Unless the legal foundation for local self-governance is truly built on the rights of communities, victories like the one in New York can easily be overturned.
Meanwhile, more Americans got insured, the oceans continued to become more acidic, and the world’s largest collection of rubber ducks grew at a rapid pace.
As environmental lawyer and author Gus Speth once said, "Politicians ride the waves. People's movements make the waves."
Organizers agreed that the annual marches have helped raise awareness about the mining project. But their work is far from done.
First Nations groups say that the pipeline would disrupt their traditional seafood harvest and endanger their culture.
The ban is set to go into effect in October 2014, and will be the first of its kind in the nation.
Coal-fired power plants are responsible for about 40 percent of United States' carbon emissions. That pollution would be regulated for the first time under the new proposed rules.
The decision is the largest single win for the movement to push institutions to divest from fossil fuels. And student activists say they'll keep the pressure on Stanford to divest from oil and natural gas as well as from coal.
Thousands of workers may be at risk of chronic disease from the chemicals used to process coal—including MCHM, which recently contaminated the drinking water of nearly 300,000 West Virginia residents.
It is good to mourn for what's being lost. But giving up just gives the fossil fuel industry what it wants.
If the governments of Costa Rica and El Salvador can resist the mining industry, maybe we all can.