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 Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
05 November 2008, 2:35 PM
 

With the election of Barack Obama, our nation's long, dark environmental night appears to be ending. By all early indications an era of opportunity will replace eight years of opposition in which Earthjustice was forced to play a mostly defensive role.

This is the moment we've been waiting for, and with your continued support, we are set to pursue ambitious goals on behalf of the environment.

Only a few weeks ago, we weren't so optimistic. Oil prices were soaring, and the mantra "Drill, baby, Drill!" had swept the nation, led by cheerleaders who sought to take the nation even deeper into dependence on the world's most polluting, non-renewable energy sources.

Today, the leaders of that chant are standing on the sidelines, quieted by a resounding vote of no confidence in ideas that ruined our economy—an economy based on oil and coal dependency, unrestrained consumption, and irrationally exuberant deregulation.

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
05 November 2008, 12:45 PM
 

So what will this incredible development mean for the earth? Time will tell, of course, but we here at Tom's Turn are quite optimistic, both because of and in spite of what was said in the campaign.

The first thing to watch, as always, is the appointments—Interior, Energy, EPA, climate czar if there is to be one, and the under secretaries and assistant secretaries and others in the supporting cast. When Bill Clinton won the first time, he hired quite a few people from national environmental groups, as did Jimmy Carter. You can bet resumes are pouring into the Obama transition team right now. I, for one, have heard no rumors on that score so far.

3 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
29 October 2008, 12:20 PM
 

Have they no shame? (Hint: No.)

We speak of the current band of varlets and scoundrels just ending their eight-year reign of terror in our nation's capital. With both presidential candidates lambasting Mr. Bush and his henchmen daily, the lame ducks are hell-bent on wreaking as much havoc as they can in these last not-quite-three-months of their joyride.

One particularly odoriferous episode is still seeping out from under the backroom doors of the Interior Department—an attempt to rewrite Endangered Species Act regulations to remove the requirement that the Forest Service and other agencies consult with the scientific agencies before they undertake projects that might affect protected species. Another change would preclude the agency from considering global climate change in its decision process.

Now pay attention: this is incredible.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
24 October 2008, 4:00 AM
 

So the fate of the Roadless Rule is now in the hands of three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, at least its immediate fate, following a hearing this week in San Francisco.

The Forest Service, represented by the Justice Department, wants the three judges to overturn a Sept. 2006 decision that found the rule the Bush administration cooked up to replace the original rule illegal.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
24 October 2008, 3:52 AM
 

Energy conservation is the biggest, cheapest way to avoid building new power plants and significantly fight global warming. And it offers powerful economic benefits, as California has found through aggressive programs that have created 1.5 million jobs while cutting energy bills by $56 billion since 1972.

Moreover, energy conservation is something individuals can help with by simply turning off lights, driving less and wearing sweaters.

But, individual efforts, while important, can't achieve the enormous national potential of energy conservation. And, as California's experience shows, the marketplace is not a voluntary participant. That's why Earthjustice and other organizations are advocating strong efficiency standards covering a wide variety of household appliances and commercial products.

3 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Anna Cederstav's blog posts
23 October 2008, 2:39 PM
 

Most environmentalists believe that nature has a right to exist for its own sake, but that's not how the law works in our country.

In the United States, nature is defensible only if a human will miss the forest, species, or clean water when it is gone. To use the law, a human must first prove harm to their person.

If that proverbial tree falls in the woods and no human cares, no laws were broken. But if a tree falls and the hiker who depended on its shade is harmed, the U.S. legal system may provide some relief.

Breaking with tradition and establishing a bold legal precedent, Ecuador recently decided that nature should have rights of its own. Just for the sake of protecting nature and the intricate web of life that depends on it.

9 Comments   /   Read more >>
View David Guest's blog posts
22 October 2008, 1:26 PM
 

I just finished a year-long appointment on Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's Action Team on Energy and Climate Change. We released a blueprint that, if put into action, would make Florida one of America's most aggressive states in tackling climate change.

We studied the gamut: alternative energy sources, vehicle emissions, landfill gases, forestry practices, building construction, electricity demand you name it.

The result is an ambitious set of reforms which we believe would cut Florida's greenhouse gasses 34 percent by 2025.

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
16 October 2008, 6:08 AM
 

The late Dan Luten was sneakily brilliant, somewhat iconoclastic, and possibly a maverick had that word not been so debased lately. In his fifties, he left a job as a chemist with Shell Oil to teach geography at Cal and became deeply involved in conservation. He served on the board of Friends of the Earth, which is how I got to know him pretty well.

One bon mot he tossed off that stuck with me was, "The country does not exist to serve its economy."

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
14 October 2008, 12:50 PM
Protecting public lands from uranium mining

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne didn't like the law that required him to promptly protect public lands around the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.  So he's getting rid of it. Citizens have only a few days to express their opposition.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
14 October 2008, 6:00 AM
 

Chevron has long been a leader in image advertising, spending an immense amount of money on print and television ads explaining to the public just how utterly wonderful the company is. Years ago, their tag line was "People Do," in answer to rhetorical questions like, "Do people really care what happens to our precious wetlands? People do." These tended to appear when the company was angling for permission to drill wells in sensitive marshes.

Well, the company is back with a series that is running on public tv (I keep seeing them right before The News Hour), where they'd rather not be called ads, I guess.