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 Sarah Burt's blog posts
12 June 2008, 5:07 AM
 

In the extensive media coverage of the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the accepted source of conflict between Chinese police and Tibetan protesters has been competing claims of nationalism and self-determination. But a number of experts now say that control and management of a vital resource—Tibet's vast supply of freshwater—is also central to this increasingly tense political and cultural relationship.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
10 June 2008, 6:05 AM
 

One recurring theme among environmentalists, regularly confirmed by pollsters, is that concern over environmental issues seldom guides the way people vote, especially for president. People care, no doubt about that, but generally something else—crime, war, the economy, party loyalty—tips the balance one way or another.

This time will be interesting to watch. There's little question whether global warming will be under discussion—it will be, with the two candidates arguing whose approach will work better, faster. I'm hoping it won't stop there—we need a robust debate about a wide range of environmental issues, from the loss of species to the collapse of the oceans to energy policy. Such matters generally get lost in the clangor of sound bites and spin mongering, but maybe this time will be different.

The fix the planet finds itself in, a predicament that worsens daily, is largely the result of human mismanagement and hubris: too much consumption of all the resources you can think of—fossil fuels, metals, topsoil, fish—by too many people.

I could show you reports and articles from 35 years ago that predicted all this (not yet on-line, for better or for worse), but few listened. It's about time someone did, and an election, for all its excesses and hype, is a time when the media pay some attention to actual issues. Let's hope this time the candidates will talk about what really matters.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
09 June 2008, 12:36 PM
 

The Bush administration has had a strange way of uniting folks in the West.  In particular, hunters, sportsmen, local communities, local businesses and enviros have come together to fight back when the "drill it all" mentality of the oil businessman president ran into treasured publc lands.

And in surprising places, this coalition has staved off the onslaught.  On the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana - home to the nation's second largest elk herd, bighorn sheep and grizzlies - the coalition won a ban on new oil and gas leases from Congress. 

Far to the south, at Otero Mesa in New Mexico - a desert grassland wilderness - a hunter-enviro coalition with huge support from Governor Bill Richardson has worked for years to slow the BLM's plan to lease the area.  Earthjustice has worked with this coalition, filing a lawsuit pending in appeals court to protect the area.  Years after the fight over Otero began, the area still hasn't been drilled.

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View Sarah Burt's blog posts
09 June 2008, 12:17 PM
 

This may have been a political no-brainer:

Campaigning in Montana on the eve of the primary, Obama stated his opposition to a proposed open-pit coal mine 40km north of the Canada-US border in the headwaters of the Flathead River, which forms the western boundary of Glacier National Park, declaring that "the Flathead River and Glacier National Park are treasures that should be conserved for future generations."

Putting aside the political expediency of opposing a Canadian mine (no risk of losing the votes of project proponents and job seekers) of longstanding concern to senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester and Governor Brian Schweitzer (who all also happen to be superdelegates), this is a significant indication of Obama’s support for environmental protection and his recent skepticism of unfettered fossil fuel development.

View Wayne Salazar's blog posts
09 June 2008, 6:31 AM
 

As the average price of a gallon of gas tops $4 for the first time this week, TV pundits are having a field day. There's nothing like bad economic news that everyone can understand to bring out the blather.

This morning's "Today" show gave us Jim Cramer, the Screamin' Jay Hawkins of TV stock jocks, on what we need to do to bring the price back down: "Drill more." On all coasts, in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Arctic. "And enough," he said, putting a spell on the nation of morning-show watchers, "with halting drilling for a few months for the sake of endangered animals. I'm a conservationist, but hey, enough is enough."

View Tom Turner's blog posts
03 June 2008, 6:00 AM
 

I'm into the last stages of a book on the roadless rule—you remember, the rule that protects unroaded areas on the national forests, the one put in place toward the end of the Clinton administration and walked away from by the Bushniks. It's a long, tangled, and fascinating tale and I have two more weeks to get it all down on paper. Well, not on paper these days, but you know what I mean. That's a long way of saying that my columns for this week and next will be pretty thin, but there's much other good stuff to read in Unearthed; I encourage you to sample other columns.

I will, however, put in another of my periodic plugs for one of my favorite sites, Grist (www.grist.org). It's a fine source of information and commentary and it is relentlessly punny. Take a look.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
02 June 2008, 1:48 PM
 

Photos tell story of the energy boom's threat to wild Wyoming.

View Wayne Salazar's blog posts
02 June 2008, 9:00 AM
 

In my last post I told you about using Freecycle, Craigslist, and eBay to reduce-reuse-and-recycle my way through a total refurnishing of my new, post-divorce life. It was a lot more fun and I found better quality things than shopping at garage sales and second-hand stores. There's really great stuff out there if you follow the ads.

A major benefit is that by not buying new, I wasn't contributing more climate-changing carbon emissions. Another benefit was the interactions I had with the sellers. Every piece has its own story.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
30 May 2008, 1:18 PM
 

We have just learned that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will appear June 26 in downtown Denver at an Earthjustice program to tell the story of how her bruising fight with coal power interests has helped create a national clean energy agenda. Seating is limited for the breakfast presentation, and reservations are recommended.

Governor SebeliusThe governor rose to national prominence in the last year largely because of her unwavering stance on clean energy alternatives. As a result, Kansas—which gets 75 percent of its electricity from coal—is actually leading the nation away from dependence on coal and towards a mixed palette of sustainable, clean energy sources.

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View Wayne Salazar's blog posts
29 May 2008, 4:36 PM
 

Q: What do forests, water, wildlife, and agriculture have in common?

A: They’re all being reshaped, redistributed, and otherwise readjusted by climate change. Now, in real time.

That's the conclusion of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which just released a long-delayed government-commissioned report on how climate change is affecting the American landscape.

This is so much on my mind that I've been looking for every way to do something about it I can find.