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fields in Hawaii

Last week, Hawai‛i counties were back in court to defend their right to protect themselves from genetically engineered (GE) crops and the harmful pesticides that they’re modified to withstand. At stake is whether communities have a say over what goes on in their own backyards. But the Big Ag industry would have you believe these cases are about protecting upstanding companies from hostile anti-GE activists and their senseless acts of vandalism.

On June 3, 2016, a Union Pacific oil train carrying crude oil to the Port of Tacoma, Washington derailed near the town of Mosier, Oregon along the Columbia River.

The latest wake-up call on the dangers of transporting explosive crude oil by train happened just 30 miles from where Earthjustice met for its June board meeting. The plume of black, acrid smoke marring the otherwise clear blue sky was a stark reminder of why our attorneys are fighting against crude-by-rail: This dangerous practice puts profits ahead of people, threatening the health and safety of communities along the rail lines.

Photo of Pågan Island ca. 1970.

This is a guest blog post by Jerome Kaipat Aldan. Aldan is mayor of the Northern Islands. 

Jerome Kaipat Aldan.I was eight years old when Mt. Pågan, one of two volcanoes that created Pågan Island, erupted. I have many precious childhood memories of that beautiful island. I remember going for swims in the ocean. Small houses made of wood and tin blended in with the natural beauty.

a child protesting

Este blog está disponible en español aquí.

In Los Angeles, we like to drive. 

If you drive by the Jefferson Boulevard drill site in South Los Angeles, you won’t see that the densely populated community around it sits atop an oil field. You also won’t see all of the houses and businesses that the city tore down in 1965 in order to make space for a nearly two-acre drill site to extract that oil.

wind farm

It was just a few decades ago that people started to see the breadth and depth of the flaws in our fossil fuel-based energy system. On its surface, fossil fuel energy seemed cheap and convenient; underneath, it was dirty, damaging to the climate and adept at making people sick. But because the system was backed by an entrenched, wealthy and politically powerful industry, change seemed impossible.

offshore oil field

Time is running out for the public to tell the Obama administration to protect our oceans from future offshore drilling. People celebrated World Oceans Day with film screenings, beach cleanups, festivals and special events at aquariums. This global celebration of the briny deep also happens to arrive just as Earthjustice and our partner organizations are entering the final push against federal plans for new offshore oil and gas leasing.

Oakland waterfront

Earthjustice is proud to partner with organizations that are challenging unjust and polluting infrastructure projects that threaten the wellbeing of their communities, the land and wildlife. In Oakland, California, Earthjustice is working with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) and others to fight against a proposal to export coal through a terminal on the Oakland waterfront. APEN organizes local Asian community members to advance an agenda of environmental, social and economic justice.

Niria’s mother, Cilviana Garcia, at work in the pear orchards of Talent, Oregon, in September 2015.
Este blog está disponible en español aquí.

Everyone has their own story. Mine is simple. My mother raised us humbly; we didn’t have more than what we needed, but she always prioritized buying organic food, having had first-hand experience with the chemicals growers spray in the fields. She has spent the majority of her life outdoors and as a result, her knowledge about plants and the seasons is much deeper than most anyone else I know.

GoodLifeStudio/iStock

Here at Earthjustice, we’re taking a closer look at maggots. It turns out these little bugs, the larvae of the black soldier fly, can be part of a major leap forward in the production of sustainable food—for fish. Farmed fish today are mostly fed unsustainably on a diet of small wild fish, which are vanishing. But fish on farms also like to eat insect larvae, and these larvae like to eat waste. Using larvae to manage waste and provide feed for fish farms would be a major coup, and several companies around the world are already working on it. U.S.

Bureau of Land Management

My childhood was spent on the water. From the time I was born until I graduated from college, I lived within walking distance of a lake or river. Growing up in Florida, I spent countless hours windsurfing and swimming in the Indian River Lagoon. In college, one of my favorite pastimes was paddle boarding on Lake Virginia, which serves as the stunning blue backdrop for my alma mater’s campus. But even as I appreciated the beauty of my local waterways, I saw signs of environmental problems.

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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.