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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Receives Prestigious Award + $1 Million Investment to Transition Away From Fossil Fuels
The Wallace Global Fund awarded the inaugural Henry A. Wallace Award and a $250,000 prize to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for its unyielding courage in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and its dedication to transitioning to renewable energy. In addition to the $250,000 prize, the tribe will receive up to a $1 million investment from the Wallace Global Fund to support its transition toward fossil fuel independence.
The award was presented to Tribal Chairman David Archambault II at an award ceremony in New York on Thursday; a donor and investor lunch briefing followed the ceremony to highlight solar and wind energy projects underway at the Standing Rock Reservation.
The Henry A. Wallace Award was established in 2017 by the Wallace Global Fund to lift up the extraordinary courage and will it takes to stand up to oppressive corporate and political power. Henry A. Wallace was a visionary and progressive advocate who served as the 33rd vice president of the U.S. under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
"Our foundation is guided by my grandfather's framing of a mighty struggle that continues to this day: protecting the interests of what he called the 'common man'—ordinary people—against the oppressive combination of corporate and governmental power. Democracy, he said, 'must put human beings first and dollars second,'" said Scott Wallace, co-chair of the Wallace Global Fund.
"This award in his honor is intended to recognize the type of extraordinary courage that ordinary people can summon to fight such abuses of power. No one represents such courage better than the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. And never has such courage been more essential to the health of our democracy than right now."
"We hold the Standing Rock community in high regard for their care for human and ecological well-being. By resisting the dysfunctional narrative imposed by the fossil-fuel industry, Standing Rock has demonstrated what it looks like to prioritize well-being over profit for the few," said Scott Fitzmorris, co-chair of the Wallace Global Fund and great grandson of Henry A. Wallace.
Over the past year, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe fought to protect its clean water, sacred lands and indigenous rights by resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline in a series of peaceful protests against Energy Transfer Partners' plans to build the pipeline along a route violating Treaty law. The protests drew international attention and support—running from approximately April 2016 through February 2017, attracting thousands of people and resulting in hundreds of arrests and injuries. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters who protested in solidarity stood their ground for higher principles at grave personal risk, igniting a movement.
President Trump's executive order that gave the green light for the Dakota Access Pipeline was yet another transgression against Native Americans. Although oil began flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline on June 1, 2017, the danger to the tribe's water supply continues and the Standing Rock Sioux are not giving up the fight. They are pursuing legal action against the pipeline, while moving toward fossil fuel independence through expansion in renewable energy.
"This is not over. We continue to fight the pipeline in court and await a decision that adequately reflects the rule of law established in this country—one so often flouted by this administration. However, we will never stop fighting for our planet and future generations; this resiliency is part of who we are as a tribe," said Archambault.
"We are grateful and honored to accept the inaugural Henry A. Wallace Award and a grant from the Wallace Global Fund that will help us continue our resistance against the pipeline and transition to clean energy technologies like wind and solar."
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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.
Heavy metals that may damage a developing brain are present in 95 percent of baby foods on the market. Cirou Frederic / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images
Heavy metals that may damage a developing brain are present in 95 percent of baby foods on the market, according to new research from the advocacy organization Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), which bills itself as an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first three years of development.
By Kerstin Palme
Creepy-crawlies are among the oldest life forms on this planet. Before dinosaurs ever walked the earth, insects were certainly already there. Some estimates date their origins to 400 million years ago. They're also extremely successful. Of the 7 to 8 million species documented on Earth, around three quarters are likely bugs.
But several insect species could disappear for good in the next few decades and that would have serious consequences for humans.
Volvo introduced its first-ever all-electric vehicle this week, kicking off an ambitious plan to slash emissions and phase out solely gas-powered vehicles starting this year.
The report, released Wednesday, found that almost every European who lives in a city is exposed to unhealthy air, Reuters reported.