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In the battle for social domination of the roads, Oregon imposes a bike tax

Because cyclists should pay their fair share, right? […]

Workers Want A Green Economy, Not A Black Environment

<!– TAG START { player: “HuffPost Default Player – Click to Play”, for: “Huffington Post” } –> function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){‘undefined’!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if(‘object’==typeof commercial_video){var a=”,o=’m.fwsitesection=’+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video[‘package’]){var c=’&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D’+commercial_video[‘package’];a+=c}e.setAttribute(‘vdb_params’,a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById(‘vidible_1’),onPlayerReadyVidible); <!– TAG END { date: 6/1/17 } –> To justify withdrawing from the Paris climate change accord, President Trump said during his press conference today, “I was elected to represent the city of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” From terrible experience, Pittsburghers know about pollution. Before Pittsburgh’s renaissance, its streetlights frequently glowed at noon to illuminate sidewalks through the darkness of smoke and soot belched from mills. White collar office workers changed grimy shirts midday. To the west 130 miles, the polluted Cuyahoga River in Cleveland burned – several times. Pollution sickened and killed. It triggered asthma and aggravated emphysema. In Donora, just south of Pittsburgh, an air inversion in 1948 trapped smog in the Monongahela River valley […]

The coal executive jailed for a deadly mining disaster still says he’s innocent.

Nicky Sheats has done his homework. After getting his degree from Harvard Law, Sheats went back to get a PhD in biogeochemistry, also at Harvard, and did a quick post-doc at Columbia. (Did we mention he went to Princeton for undergrad?) When his studies brought him to an environmental justice conference, Sheats saw a cause that united all his interests.

Over his career, Sheats has leaned on academic research to write policy initiatives for cleaner air in communities of color, which typically suffer from higher rates of air pollution. Recently, Sheats helped develop a municipal ordinance in Newark, New Jersey, that calls for stricter regulation of pollution caused by development projects. After six long years of campaigning, Newark passed the ordinance in July 2016.

Another win: When, in 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the Clean Power Plan, a set of rules that require electric power plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Sheats saw huge gaps in policy and regulation that could potentially hurt low-income communities and communities of color. He gave lectures and wrote to policymakers, advocating for mandatory reductions of air pollution around these communities — not just for greenhouse gases, but also for “co-pollutants,” other toxins commonly released from power plants.

The EPA ended up adapting some of Sheats’ policies, albeit without including any concrete mechanisms to achieve that goal. “We think that if you don’t use climate change policy to reduce inequalities,” Sheats says, “you’ll miss a big opportunity to help environmental justice communities that may not come around again.”

Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.


Who Will Protect The Air We Breathe And Water We Drink? The Resistance

By Rich StolzMore and more Americans are coming to the conclusion that climate change is no myth at a time when the Trump administration is intent on ignoring reality and appeasing corporate interests. Some environmental leaders are responding by formulating a lowest common denominator strategy on climate, like revenue neutral approaches, hoping to magically create a middle ground by bowing to the altar of limited government. Fortunately, an inclusive, inter-sectional and organic resistance is rising. This spring, throughout a week of powerful demonstrations from Earth Day to May Day, this resistance will blossom.OneAmerica is a multi-issue immigrant rights organization that calls Washington state – aka the Center of the Resistance – home. Our communities are as harmed in the short term by ICE raids and unconstitutional travel bans as they are in the long term by gutted environmental regulations. To fight these destructive and unpopular attacks, we need everyone, but more importantly, we need to follow the leadership of those most impacted by these regulatory rollbacks and programmatic cuts.People across the country overwhelmingly support action on climate and investment in renewable energy sources, and believe immigrants make the United States a better place to live. In partnership with our allies among labor, environmental, faith, and progressive business groups, OneAmerica has worked with other organizations led by people of color to build a statewide movement for action on climate change that puts our communities and other front line communities first.Our communities, to quote environmental justice advocate Majora Carter, are the canaries in the coal mine: We have already begun to experience climate disruption by virtue of where we live and work, and we have always been on the front lines of pollution […]

A tiny Iowa paper just won a Pulitzer Prize for tackling farm pollution.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the reef isn’t dead — not yet. But aerial surveys show that 900 miles of the 1,400-mile-long reef have been severely bleached in the past two years.

Bleaching occurs when warm water causes stressed-out corals to expel symbiotic algae from their tissues; corals then lose their color and their chief source of food, making them more likely to die.

Last year’s El Niño–induced bleaching event was devastating, knocking out two-thirds of the corals in the northern section of the reef. We’d hoped that 2017 would bring cooler temperatures, giving the fragile ecosystem some much needed R&R.

Instead, temperatures on Australia’s east coast were still hotter than average in the early months of this year, and on top of that, the reef’s midsection took a hit from a big cyclone in March.

ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

This is the first time the reef has experienced back-to-back annual bleaching events. If this keeps happening, it’ll quash the reef’s chances for recovery and regrowth, a process that can take a decade or longer under normal conditions.

Under the abnormal conditions of climate change, though, there is little reprieve — unless we, y’know, address the root of the problem itself.


The pollution is so bad in London that kids are wearing masks

Because getting rid of cars is just so inconvenient […]

In China, Safe Drinking Water is an Oxymoron

Pollution in China via Junjira Saetae on Wikimedia China is on a collision course with disaster as the country’s growing environmental challenges with water resources continue to mount. The recent fatal red mud slide associated with aluminium production at Sanmenxia – one of many to plague a nation of 1.4 billion people – is an example of how ruthless, profit-driven corporations abetted by irresponsible Chinese authorities are failing their citizens. Yet they’re not just failing their own citizens, who account for one of every five people on earth. They’re poisoning that earth as well, and placing the planet and its population in peril with each new violation. A 2016 report from China’s National Audit Office found that RMB17.62 billion, or USD$2.56 billion, that was allocated to preventing water pollution in 2015 had not been used effectively. To be fair, the data drawn from 883 projects in 18 cities and provinces reflected some improvements in water quality overall – but some discouraging findings demonstrated the risks that Chinese officials fail to manage. In fact, Chinese authorities have punished 3,229 of those officials for fiscal violations uncovered during the auditing process, the Xinhua news agency reports […]