http://democracynow.org – Actions were held in hundreds of cities worldwide Tuesday to protest the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. Many protests targeted the offices of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has so far refused to grant Energy Transfer Partners the final permit to drill underneath the Missouri River. This comes as a joint statement by the Army and the Interior Department announced they had “determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands.” Meanwhile, the company wants the court to order that Energy Transfer Partners already has the right to build the Dakota Access pipeline without any further actions or permits from the Army Corps of Engineers. We get response from Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth, who helped organize the call for Tuesday’s day of action.
http://democracynow.org – “Bernie Sanders absolutely would have beaten Donald Trump,” says economist Jeffrey Sachs. When asked if the Democratic Party handed the country to Donald Trump, Sachs responds, “I think the Democratic Party handed itself to Wall Street far too much in the last generation. We need a Democratic Party that is speaking the truth like Bernie.” He also says he supports Rep. Keith Ellison to be the new head of the Democratic National Convention.
http://democracynow.org – A federal judge in Eugene, Oregon, has just ruled that 21 young Americans can proceed to trial in a suit against the Obama administration. The suit alleges that the government has known about climate change for decades, but failed to address it, denying these children and teenagers their right to a safe future. “This is an extraordinarily important case, because these plaintiffs have alleged that their fundamental due process rights have been violated by the failure of the U.S. government to have a proper climate plan that’s going to keep them safe,” says economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University.
http://democracynow.org – We feature a surprise address by Senator Bernie Sanders outside the White House on Tuesday during a global day of action against the Dakota Access pipeline that included demonstrations in over 300 cities. “Today we are saying it is time for a new approach to the Native American people, not to run a pipeline through their land,” Sanders said, demanding that their sovereign rights be honored. He also spoke about the need for politicians to protect access to clean water, recognize that climate change is real, and support an aggressive shift away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources.
http://democracynow.org – As Democracy Now! broadcasts from the United Nations climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco, the U.S. special envoy on climate change, Jonathan Pershing, says no one from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has reached out to him to discuss U.S. climate policy. This all comes as the World Meteorological Organization is projecting 2016 to be the warmest year on record, and Trump has vowed to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. “Legally he can’t, and politically it would be a disaster,” says economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. “If Donald Trump goes in the way that his rhetoric … ha[s] portrayed, we’re going to have a brawl in the United States.”
Janine Jackson: Welcome to CounterSpin, your weekly look behind the headlines of the mainstream news. I’m Janine Jackson. This week on CounterSpin: Well, here we are. Much can and will and should be said about the, yes, presidential election of, yes, Donald Trump—including about media’s role. On this first post-election show, we’re going to focus on the question of: What now? Not to say that how we got here is unimportant—it most certainly is—but to help us keep front and center that the purpose of reflection and criticism is to enhance our ability to actually change things.
So, much to come, but for this week, what now for electoral reform and congressional diversity, for the environment, for Muslim-Americans and others made vulnerable by the so-called War on Terror in its domestic and international fronts? We’ll hear from Rob Richie and Cynthia Terrell from FairVote, from author and professor Deepa Kumar, from Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, and from Patty Lovera from Food and Water Watch. They’re all coming up, but first a brief look back at recent press
Janine Jackson: There are many lessons to be drawn from the 2016 presidential election about how one of the least discussed divisions in the country might be between the shocked and the unshocked, about the irreducibility of racism and misogyny, and the connections between those things and economic disenfranchisement, about the gap between the electoral process and the will of the people, and about how folks may be less interested in “messaging” than in actual transformative policy.
There’s a lot to think about, but as we try to learn, we need to think about who we’re learning from. Because certainly one of the salient lessons of the election is that corporate media are not simply an inadequate vessel for a healthy democratic debate, but are in many ways an active impediment to it.
You can start with the absence of substantive issues from elite media’s election coverage. An analysis by FAIR’s Benjamin Johnson, looking at what made front-page election news in the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today, found 47 percent of such stories to be mainly empty-calorie stuff about who was “gaining ground” and who was “broadening their outreach.” Only 12 percent of stories were focused on actual policy issues. And though some of those were valuable, the idea that reporters should cover voter reaction to what major-party candidates say, rather than seeing what people are thinking about and putting those questions to candidates, was unchallenged.
Listeners have heard how little focus the corporate media debates provided to major areas of public concern like climate disruption, poverty and police violence. And as for nightly news, analyst Andrew Tyndall reports that since the start of 2016, ABC, CBS and NBC spent only 32 minutes of airtime on coverage of all substantive electoral issues. That’s 32 minutes, and half of that was devoted to terrorism.
Well, there may be mea culpas from media about how they should have listened more openly to angry white people. We suspect there will be few about how they should have front-burnered the suppression of black and brown voters through mass incarceration and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.
Dakota Access Pipeline protesters facing police officers in North Dakota this month. Credit Terray Sylvester/Reuters
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The Native Americans who have spent the last months in peaceful protest against an oil pipeline along the banks of the Missouri are standing up for tribal rights. They’re also standing up for clean water, environmental justice and a working climate. And it’s time that everyone else joined in.
The shocking images of the National Guard destroying tepees and sweat lodges and arresting elders this week remind us that the battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline is part of the longest-running drama in American history — the United States Army versus Native Americans. In the past, it’s almost always ended horribly, and nothing we can do now will erase a history of massacres, stolen land and broken treaties. But this time, it can end differently.
Those heroes on the Standing Rock reservation, sometimes on horseback, have peacefully stood up to police dogs, pepper spray and the bizarre-looking militarized tanks and SWAT teams that are the stuff of modern policing. (Modern and old-fashioned both: The pictures of German shepherds attacking are all too reminiscent of photos from, say, Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.)
The courage of those protesters managed to move the White House enough that the government called a temporary halt to construction. But the forces that want it finished — Big Oil, and its allies in parts of the labor movement — are strong enough that the respite may be temporary.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
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