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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 Sanctions North Korea for Seeking Peace; US Threatens Iraq for Buying Russian Missiles (PressTV)
Seemingly eager to provoke conflict, the Trump administration is reportedly set to unveil a large package of sanctions against North Korea, even as Pyongyang is continuing to engage its main rival Seoul in pursuit of peace. In another instance of "bully politics," the US has warned Iraq (and a number of other countries) "consequences" of purchasing weapons from Russia instead of the US. Case in point: Iraq's move to purchase S-400 surface-to-air missile defense systems from Russia instead of Washington.

Court Determines Military Burn Pits Caused Lung Disease in Service Members (Perry Chiaramonte / Fox News)
The tens of thousands of US military personnel and private contractors whose health was compromised by the dense black smoke from burn pits -- and who were then denied proper treatment -- may finally be vindicated by a recent court ruling. A judge has ruled that open-air burn pits -- where thousands of chemicals were released into the air when trash and other waste were incinerated at American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are connected to lung disease.

Gun Violence as State-Sponsored Domestic Terrorism (Rabbi Michael Lerner / The Network of Spiritual Progressives & Henry A. Giroux /Tikkun Magazine)
There are 300 million guns in the United States and, since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 young children and 6 teachers a decade ago, 11,000 more children have died of gun violence. There is no defense for putting the policies of the NRA ahead of the lives of children. Today, in Washington and many US states, criminal acts often pass for legislative policies.

Does Peace Need a Business Plan? (David Swanson / David Swanson.org)
Analysis: Scilla Elworthy has proposed a "budget for peace" that focuses on positive policies governments should pursue (while attempting to replace oligarchic, militaristic governments). Her total budget is less then $200 million per year -- a relatively miniscule expense (a mere 0.01 percent of the roughly $2 trillion spent on war and war preparations by the world's governments every year). It's a good beginning but the plan needs work.

Anti-Drone Billboards Pop Up in Syracuse; Encounter Censorship Elsewhere (David Swanson / World Beyond War)
World Beyond War has been raising funds for and renting billboards in opposition to war. We've run into censorship from numerous billboard companies but persevered, and more billboards are on their way. We're currently putting these two new billboards in Syracuse, New York, where drone pilots participate in US wars from Hancock Air Base.

The Environmental Consequences of the Use of Armed Drones (Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor / Reaching Critical Will & Toxic Remnants of War)
To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights, on the expansion of the use of force into new contexts, and on the imbalances created by the newfound ability to project violence at a distance. Largely missing from the debate over the use of drones are concerns about the environmental and derived humanitarian impacts of drone operations. For starters, the use of these explosive weapons has the capacity to generate toxic remnants.

A Secret Nuclear-Powered US Military Base to Be Revealed as the Arctic Melts (Kate Lunau / Motherboard @ VICE.com)
At the height of the Cold War, the US built a top-secret nuclear missile site beneath the Greenland ice sheet. The US abandoned the base, believing it would remain a secret but, as the Arctic melts, the base -- and its wastes -- are coming back to haunt the present. The question of who should take responsibility for Camp Century's radioactive wastes has become a political hot potato. At this point it isn't clear exactly who is responsible for cleaning it up.

The US Used Biowarfare on North Korea (David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Jeffrey S. Kaye / INSURGE intelligence)
The US bombed North Korea flat with ordinary, non-bioweapons bombs. It ran out of standing structures to bomb. People lived in caves, if they lived. Millions died, most of them from regular old non-scandalous but mass-murderous bombs (including, of course, Napalm which melts people but doesn't give them exotic diseases). It is less known that the US tried to spread diseases like bubonic plague in North Korea. Jeffrey Kaye has just posted online an important report that has been largely unavailable for decades.

ACTION ALERT: Standing Up to the NRA: A Domestic Terrorist Organization (Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Common Defense & The Us Campaign)
Dallas is home to this year's NRA annual convention but a city council member and the mayor pro tem are urging the NRA to take its convention elsewhere. Huge protests are planned if the NRA goes forth with the convention, which would include the selling of ammunition and assault weapons. For years, the NRA has fed violent, paranoid rhetoric to their millions of members along with apocalyptic, terrorizing propaganda videos, openly threatening peaceful protesters with menacing violence.

ACTION ALERT: Guns Amok: If Congress Won't Act, Perhaps the Banks Will (Ultraviolet & NewsMax & William Cummings and Bart Jansen / USA TODAY)
Kids are being murdered and Congress has done nothing to stop the sale of these assault weapons -- they are more worried about losing their campaign contributions than people's lives. Now we're calling on Visa, Mastercard, and other credit card companies to stop allowing people to buy assault weapons with their credit cards.

Planet-killing Corporations Want Laws to Treat Eco-activists as "Terrorists" (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
Corporate polluters are comparing nonviolent environmental activists to dangerous "terrorists." In 2017, the American Legislative Exchange Council drafted model legislation calling for severe punishments for anyone caught trespassing on oil, gas or chemical company lands. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act even includes a clause that any "conspirator" organization would be fined 10 times more than the trespasser, opening the door to crippling penalties for environmental groups like Greenpeace.

ACTION ALERT: A Letter to the Taliban and a Letter to Donald Trump (David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & The Action Network)
Advice to the Taliban: Research shows that nonviolent movements are more than twice as likely to succeed. "As long as you allow yourselves to be depicted as viciously violent, you will be a highly profitable advertisement for US weapons makers and US politicians." Advice to Trump: During each of the past 15 years, Washington has informed us that success was imminent. During each of the past 15 years, Afghanistan has continued its descent into poverty, violence, environmental degradation, and instability.

End the "Proxy War" in Syria Before the Entire Region Is Engulfed in Flames (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Amos Harel / Haaretz & Jeffrey D. Sachs / Informed Comment, Common Dreams)
The US government mischaracterizes the war as a civil war among Syrians, rather than a proxy war involving the US, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Qatar. With Assad's advances, the civil war and America's reduced involvement in the region, Israel has been forced to make significant changes in its policies in the Golan Heights. Faced with an alarming risk of a renewed escalation of fighting, it's time for the United Nations Security Council to step in and end the bloodshed.

The Cost of Washington's 17-year 'Global War on Terror': $5.6 Trillion (Stephanie Savell / TomDispatch )
17 years after the war on terror began, it's a topic that seems to fire relatively few of us up, much less send us into the streets, Vietnam-style, to protest. As those wars are approaching the end of their second decade, most of us don't even think of ourselves as "at war." But we are, and it has cost both lives and treasure. The Costs of War Project has come up with a comprehensive estimate of what the war on terror has actually cost this country since 2001: an extraordinary $5.6 trillion.

14 Environmental Programs Eliminated in Trump's Budget Proposal (John R. Platt / The Revelatory)
President Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2019 on Monday, and in the process pushed for the complete elimination of more than a dozen key environmental programs. These include, but are not limited to, areas of the government focusing on climate change, public lands and energy efficiency. Trump's proposal also drastically slashes the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies critical to a sustainable future.

Demanding Justice: Indigenous Women In Guatemala Battle Canadian Mining Giant (Heather Gies / Upside Down World)
Elena Choc Quib, a unilingual Q'eqchi' speaker from a remote village in rural Guatemala, never imagined travelling outside her country, let alone boarding a plane to Toronto. But everything changed when she and 10 other women were gang raped during a violent eviction more than a decade ago, allegedly on behalf of a formerly Canadian-owned nickel mine.

Playing by the Rules? Nuclear Powers Could Learn from Olympic Athletes and Fans (Marilyn Langlois / TRANSCEND Media Service)
Commentary: "The US, the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons, subjecting the people of Japan to unspeakable horrors, is quick to assume a holier-than-thou attitude when proclaiming who else is allowed and who is not allowed to develop, possess, and upgrade these killing machines. The world's stockpile of nukes could destroy humanity many times over."

ACTION ALERT: The GOP the NRA and Mass Murder: The Proven Solution in Gun Control (Robert Reich & Dan Rathert & YES! Magazine & VoteVets)
This week, 17 teachers, students, and visitors died in a Florida high school, in a country where mass shootings have been devastatingly routine. Background checks and gun control have proven effective at reducing gun suicides and domestic shootings (both very worthwhile goals), but not the gun homicides or mass shootings such remedies are invoked to redress. But the last 25 years have seen massive declines in gun homicides in New York, California, and Texas -- all states with strict gun-control laws.

1.7 Million Afghans Preparing to Sue the US for War Crimes (teleSUR)
More than one million statements from Afghan people and organizations have been submitted to the International Criminal Court alleging war crimes were committed by several actors in the country including the US military, the CIA, Afghan forces and the Taliban, local groups working with the Hague-based tribunal. The Kabul-based Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization reports that 1.17 million statements have been submitted to the court over the past three months.

In Florida, It's Easier to Buy a Gun than to Vote (Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Heather Dockray and Andrea Romano / Mashable.com)
The United States, which has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, makes it surprisingly easy to buy an assault weapon. In Florida, it's harder to get birth control and purchase over the counter medications, such as Sudafed, than it is to buy a gun.

ACTION ALERT: Student-Shooting Survivors Give Voice to Their Outrage (Julie Turkewitz, Matt Stevens and Jason M. Bailey / The New York Times & Emma Gonzalez)
Commentary: "If the President wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the NRA? . . . . I already know. $30 million. And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the US in the one and one-half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump?"

ACTION ALERT: There Are Many Bills in Congress To Reduce Gun Violence -- And The GOP Has Blocked Them All (Senator Elizabeth Warren & CREDO Action )
Democrats have bills to ban assault weapons but the Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House. Even when kids die every day in deliberate shootings, accidental shootings, drive-by shootings, and random shootings, the Republicans have blocked even the tiniest gun reform laws to protect our children and communities.

Pentagon Gets Billions as Older Defense Industry Workers Lose Jobs and Benefits (Stephen Miles / Inkstick Media & Peter Whoriskey / The Week)
The Pentagon's budget is $700 billion for this 2018 and $716 billion for 2019. Senate Chair John McCain declared that without these funds "our military would not be able to defend the nation." (Give the military $620 billion and they're helpless but give them 8% more and everything will be ok?) Meanwhile, McDonnell-Douglas, a major defense contractor, has set enacted cost-saving measures that involve shutting plants to deny pensions to aging members of its workforce -- forcing many workers into bankruptcy.

We Can Avoid War with North Korea -- If We Listen to Women Peacemakers (Erica Fein / Ms. Magazine Blog & Cindy Sheehan's Soap Box)
The US and North Korea have been at war for 67 years. Since 1953, a united Korea -- that had existed for well over a thousand years -- has given way to a stark division. Conventional thinking isn't just continuing the status quo -- it's putting us on a path to renewed war. If we want to truly achieve peace, we must listen to the voices of those who have witnessed the human costs of war on the Korean Peninsula. And, on all sides of the negotiating table, women must be heard.

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GENERAL IMPACTS

Big Oil Continues to Lie about Climate Change While Its Critics Are Strong-armed and Silenced
(Elliott Negin / EcoWatch)

ExxonMobil is still very much engaged in trying to stymie any government attempt to seriously address climate change. Meanwhile, Lissa Lucas, a West Virginia resident who is running for a House seat, traveled over 100 miles to testify against an oil-and-gas-industry sponsored bill. She was physically removed from the podium when she began listing oil lobbyists' contributions to local politicians.
/know/read.php?itemid=20416

Trump's Budget Proposal Includes Major Cuts to Environmental Programs
(Mythili Sampathkumar / The Independent)

Donald Trump's budget proposal includes steep cuts to -- or the complete elimination of -- many critical;y important environmental programs. This comes despite a deal made in Congress last week that added hundreds of billions of dollars in new, general funding to the federal budget. Trump's proposed budget reflects many of the priorities outlined in the first proposal submitted last April. Called the "skinny budget," it focused heavily on military spending. Congress must still debate, amend and approve the budget.
/know/read.php?itemid=20405

ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Doctrine Called a "Roadmap to Nuclear War"
(The Basel Peace Office, Abolition 2000, Sen. Edward J Markey et al.)

The Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review has been criticized as a "roadmap to nuclear war" that calls for developing new low-yield "tactical" nuclear weapons and increases the role of nuclear weapons in US military planning by lowering the bar on the threats that could trigger a nuclear war. It backs a modernization of the existing nuclear arsenal that would increase the nuclear weapons budget by $60 billion per year.
/know/read.php?itemid=20364

ACTION ALERT: New Trump Nuclear Policy Veers into Dangerous Territory
(Martin Fleck / Physicians for Social Responsibility)

The Huffington Post has leaked a draft of the Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review. The NPR, which officially defines the role of US nuclear weapons, dangerously increases reliance on nuclear weapons rather than pursuing diplomacy to prevent conflict and move towards arms reductions. Help PSR hold our government accountable in calling this reckless policy unacceptable.
/know/read.php?itemid=20343

Heatwaves and Fires: Hell on Earth for Australia's Wildlife
(International Fund for Animal Wildlife & National Geographic & Nikkei Asian Review)

After an intense heat wave in Australia which spiked past 117°F this month, the animal death toll in New South Wales is climbing. The extreme heat and bushfires in New South Wales, Australia are scorching animals' homes. Helpless animals have been left orphaned and suffering from heat exhaustion, starvation and burns. Your urgently needed gift can help save suffering wildlife in New South Wales, Australia and animals in need throughout the world.
/know/read.php?itemid=20340

Atomic 'Doomsday Clock' Now One Minute Closer to Nuclear Midnight
(Doyle Rice / USA TODAY)

"Because of the extraordinary danger of the current moment, the Science and Security Board today moves the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to catastrophe," said Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "This is the closest the Clock has ever been to Doomsday, and as close as it was in 1953, at the height of the Cold War."
/know/read.php?itemid=20327

ACTION ALERT: Legislation to Prevent Trump from Starting Nuclear War Introduced as 'Doomsday Clock' Nears Midnight
(Basel Peace Office & Hon. Edward J. Markey / US Senate)

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists today moved the hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight, indicating that the world is the closest to possible nuclear Armageddon since the height of the Cold War. Now 22 Senators say US commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons -- not the creation of new, more "usable" weapons -- should be core components of Nuclear Posture Review.
/know/read.php?itemid=20328

A Troubling Series of False Nuclear Missile Alarms: From Hawaii, Japan, and the Pentagon
(Lucy Steigerwald / Foundation for Economic Education & The Associated Press & Alex Ward / VOX News)

On January 13, residents of Hawaii were terrified by a text message that said a missile was heading their way, and they should "seek shelter immediately." On January 17, the Japan Broadcasting Corp. issued an erroneous alert about a North Korean missile fired at Japan. On January 15, the Pentagon tweeted false report claiming that the US maintains "secret silos" for its nuclear warheads and has "B-1 bombers that can drop them from the air." Should the survival of humanity hinge on bureaucratic protocols?
/know/read.php?itemid=20312

[view all general impact items] 

HUMAN IMPACTS

Court Determines Military Burn Pits Caused Lung Disease in Service Members
(Perry Chiaramonte / Fox News)

The tens of thousands of US military personnel and private contractors whose health was compromised by the dense black smoke from burn pits -- and who were then denied proper treatment -- may finally be vindicated by a recent court ruling. A judge has ruled that open-air burn pits -- where thousands of chemicals were released into the air when trash and other waste were incinerated at American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are connected to lung disease.
/know/read.php?itemid=20446

Gun Violence as State-Sponsored Domestic Terrorism
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / The Network of Spiritual Progressives & Henry A. Giroux /Tikkun Magazine)

There are 300 million guns in the United States and, since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 young children and 6 teachers a decade ago, 11,000 more children have died of gun violence. There is no defense for putting the policies of the NRA ahead of the lives of children. Today, in Washington and many US states, criminal acts often pass for legislative policies.
/know/read.php?itemid=20447

Anti-Drone Billboards Pop Up in Syracuse; Encounter Censorship Elsewhere
(David Swanson / World Beyond War)

World Beyond War has been raising funds for and renting billboards in opposition to war. We've run into censorship from numerous billboard companies but persevered, and more billboards are on their way. We're currently putting these two new billboards in Syracuse, New York, where drone pilots participate in US wars from Hancock Air Base.
/know/read.php?itemid=20441

The Environmental Consequences of the Use of Armed Drones
(Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor / Reaching Critical Will & Toxic Remnants of War)

To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights, on the expansion of the use of force into new contexts, and on the imbalances created by the newfound ability to project violence at a distance. Largely missing from the debate over the use of drones are concerns about the environmental and derived humanitarian impacts of drone operations. For starters, the use of these explosive weapons has the capacity to generate toxic remnants.
/know/read.php?itemid=20442

ACTION ALERT: Standing Up to the NRA: A Domestic Terrorist Organization
(Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Common Defense & The Us Campaign)

Dallas is home to this year's NRA annual convention but a city council member and the mayor pro tem are urging the NRA to take its convention elsewhere. Huge protests are planned if the NRA goes forth with the convention, which would include the selling of ammunition and assault weapons. For years, the NRA has fed violent, paranoid rhetoric to their millions of members along with apocalyptic, terrorizing propaganda videos, openly threatening peaceful protesters with menacing violence.
/know/read.php?itemid=20437

ACTION ALERT: Guns Amok: If Congress Won't Act, Perhaps the Banks Will
(Ultraviolet & NewsMax & William Cummings and Bart Jansen / USA TODAY)

Kids are being murdered and Congress has done nothing to stop the sale of these assault weapons -- they are more worried about losing their campaign contributions than people's lives. Now we're calling on Visa, Mastercard, and other credit card companies to stop allowing people to buy assault weapons with their credit cards.
/know/read.php?itemid=20438

Planet-killing Corporations Want Laws to Treat Eco-activists as "Terrorists"
(Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)

Corporate polluters are comparing nonviolent environmental activists to dangerous "terrorists." In 2017, the American Legislative Exchange Council drafted model legislation calling for severe punishments for anyone caught trespassing on oil, gas or chemical company lands. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act even includes a clause that any "conspirator" organization would be fined 10 times more than the trespasser, opening the door to crippling penalties for environmental groups like Greenpeace.
/know/read.php?itemid=20439

14 Environmental Programs Eliminated in Trump's Budget Proposal
(John R. Platt / The Revelatory)

President Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2019 on Monday, and in the process pushed for the complete elimination of more than a dozen key environmental programs. These include, but are not limited to, areas of the government focusing on climate change, public lands and energy efficiency. Trump's proposal also drastically slashes the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies critical to a sustainable future.
/know/read.php?itemid=20435

[view all human impact items] 

LAND IMPACTS

Court Determines Military Burn Pits Caused Lung Disease in Service Members
(Perry Chiaramonte / Fox News)

The tens of thousands of US military personnel and private contractors whose health was compromised by the dense black smoke from burn pits -- and who were then denied proper treatment -- may finally be vindicated by a recent court ruling. A judge has ruled that open-air burn pits -- where thousands of chemicals were released into the air when trash and other waste were incinerated at American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are connected to lung disease.
/know/read.php?itemid=20446

The Environmental Consequences of the Use of Armed Drones
(Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor / Reaching Critical Will & Toxic Remnants of War)

To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights, on the expansion of the use of force into new contexts, and on the imbalances created by the newfound ability to project violence at a distance. Largely missing from the debate over the use of drones are concerns about the environmental and derived humanitarian impacts of drone operations. For starters, the use of these explosive weapons has the capacity to generate toxic remnants.
/know/read.php?itemid=20442

A Secret Nuclear-Powered US Military Base to Be Revealed as the Arctic Melts
(Kate Lunau / Motherboard @ VICE.com)

At the height of the Cold War, the US built a top-secret nuclear missile site beneath the Greenland ice sheet. The US abandoned the base, believing it would remain a secret but, as the Arctic melts, the base -- and its wastes -- are coming back to haunt the present. The question of who should take responsibility for Camp Century's radioactive wastes has become a political hot potato. At this point it isn't clear exactly who is responsible for cleaning it up.
/know/read.php?itemid=20443

14 Environmental Programs Eliminated in Trump's Budget Proposal
(John R. Platt / The Revelatory)

President Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2019 on Monday, and in the process pushed for the complete elimination of more than a dozen key environmental programs. These include, but are not limited to, areas of the government focusing on climate change, public lands and energy efficiency. Trump's proposal also drastically slashes the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies critical to a sustainable future.
/know/read.php?itemid=20435

Demanding Justice: Indigenous Women In Guatemala Battle Canadian Mining Giant
(Heather Gies / Upside Down World)

Elena Choc Quib, a unilingual Q'eqchi' speaker from a remote village in rural Guatemala, never imagined travelling outside her country, let alone boarding a plane to Toronto. But everything changed when she and 10 other women were gang raped during a violent eviction more than a decade ago, allegedly on behalf of a formerly Canadian-owned nickel mine.
/know/read.php?itemid=20436

Remembering Vietnam 50 Years On
(Peter Berres / The Lexington Herald-Leader & Jordan Travis / The Traverse City Record-Eagle & Alastair Crooke / Consortium News)

January 30 was the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, an attack by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces that inflicted heavy losses on US and South Vietnamese militaries and lead to the Pentagon's ignominious retreat from the country. 50 years on, military planners appear to have learned the wrong lessons from the Vietnam War -- still focusing on war's "winnability" rather than questioning whether it makes sense to engage in it all.
/know/read.php?itemid=20412

Iran Claims "No Permanent Bases" Inside Syria: The US Has Built At Least 8
(Muraselon: The Syrian Reporter & Agnes Helou / Defense News & Inside Syria Media Center)

Senior Advisor to the Iranian Parliament Speaker Hossein Amir Abdollahian dismissed media reports claiming that Tehran has set up military bases in Syria, but meantime, confirmed the country's advisory role. Meanwhile, a military "base race" is underway between Russia and the US as each nation seeks to expand its presence inside Syria. While Russia was invited into Syria; the US occupies the country illegally and is in further violation of international law by constructing US-controlled bases inside Syria.
/know/read.php?itemid=20395

ACTION ALERT: Stop NBC's Winter Olympics Whiteout
(Public Citizen & Kendra Pierre-Louis / The New York Times & Henry Fountain / The New York Times)

Jessie Diggins is a cross-country skier on the American women's team. Diggins is also an advocate for climate action. Yesterday, another Olympian spoke out about the need for immediate climate action. The New York Times told this story. But NBC -- the official network of the Winter Olympics -- did not. In fact, NBC has been silent on the ways climate change is impacting the Winter Olympics and its athletes. We no longer can talk about winter without talking about global warming.
/know/read.php?itemid=20386

[view all land impact items] 

MARINE AND WATER IMPACTS

14 Environmental Programs Eliminated in Trump's Budget Proposal
(John R. Platt / The Revelatory)

President Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2019 on Monday, and in the process pushed for the complete elimination of more than a dozen key environmental programs. These include, but are not limited to, areas of the government focusing on climate change, public lands and energy efficiency. Trump's proposal also drastically slashes the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies critical to a sustainable future.
/know/read.php?itemid=20435

ACTION ALERT: A Call for the Baltic Sea to Become a "Sea of Peace"
(Women for Peace, Sweden & Physicians for Social Responsibility, Finland, et al)

We, the organizations and movements that have signed this letter are extremely concerned about the deepening crisis between the United States, EU and Russia and about the rapidly advancing militarization of the Baltic Sea. The hope that awoke with the end of the 'old' Cold War is increasingly waning, and worryingly the lessons of the Cold War that brought mankind and the planet to the brink of nuclear destruction have been all but forgotten.
/know/read.php?itemid=20388

Trump's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Law, Could Lead to Extinction of Polar Bears
(Sabrina Shankman / InsideClimate News & Zahid Mahmood / CNN)

A new study warns that polar bears are starving as a result of fossil-fuel-driven climate change and could face extinction faster than previously thought. Meanwhile, Earthjustice and other groups warn that a proposed National Petroleum Reserve lease sale failed to consider how burning the fossil fuels might impact climate change. There is also concern that the areas made available for leasing included the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, which is among the largest and most ecologically significant wetlands in the world.
/know/read.php?itemid=20365

FEMA to Abandon Puerto Rico: Bernie Sanders Proposes Billion-dollar Program to Solarize the Island
(Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Senator Elizabeth Warren & Julia Conley / Common Dreams & EcoWatch)

As parts of Puerto Rico continue to struggle to recover four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced it will shut off food and water aid to the island as of Jan. 31. A third of Puerto Rico residents are still without electricity and lack access to clean water. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed a $146 billion recovery package that could lead the way for Puerto Rico to become a leader in solar power and other sustainable energy.
/know/read.php?itemid=20358

2017 Was the Hottest Year on Record for Oceans
(Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

Last year wasn't just one of the hottest years on Earth's surface, as it was the hottest year on record for the global ocean, according to a new study from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP)/Chinese Academy of Science. Researchers Lijing Cheng and Jiang Zhu found that the top 2,000 meters of ocean waters are hotter than ever recorded.
/know/read.php?itemid=20341

Forget Trump's Border Wall. A $14-Billion Sea Wall Is Needed to Protect Houston
(Steve Campion / KTRK Eyewitness News & Diana Budds / CO Designs & Fault Lines / Al Jazeera English)

When Hurricane Ike reached the Houston-Galveston area in 2008, it pushed a 19-foot storm surge into the Galveston Bay, causing $29 billion in damage and releasing more than 500,000 gallons of crude oil. Refineries around Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel process 40% of the US' petroleum and half of its jet fuel. Without the construction of a protective sea wall, flood waters could cause a massive disaster, spilling millions of gallons of oil and chemicals into local rivers, the bay, and the Gulf of Mexico.
/know/read.php?itemid=20330

The US Maintains More Than 800 Overseas Bases and Has a Military Presence in 172 Foreign Countries
(Alice Slater / The Nation)

On the Martin Luther King Day weekend, Baltimore University hosted more than 200 peace, environment, and social-justice activists to launch a timely new initiative -- the Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases. Ajamu Baraka, Green Party vice-presidential candidate and co-founder of the Black Alliance for Peace, opened the meeting reminding us that Rev. King, in his historic anti-war speech more than 50 years ago at Riverside Church, called the US "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."
/know/read.php?itemid=20324

Trump Calls for Unneeded and Costly Offshore Drilling While Attacking Solar Panels
(Karl Grossman / NationofChange & Yossarian Johnson / The Intellectualist)

The Trump administration's push for increased offshore drilling is completely unnecessary. The US is awash in petroleum and oil drilling in the sea ten times more costly than drilling for oil on land. Plus, renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is now well-developed and cheaper than fossil fuels. At the same time, renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is now well-developed and cheaper than fossil fuels. Trump's response? A tariff on imported solar panels that could cost 48,000 to 63,000 US jobs.
/know/read.php?itemid=20326

[view all marine and water impact items] 

OIL AND ITS ALTERNATIVES

14 Environmental Programs Eliminated in Trump's Budget Proposal
(John R. Platt / The Revelatory)

President Trump released his proposed federal budget for 2019 on Monday, and in the process pushed for the complete elimination of more than a dozen key environmental programs. These include, but are not limited to, areas of the government focusing on climate change, public lands and energy efficiency. Trump's proposal also drastically slashes the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies critical to a sustainable future.
/know/read.php?itemid=20435

Big Oil Continues to Lie about Climate Change While Its Critics Are Strong-armed and Silenced
(Elliott Negin / EcoWatch)

ExxonMobil is still very much engaged in trying to stymie any government attempt to seriously address climate change. Meanwhile, Lissa Lucas, a West Virginia resident who is running for a House seat, traveled over 100 miles to testify against an oil-and-gas-industry sponsored bill. She was physically removed from the podium when she began listing oil lobbyists' contributions to local politicians.
/know/read.php?itemid=20416

On the Occasion of the 39th Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution
(Phil Wilayto / UNAC Editor Revolution)

The very first attack on a foreign government by the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency was directed against Iran in 1953, when Kermit Roosevelt, orchestrated the overthrow of the immensely popular Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, whose only "crime" was to be the world's first head of state to nationalize his own country's oil resources. The hated Mohammad Reza Shah was placed in power and the US gained control over 40 percent of Iran's oil, previously controlled by the British.
/know/read.php?itemid=20410

Militarizing America's Energy Policy
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch )

According to the Congressional Budget Office, government cash reserves are already starting to fall faster than expected as a result of lost revenue from Trump's "tax reform" bill. At the same time, Mr. Trump's addiction to fossil fuels -- and his belief that freeing Big Energy from every form of restriction and regulation -- remains at the core of the GOP's vision of global domination. Every great power has sought to control energy resources as a means to control the planet -- but this path threatens to destroy the planet.
/know/read.php?itemid=20402

Russia Charges US Target in Syria Isn't ISIS, It's Oil
(Tass Russian News Agency)

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Washington's illegal military presence in Syria is not aimed at destroying Islamic insurgents but its actually designed to seize Syria's economic assets -- including the al-Isba oil refinery, the Conoco gas field in the Deir ez-Zor province, and the al-Omar and al-Tanak oil fields -- believed to be the largest in Syria with a daily yield of 27,000 barrels of oil.
/know/read.php?itemid=20397

As Congress Feeds the Merchants of Death, the People Must Divest
(Medea Benjamin / NationofChange )

In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. If neither major political party will stand up to this status quo, what can be done? One answer might be found in the recent push to divest from fossil fuel -- from Norway to New York City.
/know/read.php?itemid=20378

Trump's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Law, Could Lead to Extinction of Polar Bears
(Sabrina Shankman / InsideClimate News & Zahid Mahmood / CNN)

A new study warns that polar bears are starving as a result of fossil-fuel-driven climate change and could face extinction faster than previously thought. Meanwhile, Earthjustice and other groups warn that a proposed National Petroleum Reserve lease sale failed to consider how burning the fossil fuels might impact climate change. There is also concern that the areas made available for leasing included the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, which is among the largest and most ecologically significant wetlands in the world.
/know/read.php?itemid=20365

US Petcoke: A Carbon-based Weapon of Mass Destruction
(Tammy Webber and Katy Daigle / Associated Press)

US oil refineries that are unable to sell a dirty fuel waste product at home are exporting vast quantities of it to India instead. Petroleum coke, the bottom-of-the-barrel leftover from refining Canadian tar sands crude and other heavy oils, is cheaper and burns hotter than coal. But it also contains more planet-warming carbon and far more heart- and lung-damaging sulfur -- a key reason few American companies use it. Instead, US refineries are sending it around the world, especially to energy-hungry India.
/know/read.php?itemid=20348

[view all oil and alternatives items] 

 

MILITARISM AND CIVIL LIBERTIES

Gun Violence as State-Sponsored Domestic Terrorism
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / The Network of Spiritual Progressives & Henry A. Giroux /Tikkun Magazine)

There are 300 million guns in the United States and, since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 young children and 6 teachers a decade ago, 11,000 more children have died of gun violence. There is no defense for putting the policies of the NRA ahead of the lives of children. Today, in Washington and many US states, criminal acts often pass for legislative policies.
/know/read.php?itemid=20447

A Secret Nuclear-Powered US Military Base to Be Revealed as the Arctic Melts
(Kate Lunau / Motherboard @ VICE.com)

At the height of the Cold War, the US built a top-secret nuclear missile site beneath the Greenland ice sheet. The US abandoned the base, believing it would remain a secret but, as the Arctic melts, the base -- and its wastes -- are coming back to haunt the present. The question of who should take responsibility for Camp Century's radioactive wastes has become a political hot potato. At this point it isn't clear exactly who is responsible for cleaning it up.
/know/read.php?itemid=20443

ACTION ALERT: Standing Up to the NRA: A Domestic Terrorist Organization
(Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Common Defense & The Us Campaign)

Dallas is home to this year's NRA annual convention but a city council member and the mayor pro tem are urging the NRA to take its convention elsewhere. Huge protests are planned if the NRA goes forth with the convention, which would include the selling of ammunition and assault weapons. For years, the NRA has fed violent, paranoid rhetoric to their millions of members along with apocalyptic, terrorizing propaganda videos, openly threatening peaceful protesters with menacing violence.
/know/read.php?itemid=20437

Planet-killing Corporations Want Laws to Treat Eco-activists as "Terrorists"
(Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)

Corporate polluters are comparing nonviolent environmental activists to dangerous "terrorists." In 2017, the American Legislative Exchange Council drafted model legislation calling for severe punishments for anyone caught trespassing on oil, gas or chemical company lands. The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act even includes a clause that any "conspirator" organization would be fined 10 times more than the trespasser, opening the door to crippling penalties for environmental groups like Greenpeace.
/know/read.php?itemid=20439

The Cost of Washington's 17-year 'Global War on Terror': $5.6 Trillion
(Stephanie Savell / TomDispatch )

17 years after the war on terror began, it's a topic that seems to fire relatively few of us up, much less send us into the streets, Vietnam-style, to protest. As those wars are approaching the end of their second decade, most of us don't even think of ourselves as "at war." But we are, and it has cost both lives and treasure. The Costs of War Project has come up with a comprehensive estimate of what the war on terror has actually cost this country since 2001: an extraordinary $5.6 trillion.
/know/read.php?itemid=20434

ACTION ALERT: The GOP the NRA and Mass Murder: The Proven Solution in Gun Control
(Robert Reich & Dan Rathert & YES! Magazine & VoteVets)

This week, 17 teachers, students, and visitors died in a Florida high school, in a country where mass shootings have been devastatingly routine. Background checks and gun control have proven effective at reducing gun suicides and domestic shootings (both very worthwhile goals), but not the gun homicides or mass shootings such remedies are invoked to redress. But the last 25 years have seen massive declines in gun homicides in New York, California, and Texas -- all states with strict gun-control laws.
/know/read.php?itemid=20430

1.7 Million Afghans Preparing to Sue the US for War Crimes
(teleSUR)

More than one million statements from Afghan people and organizations have been submitted to the International Criminal Court alleging war crimes were committed by several actors in the country including the US military, the CIA, Afghan forces and the Taliban, local groups working with the Hague-based tribunal. The Kabul-based Human Rights and Eradication of Violence Organization reports that 1.17 million statements have been submitted to the court over the past three months.
/know/read.php?itemid=20431

In Florida, It's Easier to Buy a Gun than to Vote
(Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Heather Dockray and Andrea Romano / Mashable.com)

The United States, which has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, makes it surprisingly easy to buy an assault weapon. In Florida, it's harder to get birth control and purchase over the counter medications, such as Sudafed, than it is to buy a gun.
/know/read.php?itemid=20432

[view all militarism items] 

WEAPONS OF WAR

Gun Violence as State-Sponsored Domestic Terrorism
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / The Network of Spiritual Progressives & Henry A. Giroux /Tikkun Magazine)

There are 300 million guns in the United States and, since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 young children and 6 teachers a decade ago, 11,000 more children have died of gun violence. There is no defense for putting the policies of the NRA ahead of the lives of children. Today, in Washington and many US states, criminal acts often pass for legislative policies.
/know/read.php?itemid=20447

Anti-Drone Billboards Pop Up in Syracuse; Encounter Censorship Elsewhere
(David Swanson / World Beyond War)

World Beyond War has been raising funds for and renting billboards in opposition to war. We've run into censorship from numerous billboard companies but persevered, and more billboards are on their way. We're currently putting these two new billboards in Syracuse, New York, where drone pilots participate in US wars from Hancock Air Base.
/know/read.php?itemid=20441

The Environmental Consequences of the Use of Armed Drones
(Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor / Reaching Critical Will & Toxic Remnants of War)

To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights, on the expansion of the use of force into new contexts, and on the imbalances created by the newfound ability to project violence at a distance. Largely missing from the debate over the use of drones are concerns about the environmental and derived humanitarian impacts of drone operations. For starters, the use of these explosive weapons has the capacity to generate toxic remnants.
/know/read.php?itemid=20442

ACTION ALERT: Standing Up to the NRA: A Domestic Terrorist Organization
(Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Common Defense & The Us Campaign)

Dallas is home to this year's NRA annual convention but a city council member and the mayor pro tem are urging the NRA to take its convention elsewhere. Huge protests are planned if the NRA goes forth with the convention, which would include the selling of ammunition and assault weapons. For years, the NRA has fed violent, paranoid rhetoric to their millions of members along with apocalyptic, terrorizing propaganda videos, openly threatening peaceful protesters with menacing violence.
/know/read.php?itemid=20437

ACTION ALERT: Guns Amok: If Congress Won't Act, Perhaps the Banks Will
(Ultraviolet & NewsMax & William Cummings and Bart Jansen / USA TODAY)

Kids are being murdered and Congress has done nothing to stop the sale of these assault weapons -- they are more worried about losing their campaign contributions than people's lives. Now we're calling on Visa, Mastercard, and other credit card companies to stop allowing people to buy assault weapons with their credit cards.
/know/read.php?itemid=20438

Playing by the Rules? Nuclear Powers Could Learn from Olympic Athletes and Fans
(Marilyn Langlois / TRANSCEND Media Service)

Commentary: "The US, the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons, subjecting the people of Japan to unspeakable horrors, is quick to assume a holier-than-thou attitude when proclaiming who else is allowed and who is not allowed to develop, possess, and upgrade these killing machines. The world's stockpile of nukes could destroy humanity many times over."
/know/read.php?itemid=20429

ACTION ALERT: The GOP the NRA and Mass Murder: The Proven Solution in Gun Control
(Robert Reich & Dan Rathert & YES! Magazine & VoteVets)

This week, 17 teachers, students, and visitors died in a Florida high school, in a country where mass shootings have been devastatingly routine. Background checks and gun control have proven effective at reducing gun suicides and domestic shootings (both very worthwhile goals), but not the gun homicides or mass shootings such remedies are invoked to redress. But the last 25 years have seen massive declines in gun homicides in New York, California, and Texas -- all states with strict gun-control laws.
/know/read.php?itemid=20430

In Florida, It's Easier to Buy a Gun than to Vote
(Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Heather Dockray and Andrea Romano / Mashable.com)

The United States, which has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, makes it surprisingly easy to buy an assault weapon. In Florida, it's harder to get birth control and purchase over the counter medications, such as Sudafed, than it is to buy a gun.
/know/read.php?itemid=20432

[view all weapons items] 

 

 

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