Environmental Justice

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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An Ounce of Prevention

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Can inherently safer technology save us from chemical accidents and terrorists?

As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Franklin’s comment, originally made in reference to home fire safety, is characteristically timeless.  Today, many are looking to the principle of prevention as a way to reduce the incidence and severity of chemical plant disasters. The threat of chemical disaster […]

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When Cooking Can Kill

Cookstove  Use in Darfur

Cookstoves are a major threat to health in developing countries, while also wreaking environmental damage.

Cooking dinner, as it turns out, is one of the most serious public health and environmental problems in the world. There’s a common misperception that environmental concerns are just a First World luxury.  But the cookstove example shows that the global poor, too, are in need of better, more efficient, less polluting energy sources. Here […]

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What are California Legislators Thinking About Cap-and-Trade?

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CA Senate Hearing at UCLA Focuses on Ways to Spend Auction Revenue

Today, UCLA’s Emmett Center and IOES hosted a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation with Senators Pavley, Correa, de Leon, deSaulnier, Lieu, and Assemblymember Bloom attending.  The hearing featured testimony on climate science, on AB 32 implementation, and on opportunities to invest revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions in ways that […]

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