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This past Thursday was Thanksgiving. A time when we remember a feast, the first Thanksgiving, on Plymouth plantation in the autumn of 1621. The tales of pilgrims from the Mayflower who celebrated the harvest, shared and broke bread with the first Americans, are still used as inspiration and shared with children, teaching them the beauty of gratitude.

Standing Rock.©Lori Panico

But it is now widely understood this Thanksgiving story is a fictional history. It was invented to whitewash the vicious genocide wrought upon the native inhabitants of this magnificent continent. Not only did the Europeans try to eradicate native populations, but they made every effort to eviscerate their culture, their language and eliminate them from these coveted lands.

From Plymouth Rock to Standing Rock, this lie has made our Thanksgiving Day a day of mourning for the First Nations, all the tribes big and small, those who came before us.

A few weeks ago we traveled to visit the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota. We arrived at this unprecedented historical gathering of more than 500 tribes and thousands of others standing on the frontlines to protect water, to state the most basic human truth, to say water is life. Despite the painful history, today they fight peacefully for us all.

The camp grows as winter comes. Standing in protection of our most vital life support systems, but also for the rightful preservation of Native American cultural ways and their sovereignty. Everyone we talk with is committed to peaceful resistance. Weapons, alcohol and drugs are forbidden there.

Standing together in prayer to protect water displays a deeply rooted awareness of life's interconnected nature, and of the intrinsic value and import of traditional ways. This growing movement stems from love, it is the most human instinct to protect that which we love. An eager and engaged youth are at the core of this pipeline route resistance, learning from a population of elders who pass down unforgotten knowledge.

It is an awakening. All here together, with their non-native relatives, standing strong in the face of outrageous, unnecessary and violent aggression, on the part of militarized local and state law enforcement agencies and national guard, who are seemingly acting to protect the interests of the Dakota Access pipeline profiteers, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, above all other expressed concerns. They stand against corporate security forces, the county sheriff and the national guard. Standing while being hit with water cannons, mace, teargas, rubber bullets. Standing without weapons and praying, the water protectors endure human rights abuses in freezing temperatures. Supplies arrive from all over as the social media universe shares the heartbreaking news to the world, that an American corporate media is not free to report. Thus, it is the ugliness of corporate America, seen around the world.

But they stand, their hair frozen from water cannons. They stand for all that is good and they stay strong.

We are calling upon you, President Barack Obama, to step in and end the violence against the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock immediately.

We will be going back to support the water protectors again.

Let us all stand with them in thanks, in appreciation for the ancient wisdom they carry, in thanks for this opportunity for true gratitude. For giving us a path forward. For trying to show us a road to survival.

We offer our support and our respect. We hear the call to protect the water protectors to listen, learn and get engaged. They are brave. We thank them. And we can give thanks for the bounty.

Like water on the garden of activism, America's surprise president brings a bounty of opportunity. The great issues of our time are now brightly illuminated and people are becoming more aware of them than ever, from sea to shining sea, from Standing Rock to Wall Street.

The surprise president-elect was not the winner of the popular vote, does not have a mandate for the change of ideals envisioned. Keep in mind, close to over two million more people voted for another candidate. Nor is the surprise president the leader of the free world. Two hundred of the world's nations believe in science, above the profits of the oil, gas and coal industries, and are committed to working together to protect the future from an unchecked climate crisis. The surprise president claims he does not believe in climate science nor the threats it presents and his actions and words reflect that claim in tangible and dangerous ways.

Do not be intimidated by the surprise president's cabinet appointees as they descend the golden escalator. Those who behave in racist ways are not your leaders. The golden tower is not yours. The White House is your house.Your growing activism in support of freedom over repression, addressing climate change, swiftly replacing a destructive old industries with safe, regenerative energy, encouraging holistic thinking in balance with the future of our planet; that activism will strengthen and shed continued light on us all. These worthy goals must be met for all the world's children and theirs after them.

This is our moment for truth.

Unintimidated, stand, speak up and show up. Be counted. Be like our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock. Be there if you can. The progress we have made over 240 years as a nation, has always come first from the people.

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Sometime last year I had the great fortune to be swimming in an extremely remote part of the southern Pacific Ocean. I was floating over one of the last coral reefs to still have some pops of otherworldly, shocking, neon bright color left here and there.

Between the green grey algae coating and the bleached white bones you could still find a mesmerizing hot pink or a blinding chartreuse. Gliding along, looking for some of these colorful signs of life, I spot what looks like a miniature pair of slender legs sticking up from the coral skeletons.

It was as if a very tiny person was diving into another worlds portal.

And sure enough she was ...

I pulled at a tiny foot, and out of the branches of dead coral came a thing from another era.

A coral encrusted body emerged, her long blond hair now twisted with a pale green seaweed. She was a 1970s Barbie stuck for decades, like so much plastic and styrofoam in the ocean, never to biodegrade. Because her head was buried, the last time she had seen this reef was several decades ago, when it was still a veritable rainbow teeming with fish, sea mammals and color.

She'd been transformed not into a Barbie mermaid, but Barbie sea hag, and the reef transformed into a ghostly abandoned shell of its former self.

What a shock.

What has happened.

These last few days I've been swimming again in the clear warm waters of the Pacific.

A part of the world where I first learned to scuba dive when I was a preteen. It was here I first realized that under the sea was another entire parallel world. One that was exploding with amazing, intricate shapes, outrageous colors and filled with all kinds of life forms, striped, spotted, illuminated, transparent, miraculous. It's when I first wanted to be a mermaid.

My heart is breaking now, as I see these corals smothered in slime and find only a few lonely fish dotting what was once a glorious wonder.

Tragically, this is not endemic to one part of the world.

It is a global crisis.

Just recently, reports shocked the world, as news of a massive bleaching event killed off a third of Earth's Great Barrier Reef.

Healthy coral is essential to a healthy planet. Coral provides a home to more than a million diverse species, they give protection to coastal cities and communities, and are a source of medicines that treat dangerous illnesses and diseases. Reefs create food, jobs and income for millions.

In a short time we have collectively exacerbated the death spiral of these fragile life forms and since most humans don't spend much time under water, most are not aware of its dire state.

It is decimated.

It is an emergency.

It is dying, and fast.

But, we know what needs to be done to reverse the destruction of coral reefs. They are big changes, but not impossible and we could save an entire ecosystem from collapse and possibly help save ourselves. Interestingly, many of the solutions to help our ocean and coral reefs are the same required for the revitalization and climate crisis mitigation on land.

To prevent ocean acidification and warming, we need to:

  • create more "hope spots," marine sanctuaries, places where fish have the opportunity to repopulate and corals can grow
  • reforest and build soil, which helps to secure soil stability and helps prevent runoff, it brings fertility and sequesters carbon
  • shift away from industrial agriculture models to sustainable, small scale, non chemical, permaculture agriculture
  • create a stringent plan for the runoff from new and existing coastal developments or golf courses which lead to lethal algae blooms
  • reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and swiftly shift to clean regenerative energy
  • create and enforce more stringent laws that prevent overfishing, including poaching of tropical, algae eating reef fish for the aquarium and pet industry
  • ban destructive fishing practices like trawling
  • reject or ban non-biodegradable disposable pollution like plastics and styrofoam
  • require warning labels on coral killing sunblock

I understand there will soon be a remake of the film Splash. I'm afraid they could search the world for locations to match the corals we swam through in 1984 making the original Splash, and never find them. Ultimately, I'm afraid they will have to simulate them with special effects or computer-generated imagery, just like we will have to make real changes in the way we live on this Earth to reestablish a healthy ocean. I deeply wish, from the bottom of my heart and from the bottom of this suffering ocean, that all those involved might have the opportunity to witness some of its glory, that they may make a film which in some way helps to preserve the life of the ocean that this fairy tale celebrates.

May they fall in love with the ocean, and the magnificence of this underwater world, and may their love for this crucial life support system inspire and galvanize them to help us do whatever is necessary to abate its untimely death.


You can't discount the importance of your gut health. Research shows that the microbiome within your digestive system has a disproportionate impact on how well your whole body functions.

Unfortunately, bad diets, the overuse of antibiotics, and other stressors mean many of our digestive systems are in trouble. Probiotic supplements claim to solve this problem by replenishing your gut with the healthy bacteria it needs for optimal functioning. Here, we'll analyze the popular probiotic brand Seed to determine whether its supplements are worth taking.

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Daryl Hannah
Insights Writers

Daryl Hannah

There’s a consensus that we must act urgently, if we are to avoid a four-degree Celsius raise and total systems collapse.

First we should safeguard, restore and wisely manage our life-support systems, including uncontaminated water bodies and sources, soil and seeds and practice conservation and efficiency.

Known climate-destructive practices must be phased out as soon as possible, including extreme forms of fossil-fuel extraction (e.g. fracking, SAG D, deep-water drilling surface mines, mountaintop removal and tar sands projects), ocean trawling, overfishing, crop burning and endangering nature’s protective resources like mangroves, coral reefs, forests and peat land.

Food waste is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

We must also immediately wean ourselves off fossil fuels; coal, natural gas and oil—and invest in a combination of decentralized renewable energy; solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, micro-hydro and liquid fuels made from waste and other sustainable feedstocks.

Water-intensive, mono-crop, petrochemical industrial agriculture has decimated our topsoil and created dead zones in the oceans. The simplest, most natural and likely, the most effective way to sequester carbon is to rebuild soil. Regenerative organic farming practices build soil. Some of the methods used to accelerate nature’s intelligent soil development process include compost, bio char, brown coal, Micorizal fungi, vermaculture and managed livestock.

If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter behind the U.S. and China. Diverting organic waste from landfills and livestock manure from ponds in anaerobic digesters, compost and pyrolysis can amend soil vitality while reducing methane.

While these changes might seem challenging, we do have the capacity—if we can only galvanize the will. Many communities have already begun implementing some of these solutions. But top-down change is also essential, if we are to address the climate crisis with the speed and scale needed. For this to happen, citizens must insist on getting the influence of money out of politics and the legislative process.

Maximizing regional self-sufficiency with these agricultural practices and energy production methods will strengthen local economies, make them more resilient, help prevent global conflict, and ease the sense of scarcity and the economic burden increasingly felt by the majority.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE and ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.


Daryl Hannah

Mountaintop removal/valley fill coal mining in southern West Virginia. More than 500 mountaintops have been blown-up in Appalachia to get to the coal seams—destroying lives, drinking water and entire communities.

Photo by Vivian Stockman

Extreme killer superstorms, historic drought, vanishing sea ice, an increase in ocean acidity by 30 percent, the hottest decade on record and mega forest fires have increasingly become our new reality.

"That's all happened when you raise the temperature of the earth one degree," says author Bill McKibben, "[t]he temperature will go up four degrees, maybe five, unless we get off coal and gas and oil very quickly." Additional temperature rises could compromise our safety and cause incalculable damage from a large number of billion-dollar disasters in coming years—if we don't address our emissions, insist upon an appropriate climate policy and curtail the rogue fossil fuel industry.

How are we in the U.S. and Canada addressing these crises?

Not through the co-opted political system, but with heroic acts by the ordinary citizens of North America. People have been putting their bodies on the line and risking arrest in order to protect our future, to acknowledge climate change disasters and to protect access to basic necessities such as uncontaminated water, soil and food. We are seeing an exponentially growing number of nationwide rallies, protests and acts of civil disobedience just to protect these fundamental life support systems.

The threats are exacerbated by the looming death throes of an outdated and finite fossil fuel industry struggling to stay relevant in the 21st century, despite its current economic might. It's hard to reconcile the fact that the fossil fuel industry is struggling when their unprecedented profits make them the wealthiest of corporations in the history of mankind, even in this devastated global economy—but the times, they are-a-changing.

As we have evidently exhausted the easier-to-access "conventional" fuels, Big Oil is now resorting to "unconventional" sources, and the industry must rely on more and more extreme extraction measures to obtain fossil fuel resources. These extreme forms of extraction come with a dangerous cost, and often a high economic cost as well. In a New York Times article on the grim economics of the natural gas boom, even the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson, stated, "We're making no money. It's all in the red." Texas billionaire oilman T Boone Pickens said, "shut her down," "quit drilling" and "we are stupid to drill these wells."

But they won't because the leases the companies have bought came, in most cases, with "use it or lose it" clauses that required them to start drilling, pay royalties or lose the leases.

Lost leases may be an economic concern to these mega-wealthy multinational corporations, but the loss of, and lethal threat to, our living systems that we depend upon for survival is of greater concern for the rest of us. These extreme extraction processes are the fossil fuel industry's last-ditch efforts to stretch their global financial dominance as far into the 21st century as they possibly can. To access oil beyond the shallow wells of the last century—which are now mostly exhausted—one process the industry has turned to is deep-water drilling, including opening up the extremely sensitive areas in the Arctic region. We have already had a taste of the devastating repercussions of this practice from BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Another extreme resource extraction method is a strip-mining process known as tar sands oil extraction, which destroys entire ecosystems where they lie. Tar sands oil entails a wildly energy-intensive extraction process, uses millions of cubic metres of water and the resulting material must be mixed with a poisonous cocktail of chemicals.

Tar sands exploitation leaves behind a dead zone. It also leaves behind the largest toxic unlined impoundments on the planet in enormous lakes that require firing off special cannons to keep flocks of waterfowl from landing on it (risking near-certain death).

Threatened by the planned massive expansion of Canada's tar sands operation, which would be aided by the approval of either the Keystone XL or the Enbridge Energy pipelines, is the awe-inspiring magnificence of the Canadian boreal forest, which serves as our first defense against global warming as it sequesters more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem; and the Athabasca delta, the world's largest freshwater delta. In the U.S., Utah has a proposed a 50-square-mile tar sands exploitation project of its own, which, according to Bloomberg, has just been approved "without first obtaining a pollution permit or monitoring ground water quality".

To mine coal more inexpensively, the industry has taken to simply blowing up entire mountains in a mind-boggling practice called mountaintop removal. More than 500 mountains in the U.S.'s oldest mountain range, the Appalachians, have been unceremoniously eviscerated by the practice; the number of mountains awaiting the go-ahead is almost impossible to discover. According to Matt Wasson of Appalachian Voices:

"This information seems intentionally obscured, there's no one agency that can tell you how many pending permits or mine sites are slated for destruction."

This shocking extraction method bankrupts entire communities, puts miners out of work, leaves the residents with poisoned or buried water sources, homes of no value and hosts of illnesses.

Then, there is the breakneck boom mentality of the natural gas industry, which has moved to hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," wells—literally fracturing the earth and pumping it full of carcinogenic chemical poisons to release the gas. The process also releases quite a bit of methane, which is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. In Colorado alone, where I attended an anti-fracking/pro-clean energy rally on Oct. 23, there are already 49,000 active natural gas wells, with thousands of new ones being permitted every year. (In 2011 alone, another 4,659 permits were approved in Colorado). According to the Denver Post, oil and gas development reports say spills in Colorado reach surface or groundwater every five days.

The people and communities that live adjacent to these projects are experiencing the negative repercussions of this corporate profit over public safety energy rush. An extensive number of ranch, farm and home wells have gone bad—in some homes, they can even set fire to the "water" coming out of their faucets, and illnesses in both humans and animals are manifesting in every region. The simple fact with this rush is that the science has not caught up to the practice; and the safeguards have not had a chance to catch up with the science.

So, what is the rush?

These energy sources have been sequestered deep in the earth for millions of years, and they hold a higher value to society than just digging them up and combusting them in our homes and cars. We know how to collect and store energy in much less detrimental ways. Why are we not being protected? Both Canada and the U.S. have a self-image that is creative and forward-thinking, yet we are being left in the dust by the rest of the world when it comes to energy's evolution. China and the EU have both surpassed us in renewable energy implementation, and according to the Abu Dhabi-based Clean Energy Business Council, even the largest oil-producing nations in the Middle East and North Africa have stated their intentions to move to renewable energy and saving more of their oil for export.

We know that regionally-created clean renewable energy is the path to true energy independence and energy security. We know America holds enough wind and solar potential to power our economy 100 times over. So how do we encourage the transition to an aggressive, decentralized clean regenerative energy policy? Tim Flannery, paleontologist and chief commissioner of the Australian Climate Commission, says that incentivizing this transformation is simple:

"What we're dealing with is essentially a pollution problem, and we've known how to fix pollution problems for the last 1,000 years, since King Edward the First: you tax the polluters, get the polluter to pay."

Then why are we not doing it?

There are a few reasons. In the U.S., part of the blame goes to the profoundly unethical U.S. supreme court decision on Citizens United, which granted corporations the same rights as an individual in allowing them to donate an unlimited amount of money to finance campaigns and influence the outcome of our so-called free elections. The result of this ruling was to give an undue amount of influence to corporate polluters and, in particular, the fossil fuel industry, which is the wealthiest industry on the planet. In this year's election cycle alone, $6 billion will have been given to campaigns, politicians and political action committees. So, the chances of a strong clean energy policy coming from Washington are extremely slim.

Then, there's the fact that we the people are all too trusting, simply buying what we are being sold. We've been inundated with incessant, well-funded advertising campaigns of misinformation and rebranding exercises. They are currently selling the public on the idea of tar sands with the more sanitized-sounding "oil sands", because they think it sounds less dirty (they've also taken to calling it "ethical oil"). Mountaintop removal is sold as "clean coal," and natural gas is packaged as clean, natural and renewable. And we bought it.

But now, there are floods and drought. People are being hit by the impacts and their kids are getting sick. Now, our water is threatened, running short—or poisoned. Our survival is on the line. So we are getting informed. The sleeping giant is waking, still a bit groggy, but moving.

The Exxon-Mobils, Chevrons and Royal Dutch Shells of the world might have the big bucks, but when we get together, we the people have the big numbers! We will hold our politicians accountable. If necessary, as a last resort, more and more people will put their bodies on the line:

"While opposition from environmentalists and some native groups was always expected, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project has unexpectedly united British Columbians who normally are on opposite sides."

This is what I've experienced in Texas while resisting the Keystone pipeline, in West Virginia fighting mountaintop removal and now, in Colorado, standing up against fracking. It's time to take on the fossil fuel industry directly, and people of all ethnicities, political ideologies and economic strata have realized: it's up to us to take a stand. Young and old are coming together and taking action in ways that have pushed them beyond their normal comfort zones to stand up for each other and for common sense. They are seeing the connection between these precarious environmental risks and the humanitarian dangers they bring.

Those who want to be safe from the tyranny of poison will always possess the moral authority and will stand on the right side of history. I am proud to be among them.

Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.



Daryl Hannah

On Oct. 4, in rural east Texas, a 78-year-old great-grandmother, Eleanor Fairchild, was arrested for trespassing on her own property … and I was arrested standing beside her, as we held our ground in the path of earth-moving excavators constructing TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline.

Seems there's showdown in Texas—but, in fact, it's a battle being waged all over the U.S. It's being fought by ordinary citizens of all colors, economic strata and political persuasions—against the world's wealthiest multinational corporations, misinformation and deeply embedded fears. While I'm not a fan of war terminology, in these struggles, war analogies seem to highlight both the crisis at hand and perhaps the solution we seek.

Let's face it, we are in times of great crisis: economic crisis, overpopulation crisis, climate crisis, extinction crisis, water crisis and a humanitarian crisis on so many levels. Energy, and how we create it, is a pivotal issue for many of these crises. It has become increasingly clear that we need to move in a different direction, yet as a species, we humans are uncomfortable with, and resist, change—though we know it is the very nature of life and not only essential, but inevitable.

Scientific findings warn us that a switch to renewable energy is essential if we are to avert disastrous climate change caused by carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. But since scientific findings and the climate crisis have been so successfully politicized—and I loathe politics—I'll leave the horrifying ramifications of the global climate crisis out of this.

No matter what political rhetoric you choose to follow, or what course we choose to take with our energy options, there are things we all can agree on. As the second World Water Forum wisely stated:

"Water is everybody's business."

Clean, regenerative energy could provide a way past peak oil and our detrimental fossil fuel addiction—if we collectively had the will to employ renewables, and addressed the change as urgently as the U.S. did during the second world war when we unleashed our scientific creativity and industrial ingenuity to support the war effort. But there is no escape from peak water. We simply cannot live without uncontaminated water and food.

Since we can't make informed choices without being informed, here is an update on the global water crisis: the International Water Management Institute projects that by 2025, barely 12 years, two-thirds of the world will live under conditions of water scarcity. As Lester Brown from Earth Policy Institute says:

"Scores of countries are over-pumping aquifers as they struggle to satisfy their growing water needs … the USDA reports that in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas—three leading grain-producing states, the underground water table has dropped by more than 30 meters. As a result, wells have gone dry on thousands of farms in the southern Great Plains … for fossil aquifers, such as the vast Ogollala under the Great Plains, which do not replenish … depletion would mean the end of agriculture."

Texas was ravaged by drought last year and the majority of the U.S. suffered extreme drought conditions this year. Brown goes on to say:

"The over-pumping of aquifers is occurring in many countries more or less simultaneously. This means that the depletion of aquifers and the resulting harvest cutbacks will come in many countries at roughly the same time. And the accelerating depletion of aquifers means this day may come sooner than expected, creating a potentially unmanageable situation of food scarcity."

The complete Keystone XL pipeline project that is proposed would come down across the border from Alberta through six states—passing right through the Ogallala aquifer—the source of irrigation water for two-thirds of our nation's farms and ranches. The southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, which was fast-tracked and is now under construction, would cross through the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer that supplies water for agriculture, industry and fresh drinking water to 10-12 million Texans.

Another thing we can all agree on—as even TransCanada admits, it's not a question of "if" there will be spills, but "when." We just can't afford it.

TransCanada represented its product as crude oil, while the House ways and means committee clearly states crude oil does not include shale, oil or tar sands oil. Keystone XL would carry tar sands oil—or bitumen—a highly toxic, corrosive substance filled with proprietary chemicals. Unlike crude oil, tar sands sludge has to be pumped at high pressures and extremely high temperatures to move through pipe.

Even federal safety officials don't know precisely which chemicals are used to mix bitumen and create dilbit. There have been no independent scientific studies exploring the relationship between dilbit and pipeline corrosion.

In mid 2010, the Endbridge Energy pipeline leaked, dumping 843,000 gallons of dilbit into the Kalamazoo river. The cost to clean it up is expected to exceed $700m. The Keystone I, Keystone XL's predecessor, leaked 12 times in its first year of operation.

Proponents of KXL have made efforts to sell the pipeline to U.S. citizens, greatly exaggerating job opportunities, quoting numbers upward of 50,000, while a Cornell University independent study said it would bring roughly 4,000 temporary jobs. TransCanada has also spent enormous amounts of PR money putting ads on Oprah's network and the like, in an attempt to rebrand itself as "ethical oil", insinuating that the Keystone XL pipeline would ensure America receives its oil from friendly Canada, instead of unstable regions elsewhere in the world.

But the Keystone XL pipeline has been mischaracterized, and the American people have been misled. Portraying the pipeline as a "public use" project carrying crude oil to the U.S., enables the foreign corporation to take U.S. private property through "eminent domain" but for foreign private profit.

With no evidence to support those claims, politicians have jumped on this bandwagon to tout the KXL project as a means to enhance U.S. energy security and energy independence. In fact, in a congressional energy and commerce subcommittee hearing, TransCanada refused to support a requirement that KXL oil be sold in U.S. markets. This oil will be sold, most likely for export, on the open market to the highest bidder, most likely India (which itself manufactured the pipeline) or China. What is evident is that the Keystone XL pipeline is a private profit venture, not a "public use" project that serves the U.S. national interest.

I'll admit we have an uphill battle in fighting a corporation so deeply wedded to the White House (both the president and secretary of state have had TransCanada's chief lobbyists direct their campaign efforts). Many of the large NGOs have even put the KXL battle on the back burner until after the elections. But we, the people, fight on.

So, this is why I stood with Eleanor in front of heavy construction equipment.

Eleanor Fairchild is just one of the brave citizens fighting for our survival. And her story should be told. She made no agreement with TransCanada. They took and bisected her 300-acre farm through a classic example of using eminent domain for corporate, rather than public purposes. Fairchild says that they slashed and burned the old-growth forests on her land, reneging on their promise to set aside the trees for use. They said they would only work until 4 p.m., though they worked through the night.

She says they intimidate her, telling her she's being watched. They have slapped her with a civil lawsuit and are attempting to brand this great-grandmother as an eco-terrorist. But Eleanor Fairchild is not against oil or pipelines; in fact, her late husband was in the oil business for 50 years. She's against tar sands oil. She is against the contamination of our rare and precious water resources, and our soil for growing food.

Make no mistake, we are going through fire. If we just stand there doing nothing, we are going to get burned. But if we accept our ethical responsibility to stand up for each other, and for our life support systems, and if we focus on and work tirelessly for a better future, then that just may be within our reach.

Visit EcoWatch’s KEYSTONE XL page for more related news on this topic.


Photos courtesy of Steven Da Silva.