Every human on Earth is ingesting nearly 2,000 particles of plastic a week. These tiny pieces enter our unwitting bodies from tap water, food, and even the air, according to an alarming academic study sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, dosing us with five grams of plastics, many cut with chemicals linked to cancers, hormone disruption, and developmental delays. Since the paper’s publication last year, Sen. Tom Udall, a plain-spoken New Mexico Democrat with a fondness for white cowboy hats and turquoise bolo ties, has been trumpeting the risk: “We are consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic each week,” Udall says. At events with constituents, he will brandish a Visa from his wallet and declare, “You’re eating this, folks!”
With new legislation, the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020, Udall is attempting to marshal Washington into a confrontation with the plastics industry, and to force companies that profit from plastics to take accountability for the waste they create. Unveiled in February, the bill would ban many single-use plastics and force corporations to finance “end of life” programs to keep plastic out of the environment. “We’re going back to that principle,” the senator tells Rolling Stone. “The polluter pays.”
China’s efforts to control the spread of coronavirus have shuttered factories, emptied airports and resulted in a steep drop in carbon emissions and other pollutants. However analysts caution that the dip in pollution is likely temporary. (March 3)
In tonight’s edition: South Africa slips into recession for the second time in two years. In Nigeria, motorcycle and tricycle taxis have been banned in Lagos. Drivers are suffering from the impact it has had on their lives. Finally, we hear from South African designer and 2019 LVMH prize winner Thebe Magugu. He’s now exhibiting his creations at his first Paris Fashion Week.
The United States of America is segregated, and so is pollution. These words come from the so-called “father of environmental justice,” Robert Bullard. As a sociologist in the 1970s, he shone a light on the fact that minority communities in Houston suffered most from pollution. Since then, he’s written more than a dozen books on sustainable development, environmental racism, and climate justice. As part of “Chasing the Dream” — our ongoing initiative about poverty, jobs, and economic opportunity in America — Bullard spoke with Walter Isaacson in Texas
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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