Today's Top 5

As Construction Near Standing Rock Restarts, Pipeline Fights Flare Across US

While the Standing Rock Sioux and neighboring tribes attempt to halt the project in court, other opponents of the pipeline have launched what they’re calling a “last stand,” holding protests and disruptive actions across the U.S. In North Dakota, where it all began, a few hundred people continue to live at camps on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, using them as bases for prayer and for direct actions to block construction. Last week, camps were served eviction notices from Gov. Doug Burgum and from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, demanding that they clear the biggest camp, Oceti Sakowin, by Wednesday and a smaller camp, Sacred Stone, within 10 days. - The Intercept

Border Wall Would Cleave Tribe, and Its Connection to Ancestral Land

Mr. Trump’s plan to build a 1,954-mile wall from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico will have to overcome the fury of political opponents and numerous financial, logistical and physical obstacles, like towering mountain ranges. Then there are the 62 miles belonging to the Tohono O’odham, a tribe that has survived the cleaving of its land for more than 150 years and views the president’s wall as a final indignity. A wall would not just split the tribe’s traditional lands in the United States and Mexico, members say. It would threaten an ancestral connection that has endured even as barriers, gates, cameras and Border Patrol agents have become a part of the landscape. - New York Times

Politics-Wary Scientists Wade Into Trump Fray in Boston

Many scientists view political activism as a potential taint or threat to the absolute empiricism that science strives for—or simply feel they cannot afford to take time away from their work. But several said Sunday that they believe they no longer have the luxury of remaining in their labs. Instead, participants in the Rally To Stand Up For Science said they felt compelled to speak out against the new Trump administration’s use of “alternative facts,” climate change denial and restrictions on immigrants—many of whom work in medicine and science. - Scientific American

Republicans Push Texas As Unlikely Green Energy Leader

Texas, the most Republican-dominated, oil-rich and fracking-friendly of states, has found itself with the improbable status of being a national leader in renewable wind energy. Texas has 11,592 turbines and an installed wind capacity of 20,321 megawatts, according to the American Wind Energy Association: three times as much capacity as the next state, Iowa. (California is third.) For the 12-month period ending in October last year, wind provided 12.68% of Texas’s electricity production – equivalent to powering 5.7 million homes. - The Guardian

Wet Winter Has Improved Colorado River Basin's Water Forecast, But Drought Endures

California is not the only place in the West confronting startling amounts of rain and snow. Drought conditions have declined substantially across the region in recent weeks, with heavy storms replenishing reservoirs and piling fresh powder on ski resorts.Yet there is one place where the precipitation has been particularly welcome and could be transformative: the Colorado River basin, which provides water to nearly 40 million people across seven states. - Los Angeles Times