Apparently without advance notice of the election results, NPR has decided to cut its environmental reporting staff from three full-time reporters and an editor to just one part-timer. I don't know if NPR has noticed, but there's still plenty of reporting to be made on the environmental beat -- climate change threatens the entire civilized world, fracking threatens clean water supplies wherever gas drillers operate, oil and coal still pollute our air and water. Oh, and a bunch of pro-pollution politicians just got elected to Congress. Per Inside Climate News, NPR's climate change stories had dropped by about a quarter since January, and NPR was yet another "liberal" media outlet that didn't cover the half-million folks who dropped in for that giant climate rally in New York City in September. NPR says it's shifting its focus to other stories that are presumably more important. But if nobody can breathe the air or drink the water, then no stories will be important at that point. CREDO helps you tell NPR to reverse its unfortunate decision to scale back on environmental news coverage.
Meanwhile, a Change.org petition helps you tell Texas Gov. Rick Perry to allow Max Soffar, on death row for over three decades now dying of liver cancer, to allow Mr. Soffar to spend the rest of his days at his wife's side. A considerable amount of doubt exists that Mr. Soffar even committed the crime for which he was convicted -- no evidence links him to the crime scene, and Mr. Soffar's confession only came after three consecutive days of interrogation, none of which was actually recorded. Did I mention that substance abuse and brain damage has essentially reduced Mr. Soffar's mental capacity to that of an 11-year-old? He's a casualty of the "tough-on-crime" law enforcement policies supported by unscrupulous politicians and scared citizens, a zero-tolerance mindset that's too stupid to adjust punishments for circumstances. I'm certainly no fan of putting dangerous criminals on the street, and it's a shame I even have to say that as a pre-emptive strike against morons who reflexively try to smother anyone's attempt at mercy or compassion, but if Max Soffar is dangerous, then I'm Mitch McConnell.
Finally, with the Republican caucus in the House and Senate flush with new members, one supposes that Rep. Mike Pompeo's bill -- H.R. 4432, the so-called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2012 -- will get rushed through, and indeed word on the street is that the relevant House committee will take it up in early December. And perhaps President Obama, who has been far less a friend to GMO-labeling efforts than he suggested he would be, will sign the thing, getting some crumb out of it like getting to keep his signature right-wing health-care law intact. But H.R. 4432 is a bill that benefits the big agricultural corporations and not consumers, by prohibiting Congress or the individual states from mandating GMO labeling. Oh, and it "creates a voluntary labeling standard," when there already is one, that no one currently uses to label their GMO foods. Hence the Organic Consumers Association helps you tell your Congressfolk to oppose H.R. 4432. Personal to those who compare the GMO-labeling movement to climate-change denialism: what is the problem with people knowing what they're eating?