WRITINGS  

Florida’s Red Tides Are Getting Worse and May Be Hard to Control Because of Climate Change

 

A task force appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for research and investment in mitigation. Environmentalists say the real fix is cracking down on polluters.

-(Inside Climate News)

 

EPA to Probe Whether North Carolina’s Permitting of Biogas From Swine Feeding Operations Violates Civil Rights of Nearby Neighborhoods

 

The EPA has decided to investigate North Carolina’s 2021 decision to allow four pig feeding operations to generate biogas from hog waste lagoons, and environmental justice advocates hope the probe will yield greater civil rights protections for Blacks and Latinos who live nearby. 

-(Inside Climate News)

 

An African American Community in Florida Blocked Two Proposed Solar Farms. Then the Florida Legislature Stepped In

Residents in Archer fought the facilities and won two votes by the Alachua County commissioners. But under “preemption” legislation signed by Gov. DeSantis, the county is now powerless to stop similar plans in the future.

-(Inside Climate News)

Video: Aerial Detectives Dive Deep Into North Carolina’s Hog and Poultry Waste Problem

 

As concentrated animal feeding operations spread, airborne surveillance missions aim to protect nearby communities from the air and water pollution they release.

-(Inside Climate News)

 

Pollution from N.C.’s Commercial Poultry Farms Disproportionately Harms

Communities of Color

 

The state’s massive poultry industry is largely unregulated, leaving the state to guess about the number and location of giant production facilities producing millions of chickens. 

-(Inside Climate News)

 

Civil Rights Groups in North Carolina Say ‘Biogas’ From Hog Waste Will Harm

Communities of Color

In a complaint filed with the EPA, the activists alleged that creating natural gas from methane in hog waste will increase ammonia pollution in the air and water. 

-(Inside Climate News)

North Carolina’s New Farm Bill Speeds the Way for Smithfield’s Massive Biogas Plan for

Hog Farms

 

Environmental justice advocates say the legislation curtails community input on the plan for capturing methane from giant, polluting waste lagoons and selling it as natural gas. 

-(Inside Climate News)

Why Is Texas Allocating Funds For Reducing Air Emissions to Widening Highways?

 

Environmental activists applaud funding increases but wonder why some money is going for road expansion. And why, they ask, is there no focus on environmental justice? 

-(Inside Climate News)

Houston’s Mayor Asks EPA to Probe Contaminants at Rail Site Associated With Nearby

Cancer Clusters

 

Sylvester Turner’s request comes after Texas health officials found elevated incidences of leukemia and numerous cancers in the city’s predominantly Black Fifth Ward. 

-(Inside Climate News)

In Corpus Christi’s Hillcrest Neighborhood, Black Residents Feel Like They Are Living in a ‘Sacrifice Zone’

 

Boxed in by refineries, oil tanks, an interstate highway and a bridge under construction, the people are left in a hollowed-out neighborhood and a broken community. 

-(Inside Climate News)

13 Refineries Emit Dangerous Benzene Emissions That Exceed the EPA’s ‘Action Level,’

a Study Finds

 

In Houston and Corpus Christi, the impacted communities are predominantly Black and Latino. Scientists say the dangers of benzene, a carcinogen, are not well understood. 

-(Inside Climate News)

‘Suezmax’ Oil Tankers Could Soon Be Plying the Poisoned Waters of Texas’ Lavaca Bay

 

Fishermen and environmentalists say a plan to export crude would require dredging mercury-laced sediment in a Superfund site, imperiling oyster reefs and the natural habitat. -(Inside Climate News)

Expansion of I-45 in Downtown Houston Is on Hold, for Now, in a Traffic-Choked, Divided Region

 

The Biden administration’s Federal Highway Administration has asked TxDOT for a “pause” so that possible violations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act can be reviewed. 

-(Inside Climate News)

After Hurricane Harvey, a Heated Debate Over Flood Control Funds in Texas’ Harris County

The newly elected Democratic county commissioners mandated equity in allocating the money. Last month, the flood control district reported back—and the fireworks started. 

-(Inside Climate News)

During February’s Freeze in Texas, Refineries and Petrochemical Plants Released Almost 4 Million Pounds of Extra Pollutants

The companies mounted their standard “affirmative defense,” and environmentalists doubt Texas regulators will hold them accountable. Communities of color around Houston were disproportionately impacted. 

-(Inside Climate News)

Faith and fight against climate change | 4-Part Series

In a society increasingly driven by science and technology, world religions and the communities they inspire remain a rock-solid political force. In this series, faith leaders explore the intersection of religion and the politics of climate change.

-(The Real News Network)

Securitizing climate debate can lead to increased surveillance and eco-fascism

Experts warn that president-elect Biden's plan to include climate as a national security issue can lead to militarization of climate agenda and can fuel new geo-political tensions.

-(The Real News Network)

Trump-Appointed CEO of US media agency targets  journalists' independence

Former US global media agency CEO John Lansing worked hard to consolidate his power. His Republican successor, Michael Pack, is putting those powers to use, and compromising the journalistic independence of the US taxpayer-funded news networks he oversees.

-(The Real News Network)

Hothouse 2020: An out-of-bounds look at election day

and what it could mean for the climate

In this climate episode of The Run Up, we cover the rights of nature, an emerging people’s third party, and the future of global climate reparations, and we speak to Democratic megadonor and 2020 Democratic primary candidate Tom Steyer.

-(The Real News Network)

Diplomats: Afghan Pullout Plan Could Complicate Prospects for Lasting Peace

 

Former senior diplomats who have steered U.S. policy on Afghanistan say U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull thousands of troops out of that country give a free hand to Taliban while not getting anything substantial in return. Click the headline for full article. -(VOA NEWS)

 

Reclaiming the stars

 

This short film brings a personal story to the Dark Skies Awareness campaign, by following the amateur astronomer Irene Pease as she struggles to find a patch of darkness amid the dazzling lights of the Big Apple. Produced by New York-based filmmakers Lucina Melesio and Aman Azhar, it is the first in a series commissioned by Physics World as an official media partner of the International Year of Light (IYL 2015).

-(Physics World-UK)

China-Pakistan Close Cooperation is Strategic Challenge for Washington

 

Richard Olson, the former U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and was previously U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. In a Voice of America interview, he warned that growing rivalries between the United States and China were likely to complicate security and other issues in this already volatile region. A contest between Washington and Beijing for dominance can frame the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and can pose new challenges," Olson said.

-(VOA News)

Delhi Can No Longer Accuse Islamabad of Fomenting Terrorism in Kashmir:

US Assistant Secretary of State (r) Richard Boucher

 

Former US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher is no stranger to global politics. He was instrumental in patching differences between Pakistan's former military dictator Gen. Musharraf and his political rivals. Aman Azhar quizzes him on a range of issues including whether Kashmir can be the next nuclear flashpoint between Pakistan and India, the nuclear neighbors in a historically troubled relations.

-(VOA News)

Experts Warn: India-Pakistan Proxy War Detrimental to Afghan Peace

 

As Pakistan, Afghanistan and U.S. officials meet to discuss peace efforts, regional experts are cautioning such a plan would remain elusive until Pakistan and India agree to ease their proxy war that continues to play out in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi traveled to Kabul on Friday at the invitation of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss mutual measures against terrorist attacks.

-(VOA News)

Incoming National Security Adviser Bolton: Pakistan Could Be 'Iran on Steroids'

 

President Donald Trump’s latest pick for national security adviser, John Bolton, says the United States cannot walk away from the war in Afghanistan because of the larger threat...  

-(VOA News)

US Shutters Special Representative for Afghanistan-Pakistan Office

The office of the special envoy was tasked with heralding reconciliation efforts with the Taliban and other political factions in Afghanistan. State Department officials, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, told VOA the core SRAP team focused on Afghan reconciliation was dissolved on Sept. 29. The unit will be integrated into the broader South and Central Asia Bureau.

-(VOA News)

US Imposing Travel Restrictions on Pakistani Diplomats

The State Department says it has "nothing to announce on the matter at this time," but has previously said it has the "authority to impose a range of travel controls" under the 1982 Foreign Missions Act. Last month, Pakistani media reported that diplomats would be restricted from traveling more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the embassy in Washington or consulates in other cities without permission.

-(VOA News)

US-Pakistan Relations Make Little Progress in 2018

Tension marked the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in 2018. The year saw continuing U.S. criticism of Pakistan's alleged lack of cooperation in fighting terrorism and the South Asian nation pushing back against what it considered a hardline stance by the U.S.

-(VOA News)


FACEBOOK LIVE with US Ambassador to Pakistan, Afghanistan

 

Richard Olson steered US policy on Pakistan and Afghanistan as senior US diplomat. In this wide-ranging interview, senior VOA journalist Aman Azhar quizzes Ambassador Olson on a host of subjects including US draw down from Afghanistan,  agreement with Taliban and related concerns. 

-(VOA News)