Category Archives: Climate change

Empire or Humanity?

Capitalism vs. The Climate This Changes Everything Naomi Klein


Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, breaks down the history of political inaction around the climate that has brought us to the point of crisis. Plus, footages from the People’s Climate March in NYC and Laura says “drop hope” in the F Word.

Posted October 03, 2014

It’s Time to Act on the Climate Crisis


A panel on the urgency of climate change, featuring authors Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein, founder Bill McKibben and Seattle Council member Kshama Sawant, with an opening speech by Senator Bernie Sanders. – September 21, 2014

Climate Change Could Make Humans Extinct, Warns Health Expert

By Deborah Snow, Peter Hannam

March 31, 2014 “Information Clearing House – “SMH“-  The Earth is warming so rapidly that unless humans can arrest the trend, we risk becoming ”extinct” as a species, a leading Australian health academic has warned.

Helen Berry, associate dean in the faculty of health at the University of Canberra, said while the Earth has been warmer and colder at different points in the planet’s history, the rate of change has never been as fast as it is today.

”What is remarkable, and alarming, is the speed of the change since the 1970s, when we started burning a lot of fossil fuels in a massive way,” she said. ”We can’t possibly evolve to match this rate [of warming] and, unless we get control of it, it will mean our extinction eventually.”

Professor Berry is one of three leading academics who have contributed to the health chapter of a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report due on Monday. She and co-authors Tony McMichael, of the Australian National University, and Colin Butler, of the University of Canberra, have outlined the health risks of rapid global warming in a companion piece for The Conversation, also published on Monday. The three warn that the adverse effects on population health and social stability have been ”missing from the discussion” on climate change.

”Human-driven climate change poses a great threat, unprecedented in type and scale, to wellbeing, health and perhaps even to human survival,” they write.

They predict that the greatest challenges will come from undernutrition and impaired child development from reduced food yields; hospitalisations and deaths due to intense heatwaves, fires and other weather-related disasters; and the spread of infectious diseases.

They warn the ”largest impacts” will be on poorer and vulnerable populations, winding back recent hard-won gains of social development programs.

Projecting to an average global warming of 4 degrees by 2100, they say ”people won’t be able to cope, let alone work productively, in the hottest parts of the year”.

They say that action on climate change would produce ”extremely large health benefits”, which would greatly outweigh the costs of curbing emission growth.

A leaked draft of the IPCC report notes that a warming climate would lead to fewer cold weather-related deaths but the benefits would be ”greatly” outweighed by the impacts of more frequent heat extremes. Under a high emissions scenario, some land regions will experience temperatures four to seven degrees higher than pre-industrial times, the report said.

While some adaptive measures are possible, limits to humans’ ability to regulate heat will affect health and potentially cut global productivity in the warmest months by 40 per cent by 2100.

Body temperatures rising above 38 degrees impair physical and cognitive functions, while risks of organ damage, loss of consciousness and death increase sharply above 40.6 degrees, the draft report said.

Farm crops and livestock will also struggle with thermal and water stress. Staple crops such as corn, rice, wheat and soybeans are assumed to face a temperature limit of 40-45 degrees, with temperature thresholds for key sowing stages near or below 35 degrees, the report said.

Copyright © 2014 Fairfax Media

Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036

The rate of global temperature rise mayhave hit a plateau, but a climate crisis still looms in the near future

By Michael E. Mann 

March 26, 2014 “Information Clearing House – “Scientific American“- “Temperatures have been flat for 15 years—nobody can properly explain it,” the Wall Street Journal says. “Global warming ‘pause’ may last for 20 more years, and Arctic sea ice has already started to recover,” the Daily Mail says. Such reassuring claims about climate abound in the popular media, but they are misleading at best. Global warming continues unabated, and it remains an urgent problem.

The misunderstanding stems from data showing that during the past decade there was a slowing in the rate at which the earth’s average surface temperature had been increasing. The event is commonly referred to as “the pause,” but that is a misnomer: temperatures still rose, just not as fast as during the prior decade. The important question is, What does the short-term slowdown portend for how the world may warm in the future?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is charged with answering such questions. In response to the data, the IPCC in its September 2013 report lowered one aspect of its prediction for future warming. Its forecasts, released every five to seven years, drive climate policy worldwide, so even the small change raised debate over how fast the planet is warming and how much time we have to stop it. The IPCC has not yet weighed in on the impacts of the warming or how to mitigate it, which it will do in reports that were due this March and April. Yet I have done some calculations that I think can answer those questions now: If the world keeps burning fossil fuels at the current rate, it will cross a threshold into environmental ruin by 2036. The “faux pause” could buy the planet a few extra years beyond that date to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the crossover—but only a few.

A Sensitive Debate
The dramatic nature of global warming captured world attention in 2001, when the IPCC published a graph that my co-authors and I devised, which became known as the “hockey stick.” The shaft of the stick, horizontal and sloping gently downward from left to right, indicated only modest changes in Northern Hemisphere temperature for almost 1,000 years—as far back as our data went. The upturned blade of the stick, at the right, indicated an abrupt and unprecedented rise since the mid-1800s. The graph became a lightning rod in the climate change debate, and I, as a result, reluctantly became a public figure. In its September 2013 report, the IPCC extended the stick back in time, concluding that the recent warming was likely unprecedented for at least 1,400 years.

Although the earth has experienced exceptional warming over the past century, to estimate how much more will occur we need to know how temperature will respond to the ongoing human-caused rise in atmospheric greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide. Scientists call this responsiveness “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS). ECS is a common measure of the heating effect of greenhouse gases. It represents the warming at the earth’s surface that is expected after the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere doubles and the climate subsequently stabilizes (reaches equilibrium).

The preindustrial level of CO2 was about 280 parts per million (ppm), so double is roughly 560 ppm. Scientists expect this doubling to occur later this century if nations continue to burn fossil fuels as they do now—the “business as usual” scenario—instead of curtailing fossil-fuel use. The more sensitive the atmosphere is to a rise in CO2, the higher the ECS, and the faster the temperature will rise. ECS is shorthand for the amount of warming expected, given a particular fossil-fuel emissions scenario.

It is difficult to determine an exact value of ECS because warming is affected by feedback mechanisms, including clouds, ice and other factors. Different modeling groups come to different conclusions on what the precise effects of these feedbacks may be. Clouds could be the most significant. They can have both a cooling effect, by blocking out incoming sunlight, and a warming effect, by absorbing some of the heat energy that the earth sends out toward space. Which of these effects dominates depends on the type, distribution and altitude of the clouds—difficult for climate models to predict. Other feedback factors relate to how much water vapor there will be in a warmer atmosphere and how fast sea ice and continental ice sheets will melt.

Because the nature of these feedback factors is uncertain, the IPCC provides a range for ECS, rather than a single number. In the September report—the IPCC’s fifth major assessment—the panel settled on a range of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius (roughly three to eight degrees Fahrenheit). The IPCC had lowered the bottom end of the range, down from the two degrees C it had set in its Fourth Assessment Report, issued in 2007. The IPCC based the lowered bound on one narrow line of evidence: the slowing of surface warming during the past decade—yes, the faux pause.

Many climate scientists—myself included—think that a single decade is too brief to accurately measure global warming and that the IPCC was unduly influenced by this one, short-term number. Furthermore, other explanations for the speed bump do not contradict the preponderance of evidence that suggests that temperatures will continue to rise. For example, the accumulated effect of volcanic eruptions during the past decade, including the Icelandic volcano with the impossible name, Eyjafjallajökull, may have had a greater cooling effect on the earth’s surface than has been accounted for in most climate model simulations. There was also a slight but measurable decrease in the sun’s output that was not taken into account in the IPCC’s simulations.

Natural variability in the amount of heat the oceans absorb may have played a role. In the latter half of the decade, La Niña conditions persisted in the eastern and central tropical Pacific, keeping global surface temperatures about 0.1 degree C colder than average—a small effect compared with long-term global warming but a substantial one over a decade. Finally, one recent study suggests that incomplete sampling of Arctic temperatures led to underestimation of how much the globe actually warmed.

None of these plausible explanations would imply that climate is less sensitive to greenhouse gases. Other measurements also do not support the IPCC’s revised lower bound of 1.5 degrees C. When all the forms of evidence are combined, they point to a most likely value for ECS that is close to three degrees C. And as it turns out, the climate models the IPCC actually used in its Fifth Assessment Report imply an even higher value of 3.2 degrees C. The IPCC’s lower bound for ECS, in other words, probably does not have much significance for future world climate—and neither does the faux pause.

For argument’s sake, however, let us take the pause at face value. What would it mean if the actual ECS were half a degree lower than previously thought? Would it change the risks presented by business-as-usual fossil-fuel burning? How quickly would the earth cross the critical threshold?

A Date with Destiny: 2036
Most scientists concur that two degrees C of warming above the temperature during preindustrial time would harm all sectors of civilization—food, water, health, land, national security, energy and economic prosperity. ECS is a guide to when that will happen if we continue emitting CO2 at our business-as-usual pace.

I recently calculated hypothetical future temperatures by plugging different ECS values into a so-called energy balance model, which scientists use to investigate possible climate scenarios. The computer model determines how the average surface temperature responds to changing natural factors, such as volcanoes and the sun, and human factors—greenhouse gases, aerosol pollutants, and so on. (Although climate models have critics, they reflect our best ability to describe how the climate system works, based on physics, chemistry and biology. And they have a proved track record: for example, the actual warming in recent years was accurately predicted by the models decades ago.)

I then instructed the model to project forward under the assumption of business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions. I ran the model again and again, for ECS values ranging from the IPCC’s lower bound (1.5 degrees C) to its upper bound (4.5 degrees C). The curves for an ECS of 2.5 degrees and three degrees C fit the instrument readings most closely. The curves for a substantially lower (1.5 degrees C) and higher (4.5 degrees C) ECS did not fit the recent instrumental record at all, reinforcing the notion that they are not realistic.

To my wonder, I found that for an ECS of three degrees C, our planet would cross the dangerous warming threshold of two degrees C in 2036, only 22 years from now. When I considered the lower ECS value of 2.5 degrees C, the world would cross the threshold in 2046, just 10 years later [see graph on pages 78 and 79].

So even if we accept a lower ECS value, it hardly signals the end of global warming or even a pause. Instead it simply buys us a little bit of time—potentially valuable time—to prevent our planet from crossing the threshold.

Cautious Optimism
These findings have implications for what we all must do to prevent disaster. An ECS of three degrees C means that if we are to limit global warming to below two degrees C forever, we need to keep CO2 concentrations far below twice preindustrial levels, closer to 450 ppm. Ironically, if the world burns significantly less coal, that would lessen CO2 emissions but also reduce aerosols in the atmosphere that block the sun (such as sulfate particulates), so we would have to limit CO2 to below roughly 405 ppm.

We are well on our way to surpassing these limits. In 2013 atmospheric CO2 briefly reached 400 ppm for the first time in recorded history—and perhaps for the first time in millions of years, according to geologic evidence. To avoid breaching the 405-ppm threshold, fossil-fuel burning would essentially have to cease immediately. To avoid the 450-ppm threshold, global carbon emissions could rise only for a few more years and then would have to ramp down by several percent a year. That is a tall task. If the ECS is indeed 2.5 degrees C, it will make that goal a bit easier.

Even so, there is considerable reason for concern. The conclusion that limiting CO2 below 450 ppm will prevent warming beyond two degrees C is based on a conservative definition of climate sensitivity that considers only the so-called fast feedbacks in the climate system, such as changes in clouds, water vapor and melting sea ice. Some climate scientists, including James E. Hansen, former head of the nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies, say we must also consider slower feedbacks such as changes in the continental ice sheets. When these are taken into account, Hansen and others maintain, we need to get back down to the lower level of CO2 that existed during the mid-20th century—about 350 ppm. That would require widespread deployment of expensive “air capture” technology that actively removes CO2 from the atmosphere.

Furthermore, the notion that two degrees C of warming is a “safe” limit is subjective. It is based on when most of the globe will be exposed to potentially irreversible climate changes. Yet destructive change has already arrived in some regions. In the Arctic, loss of sea ice and thawing permafrost are wreaking havoc on indigenous peoples and ecosystems. In low-lying island nations, land and freshwater are disappearing because of rising sea levels and erosion. For these regions, current warming, and the further warming (at least 0.5 degree C) guaranteed by CO2 already emitted, constitutes damaging climate change today.

Let us hope that a lower climate sensitivity of 2.5 degrees C turns out to be correct. If so, it offers cautious optimism. It provides encouragement that we can avert irreparable harm to our planet. That is, if—and only if—we accept the urgency of making a transition away from our reliance on fossil fuels for energy.

This article was originally published with the title “False Hope.”

Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and contributed to the International Panel on Climate Change work that received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. His book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines (Columbia University Press, 2012) is in paperback, with a foreword by Bill Nye the Science Guy.

The irreversible impacts from Climate Change

Chemtrails: The Consequences of Toxic Metals and Chemical Aerosols on Human Health

Part I

By Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri

Global Research, March 06, 2014
Global Research 7 May 2010

This article by the late Dr. Ilya Perlingueri was first published on GR in May 2010

119047For decades, we have known that heavy metals and chemicals can cause grave physical harm. Going back to Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” we have known and been amply warned of the serious consequences of using or being exposed to these poisons in our daily activities. Thousands of these are well-documented carcinogens.

Building on Carson’s ground-breaking research, we also know that certain kinds of chemicals can and do disrupt human [and other animals’] entire immune system. Going back 30 years, researchers were investigating what became known as endocrine [hormone] disrupting chemicals and how they were affecting frogs [who sometimes had five legs or hermaphroditic characteristics], other aquatic animals, and mammals. These animals were the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. In another pioneering book, “Our Stolen Future,” authors Dr. Theo Colburn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers clearly demonstrate that 1 + 1 hormone-disrupting chemicals did not equal 2.

Rather, in a nightmare of mathematical proportions, these poisons acted synergistically; and 1+1 could equal up to 1,600 times the original dose. We are also exposed to more than 100,000 chemicals regularly. Most of them have never been tested for human safety. So, almost nothing has been done to reduce human exposure to a myriad of hazardous chemicals. In fact, over the past decade, the Bush administration dismantled many environmental laws in existence for 30 years, to let corporations off the proverbial hook. [Just look at what’s unfolding in the Gulf with the BP oil spill.]

Although this information, on the dangers of hormone disruption, is now more widely available on Internet sites, it still is not well known by the average person who gets news mostly from mainstream media.(1) Most of these highly toxic chemicals are invisible; and, therefore, are easily off our collective radar. With the high stress level created by the deliberately orchestrated financial crisis –where millions have lost their jobs and homes– a degraded/collapsing environment or serious health problems are not priorities –especially, if very little is reported in mainstream news. This disaster scenario is part of the larger picture of what Naomi Klein writes about in her book “The Shock Doctrine.” We have so many major crises, one after another, that it is hard just to keep up with one’s daily routine –let alone have time to read and consider the toxicological health ramifications of massive amounts of thousands of heavy metals and chemicals that have poisoned our entire food chain and, thus, our own supposed “health.” We are at the very top of this wrecked food chain.

Now, however, there is another far more insidious layer of toxicity that is not being addressed at all in any mainstream, corporate-controlled news, and it is affecting our very survival. It is, however, being addressed more and more by independent researchers who have supporting evidence to back up their Internet reports.

For more than a decade, first the United States and then Canada’s citizens have been subjected to a 24/7/365 day aerosol assault over our heads made of a toxic brew of poisonous heavy metals, chemicals, and other dangerous ingredients. None of this was reported by any mainstream media. The US Department of Defense [DOD] and military have been systematically blanketing all our skies with what are known as Chemtrails (also known as Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering).(2) These differ vastly from the usual plane contrails that evaporate rather quickly in the sky.  Chemtrails do not dissipate. Rather, planes (fitted with special nozzles) release aerosols “lines” in the sky that do not evaporate. Multiple planes are deployed, flying parallel (or often “checkerboard” patterns) overhead; and soon the sky is blanketed with many grayish-white lines [miles and miles long, although this is changing]. At first, these lines are thin; but soon they expand and, in a short time, merge together. Our once-blue sky has vanished and has been replaced by a grayish-white toxic haze that blots out and greatly diminishes our usual sunshine.

Military and commercial planes are involved in more than 60 secret operations. Last year, when I flew across the country, I saw a United Airlines jet (flying below us at about 37,000 feet) spraying a black aerosol that went for miles and miles across the sky. This clandestine program now includes aerosol-spraying planes in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand [all NATO countries]. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people have called and written their public officials to get answers. Replies from US and Canadian officials are not forthcoming; or, if they do reply, queries are dismissed. This remains an ongoing, deliberate cover-up. No one is held accountable, while we continued to be poisoned daily. This is not the first time, however, that citizens are being used as experimental laboratory test subjects. The US government and its military have a very long and sordid history of using us, without informed consent, in this illegal manner. As Carole Pellatt notes:

The U.S. military has been spraying chemical and biological weapons in open air testing over civilian populations since the 1940’s. They are called “vulnerability tests”. This is not a controversial statement. The military has admitted to this practice on many occasions and there’s plenty of documentation from the government to corroborate it. There is also documentation of intentional, experimental releases of radiation on civilian populations. Unfortunately, this information tends to surface long after it could have saved lives, or eased the suffering of victims.(3)

Over the past decade, independent testing of Chemtrails around the country has shown a dangerous, extremely poisonous brew that includes: barium, nano aluminum-coated fiberglass [known as CHAFF], radioactive thorium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, desiccated blood, mold spores, yellow fungal mycotoxins, ethylene dibromide, and polymer fibers. Barium can be compared to the toxicity of arsenic.(4) Barium is known to adversely affect the heart. Aluminum has a history of damaging brain function. Independent researchers and labs continue to show off-the-scale levels of these poisons. A few “anonymous” officials have acknowledged this on-going aerosol spraying.(5)

Numerous tests have been done to verify that these poisons are off the scale in their toxicity. They are documented in our water, in our soil, and in our air. For more than 10 years, researcher Clifford Carnicom has been valiantly and systematically reporting on the various detrimental aspects of these aerosols –and what they are doing to our entire environment, as well as our blood.(6) Various “sky watch” groups also have been carefully documenting and diligently reporting about these daily assaults.(7)

With all these poisons surrounding our every breath, it is not surprising to see a dramatic increase in illnesses. There are numerous reports of the increase in cardiac deaths and upper respiratory illnesses (asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and often multiple chronic illnesses). Chemtrails toxicity has already dramatically affected our deteriorating “collective health.” The significant increase in heart disease and various upper respiratory illnesses has been linked to a vast increase in “particulate matter” in our air. This can be seen by some revealing statistics:

1. Coronary heart disease is now the leading cause of death in the US. According to the CDC, in 2006, 631,636 died of heart disease. This means 1 out of every 5 Americans are affected.(8)

In Canada, every seven minutes someone dies of heart disease.(9)

2. Asthma and upper respiratory illnesses. Between 100-150 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. In the US, 16.4 million adults have asthma and 7 million children have it. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema: 9.8 million Americans were diagnosed with chronic bronchitis this past year; for emphysema the figure is 3.8 million.(10) Total: 37 million Americans afflicted.

In Canada, 2.4 million have been diagnosed with asthma.

3. Particulate matter in air pollution. Particulate matter [PM] consists of tiny particles 10 microns or less. [1 micron is about 1/70 the thickness of a single human hair.] These particles can lodge in the deepest part of your lungs; and over a period of time, they can damage lung function. This kind of pollution, that we breathe daily, can and does cause various upper respiratory illnesses, coronary heart disease, and premature aging and death. Particulate matter can also exacerbate any existing illness.(11) Unanswered questions: Does hazardous particulate matter act in synergistic ways in human bodies (as do endocrine disrupting chemicals)? How does PM affect millions who already have multiple chronic illnesses?

Brain Injury

Even with the increases in preventable illnesses, the issue that has not been linked or addressed –with what Clifford Carnicom rightly calls “aerosol crimes”– is the deterioration of cognitive function. Our immune system is already under siege daily; and this has resulted in millions (possibly billions) of people with not just one illness, but often multiple ones. The skin, the largest organ in our body, is a permeable membrane. This means that invisible toxins in our air, including Chemtrails and other highly dangerous chemicals, go right into our skin. Poisoned rainwater (or snow touching our skin) does the same thing. When the air we breathe is filled with a dangerous assortment of toxins, with each breath we take, these poisons assault our entire immune system. These poisons also affect our brain and, thus, our cognitive function.

Aluminum is a major component in these aerosols. Although it is our planet’s most abundant metal, our body has no biological need for it. Pesticide Action Network North America [PANNA] lists it as “toxic to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity.”(12) Yet, aluminum is commonly used [this is a very short list] in vaccines, deodorants and anti-perspirants, over-the-counter medications, soft drink and beer cans [aluminum leeches from the cans], baking powder, cake mixes, processed cheeses, and other food products and additives. Over years, aluminum accumulates in the brain, tissues, and to a lesser amount the bones. It causes brain degeneration, dysfunction and damage –due to the blockage and reduced blood flow and oxygen of brain arteries. The brain shrinks, as brain cells die. This causes dementia. Symptoms include: emotional outbursts, paranoia, forgetfulness and memory loss, speech incoherence, irritability, diminished alertness, changes in personality, and poor/bad judgment. All these are on the rise, as more than 4-million Americans are afflicted. Brain deterioration and dementia take decades to cause serious and visible harm. Eventually, however, dementia is fatal. “Alzheimer’s” is now being used incorrectly as a catch-all term for all kinds of dementia. Just a few days ago, the front page of the New York Times had a headline: “More with Dementia Wander from Home.”(13) People afflicted with, what the Times terms “Alzheimer’s” were interviewed. One person mentioned he “has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.” This is patently wrong. Alzheimer’s dementia can only be accurately diagnosed after death when a post-mortem can be done. However, heavy metals poisoning can be diagnosed through lab testing; but this is rarely done for basic check-ups.

What is not addressed in this increase in dementia is the more than 10 years of breathing Chemtrails with nano aluminum-coated fiberglass. Billions of tons have been sprayed on us.

With all these sources of aluminum added to the air we breathe with each breath, the cumulative toxicity is very high. Even in daily events, it is obvious –to anyone who is paying attention– that many people are behaving oddly. While it may be considered “anecdotal” reporting, there are millions of people whose behavior is strange. There have been numerous times in just the past year when I have asked someone a question and received an answer that is totally unrelated. There have been more and more uncontrolled outbursts in public areas: someone “snaps” for no apparent reason. Violence levels are up. Look at all the shootings on school campuses. There are more unexplained auto accidents that never should have happened. In just one day a few weeks ago, I witnessed three traffic accidents that need not have happened. The news is full of these stories.

Add to this already highly toxic body burden is the US military’s use of aluminum in its aerosols. It is used because of its electrical conductivity, durability, and light weight. The US Air Force reported in 1997 that it released “2 million, 6-7 ounce bundles of CHAFF.” These are laid by military aircraft form 15-50 miles in length.(14) Another unanswered question: Why is the USAF not releasing up-to-date figures?

A 2002 report notes that: “over the last 25 years, the US Navy [has released from planes] several hundred thousand pounds of aluminized chaff during flight operations over a training area on the Chesapeake Bay.”(15) If the Navy used hundreds of thousands of pounds in just this small area of the US, what could be extrapolated for the release of possibly billions of tons of nano aluminum by all the military divisions throughout the US and Canada more recently than 2002? CHAFF is being stored that has lead in it. Has that been released, without our knowledge, and added to these aerosols? What enormous, yet invisible, harm has that created for all of us?

Dr. Hildegarde Staninger reported last year that “exposure to aerial emissions of nano composite materials resulted in cholinesterase inhibition.”(16) The human body has three kinds of cholinesterase: for the brain, for plasma (manufactured by the liver), and red blood cells. Some pesticides and nerve gases (such as VX, an organophosphate) inhibit cholinesterase. The chronic inhibition of this enzyme (that normally circulates in red blood cells), caused by the spraying of these Chemtrails aerosols [for weather modification, but also used for mosquito and other insect eradication], causes chronic poisoning. This exposure causes severe neurological disorders, including paralysis in humans.

In a ground-breaking 2003 online essay, Dr. Kaye Kilburn, asks: “Why is Chemical Brain Injury Ignored?”(17) His article lists 13 concealed factors that affect our willingness to believe that dangerous chemicals do affect the brain. They include: 1. “It’s all in your head” [meaning real symptoms are ignored by allopathic medicine].

2. Resistance to vulnerability [individuals, and society collectively, cannot believe the brain is at risk].

3. The acceptance of mind-altering prescription drugs [such as Paxil] that can and do affect the brain [millions are on anti-depressants –what long-term damage does that also do to cognitive thinking?].

4. Chemical brain injury is considered not to be “an imminent threat.”

5. Competition from other serious threats [causing indifference or denial];

6. Delay in acknowledging health risks.

7. Economic interests [delaying tactics by big corporations are well known –delay continues profits and ignores taking responsibility –We are all expendable for corporate profits].

8. The field of neurology has been slow to consider causes [how many independent researchers are left who do not have any ties to the pharmaceutical/chemical companies?].

In  all these valuable reasons for not addressing this human crisis, the one that Dr. Kilburn has not addressed directly is the chronic assault of breathing/absorbing these now billions of tons of hazardous aerosolized chemicals and heavy metals over more than a decade without our informed consent. When one does not look for or address primary causes, then other issues can be blamed. This, on top of a government’s silence or refusal to respond and the corporate media’s complicity, make for an extremely dangerous combination that puts us all at grave and daily risk. As brain function is diminished, and other things are blamed for it, any population is easier “to control.”

Dr. Kiburn’s research clearly shows that chemicals do affect and seriously harm the brain [and, thereby, cognitive function]. Chemicals –especially a daily onslaught of toxic chemicals over many years– can damage our ability to think clearly. Even if we find this hard to believe, the evidence is there. Dr. Kilburn has expanded this essay into the first book to research this: “Chemical Brain Injury” (published in 1998). Dr. Kilburn notes:

The brain’s preservation represents the only possibility of survival for mankind. To find in many parts of the country and in many individual patients that its function is eroded seriously by chemicals, chemicals that have been introduced into the environment basically in the last 50 years, is bad news indeed.(18)

It seems almost unbelievable that millions/billions of people could look up at the sky and not notice the dramatic changes that have occurred from what it was, for instance, in the mid-1990s. Then our sky was a gorgeous, deep blue. Clouds were a beautiful assortment of shapes. The sun was glorious. But people under 30, may not have a real sense of recollection about looking up every day and seeing this panoramic magnificence. Most of them are too busy texting or chatting on their cell phones. There are other issues to consider, as well: People are in their own comfort zones; and denial is a very powerful human emotion. In the hustle and bustle (now quite out of hand, for reflective time), how many people look up at the sky? It also takes huge courage, a very deep, internal willingness to examine politically motivated corporate controlled media spin, and search for the real answers. Humans like their regular routines. To re-examine what we think we know, based on new evidence, takes a willingness to think outside the proverbial box; to want to find out the truth –not the pervasive Orwellian doublespeak that pervades our society. If everything in our daily routine belies what is truly going on, it requires fortitude to explore the unknown –to question the litany.

Another courageous person is Dr. R. Michael Castle who continues to address the Chemtrails toxicity issue. He is a noted polymer chemist who has been interviewed frequently and has written articles about the extreme hazards of Chemtrails. Dr. Castle has also written a ground-breaking document, the Universal Atmospheric Preservation Act [UAPA]. This document has been in Congress since 2008; but is tied up in committee. The only way to have this vital piece of legislation passed is to have real congressional representatives actually representing us (instead of the corporate lobbyists). See:

Given these issues, since our collapsing society has so many different levels of deceit –the financial debacle, the lies and deceit of government and the Federal Reserve blaming people for the housing/mortgage nightmare, the emerging police state, the disasters that envelope our fragile environment– it becomes increasingly difficult just to maintain a daily routine and survive the economic depression and its daily fallout. Mainstream media does its supporting role and deceives us. Millions, like the proverbial lemmings, hasten to join the group demise. There are countless historical instances of this collective insanity. We Homo sapiens [sic, wise men?] have never learned the lessons of 5,000 years of history. This is because each new generation of corrupt political leaders (often tied historically to previous ones) never has the real interest of their constituents as a basic part of their political practice. Further, there is no Precautionary Principle in place.(19) It’s not the way the political game of deception works. Precaution is not part of an equation that is broken from the beginning. Humans are gullible and want to believe the Orwellian deceptions.

To add to this already heavy burden, to ask uninformed, although supposedly “well educated” [What does that actually mean, given that much of our higher education has omitted much of what Prof. Peter Dale Scott calls “deep political events” that never get into our history books?] people to reconsider what they think they know about what is really going on –this takes enormous internal strength. It requires profound courage. The basis of this “courage” actually means creating new synaptical pathways in the brain. Without them, we feel scared, nervous…because those new synapses have not yet been created. It takes repeated effort, and, thus, an emerging sense of ease, to create these new synapses.

If, however, millions of people are already on prescription pharmaceuticals to “calm them down” [long term, what is this doing to their ability to think clearly?] and, in addition, are breathing poisoned air rife with mind-distorting chemicals, then how clearly (if at all) is anyone able to think? How can anyone feel well and safe, if the very air we breathe is deliberately poisoned and is affecting our ability to think cogently? It is already evident that no one in any official capacity is willing to tell the truth. It is like Diogenes, the ancient Greek, searching for a truthful individual. No one seems to have the desire, or courage, or authority to stop this massive poisoning, because it is the secret plan of the elite insiders to deliberate destroy everything we once knew.

Our BASIC human rights, constitutional and international laws are mere paper. These rights and laws have all been torn asunder by those in charge. It has been done by stealth. We must organize peacefully. PEACEFULLY is the operative word. If these many-pronged aerosol attacks by military and commercial planes can spray these horrific toxins on us, year after year with impunity –against all laws– then it is absolutely imperative that we organize peacefully. As Peter Dale Scott notes in Jason Bermas’ new DVD “Invisible Empire”: we must use the Internet and our peaceful intellectual powers to come together and shut this nightmare down. It is possible to do this.

Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri is author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Uterine Crisis.”


1. See:

2. See Michael J. Murphy. “What in the World Are They Spraying?” March 3, ; and G. Edward Griffin. “Chemtrail vs. Contrail” April 14,

3. Carole Pellatt. Connections. “What’s going on in the air? Yes, we are being sprayed.” Aug. 8m 2007: ; and

4. See Pesticide Action Network North America [PANNA]:

5. March 12, 2010: An interesting conference at the University of California, San Diego [UCSD], “Atmospheric Aerosols: Health, Environment, and Climate Effects” addresses some of the cardio-vascular increases due to “atmospheric aerosols” but these academics never use the word Chemtrails. Yet, satellite photos they show clearly indicate the atmospheric impact of Chemtrails. See: Jan. 31, 2008: UCSD:

6. For numerous detailed reports, see:; and Dr. Marijah McCain. “Chemtrails and Barium Toxicity.” April 6, 2002: ; Material Safety Data Sheet, University of Utah: This last cited website is very outdated. It does not address the increased amounts of barium now found in our air. Additional info: “Local News Station Confirms Barium in Chemtrails.” Nov. 10, 2007:

7. See: ;

8. Heart Disease Facts. CDC;


10. Asthma. CDC:; and chronic bronchitis and emphysema:

11. Rosalind Peterson’s report: “The impacts of air pollution on health.”

12. PANNA:

13. May 4, 2010:

14. [14. See: Rosalind Peterson. “Public and federal agencies concerned about the potentially harmful or undesirable effects of chaff on the environment.”]

15. “Effects of Navy chaff release on aluminum levels in an area of the Chesapeake Bay.” PubMed. US National Library of Medicine. June 2002:

16. Sept. 7, 2009:

17. Kaye H. Kilburn. “Why is Chemical Brain Injury Ignored. Pondering Causes and Risks.” Editorial. Archives of Environmental Health. March 1, 2003:


19. Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri. “Worldwide Environmental Crisis. Gone Missing: The Precautionary Principle.” Global Research. Feb. 11, 2009:

Destroying Planet Earth: Geoengineering is the Ultimate Hubris, without Democratic Control

Interview with Vandana Shiva

By Dr. Vandana Shiva

Global Research, February 23, 2014

Supporters of geoengineering have proposed radical ways to alter the planet. But opposition is growing to geoengineering. We interviewed the indian environmentalist, scientist,
philosopher Vandana Shiva.

Vandana Shiva, originally a theoretical physicist, she now campaigns the world for heirloom seeds, organic farming and local food systems instead of the chemical- and oil-intensive large scale industrial farms that destroy the environment and wreck local economies. She also supports Hands off Mother Earth, a citizen-based organization that resists geoengineering .

 Vandana Shiva was interviewed by Maria Heibel from NoGeoingegneria


NoGeoingegneria: So, first, thank you very much for your time because you’re an incredible woman and you always have so much time for everybody. and it’s great. We wanted to speak a little bit about geoengineering with you. It’s something that embraces everything: food and water and what is happening now in the world in a situation of climate change, and great change, and risk of collapse at every level. I saw the interview you had with Amy Goodman. So, first, what is, for you, at this moment, the role of geoengineering?

00:55 Vandana: the role of geo-engineering should, in a world of responsibility, in a world of scientifically enlightened decision making and ecological understanding, it should be zero.

There is no role for geo-engeneering. Because what is geoengineering but extending the engineering paradigm? There have been engineered parts of the earth, and aspects of ecosystems and organisms through genetical engineering: the massive dam building, the re-routing of rivers. These were all elements of geoengineering at the level of particular places and we have recognized two things: one, that when you don’t take into account the way ecological systems work, then you do damage. Everyone knows that in effect climate change is a result of that engineering paradigm. We could replace people with fossil fuels, have higher and higher levels of industrialization, of agriculture, of production, without thinking of the green-house gases we were admitting, and climate change is really the pollution of the engineering paradigm, when fossil fuels drove industrialism. To now offer that same mindset as a solution is to not take seriously what Einstein said: that you can’t solve the problems by using the same mindset that caused them. So, the idea of engineering is an idea of mastery. And today the role that we are being asked to play is a role based on informed humanity.

2:45 NoGeoingegneria: In my eyes geoengineering started in the 50s with atomic tests, because in this period they started to make geoengineering of the atmosphere of earth in a global sense, in a bigger sense, and a lot of projects in the 50s started to organize the earth, the planet, in a new way, with a new idea of engineering really the whole planet. With the power of atomic bomb scientists made a shifting in their mind, in my eyes. So in this period, in the 50′s weather modification also started very energically. It is part of geo engineering, and you have here the map of the ETC group, in the whole world, they are doing it, and you cannot do local modifications without changing the whole system. I know in India, in Thailand, and Australia weather modification maybe is more discussed, more open than in Europe. For example in Italy they made weather modification in the 80′s and people don’t know it. What do you think about the role of weather modification in a sense of geoengineering for food, for water, for the whole system?

4:21 Vandana

Weather modification is a very small part of geo engineering. Geoengineering right now is the hubris of saying: “all this climate change, and we’re living in the anthropocene age and now human beings will be the shapers of our future, that totally control the overall functions of not just our planet, but our relationship with other planets, so many of the solutions offered have been putting reflectors in the sky to send the sun back as if the sun was a problem rather than the very basis of life, or to put pollutants into the atmosphere in order to create a layer of pollution that would stop the sun from shining. But the instability of the climate that is the result of the greenhouse effect will just be aggravated by these interventions. Now weather modifications done in a narrow-minded way, to say “we are not getting rain so let us precipitate rain artificially so that agriculture doesn’t fail” is something that for example the Chinese did for the olympics. They made sure there would be no rain during the Olympics. It is a lower level of hubris than the larger project of geoengineering.

5:47 you know this map…..?

5:49 Vandana  yes of course i know Etcetera.

5:52 N: and you see that the ETC Group also published only a part, it’s only a part because everyday something else is coming out, in the whole world they are doing it, so if you make in a lot of points.

6:07 V: it’s not too much the points

6:08 N: what does it mean for weather extremes for example?

6:11 V: the first thing is it creates more instability, and we are dealing with instability, therefore we must deal more with actions that create insurance against instability, rather than aggravating the instability. It’s like I’m driving a car and I know there’s a precipice there, I should put the car in reverse and then turn into another direction. What geo engineering is doing is saying “let’s put our foot on the accelerator”. And the precipice is climate instability, climate unpredictability. And at the root of it is the false idea that these silly little actions will be able to control and regulate the weather and climate. But the second most important part of why geo engineering is so so wrong is that is ultimate expression of patriarchal irresponsibility. Patriarchy is based on appropriating rights and leaving responsibility to others. In this case the scientists who are playing these games, the who are investors financing it, are all doing it without having any consent for these experiments, any approval for these experiments, locally or globally, and worse, without thinking of the consequences or what it can lead to, and without ever ever being bound to responsibility. Therefore it is the ultimate expression of all the destructive tendencies of patriarchy.

7:50 N: Yeah, and you see you can take one name Edward Teller. He comes from the atomic bomb. He had the idea of controlling the weather by atomic bomb. He proposed the shield for sun radiation management, so the same persons, the same power structure is organizing this type of management of the planet and of space. So, you know about the intention of control ….?

8:22 V: Well for some people the intention is really one of making others suffer. And therefore aspects of geo- engineering are about links with military warfare. How do you alter the climate so that you can just make rain fall or fail in a particular area and let agriculture suffer. But in other cases, even if there isn’t that military intention of harm to the other there is an ignorance…..

8:56 N: There is also economic interest ……

8:58 V: Not all, the reason that there is such a battalion of scientists behind it…..

9:00 N: You know oil and not soil, the food and water …….

9:05 V: The people are pushing it have a money interest. The people who are pushing it have a military interest. , people are pushing to have a military interest. The players merely have the arrogance that ” I have the solution”. And it’s the combination of stupidity combined with the arrogance of the little players, and the evil projects of the ones who control it, that combination is what makes it toxic. Because if the scientific community could only recognize its responsibility to society and the planet and say “I will not be part of your games”, which is how Scientists for Social Responsibility was created, which is how the group that started to monitor the whole nuclear issue, those were all scientists. This is a marriage of stupid scientists with evil minds, and we need scientists with responsibility to be the counterforce to say this is not science, just as we need in genetic engineering. And it is as the community of scientists who really know the science start to speak more and organize better, that the stupid scientists of the biotech industry will quieten down. And biotech and geo engineering have the same mindset, of engineering, of power, of control, of mastery of nature

10:30 N: you spoke also of the dams. It’s big geoengineering also in India and in the whole world and there are now the big interests of water and here, the last time we had an interview with Pat Mooney he said that big dams, energy production, water control, and weather control, it’s one thing. So it’s not only a small intervention to have crops. It’s something more.

11:06 V: No as I said it’s the ultimate hubris, that’s what it is! Hubris on a planetary scale!

11:19 N: Uh….. what do you think about the fact they will spray nano particles? That’s the program!

11:29 V: Each of these issues has a particular aspect thats different but i think those particular aspects are very small compared to the overall damage and the overall irresponsibility. For me the first issue is, how dare you do this. How dare you. That has to be humanity’s response. Then the rest of the little thing of how nano particles can harm or have too much sulphur in the atmosphere can harm, those are specific details but this is a civilizational issue. And in civilizational issues you don’t look at the tiny details as the debate. You have to look at the big picture!

 Transcript by lukinski&trishy

 Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva, a world-renowned environmental thinker, activist, physicist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate, is the Director of The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy. She serves as an ecology advisor to several organizations including the Third World Network and the Asia Pacific People’s Environment Network.

In 1993 she was the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. A contributing editor to People-Centered Development Forum, she has also written several works include, “Staying Alive,” “The Violence of the Green Revolution,” “Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge,” “Monoculutures of the Mind” and “Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit,” as well as over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s, whose main participants were women. She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization, and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the anti-globalization movement. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her book “Vedic Ecology” that draws upon India’s Vedic heritage. Shiva has fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, genetic engineering are among the fields where Shiva has contributed intellectually and through activist campaigns. She has assisted grassroots organizations of the Green movement in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria with campaigns against genetic engineering. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology. Her book, “Staying Alive” helped redefine perceptions of third world women. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as non governmental organisations, including the International Forum on Globalisation, the Women’s Environment & Development Organization and the Third World Network.

Obama On California Drought: Climate Change Threatens The Nation


February 15 2014 “Information Clearing House – “AP” –  LOS BANOS, Calif. (AP) — Warning that weather-related disasters will only get worse, President Barack Obama said Friday the U.S. must rethink the way it uses water as he announced new federal aid to help drought-stricken California.

Obama drew a clear connection between California’s troubles and climate change as he toured part of a farm that will go unsown this year as the state faces its worst drought in more than 100 years. Even if the U.S. takes action now to curb pollution, the planet will keep getting warmer “for a long time to come” thanks to greenhouse gases that have already built up, Obama said.

“We’re going to have to stop looking at these disasters as something to wait for. We’re going to have to start looking at these disasters as something to prepare for,” Obama said.

After arriving in California on Friday afternoon, Obama met with community leaders at a rural water facility before announcing more than $160 million in federal financial aid, including $100 million in the farm bill he signed into law last week for programs that cover the loss of livestock.

The overall package includes smaller amounts to aid in the most extreme drought areas and to help food banks that serve families affected by the water shortage. Obama also called on federal facilities in California to limit water consumption immediately.

“These actions will help, but they’re just the first step,” he said. “We have to be clear. A changing climate means that weather-related disasters like droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, are potentially going to be costlier and they’re going to be harsher.”

He urged Congress to act swiftly on Democratic legislation backed by California’s senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, that would pour $300 million into emergency aid and drought-relief projects, upgrade city water systems and water conservation, and speed up environmental reviews of water projects, among other steps.

The president also announced that the budget he’ll send to Congress next month will include $1 billion for a proposed “climate resilience fund” to invest in research and pay for new technologies to help communities deal with the impact of climate change. The proposal is likely to face stiff resistance from lawmakers wary of new spending and divided on the subject of global warming.

Later Friday, Obama was meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the Rancho Mirage estate Sunnylands for talks covering the Mideast peace process, Syria and other issues. It’s unusual for Obama to host world leaders outside of the White House, though he did hold a two-day summit at Sunnylands last year with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Obama planned to spend Presidents Day weekend at the estate and was expected to make use of its golf course. He traveled without first lady Michelle Obama.

The White House has been closely watching the California drought, which follows a year of the lowest rainfall on record. The drought has also brought to a head political warfare over the state’s water resources that feed major cities, the country’s richest agricultural region and waterways that provide habitat for endangered species of fish.

No longer can the U.S. afford to think about water as a competition between the nation’s agricultural and urban areas, Obama said earlier at a water facility in Firebaugh. With overall water resources expected to diminish significantly in the future, he said, the country must find better ways to cooperate.

“We are going to stay on top of this because it has national implications,” Obama said.

Farmers recently learned they will not be receiving irrigation water from the State Water Project, a system of rivers, canals and reservoirs. They anticipate a similar announcement later this month from federal authorities who operate a similar system called the Central Valley Project.

Federal officials, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, earlier this month pledged $34 million to help farmers and ranchers conserve scarce water supplies, improve irrigation methods, head off erosion of unplanted fields and create better ways to water livestock.

The Republican-controlled House recently voted to address the drought by rolling back environmental protections and temporarily halting the restoration of a dried-up stretch of the San Joaquin River, work that is designed to restore historic salmon runs. Farmers would prefer to have the water diverted to their crops instead.

Environmentalists and Democrats oppose the bill, and the White House has threatened a veto, arguing that the measure would not alleviate the drought but would undo decades of work to address California’s longstanding water shortages.

Associated Press writer Scott Smith in Fresno, Calif., contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014, Inc

Climate Change and the Magnificent Achievements of Eco-Propaganda

By James F. Tracy

Global Research, January 31, 2014

climatechange21Today a good deal of what qualifies as propaganda is much more subtle than overt. When an entire civilization or way of life is to be significantly altered the tried-and-true method of “repeating a lie until it becomes truth” needs to be done over a period of many years and in a multitude of varying ways to take hold and change the very assumptions and beliefs of a people.

This process is especially vital for reaching a given society’s more elite demographic—the opinion leaders who perceive themselves as “smarter than the average bear” and thus impervious to simple appeals and indoctrination.

A case in point is the agenda backed by powerful global elites and recognizable under names such as “climate change” and “sustainability.” The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, released on September 27, 2013, came replete with an assemblage of legitimizing features along these lines (“scientific,” “scholarly,” “authoritative,” “peer reviewed,”). Also termed the “Climate Bible,” journalists and policymakers alike regard it as “authoritative” and “the gold standard” of climate science. The public is told that the official body’s findings are now clearer than ever: “human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”[1]

Among the most vociferous agitators for the IPCC’s climate change orthodoxy are the foundation-funded, tax-exempt, progressive-left media that sit alongside the bevy of similarly tax-exempt, foundation-funded environmental organizations that together uphold and publicize the theory of CO2-based anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change (ACC).[2] Self-professed as “independent,” “investigative,” even “educational,” the so-called “alternative media” turn a blind eye to seriously scrutinizing the highly questionable IPCC’s “scientific” review of the climatological literature and its implications for the array of ambitious programs and policies stealthily introduced throughout the industrialized world, many of which are seldom subject to popular plebiscite. Think “smart grid” and “smart growth.”

Logical questions from such apparently independent organs might include, “How does the IPCC produce its findings?” and “Who benefits?” Instead, there is an almost knee-jerk response on behalf of progressive-left editors and readerships to trust and support the UN group’s purportedly objective and meticulous review of the peer-reviewed climatological literature.

Between August and December 2013 such progressive outlets published dozens of articles and commentaries whole-heartedly touting the IPCC report. For example, posted 25 articles, ran 40, circulated 38, and featured 11.

These were often presented with bleak headlines accenting the urgent appeals found in the IPCC publicity. For example, “International Scientists Warn Climate Deniers Are Enabling Earth’s Suicide” (Truthout, 9/13/13), “6 Scary Conclusions in the UN’s New Climate Report” (Mother Jones, 9/27/13), “Greenhouse Gas in Atmosphere Hits New Record: UN,” (Alternet, 11/1/13), and “’Africa is Being Pushed Closer to the Fire’: Africans Say Continent Can’t Wait for Climate Action” (Democracy Now! 11/22/13).

Uncritical advocacy of the IPCC’s anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming extended beyond headlines to media criticism. In December, for example, the progressive Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) observed that corporate controlled network newscasts routinely failed to link “extreme weather” to “global warming.” “In the first nine months of 2013,” FAIR observes,

there were 450 segments of 200 words or more that covered extreme weather: flooding, forest fires, tornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes and heat waves. But of that total, just a tiny fraction–16 segments, or 4 percent of the total–so much as mentioned the words “climate change,” “global warming” or “greenhouse gases.[3]

What is left unmentioned is that fact that all of these “extreme weather” incidents have one common denominator that FAIR and corporate and progressive media alike consistently overlook: the sun. As University of Winnipeg climatologist Dr. Tim Ball explains (here at 35:00), the IPCC’s “terms of reference” through which the body proceeds to generate its findings exclude the sun and its many demonstrable atmospheric effects as factors in the warming and cooling of the earth’s climate. It is thus no wonder that at best fringe or nonexistent causes of “climate change”–such as minuscule alterations in atmospheric gases–are pointed to with great alarm by the IPCC and its proponents.

Despite far more unambiguous and compelling scientific explanations the notion that “carbon emissions” are the foremost cause of natural climactic events has become something of a religion, and this is especially the case on the progressive-left, where adherents mechanically accept the curious agenda and its ostensibly “scientific” basis while vehemently condemning non-believers as “climate deniers.”

As Canadian journalist Donna LaFramboise has documented in her important 2011 exposé, the IPCC’s scholarly personnel is in fact heavily weighted toward what are often third-or-fourth-rate scientific talent whose eco-political stances are strictly in accord with the IPCC’s “research” agenda pushing anthropogenic climate change. IPCC authors often include climatology graduate students and even environmental activists from organizations such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund—indeed, figures with little-if-any scientific training but with clear agendas to promote.

LaFramboise further found that one third of the literature reviewed and cited by the IPCC in its 2007 report was–contrary to IPCC chief publicist Ragendra Pachauri’s pronouncements–not even peer-reviewed, and in many cases included citations of promotional literature devised and distributed by environmental activist organizations.

These unethical and compromising relationships are not difficult to explain if one is to recognize the IPCC for what it in fact is—a powerful political organization with the overarching objective of manufacturing consent and achieving transnational policy harmonization around the largely discursive construct of anthropogenic carbon-centric climate change.

The fact that the IPCC is capable of forthrightly carrying out one of the greatest scientific frauds in human history, setting long range governmental policies while enlisting allegedly intellectual sophisticates and “progressive” news media as its most devoted foot soldiers, is no small-scale feat. It is, rather, an immense achievement in modern propaganda and thought control that only hints at the powerful forces behind a much more far-reaching agenda.


[1] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Human Influence on Climate Clear: IPCC Says,” Geneva Switzerland: World Meteorological Organization. The notion of “a 97% consensus” has itself become a common mantra for climate change fear mongering and grounds for labeling someone a “climate denier.” Yet there is limited evidence of any such consensus concerning ACC among climatologists. The oft-cited 2009 American Geophysical Union survey alleging a 98% consensus among scientists on ACC cannot sustain even modest scrutiny. See Larry Bell, “That Scientific Global Warming Consensus … Not!”, July 7, 2012. Another study held up as “proof” of scientific consensus, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” asserts only carefully qualified claims along these lines. “A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself,” the authors point out, “the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions.” The brief paper assesses “an extensive data set of 1,372 climate researchers” to conclude that the scientific expertise and prominence of those who accept the IPCC’s ACC tenets surpass those who remain “unconvinced.” This begs the question, To what degree are the requisites of foundation funding related to espousing IPCC/ACC opinion? William R. L. Anderegg, James W. Prall, Jacob Harold, and Stephen H. Schneider, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010.

[2] James F. Tracy, “The Forces Behind Carbon-Centric Environmentalism,” Global Research, November 12, 2013.

[3] “TV News and Extreme Weather: Don’t Mention Climate Change,” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, December 18, 2013. It might be added that corporate media and progressive-left counterparts uniformly fail to consider other possible causes of such unusual weather events, such as geoengineering and similar “environmental modification techniques” acknowledged by the US military and undertaken in many industrialized countries. See, for example, Michel Chossudovsky, “Climate Change, Geoengineering, and Environmental Modification Techniques,” Global Research, November 24, 2013.

Climate Change Hypocrisy: Reversing the Tide of Global Warming by Building Nuclear Power Plants

By Washington’s Blog
Global Research, January 23, 2014
Washington’s Blog

And Nuclear Pumps Out a Lot of Carbon Dioxide

radiation4It is well-documented that nuclear energy is very expensive and bad for the environment.

Former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Peter Bradford notes:

If asked whether we should increase our reliance on caviar to fight world hunger, most people would laugh. Relying on an overly expensive commodity to perform an essential task spends too much money for too little benefit, while foreclosing more-promising approaches.

That is nuclear power’s fundamental flaw in the search for plentiful energy without climate repercussions, though reactors are also more dangerous than caviar unless you’re a sturgeon.


Nuclear power is so much more expensive than alternative ways of providing energy that the world can only increase its nuclear reliance through massive government subsidy—like the $8 billion loan guarantee offered by the federal government to a two-reactor project in Georgia approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission earlier this year.


Many more such direct government subsidies will be needed to scale up nuclear power to any great extent.


John Rowe, former chief executive of Exelon Corp., an energy company that relies heavily on nuclear power, recently said, “At today’s [natural] gas prices, a new nuclear power plant is out of the money by a factor of two.” He added, “It’s not something where you can go sharpen the pencil and play. It’s economically wrong.” His successor, Christopher Crane, recently said gas prices would have to increase roughly fivefold for nuclear to be competitive in the U.S.


Countries that choose power supplies through democratic, transparent and market-based methods aren’t building new reactors.

Indeed, nuclear is not only crazily expensive, but it also pumps out a huge amount of carbon dioxideduring construction, and crowds out development of clean energy.

Nuclear may also provide a lower return on energy invested than renewable forms of alternative energy. In other words, it might take more energy to create nuclear energy than other forms of power … which is worse for the environment.

But many environmentalists believe that nuclear is vital to prevent climate change. How could they be so wrong?

Because the nuclear industry has spent massive amounts of money on lobbying and pr efforts, and has been the elephant in the room in lobbying for climate change legislation that backs nuclear as a “clean” energy source.

Remember, Dick Cheney – whose Halliburton company builds nuclear power plants, and whichsold nuclear secrets to Iran – has repeatedly, falsely claimed that nuclear power reduces greenhouse gasses, and in a 2004 appearance on C-Span he said that nuclear is “carbon-free”.

Nuclear is also so dangerous – remember Fukushima? – that the former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said that it should be phased out altogether.

Faulty Assumptions Are Leading to Bad Policy

America is not learning from its mistakes. The U.S. is not only subsidizing the construction of new nuclear plants in America – which don’t include the safety fixes which Fukushima showed were needed, but the U.S. is forcing Japan to re-start its nuclear program after the Fukushima disasterbecause:

Japanese nuclear policy is closely linked also to the nuclear non-proliferation and environmental policies aimed at preventing the global warming under the Obama administration.

For the same reasons, the U.S. has gone to great lengths to help Japan cover up the severity of the Fukushima disaster, including backing Japan’s recent enactment of a state secrecy law whichoutlaws independent reporting on Fukushima.

In other words, faulty U.S. policy on climate has led our government to back fascism in Japan.

So What’s the Answer?

So what’s the solution? Carbon credits?

No … the leading climate change activists say that carbon credits may increase carbon emissions.

Oil, natural gas, coal?

No …

Decentralizing energy production, increasing efficiency, and increasing energy conservation are the real solutions for the environment.

Watch this must-see talk by energy engineer Amory Lovins, this must-watch-interview of Lovins by former nuclear executive and nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, and this inspiring talk by Justin Hall Tipping.

Washington and the Oil Industry Know the Truth about Climate Change

By Dave Lindorff

January 19, 2014 “Information Clearing House – Climate skeptics in Congress, and oil and coal industry lobbyists like the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Coal Council (ACC) may be preventing any significant action in the US on reducing this country’s emissions of carbon into the atmosphere, but at the Pentagon, and in the executive suites of the oil industry giants, there is no doubt about the reality of climate change.

As Admiral Robert J. Papp of the US Coast Guard wrote in 2012 in the magazine of the US Naval Institute:

“The world may seem to be growing smaller, but its seas are growing bigger—particularly in the great North, where a widening water-highway beckons both with resources and challenges.”

Admiral Papp didn’t futz around. Without any caveats or bows to corrupted scientists on the payroll of the Koch Brothers, he wrote:

“The Arctic Ocean, in the northern region of the Arctic Circle, is changing from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into a growing navigable sea, attracting increased human activity and unlocking access to vast economic potential and energy resources. In the 35 years since I first saw Kotzebue, Alaska, on the Chukchi Sea as a junior officer, the sea ice has receded from the coast so much that when I returned last year the coastal area was ice-free. The shipping, oil-and-gas, and tourism industries continue to expand with the promise of opportunity and fortune in previously inaccessible areas. Experts estimate that in another 25 years the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free during the summer months.”

 Meanwhile, as the Navy plans for an expanded role in the far north, oil companies, from ExxonMobil to ARCO, Chevron, Shell, BP, Norway’s Statoil and Russia’s Gazprom, are gearing up to begin drilling for oil and gas in parts of the Arctic Ocean that are already becoming free of ice in summer months, knowing that even in winter, the returned ice sheet will be manageably thin in coming years. (They are also covetously looking to drill in the soon to be ice-free parts of Greenland, and and are even contemplating the prospect of being able to drill for oil in a warmer Antarctica–as though an ice-less or much less ice-bound Antarctica would be a good thing!))

How can executives of these companies, whose scientists are assuring them that there’s big money to be made tapping the vast oil and gas reserves known to lie beneath the shallow Arctic waters now being relieved of their ice cover for the first time in millions of years, be simultaneously lobbying Congress and paying for propaganda campaigns designed to sow doubts among the public about the true climate-change situation? How can Congress and the Obama administration, who know that the Navy is gearing up to patrol and defend a whole new coast line and vast new stretches of heretofore inaccessible territorial waters north of Alaska — even contemplating confrontations and boundary disputes with a newly assertive Canada — be failing to adopt even minimal efforts to slow rampaging climate change by working to significantly limit the burning of fossil fuels in the US?

Article image

Yet that is what is happening. A group of 18 environmental organizations which includes organizations like the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the League of Conservation Voters wrote in a Jan. 16 letter to President Obama that his administration’s “all of the above” approach to boosting exploration for more oil, more gas and even increased coal for export, was unacceptable in view of the growing climate change crisis, and said:

“An ‘all of the above’ strategy is a compromise that future generations can’t afford. It fails to prioritize clean energy and solutions that have already begun to replace fossil fuels, revitalize American industry, and save Americans money. It increases environmental injustice while it locks in the extraction of fossil fuels that will inevitably lead to a catastrophic climate future. It threatens our health, our homes, our most sensitive public lands, our oceans and our most precious wild places. Such a policy accelerates development of fuel sources that can negate the important progress you’ve already made on lowering U.S. carbon pollution, and it undermines U.S. credibility in the international community.”

Meanwhile, the API announced that same day that it was launching an ad and lobbying campaign to promote increased gas and oil exploration in the US. This campaign makes the spurious claim that increased use of natural gas instead of oil will help reduce carbon emissions, and argues that for increased economic growth, the US needs to have more energy available.

I called API to ask how the oil industry executives could be, on the one hand, hearing from their own scientists that the Arctic ice cap is vanishing because of raging climate change, while on the other hand they are lobbying against any efforts to limit carbon emissions, and asked, “Are they simply ignoring the evidence, or is it a case of a thirst for near-term profits overriding any concern about the survivability of life on the planet for their own offspring?”

The media relations executive, Brian Straessle, while saying he would try to get me someone to talk to from API (so far nothing on that front), offered as a justification for this seemingly oxymoronic behavior, the claim that US carbon emissions in 2012 had fallen to an 20-year (sic — it’s 18) low “because of a shift to burning natural gas.”

I replied, “Well, I think it was mostly because of reduced economic activity from the long recession, right?” and was met with silence.

The truth is, while cheap natural gas did lead to some shifting by utilities away from coal, which is indeed a much worse producer of carbon dioxide, the bulk of the estimated 3.8 percent decline in carbon emissions in the US in 2012 was the result of continued lower economic activity (which reduced driving miles, air miles, and electricity use per capita) and, significantly, because of efforts, often encouraged by tax rebates or legislative mandates by states and localities, to reduce energy use. Moreover, there are warnings that once natural gas prices rise again, as they inevitably will as the global economy rebounds, utilities will shift back to more coal burning, making the downturn in US carbon emissions a short-lived phenomenon. (Also, there’s the unmentioned impact of leaked methane in the mining and use of gas and oil, which releases into the atmosphere a chemical that is 23 times as potent a global warming agent as CO2.)

The reality, as Pentagon and the oil industry know, is that climate change is progressing with frightening rapidity. Already, sea levels along the Atlantic seaboard have risen 8-10” since the 1930s, forcing places like Miami Beach to engage in costly major projects to stave off their inevitable future as new Atlantises. According to one expert at the University of Florida, Prof. Harold Wanless, increasingly rapid ice melting on Greenland’s 2-mile-thick ice sheet, and evidence that the much larger West Antarctic ice sheet is beginning to melt, could mean a devastating 15-foot global sea rise by as early as 2100, instead of the 3-6 foot predictions that are more commonly cited (bad as those would be).

That might be great news for the Navy, but for the rest of us it’s Armageddon.

How long will it take before Washington pols finally stop accepting bribes from the energy industry, and recognizes that this is not a matter of shifting military assets around and racing to exploit for oil reserves in newly ice-free oceans and once ice-covered landmasses, but rather that it is a time for crash measures to try and slow the pace of rising global temperatures?

Dave Lindorff is an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor toBusinessweekThe NationExtra! and He received a Project Censored award in 2004. Dave is also a founding member of the online newspaper ThisCantBeHappening!

This is a war against the whole world, not against Russia alone

By A I Adam

51637Conference Of the Parties (COP) 19 ended a day late without anything substantial but the customary acrimonies and blame game. Two weeks passed with usual blah blah – and junketing at tax-payers’ expense – leaving everything for the last minutes, then time runs out. This is a new game but every nation, particularly the developing nations, should be concerned and seriously contemplate where they are indeed heading to, and to what end.

COP 17 at Durban prescribed for working out a universally agreeable and enforceable emission reduction scheme by 2015, but implementation would not be effected until 2020. It is indeed surprising that no one questioned the strangeness of this timetable and the intrigue of delaying implementation. But with a little hindsight, it is not hard to figure out the game plan. Two COPs ended achieving nothing, two more to go and the game planners know these would end in the same way. One does not have to be a prophet to foresee that no agreement would be reached by 2015, and that has been factored into the five years implementation delay to allow for continuing COPs for another five years. Will there be an agreement by 2020? No one knows, and it seems unlikely as ever. These COPs are like the softening-up shelling at a battle front to wear down the “enemy” slowly and to submission at the end, whenever that “victory” may arrive. Like the yearly last-minute sweep-up agreements, the final victory may be thrust in a hurry upon the wearied nations tired of haggling and waiting and delaying. Perseverance would pay at the end.

Let us cite an incident that reflects a similar picture. In 2004, Andrei Illarionov, Economic Adviser to the Russian President, held a press conference at the end of a 2-day Moscow Seminar on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol. Illarionov deliberated that the Kyoto Protocol was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, international adventure of all times and nations. Assertions made in the Kyoto Protocol and the scientific theory on which it is based are not borne out by actual data. The insignificant global warming was not anthropogenic but natural. There is no evidence of positive linkage between level of carbon dioxide and temperature changes. Solar activity causes temperature fluctuation and that in turn affects carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. The IPCC distorted and falsified the data as shown in the so-called hockey-stick graph.

He continued: Russia had to deal with National Socialism, Marxism, Eugenics, Lysenkoism and many more. All methods of distorting information have been committed to prove the alleged validity of these theories. Misinformation,falsification, fabrication, mythology, propaganda. Because what is offered cannot be qualified in any other way than myth, nonsense and absurdity. One of the biggest international adventure based on man-hating totalitarian ideology manifests itself in totalitarian actions and tries to defend itself using misinformation and falsified facts. There is no other word than “war” to describe it. Russia would be a colony as soon as it signs the Kyoto Protocol.

He went on: This is a war against the whole world, not against Russia alone. Signing Kyoto for Russia would mean only one thing, complete capitulation to the dangerous and harmful ideology and practice that are being imposed with the help of international diplomacy. Russia is not a banana republic or a colony, but she is about to become one as soon as she ratifies the document.

The veracity of the comments Illarionov made at that press conference is undeniable. The thrust of the truth therein should not be taken lightly either. But Russia capitulated within months and joined the Kyoto Protocol as a trade off for joining the WTO under favourable terms. She however, abstained from joining the Kyoto Mark II along with several other countries. If the COPs conclude in a similar way by 2020, it would indeed be an apocalyptic calamity, particularly for the developing nations. These nations have already been won over with the lure of mitigation fund that is yet to materialise, and no one can guarantee that it will. But the poorer nations are staying put with hopes alive. At the last few COPs, China and India have vocally stood by poorer weaker nations safeguarding their own national interests and theirs against what went on in closed-door meetings, and that turned out to be the main stumbling blocks that prevented any agreement to materialise. Allegedly, all COPs from and including Copenhagen 2009 failed due to alleged attempts of abusing and breaching WTO rules to use it as the instrument of coercive force in imposing mitigation measures upon nations. Russia has not been heard much as a protesting voice in these probably for safeguarding her favourable terms of joining the WTO. The “softening-up” gunning seems to be working already.

The above may not be an accurate account of what goes on in secrecy but the participants know or should know what goes on and why COPs are failing one after another. It particularly burdens the BASIC/BRIC nations with additional responsibility to stand together as a bulwark to assure fairness and protect weaker poorer nations from hegemonic subjugation by the powers-that-be. Better even that they should ask why this silly game must still be played and for how long? Why play at all?

Lot of waters have flowed down the Volga and the Danube during the years since, lot of secrets have come to light, falsehoods and fabrications have unravelled to open everyone’s eyes. Illarionov’s prognoses have only stood starkly truer – scientific evidence do not support the climate change claims. Therefore, the paradigm must change.

That greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), man-made or not, is the driver of global warming has never been proved. The IPCC cannot explain the pause/decline in global warming since 1998 despite steadily rising atmospheric COthat has now passed 400ppm. Proxy data from the Antarctica and Greenland ice cores have shown temperature’s control over CO2, not the other way around. The atmospheric CO2 records at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, also show annual fluctuation rising during autumn and winter and falling during spring and summer. This issue should now be put to rest as unproven.

Global warming has occurred, and that is natural too. The IPCC ignored that we are in a post-glacial period and also recovering from the Little Ice Age, therefore, warming is the only natural trend we must expect. Total warming since industrialisation (1750), despite accelerating increase in fossil fuel burning, has been no more than 1oC. In the Summary of the 5th Assessment Report, the IPCC came up only with childish excuses to explain the pause/decline in warming but admitted “internal variability”, after denying it for 15 years, and without saying how it relates to “natural variability”. All the so-called “observed changes” the IPCC documented in its reports are nothing more than natural variability anomalies. It has happened all the time, and not something happening now, or since 1998. The British met Office too has admitted it lately that periodic cooling and warming is not unusual. So, the global warming issue is settled as a non-issue.

That brings the drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions to question. It is on this question that the COPs allegedly failed. Virtually no country that signed the Kyoto fulfilled her commitment to cut emissions, or cut a little only to put up a PR face. Kyoto Mark II is unlikely to end up any better. Developed nations seem to be more interested in emission trading than cutting. Trading would allow them to play all market tricks and most would try that to avoid cutting al all – like the US, the instigator of Kyoto, abstained from signing it. The big players would trade and prosper, the small would get smaller, developing nations would dwindle and gasp to survive on mitigation doles. The EU introduction of carbon tax has been a disaster, but still trying to save it at the expense of their national economies. Why cut emissions at all when it is proven before your eyes that greenhouse gases are not main drivers of global warming? The national leaderships are on an inertia momentum, the facts are yet to sink into their dulled psyche. Well, emission causes smog, such as in China and India; smog causes respiratory illnesses. Right. Nations should turn to technology. London, Liverpool, Chicago, Tokyo, Loy Yang have resolved smog problems by technology – by filtering out the particulate emissions. China and India can do the same, and they surely will do succeed one day. Respiratory problems are health issues, therefore, emissions should be treated as a public health problem, not a climate problem. With this shift of focus, the paradigm must change too. Carbon dioxide is an inert benevolent gas, it does not add to global warming but fertilize vegetative growth, it does not pollute, and it is a minuscule component of the atmosphere – one-twenty-fifth of one percent.

And finally, the mitigation. Mitigation of what, when the climate is not changing? IPCC has three working groups. Working Group I (WG I) deals with the science of climate change, WG II finds out the effects of climate change based on that science, and WG III prescribes the mitigation measures, based on the science and the effects. Well, that was the idea, but it never worked that way. The truth is, climate has not changed, and is not changing. That meant that there was no job for WG II and III. It has been well documented that WG II and III never waited for the WG I science, they invented the effects and prescribed mitigation pre-emptively to any findings by the WG I. WG I science has been nothing more than a PR show-piece as the mitigation measures are not based on their science, not on WG I report at all, but on a Special Report on emission scenarios prepared by WG III. Emission scenarios are admittedly speculative, and constitute a spectrum of scenarios. These are not projections of or extrapolation from any finding, measurement or observation, and are called storylines. First a storyline is chosen, and then the future climate is “estimated” from that storyline. It is a fairy tale woven from other fairy tales and has nothing to do with the climate or the reality, and is unlinked even to the IPCC science report. This is not a secret. Kevin Trenberth, one of the high priests and a lead author of IPCC reports confided in the Climate Feedback Blog of science magazine Nature that IPCC never predicts future climate; it only offers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emission scenarios. These emission scenarios are admittedly speculative, as we just said above. So, what bugbear are we cowering at?

Now, in view of the above, every nation and every person must ask what the COP businesses are for? The Parties, particularly the developing nations, should seriously question the meaning, necessity and justification of these annual rituals. Where is it going to lead them? Many scandals have rocked the IPCC, each one of them should have been an aye opener. It is high time to take the blinkers off and cast a hard look at the IPCC business as a whole. Here, the BASIC/BRIK nations’ joint leadership is called for, for themselves as well as for the developing nations, to put a halt to the slow slide to economic apocalypse for the benefit of a clever few. This is not a hard task, what requires is mere non-participation, if withdrawal from the IPCC and UNFCCC is impossible, in the greater National Interest of each and all nations. No nation is in bondage to any other nations. BASIC/BRIC nations should consider putting their heads together on this crisis without delay. This is a question of economic survival of all nations other than the rich and very rich.

BASIC/BRIC nations should take heart and feel encouraged by the recent developments: Australia axed its carbon tax, Canada supported it, Australia and Japan significantly reduced their emission commitments, Poland held global coal summit concurrently with COP 19 in Warsaw and “endorsed” it, developing nations at COP 19 blamed developed nations for scaling down on their ambition on emission reduction and refusing to engage. These are signs that nations who are little more than pawns at these  rhetoric-fests are beginning to realise the hollowness of it all – the absence of trust, transparency, equity and equality, good faith, and veracity.

Meanwhile the inability to explain the pause/decline in global warming for the last 15 years and its probable continuation for another 15 to 30 years shook the confidence of its financiers, the carbon finance money market in London. J P Morgan scaled down its carbon trading team, Morgan Stanley went trading part-time, Barclays sold theirs last year, Deutsche Bank closed their office, USB shut its climate change advisory panel, not to mention the small players such as EcoSecurities that barely survived by cutting back. Financiers around the globe are waking up from their Green and renewable energy dreams and counting the costs.

Every nations’ time and money will be saved by the realisation that the use-by date of the IPCC has expired, and BASIC/BRIC nations should extend their helping hands to put it out of its misery as an act of mercy. Sooner the Piltdown Man of our time is put to eternal rest the better.

A I Adam


A I Adam is the author of New Emperors’ Novel Clothes: Climate Change Analysed

published by The Publishers Apprentice, a Connor Court Publishing imprint.

Climate Change, Geoengineering and Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) (link)

Climate Change, Geoengineering and Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) | Global Research.

Climate at Five Minutes to Midnight: IPCC Head


September 03, 2013 “Information Clearing House – AFP – Humanity has pushed the world’s climate system to the brink, leaving itself only scant time to act, the head of the UN’s group of climate scientists said on Monday.

“We have five minutes before midnight,” warned Rajendra Pachauri, whose organisation will this month release the first volume of a new assessment of global warming and its impacts.

“We may utilise the gifts of nature just as we choose, but in our books the debits are always equal to the credits,” Pachauri told a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the environmental organisation Green Cross International, quoting fellow Indian Mahatma Gandhi.

“May I submit that humanity has completely ignored, disregarded and been totally indifferent to the debits?

“Today we have the knowledge to be able to map out the debits and to understand what we have done to the condition of this planet,” Pachauri said.

The IPCC is made up of several hundred scientists worldwide.

It is due to release the first volume of its long-awaited Fifth Assessment Report on September 27.

The first tome will look at the scientific evidence for climate change; two more follow next year, focussing on the impacts and the options for tackling the problem.

A leaked draft two weeks ago said that human activity is almost certainly the cause of climate change.

The draft also forecast that sea levels could rise by 90 centimetres (three feet) by the end of the century, and all but dismissed recent claims of a slowdown in the pace of warming which climate-change sceptics have seized upon.

In its previous reports, the IPCC has warned that unbraked warming will drive many species to extinction and hike the frequency or intensity of droughts, heatwaves and floods, affecting food security and water supplies for many millions.

“We cannot isolate ourselves from anything that happens in any part of this planet. It will affect all of us in some way or the other,” Pachauri said.

Reining in greenhouse-gas emissions was still possible if countries, including in the developing world, rethought their approach to economic growth, he said.

That would boost energy security, cut pollution and improve health, and also offer new job opportunities, he added.

Terracide and the Terrarists

Destroying the Planet for Record Profits 
By Tom Engelhardt
May 23, 2013 “Information Clearing House” -“Tom Dispatch” — We have a word for the conscious slaughter of a racial or ethnic group: genocide. And one for the conscious destruction of aspects of the environment: ecocide. But we don’t have a word for the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on, the world as humanity had known it until, historically speaking, late last night. A possibility might be “terracide” from the Latin word for earth. It has the right ring, given its similarity to the commonplace danger word of our era: terrorist.
The truth is, whatever we call them, it’s time to talk bluntly about the terrarists of our world. Yes, I know, 9/11 was horrific. Almost 3,000 dead, massive towers down, apocalyptic scenes. And yes, when it comes to terror attacks, the Boston Marathon bombings weren’t pretty either. But in both cases, those who committed the acts paid for or will pay for their crimes.
In the case of the terrarists — and here I’m referring in particular to the men who run what may be the most profitable corporations on the planet, giant energy companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell — you’re the one who’s going to pay, especially your children and grandchildren. You can take one thing for granted: not a single terrarist will ever go to jail, and yet they certainly knew what they were doing.
It wasn’t that complicated. In recent years, the companies they run have been extracting fossil fuels from the Earth in ever more frenetic and ingenious ways. The burning of those fossil fuels, in turn, has put record amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Only this month, the CO2 level reached 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. A consensus of scientists has long concluded that the process was warming the world and that, if the average planetary temperature rose more than two degrees Celsius, all sorts of dangers could ensue, including seas rising high enough to inundate coastal cities, increasingly intense heat waves, droughts, floods, ever more extreme storm systems, and so on.
How to Make Staggering Amounts of Money and Do In the Planet
None of this was exactly a mystery. It’s in the scientific literature. NASA scientist James Hansen first publicized the reality of global warming to Congress in 1988. It took a while — thanks in part to the terrarists — but the news of what was happening increasingly made it into the mainstream. Anybody could learn about it.
Those who run the giant energy corporations knew perfectly well what was going on and could, of course, have read about it in the papers like the rest of us. And what did they do? They put their money into funding think tanks, politicians, foundations, and activists intent on emphasizing “doubts” about the science (since it couldn’t actually be refuted); they and their allies energetically promoted what came to be known as climate denialism. Then they sent their agents and lobbyists and money into the political system to ensure that their plundering ways would not be interfered with. And in the meantime, they redoubled their efforts to get ever tougher and sometimes “dirtier” energy out of the ground in ever tougher and dirtier ways.
The peak oil people hadn’t been wrong when they suggested years ago that we would soon hit a limit in oil production from which decline would follow. The problem was that they were focused on traditional or “conventional” liquid oil reserves obtained from large reservoirs in easy-to-reach locations on land or near to shore. Since then, the big energy companies have invested a remarkable amount of time, money, and (if I can use that word) energy in the development of techniques that would allow them to recover previously unrecoverable reserves (sometimes by processes that themselves burn striking amounts of fossil fuels): fracking, deep-water drilling, and tar-sands production, among others.
They also began to go after huge deposits of what energy expert Michael Klare calls “extreme” or “tough” energy — oil and natural gas that can only be acquired through the application of extreme force or that requires extensive chemical treatment to be usable as a fuel. In many cases, moreover, the supplies being acquired like heavy oil and tar sands are more carbon-rich than other fuels and emit more greenhouse gases when consumed. These companies have even begun using climate change itself — in the form of a melting Arctic — to exploit enormous and previously unreachable energy supplies. With the imprimatur of the Obama administration, Royal Dutch Shell, for example, has been preparing to test out possible drilling techniques in the treacherous waters off Alaska. 
Call it irony, if you will, or call it a nightmare, but Big Oil evidently has no qualms about making its next set of profits directly off melting the planet. Its top executives continue to plan their futures (and so ours), knowing that their extremely profitable acts are destroying the very habitat, the very temperature range that for so long made life comfortable for humanity.
Their prior knowledge of the damage they are doing is what should make this a criminal activity. And there are corporate precedents for this, even if on a smaller scale. The lead industry, the asbestos industry, and the tobacco companies all knew the dangers of their products, made efforts to suppress the information or instill doubt about it even as they promoted the glories of what they made, and went right on producing and selling while others suffered and died.
And here’s another similarity: with all three industries, the negative results conveniently arrived years, sometimes decades, after exposure and so were hard to connect to it. Each of these industries knew that the relationship existed. Each used that time-disconnect as protection. One difference: if you were a tobacco, lead, or asbestos exec, you might be able to ensure that your children and grandchildren weren’t exposed to your product. In the long run, that’s not a choice when it comes to fossil fuels and CO2, as we all live on the same planet (though it’s also true that the well-off in the temperate zones are unlikely to be the first to suffer).
If Osama bin Laden’s 9/11 plane hijackings or the Tsarnaev brothers’ homemade bombs constitute terror attacks, why shouldn’t what the energy companies are doing fall into a similar category (even if on a scale that leaves those events in the dust)? And if so, then where is the national security state when we really need it? Shouldn’t its job be to safeguard us from terrarists and terracide as well as terrorists and their destructive plots?
The Alternatives That Weren’t
It didn’t have to be this way.
On July 15, 1979, at a time when gas lines, sometimes blocks long, were a disturbing fixture of American life, President Jimmy Carterspoke directly to the American people on television for 32 minutes, calling for a concerted effort to end the country’s oil dependence on the Middle East. “To give us energy security,” he announced,
“I am asking for the most massive peacetime commitment of funds and resources in our nation’s history to develop America’s own alternative sources of fuel — from coal, from oil shale, from plant products for gasohol, from unconventional gas, from the sun… Just as a similar synthetic rubber corporation helped us win World War II, so will we mobilize American determination and ability to win the energy war. Moreover, I will soon submit legislation to Congress calling for the creation of this nation’s first solar bank, which will help us achieve the crucial goal of 20% of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000.”
It’s true that, at a time when the science of climate change was in its infancy, Carter wouldn’t have known about the possibility of an overheating world, and his vision of “alternative energy” wasn’t exactly a fossil-fuel-free one. Even then, shades of today or possibly tomorrow, he was talking about having “more oil in our shale alone than several Saudi Arabias.” Still, it was a remarkably forward-looking speech. 
Had we invested massively in alternative energy R&D back then, who knows where we might be today? Instead, the media dubbed it the “malaise speech,” though the president never actually used that word, speaking instead of an American “crisis of confidence.” While the initial public reaction seemed positive, it didn’t last long. In the end, the president’s energy proposals were essentially laughed out of the room and ignored for decades.
As a symbolic gesture, Carter had 32 solar panels installed on the White House. (“A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people: harnessing the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.”) As it turned out, “a road not taken” was the accurate description. On entering the Oval Office in 1981, Ronald Reagan caught the mood of the era perfectly. One of his first acts was to order the removal of those panels and none were reinstalled for three decades, until Barack Obama was president.
Carter would, in fact, make his mark on U.S. energy policy, just not quite in the way he had imagined. Six months later, on January 23, 1980, in his last State of the Union Address, he would proclaim what came to be known as the Carter Doctrine: “Let our position be absolutely clear,” he said. “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”
No one would laugh him out of the room for that. Instead, the Pentagon would fatefully begin organizing itself to protect U.S. (and oil) interests in the Persian Gulf on a new scale and America’s oil wars would follow soon enough. Not long after that address, it would start building up a Rapid Deployment Force in the Gulf that would in the end become U.S. Central Command. More than three decades later, ironies abound: thanks in part to those oil wars, whole swaths of the energy-rich Middle East are in crisis, if not chaos, while the big energy companies have put time and money into a staggeringly fossil-fuel version of Carter’s “alternative” North America. They’ve focused on shale oil, and on shale gas as well, and with new production methods, they are reputedly on the brink of turning the United States into a “new Saudi Arabia.”
If true, this would be the worst, not the best, of news. In a world where what used to pass for good news increasingly guarantees a nightmarish future, energy “independence” of this sort means the extraction of ever more extreme energy, ever more carbon dioxide heading skyward, and ever more planetary damage in our collective future. This was not the only path available to us, or even to Big Oil.
With their staggering profits, they could have decided anywhere along the line that the future they were ensuring was beyond dangerous. They could themselves have led the way with massive investments in genuine alternative energies (solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, algal, and who knows what else), instead of the exceedingly small-scale ones they made, often for publicity purposes. They could have backed a widespread effort to search for other ways that might, in the decades to come, have offered something close to the energy levels fossil fuels now give us. They could have worked to keep the extreme-energy reserves that turn out to be surprisingly commonplace deep in the Earth.
And we might have had a different world (from which, by the way, they would undoubtedly have profited handsomely). Instead, what we’ve got is the equivalent of a tobacco company situation, but on a planetary scale. To complete the analogy, imagine for a moment that they were planning to produce even more prodigious quantities not of fossil fuels but of cigarettes, knowing what damage they would do to our health. Then imagine that, without exception, everyone on Earth was forced to smoke several packs of them a day.
If that isn’t a terrorist — or terrarist — attack of an almost unimaginable sort, what is? If the oil execs aren’t terrarists, then who is? And if that doesn’t make the big energy companies criminal enterprises, then how would you define that term?
To destroy our planet with malice aforethought, with only the most immediate profits on the brain, with only your own comfort and wellbeing (and those of your shareholders) in mind: Isn’t that the ultimate crime? Isn’t that terracide?
Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute’s His latest book, co-authored with Nick Turse, isTerminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050.
[Note: Thanks go to my colleague and friend Nick Turse for coming up with the word “terracide.”]
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook or Tumblr. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.
Copyright 2013 Tom Engelhardt

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Climate Change: Human Disaster Looms, Claims New Research

Forecast global temperature rise of 4C a calamity for large swaths of planet even if predicted extremes are not reached
By Fiona Harvey
May 20, 2013 “Information Clearing House” -“The Guardian” – Some of the most extreme predictions of global warming are unlikely to materialise, new scientific research has suggested, but the world is still likely to be in for a temperature rise of double that regarded as safe.
The researchers said warming was most likely to reach about 4C above pre-industrial levels if the past decade’s readings were taken into account.
That would still lead to catastrophe across large swaths of the Earth, causing droughts, storms, floods and heatwaves, and drastic effects on agricultural productivity leading to secondary effects such as mass migration.
Some climate change sceptics have suggested that because the highest global average temperature yet recorded was in 1998 climate change has stalled. The new study, which is published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows a much longer “pause” would be needed to suggest that the world was not warming rapidly.
Alexander Otto, at the University of Oxford, lead author of the research, told the Guardian that there was much that climate scientists could still not fully factor into their models. He said most of the recent warming had been absorbed by the oceans but this would change as the seas heat up. The thermal expansion of the oceans is one of the main factors behind current and projected sea level rises.
The highest global average temperature ever recorded was in 1998, under the effects of a strong El Niño, a southern Pacific weather system associated with warmer and stormy weather, which oscillates with a milder system called La Niña. Since then the trend of average global surface temperatures has shown a clear rise above the long-term averages – the 10 warmest years on record have been since 1998 – but climate sceptics have claimed that this represents a pause in warming.
Otto said that this most recent pattern could not be taken as evidence that climate change has stopped. “Given the noise in the climate and temperature system, you would need to see a much longer period of any pause in order to draw the conclusion that global warming was not occurring,” he said. Such a period could be as long as 40 years of the climate record, he said.
Otto said the study found that most of the climate change models used by scientists were “pretty accurate”. A comprehensive global study of climate change science is expected to be published in September by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, its first major report since 2007.
Jochem Marotzke, professor at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg and a co-author of the paper, said: “It is important not to over-interpret a single decade, given what we know, and don’t know, about natural climate variability. Over the past decade the world as a whole has continued to warm but the warming is mostly in the subsurface oceans rather than at the surface.”
Other researchers also warned that there was little comfort to be taken from the new estimates – greenhouse gas emissions are rising at a far higher rate than had been predicted by this stage of the 21st century and set to rise even further, so estimates for how much warming is likely will also have to be upped.
Richard Allan, reader in climate at the University of Reading, said: “This work has used observations to estimate Earth’s current heating rate and demonstrate that simulations of climate change far in the future seem to be pretty accurate. However, the research also indicates that a minority of simulations may be responding more rapidly towards this overall warming than the observations indicate.”
He said the effect of pollutants in the atmosphere, which reflect the sun’s heat back into space, was particularly hard to measure.
He noted the inferred sensitivity of climate to a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations based on this new study, suggesting a rise of 1.2C to 3.9C, was consistent with the range from climate simulations of 2.2C to 4.7C. He said: “With work like this our predictions become ever better.”

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Scientists Say Humans Are Causing Global Climate Change

A study shows that more than 97% of scientists believe humans are the main drivers of climate change.
By Health 24
May 17, 2013 “Information Clearing House” -“Health 24“- An extensive analysis of the abstracts or summaries of scientific papers published over the past 20 years shows that even though public perception tends to be that climate scientists disagree over the fundamental cause of climate change, they all agree that humans are to blame.
To help put a stop to the squabbling, two dozen scientists and citizen-scientists from three continents – including Sarah Green, professor and chair of chemistry at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich.— analysed the abstracts of nearly 12 000 peer-reviewed scientific papers on climate change published between 1991 and 2011. They also surveyed the authors of those papers, to find out how well the analysis agreed with the authors’ own views on how their papers presented the cause of climate change.
Scientists all seem to agree
They found that more than 97% of the scientists who expressed any opinion in their papers about the primary cause of global climate change believed that human activity was the cause. Approximately the same percentage of authors who responded to the survey said that their papers endorsed anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change. Nine of the scientists who analysed the abstracts- including Green- reported their findings in the journal Environmental Research Letters, published by the Institute of Physics. 
Green says she got involved because she was curious about the apparent disconnect between the general public’s lack of concern about climate change and what she calls “the clear scientific evidence that humans are changing the planet’s atmosphere.” That led her to, a web site that tracks and addresses common myths about climate change. She has since contributed several articles.
John Cook, who maintains the web site, is a climate communications fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia. He found that one dominant myth about climate change is the idea that scientists disagree about the cause. 
Rating of abstracts
To investigate how much disagreement there really is in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, Cook set up an on-line system that enabled a group of authors to rate nearly 12 000 abstracts from the Web of Science database (1991-2011) on whether they report human activities as the main contributors to climate change.
“John cleverly set up the rating process so it felt like a game to me,” says Green. “After I rated five abstracts, another five would quickly appear, and counters showed how many each person had done, making it like a contest.” 
The abstract raters were a combination of professional and citizen-scientists from Australia, Canada, the UK, Finland, the US and Germany. The group was organised through the sceptical science web site.
“I read and rated 4,146 abstracts for this study, over about four months in winter/spring 2012,” Green explains. “This is the first time I’ve published a paper where all the research was accomplished sitting on my couch.” 
Green adds, “I found it fascinating to see the array of implications of climate change identified in the abstracts—beyond the usual ones we hear about. They examined everything from production of tea in Sri Lanka, the stripes on salamanders, child undernutrition, frequency of lightning strikes, distribution of prickly pear cactus (and pine trees, kelp beds, wild boars, penguins, arctic fishes, canine leishmaniasis, and many, many others), mitochondrial electron transport activity in clams, copper uptake by minnows, lake effect snowfall, the rotational speed of the Earth and the prevalence of naked foxes in Iceland.”
Green also found a large number of papers addressing mitigation of climate change through alternative energy and other ways to limit carbon emissions.
“It is critical to raise public awareness of the scientific consensus on climate change, so the public can make policy decisions based on factual evidence,” she says. “Typically, the general public thinks that only around 50 percent of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. This research has shown that the reality is 97 percent.”

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Fortune’s Fools: Individual Calling at the Cusp of Ecological Catastrophe

By Phil Rockstroh
“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” – Miles Davis
March 23, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – As a general rule, musicians, artists, and writers, as well as those possessed of an ardor for self-awareness and a commitment to political activism have been advised to avoid a habitual retreat to comfort zones… to take note of the criteria that causes one’s pulse to quicken, brings flop sweat to the brow, causes sphincters to seize up, and delivers mortification to the mind. In order to quicken imagination and avoid banality, it is imperative to explore the fears that cause one to awaken in the darkest of night to stare bug-eyed at the ceiling until dawn; to embrace discomfort; to shun crackpot complacency; to wander through the teeming polis of the psyche, and, in so doing, to not only stray and mingle among the outcasts, demimonde and mad, but proceed to the locked-down wards of the region’s lunatic asylum, and make an exhausting inquest into the nature of the hopeless cases that have been hidden from public view.
As of late, my darkest thoughts and angst-engendered imaginings have involved the following: The ecological debasement of the earth, the ongoing degradation of daily life within U.S. society, and the attenuated destiny of the individual under the yoke of late stage, global capitalism. My ruminations have been, in large measure, engendered and inflamed by the following: On Tuesday, Feb. 26, of this year, a son was born to my wife, Angela and myself.
August Franklin Rockstroh came into this world at a time when the planet he will inhabit is warmer than it has been in 11,000 years, a condition caused by the industrial production of man-made greenhouse gasses.
He arrives into an age wherein it is imperative that we as a species re-imagine nearly all we know. Thus far, from the halls of power to the floors of minimarts, our avidity for avoidance of the realities at hand does not augur well for humankind’s chances.
Two weeks before the Deepwater Horizon, Macondo Well “spill” (what a dishonest word for that noxious, bleeding gash) into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, I dreamed of a badly injured fish who had had half his face torn off by some brutal method employed by the practitioners of industrial scale fishing operations to exploit the world’s oceans … The fish had worked himself upon a rock on a craggy shoreline. Holding an eternity of suffering in his remaining eye, the fish turned to face me … Ever since, this dream image has lived within me. I carry the fish’s suffering and I bear his dark rage regarding what our species has done to his/our home—this complex, mysterious, beguiling, dangerous, sublime, monstrous, and magnificent world we were cast into … My sense of sorrow, at times, seems unbearable; my rage … bottomless … Who will speak for the voiceless—who will make amends for their suffering?
This much is clear: The means that sustain the present economic order not only defies moral justification (i.e., a culture dependent on the enforced misery of the multitudes and the wanton exploitation of nature) but the order has proven anathema to the balance of the earth’s life-enabling forces—a balance of forces mandatory to the continuance of the human species on the planet. The fate of the earth is inexorably linked to our personal destiny.
Deep down we know this to be true, but the atomizing nature of late capitalism inflicts learned helplessness. Social and political change seems impossible. Personal transformation is relegated to the realm of New Age snake oil. Human longing is deracinated. The Tree of Knowledge rendered a Chia Pet. The unruly call of destiny is bowdlerized into sterile careerism.
Yet, my newly arrived son, as we all do, will long to embrace his own authentic destiny.
The alienation at the mechanized heart of the corporate/consumer state’s structure will present a daunting challenge to him, for it is difficult to live a life imbued with depth and resonance without meaningful human engagement. Abiding bonds that bring the depth of oneself deep into life must be formed. A social milieu must be in place that allows for love and friendship, for coming upon mentors, for grappling with antagonists, whereby one is destroyed by catastrophic victories and enlarged by propitious failures.
Although every individual arrives at a fate uniquely his/her own, soul-making is a collaborative effort. Destiny only appears to be a solo act.
My character, like yours, is a composite of all the events, happenstance, and circumstances that transpired before, and after, I arrived in this world. It is resultant from the accumulation of my choices—and the choices of those in positions of power and authority, over which, I am, all too often, powerless.
But if you discern what I yearn for, you will know who I am.
One’s destiny awaits just over the crest of the horizon. It is glimpsed in sublime snatches like a beautiful stranger who catches your gaze from a passing train. Yes, it sleeps within, but must be roused into being by interaction with the outer world. It awaits you in the vastness of life. The truth of your being is honeycombed into life’s intricacies. As a general rule (Emily Dickinson accepted) one’s destiny does not make house calls.
If character is destiny, the soul of the world is the catalyzing agent that conjures manifestation. While, to some degree, all who live are imprisoned by the past, it is best to be aware of what criteria brought about your incarceration to habit and circumstance.
It is essential to become aware of the contours of your cage… to be in possession of a blue print of the prison. In this way, your odds of escape are greatly enhanced.
Are you weighted down by feelings of powerlessness… nettled by feelings of helpless rage? Good. Your feelings are appropriate to the tone and tenor of the times.
Use the feeling of being weighted down to your advantage: Descend deep into the deepest recesses of your being and listen to the garrulous silence therein.
Appropriate your blessed rage as well: What admonitions cry out from the heart of light ensconced within your darker places.
What is it that is essential about your deepest nature that needs to find its way into Animus Mundi—the soul of the world… must seek out collaboration with even the most mundane moments of the breath of day.
This is how the creative spirit flourishes, how every moment is made holy.
And remember: Your life is a question that you live your way into. Any attempt to coerce an answer amounts to vivisection, not art.
Conversely, and anathema to the process, the guiding principle of the neoliberal economic order reduces the things of the world to mere economic entities. At this point, this much is, or, at least, should be grimly obvious: Existence within a system that defines all things by their ability to enrich the fortunes of a predatory class of elites starves the soul and blights the landscape; it has come to exist… as a thief, defiler, and squanderer. Exploited and demeaned, the populace grows callow and empty. Desperate to sate the hollowing emptiness within, the citizens of the corporate/consumer state have internalized the noxious mythos of endless growth, peddled by their exploiters, and have been driven to devour their seed crop.
In doing so, all concerned will condemn their society to the landfill of history. Yet, even in this age of corporate despotism, political duopoly, communal atomization, ecocide and the attendant alienation and ennui, life can be lived with passion and grace, and, as individuals, we can take measures to promote a transformation of the prevailing order.
There are simply too many hidden variables involved to predict and control the future. Consequently, this is what we can do: resist the present, corrupt order; organize to bring it down; and strive to create more viable alternatives.
All of which exist within the spectrum of the doable.
At the end of the day, it is a far better choice to err on the side of your inner calling, than to languish as a simulacrum of yourself… evincing a counterfeit consciousness that demands you spend your days compliant to the demeaning dictates of a ruthless few. As a general rule, one stands powerless before the sweep of history and the caprice of the ruling elite. Regardless, you must choose to slouch in the direction of your destiny, or else your life will consist of a litany of thwarted longings—an agonizing death within life that is absent death’s release and resists the warmth and proffered consolation borne of the living.
All the world may be a stage, but don’t allow yourself to be miscast as an expendable, one dimensional character, conceived by miserable hacks.
Deep down, your life’s calling is encoded within you. Throughout your lifetime, it will arise as inchoate yearnings, reveal itself as implausible daydreams, or as dream-borne symbols that seem, in regard to your daytime exigencies, abstruse or useless. You may know it as a hollow ache in your chest. Or a nettling voice, in the recesses of your awareness, that asks, “how did it come to this?”
Ignore destiny’s entreaties at your own risk. Although, your soul will stay at you; it will implore you to pay attention… even if it must pummel you with nightmares or conjure a state of depression that brings on a darkness at noon.
“We are all subject to the fates. But we must act as if we are not, or die of despair.” – Philip Pullman
To paraphrase Rilke, if you ignore the beckoning call of your own uniqueness, your soul will serenely distain to annihilate the false notions that propel you through the harried hours of meaning-denuded day. When shunted aside or blocked by barriers of calcified habit, the soul’s inexorable agency will be experienced as a kindly cataclysm. At times, becoming ensnared in the dark night of the soul will allow a lodestar to reveal itself.
Withal, on a cultural basis, the nature-decimating, soul-shredding agendas of the neoliberal enterprise are propelling us collectively towards economic and ecological cataclysm.
When questioned by the youth of future generations, those born into the world created by our myopic choices, about how you responded when the earth was burning, will you reply that you went to the mall, sat in public places staring at a glowing electronic box, engaged in cretinous palaver about the private lives of sub-cretinous celebrities and the dim machinations of reality show jerk-rockets?
At this critical juncture, one’s individual calling will be interwoven with the fate of the earth and the collective destiny of all of humankind. The age of elitist narcissists is drawing to a close. The time for dreamers, visionaries and activist has arrived, and their time of arrival is long past due.

“The world is full of magic things,

patiently waiting
for our senses to grow sharper.” 

– W.B. Yeats

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted Visit Phil’s website or at FaceBook.

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Environmental Threats Could Push Billions Into Extreme Poverty, Warns UN

UN’s 2013 human development report urges action on climate change, deforestation and pollution before it is too late

By Claire Provost

March 14, 2013 “Information Clearing House –The Guardian”   The number of people living in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3 billion by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to tackle environmental challenges, a major UN report warned on Thursday.

The 2013 Human Development Report hails better than expected progress on health, wealth and education in dozens of developing countries but says inaction on climate change, deforestation, and air and water pollution could end gains in the world’s poorest countries and communities.

“Environmental threats are among the most grave impediments to lifting human development … The longer action is delayed, the higher the cost will be,” warns the report, which builds on the 2011 edition looking at sustainable development.

“Environmental inaction, especially regarding climate change, has the potential to halt or even reverse human development progress. The number of people in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3 billion by 2050 unless environmental disasters are averted by co-ordinated global action,” said the UN.

“Far more attention needs to be paid to the impact human beings are having on the environment. Climate change is already exacerbating chronic environmental threats, and ecosystem losses are constraining livelihood opportunities, especially for poor people. A clean and safe environment should be seen as a right, not a privilege.”

The British prime minister, David Cameron, and US president Barack Obama have both made eradicating extreme poverty a key plank in their respective development agendas.

The proportion of people living under $1.25 a day is estimated to have fallen from 43% in 1990 to 22% in 2008, driven in part by significant progress in China. As a result, the World Bank last year said the millennium development goal to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015 had been met ahead of schedule.

Thursday’s report says more than 40 countries have done better than previously expected on the UN’s human development index (HDI), which combines measures of health, wealth and education, with gains accelerating over the past decade. Introduced in 1990, the index aims to challenge gross domestic product and other purely economic assessments of national wellbeing. Norway and Australia are highest in this year’s HDI, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger are ranked lowest.

Some of the largest countries – including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey – have made the most rapid advances, it says, but there has also been substantial progress in smaller economies, such as Bangladesh, Chile, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda and Tunisia. This has prompted significant rethinking on routes to progress, says the report: “The south as a whole is driving global economic growth and societal change for the first time in centuries.”

The report points to cash-transfer programmes in Brazil, India and Mexico as examples of where developing countries have pioneered policies for advancing human development, noting how these efforts have helped narrow income gaps and improve the health and education prospects of poor communities. The presence of proactive “developmental states”, which seek to take strategic advantage of world trade opportunities but also invest heavily in health, education and other critical services, emerges as a key trend.

The rise of China and India, which doubled their per capita economic output in fewer than 20 years, has driven an epochal “global rebalancing”, argues the report, bringing about greater change and lifting far more people out of poverty than the Industrial Revolution that transformed Europe and North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. “The Industrial Revolution was a story of perhaps 100 million people, but this is a story about billions of people,” said Khalid Malik, lead author of the report.

The report singles out “short-sighted austerity measures”, inaction in the face of stark social inequalities, and the lack of opportunities for citizen participation as critical threats to progress – both in developing countries and in European and North American industrial powers. “Social policy is at least as important as economic policy,” Malik told the Guardian. “People think normally you’re too poor to afford these things. But our argument is you’re too poor not to.”

He said more representative global institutions are needed to tackle shared global challenges. China, with the world’s second largest economy and biggest foreign exchange reserves, has only a 3.3% share in the World Bank, notes the report, less than France’s 4.3%. Africa, with a billion people in 54 nations, is under-represented in almost all international institutions. “If institutions are not seen as legitimate, people don’t play, or don’t play nice,” Malik said.

Developing countries now hold two-thirds of the world’s $10.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, including more than $3tn in China alone, and nearly three-quarters of the $4.3tn in assets controlled by sovereign wealth funds worldwide, notes the report, adding: “Even a small share of these vast sums could have a swift measurable impact on global poverty and human development.”

Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years


March 10, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – “NYT” — Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years, scientists reported Thursday, and over the coming decades are likely to surpass levels not seen on the planet since before the last ice age.

Previous research had extended back roughly 1,500 years, and suggested that the rapid temperature spike of the past century, believed to be a consequence of human activity, exceeded any warming episode during those years. The new work confirms that result while suggesting the modern warming is unique over a longer period.

Even if the temperature increase from human activity that is projected for later this century comes out on the low end of estimates, scientists said, the planet will be at least as warm as it was during the warmest periods of the modern geological era, known as the Holocene, and probably warmer than that.

That epoch began about 12,000 years ago, after changes in incoming sunshine caused vast ice sheets to melt across the Northern Hemisphere. Scientists believe the moderate climate of the Holocene set the stage for the rise of human civilization roughly 8,000 years ago and continues to sustain it by, for example, permitting a high level of food production.

In the new research, scheduled for publication on Friday in the journal Science, Shaun Marcott, an earth scientist at Oregon State University, and his colleagues compiled the most meticulous reconstruction yet of global temperatures over the past 11,300 years, virtually the entire Holocene. They used indicators like the distribution of microscopic, temperature-sensitive ocean creatures to determine past climate.

Like previous such efforts, the method gives only an approximation. Michael E. Mann, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University who is an expert in the relevant techniques but was not involved in the new research, said the authors had made conservative data choices in their analysis.

“It’s another important achievement and significant result as we continue to refine our knowledge and understanding of climate change,” Dr. Mann said.

Though the paper is the most complete reconstruction of global temperature, it is roughly consistent with previous work on a regional scale. It suggests that changes in the amount and distribution of incoming sunlight, caused by wobbles in the earth’s orbit, contributed to a sharp temperature rise in the early Holocene.

The climate then stabilized at relatively warm temperatures about 10,000 years ago, hitting a plateau that lasted for roughly 5,000 years, the paper shows. After that, shifts of incoming sunshine prompted a long, slow cooling trend.

The cooling was interrupted, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, by a fairly brief spike during the Middle Ages, known as the Medieval Warm Period. (It was then that the Vikings settled Greenland, dying out there when the climate cooled again.)

Scientists say that if natural factors were still governing the climate, the Northern Hemisphere would probably be destined to freeze over again in several thousand years. “We were on this downward slope, presumably going back toward another ice age,” Dr. Marcott said.

Instead, scientists believe the enormous increase in greenhouse gases caused by industrialization will almost certainly prevent that.

During the long climatic plateau of the early Holocene, global temperatures were roughly the same as those of today, at least within the uncertainty of the estimates, the new paper shows. This is consistent with a large body of past research focused on the Northern Hemisphere, which showed a distribution of ice and vegetation suggestive of a relatively warm climate.

The modern rise that has recreated the temperatures of 5,000 years ago is occurring at an exceedingly rapid clip on a geological time scale, appearing in graphs in the new paper as a sharp vertical spike. If the rise continues apace, early Holocene temperatures are likely to be surpassed within this century, Dr. Marcott said.

Dr. Mann pointed out that the early Holocene temperature increase was almost certainly slow, giving plants and creatures time to adjust. But he said the modern spike would probably threaten the survival of many species, in addition to putting severe stresses on human civilization.

“We and other living things can adapt to slower changes,” Dr. Mann said. “It’s the unprecedented speed with which we’re changing the climate that is so worrisome.”

© 2013 The New York Times Company

US Climate Bomb is Ticking: What the Gas Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers 
March 07, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – “Truthout‘ – James Hansen’s eye-opening article, “Game Over for the Climate,” brought widespread attention to the Alberta Tar Sands in Canada as a source of carbon which, if tapped, would lead to irreversible global warming. There is another climate bomb in the United States, shale gas hydraulic fracking, which emits methane, more dangerous than CO2. While many rhetorically call natural gas a bridge to the clean energy future, new information is showing the opposite; natural gas will hasten climate change, poisons the air, land and water, and carries unacceptable risks to our health.
We spoke with experts – Cornell engineering professor Dr. Anthony Ingraffea and biologist and author Dr. Sandra Steingraber – to explore what the newest studies show and to bust common myths about gas shale hydraulic fracking. The path out of this situation is a combination of promoting sound science, ending the extraction economy and employing direct action to weaken the stranglehold of industry on the political process. It is time to end the “all of the above” energy strategy which ensures going over the climate tipping point and instead commit to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy.
Creating the Fog Around Fracking
Extraction of oil and natural gas trapped in shale rock far below the earth’s surface is an attempt to collect the last fragments of hydrocarbons for fuels and manufacturing. As fossil fuels dwindle, the methods of acquiring them are becoming more extreme. In addition to hydrofracking, others are deepwater oil drilling, mountaintop removal, uranium mining and tar sands excavation.
Industry is going to great lengths to hide the impact of these extreme methods and to promote them as safe and necessary energy sources, even falsely calling them “clean.” The American Petroleum Institute created multimedia public relations campaigns with innocuous names such as Energy Tomorrow and Energy Citizens to provide a green-washed image of the industry as one that is concerned about the environment and health and that is creating jobs and energy security. And President Obama has aided and abetted this effort with his advocacy for “all of the above” energy, while taking large donations from energy industries.
Credible institutions are also used to promote the oil and gas industry’s agenda. One attempt was the Shale Resources Sustainability Institute opened at SUNY Buffalo. Fortunately, their ties to the industry were discovered and when media exposure after their first study was released demonstrated clear bias, the program was closed by the university.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation has been influenced by an industry representative, Jane Abraham, wife of Spencer Abraham, who was George W. Bush’s energy secretary and who serves on the board of Occidental Petroleum, a major fracker. In addition, Komen’s “million-dollar council” includes Koch Industries’ subsidiary, Georgia-Pacific, as well as General Electric – all fracking profiteers. Perhaps this explains why the foundation is reluctant to link chemicals such as benzene, which is released during fracking, to breast cancer, despite evidence of a connection.
The industry has also infiltrated government advisory panels in order to advance their agenda. A group of scientists from 22 universities sent a letter to the Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, because of their concern that six of the seven people appointed to his Natural Gas Subcommittee had significant ties to the oil and gas industries. With Dr. Chu’s resignation, the next Secretary of Energy is Ernest Moniz,whose work at MIT is funded by Big Oil and who is a strong proponent of natural gas. At present, the fracking industry is exempt from seven federal laws, including the Clean Water and Safe Water Acts and the Superfund Law regarding pollutants.
Partnerships have even been formed between the oil and gas industry and major environmental groups to promote “safe fracking.” A Critical Path Energy Summit was held in 2011 at the Aspen Institute to promote natural gas as a “bridge fuel.” Attendees included top representatives from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club, as well as members of the government and the oil and gas industry. The summit report states, “NGO, government and Industry leaders recognized that there is tremendous value in working together to fast track increased demand for natural gas in the power and transportation sectors through federal, EPA and state by state initiatives.” Environmental groups argue that it is important to be “at the table,” but these types of partnerships bring legitimacy to the industry under the guise of accepting some, usually inadequate, regulation.
The cost of “being at the table” and taking donations from the industry is the credibility of big environmental groups. The Sierra Club learned a painful lesson after taking $26 million from Chesapeake Energy, a gas company involved in fracking, while using the rhetoric of gas as a clean fuel. Their new executive director, Michael Brune, refused a $30 million donation from the corporation because it undermined Sierra Club’s credibility. After the donation was made public, Brune wrote, “we need to leapfrog over gas whenever possible in favor of truly clean energy.” But the reality, as we see in Illinois and possibly in New York, is that by being part of the process to develop regulations for fracking, big environmental groups make it more likely that legislation will pass and fracking will move forward. And they come into conflict with local grassroots organizations who are instead fighting for a ban on fracking in their communities.
In Illinois, the Hydraulic Fracking Regulation Act (HFRA) has a section on the disclosure of fracking chemicals that uses language written by Exxon and promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which has turned up in other state legislatures. The language would allow disclosure to be overseen by a front group for the oil and gas industry. The HFRA was endorsed by the local chapters of the NRDC and Sierra Club, who helped to write the industry regulations. However, regulations only work when they are enforced. The number of regulators in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has been cut by more than half to such an insufficient level that they cannot enforce regulations adequately. Similar lack of regulation enforcement is becoming frighteningly common in other states as well.
In New York, Governor Cuomo created a Hydrofracking Advisory Panel which included many of the same environmental representatives from the Aspen Summit, like the Sierra Club, and excluded the many citizen groups from New York that are opposed to fracking. This partnership has raised concerns from many of the grassroots organizations in New York that question whether there is such a thing as safe fracking and whether natural gas is a bridge fuel.
Finally, when confronted by grassroots groups and communities opposed to fracking, there is evidence that the oil and gas industry resorts tomilitary tactics to cause division and disruption.
Clearing Some Fog
First, it is important to point out that despite industry claims that hydraulic fracking for natural gas has been in practice since 1947, the type of fracking used now is a new entity altogether. Ingraffea refers to it as unconventional hydraulic fracking because it combines four types of relatively new technologies to unlock unconventional gas shale.
Traditional hydraulic fracking involved one well that was drilled straight into the ground to tap a pocket of natural gas. The gas was trapped in a relatively permeable material such as sand or limestone. The new type of hydraulic fracking is trying to extract gas located in microscopic pockets and joints within relatively impermeable shale rock. In order to do this, there are two types of drills for each well: one that goes straight down for five to ten thousand feet to reach the shale, and another that drills horizontally through the shale for another five to ten thousand feet in multiple directions.
Unlike traditional gas fracking, shale gas fracking requires many wells and much larger areas of land. Ingraffea states that traditional hydraulic fracking required clearing a small area of land and drilling one well. But shale gas fracking must drill into as much of the shale in the area being extracted as possible. This means bulldozing an area of 10 to 20 acres and drilling 8 to 20 wells on that pad of land. This is repeated at other locations throughout the shale area. The Marcellus Shale Basin alone is expected to contain 400,000 wells.
Shale gas fracking requires substantially more energy and resources than conventional gas wells, too. In addition to the drilling rigs, each well requires a large generator to run the hydraulic pump, hundreds of truckloads of water and chemicals to provide 5 to 10 million gallons of fracking fluid, and traincar loads of sand. Each well consumes ten times the amount of water and produces ten times as much waste as a conventional well. When this is multiplied by the number of wells on a pad and the number of pads required to fully extract gas in an area, it becomes clear that the use of resources is exponentially greater in shale gas drilling – and waste continues to be produced over the multiple-year active life of the well.
The waste comes in three forms: liquid, solid and gas. Water and chemicals are injected into the well and they return to the surface carrying heavy metals, organic compounds and radiation picked up from the shale. Ideally, the fracking fluid is captured and safely transported to a storage facility. Mud from the well comes to the surface carrying toxins, too, and must be contained, transported and stored. Some of this waste is placed in open pools or landfills, or is spread on the land and roadways in areas that permit this. Some is injected into storage wells. And some is dumped into waterways illegally. Gas waste in the form of leakage to the atmosphere occurs. Ongoing research suggests that 3 to 8 percent of the methane produced from each shale gas well is emitted into the atmosphere.
Shale gas drilling requires large areas of heavy industrialization and huge amounts of water, chemicals and petroleum to run the pumps and transport materials and waste. Is this energy exertion reasonable based on the return? The oil and gas industry says that it is because, it claims, natural gas is a bridge fuel which burns cleaner than other hydrocarbons, like petroleum and coal, and will bring energy independence and security.
According to Ingraffea, it is true that natural gas produces less carbon dioxide than other fuels when burned. What is not talked about enough is how fracking unleashes methane, which has devastating effects on climate change. Natural gas is primarily methane, and when methane is leaked into the atmosphere, it is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide by a factor of 30 to hundreds, depending on the time period over which it is emitted and other factors. Every gas well leaks to some extent, but the current industry standard is that one out of every 20 wells leaks large amounts of methane before it is discovered to be failing.
It is known that shale oil wells release over 100 million of cubic feet of gas each day as the oil is collected. This gas is burned on site rather than captured because it does not make economic sense to capture it. Only recently have studies started to ask how much methane is leaking overall from shale gas fracking, and it looks like the answer is twice as high as initially anticipated. Rather than serving as a bridge to a clean energy future, Ingraffea states, natural gas will hasten climate change, and is a climate bomb with greater potential impact than the Alberta Tar Sands.
That brings the question: Is natural gas worth it because it will bring energy independence and security? The wars fought by the United States are largely over resources such as oil, and the US military is the worst polluter on the planet. So it would be a huge benefit to the planet, not to mention our domestic spending needs, if the United States reduced its military carbon footprint. It turns out that the idea of natural gas as a real source of energy independence and security is false.
When shale gas fracking began, the price of natural gas was high and it seemed to be a wise investment. Most of the money for fracking comes from Wall Street investors looking for high returns. However, as the price of natural gas has fallen, these investors have started looking for better markets. They are currently pushing for laws that will allow them to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Japan where the price is four to five times higher, and some in Oregon and Texas have been successful. Industries that use natural gas in the US are fighting its exportation because that would drive prices up. The bottom line for gas corporations is profit rather than energy independence.
And just how much natural gas is available in the United States? Currently ,the United States is not producing sufficient natural gas to meet demand and imports roughly 12 percent of the gas consumed. Initial claims by the oil and gas industry were that the United States had a 100-year supply of oil and gas from fracking. Realistically, though, the number is much lower, perhaps a quarter of that based on current rates of use. And the oil and gas industry is pushing for much higher use by encouraging more natural-gas-powered vehicles and for the conversion of power plants to natural gas. It may be that all of the investment in conversion of transportation and power plants to natural gas will allow a few decades of reliance on domestic natural gas before the United States would have to pursue other sources around the world. Thus, any increase in energy independence and security would be short-lived.
Energy security could be achieved by investing in a more efficient energy infrastructure and in sources of energy that do not require military conflict or extraction. These sources are wind, water and sunlight. Multiple reports have put forward plans to create a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy.
The Risks of Shale Gas Fracking
Studies on the environmental impact and health effects of shale gas fracking are in the early phases, but answers are starting to emerge. Over 25,000 unconventional shale gas wells exist in the United States, which means that there have been ample opportunities for the industry to study and develop best practices. Ingraffea says recent research shows the current rate of significant environmental harm occurs in one out of every 150 wells drilled in Pennsylvania. There have already been scores of serious environmental incidents across the United States.
Shale gas fracking is what is known as a communal industry, meaning that it takes place within communities, close to homes and schools. In fact, public schools and universities are opening their land to fracking to gain income as public funding for education falls. In a communal industry, the people in the community are subjected to industry risks. Despite that, there are no federal rules governing fracking, and regulation varies from state to state. For communal industries such as bridges and airlines, the standard risk to the population must be on the order of 1 out of tens of millions. This means that shale gas fracking, at 1 out of 150, falls in a completely unacceptable level of risk to the community, not to mention that it is common in the United States and other parts of the world for lower-income and minority communities to be at disproportionate risk as fracking and other dirty extraction operations are often sited near them.
The types of harmful environmental events are numerous. Ingraffea points out that there are many opportunities for things to go wrong. Toxic fracking fluid routinely spills during transport. Wells can accidentally communicate underground, leading to a blowout of fracking fluids through one well as they are pumped through another. Such a blowout occurred on Valentine’s Day this year in Colorado which sent 84,000 gallons of toxic fluids flying into the air. Fracking fluids and gas can migrate into the water table and contaminate the water supply. Methane in the water supply is believed to be the cause of spontaneous house fires. The injection of fracking waste into storage wells causesearthquakes. Open pools that store fracking waste can rupture and leak into waterways. Pipelines that carry the natural gas can rupture andleak or catch fire.
Despite claims by the industry that the chemicals used in fracking are used in the food industry and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s media stunt in which he told a Senate committee that he and industry representatives drank what they claimed was fracking fluid, the chemicals and contaminants in fracking fluid are known to cause significant harm. In response to the media stunt, Ingraffea dares industry representatives to drink what comes out of fracking wells. Every shale gas well is injected with water and at least five chemicals including known carcinogens. Over 500 chemicals are used in fracking, but the cocktail differs for each well depending on the specific circumstances. The industry has gone to great lengths to hide the identity of these chemicals as proprietary information, even going so far as to gag physicians in Pennsylvania from discussing the health effects of these chemicals with their patients.
According to Dr. Sandra Steingraber, a biologist and author of Raising Elijah, among the chemicals known to be used in fracking, one third are known carcinogens and others are neurotoxins and reproductive toxicants which sabotage pregnancy and interfere with hormones. But this isn’t the whole of it: the fluids that go down the wells also return to the surface carrying heavy metals, radiation, radon and organic compounds from the shale with them. Radon causes lung cancer, and benzene, an organic compound, causes leukemia. As Steingraber describes it, these substances are not a threat when they are locked deep in the ground, but fracking is “fracturing the lid on Pandora’s Box.”
Steingraber is founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking and serves as their scientific consultant, and is also a science adviser to Americans Against Fracking. The grassroots groups opposed to fracking in New York recently succeeded in halting the forward motion of shale fracking in the state when fracking was placed on hold so that the health department could study the health impact. This practice of conducting studies of a practice before allowing its implementation, part of a scientific approach known as the precautionary principle, is consistent with what is standard in other countries. It means that chemicals should not be used in public until they are known to be safe. Normally in the United States, industries are allowed to use chemicals without determining their safety, and it is only later, if harm can be proven, that chemicals are banned. While Steingraber is pleased that the health department is conducting a study, she is concerned because the study is being conducted in private without public input.
Other health studies have been done and new studies will appear in the next issue of New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy. One study from Cornell’s veterinary school documented excess disease and death in livestock accidentally exposed to fracking fluid. It reports, “In northern central Pennsylvania, 140 cattle were exposed to fracking wastewater when an impoundment was breached. Approximately 70 cows died, and the remainder produced only 11 calves, of which three survived.”
An article by Dr. Walter Tsou, past president of the American Public Health Association, describes the case of an emergency room nurse exposed for ten minutes to a driller who had fracking fluids spilled on his clothes, which caused her to develop organ failure within a few days and nearly die.
A Pennsylvania report documents some of the health effects, including those from air pollution caused by shale gas drilling. It shows the proximity of shale gas wells to homes, day care centers, schools and hospitals.
In March 2012, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shut down a Texas study that was researching the dangers of fracking to groundwater. The EPA refused to answer questions posed by Associated Press about the decision.
The EPA is conducting its first scientific inquiry into the safety of fracking on water, but it will not be published until 2014. In the meantime, industry is pushing forward with mass fracking before that study is finished. The EPA doesn’t plan to address how often drinking water contamination might occur; that is, the agency won’t look into whether it occurs in 1 out of 100 or 1 out of 100,000 wells. In addition, the EPA had planned computer simulations as well as field testing water from fracking wells, but has not been able to find a drilling firm to partner with, so they may only be able to do computer simulations, a positive but inadequate step.
Responsibility to the Children
Steingraber calls fracking the “single largest environmental threat to children’s health” because of both the toxins and the increased risk of climate change. The proximity of fracking wells to children is of great concern because children are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of chemicals than adults. Steingraber states that parents have two responsibilities to their children: to keep them safe and to plan for their future, but parents cannot keep children safe if they are surrounded by toxins in their environment and the future is uncertain if climate change accelerates.
At one time, Steingraber urged parents to invest in greening their homes, but now she believes that this is equivalent to building a “beautifully appointed bomb shelter.” Instead, parents must take a greater role in shaping public policy. As she says, “Parents are not a HEPA filter” (high-efficiency particular air filter): they cannot prevent their children from being exposed to toxins in their environment. Thus, parents must prevent toxins from being allowed into the environment, and this includes greenhouse gases and toxins from fracking.
Steingraber realizes that this responsibility means being engaged in the process of public policy using reliable science, but she also realizes that it may be necessary to engage in acts of nonviolent civil resistance to be effective. Steingraber believes we must draw from successful past human rights movements and create an abolition movement to put climate change on the policy table. More than 6,000 New Yorkers have already signed a pledge to commit acts of nonviolent civil resistance if their governor permits fracking.
The way forward is through an immediate commitment to a carbon-free, nuclear-free energy economy. Science shows that within 20 years, we can get off of fossil fuels. The transition to a clean energy economy would have the added benefit of creating jobs. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor of New York, he established some New Deal-type programs at the state level before becoming president. It is no secret that Governor Cuomo desires to run for president. This is his opportunity to lead the way and build a carbon-free, clean energy economy in New York. We ask: which side is he on, with the oil and gas industry, or with the people?
You can hear our interview with Drs. Anthony Ingraffea and Sandra Steingraber on The Myths around Shale Gas Fracking on Clearing the FOG Radio (podcast) or view it on UStream/ItsOurEconomy.
Kevin Zeese JD and Margaret Flowers MD co-host on We Act Radio 1480 AM Washington, DC and on Economic Democracy Media, co-direct It’s Our Economy and are organizers of the Occupation of Washington, DC. Their twitters are @KBZeese and @MFlowers8.
Copyright, Truthout.

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Climate Change as History’s Deal-Breaker

Why It’s So Tough to Get Your Head Around Climate Change
By Tom Engelhardt
March 04, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – “Tom Dispatch” – Two Sundays ago, I traveled to the nation’s capital to attend what wasbilled as “the largest climate rally in history” and I haven’t been able to get the experience — or a question that haunted me — out of my mind. Where was everybody?
First, though, the obvious weather irony: climate change didn’t exactly come out in support of that rally. In the midst of the warmest yearsand some of the warmest winters on record, the demonstration, which focused on stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline — it will bring tar-sands oil, some of the “dirtiest,” carbon-richest energy available from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast — was the coldest I’ve ever attended. I thought I’d lose a few fingers and toes while listening to the hour-plus of speakers, including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island, who were theoretically warming the crowd up for its march around the (other) White House.
And I also experienced a moment of deep disappointment. When I arrived early at the spot in front of the Washington Monument on the National Mall where we were to assemble, my heart sank. It looked like only a few thousand protestors were gathering for what had been billed as a monster event. I had taken it for granted that I would be adding one small, aging body (and voice) to a vast crowd at a propitious moment to pressure Barack Obama to become the climate-change president he hasn’t been. After all, he has a decision to make that’s his alone: whether or not to allow that pipeline to be built. Nixing it would help keep a potentially significant contributor to climate change, those Albertan tar sands, in the ground. In other words, I hoped to play my tiny part in preserving a half-decent future for this planet, my children, and my new grandson.
Sixty environmental and other organizations were backing the demonstration, including the Sierra Club with its hundreds of thousands of members. Given what was potentially at stake, it never crossed my mind that the turnout wouldn’t be substantial. In fact, on that frigid day, lots of demonstrators did turn up. Evidently, they knew the dirty little secret of such events: that much talk would precede a modest amount of walking and inventive slogan shouting. So they arrived — poured in actually — late, and in real numbers.
In the end, the organizers estimated attendance at somewhere in the 35,00050,000 range. Media reports varied between the usual“thousands,” generically used to describe (or, if you’re in a conspiratorial frame of mind, minimize) any demonstration, and tens of thousands. I have no way of estimating myself, but certainly the crowd was, in the end, sizeable, as well as young, enthusiastic, and loud. It made itself heard passing the White House. Not that President Obama was there to hear anything. He was then on a golf course in the Florida warmth teeing up with “a pair of Texans who are key oil, gas, and pipeline players.” That seemed to catch another kind of climate-change reality of our moment and strongly hinted at the strength of the forces any such movement is up against. In the meantime, Keystone builder TransCanada was ominously completing the already green-lighted first half of the Texas-Oklahoma leg of its prospective future pipeline.
In the end, I felt genuine satisfaction at having been there, but given what was at stake, given Frankenstorm Sandy, the devastatingMidwestern drought and record southwestern fires of 2012, the Snowmageddon winter storm that had recently dropped 40 inches of the white stuff on Hamden, Connecticut, the blistering spring and summer of 2012, the fast-melting Arctic sea ice, and the fact that last year broke all heat records for the continental United States, given the build-up of billion-dollar weather disasters in recent years, and the growing emphasis on “extreme weather” events on the national TV news, shouldn’t hundreds of thousands have been there? After all, I’ve been in antiwar demonstrations in which at least that many marched and in 1982, I found myself in my hometown in a crowd of a million demonstrating against the possibility of a world-ending nuclear war. Is climate change a less important issue?
“There Is No Planet B”
While protesting that Sunday, I noted one slogan on a number of hand-made signs that struck me as the most pointed (and poignant) of the march: “There is no planet B.” It seemed to sum up what was potentially at stake: a planet to live reasonably comfortably on. You really can’t get much more basic than that, which is why hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, should have been out in the streets demanding that our leaders begin to attend to climate change before it’s quite literally too late.
After all, to my mind, climate change, global warming, extreme weather — call it what you will — is the obvious deal-breaker in human, if not planetary, history. Everything but nuclear catastrophe pales by comparison, no matter the disaster: 9/11, 70,000 dead in Syria, failed wars, the grimmest of dictatorships, movements of hope that don’t deliver — all of that’s familiar history. Those are the sorts of situations where you can try again, differently, or future generations can and maybe do far better. All of it involves human beings who need to be dealt with or human structures that need to be changed. While any of them may be the definition of “the worst of times,” they are also thedefinition of hope.
Nature and the weather are another matter (even if it’s humanity that, by burning of fossil fuels at increasingly staggering rates, has created its own Frankenstein’s monster out of the natural world). Climate change is clearly something new in our experience. Even in its relatively early but visibly intensifying stages, it threatens to be the singular event in human history, because unlike every other disaster we can imagine (except a full-scale nuclear war or, as has happened in the planet’s past, a large meteorite or asteroid impact), it alone will alter the basis for life on this planet.
Raise the planet’s temperature by three to six degrees Celsius, as various well-respected scientific types and groups are now suggesting might happen by century’s end (and possibly throw in some more heat thanks to the melting of the permafrost in the north), and if you live in a city on a coastline, you’d better watch out. And that only begins to suggest the problems humanity will face.
The world, at best, will be a distinctly poorer, less comfortable place for us (and from there the scenarios only get uglier).
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m no scientist. I doubt I’d even be considered scientifically literate (though I try). But the scientific consensus on the subject of climate change seems striking enough to me, and what’s happening around us is no less striking as a confirmation that our world is changing — and remarkably quickly at that. Whether you read about melting glaciers, the melting Greenland ice shield, melting Arctic waters, melting permafrost, acidifying oceans, intensifying storms, greater desertification, wilder wild fires, or so many other allied subjects, doesn’t it always seem that the rates of bad news are on the rise and the word “record” is usually lurking somewhere in the vicinity?
So I continue to wonder, given our situation on this planet, given our future and that of our children and grandchildren, where is everybody?
Can You Organize Against the Apocalypse?
Don’t for a second think that I have some magic answer to that question. Still, as it’s been on my mind, here’s an attempt to lay out at least some of the possible factors, micro to macro, that might have limited the size of that crowd two Sundays ago and perhaps might tend to limit the size of any climate-change crowd, as well as the mobilizing possibilities that lie in the disaster awaiting us.
Outreach: Yes, there were at least 60 groups involved, but how much outreach was there really? Many people I know hadn’t heard a thing about the event. And while climate change has been on the human agenda for a while now, a real movement to deal with what’s happening to us is in its absolute infancy. There is so much outreach and so much education that still needs to be done.
The slowness of movements: It’s easy to forget how long it can take for movements of change to grow, for their messages to cohere, penetrate, and begin to make sense or seem meaningful to large numbers of people in terms of their everyday lives. Despite its obvious long-term destructive power, for many reasons (see below) climate change might prove a particularly difficult issue to link to our everyday lives in ways that mobilize rather than demobilize us. On a similarly difficult issue, the nuclear movement, it took literally decades to grow to that million-person march, and even early anti-Vietnam War protests were smaller than the recent Keystone demo.
Politics: Attitudes toward climate change have largely polarized along left-right lines, so that the issue seems politically ghettoized at the moment (though there was a time when Republicans of some stature were concerned about the subject). To my mind, it’s part of the insanity of our moment that the preservation of our planet as we have known it, which should be the great conservative issue of our era, is now pure poison on the right. Even American paleo-conservatives, who are willing to make common cause on American war policy with left anti-imperial types, won’t touch it with a 10-foot poll. When this begins to change, you’ll know something of significance is happening.
Enemies: Here’s a factor it’s easy to ignore, but no one should. Giant energy companies and energy-connected right-wing billionaires have for years now been funneling staggering amounts of money into a network of right-wing think tanks and websites dedicated to creating doubts about climate change and promoting climate denial. In the latest revelation about the well-financed climate-denial movement, the British Guardian reports that between 2002 and 2010, $120 million dollars was shuttled, “using a secretive funding route,” into “more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change.” It all came from conservative billionaires (and not just the Koch brothers) who were guaranteed total anonymity. And it “helped build a vast network of think tanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarizing ‘wedge issue’ for hardcore conservatives.” The funders of this “movement” and their minions should, of course, be disqualified on the spot. They are almost all identified with and profit from the very fossil fuels that climate-change scientists say are heating up the planet. But they — and a few outlier scientific types they’ve scrounged up — provide the “balance,” the “two sides,” that the mainstream media adores. And they play upon the arcane nature of Science itself to intimidate the rest of us.
Science: When you have a bad boss, or your country is ruled by a dictator, or your bank cheats you, it’s within your everyday experience. You have some body of personal knowledge to draw on to understand the situation. You are personally offended. But Science? For most of us, the very word is intimidating. It means what we didn’t understand in school and gave up understanding long ago. To grasp climate change means teaching yourself Science with no professors in sight. Filling the knowledge bank you don’t have on your own. It’s daunting. Oh yes, the Ice-Albedo feedback loop. Sure thing. If the boss, the bank, the dictator takes your home, you get it. If Superstorm Sandy turns your home into rubble, what you get is an argument. What you need is an education to know just what role “climate change” might have played in making that storm worse, or whether it played any role at all. Similarly, you need an education to grasp the dangers of those tar sands from Canada. It can be overwhelming. Doubts are continually raised (see “enemies”), the natural variability of the weather makes climate change easier to dismiss, and sometimes, when Science takes the lead, it’s easier just to duck.
Nature: Science is bad enough; now, throw in Nature. How many of us still live on farms? How many of us still live in “the wilderness”? Isn’t Nature what we catch on the Discovery Channel? Isn’t it what we pay a lot of money to drop in on briefly and ogle while on vacation? In our everyday lives, most of us are, in some way, no longer a part of this natural world of “ours” — not at least until drought strikes your region, or that “record wildfire” approaches your community, or that bear/coyote/skunk/puma stumbles into your (urban or suburban) neck of the woods. Connecting with Nature, no less imagining the changing natural state of a planet going haywire (along with the likelihood of mass, climate-changed induced extinctions) is again not exactly an easy thing to do; it’s not what comes “naturally” to us.
Blame: Any movement needs a target. But this isn’t the Arab Spring. Climate change is not Hosni Mubarak. This isn’t the Occupy moment. Climate change is not simply “Wall Street” or the 1%. It’s not simply the Obama administration, a polarized Congress filled withenergy-company-supported climate ignorers and deniers, or the Chinese leadership that’s exploiting coal for all its worth, or the Canadian government that abandoned the Kyoto treaty and supports that tar-sands pipeline, or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has put its money where its mouth is in American electoral politics when it comes to climate change. Yes, the giant energy companies, which are making historic profits off our burning planet, couldn’t be worse news or more culpable. The oil billionaires are a disaster, and so on. Still, targets are almost too plentiful and confusing. There are indeed villains, but so many of them! And what, after all, about the rest of us who lend a hand in burning fossil fuels as if there were no tomorrow? What about our consumer way of life to which all of us are, to one degree or another, addicted, and which has been a model for the rest of the world. Who then is the enemy? What exactly is to be done? In other words, there is an amorphousness to who’s aiding and abetting climate change that can make the targeting on which any movement thrives difficult.
The future: In the environmental movement, there is some serious discussion about why it’s so hard for climate change to gain traction among the public (and in the media). It’s sometimes said that the culprit is our brains, which weren’t set up, in an evolutionary sense, to deal with a problem that won’t deliver its full whammy for perhaps close to a century or more. Actually, I wonder about this. I would argue, based on the historical record, that our brains are well enough equipped to face distant futures and their problems. In fact, I think it’s a reasonable proposition that if you can’t imagine the future, if you can’t imagine building something not just for yourself but for your children or the children of others and of future generations, then you probably can’t build a movement at all. All movements, even those intent on preserving the past, are in some sense future-oriented.
The apocalypse: Here’s the thing, though. It’s difficult to organize for or even against a future that you can’t imagine yourself and those children and future generations in. The thought of world-ending events may simply close down our operative imaginations. The end of the world may be popular in fiction, but in everyday life, I suspect, the apocalypse is the version of the future that it’s hardest to mobilize around. If the prospect is that it’s already hopeless, that the suffering is going to be largely down the line, that we’re all going down anyway, and the planet will simply be destroyed, well, why bother? Why not focus on what matters to you now and forget the rest? This is wheredenial, the almost involuntary turning away from unpalatable futures that seem beyond our power or ability to alter, comes into play. If the future is essentially over before it begins, then better to ignore it and go about your still palatable enough daily life.
Putting Your Money on Climate Change
Add all these factors (and others I’ve probably ignored) together and perhaps it’s a miracle that so many people turned out in Washington two weekends ago. As we’ve already learned in this nuclear age of ours, it’s quite possible for a grid of exterminationism, a sense of hopelessness about the distant future, to descend upon us almost unnoticed. That grid in no way stops you from thinking about your own life in the present, or even about the immediate future, about, say, getting married, having a child, making a living, but it’s crippling when it comes to mobilizing for a different future.
I’ve always believed that some of the vaunted organizing power and energy of the famed Sixties came from the fact that, in 1963, the superpowers achieved an agreement on the testing of nuclear weapons that sent them underground and more or less out of consciousness. The last end-of-the-world films of that era appeared in 1964, just as bomb-shelter and civil defense programs were heading for the graveyard. By 1969, the National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy had even eliminated “nuclear” from its own name. Without necessarily being aware of it, many (especially among the young), I suspect, felt their energies liberated from a paralyzing sense of doom. You no longer had to think about scenarios in which the two Cold War superpowers would destroy the planet. It made almost anything seem possible. For a brief period before the Reagan presidency raised such fears again, you could look to the future with a sense of hope, which was exhilarating.
Can there be any doubt that, to steal a phrase from that era, the personal is indeed political? On the other hand, the apocalypse, particularly an apocalypse that features Science and Nature in its starring roles, seems anything but personal or stoppable — unless you’re a farmer and a pipeline filled with a particularly nasty version of oil runs right through your nearest aquifer. The real issue here is how to make climate change personal in a way that doesn’t simply cause us to shut down.
One of the cleverer approaches to climate change has been that of Bill McKibben, the man who organized In a determined fashion, he’s been breaking the overwhelming nature of climate change down into some of its component parts that can be grasped, focused on, and organized around. Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline and encouraging students to lobby to make their schools divest from big fossil fuel companies are examples of his approach.
More generally, climate change is, in fact, becoming more personal by the year. In the “extreme weather,” which so regularly leads the TV news, its effects are coming closer to us all. Increasing numbers of us know, in our hearts, that it’s the real deal. And no, it doesn’t have to be the apocalypse either. The planet itself, of course, will survive and, given a few hundred thousand or even a few million years, will recover and once again be a thriving place of some unknown sort. As for humanity, we’re a clever enough species. Sooner or later, we will undoubtedly figure out how to survive as well, but the questions are: How many of us? On what terms? In what kind of degraded state? And what can we do soon to mitigate climate change’s worst future effects?
Perhaps a modern, post-religious version of seventeenth-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal’s famous bet is what’s needed. He argued that it was in the interest of those who remained in doubt about God to place a wager on His existence. As he pointed out, with such a bet, if you win, you win everything; if you lose, you lose nothing. 
Something somewhat analogous might be said of climate change. Perhaps it’s time to put your wager on the reality of climate change, on its paramount importance to us and our children and our children’s children, and to bet as well that your efforts (and those of others) will in the end make enough of a difference. Then, if you win, humanity wins everything; if you lose, well, there will be hell to pay.
Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War,The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute’s His latest book, co-authored with Nick Turse, is Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.
Copyright 2013 Tom Engelhardt

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Goodbye Blue Sky

By Rand Clifford

March 04, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – “Look, Mummy. There’s an airplane up in the sky.”

A child voices this opening line of Goodbye Blue Sky – a song from the eleventh studio album by the English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released as a double album on November 30, 1979. The album is called, The Wall.

Thirty-four years later, perhaps Pink Floyd’s creative genius, Roger Waters, might write something more along the lines of:

“Look, Mummy. Chemtrails up in the sky.”

Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering

“SAG” for short.

Edward Teller is sometimes called “The father of the hydrogen bomb”. Another of Teller’s children was born via his:

“While scientists continue research into any global climatic effects of greenhouse gases, we ought to study ways to offset any possible ill effects. Injecting sunlight-scattering particles into the stratosphere appears to be a promising approach. Why not do that?”

Thanks again, Dr. Teller, for fathering another satanic child—the spraying of metallic aerosols to deflect sunlight and cool the Earth. Though Teller was unable to secure funding for his research, sunlight-scattering particles are being sprayed into the stratosphere right now, have been for years. Insidious consequences are piling up like snow on the slopes of Mr. Shasta, alarming people especially in NATO countries around the world. Meanwhile, apathy, ignorance and distraction of American masses help to keep this taxpayer-funded covert government operation a…Conspiracy Theory!

The original patent for, “The Stratospheric Welsbach Seeding For Reduction of Global Warming” was issued to Hughes Aircraft in 1991, U.S. patent #5,003,186. It involves spraying into the upper atmosphere a “…very fine, white-talcum-like aerosol of aluminum oxide, barium oxide and other oxides…” to reduce global warming.

Contrails, Chemtrails?

A best friend of SAG is something common under the right conditions: contrails. Hot jet exhaust can produce contrails, streaks of condensed water vapor that readily dissipate. But for people occupied beyond paying attention to happenings above their heads…chemtrails, contrails, what’s the difference?

Apparently it doesn’t matter how many pictures, videos, testimonials of people involved, and evidence from the stratosphere to the ground verify that SAG is already an enormous operation, many people don’t want to believe their government could be such an enemy of the common good.

Another line from The Wall: “Mother should I trust the government?”

And since SAG is linked to anthropogenic climate disruption (“global warming”), millions of people automatically dismiss the whole schmeer—they don’t want it to happen.

People that know the least about climate dynamics, especially climate as opposed to weather, often seem to have the most profound prejudices regarding global warming.

Wing and tail nozzles of planes often unmarked spray metallic aerosols that can persist all day…even coalescing into haze that covers much of the sky after heavy spraying; these are chemtrails.

Contrails are more like your breath on a frigid day.

Something interesting about “chemtrails” being the folksy term for primarily metallic-oxide aerosols…there is evidence of various chemicals, self-replicating nano-fibers, even biological ingredients such as human pathogens in the SAG “clouds”.

Let’s focus on the sunlight-scattering oxides of aluminum, barium, strontium, titanium and other metals. Aluminum seems to be causing the most obvious damage on the ground.

In this ABC news video of a crashed SAG spray plane, please notice the extensive pools of an “…aluminum-like substance” bled from the wreckage. The tail omega is the plane’s only obvious marking. The crash happened on May 18, 2011, at Point Muga, California.

Here in Spokane, Washington, for many that remember what the sky looked like when airplanes sometimes left dissipating white streaks of vapor across blue sky, SAG’s heavier spraying days are very disturbing. Chemtrails have been obvious for years. California seems a main target, and that brings us back to Mt. Shasta in Northern California.

Whatever SAG sprays in the sky ends up the ground. The whole Mt. Shasta region offers snowballing evidence of SAG fallout damage. People are witnessing rapid ecosystem breakdown—trees, vegetation and wildlife dying.

Heavy spraying can decrease output of solar energy systems by up to 60%.

Tests of water from Lake Shasta’s Pit River Arm tributary reveal levels of aluminum over 4,000 times the maximum allowed for drinking water by the State of California; snow samples from Mt. Shasta have shown 60 times the maximum.

Bark of dying trees in the area contain aluminum, titanium, barium, strontium….

Soils normally in the pH range of 5 to 5.5 have tested between 6.5 and 7.5—over ten times the normal alkalinity, a signature of aluminum.

The Mt. Shasta City Council refuses to have their water tested; surely, Mt. Shasta being the source of a burgeoning bottled water industry is not the only reason.

Conspiracy Theory

Dr. Teller fathered the hydrogen bomb, and SAG—science fiendishly employed against the common good.

Another dazzling scientific coup (social science) involves Power’s Perception Managers (PPMs). They manage public perceptions, sculpt reality for the masses. Perhaps even eclipsing their success at programming the public in ways that make the public think they are coming up with their own ideas…the PPMs’ ultimate mother lode, success “beyond wildest dreams”—without further ado, the winner is the popular term: “Conspiracy Theory”.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary definition of conspiracy:

1: the act of conspiring together 2:a: an agreement among conspirators b: a group of conspirators (see also, cabal)

conspire: to join in secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement b: SCHEME

PPMs know that folks tend to resist thinking for themselves. In this regard, conspiracy theory, a veritable modern American “institution”, is majestic. When threatened with various social blacklisting just around the corner from thinking for themselves…not to mention the responsibility of awareness…folks need only bark, “Conspiracy theory!”

No thinking required, responsibility relieved. And not only that, being a quick-draw with the term conspiracy theory is like having a Teflon shield against any sticking of such PPM epithets as, “truthers”, “preppers”, “chemmies”—even the comprehensive “conspiracy theorist” and its dread “tinfoil hat” accessory.

Considering the meaning of the term conspiracy, when it comes to the exercise of power over the people (government of, by and for the elite), can you think of anything that is not a conspiracy? Even just one thing?

If Americans spent more time thinking for themselves and less time worrying about what other people think, perhaps the term “common good” would not be such a sick joke, and blind debunking would not be such a growth industry.

Owning the Weather

A 1996 United States Air Force report titled “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025” states: “In 2025, US aerospace forces can ‘own the weather’ by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing on development of those technologies….”

The full report listing a wide variety of weather modification and weather weapon capabilities is available on the official USAF website.

Also of interest is this video from GeoEngineering Watch titled: “Military to Own The Weather In 2025 – Chemtrails HAARP Space Weapons”

The USAF even has a training manual for chemtrails.

For those confronting chemtrails with open eyes and an open mind, some of the best information is on government/military official sites.

Also for those inclined to pay attention, there’s the sky. And damage on the ground is more obvious every day.

9/11 proved to power that, if the packaging, fear ensemble, shock factor and perception management are finessed just right, the American public will swallow any elite atrocity—doesn’t even matter if it’s executed right in the public’s face. So, absolute contempt for the common good demonstrated by the elite…we earn it.

It’s even fashionable for elites such as Jeb Bush to call taxpayers “fodder units”. OFUs, that’s us…one American taxpayer equals one fodder unit.

How do the elite get away with denial of things like chemtrails—even keeping such atrocities buried in conspiracy theory? We let them.

In 1787, Alexander Tyler of the University of Edinborough wrote that all “democracies” go through eight stages, 200 years being the average cycle time. The stages are:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back to bondage.

The United States is a textbook oligarchy dressed up with certain democratic illusions. But we seem to have the same trajectory as Tyler’s “democracy”…and are dallying, solidly embedding into apathy after well over 200 years.

As for bondage: the New World Order flies at us on the wings of our apathy.

And regarding the sunlight-scattering wall SAG sprays around the planet…another line from Pink Floyd’s The Wall:

“Mother did it need to be so high?”

Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. His novels, CASTLING, TIMING, Priest Lake Cathedral, and many earlier articles are published by StarChief Press. Contact for Rand Clifford:

Climate Change Rally Largest in U.S. History

By Mary Bottari

February 18, 2013 “Information Clearing House” –  An estimated 40,000 rallied on a cold day in Washington, DC yesterday to urge President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and destructive energy extraction practices, such as fracking.

“All I ever wanted was to see a movement of people to stop climate change and now I see it,” said Bill McKibben, a Middlebury College professor, author and activist, and the movement’s Pied Piper.

Since the president has started ramping up his rhetoric on climate change in his inaugural address and in the State of the Union speech, organizers were walking a fine line — trying not to offend Obama, while also trying to convey the message that words are not enough. The name of the rally, “Forward On Climate” was borrowed from the president’s “Forward” campaign slogan.

But organizers also made their demands clear. Sierra Club director Michael Brune has this to say to the president: “We have loved a lot of what you have said on climate change. Our question is, what will you do? What will you do when our tap water lights on fire? What will you do when the Arctic melts? What will you do when the rainforest dries up? And what will you do with the Keystone XL?”

The controversial pipeline project will carry tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast for processing and export. Environmentalists are hoping they have a powerful ally in the State Department with the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, who has long worked on the issue. The next step is Kerry’s, who is reviewing the pipeline permits for the administration.

Beyond the Keystone Pipeline more needs to be done to prevent further damage to the planet by global warming.

Climate Change Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate

At the rally, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse told the crowd that one of the movement’s biggest challenges was that Congress was “sleepwalking through the crisis.” But the Senate got the ball rolling this week with new legislation targeting some 85 percent of carbon emissions.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer, chair of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced new legislation that would apply a carbon fee of $20 per ton of carbon or methane equivalent to 2,869 of the largest fossil fuel polluters. The fee would increase each year for ten years. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the fee would raise $1.2 trillion in revenue over 10 years.

A portion of the money raised would be used to make investments in energy efficiency and in sustainable energy technologies to reduce emissions and to create jobs. For instance, funds are slated to weatherize 1 million homes a year, a no brainer that would quickly start employing workers in the idled construction industry. Funds are also slated for a financing program for investments in wind, solar, biofuels, hydropower, etc. Read a detailed summary here.

“The leading scientists in the world who study climate change now tell us that their earlier projections were wrong. The crisis facing our planet is much worse than they had thought only a few years ago. Twelve out of the last 15 years ranked as the warmest on record in the United States. Now, scientists say that our planet could be 8°F warmer or more by the end of this century if we take no decisive action to transform our energy system and cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Sanders explained. The world is facing more massive storms and weather events and coastal cities are facing much higher sea level rises than previously predicted.

Climate change activists have their work cut out for them to get any reasonable legislation through the House of Representatives which is still packed with climate change deniers.

State Legislators Weigh In on Keystone XL

Average Americans watching the rally on C-Span, were highly supportive with universally positive comments coming in from both the Republican and Democratic lines. Almost every caller mentioned how climate change was affecting their community. But some state legislators have their heads deep in the sand.

As CMD has reported, legislators in four states have introduced bills in recent weeks supporting the Keystone XL Pipeline, with language that appears to have been lifted directly from a “model” American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bill and from TransCanada’s own public relations talking points. The bills proposed in Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, and Minnesota call on the president and Congress to approve the controversial pipeline.

But citizens in these states are unlikely to be hoodwinked by this ALEC/TransCanada play. As Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen energy program puts it “this pipeline has nothing to do with energy independence, nothing to do with lowering energy prices.” As for jobs, “Jobs will be created cleaning up spills,” says Slocum, who argues that the deal largely benefits Canada, who has little refinery capacity and some Chinese investors who are already buying into the project.

Mary Bottari, Center for Media and Democracy’s Deputy Director is an experienced policy wonk and  consumer advocate. When “too-big-to-fail” financial service institutions collapsed the global economy, like most Americans, Mary was steamed. When financial reform legislation started winding its way through Congress, Wall Street wizardry put too many of the policy debates out of reach of average Americans. Mary launched the “Real Economy” project at CMD, where she has worked hard to demystify complex issues (synthetic derivatives anyone?) and give average Americans a role in shaping the policy solutions being debated in Congress.

This article was originally posted at PR Watch

The Baffling Response to Arctic Climate Change

With Arctic ice melting, Australia on fire and increasing droughts, floods and extreme weather throughout the world, it’s past time to get serious about global warming. (Credit: Nick Russill via Flickr)
By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Communications Manager Ian Hanington.
February 03, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – The Arctic may seem like a distant place, just as the most extreme consequences of our wasteful use of fossil fuels may appear to be in some distant future. Both are closer than most of us realize.
The Arctic is a focal point for some of the most profound impacts of climate change. One of the world’s top ice experts, Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, calls the situation a “global disaster”, suggesting ice is disappearing faster than predicted and could be gone within as few as four years.
“The main cause is simply global warming: as the climate has warmed there has been less ice growth during the winter and more ice melt during the summer,” he told the U.K.’s Guardian.
Over the past 30 years, permanent Arctic sea ice has shrunk to half its previous area and thickness. As it diminishes, global warming accelerates. This is due to a number of factors, including release of the potent greenhouse gas methane trapped under nearby permafrost, and because ice reflects the sun’s energy whereas oceans absorb it.
With all we know about climate change and what’s happening in the Arctic, you’d think our leaders would be marshalling resources to at least slow it down. Instead, industry and governments are eyeing new opportunities to mine Arctic fossil fuels. Factoring in threats to the numerous species of Arctic creatures — including fish, seabirds, marine mammals such as whales and seals, and polar bears — makes such an approach even more incomprehensible. 
Royal Dutch Shell has been preparing to drill in the Arctic, spending $4.5 billion on operations and lease purchases. But its record shows how risky this is. First, a spill containment dome failed a routine safety test and was crushed by underwater pressure. More recently, a drilling rig, which was being towed to Seattle so Shell could avoid paying some Alaskan taxes, broke free during a storm and ran aground on an island in the Gulf of Alaska. The disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 showed how dangerous ocean drilling can be even in relatively calm waters and how bogus the claims of the industry are that it can contain or even clean up a spill.
Responding to climate change and vanishing Arctic ice by gearing up to drill for the stuff at the root of the problem is insane. Unfortunately, many fossil fuel companies and governments are engaged in a mad rush to get as much oil and gas out of the ground — no matter how difficult — while there’s still a market. The ever-increasing devastation of climate change means we will eventually have to leave much of it where it is — or at the very least, substantially slow the pace of extraction and use the resource more wisely — if we want to survive and be healthy as a species.
In Ecuador, knowing that exploiting the country’s massive oil reserves will fuel climate change and cause massive environmental destruction in one of the world’s most biologically diverse rainforests, leaders are taking a different approach. The government plans to leave oil fields in Yasuni National Park untouched if other countries help compensate for some of the lost revenue. So far only about $300 million has been raised toward the $3.6 billion over 13 years that the government believes would make up for half the oil’s value, but the idea is gaining momentum.
The Guardian notes the money won’t go to government but will be “held in trust funds and administered by the UN Development Programme working with a board made up of indigenous peoples, local communities, academics and others.”
Ivonne Baki, head of the negotiating committee of the Yasuní-Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini, told the Guardian Ecuador does not want to become overly dependent on oil. “Oil countries are cursed,” she said. “Developing countries depend on it so much that they do not develop anything else. It breeds corruption and the poor pay the price.”
With Arctic ice melting, Australia on fire and increasing droughts, floods and extreme weather throughout the world, it’s past time to get serious about global warming. It remains to be seen if a plan like Ecuador’s will work, but surely a developed country like Canada can at least learn that wastefully exploiting precious resources as quickly as possible isn’t the only option.
David Takayoshi Suzuki, CC OBC is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. A long time activist to reverse global climate change, Suzuki co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation in 1990, to work “to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us.” The Foundation’s priorities are: oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and Suzuki’s Nature Challenge. He also served as a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association from 1982-1987.
Copyright David Suzuki Foundation

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Nature’s Capital Is The Limiting Resource

Life will perish as the environment perishes 
21st century ecological economist

By Paul Craig Roberts

January 27, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – Only in science fiction can humans escape the consequences of destroying their own habitat. In Robert A. Heinlein’s Time Enough For Love, the “Great Diaspora of the Human Race” began “more than two millennia ago” and has spread to more than “two thousand colonized planets.” The once “lovely green planet” Earth is a slum planet barely able to support life where only the poorest live, Earth’s natural capital having been consumed over two thousand years ago. Humans have found the ability to rejuvenate themselves and to live almost endless lives, but they are unable to rejuvenate the planets whose natural capital they devour. Humans have not encountered “one race as mean, as nasty, as deadly as our own.” As homo sapiens use up the environments of colonized planets, “human intergalactic colony ships are already headed out into the Endless Deeps,” leaving their ruins behind them.

In his book, Collapse, University of California biogeography professor Jared Diamond describes the nonfictional past and present destruction of Earth’s natural capital. Surprisingly, Diamond begins his story of the self-destruction of Easter Island, Anasazi, and Maya civilizations with present-day Montana and ends with Australia. We think of these two lands as scenic, lightly populated, and largely untouched, but they have been brought to the brink of ruin. Diamond’s point is that modern scientific and technological man is no better at managing nature’s capital than previous societies.

Many associate ecological destruction with population pressure. However, the toxicity associated with mining, fracking, chemical fertilizer and GMO farming, and the adverse watershed effects of logging is turning even low density states such as Montana into an environment with ruined soil and water.

In Montana mining has produced a legacy of toxicity–mercury, arsenic, cyanide, cadmium, lead, and zinc. These toxic substances have found their way into Montana’s fishing rivers and into reservoirs. From reservoirs toxic substances have leaked into groundwater and into the wells that supply homes. In 1981 groundwater serving family wells in areas of Montana was found with arsenic levels 42 times higher than federal standards permit.

Before Montana could find ways to retrieve its water resources from the toxic run-offs from mining, a new threat has appeared: hydraulic fracking. Fracking uses huge amounts of surface water, which it infuses with toxic chemicals to aid the extraction of underground gas and oil deposits that are otherwise unrecoverable. The energy industry and its media shills are touting “energy independence” in order to sway the public away from environmentalists, who are warning of the dangers.

Some of fracking’s toxic wastes stay in the ground and seep into aquifers, destroying the water supply. The toxic water that comes back up with the gas or oil has to be disposed of. On occasion, it ends up in city or town waste water treatment plants, which cannot detoxify the water, and in streams where toxic run-off can reduce nitrogen and phosphorus and produce golden algae (prymnesium parvum) which destroys all aquatic life. The use of surface water for fracking might already have depleted the streams that supplied the water, lowering their volume and thus making them vulnerable to other pollution, such as septic tank run-offs and algae from higher temperatures due to a lower water level.

While promising “energy independence,” fracking actually threatens to destroy our fresh water supplies. Recently, researchers have given attention to the fact that water might be the limiting resource and end up more valuable than oil, gas, or gold.

Fracking is still in its infancy, but Pennsylvania is already hard hit. There have been reports that some homeowners have been warned to open their windows when they take a shower, because of the methane content of the water which is high enough in some instances for the water to actually burn.

Energy spokesmen claim that methane found in ground water near fracking sites is a natural condition. However, residents say that their water was not infused with methane prior to the fracking operations. A study recently published by the National Academy of Sciences found that the type of methane gas that has appeared in water supplies is the same as the gas nearby wells are extracting with fracking operations. This indicates that the methane is moving into water supplies through underground fractures.

In 2012 Robert Oswald, professor of molecular medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, published with a coauthor, Veterinarian Michelle Bamberger, a peer-reviewed article that indicated a link between fracking and neurological, reproductive, and gastrointestinal problems of livestock exposed via air or water to toxic chemicals used in fracking.

Fracking, like deep sea drilling and all other dangerous exploitations of nature’s resources, promises large short-run profits for corporations at the expense of everyone else and the future. The cost of the polluted water, dead fish, infertile humans and animals, polluted soil and air, and the increase in diseases are all external costs imposed on third parties who have no stake in the ill-gotten profits.

Pennsylvania, possibly the most corrupt state in the US, has passed a law that prevents health care professionals from sharing information about the health care effects of fracking. “I have never seen anything like this in my 37 years of practice,” says Dr. Helen Podgainy, pediatrician from Coraopolis, Pa.

In other words, as in Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough For Love, in Amerika today a handful of rich control everything. Nothing else counts or matters. Oxfam, an international philanthropy organization, announced on January 18 that the world’s 100 richest people earned an average of $2.4 billion each in 2012. Imagine that! An annual income of $2,400 million, or a daily income of $6,575,000. Compared to this, one of the early billionaires back in the 1990s, Sir James Goldsmith, was a poor man.

Easter Island is a clear example of a civilization that destroyed itself by stripping its environment of its resources. Professor Diamond observes: “ Easter Island was as isolated in the Pacific Ocean as the Earth is in space. When the Easter Islanders got into difficulties there was no where to which they could flee, nor to which they could turn for help; nor shall we modern Earthlings have recourse elsewhere” if we destroy the natural capital of our planet. Indeed, Diamond asks, “if mere thousands of Easter Islanders with just stone tools and their own muscle power sufficed to destroy their environment and thereby their society, how can billions of people with metal tools and machine power now fail to do worse?” Diamond might have added that people producing toxic wastes that poison the air, water, and soil and armed with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons are certain to destroy Earth, especially when almost every government is unaccountable.

On Easter Island trees were the major resource for the population. Trees provided food, housing, watershed that protected against soil erosion, compost, and the large canoes that allowed the inhabitants to leave the island and to fish offshore. What, Professor Diamond asks, was the ruler thinking when the last tree was cut down?

The answer perhaps is that the ruler was thinking of his own glory. How would his
stone monument be rolled into place without the aid of the last tree? What counts, the ruler thought, is not that the Easter Island population survive, but that I have no less glory in my monuments than my predecessors. Thus, with the last tree felled, Easter Island’s death warrant was signed.

When the original colonists arrived in Australia, they made a mistaken inference and concluded bountiful harvests were in their reach. Alas, there is salinity under the soil and irrigation brings the salt to the surface where it destroys the crops.

Salinity brought to the surface by irrigation then runs off into the surface water. The Murray/Darling River accounts for about half of Australia’s agricultural production. But as the river flows downstream, more and more water is extracted. The river becomes progressively salty as its volume decreases and more released salt deposits run off into the river. Diamond reports that “in some years so much water is extracted that no water is left in the river to enter the ocean.”

Clearing the land of its native vegetation contributes to the release of salinity. Diamond writes that 90% of Australia’s original native vegetation has been cleared.

The problems with Australia’s soils and waters are profound, but don’t expect the government to take them into account. Capitalist enterprises can make short term profits by destroying the fragile soils and waters of Australia. The small population of Australia is all the country can support considering its fragile ecology.

This brings us to the rain forests of Brazil, the most extraordinary modern example of the wanton destruction of immense natural resources by the blind force of unregulated capitalist greed, a destructive force as dangerous as that of nuclear weapons.

In The Fate of the Forest, Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn take us through centuries of destruction of the most valuable forests on earth and the indigenous peoples that inhabited them. This book is an extraordinary learning experience and covers many centuries of man’s destruction of the Amazon rain forests, medicinal plants, waters, indigenous peoples, and animal, vegetable and insect species. Every development plan failed, whether originating in a Brazilian government, private capitalist such as Henry Ford and Daniel Ludwig, or international organization.

Briefly what happened is this. In order for outsiders to gain title to land inhabited by natives, rubber tappers, Brazil nut gatherers, and others who had use rights to the forests and knew how to exploit the forests without damaging them, the trees had to be felled, because titles were granted to cleared land.

Land speculators and cattle ranchers acquired vast land holdings by wiping out forests of mahogany, rubber, and Brazil nut trees along with the native inhabitants. The cleared land, deprived of its stewards and its nutrients, became compacted and infertile after a few years. Cattle farming is profitable for a short time before the soil is exhausted, but the-short term profits exist only because of government subsidies and because the external costs of the value of the forests that were destroyed in order to gain a land title are not counted in the cost of the cattle.

The Fate Of The Forest was published in 1990 by the prestigious University of Chicago Press. The information in the book goes to 1988. What has happened to the Amazon since I do not know. Hecht and Cockburn report that remnants of indigenous peoples, despite the murder of many of their leaders by the land barons who were never held accountable, succeeded in forcing the corrupt government of Brazil to establish “extractive reserves” that were supposed to protect the use rights of existing social organizations to the forests. The authors indicate as of their time of writing that the corrupt rich and well-connected were able to take advantage of the extractive reserves to continue their process of land theft. The same misuse is made of national parks. The indigenous inhabitants are moved off national park lands, but favored capitalists are given access to exploit the resources.

I recommend this book to everyone. It shows conclusively without being didactic that unregulated capitalism is one of the greatest forces of destruction of peoples, animal and plant life, and the Earth’s ecology. The book shows that for short-term profit, capitalists are willing to destroy irreplaceable resources. Future profitability is not important to them.

And so we have GDP accounting that measures the Gross Domestic Product of countries without regard to the cost of polluted air, water, and soil, and without regard, for example, to the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico from oil spills and chemical fertilizer run-off from farming. We add to GDP the value of the fracked oil and gas, but do not subtract the value of the ruined water supply of peoples and the life in the streams.

When mining corporations blow off the tops of mountains, GDP counts the minerals extracted as an addition to value, but does not offset this value with the cost of the ruined scenery and environmental effects of destroyed mountains.

When fishermen dynamite coral reefs in order to maximize their fish catch, the value of the fish obtained by destroying the environment that produced the fish is not offset by the destruction of the coral environment that would have produced a future supply of fish. The dynamite purchase is counted as GDP, but the destroyed reef is not counted as an offsetting cost.

Ohio has experienced earthquakes from fracking. How severe will these become as the earth is fractured in the interest of short-term profit?

Heinlein recognized “Mankind The Destroyer” and depicts humans as destroyers first of their Galaxy and then of other Galaxies.

Will the real human race, as compared to Heinlein’s fictional one, have the possibility of escaping from a destroyed Earth to other planets? Or is the destruction of Earth’s ecology much closer in time than the ability of humans to colonize space?

Economists have responsibility for earthlings’ ignorance about their environmental dependence. Economics claims that man-made capital is a substitute for nature’s capital. As nature’s capital is depleted, reproducible man-made capital will take its place. This assumption is embodied in the production function that is the basis of modern economic theory. The assumption is absurd, because it assumes that finite resources can support infinite growth. Economists should begin their education with courses in physics.

The correct description of the production process is that natural resources are transformed into useful products and waste products by labor and man-made capital. Nature’s capital and man-made capital are complements, not substitutes. Nature’s capital is used up as resources are exploited to make useful products, and air, land, and water become polluted with the waste products from production. The capacity of the planet’s “waste sinks” is limited.

GDP accounting does not include the costs of environmental destruction as a cost of production. For example, the costs of the unexpected consequences of genetically modified crops are not included in the prices of the wheat, corn, and soybeans. In 2011 plant pathologist and soil microbiologist Don Huber described these costs to the US Secretary of Agriculture. Toxic effects on soil microorganisms have disrupted nature’s balance, resulting in an increase in plant diseases. Soil fertility, micronutrients, and the nutritional value of foods have all been harmed. Animal reproductive problems, weak immune response, and premature aging are linked to herbicide-resistant GMOs that have become animal feed.

According to ecological economist Herman Daly, if all the costs of production are included, the decrease in nature’s capital could outweigh the value of the increase in GDP. As Hecht and Cockburn make clear, this has certainly been the case in the exploitation of the Amazon. The output is worth far less than the resources that were ruined in order to produce it.

There is very little of the earth left that has not been ruined by humans. The little that is left is the Antarctic, the Arctic, and some parts of Alaska such as the wilderness above Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The Antarctic is protected by treaty largely because no major power has figured out how to claim it. However, Shell Oil Company, with Obama’s blessings, is now involved in offshore drilling in the Arctic, and a consortium of global mining corporations is lobbying Congress, the White House, and the Environmental Protection Agency for a green light for the Pebble Mine, an enormous open-pit mine to be placed in wilderness above Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Scientists have concluded that the mine will make a dead zone out of a huge area of spectacular scenery encompassing the largest remaining wild salmon runs, and the wildlife, native inhabitants, and commercial fisherman dependent on the fish.

EPA’s scientists have concluded that the Pebble Mine would be environmentally and economically devastating, but this is a weak argument in the face of the greed of a few powerful moneybags for more profit. Just as Easter Islanders cut down their last trees, Americans are set to destroy their last wilderness and its fish, wildlife, and water resources. The mining lobbyists call this ecological destruction “progress” and “jobs” but do not count as an offset the 14,000 jobs related to the salmon fishery that will be destroyed by the Pebble Mine or the dead waters, fish, and wildlife that their toxic process will certainly produce.

Robert Redford and the National Resources Defense Council have arrayed with the EPA scientists against the Pebble Mine. Will Washington listen to fact, or will homo sapiens yet again discard fact for temporary profit and take another step toward finishing off the planet’s life-sustaining capability?

Will the idiots who rule the earth destroy it before humans can escape to other planets? From all evidence, the destruction of earth’s ecology has an immense head start on homo sapiens’ ability to colonize space.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.

Climate Change, Economic Crisis and the Violence of War

Doha climate summit concludes without agreement on emission reductions

Doha Climate Talks Produce More Hot Air

UN Secretary-general Says World is in a Race Against Time

Video – Al-Jazeera
Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations has stated that the world is in a race against time against climate change. The COP18 UN Summit in Doha will conclude on Friday, giving the delegates two more days to agree on targets for cutting carbon emissions. The UN says climate change will cost developing countries up to $67 billion each year by 2030. Tarek Bazley reports from Doha, Qatar.
Posted December 05, 2012 

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Doha conference highlights national divisions over climate change

By Bryan Dyne 

3 December 2012

The Doha 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which began November 26 and will run through December 7, has been characterized by irreconcilable national divisions and the lack of any serious proposals to address climate change.

The Doha conference is the latest under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It comes after failed talks in Rio this year, a Copenhagen conference in 2009 that the US walked out of and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which established the goal of cutting emissions for the 40 signatory nations by at least 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

The conference location itself is an indication of the focus of the talks. The hosting country of Qatar is a longstanding ally of the US in the Middle East and the highest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita in the world. During the opening speech of the conference, former Qatari oil minister Abdullah Bin Hamad al-Attiyah attempted to divert any responsibility away from Qatar, stating, “We should not concentrate on the per capita (emissions). We should concentrate on the amount from each country.”

The ineffectual discussions at Doha contrast with the severity of the climate change crisis and the many indicators that the global climate is reaching a tipping point.

In the midst of the conference, the World Bank issued a report, “Turn Down the Heat,” which outlines the potential impact of an average global temperature increase of 4º C and the likelihood that this will occur within the next century. It predicts a 20 percent chance that such a temperature increase will occur by 2100 even if countries hold to their emission reducing agreements. The temperature increase is predicted to occur by 2060 if the agreements are not held to.

Consequences of such a global increase in temperatures include ocean acidification and the loss of coral reefs, rising sea levels and loss of coastlines, and widespread crop failures. This is in addition to the higher probability of extreme weather events.

The current talks are formally an attempt by the 200 participant nations to reach the so-called Durban Platform, an agreement which would take effect by 2020 to slow climate change, primarily by countries reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, as with previous summits, such as the Rio+20 conference that occurred over the summer, the promises and pledges by various countries will be as vague as possible or will simply go unrealized.

The main division at the conference is between the United States and China. In particular, the US has insisted that China accept hard constraints on its emissions, while the US has resisted any effort to implement binding targets.

Other tensions have also emerged. On Friday, India and Brazil accused the “developed” world (particularly the US) of doing little to prevent the rise in greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. Mira Mehrishi, the head of India’s delegation, said, “We are disappointed… that the developed countries are in the process of locking in low ambitions.”

This was echoed by Brazil’s delegation, headed by Andre Correa do Lago, who said, “Many developed countries are not…concentrating on their main problem, which in general is energy.”

The statements come after an attempt by the US to preempt criticisms towards itself, when the US delegation stated at the beginning of the conference, “Those who don’t follow what the US is doing may not be informed of the scale and extent of the effort, but it’s enormous.” This is a fraud. Since coming to office four years ago, the Obama administration has done virtually nothing to address carbon emissions, following the basic path put in place by Bush.

Qatar itself has plans to hold a ministerial-level meeting outside of the formal conference schedule which would draft a new text for the conference outside the framework of negotiation. This runs the risk of causing the talks as a whole to collapse.

Further divisions exist among the advanced countries. The Doha talks have been presented as a means to revive the Kyoto Protocol and extend it past 2012. However, Russia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan have all issued statements to the effect that they will not sign to a second commitment period, which would begin January 1, 2013.

Under these circumstances, only the European Union and Australia would remain in the framework of an extended Kyoto Protocol. The United States was never a part of the Kyoto Protocol.

An element of cynicism towards the talks was introduced by the head of the UN’s climate change secretariat, Christina Figueres. Recognizing that the Doha talks—and discussions on climate change in general—have been ineffectual, she lamented on the perceived lack of public support for climate change and called on individuals to “assume responsibility.” She added, “It’s not just about domestic governments.”

There is not a lack of public support to address climate change, but rather a well-deserved lack of faith in the ability of the major states to do anything. All the various governments involved are guided by the profit interests of competing sections of the capitalist class. Any serious coordination and scientific approach is impossible within this framework.

Figueres’ remarks are essentially an admission that the world capitalist system and the system of rival nation-states are incapable of solving the climate crisis. The rivalry between nation-states, chiefly that of the US and China, actively undermines all serious attempts to address the impending climate crisis because it would interfere with national interests. Solutions to such problems, which require global solutions, first and foremost require the working class breaking the political stranglehold of the nation-state system over social life.

Climate Change Is Happening Now – A Carbon Price Must Follow

Where’s the News?: World Bank Warns Globe Could be Cooked by 2060

100 Million to Die by 2030 If World Fails to Act on Climate

Get Used To ‘Extreme’ Weather, It’s The New Normal

Scientists have been warning us for years that a warmer planet would lead to more extreme weather, and now it’s arrived

By Connie Hedegaard

September 19, 2012 “The Guardian” — It has been a summer full of reports of extreme weather, of unparalleled scope and severity. Among the highlights: one of the warmest years on record in the US, record-high temperatures in central and eastern Europe, the wettest summer in the UK, the heaviest rainfalls in northern India and the Philippines and the mostsevere droughts in the US and east Africa.

In short, climate change and weather extremes are not about a distant future. Formerly one-off extreme weather episodes seem to be becoming the new normal. Weather extremes are not that extreme any more. Heatwaves, floods, droughts and wildfires are the new reality of an ever warming world.

And this should not come as a surprise. Scientists have been warning for years that as the planet heats up, we will have to deal with more severe, more changeable, more unpredictable weather. The evidence is mounting that human-caused warming is pushing normal warming effects to extremes. Heatwaves have increased in duration and frequency. Some parts of Europe are now gripped by severe water shortages while other parts have suffered extreme precipitations causing floods and increased crop losses.

And although not every extreme weather event can be attributed to climate change, scientists are now much more confident about linking individual weather events to climate change. Take 2011’s record warm November in the UK, the second hottest on record. Researchers say that it was at least 60 times more likely to happen because of climate change than because of natural variations in the earth’s weather systems.

This summer continued the pattern. The retreat of sea ice in the Arctic smashed the previous record, with just half the ice present compared to when satellite measurement began in 1979. Or take another example: Greenland’s July thaw, where satellite data showed that about 97% of the massive ice sheet surface covering the island was melting. “Was this real or was it due to a data error?” a Nasa scientist questioned. Unfortunately, the data was correct.

All this record-breaking news reveals that global climate breakdown is occurring more rapidly than most climate scientists had expected. Climate change is happening, and it exacerbates a whole range of other global problems, adding further instability in an already unstable world.

But isn’t it too costly to invest in a low-carbon world, some may ask? Well, yes it costs. But so does business-as-usual. It would be wrong to believe that to continue business-as-usual is the cheap option. It is not. On the contrary, it is very expensive. Just one example: the World Bank issued a global hunger warning recently after severe droughts in the US, Russia and the Ukraine sent food prices to a record high. According to the World Bank, prices for maize and sorghum increased by 113% and 200% respectively in some markets in Mozambique and in Sudan. This is the kind of cost that often gets ignored.

Businesses don’t need to be told about the financial losses caused by weather extremes. This summer’s drought in the US devastated the multibillion-dollar corn and soybean crops. Insurers in the US may face as much as $20bn losses this year, their biggest ever loss in agriculture. This is not exactly helping fight the economic crisis.

It is simply incredible what big risks some people are prepared to take on behalf of future generations. Despite the facts and evidence in front of us, there are still many interests advocating doing nothing or continuing with business-as-usual. Or just forgetting the climate crisis until we have solved the economic crisis.

And whereas some see the current financial turmoil as a bitter setback for international climate protection, I see intelligent climate action as a driver of new opportunities for jobs in Europe, for investments in energy efficiency technologies, for boosting innovation and competitiveness, for lowering energy bills.

To me, tackling the climate crisis helps, not damages, our economic security and prosperity. Both crises are interlinked and must be tackled together.

function googleTranslateElementInit() { new google.translate.TranslateElement({ pageLanguage: ‘en’ }, ‘google_translate_element’); }

Climate Change and the Next U.S. Revolution

By Shamus Cooke 

July 24, 2012 “Information Clearing House” —  The U.S. heat wave is slowly shaking the foundations of American politics. It may take years for the deep rumble to evolve into an above ground, institution-shattering earthquake, but U.S. society has changed for good.

The heat wave has helped convince tens of millions of Americans that climate change is real, overpowering the fake science and right-wing media – funded by corporate cash – to convince Americans otherwise.

Republicans and Democrats alike also erect roadblocks to understanding climate change. By the politicians’ complete lack of action towards addressing the issue, the “climate change is fake” movement was strengthened, since Americans presumed that any sane government would be actively trying to address an issue that had the potential to destroy civilization.

But working people have finally made up their mind. A recent poll showed that 70 percent of Americans now believe that climate change is real, up from 52 percent in 2010. And a growing number of people are recognizing that the warming of the planet is caused by human activity.

Business Week explains: “A record heat wave, drought and catastrophic wildfires are accomplishing what climate scientists could not: convincing a wide swath of Americans that global temperatures are rising.”

This means that working class families throughout the Midwest and southern states simply don’t believe what their media and politicians are telling them.

It also implies that these millions of Americans are being further politicized in a deeper sense.

Believing that climate change exists implies that you are somewhat aware about the massive consequences to humanity if the global economy doesn’t drastically change, and fast.

This awareness has revolutionary implications. As millions of Americans watch the environment destroyed – for their grandchildren or themselves – while politicians do absolutely nothing in response, or make tiny token gestures – a growing number of Americans will demand political alternatives, and fight to see them created. The American political system as it exists today cannot cope with this inevitable happening.

The New York Times explains why: ”…the American political system is not ready to agree to a [climate] treaty that would force the United States, over time, to accept profound changes in its energy [coal, oil], transport [trucking and airline industry] and manufacturing [corporate] sectors.”

In short, the U.S. government will not force corporations to make less profit by behaving more eco-friendly. This is the essence of the problem.

In order for humanity to survive climate change, the economy must be radically transformed; massive investments must be made in renewable energy, public transportation, and recycling, while dirty energy sources must be quickly swept into the dustbin of history.

But the economy is currently owned by giant, privately run corporations, that will continue destroying the earth if it earns them huge profits, and they make massive “contributions” to political parties to ensure this remains so. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that government inaction on climate change is directly linked to the “special interests” of corporations that dominate these governments.

This fact of U.S. politics is present in every other capitalist country as well, which means that international agreements on reducing greenhouse gasses will remain impossible, as each country’s corporations vie for market domination, reducing pollution simply puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

This dynamic has already caused massive delays in the UN’s already inadequate efforts at addressing climate change. The Kyoto climate agreement was the by-product of years of cooperation and planning between many nations that included legally binding agreements to reduce greenhouse gasses. The Bush and Obama administrations helped destroy these efforts.

For example, Instead of building upon the foundation of the Kyoto Protocol, the Obama administration demanded a whole new structure, something that would take years to achieve. The Kyoto framework (itself insufficient) was abandoned because it included legally binding agreements, and was based on multilateral, agreed-upon reductions of greenhouse gasses.

In an article by The Guardian entitled “US Planning to Weaken Copenhagen Climate Deal,” the Obama administration’s UN position is exposed, as he dismisses the Kyoto Protocol by proposing that “…each country set its own rules and to decide unilaterally how to meet its target.”

Obama’s proposal came straight from the mouth of U.S. corporations, who wanted to ensure that there was zero accountability, zero oversight, zero climate progress, and therefore no dent to their profits. Instead of using its massive international leverage for climate justice, the U.S. has used it to promote divisiveness and inaction, to the potential detriment of billions of people globally.

The stakes are too high to hold out any hope that governments will act boldly. The Business Week article below explains the profound changes happening to the climate:

The average temperature for the U.S. during June was 71.2 degrees Fahrenheit (21.7 Celsius), which is 2 degrees higher than the average for the 20th century, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The June temperatures made the preceding 12 months the warmest since record-keeping began in 1895, the government agency said.

Activists who are radicalized by this global problem face a crisis of what to do about it. It is difficult to put forth a positive climate change demand, since the problem is global. Demanding that governments “act boldly” to address climate change hasn’t worked, and lesser demands seem inadequate.

The environmental rights movement continues to go through a variety of phases: individual and small group eco-”terrorism,” causing property damage to environmentally damaging companies; corporate campaigns that target especially bad polluters with high-profile direct action; and massive education programs that have been highly successful, but fall short when it comes to winning change.

Ultimately, climate activists must come face to face with political and corporate power. Corporate-owned governments are the ones with the power to adequately address the climate change issue, and they will not be swayed by good science, common sense, basic decency, or even a torched planet.

Those in power only respond to power, and the only power capable of displacing corporate power is when people unite and act collectively, as was done in Egypt, Tunisia, and is still developing throughout Europe.

Climate groups cannot view their issue as separate from other groups that are organizing against corporate power. The social movements that have emerged to battle austerity measures are natural allies, as are anti-war and labor activists. The climate solution will inevitably require revolutionary measures, which first requires that alliances and demands are put forward that unite Labor, working people in general, community, and student groups towards collective action.

One possible immediate demand is for environmental activists to unite with Labor groups over a federal jobs program, paid for by taxing the rich, that makes massive investments in jobs that are climate related, such as solar panel production, transportation, building recycling centers, home retro-fitting, etc.

Another demand could be to insist that the government convene the most knowledgeable scientists in the area of clean energy. These scientists should be given all the resources they need in order to collectively create alternative sources of clean energy that would allow for a realistic alternative to the current polluting and toxic sources of energy.

However, any type of immediate demand will meet giant corporate resistance from both political parties. Fighting for a uniting demand will thus strengthen the movement, and for this reason it is important to link climate solutions to the creation of jobs, which are the number one concern of most Americans. This unity will in turn lead allies toward a deeper understanding of the problem, and therefore deeper solutions will emerge that challenge the whole economic structure that is deaf to the needs of humans and the climate and sacrifices everything to the private profit of a few.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, Occupy activist, and writer for Workers Action. He can be reached at

Geoengineering: Destroying The Atmosphere with Rosalind Peterson

The Age of Stupid

The Age of Stupid is a 90-minute film about climate change, set in the future.

Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off) stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking back at footage from 2007 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?

Posted January 22, 2012

Technology is Humanity’s Double Edged Sword with Dr. Nick Begich

%d bloggers like this: