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Lead by the Numbers

--adapted from article by Caeleigh MacNeil, Earthjustice Quarterly, Spring 2017

Three years after the emergency in Flint, Michigan became public, Earthjustice is pushing the EPA to update the standards that keep lead out of our air, water and soil. An issue that retains its urgency given the current attitude of the Trump administration toward the EPA.

By the numbers: Adults store 94% of absorbed lead in their teeth and bones because the human brain can mistake lead for calcium. This stored lead can be released into the bloodstreams of pregnant women.

Children’s bodies absorb 4 to 5 times more lead than adults’ bodies. Even Low levels of lead in the blood of children can cause learning disabilities, reduced IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia.

The residents of Flint, Michigan have been without clean drinking water for three years and experienced an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease because of the toxic lead.

African American children are 2.3 times more likely than others to have highly elevated levels of lead in their blood primarily because they may be more likely to live near highways, former industrial sites and in older housing that contains high levels of lead.

For each dollar invested in lead-paint hazard control, $221 can be saved in health care costs, as well as social and behavioral costs due to loss of IQ from lead poisoning.

35% of US housing contains at least some lead-based paint; rates were higher among lower-income homes.

For 7 years the EPA has failed to take action to update the standards that protect families against lead-based paint
and lead dust.

On April 29, 2017, Earthjustice co-sponsored the People’s Climate Movement march in Washington, DC. While Earthjustice fights in the courts to defend and strengthen bedrock safeguards for all communities, public participation is also essential for change. Let’s get involved and oppose the fossil fuel-driven agenda of the Trump administration and show support for clean energy and climate protections. Check out

The Canopy Project

The Canopy Project plants trees to help communities around the world

With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day fast approaching in 2020, Earth Day Network is launching a series of major campaigns to catalyze and channel global collaboration for the health of our planet. Trees for the Earth was the first of these campaigns. Launched in 2016, its goal is to plant, or inspire the planting of, 7.8 billion trees worldwide by 2020—one for every person projected to be on Earth.

Trees for the Earth has already planted or secured commitments to plant over a billion and a half trees. However, we still have a lot of work to do. This is where you come in. Whether it’s through the partnership of your organization, your personal actions within your community, or your ability to contribute financially, we need your help. You can also directly support the implementation of the Trees for the Earth campaign by donating here.

Urge Congress to Limit the President's Power to Start a Nuclear War

 Did you know that President Donald Trumplike every president for decadeshas sole authority to launch a US nuclear attack? And no oneliterally no onehas the authority to stop such a launch. That is unacceptable.
 It's time to change this deeply flawed system. Congress must get more involved, working to reduce nuclear risks and prevent a nuclear catastrophe.
 Here's a simple yet important step you can take. Write to your members of Congress and urge them to cosponsor the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act," which would prohibit the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war from Congress.
 Introduced by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), this bill can serve as a powerful vehicle to stimulate debate in Congress and get many more members of Congress speaking out and demanding changes to a system that puts civilization-ending power in the hands of one person.
 Our current policies increase the risk of nuclear war in very real and dangerous waysthey need to change. The Markey-Lieu bill is a small step in the right direction that allows youand all of usto demand that Congress takes these dangers seriously and works hard to change a system that puts all of our lives at real risk every day.
 Please make your letter personal by adding in your own thoughts and concerns. Every letter makes a difference, but customized letters have the greatest effect!  


Cosponsor Markey-Lieu bill (H.R. 669/S. 200) on nuclear weapons use and authority

 I am deeply disturbed that President Trump, like every president for decades, has the sole authority to launch US nuclear weapons and potentially start a civilization-ending nuclear war--and no one can stop him.
 This is shocking and unacceptable.
 In addition, the US maintains hundreds of nuclear missiles on hair-trigger alert, increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear missile launch, or a deliberate launch in response to a false warning. And Congress is planning to spend a $1 trillion on an entirely new generation of nuclear bombs, missiles, submarines, and bombers.
 These policies and plans increase the risk of nuclear war in very real and dangerous ways--they need to change. I urge you to speak out about nuclear weapons dangers and get involved. As a start, please cosponsor the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017" (H.R. 669/S. 200), which was just introduced by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
 This bill is a step in the right direction by prohibiting the president from launching a nuclear first strike without authorization from Congress.
 Nuclear weapons should never again be used. And no individual should have the power to end civilization as we know it.
 Please cosponsor the Markey-Lieu bill and urge other colleagues in the Congress to do the same. I am counting on you to make reducing nuclear danger a priority. Humanity deserves no less.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

How to convince a skeptic that climate change is real
By Tim Connor
--Adapted from Environmental Defense Fund Solutions, Winter 2017

" … where a person stands on climate change may have more to do with group identity than with factual information. But if approached in a friendly way, most people –and especially family—are willing to listen to other points of view. The trick is to use patience and tolerance to nudge listeners.

Here are five tips to make conversation more productive.

  1. Don’t get angry. Show respect for the other person’s views. The goal is to build trust, not prove a point.

  2. Leave the apocalypse to the movies. We want to take commonsense steps to reduce the risk to this and future generations, especially since those steps will also deliver clean energy jobs, greater social justice and improved public health.

  3. Seek common ground. People of faith might want to know that religious leaders have called for action on climate. Those concerned about the economy might want to know that the US is adding tens of thousands of jobs in clean energy. The refugee crisis could increase if more countries become uninhabitable due to climate change. And animal lovers will be involved with the numerous species going extinct.

  4. Tell your own stories. Studies make convince scientists but the rest of us respond to what’s happening in our neighborhood: is the local beach eroding, is a relative’s business failing because of drought or recent unexpected floods?

  5. Stick to the facts. Like gravity, our warming climate is a scientific fact.

Below are some excellent sources of correct and convincing information about climate change.
Deals with the most common climate change myths.
Presents ten principles of climate communications.
Europe’s leading climate change communicators translate academic knowledge into practical resources.
Explains basic science on why and how climate is changing and describes its impact around the world.
Contains the history and science of the world’s collaborative plan to halt climate change at a safe temperature level.

To contact state or national elected officials