DC Decriminalizes Marijuana Despite Congress' Attempts to Block the New Law

Now, the nation’s capitol will treat possession of the herb like a parking ticket, with a fee.

When the clock struck midnight on Thursday morning, Washington D.C. joined 17 U.S. states in decriminalizing cannabis. In response to the needlessly harsh penalties and consistently racist enforcement of criminalization, the District of Columbia Council voted on this common sense measure, 10-1, and Mayor Vincent C. Gray signed it into law in March. Thursday marks the end of a 60-day Congressional review period, at which point the law goes into effect. Marijuana possession will now be treated more like a parking infraction than a criminal act within the nation’s capital.

The change is a dramatic one for Washington. Previously, simple cannabis possession could be life-altering: the punishment ranged up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 charge. Now, possession of up to an ounce will carry no criminal charge, and will result in a $25 ticket (or a warning). Public use of cannabis can still be treated as a crime, with harsh penalties attached.  Federal officers, such as the Capitol Police or U.S. Park Police, can still arrest people for marijuana possession under federal law (as opposed to city law)—a detail that exposes the growing rift between federal and local policies on cannabis. However, city police officers carry out the vast majority of marijuana arrests (now marijuana ticketings) in D.C.

The new law is great progress in mitigating the damage done by criminalization. An ACLU study found that African Americans in Washington D.C. were eight times as likely to be arrested as whites, despite comparable usage rates. The same study found that the city spent over $26.5 million annually on enforcing marijuana laws. That’s quite a cost to enforce a policy that profits gangs, has not been shown to reduce drug use or potency, keeps a medicinal plant away from people who could benefit from it, and that, unlike alcohol, has never directly killed someone in recorded history. While Washington’s cannabis laws are still far from perfect, they are vastly improved as a result of this measure going into effect.

Due to D.C.’s unique status as a city overseen directly by the federal government, the law could still be meddled with by the U.S. Congress. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) attempted to do exactly that in June, when he successfully added an amendment to a D.C. appropriations bill, which prevents the reduction of any criminal penalties associated with marijuana within the District. However, this provision has not yet become law, and due to a number of political hurdles in its path, it may never do so. The tortured logic of criminalization that serves to protect entrenched industries more than advance good policy is still the status quo in too much of the U.S. Congress, which is woefully behind the American public on this issue.

Washington D.C.’s move to decriminalization will mean that millions of dollars in law enforcement and incarceration can be diverted toward more useful, humane causes. People who would have had their careers derailed by a felony charge for pot will avoid that pointless, but deeply harmful pitfall. While the federal government remains behind the times, the city that houses it is moving forward.

marijuana weed decriminalization District of Columbia

Food Labelled 'Organic' Is No Guarantee of Safety—Shocking Levels of Heavy Metals in Imported Food Highlight the Danger

We have a lot to learn.

Heavy metal pollution makes no distinction between how crops are grown. Irrespective of whether farming practices are organic or conventional practices are used, if the likes of cadmium, arsenic, lead, nickel and mercury are in the soil, water or air they can contaminate food and poison the people who consume it. With enough exposure, heavy metals can build up in the body, causing chronic problems in the skin, intestine, nervous system, kidneys, liver, and brain. Some heavy metals occur naturally in soil, but rarely at toxic levels, while human activities like mining, manufacturing and the use of synthetic materials like paint, and even some agricultural chemicals, can release heavy metals into the air and water, and from there they find their way to the soil. And once in the soil, heavy metals are virtually impossible to remove.

China acknowledged last April that a staggering one-fifth of its arable land is seriously polluted with heavy metals, thanks to decades of aggressive industrial development. China’s Environmental Protection Ministry looked at data sampled between 2006 and 2013 and described the situation as “not optimistic.” The most commonly found heavy metals were cadmium, nickel and arsenic. The revelation came after months of speculation about the report, which at one point was not going to be released as the results were considered to be a “State Secret.”

Cadmium, one of the metals found in high concentrations in Chinese soil, is one of the most toxic heavy metal pollutants. It moves through soil layers with ease, and is taken up by a variety of plants, including leafy vegetables, root crops, cereals and grains. Last year it was discovered that nearly half of the rice for sale in the southern China city of Guangzhou was tainted with cadmium, which caused a major uproar.

Nickel and arsenic, the other two pollutants found in greatest amounts, aren’t so great either.

In the U.S., arsenic in apple juice has been on the popular radar since September 2011, when Mehmet Oz reported high arsenic levels in multiple samples of apple juice that were independently tested for his television show. More than half of the apple juice consumed in the U.S. comes from China.

Oz was taken to the woodshed for being alarmist by a number of experts and authorities, including the FDA, which disputed the results with its own data. ABC News’ senior health medical editor, Richard Besser, called Oz’s claims “extremely irresponsible,” comparing it to yelling fire in a crowded theater.

A few weeks later, FDA admitted it had withheld many test results which did, in fact, support Oz’s claim. Besser apologizedto Oz on national television, and soon after the FDA collected about 90 retail samples of apple juice for a new round of analysis. According to FDA documents now available, the levels reported by Oz are in fact consistent with those detected by the agency in samples from China and Turkey.

Last year the agency set a limit, also known as an “action level,” on arsenic in juice, at 10 parts per billion, the same level that’s enforced in drinking water. Currently, FDA has import alerts set for four firms, two each in China and Turkey. The products of these companies, while regularly tested for arsenic because of previous violations of the action level, continue to be imported. 

While China is not the only polluted region from which we import food, with a combination of aggressive industrial development and legendarily lax enforcement, it’s become a poster child for scary food imports. But any region with rapid industrial development and suspect environmental regulations could be a candidate for producing food contaminated with heavy metals.

While we don’t import a huge amount of food from China overall, we do consume large amounts of certain things in addition to apple juice, like garlic and farmed seafood—including 80 percent of the tilapia we eat. Much of China’s surface water, including water used for aquaculture, is polluted, not only with industrial toxins but also with agricultural fertilizers, which fuel the growth of algae. Algae can accumulate heavy metals, as will the fish that eat it.

“Foods offered for import into the U.S. are required to meet the same U.S. food safety standards as domestic products,” explained FDA spokesperson Lauren Sucher, via email. “If the FDA encounters information that indicates that a particular product could pose a public health concern, the FDA can target that product for increased testing.”

When asked if the revelation that 20 percent of China’s farmland is polluted with heavy metals would spur increased testing on Chinese imports, Sucher replied, “The FDA doesn’t announce its actions in advance. If our surveillance sampling indicated a problem with a particular commodity, the agency would take steps to protect the public.”

Wary consumers who aren’t interested in waiting for FDA to ramp up its testing of Chinese food imports can take their own measures to minimize the possibility of contamination. Local, as in American-grown produce, will trump labels such as “organic,” if the food in question was grown in a potentially polluted place.

In fact, if it’s grown in a polluted place, organic produce could contain more heavy metals than conventionally grown food. Organic agriculture practices include the use of manure, which could add heavy metals to the soil if the cattle were eating contaminated feed, such as hay grown in a contaminated field, according to Michael Schmitt, a soil scientist at the University of Minnesota. “Once you put metals in a field,” he said, “they don’t go away.”

Thus, organic food from a polluted area of China could carry significantly more heavy metals than nonorganic food from the U.S. This puts a new spin on the idea of eating locally. In this case it could mean from anywhere in this vast continent—Canada and Mexico don’t seem to have heavy metal problems. But in a way, the reasons are similar to why many people prefer buying from the local farm stand: you have more information about how something is grown. 

Not all food is required by law to be labeled with a country of origin. Foods purchased abroad and processed in the U.S., for example, are exempt, as are foods containing multiple ingredients. The safest way to confirm a food item didn’t come from China is to look for labels that announce where it is from. If no information is given, avoid it.

Dietary supplements can pose even more of a risk of heavy metal contamination than food because they are so highly concentrated. If the materials from which they are made are contaminated, the contaminants will be concentrated. In 2010 the New York Times reported that many supplement manufacturers have set up shop in China in recent years, and that Chinese supplement factories are notoriously under-regulated.

FDA does not test supplements. Rather, it sets up guidelines and leaves the testing to the manufacturers. This self-policing is notoriously inadequate. According to testimony given to a congressional committee by Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com, about one in four supplements his lab tested had issues. The two most common problems were lack of the appropriate quantities of the ingredients indicated on the label, and presence of excessive heavy metals.

Michael Pollan and others have advised keeping your diet simple, using locally grown, minimally processed food, and getting most of your nutrition from whole plants rather than supplements. Pollan may not have been thinking about heavy metals when he penned that guidance, but given what we are learning today, it makes his advice all the more worth following.

metal pollution nickel arsenic rice

Air Conditioning Raising Nighttime Temperatures in the U.S.

Waste heat from air conditioners has a measurable effect on nighttime temperatures in American cities.
Researchers in the US have identified a way in which city-dwellers are inadvertently stoking up the heat of the night – by installing air conditioners.

Because the cities are getting hotter as the climate changes, residents are increasingly investing in air conditioning systems − which discharge heat from offices and apartment blocks straight into the city air. And the vicious circle effect is that cities get still warmer, making air conditioning all the more attractive to residents.

According to scientists at Arizona State University, the air conditioning system is now having a measurable effect. During the days, the systems emit waste heat, but because the days are hot anyway, the difference is negligible. At night, heat from air conditioning systems now raises some urban temperatures by more than 1C, they report in the  Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres.

The team focused on the role of air conditioning systems in the metropolitan area of the city of Phoenix, which is in the Sonora desert in Arizona, and conditions in the summertime are harsh there anyway.

But, worldwide, normally warm countries are experiencing increasing extremes of heat, and conditions in cities have on occasion become lethal.

To cap this, cities are inevitably hotspots – and it’s not just because of global warming. The concentration of traffic, commuter systems, street and indoor lighting, central heating, light industry, tarmac, tiles, bricks, building activity and millions of people can raise temperatures as much as 5C above the surrounding countryside.

At present, 87% of US households have air conditioning, and the US – which is not one of the warmer nations – uses more electricity to keep cool than all the other countries of the world combined. To keep the people of Phoenix cool during periods of extreme heat, air conditioning systems can consume more than half of total electricity needs, which puts a strain on power grids.

The Arizona scientists simulated a 10-day period of unusually hot weather between 10 July and 19 July, 2009, and used computer models and detailed readings from weather records to analyze the effect of air conditioning systems on local temperatures. Even though the biggest demand for air conditioning was in the daytime, they found the biggest difference was always at night.

“Our work demonstrates 1C degree local heating of urban atmospheres in hot and dry cities due to air conditioning use at night time,” said Francisco Salamanca, the report’s lead author. “This increase in outside air temperature in turn results in additional demands for air conditioning.

“Sustainable development and optimization of electricity consumption would require turning wasted heat from air conditioning into useful energy, which can be used inside houses for various purposes − including, for example, water heaters.”

Such actions would reduce local air temperatures: in Phoenix alone, they could directly save more than 1200 Megawatt hours of electricity per day.

In 2012, the US experienced a set of record-breaking temperatures, and the US Department of Energy has warned that days of extreme heat are expected to become more frequent and more intense because of climate change.

But this seems already to be a pattern worldwide, according to recent analyses of climate patterns. And the demand for air conditioning is expected to accelerate in India, China and other emerging economies.

air conditioning climate change cities energy waste heat

Even in isolated, pristine Tasmania, pressure to allow GMO farming

Thousands of Black Angus bulls snort steam gently into the frigid early morning air at Tasmania’s largest cattle feedlot as they jostle for space at a long grain trough.

The pitch black cattle, blending into their muddy surroundings and stretching as far as the eye can see, are being fattened up for the Japanese market where marbled Angus beef is in high demand.

These bulls at the feedlot owned by Japan’s Aeon Co Ltd book an even higher premium, thanks to Tasmania’s status as the only Australian state that bans genetically modified food crops and animal feed.

That moratorium has made Tasmania - an island the size of Ireland separated from Australia’s mainland by 250 km (150 miles) of Bass Strait waters - a model of high-end, value-added agriculture production.

Tasmania’s isolation and wilderness once made it a dumping ground for the British Empire’s convicts. But these same qualities, and a small population of just over half a million people, make the island one of the cleanest places on earth.

Now, with fewer and fewer places in the world free from genetically modified farming and the innovations it brings, the pristine environment is under threat.

The state government says it is planning legislation to extend the ban on genetically modified farming when it expires later this year. But Tasmania’s powerful poppy industry, the world’s largest supplier of pharmaceutical grade opiates for painkillers, is strongly lobbying for the moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMO) to be lifted.

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Tasmanian Alkaloids, GlaxoSmithKline and Australia’s privately-held TPI Enterprises, who share a A$120 million ($113 million) oligopoly, see a major threat looming as Victoria state on the mainland recently indicated it wanted to allow production of genetically modified poppies.

That throws open the prospect of tough competition and Tasmanian poppy farms losing out on cost-savings just as global demand for painkillers surges.

"There is a threat," said Tasmanian Alkaloids field operator Rick Rockliff, whose factory in the state’s northwest processes around 80 percent of the world’s thebaine poppies, the main ingredient in slow-release pain medication. "I would hope our government wouldn’t sit on their hands and let that happen."

ASIAN AMBITIONS

The road that Tasmania chooses will be critical as Australia seeks to fulfill lofty ambitions to become a “food bowl” for a rapidly growing middle-class in Asia.

Already the world’s third largest exporter of beef and the No.4 wheat exporter, Australia is eyeing agriculture as a key economic driver as a decade-long mining investment boom that brought the country riches wanes.

But critics warn that it is in danger of failing at the farm gate due to the country’s harsh, drought-prone climate and a lack of investment in agricultural innovation.

In Tasmania, the accent is on high-value crops and cattle for export.

The state’s niche producers are supplying everything from off-season wasabi and lavender teddy bears to fresh salmon and live abalone and see this as the future, rather than low value, bulk commodities. Its wine industry is thriving as climate change pressures major producers to move from traditional grape-growing regions on the mainland to Tasmania’s cooler climes.

These products attract a premium because of the GMO ban - the state’s honey brings in prices of at least 40 percent more than mainland honey - according to the Safe Food Foundation.

Tasmania Feedlot Pty Ltd in Powranna is home to between 6,000 and 11,000 Angus cattle all year round. The animals are beefed up over a period of five to six months before large cuts are shipped frozen to Japan.

"They’re looking for a very safe product, and a very consistent product," said the feedlot’s Managing Director Andrew Thompson of the company’s Japanese buyers.

"GM is one of the main factors, along with no use of hormone growth promotants," he added. "We’ve got this great reputation of being safe and clean and I think we’ve got to enhance that into the future."

CONTAMINATION FEARS

The use of GMOs was outlawed in Tasmania more than a decade ago, after genetically altered canola escaped from crops at secret trials around the state.

The state government says it plans to introduce legislation later this year to extend the ban, which expires in November. But it has left the door open a crack, retaining exemptions for scientific trials of GM crops and refusing to rule out lifting the ban in the future.

That’s left Tasmania’s organic farmers nervously eyeing a recent landmark court case in Western Australia. Farmer Steve Marsh unsuccessfully sued his neighbor, blaming him for losing his licence as an organic grower after Monsanto GMO canola seed heads blew on to his property.

Marsh is appealing the ruling, a process that could take up to a year to be finalised. Tasmania’s fear of contamination is reflected in its strict food importation rules. Visitors arriving from the mainland are required to dispose of any foodstuffs before leaving the airport.

The island’s isolation and its small population were the main reasons the federal government granted an exclusive licence to Tasmania to grow opium poppies for legal commercial production half a century ago.

The arrangement has proved a boon for growers, with U.N. figures showing demand for pain relief more than tripled between 1993 and 2012 to the equivalent of 14 billion doses. Demand is expected to rise further in coming decades as the middle-class, particularly in Asia, grows.

POPPY DEMAND

But Tasmania’s efforts to secure a further five-year ban on other states growing poppies for commercial production have fallen on deaf ears as the federal government considers Victoria’s bid.

Tasmania’s poppy farmers say expanding production across Australia will leave them at a handicap if the GMO ban in the state remains.

"It will make it more attractive to grow in Victoria," said Tasmanian Alkaloids’ Rockliff. His company developed a trial GMO poppy several years ago that was unaffected by a common herbicide used to kill weeds, a development that would cut growers’ costs and time in the field if able to be used commercially.

"From that perspective, GMO is really interesting and it will eventually happen in Tasmania," he said.

Many others are fervently hoping that Rockliff is wrong.

"I think the key is that Tasmania will never have the scale to produce enormous crops of grain or fruit for example, so why push for advantages that only work for scale?," said Tasmania Feedlot’s Thompson. "Perhaps we’re better to push for advantages that work for our particular image, of being grown in this island state and being clean and green and safe."

Tasmania GMO's GMO crops UK -_-

nitanahkohe:

Pregnant Nunavut mom worried about dump smoke toxins
As the Iqaluit dump fire continues to belch out smoke and dust, one pregnant mother says she’s had enough. Julie Alivaktuk, who is expecting her first born within the next 10 days, is worried about the damaging effects that the chemical-filled dump fire smoke might have on her newborn. “I don’t want my baby to breathe that for its first breath of life,” Alivaktuk said.
On July 3, Alivaktuk donned a surgical mask and posed in front of the smouldering dump’s ground zero area with a message on her hand written in syllabics. “Taima,” the message reads. “Stop. Enough,” Alivaktuk said. The message is simple, Alivaktuk said: the city needs to put the fire out. “We feel strongly about it. We want people to know what’s going on. And I think other people feel the same way. So we feel we’ve given a voice to other people.”
The smoke may have an impact on people with heart or lung disease, as well as the elderly, young people, and pregnant woman, a PSA from local government said. It warned that “vulnerable” people should stay indoors when the smoke blows into town. Although it’s unknown exactly what chemicals are in the dump fire smoke, a landfill fire expert Dr. Tony Sperling said he reckons there are “nasties” contained therein. Others say the smoke could contain cancerous chemicals such as furans and dioxins.

nitanahkohe:

Pregnant Nunavut mom worried about dump smoke toxins

As the Iqaluit dump fire continues to belch out smoke and dust, one pregnant mother says she’s had enough. Julie Alivaktuk, who is expecting her first born within the next 10 days, is worried about the damaging effects that the chemical-filled dump fire smoke might have on her newborn. “I don’t want my baby to breathe that for its first breath of life,” Alivaktuk said.

On July 3, Alivaktuk donned a surgical mask and posed in front of the smouldering dump’s ground zero area with a message on her hand written in syllabics. “Taima,” the message reads. “Stop. Enough,” Alivaktuk said. The message is simple, Alivaktuk said: the city needs to put the fire out. “We feel strongly about it. We want people to know what’s going on. And I think other people feel the same way. So we feel we’ve given a voice to other people.”

The smoke may have an impact on people with heart or lung disease, as well as the elderly, young people, and pregnant woman, a PSA from local government said. It warned that “vulnerable” people should stay indoors when the smoke blows into town. Although it’s unknown exactly what chemicals are in the dump fire smoke, a landfill fire expert Dr. Tony Sperling said he reckons there are “nasties” contained therein. Others say the smoke could contain cancerous chemicals such as furans and dioxins.

(via angrywocunited)

"Human beings don't have a right to water."

stfueverything:

Across the globe, Nestlé is pushing to privatize and control public water resources.

Nestlé’s Chairman of the Board, Peter Brabeck, has explained his philosophy with “The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution.”

Since that quote has gotten widespread attention, Brabeck has backtracked, but his company has not. Around the world, Nestlé is bullying communities into giving up control of their water. It’s time we took a stand for public water sources.

Tell Nestlé that we have a right to water. Stop locking up our resources!

At the World Water Forum in 2000, Nestlé successfully lobbied to stop water from being declared a universal right — declaring open hunting season on our local water resources by the multinational corporations looking to control them. For Nestlé, this means billions of dollars in profits. For us, it means paying up to 2,000 percent more for drinking water because it comes from a plastic bottle.

Now, in countries around the world, Nestlé is promoting bottled water as a status symbol. As it pumps out fresh water at high volume, water tables lower and local wells become degraded. Safe water becomes a privilege only affordable for the wealthy.

In our story, clean water is a resource that should be available to all. It should be something we look after for the public good, to keep safe for generations, not something we pump out by billions of gallons to fuel short-term private profits. Nestlé thinks our opinion is “extreme”, but we have to make a stand for public resources. Please join us today in telling Nestlé that it’s not “extreme” to treat water like a public right.

Tell Nestlé to start treating water like a public right, not a source for private profits!

 
 
 

 
Sources and further reading:
Nestlé: The Global Search for Liquid Gold, Urban Times, June 11th, 2013
Bottled Water Costs 2000 Times As Much As Tap Water, Business Insider, July 12th, 2013
Peter Brabeck discussion his philosophy about water rights

(via the-wistful-collectivist)

Rolling Coal: Conservatives modify trucks to spew toxic black smoke as a way to vent anti-EPA/anti-Obama animus

justinspoliticalcorner:

Conservatives who detest President Barack Obama and EPA clean air regulations are modifying their vehicles to purposefully spew black smoke into the atmosphere.

So-called “coal rollers” install smoke stacks and special equipment in their diesel trucks that makes the engine think that it needs more fuel, resulting in plumes of black smoke.

According to Slate’s Dave Weigel, the phenomenon is not new, but it is becoming more popular among conservatives who want to protest the president and his efforts to clean up the environment.

“I run into a lot of people that really don’t like Obama at all,” a smoke stack seller in Wisconsin told Weigel. “If he’s into the environment, if he’s into this or that, we’re not. I hear a lot of that.”

“To get a single stack on my truck—that’s my way of giving them the finger,” he added. “You want clean air and a tiny carbon footprint? Well, screw you.”

In June, Vocativ reported on the trend of “coal rollers” using their toxic exhaust as revenge against “nature nuffies” who drive environmentally friendly cars, like the Toyota Prius.

“The feeling around here is that everyone who drives a small car is a liberal,” a South Carolina truck owner named Ryan explained. “I rolled coal on a Prius once just because they were tailing me.”

“It’s bad for the environment. That’s definitely true,” he admitted. “And some of the kids that have diesel trucks can look like tools. And you can cause a wreck, but everything else about it is pretty good.”

The Clean Air Task Force estimates that pollutants from diesel vehicles “lead to 21,000 premature deaths each year and create a cancer risk that is seven times greater than the combined risk of all 181 other air toxics tracked by the EPA.”

This is more proof that the right wing losers will do anything under the sun to pollute the air with rolling coal in the name of irritating the hell out of Obama/liberals/progressives/EPA and hybrid car drivers.

h/t: David Edwards at The Raw Story

Loggers burned Amazon tribe girl alive to force Awá tribe off of their land

princesswhatevr:

wifigirl2080:

thepeoplesrecord:

February 19, 2013

Loggers in Brazil captured an eight-year-old girl from one of the Amazon’s last uncontacted tribes and burned her alive as part of a campaign to force the indigenous population from its land, reports claimed on Tuesday night.

The child was said to have wandered away from…

White ppl disgust me

Stop white people 2k14

(Source: thepeoplesrecord)

death cw murder cw

profkew:

Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney

Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. Bridging the fields of environmental history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and geography, Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the “great outdoors” and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces.
Drawing on a variety of sources from film, literature, and popular culture, and analyzing different historical moments, including the establishment of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Finney reveals the perceived and real ways in which nature and the environment are racialized in America. Looking toward the future, she also highlights the work of African Americans who are opening doors to greater participation in environmental and conservation concerns.

profkew:

Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney

Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. Bridging the fields of environmental history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and geography, Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the “great outdoors” and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces.

Drawing on a variety of sources from film, literature, and popular culture, and analyzing different historical moments, including the establishment of the Wilderness Act in 1964 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Finney reveals the perceived and real ways in which nature and the environment are racialized in America. Looking toward the future, she also highlights the work of African Americans who are opening doors to greater participation in environmental and conservation concerns.