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The Canary Report Features This Blog, Why Plastic Bags Are Bad News, And What Houghton Mifflin Is Teaching Students About Global Warming… (UPDATED)

Editor’s Note – Updated @ 11:45 pm on 12/11/2008:

I just wanted to re-emphasize the advertising policy for this blog. While I, as the author of this blog, may occasionally elect to write about products that I think may be helpful to readers here, this is not meant to invite comments about $118.80 designer bags for sale and the links to purchase them. I’m sorry… but for an anonymous commenter to post about an expensive designer bag (twice) on this post tonight is really missing the point. For details on the ad policy of this blog, please see this recent post:

Saturday, December 6, 2008 Jeanne’s Endo Blog: No Scam, No Spam Policy!!

Quoting from the above post: “To clarify… ads on my site are currently all located in the sidebar. If at some point I decide to do product reviews, book reviews, or reviews regarding services my readers might find helpful, I will be sure to label my blog post clearly. At this time, however, ads are only in the sidebar”. (Please note: As author of this blog, I may choose to include info about any products that I believe readers here might find helpful. For example, today I posted about a reusable grocery bag. This is an editorial decision for me to make).

Again, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not post commercial links in comment posts. Thank you!

We’re covering lots of topics today…

1) This blog was featured in today’s post on The Canary Report: Who’s chirping about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity today?:

2) Plastic bags and how they are harmful…

3) Houghton Mifflin textbooks that teach students to question whether global warming is “real” (paraphrase)…

A) Thank you, Susie, for featuring info about this blog today!

B) Next, let’s talk about plastic bags. Here is some information from the Facebook group Stop the Manufacturing of Plastic Bags!

Barrels of oil required for US annual plastic bag consumption: 12,000,000

Were you aware that barrels of oil are required to make plastic bags?

People automatically think about cars using petroleum products… but many don’t realize the impact of plastic bags on our environment.

To learn more about this issue, please check out the Facebook group Stop the Manufacturing of Plastic Bags!

You may ask what to use instead of paper or plastic bags. (Many of you use reusable bags already).

Check out this handy option for reusable bags:


Ayaka Nangumo replied to my Facebook post about plastic bags as follows (reprinted here with permission):

“In many stores in Japan, if you bring your own bag, you receive a point. You collect the points, and you can use the points to exchange to something or get some discount. I always carry what we call “eco-bag.” These bags look much nicer than plastic bags, and they are durable, so I don’t have to worry that the bag may get torn while I’m walking back home. :)”

My response to Ayaka was:

What a great idea!! Rewarding people for using such bags. That’s sort of like here where you pay a deposit for a soda can or bottle and then you get money back when you turn the empty bottle back in. I’d love it if they would do that in the US!! 🙂

C) Now, let’s move on to the topic of school textbooks and global warming.

Per Friends of the Earth, Houghton Mifflin books are presenting slanted information to students.

See below:

“AP government books published by Houghton Mifflin are teaching students that global warming’s existence is up for debate. Below is information from Friends of the Earth“:

Tell Houghton Mifflin global warming isn’t a matter of debate:

Friends of the Earth has received a copy of American Government, published by mammoth Houghton Mifflin, which is used in AP government classes in high schools nationwide. The latest edition’s chapter on “Environmental Policy” contains a discussion of global warming so biased and misleading it would humble a tobacco industry PR man:

“It is a foolish politician who today opposes environmentalism. And that creates a problem, because not all environmental issues are equally deserving of support. Take the case of global warming.” (p. 559)

“The earth has become warmer, but is this mostly the result of natural climate changes, or is it heavily influenced by humans putting greenhouse gases into the air?” (p.559)

“On the one hand, a warmer globe will cause sea levels to rise, threatening coastal communities; on the other hand, greater warmth will make it easier and cheaper to grow crops and avoid high heating bills.” (p. 559)

“But many other problems are much less clear-cut. Science doesn’t know how bad the green-house effect is.” (p. 566)

These are not quotes from oil company press releases. These and other such statements are made by the authors of American Government in the same omnipotent, textbook tone with which we are all familiar.

Please join us in writing Houghton Mifflin right now! We will copy your governor to make sure every state is aware of
the problem with this textbook.

Tell Houghton Mifflin global warming isn’t a matter of debate

I sent a letter to Houghton Mifflin… Will you consider doing the same?

This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

New to blog commenting? Just click “comments” below post. (If you set up a Gravatar, your picture will show when you comment).

Reading: The Canary Report Features This Blog, Why Plastic Bags Are Bad News, And What Houghton Mifflin Is Teaching Students About Global Warming… (UPDATED)


1 Mimi { 12.12.08 at 1:04 pm }

This is a fantastic post! I can’t believe the Houghton Mifflin bit, but the bag is fantastic.

2 Jeanne { 12.12.08 at 1:45 pm }


I’m glad you liked the section about bags! It alarms me that so many barrels of oil are spent producing plastic bags that either clutter landfills (as pictured in the post) or get incinerated which leads to serious illnesses.

As far as the Houghton Mifflin issue, I know when I went to school there were a few things left out of my textbooks!!

Native American history for example. Native Americans lived on the land that is now the US and European immigrants stole their land, hurt & killed them, and transmitted diseases to them that they had no immunity to since they were brought from Europe.

I've been to a town that has an annual Native American Dance & Music Festival. I walked inside a longhouse (a replica of one that was burned down many, many years ago). It was extremely interesting.

I have a degree in education. When I student taught at a Native Americam magnet school, it really opened my eyes.

When I watched the movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", I cried and cried.

There is a series of videos called '500 Nations' (narrated by Kevin Costner) that is just mind-boggling.

These are just some examples of things that the textbooks (in my school) didn't quite flesh out.

You may have heard the term “HERstory” instead of history? Textbooks were often written from a paternalistic perspective. (I’m sure some still are).

I visited the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls. NY and it was a real eye-opener!

I knew bits and pieces about the struggles for women’s suffrage but there was so much my school textbooks left out!!!

It alarms me that textbooks (to this day) are sometimes biased, incomplete and incorrect.

It worries me that a generation that are now in high school are reading books that question whether “global warming” or “climate change” is real.

It baffles me that there can be any doubt that climate change is AT LEAST in part connected to mankind’s activities (factory pollution, pesticides, contaminated water from industries dumping chemicals, etc).

I’m reading a fascinating book now called “Silent Spring” that talks about insecticides and pesticides that damage wildlife AND humans.

The propaganda from the big companies out there (oil companies for example) upsets me. I am sick of commercials on TV for oil companies.

Watching “Meet the Press” is almost a guarantee of such commercials.

As long as people keep using the plastic bags manufactured with barrels of oil, this is contributing to the energy crisis. It boggles my mind.

Thank you for visiting! I appreciate your comments. 🙂

I just wish that the oil companies that make obscene amounts of money could be held accountable for what they do.

Have a great day!! 🙂


3 Jessica { 12.12.08 at 10:36 pm }

Hi Jeanne:
Just to clarify, in my community in Denver CO, shoppers get a .05 deduction in their grocery bill when they bring their own bags to the grocery store, like Safeway or King Soopers. Not too many people know about it, though.

4 Jeanne { 12.12.08 at 10:51 pm }


Wow!! That’s cool. It’s great to see encouragement for this. I hope ideas like this spread!

It boggles my mind how many barrels of oil are spent manufacturing plastic bags!!


5 Yaya { 12.13.08 at 3:26 am }

What? Plastic bags are made from oil? I had no idea! Good thing I use my canvas bags as much as possible!

6 Jeanne { 12.13.08 at 6:02 am }


Yes. Isn’t it interesting that we never hear about this in the mainstream media with all the talk about oil?

When plastics are incinerated, it releases toxins that cause serious illnesses.

Oil companies continue to make hideous profits while the planet suffers.

That plastic bag picture sickens me but I had to include it to get the point across.

It’s just incredible, isn’t it??


7 Susie Collins { 12.14.08 at 1:11 am }

We have several cloth bags and a portable cooler that we keep in the trunk of the car for all our shopping. The local health food store gives us a quarter for each of our own bags we use!

There is a great blog all about the horrors of plastic called Fake Plastic Fish.

8 Jannie { 12.14.08 at 3:04 am }

Great idea about the shopping bag point system!

Congrats on the Canary, good work Jeanne!!

9 Jeanne { 12.14.08 at 6:40 am }


The points are better than nothing to be sure! The reusable bags (many options available) are even better (!!) because the point systems still encourage the continued manufacture of plastic bags.

Barrels of oil to make plastic bags that hurt animals, people, and the planet really get to me!

I’ll be posting more about this soon. I’ve actually been writing another post tonight. There have been many people who are interested in the plastic bag issue.

I’m glad Susie from The Canary Report found my blog. She is an endless source of info!


10 Jeanne { 12.14.08 at 8:33 am }


Your comment came at a perfect time. I was already in the midst of writing a follow-up to the last post (specifically the part about plastic bags) and then I saw your comment in time to include the link to “Fake Plastic Fish”.

What a great site it is. I joined the Facebook group for it too because she had a link on her blog to Facebook.

Anyway, great idea to keep a cooler in the trunk too… for those times you may not be heading straight home from the grocery store!

I just posted my follow-up which includes the link you provided. Thanks!


11 Squidgeaboo { 12.19.08 at 9:40 pm }

At some grocery stores in Canada you are charged .05 per bag that you need the company to provide for you (ie that you don’t bring from home – some of these stores also provide cardboard boxes from their shipments for you to use as well) There is talk about making this a universal policy in Canada.

12 Jeanne { 12.19.08 at 9:46 pm }


There are so many different ways besides throwing bags away after each trip to the store! 🙂

We use reusable bags now. They fold up flat and stay in the car when not in use. They are way stronger than paper or plastic too.

They work great!


13 janeNo Gravatar { 07.16.12 at 9:32 pm }

I am trying so hard to find ANY info about newspaper ink problems. I cough for hours after being exposed. Any way to “off-gas” printed materials?? Please HELP!

14 JeanneNo Gravatar { 07.18.12 at 1:19 pm }

Welcome Jane!

I myself avoid physical hard copy style newspapers… in part because the ink really bothers me. The newspapers I am interested in are generally available online anyway… and for free. I realize that some MCS patients cannot tolerate extended periods of time at the computer – but reading news online that I would have read from a hard copy of the same paper is helpful for me. If newspaper ink is causing you to cough for hours after being exposed, I’m not sure (?) if off-gassing is a practical option for you… but I could be wrong. I have many Facebook friends who live with multiple chemical sensitivity and they are full of creative ideas for all sorts of situations. If you would like to send me a friend request on Facebook, just click the Facebook icon (the pink heart with an “f” on it). If you send me a Facebook friend request, please include a message with it so that I know who you are. (Facebook profile names and the screen names used for leaving blog comments often don’t match). That way you can meet my Facebook friends who have MCS. Good luck.


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