Author: Journal Editor Page 1 of 11

Will Louisiana v. EPA change environmental justice?

Will Louisiana v. EPA change environmental justice?

By: Madeline Cintron

Fresh air and blue sky are a stark contrast to the heavy smog and toxic pollutants that people across the United States regularly dealt with before the Clean Air Act (CAA).[1] Environmental statutes like the CAA help create healthier spaces across the United States.[2] However, even with environmental statutes and regulations, there are people across the country who are surrounded by dirty air and/or are heavily impacted by other forms of pollutants.[3] From the beginning, environmental protection has not been applied equally across the United States.[4] Historically, “minority, and low income populations [have] bear[ed] a higher environmental risk burden than the general population.”[5]

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Nuclear Energy Should Help Pave the Way for a Renewable Energy Future

Nuclear Energy Should Help Pave the Way for a Renewable Energy Future

By: Jack Sundermann

Demand for electricity varies greatly from day to day or even hour to hour.[1] The amount of electricity consumed on a hot summer day can be multiple times greater than the amount consumed at night on a cool summer evening.[2] Baseload plants provide the minimum amount of power that is always in demand.[3] Traditionally, baseload demand has been met by fossil fuel plants that burn coal or natural gas.[4] Modern nuclear power plants can provide a carbon-free alternative to coal or natural gas fired baseload plants.[5]

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California’s Coastline: to Sink or to Save?

California’s Coastline: To Sink or To Save?

By: Katelyn Holcomb

Early California dreamers built and established themselves along a coastline that is inherently meant to change, but as sea levels rise, the Pacific Ocean engulfs California’s famous beaches and coastline. [1] With every swell, with every storm, and with every passing tide, the coastline erodes; and everything built on that earth—the Pacific Coast Highway, seaside communities, the rail line to San Diego—has nowhere to go.[2] One foot of sea level rise pushes the shoreline inland as much as the length of a football field, yet Californians insist on residing on the edge of the water.[3] Californians play a “game of chicken” with the Pacific Ocean, hoping that it will yield and allow for picture-perfect life along the coast to continue. However, the ocean persistently advances, eating the coastline we have come to admire and love.

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COP28 Ends in Pledge to Transition Away from Fossil Fuels

COP28 Ends in Pledge to Transition Away from Fossil Fuels:

By: Matthew Warren

The 28th annual Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded in Dubai after running from November 30 to December 12, 2023.[1] While initially drawing criticism for being hosted by the United Arab Emirates’ national oil company president, Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, the conference proved fruitful as the 198 member state parties agreed for the first time to transition away from coal, oil, and natural gas.[2]

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California Becomes the First State with Direct Potable Reuse Regulations

California Becomes the First State with Direct Potable Reuse Regulations

By: Victor Chahin

The American Southwest has recently encountered its driest periods in 1,200 years.[1] California, one of the most populous yet driest states in the United States, continuously grapples with exacerbated drought conditions.[2] Over the past decade, the Golden State has witnessed an increase in both the frequency and severity of dry periods in comparison to wet ones, significantly impacting the state’s water supply and reserves.[3]

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A New High Seas Treaty: What it Could Mean for the Future of the Oceans

A New High Seas Treaty: What it Could Mean for the Future of the Oceans

By: Mira Rhodes

The ocean makes up about 70% of the earth’s surface.[1] Because these waters flow outside national boundaries, they have always been unregulated and thus unprotected from human-created environmental threats.[2] However, in early March of 2023, United Nations (U.N.) member states agreed upon a High Seas Treaty aimed at protecting and conserving biodiversity in international waters.[3] This treaty is known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) treaty.[4] The treaty was formally adopted by the U.N. in June of 2023[5] and signed by the United States on September 20, 2023.[6]

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Ditch Your Lawn

Ditch your lawn

By: Madeline Cintron

Across the country, acres of land are being used to grow one thing—turfgrass. [1] Turfgrass used in many lawns is nonnative, and it usually takes up the entire lawn, creating a monoculture environment.[2] While a grassy lawn may be better than pavement, the carbon cost of maintaining that lawn likely outweighs the carbon benefit.[3] Grassy lawns need extra maintenance and act as a dead space for pollinators and other native wildlife.[4] One yard may seem like a small thing, but small steps taken by masses of people can influence climate change.[5]

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States Paving the Way for a Bright Future for Residential Solar

States Paving the Way for a Bright Future for Residential Solar

By: Jack Sundermann

When deciding whether to install solar energy systems into their homes, most Americans heavily consider overall cost and payback period on their investment. Despite advances in technology over the past decade, residential solar systems represent a significant investment with an average gross cost of $20,650.[1] Prices for similarly sized solar energy systems can vary wildly from state to state.[2] Interestingly, this is often less to do with average sunlight and more to do with the incentives and policies enacted by local governments.

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Composting: How a Relic from Our Past could Become a Key to Our Future

Composting: How a Relic from our Past Could Become a Key to our Future

By: Davey Komisar

Chicago is often thought of as the de facto capital of the Midwest. Towering over the shores of Lake Michigan, the metropolis boasts a bustling restaurant scene, passionate sports fandoms, and a rich history of times gone by. Recently, the people of Chicago are seen as champions of environmental policy reform. [1] This week, to bolster the city’s composting levels, Chicago launched a citywide food drop-off initiative, marking the first of its kind in the city’s long history. [2]

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Florida’s Perfect Hot Tub: The Intersection of Law and Climate Change

By: Katelyn Holcomb

Florida’s Perfect Hot Tub: The Intersection of Law and Climate Change 

Florida’s coastline is celebrated for its pristine beaches, refreshing ocean water, and a diverse ecosystem of sea life. However, in July of 2023, Florida made the news in much graver circumstances.

Florida’s water temperatures usually average around 88 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.[1] However, this July, scientists recorded temperatures at 101.1 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas like Manatee Bay near Everglades National Park.[2] According to Hot Spring Spas, the ideal temperature for a hot tub measures around 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit—making Florida’s ocean water the perfect jacuzzi.[3] This unprecedented spike in ocean temperature has climate and ocean scientists alarmed, and you should be, too.

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