A better picture of record-setting deforestation

Deforestation:  The World Resources Institute, University of Maryland and associates, as Global Forest Watch, have discovered that 2017 deforestation in the tropics was nearly as large as the record-setting 2016.  The report also notes up to 1/3 of tropical forests down or damaged in areas where the Caribbean hurricanes of 2017 struck. The consequences for natural hazards and disasters include …

Social Cost Of Coal Must Now Be Considered By Washington Utilities

June 1st, 2018 by Steve Hanley  Originally published on Planetsave. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has issued a directive to three utility companies in the state telling them to include the social cost of coal in their future planning. Under the new guidelines, the cost of coal calculation will be $42 per metric ton by 2020 and rise to $60 per metric ton …

How Kids and Families Pay the Real Cost of Health Inequality When families can’t take paid time off to care for a sick child, the social costs can be overwhelming

By Michelle Chen in the Nation, May 2018 When you’re too sick to go to work, you shouldn’t be punished for taking time to recover. That simple truth has driven many cities to enact paid leave policies in recent years, guaranteeing paid sick days, or some kind of paid medical- and family-leave time, as standard workplace policy. But those vital policies are still not …

The Role of Health in Climate Litigation

American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) April 2018 Sabrina McCormick PhD, Samuel J. Simmens PhD, Robert Glicksman MA, JD, LeRoy Paddock JD, Daniel Kim MPA, and Brittany Whited MPHAuthor affiliations, information, and correspondence details Published Online: April 26, 2018 Abstract, Full Text. References, Supplements, PDF, PDF Plus Objectives. To examine how the courts, which play a critical role in shaping public policy, consider public health in climate change and coal-fired power plant lawsuits. Methods. We coded US local, state, and …

Environmentally, real and measurable progress that occurred in an age of transformation, not appeasement

‘Desperate environmentalism’ won’t save the environment Photo: Flickr/leniners This was originally published in the LA Times on October 29, 2015. By Joshua Galperin When I started teaching environmental law and policy, I thought I would work with the next generation of extraordinary environmentalists. I don’t. My students are extraordinary, but many see themselves as “corporate social responsibility consultants,” “ecosystem service managers,” “sustainability leaders,” “industrial …

Japanese Courts Find Roadbuilders Guilty for Pollution Related Illnesses

Since the late 1970s 519 lawsuits have been brought in Japanese courts by victims of pollution-related illnesses seeking damages against roadbuilders. The courts have recognized a cause-and-effect relationship between highway constructions, nitrogen dioxide emissions, and respiratory ailments. More than 4 billion yen (about $40 million) has been paid to the plaintiffs in settlements. In a July 1995 ruling, for example, …

Energy Transition Index (ETI) allows the assessment of 114 countries’ energy systems. Particle emission levels deteriorated in more than 50% of countries and carbon intensity stayed flat

McKinsey and the World Resources Institute. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Fostering_Effective_Energy_Transition_report_2018.pdf The newly developed Energy Transition Index (ETI) allows the assessment of 114 countries’ energy systems within this framework, by providing benchmarks across: System performance: This measures current performance, based on the delivery of the energy system on the imperatives of the energy triangle, namely promoting an energy system that supports inclusive economic development and growth, secure and reliable access to energy, and …

Disproportionate effects from fossil fuel pollution: African Americans asthma hospitalization rates are 3 to 5 times higher than for Whites, and asthma deaths are 2 to 3 times higher

African American communities, including workers, are most likely to be exposed to the pollution from fossil fuel based energy production through coal plants, oil and gas refineries, as well as pollution from energy production through nuclear facilities and waste incinerators.  We pay a severe price for this chronic, pervasive toxic exposure through health impacts. There are numerous examples of the health disparities. One glaring …