Protest


For months, people have gathered to fight the Dakota Oil Pipeline that will cut through sacred Native American land. This is life at the Sacred Stone Camp.

 

 

BJSquiggel

 

Our Native brothers and sisters continue to need our support and encouragement. Send messages via Facebook to let them know you continue to be there for them. If you haven’t written to Present Obama, i encourage you to to write and ask him to stop the building of this pipeline all together. The weekend will be a great time to fit it into your schedule.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

U.S. considering rerouting N Dakota Pipeline


Obama says U.S. mulling alternate routes for N. Dakota pipeline

By Valerie Volcovici | WASHINGTON

President Barack Obama said the U.S. government is examining ways to reroute an oil pipeline in North Dakota as it addresses concerns raised by Native American tribes protesting against its construction.

Obama’s comments late on Tuesday to online news site Now This were his first to directly address the escalating clashes between local authorities and protesters over Energy Transfer Partners’ $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline project.

“My view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans. And I think that right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline,” Obama said in the video interview.

A

On Wednesday, protesters on the banks of the Cantapeta Creek confronted law enforcement, as they attempted to build a wooden pedestrian bridge across the creek to gain access to the Cannon Ball Ranch, private land owned by ETP, according to a statement from Morton County officials.

The U.S. Justice and Interior Departments along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers halted construction on part of the pipeline in September due to protests by Native American tribes who contend the pipeline would disturb sacred land and pollute waterways supplying nearby homes. The affected area includes land under Lake Oahe, a large and culturally important reservoir on the Missouri River where the line was supposed to cross.

Construction is continuing on sections of the pipeline away from the Missouri River, one of the owners of the pipeline and a U.S. refiner Phillips 66 said.

The 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline, being built by a group of companies led by Energy Transfer Partners, would offer the fastest and most direct route to bring Bakken shale oil from North Dakota to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

North Dakota officials are girding for a long fight. The state’s emergency commission on Tuesday approved another $4 million loan to support law enforcement during the protests.

David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, in a Wednesday statement lauded Obama’s comments and called on the administration and the Army Corp of Engineers to issue a stop-work order on the pipeline on federal land. He also called for a full environmental impact study.

“The nation and the world are watching,” he said. “The injustices done to Native people in North Dakota and throughout the country must be addressed. We believe President Obama and his Administration will do the right thing.”

LETTING THE SITUATION PLAY OUT

Obama said government agencies will let the situation “play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of First Americans.”

Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz, in response to Obama’s statement regarding the pipeline, said that letting the situation play out “affords the opportunity to the out-of-state militant faction of this protest to keep escalating their violent activities.”

The Now This video, however, suggests that Obama was talking about the review process, not the protests. The president later in the interview says that he wants to make sure that both protesters and law enforcement are “refraining from situations that might result in people being hurt.”

The fight against the pipeline has drawn international attention and growing celebrity support amid confrontations between riot police and protesters. More than 140 people were arrested when a protest was broken up by law enforcement nearly a week ago.

Some have said an alternative pipeline route could be a way to get over the impasse.

In North Dakota, gubernatorial candidate Marvin Nelson, a Democratic state representative, said in an interview with Reuters last week that moving the route 10 miles north could make a difference.

“It would take some time to do that, but it seems to me to be a much safer route and it wouldn’t need to cross culturally sensitive land,” he said.

Environmental group 350.org urged Obama to reject the federal permit for the entire project.

“There’s no reroute that doesn’t involve the same risks to water and climate,” said Sara Shor, a campaign manager for 350.org.

“President Obama breaking the silence on Dakota Access is a testament to the powerful resistance of Indigenous leaders, but he shouldn’t sit back while people are facing violent repression from militarized law enforcement on the ground.”

This is an improvement. President Obama needs to stop big corporations from building the pipeline at all. It puts the environment at risk. Yesterday we saw an explosion of the pipeline in Alabama. Stop the pipeline! Save American land. Save our environment! Stand with the Native Peoples who are courageously protesting the immoral stealing of their sacred land. Write to President Obama and tell him what you think. America for our Native People.

Namaste,

Barbara

bjwordpressdivider (1)

Keystone Pipeline


 

 

 

 

bjwordpressdivider

Washington (CNN) President Barack Obama on Friday rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, ending the political fight over the Canada-to-Texas project that has gone on for much of his presidency.

Secretary of State John Kerry concluded the controversial project is not in the country’s national security interest, and Obama announced from the White House that he agreed.

“America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change, and frankly, approving this project would have undercut that leadership,” Obama said.

The massive project has been a seven-year political football during presidential and congressional elections that has pitted oil companies and Republicans against environmentalists and liberal activists. The State Department has been reviewing the project for much of Obama’s time in the White House.

The proposed pipeline would span nearly 1,200 miles across six U.S. states, moving more than 800,000 barrels of carbon-heavy petroleum daily from Canadian oil sands through Nebraska to refineries in the Gulf Coast.

Obama’s move comes as the White House continues to promote its environmental agenda and efforts to fight climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency this summer put forward new regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. And next month, Obama will attend the Paris climate talks run by the United Nations, he announced Friday. The White House is hoping to broker an international agreement committing every country to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enact other policies to curb global warming.

The President has also stepped up his rhetoric on the need to address global warming, pushing back against Republicans and climate skeptics fighting his agenda.

“We know that human activity is changing the climate,” Obama said during a visit to Alaska in late summer. “We know that human ingenuity can do something about it. We’re even starting to see that we might actually have the political will to succeed. So the time to heed the critics and cynics is past. The time to plead ignorance is surely past. The deniers are increasingly alone, on their own shrinking island.”

In a statement Friday, Kerry said the climate impact was the key factor. “The critical factor in my determination was this: moving forward with this project would significantly undermine our ability to continue leading the world in combatting climate change,” he said.

Liberals and environmentalists, including top donors such as California’s Tom Steyer, who has committed tens of millions of dollars to fighting pro-pipeline political candidates, protested Keystone and made it a cause celebre among Democrats.

The project was a major issue during the 2012 presidential campaign, when GOP candidate Mitt Romney said he would approve the pipeline. Republican candidates in the 2016 race have also pledged to let the project go forward.

House Speaker Paul Ryan didn’t mince words in criticizing Obama’s action. “This decision isn’t surprising, but it is sickening,” Ryan said in a statement.

“So sad that Obama rejected Keystone Pipeline,” GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump tweeted. “Thousands of jobs, good for the environment, no downside!”

In his speech, Obama said that he believed Keystone has had an “over-inflated role in our political discourse, and said the project’s potential to create jobs and the potential environmental threats were exaggerated.

“All of this obscured the fact that this pipeline would neither be the silver bullet to the U.S. economy proclaimed by some, or the death knell to climate proclaimed by others,” Obama said.

Obama also cited falling gasoline prices as another argument against the project.

“While our politics have been consumed by a debate about whether or not this pipeline would create jobs or lower gas prices, we’ve gone ahead and created jobs and lowered gas prices.”

The average price of regular gasoline hit $3.94 per gallon in April 2012 and stayed well above $3 for the rest of that election year. But this year, prices have been steadily below $3 per gallon.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also been caught up in Keystone politics. In October 2010, Clinton indicated she was “inclined” to approve the project but has since backed away from that stance, and in September said she opposes it. Fellow Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley also oppose the pipeline, and Clinton faced criticism from the left for not taking a firm stance.

Sanders noted his long-standing opposition to the project in a statement Friday. “It is insane for anyone to be supporting the excavation and transportation of some of the dirtiest fuel on earth,” he said. “As someone who has led the opposition to the Keystone pipeline from Day 1, I strongly applaud the President’s decision to kill this project once and for all.”

Friday afternoon, Clinton tweeted her approval.

“The right call. Now it’s time to make America a clean energy superpower. -H,” she tweeted.

 

 

Mother Earth is Giving Us a Wake-up Call


We are getting a wake-up call from Mother Earth. It is called climate change. The number of Polar bears is declining by forty percent. This was determined by a study linking the Polar bear population and climate change.

Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple. Polar bears rely on ice to have access to the seals which are their main food source. They move from ice flow to ice flow. Ice is also used for resting and breeding. The problem is that the ice is melting. As ice melts, we must understand that it becomes more and more difficult to find ice.

 

So, realistically, the polar bears are finding less ice to feed from, to breed on and to rest on. This is why the polar bear population is declining rather rapidly. As of 2010, according to an article published in Ecological Applications, there are now only 900 polar bears. It is such a sad thing.

 

Polar Bear cubs need our help with climate change.

Polar Bear cubs need our help with climate change.

We have an urgent call to fix climate control. It is the main reason we are losing our polar bears. Close your eyes, now imagine a world without bears, without any of our wild animals. No bears, big cats, elephants, kangaroos, antelope, or rhinos. We are getting way to close to this being our reality. Now, we need to speak up and demand global action.

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

Now, on the other hand, we are making some success in slowing the decline of our tiger population. We have had success even where tiger habitats span national boundaries. India and Nepal have worked together with WWF, World Wildlife Fund, to increase the population of tigers. Their goal is to double the population by 2022.

 

They are using camera trap images to confirm that tigers use three forested wildlife corridors that provide vital links between protected areas across both sides of the international borders.

 

Bangladesh has hosted the Second Conference of the Global Tiger Recovery Program. They will do a population count in 2016. So this news is good but there is much to do. You could go overseas and help. You could join the WWF and donate money to save the wild animals. You could work within your own communities to improve climate change. Action is needed. Voices need to be raised to our elected officials here in America.

 

This world belongs to each and everyone of us. That includes you and I. It also includes our neighbors and our communities.  And it includes the animals we share the planet with.

 

 

Wild Tigers at Play

Wild Tigers at Play

The Ecological Self


Black Mountain NC. Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2010

Black Mountain NC. Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2010

The United States President, Barak Obama has gone on the record that he is against the Keystone Pipeline if it will hurt the environment. I was waiting for this announcement and knew he would come out on the side of Mother Earth.

Politics right now in Washington stink. Congress was elected by their states to represent the will and wishes of the people. They aren’t. Out of 365 days, they have worked 126. They are doing this without censor from the party leaders. If you or I showed up to work a third of the days we were supposed to work, we would be fired. If you don’t believe me, try it and please let me know if your boss pats you on the back and tells you not to worry about it.

The ecological self, like any notion of selfhood, is simply a metaphor, but it is a dynamic one. It involves choice. We can choose at different moments to identify to different aspects of our interrelated existence. We each can choose whether we care about those who hunt whales or not. We can care about homeless human beings or not. We can choose to participate in the long-standing rape of Mother Earth or we can choose to care. We can choose to recycle, support politicians who care about Mother Earth and whose voting record proves it.

“Look deeply, I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone…
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up.
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.”
—–Thich Nhat Hanh

Dolphins breaking water

Dolphins breaking water

Ghandi and the concept of passive resistence


The  women who got us the vote

The women who got us the vote

A hundred years ago, women banned together to fight for women to have the right to vote. It was a huge triumph. Because women weren’t allowed to have their own money or time. They did have children to raise and houses to clean, laundry to do and meals to prepare. But they accomplished the huge act of getting us the vote. There was no violence. They did it with speaking up and out and without violence. I think they may have thought about it, but followed in Gandhi’s footsteps. Gandhi taught passive resistance. He led India in their fight for independence from England.

Today, Bobby Kennedy’s son,  JFK’s nephew, used the concept of passive resistance. RFK JR and actress Darryl Hannaah and others cuffed themselves to the White House fence. They were protesting on the behalf of the climate and Mother Earth. This is what the Suffragettes did to turn the tide of opinion, opinion about women having the vote.

Today they were specifically protesting The KeyStone Pipeline. They were passively protesting what the Pipeline would do to our environment.  And they went to jail. It is time for us to finally admit that we have to clean up the air and be responsible adults and children of the Universe.

We must not injure our environment any more than we already have.

We must not injure our environment any more than we already have.

We must stop destroying our planet for money, for greed and with a disregard for future generations. We must realize that this is the only planet we have or will have. It is illogical to destroy exactly what is keeping us alive. So if you haven’t heard about the arrest, check it out. Think about what you have to lose and, without violence, stand up and resist injuring Mother Earth anymore than we already have.

The Blessing of Trees


1000 year old trees in wales

1000 year old trees in wales

I really love trees and the energy they give off is truly amazing. They are so strong and protecting. They help keep the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Mother Earth needs that assistance.When I was a little girl, I used to think trees sleep in the winter. And woke up in the spring.

“The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.

The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea,
speaks to me.

The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,
the dewdrop on the flower,
speaks to me.

The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.

And my heart soars.”
——Chief Dan George

 Truly Magestic Tree

Truly Magestic Tree

Our most secred scripture is the “holy book” of Nature

“It is written on the arched sky,
It looks out from every star…
It is spread out like a legible lanuage upon the
broad face of an unsleeping ocean.
It is the poetry of Nature,
It is that which uplifts the spirit within us…
—Thomas Berry

A tunnel of trees

A tunnel of trees

Oak Alley Plantation, NO; Acrylic on stretched canvas;  By Barbara Mattio

Oak Alley Plantation, Lousiana; Acrylic on stretched canvas; By Barbara Mattio

\