Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez move to declare climate crisis official emergency

Exclusive: Democrats to introduce resolution in House on Tuesday in recognition of extreme threat from global heating A group of US lawmakers including the 2020 Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders are proposing to declare the climate crisis an official emergency a significant recognition of the threat taken after considerable pressure from environment groups. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic congresswoman from New York, and Earl Blumenauer, a Democratic congressman from Oregon, plan to introduce the same resolution in the House on Tuesday, their offices confirmed. A Sanders spokesperson said: President Trump has routinely declared phony national emergencies to advance his deeply unpopular agenda, like selling Saudi Arabia bombs that Congress had blocked. On the existential threat of climate change, Trump insists on …

‘Are a cow’s farts the worst for the planet?’ Children’s climate questions answered

What are young people most worried about? We put their queries to the experts How long until the climate crisis causes irreversible damage? Ewoenam Tetteh and Faith Otasowie, both 15, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex You are obviously both smart and thoughtful kids, so I will be blunt and tell you that climate change is already causing big changes in our world. You can see this in the melting of the ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctica, in the rising temperatures in cities around the world, in the changes in how much rain we get, and, perhaps most importantly, in the extinction of many plants and animals that are not able to adapt. One of the most important ideas to grasp about …

Residents of Americas Cancer Town confront chemical plant owner in Japan

Residents of Reserve, Louisiana, met with environmental groups and stakeholders in Denka in their campaign for clean air Residents of Reserve, Louisiana, have travelled to Tokyo to confront the executives and shareholders of a Japanese company which runs a chemical plant they say is responsible for a spike in cancers and a litany of other diseases in their home town the town at the highest risk of cancer due to airborne toxicity anywhere in the US, according to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). Their trip involved a series of public and private meetings with environmental groups and stakeholders in the chemicals giant Denka, which operates the Pontchartrain Works facility in Reserve. It marks a significant escalation in the residents campaign …

Don’t give up! How to stay healthy, happy and combative in impossible political times

Walk the dog, let go with a cry, head to the gym or have sex. Leading campaigners on how to look after yourself before heading back into the fray Every week it seems there is something new to protest about. If we are now in environmentalist and authorTry to spend a little time outdoors, whether it is in a city park or out in the woods or mountains. One of the things we are fighting for is a world where nature still has some place and so its good to get out and remind ourselves of that. I try to get outside every day, just for a few minutes. If I can just see the sky, thats good; sometimes I …

The Guatemalans who pay the price for the wests need for nickel

A vast European-owned mine is operating near Mayan villages, sparking a battle for survival The road to Guatemalas biggest nickel mine is barely visible through a cloud of red dust, churned up by the 25-tonne trucks that thunder past loaded with ore. From the choking haze a cyclist emerges, weaving between the lorries. On his back he carries a bundle of firewood. Goggles protect his eyes, a bandana covers his nose and mouth. Manuel Choc, a grandfather with greying hair, lives in the settlement of El Paraso, almost opposite the gates of the Fenix mine. Each bundle sells for 10 quetzals (1). It is a precarious living. Many people have died on the road, says Choc. The trucks run them …

Canada: endangered orca pod produces its first calf in three years

Researchers spotted newborn off the west coast of British Columbia on 31 May as the last successful calving occurred in 2016 A pod of endangered killer whales on Canadas west coast has produced its first calf in three years, a promising sign for the really excited by the orange hue of the calf (which will eventually turn white) as well as the presence of foetal folds on its skin, indicating a recent birth. The pod has chinook populations have collapsed in recent years, the whales have also experienced a string of deaths, putting pressure on the ageing population. The discovery of the new calf was confirmed by the Centre for Whale Research, a non-governmental organisation which tracks the health of …

Pesticides explained: the toxic chemicals in up to 70% of produce

Studies have linked long-term health issues, while regulators insist breaches of safe limits are rare What are pesticides? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines pesticides as any chemical substance used to regulate, prevent or destroy plants or pests usually insects, rodents or microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria or that acts as a nitrogen stabilizer in soil. Q&A Why the Guardian is launching a major reader-funded project on the toxicity of modern life Show Hide Carcinogenic chemicals in your furniture, and drinking water. Welcome to Toxic America a Guardian project which will explore the health implications of living in an environment that can expose all of us to chemical contamination on a daily basis through the air we breathe, the …

Lifetime of drinking California water could raise cancer risk, study finds

Researchers find arsenic and other contaminants that could lead to almost 15,500 cases of cancer Drinking California tap water over the course of a lifetime could increase the risk of cancer, according to a Environmental Working Group, an advocacy non-profit, studied the combined health impacts of contaminants found in 2,737 community water systems throughout California and calculated that prolonged consumption of the contaminated water could cause almost 15,500 new cases of cancer. The study found traces of arsenic, hexavalent chromium, and disinfection byproducts in the water systems. All of these contaminants are regulated federally and on a state level. Trace amounts of some arelegally allowed in the water. But the study found that a majority of the cancer risk was …

Beyond Meat preps for IPO as rivals take bite out of food industry

Startup is the latest unicorn, with a valuation of about $1.2bn, to go public as its competitor launches the Impossible Whopper Wall Street is going vegan. At some point in the next four weeks, Beyond Meat, a pioneering plant-based meat alternative startup, will debut on Wall Street at a valuation of about $1.2bn. And in the meantime its rivals are cutting deals with some of the biggest names in food. Beyond Meat is the latest in a series of unicorns private companies valued at over $1bn to go public. And this one is edible. The company, based in El Segundo, California, was founded 10 years ago by tech entrepreneur Ethan Brown. It found early backing from legendary Silicon Valley financiers …

The young Republicans breaking with their party over climate change

Millennial Trump supporters are starting to bring scientific reality to their party, but how far are they willing to go? Donald Trumps indifference, punctuated by bursts of mocking disdain, towards climate change has been indulged and even cheered by his supporters. The president has called climate science bullshit, donned a coalminers helmet at rallies and defenestrated federal rules designed to cut planet-warming emissions. It is becoming harder, however, for Trump to swat away the unfolding crises caused by global warming. American lives are increasingly ravaged by flooding and wildfires and Democrats have seized the initiative with the American Conservation Coalition (ACC), a Republican youth group founded 18 months ago but already with a presence in 125 colleges across the US, …

‘A lot at stake’: indigenous and minorities sidelined on climate change fight

The two groups are affected the most by environmental degradation and pollution, but they often feel left out of the movement Bernadette Demientieff, a representative for the indigenous Gwichin nation, finds Washington DC anxiety-inducing, especially compared to the wide open spaces and tall mountains of Alaska. She makes frequent trips to the US capital to fight oil drilling in what she considers sacred caribou calving grounds in the Arctic. But Demientieff is an outsider in the nations capital, where her concerns have fallen on justice and equity, backstage theyre facing a reckoning over the environmental movements homogeneity. According to the 2014 Green 2.0 update to the report found that diversity actually got worse over the past few years. Some groups …

Most US coal plants are contaminating groundwater with toxins, analysis finds

Of 265 US power plants that monitor groundwater, 242 report unsafe levels of at least one pollutant derived from coal ash Almost every coal-fired power plant in the US is contaminating groundwater with unsafe levels of toxic pollution, according to the first comprehensive analysis of the consequences of coal ash waste disposal. Of the 265 US power plants that monitor groundwater, 242 have reported unsafe levels of at least one pollutant derived from coal ash, which is the remnants of coal after it is burned for energy. More than half such facilities report unsafe levels of arsenic, a carcinogen linked to multiple types of cancer, with 60% finding elevated lithium, which is associated with neurological damage. In all, nine out …

If America can find $716bn for the military, it can fund the Green New Deal | Rev William Barber and Phyllis Bennis

If we redirected the trillions spent on fruitless wars, funding Medicare for All and a Green New Deal is perfectly realistic At long last the political debate in the worlds richest country is vibrant with proposals that would help the most vulnerable in our society. And what do we hear in response? A growing chorus of naysayers. challenged Senator Dianne Feinstein to support a Green New Deal, she told them theres no money to pay for it. She probably didnt expect those eight- and 10- and 11-year-old kids to respond immediately: Yes, there is, theres tons of money going to the military. Feinstein responded condescendingly that the military does important things with that money. Our never-ending wars say otherwise. Last …