Ohioans Slam Boehner Over Backroom Keystone XL Tar Sands Deal
Fed up with House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) corporate campaign donor’s influence on his policy decisions, activists staged a human oil spill at his office just outside Cincinnati on Dec. 14. Activists believe Boehner’s decision to force through the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is linked to campaign cash from the fossil fuel industry. Speaker Boehner has accepted more than $1.1 million from corporate polluters since 1999.
“John Boehner is using his position to rake in corporate cash at our expense—why else would he try to push through the hugely unpopular and dangerous proposed Keystone XL pipeline?” Asked Sean P. Nolan, CEO and Co-Founder at Reaver Publishing.
Approximately 50 people created the "human oil spill" into Boehner’s office as part of an escalating national campaign against the pipeline. Dressed in black, participants used their bodies to represent the potential environmental devastation from the pipeline. If built, it will likely leak toxic tar sands oil over precious farmland and critical aquifers in the heart of our nation. The proposed pipeline has been described as “game over” for the climate by NASA scientist James Hansen.
“Hundreds of Ohioans travelled to Washington, DC, to stop the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Now Boehner is trying to push it through despite mass opposition from his constituents—I’m fed up with politicians doing the bidding of their corporate benefactors,” stated Sonnet Gabbard, a teacher and student at University of Cincinnati and an Occupy Cincinnati protester who joined the action.
Boehner announced on Dec. 6, that he was willing to go “to war” over an amendment that would force through the proposed pipeline despite widespread safety concerns and popular outrage.
“The House brings shame on itself when it’s members take tens of millions in Big Oil money and then do the industry's bidding. Keystone XL creates no net jobs and pours carbon into the atmosphere—that’s why millions across the country opposed it,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, “It's only beneficiaries are the fossil fuel industry and the politicians they support.”
This rally is the latest in a months long national grassroots uprising in response to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands Pipeline. The campaign kicked off in August with a two week protest that resulted in more than 1,200 arrests, and in November an event where 10,000 people circled the White House that resulted in President Barack Obama delaying his decision on the pipeline, a move analysts say killed the project.
For more information, visit the Tar Sands Action website by clicking here.
- Climate Change Will Be Sudden and Cataclysmic Unless We Act Now ›
- There's a Heatwave at the Arctic 'Doomsday Vault' - EcoWatch ›
- Marine Heatwaves Destroy Ocean Ecosystems Like Wildfires ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
- Biden Likely Plans to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline on Day One ... ›
- Joe Biden Appoints Climate Crisis Team - EcoWatch ›
Listen:<iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/17278520/height/45/theme/standard/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/" height="45" width="100%" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2021/01/college-course-teaches-students-how-to-be-climate-leaders/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Yale Climate Connections</a>.</em></p>
By Daniel Raichel
Industry would have us believe that pesticides help sustain food production — a necessary chemical trade-off for keeping harmful bugs at bay and ensuring we have enough to eat. But the data often tell a different story—particularly in the case of neonicotinoid pesticides, also known as neonics.
- Bees Face 'a Perfect Storm' — Parasites, Air Pollution and Other ... ›
- European Top Court Upholds French Ban on Bee-Harming Pesticides ›
- UK Allows Emergency Use of Bee-Killing Pesticide - EcoWatch ›