Volume 21 (6) Winter Appeal, 2016
We have awakened this month to a very different landscape. We at SEHN are sticking the periscope up through the rubble and surveying the world. We are facing a difficult future. Years ago we began talking about our work, especially the precautionary principle as preparing for a difficult future, much like preparing for winters in North Dakota. The literal translation of the German word that came to be “precautionary principle” is “forecaring”. We could not know exactly how difficult the future would be, but we’ve been getting ready for over 20 years with tools and policies that are designed for these difficult times — the precautionary principle, guardianship of future generations, a different theory of what government is for.
More than ever, the world is ripe for the kind of work we do — innovating and advancing policy principles, equipping grassroots groups to block really bad projects like Dakota Access’ crude oil pipeline, forging startling and useful solutions, the wily use of law and science, all of it.
We are so fiercely glad for each of you. You are holding a corner of the Earth and not going to allow your little corner to fray beyond repair. We stand with you. This past year our work proved critical, which we could do because of your kind and generous support. We need each other more than ever now. Let’s use our collective wisdom at this moment and pool our resources. We are offering all of what we have at SEHN to the stone soup.
We need financial resources to provide grassroots groups and coalitions with the tools they need to protect water, their communities, and future generations.
One outcome of the election is the likelihood that most of the federal protections offered the Earth will be stripped away or undermined. Until recently, the President-elect has had personal investments in the Dakota Access pipeline — the very pipeline that we at SEHN have been blocking at every turn for 2 ½ years, the very pipeline that is being resisted by the Sioux at Standing Rock. The new administration promises to get rid of climate agreements, endorse eminent domain for private gain and shrink the Environmental Protection Agency to a shadow of its self, with a climate change denier likely at the helm.
How do we respond? We at SEHN are prepared. We equip grassroots groups with well-forged tools crafted out of law, science and yes, ethics. We need you now more than ever to partner with us to form a fierce defense of public health, local communities and the Earth. SEHN will continue to be the go-to organization for innovative legal strategies and sound scientific analysis that are grounded in a deep ethic of present generations taking responsibility for future generations.
Among our commitments for the coming year, we will:
- Convene the 3rd Women’s Congress for Future Generations, Nov 2-5, 2017. Now more than ever we need women’s voices to stand up for a healthy and whole future. We will provide training this year to equip citizens to be Guardians of the Earth in their community. We are hearing from many of you that the Women’s Congress and Companion for Political Change are beacons of hope in a dark moment.
- Provide legal and scientific analysis to grassroots activist campaigns like the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, which is a large coalition working to stop Dakota Access.
- Seek new mechanisms for stopping oil and gas leases on public lands and waters, including designing consensus statements around principles for management of public lands and other Commons to support coalitions like the “Keep it In the Ground Campaign.” We must rapidly innovate new defense systems in this new political environment we find ourselves in today.
- Co-author a report on dietary meat, health, climate, and water use that will drive a market and health based campaign toward more sustainable agriculture.
- Establish a program of International Observers for the Rights of Nature and Future Generations. A new national and international project to provide international observers to environmental hot spots where human rights, the rights of nature and the rights of future generations are in grave danger.
Your support is a gift to the Earth and to future generations. Your financial resources are an investment in deeper work and visible outcomes of doing that work — a shield that fends off the blows that come from well-funded corporations and under-handed politicians.
With your help, we pledge to do all we can for your children and grandchildren; to leave the world more whole and beautiful.
Carolyn, Ted, Kaitlin, Sherri and Ann
P.S. We know there are many good environmental organizations that will seek your help. Please know how honored we are when you choose to make a gift to the Earth through your support of the Science & Environmental Health Network.