No place for a pipeline or a copper mine …

A mine like the Northmet Project, Polymet’s copper mine proposal, could reach the dimensions of the Hull Rust Mine.

Arrowhead Aquifers and the Hill of Three Waters (link to post)

What have we learned from September 11th?

President Biden has finally taken us out of Afghanistan, not without the toll that all wars take. The expectations are higher now. Many more women in the country know the taste of things they did not know before, education and a somewhat more equal playing field. Even so, they are left with a very uncertain future under the Taliban again. How will this regime rule today? What have they learned?

At home, the wars fought for revenge, fought with ulterior motives, resources in Iraq and Afghanistan for instance, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, have left us jaded and wondering why these wars were fought in the first place. There is no little distrust of a government that would spend trillions of dollars to support a losing battle with questionable motives. Our initial unified objective to, supposedly, punish the terrorists of 9/11 seems to have been sidetracked into a perpetual war on “terrorism”

I will not repeat here what many have already said. The obvious speaks for itself. America has rarely been more divided as it is now. We all share the guilt of what our country has done in so many wars with “boots on the ground” or simply, vicariously, with weapon sales and other forms of support. When will this end? The brutality of these wars has inevitably come back to us and turned families, friends and neighbors against one another. The cruel behavior that this government has shown in our names across the world is turning it’s ugly head upon our own populace. It is time to stand up and say no to any more interventionist wars and wars that disregard other countries’ sovereign rights. The money that has gone into war could have been spent more wisely. What are our priorities?

We are the most polluting country second only to China. So having a totalitarian, or fascist regime is not the answer. It is only in a democracy when we work together that we are likely to turn this ship around, with some introspection and a hand out to those in need. Working for the common good, to clean up the mess that has been made by the fossil fuel industry in this last century would be a good start; and since the military industrial complex is a huge reason that the fossil fuel industry continues to be supported, a good place to start.

In spite of global warming and pollution from oil and it’s byproducts and derivatives everywhere, the government continues to allow big oil to send pipelines through our watersheds, establishing more oil wells offshore that are responsible for dead zones and oil spills, all of which damage fragile shorelines, and ecosystems throughout our country.

Is mankind destined for nothing more? I would like to believe that Leonardo daVinci was wrong.

US wars / death toll

20 years, $6 trillion, 900,000 lives / VOX

The following was originally published January 15, 2019

Da Vinci designed and created the specs for which vital materials were unavailable at the time.  He had the vision to see what was possible, understood the physics and the potential repercussions of development.  In a better world, what would be possible if those in charge had such breadth of mind and depth of heart?

On Metals – “There will issue from dark, gloomy caves something which will bring great sorrow, danger, and death on the whole human race; to many of those who seek it, it will after much suffering bring delight; but those who do not share in it will die in want and in distress.  It will engender unending treason; it will drive unhappy men to commit more murders, thefts, and acts of oppression; it will breed suspicion among those who seek it; it will destroy the freedom of free cities; it will take the lives of many; it will sow among men much fraud, deceit, and treason. 

O monstrous creature, it would be better for men if you returned to hell!  On account of you great forests are robbed of their trees and countless animals are robbed of their lives.”

On Man’s cruelty – “There will be seen on the earth animals which constantly fight among themselves, inflicting great harm and frequently death on each other.  Their enmity will know no bounds; their savage members will fell a great part of the trees in the vast forests of the world; and after they gorge themselves, they will continue to feed on their desire to inflict death and suffering and sorrow and fear and flight on all living creatures.  Through their measureless pride they will seek to raise themselves to heaven, but the excessive weight of their members will hold them fast to the earth.  Nothing will remain on the earth or under the earth and water that is not pursued, chased down, or destroyed; and it will be chased from country to country.  Their bodies will be the grave and passageway of all the living bodies which they have killed.

O world, why do you not open and hurl into the deep clefts of your abysses and caverns and no longer show to heaven such cruel and heartless monsters?”

Both quotes by Leonardo da Vinci are from Codex Atlanticus, codex in the Ambrosiana Library in Milan.  Published in eight folio volumes by Ulrico Hoepli, Milan for the Reale Accademia dei Lincei 1894-1904 and translated by Wade Baskins in his book, The Wisdom of Leonardo, pages 77-79.

Minnesota’s harvest supplies 80% of the world’s wild rice.

According to an article entitled September 8, 2018 in the Mille Lacs Messenger by Ralph LaPlant:

“Minnesota Indians, traditionally, have harvested wild rice for centuries. Using a canoe being propelled by a push pole, the rice is brushed into the canoe by two wooden flails. Average yields are 50 pounds per acre. Leading the world in wild rice harvest, Minnesota grows over 80 percent of the world’s supply and Canada the rest.”

There are many stories, much better than I could tell, of the benefits of wild rice. As the original provider of most of this wild harvested grain for the world, Minnesota’s wetlands along the line 3 route are in imminent danger of being destroyed, not only by drought and climate change, but by an avoidable threat, the threat of line 3 and the inevitable oil spills that will result from its operation.

Please contact your congressmen and women, senators, and officials that may appeal to reason. This pipeline should not be allowed to operate in such a sensitive area as this.

White House contact

Minnesota Government contacts

How to contact your elected officials

Wild rice – Minnesota’s contribution to the world

About Wild Rice

Wild Rice – Wikipedia

Winona LaDuke’s Opinion in Yes! Feb 2021

Wild Rice – The Grain of the Great Lakes

State Grain – Wild Rice

Wild Rice Harvest

Enbridge officials plan to start pumping crude through this treasure in October. Are there any words that could describe this abomination?

DC squad’s visit to defend Native American treaty rights and Minnesota’s freshwater offends?

The statement from 60 lawmakers at a press conference, hosted by Rep Pete Stauber (8th district) attended by union members as well, read:

 “We are offended the D.C. ‘Squad’, led by Minneapolis Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, is coming to Northern Minnesota to protest and further obstruct a thoroughly vetted, tested, and approved project. Their presence will only serve to incite the obstructionists when it’s clear Line 3 has brought incredible benefits to the state and people. The blatant mistruths in their recent letter to the Biden Administration have already been debunked by union leaders’.

Concerning Omar’s plea, what are the “blatant mistruths” these lawmakers claim in Ilhans’ letter to President Biden?  Just the facts, Mr Stauber. Ilhan has documented her facts; and in a fair debate, all the facts should be on the table, not blanket statements without data.

You can download Ilhan Omar’s letter HERE.

What are the “incredible benefits” that Rep Stauber claims have resulted from line 3 construction?

How many workers, from where, who and for how long will line 3 related jobs be available?

What is the ethnicity in numbers, percentages, and how many women have been employed on line 3? 

How many of Rep Stauber’s constituents support line 3 compared to those who do not want this dirty project polluting freshwater and endangering wild rice and wetlands?

What are the benefits to Minnesota’s wild rice harvest, which supplies 80% of the world’s wild rice? What will become of these rice beds once the oil starts to spill and leak and permeate these wetlands?

What are the benefits specifically to Minnesota’s indigenous populations? How much money was given to these tribes, for what purpose, and to whom? Does any financial benefit outweigh the damage? Does any amount of money trump the cost of oil spills into a pristine wetland and over 200 water bodies?

Why are you, Mr Stauber, and your colleagues so offended by a group of peaceful protesters who are literally putting their lives and livelihoods, with courage, on the line to protect freshwater for us all.  Who, may I ask, is offending, truly?

Rep. Ilhan Omar, Members of Congress, Minnesota Lawmakers Call for Urgent Intervention Amidst Line 3 Construction

Group Of MN Lawmakers Gathers At Capitol In Support Of Line 3, Oppose Visit From ‘DC Squad’

Rep. Omar, Other Members Of ‘The Squad’ Speaking Out Against Line 3 Pipeline

Protests against line 3 continue to fall on deaf ears at the Capital

While peaceful protests continue across this nation and at the Minnesota Capital against line 3, our leaders appear to be absent. Where is Governor Walz? Where is President Biden? Continuing spills of drilling fluids by Enbridge even during construction warn of impending long term pollution from spills once the pipeline is operating in Minnesota.

The powers that be will tell you that property values will go up because of line 3, that jobs will be created during construction, that we need the oil, that refineries need the oil, that you need the oil … with no mention of the broken treaties and the effect on wild rice and native lands, our waters, our air.

Enbridge tells you that their safety record is good, which is demonstrably false, that they are concerned about continuing safety and the welfare of areas where the pipeline will traverse without mentioning that forests, river beds and wetlands are being dewatered in order to get this new route established in a drought, or that they are dishonoring native American treaty rights. They mislead the public into believing that countless pristine wetlands and waterways in Minnesota, these that they are digging up for the first time now, were already hosting a team of pipelines. This is all demonstrably false and they know it.

The jobs will go away. The money will get spent. The rivers, waterways and air will be polluted from their oil, treaty rights will be overridden by their almighty greed, and Minnesotans will be left with an impossible “clean up”. Why would any governor of Minnesota who cares about the long term welfare of this state allow such a project to go through? Why would a president of this country allow a project to go through that endangers the welfare of our waters and the Great Lakes, when water is the most important resource we have?

Economic welfare is tied inextricably to our water, freshwater. Oil endangers that resource and the love of money is at the heart of this irresponsible expansion of the fossil fuel industry.

Without thoughtful purchases and long term outlooks, divestment and a change in the way we live our lives, none of this exploitation will end and entities like Enbridge will hold sway. References, links and notes in the pdf below, including information on who is funding this project.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/08/24/minnesota-supreme-court-delivers-blow-to-line-3-opponents

An article posted in Indian Country Today concerning the tensions that this pipeline has created:

‘Pipe Dream’: Enbridge escalates local tensions

The Terminator is Oil: If there was any doubt that big oil and the fossil fuel industry is responsible for the mountain of trouble that this world is in right now, look no further than Northern Minnesota.

Chapter One:  The Day in the life of a pedestrian

It is 8:30am, muggy hot still in Minneapolis as I roll out of bed to start my day.  Walking to the bus I feel a small breeze, which leaves me with the hope that we will actually have some rain today.

I purposefully do not have air conditioning.  I purposefully do not have a car; and rent only when is necessary or, on occasion for a trip. I have the freedom to make that choice, unencumbered as I am and willing to forgo the luxuries that a car and air conditioning might offer.  I thank God every day that this is the case.

It did not rain.  The sky opened up into another beautiful blue, hot summer day.  I will water the plants tonight and pray for rain another day. 

The bus came on time and so I didn’t have to wait in the hot sun for long after walking the 2 miles it took to get there.  The bus took me within a mile of where I needed to run some errands, after which I was hungry. 

Two restaurants offered only drive-thru.  So, being a practical sort, I went to the speaker to order.  No answer; so I walked to the pick-up window.  A clerk took my order and asked me to step aside so that the passengers in the air conditioned cars behind me would not have to wait for my one sandwich and shake.

After eating, I walked to the shopping center to get groceries and then wait for another bus.  On my way, I was fortunate to see a few dozen Canadian geese bathing in the remaining pools of water left from what is normally a lazily flowing stream in summer months.  Beautiful in the dappled light from trees surrounding them, exhausted from the heat as well.

As I approached the bus stop, an old man with a package to haul on his bike, complained that the bus driver drove past him as he was standing at the stop.  I have seen people late for work because the bus never showed up and passengers left running to catch a bus that would not stop unless you were standing within two feet and looking straight at the driver waving your transfer.  So, I ask, why wouldn’t anyone rather drive a car and avoid all the hassles of walking and riding transit?  It’s easier.  It’s faster.  It’s more comfortable and requires less physical exercise and health. You don’t have to rub elbows with those nasty poor people who can’t, don’t or won’t buy a car, for God’s Sake!

For one major reason.  The oil required to supply our cars and trucks is killing the planet!  Why not refuse to go along with the destruction by making better choices for transportation and get some exercise in the deal?

I got some groceries and caught my bus.  Transferred to another and picked up a few drinks to share with my grandson later in the week.  Caught my bus home and will be going out again in a few days all over again after I get caught up at home with other chores and perhaps have time to paint, for a change.

Chapter two:  What on Earth is wrong with this picture?!

In the light of President Biden’s promise to go green, why is Enbridge being allowed to ram another pipeline through the heart of our water table in Northern Minnesota?  And, why are Governor Walz and President Biden supporting this outrage if “green” is the new deal?  What is this saying about the priorities of our governing structures?  Isn’t water more important than oil and what can we do to change this direction, seriously?

Let’s say we stop driving vehicles powered by oil.  What of all the derivatives that Big Oil has snuck into your bed, literally?  Bedding, mattresses, clothes, shoes, plastics, even food has been polluted with oil products.  How do we divest from the entire web of oil products that have been thrust upon us without making major changes in our lives?  If our lives matter, if health matters, if our children matter, if our environment matters, if life, literally matters, the fight must begin in earnest … better now than tomorrow. 

Chapter three:  One step at a time

Before we forget how to walk.  Before we forget how to think for ourselves and do what is best for our children and their children, question everything that you hear or read.  Be a student of the truth.  Get the facts before you buy a product.  Know what it is made of, how it is made and what the consequences of your purchase mean to this world and what it means to your health and well-being.

Divest and invest with a view to future generations. Think water.

Chapter four:  Ground Zero is Northern Minnesota.

Enbridge has not finished its abominable pipeline 3.  People who approve of this line and are still profiting from the temporary boom construction will suffer along with the rest as it spills and leaks into our priceless freshwater ecosystem, the Mississippi headwaters, Lake Superior, the St Louis River Estuary, wild rice resources and all the blessings that an unpolluted aquifer has to offer.  Enbridge has not yet started sending toxic tar sands oil to the tune of at least 790,000 barrels a day through this line and yet they have already had several leaks of drilling sludge as they plow their way through our aquifers, rivers, stream beds and wetlands, syphoning water in a drought as they go!  Management at Enbridge plans to start pumping tar sands oil through our wetlands by the end of 2021, even before law suits have made their way through court. The oil needs to be diluted with chemicals to manage its transfer, as well.  What could go wrong?

If there ever was a time and place to stand up, it is here in the heart of three of the greatest river systems in the North American continent, in northern Minnesota, at the headwaters of the Mississippi, as this pipeline makes it’s way to Lake Superior. The end of big oil is due.

Epilogue:

In the sci-fi movie, Terminator, the destructive force was a machine, since machines had taken over the planet and were killing off humankind.  One man was leading the fight in opposition to human annihilation and so a “terminator” was sent back in time to kill his mother.  This machine had only that one purpose, no other.  No heart, no capacity to see beyond this task. We are looking at such a machine right now in real life … and that is the power behind oil.  These forces dependent upon oil profits at all costs are destroying our water, our air, our environment.  Against all common sense and health, we are seeing a world of change due to the destruction that extraction, refining, production, transportation and use have produced.  We all have a part in this because we are the consumers; and we have the last word.

For a better world and for the health and well-being of future generations, let’s turn our path around starting in Minnesota’s wetlands.

For wilderness and water.

Anita

Water Is Life Festival In Duluth on August 18, 2021

 “Featuring an unprecedented coalition of musicians, artists, poets, and Indigenous leaders this one-day festival (was) a celebration of water as the fundamental life-giving resource of Mother Earth, and a full-throttle resistance in music and song against the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline currently snaking its way through the waterways and Anishinaabe lands of northern Minnesota,” stated an announcement of the festival.

LOVE WATER NOT OIL MUSIC TOUR Aug 23, 2021 in Duluth

Proceeds from this and the Water Is Life Festival are going to Honor the Earth to protect our fragile ecosystem, the Great Lakes and the headwaters of the Mississippi River from Enbridge’s pipeline. If you would like to donate directly I have provided links below for information, action and donations.

https://www.honorearth.org/

https://www.honorearth.org/about

https://www.honorearth.org/news_media

GREEN PATH: A JUST TRANSITION

Hawk Ridge in Duluth, Minnesota

This video was made from photos taken October 10, 2017 at Hawk Ridge in Duluth Minnesota and shows the lay of the land surrounding this observatory where tens of thousands of birds can be spotted on Spring and Fall migrations. I’ve included some links to helpful information below.

hawkridge.org/

hawkridge.org/birds-migration/migration-statistics/

duluthmn.gov/parks/parks-listing/hawk-ridge/

facebook.com/HawkRidgeDuluth/

Updates on tar sands oil pipeline 3 in Minnesota

from the Intercept.com:

MINNESOTA LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY BLOCKS RELEASE OF PUBLIC RECORDS ABOUT SURVEILLING PIPELINE OPPONENTS

this from indiancountrytoday.com:

Lawsuit filed on behalf of wild rice

this from redgreenblue.org:

Stand With Us’: Indigenous Line 3 Pipeline opponents seek allies

from MPR.org concerning unlawful blockade of protestor’s camp:

Judge issues restraining order against Minnesota sheriff …

For further information on the questionable nature of line 3 at stopline3.org:

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR ISSUES, AND REASONS TO STOP LINE 3:

DeJoy under continuing scrutiny for cronyism, deception and his failing service standards for the USPS …

from CommonDreams.org:

Long Past Time to Fire DeJoy’: Postmaster General’s Ex-Company Gets $120 Million Contract

from salon.com:

“Masterclass in cronyism”: Louis DeJoy has ties to company just awarded $120M USPS contract

from the DailyKos.com again explaining many of the issues and ethical concerns involving DeJoy:

Oust DeJoy From USPS

Law enforcement spray rubber bullets at water protectors who are defending the Mississippi watershed.

In order to change this apparent status quo, it must be admitted that we have all become dependent, been manipulated and/or sold into dependence on oil for the products it brings and the big lie that we need this poison. It is also essential to understand that the world is not better in the long term for oil and its derivatives; and there are much better sources for these products..

Oil has been a money maker for years, while its production continues to degrade our base.  Here in Minnesota, Governor Walz notes that many drove to Northern Minnesota (assuming, in gas driven vehicles); and he uses this observation to excuse construction of yet another fossil fuel project and tries to appease us by saying change will take time. Oil has been dirty and polluting our planet for decades now. How much longer, Governor Walz? How much longer, President Biden? 

While Water Protectors are being shot at with rubber bullets for their peaceful protests against line 3, Enbridge is being rewarded by support from law enforcement, politicians and others who enjoy the benefits of what a boom and bust economy produces. What will they have to say for themselves when this land of wild rice, sky blue waters and countless water dependent lives are left in the dust and our lands and waters dead?

How do we transition from oil when these kinds of projects continue to be approved?  No reason is good enough at this stage. 

Violence used against defenders of Mississippi River watershed

Construction continues in spite of DNR’s suspension of some of Enbridge’s surface water appropriations.

According to the DNR, Enbridge’s surface water use has been suspended temporarily in some areas because of the drought (eg: Crow Wing River, Pine River, Mississippi River – Brainerd, and St. Louis River watersheds) due to public concern. However, this suspension does not include all water appropriation and has not halted construction of the pipeline.

Postal Regulatory Commission’s report is less than favorable concerning DeJoy’s 10-year plan

What would be the solution for any institution as vital to the health of our democracy, but to remove the people at the head who continue to do harm? Election integrity, efficient, available and reliable delivery of mail-in-ballots, business documents, letters, bills and payments should be of concern to every one of us. How many rely on timely delivery of medicines, packages, of which USPS has been an integral part over its long history? Commercial delivery systems, in fact, have relied on it’s infrastructure, which DeJoy is destroying at every turn, and which he has marked for ongoing reduction in his 10 year plan.

How long before the USPS board does the right thing and ousts this man?

Postal Regulatory Commission’s report on DeJoy’s 10-year plan for the USPS.

Pascrell Reacts Harshly to Report Hammering Post Office Leadership

Contact information for the White House

We need clean water over short term jobs and oil slicks. Go home, Enbridge!

Minnesota DNR issued a permit to Enbridge in June 2021 to draw 5 billion gallons of water surrounding line 3 in the middle of a drought.  The study to approve this draw began in November 2020, although the tribes were not notified until May 2021.  While rivers are down 50%-75% from the drought in Northern Minnesota … Gooseberry Falls,

https://kstp.com/home-garden/no-water-falling-from-gooseberry-falls/6178119/

as an example, almost dry, Enbridge continues its path of destruction through our northern lands and waters, blinded by greed.

In addition, local police have been subscribed to support this multinational corporation by arresting nearly 600 water protectors instead of protecting the local communities from the criminal acts of this giant profit seeking monster … a corporate machine that profits from what fossil fuel and its derivatives bring. This in lieu of the health and welfare of a planet that depends on potable water! 

The production and transportation of tar sands oil through the Line 3 pipeline is the equivalent of adding 50 new coal-fired plants in a world that is desperately in need of a change to better practices and divestment from the fossil fuel industry.

For Amy Goodman’s interview with water protector, Winona LaDuke, after her arrest for protesting pipeline construction at the Shell River crossings:

https://www.democracynow.org/2021/7/23/protests_line_3_pipeline_minnesota

In an unprecedented drought, rivers low and Gooseberry Falls almost dry, Enbridge forges ahead with line 3, set to draw billions of gallons of water from Minnesota aquifers. Will the heart of 10,000 lakes and sky blue waters ever be the same after Enbridge is finished with her?

1970’s Gooseberry Falls

The spills from Line 3 have already begun … this time it’s drilling mud.

We have been told that the new pipeline 3 is better and will not run the risk of spills like the old. We have been told that it will provide jobs … old tunes to very old stories within the same theme. Jobs for a few months and then the spills begin and the pollution and inevitable degradation of our waters and lands.

Should it be any wonder that the spills have already begun while construction and dewatering are in progress. This time, a drilling sludge used under high pressure to create tunnels in river and stream beds for Enbridge’s oil pipe. Once this pipe is filled with tar sands oil under pressure it’s only a matter of time until the next spill, at what cost?

Minnesota’s OK for Enbridge to temporarily move 5B gallons of water sows tension

Minnesota pollution regulator investigating Enbridge Line 3 nontoxic spill

The Mississippi River Flyway

Cormorants, Bald Eagles and Tundra Swans are only a few of the waterfowl dependent upon this flyway. Lake Superior, the Rainy River and St Louis River watersheds are a part of this flyway; and all three watersheds hold their source in Northern Minnesota.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_Flyway

https://www.waterfowl-identification.com

https://www.audubon.org/mississippi-flyway

https://www.msflywaygrasslandssummit.com

In Memory of Philando Castile

It was the fifth anniversary this July 6th of the police killing of Philando Castile. For those who didn’t know this beautiful soul, he was a kind support for the children at JJ Hill Montessori, a nutritional supervisor, would high five the children often times and was a friend to those in need of a meal.

On the last Sunday of his life, he was driving with his fiancee and her four year old child when a policeman stopped him for a broken tail light. Philando was of no threat to this officer as he followed NRA guidelines to inform and show his permit to carry license. The officer could see that there were two other people, a woman and child, in the car.  Yet,  Jeronimo Yanez said he feared for his life as he unloaded seven shots into the vehicle, said so in tears on the stand, and the jury acquitted.  

With a gun pointed at him, Yanez yelling hysterically at him, Philando showed nothing but courage and kindness in the face of it all, until his last breath.  What else could he have done to prove to this officer that he was not a threat?  

He will be missed.

Valerie Castile, his mother, and family started the Philando Castile Relief Foundation to help victims of gun and police violence and to provide lunch debt relief for children in the St Paul and Minneapolis school districts..

https://www.philandocastilefoundation.org

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/remembering-philando-castile

Video link to:

I AM PHILANDO CASTILE

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/remembering-philando-castile

What could be more sane and lawful than to stand up to protect freshwater resources? Why is law enforcement protecting those who would do harm to these resources?

Enbridge’s Pipeline Spills, 

The largest inland oil spill (1.7 million gallons) in United States history happened in Minnesota and it was from an Enbridge Energy pipeline.  This  was the old line 3 that will be left in the ground as this same company builds a new corridor through Minnesota’s wetlands displacing billions of gallons of water and moving tar sands oil through prime Minnesota fishing areas in the bargain.

Friends of the Headwaters

Who is criminally negligent here and why are water protectors being put in jail for defending these vital resources? While line 3 will imperil and inevitably pollute water downstream throughout the north country to St Cloud, Minneapolis and beyond, Enbridge gets a pass. We are not just talking about freshwater rice fields, treaty lands and waters, but an entire ecosystem that is the Mississippi River, Red River, St Louis River watersheds, among many, and upon which millions depend for water. What could those who support this project be thinking?

I have included links to articles, reports and information concerning oil spills below, primarily in Minnesota but others as well, in particular, those involving Enbridge.

Minnesota Water Science Center USGS:

https://mn.water.usgs.gov/projects/bemidji/index.html

Groundwater in Minnesota: https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr76354

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_3_oil_spill

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/2413008-state-records-show-many-minnesota-pipeline-ruptures

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/05/02/news/heres-how-enbridge-edited-federal-pipeline-audit

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/03/03/30-years-ago-grand-rapids-oil-spill

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_spill#Largest_oil_spills

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

re: Cohasset Minnesota oil spill “restoration plan”: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/twincities/enbridge.htm

The line #3 issue in Minnesota’s treaty lands of 10,000 lakes and countless waterways

The President’s decision to back line 3 is disappointing at best. I have included the document sent by the Justice Department in links below with articles and videos from sites documenting line 3 resistance and issues.

What will happen to these freshwater resources when tar sands oil spills into these interconnected waterways?

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF FEDERAL DEFENDANTS’ CROSS-MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS’

Biden’s Position on Line 3 Undoes his Climate Commitments

For Line 3 Resistance Coverage click on photo from “Unicorn Riot” below (excellent videos and documentation of the fight to protect Minnesota’s vital waters):

Under the guise of creating jobs, Enbridge is draining water from Minnesota Rivers and wetlands as it holds oil more important than water, more important than Native American treaties, sacred lands, sites, wild rice, ecosystems and real wealth.

Enbridge has been permitted to displace billions of gallons of water in order to put it’s tar sands pipeline through the heart of these wetlands in Minnesota’s deep north. What matter life to Enbridge, as long as it’s bottom line is satisfied? What matter this unsurpassed, one of a kind ecosytem that relies on water so utterly for existence? What matters to this corporate giant when the tar sands oil spills manifest in this water dependent land of Northern Minnesota, destroying as it goes, making a permanent black mark upon this freshwater pearl?

https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/law-enforcement-violates-treaty-rights-near-line-3-construction-in-northern-minnesota

In this area of abundant rivers, wetlands and aquifers, line #3 will most assuredly affect changes that will forever corrupt the area as it snakes it’s way to Superior, Wisconsin. What motivates President Biden, Governor Walz and others to endorse such harm? Irreconcileable with stewardship, clean energy, and the health and well being of us all, this pipeline is an abomination. What could any one of it’s supporters be thinking in a world of thirst?

DeJoy needs 10 years to do his work. What could go wrong?

Will we have a public mail service at the end of DeJoy’s run? As people get tired of waiting for their mail to arrive, or continue to lose their faith in the service altogether and delivery standards become even more lax, our vote by mail will be affected, medicines will be delayed, crucial documents, letters and packages … at what cost? 

Louis DeJoy’s 10 year plan:

According to Wikipedia: “DeJoy received criticism for his decision on February 24, 2021 to award a $6.5 billion contract to modernize the USPS fleet exclusively to Oshkosh, which had previously admitted a lack of expertise in producing electric vehicles and would therefore be unable to make good on President Biden’s pledge to make the USPS 100% electric. In addition, Congressman Tim Ryan has referred to the SEC a $54 million purchase of Oshkosh stock made hours before the contract was announced.[53] DeJoy and his wife currently have between $30-70 million dollars invested in companies related to the USPS.”

Congressman Ryan Calls on the SEC to Investigate $54 Million Oshkosh Stock Purchase Before USPS Contract Announcement

While DeJoy’s plan will favor lucrative infrastructure and electrical vehicle deals through taxpayer investment, deadlines will fall short on mail deliveries and costs will rise for services; so the taxpayer will be paying on both ends essentially.  As his plan outlines: 

“$40 billion in capital investments (with taxpayer money) over the next 10 years “… “this will include a recent multi-billion dollar contract to modernize the Postal Service’s delivery vehicle fleet (with Oshkosh)… the first of the new vehicles are expected to appear on carrier routes beginning in 2023. With Congressional support, (10% of the) delivery fleet will be electric by 2035″… fourteen years from now; falling considerably short of electrifying the entire fleet.  How will these vehicles be distributed and what part of the country will benefit most I wonder?  Just as some delivery areas will be prioritized over others, so will the benefits of electrified vehicles.

Another builder of electric vehicles (Workhorse) is challenging DeJoy’s contract award to Oshkosh:

As a litany of objections to DeJoy’s handling of the USPS continue to fall like rain from lawyers, the body politic and our representatives, where is the USPS board?

https://www.cleveland.com/darcy/2021/06/sen-brown-reps-kaptur-ryan-dog-dejoy-darcy-cartoon.html

Letter from states’ attorneys objecting to plan’s proposed delays and discriminatory effects: Docket No. N2021-1  

Will we have the mandated postal service that our forefathers had the foresight to include in the United States Constitution?  One only hopes.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution-conan/article-1/section-8/clause-7/postal-power

https://constitution.congress.gov/browse/article-1/section-8/clause-7/

https://nowthisnews.com/politics/why-does-us-postmaster-general-louis-dejoy-still-have-a-job

If you want to understand why Louis DeJoy is still at the helm of the USPS you need only read Joe Piette’s article at workers.org:

When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

–Cree Prophecy

Water is Life

Why is Dejoy still at the helm of the USPS?

My mail has never been lost in over 60 years by the USPS … that is, not until DeJoy took over this trusted institution.  Since that time, letters and packages have gone missing and delayed … one piece has been lost, one delayed by over one month, one certified document failed to scan and went into a black hole for weeks….  This is just one person’s mail.  Any one of us would lose our jobs for this kind of service … but not DeJoy.  Why is he still at the helm?

He serves at the behest of the nine-member Postal Board of Governors and so this is the Board that is responsible for the future of this institution.  In January, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) called for DeJoy to be fired and in June sent a letter to the newly appointed members to the USPS board.

Rep Bill Pascrell, Jr’s letter

https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/pascrell-calls-three-new-postal-board-members-fire-dejoy/

As of today, this has still not been done and every day counts.  DeJoy cut services and delayed mailings, costing all of us much more than a dollar.  Since the largely Trump appointed USPS board put DeJoy (a major contributor to Trump’s campaign) in office, June 2020, our country’s business has suffered in ways that can never be measured.  How many legal documents have been misdirected, delayed or lost?  How many cards, letters and packages have not arrived on time?  How many USPS services cut, quality of service undermined and deadlines for Express and Priority mail delivery missed altogether … registered and certified mail that was not scanned, or lost in delivery …?

It would seem that Louis DeJoy expects us to pay higher prices for this kind of service. In addition, he is under investigation by the FBI in connection with campaign fundraising activity involving his former business, which is just another blow to the USPS as it strains under the control of this dubious character.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/03/louis-dejoy-postmaster-general-doj-investigating-political-fundraising

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/louis-dejoy-postmaster-general-fbi-investigation-political-fundraising/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/24/usps-dejoy-congress-delivery/

How much longer and how much more harm will the Postal Board of Governors allow from this man who is destroying trust in the USPS on his way to killing it, an institution that this country badly needs.  How much more harm will he be allowed to do before the Postal Board of Governors ousts Louis DeJoy and replaces his bean counting with someone who is willing to expand the services of this venerable institution and cares about the quality of service?  There are some things that cannot be counted.

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/postmaster-general-louis-dejoy/

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/commission-should-reject-us-postal-service-mail-slowdown-20-state-ags-2021-06-21/

https://theweek.com/articles/973734/how-oust-louis-dejoy-guide-nervous-presidents

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2021/04/28/biden-postal-service-board-nominees-move-forward-but-it-still-not-might-be-enough-to-oust-dejoy/?sh=746deb6a4a90

Open letters to President Biden

Dear President Biden,

Many issues face this country, as you know, and we have a great deal of work to do. You, as President of these United (States), are needed more now than ever; and though all cannot be done immediately there are some issues that cannot and should not wait.  What matters more than water?  In fact, the national security of this country depends on the preservation of this vital resource more now than ever.

In Minnesota, we are battling for the welfare of one of the greatest freshwater resources on the North American continent at the headwaters of three of the greatest water systems in this country, the Rainy River watershed, the Mississippi River watershed and the St Louis River headwaters in the Lake Superior basin at the extreme headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway.  Pipeline 3 threatens these fresh waters.

This Enbridge pipeline will be the conduit for pressurized tar sands oil diluted with chemical additives to travel hundreds of miles through highly sensitive wetlands, rivers, including the Mississippi, forests and streams in Minnesota to it’s destination in Superior, Wisconsin.  There will, as usual, be spills; and the pollution will spread through highly integrated wetlands in this land of 10,000 lakes endangering these vital resources and our commitment to cleaner energy.

I beg you President Biden to stop this pipeline and help preserve these freshwaters for the sake of our future and the future of all those who depend upon you to support a greener and more sustainable energy future.

Sincerely,

Anita Tillemans

sent June 20, 2021

Letter sent subsequent to the President’s decision to back line #3

President Biden,

The pipeline that Enbridge is building in the heart of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes will cut under more than 60 rivers including the Mississippi River (in two places).  It will spill, as all pipelines do, into wetlands, river beds and streams that are vital freshwater resources for a good part of this country.  For most of it’s journey, line 3 will make cuts through additional forests and waterways while leaving the old pipeline in place to rott.  Essentially, then, this is a new route and a new pipeline that plows it’s way through these vitally significant waterways and wetlands.

At this point in time, Enbridge is being allowed to start displacing billions of gallons of water in order to build it’s tar sands delivery system, which will continue the glut of fossil fuel in a world that needs clean energy, green energy, more than ever.  

I voted for you, President Biden.  I believed your words; and support for this tar sands oil project is not in line with a fossil fuel free future.  I hope that you will reconsider your decision.

Sincerely,

Anita Tillemans

June 29, 2021

PS I have included more detailed descriptions of the topography that line 3 will traverse and risks involved at the two links below. 

How many burial mounds in Minnesota will be affected by line #3?

In order to pass Enbridge’s billion dollar profit seeking exploitation of MInnesota’s resources by establishing a new route for line #3, the Minnesota Appeals Court ignored law and the overwhelming majority of Minnesota citizens who do not want this pipeline, who will not profit by this pipeline and who value Native rights to their treaty lands and waters for protection of these waters and natural resources. What can be done to protect these priceless territories that are, in addition, archaeologically significant lands, which hold the resting places of hundreds, perhaps thousands of sacred burial mounds and other important artifacts from centuries of native american history? Not only will these lands be subject to a corporation’s bottom line, this land grab will endanger freshwater resources in a world that will be literally dying of thirst globally in the next 20 years according to some estimates.

Violence comes in many guises.  Even in a smile.  We’ve all had examples of this and know it all too well.  When we are told that something is for our own good, or told we need something that we don’t, or when we are sold a bill of goods.  It happens to us all in a long life … no matter race, sex, creed ….  People are generally good and unsuspecting.  They want to believe the best and so there are many who believe the rhetoric coming from Enbridge executives, well dressed men and women with pleasantries and a smile.  These are “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, but not as honest as a wolf.  For a wolf would never act like one of these.

There are many issues to address here, so many that it is impossible to come to a consensus, or is it?  If we look at the effects and fail to address the root of these effects, there is no end and no solution.  It would be like repairing a house with water damage that still lies in the river bed.  The analogies are endless.  Why does money speak louder than the welfare of native Minnesotans?  Why does it speak louder than common sense?

What is a temporary job that fulfills a perpetual need with a short term solution and destroys your home in the bargain?  This is what I propose is happening in Northern Minnesota, our home, our base. Mines and pipelines pollute waters, air and earth.  Clean up is not possible and once the land is toxic, all life will be affected from the smallest form of life to the greatest.  

These things we can hold for truth:

  1. All life needs water.
  2. All life needs sustenance.
  3. All need shelter.
  4. All lifeforms do better in an environment that fosters beauty … and this always involves truth, for truth and beauty as Keats once said are one and the same.

What happens when we are faced with thirst and starvation, when we lack the shelter to provide for our own safety and well being?  What would any one of us do?  What happens to the life in these northern Minnesota wetlands with spills from a tar sands pipeline?

How do we change expectations to jive with the carrying capacity of this planet?  What expectations lead a society into civil unrest?  When these expectations exceed the carrying capacity of a planet, what then?  How do we resolve the difference between what we need and what we want when what we’ve been trained to expect becomes the nemesis of what we need?  Examples abound.  Mankind gathers goods far exceeding need, hoards land and destroys others to make the hoarding possible.  Oil makes money for the richest while the rest suffer the effects of it’s extraction and transport … and all the while we’re being told that we need these pipelines and refineries.

Each individual can assess their own lives, particularly those who have the money to acquire more than they will ever need.  Once one has the essentials of life with a reasonable sum for a rainy day, enough leisure to bring joy, what more could one truly need in material goods?  What does one good person do when there are many more who will take what he doesn’t and destroy to make a profit?

Where do we start, at least, if not with the essentials of life like potable water and clean air and quality education?  Do pipelines and mines, profit seeking corporations “care” about the welfare of societies?  The only way a society can thrive is through investment in it’s future; and the future of all societies is in it’s youth.  It is violence done at this stage and throughout a young person’s life that creates a violent society.  This can come disguised in a silk glove, like loans to our children to go to college, loans that put them into an insurmountable debt.  It comes in violence done to young black and brown men and women through lack of opportunity and incarceration and it comes with a pat on the back telling us we need something we don’t in order to make a profit.  What these corporation executives don’t tell you is how long before the deficits outweigh the benefits.

A violent society is created by greed at the top of any food chain.  It comes in the guise of health care that destroys the financial well being of those who fall ill.  It comes in a society that puts financial profit above all else, retirees’ financial well being in the hands of Wall Street and our children into for-profit education centers at the hands of test makers and test takers. It comes at the hands of legislators who seek financial gain from their offices rather than the welfare of their constituents.

Violence comes on the wings of weapon sales and the war making machinery of the United States arsenal.  Violence comes in the nature of oil transport, pipelines and refineries, mines and fracking wells that violate treaty rights, river beds and wetlands, spilling into freshwater reserves, and polluting our environment at all levels.

There are no quick solutions to what rages in America now.  It has been endemic for centuries starting with the original settlers’ treatment of indigenous peoples, with the enslavement of black and brown people, with theft and treaties broken (to this day) … and to the many policies put into practice with contempt for those they serve.  Our forests, wetlands, wildlife, and the fresh potable water is but a fraction of what it once was.  What is left of our freshwater reserves is more precious than any other resource on earth and it must be protected.

Our vote must count and we must make it count in how we live our lives and who we choose to navigate these treacherous times.  Vigilance and sincerity is essential in the way we handle all these issues.  Hate and violence to stamp out violence will do no good and will only serve the interests of those who are violent themselves, who lull you or stir you with their rhetoric to divide and to manipulate to their own benefit.  Beware of anything that provokes violence and hate or seems too good to be true.  Get to the truth, vote for the best of us to succeed the worst of us in this fight to make a better world.

Tribal burial mounds are part of mankind’s history, part of the archaeological history of this sacred land that we call Minnesota.  Tribes have lived and protected these waters and treaty lands for thousands of years.  Enbridge comes along, and with the right of eminent domain granted by our courts in Minnesota, seeks to make profit. … at what true benefit to the tribes? Enbridge’s pipelines have polluted and will continue to pollute and desecrate these lands and waters.  If reason does not work, nor the welfare of our people and generations to come, what right do these global corporations have by common law to take possession and destroy what has been sacred, pristine and available to all for thousands of years.  What right does Enbridge have to desecrate lands on which sacred archaeological mounds exist.? How many remain to be discovered?

What will remain of Minnesota’s heart of 10,000 lakes and our wilderness areas when Enbridge has finished and the new pipeline route exploited?

For a pdf of this article:

For more information on the University of Iowa study:

Challenges ahead for Enbridge and line #3

Honor the Earth’s Line 3 Film on Vimeo

Please lend your support to the tribes and water protectors in Northern Minnesota who are protesting to defend our natural resources from line #3. I include links below to a few of these organizations and referenced articles and videos relevant to this fight.

Water Protectors Converge on Minnesota for Massive Demonstrations Against Line 3

Honor the Earth tweet from Winona and Tanya

StopLine3.org

mn350.org

GiniwCollective

Indigenous Environmental Network

Line 3 Issues

articles on Line 3 at stopline3.org

MinnPost.com: Enbridge entering a new phase of construction on Line 3 — and a new phase of protests

Burial mounds in Minnesota and line #3?

As Enbridge continues to place it’s tar sands pipeline through the middle of Minnesota’s lake country and tribal lands, there is the question of burial mounds located in the area. How many existing, discovered and yet to be discovered, burial mounds are at risk of being destroyed as Enbridge plows it’s way to Lake Superior?

How many times and in how many ways must we say no to a pipeline project that we do not want or need, in an ecosystem of such beauty, ecological and archaeological significance. Treaties have been disregarded, environmental laws and the will of a majority of Minnesota taxpayers overrun. When will the state of Minnesota invoke it’s sovereignty and tell Enbridge to find other diggings?

Summary Sheet on Enbridge Pipeline #3 affected areas.

Mapping Precontact Burial Mounds in Sixteen Minnesota Counties using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)

Thinking Outside of Desperation …

What can be said to those who believe that temporary jobs and short term profit trump clean water and the health of our environment? What can be said when most of those bulldozing trees and digging ditches for Enbridge’s tar sands pipeline are just doing a day’s work to feed themselves and their families? Are they considering life beyond the present moment? Perhaps they care in a limited way and feel some guilt, or maybe not … but, for most, it’s a choice between food on the table and a future that they cannot imagine. This is what they know and the jobs are available … for now.

How do we change minds that are fixed on one possibility because it is the easiest route to take … like oil flowing downstream into our precious water reserves and destroying life in it’s path? They are simply acting on an immediate need; but, are they being true to their natures, like water and oil? Is it in our natures to accept evil for a pittance in a pinch?

What could happen in our communities when we think outside of desperation and begin thinking of long term good, a good that will make these boom and bust economies a thing of the past? When one acts in a personal but selfless manner without expecting gain, it leaves the door wide open for unexpected and unfathomable rewards on a more universal level.  So there is no one defining action, and that means that it can cover the gamut of what is needed in this world. Where there is imagination, there is possibility.

I think humans need to see good and want to feel a part of that good; and the most profound good one can feel is when others benefit.  Where do we start if it doesn’t come from being true to ourselves and being fearless in our search for that truth?

Concerning the guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin

Changes have begun … and though it will take time, we look to a new day where people of all backgrounds can come together for the betterment of this society. I heard Bob Dylan say once, to paraphrase, one cannot be in love and be wise. Acting with love, though, is the greatest wisdom.

As Martin Luther King said:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Over the weeks of the Chauvin trial, I’ve watched the militarization of the city of Minneapolis. National Guard troops and police spread throughout the city, in downtown, Uptown, north Minneapolis and places in between. I have seen police stations on Central, and on Lake Street surrounded by high fences and rolls of barbed wire as if the population that these militarized units were sworn to serve and protect were the enemy.

For good reason, there were peaceful protests, righteous protests, to condemn the killing of yet another black man by a trained police officer, a police officer with almost 20 years of experience who was a designated trainer. The charges against this officer fall short if justice is to be served for the killing of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center or any other. Citizens are rightfully angry. Justice is the only remedy … and justice will not be had at the barrel of a gun and half truths.

The taxpayers of Minnesota will be paying handsomely for the criminal negligence of these officers, as they have paid before for crimes against it’s citizens. Another man in jail will not bring back the lives of any of these; and prevention will be had only with a systemic change in policy and a revamping of the way in which we protect our communities. Guns, like hate, beget more of the same.

Wolves in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Minnesota Timber Wolf

Save our wolves from a trophy hunting.

News and information at Howling for Wolves

Wisconsin’s 2020 wolf hunt: What went wrong?

Trophy Hunters kill 216 wolves in Wisconsin bloodbath

Wisconsin Wolf Management Public Input Questionnaire Survey

Poliiticians Using Anit Wolf Propaganda Once Again to Push for Wolf Hunt in Minnesota

Please support the bills below to prohibit open season for taking wolves in Minnesota:

HF 1498 and SF 1144

two wolves howling mixed media

Know them by their actions …

“There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.” –~Henry David Thoreau

How many times do we have to see an innocent murdered for the hue of their skin by an officer sworn to protect before things change? No one can watch what happened this week to Daunte Wright and be satisfied with the answers we were given. As we have heard so often, know them by their actions and the fruits they bear.

Wil justice be served, ultimately, unless our police departments are reimagined and police officers trained to, actually, serve and protect? What we have now is a group of people who are trained to respond to suspicion with threats and violence, especially with people of color. What could make it more unlikely to establish peace and to get to the truth?

From the time that George Floyd was approached by police, he was terrorized. There was no attempt to speak with him reasonably as he sat in the driver’s seat of his car. He was approached with a gun, handcuffed, made to sit on the sidewalk before the officer even got his name. No white man would have been treated with such disrespect.

We’ve seen this kind of approach time and time again with people of color. Guilty for the hue of one’s skin. No facts necessary, no evidence of a crime, no conversation … guilty until proven innocent? or maybe, just guilty.

In memory of people of color who have died at the hands of police, and those in police custody, only a few can be listed here:

Justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Daunte Wright, Jamar Clark, William Chapman, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Tanisha Anderson, Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Stephon Clark, Sandra Bland, Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude, Atatiana Jefferson, Aura Rosser, Botham Jean, Michelle Cusseaux, Freddie Gray, Tanisha Fonville …

Know their names: Black People killed by police

In Memoriam: I Can’t Breathe

Death in Police Custody: A Curated Collection of Links (The Marshall Project)

In Memory of LaDonna Brave Bull Allard …

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard (1955-2021) of North Dakota, who offered her land for protestors standing against the Dakota access pipeline at Standing Rock, has died. As she knew, the fight will continue. I have included a link below to her interviews with Democracy Now and links below on oil pipelines and the subtleties of restructuring our economy into a truly sustainable future where our freshwater will be protected:

Remembering La Donna Brave Bull Allard: Standing Rock Elder Helped Lead 2016 Anti-DAPL Uprising

Concerning justice and equality, as we face another police killing in Minnesota of a young black male in Brooklyn Center this Sunday, one has to wonder … is this democracy? Police shoot to kill, their uniforms and riot gear look like something out of a dystopian nightmare, police stations and government buildings are surrounded by barbed wire and concrete barricades …. protecting those who rule from the people they have been elected to serve and protect? Our governor, giving a pass to yet another pipeline through the heart of our wetlands and the source of freshwater for a huge swath of this country, in the headwaters of the Mississippi River and other rivers.

What are we doing with this beautiful land and vital waters? When will Americans realize in action that there is no life without potable water, that there is nothing that could excuse the destruction of this vital resource?

Pipelines Explained: How Safe are America’s 2.5 Million Miles of Pipelines?

Company to pay $106K after pollutants spill into North Dakota reservoir

Biden administration punts on DAPL shutdown, likely leaving pipeline’s fate to federal judge

7 ways oil and gas drilling is bad for the environment / The Wilderness Society

https://www.earthworks.org/issues/pipelines1/

Sensitivity of Freshwater Habitats

Conflicts – Oil Exploration and Water

Greenpeace Report: Oil and Water: ETP & Sunoco’s History of Pipeline Spills – Greenpeace USA

Dangerous Pipelines – Greenpeace

Largest Oil Spills Affecting US Waters since 1969 (map last updated April 5, 2017)

Kalamazoo Oil Spill: Facts and Environmental Impact

What’s in my Neighborhood – MPCA interactive map

Sustainablility, Human Well-Being, and the Future of Education edited by Justin W Cook

Trees and greenbacks

encampment

On the subject of green, green in the form of money and green in the biodiversity of vegetation, a sea change is in order.  This must be addressed by all that live and breath in the way we set up our homes, our diets, our daily lives.  How do we get to work, where do we work and how do we apply our talents in order to survive?  What do we eat and where does it come from?  How is that food processed and what does it do to the Earth and our ecosystem?  

It has been 21 years in April since I moved to my last home in Minneapolis, each move to a smaller more appropriate space for my needs.  I had come from privilege, neither rich nor poor.  I consider it a privilege in a world of hunger and thirst to have had a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my stomach, though I had more.  I had two parents who loved me and educated me.  I had no worries about where my next meal would come from, while all around me from the time I was four, I saw many who didn’t have that luxury.  I saw it in the streets of Caracas and Maracaibo and in New Orleans….  I saw it in our maid Francesca who had to work raising other women’s children in order to feed her own, who couldn’t marry in the church for the cost of a wedding.  I saw it in an old Spanish artist, with cataracts in his eyes, who opened his rolled canvases on our floor to show my mother.  Canvases she bought.

Through it all, there were trees in my life.  Trees I could climb and trees that dropped their fruits on the ground for us to eat.  Trees that shaded us from the sun and rain, that breathed the breath of life, that cleaned the air and shielded us from the weather.  These were large trees with large communities to support … squirrels, chipmunks, birds of all kinds, iguanas, tarantulas, pileated woodpeckers, hawks, mockingbirds, falcons, fungus, robins … the homes and grocery stores for many.

Under the shade of these trees we could live.  We would thrive.  We saw the difference between places with and without trees.  Trees could make the difference between 10-20 degrees on a hot summer day.  In the winds and snow of winter, trees protected and provided.  The live oaks in Louisiana stood for centuries with branches that grew parallel to the ground like alternate pathways.  The bayous were filled with life and trees in the mangroves protected the land from violent ocean waves in hurricanes and typhoons all over the world.

Trees are more than wood for a fire.  They are more than fodder for a building or the floors in a house or cabinets in a new kitchen, or a table in a decked out living room.  Trees are life.  They are living, growing protectors of us all.  They shield us from climate impacts, buffer the effects of the daily weather roller coaster.  Trees provide more than greenbacks in our pockets.

As I looked out the window on a bus recently, viewing a line of trees all trimmed to maximize board feed for our urban forestry goals, to feed the furnaces and serve the lumber interests, I paused to look at one that was allowed to spread in a private yard, to serve as a living resource.  There was no comparison.  One was beautiful and thriving.  The others stood like soldiers, uniform, with no character of their own.  As  an artist, the difference was stark for me and the truth naked.

We build with this timber processed, often, for chipboard, which must involve glues and other materials that harm the environment.  We paint it with materials, most of which are made from fossil fuel.  There are over 6,000 derivatives from oil, manufactured into carpets, flooring of all kinds, wood lookalikes, and byproducts made to look natural but are often produced in unnatural ways …  Even beauty products contain oil derivatives.  Much of our food is dead and tasteless; so, we add salt and sugar to make it palatable.  Forests are being destroyed so that more of these dead products can be made devoid of trees.  Not good for our health in a world that needs these living giants more than ever.

All of this, so we can buy more of what we don’t need.  We build bigger and bigger houses to fill it with more and more stuff that we hardly ever use, so that we can feel as though we are keeping up with our neighbors who are building “bigger and better” always.  This is not unusual for animals to do.  You see this in many species … peer pressure is a powerful thing.  We have intellect though, or so we’re told.  So how is the human race any different than all other creatures if we can’t control our own innate instincts?

In some ways, I would argue, we are not as smart as our counterparts.  Even elephants know when to stop doing what is harmful.  Wolf packs have a system of maintaining balance.  Only man destroys without reason.  Money is less than that.  It’s useless without trees, water and air.  It’s useless without the resources we need for survival … and we need all that nature provides for free.  Only man must exact a cost for what nature gives for free.  Limiting supplies so that more money can be made.  Making everything in larger mass, larger quantities so that more and more greenbacks can be made at the loss of the only green that will create balance.

Our urban canopy of old growth trees is essential; and our forests are undeniably the canopy of this planet.  We destroy for profit at our own demise.  More chemical agents, more oil derivatives will cost us more than our trees.  This green carpet of diversity and fruitful balance is here for all species that require water; and that means everyone with the breath of life.  We must all be a part of the change … for love of wilderness and for love of life.

Article from Sciencedirect.com:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/urban-vegetation