Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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Nice Folks, Those Insurance People – BOOOOO CIGNA!

On Thursday, the family rallied supporters online and staged a protest at Cigna’s Glendale office with about 150 people, including many members of the local Armenian community and the California Nurses Assn., which had released statements supporting the family’s cause.

Later in the day, Cigna released a statement approving the transplant payment.

“Although it is outside the scope of the plan’s coverage, and despite the lack of medical evidence regarding the effectiveness of such treatment,” spokesman Wendell Potter wrote, “Cigna HealthCare has decided to make an exception in this rare and unusual case, and we will provide coverage should she proceed with the requested liver transplant. Our thoughts and payers are with Nataline and her family at this time.”

Nataline died about 6 p.m.

Family blames HMO for teen’s death – Los Angeles Times

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From The Environment News Service


By J.R. Pegg
WASHINGTON, DC, December 6, 2007 (ENS)
A Senate
committee approved a landmark global warming bill Wednesday night,
calling on the nation to cut greenhouse gas emissions some 70 percent
by 2050. Although the measure faces an uphill battle in the full
Senate, proponents say the vote signals a growing consensus within
Congress and among the American public that the United States needs to
take more aggressive action to tackle global warming.


By Lisa J. Wolf
CRESCENT VALLEY, Nevada, December 6, 2007 (ENS)
32nd Annual American Indian Film Festival presented Western Shoshone
grandmother Carrie Dann with the Eagle Spirit award for best overall
contribution in American Indian cinema at an awards ceremony November
27. “Our Land, Our Life,” the film that shows the Western Shoshones’
determined struggle to maintain their way of life, won the festival’s
Best Documentary award.


NUSA DUA, Bali, Indonesia, December 5, 2007 (ENS)Adaptations to
climate change that are working for farmers in the Sudan and China,
flood-prone cities in Argentina and Uruguay, and Caribbean islands at
risk of dengue fever, among others, were presented in a new report at
the United Nations climate conference now underway in Bali. Hosted by
the government of Indonesia, the conference brings together
representatives of more than 180 governments.


WASHINGTON, DC, December 4, 2007 (ENS)One of the most intact and
biodiverse rainforest regions on Earth, located in the Upper Amazon
Basin on the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border, is now threatened by imminent
oil development, warns a conservation organization based in Washington
with close ties to its counterpart groups in South America. Known as
the Napo Moist Forest ecosystem, this remote region is home to
uncontacted indigenous groups living in voluntary isolation.

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A Feast of Ideas

When different-minded people gather at Marnita’s Table, meaningful conversation is always the main dish

The dining room windows are foggy with conversation. Every seat, nearly every piece of floor space in Marnita Schroedl’s modest three-bedroom house in Minneapolis is occupied. Patio furniture has been pressed into February service. Guests perch on radiators and test the limits of the pet-weary sofa, juggling paper plates, plastic wine glasses, and animated discussions.

Although space is tight, the more than 50 people who have crunched through fresh snow to get here tonight don’t seem to care. They’ve come to meet six international doctors who specialize in HIV/AIDS and to meet each other. All of them have some connection to the disease. Over the next four hours, they swap stories about how it has changed their lives and their communities and grope for new strategies and answers.

A Feast of Ideas

Please remember that Saturday, December 1st is World AIDS Day.  Do something.

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Stop the epidemic of rape in Congo

Every single day, women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo
are being brutally raped, beaten and killed in epidemic proportions.
Congress has a chance to positively impact this catastrophic situation
by passing the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA). Before
another day of violence goes unanswered, please sign CARE’s appeal now, telling Congress to pass this legislation immediately.

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Environment News Service


ANGANGUEO, Michoacan, Mexico, November 26, 2007 (ENS) – President Felipe Calderon visited the Sierra Chincua monarch butterfly reserve in the mountains of central Mexico on Sunday to announce his plan to enhance and publicize the reserve. Under the new program, the Calderon government will spend $4.6 million for the reserve, which is protected by Mexico and also internationally under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program


BRUSSELS, Belgium, November 26, 2007 (ENS) – Reducing the risks and adverse consequences of floods in the European Union is the aim of the new directive, or law, on flood risk management that came into force today. In the past 10 years, Europe has suffered more than 100 major floods, lending urgency to implementation of the new law.

New York State Doubles Hunger Prevention Funding

Vibrant Wind Industry Seeks Tax Credit Extension

Water Clears in Southeast’s Largest Lake

Indiana’s New Science Prize Honors Drink Box Creator

Arizona Starts to Cut Greenhouse Gases From Vehicles

California Diverts Fluorescents From Landfills

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2008 TED Prize winners

The TED Prize was introduced in 2005, and it is unlike any other award. Although the winners receive a prize of $100,000 each, the real prize is that they are granted a WISH. “A wish to change the world”. There are no formal restrictions on the wish. We ask our winners to think big and to be creative.

TED | TEDBlog: Announcing 2008 TED Prize winners

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A Last Warning on Global Warming

By Bryan Walsh

The language of science, like that of the United Nations, is by nature cautious and measured. That makes the dire tone of the just-released final report from the fourth assessment of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a network of thousands of international scientists, all the more striking. Global warming is “unequivocal.” Climate change will bring “abrupt and irreversible changes.” The report, a synthesis for politicians culled from three other IPCC panels convened throughout the year, read like what it is: a final warning to humanity. “Today the world’s scientists have spoken clearly, and with one voice,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who attended the publication of the report in Valencia, Spain. Climate change “is the defining challenge of our age.” Continue reading

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A deeply green city confronts its energy needs and nuclear worries — and money

FORT COLLINS, Colorado: This city takes pride in being green, from its official motto, “Where renewal is a way of life,” to its Climate Wise energy program, which helps local businesses reduce the carbon emissions that scientists say can contribute to global warming.

But now two proposed energy projects are exposing the hard place that communities like this across the country are likely to confront in years to come as the tangled nuances of thinking globally come back to bite.

Both projects would do exactly what the city proclaims it wants, helping to produce zero-carbon energy. But one involves crowd-pleasing, feel-good solar power, and the other is a uranium mine, which has a base of support here about as big as a pinkie.

A deeply green city confronts its energy needs and nuclear worries – International Herald Tribune

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Japanese Whalers Set Sail Again — The Slaughter Continues

The Fisheries Agency, a small government bureaucracy with control of whaling policy, sees itself as Japan’s defender against Western “culinary imperialism” and its right to marine resources. The agency says Japan’s low food self-sufficiency – less than 40 per cent – gives it the right to hunt all sustainable sea life, including whales.

What’s the matter with these people?  They’re supposed to be civilized!

A political brawl for meat they don’t even want to eat – Independent Online Edition > Asia

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Environment — The Christian Science Monitor

The politics of ethanol outshine its costs
Despite higher food prices and environmental damage, it’s warmly embraced in Congress.
Read More …

In Maryland, sea slowly claims a historic island
water levels in the Chesapeake Bay rising an inch per decade, Smith
Island has lost more than 3,200 of its 11,000 acres over the past 150
Read More …

How to fight a rising sea
What the Netherlands has done – and is urgently planning to do
Read More …

Climate summary fuels worry
the pending release of a new global-warming report, environmentalists,
politicians, and scientists wrangle in Spain for consensus.
Read More …

A melting Alaska draws visitors
Warming five times faster than the rest of the world, the state is seeing ecotourism change with the climate.
Read More …

Oil-spill helpers galore, but limits on their use
58,000 gallons of oil spilled into the San Francisco Bay last Wednesday
volunteers came out of the woodwork, but officials were unprepared for
their help.
Read More …

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International Aid –

Almost all deaths from hunger and disease worldwide can be stopped. The cost to do this is about $195 billion a year, according to the United Nations. Twenty-two developed countries have pledged to work towards each giving 0.7% (a little less than 1%) of their national income in international aid, which would raise the $195 billion. Some countries are slow to meet their pledge.

International Aid –

And guess who hasn’t even signed up?  Why, the richest country in the world, of course!

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Target Stores to Phase Out Vinyl Plastic Products

The retail chain is been persuaded by the arguments of the New York-based Center for Health, Environment and Justice and a coalition of health and environmental organizations that mounted an anti-PVC campaign in October 2006, complete with a blowup plastic yellow duck that is displayed at protest actions in front of stores

Testing has detected toxic lead and phthalates and in a broad range of PVC consumer products, including toys, lunchboxes, baby bibs, jewelry, garden hoses, mini blinds, Christmas trees, and electronics.

Target Stores to Phase Out Vinyl Plastic Products

There are even more cogent (although less compelling) arguments against PVC.