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A man in India working with cattle to till a field.

Carmen G. Gonzalez is an Earthjustice board member and professor of law at the Seattle University School of Law who has published widely in the areas of international environmental law, environmental justice, food security and trade. Here she discusses how marginalized communities bear the brunt of economic activities that wreak havoc on the environment, focusing specifically on the global food supply chain. Gonzalez has been recognized as one of Green 2.0’s leaders of color.

A fishing boat on the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway.

The ocean is warming, and some fish are heading north in an effort to seek out cooler climes. Combine this phenomenon with increased Arctic access due to melting sea ice, which would allow fishing vessels to follow the migration of these aquatic organisms, and you’ve got yourself a dangerous situation. Last week, the United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark and Russia pledged to head off this environmental catastrophe by prohibiting commercial fishing in Arctic international waters—at least until more research evaluates the effect of sea warming on fish populations.

Houseboats sit in the drought lowered waters of Oroville Lake, near Oroville, California on October 30, 2014.

California’s record-breaking drought has reignited old feuds about who can lay claim to water in the thirstiest state. In 2014 Earthjustice published a photo essay highlighting the stories of state residents left high and dry as Big Ag lobbies for more water to be pumped to industrial-scale farms in arid regions of the San Joaquin Valley.

Earthjustice's Jessica Knoblauch looks across a valley toward declining snowpacks in Montana's Glacier National Park.

Two weeks ago, I was pedaling through the glacier-carved peaks and valleys of Glacier National Park on the Going-to-the-Sun Road as part of an inaugural fundraising event known as Glacier Ride. Thanks to the power of energy bars, clip-in pedals and months of intensive training, I earned a front row seat to some of the park’s namesake glaciers.

A train carrying crude oil from North Dakota passes through Washington state on its way to a refinery.

Late last week, emergency crews in Culbertson, Montana rushed to raise 22 toppled tanker cars, right a felled power line and contain 35,000 gallons of spilled oil. In an all-too-familiar scene, 106 rail cars loaded with explosive crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota were hurtling toward a West Coast refinery when they were thrown from the tracks like a child’s toy train set.

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy grew up on a cattle ranch east of the Black Hills of South Dakota, seemingly destined to be a cowboy. But the truth is he detests cows. He’s not fond of horses either. They both mean work to him. Instead he left home to study chemistry, but abandoned that pursuit to bum around the country for five years before landing in Livingston, Montana near the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. A self-taught photographer, he has spent more than 3,000 days hiking, skiing and rafting through the park taking pictures of the grizzlies, wolves and bison that cross his path.

Shiprock is a sacred site in the Navajo Nation located near the Four Corners Power Plant

The Four Corners Power Plant is an energy behemoth that has been operating—and polluting—since 1963. Despite the Interior Department’s announcement that it will approve a 25-year lease extension on the power plant, there is a silver lining to the plant’s hazy plumes that’s not just a mercurial sheen.

A wind turbine at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) site in Colorado.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (which covers Colorado and five other states) upheld Colorado’s authority to require that electric utilities in the state increase the use of renewable energy. The decision, the first from an appellate court that squarely addresses the constitutionality of this type of state-based renewable energy standard (RES), deals a significant blow to industry-led efforts to roll back these standards.

Activists who oppose Royal Dutch Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean prepare their kayaks for the "Paddle in Seattle" protest in May 2015, in Seattle. These initial protests have sparked similar #ShellNo kayaktivism around the U.S.

This past weekend, groups all around the country took a stand (and raised a paddle) to protect the Arctic Ocean. July 18 was a national day of action that included rallies, speeches by a U.S. Senator and Congresswoman and groups of kayaktavists who hit the water to say “Shell No” to Arctic drilling. Here are some of our favorite moments captured on social media. (You might recognize a few familiar faces, too!)


About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.