Posts tagged: Climate and Energy

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Climate and Energy


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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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View Tom Turner's blog posts
29 June 2009, 10:39 AM
 

Remember the John Birch Society? The virulent right-wing McCarthyist outfit born in Indianapolis in 1958? I hadn't heard of it for years, would have guessed it had passed quietly back into the fourteenth century, but low and behold it's still alive, kicking, screaming, and denying the fact of global warming and climate change.

View Ruby Bolaria's blog posts
26 June 2009, 3:49 PM
San Francisco approves nation's strongest composting/recycling plan

On Tuesday the board of Supervisors in San Francisco approved the first and only mandatory composting and recycling law in the country. While recycling is mandatory in some other states, composting is not.

The aggressive policy is aimed to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions—particularly methane, which is more than 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide—and to eliminate transport of these recyclables and compostables to landfills and incinerators by 2020. San Francisco already diverts 72 percent of its 2.1 million tons of annual waste away from landfills. City officials claim that if the recyclables and compostables that do go to landfills are diverted, as much as 90 percent of San Francisco's waste will stay out of landfills and incinerators.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
22 June 2009, 2:32 PM
 

The other day I happened to tune in to the Diane Rehm show on NPR to hear John Holdren, the president's science advisor, talk about the new climate change report that made stark headlines last week, reporting that warming is here, is having serious negative effects already, and is largely caused by human activity.

There is actually no original news in the report; rather it is the most comprehensive and up-to-date survey yet released. It was put together by representatives from some 30 government agencies who reviewed dozens, probably hundreds, of research papers from all over the world. As always, John's commentary was clear, direct, and sober. So far, so good.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
16 June 2009, 1:48 PM
 

It's as close as our own backyards, as far away as the Arctic. It's affecting birds, boys, butterflies and bugs. Creeks are feeling it, and the oceans, too. It's here, it's now, and mostly it's caused by humans.

It's global warming and we have to take immediate, powerful counter measures to prevent massive planet-wide consequences, warns the federal government in a chilling report just released today.

Thirteen federal agencies and the White House collaborated in the study, which was put together by the United States Global Change Research Program with oversight from White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
16 June 2009, 11:07 AM
Is technology going to lead the green revolution, or hinder it?

Biking in to work the other day I heard an underwriting pitch from IBM, touting its new campaign, or slogan, or website, call it what you will, for "A Smarter Planet." Oh boy. Now we're going to teach the planet new tricks, show it where evolution has fallen short.

Don’t you guys get it? It's not the planet that lacks smarts, it's the human race. We should learn from natural systems, pattern human society on systems that work, are sustainable and don't foul their own nests. (Semirelevant aside: Paul Hawken just gave a lovely commencement speech to a group of graduates in Portland. Among many interesting things he said was, Do you realize that humans are the only species on the planet that do not have full employment? Worth pondering. The whole speech is quite wonderful and uplifting in fact.)

View Tom Turner's blog posts
08 June 2009, 12:12 PM
 

The San Francisco Chronicle carried an extensive package of opinion this weekend (Sunday, June 7) on energy and global warming and the economy that's worth a look-see.

They led with the head of Chevron, possibly because he was outnumbered, out-argued, and out flanked by what followed. His piece (read it for yourselves) was empty, vapid, and one wonders who in the PR department pulls down six figures to write this pap. "We must work together," "we're all on the same side," and like that.

View Bill Walker's blog posts
04 June 2009, 1:06 PM
Homemade solar charger alters the equation

The 30 million Americans who bought an iPhone or iPod Touch last year know all too well how often they need recharging. One of them, Jerome Kelty, worried about the harm that's doing to the planet.

Kelty, 41, of Lafayette, Colo., calculated that charging those units every other day for a year would put more than 30 million pounds of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, into the atmosphere. So he bought a portable charger kit and with a few simple tools, in less than an hour, modified it to run on solar power. The homemade device charges his iPod Touch in a few hours without batteries or plugging it in, and will work with most other devices with a USB port.

Now Kelty's invention has won a national contest for the best energy-saving idea.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
03 June 2009, 1:44 PM
 

And here I thought the bankruptcy of General Motors might start to spell the end of outrageous profligacy. That is to say, news reports that GM would shut down its Pontiac, Saturn, and Hummer divisions and start up a new high-mileage, low-emission model sounded like steps in the right direction. Especially as regards the Hummer.

But wait a minute. An Associated Press story June 3 reports that Hummer is being bought by a Chinese company that heretofore has made only cement mixers and tow trucks. And the small company is not equipped to actually manufacture the gas-guzzling behemoths (the Chinese name of the Hummer is "Bold Horse," according to the AP) in China, so will keep production in the U.S.

That seems like a pretty crazy idea, especially with gas prices zooming upward again. Will the world ever wake up? Let's just give the Hummer a dignified funeral (OK, undignified would be just as welcome) and get on with it.

View Ray Wan's blog posts
25 May 2009, 10:36 AM
 

By now, we've all heard the same merry-go-round arguments about why the U.S. can't afford aggressive measures to develop clean energy and tackle climate change. And most of those arguments revolve around that other behemoth-of-a-superpower: China. We can practically roll the stats off our tongues: China's now the #1 emitter of greenhouse gases. China is building one coal-fired power plant a week. If China doesn't clean up its act, why should we?

Now, I've been to China, and yes the pollution in some parts is as bad as you have read. L.A. smog is terrible, but I don't remember the last time I couldn't see farther than 2 city blocks in L.A., and that was exactly what happened during one of my days in Beijing. But behind all the haze, a clearer picture is emerging that the developing giant may actually be undertaking some surprisingly aggressive actions to lower its carbon emissions and promote cleaner energy.

View Susan Britton's blog posts
21 May 2009, 11:10 AM
 

We all know that at long last the global community is taking steps to address the certain catastrophic environmental and health effects of climate change. But let's face it: under even the most optimistic of scenarios, intergenerational injustice has been done, and global warming will be our children's cross to bear.

How possibly to prepare our youngest for the defining challenge of their generation? One place to start is the raft of excellent children's books available on the subject. Herewith are some of my favorites (tested and approved by two spirited elementary school aged children):