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Liza Featherstone's Posts

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Wal-Mart’s eco-announcements generate a clash among activists

The mother ship. Photo: Wal-Mart. It was easy for Wal-Mart's critics to laugh this past spring when CEO Lee Scott proudly announced that he drove a Lexus hybrid. For Scott to expect praise for his consumer choices given the abysmal record of his massive company -- which has repeatedly violated the Clean Water Act while contributing to sprawl, air pollution, and a host of other serious problems -- seemed to insult public intelligence. It also seemed a strange maneuver for a man heading a company known for shunning environmental concerns. Indeed, in Robert Greenwald's new film, Wal-Mart: The High Cost …

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Slow Katrina evacuation fits pattern of injustice during crises

Much of the world -- including white America -- has been shocked by the devastation in New Orleans, and by the ongoing failures it has exposed at every possible level of government. Even normally unflappable TV news anchors and politicians have been moved to outrage, asking why those left behind were mostly black, poor, disabled, elderly. Veterans of the environmental-justice movement, especially those working in New Orleans, are just as appalled -- but they are less surprised. Indeed, they're finding their most chilling fears confirmed. Evacuees make their way from helicopter to bus. Photo: FEMA/Win Henderson For years, these advocates …

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EPA says race, income shouldn’t be environmental-justice factors

It may surprise some people to hear that the Bush administration's EPA just drafted a strategic plan on environmental justice. Insidiously, and perhaps less surprisingly, advocates say, the move threatens to redefine that term into irrelevance. The agency's new plan defines environmental justice as "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." That sounds uncontroversial enough on the surface, but the trouble lies in the word regardless. The field of environmental justice is based on the idea that …

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