Category Archives: Environment

drilling in the gulf

. . . For a time after the BP spill, the drilling moratorium ordered by the Obama administration caused a decline in gulf production, but a reversal has occurred. Forty rigs are drilling in the gulf today compared with 25 a year ago . . .

. . . Last December, the Obama administration held its first offshore auction since the BP spill, granting leases for more than 20 million acres of federal waters — bigger than West Virginia. The leases are worth $330 million to the federal government and have the potential to produce 400 million barrels of oil . . .

“. . . The Republicans and the oil industry are maintaining the speed-over-safety mentality that led to the BP disaster in the first place,” said Mr. Markey, who has been critical of the Obama administration’s response to the spill and to what he called a dangerous overuse of chemical dispersants in the gulf. “We now understand the lessons, but Republicans have blocked all new safety laws,” he said. “Not one has been put on the books . . .”

. . . Mr. Romney, who said last week that he had named a billionaire oil industry executive, Harold Hamm of Continental Resources, to lead his team of energy advisers, has said he would relax regulations and speed the permitting process . . .

“The leases are worth $330 million to the federal government and have the potential to produce 400 million barrels of oil.” How would that factor out in a national version of Alaska’s Permanent Fund?

Read Full Article here

Related links:

Tracking the Oil Spill in the Gulf http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/01/us/20100501-oil-spill-tracker.html

About the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) http://www.apfc.org/home/Content/aboutAPFC/aboutAPFC.cfm

Democracy, Earth Rights, and the Next Economy http://neweconomicsinstitute.org/publications/lectures/hartzok/alanna/Democracy-Earth-Rights-and-the-Next-Economy

Citizen Dividends and Oil Resource Rents http://www.wealthandwant.com/docs/Hartzok_citdivs_oil.html 

Alaska and the Alaska Permanent Fund http://www.wealthandwant.com/themes/Alaska.html

Possibility Alliance

This extraordinary community has been on the map since 2007, and we had the pleasure of staying here for just a few days, and a return trip is definitely in order, probably for their free permaculture training. During our first visit we experienced a guided tour of the entire farm, we slept in the barn loft with other volunteers (during huge thunderstorms!), helped out with various permaculture projects and interviewed most of the community members about their experiences living electricity-free in rural America Other similar projects are starting up in Kansas City MO, England and beyond.

WRITE-UP

COMMUNITY COHESIVENESS:  This Gandhian-based community consists of six adults and three children, as well as two three-time apprentices during the growing season and many more regular volunteers, visitors and potential members. The community practices Quaker-style consensus decision making and mindfulness meditation as well as yoga and other “inner” work. This makes for a very tight-knit community with many radical ideas that are successfully being practiced. They have check-in meetings every morning over breakfast which are a lot of fun and provide intimate connection.  There are five main pillars of the community:

  1. BulletRadical Simplicity
  2. BulletService
  3. BulletPolitical/Social Activism
  4. BulletInner Work
  5. BulletGratitude & Celebration

Each of these are carried out in a wide variety of ways as there is not a dogma or “one way”.

SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS:  Electricity-free, car-free and mostly petroleum-free (other than a few bike light batteries and the occasional ride from a friend). They generally feel as though most, if not all, “green” technologies are not actually green and when looked closely at are really taking a toll on the earth. For example they shared with us that solar panels are made of silicon that is scraped off the bottom of the ocean and causing damage to the ocean ecosystems. They live right in the middle of Amish country, and have chosen to adopt some similar practices, such as the use of simple technologies and an emphasis on community interdependence, as well as homesteading techniques, including horse-powered farm equipment, honey bees, chickens for eggs, a pond, a barn with hayloft and goats and more.  In addition to the ecological sustainability practiced here, they are definitely practicing many economic, spiritual and social sustainability methods as well.

Read more

 

 

tiny rainbows on the shore: or an example of industry/market regulating itself

via: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rocky-kistner/oil-spill-reported-near-d_b_838019.html

The Coast Guard is investigating reports of a potentially large oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico not far from the Deepwater Horizon site. According to a knowledgeable source, the slick was sighted by a helicopter pilot on Friday and is about 100 miles long. A fishing boat captain said he went through the slick yesterday and it was strong enough to make his eyes burn.

According to the Times Picayune, the Coast Guard has confirmed they are investigating a potentially large 100 mile slick about 30 miles offshore. They are going to a site near the Matterhorn well site about 20 miles north of the BP Deepwater Horizon site, according to the paper. The Matterhorn field includes includes a deepwater drilling platform owned by W&T Technology. It was acquired last year from TotalFinaElf E&P.

Independent pilots are attempting to reach the slick today. Bonnie Schumaker with Wings of Care reported she saw a slick two days ago and is attempting to reach the site.

Also, another Louisiana fisherman reports that fresh oil is coming ashore near South Pass, LA, and that cleanup crews are laying new boom near the beach. He also reports that cleanup crews in four-wheeled vehicles were patrolling the beaches near the marsh filled coast spraying a substance on the beach.

Cleanup crews are still operating along the marshes and beach areas of Louisiana and other gulf states. The Bay Jimmy of Louisiana’s Barataria Bay remains heavily oiled.

Oil is also being discovered in more populated areas too. With spring break coming, students and tourists are already heading to the Gulf to escape the winter up north. Recently a group of Missouri college kids came across oil off the beaches of Pensicola. “We were fishing with nets for shells, we call it shelling, and it was just brown, I thought it was shark poop at first,” one incredulous student told local Pensacola station WEAR-TV.

“It kind of did surprise me with all the efforts I thought BP was making to clean up but obviously as you can see, there’s still so much to do,” said another.

Check out the entire TV report here.

More spring breakers will likely come in contact with oil as they migrate in greater numbers to the Gulf. Residents across the coast complain they continue to see oily sheen and a white dispersant like mix washing in, leaving unusual blobs of brown foam that sometimes shine like tiny rainbows on the shore.

 

General Strike!

“used by protesters all over the U.S.

(and perhaps the world?)”

High Resolution Poster

Article/Writeup

Separation of Corporation and State: The 28th Amendment

The Tyranny of Entitlement

We read earlier about socialism for the rich, now lets read a bit on the idea of entitlement. One can often hear objections to socialism, re-appropriation of wealth, and entitlement when it comes to the poor and exploited, but what about when it comes to the rich?

. . . A perpetual-growth economy is not only insane (and impossible), it is also by its very essence abusive, by which I mean that it’s based on the same conceit as more personal forms of abuse. It is, in fact, the macroeconomic enshrinement of abusive behavior. The guiding principle of abusive behavior is that the abuser refuses to respect or abide by limits or boundaries put up by the victim. As Lundy Bancroft, former codirector of Emerge, the nation’s first therapeutic program for abusive men, writes, “Entitlement is the abuser’s belief that he has a special status and that it provides him with exclusive rights and privileges that do not apply to his partner. The attitudes that drive abuse can largely be summarized by this one word.”

The relevance of this word applies on the larger social scale. Of course humans are a special species to whom a wise and omnipotent God has granted the exclusive rights and privileges of dominion over this planet that is here for us to use. And of course even if you subscribe to the religion of Science instead of Christianity, humans possess special intelligence and abilities that grant us exclusive rights and privileges to work our will on the world that is still here for us to use. Growth economies are essentially unchecked and will push past any boundaries set up by anyone other than the perpetrators: certainly the fact that indigenous cultures already are living on this or that piece of ground has never stopped those in power from expanding their economy; nor is the death of the oceans stopping their exploitation; nor is the heating of the planet stopping the exploitation; nor is the grinding poverty of the dispossessed.

And the truth is, you cannot talk abusers out of their behavior. Perpetrators of domestic violence are among the most intractable of all who commit violence, so intractable, in fact, that in 2000 the United Kingdom removed funding for therapy sessions designed to treat men guilty of domestic violence (putting the money instead into shelters and other means of keeping women safe from their attackers). Lundy Bancroft also says this: “An abuser doesn’t change because he feels guilty or gets sober or finds God. He doesn’t change after seeing the fear in his children’s eyes or feeling them drift away from him. It doesn’t suddenly dawn on him that his partner deserves better treatment. Because of his self-focus, combined with the many rewards he gets from controlling you, an abuser changes only when he feels he has to, so the most important element in creating a context for change in an abuser is placing him in a situation where he has no other choice.”

How do we stop the abusers who perpetrate a perpetual-growth economy? Seeing oiled pelicans and burned sea turtles won’t move them to stop. Nor will hundred-degree days in Moscow. We can’t stop them by making them feel guilty. We can’t stop them by appealing to them to do the right thing. The only way to stop them is to make it so they have no other choice.

Read more . . .

And remember, “The only way to stop them is to make it so they have no other choice.”

The Real Avatar: Mine – Story of a Sacred Mountain

What will one tribe have to do to save everything they know?

UPDATE: Victory! The Dongria Kondh have stopped Vedanta from mining their sacred mountain. http://bit.ly/azK6eR

http://www.survivalinternational.org/…

Mine, narrated by Joanna Lumley, tells the story of the remote Dongria Kondh tribe’s struggle to protect Niyamgiri, the mountain they worship as a God. London-based mining company Vedanta Resources plans a vast open-pit bauxite mine in India’s Niyamgiri hills, and the Dongria Kondh know that means the destruction of their forests, their way of life, and their mountain God.

Music by Skin and Robot Club.