environmental justice


Cleveland Can Beat the Heat by Planting Trees—But Don’t Forget Environmental Justice

, Kendall Science Fellow

Climate change presents many threats to cities, compromising their ability to protect public health, or deliver critical services like sewage disposal or adequate protection against storm surges and flooding. Many cities are acutely aware of these threats, and are developing climate adaptation plans with strategies to mitigate, and adapt to, climate change impacts. Read more >

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library
Article (doi:10.1175/WCAS-D-15-0026.1) Declet-Barreto, J.; Knowlton, K.; Jenerette, G. D. & Buyantuev, A. Effects of urban vegetation on mitigating exposure of vulnerable populations to excessive heat in Cleveland, Ohio Weather, Climate, and Society, 0, 0, null Abstract: AbstractHot weather is a threat to human health, especially in cities, where Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) are elevating temperatures already on the rise from global climate change. Increased vegetation can help reduce temperatures and exposure to heat hazards. We conduct an ensemble of Geographically Weighted Regressions (GWR) on Land Surface Temperature (LST) for May-October to estimate potential LST reductions from increased vegetation and assess the effect of temperature reductions among vulnerable populations in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. We apply possible tree canopy increases to our results, finding that LST reductions can range from 6.4 to 0.5 °C for May-October, and are strongest from May-July. Potential LST reductions vary spatially according to possible canopy increases, are highest in suburban fringe neighborhoods and lower in downtown areas. Among populations at high heat-related health risks, the percentage of the population 65 years of age or older in Cleveland is negatively associated with LST, while percentages of Hispanics and those with low educational achievement are most positively associated with higher LST. Percent Hispanic also has the lowest potential temperature reductions from increased vegetation. Neighborhoods with the highest potential temperature reductions had the highest percentages of Whites. Three sub-populations associated with high heat health risks are negatively correlated (African-Americans, the elderly) or not correlated (persons living in poverty) with LST, and the relationships to LST reduction potential for all three are not statistically significant. Our estimates of the effect of vegetation increases on LST can be used to target specific neighborhoods for UHI mitigation under possible and achievable, policy-prescribed tree canopy scenarios in Cleveland.
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Native Rights and Concerns at Standing Rock: The Important Role of Science

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Over the past months, we have all had an opportunity to see democracy in action with all its challenges.  No, I don’t mean the endless coverage of the presidential campaign.  I am talking about people taking action to protect the rights, health, safety and culture, standing with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Lakota nations in North Dakota. Read more >

Photo: Joe Brusky, CC BY-NC 2.0/Flickr
Sources: Esri, HERE, DeLorme, USGS, Intermap, increment P Corp—NRCAN, Esri Japan, METI Esri China (Hong Kong), Esri (Thailand), MapmyIndia, copyright OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS User Community
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With the First Lawsuit Against ExxonMobil for Climate Deception Announced, What Do We Know About Its Risk from Climate Change Impacts?

, lead analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

In the latest development on ExxonMobil’s long (and ongoing) history of deceiving the public and decision makers on climate change, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced this week that it is preparing for the first official lawsuit against the oil and petrochemical giant for its climate deception. Read more >

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Manufactured Chemicals Are Scary: How Much Do You Know?

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

There are more than 80,000 chemicals currently in production in the United States. At my desk as I write this, there are chemicals in the chair I am sitting in, the carpets on the floor, the cleaners used for the room, paint, products on the desk, the container for my lunch, and on and on. Read more >

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Community-based Participatory Science is Changing the Way Research Happens—and What Happens Next

Judy Robinson, , UCS

When I started working in environmental health the general rule was “the dose makes the poison.” But then new breakthroughs in endocrine disrupting chemicals turned that theory on its ear, showing how some low-dose effects can be more severe than doses at higher levels. Read more >

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