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Posts tagged "environment"

One simple reason: If this thing gets built, it’s game over for the planet.

(via Why I Got Arrested Over the Keystone XL Pipeline | Mother Jones)

'As protest intensifies to stop a major tar sands oil pipeline, the president must choose: a green energy future or Big Oil profit'

The leaders of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife FederationGreenpeaceFriends of the Earth, and the Rainforest Action Networkalso made it clear they counted on President Obama to take decisive action to block the pipeline. “We expect nothing less,” they said, describing the pipeline battle as “perhaps the biggest climate test you face between now and the election” and adding that denying the permit would trigger a “surge of enthusiasm from the green base that supported you so strongly in the last election.”’

(via A united call: Largest environmental organizations in the USA stand against the Keystone XL pipeline | TckTckTck | Join the Race to the Future!) is an online activism platform for social change that raises awareness about important causes and connects people to opportunities for powerful action. We work with more than 1000 of the largest organizations in the world, have a team of hundreds of journalists and organizers that span the globe, and empower millions of people each month to make a difference. is organized around more than a dozen leading cause-based communities, ranging from gay rights to women’s rights to animal welfare. Within each community anyone can start an online petition, sign petitions related to their interests, and magnify their impact by sharing each petition with friends. Put online activism to work, create social change through an online petition today.

On Saturday 70 people from across the US and Canada were arrested at the White House for the first day of a two week sit-in aimed at pressuring President Obama to deny the permit for a massive new oil pipeline. Over 2,000 more people are expected to join the daily civil disobedience over the coming days.

At stake is what has quickly become the largest environmental test for President Obama before the 2012 election. The President must choose whether or not to grant a Canadian company a permit to build a 1,700 mile pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the gulf of mexico.

Environmentalists warn that the pipeline could cause a BP disaster right in America’s heartland, over the largest source of fresh drinking water in the country. The world’s top climatologist, Dr. James Hansen, has warned that if the Canadian tar sands are fully developed it could be “game over” for the climate.’

(via Arrests Made and Thousands More Expected in DC as Protests Grow to Block Tar Sands Pipeline | Environment | AlterNet)

According to Forbes, the Koch brothers have seen their wealth rise $11 billion in recent years, making the Koch brother among the richest in the country by being worth around $22.5 billioneach. Much of those profits, however, are due to soaring gas prices and the fact Koch Industries has avoided compensating the public for hundred million tons of carbon pollution the company produces each year. Other Koch companies also receive significant taxpayer subsidies, despite Koch’s supposed opposition to government spending. This company is among the country’s top sources of carcinogenic chemicals and air pollutants.’

(via Koch Responds To Buffet: ‘My Business And Non-Profit Investments Are Much More Beneficial To Society’ | ThinkProgress)

Christine Irvine Arrested in Front of the White House (by tarsandsaction)


It Begins. Dozens Arrested at White House on Day 1 of Tar Sands Action @ TreeHugger #noKXL #Keystonexl #tarsandsaction #climate

WSJ ~ Dozens Arrested at Protest Of Oil Pipeline

Globe & Mail ~ Dozens arrested outside White House in Keystone pipeline protests

CBC ~ Oilsands pipeline protesters arrested near White House: Calgary-based TransCanada’s Keystone XL up for approval in U.S.

CTV ~ Arrests made at oilsands protest in Washington

(via CNN Tries, Fails to Cover Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining | Mother Jones)

1. The “jobs versus the environment” frame. The problems with this are numerous. First of all, mountaintop removal creates/sustains a whole lot fewer jobs than underground coal mining. Once you remove the coal, there are no more jobs there. The headline reference to a “steady job” must be some kind of dark humor, given the decline in coal jobs in this country.

Then, once you have created a monoeconomy based on coal, the disappearance of those jobs devastates the surrounding community—especially now that you’ve destroyed the mountains and polluted the surrounding areas, ruining property values and any potential for tourism. And then there’s the health factor…but I’ll get to that in my next point. In the meantime, here’s what poverty rates look like in central Appalachia near surface mining sites, via Appalachian Voices:’

(via Summer Beach Reading)

On August 10 the Center for American Progress hosted an event, “Life in Our Oceans: Art, Science, Sustenance, and Soul,” with four esteemed authors and ocean advocates who are fighting to raise awareness that the ocean’s beauty is only skin deep. Journalist Juliet Eilperin (Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks), marine biologist Nancy Knowlton (Citizens of the Sea), chef Barton Seaver (For Cod and Country), and National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry (Ocean Soul) helped explore the state of life in our oceans and how we can spread the message that our marine Edens are mostly mirages. While the authors’ presentations during the event had their moments of doom and gloom, each was ultimately able to find some good news.

Eilperin, who is also the environment reporter for The Washington Post, has seen an increasing dedication among coastal nations and U.S. states that are passing laws and instituting bans to reduce incidents of shark finning—catching a shark; slicing off its fins, which are the most valuable part of the animal; and tossing the rest of the carcass back into the sea. This wasteful practice is driven by increasing demand for shark fin soup, a culinary status symbol that is resoundingly thought to have no gustatory merit, yet is largely responsible for the rapid decline of the ocean’s top predators.

Tired of writing one death notice after another about the calamities befalling our oceans, Knowlton, along with her husband, Jeremy Jackson, created a project called “Beyond the Obituaries” to tell the success stories of ocean conservation. And in addition to serving as Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Knowlton serves as a co-director of the Census of Marine Life. The Census carried out a decade-long search for new species in our oceans and came up with more than 6,000 new denizens of the deep. Nearly two brand new species were found per day, every day for 10 years. Knowlton describes as “conservative” estimates that there are at least another quarter-million species in our oceans no human has ever encountered.

At the other end of the food chain, chef Seaver advocates for a move beyond sustainability to what he calls a “restorative” seafood agenda. “It’s about better utilizing the resources that we already have access to,” said Seaver. “If chefs have the power to destroy, it is inherent that we also have the power to restore. Sustainable basically means do no harm, but restorative means to actually give back, actually to do something more to help actually bring back stocks.”

And Brian Skerry, who has made undersea images throughout a career exceeding three decades, has been as amazed by the ocean’s resilience as he has been dismayed by its degradation. Some of his photographs show the restorative power of marine protected areas and no-take zones that protect some of today’s most pristine remaining sea habitats. “There’s almost this arms race occurring with countries now trying to protect more and more of their oceans,” said Skerry of efforts to cordon off large swaths of ocean, as President George H. W. Bush did with the northwest Hawaiian Islands. Skerry talks about marine reserves in the south Pacific as being “like going back in time,” adding, “I’d like to be hopeful and think that the combination of good science and good journalism, good awareness will help raise everybody’s attention and this trend with continue for conservation and better management.”’

'On April 14, a massive storm swept down out of the Rocky Mountains into the Midwest and South, spawning more than 150 tornadoes that killed 43 people across 16 states (Capital Weather Gang4/18/11). It was one of the largest weather catastrophes in United States history—but was soon upstaged by an even larger storm, the 2011 Super Outbreak that spread more than 300 tornadoes across 14 states from April 25 to 28 (including an all-time one-day record of 188 twisters on April 27), killing 339 people, including 41 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN, 5/1/11).

Ensuing weeks saw Texas wildfires that had been burning since December expand to consume more than 3 million acres (Texas Forest Service, 6/28/11; CNN, 4/25/11), plus record flooding along the Mississippi River, which couldn’t contain the water from April’s storms on top of the spring snowmelt. On May 22, a super-strong F5 tornado killed 153 people as it flattened a large part of Joplin, Missouri (National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, 5/22/11) ; in the first two weeks of June, a heat wave broke temperature records in multiple states, and the Wallow fire became the largest in Arizona state history (Washington Post, 6/14/11).

It was an unprecedented string of severe weather: By mid-June, more than 1,000 tornadoes had killed 536 people (NOAA, 6/13/11), nearly as many deaths as in the entire preceding decade. And it was only natural to ask: Were we seeing the effects of climate change?’