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When Stephen Colbert's ultra conservative Comedy Central character declares you as being part of the nanny state, you know you're doing something right.

Last night, the mock talk show host aired a segment on Earthjustice's campaign to enforce a 40-year-old New York state law and associated regulations requiring manufacturers of household cleaners to reveal the chemical ingredients in their products and any health risks they pose.

The Global Work Party organized by environmental activist Bill McKibben and his 350.org campaign may be the answer to life, the universe and everything.

In October 2009, the 350.org campaign orchestrated more than 5,000 rallies urging political leaders to make meaningful progress on climate change. The success of last year’s day of action spawned this year’s Global Work Party that takes place on a day with numerological significance.

In binary code (a computer system using the binary digits ‘0’ and ‘1’ to relay instructions), 10/10/10 translates to the number 42, which in the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is offered up by the supercomputer Deep Thought as the “answer to life, the universe and everything.” The numbers have additional significance concerning the 10:10 climate change campaign.

And, speaking of numbers, why 350.org? The moniker refers to 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, the number scientists have determined is the planet’s limit if significant climate change is to be averted.

Work party events are scheduled at locations globally, including throughout the United States. Those interested in taking part can check the 350.org site for work party locations in their area or register to host their own event. The 350.org campaign takes a sensible view of the event’s impact while stressing its overall importance. Their website explains:

The goal of the day is not to solve the climate crisis one project at a time, but to send a pointed political message: if we can get to work, you [government leaders] can get to work too--on the legislation and the treaties that will make all our work easier in the long run.

Word up.

<Update 10/14: According to news reports, the red sludge tide now has reached the Danube River.>

On Tuesday, approximately 185 million gallons of red sludge burst from a reservoir at an aluminum plant about 100 miles southwest of Budapest, Hungary. The sludge, a hazardous-waste byproduct of aluminum manufacturing killed at least four people and severely injured some 120 more. Several are missing.

Today, we learned that West Virginia's Governor, Gov. Joe Manchin, is suing the EPA for its policies to strengthen watch over the state's biggest polluter, the coal mining industry and to ensure that mining does not put the people of the state and their water supplies directly in harm's way, compeletely devalue their property and turn their communities into wrecking zones for coal corporations.

A couple of Texas oilmen carrying carpetbags full of cash are being met at the California border by a couple of powerful Republicans who don't like what they're up to.

And what those fossil-fueled rascals are up to is killing California's burgeoning green economy.

<Update:  AP reports that Florida State University professor Ian MacDonald "is gratified" by today's oil spill commission report. He has been at odds with government estimates of oil spilled and had this to say to AP:

From the beginning, there was "a contradiction between discoveries and concerns by academic scientists and statements by NOAA," MacDonald said in an interview with the AP at the oil spill conference.

West Virginia is synonymous with coal mining, but a new study suggests the Mountain State is also a prime location for geothermal energy production.

A subsurface map produced by Southern Methodist University with funding from the philanthropic arm of search engine giant Google, found a large swath of geothermal hot spots in the eastern portion of the state that could be tapped to produce energy for Atlantic Seaboard communities.

You may have seen pictures of hundreds of huge fuel transport trucks stranded on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The border was closed by the Pakistani government following a drone attack that killed several suspected terrorists. The trucks are a handy target for marauding insurgents, who sneak in and torch them under cover of darkness.

There may be something of a silver lining, however.

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About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.