Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Robert Bullard Quiz

Robert Bullard. Click for photo credit.
It's time again for an On the Brink Quiz! Today's quiz tests your knowledge about Robert Bullard who is considered the Father of Environmental Justice. The answers will be in the comments section of the blog. Links to previous On the Brink Quizzes follow the questions.

1. Perhaps Robert Bullard's most famous book is called Dumping in __________ which focuses on the disproportionate siting of waste sites in neighborhoods of color.

2. Bullard received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in what field?

3. Robert Bullard started his extensive work on environmental racism in this Texas city where, at the time, all of the city owned landfills were in black neighborhoods?

4. Bullard, along with other colleagues, was responsible for urging the EPA to form what important office?

5. The Sierra Club gave Bullard their highest award in 2013. What is the name of this award?

6. Bullard noted after this important disastrous environmental event that the aftermath demonstrated not incompetence, but institutional racism at many levels of society. Name the event.

7. Robert Bullard was born and raised in which state?

8. Bullard served in which branch of the military?

9. One of the themes of Bullard's research is the siting not only of landfills but other LULUs in minority and/or poor neighborhoods. What is a LULU?

10. According to Bullard, what is the number one environmental justice issue facing our society?


James Lovelock Quiz
Gifford Pinchot Quiz

Monday, February 27, 2017

Circumnavigating Long Island Part 5: Fort Totten to Whitestone

To many, Long Island has a very strong sense of place. I seek to highlight the distinct regional character of the place by posting photos taken while walking its circumference starting from my home in Port Washington, heading west toward Brooklyn along the shore, back around to the southern shores to Montauk and Orient, and then back across the north shore to Port Washington. Since I have a day job and do not relish suburban and urban camping, I break these walks into pieces. Today's post focuses on eastern Queens along the Long Island Sound near where it turns into the East River from historic Fort Totten to Whitestone. For each segment, I stay on public roads that get as close to the shore as possible. I don't go on dead ends and I avoid dangerous stretches where walking is problematic due to traffic. Hopefully, the series of photo essays provides insight into the geography of this region at this particular point in time. Previous segments are linked at the bottom of this post.

The Throgs Neck Bridge near Fort Totten.

Part of the connected walking trail that starts at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and the Cross Island Expressway. It is one of the longest stretches of public access along the Long Island Sound on Long Island.

Another view of the Throgs Neck Bridge that extends from Queens to the Bronx.

A hockey rink along the trail.
A Queens Greenway sign.



Approaching the Throgs Neck Bridge approach.
Under the Throgs Neck.

A small beach in Little Bay Park.


The Throgs Neck Bridge from a residential neighborhood to the west.



Condos and apartments in Cryders Point.

Another view of Cryders Point condos/apartments.

There is a great deal of high-end unique housing in this area of Queens...

...largely due to the views.

A typical street view.

Some large homes in disarray are next to newer homes...

...and there is a great deal of redevelopment with McMansions replacing smaller homes.

Even with all of the redevelopment, there is quite a great deal of diversity of housing type such as this set of row houses...

...and this set of condos.

There is also quite a great deal of industrial land use with some brownfield redevelopment.

There is also some commercial space present, but it is limited along the coast.

A typical housing development near commercial/industrial zones.

While away from commercial/industrial zones, the housing can be rather spectacular in terms of style and size. 

A view toward the Bronx from an industrial section.

While the coastline mainly contains housing, there are some storage/transportation facilities...

...and some marinas and traditional coastal uses...

...but there is a demand for housing near the water.

One large home being built near the coast.

A very large home is under construction near a more modest home. These types of redevelopments are common in the region with new large homes replacing smaller ones.

The vistas near the Whitestone Bridge draw people to this part of Queens.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Dakota Access Pipeline Teaching Resources

The Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp. Click for photo credit.
In November and December last year I wrote a seven-part series on the Dakota Access Pipeline that provided a geographic and historic review of the controversy. The series has proven to be one of the most popular in On the Brink history. However, I never put them together on a single page for easy access. I am remedying this problem today by providing a list of the seven posts with a brief summary about each one. Links for further reading are embedded in each post. Note that at the conclusion of each of the essays are questions that require quantitative, qualitative, analysis, and synthesis responses. They can be used for classroom discussion or homework. There is no doubt in my mind that the Dakota Access Pipeline issue will be taught for the next few decades in environmental science and policy courses. Hopefully the resources below will be useful.

Part 1. North Dakota. This post reviews the geography of North Dakota. It is a place few have visited and this essay reviews the fundamental geography of the state in order to better understand the setting.

Part 2. Boom! Fracking and the Bakken Shale. This post reviews fracking technology and the geology of the source of natural gas and oil in the region, the Bakken Shale.

Part 3. The Pipeline Project. This section of the series summarizes pipelines in the U.S., pipeline technology, and the Dakota Access Pipeline project.

Part 4. The Heart of the Matter:  The Missouri River. Water is central to the environmental issues associated with the pipeline. The site where the protests occurred is near the Missouri River. This post reviews the significance of the Missouri River to the conversation by reviewing some of the hydrologic and climatological influences on the development of the Missouri River drainage basin over time.

Part 5. The Standing Rock Sioux. This post reviews the history of the Standing Rock Sioux and also provides some contemporary statistics about the tribe.

Part 6. The Legal Issues and the Protest. This post summarizes information on the legal issues associated with the pipeline project and discusses the protests that peaked in 2016.

Part 7. Ethical Considerations and Conclusions. The series concludes with a review of the main ethical issues associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline.

News broke as I wrote Part 7 in December of 2016 that the pipeline was to be rerouted. Since the new president took office in January things have changed tremendously. The protesters have largely been removed by force and it appears as if the pipeline project will move forward. This will be one of the most talked about environmental justice issues of this generation.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Camellias Are at Peak at Planting Fields

The post is mainly for the Long Islanders and New Yorkers. If you are in the region, the Camellias are at peak at Planting Fields Arboretum. If you ever wanted to have a camellia overload, now is the time.


Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann


Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann



Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann


Photo by Bob Brinkmann


Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann


Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann

Photo by Bob Brinkmann