Judith Mernit Lewis: The nuclear tests have long since ended, but the Mojave has also been diminished by sprawl, along with garbage dumping, mining, and renewable energy development projects that occupy several square miles each.
Judith Lewis Mernit: Rice farmers’ efforts are meaningful and dramatic in the fight against climate change — so much so that the farmers can sell their greenhouse-gas savings to polluting industries struggling to meet voluntary or state-imposed reduction targets.
Judith Lewis Mernit: When Trump announced he had chosen Rep. Tom Price to head up the Department of Health and Human Services, he sent a clear signal that most pieces of the health reform law will be dismantled.
Judith Lewis Mernit: If President Obama turns out to be the high-water mark of American engagement on climate policy, it won’t have been that high a mark, and it wouldn’t have been nearly enough to change the curve.
Judith Lewis Mernit: Even in states where marijuana has been legal several years running, the marijuana economy still occupies a shadowy place in the law enforcement landscape.
Judith Lewis Mernit: Sent to ordinary processing centers, plastic bags clog up sorting screens and have to be cut out with hook knives and saws. They don’t degrade, but disintegrate, turning ocean and freshwater into a diluted chemical soup.
Judith Lewis Mernit: California’s ability to attract big spenders on the initiatives, referenda and state constitutional amendments that confront an increasingly confused electorate is unparalleled.
Judith Lewis Mernit: Prop. 30 isn’t the only reason access to health care has improved overall in the past few years in California. But its contribution, however indirect, remains critical to the ongoing restoration of health and human services.
Judith Lewis Mernit: Growers poison wildlife with rodenticide, hire armed guards to shoot bear and deer, run noisy and polluting diesel generators to light their indoor grows. Weekly trips by 40-ton water trucks tear up old timber roads built for only a few trips a year.
Judith Lewis Mernit: The stories of workplace abuse are infinite and chilling,, and include “foreign trimmers getting their passports stolen, growers not paying them and throwing them off the farm, sex-starved rednecks paying more for girls to trim with their tops off.
Judith Lewis Mernit: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that taxing carried interest at ordinary rates would net $18 billion over 10 years.