Wednesday, 10/20 – “Dear Joe, is an inevitable tragedy an accident?”

10/20 Action: Write him and ask.

Sample letter: Dear Joe,

Californians awoke to another “accident” – a beach covered in oil, dead fish and wildlife. An anchor snagged a pipeline, leaking 588 barrels of oil. It joins 17 similar incidents, and more will come as the storms of climate change blow ships off-course, anchors dragging.

Is Enbridge’s next catasphrophe an “accident?” This foreign corporation, with 800 spills in the last 15 years, including our nation’s worst inland oil spill, has already breached an aquifer constructing Line 3, and spilled drilling fluid 28 times. Its line carries Canada’s tar sands oil – toxic sludge born in the destruction of boreal forests, whose first tears are acid rain, and whose waste – petcokepoisons poorer countries and shreds our atmosphere. And between its birth and its burning, it crosses 227 water bodies, until human error, frost heave, or corrosion allow it to drift to the bottom, poisonous and unrecoverable.

Can actuaries quantify the risk to rice fields noted in records from the 1600’s, rice so sacred that it’s the first plant species in the US to be granted legal personhood, with legal rights to “flourish, regenerate, and evolve” in “pure water and freshwater habitat” and “a healthy climate.” How about the risk of poisoning Lake Superior, drinking water for 40 million? 

Joe, stop this pipeline in the name of Native treaties, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the National Historic Preservation Act, the EO on the Protection of Sacred Sites and the “disproportionate and adverse impacts” on Native people noted in the EIS.

Stop this pipeline for the Paris Accords. Even without the CEPP, preventing 50 new coal plants’ or 38 million additional cars worth of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere every year for the next three to five decades and a “social cost of carbon” to MN of $287 billion, is significant.

Stop this pipeline BEFORE the inevitable “accident” occurs, and we’re forced to quantify irreparable loss.

Contact Joe here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Continue reading “Wednesday, 10/20 – “Dear Joe, is an inevitable tragedy an accident?””

Wednesday, 10/13 – “Dear Joe, did you mean what you said about listening to Indigenous peoples?”

Action: Write him and ask.

If you haven’t done Monday’s tasks yet, go here.

Today’s letter to Joe is a riff on what he promised in his proclamation declaring Indigenous People’s Day. Use what you want of it, or better yet, read the proclamation, and use your own voice.

Dear Joe,

In your proclamation, you wrote “…History demonstrates that Native American people — and our Nation as a whole — are best served when Tribal governments are empowered to lead their communities and when Federal officials listen to and work together with Tribal leaders when formulating Federal policy that affects Tribal NationsThe Federal Government has a solemn obligation to lift up and invest in the future of Indigenous people and empower Tribal Nations to govern their own communities and make their own decisions...”

I read it through several times and was struck by the evident respect and admiration for our nation’s Indigenous peoples. I’m writing to ask if you meant what you said. If your words were real. Actionable.

Continue reading “Wednesday, 10/13 – “Dear Joe, did you mean what you said about listening to Indigenous peoples?””

Time to change who’s being honored today…

Today, the federal government is celebrating Columbus Day. Others are celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day. On which side of history is your city? your state?

Let’s take this opportunity to reflect on what this day means for Native Americans.

Also check out some of these concrete tips for how to be an ally for indigenous peoples.

If your state isn’t on the list of those who’ve made the switch, contact your representatives to get that done. Hint: they are Minnesota, Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota. Note: NOT California.