By Alejandro Dávila Fragoso for Think Progress – A pipeline leak of at least 250,000 gallons of gasoline in a rural Alabama county is expected to affect fuel prices in the coming days across multiple southern states and the East Coast. The leak already prompted two states of emergency Thursday stemming from fuel shortage concerns. The oil leak was first discovered a week ago in rural Shelby County — just southeast of Birmingham, Alabama.
By Emilio Godoy for IPS – HONOLULU, Hawaii, USA, Sep 7 2016 (IPS) – When the communities living in the Tatamá y Serranía de los Paraguas Natural National Park in the west of Colombia organised in 1996 to defend their land and preserve the ecosystem, they were fighting deforestation, soil degradation and poaching. Twenty years later, local residents, farmers and community organisations have created four reserves, a brand of coffee and a community radio station, while making progress in conservation of this part of the Chocó-Darién conservation corridor along the border with Panama, although threats persist.
By Alejandro Dávila Fragoso for Think Progress – A tenth of the planet’s wilderness was eradicated in the last two decades and conservation efforts are failing to keep pace with the rate of wilderness loss, according to a new study. The loss recorded since 1990 is equivalent to an area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon, according to the study published Thursday in Current Biology. Most of the depletion is happening in South America, which experienced a nearly 30 percent loss, and Africa, which lost 14 percent of untouched ecosystems.
By Erin Dirnbach for Waging Nonviolence. California – Activists in Oakland have been campaigning for new city policies that would assist worker cooperative development. After successfully winning passage of a city resolution in support of cooperatives last fall, they are now pushing for a new law, the Oakland Worker Cooperative Incentives for Growth Ordinance. Supporters will speak in support at the upcoming hearing at City Hall on September 27, and the ordinance is likely to pass in October. It would grant a variety of benefits for registered worker cooperatives including procurement preferences, development funding, tax incentives, streamlined permitting and promotion of business conversion to cooperatives. The Sustainable Economies Law Center, one of the key promoters of the ordinance, says that it will be the first of its kind to offer this level of assistance for cooperatives.
By Emery P. Dalesio for Associated Press – RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — One of the world’s largest investment funds is dumping its shares in Duke Energy Corp. because it sees too much risk in what it called the largest U.S. electric company’s history of environmental damage. The decision to bar investments in Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy was announced Wednesday by the arm of Norway’s central bank that manages the pension fund created by the Scandinavian country’s oil wealth.
By Lucas Davis for The Conversation – This is the worst year in decades for US coal. During the first six months of 2016, US coal production was down a staggering 28 percent compared to 2015, and down 33 percent compared to 2014. For the first time ever, natural gas overtook coal as the top source of US electricity generation last year and remains that way. Over the past five years, Appalachian coal production has been cut in half and many coal-burning power plants have been retired This is a remarkable decline. From its peak in 2008, US coal production has declined by 500 million tons per year — that’s 3,000 fewer pounds of coal per year for each man, woman and child in the United States.
By Staff of GPTSR – Judge Phillipa James announced today a Not Guilty Verdict in regards to last month’s Disorderly Conduct trial of local environmental activists Moriah Stephenson and Stefan Warner. Stephenson and Warner were arrested nearly two and a half years earlier when glitter spilled off of a Hunger Games-themed banner that the activists hung in the open-to-the-public atrium of the Devon Energy building.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams – Humans are turning the planet into a ‘polluted wasteland full of debris, desolation, and filth,’ says Pope Francis. Pope Francis on Thursday put forth an urgent call for people to actively work to save the environment, proposing that the Catholic Church add such a duty to the list of “seven mercies,” which includes feeding the hungry and visiting the sick, which Catholics are required to perform.
By Randa Morris for Addicting Info – On Friday a federal appeals court overturned a 2012 ruling which allowed the U.S. Navy to use sonar for training, testing and routine operations. The low-frequency sonar employed by the Navy has been shown to harm dolphins, whales and other marine mammals. Friday’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which was later joined by environmental groups. The suit alleged that the lower court’s decision to allow the use of sonar was a direct violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
By Sarah “Steve” Mosko for Boogie Green – Flowers add color and gaiety to any special occasion and are a time-honored way to say thank you or beautify living spaces. However, cut flowers have become a multi-billion dollar global trade industry with a not so pretty underbelly rooted in where and how they are grown. Historically in the U.S., flowers were first grown in greenhouses in Eastern states and later in Western and Southern states when commercial air transportation made preserving freshness possible. In the 1970’s, the U.S. grew more cut flowers than it imported, only a small fraction originated in Colombia.
By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – Upwards of 30 parents and grandparents are fasting outside Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s office this week, calling for a stronger and more ambitious Clean Air Rule ahead of a Thursday evening hearing on the issue. A group of 19 people began the fast at 8 am Tuesday morning; they were joined by 15 additional supporters on Wednesday. “It is no wonder we are here,” said great-grandparent Judy Bea-Wilson, who joined the action on Wednesday.
By Bobby Magill for Climate Central – The Fort McMurray wildfire, driven by drought and climate change, was the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history, ringing up $3.58 billion in losses, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The wildfire, which ignited May 1 in eastern Alberta and was brought under control on July 5, forced Canada’s largest-ever evacuation. It scorched more than 1.4 million acres and destroyed 2,400 homes and other buildings in and around Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada’s oil sands industry.
By Jennifer Goett for Nacla – Most recent media coverage on Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Grand Canal conveys a good deal of skepticism about the project’s viability. Since the Nicaraguan state granted rights to build and operate the canal to a Chinese corporation in 2013, the project has become the centerpiece of Sandinista development policy for this economically impoverished nation. One of the world’s largest infrastructure projects to date, the canal comes with a $50 billon price tag and a host of environmental and social costs that have provoked wide ranging opposition.
By Staff of RAHC – You know us and you know our stories. You know our tragedies, our disasters, and our peril – Katrina, Rita, the BP oil disaster, oh, and that Shell oil spill just the other day. Not to mention, we’re losing a football field of wetlands an hour in Louisiana caused by the combined impact of oil and gas infrastructure and sea level rise due to climate change, eroding our first line of defense from increasingly strong storms. We are the frontline, grassroots communities of the Gulf Coast resisting the continued extraction of our land and our waters. And, we refuse to be a sacrifice zone for this country any longer.
By Elvira Jiménez and Erlend Tellnes for Greenpeace – The beauty of the Arctic is overwhelming. The cold, the silence and extraordinary sounds as the ice creaks, rumbles and falls. The pristine environment, with life popping out to welcome you when you least expect it. A unique place that people across the world want to protect. Two weeks ago the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise set off from the Netherlands carrying a very special load: the voices of eight million people. Messages from around the globe calling for governments to save the Arctic from threats such as oil drilling and destructive fishing.