US veterans who protested DAPL are fighting a new fight

December 8, 2016 by  
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Last week, thousands of American veterans descended on Standing Rock to defend the anti-pipeline protesters from police brutality. Now that the news has been handed down that the US Army is blocking the pipeline (at least for the time being), the veteran’s group is on the move once again. Their next stop ? Flint, Michigan, where residents are still struggling with a lack of access to clean water. In early 2014, the city of Flint switched its water source from Detroit’s utility system to the polluted Flint River, without adding the anti-corrosion agents needed to keep the water safe. The new water ate away at the city’s pipes, causing lead to leach into the water of homes and schools through the area for nearly a year before the city alerted residents to the problem. Despite a national spotlight, the water crisis still hasn’t been resolved. In fact, the state of Michigan seems to be doing all it can to avoid delivering fresh drinking water to residents in the meantime. A federal judge recently ordered state officials to oversee deliveries of bottled water to all affected homes in Flint to help residents avoid exposure to dangerous levels of contaminants. However, the state has appealed the ruling and is apparently defying the order. Those in affected homes can still pick up bottled water from state-run distribution centers and call to request a personal delivery if needed. Related: 6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis There’s no set date for the veterans’ trip to Flint yet, but if it’s anything like the Standing Rock campaign, it’s likely to be an impressive effort. In the end, supporters donated more than $1.1 million on GoFundMe to help send more than 4,000 veterans to the reservation. Via The Independent Images via Wise Woman Rising , Kelly Kolisnik , and Ruth Hopkins

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US veterans who protested DAPL are fighting a new fight

8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation

November 23, 2016 by  
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As the world watches the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and the horrific police attacks that have injured hundreds of people , you may be wondering what you can do to help. Despite President Obama calling for a halt to construction to the DAPL pipeline in September to explore a new route, the company behind the 1,172-mile-long underground pipeline is forging ahead with construction anyway – in defiance of the president’s orders . Meanwhile hundreds of activists fighting for clean water have faced violent resistance and brutal attacks by local police , including police attacks this past weekend with rubber bullets, freezing water and tear gas that left 26 people hospitalized and hundreds injured . If you want to support the water protectors but are feeling helpless, know that you CAN make a difference from your home through phone calls, donations, and social media . You can even close accounts at banks financing the pipeline or go to North Dakota to stand with the protesters . Here are eight ways to help the Standing Rock activists. Support the protesters financially on GoFundMe and FundRazr So far people have donated over $1.5 million on Sacred Stone Camp’s GoFundMe campaign , but with winter coming they still need donations. Campaign organizer Howaste Wakiya says money will go towards necessities like food and blankets, means of power generation like solar panels , and winter gear like wood stoves and teepee liners. As protesters are arrested, the activists also need help with legal defense; you can contribute at FundRazr . If you’d like to donate a physical item Sacred Stone Camp has a list of supplies they need on their website and an Amazon wishlist . Related: Dakota Access Pipeline protesters raise over $1 million on GoFundMe Sign 21 different petitions at Change.org You can make your voice heard on the issue through numerous petitions online. Change.org has a ” Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline ” movement page with 21 different petitions. There you can sign the Rezpect Our Water petition started by Standing Rock youth or petitions targeted towards the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and President Obama . Call President Obama, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple Let the president know how you feel about the Dakota Access Pipeline. You can call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or at (202) 456-1414. You can send an email here or send a letter to The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500. You can call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at (202) 761-0011, fill out a contact form on their website, or write to Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC, 20314. You can also reach out to North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple at (701) 328-2200 or via his website’s contact form . You can write to him at Office of Governor, State of North Dakota, 600 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND, 58505. Call or email Energy Transfer Partners executives Tell Energy Transfer Partners executives to stop building the pipeline . TheFreeThoughtProject.com provided contact information for three Energy Transfer executives . You can call Executive Vice President Lee Hanse at (210) 403-6455 or email him at Lee.Hanse@energytransfer.com. You can call Vice President Glenn Emery at (210) 403-6762 or email him at Glenn.Emery@energytransfer.com. Both men can be written to at 800 E Sontera Boulevard #400, San Antonio, Texas 78258. You can also call Lead Analyst Michael (Cliff) Waters at (713) 989-2404 or email him at Michael.Waters@energytransfer.com. You can write to him at 1300 Main Street, Houston, Texas, 77002. Join a local peaceful protest You can search Facebook events under #NoDAPL to find an event near you, or organize your own peaceful protest at ActionNetwork.org . Peacefully protest or close accounts at banks financing the pipeline Multiple large banks are financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, including Citibank, Wells Fargo, and the Bank of America. According to Food & Water Watch Senior Researcher Hugh MacMillan who spoke to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! , there are numerous banks from around the world involved. Find out if your bank is funding the pipeline in Democracy Now!’s interview or in this article by Yes! Magazine . If you bank with an institution financing the pipeline, you could consider closing your account, peacefully protesting at bank locations, or contacting bank executives. Create a #NoDAPL Solidarity video to share on social media If you can’t travel to North Dakota yourself, you can show solidarity on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. On the Sacred Stone Camp’s Solidarity with Standing Rock Tumblr page, you can upload a video or picture with the hashtag #NoDAPL showing your support. A Tumblr account is not necessary to post to the page. Raise money creatively, such as through a bake sale What if you want to donate but don’t have much extra money to spare? The author’s friend held a bake sale and garage sale at her home in California and raised nearly $400 for Sacred Stone Camp’s GoFundMe. You just might have a few items lying around you don’t need anymore and could sell or donate; or if you’re crafty or love to bake you might be able to make items to sell to raise money. Share your ideas and the ways you’ve either raised money or supported the movement on social media with Inhabitat on Facebook , Twitter , and in the comments section of this post. + Standing Rock Sioux Tribe + Sacred Stone Camp Images via Fibonacci Blue on Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), Sacred Stone Camp GoFundMe , screenshot , Lars Plougmann on Flickr , Carl Wycoff on Flickr , Sacred Stone Camp Facebook , and Wikimedia Commons

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8 ways to help the water protectors at the Standing Rock Reservation

US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

November 15, 2016 by  
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Standing Rock Sioux members and their supporters protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline just got a piece of good news. Yesterday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement on the pipeline saying before they’re willing to grant an easement to Energy Transfer Partners , they want to hold more discussions with the tribe. They said that during these conversations, pipeline construction near Lake Oahe on Corps land will halt. The Army said it has finished its review begun September 9, 2016, and has determined “additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands” and because of how important Lake Oahe is to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe . Related: President Obama says Army is exploring rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline The Army’s statement doesn’t completely stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rather, the goal of the discussions they mention is to talk about easement conditions to lower the risk of ruptures or spills along the oil pipeline and expedite response to such disasters “or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies.” In a statement in response to the Army letter, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II said, “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country…Not all our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.” The Army made it clear they have not yet decided whether or not they will grant Energy Transfer Partners an easement, which the company needs to construct the part of the pipeline that goes underneath the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. While discussions are held, “construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur.” Via NBC News Images via Fibonacci Blue on Flickr and Takver on Flickr

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US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

Innovative recycled ceramic bricks keep this Hanoi house’s interior fresh and clean

November 15, 2016 by  
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The building features an interesting double-skin facade and several voids in its interior. These elements improve the quality of indoor air and work with, not against, the tropical weather conditions of the region. The outer layer is made of recycled ceramic bricks that help purify dust and smoke and suck in fresh air. Related: These LEGO-like recycled plastic bricks create sturdy homes for just $5,200 Open panels help cool down interior spaces and promote the interaction between the inner and outer scenery. Randomly arranged pot plants absorb humidity and mitigate calorific radiation. The house creates a “natural sense of breathing rhythm” and presents a healthier alternative to what’s being built in Dong Anh. + H&P Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Nguyen Tien Thanh

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Innovative recycled ceramic bricks keep this Hanoi house’s interior fresh and clean

Armed police arrest 141 protesters over Dakota Access Pipeline

October 28, 2016 by  
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Morton County Sheriff’s Department said they arrested 141 people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline . Officers who performed the arrests were reportedly armed and wearing riot gear, and arrived with soldiers and military Humvees. An airplane and helicopters monitoring the scene from above showed a string of law enforcement officials standing down protestors lined up on a bridge. On October 27 at 11:15 AM Mountain Time law enforcement began moving towards people protesting the pipeline on land owned by Energy Transfer Partners close to Cannon Ball, North Dakota . The Morton County Sheriff’s Department said they told protesters they were ” free to go ” and asked them to move to the south camp, which is on federally owned land. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said it was a ” public safety issue ” as protesters were blocking roads and “trespassing on private property.” Related: Donald Trump has a yuge vested interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline The sheriff’s department reported violence and even said a woman shot at law enforcement with a .38 caliber revolver. The Indigenous Life Movement said the woman was in fact holding a prayer staff . Protesters contend it’s not their actions, but the pipeline that is illegal, and that the corporation behind the pipeline stole the land . Standing Rock Sioux tribe chairman Dave Archambault II wrote a letter to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch dated October 24, requesting the government investigate “overall militarization of law enforcement response.” In the letter he said, “Peaceful protests are being met with military vehicles and heavily armed law enforcement personnel in riot gear. Rather than seeking to keep the peace, law enforcement personnel are clearly working in tandem with private security of Dakota Access…This country has a long and sad history of using military force against indigenous people – including the Sioux Nation. I would like to think that those days are past – and that today Tribal rights cannot be ignored and military force cannot be used to suppress Indian people. But when I see the militarization taking place in North Dakota against Indian people, I am genuinely concerned.” Via NPR Images via Morton County Sheriff’s Department Facebook , Stand Against Dakota Access Pipeline – No DAPL Facebook , and Myron Dewey Facebook

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Armed police arrest 141 protesters over Dakota Access Pipeline

What is the Dakota Access Pipeline project? We explain…

September 13, 2016 by  
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Dominating the headlines this past week has been coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the ensuing protests by both Native American tribes and environmental groups who oppose the construction and operation of the project. The pipeline developers promise economic benefits and a reduced dependence on foreign energy, while native tribes, in particular, the Standing Rock Sioux , lambast the project for the threat it poses to sacred land and their drinking water supply . To understand what is happening with this rapidly developing situation, here are five things to know about the project and the people involved. What is the Dakota Access Pipeline project? The Dakota Access Pipeline would bring crude oil across 1,168 miles and four states from the oil-rich Bakken Formation area of North Dakota all the way to Illinois. Also referred to as the Bakken Pipeline, the project would carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil to refineries and markets each day, according to CNN . The Bakken Formation is a unit of rock spanning parts of Montana and North Dakota, as well as the Canadian territories of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Oil was first discovered underneath the formation in the 1950s and the US Geological Survey estimates an available 7.4 million barrels of oil lie in wait under just the US portion of land. Why is it being built? Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Crude Oil, has developed the project as a way to lessen US dependence on foreign oil . By creating an underground pipeline, they claim the resource can be transported in a more environmentally responsible way, as compared to having to rely on railways and transporting by truck. Economic arguments for the project include the creation of an estimated 8,000-12,000 construction jobs, as well as the amount of money that could be made on the oil. An estimated $156 million could be made in sales and income taxes by state and local governments. This would, arguably, offset the $3.7 million undertaking to bring the pipeline to life. Who is protesting its construction? The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a federally recognized tribe located on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, have filed a federal complaint against the pipeline project. They claim the construction and operation of the pipeline would destroy sites of valuable cultural and historic significance, as well as threaten “the Tribe’s environmental and economic well-being.” There is also concern that digging underneath the Missouri River could impact the drinking water supply. Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, cited existing laws that require federal agencies to take these sacred sites into concern, yet that “the Army Corps has ignored all those laws and fast-tracked this massive project just to meet the pipeline’s aggressive construction schedule.” Other tribes, celebrities, and outraged citizens have joined the protests. A group of 30 environmental agencies, including Greenpeace and the Sierra Club , penned a letter to President Obama demanding he axe the project, like he did with the Keystone XL Pipeline . They say the Dakota Access project is “yet another example of an oil pipeline project being permitted without public engagement or sufficient environmental review.” What is happening at these protests? Many people are first hearing about the controversy after seeing footage of protests in North Dakota turning violent. Last weekend, demonstrators from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe encountered private security officers from developer Energy Transfer Partners. These officers threatened protestors with dogs , leading to multiple people – and dogs – on both sides becoming injured. The use of pepper spray on dozens of people was also documented. The Morton County Sheriff’s Office describes the scene as a “riot,” mentioning protestors breaking through a wire fence and entering the area where construction was taking place. Tim Menz, Sr., who helped the tribe start its Tribal Historic Preservation Office, stated the bulldozers had already destroyed an ancient burial site and members were denied the opportunity to search for disturbed human remains. The Sioux Tribe’s requested the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issue a temporary restraining order against the company, yet U.S. Judge James Boasberg declined the request on Friday. A surprise announcement by the U.S. government moments later, however, revealed an override of the court’s decision and a temporary block on the pipeline’s construction. A joint statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army read, “Construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time.” Why should we care? While an oil pipeline would provide construction jobs and a supply of domestic fuel, the implications of building and operating such a project extend much further. The risk of oil spills and the effects on local drinking water and larger aquatic ecosystems is enough for some to oppose a pipeline anytime and anywhere. Furthering our dependence on oil as an energy source, whether obtained domestically or abroad, also runs counter to environmentalists’ mission to grow sustainable and renewable forms of energy production. On a humanitarian level, the disregard for native people’s culture, historically significant sites, and land is a violation on an enormous scale. MSNBC’s Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell reminded viewers that the US is a nation “founded on genocide” and theft of Native people. He states, “And so we face the prospect next month of the descendants of the first people to ever set foot on that land being arrested by the descendants of the invaders who seized that land, arrested for trespassing.” Images via Wikipedia , Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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What is the Dakota Access Pipeline project? We explain…

France is an affordable tiny house that snaps together in just 3 hours

September 13, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBodaWCdADs Despite its patriotic coloration and name, Tiny House France was assembled in the Czech Republic just south of Prague. The structure was built from 21 insulated panels connected with threaded rods. This setup makes it easy to assemble and disassemble the home as needed. The house is topped with a classic gabled roof and is elevated off the ground, no foundation necessary. Related: How to build a compact and multifunctional Cheryl Cabin with just $3K of materials The house is split into three main spaces partitioned by color. The section painted blue houses the bedroom and “night zone”, a decision motivated by the architect’s belief that the color blue “is the most suitable for a good night’s sleep.” The communal area with multifunctional seating and a table are located in the white-colored “day zone” and divided from the bedroom by a multifunctional partition that doubles as shelving. The final red-colored “heating zone” contains the wood-burning stove and kitchenette. + Pin-Up Houses Images via Pin-Up Houses

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France is an affordable tiny house that snaps together in just 3 hours

Oil company sics attack dogs on Native American protestors in North Dakota

September 7, 2016 by  
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A protest against a proposed oil pipeline turned violent on Saturday as Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners unleashed pepper spray and attack dogs against a group of Native American activists. The protesters have been attempting the halt the construction of a $3.8 billion oil pipeline that would cut directly through their tribal land and sacred burial grounds in North Dakota . At least six protesters have suffered bites from security dogs, including a young child, according to Standing Rock Sioux tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear. In addition, at least 30 people were pepper sprayed. The Morton County Sheriff’s Office reports injuries on their side as well, with four private security guards and two guard dogs injured in the clash. There were no law enforcement officers present during the incident, and no arrests were made. The construction project is currently being considered by a federal judge, who is expected to rule on the Dakota Access oil pipeline on September 9th. Permits have already been granted to the developers by the Army Corps of Engineers, however, activists claim that the project will destroy their sacred sites and potentially poison drinking water used by 8,000 tribe members. Related: The Keystone-style pipeline you probably didn’t know about To add insult to injury, the tribe has only recently been given access to the land in question to survey it, delaying their ability to take legal action. Already, the tribe has accused construction crews of removing topsoil from an area 2 miles long, overturning ancient cairns and stone prayer rings on an ancestral burial site. Tribe Chairman David Archambault II said in a statement, “In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground.” The protests are said to be the largest gathering of Native Americans in over a century, with members of over 90 tribes lending their support. Via RawStory Images via Tomas Alejo

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Oil company sics attack dogs on Native American protestors in North Dakota

Dangerous air pollution particles found in human brain tissue

September 7, 2016 by  
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Air pollution is known to cause respiratory problems, and a recent report gives us something new to worry about: researchers discovered large quantities of toxic nanoparticles in human brain tissue. Scientists are concerned the presence of these particles in the brain could possibly be linked Alzheimer’s disease. Professor David Allsop commented how inhaling air pollution through the nose leads the particles straight to the brain. From there they can spread “to other areas of the brain, including the hippocampus and cerebral cortex – regions affected in Alzheimer’s disease.” The study , published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , examined brain tissue from 37 different people and found copious quantities of an iron oxide called magnetite. Lancaster University professor Barbara Maher led the study, and she described her shock at the findings to The Guardian : “You are talking about millions of magnetite particles per gram of freeze-dried brain tissue – it is extraordinary,” The most unsettling thing about the presence of magnetite in the brain is its potential connection to Alzheimer’s disease, as previous research indicates a direct link between the element and the kind of structural damage seen in brains with the condition. The particles were also found to have a “rounded nanosphere” shape, which happens as a result of burning fuel . Related: Science confirms traffic jams are bad for your health While the findings are still very preliminary in terms of proving a link, the team hopes that further research will determine how strong the correlation between magnetite and Alzheimer’s disease actually is and that the work can influence future policies. Maher reminds the public, “[I]f there’s at least a possibility that exposure to traffic pollution is having even worse health impacts than were previously known, then take the steps you can to reduce your dose as far as you can.” Via The Guardian Images via Pexels , Flickr

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Dangerous air pollution particles found in human brain tissue

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