He isn’t as green in real life, but it doesn’t keep Hulk/Bruce Bannon portrayer Mark Ruffalo from being a greenie. Recently the activist actor partnered with Native Renewables founder Wahleah Johns to present the Standing Rock Sioux and supporters protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline with solar electric generating trailers. The trailers will provide electricity to medical tents and other critical facilities at the Oceti Sakowin Protest Camp at Standing Rock, N.D.
Indigenous tribes in North and South America have long been on the front lines to protect the environment and their cultural heritage. The Standing Rock Sioux and its supporters have become the latest as they protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. If completed as planned the pipeline will transport oil across sacred lands and burial sites, endangering the tribe’s land and possibly millions of American’s water supply.
“Around the world, more than 80 percent of the forests and lands with protected waterways and rich biodiversity are held by indigenous tribes. This is no coincidence,” Ruffalo said. “As so many of us suffer from polluted water, air and land in our rural and urban communities, the water defenders at Standing Rock are showing us another way.”
Similar to units utilized following Hurricane Sandy’s destruction of the Atlantic coast of the US, the solar trailers donated by Ruffalo and his partners can operate independently of the grid, in remote locations or places where people have no access to electricity. Financed by the nonprofits, Empowered by Light and Give Power, the trailers were built by members of the Navajo nation through Johns’ company, Native Renewables. His company promotes low-cost clean energy solutions with an emphasis on job creation for Native Americans across the US.
To the Sioux and supporting protesters, the solar trailers symbolize health, equality and the need for a transition to a clean energy future. Not only will the solar trailers provide clean energy to the protest camp but they serve as an onsite example that there are renewable energy solutions to our energy needs instead of oil and other fossil fuels.
“Water is life,” said Johns, a Navajo leader. “By leading a transition to energy that is powered by the sun, the wind and water, we ensure a better future for all of our people and for future generations.”
According to research conducted by Stanford professor and Solutions Project co-founder Mark Jacobson, the transition to 100 percent renewable energy is technically and economically possible in every state in the US. He states that North Dakota alone could shift to wind and solar as its primary energy sources and create 30,000 jobs in the process.
“100% clean energy for 100% of the people is not only possible, it is inevitable,” Ruffalo said. “The question is whether we move quickly enough to avert the worst impacts on our water, land, people and climate. Or do we allow projects like this pipeline, which we know from experience will leak, explode, pollute and poison hundreds of waterways and acres of pristine land.”Tweet