My daughter is going to Standing Rock in North Dakota on Wednesday. I feel she is going for all of us, to defend our rights to clean water and to fulfill our responsibilities to protect the earth. I worry for her, with all the haters out and about, but I see her bravery. I applaud her solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous nations, the heart of today’s resistance to the beast that is devouring our planet.
The resistance spans the globe. DNB, the largest bank in Norway, just announced that it sold its assets in the Dakota Access Pipeline and is considering terminating its loans to the project. On Tuesday, 300 protests took place. Here in San Francisco I partook in a march to the local office of the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency in charge of permitting for the pipeline section that threatens the integrity of the Missouri River and Standing Rock sacred sites. Hundreds of us spiraled around those risking arrest for their opposition to the pipeline. As Native American men drummed and prayed, their voices rose like the sage smoke wafting from abalone shells, and the rest of us pressed together, ten and twelve abreast, to circle round, circumambulating and blessing the people risking arrest. It was a powerful moment, a joining of prayers and hope.
We can stop this pipeline. Here are a few things you can do today:
Call the Army Corps of Engineers and demand thatthey reverse the permit to build the pipeline: (202) 761-5903
World Water Day was March 22. I admit that I didn’t do anything special, but it got me thinking about water, life’s most essential ingredient. In California today, 99.8% of the state is in moderate to extreme drought. How do we live with decreasing amounts of water? What do we do about global warming, which is melting our snowpack and increasing evaporation from our extremely low reservoirs?
I, for one, aim to get more informed. I challenge myself to:
* Savor water, especially now that it is less plentiful.
* Save and reuse water. Here’s how:
Install water-efficient showerheads.
Take shorter showers and turn off the shower while lathering.
Use a cup instead of leaving the tap running while brushing teeth.
Regularly check for leaks.
Reuse water from rinsing or boiling by letting it cool and then watering plants with it.
Use a pail of water to wash your car rather than a hose.
Rinse dishes in a sinkpan rather than under running water.
Use a pan of hot water to defrost frozen food rather than running hot water.
Of course, these are just a few ideas to get us started! Joining activities to protect our sources for clean water is another action item. Water is our most precious resources, so let’ s outdo ourselves in keeping it renewable and available for all.