How far will North Dakota go?

SUBHEAD: The state has coordinated a militarized response to peaceful demonstrators and charged people with felonies.

By Mark Trahant on 23 October 2016 in Magazine -

Image above: Riot police at Saturday’s prayer protest with weapons drawn. Photo by Rob Wilson. From original article.

The militarized response is escalating, Dakota Access construction is accelerating. To be clear: North Dakota is acting as trustee for the company, using what it considers the powers of state to make this project so.
A peaceful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline ended in the arrests of 83 people in North Dakota on Saturday morning amid a chaotic scene in which police in riot gear used pepper spray to break up and subdue a group of 200 to 300 protesters.
It is the highest number of people arrested in a single day in North Dakota during the last several months of protest actions against the oil pipeline, bringing the total number of arrests up to 222.
Though the protesters behaved non-violently and cooperated with the police, North Dakota law enforcement officials described Saturday’s events as a riot.  —Rapid City Journal article
A line of trucks and commercial vehicles on North Dakota’s Highway 6 Saturday was a speeding train. One vehicle after another. Traveling too fast and too close. Then, still on track, the entire train turned left and began racing down a rural dirt road.

It was clear why: This is where the Dakota Access Pipeline is being constructed.

 Fresh dirt marks where the pipeline has been and where it’s supposed to go. Construction is on a speedy timetable. As the company has testified in court it wants the 1,170 mile, $3.8 billion project up and running by January 1, 2017.

Yet the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and several hundred people camped nearby are determined to slow down that train, protect the waters of the Missouri River, and ultimately, help the country begin the most important conversation of this era about energy, climate and survival.

So the machinery of the state of North Dakota has been engaged to stay on schedule. To be clear: North Dakota is acting as the trustee for the company, using what it considers the powers of state, to make this project so.

How far will North Dakota go? Look at where it has been.

The state has been an ally instead of a referee. Helping to craft a regulatory approach that avoided regulation. There is this crazy notion that the company did everything it was supposed to do—so leave them alone. Yah. Because the plan was to avoid pesky regulation. It’s so much more efficient to be governed by official winks instead of an Environmental Impact Statement.

Even now the Dakota Access pipeline figures the state, with allies in D.C., will give in and sign the final paperwork. As the Energy Transfer Partners attorney told the court: “The status quo is that we’re in the middle of building a pipeline.”

So, according to Oil and Gas 360, “the next step will be for ETP to acquire easements to drill the pipeline under Lake Oahe. In the most probable scenario, the Corps will grant permits while District Court litigation will continue. ETP would ‘likely get notice on easement status by the end of October and would take 60 days to drill under the lake with a full crew and no major disruptions.”

In other words: No worries. The state’s machinery is supposed to make it so.

How far will North Dakota go?

They’ve already tried intimidation, humiliation, and the number of arrests are increasing. Pick on protectors, elders, journalists, famous people, anyone who could make the state appear potent. The latest tactic is to toss around the word “riot” as if saying it often enough will change its definition. “Authorities arrest 83 protesters during a riot Saturday,” Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier posted on Facebook.

“Today’s situation clearly illustrates what we have been saying for weeks, that this protest is not peaceful or lawful. It was obvious to our officers who responded that the protesters engaged in escalated unlawful tactics and behavior during this event. This protest was intentionally coordinated and planned by agitators.”

What’s extraordinary about that statement is the sheriff’s own pictures show a peaceful protest. As Mel Brooks once wrote in Young Frankenstein: “A riot is an ugly thing.” This was not.

Image above: Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier posted this picture on Facebook as evidence of a “riot.” Photo from Morton County Sheriff’s Office. From original article.

But the key phrase in the sheriff’s words is fuel for the state’s machinery, the words “… or lawful.” That is the important phrase because the state would like a protest that lets the status quo continue building a pipeline.

The idea of civil disobedience is that there are unjust laws (or in this case, rigged laws) and there are people willing go to jail to highlight that injustice.

 The state lost its moral claim when it moved the pipeline route away from its own capital city to near the Standing Rock Nation.
Again, the question is, how far will North Dakota go?

Is the state ready to arrest hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? And then what? The illogical conclusion to that question is too terrible to think about.

Yesterday a call went out from the camps for more people. People who, as Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said, are willing to get arrested. People who will interrupt their lives so that this pipeline will go no further. It’s a call to a higher law than the one that’s codified by North Dakota. And for every water protector arrested, there will always be someone else ready to be next.

How far will North Dakota go? The military-style law enforcement base at Fort Rice sends its message: Whatever it takes. Status quo must have its pipeline. That’s frightening. Except, there is an antidote to those fears. It’s found among the people at the Standing Rock camps who continue to use prayer as their status quo.

DAPL tells water protectors to "Get Out!"

SUBHEAD: Amidst law enforcement crackdown, DAPL pipeline builder warns water protectors: "Get Out, Or Else!>.

By Andrea Germanos on 26 October 2016 for Common Dreams -

'Militarized' police forces have taken steps 'to escalate tensions and promote fear'.

To the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies who stepped up their resistance this weekend with a new protest camp reclaimed through eminent domain, Dakota Access Pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners has a stern message: get out or face prosecution.

Protesters can leave the property, the company stated Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

"Alternatively and in coordination with local law enforcement and county/state officials, all trespassers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and removed from the land."
"Lawless behavior will not be tolerated," it stated.

But according to the Sacred Stone Camp, the new camp, which sits "directly on the proposed path of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)," is not on land owned by Energy Transfer Partners; rather, it is "unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie."

"We have never ceded this land," said Joye Braun, Indigenous Environmental Network organizer, in a weekend press release.

"If DAPL can go through and claim eminent domain on landowners and Native peoples on their own land, then we as sovereign nations can then declare eminent domain on our own aboriginal homeland."

As Common Dreams reported, the erection of the new camp came amidst "escalating attacks on protesters by local law enforcement officials."

Condemning the escalation, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dave Archambault II stated Monday, "North Dakota law enforcement have proceeded with a disproportionate response to their nonviolent exercise of their First Amendment rights, even going as far as labeling them rioters and calling their every action illegal."

He also wrote to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling for a Justice Department (DOJ) investigation into possible civil rights violations, writing that "state and local law enforcement have increasingly taken steps to militarize their presence, to intimidate participants who are lawfully expressing their views, and to escalate tensions and promote fear."

Archambault's letter also noted the recent arrest of Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, saying it was "part of a larger effort by local law enforcement to intimidate the press and to prevent the full and fair reporting of the activities of law enforcement on this matter."

The DOJ responded, saying the administration had requested that Dakota Access put construction on hold.

"While the Army continues to review issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members, it will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe.

In the interim, the departments of the Army, Interior, and Justice have reiterated our request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe," stated DOJ spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle.

Prominent voices from former Vice President Al Gore to actress Shailene Woodley have helped bring corporate media attention to what's at stake with the 1,200-mile, four-state pipeline.

Actor and environmental activist also Mark Ruffalo also brought his voice to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Tuesday.

Referring to law enforcement's actions towards water protectors, he said, "They are very antagonistic to people trying to save their water, they're made out to be criminals. But each time they hit us, they lose. The more quiet and serene we are in the depth of that violence, the faster we win," he said.

"That's where our strength is: We're right and they know we're right."

Linking the pipeline's future to the U.S. presidential campaign, the Guardian reports Wednesday on the "close financial ties" Donald Trump has to the pipeline operator, writing that chief executive Kelcy Warren has given $103,000 in campaign contributions to the Republican presidential nominee, and that Trump "has between $500,000 and $1m invested in Energy Transfer Partners, with a further $500,000 to $1m holding in Phillips 66, which will have a 25 percent stake in the Dakota Access project once completed."


Our Landfill Economy

SUBHEAD: This "maximizing growth and profits is the highest good" mode of production is insane.

By Charles Hugh Smith on 27 October 2016 for Of Two Minds -

Image above: Private waste collection truck enters secured area of Kekaha Landfill on Kauai. The landfill is adjacent to a shrimp farm, also on the coast.  From (

Correspondent Bart D. (Australia) captured the entire global economy in three words: The Landfill Economy. Stuff is manufactured, energy is consumed shipping it somewhere, consumers buy it and shortly thereafter it ends up as garbage in the landfill.

This is of course the definition of "economic growth": waste, inefficiency, environmental destruction--none of these matter. Only two things matter: maximize "growth" by any means necessary, and maximize profits by any means necessary.

The Landfill Economy now encompasses the entire planet. The swirling gyre of plastic trash the size of Texas between Hawaii and California: it's just one modest example of the planetary trash dump that "growth" and profit generate as byproducts/blowback.

The planet's oceans are one giant trash dump. Everything from plastic water bottles to abandoned fishing nets to radiation to containers that fell off ships is floating around even the most distant corners of the seas. Seabirds nesting in remote islands die of starvation as their guts fill with plastic bits of "permanent growth."

Globalization has turned the planet's land masses and rivers into trash dumps. Want to make a quick profit along a tropical sea coast? Dig some big holes near the coast, dump in baby prawns, food and chemicals to suppress algae blooms and diseases and then harvest the prawns to ship to the insatiable markets of the developed world.

Once the prawn farms are poisoned wastelands, move on and despoil another coastline elsewhere.

Globalization has greased the slippery slope from factory to landfill by enabling the global distribution of defective parts. Whether they are pirated, designed to fail or just the result of slipshod quality control, the flood of defective parts guarantee that the entire assembly they are installed in--stoves, vacuum cleaners, transmissions, electronics, you name it--will soon fail and be shipped directly to the landfill, as repairing stuff is far costlier than buying a new replacement.

QE/ZIRP Is Crushing the Global Supply Chain, Product Quality and Profits (October 17, 2016)

The Keynesian Cargo Cults that rule global economics love The Landfill Economy because it means more "growth". Never mind the poisoned seas, rivers and land, or the immense waste of energy, commodities and labor that result from the global manufacture and distribution of shoddy products: if it adds to "growth," it's all good in the warped view of the Keynesian Cargo Cults.

We got your "growth" right here.

Fossil fuel industry unchallenged

SUBHEAD: Tim DeChristopher "We've never seen the government stand up to the fossil fuel industry.

By Dahr Jamail on 24 October 2016 for Truth Out -

Image above: Photograph of Tim DeChristopher. Taken by Dahr Jamail. From original article.

In 2008, Tim DeChristopher found himself bidding for parcels of public land around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks of Utah at an illegitimate Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction.

A climate activist acting as a bidder at the auction, DeChristopher ended up successfully winning 22,500 acres of land by bidding a total of $1.8 million, which he never intended to pay one nickel of, hence effectively killing the auction.

Taken into custody by federal agents, DeChristopher ended up serving 21 months in prison for his action, despite the US Department of the Interior cancelling many of the leases just after the auction.

His actions thrust him into the national and international media spotlight. DeChristopher co-founded the group Peaceful Uprising, a climate justice group that describes its task as "working to build an uncompromising movement to defend a livable future," and remains committed to nonviolence while functioning effectively within the most violent society and government on the planet.

The urgency of his work, and that of Peaceful Uprising, could not be more justified.

Earth's atmosphere recently passed the 400 parts per million threshold of CO2. According to NASA, 11 of the last 12 months have been the hottest months, respectively, in the 136 years of record keeping. This year is, once again, on track to be another hottest year ever for the planet, beating last year, which was itself the hottest year yet recorded. In fact, 15 of the 16 hottest years ever recorded, globally, have happened since 2000.

This past February, in the dead of winter, a Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker ship found no ice to break, despite the fact that it was barely 800 miles from the North Pole. This is devastating, but not surprising: This year, the Arctic summer sea ice tied its second lowest extent on record.

Satellite data now shows a very rapid acceleration in global sea level rise, a rate increase not seen since the end of the last Ice Age -- and it continues to accelerate.

Early this February, atmospheric CO2 reached a level not seen on the planet for more than 2.5 million years.

These levels of CO2, which we are now living with permanently, are bringing Earth to a realm not experienced since the Pliocene epoch, which was the period 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago that saw atmospheric CO2 levels between 350 and 405 parts per million and average global temperatures that ranged between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius warmer than the climate of the 1880s.

At that time, there were even lower CO2 levels in the atmosphere than we have today, and global sea levels were 80 feet higher than they are right now.

In short, we are living in a new world, and the planet is rapidly adjusting to the level of heating we have imposed upon it.

Through this lens, it's clear that the actions of DeChristopher and other activists involved with Peaceful Uprising are both urgent and crucial, given that the US government is completely beholden to the fossil fuel industry.

Earlier this month, in what Reuters described as "the biggest coordinated move on US energy infrastructure ever undertaken by environmental protesters," activists across four states shut down five tar sands pipelines flowing into the US from Canada, bringing to a full stop the daily ration of 2.8 million gallons of tar sands crude oil.

The government responded in predictably draconian fashion by arresting the activists, supporting personnel and independent filmmakers. They are facing the most serious charges ever leveled at US climate activists: One of the filmmakers is facing up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Yet, increasing numbers of people are taking up the struggle and joining DeChristopher -- as well as many Indigenous activists like those at Standing Rock -- as the planet burns.  The fact that the government continues to overtly side with the fossil fuel industry is only adding fuel to the activists' proverbial fire.

DeChristopher has used his public presence as a platform to spread the message of urgency of the climate crisis along with the need for courageous, directly confrontational civil disobedience. His work is aimed at creating a just and healthy world by halting fossil fuel projects, and continuing to bring attention to the crisis that is upon us.

Truthout recently spoke with DeChristopher about the imperativeness of "moral agency," the difference between the environmental and climate justice movements, and the importance of spiritual resiliency in the face of the prospect of a collapsing civilization.


Truthout: Talk about the importance of what you've referred to as "moral agency." We are living in a time when the government is clearly on the side of corporate power, and talking more specifically about climate disruption, government is in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry. For people who are concerned about the planet, and worried about how far along we already are regarding climate disruption, acting from a place of moral agency is going to put them in a position, eventually, where they are squarely confronting the government (local, state, federal). From your experience, and your understanding of the system, why is it more important than ever for people to act from that place of moral agency?

Tim DeChristopher: Folks in positions of power in the government are not adequately addressing the climate crisis. Those of us outside that structure, if we're to address it with integrity and moral agency, we have to confront those in power.

Even [from] those in government [who are] closer to taking action, all we're hearing from them is mild rhetoric and small steps we needed to have taken about 20 years ago.

So they are certainly not up to speed to where we need to be right now, so the task of acting with the sense of urgency necessary is up to ordinary citizens. By and large, the government is still beholden to those corporations beholden to the status quo, which is not something that will provide us with a livable future.

Truthout:"The law is a tool of those in power," you said during an interview on Bill Moyers' program. Talk more about that, from the perspective of the dovetailing of government and the fossil fuel industry.

Tim DeChristopher: Look at what is happening in North Dakota today and over the last few months. This is what it looks like for a government to be acting like a private security force for the fossil fuel industry. Using military force to prevent the Indigenous folks in Standing Rock, and their allies, from standing in the way of a pipeline project.

And when folks do take a stand to shut down all five tar sands pipelines, they are met with a draconian response from the government that is acting on behalf of the fossil fuel industry.

So folks taking one of the boldest steps so far by actively shutting down the pipelines -- they are met with the harshest criminal charges that any climate activist in the US has ever faced for taking a nonviolent direct action.

They are facing up to 80 years in prison, and that is something we've not seen before in this movement. That puts us in a new era of our government acting on behalf of the fossil fuel industry, while activists are acting on behalf of future generations.

Truthout: Given that we are living in a world whose resources are now going to continue to be increasingly restricted and constricted and shrunken by climate disruption, do you think western civilization, as it exists today, will continue? If not, what might it look like in, say, 25 years?

Tim DeChristopher: In terms of this globalist, capitalist, Western-dominated world, I don't see that lasting. It's obvious that this system is mortal. That in and of itself is an idea people like to deny: that this system has always been mortal, but that we're now at a point where we're reaching the final stand of that civilization and that collapse is now pretty imminent.

There is still a huge degree of uncertainty around what that collapse looks like, and it's clear you can't keep living in a world that continues to increase material consumption year after year.

So, we have to be on a fundamentally different path, and there are positive steps in controlling that process of collapse and steering us towards a collapse that still holds onto our humanity and shared values.

We have communities working towards social justice and towards a common good, as opposed to individual greed. Neither of those is inevitable now and activism is so critical on direct climate issues, but also towards the social justice issues that will determine if we turn against each other through fear and greed, or with cooperation, love and mutual support.

Truthout: You're not a fan of the idea that we should work towards the greening of corporate power. You are not hoping to pressure a company like Walmart to become more eco-conscious; rather, you have spoken about having a Walmart that is "subservient to human interests." What would that look like?

Tim DeChristopher: This week's action of the five that shut down the tar sands pipelines is a great example of that. They are not under the illusion that they'll get a company, whose fundamental business model is to destroy our planet, to be on our side.

They [activists] are immediately hurting the bottom lines of those companies that put their product, directly and indirectly, through those pipelines. The activists are putting the government on a line where they have to choose between those companies and the common good of the people.

The immediate aftermath of those actions is the government choosing to stay on the side of industry. But we have seen times when that can't really hold and the government has to back down. And a big part of that is public attention and pressure on the issue. This is why how we support other activists when they are taking bold action is critical.

It remains to be seen if the government continues to follow through all the way and locks the activists up for decades, as they are threatening, or whether the public outcry over that is so great that the government cannot jail them for the decades they are threatening to and still hold onto their power.

This is why those who support the front-line activists and the media telling their story are critical, not only to protect those activists but in terms of the broader goal of shifting the balance of power in our society.

Truthout: What would an appropriate response from the federal government towards the climate crisis look like? 

Tim DeChristopher: Many of the plans that have been on the table since before President Obama even took office have addressed this. There were organizations, as well as individuals providing lists, like an economic policy that included a carbon tax, changes in our agricultural system to shift subsidies away from industrial agriculture to food that is actually healthy for people and the planet, to steps that revolutionize our transportation system and invest in public transportation in both urban and rural areas to get us away from our car culture.

All those plans have been on the table for quite some time.

But the only stances the government takes are consistently consumer- and demand-oriented. We've never seen the government stand up to the fossil fuel industry.

Not just the government, but the executive office of the presidency itself has control over fossil fuel leases on public lands, so Obama could keep those fossil fuels in the ground, and that's just a bare minimum to address the climate crisis to meet the Paris agreements.

But unfortunately, we've seen the opposite during the Obama presidency ... the opening of the Powder River Basin to new coal development, an amount of coal that alone vastly outweighs the consumer measures he's taken. He's also opened huge new areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast to new drilling.

Truthout: What is the difference between the climate justice movement, and the environmental movement? 

Tim DeChristopher: Largely it's a matter of opinion. But the environmental movement has been fading out over the last 15 to 20 years and is now pretty marginal.

The environmental movement, what's left of it today, addresses largely localized issues -- issues of land protection and toxic pollution, for example -- whereas the climate justice movement is taking a larger, more holistic view of global problems, and while it addresses those on local levels along with the human impact of these issues, it looks at the bigger picture of how all of these things are connected.

A lot of the tools we use to fight climate justice battles, like the Endangered Species Act, are still used to defend areas and stop fossil fuel projects, but they [are] ultimately too narrow in scope to address the climate crisis.

Truthout: What are the strengths of the climate justice movement?

Tim DeChristopher: It is [a] holistic view, and this extends beyond environmental issues to where those are connected to all of the social justice issues.

The climate justice movement has helped build working relationships with organizations and movements that are addressing immigrant and labor and LGBT rights, and [it is] not only building allies and relationships, but addressing how all of these issues are fundamentally interconnected.

We are helping our allies with each of their battles while viewing it through the lens of climate change. There's been a tremendous amount of progress on that, but there is a lot of baggage to overcome through the roots of the environmental movement, which was a mostly white, upper middle class movement.

Truthout: Weaknesses?

Tim DeChristopher: There is a lot of progress to be made. The biggest weakness is the tendency towards self-righteousness. We've moved beyond where the environmental movement used to be, and now see how interconnected all the various movements are.

But there is a tendency to shame and call out those who are one step behind us and congratulate ourselves, and there's not much room for growth and progress when this happens.

Truthout: What does a strong, vibrant, heavily populated, powerful, and most importantly, effective climate justice movement look like?

Tim DeChristopher: It is constantly developing and changing, like the crisis itself. We're learning more and more about the threats and the ways in which our opponents are trying to maintain the status quo, yet we need to be constantly innovating and challenging our old assumptions and constantly exploring new territory.

This recent tar sands shutdown is new territory for our movement, and [for] the activists who entered into this bold unknown territory of higher risk and more confrontation by targeting this essential infrastructure.

All these new steps forward need to be supported and encouraged, even the ones that don't work out.
We need to see more of these actions that take us into new territories, and an increase and expansion of these types of actions.

But there is also a need for an increase and expansion of a lot of the other actions in the movement. We've seen some real steps towards electoral involvement, like via the Bernie Sanders movement. This needs to be expanded as well.

And things like building community solar needs to be ramped up, for example.  It's not that everybody needs to be doing just one of these, but all of these at the same time, as a movement, and we need to be putting more resources into all of these efforts.

Truthout: Are you seeing a movement of climate activists that is approaching critical mass?

Tim DeChristopher: I don't know. Where would that critical mass be? I wonder. It's hard to judge exactly where that tipping point is. We could be close to it, and a few more people in the movement could get us there, but we're in unprecedented territory now. It's hard to say where that tipping point is going to be. We just know need more people acting more boldly and taking more initiative and being more creative.

Truthout: Are you optimistic about climate activism in the US?

Tim DeChristopher: I wouldn't say that I'm optimistic. We've gotten a lot deeper in our movement in the past few years alone. Not only in terms of a deeper understanding of justice and an intersectional analysis, but a deeper spiritual understanding within the movement as well.

A lot more people are recognizing the need to be spiritually grounded when we do this work.

More and more folks understand that it is now too late to stop the climate crisis, and we are headed towards some sort of collapse. We need to be able to handle that in a way we never have before. We need a spiritual resiliency and a different foundation for meaning than we've had before.

We've found more people willing to have that conversation and explore that territory. That holds a lot of promise -- not that things are going to be okay and we're going to overcome our social evils and have a green utopia forever, but that we are going to be able to continue the struggle.

We still have all the way to go. The struggle will always be with us, all the interconnected struggles against our social ills, and we're not going to solve racism and patriarchy and classism, but we can learn and grow and make positive steps forward, while knowing that we will always have more steps to take.


Gas pipeline meets aging nuke plant

SUBHEAD: Algonquin pipeline expansion is to be adjacent to crumbling Indian Point nuclear power plant.

By Karenna Gore on 26 October 2016 for the Daily News -

Image above: Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the Hudson River is where the Algonquin high pressure fracked gas pipeline is planned to cross the river.  Photo by Don Emmert. From original article.

Americans face a big decision on Nov. 8. But another high-stakes battle over our future is taking place closer to home.

Twenty-five miles north of the city, a private company is trying to force a high-pressure fracked-gas pipeline beside the Indian Point nuclear power plant and under the Hudson River. This fossil-fuel project would harm our climate and present the immediate threat of an accident that could contaminate our air, soil and water.

The Algonquin Incremental Market Expansion — or AIM project — consists of 37 miles of new pipeline and six compressor stations designed to push gas fracked from the shale fields of Pennsylvania through New York, New England and on to Canada for possible export.

 It was conceived by Spectra, a Texas-based corporation recently absorbed by Enbridge, a Canadian multinational (and owner of $1.5 billion stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline).

Spectra was granted eminent domain power by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an agency notorious for rubber-stamping projects for the industry. Despite community outcry and trouble getting the pipe under the river, Spectra still plans to turn on the gas next Tuesday.

This is terribly risky. Indian Point sits near two earthquake fault lines and stores 40 years of highly radioactive spent fuel rods. If the AIM pipeline ruptures — and the number of accidents on U.S. gas transmission pipelines (143 in 2015) indicates that is a real possibility — the ensuing radioactive release could impact up to a 50-mile radius, where 20 million people live.

Faulty Indian Point pipe forces nuclear reactor shutdown — again
According to nuclear engineer Paul Blanch, the approval process for AIM was inherently flawed and did not take into account the nature of high-pressure fracked-gas pipelines. He and other experts warn that an accident at the intersection of AIM and Indian Point would be far worse than the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, which resulted in the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

Elected officials have taken notice, but not enough to make a difference. In February, Gov. Cuomo called for a halt to construction while the state conducted an independent risk assessment. In August, New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand asked for a halt and an independent review of health, safety and environmental impacts.

Massachusetts Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren have written the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) about clear conflicts of interest in its approval process, and the City of Boston is among those suing the project.

But FERC is designed to respond to the industry rather than the public trust.

Anti-Indian Point activists warn of safety hazards at plant
If the placement of this pipeline is puzzling, so is the timing. A study released last month by Oil Change International found that if we do not accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources, we will face catastrophic climate change.

At the very least, this means flooding of coastal cities like New York, extreme weather and more refugees and strife as people flee places that have become uninhabitable.

Although commonly called natural gas, the fuel that would flow in this pipeline is more properly called methane. When burned, it has half the carbon emissions of coal.

But that is still too much carbon at a time when the atmosphere has just passed the threshold of 400 parts per million. Scientists have determined that when methane leaks or is released from gas operations, which is common, it is 84 times more heat-trapping over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide.

The threats to our health, safety and planet don’t end there. New York City water sources are located 12.4 miles from Indian Point. As the Standing Rock Sioux say, “Water is life.” Why would we endanger a common source of this most basic human need?

Indian nuke plant shutdown after 'missing' bolts discovered
We should not accept this high threshold of danger at the vulnerable Indian Point power station. We should not let a foreign company profit from tearing up the Hudson riverbed and putting New Yorkers at risk.

We should build a bridge to tomorrow’s economy, not to yesterday’s. President Obama must intervene with his administration’s energy regulatory commission and halt construction of this dangerous fossil fuel pipeline now.

Oil Pipelines Eventually Break

SUBHEAD: A major crude oil pipeline in Oklahoma sprang a leak a few days ago. Company has no estimate of spill.

By Deirdre Fulton on 26 October 2016 for Common Dreams -

Image above: The Seaway Crude Pipeline is a 400,000-barrel per day conduit that transports crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to Gulf coast refineries. From original article.

Sunday night pipeline leak underscores dangers of Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL).

Underscoring once again the dangers of America's unreliable fossil fuel infrastructure, a significant U.S. oil pipeline has been shut down after a leak was reported Monday morning.

Enterprise Products Partners said Monday it had shut its Seaway Crude Pipeline, a 400,000-barrel per day conduit that transports crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to Gulf coast refineries. The leak occurred Sunday night in an industrial area of Cushing. The company did not provide an estimate of the volume spilled, but said there was no danger to the public.

Seaway personnel continue to make progress in cleaning up the spill, substantially all of which has been contained in a retention pond at Enbridge's facility," the company said in a news release (pdf), explaining that the pipeline is a "50/50 joint venture" between Enterprise and Enbridge Inc. "Vacuum trucks are being used to recover the crude oil and return it to storage tanks on-site."

"The impacted segment of the legacy pipeline has a capacity of 50,000 barrels," the release added, "however the actual amount of crude oil released will be significantly less and won't be determined until recovery efforts are complete."

The incident comes after another pipeline rupture in Pennsylvania early on Friday, where 55,000 gallons of gasoline poured into the Susquehanna River, and about one month after a major gasoline pipeline run by Colonial Pipeline Co. had to halt pumping for a couple of weeks due to a spill in Alabama.

Meanwhile, UPI reports that "[t]he release from the Seaway pipeline is the second associated with the Cushing storage hub in less than a month. Plains All American Pipeline reported problems with infrastructure from Colorado City [Texas] to Cushing earlier this month."

Environmentalists, Indigenous people, and energy companies are in the midst of a heated debate over pipeline safety. Water protectors and their allies along the proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) have been saying for months that the project threatens their right to safe drinking water.

"Oil pipelines break, spill, and leak—it's not a question of if, it's a question of where and when," 13-year-old Anna Lee Rain YellowHammer, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, wrote in a recent appeal.

"With such a high chance that this pipeline will leak," she wrote of the Enbridge-backed DAPL, "I can only guess that the oil industry keeps pushing for it because it doesn't care about our health and safety. The industry seems to think our lives are more expendable than others'."

Indeed, referring to the Cushing leak, one observer tweeted on Monday: "That's why we're screaming ! They always break!"


Advantages of self employment

SUBHEAD: Working for yourself provides avenues of wealth-building that are not available to employees.

By Charles Hugh Smith on 25 OCtober 2016 for Of Two Minds -

Image above: Wilbur Wright working in the Wright brother's bicycle shop in Dayton Ohio in 1897 at age thirty. From (

There are still opportunities to not just earn a wage, but the overhead, profit and capital skimmed by global corporations.

So how can someone earning $15 an hour as an employee get ahead? The short answer is: they can't. One worker earning $15/hour will struggle to get ahead, which I define as building capital that generates an income stream.

A family with four adults working full-time at $15 an hour with benefits can get ahead; together, they're earning $60/hour plus another $40/hour in benefits. Assuming they live under one roof and live frugally, their combined earnings of $100/hour will enable investing in income-producing capital.

There is another path to getting ahead: self-employment. Working for yourself isn't for everyone, but it does provide two avenues of wealth-building that are not available to employees: overhead and capital accumulation.

Consider a typical Corporate employee, and what the company charges customers for their time. The corporation charges the customer $100 an hour for the employee and pays the employee $20 an hour.

The other $80 an hour goes to the corporation for labor overhead (Social Security, healthcare, pension /401K contribution, workers compensation insurance, etc.), general overhead (office, vehicles, accounting, Internet, phones, etc.) and profit.

Now consider the self-employed person who charges $70 an hour for the same work. The customer not only gets a 30% discount, they get someone who is motivated to do the job well enough to earn a referral or renewal of the contract.

The self-employed worker has $50/hour for overhead and hopefully some profit. The corporate employee earning $20/hour has to pay for his/her own vehicle, Internet service, etc. out of his/her wage.

The self-employed person pays the business-related expenses for vehicles, tools, Internet and phone service, accounting, home office, healthcare and other overhead expenses with pre-tax income--the $50 an hour he/she earns above and beyond the $20/hour wage.

The self-employed worker is also constantly investing in the capital of his/her enterprise. Capital comes in many forms: new tools, skills, contacts, collaborators/ subcontractors-- all the many variations of intellectual, social and human capital that create value.

In the corporate/employee setting, the corporation captures much or most of the employees' capital accumulation. The self-employed worker captures 100% of all capital accumulated.

Over a decade, this accumulated capital generates wealth that is unavailable to employees of corporations or the state. If we compare wealthy people with everyone else, what we notice is the wealthy own businesses and have very little debt, while everyone else owns very little productive capital while being burdened with plenty of debt.

Is it easy to be self-employed / start a new enterprise? No, it isn't. If anything, it's become more difficult in an era of corporate/ cartel dominance and regulatory capture.

But there are still opportunities to not just earn a wage, but the overhead, profit and capital skimmed by global corporations. Entrepreneurial success ultimately flows not from just from specific skills but from the eight essential skills that anyone can develop--skills I describe in Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

Let's face it--lots of stuff no longer works very well. As costs rise, globalization supplies defective, pirated parts, and fewer people care due to burn-out, more and more of everyday life falls into the category of "no longer works very well."

Every one of those things that no longer works well offers an opportunity for a self-motivated person to fix someone else's problem-- and not just for a wage, but for the overhead, profit and accumulated capital that is currently skimmed by global corporations.


NoDAPL reclaim new frontline

SUBHEAD: Despitey police escalation, pipeline opponents "Reclaim" new front line with tents on DAPL path. Scores arrested.

By Lauren McCauley on 24 October 2016 for Common Dreams -

Image above: There will continue to be resistance, people putting their actual bodies on the line, because this is such a larger issue," said Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth. "We're fighting for future generations." Photo by Sacred Stone Camp. From original article.

"If DAPL can claim eminent domain on landowners and Native peoples on their own land, then we as sovereign nations can then declare eminent domain on our own aboriginal homeland."

There will continue to be resistance, people putting their actual bodies on the line, because this is such a larger issue," said Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth. "We're fighting for future generations." (Photo via Sacred Stone Camp)

Undeterred by the escalating attacks on protesters by local law enforcement officials, the native movement to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has fired back with a new frontline camp, which they have reclaimed through eminent domain, and a new resolve to "stand and face the storm."

One day after North Dakota police maced and arrested dozens of peaceful water protectors, the Sacred Stone Camp released a statement on Sunday announcing that the Standing Rock Sioux and allied tribes have erected a new winter camp, currently comprised of several structures and tipis, on Dakota Access property, which they said was "unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie."

"We have never ceded this land," declared Joye Braun, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. "If DAPL can go through and claim eminent domain on landowners and Native peoples on their own land, then we as sovereign nations can then declare eminent domain on our own aboriginal homeland."

Ladonna Bravebull Allard with the Sacred Stone Camp added: "We stand for the water, we stand on our treaties, we stand for unci maka—we stand and face the storm."

Appearing on Democracy Now! Monday, Couchiching First Nation member and national campaigns director for Honor the Earth Tara Houska explained that since a U.S. federal court of appeals ruled against the tribes' request for an injunction, pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners is now "moving at an incredible pace to try and get this pipeline into the ground."

And with the new camp located on the final three miles of the proposed route, just two miles east of active construction, Houska predicted that "the interactions will continue between water protectors, and the police. There will continue to be resistance [...] people putting their actual bodies on the line, because this is such a larger issue."

"We're fighting for future generations," she added. "We're fighting for the protection of water for the 17 million people that live along the Missouri River."

Ladonna Bravebull Allard with the Sacred Stone Camp added: "We stand for the water, we stand on our treaties, we stand for unci maka—we stand and face the storm."

But North Dakota officials, from local law enforcement to Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple, have also made it clear that this is a fight from which they are not backing down from.

Responding to a question from Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman about the escalating charges against the demonstrators—which have grown from disorderly conduct to criminal trespass to now riot—Houska said she thinks "they're looking to scare folks off. They're also looking to drain resources," as they can "increase the amount of bail for each individual arrested."

Meanwhile, DAPL opponents in Iowa who live near where it would cross the Mississippi River are currently blocking the access road to an essential drilling waste storage site, shutting down construction for at least two days.

In an early Monday update, activists with the campaign Mississippi Stand wrote :
It's been confirmed this morning that the drill is not operating—we have indefinitely halted the Black Snake at the Mississippi Stand! This slurry site is crucial to their operations and we continue to occupy the dump site and have for nearly 24 hours. This is a call to action. We need reinforcements to defend the space as soon as possible! This is the time for MASS MOBILIZATION!

Video above: Democracy Now! Amy Goodman's coverage of NoDAPL arrests over weekend. From (

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodman "riot" charge dropped 10/17/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Amy Goodwin to face "Riot Charge" 10/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Shutdown of all tar sand pipelines 10/11/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why Standing Rock is test for Oabama 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Why we are Singing for Water 10/8/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Labor's Dakota Access Pipeline Crisis 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Standing Firm for Standing Rock 10/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Contact bankers behind DAPL 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: NoDAPL demo at Enbridge Inc 9/29/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Militarized Police raid NoDAPL 9/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop funding of Dakota Access Pipeline 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: UN experts to US, "Stop DAPL Now!" 9/27/16
Ea O Ka Aina: No DAPL solidarity grows 9/21/16
Ea O Ka Aina: This is how we should be living 9/16/16
Ea O Ka Aina: 'Natural Capital' replacing 'Nature' 9/14/16
Ea O Ka Aina: The Big Difference at Standing Rock 9/13/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Jill Stein joins Standing Rock Sioux 9/10/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Pipeline temporarily halted 9/6/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Native Americans attacked with dogs 9/5/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Mni Wiconi! Water is Life! 9/3/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Sioux can stop the Pipeline 8/28/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Officials cut water to Sioux 8/23/16 


Saving the Colorado River Delta

SUBHEAD: Two Years After the Colorado Pulse Flow to restore the river delta — An abundance of life.

By Maureen Nandini Mitra on 21 October 2016 for Earth Island -

Image above: Martha Gómez Sapiens, a monitoring team member, stands on a riverbank next to willows and cottonwoods that germinated as result of the pulse flow. Photo by Karl W. Flessa. From original article.

Birds, plants, and groundwater continue to benefit from effort to revive the Colorado River delta.

Back 2014, an unprecedented transnational experiment attempted to restore, temporarily, the flow of the Colorado River to the Gulf of California. As part of a landmark agreement between the United States and Mexico, the International Boundary Water Commission unleashed an eight-week “pulse flow” of some 105,000 acre feet of water from a small dam on the US-Mexico border to help restore the Colorado River delta.

Conservationists hoped the water would revitalize the delta — which has been bone dry for nearly 60 years as a result of upstream dams and diversions on the Colorado — and bring back trees, animals, and aquatic life that were once abundant in the region when it was flush with water. (The transnational agreement authorized environmental flows of water into the Colorado River Delta from 2013 to 2017.)

Two growing seasons after that engineered release, it appears that birds, plants and groundwater in the delta, which lies south of the US-Mexico border, have indeed been benefitting from it.

Native willows and cottonwoods have sprung up wherever the pulse flow inundated bare soil and in response to this post-flood vegetation, birds have begun flocking to the area, according to the latest monitoring report prepared for the International Boundary and Water Commission by a bi-national University of Arizona-led team.

The interim report, released on Wednesday, documents the effects of the environmental flows in the delta from the initial pulse in March 2014 plus subsequent supplemental deliveries of water through December 2015.

"Some of the cottonwoods that germinated during the initial pulse flow are now more than 10 feet tall," Karl W. Flessa, UA professor of geosciences and co-chief scientist of the team that’s monitoring the impact of the pulse, said in a statement.

Migratory waterbirds, nesting waterbirds, and nesting riparian birds have all increased in abundance, the report says. The monitoring team found that the abundance of 19 bird species of conservation concern, including vermillion flycatchers, hooded orioles, and yellow-breasted chats, was 43 percent higher at the restoration sites than at other sites in the floodplain.

Image above: The abundance of 19 bird species of conservation concern, including vermillion flycatchers (pictured here), hooded orioles, and yellow-breasted chats, was 43 percent higher at the restoration sites than at other sites in the floodplain. Photo by Sarah Murry. From original article.

Some of the water from the pulse flow and subsequent smaller environmental flows recharged the groundwater, which had both ecological and social benefits, said Eloise Kendy, a senior freshwater scientist with The Nature Conservancy's North America Water Program who helped compile the report.

The vegetation greened up in areas that received surface water and also in some areas that did not. "The farmers [whose irrigation canals were used for some of the water deliveries] were happy because it recharged the aquifer they use for groundwater irrigation," she said. "And plants that were outside the inundation zone got a big drink of water.

Dams and river diversions built in the twentieth century have for decades prevented the river — that once flowed freely from the Rocky Mountains all the way to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico — from completing its journey to the sea.

These days it dies after it crosses the US-Mexico border. The southernmost dam on the river — Mexico’s Morelos Dam, near Yuma, AZ — diverts nearly all of the river water into an aqueduct that serves agriculture and homes in Tijuana. South of the dam, the river channel travels about 75 miles to the Gulf of California. With the exception of a few wet years, the river has not reached the Gulf of California since 1960.

Before 1960, spring snowmelts regularly sent water gushing down the Colorado River into the delta, scouring the river bottom and overtopping the bank and creating the ideal conditions cottonwood and willow trees to germinate and establish.

But since then, salt cedar or tamarisk, an invasive plant, has taken over the riverbanks. Since cottonwoods and willows need bare ground and sunlight to germinate, they cannot establish themselves on tamarisk-covered riverbanks.

The March 2014 pulse flow delivered a fraction of the water the pre-1960 spring floods used to bring to the delta. Staff from the Sonoran Institute and Pronatura Noroeste, a Mexican conservation group, cleared some areas of non-native vegetation beforehand. The researchers hoped that reducing competition would allow native plants such as willows and cottonwoods to germinate and grow after the pulse flow.

"We reconnected the meanders to the main river channels so when the pulse flow came there were these nice backwater areas where the conditions were good for the establishment of native trees," said Karen Schlatter, a restoration ecologist of the Sonoran Institute's Colorado River Delta Program, who was part of the monitoring team. In those restoration areas, cottonwood and willow seeds that germinated after the pulse flow have become 10 to 13 foot trees, and bird diversity and abundance has increased.

"Now we have diverse habitat types, including lagoons, cottonwoods-willow forest, mesquite bosque and marshes," Schlatter said. "We are seeing a much higher diversity of riparian bird species in the restoration sites compared to other areas along the river."

The pulse flow has also reduced soil salinity in some areas that had been targeted for restoration. "We didn't expect that — it is a huge bonus," Schlatter said. Reducing the soil salinity makes conditions more favorable for native plant species.  If there's another pulse flow, she suggests clearing tamarisk and other non-native vegetation from the river's bank ahead of it would be helpful.

The pulse was the only water release planned so far. Once this pilot project ends in 2018, US and Mexican officials will review findings and discuss whether other discharges should be made.

Part of the impetus for the pulse experiment was to determine whether a healthy delta system can be maintained without a lot of water. Of course, the delta can’t be restored to what it was a say, a century ago, given the cities and towns that need Colorado’s water aren't going anywhere, as well as the fact that much of the delta land has since been converted to farmland.

But, as Flessa says, this short-term experiment “really demonstrates that a little bit of water does a lot of environmental good."

As the World Burns

SUBHEAD: We've had the luxury of pretending that we could grow our economy forever. Not any more.

By Kurt Cobb on 23 October 2016 for Resource Insights -

Image above: Smoke rises from a fire near Butte Mountain Road near Jackson, California as it rages out of control in 2015. From (

In the melodrama that passes for the U.S. presidential campaign, Donald Trump got practically all the post-debate headlines last week when he hedged on whether he would accept the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. But for those most concerned about genuine sustainability, what both candidates agreed on should be far more troubling. And yet, it elicits nothing more than a yawn these days in political discourse.

The candidates agreed that the U.S. economy needs to grow more rapidly. What they argued over is whose economic plan will make it grow faster.

The push for economic growth has become sacrosanct in modern political discourse. Growth is the elixir that heals all social and economic divisions and makes possible the solidarity that comes from the feeling that the path to wealth is open to everyone.

For the vast majority of people on the planet that path was never really open. And, since the so-called Great Recession, it has been closed off completely for all but those at the top of the income scale.
There are many explanations. But most of them are financial and political.

The world's economists and political leaders are ready with both diagnoses and prescriptions for lackluster growth throughout the world. However, the laws of physics, chemistry and biology never enter their heads.

Growth is supposedly something that comes from the "minds of men." (Pardon me, women, for it is men who mostly say this.)

While there is truth to the idea that the cleverness of humans has accounted in part for the astonishing growth of the world economy in the last three centuries, it is more true that humans have leveraged increasingly available fossil fuel energy to achieve that growth.

Without fossil fuels, we as a species would not appear so clever. And we must keep in mind that we did not invent coal, natural gas or oil. In fact, our extraction and use of them more closely resembles the pattern of a hunter-gatherer society than of a modern agricultural one.

We know that on our current growth trajectory we will cause irreparable damage to the climate and the biosphere upon which we depend. The hope is that somehow we can prevent this damage with technology that won't require giving up on economic growth. While anything is possible, the odds are stacked gravely against such an outcome.

We are pursuing incommensurable goals by saying that we must lift all those still in poverty out of it--with little or no redistribution of wealth--while preserving the biosphere and the climate.

We are not taking the second part of this proposition seriously or we would understand that the first part--under current definitions of wealth (meaning increased use of energy and resources)--will necessarily destroy the world in which we hope to enjoy this wealth.

Some may say that this is not a sure thing, that we can't really know this. In a very narrow sense, they are right. If only the risks were trivial, we could wait to see.

But the risks are monumental and, in fact, existential. Under such circumstances, we should not ask for absolute certainty, but rather inquire about the weight of the evidence from our observations and the models of Earth systems as we understand them.

However imperfect our understanding, the evidence and models are all flashing major warning signs.

This is not a one-alarm fire; this is a million-alarm fire. We have vast areas of agreement from disparate disciplines that something is seriously wrong with planet Earth from the coral reefs all the way up to the ozone layer in the stratosphere.

We are too many people consuming too much per person and creating waste in the form of greenhouse gases that are overwhelming the Earth's natural thermostat. The solution to our problems cannot be to do more of the same.

And yet, that is precisely what both major U.S. presidential candidates champion. It is, of course, political suicide to propose a downsizing of American life to something commensurate with the survival of advanced human societies.

Such a downsizing would have to coincide with much greater redistribution of existing wealth in order to insure social peace--which is why politicians of all kinds avoid the issue.

Yet, the issue remains, and from here on out it can be framed as follows: Will ignoring the imperative to redefine completely what makes our lives good--that is, beyond more resources--lead to suicide that is of an entirely different order?

In the past we've had the luxury of pretending that we could grow our economy forever. We don't have that luxury any more. Continued exponential growth will extract heavy costs. In fact, it already has.

• Kurt Cobb is an author, speaker, and columnist focusing on energy and the environment. He is a regular contributor to the Energy Voices section of The Christian Science Monitor and author of the peak-oil-themed novel Prelude. In addition, he has written columns for the Paris-based science news site Scitizen, and his work has been featured on Energy Bulletin (now, The Oil Drum,, Econ Matters, Peak Oil Review, 321energy, Common Dreams, Le Monde Diplomatique and many other sites. He maintains a blog called Resource Insights and can be contacted at


Global Biosphere Collapse

SUBHEAD: The human family is spinning through space upon a naturally evolved living organism that it is killing.

By Dr Glen Barry on 24 October 2016 for Counter Currents -

Image above: Leopard on a branch over river in the Amazon Jungle. From (

Miraculous nature is being murdered. Everywhere we look inequitable over-consumption is devastating the natural ecosystems that sustain a living Earth. Together we yield to ecological truth – personally embracing a global ecology ethic, and demanding others do so as well – or we all needlessly die at each others’ throats as the global ecological system collapses and being ends.

The Signs
Everywhere you look humans are destroying nature. We are eating the ecosystems that sustain us, crapping in our own habitat, calling it development as we destroy our one shared biosphere.

Look outside your window. Chances are that the “nature” you see – some degraded secondary forests, power lines and roadways, with disturbed soil and degraded waterways – was a million year old naturally evolved ecosystem but a few generations ago. Never has naturally evolved magnificence been so swiftly dismantled to produce throw away consumer crap.

We are witnessing the age of ecocidal, conspicuous, and inequitable over-consumption. 90% of old growth forests have been mowed and large ocean fish harvested. Half of both natural soil and vegetation have been destroyed. Oceans are dying from bottom trawling, acidification, and over-harvest.

Abrupt and runaway climate change is well underway as humanity continues to treat our atmosphere as a waste dump. We piss and worse into our natural waterways as billions lack clean drinking water. Plants and animals as well as people are fleeing collapsing ecosystems.

And most people are too fucking dumb to realize what is occurring, little more than microbes being pickled in their own waste as their and all being ends.

The Outlook
China is going to ecologically collapse first, as industrial filth on behalf of all nations has proliferated, and it will be soon. Collapse of this ecocidal tyranny may well by itself pull down the biosphere.

Similarly India and Europe are most at risk – where millennia of ecological simplification, along with tremendous over-population, will ensure mass migration and conflict until these population bases are brought into balance once again with natural ecosystems.

The United States may persist longer as the ecocide has not occurred for as long. But here nationalistic militarism along with an unparalleled sense of entitlement, and a lack of understanding of community and the natural world, is perhaps most dangerous. If every American is not allowed to realize their exceptional birthright of wantonly overconsuming, they damn well will destroy everybody and everything in fits of infantile rage.

Prepare to see the vegetation, what remains, wither and die. Get used to there being no water in the tap much less locally available. Be ready for major energy shocks where your car sits lifeless in the driveway, a chunk of immobile metal, as your house remains unheated and uncooled. Consider what food can be raised locally, and at what price, as that is all that will be available.

Expect bands of marauders to pillage your belongings and have their way with your wives and daughters. The re-emergence of slavery and warring autocratic city-states is a virtual certainty as centuries of social progress are jettisoned.

Entire bioregions are going to be laid to waste and have to be evacuated as they become uninhabitable. Mass migration at unprecedented scales is imminent.

Given uncertainly in lag times, and what wells of ecological resiliency remain in the Earth System, it is difficult to know how long it will be until the biosphere goes into positive feedback and collapses and dies. It is also virtually impossible to know when it is too late and will occur regardless.

That is why we must seek an ecological ethic and way of life until our dying breath. Despite its shortcomings, ecocidal inclinations in particular, the human species is an amazing creature.

Our ability to think abstractly, examining and learning from our natural surroundings, are unsurpassed. Our opposable thumbs are cool too. Now if we could learn to not destroy nature we will be set to live essentially forever as a species.

The Options
We have everything we need to construct a just, equitable, and verdant future for all. Plentiful renewable energy sources exist. We know how to recreate natural ecosystems and permaculture gardens from the plant diversity that remains. Educating girls, providing free birth control, and economic incentives for small families can stabilize and then reduce the population.

Throughout human history we see time and time again people coming together to do what must be done to beat back evil, reset the social order, and advance. Together we will have to shutdown the fossil fuel industry, demand global demilitarization and demobilization, and insist upon a reduction in the size and influence of corporations and governments alike.

So much of our prospects depend upon living more simply and naturally. That is why posing, preening “climate activists” like Leonardo DiCaprio are so dangerous. They tell us climate change is real from the back of a polluting private jet, spewing emissions from luxurious lifestyles that the majority seek but can never attain. We are going to have to learn to live more simply materially, as we explore the rich abundance in knowledge, sport, arts, leisure, and making love.

A global ecology ethic based upon ecological truths must arise spontaneously utilizing all the tools at our disposal including the Internet.

We must come to realize we are one human family spinning through space upon a naturally evolved living organism upon which we are utterly dependent. Gaia’s ecosystem organs – old-growth forests, natural waterways, bountiful oceans, vibrant soils – will be restored and maintained at all costs as global ecological reserves to power the biosphere and maintain a living and livable Earth.

Such a global ecological ethic goes well beyond the obvious and demands a complete reorganization of the dominant paradigm. We perish unless we come to accept the truthful worldview that nation states are a lie, there is no god, and ecology is the meaning of life.

Together we embrace and act upon ecology and other self-evident truths or we face vicious, merciless death at each others’ hands as we collapse the biosphere. And then being ends.

• Dr. Glen Barry is the President and Founder of Ecological Internet (EI). He is recognized internationally by the environmental movement as a leading global visionary, ecological policy critic and public intellectual committed to communicating the severity of global ecological crises – and related justice, rights and equity issues – while actively organizing with others sufficient solutions.