Happy Earth Day!

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lagatta4
Happy Earth Day!

Not because things are going well on the environmental front, but to celebrate movements and people who are committed to environmental issues.

 Remember this march of some 300,000 people in Montréal in 2012 - a far more clement spring, and in the midst of the student movement, becoming much more than a student movement

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70YO8Uyb6JE

We also pause to remember the many defenders of the earth who have been murdered for their activism.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Earth Day: Conflict Over The Future Of The Planet

On this Earth Day, it is difficult to look at the state of the planet and the current political leadership and see much hope. In “Junk Planet”, Robert Burrowes writes a comprehensive description of the degradation of the atmosphere, oceans, waterways, groundwater, and soil as well as the modern pollution of antibiotic waste, genetic engineering, nanowaste, space junk, military waste and nuclear, a description of a planet degraded by pollution impacting our bodies and health as well as the planet’s future.

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The undertow being created by organized resistance is growing, and so is the push back against it. In order for this conflict to be resolved, the conflict must be heightened as is occurring now.

People Power Escalates

As we write this, tree-sits are growing in West Virginia where people are putting their bodies on the line to prevent the destruction of trees and habitat to build the Mountain Valley pipeline for fracked gas. In Virginia, Red Terry started a tree-sit on Easter weekend to protect her land from destruction. She remains, despite the company with law enforcement support denying her food and water — something illegal against prisoners or during war. As trees are felled she remains, as do protesters in Pennsylvania, who are also doing tree-sits. Their stubborn courage should encourage each of us.

In Louisiana, a water protector locked herself into a cement-filled barrel placed in the trench of a horizontal directional drill to block construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Eleanor Goldfield reports this is part of the Battle of the Bayou, a coalition of groups and individuals standing against the destruction of a fragile environment, facing arrest and creating a future together.

In Maryland, people blocked construction then escalated to a tractor blockade to prevent the construction of a compressor station that will bring fracked gas from the Mid-Atlantic to the Dominion export terminal in southern Maryland. People who fought the export terminal for years are now joining with neighboring counties fighting gas infrastructure and mounting a campaign against the Maryland Department of the Environment as Governor Hogan pushes $100 million in gas infrastructure.

People are taking protests to corporate offices as a busload of Lancaster, PA people did when they brought a 12 foot stretch of pipeline to a meeting room, singing songs and chanting, asking “How does it feel to be invaded?” In Bellevue Washington, protesters constructed a small longhouse blocking the main entrance to the corporate headquarters of an energy company.

California’s Governor Jerry Brown was protested when he came to speak at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Hundreds of people protested Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania over his pro-fracking policies. More politicians will be held accountable in this election year by angry constituents.

The industry recognizes that pipeline protesters are having an impact.  Canada is having a hard time moving tar sands and fracked gas because protests are stopping pipeline investment. Oil companies are successfully being pressured to examine the risks to the environment and human rights from their actions. Washington activists defeated the largest oil-train terminal in the nation.

Protests are successfully resulting in cities divesting from banks who fund fossil fuel projects. Europe’s largest bank, HSBC just announced it will no longer fund oil or gas projects in the Arctic, tar sands projects, or most coal projects. Corporations realize they are investing in stranded assets that may not pay off and they may be held legally accountable for causing climate change.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Canadians might think of the Bank of Nova Scotia which is massively invested in this sector. So much so, that its price to book ratio is discounted by the investment community, compared to the other banks. Many banks want to get out of this business in no time flat.