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How Much Longer Will We Be Left with Skewed Climate Science?

Friday, June 6th, 2008

The extent to which politics plays a role in scientific reports on the environment is incredibly disappointing for those of us that care about climate change. Government whistleblower Rick Piltz and journalist Ross Gelbspan featured in Everything’s Cool demonstrated that many government and news reports have been skewed to misrepresent the threat that global warming presents – thus widening the gap between what scientists know and what the public understands.

Recently on Dot Earth of the New York Times, Andrew Revkin weighed in on an investigation of NASA’s possible suppression of findings and shared specific insights:

“Our investigation,” the report said, “found that during the fall of 2004 through early 2006, the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public.”

Revkin also noted that Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who wrote the request for the inquiry stated:

“Global warming is the most serious environmental threat we face, but this report is more evidence that the Bush administration’s appointees have put political ideology ahead of science,” Mr. Lautenberg said in a statement e-mailed by an aide. “Our government’s response to global warming must be based on science, and the Bush administration’s manipulation of that information violates the public trust.”

There is no doubt that this type of suppression is having an impact on our government policy or the lack thereof. Our partners at 1Sky are mobilizing for strong climate legislation from the next Congress. In the mean time we will continue to push for the truth.

Additional media: Clip from Everything’s Cool

Environmental Justice on Earth Day and Beyond

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

On Earth Day many people are looking to environmental organizations to help them understand how they can reduce their consumption, stop global warming, and other efforts to improve the health of our Earth. These are important issues to tackle, but I find it even more exciting to discover organizations that are making additional strides to address environmental and social justice at the same time.

The Oakland Food Connection, is an environmental justice organization in the Bay Area that brings together practical gardening, food security and nutrition to urban schools. One of their projects includes creating a rooftop vegetable garden at a local elementary school. I found out about this project on RyanIsHungry.com, where Ryanne explains, “These vegetables will serve as more than just a healthy meal, they’ll help educate kids and their parents about the possibilities that exist beyond processed, packaged foods and the often limited variety of produce sold in stores.” It’s my hope that they will also be turned on to issues around industrial agriculture and its negative consequences that spans economic, labor, and the environmental issues. Check out the video to hear from the director of the Oakland Food Connection and learn more.

Other environmental justice organizations that focus on green jobs are also receiving more attention as the climate justice movement is growing. In the extra from the Everything’s Cool Activist DVD, Green Job Revolution , Van Jones who is the Founder and President of Green for All explains that there is only one solution to the ecological and the economic crisis: we need a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Green for All is at the forefront of the national movement to building an inclusive green economy.

Check out the Green Job Revolution video below to hear more of what Van Jones has to say and see what the Chicago-based organization Growing Home is doing to provide job training and create employment opportunities for homeless and low-income people in Chicago within the context of a non-profit organic agriculture business.

Solutions are rooted in every city and town in America. Today and all year long – since Earth Day is everyday – let’s support and celebrate efforts for environmental justice.


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