User: flenvcenter Topic: Sustainability-National
Category: Environmental Justice :: General
Last updated: Feb 04 2016 22:36 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Five Ideas we'd like to see in Mayor Bill de Blasio's State-of-the-City Speech 4.2.2016 Switchboard, from NRDC
Eric Goldstein, Director of NRDC's New York City Environment, NY: Bill de Blasio's 3rd State-of-the-City speech tonight will be a perfect opportunity for the New York City Mayor to build upon the new environmental framework he unveiled in his ambitious OneNYC sustainability plan last April.The Mayor's speech, like his previous...
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Naomi Klein: Climate Change "Not Just About Things Getting Hotter" 4.2.2016 Truthout - All Articles
A salt truck drives through Times Square in New York City during the blizzard that took place on January 23, 2016. (Photo: blvdone / Shutterstock.com ) A week and a half ago, just as a blizzard was barreling up the East Coast, I traveled to my hometown, Canandaigua, NY, and before a standing-room-only audience of more than 400 at Finger Lakes Community College, had a conversation with author and climate activist Naomi Klein. Our talk was part of the George M. Ewing Forum, named in honor of the late editor and publisher of our local newspaper. He was a worldly and informed man, dedicated to good talk and a lively exchange of ideas. The forum brings to town a variety of speakers each year, some of them from the area, others not. The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful part of the country. As has often been said, it runs on water, and as I grew up, there was an increasing realization that what we have is an invaluable natural resource we could be in danger of losing. Over the years, the threats have grown ...
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Talking With Naomi Klein: Climate Change "Not Just About Things Getting Hotter... It's About Things Getting Meaner" 4.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A week and a half ago, just as a blizzard was barreling up the East Coast, I traveled to my hometown, Canandaigua, NY, and before a standing-room-only audience of more than 400 at Finger Lakes Community College, had a conversation with author and climate activist Naomi Klein. Our talk was part of the George M. Ewing Forum, named in honor of the late editor and publisher of our local newspaper. He was a worldly and informed man, dedicated to good talk and a lively exchange of ideas. The forum brings to town a variety of speakers each year, some of them from the area, others not. The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful part of the country. As has often been said, it runs on water, and as I grew up, there was an increasing realization that what we have is an invaluable natural resource we could be in danger of losing. Over the years, the threats have grown ever more complex with greater hazards revealed as pollution and development have encroached on the landscape. As a result, much of our audience was ...
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The Flint Lesson: When the Poor Talk, We Must Listen 4.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Photo courtesy of Steve Neavling/Motor City Muckraker By Wendi C. Thomas Imagine the harm that could have been avoided in Flint if only government officials believed its residents. As far back as May 2014, Flint residents complained about the water piped from the Flint River into their sinks and tubs. To save money, the city had switched from Detroit's water system to the Flint River the month before. The Flint River water smelled funny, looked dirty and tasted bad. Holding bottles of brown water, Flint residents took their worries to city council meetings and a forum called to address water issues. Their very bodies - riddled with rashes and bare patches on their scalps - testified to a tragedy in the making. Still, it wasn't until October 2015 that Flint officials instructed residents - 57 percent of whom are black and 40 percent of whom live below the poverty line - to stop drinking the lead-poisoned water. That's 18 months in which officials said to citizens, in essence: We don't believe you. We're ...
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Naomi Klein: Climate Change “Not Just About Things Getting Hotter… It’s About Things Getting Meaner” 4.2.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Michael Winship

A week and a half ago, just as a blizzard was barreling up the East Coast, I traveled to my hometown, Canandaigua, NY, and before a standing-room-only audience of more than 400 at Finger Lakes Community College, had a conversation with author and climate activist Naomi Klein.

Our talk was part of the George M. Ewing Forum, named in honor of the late editor and publisher of our local newspaper. He was a worldly and informed man, dedicated to good talk and a lively exchange of ideas. The forum brings to town a variety of speakers each year, some of them from the area, others not.

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The Worst Polluters Are In The Most Vulnerable Neighborhoods, Study Finds 3.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Not all polluters are created equal. Just five percent of industrial polluters account for 90 percent of toxic emissions in the United States, according to a new study  published in the journal Environmental Research Letters last week. What’s more, these “super polluters” tend to cluster in low-income and minority communities , putting poor people and people of color at an “exponentially elevated risk”  from industrial contaminants.      The research reveals what environmental sociologist Dr. Mary Collins calls "a double disproportionality." The findings show not only that a few polluters are much dirtier than others, but also that racial and socioeconomic inequalities can determine where these “toxic outliers” set up shop. "The study is linking privilege on the emission side -- the super polluter class -- to inequality on the problem side," Collins, a co-author of the study and assistant professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, told The Huffington ...
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The Racist Roots Of Flint's Water Crisis 3.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The contaminated water  disaster flowing through one of Michigan’s poorest, blackest cities is tainted by poverty and racism. Since April 2014, residents of Flint, a city that is almost 57 percent black and incredibly poor , have been drinking and bathing in water that contains enough lead to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of “ toxic waste .”  No single person shoulders the blame for this situation, but thanks to widespread mismanagement a largely black and brown community now faces the disproportionate effects of systemic neglect. And to many, Flint’s water crisis fits into a historical trend of  environmental racism  in the U.S., which for  decades  has allowed polluters to prey on communities of color, in part because of weak environmental regulations.  “There’s a philosophy of government that has been writing these places off -- places like Flint get written off,” Flint's Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) told The Huffington Post. “And, to me, even though those people ...
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Lessons from Flint: It's Not Just the Water System That's Broken 28.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The flip of a switch in April 2014 that led to the massive water contamination in Flint, Michigan, is now a public health crisis that will take years and millions of dollars to remedy. The immediate challenge is to replace the corroded pipes that are carrying contaminated water as soon as possible, and to ensure that the city of nearly 100,000 has access to clean water. But if we step back from the immediate crisis, the situation in Flint has broader lessons for public health -- lessons about the consequences of cost cutting, about government negligence, and about environmental racism. There is no "silver lining" to the fact that thousands of children have been needlessly exposed to high levels of lead in the water supply. But the events in Flint may teach us how to do better in the future in ensuring that public policy safeguards public health -- no matter who "the public" may be. First, let's agree that clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, as reiterated in resolution 64/292 passed by the ...
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How Change Happens 28.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The last thing America needs is another "realist" or liberal compromiser as President. You never know what is possible until you fight for what is desirable. The realists are almost always wrong. The assaults on Bernie Sanders' presidential candidacy reached new lows in the past week. Unable to effectively challenge the value of his policies, the denizens of the status quo have now focused on his alleged utopianism and his supposedly flawed vision of how change happens. In a later column I'll explain why I believe that if Bernie doesn't become our next President it will not be for these reasons, but because he is not utopian enough, stuck as he is in an economistic worldview that doesn't address fully the way that global capitalism invades and distorts our minds, our relationships, our families, even at times our souls. If he tied this together with his attempts to revive the New Deal, he'd break through the resistance that many people have to his style and elements of his politics that seem stuck in the ...
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Flint's toxic water source: Racism? 27.1.2016 CNN: Top Stories
The contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan, has so outraged community advocates that they now pose a powerful question: Was the city neglected because it is mostly black and about 40% poor?
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Celebrating Diversity Through Environmental Conservation 27.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This week we commemorated the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who strove for equity of law and equal opportunities for African American men and women across the United States. The principles for which he advocated may be applied across to women and to members of other ethnic, racial, and sexual minority groups. Dreaming of peace and security within the institutional framework under which we exist -- the law -- should not be unrealistic. For members of more privileged populations this has been less of an issue, but there still are important populations of American democracy who struggle with access to equal opportunities and protection under the law. While there have been a variety of additions and enhancement to US economic and social policy since Women's suffrage in the 1920s and the rise of civil rights activism for ethnic and racial minorities beginning in the 1950s, there still are a number of items that must be addressed so that the foundations on which historically disadvantaged groups may be ...
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Environmental Justice: What the Candidates Missed in Flint, Michigan - and the Rest of the Country 26.1.2016 Truthout - All Articles
As the contaminated water crisis unfolded in Flint, Michigan, the resulting uproar among presidential candidates and the mainstream media did little to acknowledge that environmental racism is a widespread and systemic problem that the government has failed to act on for years. Esther Calhoun and her neighbors in Uniontown, Alabama, have filed a civil rights complaint challenging a massive landfill in their community that has become a dumping ground for toxic coal ash and sludge. (Photo: Chris Jordan Bloch / Earthjustice) Fight back against the spread of misinformation perpetuated by the mainstream media. Help Truthout grow stronger by making a tax-deductible donation today! Esther Calhoun lives far from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, but suspects that water contaminated with lead is also poisoning her hometown of Uniontown, Alabama, a community she describes as "poor and elderly" and about 90 percent African American. Like many of her neighbors, Calhoun's father and grandfather were sharecroppers ...
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Rejecting Snyder's Claim, Experts Say Poisoning of Flint Blatant Racial Injustice 23.1.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Experts are voicing strong disagreement with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who on Friday tried to argue that the lead poisoning plaguing the water of the majority-black city of Flint was "absolutely not" a case of environmental racism.

The Republican governor made the comment in an interview with MSNBC, adding that he's "been devoted to helping" the city.

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Michigan questions some US demands regarding Flint water 23.1.2016 Yahoo: US National
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan's top environmental officer was by turns cooperative and confrontational with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a letter pledging to work with the federal government to ensure the safety of Flint's drinking water but challenging the legality and scope of some federal ...
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Would Flint Crisis Happen In Wealthier, Whiter Community? 22.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
FLINT, Mich. (AP) -- Ever since the full extent of the Flint water crisis emerged, one question has persisted: Would this have happened in a wealthier, whiter community? Residents in the former auto-making hub - a poor, largely minority city - feel their complaints about lead-tainted water flowing through their taps have been slighted by the government or ignored altogether. For many, it echoes the lackluster federal response to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. "Our voices were not heard, and that's part of the problem," Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said this week at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington, D.C., where she also met with President Barack Obama to make her case for federal help for her city. The frustration has mostly been directed at Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who appointed an emergency manager to run Flint. That manager approved a plan in 2013 to begin drawing drinking water from the Flint River, and the city began doing so the next year. But officials failed to ...
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Activists Deliver Plan for Just Transition to EPA Offices Nationwide 22.1.2016 Truthout.com
On January 19, activists at each of the Environmental Protection Agency's 10 regional offices issued their own corrective on the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. Days before the end of the federal comment period, the Climate Justice Alliance's Our Power Campaign - comprised of 41 climate and environmental justice organizations - presented its Our Power Plan , which identifies "clear and specific strategies for implementing the Clean Power Plan, or CPP, in a way that will truly benefit our families' health and our country's economy." Introduced last summer, the CPP looks to bring down power plants' carbon emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels within 15 years. The plan was made possible by Massachusetts vs. EPA, a 2007 Supreme Court ruling which mandates that the agency regulate greenhouse gases as it has other toxins and pollutants under the Clean Air Act of 1963. Under the CPP, states are each required to draft their own implementation plans by September of this year, or by 2018 if granted an ...
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Environmental rights are human rights 20.1.2016 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. My grandparents came here from Japan at the beginning of the 20th century. Although it would be a one-way trip, the perilous journey across the Pacific was worth the risk. They left behind extreme poverty for a wealth of ...
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'Nothing About Us Without Us': As Clean Power Plans Rolls Out, Climate Activists Rally 20.1.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Climate justice activists on Tuesday held actions at 10 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) branch offices throughout the U.S., calling for stronger safeguards for frontline communities and a "just transition" to a clean energy future.

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Did the EPA Fail to Protect a Black Community from Environmental Racism? 20.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Over the last 14 years, a landfill has been consuming Ronald Smith's hometown. The aptly named Stone's Throw Landfill is situated in the leafy countryside of Tallassee, Ala. Around 4:00 a.m. most mornings, a processional of trash-transporting semis thunder over old local bridges, down narrow rural roads and past Smith's home. Vultures perch on his neighbors' roofs and feral dogs trot by to get to the refuse on the other side. What was once a family-owned junkyard for a community of a few hundred has now become one of the largest landfills in the state, accepting everything from household rubbish to blocks of asbestos to even septic sewage. "Every landfill in the state of Alabama is in a Black community or in an economically depressed community," said Smith, a 63-year-old pastor who returned to the neighborhood, known as Ashurst Bar, to care for his mother and defend his family's property. "The whole reason they're there is because the communities can't defend themselves. It's the path of least ...
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Despite Ottawa's posturing, the global climate remains threatened by greed and militarism 18.1.2016 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. A leading columnist in Canada's Globe and Mail daily newspaper known in the past to voice concern about the global warming emergency has penned two columns recently in support of Alberta tar sands pipelines, including praising the efforts of the premier of Alberta to sell the construction of these project to an increasingly sceptical and wary public in ...
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