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Stories by Brendan Borrell

Sustainability

Should we spend stimulus money keeping Florida cool?

With $5 billion in stimulus money going to weatherize homes, The New York Times is asking how much of that is pork.

Since the 1970s, the federal government has provided funding to help low-income residents keep heating bills down by plugging holes and beefing up insulation.  The winterizing program makes both economic and ecological sense, considering that heating an average house costs $1,188 per year and, nationwide, heating sends 358 million metric tons of climate-warming carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere...

June 8, 2009 — Brendan Borrell
Health

Health insurers want you to keep smoking, Harvard doctors say

Health and life insurance companies in the U.S. and abroad have nearly $4.5 billion invested in tobacco stocks, according to Harvard doctors.

“It’s the combined taxidermist and veterinarian approach: either way you get your dog back,” says David Himmelstein, an internist at the Harvard Medical School and co-author of a letter published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine ...

June 3, 2009 — Brendan Borrell
Sustainability

Biologists aren't keeping track of endangered species, GAO says

The coastal California gnatcatcher has been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1993.  You would think that when construction of the Sky Ranch development east of San Diego was predicted to harm seven gnatcatcher breeding pairs three years ago, the government would keep close tabs on those numbers, termed “incidental take.”

Not so, says a new report issued by the U.S...

May 27, 2009 — Brendan Borrell
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