Lush green grass surrounds a statuesque clubhouse. Early morning mowing hums barely, yet noticeably, in the distance. Impressive statues and perfectly placed trees line the landscape. If you listened carefully, you might hear slight laughter in the distance as a group tees off before driving their golf carts down the fairway. This soothing scene thinly veils the golf industry’s historically destructive nature, as many golf courses cause environmental harm to their surrounding landscapes. For example, Trump International Golf Links Scotland (“Trump International”) exemplifies this picturesque perfection and how it delicately conceals a long history of ongoing environmental wreckage. The construction of this golf course depleted the presence of legally protected sand dunes in Scotland. Scottish National Heritage— an agency that monitors environmentally sensitive sites in Scotland—reported that constructing Trump International depleted 168 acres of the Forevan Links.
Helsinki, 2013: The director-general of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan, stands before a crowd of conference delegates and issues a dire warning about the food and drink industry’s piqued interest in public health policy. “It is not just Big Tobacco anymore,” she states. “Public health must also contend with Big Food, Big Soda, and Big Alcohol. All of these industries fear regulation, and protect themselves by using the same tactics.” These tactics include influencing regulation that serves corporate interests, and experts fear that those interests will rarely align with the interests of public health. “When industry is involved in policy-making,” Chan cautioned, “rest assured that the most effective control measures will be downplayed or left out entirely. This is well documented, and dangerous.”
The United States’ demand for renewable energy is continuously growing. In many states, small-scale solar energy is in high demand. In efforts to meet ambitious renewable energy goals, many states have incentivized new solar generation through regulation and policy. One such policy is net metering, in which a utility company reduces the rate of a customer that generates solar energy.
A prosecutor in the United States, whether operating at the federal, state, or local level, is responsible for holding those who commit criminal offenses accountable by acting as a “minister of justice.” Prosecutors are the arm that enforce the laws of the legislature. They have both great responsibility and great discretion to decide whether and what to prosecute. With great responsibility and discretion, however, accountability must follow.
Released in the summer of 2016, Pokémon Go quickly became one of the most downloaded mobile games. Niantic, The Pokémon Company, produced and developed the mobile game. In the game’s first week, the app was downloaded more than 30 million times. In 19 days, the app was downloaded more than 50 million times, setting records for the mobile-gaming industry. In app purchases reached $35 million in three weeks.
Like many western states, Utah finds itself addressing the issue of long-term water security. While some lawmakers and interested parties advocate for conservation and smarter allocation, others support unsustainable initiatives that promise to do more harm than good. In 2006, the Lake Powell Pipeline Development Act was passed in Utah. Supported by the Utah Division of Water Resources, the Act proposes a large diversion of the Colorado River to meet the alleged future water needs of Southwestern Utah, specifically Washington and Kane Counties.
Hidden in the food we eat daily, chlorpyrifos has been afflicting innocent people for decades. Chlorpyrifos kills insects upon contact by disrupting their nervous system. Similar to other organophosphate pesticides, chlorpyrifos is toxic to the nervous system because it creates an accumulation of acetylcholine which prevents regulated communication between nerve cells and overstimulates the nerves. Unfortunately, EPA has found chlorpyrifos to also affect human health by causing headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, muscle twitching, loss of coordination, respiratory paralysis, vomiting, diarrhea, brain damage to children, IQ reduction, working memory loss, and death.
As a “nation of immigrants,” the United States has a long and contentious history with immigration. Powerful economic and political forces, coinciding with rising racial and cultural tensions, have rendered immigration one of the defining challenges of the past century. In response to demographic shifts and economic anxiety, views of what it means to be an American have become increasingly disparate, culminating in the successful 2016 presidential bid of Donald Trump. Caught in the crossfire are the more than 11 million undocumented individuals estimated to be living in the U.S.
In recent years, communities across the United States have discovered water contamination from per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). Research on the health impacts of PFAS contamination suggests that exposure to these chemicals is associated with various diseases, such as high cholesterol and cancer. Because of their widespread use in firefighting foams, these chemicals are particularly prevalent on military bases, airports, and in surrounding communities. Thus, people living in communities with PFAS-contaminated water may have elevated levels of PFAS in their blood and face significant potential health problems.
The Great Lakes are a unique natural resource and are considered one of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystems. Collectively, the Great Lakes make up roughly 21% of the planet’s surface freshwater, help support a six trillion-dollar regional economy, and define the Great Lakes region. Because the Great Lakes are such a valuable natural resource that are shared and held in trust by the Great Lakes states, it is imperative that federal, state, and tribal governments continually manage this natural resource in a cooperative manner.