We don’t have a substantial cushion between today’s climate and dangerous warming. James E. Hanson
The head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James E. Hansen, announced the results of break through global warming research last week. The earth’s temperature is rising at a much quicker pace than previously anticipated according to research by the nation’s preeminent climate scientist. We have little time to reverse the trend. (Image)
An example of the dangerous pace of change is emerging on Russia’s Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf. Long-frozen permafrost is beginning to melt due to global warming. This threat was identified years ago due to the potential for highly toxic releases of heat-trapping methane gas. Recent changes are both a surprise and a cause for alarm. There is more methane gas released from the Russian cauldron “than the CH4 emissions estimate for the entire world ocean.” Methane is a “far more potent GHG [greenhouse gas] than CO2″ with a greater potential to cause “abrupt climate change.” Continue reading →
As oil, sickness and contamination persist, Gulf residents and lawyers file thousands of lawsuits against the oil giant.
“If you got caught humping another woman – [if] you’re both naked and caught in the act – you’d want BP to explain to your wife how it didn’t happen.”
This colorful analogy was proposed by Dean Blanchard, a seafood distributor on Grand Isle, Louisiana, to explain oil giant BP’s continuing machinations to evade liability in the aftermath of the April 2010 disaster.
The Washington-led decision by NATO to bomb Gaddafi’s Libya into submission over recent months, at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of at least $1 billion, has little if anything to do with what the Obama Administration claims was a mission to “protect innocent civilians.” In reality it is part of a larger strategic assault by NATO and by the Pentagon in particular to entirely control China’s economic achilles heel, namely China’s strategic dependence on large volumes of imported crude oil and gas. Today China is the world’s second largest importer of oil after the United States and the gap is rapidly closing.
What entitlement! I hit the gas, power off to my destination. No one asks me whether the trip is serious or banal, necessary or foolish, conscious or impulsive. I just go, ripping up the miles as though they were daydreams. The engine purrs. My name is Everyman, and I have the power of gods.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not addicted or anything. I can get off oil whenever I want to. On the other hand, I may be willing to sacrifice 740,000 acres of pristine boreal forest in Northern Canada — part of one of the largest intact ecosystems left on the planet — along with, oh, 166 million birds, and all the remaining caribou inAlberta, before I do.
The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order
Preface to the Second Edition
Barely a few weeks after the military coup in Chile on September 11, 1973, overthrowing the elected government of President Salvador Allende, the military Junta headed by General Augusto Pinochet ordered a hike in the price of bread from 11 to 40 escudos, a hefty overnight increase of 264%. This economic shock treatment had been designed by a group of economists called the “Chicago Boys”.
At the time of the military coup, I was teaching at the Institute of Economics of the Catholic University of Chile, which was a nest of Chicago trained economists, disciples of Milton Friedman. On that September 11, in the hours following the bombing of the Presidential Palace of La Moneda, the new military rulers imposed a 72-hour curfew. When the university reopened several days later, the “Chicago Boys” were rejoicing. Barely a week later, several of my colleagues at the Institute of Economics were appointed to key positions in the military government.
After weeks of indecision, the NATO powers and a few Arab states have taken action against the Kadafi regime and its armed forces. NATO aircraft and missiles have devastated loyalist air defenses, troops concentrations, and supply convoys. Rebel forces have been heartened and have even made some counteroffensives out of their enclave in Benghazi. (Image)
NATO resolve is not strong, but an agreement today (March 24) will likely guarantee that the air campaign continues. Abandoning it now or reducing it to a no-fly zone only would be a severe embarrassment to the alliance and lead to lasting mistrust within it. Furthermore, it might leave Libya in a murderous stalemate or an unstable partition ever on the brink of renewed war. Continue reading →
Globalization and de-industrialization were the opening moves of the trap- privatization is the trap closing on our necks. Of course the rest of the world has been experiencing all this for a long time; but we are no longer the minor beneficiaries of American Imperialism, we have become the next course in its move to devour the world.- Claudia
William Engdahl’s latest book is another awesome exploration and explanation of the boldness and failings of Anglo-American global strategy over most of the past century and a half. Engdahl recalls in his introduction a statement from the 1970’s attributed to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a protégé of the powerful Rockefeller circles, in which he declared, “If you control the oil, you control entire nations; if you control the food, you control the people; if you control the money, you control the entire world.”
Historic Moment in the defence of the Rights of Nature
Quito, Ecuador: On Nov. 26, a historic case was filed by an international coalition of defenders of nature’s rights at the Constitutional court of Ecuador against BP and its crimes against nature. Ecuador recognises the rights of nature in its current constitution adopted in 2008. The rights of nature are universal. This provides the fundamental basis for this legal case.
The case was brought with regard to the massive environmental disaster caused when BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010. That incident exposed BP’s drive to maximise profit with total disregard of nature and its rights. The company constantly lied with regard to the scale of the disaster and toped this up by using unusually high amounts of toxic chemical dispersants to cover up the spill. This disaster was not limited to the Gulf Coast but has wider reach through the movement of water as well as atmospheric pollutions.
In the far eastern reaches of Ecuador, in the Amazon basin rain forest, lies a land of incredible beauty and biological diversity. More than 2,200 varieties of trees reach for the sky, providing a habitat for more species of birds, bats, insects, frogs, and fish than can be found almost anywhere else in the world. Indigenous Waorani people have made the land their home for millennia, including the last two tribes living in voluntary isolation in the country. The land was established as Yasuní National Park in 1979, and recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1989.
Underneath this landscape lies a different type of natural resource: petroleum. Since 1972, oil has been Ecuador’s primary export, representing 57% of the country’s exports in 2008; oil revenues comprised on average 26% of the government’s revenue between 2000 and 2007. More than 1.1 billion barrels of heavy crude oil have been extracted from Yasuní, about one quarter of the nation’s production to date.
At present, oil saturates the Gulf Stream. An official six-month cessation of permits for new drilling did not actually affect the industry or government decisions. Despite Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead. To explain such an authorization and waiver, the Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Services Division which regulates drilling, pointed to public statements by Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar. He did not intend to forbid all first cuts in the Earth’s crust. Absolutely not. The Federal Government approved wells off the coast of Louisiana in June. Regardless of the day, or realities that are anathema to our citizenry, little has truly changed. Today, just as in yesteryear, we, the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect Union, polishpolicies to appear as though our civilization would wish to protect and defend all beings, equally. Continue reading →
One of the fictions propagated in American history courses – of the order of Washington throwing a dollar coin across the Potomac – is the theory that America always comes up with brilliant leaders at a time of crisis. Witness Washington himself, and Lincoln, Wilson, or Franklin Roosevelt (Republicans will throw in Reagan for balance). This was supposed to have something to do with the genius of the Constitution and the American political system’s ability to surface political talent.
A time of crisis is certainly upon the US, and the entire globe for that matter. The financial system is ratcheting itself down step by step into a total, catastrophic collapse, bringing default and ruin to over-leveraged borrowers everywhere. The global economy’s dependence on petroleum is more and more seen as a point of extreme fragility which could, like the corrupt financial order, bring economic growth to a complete halt. The nations of the world cannot agree what to do about global warming, and this failure alone seems to show we are incapable of setting aside personal gain for the common good, even when the survival of so many species (including our own) is at stake. Continue reading →
For more than a century, in unison, the planet’s population proclaimed, thankfully petroleum flows. Oil powers our machines. The refined product has helped us manufacture massive quantities of clothing, aluminum sheet, and photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. “Plastics.” As was professed in a popular film decades ago, “There’s a great future in plastics.” Presently, and in the past, BP understood this and much more. The company’s Executives knew petroleum could and would provide endless profits, power, and a perpetual presence. Continue reading →
Crack house: “A place “where people make, deal and smoke crack cocaine. This could be a house, an apartment, or a shack to name a few…” Urban Dictionary
The G-20 and big oil treat the earth as though it were a crack house. They set up shop, trash the premises, without regard to the surroundings — all for the purpose of creating and selling a substance that people simply can’t do without.
Americans acknowledge there is a problem. Petroleum pours out from a broken pipe. Thousands of barrels of fuel flow freely through the Gulf of Mexico, just as they have for more than a month. Plants, animals, and people are affected. People express distress. Millions are dismayed. What can BP do? Indeed what can any company or citizens do? Most call upon the President. Mister Obama, the electorate pleads, please, protect us. These same citizens ignore that the protection we need is from ourselves. Our present circumstances are a reflection of our past. Many Americans have forgotten an earlier time, when another of this country’s Chief Executives attempted to avoid the nightmare we experience today. Continue reading →
Did the mining of Haiti’s riches since 2004 GW Bush regime change cause the earthquake? Listen to Ezili Dantò on mining Haiti’s riches and concern for environmental degradation by the foreign companies. (Read the transcript with reference links.)
“The idea that human activity can cause seismic activity is widely accepted in the scientific community …the connection between oil production and earthquakes dates back to at least the 1920s, when geologists in South Texas noted faulting near the Goose Creek oil field…A 1967 human-triggered earthquake in western India linked to the Koyna Dam registered a 7.0 earthquake.”
Since the earthquake, I’ve had occasion to ponder, like many others, about what may have caused this heretofore-unknown natural disaster in Haiti? Continue reading →
Oil is a curse. Natural gas, copper, and diamonds are also bad for a country’s health. Hence, an insight that is as powerful as it is counterintuitive: Poor but resource-rich countries tend to be underdeveloped not despite their hydrocarbon and mineral riches butbecause of their resource wealth. One way or another, oil — or gold or zinc — makes you poor. This fact is hard to believe, and exceptions such as Norway and the United States are often used to argue that oil and prosperity can indeed go together.