For years, the debate over climate change happened largely at an academic level that wasn’t always easy for the general public to understand. While scientists studied global temperature data and closely tracked the level of carbon pollution in the atmosphere, the impact on the ground seemed a little less clear. For every unseasonably warm winter here in parts of the United States, there were also record-setting blizzards, and warnings that [...]

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Posted in Causes, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

It was just the other day that I was upbraiding the mainstream media for taking its eye off one of the most important stories — to my mind, anyway — of this decade: The nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima power plant in Japan, and the lack of focus on the potential for similar accidents at atomic sites both here in the United States and around the globe. Simply put, we [...]

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Posted in Causes, Important Articles, Main, Nuclear disaster, Radiation, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

There’s been a lot of news on the environment this week — some of it very good and some of it very bad. Like the old joke, let’s start with the good news first. Since the dog days of summer, when disappointed protesters called “kayaktavists” watched Shell’s massive drilling rig depart Seattle’s harbor for the Arctic waters off Alaska,developments on that front have been highly positive. I give a lot [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Response Tagged , , , , , , , ,

One story that I’ve tried to stay on top of for the last four years has been the horrific nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, and its aftermath. It has been, without a doubt, the worst radioactive incident since I started working on this issue as an environmental lawyer at the end of the 1980s. For one thing, it shows the folly of humans and our shortsighted energy policies — building [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Nuclear disaster, Politics, Radiation Tagged , , , , , ,

From time to time, I write here about the issue of noise and rowdy behavior, and how it affects residential neighborhoods in some of our great American cities — particularly in my hometown of New Orleans.  My native city has always been known as a place to have a good time, and our great music spots and some of our classic bars and nightclubs remain a civic treasure. But — [...]

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Last week I noted that Hurricane Joaquin seemed a potential threat to the East Coast and that climate change was causing storms to become more dangerous, either because they intensify over extremely warm Atlantic waters, or because of excessive moisture in the atmosphere due to the higher temperatures. That storm turned out to be a mixed bag for the Eastern Seaboard; Joaquin itself got pushed out to sea and never [...]

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You may have heard on the news that a major hurricane — Joaquin — is currently gaining strength off of the Bahamas and is expected to barrel up the Eastern Seaboard this weekend. The latest reports suggest Joaquin will stay out to sea and that would be welcome news. This is the last thing that these regions of the Mid-Atlantic coastline need right now. You may recall that we’re coming [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

A band of ferocious protesters called “kayactivists” were unable to stop it, at first. And the Obama administration, which had the power to at least delay it and probably halt it, didn’t bother to try. But in the end, it turned out that time and Mother Nature have accomplished what environmentalists at first did not. Offshore drilling in the Arctic waters off Alaska is dead for the foreseeable future: In [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Safety, Spill Damages Tagged , , , , , , ,

Will America ever get a hands around the problems with offshore oil drilling? There was a brief moment after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in 2010 when the scenes of devastation — oiled birds, massive slicks invading the precious marshlands of the Gulf and its sandy white beaches — made you think that the government would finally make drilling safety a significant priority. Of course, just the opposite happened. On the [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Regulation, Response, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

It didn’t get all the attention that it deserved — maybe because for some odd reason this happened at almost the precise instant that Pope Francis touched down for his tour of the United States. But Hillary Clinton — who despite a number of challenges remains the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination and the most likely to become president — took another huge step on the environment today. Her [...]

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