As Whitty reported in Mother Jones magazine, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2005 found "the first clear evidence that the world ocean is growing warmer," including the discovery "that the top half-mile of the ocean has warmed dramatically in the past 40 years as the result of human-induced greenhouse gases." But while a Scripps researcher recommended that "the Bush administration convene a Manhattan-style project" to see if mitigations are still possible, the US government has yet to lift a finger toward addressing the problem.
Source: "The Fate of the Ocean," Julia Whitty, Mother Jones, March–April 2006
4. HUNGER AND HOMELESSNESS INCREASING IN THE UNITED STATES
As hunger and homelessness rise in the United States, the Bush administration plans to get rid of a data source that supports this embarrassing reality — a survey that's been used to improve state and federal programs for retired and low-income Americans.
President Bush's proposed budget for fiscal year 2007 includes an effort to eliminate the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation. Founded in 1984, the survey tracks American families' use of Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, child care, and temporary assistance for needy families.
With legislators and researchers trying to prevent the cut, author Abid Aslam argued that this isn't just an isolated budget matter: it's the Bush administration's third attempt in as many years to remove funding for politically embarrassing research. In 2003, it tried to whack the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on mass layoffs and in 2004 and 2005 attempted to drop the bureau's questions on the hiring and firing of women from its employment data.
Sources: "New Report Shows Increase in Urban Hunger, Homelessness," Brendan Coyne, New Standard, December 2005; "US Plan to Eliminate Survey of Needy Families Draws Fire," Abid Aslam, OneWorld.net, March 2006
5. HIGH-TECH GENOCIDE IN CONGO
If you believe the corporate media, then the ongoing genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is all just a case of ugly tribal warfare. But that, according to stories published in Z Magazine and the Earth First! Journal and heard on The Taylor Report, is a superficial, simplistic explanation that fails to connect this terrible suffering with the immense fortunes that stand to be made from manufacturing cell phones, laptop computers, and other high-tech equipment.
What's really at stake in this bloodbath is control of natural resources such as diamonds, tin, and copper, as well as cobalt — which is essential for the nuclear, chemical, aerospace, and defense industries — and coltan and niobium, which is most important for the high-tech industries. These disturbing reports concluded that a meaningful analysis of Congolese geopolitics requires a knowledge and understanding of the organized crime perpetuated by multinationals.
Sources: "The World's Most Neglected Emergency: Phil Taylor talks to Keith Harmon Snow," The Taylor Report, March 28, 2005; "High-Tech Genocide," Sprocket, Earth First! Journal, August 2005; "Behind the Numbers: Untold Suffering in the Congo," Keith Harmon Snow and David Barouski, Z Magazine, March 1, 2006
6. FEDERAL WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION IN JEOPARDY
Though record numbers of federal workers have been sounding the alarm on waste, fraud, and other financial abuse since George W. Bush became president, the agency charged with defending government whistleblowers has reportedly been throwing out hundreds of cases — and advancing almost none.
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