Noticias y Política
Earth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal Summer 2017

Earth Island Journal is a publication in the field of news and society offering news and analysis about energy and the environment

United States
Earth Island Institute
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4 Números

En este número

2 min.
don’t look away

For many people in the United States, prisons are invisible. How is this possible, given that the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more than 2.3 million people behind bars? The answer is that prison, as an institution, relies on its own invisibility — its ability to disappear human beings. Prisons are often stowed away in isolated rural areas and small towns. A large number of people in this country, particularly those who aren’t part of the communities most impacted by incarceration, simply avert their eyes. As activist and scholar Angela Davis writes: “The prison has become a black hole into which the detritus of capitalism is deposited.” In addition to being a powerful metaphor, the depositing of “detritus” should also be considered in literal terms. Prisons are sites…

2 min.
letters & emails

Letters to the Editor Earth Island Journal 2150 Allston Way #460 Berkeley, CA 94704 editor@earthisland.org Wake Up and Smell the Coffee Thank you for the insightful and informative story about the impact climate change is having on Native American communities (“Losing Home,” Spring 2017). People need to realize that these impacts are very real. They’re not some part of a possible future. They are happening right now, and they will only get worse unless we wise up. The people you have written about in the Pacific Northwest have done nothing wrong. Nothing at all. Yet they are in very serious danger, and many are actually being forced by the impacts of climate change to give up traditional homes and move en masse. We are fools if we don’t respond by doing all…

2 min.
climate trauma

That climate change is affecting the environment and our physical well-being is common knowledge by now, but it now appears that global warming is also taking a significant toll on our mental health. According to a new report by the American Psychological Association and the nonprofit ecoAmerica, climate change can lead to various mental health issues, including posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. These impacts can come immediately following extreme weather events or other natural disasters tied to climate change — such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — in the form of trauma and shock due to personal injuries, loss of a loved one, damage to or loss of personal property, or the loss of livelihood, the report says. Terror, anger, shock, and other intense negative emotions that can dominate people’s initial…

1 min.
cutting carbon

A little less orange juice in the morning. A bit less milk with your cereal. A smaller portion of beef with dinner. It seems there are a few simple diet tricks that can — and have — significantly reduced the dietary carbon footprint of the average American According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), reduced consumption of everything from whole milk, to chicken, to canned tomatoes helped contribute to a 10 percent decline in the average American’s dietary carbon footprint between 2005 and 2014. Reduced demand for other products like frozen potatoes, pork, and high fructose corn syrup made a dent in emissions too. But there was one clear standout when it came to greenhouse gas emissions reductions: a 19 percent drop in beef consumption. “Whether we realized…

2 min.
a laughing matter

It’s no news flash that laughter is infectious. Anyone who’s collapsed in a fit of helpless giggles with a group of friends or family members can vouch for that. But among birds too? It appears, kea parrots of New Zealand can trigger a playful mood among their cohort in a similar way to us humans. Scientists from Austria’s Messerli Research Institute have discovered that the world’s only alpine parrots can make each other “laugh.” The parrots, they report in Current Biology, have a distinct “play call” that puts other parrots who hear it in a playful mood. “We were able to use a playback of these calls to show that it animates kea that were not playing to do so,” says Raoul Schwing, who led the research team. The researchers also found that upon…

1 min.
lights off

Australia’s Hazelwood Power Plant, among the dirtiest plants in the industrialized world, closed in March after more than 50 years of operation. The adjacent coal mine that fed the plant was also shuttered. The French company that operated Hazelwood, Engie, said that the plant was no longer economically viable due to a giant backlog of expensive maintenance work that would have cost $150 million between March and July of 2017 alone. As Earth Island Journal reported last year, the Hazelwood plant gained notoriety over the past decade due to concerns about the sheer level of emissions released from the burning of brown coal there. Brown coal releases 6 to 8 percent more carbon dioxide than standard black coal. Residents of Morwell, the town adjacent to the plant, also began to wonder…