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Essential Information

A compendium of articles, reports, essays and investigations into the effects of militarism on the environment and human society. Send additional documents to editor@envirosagainstwar.org.

 

FEATURED REPORTS

US Troop Deaths in Niger Reflect Growing Africa Mission Creep as American War Footing Expands Across Africa (AntiWar.com & ABC News)
That the United States had special forces deployed in Niger wasn't exactly a secret before the announcement that four US troops were killed in an ambush near the Malian border. It wasn't exactly public knowledge, either. The report that the US was sending troops to Niger for "training" back in 2015 was scarcely reported. The first indication that this had expanded to participating in patrols came alongside the first deaths. This is a classic sign of mission creep.

ACTION ALERT: Stopping Trump's Coal and Nuclear Bailout While Oz Veers toward Coal (Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Jacqueline Williams / The New York Times)
Coal not only is too dirty and dangerous, it's too expensive to compete with clean and affordable wind and solar power. Same for nuclear. But Donald Trump wants to bail out the coal and nuclear industries. If he succeeds, US taxpayers will pay -- both in dollars and in damaged health. Meanwhile, the Australian government is considering a proposal to build one of the world's largest coalmines in a remote wilderness. Given the threat of climate change, the plan has met intense opposition at home and abroad.

ACTION ALERT: Would Licensing and Insurance Reduce Gun Deaths? Not under the NRA's Plan for Murderers' Insurance (Sybrina Fulton / Guns Down @ Color of Change.org)
Can tests and insurance stem the loss of lives caused by gun violence? Lockton Affinity, which created and sells NRA Carry Guard insurance, and Chubb Insurance, which underwrites the policies and takes a profit, are perpetuating fear of minorities and immigrants. By offering special protections to gun owners who shoot first and ask questions later, these insurance companies are promoting gun violence. Tell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.

ACTION ALERT: End the Gun Industry's Immunity from Legal Prosecution (CredoAction & Center for American Progress)
The mass shooting in Las Vegas was a tragic reminder that we are never going to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country without breaking the gun lobby's control of Congress. Fortunately, three Democrats have introduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would revoke the law that gives the gun industry legal immunity for negligence that leads to gun-related violence and death.

How the NRA and the Far-right Are Quietly Mobilizing To Kill Gun Safety Reform After Vegas (Addy Baird / ThinkProgress)
In 2016, the NRA spent more than $3.1 million on lobbying, cementing its place as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. During the 2016 campaign cycle, the NRA spent more than $830,000 on federal campaigns to line the halls of power with legislators who will do their bidding. Not everyone has taken the bait. Den. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill, along with more than two dozen Democratic co-sponsors, that would outlaw the bump stock modifications.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Stop Diesel Pollution Cheating (Eleanor Fort / The Union of Concerned Scientists)
Your legislator has the chance to stop reckless pollution. Congress is considering legislation that would reduce oversight of the defeat device industry -- the same types of devices that led to the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" scandal. Tell your members of Congress that they have the duty to fix this bill before it turns into a Dieselgate 2.0. Take Action Today!

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Banks that Are Bankrolling Climate Change (Brad Johnson / Climate Hawks Vote)
The world's elite bankers and financial institutions are gathering five days from now in Brazil. These financiers have all committed to financing projects in a "socially responsible manner." But they aren't following through on their promise. Big banks are the ones fronting the money for dangerous projects like the Dakota Access pipeline. They are bankrolling a global polluter economy that drives climate change and tramples on Indigenous land rights.

Somali Bombing May Have Been Revenge for Botched US Raid (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jason Burke / The Guardian)
A late August US-led raid against the Somali farming village of Barire sparked a lot of anger among surviving locals. Now, investigators believe that the resentment may have provoked the recent massive bombing attack in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. The victims, some of them children, were civilians working in the farming area. Moreover, the evidence was they were summarily executed. It's possible that the Mogadishu attack, which killed over 300, was an act of revenge.

The Impact of the US War on Afghanistan (Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)
The best way to continue a war that's not supported by the public is to announce the deployment of additional troops in an incremental way, quietly and ambiguously, camouflaging it as a necessary and patriotic mission of "advising an assisting," a sort of cover as a heroic diplomat, masking the truth of war and the natural form of violence that comes with any form of occupation. This is what the US government has been doing with the war in Afghanistan.

Standing Rock: One Year Later (Liz Blood / Sierra Magazine and EcoWatch)
A little over a year ago, Morgun Frejo, a member of the Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Navajo nations, began camping at Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock. The Missouri River is sacred to both his Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes and Frejo recalls elders in both tribes telling him stories of its importance as a child. He lived at Standing Rock from mid-August 2016 to late February 2017, just before the camp was evicted and closed by the National Guard and local law enforcement.

Half of Americans Are in or Near Poverty While the US Government Lost Nearly $1 Trillion In FY2017 (Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change & Tyler Durden & Simon Black / ZeroHedge)
In the past 20 years median household expenses increased by 25 to 30 percent, while wages stagnated. As a result, 3 out of 5 Americans spend more than they earn, not on frivolous extras, but on essential needs. People are working longer for decreasing wages and benefits. There are a handful of countries in the world today -- places like Greece -- which are so bankrupt they cannot even afford to pay for basic public services. But the country that has the most unsustainable public finances, by far, is the US.

Washington's War on Economic Democracy (Chris Kanthan / Nation of Change)
It will be shocking to many Americans to discover that our free market system is deeply and fundamentally flawed. The foundation of an economy is money. And if the creation, value and availability of that money are controlled by few elites instead of a free market, then it doesn't matter how complex and a giant system we build.

WTF-35? The Air Force Just Bought 100 Stealth Fighters That Can't Fight (David Axe / The Daily Beast)
The US military has signaled that it might cancel essential upgrades for more than 100 early model F-35 stealth fighters. In that case, some 6 percent of the flying branch's planned 1,700-strong F-35 fleet would be unfit for combat, sticking US taxpayers with a $20 billion tab for fighters . . . that can't fight. Experts say the military never should have bought the planes the first place, as they rolled out of Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth factory.

Climate Change Is Our New Reality (Brian Calvert / High Country News & The National Geographic Channel)
Climate change is no longer a hypothetical threat. This summer, it showed up in force. Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Gulf Coast, dumping trillions of gallons of rain on Houston and causing so much damage it will take years for Texas to recover. Other superstorms devastated Florida and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, heatwaves killed trees, dried soil and triggered massive wildfires out West. The country is full of people determined to address climate change. If only that were true of our national leaders.

Here's Where Your Tax Dollars for 'Defense' Are Really Going: To Lobbyists and CEOs (William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & The Nation)
The next time someone suggests that the Pentagon needs yet more money for the troops, just remember that what they're actually talking about are troops of overpaid defense contractors, not members of the armed forces. If you want to "defend" this country, maybe it's time to protect it from the predators that President Dwight D. Eisenhower once memorably called "the military-industrial complex."

Corporate Militarism Is Driving Climate Change and War (David Swanson / David Swanson.org )
In their new book, "The Secure and the Dispossessed," Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes have collected an unflinching survey of a species gone mad. The book's subtitle is "How the Military and Corporations Are Shaping a Climate-Changed World." The reluctance to tackle famines or disease epidemics, for instance, is linked to the wider problem of the massive arms-for-oil trade deals between the wealthy warmongering permanent members of the UN "Security" Council and the oil-rich dictatorships.

We Need a Green Army to Respond to Climate Change Impacts at Home (David Helvarg / Insight @ San Francisco Chronicle)
The enormous toll of our expanding wildfires, hurricanes, and floods has stretched our first-responder system to the limit. And it's only going to get worse. Now is the time to redirect some of the hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress lavishes on the Pentagon to support and expand the government's disaster response organizations and capabilities within the US -- including the Coast Guard, US Forest Service, NOAA, FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump Names Climate-Denier Kathleen Hartnett-White to Head White House Environmental Council (Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog)
Kathleen Hartnett-White, an outspoken advocate of fossil fuels, hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and of exporting oil and gas to the global market currently works as a fellow-in-residence at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which receives funding from ExxonMobil, the Heartland Institute, Koch Industries and others. Hartnett-White will go through a US Senate confirmation hearing process, during which she will likely face questions about her past record of denying climate change and promoting fossil fuels.

October 1, 2017: America's Deadly Day (San Francisco Chronicle & The Washington Post & The Guardian)
On Sunday, Oct. 1, 59 people were killed and more than 241 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. But the Las Vegas shooting was just one of 139 gun-related incidents that threatened American lives that day. Gun Violence Archive figures show half of US' gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities. That violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country's population saw 26% of America's total gun homicides.

A 'Cone of Silence' Surrounds the Pentagon's Monstrous Carbon Bootprint (Joyce Nelson / The Ecologist)
How much of the mainstream media coverage given to COP21 and the Paris Agreement mentioned the mysterious exemption given to the US's massive military and security machine? None. No whistle-blower, no climate negotiator, or politician, or Big Green organization has ever mentioned these Pentagon exemptions to the press. The "cone of silence" that descended on this issue in 1998 is somewhat baffling.

America Needs to Face the Facts about Gun Violence (Becky O'Malley / Berkeley Daily Planet Editorial)
Commentary: After a gunman shot about 550 of his fellow Americans, killing more than 50, the president of the US announced that he was proud to be an American. Well, I'm sure as hell not. Yes, yes, he was praising the response of those who had the unenviable responsibility for mopping up after the catastrophe. But he was totally ignoring the abdication of responsibility by those who allow this kind of thing to happen more and more often in this benighted country. That would be all of us, Fellow Americans.

North Korean Response to US/South Korea Military Exercises Presented as 'Provocation' (Choe Sang-Hun / The New York Times)
As the United States and South Korea prepare for next week's joint naval exercise, North Korean officials on Friday renewed their threat to launch ballistic missiles near Guam, an American territory in the western Pacific. Although both South Korea and the United States insist next week's drill is defensive in nature, North Korea considers such war games rehearsals for invasion. The joint exercise, including a flight by two US B-1B bombers over South Korea, could compel the North to "take military counteraction."

Trump Lies as Global Warming's Victims Die: And Big Media Weathercasters Fail to Mention Climate Change (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)
Scientists have found a direct link between climate change, super-hurricanes and the wildfires in California yet the corporate TV weather reporting aids and abets Trump's misinformation by consistently ignoring the role of climate change in this string of disasters.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Save the Iran Deal (Win Without War)
There is no question that the Iran deal is working. Nuclear experts, our allies, even members of Trump's own cabinet agree that Iran has been in compliance. We have blocked Iran from any potential pathway to develop nuclear weapons, and we did it without a single shot fired or a single soldier killed. But Trump can't be bothered with the facts, so now it is up to Congress, and ultimately the American people, to save the deal.

[view all featured report items] 

GENERAL IMPACTS

PBS's Vietnam Documentary Leaves Out a Lot but it Does Include Nixon's Little-known Act of Treason
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War)

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS documentary begins with the ludicrous idea that the US government had good intentions. It ends with praise for the memorial in DC and its tragic list of names -- without mention of the greater number of US veterans of that war who have since died from suicide, much less the vastly greater number of Vietnamese who were killed. The size of a memorial for all the dead would dwarf the current wall. I want to call particular attention to one item the film includes -- Richard Nixon's treason.
/know/read.php?itemid=19920

The Basel Declaration on the Crime of Nuclear Weapons
(Abolition 2000)

A four-day international conference of doctors, lawyers, scientists and nuclear experts from 27 countries has produced a statement condemning nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. The Basel Declaration states "the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons, depleted uranium weapons and nuclear energy, which are both transnational and trans-generational, constitute a violation of human rights, a transgression of international humanitarian and environmental law, and a crime against future generations."
/know/read.php?itemid=19853

Climate Change Could Extinguish Vital Parasites that Support Life on Earth
(Amy Goodman and Colin Carlson / Democracy Now!)

As the United States continues to deal with unprecedented floods and hurricanes, a new study has revealed climate change is also driving the mass extinction of parasites that are critical to natural ecosystems, and could add to the planet's sixth great mass extinction event that's currently underway -- about a third of all parasite species could go extinct by 2070 due to human activity. The loss could have profound ripple effects on the environment and might pave the way for disastrous health outcomes.
/know/read.php?itemid=19793

7 Reasons We Face a Global Water Crisis
(Leah Schleifer / World Resources Institute & EcoWatch)

Droughts in Somalia. Water rationing in Rome. Flooding in Jakarta. It doesn't take a hydrologist to realize that there is a growing global water crisis. In August, water experts, industry innovators and researchers gathered in Stockholm to address our most pressing water issues. Climate change is warming the planet, making the planet's hottest regions even more scorching as clouds are driven from the equator and toward the poles At the same time, 21 million people worldwide are at risk of historic, and cataclysmic flooding.
/know/read.php?itemid=19725

ACTION ALERT: Trump Rejects National Climate Report, Silences 50 Climate Experts
(The Conversation / EcoWatch.org & CREDO Action)

Commentary & Analysis: A scientific report done every four years has been thrust into the spotlight because its findings directly contradict statements from the president and various cabinet officials. If the Trump administration chooses to reject the pending national Climate Science Special Report, it would be more damaging than pulling the US out of the Paris agreement. Censoring experts for doing their jobs is an abuse of authority.
/know/read.php?itemid=19702

Trump's Solution to Climate Change: Ban the Term
(Bill McKibben / The Guardian)

In a bold new strategy, the US Department of Agriculture -- guardians of the planet's richest farmlands -- has decided to combat the threat of global warming by forbidding its employees from using the words. Under guidance from the USDA's director of soil health, Bianca Moebius-Clune, a list of phrases to be avoided includes "climate change" and "climate change adaptation." Instead, the USDA's staff has been ordered to only use the phrases "weather extremes" and "resilience to weather extremes."
/know/read.php?itemid=19665

ACTION ALERT: Stopping the March to War with North Korea
(Will Fischer / VoteVets & CREDO Mobile Petition & Emily Tamkin / Foreign Policy)

The threat of military conflict with North Korea is increasing by the day. This morning, President Trump tweeted that "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. But what's really missing from this conversation is being bold about diplomatic solutions. Donald Trump currently has the power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. H.R. 669, the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, would stop Trump from starting a nuclear war.
/know/read.php?itemid=19659

Can US Attack North Korea and Claim 'Self Defense'? Congress Cannot Stop Trump from Launching a Nuclear First-strike
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

The Congressional Research Service states the president "does not need the concurrence of either his military advisors or the US Congress to order the launch of nuclear weapons" [and] "neither the military nor Congress can overrule these orders." Under the War Powers Act, the president need not seek congressional approval until 60 days after the start of a war. Attempts to stop a nuclear attack order until Congress declares war is unlikely to pass with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress.
/know/read.php?itemid=19655

[view all general impact items] 

HUMAN IMPACTS

ACTION ALERT: Would Licensing and Insurance Reduce Gun Deaths? Not under the NRA's Plan for Murderers' Insurance
(Sybrina Fulton / Guns Down @ Color of Change.org)

Can tests and insurance stem the loss of lives caused by gun violence? Lockton Affinity, which created and sells NRA Carry Guard insurance, and Chubb Insurance, which underwrites the policies and takes a profit, are perpetuating fear of minorities and immigrants. By offering special protections to gun owners who shoot first and ask questions later, these insurance companies are promoting gun violence. Tell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.
/know/read.php?itemid=19951

How the NRA and the Far-right Are Quietly Mobilizing To Kill Gun Safety Reform After Vegas
(Addy Baird / ThinkProgress)

In 2016, the NRA spent more than $3.1 million on lobbying, cementing its place as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. During the 2016 campaign cycle, the NRA spent more than $830,000 on federal campaigns to line the halls of power with legislators who will do their bidding. Not everyone has taken the bait. Den. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill, along with more than two dozen Democratic co-sponsors, that would outlaw the bump stock modifications.
/know/read.php?itemid=19946

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Stop Diesel Pollution Cheating
(Eleanor Fort / The Union of Concerned Scientists)

Your legislator has the chance to stop reckless pollution. Congress is considering legislation that would reduce oversight of the defeat device industry -- the same types of devices that led to the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" scandal. Tell your members of Congress that they have the duty to fix this bill before it turns into a Dieselgate 2.0. Take Action Today!
/know/read.php?itemid=19947

Half of Americans Are in or Near Poverty While the US Government Lost Nearly $1 Trillion In FY2017
(Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change & Tyler Durden & Simon Black / ZeroHedge)

In the past 20 years median household expenses increased by 25 to 30 percent, while wages stagnated. As a result, 3 out of 5 Americans spend more than they earn, not on frivolous extras, but on essential needs. People are working longer for decreasing wages and benefits. There are a handful of countries in the world today -- places like Greece -- which are so bankrupt they cannot even afford to pay for basic public services. But the country that has the most unsustainable public finances, by far, is the US.
/know/read.php?itemid=19944

Washington's War on Economic Democracy
(Chris Kanthan / Nation of Change)

It will be shocking to many Americans to discover that our free market system is deeply and fundamentally flawed. The foundation of an economy is money. And if the creation, value and availability of that money are controlled by few elites instead of a free market, then it doesn't matter how complex and a giant system we build.
/know/read.php?itemid=19940

Climate Change Is Our New Reality
(Brian Calvert / High Country News & The National Geographic Channel)

Climate change is no longer a hypothetical threat. This summer, it showed up in force. Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Gulf Coast, dumping trillions of gallons of rain on Houston and causing so much damage it will take years for Texas to recover. Other superstorms devastated Florida and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, heatwaves killed trees, dried soil and triggered massive wildfires out West. The country is full of people determined to address climate change. If only that were true of our national leaders.
/know/read.php?itemid=19939

We Need a Green Army to Respond to Climate Change Impacts at Home
(David Helvarg / Insight @ San Francisco Chronicle)

The enormous toll of our expanding wildfires, hurricanes, and floods has stretched our first-responder system to the limit. And it's only going to get worse. Now is the time to redirect some of the hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress lavishes on the Pentagon to support and expand the government's disaster response organizations and capabilities within the US -- including the Coast Guard, US Forest Service, NOAA, FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
/know/read.php?itemid=19930

October 1, 2017: America's Deadly Day
(San Francisco Chronicle & The Washington Post & The Guardian)

On Sunday, Oct. 1, 59 people were killed and more than 241 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. But the Las Vegas shooting was just one of 139 gun-related incidents that threatened American lives that day. Gun Violence Archive figures show half of US' gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities. That violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country's population saw 26% of America's total gun homicides.
/know/read.php?itemid=19935

[view all human impact items] 

LAND IMPACTS

Standing Rock: One Year Later
(Liz Blood / Sierra Magazine and EcoWatch)

A little over a year ago, Morgun Frejo, a member of the Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Navajo nations, began camping at Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock. The Missouri River is sacred to both his Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes and Frejo recalls elders in both tribes telling him stories of its importance as a child. He lived at Standing Rock from mid-August 2016 to late February 2017, just before the camp was evicted and closed by the National Guard and local law enforcement.
/know/read.php?itemid=19943

Climate Change Is Our New Reality
(Brian Calvert / High Country News & The National Geographic Channel)

Climate change is no longer a hypothetical threat. This summer, it showed up in force. Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Gulf Coast, dumping trillions of gallons of rain on Houston and causing so much damage it will take years for Texas to recover. Other superstorms devastated Florida and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, heatwaves killed trees, dried soil and triggered massive wildfires out West. The country is full of people determined to address climate change. If only that were true of our national leaders.
/know/read.php?itemid=19939

We Need a Green Army to Respond to Climate Change Impacts at Home
(David Helvarg / Insight @ San Francisco Chronicle)

The enormous toll of our expanding wildfires, hurricanes, and floods has stretched our first-responder system to the limit. And it's only going to get worse. Now is the time to redirect some of the hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress lavishes on the Pentagon to support and expand the government's disaster response organizations and capabilities within the US -- including the Coast Guard, US Forest Service, NOAA, FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
/know/read.php?itemid=19930

Trump Names Climate-Denier Kathleen Hartnett-White to Head White House Environmental Council
(Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog)

Kathleen Hartnett-White, an outspoken advocate of fossil fuels, hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and of exporting oil and gas to the global market currently works as a fellow-in-residence at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which receives funding from ExxonMobil, the Heartland Institute, Koch Industries and others. Hartnett-White will go through a US Senate confirmation hearing process, during which she will likely face questions about her past record of denying climate change and promoting fossil fuels.
/know/read.php?itemid=19934

Trump Lies as Global Warming's Victims Die: And Big Media Weathercasters Fail to Mention Climate Change
(Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)

Scientists have found a direct link between climate change, super-hurricanes and the wildfires in California yet the corporate TV weather reporting aids and abets Trump's misinformation by consistently ignoring the role of climate change in this string of disasters.
/know/read.php?itemid=19928

Divest from Oil and Coal: Mazaska Talks Global Day of Action (Oct 23rd-25th)
(Divest the Globe And the Action Network)

For far too long, banks have operated in the shadows -- financing the very industries that are driving climate disaster and violating Indigenous rights. The time has come to finally hold these financial institutions across the world accountable. The fossil fuel divestment movement that struck like wildfire at Standing Rock has now been taken global. Will you join #DivestTheGlobe?
/know/read.php?itemid=19924

GOP Uses Climate Change to Attack Environmental Laws
(EcoWatch / Center for Biological Diversity)

The House Natural Resources Committee has used the pretext of "catastrophic" wildfires to build support for legislation that would curtail protections for endangered species and limit science-based review of environmental harms to expedite logging projects. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will consider three bills designed to limit environmental reviews on a variety of logging and forest-management projects on public lands. Timber companies would be the only winners if these terrible bills pass.
/know/read.php?itemid=19891

US Military Bases Spread Like Cancer Across the Globe
(Col. Ann Wright (US Army, ret.) / Peace in Our Times)

Statement: "Here in the city of Guantanamo, I want to apologize to the people of Cuba for the military base the US forced on Cuba in 1898, 119 years ago, the military base outside the US that my country has occupied the longest in its history. Secondly, I want to apologize for the purpose of the US Naval Base Guantanamo. I apologize that for 15 years, since January 11, 2002, the Guantanamo prison has been the site for the illegal and inhumane imprisonment and torture of 800 persons from 49 countries."
/know/read.php?itemid=19875

[view all land impact items] 

MARINE AND WATER IMPACTS

Climate Change Is Our New Reality
(Brian Calvert / High Country News & The National Geographic Channel)

Climate change is no longer a hypothetical threat. This summer, it showed up in force. Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Gulf Coast, dumping trillions of gallons of rain on Houston and causing so much damage it will take years for Texas to recover. Other superstorms devastated Florida and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, heatwaves killed trees, dried soil and triggered massive wildfires out West. The country is full of people determined to address climate change. If only that were true of our national leaders.
/know/read.php?itemid=19939

We Need a Green Army to Respond to Climate Change Impacts at Home
(David Helvarg / Insight @ San Francisco Chronicle)

The enormous toll of our expanding wildfires, hurricanes, and floods has stretched our first-responder system to the limit. And it's only going to get worse. Now is the time to redirect some of the hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress lavishes on the Pentagon to support and expand the government's disaster response organizations and capabilities within the US -- including the Coast Guard, US Forest Service, NOAA, FEMA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
/know/read.php?itemid=19930

Trump Names Climate-Denier Kathleen Hartnett-White to Head White House Environmental Council
(Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog)

Kathleen Hartnett-White, an outspoken advocate of fossil fuels, hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and of exporting oil and gas to the global market currently works as a fellow-in-residence at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which receives funding from ExxonMobil, the Heartland Institute, Koch Industries and others. Hartnett-White will go through a US Senate confirmation hearing process, during which she will likely face questions about her past record of denying climate change and promoting fossil fuels.
/know/read.php?itemid=19934

Trump Lies as Global Warming's Victims Die: And Big Media Weathercasters Fail to Mention Climate Change
(Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)

Scientists have found a direct link between climate change, super-hurricanes and the wildfires in California yet the corporate TV weather reporting aids and abets Trump's misinformation by consistently ignoring the role of climate change in this string of disasters.
/know/read.php?itemid=19928

The Toll of US Navy Training on Wildlife in the North Pacific
(Project Censored)

US Navy training activities are deadly for marine mammals in the North Pacific. In a five-year period, the US Navy has killed, injured, or harassed whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and other marine wildlife in the North Pacific Ocean nearly twelve million times.
/know/read.php?itemid=19898

US Military Bases Spread Like Cancer Across the Globe
(Col. Ann Wright (US Army, ret.) / Peace in Our Times)

Statement: "Here in the city of Guantanamo, I want to apologize to the people of Cuba for the military base the US forced on Cuba in 1898, 119 years ago, the military base outside the US that my country has occupied the longest in its history. Secondly, I want to apologize for the purpose of the US Naval Base Guantanamo. I apologize that for 15 years, since January 11, 2002, the Guantanamo prison has been the site for the illegal and inhumane imprisonment and torture of 800 persons from 49 countries."
/know/read.php?itemid=19875

Blue Planet II: Sir David Attenborough's New Series to Show 'Heartbreaking' Examples of Plastic Pollution
(Imogen Calderwood / BBC Earth & Global Citizen & EcoWatch)

Sir David Attenborough has spoken out about "heartbreaking" examples of plastic pollution that were documented while filming Blue Planet II, his new BBC documentary series investigating how our oceans are changing as a result of human activities. Attenborough, the broadcasting legend who brought the world Planet Earth, recorded seabirds feeding their chicks with scraps of plastic -- gannets feeding plastic to their chicks off the coast of Scotland, and puffins with scraps of it in their beaks.
/know/read.php?itemid=19876

Ken Burns' Vietnam War Film Skirts Devastating Civilian Toll
(Nick Turse / The Intercept)

The $30 million TV documentary, "The Vietnam War," provides lots of great vintage film footage, 25,000 stunning photos, a solid Age of Aquarius soundtrack, and plenty of striking soundbites. Maybe this is what Burns means by "triangulation." The series seems crafted to appeal to the widest possible US audience. But as far as telling us "what happened," I don't see much evidence of that. Combatants are not the main participants in modern war. Modern war affects civilians far more and far longer than combatants.
/know/read.php?itemid=19872

[view all marine and water impact items] 

OIL AND ITS ALTERNATIVES

ACTION ALERT: Stopping Trump's Coal and Nuclear Bailout While Oz Veers toward Coal
(Robert Weissman / Public Citizen & Jacqueline Williams / The New York Times)

Coal not only is too dirty and dangerous, it's too expensive to compete with clean and affordable wind and solar power. Same for nuclear. But Donald Trump wants to bail out the coal and nuclear industries. If he succeeds, US taxpayers will pay -- both in dollars and in damaged health. Meanwhile, the Australian government is considering a proposal to build one of the world's largest coalmines in a remote wilderness. Given the threat of climate change, the plan has met intense opposition at home and abroad.
/know/read.php?itemid=19950

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Stop Diesel Pollution Cheating
(Eleanor Fort / The Union of Concerned Scientists)

Your legislator has the chance to stop reckless pollution. Congress is considering legislation that would reduce oversight of the defeat device industry -- the same types of devices that led to the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" scandal. Tell your members of Congress that they have the duty to fix this bill before it turns into a Dieselgate 2.0. Take Action Today!
/know/read.php?itemid=19947

Standing Rock: One Year Later
(Liz Blood / Sierra Magazine and EcoWatch)

A little over a year ago, Morgun Frejo, a member of the Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Navajo nations, began camping at Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock. The Missouri River is sacred to both his Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes and Frejo recalls elders in both tribes telling him stories of its importance as a child. He lived at Standing Rock from mid-August 2016 to late February 2017, just before the camp was evicted and closed by the National Guard and local law enforcement.
/know/read.php?itemid=19943

Corporate Militarism Is Driving Climate Change and War
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org )

In their new book, "The Secure and the Dispossessed," Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes have collected an unflinching survey of a species gone mad. The book's subtitle is "How the Military and Corporations Are Shaping a Climate-Changed World." The reluctance to tackle famines or disease epidemics, for instance, is linked to the wider problem of the massive arms-for-oil trade deals between the wealthy warmongering permanent members of the UN "Security" Council and the oil-rich dictatorships.
/know/read.php?itemid=19929

RAN Hails Tar Sands Divestment Victory! Healthy Forests Can Slow Climate Change
(Rainforest Action Network & Rainforest Alliance)

Thanks to the thousands of petition signatures and on the ground activism, BNP Paribas -- Europe's 2nd largest bank -- just set the new standard for global bank policies on extreme oil and gas by agreeing to halt funding for tar sands development, tar sands pipelines, fracking, LNG, and Arctic oil projects. Now it's time to focus on the worst US bank when it comes to financing extreme energy -- JPMorgan Chase.
/know/read.php?itemid=19923

Divest from Oil and Coal: Mazaska Talks Global Day of Action (Oct 23rd-25th)
(Divest the Globe And the Action Network)

For far too long, banks have operated in the shadows -- financing the very industries that are driving climate disaster and violating Indigenous rights. The time has come to finally hold these financial institutions across the world accountable. The fossil fuel divestment movement that struck like wildfire at Standing Rock has now been taken global. Will you join #DivestTheGlobe?
/know/read.php?itemid=19924

ACTION ALERT: Trump's EPA to Repeal the Clean Power Plan
(The NRDC & Climate Hawks & Food & Water Watch & The Baltimore Sun)

Trump's EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is formally proposing to repeal the Clean Power Plan, America's best hope for fighting climate change. In lock step with the fossil fuel industry, Trump and Scott Pruitt are doing everything they can to turn back the clock on our energy future.
/know/read.php?itemid=19911

Syria's War Spurred by Contest for Gas Delivery to Europe, Not Muslim Sectarianism
(Project Censored)

"The Middle East is being torn to shreds by manipulative plans to gain oil and gas access by pitting people against one another based on religion." In 2011–12, after Syrian president Bashar al-Assad refused to cooperate with Turkey's plan to create a natural gas pipeline between Qatar and Turkey through Syria, Turkey and its allies became "the major architects of Syria's "civil war." The proposed pipeline would have bypassed Russia to reach European markets currently dominated by Russian gas giant Gazprom.
/know/read.php?itemid=19899

[view all oil and alternatives items] 

 

MILITARISM AND CIVIL LIBERTIES

ACTION ALERT: Would Licensing and Insurance Reduce Gun Deaths? Not under the NRA's Plan for Murderers' Insurance
(Sybrina Fulton / Guns Down @ Color of Change.org)

Can tests and insurance stem the loss of lives caused by gun violence? Lockton Affinity, which created and sells NRA Carry Guard insurance, and Chubb Insurance, which underwrites the policies and takes a profit, are perpetuating fear of minorities and immigrants. By offering special protections to gun owners who shoot first and ask questions later, these insurance companies are promoting gun violence. Tell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.
/know/read.php?itemid=19951

The Impact of the US War on Afghanistan
(Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

The best way to continue a war that's not supported by the public is to announce the deployment of additional troops in an incremental way, quietly and ambiguously, camouflaging it as a necessary and patriotic mission of "advising an assisting," a sort of cover as a heroic diplomat, masking the truth of war and the natural form of violence that comes with any form of occupation. This is what the US government has been doing with the war in Afghanistan.
/know/read.php?itemid=19942

Half of Americans Are in or Near Poverty While the US Government Lost Nearly $1 Trillion In FY2017
(Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change & Tyler Durden & Simon Black / ZeroHedge)

In the past 20 years median household expenses increased by 25 to 30 percent, while wages stagnated. As a result, 3 out of 5 Americans spend more than they earn, not on frivolous extras, but on essential needs. People are working longer for decreasing wages and benefits. There are a handful of countries in the world today -- places like Greece -- which are so bankrupt they cannot even afford to pay for basic public services. But the country that has the most unsustainable public finances, by far, is the US.
/know/read.php?itemid=19944

Washington's War on Economic Democracy
(Chris Kanthan / Nation of Change)

It will be shocking to many Americans to discover that our free market system is deeply and fundamentally flawed. The foundation of an economy is money. And if the creation, value and availability of that money are controlled by few elites instead of a free market, then it doesn't matter how complex and a giant system we build.
/know/read.php?itemid=19940

WTF-35? The Air Force Just Bought 100 Stealth Fighters That Can't Fight
(David Axe / The Daily Beast)

The US military has signaled that it might cancel essential upgrades for more than 100 early model F-35 stealth fighters. In that case, some 6 percent of the flying branch's planned 1,700-strong F-35 fleet would be unfit for combat, sticking US taxpayers with a $20 billion tab for fighters . . . that can't fight. Experts say the military never should have bought the planes the first place, as they rolled out of Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth factory.
/know/read.php?itemid=19938

Here's Where Your Tax Dollars for 'Defense' Are Really Going: To Lobbyists and CEOs
(William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & The Nation)

The next time someone suggests that the Pentagon needs yet more money for the troops, just remember that what they're actually talking about are troops of overpaid defense contractors, not members of the armed forces. If you want to "defend" this country, maybe it's time to protect it from the predators that President Dwight D. Eisenhower once memorably called "the military-industrial complex."
/know/read.php?itemid=19937

Corporate Militarism Is Driving Climate Change and War
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org )

In their new book, "The Secure and the Dispossessed," Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes have collected an unflinching survey of a species gone mad. The book's subtitle is "How the Military and Corporations Are Shaping a Climate-Changed World." The reluctance to tackle famines or disease epidemics, for instance, is linked to the wider problem of the massive arms-for-oil trade deals between the wealthy warmongering permanent members of the UN "Security" Council and the oil-rich dictatorships.
/know/read.php?itemid=19929

America Needs to Face the Facts about Gun Violence
(Becky O'Malley / Berkeley Daily Planet Editorial)

Commentary: After a gunman shot about 550 of his fellow Americans, killing more than 50, the president of the US announced that he was proud to be an American. Well, I'm sure as hell not. Yes, yes, he was praising the response of those who had the unenviable responsibility for mopping up after the catastrophe. But he was totally ignoring the abdication of responsibility by those who allow this kind of thing to happen more and more often in this benighted country. That would be all of us, Fellow Americans.
/know/read.php?itemid=19926

[view all militarism items] 

WEAPONS OF WAR

ACTION ALERT: Would Licensing and Insurance Reduce Gun Deaths? Not under the NRA's Plan for Murderers' Insurance
(Sybrina Fulton / Guns Down @ Color of Change.org)

Can tests and insurance stem the loss of lives caused by gun violence? Lockton Affinity, which created and sells NRA Carry Guard insurance, and Chubb Insurance, which underwrites the policies and takes a profit, are perpetuating fear of minorities and immigrants. By offering special protections to gun owners who shoot first and ask questions later, these insurance companies are promoting gun violence. Tell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.
/know/read.php?itemid=19951

ACTION ALERT: End the Gun Industry's Immunity from Legal Prosecution
(CredoAction & Center for American Progress)

The mass shooting in Las Vegas was a tragic reminder that we are never going to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country without breaking the gun lobby's control of Congress. Fortunately, three Democrats have introduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would revoke the law that gives the gun industry legal immunity for negligence that leads to gun-related violence and death.
/know/read.php?itemid=19945

How the NRA and the Far-right Are Quietly Mobilizing To Kill Gun Safety Reform After Vegas
(Addy Baird / ThinkProgress)

In 2016, the NRA spent more than $3.1 million on lobbying, cementing its place as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. During the 2016 campaign cycle, the NRA spent more than $830,000 on federal campaigns to line the halls of power with legislators who will do their bidding. Not everyone has taken the bait. Den. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill, along with more than two dozen Democratic co-sponsors, that would outlaw the bump stock modifications.
/know/read.php?itemid=19946

WTF-35? The Air Force Just Bought 100 Stealth Fighters That Can't Fight
(David Axe / The Daily Beast)

The US military has signaled that it might cancel essential upgrades for more than 100 early model F-35 stealth fighters. In that case, some 6 percent of the flying branch's planned 1,700-strong F-35 fleet would be unfit for combat, sticking US taxpayers with a $20 billion tab for fighters . . . that can't fight. Experts say the military never should have bought the planes the first place, as they rolled out of Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth factory.
/know/read.php?itemid=19938

October 1, 2017: America's Deadly Day
(San Francisco Chronicle & The Washington Post & The Guardian)

On Sunday, Oct. 1, 59 people were killed and more than 241 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. But the Las Vegas shooting was just one of 139 gun-related incidents that threatened American lives that day. Gun Violence Archive figures show half of US' gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities. That violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country's population saw 26% of America's total gun homicides.
/know/read.php?itemid=19935

America Needs to Face the Facts about Gun Violence
(Becky O'Malley / Berkeley Daily Planet Editorial)

Commentary: After a gunman shot about 550 of his fellow Americans, killing more than 50, the president of the US announced that he was proud to be an American. Well, I'm sure as hell not. Yes, yes, he was praising the response of those who had the unenviable responsibility for mopping up after the catastrophe. But he was totally ignoring the abdication of responsibility by those who allow this kind of thing to happen more and more often in this benighted country. That would be all of us, Fellow Americans.
/know/read.php?itemid=19926

The Evil that Guns Do
(Michael Winship / Moyers and Company)

The firearms lobby suggests that because morality can't be legislated, the evil of gun violence can only be controlled by … more guns. Don't be fooled by the rhetorical camouflage. The NRA still wants to steer clear of any Congressional debate that could change minds and lead to new gun control rules. To claim as a constitutional right the possession of firearms intended for warfare strains credulity. These are killing machines with no purpose other than to maim and destroy.
/know/read.php?itemid=19925

The Masters of War: Who Are the World's Biggest Arms Companies?
(Al Jazeera News)

The US has approved a $15 billion deal to supply Saudi Arabia with the THAAD missile defense system. If Congress does not object within 30 days, the deal will result in a massive windfall for Lockheed Martin. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade: "The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and security and damages economic development. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems."
/know/read.php?itemid=19914

[view all weapons items] 

 

 

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