The threat from climate change to human existence and wellbeing is even more urgent than we thought, argues an article in New Republic. Data from a Norwegian energy consultant, Rystad (and they’ll sell you the details for a mere $54,000) shows that to have even a two thirds chance of staying below the catastrophic increase of 2 degrees of global warming, ALL FOSSIL FUELS MUST BE LEFT IN THE GROUND – NOW. All of them. (Of course, this view is not shared by the cheerful advert for investors to ‘free the US from dependence on OPEC’.)
- Meanwhile, a 1,200 mile pipeline is under construction to carry fracked oil from the Bakken (a massive source rock for oil underlying parts of the states of Montana and North Dakota in the US, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada), in North Dakota, down to Illinois. Indigenous peoples of many tribes, and non-native allies, are gathering in Standing Rock camp and preparing to bed down for a cold winter. Their claim:
- they were not consulted, simply informed, about the pipe line
- its construction has already violated sacred sites, although a map of these was provided
- it is likely to contaminate the Missouri river, source of the water supply for the local impoverished Sioux community.
Amy Goodman is a reporter for the excellent website Democracy Now. She was arrested, despite being a journalist currently working on the story, as she reported security guard brutality and videoed the guards setting dogs on peaceful protestors. An initially correct response from the authorities has given way to a clear display of determined power, and false accusations by the state governor of pipe bombs in the camp and violence by the protesters.
“All they see is dollar signs and greed”. Dave Archambault.
The Missouri provides water to 10 million people:
“This isn’t just about the pipeline. It’s about the water. It’s about having the right to live our lives. It’s about being able to make sure my grandchildren have clean water. To me, it’s just common sense. And so we must, we must stop this.” Ladonna Brave Bull Allard,
A representative of the Sioux nation spoke to the UN on Sept. 20th. He said:
Dave Archambault speaking to the UN last week. Tell the world!
“Our tribal nation is a sovereign nation, located in the United States. Our sovereignty is recognized by the United States through the legally binding treaties of 1851 and 1868, signed by our traditional Lakota government, the Oceti Sakowin, then passed by the United States Senate and proclaimed by the president of the United States. I’m here because oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of our sacred places and burials. Dakota Access Pipeline wants to build a pipeline under the river that is the source of our nation’s drinking water. This pipeline threatens our communities, the river and the earth. Our nation is working to protect our waters and sacred places for the benefit of our children not yet born. But the oil companies and the government of the United States have failed to respect our sovereign rights. Today the pipeline construction continues although it has temporarily stopped near our nation. This company has knowingly destroyed sacred sites and our ancestral graves with bulldozers. This company has also used attack dogs to harm individuals who tried to protect our water and sacred sites. I condemn all violence, including the use of guard dogs. While we have gone to the court in the United States, our courts have failed to protect our sovereign rights, our sacred places and our water. We call upon the human rights council and all member states to condemn the destruction of our sacred places and to support our nation’s efforts to ensure that our sovereign rights are respected. We ask that you call upon all parties to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to protect our environment and our nation’s future, our culture and our way of life.”