Category: Environment

Sep 07

Now There Are Three

While Category 5 Hurricane Irma is plowing through the Caribbean Islands heading towards southern Florida, she was joined by two more, Hurricane Jose, at category 2 storm, trailing right behind, and in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia, a category 1 that is threatening the coast of Mexico near Veracruz. As of at 2 p.m. …

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Sep 06

Waiting For Irma

Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse than the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the US mainland is now bracing for a category 5 hurricane, Irma. It is the strongest storm ever reported in the Atlantic with sustained 185 mph winds and gusts up to 225 mph, not to mention torrential rain and …

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Jun 01

We’re Melting

This afternoon Donald will announce his decision whether to stay in the Paris Climate Accord. Withdrawal from the pact would be disastrous for our climate but we are currently governed by a man who is not only ignorant and uninformed but determined to dismantle the Obama administration legacy. A few months back, John Oliver, host …

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Dec 05

Standing Rock: Who Said Protests Don’t Work?

The US Army Corps of Engineers denied the final easement the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that would have allowed Energy Transfer Partners to drill under the Missouri River endangering the water and desecrating Native American burial grounds. The Army Corps of Engineers will not grant the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to drill under …

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Sep 20

Odds or Onions Challenge XIII

Can you pick The Onion without hovering your mouse over the links? Not much of a challenge really, but if you just looked at the headlines you’d have an easy 50 / 50 shot at being wrong.   Giant orange dinosaur in Massachusetts saved from extinction SAUGUS, Mass. — The giant orange dinosaur seen by …

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Sep 07

It’s About The Water

For months now Native American and First Nation tribes from Canada have been protesting the $3.8 billion pipeline that would carry Bakken crude oil across four states, a portion of which has raised environmental and safety concerns from several federal agencies. Last week the protest turned violent at the Standing Rock site when the company …

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Jan 06

Getting the Pb Out Of Flint’s Water

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has not dropped the ball on the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Her report on the poisoning of the residents when their water supply was switched, showed explicitly how responsibility for the tragedy falls to Republican Governor Rick Snyder and his radical, anti-democratic policies. Bryn Mickle, Flint Journal/MLive editor, talks …

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Dec 21

How Lead Got Into the Flint Michigan Water Supply

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reports on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan residents when their water supply was switched, and shows explicitly how responsibility for the tragedy falls to Governor Rick Snyder and his radical, anti-democratic policies. Flint toxic water tragedy points directly to Michigan Gov. Snyder Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician with Hurley Children’s Hospital …

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Dec 16

Climate Change Accord: Wrong Track?

While world leaders pat themselves on the back for approving, what is being called, a historic climate agreement, some climate scientists and activists believe it fall far short of what is needed to stop global warming. It’s astonishing how matter-of-fact most of the world is about paragraphs like this one https://t.co/mB1c7X35nP pic.twitter.com/vjDj10pRuS — Glenn Greenwald …

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Sep 22

Hillary Announces Opposition to Keystone XL Pipelime

Last week Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton put the White House on notice that she could not wait much longer to take a stand about building the Keystone XL pipeline. The wait is over. At an Iowa event Secretary Clinton let her view be known.

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Her fellow candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has opposed the pipeline since its inception, was “glad that Secretary Clinton finally has made a decision,” and welcomed “her opposition to the pipeline.”

While it’s disappointing she didn’t do this while she was Secretary of State, she did explain her reasons for opposing it now

“I was in a unique position as secretary of state at the start of this process, and not wanting to interfere with ongoing decision making that the President and Secretary (of State John) Kerry have to do in order to make whatever final decisions they need,” Clinton said. “So I thought this would be decided by now, and therefore I could tell you whether I agree or disagree, but it hasn’t been decided, and I feel now I’ve got a responsibility to you and voters who ask me about this.”

Considering the non-stop media coverage of Pope Francis’ arrival in Washington, DC, this will most likely be pretty much ignored by the news media.  

Aug 31

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Oil as a social lubricant

By Annieli

Quest for Oil Gamers hunt for the best oil fields in deep water off Qatar and in the North Sea.

And to master the challenge players need to learn and test analytic skills looking for oil on a seismic map.

Once a likely location is assessed, accurate drilling techniques are needed to avert disaster as players test their wits against “an artificially intelligent digital opponent” that is dedicated to making players lose.

             

Imagine if seismic analysis was not applied to the oceans, a more open frontier despite the Law of the Sea but to the task of fracking, what kind of multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) could be hypothesized – sim occupants fleeing their devalued homes and with real-time strategy you could predict the earthquake or poisoned water using your smartphone apps. The first step has been taken with the maritime giant Maersk with a recent MMORPG. Rather than bullying feminists, now the misogynist Canadian gamergaters could help terrify thousands with digital tar sands CGI simulations, and maybe even add a Call of Duty patch to kill digital inhabitants of oil producing countries.

             

Quest for Oil is a multiplayer online game to help supply globalization not unlike America’s Army in the propaganda battle to continue to resource the shock doctrine and hence maintain global armed conflict.

It raises new questions about what gets to be culturally appreciated as though resource accumulation could be a projectable commodity with few renewable substitutes and oil exploration was somehow something like “boldly going where no one has gone before”. OTOH budding geologists could be enticed to see that their work has no apparent social costs or externalities.



Quest for Oil

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJBusKBWhttps://agenda.weforum.org/2015/06/how-oil-flows-in-and-out-of-every-major-region-around-the-world/?utm_content=bufferf794e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=bufferEAAefmv.jpg:large

The Middle East leads the board in crude exports with 850.1 million tonnes shipped out in 2014. It’s followed by Russia (294.8), West Africa (213.9), and Canada (148.6).

In terms of product exports, like gasoline and diesel, the US is No. 1 with 179.9 million tonnes, closely trailed by, again, Russia and the Middle East.

On the flip side, Europe is the biggest importer of both crude (446.9) and product imports (173.5). The US, China, India, Japan, and Australasia are also major consumers of both crude and refined product.

This map also serves as a pretty good tool for seeing who benefitted from the lower oil prices, and who suffered from them.

….the reappearance of structural scarcity in the realm of energy enabled the OPEC countries to multiply the price of oil by ten in the 1970s, i.e. to have it determined by the oilfields where production costs are the highest, thereby assuring the owners of the cheapest oil wells in Arabia, Iran, Libya, etc. huge differential minerals rents.

Marx’s theory of land and mineral rent can be easily extended into a general theory of rent, applicable to all fields of production where formidable difficulties of entry limit mobility of capital for extended periods of time. It thereby becomes the basis of a marxist theory of monopoly and monopoly surplus profits, i.e. in the form of cartel rents (Hilferding, 1910) or of technological rent (Mandel, 1972). Lenin’s and Bukharin’s theories of surplus profit are based upon analogous but not identical reasoning (Bukharin, 1914, 1926; Lenin, 1917).

some links:

http://climateandcapitalism.co…

http://www.jstor.org/stable/12…

https://books.google.com/books…

https://books.google.com/books…

Aug 20

Obama’s Latest Bad Idea: Arctic Drilling

This past Monday, the Obama administration issued the final permits allowing Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc. to begin drilling oil wells in the Arctic. This is the same oil conglomerate that lost control of its drilling rig in December of 2012 that crashed onto the Alaskan coast in heavy seas. The disaster also lead to eight felony convictions and a $12.2 million fine

Considering President Barack Obama’s promises to focus on climate change and big speeches on controlling carbon emissions, this has to be one of his most hypocritical decisions. Compounding that hypocrisy, the president has planned a visit to the Arctic region later this month. He is the first sitting president to do so. This decision didn’t sit well with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who expressed her opposition in tweets and at her press conference in Nevada:

I think the very grave difficulties that Shell encountered the last time they tried to do that should be a red flag for anybody. I have been to the Arctic, I have been to Barrow, our most northernmost outpost in the United States and I think we should not risk the potential catastrophes that could come about from accidents in looking for more oil in a pristine – one of the few remaining pristine regions of the world.

In a segment on her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow blasted the president calling this decision “the most awkward and ill-timed thing he’s done in a long time”

While we should praise Secretary Clinton for this stand and her environmental platform that put an emphasis on renewable energy, she now needs to take a stand on the KeystoneXL pipeline.

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