Posts tagged: Arctic

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Arctic


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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 Martin Wagner's blog posts
05 December 2008, 6:42 PM
The world is now meeting in Poland to tackle global warming

The media have reported some doubt about whether the nations of the world will be able to meet the December 2009 deadline to reach a new climate agreement. Even the head of the UN climate agency, Yvo de Boer, has said that the negotiators might not be able to meet the deadline set for new greenhouse gas limits to take the place of those in the Kyoto Protocol that expire at the end of 2012. (The 2009 deadline was set to give governments and industries time to make the changes necessary to comply with new limits.)

But much depends on meeting this deadline. In language cited repeatedly at this conference, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations-appointed group of over 2500 climate scientists, explained last year that the best science suggests that, to have a better than even chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change, industrialized nations like the United States must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. That's at least 35 percent below current U.S. levels.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
05 November 2008, 2:35 PM
 

With the election of Barack Obama, our nation's long, dark environmental night appears to be ending. By all early indications an era of opportunity will replace eight years of opposition in which Earthjustice was forced to play a mostly defensive role.

This is the moment we've been waiting for, and with your continued support, we are set to pursue ambitious goals on behalf of the environment.

Only a few weeks ago, we weren't so optimistic. Oil prices were soaring, and the mantra "Drill, baby, Drill!" had swept the nation, led by cheerleaders who sought to take the nation even deeper into dependence on the world's most polluting, non-renewable energy sources.

Today, the leaders of that chant are standing on the sidelines, quieted by a resounding vote of no confidence in ideas that ruined our economy—an economy based on oil and coal dependency, unrestrained consumption, and irrationally exuberant deregulation.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
21 June 2008, 2:14 PM
 

The voice mail caller accused me of being a Communist, anti-American, out-of-touch, and stupid. Worst of all, he spat out, I was an environmentalist.

Bill was furious, like hundreds of callers to Earthjustice in the last two months. Driven to call us by rabid, right-wing radio hosts and bloggers, most folks just wanted to rant about how we were driving up gas prices by opposing the obvious solution: drilling the coasts, drilling the Arctic, drilling wherever in America we can to free us from high gas prices and foreign potentates.

But, Bill, a long-haul truck driver, was different. He didn't just want to accuse, he wanted to convince. Call me back, if you dare, he said, warning that he had just filled his truck with dozens of gallons of diesel at $5+ per gallon.

View Wayne Salazar's blog posts
20 June 2008, 9:00 AM
 

This has been quite a week for proponents of offshore oil drilling. It's as if last week's Jim Cramer Today Show appearance lit a fuse. Or more likely, as if Jim Cramer is privy to major pols' backroom strategizing sessions.

Both Bush and McCain have called for an end to the moratorium on offshore drilling on our coasts. Joining the call was Florida Governor Charlie Crist—who forged bonds with enviros recently when he called for an end to the construction of new coal-fired power plants in his state (following Earthjustice's successful advocacy against the largest proposed coal-fired power plant in the country, planned for the edge of the Everglades).

Four-dollar a gallon gas is the ostensible reason for all this talk. The funny thing is, these guys have to know there aren't enough offshore drill ships to go around. Which is why drilling costs have quadrupled in the past six years.

So I ask myself, what's the real agenda here? Besides the obvious get-McCain-elected agenda?

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
21 May 2008, 10:55 AM
 

Hundreds of angry people, urged on by a right-wing talk show host, called Earthjustice recently to ask why we are challenging plans to drill in Alaska's Arctic Ocean.

Like many Americans, the callers are suffering from gasoline price increases and other costs, like food, that have gone up with the price of oil. They had been led to believe that drilling in Alaska would bring gas prices back down and restore America's place in the world.

But they are victims of yet another cynical attempt to use gas prices for political purposes. The oil industry and its political allies hope to manipulate consumer pain to rile up political support for drilling oil any place it can be found.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
08 April 2008, 12:19 PM
 

What's the best expression to describe the Bush administration these days? Pig-headed? Stubborn? Incorrigible? Mulish? Headstrong? Dogged? Intractable, Recalcitrant, Rigid? Willful? Indeed, all those adjectives apply to the outgoing (not soon enough) Bush administration, particularly with respect to its environmental activities. A handful of illustrations.

A year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles are pollutants that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate. The EPA has refused. More litigation is underway to force action, but if the Supremes can be ignored one wonders what's the point. Pig-headed, meaning no disrespect to swine.

Up in the Arctic, the administration has missed several self-imposed deadlines to announce its decision whether to protect polar bears. During the delay time, the administration sold leases for oil drilling in the bears' Chukchi Sea habitat. When Senator Barbara Boxer asked Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to explain to her committee what was going on, he simply refused to appear. Incorrigible.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
13 March 2008, 10:08 AM
 

I'm not one to write about internal affairs very often, but there was a West Coast celebration last Thursday evening (March 6) you might enjoy hearing about.

The occasion was an event to honor Buck Parker, who served as the Executive Director here at Earthjustice for the past 10 years, as he passes the reins of leadership to Trip Van Noppen. The event was held in a beautiful old club at the Presidio of San Francisco, and there must have been 250 people attending, including representatives from the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, and many other fine non-profit organizations we've represented in court over the years.

Among the evening's highlights: San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom (whose father, incidentally, serves on the Earthjustice board) gave a fine tribute-cum-stemwinder about how the city by the bay is tackling global warming. Bill Meadows of The Wilderness Society gave a gentle, folksy talk about Buck's leadership within the environmental community.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
25 February 2008, 2:10 PM
 

With late winter, sunlight returns to the North Pole, revealing an ice-bound ocean that looks deceptively like it always has—a frozen, pristine wilderness. Deceptive, because profound and rapid change is underway from the forces of climate change and our relentless quest for energy.

Year-round ice that once gouged trenches 1,300 feet below the ocean surface is now so thin in the Arctic seas that summers may be ice-free in 30 years, if not sooner, exposing an entire wild ocean to large-scale economic exploitation and ecological devastation.