–Three poisons: Lead, coal and money

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Mitchell’s laws:
●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor,
which ultimately leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.
●Everything in economics devolves to motive,
and the motive is the gap.


Tetraethyl lead (TEL)was mixed with gasoline (petrol) beginning in the 1920s as a patented octane booster that allowed engine compression to be raised substantially, which in turn increased vehicle performance or fuel economy.

Ethanol was already known as a widely available, inexpensive, low toxicity octane booster, but TEL was promoted because it was uniquely profitable to the patent holders.

TEL was phased out starting in the U.S. in the mid-1970s because of its cumulative neurotoxicity and its damaging effect on catalytic converters.

TEL is still used as an additive in some grades of aviation gasoline, and in some developing countries.

We long had known lead is a poison.

In the Nov. 10, 1924, issue of TIME, a report showed that 35 men at the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey had come down with an “occupational disease.” Symptoms ranged from insomnia to low blood pressure, all at the hands of lead poisoning.

That was one thousands of subsequent articles detailing the terrible, toxic effects of lead, especially on our children:

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2002

The use of lead as a petrol additive has been a catastrophe for public health. Leaded petrol has caused more exposure to lead than any other source worldwide. By contaminating air, dust, soil, drinking water and food crops, it has caused harmfully high human blood lead levels around the world, especially in children.

Soon after production began in Bayway, New Jersey, USA, an outbreak of acute neuropsychiatric disease appeared among workers, 80% of whom developed convulsions and five died. Then, despite strong public health warnings, production resumed. By the 1970s, almost all petrol produced around the world contained lead.

The nervous system of the fetus and infant is especially susceptible to lead.

The consequences are loss of intelligence and disruption of behaviour.Because the brain has little capacity for repair, these effects are permanent and untreatable.

In the USA, the removal of lead from petrol between 1976 and 1995 resulted in a 90% reduction in mean blood lead level. Similar effects were recorded in Western Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

In a number of developing countries too, including China, El Salvador, India, Mexico and Thailand, declines in blood lead levels have followed the removal of lead from petrol. Nearly 50 nations have now renounced the use of lead in petrol.

This is a triumph for public health.

Why did it take 50 years of human poisoning to even begin to stop adding this toxin to our environment?


Coal generates 44% of our electricity, and is the single biggest air polluter in the U.S.

Burning coal causes smog, soot, acid rain, global warming, and toxic air emissions. Ash, sludge, toxic chemicals, and waste heat create more environmental problems.

Mining, transporting, and storing coal levels mountains and pollutes the land, water, and air. Coal plants need billions of gallons of cooling water and harm wildlife.

Coal today, is responsible for poisoning millions of Americans and billions of people, world wide, in addition to increasing the CO2 load that contributes to global warming.

Washington, DC – November 18, 2009 – Physicians for Social Responsibility today released a groundbreaking medical report, “Coal’s Assault on Human Health,” which takes a new look at the devastating impacts of coal on the human body.

By examining the impact of coal pollution on the major organ systems of the human body, the report concludes that coal contributes to four of the top five causes of mortality in the U.S. and is responsible for increasing the incidence of major diseases already affecting large portions of the U.S. population.

“These stark conclusions leave no room for doubt or delay,” says Kristen Welker-Hood, SCD MSN RN, PSR’s director of environment and health programs. “The time has come for our nation to establish a health-driven energy policy that replaces our dependence on coal with clean, safe alternatives.

Business as usual is extracting a deadly price on our health. Coal is no longer an option.”

Coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and dozens of other substances known to be hazardous to human health. This report looks at the cumulative harm inflicted by those pollutants on three major body organ systems: the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, and the nervous system.

The report also considers coal’s contribution to global warming, and the health implications of global warming.

Respiratory Effects: Air pollutants produced by coal combustion act on the respiratory system, contributing to serious health effects including asthma, lung disease and lung cancer, and adversely affect normal lung development in children.

Cardiovascular Effects: Pollutants produced by coal combustion lead to cardiovascular disease, such as arterial occlusion (artery blockages, leading to heart attacks) and infarct formation (tissue death due to oxygen deprivation, leading to permanent heart damage), as well as cardiac arrhythmias and congestive heart failure. Exposure to chronic air pollution over many years increases cardiovascular mortality.

Nervous System Effects: Studies show a correlation between coal-related air pollutants and stroke. Coal pollutants also act on the nervous system to cause loss of intellectual capacity, primarily through mercury. Researchers estimate that between 317,000 and 631,000 children are born in the U.S. each year with blood mercury levels high enough to reduce IQ scores and cause lifelong loss of intelligence.

Global Warming: Even people who do not develop illnesses from coal pollutants will find their health and wellbeing impacted due to coal’s contribution to global warming. The discharge of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere associated with burning coal is a major contributor to global warming and its adverse effects on health and wellbeing worldwide, such as heat stroke, malaria, declining food production, scarce water supplies, social conflict and starvation.


Life Worth $10 Million, Tears Averted $16 Under EPA Plan

Laura Sheehan, a spokeswoman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, coalition of industries involved in power generation from coal, said the health benefits claim from Obama’s greenhouse-gas plan is “is disingenuous at best.”

Reductions in carbon have not an iota to do with reducing asthma or other health related issues,” Sheehan said. “As for premature deaths, ask EPA to show you a death certificate that says cause of death — carbon.”

Many of the health and economic benefits the Environmental Protection Agency attributes to the climate change regulations aren’t directly from limiting carbon emissions. They are mostly driven by the cuts in soot and smog the administration expects as utilities shut coal power plants and take other steps to meet the standards.

Sheehan is paid by the coal industry. Her weasel words deny adverse health effects from CO2, conveniently omitting the adverse health effects of burning coal pollution.

The objections to cutting coal pollution are all about that most devastating poison, a poison that clouds all rational thought: Money

A trio of Democratic candidates running in high-profile congressional races in two of the biggest coal-producing states quickly criticized President Obama on Monday over his administration’s new proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants in the next 16 years.

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) not only criticized the “disastrous new rules” but also vowed to introduce legislation to stop them. Rahall faces a tough reelection bid against state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R) in a district where Mitt Romney received nearly twice as many votes as Obama in 2012.

Running in West Virginia’s open U.S. Senate race, Secretary of State Natalie Tenannt (D) also panned the proposal. “I will stand up to President Obama, Gina McCarthy and anyone else who tries to undermine our coal jobs,” Tennant said. “Washington bureaucrats need to understand, these are not numbers on a balance sheet, they are real people with families to feed.”


These politicians are not fools. They understand quite well, the poisoning effects of burning coal.

Nor are they evil men. They are correct that many people depend on coal for jobs to support their families (though new jobs may be created by building other energy sources).

Further, reductions in coal burning initially will increase energy costs for everyone (though less polluting, renewable energy eventually will reduce costs, not only of energy itself, but of health care).

The advantages are long term, but the costs are immediate.


The Federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign can and should underwrite the financial burden of conversion of coal-fired plants and for the creation of sustainable energy (wind, solar, nuclear) plants.

Simply pay companies for converting to renewable energy sources. It will cost taxpayers nothing (Federal spending, unlike state and local spending, is not supported by taxes). And paying people and companies will add stimulus dollars, thereby enriching the entire economy.

Further, the people whose jobs are eliminated by these conversions, should receive extended and enhanced unemployment compensation — extended for perhaps 5 years, and enhanced to perhaps 100% of their previous compensation, even if they find new jobs.

Yes, pay them for not working. And give them a bonus for not objecting. It’s worth it to all of us to reduce air pollution and global warming.

We don’t want to wait another 50 years to eliminate the poison of coal, like we did with the poison of lead.

And we don’t need to.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here)

10. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with much higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)


10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
Two key equations in economics:
1. Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
2. Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports

Monetary Sovereignty Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the lines rise. Federal deficit growth is absolutely, positively necessary for economic growth. Period.


5 thoughts on “–Three poisons: Lead, coal and money

  1. Interconnecting all hydroelectric plants all around the USA, then throughout all North, Central and South America, then across the Bering Strait to hook up with all the hydroelectric facilities in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia will reduce the need for coal greatly an clean the environment at the same time.


  2. In explaining the toxic effects if money, Rodger uses the example of Tetraethyl lead being added to gasoline.

    Here’s another example…

    In 1909, Procter & Gamble began marketing Crisco food shortening, which was hydrogenated (i.e. it was a trans-fat). Trans-fats are deadly, since they clog arteries, but most food manufacturers started using trans-fats because they boosted corporate profits,. They were cheaper to produce and had longer shelf lives than did natural oils. By the 1950s we knew they were deadly, but the food manufacturers maintained a massive ad campaign (and political bribery campaign) that touted the artificial trans-fats as more healthy than natural chemicals. As a result, heart disease became the number one killer of Americans for decades. Today, finally, food manufacturers have started to admit he truth. Now the manufacturers boost profits by having their labels say, “Contains zero trans fats.”

    Meanwhile we are still in denial concerning another toxic chemical called high fructose corn syrup, which is in 90% of all food products.

    China is in denial regarding cigarettes. Smoking in China continues to increase by 14% per year.

    It’s all about corporate profits. And profits are all about widening the gap below us. As a species, we could do just about anything if we could overcome the obsession to widen the gap below us.

    This obsession cripples us, and causes unnecessary suffering. It manifests in organized religions whose members claim to have the one and only “Truth.” This too is an effort to widen the gap.

    Much of human energy (most energy?) is devoted to either widening the gap, or else trying to survive others’ campaigns to widen the gap between them and us.

    Yes, the US government could easily create money that would allow us to switch energy technology into clean alternatives. However this might not widen the gap between the social strata. So the US government won’t do it.

    In China, the National Tobacco Corporation has a monopoly on cigarette production, and makes more profits than Wal Mart or HSBC. It makes almost as much profits as JP Morgan Chase. The Corporation does not need any profits at all, since it is a state-owned. However its mid-level operatives have become millionaires, and its top officers billionaires. Thus, a million Chinese die from tobacco-related illnesses each year, and the number keeps rising.

    It’s all about money and the gap. The drive to widen the gap is the cause of all human social ills. War, pollution, racism, climate change, religious conflict, you name it.

    All empires fall because inequality makes them internally unsustainable. Then a new empire forms, and the cycle repeats. Each civilization has a Golden Age of comparatively low inequality. An age when they have a middle class. Then they self-destruct, because of the gap.


  3. Article about post WW2 Japan

    “By 1975, over 75 percent did. Japan’s increasing postwar wealth was distributed remarkably evenly. Thanks to progressive tax policies and government programs to keep rural incomes rising as steadily as urban ones, income distribution was relatively egalitarian. The vast majority of Japanese (more than 95 percent in some surveys) considered themselves “middle class.” Medical care and public health standards improved rapidly after the war. Average life expectancy increased steadily, eventually becoming the highest in the world.

    “The late 1980s were a dazzling and exuberant moment in Japanese history. To some, the affluence of the time led to excess. Critics bemoaned the conspicuous consumption and luxurious lifestyles of the urban elite. They pointed out the corrosive effects such wealth was having on Japanese youth. Social polarization also became an issue for the first time since the end of the war. Fortunes made overnight on the stock market or in real estate speculation meant that Japan was no longer the relatively egalitarian, middle-class society of the high-growth era.”



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