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.
By Staff of Grist – You’re probably aware that the environment could be in better shape. (If this is news to you, might we suggest unsubscribing from Everything’s Peachy Monthly and peering through your soot-covered windows to the barren fields on the horizon. That brittle skeleton used to be a cow!) Luckily for the environment, though, you’re a strapping young idealist who’s ready to take to the streets, rock the vote, and effect some serious policy change.
By Jon Letman for Truthout – Painfully aware that the internet now delivers the carnage of war onto our screens in real time, the US military has made a concerted effort to redefine itself as a “helping” force, offering disaster relief and defending the weak and vulnerable. Increasingly, this includes protecting the environment. By rebranding itself as a guardian of nature, the military improves its own public image and achieves a veneer of unassailability while bolstering its primary mission, which is, of course, the ability to wage war.
By Katie Herzog for The Grist – Seven types of yellow-faced or masked bees once common in Hawaii are now officially threatened or endangered, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hawaii’s pollinators are particularly threatened by habitat loss from invasive plants and development. And their declining numbers aren’t just a problem for the bees themselves: The yellow-faced bees are the sole pollinators for some of Hawaii’s endangered native plant species as well as more common varieties of flora.
By We Are Seneca Lake. READING, NEW YORK — In a decision likely to have broad implications for hundreds of We Are Seneca Lake defenders, Judge David Brockway dismissed trespassing charges against six local business owners due to insufficient evidence. The 12-hour trial took place in the Town of Reading Court on September 30. In addition, four of the business owners were found guilty of disorderly conduct for preventing a vehicle from passing through the gates of Crestwood’s gas storage complex on Route 14 in Reading, NY. Attorney Gibson will appeal that decision. “We saw in the testimony that the officers arrested these people without any direct knowledge that they actually were on private property,” said Sujata Gibson, defense attorney. “We are considering a federal lawsuit to ensure that this type of apparently politically motivated mass arrest and prosecution cannot continue to take place.”
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.