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 Liz Judge's blog posts
06 July 2011, 9:03 AM
House comes out swinging in its newly revealed 2012 spending bill

The 112th Session of the House of Representatives is at it again, doing what they do best: writing legislation to strike and block the clean air and clean water laws that keep us alive and healthy.

This morning, the House majority released its spending bill for the year 2012, and not to disappoint those who wish to live in a world with big corporations enjoying full freedom to foul our air and water without restriction, penalty or accountability, the bill manages to take direct aim at a handful of landmark environmental safeguards and a slew of major public health protections.

Legislating through appropriations is a back-door, manipulative move in its own right. It essentially means that instead of having to muster the votes required to pass new laws or take our current environmental and health safeguards off the books, House leadership is using a spending bill to simply stop and block all funding for these protections. The laws still stand as they are, they just can't be enforced. The way this House sees it, if the agencies can't get the money to enforce our current laws, there's no need to worry about what the laws actually mandate.

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View David Lawlor's blog posts
30 June 2011, 1:49 PM
Under mounting political pressure, administration dumps science-based policy

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” – Isaac Asimov

In American culture, perhaps no method or form of knowledge is regarded more highly than science. Philosophy and religion are unsettled debates over unknowable questions; art and poetry are the realms of divine inspiration and the muses. But science, ah science, the bearer of truths heretofore uncovered and the proverbial sledge hammer of objective reality—surely science is where we can find answers about how to govern our land and its people.

Don’t just take my word that science is the penultimate arbiter of truth; President Obama feels (or at least used to) the same way. In a March 2009 presidential memorandum titled “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,” the president wrote: “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health, protection of the environment, increased efficiency in the use of energy and other resources, [and] mitigation of the threat of climate change…”

And then gas prices climbed to more than $4 a gallon.

View Brian Smith's blog posts
23 June 2011, 1:04 PM
Decision delayed three times for periods now totaling almost a year
A smoggy day in Los Angeles.

When Lisa Jackson took the reins as administration of the Environmental Protection Agency, she issued a memo to staff stating that:

"Science must be the compass guiding our environmental protection decisions. We cannot make the best decisions unless we have confidence in the integrity of the science on which we rely. Therefore, it is my promise that scientific integrity will be the backbone of my leadership of the Agency."

While she does seem serious about this commitment, and has made some great decisions, the question now is whether the White House will let her do her job. A big test is coming with the adoption of new health standards on ground level-ozone (smog).

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Liz Judge's blog posts
22 June 2011, 3:02 PM
Many House reps put up a good fight to save their water, but lose
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV)

It was a dark day in the House of Representatives, today, as the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed a bill that would flush away decades of water safeguards and protections, along with our powerful federal system for ensuring that any waters in this country are safe to drink, fish, and swim in.

The legislation, HR 2018, takes one of our country's most important laws -- the 40-year-old Clean Water Act -- turns it on its head, shakes out its whole intent and purpose, and leaves it powerless to protect the people of this nation. Instead, the bill gives that power to the states, who proved long ago that they were unfit for the job. Without federal oversight, states let their rivers burn, lakes die, and streams become toxic industrial dumping grounds, while their citizens paid the price with their health. State protection sometimes amounted to just a warning: don't go near or swim in the water.

5 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Liz Judge's blog posts
20 June 2011, 4:55 PM
High court affirms EPA authority

Today, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling once again affirmed the Environmental Protection Agency as the most rightful and authorized regulator of climate change pollution in the land.

While some in Congress have been trying to take this power away from the EPA, and have been attempting to block EPA controls on climate change pollution, the Supreme Court today ruled that the EPA -- not the Supreme Court, not states and not Congress -- is "best suited to serve as primary regulator of greenhouse gas emissions."

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Liz Judge's blog posts
04 June 2011, 8:20 AM
Mass Mobilization in WV, March on Blair Mountain Kicks Off Tomorrow
Appalachia is rising for justice, protection of the law, and an end to mountaintop removal mining.

This week more than 600 concerned citizens will participate in the largest mass mobilization against mountaintop removal mining that this country has ever seen, Appalachia Rising: The March on Blair Mountain.

Led by many of our dedicated friends and partners in Appalachia, hundreds of people from all across the country, from all stripes and walks of life and backgrounds -- students, scholars, artists, scientists, labor leaders, union workers, historians, environmentalists, and concerned citizens -- will walk shoulder to shoulder in a peaceful and permitted demonstration for 50 miles across the rugged Appalachian Mountain terrain, all joined by this conviction: The people of Appalachia deserve protection of the law and a prosperous and just future that does not include the devastation and destruction of mountaintop removal mining. Mountaintop removal mining must end, and justice must be brought to the people and communities of this region.

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Liz Judge's blog posts
02 June 2011, 2:49 PM
"The Last Mountain" opens this weekend in DC and NYC
"The Last Mountain" movie poster

The buzz is heightening. The Sundance official selection documentary The Last Mountain is arriving at theaters across America beginning this weekend in Washington, DC, and New York City. Throughout June, it will open in 18 other cities, bringing this film -- on the frightening effects of destructive mountaintop removal mining-- to the biggest metropolitan markets in the nation.

The film is a powerful glimpse into the bombing and razing of mountains in West Virginia for coal, the corrupt politics that enable that destruction, and the people and communities at the foot of the exploded mountains who are paying the real price, and suffering the real costs, of one of America's greatest and most enduring environmental tragedies.

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
24 May 2011, 12:43 PM
Polar sea ice's downward curve
The trajectory of sea ice. From "Arctic Sea Ice Blog"

The Arctic Sea Ice Blog earlier this month posted this alarming chart, showing polar sea ice on a downward trajectory.  Based on computer models that incorporate observed sea-ice data, the Arctic Ocean could be entirely ice-free during the month of September by about 2016, and could be ice-free year-round by the early 2030s.

Are polar bears getting desperate?  Maybe so.  A recent news report suggests at least one pairing of a grizzly and polar bear in the wild has resulted in a hybrid "pizzlie."

View Brian Smith's blog posts
13 May 2011, 12:33 AM
IPPC report offers hopeful vision of one possible future

What can be done about our dismal energy future?

Every day, headlines scream about the price of oil, the climate disruption caused by coal, the dangers of natural gas “fracking,” and uncontrollable nuclear accidents.

Is another future even possible, or are we stuck in a permanent crisis?

On May 9, 2011, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation authored by more than 120 scientists, technologists, and economists who dug deeply into this question.

5 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Liz Judge's blog posts
04 May 2011, 1:27 PM
House subcommittee on water sets stage, but does America buy the act?
Rep. Bob Gibbs

On Thursday morning, the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, will begin a two-part hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policies on mountaintop removal mining. The committee, chaired by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) is calling the hearings “EPA Mining Policies: Assault on Appalachian Jobs – Part I and Part II.

Judging from the name, do you think this hearing by the representative body of our democratic government will be fair and balanced? Reasoned and informed? Democratic?

Just in case you think a fair and informed hearing is an outside possibility, I present to you:

Exhibit A: The Witness List:

3 Comments   /   Read more >>