Articles on Environmental justice

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Nauru’s people are struggling in the face of environmental change. Anja Kanngieser

Climate change: Nauru’s life on the frontlines

Nauru is best known as a site of Australian offshore asylum detention. But everyone on the island - not just refugees - is struggling with the issue of environmental change that threatens their lives and homes.
A whale shark moves towards a piece of plastic in the ocean. (Shutterstock)

Not all marine fish eat plastics

If we are truly invested in addressing the issue of marine plastic and offsetting the potential harms, we have to understand which fish eat plastic and which ones don't.
The sun sets behind the Statue of Liberty, July 1, 2018. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File

Coping with heat waves: 5 essential reads

July is the hottest month in much of North America. Experts explain who is most affected by heat waves and ways to cope with them.
A barn that can hold up to 4,800 hogs outside Berwick, Pa. The state says the farm is in compliance with regulations, but residents have gone to court seeking relief from odors. AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam

Rural Americans’ struggles against factory farm pollution find traction in court

Many people who live near large-scale livestock farms complain about noxious smells, air and water pollution and health risks. With little help from regulators, they are turning to lawsuits.
A trash truck discharges solid waste at the South East Reserve Recovery Facility’s refuse storage pit in Long Beach, California, August 24, 2010. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Garbage in, garbage out: Incinerating trash is not an effective way to protect the climate or reduce waste

Most Americans don't want incinerators in their neighborhoods, so waste management companies are burning trash in other facilities such as cement kilns. Is this a sustainable way to deal with garbage?
Warning sign at Kerr-McGee uranium mill site near Grants, N.M., December 20, 2007. AP photo/Susan Montoya Bryan

Before the US approves new uranium mining, consider its toxic legacy

The Trump administration's push for 'energy dominance' could spur a new wave of domestic uranium production. A scholar describes the damage done in past uranium booms and the visible scars that remain.
Colin Kaepernick, centre, and his San Francisco teammates kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game in 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

What Colin Kaepernick can teach us about citizenship

Much of the discussion about "Take a Knee" has overlooked the issues of justice and social exclusion, and especially environmental matters. That's something to think about during the Super Bowl.
Breezy Point, New York off the coast of Long Island after the storm surge from Superstorm Sandy. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Storms hit poorer people harder, from Superstorm Sandy to Hurricane Maria

Five years after Superstorm Sandy, we see how disadvantaged social groups suffered more from the storm before and after – much as we're seeing in Hurricanes Harvey and Maria.
Under the El tracks, downtown Chicago. Franck Michel

Urban noise pollution is worst in poor and minority neighborhoods and segregated cities

New research shows that noise pollution in US cities is concentrated in poor and minority communities. Beyond regulating airplane noise, the US has done relatively little to curb noise pollution.
Coal stockpile at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin power plant, 2011. Michael Pereckas

Even when it’s sitting in storage, coal threatens human health

A recent study shows that large piles of coal produce measurable quantities of fine particulate air pollution within a 25-mile radius. Covering coal trains and storage piles could reduce the problem.
Children run through an open fire hydrant to cool off during the kickoff of the 2016 Summer Playstreets Program in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, July, 6, 2016. AP Photo/Ezra Kaplan

Heat waves threaten city dwellers, especially minorities and the poor

Climate change is making heat waves more frequent and intense around the world. Cities are hotter than surrounding areas, so urban dwellers – especially minorities and the poor – are at greatest risk.
Demonstrators at a rally in Frankfort, Kentucky, Feb. 13, 2013, protest against mountaintop removal coal mining. AP Photo/James Crisp

Is a healthy environment a human right? Testing the idea in Appalachia

Are all people entitled to live in a clean and healthy environment? A legal scholar says yes, and argues for using this principle to address damage from polluting industries in Appalachia.
Abandoned industrial buildings at San Francisco’s Pier 70, with a smokestack in the background. Lindsey Dillon

Cleaning up toxic sites shouldn’t clear out the neighbors

Cleaning up and reusing contaminated sites, known as brownfields, can create jobs and promote economic growth. But it also can drive gentrification that prices out low-income residents.

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