Water Is Life Festival: September 4

By Neenah Payne

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, former chairman of the Nestle Group, said in 2005 that access to water is not a human right! Coca Cola, Poland Spring, and other bottlers are threatening the water supply. California and the Southwest face record life-changing droughts. China has been hit by an unprecedented drought that is shaking the nation. Germany, Mexico, India, Costa Rica, and New York City are all experiencing droughts! Growing threats from droughts, corporations, and government mean we can no longer take water for granted. Water is the new gold!

The Water Is Life Festival will be held this year on September 4 in Duluth, Minnesota starting at 1PM.

Get tickets now.

Honor The Earth: Water Is Life Festival 2022 (see video)

Growing US Water Crisis

Food Crisis Worsens: California Drought Causes Increase In UNPLANTED Farm Land

By Mac Slavo

“The amount of unplanted farmland in California is increasing, making the food supply crisis even worse. The drought is causing farmers to refrain from planting crops that they cannot afford to water. United States Department of Agriculture data shows there are more than 531,000 acres of unplanted land in the state, an increase of about 36% from a year ago.…natural disasters such as drought are responsible for most of the unplanted acreage, according to NBC Bay Area.

…. a recent United States Department of Agriculture report is projecting a lower supply and higher prices in the U.S. for grains like wheat and corn due to drought conditions. The drought has had an alarming impact on California agriculture, and that impact carries over to the consumer and the U.S. economy. According to California Farm Water Coalition, the drought will cause more than $3 billion in negative economic impact this year.”

Montana Has Lost Its Water Rights

By Jeremiah Johnson

“This article covers the appropriation of Montanans’ water rights by the federal government in the name of the CKST (Confederated Kootenai and Salish Tribes). Superficially, the federal government is upholding the rights of the Indian Tribes to claim all surface and subsurface waters of the western one-third of the state of Montana. In reality, the federal government is taking a 170-year-old treaty, expanding its meaning, and using it as a tool to commandeer everyone’s water.

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Whether you live in California or New York, the reason this is important should be obvious to you. Government overreach has become a way of life. The paradigm has shifted, and now, people barely bat an eye when the government steadily removes the rights enumerated under the Constitution. Today, it may not matter to you because this is happening in Montana. Perhaps it will matter when the federal government comes to commandeer your drinking supply, crops, arable farmland, etc.”

Drought Will Make Southwest Uninhabitable Soon

“Game Over” by Dr. Mark Sircus, points out:

“Tanya Trujillo, the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for water and science, issued a stark warning. ‘If Lake Mead hits dead pool levels, it is game over for millions of people living in the Southwestern United States.’

However, there is no if about it. A Noah’s level flood would be necessary to turn things around. America’s largest reservoir is drying up fast, which could make states like Nevada, Arizona, California, and parts of Mexico no longer livable in the near future. It is less than 150 feet away from becoming a “dead pool,” meaning no more water flowing through the Hoover Dam and no more electricity or water for every Southwestern city that relies on this resource for sustenance.

Since March, Lake Mead has dropped by more than 23 feet. At this point, the water levels are declining at an increasing pace, so they probably have only one more year…. Is there a rush to leave the area to avoid their upcoming game-over scenario? I do not think so. We are mostly like dears caught in the headlights. We can hardly believe what is happening around us, which paralyzes us.”

Hoover Dam only a few feet away from total shutdown!

See Why We Need Beavers — Nature’s Carpenters and Plumbers

Saudi water deal threatening water supply in Phoenix (see video)

Who keeps buying California’s scarce water? Saudi Arabia

China’s Record Drought

China’s unrivaled 70-day heat wave
China Launches Giant Cloud-Seeding Drones To Combat Record Drought

The videos below show that China is experiencing an unprecedented drought. The Yangtze, Asia’s longest river, is running dry and 66 rivers in five provinces have dried up — leaving regions from Sichuan to Shanghai without sufficient water or electricity during extreme heat. Rainfall is down 60%. Five million people in southwest China face power cuts. Factories are shutting down.

Gravitas: Why factories in China are shutting down

Gravitas: In China, people use ice to keep offices cool

“The iconic Shanghai skyline went dark on Monday. Offices are using large blocks of ice to stay cool due to power cuts. Why is China struggling to power its cities?”

Documentary: THIRST: When The Wells Run Dry

Thirst: When The Wells Run Dry

“Climate change is causing temperatures to rise. And everyone is consuming more water — whether it’s to make soda, microchips, or cattle feed. But our reservoirs are running dry. Investors are buying water rights, prices are going up, and farmers are running out of water.

Fewer and fewer countries still have an abundance of water. The climate crisis, overpopulation and overexploitation are the root of this global problem. And, in a warming world, everyone is using more water: people, agriculture, and industry.

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In Germany, streams and ponds are disappearing, forests and soils are drying out.  What does this mean for biodiversity? And how do people cope with drought in countries that have even less water — for example, in the USA or Mexico? What happens when our water dries up?

This is a three-part documentary series.”

Part 1: The Battle for Water

Part 2: What happens when our water dries up?

Part 3: Who owns water?

Salt, Sewage and Sinkholes: The Death of the Dead Sea

“Today the Dead Sea is disappearing, its waterline receding year by year.”

Can Sea Water Desalination Save The World?

“Today, one out of three people don’t have access to safe drinking water.”

Is Water A Human Right?

WATER WARS (BitChute video)

“Farmers are crying foul as the growing bottled water industry lays claim to water sources crucial to the health of much needed crops. It’s a war for water that could have a critical impact on our food supply.”

The video shows that Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, former chairman of Nestle Group, said in 2005,

“Water, is, of course, the most important raw material. It is a question of whether we should privatize the normal water supply of the population. The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that, as a human being, you should have a right to water.  That’s an extreme solution and the other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other, and like any other foodstuff, it should have a market value.”

Does Peter Brabeck-Letmathe believe that water is a human right?

Tickets For Water Is Life Festival

Honor the Earth: Water Is Life Festival 2022 — Honor The Earth (honorearth.org)

A Celebration of Water as a Fundamental Right and Resource to Be Protected

“This year we are again honored to feature a fine assortment of artists who support the Indigenous communities of this state who face new threats – and the ongoing threats we all experience as climate rapidly alters due to the burning of fossil fuels.”

The Indigenous Tribes of Minnesota – and the region’s avowed natural resources themselves – face challenges from:

  • Huber Mill in the City of Cohasset that threatens air and water pollution, deforestation and the treaty rights of 5 Ojibwe tribes within a 100-mile radius of the plant.
  • Talon Mine in northwestern Minnesota (a proposed sulfide mining operation to extract for nickel and cobalt used in electric battery production) is being pitched as “green mining,” framed to pit the people and the water against renewable energy.
  • Line 5 in Wisconsin, which the Bad River Reservation is fighting to keep the new line out of its watershed entirely to protect its lands, waters, treaty rights and ultimately Lake Superior.
  • Other threats from the rebuild of the Husky oil refinery in Superior, Wi., and industrial farming operation in northwestern Minnesota.

“The ‘Water is Life’ festival stands alone on the festival landscape. It is an unprecedented coalition of Native and non-Native musicians, artists, poets and Indigenous leaders,” notes the festival’s Artistic Director, a critically acclaimed recording artist and Indigenous advocate David Huckfelt (formerly of The Pines).

“At the heart of this event lies the Indigenous, women-led environmental and social justice movement led nationally by Honor the Earth, which has championed the fight for Native sovereignty and climate justice for 29 years! Like last year’s successful event, this singular one-day festival celebrates water as the fundamental life-giving right and resource of Mother Earth.”

How Indigenous Communities Help

Why protecting Indigenous communities can also help save the Earth

“Indigenous peoples are critical guardians of biodiversity. Here’s what we can learn.

For thousands of years, Indigenous communities have been caretakers of the environment, protecting their lands, respecting wildlife and utilizing traditional knowledge passed down through generations.

Today, they continue to safeguard some of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. Almost 50% of the world’s land mass (minus Antarctica) is occupied, owned or managed by Indigenous peoples and local communities, with roughly 40% of those landscapes labeled as protected or ecologically sound. And though Indigenous peoples comprise only around 6% of the global population, they protect 80% of biodiversity left in the world. Preserving biodiversity is also key to turning around the climate crisis, as these areas are major carbon sinks.

At the same time, many Indigenous communities – especially those in isolated regions – continue to face threats like disease outbreaks, poverty, environmental injustices and human rights violations. Some rural populations may even be facing extinction: one 2016 study followed eight Indigenous groups living in isolated areas in South America over the course of a decade, and found only one group to be growing, while the rest were small and sparsely populated.

“As go our peoples, so goes the planet,” says Nemonte Nenquimo, a leader in the Waorani community in Ecuador and founding member of Indigenous-led nonprofit organization the Ceibo Alliance. “The climate depends on the survival of our cultures and our territories.”

Protectors of the planet

Growing up in the rainforests of Ecuador, Nenquimo deeply respects the flora- and fauna-rich land. Waorani territory spans 2.5m acres and is home to 800 species of animals and birds, many of which are endangered. The forest also acts like a natural pharmacy, producing plants with medicinal properties that can treat everything from wounds to snake bites. One Waorani discovery called curare, a plant extract traditionally used to make poison darts, was developed into a muscle relaxant now popularly used in anesthesia.

Beyond being one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, the Amazon rainforest generates more than 20% of the world’s oxygen. Tropical forests also help slow climate change by acting as giant carbon sinks that absorb and store excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Right now, trees in these forests store roughly 250 billion tons of carbon, although capacity is decreasing as rainforests are continuously depleted, notes a March 2020 study.

A Waorani elder stands alongside a gas flare near an oil refinery some 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the Amazonian city of Lago Agrio, Ecuador. Photo Mitch Anderson / Amazon Frontlines Yet, for many years, the Waorani people have had to fight against destructive activities like oil drilling, deforestation and industrial-scale agriculture.

“Our brothers and sisters living in isolation have made the decision to live in the way of their ancestors, but the world is closing in on them,” says Nenquimo. And now, the coronavirus pandemic is threatening the livelihood of Indigenous communities like her own. “The global economy continues to drive poachers, loggers and land grabbers deep into our territories, putting our peoples at risk.”

One such organization taking action is One Earth, a philanthropic initiative that aims to mobilize capital to solve the climate crisis and keep the global average temperature below 1.5°C. Co-founder and executive director Justin Winters says with every tenth of a degree the temperature rises, the closer the globe is to spinning out of control and launching into what scientists have dubbed the sixth mass extinction….

“Many people today lack an understanding of our reliance on Earth, its vast biodiversity and ingenious, brilliantly designed systems that have evolved over millions of years to support life,” says Winters. We have a lot to learn from those who do understand the symbiotic relationship between humans and the earth, Winters says, and we can’t protect the planet without the traditional knowledge and sustainable agriculture practices of Indigenous peoples living in these areas.

“There are leaders like Nemonte all over the world who are fighting hard to protect their lands, their waters, their families, their future – their home,” Winters says. “We have underestimated the power and importance of frontline communities and nature for far too long.” “The Earth is our teacher, and we are listening to her,” says Nenquimo. “Because Indigenous peoples are so close to the land, we also have a lot to teach the rest of the world about respect for the Earth, and about spirituality and reciprocity.”

How a Global Safety Net can ensure a better future

As a growing swell of scientific research highlights the integral role Indigenous communities play in environmental conservation, new technologies are emerging that will help to protect them and the regions they care for. One such innovation is the Global Safety Net, a “blueprint” to restore our biosphere, rebalance the global climate system and help prevent future pandemics. The two-year research effort mapped all lands of importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and determined how these lands can be woven back together through a network of corridors, restoring 350 mega-hectares of degraded land.

Indigenous Vision for a Sustainable Future

Just Transition — Honor The Earth (honorearth.org)

Honor the Earth is interested in the transition from our current destructive economy and way of life, back towards land-based economics. In this land-based economics, we see that intergenerational and inter-species equity are valued, that cyclical systems are reaffirmed, that not all “natural resources” are up for extraction, and that we behave responsibly.  We recognize the wealth of a land-based economy because we have lived it, and we will continue to work to keep these waters for wild rice, these trees for maple syrup, our lakes for fish, and our land and aquifers present for all relatives….

Honor the Earth will work in the next two years, with first nations, Indigenous communities, and tribal governments to oppose extraction, support a tribal regulatory push for environmental protection, strengthen renewable energy and food systems work in our region, and create a curriculum and learning tool for tribal youth in Indigenous Economics.”

Bonfire (T-Shirts)

Research contributions from Christopher Payne

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze

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