Ecology, Environment, Energy y Environmental Justice
As an Environmental Scientist, Cellular & Molecular Biologist and Biochemist, and a good steward of the land, fighting for environmental justice is a high priority especially in our communities disproportionately impacted by hazardous environmental conditions and harmful corporate practices.
Every single one of us has a shared interest in preserving, protecting, and sustaining this planet which sustains us.
We deserve clean air.
We deserve clean water.
Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. Safe and affordable drinking water is a basic Human Right in this country, and it is especially critical that people have access to safe running water during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
But 130 million people in the U.S., and over 130k people in California, disproportionately in communities of color and low-income communities, receive their water from tainted water supply systems that are putting them at increased risk of cancer, infertility, developmental delays, and other significant health impacts.
The Safe Drinking Water Act is meant to protect us from these threats but when it comes to race and income, the nation's federal drinking water laws do not equally protect everyone. In 2020, our deep systemic environmental racial inequities have been exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic. It revealed how we have been ignoring communities of color that we treated as if they were expendable. Each of us has a shared responsibility to ensure every community in our nation - regardless of ethnic, cultural, or economic makeup to address disparate impact of our industrial society. It shouldn’t matter if you live in a areas of color, low-income or a marginalized community, access to clean water shouldn’t have to be made into a law, when you live in this country.
Pollution of our drinking water sources, decades of poor oversight, underinvestment in drinking water infrastructure, many people throughout our country at great risk.
Water systems across this nation are still using old lead service lines, which means tens of millions of us in most communities, wherever you pay taxes you could drinking toxic chemicals. We need to fix and fund the Safe Drinking Water Act by strengthening standards and increasing access to safe drinking water for communities of color and low-income communities by identifying and funding critical water infrastructure projects, including removing the 6-10 million lead service lines still in use; prevent water contamination by effectively controlling industrial and agribusiness pollution and by expanding the list of chemicals and substances regulated under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, including toxic PFAS chemicals; and enforce the law to ensure safe drinking water for all.
Environment. In this vein, we need to actively protest any type of fracking activity and promote a halt to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We must demand legislation on renewable electricity generation and decrease our reliance on nuclear power, while still working towards more environmentally sound transportation alternatives to reduce driving, highway congestion and pollution.
Agriculture & Food Safety. In regard to Food Safety, we must continue to ensure farmers and other food producers are held accountable to assuring accurate food labeling, food safety guidelines, ridding of pesticides, and promoting urban gardens. As well, they must guarantee safe working conditions for workers and humane treatment of animals.
Cattle are the Top Source of Methane Emissions in the US. Cows are responsible for about 40% of global methane emissions. Methane is the gas passed or belched by the world's 1.4 billion cattle.
Livestock accounts for 37% of all U.S. methane emissions, and cattle are responsible for much of that, producing 86.2% of that methane. About two-thirds of cow emissions come from burps, while the remaining one-third is from manure management.
Producing methane is considered a waste of energy for a cow. The less they produce, the more efficient they are at turning cattle feed into human food.
According to Oxford University's Joseph Poore, judged against the nutrition it provides, beef is simply too environmentally expensive and found that a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas production is different from a 100% reduction, which is what we would get if people stopped eating meat.
"Beef provides about 6% of our protein and 2% of the global calorie, worldwide," Poore said. "If you look at the environmental impacts, beef is about 30% of our greenhouse foods greenhouse gas emissions, so you got a massive imbalance between the kind of environmental impacts of this product and the nutrition it provides."
When we account for methane from cow burps and cow manure, cows account for 31.5% of all methane emissions in the U.S., which makes them the number one source of methane emissions in the country. Other sources of methane emissions include natural gas production at 23.9%, landfills at 17.4% and wastewater at 2.8%, according to EPA data.
Climate scientists say greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced dramatically in order to prevent catastrophic global warming. At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, over 100 countries including the United States agreed to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
Accountability. We also need proactive legislation to support accountability for energy storage systems, incentives for affordable solar systems, reduction of fossil fuel emissions, protection of water sources from contamination, reduction of California's dependence on natural gas and replacing with renewable energy, reduction of plastic pollution, and sustainable conservation efforts of natural resources and public lands.