One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution.
For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river.
The story is told in Dan Fagin's book, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation - winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
Alan Weisman is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best seller The World Without Us. In his new book, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? the award-winning journalist traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth--and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth?
A campaign called Bring Your Own Bag Saratoga, a project from the group Sustainable Saratoga, is reaching out to city government, businesses and members of the public to decrease the use of plastic shopping bags.
The group is hoping to reduce pollution and encourage city residents to shop with reusable bags. Though plastic shopping bags are recyclable, the group claims less than five percent of bags are recycled, and most can only be recycled into other products once. If released into the environment, plastic bags cause harm to birds and marine animals.
Environmental leader and professor of law at Vermont Law School, Gus Speth, will present his new book, America the Possible, when he speaks tonight in Great Barrington about the future of the United States economy, a system having reached an impasse, evidenced in the headline-making extreme weather patterns, the loss of America's middle-class, and exploding ecological catastrophes.
As more communities in the Commonwealth are placing bans on things like plastic bags and Styrofoam containers, some are calling for more action, while others say it’s creating more headaches. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…
Targeting what they claim are the largest air polluters in Massachusetts, activists announced a campaign today to shut down coal burning power plants. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
Close to 50 environmental, public health, faith based and community groups make up a new state-wide coalition called “ Coal Free Massachusetts” The activists staged coordinated events Wednesday in the three communities where large coal-burning power plants still operate to call for each to be shut down by the end of the decade.