This is the second entry in a series examining the relationship between environmentalists and labor unions. It was 1967. United Auto Workers executive board member Olga Madar went to Congress on behalf of her union and asked the federal government to curb air pollution by putting tighter emissions regulations on the auto industry. The testimony … Continue reading What’s Next for Blue-Green Relations?
On my way to an Anacostia Riverkeeper event at the unique Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens this morning, I passed by PEPCO's Benning Road power plant in NE DC, which was shut down two months ago. Such closings are part of a national trend: US power generation from coal dropped nearly 20% in just one year, mostly due to cheap … Continue reading Another One Bites the (Coal) Dust
There are many haunting images in this gargantuan photography book by Julia Reyes Taubman, but the one that devastates my dad is a picture of two disintegrating steam Bob-Lo boats docked next to a US Steel plant in west Detroit. For nearly 100 years, the boats carried generations of Detroiters to Bob-Lo Island amusement park … Continue reading Book Review: Detroit: 138 Square Miles
A perfect storm of economic malaise, the sudden publicity around the Keystone XL pipeline and the Occupy Wall Street protests have dredged up pockets of lingering acrimony between the labor and environmental movements in the US. But while the media and corporate interests are quick to slap a pre-printed “jobs vs. environment” sticker on the … Continue reading A Timeline of the Labor Union – Environmental Relationship
I come from the flat land of Michigan so when I flew into Appalachia for the first time, I was taken aback. From the sky, those gentle old mountains looked like elders gently watching over the little valley towns beneath them. In grade school we were told that while the Rockies might provide the more … Continue reading Book Review: Something’s Rising
Before artist Vik Muniz travels to Rio de Janeiro to work on a new project at one of the world’s largest landfills, he expects to find a rough crowd working there, drug addicts surely. His wife, supportive but visibly anxious about the idea, asks him pointed questions. “This is the end of the line,” he … Continue reading Movie Review: Waste Land
This week I watched the 2007 film Up the Yangtze. The movie follows the trials of a poor family living along the shores of the river as the Three Gorges Dam nears completion and the water rises over their little home. The undercurrent running through the story is the way wealthier people skirt the obvious: … Continue reading Dam