8 Steps Used By Offshore Wind to Create Agreements

8 Steps Used By Offshore Wind to Create Agreements

Editor’s note: While this article could have been written about any extractive industry, it has focused on offshore wind turbine farms. These destructive projects should require at least as much scrutiny as an offshore oil rig, but they are not. Because in the name of climate mitigation, they are rushed through without consideration for the damage they will cause, or even their effectiveness in serving this purpose and need for existence. Which is usually just based only on government mandates. And this is all done in the name of Big Environmentalism. DGR does not believe the Bright Green Lies of mainstream environmental NGOs.


By Carl van Warmerdam

People who believe that offshore wind turbines can help solve climate change are misinformed. Because the facts are that they will not. Even the companies building them make no such claim. And the truth, based on facts, will always trump belief. I am not a climate denier, but you don’t have to be a climate denier to know that these things are bad and are doomed to failure. And you also don’t have to be linked to the fossil fuel industry, the same people that knew they were causing global warming and therefore threatening the very existence of the planet. Yet, in pursuit of profit, fossil fuel executives not only refused to publicly acknowledge what they had learned but, year after year, lied about the existential threat that climate change posed for our planet. “Renewable” energy projects should require just as must scrutiny from regulators and environmentalists as fossil fuel projects.

Truth be told, most rebuildable “renewable” energy extractive companies are also liars, and have ties to fossil fuel companies. In reality what is really going on is a boondoggle, that you won’t hear about in mainstream corporate media because they only give disinformation. After years of rebuildable energy – solar and wind infrastructure – the world used more fossil fuels in 2023 than it did in 2022, as it did the year before that and the year before that. We are in fact using more fossil fuel than ever before. From 61 thousand terawatts-hours of primary energy consumption in 1973, which was the year of the OPEC oil embargo, when governments began to massively support research and development of large wind turbines and solar panels, to 137 thousand today. This is well over twice as much. In that same period, emissions grew from 17 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions to the 37 billion metric tons today. A 20 billion metric ton increase in the last 50 years. And after all of that, 80 percent of our energy use still comes from fossil fuels. The percent of US energy use from electricity has remained the same, about 20 percent. Of that, wind turbines account for 7 percent and solar energy provides 2 percent of total US electricity used. So the dream of a 100 percent electric power supply is just that, a dream.

 Why? Because these energy intense extractive technologies require massive amounts of fossil fuels to produce and those emissions are adding onto what is already being used, not reducing it (Jevons paradox). Thus spewing more planet-heating carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a time when greenhouse gas emissions world wide must nosedive to stop extreme weather from growing more unpredictable and violent. The only reason CO2 emission may drop in countries installing rebuildable extractive energy and electric vehicles is because they have outsourced the mining and manufacture of these machines to other countries, thus increasing the CO2 emissions in those countries. LNG has replaced dirty coal to run power plants.  Add on to all of this, easy access resources are gone. So the Energy Return On Investment (EROI) has gone down sharply in that time. Instead of Jeb shooting for some food, we have to use fracking and offshore drilling, mountaintop removal and deep sea mining. In the foreseeable future, the energy needed to produce our energy needs could approach unsustainable levels, a phenomenon called “energy cannibalism.”

If this continues, the so called “green” energy transition will in fact be an energy correction, complements of Mother Nature, bigger and more storms, flooding, fire, drought and biodiversity collapse. These are no longer natural disasters, instead these more powerful weather events are man made.

Nature is not more complicated than you think, it is more complicated than you CAN think” ~Frank Edwin Egler

Rebuildable extractive energy capturing machines are not clean except through greenwashing and are only making our predicament worse. The trillions in government subsidies given to this sector only makes the rich richer. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) should more appropriately be called the 4th Industrial Revolution Act. This is government redistribution of wealth from the working class to offshore transnational state sponsored corporations and the wealthy financial class, which are also principally owned by fossil fuel companies. Ultimately any money that is offered by them as payouts for grants, agreements, promotion or mitigation will come from the utility ratepayer. This is a scam that is not financially feasible without trillions in government subsidies. This is what their balance sheet looks like. What is done to the natural environment is even worse.  

Wildlife and wind turbines are an uncomfortable mix. Rotating turbine blades can make short work of anyone or anything unlucky enough to collide with them, but direct mortality is only part of the story. Having reviewed the available evidence from around the world, biologists in Finland have found that 63 percent of bird species, 72 percent of bats and 67 percent of terrestrial mammals are displaced from areas where turbines are installed. The same holds true for offshore wind farms, to include fish and marine mammals. Wind turbines are an invasive species to functioning ecosystems that took millions of years to create. The building process is a war zone. The noise and devastation are a disaster to fragile ecosystem habitats. Consider how you would feel if these massive monsters were put up next to your house in your town. The oceans, from which we came, are the lungs of the planet. Life can not exist if the delicate balance is disrupted. These projects are doomed to failure in more ways than one.

True resilience and sustainability comes by thinking globally and acting locally. The land base that people live on should be able to, on its own, continually feed, clothe and house the people who live on it. It makes no sense to destroy the sustainable food provided by the ocean in order to keep the lights on. It is preferable to eat in the dark than to starve in the light. Also know that fish farms are in the same league as wind farms. It is an enclosure of the commons for corporate control of our food supply, what they call “The Blue Economy”.    

How do we know that offshore wind will be a “pain” now and into the future for fishing, tourism, cultural heritage, beauty, integrity, stability, sustainability, ecological balance and quality of life? Millions of dollars are offered up to mitigate (bribe) it. Money would better be spent to mitigate the already abandon mines, fossil fuel wells and habitat degradation. This is where our good paying jobs should be working, to protect the planet. Life on the planet can be saved, a modern industrial lifestyle cannot.

How to Convince a Community to Destroy Their Future 

 

Step 1. Create an effective advertising campaign for Your Destructive Offshore Wind Project

Use a name that has a certain historical, cultural, or environmental value for the communities. Change the name from Pilgrim and Mayflower(tone deaf) to South Coast Wind or Vineyard Wind(more like Graveyard). Call it “clean”, “green”, “renewable” energy that is the solution to climate change and save our lifestyle. With the right branding, people will drink any poison, pinwheels for everyone.

Step 2. Get the Local Government on Your Side

Pay off the local politicians to agree and hand out licenses. Tell them there is nothing they can do to stop it, so they should just get the best Good Neighbor Host Agreement possible or get nothing.

Step 3. Lobby as Much as Possible to Bend the Law in Favor Offshore Wind

Create legal loopholes and tax credits for corporations, behind closed doors. Speed up the “permit” your destruction process. Buy-off federal and state politicians and corporate capture regulatory agencies. Nobody wants these in their backyard, let’s just put them out to sea. 

Step 4. Presents! Buy Off Public Opinion

Build a new school, library(Carnegie) or sewer system. Or just offer money as compensation to do with as you wish. The major ENGOs have entered into agreement with offshore wind: Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, and Conservation Law Foundation and taken money; Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental League of Mass., Sierra Club, etc. along with aquariums, universities and the media. 

Step 5. Offer a Compromise

Let us destroy this land/sea here and we will protect some other land/sea. Or agree with us and we will let you have a say in how the destruction will occur. This project has to be done to stop climate change, we have to destroy the planet to save it. There must be sacrifice zones. Sorry that your home is being destroyed but don’t be a NIMBY(Not In My Backyard). Actually when respondents of national surveys begin to think about ideas of what rebuildable energy entails, such as offshore wind, their support often diminishes. There will be painful trade-offs, trying to preserve comfortable lives. Most of that pain will come from other species. But if we acknowledge that our modern industrial lifestyle is causing the end of life on the planet, we must say NOPE(Not On Planet Earth).

Step 6. Threats Are Effective Deterrents

If you file a law suit against this project, we will file a lawsuit against you, a SLAPP(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). Focus on the leaders of the struggle. Scaring people works. This smear tactic was conducted by the prestigious Ivy League College Brown against the opponents to offshore wind. Attack the messenger. In the global south, this is done literally. Real nice place you got here, it would be a sham if something bad happened to it.

Step 7. Create Chaos and Conflict; Divide the Community in Two Camps

Tout the temporary “good paying union” jobs you will create over the permanent sustainable jobs, fishing and tourism, destroyed forever. Destroying a food source never makes good sense. What is truly needed, at this time of ecological collapse, is food sovereignty. Where jobs are hard to come by this is called poverty pimping. Then don’t forget to accuse those opposed to offshore wind of promoting “disinformation“. Push it as a choice in political values, Republicans against Democrats. There is a backlash against “renewable” energy. It’s turned Democrats into Republicans.

Step 8. Having Wrought Havoc, Now Frame It as a Successful Story of Growth and Prosperity

Welcome to the great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day. Technology has fixed the problem that it has created! Too bad it is a dystopian science fiction. No one willingly wants to destroy their environment. It is done because of the Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold, makes the rules! Not to mention that these companies have gotten out of paying most of the taxes required of multinationals. And avoid putting emphasis on the fact that the jobs are short term, while the environmental damage is forever.

The Community Environment Legal Defense Fund can help to fight these corporate criminals from destroying your town.

If you would like to help stop The Blue Economy of offshore wind, see Green Oceans https://green-oceans.org/


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ben Martin
Steinreich Communications

(212) 4911600

bmartin@scompr.com

GREEN OCEANS LEADS 35 COPLAINTIFFS IN LAWSUIT ALLEGING U.S. AGENCIES
ILLEGALLY APPROVED OFFSHORE WIND PROJECTS

LITTLE COMPTON, R.I. – Rhode Island-based Green Oceans, a non-partisan, grassroots not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting the ocean and the ecosystems it sustains, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging four federal agencies shortcut statutory and regulatory procedures and violated environmental protection laws by approving the South Fork and Revolution Wind projects. An additional 35 co-plaintiffs joined the litigation.

The suit alleges that the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their respective administrative leaders, issued permits for the two projects on the critical marine habitat known as Coxes Ledge, despite the acknowledgment of serious irreversible harm and without adequate environmental impact studies. The lawsuit asks the court to invalidate the approvals for both projects until the government complies with all relevant statutes and regulations.

“In a rush to meet state mandates, we cannot short-circuit our country’s most important environmental and natural resource policies. This suit will ensure the federal government follows its own rules and regulations,” said Green Ocean’s Co-founder and President Dr. Elizabeth Quattrocki Knight. 

Filed under the Administrative Procedure Act, the suit intends to prove that the federal agencies violated eight statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Clean Water Act, and their associated regulatory programs.

The suit highlights the alarming scale of proposed offshore wind plans – up to 1,000 turbines, each towering over 870 feet high. The closest turbines will reside just 12.9 nautical miles from the Rhode Island coast. Collectively, the nine projects planned for the waters off the coast of Rhode Island represent the largest offshore development anywhere in the world. The Green Oceans suit alleges that BOEM did not adequately consider the cumulative impact of the entire lease area, a legal requirement. No geographic boundaries exist between the nine different projects planned for the 1,400 square miles of coastal waters between Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“Marine mammals will not appreciate whether any given turbine belongs to one project or another. Legally, BOEM must evaluate the collective impact, not just each project in isolation,” Dr. Quattrocki Knight emphasized. The projects threaten to permanently alter the environmentally sensitive Coxes Ledge, one of the last remaining spawning grounds for Southern New England cod and an important habitat for the North Atlantic right whale and four other endangered whale species.

Barbara Chapman, a Green Oceans trustee, added, “Even people who support the concept of wind power understand the threat to sea life. On the official NOAA site, they have granted the developer of Revolution Wind, just one project of many, permission to harm and harass over 13,000 marine animals, including 568 whales, during the course of a single year. We do not consider 13,000 a small number.”

“BOEM admits the projects will have adverse impacts on the health of our fisheries, navigation safety, historic resources, the North Atlantic right whale, and environmental justice populations, while having no effect on climate change. Why accept this irreversible environmental damage for no overall gain?” questions Green Ocean’s Co-founder and Vice President, Bill Thompson.

Co-plaintiffs to the suit include the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, Save Right Whales Coalition, New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association, Bat World Sanctuary, three former Rhode Island Fisherman’s Advisory Board members, along with local and regional recreational fishermen, sailors, boaters, pilots, conservationists, residents, and leading members of the business community.

Green Oceans is a nonprofit, non-partisan group of community members dedicated to combating climate change without jeopardizing biodiversity or the health of the ocean. For more information or to get involved, visit: https://green-oceans.org/.

Featured photo by Pete Godfrey on Unsplash

Ecuador Court Orders Stolen Land Returned to Siekopai People

Ecuador Court Orders Stolen Land Returned to Siekopai People

Editor’s Note: Last November, an Ecuadorean appeals court ruled to return the land back to the ownership of Siekopai People. Since the early 20th century, the Siekopai have suffered due to rubber plantation, drawing of an international border through their land, oil exploration, deforestation for pastures and monocultures, Christian missionaries, among many others. A return of their land is a landmark judgment, and came after years of organizing. The following is a brief story that came out soon after the return of their land.

For a more historical background on the issue, check this story.


Land Returned to Siekopai People

By Brett Wilkins/Common Dreams

Amazon defenders [last November] cheered what one group called “an invaluable precedent for all Indigenous peoples fighting to recover their lands” after an Ecuadorean appeals court ruled in favor of the Siekopai Nation’s ownership claim over its ancestral homeland.

The November 24 decision by a three-judge panel of the Sucumbios Provincial Court of Justice gives Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment 45 days to hand over title to more than 104,000 acres of land along the country’s border with Peru.

“Today is a great day for our nation,” Siokepai Nation President Elias Piyahuaje said following the ruling. “Until the end of time, this land will be ours.”

The Siekopai—who call their homeland Pë’këya—were forcibly displaced from the region, one of the most biodiverse on the planet, in 1941 during the first of three border wars between Peru and Ecuador. They were then prevented from returning home as the Ecuadorean government unilaterally claimed ownership of Pë’këya.

The ruling marks the first time that an Ecuadorean court has ordered the return of land stolen from Indigenous people.

Amazon Frontlines—a San Francisco-based advocacy group that helped the Siekopai with their case—explained:

With a population of barely 800 in Ecuador and 1,200 in Peru, the Siekopai are on the brink of cultural and physical extinction. On both sides of the border, the Siekopai are currently waging legal battles to recover more than a half-million acres of land that were stolen from their ancestors. The Siekopai’s court victory recognizing Pë’këyamarks a major stepping stone in this binational struggle for the reunification of their ancestral territory. After centuries of violence, racism, and conquest by colonizing missions, rubber corporations, and governments, the court’s recognition of the Siekopai as the owners of Pë’këya is an indispensable step towards restoring justice and guaranteeing their collective survival and the continuity of their culture.

“For over 80 years, we have been fighting to get our land back,” Piyahuaje said. “Despite all the evidence regarding our land title claim—even historians testified that our ancestors dwelled in the area since the time of conquest—the Ecuadorian government failed to uphold our land rights time and time again.”

“We are fighting for the preservation of our culture on this planet. Without this territory, we cannot exist as Siekopai people,” he added.

Amazon Frontlines attorney Maria Espinosa said that “this victory has been decades in the making, it has been a very long struggle against the government.”

“Now, finally, the Siekopai’s dream of recovering their ancestral territory has been achieved,” Espinosa added. “This groundbreaking precedent paves the way for other Indigenous communities who dream of recovering their territories within protected areas.”

War Is a Result of Competition for Land – Letter to Editor

War Is a Result of Competition for Land – Letter to Editor

Editor’s Note: The following is a response we got on our recent article Ways to Fight Reliance on the Violent War Economy. We believe that discourses and discussions are important to further our analysis. In order to encourage that, we encourage our readers to participate in comments at the end of the article. You could also send us written responses to us. If you want to submit responses to any of our published pieces, please mail it to newsservice@deepgreenresistance.org putting “Letter to Editor” as a subject.


War Is A Result of Competition for Land

By Elisabeth Robson

The article “Ways to Fight Reliance on the Violent War Economy” is superficially a feel-good take about promoting peace instead of war, promoting community and collaboration instead of competition. The author correctly identifies how the global human supremacy culture (although she doesn’t call it that) we all live within rewards a belief that we are somehow separate from the natural world, rather than human animals living as part of and utterly dependent on the natural world; a belief that results in a war economy—a culture and economy that is at war with the natural world, and with the living beings, including humans, who live on Earth. 

However, many of the author’s suggestions for cultivating a peace economy fall short. I’ll highlight just a few of the problems I see with the article.

The author suggests we move into a culture of peace by beginning with ourselves. “We begin to break our war economy habits… we purposefully invest ourselves at the local level in what is often called the peace economy—the caring, sharing, supportive economies that already exist all around us.”

I completely agree that all efforts to end industrial civilization must begin with ourselves—we must, after all, understand deep in our own hearts that industrial civilization is a war on nature and thus a war on each of us as individuals—but we cannot stop there. We know that personal change does not equal political or social change. We must go beyond personal change if we have any hope of dismantling this ecocidal way of life. 

We all live in local communities to one degree or another. Some of us are invested in these local communities more than others; some participate by supporting local farmers and buying local goods and services rather than from big international conglomerates; others participate by offering services to help families in need or by volunteering in their communities. I am lucky to live in a community where people are heavily invested in these ways. But it should be obvious that participating in our local communities does very little to stop the global industrial Machine. It makes us feel good. It helps some local people. It fosters community spirit and resilience that will be vital once this insane way of life collapses. 

But it’s not enough. To stop the Machine, we must do more. We must actively fight against it, either as above ground activists building campaigns against mines, against development, against logging, and so on, or as underground activists working to dismantle the industrial Machine with direct action.

I don’t want to suggest that encouraging people to participate in a “peace economy” is a waste of time; it isn’t. But we must always understand that it is not enough. We must be willing to fight back in this war on nature.

In addition, while many of the author’s concrete suggestions might sound good on the surface, some encourage and contribute to the “war economy” the author is purportedly advocating against. 

Here are just a few notes I made while reading the author’s suggestions.

In one of the points, the author suggests that “Creative cooperatives are reclaiming real estate and … shaping the culture of cities across the U.S.” and that this can help build a “peace economy”. In a later point, the author notes the “free-food fridges stocked in cities around the world” to help people get through the initial phase of the ongoing Covid pandemic. 

While providing better access to housing, community spaces, and food to underserved communities in cities is certainly a good thing, the author fails to note that cities themselves are incredibly destructive, requiring the support of often 100 times or more land than the city itself takes up, thus taking land away from the natural world in order to support the large populations of cities. This is not “peace”; this is war on nature. Cities are an integral part of the “war economy” and our goal should be to eliminate them, not make them incrementally better.

In another point, the author suggests that dam removal on the Klamath River is the result of “Indigenous-led community activism.” While I certainly support everyone opposing dams and advocating that dams be removed from rivers, unfortunately the Klamath River Dams coming down has little to do with Native American activism, and everything to do with economics. The cost of building mandated fish ladders would have been much more than removing the dams, and the dams produced less than 2% of one utility’s electricity supply. It simply made economic sense to remove the dams.

Economics is usually the reason projects destructive to the environment fail or are cancelled, despite the efforts of activists. The reason is that the law in the United States (and in most countries) does not protect the environment; indeed, the law actively and directly supports and encourages development and extraction. A prime example of this is the 1872 U.S. mining law which says that extraction is the highest use of U.S. public land. Not even the minerals below the surface in our National Parks are exempt from the right, by law, of corporations to extract those minerals if it’s economical. It is essentially illegal to refuse corporations access to these minerals for extraction. 

Rather than make a feel-good but erroneous point about indigenous-led activism and the Klamath River dams, the author might have better made her point by discussing community efforts to pass Rights of Nature legislation, or by pointing out the futility of fighting corporations and states via the law and encouraging communities to band together and take direct action instead.

The author writes that “Fire recovery efforts in Oregon and California have largely been community-led, and networks have formed among neighbors to create resilience and support—including grief spaces like those created in Ashland, Oregon, which provide a space for people to share their experiences of loss.” While I agree that it is wonderful communities have come together to support one another after losing their homes in fires across Oregon and California, the truth is that many of the homes and towns lost to fire in these states were built where they should never have been built—in areas particularly susceptible to fire (natural or otherwise). These houses and towns were likely built on the dead bodies of the natural communities these areas previously supported. As these states become more and more populated, developments expand into more fire-prone areas that inevitably burn. Rebuilding these developments might sound good on the surface, but look more closely and we see that this simply perpetuates the idea that humans can use the environment however we want, rather than respecting limits of population and development, and the right of nature to exist and flourish.

The last point I’ll mention is about the author’s suggestion that “People are reimagining safety through alternatives to policing.” I will be the first to acknowledge that police have become militarized in recent years and this is dangerous and counter-productive. However, we also know that most underserved city communities want more police, not fewer. This has been stated so many times now, the idea that “alternatives to policing” in cities is actually desirable should have been put to rest. 

When we shove hundreds of thousands or millions of people together in a city–an unnatural habitat for humans evolved to live in tribes of 150 or so with lots of space in between–police are an unfortunate requirement in order to keep the peace because the “rats in the cage” so-to-speak (with apologies to rats) will fight each other to the death in these unnatural and cruel conditions.

I believe war is primarily the result of disputes over land, resources, and ideology–all related to ecological overshoot and civilization. One of the primary drivers of ecological overshoot is population, and it seems obvious that the more population increases, so too will disputes over land, resources, and ideology. Those who wish to foster a “peace economy” must surely recognize this. I’m surprised that “Educating women” and “Addressing over-population” are not mentioned in the article, because educating women is the primary way we can humanely reduce the human population on Earth and bring it below carrying capacity once again, resulting in far fewer reasons to war with one another.

Another glaring omission from this article is a biocentric view, one that centers the natural world. It is lovely to recognize and highlight where people are being kind to one another and attempting to reduce our impacts on the environment. But until we truly and deeply understand that we are human animals, and that the Machine—the war economy, as the author describes it—we have put in motion is completely at odds with the natural world and thus with ourselves, these paltry efforts at a peace economy will fail to make significant change in the war economy. 

Ultimately, I find this article depressing. Not only does it spin unpeaceful things like cities and industrially-supported agriculture to try to sound positive, it is a reminder of how we grasp at ridiculously tiny straws to find anything even remotely positive to discuss in a world the Machine is rapidly destroying, with greater speed each and every day.

Yes, we should recognize the good things humans do to help each other. And, I believe, we should always describe the broader context of the culture in which these good things happen—the war on the natural world, which spawns countless wars against each other. Until we stop the war on the natural world, these wars we fight against each other will never end.

Grizzly Delisting: First as Tragedy, Now as Farce

Grizzly Delisting: First as Tragedy, Now as Farce

Editor’s note: Grizzly bears weigh around 700, the female up to 800 pounds according to the National Wildlife Federation. In contrast to what one might think they are omnivores and eat insects, grass, berries, roots and other plants in addition to animals like salmon, moose or deer.

“Grizzly bears are large and range in color from very light tan (almost white) to dark brown. They have a dished face, short, rounded ears, and a large shoulder hump.” The hump “gives the bear additional strength for digging” after food or their dens.

Their Latin name reveals what humans have thought about them for a long time – Ursus arctos horriblis. They are perceived as horrible, like a monster. But humans should actually carry that name: homo horribilis, if you think about what chronic harm they do to beautiful wild creatures.

And the bear should be called sapiens (wise) in order to honor them for their wisdom on how to contribute to thriving ecosystems.


Say NO to blood money for the state

By Steve Kelly/Counterpunch

Human intolerance, malevolence and habitat destruction spanning two centuries has caused the extermination of grizzly bears over 99% of its historical range.

Grizzly bears were finally listed as a threatened species in 1975 under the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Dark and deadly forces have gathered political momentum and vow to delist grizzly bears, turning management over to the states. By removing ESA protection, states could sell hunting licenses to trophy hunters. Ranchers could shoot without fear of serious legal repercussions.

Large, relatively secure core landscapes like national parks, designated Wilderness areas and de facto wilderness (“roadless areas” on federal, public land) provide grizzlies the greatest chance at long-term viability.

For decades state and federal bureaucrats, extractive industry lobbyists, and anti-environmental politicians who dominate the Washington gerontocracy have fiercely resisted grizzly bear recovery efforts.

The purpose of the ESA as it applies to grizzlies is to protect the imperiled remnant population and fully recover and maintain healthy, self-sustaining populations in the coterminous 48 states.

Much more action is needed to protect, restore, and reconnect the fragmented ecosystems upon which grizzlies depend so they can re-occupy a significant portion of their original range. Of course, this is far from the real, on-the-ground situation grizzly bears find themselves in today.

Delisting is premature, by a long shot. States lust for blood-money (license fees).


Sign the Change.org petition to stop delisting the bears!

HELP NOW
Take Action for Endangered Wildlife
Become an endangered species advocate by emailing your legislators, signing petitions, and more. https://civicshout.com/p/tell-the-biden-admin-to-keep-grizzly-bears-protected

 


It’s hard to imagine a more ludicrous conceit than delisting grizzly bears, who hang onto life by a thread on 1% of their original range. Colonization of the Northern Rockies is a continuation of the same empire-expanding activities of the 19th Century. We have not yet entered America’s post-colonial era.

Grizzly bears will never genuflect to the absurd quasi-Christian cognitive theories of Old-Testament dominion and chosen-people doctrine. The millennia-old institutionalized religious discrimination that inflames our world today also drives the infantile theatrics of indiscriminate harm to wildlife. “Wasting,” or “smoking” wildlife is adult psychopathy growing in popularity.

Grizzlies meaningful for themselves and ecosystems

Popularity and ‘success,’ which fuels modern moral relativism and situational ethics has turned our world upside-down. Even so, what moral imperative or social norm can one cite to justify killing a grizzly bear and selling its parts?

Radical, ‘literalist’ religious doctrine has abandoned the search for truth and moral tradition in exchange for financial favors from the ruling elite. The age-old ideology of rationalization is used to justify personal and societal indulgence in certain kinds of pleasure – in this case the commercialization, torment, and slaughter of God’s divine creation

Video on efforts to recover grizzly bears

Tearing up wildlife habitat and domesticating Mother Nature’s gifts traces back to the vulgarization and distortion of ideas advanced by the great philosophies of Hagel, Nietzsche and Marx that encouraged reactionary pre-WWII European forms of nihilism and fascism.

From whence will the promise of wisdom emerge to fight the foolishness of ‘white’ onslaught bent on engulfing and uprooting the grizzly’s ancestral birthright?

One bill in Congress, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (S-1531), would significantly improve the level of habitat protection needed to maintain grizzly viability throughout a significant portion of its range.

S-1531 is a science-based bill that would designate 23 million acres of roadless, ecologically important public lands in the Northern Rockies bioregion. It designates much needed biological linkage corridors, reconnecting core habitat areas.

Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of the ESA. It’s time for family, friends, local conservation groups and your Senator to STOP grizzly bear delisting, and support S-1531.

Steve Kelly is an artist and environmental activist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Photo of grizzly bear mom and baby by jdaypix from Pixabay


More on the impressive bears and their story here:

Debunking the delisting of grizzlies

90-day finding on grizzly-bear delisting petitions

 

Prince Harry Charity Linked to Horrific Abuses in Africa

Prince Harry Charity Linked to Horrific Abuses in Africa

Editor’s note: As a director of conservation organisation African Parks, Prince Harry is an elite philantropist whose “good” intentions turn evil. The charity is complicit in beating to death, raping and torturing indigenous people who went into their forests to gather medicine and hunt for food.

An armed militia abused the Baka people, formerly known as the Pygmies, over years and chased them out of their ancestral home, the Congolese rainforest in Makouagonda.

But Prince Harry shouldn’t be our focus – he is just one of many who is involved in the conservation efforts which are deeply broken. According to Survival International, indigenous people are pushed out of nature “while mining, oil, and logging companies, and trophy hunters, are considered ‘partners’ of conservation and allowed to carry on with business as usual.”

Prince Harry’s charity is funded by the European Union, US and other philanthropists. Our focus should be on supporting grassroots movements, through donations or active participation, which collaborate with peasants, farmers and other groups defending their land.

The rich build a wall of militias around nature, so that only they themselves are able to enjoy it, because they don’t care about how they are harming people.

They also harm nature, while portraying themselves as “into the wild” with flowery words and photos in annual reports to convince the masses that they care.

Nature is more intricate than humans can even imagine. It is only nature, not humans, who can “manage” the forests. Many indigenous people know this. They are the ones who have learned to live in harmony with nature. Corporate-funded conservation groups across the world have been promoting nature management in the guise of conservation. Unfortunately there are some indigenous people who have bought onto this as well. The following story is a press release about African Parks, a noncharity that is currently being investigated about abuses against indigenous people. DGR strongly condemns the alleged torture and rapes. This Congo rainforest is a protected area – not a battlefield. Any extractive human activity (industrial or indigenous) should be prohibited in it.


By Survival International

A charity with strong ties to Prince Harry has been funding rangers responsible for horrific abuses against Indigenous people in the Congo, including torture and rape, according to a major investigation published in the UK’s Mail on Sunday.

The abuses have taken place in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo, which is managed by African Parks – Prince Harry is a member of their Board of Directors, a position to which he was “elevated” in 2023, after having served as their President for six years.

The investigation has uncovered evidence of countless atrocities committed by African Parks’  “armed militia” against local Baka people. The organization has known for years that the abuses were taking place, but they have continued unabated.

One Baka man told the Mail on Sunday’s Ian Birrell: “African Parks are killing us slowly. We’re suffering so much that we might as well be dead.”

Another said: “The past was far better for us – and the reason is all down to African Parks.”

A Baka man, Moyambi Fulbert, quoted in the report, had this message for Prince Harry: “I’d tell him to stop supporting African Parks. He is a powerful man. He eats well and lives well – but we don’t have anything now and it’s all because of African Parks.”

The Baka and other hunter-gatherers who have lived in and cared for the Congo Rainforest since time immemorial have seen much of their land stolen and turned into National Parks and other Protected Areas.

portrait of man

Baka man from Republic of Congo. A relative of his was attacked by rangers and later died.
© Survival

They have been pushed out, and now live in dire conditions, landless and dependent on others, or turned into ‘tourist attractions.’

They are banned from entering the rainforest they once called home, while mining, oil, and logging companies, and trophy hunters, are considered “partners” of conservation and allowed to carry on with business as usual.

Survival International Director Caroline Pearce said today: “African Parks, along with other big conservation organizations like WWF, takes Indigenous land to turn it into militarized parks or reserves – and then their guards attack people like the Baka just for trying to live their lives. Prince Harry can help stop this.”

“We’re calling on him to step down as a director of African Parks. He needs to distance himself from an organization that is complicit in evictions and the heinous abuse of Indigenous people.

The organization’s funders must withdraw their funding until the Baka are allowed to return to the park and their land ownership rights are recognized.

The abuses that the Mail on Sunday has uncovered are being repeated across Africa and Asia – this is not a one-off. The entire conservation model as practiced by the big conservation organizations is built on the theft of Indigenous land, and the dispossession of the people who are its rightful owners – just as in the colonial era. It’s time to decolonize conservation.”


Title photo by © Survival: The Baka community of Makouagonda, whose ancestral land was taken for Odzala-Kokoua National Park. They now live by the side of the road.

 

Stop State Grant for Copper Mining Porcupine Mountains

Stop State Grant for Copper Mining Porcupine Mountains

Editor’s Note: This is an update to a story that we published about the proposed copper mining in Porcupine Mountains. Michigan Strategic Fund is considering a grant for the Copperwood project – a project that will destroy the natural habitat in the Porcupine Mountains. This is an urgent call for action, you can find the original piece here.


URGENT: Michigan considering $50M grant for Copperwood

We are writing today with an urgent action request that needs to be completed as soon as possible. If you care about the health of Lake Superior and about the wilderness quality of the North Country Trail and Porcupine Mountains State Park, now is the time to fight for it.

An article released on January 30th reports that the Michigan Strategic Fund is currently considering a $50 million grant for the Copperwood project. This money would more than double Highland Copper’s bank account, but more importantly, a State endorsement would provide a massive boost in momentum and be used as leverage for future funds from grants, investors, and loans. To quote Highland Copper’s CEO Barry O’Shea: “I can tell you with certainty that an award of this nature will move the needle significantly in terms of how our debt providers and our equity investors look at our company. It’s not only a large financial boost for the project, but it is a true endorsement.

Fortunately, a few of the MSF board members have expressed doubts regarding the necessity and wisdom of the grant, and the decision has been deferred to subcommittee for expedited consideration. We don’t know the timeframe in which a decision will be made, which is why it is crucial we act NOW.

We are asking you to write a message to the Michigan Strategic Fund board members who are deliberating over this grant as we speak. Their emails are provided below. We have already sent them a thorough elaboration on all our key arguments, so you only need to follow up with a few short paragraphs or even a few sentences. Write about whatever points resonate personally with you, but keep in mind, these are businesspeople who are interested mainly in the soundness of their investment.

Here are a few points to inspire your pen:

General Arguments

  • Are they aware of this petition with over 11,000 signatures opposing Copperwood’s development? 11,000 is more than the populations of the closest three towns to the Mine combined (Wakefield, Bessemer, and Ironwood). Contrary to what they have been told, social license for this project is far from universal.
  • The board members are likely not familiar with this area— remind them that this is not “the middle of nowhere”: the juncture of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness, the North Country Trail, and Lake Superior is one of the most spectacular outdoor recreation areas in the country.
  • Outdoor recreation contributes over $10 billion to Michigan’s economy annually; mining, around $1 billion. An operating mine would disrupt this thriving outdoor recreation area with noise pollution, light pollution, subterranean blasting, and heavy industrial traffic.
  • Copperwood would be the closest sulfide mine to Lake Superior in history. Copper sulfide mines always contaminate and tailings dams are far from invincible.
  • Inform them that, despite what they may have been told, copper is NOT a critical mineral and therefore there is no urgent need to fund this project.

Specific Economic Arguments

  • Highland Copper is a foreign company, largely funded by foreign investors;
  • The copper will be transported to Canada for processing, meaning a great many of the highest-paying jobs will go to foreigners. See the 2023 Feasibility Study:

P. 1.18 states concentrate to be shipped by a trans-load facility in Champion, MI to have access to Canadian National Railway networks (CN).
P. 19.2.1 discusses the need for downstream refining and smelting: “Several smelters could receive concentrate with the nearby candidates being the Horne smelter located in Noranda, Quebec or the copper smelter in Sudbury, Ontario. Other alternatives include seaborne export to Asia or Europe.”

  • If this project is such a slam dunk, why haven’t they been able to procure funding after over a decade of scrambling?
  • And why did their CEO step down just a few months ago?
  • This study on the economic impact of mining shows that only 25% of mines lead to long-term economic benefit for communities, with half of those coming from before 1982, and most of those being new coal strip mines out West; in other words, it is an exceedingly small fraction of mines which will lead to meaningful economic revitalization.
  • The study specifically cites the issue of “flickering“— the tendency for metal mines to close and re-open, again and again, as the price of a mineral fluctuates above and below the cost of operation; this creates much uncertainty in the lives of workers. Flickering is what has defined Copperwood’s entire nonexistence thus far: the flickering of funding, the flickering of proposed start-up dates, the flickering of CEOs. Highland Copper has stated again and again that, in addition to awaiting the necessary capital, they are awaiting a surge in the price of copper to make the project viable— Great… but what happens if the price plunges after the mine begins operation?
  • This is a big chunk of change for a project that will only last 11 years;
  • Since HC’s market cap is only $43 million — well short of the $390 million in startup capital required — MSF would be investing in a company that likely will be taken over by a larger partner at some point before the mine is up and running;
  • Interim CEO Barry O’Shea said, “I can tell you with certainty that an award of this nature will move the needle significantly in terms of (how) our debt providers and our equity investors look at our company. It’s not only a large financial boost for the project, but it is a true endorsement.
    In other words, he has stated explicitly that they want to use an official State endorsement as leverage to win over more outside equity investors and bank loans— a pretty suspect use of Michigan taxpayer money, don’t you think?
  • Finally, Highland Copper no doubt touted their “resolutions of support” gathered from area townhalls. Keep in mind, those resolutions were agreed upon by no more than two or three dozen people. Meanwhile, there is a petition with over 11,000 signatures opposing the Mine.

 

Now, without further ado, the details of the action:

  1. Firstly, please submit your short message via this online form (allows for limited length )
  2. Secondly, send that same message, or a longer version, to the e-mail addresses below— you may copy and paste the entire list directly into the CC: field of a new email. These addresses comprise ALL the Michigan Strategic Fund board members, plus a few more of special relevance:

You can also call the office of Quentin L. Messer, Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund:

517-241-1400

Again, this is our most important action to date, and the clock is ticking!

Thank you for your help, everyone! Remember, ProtectThePorkies is not an organization, but a movement, comprised of anyone who feels a connection to this area and a desire to fight for its wellbeing! Take care!