unEARTHED, the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S 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.

View Erika Rosenthal's blog posts
13 December 2008, 6:23 PM
 

The world is now meeting in Poland to tackle global warming - and Earthjustice is there. Read our daily dispatches.

The Federated States of Micronesia, one of the leading voices of the Alliance of Small Island States – countries whose very existence are threatened by global warming-induced sea level rise – has called on the governments assembled in Poznan to take urgent action in light of potential catastrophic tipping points in the Earth's climate system.

View Martin Wagner's blog posts
11 December 2008, 11:23 PM
The world is now meeting in Poland to tackle global warming

One of the primary tasks of this conference was to determine the outlines of a "shared vision"—areas where all parties were in agreement concerning what the negotiations would try to achieve. The hope was that this vision would move the negotiations from the very general goals established in the Bali Action Plan toward the kinds of specifics necessary to reach a final agreement a year from now in Copenhagen. So how the negotiators doing? Well, do you want the good news first, or the bad?

Let's start with the good. The negotiations haven't completely broken down—the negotiators have committed to continuing to talk next year, and have set out a work plan to do so. They've even authorized themselves to hold an extra meeting next year, which is fortunate, because they also agree that they still have an extraordinary amount of information to gather on nearly every component of a final agreement.

View Bill Walker's blog posts
09 December 2008, 4:20 PM
 

Motorists heading to Colorado ski resorts are being confronted with images of the state not found in tourist brochures: Pollution-spewing oil and gas rigs looming over wildlife habitat, ranchland and neighborhoods.

CEC Billboard

The billboards are part of a campaign by the Colorado Environmental Coalition to tell Coloradans and out-of-state visitors that there's a dark side to the state's vast petroleum industry.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
09 December 2008, 2:56 PM
 

Yes, one knows that the economy and the climate are jobs one through ten, but I can't help but be a tiny bit concerned that the new Obama administration still lacks a Secretary of the Interior, a Secretary of Agriculture, a Secretary of Energy, an Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and a Chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality. Plus and all the under secretaries and assistant secretaries and directors and assistant administrators who will eventually be nominated and confirmed to carry out extremely sensitive and important tasks. I have no reason to think that these nominations will not be up to the standard of the nominations we've seen so far, but I hope this doesn't signal a back-burner approach to wildlife and public lands and national parks and national forests, and so forth. A large fraction of our oil and gas, for example, come from the public lands and a smaller but important fraction of our lumber and pulp too. One thing we're going to have to be vigilant about over the next months and years is to ensure that environmental regulations are not sacrificed in the name of economic recovery—and you can be sure that such suggestions will be made. We need strong, bright people to run the environmental agencies, people who have the full support of the president.

View Martin Wagner's blog posts
09 December 2008, 2:30 PM
The world is now meeting in Poland to tackle global warming

Yesterday, Erika wrote about negotiations to reduce global warming from deforestation and related activities, which contribute 20% of all human-emitted greenhouse gases. Tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the foundational document for modern-day protection of fundamental human rights around the world. Today, the two issues came together in a shameful fashion and, unfortunately, the United States played a major role.

View Erika Rosenthal's blog posts
08 December 2008, 10:18 AM
 

The world is now meeting in Poland to tackle global warming - and Earthjustice is there. Read our daily dispatches.

Saturday was Forest Day at the climate negotiations in Poznan. Many people think of forests in terms of the CO2 that they absorb, or "sequester"– the rainforests of the Amazon, Congo and Indonesia are known as the lungs of the planet. But every year an area of forest the size of Greece is cut down or burned releasing enormous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere – a tragedy for indigenous forest-dwelling communities, biodiversity and the planet. Take a moment to think of the scale of the crisis: satellite images show that an area roughly the size of Connecticut was deforested in Brazil alone in the 12 months through July, 2008.

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View Martin Wagner's blog posts
05 December 2008, 6:42 PM
The world is now meeting in Poland to tackle global warming

The media have reported some doubt about whether the nations of the world will be able to meet the December 2009 deadline to reach a new climate agreement. Even the head of the UN climate agency, Yvo de Boer, has said that the negotiators might not be able to meet the deadline set for new greenhouse gas limits to take the place of those in the Kyoto Protocol that expire at the end of 2012. (The 2009 deadline was set to give governments and industries time to make the changes necessary to comply with new limits.)

But much depends on meeting this deadline. In language cited repeatedly at this conference, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations-appointed group of over 2500 climate scientists, explained last year that the best science suggests that, to have a better than even chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change, industrialized nations like the United States must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. That's at least 35 percent below current U.S. levels.

View Erika Rosenthal's blog posts
05 December 2008, 10:23 AM
 

The world is now meeting in Poland to tackle global warming - and Earthjustice is there. Read our daily dispatches.

More than 10,000 people have gathered in Pozna?, Poland this week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, to advance negotiations that aim to set the world on a path toward a lower carbon future and minimize global warming and its effects on people and the planet. This conference is the critical mid-point between the break-through decision last December to adopt the "Bali Road Map" for an international agreement on climate change, and the 15th Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen next December when the governments are scheduled to seal a deal to address the climate crisis.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
03 December 2008, 12:21 PM
 

As faithful readers will recall, we’ve been reporting on the saga of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule for a very long time. Put in place at the end of the Clinton administration and immediately hamstrung by Bush operatives, the rule, which bans most roadbuilding and logging on roadless areas of the national forests, has bounced around a dozen courthouses, with Earthjustice lawyers defending the measure from attacks by states and the timber industry as the new government talked out of four sides of its mouth. Though there have been both wins and losses, the national forests have remained largely protected.

View Patti Goldman's blog posts
02 December 2008, 12:42 PM
 

Earthjustice Vice President for Litigation Patti Goldman offers these fond memories of Joan Bavaria.

A bounty of acclaim has come in the passing of Joan Bavaria, who served eight years as an Earthjustice trustee. Many speak of her as their hero, a visionary, and a pioneer. For me, as for many at Earthjustice, Joan was an inspiration.

When she joined the Board of Trustees, she brought unbounded insights and energy. She challenged Earthjustice attorneys to embrace shareholder activism as one of the tools for environmental progress. She led by example, engaging personally with all around her, lending her deep knowledge to common challenges, and sharing her spark.

Joan spearheaded socially responsible investing with her founding of Trillium Asset Management, the first socially responsibly investment firm, and with her co-founding of Ceres, which developed the 10-point environmental code of conduct against which the environmental record and commitment of corporations can be judged. Her many accomplishments and honors are chronicled at www.ceres.org/joan. In addition, The Boston Globe wrote this remembrance.

Those of us who had the good fortune to know Joan will continue to be guided by the gift of her wisdom.