The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
By Nick E.
Last week, the Coal Export Action made history in Montana with 23 activists arrested in a sustained act of nonviolent civil disobedience aimed at drawing attention to the deadly impacts of coal exports and raising the stakes in the fight for a clean energy future.
Getting arrested is never a goal in itself—in fact, it’s something most people would rather avoid. But with climate change crisis worsening, and coal mining and transport threatening Montana’s agriculture and the health of communities across the greater Northwest, we simply have to raise the bar in the struggle to stop coal exports. We’ve tried lobbying, petitioning, and turning out to public hearings, and decision makers like the Montana Land Board have continued to side with Big Coal over communities.
When a government fails to respond to the people, we have no choice but to take matters into our own hands, and peacefully break laws enacted by that government. That’s what 23 people did last week in Montana. We raised the bar for climate activism in this state, and showed we’re willing to put our bodies on the line if that’s what it takes to stop a disaster.
Boy, did that feel good.
But the 23 arrests are only part of the story. Hundreds of people participated in the Coal Export Action in some way over the course of a week. We marched to the offices of the state Department of Environmental Quality, and spoke with the DEQ director. We delivered thank you letters to the two members of Montana’s Land Board who bravely voted against leasing Otter Creek to Arch Coal in 2010. And we protested outside the Montana Coal Council office in Helena…needless to say, they weren’t happy to see us.
Now the action is drawing to a close: the last major piece will be today, Aug. 20, when we’re asking people to show up at the Helena Court House at 9 a.m., to support the last group of arrestees being arraigned.
But in so many ways, this is just the beginning. Arch Coal has submitted their official application to mine the Otter Creek coal tracts, and we have from now until the land board makes a final decision on the permit, to stop that project moving forward. Last week’s action made sure we started this phase of the fight against coal exports with a bang, and in months ahead we’ll finish the job.
Expect to hear from the Coal Export Action organizing team and our partner organizations about how you can keep the pressure up in the coming months. We’ll be organizing actions and events throughout Montana and the Northwest, putting pressure on the government bodies and individuals who make the coal industry’s reign possible.
Stay tuned. We’ll see you in the streets and in the halls of government.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?