On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers’ Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as “American” as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.
John Burroughs is Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (www.lcnp.org), based in New York City. He represents LCNP in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review proceedings, the United Nations, and other international forums. He was a member of the Marshall Islands international legal team in its nuclear disarmament cases in the International Court of Justice. He’s the author of numerous publications related to nuclear weapons including contributing to a report called The Climate-Nuclear Nexus, which we discuss.
A pioneer monument and a lot of state troopers with batons and riot helmets stood between the mostly young native activists and the North Dakota state capitol on Friday afternoon. Many of the activists arriving at the capitol’s vast green lawn hadn’t heard that the Washington DC judge had decided against the Standing Rock reservation Sioux lawsuit. That was the lawsuit asserting that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) had gone forward without adequate tribal consultation. There was a sign of anguish when the news was delivered by megaphone, and then, a few minutes later, shouts of joy as a young woman with a long black braid standing in the pouring rain announced the victory chasing the heels of that defeat.
Summer is drawing to an end here in the South, but in the region’s prisons—and across the most incarcerated nation on earth—things are just starting to heat up.
Friday marked the 45th anniversary of the Attica Prison Uprising. It also saw the launch of a coordinated series of nationwide work stoppages and hunger strikes by incarcerated Americans, perhaps the largest of its kind in history.
Climate change played a heavy role in the nightmarish storm that brought a three-day deluge to coastal Louisiana last month, triggering floods that killed 13 and left thousands more homeless, research released Wednesday showed.
For years, local Ohioans have been told by courts and elected officials that they have no control over fracking—”it is a matter of state law.”
However, groups of determined residents are refusing to accept this argument, taking steps to establish local democratic control over what they see as vital societal questions of health, safety and planetary survival. But not without resistance from their own governments.
A new study has found that without action on climate change, the millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income dealing with the economic, health and environmental impacts of climate change. The study, “The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials’ Economic Future,” was produced by NextGen Climate and Demos. We speak to Heather McGhee, president of Demos and Demos Action.
“…democracies are much more likely than authoritarian regimes to give environmental sustainability priority over either energy security or affordable energy supplies. This fact appears counter-intuitive, given that an often-cited flaw of democracy is that politicians are forced to make short-run decisions based on the election cycle. However, the effects of climate change, in the form of more severe storms, damaging droughts, falling agricultural yields, and increased flooding of coastal areas, are already being felt. And voters whose lives and livelihoods are increasingly impacted by climate change are beginning to demand immediate action, effectively forcing politicians to take a longer-run view. As a result, democratic governments become more likely to comply with global agreements that set specific targets…”
Tina Sandoval is a cashier at a McDonald’s in Richmond, California, and a leader in the East Bay Organizing Committee and the Fight for $15 in the Bay Area. A U.S.-born daughter of Mexican farmworkers, she is fighting to transform the food industry into one that is good for both people and planet, for both her customers and her children….”We demand immigration reform, #BlackLivesMatter, and affordable housing, alongside $15 and a union for all. Because these are all our people, and we won’t leave nobody behind.”