The State Department’s latest environmental assessment of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline makes no recommendation about whether President Obama should approve it. Here is ours. He should say no, and for one overriding reason: A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem.
The 875-mile pipeline avoids the route of an earlier proposal that traversed the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills of Nebraska and threatened an important aquifer. It would carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to pipelines in the United States and then onward to refineries on the Gulf Coast. From there, most of the fuel would be sent abroad. Continue reading →
If multinationals will do anything to control the public debate, how can indigenous peoples ever assert their rights?
With global demand for natural resources increasing year on year, some of the world’s poorest communities are having to fight hard to protect their environment and way of life. When protests and direct action do not work, many will try and get redress through the courts.
But when multinational companies decide that the costs of settling such cases are far less than the huge profits on offer, is justice being undermined? Continue reading →
Barack Obama is being urged by green groups to throw out Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Does the president have courage to say ‘no’ to a project that will lock us into decades of dependency on this dirty energy?
Very few of us have the opportunity in life to look forward to our legacy. However, sometimes events occur that we just know will shape how history will judge us.
One of those events is about to happen to President Barack Obama. This year, his administration is expected to make a decision on whether to allow the construction of a massive pipeline that would be used to export tar sands from Alberta, Keystone XL pipeline would essentially bisect the United States to bring the tar substance (bitumen) to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. From there, it could be exported around the world. Continue reading →
Waibite Amazi, a fisherman in Nigeria’s troubled oil-rich delta region, spreads out his net outside his homestead, Nigeria. Farming and fishing is the main source of livelihood for the impoverished, rural population here. Courtesy: Dulue Mbachu/IRIN
LAGOS, Nigeria, Jan 31 2013 (IPS) – The decision by The Hague over Shell’s liability for polluting in the Niger Delta shows that justice is possible – but it is extremely hard to achieve if you are taking on a massive multinational, says Amnesty International’s Africa programme director Audrey Gaughran.
While The Hague dismissed most of the landmark case brought by the four Nigerian farmers and environmental pressure group, Friends of the Earth, against a subsidiary of international oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, the judges ordered Shell Nigeria to compensate one farmer for breach of duty of care.
Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company, is the largest oil and gas company in Nigeria, Africa’s top energy producer, which produces more than one million barrels of oil per day. Continue reading →
Cimi comes before the people to publicly manifest vehement repugnance at the violent action and murder committed by the Federal Police during the operation called El Dorado. Using the pretext of carrying out judicial orders which determined the destruction of mining balsas in the Teles Pires River and sites of illegal mining, the commander of the operation, Antonio Carlos Muriel Sanchez, led the invasion on November 7, 2012 of the Indian Village Teles Pires, in the Jacareacanga county, state of Pará. According to declarations made in the Federal Public Ministry, there the police practiced all sorts of atrocities, such as: beatings, murder, attempted murder, destruction of houses, the school, the health station, cell phones, computers, the short wave radio, canoes and fishing boats e as balsas used for mining. Now the Indians are not able to fish, porque the river is totally polluted by the fuel in the balsas destroyed by the Federal Police. Continue reading →
In far flung corners of the world, religious leaders are protesting against mining companies and projects. What are their complaints? In Guatemala, they argue that gold mining poisons the water table, in Chad that painfully negotiated revenues that promised to ease the pain of poverty are nowhere in sight, in Ecuador that oil drilling devastates the landscape, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Nigeria that mining feeds devastating conflicts, in Ghana that mining in forest reserves threatens animal and plant species, in India that it strips indigenous people of their land rights, and in Peru that it pollutes lakes and rivers. The litany goes on and on but the underlying story told is one of broken promises, of powerful companies for whom profit is their God, and of a wounded planet whose land resources are despoiled with little to show, harming the people who live nearby.Continue reading →
The Guardian Logging companies keen to exploit Brazil’s rainforest have been accused by human rights organisations of using gunmen to wipe out the Awá, a tribe of just 355. Survival International, with backing from Colin Firth, is campaigning to stop what a judge referred to as ‘genocide’ Continue reading →
Independent Catholic News A new documentary film: ‘Blood in the Mobile,’ shows the horrific living and working conditions of miners in the Congo, labouring to produce a vital component for many of our mobile phones.
Actor and activist Robin Wright shows how the minerals in our cell phones also finance war. She recently traveled to eastern Congo with the Enough Project, a Washington-based group focused on ending genocide and crimes against humanity. Continue reading →