Tag: Feature

Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions. They failed.

washington oregon and british columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions they failed scaled - Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions. They failed.
washington oregon and british columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions they failed - Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions. They failed.

This story was produced in collaboration with InvestigateWest, a nonprofit newsroom in Seattle with a focus on the environment, public health, and government accountability.

With dozens of people killed by wildfires in the western U.S., millions of acres scorched, and choking smoke spreading far into British Columbia, Washington Governor Jay Inslee lit up the news wires in September. “These are not just wildfires,” Inslee asserted at a press conference from Olympia, “these are climate fires.”

Two days later on George Stephanopoulos’ Sunday-morning ABC News talk show, the recent presidential candidate recounted a poignant visit to a town nearly wiped out by the fires.…

Green space improves cities. Can it benefit those who need it most?

green space improves cities can it benefit those who need it most - Green space improves cities. Can it benefit those who need it most?
green space improves cities can it benefit those who need it most - Green space improves cities. Can it benefit those who need it most?

It was a gray Tuesday morning in February, a few weeks before the COVID outbreak was declared a global pandemic. The Anacostia River was quiet and serene, except for the sound of raindrops and the low roar of Jim Foster’s boat. Foster, president of the nonprofit Anacostia Watershed Society, was preparing to make his weekly rounds surveying the once-polluted river.

The river, located just five miles south of the White House, separates two very different communities: On the west side of the river sits the Washington Navy Yard, U.S. government buildings, upscale cafes, and luxury apartments. East of the river is the historic Anacostia neighborhood, a predominantly Black community that experiences some of the city’s highest unemployment and poverty rates.…

The COVID recovery is coming. How will we get around?

the covid recovery is coming how will we get around scaled - The COVID recovery is coming. How will we get around?
the covid recovery is coming how will we get around - The COVID recovery is coming. How will we get around?

It’s hard to exaggerate just how much the world changed in just a few weeks this spring. The glittering vehicles that packed suburban office parks disappeared, leaving empty moats of blacktop. Online traffic maps glowed green at what had been reliable deep-red choke points. Families on bikes and delivery trucks moved slowly through newly quiet residential streets. And the fumes from internal combustion engines cleared, with deadly particulate pollution falling by more than half in many cities. The quarantine squeegeed away the smog, leaving sparkling city skylines. The residents of Jalandhar, India, 100 miles south of the Himalayas, had a view of snow-capped mountains for the first time in 30 years.…

Coronavirus has these retirees sheltering in place — by a frack site

coronavirus has these retirees sheltering in place by a frack site - Coronavirus has these retirees sheltering in place — by a frack site
coronavirus has these retirees sheltering in place by a frack site - Coronavirus has these retirees sheltering in place — by a frack site

On a spring weekend morning a few weeks ago, Judy Kelly stepped outside of her house in Broomfield, Colorado, to grab the newspaper when her nose perked up. It smelled like something was burning.

Kelly, who’s 73, lives in an upscale, 55-and-up retirement community called Anthem Ranch, which sits below the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The 1,300-home development is manicured and quiet, with green lawns and landscaped roads that flower out into smaller cul-de-sacs. Its active residents enjoy their own private fitness center, pool, movie theater, and more than 90 clubs that meet in a central community center. But about a quarter of a mile away from the southern border of this retirement dreamland sits a circle of fortress-like walls that enclose the Livingston fracking site, which contains 18 wells owned by Extraction Oil and Gas.…

These scientists saw a pandemic coming. Now they’re trying to stop the next one.

these scientists saw a pandemic coming now theyre trying to stop the next one - These scientists saw a pandemic coming. Now they’re trying to stop the next one.
these scientists saw a pandemic coming now theyre trying to stop the next one - These scientists saw a pandemic coming. Now they’re trying to stop the next one.

It was late one night in January 2009, and Jonathan Epstein was standing on the roof of an abandoned storage depot near Khulna, Bangladesh, with the writer and journalist David Quammen along with a small team of veterinarians. The group was in Bangladesh on a strange errand: They were catching bats.

It had been more than  a decade since the first outbreak of the Nipah virus in Malaysia. Nipah, named after the home village of one of its earliest victims, causes respiratory distress, inflammation of the brain, and seizures. Its mortality rate is staggeringly high — between 40 and 75 percent of those who contract the disease ultimately die.…

Will state-level environmental enforcement survive the pandemic?

will state level environmental enforcement survive the pandemic - Will state-level environmental enforcement survive the pandemic?
will state level environmental enforcement survive the pandemic - Will state-level environmental enforcement survive the pandemic?

About a week after Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a statewide shutdown, a journalist and activist in the western part of the state obtained video that appeared to show a large nearby storage tank leaking reddish-brown fracking wastewater.

Melissa Troutman, who co-founded a local muckraking publication and also works for the environmental nonprofit Earthworks, knew that fracking waste could be radioactive and toxic, so she filed a complaint with the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Within a few hours, she received a surprising response: The agency would “look into the leak at the tank farm after the shutdown concludes.”…

This tiny but mighty California bureau is taking on polluters

this tiny but mighty california bureau is taking on polluters - This tiny but mighty California bureau is taking on polluters
this tiny but mighty california bureau is taking on polluters - This tiny but mighty California bureau is taking on polluters

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced today that his agency is suing the Federal Aviation Administration, the San Bernardino International Airport Authority, and the developer of an air cargo facility for unlawfully approving a controversial airport expansion without adequate environmental analysis. The nearly 700,000 square-foot warehouse, which is already under construction, is projected to generate at least 500 truck trips and 26 flights daily — and it’s right next door to a community that California’s Air Resources Board has already classified as disproportionately burdened by pollution.

“In California we can’t have business-as-usual hurt distressed communities in our state,” said Becerra at a press conference at Indian Springs High School in San Bernardino on Friday morning.…

Why being green comes naturally to US Latinos

why being green comes naturally to us latinos - Why being green comes naturally to US Latinos
why being green comes naturally to us latinos - Why being green comes naturally to US Latinos

Adelina walked briskly everywhere — and never more so than on her daily errands to the open-air mercado near my aunt’s house in Mexico City. My 8-year-old self would try to keep up, braids flying, as I watched our housekeeper’s shopping bags swing on her sturdy shoulders in a kaleidoscope of bright hues. Earlier this year, when a plastic bag ban took effect in Mexico City, news outlets noted a comeback of the traditional reusable bags Adelina once carried, which are made of plastic fiber or ixtle fiber from the maguey plant.

But bags like Adelina’s have always been popular in Mexico’s traditional mercados.…

The climate activist who hasn’t given up on mainstream America

the climate activist who hasnt given up on mainstream america - The climate activist who hasn’t given up on mainstream America
the climate activist who hasnt given up on mainstream america - The climate activist who hasn’t given up on mainstream America

By now, Anna Jane Joyner’s disagreement with her father about climate change is a wholly public affair. Joyner, who mostly grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, has dedicated her life to mobilizing people around climate action.

“Working on other issues suddenly felt like painting the walls of a room when there’s a wrecking ball outside the house,” she said recently.

Anna Jane’s father, Rick Joyner, is the charismatic founder of an evangelical Christian empire called MorningStar Ministries. He has amassed millions of followers through his teachings and books, and invested millions of dollars converting real estate into churches, universities, and housing across the South.…

PG&E failed California. Here’s how the state could turn things around.

pge failed california heres how the state could turn things around - PG&E failed California. Here’s how the state could turn things around.
pge failed california heres how the state could turn things around - PG&E failed California. Here’s how the state could turn things around.

For the last 150 years, Pacific Gas & Electric has been playing political hardball to maintain its monopoly over California’s electricity.

PG&E, now infamous for its connection to wildfires and power outages, started life in 1852, when three brothers — the Scots-Irish Donohues — began laying gas pipe through the muddy streets of Gold Rush-era San Francisco. Over the following decades, the company swallowed rivals, growing into an investor-owned giant with a monopoly on the power and gas lines to the cities of Northern California. PG&E’s growth mirrored that of California’s in the early decades of the 20th century, as the former colonial outpost once pillaged for treasure morphed into a self-sustaining powerhouse.…