Truthout.org, June 30, 2014, By Raven Rakia
"On the first weekend in April, grassroots leaders and activists from all over the world met in a conference room in Washington DC for The Chico Mendes conference, named after indigenous environmental rights activist from Brazil, Francisco Alves "Chico" Mendes, a rubber tapper from the Amazon region, assassinated in 1988 by a rancher.
He joined the fight to protect the Amazon, the environment and people's livelihoods from cattle ranchers, government officials and large-scale mining corporations - whose profit depends on the destruction of the environment. In one of his most well-known quotes, Chico says, "First, I thought I was fighting for the rubber tappers, then I thought I was fighting for the Amazon, then I realized I was fighting for humanity." Throughout his life he worked as a rubber tapper, a trade union leader, and an activist before being shot down in 1988. At the conference, environmental activists met from all over the world to discuss tactics and strategy, commemorate Chico's life and discuss how to continue Chico's fight."
The Washington Post, April 23, 2013, By Juliet Eilperin
"How much does it matter that the Environmental Protection Agency has officially questioned aspects of the State Department’s draft environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal?
A lot. ...
EPA’s objection to the State Department’s draft analysis not only provides opponents with political ammunition, it could force President Obama to directly weigh in on the permitting decision if they raise similar objections later when State conducts a national interest determination. As long as no other agency objects, State can issue a ruling on the pipeline on its own; if EPA challenges the national interest determination the State Department makes at the end of its review process, Obama himself would have to issue the final permit decision.
This is not the first time EPA has questioned the State Department’s assessment of the project’s climate impact. The agency sharply criticized a previous draft EIS the State Department issued in April 2010, saying the review did not fully explore the potential environmental impact or the prospect of a more rapid transition to alternative energy that would make the imports unnecessary.
Opponents of the project, who have already generated 1 million comments on the draft review, were quick to tout the EPA’s objections on Monday. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s letter shows that despite multiple tries, the State Department is incapable of doing a proper analysis of the climate, wildlife, clean water, safety and other impacts of this disastrous and unneeded project,” said Jim Murphy, senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation, an advocacy group."
Rolling Stone, April 11, 2013, By Bill McKibben
"After decades of scant organized response to climate change, a powerful movement is quickly emerging around the country and around the world, building on the work of scattered front-line organizers who've been fighting the fossil-fuel industry for decades. It has no great charismatic leader and no central organization; it battles on a thousand fronts. But taken together, it's now big enough to matter, and it's growing fast."
San Francisco Chronicle, April 4, 2013, By Peter Fimrite
"The four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River that block salmon migration and cause toxic algae blooms in stagnant lake water should be removed, concludes the most comprehensive environmental study ever done on the river system that flows from Oregon through California to the Pacific.
If the dams go - still no sure bet - 420 miles of historic habitat would open for the first time in more than a century."
The Guardian, February 18, 2013, By Paul Watson
"I don't think that there is a more isolated, more remote, or more forbidding place on this planet than where we find ourselves at this moment.
Draw a line due south from Sri Lanka for 4,404 nautical miles and it will bring you to Prdyz Bay, deep in the Cooperation Sea, close to the massive Amory ice shelf.
Some 2,632 nautical miles to the north-east is Perth, Western Australia and 2,632 miles to the north-west is Cape Town, South Africa.
In contrast, we are only 1,380 miles to the south pole.
It is summertime in Antarctica and outside on the deck, the wind is blowing at 30 knots and the temperature has dropped to -10C.
Forsaken yet incredibly beautiful. The seas are bejeweled with thousands of icebergs, ranging in size from that of a small building to massive tabletops larger than major cities. And it is not all white on blue, the icebergs boast a spectrum of blues, indigos, and greens; and the ever-present sun splatters the horizon twice a day with the spectrum of reds, orange and yellows.
In the sea and flying through the air are the great living treasures of these waters - the birds, whales, seals, and penguins; and beneath the surface the great schools of fishes and the vast plumes of plankton and krill.
What brings us down here year after year is the simple fact that these waters have been designated by the international community of nations as the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary, and we are here to defend the integrity and the sanctity of this legal sanctuary for whales.
The Japanese whalers are slaughtering protected, threatened, and endangered species of whales within this sanctuary in violation of a global moratorium on commercial whaling. They are also in contempt of an Australian federal court ruling from 2008 that specifically forbade them from killing whales in the waters of the Australian Antarctic territory."
AlterNet, February 25, 2013, By Scott Thill
"With runaway global warming threatening to annihilate climate stability and perhaps life on Earth as we know it, there's no bigger issue on humanity's crowded docket and no better time to catch up on the history of the environmental movement. So let's give thanks that writer, producer and director Mark Kitchell's A Fierce Green Fire has arrived to exhaustively school us all. Especially since the Obama administration has gone long on rhetoric but short on activism, and practically begged to be pushed into action by the American people.
"The main lesson of A Fierce Green Fire is the importance of bottom-up movements to force political action and change at the top," Kitchell, director of the Oscar-nominated Berkeley in the Sixties, told me. "Although the environmental movement put on the largest demonstration ever on the original Earth Day in 1970, it was never all that big on taking to the streets. So I’m pleased that the Sierra Club is endorsing getting arrested, and environmental organizations are forming an alliance against the Keystone XL pipeline. The time has come for nonviolent civil disobedience. This is what we need, and we need more of it."
Moyers & Company, February 14, 2013, By Lauren Feeney
"In an act of civil disobedience against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada to refineries in Texas, 48 protesters were arrested Wednesday for blocking the sidewalk in front of the White House. Among those arrested were the actress Daryl Hannah, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his son, Conor Kennedy, civil rights leader Julian Bond, environmentalist Bill McKibben, and Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, whose participation marked the end of the organization’s 120-year prohibition against civil disobedience."
High Country News, B ,
"Martin Litton, 95, wastes no time on proprieties. "I'm supposed to be dead, you know," he growls on a January morning, leading me through a thicket of potted plants into his home in the hills near Palo Alto, Calif.
Environmental News Service, June 23, 2010
"A controversial plan that would have meant the end of a 24-year long moratorium on commercial whaling was today put on ice for a year by the International Whaling Commission at its annual meeting.
The 88 IWC member governments meeting in Agadir failed to agree on the proposed compromise between whale conservation nations and whaling nations that would have legalized whaling in return for bringing the hunt under IWC control.
Currently, three whaling nations - Japan, Norway and Iceland - set their own quotas without regard for the moratorium observed by all other countries."
Associated Press via guardian.co.uk, November 28, 2012
"Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest has dropped to its lowest level in 24 years, the government said on Tuesday. For Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace coordinator in the Amazon region, the lower figures show that reducing deforestation is possible, but he added that "the numbers are still too high for a country that does not have to destroy one single hectare in order to develop."
BBC News, December 22, 2008, by Sue Branford
"Twenty years ago Amazon environmentalist Chico Mendes was shot dead in front of his home in the remote Brazilian state of Acre. He had campaigned for years to stop the slashing and burning of the rainforest.
Brazil specialist Sue Branford, who met him, reflects on his life and legacy..."
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