User: flenvcenter Topic: Sustainability-National
Category: Environmental Justice :: General
Last updated: Aug 30 2015 20:47 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Where's the Missing Part, Naomi Klein? Ask Pope Francis and Mohammed Mesbahi 30.8.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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Self-Governing Association in El Salvador Offers Local Solutions to Global Problems 28.8.2015 Truthout - All Articles
While Washington pays lip service to Central America's dire social situation, local communities in the region are doing something to address the root causes of poverty and violence, from the lack of educational and economic opportunities to environmental degradation. The banner on this “Romero Vive” painting reads, “If they kill me, I will be resurrected in the struggle of my people." (Photo: EcoViva Photo Archive) Much of the news coming out of El Salvador these days highlights the violence and suffering plaguing the small Central American nation of 6.34 million people. The country has seen a worrying amount of violence of late, with 3,830 murders since the new year, earning it the dubious distinction of having one of the world's highest homicide rates. Along with many other countries in the region, El Salvador also faces widespread poverty, wealth disparities, narco-traffic and ecological degradation. Insecurity and violence have reached levels not seen since the end of the civil war in 1992. ...
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An Unequal Recovery in New Orleans: Racial Disparities Grow in City 10 Years After Katrina 28.8.2015 Democracy Now!
We spend the hour today marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that devastated the Gulf Coast and New Orleans, killing more than 1,800 people, forcing more than a million people to evacuate. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has become a different city. The population is now about 385,000—about 80 percent of its pre-Katrina population. The number of African Americans has plunged by nearly 100,000 since the storm. According to the Urban League, the income gap between black and white residents has increased 37 percent since 2005. Thousands of homes, many in African-American neighborhoods, remain abandoned. On Thursday, President Obama spoke in New Orleans, remembering what happened 10 years ago. "We came to realize that what started out as a natural disaster became a man-made disaster -- a failure of government to look out for its own citizens,” Obama said. We speak to actor Wendell Pierce, Monique Harden of the New Orleans-based Advocates for Environmental Human ...
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Hundreds Rally For Equitable Climate Action 25.8.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Thirty Miles From Selma, a Different Kind of Civil Rights Struggle 25.8.2015 Truthout.com
Also see: Environmental Racism Persists, and the EPA Is One Reason Why Uniontown, Alabama - As Esther Calhoun sees it, discrimination, rooted in the acts of many, has turned this wisp of a town into a dumping ground. A landfill owner that staked out roughly 1,000 acres for Alabama's biggest municipal-waste site on a county road dotted by well-worn homes. A county commission that approved the landfill over objections from a largely African-American neighborhood. And a state agency that issued operating permits time and again. "If this had been a rich, white neighborhood, the landfill would never have gotten here," said Calhoun, whose sharecropper and slave ancestors toiled on local plantations, explaining why so many of her fellow citizens view the facility as discriminatory. "They put it here because we're a poor, black community," she said. "They knew we couldn't fight back." In the last decade, little has roused this town in the heart of Alabama's "black belt," 30 miles west of Selma, like the ...
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The Challenge for China's Lungs 25.8.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
A study recently released by Berkeley Earth made for sobering reading. The authors find that air pollution contributes to 1.6 million deaths a year in China, about 17% of deaths in the country. Coal burned to supply power to China's economic miracle is a source of a type of pollution called particulate matter -- toxic particles linked to serious health problems, including asthma, lung cancer, heart attacks, and strokes. The death toll clearly worries officials responsible for cleaning up the problem. Senior Chinese officials say that they are proud of raising more people out of poverty than any country in history, but that they did not get the balance right, favoring development too much over environmental health. They are right about the feat of raising so many out of poverty. And they are now focused on the environmental problems. The government acknowledges the crisis, and is transparent about the data. The Berkeley Earth study used data from Chinese monitoring stations. And the government has made ...
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What Climate Justice Means to Me 24.8.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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California’s Energy Efficiency Success Story: $90 Billion in Utility Bill Savings, Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs, and 40+ Polluting Power Plants Avoided 20.8.2015 NRDC: News/Media Center Feed
SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 20, 2015) – California’s 40-year commitment to energy efficiency has saved Californians $90 billion on their utility bills, created hundreds of thousands of efficiency jobs, and will have avoided the pollution from 41 power plants by the end of the next decade, according to a new report published today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). However, the report cautioned that a major efficiency ramp-up is necessary to meet the state’s long-term climate and energy ...
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The Difference Between 'Fair' and 'Balanced' 20.8.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A few years ago I directed If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front , a documentary about the rise and fall of a radical environmental group that committed dozens of acts of arson against timber companies, developers, polluters and others. The film included conversations with former ELF members, mainstream environmental activists, arson victims and the law enforcement team that sent the ELF members to prison. After screenings of the film, I would often get comments about how "balanced" it was. But that word always made me wince. I didn't intend the film to be balanced; I intended it to be fair. To me, balanced sounds like lazy "he-said/she-said" journalism where, if one person says the earth is round, someone else is invited to say the earth is flat. Every opinion, no matter how outlandish, is treated as equally valid, and questions of fact are offered up for debate. Being fair, on the other hand, is recognizing that the world is not always black and white. It's acknowledging that sometimes ...
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Julian Bond: Immutable Voice for Environmental Justice 19.8.2015 Switchboard, from NRDC
Rhea Suh, President, New York City: Ten years ago this month, civil rights icon Julian Bond watched in sorrow and anger at the suffering and loss the people of New Orleans endured in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and a state, local and federal response that...
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Islamic Declaration Blasts Short-Sighted Capitalism, Demands Action on Climate 18.8.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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US EPA proposes regulations to reduce methane emissions from landfills 15.8.2015 Environmental News Network
As part of the Administration's Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two proposals to further reduce emissions of methane-rich gas from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. Under today’s proposals, new, modified and existing landfills would begin collecting and controlling landfill gas at emission levels nearly a third lower than current requirements. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential more than 25 times that of carbon dioxide. Climate change threatens the health and welfare of current and future generations. Children, older adults, people with heart or lung disease and people living in poverty may be most at risk from the health impacts of climate change. In addition to methane, landfills also emit other pollutants, including the air toxics benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and vinyl ...
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Clemency: The issue that Obama and the Koch brothers actually agree on 15.8.2015 Washington Post
WICHITA — The gleaming black granite tower where conservative billionaire Charles Koch oversees an empire of multinational corporations is 1,500 miles and worlds away from the California prison cell of Weldon Angelos. Read full article ...
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We Need a Clean Power (for Everyone) Plan 12.8.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
(Photo courtesy CHW ) Imagining futures is a fundamental activity of the human psyche. Apocalyptic blockbusters flood movie theaters every summer, technologists imagine how silicon will next transform our lives, and everyone from political analysts to comedians predicts how a President Trump would reshape (destroy) our country. Alongside the release of President Obama's Clean Power Plan , one future that we are realizing nearly as quickly as we imagine it is clean energy as a solution to climate change. Solar energy has tripled in capacity in the last eight years, rapidly outpacing fossil fuels. But as we fight climate change, we must ultimately remember those who are disproportionately harmed by environmental crises. In a recent Solutions Journal article Gregory Rosenthal and Marjeela Basij-Rasikh remind us, "the fight of workers, women, farmers, indigenous peoples, and so many others--not just for survival, but for vibrant and resilient communities--represents the many manifestations of ...
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Is Extreme Inequality Condemning Us to Ecological Armageddon? 5.8.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
It has been claimed that the earth has entered a new geological era, the anthropocene. This name captures the pervasive human impact on the whole earth, from the deepest oceans to the edge of space. If this continuing impact were to end the planet's ability to support human life, it would be ecocide -- an ecological Armageddon. Current trends seem to give to ecocide a degree of inevitability. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change , drawing on contributions from thousands of scientists from around the world, reports that the earth is on an "irreversible" trajectory toward severe climatic disruption from the buildup of greenhouse gases. According to an article by 18 scientists in Science, within the next few decades, the earth could become no longer a "safe operating space" for humans. They contend that four "planetary boundaries" have already been breached: the extinction rate; deforestation; the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorous. ...
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Why the Voting Rights Act Matters for Environmentalists 4.8.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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Environmental racism persists, and the EPA is one reason why 3.8.2015 Yahoo: Politics
Many communities of color in America suffer environmental discrimination. The EPA office created to help them has done little.
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It's Time for a New Story of Humanity's Place in the World 2.8.2015 Truthout.com
The prevailing perception of humans as inherently at odds with nature is not only false, it's counterproductive. (Image: Nature in mind via Shutterstock) June 3, 2015 - It goes without saying that humans are good at causing problems. Climate change , overfishing and widespread environmental contamination from chemical toxicants are all creations of our own making. But are we destined to create such problems? Many people believe so, and argue that our capacity for self-interest, avarice and ecological shortsightedness make us inherently unsustainable as a species . Not only is this way of thinking built on long-disproven myths about human nature and human origins, it also constrains how we think about solutions and alienates us from the rest of the natural world. We need to abandon this belief and not allow ourselves to be defined only by our most recent history. The truth of the matter is that we belong here, and belonging is a much more powerful narrative for sustainability than isolation. In western ...
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The Pope's Call to Action 31.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
I confess -- no pun intended -- to not being the best practicing Catholic. So maybe it was Catholic guilt that propelled me to read the Pope's entire encyclical on environmental and social responsibility while on vacation recently. I did read it -- and when you take the time to read the entire document, you realize that the totality of what he discusses goes far beyond the sound bites that both supporters and detractors have used to advance their respective agendas. The encyclical is more than pontification, more than a religious treatise. It is a document that speaks clearly to contemporary social and environmental challenges in a secular world and the role of individuals, civil society and institutions to address them. The core message of this encyclical is best captured by a single quote within it: Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the ...
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The Land Battle: 15 Organizations Defending Land Rights 30.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The increasing trend of international land grabbing--when governments and private firms invest in or purchase large tracts of land in other countries for the purpose of agricultural production and export--can have serious environmental and social consequences. Investors claim that land grabs can help alleviate the world food crisis by tapping into a country's 'unused' agricultural potential, but such investments often do more harm than good, disrupting traditional land use and leaving half a billion family farmers vulnerable to exploitation. According to the Land Matrix, approximately 130 million hectares of land (or more than 52.7 million football fields) has been acquired globally in settled and impending land deals over the last 15 years. In South Sudan, the country with the most transnational land acquisitions, land has been sold for as little as US$0.025 cents per hectare. Approximately 60 percent of the food grown on acquired lands is intended for export instead of feeding local communities, ...
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