Tagged With environmental justice

The mountains on the windward shores of Oahu, Hawaii, are prone to clouds. On a recent breezy summer day, though, it wasn’t water vapour that filled the air, but smoke. The mangroves were aflame. Local farmers were burning the invasive species to make room for taro, a native crop Hawaiians have grown since ancient times.

Arnold Brower Jr., a 70-year-old Iñupiat whaling captain, can recall his first encounter with scientists clearly. It was 1977, and the International Whaling Commission (IWC) had just placed a moratorium on bowhead whale hunting, after a US government-led population survey determined the marine mammals' numbers to be dangerously low. But Brower, who has been hunting in the icy Arctic waters surrounding Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow) since he was a boy, felt certain that conclusion was wrong.

Flood waters are receding in Houston after the historic rainfall from Hurricane Harvey earlier this month. But the water itself was not the only threat. Flooding breached dozens of waste treatment centres, sending a deluge of bacteria throughout the city. The New York Times reports on the victims of the bacterial spread, including an elderly woman who contracted a rare, "gruesome and often deadly infection commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria" after she fell while evacuating.