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This Week: BP's Toxic Legacy. PLUS: Save Earth Day!  | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

This Week: BP's Toxic Legacy. PLUS: Save Earth Day! 

A HIDDEN HEALTH CRISIS IN THE GULF. Two years after BP released an estimated 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, residents and cleanup workers continue to suffer serious health issues, reports investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz in this week's cover story. "BP's Toxic Legacy," published in collaboration with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, reveals a range of troubling ailments, including respiratory conditions, bleeding from ears and noses, skin conditions that have come to be described as "the BP rash," even dementia at a bewilderingly young age. Once healthy children are now on a steady stream of medications, and chronic long-term health effects, including cancers, birth defects and developmental disorders are anticipated. Shanna Devine, an investigator for a Government Accountability Project (GAP) study calls it “the worst public health tragedies of any investigation in GAP’s 35 year history.” And yet, the current proposed settlements with BP fails to address the longer-term health crisis. As we explain in this week's Nation Action, compounding the injustice are BP and the government's efforts to elide responsibility for the untold suffering wrought by the disaster. Be sure to read the piece and find out how you can help Gulf residents reclaim their lives.

Programming Note: Catch Antonia Juhasz on MSNBC's UP with Chris Hayes on Saturday morning, live from New Orleans discussing her most recent investigation for The Nation. 

THE NATION AT THE GREEN FESTIVAL. I'm delighted to take part in the first-ever New York City Green Festival, the country's premiere sustainability event. The Nation and hundreds of other organizations and publications, including 300 exhibitors, 125 speakers and tens of thousands of attendees will gather at the Javits Center on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22, with a serious objective: expanding popular support for policies aimed at ecological sustainability and social justice. I'll be delivering a keynote at 1pm on Saturday on the Main Stage followed by a book-signing. Joining me will be other featured speakers, including Amy Goodman, Van Jones, Helen Caldicott and Frances Moore Lappe. And stop by The Nation's booth (#703) to meet writers, staffers and pick up free copies of the magazine! For more on the festival, check out colleague Peter Rothberg's post, here.

SAVE EARTH DAY. "Instead of rallying public pressure for far-reaching reforms, Earth Day is becoming, at least in the United States, a bland, tired ritual that polluters and politicians have learned to ignore or co-opt," writes Nation environmental correspondent Mark Hertsgaard in this week's issue. In his compelling call-to-action, Hertsgaard reminds us of the critical battles ahead on energy policy and the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline. "We need millions of Americans to stand up and take action, risks and political scalps," he writes. And in this week's edition of NationConversations, Jane McAlevey argues that a deeper kind of solidarity between labor and environmentalists is urgently needed, a "real blue-green alliance" that can salvage the labor-environmental alliance and, save the planet. Listen to that here.

THE NATION AT THE LA TIMES BOOKS FESTIVAL. Catch a wide range of Nation writers, including John Nichols, Eric Alterman and Nation Books authors Robert ScheerTom Hayden, Van Jones and Rebecca Solnit at this year's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, taking place all day on the campus of USC on both Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22. The festival features scores of panels, readings, signings, workshops and informal gatherings. I'll be speaking at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center at 10:30am on Sunday, followed by a book signing at The Nation's booth (#108). Come by and meet Nation writers and staffers and pick-up a free copy of the magazine! 

ERIC ALTERMAN FINALIST IN 2012 MIRROR AWARDS. Hats-off to Nation columnist Eric Alterman, finalist for the 2012 Mirror Awards for Best Commentary. The Mirror Awards honor excellence in media industry reporting, and recognizes "reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public's benefit." With a respect for the power of evidence that is unusual (and often unwelcome) in today's frenzied haste of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, Alterman is not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom with erudition, polemics, humor, tenacity and bracing honesty. Be sure to read the three columns for which he is honored, "How Low Will the 'Washington Post' Go?", "How Rupert Murdoch Buys Friends and Influences People," "The Agony and Ecstasy--and 'Disgrace'--of Steve Jobs."

SUNDAY SHOWS SKEW RIGHT AND WHITE. Nation contributor Leslie Savan rightly points out that there's "light at the end of the week" amid the narrow range of guests on Sunday morning talk shows. This, based on a new report by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Savan reminds us that two shows, "MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes" and "Melissa Harris-Perry" remain diverse in terms of gender, race and parts of the brain utilized, unlike their network counterparts. The LA Times offers up an inside look at "Melissa Harris-Perry." Read that here.

THE NATION STUDENT WRITING CONTEST. Seven years ago, The Nation launched an annual Student Writing Contest to identify, support and reward some of the many smart, progressive student journalists writing, reporting and blogging today. This year, we're looking for original, thoughtful, provocative student voices to answer this question in 800 words: What do you think is the most important issue of Election 2012? 

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