United Kingdom (OpenDemocracy) – A wave of direct action across the UK aims to end extreme energy extraction. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is an extreme form of dirty energy extraction in a world dominated by dirty energy extraction. The earth’s resources…
For the last few months, the Dakota Access Pipeline has captured the nation’s attention. After Energy Transfer Partners started construction on a pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation, local Native American tribes protested the pipeline on the grounds that it could pollute their water supplies. Word of the protests spread and thousands of protesters flocked to Standing Rock. After months of confrontations between protesters and militarized police, the Army Corps of Engineers paused the project pending an environmental impact assessment.
The Native American tribes and environmentalists hailed this development as a victory, albeit a temporary one. Donald Trump, who will soon be taking office, has vowed to complete the DAPL and has signaled a willingness to carry out this campaign promise by filling his administration with oil executives and people who have invested heavily in the project. As a result, anti-DAPL protesters are gearing up for a long protest season.
Climate change has long had its heaviest impact on people of colour. Were it not for structural racism that dehumanises them, and the interconnections between big oil and the arms industry, the world would have taken action to protect the climate long ago.
The Philippines has opened a new chapter in the fight against climate change. The south-east asian nation has initiated legal proceedings to summon the 47 worst polluting corporations to its Commission on Human Rights. The case asserts these major polluters should be held to account for climate change and its impact upon the human rights of Philippines citizens; notably the death and destruction that resulted from ‘super typhoons’ linked to climate change. The lawsuit is being brought by the survivors of these intensifying super typhoons, which batter the archipelago annually. These kill people thousands, and displace people in their millions. Defending against the effects of these unprecedented storms, and clearing up afterwards, consumes an increasing proportion of the nation’s GDP. To continue with this destructive business as usual, big oil conglomerates must both deny the destruction and deny the worth of those being annihilated.
Hundreds of activists have faced arrest since nonviolent demonstrations against the North Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL, began last spring. While clashes with law enforcement frequently coincide with public protest, the arrests of numerous independent journalists, including Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, have raised serious questions about state suppression, free speech and the blurring of lines between activism and journalism.
Goodman was arrested after she posted footage of contractors using physical force and guard dogs to repel unarmed protesters at the pipeline’s construction site. Her video was shot on September 3, before the protests had received significant coverage from major news outlets, and quickly went viral. Five days later, Goodman was informed that Morton County, North Dakota had issued a warrant for her arrest, charging her with “rioting.”
Because our economic system squeezes small farmers, even the most eco-conscious among them have to compromise their values to stay in business.
I visited a family farm recently. It was small, and local, and certified organic. In theory, it was everything an eco-conscious foodie could want. And yet, it wasn’t.
Like every farm family, the couple who runs the farm is constrained by economic factors.
Unfortunately, the measures they’ve taken to make their finances work have made their farm less environmentally sustainable.
Their biggest expense is labor, so they do everything they can to reduce the amount of labor they need, including employing machines. A lot of machines. Machines that run on fossil fuels.