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Peter Lehner's blog

A toxic herbicide just won EPA approval despite posing serious risks to human health and wildlife.

The EPA just approved use of the toxic herbicide Enlist Duo on millions of acres of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton in 34 states. Earthjustice lawyers, on behalf of farmers, conservation groups and food and farmworker justice organizations, are fighting back in court against this decision, which could put human health and wildlife at risk.

The recent slew of administration attacks on protections for clean water, clean air and food and worker safety could send America back to a time of unchecked pollution.

In 1971, the EPA launched Documerica, a project to capture images of environmental problems, EPA activities and everyday life in America. Freelance photographers captured more than 15,000 photos of the heightened air and water crises of that time. These pictures show us the situation we could return to if we defang and defund the EPA. 

Coffee ripening in the Aquiares Estate varietal garden

In the shade of the poró trees on the coffee farm I help run in Costa Rica, it’s not uncommon to see brightly colored birds, such as oropendolas and toucans, as well as stout, pheasant-like gallinas de monte—alongside an occasional thermometer. Mother Nature provides the wildlife; the thermometers belong to a group of scientists working with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Freshly caught seafood

As a kid, I was so in awe of the ocean that when the tide went out, I thought I might get swept away to Portugal. Even today, when I go for a swim or look out at the rolling waves, it seems hard to believe that humans could affect something so vast and powerful. Yet scientists have been warning us for decades that human activity is changing the ocean—and that oceans are not the boundless resources we once assumed.

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