Tag Archive | environment

U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Unleash Nuclear Arms Race in Europe*

U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Unleash Nuclear Arms Race in Europe*

By Andrei Akulov

The INF Treaty was a major breakthrough to halt and reverse the Cold War-era nuclear arms race in Europe. There are growing signs that the treaty is in jeopardy. A possible U.S. unilateral withdrawal and failure to resolve the compliance dispute could impede efforts to save the arms control regime from being eroded.

On February 16, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), along with Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) introduced the Intermediate-Range Forces Treaty (INF) Preservation Act, legislation that would allow the United States to develop new intermediate-range missiles. Congressmen Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The accusations of Russia violating the INF Treaty not backed up by any evidence were used as a pretext for introducing the measure. For instance, the New York Times has recently published report saying that Russia «has secretly deployed» a new nuclear-capable intermediate-range cruise missile, the SSC-8, in apparent violation of the 1987 treaty.

«This legislation will give President Trump the tools he needs to show our friends and adversaries alike that ‘peace through strength’ is back», said Mike Rogers.

The INF Treaty is a key agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union which put a seal on the Cold War era. It eliminated all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate ranges, defined as between 500-5,500 kilometers (3000-3400 miles).

If the bill becomes a law, it won’t add to U.S. or NATO security. America has real interest in preserving the treaty in force. It has sound reasons for doing so. One of them is that U.S. – NATO allies greatly value the INF and want it to remain effective. A U.S. withdrawal would raise concern on their part.

With no hard evidence of non-compliance produced, the U.S. will be held responsible by international community for ending the treaty. If Washington possessed facts to substantiate the claim that Moscow is in violation of the treaty, it would have been provided them a long time ago.

The bill says the U.S. is to ‘develop» new systems. But even if a decision were taken to return obsolete Pershing-2s and long-range Tomahawks, it would take time and effort. On its part, Russia can easily increase the range of existing Iskander missiles.

Developing U.S. new systems would impose a new burden on an already stretched defense budget. Funding an new expensive program would make draw funds from other accounts, such as new conventional weapons, the upgrade of strategic nuclear forces, the ballistic missile defense (BMD), you name it. Today, the U.S. national debt is about $20 trillion and the clock is ticking.

Even if the provision of the bill is carried out and a new intermediate range system is in place, the U.S. will face a tall order in finding an ally willing to host it and become a target for a pre-emptive strike by Russian armed forces. Such deployments would be viewed as extremely provocative to Moscow.

Even in the 1980s it was a close thing. Those days the plans to deploy INF forces met fierce domestic political and public opposition. A controversial decision would tear NATO apart at the time the US and its European allies don’t see eye to eye on many issues.

The same applies to deployment plans in the Pacific. Japan would worry about deteriorating the relationship with Russia and China. South Korea would fear such a deployment would might disrupt its improving relations with China.

The times have changed. Today, Russia possesses cutting edge S-400 aid defense systems capable of countering not only ballistic but also cruise missiles with an operational range of 3,000−3,500 km (1,864-2,174 mi).

The Russian military is gearing up to test the first prototypes of its next-generation S-500 Prometey air and missile defense system. The weapon has no analogues in the world. S-500 is the fifth generation system capable of destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles and spacecraft, hypersonic cruise missiles and airplanes at speeds of higher than Mach 5. Its response time is only 3-4 seconds, just think about it! It can detect and simultaneously attack up to ten ballistic missile warheads out at 600 km flying at speeds of twenty-three thousand feet per second. The system can engage targets at altitudes of about 125 miles, including incoming ballistic missiles in space at ranges as great as 400 miles. Evidently, Russia has means to counter the threat. It puts into doubt the effectiveness of any future intermediate range weapon the US would develop in accordance with legislation in question.

The end of INF treaty would provoke other states into an arms race the U.S. cannot control.

The bill is introduced at the time the world is facing the most serious and comprehensive crisis in the fifty-year history of nuclear arms control. Since pulling out from the 1972 ABM Treaty, the US has been taking one step after another to undermine the arms control regime that has served as a pillar of international security for dozens of years. Now the US Congress is on the brink of unleashing an arms race with dire consequences for America itself.

Does it all make sense? Russia has recently announced its goal to shift from nuclear to conventional deterrence to make the world safer.

The recent initiative Germany, supported by leading the leading European partners, provides a new chance to address the problems of European security. With so many controversial issues on the agenda, Helsinki-2 would be the right way to launch discussions on creating a security regime from Lisbon to Vladivostok – something Moscow proposed a few years ago.

There are opportunities to seize and turn the tide as arms control is unraveling. Instead, a group of U.S. lawmakers has introduced a legislation to quash all hopes for a better world. Never before the arms control regime had been threatened so much. Voting for the bill means shooting yourself in the foot. The U.S. will undermine its own security and create huge problems to overcome. Hopefully, there will be enough sober-minded members of Congress to prevent the measure from becoming a law.

Source*

Related Topics:

Iran Sticks to Nuclear Deal in Spite of Threats from Warmongers*

E.U. to Take Control of British Nuclear Deterrent*

Files linking Britain to Israel’s nuclear weapons go missing from National Archives*

The Russia-Turkey Agreement that is Causing the CIA to Launch Nuclear Weapons against Turkey*

FBI Raids European International Adoption Agency*

Sixteen European States Want Arms Control Agreement with Russia*

South Africa May be the Epicentre of a Geomagnetic Pole Reversal*

South Africa May be the Epicentre of a Geomagnetic Pole Reversal*

By Jessica Hall

Don’t start running around like your hair’s on fire, but this might actually matter.

The Earth’s magnetic field is so discombobulated over South Africa that some scientists believe we’re seeing the opening strains of a planet-wide polarity change.

What have scientists observed?

We already knew that the poles of the Earth’s magnetic field sometimes reverse, which is to say their direction flips from herding particles in to shooing them out, or vice versa.

And the Earth’s magnetic field isn’t perfectly even, either. It’s sort of lumpy and thin in places.

This is because the innards of our planet aren’t perfectly evenly distributed. There’s one particular region of the planet, toward the South Pole, where the liquid iron core meets with a hot, dense patch of the mantle.

Studies of the planet’s magnetic field show that its poles are reversed over that patch.

Above it, that ferromagnetic weirdness results in an overlapping region of weirdness in the planet’s magnetic field called the South Atlantic Anomaly. The protective Van Allen belts there get really weird; they fade in intensity, and they dip way down close to the surface.

That region poses an annoying, but well understood problem for space travel and satellites. Hubble doesn’t take observations when it’s orbiting above the Anomaly. There’s a report that in 2012, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft experienced magnetic interference from the Anomaly and had to reboot systems as a result. The Anomaly may even be responsible for how Hitomi spun itself apart.

Why is all this happening? What’s perturbing the magnetic field?

The core is liquid, it’s moving inside the planet, and it changes the contours of the magnetosphere along with it. Earth’s magnetic field has been weakening sharply over the last 160 years, right over the South Atlantic Anomaly.

Evidence from fired clay from Bantu-speaking civilizations some 5,000 years ago tells us that the planet’s magnetic field was acting just like this, right there over South Africa, back then. Modeling tells us that this magnetic behaviour preceded a planetary-scale flip in geomagnetic alignment that would have resulted in extreme electromagnetic strangeness on the surface. Basically, the Anomaly got big enough that it took over, and flipped the entire planet’s poles inside out.

NASA’s simulation of what Earth’s magnetic fields might look like during a geomagnetic reversal. Yikes.

NASA’s simulation of what Earth’s magnetic fields might look like during a geomagnetic reversal. Yikes.

NASA’s simulation of what Earth’s magnetic fields might look like during a geomagnetic reversal. Yikes.

What does a geomagnetic pole reversal mean for us?

This isn’t going to be one of those end-of-the-world articles. That said, if the poles do flip, we could be in for some electromagnetically interesting times. Magnetic fields deflect electrons, which would change how electricity behaves on a subtle level. The inconsistencies in the planet’s magnetosphere could kneecap satellite observations and act like a poltergeist in computerized systems.

“Such a major change would affect our navigation systems,” according to two geophysicists from the University of Rochester, “as well as the transmission of electricity.

The spectacle of the northern lights might appear at different latitudes. And because more radiation would reach Earth’s surface under very low field strengths during a global reversal, it also might affect rates of cancer.”

Tin foil is electrically conductive, though, so make sure you keep your head well grounded. If you shape the foil right, it’ll act like a Faraday cage around your skull and keep the polarity switch from frying your brain.

Source*

Related Topics:

Earth’s Polarity Has Been Increasing*

The Sun’s Polar Shift has Begun

Sun’s Magnetic Field = Shift in Human Behavior*

Earth Shift: Underwater Landslides Taking Place*

Freaky Weather, Climate Change, Pole Shift, or Signs of a New Era!?

Magnetic North Pole Shift Speeds Up!

A Universal Shift in Reality!

Electro-Smog and the Shift of Ages

Is the Sun and Earth Synchronizing?*

 

On the Rights of Nature*

On the Rights of Nature*

By Mari Margil

Reading headlines on the environment can be terrifying.

In November, a New York Times headline stated, “Great Barrier Reef Hit by Worst Coral Die-Off on Record, Scientists Say.” In December, USA Today reported “Giraffes face ‘silent extinction’ as population shrinks nearly 40%.” And in January, the Washington Post reported that “U.S. scientists officially declare 2016 the hottest year on record. That makes three in a row.

Environmental degradation is advancing around the world. The United Nations has warned that we are heading toward “major planetary catastrophe.” With this there is a growing recognition of the need for fundamental change in how we, humankind, live on planet.

More than forty years after the passage of the major federal environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act – laws which are now mirrored around the world – the earth’s species, waterways, oceans, coral reefs, forests, and other ecosystems are rapidly declining.

These environmental laws, rather than protecting the rights of the environment to exist and thrive, instead regulate its use and exploitation. Thus, environmental laws largely legalize harm – including fracking, mountaintop removal mining, and pipelines – rather than protect against it.

These laws are premised on nature being considered property under the law, and therefore, as right-less. Much like indigenous peoples, slaves, and women have been considered right-less under the law – unable to defend their own basic rights to life and well-being – so today do environmental laws treat nature.

A movement is building to advance a different paradigm, one which is recognizing the inherent rights of nature

Rights of nature laws have now been passed in more than three dozen communities in the United States, as well as codified in Ecuador’s Constitution. These laws recognize the inalienable rights of nature – or Pacha Mama as is stated in Article 71 of the Ecuador Constitution – to exist, thrive, evolve, and be restored. These laws transform nature from being property under the law to being rights-bearing.

While the passage of laws recognizing the rights of nature is new – the first laws in the world were first established within the past decade or so – the idea of nature having rights is not new.

Many have said that the recognition of legal rights of nature is a codification of indigenous culture into law, thus reaching back thousands of years of human history. More recently, though still more than a century ago, environmentalist John Muir wrote that we must respect “the rights of all the rest of creation.” In 2015, Pope Francis called for a new era of environmental protection, stating in a speech before the United Nations, “A true ‘right of the environment’ does exist…”

Much of the more modern day discussion heralds back to Professor Christopher Stone’s 1972 law review article titled “Should Trees Have Standing – Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects” in which he considered why we might want, and what it might mean, to recognize legal rights of nature.

Stone described how under the existing structure of law, nature was considered “right-less” having no legally recognized rights to defend and enforce. Thus, nature – much like slaves once were – was treated by the law as a thing, as property, existing for the use of its owner.

Moving from the idea of rights of nature to the codification of those rights in law first occurred in Tamaqua Borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, in 2006. Now communities in a number of states have such laws in place, the largest being Pittsburgh, where the City Council unanimously passed the rights of nature law in 2010. These laws recognize that ecosystems and natural communities have the legal right to exist and flourish, and that residents and their government have the authority to enforce and defend those rights.

There are several cases now in the United States, in which oil and gas companies are challenging laws recognizing the rights of nature. The companies , Pennsylvania General Energy and Seneca Resources, are claiming that these laws – which prohibit fracking related activities as a violation of the rights of nature – violate their corporate constitutional rights. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (for which the author works) is representing ecosystems that are seeking to intervene in the cases to defend their own rights.

In Ecuador, we are also beginning to see the impact of these laws, as indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, communities, and public interest organizations seek to enforce and defend the rights of nature in the face of numerous threats from governmental and corporate actors.

In a 2015 decision related to illegal shrimp farming, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador explained that enshrining the rights of nature in the country’s constitution establishes a “biocentric vision in which nature is prioritized, as opposed to the classical anthropocentric conception in which the human being is the center and measure of all things, whereas nature was considered a mere provider of means.”

The Court ruled that the lower court, which had earlier ruled in the case, had failed to consider the rights of nature in its decision. In not considering these rights, the Court explained, the lower court failed to recognize that the rights of nature are “transversal” such that “all the actions of the State, as well as of individuals, must be in observance…to the rights of nature.”

The Court explained that under Ecuador’s Constitution, nature is now a holder of rights, and that government and the people have a responsibility to uphold and protect those rights. This comes with the recognition that until and unless we establish a harmonious relationship with nature – much different than humankind’s relationship with the natural world today – we will continue to see the decline of ecosystems and species, the very fabric of life.

As communities in the United States advance the rights of nature, and in Ecuador people seek to defend the constitutional rights of nature, peoples in other parts of the world are advancing such rights as well.

In India, for example, the National Ganga River Rights Act is being advanced for consideration by the national Parliament. Half a billion people depend on the river, yet it is an ecosystem in severe decline. The Act would establish rights of the river to exist and flourish, and the right of people of India to water and a healthy, thriving river ecosystem.

In Nepal, a rights of nature constitutional amendment is being considered to address climate change. As one of the world’s most mountainous nations, Nepal is facing the melting of the Himalayan glaciers, which people, species, and ecosystems throughout the country depend on for water. As a Sherpa explained to me, with the melting of ice and snow, “The mountains are turning black.”

The Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin is the first tribal nation in the United States to advance an amendment to their tribal constitution to recognize the rights of nature. In September 2016, the Ho-Chunk General Council voted overwhelmingly in support of the proposed amendment. A vote of the full membership is expected later this year.

The preamble to the proposed Ho-Chunk constitution amendment reads:

Whereas, in the tradition of the Nation’s relationship with Mother Earth, from which we came and upon which we depend…we recognize that to protect Mother Earth, we must place the highest protections on nature, through the recognition of rights in the Nation’s highest law, our Constitution…

As Bill Greendeer of the Ho-Chunk Nation explained,

Passing the Rights of Nature amendment will help us protect our land.

Source*

Related Topics:

Schooled in Nature: There’s a way to Teach Children Without Colonizing Their Minds*

Nature Doesn’t Need People

Do Women Who Surround Themselves With Nature Live Longer?

Has a Foreign Fracking Company Quietly Buys Rights to Botswana Conservation Park?*

****Up Nature: Sex change for Nine-year-olds*

Bolivia: Rights of Mother Earth Becomes Legal*

Law of Mother Earth: Chile Suspends Nature Buster!

Seattle Council Votes to Divest Billions from Wells Fargo over DAPL Support*

Couple Forced to Destroy 40yo Pond on their Own Property because Govt Owns the Rainwater*

Kenya: Rights Of Mother Earth: Maasai Response

City Threatens to Turn Off Flint Residents’ Water*

City Threatens to Turn Off Flint Residents’ Water*

Residents who don’t start paying for their lead-contaminated water will face shut-off notices this spring.

The Last Drop!By Yessenia Funes

Residents in Flint, Michigan, have been dealing with lead-contaminated water for years now—since 2014, to be exact. Many people have responded by refusing to pay their water bills.

Soon, however, those who ignore their bills will have their water turned off. Flint’s chief financial officer, David Sabuda, told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday (February 15) that the city will begin issuing water shut-off notices in the spring. The move follows Governor Rick Snyder’s February 7 announcement that the state will stop subsidizing the cost of the city’s water by the end of the month.

While the city says water shut-offs aren’t directly linked to the governor’s announcement, the decision shapes how the city will handle future water payments. Per the Free Press:

Sabuda said there isn’t a direct link between the end of the state credits and the resumption of water shutoffs, except that the end of the credits makes it even more important for Flint to collect the water payments businesses and residents owe, while at the same time making it harder for many customers to make those payments.

The city used to threaten shut offs for lack of payment, but that practice ended last year when local and national media, including Slate and CNN, reported that the city was issuing notices to residents and businesses for lead-contaminated water. The Associated Press reports that Snyder originally committed to providing customer credits through March, but the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) January 24 announcement that water lead levels now meet federal limits changed that timeline.

Though the state cites the decrease in lead levels as the reason to end its funding, the water is still not safe right out of the tap. Per the MDEQ: “The state continues its recommendation that residents use filtered water for drinking and cooking for everyone in their household due to the chance for disruption to pipes as the city replaces lead service lines.”

Members of the state’s water advisory committee worry that the declaration is premature, reports MLive.

“We are making a huge mistake by claiming things are getting better and will continue to get better,” said Laura Sullivan, a Kettering University professor and Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee member. Sullivan worries that the state would be “10 steps further back in establishing trust with residents,” if lead levels spike again.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver told The AP that city officials will push the state to continue the assistance until the water is safe to drink. Ending the subsidies would save Michigan more than $2 million a month.

Source*

Related Topics:

In Flint, Level of lead in Children’s Blood Leads to a State of Emergency*

Finally $170M to Help Clean Up the Mess State of Michigan Created in Flint*

Students Give Bottled Water to Senior Citizens in Flint, Michigan*

Six More Charged in Flint Water Crisis*

Students Give Bottled Water to Senior Citizens in Flint, Michigan*

Activists from all Over the U.S. Deliver Aid to Flint*

Matt Damon Calls on Governor Snyder to Resign Over Flint Water Crisis*

 

Chinese Farmer Studies Law for 16 Years to Sue Chemical Company for Polluting His Land*

Chinese Farmer Studies Law for 16 Years to Sue Chemical Company for Polluting His Land*

By Julia Travers

Chinese farmer Wang Enlin and his neighbours sued Qihua Group, a mineral processing and chemical production company, for polluting their homes and farmland. Wang, who spent 16 years studying law to pursue this goal, and residents of the Yushutun village won an initial judgment against the multi-billion dollar state-run company, the Daily Mail reported.

Wang, who is in his 60s, began to pursue this case after his home and the surrounding farmland were flooded with toxic waste from Qihua in 2001. The 2001 Qiqihar Angang River District Council minutes reveal a mayoral determination that the polluted land could not be used for a “long time,” the People’s Daily said.

The Qihua plant created a “71-acre wasteland with calcium carbide residue and a 478-acre pond with its liquid waste,” according to the Daily Mail. It released 15,000 to 20,000 tons of annual waste.

“I knew I was in the right, but I did not know what law the other party had broken or whether or not there was evidence,” Wang said.

Though Wang had only three years of formal education, he began to read law books with the help of a dictionary. He spent 16 years hand-copying notes out of books he could not afford to buy in a bookstore. He traded the store owner corn for allowing him to use the books. As he learned about Chinese land management law and environmental protection law, Wang began to educate his neighbours on their legal rights as well.

In 2007, the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims of the China University of Political Science and Law came to the aid of Wang and his neighbours. Liu Jinmei and other lawyers from the center agreed to help the villagers file their suit against Qihua and the case finally began to be processed in 2015.

Wang and the other residents of the Yushutun village won an initial judgement against Qihua in the Angangxi District Court of Qiqihar. This court awarded the victims financial compensation amounting to about $119,000 and Qihua is appealing the ruling.

“We will certainly win. Even if we lose, we will continue to battle,” said Wang, according to the People’s Daily, which described him as having white hair, “mud-covered rubber shoes” and a faded “old cotton-padded jacket.”

China’s rapid industrialization over several decades has led to widespread land and air pollution issues that the court system has struggled to manage, China Dialogue explained. Very few of the victims the legal aid center helps choose to pursue legal action or persevere for as long as Wang, Liu told the People’s Daily.

Source*

Related Topics:

Monsanto + Syngenta Lobby Tanzanian Government to Pass Law Jailing Farmers who Exchange their Traditional Seeds*

Iraq’s Agricultural Industry was Pillaged, Its Farmers Devastated, But It’s Still Free of GMO Seeds*

Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza Strip, Fire Live Rounds at Palestinian Farmers*

Monsanto Profits Drop Twenty-Five Percent Again as Farmers, Individuals Go Organic*

GMOs Set to Crush Export Markets for Farmers across Ghana*

How UK investors Devastated Tanzanian Farmers*

A Coalition of Oregon Organic Farmers Beat Monsanto*

El Salvador Farmers with Record Crop Yields Beat Monsanto’s Monopoly*

World Bank Aims to Hand over Seed Industry to Agribusiness*

Indigenous Land Rights Could Halt Australia’s Largest Coal Mining Project*

Indigenous Land Rights Could Halt Australia’s Largest Coal Mining Project*

Environmental concerns over the Adani mining project stem from the threat to the survival of both sacred springs and to maintaining the tradition of songlines – ancestral lines connecting across the land to protect the Earth.

By Maxine Newlands

Indigenous elders from the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people have put mining company Adani – and Australia’s governments – on notice to quit the Carmichael mine project over native title claims.

Wangan and Jangalingou Traditional Owners this week took a step closer to filing federal court papers challenging a document Adani “is trying to pass off as an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with our people” but which is “illegitimate” according to W&J Traditional Owner Council, Mr. Adrian Burragubba. The claim is over access to land near the mining town of Clermont in Central Queensland, 600 miles north of Brisbane.

The move follows the landmark ‘McGlade’ court ruling in Western Australia, earlier this month. The “McGlade” ruling states that, unless all peoples named on any native title claim – a Registered Native Title Claimants (RNTC) document – agree to lease the land, then no mining can go ahead.

In the W & J case, 40% (five out of 12) of those named on the RNTC refuse to support the Indigenous Land Use Agreement over fears for the ecosystem and the loss of cultural heritage.

Environmental concerns over this project stem from the threat to the survival of sacred springs and to the tradition of maintaining songlines – ancestral lines connecting across the land to protect the Earth. With 12 billion litres of water, (the equivalent to 400 Olympic size pools) needed for the mine, there’s unease over the future security of the Carmichael River and sacred Doongmabulla Springs. The springs are both central to the indigenous belief of dreamtime and the creation story and are an important ecosystem to the region.

 What is native title?

Australia’s Native Title Act (1993) ensures that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are entitled to land taken from clans after the arrival of Europeans in the 18th Century.  Communities enter into an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with mining companies over the use of traditional land rights.

ILUA is a voluntary agreement between a native title group and others over the suitable use of land and waters. ILUAs cover topics ranging from mining, future development, economic benefits including employment and compensation, preservation of cultural heritage and the safeguarding of native title rights, along with the rights of other people.

In 2004, Wangan and Jagalingou Peoples lodged a native title claim with the Registered Native Title Claimants (RNTC) for land they possess. The claim includes the right and interest to hunt, fish, camp, access natural resources, conduct traditional ceremonies, protect customs and traditions of the land, educate on the lands’ physical and spiritual attributes, and to be buried as native title holders on that land.

W&J youth leader and Council spokesperson, Murrawah Johnson, says: “We have maintained all along that Adani does not have the consent of the rightful Traditional Owners. Our Traditional Owners group have rejected an ILUA with Adani three times. We will defeat Adani’s fake ILUA and continue to fight for our land and culture until the company and Governments respect our rights and abandon this disastrous proposal”.

Adani reject claims over jobs and lack of indigenous support

Where green groups have failed in the courts, the indigenous peoples hope for success with a network of support and a different set of tools.

“Environmentalists and environmental campaigns have ways to take legal action to prevent the mines. I’m not saying for certain that we are going to win, but we’ve got a different set of tools we get to use” a W&J Council advisor told the Ecologist.

These tools include international support from other first nations and indigenous groups and the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz.  The Tauli-Corpuz report (2016) recommends that Australia – a supporter of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People’s  (UNDRIP, 2009) – upholds Article 32, granting traditional owners legal recourse to contest their land being used without their free, prior and informed consent.

W & J is also working with the Athabasca Chipewyan battling the tar sands in Alberta; the Achuar Indians fighting oil and gas in the Amazon and the Ogoni and Ijaw’s fight against Shell in the Niger Delta, and plan to take this campaign global – a W&J Council advisor says

“we already have international connections and support. Our intention is to widen this campaign, the cause and promote it globally”.

Adani’s Response

Adani in conjunction with the Bowen Basin Mining Company (BBMC) recently held a series of roadshows in the region for those seeking jobs and supply contracts. Nearly 1,300 regional business owners and suppliers met key project team members from both Adani and the mine construction and operations contractor, Downer Group. BBMC stated that “The supplier briefings were all extremely well-attended, with exceptional support from local industry associations, indigenous communities, councils and peak economic development bodies”, adding that “there was also a strong show of support for the Carmichael project from the Wangan & Jagalingou Traditional Owner groups, as well as other Indigenous groups and businesses in all locations”.

The roadshow events began with an indigenous supplier briefing, with Indigenous groups singled out as “a large focus of the mine, rail and port projects…the key to effective supplier proposals is indigenous involvement, as indigenous training and jobs, along with regional supply, are main priorities for project procurement”.

Some members of W&J are challenging the focus on indigenous jobs: “The jobs and benefits to indigenous peoples argument is a sham. It’s the usual package to clear the regulatory hurdles around native title” warned a W&J Council advisor.

 Whilst Adani continues to work with indigenous groups over native title claims, green groups have been accused of underhand illegal tactics that could prevent jobs for the community.

 Queensland Resource Council (QRC) has accused green groups of threatening behavior, saying: ” While we believe it is a democratic right to protest, using dishonest and underhanded tactics in a bid to cheat Queenslanders out of jobs, is going too far. We can only hope that no-one has been put in danger, or hurt, as a result of these desperate tactics, which had the potential to bring these groups into personal direct conflict with regional Queensland business people in attendance” said a company statement.

Undeterred, environmental activists groups are looking to work with the W & J and planning to hold the largest protest campaign the country has witnessed in the coming months. The Galilee Blockade  campaigns will wait and see if W & J request support, and will continue to plan large scale direct actions and blockades.

Australian Government’s response is to bypass the law

In a week where Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Minister for Energy and the Environment, Josh Frydenberg passed around the parliamentary chamber a large lump of coal in support of the fossil fuel industry, both the Federal and Queensland governments are looking at ways to push through the project as a matter of national critical infrastructure development.

Australia’s pro-mining Attorney General George Brandis wants to rush through new legislation allowing the Adani mine and the remaining 40 other mining projects in Queensland all affected by the McGlade ruling to go ahead.

Any new legislation would be a reversal of current policy to a 2010 ruling (Bygraves decision) that stated that as long as a majority decision was made by a native title claimant group then all deals can go ahead.

Leading Aboriginal rights advocate, a primary W&J Traditional Owner and Council, Adrian Burragubba, says: “Our fight is far from over. Anyone who wants to bankroll Adani, and the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments, is now on notice that we will not stand by if attempts are made, in response to the Noongar decision, to put our rights and interests, and our laws and customs, on the chopping block for the mining lobby,”.

Wangan and Jangalingou Traditional Owners are currently awaiting for Adani’s official response before deciding whether to go to court.

Source*

Related Topics:

Australia to Use Clean Renewable Energy to Source Mining*

Rothschild’s Rio Reap a $2mn Red Diamond While Aussie Miners Suffer Depression, Illness, and Exhaustion*

Australia Discontinues Services to the People Whose Land It Took*

Australia’s Aboriginal Artist’s Message Resonates in Palestine*

DNA study Proves Indigenous Australians Date Back 50,000 yrs*

Australia Still Stealing Indigenous Children*

The People of the Dreamtime

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Challenges Latest DAPL Move in Court*

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Challenges Latest DAPL Move in Court*

By Yessenia Funes

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a legal brief yesterday (February 14) in their ongoing case against the Army Corps of Engineers. The motion asks the U.S. district court judge to reverse the Army’s move to grant an easement to developer Energy Transfer Partners on an expedited schedule.

Attorneys at Earthjustice had already notified U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg that they’d be filing a summary judgement.

“The motion for summary judgment asks the judge to rule on major legal questions that have not yet been resolved during this case, including whether National Environmental Policy Act requirements have been met and whether the Corps’ actions violate the tribe’s treaty rights,” the environmental law firm wrote in a press statement on its site.

The tribe is now arguing that the recent Corps’ decision—as well as the initial permits it granted in July 2016—is “arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law.” This include’s the administration’s move to reverse the Environmental Impact Statement process.

The plaintiffs are asking pipeline attorneys to respond within three weeks given that the attorneys say oil could be flowing in 30 days or fewer. Read the complete court filing here.

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A U.S. federal court judge ruled yesterday (February 13) against a temporary restraining order that the Cheyenne River Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux tribes requested to halt construction of the remainder of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe filed the motion on February 9, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe joined their case the following day in response to the Army Corps of Engineers granting developer Energy Transfer Partners the final easement on February 8.

The tribes used a religious argument that hadn’t yet been presented to the judge:

“The Lakota people believe that the mere existence of a crude oil pipeline under the waters of Lake Oahe will desecrate those waters and render them unsuitable for use in their religious sacraments…

The Lakota people believe that the pipeline correlates with a terrible Black Snake prophesied to come into the Lakota homeland and cause destruction… The Lakota believe that the very existence of the Black Snake under their sacred waters in Lake Oahe will unbalance and desecrate the water and render it impossible for the Lakota to use that water in their Inipi ceremony… Without access to natural, unadulterated, and ritually pure water, the Lakota people cannot practice their religion. As Lake Oahe is the only natural, unadulterated, and ritually pure water available to the Tribe—a trust resource for which the United States owes the Tribe a fiduciary duty—desecration of these waters represents a substantial burden on the Tribe’s religious exercise. The United States cannot meet its burden of demonstrating that a compelling governmental interest justifies siting this pipeline under these sacred waters owned by the Tribe. And as the Corps has considered a litany of alternatives to placing the pipeline at this location under Lake Oahe, it cannot meet its burden of demonstrating that the crossing of the pipeline under Lake Oahe is the least restrictive means of furthering any governmental interest.”

U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in September 2016, but the Obama administration intervened. The same is not expected now that Jeff Sessions is heading the Department of Justice.

The tribes also filed for a preliminary injunction. Boasberg will hear the case February 27. This ruling, however, will not affect the greater case the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed in July 2016, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Attorneys at Earthjustice who are representing the tribe, will file a motion for summary judgment today (February 14) to expedite the court’s ruling, says Phillip Ellis, senior press secretary for Earthjustice. “We’re trying to get a decision on this case before oil is flowing through the pipeline,” he informed Colorlines. Attorneys for the pipeline told the judge that oil could be flowing in 30 days or less. The summary judgment will add a new element to their case which alleges the administration’s decision to reverse that Environmental Impact Statement process on the pipeline was illegal.

A separate motion is moving through the courts from the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, who are requesting an injunction on the pipeline. They filed the suit against the Army February 11.

Source*

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