User: irge304 Topic: Environmental Justice Issues
Category: Environmental Justice
Last updated: Jul 06 2015 10:37 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Radioactive city: how Johannesburg’s townships are paying for its mining past 6.7.2015 The Guardian -- World Latest
Much of the waste from 600 abandoned mines around South Africa’s largest city are piled high next to residential communities – most of which are poor and black Johannesburg’s mine dumps look strangely beautiful from a distance. Lustrously yellow in the sun, blazing red at dusk, their huge molehill shapes provide the city with its distinctive skyline. Up close, it’s a different story. Rasalind Plaatjies has lived in the shadow of a “tailing” – as these piles of mine waste are known – all her adult life. Today, the 62-year-old grandmother from the city’s Riverlea district suffers severe respiratory problems. For 16 hours a day, she is hooked up to an oxygen tank, her lungs debilitated by dust from the waste heap. “Sometimes I don’t have the energy to get up. I just have to stay in bed and do nothing,” she says. She feels fortunate, though. A number of her elderly neighbours have died from respiratory disease. Plaatjies is one of tens of thousands in Johannesburg’s impoverished townships who are paying a ...
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Reports of English's demise in US have been greatly exaggerated, experts say 1.7.2015 Guardian: Science

News that US is now world’s second largest Spanish-speaking country belies the fact that America breeds English: ‘Spanish dominance, it’s not going to happen’

The news was striking and, to some, alarming: the United States is now the world’s second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico. It has 41 million native Spanish speakers and 11.6 million who are bilingual – more than Colombia or Spain – and is on course to be the biggest Spanish-speaking nation on Earth, with Spanish the mother tongue of almost a third of its citizens.

The study, published this week by Spain’s Instituto Cervantes, made global headlines and dismayed those in the US who fear linguistic pollution. “I thought we spoke ENGLISH here,” tweeted Scott Rogers, a Florida-based conservative blogger.

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Moffat County facing fate of the changing West 28.6.2015 Denver Post: Business
CRAIG — This tiny town was built on mining the rolling hills of northwest Colorado that surround it for coal and burning it to make electricity. Now, the community feels both its economic pillars under ...
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On climate change, Hispanic Catholics hear pope's message – and it's personal 27.6.2015 Guardian: Environment

Long before Pope Francis called for the faithful to work toward environmental justice, water and drought were natural concerns for many in the western US and willing disciples may galvanize like never before

On a June morning, Father Rob Yaksich, a park ranger until he found his calling in mid-life as a Catholic priest, presided over his first ever Sunday Mass at the historic Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That day, he chose the power of spreading the faith as the theme of his sermon.

“Think of the mustard seed,” he told those gathered for the early morning Spanish language mass. “We all carry little mustard seeds of faith in our hearts. This mustard seed grows, and if it is nourished, it grows into a great tree.”

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Outside panel will oversee California's troubled toxic waste regulator 27.6.2015 LA Times: Commentary
The budget signed this week by Gov. Jerry Brown establishes an independent panel to oversee the California Department of Toxic Substances Control after a series of shortcomings in its regulation of hazardous waste operations and cleanups across the state.
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Read More: 20 Women Who Should Appear on the $10 Bill 26.6.2015 American Prospect
Public Domain In a speech last year in Kansas City, President Barack Obama said he received a letter from a nine-year-old girl that included a list of possible women to put on America’s paper bills and coins, “which I thought was a pretty good idea." In March of this year, Barbara Ortiz Howard and Susan Ades Stone started a campaign called Women on 20s to demand that the government replace former President Andrew Jackson’s image on the $20 bill with a woman from history. Now, the Obama administration is following through, although not in the way that the two women and the many followers they galvanized had hoped. Last week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that in 2020—the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote—a woman will appear on the $10 note, not the $20 bill.  Lew explained that the $10 bill was already scheduled to be redesigned to deal with counterfeiting threats. The new currency will feature state-of-the-art security and composition features and will ...
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How A Historical Blunder Helped Create The Water Crisis In The West 26.6.2015 NPR News
In 1922, seven states drew up a plan for dividing the waters of the Colorado River. But they overestimated how much water the river could provide — and now 40 million Americans face a water crisis.
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Protecting all of California's water 25.6.2015 LA Times: Commentary
Rivers and streams in California and much of the rest of the West are different from those in other parts of the nation. It's not uncommon for streams here to swell with winter rain and spring snowmelt but dry up completely in the summer. The Los Angeles River is a good example. Even in the wetter...
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'My children are suffering but what can I do?' Delhi's polluted air, by the people who live there 25.6.2015 Guardian: Environment
A family living in the middle of an eight-lane motorway, an autorickshaw driver struggling to breathe, a young woman who can’t wait to leave ... the foul air of India’s capital affects all sections of society For three years Mohammad Yunus, his wife Babli, five children and a handful of relatives have made their home on a patch of concrete in the middle of an eight-lane motorway, near a stretch of road named after Mahatma Gandhi. As lorries, buses and motorcycles roar past on either side of the family’s cramped bit of south Delhi pavement, and a modern, concrete flyover carries several more lanes of traffic overhead, their evening routine unfolds. A young woman in a pink dress squats to kindle a fire from wooden sticks and plastic bottles, then breaks a lump of dough into pieces to bake into chapatti bread. A three-month-old baby and a toddler sleep on a dirty mat just a few feet from the curb. The incessant blaring of horns makes conversation difficult, but does not rouse the ...
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The Terrifying Truth About Air Pollution and Dementia 24.6.2015 Mother Jones
By Aaron Reuben | July/August 2015 Issue "We should get out of here," says air pollution chemist Eben Cross . At 7 a.m. on this cold November day the wind blows steadily through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Cambridge campus, cutting through our thin jackets. But Cross isn't afraid of the cold. He worries about the air we're breathing—especially considering the six fire trucks directly ahead, idling in the dim morning light. "We're getting hammered right now," Cross says, shouting over the hum of the engines. He's taken his gloves off to manipulate the display panel on his pollution monitor. The acrid smell of diesel is unmistakable. "Anytime you can smell it, you are in a regime that is very polluted," he says. "In many ways your nose is a better mass spectrometer than any device on the market." Cross' monitor measures the presence of microscopic particles suspended in the air. Earlier, in his home, the device reported average concentrations of between 10,000 and 100,000 airborne particles ...
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All choked up: did Britain's dirty air make me dangerously ill? 20.6.2015 Guardian: Environment
This year, environment correspondent John Vidal had heart bypass surgery – a wake-up call that prompted him to investigate the state of the air we breathe. With 29,000 UK deaths a year attributed to pollution, is it time we cleaned up our act? Three months ago, a surgeon at Liverpool Heart and Chest hospital took a saw, ripped through my sternum, levered open my ribcage, cut into the aorta of my still-beating heart and stitched in a vein from my leg. The long, brutal operation was a great success. But it knocked me out and left me unable to walk more than a few paces. As I recovered, I got to asking how had I got into this mess. I had always, I thought, kept pretty fit: I could happily walk all day in the hills, chop wood, play cricket and dig deep. I ate good food and loved exercise. So what else was there in my lifestyle that could have led to heart disease, Britain’s biggest ...
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Funding for Interior, EPA clears Senate 19.6.2015 Durango Herald
WASHINGTON – The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday passed a $30.01 billion bill to fund the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency and related agencies. The measure, which passed 16-14, also blocks implementation of the EPA’s plan to address climate change.It’s the first appropriations bill to...
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Why Is It So Difficult to See Pluto? 17.6.2015 Wired Top Stories
The New Horizons spacecraft will soon flyby Pluto. Why is it so difficult to get a decent image of Pluto from ...
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Chevron hits out at British documentary on oil pollution in Ecuador 17.6.2015 The Guardian -- Front Page
Company upset over short film that uses Pablo Neruda’s famous poem on how US corporations treated Latin American countries as empty ‘banana republics’ The US oil giant Chevron has attacked the British makers of a short art-house documentary film about oil pollution in the Ecuadorean Amazon featuring the actor Julie Christie reading a Pablo Neruda poem for ignoring the environmental record of the country’s own state oil producer. The 13-minute film, follows the unresolved, 22-year-long series of legal fights in the US, European and Latin American courts over the dumping by US oil company Texaco of 18bn gallons of toxic wastewater and crude oil in the forest near the town of Lago Agrio between 1964 and ...
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Go veggie to save the planet, says world champion freerunner Tim Shieff 16.6.2015 Guardian: Environment

‘I’m just one kid jumping around when there’s a planet being polluted, but everyone reasonable agrees that we should look after the environment’

Tim Shieff, 27, is strong, incredibly strong. He’s been on TV shows American and UK Ninja Warrior, and MTV’s Ultimate Parkour Challenge. He’s famous in the freerunning community for his one-armed handstand. And he’s been known to scale buildings in London in the name of activism.

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Pope, GOP on climate change 15.6.2015 CNN: Top Stories
Climate change -- long the subject of a divisive political debate -- is getting a boost of fresh attention heading into the 2016 presidential campaign thanks to an unlikely public figure: the Pope.
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Mexico’s Ugly Ocean Trash, Transformed Into Treasure 15.6.2015 Wired Top Stories
Mexico’s Ugly Ocean Trash, Transformed Into Treasure
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Great Barrier Reef meets criteria for 'in danger' listing by Unesco, say lawyers 11.6.2015 Guardian: Environment

An analysis by environmental campaigners claims the degradation of the reef meets five out eight possible reasons for listing by the world heritage committee

Degradation of the Great Barrier Reef overwhelmingly meets the criteria for an “in danger” listing by Unesco, according to a joint report by environmental lawyers from Australia and the US.

The report challenges a draft UN ruling, ahead of a final decision by the world heritage committee in Germany this month, not to proceed with a listing that requires only one of eight criteria to be met.

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EPA 'environmental justice' map highlights California's pollution ills 11.6.2015 LA Times: Environment
Many Southern California communities stand out as some of the nation’s worst environmental justice hot spots, according to a new map released Wednesday by the Obama administration.
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How Does A City Stop 4 Million Smokers From Lighting Up? 10.6.2015 NPR: Morning Edition
A few years ago, smoking was so common in Beijing that doctors, nurses and patients would even puff away in hospital hallways. Now the city is trying — again — to ban smoking indoors. It isn't easy.
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