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    Good and Not So Good News November 2021

    Autumn is here!

    Good News:

    Local people in Namibia organized and stopped a dam from flooding their ancestral lands.



    Good News. Land protected as parks and reserves has increased four fold . And countries have pledged to protect 30% of their land from development.

    Native peoples coexist with and protect their forests.

    Forests turn light and combine it with carbon dioxide to make plants and earth, storing carbon. Intact forests store 7 times as much carbon as replanting forests. Endangered and rare species thrive in the ecosystems of intact forests.


    Bad news:

    10 % of intact forests were damaged in the last 16 years. And the rate of destroying old growth forests is increasing.

    The main threats are oil and gas, logging, road building, and mining.

    Link - NYT Article - Climate Change Glasgow Deforestation


    Insects Apocalypse:

    Insect populations are tumbling- down by 30 to 40 to 75 per cent. the rate of extinction is 10,000 times higher that it was before humans. Insects pollinate, decompose, and support most food chains. Neonicotinoids and other toxic pesticides wipe out insects. Solutions include: planting native plants and trees in yards, parks, and along roads ; and taxing or banning pesticides and fertilizers.

    Link - New Yorker - Where have all the insects gone?




    Climate Change:

    Actions Work to Stop Big Oil from Accelerating Climate Disasters.

    Protests, non-violent direct action, boycotts, sit-ins, divestment, rallies, Fridays for the Future rallies, marches, lawsuits (civil, criminal, on behalf of endangered species, of future generations, of cities, states and countries, of young people), Congressional hearings and street theater are fun and effective against oil, natural gas, fracking, coal, utility, and pipeline companies, plus their banks and politicians.


    Divestment of fossil fuel stock by colleges and pension funds; lawsuits on behalf of young people and future generations ; sit-ins, Fridays for the Future rallies; lawsuits by cities, states, and countries; Congressional hearings; and civil, criminal, and lawsuits over are all effective. RICO ( Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) lawsuits would make oil executives change their ways. RICO lawsuit grounds include: funding climate change denial PR campaigns while knowing that climate change was real and that they were causing it, misleading investors, bribery, fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and depriving citizens of the honest services of their representatives.


    There is also the "necessity" defense for breaking lesser laws in order to stop breaking a higher law. This was used by Katherine Gun, the British intelligence official who leaked papers showing that the US and NSA were bugging the offices of UN diplomats in order to pressure the UN ambassadors to vote for invading Iraq. This was while this invasion was considered illegal by the British attorney general, but Bush, Blair, and Cheney wanted a vote by the UN in favor of invasion. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, and Blair knowingly lied, claiming Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction.


    Over 1800 climate lawsuits have been filed since 2015. Major wins have been in Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02424-7 Reasons for the lawsuits are floods, landslides, fires, hurricanes, sea level rise, loss of livelihood, destruction of homes, destruction of ecosystems, killing endangered species, and oil companies funding disinformation PR campaigns, lobbying, and the bribing of politicians while oil companies knew that they were causing climate change. These PR campaigns put out carefully tested and crafted talking points for politicians and spokespersons to claim the climate change wasn't happening; or if it was happening, then it wasn't caused by humans' actions; or it it was caused by humans, it wasn't caused by oil companies; or if it was caused by oil companies, then there were no way to prevent it; or if there were ways to prevent it, then they were too expensive; or if there were inexpensive ways to prevent, then it would decrease jobs; or if it would not decrease jobs, then it would cost union jobs; and if it would not decrease union jobs, then it would harm lower income and minority people. They never mention that stopping oil company plans to burn oil, coal and gas would take away billions in profits from oil companies that oil companies spread amongst politicians, bankers, and lobbyists. but it would save trillions in the costs of climate disasters and public health costs. Of course, the curse is that lower income people, natives, and minorities are the most harmed by oil, coal, and gas production, pipelines, refineries, and by climate disasters!

    Colleges and cities have now committed to divest over over $6 trillion of stocks an bonds of fossil fuel companies.

    Link - New Yorker - The Divestment Movement is All Grown Up

    Link - GoFossilFree.org - What is Fossil Fuel Divestment?


    $40 trillion has been divested from oil, coal, and gas stocks. Cities, states, colleges, pension funds, endowment funds, and countries are divesting: Ireland, New York City, Quebec, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Unitarians, Los Angeles.  On the other hand, hedge and equity funds have invested $1 trillion into fossil fuels. There are battles to get teachers' pension funds in NY and CA and TIAA to divest.

    Link - New York Times - Climate Change Divestment


    Think Differently- Solutions: Go for sustainable, local economies- protecting rivers, mountains, animals, and involving community owned utilities, and the struggle of public employees against resource exploitation states like TX, KY, WV, and OK.

    Three books show that the focus on economic growth leads to domination, extraction, genocide, depredation, depletion, and climate chaos. One study  warns  that  abillion lpeople may be made into climate refugees for each additional degree of warming.  The spoils go to the 1 %, and everything is viewed as something to exploit. The oil companies want to be in charge of fixing the disaster they caused - they claim they can do carbon capture! Or they plan giant sunshades in space or gargantuan dust veils! They are full of follies. Nature and natives are something to be conquered. Right wing parties probably funded by oil companies stoke fears of immigrants, terrorists, Islamic people, black men, critical race theory, along with the real issues for oil companies: preventing regulations, lawsuits, windmills, and photovoltaic farms.

    Link - New Yorker - Our Planet is Heating Up


    Good and Not so good News August 2021

    Autumn is coming! Here are some great links & information about what is going on in the world of environmental activism : Good News!

    Each of us must experience one of two pains- the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Which pain will you choose?” --John Harding, WildEarthGuardians.org
    Wild Earth Guardians works to stop coal, oil, fracking, and natural gas . Also, they protect wolves, wildlife, rivers and forests.


    Good news- the removal of a dam led to the return of fish, wildlife, and an inspiration that has led to many other dams being removed.

    “The removal of the Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River helped river conservationists reimagine what’s possible”, said Amy Souers Kober, communications director at American Rivers. “Dam removal also makes sense for economic reasons and public safety in a lot of cases.” That includes Bloede Dam on the Patapsco River in Maryland, where she says nine people have drowned. Efforts to remove the dam there began in September. There are also a number of big projects on the horizon, including on the Middle Fork Nooksack River, which Kober says is the number-one salmon-recovery project on the Puget Sound that conservationists hope will help struggling Southern Resident killer whales. All eyes are on the Klamath River as plans come together to remove four dams in 2021 in what would become the largest dam-removal and river-restoration project in the world. Dam-removal proponents don’t think we need to take out all of our dams, and of course we couldn’t. The United States has more than 90,000 dams, and many still serve crucial functions. But where dams have been removed, the past two decades have shown the environmental results are unparalleled. “There’s no faster or more effective way to bring a river back to life than taking out a dam,” says American Rivers’ Graber. “That’s why we focused on it for 20 years. It’s a win for environmental reasons, public safety and a relief from liability for dam owners. ”Ultimately, dam removals are much bigger than the dams themselves", says Kober. “Dam removals are really stories about people reclaiming their rivers. Those stories started with the Edwards Dam.”
    Source:  TheRevelator.org

    There is a bill now to remove 1000 more dams in the senate passed infrastructure bill.. It will also increase dam safety and add environmental protections to some hydro power dams. We also need to remove the 4 federal dams on the lower Snake river.
    Source:  AmericanRivers.org


    The heat is unbearable! Support Natives, and activists, and other water protectors who protest against fracking, pipelines, LNG terminals, banks that fund fossil fuels, Big Oil, and politicians corrupted by Big Oil.
    Link:  Stop Line 3
    Link:  350.org
    Link:  Price of Oil
    Link:  Clean Energy Action
    Link:  Inside Climate News:  Line 3 Protests


    Many Senate Republicans and some Democrats voted to for an amendment to continue to allow fracking for oil and natural gas- to prevent bans on fracking. Oil and gas and coal companies gave millions to the senators.
    Source:  DailyPoster.com
    "$10 billion for carbon capture, transport, and storage, along with $8 billion for hydrogen—with no stipulation that the energy used to produce it comes from clean sources. A new liquid natural gas plant in Alaska won billions in loan guarantees, while other waivers in the bill will weaken environmental reviews of new construction projects"
    Source:  CommonDreams.org


    YES magazine has lots of articles on how people and the planet are happier when they have enough, instead of having a lot.  Instead of competing to have a lot, working with others and having less is healthier.
    Article:  Yes Magazine


    NYT wrote recently that 2 studies showed at diet with flavonoids in strawberries, raw spinach, winter squash, and brusells sprouts  help prevent dementia. Also, apple juice,  onions, and grapes help to a lesser extent.
    Source:  NYT “Fruits an Vegetables and Brain Health” by Bakalar


    I wrote the following to my congressman, Rep Joe Neguse, asking him to change his forest cutting bill:

    "Please oppose your forest thinning plan!  Your  legislation, the Joe Neguse Landscape Restoration Partnership Act, is misguided.  Recent articles in the Science News show that large trees every year take alot of co2 out of the atmosphere and store it in their layers of cambium and xylem.  It is stupid to cut down the big old trees that provide shade, and hold the soil in place, and resist fire, along with taking more CO2 out of the atmosphere.   It reads like giving the timber cos. and forest service a boondoggle."


    Article:  Boulder Weekly:  Misguided Forest Policy


    Keeping Forests
    JULY 28, 2021
    Mature trees add more tissue each year - more than planting lots of small, new trees.
    To achieve the all-important goal of cutting global emissions, saving the natural forests already in the ground must be a priority, “Protect existing forests first,” That priority also gives the planet’s magnificent biodiversity a better chance at survivingarticles on keep the trees we have.
    Source:  ScienceNews.org - Planting Trees

    Food crops and trees can work together. Also fence off areas from cattle so the land can recover.
    Article:  ScienceNews.org - Trees and Biodiversity

    Caring for Trees that We Plant:  We need to better plan and care for the tress being planted, so they survive. Not just plant a lot, and abandon them. You need buy-in from and benefits for local communities, so they will water and care for them.
    Article:  ScienceNews.org - Planting Trees and Climate Change
    Article - ScienceNews.org - Tasking Trees With Averting Climate Crisis


    Great Book about how trees cooperate -
    Finding the Mother Tree, Suzanne Simard
    Link - The Guardian - Finding the Mother Tree
    "Here's Suzanne Simard's 2016 TED talk about forest communication and cooperation. For me, this 17-minute talk provided an engaging framework for the sometimes detailed and repetitive information in her book about carbon and nutrition pathways among fungal networks linking tree species."
    Link:  Ted Talks - Suzanne Simard
     "I've been told Suzanne (Simard) was the inspiration for the forest ecologist in ( Richard Power's) (novel) The Overstory. Her true life story, while divergent, is just as riveting. She's one of my heroes, and I think The Mother Tree is one of the most important books of this century."  wrote a great ecologist Steve Jones, who teaches birding and leads hikes and surveys for wildlife : birds, dragonflies, owls,....
    About the mother tree book:
    Erin explains about the connection between the Overstory and this book:
    "Richard Powers explains that the character Patricia in The Overstory is a composite based largely on Simard as well as Diana Beresford-Kroeger. "
    Link - Conjunctions.com - Richard Powers


    Trees Foundation is a great organization that works to restore forests and rivers, and to stop the CA dept of forestry from cutting down forests. They save salmon, and work with Native American tribes to restore and protect forests and rivers and salmon: TreesFoundation
    They have partner groups: Link and a newsletter: Link


    I have started the new sci fi book, The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley. It shows people coming together to stop Big Oil and the banks from continuing to cause climate change. Activists, students, and normal people use protest, direct action, lawsuits, experiments, and scientific research to stop it.
    Link:  The Guardian - The Ministry for the Future
    Link:  Rolling Stone - The Ministry for the Future


    EXXON lobbyist explains that EXXON has bought Congress by spending $115 million on lobbying, plus more in campaign contributions. This way they block progressive bills that would limit their drilling, fracking, and selling of oil and natural gas. EXXON spent a lot on Joe Manchin (WV), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Jon Tester (MT), Maggie Hassan (NH), Mark Kelly (AZ), and Chris Coons (DE) .
    Link - GreenPeace - Quotes from the EXXON Tapes
    “In 2020, the oil, gas, and coal industry spent more than $115 million lobbying Congress in defense of fossil fuel subsidies; currently, the industry receives $15 billion of our tax dollars in direct federal subsidies every year. All told, that amounts to a return on investment of over 13,000% for these corporations annually. “


    Monopolies increase their lobbying and prevent regulation, so we need anti-trust laws that prevent and break up monopolies, instead of just letting them happen under the excuse of lower prices for the consumer. "Casts doubt on pure regulatory solutions that do not reduce concentration, since more lobbying can mitigate regulatory action or even turn regulatory choices into mechanisms to protect entrenched incumbents,"..  "corporate concentration and antidemocratic political influence go hand in hand."
    The author looks at oil and gas, big pharma, and social media (FB, Amazon, MS, Google,....)- these eliminate their competitors then concentrate on lobbying and campaign contributions.
    Link: CommonDreams - Corporate Lobbying



    “Forgotten oil and gas wells linger, leaking toxic chemicals” 7-30-21, They leak into drinking water, groundwater, water for ranches rivers and homes. They release methane a greenhouse gas and benzene, a carcinogen. They have exploded. The companies often go bankrupt or sell off the well to some other company that goes bankrupt to avoid having to pay to plug their inactive wells. And the plugs are unplugging themselves, polluting! Existing wells don't pay enough in bonds to cover having to clean up and plug a well. It is all a scam, with oil companies dumping the responsibility to clean up wells onto the states and the federal govt.
    Link:  APNews - Joe Biden Business, Health, Environment, Nature


    Stanley Aronowitz, a writer and labor organizer, has died – He said we need an organized left, that we need mass struggle to turn around capitalism, that he organized against the vietnam war, for unions, to deal with questions of power, and for civil rights.


    I like recent book on the Covid epidemic called the The Premonition by Michael Lewis- He interviews some enthusiastic public health activists who pioneered in figuring out how badly it was spreading in the US and in China; how using masks, social distancing, contact tracing, isolating super spreaders, and creating green , yellow, and red local zones based on the number of new cases to determine whether there was a need to close businesses and schools depending on how much infection was occurring in different settings. They figured out stuff on the backs of envelopes and wrote and gave speeches and sneakily wrote policy for the CDC, Governors, and the president who all didn't want to do anything controversial, such as shutting down schools or businesses. They take the approach, if the worst that could happen were to happen, what would I wish in the future that I had done now. They also believed in getting their hands dirty, directly treating patients, listening to patients, etc. they figured out how to trace the disease spread thru looking at mutations as it spread from one person to another. They invented with volunteer grad students and researchers at UCSF a quick free test that gave results in hours plus allowed them to track the spread- but no hospitals or prisons or health care insurance cos. or anyone would use it because the hospitals and prisons had long term contracts with testing labs that had tests that were worthless for determining how fast the virus was spreading– (the labs with the contracts took 10 or 14 days to get results).
    Link:  CBS News:  Michael Lewis - Premonition
    Link:  3mhsinsideangle.com
    Link:  GoodReads - The Premonition
    Link:  The Guardian - The Premonition
    Link:  NY Times - Review - The Premonition

    Share the Earth,

    Jim Morris

    Great Book about how trees cooperate-Finding the Mother Tree

    Finding the Mother Tree, Suzanne Simard



    "Here's Suzanne Simard's 2016 TED talk about forest communication and cooperation. For me, this 17-minute talk provided an engaging framework for the sometimes detailed and repetitive information in her book about carbon and nutrition pathways among fungal networks linking tree species."




    "I've been told Suzanne was the inspiration for the forest ecologist in The Overstory. Her true life story, while divergent, is just as riveting. She's one of my heroes, and I think The Mother Tree is one of the most important books of this century."  wrote a great ecologist Steve Jones, who teaches birding and leads hikes and surveys for wildlife : birds, dragonflies, owls,....

    Erin explains about the connection between the Overstory and this book:

    "Richard Powers explains that the character Patricia in The Overstory is a composite based largely on Simard as well as Diana Beresford-Kroeger.  We read Diana's book To Speak for the Trees: My Life's Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest with the Emergence book club, too.  Here's an interview where Richard explains that:"

    "Of course, Patricia is a fictional composite, and I don’t mean to invoke anyone recognizable in the style of a roman à clef, but it’s fair to say she derives from real-life women, both in her character and in her work. Her mature discoveries owe more than a little to the tremendously exciting research of Suzanne Simard into the intricate communicative and resource-sharing networks in a forest, what Simard calls the Wood Wide Web. At the same time, Patricia’s career as a patient outsider and her temperament as a controversial yet strong-willed proclaimer of deep tree truths are based in part on the remarkable Diana Beresford-Kroeger, whose books have been a call to humanity to treat trees with the awe due to immensely resourceful creatures that we still know so little about." 
    about the mother tree book:

    Keeping Trees and Forests and Caring for Trees that We Plant

    Mature trees add more tissue each year - more than planting new tress.
    articles on keep the trees we have and plant and care for the trees:

    Biden Protects Old Growth Forests!

    link  Biden and the USFS protect the immense 16 million Alaska forest

    "one of the world's largest intact temperate forests, the Tongass National Forest stores more than 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon and sequesters an additional 10 million metric tons annually, according to the Alaska Wilderness League.

    The carbon held by the Tongass amounts to about 8% of all carbon stored in trees in the United States, says Defenders of Wildlife" 

    Good News July 2021

    Summer is here!  Here are some great links & information about what is going on in the world of environmental activism :  Good News!

    The first wolf pack in 80 years – 6 wolf pups are now living in CO with their parents. Colorado voters approved a ballot in 2020 to reintroduce Wolves to CO.

    Celebrate the cancellation of the Byhalia Connection pipeline, which would have carried crude oil over an aquifer that provides drinking water to 1 million people. Intense community opposition stopped it.  Democracy Now Article 

    Biden saves the Alaska's Tongass Forest . He will stop Trump's selling off the forest. This red and yellow cedar, Western hemlock, and Sitka spruce forest is over 800 years old. It provides homes for bears, eagles, and fish. And it is one of the world's biggest storehouses of carbon, reducing climate change.
    Also, the Tongass Coalition has asked Biden to protect all large trees and mature forests on federal lands.  NYT Article by Coral Davenport on 6-11-21

    Trees cool the Earth by providing shade, lowering air temperature by 10 degrees, bringing up water thru evaporation, storing water, preventing flooding by absorbing floodwater, storing carbon, reducing climate change, reducing the electricity demand, blocking wind, providing food for wildlife, and filtering and cleaning the air.  NYT Article  “Trees Save Lives”

    Wind, Solar, and Battery Storage are cheaper and healthier than oil, coal, and gas.  Electric cars are fun and save a lot of money.  Electricity costs about 1/3 of what gas costs per mile.  So you save about $1000 per year on gas for 15,000 miles per year, plus you save $4600 on maintenance over the life of the car, say $500 per year over 10 years. So you save about $1000 + $500 =$1500 per year- AND you have cleaner air and water and better health as long as we shut down oil, natural gas , and coal and switch to wind, solar , and battery storage.
    Also, you save $2.7 trillion and get 2 million jobs by building more wind, solar, and battery storage. This information is from a Ken Regelson talk on 4-28-21.

    Tony Seba shows that rooftop solar and battery is going to cost less than transmission of electricity from a power plant!  So every house and business will save money by installing rooftop solar and batteries.  Youtube - “Batteries and Solar Win”
    He also shows how electric cars and trucks last 5 times longer and have 1/10th to 1/100th of the maintenance costs and cost 1/10th to operate. So soon electric cars will cost $12,500 and go 200 miles.
    The only barrier is regulatory, which matches with Greenpeace's interview with EXXON's lobbyists, who say EXXON will stop the green infrastructure bills and stop the taxes that would pay for the infrastructure bill.  The EXXON lobbyist talks every week with Joe Manchin's staff and is lobbying with other senators susceptible to pressure which include Senators Manchin, Sinemas, Testers, and Coons.  The EXXON CEO is talking to Coons, a friend of Biden. Later they talk to those up for reelection:  Hassan, Kelly, Rubio, Kennedy, Daines.  Exxon got such large tax cuts under Trump, along with permits to drill all over, and relaxed regulations, etc., that it can spend billions to bribe congress to stop the Green New Deal, green infrastructure, rooftop solar, and battery storage. 
    Democracy Now - Exxon Blocks Climate Action
    Rolling Stone - Exxon Lobbyist Anti Climate Actions

    Rooftop Solar is more resilient and better than more transmission lines controlled by greedy utility companies.   Utility companies want to build transmission lines and get 10.5% profit.  Environmental groups want rooftop solar and battery storage- cheaper, more resilient; not subject to fires,  price manipulation, and monopoly control; smaller, more local.  7-11-21 NYT  "More Power Lines or Rooftop Solar Panels: The Fight Over Energy’s Future"



    Voting Rights-For the People Act, HR 1, passed the House, but is stuck in the Senate, It protects the right to vote and ends gerrymandering.  Ask your senators to support it.  Also, end the filibuster and support DC statehood.  Please ask them to support the Green New Deal and the Civilian Climate Corps.  Go to Join Democracy Movement  and click on your state and to find out groups working to protect the Vote, such as the league of Women Voters and CommonCause.

    Fight Climate Change by Joining an activist group- find meaning, power, and connection by protesting and acting.
    Take action today by supporting or joining one of these groups: Extinction Rebellion; Fridays for Future USA; Sunrise Movement, and 350.org

    Sanders wants to pass major budget reconciliation bill to help our country.  We need to fix the child care system, pre-K, college debt, physical infrastructure, climate change, the health care crisis, the USA's highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, housing crisis, half the people living paycheck to paycheck, do something to help the working class.
    NY Times - The Ascension of Bernie Sanders

    “Tax the Rich! Also the Very Affluent! But mainly the Rich!” -- Raise money for retrofitting buildings to make them energy efficient, to replace lead pipes, and build new infrastructure. This would only charge more taxes if someone makes more than $400,000 per year and more estate tax only if their estate is more than $11 million - Rolling Stone July 2021