Public comments closed with the Department of Justice on the consent decree on the settlement of the last of the potentially responsible parties to the pollution at the Tar Creek Superfund Site. After reading the comments made by the Quapaw Tribe I was made to think of the polluted land they are fighting so hard to restore with funding from polluters. That made me think of the Land Grab taking place in far off Oregon by armed “militia men” at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and how that land had once been part of the territory claimed by the Paiute Tribe. The militia men claim they have the right to that land, a constitutional right. After listening for a few days the Burns Paiutes have begun to speak up and out about who has first claim on that land if anyone does, since it has historically been Paiute ancestral lands for 6,000 years. According to the 1868 treaty the U.S. government would hold it in trust and provide protection for the tribal members.
All that reminded me of the cold winter day in 1890 of the Wounded Knee Massacre by US troops, then years later when the Wounded Knee Siege began in 1973 in South Dakota by members of the American Indian Movement and how it became a dangerous standoff with the FBI.
I am wishing peace with righteousness, in Oregon, with the Department of Justice in their judgment on the settlement for the Quapaw Tribe and the Tar Creek Superfund site and for those countries around the world in conflict and huddling near a cold fire in the night.
Burning fires in the home is the world's greatest environmental health issue. Every year, more than 4 million people -- most of them women and children -- die prematurely from the resulting household smoke. The practice also contributes to deforestation and climate change. A typical wood-burning stove might produce 400 cigarettes' worth of smoke every hour. I burn wood for heat, but do have a newer stove that met EPA standards when I got it and have Brad Mitchell, the Chimney Sweep regularly clean the stove pipe. But I do find myself holding my breath when putting another log on the fire, more diligently after learning how the fine particulates can be harmful to my health.
Over fifteen years ago, while a high school student during his summer vacation Art Whaley went to Africa taking solar stoves to village women, so they would not have to risk kidnapping, rape and death for going in the forest and fields to gather wood for the fires. Those solar stoves began a movement to remove the home fires and the smoke which could shorten the lives of the dwellers as well as provide safety for the women and children who were out gathering wood in a war zone.
I will be wishing for safe alternative energy with the mantra on fossil fuels: "keep-it-in-the-ground" and hope this stops the fracking frenzy soon enough to give Oklahoma's fault lines rest and stop the earthquakes, while wishing peace on earth with justice for all made better when the polluters pay once again.