Sam Edmondson's Blog Posts

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Sam Edmondson'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.

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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.

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01 May 2009, 4:35 PM
 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a must-read LA Times articlethat explores the dramatic effects of climate disruption on Australia. In response to these worsening conditions, seven Australian climate scientists sent a letter to the owners of every coal-fired power plant in Australia. The letter carries a blunt message: no new coal-fired power plants, unless they are zero-emissions…and operated by unicorns (ok, I added the unicorn part).

But an outright ban on new coal-fired power plants isn't enough, as the authors of the letter indicate:

Genuine action on climate change will mean that coal-fired power stations cease to operate in the near future. [Read the whole letter]

As noted in both the letter and the aforementioned LA Times article, coal-fired power plants supply more than 80% of Australia’s electricity (compared to around 50% in the United States). Replacing coal-fired power in Australia and here at home with clean and safe energy sources will require a massive, coordinated (and very necessary) effort. But abandoning the dirty fuels of the past will help us ensure that our future is filled with opportunities.

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15 April 2009, 12:05 PM
 

Anyone concerned about the consequences of climate disruption (my term-of-choice for global warming) might want to pay close attention to what’s happening "down under." Julie Cart's must-read recent article in the L.A. Times, which paints an unsettling picture of a possible global future already underway in Australia, is a good place to start.

Australia is besieged, and all its residents -- plant and animal alike -- are experiencing firsthand the bitter taste of a planet driven to the edge by unchecked greenhouse gas emissions.

Hundreds of people and animals have died from heat and wildfires. Farmers in southern Australia have seen their crops collapse as annual rainfall declined precipitously. Illustrating the disparate regional consequences of climate disruption, residents of northern Australia have been forced to brave stronger monsoons and flooding.

Australia's increasingly bleak present may be our near future.

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24 February 2009, 12:36 PM
 

A who's who of politicians, scientists, environmental and labor leaders, and entrepreneurs met yesterday to discuss ways to make widespread use of clean energy a reality, one week after President Obama committed substantial government spending to renewable energy and energy efficiency with the stroke of his pen.

The panel -- sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund -- included Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Al Gore, Van Jones and many others. Over the morning's course, they explored the challenges associated with building new infrastructure to deliver clean, affordable energy to our homes and businesses as well as strategies to diminish our nation's thirst for oil.

Though the logistics of moving this issue forward are complicated, moderator Timothy Wirth rightly remarked that we can't just "admire the problem."

Video of the event is worth a view.

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06 November 2008, 5:34 PM
 

I happened to be in Las Vegas during the final days of the election. It was a fitting location to watch the most historic election of my lifetime conclude with an outcome that many people I know felt was improbable less than a year ago. Vegas is, after all, a city familiar with difficult odds, and even the most seasoned Vegas veteran might have hesitated to wager on Senator Obama's.

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