Coal ash spillWe humans have a way of ignoring unpleasant facts as long as we can keep them out of sight — especially when paying attention would require us to change (and maybe even sacrifice some small measure of convenience or habit). That’s why the stories in newspapers across the state this morning (Earth Day morning) about Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution and its increasingly destructive impact on our health and well-being are so important. As the Charlotte Observer reports:

“Most of the private wells tested near Duke Energy’s North Carolina coal ash ponds show contaminants above state groundwater standards, state regulators said Tuesday.

Of 117 test results mailed to power plant neighbors in recent days, 87 exceeded groundwater standards, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said.”

In other words, there it is once again: concrete evidence that we are, increasingly, burying ourselves in our own effluent and jeopardizing human health and survival prospects in our blind and foolish refusal to quickly and radically alter our use of fossil fuels.

As Joe Romm pointed out on Think Progress  yesterday in a provocative Earth Day critique, this helps highlight one of the problems with the typical environmental protection messaging (including that of the Obama administration’s) on the subject: the message that moves people isn’t the threat to “mother Earth”; it’s the one about the threat to human survival: Read More


Tomorrow is Earth Day.

Yesterday was the one -year anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today oil remains in the Gulf and independent scientists confirm that the region is still suffering from the blowout. But oil spills are only one threat to our oceans.

Seafood Market in Louisiana

Overfishing is considered the most critical peril facing our oceans. Overfishing means catching too many adult fish so there are not enough to breed and replenish the species. Around the world, 52% of fish stocks are in imminent danger of collapse. When a fishery collapses, large fishing fleets move onto plunder other species with no concern for the future.

Seafood lovers have the power to change overfishing – Earth Day is a great day to start! Read More