In Our Backyard: Environmental Racism in Dickson

by Michelle Chen on September 4 2009, 4:18PM

You may not have heard of Dickson, Tennessee, but this weekend, the town is center stage in the movement for environmental justice. Civil rights leaders gathered there for a national summit on environmental racism to highlight environmental health issues…

Topics: Environment

Choosing Between Cancer and the Ozone

by Leticia Miranda on August 26 2009, 11:26AM

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation is looking at using methyl iodide, a known carcinogenic that’s used in very small amounts to induce cancer in research specimens, on California’s strawberry fields. But it’s ok because they’re preserving the ozone…

Topics: Environment

Caption Contest Post Has Moved!

by Channing Kennedy on August 25 2009, 1:57PM

Hey all: Thanks for participating! Head on over to the new caption contest post, and bring your A game! Last week’s winner below the jump. ——————————————————————— AND SPEAKING OF: Last week’s winner is (drumroll please) RaceWire commenter tonymacias, with: “Y’all…

Topics: Environment, Media, Video & Multimedia

The U.S., Canada and Tar Sands: Pollution Without Borders

by Michelle Chen on August 20 2009, 6:05PM

The government is busy stemming the flow of immigration from Mexico, but it’s welcoming a different kind of flood from the north. The State Department just approved a project to pipe some of the world’s dirtiest oil from Canada…

Topics: Environment

Transit Stagnates Along with the Economy

by Michelle Chen on August 18 2009, 10:06PM

As the recession leaves millions of households barely getting by, crumbling local transit systems have made it a challenge just to get out the door. Though the demand for public transit has soared amid the economic crisis, according to…

Topics: Economy, Environment

Coal Ash Puts Southern Communities Between a Dump and a Hard Place

by Michelle Chen on August 4 2009, 5:15PM

In the Black Belt, one county’s trash is another county’s goldmine. Since a wave of hazardous coal ash washed across a vast stretch of Eastern Tennesee last year, destroying neighborhoods and driving pollution into the Emory River, the Tennessee…

Topics: Environment

Ignore the Haters, Sierra Club!!: Open Letter to Allison Chin

by Adrienne Maree Brown on July 29 2009, 5:13PM

Dear Allison, Yesterday, the Sierra Club published a post on their Insider blog - “Yep, We’re Too White”. It’s a very short post highlighting that last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson called for more “diversity” in environmental movements, and you,…

Topics: Environment

In Communities of Color, Pollution Looms over Growing Minds

by Michelle Chen on July 29 2009, 4:43PM

In some New York City neighborhoods, kids may be set back in school long before they ever enter a classroom, thanks to dirty air. A new study by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health draws a connection between…

Topics: Environment

Playing the green race card

by Michelle Chen on July 17 2009, 7:04PM

National Black Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Harry Alford gave a lesson in how not to do identity politics on Thursday when confronting Sen. Barbara Boxer on climate change legislation. At an Energy & Public Works Committee hearing,…

Topics: Environment

What Race Really Has to Do with The CA Central Valley’s Fight for Water

by Leticia Miranda on July 16 2009, 4:50PM

Thanks to one of our readers and a local listener-supported radio station here in the Bay Area, I was promptly corrected about what the real racial politics are when it comes to water in the Central Valley. As an…

Topics: Environment

Asthma or Jobs?

by Leticia Miranda on July 3 2009, 2:58PM

That’s the question Chevron is asking Richmond, CA. This Wednesday, a Contra Costa Superior Court Judge sided with environmentalists and community groups in a lawsuit against the refinery to stop the company from manufacturing cruder types of oil until…

Topics: Environment

Cap-and-trade hits Capitol Hill

by Michelle Chen on June 24 2009, 5:11AM

Congress is moving on major climate change legislation, but some environmental advocates worry that the government will pursue emissions reductions at the expense of marginalized communities. From a social equity standpoint, the market-based cap-and-trade framework presented in the Waxman-Markey…

Topics: Environment

A piece of the green pie

by Michelle Chen on June 12 2009, 8:41PM

Green jobs are seen as a vehicle for the climate justice agenda, bringing together economic and environmental advancement. But will the green industries deliver on the lofty promises activists have envisioned? According to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts,…

Topics: Economy, Environment

The body burden

by Michelle Chen on June 9 2009, 2:53PM

Pollution is all around us, but the toll it takes on our bodies is often invisible. To understand the physical legacy of environmental toxins, dirty air and chemical products, environmental justice activists as well as federal agencies have begun…

Topics: Environment, Health

What Disaster Could Look Like in Southern California

by Jorge Rivas on May 20 2009, 9:52AM

A 4.1 earthquake struck Los Angeles County yesterday afternoon about two miles north of the epicenter from another 4.7 temblor on Sunday. Los Angeles has experienced two earthquakes in the last week that are relatively strong compared to the…

Topics: Environment

Greening the recession

by Michelle Chen on May 19 2009, 9:10PM

Underneath the headlines trumpeting signs of “recovery” are sobering figures on the bottom rungs of the economy. The Economic Policy Institute projects calculates that high rates of joblessness have resulted in a 7.8 million deficit in payroll employment. Between…

Topics: Economy, Environment

Appetite for equity

by Michelle Chen on May 15 2009, 9:20PM

Do we care more about the chemicals on the tomatoes in the produce aisle than the people who pick them? Sarah Newman at Alternet writes that the green veneer of organic food often masks exploitative labor conditions, as major…

Topics: Environment

Now It’s Official: The Poor and People of Color Get the Dirty Air

by Guest Columnist on May 6 2009, 9:36AM

by Nina Jacinto This post originally appeared on Wiretap. Last week, researchers at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Southern California released a study that confirms what many people are all too familiar with: toxic pollution falls disproportionately…

Topics: Environment

Standing up on Desert Rock

by Michelle Chen on April 28 2009, 9:10PM

An environmental justice struggle in the heart of Indian Country took a new turn on Monday, with a decision by the Obama administration to reconsider a permit for a proposed power plant in New Mexico. The planned Desert Rock…

Topics: Environment

Indigenous perspectives on climate change

by Michelle Chen on April 27 2009, 9:26PM

Representatives of indigenous peoples from around the planet convened in Anchorage, Alaska last week to discuss the challenges that climate change poses to their communities. The Indigenous People’s Global Summit on Climate Change called for holistic solutions to global…

Topics: Environment, Global Affairs