The Republican war against the environment is advancing. Last week The Senate voted 54-45 to scrap a rule designed to limit the dumping of mining waste in local waterways. The Republicans say this is just the first of many environmental protection regulations they plan to get rid of.
Mainly endorsed by politicians supported by the coal and fossil fuel industry, the justification for these brazen acts is always about protecting jobs. That was also the attempted justification for the Keystone Pipeline, but that collapsed in the face of the fact that less than 50 jobs would be created to maintain Keystone.
This has been the basic narrative for decades, that protecting jobs and owners’ profits must be done, and the damage to the environment ignored. The fossil fuel industry often actually says these regulations are would cost them too much. So, to that way of thinking, the correct thing to do is get rid of environmental protection regulations, and let, for example, mining companies, dump their waste into our water.
Although the fossil fuel industry has, and even admits that it has, spent millions of dollars on propaganda denying climate change, there are too many signs to ignore any longer. A radical reduction in burning fossil fuels has to happen immediately if future generations are to have any kind of livable conditions.
We are seeing a massive, oppressive, increasingly aggressive, militaristic and violent response from the government against people who are simply saying enough is enough, and the Earth can not take much more of this abuse. We have police in riot gear attacking unarmed, peaceful water protectors who are simply praying that our environment be protected, the Earth honored. Who are desperately trying to protect our environment, our water, air and land, for future generations.
People in North Dakota, Iowa, and around the country and the world have gathered to raise awareness, and try to stop the ecocide.
This is personal for me. People I know, like Joshua Taflinger and Alex Red Bear, are heading to the camps in North Dakota. Friend Peter Clay has been there several times.
This is also going to require the reactivation of the Keystone Pledge of Resistance campaign that I worked on for several years. The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) that ran the Keystone campaign has just sent out alerts that we will be meeting again, via conference call, to determine how to proceed. The Dakota Access Pipeline efforts will now be part of this, I’m sure.
I urge you to find ways you can speak out against these attacks on the environment, and ways you can support those trying to protect the environment. Showing up at local events to raise awareness is one way to do so. Talk with your friends, neighbors and legislators. Write letters to the editor, and in social media. This is too important to be silent about. Future generations are looking for us to step up. Close your bank account with the banks that are funding the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Photographs and videos are available here that you are welcome to use in your efforts.