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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

Government Whistleblower Sounds the Alarm as Alaskan Villages Are Threatened by Climate Change (John Light / The Washington Post & Joel Clement / Washington Post )
The rapidly warming Arctic means that dozens of villages inhabited by Alaskan native peoples need to relocate -- but the money isn't there. Meanwhile, a scientist looking for a way to help Alaska Natives whose villages are sinking was reassigned by the Trump administration to a job collecting royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.

Trump Ignores Climate Change as Seas Threaten to Swallow Alaskan Villages (John Light / The Washington Post)
Even as the Trump administration struggles to determine how fully to lean into its climate denial, Americans in the Arctic are facing the disruptive effects of three record-breakingly warm years following decades of rising temperatures, rising seas and melting permafrost. The planet's poles are warming at roughly twice the rate of everywhere else, and in the Arctic, evidence was especially clear.

Apocalypse in the Arctic: All Hell Breaks Loose as the Tundra Thaws (Jeremy Plester / The Guardian & Kevin Loria / Business Insider & The Siberian Times)
Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. A recent heat wave in Siberia's frozen wastes has triggered a massive melting of the region's permafrost and triggered outbreaks of deadly anthrax, which hadn't been seen in the region for 75 years. At the same time, local residents -- and scientists -- have been startled by the appearance of large methane-filled craters and a the region has been rocked by series of violent explosions.

Why James Cromwell Faces Arrest, Jail to Oppose Fossil Fuels (Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)
Actor James Cromwell was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the hit movie "Babe," and throughout his career for numerous Emmys. But on a cold December day in 2015, the drama he participated in was no act. Cromwell and five others were arrested in upstate Wawayanda, New York, protesting against the construction of a 650-megawatt fracked gas power plant. He and two others refused to pay their fines and were sentenced to a week behind bars.

ACTION ALERT: Trump and Perry Planning to Cut Clean Energy Funding by 70% (Public Citizen & NRDC & Nation of Change & League of Conservation Voters)
The bipartisan Energy and Natural Resources Act is supposed to be voted on in the Senate this week has been called "a pro-fracking giveaway to oil and gas interests that would commit America to decades more of dangerous fossil fuel dependence." In a statement opposing the bill Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders declared: "Our job is to move away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy and energy efficiency. This bill does the opposite."

"Missile Defense Will Protect You," Missile Builders Assure USA Today Readers (Jim Naureckas / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting & "Jennifer Sinco Kelleher / Associated Press)
"US Missile Defense Plans to Zap North Korean Threats" was the headline of a USA Today story on July 17, 2017. Strikingly, the piece contains no sources at all substantiating the chilling claim that "North Korea may be only a year or so away" from having missiles that "can hit anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead." The Aerospace Security Project, a pro-missile lobbying group, assures the public that spending $3 billion on their weapons will somehow provide security against a nuclear attack.

ACTION ALERT: Peace Economies, Perpetual Wars, and the Pentagon Budget: A Webinar (Code Pink & Nation of Change & Win Without War)
The Trump administration has proposed an increase in the military budget of at least $54 billion dollars, making it more than $600 billion a year. This is more than half of federal discretionary funds! It's no wonder we don't have money to address the crisis of global warming, build effective public transportation systems, institute a Medicare-for-All health system, or provide the free college education that all our youth deserve.

Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare (Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)
As a backdrop to the Russia-gate hysteria and the heightened fear of China is a budget war over how much US taxpayer money to pour into space warfare. There's a civil war being fought in our capital. It pits the Secretary of Defense and senior generals against a bipartisan band of militant legislators who accuse the Pentagon of standing pat while Russian and China work to achieve military superiority over the US in space. These macho posturing for new war-fighting capabilities in space are deeply destabilizing.

How Toxic Waste Sites Run by the Pentagon Are Poisoning Americans (TruthDig)
A detailed new report by ProPublica reveals how the US military continues to engage in unsafe methods to destroy hazardous waste at sites across the country, and how this practice is harming nearby communities. The story, which is "the first in a series examining the Pentagon's oversight of thousands of toxic sites on American soil," exposes how "outdoor burning and detonation is still the military's leading method for dealing with munitions and the associated hazardous waste."

Toxic Harm: Humanitarian and Environmental Concerns from Military-origin Contamination (Dr. Mohamed Ghalaieny / The Toxic Remnants of War Project)
Exposure to dioxin has been implicated as a cause of birth defects documented in Vietnamese civilians, yet the problem is only now being acknowledged and is still far from resolved -- more than 40 years after the initial contamination. In light of the inherent uncertainty in studying the origins of disease, a key question involves the need for the precautionary principle, which necessitates preventative action in the face of uncertainty and forms the basis of many peacetime health protection norms.

Open Burns, Ill Winds: Bombs in Our Backyard (Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & PBS News Hour)
More than 30 years ago, Congress banned US industries from disposing of hazardous waste in "open burns" because uncontrolled incineration created unacceptable health and environmental risks. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators, filters, and smokestacks to meet strict limits on emissions. The Pentagon and its contractors received a temporary reprieve to continue burning military waste. That exemption has remained in place ever since.

Climate Scientist Blows the Whistle after Trump Administration Tries to Silence Him (Walter Einenkel / The Daily Kos)
Joel Clement used to be the director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the US Interior Department. Last week, Mr. Clement lost his job and Wednesday he became a whistleblower on the Trump administration and their practice of trying to silence facts and reality. In an op-ed written over at the Washington Post, Clement explains how things have changed since Trump and his fossil-fueled cabinet appointments took over.

Report: Troops in Cameroon Tortured and Killed Prisoners At US Base (Robert Trafford and Nick Turse / The Intercept)
Troops in the West African nation of Cameroon have tortured prisoners at a remote military base that is also used by US personnel and private contractors for drone surveillance and training missions. As the US military has fortified the Cameroonian site, known as Salak, and supported the elite local troops based there, the outpost reportedly has become the scene of illegal imprisonment, brutal torture, and even killings.

Tillerson to Shutter State Department War Crimes Office (Colum Lynch / Foreign Policy)
Critics have charged the US Secretary of State with giving the green light to perpetrators of mass atrocities. Rex Tillerson reportedly is set to downgrade the US campaign against war crimes by closing an office that worked for 20 years to hold war criminals accountable. "This is a very harsh signal to the rest of the world that the US is essentially downgrading the importance of accountability for the commission of atrocity crimes," says Northwestern University law professor David Scheffer.

'Liberation' from Militants Leaves Devastation in Mosul (Susannah George  / Associated Press & Jugal K. Patel and Time Wallace / The New York Times)
There was a smell of death in Mosul's Old City when Ayman Hashem came back this week to see what happened to his home. His neighborhood was unrecognizable. "All that's left is rubble and the bodies of families trapped underneath," the 23-year-old said.

Iraq Demands US Restitution for Mosul Attack (Associated Press)
Iraqi officials demanded compensation from the US-led coalition following an investigation into a March 17 airstrike in which the Pentagon acknowledged a US bomb targeting Islamic State group fighters in Mosul set off a series of explosions that killed more than 100 civilians.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Trump/McConnell Fracking Bill (Food and Water Watch & Common Dreams)
The US Senate is poised to make this hot, dirty summer even worse. As fossil-fueled heat waves bring wildfires, drought, and killer storms to the nation, Donald Trump continues to stack his administration with fossil-fuel lobbyists and climate change deniers. Now our allies on Capitol Hill warn us that Mitch McConnell will try to pass a pro-fracking, pro-drilling, pro-coal energy bill next week to give Trump and the Kochs a much-needed victory.

Bombing the Rubble: America's Empire of Destruction (Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch )
If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble. It's been a painfully apt term since September 11, 2001. In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful: rubblize and rubblization. Let me explain what I mean. In recent weeks, another major city in Iraq has officially been "liberated" -- meaning: more than a million people were uprooted and major portions of the ancient city were turned into rubble.

Interior Selling off Public Lands as Farmers Raise Solar Panels to Block Oil Pipeline (Greenpeace & Phil McKenna / Nation of Change)
The Interior Department are currently reviewing the status of national monuments, marine sanctuaries, and protections from offshore oil and gas drilling, potentially opening up new drilling activity in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Meanwhile, Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is meeting almost exclusively with fossil fuel lobbyists, ignoring the voices of people in this country.

Washington's "Defense" Establishment Needs Rent Control (Jason Sibert / The Progressive Populist )
In the discipline of economics, the term rent means more than a payment to a landlord. Making a profit from the sale of goods or services in a free market is different from rent, which is extracted from the public by entities who hold monopoly rights or something close to it. The military-industrial complex extracts larger rents from the American taxpayer than justified. In 2015, Raytheon -- the world's leading producer of guided missiles -- received 90% of its revenues from the federal government.

Trump Ends Covert CIA Program to Arm anti-Assad Rebels (Greg Jaffe and Adam Entour / The Washington Post)
Donald Trump has decided to end the CIA's covert program to arm and train "moderate" Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad -- a move long sought by Russia, The program was a central plank of the Obama administration to pressure Assad, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later. Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump's interest in finding ways to work with Russia.

Constitution Torpedoed as Paul Ryan Strips Rep. Lee's War Authorization Amendment from Pentagon Funding Bill (Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Anthony L. Fisher / The Week & Ellen Mitchell / The Hill)
Earlier this week, it looked as though the war in Afghanistan (the longest sustained military conflict in US history) might soon come to an end -- because of one congresswoman who saw through the fog of fear and rage in the days after the 9/11 attacks. Barbara Lee has insisted that, under the US Constitution, Congress, not the President, is entrusted with the role of declaring war. But those hopes were dashed when Speaker Paul Ryan stripped Lee's amendment from the Pentagon Appropriations bill.

After the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty: A New Disarmament Politics (Zia Mian / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
A treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons was adopted by an overwhelming vote and met with loud cheers this week at the United Nations. More than 70 years in the making, the treaty offers widely agreed principles, commitments, and mechanisms for ending the nuclear weapons age. Getting here was not easy, and achieving nuclear disarmament will still be a long struggle. But the new treaty creates space and means for a creative new disarmament politics based on law and ethics and democracy.

ACTION ALERT: Congress Stonewalls Bill to Stop Funding Terrorists (Mark Anderson / The Progressive Populist & Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / US Congress & Tima Kurdi)
Bipartisan legislation -- Sen. Rand Paul's S 532 and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act (HR 608) -- would bar the federal government from giving money and weapons to known terrorists. "For years, our government has been providing both direct and indirect support to . . . armed militant groups, who are working directly with or under the command of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS," Rep. Gabbard bravely stated. But neither bill has garnered much support on Capitol Hill.

[view all featured report items] 

GENERAL IMPACTS

122 Nations Set to Approve Nuclear Weapons Ban: US Boycotts Meeting
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Edith M. Lederer / The Associated Press)

After protracted international talks, an estimated 129 nations are set to sign a global ban on nuclear weapons -- the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than 20 years. Unfortunately, it won't involve any actual disarmament. Why? Because every single nuclear weapons-having nation on the planet (Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and the US) has boycotted the effort, along with the entire NATO alliance -- except for the Netherlands.
/know/read.php?itemid=19512

122 Nations Create Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons
(David Swanson / World Beyond War & Action Network)

Analysis: On Friday the United Nations concluded the creation of the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in over 20 years, and the first ever to ban all nuclear weapons. While 122 nations voted yes, the Netherlands voted no, Singapore abstained, and numerous nations didn't show up at all. But this treaty is a big step in the right direction. When 122 countries declare something illegal, it is illegal on Earth. That means investments in it are illegal. Complicity with it is illegal.
/know/read.php?itemid=19514

G-20 Protests: "Welcome to Hell" and Goodbye to Gasoline
(teleSURtv & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

"Welcome to Hell." That's the greeting for Donald Trump and other world leaders from tens of thousands of anti-capitalist protesters in Hamburg who aim to disrupt the July 7-8 G20 summit. The Carbon Paradigm has also been disrupted by Volvo's announcement that it is halting production of petroleum-fueled cars. France, Germany, and Norway also have declared plans to ban and abandon the internal combustion engine in favor of clean, renewable, climate-friendly non-carbon transportation.
/know/read.php?itemid=19509

US Cities Could Shift Nearly 42 Percent of US Electricity to Renewables By 2035
(Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)

The US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is prompting more than 1,400 mayors to make their own climate-protection pledges. The Conference of Mayors -- the country's largest coalition of city leaders -- recently pledged to make 100 percent renewable power a top policy priority over the next decade. The five states that are the worst emitters of greenhouse gases are: Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida and Ohio.
/know/read.php?itemid=19455

House Republicans Call for $640 Military Spending Bill
(AntiWar.com & The Hill)

Faced with a massive military spending increase proposal from President Trump, and a Budget Committee which expected to well exceed even that, the House Armed Services Committee has decided to outdo everybody by advancing its own $640 billion base budget. The move sets up a potential showdown with the White House, which proposed a $603 billion defense budget. It also could be in conflict with Congress's budget, as the Budget Committee is eyeing a $621 billion defense budget.
/know/read.php?itemid=19446

The Climate Movement Charges On, Even Without the US
(Winnie Byanyima / Oxfam America)

The spirit of Paris charges on, even without the US. But the oilmen who fuelled this crisis are still doing their dirty business as usual -- because the system perpetuates their wealth and power. The richest one percent today own more than the 99 percent combined; eight men own as much as the bottom 3.6 billion. Political institutions march to the tune of powerful corporations and the super-rich. Tackling the gap between rich and poor and tackling climate change is part of the same struggle.
/know/read.php?itemid=19416

Trump vs. Planet Earth
(Associated Press & Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone)

Commentary: "The outrage over Trump's move runs deep because the Paris climate deal was never about just the climate. It was also about unity, equality, trust, sympathy - in short, all the qualities that make it possible for seven billion human beings to live together peacefully on the planet."
/know/read.php?itemid=19418

"A War We Don't Want": Defense Secretary Mattis Explains What War with North Korea Would Look Like
(Alex Lockie / Business Insider & Arielle Berger and Sara Silverstein / Business Insider)

Asked why the US doesn't just go to war to stop North Korea from developing the capability to hit the US, Secretary of Defense James Mattis painted a grim scenario: "It will be a war more serious in terms of human suffering than anything we've seen since 1953. It will involve the massive shelling of an ally's capital, which is one of the most densely packed cities on earth [with ametro-area population of 25 million]. "It would be a war that fundamentally we don't want."
/know/read.php?itemid=19410

[view all general impact items] 

HUMAN IMPACTS

Government Whistleblower Sounds the Alarm as Alaskan Villages Are Threatened by Climate Change
(John Light / The Washington Post & Joel Clement / Washington Post )

The rapidly warming Arctic means that dozens of villages inhabited by Alaskan native peoples need to relocate -- but the money isn't there. Meanwhile, a scientist looking for a way to help Alaska Natives whose villages are sinking was reassigned by the Trump administration to a job collecting royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.
/know/read.php?itemid=19582

Trump Ignores Climate Change as Seas Threaten to Swallow Alaskan Villages
(John Light / The Washington Post)

Even as the Trump administration struggles to determine how fully to lean into its climate denial, Americans in the Arctic are facing the disruptive effects of three record-breakingly warm years following decades of rising temperatures, rising seas and melting permafrost. The planet's poles are warming at roughly twice the rate of everywhere else, and in the Arctic, evidence was especially clear.
/know/read.php?itemid=19583

Apocalypse in the Arctic: All Hell Breaks Loose as the Tundra Thaws
(Jeremy Plester / The Guardian & Kevin Loria / Business Insider & The Siberian Times)

Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. A recent heat wave in Siberia's frozen wastes has triggered a massive melting of the region's permafrost and triggered outbreaks of deadly anthrax, which hadn't been seen in the region for 75 years. At the same time, local residents -- and scientists -- have been startled by the appearance of large methane-filled craters and a the region has been rocked by series of violent explosions.
/know/read.php?itemid=19584

How Toxic Waste Sites Run by the Pentagon Are Poisoning Americans
(TruthDig)

A detailed new report by ProPublica reveals how the US military continues to engage in unsafe methods to destroy hazardous waste at sites across the country, and how this practice is harming nearby communities. The story, which is "the first in a series examining the Pentagon's oversight of thousands of toxic sites on American soil," exposes how "outdoor burning and detonation is still the military's leading method for dealing with munitions and the associated hazardous waste."
/know/read.php?itemid=19574

Open Burns, Ill Winds: Bombs in Our Backyard
(Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & PBS News Hour)

More than 30 years ago, Congress banned US industries from disposing of hazardous waste in "open burns" because uncontrolled incineration created unacceptable health and environmental risks. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators, filters, and smokestacks to meet strict limits on emissions. The Pentagon and its contractors received a temporary reprieve to continue burning military waste. That exemption has remained in place ever since.
/know/read.php?itemid=19576

Report: Troops in Cameroon Tortured and Killed Prisoners At US Base
(Robert Trafford and Nick Turse / The Intercept)

Troops in the West African nation of Cameroon have tortured prisoners at a remote military base that is also used by US personnel and private contractors for drone surveillance and training missions. As the US military has fortified the Cameroonian site, known as Salak, and supported the elite local troops based there, the outpost reportedly has become the scene of illegal imprisonment, brutal torture, and even killings.
/know/read.php?itemid=19570

Tillerson to Shutter State Department War Crimes Office
(Colum Lynch / Foreign Policy)

Critics have charged the US Secretary of State with giving the green light to perpetrators of mass atrocities. Rex Tillerson reportedly is set to downgrade the US campaign against war crimes by closing an office that worked for 20 years to hold war criminals accountable. "This is a very harsh signal to the rest of the world that the US is essentially downgrading the importance of accountability for the commission of atrocity crimes," says Northwestern University law professor David Scheffer.
/know/read.php?itemid=19571

'Liberation' from Militants Leaves Devastation in Mosul
(Susannah George  / Associated Press & Jugal K. Patel and Time Wallace / The New York Times)

There was a smell of death in Mosul's Old City when Ayman Hashem came back this week to see what happened to his home. His neighborhood was unrecognizable. "All that's left is rubble and the bodies of families trapped underneath," the 23-year-old said.
/know/read.php?itemid=19572

[view all human impact items] 

LAND IMPACTS

Government Whistleblower Sounds the Alarm as Alaskan Villages Are Threatened by Climate Change
(John Light / The Washington Post & Joel Clement / Washington Post )

The rapidly warming Arctic means that dozens of villages inhabited by Alaskan native peoples need to relocate -- but the money isn't there. Meanwhile, a scientist looking for a way to help Alaska Natives whose villages are sinking was reassigned by the Trump administration to a job collecting royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.
/know/read.php?itemid=19582

Trump Ignores Climate Change as Seas Threaten to Swallow Alaskan Villages
(John Light / The Washington Post)

Even as the Trump administration struggles to determine how fully to lean into its climate denial, Americans in the Arctic are facing the disruptive effects of three record-breakingly warm years following decades of rising temperatures, rising seas and melting permafrost. The planet's poles are warming at roughly twice the rate of everywhere else, and in the Arctic, evidence was especially clear.
/know/read.php?itemid=19583

Apocalypse in the Arctic: All Hell Breaks Loose as the Tundra Thaws
(Jeremy Plester / The Guardian & Kevin Loria / Business Insider & The Siberian Times)

Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. A recent heat wave in Siberia's frozen wastes has triggered a massive melting of the region's permafrost and triggered outbreaks of deadly anthrax, which hadn't been seen in the region for 75 years. At the same time, local residents -- and scientists -- have been startled by the appearance of large methane-filled craters and a the region has been rocked by series of violent explosions.
/know/read.php?itemid=19584

How Toxic Waste Sites Run by the Pentagon Are Poisoning Americans
(TruthDig)

A detailed new report by ProPublica reveals how the US military continues to engage in unsafe methods to destroy hazardous waste at sites across the country, and how this practice is harming nearby communities. The story, which is "the first in a series examining the Pentagon's oversight of thousands of toxic sites on American soil," exposes how "outdoor burning and detonation is still the military's leading method for dealing with munitions and the associated hazardous waste."
/know/read.php?itemid=19574

Open Burns, Ill Winds: Bombs in Our Backyard
(Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & PBS News Hour)

More than 30 years ago, Congress banned US industries from disposing of hazardous waste in "open burns" because uncontrolled incineration created unacceptable health and environmental risks. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators, filters, and smokestacks to meet strict limits on emissions. The Pentagon and its contractors received a temporary reprieve to continue burning military waste. That exemption has remained in place ever since.
/know/read.php?itemid=19576

'Liberation' from Militants Leaves Devastation in Mosul
(Susannah George  / Associated Press & Jugal K. Patel and Time Wallace / The New York Times)

There was a smell of death in Mosul's Old City when Ayman Hashem came back this week to see what happened to his home. His neighborhood was unrecognizable. "All that's left is rubble and the bodies of families trapped underneath," the 23-year-old said.
/know/read.php?itemid=19572

Bombing the Rubble: America's Empire of Destruction
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch )

If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble. It's been a painfully apt term since September 11, 2001. In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful: rubblize and rubblization. Let me explain what I mean. In recent weeks, another major city in Iraq has officially been "liberated" -- meaning: more than a million people were uprooted and major portions of the ancient city were turned into rubble.
/know/read.php?itemid=19567

Interior Selling off Public Lands as Farmers Raise Solar Panels to Block Oil Pipeline
(Greenpeace & Phil McKenna / Nation of Change)

The Interior Department are currently reviewing the status of national monuments, marine sanctuaries, and protections from offshore oil and gas drilling, potentially opening up new drilling activity in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Meanwhile, Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is meeting almost exclusively with fossil fuel lobbyists, ignoring the voices of people in this country.
/know/read.php?itemid=19568

[view all land impact items] 

MARINE AND WATER IMPACTS

Government Whistleblower Sounds the Alarm as Alaskan Villages Are Threatened by Climate Change
(John Light / The Washington Post & Joel Clement / Washington Post )

The rapidly warming Arctic means that dozens of villages inhabited by Alaskan native peoples need to relocate -- but the money isn't there. Meanwhile, a scientist looking for a way to help Alaska Natives whose villages are sinking was reassigned by the Trump administration to a job collecting royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.
/know/read.php?itemid=19582

Trump Ignores Climate Change as Seas Threaten to Swallow Alaskan Villages
(John Light / The Washington Post)

Even as the Trump administration struggles to determine how fully to lean into its climate denial, Americans in the Arctic are facing the disruptive effects of three record-breakingly warm years following decades of rising temperatures, rising seas and melting permafrost. The planet's poles are warming at roughly twice the rate of everywhere else, and in the Arctic, evidence was especially clear.
/know/read.php?itemid=19583

Apocalypse in the Arctic: All Hell Breaks Loose as the Tundra Thaws
(Jeremy Plester / The Guardian & Kevin Loria / Business Insider & The Siberian Times)

Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. A recent heat wave in Siberia's frozen wastes has triggered a massive melting of the region's permafrost and triggered outbreaks of deadly anthrax, which hadn't been seen in the region for 75 years. At the same time, local residents -- and scientists -- have been startled by the appearance of large methane-filled craters and a the region has been rocked by series of violent explosions.
/know/read.php?itemid=19584

How Toxic Waste Sites Run by the Pentagon Are Poisoning Americans
(TruthDig)

A detailed new report by ProPublica reveals how the US military continues to engage in unsafe methods to destroy hazardous waste at sites across the country, and how this practice is harming nearby communities. The story, which is "the first in a series examining the Pentagon's oversight of thousands of toxic sites on American soil," exposes how "outdoor burning and detonation is still the military's leading method for dealing with munitions and the associated hazardous waste."
/know/read.php?itemid=19574

Open Burns, Ill Winds: Bombs in Our Backyard
(Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & PBS News Hour)

More than 30 years ago, Congress banned US industries from disposing of hazardous waste in "open burns" because uncontrolled incineration created unacceptable health and environmental risks. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators, filters, and smokestacks to meet strict limits on emissions. The Pentagon and its contractors received a temporary reprieve to continue burning military waste. That exemption has remained in place ever since.
/know/read.php?itemid=19576

Inspiring Water Win in New Zealand
(Greenpeace New Zealand )

With our rivers crashing, farmers urgently need cleaner ways of farming. The good news is that sustainable solutions exist. Watch our beautiful new short film: The Regenerators: A Better Way of Farming Related update: Hawke's Bay Regional Council appears to have hammered the last nail in the coffin of the Ruataniwha Irrigation Dam. Councillors confirmed that they will not be using the Public Works Act to grab the land needed to make the dam a reality.
/know/read.php?itemid=19545

122 Nations Set to Approve Nuclear Weapons Ban: US Boycotts Meeting
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Edith M. Lederer / The Associated Press)

After protracted international talks, an estimated 129 nations are set to sign a global ban on nuclear weapons -- the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than 20 years. Unfortunately, it won't involve any actual disarmament. Why? Because every single nuclear weapons-having nation on the planet (Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and the US) has boycotted the effort, along with the entire NATO alliance -- except for the Netherlands.
/know/read.php?itemid=19512

Trump's Administration Pursues Radical Expansion of Offshore Oil Drilling
(Shiva Polefka / ThinkProgress)

New offshore oil drilling in Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific may be the next phase in Donald Trump's new "energy dominance" strategy. Despite the risk of massive oil spills, mounting bipartisan opposition, and growing public concern, Trump's Department of Interior is moving forward with offshore drilling plans. EarthJustice attorney Erik Grafe has vowed: "We will resist this attempt to sacrifice the health of our coastal communities, wildlife and climate all for the benefit of the oil industry."
/know/read.php?itemid=19510

[view all marine and water impact items] 

OIL AND ITS ALTERNATIVES

Why James Cromwell Faces Arrest, Jail to Oppose Fossil Fuels
(Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)

Actor James Cromwell was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the hit movie "Babe," and throughout his career for numerous Emmys. But on a cold December day in 2015, the drama he participated in was no act. Cromwell and five others were arrested in upstate Wawayanda, New York, protesting against the construction of a 650-megawatt fracked gas power plant. He and two others refused to pay their fines and were sentenced to a week behind bars.
/know/read.php?itemid=19585

ACTION ALERT: Trump and Perry Planning to Cut Clean Energy Funding by 70%
(Public Citizen & NRDC & Nation of Change & League of Conservation Voters)

The bipartisan Energy and Natural Resources Act is supposed to be voted on in the Senate this week has been called "a pro-fracking giveaway to oil and gas interests that would commit America to decades more of dangerous fossil fuel dependence." In a statement opposing the bill Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders declared: "Our job is to move away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy and energy efficiency. This bill does the opposite."
/know/read.php?itemid=19578

Climate Scientist Blows the Whistle after Trump Administration Tries to Silence Him
(Walter Einenkel / The Daily Kos)

Joel Clement used to be the director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the US Interior Department. Last week, Mr. Clement lost his job and Wednesday he became a whistleblower on the Trump administration and their practice of trying to silence facts and reality. In an op-ed written over at the Washington Post, Clement explains how things have changed since Trump and his fossil-fueled cabinet appointments took over.
/know/read.php?itemid=19577

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Trump/McConnell Fracking Bill
(Food and Water Watch & Common Dreams)

The US Senate is poised to make this hot, dirty summer even worse. As fossil-fueled heat waves bring wildfires, drought, and killer storms to the nation, Donald Trump continues to stack his administration with fossil-fuel lobbyists and climate change deniers. Now our allies on Capitol Hill warn us that Mitch McConnell will try to pass a pro-fracking, pro-drilling, pro-coal energy bill next week to give Trump and the Kochs a much-needed victory.
/know/read.php?itemid=19566

Interior Selling off Public Lands as Farmers Raise Solar Panels to Block Oil Pipeline
(Greenpeace & Phil McKenna / Nation of Change)

The Interior Department are currently reviewing the status of national monuments, marine sanctuaries, and protections from offshore oil and gas drilling, potentially opening up new drilling activity in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Meanwhile, Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is meeting almost exclusively with fossil fuel lobbyists, ignoring the voices of people in this country.
/know/read.php?itemid=19568

Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' Sequel to Include Trump's Exit From Paris Accord
(Dave McNary and Ricardo Lopez / Variety & Democracy Now!)

Al Gore's new climate-change documentary, "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" will get a last-minute edit to incorporate Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement. Paramount said the filmmakers have revised the movie to include Trump's controversial move. "An Inconvenient Sequel" is slated for release July 28.
/know/read.php?itemid=19558

California Extends Landmark Climate Change Law; The Age of the Gas Guzzlers Is Ending
(Jonathan J. Cooper / Associated Press & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

California lawmakers voted Monday to extend a climate change initiative that Governor Jerry Brown holds up as a model for states and nations looking to lower carbon emissions. Brown's signature will add another decade of life to the state's cap-and-trade program, bolstering the Democratic governor's quest to portray California as a leader in the fight against climate change at a time when Donald Trump is pulling back and gas-powered cars are about to pass from the scene.
/know/read.php?itemid=19556

ACTION ALERT: Mitch McConnell's Dirty Energy Bill
(Mark Ruffalo and Fisher Stevens / The New York Daily News)

Commentary: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has devised to kill three birds with one dirty energy bill: a legislative victory, a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry, and paving the way to pass Trumpcare after. McConnell is rushing the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 to the floor as early as next week, foregoing committees and hearings. The massive, 850-plus-page energy bill includes much of the fossil fuel industry's wish list.
/know/read.php?itemid=19551

[view all oil and alternatives items] 

 

MILITARISM AND CIVIL LIBERTIES

Why James Cromwell Faces Arrest, Jail to Oppose Fossil Fuels
(Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Nation of Change)

Actor James Cromwell was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the hit movie "Babe," and throughout his career for numerous Emmys. But on a cold December day in 2015, the drama he participated in was no act. Cromwell and five others were arrested in upstate Wawayanda, New York, protesting against the construction of a 650-megawatt fracked gas power plant. He and two others refused to pay their fines and were sentenced to a week behind bars.
/know/read.php?itemid=19585

"Missile Defense Will Protect You," Missile Builders Assure USA Today Readers
(Jim Naureckas / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting & "Jennifer Sinco Kelleher / Associated Press)

"US Missile Defense Plans to Zap North Korean Threats" was the headline of a USA Today story on July 17, 2017. Strikingly, the piece contains no sources at all substantiating the chilling claim that "North Korea may be only a year or so away" from having missiles that "can hit anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead." The Aerospace Security Project, a pro-missile lobbying group, assures the public that spending $3 billion on their weapons will somehow provide security against a nuclear attack.
/know/read.php?itemid=19579

ACTION ALERT: Peace Economies, Perpetual Wars, and the Pentagon Budget: A Webinar
(Code Pink & Nation of Change & Win Without War)

The Trump administration has proposed an increase in the military budget of at least $54 billion dollars, making it more than $600 billion a year. This is more than half of federal discretionary funds! It's no wonder we don't have money to address the crisis of global warming, build effective public transportation systems, institute a Medicare-for-All health system, or provide the free college education that all our youth deserve.
/know/read.php?itemid=19580

Report: Troops in Cameroon Tortured and Killed Prisoners At US Base
(Robert Trafford and Nick Turse / The Intercept)

Troops in the West African nation of Cameroon have tortured prisoners at a remote military base that is also used by US personnel and private contractors for drone surveillance and training missions. As the US military has fortified the Cameroonian site, known as Salak, and supported the elite local troops based there, the outpost reportedly has become the scene of illegal imprisonment, brutal torture, and even killings.
/know/read.php?itemid=19570

Tillerson to Shutter State Department War Crimes Office
(Colum Lynch / Foreign Policy)

Critics have charged the US Secretary of State with giving the green light to perpetrators of mass atrocities. Rex Tillerson reportedly is set to downgrade the US campaign against war crimes by closing an office that worked for 20 years to hold war criminals accountable. "This is a very harsh signal to the rest of the world that the US is essentially downgrading the importance of accountability for the commission of atrocity crimes," says Northwestern University law professor David Scheffer.
/know/read.php?itemid=19571

Bombing the Rubble: America's Empire of Destruction
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch )

If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble. It's been a painfully apt term since September 11, 2001. In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful: rubblize and rubblization. Let me explain what I mean. In recent weeks, another major city in Iraq has officially been "liberated" -- meaning: more than a million people were uprooted and major portions of the ancient city were turned into rubble.
/know/read.php?itemid=19567

Washington's "Defense" Establishment Needs Rent Control
(Jason Sibert / The Progressive Populist )

In the discipline of economics, the term rent means more than a payment to a landlord. Making a profit from the sale of goods or services in a free market is different from rent, which is extracted from the public by entities who hold monopoly rights or something close to it. The military-industrial complex extracts larger rents from the American taxpayer than justified. In 2015, Raytheon -- the world's leading producer of guided missiles -- received 90% of its revenues from the federal government.
/know/read.php?itemid=19569

Trump Ends Covert CIA Program to Arm anti-Assad Rebels
(Greg Jaffe and Adam Entour / The Washington Post)

Donald Trump has decided to end the CIA's covert program to arm and train "moderate" Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad -- a move long sought by Russia, The program was a central plank of the Obama administration to pressure Assad, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later. Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump's interest in finding ways to work with Russia.
/know/read.php?itemid=19561

[view all militarism items] 

WEAPONS OF WAR

"Missile Defense Will Protect You," Missile Builders Assure USA Today Readers
(Jim Naureckas / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting & "Jennifer Sinco Kelleher / Associated Press)

"US Missile Defense Plans to Zap North Korean Threats" was the headline of a USA Today story on July 17, 2017. Strikingly, the piece contains no sources at all substantiating the chilling claim that "North Korea may be only a year or so away" from having missiles that "can hit anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead." The Aerospace Security Project, a pro-missile lobbying group, assures the public that spending $3 billion on their weapons will somehow provide security against a nuclear attack.
/know/read.php?itemid=19579

Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare
(Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)

As a backdrop to the Russia-gate hysteria and the heightened fear of China is a budget war over how much US taxpayer money to pour into space warfare. There's a civil war being fought in our capital. It pits the Secretary of Defense and senior generals against a bipartisan band of militant legislators who accuse the Pentagon of standing pat while Russian and China work to achieve military superiority over the US in space. These macho posturing for new war-fighting capabilities in space are deeply destabilizing.
/know/read.php?itemid=19581

Open Burns, Ill Winds: Bombs in Our Backyard
(Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & PBS News Hour)

More than 30 years ago, Congress banned US industries from disposing of hazardous waste in "open burns" because uncontrolled incineration created unacceptable health and environmental risks. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators, filters, and smokestacks to meet strict limits on emissions. The Pentagon and its contractors received a temporary reprieve to continue burning military waste. That exemption has remained in place ever since.
/know/read.php?itemid=19576

Trump Threatens Iran Nuke Agreement: Iran May Abandon Deal in Face of Major US Violation
(Mehr News Agency & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mohammad Zargham and Steve Holland / Reuters)

Less than 24 hours after formally certifying Iran's compliance with the P5+1 nuclear deal, the Trump Administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Iran, nominally for having a ballistic missile program. This bizarre disconnect between reality and policy was prefaced by the White House, which simultaneously confirmed Iran's compliance and threatened that Iran "won't go unpunished" for non-specific allegations.
/know/read.php?itemid=19557

US Deploys Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Baltics for First Time
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Andrius Sytas / Reuters)

Lithuania's Defense Ministry has made a surprise announcement today that the United States has deployed an unspecified number of Patriot missile batteries into Lithuania, nominally for a military drill that is ongoing for the next two weeks.
/know/read.php?itemid=19537

Pentagon Announces $9 Billion in New War Profits for Lockheed
(Mike Stone / Reuters & Oriana Pawlyk / DODBuzz)

In late June, Lockheed Martin Corp's Sikorsky Aircraft Corp subsidiary was awarded a US Army contract worth $3.8 billion for Black Hawk helicopters for sale to Saudi Arabia. In early July, the DoD awarded Lockheed a $4.49 billion "undefinitized" contract to continue producing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters even as it continues to negotiate a price for the jets.
/know/read.php?itemid=19529

A Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty -- Rx for Survival
(Robert Dodge / AntiWar.com)

Nuclear weapons have threatened humanity for 72 years, ultimately becoming the greatest eminent threat to our survival. This past Friday, July 7, nuclear weapons at long last joined the ranks of other weapons of mass destruction including biologic and chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions in being banned and declared illegal under international treaty law. The UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
/know/read.php?itemid=19524

North Korea Isn't the Only Rogue Nuclear State
(Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone)

North Korea's loony regime of Kim Jong-un conducted a successful missile launch test -- landing about 60 miles south of the Russian city of Vladivostok, according to some reports -- marking a frightening nuclear escalation that has heightened tensions across the planet. That this first serious confrontation in ages is happening now is ironic, given that a little-reported showdown about the use of nuclear power will soon take place in the UN.
/know/read.php?itemid=19518

[view all weapons items] 

 

 

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