Dangers of Aerosol Dispensers, Ecology of Compost and the National Land for People

This short series of reports includes news on the dangers of aerosol dispensers, ecology of compost and the National Land for People.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
January/February 1976
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Bits and Pieces news briefs include the dangers of aerosol dispensers to our health and planet.
Photo by Fotolia/auremar


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The Bits and Pieces column shares news on the dangers of aerosol dispensers, ecology of compost and the National Land for People.

Vietnam-era veterans interested in creating new alternatives to the G.I. Bill such as setting up independent learning and apprenticeship programs, developing self-sufficient living techniques and working far veteran related social change are invited to contribute ideas, suggestions, questions, manuscripts, artwork, and personal perspectives to Lawrence Morgan, P.O. Box 865, Lawrence, Kansas, 66044. Lawrence is now compiling The First Veterans' Yellow Pages, a Whole Earth Catalog-like book designed to serve as a nationwide skills/ideas/friendship exchange by and for veterans throughout the country.

While Scientists and Environmentalists Say "Ban The Can" and warn that fluorocarbon based propellants in aerosol dispensers are destroying Earth's ozone layer-thus increasing both global temperatures and the likelihood of human skin cancer cases due to abnormally high ultraviolet radiation from the sun other researchers and industry spokesmen say the dangers are re "purely theoretical" anti that any regulation of the $550-million a year fluorocarbon business would cause "serious economic impacts Common sense, of course, has taken a back seat in the issue except, that is. among wise consumers, who continuously avoid "canned convenience" and save money by purchasing much less expensive non-aerosol products.

The 1976 Yurt Foundation Calendar is Now Out, and like its predecessors a pure joy to behold. This year's version features black and white photos of yurts in all forms and varieties (many of which were designed by the Bucks Harbor group itself), and is available for just $3.50 from The Yurt Foundation, Bucks Harbor, Maine 0461.

Dozens of Indians on Canada's Grassy Narrows and White Dog Reservations have contracted Minimata ease: a crippling (and often fatal) fort of mercury poisoning, named after-and previously thought isolated to a village in Japan where the affliction first reared its ugly head in 1956 and killed 200 people. Authorities say that Ontario's Dryden Paper Company dumped (without warning, apparently) ten tons of mercury waste into re reservation rivers during the 1960's, and as result-contaminated the Indians' major source of food and income. Today, the formerly peaceful and self-sufficient natives are riddled with palsy, mental retardation, and birth disorders and murder, rape, and suicide-formerly unknown to area tribes tribes are commonplace. Are industrial waste discharges monitored in your neighborhood?

Booklet Entitled Ecology of Compost simple, straightforward primer to the do's and don'ts (and why's) of building a successful compost pile-should make good, useful reading for first-time organic gardeners or folks who'd simply like 'o know more about the subject. You can get a copy by sending 10¢ to the Office of Public Service and Continuing Education, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, N.Y. 13210.

If You've Begun Yearning for Those Crisp, Nutritious Vegetables and salad makin's that popped up so abundantly in last summer's garden, you might do well to consider extending this year's growing season with a low-cost, easily erected greenhouse. Charles D. Neal's Build Your Own Greenhouse (available in hard cover from your local bookstore or MOTHER'S Bookshelf for 59.95) is an excellent guide for do-it-yourselfers or you can choose from any one of the many inexpensive prefabricated models available on the market, such as the portable, add-on modular units offered by Solar Flexus Greenhouses, P.O. Box 306, Wellington, Connecticut 50549.

His Land is Whose Land? Well, according to a recent issue of Government Lands Digest much of this country's acreage — including even offshore areas-is now in the hands of a relatively small group of corporate owners. Standard Oil of Indiana for instance, now holds 20.3 million acres Texaco owns 9.9 million Mobil and Gulf are both approaching million and the nation's major timber companies claim a total of nearly 35 million acres. If you have trouble comprehending use staggering statistics, consider poor ore New Jersey, which while supporting the country's eighth largest state population occupies only 4.8 million acres from border to border.

One Organization Fighting Against Corporate Land Monopolies is National Land for People (1759 Fulton, Room 7, Fresno, California 93721). The group — which concentrates its efforts primarily within California, but serves as an example for folks in other regions to follow — furnishes educational materials to schools, provides backup support to local groups and all farmers fighting for land and water rights, researches and initiates court, actions against offending big business "barons", and holds seminars and slide programs on land reform. NLP will send you more information if you include a self-addressed, vamped envelope with your request.

The Ford Motor People Apparently Had "A Better Idea" when it came to considering the results of an month, $500,000 study a project the company itself had sponsored on alternative auto design. Prepared by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology, the report which concluded that car makers could indeed increase fuel economy and meet federal exhaust emission standards if they would only invest in adequate research and design development as released just a few days before Ford and three other major auto firms ran joint ads (in 1,800 U.S. newspapers!) making aims directly to the contrary, and calling for an easing of federal outs pollution control regulations.


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