The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Citizens Announce Nation's Largest-Ever Fracking Rally in Washington, D.C.
Today, citizens from affected communities, together with environmental organizations and community groups, announced a call to action to demand an end to putting oil and gas drilling profits ahead of public health, clean water, air and the safety of our communities. This event will be the largest of its kind and will take place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 28, 2012.
Labeled “Stop the Frack Attack,” the rally will bring thousands to the nation’s capitol to demand greater government responsibility and corporate accountability for harm that existing oil and gas development causes.
Community groups and organizations from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Maryland, Texas, Wyoming, Ohio, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Idaho, Virginia and North Dakota have signed on in support of the event. For more information and a list of endorsing organizations and members of the citizen-based advisory council, click here.
In support of this National Day of Action, concerned citizens from across the country issued the below statements:
“The President and Congress need to hear the truth about the destruction of irresponsible fossil fuel extraction directly from drilling communities,” said Kari Matsko, an Ohio member of the National Day of Action advisory council. “Gas isn’t clean and drillers always put their profits ahead of the health of American families. This has to stop, and we expect our elected officials to make sure it does.”
“We have found that we cannot rely on our local, tribal and state officials to prevent pollution of our air and water, and our health,” said Theodora Bird Bear, a member of the Dakota Resource Council from North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Reservation. “They tell us there will be no impacts, but we can see the impacts and we know they are real. We are asking policy makers in Washington, D.C. to help us protect and honor our connections to the earth.”
“Now is the time for all of us to unite and demand that the nation take action to move toward a clean energy future,” said Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of DISH, Texas and another advisory council member. “Drilling that harms our health, water and air isn’t acceptable. Americans deserve better, and we expect to get it.”
“Dirty drilling isn’t a state or regional problem—it’s a national problem,” said John Fenton, a rancher from Wyoming who is also a member of the advisory council. “It’s time for the White House and Congress to stop buying the industry line and start paying attention to the real devastation this industry has caused our communities, air and water.”
For more information, click here.
Stay up-to-date on the latest fracking news by clicking here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A new multiyear study found that people living or working within 2,000 feet, or nearly half a mile, of a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) drill site may be at a heightened risk of exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals, according to research released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
The crowd appears to attack a protestor in a video shared on Twitter by ITV journalist Mahatir Pasha. VOA News / Youtube screenshot
Some London commuters had a violent reaction Thursday morning when Extinction Rebellion protestors attempted to disrupt train service during rush hour.
By Kristen Fischer
Though the science has shown sugary drinks are not healthy for children, fruit drinks and similar beverages accounted for more than half of all children's drink sales in 2018, according to a new report.
Farms with just one or a handful of different crops encourage fewer species of pollinating and pest-controlling insects to linger, ultimately winnowing away crop yields, according to a new study.
Up to half of the detrimental impacts of the "landscape simplification" that monocropping entails come as a result of a diminished mix of ecosystem service-providing insects, a team of scientists reported Oct. 16 in the journal Science Advances.
Monocrop palm oil plantation Honduras.
SHARE Foundation / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0
"Our study shows that biodiversity is essential to ensure the provision of ecosystem services and to maintain a high and stable agricultural production," Matteo Dainese, the study's lead author and a biologist at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy, said in a statement.
It stands to reason that, with declines in the sheer numbers of insects that ferry pollen from plant to plant and keep crop-eating pests under control, these services will wane as well. But until now, it hasn't been clear how monocultures affect the number and mix of these species or how crop yields might change as a result.
Aiming to solve these questions, Dainese and his colleagues pulled together data from 89 studies cutting across a variety of landscapes, from the tropics of Asia and Africa to the higher latitudes of northern Europe. They tabulated the number of pollinating and pest-controlling insects at these sites — both the absolute number of individuals and the number of species — along with an assessment of the ecosystem services the insects provided.
In almost all of the studies they looked at, the team found that a more diverse pool of these species translated into more pollination and greater pest control. They also showed that simplified landscapes supported fewer species of service-providing insects, which ultimately led to lower crop yields.
The researchers also looked at a third measure of the makeup of insect populations — what they called "evenness." In natural ecosystems, a handful of dominant species with many more individuals typically live alongside a higher number of rarer species. The team found as landscapes became less diverse, dominant species numbers dwindled and rare species gained ground. This resulting, more equitable mix led to less pollination (though it didn't end up affecting pest control).
"Our study provides strong empirical support for the potential benefits of new pathways to sustainable agriculture that aim to reconcile the protection of biodiversity and the production of food for increasing human populations," Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, one of the study's authors and an animal ecologist at the University of Würzburg in Germany, said in the statement.
The scientists figure that the richness of pollinator species explains around a third of the harmful impacts of less diverse landscapes, while the richness of pest-controlling species accounts for about half of the same measure. In their view, the results of their research point to the need to protect biodiversity on and around crops in an uncertain future.
"Under future conditions with ongoing global change and more frequent extreme climate events, the value of farmland biodiversity ensuring resilience against environmental disturbances will become even more important," Steffan-Dewenter said.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Mongabay.
Ivory Coast's rainforests have been decimated by cocoa production and what is left is put in peril by a new law that will remove legal protections for thousands of square miles of forests, according to The Guardian.
By Karin Kirk
Greenland had quite the summer. It rose from peaceful obscurity to global headliner as ice melted so swiftly and massively that many were left grasping for adjectives. Then, Greenland's profile was further boosted, albeit not to its delight, when President Trump expressed interest in buying it, only to be summarily dismissed by the Danish prime minister.
During that time I happened to be in East Greenland, both as an observer of the stark effects of climate change and as a witness to local dialogue about presidential real estate aspirations, polar bear migrations and Greenland's sudden emergence as a trending topic.