Tidbits Of Good News For Mother Earth

Quite probably the single most crucial issue facing us today is the environment, and not only climate change, but dangerous agricultural chemicals, contaminated water supplies, and the killing of our wildlife as well.  Recently, there have been a number of court rulings favourable to the environment, and throwing small wrenches into Trump’s plan for global destruction.

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ordered the EPA to finally take action on widespread demands from environmental groups to ban chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide.Farmer in tractor spraying herbicides over field with trailed sprayer in spring.For years, experts have raised concerns about chlorpyrifos, which is commonly used on crops including apples, wheat, and corn. The pesticide has been linked to cognitive problems, especially in children, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed it hazardous to humans. But it remains widely used in the United States, and under former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency denied a petition to ban chlorpyrifos, arguing that the science underlying the pesticide’s side effects is “unresolved.”  Same ludicrous argument the present administration keeps making about climate science.  Perhaps they simply do not understand science?

Last August, the 9th Circuit ordered the EPA to ban the pesticide within 60 days, but the Trump administration appealed. Now, the agency is once again facing a deadline. The court ruled Friday that the EPA has 90 days to decide on banning chlorpyrifos across the country, giving the agency until mid-July to act.

The courts may be losing patience with the administration on environmental issues such as this one, for Judge Margaret McKeown said …

“You’ve had 10 years or more to look at this. We’ve changed administrations, apparently we’ve changed science — how much more time do you need?”

It is far from finished, but the courts seem to be leaning more toward the environment than the EPA, a good sign at least.

On April 18th in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Judge Linda Parker ruled that people in Flint are free to sue the federal government over its mishandling of the city’s water problems.  In the past three years, I have written a couple of times about the water crisis in Flint Michigan, starting with Just Don’t Drink The Water back in early 2016.  Flint-MI-water-towerAlthough one of Trump’s campaign promises was to spend money on infrastructure problems, nothing … zero … has been done to alleviate the situation for the residents of Flint.  Two years ago, Flint community members sued the EPA for “mishandling” the crisis and failing to utilize the Safe Drinking Water Act to intervene and protect residents. Around 3,000 people are named in the lawsuit, which the government has sought to dismiss.

Judge Parker’s ruling does not necessarily find any federal employees negligent, but it does mean the government is not immune from a lawsuit.  It’s a small step, but one in the right direction.

Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that …

  • Bans oil and gas exploration, development, and production in state coastal and tidal underwater land; and,
  • Prohibits construction of any new infrastructure in New York to transport oil and natural gas developed in the North Atlantic Planning Area, the federal government’s designation for federal waters offshore the tri-state area and New England.

Trump and his cabinet lackeys have proposed opening both the East and West coasts, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska to offshore drilling.  This new law is one that should be adopted by every coastal state in the nation.  After BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, oil contaminated more than 1,300 miles of coastline, harming fisheries, birds, and impacting endangered whales for generations to come.New-York-skyline-towersThe environment is much more important than the financial interests of the oil and gas industries, and it’s good to see at least some lawmakers acknowledging that.  Undoubtedly there will be court fights over this, but if every state follows New York’s lead, Trump will be long gone from office before all the suits are resolved.

Trump’s plan to reverse environmental initiatives in Alaska put in place by President Obama, took a double hit in federal court in late March.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that the administration violated federal law with a proposed road that would split a wilderness area in a national wildlife refuge.  The proposed road was in order to give residents of a local village easier access to an airport, however the damage to the habitat for migrating waterfowl would have likely been severe and irrevocable.

Later the same day, the same judge ruled that Trump exceeded his authority when he reversed bans on offshore drilling in vast parts of the Arctic Ocean and dozens of canyons in the Atlantic Ocean.  The reason for the ban was to protect polar bears, walrus, ice seals and the Native villages that depend on the animals from industrialization and oil spills.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska is not happy about either of these rulings and predicts they will work their way through the court system until they reach the Supreme Court.  She’s probably right.  But, perhaps by then we will have a president who cares more about the environment and the survival of species than about the profits of the fossil fuel industry. 

All of these are good news, but they will undoubtedly be challenged and possibly lose the higher they go in the federal court system.  We the People must make our voices heard, must let Congress, especially the republicans in Congress, know that we don’t want offshore drilling, that we don’t want wildlife decimated, that we want potable drinking water, safe food, and that we want regulations that protect our planet rather than ones that protect oil companies or other corporations.

47 thoughts on “Tidbits Of Good News For Mother Earth

  1. Survival for all living beings is the ultimate goal. We have no idea which species of life is the one that holds all the rest together. Plankton, maybe? Cockroaches? Bacteria? We won’t know unless it disappears, so I would rather never find out.
    But how do we change those minds that see money before they see life? Future generations is going to become an oxymoron. Climate disaster will describe the end of life as we know it! When 99% of the human population want change, and 1% want to keep it the way it is, why is the 99% losing?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Clearly the majority of 99% are ignorant or simply don’t give a damn. If 1/10 of the 99% came out and protested vehemently in the streets, in front of city hall, making noise in the media, I’m sure things will change real quick!
      Just look at the Yellow Vests in France!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Your point is well taken … we don’t understand the ecosystems well enough to know what species might be the link upon which all life hinges. As to your final question … WHY? The answer is simple: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      Liked by 2 people

      • Life is interdependent of one other. It’s not just one part that everything hinges upon. Altho I do agree with you that humanity has lost it’s connection with nature and has become that weak link in the chain of life. So many species are dying off under our watch, if mankind suddenly disappear, all life on Earth would be given a chance to recover.
        We suck as humans b/c of greed, limited mindfulness, lack of caring empathy, shortsightedness, stupidity… the list goes on and on. 😦


      • Which is exactly my point. Why are we allowing ourselves to remain slaves? Because we are afraid to give up the lifestyles we have become accustomed to! Instead of electing governments who want to do something about change, we are el3cting more and more governments who want to do nothing but fatten our egos and their wallets.
        But the real story is even governments cannot save us. The bureaucracy of government has no incentive to change, it is doing quite well continuing on as it has for generations. GOVERNMENTS ARE INVESTED IN KEEPING THINGS AS THEY ARE.
        Change is up to the 99%. And we are failing miserably!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yup, it’s called The Right of Revolution. Do we have the right to overthrow our government?
          The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is not only our right but we also have a duty to alter or abolish any government that does not secure our unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
          That includes preserving all life on Earth and for future generations to exist. The yellow vests in France are showing us how it’s done.


        • Why indeed? The system does not really benefit us, but we continue to think it does. It certainly doesn’t benefit other species, or life support systems for the planet.
          I have beem accused of wanting us to return to the stone age, live in a mud hut and die of disease at age 25. But that is a false perception of life. Asian Elephants live 80 years, until their teeth drop out and they can no longer eat enough to sustain themselves. Animals that live simply, have normal lifespans. Our lifespan dropped because of war or disease brought on by overpopulation.

          I am watching a moorhen as I write this. She is selecting dry leaves for constructing a warm, dry nest to lay her eggs. She is evolved to survive without clothing, without handbags or shoes, without money, without a social care network and so on. I fed her along with ducks and a Canada Goose earlier. Once they realised that I gave a piece of bread to each in turn (fair distribution), they waited patiently until their turn came, knowing that they would not miss out… They can count. It stopped the pecking at each other, the squabbling and the need to be king pin. We slate communism as a loss of freedom, and it is, because the concept is abused by the same power mongers who want control of the masses. We have to evolve and get past the age of elitism, get past the age of selfish gain and want, get past the idea that we are only allowed the little bit that we are alloted in life and try to find the balance that makes life flourish. It will not have designer handbags or fancy cars, but it will have love, caring and balance with other life forms.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. We hold onto the small victories as they come, never forgetting that there are larger ones that must be won if we are to save our country and the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency is a mockery of the word protection…it has become a joke, albeit not a funny one! We the People must quickly resurrect the policies from the Obama years that Trump & his ilk have trampled down and removed, never mind going way beyond them…survival for all creatures great and small depends upon it. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • As Keith said, the EPA is better named the Environmental Polluters Agency these days, and frankly, I think we have no viable EPA or Interior Department, both of which are doing everything in their power to destroy this planet. Even now that we have a democratic majority in the House, our hands are largely tied in trying to stop Trump & Co from destroying our home, making our air un-breathable, our water un-drinkable, and our food non-existent. Small steps like the ones I mentioned are a start, and they do add up at the end of the day, but it is too little … far too little. Will governments around the globe wake up in time? Stay tuned …


  3. Small victories, but victories none the less.

    The UN’s report on the State of Nature released yesterday states that we could see the extinction of a million species in a few decades. The report stated that the need to protect and preserve nature is as pressing as the need to declare and act on a climate emergency.

    Meanwhile, in UK, one of our prominent celebrity Naturalists, Chris Packham, teamed up with veteran Naturalists, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery to form an organisation called WildJustice.org to fund legal cases against those that would knowingly and wilfully destroy species. Their first case was againt ‘Natural England,’ (a government deptl for thier unlawful use of general licences to kill ‘pest birds.’
    Natural England pulled the general licences, stating that individual licences must be applied for online. They have since relented, and put back the general licences, but with added conditions after a backlash from farmers and land owners. Chris and his family have received abuse, mailed items of a disgusting nature and threats to life.

    I make this point because we all have to fight for our right to a clean climate and to protect our natural world, but there are economic interests (I. E. The people who want you to keep buying more and more) who don’t want any of that to happen. We need to look beyond our own comfort zone and start defending our planet against those who will destroy it in the name of profit, GDP, economic growth and any other form of keeping human population growing until the planet can no longer support us and our species collapses.

    It really is that simple.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for that link! I have saved it to read a bit later this evening. Yes, I had read about Chris Packham, his noble efforts and the terrible backlash he’s been receiving, including hanging dead birds from his fence. Are people really so stupid? Never mind, I already know the answer to that. Sigh. Yes, we must all do our part, but perhaps the most important is getting our legislators off their collective bums to make some tough laws and enforce them! I hear Gove and Corbyn are teaming up on this front. Interesting … I’ll believe it when I see results.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You know I will! Flint was a completely avoidable disaster that has resulted in deaths and chronic illness for the residents of the town, and still … the powers that be sit on their hands. Another great example of placing corporate greed ahead of people’s lives. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Why do people who have children and grandchildren rule against safe water and stopping the ruining of the land? Where do they think those children in their families are going to grow up. There is no planet B. Are the children when grown up going to thank them? I think not. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, the evangelicals, from what Gronda has written, apparently are eager to bring about the end of the world, for they think there is some great reward for them doing so. Other people, I think, just have the attitude that it will all, somehow, work itself out, that there is some magic panacea just waiting to be discovered. And then, there are those like a ‘friend’ of mine who told me to chill out, that “God gave us everything on earth to make us happy, and he will take care of it, so we don’t need to worry.” Needless to say, I have lost a lot of respect for that friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve always been of the opinion that God expects us to use the common sense he gave us. Your friend sounds like the man who turns down three attempts to save him from a flood and God tells him after he dies that He, God, sent the three attempts and asks him why he didn’t accept one. Then there are the truckers here who get roaring drunk and crawl into their trucks saying “God will take care of me.” A relative told me that story. —-Suzanne

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, it is good news. On several occasions, environmental judges have ruled against Trump’s EPA because they did not do sufficient homework to prove their position. Part of the reason is pushing anti-environmental protection issues. But, part of the reason is the dusrupted and deficient staff. Many experts were shuffled around and many have left. The EPA in the Trump White House should be called the Environmental Polluters Agency.

    The true protectors of the environment are these non-partisan environmental groups. I will say there are times when well-intentioned environmental rules can go to far, but like any regulations, they need to be periodically reviewed for their veracity. In the book “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman,” there are several examples of people in these three professions and two others working with environmentalists to let them make a living, while responsibly protecting the environment. Legislators should read this practical book. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I truly feel like we no longer even have an EPA, but your definition, Environmental Polluters Agency, is apt. I don’t think that at this point, a regulation that protects the air, water, or land can go too far, for we are running out of time. Yes, that book should be required reading, and perhaps somebody could even read it — and explain it — to Trump! 😉


    • I wouldn’t go quite that far, Hugh. They may be leading the US battle, but leading the world in saving the planet is a bit of a stretch. It takes many nations, preferably all of them, to lead the way together. Give credit where credit is due.

      Liked by 1 person

    • They are, and I’m pleased, but it’s still not enough, and things can get tied up in court for years. I fear we cannot wait for years for every single decision. We really need to be much more proactive, though mind you, I’m not making light of the smaller efforts. They add up. Just not quickly enough.


    • I know … it’s not nearly enough, but, as a former boss once told me, “peanuts make elephants”. Only trouble is, it takes a whole lot of peanuts to make an elephant. And, truly, peanuts don’t exactly ‘make’ elephants.


      • Peanuts to elephants, small victories to huge victories. I agree with that, as far as it goes. But it takes a few years for an elephant to grow. It will take a minimum of centuries to clean the air and water of the world. No comparison there, and we can’t take time doing it. That’s all I’m trying to say.

        Liked by 1 person

          • And that makes small victories acceptable. I know we need every victory we get, but small victories cannot be acceptable, not when big victories are being demanded. Small victories usually add up. But not this late in the game!

            Liked by 1 person

              • I cannot answer that. We are still here. I don’t want us to be arguing, Jill, nor am I trying to be doomsday-saying. As much as I don’t think we deserve to survive, I want us humans to take responsibility for the state of this planet, and do something major to show our future generations (if there are any) that we care. They won’t care about small victories because they won’t know about them. And neither will the rest of life. If we allow millions of species to die in a short period of time, we are the guilty one. And small victories, though necessary, show that we know we are guilty, but they also show we don’t care enough to change.
                THAT is the gist of my statements. WE MUST SHOW WE CARE!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Hey, my friend! We’re not arguing … just sharing our thoughts. I wouldn’t argue with you, for you’re a treasured friend. And you know I agree with you. The time for action was 50 or more years ago, and it may already be too late, but still people refuse to be inconvenienced just to save the planet. Yes, we must care, we must SHOW we care, we must do what we can to hold our leaders accountable, and we must make our own sacrifices. LuL


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