A recent viral video of a diver swimming through a sea of plastic is a stark reminder of what we are doing to the world’s oceans. We’ve been reporting on this issue since 2012, watching the development of a massive gyre of plastic forming in the Pacific Ocean, devastating wildlife in the Midway Atolls. Continue reading The Amount of Plastic in Oceans Will Triple within Seven Years, Says Major Report
Good news — China is about to get a whole lot greener. According to a source in the Central Military Commission, a large regiment of the People’s liberation Army, in addition to the nation’s armed police force, have been withdrawn from protecting the northern border. Their new task? To plant trees.
The new forests will cover an area approximately 84,000 square kilometers in size — roughly the size of Ireland — in 2018. The goal is to increase forest coverage to 23 percent of total landmass by 2020. The current forested area stands at 21 percent, according to China Daily. Continue reading China Is Re-assigning 60,000 Troops — To Plant Trees
By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel
You might have heard that this winter, temperatures in Florida have been so low that iguanas have fallen out of trees, seemingly frozen. But did you know the cold weather has affected other animals in the state?
The low temperatures have particularly hurt sea turtles, “freezing” them to the point that they can’t swim or move. Fortunately, rescuers have saved, treated, and released roughly 1,000 affected turtles, helping them in a time when the cold would’ve killed them. Continue reading Sea Turtles Stunned by Cold Weather Rescued in Florida
By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel
There are a lot of things happening on our planet you wouldn’t really think are funny, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh about them. Laughter helps us cope with the chaos, and being willing to joke about sensitive issues can make them easier to discuss collectively. Laughter is a universal language that can bring people together in even the most divisive circumstances.
If we’re going to resist the handful of corporate elites making decisions that hurt us all and devastate the planet we live on, we might as well keep a sense of humor about it. This is exactly what anti-fracking activists did in Washington, at an encampment they built over train tracks on which fracking materials are transported. Continue reading Humor in Activism: Washington Protestors Temporarily Stop Fracking
Thanks to a team of researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), it is now possible to harness renewable energy from waves while simultaneously protecting the coastline from erosion.
Normally, tetrapods (star-shaped structures made from concrete) are used to protect coastlines from eroding. With the aid of Wave Energy Converter (WEC) turbines, however, the coastlines can be protected while renewable energy is harvested. Continue reading Newly-Developed Japanese Turbines Harvest Energy From Waves While Protecting The Coast
By Alanna Ketler, Collective Evolution
Ayahuasca, a potent psychedelic plant medicine that has been used for thousands of years by many indigenous tribes in South America, has been gaining a lot of attention over the past couple of decades from Westerners seeking spiritual or physical healing.
More and more people are travelling to Peru, Brazil, and other South American countries hoping to find enlightenment or recover from various traumas. Ceremonies are often facilitated by expert healers, including curanderos, shamans, ayahuasqueros, and maestros, all of whom have been traditionally trained with knowledge passed down from their ancestors on how to properly facilitate healing ceremonies. Continue reading Is The Use Of Ayahuasca Helping To Raise Our Global Environmental Consciousness?
By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel
2017 has been eventful, and news stories (good and bad) emerge each week that prove we’re at a turning point in our evolution. Some stories exemplify the good in humanity, but others make it clear we’re headed in a wrong direction.
By highlighting the good things people have done, the positive stories show us that not everyone is apathetic or hateful. The negative stories show us we’re certainly not a peaceful civilization, and we still have a lot to learn.
I like to focus on news that shows both realities.
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s) are contaminating homes and the environment with mercury. They contain much higher amounts of mercury than other typical factors in the poisoning of people, often with many milligrams of mercury, whereas other factors in mercury poisoning are usually measured in micrograms. Thousands of times more than other typical mercury contaminants.
The damage done to people and the environment by mercury is well documented in papers found at sites like PubMed. According to a paper titled: “Current approaches of the management of mercury poisoning: need of the hour”: Continue reading Mercury in Compact Fluorescent Lights is Contaminating Homes and Environment
By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was recently back in the news, with Trump issuing an executive order approving its completion and the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Army Corps have also granted easement for construction to continue, despite that they denied it just a few months ago.
The struggle continues, and water protectors are still hard at work raising awareness of the violation of native rights and the potential for millions of people to lose clean drinking water. Unfortunately, the company constructing the pipeline has close ties with the newly elected president.
Add this to the fact that police have responded brutally to protestors (and will probably continue to), and you have a recipe for indefinite strife.
Here are eight facts about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the situation in Standing Rock that may or may not make you want to join the struggle.
- The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,100-mile oil pipeline under construction from North Dakota (specifically, the Bakken shale oil fields) to Peoria, IL
It’s a $3.8 billion project planned to cross Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, where it would reside under the Missouri river. (1)
- President Trump recently signed executive orders approving the completion of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines
His reason was that it’ll bring in jobs. Congress can’t overturn the decision, but the Standing Rock Sioux are preparing legal action and “mass civil disobedience”. (2)
- Trump had investments in the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline
In December, Trump sold his stake in Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company constructing DAPL, to avoid controversy. But he continues to be close with the company. Kelcy Warren, owner of Energy Transfer Partners, gave $100,000 to a fundraising effort for Trump when he was running. The Washington Post reports that Trump’s share in the company was between $500,000 and $1 million in 2015. (2)
For this and other reasons, many people expected Trump to approve the pipeline’s completion when he took office. They were right.
- DAPL’s construction would bring a renewal of fracking in the Bakken region
Fracking, an oil extraction method often targeted by environmental activists for its recklessness, could become popular again in the Bakken region when the pipeline is finished. (1)
- The pipeline will pollute a main source of freshwater for the Standing Rock Sioux and 8 million other residents
Not only the Standing Rock Sioux, but 8 million residents who currently enjoy clean drinking water will have to go without if the pipeline leaks. (1)
- Concerns over the pipeline leaking have already caused it to be moved once
The pipeline’s original route passed through North Dakota’s state capital, Bismarck. It was moved, however, over similar concerns for the city’s water supply. (3)
- The government has conducted surveillance on water protectors
The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently released a report involving “numerous” law enforcement agencies in which anecdotal reports were compiled of the suspicious behavior of some protestors’ cell phones. This behavior included an unusual drain on the battery and certain apps, or the phone altogether, crashing unexpectedly. (4)
The report notes that some people observed attempts to log in to their Google accounts. Facebook posts and messenger threads also reportedly disappeared, and many uploads – especially live ones – would either fail to complete or disappear after processing. The IP addresses traced to the attempts to log in to Google accounts were most often linked to “North Dakota’s Information & Technology Department”. (4)
To be fair, though, the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that it’s difficult to determine the true cause of all this. (4)
- DAPL police blew up a water protector’s arm
Sophia Wilansky is a DAPL protestor who nearly lost her arm after it was blown up by a grenade fired by militarized police. Rumors circulated that doctors had to amputate the arm, but they turned out untrue. (5)
Nonetheless, it’s a traumatic thing to happen to someone who has the audacity to stand up for clean water.
Some people might think Trump’s decision to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline’s completion is no big deal. Some are praising him for creating jobs. But they’re unaware of the literal blood, sweat, and tears that have went into this struggle.
Until we can see the struggle of others as no different from our own, we’ll continue to support outrageous politicians sponsored by big corporations, none of which truly care about the people. Hopefully, in time, we’ll develop compassion and see that it’s not okay to break treaties or pollute sacred land.
- “About DAPL” Medic + Healer Council – https://medichealercouncil.com/nodapl/
- Jessica McBride, “Trump Dakota Access Pipeline Executive Order: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know”, Heavy.com, January 24, 2017 – http://heavy.com/news/2017/01/trump-dakota-access-pipeline-executive-order-dapl-standing-rock-no-keystone-investment-energy-transfer-partners-kelcy-warren-donation/
- “Pipeline route plan first called for crossing north of Bismarck”, Bismarck Tribune, August 18, 2016 – http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/pipeline-route-plan-first-called-for-crossing-north-of-bismarck/article_64d053e4-8a1a-5198-a1dd-498d386c933c.html
- “What You Aren’t Being Told About Government Surveillance on DAPL Protesters”, Anti-Media, December 22, 2016 – http://theantimedia.org/government-surveillance-dapl-protesters/
- Nick Bernabe, “Remember When DAPL Police Blew a Protester’s Arm Up? This Is Her Now”, Anti-Media, December 14, 2016 – http://theantimedia.org/dapl-sophia-wilansky-arm-now/
About the author:
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.
I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).
I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.
If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider a donation (no PayPal account required):
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Featured image credit: actionnetwork.org
Editor’s note: Charleen and Nick included some photos of pollution near their hometown, as well as a video at the bottom of this post.
Have you noticed lately just how much rubbish we have littering our countryside, our streets, forests and towns, and let’s not forget about the lay-bys at the side of our motorways! It’s appalling, dismaying and unacceptable to say the least. Our hearts go out to the generations that follow us who will find our beautiful country submerged under piles of rubbish.
“Environmental vandalism – it’s unpleasant, unnecessary and unacceptable.”
In the past several months, my partner and I Nick Evans, have consciously been made aware of just how much worse Britain’s litter problem has become, we would often go out for the day and notice how bad the situation was and we would always say that we wanted to do something about it, and we feel that now it is time, we just cannot ignore such a crime against nature any longer! Continue reading Respect Nature