The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
New Satirical Video Shows What it Really Means to 'Go Green'
Going green is about more than buying all the gluten-free quinoa you can fit in your Prius. It’s about community organizing against corporate polluters and challenging environmental racism—and then enjoying your quinoa. That’s the message from Movement Generation’s newest video satire, The Greenest Man In America.
Written by our own Josh Healey, the video features Healey alongside Richmond, CA, environmental justice activist Lipo Chanthanasak. A refugee from Laos and long-time leader in the fight against Richmond’s destructive Chevron oil refinery, Lipo is unexpectedly named the “Greenest Man in America.” Playing off a certain popular commercial, the video invites viewers to question our concept of what—and who—makes for an environmental leader.
"Buying fancy eco-products doesn't make you green," said Josh Healey, the video writer and actor. "Green consumerism might make you feel better about your light bulbs and hemp shopping bag, but it doesn't challenge the corporations and politicians that are destroying our communities and our climate. That takes organizing."
"Immigrants and refugees are at the front of the climate and environmental justice movement, " added Vivian Huang, campaign director for the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, which organizes Laotian residents in Richmond. "If we are going to fundamentally address the climate crisis and the increasing inequality in our communities, we need to honor and lift up those voices on the frontlines."
Movement Generation is excited for the video to amplify the Our Power Campaign, which is building a just transition from an extractive economy run by corporations to local, living economies that are healthy and thriving. This summer, Richmond will host the Our Power National Convening from August 6-9, coinciding with the second anniversary of the massive Chevron refinery fire.
"Our Power is not your traditional environmental campaign, and this is not your traditional environmental video," said Healey. "This is about innovative organizing, multi-racial unity and a little ridiculous humor on behalf of one tiny cause: saving our communities and the planet."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
By Dipika Kadaba
We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.