Three leaders who have spent years fighting for a healthier and more equitable environment for communities of color offered thoughts this month about the challenges the environmental justice movement might face under a Trump administration.
By all indications, environmental protections will be under attack and the work to create more fairness and equity in sharing the burdens of pollution and the benefits of environmental protection will get tossed out as well.
As 2016 comes to a close, Earthjustice is looking ahead to new casework and new courtroom battles to protect wild lands, improve the health of communities across the U.S. and transition our country away from dirty fossil fuels.
But as we prepare for our 2017 docket, let’s not forget the biggest stories of the past year. Earthjustice has had a hand in events across the environmental landscape, from the battle to protect Australia’s Galilee Basin from coal mining to the fight to protect Standing Rock Sioux tribal lands from the Dakota Access pipeline.
With the onset of winter, cold winds will shroud landscapes beneath a blanket of snow and glittering ice. These vistas are awe-inspiring, and recent political threats to America’s wild lands make the fight to protect them even more pressing.
Editor's note: This is a guest blog post by Anna Miller, a freelance journalist from Buffalo, New York, and member of the communications team for AIDA, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense.
As a kid, I was so in awe of the ocean that when the tide went out, I thought I might get swept away to Portugal. Even today, when I go for a swim or look out at the rolling waves, it seems hard to believe that humans could affect something so vast and powerful. Yet scientists have been warning us for decades that human activity is changing the ocean—and that oceans are not the boundless resources we once assumed.
In many rural communities across the country, longtime residents have suddenly found themselves surrounded by industrial livestock facilities. In these facilities, hundreds of cows, thousands of pigs or tens of thousands of chickens are kept in confined spaces to be fattened up as quickly as possible. Most meat in America comes from factory farms like these.
At a checkup, a doctor takes a few measurements that can tell a great deal about a patient’s health—body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and so on. In a similar fashion, the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Index gives us insight into the health of the earth through a measure of almost 4,000 species. Its latest analysis paints a worrying picture. It predicts a decrease of two-thirds in global wildlife populations by 2020—the same year President-elect Donald Trump will come up for reelection.
The holidays are upon us, and we’re preparing to share festive meals with friends and family. But while we are expecting our meals to be safe and nourishing, the reality is that many of the foods we buy at the grocery store are coated with pesticide residue that can harm our bodies, contaminate our drinking water and poison the workers who grow our food. Chlorpyrifos is one of these dangerous chemicals.
Editor's note: Our food choices have far-reaching consequences. In a previous blog post, we estimated how much the industrial food system costs us each year by quantifying the system’s effects on public health, communities, and the environment. This time, Earthjustice invited Elsie Herring to explain how large-scale animal agriculture affects her daily life, and what she’s doing to fight back.
The Army Corps of Engineers recently announced that it is slowing down the massive water releases from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River.
For more than nine months, scientists have been taking samples at the river’s estuary and recording dead oysters, low salinities and the nasty algae that’s fueled by the sewage, manure and fertilizer runoff in the lake water. Seagrasses, which we know are the building blocks of the sport fishing and seafood industries, struggle to survive.