Kari Birdseye's Blog Posts

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Kari Birdseye's 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.


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.

Kari Birdseye is Earthjustice's National Press Secretary / Associate Media Director and occasional blogger of topics that demand more than a standard press release. Kari helps get the great work of Earthjustice recognized in the media and elsewhere and is especially intrigued by issues involving climate change, the Keystone Pipeline XL, the Endangered Species Act and anything furry with four paws. She carries her passion for animals and underdogs outside of the walls of Earthjustice and is inspired daily by the natural beauty of her home state of California. Kari also loves to cook, but refuses to press garlic without a glass of nice California wine.

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06 October 2011, 1:33 PM
Proposed 1,700-mile tar sands oil pipeline has friends in high places
Alberta, Canada. Tar sands mining operations permanently damages the environmen with vast drilling infrastructure, open pit mines, and toxic wastewater ponds up to three miles wide. (Velcrow Ripper / Flickr)

Documents released as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Earthjustice have uncovered strong ties between Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the team of lobbyists hired to promote the pipeline’s approval at the State Department.

The documents provide evidence of inappropriately cozy relationships between State Department employees and lobbyists for TransCanada, the pipeline company. One State Department official cheered “Go Paul!” after TransCanada lobbyist Paul Elliott announced that the pipeline company had obtained new support for the pipeline. As the New York Times commented, these guys are clearly on the same team.

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13 September 2011, 4:32 PM
Why care? Extreme weather patterns at home, rising sea levels around the world affect us all
(Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com)

Update (9/15): Scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado confirmed today on a conference call with Earthjustice that the Arctic has lost the second highest amount of ice since monitoring began. Listen to a recording of the conference call:

We’ve all heard about the rapid pace of the Arctic ice and glaciers melting. The sea ice at the end of this summer's period of melting is predicted to match or beat the all-time record low of 2007 and one research group at the University of Bremen in Germany has already announced that the ice this year has already set a record.

Graph: Arctic Sea Ice Extent.

Another ice-analysis team, closer to home, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, in Boulder, Colorado has yet to make their annual determination but is expected to within the coming days and offers daily monitoring maps to prove their point.

Earthjustice attorney Erika Rosenthal says the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice is important because “it’s a powerful indicator of the rapid warming occurring throughout the Arctic. This warming is causing an extraordinary increase in the melting of glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet that led scientists earlier this year to project a sea level rise of between 0.9 and 1.6 meters by the end of the century. For low lying communities from the Pacific Islands to Bangladesh to Florida this would be calamitous.”

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29 June 2011, 4:51 PM
Good air quality shouldn’t be a fairy tale

Once upon a time, a valley known for being so fertile that it could grow much of America's produce came to be known for something else entirely: air pollution. The people of California's San Joaquin Valley needed help because the polluted air was making them sick with asthma -- at rates three times higher than the entire nation. Thousands were dying each year because of the smog, particulate matter, lead, arsenic and toxic gases in the air.

Because the people also needed energy to power their daily lives, Congress decreed that when new power plants were built, they had to be as clean as possible.  New laws, implemented and enforced by the EPA, made it illegal for these new power sources to create more air pollution that would harm the Valley's residents. The people of the land rejoiced because they thought their air would be cleaner while getting the power they needed to farm the land, manufacture goods and create a healthy economy.
But the story was too good to be true.

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06 May 2011, 1:25 PM
Despite powerful evidence, council 'overlooks' climate change

Polar bears are drowning. Huge glaciers are melting. Low-lying cities are worried. All because of climate change. But, when the eight nations of the "Arctic Council" meet next week, climate change won't be on their agenda—despite a frightening new report on climate change by the council's own task force.

Members of the council are those nations bordering the Arctic Ocean—the United States, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Denmark and Iceland.

The council deals with crucial Arctic issues such as climate change, black carbon, oil exploration and drilling, and arctic shipping. Their report, released this week, details how global sea levels will rise at least five feet within the century in large part because of melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Nonetheless, climate change isn't an agenda item.

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22 April 2011, 1:31 PM
Who has time to learn the computer when 40 million acres of wilderness are at risk

(Kari Birdseye is the new National Press Secretary for Earthjustice. An 11-year veteran with CNN, she was comforted by the familiar, hectic pace she experienced in her first week with Earthjustice communications.)

What a week. What a first week at work for Earthjustice. Even before I entered the doors, I knew the Gulf Oil Spill anniversary and Earth Day promised to expiate my learning curve. 

At the beginning of the week, instead of learning my new computer or taking the tutorial on the databases, I faced an immediate trial by fire: the Republicans introduced a bill to allow indiscriminate development in 40 million acres of our remaining “naturally” beautiful wild lands.

Then late Tuesday night, a blowout at a natural-gas well in Pennsylvania, caused by fracking, spewed thousands of gallons of fluid containing chemicals into a nearby stream, dredging up the nightmarish memories of exactly one year prior. Let’s get some press on it! Wait, which way is it to the bathroom again?

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