'Don't Let a Climate Denier Take Over the EPA'
Climate activists projected huge images and text onto the front of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, DC Monday evening, calling on President-elect Donald Trump to not appoint climate change denier Myron Ebell as head of the agency.
Using a high powered projector, activists with 350.org, ClimateTruth.org and the Sierra Club projected an image of the Earth and oil rigs, along with messages like, "Don't Let A Climate Denier Take Over the EPA" onto the front of the building. The images could be seen clearly across the street from another building: the Trump Hotel.
"Every science teacher in America should be appalled that Donald Trump would consider appointing a climate change denier to head the EPA," Jamie Henn, communications director for 350.org, said. "Part of the job description to run that agency should be that you actually care about the environment. MEbell has shown exactly the opposite, taking over $2 million from ExxonMobil to gut environmental regulations and promote climate denial. We're doing everything we can to stop this appointment."
#Trump's @EPA Advisor #Myro Ebell a 'Superstar of the Denialosphere' https://t.co/Uv2rxlUbYa @EWG @sierraclub @350 @MichaelEMann @EricPooley— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1479494079.0
Trump has already appointed Ebell as head of the EPA Transition Committee and is rumored to be considering him for the top job at the agency. Ebell has no scientific experience and denies the threat of human caused climate change. His think-tank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has taken millions more from fossil fuel companies like the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil to undermine environmental regulations. Ebell has also enthusiastically opposed the Clean Power Plan and reveled in his status as "climate criminal."
#RebelAgainstEbell: Sign on to stop #climate change deniers like Myron Ebell from leading Trump's EPA.… https://t.co/YzNh0QQ2ZL— ClimateTruth (@ClimateTruth)1479749512.0
"Myron Ebell is a professional merchant of doubt who is committed to undermining the consensus behind climate change," Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said. "It's no wonder why: He has spent his career doing the bidding of the big polluters who pay him to deny climate change and attack clean air protections. Anyone who denies climate science does not have the American people's best interests at heart and is not fit to oversee the leadership of the EPA, an agency that is charged with keeping all Americans healthy and safe."
Environmental groups have collected tens of thousands of signatures opposing Ebell and are looking to add momentum to a growing backlash against his appointment. A petition on the White House's "We the People" website garnered nearly 100,000 signatures before being taken down because the current administration had no say in the matter. Protests have also been spreading offline: Last Friday, hundreds of students at Georgetown and Harvard demonstrated against Ebell, organizing online with the hashtag #RebelAgainstEbell. Environmental groups have also joined other social justice organizations in opposing the appointment of white supremacists and racists such as Steve Bannon and Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Even Climate Denier Glenn Beck Calls Trump's New Chief Strategist Steve Bannon 'Terrifying' https://t.co/SFgmC80JgW @dotearth @tcktcktck— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1479264309.0
"Like Steve Bannon and most others floated for Trump administration roles, Myron Ebell is a climate change denier whose ignorance and corruption makes him unqualified for the job," Emily Southard, campaign director at ClimateTruth.org, said. "If you aren't prepared to protect all Americans from the threat of climate change, you aren't qualified to lead the EPA."
While the odds are low considering Trump's own belief that climate change is "bullsh*t" or "a hoax created by the Chinese," the need for an EPA administrator who supports action to address the climate crisis couldn't be more urgent. Scientists recently confirmed that 2016 is the warmest year on record and Arctic sea ice is at an alarming all time low. Meanwhile, the impacts of climate change across the U.S., especially on low-income and communities of color, are becoming more clear with each passing month.
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>
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