People & Population

Dams and Levees: What You Don't Know Might Kill You

Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens are at risk from potential dam disasters, yet state and federal agencies hold to a policy that amounts to "out of sight, out of mind." The biggest danger, apparently, is that the public might find out about the dangers, and criticize insufficient dam safety measures, inconvenience private dam owners, depress real estate values, or demand public spending that is politically painful for those in office.

Dams and Levees: Introduction

This special issue of the WatchDog focuses on the transparency of safety information related to dams, levees, impoundments, and related water-control structures. For environmental journalists, these subjects offer a goldmine of great story possibilities. These are stories that have not been covered much in the past decade, and stories that fit well at the local, state, or regional level.

Get Feet Wet on Coastal Adaptation

Special Report: Part Three

By KATE SHEPPARD

Americans — and humans in general — have long flocked to the coasts. Thirty-nine percent of the U.S. population, or about 123 million of us, live in coastal counties. But many in coastal areas are finding it increasingly less hospitable due to sea-level rise and extreme weather events linked to climate change. As communities figure out how to adapt to these changes, it is often environmental journalists who are being asked to cover these complex stories.

October 30, 2013

Panel Discussion: Emissions Images from the Mixing Layer

NYC is a Methane Ticking Time Bomb. The Cooper Union invites you to learn why via science, legal and citizen experts at this free public event, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lead Wars

Book Shelf

 

Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America ’s Children

By Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner
University of California Press, $34.95

Reviewed by BILL KOVARIK

Metallic lead is, historically, humanity’s oldest known poison, and yet Americans are still trying to deal with its pernicious effects on public health, especially on the most susceptible low income and racial minorities.

"Japan’s Nuclear Refugees, Still Stuck in Limbo"

"While the continuing environmental disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has grabbed world headlines — with hundreds of tons of contaminated water flowing into the Pacific Ocean daily — a human crisis has been quietly unfolding. Two and a half years after the plant belched plumes of radioactive materials over northeast Japan, the almost 83,000 nuclear refugees evacuated from the worst-hit areas are still unable to go home."

Source: NY Times, 10/02/2013

"The Wound That Won’t Heal: Idaho’s Phosphate Problem"

"An elemental phosphorus plant owned by the FMC Corp., on the Shoshone-Bannock homelands in Idaho, has been abandoned for more than a decade. But its legacy of pollution remains -- and it’s jeopardizing economic progress, public and environmental health on the reservation and in surrounding communities."

Source: Indian Country Today, 09/26/2013

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