The Goldman Environmental Prize is awarded to a small handful of people from around the world in recognition of their grassroots environmental activism. Â
Selected by an international jury, this yearâ€™s seven winners came from places as diverse as Vietnam, Colombia, South Africaâ€¦and Flint, Michigan. Â
A Short History of Environmental Heroism
Just after Flint officials notoriously switched the city water source in April 2014 to save money, LeeAnne Walters started to become concerned that the water she and her four children were drinking was harmful.
She was, of course, right, but proving it was a struggle. Â State authorities didnâ€™t want to listen and LeeAnne worked tirelessly with the EPA and Marc Edwards, …
Posted by: Rhona Reid On December 7, 2017 12:00 pm
There has never been running water here. Â Some of the dwindling number of residents, all of whom live in poverty, recall that there were wells up until around 30 years ago, where locals could draw water. Those wells are now dry or contaminated. Â People who live here have to make a seven-mile journey to buy water or depend on donations made to the local Baptist church.
Welcome to Sandbranch, just 14 miles southeast of Dallas, the fifth wealthiest city in America. Â
There hasnâ€™t been any investment here for a long time. Â The community doesnâ€™t have trash collections, proper sewerage or street lighting â€“ yet most of the residents donâ€™t want move, or lack …
Posted by: Rhona Reid On November 21, 2017 7:00 am
In 1990, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of an 11-year study into the long term cognitive and neurobehavioral effects of lead exposure in children. Â
What Does Lead Do?
The children had been exposed to lead during their childhood, in some cases relatively low levels. Â 132 test subjects were re-examined in 1988 and the following neurobehavioral traits were identified as being related to lead exposure during childhood:
Poorer hand/eye co-ordination
Slower reaction times
“No Safe Level of Lead”
Although some lead can be excreted by the body, children are more susceptible to long term effects from lead exposure, as their …
We learned a little more this week about how lead ended up flowing out the taps in Flint.Â Researchers at the University of Michigan have released their forensic conclusions on how the crisis took shape.
The “Swiss Cheese” Evidence
Officials had put forward a claim that failure to add anti-corrosion chemicals hadnâ€™t impacted on the eventual contamination of the water.Â This assertion was undermined by the researchersâ€™ discovery of “a Swiss cheese pattern” in the aging pipework cause by corrosion.
The research team goes on to emphasize the importance of ensuring that anti-corrosion chemicals are used in all of Americaâ€™s aging water systems to prevent lead-laced water …
Itâ€™s been quite the week in Flint.Â Dressed in custom-made gowns and bright, sharp suits, excited seniors of Flint Northwestern High School rode charter buses into Detroit for their prom.Â At almost the same time, the news began to emerge that Nick Lyon, Michiganâ€™s health chief, was to be charged with involuntary manslaughter, along with four other officials.
Conspiracy of Silence?
Failure to tell residents in Flint that the water flowing into their homes was contaminated with legionella is one of the accusations the defendant’s face. Â Twelve people died as a result, and 100 people in total contracted the disease.Â Officials knew for months about the outbreak, but kept silent.
If you live within striking distance of Flint, Michigan, then you may have noticed the paparazzi descending and a red carpet being unrolled on May 21st.Â Although the news crews of America may have packed up most of their equipment following months of reporting from Flint, the press pack is still hanging around.
Brad Pitt in town?Â Not quite, but the celeb count was pretty high. If you were, ahemâ€¦on the ballâ€¦you might have grabbed some tickets to Snoop Doggâ€™s â€śHoop 4 Water,â€ť a celebrity basketball game to raise funds for the beleaguered residents of the town with lead in itâ€™s drinking water.
The residents of Bruni, less than 50 miles east of the Mexican border, know exactly how the people of Flint, Michigan feel.
Flint, of course, is infamous for the townâ€™s water supply becoming toxic with dangerously high levels of lead.Â Bruniâ€™s horror?Â Turn on a tap and rife in the cloudy, unappetizing water is arsenic.Â Linked to increased risk of developmental and intellectual issues in children, cancer and lung problems; in 2001, the EPA decided that the acceptable level of arsenic in drinking water should be lowered from 50 ppb (parts per billion) to 10 pbb.
This is the root cause of the controversy in Bruni.Â During 2014 â€“ 2015,Â …