Earth Day 2021

Climate Justice and Sacred Activism

69143422_100730714642379_8009175440721707008_n RISE, the Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging Coalition began in response to Enbridge’s Line 3 relocation project, which failed to secure informed consent of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe to cross their treaty lands.*

Though seasonal restrictions as of April 1 have temporarily halted construction of the 337 mile long Enbridge tar sands oil pipeline, Native Americans and their allies continue efforts to permanently stop this violation of indigenous treaty rights through legal action and public education.The 3 foot-wide pipe carrying 760,000 barrels of dirty oil every day would cross over 200 water bodies and 78 miles of wetlands to eventually be burned and release C02 into the atmosphere. RISE stands in solidarity with its allies to protect the land, water, and resident plant and animal species (all our relatives) from desecration by potential, maybe inevitable, oil spills.

UUs in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and beyond have been opposing the Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline, often through Minnesota UUs for Social Justice (MUUSJA), MN 350*, MN Interfaith Power and Light (MNIPL)*, and Sierra Club Northstar Chapter*. UUs acknowledge we are non-native people living on stolen land, and justice requires us to respect obligations in federal and state treaties. Justice requires us to protect the waters and biodiversity, “the interdependent web of all existence,” threatened by Enbridge’s oil pipeline.

The tar sands oil in Enbridge’s pipeline is destined to be burned, releasing enormous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, raising the earth’s temperature. In 2007 when WBUUC’s Global Climate Change Committee was formed, CO2 in the atmosphere, measured at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, was 383 ppm (parts per million), already above the 350 ppm declared by climatologists to be the safe limit. In February 2021, the mean was 416.76 ppm.

Next week’s Earth Day column will describe specific opportunities for WBUUC members to embrace Sacred Activism for Climate Justice.

* https://www.facebook.com/RISEandEngage/

* https://mn350.org/campaigns/rise/

* www.muusja.org

* www.minpl.org

* https://www.sierraclub.org/minnesota/beyond-oil