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Essential Information

A compendium of articles, reports, essays and investigations into the effects of militarism on the environment and human society. Send additional documents to editor@envirosagainstwar.org.

 

FEATURED REPORTS

Trump Cites "Fake News" to Justify New Threat to Attack Syria (Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Choi / Business Insider & Peter Weber / The Week)
In April, the US fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base after falsely accusing Syria of using a chemical weapon against civilians. US intelligence investigations ultimately concluded there was no evidence a chemical weapon attack took place. The Pentagon and State Department were caught flat-footed when Donald Trump suddenly threatened to attack Syria, which he accused of plotting "another chemical weapons attack" -- another Trump falsehood.

The Return of Famine as a Weapon of War (Alex de Waal / The London Review of Books)
In its primary use, the verb 'to starve' is transitive: it's something people do to one another, like torture or murder. Today's famines are all caused by political decisions, yet journalists still use the phrase 'man-made' as if such famines were unusual. In Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen -- four countries wracked mass starvation -- the main culprits are wars that result in the destruction of farms, livestock herds and markets, and 'explicit' decisions by the military to block humanitarian aid.

Saudis Face the End of Oil as Dubai Builds a Sun-powered Sustainable City (Juan Cole / Nation of Change & Jon Jensen and Tom Page / CNN)
Crude oil prices are cratering, down 20% this year, in the biggest 6-month free fall in years. Muhammad bin Salman is in a hurry to find something else for his kingdom to do for a living. As investment guru Dennis Garten recently admitted: these days, petroleum is "a worthless commodity." The future lies in electric automobiles and sustainable energy. Dubai and UAE have announced a $163 billion investment in alternative energy and has built a Sustainable City of 500 homes powered by solar panels.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Coal Mining Assault on Pristine Roadless Forest (Earthjustice)
In one of the first opportunities to push back against the devastating on-the-ground impacts the Trump administration's fossil fuel agenda will have on our public lands, the Forest Service is asking to hear from the public -- until July 24 -- on a plan to bulldoze pristine roadless forests in Colorado for coal mining. The Forest Service wants to give Arch Coal, the nation's second largest coal company, the right to expand its mining into 1,700 acres of the Sunset Roadless Area -- lands that belong to all Americans.

Seymour Hersh Exposes Alleged Syrian Sarin Gas Attack as 'Fake News.' US Media Refuse to Publish Findings (Jonathan Cook / Jonathan Cook's Blog & Seymour M. Hersh / Die Welt am Sonntag)
Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he decided to attack Syria after he saw pictures of dying children. Award-winning investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh has disproven the story of a Syrian-launched Sarin gas attack but, unfortunately, the man who exposed the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and the US military's abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004, has been increasingly marginalized by the US media while his work has been denigrated and ignored.

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger Probes the Nature of ISIS and its Atrocities in Syria (Rosa Furneaux / The East Bay Express)
Analysis: The idea that people have of ISIS is that they're psychopaths. Which they are. But they were murderous psychopaths for a very rational reason. Why was ISIS was committing atrocities in public. What was the thinking? I suddenly realised, that's us. That's Europe. That's everybody. We've all done that -- used public violence to cow the population and send a message. The awful lynchings of black men in the south were done in the town square -- and everyone was there to see it.

The Libya Connection: (Derek Royden / Nation of Change)
Although the conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Syria have usually been described as civil wars, these theaters have been invaded by large numbers of foreigners, inevitably followed by the air-forces of Western and other countries. As Jeremy Corbyn noted during the recent UK elections: "Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home."

North Korea Threatens "Nuclear Sword of Justice": Pope Warns World Is Facing Destruction (Aletha Adu / The Express & Mike Head / World Socialist Web Site)
North Korea has chillingly threatened to attack the United States with a "nuclear sword," hinting a destructive war between the two nations is looming. This comes after repeated warnings from the White House that there is "absolutely" the chance of a "major, major conflict" with North Korea.

World's Biggest Coal Company Closes Mines as Solar Sales Soar (Lorraine Chow / Nation of Change )
India's energy market is undergoing a rapid transformation as it moves away from fossil fuels. Coal India, the world's biggest coal mining company and producer of 82 percent of the country's coal, announced the closure of 37 mines that are financially "unviable." Last month, the Indian government cancelled plans to build nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations.

US Cities Could Shift Nearly 42 Percent of US Electricity to Renewables By 2035 (Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
The US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is prompting more than 1,400 mayors to make their own climate-protection pledges. The Conference of Mayors -- the country's largest coalition of city leaders -- recently pledged to make 100 percent renewable power a top policy priority over the next decade. The five states that are the worst emitters of greenhouse gases are: Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida and Ohio.

GOP Politician Proposes Law to Criminalize Pipeline Protests (Itai Vardi / EcoWatch & DeSmogBlog)
A recent intensification in protests against the planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania has prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations. The proposed legislation would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators, essentially forcing protesters to pay for their own arrests – and giving police departments a financial incentive to violate the First Amendment.

1973 Memo Reveals Nixon White House Plotted Violent Attack on Anti-war Activists (Ari Melber, Noel Hartman and Lize Johnstone / NBC News)
An extensive investigation has uncovered evidence that the Nixon White House plotted an "assault on antiwar demonstrators" at a US Capitol rally. The attack was to target whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and other anti-war "notables." An 18-page 1973 memorandum from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, sheds new light on how operatives working for President Richard Nixon conspired to instigate acts of domestic political violence directed against anti-war activists -- an extremely serious charge.

US, Saudis Accused of Brutal Torture, Interrogations in Yemen (The Associated Press)
Yemen's internationally-recognized government on Saturday ordered the creation of a committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations, following reports that US military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. At least 18 detention centers have been accused of using extreme forms of torture -- including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire.

Pentagon Terrorism: US Airstrikes Killed 472 Syrian Civilians in Past Month (Alexa Liautaud / VICE News & Airwars)
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the period between May 23 and June 23 saw the highest civilian death toll in coalition raids for a single month since they began on September 23, 2014. The new deaths brought the overall civilian toll from the coalition's campaign to 1,953, including 456 children and 333 women.

Pakistan Issues Warning as Trump Threatens to Increase US Drone Attacks (Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali / Reuters & The News)
On June 19, Pakistan shot down an Iranian drone inside its airspace, calling the incursion a breach of national sovereignty. Now the Trump Administration is heading into another major diplomatic row, reportedly set to revise US policy toward Pakistan to more of a hard line approach, complete with an increase in drone strikes against targets inside Pakistan.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces the Stop Arming Terrorists Act (Office of Congressional Rep. Tulsi Gabbard)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act has been introduced in the US Senate by Senator Rand Paul. The bipartisan legislation (H.R.608 and S.532) would prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists.

House Republicans Call for $640 Military Spending Bill (AntiWar.com & The Hill)
Faced with a massive military spending increase proposal from President Trump, and a Budget Committee which expected to well exceed even that, the House Armed Services Committee has decided to outdo everybody by advancing its own $640 billion base budget. The move sets up a potential showdown with the White House, which proposed a $603 billion defense budget. It also could be in conflict with Congress's budget, as the Budget Committee is eyeing a $621 billion defense budget.

Military Spending is the Biggest Scam in American Politics (Ted Rall / Rall.com)
The militarism scam is the best-kept secret in American politics. Military spending is the biggest waste of federal tax dollars ever and both political parties are equally complicit. As we move past Memorial Day -- the holiday when we remember the war dead, the vast majority who died not to defend America but to oppress people in other countries who never posed a threat to the United States -- we should reconsider the assumption that all military spending is good spending.

Carpet-bombing the Economy: The Corporate Tax Dodgers of the Pentagon (Philip Ewing / DODBuzz & Pat Garofalo / ThinkProgress)
While the official US corporate tax rate is 35 percent, the top 10 defense contractors less than half of that amount. Some brand-name defense giants paid no taxes at all. According to one study, by 2010, the effective corporate tax for America's corporate war profiteers had dropped to a "tiny 10.6 percent." Boeing came in with the lowest tax rate among defense firms -- minus 1.8 percent -- and demanded that taxpayers reimburse the company by claiming a "tax credit."

Another "Troop Surge": Trump's Massive Mistake in Year 16 of the Afghan War (A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner / The New York Daily News & The Cato Institute)
Commentary: After President Trump gave Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced it will send an additional 4,000 troops to the embattled nation. Mattis, who has acknowledged that the US is "not winning in Afghanistan right now," is believed to favor a more aggressive strategy requiring thousands more troops beyond the 9,800 already deployed. The fact that this "troop surge" strategy has failed to achieve any lasting gains in 16 years of fighting.

Homeland Tyranny: Nixon White House Secretly Plotted to Attack Ellsberg, Anti-war Pacifists (Ari Melber, Noel Hartman and Liz Johnstone / NBC News)
Watergate prosecutors had evidence that operatives for then-President Richard Nixon planned an assault on anti-war demonstrators in 1972, including potentially physically attacking Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, according to a never-before-published memo obtained by NBC News.

Seeing Through the Wall: 50 Years After the 1967 (Angela Alston / Seeing Through the Wall & Peter Beaumont / The Guardian / http://olddogdocumentaries.org/shop/seeing-through-the-wall/)
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-day War, fought from June 5-10 1967, which saw Israeli forces capture east Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories as well as the Golan Heights and Sinai in a series of lightning advances. For Israelis and for Jews around the world, the 1948 War of Independence was a miracle -- and a new beginning for a suffering people. For Palestinians, it turned out to be a catastrophe. Both narratives are authentic. Need we choose one over the other?

Poor Countries Do More to Protect Wildlife (Mike Gaworecki / Nation of Change)
Poorer countries tend to be more active in protecting biodiversity than richer nations. African countries Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, together with South Asian nation Bhutan, were the top five megafauna conservation performers, for instance. Norway came in at sixth, the top-ranked developed country, followed by Canada, which came in at eighth. The United States ranked nineteenth, lower than countries like Malawi and Mozambique that are among the least-developed in the world.

Impeach Perry: The US Energy Secretary Is a Science-denying Ideologue (Joe Romm / Climate Progress)
After a week full of misleading and inaccurate statements, Energy Secretary Rick Perry remained incredulous and defiant when confronted with climate science-related facts in a Senate budget hearing. Monday on CNBC, Perry falsely claimed that carbon dioxide was not the primary cause of recent global warming, along with a bunch of other nonsense. He also defended his right to be a "skeptic."

[view all featured report items] 

GENERAL IMPACTS

US Cities Could Shift Nearly 42 Percent of US Electricity to Renewables By 2035
(Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)

The US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is prompting more than 1,400 mayors to make their own climate-protection pledges. The Conference of Mayors -- the country's largest coalition of city leaders -- recently pledged to make 100 percent renewable power a top policy priority over the next decade. The five states that are the worst emitters of greenhouse gases are: Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida and Ohio.
/know/read.php?itemid=19455

House Republicans Call for $640 Military Spending Bill
(AntiWar.com & The Hill)

Faced with a massive military spending increase proposal from President Trump, and a Budget Committee which expected to well exceed even that, the House Armed Services Committee has decided to outdo everybody by advancing its own $640 billion base budget. The move sets up a potential showdown with the White House, which proposed a $603 billion defense budget. It also could be in conflict with Congress's budget, as the Budget Committee is eyeing a $621 billion defense budget.
/know/read.php?itemid=19446

The Climate Movement Charges On, Even Without the US
(Winnie Byanyima / Oxfam America)

The spirit of Paris charges on, even without the US. But the oilmen who fuelled this crisis are still doing their dirty business as usual -- because the system perpetuates their wealth and power. The richest one percent today own more than the 99 percent combined; eight men own as much as the bottom 3.6 billion. Political institutions march to the tune of powerful corporations and the super-rich. Tackling the gap between rich and poor and tackling climate change is part of the same struggle.
/know/read.php?itemid=19416

Trump vs. Planet Earth
(Associated Press & Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone)

Commentary: "The outrage over Trump's move runs deep because the Paris climate deal was never about just the climate. It was also about unity, equality, trust, sympathy - in short, all the qualities that make it possible for seven billion human beings to live together peacefully on the planet."
/know/read.php?itemid=19418

"A War We Don't Want": Defense Secretary Mattis Explains What War with North Korea Would Look Like
(Alex Lockie / Business Insider & Arielle Berger and Sara Silverstein / Business Insider)

Asked why the US doesn't just go to war to stop North Korea from developing the capability to hit the US, Secretary of Defense James Mattis painted a grim scenario: "It will be a war more serious in terms of human suffering than anything we've seen since 1953. It will involve the massive shelling of an ally's capital, which is one of the most densely packed cities on earth [with ametro-area population of 25 million]. "It would be a war that fundamentally we don't want."
/know/read.php?itemid=19410

How Nature Heals (Note: EAW Will Return on June 16)
(Kathleen Richards / The East Bay Express)

Every month for the past three years, pediatrician Nooshin Razani and her UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland colleagues have taken a group of patients and their families on a park outing, part of a program called Stay Healthy in Nature Everyday, or SHINE. This collaborative effort between the hospital and the East Bay Regional Park District aims to both improve the health of patients and their families while also encouraging awareness and usage of the green spaces in their backyard -- by letting Nature heal.
/know/read.php?itemid=19395

Keep Australia Out of US Wars
(John Menadue / Pearls and Irritations)

Commentary: In the event of war between the USA and any other nation in our region, Australia could not avoid involvement, because of its alliance with the USA. That is the reality we need to address. To avoid the possibility of war, an independent foreign policy for Australia is urgently required. Mr Trump's presidency only adds to the urgency.
/know/read.php?itemid=19394

World to Cut Emissions With or Without Trump
(Zofeen Ebrahim / Nation of Change)

In March, Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord and roll back the widely supported climate protection policies of former president Barack Obama. World leaders are trying to convince Trump to recognize the science and the critical need to address climate change, noting that future climate action will require farsightedness, political courage, intelligent regulations and getting corporations on board.
/know/read.php?itemid=19361

[view all general impact items] 

HUMAN IMPACTS

The Return of Famine as a Weapon of War
(Alex de Waal / The London Review of Books)

In its primary use, the verb 'to starve' is transitive: it's something people do to one another, like torture or murder. Today's famines are all caused by political decisions, yet journalists still use the phrase 'man-made' as if such famines were unusual. In Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen -- four countries wracked mass starvation -- the main culprits are wars that result in the destruction of farms, livestock herds and markets, and 'explicit' decisions by the military to block humanitarian aid.
/know/read.php?itemid=19464

Saudis Face the End of Oil as Dubai Builds a Sun-powered Sustainable City
(Juan Cole / Nation of Change & Jon Jensen and Tom Page / CNN)

Crude oil prices are cratering, down 20% this year, in the biggest 6-month free fall in years. Muhammad bin Salman is in a hurry to find something else for his kingdom to do for a living. As investment guru Dennis Garten recently admitted: these days, petroleum is "a worthless commodity." The future lies in electric automobiles and sustainable energy. Dubai and UAE have announced a $163 billion investment in alternative energy and has built a Sustainable City of 500 homes powered by solar panels.
/know/read.php?itemid=19465

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger Probes the Nature of ISIS and its Atrocities in Syria
(Rosa Furneaux / The East Bay Express)

Analysis: The idea that people have of ISIS is that they're psychopaths. Which they are. But they were murderous psychopaths for a very rational reason. Why was ISIS was committing atrocities in public. What was the thinking? I suddenly realised, that's us. That's Europe. That's everybody. We've all done that -- used public violence to cow the population and send a message. The awful lynchings of black men in the south were done in the town square -- and everyone was there to see it.
/know/read.php?itemid=19460

US, Saudis Accused of Brutal Torture, Interrogations in Yemen
(The Associated Press)

Yemen's internationally-recognized government on Saturday ordered the creation of a committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations, following reports that US military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. At least 18 detention centers have been accused of using extreme forms of torture -- including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire.
/know/read.php?itemid=19450

Pentagon Terrorism: US Airstrikes Killed 472 Syrian Civilians in Past Month
(Alexa Liautaud / VICE News & Airwars)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the period between May 23 and June 23 saw the highest civilian death toll in coalition raids for a single month since they began on September 23, 2014. The new deaths brought the overall civilian toll from the coalition's campaign to 1,953, including 456 children and 333 women.
/know/read.php?itemid=19451

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces the Stop Arming Terrorists Act
(Office of Congressional Rep. Tulsi Gabbard)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act has been introduced in the US Senate by Senator Rand Paul. The bipartisan legislation (H.R.608 and S.532) would prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists.
/know/read.php?itemid=19453

House Republicans Call for $640 Military Spending Bill
(AntiWar.com & The Hill)

Faced with a massive military spending increase proposal from President Trump, and a Budget Committee which expected to well exceed even that, the House Armed Services Committee has decided to outdo everybody by advancing its own $640 billion base budget. The move sets up a potential showdown with the White House, which proposed a $603 billion defense budget. It also could be in conflict with Congress's budget, as the Budget Committee is eyeing a $621 billion defense budget.
/know/read.php?itemid=19446

Another "Troop Surge": Trump's Massive Mistake in Year 16 of the Afghan War
(A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner / The New York Daily News & The Cato Institute)

Commentary: After President Trump gave Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced it will send an additional 4,000 troops to the embattled nation. Mattis, who has acknowledged that the US is "not winning in Afghanistan right now," is believed to favor a more aggressive strategy requiring thousands more troops beyond the 9,800 already deployed. The fact that this "troop surge" strategy has failed to achieve any lasting gains in 16 years of fighting.
/know/read.php?itemid=19449

[view all human impact items] 

LAND IMPACTS

The Return of Famine as a Weapon of War
(Alex de Waal / The London Review of Books)

In its primary use, the verb 'to starve' is transitive: it's something people do to one another, like torture or murder. Today's famines are all caused by political decisions, yet journalists still use the phrase 'man-made' as if such famines were unusual. In Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen -- four countries wracked mass starvation -- the main culprits are wars that result in the destruction of farms, livestock herds and markets, and 'explicit' decisions by the military to block humanitarian aid.
/know/read.php?itemid=19464

ACTION ALERT: Stop Coal Mining Assault on Pristine Roadless Forest
(Earthjustice)

In one of the first opportunities to push back against the devastating on-the-ground impacts the Trump administration's fossil fuel agenda will have on our public lands, the Forest Service is asking to hear from the public -- until July 24 -- on a plan to bulldoze pristine roadless forests in Colorado for coal mining. The Forest Service wants to give Arch Coal, the nation's second largest coal company, the right to expand its mining into 1,700 acres of the Sunset Roadless Area -- lands that belong to all Americans.
/know/read.php?itemid=19466

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger Probes the Nature of ISIS and its Atrocities in Syria
(Rosa Furneaux / The East Bay Express)

Analysis: The idea that people have of ISIS is that they're psychopaths. Which they are. But they were murderous psychopaths for a very rational reason. Why was ISIS was committing atrocities in public. What was the thinking? I suddenly realised, that's us. That's Europe. That's everybody. We've all done that -- used public violence to cow the population and send a message. The awful lynchings of black men in the south were done in the town square -- and everyone was there to see it.
/know/read.php?itemid=19460

Pentagon Terrorism: US Airstrikes Killed 472 Syrian Civilians in Past Month
(Alexa Liautaud / VICE News & Airwars)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the period between May 23 and June 23 saw the highest civilian death toll in coalition raids for a single month since they began on September 23, 2014. The new deaths brought the overall civilian toll from the coalition's campaign to 1,953, including 456 children and 333 women.
/know/read.php?itemid=19451

Seeing Through the Wall: 50 Years After the 1967
(Angela Alston / Seeing Through the Wall & Peter Beaumont / The Guardian / http://olddogdocumentaries.org/shop/seeing-through-the-wall/)

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-day War, fought from June 5-10 1967, which saw Israeli forces capture east Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories as well as the Golan Heights and Sinai in a series of lightning advances. For Israelis and for Jews around the world, the 1948 War of Independence was a miracle -- and a new beginning for a suffering people. For Palestinians, it turned out to be a catastrophe. Both narratives are authentic. Need we choose one over the other?
/know/read.php?itemid=19443

Poor Countries Do More to Protect Wildlife
(Mike Gaworecki / Nation of Change)

Poorer countries tend to be more active in protecting biodiversity than richer nations. African countries Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, together with South Asian nation Bhutan, were the top five megafauna conservation performers, for instance. Norway came in at sixth, the top-ranked developed country, followed by Canada, which came in at eighth. The United States ranked nineteenth, lower than countries like Malawi and Mozambique that are among the least-developed in the world.
/know/read.php?itemid=19444

Plastic Pollution in Antarctica 5 Times Worse than Expected
(Lorraine Chow / Nation of Change & Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change )

As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles -- 500 times more than stars in our galaxy -- litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife. The Southern Ocean, which covers approximately 8.5 million square miles and represents 5.4 percent of the world's oceans, is under increasing threat from fishing, pollution and the introduction of non-native species.
/know/read.php?itemid=19439

ACTION ALERT: World Refugee Day -- The Worst Refugee Crisis in World History
(CNN & United Nations & Amnesty International USA)

June 20 was World Refugee Day. We are in the midst of the world's worst refugee crisis in history. More than 65 milliion people are now counted as forcibly displaced by the United Nations. That's like the entire population of the UK or France, or about as many as everyone in New York State, Texas and Florida -- all forced from their homes. Just over one-third are refugees, people forced to flee their countries because of persecution, war, or violence.
/know/read.php?itemid=19435

[view all land impact items] 

MARINE AND WATER IMPACTS

Plastic Pollution in Antarctica 5 Times Worse than Expected
(Lorraine Chow / Nation of Change & Paul Buchheit / Nation of Change )

As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles -- 500 times more than stars in our galaxy -- litter our seas, seriously threatening marine wildlife. The Southern Ocean, which covers approximately 8.5 million square miles and represents 5.4 percent of the world's oceans, is under increasing threat from fishing, pollution and the introduction of non-native species.
/know/read.php?itemid=19439

The US Military Is the World's Biggest Polluter
(Whitney Webb / Mint Press News & EcoWatch)

In May 2017, mainstream media outlets gave minimal attention to the news that the US Naval station in Virginia Beach had spilled an estimated 94,000 gallons of jet fuel into a nearby waterway, less than a mile from the Atlantic Ocean. While the incident was by no means as catastrophic as some other pipeline spills, it underscores an important yet little-known fact -- that the US Department of Defense is both the nation's and the world's, largest polluter.
/know/read.php?itemid=19417

Trump vs. Planet Earth
(Associated Press & Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone)

Commentary: "The outrage over Trump's move runs deep because the Paris climate deal was never about just the climate. It was also about unity, equality, trust, sympathy - in short, all the qualities that make it possible for seven billion human beings to live together peacefully on the planet."
/know/read.php?itemid=19418

CSWAB Efforts Lead to Better Water Testing at Former Ammo Plant
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger )

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is requiring the Army to analyze drinking water and groundwater at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant for contaminants resulting from the breakdown of explosives in the environment.
/know/read.php?itemid=19405

ACTION ALERT: An Unprecedented Threat: Trump's Decision on the Paris Climate Accord
(Michael Brune / EcoWatch & Ken Kimmell / The Union of Concerned Scientists & Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis / Washington Post)

Donald Trump is about to announce whether he'll keep the US in the Paris Climate Agreement. It is abundantly clear that the Trump and his administration doesn't treat climate change as a real threat. He is willing to cede US leadership in the fight against climate change to other countries. That's why it is necessary to redouble our efforts to protect science -- and fight for science-based policies that protect us all.
/know/read.php?itemid=19376

Environmental impact of US-Australian Talisman Sabre Military Exercises
(Justin Tutty / Darwin No Waste Alliance & Australian Departmentof Defense & Ruby Jones / Australia Broadcasting Corporation)

Analysis: Critics have expressed growing concerns about the impacts of "Talisman Sabre," a joint US-Australian military exercise set to begin in June 2017. Environmentalists fear the "unmanaged risks stemming from the unprecedented changes of a growing foreign military presence" including Special Forces, amphibious landings, parachuting, land force maneuvers, urban operations, air and maritime operations, the firing of live ammo and explosive ordnance from small arms, artillery, naval vessels and aircraft.
/know/read.php?itemid=19377

Russia Calls House Bill an "Act of War." Will the Senate Block H.R. 1644?
(Gar Smith / World Beyond War & Op-Ed News & Information Clearinghouse)

Top Russian officials are concerned that a bill passed by the US Congress will do more than increase sanctions on North Korea. Moscow claims H.R. 1644 violates its sovereignty and constitutes an "act of war."
/know/read.php?itemid=19371

Trump Targets EPA for Cuts; Ignores Job-creating Renewables Revolution; Makes a $2 Trillion Math Mistake on Budget Plan
(Andy Rowell / Oil Change International & EcoWatch & Ryan Teague Beckwith / TIME Magazine & Lawrence H. Summers / The Washington Post & Max Ehrenfreund / The Washington Post)

Analysis: The Trump team prides itself on its business background but choses sto rely on ludicrous supply-side economics. Trump's new budget rests on "a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course" -- a mistake no serious businessperson would make; the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in nearly 40 years. How could the Treasury Secretary, the OMB director and the director of the National Economic Council allow such an elementary error?
/know/read.php?itemid=19350

[view all marine and water impact items] 

OIL AND ITS ALTERNATIVES

Saudis Face the End of Oil as Dubai Builds a Sun-powered Sustainable City
(Juan Cole / Nation of Change & Jon Jensen and Tom Page / CNN)

Crude oil prices are cratering, down 20% this year, in the biggest 6-month free fall in years. Muhammad bin Salman is in a hurry to find something else for his kingdom to do for a living. As investment guru Dennis Garten recently admitted: these days, petroleum is "a worthless commodity." The future lies in electric automobiles and sustainable energy. Dubai and UAE have announced a $163 billion investment in alternative energy and has built a Sustainable City of 500 homes powered by solar panels.
/know/read.php?itemid=19465

US Cities Could Shift Nearly 42 Percent of US Electricity to Renewables By 2035
(Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)

The US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is prompting more than 1,400 mayors to make their own climate-protection pledges. The Conference of Mayors -- the country's largest coalition of city leaders -- recently pledged to make 100 percent renewable power a top policy priority over the next decade. The five states that are the worst emitters of greenhouse gases are: Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Florida and Ohio.
/know/read.php?itemid=19455

GOP Politician Proposes Law to Criminalize Pipeline Protests
(Itai Vardi / EcoWatch & DeSmogBlog)

A recent intensification in protests against the planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania has prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations. The proposed legislation would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators, essentially forcing protesters to pay for their own arrests – and giving police departments a financial incentive to violate the First Amendment.
/know/read.php?itemid=19456

Trump vs. Planet Earth
(Associated Press & Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone)

Commentary: "The outrage over Trump's move runs deep because the Paris climate deal was never about just the climate. It was also about unity, equality, trust, sympathy - in short, all the qualities that make it possible for seven billion human beings to live together peacefully on the planet."
/know/read.php?itemid=19418

With US Reactors Failing Financially, China Proposes Building "Mini-Nukes"
(Bloomberg & The Japan News & Channel News Asia)

With more than half of America's nuclear reactors bleeding cash and racking up losses totaling about $2.9 billion a year, China is betting on new, small-scale nuclear reactor designs to be used in isolated regions, on ships and even aircraft -- all part of China's ambitious plan to wrest control of the global nuclear market.
/know/read.php?itemid=19424

Japan Restarts Takahama Nuclear Reactor amid Protests
(Tetsuya Kasai / Asahi Shimbun & Eric Johnston / The Japan Times)

Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted its Takahama No. 3 reactor June 6, making it the fifth in operation nationwide under stricter safety standards introduced after the Fukushuima nuclear disaster. The company plans to start generating electricity from the reactor on a commercial basis in July. KEPCO restarted Takahama's No. 4 reactor in May following the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture and the No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.'s Ikata reactor.
/know/read.php?itemid=19422

ACTION ALERT: We, the People of the United States, Sign on to the Paris Agreement
(Patrick McHeffey / MoveOn Petition & Mark Schapiro / The Pacific Standard)

In 2015, a group of young Americans filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, claiming that the government's failure to take sufficient action on climate change was unconstitutional. With legal guidance from Our Children’s Trust, the 21 plaintiffs --  between the ages of nine and 21 --  allege that the government's inaction on climate has violated their Constitutional right to "life, liberty, and property." The case is due to go to trial this year.
/know/read.php?itemid=19384

ACTION ALERT: An Unprecedented Threat: Trump's Decision on the Paris Climate Accord
(Michael Brune / EcoWatch & Ken Kimmell / The Union of Concerned Scientists & Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis / Washington Post)

Donald Trump is about to announce whether he'll keep the US in the Paris Climate Agreement. It is abundantly clear that the Trump and his administration doesn't treat climate change as a real threat. He is willing to cede US leadership in the fight against climate change to other countries. That's why it is necessary to redouble our efforts to protect science -- and fight for science-based policies that protect us all.
/know/read.php?itemid=19376

[view all oil and alternatives items] 

 

MILITARISM AND CIVIL LIBERTIES

Trump Cites "Fake News" to Justify New Threat to Attack Syria
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Choi / Business Insider & Peter Weber / The Week)

In April, the US fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian air base after falsely accusing Syria of using a chemical weapon against civilians. US intelligence investigations ultimately concluded there was no evidence a chemical weapon attack took place. The Pentagon and State Department were caught flat-footed when Donald Trump suddenly threatened to attack Syria, which he accused of plotting "another chemical weapons attack" -- another Trump falsehood.
/know/read.php?itemid=19463

Seymour Hersh Exposes Alleged Syrian Sarin Gas Attack as 'Fake News.' US Media Refuse to Publish Findings
(Jonathan Cook / Jonathan Cook's Blog & Seymour M. Hersh / Die Welt am Sonntag)

Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he decided to attack Syria after he saw pictures of dying children. Award-winning investigative journalist Seymour M. Hersh has disproven the story of a Syrian-launched Sarin gas attack but, unfortunately, the man who exposed the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and the US military's abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004, has been increasingly marginalized by the US media while his work has been denigrated and ignored.
/know/read.php?itemid=19459

The Libya Connection:
(Derek Royden / Nation of Change)

Although the conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Syria have usually been described as civil wars, these theaters have been invaded by large numbers of foreigners, inevitably followed by the air-forces of Western and other countries. As Jeremy Corbyn noted during the recent UK elections: "Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home."
/know/read.php?itemid=19461

North Korea Threatens "Nuclear Sword of Justice": Pope Warns World Is Facing Destruction
(Aletha Adu / The Express & Mike Head / World Socialist Web Site)

North Korea has chillingly threatened to attack the United States with a "nuclear sword," hinting a destructive war between the two nations is looming. This comes after repeated warnings from the White House that there is "absolutely" the chance of a "major, major conflict" with North Korea.
/know/read.php?itemid=19462

GOP Politician Proposes Law to Criminalize Pipeline Protests
(Itai Vardi / EcoWatch & DeSmogBlog)

A recent intensification in protests against the planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania has prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations. The proposed legislation would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators, essentially forcing protesters to pay for their own arrests – and giving police departments a financial incentive to violate the First Amendment.
/know/read.php?itemid=19456

1973 Memo Reveals Nixon White House Plotted Violent Attack on Anti-war Activists
(Ari Melber, Noel Hartman and Lize Johnstone / NBC News)

An extensive investigation has uncovered evidence that the Nixon White House plotted an "assault on antiwar demonstrators" at a US Capitol rally. The attack was to target whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and other anti-war "notables." An 18-page 1973 memorandum from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, sheds new light on how operatives working for President Richard Nixon conspired to instigate acts of domestic political violence directed against anti-war activists -- an extremely serious charge.
/know/read.php?itemid=19457

US, Saudis Accused of Brutal Torture, Interrogations in Yemen
(The Associated Press)

Yemen's internationally-recognized government on Saturday ordered the creation of a committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations, following reports that US military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. At least 18 detention centers have been accused of using extreme forms of torture -- including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire.
/know/read.php?itemid=19450

Pakistan Issues Warning as Trump Threatens to Increase US Drone Attacks
(Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali / Reuters & The News)

On June 19, Pakistan shot down an Iranian drone inside its airspace, calling the incursion a breach of national sovereignty. Now the Trump Administration is heading into another major diplomatic row, reportedly set to revise US policy toward Pakistan to more of a hard line approach, complete with an increase in drone strikes against targets inside Pakistan.
/know/read.php?itemid=19452

[view all militarism items] 

WEAPONS OF WAR

The Return of Famine as a Weapon of War
(Alex de Waal / The London Review of Books)

In its primary use, the verb 'to starve' is transitive: it's something people do to one another, like torture or murder. Today's famines are all caused by political decisions, yet journalists still use the phrase 'man-made' as if such famines were unusual. In Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen -- four countries wracked mass starvation -- the main culprits are wars that result in the destruction of farms, livestock herds and markets, and 'explicit' decisions by the military to block humanitarian aid.
/know/read.php?itemid=19464

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger Probes the Nature of ISIS and its Atrocities in Syria
(Rosa Furneaux / The East Bay Express)

Analysis: The idea that people have of ISIS is that they're psychopaths. Which they are. But they were murderous psychopaths for a very rational reason. Why was ISIS was committing atrocities in public. What was the thinking? I suddenly realised, that's us. That's Europe. That's everybody. We've all done that -- used public violence to cow the population and send a message. The awful lynchings of black men in the south were done in the town square -- and everyone was there to see it.
/know/read.php?itemid=19460

North Korea Threatens "Nuclear Sword of Justice": Pope Warns World Is Facing Destruction
(Aletha Adu / The Express & Mike Head / World Socialist Web Site)

North Korea has chillingly threatened to attack the United States with a "nuclear sword," hinting a destructive war between the two nations is looming. This comes after repeated warnings from the White House that there is "absolutely" the chance of a "major, major conflict" with North Korea.
/know/read.php?itemid=19462

Pentagon Terrorism: US Airstrikes Killed 472 Syrian Civilians in Past Month
(Alexa Liautaud / VICE News & Airwars)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the period between May 23 and June 23 saw the highest civilian death toll in coalition raids for a single month since they began on September 23, 2014. The new deaths brought the overall civilian toll from the coalition's campaign to 1,953, including 456 children and 333 women.
/know/read.php?itemid=19451

House Republicans Call for $640 Military Spending Bill
(AntiWar.com & The Hill)

Faced with a massive military spending increase proposal from President Trump, and a Budget Committee which expected to well exceed even that, the House Armed Services Committee has decided to outdo everybody by advancing its own $640 billion base budget. The move sets up a potential showdown with the White House, which proposed a $603 billion defense budget. It also could be in conflict with Congress's budget, as the Budget Committee is eyeing a $621 billion defense budget.
/know/read.php?itemid=19446

America Will Regret Helping Saudi Arabia Bomb Yemen
(Medea Benjamin / The Guardian)

Selling weapons to Saudi Arabia has consequences. The Yemeni people who have been on the receiving end of US bombs dropped by Saudi pilots know all too well that the United States is complicit in their suffering. The intense anti-US sentiment in Yemen should be a wake-up call for Americans. Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy have been trying to halt the weapons sales but the Trump administration and the majority of US senators have failed to heed their call.
/know/read.php?itemid=19436

Lockheed Nears $37 Billion-plus Deal to Sell F-35 Jet to 11 Countries
(Mike Stone / Reuters )

Lockheed Martin Corp is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth more than $37 billion to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States -- the biggest deal yet for the stealthy F-35 jet, set to make its Paris Airshow debut this week. The sale represents a major shift in sales practices from annual purchases to more economic multi-year deals that lower the cost of each jet.
/know/read.php?itemid=19408

Senate Vote Fails to Block $100 Billion Saudi Arms Deal
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mallory Shelbourne / The Hill & Sen. Rand Paul / Fox News & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge)

The Senate has voted on the resolution introduced by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) aiming to block portions of President Trump's $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Sen. Paul spoke extensively on the need to limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing the humanitarian calamity of the Saudi invasion of neighboring Yemen and the Saudi regime's "very troubled record" on human rights.
/know/read.php?itemid=19432

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