Above the Fold, Dec. 2: Injustice abroad; Losing our way
Our week-ending roundup of notable reporting and events affecting our environment and health.
News moves fast. Your inbox is stuffed. Here are five quick things you need to know about the week.
Justice abroad – Tragic news, followed by some bright spots
With a president who can't seem to keep his finger off the "Tweet" button, it's easy to lose track of international happenings.
We saw multiple noteworthy stories around the globe this week dealing with injustice.
One thread we've followed closely: Ongoing mercury contamination in Onatrio's Wabigoon River. A former pulp- and paper mill released the neurotoxin, poisoning generations of the Grassy Narrows and the Whitedog First Nations people.
In 2014 scientists testing First Nations members found that 90 percent had symptoms of mercury poisoning. Yet neither the Canadian federal nor the Ontario governments saw fit to build a treatment facility for the 1,500 residents, reports the Toronto Star.
- Treatment facility for Grassy Narrows is long overdue (Toronto Star)
- Grassy Narrows pleads for governments to build and fund mercury treatment centre (Canadian Press)
- Promises to mercury poisoning sufferers must be kept starting now (Toronto Star)
From the report:
- Remembering women killed fighting for human rights in 2017 (The Guardian)
- How off-grid power is changing Kenya (Outside)
Two great examples of big data, good mapping & strong journalism
ProPublica released its latest data project, "Bombs in Your Backyard:" a user-friendly, searchable database and map of all of the military cleanup sites in the United States.
The military spends more than a billion dollars a year to clean up sites its operations have contaminated with toxic waste and explosives. A map of these sites has never been made public — until now.
These toxic sites are everywhere (there are 8 in my sparsely populated county, and I had no idea!)
Search the map and read the related story:
- Bombs in Your Backyard (map)
- Open burns, ill winds (story)
Turns out New York Republicans aren't the same as their Nebraskan counterparts.
Check out the interactive maps of their findings:
Losing our way: The reader's edition
Here are some good reads about massive changes to our planet — and people's way of life. Get yourself a cup of coffee and settle in:
- In Alaska's thawing permafrost, humanity's 'library is on fire'
Rising Arctic temperatures are destroying ancient artifacts once preserved in the frozen ground and taking a toll on native traditions that depend on the sea ice. (Inside Climate News)
- Arctic dogsledding culture is slipping through the cracks
Warming temperatures and shrinking sea ice threaten a way of life. (Hakai Magazine)
- 'I'll never leave this place, and I hope this place will never leave me'
Even though repeated promises of a seawall have failed to materialize, teen and Tangier's other residents refuse to give up hope (Bay Journal)
- Unraveling the surprising ecology of dust
As droughts intensify and development expands, the amount of dust blowing around the earth is increasing, affecting everything from mountain snowmelt to the spread of disease. Scientists are just beginning to understand the complex dynamics of dust in a warming world. (Yale Environment360)
Tweet of the week
what if legislators just weren't allowed to lie about legislation
— Dave Levitan (@davelevitan) November 30, 2017