Protecting People from Pollution—and COVID-19

While it may seem unusual for an environmental group to provide medical relief, for Zhang Jun, temporarily pivoting his organization to COVID-19 relief made sense. When the COVID-19 crisis hit China, he contacted the local government in Anhui Province (about 200 miles from the outbreak’s early epicenter in Wuhan) to offer his team’s help. Having … Read more

Our Top 5 of 2019

With the support of activists like you, we are building people power around the Pacific Rim to fight climate change, defend the oceans, promote open and inclusive societies, and ensure a just transition to a clean energy future for all. Here are five accomplishments I’m especially proud of this year. They would not have been … Read more

Local Solutions to Global Plastic Pollution

Yu Jianfeng recently started fighting “white pollution,” as people in China call plastic pollution based on the ubiquity of discarded white plastic bags. “Plastic is a really big problem for rivers,” he said. “It is eaten by fish and other wildlife and its toxic chemicals can move up the food chain. It affects individual species, … Read more

Three Things I’m Grateful for This Year

Earlier this month, I was in a rural area of China, up in a mountain village whose residents—mostly small-plot farmers and proprietors of small tourist hostels—had agreed to participate in a project to try to reduce the plastic waste of the village. The villagers quickly learned that almost all their waste was plastic waste from … Read more

Our Top 7 of 2018

Here are seven accomplishments I’m especially proud of this year. They would not have been possible without your generosity and passion. We won strong international protections for Arctic and Alaskan communities and wildlife. New rules now require ships to avoid fragile marine ecosystems around three islands in the Bering Sea (Nunivak Island, St. Lawrence Island, and King Island)—reducing the … Read more

You Make A Difference

Now, more than ever, we depend on the courage and dedicated activism of grassroots activists like you. As our own government is denying climate change and allowing polluters to pump more toxins into our water, our food, and our bodies, it’s up to you and me and others like us to fight for our future. … Read more

One Man, One Million Voices

Many cultures worship the lone hero who overcomes terrible obstacles in the fight for justice. True leadership, however, empowers others to become strong leaders alongside oneself. For years, Liu Sheng fought hard to protect the Xiang River in his hometown in Hunan Province from toxic pollution. He and his team at Green Hunan, an environmental … Read more

Why I’m Hopeful

It’s a strange time. And not just the political time we live in. I’m writing from Chongqing, China, where the air quality is wonderful and “healthy” (a green color for those of you familiar with the conventions of air quality maps). And I’m reading about my family and friends in California and the San Francisco … Read more

Check Out Grassroots Coal Films

Grassroots activists are at the forefront of the fight for a just transition to clean energy. This fight has only become more urgent with the recent U.N. report by climate scientists calling for immediate and radical reduction of carbon pollution worldwide to avert catastrophic climate change. To shine a spotlight on the brave grassroots heroes … Read more

Our Top 5 of 2017

The most powerful force on Earth is people power. Every day, people around the Pacific Rim who are finding new and creative ways to protect us all from climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, and plastic waste. Here are five wins that you helped us and our partners on the ground achieve in 2017. We truly couldn’t … Read more

Surprisingly, a Lot to Be Thankful for in 2017

I’m sad about—and definitely resisting—the Trump administration’s attack on the environment, social justice, and the rule of law in the United States. But I also have a tremendous amount to be thankful for this year, and I want to share some of my thoughts with you. Because of the support of people like you, Pacific Environment … Read more

Mobilizing Chinese Citizens to Clean Up Pollution

Imagine: A local villager admitting that she accepted a color TV from the owner of a factory that is polluting a nearby river. Environmental officials questioning pollution data presented by a local environmental group, shouting, “Where does your data come from? Why is this the first time we are seeing this?” Similar incidents happen all … Read more

Kicking the Coal Habit Moves to the Mainstream in China

By: Deng Ping and Kristen McDonald Originally published in The Huffington Post What is one sure-fire way to reduce devastating pollution in China, decrease carbon emissions and stabilize the economy? Cool down the country’s overheated coal industry. And in fact, that’s exactly what energy and development regulators are trying to do. Let’s review some recent … Read more

No More Business As Usual in Nanjing

While world leaders were gathered in Paris to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, everyday life came to a standstill in Beijing this week as thick smog blanketed China’s capital. Air pollution had reached such an unhealthy level that the city government issued its first-ever red alert, closing schools, clearing cars off the road, and powering down … Read more

Communities Tell Their Stories at the Paris Climate Talks

With the Paris climate conference only a month away, the world is getting into gear to address many serious global issues on an international scale. During the climate talks, Pacific Environment will be hosting The Cost of Coal, a film festival that highlights the negative environmental, health, and social impacts caused by the world’s ravenous appetite … Read more

Coal Declines Worldwide – Even in China

“Worldwide, for every new coal plant built, two have been shelved or cancelled since 2010…. In China, coal use declined in 2014, signaling the start of a shift towards greater reliance on renewable energy. And, in the U.S., over 77,000 megawatts of coal energy have retired or are slated to retire.” This good news comes … Read more