Tag Archive: environment



The situation of lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, is fundamentally about human rights, a group of United Nations experts today said, urging the United States to protect the rights of children and others who are most at risk from pollution and toxic chemicals.

“No parent should have to endure the mental torment that will haunt parents in Flint, and no child should be denied the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,” said the experts, whose expertise include hazardous wastes, health, water and sanitation, indigenous peoples, minorities, and racism.

Read on at: United Nations News Centre – UN human rights experts urge US to increase efforts to address water contamination


When asked directly whether environmental racism was at play in Flint’s water crisis, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder replied last month, “Absolutely not.”

And yet…

Source: Race Best Predicts Whether You Live Near Pollution | The Nation


INDIAN RURAL LIFE - A woman herding two cows.

A woman herding two cows. Credit: Vijayamurthy sadagopalan

With more than 800 million people living in extreme poverty and many more struggling to make an honest living, it is clear that the current global economic model isn’t working for everyone. Economic growth often comes at the expense of the majority, with short-term financial gains trumping long-term sustainability. The current global obsession with economic growth, alongside the enormous over-consumption enjoyed by the wealthiest people on the planet, has brought us all to the brink of catastrophic climate change.

Earthrise presenter Ndoni Khanyile travels to Burkina Faso where farmers are embracing agroecology as a means of feeding the most vulnerable and visits villagers in Uttar Pradesh in India, who are turning to solar microgrids for energy.

Watch the video at: Another Giant Leap – Al Jazeera English


Widespread adoption of products labelled “biodegradable” will not significantly decrease the volume of plastic entering the ocean or the physical and chemical risks that plastics pose to marine environment, accord to a United Nations report released today.

Read the full article at: United Nations News Centre – Biodegradable plastics are not the answer to reducing marine litter, says UN

 


Image of a cartoon planet earth crowded with people, some of which are falling off.

China recently announced that it would replace its one-child policy with a two-child policy, adding more than 30 million people to the country’s labor force by 2050. Many have criticized the most populated nation in the world for such a draconian law because infringes upon people’s freedom and reproductive autonomy.

Yet the same logic behind the policy is often used by people who claim to care about the environment. The earth can’t support many more people, the environmentalists say in response to population estimates of over 8 billion. Under this view, in order to preserve natural resources, we must slow global human population growth. They talk about “overpopulation” and cite projected rates of population growth in the global south and subsequent wildlife loss and environmental degradation. Continue reading


Image of workers cleaning and sorting pineapples.

Source: Consumers International

Here’s a quick post on the situation in Costa Rica about pineapple union workers and exploitation they face: Banana Workers’ Strike Highlights Abuses by Corporations in Costa Rica

Consumers International also has a case study on pineapples, which investigates working conditions in the pineapple industry and its impact on communities and the environment in Costa Rica.

As a consumer, what do with this information? Do you choose to continue to financially support exploitation because it’s more convenient? Do you search for alternatives, or give up whatever it is? When you know better, do you do better? Let me know in the comments.

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