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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.


ACTION ALERT / VIDEOS: Uncovering and Opposing the Pentagon's Global Empire of Bases
(No Foreign Bases Coalition & World Beyond War & Popular Resistance)

Unknown to most Americans, the Pentagon operates a vast, global empire of military bases that circles the planet. This hidden empire consists of nearly 562,000 facilities worth more than $585 billion located on more than 4,800 sites in 42 nations and covering over 24.9 million acres -- equal in size to the entire state of Kentucky. The US cannot be a moral or ethical country until it faces up to the realities of US empire and the destruction it causes around the world.

Trump Expands Offshore Drilling in Assault on Biodiversity and Indigenous Communities
(Subhankar Banerjee, Nermeen Shaikh and Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)

Bipartisan opposition is growing to President Trump's proposal to greatly expand offshore oil and gas drilling. The reversal of the Obama-era restrictions would open more than a billion acres of water in the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil and gas drilling. The Interior Department moved to allow offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all US coastal waters but spared Florida after complaints from Florida's Republican Governor -- triggering protests from every other coastal state.

ACTION ALERT: Help Create the Largest Protected Area on Earth: The Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary

On December 1, 2017, the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area -- a land sanctuary covering 1.5 million square kilometers -- came into force. Now the Antarctic Ocean needs protection. Greenpeace writes: "We are calling for the creation of the biggest ocean sanctuary in the world, to protect the fragile and amazing wildlife in the Weddell Sea, like the irreplaceable penguins, whales and seals that call it home. But we simply can't do it without your help. And we want you to come along for the journey!"

New York City Just Declared War on the Oil Industry
(Bill McKibben / The Guardian UK & Naomi Klein / The Intercept & Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian)

New York City, the home of Wall Street, announced on Wednesday that it will be divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels. That hits fossil fuel giants where it hurts. Five years after the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, New York announced it was divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels -- and suing the five biggest oil companies for damages. Our planet's most important city is now at war with its richest industry.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's Destructive EPA Budget Cuts
(Rhea Suh / NRDC Action Fund)

Donald Trump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, along with their anti-environment allies in Congress, are pushing for bone-deep cuts to EPA funding that would make critical environmental cleanups nearly impossible. Congress must pass a new spending bill by January 19 to keep the government running -- and Trump and his cronies are using this deadline as an excuse to force their extreme anti-environment agenda into law. Ask your representatives to stand up for environmental protections.

It's Time to Bury the Monroe Doctrine
(David Swanson /World Beyond War & No Foreign Bases)

The US policy of antidemocratically and often violently seeking to dominate the nations to its south, in the name of preventing some other force from doing so, has seen its shelf-life expire. The Monroe Doctrine -- as evolved and abused over the centuries -- ought to be buried.

The Pentagon's Sprawling Empire of Bases: A US Military Land and Sky Grab
(Carol Miller / Space Alert! )

How many new and expanded military bases is the Pentagon building and why is it so difficult to answer this question? While the media has paid some attention to global base relocation and expansions around the world, the massive military expansion within the US has remained mostly under the radar. There are many land, air, and sea space expansions underway in the US itself and every expansion destroys fragile and important ecosystems, harms protected species, range animals, wildlife and people.

January 12-15 Conference: Close All US Military Bases on Foreign Soil
(Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases)

The Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases is focused on closing all US military bases abroad. This campaign strikes at the foundation of US empire, confronting its militarism, corporatism and imperialism. Foreign nations that allow US bases on their soil serve as client states of Washington and are controlled through the economic power of the US, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The US has used regime change tactics, including assassination and military force, to keep its empire intact.

US Special Ops Now at War in 149 Countries -- from Afghanistan to Somalia
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)

There is no persuasive security rationale for having US Special Operations forces involved in an astonishing 149 countries, given that the results of these missions are just as likely to provoke greater conflict as they are to reduce it, in large part because a US military presence is too often used as a recruiting tool by local terrorist organizations.

ACTION ALERT: Words and Deeds: Challenging War -- on Billboards and in Baltimore
(World Beyond War & The Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases)

The US maintains a costly global empire of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world. The annual cost of these bases to the American taxpayers is approximately $156 billion. The support of US foreign military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our cities and States to provide necessary services for the people. Devoting just 3% of US military spending could put an end to starvation everywhere on Earth.

Mega-Dams May Be History in the Brazilian Amazon!
(Christian Poirier / Amazon Watch)

Hydroelectric dams have caused great damage to indigenous and traditional communities and the environment, but they are only one of many serious Amazon threats -- new roads, railways, waterways, mines and other infrastructure all result in great destruction. While the just-announced shift in hydropower policy is important, experts agree that major changes are needed before one can talk of a real conservation breakthrough in the Brazilian Amazon.

Guam's Military Perspective: Let The Public Be Damned
(Harry Brill / The Berkeley Daily Planet)

Guam, which is a possession of the United States, has been making the news in response to military threats by North Korea. North Korea's warning was triggered by military threats from President Trump. It is probably unlikely that either nation will attack the other. On the other hand, Trump does not need the approval of Congress to launch an assault even with the deployment of nuclear weapons.

The Pentagon's Kadema Air Base Called "World's Most Dangerous Airport"
(The Peace Report / Veterans for Peace & Jon Mitchell / The Japan Times)

The Kadema Air Base on Okinawa Island is the largest US Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with vast runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base and adjoining arsenal cover 46 square kilometers. Over the years, accidents and neglect have polluted local land and water with hazardous chemicals -- including arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, asbestos and dioxin -- while US officials hid this information, putting at risk the health of US service members and 184,000 civilians living nearby.

Three-day Conference on US Foreign Military Bases Begins January 12
(Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases)

The United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). There are US military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran. US foreign military bases are NOT in defense of US national, or global security. They are the military expression of US intrusion into the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of a Western ruling elite.

The 10 Most Ridiculous Things Media Figures Said About Climate Change and the Environment in 2017
(Kevin Kalhoefer / Media Matters for America / Research)

When it comes to climate change denial, various pundits and media sources unleashed a storefront of fake news during 2017. Here is a short-list of some of the most outlandish whoppers.

Ellsberg's The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America's Nuclear Weapons
(William J. Astore / AntiWar.com)

Daniel Ellsberg's new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, is a shattering portrayal of the genocidal nature of US nuclear planning during the Cold War -- and that threat of worldwide genocide (or omnicide, a word Ellsberg uses to describe the death of nearly everything from a nuclear exchange that would generate disastrous cooling due to nuclear winter) persists to this day.

The US Is Building Its Biggest Overseas Base -- In South Korea
(Jon Letman / The Diplomat)

Now in the final stage of a massive base expansion, when completed around 2020, Humphreys will have tripled in size to nearly 3,500 acres -- roughly the size of central Washington, D.C. -- making it the largest overseas American military base in the world, capping off over a dozen years of transformation and consolidation of the US military footprint in South Korea.

The Planet's Shrinking Wilderness -- Ignored at Our Peril
(Wildlife Conservation Society & Science Daily)

The majority of remaining wilderness areas are in the deserts of Central Australia, the Amazon rainforest in South America, the Tibetan plateau in central Asia, and the boreal (snow) forests of Canada and Russia. These ecosystems play a key role in regulating local climates, sequestering and storing large amounts of carbon and supporting many of the world's most culturally diverse and marginalized communities. Maps of these critically important wilderness areas are now freely available online.

The Dome: An Abandoned US Nuclear Waste Site Could Be Swamped by Rising Seas
(The Australian Broadcasting Corporation & Mark Willacy / ABC News)

The Runit Dome, an 18-inch-thick concrete dome in the oceans of the Republic of the Marshall Islands contains highly toxic waste from 67 US nuclear weapons tests conducted in the South Pacific from 1946-58. Now, the dome (intended to last for hundreds of years) is cracked and leaking and rising sea levels due to climate change threaten an even greater catastrophe.

Meet the Private Corporations that Have Grown Rich Building A Nuclear Arsenal that Could Kill US All
(Richard Krushnic and Jonathan Alan King / TomDispatch & The Nation)

Many Americans are unaware that much of the responsibility for nuclear weapons development, production, and maintenance lies with the Department of Energy, which spends more on nuclear weapons than it does on developing sustainable energy sources. Key to the DOE's nuclear project are the federal laboratories where nuclear weapons are designed, built, and tested. Meanwhile, a small number of powerful companies are making billions working on weapons systems designed to end life on Earth.

The Rollback: Trump's Toxic War Benefits Polluters, Endangers the Public
(Californians for Pesticide Reform & Al Jazeera)

Since US President Donald Trump entered the White House, there is one achievement he can't be denied. He has made good on a campaign promise to repeal hundreds of "job-killing" federal rules, often following recommendations from powerful industries. The US pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement -- essentially breaching the promise to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions -- and has begun to roll-back environmental protections designed to reduce toxic emissions from industrial polluters.

How War Pollutes the Potomac River
(David Swanson and Pat Elder / World Beyond War)

The Pentagon's impact on the Potomac River is not simply the diffuse impact of global warming and rising oceans contributed to by the US military's massive oil consumption. Not only does the home of war-making sit near rising waters -- rising first and foremost because of the impacts of war-making -- the waters of the Potomac and of the Chesapeake Bay into which it flows, and the tides of which raise and lower the waters of the Pentagon Lagoon each day -- are heavily polluted by war preparations.

A Pentagon Nuclear Dumpsite Is About to Be Swamped by Rising Sea Levels
(Joe McCarthy / Global Citizen)

The Enewetak Atoll is all but invisible on Google Maps. Halfway between Australia and Hawaii, the ribbon of land is home to a small indigenous population that has seen their way of life eroded by decisions far outside of their control. For more than half a century, the atoll, which is part of the Marshall Islands, has been contaminated by nuclear explosions and waste. The decades ahead could leave it submerged by rising seas.

Polar Bears Massing on Russian Island -- A Sign of Arctic Change
(Maria Antonova / Agence France-Presse)

Climate change means ice, where polar bears are most at home, is melting earlier in the year and so polar bears have to spend longer on land, scientists say. This might wow tourists but means the bears, more crammed together on coasts and islands, will eventually face greater competition for the little food there is on land. Locals are also at risk from hungry animals venturing into villages.

The Global Shipping Industry Needs to Clean Up Its Act
(Maria Gallucci / Grist)

What can the cargo, shipping, and cruise industries do to play a part in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels -- the most ambitious goal laid out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement? To meet that target, all cargo ships will need to be "zero-emissions" by 2050. That requires ditching cheap, but noxious, bunker fuel and replacing it with promising alternatives like battery storage, sustainable biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, and wind-sail technology.

Fidel Castro's Enduring Environmental Legacy
(teleSUR & Agence France-Presse)

Fidel Castro's commitment to education and health care stand out as monumental achievements for Cuba. While he emerged as a stalwart of anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism, his commitment to environmentalism and Cuba's achievements in the area gets less attention. Cuba is one of the few developing countries that has shown a strong commitment to the environment and sustainability -- despite a number of obstacles such as the long-standing US blockade.

ACTION ALERT: Welcome to the Swamp: EPA on the Corporate Chopping Block
(Chris Riotta / Newsweek & CREDO Action)

Wall Street billionaires, corporate lobbyists and far right conservatives flooded the White House almost immediately after Donald Trump's presidential victory, according to records of visitor logs the White House was forced to reveal following a Freedom of Information lawsuit. Meanwhile, Trump's climate-change-denying EPA pick, Scott Pruitt, is moving to replace independent scientists on EPA advisory boards with representatives of the fossil fuel and chemical industries.

Appeal to Congress: End US Support for Saudi War in Yemen
(Mark Weisbrot / The Hill)

The New York Times editorial board recently took an unusual position of denouncing what it called "war crimes" by a US ally, in a war in which the United States is actively participating militarily. "Saudis try to starve Yemen into submission," was the headline, and it was no exaggeration. Nearly seven million people, including millions of children, are facing famine owing to blockades of food and medicine and Saudi-coalition bombings carried out with military assistance by the United States.

Trump Targets Appalachia; Plots to Plunder America's Wilderness
(Nigel Sizer / The Rainforest Alliance & Adam Federman / The Nation & Adam Federman / The Nation & Kate Aronoff / The Nation)

The Appalachian woodlands, an ecological treasure covering 61,500 square miles of the country's southeast, are now threatened by the Trump administration's unsustainable commercial energy and timber exploitation. A leaked draft of a five-year plan reveals how the DOI plans to prioritize "energy dominance" over conservation. Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior is poised to open up millions of wilderness acres to commercial drilling and mining -- from Utah's red-rock country to Alaska's frigid coastal waters.

Are US Leaders Planning to Make Nuclear Weapons "Usable"?
(Tom Engelhardt and Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)

Under existing nuclear doctrine, as imagined by the Obama administration back in 2010, this country was to use nuclear weapons only "in extreme circumstances" to defend the vital interests of the country or of its allies. However, for Donald Trump, a man who has already threatened to unleash on North Korea "fire and fury like the world has never seen," such an approach is proving far too restrictive.

Warning: Climate Change Threatens Mass Extinction of Life in Pacific
(Sydney Pereira / Newsweek & Mac Slavo / SHTFPlan.com)

According to an alarming study published in the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program in Marine Policy, Pacific Island nations -- surrounded by the warmest waters of the global ocean -- are expected to lose 50 to 80 percent of fish species by the end of the century. Meanwhile, the Gulf of Alaska cod populations appear to have taken a nose-dive -- the "worst they've ever seen." The warming water, which has spread to depths of more than 1,000 feet, "hit the cod like a kind of a double-whammy."

Noam Chomsky: Trump Represents Severe Threats to "Organized Human Life"
(Lucien Crowder and Noam Chomsky / Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

Noam Chomsky, a noted linguist and a pointed criticic of US foreign policy speaks with Bulletin of Atomic Scientist's senior editor Lucien Crowder about the Trump administration's policies on climate change, nuclear modernization, North Korea, and Iran -- and about an intensification of "the extremely severe threats that all of us face." According to Chomsky, the US, under Trump and the Republican Party, is racing toward disaster.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Gutting Climate Efforts, Clean Car Standards, Solar Energy, Net Energy Metering, Solar Roofs . . .
(Union of Concerned Scientists & NRDC & Rainforest Action Network & Food and Water Watch)

Tell Scott Pruitt to do his job to protect our health and stop ignoring the growing risks from climate change. Push back against Trump's efforts to kill clean car standards that would double the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks. Pressure two of the biggest banks on Wall St. -- JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo -- to say NO to the Keystone XL pipeline. Bombard Trump's Department of Energy with support for solar power.

ACTION ALERT: New Film on Jane Goodall; New Campaign to Save Orangutans from PepsiCo
(Rainforest Action Network & Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)

Every year, thousands of acres of rainforests in Indonesia are burned to make way for palm oil plantations. The oil is used in major brand products including those from snack food giant PepsiCo. As the forests go up in flames, and the smoke enters the sky, hope fades for the survival of orangutans. Help us convince PepsiCo to stop its part in this destruction. And look for a stunning new film on the life and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. It has been called "the greatest documentary of the year."

Climate Change Threatens Natural Treasures

Climate change imperils one in four natural World Heritage sites, including coral reefs, glaciers, and wetlands -- nearly double the number from just three years ago, a report has said. Released during the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature stated that the number of sites at risk has grown to 62 from 35 in 2014.

Trump-frackers Target Nevada Wilderness and the Arctic Wildlife Refuge
(Center for Biological Diversity / EcoWatch & Nation of Change & Chris D'Angelo / The Huffington Post)

Three conservation groups filed an administrative protest Monday against an enormous Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction, scheduled for Dec. 12, that would allow fracking on more than 600 square miles of Nevada public lands. The protest says the BLM has violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act by failing to analyze the risks of drilling for oil and fracking with dangerous chemicals on such a massive scale.

The World's Coastal Cities Are Not Prepared for the Coming Floods
(Bill McKibben / The Washington Post)

For 10,000 years of human civilization, we've been blessed with a relatively stable climate, and hence flooding has been an exceptional terror. As that blessing comes to an end with our reckless heating of the planet, the exceptional is becoming all too normal, as residents of Houston and South Florida and Puerto Rico found out already this fall.

Time Is Running Out for the Planet
(Bill Moyers and Bill McKibben / Moyers & Company)

Bill McKibben's calling has been to wake up Americans to the once creeping, now billowing threat of global warming. For 30 years climate change has been his beat -- first as a journalist, then as an environmentalist and now as a leader of a global movement to win a race against time. In his latest book, Radio Free Vermont, he turns to humor for inspiration. Sixteen books of first-rate journalism and now a novel -- a meditation on the state of the world as experienced in the state of Vermont.

Trump's Interior Department Recommends Opening Up Pacific National Monuments to Commercial Fishing
(David Leestma / EcoWatch)

The Trump administration is considering cutting protections for two national monuments lying south of Hawaii in the central Pacific. The decision, scientists warn, will threaten reefs across the Pacific.

Governments Can No Longer Ignore War's Impact on Planet
(Doug Weir / The Ecologist)

Since its inception in 2001, the UN's International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict has mainly served as a reminder of how the environment remains a forgotten victim of warfare. However, in recent years there have been signs that the global community is slowly beginning to address its collective blind spot over the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts -- and the price that people and ecosystems pay for our indifference.

Congress' Romance with Cowardice: War without the War Powers Act
(Danny Sjursen / NationofChange)

Senator Rand Paul's recent four-hour-long floor speech demanding something as simple as a congressional discussion of the legal basis for America's forever wars only garnered 36 supporting votes -- scuttled by a bipartisan coalition of war hawks. Consequently, Congress' abdication of its Constitutional responsibility to declare war, continues to cede to the Oval Office, full authority to wage "unlimited war, anywhere, anytime, anyplace upon the globe."

International Environmental Conflict Day: Protecting the Planet, Protecting People
(The Toxic Remnants of War Network & United Nations & The Guardian)

The United Nations' International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict takes place on November 6. The international community must face up to the reality that protecting the environment from conflict is vital to protect people.

November 6: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
(The United Nations & Civil Society Statement)

On 5 November 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have also been found to be twice as likely to relapse.

Pentagon: Only Way to Destroy North Korea Nukes Is Ground Invasion -- With Millions Dead
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Yuliya Talmazan and Associated Press)

In response to a letter from two Democratic congress members asking about casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea, the Pentagon replied the only way to locate and destroy with complete certainty all components of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is through a ground invasion. Pentagon planners conceded that such an act of aggression would "at the very least," cause "millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting."

ACTION ALERTS: Stop War on Marine Mammals; Don't Nuke the Climate
(C.T. Harry / International Fund for Animal Welfare & the Nuclear Information and Resource Service )

The oceans aren't big enough to protect marine mammals from human dangers. Despite the great successes of this bedrock environment law, the Marine Mammal Protection Act has faced threats several times, and it is being attacked again -- through a new proposed bill, HR 3133. Meanwhile, under the expiring Kyoto Protocol, nuclear energy is rightly excluded from the possible solutions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- but the powerful nuclear industry is trying to change this.

White House OKs Report Warning Climate Change Is Caused by Humans
(Jean-Louis Santini and Kerry Sheridan / Agence France-Presse & Executive Summary / US Global Change Research Program )

The US government has released a major scientific report that says climate change is "extremely likely" to be caused by human activity and will get worse without major cuts to carbon emissions. The findings of the federally mandated report were approved by the White House, even though they are starkly at odds with the position of Donald Trump, who has labeled global warming a Chinese hoax and named Scott Pruitt. a fossil fuel ally, to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Donald Trump's Budget Undercuts Wild Biodiversity Worldwide
(William H. Funk / Mongabay)

Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget would make 32 percent across-the-board cut to already underfunded global programs to combat wildlife trafficking and aid African and Asian nations in protecting elephants, rhinos, tigers, pangolins and other endangered wildlife. The loss of iconic wildlife could directly impact poor communities in Africa and Asia. Hostility from Trump and many in the GOP is likely to target wildlife conservation programs for further and larger reductions in years to come.

Resistance and Resilience in Palestine 100 Years After the Balfour Declaration
(The Oakland Institute)

2017 marks 70 years since the Nakba -- the Catastrophe -- which resulted in the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land and homes; 50 years since the Six-Day War and Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; and 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, which laid the foundation for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. On this day, the Oakland Institute documents Palestinian resistance and resilience in an extensive series of nine reports and multimedia materials.

Spreading the Message of "No US Military Bases in the World"
(Ann Wright / OpEd News & Ann Wright / Consortium News & Ann Wright / CODEPINK)

Though the US government denies that it runs an empire, the truth is it maintains a bristling global network of more than 800 overseas military bases in more than 80 foreign countries -- a global empire unprecedented in world history. In many cases, these costly installations give rise to local anger because of displacement, pollution, prostitution and abuse of the local populations. Retired Col. Ann Wright discusses the problem based on her 40 years of experience in the Army and State Department.

Pruitt Purges Scientists from EPA Panels, Eases Restraints on Dangerous Chemicals
(Michael Biesecker / Associated Press & Matthew Brown / Associated Press)

EPA chief Scott Pruitt says he intends to replace the outside experts that advise him on science and public health issues with new board members holding more "diverse views." Pruitt recently overruled experts that recommended banning sales of a top-selling pesticide after peer-reviewed studies showed it damaged children's brains. The Trump administration has halted review of some of the most dangerous chemicals in public use: asbestos, flame retardants, and toxins in homes, offices and industrial plants.

ACTION ALERT: With Another Massive Spill in the Gulf of Mexico It's Time to Pass the OFF Act and Move Beyond Oil
(Hon. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Alexandra Jacobo / Nation of Change)

A pipeline spilled at least 672,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and almost no one in Washington wants to talk about it. It's the worst environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico since Deepwater Horizon. This oil spill should set off alarms across the EPA. Instead, EPA head Scott Pruitt is pushing to permit a mining company to excavate an area the size of the Grand Canyon in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The "Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act" (H.R. 3671) would curtail pollution and promote clean energy.

Trump Calls Climate Change a "Hoax": The GAO Calls It a "Budget-Busting" Calamity That Will Only Grow
(Michael Biesecker / Associated Press & Andrew Taylor / Associated Press)

A Government Accountability Office report released Monday said the federal government has spent more than $350 billion over the last decade on disaster assistance programs and losses from flood and crop insurance. That tally does not include the massive toll from this year's three major hurricanes and wildfires, expected to be among the most costly in the nation's history. The GAO predicts these costs will only grow in the future, potentially reaching a budget-busting $35 billion a year by 2050.

Call for Global Action Against Military Bases: Polluting Foreign Countries Around the World
(CODEPINK & John M. Broder / Los Angeles Times)

For decades, determined activists around the world have been resisting occupation, militarism, and foreign military bases on their lands. As we resist together to abolish war and stop the desecration of Mother Earth, we create a world where every human life has equal value and a safe environment in which to live. Today we invite your organization to plan an anti-militarism action in your community as part of the first annual global week of actions against military bases.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PBS Revisits Vietnam: Whose "Truth" Matters Most When We Recount the War?
(Camillo Mac Bica / Common Dreams & Veterans For Peace)

Much has been written about the American War in Vietnam. In September 2017, PBS debuted a highly anticipated, 10-episode, 18-hour, "definitive documentary" directed by respected documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The goal, according to the directors, was to "create a film everyone could embrace." Hopefully, the filmmakers will resist the urge to perpetuate what many historians and vets see as a Government-sponsored effort to sanitize and mythologize the US involvement in this tragic war.

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

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

How Trump Tramples Honest EPA Scientists with Harassment and Censorship
(PBS News Hour & The Washington Post & Reuters & QZ.com & E&E News & The New York Times)

The Interior Department's former top climate policy official has filed an official complaint charging the Trump administration is threatening public health and safety by trying to silence honest scientists. Meanwhile, Trump's EPA has chastised scientists who linked super-hurricanes to climate change, calling it "an attempt to politicize an ongoing tragedy." And the person who handles EPA grants is a political operative who has said he doesn't want to see the phrase "climate change" in grant applications.

Toxic Chemicals Discovered in Drinking Water Near Army Base in Wisconsin
(Laura Olah / Cease Fire Campaign & Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWA)

CSWAB petitioned the Wisconsin DNR today to develop drinking water Health Advisory Levels for toxic compounds that have been detected in groundwater at US Army Reserve Fort McCoy and other Wisconsin sites that used industrial fire-fighting foams. The petition is the first step in securing enforceable standards and cleanup. Approximately two thirds of the people living in Wisconsin rely on groundwater for their drinking water.

Trump's Climate Denialism Is Killing Us
(Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Laila Lalami / The Nation)

The horrors hurled at Houston and the Himalayan lowlands were heartbreaking. How many times must we see this disaster movie -- Hurricanes Harvey in 2017, Sandy in 2012, and Katrina in 2005 -- before we intervene to change the ending? Multiply the death and destruction in Texas a hundredfold to comprehend the devastation in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where 16 million children "are in urgent need of life-saving support." This is murder, even if Trump's willful ignorance of climate science prevents him from seeing it.

San Juan's Mayor Rebukes Trump over Failure to Address Puerto Rico's Climate Crisis
(Katherine Krueger / Splinter News & Justin T. Westbrook / Jalopnik.com)

Donald Trump took a break from feuding with the NFL last night to tweet about the crisis in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, but the mayor of San Juan says the president only muddled matters by equating the lack of food, water, and shelter for millions with the island's debt crisis. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has denied a request to grant a waiver of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico to ease the shipping of food, fuel and other hurricane relief supplies despite previous waivers earlier this year.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Tweets While Puerto Rico Dies
(Perry O'Brien / Common Defense & Environmentalists Against War & Climate Hawks)

Puerto Rico -- an island of 3.4 million people -- has been without power for a week. 60% of their population is stranded without drinkable water. And 90% of their cell phone towers are down. This is a full-blown humanitarian crisis. And Trump isn't doing enough to help. According to White House sources, Trump doesn't plan to submit an aid request to Congress until the second week of October. Dragging his feet on this will cost innocent lives. Tell Trump Not to Abandon Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans Describe 'Horror In The Streets' After Hurricane Maria
(Hayley Miller / The Huffington Post & Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post)

We've heard devastating stories in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, but not nearly enough about the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. The US territory was slammed by the tropical storm mere days ago. As 3.4 million residents continue to scramble to safety, the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, has called for more federal aid. Many residents do not have access to water, power or roads. It's been described as "apocalyptic."

Naomi Klein: We Are Seeing the Shock Doctrine In Effect After Hurricanes Harvey & Irma
(Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein / Democracy Now!)

We have these hurricanes, past and the coming ones, with extreme fires, storms, droughts, and massive floods -- 1,300 dead in South Asia now from floods -- and yet Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are hardly mentioning the word "climate change" when it comes to these horrific events, at the same time they are spending 24 hours a day reporting on these manifestations of climate chaos. This is the extreme world -- we're catching a glimpse of it -- that we've been warned about.

ACTION ALERT: ABC Silent on Climate Change
(David Z. Morris / Fortune & Public Citizen & Fareed Zakaria / CNN)

As a brutal hurricane season continues to batter the Caribbean and the United States, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks it might be too late to save coastal cities from the effects of climate change. "I worry that we might not be able to recover from this because all our greatest cities are on the oceans and water's edges, historically for commerce and transportation," deGrasse Tyson said.

California Cities, Counties Sue Oil Companies over Climate Change
(Timothy Cama / The Hill & Natasha Geiling / ThinkProgress)

San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., are suing five major oil companies, blaming them for the effects of climate change. The cities announced Wednesday they each filed a lawsuit in their respective county courts against Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell and BP. The lawsuits by add to an emerging legal strategy to try to hold individual fossil fuel companies responsible for rising sea levels, extreme weather and other effects of human-induced climate change.

Beyond Harvey and Irma: Militarizing Homeland Security in the Climate-Change Era
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)

The US just experienced its largest rainfall event in memory. For the first time in recorded weather history, two category 4 hurricanes hit in a single season (not yet over). And San Francisco experienced an unheard of 106 degree day. This as the new face of homeland security: containing the damage to our seacoasts, forests, and cities caused by extreme weather events made all the more frequent and destructive by climate change. This is a "war" without a name, but it will be no less real for that.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Protect our Public Lands
(Sierra Club & Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post)

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that Donald Trump modify 10 national monuments created by his immediate predecessors, shrink the borders of four national monuments, and open six other national monuments to mining, drilling, logging, and commercial fishing. Zinke's memorandum is silent on the fate of the remaining 11 monuments, including Papahanaumokuakea, which Bush created but Obama expanded to more than 582,578 square miles of land and sea in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Beyond Harvey and Irma: Militarizing Homeland Security in the Climate-Change Era
(Tom Engelhard and Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)

Deployed to Houston to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief, US troops hadn't even completed their assignments when they were hurriedly dispatched to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands to face Irma, the fiercest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. This is the new face of homeland security -- containing the damage to US coasts, forests, and other areas wracked by extreme weather made all the more frequent and destructive thanks to climate change. It is a "war" the Trump White House fails to acknowledge.

EPA Head Ignores Climate Change: Scott Pruitt Says It's Not the Time to Talk Climate Change
(Philip Bump / The Washington Post)

In an interview in March, Scott Pruitt denied the scientific consensus that human activity was driving the warmer climate -- a denial that suggested he would curtail the EPA's efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Once confirmed by the Senate, Pruitt got to work reshaping the agency in precisely that way. In April, the organization's page on climate change was removed; in May, a page focused on educating children was as well.

ACTION ALERT: Demand Fossil Fuel Companies Pay for Hurricane Destruction!
(Naomi Ages / Greenpeace USA & Max Greenwood / The Hill & Sarah van Gelder / Yes! Magazine)

Right before Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida, and while Texas was still recovering from Harvey, EPA chief Scott Pruitt grabbed the media stage to deny climate change yet again. He said it's "insensitive" to talk about climate during a hurricane! We can't sit back and make Pruitt's fossil fuel industry backers happy. Fossil fuel-fueled climate change made Harvey and Irma stronger. And that's why the oil and gas giants must be made to pay for the costs of fighting wildfires and recovering from hurricanes.

Military Defies Trump's Orders: Pentagon Plans for Addressing Climate Change
(Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

Unlike his White House boss, Defense Sec. Jim Mattis does not believe that climate change is a "hoax" invented by the Chinese. The Defense Department has warned for years that climate change is a national security threat and, despite President Trump's orders, the agency continues to take steps to help the military prepare for the impacts of a warming planet. In an unprecedented act of defiance, the Pentagon is continuing to prepare to deal with the effects of climate change -- even though Trump told them to stop.

Trump to Aim Oil-seeking Airgun Blasts on Atlantic Whales, Dolphins
(Mike Gaworecki / Mongabay)

The Trump Administration has taken steps to open up the US' Atlantic waters to offshore oil exploration and drilling, sparking fierce resistance up and down the coast. Oil exploration involves vessels armed with airguns blasting intense bursts of noise into the water every 10 to 12 seconds to determine what resources might lie beneath the ocean floor -- blasts so loud they can be heard underwater as far as 2,500 miles away. The blasting can go on for months. Such blasts can prove deadly to marine mammals.

New Study: Greenhouse Emissions Linked to Fossil Fuel Companies
(Dan Rather / Facebook & Farron Cousins / Nation of Change)

The data provided in this report could likely become one of the most valuable tools in the fight to hold corporations accountable for the harm they have caused to the planet. Documents have shown that ExxonMobil knew about the damage that fossil fuel emissions were causing to the environment in the 1970s and covered up the damage that fossil fuel companies were inflicting on the planet. This cover-up could result in lawsuits against the oil giant.

Climate Denialism Was Literally Killing Us While Exxon Hid the Truth
(Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Connor Gibson / EcoWatch)

Multiply the death and destruction Hurricane Harvey a hundredfold to comprehend the scale of devastation in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where a staggering 16 million children "are in urgent need of life-saving support" after "torrential monsoon rains and catastrophic flooding." Meanwhile, a breakthrough study from Harvard reveals how Exxon covered up its climate-disrupting pollution with an extensive propaganda campaign designed to destroy public trust in climate change science.

Bill McKibben on Hurricanes and the Dangerous New Planet We Have Created
(Democracy Now & The Huffington Post & The New York Times)

Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded over the Atlantic. Houston -- the nerve center of the world hydrocarbon industry -- has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey, one of the most powerful hurricanes in US history. The Pacific Northwest is aflame with wildfires raging over hundreds of thousands of acres. Suddenly, our once-familiar planet is melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We have, in effect, created a new, and increasingly dangerous planet.

ACTION ALERT The Politicians Who Voted Against Hurricane Relief
(Brad Johnson / Climate Hawks)

In the wake of tens of billions of dollars of damage from Hurricane Harvey, 107 members of Congress in the Senate and House -- including 4 from Texas -- voted "NO" on an aid package to help survivors in the Gulf and to keep FEMA funded. Their excuse? They wanted the cost of this disaster relief to threaten a government shutdown in order to secure tax cuts for billionaire polluters while making the rest of America suffer the consequences of rampant climate change and an entrenched oligarchy.

ACTION ALERT: Rising Seas -- Brought To You By ExxonMobil
(The Union of Concerned Scientists / Special to Environmentalists Against War)

As Hurricane Harvey finally retreats from the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Irma threatens Florida's coastline, communities are surveying the devastating damage done by these storms. After extreme weather events, communities face years of recovery and costly rebuilding. As the costs add up, it raises the question: Who should be held accountable for the costs being borne by communities across the United States?

In the Wake of Hurricane Harvey: Now Is the Time to Talk About Climate Change
(Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein / Democracy Now!)

The World Meteorological Organization has declared that Hurricane Harvey's devastation is linked to climate change. All past US rainfall records have been shattered and the devastating storm is expected to bring even more rain to Louisiana and Texas in the coming days. And yet, the corporate networks have avoided linking the record-breaking storm to climate change. We examine storm coverage with Naomi Klein, best-selling author of "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate."

Why US Bases Make Okinawa, Guam Nuclear 'Targets'
(Jon Letman / Al Jazeera)

The pattern remains predictable: a defiant North Korean missile test followed by provocative war games, then another missile launch, more angry threats and warnings, followed by counter-threats and new sanctions, and now a sixth nuclear test and more severe warnings. The island of Guam has come into sharp focus with North Korea's announced plans to fire four Hwasong-12 ballistic missiles near the US territory in response to Donald Trump's threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang.

We Can't Be Silent on Climate Change or The Unsustainability of Capitalist System
(George Monbiot, Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh / Democracy Now!)

It is not only Donald Trump who censors the discussion of climate change; it is the entire body of polite opinion. This is why, though the links are obvious, most reports on Hurricane Harvey made no mention of the human contribution to it. In 2016, the hottest year on record, the US was hammered by climate-related disasters yet the total combined coverage for the entire year on the evening news on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News amounted to 50 minutes. The issue of our lives has been blotted from the public's mind.

Climate Breakdown: We Can No Longer Ignore the Science and the Evidence Before Us
(Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Nation of Change & Marlene Cimons / Nation of Change)

Climate breakdown is happening before our eyes. At the same time, the anti-science movement in the US which includes government officials, industry and others who deny climate change exists, provides cover for elected officials to do nothing or act inadequately on the urgent reality of climate chaos so that corporations continue to threaten the planet. There are 100 companies responsible for 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Good government would hold them responsible.

Hurricane Harvey's Lesson: Climate Change Has Become More Powerful than Government
(Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)

Commentary: Once, long ago, the conservative activist Grover Norquist famously said that he wanted to shrink "government" to a size at which it could be drowned in the bathtub. Well, people actually are drowning in Houston now, and so is the political philosophy that reached its height when Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural that government wasn't the solution, but the problem itself. We all moved onto a political flood plain then, and we're being swept away.

US Infrastructure Collapsing While Govt. Pours Billions into 'The Black Hole of War'
(Michael Payne / Nation of Change)

The more taxpayer dollars that are sucked into that black hole of war the more cracks appear in the foundation of America, its national infrastructure, at the center of almost everything that goes on in America; from the transportation of goods to massive refineries shut down by Hurricane Harvey. Washington's ongoing obsession with war -- together with the massive costs of the US, military empire -- are contributing to a massive, widespread deterioration that is happening across America.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's Appointment of Climate-Denying Non-Scientist to Head NASA
(Joe Romm / ThinkProgress & RL Miller / Climate Hawks)

Donald Trump just nominated an anti-science climate denier to run NASA. Jim Bridenstine is not a scientist. He's a member of Congress with no experience in space. And he has an ugly history of anti-science rants. On the House floor in 2013, Bridenstine demanded President Obama apologize for dedicating federal resources to studying climate change, citing junk science and outright lies to justify his assertion that climate change isn't real.

Oil Company Files Suit to Destroy Greenpeace Calling it an "Eco-Terrorist Organization"
(Amy Goodman, Annie Leonard, Tara Houska, and Antonia Juhasz / Democracy Now!)

The company that owns the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has sued Greenpeace International, Earth First! and other environmental groups, accusing them of inciting "eco-terrorism" for their protests targeting construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The lawsuit is part of a well-organized corporate crackdown on environmental activists who dare to challenge the fossil fuel industry by exposing the reality of human-driven climate change.

Trump and Zinke Plot to Extinguish America's Parks and Monuments
(Derek Royden / Nation of Change)

Commentary: The quietness with which the Secretary of the Interior is doing his job might have the effect of making him, and others like Scott Pruitt (EPA) and Rick Perry (Dept. of Energy), who are taking a similar tack, that much more dangerous, as they proceed to gut their agencies and the regulations they're supposed to enforce. As the person in charge most federal lands (and programs involving the country's native peoples), Zinke is well-placed to open wild lands to oil, timber, and mining interests.

ACTION ALERT: Houston Hurricane -- A Harbinger of Climate Change
(Jim Hightower / Our Revolution)

Devastating floods along the Gulf Coast and across the world this week are not isolated incidents -- they are our new climate reality. We need members of Congress to take radical steps to combat the worst effects of climate change now before things get even worse. Senators Bernie Sanders and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, Pramila Jayapaul, Raul Grijalva and many others have introduced legislation to transition our energy economy off of dangerous fossil fuels to renewable energy.

ACTION ALERT: Help Hurricane Recovery Efforts; Condemn Trump's Denial of Climate Change
(Reggie James / Sierra Club & Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post & Petition / The Daily Kos)

Commentary: Our hearts are with those in Texas and Louisiana whose lives were affected by this horrific disaster. Meanwhile, for Donald Trump, Hurricane Harvey proved a golden opportunity to promote himself. Nearly every chance he gets, Trump brags about the size of his hurricane. He has repeatedly worn his own campaign merchandise (which is on sale at his website) to Hurricane Harvey events. Trump made no mention of the dead, suffering or displaced nor did he express any sympathy for them.

US Launches Missile Intercept Test; Calls for Bombing in the Waters Off Hawaii
(Missile Defense Agency News & William Cole / Honolulu Star-Advertiser & Jessica Else / The Garden Island)

The Missile Defense Agency and US Navy sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones successfully conducted a missile defense flight test during a test off the coast of Hawaii. The US missile successfully intercept a medium-range ballistic missile using SM-6 guided missile. Meanwhile, the National Marine Fisheries Service has approved a five-year USAF plan for bombing practice at sea off Kauai. The munitions used are expected to increase impacts on whales and dolphins in the local waters.

2017 NoWar Conference Will Feature Powerful Film on What War Does to the Earth
(David Swanson / Talk Nation Radio & Scarred Lands Film.com)

Alice and Lincoln Day have produced an amazing film about the impact of war on the natural environment, which fits perfectly with World Beyond War's upcoming conference on that theme. "Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives" was produced between 2006 and 2007 in Australia, California, Vermont, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. The film will be screened at the 2017 No War Conference set for September 22-25 at the American University in Washington DC. (See event details below.)

How Climate Change Likely Heightened Hurricane Harvey's Fury
(Craig Welch / The National Geographic & Michael E Mann / The Guardian)

While scientists maintain that no single weather event can be solely attributed to climate change, two centuries of fossil-fuel burning has altered temperatures enough to almost certainly make hurricanes worse. And there is another way that oil exploitation has led to increased coastal flooding. Some sea level rise attributed to climate change actually is due to coastal subsidence caused by activities such as oil drilling, which has cause some coastal lands to sink more than 6 inches over the past few decades.

Toxic Armories: National Guard Inaction Exposes Communities to Lead Poisoning
(Rob Davis / The Oregonian)

An award-winning four-part series reveals the disturbing extent of neighborhood lead pollution from National Guard sites across the US. An 18-month investigation has revealed that hundreds of armories were routinely contaminated by dangerous amounts of lead dust. In two Oregon armories, parents unwittingly let infants play on neurotoxin blanketed floors with lead levels 10 times higher than the federal safety standard. The Pentagon knew about the danger for nearly two decades but failed to address the problem.

Hurricane Harvey Triggers Chemical Clouds over Houston: Climate Deniers Close Ranks
(The New Republic & Ellie Shechet / The Slot)

There are huge public health risks from pollution releases during any hurricane, but the risk is particularly high with Harvey. The plants in the area hit directly by the storm "are responsible for roughly 25 percent of the United States' petroleum refining, more than 44 percent of its ethylene production, 40 percent of its specialty chemical feed stock and more than half of its jet fuel."

The Uninhabitable Earth: Climate Change Could Trigger Famine and Economic Collapse Sooner Than You Think
(David Wallace-Wells / New York Magazine)

Commentary: If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. It is, I promise, worse than you think. Absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

Uninhabitable Planet: Humanity Is Getting Very Close to Extinction
(Nathan Curry / VICE )

Commentary: With "Doomsday Preppers" the highest-rated show on the National Geographic Channel, the general public seems to be getting ready for societal collapse. Recent climate data suggest we may have already tripped several irrevocable, positive feedback loops -- as temperatures soar, the permafrost is melting, arctic ice is falling into the sea. The link between climate change and human extinction is basically this: the planet becomes uninhabitable for humans if the average temperature goes up by 4° to 6°C.

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

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

Warming Arctic Spurs Battles for Riches, Shipping Routes
(Frank Jordan / Associated Press)

As climate change pushes the cold and ice a little farther north each year, it is spurring talk of a gold rush for the Arctic's abundant natural resources, prized shipping routes and business opportunities in tourism and fishing. The Arctic, including the fabled Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific, is among the last regions on earth to remain largely unexplored. In April, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to reverse Obama-era restrictions on oil drilling.

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

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

Trump's EPA Budget Cuts Slow Uranium Cleanup in Navajo Nation
(Autumn Spanne / Reveal News (The Center for Investigative Journalism))

More than 500 abandoned Cold War uranium mines remain near the Navajo reservation, now home to about 175,000 people. Thousands of these families unwittingly used water from contaminated wells and springs to drink, bathe, hydrate their livestock and irrigate their gardens. Now, EPA head Scott Pruitt has proposed a 30 percent reduction in grants to fund tribes' environmental protection and a 30 percent cut to the Superfund program that funds cleanups of the nation's most toxic sites.

War on the Biosphere: Trump Disbands Climate Committee
(Chas Danner / New York Magazine & The Independent)

In yet another move that indicates the White House does not take the threat of climate change seriously, the Trump administration has disbanded a federal advisory panel that worked to translate the government's climate data into insight for policymakers and the private sector. The 15-member Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment was tasked with helping public and private-sector officials integrate the findings of the National Climate Assessment into their long-term planning.

Authors Confront the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza
(Rose Aguilar and Malhe Razazan / Your Call Radio & the Kirkus Review)

June 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. After visiting the occupied territories, renowned novelists and essayists Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman marked the anniversary by inviting international writers to bear witness to the human cost the Israeli occupation. They appeared on KALX's Your Call radio to talk about their new book, Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation.

Peace Volunteers Pave Way for Palestinian Homecoming After 20-year Displacement
(Jim Haber / Waging Peace)

A new project in the rural hills of the West Bank, called Sumud: Freedom Camp, is the latest sign of a resurgence of strategic, nonviolent organizing in Palestine that is creating strong bonds between Palestinians and Jewish activists from Israel and around the world. I traveled to Palestine in May with a delegation organized by the Center for Jewish Nonviolence to help a unique coalition of Palestinians, Israelis, Jews and international justice seekers standing in solidarity with the village of Sarura.

How War Pollutes the Potomac River
(David Swanson and Pat Elder / World Beyond War)

The Pentagon's impact on the river on whose bank it sits is not limited to the impact of global warming and rising oceans (fueled by the military's massive oil consumption). The Pentagon also directly poisons the Potomac River in more ways than almost anyone would imagine. A cruise down the Potomac from its source in the mountains of West Virginia to its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay encompasses six Superfund sites created by the Pentagon's reckless disregard for the Potomac's fragile watershed.

Trump Slashes Science Budgets; EPA Vet Resigns in Dismay
(Marla Cone / The Reveal & EcoWatch and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

The Trump administration has proposed a series of drastic cuts to science research at federal agencies across the US, with the Environmental Protection Agency slated to bear the brunt. A recent budget proposal aims to eliminate more than $30.6 billion (nearly 21 percent) of research and development funding in fiscal year 2018. Elizabeth Sutherland, a 30-year EPA senior official, has resigned, calling Trump's EPA appointee Scott Pruitt "the leading candidate for worst boss in the world."

ACTION ALERT: Call for Global Action Against Military Bases -- 7 October 2017
(NoDalMolin, CODE PINK & Hambastagi)

Determined activists around the world have been resisting occupation, militarism, and foreign military bases on their lands for decades. These struggles have been courageous and persistent. Let’s unite our resistance into one global action for peace and justice. This fall, during the first week of October, we invite your organization to plan an anti- militarism action in your community as part of the first annual global week of actions against military bases.

13 US Agencies Confirm Burning Fossil Fuels Is Driving Climate Change and Extreme Weather
(Michael Biesecker and Seth Borenstein / Associated Press)

Directly contradicting Donald Trump, a draft report produced by 13 federal agencies concludes that the United States is already feeling the negative impacts of climate change, with a stark increase in the frequency of heat waves, heavy rains and other extreme weather over the last four decades.The report calls the long-term evidence that global warming is being driven by human activities "unambiguous . . . . There are no alternative explanations." Plus: Trump names climate denier to Ag Dept. post.

War and the Environment
(Peace Pledge Union)

Because war disrupts social structures, ecostructures are neglected and abused, with lasting and costly consequences. It's widely agreed that Sudan's 1988 famine was caused by its protracted civil war. The testing and manufacture of nuclear arms has been responsible for some of the most profound and persistent environmental damage to life on Earth. Meanwhile, the complex mixture of poisonous contaminants found on many military sites continues to infiltrate the land, air and water.

Senior Officials Resign from EPA to Protest Scott Pruitt
(Sam Knight / Nation of Change & Kristin Brown / League of Conservation Voters)

An inside look at the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda was proffered in the resignation of a 30-year veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency. Elizabeth Southerland announced this week that she was leaving her post at the agency, where she served as a senior executive with both the Water and Superfund programs. On her way out, she sent a lengthy farewell message to her colleagues criticizing Pruitt's anti-regulatory, polluter-friendly policies.

Peaceful Oil Pipeline Protesters Treated Like Terrorists: Behind the Secret Surveillance Operation at Standing Rock
(Rose Aguilar and Sana Saleem / KALX & Alleen Brown, Will Parrish, and Alice Speri / The Intercept)

Leaked documents and public records reveal a troubling fusion of private security, public law enforcement, and corporate money in the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The way TigerSwan discusses protesters as "terrorists," their direct actions as "attacks," and the camps as a "battlefield," reveals how the protesters' dissent was not only criminalized but treated as a national security threat.

ACTION ALERT: Close All Overseas US Military Bases
(Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance & AntiWar.com)

The Pentagon's imperial reach includes a global real property portfolio that consists of nearly 562,000 facilities, located on over 4,800 sites worldwide and covering more than 24.9 million acres in 42 nations. The Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases is a new campaign focused on closing all US military bases abroad. This campaign strikes at the foundation of US empire, confronting its militarism, corporatism and imperialism. We urge you to endorse this campaign.

Water and US National Security
(Peter Gleick / Pacific Institute & Army War College & Intellibriefs.com)

Fresh water has long been a vital and necessary natural resource, and it has long been a source of tension, a military tool, and a target during war. National and international leaders must take steps to reduce the risks and threats associated with water insecurity. The failure to address water problems through diplomacy will lead to new and growing security risks, including for the US.

War on the Biosphere: Humans Have Created 9 Billion Tons of Plastic
(Tim Radford / Climate News Network & Kate Melges and Nathalie Arfvidson / Greenpeace)

Scientists recently have calculated the mass of all the plastic bottles, bags, cups, toys, instruments and fabrics ever produced and tracked its whereabouts -- another index of the phenomenal change to the face of the planet made by recent human advance. Since about 1950, more than 8.3 billion tons of synthetic organic polymers have been generated, distributed and discarded -- of this, 6.3 billion tons are classified as waste. Read Greenpeace's action page on becoming part of the Plastic-Free Challenge.

An Inconvenient Sequel: "It Is RIGHT to to Save Humanity! It Is WRONG to Pollute This Earth!"
(Steve Inskeep / Morning Edition)

Former Vice President Al Gore helped shape the conversation about climate change with An Inconvenient Truth. Now he's back with a sequel -- called An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, due out next month -- and it follows Gore as he continues the crusade he made famous with that first film. The movie shows Gore standing in Miami floodwater, flying over imploding boulders of ice in Greenland and in Paris -- trying to push the climate agreement over the finish line.

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.

How Toxic Waste Sites Run by the Pentagon Are Poisoning Americans

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."

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.

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.

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.

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."

ACTION ALERT: Cease Fire Campaign -- Stop Burning Military Toxics
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger )

The history of CSWAB is an inspirational story of how ordinary people can create extraordinary good. Our challenge -- to assure that the Pentagon fulfills its commitment to the complete cleanup of toxins that have placed ecological and human health at risk -- has been no small task. Environmental cleanup of the 7,400-acre Badger Army Ammunition Plant will be the largest such project in the history of the state of Wisconsin; expected remediation costs have been estimated to be as high as $250 million.

Plastic Pollution in Antarctica 5 Times Worse than Expected
(Lorraine Chow / Nation of Change & Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change )

As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles -- 500 times more than stars in our galaxy -- litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife. The Southern Ocean, which covers approximately 8.5 million square miles and represents 5.4 percent of the world's oceans, is under increasing threat from fishing, pollution and the introduction of non-native species.

The US Military Is the World's Biggest Polluter
(Whitney Webb / Mint Press News & EcoWatch)

In May 2017, mainstream media outlets gave minimal attention to the news that the US Naval station in Virginia Beach had spilled an estimated 94,000 gallons of jet fuel into a nearby waterway, less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. While the incident was by no means as catastrophic as some other pipeline spills, it underscores an important yet little-known fact -- that the US Department of Defense is both the nation's and the world's, largest polluter.

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."

ACTION ALERT: Take the Plastic-free Challenge
(Kate Melges and / Greenpeace)

Disposable cups, grocery bags, packaging, plastic water bottles, condiment packets are ubiquitous in our daily lives -- as well as in our landfills and the planet's oceans. According to one study, there will be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans by 2050. Here are ten of our favorite ideas for reducing your plastic footprint.

Water Shortages to Affect a Quarter of the World's Population By 2050
(Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press)

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that by 2050 global demand for fresh water is projected to grow by more than 40 percent and at least a quarter of the world's population will live in countries with a "chronic or recurrent" lack of clean water. "Water, peace and security are inextricably linked," Guterres said. "Without effective management of our water resources, we risk intensified disputes between communities and sectors and increased tensions among nations."

UN Ocean Conference Warns of Plastic Waste in Waters
(George Leonard and Chelsea Rochman / The San Francisco Chronicle)

Plastic is now embedded in the aquatic food chain. It has been found in more than 800 (and counting) species of marine life, from the smallest plants to the largest whales. Notably, plastic has been found in the stomachs of 49 species of commercial fish, many of which are being dished up right now -- tuna and salmon as well as mussels, clams, scallops, oysters, shrimp and lobster. Microplastics have been found even in sea salt.

CSWAB Efforts Lead to Better Water Testing at Former Ammo Plant
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger )

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is requiring the Army to analyze drinking water and groundwater at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant for contaminants resulting from the breakdown of explosives in the environment.

ACTION ALERT: An Unprecedented Threat: Trump's Decision on the Paris Climate Accord
(Michael Brune / EcoWatch & Ken Kimmell / The Union of Concerned Scientists & Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis / Washington Post)

Donald Trump is about to announce whether he'll keep the US in the Paris Climate Agreement. It is abundantly clear that the Trump and his administration doesn't treat climate change as a real threat. He is willing to cede US leadership in the fight against climate change to other countries. That's why it is necessary to redouble our efforts to protect science -- and fight for science-based policies that protect us all.

Environmental impact of US-Australian Talisman Sabre Military Exercises
(Justin Tutty / Darwin No Waste Alliance & Australian Departmentof Defense & Ruby Jones / Australia Broadcasting Corporation)

Analysis: Critics have expressed growing concerns about the impacts of "Talisman Sabre," a joint US-Australian military exercise set to begin in June 2017. Environmentalists fear the "unmanaged risks stemming from the unprecedented changes of a growing foreign military presence" including Special Forces, amphibious landings, parachuting, land force maneuvers, urban operations, air and maritime operations, the firing of live ammo and explosive ordnance from small arms, artillery, naval vessels and aircraft.

Russia Calls House Bill an "Act of War." Will the Senate Block H.R. 1644?
(Gar Smith / World Beyond War & Op-Ed News & Information Clearinghouse)

Top Russian officials are concerned that a bill passed by the US Congress will do more than increase sanctions on North Korea. Moscow claims H.R. 1644 violates its sovereignty and constitutes an "act of war."

Trump Targets EPA for Cuts; Ignores Job-creating Renewables Revolution; Makes a $2 Trillion Math Mistake on Budget Plan
(Andy Rowell / Oil Change International & EcoWatch & Ryan Teague Beckwith / TIME Magazine & Lawrence H. Summers / The Washington Post & Max Ehrenfreund / The Washington Post)

Analysis: The Trump team prides itself on its business background but choses sto rely on ludicrous supply-side economics. Trump's new budget rests on "a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course" -- a mistake no serious businessperson would make; the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in nearly 40 years. How could the Treasury Secretary, the OMB director and the director of the National Economic Council allow such an elementary error?

Trump's Border Wall Threatens 93 Endangered Species
(The Center for Biological Diversity / CommonDreams)

Donald Trump's border wall threatens 93 endangered and threatened species, including jaguars, ocelots, Mexican gray wolves and cactus ferruginous pygmy owls, according to a new study by the Center for Biological Diversity. The study also found that 25 threatened or endangered species have designated "critical habitat" on the border, including more than 2 million acres within 50 miles of the border.

Trump's War on Clean Energy and the EPA
(Andrea Germanos / EcoWatch & CommonDreams)

According to a draft of the government's 2018 budget proposal, he Trump administration is planning to gut the US Department of Energy's budget for its renewable energy and energy efficiency program -- with a proposal to slash it by 70 percent. Support for sustainable transportation would be cut nearly 70-percent. Energy efficiency programs would be cut 79%. The cuts are so draconian that observers predict the plan is unlikely to win congressional approval.

ACTION ALERT: The Dakota Pipeline Is Already Leaking: Write to the 17 Banks Funding Polluting US Pipelines
(Julian Brave NoiseCat / The Guardian & James Trimarco / Nation of Change)

On April 4, Energy Transfer Partners' not-yet-operational Dakota Access pipeline leaked a bathtub-full of shale oil at a pump station in Spink County, South Dakota. The leaks prove that the water protectors have been right all along: Pipelines leaks all the time. The pool of tar left behind is just a warning of what's to come. Of the more than 60 banks helping to finance the expansion of tar sands infrastructure, the indigenous-led environmental campaign Mazaska Talks has identified 17 as worst offenders.

Trump OKs Seismic War on Whales in the Atlantic
(Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams)

The Interior Department is moving forward with seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean following Donald Trump's executive order to aggressively expand offshore drilling in protected areas off the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. US government estimates expect that seismic blasting in the Atlantic will injure as many as 138,000 marine mammals -- dolphins and whales. 120 East Coast cities, 1,200 elected officials, 35,000 businesses, and 500,000 fishing families publicly oppose offshore drilling and seismic blasting.

There's No Such Thing as 'Limited' Nuclear War
(Sen. Dianne Feinstein / The Washington Post)

Last month, it was revealed that a Pentagon advisory committee authored a report calling for the United States to invest in new nuclear weapons and consider resuming nuclear testing. The report even suggested researching less-powerful nuclear weapons that could be deployed without resorting to full-scale nuclear war. This is terrifying and deserves a swift, full-throated rebuke.

US Nuclear Escalations Endanger the World
(Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge & The Berkeley Daily Planet)

At a time of growing tensions between nuclear powers -- Russia and NATO in Europe, and the US, North Korea and China in Asia -- Washington has quietly upgraded its nuclear weapons arsenal to create, according to three leading American scientists, "exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike."

Worried World Urges Trump Not to Pull Out of Paris Climate Agreement
(Oliver Milman, Jonathan Watts and Tom Phillips / The Guardian)

Donald Trump's scorched-earth approach to environmental protections has shocked current and former government officials overseas who are waiting nervously to see whether the US will destabilize the Paris Climate Agreement. With Trump already peeling away pollution reducing rules imposed by President Obama, alarmed officials around the world are warning Trump – a notorious climate-change denier -- not to reverse historic global climate protection efforts.

Russian Official Claims US House Bill 1644 Amounts to A 'Declaration of War'
(Sputnik News & GovTrack.us & Mathew Maavak / Sputnik News)

The Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, which passed the House by a near-unanimous vote, calls for enhancing sanctions against North Korea. But the chair of Russia's upper house of parliament's international committee has called the bill "an act of war" because it includes provisions for forced inspections of foreign vessels by US warships and presumes to extends US control over ports in China, Iran, Syria and the Russian Far East. Both acts constitute violations of international law.

Water War: Ukraine Builds Costly Dam to Cut River's Flow to Breakaway Crimea
(UAWire & TASS & Mansur Mirovalev / Al Jazeera)

Three years ago, after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the US-backed government in Ukraine built an expensive dam to block the flow of water from the Dnieper River along the North Crimean canal, thereby depriving Crimea of its main source of water. While Crimea responded by building desalination plants, the dam has caused environmental problems inside Ukraine. The costly, ill-considered dam has become a symbol of political corruption.

Energy Transfer Partners Spills Oil over Wetlands; Judge Says Companies Can Keep Oil Spills Secret
(Natasha Geiling / ThinkProgress)

Energy Transfer Partners -- the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline -- has spilled drilling fluid into two pristine Ohio wetlands this month. The company spilled as much as 2 million gallons of drilling fluid on April 13, and as much as 50,000 gallons a day later and 100 miles from the first spill. Meanwhile, federal judge has ruled that the pipeline's developer can keep some information about spill risks secret from the public.

ACTION ALERT: Test US Military Bases for Water Contamination
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger & Jennifer McDermott / Associated Press)

On April 28, the EPA requested public input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced, or modified to make them less burdensome (to polluters, of course). Details about opportunities for public comment and to register for an upcoming listening session (by telephone) are posted below. In 2016, the mizitary announced plans to examine hundreds of US bases to determine whether chemicals from foam used to fight fires have contaminated groundwater and spread to drinking water.

Monkey Wrenching the Sky: The Age of Geoengineering
(Ian Baldwin / The Vermont Independent)

According to the publisher's introduction: "Earth Day 2017 marks the beginning of our series on geoengineering, the most important and underreported global environmental phenomenon of our time, researched and written by Chelsea Green co-founder Ian Baldwin." A wall of silence surrounds the subject of geoengineering but for nearly three-quarters of a century geoengineering has been conducted for reasons that have little to do with addressing climate change and much to do with war and commerce.

Drought and War in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen
(Jeffrey Gettleman / The New York Times)

Another famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And it's not the only crisis that aid agencies are scrambling to address. For the first time since anyone can remember, there is a very real possibility of four famines -- in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen -- breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives. International aid officials say it's the biggest humanitarian disaster since World War II. And they are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Trump Hides Benefits of Renewables as CO2 Levels Reach Highest Mark in Human History
(Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch & Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams)

By now it shouldn't be a surprise that the Trump administration is wiping Obama-era climate initiatives off the Internet. This time, the Department of Energy has altered its websites on renewable energy, removing references on how clean energy technologies can reduce the nation's reliance on fossil fuels and help lower climate-changing emissions. At the same time, the amount of carbon in the Earth's atmosphere last week breached the 410 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history

Donald Trump's War on the Environment
(Carolyn Lochhead / The San Francisco Chronicle)

Analysis: Nearly 100 days into a presidency remarkably thin on legislative success, one area where the Trump administration and Republican-led Congress have notched indisputable gains is on the environment. Overshadowed by the implosion on health care and standstill on tax reform, the GOP drive to dismantle, defang and defund environmental laws, rules and science is yielding many of President Trump's most significant victories to date.

ACTION ALERT: Waterfalls in Antarctica; Trump Fiddles While World Melts
(Tim Radford / Nation of Change & Marlee Kokotovic / Nation of Change)

Scientists poring over military and satellite imagery have mapped the unimaginable: a network of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and even a waterfall, flowing over the ice shelf of a polar continent with an annual mean temperature of -50C. In a world rapidly warming from the burning of fossil fuels -- that are adding ever more greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere -- researchers expect to observe an increase in meltwater on the south polar surface. Researchers have predicted the melt rates could double by 2050.

ACTION ALERT: What an Earth Day! Now Let's Get Ready for the Climate March on April 29!
(League of Conservation Voters & The Democratic Legislative Campaign )

What an Earth Day! To change everything, we need everyone, and today was a true show of force! But now, we have less than a week to make the Peoples Climate March on 4/29 the biggest environmental protest in history. Here's what you can do to participate and help out.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef Nearing Extinction
(Christopher Knaus and Nick Evershed /The Guardian)

Mass coral bleaching -- a phenomenon caused by global warming-induced rises to sea surface temperatures -- has occurred on the Great Barrier Reef four times in recorded history. Back-to-back severe bleaching events have affected two-thirds of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, new aerial surveys have found. The findings have caused alarm among scientists, who say the proximity of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events is unprecedented for the reef, and will give damaged coral little chance to recover.

Fracking Comes to the Alaskan Arctic
(Scott L. Montgomery / EcoWatch & The Conversation)

Arctic lands and waters hold irresistible allure for global oil companies. Despite opposition from environmental groups and President Obama's 2016 ban on drilling in federal Arctic waters, exploration in Alaska has revealed massive new volumes of oil. This comes at a time of low oil prices, when many observers felt the Arctic would remain off limits.

Bombing the Seas with Plastic: Ocean Pollution Is the Last Straw
(Laura Parker / National Geographic)

Of the eight million tons of plastic trash that flow every year into the world's oceans, the plastic drinking straw is surely not a top contributor to all that tonnage. Yet this small, slender tube, utterly unnecessary for most beverage consumption, is at the center of a growing environmental campaign aimed at convincing people to stop using straws to help save the oceans.

Resistance: New York Says 'No' to US-Canadian Fracked-Gas Pipeline
(Kimberly Ong / Natural Resources Defense Council)

New York State has blocked the Northern Access Project on April 7, a pipeline that would have carried fracked gas from Pennsylvania to Canada via New York. This is a huge victory not just for New Yorkers but for the entire planet. After a careful and exhaustive study, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation exercised its right under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act to deny certification to the proposed 24-inch diameter, 99-mile pipeline.

Native American and Environmental Groups Sue Over Trump's Keystone XL Pipeline Permit
(Dan Bacher / Daily Kos)

The Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance filed suit on March 27, challenging the Presidential Permit issued by President Trump allowing construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. "For too long, the US Government has pushed around Indigenous peoples and undervalued our inherent rights, sovereignty, culture, and our responsibilities as guardians of Mother Earth and all life while fueling catastrophic extreme weather and climate change with an addiction to fossil fuels."

The Standoff Between Trump and Green Groups Just Boiled Into War
(Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post)

The first shots have been fired in what's likely to be a long, bitter war over the environment between conservationists and President Trump. It started Wednesday when a broad coalition of groups sued the Trump administration in federal court, barely 24 hours after the president signed an executive order that lifted a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land. Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, Defenders of Wildlife, Montana's Northern Cheyenne Tribe and others call the directive illegal.

Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just One Famine, but Four
(Jeffrey Gettleman / The New York Times)

Another famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And it's not the only crisis that aid agencies are scrambling to address. For the first time, there is a very real possibility of four famines -- in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen -- breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives. It's the biggest humanitarian disaster since World War II. One powerful lesson from the last famine in Somalia was that famines were not simply about food. They are about something even more elemental: water.

Climate and Washington Are Both Taking a Turn for the Worse
(Bill McKibben / The Boston Globe & Vinnie Wishrad / League of Conservation Voters)

Arctic ice has set a new record winter low and a record Midwest drought has triggered the worst wildfires in US history -- two million acres burned. Climate change demands action but, instead, Donald Trump's appointees spent the last week dismantling 40 years' worth of hard-fought environmental laws and regulations. Meanwhile US governors and big city mayors are demanding Washington address climate change and on April 29, a People's Climate March will challenge America's Polluter-in-Chief.

Keystone Pipeline Approved for Construction -- with Russian Steel?
(The Huffington Post & Snopes.com)

Donald Trump's administration has greenlighted the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump previously promised the pipeline would be constructed with domestic steel but abandoned that pledge and granted TransCanada an exemption to use foreign steel during construction. The DeSmogBlog reports that 40 percent of the steel was manufactured by a Canadian subsidiary of Evraz, a company 31-percent owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who is a close ally of Putin and a Trump family friend.

US Navy Admits to Having Released Chemicals Known to Injure Infants' Brains
(Dahr Jamail / Truthout)

For decades, the US Navy, by its own admission, has been conducting war game exercises in US waters using bombs, missiles, sonobuoys (sonar buoys), high explosives, bullets and other materials that contain toxic chemicals -- including lead and mercury -- that are harmful to both humans and wildlife.

New Zealand River Wins Historic "Human Right" to Exist and Thrive
(Eleanor Ainge Roy / The Guardian)

After 140 years of negotiation, New Zealand's Maori tribe has won legal protection and recognition for Whanganui river, the country's third-largest river. Under the new ruling, the Whanganui must be treated as a living entity.

Presence of US Military Base in Okinawa Means Jail Without Trial for Protestors
(Anna Field / The Washington Post)

After five months in detention without trial, one of the leaders of Okinawa's movement against the expansion of US military bases in the southern Japanese island prefecture has been released. Hiroji Yamashiro, a 64-year-old who leads the Okinawa Peace Action Center, is one of the most vocal opponents of the construction of new Marine Corps facilities in Okinawa. The overwhelming majority of Okinawans oppose the base.

Trump's Budget: America First; Americans and the Environment Last
(Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News)

Donald Trump's first budget makes his antipathy to the environment -- and his love for fossil fuels and nuclear power -- clear. In addition to slashing funds to the EPA, he wants massive rollbacks in auto fuel efficiency standards and billions in new investments in nuclear weapons. These cuts hand $54 billion to the Pentagon while crippling air and water protections by ending restrictions on industrial emissions. Adding insult to injury, Trump would add $120 million to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.

Rex Tillerson's Threatened 'Preemptive' US Attack on North Korea Would Be an International War Crime
(Mark Sumner / The Daily Kos & Tim Hume / Vice News)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut short his visit to South Korea because of "fatigue," according to Korean officials. Tillers declared "the policy of strategic patience has ended," and revealed that a pre-emptive military attack was "on the table." So far, history has shown that issuing threats to North Korea (or any other country) only provokes increased belligerence from the threatened nation. Sounding more like a general than a Secretary of State, Tillerson declared: "Talk is not going to change the situation."

Fierce, Critical Reactions to Trump's 'Cruel, Stupid Budget'
(Public Citizen & The Democratic National Committee & Seth Moulton for Congress & Kamala Harris / US Senate & The Washington Post)

Trump's appalling budget would destroy America to empower military, surveillance, incarceration, and pollution interests. It slashes $4.7 billion from the Agriculture Department -- hurting rural communities; cuts job-creating funding for infrastructure repair; guts spending to protect clean air and drinking water; defunds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and suspends the Manufacturing Extension Partnership -- a program that helped create and retain more than 86,602 jobs last year.

Naval Exercises Add Trillions of Bits of Plastic to the World's Oceans
(Dahr Jamail / Truthout)

For the next two decades, the US Navy will inject hundreds of thousands of pounds of flares and billions of metal-coated glass fibers into ocean waters off Washington and Oregon. By 2037, the Navy will have left behind more than half a million pounds of flares and trillions of microfibers of chaff (a radar countermeasure dropped by aircraft) in the world's oceans. And a single, upcoming naval exercises will inject 20,000 tons of heavy metals and explosives into the seas.

Veterans Administration Paying Victims of Contaminated Lejeune Water

On March 4, the Veterans Administration began providing disability benefits to Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members affected by the toxic chemical contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, NC. The offer only applies to victims who were residents from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 and who are now sick and dying from a short list of eight diseases, including leukemia, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer, and Parkinson's disease.

Navy Admits to Having Released Chemicals Known to Injure Infants' Brains
(Dahr Jamail / Truthout)

For decades, the US Navy, by its own admission, has been conducting war game exercises in US waters using bombs, missiles, sonobuoys (sonar buoys), high explosives, bullets and other materials that contain toxic chemicals -- including lead and mercury -- that are harmful to both humans and wildlife. Navy "testing and training events" fire missiles, torpedoes, guns and other explosive firings into US waters biennially. Explosive "sonobuoys" are dropped from planes and never recovered.

US Rejects China's Call to Halt Provocative War Exercise if N. Korea Halts Provocative Missile Tests
(AntiWar.com & Al-Jazeera & The Associated Press)

The US on Wednesday rejected China's proposal for a halt to joint US-South Korean military exercises if North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile activities. It called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un irrational and demanded "positive action" before the US can take his regime seriously. Meanwhile, the US military added to regional tensions by beginning to deploy its THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea. China opposes the THAAD system, which it sees as a provocative military threat to its security.

Public Citizen Is Suing Donald Trump for Endangering the Environment
(Robert Weissman / Public Citizen)

A new lawsuit, Public Citizen v. Donald J. Trump, takes direct aim at Trump's most brazen gift to Big Business yet. Via a unilateral directive issued on his second week in office, Trump decreed that for any new regulation enacted, two or more existing public protections would have to be eliminated. Trump's executive order mandated the elimination of existing rules for the purpose of offsetting the costs of new rules -- while ignoring the benefits -- even if the existing rules are entirely unrelated.

Contamination at Largest US Air Force Base in Asia: Kadena, Okinawa
(Jon Mitchell / The Asia-Pacific Journal (Vol. 14, Issue 9, Number 1))

Located in the center of Okinawa Island, Kadena Air Base is the largest United States Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with two 3.7-kilometer runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base sprawls across 46 square kilometers of Okinawa's main island. Now, newly revealed documents have exposed a massive cover-up of accidents and neglect that have polluted local land and water with hazardous legacies of arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos and dioxin.

Trump Plots to Destroy the Environmental Protection Agency
(John Flesher, Matthew Daly and Catherine Lucey / Associated Press & Democracy Now!)

The Trump administration plans to slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal obtained by The Associated Press. Under the tentative plan from the Office of Management and Budget, the agency's funding would be reduced by roughly 25 percent and about 3,000 jobs would be cut -- about 19 percent of the agency's staff.

Annual Massive US-South Korea War Exercise Risks Provoking Response from North Korea
(Al Jazeera)

North Korea has warned of a "merciless" response if its territorial boundaries are violated during large-scale military drills involving US and South Korean forces. Pyongyang on Thursday reacted to the start of the annual war games with its typical fiery rhetoric, but recent missile and nuclear tests by the North give the usual threats an added weight.

Great World War for Water' Looming, Pope Francis Warns
(RT News & The National Geographic & The Huffington Post & Bread for the World)

Water scarcity may cause conflict and the whole globe may be on its way to a great world war over water. Underground water is being pumped so aggressively around the globe that land is sinking, civil wars are being waged, and agriculture is being transformed. About two-thirds of the world's population faces water scarcity for at least one month during the year. The United Nations predicts a global shortfall in water by 2030.

Trump Seeks Massive 9% Military Spending Hike: GOP Hawks Slam Plan as Insufficient
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

President Trump today unveiled some new details on his budget priorities, seeking a 9% increase, or about $54 billion, in increased military spending for next year, with a series of plans to reduce domestic spending to try to cover the different. The State Department and the EPA are both said to also be marked for substantial cuts in the range of tens of billions of dollars.

ACTION ALERT: Stand against Trump's Anti-environment Agenda
(The Natural Resources Defense Council & Kristen Brown / League of Conservation Voters)

Donald Trump has promised to expand oil and gas drilling, kill the Clean Power Plan and roll back some of our most fundamental environmental protections. It's up to us to show President Trump that we are ready to act -- in and out of court -- against any attempts to derail the progress we've made and force us down a path toward climate chaos. Urge Trump not to threaten our wildlife and wild places or reverse our progress in fighting climate change.

Standing Rock Is Burning -- but Our Resistance Isn't Over
(Julian Brave NoiseCat / The Guardian & Michael Sainato / The Observer)

Just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, water protectors set their makeshift and traditional structures ablaze in a final act of prayer and defiance against Energy Transfer Partner's Dakota Access Pipeline, sending columns of black smoke billowing into the winter sky above the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. The majority of the few hundred remaining protesters marched out, arm in arm.

Plastic Trash Threatens our Oceans: Microplastics in Oceans Outnumber Stars in Our Galaxy by 500 Times
(Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

An estimated 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, damaging aquatic life and costing at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems. If plastic continues to be dumped at this rate, the oceans will carry more plastic than fish by 2050. On February 23, the UN "declared war" on the main threat of planetary pollution -- ocean plastic. Governments are being urged to eliminate microplastics from cosmetics and personal care items, ban plastic bags and reduce other disposable plastic items.

EPA Head Scott Pruitt Says Destruction of the EPA Is "Justified"
(Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post & Rebecca Leber / Mother Jones)

Donald Trump's new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, climate-change-denier Scott Pruitt, recently told a gathering of conservatives that those who want to eliminate the EPA are "justified" in their beliefs, adding: "I think people across this county look at the EPA much as they look at the IRS." Pruitt's statement was seen as a signal of the White House's intent to roll out a series of executive actions gutting the EPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and a host of Clean Energy programs.

Trump's Terrorism Fearmongering vs. The Facts
(A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner / The New York Daily News & the Cato Institute)

When it comes to "fake news," what's disturbing is how loose with the facts Donald Trump has been when it comes to talking about terrorism. Speaking at a law enforcement conference, he stated that terrorism is "a far greater threat than people in our country understand. Believe me." Trump's claims, however, are unsubstantiated, strongly refuted by the data, and even contradicted by his own administration.

Emails Reveal Pruitt's Behind-the-scenes Collaboration with Oil and Natural Gas Interests
(Jeremy Diamond and Rene Marsh / CNN)

In June 2013, a top lobbyist at Devon Energy, an Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas giant, sent one of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's top officials a draft letter objecting to proposed federal regulations on fracking. Two months later, Pruitt (now head of the Environmental Protection Agency), signed a nearly identical version of that letter and sent it to Interior Secretary. More than 7,500 pages of recently revealed emails from Pruitt's office reveal frequents exchanges with polluting energy firms over many years.

Scott Pruitt and the the 4 Pols Behind Koch Plan to Kill the EPA
(Alex Kotch / DeSmogBlog & Ken Kimmell / Union of Concerned Scientists)

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz turned heads when he introduced a bill on Feb. 3 to "completely abolish" the US Environmental Protection Agency. Rep. Gaetz's bill (H.R. 861) came the day after a Senate committee voted to confirm Scott Pruitt -- a fossil fuel-friendly climate-change denier who has sued the EPA 14 times -- to head the agency. Gaetz and his three fellow sponsors have all benefited from campaign donations from the Koch brothers, oil, gas and coal companies and large electric utilities.

Trump to Roll Back Obama's Climate, Water Rules
(Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson / The Washington Post)

Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the measures. While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards.

Thousands of Emails Detail EPA Head's Close Ties to Fossil Fuel Industry
(Brady Dennis and Steven Mufson / The Washington Post & Steve Horn, Sharon Kelly and Graham Readfearn / DeSmogBlog)

The Center for Media and Democracy has obtained previously unreleased emails from the office of former Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, who was recently sworn in as the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency. According to the email record, Pruitt regularly huddled with fossil fuel firms and electric utilities to discuss how to combat federal environmental regulations and spoke to conservative political groups about what they call government"overreach."

Lowest Rainfall in Over 50 Years Is Latest Threat to Children in Syria and Region
(The United Nations International Children's Fund)

Parts of Syria are suffering their lowest levels of rainfall in more than half a century, placing more than 4 million children in the war-torn country at even greater risk. In 2014, a UNICEF report warned that "water scarcity in Syria is now so acute that it may soon drive more civilians to leave their homes, adding to the 6.5 million people already displaced by the conflict."

Trump Prepares to Destroy the EPA
(Rebecca Leber / Grist & Amy Davidson / The New Yorker)

Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice to run the Environmental Protection Agency, was expected to sail through Senate -- possibly as soon as Friday -- despite Democrats' protests that he is unfit to lead an agency that he has repeatedly sued. Meanwhile a cache of documents that might show whether Pruitt was too compromised to deserve the job was due to be released in a few days. So why did Senate Republicans insist on rushing the confirmation vote before the requested document could be released to the public?

The 4 Koch-funded Pols Behind the Plan to Kill the EPA -- and What to Expect from Scott Pruitt
(lex Kotch / DeSmogBlog and EcoWatch & Ken Kimmell / Union of Concerned Scientists)

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz turned heads when he introduced a bill on February 3, 2017 to "completely abolish" the US Environmental Protection Agency. Gaetz's bill came the day after a Senate committee voted to confirm Scott Pruitt (a fossil fuel-friendly attorney general who has sued the EPA 14 times) to head the agency. Meet the four GOP reps who have raked in cash from some of the biggest corporations peddling fossil fuels, including Koch Industries, Duke Energy, Chevron and ExxonMobil.

Greenwashing Wars and the US Military
(Ann Wright / Consortium News)

In September 2016, a congress of major conservation groups soft-pedaled criticism of the US military and other war-makers despite the massive damage they inflict on humans, animals, plants, cultural sites and the environment. Retired Col. Ann Wright asks: "How can you conserve nature when you are bombing nature in wars of choice around the world, practicing military operations in areas that have endangered species . . . and bombing islands into wastelands?"

Green Groups File Sweeping Lawsuit AccusingTrump of Usurping Congress's Powers on Regulations
(Chris Mooney / The Washington Post & Donald J. Trump / The White House & William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Three advocacy groups -- Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Communications Workers of America -- have filed a sweeping federal lawsuit challenging Donald Trump's executive order requiring two federal regulations to be "identified for elimination" for every new one added -- arguing that the order fundamentally takes over Congress's powers to enact laws to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

Drought Threatens Wildlife in Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve

Crocodiles and hippos are dying as the Mara and Talek rivers, which traverse the game reserve, are drying up. Wildebeests and zebras are crossing the dry riverbeds, heading to Tanzania to seek greener pastures. Conservationists have raised the alarm, saying that the drying-up of the rivers, whose source is in the depleted Mau Forest, is one of a series of ominous signs that could lead up to an ecological disaster.

Solomon Islanders Struggle with Lethal Legacy of World War II
(Julian Ryall / Deutsche Welle)

Seven decades after Japan and the United States fought over these South Pacific islands, local residents are unearthing bullets and bombs that still have the capacity to kill and maim. The haul to date, on one small patch of the island, includes a number of 155 mm artillery rounds that would have been fired from US howitzers. This August marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal, one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Pacific campaign.

A Bad Day for the Environment in Senate -- With Many More to Come
(Bill McKibben / The New Yorker)

The Trump Administration had imposed a comprehensive gag order on employees of the Environmental Protection Agency. According to a leaked memo, "no press releases," "no blog messages," and "no social media will be going out," and "no new content can be placed on any website" until further notice -- perhaps an attempt to camouflage the other big EPA announcement, which was that the agency's grants and contracts had been temporarily frozen, effectively halting its work.

Earth to Pruitt: At a Confirmation Hearing, Denialism Stands while Temperatures Rise
(Elizabeth Kolbert / The New Yorker)

Either it was a cleverly engineered plan or some kind of cosmic joke: just as the confirmation hearing for Scott Pruitt, the climate denier who is Donald Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, was getting under way Wednesday, on Capitol Hill, two federal agencies -- the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- announced that 2016 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began, in 1880.

West Antarctica Is Breaking Up: Global Floods Could Follow
(The Daily Kos )

A berg the size of Scotland is poised to break off the Larsen ice shelf in West Antartica at any time. West Antartica is quite literally cracking up. The culprit is anthropogenic climate change, a steady rise in global temperatures produced by accumulating industrial emissions. Climate change is particularly virulent near the poles. Meanwhile, the ice shelves of South Antarctica, located in the Bellingshausen sea, are in rapid melt. A 17 mile crack threatens to put the Larsen C ice shelf at risk of collapse.

The Threat From China's Lone Aircraft Carrier Has Been Overstated
(Ivan Eland / AntiWar.com)

The world's media is touting the "coming out" party for China's lone aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. The carrier and its's entourage of escorting destroyers and frigates made a splash when they left the first island chain behind and sallied forth into the open Pacific Ocean past Taiwan and Okinawa. The ship and its battle group are symbolically headed to the South China Sea, where China has territorial disputes with several nations.

Warming Oceans Causing Massive Destruction of World's Coral Reefs
(Tim Radford / Climate News Network & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

Some time this century, if humans go on burning fossil fuels at the present rate, severe bleaching will hit 99 percent of coral reefs every year. Coral bleaching happens when the organisms become uncomfortably hot, and reject the algae on which their lives ultimately depend. Right now, the world's reefs are caught up in the longest global coral bleaching event ever recorded.

Thawing Arctic Is Turning Oceans into Graveyards
(Steve Connor / The Guardian & Associated Press & Lars Ostenfeld / The Guardian)

In November 2016, Canada's Hudson Bay was as ice-free as on a summer's day. Polar bears could be extinct here by mid-century. If the bears are in trouble, so are we. NASA research shows that ice-free summers are now imminent, posing a peril to us all. Unfortunately, the US strategy offers no solution to address threat of greenhouse gases on decline of sea ice habitat.

Israeli Witness in Gaza: No Water, No Electricity and Children Dying Unnecessarily
(Ayelett Shani / Haaretz)

Salah Haj Yahya, 50, who lives in Taibeh, runs a mobile clinic on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights and leads medical teams going to Gaza. We met at a Tel Aviv cafe, on a Thursday morning. "We're the only ones going there from Israel, with the approval of the IDF and security services," he says. ""Gaza is cloaked in desperation. You feel it the minute you cross the border. It's like traveling to another world. You see thousands of destroyed houses, factories in ruin, sewage flowing through the streets."

Extreme Weather Risk: Megafloods in California
(B. Lynn Ingram / Scientific American)

A 43-day storm that began in December 1861 put central and southern California underwater for up to six months, and it could happen again. Geologic evidence shows that truly massive floods, caused by rainfall alone, have occurred in California every 100 to 200 years. Such floods are likely caused by atmospheric rivers: narrow bands of water vapor about a mile above the ocean that extend for thousands of kilometers.

Syria's War Has Caused a Drinking Water in Damascus
(Ben Hubbard / The New York Times)

For millions of Damascus residents, long-term concerns about the direction of the war in Syria have been replaced by worries about where to get enough water to do the dishes, wash clothes or take a shower. For nearly two weeks, the Syrian capital and its vicinity have been afflicted by a water crisis that has left taps dry, caused long lines at wells and forced people to stretch whatever thin resources they can find.

Environmental Catastrophe: Iraqi Oil Fires Still Burning after 4 Months
(Gareth Davies / The Daily Mail)

The battle to liberate the Iraqi city is leaving a lasting legacy of environmental damage and health risks. ISIS set fire to the oil wells in the Qayyarah area in a last-ditch attempt to confuse coalition soldiers in August. Four months later and the flames are still spewing plumes of thick, black smoke into the air near Mosul. It has caused havoc with farmers who are not able to sell sheep because the animals have turned black.

US Return of Okinawa Training Area Faces Harsh Criticism from Local Residents
(Ayako Mie / Japan Times & Jon Hetman / Truthout)

The return of about 4,000 hectares of the Jungle Warfare Training Center, was reached following the gang rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl by three US military service members. The US agreed to partially return the land to Japan in exchange for allowing the construction of six helipads in the remaining areas. From the beginning, the reversion process met fierce opposition from local residents and environmental groups.

Obama 'Permanently Bans' Oil Drilling in Millions of Acres of Ocean
(BBC World News & Josh Lederman and Kathleen Hennessey / Associated Press)

Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the "vast majority" of US-owned northern waters. Mr. Obama designated areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as "indefinitely off limits" to future leasing. The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect the region before Mr. Obama leaves office in January. Supporters of president-elect Donald Trump could find it difficult to reverse the decision.

China Seizes US Naval Drone in South China Sea
(Al Jazeera)

A Chinese Navy warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest from Washington. US officials demand return of the drone they say was testing salinity and temperature in international waters. Adding to the tension, Beijing is facing a new US president who has questioned long-standing US policy on Taiwan, called Beijing a currency manipulator and threatened Chinese imports with punitive tariffs.

Why Did the EPA Water Down Fracking Dangers?
(Susan Phillips / National Public Radio & Jon Hurdle / StateImpact )

New documents have emerged that show the EPA downplayed the risks of fracking in a landmark report on the process used to extract oil and gas from shale. The last minute changes made by the EPA are documented in a story by the public radio show Marketplace and APM Reports.

Trump Being Urged to Abolish 260 Million Acres of National Monuments
(Dan Zukowski / EcoWatch)

US Rep. Rob Bishop, a fierce anti-public lands Republican in Utah, is urging President-elect Donald Trump to abolish national monuments created by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. More than 270 million acres of American land and waters are potentially at risk -- an area two and a half times the size of California. The action would be unprecedented. No president in history has undone the creation of a national monument by a predecessor.

Veterans Head To Standing Rock To Support 'We The People'
(TheRealNews & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

Hundreds of veterans are preparing to join the Water Protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota on December 5 to peacefully protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. "My first duty as a marine is to protect the people of the United States," Gulf War veteran Michael Markus said. "That's why I'm here, to protect the people, protect the water, protect future generations."

Standing Rock Is Our Civil Rights Event
(Bill McKibben / The Guardian & Josh Fox / Democracy Now!)

We're seeing a scene as explosive as the Freedom Rides or the bus boycotts play out in real time on the high plains of the Dakotas. In the 1960s, the US government sent helpers to protect integration efforts. Why not do more to protect the Dakota Pipeline protesters today?

What Would a Trump EPA Look Like? Environmental Leaders on Hope And Progress in the Age of Trump
(Grist Staff)

Donald Trump, a climate denier who has promised to gut the Paris accord, scrap the Clean Power Plan, bring back coal, and roll back pollution restrictions is our next president, and the civil and human rights of so many in this country are threatened. Hateful, violent acts committed in his name continue to populate the news. As we've done before in similar times, we've turned to politicians and other green leaders to ask how we keep working toward climate action, sustainability, and social justice? And what gives them hope, inspiration, or determination in such a trying time?

Secret Former US Nuclear Launch-site in Greenland Threatened by Melting Ice
(Jan M. Olsen / Associated Press)

A once-secret US base designed to attach Russia with nuclear missiles was abandoned years ago but the clean-up was never completed. With the arctic melting due to climate change, an array of abandoned equipment, chemical waste and radioactive pollution -- intended to remain buried under the ice for centuries -- may start to resurface before the end of this century. Greenland is now urging Denmark to remove the remains of Camp Century and several other abandoned US military bases.

UN Investigates Human Rights Abuses at Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

A United Nations group is investigating allegations of human rights abuses by North Dakota law enforcement against Native American protesters, with indigenous leaders testifying about "acts of war" they observed during mass arrests at an oil pipeline protest. Protesters who have raised concerns about excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where some activists have been held in cages.

Thousands Around the World Rally Against Dakota Pipeline
(Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News)

On November 15, more than 200 actions took place around the world in solidarity with water protectors at Standing Rock. The actions were called by Native American leaders around the country. Standing Rock activist Fred Lemere fears that one of Trump's first acts will be to send troops to rough up Indian people at Standing Rock and clear them away from the path of the pipeline. He said the protest will need 50,000 not 5.000 people to go to Standing Rock and defend the land.

Big Oil Versus Orcas: Canadian Pipeline Threatens Survival of Killer Whales
(Ashifa Kassam / The Guardian)

Conservationists say Canada's proposed Trans Mountain Expansion project poses the greatest risk yet to a killer whale population already on the edge of extinction. Known as the "southern resident killer whales," the group has long had a fraught relationship with the urban sprawl they live alongside, leaving them on the knife's edge of extinction. The latest threat: a $5 billion expansion proposal for a pipeline that would snake from Alberta to the Pacific coast.

ACTON ALERT: Trump, the Dakota Pipeline, and Native Rights
(Bill McKibben / EcoWatch & Our Revolution & Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. / Waterkeeper Alliance & Josh Fox / EcoWatch)

The ugly side of the American psyche that's propelled Donald Trump to the presidency is nothing new to Indigenous people. It's nothing new to people of color, to immigrants, to the vulnerable and the marginalized. This is a time for drawing together the many threads of our resistance -- to fossil fuels, yes, but also and just as importantly to widespread hatred. But President Obama could take dramatic and decisive action to safeguard native lands and the publics water -- by declaring Standing Rock a National Park.

Military Memorial, Wildlife at Odds in New Battle of Midway
(Caleb Jones and Josh Lederman / Associated Press & The Republic)

The Battle of Midway was a major turning point in World War II's Pacific theater. The remote atoll where thousands died is now a delicate sanctuary for millions of seabirds, and a new battle is pitting preservation of its vaunted military history against the protection of its wildlife.

War Against Native Americans in the US: Hundreds Arrested, Scores Injured, One Horse Shot to Death
(Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn / YES! Magazine & teleSURtv)

To clear the way for a controversial oil pipeline project, North Dakota invoked a measure reserved for state emergencies like natural disasters to mobilize an army of police from seven different states and hired outside security firms. The founder of one of the security firms responsible for the brutal attacks on nonviolent native protesters, is a Delta Force veteran who once served as lead advisor to the CIA in the invasion of Afghanistan.

Do Red Lives Matter? The Difference between Oregon and North Dakota
(Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)

Commentary: "There is a cruel, stupid irony about living in a country when, on the same day, a bunch of gun-toting rubes . . . get acquitted after an armed takeover of federal property in Oregon while, half a country away, peaceful protesters doing nothing but praying on land to which they have a right guaranteed by treaty get rousted, roughed up, and hauled away by a militarized police force acting largely at the behest of a private company."

Dakota Pipeline Is the New Keystone -- With Police Dogs and Donald Trump
(Bill McKibben / The New York Times & Sam Levin / The Guardian & Oliver Milman / The Guardian)

The Native Americans who have spent months in peaceful protest against an oil pipeline along the banks of the Missouri are standing up for tribal rights, clean water, environmental justice and a working climate. And it's time that everyone else joined in. Meanwhile, Donald Trump's close financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners, the operators of the controversial pipeline, have been laid bare: Trump has invested in ETP and has received more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from its chief executive.

The US' Guantanamo Prison Base Is Destroying the Cuban Ecosystem

The US prison base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is destroying the local ecosystem and cutting off locals of profit from their biologically rich resources, according to researchers. Scientist Mario Montero Campello says that the rich ecosystem could have brought valuable research and revenue to the impoverished bay. Meanwhile, instead of preparing to close the facility, the United States Navy will spend $240 million to build new facilities at the military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Al Gore Calls for Justice at Standing Rock
(Al Gore / EcoWatch & Mark Trahant / YES Magazine & Dan Zukowski / EcoWatch)

Commentary: "I stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We have witnessed inspiring and brave acts by Native Americans and their allies who are defending and trying to protect their sacred sites and the safety of their sole source of water."

Cost of the Human War on Earth: 58% of Wildlife Eradicated in Past 46 Years
(Jeremy Hance / The Guardian & Rebecca Morelle / BBC News)

Global wildlife populations have fallen by 58% since 1970, according to a biodiversity report, but is the loss of a unique life form on Earth big news? Not according to most media outlets. But how can the public care about global mass extinction if they aren't even told about its victims?

The Stand-off at Standing Rock: Native Defenders Stand against Oil Pipeline
(Jim Hightower / Salon)

In 2014, ETP, a Texas oil behemoth, went public with its scheme to build a massive oil pipeline from the fracking wells of the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota. If the $3.8 billion line is completed, it would carry 570,000 barrels of oil a day through hundreds of farms and ranches and make 200 river crossings. Kelcy Warren, Energy Transfer Partners' well-heeled chief, appears to have met his match in North Dakota with the steadfast resolve of the Lakota Sioux.

Police Viciously Attack Peaceful Protesters at Dakota Access Pipeline
(Jihan Hafiz / The Intercept)

On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people gathered to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing Rock, North Dakota. Native American organizers lit sage and prayed for protection from police brutality before setting off on the 8-mile trek. Dozens of officers, backed by military trucks, police vans, machine guns, and nonlethal weapons, violently approached the group without warning. “Don’t move, everyone is under arrest,” boomed the loudspeaker of the military vehicle.

Nonviolent Native Protestors Arrested at Standing Rock: Dakota Access Pipeline Wants War. Native Drones Shot Down!
(Navajo / The Daily Kos)

On October 22, 2016, Dallas Goldtooth reported, via Facebook Live about the 83 arrests that happened near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation where American Indian Nations are resisting the construction of a four-state oil pipeline being constructed under the Missouri River, the water source for 17 million people. DAPL wants war. Unfortunately for that goal, the activists are being peaceful and representing their concerns with prayer.

Militarized Police Threaten and Arrest Dakota Pipeline Water Protectors
(The Daily Kos & teleSURtv)

In April 2016, Native peoples began protesting the 1,172-mile, four-state, Dakota Access Pipeline, calling the DAP a threat to sacred lands and water. On September 28, 2016 the Water Protectors' caravan was met with armored vehicles, helicopters dropping tear gas and police armed with military-style rifles. Videos show that, as the resisters are confronted, the militarized police start locking and loading their weapons as the protesters raise their hands in unison and yell that "We are not armed. We are praying!"

US Climate Change Costs Hit $67 Billion: Rising Heat Threatens Life on Earth
(Associated Press & Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Erin Auel and Alison Cassady / EcoWatch)

This year is on pace to smash last year's record for the hottest year. The summer of 2016 was hotter than any summer since at least 1016 AD and there is "compelling evidence" that this past summer was hotter than at any point in the past 100,000 years. Arctic ice levels this year were the second-lowest in recorded history and extreme weather events – wildfires, floods, drought and hurricanes – cost the US $67 billion in disaster relief between 2005 and 2015.

The Situation in Aleppo Is Catastrophic.
(Al Jazeera)

Syrian and Russian air raids are ongoing against Aleppo city. Air strikes and all different kinds of rockets have hit different districts. Residents speak of "ferocious bombardment" as at least 91 people are killed. Meanwhile, nearly two million and left without food or water. "What we are suffering can't be expressed by words in any language. We don't have water to give our children . . . the roads have been cut off by rubble. In the hospitals, there are three-four people on one bed."

UK-based Multinational behind Attacks on Native American Protesters at Dakota Pipeline
(Telesur & Global Research)

G4SP, a UK-based security multinational, admitted to having personnel deployed at "remote sites" where Native Americans are defending their lands from the planned $3.8-million Dakota Access pipeline that they say would pollute the drinking water of millions. G4SP has been under fire for providing services to Israeli prisons and settlements, expanding across Afghanistan and Iraq, operating juvenile detention centers, and handling deportations from the US.

US and China Accept Climate Treaty; Antarctic Ice in Massive Meltdown; Ecuador Going 100% Renewable
(The Climate Reality Project & Futurism.com & TheCivilEngineer.org)

The US and China -- which together make up about 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions -- have become the first major economies to formally accept the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, alarmed researchers report nearly 8,000 polar lakes have appeared across Antarctica between 2000 and 2013 -- a sign of potential ice-sheet collapse. In a hopeful sign, Ecuador continues to produce more than 99% of its electrical energy from renewables -- for a third year in a row.

Who Would Win If the Pentagon Fought the Whole World?
(Logan Nye / We Are the Mighty.com & Scout.com)

How would the US hold up if it wound up going to war with the rest of the world? All at once? It's the big fight, the heavyweight championship -- the US against the world. The whole world. And not just traditional rivals. In this scenario, the US has to fight off its allies like the United Kingdom, France, and South Korea as well. So if it's the US against the world, who's going to win? In short, America would stomp them.

Obama's Offshore Drilling Puts Whales and Dolphins in Peril, Groups Warn
(Oliver Milman / The Guardian)

Barack Obama, who has called global warming an "genuine existential threat" has been praised his leadership on climate issues. But environmentalists are increasingly frustrated over Obama's plan to allow offshore oil drilling. Environmental groups warn president's climate legacy could be at risk over research showing areas cleared for oil and gas extraction contain marine life -- including whales and dolphins -- that would be put at risk.

Pentagon Water Contamination from Colorado to Wisconsin: A Tale of Two Bases
(Dan Elliott / Associated Press & Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)

In Colorado, health officials say it's highly likely that trace amounts of toxic chemicals found in three drinking water systems came from firefighting foam used at a nearby Air Force base. In Wisconsin, the 7,400-acre Badger Army Ammunition Plant was once the largest ammunition plant on Earth. Of the 40 contaminated military sites in Wisconsin, the Badger Plant was the most polluted and nearby communities have a significantly higher incidence of cancer deaths.

How Gaza's Electricity Crisis Is Becoming Israel's Water Catastrophe
(Shlomi Eldar / Al-Monitor)

The inability to treat wastewater in the Gaza Strip because of a lack of electricity is threatening to contaminate the water supplies of Gaza as well as Israel unless the long-standing problem is immediately addressed.

Russia Hosts the 2016 International Army Olympics
(Al Jazeera & the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)

The International Army Games 2016 kicked off just outside Moscow earlier this month, with more than 3,000 military personnel from 20 different countries participating. The Games include 23 field, air and marine-based events and feature 121 teams from Russia and 19 other countries.

US Navy Sued over Plans for War Games on Pacific Islands
(Caleb Jones / Associated Press and ENews & The Center for Biological Diversity)

Community members and the earthJustice environmental group have sued the US Navy, the Department of Defense and the Secretary of Defense over a plan to turn two Pacific islands into live-fire testing sites for training exercises. The Pentagon's plan calls for using the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for military war games.

Human-caused Species Extinctions Worldwide Now Threaten Human Life
(Ian Johnston / The Independent)

Animal and plant species are declining so quickly that world biodiversity loss could soon start to threaten much of the planet's ability to support human life. Experts analysed nearly 2.4 million records about more than 39,000 species at 18,600 different places around the world and discovered that for 58.1 percent of the world's land surface, the loss of biodiversity was serious enough to call into question its ability to sustain the 5.3 billion people who live there.

British Nuclear Sub Damaged in Collision with Tanker off Gibraltar
(Brian Reyes / Gibraltar Chronicle & Walter Russell Mead / The New York Times)

A British nuclear submarine sustained external damage to its conning tower after smashing into a commercial tanker while operating submerged in the waters off Gibraltar. This is only the latest in a chilling inventory of nuclear "near misses" that includes the US Air Force accidentally dropping a nuclear bomb in the backyard of a South Carolina family in the 1960s.

Okinawa Protests Erupt as US Helipad Construction Resumes
(Ayako Mie / Japan Times)

Hundreds of riot police and protesters clashed as construction of US helipads resumed in Okinawa's Northern Training Area, a key condition for the partial return to Japan of a large parcel of land being used by US forces. Local residents have complained about the noise made by the crash-plagued Osprey tilt-sing aircraft and the environmental impact construction will have on the area.

Toxic and Deadly, the Human and Environmental Toll of Open Burning
(Daniel Ross / TruthOut)

Because the open burning of old munitions is highly toxic, it is banned in Canada and many European countries. But not in the US. Now, a decades-long effort to end the practice is moving ahead. In the meantime, bases across the US continue to dispose of tons of small arms cartridges, rockets, mortars, artillery shells and tactical missiles by burning them in the open, causing toxic clouds to blow over surrounding communities and contaminating the soil and groundwater.

GOP Platform Targets Parks and Forests
(Jenny Rowland/ ThinkProgress )

The Republican platform committee met this week to draft the document that defines the party's official principles and policies. Along with provisions on pornography as a "public health issue" and LGBT "conversion therapy" is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of America's national forests and public lands.

ACTION ALERT: Army Base Poisoning Michigan's Water and Air
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB))

For years, the Badger Army Ammunition Plant has been flooding surrounding land and waters with ead, copper, arsenic, ammonia, nitroglycerine, PCBs and methylmercury – the most toxic form of mercury. Meanwhile, in communities across America, open burning and detonation of hazardous waste explosives results in the uncontrolled release of toxic heavy metals, energetic compounds, perchlorate, nitrogen oxides, dioxins and other carcinogens to the environment.

UN Preparing Principles to Guid Environmental Protection After Conflicts
(Doug Weir / Toxic Remnants of War Project )

The UN's International Law Commission is trying to see whether it's possible to translate the environmental behavior of militaries, governments and international organizations into legal principles that could guide their actions before during and after armed conflicts.

Russia to Open New Naval Base in Black Sea to Counter NATO
(Nikolai Litovkin / Russia Beyond the Headlines)

The Russian Navy is to open a new base on the Black Sea coast hosting Varshavyanka class Project 636.6 diesel-electric submarines with Kalibr cruise missiles. According to a RBTH source in the military-industrial complex, the Black Sea Fleet's new base will host six Varshavyanka class Project 636.6 submarines. Initially, the new base on the Black Sea coast was being built because of disagreements in Russian-Ukrainian relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Palestinians Say Israel Caused their Summer Water Shortage
(Mohammed Daraghmeh and Daniella Cheslow / Big Story & Alex Traiman/ Jewish and Israel News )

As Palestinians in the West Bank fast from dawn to dusk in scorching heat during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, tens of thousands of people have been affected by a drought that has greatly reduced the flow to their taps. Israel admits it's been forced to cut water supplies to the parched area, saying that nearby Jewish settlements have also been affected. But Palestinian areas appear to have been hit much harder, and both sides are blaming each other.

Casualties of War
(Lori Freshwater / Earth Island Journal)

It seemed there was an unusually high number of rare cancers and diseases afflicting current and former residents of several neighborhoods that Coldwater Creek ran through, including St. Ann. The most likely cause, the news reports and websites she scanned indicated, was the creek, which had been contaminated by radioactive waste from the World War II era.

The Truth about the Pentagon's Military Base at Diego Garcia
(David Vine / International Forum on Globalization)

Between 1968 and 1973, US officials conspired with their British colleagues to remove the native Chagossians from their ancestral home on the islands of Diego Garcia, carefully hiding their expulsion from Congress, Parliament, the UN, and the media. During the deportations, British agents and members of a US Navy construction battalion rounded up and killed the islanders pet dogs -- gassing the howling animals with exhaust piped in from US military vehicles.

Conflict, the Environment and Humanitarian Action
(The Toxic Remnants of War Project & Turkey International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

This week the much anticipated but also disputed World Humanitarian Summit begins in Istanbul. Its aim is to find ways to improve the global system of humanitarian assistance for the challenges posed by conflict, natural disasters, climate change and displacement. Conflict-related environmental damage is a growing cause for concern for humanitarian actors and civil society in war-torn countries.

Climate Change Threatens Cherished Sites around the Planet
(Seth Shulman / Catalyst Magazine & Union of Concerned Scientists)

Ancient buildings, wilderness, and historic in virtually every nation -- from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef – are now at risk from unprecedented climate-driven storms and floods. In the US, much of America's natural and cultural heritage – from the Statue of Liberty and Mesa Verde National Park – face imminent threats from climate change and extreme weather events.

ACTION ALERT: Urge Obama to Meet with Governor Onaga of Okinawa
(CODEPINK & Women for Peace)

The US has had a presence in Okinawa since the end of WWII and currently 33 US military facilities and about 28,000 US military personnel remain on the island. Crimes against Okinawans by US military personnel and damage to the environment caused by the presence of US military bases have been occurring for over 70 years. It is not too late for Obama to honor the request of Governor Onaga to meet and talk about the destructive US bases in Okinawa.

Climate Change Summed Up in a Single, Startling Animation
(Richard Gray / Daily Mail Online)

An animation created by a climate scientist at the University of Reading shows month-by month temperature changes between 1850 and 2016. The graphic reveals a clear warming trend that has got greater in recent years.

Massive Global Die-Offs: The Industrialized World's War on Nature
(Michael Snyder / ActivistPost & Erin Blakemore / The Smithsonian Magazine & Catherine J. Frompovich / ActivistPost)

Why are millions upon millions of dead sea-creatures suddenly washing up on beaches all over the world? It is certainly not unusual for fish and other inhabitants of our oceans to die. This happens all the time. But over the past month we have seen a series of extremely alarming mass death incidents all over the planet. Other mass die-offs have killed millions of land mammals, reptiles and insects.

Destroying a City to 'Save It': US Bombs Have Obliterated Ramadi
(Elizabeth McLaughlin and Justin Fishel / ABC News)

It was one of the biggest cities in Iraq -- the capital of Anbar Province and a strategic hub for travelers going west to Syria and Jordan. Once a bustling city along the banks of the Euphrates with a booming population of nearly 850,000, Ramadi is now a ghost town. Buildings, roads and waterways have been destroyed. Hidden mines and unexploded ordnance threaten anyone who tries to return.

The World's Ocean's Are Starting to Run Out of Oxygen
(Niina Heikkinen / ClimateWire & The Scientific America)

Climate change is doing more than warming the world's oceans. It's also making it harder for marine life to breathe. New research reveals that -- in addition to exacerbating global warming and ocean acidification -- rising levels of CO2 are depleting the amount of oxygen in the world's oceans. For each degree of ocean warming, oxygen concentration goes down by 2 percent.

How the GOP's New Budget Targets America's Environment
(Amanda D. Rodewald / The Hill)

House Republicans have released a new fiscal plan titled "A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America." But, if enacted, the GOP budget plan would significantly erode many regulations, rules and mandates designed to protect our environment, while at the same time expanding oil, coal and gas development likely to a carry hefty environmental toll. Like Donald Trump, the House members are preparing to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

Greenpeace: US to Use Global Trade Deal to Evade EU's Environmental and Public Health Protections
(Arthur Neslen / The Guardian & Stuart Jeffries / The Guardian)

Trade deal talks between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with "irreconcilable" differences. According to documents leaked by Greenpeace, the two sides are at odds over US demands that the EU break promises it has made on environmental protection. "These leaked documents give us an unparalleled look US demands to circumvent EU protections for environment and public health. The EU position is very bad, and the US position is terrible."

The Pentagon vs. Palestine: Gaza Needs Peace, Jobs, Security and Water
(Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National)

The hypermilitarized US approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs to change. US military aid to Israel --now 20% of Israel's military budget -- is part of the problem. President Obama's 2017 budget allocates $3.1 billion in military assistance to Israel -- more than twice the aid to any other country. In Gaza, with the world's highest unemployment rate, families spend a third of their income on water. Gaza's drinkable water could run out by the year's end.

ACTION ALERT: Largest Civil Disobedience in History of the Environmental Movement Underway from May 4-16
(350.org & Break Free.org)

2015 was the hottest year ever recorded and the impacts of climate change are already hitting communities around the world. From rising sea levels to extreme storms, the need to act on climate change has never been more urgent. Starting today, a global wave of peaceful direct actions lasting for 12 days will take place across six continents targeting the world's most dangerous fossil fuel projects, under the banner of "Break Free."

War and Environmental Collapse
(David Swanson / Excerpt From "War Is A Lie" (Just World Books, 2016))

Our planet will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive "conventional" war, of the sorts the US government now wages. Intense damage has been done by wars and by the preparation for wars. War's environmental impact falls into four areas: "production and testing of nuclear weapons, aerial and naval bombardment of terrain, dispersal and persistence of land mines and buried ordnance, and use or storage of military despoliants, toxins, and waste." We must end war.

NATO Wants Bigger Black Sea Fleet to Provoke Russia
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tsvetelia Tsolova / Reuters)

While deploying ever-growing numbers of ground troops in Eastern Europe, NATO's latest focus in needling Russia involves a major increase in naval presence in the Black Sea. Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania may expand the NATO alliance's maritime presence in the Black Sea as part of a broader strategy to "contain" Russia and freeing NATO to patrol Russia's borders by air, land and sea while positioning missiles and anti-ship missiles in the Black Sea and in Syria.

War and Environmental Collapse
(David Swanson / War Is a Lie)

Book excerpt: "The environment as we know it will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive "conventional" war, understood to mean the sorts of wars the US government now wages. Intense damage has already been done by wars and by the research, testing, and production done in preparation for wars. . . . [W]ars have damaged the earth, both intentionally and -- more often -- as a reckless side-effect."

What Are Foreign Military Bases For?
(World Beyond War )

If you're like most people in the United States, you have a vague awareness that the US military keeps lots of troops permanently stationed on foreign bases around the world. But have you ever wondered and really investigated to find out how many, and where exactly, and at what cost, and to what purpose, and in terms of what relationship with the host nations? "Base Nation," a wonderfully researched new book, six years in the works, answers these questions.

Japan PM Suspends Work on US Base on Okinawa
(Mari Yamaguchi / Associated Press & Abby Martin / Breaking the Set)

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to temporarily suspend work on moving a US Marine base on Okinawa and will resume talks on the contentious relocation plan. Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga last year withdrew permission for the work -- which involved filling in part of a bay to create off-coast runways for Futenma air station, which is now in a more densely populated area on the island.

ACTION ALERT: Another Eco-Activist Is Murdered in Honduras
(Carys Afokos / SumOfUs.org & Nina Lakhani / The Guardian)

On March 4, Berta Caceres, co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) murdered by gunmen who entered her home in the middle of the night. Carceres had received death threats for opposing the Agua Zarca Dam. Now, another COPINH member has been found dead after his arrest by Honduran police. The latest death comes amid growing fears for the safety of environmental activists and their family members across Hondurdas.

Guam: The Tip of America's Spear
(Michael Lujan Bevacqua, PhD / Space Alert (GNAWNPS))

For more than 110 years, the United States has held Guam, an island in the western Pacific, as an "unincorporated territory" -- a colony. Guam is often called "the tip of America's spear," only 212 square miles, 29% of that land mass is US Air Force and Navy bases. Since the end of World War II, the UN has insisted the US support the decolonization of Guam. Now the Pentagon plans to introduce 60,000 more troops and dependents and dredge a beautiful coral reef.

America's Empire of Foreign Bases: Bankrupting Our Nation and 'Doing More Harm Than Good'
(David Vine / TomDispatch & The Nation)

The US garrisons the planet unlike any country in history -- from Honduras to Oman, Japan to Germany, Singapore to Djibouti. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that around 800 US bases encircle the planet. Seventy years after World War II and 62 years after the Korean War, there are still 174 US "base sites" in Germany, 113 in Japan, and 83 in South Korea. Hundreds more dot the planet in around 80 countries.

Will We Ever Stop Our War-Hungry Government?
(Bruce Gagnon / The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space)

Activists from all over Sicily have been protesting against a US Navy base for six years. In addition to their refusal to have their community used as a base for war making they also have grave concern over the health effects of the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the three massive satellite dishes. Meanwhile protests continue over Pacific Ocean Navy bases in Okinawa and South Korea's Jeju Island -- the "Island of Peace."

The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk
(Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone)

At some point, climate denialism will flip into climate panic, and the demand for law and order will prevail (as will calls for quick and dangerous techno-fixes like geo-engineering to cool the planet and stop the rising seas). The US military is the only force on Earth with the ability to police, process, feed and move refugees on a mass scale. But this picture could turn dark fast -- one of the biggest long-term threats climate change poses is to civil liberties and freedom.

ACTION ALERT: Fukushima Radioactive Fallout Food Safety Petition
(Kimberly Roberson / Change.org)

We are in the midst of an ongoing and seemingly incomprehensible radiation crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan. Particulates in the form of radioactiive iodine and other radioisotopes from Fukushima have traveled across the US as far as Massachusetts. Here in the US, we are STILL not receiving honest, accurate and consistent information from our government. The EPA must expand the monitoring of air, rain water, and milk.

Historic Case: On March 7, Marshall Islanders Call on World Court to Enforce Global Nuclear Disarmament
(Rick Wayman and Sandy Jones / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Jackie Cabasso / International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

On March 7, 2016, the International Court of Justice, the world's highest court, will begin hearings in The Hague, on the preliminary objections raised by the United Kingdom, India and Pakistan in the nuclear disarmament cases brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands. These unprecedented lawsuits aim to hold the nine nuclear-armed states accountable for violating international law by failing to respect their nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 NPT.

China's View: It Is the US That Is Militarizing the South China Sea
(Zhang Junshe / People's Daily Online Op-ed & Franz-Stefan Gady / The Diplomat)

The US has recently accused China of militarizing the South China Sea. However, evidence suggests that it is the US rather than China who is actually militarizing the region. The US has not only acquired access to eight military bases in the Philippines, but the superpower is also increasing its military presence in Singapore and sending warships and aircraft to the South China Sea while provocative "navigation freedom" actions destroy peace and escalate regional tensions.

Collapse of Iraq's Mosul Dam Could Kill 1 Million: US Citizens Urged to Flee
(AntiWar.com & The Guardian & Reuters)

The viability of the Mosul Dam is in growing doubt. After US warnings were dismissed by Iraqi officials as overblown, the engineers who built the dam warned that the situation was even worse than the US was saying. The engineers are now saying that if it goes, a 20 meter-high flood of water could roll through Mosul and down the Tigris valley, killing upward of a million people. The US has ordered Americans in Iraq to be prepared to flee the area if the dam were to collapse.

Inconvenient Truths About Military Air Shows: Doing the Math
(Gary Kohls / FUBAR and Grill.org)

The Navy's Blue Angels perform across the US to promote militarism. They also promote cancer. The kerosene-based jet propellant used by the F-18s contains a mixture of volatile organic compounds (some of which are known carcinogens) as well as being liver, kidney and immune system toxins. The post-combustion exhaust from the jet engines contains equally carcinogenic pollutants capable of poisoning animals as well as plant and aquatic life.

US Navy's New Zombie Drone: An Autonomous Sea-going Killer
(Voice of America News & Fox News)

It's 131 feet long and can prowl the world's ocean for months at a time -- all by itself without a human on board. The robot drone -- aka an Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, or ACTUV -- is the largest unmanned surface vehicle ever built. This new vessel will patrol the world's oceans hunting and tracking enemy submarines -- and it will execute deadly missions without a single human aboard. So who is held accountable when people die?

Beijing 'Within Its Rights' to Deploy Air Defense Missiles in the South China Sea
(Sputnik News & Jin Kai / The Diplomat)

Any move by China to deploy defensive missiles on islands in the Paracel chain in the South China Sea would be well within its rights, founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility and the co-winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize Helen Caldicott told Sputnik. Meanwhile, The Diplomat observes that the United States' criticisms of China in the South China Sea are misleading -- likely intentionally so.

US Military to Assess and Manage Risks of Climate Change
(Susan Grigsby / The Daily Kos & Editorial / Investors Business Daily)

The military is capable of doing a competent job of protecting the environment at the same time that it is training its forces for combat. They can multi-task with the best of them. Which is why the uproar on the right over a new pentagon directive -- stressing the need to address climate change -- is rather insulting to our military forces. And yet, corporate sounding boards like Investors Business Daily have criticized the DoD while insisting that "global warming is purely hypothetical."

Will Global Warming Heat Us Beyond Our Physical Limits?
(Cheryl Katz / National Geographic)

If we don't cut greenhouse gases, it's not just storms and rising seas we'd have to worry about. The heat alone could kill a lot of us. Last June in Pakistan, a heat wave killed more than 450 people in the port city of Karachi, where this man received medical treatment. Temperatures stayed around 113 F (45 C) for three days.

Declassified: US Nuclear Weapons Accidents at Sea
(Hans M. Kristensen / The Federation of American Scientists)

Declassified documents show that during much of the 1970s and the 1980s the US deployed about a quarter of its entire nuclear weapons stockpile at sea -- at one point, 6,191 atomic weapons were afloat. Because warships sometimes collide, catch fire, or even sink, it was only a matter of time before the nuclear weapons they carried were threatened, damaged, or lost. One USN nuclear accidents that occurred in 1981 remains classified to this very day.

ACTION ALERT: Open Air Burning of Munitions is Obsolete and Dangerous
(Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)

The US Army reports that its retired stockpile of conventional (non-nuclear/non-biological/non-chemical) ammunition -- and more than 300,000 missiles and components -- grew from 557,000 tons in 2009 and could exceed 1.1 million tons by FY 2025 representing a $2.8 million clean-up liability. A national coalition of 29 organizations is supporting Louisiana residents in their fight to end open-air burning of a stockpile of hazardous explosive waste in the town of Colfax.

Bush Administration behind India's Secret H-bomb Program: India Seizes Farmlands to Build 'Top-secret Nuclear City'
(Russ Wellen / Foreign Policy in Focus & Adrian Levy / Adrian Levy / The Center for Public Integrity & Foreign Policy)

The aftershocks of the Bush administration just keep rolling in, this time in India. While the Obama administration celebrates a treaty to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Washington quietly abets India's quest to build a hydrogen bomb. Tribal lands have been seized by the India government to make room for a top-secret 'atomic city' where centrifuges will spin uranium into fuel for H-bombs, provoking security concerns from Pakistan and China.

The Failed Strategy of Building US Bases around the World
(David Vine / TomDispatch & In These Times)

For more than 36 years, the US has been building an unprecedented constellation of bases stretching from Europe and the Middle East to Africa and Southwest Asia. These bases have cost tens of billions of dollars and serve to support a long list of undemocratic regimes, including Saudi Arabia. The bases have fueled radicalism, anti-Americanism, and the growth of the very terrorist organizations now targeted by the supposedly new strategy of base-building.

Israel Attacks Palestinian Crops with Pesticides Hits Water Supplies
(Belal Aldabbour / Al Jazeera America & Muna Dajani / Al Shabaka)

On January 7, a low-flying agricultural aircraft sprayed herbicides on to Palestinian farmlands along the eastern border, eradicating or damaging up to 162 hectares of crops and farmland along the Israeli border fence. Israeli warplanes also bombed Gaza's main agricultural experiment station, causing $300,000-worth of damages and destroying the station's building, laboratories, vehicles and a large power generator.

The US Has More Foreign Military Bases Than Any Other People, Nation, or Empire in History
(David Vine / The Nation)

With the US military having withdrawn many of its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, most Americans would be forgiven for being unaware that hundreds of US bases and hundreds of thousands of US troops still encircle the globe. Although few know it, the United States garrisons the planet unlike any country in history, and the evidence is on view from Honduras to Oman, Japan to Germany, Singapore to Djibouti.

The True Costs of America's Military Empire
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & David Vine / TomDispatch)

No great power, no superpower, no hyperpower, not the Romans, nor imperial China, nor the British, nor the Soviet Union has ever garrisoned the globe quite the way we have. With the so-called fiscal cliff now eternally on the media horizon, there's been reporting on how your tax dollars are being spent, but do you have the faintest idea what it actually costs to garrison the globe? No? Then you're in good company, and the Pentagon isn't interested in telling you.

New Year Brings Some Good News for Earth's Imperiled Oceans
(Ayana Elizabeth Johnson / Waitt Institute & Victoria Woollastron / The Mail Online)

Overfishing, climate change, habitat destruction and pollution remain major threats to the world's ocean. But amidst all that there is some seriously good ocean conservation news worth celebrating. So, to continue the tradition started last year, here is a run-down of "14 Ocean Conservation Wins for 2015" plus a report on Boyan Slat, a 21-year-old inventor who has built a device to remove plastic wastes from the world's lakes, rivers and oceans.

War on the Oceans: The Unseen Slaughter Under the Sea
(Taylor Hill / TakePart)

Ocean Defenders Alliance is on a mission to stop abandoned "ghost nets" from killing dolphins, sea turtles, and millions of other marine animals.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress: Resume Reporting on Weapons Sales
(World Beyond War & Roots Action & Congressional Research Service)

The United States sells a great deal of weapons but the Congressional Research Service is no longer documenting the country's biggest and most deadly business -- in 2011, the CRS stopped reporting on global arms sales. In 2011, the US accounted for 79% of the weapons shipments to the Middle East, 79% to poor nations around the world, and 77% of the value of total agreements to ship weapons to other countries. It's time to renew CRS' oversight of US arms sales.

US Military Pollution and Climate Change
(Caroline Bridgman-Rees / US Peace Council )

US military pollution is the worst in the world. Its assault on the climate hastens global disaster, threatens human lives everywhere, and wastes precious natural resources for future generations. The US federal government, Pentagon, Congress and NATO are responsible for this pollution, as are political and corporate leaders, military industrialists, contractors, engineers, and scientists. All of them justify violent methods of national security for profit and power.

Here's What You Need to Know about The New Paris Climate Agreement
(Ben Adler / Grist)

Analyses: The Paris Agreement is not a treaty. Its climate-change agreements are not binding. (The Obama administration insisted on this so the deal wouldn't require US Senate approval.) The Agreement commits 196 countries to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels -- with a stretch goal of keeping below 1.5 C. But under the most optimistic assumptions, the Paris accord will set us on a path to 2.7 to 3.5 C of warming.

ACTION ALERT: Speak Out against Japan's War on Whales
(Patrick Ramage / International Fund for Animal Welfare)

In March 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan's Antarctic whaling program was illegal and not for scientific purposes, as Japan has long claimed. Japan is now preparing to mount a blatantly illegal return to whaling with plans to use explosive harpoons and "water-boarding" to kill as many as 4,000 whales over the next 12 years.

Military Intervention Is the Problem, Not the Solution: ISIS Is the Result
(Peter Certo / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera America)

The Islamic State's latest atrocities are a calculated effort to bring the war in Syria home to the countries participating in it. After 911, few pundits for peaceful diplomacy were given air-time. Instead, the media outlets were packed with generals -- then as now. "Viable leadership" always meant a call to war, violence, and aggression. But those who see the world primarily through the frame of attack-and-response are unequipped to seek solutions outside this insidious box.

ACTION ALERT: US Base in Okinawa Threatens Endangered Sea Creatures
(Kazue Komatsubara / Greenpeace International)

Two military airstrips are no mean feat to build. They are massive pieces of military infrastructure, from which expensive, machines take off at great, deafening, speed. And that's exactly what's about to happen on the island of Okinawa. Thousands of tons of landfill will be poured over Oura Bay -- home to the very rare Japanese Dugong, which has become a symbol of struggle against the might of the central Japanese government.

1 Degree C Warming Feared by Year End: Pacific Ocean Approaches 'Tipping Point'
(Al Jazeera America & The San Francisco Chronicle)

The planet's temperature is on track to rise 1 degree C before the end of this year -- halfway to a 'tipping point' that could unleash an unprecedented catastrophe of devastating storms, droughts, floods. Meanwhile, troubling changes in the waters of the Pacific suggest the planets oceans are also undergoing a dramatic shift that could trigger mass die-offs and a collapse of oceanic food systems

Islanders Unite to Resist a New Pacific War
(Koohan Paik / Common Dreams)

Thousands of hectares of exquisitely wild marine environments, peaceful communities and local democracy are now under extreme threat from ramped-up US militarism in the Pacific region. It's all a result of the "Pacific Pivot," announced by President Obama in 2011, to move 60% of US Navy and Air Force resources from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific.

US Probes Dolphin Deaths after Navy Sonar Use
(Al Jazeera and The Associated Press)

The National Marine Fisheries Service is investigating the death of two dolphins found washed ashore in California. The bodies of the marine mammals were discovered shortly after Navy ships were seen using sonar in nearby waters. The sound waves from sonar have the potential to harm or kill marine mammals that rely on sound to communicate, navigate and otherwise survive.

Obama Breaks Promise: It's 'Boots on the Ground' in Syria
(Andrew Buncombe / The Independent & Gregory Korte / USA TODAY & )

Despite promises not to deepen its involvement in the chaos of the conflict inside the Syrian border, Washington is sending troops into the US-sponsored rebellion. Breaking a long-standing vow not to escalate the war, President Obama plans to dispatch up to 60 special forces soldiers to assist CIA-backed rebels inside Syria. Obama has also authorized deployment of A-10s and F-15 aircraft to an air base in Turkey while increasing military assistance to Jordan and Lebanon.

Exxon Knew Everything There Was to Know About Climate Change by the Mid-1980s -- and Denied It
(Bill McKibben / The Nation & Zoe Carpenter / The Nation)

Documents reveal Exxon knew as early as 1981 that carbon emissions drive climate change. As early as the late 1970s, Exxon scientists warned top executives that climate change was real, dangerous, and caused by their products. By the early 1980s, Exxon's own climate models were predicting -- with great accuracy -- the track the global temperature has taken ever since. This all adds weight to rising calls that fossil-fuel companies be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy.

US Risks War to Tell China: 'Stay Out of the South China Sea'
(TeleSUR & Jim Sciutto and Katie Hunt / CNN & Sui-Lee Wee / Reuters)

Once again, the US has deployed military resources to provoke China for its activities in the South China Sea. China angrily lashed out at the US because, despite various warnings, a US warships allegedly violated the sovereignty of Chinese territorial waters in the South China Sea. The Chinese government told Washington these actions put peace and stability in the region at risk and that it is prepared to respond to any acts of provocation by any country.

US Risks War to Tell China: 'Stay Out of the South China Sea'
(TeleSUR & Jim Sciutto and Katie Hunt / CNN & Sui-Lee Wee / Reuters)

Once again, the US has deployed military resources to provoke China for its activities in the South China Sea. China angrily lashed out at the US because, despite various warnings, a US warships allegedly violated the sovereignty of Chinese territorial waters in the South China Sea. The Chinese government told Washington these actions put peace and stability in the region at risk and that it is prepared to respond to any acts of provocation by any country.

Okinawans Protest as US Attempts to Force Construction of New Military Base
(John Aleksandr Melendez / AntiWar.com)

This summer, Okinawans took to the water in kayaks to face down warships in their protest over the construction of a new US military base in Henoko. This image perfectly illustrates the ongoing struggle over the base, which involves the Okinawan provincial authorities, the Japanese mainland government, and the United States. It's a David-and-Goliath struggle so darkly absurd it could have been lifted from a Haruki Murakami novel.

Climate Change Tipping Point: The Glaciers Are Vanishing!
(Wendell Tangborn / The Guardian)

Mountain glaciers and humans have coexisted for roughly 200,000 years, but that long idyll appears to be ending. The earth's 190,000 glaciers, sentinels of climate change, are disappearing at an unprecedented pace. Fossil fuel burning must taper off dramatically and be replaced with renewable sources of energy if we are going to survive as a species on this planet.

Planetary Emergency: Half the World's Marine Animals Extinct in Single Generation
(Lucy Cormack / The Sydney Morning Herald)

Humanity's mismanagement of the ocean has led to the loss of almost half the world's marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish in a single generation, a World Wide Fund for Nature report says. The emergency edition of WWF's "Living Blue Planet Report" revealed a 49 percent decline in marine vertebrate populations between 1970 and 2012. For some fish this figure was almost 75 percent.

Victory for Whales; Death Knell for Oceans
(Rhea Suh / NRDC & Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams)

We did it! After more than a decade of fighting us in and out of court, the US Navy has agreed to save whales, dolphins and other marine mammals by limiting deadly sonar and explosives during training exercises. At the same time, Human activity is pushing marine life to the brink of collapse. The international conservation group, World Wild Fund for Nature, is calling on world leaders to make 'profound' changes to way ocean is managed and protected.

WWII Chemical Weapons Still Seeking Their Prey
(Nils Niitra / Postimees)

Though chemical weapons were never employed in WW2, on European soil, they were massively produced. Once war was over, the allies tried to figure out what to do with the chemical weapons of Hitler's Germany. Some 170,000 tons of chemical weapons were drowned in the North Sea's Skagerrak Strait -- whole ships stuffed full of chemical weapons. 50,000 tons of chemical weapons (containing 15,000 tons of hazardous active substances) were sunk into the Baltic Sea.

Victory! US Navy to Limit Sonar Training to Reduce Harm to Whales, Dolphins
(The Associated Press & Pierce Brosnan / NRDC)

In a historic move, the US Navy has agreed to limit its use of sonar and other training that inadvertently harms whales, dolphins and other marine mammals off Hawaii and California. The settlement was reached with a number of environmental groups. A centerpiece of the agreement signed by a federal judge in Honolulu includes limits or bans on the use of mid-frequency active sonar and explosives in specified areas around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

Navy Five-year Sonar Training Exercise Threatens Millions of Whales and Dolphins
(Joseph Mayton / The Guardian & Whales.org & Center for Biological Diversity)

Marine researchers speculate noise pollution in the Pacific is disrupting whales' vital abilities to hear and migrate -- and driving them ashore at an alarming rate. And now the US Navy has announced a five-year plan for sonar-training and testing activities that will result in thousands of animals suffering permanent hearing loss, lung injuries or death. Millions of marine mammals and other oceanic wildlife will be exposed to potentially deadly injuries.

From Baseworld to Droneworld
(Understanding Empire)

Our planet is garrisoned by a network of around 1,100 bases operated by the US military. Many of these sites exist in shadow because they are used for paramilitary operations by Special Forces and the CIA. These bases range in size and location, but a recent and favored strategy of the US military has been to construct skeletal "lily pads" that are scattered in remote outposts across the globe.

Jeju Islanders' Long Struggle against Pentagon Wins International Peace Prize
(Bruce Gagnon / Space4Peace.blogspot & Save Jeju Now & The International Peace Bureau)

As we were preparing to leave Gangjeong, a formation of Navy Blue Angel warplanes came screaming over the village. For the next 15 minutes they went back and forth directly over Gangjeong. One of the stunts brought the planes very low in an ear-splitting maneuver. The Navy was sending a message to Gangjeong. The message was loud and clear. "We own you now. Your village will become a war base. There is nothing you can do." The International Peace Bureau begs to disagree.

Parting the Brown Sea: Sewage Crisis Threatens Gaza's Access to Water
(Hyder Abbasi & Jen Marlowe / Al Jazeera America)

Wadi Gaza is but one illustration of the full-blown water and sanitation crisis that is facing the Gaza Strip. A severe lack of potable water is exacerbated by inadequate sanitation infrastructure, which in turn is connected to Gaza's chronic shortage of electricity and fuel, all of which is tied to Israel's ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. The United Nations warned that by 2020, Gaza may no longer be livable, in large part because of these interconnected problems.

What's Driving the President's Bafflingly Two-faced Climate Policy?
(Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation)

In 2008, Barack Obama pledged to make "a planet in peril" one of his top priorities but his "all-of-the-above" energy strategy is not sustainable. Rarely has Obama's climate change incoherence been more evident than when he approved plans to drill for oil in the Arctic -- despite scientific warnings that remaining fossil fuels must be left underground. The administration's own studies predict a 75 percent risk of an Arctic oil spill -- like the one that Shell Oil caused the last time it drilled in the region, in 2012.

The Arctic Wilderness Stands Imperiled by Obama's Oil Extraction Plans
(Rebecca Solnit / The Guardian)

On April 3, the Obama administration announced plans to recommend wilderness status for the most embattled parts of Alaska, a move that would forever ban oil extraction. However, on August 17, the administration turned around and gave Shell Oil a permit to drill for oil off Alaska's north coast. Recently, we were invited to this endangered wilderness as guests of the Sierra Club, whose experts introduced us to this remote, fragile, pristine place, to the wildlife and to its Indigenous inhabitants.

US & Saudi Arabia War Crimes Keep Killing Yemenis
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Noam Chomsky / RT News)

Saudi Arabia's aggression against Yemen, the poorest country in the region, has been catastrophic for Yemen, which is all-but-defenseless. Backed by eight other Arab dictatorships and the US, the Saudi alliance has committed uncounted war crimes and crimes against humanity. The onslaught has killed more than 4,300 people (mostly civilians), subjected roughly half the Yemeni population to severe hunger and water scarcity, and laid waste to World Heritage sites among the oldest in the world.

The 2015 Global Peace Index Finds the World Is Getting Less Peaceful
(The Institute for Economics and Peace)

The Global Peace Index measures the state of peace in 162 countries according to 23 indicators that gauge the absence of violence or the fear of violence. It is produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The 2015 Global Peace Index reveals a divided world, with the most peaceful countries enjoying increasing levels of peace and prosperity, while the least peaceful countries spiral into violence and conflict.

How Do You 'De-oil' a Polar Bear? Arctic Oil Spillers Would Be Killers
(Kamala Kelkar / Arctic Newswire)

In the event of a large oil spill in Alaska's Arctic, officials say they would have limited ability to clean oiled marine mammals, and in some cases might not be able to clean them at all. Assuming rescuers could reach them, the polar bears would have to be transported -- by forklifts and air transport -- to a single holding facility that can accommodate no more than three bears at a time. It takes six people at a time to clean a single sedated polar bear. And the prospects for walruses are even grimmer.

No Oil Drilling in the Arctic: We're Blocking Shell's Icebreaker
(Greenpeace Press Release)

In yet another daring act to confront and confound the planet-killing oil extraction industry, Greenpeace climbers plan to spend days hanging from the bridge in Portland, Oregon in an attempt to hinder Shell's Arctic oil drilling plans. Follow the latest news.

ACTION ALERT: A Plea from Pagan and Tinian: 'Don't Drop Bombs in My Backyard!'
(Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa / Variety News Staff & Arley Long Tinian, MP)

The small Pacific islands of Pagan and Tinian are home to pristine beaches, majestic mountains and colorful sea life. They are also home to 2,800 American citizens, as they are part of the Marianas, a US territory. But the US Navy has plans to bomb these islands as part of a training exercise, obliterating their rare coral ecosystems, wildlife, and important historic artifacts. The islands' residents would be relocated, kicked off their ancestral land for the sake of bomb testing. We cannot let this happen.

Navy Sub Launches Underwater Drones; Pentagon Testing Robotic Sharks
(Michael Melia / Associated Press)

Drones are no longer just an airborne threat. In a first for the US Navy, a submarine has launched and recovered an underwater drone used in a military operation. A Navy attack submarine spent nearly two-months in the Mediterranean Sea testing its drone-launching capability. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has created a new underwater weapon -- the JEBLC-FS -- built to resemble a large, swimming shark. (Watch the video.)

Sea Shepherd Crew Arrested for Opposing Traditional Whale Hunt in Faroe Islands
(Sea Shepherd Global Press Release)

Two volunteer crewmembers from the Sea Shepherd ship, Sam Simon, have been arrested in the Faroe Islands. Susan Larsen of the US and Tom Strerath of Germany, were arrested following what was believed to have been an attempt to interrupt a traditional whale-killing event called a "grindadrap," in a patch of water just north of Klaksvik in the northeast of the island archipelago.

Pagan Island: A Pacific Gem and a Planned Pentagon Bombing Target
(Robin Andrews / EarthTouchNews & Zoe Loftus-Farren / Earth Island Journal)

A small speck tacked onto a chain of fifteen islands in the Pacific Ocean, Pagan Island boasts two active volcanoes, an assortment of unique wildlife and almost no human residents. It's also facing one of two very different futures: on one hand, it could continue to exist as a unique ecological haven; on the other, it could be bombed into oblivion by the US military.

Climate Change: 8 Major Cities Running Out of Water
(Marc Herman / TakePart & EcoWatch)

Earlier this year, an obscure United Nations document, the World Water Development Report, unexpectedly made headlines around the world. The report made the startling claim that the world would face a 40 percent shortfall in freshwater in as soon as 15 years. Crops would fail. Businesses dependent on water would fail. Illness would spread. A financial crash was likely, as was deepening poverty for those just getting by.

Three Pacifists Disrupt US-Australian War Games
(The Sunshine Coast Daily)

Before dawn this morning, three Christian peace pilgrims entered Shoalwater Bay live training area to disrupt the 'Talisman Sabre' US-Australian war 'rehearsals.' Guns and missiles are being fired in the training area. Armed reconnaissance helicopters, armoured tanks possibly lined with depleted uranium, black hawks, guided missiles, US navy surface vessels, and nuclear weapons capable submarines are potentially being used, according to the Talisman Sabre 2015 Public Environment Report.

The Climate Deception Dossiers Expose the Oil Industry's 30-Year History of Climate Change Lies
(The Union of Concerned Scientists)

For nearly three decades, many of the world's largest fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to deceive the public about the realities and risks of climate change. Now, internal fossil fuel industry memos (leaked to the public, exposed through lawsuits, and disclosed through Freedom of Information requests) reveal decades of disinformation -- a deliberate campaign to deceive the public that continues even today.

Collateral Damage Estimates and the Acceptability of Attacks on Industrial Sites
(Doug Weir / Toxic Remnants of War Project)

The deliberate or inadvertent damage or destruction of industrial facilities during conflict has the potential to cause severe environmental damage and long-term risks to civilians. While international humanitarian law seeks to provide some measure of prohibition on attacks against infrastructure containing 'dangerous forces' such as nuclear plants or dams, current laws do not cover military attacks on facilities manufacturing or using deadly chemicals. It is time for new laws against such attacks.

Israel Seizes Latest "Peace Ship" Headed to Gaza with Humanitarian Supplies
(The Freedom Flotilla Coalition & Robert Naiman / The Huffington Post & Gaza's Ark Steering Committee)

On June 29, the "Marianne," an international "peace ship" carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza, was boarded and seized by Israeli troops in international waters. The 18 passengers on board the "Marianne" -- including the Palestinian Member of Israel's Knesset, Tunisia's ex-president and numerous international journalists -- were forcibly kidnapped, imprisoned and, eventually deported in small groups between July 1-6.

A Pentagon Storage Dome in the Pacific Houses Tons of Radioactive Waste -- And It's Leaking
(Coleen Jose, Kim Wall and Jan Hendrik Hinzel / The Guardian)

The Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands is a hulking legacy of years of US nuclear testing. Now locals and scientists are warning that rising sea levels caused by climate change could cause 111,000 cubic yards of debris to spill into the ocean.

US Plans to Expand Its Global Web of Military Bases

The US plans to expand the forward deployment of its armed forces, which implies the permanent or temporary presence of its troops in the territories of more than 100 countries around the world.

Global Water Famine Predicted in 15 Years

Water is drawn faster than replenished in most of world's largest aquifers, according to two studies. Population growth and climate change will increase global water demand, leaving short supply if usage does not change. The world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in just 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, a United Nations report has warned.

UK Sailor on Trident-Armed Nuclear Sub Reveals 'Disaster Waiting to Happen'
(David Polden / Peace News & Royal Navy Able Seaman William McNeilly / Via WikiLeaks)

On May 18, William McNeilly, 25, a seaman who had served on patrol on the British Trident submarine HMS Victorious from January to April this year, handed himself in to police after publishing online an 18-page expose of safety and security flaws on Britain's Trident submarine fleet. McNeilly said that the faults on Victorious were so severe as to question the UK's ability to successfully launch a Trident nuclear weapon strike (which may, of course, be seen as a good thing).

An Encyclical Letter on Care for Our Common Home: Part 1
(The Holy Father Pope Francis)

"More than fifty years ago, with the world teetering on the brink of nuclear crisis, Pope Saint John XXIII wrote an Encyclical which not only rejected war but offered a proposal for peace. He addressed his message Pacem in Terris to the entire "Catholic world" and indeed "to all men and women of good will". Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet . . . to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home."

New Analysis Shows Earth Is Warming Faster Than We Thought
(Matthew Francis / Forbes)

Politicians may dither and talking heads bloviate, but the scientific consensus is clear: climate change is real, humans are responsible, and its effects are already being felt around the world. Now, a new look at global temperature data shows that the rate of climate change is still getting larger, contrary to the latest report by the International Panel on Climate Change.

Shell's US Arctic Drilling Will Harass Thousands of Whales and Seals
(Rose Hackman / The Guardian)

Exploratory drilling, seismic testing and ice-breaking activities threaten to expose whales to damaging sounds, and 'a deaf whale is a dead whale.' Shell estimates its Arctic activities will expose more than 2,500 bowhead whales, more than 2,500 gray whales and more than 50,000 ringed seals to continuous sounds and pulsed sounds, deemed damaging enough to constitute harassment.

Documents Show Navy's Electromagnetic Warfare Training Would Harm Humans and Wildlife
(Dahr Jamail / TomDispatch )

The Navy admits its electronic warfare weapons could cause harm to marine mammals and humans, including: ". . . decreased fertility, decreased lactation in nursing mothers, altered penal function, death, cranial nerve disorders, seizures, convulsions, depression, insomnia, tremors, chest pain, thrombosis, anorexia, constipation, altered adrenal cortex activity, chromosome aberrations, tumors, altered orientation of animals, birds and fish, loss of hair, and sparking between dental fillings."

Okinawa: The Effects of Long-term US Military Presence
(Genuine Security.org)

At the end of WWII, the US took over the administration of the Okinawa islands. Immediately after the war, Okinawan civilians, displaced by the terrible Battle, were placed in POW camps while the military claimed land for bases. In 1951, the San Francisco Peace Treaty placed Okinawa under US military administration until 1972 when Okinawa's administration reverted to Japan. Today there are 37 US bases and military installations in Okinawa, 23,842 troops and 21,512 military family members.

Okinawans Want Their Land Back, Is That So Hard To Understand?
(Jon Letman / AntiWar.com & Foreign Policy In Focus & Truthout)

Commentary: "Living in a country where people learn world geography through frequently fought overseas wars, Americans are accustomed to reading about places where we've fought wars -- Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. But one formerly war-ravaged part of the world most Americans don't think much about is Okinawa."

The Twisted Legacy of Colombia's Aerial Cocaine Crop Spraying Program
(Steven Cohen / Vice)

After 30 years of protests, Colombia's US-backed drug war has finally been brought to ground. Colombia's National Council on Dangerous Drugs voted to suspend the aerial fumigation of coca in the only country in the world where the US fumigation program still operated. The secretive US fumigation program, has spent $2 billion tax dollars spraying a weaponized herbicide over 4.3 million acres, causing untold harm to people, wildlife, national parks, waterways, and the Amazon rainforest.

US Claims It's Winning War on ISIS but Plans to Escalate War
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Adam B. Lerner / Politico)

Washington claims the US is winning the war against ISIS but, at the same time, the Pentagon and the US-led coalition of nations waging war against ISIS have agreed to dramatically escalate military involvement in Iraq. Meanwhile, ISIS troops have captured dams across the country, allowing ISIS to control waterflow into government-held areas downriver. Most recent, they have seized the dams in Ramadi, dramatically cutting water levels to the east.

Saudi Bombing Leaves Yemen without Water, Food, Fuel
(Rori Donaghy / Middle East Eye & Agencies)

Two thirds of Yemen's civilians lack access to clean water supply, according to the international aid organization Oxfam. The Saudi-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against Houthi rebels and Yemen's cities -- has left three million Yemenis without clean drinking water. At least 16 million out of a population of 24 million now lack access to clean water and sanitation. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have blocked a Iranian ships from delivering tons of humanitarian supplies to Yemen.

Okinawans Want Their Land Back, Is That So Hard To Understand?
(Jon Letman / AntiWar.com & Foreign Policy In Focus & Truthout)

Okinawa is one of the smallest of Japan's 47 prefectures, and although it accounts for less than 1 percent of Japanese territory, it is home to around 24,000 US military personnel, almost half of Japan's total, and is burdened with nearly 75 percent of US bases in Japan. Consider what it's like to have 20 percent of your small, crowded island home occupied by more than 32 foreign military bases and some 50 restricted air and marine military training sites. Small wonder, Okinawans are fed up with the Pentagon.

Pentagon War Games in Arctic 'Protected Area' Could Kill 182,000 Marine Mammals
(Dahr Jamail / Tom Dispatch)

Officials at the National Marine Fisheries Service say a series of US "Northern Edge" military exercises (set to begin in June, complete with bombs, chemicals and sonar blasts) could result in the deaths of 182,000 marine mammals and the disruption of breeding, nursing, or surfacing activities that "may result in damage that could take years to decades from which to recover." The war games would cover 8,429 nautical miles and include critical habitat for salmon and 377 other species of marine life.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pentagon's Plan to Seize and Bomb Pagan Island
(Petition by Arley Long / Change.org & David S. Cloud / The Los Angeles Times<)

The small Pacific islands of Pagan and Tinian are home to pristine beaches, majestic mountains and colorful sea life. Now the Pentagon has plans to use Pagan -- the "Crown Jewel" of the Marianas -- for "live-fire training." The US Navy's plans to bomb these islands, would obliterate rare coral ecosystems, wildlife, and important historic artifacts. The Islands residents would be forced from their ancestral lands -- all for the sake of bomb testing. We cannot let this happen.

ACTION ALERT: Call the White House! Stop Blocking Relief Shipments to Victims of Yemen War
(International Action Center & The Associated Press)

The White House has claimed the primary purpose of US Navy warships in the waters off Yemen is to "ensure goods can transit safely" through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The Pentagon has said the ships are there "to assure the waterways are open." But if the US is concerned about protecting "freedom of the seas," why does it continue to threatened relief shipments trying to bring food and medicine to the besieged civilians of Yemen? Call the White House.

Russia To Power Arctic Drilling With Floating Nuclear Reactors
(Nick Cunningham / Oil Price.com)

Russia is looking to deploy a floating nuclear reactor that could help power ports, industries, and also offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. In what sounds like a horrible nightmare for environmentalists, floating nuclear reactors could help produce more oil in the Arctic.

The Inequality of Water Threatens Societies Worldwide
(Sam Ross-Brown / The American Prospect & LeftAction)

The desperate search for vanishing fresh water has unleashed an agricultural version of an arms race. A competition that not only privileges some of the nation's largest agribusinesses -- the ones that can afford to drill deeper and faster than everybody else -- it also threatens state water systems last lifeline. "This is the real potential doomsday scenario in California," Mark Hertsgaard told Democracy Now! A barren aquifer doesn't mean more cutting back -- it means collapse.

Japan's War on Whales Challenged
(Agence France-Presse)

Tokyo submitted a proposal with an annual target of 333 minke whales for future hunts in the Antarctic, down from some 900 under the previous program. Japan has said it believes the world's whale population, especially the minke stock, is sizeable enough to accommodate a return to sustainable whaling and argued that knowledge gained by the "research killing" would help the IWC calculate sustainable levels for hunting.

The Inequality of Water Threatens Societies Worldwide
(Sam Ross-Brown / The American Prospect)

Late last month, the City of Baltimore began notifying thousands of residents that their water would soon be shut off due to lack of payment. What's worse, the shut-offs served to deepen the racial and economic divisions in a deeply unequal city. After an international outcry, and an unprecedented warning from the United Nations that access to water is a "basic human right," the city backed off. The crisis in Baltimore a lot to say about how the politics of scarcity may play out on a rapidly warming planet.

Water Wars: When Drought, Flood, and Greed Collide
(Ellen Brown / The Web of Debt Blog)

Wars over California's limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. In California's epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.

Bracing for a Sea Change: Massive Canal Project Divides Nicaraguans
(Kate Kilpatrick / Al Jazeera America )

Lake Nicaragua is the second largest lake in Latin America. Locals have nicknamed it "sweet sea," because the freshwater lake is so large it stretches to the horizon. But the government's plan to build a massive $50 billion shipping canal would require massive dredging of Lake Nicaragua, a major disruption that would threaten the region's drinking water and imperil traditional fishing communities.

Court Rules Against US Navy Sonar in Victory for Whales
(Rhea Suh / The Natural Resources Defense Council & Brian Palmer / Earthwire Magazine)

Last summer, the US Navy invited 22 countries to participate in exercises across the Pacific Ocean. For whales and dolphins, the event probably felt more like war than war game. The noise from all those ships, submarines, and aircraft is dangerous to cetaceans. In short, noise can be a deadly weapon. The tide may finally be turning in the whales' favor, though. A federal court has ruled that the government has fallen short of its legal obligation to protect marine mammals from naval sonar blasts.

Protests Growing in Okinawa Over US Military Presence
(Jon Letman / The Huffington Post)

Okinawa prefecture includes dozens of inhabited and many small uninhabited islands. Okinawa has more than 32 US military bases or installations and nearly 50 restricted air and marine sites reserved for military training. Japan's poorest prefecture shoulders 75 percent of all the US bases in the country. Almost 20 percent of Okinawa's islands are held by the US military. Now protesters and Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga are demanding a halt to construction of a new US base near Nago city.

How Animals Fare in War
(Chad Nelson / AntiWar.com)

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on the US Navy's training of dolphins and sea lions as part of its seemingly limitless global war strategy. The Navy hopes that these animals' biological capabilities will allow them to find underwater enemy mines and swimmers in "restricted areas," on whom the sea lions would attach "bite plates." It’s yet another sad example in the long history of governments endangering unknowing animals as part of their lethal activities.

Fukushima in Year Five of Endless Radioactive Contamination
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

The world's worst nuclear power disaster continues to release radiation into the sea and air around Fukushima, Japan, where the site remains only partially controlled and is still years, if not decades, from any sort of safe shutdown. TEPCO, the Fukushima site owner, has spent about $3 billion, with little progress to show for it. The company's ineffective site cleanup program has wasted more that $500 million on useless equipment and failed techniques, according to Japanese government auditors.

Humans Killed Nearly 3 Million Whales In The 20th Century
(James Cave / The Huffington Post)

A study published in the March 4 issue of "Marine Fisheries Review" shows that, between 1900 and 1999, a staggering 2.9 million whales were killed commercially for food, oil or bone. Using current data from the International Whaling Commission, along with data from the USSR (which hunted whales illegally for 30 years) the researchers found that 276,442 whales were killed in the North Atlantic, 563,696 in the North Pacific and 2,053,956 in the Southern Hemisphere.

Okinawa Governor Blocks Controversial US Marine Base
(Justin McCurry / The Guardian & Jon Mitchell / Japan Times & ABC News)

Takeshi Onaga, the governor of a southern Japanese island, home to tens of thousands of American troops, has triggered a potentially bitter confrontation with Tokyo and Washington after he ordered a halt to the construction of a controversial US marine base after local officials found builders had damaged coral reefs when they laid concrete construction blocks. The construction has been opposed by thousands of environmental activists and local residents.

New International Report Warns Antarctica Is Collapsing
(Chris Mooney / The Washington Post & James Hamblin / The Atlantic)

New evidence of potentially enormous consequences of rapid polar ice loss continues to accumulate. A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabilized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise.

It's World Water Day: Five Shocking Facts about Water Scarcity
(Derek Markham / TreeHugger & Melissa Breyer / TreeHugger & Maude Barlow / The Huffington Post)

In many parts of the world, getting enough water to drink may mean walking miles to fetch it. Women and children are primarily responsible for water collection in developing countries. It not only takes a huge amount of time (estimated 200 million hours each day, globally) but also takes a physical toll, as the water is often transported on peoples' backs. To help raise awareness of these very real water issues on World Water Day 2014 (March 22nd), here are five shocking facts about water scarcity.

ACTION ALERT: Only One Year Left: What We Must Do To Save California's Water
(Zack Malitz / CREDO Action & Matt Stannard / Occupy.com)

California's drought is a crisis. According to NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti, California has only one year of water left in its reservoirs. In addition to mandatory rationing, the State should order an immediate halt to illegal dumping of oil and tracking waste into our drinking water aquifers. Meanwhile, as portions of the US begin to exhaust available water supplies, powerful business interests are moving in to seal political deals that will "privatize" water as a commodity for sale to the highest bidder.

Marshall Islanders: Disposessed by Atomic Bombs and Now, by Climate Change
(Karl Mathiesen / The Guardian)

People in the Pacific Marshall Islands and Kiribati are facing oblivion as the sea around them rises, and they are already suffering from food shortages, droughts and floods. Karl Mathiesen reports from the frontline of climate crisis.

Water Shortages Are Coming. It's Time for Us to Act
(Matt Cartwright and Michael Shank / The Guardian & Jay Famiglietti, Op-Ed / The Los Angeles Times)

America is entering a new phase of "peak water," the point at which freshwater is being consumed faster than it is replenished. Already, 40 state water managers expect water shortages to over the next 10 years. Over 80% of continental US is abnormally dry. With 2014 the hottest year on record, we can expect even drier conditions to become more common. The water wars being waged in the Southeast -- as Florida, Georgia, and Alabama fight over watersheds and water flows -- are a prime example.

The Climate Crisis Alarms Are Ringing
(Naomi Klein / The Guardian)

The second in a major series of articles on the climate crisis and how humanity can solve it. In this extract taken from the Introduction to This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, the author calls the climate crisis a civilisational wake-up call to alter our economy, our lifestyles, now -- before they get changed for us.

Greenland Reels While GOP Senator Inhofe Disputes Climate Change
(Don Mikulecky / The Daily Kos & Joe Romm / Think Progress)

It has been only a matter of time but things are happening faster than most anticipated. Greenland is warmer than it has been in more than 100,000 years and climate disrupting feedback loops have begun. Since 2000, ice loss has increased over 600 percent, and liquid water now exists inside the ice sheet year-round, no longer refreezing during winter. That is but part of the story.

Massive Glaciers Collapsing into Seas; Major Heat Surge Feared in Five Years
(Pakalolo / The Daily Kos )

The waters of the Arctic Ocean have warmed at a rapid pace relative to the rest of the world over recent years, and 2012 in particular was a year of exceptional melting and warmth in the arctic due to some extreme storms. 3,000-foot-thick glaciers have begun crumbling into the sea. A study in Geophysical Research Letters reports climate change is adding on average around 125 trillion Joules of heat to the oceans per second -- equal to the detonation of two Hiroshima -sized atomic bombs.

Climate Change and Rising Seas Threatens US Navy Bases
(Nathalie Baptiste / The American Prospect)

The combination of sea level rise, tidal flooding, and subsidence -- the sinking ground -- has made Norfolk a prime example of what climate is going to do, and has already done, to our coastal cities. The city and surrounding region is on the front line in the battle against climate change, but opinions within city limits on just how bad the flooding is and what to do about it appear to be mixed. The stakes are high in Norfolk, which is home to the headquarters of the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet.

'Forever As Wilderness': Obama Bans Oil Drilling in Arctic Walrus Habitat
(Dan Joling / Associated Press & the Staff of the Goldman Environmental Prize)

A stretch of Arctic coast, where thousands of Pacific walrus gather to feed and raise pups, has received new protections from the Obama administration that has ruled it a biological hot spot that is now off-limits to future oil drilling. Alaska Gwich'in tribal leader Sarah James praised the announcement. "In our language we call the coastal plain the Sacred Place Where Life Begins..... To us, this is a human rights issue. We have the right to continue our own way of life, and we are so thankful for Obama's decision."

California Permitted Oilfield Discharge in Protected Water
(Ellen KKnickmeyer / Associated Press)

Regulators in California, the country's third-largest oil-producing state, have authorized oil companies to inject production fluids and waste into what are now federally protected aquifers more than 2,500 times, risking contamination of underground water supplies that could be used for drinking water or irrigation, state records show.

US Navy Ship Remains Stuck after Crashing into Reef near Okinawa
(Frances Burns / United Press International & Erik Slavin / Stars and Stripes)

Dozens of servicemembers have been rescued from the USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak, a 821-foot-long cargo ship that remains stuck on a reef just outside of a deep-water shipping channel about six miles east of Okinawa. The Navy ship crashed into the reef on January 22 and has been taking on water from leaks in the hull. Complicating the effort is the presence of live coral reef in the area. It remained unclear if significant environmental damage has occurred

Thousands Protest in Tokyo Against US Marine Base
(The Japan Times & RT News & Robert Avery / RA Films & The Asahi Shimbun)

Japanese demonstrators have staged rallies in the country's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa and in Tokyo to express their outrage over a controversial plan to relocate a US Marine Corps Air Station in Futenma. Protesters chanted anti-US slogans and carried placards reading, "No new base." They also demanded that American troops be moved completely off the island. The latest protest rally also comes amid the high number of sexual assaults by US military personnel in Japan.

Earth's Oceans Warming Faster than Feared
(John Abraham / The Guardian)

This a bad year for those who deny the reality and the significance of human-induced climate change. The oceans now are warming so fast that they keep breaking scientists' charts. NOAA once again has to rescale its ocean heat chart to capture the unexpected rise in 2014 ocean warming.

ACTION ALERT: Save the Irrawaddy River Dolphins; Stop the Don Sahong Dam
(Petition: Rainforest Rescue)

The future of the Mekong River’s ecosystem, her people and the rare and endangered Irrawaddy river dolphins are in jeopardy, as plans are rapidly proceeding to build the Don Sahong Dam -- the second dam on the Lower Mekong mainstream. Rainforest Rescue is calling on Mekong Prime Ministers to stop the potentially disastrous project.

Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says
(Carl Zimmer / The New York Times)

A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them. "We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event," said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research.

Troubling Epidemic of Mass Die-offs Are on the Rise Around the World
(Jane J. Lee / National Geographic)

Huge animal die-offs, along with disease outbreaks and other population stressors, are happening more often. We're not talking about a few dead fish littering your local beach. Mass die-offs are individual events that kill at least a billion animals, wipe out over 90 percent of a population, or destroy 700 million tons -- the equivalent weight of roughly 1,900 Empire State Buildings -- worth of animals.

Okinawa: The Small Island Trying To Block the US Military's 'Pivot to Asia'
(Christine Ahn / Foreign Policy in Focus & AntiWar.com)

In November 2014, the citizens of Okinawa delivered a landslide victory to Takeshi Onaga, who ran for mayor on a platform opposing the construction of a new US Marine Corps base in northern Okinawa. Onaga pledged "to stop construction using every means at my disposal." Opposition to the US military's presence and negative impacts is bolstered by new studies that confirm US military violence against Okinawan women and girls is not just a case of a few bad apples, but rather structural.

As Many As 690 Species Went Extinct in a Single Week
(Brittany Greenquist / RYOT)

he journal Nature just published an in-depth look at the threats faced by wildlife around the globe. It seems what we thought was bad is even worse. Estimates suggest that somewhere between 500 and 36,000 species could disappear each year (or 10 to 690 a week).

22 Years after the Earth Summit in Rio, 'We're Still on a Course Leading to Tragedy'
(David Simpson / Planet Drum Foundation )

Commentary: If rhetoric were effective action, the world would indeed have been saved on day seven of the 2014 UN climate change COP 20. This was officially the first day of the High Level negotiations and it was peppered by brief impassioned speeches from leaders of many nations, especially smaller ones. Plus: Secretary of State John Kerry's complete December 11 speech to the COP2 summit in Lima, Peru.

22 Years after the Earth Summit in Rio, 'We're Still on a Course Leading to Tragedy'
(David Simpson / Planet Drum Foundation )

Commentary: If rhetoric were effective action, the world would indeed have been saved on day seven of the 2014 UN climate change COP 20. This was officially the first day of the High Level negotiations and it was peppered by brief impassioned speeches from leaders of many nations, especially smaller ones. Plus: Secretary of State John Kerry's complete December 11 speech to the COP2 summit in Lima, Peru.

Cautious Hope for Strong Draft Text Ahead of Peru Climate Summit on December 1
(Betwa Sharma / Al Jazeera America)

The two-week United Nations climate conference in Peru, which begins Monday, is the final stop before Paris in 2015, where climate negotiators will aim to strike a deal that will, for the first time, require all countries to combat climate change. Climate activists heading this critical global meeting have warned that developed nations' commitments are not in line with goal of keeping planetary warming below 2 degrees Celsius, after which, climate disaster would become "irreversible."

Plan Won't Save Great Barrier Reef: Australian Scientists
(Madeleine Coorey / Agence France-Presse)

Australia's plans to protect the Great Barrier Reef are inadequate, short-sighted and will not prevent its decline, the country's pre-eminent grouping of natural scientists said Tuesday. The draft plan, released for consultation last month, was supposed to allay concerns by the United Nations about the reef's health after UNESCO threatened to put it on the World Heritage "in danger" list.

UN Climate Report Underscores Necessity of Swift Carbon Cuts
(Al Jazeera America & Karl Ritter / Associated Press & Bill DiBenedetto / TriplePundit)

Climate change is happening, it's almost entirely man's fault and limiting its impacts will require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report published Sunday. "Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned. The world has until 2100 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero or face 'irreversible' consequences.

Pentagon Warns of Approaching 'Climate Wars'
(Tim McDonnell / Mother Jones)

In one of its strongest statements yet on the need to prepare for climate change, the Defense Department has released a report that says global warming "poses immediate risks to US national security" and will exacerbate national security-related threats ranging "from infectious disease to terrorism." Around the globe, for example, rising sea levels are beginning to encroach on US Naval bases.

Pentagon Fears Climate Change Could Soon Flood US Navy Bases Worldwide
(Andrew Freedman / Mashable)

The Pentagon sees global warming as a challenge that "poses immediate risks" to national security, rather than one that will rear its head only in the future. This shift in thinking comes as the sprawling department puts in place a wide range of measures to ensure that its bases do not sink below the sea as the oceans rise, that its weapons systems still work in a variety of extreme weather conditions, and that it is prepared to deal with increased demands for humanitarian assistance and regional instability.

East-West Hostility May Stall Ross Sea Conservation
(Natasja Sheriff / Al Jazeera America)

A proposal to protect one of the most pristine marine ecosystem, Antarctica's Ross Sea (one of the healthiest ecosystems in the world) could be jeopardized by growing tensions between Russia and the West, say environmentalists.

The Greenpeace Video that Prompted Lego to Dump Shell Oil
(Greenpeace International & James Turner / The Huffington Post)

Lego has said that Shell will no longer be allowed to sell its toys sets, following a Greenpeace campaign. The Danish toymaker decided not to renew its contract with the oil giant after a viral campaign -- involving a video depicting an Arctic landscape fashioned from Legos vanishing under a spreading tide of spilled oil -- highlighted the dangers of Arctic drilling.

Human War on Wildlife: 52% of World's Species in Decline over Past 40 Years
(Al Jazeera America & World Wildlife Fund)

The world populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles fell overall by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, far faster than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the biggest environmental groups. The Swiss-based World Wildlife Fund blames human threats to nature for biggest share of decline, particularly in tropical regions.

A State of Extreme Planetary Emergency
(Malcolm Light / Arctic News Blogspot & University of Utah News)

President Obama must declare a State of Extreme National Emergency and cease orchestrating a war with Russia. He must recall his entire army and navy personnel to the United States to begin a massive conversion of the US energy system to solar and wind power. All 600 coal power stations and nuclear stations must be completely shut down in the next 5 to 10 years. If this is not done, humanity will be facing total extinction in an Arctic Methane Firestorm between 2040 and 2050.

How Big Oil Destroyed New Orleans: It Was Not a Act of God, It Was an Act of Chevron
(Greg Palast / The Palast Investigative Fund)

Nine years ago this week, New Orleans drowned. But don't blame Mother Nature. So who's responsible for nearly 2,000 dead victims? Who is to blame for the avalanche of water that buried this city? It wasn't an Act of God. It was an Act of Chevron. An Act of Exxon. An Act of Big Oil. The oil companies destroyed the protective coastal vegetation to increase their access to Gulf oil. The government was warned this would cause deadly floods if a hurricane hit. The response was ... a cover-up.

Oakland Activists Block Israeli Ship for Third Day
(Massoud Hayoun & Renee Lewis / Al Jazeera America)

Pro-Palestinian protesters on Monday continued a campaign to block an Israeli commercial vessel from docking in Oakland, California for a third day. The protests prevented one of the world's largest container shipping companies, from entering the Port of Oakland and unloading cargo. Two demonstrators were detained and cited.

Gaza War Bill Estimated at $5 Billion: Gaza's Only Power Plant Targeted and Destroyed
(Omar Shaban / Al-Monitor & Charlie D’Agata / CBS Evening News & Human Rights Watch)

The Gaza Strip is perhaps the only place in the world that suffered three devastating wars requiring extensive reconstruction three times in seven years. The latest attack on homes, mosques, schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure has been estimated at $5 billion. Damaging or destroying a power plant -- even if it also served a military purpose -- would be an unlawful disproportionate attack under the laws of war, causing far greater civilian harm than military gain.

Dryness in Gaza: War and the Palestinian Water Crisis
(Amir Dakkak / EcoMENA & Isonomia)

Prior to a blockade imposed by Israel in 2006, around 97% of all households within the Gaza strip had access to water. The ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza has taken a heavy toll on the strip's water infrastructure, leaving the territory's 1.8 million residents facing long periods without access to clean running water. This has driven residents to travel long distances in order to reach a source of water that they can use. Scientists now warn that the Gaza sSrip could be uninhabitable by the year 2016.

Humans to Blame for 322 Animal Extinctions in 500 Years
(Abigail Geer / Care2.com & Susan Bird / Care2)

In an article published in the journal, Science, researchers took a closer look at animals that have disappeared at the hands of humans, and what this might mean for the future. One study showed that, as human population doubled in the last 35 years, the number of invertebrate animals such as beetles, butterflies and worms decreased by an alarming 45%. From the passenger pigeon to the Tasmanian tiger and the freshwater baiji dolphin, we are killing animals at an unsettling rate.

Pentagon Concludes Massive 22-Nation RIMPAC Naval Exercise
(Jon Letman / Civil Beat.com)

On August 1, 2014, the world's largest international maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014, concluded with the participation of 22 nations, 49 surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Construction of US Military Airstrip in Japan
(Martin Wagner / Earthjustice & Peter Galvin / Center for Biological Diversity)

American and Japanese conservation groups today asked a US federal court to halt construction of a US military airstrip in Okinawa, Japan that would pave over some of the last remaining habitat for endangered Okinawa dugongs. Dugongs are gentle marine mammals related to manatees that have long been revered by native Okinawans. Preliminary construction on the base at Okinawa's Henoko Bay began earlier this year.

US Naval Exercises Suspected in Death of Whale
(Tom LaVenture / The Garden Island)

A 16-foot sub adult pilot whale was pulled from the water at Waioli Beach Park after it died Friday. A local marine biologist who examined the whale said the death could be a result of the military's RIMPAC exercises going on in Hawaiian waters. The fact that a young and otherwise healthy whale died showing no visible signs of disease or attack should make military sonar and other war game activities suspect, he said.

Okinawa Junk Heap of Pacific
(Jon Mitchell / The Japan Times)

The Pentagon is the largest polluter on the planet, producing more toxic waste than the top three US chemical manufacturers combined. In 2008, 25,000 of its properties within the US were found to be contaminated, and more than 100 of these were classified by the EPA as Superfund sites, meaning they warranted urgent cleanup. Although Okinawa’s main island hosts more than 30 US bases -- taking up 20 percent of its land -- there has never been a concerted attempt to investigate levels of contamination within them.

US Navy's Ship-sinking War Games Pollute the Ocean With PCBs, Other Toxins
(Center for Biological Diversity & Sierra Club & Basel Action Network)

In 2012, the US Navy's "Great Green Fleet," joined by 22 friendly nations, to open fire on and sink three inactive US naval warships off the coast of Hawaii during the Rim of the Pacific ("RIMPAC") war games. Because of the toxic contamination such sinking cause, conservation groups filed a complaint over the Navy's exemption from the laws regarding disposal of toxic waste. But the ship-sinking exercises went going forward nonetheless.

The Pacific Pivot: Ecocide on an Oceanic Scale
(Koohan Paik / Island Breath)

RIMPAC, a massive US Navy war exercise, is a small piece of a huge, systemized, federal project of destruction. It's called the "Pacific Pivot" (or by some the "Asian Pivot). The Pacific Pivot is a plan to reorient the US military away from Europe and the Middle East, and toward the Asia-Pacific region. Island and reefs with by bombs and blasted, all in the name of "security." But the truth is, genuine security is to be found in uncontaminated farmland, clean air and water, a healthy ocean, and true democracy.

UN Rights Agency Comes to Aid of Desperate Detroit Residents
(N Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights & Anna Lappe / Al Jazeera America)

Because of high poverty rates and high unemployment rates, relatively expensive water bills in Detroit are unaffordable for a significant portion of the population. City officials have been disconnection around 3,000 customers per week and some 30,000 households are expected to lose access to water services over the next few months. But water is considered a human right and UN Human Rights officials have taken the side of America's poor, calling on Washington to act swiftly to protect the poor.

Washington's Pacific Missile Range: Kaua'i's Biggest Bang Is Out of Sight
(Jon Letman / Hawaii Independent )

When you think of Kaua'i perhaps you envision lush tropical foliage or kayaking the Wailua River. You probably don't think of Advanced Hypersonic Weapons, Ballistic Missile Defense tests, Predator drones, low-earth orbit intercepts, tracking systems that monitor activities around the globe and a military zone stretching over 2.1 million square miles (roughly the size of the continental US west of the Mississippi plus Baja California) with 1,100 square miles of "instrumented sea range" and 42,000 square miles of "controlled airspace."

Blast from the Past: US Ship Sunk in WWII Still Poses Explosion Threat in Britain
(Alan McGuinness / Kent Online & Peter Mitchell / Submerged)

The USS Richard Montgomery, a US warship that sank in the British estuary off Sheerness in 1944 has lain dormant on the seabed ever since. Because of its explosive cargo -- more than 7,000 tons of explosives -- many fear it is an accident waiting to happen. The bill for making the sunken warship safe could be as high as 30million pounds.

Obama to Propose Vast Expansion of Pacific Marine Sanctuary as Island Nations Face Oblivion
(Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post)

President Obama intends to make a broad swath of the central Pacific Ocean off-limits to fishing, energy exploration and other activities. This would create the world's largest marine sanctuary and double the area of the world's protected oceans. Meanwhile, the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati lies just seven feet above sea level, on average, and scientists say it's drowning as sea levels rise. Kiribati President Anote Tong is planning for a future that might find his entire country submerged in the Pacific Ocean.

Arctic Ice Melt to Release 1 Trillion Pieces of Plastic into Sea
(Renee Lewis / Al Jazeera America & Global Witness)

According to a new report on the "Microplastic Legacy Frozen in Arctic Sea Ice," as the Arctic ice melt accelerates due to climate change it could release more than 1 trillion pieces of plastic into the ocean over the next decade, possibly posing a major threat to marine life. The report reveals that ice in some remote locations contains at least twice as much plastic as previously reported in the surface of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an area of plastic waste estimated to be bigger than the state of Texas.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef on Brink of Devastation in Relentless Quest for Coal
(Helen Caldicott and Reese Halter / The Age)

The rampant destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, given the green light by the federal government, epitomises the values of our modern world. "Economic development" and "jobs" reign supreme while our reef, one of the seven wonders of the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is in great jeopardy.

US Military Sets Its Sights on Jeju: A Pivot on the Peace Island
(Kathy Kelly / CommonDreams)

The Republic of Korea's Gangjeong is one of the ROK's smallest villages, yet, in their struggle against the construction of a massive naval base, island activists have inspired people around the world. Since 2007, they have risked arrest, imprisonment, fines and excessive use of police force to resist the desecration caused as mega-corporations like Samsung and Daelim build a base to accommodate US nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines for their missions throughout Asia.

Syrians Suffer as Global Water Wars Hit Home
(Lisa Karpova / Global Research & Thalif Deen / Inter Press Service)

Commentary: Terrorists within Syria have cut off water and electricity to the people of Aleppo. Dysentery, Cholera, severe diarrhea, and hepatitis are among the diseases caused by drinking dirty, polluted water. Under the 1949 Geneva Convention, collective punishment is a war crime -- and yet, US leaders are silent. The UN, which is trying to address the widespread lack of water in the developing world, now is faced with a new problem -- the use of water as a weapon of war.

Growing Global Demand for Fish Threatens Health of World's Oceans
(Peter Moskowitz / Al Jazeera America & Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian )

Fish are becoming more important than ever in people's diets, but the growing global demand now threatens the sustainability of marine aquaculture and worldwide fishing.

Global Water Crisis: World Bank Plots Privatization; Innovators Build Water-Harvesters for the Poor
(Human Wrongs Watch & Corporate Accountability International & Rady Ananda / Activist Post)

The 2014 World Water Development Report warns that some 768 million people lack access to an improved source of water, 2.5 billion lack access to appropriate sanitation and, by 2025, two-thirds of the world's people could become water-deprived. The World Bank and corporations like Nestle see this as an opportunity to prosper from the privatization of what many argue is a "human right." Meanwhile, young innovators are creating new, affordable water-harvesting devices for the poor.

A Letter to US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy
(Katherine Muzik / The Japan Times / Special to Environmentalists Against War)

With this letter, I entreat you to help protect the marvelous coral reef ecosystem at Oura Bay (Henoko) in Nago city, northeast Okinawa, from certain destruction under the US-Japan plan for military expansion. Like you and me, dear Caroline, Lili'uokalani was a strong woman, so I share her words with you here, to give us strength to proceed in this endeavor. I hope you will prove to be just as courageous and strong as she was. I beseech you for help. I know you can, and together, I am sure we can prevail.

Climate Change: The Vanishing Arctic Ice Cap
(Dahr Jamail /Truthout )

An Arctic largely devoid of ice, giant methane outbursts causing tsunamis in the North Atlantic, and global sea levels rising by several meters by mid-century sound like the stuff of science fiction. But to a growing number of scientists studying Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (ACD/climate change), these dramatic predictions are very real possibilities in our not-so-distant future, thanks to the vanishing Arctic ice cap, which is continuing its rapid decrease in both volume and area.

Crimea's 'Combat Dolphins' Change Allegiance
(Crimea's 'Combat Dolphins' Change Allegiance Roland Oliphant / The Telegraph & Harry Wallop / The Telegraph & Catherine Elsworth / The Telegraph)

Ukraine's "combat dolphins" -- inherited from the Soviets on independence in 1991 -- are once more swimming in defense of the Russian motherland. These "marine mammals" were trained to serve as combat Marines -- taught to attack enemy divers using harpoons strapped to their backs. The only problem with dolphins is they are just too clever. Some have disobeyed their human commanders and went AWOL during mating season. They were last spotted somewhere in the waters off Iran.

60 Years after Nuclear Test, Bikini Atoll Still Unliveable
(The Guardian)

The world's largest open-air nuclear blast -- the 15-megatonne Bravo test on 1 March 1954 -- was a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout. On the 60th anniversary of the blast, the Marshall Islands are marking six decades since the devastating US hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, with exiled islanders saying they are too fearful to ever go back because of nuclear contamination.

Nuclear Submarines, Whales and Tourists Don't Mix: US Navy Invades Hawaiian Marine Sanctuary
(Ann Wright / War Is a Crime)

Commentary: It looks like the US Navy is playing fast and loose with the new military exercise regulations that it has received from the National Marine Fisheries Service. While whale-watching off the Hawaiian island of Maui, Sunday, February 9, 2014, I was shocked to see three US Navy nuclear submarines surface and remain about a mile offshore from the town of Lahina in the shallow waters of the protected Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Nuclear Waste Sits on Ocean Floor
(John R. Emshwiller and Dionne Searcey / The Wall Street Journal)

More than four decades after the US halted a controversial ocean dumping program, the country is facing a mostly forgotten Cold War legacy in its waters: tens of thousands of steel drums of atomic waste. From 1946 to 1970, federal records show, 55-gallon drums and other containers of nuclear waste were pitched into the Atlantic and Pacific at dozens of sites off California, Massachusetts and a handful of other states.

ACTION ALERT: Petition to Senators to Investigate Danger from the Fukushima Nuclear Reactors
(Carol Wolman / Change.org & Robert Alvarez / Institute for Policy Studies)

Petition: "We the undersigned are deeply concerned about the radiation danger from the ongoing disaster at the Japanese nuclear complex at Fukushima-Daiichi. We are asking you to conduct a thorough investigation of the continuing damage to West Coast states, and the potential danger of another catastrophe.... This is an international problem. Many say it is THE most dangerous situation on the planet at this time."

Army Kickback Scandal Cost Taxpayers Millions
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tom Vanden Brook / USA TODAY)

It’s being called "one of the largest criminal investigations in the history of the Army," and when one considers how big the US Army is, that’s saying quite a lot. Over 800 soldiers are now facing a criminal investigation for fraudulent kickbacks received during the Recruiting Assistance Program, which began in 2005 to try to increase recruitment amid the Iraq War build-up.

Washington's Asian 'Pivot' Is Destroying Communities and Entire Marine Ecosystems
(Koohan Paik / AlterNet)

While the Pentagon describes the Pacific Pivot as a shift of military forces to the Asia-Pacific to counter a rising China, we hear precious little about how this plays out environmentally. The military pivot is reigning terror over cetaceans, coral reefs, migratory seabirds and marine ecosystems throughout the vast, dying Pacific Ocean. Residents in Okinawa, the Mariana Islands, and Jeju Island have been most vocally opposed to the plan to blanket the Asia-Pacific with destructive military bases.

In Japan, Mayor's Re-Election Adds Fuel to Resistance to US Militarism
(Jacob Chamberlain / Common Dreams)

Following decades of protest against the controversial US military base in Okinawa, Japan, plans to move that base to a different location on the island faced new challenges after the re-election of a mayor who promised to block the move. Susumu Inamine, the mayor of Nago -- where Japan plans on moving the base -- ran on an anti-base campaign, defeating pro-base challenger who was backed by Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: The Environment Chapter
(Wikileaks Press Release)

The Environment Chapter addresses matters of conservation, environment, biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and resources, over-fishing and illegal logging, and climate change. Instead of providing genuine protections consistent with international environmental law -- to balance the commercial interests advanced in the other chapters -- the leaked text shows that the obligations are weak and compliance with them is unenforceable.

Leaked UN Report: Only 15 Years Left to Avoid Climate Catastrophe
(Justin Gillis / The New York Times & Jacob Chamberlain / Common Dreams)

Nations have dragged their feet in battling climate change so much that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve. The governments of the world are spending far more money to subsidize fossil fuels than to accelerate the shift to cleaner energy. Continued investment in coal-burning power plants poses an imminent climate risk.

Fukushima Fallout? Radiation on San Francisco Beaches
(RT News & David Perlman / San Francsico Chronicle & Christa Bigue / Half Moon Bay Patch & Mikael Thalen / StoryLeak)

California health officials are telling residents not to worry after a video uploaded to the Internet seemed to show high levels of radiation at a Pacific Coast beach. In the seven-minute-long clip, a man carries a radiation detector while walking along a beach near San Francisco. At times, the monitor shows a radiation reading of 150 counts-per-minute -- the equivalent of around five times what is typically found in that type of environment.

A Sign of Planetary Apocalypse? "The Ocean Is Broken"
(Jeremy Jackson / US Naval War College & Greg Ray / The Newcastle Herald / http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2013/12/ocean-apocalypse)

A Professor of Oceanography Emeritus at the Scripps Institute and a yachtsman from Newcastle both offer compelling -- and disturbing -- reports on the state of the planet's oceans. "We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumor on its head. I've done a lot of miles on the ocean and I'm used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen."

'Atomic Sailors' Dumped Thousands of Tons of Radioactive Waste into Ocean
(Willian R. Levesque / The Tampa Bay Times)

They asked the dying man about his Navy service a half-century before. He kept talking about the steel barrels. They haunted him, sea monsters plaguing an old sailor. "We turned off all the lights," George Albernaz testified at a 2005 Veterans Affairs hearing, "and .., pretend that we were broken down and ... we would take these barrels and having only steel-toed shoes ... no protection gear, and proceed to roll these barrels into the ocean, 300 barrels at a trip."

Considering Extinction: Are We Falling Off the Climate Precipice?
(Dahr Jamail / TomDispatch.com )

Commentary: Dahr Jamail explores what climate scientists just beyond the mainstream are thinking about how climate change will affect life on this planet. What, in other words, is the worst that we could possibly face in the decades to come? The answer: a nightmare scenario.

Canada Will Take on Russia and Denmark over the North Pole
(Silvia Ascarelli / MarketWatch & James Burgess / OilPrice.com & Steven Chase / The Globe and Mail)

Dust off your Cold War preparedness kit. Canada is officially picking a fight with Russia, over who owns the North Pole. Denmark want it too. The reason for this interest in the frigid north is money. The Arctic is believed to contain as much as a quarter of the world's undiscovered fossil fuel resources. Tapping and burning these oil and gas resources, however, would create enough global warming gases to threaten climate stability and human survival.

The US, The Arctic, and the Methane Threat to Life on Earth
(The Associated Press & Al Jazeera America & Gary Houser / The Arctic News )

Methane is 21 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. The US is spewing 50 percent more methane than the previously estimated, with much of it coming from three states: Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Meanwhile, the warming Arctic permafrost contains up to 1,850 billion metric tons of methane. Large-scale thawing and release of frozen polar methane gas has wiped out great swaths of life before and is quite capable of doing so again.

War on Sharks: NOAA Could Undermine State Shark Fin Bans
(January Jones and Andrew Sharpless / The Huffington Post & Oceana)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is tasked with "the management, conservation and protection of" our nation's "living marine resources," so it might come as a surprise that the agency is challenging state laws that help protect sharks. Each year, shark finners slaughter as many as 73 million sharks for soup. The insatiable demand for shark fins has already contributed to population declines as high as 90 percent for some species.

The Arctic: A New Arena for Geopolitical Conflict
(Andrew Holland / Energy Trends Insider & The Alaska Dispatch )

The Russian Northern Fleet is its largest and most powerful fleet and has conducted extensive exercises in Arctic waters along Russia's Northern Sea Route. In October 2013, the Russian Air Force re-opened a Cold War-era air base on Kotelny Island, far to the east of the Northern Fleet's home port of Severomorsk. In November 2013, Russia's Minister of Defense announced plans to create a new class of ice-protected vessels to patrol their Arctic coast.

Critical Worldwide Shortages Could Lead to Water Wars
(Joel Brinkley / Chicago Tribun)

Get ready for the water wars. Most of the world's population takes water for granted, just like air -- two life-sustaining substances. After all, the human body is nearly two-thirds water. But a Hindustan Times blogger said that in India right now, as in so many other places around the globe, drinkable water has become such a "precious commodity" that it's dragging the world into "water wars to follow the ones for the control of fuel oil."

US Plans to Expand War Games in Ecologically Rich Mariana Islands
(Zoe Loftus-Farren / Earth Island Journal )

The US military assumed control the Mariana Islands during World War II and has been waging war on the environment there ever since. Recent proposals to expand the range for Navy training exercises in this archipelago in the northwestern Pacific Ocean represent the latest frontier in this battle, and could be devastating to local communities as well as wildlife.

Fukushima Update: TEPCO Prepares Risky Fuel Rod Removal on Monday
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Kazuaki Nagata / The Japan Times)

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is preparing to attempt the removal of the first of more than 1,500 fuel assemblies from the Fukushima Unit 4 fuel pool that sits about 100 feet above the ground. Each assembly contains 50-70 radioactive fuel rods. If this removal procedure goes seriously awry or the plant is hit by another major earthquake, some scientists say, "It's bye-bye Japan and everyone on the west coast of North America should evacuate."

Philippine Delegate Weeps at UN Climate Conference, Starts Fast
(Al Jazeera and The Associated Press & Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato / Reuters)

The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan cast a gloom over UN climate talks that kicked off Monday in Poland as Naderev 'Yeb' Sano -- the envoy from the Philippines, where thousands are believed to have died when the cyclone made landfall Friday -- broke down in tears and announced he would fast until a "meaningful outcome is in sight. The emotional appeal was met with a standing ovation at the start of two-week effort to cut greenhouse gas and fight global warming.

Something Is Killing Life All Over The Pacific Ocean
(Michael Snyder / Activist Post & Amy Moreno/ KING 5 News & ENENews & The Oregononian)

Commentary: Why is there so much death and disease among sea life living near North America's west coast? Could the hundreds of tons of radioactive water spilling into the ocean from Fukushima have anything to do with it?
 Tests have found significant levels of cesium-137 in fish caught in the Pacific. Could this have anything to do with the fact that the largest nuclear disaster in the history of mankind has been releasing vast amounts of radiation into the sea for more than two years?

ACTION ALERT: Spare Pagan Island from Pentagon Bombs
(Save Pagan Island.org & Mark Rabago / Saipan Tribune & Leslie Wayne / The New York Times)

Pagan Island, the "Crown Jewel" of the Marianas, is facing environmental devastation owing from plans from the US Military to use the island paradise for "live-fire training," which includes everything from artillery to bombing. Pagan, a small island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is one of the most biologically and geologically diverse islands in the archipelago, and is home to many threatened and endangered species, some found nowhere else in the world.

Military Lobbyist's Statements 'Appall' Pagan Islanders
(Leslie Wayne / The New York Times & Clynt Ridgell / Guam News & Junhan B. Todeno / Marianas Variety & Alexie Villegas Zotomayor / Marianas Variety)

Pagan Island activist Jerome Aldan says a military lobbyist made a "horrible misrepresentation" about proposed military exercises in the Northern Marianas Islands. Lobbiest Juan Carlos Benitez noted that Pagan is a "key linchpin" to the proposed military buildup in the Pacific. But "Pagan is home," saus Aldan. "We have been waiting decades for a chance to return, and now we've been told that we may never go back home because the [Pentagon] needs another firing range."

US Channels $7 Billion into Massive 'Super-destroyer'
(Fox News & The Associated Press & The Daily Mail)

The Navy once envisioned building more than 20 of these super-destroyers but the costs grew so high that senior Navy officials tried to kill the program. Instead, it was truncated to just three ships. According to US media reports, the Zumwalt will cost "more than $3.5 billion" -- about three times that of current destroyers. The British media, however, claims the new super-destroyer will ultimately cost $7 billion.

Bombing Paradise: The Pentagon Expands its List of Pacific Islands Targeted for Destruction
(Moana Nui & Rolynda Jonathan / OceanaTV & Michael Hadfield / The Sierra Club & NDJ World Mobile)

The US military is considering seizing two islands in the Northern Marianas to use as explosive training sites. Tinian and Pagan are being explored as potential sites for live explosive training as part of the US' military $12.1 billion build-up in the Pacific. Pagan Island has been inhabited by Chamorro people for more than 2,000 years and the island has provided a pristine habitat for a range of unique animals and plants, many of them endemic, rare and endangered.

War and the Environment: A Lasting Legacy at Yesterday's Battlefields
(Sarah DeWeerdt / WorldWatch Institute )

In 1998, the environmental group Green Cross International sent a team of four scientists to Kuwait to investigate the environmental effects of the Gulf War seven years earlier. What the team found was very different from the surreal inferno of burning oil wells from 1991: a quiet desert, green with waving grasses. But the team soon discovered hidden problems "literally below the surface" -- oil that continues to percolate through the soil, threatening freshwater aquifers.

Endless Fukushima Catastrophe, Part 1: Many Generations' Health at Stake
(Dr Helen Caldicott / RT News)

Bio-accumulation of radioactive elements around Fukushima will devastate many future Japanese generations, while the Pacific Ocean is also being contaminated by leaking radioactive water. Yet there is still no good solution from the Japanese government. The world will never be the same again. No nuclear reactor can withstand being drowned in a massive wave of water without catastrophic consequences.

Endless Fukushima Catastrophe, Part 2: 2020 Olympics under Contamination Threat
(Dr Helen Caldicott / RT News)

Given these impending problems, how can Japanese Prime Minister Abe possibly say that Tokyo will be safe for the Olympics? He actually said that "there is absolutely no problem" and "the situation is under control." Does he not understand that parts of Tokyo are already radioactively contaminated and that his government is dumping ashes from the incineration of thousands of tons of radioactive debris from the tsunami and earthquake into Tokyo Bay?

DARPA Plans to Flood the Sea With Drones, Carrying More Drones
(Allen McDuffee / Danger Room @ Wired Magazine )

DARPA, the Pentagon's research agency, has recently revealed its plans to boost the Navy's response to threats in international waters by developing submerged unmanned platforms that can be deployed at a moment's notice. The Hydra system is intended to be delivered in international waters by ships, submarines or aircraft with the integrative capability of communicating with manned and unmanned platforms for air, surface, and water operations.

Pentagon Plans to Bomb Pristine, 'Protected' Islands
(Leevin Camacho and Daniel Broudy / The Asia-Pacific Journal & Chamorro.com)

The Pentagon plans to use one of the last pristine, uninhabited and biodiverse spots on Earth for Full-Spectrum live-fire training. Two-thirds of Tinian, and the entire islands of Farallon de Medinilla and Pagan -- as well as one-third of Guam -- would destroyed by this plan. How can these activities coexist the 2009 law designating the area as the "Marianas Trench Marine National Monument" to preserve the environment?

Tensions Rise as Shell Oil's Pollution Robs Nigerians of Clean Water
(Akanimo Reports)

Hundreds of thousands of the Ogoni people in the Rivers State axis of Southern Nigeria, do no longer have safe drinking water due to decades of oil pollution from Shell facilities in the area. it is shocking that two years after the UNEP assessment was submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan, there is still virtually nothing to show the Nigerian government is ready to compel Shell to take responsibility for its environmental crimes of ecological disaster in Ogoniland.

Climate Change and Rising Seas: Rising by 69 Feet?
(Ben Strauss / Climate Central & Chris Mooney / Mother Jones)

Global average sea level is currently rising by about 1 inch per decade. But in an invisible shadow process, our long-term sea level rise commitment or "lock-in" -- the sea level rise we don't see now, but which carbon emissions and warming have locked in for later years -- is growing 10 times faster, and this growth rate is accelerating. Meanwhile, the unprecedented melting of Greenland could foreshadow a massively destructive global sea-level rise of 69 feet.

Where Are the World's Major Military Bases?
(Harriet Alexander / The Guardian )

As the British government examines whether it could maintain Trident's base in an independent Scotland, here is a look at some of the major military bases on foreign soil -- excluding Afghanistan -- around the world.

Scientists Warn of Polar Emergency: Melting Ice and Methane Releases Threaten Global Starvation by 2015
(Martin Banks / The Parliament & The Arctic Methane Emergency Group)

The most visible repercussions of sea ice decline and rapid Arctic warming are the escalating emissions of methane -- a potent global warming gas -- now seen to be bubbling in vast plumes from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf seabed. The "global weirding" manifested by extreme weather events -- droughts, fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes -- will continue to be affecting farmers all over the world as the Arctic warms.

War and Water: Hydropolitics Propel Balkanization in Africa
(Wayne Madsen / Strategic Culture Foundation & Global Research)

Wherever there are reports of melting glaciers and a future of diminished water resources, there is an increasing Balkanization of nation-states. Those who manipulate world events for maximum profit understand that it is much easier to control water resources if one is dealing with a multitude of warring and jealous mini-states than it is to deal with a regional power...

ACTION ALERT: Help Stop the Navy's Attack on Whales!
(Pierce Brosnan and the Natural Resources Defense Council)

The Navy is prepared to kill more than 1,000 whales and other marine mammals during the next five years of testing and training with dangerous sonar and explosives. Tell Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to direct the Navy to adopt common-sense safeguards right away that will protect marine mammals during routine training without sacrificing our national security.

400 Parts Per Million: The Coming Carbon Apocalypse
(Al Gore / Reader Supported News & Google)

For the first time in human history, concentrations of carbon dioxide, the primary global warming pollutant, hit 400 parts per million. For the last 150 years we have been recklessly polluting the protective atmosphere that surrounds the Earth. Every day we pour 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the sky. The global warming pollution now traps enough extra heat energy to equal the energy released by 400,000 Hiroshima-scale atomic bombs exploding every day.

Wind Farms May Bring Lobsters Killed Off During WWII Back To Germany's North Coast
(Reuters & German Pulse & Christoph Seidler / Der Spiegel)

Germany once had a thriving lobster population off its north coast, but heavy bombing during WWII, nearly destroyed the lobster population. British bombers subjected the coastal area to one of the largest non-nuclear detonations with 7,000 metric tons of explosives in 1947. The lobster population may have a chance to recover now that Germany has begun building 5,000 offshore wind farms whose stone foundations on the seafloor will make an ideal habitat for lobsters.

Gulf Oil Spill Continues to Cause Death, Illness
(CBS & AP & Jacob Chamberlain / Common Dreams & Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams & Emily Dugan / The Independent)

On eve of the third anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, lawsuits and a new report reveal a litany of BP lies and government collusion in the oil 'clean-up' as the Gulf and coastal residents continue to suffer from the legacy of the blow-out, explosion and massive spill. Meanwhile, chemicals used to disperse Gulf of Mexico spill are being blamed for mysterious dolphin die-offs, the appearance of shrimp without eyes and lingering human illnesses.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Pentagon's Sonic War on Whales
(Ted Danson / Oceana )

The Obama administration is considering allowing the use of deadly seismic airgun blasts to search for oil and gas under the ocean floor, the first harmful step toward expanding dangerous offshore drilling to the Atlantic. The US Department of the Interior estimates that 138,500 whales and dolphins will be injured and possibly killed along the East Coast if these tests are allowed to go through.

In Okinawa, the War Isn't Over: Protests Aimed at New US Base
(Arata Yamamoto and John Newland / NBC World News )

As Japan prepares to celebrate the 61st anniversary of the nation's return to sovereignty and the end of US occupation after World War II, one community is getting ready to protest. The US plans to put a new air base in the seaside village of Henoko, Okinawa, in 2022, and many residents aren't happy about it. "We would like the United States to take back with them as many of these bases as they can," said Ikuo Nishikawa, a hardware store owner and native of Henoko.

Greenpeace Plants Flag in Artic Seabed; Proclaims a Mining-free Sanctuary
(Dominic Kane / Al Jazeera & Fault Lines / Al Jazeera)

A Greenpeace team has trekked to North Pole to plant a flag on the Arctic seabed, thereby laying claim to the region as declaring it a sanctuary free of mining and exploitation. In an earlier report, Al Jazeera's Fault Lines team travels to the Arctic Circle to investigate the impact a resource rush might have on local communities.

Report Uncovers 'Water-Apartheid' in the Occupied West Bank
(Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams )

A new report by the Ramallah-based human rights group Al-Haq on Israel's water grab in the occupied West Bank links the widespread deprivation of Palestinian water rights to Israel's settlement expansion strategy, saying both demonstrate "a clear testament to its colonial and apartheid motives." The study reports that Israel has claimed up to 89% of an aquifer that is largely located in the West Bank, giving Palestinians only access to the remaining 11%.

Why Obama Won't Cut Defense Spending
(John Glaser / AntiWar.com Blog )

The President's budget proposal, submitted on Wednesday, includes a military budget totaling $640.5 billion. The Cato Institute notes this vast sum "ignore[s] the budgetary cap set by law" and marks "a substantial increase over the $493 billion that the Pentagon actually got from Congress this year, after sequestration." The big controversy in recent months over supposed "deep" cuts to the defense budget that would boost unemployment and harm national security was a lot of hot air.

US Sailors Sue Japanese Utility Over Radiation Exposure
(Beth Ford Roth / KPBS & Star Priscilla / Coalition Against Nukes & Investment Watchblog )

It was really, really bad aboard the USS Ronald Reagan during its Fukushima Mission. 150 US service members claim exposure to Fukushima radiation has triggered medical persistent health issues. Back in the US, they say the Defense Department has abandons them, leaving them on their own. Today they held a press conference to inform the public how bad it was aboard the navy vessel, living in fear every day -- some sailors even tried to commit suicide.

Planet Now 'Hottest in 4,000 Years' as Wall Street Prepares to Profit on Climate Disasters
(NBC & Science Magazine & Justin Gillis / The New York Times & James Temple / San Francisco Chronicle)

Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years, scientists reported Thursday, and over the coming decades are likely to surpass levels not seen on the planet since before the last ice age. Meanwhile, even as free-market think tanks continue working to discredit solid science on climate change, Wall Street itself is already busy exploiting the unfolding tragedy.

The Human Cost of Military Strikes against Iran's Nuclear Facilities
(Khosrow B. Semnani / The Hinckley Institute of Politics & Omid for Iran)

If only 1 to 5 percent of the population is exposed to significant radiation levels, 2,400 to 12,000 people could suffer from severe health effects such as those witnessed in the aftermath of Chernobyl. Moreover, the damage would extend beyond Iran. An attack on the Bushehr nuclear power plant would pose a grave environmental and economic threat to civilians in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Whale Wars Rage as Japanese Whalers Kill and Spill in Antarctic Waters
(Common Dreams & Sea Shepherd & Agence France-Presse )

The fight to protect endangered whales in the Antarctic reached a boiling point over the weekend when high-seas activists from the group Sea Shepherd were bombarded by Japanese whalers as they tried to thwart the fleet from hauling in a dead whale. Sea Shepherd has accused Japanese whalers of killing protected whales in violation of international law and of spilling oil into protected Antarctic waters.

UN to Big Oil: Don't Drill in the Arctic!
(Jon Queally / Common Dreams & Arctic Methane Emergency Group)

As part of their annual review, the UN says that melting of the world's Arctic waters should not be an excuse to encourage a race to exploit the mineral and energy resources that such melting have made accessible, and urged international caution to avoid damage to the fragile Arctic environment. If the current rate of warming continues, it will inevitably lead to uncontrollable accelerating global warming and "runaway" climate change.

UN to Big Oil: Don't Drill in the Arctic!
(Jon Queally / Common Dreams & Arctic Methane Emergency Group)

As part of their annual review, the UN says that melting of the world's Arctic waters should not be an excuse to encourage a race to exploit the mineral and energy resources that such melting have made accessible, and urged international caution to avoid damage to the fragile Arctic environment. If the current rate of warming continues, it will inevitably lead to uncontrollable accelerating global warming and "runaway" climate change.

Stranded US Naval Ship threatens Philippine Reef
(Michael Zennie / The London Daily Mail)

Tubbataha Reef off the southern Philippines is home to some of the richest marine life on the planet. It's much deserving of its world heritage site status. But it's now under serious threat since a US Navy minesweeper ran aground on a coral wall on January 17th. The US Navy has announced it plans to hack apart the multimillion-dollar minesweeper and remove it from the reef, rather than risk further damage to the sensitive ecosystem.

Idle No More Hunger Striker Ends Protest over Canadian Land Law
(Aura Bogado / ColorLines)

Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence has ended her seven-week hunger strike on behalf of the Idle No More campaign. Idle No More was formed in response to Canada's omnibus Bill C-45 -- a massive economic plan that threatens to make extraordinary changes to environmental law, including the way the environment and waterways are -- or are not -- protected. Idle No More claims that First Nations were never consulted about these fundamental changes.

KBR, Guilty In Iraq Negligence, Wants Taxpayers To Foot The Bill
(Ryan J. Reilly / Huffington Post )

Sodium dichromate is an orange-yellowish substance containing hexavalent chromium, an anti-corrosion chemical. To Lt. Col. James Gentry of the Indiana National Guard, who was stationed at the Qarmat Ali water treatment center in Iraq just after the 2003 US invasion, it was "just different-colored sand." In their first few months at the base, soldiers were told by KBR contractors running the facility the substance was no worse than a mild irritant.

Super-wealthy Plan to Avoid Rising Seas by Building Independent FLoating City-States
(Robert Hunziker / Dissident Voice)

With ice caps melting and oceans rising, plans are underway for the super-wealthy to abandon the land and relocate to new "sovereign nations" built on oil-rig-type platforms in international waters -- free from economic regulations and laws. PayPal founder Peter Thiel (a member of the Bilderberg Group) has contributed $1.25 million to research the floating city project. The ultimate goal is to have thousands or millions of "seasteading" residents living in floating "city states" by 2050.

Slow-motion Environmental Disaster in Alaska, Courtesy of Shell Oil
(Orcas GeorgeFollow / Daily Kox )

While we were all enthralled by the drama in Washington over the fiscal cliff, Shell Oil slipped us a belated Christmas present. As you may know, Shell is drilling exploratory wells in the environmentally sensitive Beaufort sea, which happens to have some of the worst weather on the planet. They bought an old drill rig that was about to be scrapped, refitted it, and took it up to Alaska with a companion to see if mankind can conquer mother nature and win the mother lode of oil profits.

US tested 'Tsunami Bomb' off New Zealand Coast
(Jonathan Pearlman / The Telegraph & Meredith Bennett-Smith / The Huffington Post )

The US and New Zealand conducted secret tests of an underwater "tsunami bomb" designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive 33-foot-high tidal waves. The top secret plot to build this weapon of mass destruction, code-named "Project Seal", tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests.

Haiti: More Pressure Needed To Get Clean Water
(Mark Weisbrot / Al Jazeera & RYOT: Become the News)

More than two years and nearly 7,800 deaths after UN troops brought the dread disease of cholera to Haiti, a plan has finally been put forward to do something to get rid of it. While we are still a long way from implementation, there are important lessons to be learned from this experience.

Alarming' Year of Extremes as Climate 'Tipping Point' Looms
(Common Dreams)

An "alarming" rate of Arctic Sea ice melt and "far-reaching changes" to the Earth from climate change have prompted scientists to report that significant thawing of the Arctic permafrost will "significantly amplify global warming." It is hoped the troubling new UN report, released Tuesday, wwill spur agreement and critical action on the second day of negotiations underway at the 18th United Nations Climate Conference of the Parties (COP18) in Qatar.

World Energy Report 2012: The Good, the Bad, and the Really, Truly Ugly
(Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch.com)

Rarely does the release of a data-driven report on energy trends trigger front-page headlines around the world. That, however, is exactly what happened on November 12th when the prestigious Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) released this year's edition of its World Energy Outlook. In the process, just about everyone missed its real news, which should have set off alarm bells across the planet.

Critical 12-Day World Climate Conference Begins in Doha
(Al Jazeera Special Report)

From November 26 through December 7, delegates from nearly 200 of the world's countries will gather in Doha, the capital of Qatar, for COP18 – the critical United Nations Climate Change Conference. CO2 emission reduction pledges made at COP 17 are not sufficient to prevent the planet from heating another 2 degrees Celsius and triggering a global food, disease and climate catastrophe.

Opposition to US Bases in Pacific Reaches Turning Point
(Suvendrini Kakuchi / Inter Press Service )

More than 90 percent of Okinawans -- concerned about safety, noise and pollution -- want a complete removal of the US bases that occupy 18 percent of their land. In 1995, the gang rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl by three US soldiers resulted in an agreement to reduce US military presence in Okinawa, but this did little to appease local anger. Since 1972, US troops have been charged with 6,000 crimes -- including violence and rape.

Israel Eases Some Gaza Border Restrictions
(Al Jazeera)

An Egyptian-brokered truce has ended eight days of cross-border fighting that claimed 166 Palestinian and six Israeli lives. As part of the cease-fire agreement with Hamas, Israel has begun allowing farmers to visit their land (expropriated by Israel as part of a a 300-metre-wide military buffer zone) and fishermen were allowed to head further out to sea -- six nautical miles (6.9km), or double the previous limit.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Korea's War on Whales
(Patrick Ramage / The International Fund for Animal Welfare)

We only have two weeks to try to save endangered North Pacific minke whales from Korean harpoons. Please act now. At the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in July of this year, the Government of the Republic of Korea announced its intention to begin killing endangered North Pacific minke whales. The deadline to submit their proposal is December 3.

Water: A Source of International Conflict and Weapon of War -- Analysis
(Keshav Prasad Bhattarai / Eurasia Review )

Over the next 10 years the world population will grow to nearly 8 billion. By 2050 it will be more than 9 billion. The first inevitable pressure of this ever-increasing population growth will fall upon food, water and energy. The amount of water needed to produce more food and more energy for this growing population will become the most complicated problem of human society in years to come.

Global Water Crisis, US Eyes Canada's Great Lakes
(Richard Mills / Market Oracle )

The number of people living in areas affected by severe water stress is expected to increase to almost four billion people. With rapid population growth, water withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years. In North America the major concern is over water levels in the Ogallala aquifer under the US Great Plains. Let's examine three of the most ambitious proposals to transfer large amounts of freshwater from Canada to the US.

Gaza Boat Activists Accuse Israel Navy of Using Tasers
(Agence France-Presse / Hindustani Times & Inside Story / Al Jazeera)

Pro-Palestinian activists from a Gaza-bound boat intercepted by the Israeli navy have accused troops of tasering them when they took over their vessel the Estelle their lawyer told AFP on Sunday. The Israeli army immediately denied the claim.

Japan, US Abandon Provocative Drill to 'Retake' Isle
(NHK World News & The Japan Times)

Japan and the US have decided to cancel a joint drill in which their forces would "recapture" a remote island in Okinawa Prefecture. Tokyo and Washington were considering holding the drill on uninhabited Irisuna Island as part of joint military exercises slated for November. It was decided, however, that the drill would worsen the backlash from Beijing, which has reacted harshly to Japan's nationalization of the Senkaku Islands, which are also claimed by China and Taiwan.

Gaza-bound Aid Ship Boarded by Israeli Forces
(Al Jazeera )

A ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists seeking to breach Israel's naval blockade on Gaza has been seized by Israeli soldiers. The attack took place in international waters. "The 'Estelle' is now under attack." Several Israeli military ships surrounded the vessel (whose cargo contained soccer balls and children's books). Soldiers wearing masks boarded the ship whose civilian passengers included five parliamentarians from Europe and a former Canadian politician.

Enormous Dumps of Radioactive Waste Pose Nuclear Explosion Risk in Arctic Seas
(The Bellona Foundation)

Enormous quantities of decommissioned Russian nuclear reactors and radioactive waste were dumped into the Arctic Ocean over a course of decades including17,000 containers of radioactive waste, 19 ships containing radioactive waste, 14 nuclear reactors, including five that still contain spent nuclear fuel; 735 other pieces of radioactively contaminated heavy machinery, and the K-27 nuclear submarine with its two reactors loaded with nuclear fuel.

Global Warming Prompts Battle over Arctic Oil
(Chris Arsenault / Al Jazeera)

Arctic ice is melting faster than ever expected, leading oil companies and northern countries to jockey for position to access newly accessible wealth unlocked by global warming. In 2011, secret cables released by Wikileaks warned that resource wars would become more likely as global warming melts polar ice -- and opens new areas to oil exploitation. Will threats of military action and naval blockages next spread to the waters of the Arctic?

Sea Shepherd Fleet Prepares for Major Naval Campaign Against Japanese Whaling
(Common Dreams & Paul Watson / The Guardian )

Captain Paul Watson is gearing up for Sea Shepherd's biggest fight yet against Japanese whaling in the Antarctic, despite a second "red notice" being issued by Interpol for the arrest of the ocean defender. Operation Zero Tolerance marks the ninth year the marine conservation group has fought to stop Japan's killing of whales in a "protected area" in the Southern Ocean. With this year set to be the biggest campaign yet, Watson vows, "We aim to stop them completely this time."

US, Allies Set to Launch Anti-Mine Naval Exercises
(Adam Schreck / The Associated Press and the Australian Broadcasting Corp. )

The US and more than two dozen allies are gearing up for the largest naval exercise ever in the Middle East. A wary Iran says it will be watching closely. US Navy officials insist that the anti-mine exercise is not about any specific country or a response to Iranian threats to shut the narrow Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf, the route for one-fifth of the world's oil. But the drills will likely be perceived around the world as a challenge to Tehran.

A Global Campaign to Save Whales from Military Sonar, Oil and Gas Exploration
(Nature's Voice / Natural Resources Defense Council )

Around the world, whales are once again in peril. The advent of steam-powered ships and sonar other invasive technologies during the 19th and 20th centuries meant catastrophic declines in whale populations as many species were hunted to the brink of extinction. Fortunately, an international ban on commercial whaling in 1986 began reversing those declines.

Russia Announces Enormous Finds of Radioactive Waste and Nuclear Reactors in Arctic Seas
(Charles Digges / The Bellona Foundation )

Enormous quantities of decommissioned Russian nuclear reactors and radioactive waste were dumped into the Kara Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia over a course of decades, according to documents given to Norwegian officials by Russian authorities and published in Norwegian media.

ACTION ALERT: Urge IUCN to Save Jeju Island
(Save Jeju Island.org)

IUCN leadership has refused to criticize Korea's decision to allow the construction of a US naval base on Jegu Island -- the Island of Peace. The Pentagon's military expansion is killing numerous endangered species and destroying indigenous communities. The IUCN decision defies its traditional mission to conserve nature and preserve a "just world."

Jeju Island Base Divides Korean, International Green Groups
(Jon Letman / Inter Press Service)

As construction of a hotly contested US naval base on South Korea's Jeju Island advances, there's a showdown underway. Korean groups, increasingly aided by sympathetic outsiders, are protesting the base, but the latest battle is between the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and those opposing its upcoming September 6-15 World Conservation Congress, seven km from the planned US base.

Shell Gets Green Light to Harass Arctic Marine Mammals
(Will Race / The Beacon / Oceana Blog )

The Arctic Ocean is home to an abundance of wildlife. In the spring, consistent and extensive polynyas -- stretches of open water surrounded by sea ice -- create pathways into the Arctic for bowhead whales, seals, and birds. But now, the Shell oil company has been given the green light from the government to harass marine mammals and put them at risk of a major oil spill in the region.

Sardinia: Militarization, Contamination and Cancer in Paradise
(Helen Jaccard / Special to EAW)

The sound of bombs, missiles, and other explosions; massive attacks from the sea onto the beach; an epidemic of cancers and birth defects; soil, air, food and water contaminated with heavy metals, jet fuel and other poisons. Is this a modern war zone? No -- Sardinia is the victim of weapons manufacturers, polluting military activities and a political system that cares about power and money over the health of people and the environment.

Iraq's PM Warns Arab States May Face 'Water War'
(BBC News & Hugh Sykes / BBC News)

Arab states could be headed towards a future war over water if they do not act quickly to tackle shortages, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has warned. At a conference in Baghdad, he urged countries to work together in order to prevent conflict in the arid region. Issues include desertification, poor water management, and the need for most Arab countries to rely on the goodwill of upstream states for river water.

Massive Air Force Fuel Leak Threatens Albuquerque's Water Wells
(Jeri Clausing / The Associated Press )

A decades-old jet fuel spill threatening Albuquerque's water supply could be as large as 24 million gallons, or twice the size of the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez, New Mexico environment officials have acknowledged. In 2007, Air Force investigations revealed the fuel had reached the water table and was moving off the Air Force base, beneath the neighborhoods of southeast Albuquerque and toward the city's water wells.

Navy Study: Sonar, Blasts Might Hurt More Sea Life
(The Associated Press )

The US Navy says its training and testing using sonar and explosives could potentially hurt more dolphins and whales in Hawaii and California waters than previously thought. the Navy estimates its use of explosives and sonar may unintentionally cause more than 1,600 instances of hearing loss or other injury to marine mammals in one year. The service calculates that its use of explosives may inadvertently cause more than 200 marine mammal deaths a year.

US And South Korea Assault An Idyllic Island: Not For The First Time
(Brian Willson / Veterans for Peace )

he beautiful island of Jeju in South Korea is packed with natural and cultural treasures and designated a UNESCO world heritage site. But it has the misfortune of appearing to the US military strategically positioned to play a part in surrounding China. Jeju's history is central to how the United States became the militarized nation it has been for over half a century. For the people of Jeju, attempting to nonviolently resist the construction of a new military base, there is an eerie sense of déjà vu.

Japanese Delegation Wants the US Out of Okinawa
(David Swanson / War Is A Crime & Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post)

A 24-member delegation from Japan arrived in Washington, DC, this week to oppose new construction of US military bases in Okinawa and to protest the continued occupation by US troops. US tax money is being spent to pay billions of dollars to US corporations to maintain and expand some 90 military bases in Japan. Okinawa has been dominated by US military bases for 67 years -- ever since the US forcibly appropriated much of the best land. Okinawans have protested this US presence for decades.

Life Without Water a Growing Threat in Gaza
(Eva Bartlett / Inter Press Service & CommonDreams )

"Taking our water is not like taking a toy. Water is life, they cannot play with our lives like this," says Maher Najjar, deputy general director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) of the recent Israeli threat to cut electricity, water and infrastructure services to the occupied Gaza Strip.

Record Arctic Ice Melt Threatens Global Security
(Stephen Leahy / Inter Press Service & BBC News )

All the commentary about safety and security on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 ignored by far the biggest ongoing threat to global security: climate change. The Arctic ice melt is accelerating the rate of climate change beyond what humanity is doing with every barrel of oil, ton of coal or cubic meter of gas burned. The loss of Arctic ice will speed the heating of the planet, releasing vast amounts of Greenhouse Gases trapped in the permafrost -- a global threat much worse than "terrorism."

New Film Reveals Truth of Philippine-American War
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet )

The respected indie director John Sayles ("Return of the Secaucus 7," "Brother from Another Planet," "Matewan," "Lone Star") has written and directed a potent and poetic film about the personal struggles of people trapped on both sides of the all-but-forgotten Philippine-American war. As Sayles points out in his essay "In Search of the Philippine-American War Film," "no armed conflict in the modern era has received less cinematic treatment than the Philippine-American war."

Resource Wars: Israel and Lebanon Draw a 'Line in the Sea'
(The Peace Times)

Lebanon has responded angrily to Israel's proposal for a maritime boundary, calling it an act of "aggression," as a dispute builds over huge natural gas and oil reserves beneath the sea. The two enemy countries are staking claims for a demarcation line in the Mediterranean Sea, where significant energy reserves have been found. Lebanon has submitted its sea boundary proposal to the UN and Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday approved a conflicting proposal to submit to the UN.

Drought in East Africa the Result of Climate Change and Conflict
(Felicity Lawrence / The Guardian)

Prolonged drought has caused a severe food crisis now affecting around 10 million people in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. The weather has become more erratic and extreme in recent years. In 2006, the same area suffered both drought and flash floods. Drought and fighting in southern Somalia has driven refugees into the equally water-starved regions of Ethiopia. Fearing that funds could be diverted to terrorists, the US has cut food aid to Somalia.

Russia Prepares for War in the Arctic over Oil
(BBC News)

Russia's defence minister has said he plans to create two specialist army brigades to be based in the Arctic. The announcement comes days after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia would strongly defend its interests -- to exploit the oil and mineral reserves of the polar region. The brigades could be based in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk or other areas, Russian news agencies reported.

Oil and Trade Routes: The Battle for the South China Sea
(Al Jazeera & Agence France-Presse & Times of India & Oil Price.com / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

Six countries -- China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia -- are scrambling to control the South China Sea. China estimates there could be up to 213 billion barrels of oil beneath the sea. Control of these waters would give China the world's second-largest proven oil reserves, just falling behind Saudi Arabia. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has warned that clashes may erupt unless nations adopt a mechanism to settle disputes peacefully.

Contaminated Water Threatens the Environment in Iraq

(Wahid Ghanim / NIquash.org )

Large expanses of land across southeast Iraq are being contaminated by saline waste coming across the border from Iran. As well as high levels of saline, the soil in the region also contains chemicals from the remnants of the aerial bombardment during the 1980s war.

WDNR Says Army Exit Plan Must Restore Environment
(Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)

Wisconsin regulators have ruled that a water supply system proposed by the Army as the primary remedy to protect public health from groundwater contamination at Badger Army Ammunition Plant will not meet environmental protection laws. Under the Army's plan, local farmers would be expected to abandon existing wells and pay for water from a municipal system built by the Army and later operated by rural townships.

Pacific World War II Wrecks Pose Risk of Toxic Leaks
(101 East & National Geographic Magazine)

In the Pacific Ocean, amid a chain of tiny islands that make up the Federated States of Micronesia, more than 50 World War II shipwrecks lie below the placid surface of the 40-mile-wide Truk Lagoon. Encased in coral, host to abundant sea life, and a popular destination for scuba-loving tourists, the tankers, destroyers, and other vessels of the "Truk Ghost Fleet" contain noxious cargo -- thousands of barrels of toxic oil and fuels, hazardos chemicals and unexploded ordnance.

War and the Environment: Some Examples
(A Peace Pledge Action Project)

Nearly a century after the outbreak of WWI, the ploughs in Flanders fields still turn up human bones every year. But twentieth century technology, busily applied to the practice of war, has ensured a more lethal harvest. For example, landmines: planted in millions in war-torn countries across the world, killing and maiming long after wars are over, and denying agricultural use of the land in which they lurk.

BP's Toxic Contamination of the Gulf Environment
(Erika Blumenfeld / Al Jazeera & Dahr Jamail / Al Jazeera)

In response to their oil disaster last summer that released at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons of widely banned toxic Corexit dispersants (which have been banned in 19 countries) to sink the oil. Researchers estimate that "approximately 6,000 sea turtles, 26,000 dolphins and whales, 82,000 birds, and countless fish and invertebrates may have been harmed by the disaster."

Greenpeace Activists Occupy Oil Rig in Fight to Prevent Arctic Drilling
(John Vidal / The Guardian )

The fight to stop the global oil industry exploring the pristine deep waters of the Arctic has been dubbed the new cold war, and early on Friday it escalated as environmental activists from 12 countries occupied the world's second largest rig on its way from Turkey to Greenland to drill among the icebergs.

What Does the Arab World Do When its Water Runs Out?
(John Vidal / The Observer)

Poverty, repression, injustice and mass unemployment have all been cited as causes of the convulsions in the Middle East and north Africa. But a less recognised reason for the turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and Iran has been rising food prices, directly linked to a growing regional water crisis. Water usage in North Africa and the Middle East is unsustainable and shortages are likely to lead to further instability -- unless governments take action.

Environmental Navy Puts Japan's Whale-Killing Fleet on the Run
(The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society & Captain Paul Watson)

After a 26-day pursuit covering over 4,000 miles, three Sea Shepherd vessels confronted Japan's whaling fleet on January 25, forcing a factory ship to flee and disrupting the course of several harpoon vessels. The environmental fleet also intercepted and turned back a refueling ship, making it harder for the whalers to continue their illegal hunt in the Antarctic whale sanctuary.

Whale Wars: Activists Confront Japan Whalers in First Clash of 2011
(Al Jazeera & Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)

Environmental activists and Japanese whalers both released videos on Saturday, showing a confrontation in waters 3,000 kiliometers south of New Zealand. The Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research clashed with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, turning water cannon and hoses on the activists, while accusing SSCS of pelting their hunting fleet with "some rather unpleasant foul-smelling substances."

Avatar In the Amazon: Corporations Plan Genocide for Profit
(Jonathan Glennie / The Guardian)

This is the modern face of racism and, as with racism's most iconic expression, the black slave trade, the world needs to make a moral decision. Some will argue that compromises must be made for the progress of humanity. After all, we need oil, wood, gold, diamonds, coltan, copper. But are we prepared to see people die and their cultures die out? Is there another way? Or is it time for us to redefine progress?

South Korean Villagers Resist US Navy’s Destruction of Sacred Coastlands
(Bruce Gagnon & Sung-Hee Choi / Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space & All Voices)

As I write this, the people of the Gangjeong village on Jeju Island in South Korea are in the midst of the fight of their lives. It is today that they face down the Navy and the plans to destroy their sacred coastline for the Navy base where US Aegis destroyers (built in Bath, Maine) will be ported.

Another Battle of Okinawa
(Chalmers Johnson / Los Angeles Times)

The US is on the verge of permanently damaging its alliance with Japan in a dispute over a base in Okinawa. This island prefecture hosts three-quarters of all US military facilities in Japan. In the globe-girdling array of overseas military bases that the United States has acquired since World War II -- more than 700 in 130 countries -- few have a sadder history than those we planted in Okinawa.

Planned $12.6 Billion US Superbase Would Harm Guam's People and Environment
(Praveen Swami 
/ The Telegraph)

The US is building an £8 billion super military base on the Pacific island of Guam in an attempt to contain China's military build-up. However, Guam residents fear the build-up could hurt their ecosystem and tourism-dependent economy. The arrival of US Marines and other soldiers will double Guam's population, triggering water shortages. A planned harbor would destroy 71 acres of coral reefs.

An Ocean Full of Oil
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime & Global Research)

For those who like to learn about topics the old-fashioned way, through careful and thoughtful analysis in the written word, Bob Cavnar has just published "Disaster on the Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, and the Story Behind the Deepwater Well Blowout." The book reveals BP knew in advance about the dangers, lied about the spill, and pressured the White House into backing off on holding BP liable.

Israel's Policies Blamed for Water Crisis in Palestine
(Nora Barrows-Friedman / Common Dreams & The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories)

As Jewish Israelis enjoy trips to the beach, neighborhood swimming pools, unfettered access to clean drinking water, state-of-the-art sewage treatment infrastructure, and endless amounts of running water in their homes, Palestinians in communities separated by boundaries, walls, and checkpoints brace and prepare each time the weather heats up and the antiquated wells dry up.

Military Bases Polluting Waterways In Washington State and Wisconsin
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger & Rosemere Neighborhood Association)

The military hopes to win permission to shut down a huge groundwater extraction system that currently stops toxins from the Badger Army Ammo Plant from flowing into groundwater and the nearby Lower Wisconsin River. Meanwhile, the EPA is concerned that Camp Bonneville, a former Military installation in Washington, is releasing arsenic, perchlorate and other dangerous toxins into the environment.

Floating Chernobyls
(Karl Grossman / OpEd News)

Russia has embarked on a scheme to build floating nuclear power plants to be moored off its coasts and sold to nations around the world but critics warn the plants would pose unprecedented hazards in the event of failure while promoting the risks of nuclear proliferation and providing irresistible targets for terrorism.

ACTION ALERT: Shell Drilling Threatens Arctic and Eskimo Communities
(Greenpeace & Amnesty International & Defenders of Wildlife)

Just like BP dismissed the risk of a blowout with its Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf, Shell is saying the same thing about their proposed Alaskan Arctic rig. The truth is that Shell's plans in Alaska are even riskier than BP's. A spill in the Chukchi Sea could spell disaster for the people, polar bears, whales and other wildlife that rely on the Chukchi to survive.

US Navy Conscripts Dolphins to Hunt for Terrorists
(John Coté / San Francisco Chronicle)

Dolphins that can detect mines buried on the seafloor. Sea lions trained to cuff the leg of a waterborne saboteur. It sounds like the stuff of a James Bond film, or at least Austin Powers. It's actually the culmination of more than 40 years of US Navy research that was showcased in San Francisco Bay as part of a statewide exercise simulating suspected terrorist attacks on ports.

War and the Environment
(Peace Pledge Union)

Images of Devastated battlefields are all too familiar. The ploughs in Flanders fields still turn up human bones every year. But twentieth century technology, busily applied to the practice of war, has ensured a more lethal harvest. For example, landmines.

Castro on Spill: Corporations Unstoppable
(Associated Press)

Cuban's Fidel Castro says the spreading oil slick fouling the Gulf of Mexico is proof that the world's most powerful governments cannot control large corporations that now dictate the public's destiny.

US Legacy in Iraq: Violence, Devastation, Corruption, Desperation
(Stephen Lendman / OpEdNews)

The Gulf War was an environmental disaster. It destroyed power and chemical plants; factories; dams; water purification facilities; sewage treatment systems; oil wells, pipelines and refineries. Twenty years of war, sanctions, and occupation left vast parts of the country's land, water and air poisoned by pollutants, including depleted uranium, chemicals, toxic metals, oil, bacteria, and other contaminants.

Climate Change Is Killing Kenya's Wildlife and People: Water Wars Have already Begun
(Lindsey Hilsum / BBC Channel 4 News)

Kenya faces its worst drought for more than a decade, with crops and livestock destroyed. Will people in the north of the country become among the first victims of climate change? Samburu warriors in their beads and finery now have mobile phones, and more of them carry AK 47s to supplement their spears and traditional knives, so raiding over water, cattle and pasture is more deadly.

Deforestation in Kenya Could Lead to 'Water War'
(James Morgan / BBC News)

Deforestation in Kenya's Mau watershed is stoking tribal tensions. Maasai farmers are angry with the predominantly ethnic Kalenjin settlers upstream, accusing them of "stealing" the forest and the water. And there is a real fear that human suffering could precipitate a civil conflict. An explosion of simmering ethnic tensions after elections last year left some 1,300 people dead across the country and now the loss of downstream water is putting livestock and people at risk.

Environmentalists Blast Mideast Water Projects
(Howard Schneider / Washington Post)

An acute water shortage has prompted Jordan and Israel to embark on audacious water-supply projects that supporters say will prevent an impending regional crisis but environmentalists have criticized as ill-advised attempts to rewire nature.

Iraqs Draining Water War: Fertile Crescent Could Vanish by 2100
(Phil Sands and Nizar Latif / The National & Fred Pearce / The New Scientist)

As bombs continue to tear apart its towns and villages, Iraq is now in the grip of an environmental crisis that experts and officials warn may do what decades of war have not been able to destroy the country. The new war on Iraq, says one member of the countrys parliament, is a war of water. Is it the final curtain for the Fertile Crescent? The Mesopotamian cradle of civilisation seems to be returning to desert.

Israelis Restrict Palestinians' Water Supply
(The Real News & Al Jazeera & The Guardian)

A deepening drought in the Middle East is aggravating a dispute over water resources after the World Bank found that Israel is taking four times as much water as the Palestinians from a vital shared aquifer. Following the release of a World Bank report that warned Israelis have access to four times as much water as Palestinians due to restrictions, the Israeli government has now announced new restrictions on Palestinian access to water

Israel Destroying Gazas Environment and Turning Mediterranean into a "Septic Tank"
(Motasem Dalloul / Al Jazeera & Islam Online & Reuters)

There are three main causes for the environmental pollution of the Gaza Strip: the use of cooking oil for fuel (due to the fuel shortage caused by the Israeli blockade), rubbish accumulating in the streets, raw sewage dumped into the sea. The Mediterranean is often called the world's most polluted sea and the waters around Tel Aviv offer a reason why 140 tons of heavy metals and130 tons of pesticides are discharged into the sea under government licenses.

Dangerous Untreated West Bank Wastewater
(Stephen Lendman / Global Research )

Israeli West Bank and Jerusalem settlements produce about 91 million cubic meters of wastewater annually, more than double the amount from Palestinian communities. Yet most of it goes untreated. As an occupying power, international humanitarian law requires it be done, yet Israel violates its obligations across the board making Palestinians suffer grievously as a result.

Dangerous Untreated West Bank Wastewater
(Stephen Lendman / Global Research)

Israeli West Bank and Jerusalem settlements produce about 91 million cubic meters of wastewater annually, more than double the amount from Palestinian communities. Yet most of it goes untreated. As an occupying power, international humanitarian law requires it be done, yet Israel violates its obligations across the board making Palestinians suffer grievously as a result.

The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism
(Barry Sanders: Book Excerpt / AK Press )

When we declare war on a foreign nation, we now also declare war on the Earth, on the soil and plants and animals, the water and wind and people, in the most far-reaching and deeply infecting ways. A bomb dropped on Iraq explodes around the world. We have no way of containing the fallout. Technology fails miserably here. War insinuates itself, like an aberrant gene and, left unchecked, has the capacity for destroying the Earths complex and sometimes fragile system.

Environment Emerges as a Major Casualty in Gaza
(Erin Cunningham / Inter Press Service)

An already deepening environmental crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip has been further compounded by the recent war. hroughout the three-week Operation Cast Lead, Israel targeted almost every aspect of the coastal territory's infrastructure. Homes, businesses, factories, power grids, sewage systems and water treatment plants were reduced to piles of rubble across the Gaza Strip.

Smarten Up Naval Sonar to Save the Whales
(Jean-Michel Cousteau and Joel R. Reynolds / Christian Science Monitor)

The Bush administration may be gone, but whales and other marine life along our coasts will be hearing from it for years to come literally. Before leaving office, Bush's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Navy released a series of regulations that, during the next five years, could cause environmental harm on a staggering scale. But by acting decisively, the Obama administration can prevent it.

Washington State Environmentalists to Battle Navy Proposal
(Justin Burnett / Whidbey Examiner)

Whidbey Island environmental groups opposed to the Navy's plan to expand its Northwest training operations. The Navy is planning to expand operations in its Northwest Training Range Complex, an area encompassing about 122,400 nautical miles of air, surface and subsurface space stretching from Washington to northern California. The proposal ranges from increasing missile and sonar testing to dumping depleted uranium.

ACTION ALERT: US Opposes "Water as a Human Right"
(Wenonah Hauter / Executive Director, Food & Water Watch)

We've flooded Congress with more than 17,000 messages objecting to the actions by US representatives at the World Water Forum in Turkey, which removed language declaring water as a human right and public good from the final ministerial document. Help us get to 50,000!

How to Avoid Wars over Water
(Kevin Watkins and Anders Berntell / International Herald Tribune)

The CIA, the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and, most recently, Britain's Ministry of Defense have all raised the specter of future "water wars." With water availability shrinking across the Middle East, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, violent conflict between states is increasingly likely. The specter is on the agenda for the 140 countries gathered for the annual World Water Week forum

Undersea Bombs Threaten Marine Life
(Azadeh Ansari / CNN)

Beyond the golden beaches and beneath the blue waters of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques is a site that resembles more of a munitions graveyard than a Caribbean paradise. Hundreds of corroding and unexploded bombs litter the sea floor, leaking toxins and taking a toll on nearby marine life. The munitions were left by the US Navy, which had a training site on Vieques for six decades.

On the Ukranian Weapons Ship Stand-off
(EcoTerra International & East African Seafarers Assistance Program)

Becoming a pirate is a way to survive in Somalia, a devastated African country of about 9 million people living on a territory slightly larger than Ukraine yet just below the size of Texas. Getting rid of the Somali pirate phenomenon requires addressing the complexities of Somalia as a nation, its deep political and economic challenges.

The Environmental Roots of the Somali Pirate Crisis
(EcoTerra International)

ECOTERRA International, the last international environmental organization still working in Somalia, warned ship-owners as far back as 1992 that they were fishing illegally within the Somalia's Exclusive Economic Zone. When foreign vessels refused to stop pirating Somalia's ocean resources, EcoTerra repeatedly appealed to theUS and the international community for help to protect the coastal waters of the war-torn state to no avail. This void provided an opening for the rise of Somalia's pirate fleets.

The Environmental Roots of the Somali Pirate Crisis
(EcoTerra International)

ECOTERRA International, the last international environmental organization still working in Somalia, warned ship-owners as far back as 1992 that they were fishing illegally within the Somalia's Exclusive Economic Zone. When foreign vessels refused to stop pirating Somalia's ocean resources, EcoTerra repeatedly appealed to theUS and the international community for help to protect the coastal waters of the war-torn state to no avail. This void provided an opening for the rise of Somalia's pirate fleets.

Noisy, Acid Oceans Increasingly Harmful to Whales
(Environmental News Service)

Oceans and seas are becoming noisier with more vessels, increased seismic surveys for oil and gas, off-shore construction and recreation, and a new generation of military sonars, an alliance of wildlife groups said today. They warn that the cacophony is intensifying threats to marine mammals that use sound to communicate, forage for food and find mates

Supreme Court to Whales: War Games Come First
(Pete Yost / Associated Press & International Marine Mammal Project)

The Supreme Court has ruled that military training trumps protecting whales in a dispute over the Navy's use of sonar in submarine-hunting exercises off the California coast. Ignoring the scientific merits of the claims put forward by concerned environmentalists, the court held that federal courts have no right to give orders the Navy. "Forcing the Navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardizes the safety of the fleet," Chief Justice John Roberts ruled.

Water Board Sues US over Mothball Fleet
(Kelly Zito / San Francisco Chronicle)

A regional water board is readying a lawsuit against the US Maritime Administration claiming federal authorities have allowed toxic chemicals and metals from the mothball fleet to continue to leach into Suisun Bay.

The US Armys Explosive Wells
(Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)

The Army and EPA will test wells in Wisconsin that have been found to be contaminated with dinitrotoluene, an explosive, cancer-causing residue released by the Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Local citizens are concerned that the contaminant levels are more than four times health advisory levels set by the Wisconsin Division of Public Health for drinking water.

Navy, Environmentalists Fighting over War-game Restrictions
(Dave Downey / New York Times)

Military officials now know how far they must go to protect whales and dolphins from the ear-splitting sonar that the Navy employs in offshore war games.The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled to uphold a January district court judge's ruling that limits the sonar's use off California's coast. The limits came after President Bush had intervened in an attempt to shield the Navy from any judicial restrictions.

Navy Sonar Ban in Southern Calif. Upheld
(Associated Press)

he Navy must abide by limits on its sonar training off the Southern California coast because the exercises could harm dozens of species of whales and dolphins, a federal appeals court ruled.

Navy Secretary Observes Whale-endangering Sonar
(Navy News & Kristin Roberts / Reuters & The Associated Press)

The Navy has been pushing every PR button imaginable to show the world how kind their sonars are to whales, including dragging the Secretary of the Navy out to southern California with reporters.

Two California Democrats Oppose Navy Sonar Training
(Josiah Ryan / CNSNews.com)

Responding to a federal judge's iinjunction that would have prevented the Navy from conducting sonar training exercises, George W. Bush has decreed that the US Navy is exempt from the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). Two Democratic members of Congress from California have taken exception to Bush's exemption..

Bush to Whales: Drop Dead! Bush Exempts Navy From Environmental Law
(Noaki Schwartz / Associated Press)

George W. Bush fired another salvo in the fight pitting the Navy's sonar weapons against whales and other marine mammals. A federal judge recently found the Navy was violating he Coastal Zone Management Act by using powerful sonar devices off the California coast. The judge ordered the Navy to adopt safety measures to protect marine mammals but Bush's memo leaves the Navy free to ignore the law

Okinawan Hunger Strikers Protest Plans for US Base
(Chiyomi Sumida / Stars and Stripes / ALERT: Okinawan Leader in Berkeley on February 3)

Yoko Yamaguchi, 64, from Ginowan, is staging a hunger strike in front of the Defense Facilities Administration Naha Bureau to protest the planned construction of a Marine Corps air station in the waters off northeast Okinawa. Hear Feminist Peace Activist Suzuyo Takazato speak on the protests, Thursday, February 3, at 7 pm. Pacific School of Religion, Mudd Building, Room 100, 1798 Scenic Ave. Berkeley, CA 94709.

Denial of Water to Iraqi Cities
(CambridgeSolidarity with Iraq)

In 1991 and in several incidents during the ongoing occupation of Iraq, US commanders have cut off water supplies and electric power to entire cities. Such actions are specifically prohibited by international law, including the Geneva Conventions. A detailed investigation by a British watchdog group has documented the Pentagon's repeated use of outlawed tactics that clearly constitute the commission of "war crimes."

Navy Sonar Used before Whales Hit Shore
(Marc Kaufman / MSNBC)

A pod of about 200 melon-headed whales swam near shore in Hanalei Bay on July 3. Initially, the Navy said that sonars were used after the whales behaved strangely that morning. The Navy has now admitted that it activated the controversial sonar system prior to the distress observed in the pod. While the Navy has changed its story, it still denies responsibility for the whales avoidance behavior.

Gulf War: Ecosystems, Coral Reefs, Shrimp, Oil/hydrocarbon Contamination and More
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Gulf War Impact on Marine Environment and Species
World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Effects of the Gulf War on the Northwestern Arabian Gulf Water Quality, Ecosystem, Fishery Stocks and Recovery Strategies
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.

Mesopotamian Marshlands: Demise of an Ecosystem
UN Environment Programme.

The 1991 Gulf War: Coastal and Marine Environmental Consequences. Marine Pollution Bulletin 27.380pp. Price, A.R.G., Robinson, J.H., editors. (1993)

Threats to the environment posed by war in Iraq
Birdlife International, February, 17, 2003

Important Bird Areas in Iraq
Birdlife International

Effects of the Gulf War Oilspills and Well-head fires on the avifauna and environment of Kuwait. Pilcher C.W.T & Sexton, D.B. (1993). Sandgrouse, the Journal of the Ornithological Society of the Middle East 15: 6-17

Impact of Gulf War oil spills on wintering seabird populations along the northern Arabian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia, 1991. Symens, P &. Suhaibani, A. (1993), Sandgrouse 15: 37-43

Impact of Gulf War Oil Spills on the Wader Populations of the Saudi Arabian Gulf Coast. Evans, M.I, Keijl, G.O. (1993), Sandgrouse 15: 85-105




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