On my way to an Anacostia Riverkeeper event at the unique Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens this morning, I passed by PEPCO's Benning Road power plant in NE DC, which was shut down two months ago. Such closings are part of a national trend: US power generation from coal dropped nearly 20% in just one year, mostly due to cheap … Continue reading Another One Bites the (Coal) Dust
China’s environmental story is full of contradictions. What does one make of a country where the government severely limits the freedom of NGOs, yet has some of the most thorough environmental laws and most sustainably-minded leadership in the world? A place where the opening of a nature preserve is celebrated with a banquet that includes … Continue reading Book Review: China’s Environmental Challenges
There are many haunting images in this gargantuan photography book by Julia Reyes Taubman, but the one that devastates my dad is a picture of two disintegrating steam Bob-Lo boats docked next to a US Steel plant in west Detroit. For nearly 100 years, the boats carried generations of Detroiters to Bob-Lo Island amusement park … Continue reading Book Review: Detroit: 138 Square Miles
Drove from my family's place in Michigan back to Virginia today - about 550 miles. A trip like this gives me a quick snapshot of a variety of human impacts on the environment (and the irony of making the trip in my own little carbon polluter isn't lost on me): Coal Plant in Monroe, MI on the … Continue reading Turnpike-Eye View of Environmental Impacts
I come from the flat land of Michigan so when I flew into Appalachia for the first time, I was taken aback. From the sky, those gentle old mountains looked like elders gently watching over the little valley towns beneath them. In grade school we were told that while the Rockies might provide the more … Continue reading Book Review: Something’s Rising
If the government is going to refuse to step up to that responsibility to defend a livable future, I believe that creates a moral imperative for me and other citizens. My future, and the future of everyone I care about, is being traded for short term profits. I take that very personally. Until our leaders … Continue reading Civil Disobedience? Me?
Jerry James Stone of the Atlantic and TreeHugger recently highlighted the work of photographer J Henry Fair. Fair's work captures the nearly-neon intensity of coal mining, aluminum production, oil spills and other industrial nightmares. As Stone points out, the photos have a certain beauty. "His color palette is so flirtatious you might actually question their … Continue reading The Aesthetics of Pollution
The Lange and Revere Street Canals in St. Clair Shores, MI In 2007, the EPA spent $10 million cleaning up PCBs in two canals next to Lake St. Clair. Meetings were held, reports were written. Fantastic. Onto the next problem site, right? Well, Wayne State University researchers took some samples from the same canals just … Continue reading The Invisible Perpetrators of Environmental Crimes
In Obama's Q&A with the House last week, W.Virginia Rep Shelley Moore Capito asked what Obama was doing to keep energy jobs in that state:We're resource rich. We have a lot of coal and a lot of natural gas. But our --my miners and the folks who are working and those who are unemployed are … Continue reading Whither EPA?
Kumarian published a book in 2008, Reluctant Bedfellows, that documented the legacy of prostitution around Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Though the base closed in 1991, the local town of Angeles City now attracts a host of sex tourists from around the world. Turns out the military left more than a prostitution industry. … Continue reading All Your Base are Belong to Us