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Don’t Let the Fossil Fuel Industry Take You Down with Them

Photo Credit: Appalachian Voices

By Jose Aguayo.

The fossil fuel industry is dying. As it does it tries to take as many people with it as it can. On one hand, this death is a good thing. Emissions from fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change and the reason why in the past few decades we have seen such severe droughts, intense fires, devastating floods, and powerful hurricanes. So, the fact the industry is on life support is great news. However, as it takes its final breaths, it is trying to strangle the most vulnerable communities in our country.

Just last week, Senator Manchin attempted to include a provision onto the National Defense Authorization Act that would fast track fossil fuel projects and authorize the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. This pipeline would move natural gas, produced from fracking activities in the Marcellus and Utica shales, through Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Although Manchin’s attempt failed, there is the threat of it resurfacing in the near future. This is the fossil fuel industry attempting to delude the poor and rural communities of these three states with a handful of money in one hand while hiding a knife behind their back with the other.

We don’t need to look back far to see the potential dangers of oil and gas pipelines. Just last week, on December 8th, the TC Energy pipeline, a component of the Keystone Pipeline system, burst and spilled an unknown amount of oil near Washington, Kansas. This leak has impacted surface water from the local Mill Creek and will likely lead to contamination of nearby private wells and subsurface water. TC Energy recovered 2,598 barrels from the spill, but that is likely a small fraction of the total spill. The people of Washington got stabbed in the back by the “profitable” fossil fuel industry.

Projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline and fracking operations all throughout the northeast need to be stopped for the sake of all the communities whose water and air are threatened. The fossil fuel industry needs to accept its fate and wither away without poisoning or killing more vulnerable communities along the way.

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What Does Pearl Harbor and Environmental Injustice in San Francisco Have in Common?

Photo credit: Christopher Ulrich/Flickr

By Sharon Franklin.

Pearl Harbor happened 71 years ago on December 7th, 1941, but remnants of this World War II attack are still being felt by residents living at Bayview-Hunters Point in San Francisco, California. This neighborhood has been called a “textbook case of environmental justice.” As reported by the Earth Island Journal, this community’s battle for environmental justice has been almost a century-long battle.

The EPA declared a shipyard near this community a Superfund site in 1989. This was due to contamination from asbestos, PCBs, and, most controversially, radioactive materials. The U.S. Navy and EPA have been trying to clean up the radiation from this site for decades, but to enable the sale of the property to a very lucrative real-estate development deal with the Lennar Corporation. Not for civilian safety. Activists believe that should the Navy and EPA get away with this subpar cleanup, then the equivalent of transporting the fallout from Hiroshima across the Pacific to the Bayview-Hunters Point community will go untouched.  

The Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood was again in the public eye in the Fall of 2022, when the EPA made it known that it does not intend to hold the Navy responsible for a full cleanup. Mr. Schwartz of the Earth Island Journal reported that failure to do so would disregard Proposition P, a measure passed overwhelmingly by San Francisco voters in 2000 (and adopted by the city’s board of supervisors in 2001). This measure also urged that the site be cleaned up to the agency’s most protective standards for safe residential use without restrictions.

According to Environmental Policy Analyst, Daniel Hirsch, of the San Francisco Examiner, the EPA “intends to allow the use of far weaker limits and let the Navy walk away from much of the pollution at the site, relying on unenforceable land-use restrictions and covering up rather than cleaning up the radioactivity and toxic chemicals.” The EPA’s vague assurances has only led to more questions for the community of Bayview-Hunters Point.  

Bradley Angel, Executive Director of Greenaction and a longtime community leader at Hunters Point, believes that the Navy’s use of Battelle and other federal contractors tied to the Navy and polluters is the opposite of independent oversight. He further says, “The plans by the Navy and EPA to leave large amounts of radioactive and toxic waste buried and capped at the shipyard are blatant environmental racism, especially as sea levels and groundwater are rising and will eventually flood and spread the contamination further into the community.” Also, Dr. Robert Gould, President of the San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility expressed outrage at “the abdication of EPA’s public duty” in their decision to let the Navy off the hook. 

On the other side of the debate is San Francisco Mayor, London Breed, who has gone on record in support of the Navy’s cleanup plans, describing them as “robust and appropriate.” In response to the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors President, Shamann Walton, asserted the EPA’s decision to allow a limited cleanup, saying that “the board will have a say on whether or not the city will accept land transfers from the Navy.”

So, What Can Environmental Justice Advocates Do?

As we approach the remembrance of Pearl Harbor 71 years later, environmental activists across the nation will continue to keep a watchful eye on what happens at Bayview-Hunters Point, noting that should the Navy and EPA get away with a substandard cleanup at a heavily contaminated site, we can only imagine what they could do to less affluent and less well-organized communities in other parts of the country.

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10 Content Creation Tips for Non-Profits


By Gregory Kolen II.

Content is an essential component for non-profit organizations, providing them with the ability to share their story and mission with the world. It allows them to connect with potential supporters and build relationships, creating greater understanding of their cause. Here are ten tips for effective content creation:

  1. Share stories about the people you help: By letting people know what you do in story format, you’re not only spreading awareness of various issues, but you’re allow others to understand how you can help them.
  2. Share your story: Although the people that you help are one of the most important parts of your story. Your origin and continuing motivation can be a powerful inspiration for helping your audience envision the journey from problem to resolve for a solution.
  3. Hold events and workshops: This may be something you are already doing, imparting knowledge and sharing strategy with attendees. But not everyone is able to join in the moment. You’ll have hours of valuable content to share based on your existing hard work.
  4. Keep It Fresh: Stale content is a surefire way to drive away readers – so keep things fresh by frequently updating your content or mixing things up on regular intervals. Try different types of content (e.g. videos, infographics etc.), look for data-driven stories which are relevant to your audience or create customer stories that will resonate with them emotionally.
  5. Leverage Your Network: Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help from your board, volunteers or even other non-profits who may have expertise you lack. Working together to share content can create a much more powerful connection with your audience.
  6. Have a plan and stick to it: A content calendar is essential for staying organized and making sure your message remains consistent across all channels. Set specific goals, create deadlines, and assign tasks so everyone on your team knows what they are responsible for.
  7. Make use of visuals: Content with visuals has been proven to be much more effective than just text alone; people are twice as likely to remember something if it’s accompanied by a picture or video! Whether you want to include infographics, charts, videos or even memes – make sure your content stands out with some eye-catching images.
  8. Get creative with storytelling techniques: Non-profits can benefit greatly from weaving stories into their content marketing efforts; stories help to build relationships and engage audiences. Use personal accounts, interviews, or anecdotes to bring your message to life and make it more relatable.
  9. Measure your results: Your content strategy should always be evaluated in order to see what works best for you and what can be improved on for the future. Track key metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, leads generated, etc., so you can get a better understanding of how effective your content is at achieving its goals.
  10. Utilize influencers: If you have some budget available for your marketing efforts, consider partnering with influential individuals who are already well-known within the non-profit sector or even beyond it – this will boost visibility and credibility for your organization. Reach out to influencers and see if they would be interested in helping you promote your cause.

By following these content creation tips, you can have a successful content creation strategy that will help you reach more people and make a bigger impact on your cause. Good luck!