Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Pepper Sprayed in Latest Standoff
Since last Thursday's violent police raid, which established a militarized zone around Dakota Access Pipeline construction areas, the Morton County Sheriff and supporting agencies have fanned out into the area surrounding the Oceti Sakowin camp.
Groups of police vehicles have parked in several areas to monitor the activity at the camp. One such area is a hill behind the main resistance camp, directly across part of the Cannonball river, known as Cantapeta Creek.
The original people of the area describe this hill as a sacred site, one that contains ancient burial grounds, which police are desecrating by parking their vehicles on it.
On Wednesday morning, a group of water protectors attempted to cross the Cannonball to establish a prayer camp on the sacred hill near Cantapeta Creek. They built a wooden footbridge so that people could cross the water.
Law enforcement responded to the footbridge by firing less-lethal projectiles at people attempting to cross. SWAT officers in a boat tore the footbridge away with rope.
NEW VIDEO: Police used chemical weapons & fired less-lethal rounds at unarmed #NoDAPL water protectors. Triage over… https://t.co/kGtzHj9ZO5— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot)1478130487.0
Several people, including a journalist, said they were shot in the back by police with less-lethal rounds at point blank range.
I was just shot. Militarized police fired at me from pointblank range with a rubber bullet at #StandingRock.… https://t.co/RvSqhrLezv— Erin Schrode (@Erin Schrode)1478120025.0
Medics reported that some of these individuals were coughing up blood from internal bleeding.
After the footbridge was broken up by police, people remained in the water on the shore of the sacred site.
Morton County Sheriff, North Dakota Highway Patrol and unidentified out-of-state law enforcement personnel repeatedly used chemical weapons (pepper spray, OC gas and what we believe was a concussion grenade) on the water protectors who simply stayed standing or sitting in the river.
More chemical weapons deployed directly into the Cannonball river by North Dakota law enforcement protecting DAPL l… https://t.co/IkeupZ4tZn— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot)1478122641.0
A boat with several heavily armed SWAT officers repeatedly tried to maneuver behind the group of water protectors near the shore. Water protectors used logs and rope to prevent their advance, and ferried people and supplies back and forth across the water using rope lines attached to canoes.
SWAT in boats, unknown out-of-state police & chemical weapons deployed against #NoDAPL water protectors swimming ac… https://t.co/ERDAsA5Dff— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot)1478122229.0
Law enforcement who were occupying the sacred site repeatedly threatened water protectors with arrest and said that the Army Corps of Engineers had authorized them to make arrests on Army Corps land.
Unicorn Riot has reached out to both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Justice to confirm or deny this claim by Morton County and as of yet have received no answer.
Eventually, all the water protectors returned to the Oceti Sakowin camp side of the river without arrest. One person was later reported to have been arrested on conspiracy charges for transporting canoes around the time of the river crossing.
After all water protectors had left the river, drummers led many back to camp while others stayed behind to re-gath… https://t.co/6jrhVKeMbk— Unicorn Riot (@Unicorn Riot)1478119199.0
On Tuesday, when asked about the Dakota Access Pipeline, President Obama said in an interview with Now This, that, "We're gonna let it play out for several more few weeks" and mentioned that the Army Corps of Engineers may consider re-routing the pipeline.
.@BernieSanders Calls 4 Stopping #DakotaAccessPipeline as #Obama Waffles https://t.co/qyNZgZlyZY @billmckibben @350 @IENearth @greenpeaceusa— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1478114184.0
In the meantime, the Dakota Access Pipeline continues to aggressively build, guarded by large force of private mercenaries as well as local and state police, including dozens from surrounding states.
On Tuesday, an emergency commission met in the office of North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and voted to borrow an additional $4 million to fund law enforcement deployments to protect the Dakota Access Pipeline against water protectors, saying that the original $6 million in funding had run out. This brings the total line of credit extended to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services to $10 million. Officials say at least $8 million in costs have been incurred so far.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Unicorn Riot.
New fossils uncovered in Argentina may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth.
- Groundbreaking Fossil Shows Prehistoric 15-Foot Reptile Tried to ... ›
- Skull of Smallest Known Dinosaur Found in 99-Million-Year Old Amber ›
- Giant 'Toothed' Birds Flew Over Antarctica 40 Million Years Ago ... ›
- World's Second-Largest Egg Found in Antarctica Probably Hatched ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Pruitt Guts the Clean Power Plan: How Weak Will the New EPA ... ›
- It's Official: Trump Administration to Repeal Clean Power Plan ... ›
- 'Deadly' Clean Power Plan Replacement ›
By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.
- Gorillas in San Diego Test Positive for Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
- Wildlife Rehabilitators Are Overwhelmed During the Pandemic. In ... ›
- Coronavirus Pandemic Linked to Destruction of Wildlife and World's ... ›
- Utah Mink Becomes First Wild Animal to Test Positive for Coronavirus ›
By Peter Giger
The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.
A Game of Jenga<p>Think of it as a game of Jenga and the planet's climate system as the tower. For generations, we have been slowly removing blocks. But at some point, we will remove a pivotal block, such as the collapse of one of the major global ocean circulation systems, for example the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), that will cause all or part of the global climate system to fall into a planetary emergency.</p><p>But worse still, it could cause runaway damage: Where the tipping points form a domino-like cascade, where breaching one triggers breaches of others, creating an unstoppable shift to a radically and swiftly changing climate.</p><p>One of the most concerning tipping points is mass methane release. Methane can be found in deep freeze storage within permafrost and at the bottom of the deepest oceans in the form of methane hydrates. But rising sea and air temperatures are beginning to thaw these stores of methane.</p><p>This would release a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, 30-times more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming agent. This would drastically increase temperatures and rush us towards the breach of other tipping points.</p><p>This could include the acceleration of ice thaw on all three of the globe's large, land-based ice sheets – Greenland, West Antarctica and the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica. The potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is seen as a key tipping point, as its loss could eventually <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/324/5929/901" target="_blank">raise global sea levels by 3.3 meters</a> with important regional variations.</p><p>More than that, we would be on the irreversible path to full land-ice melt, causing sea levels to rise by up to 30 meters, roughly at the rate of two meters per century, or maybe faster. Just look at the raised beaches around the world, at the last high stand of global sea level, at the end of the Pleistocene period around 120,0000 years ago, to see the evidence of such a warm world, which was just 2°C warmer than the present day.</p>
Cutting Off Circulation<p>As well as devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world, melting polar ice could set off another tipping point: a disablement to the AMOC.</p><p>This circulation system drives a northward flow of warm, salty water on the upper layers of the ocean from the tropics to the northeast Atlantic region, and a southward flow of cold water deep in the ocean.</p><p>The ocean conveyor belt has a major effect on the climate, seasonal cycles and temperature in western and northern Europe. It means the region is warmer than other areas of similar latitude.</p><p>But melting ice from the Greenland ice sheet could threaten the AMOC system. It would dilute the salty sea water in the north Atlantic, making the water lighter and less able or unable to sink. This would slow the engine that drives this ocean circulation.</p><p><a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/atlantic-conveyor-belt-has-slowed-15-per-cent-since-mid-twentieth-century" target="_blank">Recent research</a> suggests the AMOC has already weakened by around 15% since the middle of the 20th century. If this continues, it could have a major impact on the climate of the northern hemisphere, but particularly Europe. It may even lead to the <a href="https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/39731?show=full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cessation of arable farming</a> in the UK, for instance.</p><p>It may also reduce rainfall over the Amazon basin, impact the monsoon systems in Asia and, by bringing warm waters into the Southern Ocean, further destabilize ice in Antarctica and accelerate global sea level rise.</p>
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation has a major effect on the climate. Praetorius (2018)
Is it Time to Declare a Climate Emergency?<p>At what stage, and at what rise in global temperatures, will these tipping points be reached? No one is entirely sure. It may take centuries, millennia or it could be imminent.</p><p>But as COVID-19 taught us, we need to prepare for the expected. We were aware of the risk of a pandemic. We also knew that we were not sufficiently prepared. But we didn't act in a meaningful manner. Thankfully, we have been able to fast-track the production of vaccines to combat COVID-19. But there is no vaccine for climate change once we have passed these tipping points.</p><p><a href="https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2021" target="_blank">We need to act now on our climate</a>. Act like these tipping points are imminent. And stop thinking of climate change as a slow-moving, long-term threat that enables us to kick the problem down the road and let future generations deal with it. We must take immediate action to reduce global warming and fulfill our commitments to the <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Paris Agreement</a>, and build resilience with these tipping points in mind.</p><p>We need to plan now to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but we also need to plan for the impacts, such as the ability to feed everyone on the planet, develop plans to manage flood risk, as well as manage the social and geopolitical impacts of human migrations that will be a consequence of fight or flight decisions.</p><p>Breaching these tipping points would be cataclysmic and potentially far more devastating than COVID-19. Some may not enjoy hearing these messages, or consider them to be in the realm of science fiction. But if it injects a sense of urgency to make us respond to climate change like we have done to the pandemic, then we must talk more about what has happened before and will happen again.</p><p>Otherwise we will continue playing Jenga with our planet. And ultimately, there will only be one loser – us.</p>
By John R. Platt
The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.
- Biden Announces $2 Trillion Climate and Green Recovery Plan ... ›
- How Biden and Kerry Can Rebuild America's Climate Leadership ... ›
- Biden's EPA Pick Michael Regan Urged to Address Environmental ... ›
- How Joe Biden's Climate Plan Compares to the Green New Deal ... ›