Petition · Tell Amazon it’s time to adopt “waste-free” packaging ·

Claim: Shell Tried to Hide Global Warming Research by Releasing a Public Documentary

Watts Up With That?

Shell Oil Shell Oil. By Catherine Hammond (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsGuest essay by Eric Worrall

Back in 1991, Shell Oil released a public documentary video which raised serious concerns about anthropogenic global warming. This hasn’t prevented The Guardian from trying to claim it is all part of the oil industry coverup.

‘Shell knew’: oil giant’s 1991 film warned of climate change danger

Public information film unseen for years shows Shell had clear grasp of global warming 26 years ago but has not acted accordingly since, say critics.

The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered.

However, since then the company has invested heavily in highly polluting oil reserves and helped lobby against climate action, leading to accusations that Shell knew the grave…

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Stop Cutting Down Vital Wildlife Habitat

A new policy plans to eliminate massive amounts of waterside vegetation. The policy was enacted to fight bushfires, but would put endangered species at risk and reduce water quality. Take a stand for conservation and demand a repeal of this policy.

Source: Stop Cutting Down Vital Wildlife Habitat

Congress wants MORE toxic gas in the air?

The Senate is about to vote on a measure that would block common-sense limits on the amount of dangerous methane gas leaking into the air. Tell your senators to stand against handouts to the oil & gas industry!

Source: Congress wants MORE toxic gas in the air?

Petition · President Donald Trump: leave Standing Rock alone. ·

Stop Dams From Leaking Oil Into Columbia River

Dam operators must switch to eco-friendly oils in order to stop harmful substances from leaking into waterways thanks to a new ruling. Despite this ruling, they will be allowed to drag their feet while searching for alternatives. Demand that a timeline is set to remove pollutants from our rivers.

Source: Stop Dams From Leaking Oil Into Columbia River

10 Indigenous and Environmental Struggles—And How You Can Help in 2017 | Global Justice Ecology Project

10 Indigenous and Environmental Struggles—And How You Can Help in 2017
By The Indigenous #NoDAPL Coalition
The Black Snake is not yet dead. Far from it. The corporations behind the Dakota Access pipeline made it clear that they “fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe.”

The winter camps will stand their ground as long as DAPL construction equipment remains on Oceti Sakowin treaty land. We can all continue to support them by emailing or calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers comment line at 202-761-8700 to ask when it will open the Environmental Impact Statement process to public comment. We can also keep pressure on the banks to divest with our international campaign to #DefundDAPL.

But while international attention has been on the Standing Rock Sioux and the #NoDAPL struggle, the Obama and Trudeau administrations have approved several other pipeline projects slated to run across indigenous territories from Canada to the U.S. and Mexico. The struggle to protect sacred lands from climate change, toxic pollution, and the fossil fuel industry continues to rage around the world.

In the year ahead, it is our hope that the energy and love we have received in our struggle against the Dakota Access pipeline can also be extended to other indigenous communities in their local battles. Here are ten struggles you could consider donating to, volunteering time for, or supporting in other ways:

  1. Trans-Pecos pipeline and Comanche Trail pipeline – Texas

In May 2016, the Obama administration approved two pipeline projects by Energy Transfer Partners, the same company behind DAPL. The Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail pipelines would carry fracked gas from Texas into Mexico, where it will supply the Mexican energy grid. The Two Rivers camp is a resistance camp being erected in the face of the Trans-Pecos pipeline. Support their legal defense fund and camp fundraiser. Or support the efforts of No Trans Pecos Pipeline, the Big Bend Conservation Alliance, and the Frontera Water Protection Alliance as they organize against these pipelines.

  1. Copper One Rivière Doré Mine – Quebec, Canada

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake have set-up a land protection camp at a proposed mining site in the heart of their territory, where core sample drilling for copper is scheduled to begin at any time. They have been camped for weeks to protect the headwaters of the Ottawa River, which could have catastrophic downstream effects if mined. The staked area is abundant with lakes, wetlands, and waterways and is also a crucial hunting and fishing area for Barriere Lake families. See their urgent call to action here and donate to the campaign or get involved here.

  1. Sabal Trail pipeline – Florida

The Sabal Trail pipeline, a 515-mile natural gas pipeline project, is being constructed from Alabama to Georgia to Florida. It threatens one of the largest freshwater aquifers in the world. The Sacred Water Camp and Water Is Life Camp are ongoing camps in need of supplies, experienced organizers, and other people. A mass civil disobedience event is being held in Florida. Get in touch here or donate to support the camps. Also support the organizing efforts of the SPIRET Foundation and Bobby C. Billie, one of the clan leaders and spiritual leader of the Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples, in their efforts to hold regulatory agencies accountable for support of the pipeline. Contact organizers Shannon Larsen or email Beth Huss. Keep up to date with events with all groups statewide at the Water Protector Alliance calendar.

  1. Line 3 pipeline – Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin

The massive Line 3 pipeline project approved by Canada’s federal government is designed to transport tar sands oil from the mines of Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, through the heart of Anishinaabe territory and some of the most beautiful lakes and rice beds in the world. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is challenging the Trudeau government’s approval of Line 3. Follow and support Honor the Earth’s work, learn about ongoing resistance to Line 3, and follow community members’ opposition to the pipeline here.

  1. Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline – Strathcona County, Alberta, to Burnaby, British Columbia

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also recently approved the expansion of Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, which would transport tar sands oil from northern Alberta to the British Columbia coast. The Sacred Trust is an initiative of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and a mandate to stop this project. You can donate here through RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs) or Join their mailing list to follow this campaign and receive updates.

  1. Pilgrim pipeline – New York and New Jersey

The Ramapough Lunaape Nation, a community in the Ramapo Mountains currently face the threat of the Pilgrim pipeline, which would transport Bakken crude oil from Albany, New York, to Linden, New Jersey. Meanwhile, Spectra Energy continues to expand its pipeline network so that more fracked natural gas can be transported and ultimately exported out of the country. Read about the history of the Ramapough Lunaape here, follow the developments at Split Rock Prayer Camp, and follow ongoing efforts to resist continued Spectra expansion with the FANG Collective and Resist Spectra.

  1. Petronas/Pacific Northwest Terminal – Prince Rupert, British Columbia

The Petronas/Pacific Northwest Terminal is a proposed liquefied natural gas plant on traditional Lax Kw’alaams territory Lax U’u’la (Lelu Island) at the mouth of the Skeena river near Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Plans call for a 48-inch diameter submarine pipeline to be dredged into estuary sediment to supply fracked gas from Treaty 8 territory. Ten Indigenous nations and 60,000 people in the Skeena watershed rely on fish there for food, commercial fishing, and cultural identity. The Lelu Island Camp has been set up on Lax Kw’alaams traditional territory to stop this terminal from being built without consent.

  1. Bayou Bridge pipeline – Louisiana

In 2017, Bold Louisiana, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes alliances to protect land and water in Louisiana, will focus on stopping the proposed Bayou Bridge pipeline in a state that is experiencing climate devastation and coastline loss at an average rate of one football field of land every hour. This pipeline, a sister and end point to the Dakota Access pipeline, would run from Lake Charles to St. James, Louisiana. Support their efforts, follow their progress, or go to Baton Rouge to disrupt the Bayou Bridge public hearing on January 12.

  1. Diamond pipeline – Arkansas

Arkansas Rising is a collective of guardians working through direct action to stop the Diamond pipeline, a 20-inch diameter pipeline that would run 440 miles from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Memphis, Tennessee. The pipeline would cross more than 500 waterways, including five major watersheds. Construction has already begun. Donate to their efforts here.

  1. Atlantic Sunrise pipeline and Sunoco Mariner East pipeline – Pennsylvania

The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline is a proposed high-presure 42-inch diameter pipeline to carry fracked gas from Marcellus Shale to U.S. markets to the south. Members of Lancaster Against Pipelines and supporters have built a blockade, nicknamed “The Stand,” on a farm in Conestoga in Lancaster County in the path of a proposed route. They are refusing to grant right of way to the project and have said they will occupy it if construction begins. Visit the Clean Air Council for more information, find the schedule for public input here, and keep an eye out for an upcoming mobilization at Pennsylvania Against Atlantic Sunrise. The Sunoco Mariner East pipeline is a proposed natural gas liquid pipeline that would cross four states. The construction permits for the pipeline could be granted any day. Stay updated at Juniata Watershed People Before Pipelines. Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics are parent corporations of the Dakota Access pipeline and will be merging in the first quarter of 2017.

And we’ll suggest three more:

Support the long-running campaigns of Protect Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Unis’tot’en Camp in British Columbia, and Saving Oak Flat! at the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona.

Comment – Extended information on the Sabal Trail pipeline:

The Sabal Trail pipeline, a 515-mile natural gas pipeline project, is being constructed from Alabama to Georgia to Florida. It threatens one of the largest freshwater aquifers in the world. Run by local folks impacted by the pipeline, The Sacred Water Camp and Water Is Life Camp are ongoing camps and in need of supplies, experienced organizers, and other people. A mass civil disobedience event is being held in Florida January 14 & 15th. Get in touch here or donate to support the camps. Contact organizers Shannon Larsen or email Beth Huss. Keep up to date with events with all groups statewide at the Water Protector Alliance calendar.
Category: Bioenergy, Featured, Indigenous People, Social Media News Tags: bayou bridge, diamond pipeline, indigenous, Standing Rock, Yes Magazine

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‘Warrior’s Call: The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline’ in Buffalo Jan. 8 | Global Justice Ecology Project

‘Warrior’s Call: The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline’ in Buffalo Jan. 8
Posted on January 6, 2017 by GJEP staff

Storytelling event takes place at Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY on Jan. 8 from 3-5 PM.

VeteransRespond, a new national service organization formed by veterans who participated in the massive deployment at Standing Rock, North Dakota in early December—is excited to announce their special presentation, Warrior’s Call: The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, a one-day-only storytelling event featuring United States military veterans who stood at Standing Rock, joined by special guest Lakota Akicita warrior and leader, Michael Mato Tanka. Come experience the story of these veterans’ personal journeys to direct action in support of the Oceti Sakowin natives’ stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in Standing Rock just a little over one month ago.

Warrior’s Call: The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline is the story of that journey. With unflinching candor and inspiring insight, Matthew Crane (US Navy), Joseph George (US Air Force), Brandee Paisano (US Navy and Pueblo-Laguna native), Mark Sanderson (US Army and Purple Heart recipient), and Neil Conway (US Navy) refract the eternal narrative of the returning warrior who battles to reconcile their actions and their hearts, driven by a deep desire to stand on the right side of history.

With a special appearance by Michael Mato Tanka (Oglala Lakota, descendant of Chief Red Cloud, Akicita Warrior, and US Marine), Warrior’s Call reveals what brought the veterans to Standing Rock, what they brought away from Standing Rock, and what we can all bring to the fight for our rights and our future. Moderated by actor/producer Trazz Johnson, this special event is a chance to hear firsthand what our new domestic battlefields look like, and how we can all heed the warrior’s call to action.

VeteransRespond is a new service organization founded in December 2016 by disabled veterans who were part of the advanced team at Standing Rock. They work to organize and coordinate highly trained veteran volunteers to provide relief and service work in environmental and man-made disaster sites all across the United States.

VeteransRespond was born out of the Standing Rock movement, which saw more than 4,000 veterans mobilize to Camp Oceti Sakowin and vicinity in defense of the Water Protectors and their allies standing against the DAPL. The overwhelming numbers and presence of these veterans—500 had originally been expected—helped to pressure the federal government into responding and finally denying the easement needed to drill under Lake Oahe. DAPL, a 1,172-mile pipeline to transport crude oil across the Midwest, jeopardizes the drinking water of millions of Americans, while simultaneously desecrating the sacred ground of the Lakota/Sioux nation. As sworn defenders of our country, these veterans felt called to use their training and skills to protect civilians against the domestic violence they witnessed, as manifested in the brutal tactics being deployed against them by state and local police authorities and oil company security. For some, that call to action became a journey to healing and community activism.

Right now, highly trained VeteransRespond volunteers are on the ground at work with the Lakota Tribes in Standing Rock, ND and the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribes at Camp Toyahvale, Texas. Our team of veterans are providing specialized skills ranging from camp security; EMS and mass casualty trained medical volunteers; communications specialists; IT support and data analysts; and search and rescue patrols. In an organizational structure that veterans are familiar with from their military training and service, we provide skilled volunteers to areas in need where the Veterans can best assist the mission.

In Standing Rock, “They established a command team and an operational TOC [Tactical Operations Center], and are assisting with safety and security operations in the camp. I’m honored to have met these incredible veterans, who inspire as they continue their mission of service” (Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman, Hawaii 2nd District, and Iraqi War veteran).

Warrior’s Call: The Fight to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline is free and open to the public. (Donations in support of the ongoing work of VeteransRespond will be gratefully accepted.) General Admission seating; doors open at 3:00pm, with the Call starting at 3:30pm.

Special thanks to Righteous Babe Records and Babeville Buffalo for the use of Asbury Hall for this event.

Visit the Facebook event page for the showing of Warrior’s Call in Buffalo here.

For more information visit and follow VeteransRespond on Facebook.

Category: Featured, Indigenous People, Social Media News Tags: Dakota Access, lakota, Standing Rock, veteransrespond

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OECD Opens Investigation into World Wildlife Foundation | Global Justice Ecology Project

OECD Opens Investigation into World Wildlife Foundation

Posted on January 6, 2017 by GJEP staff

Via Survival International :
In an unprecedented move, a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has agreed to investigate a complaint that the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has funded human rights abuses in Cameroon, beginning a process which until now has only been used for multinational businesses.

Survival submitted the complaint in February 2016, citing numerous examples of violent abuse and harassment against Baka “Pygmies” in Cameroon by WWF-funded anti-poaching squads. Survival also alleges that WWF failed to seek communities’ free, prior and informed consent for conservation projects on their ancestral land.

This is the first time a non-profit organization has been scrutinized in this way. The acceptance of the complaint indicates that the OECD will hold WWF to the same human rights standards as profit-making corporations.

WWF funds anti-poaching squads in Cameroon and elsewhere in the Congo Basin. Baka and other rainforest tribes have reported systematic abuse at the hands of these squads, including arrest and beatings, torture and even death, for well over 20 years.

Survival first urged WWF to change its approach in the region in 1991, but since then the situation has worsened.

Baka have repeatedly testified to Survival about the activities of these anti-poaching squads in the region. One Baka man told Survival in 2016: “[The anti-poaching squad] beat the children as well as an elderly woman with machetes. My daughter is still unwell. They made her crouch down and they beat her everywhere – on her back, on her bottom everywhere, with a machete.”

In two open letters Baka made impassioned pleas to conservationists to be allowed to stay on their land. “Conservation projects need to have mercy on how we can use the forest … because our lives depend on it.”

WWF has rejected Survival’s claims. It accepts that abuse has taken place but, in a statement in 2015, a spokesman stated that such incidents “appear to have tailed off” despite repeated testimonies from Baka themselves. In its response to the OECD, the organization cited political instability in the region and difficulties in the process of creating “protected areas” for wildlife conservation as the main reasons human rights abuses had taken place. It did not deny its involvement in funding, training and equipping guards.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “The OECD admitting our complaint is a giant step for vulnerable peoples. They can already use OECD Guidelines to try and stop corporations riding roughshod over them, but this is first time ever it’s agreed that the rules also apply to industrial-scale NGOs like WWF. WWF’s work has led to decades of pain for tribal peoples in the Congo Basin. It’s done nothing effective to address the concerns of the thousands of tribal people dispossessed and mistreated through its projects. That has to change. If WWF can’t ensure those schemes meet UN and OECD standards, it simply shouldn’t be funding them. Whatever good works it might be doing elsewhere, nothing excuses its financing of human rights abuses. The big conservation organizations must stop colluding in the theft of tribal land. Tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world. They should be at the forefront of the environmental movement.”

Background briefing
– The OECD is an international body with 35 member countries. It has developed Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises which are monitored by national contact points in each country, and offer one of the very few opportunities to hold MNEs to account if they fail to respect the human rights of communities affected by their projects.
– WWF International’s headquarters are in Switzerland, so Survival’s complaint was submitted to the Swiss contact point, as Cameroon is not a member of the OECD.
– In 2008, Survival International lodged a complaint against British-owned mining company Vedanta Resources when it was seeking to mine on the territory of the Dongria Kondh in India without the tribe’s consent. The OECD stated that Vedanta had broken its guidelines.
– WWF is the largest conservation organization in the world. According to the organization itself, only 33% of its income comes from individual donors. The rest is derived from sources including government grants, foundations, and corporations

Category: Uncategorized Tags: Baka, Congo Basin, OECD, Survivial International, World Wildlife Foundation, WWF

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Don’t Put Big Oil in Charge of EPA

Donald Trump has nominated a climate change denier and Big Oil mouthpiece as head of the EPA. Demand that Trump replace this pick and stop handing our nation’s natural treasures and environment over to big business.

Source: Don’t Put Big Oil in Charge of EPA

Petition · Protect Theodore Roosevelt National Park From Big Oil! ·

Tell Your Senators To Carefully Vet Trump’s Disastrous Pick For EPA: Scott Pruitt – NRDC;jsessionid=AD8DB888F66340751E1F0ACC4FD21F2F.app330a?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=4125&autologin=true&s_src=EMOEPAPETACT1016AFC3&utm_source=alert&utm_medium=text3&utm_campaign=email

Governor Orders Evacuation at Standing Rock, Tribe Calls on Army Corps to Reaffirm ‘No Forcible Removal’ | Global Justice Ecology Project

Standing Rock water protectors are responding to North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple’s ordered to immediately evacuate the main encampment opposing the Dakota Access pipeline.

In the following video, Dallas Goldtooth from the Indigenous Environmental Network and other representatives at the Sacred Stone camp respond to the evacuation order and engage in a question and answer session.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman, Dave Archambault II, made the following statement in a press release:

“Today, Gov. Dalrymple issued an executive order calling for mandatory evacuation of all campers located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) lands, also known as the Oceti Sakowin camp. This state executive order is a menacing action meant to cause fear, and is a blatant attempt by the state and local officials to usurp and circumvent federal authority.

The USACE has clearly stated that it does not intend to forcibly remove campers from federal property. The Governor cites harsh weather conditions and the threat to human life. As I have stated previously, the most dangerous thing we can do is force well-situated campers from their shelters and into the cold. If the true concern is for public safety than the Governor should clear the blockade and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings.

This is a clear stretch of state emergency management authority and a further attempt to abuse and humiliate the water protectors. The State has since clarified that they won’t be deploying law enforcement to forcibly remove campers, but we are wary that this executive order will enable further human rights violations.”

The Chairman called on the Army Corps to affirm their previous statement regarding no forcible removal.
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Petition · Sign to Stop Funding on the Dakota Access Pipeline ·

White House stays quiet after police confrontation at Standing Rock | Grist

Police confront protesters with a rubber bullet gun. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Dakota access
White House stays quiet after police confrontation at Standing Rock
By Katie Herzog on Nov 21, 2016

Police in North Dakota turned tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons on 400 Standing Rock protesters Sunday night as temperatures dipped into the mid-20s. At least 167 protesters were injured and seven were taken to the hospital. Activists at Standing Rock and beyond are wondering why President Obama has yet to speak about the incident.

“Standing Rock is the moral center of the nation right now,” said founder Bill McKibben. “The real question is why there’s no response from the White House to the kind of abuses that would make us protest loudly if they happened abroad.”

The clash started on Sunday when about 100 protesters, who call themselves water protectors, tried to clear a police barricade from a bridge between the Standing Rock encampments and Bismarck, the nearest large city. The pair of burned out military vehicles that make up the barricade have blocked the main route to Bismarck for three weeks, forcing emergency vehicles and other traffic to take a 20-mile detour.

“Attempting to clear the road was met with police spraying people with water cannons in 26 degree weather — that’s deadly force, it’s freezing outside,” said Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth, in a statement. “They want to kill people for clearing a road?”

Observers from the National Lawyers Guild at the site confirmed that multiple protesters were left unconscious or bleeding and that one Native elder went into cardiac arrest. One law enforcement officer was also injured.

The Standing Rock Sioux and other groups have called on President Obama to respond to the more aggressive tactics and also to issue an executive order halting all construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

With construction on the pipeline stalled as talks between the government and the Standing Rock Sioux continue, Obama has made few comments about the standoff. In an interview earlier this month, however, he said his administration would let the situation “play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of First Americans.”

But unless either Obama or the Army Corps of Engineers acts soon, any resolution will likely come after President-elect Trump takes office. Trump has vowed to speed up the approval of energy projects. He also has between $500,000 and $1 million personally invested in the pipeline. Kelcy Warren, chief executive of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline, contributed $100,000 to the Trump Victory Fund.

“President-elect Trump has no regard for the environment and cares even less about those of us trying to protect it.” said Kandi Mossett, an organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network. “The Obama administration, now more than ever, has to step up and either rescind the permits, call for a full Environmental Impact Statement or flat-out reject the Dakota Access Pipeline project from moving forward.”

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Obama could still permanently protect the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. Here’s how. | Grist

Obama could still permanently protect the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. Here’s how.
By Ben Adler on Nov 18, 2016

Environmentalists are cheering the Obama administration’s new five-year plan for offshore drilling, with some major reservations.

The plan, released on Friday, puts most of most of the Arctic Ocean off-limits to oil and gas drilling for the next five years — but climate hawks wanted it to go further, protecting all of the Arctic. And now, with a very different president about to assume office, green groups are calling on President Obama to make those protections permanent.

The Department of Interior’s plan blocks the sale of new leases for offshore drilling in sensitive areas of the Arctic, including the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska, and in waters along the Atlantic coast. But it allows for some limited leasing in the Cook Inlet off Alaska.

Although the plan is supposed to govern offshore leasing until 2022, it could be unraveled by President-elect Donald Trump, who promised a dramatic expansion of oil and gas drilling during his campaign. Under a Trump administration, the Interior Department could revise its five-year plan and open these areas to extraction within a few years.

That gives added urgency to hopes that President Obama will protect the Atlantic and Arctic coasts from drilling for good through an executive action. Experts argue that the risks of offshore drilling are too high and that to prevent catastrophic climate change some significant reserves of oil and gas will have to stay in the ground.

Environmental advocates say they plan on stepping up pressure on the White House to act in the weeks ahead.

“With Trump threatening to return to the days of ‘drill, baby, drill,’ President Obama should be doing everything in his power to secure our public lands and waters, climate, and communities from the significant and irreversible dangers of fossil fuel development,” says Marissa Knodel, climate change campaigner at Friends of the Earth, via email.

Putting off-shore areas off-limits to drilling is not the same as naming a national monument, but it’s similar in that it uses a presidential power outside the normal rule-making process. To repeal permanent protection, Congress would need to change the underlying law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, or pass stand-alone legislation.

“The president has clear executive authority to provide the Arctic and Atlantic coasts the permanent protection that they richly deserve, that the public would support, and that the climate science says is necessary,” says Franz Matzner, director of the Beyond Oil Initiative at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “That’s something a host of voices across the country are still calling for.”

Obama has already demonstrated that he can be moved to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Stopping leasing in Chukchi and Beaufort was a response to strong grassroots lobbying earlier this year. Obama also stopped the Keystone XL oil pipeline in response to activists’ campaigns.

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Meet one young woman who took up the fight at Standing Rock | Grist

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
dakota access pipeline
Meet one young woman who took up the fight at Standing Rock
By Antonia Juhasz on Nov 15, 2016
Protests are taking place across the country today at the offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as activists seek to convince the agency to reject the Dakota Access Pipeline. Late last night, the Corps announced that it was still consulting with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the pipeline and its route, and that while it did so, construction near or under the Missouri River was explicitly not allowed.

Among the tens of thousands of people who have joined this now historic struggle to protect the water and land of the Sioux is one young woman I met in North Dakota on Nov. 5 at Oceti Sakowin, the main camp of the self-described “water protectors.” In our talk, she revealed deep convictions and sacrifices that she has made as part of this effort, which she is in for the long haul. I found her story emblematic of the larger movement, and instructive as to why it has had such remarkable reach and staying power.

Rana is a diminutive 26-year-old from Chicago, with brown skin, brown hair, and gentle yet wary brown eyes. She is a descendent of the P’urhépecha indigenous people of Mexico. When we met, she was trying (unsuccessfully) to retrieve items taken by police during a now-infamous Oct. 27 raid that resulted in the forcible removal of two water protector camps that had been located directly on top of the Dakota Access Pipeline route.

Several days after the raid, police used a large dump truck to deposit hundreds of confiscated tents, sleeping bags, and personal items into a giant pile on the side of the road south of camp. Many people, including Rana, reported that belongings had been urinated on, and some said they even saw human feces. Many of the returned items were subsequently burned.

When we talk, Rana is nervous. She is new to activism and has never been interviewed before. She’s worried that she’ll be inarticulate and “sound like a dunce,” but even more fearful for her safety. She remains on the frontlines in North Dakota and does not want either her last name or photo published. (Police have been rumored to target those identified in the press). Grist independently confirmed her identity. This interview with her has been edited for length.

On Sept. 3, Dakota Access began to bulldoze an area that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe identified as a sacred burial ground of cultural and spiritual significance. Private security guards used dogs and pepper spray in a violent confrontation with water protectors captured by Democracy Now!

After the skirmish, a small group returned to the site to establish a makeshift camp outside of a fence erected by Dakota Access. Dubbed “Sacred Ground Camp,” Rana had been there for over two weeks when another group of water protectors established “Treaty” or “Front-Line Camp” directly across Highway 1806 on land Dakota Access was preparing to excavate. Four days later, on Oct. 27, a militarized police force raided and eviscerated both camps.


Antonia Juhasz
Q. What motivated you to be a part of this and to be at the riskiest location?

A. This pipeline stops in Illinois, which is my home. It’s an issue that we have in our backyard as well. I don’t think that a lot of people really grasp that concept. It’s the water that we shower with, that we brew our coffee with, that we brush our teeth with, that we cook with — everything that’s at stake.

Also, the fact that this is an indigenous-led movement, and I myself am indigenous.

Water is our first medicine. It should never be at stake, never be tampered with. When we carry our children in our wombs, they are protected by water, so water is life. You have these greedy corporations who will do anything to protect their money and oil, so when you have all that invested against you, we have to come out and help the earth as water protectors.

Q. What was the day of the Oct. 27 raid like for you?

A. It was heartbreaking. It was infuriating. I wasn’t there from the beginning, but my friends and my companion were. They worked so hard for everything they had there. It wasn’t a big camp, but they put their all into it, their own funds, their own sweat. Of course with the donations of people, as well.

They established that camp for the sole purpose of protecting those sacred grounds so the pipeline wouldn’t go through. We were caught off guard. Then we saw the police coming closer and closer. In that moment, it was a war zone. I was so focused on staying right there on the front line, holding the front line, and helping everyone with whatever I could. They poked through our tents and they instantly fell to the ground. That’s how they left them as they moved forward.

It’s sad. I think of the police: “How can you do these things? How can you be such a lost soul?” I can only hope that they find their way. I’ve heard of officers turning in their badges. And so that says a lot.

I had some really sacred items with me. I had a shawl that my auntie gave my grandma and my grandma gave to my mother when she was carrying my little brother in her womb. My mother gave it to me, and I was supposed to carry my children in that … They took that. That really hurts … I feel like I broke a sacred knot …

Antonia Juhasz

Q.What was it like for you after Oct. 27?

A. After the raid, a lot of us are experiencing PTSD. There was a lot of division. You could feel it. Everyone going up against each other. But now, it seems like it’s coming together again.

And now I know that we’re not going to go home. We’re not going to go anywhere until we stop this pipeline. We have a duty and it must be fulfilled. We’re just as motivated as DAPL is, you know. We’re watching them watch us, watch us, watch them. They can’t break our spirits — at the end of the day, they’re not stronger than us. We have love, we have culture, we have roots. They’re lost. The creator and the ancestors are with us — it’s a strong presence that we feel. We’re going to win this because I see people’s commitment. I for one left my job and my home.

Q.What was the job that you left to come here?

A. I was a nanny. I’m new to activism. But I knew there was always something that I wanted to do for this earth. I knew that I had that calling. I don’t have any children, so I said, “What am I doing here? There’s a battle to be fought over there! If I’ve ever called myself a warrior, this is the time to show who I am!” I’m honored to be here. To be part of history.

I want to have children one day. They deserve to be carried in a womb that’s safe and healthy for them. And, if they were to ask me, “Hey Mom, you were present during the Dakota Access pipeline, what did you do about it?” I wouldn’t be able to look them in the eye and say, “I didn’t do anything.” That would be shameful. Not a lot of people have the ability to just get up and go. I’m blessed to have that opportunity, and I wasn’t going to let it go. I’m not going anywhere. I’ve never experienced a North Dakota winter, but we’ll make it through. Our ancestors made it, one way or another. We’re going to make it. I have faith.

I’m not gonna lie. Before I came here, I was a bit terrified. I had a lot of mixed emotions. But once you get here, it all kind of just dissolves, and that empowerment takes over you and you really know why you’re here. There’s no other place I would rather be today.

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Nov 15 #NoDAPL Day of Action at Army Corps of Engineers – Action Network

Check out the map to find where the action is at near you.

Here’s something that could make recycling a lot easier | Grist

Q. Dear Umbra,
I cannot find the be-all, end-all guidance as to what kinds of plastic bags and plastic films can be recycled. Merchant bags for sure, but what about all that other plastic sheeting? Cereal bags? Shrink wrap packaging? Saran wrap? It’s all plastic film to me, but am I fudging up the system by dropping these in my supermarket barrel of plastic bag recycling?

Bagging Vance
Houston, Texas

A. Dearest Bagging Vance,

Recycling confusion is vexing indeed. I get more questions from my dear readers on this topic than on any other. So many of you fervently wish to do your best, but you’re not quite sure how. Must I wash out my jars? How important is sorting, really? Can I recycle these batteries? What about that pencil stub?? This Color Me Badd mix tape??? It’s almost like a single plea rising from the Ask Umbra inbox: Please, just tell me what to do with my recycling, and I’ll do it!

And you’re right — it is confusing. Recycling is certainly an important part of the eco-friendly life (it’s my third-favorite R, as a matter of fact), but the powers that be could do a better job of explaining the process. To make matters worse, that process is different from region to region, state to state, and even town to town, depending on local companies and the recycling market in your area. So I’m afraid there is no such thing as a be-all, end-all guide to recycling. Bummer, I know. The stakes are made higher by the fact that trying to recycle the wrong items can contaminate the whole batch, accomplishing the exact opposite of what you were hoping to do.

All that said, we do have a few tools at our disposal. There’s the classic triple-arrow recycling symbol we all know and love.
recycling label

That original ouroboros of sustainability dates back to the first Earth Day in 1970, and it still serves as an important signal that the item in hand can (probably) be recycled.

In 1988, we added the numbers 1 through 7 to (some of) our plastic packages and containers to identify which type of plastic they are, and thus help determine their recyclability. Some curbside recycling programs, for example, will tell you they don’t accept #5 or #6 plastic, so you know not to chuck those yogurt containers and Styrofoam clamshells in your bin.

These days, there’s a relatively new recycling triangle on the block: the How2Recycle label, launched by the nonprofit Sustainable Packaging Coalition in 2012.
recycling abels

This pumped-up version of the symbol adds crucial information, including how to prep the container for recycling (from “rinse and insert lid” to “empty and reattach pump”), what material it is (plastic, metal, coated paper, multilayer, etc.), which parts of a multicomponent item might qualify for recycling, and guidance on how to go about recycling it (“widely recycled,” “check locally,” and “store drop-off” among the options). It’s quite the step up from the symbol’s beginnings, and I suspect it will do a lot to demystify the recycling process for you and loads of others, Bagging Vance. For example, if you saw this How2Recycle label on the plastic wrap from your toilet paper, you’d know that it’s most likely recyclable through drop-off programs, and also know to make sure it’s clean and dry before you drop it.

The rub is that this label doesn’t show up on every container yet. At this point, brands must elect to use it (and pay for that right). You’ll notice it on packages from Target, Seventh Generation, and McDonald’s, to name just a few, but it’s far from ubiquitous right now. So here’s a little homework for us all: Next time you find yourself holding an empty container/bag/can/bottle and wondering what the heck to do with it, write, call, email, or tweet at the brand encouraging them to join up with How2Recycle.

In the meantime, there is something we can do — and it’s the single most helpful step there is. In fact, even if every container in the land starts sporting the How2Recycle label, we’ll still need to do it sometimes. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: When you have a question about recyclability, check with your local recycling programs. They’re the only ones who can tell you exactly what’s accepted and what’s not in your neck of the woods. How? First, consult your city’s government website: These often have helpful lists of recyclables. Question still unanswered? Call the recycling department or company directly to ask. In the case of plastic-bag drop-off boxes, you can always grill the retailer for clarification.

That’s a roundabout way of answering your question about plastic film recycling, I know. But this issue goes deeper than a few cereal bags, so I think guiding you to dig up your own answers to local recycling conundrums will help a lot in the long run. It’s like one of my favorite mottos says: Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man how to find recycling info for the wrapping around that fish and boost recycling rates everywhere. 


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Petition · Governor Walker: Do NOT Deploy Wisconsin State Troopers to the Dakota Access Pipeline! ·

Petition · Joe Donnelly: Withdraw Indiana police forces from North Dakota ·