Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Banjo politics

The second floor lounge saw its most rockabilly time yesterday when local banjoist Morgan O'Kane, accompanying a crew of mountain top removal activists visiting from North Carolina, took over with an impromptu short set for extremely appreciative law students.

The activists had just led a lunchtime talk on their legal and direct action efforts to stop the environmental devastating, dangerous and illegal practice of mountain top removal, a preview of the discussion at last night's "Voters Over Donors: Uniting Against Plutocracy" panel to analyze the influence of money in politics especially in the wake of last year's Citizens United SCOTUS ruling.


Mountain top removal activists in action

Eight speakers, including Lanny Smith, founder of Doctors for Global Health, Joan Mandle, executive director of Democracy Matters, Jay Mandle, professor of economics Colgate University, spokesperson for Friends of the Congo, Charles Suggs, of Climate Ground Zero, and Tony Avella, Queens state senator and advocate for clean elections, gave a brief, riling overview of the influence of corporate donations and lobbying in various segments of policy, from health care to international investment and trade.

The New York Democracy Project, the Green Coalition, LALSA, BALSA, MELSA, Law Students for Reproductive Choice, the Labor Coalition, Democracy Matters, IALSA, the American Constitution Society and Voters for Clean Elections all sponsored the event.

Anyone interested in further work toward clean elections and restoring citizen power, contact Matthew Edge at democracymatt@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

oops!

Vermont Yankee and one reactor at Indian Point shut down due to some itty bitty fires and nuclear leaks AND

Radioactive leak from Knolls cleanup site also happened in the past two days.

Good thing the state can't afford regulators!

(this entry is sarcastic.)


Indian Point, so pretty, so close to home.

Monday, November 8, 2010

USDA wants you to eat more fast-food cheese

So, cheese is delicious! But a USDA partnership with fast-food restaurants to develop and market crappy, cheese-crammed, heart-attack inducing foods? Something stinks and it ain't Limburger.

The New York Times published an investigation this weekend of the USDA's own Dairy Management, which pushes Americans to buy more cheese (in return for dairy industry lobbying funds) even as the department preaches healthy eating and funds anti-obesity initiatives. We eat more than three times the amount of cheese now than in the 1970s. Here it is, in case you missed it.

The USDA is behind such gems including Pizza Hut's Cheesy Bites pizza, Wendy's Double Melt, Burger King's Cheesy Angus Bacon cheeseburger and an extra cheesy Domino's pizza. All are packed with calories and saturated fat.

Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics, wrote on her blog today that we shouldn't be so shocked, as after all, the USDA has always worked hand in hand with the dairy industry -- that was its purpose. "Only in the 1970s, did the USDA pick up all those pesky food assistance programs and capture the 'lead federal agency' role in providing dietary advice to the public."

The USDA's double-dealing is hardly shocking, of course, given the flood of industry lobbying dollars within every federal nook. But the implications at the intersection of poverty, health, food access, nutrition and race (fast-food restaurants target low-income areas and those in low-income struggle most with obesity and access to affordable, healthy foods) makes this feel somewhat indicative of what food activists are up against.

texas, charming.

Texas Battles E.P.A. Climate Regulation - NYTimes.com

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fail, Grist.org!

Hmm. If describing the connection of environmental degradation to breast cancer, what visual aid would best come to mind? How about an image of a healthy woman's breasts in a low-cut top, with no head, no body or legs, just the breasts? You got it!

In a response today to a reader's question about how environmental factors relate to breast cancer, typically awesome enviro magazine Grist.org has emphasized its incredibly important message with said image, which currently serves as dominant image on the homepage. (Page-traffic ploy? Of course not!) It's super disappointing for such a progressive environmental news source to fall back on a tired, problematic practice -- featuring a photo of only a highly sexualized part of a woman's body detached from the rest of it, rendering her identity-less, just a part, further concretizing woman's objectified, commodified status. It's unnecessary, disrespectful and frankly, inappropriate, considering the tenor and purpose of the piece. We're talking breast cancer, the leading cause of death for women in the United States in the middle of life, not happy-sexy-boob talk.

To be fair, Grist.org isn't any sort of specifically feminist or gender-related advocacy or news site, and maybe the photo was meant to lighten the gravity of the piece. But all of us working within various movements can't afford to be sexist, or racist, or classist, even if that's not our "issue" if we want to win our battles together, in mutual support. Not cool, Grist.org, not cool at all.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Spill

Haven't watched it yet over here, but it's probably awesome. CUNY Appleseed hearts PBS.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Race and food justice take root in Bronx, Brooklyn

Over at Grist.org, writer Natasha Bowen has turned her attention to New York City's growing community of black and Latino farmers and organizers within the sustainable food movement here. In researching her piece, she met an impressive number of farmers and food organizers from organizations in every borough, including Just Food, the New York City Community Garden Coalition, the New School's Living Concrete/Carrot City series, the Brooklyn Rescue Mission, which runs a farm in Bed-Stuy, the Bronx's Tagwa Community Farm and La Finca del Sur, led by women of color, and finally, Dennis Darryck, who started a farmshare project for residents of the South Bronx and Harlem recently profile in the New York Times.

Bowen also mentions the Community Vision Council, a group organizing the first annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference just a month from now, from Nov. 19 to 21 at Brooklyn College. The conference will explore how activists and workers can examine the intersections of food, race, poverty and social justice and tackle issues around hunger, access, food-related illnesses and more.

Critics of the food justice movement most commonly, and justifiably, decry it as Whole Foods-elitist, white, wealthy and largely oblivious to the realities of most Americans and unable (or unwilling) to address said issues. How great to see these much-needed conversations and activism take root here.

Anyone plan to attend the conference?

Photo credit: David Barrie via Flickr

NY's solution to under staffing?


As blogged here a few days ago, apparently the solution is to just cut out the agency head. ProPublica (a constant source of excellent journalism) has been covering the enforcement, or lack thereof, of natural gas drilling for years now. They have a state-by-state breakdown site.

Here are some of the graphs for New York:


So if you click the image I think you can see it larger, but the important points to note: down to 16 people enforcing regulation of natural gas wells in NY State.



And look at this:
A nice steady increase of wells being drilled by year, with a dwindling staff. Note the number above the graph - 19 enforcement staff for 13,684 wells in 2008.

Hectic!

Good thing Paterson just sacked Grannis, for sure... Even though he was supporting hydrofracking, he internally spoke up about an inability to manage what we're already doing.

In light of these realities, Grannis' memo is quite grim:

Monday, October 25, 2010

LEED green building officials blue under new lawsuit

Founders and members of the U.S. Green Building Council, who maintain the popular LEED rating system and guidelines for green building design and energy use, have been slapped with a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for allegedly fraudulently misleading consumers and misrepresenting energy performance of buildings with LEED certification.

The filing plaintiff, longtime outspoken LEED critic and engineer Henry Gifford, owner of Gifford Fuel Saving of Manhattan, is part of a class of plaintiffs consisting of business owners who paid for LEED certification and taxpayers who claim they helped subsidize LEED buildings. Gifford, deemed worthy of a New Yorker profile in 2003, not only claims he has been harmed by USGBC, but claims to represent the interests of the other plaintiffs who say they paid for LEED certification under false promises. Under the suit, they demand that USGBC pay $100 million in compensation and legal fees to victims, and stop their alleged deceptive practices.

But the case seems shaky, at best. Gifford cites his evidence of misrepresentation on his own analysis of data from the most thorough study done of LEED construction to date, a 2008 study from New Buildings Institute (NBI) and USGBC. Gifford claims that, under his own analysis, LEED buildings are, on average, 29 percent less efficient -- a sharp contrast to the findings from the NBI study (supported by the National Research Council Canada) which found LEED-certified building an average of 25 to 30 percent more efficient than the average building.
Gifford (EBN)
Meanwhile, the class action suit might fall apart, as each plaintiff's case varies widely and the lead plaintiffs may not be the best to represent the class. Then there's the question of whether Gifford specifically was truly harmed from the alleged fraud. Oh, and there's this statement:

"I'm afraid that in a few years somebody really evil will publicize the fact that green buildings don't save energy and argue that the only solution [to resource constraints] to more guns to shoot at the people who have oil underneath their sand," he told Environmental Building News.

Hmm. EBN interviewed several lawyers who explained that consumers have numerous opportunities to verify their energy consumption under LEED and that LEED design alone could not reduce energy use if residents do not also adjust other living factors. They're sure the suit won't get too far.

But if the suit succeeds, what could it mean for green building? Read more details to the debate here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gov. Paterson fires environmental leader over leaked memo

Gov. David Paterson is doing his darn best to tick off environmental advocates just months before he leaves office.

After writing a completely legitimate memo critiquing budget cuts to already strapped state environmental programs, Pete Grannis, New York State's commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation was fired Thursday, prompting environmental activists and other politicians to call for his immediate rehiring.


Former commissioner Grannis

In his memo, published Tuesday by the Albany Times-Union, Grannis wrote that cuts to the state's environmental programs -- two offices' budgets were slashed about 12 percent from last year's totals -- have left them "hanging by a thread." About 209 people would lose jobs, bringing the total lay-offs to nearly 800 within the past few years, and leaving even fewer people to manage all the offices oversee.

Since when is critique of Albany's disastrous budgetary crisis worthy of firing? Perhaps if Grannis had been talking crazy -- instead, tons of Albany insiders back his concerns. So far, state Assemblyman Bob Sweeney, chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Assembly member Kevin Cahill, head of the Energy Committee, and eight other Assembly members including Jim Brennan of NYC have all spoken up in favor of rehiring Grannis, writes Brian Nearing of the Times-Union. Leaders from more than a dozen environmental groups have spoken out Gov. David Paterson for the firing.

In its statement on the firing, the Sierra Club called it "the latest in a series of appalling assaults to the environment coming out of Governor’s office." "While we may have locked horns with Pete over gas drilling, he has 40 year record of protecting the environment and has fought to keep his decimated agency together – always doing more with an ever-shrinking pool of funding and staff." Others critique the suddennes and process of the firing, especially since the governor's office moved without consulting the Assembly or Grannis.

Grannin also wrote in his memo that the budget cuts, and future cuts, will not only devastate programs based in state parks, hunting, hiking, fishing and camping, but also weaken the state's efforts to reign in the corporate push for the uber dangerous, environmentally devastating natural gas drilling within the Marcellus Shale further upstate. (Check this video here).

Irked? Call or email the Governor's office at 518-474-8390 and governor@chamber.state.ny.us to call for Grannis's reinstatement.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Event: Campus Clothing Swap!

Hold on to your socks! Well, actually, let 'em go, along with your shirts, pants, jackets, skirts, bowties, zoot suits, cowboy hats, whatever. Bring them all to the Green Coalition's Second Annual Clothing Swap, at SIT time (12:15 to 1:45 p.m.) Thursday, Nov. 4, location TBA!


(Something like that)

For those who have never attended a clothing swap, it's super fun, super simple, super cheap (i.e. free) and green, based on that good old theory of "one person's trash is another person's treasure," etc., etc. Drop off your gently-used clothes at the swap, sift through the pile of awesome used clothes donated by your classmates, and pick up new duds for yourself! If you hadn't noticed, CUNY Law students are an extremely well-dressed bunch. Trust us, you'll definitely go home happy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reduce your "forkprint"

Stuck on campus all day, with the need to eat lunch (or dinner -- poor souls), one's likely to need some forks, knives, spoons at some point. Most of us scrounge up some plastic silverware from the cafeteria or a random seminar room. Of course, we throw out the plastic. It may be recycled but most likely ends up in a landfill or in our oceans, leeching chemicals into the ground, groundwater and ocean water, devastating to ecosystems over time and to our health.


Why not carry some resuable utensils? Why didn't we think of this before?

The Green Coalition is again selling some high-quality, convenient reusable silverware sets (above) for $10 in the cafeteria by Margie. The sets include a fork, knife, spoon and two chopsticks and come in a colored canvas case.

We've only a limited number of sets (for now). Get 'em while their hot!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Save the earth with adoption?

While population arguments often pop up within environmental circles, NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" host Scott Simon raises more discussion of whether adoption could help assuage the much-debated effects of more babies on climate, waste, energy, production and consumption in an already crowded planet with millions of orphans.

After reviewing Simon's new book, "Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other, In Praise of Adoption," Grist.org's Lisa Hymas interviewed Simon and asked whether he felt parents should justify their adoption by environmental concerns.

Simon, rightfully, argues parents shouldn't be solely motivated by reducing their carbon footprint or eco-claim. Why? "Because I think you ought to have children out of joy, not out of sense of duty."

But nor should prospective parents be solely motivated by the fact they cannot conceive children themselves, which is often the case for parents who adopt children today.

"We've known people who have gone through so many rounds of assisted fertility, and that just strikes me as utterly useless when there are already children in the world," said Simon, who with his wife underwent fertility treatments before adopting. "If somehow you could connect the number of people in this world who want to have children and more of the youngsters out there who could use families, that's a kind of global warming we could all use."

The decision and act of raising children, of course, remains incredibly emotional, personal and difficult, thus it is tough to make many arguments in terms of any sort of public policy. Any thoughts on Simon's book and population arguments in terms of climate and environmental concerns?

Photo credit: BZO via Flickr

Monday, October 11, 2010

new goal for Green Coalition




Our new goal is to tag along with this plan:



let's get CUNY Central to commit to building a windmill on the new building too!



Just imagine....:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lisa Jackson is an impervious, immune sovereign of all things green.

Although we're most likely a bit past high noon of a Democratic White House, at least in that time frame executive branch can take some of the right action (editorial opinion, at least) and maybe even leave a lingering impact.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Lisa Jackson swings back at critics - Darren Samuelsohn - POLITICO.com

“It’s definitely anti-lobbyist rhetoric,” Jackson said. “It’s definitely meant to reflect the fact that, when I go around the country, people want clean air. They are as passionate about clean air and clean water as any of a number of issues; they want protection for their families and their children.”


Look at her getting all fierce.

This writer is currently in Public Institutions, so it's nice to see one of those acting as it should, at least in the public sphere. It's also unfortunate that the expansion of federal power doesn't run consistently through agencies drawing power through the APA. But why doesn't it? Shouldn't the EPA have sovereign immunity from individual suits brought by corporate polluters that challenge its authority to like, I dunno, grab em by the balls and throw them against the wall? Perhaps this blogger should study more before asking such questions in a public forum.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

From my tumblr.


Sigh.


]

10/10/10 wins this weekend!

Take a break from midterm studying this weekend for this awesome event: 10/10/10 Global Work Party.

It's pretty fantastic: Organizers and everyday people in more than 150 countries will be building solar panels, working in community gardens, constructing wind turbines and running bike workshops and much more, all to fight climate change.

350.org, the main organizer of the day, says this: "We're getting to work--what about you?"

In Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Food Coalition is hosting a day of work at BKFarmyards to support the High School for Public Service Youth Farm with a pot luck communal dinner following from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative will lead a cleanup along Columbia Street, part of a larger project to clean up the Greenway, a planned 14-mile, off-street, landscaped route for cyclists and pedestrians, from Greenpoint through Sunset Park. Here in Flushing, the Queens Botanical Gardens will host demonstrations of how to compost and how to turn items like old clothes into new things from 1 to 4 p.m., along with a cleanup of the Gardens, devastated from the recent tornado.

To join, or to find more events planned near you, visit:
http://www.350.org/en/map

Monday, October 4, 2010

New library food policy, just a little greener...

Hey y'all, according to new small signs posted on library desks, the library has updated its food policy (since no one really followed the old "no snacks allowed" rule).



For the heck of it, let's just tack on a couple green edits, shall we?
- If possible, use spill-proof containers that are "perferably" reusable water bottles and thermoses, and..
-If possible, recycle or reuse small snacks packaging (recycle bins conveniently placed around the library).

Guess that'd be tough to get on a small sign...

Friday, October 1, 2010

11-year-old breaks down the broken food system

What's wrong with the food system? Let this 11-year-old explain...

Green Coalition returns!

Following up two super productive, whirlwind years on campus, the CUNY Law Green Coalition is back in business this semester, with a slate of events and campaigns already in the works for the fall and spring. At this group's first fall meeting Thursday, old and new members discussed upcoming projects including a continued sale of portable silverware in the cafeteria, logistics of school-wide composting system, a clothing swap sometime in October (date TBA), and a future panel discussion tentatively focused on the broad health implications of urban water and air pollution, particularly from a race and gender lens.
Last spring's clothing swap

Check back here regularly for updates and more details! If anyone has any questions or ideas for the Coalition, or would like to get involved, please contact greencoalition@mail.law.cuny.edu.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

it's summer

So it might be a little foolish posting things here, esp when the readers of this blog probably also read Prof. Robson's blog anyway, but this is worth it.

Regardless of the DP argument, the appleseeds should have a down and dirty discussion about how to establish a baseline legal argument that the Constitution does not compel the courts to rule in favor of economic expansion or else.

Constitutional Law Prof Blog: Preliminary Injunction on Deepwater Drilling Moratorium: Financial Investment in the Outcome?



also it's nice to show off the new layout.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

a bit to be cautiously optimistic about...

Grist claims that scotus nominee Elana Kagan might not suck about environmental issues. She might suck about other things, but hopefully she won't suck about ya know, the future of the survival of the human race.

Elena Kagan, climate realist | Grist

While the news media is busy gossiping about 'is she or isn't she' it would be nice if more people asked the question this article raises, illustrated here by the Green Coalition graphics department:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Letter to Admin re: Composting

Sent April 29, 2010

Hi Greg and Michael:

Green Coalition would like to begin this email by thanking the Sustainability Council so much for all of your efforts this year with all of the projects we've collaborated with you on. We couldn't have done it without you! We wanted to write you an email, though, because it has come to our attention that there have been a number of complaints about the location of the composters in the vestibule and the smell creating a nuisance, and we thought it's important to have a discussion about it. Viable points have been made regarding environmental justice concerns because of how the security guards at the back desk are in the closest proximity to it, and are generally people of color.

Green Coalition thinks it's important to address this particular concern immediately, and on a larger level. The composting machines, the composting bucket, and the program in general needs more administrative support. Proper upkeep and maintenance of the composters will stave off the smell, but it has been difficult for students to sustain constant attention to our compost. The smell that people are complaining about is only an indicator of the inefficiency of this project and the necessity of stronger institutional support in order to fully incorporate composting into CUNY Law's custodial sustainability.

After having a discussion with Steve this afternoon, we reiterate our need for more administrative support for this program. We know that CUNY is committed to the above-mentioned sustainable goals and it seems apparent that the most clear way to evidence this is provide even a minimal amount of staff support for this program. The 3Ls (who have been highly involved with maintaining this program) will not be returning to the school, and because this has been an experimental project to jump-start a more concrete plan for composting at the Law School into the future, INCLUDING at the new building, we feel it is imperative that the Law School administration take on a portion of the responsibilities associated with composting. Green Coalition's strength in this plan has been and will continue to be educating the community, but because of the limited time students spend at the building, (and even have to devote when we ARE here), we're unable to completely administer the program.

We're glad to have the opportunity to introduce this concept and its technology into the community of students, faculty, and staff that will potentially be taking over. We recognize that through our efforts, more and more people have been composting. This is GREAT, and exactly what we wanted to effect!! However, the time has come to broaden our efforts if the school is to keep composting as an institution. Any of our members involved with composting would be happy to meet with staff to explain how to maintain the machines, even through the summer.

One of main reasons we thought it was important to institute this program at the school was because we wanted to get students involved and caring about their waste disposal patterns, and apprise them of the technologies available to improve them. We want to keep them enthusiastic about their ability to change and to also participate hands-on in the process, and at this point there just isn't as much student involvement as desired. As evidenced in the above email, we fully recognize that the program can neither be run solely by you or by us. However, at this point, the administration must provide a modicum of support to us in this effort in order for the program to continue at all. We'd love to hear back from you on ways you think this can be best accomplished.

Thank you so much for your time, we know it's valuable! We sincerely appreciate all the effort and dedication the administration has shown thus far, both for the composting program and for the waste audit. We all feel this has been an amazingly successful year.

Yours in a successful continuing composting program,
Green Coalition

Saturday, May 1, 2010

finals are upon us BUT

this blog needs to say something about the increasingly horrendous disaster in the Gulf.

Obama shelves new drilling as oil hits La. - Environment- msnbc.com

This is a particularly bitter use of the political winds. Do massive environmental disasters have staying power in the American memory? Will the push for new drilling in the Gulf start at the end of his first term, or will he hold off till the Democrats need a pick up in the midterms of his second term?

The pictures of the ducks still stand out in our memory from the Exxon Valdez spill and now they're back in the media. Look, the NYtimes at least remembers that for some reason concern for the birds is at the top of the list 'things we need to feature because because people care about it':


here's the link to that article.




It doesn't need to be said, but CUNY Law Green Coaltion is going to say it anyway: Wind turbines don't spill.










Meanwhile in school land: Where do we put the compost machines???

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monsanto.

JURIST - Paper Chase: Supreme Court hears arguments on genetically modified crop injunction

Some green minded public interest lawyers editing this blog might think that Monsanto is a dark and mysterious force of environmental control, destruction, and possibly one of the epitomes of evil corporations. Some might not! It's a fun debate.

Michael Pollan and the CEO of Monsanto talked a couple years ago. Some editors of this blog might not have actually watched this conversation, but will share it anyway.



Regardless, keep an eye on these guys. It's also worth noting that Monsanto is now an underwriter of the PBS Newshour, and within the past few years started advertising in mainstream media.

Food, Inc.

Hey Appleseeds,

let's just say, you're stressin, you're dragging your feet, you're overloaded, and you can't sleep?

Well, you could try streaming Food, Inc. from PBS fora limited time only!

The PBS stream works on crappy internet signals, and on older computers. And if you didn't read Omnivore's Dilema, the film is quite nice, but even if you did, it's nice to see some of the points illustrated in the film.

Enjoy.

Good luck.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Waste Audit photos!

Results of the waste audit are soon to be released.

Here we have some Appleseeds clawing through trash.


24 hours. So much garbage.


 

 

Below you will notice 3L Laura Mott finding all sorts of treasures.
 
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 25, 2010

the clothing swap!


Earth week, Earth Day, so much GC activity.

Here are some photos from the swap, and this writer asks the readers to recognize that he arrived well after it was over and he assumes there was much more than we can witness in the photos here.

Many thanks to Paula Segal and Laura Mott for hauling it all into the car before the terrential downpour!


Donations ended up going to Beacon's Closet. Hipsters shop there, yes, but they also donate all the clothing they pass on to "Dominick’s mobile ministry – a not-for-profit mobile service established in 1995, which distributes customer clothing to the needy, homeless, and to churches throughout new york and pennsylvania." taken from the Beacon's Closet website.

They also donate financial proceeds to a nice list of charities. So WAY TO GO CUNY COMMUNITY. Sharing with your community and donating.

CUNY Law loves clothing swaps. Many thanks to all those who brought in, swapped out, and stopped by and considered the joy of sharing rather than consuming.

waste audit result:



whoa.

Way to go Carmen Rana! Green Coalition loves you! And we think the whole Cunity is grateful for this contribution of beauty at the build up to finals.

FYI: this is 24 hour's worth of disposal cups transformed into art. 451 cups.


CUNY Law: meet the reusable mug:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

come to the pool party, help us hit our goal.

People's Climate Conference in Bolivia

Law students don't have much time to give Earth Day its due, but in case you're kicking back, we're embedding a livestream to the People's Climate Conference beginning in Bolivia this week:


And if you want to get some more info about it, this Indypendent article has some more info about it and events that are going on in NY in response.

Further, Democracy Now is broadcasting from Bolivia all week and I just watched Monday's episode. Quite stimulating.

Pool Party too!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pool Party!

Get Wet!
Thurs April 22nd, 2010 · 7:00pm - 11:00pm
at the Grace Hotel
125 West 45th St bet 6th and 7th Ave, Manhattan
$10 for student pool passes · $10+ suggested donations for everyone else!

Everybody In! It is time to break out your bathing suits and join Green Coalition on Earth Day in support of the inaugural BLSA-Green Coalition summer fellowship. Yes, it's an indoor pool party! We'll play Marco Polo and have a drink at the bar all in honor of Earth Day!

The fellowship will enable a law student to volunteer their summer at an organization that works to promote environmental justice. The award will go to a student who demonstrates an interest in environmental law and the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, culture, education, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Tickets can be purchased here or from a Green Coalition member during tabling next week. Tickets must be purchased in advance! Visit the Grace Hotel Website here.

i'd rather read about this

Agriculture is the New Golf: Rethinking Suburban Communities - The Neighborhoods Issue - GOOD

instead of finishing my Motion. But if anybody reading the blog has time, please read this and summarize in the comments.



thank you Good.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Heather Rogers (Green Gone Wrong) & Jim Hansen (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)

CUNY Graduate Center book launch, “Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution” (Simon & Schuster, 2010) by Heather Rogers

On April 30th, 2010, the CUNY Graduate Center will be sponsoring a book launch for “Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution” (Simon & Schuster, 2010) by journalist and author, Heather Rogers. Heather is the author of "Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage"(New Press, 2006) which addresses the issues of waste and garbage accumulation in our society. In Green Gone Wrong, she blasts through the marketing buzz of big corporations and asks the simple questions: can earth-friendly products really save the planet? Do today's much-touted "green" products -carbon offsets, organic food, biofuels, and eco-friendly cars and homes- really work? This far-reaching, riveting narrative explores how the most readily available solutions to environmental crisis may be disastrously off the mark. At this event there will be a discussion with Jim Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and author of "Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity," (Bloomsbury, 2009). The discussion will be moderated by Ashley Dawson, Faculty Fellow, the Center for Place,
Culture and Politics, CUNY Graduate Center.

Books will be on sale.

Friday, April 30th, 2010
7 - 8.30 pm; Reception to follow
Proshansky Auditorium
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue @ 34th Street
Free and open to the public

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

bike lanes and community often conflict *updated*

But this one doesn't really seem like it is more than just drivers asserting their privelege.

The Brooklyn Paper: Prospect Park West’s two-way bike lane is on a roll



Blogger's note: I try to resist posting too much bike stuff. It's not always explicitly environmental. I think this one is pushing the limit of things relevant to this blog. But I think it's neat.

Streetsblog made a video of interviews at the Community Board Meeting, including newly elected Councilman Brad Lander. The video is boring. Click through it, you'll get the idea.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

UPROSE bus tour

At the Law Review Panel:



back in February, Elizabeth Yeampierre talked about the work of UPROSE and the video shows the bus they use for the EJ Bus Tour. Here's a media spot from a REALLY awesome project, Brooklyn Independent Television, with a piece about it.

Can we take that tour sometime soon?

video

Friday, April 9, 2010

tech savvy



Look at our brilliantly designed new compost bin!

Appleseeds, so capable in law and labor.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Toxic Colonialism: U.S. Military Policy and Vieques

GC co-sponsored a CLORE/LALSA Panel today.

Here is the video that was played at the beginning if you're interested:


Please participate in the conversation over at the CLORE blog where they have posted the things that didn't get fleshed out.

Here are some scattered notes I took during the conversation
-History of Navy base in Vieques pollution. 62 years of bombing. Puerto Rico is the oldest colony in the world.

Javier Cuebas: Speaking about primary strategy of civil disobedience and other tactics. Vieques is a reflection of PR diaspora, has different meanings to people living on the island. Vieques known as 'little sister' - reflection of PR experience.
-with the exception of nuclear bombs, all other weapons tested there
-extremely sick population as a result.
on stateside - two camps - deniers and those who are aware of it.
majority of people IN PR are in agreement that vieques is a problem. galvanizes people on the mainland.

at one point navy propoosed transfer of population of vieques to the mainland.
dracula plan.

John Arthur Eaves - how did a gringo mississippi lawyer end up on this case? former mayor called him up, due to publicity from another case.
why did it begin as a case and become a mission?
1-faith
2-modern day civil rights movt - would not have happened anywhere else in the US
3-explains full cost of war
4-health of the people there
5-vieques best opportunity I have had to make a difference
the case - began w/administrative claim. took 4-5 years to collect medical records. doctors didn't even know teh illness the ppl were facing
told by politicians that the votes were not enough,
case dismissed, no evidence that navy's activities
relied on faulty ATSDR conclusions.
all sorts of procedural issues, eventually moved to San Juan ct, govt moved to dismss for sovereign immunity
discovered through FOIA that USNavy knew of problems in 1978
this is where it is now.

Vieques is now a superfund site.

ATSDR

JC - ADOVACY AND ALLIANCES TO BRING people w/ different ideologies together
PR senate passed unanimous resolutions about Vieques
casapueblo - community organizing in PR
everything connected for advocacy through regulations
"politicians, they like to be in office"
identify commonalities among the actors. develop political alliances

questions

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

community focus needed for a real 'break'

The Indypendent » Greenpeace Indirectly Pits Itself Against Indonesian Farm Workers

The Indypendent Blog posted this brief article about the effects of Greenpeace's recent big campaign against Nestle. Greenpeace has really started to nail down how to wage a successful campaign with cutting viral videos and aggressive pushes against well-known corporations. It's the kinda stuff that makes environmentalists go "oo yeah, you get 'em Greenpeace". And it seems that the campaign is having rapid success, but not without a drawback, pushback from Indonesian palm oil farmers.

At CUNY Law we speak often about organizing and advocacy and the role of the law within that, and I think this issue raises these questions on a big scale. Specifically - how can large environmental groups wage effective campaigns without sacrificing community needs? Can this be done on a large scale or is a smaller community focus required to preserve the lives of workers when one corporation holds all the economic power in a region? Are viral video campaigns inherently exploitive?

And so on.

At the International Law Society's event a few weeks ago "Blood and Capital: Holding Corporations Accountable for Human Rights Violations" we did see some great legal work utilizing the Alient Tort Statute that seems to allow for this type of work. Is there a way that Greenpeace and the other gigantic environmental groups can integrate some of CCR's and EarthRights strategies?

Much to consider, and it's important for all of us to consider these questions in our summer work and beyond.

Regardless, here is the somewhat stomach turning Greenpeace video, in case you haven't seen it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bottled Water blows.



I know I'm a little behind posting this, but Appleseeds probably are too wrapped up in studies to have spent 8 minutes on this yet.

Annie Leonard is using Youtube really really well.

Anecdotally, I do notice that CUNY students seem to use a their own bottles of tab or coffee or tea more than plastic bottles. Any thoughts?

Perhaps we can stream this at our Freecycle event?

BeeTeeDubs, this is the scariest part, around 4:55 onward.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

NYCDOT releases new stats (via Streetsblog)

Streetsblog New York City

Do any 3Ls remember or know that only in 2008 did Jewel Avenue get a bike lane?

"A 2007-2008 redesign of Jewel Avenue in Queens added a buffered bike lane, introduced some traffic calming measures and gave pedestrians longer crossing times. Afterward, bike volume along the corridor increased fivefold, and 91 percent of cars now travel at or below the speed limit. Before implementation, local politicians protested the removal of traffic lanes, but the data show that congestion hasn't increased at all."

Check out the link that shares some of the recent stats from the NYCDOT for other great little facts about how much transportation improved as a result of more bike lanes, more bus lanes, etc.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

American Enterprise Institute accidentally makes the case for climate legislation | Grist

American Enterprise Institute accidentally makes the case for climate legislation | Grist

So I'm trying to share things here that relate to the environmental law with a focus on NYC, or just NY. This is neither, but it is funny AND interesting. Conservative think tank attempting to claim that just a growth in prosperity is the result of a decline in greenhouse gas emissions, when in reality, it is environmental regulation. CO2 of course is not regulated and has increased where the other significant emissions have decreased in the past 30 years.

Let's pass more laws.

Friday, March 19, 2010

another link to share from Grist.

This is a nicely written piece. Environmental Justice <-> Immigration Reform. The author doesn't specifically call it EJ, but I think it makes sense to draw that connection out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

good thing to tie into our freecycle event?

Ask Umbra, a series producted by Grist just posted this vid about the Fixers Collective in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn:


It's a pretty rad idea. and while law students are generally strapped for time (I think the Appleseeds generally are each overcommitted as it is) the ethic is still something we could incorporate into our FreeCycle event... which still needs to get officially declared and promoted. Earth Day? Thursday after break...March 25th?

How freaking rad would it be to really throw a wrench into the hectic law school life...by giving people a wrench.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010