Hero of the Week: Ma Jun, Chinese Anti-Pollution Activist

Photo: ZDNet.com

This week we salute Ma Jung, a former investigative reporter in China who has been pressuring the Chinese government and private companies for more than a decade to reduce pollution.  For good reason, according to the World Health Organization, a staggering 1 million people in China died due to air pollution in 2016.  Wow.  Ma Jung started the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs in 2006 with the goal of making environmental data accessible to Chinese citizens.  Then in 2013, according to National Geographic, the Chinese government began releasing hourly data about soot (fine particulate matter) and the Institute pressed them to also release the sources of pollution. When they did, the Institute loaded the information on to online maps that allow the public to access it.  Now the public can check the air quality in more than 100 Chinese cities, and the water quality of thousands of rivers, and can decide whether it is safe for kids to play outside and which factories to blame if it isn’t.   We hope that someday we can say the same thing here in the U.S.  And when China decreases its greenhouse gas emissions, the whole world benefits.

Up Next

What’s Threatening Biodiversity? Hint: It’s US!

What’s Threatening Biodiversity? Hint: It’s US!

Over the last century, humans have come to dominate the planet, causing rapid ecosystem change and massive loss of biodiversity across the planet.

Why This Matters: without a vibrant Earth our chances of adequately feeding and sustaining 9.8 billion people by 2050 become slim.

 

Continue Reading 352 words

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Equates Climate Migrants to “Pollution”

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in a news segment on Monday night created a firestorm over racist remarks in which he claimed that proposals to allow many more climate refugees to enter the U.S. would result in overcrowding and would “despoil” and “pollute” our country. 

Why This Matters:  Millions of people around the world — including Americans — are already suffering due to climate change and it has created a refugee crisis.  According to the proposal’s proponents, since 2009, a climate-related disaster has displaced about one person every second due to severe weather events, famine, drought, and rising sea levels, and other climate impacts.  The United Nations believes that 22.5 million people worldwide have been displaced due to climate change since 2009 and that number could rise to 200 million forcibly displaced people by 2050. We will be confronted with this problem regardless of whether Congress passes a law allowing the government to deal with it directly.  

Continue Reading 415 words
The VA Won’t Fund Service Dogs For PTS Therapy

The VA Won’t Fund Service Dogs For PTS Therapy

Military dogs are often homeless once they are retired from service.  And worse, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) won’t pay for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) to adopt them or other dogs as service dogs. Congressman John Rutherford of Florida has introduced a bill — the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act of 2019  to provide funding to veterans diagnosed with PTS who would like to obtain a service dog.

Why This Matters: It would be a real win-win to see some of these dogs– or other dogs in need of homes — go to veterans who are suffering from PTS as an alternative or supplement to other treatments.

Continue Reading 292 words