Credit: Anthony Ginsbrook/Unsplash

Erik Loomis: Why labor and environmental movements split—and how they can come back together

Unions and greens have had a very public divorce—but rethinking their relationship is now more critical than ever

Neither the labor movement nor the environmental movement has the power that it did four decades ago.

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Edward Wojtaszek/flickr

Toward a working-class environmentalism.

The 2016 election was cataclysmic for environmentalists. Despite the record global warmth of 2015 and early 2016, environmental issues played almost no role in the election (no question about climate change was asked in the three presidential debates). Major environmental groups lobbied heavily for Hillary Clinton, and her loss left them with an actively hostile President-elect Donald Trump. The appointment of climate skeptic Myron Ebell to head Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team bodes very poorly for the future. Trump has not yet nominated a secretary of the Interior, but the nominee will likely be someone who is devoted to promoting the aggressive energy development of the nation’s public lands, while showing active hostility toward land preservation, endangered species protection, and aggressive pollution controls.

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From our Newsroom

Dust from your old furniture likely contains harmful chemicals—but there’s a solution

Researchers find people's exposure to PFAS and certain flame retardants could be significantly reduced by opting for healthier building materials and furniture.

Hormone-mimicking chemicals harm fish now—and their unexposed offspring later

Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.

America re-discovers anti-science in its midst

Fauci, Birx, Redfield & Co. are in the middle of a political food fight. They could learn a lot from environmental scientists.

Roadmap points Europe toward safer, sustainable chemicals

EU Commission releases ambitious strategy for getting hormone-disrupting chemicals out of food, products, and packaging.

How Europe’s wood pellet appetite worsens environmental racism in the US South

An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.

Exempt from inspection: States ignore lead-contaminated meat in food banks

Hunter-donated meat provides crucial protein to US food banks. But an EHN investigation found a lack of oversight that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of lead-contaminated meals this year.

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