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For Flint Mother, There’s No Stopping Until All US Kids Have Safe Drinking Water – April 25, 2018

“I don’t want other families to go through what we went through,” says LeeAnne Walters

Until her then three-year-old twin boys began to break out in rashes in 2014 and both she and her daughter had clumps of hair falling out in the shower, LeeAnne Walters hadn’t spent much time worrying about enviornmental pollution. “I mean, I watched the news. I cared about recycling … but mostly, I just took care of my family,” she says. A stay-at-home mom with four kids to shuttle around and a husband in the military, her days were too packed and chaotic for her to able to focus on much else. But when her children began suffering from various illnesses — her older son was even suspected to have cancer… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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CA Court Blocks State Ag Department from Spraying Pesticides – March 1, 2018

Agency failed to adequately review impacts or provide proper notice of pesticide use, rules judge

In a win for environmental and public health advocates, a California court has halted a program that allows the state agriculture department to spray pesticides on public and private property without proper notice to the public about its intention to spray or adequate study of the possible adverse impacts of the chemicals used.

photo of pesticide spraying of treePhoto by US Department of Agriculture / Keith Weller Prior to a court order issued last week, the California agricultural department was permitted to spray 79 pesticides anywhere in the state, including schools groups, public parks, and private backyards.

The court order, which… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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Balking at Meatless Mondays? There are Some Impossible Solutions Afoot – January 18, 2018

The latest fake meat to hit the market is pretty close to the real deal, but there’s a rub

I’ve been mostly vegetarian for more than 12 years now, eating meat perhaps four or five times a year and seafood way more often than I should. But like many a former regular meat-eater, despite moral qualms, I still miss the taste of it. I’ve chomped my way through many a meat substitute — soy-based, seitan-based, mushroom-based, and more — but nothing has quite matched in flavor. So when I heard about the Impossible Burger — supposedly a genuinely meaty-tasting vegetarian patty made for carnivores — my interest was piqued.

Impossible burger at Umami restaurant in OaklandPhoto by Maureen Nandini MitraThe Impossible Burger… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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California Pot Farmers’ Use of Rat Poison Harms Northern Spotted Owls – January 11, 2018

State’s legalization of marijuana likely to spur more unpermitted cultivation, further exacerbating the problem

Pot users in California may be rejoicing at finally being able to smoke marijuana for recreation without fear of being arrested. But the state’s new law legalizing weed for fun — which officially took effect January 1 — may be bad news for the already beleaguered northern spotted owl and other wildlife in the state’s northwest regions.

photo of spotted owlPhoto by J.Mark Higley: Hoopa Tribal Forestry / UC Davis A new study found that 70 percent of spotted owl carcasses and 40 percent of barred owl carcasses collected from California's major pot-growing counties tested positive for rat poison.

The northern spotted owl (Strix… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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Worst Fires in California’s History? Some Clarifications – December 13, 2017

Lack of defensible space around homes a major reason for extent of destruction, says wildfire ecologist

On Monday, journalist, author, and author and environmental activist Bill McKibben tweeted data from CalFire regarding the top 20 most destructive fires in California. He wrote:

“Five of the twenty worst fires in CA history have come since September. Hot new world.” 

photo of twitter accountImage from Twitter On Monday Bill McKibben tweeted about the fires that have been raging across California this year.

When I came across the tweet, I immediately grabbed a screenshot and sent it off to Earth Island’s own wildfire expert — ecologist Chad Hason, director of John Muir Project.

Is McKibben’s interpretation accurate? I… more

by: Maureen Nandini Mitra

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