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“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
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“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union

21. How to Sell Pollution for Profit

Sources: Multinational Monitor, PO Box 19405 Washington, DC 20036, Date: June 1992, Title: “Selling Pollution,” Author: Holley Knaus; Associated Press, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020, Date: November 5, 1992, Title: “L.A. Incentives to Clean Air; Credits Traded for Less Pollution”; Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat

 SSU Censored Researcher: Kenneth Lang

SYNOPSIS: In early May 1992, the Wiscon­sin Power and Light company sold “pollu­tion credits” to the Tennessee Valley Au­thority (TVA) for about $3 million. In ef­fect, this deal gave TVA permission to spew into the air an additional 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, the primary source of acid rain.

The sale, the first to be implemented under the pollution credit trading system, authorized by the misnamed 1990 “Clean Air Act,” was hyped by the media as an example of using market forces to control pollution. Outside of environmental groups, few questioned the dangerous pre­cedent set by this deal.

The act sets ceilings on the amount of sulfur that polluters will be allowed to emit after 1995; then, incredibly, if a plant re­duces its emissions more than required, it can sell its “extra” emissions reductions to another plant that fails to reduce its emis­sions to the required level.

Critics say the pollution credit pro­gram is based on the fundamentally flawed premise that a certain level of pollution is acceptable. “Clean air should be protected, not traded and sold like a used car,” says Chris Blythe of Wisconsin’s Citizens Utility Board.

Pollution credits serve the interest of polluters, at the expense of consumers, the environment and public health, in sev­eral ways:

1. Pollution credits undermine posi­tive effects of straight regulation; under this system, instead of buying smoke scrub­bers, companies buy the right to pollute.

2. Since allowances are based on past fuel use and emission rates, companies that polluted excessively received the big­gest allowances. It is thus possible for these companies to profit the most by selling credits.

3. Since the right to emit pollution has been turned into a commodity, the federal government, in effect, has handed over valuable assets to polluters.

4. The system allows companies who are doing well financially to buy the right to pollute indefinitely, forcing the public to keep breathing the toxic fumes.

Unfortunately, the idea is spreading. Canada is considering pollution trading for air and water emissions, and the United Nations has considered a global market for greenhouse gas credits to be bought and sold. And in November, Southern California officials announced. they were considering the incentive program for the nation’s smoggiest region-a four-county area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and parts of San Bernardino) involving more than 2,000 pollution sources.

As the Multinational Monitor points out, “The value of human health and the environment cannot be determined by market forces…. U.S. citizens should de­mand strict limits on polluting sources, much stronger emphasis on pollution pre­vention, moves toward a total elimination of emissions and the abandonment of a system that turns harmful sulfur fumes into valuable assets.”

However, the citizens will not know what to demand if the media don’t explain to them that creating a market in pollution, such as the “clean air act” has done, will never clean the air.

COMMENTS: The concept of issuing pol­lution credits to promote clean air-allow­ing polluters to buy and sell pollution-is one you could expect only from an admin­istration that believed a “trickle-down” theory of economics would work. The only aspect less credible was the media’s failure to explain this environmental out­rage to the public.

Investigative author Holley Knaus says, “While the subject was covered in the mainstream press, most of the reporting was uncritical of the concept of `pollution credits’ and failed to express the views of those opposed to the idea. The implica­tions behind the idea of pollution markets went unexplored. I am also unaware of any editorial in the mass media that ar­gued against pollution credits.

“The public receives far too little infor­mation on benefits given to corporations at the expense of the environment and human health.

“Pollution credits undermine the ef­forts of those environmentalists working for pollution prevention and emission re­ductions — critical reporting on this issue should make clear the opposition of most of the environmental community to this idea pushed by the Environmental De­fense Fund. Exposure to the arguments against pollution credits would inform citi­zens’ responses to the idea.”

Knaus also points out that utilities­ particularly those that are buying credits rather than cleaning up their pollution ­are the ones who benefit from the flawed “pollution credits” concept and the lim­ited coverage given it by the press.

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