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Five Years after the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster, Oil Spills Are on the Rise

Offshore and onshore, oil and gas operations and transportation appear no safer than before

Five years after the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico sparked national outrage, oil spills remain a routine occurrence across the United States. Yet many receive little — if any — national attention. The enormity and unprecedented scale of…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – April 19, 2015

Whither the Northwest Forest Plan?

US Forest Service launches process to revise landmark public lands management plan. Greens fear rollbacks.

The US Forest Service insists that nothing has been decided upon. “Absolutely not,” said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Rob MacWhorter as the first of three scheduled “listening sessions” on the Forest Service’s process to revise the Northwest Forest Plan got underway…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – March 20, 2015

Climate Change Poses Serious Threats to Food Distribution

The risks of a highly centralized food system

By now there has been a steady stream of news about climate change’s impacts on food production. Heat waves, drought, and wildfire are damaging harvests in California, Australia and Brazil. Warming and acidifying oceans threaten seafood stocks. Rising temperatures are causing declines…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – March 4, 2015

Thirty Years Later, Victims of Bhopal Gas Disaster Are Still Waiting for Justice

Meanwhile, millions of Americans too, remain at risk from toxic chemicals

Around midnight on the eve of December 3, 1984, a toxic gas called methyl isocyanate (MIC) that’s used in chemical manufacturing began leaking from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. There were no alarm systems in place. Devices that that might…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – December 3, 2014

Green – It Seems

Despite all the fine print on consumer labels, we still know very little about what goes into the products we use everyday

Walk down the cleaning products or toiletries aisle in any supermarket these days and you’ll find rows of soaps, lotions, window-cleaners and other products proclaiming their concern for the environment. “Green,” “natural,” “safe for you, and safe for the planet,” “gentle on the earth,” the product labels declare. They promise they are made with ingredients that are “98% naturally derived” and “non-toxic.” As public concern has grown in recent years about the…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – Winter 2014

Chemically Altered

Synthetic chemicals permeate the environment to such an extent that they have changed the chemistry of our planet.

We are in the midst of a vast, unplanned experiment. During the past century we have created tens of thousands of chemicals that previously existed nowhere on Earth. With them we have intentionally transformed the material world, creating countless useful products that are now hard to imagine life without. But these chemicals are also changing the world in ways that extend well beyond their intended design. A great many, it has been…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – Spring 2013

Re-Reading Silent Spring

Fifty Years after its Publication, Rachel Carson’s Book Remains All-Too-Relevant

Fifty years ago this week, The New Yorker began publishing Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. A series of three articles — excerpts from the book that would be published that September — appeared on June 16, 23, and 30, 1962 under the banner…
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by: Elizabeth Grossman – June 22, 2012

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