Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers/Deadly Truck Traffic: The List of Impacts From Fracking Grows

Published on Alternet (

Earth Island Journal [1] / By Maureen Nandini Mitra [2]

The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers

August 13, 2012

Animated short by the Center for Investigative Reporting [3]

That Americans love meat is old news. But sometimes a fresh look at the sheer volume of meat consumed can still be a bit of a shocker. Like the fact that Americans, on average, eat three hamburgers a week. That’s 156 burgers per person per year. Wowzers! Apparently, despite the growing popularity of vegetarian food (all those yummy tofu, bean and potato patties) and other meats such as pork and chicken, beef is still the reigning meat of choice in this country. But at what cost? When we buy a pound of ground beef at the supermarket, are we paying what it’s really worth?

The Center for Investigative Journalism [3] explored this question recently and came up with some mindboggling figures that show just how terribly our meat habit is impacting our environment and natural resources. Here are some nuggets:

Livestock create about as much greenhouse gas pollution as cars, planes, and other forms of transport.

It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef (four times the amount for chicken and 10 times the amount required for a pound of wheat).

Need a stronger case for going veg or, at the very least, observing “Meatless Mondays," after this?

Learn more in this fact-packed animated short by CIR:

Film Credits:

Carrie Ching: Director/Producer/Reporter

Sarah Terry-Cobo: Reporter/Narrator

Arthur Jones: Illustrator/Animator

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Published on Alternet (

Deadly Truck Traffic: The List of Impacts From Fracking Grows

Submitted by Tara Lohan on Tue, 2012-08-14 15:28

Last week I was in West Virginia talking to people who have already been impacted by fracking in the Marcellus Shale and others who may be about to see their rural communities industrialized. Besides the increasingly-documented threats to water and air, many are concerned about the effects of truck traffic. Upwards of 400 trucks a day in some places. Nonstop, day and night. The folks I spoke to in West Virginia talked about ruined roads and bridges that taxpayers had to pay to repair, living with uncontrolled dust from dirt roads, inhaling pollution from the diesel trucks (some of which idle for hours), and the safety risks of massive vehicles on their small, country lanes.

Their concerns are warranted. In Texas, truck traffic from the shale gas boom is proving deadly. Jennifer Hiller of the San Antonio Express-News writes [1]:

Truck crashes, traffic and long commutes have woven their way into the fabric of daily life in once-quiet McMullen County, about 60 miles south of San Antonio. Delfina Bregman, a Tilden native who works at Joe's Food Market on Texas 16, said residents used to hear about fatal car crashes once a year -- and those usually were related to "old age." Now, she said, it seems that there's a fatal commercial truck accident in McMullen County about once a week. ...

More than a dozen counties have been inundated with traffic from the Eagle Ford Shale energy boom, but McMullen County has seen one of the biggest upswings in commercial vehicle wrecks.

This should all be part of the discussion about how fracking affects the quality of life for communities, as well as the environmental and health implications.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 17:05
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