By the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition. Houghton, MI — Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) members and supporters are expressing outrage and frustration following news that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued a surface use permit authorizing Orvana Resources – a subsidiary of Highland Copper – to begin exploratory drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. According to the DNR, drilling began Sunday, before the agency’s press release had even been published. The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is well known for its hiking trails, rugged terrain, old growth forests, miles of wild and scenic Lake Superior shoreline, wilderness campsites, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. “The sulfide mining industry is leading the State of Michigan around by a leash….”
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams – Offering some hope that “reality” will prevail in a political climate seemingly bent on climate destruction, a Washington state jury on Wednesday failed to convict activist Ken Ward on two felony counts stemming from an act of civil disobedience against the fossil fuel industry. The Climate Disobedience Center, which Ward co-founded, declared the mistrial “a resounding recognition of the threat of climate change,” noting that one or more jurors refused to convict Ward on charges of sabotage and burglary for breaking into and shutting down a Kinder Morgan pipeline near Anacortes, Washington last year. Alternately, they were persuaded by his argument that he had acted out of necessity, in defense of the planet.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. On Thursday afternoon the protests grew filling the streets of downtown Philadelphia when Trump arrived at noon. People were protesting a host of extreme right wing issues that Trump and the GOP are pursuing including immigration, healthcare, women’s rights, the drug war and civil liberties, urged tolerance and love as an antidote to hate. Thousands of people filled city blocks around the Loews Hotel. People also protested his executive orders that seek to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline as well as Trump’s threats to the environment.
By Staff of Indian Country Media Network. “Bears Ears has been home to Hopi, Navajo, Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni for countless generations,” the coalition said. “Our ancestors lived, hunted, gathered, prayed, and built civilizations here, and it remains vital today as a place of subsistence and spirituality. Our oral traditions speak of this area, and of certain spiritual resources found only there. The protection of the Bears Ears cultural landscape is powerful medicine for healing—of the land, of plants and animals, and for all people. The Bears Ears National Monument will also ensure continued access to tribal ceremonies, firewood and herb collection, hunting, grazing and outdoor recreation.”
By Brian Bienkowski for Environmental Health News – A historic year for environmental justice saw government failures in Flint, a resurgent Native voice, and a merging of movements. We’re watching where it’s headed in the new year. There I was in a mid-March snowstorm riding shotgun in a truck heading south through the Crow reservation in Montana. I made a stupid comment to break the silence: “Man, there is nothing out there.” Crow member and my guide for the day, Emery Three Irons, politely corrected me: “There’s a lot out there.” I saw an empty vastness. Three Irons saw a landscape of history and culture, and all of the splendor and pain attached to both.
By Richard Falk for Global Justice in the 21st Century – My concerns have concentrated upon the ethical, legal, and philosophical dimensions of international political behavior. From a disciplinary orientation there was almost no attention given to Earth Jurisprudence perspectives beyond occasional concerns for local pollution issues until the 1970s when there was a sudden surge of interest associated with limits on the earth’s capacity to deal with a variety of pressures caused by global industrial growth and demographic trends. The publication of Limits to Growth became a major event, anticipating the need for drastic changes in consumption patterns, industrial behavior…
By Staff of Climate and Capitalism – Mr. President of Brazil Fernando Collor de Melo; Mr. UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali; Your Excellencies; An important biological species is in danger of disappearing due to the fast and progressive destruction of its natural living conditions: humanity. We have become aware of this problem when it is almost too late to stop it. It is necessary to point out that consumer societies are fundamentally responsible for the brutal destruction of the environment. They arose from the old colonial powers and from imperialist policies which in turn engendered the backwardness and poverty which today afflicts the vast majority of mankind.
By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams – Like many environmentalists grappling with the implications of a Donald Trump presidency, Terry Tempest Williams said she is in “mourning.” But on Thursday, as she and her husband, Brooke Williams, re-asserted their right to preserve federal land won at auction, the acclaimed author and conservationist offered this message of encouragement for the future: “Resistance is our courage.”
By Staff for the Sierra Club. Our new research finds that TPP countries are continuing to permit and even facilitate serious environmental degradation in the very conservation areas that the TPP seeks to address. In some TPP countries, these environmental abuses are actually increasing. The fact that TPP countries are acting as if the deal would require no reduction in such abuses casts further doubt on the notion that the TPP would lead to increased environmental protection. Indeed, the more likely result would be increased degradation in the conservation areas mentioned by the TPP, given that the deal’s weak environmental provisions fail to compensate for conservation threats posed by TPP tariff cuts on sensitive goods like shark fins, palm oil, elephant ivory, and fish.
By Billy Talen for The Stop Shopping Choir – The First Nations peoples in North Dakota are showing us the future of direct action. In the path of the Enbridge pipeline, the “black snake,” they’re making something that traditional environmentalists don’t have words for. A friend of mine who is there put it this way: “It’s not like a protest. It’s a ceremony.” There is a crucial lesson here that we environmentalists must learn. At Standing Rock, the cops and courts, helicopters and drones and Dobermans
By Carolyn Lochhead for SF Gate – WASHINGTON — Evidence of what scientists are calling the planet’s Sixth Mass Extinction is appearing in San Francisco Bay and its estuary, the largest on the Pacific Coast of North and South America, according to a major new study. So little water is flowing from the rivers that feed the estuary, which includes the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Suisun Marsh and the bay, that its ecosystem is collapsing, scientists who conducted the study say.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – An environmental official well-known for his aggressive enforcement of deforestation laws in his city in the Brazilian Amazon was gunned down in front of his family late Thursday, city officials reported Friday. Two men shot the official, Luiz Araujo, seven times as he drove up to his home, local police told the Associated Press. “[T]wo men fled on a motorcycle without taking anything, leading to speculation that they were paid assassins,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
By Friends of the Earth. Our environment and food system are in trouble. Bayer the Bee-Slayer and Monsanto the Butterfly-Killer made a deal to merge into one huge corporation. And there are two other Big Ag mega-mergers on deck: Dow and DuPont, and Syngenta and ChemChina. These companies are poised to control even more of our food system. They’ll be able to fight even harder to protect their profits at the expense of pollinators and the planet — unless you stop them! Monsanto already possesses a 97 percent share for soybean traits and a 75 percent share for corn traits. If Monsanto merges would Bayer, it would create the biggest seed and pesticide company in the world — giving it unprecedented control over our food supply.
By Jan Rocha for Climate News Network – SÃO PAULO, 14 October, 2016 − Brazilian scientists, alarmed at the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, have proposed a radical plan to save it. This would ally the forest’s incredible biodiversity with the new technologies being developed as part of the 4th Industrial Revolution − the name coined for the fusion of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.
By Brian Bienkowski for Environmental Health News – MARINETTE, Wisc.—Pre-dawn purple and gold and orange swirl deep overhead as the waterfront stirs to life. It’s 6 a.m. at Menekaunee Harbor, where the Menominee River empties into Lake Michigan: Workers file into buildings, heavy machinery fires up and 18-wheelers roar and belch and hit the road. Last week, amid the industry, an uncommon but just as motley assortment gathered in that fading darkness—retirees in flannel, millennials with long hair and oversized backpacks, some sipping coffee, some waiting in running cars as the sun burned off the morning chill.