People, planet, and the path ahead

The spiritual impetus behind pipeline protest

In this edition: a protest taps into native American religion and traditions; you can now measure your carbon 'ice-print;' why solar industry is against a vote 'for the sun' in Florida. 

What we're writing

Protest organizer Joye Braun, left, says a revival of religious tradition is powering efforts by native tribes to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Henry Gass/The Christian Science Monitor | Caption

Behind Dakota pipeline protest: native American religious revival

The controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline is about water, fossil fuels, and questions of tribal sovereignty. But this report from the protest encampments near Bismarck tells how, beneath all that, something else signficant is going on: Tribes from across the US say they're unifying around revitalized Indian traditions and religion. // Story and photo above by Henry Gass

On Florida ballot, a utility-backed measure might harm solar power

Critics say the initiative deceptively asks Floridians to vote 'for the sun.' At issue is whether utility customers with rooftop panels are subsidized by non-solar customers, or vice versa. // Amanda Paulson

How much Arctic sea ice do you melt?

It's hard to be sure, actually, but one new study tries to crunch the math. Driving 75 miles in a fossil-fuel powered car equals one square foot of ice melted Arctic ice, it reckons. // Eva Botkin-Kowacki

Embrace of 'eco' ethos brings new life to a French village

If you build it, they will come. That is, if "it" is things like beehives and an organic market, and "they" are the new residents your rural town of just 400 people is kind of desperate for.   // Sara Miller Llana

Why climate change divides us

If you haven't seen this installment of the Monitor's "Politics of US" series, here's your pre-election opportunity. Coloradans showcase the nation's contrasting views on global warming, and the story is packaged with other elements including charts that are worth a look. // Amanda Paulson

We got Al Gore and climate skeptics in a room. Here's what happened

Part of the same "Politics of US" package, this column is a parable for our times on climate conversation.  // Mark Gerzon.

What we're reading

Con Ed plans rooftop solar to aid poor New Yorkers

The utility says solar panels its own buildings can literally empower those who lack rooftops of their own. // The New York Times

Study: Tree planting pays off for Minneapolis, other cities

A Nature Conservancy study looks at the benefits of trees in 245 cities worldwide. // Minnesota Public Radio

What happens when explosion rocks the most important pipeline in US

The 5,500-mile Colonial delivers about half of the refined products used on the East Coast. // Bloomberg Businessweek

Indigenous lands called key to stopping deforestation 

Safeguarding rights of traditional forest communities could also safeguard the environment, researchers say.  // Fusion

What's trending 

Big Oil pledges $1 billion for gas technologies to fight climate change

"The 10 firms, which jointly produce around 20 percent of the world's oil and gas, have already screened a list of 200 [carbon capture, use, and storage] technologies and are now assessing which one or ones to develop to commercial scale." // Reuters

A million people 'check in' at Standing Rock on Facebook to support Dakota pipeline protesters

Native American activist Kandi Mossett "said she thought the police could easily detect whether Facebook users were falsely checking in from other locations, ... but added that it was still nice to see so many mentions of Standing Rock on social media." // The Guardian

Tesla wows with solar roofing. But there's one problem.

"Tesla hasn't revealed yet how much it will cost to own and operate the system, or how efficient the solar panels will be." // CNN Money