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Jonah Baskin

Woman carrying sign that reads "Ecological Devastation is Immoral"

This week's theme for the Poor People's Campaign is "The Right to Health and a Healthy Planet: Ecological Devastation and Health Care." While healthcare, the environment, and poverty might at first seem like a disparate set of themes, the three are inextricably linked.

Consider the issue of pollution. Poor people are disproportionately more likely to live near polluted areas. In South Carolina, for example, 57% of South Carolinians below the poverty line live in the same census tract as a superfund site. Similar disparities can be found nation-wide, from Michigan to California. You...

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On December 12, 2015, the world came together to adopt the Paris Accord. The global community declared its intention to limit the warming of our planet to well below two degrees centigrade and pursue efforts to remain at or below one and a half degrees of warming. Under the Paris Agreement, every country set their own emissions goals and challenged each other to set more ambitious emissions targets to keep warming to a minimum. While the agreement did face some criticism for not creating enforceable and binding emissions targets, and some worry that the current emissions targets countries...

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In January of 1969, Santa Barbara, California experienced an oil spill which devastated the local ecology -- but agitated and mobilized local activists. This group would go on to create the first Earth Day and push the passage of some of the foundational environmental laws of our country including the National Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Superfund Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. 

With Earth Day coming up on Sunday, April 22, we honor the work of these environmental...

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US Capitol building against a cloudy blue sky

Last week, the House of Representatives moved the dangerous ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620) out of committee, and we expect a vote on the bill this week. This bill would undermine key sections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, for the first time in our civil rights law, create waiting periods for a protected class to enforce their civil rights.

Raise your voice in support of people with disabilities.

Right now, the ADA mandates that places of public accommodation comply with ADA accessibility guidelines. If a person with disabilities encounters a...

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Tree in sunlight

The night of January 30 and day of January 31 mark the 15th of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat, or Tu BiSh'vat. The holiday started as a tax holiday, and was mentioned in the Mishnah as the “birthday for the trees.” It acted as the marker for when a tree became a year older with regards to a host of mitzvot centered around the annual produce of fruit trees. Taxes are still linked with the natural world around us; the recent tax bill contained devastating provisions which open a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, disturbing the calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou...

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