This prof is shedding light on energy injustice — and how to fix it

JPB Fellow Tony Reames grew up in rural South Carolina in a “quintessential environmental-justice community,” as he puts it. After the textile industry collapsed in the 1990s, the region was saddled with both the state’s largest landfill and its largest maximum-security prison. It wasn’t until college that Reames, now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, realized what had been going on in his own hometown — specifically, the…

Study Links Gas Flares to Preterm Births, With Hispanic Women at High Risk

Expectant mothers who lived near flaring sites had higher odds of giving birth prematurely than those who did not, researchers found. The adverse outcomes fell entirely on Hispanic women. Across the United States, gas flares light the night skies over oil and gas fields — visible symbols of the country’s energy boom. They also emit greenhouse gases, making them symbols of climate change that many environmental groups would like to…

Transforming Public Safety and Urban Infrastructure to Mitigate Climate and Public Health Disasters

As the United States and countries around the world move through a summer of social distancing and civil unrest in the wake of a global pandemic and the death of George Floyd and other Black women and men that have fallen at the hands of police violence, activists have been calling for the “defunding of the police.” According to a New York Times opinion editorial written by organizer Mariame Kaba,…

New Publication: Flaring from Unconventional Oil and Gas Development and Birth Outcomes in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas

Background: Prior studies suggest exposure to oil and gas development (OGD) adversely affects birth outcomes, but no studies have examined flaring—the open combustion of natural gas—from OGD. Objectives: We investigated whether residential proximity to flaring from OGD was associated with shorter gestation and reduced fetal growth in the Eagle Ford Shale of south Texas. Results: Exposure to a high number of nightly flare events was associated with a 50% higher…

Is coronavirus hiding in your sewage system?

By JPB Fellow Marccus D. Hendrix Past studies in public health have demonstrated an association between disease and poor sanitation, such as illnesses from exposure to sewage-laden waters. Modern sanitary infrastructures were an innovation that transformed how we mitigate waterborne risks. However, failure to maintain and rehabilitate these systems over the years, as well as changing environmental conditions, have created some pre-modern circumstances in cities across the world including Baltimore,…

Lara Cushing

Assistant Professor Department of Environmental Health Science, University of California, Los Angeles Fellowship Project: From the city to the cell: neighborhood determinants of adverse birth outcomes Lara Cushing has expertise in environmental health disparities, spatial data analysis, climate change, and epidemiology. Lara’s research focuses on social inequalities in exposure to environmental hazards, and race and class determinants of environmental health disparities. Her work has investigated questions of environmental justice in…

How Shelter-In-Place Orders Affected Atlanta’s Air Pollution

In Atlanta, it’s getting hot and traffic is coming back, which means air quality will go downhill. Still, if it seemed like this spring the air was better while so many people were sheltering in place, that’s because it was, at least in some respects. In March, people started staying home because of the coronavirus. In April, it became mandatory statewide. And that had a dramatic effect on traffic. On…

Central Park: Black Bodies Green Spaces, White Minds

By JPB Fellow Jennifer D. Roberts The historical and contemporary use of white privilege for the exclusion of black bodies from green spaces in the United States Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture, may not have envisioned black bodies, like Christian Cooper, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or Ahmaud Arbery, enjoying a leisure day in New York City’s bucolic Central Park when he designed the space in 1857 to…

Indigenous populations: left behind in the COVID-19 response

JPB Fellow Annie Belcourt described Native American populations in the USA as having lives that are “challenging and short”. Globally, across countries and populations, Indigenous peoples face a greater burden of disease than non-Indigenous peoples, including cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, and have higher infant and maternal mortality and lower life expectancy. Their health is impacted by epigenetic stressors of generational oppression and violence, including disproportionate numbers…

New Publication: Park spaces and the human experience.

As a strategy for combating physical inactivity, obesity, and other health conditions, the apperception of greenspace and importance of human-nature relationship have increased in recent decades. With this raised awareness in greenspace, the development of park auditing tools has been positioned primarily in the material conditions (e.g., physical environmental conditions) of parks. An examination of existing park auditing tools has shown that by focusing on particular material conditions, built environment…