Global internet network

An explosion of monitoring technologies, big data, expanded analytical abilities, and other technologies raises the possibility, albeit with caveats, that technological developments can help solve long standing environmental justice challenges. At ELI’s 7th GreenTech webinar on July 29, 2021, “Technology and Environmental Justice,” experts discussed how technology could play a role in key policies and programs.

Fruits and vegetables

A new model ordinance on mandatory reporting for large food waste generators, developed by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and NRDC, could make it easier for municipalities around the country to collect data on food waste and surplus food generation, increase awareness of the problem of food waste, and ultimately lead to reductions of disposal of food waste in landfills and incinerators.

Wheat fields at sunset

The Biden Administration recently finalized the first phase of a two-part rulemaking process to reverse some of the Trump Administration’s revisions to CEQ rules for implementing NEPA. In mid-April, ELI hosted a panel to discuss how these new rules might alter federal agency reviews of climate change and environmental justice impacts.

Mississippi River near Venice, Louisiana_by Amy Reed
In early June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) announced that it is seeking public input on a set of initiatives intended to “modernize the Civil Works Program.” These modernization efforts aim to prioritize various objectives articulated by President Joe Biden’s Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Michael Connor, including better serving the needs of disadvantaged communities, improving communications and relationships with stakeholders, and advancing innovative, climate-resilient infrastructure that will protect both communities and ecosystems.
Cow in grass field

Just over a half-century ago, Diet for a Small Planet, Frances Moore Lappé’s surprise best seller, exposed the harms of animal agriculture to a wide audience in the same way that Rachel Carson’s book of a decade earlier, Silent Spring, put to widespread shame the practice of applying pesticides to cropland. The title of Moore Lappé’s book encapsulates her thesis. The math in 1971 made a compelling case that abandoning meat is indeed necessary to avoid crossing planetary boundaries.

Rice terraces

Rice is a primary food source for more than half of the world’s population—especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In China, the rice-consuming culture I’m most familiar with, rice is breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Even the Chinese character for “cooked rice” simultaneously means “food.” Rice is security, sustenance, and life itself.

Lake Quinault, Quinault Indian Nation

Tribal nations have been leading the way in climate change adaptation planning long before local governments even got started.

Wood grain texture

According to a 2020 report published in Nature, up to 20 percent of the global carbon budget could be consumed by construction over the next 30 years.

Induction stove_by Akielly Hu

I encountered an induction cooktop for the first time recently, and my life has never been the same. Boiling water, which usually bores me to tears, took half as much time as it did on a gas stove. Garlic sizzled in seconds; broccoli softened in a minute or two. With a press of the on button, I sped up time itself, whizzing through a recipe that would take me an hour on a traditional electric stove, 45 minutes on a gas cooktop.

Nuclear power plant

When Russian troops swarmed over the border last February, Ukraine became the first country possessing nuclear power plants to be invaded. The attackers seized several of the generating facilities and temporarily entrenched around the mothballed reactor at Chernobyl. At this writing, Moscow’s intentions with regard to the operating power plants was unclear.