May 13, 2014
“Can’t anybody here play this game?” baseball manager Casey Stengel said about his 1962 New York Mets, renowned as the worst team of all time.
Stengel’s famous line comes to mind with the recent publication of a report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, showing that the federal Bureau of Land Management, the leading regulator of oil and gas drilling on federal land, wasn’t even inspecting more than 2,100 of 3,702 wells drilled between fiscal years 2009 and 2012 that the bureau, itself, had designated as high risks for water pollution or other environmental harm.
By Payal Sampat
May 9, 2014
It’s almost Mother’s Day! Whatever your feelings about manufactured holidays, it’s always a good idea to give thanks to mom. So call her, take her out to lunch, send her (fair trade) flowers, or have your kids make her a handmade card.
But think twice before buying her a shiny piece of gold bling. Mother’s Day is the second largest gold-jewelry buying day of the year in the United States. But many of us buying jewelry for our moms may unknowingly be hurting mothers and children who live in places where the gold is mined. Producing enough gold for a 0.3 ounce gold band generates 20 tons of mine waste — much of which is contaminated with chemicals such as cyanide or mercury. Massive pollution, huge open pits, devastating community health effects, worker dangers and, in many cases, human rights abuses have become hallmarks of gold and metals mining in countries such as Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, Guatemala and parts of the United States.
May 8, 2014
In a piece of good news from Arizona, the United States Court of Federal Claims ruled on Tuesday to save the Grand Canyon from the threat of uranium mining. The suit came about because the US Department of Interior (DOI) chose to protect over 1,000,000 acres of public lands surrounding the Grand Canyon from mining. The power to withdraw public lands from mining for up to twenty years comes from the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA). Vane Minerals PLC (Vane), a Flagstaff-based mining company, has 678 claims on that land they can no longer mine.
May 6, 2014
On Saturday, May 3 in partnership with Clean Water Action, and the Sierra Club’s Kern-Kaweah Chapter in Bakersfield, Earthworks planned a screening of Josh Fox’s critically acclaimed Gasland II. Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of Dish, Texas, whose family's difficulties with the fracking-enabled oil and gas industry are highlighted in the documentary, was present to answer questions.
April 30, 2014
Many people have asked me: “Jhon, why did you choose the career you are in? Why do you do what you do?”
I have often wondered the same thing. Environmentalists are not famous. We don’t make a lot of money. And we often find ourselves on the losing end of long battles against powerful companies with endless amounts of resources. It is not rare to get a phone call or email informing us of some terrible accident that has just spilled millions of gallons of oil into a pristine ecosystem, or to hear that an indigenous community is being pushed out of their ancestral home because a mining consortium wants to extract minerals under their feet.