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J. Mijin Cha
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J. Mijin Cha is an Associate Director at PolicyLink and a participant of The OpEd Project Global Policy Solutions Greenhouse

She is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and LLM and PhD degrees from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law.


Follow her on twitter: @jmijincha

Entries by J. Mijin Cha

We Are Not White

(2) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 12:10 PM

Politically speaking, the high level of social acceptance and privilege that comes with being Asian-American is ultimately dangerous because it sets up a false notion of who we really are.

For starters, we are not white.

The word "minority" and the entire concept if "modeling" is in itself disempowering...

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'Poor People Do Not Deserve to Have Children'

(895) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 10:34 PM

I received a phone call today from someone who had seen Demos' Vice President, Heather McGhee, on MSNBC talking about why people need food stamps. The caller said, "People who are poor do not deserve to have children. I've seen these people with 1,2, 5 children. If you...

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This Passes for a Harvard Dissertation?

(11) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 11:33 AM

This week, the Heritage Foundation released a deeply flawed immigration study, debunked by none other than the conservative Cato Institute. It then came to light that one of the co-authors, Jason Richwine wrote his PhD dissertation, IQs and Immigration Policy, on how immigrants...

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Voluntary Standards Don't Make Fracking Safe

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 5:05 PM

In the debate over what our energy future will contain, I keep coming back to the question of whether or not fracking can be done safely. There is no question that once out of the ground, natural gas burns cleaner than coal but the actual process of fracking to date...

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Fracking Is No Breakthrough

(45) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 4:55 PM

One way to undermine movement on climate change is to create a false dichotomy that pits advocates against each other. Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening now in the fracking battle. Using the term "fractivists," some environmentalists are blasting celebrities that advocate against fracking and as representatives...

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What 204,000 Comments Say About Fracking

(35) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 4:40 PM

The fight over fracking has moved from an environmental and economic issue to a more fundamental question of democracy. On one side is broad public opposition to a practice that has known environmental and health consequences. On the other side are big corporate interests that make a fortune...

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Regulations Won't Make Fracking Safe

(3) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 12:30 PM

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has opened another public comment period on its proposed fracking regulations in order to extend the rule-making process. The health impacts study is not yet complete and DEC claims it won't make any decisions until it can guarantee that fracking...

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The Answer Is Not Fracking or Coal. It's Neither.

(33) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 2:27 PM

A few months ago, Joseph Martens, the Commissioner of New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation, rejected calls for an independent analysis of the health impacts from fracking. Martens' solution was to ask the state's Health Commissioner to appoint independent experts to do the review. Leaving alone the...

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We Need More Than Energy Independence

(13) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 12:25 PM

No doubt the new International Energy Agency (IEA)'s latest World Energy Outlook will be cause for celebration for the fossil fuel industry. In it, IEA points to the strong oil and gas production in the U.S. and predicts that by within a decade or so, the U.S. will...

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Hurricane Sandy and the Failure of GDP

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 9:28 PM

The economic analysis of the impact of Hurricane Sandy is a perfect example of the flaws of GDP and our over-reliance on it as a metric of progress. Just like with Hurricane Irene, there will be some GDP growth from Sandy -- spikes in consumption as people stock...

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Climate Silence Is Bad for Our Economy

(21) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 4:07 PM

The last presidential debate not only continued the silence on climate change, it also advanced the false narrative that we have to choose between economic growth and action on climate change. While the candidates focused on how to keep gas prices down, increase energy independence, and create jobs, they never...

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When Politics Hits Reality

(7) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 6:46 PM

In politics, there inevitably comes the dreaded time when politics and politicking run into reality. It is the point at which you can no longer appease two opposing parties and a decision must be made that chooses one party's interests over the other. I imagine politicians hate this moment because...

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'All of the Above' Energy Plans Should Really Be 'Some of the Above'

(17) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 11:52 AM

Something that you hear about quite a lot these days is the "all of the above" energy plan. The phrase is in both party platforms with the general idea being that our energy needs should be met by using all forms of energy available -- coal, oil, gas,...

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The Role of Money in Politics: Extreme Energy Edition

(127) Comments | Posted August 30, 2012 | 8:00 AM

The last few weeks have not brought good news for those of us wanting a future powered by clean energy. The southern portion of the TransCanada pipeline is under construction. On top of that, New York State will lift its moratorium and allow fracking to occur...

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34 Years Later, Did We Learn Anything From Love Canal?

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 5:16 PM

In a post written shortly after the Love Canal disaster, Eckardt Beck, the EPA Director at the time, very presciently said:

Quite simply, Love Canal is one of the most appalling environmental tragedies in American history. But that's not the most disturbing fact. What is worse is that...
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Private Profit, Public Risk

(5) Comments | Posted August 2, 2012 | 3:04 PM

Within two years, the Enbridge tar sands pipeline has managed to release more than 850,000 gallons of oil in two different spills. The first spill in Southwestern Michigan released over 800,000 gallons of oil and cost more than $800 million to clean up. The second spill released 50,000...

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GDP Cannot Capture the Economics of Climate Change

(19) Comments | Posted July 27, 2012 | 9:47 AM

The newest GDP release shows an increase of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012, down from a 1.9 percent growth in the first quarter and three percent growth in 2011. But, as Dēmos continually asks in our Beyond GDP work: What exactly is GDP...

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How Do We Value Nature?

(6) Comments | Posted July 18, 2012 | 11:52 AM

One of the big questions environmentalists struggle with is whether there should be a price on nature. For some things, like the cost savings that are realized through cleaner air or water, there is a rote calculation that can be done to price out environmental and health benefits. But, if...

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Happy Birthday, Walmart. Thanks for All the Greenwashing

(1) Comments | Posted July 5, 2012 | 5:08 PM

It's Walmart's birthday week. Over 50 years, the retailer has grown into the world's largest private employer with over 2.1 million employees. Every week, more Americans shop at Walmart than turned out to vote in the 2008 presidential election. Walmart has become a dominant economic force, both domestically...

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Inclusive Wealth Index Shows Economic Impact of Natural Capital

(2) Comments | Posted June 20, 2012 | 2:13 PM

Last week, I wrote about how we need to move beyond GDP as our primary indicator of progress if we want to achieve true sustainable development. This week, at Rio +20, the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Climate Change (IHDP) and UNEP launched a new indicator called...

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