UN Report Sounds Alarm On Climate Change and CCR Lawsuit: Louisiana’s Cancer Alley

UN Report Sounds Alarm On Climate Change

A new flagship United Nations report on climate change shows that harmful carbon emissions have never been higher in human history. And that this is proof that the world is on a fast track to disaster, with scientists arguing that its now or never to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Indeed, the reports scientists claim that at the dismal rate matters to address climate change are now going, the world has but ten years”ten years–until catastrophic climate change is irreversible.

Or as the UNs General Secretary Gutierrez puts it, the planet is now nearing the point of no return. In a Washington Post op-ed article, Gutierrez described the latest IPCC report as a litany of broken promises, which revealed a yawning gap between climate pledges, and reality. Indeed, the reality is that despite ever-increasing awareness of the consequences of climate change and the central role humans play–given our continuing use of fossil fuels, in bringing the change about–the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere every year continue to rise every year and are each year greater than the prior year. For as Gutierrez wrote, corporations and high-emitting governments have not just turned a blind eye to the problem, they are adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate-choking industries.

Already millions of the worlds people have been displaced by climate change, and the world now experiences a greater and greater increase in severe storms, unprecedented heat waves, widespread water shortages, and the extinction of millions of species of plants and animals.

Guest – Eleanor Stein, professor of law at Albany Law School, where she teaches Transnational Environmental Law is the author of Book Review: The Philosophical Foundations of Environmental Law: Poverty, Rights and Nature, as well as the book, Ecological Sensitivity and Global Warming: An International Human Rights Violation?

NY Times ON CLIMATE newsletter with Somini Sengupta, climate writings in NYT by David Wallace-Wells; NOT TOO LATE by Solnit and Lutunatabua; FALTER by Bill McKibben and all his current writings (and his breakthrough 1989 book on climate, The End of Nature and its sequel, EAARTH); Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker; Websites of WEACT (We Act for Environmental Justice), www.weact.org; UPROSE (United Puerto Ricans of Sunset Park), www.UPROSE.org, NYC-EJA, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, www.nyceja.org.


CCR Lawsuit: Louisiana’s Cancer Alley

The call it cancer alley. It is the 135 mile long strip along both sides the Mississippi river between Baton Rouge, Louisiana south down to New Orleans

In an environmental racism case, three Louisiana organizations sued on March 21 in Federal District court in New Orleans against the Parish Council of St. James Parish. A Parish is a county in New Orleans and the Parish Council is their government.

The predominantly white Parish Council granted a permit for a company to build $9 billion petrochemical plant to make plastics. The plant is expected to spew 6000 tons a year of cancer-causing chemicals into the atmosphere.

The lawsuit seeks to protect Black neighborhoods and is asking for a moratorium on the building of more hazardous petrochemical plants where people live and breathe and where Black people are getting sick and dying in disproportionate numbers.

Guest – attorney Astha Sharma Pokharel of the Center or Constitutional Right where she specializes in international human rights law and in challenging racial and environmental injustice. In the cancer rally lawsuit she represents the Mount Trump Baptist Church and inclusive Louisiana. A project at the Tulane law school represents RISE St. James. These are the three Black neighborhood organizations that are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

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