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California

A wind farm located along I-10, west of Palm Springs, California.

When it comes to renewable energy, California leads the nation. You might assume that California has taken the lead because of its abundance of natural resources, such as sun and wind, that power renewable energy. But California isn’t the only state where the sun shines and the wind blows.

A U.S. Navy vessel, with a research ship and pod of orcas in the foreground.

Echolocation, the location of objects by reflected sound, is a mouthful. It is also something of a miracle.

For marine mammals, it’s how they communicate with each other, how they avoid perils, and how they locate food. Without healthy, functioning ears and sound-making systems, they are lost.

Farmworker Victorino

Victorino’s story is part two in a weekly series of personal narratives from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000 to 20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

A scientist holds a lithium Ion battery made in the materials lab at the Solar Energy Research Facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO.

California’s energy storage market is showing just how regulation can encourage innovation. Last year, California’s Public Utilities Commission set the nation’s first energy storage procurement targets, over the initial opposition of the state’s three largest utilities. Now, a year later, the targets are in place and the utilities are actively working to meet them, invigorating California’s energy storage market in the process.

The 2010 explosion and fire at the 'Pick Your Part' junkyard in Wilmington, CA took more than 30 hours to extinguish, releasing particulate matter, dioxins and heavy metals across neighboring communities.

Last month, I toured a scrap recycling facility as part of a weeklong conference put on by the Society of Environmental Journalists in New Orleans, Louisiana. As an Earthjustice employee who has written before about recycling’s dark side, I was curious to hear the industry’s take on the health impact of scrap recycling.

Child suffering from asthma.

There’s something in the air, and Kevin Hamilton knows it all too well. A respiratory therapist in the San Joaquin Valley, Hamilton has watched his patients and his family struggle with the effects of fine particle and ozone pollution for decades.

“They are convinced the air quality is affecting their health and so am I,” he said. “Their asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases are acting up more.”

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