By Will Bates
We just crunched the numbers, and there are now more than one million people around the world who are calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies.
One million. It's an incredible milestone—and the timing couldn't be better. In less than a week, the "Rio Earth Summit" will begin, and world leaders will converge in Brazil. The gathering is being billed as a landmark event for the planet's future, and the theme of the conference is "building the global green economy." Well, we can't think of a better way to build the green economy than ending fossil fuel subsidies and investing in renewable energy instead.
So we'll be using the Rio Summit as a way to jump-start the next phase of our campaign on fossil fuel subsidies—and we'll be harnessing the power of the web to ramp up the pressure on world leaders in a brand new way.
On June 18 we are going to unleash a 24-hour social media storm—an online push united by one single message: #EndFossilFuelSubsidies.
Joining the social media team shouldn't be intimidating—it just means that as Rio approaches, we'll send you a few updates with messages to spread online, mainly on Twitter and Facebook. If we can get 10,000 people to join in, we'll have built up a digital army around the world who can break through the noise.
Now, before any of you who don’t use social media (especially Twitter) feel like we won’t be including you in the fun, we want you to know two things:
1. It’s totally OK if social media isn’t your thing—there's lots of offline activism ahead for the climate movement, and 350 activists in Rio and around the world are doing incredible work offline to complement this digital push.
2. If you’ve been interested in exploring how to harness the power of social media for social change, this is your moment to dive in. We'll offer a "social media bootcamp" with guides and tools to make it super-easy for folks who are new to all this.
Ultimately, 350.org is about building a grassroots movement grounded in communities—doing real-world organizing, not just online petition signing and Facebook-posting and Twitter sharing. But the web offers us incredible ways to take messages from people in our global network, amplify them, and then channel them to world leaders and the media.
So, as world leaders converge—first in Mexico for the G20 meeting, then in Brazil for the Rio Earth Summit—we think it's time to take this online push a step even further. We'll also be taking your online messages and displaying them offline for the world to see. In major cities around the globe, local teams are setting up projectors that will beam your tweets right onto global landmarks.
We have a whole crew of partner organizations ready to do this Twitter Storm with us—from the incredible global network of Avaaz (who did amazing work in helping us smash the million-person milestone for the petition) to grassroots groups around the world. Together, our collective reach is massive.
We've never done anything quite like this before, and it's a bit of an experiment for us. We do know one thing: it won't work without people around the world stepping up to take part.
By Jessica Corbett
A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."
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Returning the ‘Three Sisters’ – Corn, Beans and Squash – to Native American Farms Nourishes People, Land and Cultures
By Christina Gish Hill
Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.
Abundant Harvests<p>Historically, Native people throughout the Americas bred indigenous plant varieties specific to the growing conditions of their homelands. They selected seeds for many different traits, such as <a href="https://emergencemagazine.org/story/corn-tastes-better/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">flavor, texture and color</a>.</p><p>Native growers knew that planting corn, beans, squash and sunflowers together produced mutual benefits. Corn stalks created a trellis for beans to climb, and beans' twining vines secured the corn in high winds. They also certainly observed that corn and bean plants growing together tended to be healthier than when raised separately. Today we know the reason: Bacteria living on bean plant roots pull nitrogen – an essential plant nutrient – from the air and <a href="http://www.tilthalliance.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">convert it to a form that both beans and corn can use</a>.</p><p>Squash plants contributed by shading the ground with their broad leaves, preventing weeds from growing and retaining water in the soil. Heritage squash varieties also had spines that discouraged deer and raccoons from visiting the garden for a snack. And sunflowers planted around the edges of the garden created a natural fence, protecting other plants from wind and animals and attracting pollinators.</p><p>Interplanting these agricultural sisters produced bountiful harvests that sustained large Native communities and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eam.2015.0016" target="_blank">spurred fruitful trade economies</a>. The first Europeans who reached the Americas were shocked at the abundant food crops they found. My research is exploring how, 200 years ago, Native American agriculturalists around the Great Lakes and along the Missouri and Red rivers fed fur traders with their diverse vegetable products.</p>
Displaced From the Land<p>As Euro-Americans settled permanently on the most fertile North American lands and acquired seeds that Native growers had carefully bred, they imposed policies that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/87.2.550" target="_blank">made Native farming practices impossible</a>. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the <a href="https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act" target="_blank">Indian Removal Act</a>, which made it official U.S. policy to force Native peoples from their home locations, pushing them onto subpar lands.</p><p>On reservations, U.S. government officials discouraged Native women from cultivating anything larger than small garden plots and pressured Native men to practice Euro-American style monoculture. Allotment policies assigned small plots to nuclear families, further limiting Native Americans' access to land and preventing them from using communal farming practices.</p><p>Native children were forced to attend boarding schools, where they had no opportunity to <a href="https://doi.org/10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.1.0145" target="_blank">learn Native agriculture techniques or preservation and preparation of Indigenous foods</a>. Instead they were forced to eat Western foods, turning their palates away from their traditional preferences. Taken together, these policies <a href="https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-0802-7.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">almost entirely eradicated three sisters agriculture</a> from Native communities in the Midwest by the 1930s.</p>
Reviving Native Agriculture<p>Today Native people all over the U.S. are working diligently to <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reclaim Indigenous varieties of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and other crops</a>. This effort is important for many reasons.</p><p>Improving Native people's access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods will help lower rates of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aian-diabetes/index.html" target="_blank">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/native-american/obesity" target="_blank">obesity</a>, which affect Native Americans at disproportionately high rates. Sharing traditional knowledge about agriculture is a way for elders to pass cultural information along to younger generations. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them.</p>
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
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An extremely rare North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead off the North Carolina coast on Friday.
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