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Prison Planet.com » Human brains and bodies could be hacked to create life in...

HUMANS of the future could have enormous lungs to live in underwater kingdoms, or biohacked brains where memories can be bought and sold for...

An Environmental and Public Health Disaster Awaits if USDA Gives Organic Label to Hydroponics

Whether food production entails acres of mono-crops, livestock shuttled through assembly lines or orderly tracks of plastic pipelines in factory-scale hydroponics spaces, streamlined production...

Smells Like Environmental Racism | By

One morning in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood, I saw the air turn a heavy yellowish-green, like a thick fog. It stunk so badly, it hurt...

“This Proposal Would Re-Open a Pollution Loophole Big Enough to Drive a Truck Through.”...

WASHINGTON - The Trump Administration is considering repealing a rule limiting pollution from refurbished heavy-duty trucks. The rule as it currently stands requires that  “gliders,” --...

A History of Environmental Direct Action

(Photo: Javier Fernández Sánchez / Getty Images) Darren Frederick Speece's Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics (University of Washington Press, 2017)...

Environmentalists damage environment as much as anyone else – study

Published time: 11 Oct, 2017 10:52 Environmentalists who urge others to “go green” to save...

Appetite for Destruction: Trump’s War on the Environment

Photo by Bureau of Land Manageme | CC BY 2.0 From the senseless slaughter in Las Vegas to the horrific impacts of Hurricane Maria on...
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Video: Environmental Disaster Looms in Puerto Rico, Lashed by Hurricane Maria & Left Without...

https://democracynow.org - Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, bringing record rainfall and catastrophic flooding, ... Via Youtube

Trump admin waives more environmental laws to expedite border wall construction in California

The US Department of Homeland Security has waived another set of environmental laws that would impede...
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Video: Invisible Houston: Full Interview With Dr. Robert Bullard, Father of Environmental Justice Movement

https://democracynow.org - Residents across Houston are beginning to return to their communities in the wake of devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Via Youtube

Hurricane Harvey Hits Home for Texas Environmental Hero Hilton Kelley

Hilton Kelley in front of his flooded home in Port Arthur, Texas. (Photo: Hilton Kelley, used with permission) Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters were still receding from...
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Video: Surrounded by Oil Refineries, Port Arthur, TX Faces New Environmental Crisis Following Harvey...

https://democracynow.org - Six days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the unprecedented storm is continuing to wreak havoc in Texas and parts of ... Via Youtube
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Video: Surrounded by Oil Refineries, Port Arthur, TX Faces New Environmental Crisis Following Harvey...

https://democracynow.org - Six days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the unprecedented storm is continuing to wreak havoc in Texas and parts of ... Via Youtube

Environmental Crisis Unfolding in Houston as Oil and Chemical Industry Spew Toxic Pollutants Into...

As fallout from Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana continues, at least 30 people have died and more than 17,000 people are in shelters....
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Video: Environmental Crisis Unfolding in Houston as Oil & Chemical Industry Spew Toxic Pollutants...

https://democracynow.org - As fallout from Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana continues, at least 30 people have died and more than 17000 people are...

Trump orders rollback of environmental rules to speed up infrastructure permit process

President Donald Trump has unveiled new plans to speed up approval processes for highways and other...

War Not Only Kills People: It’s the Single Biggest Destroyer of the Environment

This is the first of a planned series of articles to be gathered under the umbrella title “War Must and Can Be Ended.” All...
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Video: Catherine Hannaford On The Impact Of Education, Medication & The Environment On Our...

Please Support The Show – http://paypal.me/richieallen https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in ... Via Youtube

Trump admin waives environmental laws to expedite border wall construction

Environmental activists say the Department of Homeland Security is violating the Constitution with its move to...

Federal court orders EPA to reinstate methane rules after environmentalists petition

Published time: 1 Aug, 2017 05:00 Edited time: 1 Aug, 2017 06:40 A federal court has...

Talia Buford on Environmental Justice, Josh Ruebner on BDS Ban

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Trump's Environmental Protection Pick Is BP's Former Lawyer — and May Preside Over Cases...

Jeffrey Bossert Clark, nominee to be an assistant attorney general, Environment and Natural Resources Division, looks on during a Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing...

Food Safety and Environmental Organizations Call on EPA to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

WASHINGTON - A coalition of food safety and environmental groups will deliver hundreds of thousands of public comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...

US approves Alaska offshore oil & gas drilling, enraging environmental groups

The US arm of a European multinational oil and gas company has been approved to begin...

US Mayors: Instead of War, Spend Big on 'Human and Environmental Needs'

Hundreds of U.S. mayors have rejected the ongoing militarism supported by the present and Congress and instead called for a budget that supports "human...

House Logging Bill (HR 2936) Guts Federal Environmental Laws, Literally Privatizes Public Lands, Creates...

Western Environmental Law CenterTomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives begins its consideration of HR 2936, known as the Westerman Bill after its author, Rep....

Greenpeace Launches Summer of Resistance to Dial Up Peaceful Direct Action against the Trump...

WASHINGTON - Today, Greenpeace USA launched a summer-long initiative to educate thousands of people across the country in the basics of non-violent direct action....

Brazil Assaults Indigenous Rights, Environment, Social Movements

"The first five months of 2017 have been the most violent this century," Cândido Neto da Cunha, a specialist in agrarian affairs at the...

Make Environmentalism Manly Again

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Video: Tina Rothery “This Election Is Our Best Chance, To Stop Fracking Destroying The...

Please Support The Show – http://paypal.me/richieallen https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in ... Via Youtube
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Video: Army Approves Final Permit for Dakota Access Pipeline Without Assessing Environmental Impact

Nick Tilson of the Indigenous People's Power Project says the decision reflects the long history of the U.S. government ignoring treaties and environmental ... Via...

Fungal Diseases Are on the Rise — Is Environmental Change to Blame?

Scientists and physicians are looking for clues to a worrying increase in fungal infections and exploring ways to reduce the threat. (Photo: Pixabay) Why doesn't...

"Clean This Place, Don't Displace": Activists Battle for Environmental Justice in Washington, DC

April 25, 2016, protest of soccer stadium groundbreaking residents from Syphax Gardens, Q St. Corridor and Greenleaf. (Photo: Kari Fulton) Want to see more coverage...

Environmentalists Are Dead Wrong

Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom. Let’s take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we...

War in the Gulf (No, Not That Gulf!): The US Navy's Anti-Environmental Broadside in...

Cordova, Alaska, is one of the most biologically sensitive areas in the Northern Hemisphere. It is located close to the Navy’s training area, where...
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Video: Neruda criticized political environment in poetry, nobody does that today – film director

RT's Afshin Rattansi speaks to the director of the Academy Award-nominated film 'Jackie' and Golden Globe Award-winner Gael Garcia Bernal about the new ... Via...

Firm Hired by FERC to Review Dominion's Atlantic Coast Pipeline Linked to Project's Main...

A contractor working for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in its environmental review of the proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline has ties to the...

Environmental groups launch legal challenge against Keystone XL pipeline

Published time: 31 Mar, 2017 02:14 The controversial Keystone XL pipeline which was approved by the US...

Colorado must protect health & environment before allowing fracking, court rules

The Colorado Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision on fracking, siding with a group...

Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council

Confidential sources have told Politico that Bill Cooper — current congressional staffer and former fossil fuel industry lobbyist and attorney — is under consideration to head...

Trump’s Budget Assault on the Environment Packs a Wallop

Donald Trump’s first budget makes his antipathy to the environment clear—and his love for fossil fuels and nuclear power even clearer. In addition to slashing...
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Video: Mustafa Ali: Meet the Top EPA Environmental Justice Official Who Quit to Protest...

http://democracynow.org - A top official at the Environmental Protection Agency has resigned in protest of a Trump administration proposal to scale back severely ... Via...

No Ban, No Wall: Native American and Human Rights Groups Join Forces With Environmental...

As Director of Equity, Inclusion and Justice at Sierra Club, I often hear the question: why doesn’t Sierra Club stick to “environmental issues”? Today...
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Video: Part 2: Exposé Shows Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres Topped Kill List of U.S.-Trained...

http://democracynow.org - Watch part two of our discussion with the reporter behind a new investigation that reveals further ties between the killing of renowned...
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Video: Revealed: Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres’ Suspected Killers Received U.S. Military Training

http://democracynow.org - We discuss a new investigation that reveals further ties between the killing of renowned environmental activist Berta Cáceres, ... Via Youtube

Trump Promises Environmental Protection Through Regulation While Eliminating Environmental Regulations

We'll Take Our Comic Relief Where We Can Get It Dept: The ghastliness of the CPAC...

‘Unwelcome hugs’ may create a hostile work environment, court says

Published time: 25 Feb, 2017 09:19 The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has revived a case from...

Consumer, Environmental and Workers Groups File Legal Challenge to Trump’s ‘One-In, Two-Out’ Executive Order...

WASHINGTON - Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Communications Workers of America sued the Trump administration today to block an executive order...

A Step Toward Environmental Justice in North Carolina's Hog Country

After years of seeking help from state officials, people living near industrial hog farms across Eastern North Carolina had their fears about health-damaging pollution...

Indigenous Environmental Network: Trump Can’t Build DAPL Without a Fight

Indigenous Environment NetworkToday the Army Corps of Engineers notified Congress that it will grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline in the next...

Republicans Introduce Bill to "Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency"

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, before a confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, on January 18, 2017. Pruitt has...

Trump's Wall Would Also Be Terrible for the Environment

During his first week in office, Donald Trump, as we're all aware, wasted no time in acting on several of the egregious promises he made...

Genetically-modified wheat to be grown in Britain despite environmentalist opposition

The British government has given the green light for a new experimental crop of genetically-modified...

Medical Waste Poses a Serious Environmental and Public Health Threat in Pakistan

Imdadullah Khan routinely rifles though a garbage bin in front of Lady Reading Hospital, in Peshawar, Pakistan. "I am looking for used syringes, drips,...

Native Americans vow legal action after proposed suspension of DAPL environmental review

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is vowing legal action after the US Army Corps of Engineers...
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Video: New Trump Picks to Bring Public Lands and Environmental Regulations to the Corporate...

Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director Keiran Suckling says “dark days” are ahead with South Carolina Republican Congressman Mick Mulvaney as ... Via Youtube

What Does the Environment Have to Do With Diseases That Affect the Immune System?

In 1932, New York gastroenterologist Burrill Crohn described an unusual disease in 14 adults. The patients had bouts of abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and...

Army Corps starts Dakota Access Pipeline environmental study

The Army Corps of Engineers have began studying the environmental impact of the $3.8 billion Dakota...

Hundreds protest gas pipeline in Florida over health & environment risks (VIDEO)

Hundreds of people protested in northern Florida on Saturday against the Sabal Trail Transmission Pipeline project,...

California sues feds over claims offshore fracking had no environmental impact

Citing risks to public health and marine life, California’s state attorney and the state Coastal Commission...

Oklahoma Political Elite Fan the Flames of Environmental Deregulation in Trump's US

Activists occupy the Oceti Sakowin Camp near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on November 18, 2016. (Photo: Oceti Sakowin Camp) The famous 1973 occupation of Wounded...

“Business is growing” despite fraught political environment, Russian ambassador says

Russian and British business leaders assembled in London on Wednesday for the first day of...

Efforts to Combat Zika Don't Have to Harm the Environment

November 21, 2016 -- County public health officials in South Carolina weren't thinking about bees in August, when they realized that four residents in...

Building an Environmentally Sound House Cheaply, in a Week

Open-source construction. (Photo: CC: Open Source Ecology) Should construction industry giants be worried? After open-source software and the manufacture of machines and objects, the global...

How NAFTA's Chapter 11 Overrides Environmental Laws

Opening Pandora's Box: NAFTA Initialing Ceremony, October 1992. From left to right (standing) Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, US President George...

‘What Open Borders Mean for Corporations Is Really About Restricting Workers’ Rights’ – CounterSpin...

Janine Jackson interviewed Michelle Chen about Samsung’s labor and environmental abuses for the November 4, 2016, CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Michelle Chen:...

Environmentalists Want Your Help Building a Climate Congress

Faced with a presidential debate season that lacked any real discussion of an issue that the current occupant of the White House,...
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Video: Standing Rock Sioux Pediatrician: Threat from Fracking Chemicals is “Environmental Genocide”

http://democracynow.org - In an extended interview with one of the first people arrested in the resistance movement against the Dakota Access pipeline, Dr. Sara...

One Tribe's "Long Walk" Upstream for Environmental and Cultural Justice

(Photo: Environmental Health News) Editor's Note: This story is part of "Sacred Water," EHN's ongoing investigation into Native American struggles -- and successes...

Countryside-Dwelling, Environmentally-Friendly Families are Right Wing Extremists, Researchers Warn

Researchers of “extremism” have identified friendly, environmentally-conscious families living in the German countryside as likely dangerous radicals, and warn that rural living...

The CO2 God Controls Environmental Disasters, Not

In my recent article “The Climate Religion”, I argued that “climate change”, the widespread belief that atmospheric CO2 controls climate and climate events, satisfies...

US fracked gas blamed for ‘human suffering, environmental destruction’ arrives in UK

Britain’s first imported shipment of US fracked gas has arrived in Scotland despite an increasingly...

‘Keep it in the ground’: Environmentalists gather in DC, demand end to oil drilling...

A group of more than 40 protesters gathered in front of the White House in a...

King Coal Is Dethroned in the US — and That's Good News for the...

This is the worst year in decades for US coal. During the first six months of 2016, US coal production was down a...
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Video: Texas earthquakes likely linked to fracking activity – US environmental agency

The US environmental protection agency has linked earthquakes in the state of Texas to fracking activity. RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! Via Youtube

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Empire and the Environment

Also see: Bringing Corporations to Justice With Ecuador's UN Representative After touring Chevron's oil pollution in the Ecuadorean Amazon, Abby Martin sits down for...

Media Silence and the Agrochemicals Industry: The Slow Poisoning of Health and the Environment  

Colin Todhunter It’s an all too common tale of dirty deeds, shady deals and propaganda. Rosemary Mason’s recent open letter to journalists at The Guardian...

New World Bank Policies Imperil Environment and Land Defenders

The World Bank approved Thursday its new "Environmental and Social Framework" which civil society groups say weakens human rights protections and will likely endanger the very communities the...

Environmentalists spar with EPA on jet engine exhaust, air pollution

The US Environmental Protection Agency has declared that aircraft emissions contribute to air pollution and “endanger...

Environmental Justice Activists Fight Plans for Federal Prison on Mountaintop-Removal Site

Environmental justice activists demonstrated at the Bureau of Prisons and Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, DC, June 13, 2016, to oppose...

On World Environment Day, Profiting from Death, Devastation and Destruction is the Norm

The scaly anteater is considered to be the most trafficked mammal on earth. Over a million of these have been taken from the wild...

Is Clinton An “Environmental Champion”?

JStone | Shutterstock.com In its first-ever endorsement of a U.S. presidential candidate, the NRDC Action Fund – a political affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council –...

Economic Update: Pro-Environment, Anti-Capitalist

This episode discusses fossil-fuel divestment, the economics of the Zika virus and payday loan scandals. We also interview environmental lawyer and activist Carol Dansereau. Download...

Trade Deals and the Environmental Crisis

With the release of leaked documents from the TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) ‘trade’ deal Greenpeace framed its conclusions more diplomatically than I...

A Climate for Change, Islam and the Environment

Earth Day arrived and passed with marginal coverage, awareness or acknowledgement this year.  To be fair, it was a heavy news cycle, the passing...

‘Environmental breakdown’: Florida Bay hit with huge seagrass die-off

The Secretary of the Interior and scientists are drawing attention to a massive die off in...

How to Reduce Premature Deaths Linked to Environmental Risks

(Photo: Gianluca Di natale) Millions of deaths around the world are preventable every year without any additional spending on research for treatment. And...

Indian state of Bihar blocks GM seed trials to protect health and environment

In India, Bihar's Agriculture Minister, Narendra Kumar Singh, recently announced to the people at a groundbreaking Seed Festival that the state's food supply will...
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Video: The Presidential Race & Environmental Racism: Flint Water Crisis Center Stage at Democratic...

http://democracynow.org - The race for the Democratic nomination intensified this weekend as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton at caucuses ... Via Youtube
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Video: Remembering Berta Cáceres, Assassinated Honduras Indigenous & Environmental Leader

http://democracynow.org - Honduran indigenous and environmental organizer Berta Cáceres has been assassinated in her home in Honduras. She was one of ... Via Youtube
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Video: TTIP: Another Secret Trade Deal Putting Us and the Environment at Risk

Frank Ackerman, Principal economist at Synapse Energy Economics says we are on the cusp of another trade deal that is fortified to serve the...
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Video: SCOTUS Blocks Obama Clean Power Plan, Hinders Future of Environmental Legislation

Robert Pollin says legally halting executive order on power-plants poses possible "disaster" for future emissions reduction. Via Youtube
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Video: Canadian Environment Minister Says Indigenous Peoples Will be Duly Consulted on Pipelines

Clayton Thomas-Muller says it's important to delineate between what the federal government of Canada interprets as meaningful consultation, and what the ... Via Youtube

‘Environmental’ Comic Strip’s Author Wants Global Warming Believers to ‘Get Real’

The leading environmental-themed comic strip in the United States, Mark Trail, is apparently written by a climate-change denier. The strip’s expanded Sunday editions are intended...
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Video: Erin Brockovich: California Methane Gas Leak is Worst U.S. Environmental Disaster Since BP...

Democracynow.org - In the nation's biggest environmental disaster since the BP oil spill, a runaway natural gas leak above Los Angeles has emitted more...
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Video: The Canadian Environment Minister’s Cop-out at COP21 (1/2)

Dimitri Lascaris of TRNN, Carol Linnit of DeSmogCanada, and Ashley Renders of Vice News Canada challenge the new minister. Via Youtube
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Video: Will Nicaragua Build Massive Canal Despite Environmental Opposition?

In Nicaragua, thousands of rural residents from across the country flocked to the capital Managua in October to protest the construction of a canal...

How to Be a Merry Environmentalist

Here’s something to consider this holiday season: Stop sending greeting cards. I know this sounds like a tip from the Grinch, but this well-meaning tradition...

Most UK Muslims living in hateful environment

A new survey says most British Muslims believe that misguided government policies and biased media coverage have created an "environment of hate" that affects...
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Video: A Carbon Bomb Defused: Obama Rejects Keystone XL in Historic Win for Environmental...

Democracynow.org - The environmental movement is celebrating one of its biggest victories to date: President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Via Youtube
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Video: Massive Indonesian Plantation Fires Create Environmental Catastrophe Spewing Haze & Carbon Emissions

Democracynow.org - Indonesian President Joko Widodo has decided to cut his U.S. trip short due to raging fires that have resulted in haze and...

They Profit, We Die: Toxic Agriculture and the Poisoning of Soils, Human Health and...

Our food system is in big trouble. It’s in big trouble because the global agritech/agribusiness sector is poisoning it, us and the environment with...

New Environmental Inspectors Offered Free Industry-Funded Classes on Fracking

At an industry conference in Philadelphia last month, oil and gas executives gathered to hear about a little-known public relations effort with a very...
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Video: Is Shell’s Move to Abandon Arctic Drilling a Victory for Environmentalists?

Indigenous activist Carl Wassillie and Institute for Policy Studies's Daphne Wysham say that public pressure spurred Shell's decision. Via Youtube

Blunting the Pope’s Environmentalism

Pope Francis has challenged market economics to address the human cost of profit-making, especially global warming’s threat to the future of the planet. But opponents...
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Video: Energy co’s criminally misinforming policymakers on climate change – environmentalist

The realities of climate change have become increasingly apparent in recent years, especially in the Arctic and Antarctic. But despite recognition of the problem,...
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Video: Lebanese protesters storm Ministry of Environment building, call on minister to resign

Riot police have been dispersing Lebanese protesters who gathered in central Beirut chanting anti-government slogans. The move took place after they stormed ... Via Youtube
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Video: Toronto Protest Unites Environmental, Labor, and Indigenous Movements

Sanjay Talreja reports on the July 5th March for Jobs, Justice & the Climate in Toronto, Canada. Via Youtube

Gallup: Americans Say Gov’t. Must Protect Environment More; Republicans Say ‘No!’

Eric Zuesse A Gallup poll issued on April 13th headlines “Americans Choose the Environment Over Energy Development,” and on April 9th another report from Gallup was titled “About Half in...

Big Oil’s Global Power Grab. Devastating Environmental and Social Consequences

Joachim Hagopian RINF Alternative News It has been happening all over the earth where pristine nature supports indigenous peoples that for eons of time have lived...

War, Economic Catastrophe and Environmental Degradation. Under the Guise of Progress and Development

Global Research and Countercurrents 27/4/2014
Indian finance minister P.Chidambaram once claimed that his government’s policies were pro growth and pro equity (1). He talked of alleviating poverty in India‘in our lifetime’ by implementing the type of development policies currently being pursued. The minister envisages 85 percent of India’s population eventually living in well-planned cities with proper access to water, health, electricity, education, etc. Based on today’s population size, which is set to continue to rise, that would mean at least 600 million moving to cities. He stated that urbanisation constitutes ‘natural progress’.
The type of urbanisation being pursued in India is not ‘natural’, however, nor does it represent ‘progress’. It has thus far been largely based on unconstitutional land takeovers, the trampling of democratic rights, increasing and unsustainable resource usage and air and water pollution. But for Chidambaram and other supporters of cronyism, cartels and the manipulation of markets (2,3,4), which all go under the guise of economic ‘neo-liberalism’, such processes increase the amount of money flowing around the economy, which therefore increases the GDP figure and thus represent progress. In this respect, chopping down an ancient forest and selling the timber represents progress, and removing people’s access to traditional lands by handing them to corporations to somehow make cash profits from is also positive.
This warped notion of development has seen the poverty alleviation rate in India remain around the same as it was back in 1991 or even in pre-independence India (0.8 percent) (5), while the ratio between the top and bottom ten percents of the population has doubled during this period. According to the Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development, this doubling of income inequality has made India one of the worst performers in the category of emerging economies (6).
This is the type of development being forced through by Indian politicians on behalf of national and international elite interests via the World Bank, WTO, and the G8, etc, and it is based on the idea that shifting people from agriculture to what are a number of already overburdened, filthy, polluted mega-cities to work in factories, clean the floors of a shopping mall or work as a security guard improves the human condition; or, more realistically, to live in slum-like conditions and be unemployed or underemployed, given that hundreds of millions are to be booted from the land to achieve Chidambaram’s 85 percent urbanisation figure.
Urbanisation is being forced through by what Vandana Shiva says is the biggest forced removal of people from their lands in history and involves one of the biggest illegal land grabs since Columbus, according to a 2009 report commissioned by the rural development ministry and chaired by the then minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.
In the West, urbanisation was not ‘natural’ and involved the unforeseen outcomes of conflicts and struggles between serfs, lords, peasants, landowners, the emerging bourgousie and class of industrialists and the state. The outcomes of these struggles resulted in different routes to modernity and levels of urbanisation (7,8).
Similar struggles are now taking place in India. The naxalites and Maoists in India are referred to by the dominant class as left wing extremists who are exploiting the poor. How easy it is cast legitimate protesters together and create an ‘enemy within’. How easy it is to ignore the state-corporate extremism across the world that results in the central state abdicating its responsibilities by submitting to the tenets of the Wall Street-backed ‘structural adjustment’ pro-privatisation policies, free capital flows, massive profits justified on the basis of ‘investment risk’ and unaccountable cartels which aim to maximise profit by beating down labour costs and grabbing resources at the cheapest possible costs. That’s the real nature of extremism. It is the type of extremism that is regarded as anything but by the mainstream media.
Powerful corporations are spearheading the agenda for ‘development’ in India and have been handed the rights to this process via secretive Memorandums of Understanding. The full military backing of the state is on hand to forcibly evict peoples from their land in order to fuel a wholly unsustainable model of development that strips the environment bare and ultimately negatively impacts the climate and ecology.
Moreover, due to the restructuring of agriculture in favour of Western agribusiness, over 250,000 farmers have committed suicide in India since 1997. And yet the corporate-controlled type of agriculture being imposed only leads to bad food, bad soil, bad or no water, bad health and bad or falling yields (9,10,11,12). Unconstitutional land grabs for SEZs, resource extraction, nuclear plants and other projects have additionally forced many others from the land.
With GDP growth slowing and automation replacing human labour the world over in order to decrease labour costs and boost profit, just where are the jobs going to come from to cater for India’s increasing population, never mind hundreds of millions of former agricultural workers?
To push through the type of progress and development Chidambaram wants, it is clear that farmers represent a ‘problem’ to be removed from the land and a problem to be dealt with once removed. Food producers, the genuine wealth producers of a nation, only became a problem when Western agribusiness was given the green light to take power away from farmers and uproot traditional agriculture in India and recast it in its own profiteering, corporate-controlled image. This is who is really setting the ‘development’ agenda. The processes involved constitute the ‘progress’ and ‘natural’ move towards depopulating rural areas that Chidambaram spoke of.
If it can’t be done via mass suicide and making it economically non-viable to continue farming as a result of world trade policies, ‘free’ trade agreements and ‘structurally adjusting’ (plundering) traditional agricultural practices and economies to ultimately ensure petro-chemical farming (and thus oil and the US dollar (13) remains king, let tens of thousands of militia into the tribal areas to displace hundreds of thousands, place 50,000 in camps and carry out rapes and various human rights abuses (14,15).
If anyone perceives that this ‘natural progress’ is not based on acquiescing to foreign corporations, they should take a look at the current corporate-driven, undemocratic free trade agreement being hammered out behind closed doors between the EU and India (16,17,18).It all adds up to powerful trans-national corporations trying to by-pass legislation that was implemented to safeguard the public’s rights. Kavaljit Singh of the Madhyam research institute argues that we could see the Indian government being sued by multinational companies for billions of dollars in private arbitration panels outside of Indian courts if national laws, policies, court decisions or other actions are perceived to interfere with their investments; this is already a reality in many parts of the world whereby legislation is shelved due to even the threat of legal action by corporations (19). Such free trade agreements cement the corporate ability to raid taxpayers’ coffers even further via unaccountable legal tribunals, or to wholly dictate national policies and legislation.
Of course, the links between the Monsanto/Syngenta/Walmart-backed Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture and the US sanctioning and backing of the opening up of India’s nuclear sector to foreign interests (on the back of a cash for votes scandal in parliament (20)) have already shown what the models of ‘development’ being pushed onto people really entails in terms of the erosion of democracy and the powerful corporate interests that really benefit (21,22).
Industrial developments built with public money and strategic assets, such as energy sources, ports, airports and seeds and infrastructure support for agriculture are being sold off. And how is this all justified? By the amount of cash sloshing around the formal economy (notwithstanding the massive amounts of money being siphoned off via corrupt deals and hidden from public gaze) and the reference to GDP growth – a single, warped, narrow definition of ‘development’ – a notion of development hijacked by economists and their secular theology which masquerades as economic ‘science’.
Do people really believe India’s future lies in tying itself to a corrupt, moribund system that has so patently failed in the West and can now only sustain itself by plundering other countries via war or ‘free trade’ agreements, which have little if anything to do with free trade? At best, it shows a lack of foresight. At worst, it displays complete subservience to elite interests at home and abroad.
Finally, if anyone perceives the type of ‘development for all’ being sold to the masses is actually possible in the first instance, they should note that ‘developing’ nations account for more than 80 percent of world population, but consume only about a third of the world’s energy. US citizens constitute 5 percent of the world’s population, but consume 24 percent of the world’s energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as two Japanese, six Mexicans, 13 Chinese, 31 Indians, 128 Bangladeshis, 307 Tanzanians and 370 Ethiopians (23).
The Earth is 4.6 billion years old and if you scale this to 46 years then humans have been here for just four hours. The Industrial Revolution began just one minute ago, and in that time, 50% of the Earth’s forests have been destroyed (24). Forests are just part of the problem. We are using up oil, water and other resources much faster than they can ever be regenerated. We have also poisoned the rivers, destroyed natural habitats, driven some wildlife species to extinction and altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere – among many other things.
Levels of consumption were unsustainable, long before India and other countries began striving to emulate Western levels and high energy use. The current model of development is based on a totally misguided dream; or, to put it another way, a deceitful ideology that attempts to justify and sell a system that is designed to fail the majority of the global population and benefit the relative few (25).
Capitalism has for a long time succeeded in making most people blind to the chains that bind and which make them immune to the falsehoods that underpin the system. This wasteful, high-energy system is tied to what ultimately constitutes the plundering of peoples and the planet by powerful transnational corporations. And, as we see all around us, the outcome is endless conflicts over fewer and fewer resources. Such conflicts are likely to gather pace as wars are not only fought to grab resources, but are also manufactured in order to destroy states from within by fomenting civil wars and thus destabilize economies and reduce demand for resources (26). The outcome is also environmental destruction and an elitist agenda being forwarded by rich eugenicists who voice concerns over there being ‘simply too many mouths’: those mouths would only take food from their rich bellies – bellies that long ago became bloated from the fat of the land, lucrative wars and the misery brought about by economic exploitation. The super rich who currently run the world regard most of humanity as a problem to be ‘dealt with’ (27).
Finally, it is worth considering that the US as a nation and its oligarchs in particular achieved the level of affluence that they did more by way of ‘gansterism’, not by ‘freedom and democracy’ or ‘free market’ economics as that nation’s leaders like to tell the world. That much was admitted by the late Major General Smedley Butler, the US’s most decorated marine: he listed various corporations on whose behalf he fought for during his various military campaigns (28). Of course, little has changed since Smedley wrote about his experiences in 1935.
Maybe Smedley’s description of this aspect of the US’s route to ‘development’ are what certain Indian politicians really respect, as the strong (and soft) arm of the state works to secure access to the nations resources for powerful corporations.
Notes
7) Robert Brenner (1976), “Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-industrial Europe”.Past and Present 70
8) Barrington Moore (1993) [First published 1966]. Social origins of dictatorship and democracy: lord and peasant in the making of the modern world (with a new foreword by Edward Friedman and James C. Scott ed.). Boston: Beacon Press.

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EcofascistsThe environmental fascists believe that if people are allowed to have large amounts of freedom and liberty that the planet will literally be destroyed.  That sounds crazy, but that is what they actually believe.  Left to our own devices, they are fully convinced that global warming and out of control pollution will transform the earth into an uninhabitable hellhole.  Therefore, they believe that it has become necessary to strictly manage human behavior “for the good of the environment”.  With each passing year, the control of the social planners gets even tighter.  Today, they have banned certain kinds of light bulbs, they are putting mandatory “smart meters” into our homes, and they have instituted all kinds of ridiculous regulations concerning what you can do with your own land.  Tomorrow, they plan to put “black boxes” into our vehicles and move most of us into “stack-and-pack” housing that has communal bathrooms and no elevators.  There is a reason why these people are called ecofascists.  The “true believers” of the environmental fascism movement actually believe that they are “saving the world” by being control freaks.  They truly believe that they know better than the rest of us, and they love to get into positions of political power so that they can impose their will on everyone around them.

The environmental fascists are constantly “pushing the envelope” and doing whatever they can to use the power of the government to impose new rules on all the rest of us.  Most of the time, Americans just take it without ever fighting back.  For example, a car wash for a high school cheerleading squad was recently shut down because the cheerleaders were “in violation of water discharge laws“…

It’s hard to wave your spirit fingers when the city shuts down the cheerleading squad’s fundraising car wash to protect the environment.

This is what happened to Lincoln High School cheerleaders trying to raise money to attend a national competition in April. The San Jose Mercury reports that local environmental officials warned the high school cheerleaders that their car wash violated the city’s water discharge laws.

“We had a visit from the city of San Jose Environmental Services Department who said that the car washes at Hoover [Middle School] are in violation of water discharge laws, therefore we had to cancel this and all future car washes,” said an email that was sent out to neighborhood email lists on Oct. 18.

Fortunately, there are some Americans that are still willing to stand up and fight back against this emerging ecofascism.  A recent Businessweek article profiled one north Idaho couple that is vigorously fighting back against the ridiculous demands of the EPA…

Four years ago the Sacketts were filling in their lot with dirt and rock, preparing to build a simple three-bedroom home in a neighborhood where other houses have stood for years. Then three federal officials showed up and demanded they stop construction. The agency claimed the .63-acre lot was a wetland, protected under the Clean Water Act.

The Sacketts say they were stunned. The owners of an excavation company, they had secured all the necessary local permits. And Chantell Sackett says that before work began, she drove two hours to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to consult with an Army Corps of Engineers official. She says the official told her orally, though not in writing, that she didn’t need a federal permit. “We did all the right things,” she says.

The EPA issued an order requiring the Sacketts to put the land back the way it was, removing the piles of fill material and replanting the vegetation they had cleared away. The property was to be fenced off and the Sacketts would be required to submit annual reports about its condition to the EPA. The agency threatened to fine them up to $32,500 a day until they complied.

Sadly, this kind of thing is happening all over the nation.  The EPA is completely and totally out of control, and they seem to be obsessed with making life absolute hell for farmers and private landowners.

But over in Europe, environmental fascism is actually even worse than it is in the United States.  In fact, one new regulation that was recently implemented bans Europeans from owning large vacuum cleaners

Incandescent light bulbs have already been removed from the shelves. Next being removed are larger size vacuum cleaners. Germany’s online flagship daily the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports: “Beginning September 2014 in the EU only vacuum cleaners that consume less than 1600 watts may be sold. From 2017 only a maximum of 900 watts will be allowed.”

Ultimately, the ecofascists intend to manage virtually every detail of our lives, because literally everything that we do “affects the environment” in some way.

According to the Los Angeles Times, one of the next things they hope to do is to put “black boxes” in our vehicles that they can use to tax us and track the “damage” that we are doing to the environment…

As America’s road planners struggle to find the cash to mend a crumbling highway system, many are beginning to see a solution in a little black box that fits neatly by the dashboard of your car.

The devices, which track every mile a motorist drives and transmit that information to bureaucrats, are at the center of a controversial attempt in Washington and state planning offices to overhaul the outdated system for funding America’s major roads.

The usually dull arena of highway planning has suddenly spawned intense debate and colorful alliances. Libertarians have joined environmental groups in lobbying to allow government to use the little boxes to keep track of the miles you drive, and possibly where you drive them — then use the information to draw up a tax bill.

What I find humorous about the above excerpt is that the L.A. Times is trying to get us to believe that this is something that “libertarians” actually want.

Another thing that the ecofascists have planned for the future is to move much of the population into “eco-friendly” stack-and-pack living environments.  These stack-and-pack living environments were described in a recent article by Suzanne Eovaldi

A typical stack-and-pack living area in the 200 square foot APodment bulding in Sammamish, WA is already developed. Occupant Judy Green (Seattle Times 5-12-13) “shares the kitchen with seven other tenants on the second floor.”  With no elevators, she has to walk up and down six flights of stairs to get to her loft! Bathrooms often are communal; no or few cars are allowed because of global warming.

The ultimate goal is for the government to watch, track, monitor and control everything that we do “for the good of humanity”.

And of course this emerging “Big Brother” control grid has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.  In fact, it is being reported that the United States spied on 60 million Spanish phone calls in just one single month recently, and according to CNN, the U.S. had even been spying on the private phone conversations of 35 foreign leaders…

The release of further allegations of National Security Agency surveillance efforts caused the Spanish government to summon the U.S. ambassador Monday, and The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House ordered a halt to some eavesdropping on foreign leaders after learning of it this summer.

Quoting unidentified U.S. officials, the newspaper’s website said the wiretapping of about 35 foreign leaders was disclosed to the White House as part of a review of surveillance programs ordered by President Barack Obama after NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified information on the NSA’s phone monitoring systems.

The White House ordered a halt to the monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and unspecified other leaders, the newspaper reported. The Journal report did not specify who gave the shutdown order or the date it was issued.

And this “control grid” is getting much tighter and much more oppressive on the local level as well.  For example, just check out what happened to one Texas woman recently

A Texas woman was arrested, strip-searched and jailed for an overdue traffic ticket Wednesday, a local CBS affiliate first reported.

Sarah Boaz said she was cuffed outside her Richland Hills home by an officer who was waiting for her when she stepped out to go to work, the New York Daily News reported.

The officer told her a warrant had been issued for her arrest after she failed to pay a summons for running a stop sign in August. Mrs. Boaz admitted that she didn’t pay the fine because she lost the summons.

“I’m like nobody puts out a bench warrant after 60 days,” she told the Daily News. “Why would you do that?”

Mrs. Boaz said she was forced to step into a jail cell and remove her clothes for a search. Her family bailed her out within a couple of hours.

When most people read about stuff like this, they are absolutely outraged.

But the ecofascists actually love this kind of stuff.  They want an all-powerful government that will have the power to force people to do “what is right for the environment”.  In fact, many of them actually believe that the planet will not survive if government does not behave in such a manner.

In the end, they are not going to settle for anything less than total control.  They want to control where you live, what kind of work you do, what kind of transportation you use and even how many children you have.

It is a totalitarian system wrapped up in a “save the world” package.

And right now, the ecofascists are steadily gaining ground.  If they are going to be defeated, people need to start standing up for freedom and liberty while they still can.

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The Environment Unprotected From Sequester

The Environment Unprotected From Sequester

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Posted on Mar 2, 2013
josef.stuefer (CC BY 2.0)

Thanks to the dreaded sequester cuts, the nation’s habitat will take a sizable hit as the development of clean energy is set back and 8,400 meat inspectors are furloughed. The oil industry, however, emerges as a victor as it gets to keep its billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies while the EPA sees its funding for monitoring and cleanup reduced, Mother Jones reports.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Mother Jones:

3. Food safety: The Food Safety and Inspection Service’s budget would be slashed by $51 million. This would result in a furlough of as much as 15 days for all employees, including 8,400 meat inspectors, as well as a loss of 2 billion pounds of meat, between 2.8 and 3.3 billion pounds of poultry, and over 200 million pounds of egg products. Meat shortages may also lead to price increases, leading to a domino effect on restaurants, grocers, and small businesses. There are also concerns that food safety “could be compromised by the illegal selling and distribution of uninspected meat, poultry, and egg products.” This wouldn’t be the first time there were public health concerns over shady meat industry.

4. Fracking regulation: There will likely be less oversight, says the Sierra Club’s Pierce. Specifically, there will be a reduction of baseline water quality monitoring networks, less money to study the effect of unconventional oil and gas extraction in the Appalachians, and not enough resources to determine how shale gas development impacts species such as brook trout and freshwater mussels.

Federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the DOI are currently developing rules and safeguards on fracking technology to ensure that drinking water is protected. “All of those efforts will be handicapped because the agency does not have the budget and personnel to carry out the critical work,” said Pierce.

5. Natural-disaster response: The cuts won’t increase the disasters themselves, but will definitely decrease our ability to fight and recover from them. Drought and climate change mean wildfires are on the rise, and the USDA warns that the agency “would complete as many as 200,000 fewer acres of hazardous fuel treatments, resulting in an increased risk to communities from wildfires.” The EPA cautions that there would be less research on how to prepare for disasters, leading to longer recovery times and higher costs.

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State Dept. Releases Keystone XL Environmental Impact Statement

Tens of thousands gathered in Washington, DC on February 17th with one simple call to the Obama Administration: "Move forward on climate, Mr. President, and reject the Keystone XL pipeline." (Photo: Reuters)The US State Department on Friday afternoon released a newly updated draft of its Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which, if approved, would dramatically increase the extraction and transfer of Canadian tar sands oil to the Gulf coast.

And as Sierra Club's Michael Brune said in a late afternoon press call, ""You know the news is bad when it comes out at 4pm on Friday."

The draft itself can be accessed here.

In response to the SEIS' release, Brune released the following statement:

"The Sierra Club is outraged by the State Department’s deeply flawed analysis today and what can only be interpreted as lip service to one of the greatest threats to our children’s future: climate disruption.

"We’re mystified as to how the State Department can acknowledge the negative effects of the Earth’s dirtiest oil on our climate, but at the same time claim that the proposed pipeline will ‘not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects.’ Whether this failure was willful or accidental, this report is nothing short of malpractice.

"President Obama said that he’s committed to fighting the climate crisis. If that is true, he should throw the State Department’s report away and reject the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline."

Jane Kleeb of the group Bold Nebraska joined other environmental leaders in rejecting the report's conclusion that tar sands development would not be impacted by rejection of the pipeline.

"Tarsands does not expand unless Keystone XL is built," Kleeb said. "The State Department's assumption that tarsands development does not change with or without this pipeline is wrong and laughable. Why would TransCanada spend billions on building the pipeline and millions on lobbying unless this piece of infrastructure is the--not a--but the lynchpin for the expansion of tarsands. Without this pipeline Canada stays at 2 million barrels a day, with it they get 3 million barrels a day. The President has the ability to keep a million barrels of tarsands in the ground a day. With a stroke of a pen he can protect property rights, water and make a dent in climate change."

"This report is laughable using the wrong assumption and therefore the wrong science," she said.

350.org co-founder Bill McKibben agreed, saying that "everyone in Canada knows they cannot expand the Alberta tar sands the way they'd like to without the Keystone XL being built."

McKibben added: "This is not the State Department's finest hour."

Acknowledging worries that the SEIS signals that the State Dept. would recommend and that Obama would ultimately approve the project, environmentalists said they would be ramping up their efforts in the coming days, weeks, and months.

"We're going to help them [reject the pipeline] by mounting as much public protest as we can in the weeks ahead," said McKibben.

Some quick key takeaways from the "Cumulative Impact" section include:

THREAT TO WATER SOURCES: GROUNDWATER:
Potential impacts due to releases of crude oil. Releases could potentially impact groundwater where the overlying soils are permeable and the depth to groundwater is shallow. Analyses in Section 4.13 suggest that large crude oil releases that do reach groundwater systems (including the Ogallala Aquifer) could result in oil spreading on the water table as far as 1,214 feet, and dissolved components of the oil, such as benzene, could spread as much as an additional 1,050 feet.

JOBS CREATED:
35 to 50 permanent jobs and negligible earnings and other revenues.

POTENTIAL SPILLS:
Spills associated with the proposed Project that enter the environment are expected to be rare and relatively small. Industry standards and practices (including the 57 Project-specific Special Conditions developed by PHMSA) provide a level of protection above that of other pipeline systems in existence. Modeling shows that, exclusive of topography and groundwater flow, large spills (20,000 barrels) could spread up to 1,214 feet on the ground surface or on the water table, and up to 1,050 feet dissolved in groundwater. Spills reaching surface water could be transported greater distances.

Response was swift on twitter:

According to the introductory letter accompanying the draft (emphasis added):

Once the Draft SEIS is noticed in the Federal Register, a 45-day comment period will begin. As part of the Department's process, members of the public, public agencies, and other interested parties are encouraged to submit comments, questions, and concerns about the project via e-mail to [email protected], at http://www.keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov, or mailed to:

U.S. Department of State
Attn: Genevieve Walker, NEPA Coordinator
2201 C Street NW, Room 2726
Washington, D.C. 20520

After the end of the public comment period, the Department will prepare a Final SEIS.

Ultimately, a determination will be made on whether this project serves the national interest. The national interest determination will involve consideration of many factors, including: energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; foreign policy; and compliance with relevant federal regulations. As directed by Executive Order 13337, before making such a decision, the Department will also request the views of several agencies and officials, including: the Departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Though the EIS does not necessarily dictate whether or not President Obama will approve the project, its content will be a vital piece of information in signaling the direction the administration is heading. If favorable to the pipeline, fossil fuel industry lobbyists will call mark it as a victory.

But, in anticipation of the release, the environmental group 350.org, which just two weeks ago led tens of thousands of people in a march against the pipeline in Washington, tweeted:

As details of the report's content become clear, the DeSmogBlog will be liveblogging the release here.

The timing of the draft assessment's release, however, speaks volumes. As DeSmog's Kevin Grandia notes:

[Releasing the EIS] late on a Friday - very typical when someone wants to put out bad news. This White House has used the tactic a lot. Another thing to note is that this isn't just any Friday afternoon, it is also the day final day to reach a sequester deal in Congress. All eyes in the media are focused on that!

Ahead of the release, the Canadian Press, citing a source at 350.org, reported that the EIS "acknowledges that Alberta's oilsands are carbon-intensive" it also "apparently makes clear that all modes of transportation are risky and the pipeline itself isn't any more of a threat to the environment."

If true, such an "analysis would mean that Calgary-based TransCanada has cleared a significant hurdle in its marathon bid to win approval for Keystone XL from the Obama administration."

Earlier today, Connie Hedegaard, the European Union's climate commissioner made headlines by urging President Obama to take a leadership role in the fight against climate change by rejecting the pipeline project.

“If you had a U.S. administration that would avoid doing something that they could do, with the argument that in the time we are living in and with climate change we are faced with, we should not do everything we can do, then it would be a very, very interesting global signal,” Hedegaard told reporters.

"We can bail out banks, we can bail out member states, but you cannot bail out climate," she said. "If we just say we must extract all the fossil fuels that we can find in the world, then it's clear that it will not be possible to stay below the 2 degrees."

"Nobody is doing enough," she added. "Europe is not doing enough, the U.S. is not doing enough, China is not doing enough—all of us will have to do more."

_________________________________________

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Threats to the Environment and the XL Keystone Project: “It’s Not About Oil Pipelines,...

 The same day that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was promising a “fair and transparent” review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast, the CEO of the company building that pipeline, TransCanada’s Russ Girling, was reported as saying that his company’s “Plan A” was finishing a different pipeline that would take the same tar sands oil to Canada’s east coast.

TransCanada’s plan to establish a pipeline to the Atlantic coast has received little attention since CEO Girling’s February 6 interview on Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg’s later report:

“Canada’s second-largest pipeline company proposes to ship oil 3,000 miles (4,825 kilometers) to the Atlantic Coast, allowing producers to send it by tanker to the Gulf, Girling said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters.

“While he expects U.S. passage of Keystone ‘very soon,’ the East Coast route makes sense in any event because of rising production from Alberta, Girling said.” 

TransCanada presently has about $22 billion worth of pipeline projects underway, of which Keystone XL represents about a third of the total.  Asked if an east coast pipeline was a fallback plan in case Keystone is blocked, Girling said:  “It’s not a Plan B, it’s a Plan A, and it will go if the market supports it, along with Keystone….  Once you get on tidewater, you can get anywhere, and you don’t need a presidential permit to bring oil into the Gulf Coast.”

That the head of a pipeline company is more interested in getting tar sands oil to market than he is in what it may cause after that is perhaps not surprising.  Girling isn’t a climate change denier, he just sees change taking decades during which TransCanada will try to make the transition to non-fossil fuels, which is why the company built three large wind farms in 2011.

Keystone Needs Presidential Permission to Proceed

But there may not be decades, there may be no time at all, according to a long National Journal story on February 7, with the headline:  “The Scary Truth About How Much Climate Change Is Costing You” – costing you now, the sub-head emphasizes:  “While policymakers fiddle, the threat of economic harm posed by rising sea levels, devastating storms, and drought is growing every day.”

On January 22, Greenpeace released a 60-page report called “Point of No Return,” dealing with “massive climate threats we must avoid,” while giving little reason to think we will avoid them:

“The world is quickly reaching a Point of No Return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change.

“With total disregard for this unfolding global disaster, the fossil fuel industry is planning 14 massive coal, oil and gas projects that would produce as much new carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020 as the entire US, and delay action on climate change for more than a decade.

“Continuing on the current course will make it difficult – if not impossible – to prevent the widespread and catastrophic impacts of climate change….”           

In the United States, pressure is building for the President (or the Secretary of State) to deny a permit to Keystone.  That demand is at the heart of plans for “the largest climate rally in history” on the Mall in Washington February 17.  Sponsored by the Sierra Club, 350.org, and the Hip-Hop Caucus, the promoters of the event assert that 

“The first step to putting our country on the path to addressing the climate crisis is for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. His legacy as president will rest squarely on his response, resolve, and leadership in solving the climate crisis.”

Making much the same argument with much greater detail on February 10 on TomDispatch.com, Hampshire College professor Michael Klare analyzes three possible pipeline routes that would enable Alberta tar sands oil to reach world markets.  The first is Keystone, first proposed in 2008, which is still at least two years from being operational.  The other two go in opposite directions — west, where resistance is already high, and east, where a substantial amount of pipeline is already in place.  Klare analyzes each alternative in detail, arguing that:    

“… the only pipeline now under development that would significantly expand Albertan tar-sands exports is Keystone XL. It is vitally important to the tar-sands producers because it offers the sole short-term – or possibly even long-term – option for the export and sale of the crude output now coming on line at dozens of projects being developed across northern Alberta.

“Without it, these projects will languish and Albertan production will have to be sold at a deep discount – at, that is, a per-barrel price that could fall below production costs, making further investment in tar sands unattractive. In January, Canadian tar-sands oil was already selling for $30-$40 less than West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the standard U.S. blend.” 

But Klare does not consider the different route to the Atlantic proposed by Girling, a route that could be entirely within Canada, ending at St. John, New Brunswick.             

The shadow play aspects of the public posturing around the Keystone pipeline make it difficult to focus on the underlying reality that matters most: whether exploiting tar sands, not only in Canada, but in the U.S. and other countries, really will mean “game over for the climate,” as NASA scientist James Hansen has said.  The heart of his argument, as it appeared in the New York Times, was simple:


“GLOBAL warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent 
interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves ‘regardless of what we do.’

“ If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.”

The game, in other words, is not about pipelines, it’s about tar sands oil.  And even though cancellation of the Keystone pipeline would not be a game-changer, such cancellation would be a powerful symbol that leaves open the possibility of changing the game.  And it would be a signal that there is at least some political will to change the game.

The Canadian government under Stephen Harper has been pushing hard for the Keystone pipeline, lobbying the Obama administration and responding to unsympathetic media reports in the U.S.   At the same time, Canadian resistance to pipelines in both the east and west has grown increasingly intense, especially among the more than 630 First Nations governments of Canada’s native people whose land would be directly affected.

Media Coverage Omits More Than It Says 

When Sec. Kerry promises a “fair and transparent” review of Keystone and media from ABC News to the Washington Post to Huffington Post report the story with the same wire service account from AP, there’s not a lot of reporting going on.  Sec. Kerry’s comments are value free and allow for a possible approval, especially in the context of Kerry’s “great respect” for the needs of Canada’s energy industry.

What AP and those who carried the report left out included Sec. Kerry’s significant oil industry holdings which create an obvious conflict of interest, although as someone who was the richest U.S. Senator till recently (net worth about $240 million, compared to Jay Rockefeller’s $98 million), his oil holdings may not represent that great a conflict.  And Sec. Kerry was “a steadfast proponent of taking action on climate during his tenure as a senator,” according to Reuters.

The widely distributed AP report all but dismisses “climate change,” using the phrase only in the context of suggesting that the pipeline would be “a source of much-needed jobs,” which it’s not, and “a step toward North American energy independence,” which it’s not.

Sec. Kerry’s remarks fit a context in which the State Dept. carries out its evaluation and approves the pipeline, giving cover for Pres. Obama to approve it, too, since the evaluation was “fair and transparent,” or will be reliably reported that way.  But Sec. Kerry also mentioned “accountability” in passing, without saying (or being asked) just what that could possibly mean.  If James Hansen is right, and the climate is destroyed by tar sands oil, how will anyone in the future be able to hold a long-dead multi-millionaire accountable for his lost seriousness?

Alternatively, with the boom of “light sweet oil” coming out of Texas and North Dakota, oil that is much preferable to the “heavy sour crude” from Alberta, the president may have a practical way of sidestepping Keystone approval as no longer very useful to the United States (if it ever really was).

Disruptions Continue Along Keystone Southern Leg 

The active protest and political theatre front in recent months has been along the TransCanada Keystone Gulf Coat section in Texas and Oklahoma, where early in the morning of February 11 in Schoolton, OK, an Oklahoman youth pastor, Stefan Warner, who chained himself to construction machinery high above a local waterway, the North Canadian River.

“I grew up in a town where the North Canadian River runs right through, and we can’t let the North Canadian become another Kalamazoo,” Warner said, referring to the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.  Another giant pipeline company, Enbridge Energy, had one of its pipelines rupture there in July 2010, dumping about 900,000 gallons of toxic tar sands crude oil into the river, where the clean-up is now in its third year.

Warner acted with other members of the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, a new group that recently organized to resist the Keystone pipeline.  The Great Plains website reported the end of the action this way:

8:00AM: Direct Support for Stefan has been arrested without warning and placed in police car.  Six other people on site being detained currently.

9:00AM: All Six people detained now arrested. Seven police vehicles on scene. Workers have lowered side-boom in disregard of Stefan’s safety and OSHA regulations, Stefan still locked to machinery but lying painfully face-down on the lowered arm. Police obscuring Stefan from view and not allowing anyone within photographing distance.

9:15AM: Another individual arrested. This person was not initially detained but was prevented from accessing her vehicle since 8am. Stefan still holding strong….

1:00PM Earlier today, Stefan was extracted. To our knowledge, Stefan sustained no serious injuries and seems to be alright. 

This action is similar to protests mounted over the past five months by the Tar Sands Blockade, who started their resistance in September 2012 when they set up a tree house blockade across the right of way along which TransCanada was constructing its pipeline.  TranCanada skipped a section of construction to avoid the tree houses and also took members of the group to court.  That action that was settled January 25, when 19 people, also acting on behalf of 6 Jan and John Does and three organizations, agreed to a permanent injunction against interfering with Keystone people, property, or progress.           

Defeating Keystone – A Victory With No Winners? 

It would certainly look like a victory for environmentalists if the President denied Keystone a permit, and a low political cost would allow the political class to bask in undeserved credit – a symbolic triumph.  And, at worst, an opportunity to enjoy the illusion that something meaningful was accomplished.

But the problem of tar sands oil would be fundamentally unchanged.  It would remain an underexploited asset that Canadians are eager to tap.  The demand from Asian markets would continue to grow.  Canada would continue to face the irrationality of importing half the oil it uses while exporting two thirds of the oil it produces.  The pipeline struggle would become an all-Canada affair.

A lively and slightly hysterical imagination might envision an American war with Canada, not so much to keep tar sands oil in the ground to save the climate, but to keep the Canadians from selling it to the Chinese.  More likely, the United States reverts to its traditionally torpid contemplation of planetary threat, the climate continues to warm, and soon Alberta can have a pipeline to the north, since the Arctic Ocean is open year-round.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. 

NAACP, Medical, Public Health and Environmental Groups Urge Court to Uphold Clean Air Safeguards

WASHINGTON - February 22 - Eighteen national and state medical, public health, civil rights, environmental, and clean air groups filed a brief late Thursday with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals defending the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) against industry lawsuits aimed at dismantling those rules, and blocking long-overdue reductions in highly toxic air pollutants including mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and acid gases from existing coal- and oil-fired power plants.

The groups assert the lawsuit has no basis, and should be dismissed. Under the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act, these standards already were more than a decade overdue when the EPA finalized them in December 2011 and are based on successful control measures already in place in many plants.

“With elevated rates of lung cancer, asthma hospitalizations and deaths, mercury poisoning from subsistence fishing and more, for African Americans the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards provide lifesaving protection from the myriad life-sapping toxic chemicals we have been exposed to for decades since we bear the brunt of living near coal fired power plants,” said Jacqui Patterson Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program for NAACP. “The NAACP’s civil and human rights mission compels us to stand behind the EPA and make sure this rule is upheld as a mechanism for protecting the rights of communities to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live on uncontaminated land.”

The NAACP has highlighted the civil rights issues related to clean air, citing the fact that 68 percent of African Americans live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant. Also, an African American family making $50,000 per year is more likely to live next to a toxic facility than a white American family making $15,000 per year.

“Power plants spew corrosive acid gases, carcinogens like formaldehyde, and toxic metals—a long list of hazards that rain down on nearby communities or travel miles downwind,” said Janice Nolen, Assistant Vice President, National Policy, for the American Lung Association. “We need these standards to protect not only our children, but older adults, people with lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes, and the poor from toxic air pollution. They cannot protect themselves.”

Coal- and oil-fired power plants are the largest industrial source of air toxics, annually emitting more than 386,000 tons of 84 separate toxics, including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel, selenium, acid gases, and mercury. Even in small doses these pollutants cause serious, often irreversible risks of cancer, birth defects, neurodevelopmental problems in children, and chronic and acute health disorders to people’s respiratory and central nervous systems including nerve and organ damage. They also cause serious harms to wildlife, including reproductive and behavioral disorders, and to ecosystems, including acidification of our nation’s waterways.

Power plants account for approximately half of all the nation’s mercury emissions. Many waters with mercury-based fish consumption advisories have no identifiable source of mercury other than airborne emissions, and many of these waters supply food to subsistence fishermen who have no other alternative but to eat contaminated fish, thereby further harming an economically disadvantaged population. Mercury exposure threatens prenatal development, infants and young children. The EPA has estimated that every year, more than 300,000 newborns may face elevated risk of learning disabilities due to exposure to toxic forms of mercury in the womb. Mercury contamination in fish also causes serious damage to wildlife.

EPA’s MATS requirements will annually prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, nearly 5,000 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks. Additionally, the standards will help avoid more than 540,000 days when people have to miss work because of health problems associated with power plant pollution. These “sick” days diminish economic productivity and raise health care costs.

Attorneys for the Clean Air Task Force filed the brief Thursday on behalf of the coalition of public health and environmental organizations defending the MATS rule.

Groups submitting today’s legal arguments, and their counsel, are the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Lung Association, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility, (represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center); Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Clean Air Council, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Sierra Club (represented by Earthjustice), Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, Conservation Law Foundation, Environment America, Izaak Walton League of America, Natural Resources Council of Maine, and Ohio Environmental Council (represented by the Clean Air Task Force), and the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Waterkeeper Alliance.

Read the brief.

Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221
Maggie Kao, Sierra Club, (202) 675-2384
Ben Wrobel, NAACP, (202) 292-3386
Tom Zolper, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, (443) 482-2066
Jay Duffy, Clean Air Council, (215) 567-4004, ext. 109
Mary Havell McGinty, American Lung Association, (202) 715-3459
Kathleen Sullivan, Southern Environmental Law Center, (919) 945-7106
John Walke, NRDC, (202) 289-2406
Sharyn Stein, Environmental Defense Fund, (202) 572-3396
Stuart C. Ross, Clean Air Task Force, (914) 649-5037

The Climate Change Corporate Lobby Threatens the Environment

At a recent Washington climate change rally, who is demanding action? Demanding action from whom? What action?

In reality, the diminutive, corporate-media inflated rally in DC was organized by the very corporate-financier special interests that have been wreaking terrible havoc on both the human population and the environment of this planet for decades. They are demanding action from a government that already represents their interests. Their demands are policies, particularly financial tax schemes that they themselves created and are are best positioned to benefit from while making no discernible impact on the very real environmental threats we collectively face.

Image: Rampant CO2, high global temperatures, rising sea levels. A look into the future? No, this is Mesozoic North America 250-65 million years ago. Climate change has happened long before humanity’s emergence, it will happen again, with or without us. The key to preserving what we as humans value, including not only our cities, towns, and countrysides, but also ecosystems and species – is to devise technical, pragmatic solutions to ensure no matter what the climate does, we can not only survive, but thrive.

….


It was an exercise in manufacturing consent for policies already long-ago devised and simply waiting for piecemeal implementation.

Yahoo! News’ report, “40,000 People Reported at Climate Change Rally,” mentions 350.org as one of the rally’s organizers and key representatives. Upon 350.org‘s “Friends & Allies” page, an extensive list of human rights and environmental racketeers can be found, all either linked, or directly connected to big-oil, big-finance, big-agri, and big-defense.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and its “Earth Hour” for instance, includes Fortune 500 corporations (page 24, .pdf) (and here) Walmart, Unilever, Coca-Cola, draconian intellectual property racketeer Christopher Dodd representing the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as a director, Bank of America, Google, and others.

While the WWF claims having big corporations as partners is “good news” for the environment, implying that they are shifting toward environmental responsibility – in reality it is exactly the other way around. Corporations are co-opting genuine concern for the environment to further enrich themselves and to create global frameworks that eliminate indigenous competition over resources they themselves are already exploiting and plan to continue exploiting.

The lack of real, pragmatic solutions, or even an honest scientific discussion on issues like climate change are particularly telling. This collection of organizations falling under the 350.org website have also been key in pushing other establishment agendas, most notably regime change and political subversion worldwide, couching a corporate-fascist warmongering agenda behind liberal concerns for “freedom,” “democracy,” and “human rights.”

Real Environmental Threats

The climate of Earth has always changed throughout its natural history, and many times before the existence of man, has changed so dramatically that it has caused mass extinction events. 65 million years ago, for example, Antarctica was a thriving ecosystem covered in temperate forests inhabited by dinosaurs. The global temperatures were higher, sea levels were higher, and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were many times higher than they are today. Higher temperatures, sea levels, and CO2 levels made the planet more habitable, not less. This changed however, and to the detriment of many species that are now extinct.

Before the Cretaceous period, there have been many points throughout Earth’s natural history, that were we as humans to travel back, would find uninhabitable. The atmosphere has been in a state of perpetual change, the biology driven by this change has likewise continuously evolved. There is no “norm” in terms of geology, biology, or climate. The only constant is the inevitability of its constant change.

The climate will change with or without us. To ensure the survival of what we value in terms of human society, history, and infrastructure, as well as ecosystems and individual species we desire to preserve, we must come up with something better than “carbon neutrality” implemented by giving bankers yet another derivative to trade, and energy companies a legal framework to maintain monopolies over powering human civilization.

Part of the solution is not only leveraging technology to protect our towns, cities, and countrysides from adverse weather, flooding, and changes in temperature through innovative infrastructure projects, but undermining, decentralizing, and eventually eliminating permanently these corporate monopolies that are demonstrably destroying the environment.

Strange that 350.org wasn’t marching against genetically modified organisms (GMO) and Monsanto’s pursuit of overwriting the planet genetically. Could a planet face a more dire threat than being overwritten genetically, its very essence mutilated by profiteering corporations? Strange that 350.org‘s “Friends & Allies” don’t demand an end to profiteering wars around the planet that see tons of depleted uranium, with a half-life of billions of years, being dumped in both human and natural habitats the world over. Strange that 350.org, and “Friends & Allies” like WWF have in fact partnered with Fortune 500 corporations that perpetuate global monopolies, centralized manufacturing and distribution (and profits) that encourage wasteful supply chains, unhealthy socioeconomic trends, incur large amounts of garbage, and require the very petroleum and CO2 producing processes they allegedly were in Washington to oppose.

Indeed, 350.org and partners like the WWF do not represent corporations joining environmentalists, but rather represent environmentalists being co-opted and manipulated by the very special interests committing real harm to this planet.

Don’t Demand Action – Be the Action 

Waving around placards as part of a big-business rally couched behind environmentalism, demanding action from a government big-business already fully owns, simply legitimizes and manufacturers public consent for more of the same. More schemes, more waste, more fraud, more abuse, while the environment continues to unravel and a host of problems both directly and indirectly related continue to grow.

Real solutions generally don’t involve corporations or governments, in fact, as a necessity must exclude them. The marriage between corporate interests and government regulations should be something all of us can agree on, regardless of where we sit on the political or environmental spectrum.

Real solutions involve a real education in science, technology, design, and manufacturing. This empowers people in all levels of society to accurately assess problems and apply local solutions. This, coupled with modern manufacturing technology enables more to be done on a local level, short-circuiting the petroleum intensive logistical chains WWF sponsors like Walmart couldn’t live without.

Organic farming on a local level coupled with local farmers’ markets eliminates entirely the need for Monsanto poison, fertilizers, and genetically modified franken-crops, along with the replacement of the petroleum intensive logistical networks that distribute big-agri’s products. 3D printing, computer-controlled manufacturing, and local hackerspaces that encourage local entrepreneurship accelerate technological development and solutions that allow us to live the lives we wish to lead while doing so more efficiently in terms of energy, waste, and environmental impact.

In fact, when you think about it, almost all of these real solutions involve real community and local action, not placard-waving trips to Washington. These are not solutions that involve policies, taxes, and regulations, but rather technology, education, constructive, pragmatic, technical solutions that not only would make our environment more livable, but make our local economies and communities more viable and self-sufficient. The catch is, and the reason why this isn’t being done, you will notice that none of these activities require WWF sponsors like Walmart, Nike, IBM, Toyota, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Citi, IKEA, Nokia, etc.

We all desire cleaner air, healthier food, safer water, and greener parks. Waiting for a corporate-financier establishment to give it to us, when they themselves are the ones that have denied us of these essentials is the height of both naivety and futility.

Does it make sense then, to see why real problems and their solutions have become the target of hijackers like the corporate conglomeration that is 350.org and the WWF? Does it make sense to see them offering “alternative” centralized, corporate dependent solutions that replace local activism and tangible, technological solutions?

Why travel to Washington D.C. and demand non-solutions to real problems when you can organize locally and begin making this planet livable in very real, tangible, pragmatic, and measurable ways?

Climate Change Is Drowning Out “Jobs vs. Environment” Debate

The old argument that unions must choose between jobs and the environment is losing its grip, as climate change becomes more evident and more urgent. More unions than ever have signed up to join environmentalists for a demonstration in Washington, D.C. against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Sunday.

It’s evidence of a sea change, at least among some unions, when it comes to global warming. Indeed, many are arguing that investment to prevent global warming is the real job-creator.

Nurses are demanding a “Robin Hood” tax on Wall Street, devoted to developing safe, green energy; auto workers are backing fuel efficiency standards; taxi drivers are embracing hybrids; and transport workers are lobbying for more mass transit while opposing dirty fuels.

The Utility Workers, who run power plants, are calling for “a serious commitment to climate change legislation,” which they say will create two million good jobs.

And as the debate over TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline heats up again, the 120,000-member Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers union in Canada is opposing it more strongly than ever—even though the CEP represents 35,000 workers in oil, gas extraction, and refining, including oil patch workers in Alberta, the very workers who mine the tar sands.

Meanwhile, in the Oil Patch

How does a union in the fossil fuel industry handle climate change?

In the largest Canadian energy union, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers, convention delegates unanimously supported the 1997 Kyoto climate accord, an international agreement to limit carbon emissions. And the CEP has voted in every convention to oppose the Keystone XL.

“For many years our union stood almost by itself” in opposition to tar sands export pipelines, said CEP President David Coles at a recent conference on unions and global warming in New York.

Canada’s economy has shifted, the CEP and other Canadian unions like the Auto Workers argue, from adding value through manufacturing to exporting raw resources at great profit to owners, like an old-fashioned colony.

The resulting strength of the Canadian dollar has made manufactured exports more expensive to the rest of the world and caused Canada to lose 11 percent of its manufacturing jobs since 2008. Coles called the move to export even more tar sands bitumen a job-killer.

They Get It

The jobs argument isn’t all, though. Even the 35,000 members who work directly with fossil fuels, Coles said, agree that “we cannot sustain the expansion of the carbon economy.”

His union has engaged members on energy and economic issues all along, he said. It sent a delegation to Fukushima, Japan, to learn about the nuclear reactor disaster there. Although CEP includes uranium miners, the union opposes nuclear power.

“You don’t have to tell an oil worker how rotten the employers are. They don’t trust them,” said Coles. In his union, there’s an understanding: “If the boss supports it, you’d better be nervous. We’re not all in this together; we have opposing interests.”

But, he said, when a society decides to make a change, it needs to set aside money for a “just transition” for workers, including training and relocation. Energy employers should pay a higher tax set aside for that purpose, he said.

Green = More Jobs

In the U.S., investment in renewable energy creates more jobs than investment in capital-intensive fossil fuels. A University of California study showed that 5.65 jobs are created for every million dollars invested in solar energy, 5.70 in wind, and only 3.96 in coal.

A study of the 2009 stimulus package noted that investments in public transportation had created 31 percent more jobs, dollar for dollar, than those in new road construction.

Even the regulations long denounced by industry as job-destroying can turn out to be the opposite. The Environmental Protection Agency projected that new emissions standards it proposed in 2009 for coal power plants would create up to 31,000 construction jobs and 9,000 permanent utility jobs. But so far, the EPA has only applied new regulations to future plants.

Preparations for climate change could also generate jobs, say utility workers. New York’s Consolidated Edison “has cut the workforce to the bone, and they don’t invest,” said John Duffy, national vice-president of the Utility Workers.

The New York City workforce of 8,500 that the company locked out last summer in a dispute over pensions has been winnowed to 7,700, Duffy said.

He said the union has found power poles dating back to the 1930s, though the company is supposed to replace them every 50 years and charges rates that are supposed to pay for upgrading.

When a storm like Sandy wreaks havoc on an already weakened system, managers just say, “Whoops, look what the storm did,” Duffy said. Publicly owned power companies are better, he said, because private ones lobby against regulations requiring them to maintain equipment with appropriate staffing levels.

New Tune

After many years of singing in harmony with their Big 3 employers against fuel efficiency, the Auto Workers union has changed tune, arguing that the recent 2012 regulations would create jobs.

Pollution-cutting technology requires “additional content on each vehicle,” said UAW President Bob King at hearings considering the new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. “That additional content must be engineered and produced by additional employees.”

In 2007 UAW’s previous president Ron Gettelfinger had complained about changes to CAFE, calling them “the least desirable option for addressing the problems of climate change and energy security.”

Shortly after King was elected in 2010, the UAW joined the BlueGreen Alliance, an effort to unite environmentalists and unions started by the Steelworkers and the Sierra Club in 2006. The Alliance now counts the Service Employees, Communications, Utility, Food and Commercial, Teachers (AFT), Plumbers, Amalgamated Transit, and Sheet Metal unions as members.

The BlueGreen Alliance calculated that the new CAFE standards would cut carbon emissions nearly in half for cars and light-duty trucks. The Alliance predicted that by 2030, when the standards have been fully implemented, they would create 50,000 jobs.

Bumpy Road

The promise of jobs in the fossil fuel industry has caused splits among unions. The BlueGreen Alliance lost the Laborers union in the first fight over the Keystone XL pipeline in 2011.

Hamstrung by disagreement among member unions, the coalition declined to take a stand. But the Laborers pulled out anyway, angry that other coalition members had opposed a project they hoped would employ their members.

After the housing crash, some construction locals experienced 25 percent unemployment. The promise of “jobs now” was counterposed to possible climate impacts later—and “jobs now” won.

The Keystone XL would run 2,000 miles, from Alberta to Texas, carrying a corrosive slurry of raw bitumen to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Tar sands mining produces a dirty fuel with a large carbon footprint that must be heated to mine it and diluted with other fuel to pipe it. Pipeline spills are not uncommon.

In Texas, the refined fuel would likely be put on ships for export. Because the pipeline crosses an international border, it needs U.S. government approval.

TransCanada has projected 20,000 construction jobs on the pipeline, while the State Department has estimated 6,000. The company promised construction unions it would hire their members, leading the Laborers—with support from the Teamsters, Operating Engineers, and Plumbers (UA)—to lash out at two transit unions who spoke out against Keystone XL and for green jobs.

Observers said other unions were deterred from speaking out on the pipeline after the construction unions’ fierce criticism.

At one point the Laborers threatened to picket a U.S. talk by CEP President Coles.

Many climate activists rate the Keystone XL a hinge-point in the battle to lower carbon emissions. NASA climate scientist James Hansen says that exploitation of the tar sands “would make it implausible to stabilize the climate”; if tar sands are in the mix, “it’s essentially game over.”

With this in mind, making tar sands bitumen more difficult to mine and ship has become a top priority for U.S. climate activists, leading to 1,200 civil disobedience arrests at the White House in fall 2011. President (and then-candidate) Obama was convinced to delay the pipeline decision until after the election.

The Steelworkers, who helped found the BlueGreen Alliance and have argued actively for green jobs, didn’t take a position during the 2011 protests. The steel for the pipeline could be fabricated by members in the U.S. and Canada, although some of it had already been ordered from India.

After Obama delayed the decision, USW issued a statement supporting the delay, but didn’t mention climate change.

XL Re-Do

Now the pipeline has returned to the front pages as the administration considers the issue again. The Communications Workers are urging members to attend the February 17 demonstration, which they call “the largest U.S. climate rally ever,” with the tagline, “Crippling drought. Devastating wildfires. Superstorm Sandy. Climate change is a real threat.”

And the 185,000-member National Nurses Union came out against the pipeline in early February, joining the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Transport Workers Union.

“It’s easy for us to take this position,” said Jill Furillo of the 37,000-member New York State Nurses Association. “Our members are on the front lines of seeing the effects of the environmental crisis.”

After Hurricane Sandy, New York nurses not only took care of those injured in the storm, they also evacuated patients from hospitals crippled by loss of electricity, carrying critically ill patients down dark stairwells when rising floodwaters wrecked elevators and backup generators.

Missed Chance

Sometimes environmental initiatives ignore obvious allies in the working class. Members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance drive the largest cab fleet in the country, with 100,000 vehicles. The workers generally lease the vehicles and pay for gas.

So it was good news for them when, under pressure from environmentalists, New York City announced that taxi garages would have to purchase hybrids, with far higher mileage and lower emissions.

The members supported the move and understand the stakes, said Bhairavi Desai, director of the Alliance. Many New York cabbies are from Bangladesh, a low-lying country susceptible to the flooding caused by higher oceans.

But the workers weren't included in the debate, Desai said. "Workers could have been the face of the environmental agenda."

As a result, when the garages sued the city, claiming the hybrids would be too expensive, the parties cut a deal that meant cab drivers themselves would have to pay more for the hybrid vehicles. The drivers, who were least able to afford it, ended up subsidizing a much larger social responsibility.

To make a sustainable alliance with organized cab drivers, environmentalists should have talked to the workers, not just their bosses, said Desai.

"Don't make us choose between a middle-class existence and the air we breathe," she said.

New from Labor Notes: "The Steward's Toolbox" is a how-to resource guide that gives labor activists the skills and orientation they need. Pick up a copy today!

Environmental Activists Pose Security Threat: Canadian Government

Common Dreams Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community. Independent, non-profit newscenter since 1997.To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Welsh Secretary: Gay Couples Can Not Provide ‘Safe’ Environment For Children (VIDEO)

Conservative Welsh secretary David Jones has been accused of being "hugely offensive" after he appeared to suggest gay couples could not provide a "safe" home for children.

In an interview with ITV's Face to Face programme broadcast on Thursday evening, Jones was asked about his opposition to gay marriage.

He said: "I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can’t do."

Labour's shadow equalities minister Kate Green branded Jones' remarks "hugely insulting, offensive and wrong".

Andrew White, the director of Stonewall Cymru, said: "We’re saddened that the secretary of state for Wales should make such an offensive and inaccurate remark."

"There are many different types of family in Wales today, including many same sex couples raising children. It’s deeply undermining to families and children when they hear this sort of ill-informed comment."

Jones was one of two Tory cabinet ministers, along with environment secretary Owen Paterson, to vote against David Cameron's plan to introduce same-sex marriages last week.

The Clwyd West MP told ITV that his opposition to gay marriage did not mean he was "in any way opposed to stable and committed same-sex partnerships" and rejected the suggestion of homophobia.

"I've got a lot of people in my life who are very important to me who are gay, anyone who knows me would never accuse me of that [homophobia]," he said.

Responding to the criticism Jones said in a statement: "I was asked on the Face to Face programme why I voted against the same sex marriage proposals. I replied that I had done so on the basis that I took the view that marriage is an institution that has developed over the centuries so as to provide a safe and warm environment for the upbringing of children.

"I made the point of stressing that I was fully supportive of committed same sex relationships. I also strongly approve of civil partnerships.

"I did not say in the interview that same sex partners should not adopt children and that is not my view.

"I simply sought to point out that, since same sex partners could not biologically procreate children, the institution of marriage was one that, in my opinion, should be reserved to opposite sex partners."

Related on HuffPost:

Environment Secretary To Fly To Brussels For Horsemeat Summit

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US Environment Agency Releases First Climate Adaptation Plan

WASHINGTON - For the first time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publicly released a draft plan on how the department’s programmes will adapt to global warming, in a move that could lay additional groundwork for important new emissions rulemaking the agency may announce in coming months.

Obama is being urged to set new carbon standards on U.S. power plants, cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by at least a quarter by 2020. (Credit: public domain) The EPA is tasked with oversight of the health of both human communities and natural systems, mandated with creating and implementing standards relating to air and water quality, among others. As such, the agency has emerged at the frontlines of Washington’s attempts to push through stricter climate-related regulations while circumventing the U.S. Congress, which remains fractious and politicised over the reality of human responsibility for global warming.

“We’re happy the government is finally waking up to the cold, hard reality of climate change and seeing its impacts,” Elizabeth Perera, a Washington climate policy expert with the Sierra Club, an environment advocacy group, told IPS.

“The more real and specific that you can talk about these impacts, the more we think there will be a fire lit under the government to do something on the action side. On climate change, you have to remember, we’re talking about major costs across all parts of the government and economy.”

The draft plan comes in response to a government-wide requirement, mandated through executive order in 2009 by President Barack Obama, in which this year all U.S. government agencies are required to file climate change-related adaptation plans with a newly created office within the White House, the Council on Environmental Quality.

Each of these plans will now be open to public comment for two months, although the plan by the EPA is expected to garner some of the most significant public scrutiny. According to a five-year plan, adaptation planning is to be integrated across the EPA’s operations by 2015.

Environmental justice

The draft plan, although extending to 55 pages, is less a detailed plan of attack than a framework. Yet this framework does cover the EPA’s critical responsibility of writing regulations, and thus could lay down a few markers for what some observers are assuming will be a more aggressive President Obama in his second term.

During his second inaugural address, in late January, the president surprised many by devoting more time – and more forceful rhetoric – to climate change than to nearly any other policy area, despite the issue having received lower priority than several others during his first term.

Notwithstanding the vicious debate and policy paralysis that continues to characterise Washington’s actions on climate change, the EPA clarifies immediately how it plans to approach the issue.

"We live in a world in which the climate is changing,” the draft plan states in its first line (in accordance with a 2011 policy statement). “Changes in climate have occurred since the formation of the planet. But humans are now influencing Earth’s climate and causing it to change in unprecedented ways.”

The EPA’s focus is, of course, primarily on the United States. It notes that during the past half-century average temperatures in the country have been pushed up by more than two degrees Fahrenheit, precipitation has increased by around five percent, and sea level has risen by up to eight inches.

Yet it also notes the broader implications of a warming planet. “Around the world all countries are expected to feel the effects of climate change, although the specific impacts will vary,” the draft states. “The impacts, however, are expected to disproportionately affect developing countries and those already at risk.”

Indeed, even in the United States, poorer and marginalised communities are often at greater risk, the agency warns, recognising that “The impacts of climate change raise environmental justice issues … focus(ing) on the health of and environmental conditions affecting minority, low-income, and indigenous populations.”

Executive authority

As outlined by federal requirements, the draft plan focuses on adaptation to global climate change, rather than on new planning for how to combat or mitigate global warming. Nonetheless, the document makes clear that the realities of climate change – both those that are now certain and those that are yet unclear – will in coming years inform nearly all processes within the EPA, including the writing of new regulations.

Further, the agency’s positioning on the issue of adaptation will almost inevitably be coloured by its potentially central role in the U.S. administration’s plans for combating climate change more broadly over President Obama’s second term.

While the president’s only major legislative effort on the issue – a market-based “emissions trading” bill – failed to make it through the U.S Congress in 2009, many environmentalists today quietly point to noteworthy gains made without Congress’s participation, particularly on new fuel-efficiency requirements the EPA oversaw last year.

With few power dynamics changed in the Congress following the November national election (Democrats continue to hold the Senate while a smaller Republican majority remains in the House), many environment activists are now calling on the president to step up the use of his executive authority to push through rule changes with potentially far-reaching impact.

Officials close to Obama have likewise supported such options, with one noting last week that the administration will “continue to look for tools, administrative actions that we can take that don’t require Congress”.

“This is something within the government’s purview – there are so many aspects they can address for which we don’t need actual legislation,” Sierra Club’s Perera says. “That has to be why they’re moving forward so quickly right now.”

In an open letter sent last month to President Obama, nearly 70 environmental groups called on the White House to “Use your executive authority.” The letter continued: “You have the authority under existing law to achieve urgently needed reductions in the carbon pollution that is disrupting our climate and damaging our health.”

In particular, the signees are urging the president to set new carbon standards on U.S. power plants, cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by at least a quarter by 2020. Such a responsibility would fall to the EPA, which could make a related announcement as soon as April.

Against that prospect, Republican politicians and some business leaders have already begun pushing back. Referring to the agency as “overly zealous”, Representative Ed Whitfield warned last week that “If (the EPA) starts trying to do this with existing plants, they’re going to have a real battle.”

Further, with the EPA’s head having recently stepped down, Senate Republicans are currently vowing to use confirmation hearings for a new agency chief as an opportunity demand a weaker regulatory approach.

© 2013 IPS North America

Time to Reform Environmentally Damaging Corn Ethanol Mandate

WASHINGTON - February 4 - Environmental Working Group (EWG) joined a diverse group of stakeholders today to call on Congress to reform the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) because of its negative impact on the environment, farmers and taxpayers. The RFS requires refiners to blend 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels (i.e. corn ethanol) into the U.S. fuel supply by 2015.

EWG Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber released the following statement:

“Corn ethanol has not only been a disaster for consumers, most farmers and taxpayers; it’s also been a disaster for the environment. In fact, it’s worse for the environment than Canadian tar sands.

“By dramatically increasing the price of corn, the corn ethanol mandate has, in just the last four years, contributed to the conversion of 23 million acres of wetland and grassland – an area the size of Indiana – to cropland. Thanks to the mandate, we have lost more wetlands and grasslands in the last four years than in the previous 40.

“By encouraging farmers to plow up wetlands and grasslands, the corn ethanol mandate is causing more carbon to be released into the atmosphere, causing more fertilizers and pesticides to wash off farm fields and destroying more habitat that supports wildlife – and millions of jobs. What’s more, burning more and more corn ethanol in gasoline releases more benzene, a known carcinogen, and other toxic air pollutants that are linked to asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments.”

Facts Are For ‘Sissies’: Schwarzenegger Calls to ‘Sex’ Up Environmentalism

Speaking Thursday at a largely-boycotted 'greenwashing' climate summit in Vienna, Austria, big-talking, Hummer-driving, enemy-terminating, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he thinks climate facts are all "doom and gloom" and is calling on leaders to "sex" up the environmental debate.

Clearly encouraging environmentalism, Schwarzenegger strikes a 'sexy' pose next to his Hummer. (Photo via LA Times) "There is a new way, a more sexy, a more hip way. Instead of using doom and gloom and telling people what they can't do, we should make them part of our movement and tell them what they can do," he said.

Schwarzenegger was speaking at the first conference of his new green movement, R20 Regions of Climate Action, which calls on local governments to "follow California's lead" and implement environmental legislation ahead of federal governments. However, largely absent from the conference are environmental organizations including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, who criticized the event for being "elitist" and "greenwashing."

"I mean I still drive my Hummers but now they are all on hydrogen and biofuel ... We need to send a message that we can live the same life, just with cleaner technology," he added, illustrating his unfamiliarity with the criticism that biofuels threaten international food security and encourage corporate land grabs.

“If we want to inspire the world, it is time for us to forget about the old way of talking about climate change, where we crush people, where we overwhelm people with data.”

If Right-Wing Violence is Up 400%, Why is the FBI Targeting Environmentalists?

Between 2007 and 2011, there was a sharp increase in the number of victims of right wing violence, according to the study, to the highest levels documented so far. On a broader timeline, the increase is even more dramatic.

The Heat is on as the NYT Closes Its Environment Desk

Late last week, the New York Times made news – when it broke that the paper has shuttered its environment desk. The change isn't supposed to result in any layoffs, and the managing editor for news operations, Dean Baquet, told the news site Inside Climate that it – they haven't lost interest in covering environmental issues. The reporters will just be doing it from other formal desks.The New York Times shut down its environment desk earlier this month, after the hottest year on record. (Photograph: Richard Drew/AP)

The change is still disheartening, to put it mildly. Compelling, well-reported environmental stories are only becoming more important, and the Times has, without a doubt, been a leader of that coverage – especially since it launched the environment desk in 2009.

Take just one example of environmental coverage: climate change. Even as the issue gets more imperative, the science more complicated, and the implications more apparent, climate coverage has dropped around the world last year, according to a study by the Daily Climate. The Times was notable in that it led the five largest daily papers in the US in coverage of the issue, and actually increased the number of stories on it last year.

I couldn't agree more with Baquet's argument that environment stories are never really just about the environment: they're "partly business, economic, national or local, among other subjects". But these stories are also always united by the fact that they are about the environment in some way. They're about how we affect the environment or how it affects us: they're complex and multilayered, and reporting on the subject requires the story to have some degree of scientific context, a way of telling the story across those themes. And it requires something more from the reporter – a solid background in the subject matter, a reasonable understanding of the science and issues at play, and the ability to explain complex subjects in a way that will make sense to readers.

It's true that "environment" stories are about a lot more than just that, but that very fact requires reporters dedicated to connecting those dots, as well as editors who can guide that coverage. That's why having a team of reporters and an editor committed to that beat is essential.

That's not to say that the other beats – business, health, politics – should not also be involved. But that can and should be done in addition to a dedicated team of reporters on the beat. Many of the reporters who cover this beat bring an educational background in the subject, or at least, have had years of covering it to develop an expertise. There is a skill set that needs to be developed in order to tell these stories well.

I also agree with the sentiment that the Times' move will help shift environmental stories out of what has been called the "green ghetto". It does often seem like many outlets marginalize environmental stories by putting them on a specific blog or webpage, rather than integrating them in the publication at large. Elsewhere, this practice tends to exacerbate the idea that the environment is some sort of niche or special interest.

I've never felt like that was true at the Times, where environmental stories regularly get prominent placement. If anything, it seemed that they were able to write stories worthy of front-page coverage specifically because they had a team dedicated to producing them.

I also get that environmental stories aren't that sexy. (Trust me, I write them!) But they are important, and sometimes, as journalists, we cover things that are necessary, but not shiny. I think Glenn Kramon, the paper's assistant managing editor, described it best as to why they've committed resources to covering the issue, in the recent Daily Climate piece:

"I ask myself, 'In 20 years, what will we be proudest that we addressed, and where will we scratch our head and say why didn't we focus more on that?'"

I asked Beth Parke, the executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), about the Times' decision. SEJ is membership group dedicated to supporting, training, and elevating environmental reporting and reporters, and I'm a proud member that has benefited from its mentorship and opportunities. Park noted – and I agree – that journalism organizations should be widening the net on environmental stories:

"I don't think excellence in coverage necessarily has to be either team/unit or individual assignment based. The best outfits do both. Any news organization that aspires to excellence in public service must cover environmental issues or they are failing.

"They need to do it, consistently, via dedicated reporter(s), dedicated team(s), and through the lens of varied beats. Environment is a big story and only getting bigger."

It's good to hear that, at this point, the paper isn't planning to cut any of those reporters; they're just shifting them around. Should they expand the issues and skill sets of this beat to other desks? Of course. My concern is that there will simply be less environmental coverage, or at least, less prominent environmental coverage.

It's hard not to think of some of the recent outlets that have cut their environment desks, making similar promises that this would not deflate their coverage of the issue. CNN reduced their environment team four years ago, stating at the time that the plan was "to integrate environmental, science and technology reporting into the general editorial structure rather than have a stand alone unit". I think most CNN viewers would agree that the network's environmental coverage has been lacking since then. NBC also slashed its environmental reporters in 2008 – in the middle of "Green Week", an irony it failed to note.

I can only hope that the New York Times doesn't follow that trend.

The Heat is on as the NYT Closes Its Environment Desk

Late last week, the New York Times made news – when it broke that the paper has shuttered its environment desk. The change isn't supposed to result in any layoffs, and the managing editor for news operations, Dean Baquet, told the news site Inside Climate that it – they haven't lost interest in covering environmental issues. The reporters will just be doing it from other formal desks.The New York Times shut down its environment desk earlier this month, after the hottest year on record. (Photograph: Richard Drew/AP)

The change is still disheartening, to put it mildly. Compelling, well-reported environmental stories are only becoming more important, and the Times has, without a doubt, been a leader of that coverage – especially since it launched the environment desk in 2009.

Take just one example of environmental coverage: climate change. Even as the issue gets more imperative, the science more complicated, and the implications more apparent, climate coverage has dropped around the world last year, according to a study by the Daily Climate. The Times was notable in that it led the five largest daily papers in the US in coverage of the issue, and actually increased the number of stories on it last year.

I couldn't agree more with Baquet's argument that environment stories are never really just about the environment: they're "partly business, economic, national or local, among other subjects". But these stories are also always united by the fact that they are about the environment in some way. They're about how we affect the environment or how it affects us: they're complex and multilayered, and reporting on the subject requires the story to have some degree of scientific context, a way of telling the story across those themes. And it requires something more from the reporter – a solid background in the subject matter, a reasonable understanding of the science and issues at play, and the ability to explain complex subjects in a way that will make sense to readers.

It's true that "environment" stories are about a lot more than just that, but that very fact requires reporters dedicated to connecting those dots, as well as editors who can guide that coverage. That's why having a team of reporters and an editor committed to that beat is essential.

That's not to say that the other beats – business, health, politics – should not also be involved. But that can and should be done in addition to a dedicated team of reporters on the beat. Many of the reporters who cover this beat bring an educational background in the subject, or at least, have had years of covering it to develop an expertise. There is a skill set that needs to be developed in order to tell these stories well.

I also agree with the sentiment that the Times' move will help shift environmental stories out of what has been called the "green ghetto". It does often seem like many outlets marginalize environmental stories by putting them on a specific blog or webpage, rather than integrating them in the publication at large. Elsewhere, this practice tends to exacerbate the idea that the environment is some sort of niche or special interest.

I've never felt like that was true at the Times, where environmental stories regularly get prominent placement. If anything, it seemed that they were able to write stories worthy of front-page coverage specifically because they had a team dedicated to producing them.

I also get that environmental stories aren't that sexy. (Trust me, I write them!) But they are important, and sometimes, as journalists, we cover things that are necessary, but not shiny. I think Glenn Kramon, the paper's assistant managing editor, described it best as to why they've committed resources to covering the issue, in the recent Daily Climate piece:

"I ask myself, 'In 20 years, what will we be proudest that we addressed, and where will we scratch our head and say why didn't we focus more on that?'"

I asked Beth Parke, the executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), about the Times' decision. SEJ is membership group dedicated to supporting, training, and elevating environmental reporting and reporters, and I'm a proud member that has benefited from its mentorship and opportunities. Park noted – and I agree – that journalism organizations should be widening the net on environmental stories:

"I don't think excellence in coverage necessarily has to be either team/unit or individual assignment based. The best outfits do both. Any news organization that aspires to excellence in public service must cover environmental issues or they are failing.

"They need to do it, consistently, via dedicated reporter(s), dedicated team(s), and through the lens of varied beats. Environment is a big story and only getting bigger."

It's good to hear that, at this point, the paper isn't planning to cut any of those reporters; they're just shifting them around. Should they expand the issues and skill sets of this beat to other desks? Of course. My concern is that there will simply be less environmental coverage, or at least, less prominent environmental coverage.

It's hard not to think of some of the recent outlets that have cut their environment desks, making similar promises that this would not deflate their coverage of the issue. CNN reduced their environment team four years ago, stating at the time that the plan was "to integrate environmental, science and technology reporting into the general editorial structure rather than have a stand alone unit". I think most CNN viewers would agree that the network's environmental coverage has been lacking since then. NBC also slashed its environmental reporters in 2008 – in the middle of "Green Week", an irony it failed to note.

I can only hope that the New York Times doesn't follow that trend.

5 Reasons Natural Gas Won’t Be an Environmental and Economic Savior

We aren’t going to be able to drill our way out of the climate crisis without creating an even bigger mess in the process.

January 10, 2013  |  

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This article was published in partnership with  GlobalPossibilities.org.

If you’re hoping the natural gas boom means we’ve solved our environmental and economic woes, you’re going to be disappointed. While natural gas produces less nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide when burned compared to coal or oil, the end product is only part of the story. The natural gas boom in recent years has been fueled by extreme extraction methods like fracking that are posing a new slurry of environmental problems before the gas even makes it to consumers.  

If you look at the complete picture of how we extract natural gas today, you begin to realize pretty quickly that we aren’t going to be able to drill our way out of the climate crisis without creating an even bigger mess in the process. The list of impacts from fracking is huge, but here are five to kick off the conversation:

1. Methane 

Natural gas may release less pollution when burned, but it still may be a significant contributor to global warming pollution after all because we must take into account what happens during extraction, too. “Scientists are once again reporting alarmingly high methane emissions from an oil and gas field, underscoring questions about the environmental benefits of the boom in natural-gas production that is transforming the US energy system,” writes Jeff Tollefson for Nature. He explains:

The researchers, who hold joint appointments with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado in Boulder, first sparked concern in February 2012 with a study suggesting that up to 4% of the methane produced at a field near Denver was escaping into the atmosphere. If methane — a potent greenhouse gas — is leaking from fields across the country at similar rates, it could be offsetting much of the climate benefit of the ongoing shift from coal- to gas-fired plants for electricity generation.

Industry officials and some scientists contested the claim, but at an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, California, last month, the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data — which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.

When it comes to climate change, leaking methane is a big deal. The EPA reports, “Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 [methane] on climate change is over 20 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period. 

2. Water Pollution

Methane released during fracking doesn’t just end up in the air, but also in the water. By now you’ve likely already seen the videos of people living near gas drilling operations who can light their water on fire as it comes out of the tap. (If you haven’t then it’s time to see “ Gasland.”) In 2011 the United States Geological Survey released a report about water in Pavillion, Wyoming where residents complained about water quality after drilling. Here’s what they found

EPA’s analysis of samples taken from the Agency’s deep monitoring wells in the aquifer indicates detection of synthetic chemicals, like glycols and alcohols consistent with gas production and hydraulic fracturing fluids, benzene concentrations well above Safe Drinking Water Act standards and high methane levels. Given the area’s complex geology and the proximity of drinking water wells to ground water contamination, EPA is concerned about the movement of contaminants within the aquifer and the safety of drinking water wells over time.

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Kent seems an unlikely place to encounter a 1,950 tonne Soviet war machine. But don’t...

How Syrian-Nuke Evidence Was Faked – Consortiumnews

Exclusive: In joining Israel and the White House selling military intervention in Syria, the CIA and international inspectors hid key...

The Design Flaw at the Core of Humanity’s Malaise | By Judith Schwartz

Many of us—read: anyone paying attention—are worried about problems like climate disruption, biodiversity loss, toxins in our foods, income inequality and the hollowing out...

Bayou Bridge Pipeline Opponents File to Intervene in Hearing for Private Security Firm in...

Press conference on November 9, 2017, at the Louisiana State Capitol. (Photo: Julie Dermansky) A broad base of advocacy groups opposed to Energy Transfer Partners'...

Carbon Trading Is “Fraudulent” Scheme to Privatize Air and Forests and Permit Pollution

In South Dakota, the energy company TransCanada says it shut down part of its pipeline Thursday after a rupture spilled 210,000 gallons of oil...

Strange Twists in the Hariri Mystery – Consortiumnews

French President Macron has invited Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Paris, a possible opportunity to determine whether Hariri’s sudden...

Swedish Total Defense Research Institute Report On “White Hatred” Lists Milk As Hate Symbol

In a new report on "the white hatred" in Sweden by the Total Defense Research Institute (FOI) commissioned by the government to...

As COP23 Closes, Climate Movement Calls for Ambition ‘That Science and Justice Demand’

As the United Nations climate conference known as COP23 drew to a close on Friday, leaders from the global climate justice movement called for...

Trump puts ‘trophy’ elephant ban reversal ‘on hold’ — RT US News

President Donald Trump has tweeted that he will not make a decision whether to end a...

Republicans Want to Pay for Tax Cuts by Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife...

Activists attend a news conference on Republican-sponsored legislation that would open the Alaskan wilderness to oil drilling outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC....

Want to Help Coal Miners? Plan for the Future

Announcing its plans to eliminate rules reducing carbon pollution from power plants, the Trump Administration framed the repeal as necessary to prevent the demise...

The Food Industry Has the Trump Administration Right Where It Wants It

When Donald Trump was elected president, American consumer protection groups, food safety advocates and commentators were "on high alert." Two months prior, his campaign...

Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy

A proposed law at the Italian Parliament is set to punish the boycott of Israel. In the past, such an initiative would have been...

House Democrats Introduce Articles of Impeachment Against Trump

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois) introduce Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump during a press conference at the US...

At least 210,000-gallon oil spill causes Keystone Pipeline closure in S. Dakota — RT...

Published time: 16 Nov, 2017 22:43 A leak in the Keystone Pipeline released at least 210,000...

Trump Climate Adviser Says Coal Needs a “Level Playing Field” at UN Climate Talks

This year's UN climate summit in Bonn, Germany, marks the first climate conference since President Donald Trump vowed to pull the United States out...

Cards Against Humanity targets Trump wall in holiday ad — RT US News

The company behind the game Cards Against Humanity is buying a plot of land on the...
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Video: Earth Day Actions Take on Trump’s War on Science (2/2)

As President Trump rolls back environmental regulations, Scientists, Doctors and Environmentalists inaugurate first ever March for Science in huge global event. Via Youtube

Child lead poisoning rates higher in Detroit & NYC than Flint — RT US...

New data shows kids in Detroit and New York City have higher levels of lead in...

Oil and Gas Industries’ Toxic Pollutants Are Poisoning African-American Communities, Increasing Risks of Cancer...

WASHINGTON - Clean Air Task Force (CATF) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have co-authored a landmark report that...

After 5 days Boris finally apologizes for gaffe that could see UK mother’s Iran...

Boris Johnson has finally apologized to the family of a British mother being detained in...

Over 15,000 Scientists Just Issued a ‘Second Notice’ to Humanity. Can We Listen Now?

Yikes. Over 15,000 scientists hailing from more than 180 countries just issued a dire warning to humanity: "Time is running out" to stop business as usual,...

Activists From Puerto Rico to Island Nations Demand Climate Reparations, End to Fossil Fuels

At the UN climate summit in Bonn, Germany, Democracy Now! was there when thousands of people took to the streets Saturday for a march...

US ‘Spits in the Face’ of World by Promoting Fossil Fuels at UN Climate...

Climate campaigners on Monday said that for the U.S. delegation to promote fossil fuel expansion and nuclear energy at the UN climate summit in...

Sacked Welsh Labour minister Carl Sargeant died by hanging — RT UK News

Published time: 13 Nov, 2017 15:36 An inquest into the death of the Welsh Assembly...

PM faces horror week as Government ‘smells of decline’ — RT UK News

Theresa May is heading into what looks like the toughest week of her career so...

Khan & Corbyn call for Boris Johnson to be sacked over diplomatic gaffes —...

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has joined calls for Boris Johnson to be sacked as UK...

The 2017 Elections Mark the Dawn of Change

What a difference a year makes! Waking up after Election Day in 2017 is incredibly different from last November, when we faced the prospect...

Time Is Running Out for the Planet

(Photo: Pixabay) I wasn't one of the 50,766 participants who finished the New York City Marathon last weekend. Instead, I spent the average marathon finish...

The Saudi Hand in Lebanon’s Crisis – Consortiumnews

Facing defeat in its proxy war for “regime change” in Syria, Saudi Arabia undertook some startling moves, including staging the...

One Year Later: 10 Lessons Learned From the Trump Presidency | By Bob Burnett

On election day in 2016, Donald Trump surprised most of us by defeating Hillary Clinton (although he garnered only 46.1 percent of the popular...

Alaska senator wants to frack the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — RT US News

An Alaska senator has introduced legislation to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil...

The ‘Lost Cause’ of Bolshevism

Second woman accuses British Gossip girl star Ed Westwick of rape — RT UK...

A second woman has now accused ‘Gossip Girl’ star Ed Westwick of rape, only days...

GM Food Crops Illegally Growing in India: The Criminal Plan to Change the Genetic...

The GM Contamination Register database is run by Genewatch and Greenpeace and contains cases of genetically modified (GM) contamination dating from 1997. The authors of a 2014...

Will the Trump Administration Take Down the Arctic Refuge?

(Photo: Robynm; Edited: LW / TO)   What happens in the Arctic doesn't just stay up north. It affects the world, as that region is the integrator of...

A Year Without a President | By Robert Reich

It seems like forever, but it was just one year ago that Donald Trump was elected president. So what have we learned about the...

Remember the time Boris Johnson praised Libya’s coastguard? Migrants are still drowning — RT...

It’s only been a matter of weeks since Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson shook hands...

The Politics of Sexual Harassment and War – Consortiumnews

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has forced the ugly practice of sexual harassment into the public square, where private companies have...

Michigan bill would put guns in schools, churches & daycare centers — RT US...

In the wake of the recent mass shootings in Texas and Nevada, state lawmakers in Michigan...

Prince Charles gave climate speeches after offshore shares purchase — RT UK News

The Prince of Wales’ private estate appears to have secretly invested in an offshore company...

Big Meat and Dairy’s Supersized Climate Footprint

Three meat companies - JBS, Cargill and Tyson - emitted more greenhouse gases last year than all of France and nearly as much as...

Trump’s Stock Market and Un-Shared American Prosperity | By Tim Koechlin

The right-wing spin machine lately has been making much of the “booming” stock market. Stuart Varney, a long-time Fox News and Fox Business bombasticator,...

Children Sue Trump Admin for ‘Reckless and Deliberate Indifference’ to Climate Threat

Two Pennsylvania children and a Philadelphia-based environmental organization filed suit on Monday against the Trump administration for its gutting of climate regulations, laws, and...

Woman fired for ‘obscene’ gesture aimed at Trump’s motorcade — RT US News

A woman has been fired from her job after a photo of her making a rude...

Zero evidence, but… DOJ source says it ‘knows identities of Russians involved in DNC...

Just days after the Mueller investigation came up short on Kremlin involvement in the US presidential...

Fossil fuels will help… prevent sex crimes in Africa — RT US News

Published time: 3 Nov, 2017 00:11 Edited time: 3 Nov, 2017 09:01 Energy Secretary Rick Perry...

Are Driverless Cars a Good Way to Help Stop Greenhouse Warming, or Is Greenhouse...

Photo by Paul Sableman | CC by 2.0 The automakers and IT giants are predicting that autonomous vehicles (AVs or “driverless cars”) will play a...

Oregon school district staff told to report students to police — RT US News

Published time: 3 Nov, 2017 19:15 Edited time: 4 Nov, 2017 09:18 Teachers and staff at...

Las Vegas shooter was in debt & depressed

The gunman who killed 58 people and injured over 500 at a Las Vegas concert last...

Netflix says no House of Cards if Spacey stays, producers may kill his character...

Published time: 4 Nov, 2017 03:28 Edited time: 4 Nov, 2017 03:32 Stream service Netflix says...
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Video: 130+ seals found dead in Lake Baikal, supposedly from cardiac arrest or storm

A mass death of over 130 seals has been recorded by local environmental services on the shore of Lake Baikal, in the regions of...

Trump admin forced to approve climate change report, confirming it’s man-made — RT US...

After President Donald Trump declared the “war on coal is over,” his administration was forced to...

UK police investigate fresh sexual assault claims against Kevin Spacey — RT UK News

British police are investigating fresh claims that Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey assaulted an unconscious aspiring...

Signs Saying ‘It’s Okay to be White’ Found at Maryland High School

Fliers saying “it’s okay to be white” were found taped to the exterior doors of a Maryland high school Wednesday morning, apparently...

Trouble #7: No Permission Needed

by subMedia / November 3rd, 2017 It’s now been twelve years since Hurricane Katrina smashed through the levees of New Orleans, completely inundating the Lower...

Prince William warns there are too many humans — RT UK News

Published time: 3 Nov, 2017 12:34 Prince William, whose wife is expecting their third child,...

Spacey’s ‘predatory’ behavior made House of Cards set ‘toxic’ – new allegations — RT...

Kevin Spacey created a “pattern of sexual harassment” on the House of Cards set, according to...

Shocking New Investigation Links Berta Cáceres’s Assassination to Executives at Honduran Dam Company

We look at shocking revelations released Tuesday that link the assassination of renowned Honduran indigenous environmental leader Berta Cáceres to the highest levels of...

RT looks at how powerful men are protecting themselves against sexual harassment allegations —...

In workplaces across the UK, including Parliament, people in positions of power are sexually harassing...

‘Idiotic’: Rights Groups Slam Trump for Reactionary ‘Send Him to Gitmo’ Threat

Civil rights advocates are pushing back against President Donald Trump's knee-jerk reaction to Tuesday's attack in New York City and for saying he would...
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Video: Shocking New Investigation Links Berta Cáceres’s Assassination to Executives at Honduran Dam Company

https://democracynow.org - We look at shocking revelations released Tuesday that link the assassination of renowned Honduran indigenous environmental ... Via Youtube

Outrage after cameras are put in school toilets — RT UK News

Published time: 1 Nov, 2017 16:09 Would you let your teenage self be filmed while...

EPA chief cites bible as he bans scientists it funds from advisory boards —...

Published time: 1 Nov, 2017 12:11 EPA head Scott Pruitt cited the bible when announcing a...

“National Organization for Women and Feminist Majority Endorse Northam, Fairfax, and Herring in Virginia”...

WASHINGTON - The National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Feminist Majority are proud to endorse Ralph Northam for Governor of Virginia, Justin Fairfax...

With New Directive, Pruitt Bars Scientists Who Aren’t ‘In the Pocket of Corporate Polluters’...

In an "unprecedented" move that critics say will "undermine independent science," amplify the voices of those representing the fossil fuel industry, and put public...

City holds annual Halloween parade after terrorist attacks — RT US News

Published time: 1 Nov, 2017 04:15 New York City’s 44th annual Village Halloween Parade went ahead...

A Dripping Wet Chemical Planet

Each and every year an avalanche of toxic chemicals, amounting to 250 billion tonnes, drips over Earth, which, over time, will sanitize all life,...

‘We’ve Got to Break This Mindset That Policing Is the Only Tool’

Janine Jackson intreviewed Alex Vitale about The End of Policing for the October 27, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. ...

America alone or America first?

Walls | Dissident Voice

by One Earth / October 29th, 2017 Our anti-border wall anthem. Laws are laws and politics are politics, but we are all people & no...

Thousands March on 5th Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy

This week marks the 15th anniversary of the sudden death of Minnesota's progressive Sen. Paul Wellstone...

Workers Say NAFTA’s Neoliberal Foundations Need to Be Dismantled From the Left — Not...

Rejecting both economic nationalism and free-market fundamentalism, workers across North America are building transnational solidarity and demanding labor rights for all. Last week, nearly 60...

Women’s Convention: ‘Millions of Women Coming Together to Stand Up and Fight Back’

Nine months after the Women’s March, a sell-out crowd of 4,000 people, mostly women, gathered in Detroit's Cabo Center this weekend for the Women’s...

Thousands to March on Saturday For the 5th Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy | 350.org

NEW YORK - Today, Saturday October 28 at 11:45 AM, a broad coalition of local, state, national and global organizations will gather and march across...

Video shows workers at Hanford illegally dumping radioactive water — RT US News

Investigators are looking into the Hanford nuclear facility in Washington state, after contractors were filmed dumping...

Students’ union employs ‘safe space marshals’ to control debates — RT UK News

King’s College London (KCL) students’ union is adopting ‘safe space marshals’ to control student events....

The Pneumonic Plague Is Spreading

$300mn electricity deal between US energy company & Puerto Rico agency under fire —...

Puerto Rico’s electricity agency and a two-year-old small-scale US company are under investigation by two House...

Trump’s Nomination of Steven Gardner to Direct OSMRE Puts the Health of Thousands of...

This week marks the 15th anniversary of the sudden death of Minnesota's progressive Sen. Paul Wellstone...

Migration main cause of ‘frightening’ growth in UK population, official figures reveal — RT...

Published time: 26 Oct, 2017 15:20 New figures reveal migration is the main cause behind...

Trump’s Hate-Iran Campaign

Eric Zuesse On October 19th, the far-right Foundation for Defense of Democracy (FDD) held a “National Security Summit” which featured as speakers both Donald Trump’s...

Sworn Enemies of EPA Now Just One Step from Heading Key Agency Offices

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Wednesday advanced the nominations of four potential assistant administrators for the Environmental Protection Agency...

Journalist’s ‘Russian wife’ Twitter dig betrays last acceptable prejudice — RT UK News

Published time: 25 Oct, 2017 17:15 A British journalist’s tweet, in which he makes an...

It’s Time to Stop Using Inmates for Free Labor

This article was published by TalkPoverty.org. Last week, a Louisiana sheriff gave a press conference railing against a new prisoner release program because it cost him free...

Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering

When the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., published his bestseller The Disuniting of America in 1991, he didn't seriously entertain the worst-case scenario suggested by the title....

Aid Is Being Unfairly Distributed and Superfund Sites Continue to Overflow

President Donald Trump said his administration deserves a "10 out of 10" for its response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. But...

Earthjustice Files Comments on Department of Energy’s Radical Proposal to Bail Out Outdated Coal...

WASHINGTON - Earthjustice, along with eleven other environmental organizations, yesterday filed comments against a proposal by the Department of Energy (DOE) to subsidize outdated...

Measuring Public Health Impacts After Disasters

Two months after Hurricane Harvey submerged much of metropolitan Houston, recovery is under way across the city. Residents and volunteers are gutting and restoring flooded...

Rolling Back the Tide of Pesticide Poison, Corruption and Looming Mass Extinction   

An anthropogenic mass extinction is underway that will affect all life on the planet and humans will struggle to survive the phenomenon. So claims...

US prepares to put B-52 nuclear bombers on high alert — RT America

The US Air Force is renovating Cold War-era launch pads as it prepares to put its...

Mr. Toxicity Zaps America

America’s all-time-leading heartless anti-science zealot EPA Administrator Scott “Mr. Toxicity” Pruitt, as of March 2017, nixed his own agency’s proposal of 2015 to ban...

Top Trump Official for Pipeline Safety Profits From Selling Oil Spill Equipment

A newly appointed federal regulator charged with overseeing pipeline safety personally profits from oil spill responses, a DeSmog investigation has found. Drue Pearce is the acting...

Oklahomans Turn “Oilfield Prayer Day” Into a Protest Against Big Oil

"Pipelines are genocide!" and "Keep the frack out of my water" were just a few of the signs held by protesters at a rally...

US billionaire looks to impeach Trump — RT America

Published time: 21 Oct, 2017 11:35 A US billionaire has launched a campaign, calling for the...

Washington, DC study — RT America

The adoption of body cameras by Metropolitan Police Department officers in Washington, DC had no discernible...

Israel’s Labor Party: A New Start?

One day the Israeli Labor Party felt that it needed a new leader. That happens to this party every couple of years. The party is...

A Month Later, U.S. Is Failing with Its Food and Water Crisis in Puerto...

It’s been a month since supercharged Hurricane Maria delivered a devastating blow to Puerto Rico, and people are still suffering without food, water, and...

No more safe spaces! Universities failing to protect freedom of speech on campus to...

Published time: 19 Oct, 2017 13:38 Universities adopting a ‘no-platforming’ policy could be fined as...

New Study Shows Glyphosate Contaminated Soils Put Half of Europe at Risk | By

Pesticides, once used, do not dissolve into thin air, but persist in the environment, contaminating soil, air and water. This is the most recent...

Activists in Puerto Rico Want the Jones Act Eliminated — So Why Are Unions...

In the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, an obscure law governing maritime commerce has grabbed national headlines: The...

Existing Law May Not Solve Presidential Crisis | By

For those of you looking for a legal avenue to cut short the tenure of the 45th president of the United States—our very own...

The Global Food and Health Crisis: Monsanto’s Science is Bogus

By Rosemary Mason and Colin Todhunter Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the new director general of the World Health Organization (WHO). With a $4 billion annual...

The conspiracy to censor the Internet

  ...

Trump & McCain at each other’s throats again — RT America

Donald Trump said he will fight back and that it “won’t be pretty” after Senator John...

Iran Doesn’t Have a Nuclear Weapons Program. Why Do Media Keep Saying It Does?

When it comes to Iran, do basic facts matter? Evidently not, since dozens and dozens of journalists keep casually reporting that Iran has a...

DACAmented Youth to Cardinal Dolan: Rescind Paul Ryan Keynote Invitation If He Won’t Meet...

NEW YORK - This week, immigrant rights leaders are from New York, Wisconsin, and around the country are calling on Cardinal Timothy Dolan to...

A Dialogue With Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin

(Photo: Bianca Pontes / EyeEm) This is the first part of a wide-ranging interview with world-renowned public intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin. The next...

Scott Pruitt, Who Loved to Sue EPA, Just Made It Harder for Green Groups...

Trump's Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued a directive that one environmental organization says targets nonexistent collusion and will make it easier for corporations...

‘The People of Puerto Rico Are Dying’: Action Is Needed Now | By

Crowd funding. A Costco Card. The water in a nurse’s own backpack. These are the resources to which volunteer nurses on the ground in...

From NAFTA 1.0 to NAFTA 2.0, Council of Canadians’ Maude Barlow Outlines a NAFTA...

OTTAWA - NAFTA renegotiations continue today in Arlington, Virginia. To shed light on the issues, the Council of Canadians today released Getting It Right:...

2 or 3 Things I Know About Late-Stage Capitalism | By

A number of recent, press articles, including an over 8000 word feature piece in the New York Times have asked, to quote the The...

Two or Three Things I Know About Capitalism

A number of recent, press articles, including an over 8000 word feature piece in the New York Times have asked, to quote the The...

Climate Change Insurgent: Tony Abbott’s Crusade

He is the inimitable, true political ugliness, the bad boy with a mistimed punch.  While not quite professorial in his lunacy (that honour will...

Should Mike Pence Become the President?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On August 26th, Morning Consult headlined “More Voters Want Pence as President Than Trump, Poll Shows” and reported that...

Trump’s Values Voter Speech is the End Result of Fundamentalist and Capitalist Education |...

It may be hyperbolic to claim that Donald Trump’s speech at the Values Voter Summit has ushered in an era of conservative Christian capitalism,...

Why Rick Perry’s Proposed Subsidies for Coal Fail Economics 101

In a controversial proposal, Energy Secretary Rick Perry has asked federal regulators to effectively subsidize coal and nuclear power plants at ratepayers' expense. Under...

Effects of childhood bullying disappear as kids grow up, study reveals — RT UK

Published time: 12 Oct, 2017 13:33 Edited time: 13 Oct, 2017 08:37 Ground-breaking research into...

Russian TV Says U.S. Breaks Peace Treaty

Eric Zuesse Headlining "'More US troops at our borders' - Russian Defense Ministry”, Russian Television (whose U.S. broadcasts the U.S. Government is considering to ban)...

Boar shot in Sweden Found to have 10 Times the Accepted Amount of Radiation

On April 26, 1986, a disastrous accident at the power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine led to the release of more radiation into...

Journalists Express Concerns Over New York Times’ New Social Media Rules

Journalists expressed concerns about potential fallout from the New York Times' unveiling of its new social media policy for its employees on Friday, with...

Trump’s War for Coal Raises Risks – Consortiumnews

Exclusive: President Trump’s war for coal is threatening progress on alternative energy while creating hazards both in the weather effects...

Why One Native Family Is Donating Their Fracking Proceeds to Benefit Indian Country

The environmental damage versus the income producing benefits of locating fossil fuel projects in Indian Country has divided some resource-rich Native American nations --...

In Montana, Legal Battle Continues Against Trump's Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline

Though President Donald Trump made a big deal of how he rushed through approval of the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year, a series...

'Great News for the Climate' as Banking Giant Ditches Tar Sands, Arctic Drilling

In a move being hailed as a win for the climate, banking giant BNP Paribas announced Wednesday that it is severing ties with companies...

The Six “Secret” Tactics of Empire

The 6 ‘secret’ tactics of empire are strategies of change used by governments, usually covertly, to attain political or military ends through means not...

Catalonia and the ‘Europe of Regions’

Exclusive: Catalonia’s bid for independence from Spain had a curious twist, a readiness to take its place within the supranational...

Russian Embassy responds to hypocritical Times report on ‘investigation’ into MPs on RT

Published time: 11 Oct, 2017 15:11 Edited time: 11 Oct, 2017 15:20 The Russian Embassy...

The Rich Get Richer Still

The Trump tax proposal is appalling (if utterly unsurprising).  It is immoral and it is bad economic policy.  It will make the rich richer,...

Govt cover-up? 120 MPs accuse Tories of keeping everyone ‘in the dark’ over Brexit

Published time: 11 Oct, 2017 09:25 Edited time: 11 Oct, 2017 09:27 Some 120 cross-party...

Sanders: To Lift 'Outrageous' Burden of Student Debt, Time for Tuition-Free College for All

In order to lift the burden of debt on millions of students and unleash the potential of current and futute generations, Sen. Bernie Sanders...

The Real Reason Why Trump and Pruitt Are Repealing the Clean Power Plan

President Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speak about the US role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden at...

Watch Live: Sanders Says Time Is Now To Lift Burden of Debt With Tuition-Free...

In order to lift the burden of debt on millions of students and unleash the potential of current and futute generations, Sen. Bernie Sanders...

Royal interference? Prince Charles lobbied Tony Blair over hunting ban, letter reveals

Published time: 9 Oct, 2017 09:34 Yet more proof of Prince Charles meddling in government...

Urban Noise Pollution Is Worst in Poor and Minority Neighborhoods and Segregated Cities

Most Americans think of cities as noisy places -- but some parts of US cities are much louder than others. Nationwide, neighborhoods with higher...

Oxford college bans Christian Union from freshers’ fair over ‘homophobia & neo-colonialism’

Published time: 9 Oct, 2017 22:37 Balliol, one of the most prestigious colleges at Oxford...

Hurricane Nate disrupts 90% of Gulf of Mexico oil production

Published time: 9 Oct, 2017 20:49 More than 90 percent of crude oil production as well...

White House Puts Ideology Over Science and Law in Repealing Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to issue a proposal tomorrow to repeal the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan—continuing its pattern...

How the elite and greedy corporations are destroying thousands of years of agriculture

The increasingly globalised industrial food system that transnational agribusiness promotes is not feeding the world and is responsible for some of the planet’s most pressing political, social...

Migrants Threaten Swedish Migration Board Employees with Rape, Violence

In the first nine months of 2017, the Swedish migration board has reported 2,875 serious incidents against their staff including threats of rape...

The Importance of Training Teachers to Better Understand Their Native Students

Native American students make up 1.4 percent of the students in Washington state public schools. And they have the lowest graduation rate of any ethnic group,...

When Mass Tourism Clashes With the "Right to the City"

During 2017, International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the impact of visitors has reached such proportions that cities like Amsterdam are considering measures...

Trump: Anomaly in Continuity

Photo by kellybdc | CC BY 2.0 If its environmental policies are not soon reversed, the Trump administration will do incalculable harm to future generations. ...

Spanking Your Child

Clark Kent aka Scott Pruitt

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s . . . . The mystery is solved. The mystery is why does Scott Pruitt think he needs...

Tainted Honey: Bee-Poisoning Pesticides Found Globally

Raising further concerns about the global food production system, a new study found that bees worldwide are being widely exposed to dangerous agricultural chemicals,...

Puerto Ricans in Vieques Cope With Devastation and Fear Toxic Contamination From Maria

We end today's show where we began the week: in Puerto Rico. Doctors say the island's health system remains crippled two weeks after Hurricane...

Prince Charles praises Somali pirates for ‘fish explosion’

Published time: 6 Oct, 2017 10:43 The Prince of Wales claims the activities of Somali...

Decades of Sexual Harassment Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein

Two decades ago, the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein invited Ashley Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what the young actress expected to...

Is Europe scared of Boris Johnson becoming prime minister?

Boris Johnson may look like a buffoon, he may be a gaffe-a-minute kind of guy,...

30 Tory MPs plot to oust Theresa May ‘sooner rather than later,’ rebel ringleader...

Tory rebel ringleader and former party chairman Grant Shapps says Prime Minister Theresa May must...

Learning From Chaos

Trump Wants $1.6 Billion for the Border Wall. That Covers Just 74 Miles.

How much of your money does Donald Trump want to pour into his xenophobic fantasy of erecting an impenetrable wall on our Mexican border? The...

First British boat sunk during WWII ‘found’ by shipwreck hunter

Published time: 5 Oct, 2017 16:42 Edited time: 5 Oct, 2017 16:44 The wreck of...

It Is Time to Transform, Not Just Rebuild, in Puerto Rico

A car drives under tilted power line poles in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Humacao, Puerto Rico on October 2, 2017. (Photo: Ricardo...

Multimillion-pound battle against ‘fatbergs’ waged under London’s streets

Lurking under London’s streets is a multimillion-pound problem, and it is pretty disgusting. ...

Britain has blood on its hands in Libya, not the time for Johnson jokes...

In many ways, what Boris Johnson is doing is very much like Donald Trump. He...
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Video: Earth Day Actions Take on Trump’s War on Science (1/2)

As President Trump rolls back environmental regulations, Scientists, Doctors and Environmentalists inaugurate first ever March for Science in huge global event. Via Youtube

Great Hunger

Earlier this year, the Sisters of St. Brigid invited me to speak at their Feile Bride celebration in Kildare, Ireland. The theme of the...

Three Years for Eternity: A Prayer for Cimate Action and the Common Good

'Laudato Si’, considered by environmentalists all around the world as the “Green Encyclical, has become a work read by Christians and non-Christians alike in...

New Analysis Finds Virginia Could Create Over 50,000 New Jobs With Commitment to 10...

RICHMOND, Virginia - Today, the Sierra Club released a new report from the Solar Foundation finding that Virginia could create 50,400 new jobs if...

Veterans Express Dismay At "Vietnam War" Series

St. Louis, MO. - With the conclusion of the Burns/Novick “The Vietnam War” series, veterans express dismay over the lack of attention paid...

America Not Immune from Chaos

“Exceptional” America views itself as largely immune from devastating storms and the violence that infect much of the world, but...

Government Won't Remove Thousands of Tons of Potentially Toxic Chemical Weapons Dumped Off US...

Recoil-less rifle cartridges on the north shore of the Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. According to a recent study, some fish and shellfish from...

The Trump Presidency

  David Barsamian: You have spoken about the difference between Trump’s buffoonery, which gets endlessly covered by the media, and the actual policies he is...

Humans Have Messed With Earth So Much, Formal 'Anthropocene' Classification Needed: Scientists

A group of scientists says that the scope of human impact on planet Earth is so great that the "Anthropocene" warrants a formal place...

Britain’s forgotten prisoners: 4,000 people trapped behind bars in ‘never-ending’ IPP limbo

Twelve years into a three-year jail term, Ian Hartley is languishing behind bars indefinitely. With...

The Pros and Cons of a Constitutional Convention

On Nov. 7 voters in New York State will have an opportunity to gamble. Every two decades the option to call a statewide constitutional...

Violence Spreads the Famine, and the Famine Will Spread Violence

Earlier this year, the Sisters of St. Brigid invited me to speak at their Feile Bride celebration in Kildare, Ireland. The theme of the gathering was:...

Satanic Temple trolls Christian bakers in ‘gay cake’ dispute

The US Supreme Court will finally hear the notorious gay wedding cake case next month and...

Trump Is in Your Head: Women and The Donald in Everyday Life

Back in 1992, a certain New York real estate mogul told a reporter from New York magazine that you have to treat women "like shit." That was a...

Climate Change Refugees Face Militarized Borders

A US Border Patrol agent scans the US-Mexico border while on a bridge over the Rio Grande on March 13, 2017, in Roma, Texas....

Health and Human Services Secretary Price resigns amid criticism of his travel on private...

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price has offered his resignation amid a growing scandal...

Trump’s Billionaire Cronies Feed at Public Trough as he Disses Puerto Rico

Trump's petulant tweet storm on Saturday accused Puerto Ricans of wanting everything done for them. He expressed these sentiments as his secretary of Health and...

How Military Outsourcing Turned Toxic

US B-52 bombers stand ready March 5, 2003 at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. (Photo: Mario Villafuerte / Getty Images)In August 2016, an...

No more private planes, White House tells Cabinet after Price scandal

Published time: 30 Sep, 2017 02:40 After Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned over...

The Tyranny of the “Deplorable” Minority

Photo by Roger Jones | CC BY 2.0 Throughout the nineteenth century, the United States had presidents who, by today’s standards, make even twentieth and...

Norwegian Army Chief: Europe Needs to Destroy Islam if they are Going to Survive

Norwegian Army Chief Odin Johannessen warns that European countries must be reading and willing to fight against radical Islam in order to...

Beware of Contaminated Food and Water

video

Video: Do rivers have rights? Lawsuit filed to recognize Colorado waterway as a ‘person’

People and corporations have rights - so is it time for nature to follow suit? Environmental groups in the US are suing the authorities...

Costs and Climate Be Damned, Rick Perry Seeks to Prop Up Coal, Nuclear Plants

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry's proposal to ensure "a reliable, resilient electric grid" by propping up nuclear and coal power plants is being met...

Tory party conference to get ‘biggest ever’ armed security detail, Manchester police tell RT

Published time: 29 Sep, 2017 16:10 Edited time: 29 Sep, 2017 16:18 Tens of thousands...

In Shadow of Puerto Rico's Nightmare, Virgin Islands and Others Facing Intense Struggle

While much media attention has rightly been focused on the devastation in Puerto Rico this week as calls have grown louder for President Donald...

This Is How We Can Avoid Climate Catastrophe

Two years ago in Paris, the United States, China, and more than 190 other countries agreed to protect our people and our planet from...

‘Smiley-faced’ spiders named after Bernie Sanders & the Obamas (PHOTOS)

Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama are among a select few political and environmental figures to have...

Fenceline Communities on Gulf Coast Face Mass Displacement and Toxic Pollution One Month After...

As many parts of the United States recover from a devastating series of hurricanes, we end today's show with an update from one of...

Former NFL Player Donté Stallworth: Don't Let Trump Hijack the Conversation on Racism and...

At a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday evening, Trump lashed out at players who have joined a growing protest movement started by...

Blame Old White People

Correcting Gregory Bateson

by Alton C. Thompson / September 23rd, 2017 Forty-five years ago the late Gregory Bateson wrote these ominous words: If you put God outside and...

EPA staff receive mandatory anti-leak training, leaked document shows

Published time: 23 Sep, 2017 20:23 Edited time: 23 Sep, 2017 20:52 Environmental Protection Agency employees...

ALEC's Corporate Board Leads in Federal Violations

Koch Industries Executive Vice President David H. Koch listens to Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney during the Defending the American...

‘Legislators Criminalize Practices That Led to Wrongdoings Being Exposed’

Janine Jackson interviewed Chip Gibbons about attempts to censor reporting on agriculture for the September 15, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly...

British banks ordered to inform on suspected illegal immigrants amid Tory crackdown

Published time: 22 Sep, 2017 12:01 UK banks will be forced to carry out immigration...

Florence & the MAY-chine? Britons ridicule PM’s Italy speech as Brexit hangs in the...

Theresa May has been ridiculed after she attempted to rescue Brexit talks with yet more...

Fluoride Exposure in Utero

Trump Administration Doubles Down on Plans to Withdraw from Paris Deal as UNGA Makes...

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: At the United Nations, President Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said...

Greenpeace activists board ship carrying 1000s of Volkswagen diesel cars in Thames Estuary

Greenpeace activists in kayaks and boats have boarded a 23,498-tonne ship in the Thames Estuary....

‘Tranny bashing’: Woman granted ‘humanitarian’ residency in New Zealand after years of abuse in...

Published time: 21 Sep, 2017 11:29 A transgender woman has been granted residency in New...

Groups: Harvey Recovery Must Serve Vulnerable Victims, Not Corporate Polluters

Prompted in part by the appointment of former Shell CEO Marvin Odum to lead Texas recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a...

Trump vows to visit ‘absolutely obliterated’ Puerto Rico

President Donald Trump said Hurricane Maria “totally destroyed” Puerto Rico and promised a visit to the...

The Brutal Racial Politics of Climate Change and Pollution

As I watched coverage of Harvey's flood damage in Houston, Irma's wreckage in the Caribbean, the devastating record monsoons in South Asia, and the...

Greenpeace: Has its crusade to save the world descended into hypocrisy & misinformation?

Greenpeace activists have seized a cargo ship at Sheerness Port, Kent, to stop thousands of...

Finding a Common Language on Climate

If you don’t already agree with me on something, odds are I can’t convince you I’m right. There’s plenty of science showing that the global...

American President Trump v. Iranian President Rouhani, at the U.N.

Eric Zuesse On September 19th, America’s President Donald Trump stated his American case to the United Nations General Assembly. On September 20th, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani...

The Demise of Civic Journalism: The Xenophon-Turnbull Deal

It was never spectacular, but the Australian media scape is set to become duller, more contained, and more controlled with changes to the Broadcasting...

Toxic air, poverty, obesity: Health warning for London’s most deprived children

Tens of thousands of children from deprived areas of London are exposed to an array...

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to Protect Consumers, Firefighters from Hazardous Flame Retardant...

WASHINGTON - In response to a petition filed by leading consumer, healthcare, firefighter and science groups, today the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ...

Antifa and neo-Nazis in Ukraine

“I knew some anarchists resisting in the Black Bloc, who never seem to set foot on any black blocks.” - hip hop artist Son...

Are Hazardous Vapors Seeping Into Your Home?

(Photo: Pley / iStock / Getty Images Plus) When Jane Horton bought her dream 800-square-foot farmhouse in 1975, she thought little of the semiconductor manufacturing...

'Heaven Help Those in Dominica Tonight': Category 5 Maria Makes Landfall

Hurricane Maria was ugraded to a powerful Category 5 and "potentially catastrophic" storm Monday evening, with sustained winds over 160 mph,  just before it...

‘Climate Change Is Making These Facilities Even More Dangerous’

Janine Jackson interviewed Shaye Wolf about Hurricane Harvey’s toxic aftermath for the September 8, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. ...

Kayaking activists protest ‘petroleum wars’ outside Pentagon (VIDEO)

Several dozen activists paddled their kayaks outside the Pentagon to protest the US military’s pollution of...