tagged w/ Keystone XL pipeline
Is this a deal-breaker for Progressives? We guess it depends on how principled your principles are, which has become an increasingly grey area where Progressives are concerned. Are your principles universal, or are they merely party-centric? Are we able to be honest and critical in our evaluations of fellow Democrats and Progressives, or are we to bury our heads in the sand like Fox News viewers when we don't like what we see from our own party?...
http://veracitystew.com/?p=46310Is this a deal-breaker for Progressives? We guess it depends on how principled your... more
Sanctions effect hits Iran’s food system just as planned-sequenced ‘Bigfoot’ DNA-China not named currency manipulator -Judge postpones secret back room hearing on BP plea -“Family Values” GOP Candidate Brad Staats Arrested for beating the shit out of Wife Bethany...Sanctions effect hits Iran’s food system just as planned-sequenced... more
The Tar Sands Blockade of TransCanada Corporation's "Keystone XL South" continues in Texas, but former members of the Clinton and George W. Bush cabinets believe the northern half will soon be green-lighted by President Barack Obama.
In a Nov. 13 conference call led by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), an oil and gas industry front group, CEA Counsel John Northington said he believes a "Keystone XL North" rubber stamp is in the works by the Obama Administration.
“I think the Keystone will be approved in fairly short order by the administration,” Northington said on the call.
Northington has worn many hats during his long career:
[He] served in the Clinton Administration at the Department of the Interior as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Bureau of Land Management. Mr. Northington also served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management with energy policy responsibility for the former Minerals Management Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Mr. Northington began his government service at the Department of Energy, where he served as White House Liaison, Chief of Staff for the Office of Fossil Energy and Senior Advisor for Oil and Natural Gas Policy.
After his tenure working for the Clinton Administration, he walked through the revolving door and became a lobbyist, representing many clients over the past decade, including the oil and gas industry. Northington has represented ExxonMobil, Devon Energy, CONSOL Energy, and Statoil. ExxonMobil, Devon and Statoil all have a major stake in the tar sands.
Northington was joined on the call by Michael Whatley, CEA's Executive Vice President. Whatley seved as senior policy advisor for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Energy under George W. Bush and as Chief of Staff of former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).
CEA fronts for HBW Resources, a lobbying firm run by David Holt, Andrew Browning and Whatley (hence the "HBW"), with a developed speciality of lobbying on behalf of the tar sands industry.
Whatley, above and beyond working for the Bush Administration, Sen. Dole and CEA, has also lobbied on behalf of ExxonMobil and General Electric (GE). GE, like ExxonMobil, also has a fiscal present and future interest in tar sands production.
Win, Win for Some; Lose, Lose for Most: Tar Sands With Or Without Keystone XL
Though outfits like CEA are working overtime to ensure "Keystone XL North" is built soon, there are other ways to skin the cat and bring tar sands crude to market. The most important one, covered here on DeSmogBlog and in a recent story published by the Calgary Herald, is freight rail.
Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Obama," has a major financial stake both in tar sands production, as well as in moving tar sands to market via the Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) freight trains he owns under the auspices of his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett gave over $60,000 to the Democratic National Committee during the 2012 election cycle, as well as another $70,000 to President-elect Barack Obama, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.
“Railroads too present environmental issues. Moving crude on trains produces more global warming gases than a pipeline,” explained Bloomberg in January 2012.
BNSF isn't the only rail company eager to move tar sands crude to market. Southern Pacific also envisions a major market opening for freight rail transport. A recent Calgary Herald story explains,
While Canadian and U.S. railways are scrambling to meet demand, opening small terminals close to production in locations such as the Bakken area of southern Saskatchewan and North Dakota, the Athabasca oilsands have not been part of the rush. Until now....Unlike pipelines, that means no public hearings and no environmental protests.The Tar Sands Blockade of TransCanada Corporation's "Keystone XL South"... more
Here’s a letter I’m writing to the President. It’s not easy being diplomatic when I feel such anger about this. I'd appreciate your feedback.
Dear President Obama.
Congratulations on winning a second term! I am looking forward to you being able to fulfill more promises to the American people.
What concerns me most is the acceleration of climate change over the past decade. I’ve been following global warming closely for 30 years and find what’s happening with intensifying droughts, heat waves, storms, floods, and wildfires to be alarming. The rapidly melting Arctic and faster-than-predicted sea levels rise should be our #1 priority.
I applaud your work to double renewable energy and fuel standards, and strengthening the EPA. But your “all of the above” approach to energy is dead wrong.
The world’s leading climatologists have clearly warned us that we must dramatically reduce the burning of fossil fuels if we are to avert a climate catastrophe. NASA’s head climatologist, James Hansen (who accurately predicted our current crisis 30 years ago) recently stated, “Developing the tar sands is game over for the climate.” Millions of us agree. The Keystone XL pipeline threatens all life on Earth!
Global warming is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. It dwarfs all economic concerns and is already costing us trillions in property damage and crop loss. Insurance companies are taking this problem very seriously. So is the military.
Renewable energy will not only provide plenty of good jobs, it will save us from an unbearably hot planet unseen for 55 million years - the last Great Extinction.
Please pay more attention to what the scientists are telling you than what the economists are telling you.Here’s a letter I’m writing to the President. It’s not easy being... more
– Thousands rally outside the White House demanding President Barack Obama to reject the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that will carry crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the United States, on Sunday.
There are rising concerns that if the government approves the Keystone construction, it will cause a surge in greenhouse gases, vast environmental and community degradation.– Thousands rally outside the White House demanding President Barack Obama to... more
Bottom line: Preventing uncontrollable global warming means keeping roughly 80 percent of proven carbon reserves in the ground.
By Stephen Lacey on Nov 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm
In the weeks after the election, Washington insiders are trying to interpret the complicated national politics of climate and environmental issues.
Would Congressional Republicans support a carbon tax as part of a deficit reduction deal? Is the Obama Administration distancing itself from pricing carbon, hoping to let conservatives lead on the issue? What kind of trade-offs would environmental groups accept in exchange for a climate deal?
The White House plan to “lead from behind” became clear last week when press secretary Jay Carney said: “We would never propose a carbon tax and have no intention of proposing one.”
So while the President once again fails to lead on the central issue of our time, what is the climate movement to do?
Enter environmental movement-builder Bill McKibben of 350.org, who rolled into town yesterday afternoon with a very simple message: Don’t listen to Washington.
Joined by other leaders of the climate activism movement, McKibben was at the Warner Theater yesterday — just blocks from the White House — discussing his new “Do The Math” campaign, which lays out the case for divesting from fossil fuel companies. It’s a no-nonsense, make-no-apologies approach to limiting carbon emissions by attempting to weaken the finances of companies responsible for climate change.
When the lights dimmed and McKibben walked on stage to a theater full of roughly 1,800 cheering supporters, the large screen above his head prominently displayed a new mantra within the climate activism movement.
“We’re going after the fossil fuel companies.”
Simple. Aggressive. And a campaign waged almost completely outside the paralysis of national politics.
Do The Math is based on a very simple premise. In order to have a serious chance (better than 3 in 4) of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius — a threshold needed to prevent catastrophic climate change — the world can only emit about 565 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050. We will burn through that carbon in 16 years at our current rate. Fossil fuel companies have reported their intent to burn reserves of carbon five times that amount. So preventing uncontrollable global warming means keeping roughly 80 percent of proven carbon reserves in the ground.
The International Energy Agency backed up those calculations in a report last week that concluded two thirds of carbon reserves need to stay in the ground by 2050 in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Rather than wait on a weak signal from Washington that would likely result in very modest carbon reductions, activists are attempting to create a carbon price of their own by exposing the financial unhealthiness of fossil fuel companies.
Do The Math is modeled after a divestment campaign in the 1980′s that put pressure on American colleges and universities to pull money out of South Africa — a strategy credited with helping put an end to the country’s apartheid system. Environmental groups want to characterize fossil fuel companies in the same way.
“It is high time for us to play offense. These companies have lost their social license,” said McKibben to the crowd. “This is a rogue industry.”
Vilifying and boycotting fossil fuel companies is not exactly a new strategy. But this campaign is unique. It’s the first time that any environmental organization has attempted a divestment strategy of this scale. And the targets outlined by McKibben — the actual math in “Do The Math” — creates a very clear case for campaigners when putting pressure on institutions to wind down their investments.
“I don’t think that anyone has done something on this level in the environmental movement before,” said NASA climatologist James Hansen to Climate Progress. Hansen, who was one of the first scientists to publicly warn Americans about the threat of climate change in the late 80′s, has become one of the most outspoken scientific advocates of pricing carbon.
“I think it could be a really effective campaign. It puts people on the spot and is a way to hold organizations accountable for their investments in fossil fuels,” Hansen said after the event.
It also marks a significant shift for the environmental movement, which has been largely focused on trying to spur change from inside Washington under the Obama Administration. While there have been a number of incremental victories on new clean air regulations, fuel mileage standards, and renewable energy development, groups pushing for greater urgency on climate change have been frustrated by the cool reception from the White House and outright hostility from Congress.
But McKibben, who does his thinking outside the Beltway from his home base in Vermont, is clearly not deterred. He brings the kind of audacity and naivete to national politics that many insiders lack.
“My rule on thinking about Washington is that I have no idea what they’re actually doing, so I just do the things I think I should do and see how it goes. If we’d bothered to ask about the chances on Keystone XL, I’m sure everyone would have told us not to bother,” McKibben told Climate Progress yesterday evening as around 3,000 activists demonstrated against the tar sands pipeline outside the White House after his presentation.
Indeed, in the spring of 2011, almost everyone in Washington considered the Keystone XL pipeline a done deal. But after a wave of protests elevated environmental concerns about the pipeline, the northern portion of the project was delayed by President Obama.
Now these groups are stepping up another round of protests in order to force Obama to kill the pipeline once and for all. Large Washington-centric environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, are also making Keystone XL one of their biggest immediate climate priorities.
“The equation is changing a bit. It’s no longer just the ragtag operation at 350.org. The biggest environmental groups of the country are now quite clearly stating that this is the line in the sand,” McKibben told Climate Progress.
Now he’s hoping to rally both local activists and large environmental groups behind the divestment strategy — eventually forcing a change in Washington in the same way that the Keystone fight did.
Toward the end of his Do The Math presentation, as attendees prepared to funnel into the streets toward the White House, McKibben made a final plea to the crowd in his characteristically soft-spoken, take-no-prisoners style.
“Remember this moment. This is when we got serious,” he said.Bottom line: Preventing uncontrollable global warming means keeping roughly 80 percent... more
Within the U.S. oil industry, the hot topic these days is not the nation's need to import Canadian oil—it's the possibility of exporting crude oil produced in the United States.Within the U.S. oil industry, the hot topic these days is not the nation's need... more
Green Party Candidates Arrested, Shackled to Chairs For 8 Hours…. After Trying to Enter Presidential Debate
This is who I am voting for... for president!
What we see in this video: (A video Ignored and not aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN…etc.) We see an armed Police force Arresting Legitimate Candidates who I am voting for... Arrested for What ? Handcuffed to metal chairs for eight hours! Presidential Candidates Arrested? This is like something that Stalin or Mussolini would do. ~
What we are seeing is:
Is a constitutional democracy stepping into totalitarianism, using it's self-given authority giving it a controlled monopoly on it's use of the nation's police and military power and our nation's mass communication networks; as a tool for suppression of dissent and we can clearly see the suppression of true Democracy ~ With the arrest and handcuffing of an official Presidential Candidate for eight hours! These strong-armed tactics are more common in one-party systems are found in totalitarian states,with government-controlled economies and dictators. " But, this current version of totalitarianism is a new twist on an a very old theme... What we see before us are two parties that are controlled and funded by the same shadowily corporate entities... in a game ~ where the two so called separate political parties are in fact..working together as ONE Corporate Party" Masquerading as TWO opposite parties. The Intent of the money and power behind the scenes who are pulling the strings and controlling both parties is simple... To not to give the U.S. citizens any choice other than the "TWO Official Corporate Candidates of the Republicans & Democrats" Candidates that they both fund & own i.e.
\ Coke vs Pepsi.
This video shows a criminal act waged against all U.S. Citizens... A totalitarian act targeting free choice of all Americans citizens and our Democracy, A criminal act using strong Armed Henchmen dressed as police under direction of Pure Home-Grown Fascism ~ by the same criminal entities that caused and profited from war the destruction of our economy.
What Are They Scared Of ???
They are scared of not controlling the message... They are scared of having to address damaging topics that new voices will bring into the Debate!!! The Corrupt Corporate entities controlling these staged Debates and our Elections... Do Not want the truth to come out or the real issues to be addressed or even discussed.
The league of Woman Voters ran the debates for many, many years and ran it with integrity! Under The league of Woman Voter's rules... the rules would have allowed Jill Stein participate into these debates…. To debate the real issues... that by design are today being squelched out and not addressed by either corporate candidates…
(1) The on going criminal Acts commited by Criminal Bankers against the population.
(2) Our Endless War Machine continuing to suck every dollar from our treasury destroying our economy.
(3) Homeland Security Militarizing our Local Police and training them to Target U.S. Citizens.
(4) Our Government War against it's own Citizens ~ Spying all U.S. Citizens.
(5) The Petroleum Industry destroying our water supplies by Fracking.
(6) The Petroleum Industry destroying our country and environment by forcing the Keystone XL Pipeline.
(7) Global Warming
(8) Green Energy Development
(9) Nuclear Industry Pollution
(10) Monsanto Poising every man woman & child and hiding that poison in our food!
(11) Our Own on going U.S. Global Terrorism using Killer Drones to terrorize populations everywhere with hundreds of innocent victims.
(12) U.S. War Crimes… Secret Prisons and Torture Water Boarding.
But What we get is... No discussion at all ~ not even a word on any of these very, very important subjects ! The Debates are no more than a phony scripted Circus Act… A puppet show ~ put-on for one reason... to fool the public into thinking...that we really have a choice ! When in fact... WE REALLY DON'T !
All they give us is...Coke or Pepsi… Their intent is clear.... They want to make 100% sure that things will never change from the current corrupt statuesque.
What we see… is a rigged corrupt game being played out before all of us!
GerardGreen Party Candidates Arrested, Shackled to Chairs For 8 Hours…. After Trying... more
The Canadian fossil fuel giant Transcanada (net earnings 2011: $1.5 billion) is encountering increased resistance from the “Tar Sands Blockade” in eastern Texas — now in its 18th day of an extensively constructed “tree sit-inThe Canadian fossil fuel giant Transcanada (net earnings 2011: $1.5 billion) is... more
A tree-sit continues in Texas despite an unprecedented escalation in police and industry violence toward peaceful blockaders working to prevent construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.A tree-sit continues in Texas despite an unprecedented escalation in police and... more
Nine activists have committed themselves to blockading construction by TransCanada of the Keystone XL pipeline project through Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. The activists have established a position in trees that TransCanada must cut down in order to build the pipeline. They have decided to engage in nonviolent direct action to stop TransCanada from destroying land for the tar sands pipeline.
The resistance is getting under the skin of TransCanada. Just yesterday, as Jane Hamsher detailed, TransCanada encouraged law enforcement to use torture tactics on blockaders. Now, three days into the blockade, TransCanada’s machinery for cutting down trees is twenty feet away from blockaders, a violation of federal safety regulations. The corporation is refusing to turn off their machinery and leave.
I spoke with Ron Seifert, a spokesperson for the Tar Sands Blockade. He recounted what happened to blockaders yesterday and then explained why activists find it critical to be out resisting construction of the tar sands pipeline.
KEVIN GOSZTOLA, The Dissenter: To start off, how long has the Tar Sands Blockade been engaging in action?
RON SEIFERT, spokesperson for the Tar Sands Blockade: The Tar Sands Blockade campaign launched in mid-August, however, the sustained tree blockade is now in its third day.
GOSZTOLA: How is the blockade being mounted? How are you blockading the Keystone XL pipeline project?
SEIFERT: There’s two different tactics being employed. There is a tree village. There are platforms and a full tree house, two-story tree condo, if you will, that are all connected via zip lines and traverses throughout an old oak forest. Altogether, there are over a dozen trees that span the entire pathway of the Keystone pipeline. Additionally, there is a scaffolding—a structural wall made of timber—and built along the top of that wall is a catwalk, an additional platform supporting blockaders as well. Between the timber wall and the tree blockade, there are nine different blockaders all dedicated to maintaining their positions and holding out as long as it takes to stop the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all.
GOSZTOLA: These structures were put in before construction was to begin?
SEIFERT: That is correct. Unfortunately, the massive project is ongoing at multiple locations, every day simultaneously. As much as the blockade wants to stop and protect every piece of land that is being destroyed and permanently scarred by construction as we speak, we understand that we have to hold basically one place and really dig in and this is a great opportunity to draw a line in the sand and let the world know that we are rising up to defend home. We are going to fight for a future with out the tar sands pipeline.
GOSZTOLA: I understand that some of the members, who have participated in the blockade, have been arrested. What can you say about the arrests?
SEIFERT: To date, there have been fourteen blockaders arrested at various construction sites for shutting down construction and protecting Texas land and Texas homes from construction. Yesterday was the most abusive confrontation with TransCanada and law enforcement. TransCanada supervisors encouraged law enforcement to use escalated pain compliance techniques on our blockaders. They stood by and watched while blockaders were effectively tortured. They were handcuffed into stress positions. While they were pepper sprayed and tasered, they were put into chokeholds. They were physically abused all while TransCanada supervisors watched and, when blockaders were removed from the scene and arrested, TransCanada supervisors thanked law enforcement and commended them on a job well done.
GOSZTOLA: So this is an escalation? In the days before, you didn’t see this sort of conduct?
SEIFERT: No, for the most part all of our interactions with law enforcement have been relatively civil. There was one encounter where a blockader was contorted into an uncomfortable position, but this is the first time that non-lethal weapons were used on blockaders and it is also the first time that they were handcuffed and physically restrained. Basically, law enforcement handcuffed blockaders to the equipment so they could not move, immobilized them, and then proceeded to use non-lethal weapons on them.
GOSZTOLA: Were the people arrested released? Were any of them injured by the use of weapons or torture tactics? Did they return to take positions in the blockade again?
SEIFERT: They do have bruises and emotional scarring from the incident. Of course, they were in overwhelming pain for periods of time for doing nothing more than peacefully protesting. There was absolutely nothing violent or not even one word uttered by the blockaders. It came from reports on site that it was at TransCanada’s discretion that these pain-inducing tactics were utilized.
As far as the blockader’ health, they are surprisingly in good spirits. They want to encourage folks across the country to not let these brutal tactics stand behind them and their conviction, that the only way we can stop this pipeline is to collectively rise up and show this multinational corporation that their brutality will not deter our resistance.
They are out of jail. They were released last night on bond. They were $2000 bails. They are with friends and family right now recovering.
GOSZTOLA: Finally, what is at stake here? What does it mean that a multinational corporation, TransCanada, is recruiting law enforcement to suppress people who are resisting their construction?
SEIFERT: Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that TransCanada is recruiting the state to do its dirty work because they’ve already co-opted the state power of eminent domain, which is an extraordinary ability for a third party to seize unilaterally private property which is intended for a public good or a public use. In the case of the Keystone XL pipeline, this multinational corporation has been granted the ability to seize private property for their own private good, private gain. So, it’s an egregious overreach that is resulting in the transference of thousands of acres of private property in Texas to this multinational corporation so they can further enrich themselves.
To do this, this is all predicated on tar sands exploitation. Tar sands exploitation in Alberta [in Canada] is the most ecologically devastating project right now on planet Earth. And I know that sounds a bit hyperbolic but it truly is the case. Industry has earmarked over 53,000 square miles of boreal forest for clear-cut and strip-mining, forest area the size of New York state that will be permanently destroyed and permanently lifeless.
The amount of carbon that exists in the tar sands formation is enough to put Earth over the edge. Our global climate would never recover if every drop of tar sands is allowed to be mined, processed and burned. We simply don’t have the carbon budget for it, and, accordingly stopping the Keystone XL pipeline, which will open the floodgates to this type of exploitation, is a necessary condition for protecting a viable future on this planet. If we do not do this, it really is game over for future generations. This is something that must be stopped. It’s dangerous. It affects us all. And for those directly impacted that are in the lines of the pipeline itself, these are folks whose water and land are threatened and folks in most cases wanted nothing to do with this pipeline and were forced into harm’s way by TransCanada.
More at the linkNine activists have committed themselves to blockading construction by TransCanada of... more
So, who does Keystone XL benefit? TransCanada, and US investors. As the Cornell study shows, for you and me, it’s all a huge pipe dream. Or nightmare; you decide...
http://veracitystew.com/?p=35857So, who does Keystone XL benefit? TransCanada, and US investors. As the Cornell study... more
If we’re going to tell this story — and it’s the most important story of our time — we’re going to have to tell it ourselves.
by Bill McKibben, via TomDispatch
The Williams River was so languid and lovely last Saturday morning that it was almost impossible to imagine the violence with which it must have been running on August 28, 2011. And yet the evidence was all around: sand piled high on its banks, trees still scattered as if by a giant’s fist, and most obvious of all, a utilitarian temporary bridge where for 140 years a graceful covered bridge had spanned the water.
The YouTube video of that bridge crashing into the raging river was Vermont’s iconic image from its worst disaster in memory, the record flooding that followed Hurricane Irene’s rampage through the state in August 2011. It claimed dozens of lives, as it cut more than a billion-dollar swath of destruction across the eastern United States.
I watched it on TV in Washington just after emerging from jail, having been arrested at the White House during mass protests of the Keystone XL pipeline. Since Vermont’s my home, it took the theoretical — the ever more turbulent, erratic, and dangerous weather that the tar sands pipeline from Canada would help ensure — and made it all too concrete. It shook me bad.
And I’m not the only one.
New data released last month by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities show that a lot of Americans are growing far more concerned about climate change, precisely because they’re drawing the links between freaky weather, a climate kicked off-kilter by a fossil-fuel guzzling civilization, and their own lives. After a year with a record number of multi-billion dollar weather disasters, seven in ten Americans now believe that “global warming is affecting the weather.” No less striking, 35% of the respondents reported that extreme weather had affected them personally in 2011. As Yale’s Anthony Laiserowitz told the New York Times, “People are starting to connect the dots.”
Which is what we must do. As long as this remains one abstract problem in the long list of problems, we’ll never get to it. There will always be something going on each day that’s more important, including, if you’re facing flood or drought, the immediate danger.
But in reality, climate change is actually the biggest thing that’s going on every single day. If we could only see that pattern we’d have a fighting chance. It’s like one of those trompe l’oeil puzzles where you can only catch sight of the real picture by holding it a certain way. So this weekend we’ll be doing our best to hold our planet a certain way so that the most essential pattern is evident. At 350.org, we’re organizing a global day of action that’s all about dot-connecting; in fact, you can follow the action at climatedots.org.
The day will begin in the Marshall Islands of the far Pacific, where the sun first rises on our planet, and where locals will hold a daybreak underwater demonstration on their coral reef already threatened by rising seas. They’ll hold, in essence, a giant dot — and so will our friends in Bujumbura, Burundi, where March flooding destroyed 500 homes. In Dakar, Senegal, they’ll mark the tidal margins of recent storm surges. In Adelaide, Australia, activists will host a “dry creek regatta” to highlight the spreading drought down under.
Pakistani farmers — some of the millions driven from their homes by unprecedented flooding over the last two years — will mark the day on the banks of the Indus; in Ayuthaya, Thailand, Buddhist monks will protest next to a temple destroyed by December’s epic deluges that also left the capital, Bangkok, awash.
Activists in Ulanbataar will focus on the ongoing effects of drought in Mongolia. In Daegu, South Korea, students will gather with bags of rice and umbrellas to connect the dots between climate change, heavy rains, and the damage caused to South Korea’s rice crop in recent years. In Amman, Jordan, Friends of the Earth Middle East will be forming a climate dot on the shores of the Dead Sea to draw attention to how climate-change-induced drought has been shrinking that sea.
In Herzliya, Israel, people will form a dot on the beach to stand in solidarity with island nations and coastal communities around the world that are feeling the impact of climate change. In newly freed Libya, students will hold a teach-in. In Oman, elders will explain how the weather along the Persian Gulf has shifted in their lifetimes. There will be actions in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, and in the highlands of Peru where drought has wrecked the lives of local farmers. In Monterrey, Mexico, they’ll recall last year’s floods that did nearly $2 billion in damage. In Chamonix, France, climbers will put a giant red dot on the melting glaciers of the Alps.
And across North America, as the sun moves westward, activists in Halifax, Canada, will “swim for survival” across its bay to highlight rising sea levels, while high-school students in Nashville, Tennessee, will gather on a football field inundated by 2011’s historic killer floods.
In Portland, Oregon, city dwellers will hold an umbrella-decorating party to commemorate March’s record rains. In Bandelier, New Mexico, firefighters in full uniform will remember last year’s record forest fires and unveil the new solar panels on their fire station. In Miami, Manhattan, and Maui, citizens will line streets that scientists say will eventually be underwater. In the high Sierra, on one of the glaciers steadily melting away, protesters will unveil a giant banner with just two words, a quote from that classic of western children’s literature, The Wizard of Oz. “I’m Melting” it will say, in letters three-stories high.
This is a full-on fight between information and disinformation, between the urge to witness and the urge to cover-up. The fossil-fuel industry has funded endless efforts to confuse people, to leave an impression that nothing much is going on. But — as with the tobacco industry before them — the evidence has simply gotten too strong.
Once you saw enough people die of lung cancer, you made the connection. The situation is the same today. Now, it’s not just the scientists and the insurance industry; it’s your neighbors. Even pleasant weather starts to seem weird. Fifteen thousand U.S. temperature records were broken, mainly in the East and Midwest, in the month of March alone, as a completely unprecedented heat wave moved across the continent. Most people I met enjoyed the rare experience of wearing shorts in winter, but they were still shaking their heads. Something was clearly wrong and they knew it.
The one institution in our society that isn’t likely to be much help in spreading the news is… the news. Studies show our papers and TV channels paying ever less attention to our shifting climate. In fact, in 2011 ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox spent twice as much time discussing Donald Trump as global warming. Don’t expect representatives from Saturday’s Connect the Dots day to show up on Sunday’s talk shows. Over the last three years, those inside-the-Beltway extravaganzas have devoted 98 minutes total to the planet’s biggest challenge. Last year, in fact, all the Sunday talk shows spent exactly nine minutes of Sunday talking time on climate change — and here’s a shock: all of it was given over to Republican politicians in the great denial sweepstakes.
Continued at linkIf we’re going to tell this story — and it’s the most important... more
By Olivier Knox | The Ticket - Under fire over painfully high gas prices, President Barack Obama embarks Wednesday on a two-day trip to defend his energy policy from a Republican onslaught linking his policies to painfully high gas prices.By Olivier Knox | The Ticket - Under fire over painfully high gas prices, President... more
As 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben explains in the video, we're gearing up for a major new fight to end the billions of dollars in subsidies the fossil fuel industry receives each year -- the tax-breaks, handouts, and loopholes that are just adding to the record-breaking profits that these companies are already making. And perhaps most importantly, getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies across the board would be a huge step to cutting carbon emissions and putting us back on a pathway to 350 ppm.
The subsidies battle is gaining momentum, and fast. In a recent speech, President Obama called for an end to subsidies to Big Oil and said, “Let's put every single member of Congress on record: You can stand with oil companies or you can stand up for the American people.”
As you probably know, we haven’t agreed with President Obama on everything, but we think getting every member of Congress on the record is a great idea. As a first step, we just launched this short and simple petition that reads: "I call on Congress to end all subsidies to fossil fuel companies, and invest in green jobs and clean energy instead."
Please take a minute to add your name to the petition calling for Congress to put an end to fossil fuel subsidies. Over the next month, we'll ramp up the pressure -- on Twitter, on Facebook, over the phones, and in district -- to get every politician to tell us where he or she stands on these subsidies. For now, we'll use this petition to show Congress how important this issue is -- and when we launch our big push to get every member of Congress on the record, they'll know that we have an army of concerned citizens who have our back.
As Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip-Hop Caucus says in the video, “To make this movement successful, we have to continue to keep the pressure going.” We couldn't agree more. Along with taking on fossil fuel subsidies, we're gearing up for some massive new efforts to build this movement:
- Taking on more iconic fossil fuel fights across the country and around the world.
- “Connecting the Dots” between climate change and extreme weather -- expect more on that front very soon!
- Training and supporting thousands of new climate leaders to strengthen our movement.
- And lots more…
None of this work is possible without your participation and leadership. As Bill says in the video: “This fight is going to be a lifetime fight. I’m so, so, so grateful to all of you who are playing such a huge role in it.”
On we go,
May Boeve for the 350.org TeamAs 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben explains in the video, we're gearing up for a... more
An amendment by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) to force immediate approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline failed to get the 60 votes it needed, on a 56-42 vote. Democrats Max Baucus (MT), Begich (AK), Conrad (ND), Hagan (NC), Landrieu (LA), Manchin (WV), McCaskill (MO), Pryor (AR), Tester (MT), and Webb (VA) voted with Senate Republicans to strip authority for the pipeline’s approval from the president of the United States. Despite the intensity of climate activism in the region, New England Republicans Ayotte (NH), Brown (MA), Collins (ME), and Snowe (ME) stayed with the Republican bloc in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. The amendment was attached to the unrelated highway funding bill. Moments earlier, Republicans killed an amendment that would have approved the pipeline if it used American steel and kept the oil for American use.
350.org‘s Bill McKibben responds:
“Today’s vote was a temporary victory and there’s no guarantee that it holds for the long run. But given that this thing was a ‘no brainer’ a year ago, it’s pretty remarkable that people power was able to keep working, even in the oil-soaked Senate. We’re grateful to the Administration for denying the permit and for Senate leadership for holding the line.
“The reason this fight has been so hard is because of the financial power of the fossil fuel industry, so that’s what we’re going after now. We’ve been playing defense for months, now we’ve got to quickly go on offense. Going forward, we’ll be working with the huge majorities of Americans who want to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. We’ve learned a lot, not all of it savory, about how the political process works and we’re going to put that to use.”
By Brad Johnson on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:25 pmAn amendment by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) to force immediate approval of the Keystone XL... more
An amendment by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to keep the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline American-made and its oil for American markets was defeated 34-64, on strong Republican opposition. The amendment to the unrelated highway bill was designed to expose the hypocrisy of Keystone XL advocates who have argued that the foreign-owned, foreign-oil pipeline was a patriotic American priority. As Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) admitted before the vote, the passage of this amendment would doom the project — because Keystone XL’s owner, TransCanada, intends to build the pipeline with foreign steel and ship its foreign oil for export to foreign markets. Hoeven’s amendment to obligate approval of the project on TransCanada’s terms follows Wyden’s. Democratic senators who voted against the Wyden amendment included those who have opposed the Keystone XL pipeline on grounds of its climate pollution risk, such as Sens. Sanders and Leahy of Vermont, and Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed of Rhode Island.
By Brad Johnson on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:05 pmAn amendment by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to keep the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline... more
This is an incredible presentation by photogtapher Garth Lenz showing shocking photographs of the devastation of tarsands along with the beautiful ecosystems threatened by them. Even he could not hold back his emotion when relaying the effects on indigenous communities and the responsibilty we all have in stopping this atrocity of nature before it is too late.This is an incredible presentation by photogtapher Garth Lenz showing shocking... more
The House voted on an Energy Bill today that would expand offshore drilling, increase drilling in ANWR, expands hydraulic fracturing “fracking” and approved the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the final vote was 237-187.
House republicans also voted against an amendment that would have kept the oil in the United States for US consumers, which will eventually flow from Canada to Texas refineries via the Keystone XL pipeline. The Republican vote allows the oil to be sold out onto the world markets at higher prices which will do nothing to lower prices in the United States.
An amendment from Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) would have barred exports of Keystone XL pipeline oil, and refined products such as gasoline and diesel fuel.
The number one US export measured in dollars for 2011 was refined petroleum products, such as jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline. If the refined products were allowed to stay in the United States prices at the pumps could have been lowered.
http://www.examiner.com/democrat-in-las-vegas/house-republicans-keystone-xl-pipeline-oil-not-for-us-consumersThe House voted on an Energy Bill today that would expand offshore drilling, increase... more