Category: Environment

Environmental Justice And Dakota Pipeline Protest

dakota pipeline

Starting as a small protest by environmental activists, the North Dakota caught the attention of the world by turning into a global protest. The demonstration was against the Dakota Access which is a 1,200 mile pipeline starting from Bakken oil fields into Illinois, a fossil fuel project which was rejected by Obama administration following the opposition from landowners and environmentalists. Though, the Dakota Access has been stopped, yet the future is uncertain. Remember neither is it the first of pipeline project constructed after Keystone nor are these the first of Native Americans opposing the move. The landowners have been fighting against it for well over a year and American Indians in thousands have raised their voices against protecting their drinking water and this is when the world took notice.

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The pipeline protesters found the same spirit in the water protectors especially after the reports expose that pipeline has to cross the Missouri River at various levels and 10 miles Bismarck upstream. Standing Rock people depend on Missouri River for the purpose of potable water, fishing and irrigation. The pipeline was diverted into the Standing Rock reserve about 3,572 square miles which is where more than 8,200 people live and most of whom are below the poverty line. The previous route was rejected due to factors like chances of a leak contaminating the drinking water of Bismarck.

The emergency recommendation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two other federal agencies forced the US Army Corps of Engineers to approve the pipeline in the month of July. A video on the social media sparked the awareness on the Dakota Access in August. The video post was on a demonstration conducted on horseback calling ‘war whoops’. The law enforcers immediate reached the spot for the safety of the embankment. This is a stunt demonstration similar to the Battle of Little Bighorn. Later videos of private security agents attacking the demonstration were taped.

Read more – Will This Be The End Of Great Barrier Reef?

Will This Be The End Of Great Barrier Reef?

Great-Barrier-Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is known for its corals; the bad news is that the warms seas around the reef have destroyed more than 700 km stretch of coral during the last nine months. It is recorded by the World Heritage site, as the worst ever destruction by the scientists. It is considered as a major setback for the tourism in the region. The Deloitte Access Economics report that the reef attracts around A$5.2 billion every year. According to professor Andrew Baird from James Cook University informed the Reuters that the die-off is certain with the size of the Barrier Reef extending to 348,000 sq km and has the reputation of being the biggest coral reef globally.

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The corals calcify as the bleaching happens especially when the water turns warm. The corals leave the living algae and turn white. The mildly bleached corals can be recovered when the temperature drops but the survey revealed that in the southern parts of the reef the coral mortality is very low. Scientists relate the bleaching the rising temperatures of the sea. It is the result of global warming and the damages are intensified leaving the deep water environment beyond recovery.

The Great Barrier Reef was just short of being placed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites “in danger” list, but the Australian government in May last year sought an update in the safeguarding of the reef. The Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg will file an update During the election campaign in June, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull assured to spend A$1 billion on safeguarding the reef. Australia is the largest carbon emitters in the world due to its dependence on the fossil fuel for electricity. This is a major cause for the warm waters in the reef. Environmentalist Charlie Wood says that the climate change is responsible for the death of Great Barrier Reef. For the future generation to enjoy the reef it is important to switch from fossil fuels informs Wood.

Read more – Check Out The Largest Protected Place Created By Obama

Check Out The Largest Protected Place Created By Obama

Obama

Obama created a protected area in Hawaii spreading across half a million square miles. This is estimated to be the largest on the planet. The President of the United States is responsible for increase the size of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument by about four times to 582,578 square miles on both land and sea in the northwestern region of Hawaii. The moment was initiated by former President George W Bush about a decade back and the efforts taken by Obama goes to prove the significance given to the climate change and conservation issues.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 comes to the rescue of the president giving him the executive authority to protecting millions of acres of federal water and land. The environmentalists, natives of the island and scientists have supported the need for stringent protection for the biologically rich area, keeping in mind the deep water discoveries and the threat to climate and sea bed mining in the region. The ocean beds are also under threat due to climate change and there is an urgent need to protect the ocean from threats.

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Obama declared in the official proclamation that the expansion is done in the public interest to safeguard the marine environment. In an effort to expand the monument, activities like fishing, deep sea mining and other extraction activities will be prohibited. But recreational fishing and collection of resources for the cultural and scientific purposes will be allowed. In an address, Obama highlighted this at the IUCN and Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders at Honolulu. He will also be traveling to Midway Atoll which is part of the monument.

It may be noted that the president established two dozen national monuments during his second term. Moreover, the Longline fishermen have lobbied against the new protections saying that they do not follow any damaging practices like trawling and need a solution to maintain their annual catch of $100 million.

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