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Vibrant Environment

Show Me! Laying the Foundation for the Next Generation of Environmental Peacebuilding

By Carl Bruch, Senior Attorney; Director, International Programs
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

As documented by the New Security Beat, environmental peacebuilding has grown dramatically as a field in recent years. Across the security, development, and diplomatic communities, there is increased recognition that disputes related to natural resources and the environment can escalate to violence, fund armed conflict, and provide an incentive for peace spoilers.

How Environmental Racism Translates to COVID-19 Vulnerability in D.C.

Trash in a river
By Avital Li, INECE Program Manager
Monday, May 4, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing to light many intersectional divides in the United States that mainstream society can no longer ignore. Lovinia Reynold’s blog last week looked at how environmental racism is linked to higher COVID-19 mortality rates among Black communities.

COVID-19 and Black Communities

coronavirus
By Lovinia Reynolds , Policy Analyst and Environmental Justice Coordinator
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Black people are bearing the brunt of COVID-19’s impact. Cities such as the District of Columbia, Milwaukee, and St. Louis and states such as Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, and Mississippi have released data demonstrating that Black people make up a disproportionate number of COVID-19-related deaths. These deaths are due in no small part to centuries of structural inequality that limit access to what public health experts call the social determinants of health.

Clear Corona Skies: Air Quality in the United States During a Global Pandemic

Air pollution over a city
By Caitlin F. McCarthy, Director, Education, Associates and Corporate Partnerships
Monday, April 27, 2020

With the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day still on our minds, air quality is thriving throughout the United States’ most populous areas. It is a goal long fought for by leaders in environmental law and policy, but it has only been achieved with the cost of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

Air pollution over a city

What Judges Are Saying About Climate Science

U.S. Supreme Court Building
By Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

It’s amazing how quickly humanity’s concern can shift when circumstanc­es demand it, and the coronavirus pandemic has riveted our attention. Even today, Earth Day, talking about anything else risks seeming detached or indifferent to the enormous suffering, disruption, and dislocation that the COVID-19 vi­rus has unleashed on the world. But I need to alert you to a new ELI report analyzing the other major challenge that will be waiting for us on the other side of our current crisis, one that, like the pandemic, is deeply informed by science.

COVID-19’s Breath of Fresh Air: Pandemic Gives China and California Blue-Sky Glimpse of a Low-Emission Future

Air pollution in Chinese city
By Zhuoshi Liu, Staff Attorney; Director, China Program, Cynthia R. Harris, Staff Attorney; Director of Tribal Programs; Deputy Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs, and Akielly Hu, Research Associate
Monday, April 20, 2020

Nearly four billion people worldwide are under government mandates to socially distance themselves from one another in order to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. Non-essential workers are hunkering down at home, bringing the daily commute and air travel to a virtual halt. The resulting decline in air pollution is stunning, visible even in satellite images.

Public Nuisance Lawsuits May Mitigate Meat Industry’s Environmental Impact

cows grazing in a field
By Micah Bradley, Vanderbilt Law School 3L, Member of Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review Class, and Linda Breggin, Senior Attorney; Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

In “Animal Agriculture Liability for Climatic Nuisance: A Path Forward for Climate Change Litigation?,” Prof. Daniel E. Walters lays out a new path for climate litigation: environmental litigators should bring federal public nuisance suits to remedy environmental harms caused by animal agriculture.

Turning A Blind Eye to Drinking Water Risks

bathroom sink dispensing brown colored water
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Drinking water contamination in Flint, Michigan, has garnered nationwide attention, but it is neither isolated, nor a primarily urban problem. As Madeline Kane explains in the April issue of ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter, a hidden water crisis is straining thousands of smaller communities that share Flint’s risk factors—shrinking populations, social marginalization, and deficient funds.

Earth Day 1970: A Look Back at Student Activism and Freedom of the Press

1970s
By Stephen R. Dujack, Editor, The Environmental Forum®
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

It is now half a century since the first Earth Day. Not only did I help run our school’s “teach in” in 1970, it is also 50 years since my entrance into environmental journalism. A first-person history may help to affirm the importance of the environmental protections that soon followed, as well as of a robust student press to push today’s issues.

What’s for Lunch on Doomsday?

Svalbard Global Seed Vault
By Gesine Åström, Visiting Scholar
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Have you ever heard about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault? It might look like something from the future, but this very important structure can be found today roughly 1,300 kilometers (about 800 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, blasted 130 meters (roughly 430 feet) deep into a mountain. Designed to withstand doomsday scenarios, what valuable treasures might such a building hold? The answer is simple but may be surprising: seeds!

All blog posts are the opinion of its author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of ELI the organization or its members.