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Oakland City Council Votes to Ban Coal Exports in Big Win for Local Advocates – June 28, 2016

Councilmembers cite strong concerns about public health and safety

The Oakland City Council took a strong stand against coal last night. Following a long and often emotional city council meeting — during which whistles and cheers were at times met with boos and yelling — the council passed an ordinance prohibiting the storage and handling of coal and petcoke at Oakland facilities, and a resolution that would specifically apply the ordinance to the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT), which is being built on the old Oakland Army Base.

Photo of Port of OaklandPhoto by Tony WebsterThe Oakland City Council voted 7-0 to ban coal storage and handling in Oakland.

The meeting drew… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Environmental Justice Activists in Alabama Fight $30 Million Defamation Lawsuit – June 9, 2016

ACLU cites First Amendment, files for dismissal of suit that has ‘chilling effect’ on free speech

Free speech is enshrined in the American ethos. It is a core principle of the Constitution, protected by the First Amendment, and has been defended for centuries in the courts. In Uniontown, Alabama, however, a group of concerned citizens-turned-environmental justice activists are facing a challenge to their basic right to speech, for the simple act of speaking out against the disposal of millions of tons of coal ash in a local landfill.  

photo of Esther CalhounPhoto courtesy of ACLUEsther Calhoun is one of four Uniontown residents being sued for expressing concerns about a local landfill.

In April, Green Group Holdings and Howling Coyote, owners… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Wielding the Law to Safeguard the Land – April 17, 2016

Goldman Environmental Prize winners use legal strategy, grassroots organizing to defend human health and Indigenous land rights

Legal work isn’t usually glamorous. In movies, lawsuits are portrayed as epic, exciting battles — in practice, legal work can be a slow and arduous process. Thankfully, as two of the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize recipients well know, it can also bring unparalleled results. 

photo of Goldman Environmental Prize WinnerPhoto courtesy of Goldman Environmental Prize Zuzana Caputova took on two landfills in her small town of Pezinok, Slovakia.

Zuzana Caputova has seen such results first hand. For years, she has been fighting an unpermitted landfill just outside of her small town of Pezinok, Slovakia. Built in the 1960s, the landfill sits a… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Head in the Clouds – April 6, 2016

Communing with nature high up in a redwood canopy

I grew up among the redwoods. My parents’ house is nestled in a unique Bay Area neighborhood built among these giant trees. Redwood roots burst through the concrete roads and sidewalks, and branches shade the narrow streets that have been paved around their trunks.

photo of redwood climbPhoto by Steve LillegrenUp in the redwood canopy.

Yet for all the time I’ve spent among these bold, towering trees, the idea of scaling up to the top of one never crossed my mind. That changed a few weeks ago when I found myself climbing a 200-plus foot redwood in the Santa Cruz mountains, and… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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In Death Valley, A Carpet of Colorful Life – March 10, 2016

A last minute trip to see rare wildflower super bloom was well worth the long haul

Years ago, when I first read about the desert “super blooms” that explode some of the world’s most arid places into riots of colorful flowers, catching a glimpse of the rare phenomenon immediately jumped to the top of my bucket-list. The contrast between a stark desert landscape and fields of wildflowers seemed too amazing to miss. So, two weeks ago, when I learned that Death Valley National Park was abloom with more than 20 species of wildflowers, I knew I had to see it.

Photo of Death Valley Super BloomPhoto by Zoe Loftus-Farren Desert gold wildflowers blanket rocky field in Death Valley National Park… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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