Posts tagged: science

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

science


    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Featured Campaigns

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.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S BLOG

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.

Learn more about Earthjustice.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
15 October 2009, 12:00 PM
EPA chief asks Congress for new law to protect public from toxic threats

Suppose I asked you to drive a nail into the wall and then handed you a banana to do it. At best you'd make a mess of it—the same mess faced by the Environmental Protection Agency when it comes to keeping the public safe from toxic chemicals. Right job, wrong tool.

Congress handed the EPA a banana in 1976 called the Toxic Substances Control Act, a law that EPA chief Lisa Jackson herself recently described as "an inadequate tool for providing the protection against chemical risks that the public rightfully expects." The numbers bear her out: EPA has required safety testing of only 200 of the roughly 82,000 chemicals registered for use under TSCA. These are chemicals in products that we all encounter every day, from household cleaners to cell phones, toys, carpets and food containers. The result is more potentially hazardous chemicals in our bodies than ever before.

Recognizing this tremendous failure to protect the public, Jackson is asking Congress for a hammer.

11 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Bill Walker's blog posts
28 September 2009, 12:32 PM
Three utilities bolt US Chamber over "Scopes trial" idea
The Chamber confronts its critics

The fallout—make that dropout—continues to build over the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's ridiculous call for a show trial on global warming.

You may recall that last month the Chamber, the nation's leading business lobby with 3 million members, challenged the EPA to conduct a public hearing examining the scientific evidence for man-made climate change. Chamber execs said it would be "the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" -- a rather unfortunate analogy, as they later admitted, if the group was hoping to be seen as appealing to reason. The Chamber furiously backpedalled, denying they were global warming deniers, but the cat was out of the bag. (The chimp was out of the cage?)

Last week Pacific Gas & Electric Co. of San Francisco resigned from the Chamber, blasting its "extreme rhetoric and obstructionist tactics":

View Bill Walker's blog posts
22 September 2009, 10:51 AM
275,000 Americans urge administration to scrap Bush plans
Costumed demonstrators ask for a time out on Arctic drilling (AP)

More than 400 scientists from around the world have signed a letter urging the Obama administration to call a time out on offshore oil and gas drilling in America's Arctic until research can assess the risks to the region's oceans, wildlife and people.

The scientists urged Interior Sec. Ken Salazar to cancel Bush-era plans for selling oil and gas leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and for a sale in the Chukchi that failed to comply with federal environmental laws. The scientists say the decision was made without sufficient scientific understanding of the environmental consequences and lacked full consultation with indigenous residents:

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
26 August 2009, 9:35 AM
U.S. Chamber of Commerce demands new Scopes trial

Things involving climate change are getting decidedly bizarre. The three-million-member U.S. Chamber of Commerce is demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency hold a trial—witnesses, cross-examination, the whole nine yards—to challenge climate science. The Chamber's purpose is to head off regulations that EPA may adopt based on an upcoming "finding" that CO2 emissions "endanger" human (Americans' in this case) health.

William Kovacs, a vice president of the Chamber, likened the proposed trial to the infamous Scopes monkey trial, where a Tennessee school teacher was convicted of teaching evolution in contravention of a state law that was later repealed. Kovacs promised a lawsuit should the EPA refuse to hold such a trial.

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
11 August 2009, 11:14 AM
Public money, climate change, and a short vacation

See if you recognize any of these names: Bob Inglis, Frank Lucas, Charlie Melancon, Randy Neugebauer, Mike Ross, Adrian Smith, John Tanner. I certainly didn't. They're all members of Congress, all but one from the South, who took a taxpayer-funded trip in 2008  to Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica to see the effects of climate change first-hand... then returned and voted against the Waxman-Markey climate bill in the House. The trip cost, according to the account in Grist, about a half-million dollars, but who's counting? Anything for a nice jaunt to the Antipodes, warming or otherwise. Tut, he said, tut.

View Bill Walker's blog posts
07 August 2009, 12:41 PM
People don't feel a sense of urgency, says report.
Source: Dan Wasserman, Tribune Media Services

Maybe what Jim Inhofe needs is a good therapist.

Inhofe, R-OK, is notoriously the Senate's global warming denier-in-chief. But why? Maybe because he gets big campaign contributions from oil companies. Or maybe he has deep-seated control issues, and the prospect of global warming makes him feel helpless.

That's one explanation suggested in a new report by the American Psychological Association (which of course doesn't specifically discuss Inhofe) on why, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, many Americans are skeptical or deny the existence of global warming.

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Peter Campbell's blog posts
20 May 2009, 9:38 AM
 

The future is now -- at least, the future is now in theaters. And what the future looks like, particularly, our cities in the future, is highly disputed in the pop culture realm.

San Francisco future - Star Trek/Terminator

Take this article contrasting Star Trek's vision of San Francisco with Terminator: Salvation's view of same. One movie envisions a future where the threat of global warming was either contained, or just not the threat that we know it is; the other a future where our technology stood up and ravaged the planet before climate change had a chance.

3 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
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.

View John McManus's blog posts
23 March 2009, 2:55 PM
 

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency took a giant step away from the path it was on under Bush by moving a step closer to finding that carbon dioxide from major global warming polluters threatens our health and well being.

The EPA proposal to the White House could result in national limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
19 March 2009, 12:40 PM
 

One year ago in this column, I called on Environmental Protection Agency chief Stephen Johnson to resign for letting politics, not science, guide his agency's decisions. Nor was I alone—10,000 EPA employees were in open revolt for the same reason. Johnson was defying the Supreme Court's ruling that his agency should move forward on climate change and was refusing to approve California's forward-looking controls on climate-altering pollution.

Today, I am calling on all Earthjustice supporters to join with me in thanking his successor, Lisa Jackson, for steering the EPA back on course with a string of good decisions, especially her action last week aimed at regulating one of the most toxic side effects of burning coal for power: coal ash.

33 Comments   /   Read more >>