By Patrice Simms and Brielle Green
The confirmation process for Justice Brett Kavanaugh was painful for many of us. Earthjustice stood staunchly against his nomination—both because of the jurist we know Justice Kavanaugh to be, and because we believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Despite having every opportunity to get it right, our lawmakers once again failed all of us by charting a course that was deeply disrespectful to survivors of sexual assault and offensive to our bedrock principles of equity and justice.
While Kavanaugh's confirmation has raised concerns about the impartiality of the judicial branch, we believe the courts remain a place for those left behind by the political system to seek justice. And Earthjustice has a plan to keep them that way.
First, the laws and statutes protecting our communities, our public health, and our planet remain robust. Earthjustice has nearly 50 years of experience navigating and pushing forward those laws to save lives, reduce pollution and preserve our most irreplaceable natural wonders. Those laws don't simply disappear because Brett Kavanaugh got confirmed. In fact, the clear mandates in those laws provide a powerful tool that is more important than ever to push back against polluters and their cronies.
Second, the legal landscape for key environmental fights extends far beyond just the Supreme Court. In fact, the vast majority of cases we work on are ultimately decided by lower courts. Earthjustice has filed more than 110 lawsuits against the Trump administration's efforts to gut environmental safeguards, and we are winning many of those fights long before they ever reach the Supreme Court.
Third, while the Trump administration's efforts to fill federal courts at all levels with polluter-friendly judges are deeply worrying, those judges are still beholden to the laws and precedents already on the books. They cannot simply ignore the statutes that Congress has adopted. Earthjustice will continue to hold the government and corporations accountable for following those laws.
And finally, Earthjustice will continue to fight in the courts because it's what we do. It's who we are. And it's what is right.
Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg at work in an Albany courtroom. Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice
This is a profoundly difficult time for those of us fighting for justice, but we cannot give into despair or throw our hands up at the obstacles ahead of us. We must continue protecting not only the health of our planet and its people, but the health of our democracy and our justice system. Earthjustice will remain on the front lines of these fights—in the courtroom, in communities and in the halls of Congress. I hope you will continue to stand alongside us.
By Matthew Savoca
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.
Greenland is melting about four times faster than it was in 2003, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, a discovery with frightening implications for the pace and extent of future sea level rise.
"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future," study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Dr. Michael Bevis said in a press release. "Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?"
Finally, some good news about the otherwise terrible partial government shutdown. A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot issue permits to conduct seismic testing during the government impasse.
The Justice Department sought to delay—or stay—a motion filed by a range of coastal cities, businesses and conservation organizations that are suing the Trump administration over offshore oil drilling, Reuters reported. The department argued that it did not have the resources it needed to work on the case due to the shutdown.
Most people have heard of the Amazon, South America's famed rainforest and hub of biological diversity. Less well known, though no less critical, is the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland.
Like the Amazon, the Pantanal is ecologically important and imperiled. Located primarily in Brazil, it also stretches into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. Covering an area larger than England at more than 70,000 square miles, the massive wetland provides irreplaceable ecosystem services that include the regulation of floodwaters, nutrient renewal, river flow for navigability, groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The wetland also supports the economies of the four South American states it covers.
By Andrea Germanos
Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals and rural farmers.
By Patrick Rogers
If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.
By Jason Bittel
Formidable predators stalk the forests between Panama and northern Argentina. They are sometimes heard but never seen. They are small but feisty and have even been documented trying to take down a tapir, which can top out at nearly 400 pounds. Chupacabras? No.