Short Takes: News From All Over

Debunking Wanna-be Debunkers
By Staff, RealClimate
Back in December, a group of climate scientists launched as ‘a way for scientists to fight back against the disinformation promoted by climate contrarians.’ They use the site to post information about new studies and point out errors in media reports about global warming (and to debunk that Michael Crichton novel, State of Fear). — Danielle Maestretti

Meat Packer’s Union on the Chopping Block
By Sasha Lilley, CorpWatch
The Tyson Fresh Meats slaughterhouse and processing facility in Pasco, Washington, is taking the axe to more than just beef — it’s attempting to hack off the strong arm of the workers’ union. Meatpacking is a dangerous vocation, but according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Tyson’s Pasco operation has a rate of injury and illness more than double the national average for meatpacking plants. What will protect the workers from harm if they become union-free? Core values and religious beliefs appear to be Tyson’s response. — Marca Bradt

The Lesson of Sativex
By Rob Kampia, AlterNet
On April 19, the Canadian government approved the prescription sale of Sativex, a whole-plant cannabis extract marketed to treat the pain and symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. AlterNet‘s Rob Kampia believes the new marijuana drug, also discussed in the May/June issue of Utne magazine, ‘should be the final blow to the U.S. government’s irrational prohibition against the medical use of marijuana.’ — Barb Jacobs

Get Your Head in the Clouds
By Staff, The Cloud Appreciation Society
Dedicated to the wonder of clouds, with a mission to challenge ‘blue-sky thinking,’ The Cloud Appreciation Society believes that clouds are nature’s poetry — expressions of the atmosphere’s moods — and that contemplating them benefits the soul. This singularly purposed website includes a cloud chat room, a gallery of cloud ‘look-alikes,’ cloud-of-the-month photos, and poems on these ‘sofas of the saints.’ — Marca Bradt

2nd Chances
By Maria Finn Dominguez, Audubon
Does more time spent outside of prison keep people out of jail for good? One nature-based rehabilitation program at Rikers Island prison seems to suggest so. Inmates eligible for the program, GreenHouse, learn professional horticultural skills — soil science, planting and maintaining gardens, and propagation — and are often hired by the Horticultural Society of New York after they’re released. The students’ experiences with nature also serve as an important part of their rehabilitation — while Rikers has a 65 percent recidivism rate, only about 10 percent of GreenHouse ‘graduates’ return to prison. — Danielle Maestretti

Made in India
By Daniel Brook, Legal Affairs
Outsourcing higher-end labor to India isn’t just a boon for the customer service industry anymore. With visa restrictions forcing many top-notch US law school graduates to find work in their homeland, a pool of businesses have sprung up in India to offer American firms and companies high quality legal services at cut-rate prices. — Hannah Lobel

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