Swimming in plastics

This is the editor’s letter in the current issue of The Week magazine. Sorry to be so personal, but you are probably pooping plastic. Human beings have covered the planet with plastics because these malleable, man-made polymers are so useful and versatile. Unfortunately, researchers are finding particles of discarded, degraded plastic everywhere from Antarctica to the North Pole, even in the ocean depths. (See Health & Science.) Nearly all forms of marine life carry microplastics in their bodies — and so do you and I. An Austrian study last year of people on four continents found microparticles of various plastics in the stools of every person tested. A federal study… Read More

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Against commercial surrogacy

As a conservative Catholic, I rarely find myself standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Gloria Steinem. Strange times make for strange bedfellows however, and Steinem won my admiration last week when she wrote an open letter opposing legislation that would legalize commercial surrogacy in the state of New York. The bill has already passed New York’s State Senate, but it encountered opposition in the Assembly, where some members have ethical concerns about the practice of paying women to be pregnant. “I find that commodification of women troubling,” said Deborah Glick, who in 1991 became the first openly gay member of New York’s legislature. She’s right. It is troubling.… Read More

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