Environmental Justice

California Governor Jerry Brown: Environmental Saint or Sinner?

Gov. Brown in Rome, July 2015, Associated Press

Brown's National & International Environmental Reputation Disputed by Some California Environmentalists

California Governor Jerry Brown has had a most eventful 2015, especially when it comes to environmental policy.  He started the year fresh from an overwhelming election victory last November, earning him an unprecedented fourth term as California’s chief executive.  Brown began 2015 by declaring a state drought emergency and becoming California’s “educator-in-chief,” repeatedly warning state […]

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California Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Housing Ordinance

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Unanimous Court Rejects Developers' Takings Challenge to San Jose's Inclusionary Housing Measure

The California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision issued today, rejected state developers’ efforts to nullify the City of San Jose’s affordable housing ordinance.  That decision, California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, is critically important for both state land use policy and for constitutional principles governing private property rights and the proper scope […]

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Los Angeles Releases First-Ever Urban Sustainability “pLAn”

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Envisioning greener energy, cleaner air, and reduced consumption in LA by 2035

Perhaps no metropolis is better positioned than Los Angeles to pioneer ground-breaking environmental initiatives. As the second-largest U.S. city, and with the country’s largest municipally owned utility, a world-class research university–UCLA, and the blessings of abundant sunshine and a temperate Mediterranean climate, Los Angeles could serve as a global model for urban sustainability. Today, the […]

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Food Policy: A Reply to Dan Farber

Earlier this week on this blog, Dan Farber made the excellent point that although the average American is neither malnourished nor obese, both persist as significant problems revealing deep failures in our food system. But his juxtaposition of statistics regarding obesity with those regarding malnourishment reflects a common misunderstanding of malnourishment, which is often equated with […]

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Working-class Environmentalism

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New JAH Article Points to Labor Support of Environmental Justice

Traditional histories of the environmental movement consider it to be a middle-class or upper-middle-class concern, removed from the grittier kitchen table issues of concern to working people. Not so, says Josiah Rector, in an article in the new Journal of American History, entitled “Environmental Justice at Work: The UAW, the War on cancer, and the Right […]

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Bay Area Tries to Screw the Poor

Peripheral Canal cartoon

It’s bad enough when folks from the Bay Area pretend that they are smarter and more sophisticated than everyone else. It’s bad enough that they trash southern California (inaccurately) for “stealing” its water from the Owens Valley while enjoying water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. But trying to undermine environmental justice while pretending to be […]

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Some (sort of) good news on sea level rise

Bikeman islet in Kiribati has essentially disappeared below the waves. Photo by Reuters.

Reef growth may be able to keep pace with climate change, keeping island nations above water

That sea level rise driven by global warming will soon make low-lying island nations uninhabitable has been widely publicized and readily accepted. In 2009, then-President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives held a cabinet meeting underwater in full scuba gear to raise global awareness of the threat of climate change. (The underwater meeting later became the […]

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Supreme Court: North Carolina Tort Plaintiffs Can’t Sue for Latent Injuries from Contaminated Sites

Court holds that federal law doesn't preempt state statutes of repose

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger.   In this case, which my colleague Jesse Lueders described and analyzed in detail here and here, the Court had to decide whether state statutes of repose can bar tort lawsuits by people harmed by latent injuries from toxic contamination, by imposing […]

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Quantifying Environmental Justice (& Injustice) in California–An Update

California Improves an Already-Powerful Environmental Justice Analytical Tool

A year ago, I wrote about an important environmental justice initiative pioneered by the California Environmental Protection Agency and its subsidiary entity, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. That 2013 initiative, titled CalEnviroScreen, divided up the State of California by zip code, applied 11 environmental health and pollution factors, assessed each of the state’s […]

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California’s Proposed Drinking Water Program Reorganization: A Primer

Photo credit to Darwin Bell.

What would the shake-up mean for those who currently lack affordable access to safe drinking water?

A shake-up of California’s struggling Drinking Water Program is in the works.  What follows is a little history, context, and a few thoughts on what it will likely mean for drinking-water stakeholders—in particular those who have the hardest time accessing safe drinking water.  A history of problems for the Drinking Water Program Last April, Jonathan […]

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