman Chemical, and I also sent a similar letter to Rudy Baum, the editor of Chemical & Engineering News, which Mr. Baum offered to publish. (I have great respect for Mr. Baum. Indeed, I am forever grateful for his publication of an earlier letter of mine, on September 14, 2004, which led to the formation of Chemists Without Borders in the first place.) Subsequently, I received a letter from Mr. Baum saying he'd changed his mind about the Eastman letter. Here's what he said.
Dear Dr. Gerber:

Upon reflection, I have decided not to publish your letter on Eastman Chemical Co. and its production of material for cigarette filters. As much as you find cigarette smoking distasteful, it remains a legal activity. Eastman Chemical is a corporation, and it is not its business to police people's unhealthy activities.


Rudy M. Baum
Besides the impact of smoking on smokers themselves, the industry which grows tobacco in many places has a terrible impact on the workers who do the farming of the tobacco. For instance, in places like Bangladesh, where Virginia tobacco is cultivated for US companies, the workers are kept intentionally in the dark about the risks to their occupational health and safety.

What do you think?

Sunday, March 29, 2009


New YouTube Channel, just for higher ed videos! Thanks, You Tube - Chronicle of Higher Education - and Open Access News. Lots of science lessons here.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

How dirty is your power plant?

Here is an interesting link to a site that gauges CO2 output from coal power plants:


Apparently, there will be a large demonstration in DC tomorrow, March 2nd.

Discuss in comments.