7 Arrested at 'Pancakes Not Pipelines' Protest at FERC
By Beyond Extreme Energy
Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox, Megan Holleran and five others were arrested in the driveway of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today while waiting for commissioners to join them for pancakes topped with the last drops of maple syrup from the Holleran family farm in New Milford, Pennsylvania. They and about two dozen other activists were protesting FERC's approval for the clear-cutting of a wide swath of maple trees at the Holleran farm for the construction of the Constitution Pipeline.
Blocked by guards from entering the FERC building, Fox repeatedly called on the commissioners to come down for “the last dregs of syrup" and a conversation about fracked-gas infrastructure and climate change.
Police are getting ready to arrest 7 people at FERC #pancakesnotpipelines https://t.co/yGgSJLNmq4— Tim DeChristopher (@Tim DeChristopher)1458841037.0
“Everyone I know is fighting a pipeline or a compressor station or a power plant that is in front of FERC for approval," Fox said while wearing a "Pancakes not Pipelines" apron.
“It is clear to me that FERC has to be the most destructive agency in the United States right now. They are faceless, nameless, unelected and ignore citizen input. I think of FERC as the Phantom Menace. The agency's commissioners have been rubber-stamping fracking infrastructure all over country that threatens local communities and the planet by accelerating climate change."
@joshfoxfilm and Jane Kendall join five others who have been arrested @FERC. #PancakesNotPipelines #LetGoAndLove https://t.co/CuJP9D7m43— BeyondExtremeEnergy (@BeyondExtremeEnergy)1458841920.0
Climate activist Tim DeChristopher, wearing a chef's cap and a “Pancakes not Pipelines" apron, cooked the pancakes on a solar-powered cooktop set up on the sidewalk in front of FERC. DeChristopher said FERC had “cut down life-giving maple trees to make room for a death-dealing pipeline." The agency has been “able to get away with this shameful behavior by operating in the shadows," he continued. "We're here today to invite FERC employees into the open, to engage in a human way with the people whose lives are impacted by FERC's decisions."
Protesters carried banners that said, “Stop the Methane Pipeline" and “Pancakes not Pipelines." Led by singer-songwriter Bethany Yarrow, daughter of Peter Yarrow who was also arrested today, protesters sang songs, including, “We Shall Not Be Moved" and “Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round."
Holleran said FERC had given approval for the trees to be cleared on her land before the pipeline had all the required permits. “We followed all the rules. We asked them to wait before doing irreparable harm to our farm. This could happen to anyone," she said during the protest.
Megan Holleran arrested at FERC after they cut down her family's maple syrup farm. #pancakesnotpipelines https://t.co/wXpAAushvH— Tim DeChristopher (@Tim DeChristopher)1458841349.0
In addition to Fox, Holleran and Yarrow, others arrested included, Gabriel Shapiro, a Hampshire College student in Massachusetts; Jane Kendall from New York City; Don Weightman, a Beyond Extreme Energy organizer from Philadelphia; and Ron Coler of Ashfield, Massachusetts, who's fighting the NED pipeline and Connecticut Expansion. Also at the action was Karenna Gore of the Center for Earth Ethics.
Beyond Extreme Energy will continue its actions at FERC during the Rubber Stamp Rebellion from May 15 to May 22.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Naomi Larsson
For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.
Biodiversity and Habitat Loss<p>Their near extinction is a symbol of the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/global-biodiversity-outlook-targets-extinction-summit-new-york-pledge/a-54932895" target="_blank">biodiversity crisis</a> in the UK, largely driven by habitat destruction. Britain is now one of the countries with the most <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/future-of-UK-nature#:~:text=The%20UK%20is%20one%20of,than%20half%20are%20in%20decline" target="_blank">depleted nature</a> in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. Half its plant and animal species are in decline and more than <a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/let-nature-sing-wales/#:~:text=a%20natural%20tragedy.-,Over%2040%20million%20birds%20have%20vanished%20from%20UK%20skies%20in,unaware%20of%20the%20impending%20danger" target="_blank">40 million birds</a> have vanished in just half a century.</p><p>"[Turtle doves] are the canary in the [coal] mine because there are all these other species before it and after it," said Tree. "It's an umbrella for all the other species that are heading that way."</p><p>Turtle doves migrate south through Europe to sub-Saharan Africa between July and September, ending up in dry woodland and farmland areas of countries like Mali and Senegal for winter. </p><p>Droughts in West Africa and the Sahel region are believed to have contributed to the fall in turtle dove species recorded in northern Europe, with low rainfall reducing supplies of the seeds and insects the birds rely on for energy for the long journey home.</p>
Conservation and Farming<p><a href="https://www.operationturtledove.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Operation Turtle Dove,</a> a partnership project of charities including the Essex Wildlife trust, works with landowners and farmers to actively build turtle dove habitat.</p><p>Outten works with <a href="https://www.ebws.org.uk/birdsites/blue-house-farm-ewt-north-fambridge" target="_blank">Blue House Farm</a>, a 660-acre nature reserve in the UK county of Essex, where they have replicated weedy fallow plots. </p><p>"We work on it every year to make sure it's in the condition it needs to be with plants such as clovers and black medic," Outten said. "These plants are native to the landscape and produce the seed the birds feed on." </p><p>The birds eat a wide range of seeds from various plants that would have been abundant 50 or 100 years ago, added Guy Anderson, program manager for species recovery with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). </p><p>"But it's simply true that with the gradual process of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-pesticides-how-can-we-make-agriculture-greener/a-52216796" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">intensifying our agricultural production</a>, the availability of those seeds has dropped and dropped," said Anderson.</p><p>Part of the project includes supplementary feeding — providing sources of food in the form of seed or grain. Under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, farmers can receive financial support to create a turtle dove habitat. </p><p>Though they haven't recorded an increase in doves across the sites in the four years of working on the project, Outten said they are seeing improvements in how landowners and farmers manage habitat for the birds. </p>
A Turtle Dove Haven<p>The 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in West Sussex is another project taking a different approach and one of the few places where turtle dove numbers are increasing.</p><p>Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell converted their intensively farmed land into a rewilding project almost 20 years ago. They have let the land return to nature.</p><p>Just one year after they'd finished <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/uks-most-talented-architects-are-not-human/a-35952128" target="_blank">rewilding</a> the southern part of their property, they heard turtle doves for the first time. It's now a breeding hotspot for the birds with an estimated 19 pairs. Knepp is also home to <a href="https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-projects/knepp-estate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2% of the UK's population</a> of nightingales. </p><p>Tree is critical of supplementary feeding schemes that, in her view, are short term. She questions the chances of turtle doves getting to feed on scattered seeds before other mammals eat them first.</p>
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Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels.