Past Supreme Court rulings have allowed colleges to consider race in their admissions processes and about 40 percent do. But the justices will soon revisit the issue and could overturn years of precedent. John Yang visited a university making a big push to improve diversity without the consideration of race or sex in the admissions process. It’s part of our series, “Rethinking College.”
Forty years after Warren County, N.C., residents marched to a landfill to try to stop dump trucks, the EPA is creating an office for advancing environmental justice. (Aired on ATC on Oct. 3, 2022.)
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
There’s a new office in the Environmental Protection Agency dedicated to environmental justice and civil rights. Michael Regan, the EPA administrator, says this office is needed to elevate the fight for poor, overlooked communities of color. If you think about this, it’s very often that a poor neighborhood is next to a factory or some other industrial site, just to give an example. Regan announced its launch in Warren County, N.C., the birthplace of the environmental justice movement. Leoneda Inge of member station WUNC reports.
LEONEDA INGE, BYLINE: It’s been 40 years since a small Black rural community stood up and laid down in the middle of the road to stop trucks from dumping PCB-contaminated dirt in their landfill.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The protesters were told not to block the trucks. They are now lying in the streets now, blocking one truck moving on to the landfill. They’re refusing an order to move, and they are being arrested one by one.
INGE: In September 1982, the first group of Warren County residents would meet at Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church and walk the 2 miles to the landfill to try to stop the dump trucks. The story has been told several times in documentaries and on PBS.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: We will not allow Warren County to become a dump site.
INGE: Dollie Burwell was a wife and a working mother in her 30s back then. Burwell was arrested at least five times for protesting the environmental injustice. She said it was clear her community was targeted because it was Black, poor and politically powerless. Today, Burwell is 74 years old and is often called the mother of the environmental justice movement. She recently retraced her steps to the landfill.
DOLLIE BURWELL: I was not trying to create a movement, really wasn’t. And – but to see, 40 years later, young people still fighting for environmental justice – I’m good to go now.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
MICHAEL REGAN: I could not be prouder to announce that today, EPA is creating a new national office charged with advancing environmental justice and external civil rights.
The Gulf Stream, part of what is known as the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), is at its slowest point in 1,600 years. Recent research points to the possibility of a collapse and shutdown of the AMOC system, which would have catastrophic consequences. The Agenda examines the likelihood of this scenario and how climate change may not happen incrementally but suddenly in what is known as “tipping points.”
Permafrost covers a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere’s land and stores twice as much organic carbon as Earth’s atmosphere currently holds. What happens when it starts to thaw? The Agenda examines the climate threat of thawing permafrost, and why northern roads and communities find themselves on shaky ground.
Arctic permafrost and tropical forests are two of the most powerful natural drivers of our climate system, and both are approaching the point of tipping from carbon sinks to carbon sources–with potentially catastrophic consequences. At the same time, the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are nearing points of no return, beyond which they may be committed to complete melting that would cause massive sea-level rise. Continuing to emit greenhouse gases without knowing where these tipping points lie is like driving toward a cliff in the fog. This gripping event will explore what we know–and need to know–to avoid going over the cliff.
The BSIA hosted renowned biologists Dr. Anthony Barnosky and Dr. Elizabeth Hadly on November 11, 2016. The authors of “Tipping Point for Planet Earth: How Close Are We to the Edge?” discuss how we know that planetary tipping points happen, why we seem on the brink of one, and what each of us can do to help the world tip in a direction that is good for people and the planet, rather than one that will harm both.
Shifting wind patterns are making extreme weather events more likely. This is because the wind, which distributes areas of high and low pressure along the latitude lines of the Earth, is also being influenced by climate change.
The wind is the motor for our weather. It brings us both sunshine and rain. And during the winter months, it regularly blows itself up into heavy storms. But throughout the globe, climate change is causing shifts in existing wind systems – with devastating consequences. Atlantic hurricanes, which build up over the tropics and often lay waste to swathes of land on the eastern coast of the US, are becoming more intense and bringing heavier rainfall.
Scientists are looking for clues as to the precise causes for the warming in the Arctic, where temperatures are climbing more rapidly than anywhere else in the world. In the northern hemisphere, rising temperatures result in wind systems ‘twisting’ at 10-kilometer altitudes. The Arctic jet stream drives high- and low-pressure areas around the globe. It travels around the planet from west to east at speeds of up to 500 kilometers an hour. But in recent years, meteorologists have noticed more frequent weaker phases in the jet stream – with fatal consequences for Europe. Droughts like the one experienced in 2018 and flood catastrophes like that of 2021 are both likely to recur.
Researchers on the island of Spitsbergen have already made an alarming discovery. Climate change is altering the wind, and the altered wind is accelerating climate change – a dangerous vicious cycle.
The whole region knows the drill by now. Dateline Ouagadougou. If you are watching images of pro-junta demonstrators protesting the visit of West African mediators looking for rule of law guarantees from their new interlocutors after a coup, don’t reach for the remote control. It is not a rerun.
The western African nation of Burkina Faso is facing its second military coup in eight months. After a day of gunfire rang out Friday in the capital Ouagadougou, Captain Ibrahim Traoré announced on public television that he had replaced Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba as president. Corinne Dufka, West Africa director at Human Rights Watch, says Damiba’s inability to improve security in the face of an Islamist insurgency was “the primary reason for the coup d’état.” We also speak with Aziz Fall, coordinator for Justice for Sankara, an international campaign dedicated to uncovering the truth behind the 1987 assassination of Burkina Faso leader Thomas Sankara. He says the legacy of U.S. military intervention and French colonialism has led to instability in the region. “People are outraged with the role of France but also the role of the United States,” says Fall.
The UK government has confirmed it is abandoning its plan to abolish the top rate of income tax for the highest earners following a growing backlash. Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said “it is clear that the abolition of the 45p tax rate has become a distraction”, adding “we get it, and we have listened”. The U-turn comes after several senior Tory MPs voiced their opposition to the plan, announced just 10 days ago in the mini-budget. As the Conservative Party conference started in Birmingham on Sunday, Prime Minister Liz Truss vowed she would not abandon the policy.
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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