More on Charles Moore, Plastic Oceans, 5 Gyres and Tsunami Debris.

It may have taken a while, but CBS has recently acknowledged the work of Capt Charles Moore and the book released last July ” Plastic Ocean” an interview can be seen at     http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/id=7400862n&tag=contentBody;cbsCarousel

His lecture at  Irving K. Barber Learning Centre discusses “The Greatest Infection of the Sea” detailed in his acclaimed book Plastic Ocean. Learn the shocking truth about the unintended consequences of the “Age of Plastics”, how we got here, & what we must do to stop adding to the millions of tons of plastic choking the world’s oceans. In 1997, Captain Charles Moore discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch– a whirlpool of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean. Since his discovery, Moore has been analyzing the giant litter patch and its disastrous effects on ocean life. Through the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, he hopes to raise awareness about the problem and find ways to restrict its growth. He’s now leading several expeditions to sample plastic fragments across thousands of miles of the Pacific.

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Culture Change website has a report of another lecture in March just before the CBS interview (http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/blogcategory/18/62/) and Moore’s research website is at http://www.algalita.org/index.php

Captain Moore’s latest “expedition” in May 2012 is to track debris from the Tsunami (which covers an area the size of California) as it is carried by the north Pacific Ocean currents.

Max Keiser – JAPAN, ECONOMICS, ENERGY, POST FUKUSHIMA

MAX KEISER’S “ON THE EDGE” series this week interviews the Post Carbon Institute’s CHRIS MARTENSEN  on Japan’s ability to remain the world’s 2nd or 3rd biggest economy. Post Fukushima Japan is shutting down all nuclear reactors which supply 30% of Japan’s electricity.

As a new scientific report confirms Kelp off Southern California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima accident ; http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=radioactive-iodine-from-from-fukushima-found-in-california-kelp

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SILENCE IS CONSENT.

EUROPE, TIME TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE ENVIRONMENT.

Are things getting better or are things getting worse?

COMMENTS WILL NOT BE TAKEN AFTER 1st JUNE. SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE.

THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS OPENED A EUROPE WIDE CONSULTATION PROCESS TO GET ENVIRONMENTAL FEEDBACK. It is a long, involved and thorough survey which will take at least half an hour to complete. If enough environmental responses are heard, it may drive E.U. policy which at present is leading the world. the survey is at ;

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/7eap_en.htm

Background info ;

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/334&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Environment Action Programmes have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early seventies. During this period, environment legislation was consolidated and completed to cover almost all environmental media, with the exception of soil. With the 6th EAP in its final year, the Commission continues to pursue an ambitious environment policy aimed at ensuring a high level of environmental protection and guided by the principles enshrined in the Treaty of precaution, prevention, rectifying pollution at source and ‘polluter pays’.

Against this background, the Commission is considering how a 7th Environment Action Programme could best provide added value in the rapidly evolving environment policy context.

The purpose of this consultation is to collect the views of all stakeholders, at EU and national level, and the public at large on the environment policy priorities up to 2020. Informed opinions are sought on the priority areas to be addressed and on the most effective tools for the EU to employ in addressing the challenges described in the consultation document.

LIMITS TO GROWTH, the case gets stronger.

At a recent Oxford University lecture cycle entitled “IS THE PLANET FULL?” –  some serious responses were put forward to further the work of Limits to Growth – the book written in 1972 by Denis Meadows et al, sponsored by the Club of Rome and Massachusetts Intitute of Technolgy. This film clip features Ian Johnson, for 26 years  the World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development (ESSD), a contempory of Herman Daly, and now secretary general of the Club of Rome.

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For some other very interesting talks including the “burning issue” of population go to the Oxford University’s website http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/videos/view/141

Welcome to the Anthropocene, (or Welcome to my Nightmare.)

A conference in London is currently discussing the theme, “Planet Under Pressure” which began today (26th March) and ends on 29th March.            http://view6.workcast.net/?pak=8051301437434580&cpak=5876441157257134

The conference will discuss solutions, at all scales, to move societies on to a sustainable pathway. It will provide scientific leadership towards the 2012 UN Rio +20 conference, in June 2012. To set the scene, the conference organisers have produced a short called “Welcome to the Anthropocene”. Speaking on ‘Sustainable food systems for food security’, Marianne Banziger, a scientist at the CGIAR maize and wheat centre (CIMMYT), began with a bald statistic:

To meet the food security challenges converging over the next 50 years, she said, we will have to produce as much food as has been consumed over the entire history of humankind.

A 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes

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PAUL GILDING – Aussie logic (and faith in human beings) on FACING FEAR.

Whilst governments the world over squirm in the face of CLIMATE REALITY and exhibit a common political aversion to action, Paul Gilding provides some realistic logic to the problems ahead, “this is just another problem, lets NOT wait until the lights go out to fix it.”

‘ONYA PAUL ! (Another example of the value of “TED Talks”) http://www.ted.com/

Paul Gilding’s website (well worth a visit) http://paulgilding.com/  

 

Dr James Hansen @ TED Talks.

The head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies begins this talk with the question; “What do I know that you don’t, that would lead me to get arrested outside the White House?”. In this concise talk he explains in an understandable way his convictions, now we all know.

James Hansen, “Why I must speak out about Climate Change”:.

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CANADA, home to WHITE BEARS, BOREAL FORESTS, TAR SANDS and CLIMATE CRIMINALS.

Earlier posts have referred to The Tar Sands Pipeline issue threatening pristine wilderness on Canada’s west coast. Here Garth Lenz gives an impassioned plea to recognise one of the wonders of the world already bearing the scars of fossil fuel madness.

The ‘Canadian Boreal Initiative” has a terrific website with more stunning photographs, maps and information from a report – “THE CARBON THE WORLD FORGOT”. 

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Earlier posts on Tar Sands Pipeline issues, including the brilliant documentary “SPOIL”, on the CANADIAN GREAT BEAR FORESTS and WINONA LADUKE’s tireless campaign against TAR SANDS. 2 headed fish have been taken from the Athabasca River, cancer rates amongst idigenous villages have skyrocketed.

A recent study from the Australian Government clearly states that the PEAK of ALL OILS (including Tar Sands) will occur in 2016, after that demand will outstrip supply and a significant decline in availability will impact severly on the way society operates.

TOTAL TAR SANDS PRODUCTION of 250 BILLION barrells sounds a lot, but at current global demand of 83 MILLION BARRELLS A DAY,  the entire production of TAR SANDS will extend total peak another 5 or 6 years, (to 2016). Then we’re in decline, and as the report clearly states ;

Thus beyond 2017 we must begin to cope with the longer-term task of replacing oil as a source of energy.”

In the meantime what is lost is graphically shown in Garth Lenz’s TED TALK.

More discussion was raised through a recent BBC documentary, (the interviews are real, the storyline  acted) “IF THE OIL RUNS OUT”

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Meanwhile with the help of The Post Carbon Institute an animated film explaining just HOW and WHY we are at this point has been released by Incubate Pictures. http://www.incubatepictures.com: THERE’S NO TOMMOROW”

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“SALVATION IS AT HAND, JUST TAKE A CARD SIR”

Spain’s Partido Popular government is looking to a gambling led recovery from the economic “crisis”.  “ALL BETS ARE ON”

 Jose Maria Aznar puppets Esperanza Aguirre and wife Ana Botella, the “A list” darlings of Madrid, give the impression of destroying whatever glass ceiling exists to the progress of women. Through dynamic decision making, clearing away silly obstacles such as zoning laws and taxes, changing labour laws to allow cheap overseas workers, and generally acting like Aznar fingering his disdain to hard won standards. These two superwomen are getting Spain’s economy going. Not only is a bid for the 2020 Olympics being seranaded, drafted and submitted by the “spice girls”, but their charm and business acumen has prompted a “shopping list” of free land, tax incentives and changes to zoning and environmental law, as a gold carrot affirmative that “WE JUST HAVE TO HAVE EURO VEGAS”

“La Presidenta” Aguirre is putting her Regional Madrid government right behind billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his 16 billion euro development of 6 casinos, 12 hotels, 3 golf courses. The hyper fast tracking of a proposal that only surfaced in November 2011 (election time, nice one Aznar) to a stage where “approval” is now 3 months later a “done deal”, is an absolute disgrace. At a time when Aguirre has reduced government staff pay 15% with further austerity cuts to come, there is something obscene in salivating around the briefs of U.S. billionaires, something very UN Spanish. Aguirre described the proposed development as “a ray of light amid the darkness of the crisis.”

“SALVATION IS AT HAND, JUST TAKE A CARD SIR”.

Adelson is riding high on the successes of his “SANDS” development in Singapore and in Macau, (where Venice has been reproduced, pic.)

It doesn’t seem to matter to Aguirre, Botella, Edelston or Aznar that there are already over 30 casinos open in Spain, inflicting whatever social distress, broken homes, and poverty,   there’s always room for another sucker who wants to throw money away. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Aguirre, Botella Edelston or Aznar that the reason casinos in Macau and SIngapore are doing very nicely is their economies are growing at 6% per annum. Europe is in recession, no doubt Edelston’s access to  billions is real enough but this is really putting Spain back 10 years, (just where Aznar wants it) before the Partido Popular corruption throughout Spain became endemic. Aznar’s stacking of the judiciary when P.M. has ensured new legislation will be adjudicated as “liberally” as possible. Spain is, after all, a ‘developed’ country

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…………………………….. The happy couple, Jose Maria Aznar and Ana Botella.

BOTELLA’s grand ideas may take more than chutzpah to get them up and running, she has a “credibility problem” on environmental matters being described as “ignorant” on air quality issues (a big problem with strict E.U. emissions regulations) which will feature greatly in any Olympic bid. BOTELLA’s career began as Aznar’s ended, (2004) after he was dumped as Prime Minister for stupid comments about the Madrid train bombings. Her speedy rise to Mayor of Madrid happened surprisingly when then Mayor Gallardon was appointed Justice Minister, (to get rid of Garzon) by Mariano Rajoy, yet another Aznar government appointee.

PRESS RELEASE FROM “PROPERTY INVESTOR EUROPE” http://www.pie-mag.com/articles/2492/madrid-keen-to-facilitate-euro-16bn-eurovegas-project/

Madrid keen to facilitate €16bn ‘Eurovegas’ project

24 January 2012, 08:43 PM

The Madrid authorities have proposed altering legislation to facilitate development of a casino, hotel and leisure complex in the city by US investor Sheldon Adelson which would imply a €16bn investment and create 200,000 jobs.   Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Comunidad de Madrid, and the city’s mayor Ana Botella agreed this week to pave the way for the so-called ‘Eurovegas,’ a complex of 12 hotels, six casinos and three golf courses in the outlying Alcorcón municipality, which Aguirre described as “a ray of light amid the darkness of the crisis.” Aguirre offered to facilitate Adelson’s proposed investment in order that the project be developed “without difficulties” and even “by changing the legal frameworks that need to be changed, as long as it remains within our principles and within the law.” The Madrid project would imply a €16.9bn investment over 15 years, with an initial €6.7bn during the first four years, and would create 261,000 jobs, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group. The development would require changes to the city’s urban planning laws in order to free up some 6m sq.m. of land. Adelson, who proposed the project in November 2011, has also requested changes to Spain’s gaming laws and labour laws, in order to be able to hire foreigners, as well as requiring that the complex of casinos and hotels be served by metro and train stations, according to El País newspaper.   Adelson, the eighth-richest man in the US, according to Forbes, is the owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the proprietor of two casinos in Las Vegas, three in Macao and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. (pic).

Perspectives on “Limits to Growth” – the 40th Anniversery.

“The Smithsonian Institute” hosted the 40th anniversery of the Club of Rome/M.I.T. groundbreaking report “Limits to Growth” on 1st March 2012. 2 of the 4 original authors Denis Meadows and Jorgen Renders have been living with L.t.G. since 1972. Bearing the criticisms, abuse and false accusations ever since. A thorough review was carried out in 2002 with updated computers and ALL results were confirmed.

Perhaps the most frightening was the confirmation of global collapse due to environmental/economic stressors on complex natural systems/biodiversity loss and natural resource depletion. As if anyone needed reminding, oil is the firsy “limit” to growth we are encountering, followed closely by phosphorus which will impact on food security globally.

Both Meadows and Renders now believe sustainable development is not achievable, Lester Brown is more optimistic but provides earth shattering statistics pointing to big problems with future food supply.

This is an all day seminar and Denis Meadows’ lecture begins 50 mins into the conference, Jorgen Renders begins at 1hr 33mins and a rivetting talk by Lester Brown founder of WorldWatch and The Earth Policy Institute begins a lecture at 2hrs 42 mins.

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MAX KEISER REPORT – BRILLIANT.

MAX KEISER’s latest report sets the target on Data providers Stratfor. Rupert Murdoch’s NEWS LIMITED empire, James Murdoch and the sordid world of data collection/hacking. Great section interview with one of the original YES MEN Andy Bichlbaum, and the surveillance placed on the YES MEN by Stratfor.

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THE RAIN IN SPAIN and the HUBRIS of AZNAR

JOSE MARIA AZNAR is emerging (as Matt Taibbi describes Goldman Sachs) as the ;  “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” 

AZNAR’s appointments to the Spanish judiciary have seen the end of Balthasar Garzon’s investigation into the Gurtel Case which had up to 70 investigations into high ranking officials of the Aznar/Rajoy conservative party. Santiago Menéndez, (who was head of the revenue collection in Aznar’s government), is the new ONIF director. THE NATIONAL OFFICE OF FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS. His first act was to sack was chief investigator Víctor de la Morena, who was in charge of many criminal probes, including the Gürtel case initiated by Garzon, and the ongoing case against royal son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin. With Garzon found guilty of charges emanating from the Gurtel Case and suspended from the judiciary for 11 years Aznar’s witch hunt of Garzon is complete. His strategic placement of stooges in government positions leaves the way open for Spanish corruption to be borne again with massive building projects under slave labour conditions.

As Barcelona heads into it’s 50th day without rain, it’s depressing news all round on the environmental front, new environment minister Miguel Arias Cañete (Minister of Agriculture and Fishing in the governments of José María Aznar)           ” believes environmental regulations and laws in 26 areas are needlessly restricting the development of the Spanish economy.”  

His prehistoric outlook on his portfolio include relaxation of the coastal laws which allowed development such as Benidorm (pic) to happen.  This bullshit is accompanied by Cañete’s IGNORANT statement that “Environmental sustainability cannot be understood today without taking into account the economic factor.”

SPAIN has fallen hopelessly behind the European Emissions Reduction target of 20% by 2020, and Spain is choosing flawed understanding of environmental sustainability to justify economic growth.

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THE HUBRIS OF JOSE MARIA AZNAR.

Daily fog which descends on Madrid 

YET ANOTHER AZNAR APPOINTEE IS HIS WIFE, ANA BOTELLA, who is now Mayor of Madrid and in the process of wasting tens of millions of euros in a bid to host the 2020 Olympics. Spain has been criticised recently by the E.U. for failing to reduce the NO2 (Nitrogen Oxide from deisel fumes i.e. carcinogenic) levels from THE 50% INCREASE above current Eurpoean air quality standards – and whereas the London Olympics are the Green Games, Spain’s, if succesful will be the “Dirty Games” – in more ways than one.

But Botella’s past environmental record has been a matter of public debate for years. The wife of former conservative prime minister José María Aznar had her first dispute with the environmentalists in early 2008, when she blamed “the African dust” for pollution in the city, apparently forgetting that 80 percent of the city’s pollution comes from NO2 from vehicle exhausts, not the Sahara desert. Environmentalists called her “ignorant” and she was even rebuked by the environment minister.

MEANWHILE YET ANOTHER AZNAR STOOGE, Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain, blusters his way through the daily demonstrations by students and those protesting austerity cuts, in Valencia and Barcelona, – contrast this with the red carpet treatment given to speculators and shiesters of all kinds. Aznar’s contact from NEWS LIMITED no doubt encouraged the idea of “Europa Vegas”, the €17bn (£14.3bn) massive casino project planned by the US billionaire Sheldon Adelson It is being touted to be built in either Barcelona or Madrid.  “We believe we have the necessary package of agreements with the government which we need to provide assurance of success,” Local officials, though, are bending over backwards to accommodate Adelson, who is reportedly demanding tax breaks, gambling law changes, new labour laws and free land as he extends his empire from Las Vegas and Asia into Europe.

“We need the support of the government,” he said. “We can’t draw up a plan, give it to the building department and wait six months to get an answer.”

Madrid is in the lead. Its regional prime minister, Esperanza Aguirre, has met Adelson five times. “We should change whatever norms have to be changed,” she said recently. “We have to encourage this … though there are some demands that can be accepted and others that cannot.” (During José María Aznar’s first term in government, Ms. Aguirre was appointed Minister of Education and Culture )

Francisco Camps (recently found not guilty on corruption charges in the Gurtel case), shares a tender moment with Esperanza Aguirre. And so the circle is complete.

VIEWS FROM THE FRONTLINE.

PAUL KINGSNORTH is a longstanding environmental activist who recently published an article ; “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist” ; http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6599 , in which he is critical of  current environmental activism as it has become centred around a beaurocratic    “SUSTAINABILITY INDUSTRY” which has a fixation on numbers of parts per million (ppm) rather than the ACTUAL biodiversity it is apparently trying to preserve. Paul Kingsnorth, Liarre Keith and David Abrams make a very interesting debate about the future of “environmentalism” and what part social justice, OCCUPY have had in progressing or inhibiting the battle for biodiversity.

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PEAK OIL REALITY, FILMED DEBATE BETWEEN John Hofmeister (Shell) and Ted Patzek (University of Texas and ASPO-USA). The debate highlights that declining output from most oil-exporting nations over the past decade, in the face of rising global demand, is likely to create a lasting drop-off in global availability of oil-spelling serious consequences for all oil-importing nations, including the United States. This underscores the report below (AUSTRALIA SLEEPWALKING INTO PEAK OIL) the 2015 maximum supply availability, then it’s all downhill. Some amazing statistics incorporating the growth of China and India !

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GARZON GUILTY VERDICT IS SPAIN’S SHAME

http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/hub.1326407570.html

Supporters sign a poster of Baltasar Garzón in Madrid.

2 OF 3 VERDICTS AGAINST BALTHASAR GARZON HAVE NOW BEEN DELIVERED. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT IN ALL 3 CASES THE SPANISH SUPREME COURT PROSECUTOR HAS ASKED THAT  ALL CHARGES.BE DROPPED.

THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND, FROM WHICH THERE IS NO APPEAL LAST WEEK FOUND GARZON GUILTY OF ILLEGALLY WIRETAPPING CLIENT/LAWYER CONVERSATIONS AND SUSPENDED HIM FOR 11 YEARS. THIS WEEK THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND “SHELVED” THE NEW YORK bribery allegations on the basis that a staute of limitations applied, but did not quosh the charges.

A VERDICT IS STILL AWAITING ON THE CHARGE OF HAVING IGNORED THE AMNESTY LAWS OF THE 70’s AND ORDERING THAT CIVIL WAR VICTIMS BE ALLOWED TO BE EXHUMED FROM MASS GRAVES AND REBURIED.

THE MOST IDIOTIC RESPONSE HAS COME FROM DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría of the Partido Popular (PP), who demands that institutions be “respected” whilst failing to realise that institutions MUST EARN RESPECT through the quality of their decision making, and that where institutions are seen to be corrupt then questioning is warranted and indeed necessary by ALL. http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/02/10/inenglish/1328902787_716051.html

NO MATTER THAT GARZON was investigating up to 70 corrupt (PP) officials feeding at the E.U. “money trough” in the “good old days” since AZNAR, the money flowed like wine and to date no-one has been brought to justice for the mispent billions in Spain but BALTHASAR GARZON, the man who was leading the investigation.

NO MATTER THAT WIRE TAPS HAVE BEEN AUTHORISED in other judicial investigations on more than 1 occasion, and it is hardly supprising that GARZON’S PERSECUTION BY THE STACKED AND PERSONNALY BIASED JUDICIARY halts that particular investigation. excerpts from the tapes below IN JOSE YOLDI’S ARTICLE demonstrate the validity of Garzons cause.

The most balanced opinions I have heard are those from Amnesty International lawyer Hugo Relva

“The court stands to become the laughing stock of the judiciary”

“A coincidence according to plan.”                                                                           Jose Yoldi. 

The conviction against investigating judge Baltasar Garzón had been forecast as the most likely result in all the private bets at the Supreme Court, High Court and General Council of the Judiciary. The investigation into allegedly illegal wiretaps ordered by the judge got started in February 2010, the third of three cases brought against Garzón in the Supreme Court.

A year before that, the far-right group Manos Limpias had sued Garzón over his inquiry into Franco-era crimes that the then-High Court judge felt constituted crimes against humanity. This part of Spanish history has never been judicially investigated on the basis of an 1977 amnesty law. Soon afterwards, a third case that had already been dismissed, involving sponsorship by Santander bank of lectures Garzón gave at NYU, was reopened.

The Franco-crimes case against him, pursued passionately by Judge Luciano Varela, was necessary to temporarily suspend Garzón from his duties, and the New York case extended the suspicion that he improperly accepted money from a source he later cleared of tax fraud allegations. But the important case against Garzón was the wiretap order.

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BALTASAR GARZON, DEMOCRACY NOW INTERVIEW.

 BALTASAR GARZON IS INTERVIEWED BY AMY GOODMAN AND JUAN GONZALEZ in May 2011 before the November election swept Manuel Rajoy’s right-wing party to power in Spain. Since the election result was known on November 20th, (the anniversary of the death of dictator Francisco Franco), the “snails pace” Justice Department has proceeded with obscene haste to GET GARZON.

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This interview gives the background for Garzon’s ability to apply Universal Jurisdiction to bring to justice dictators like Augusto Pinochet, and dispense justice on behalf of victims. It also reveals (via Wikileaks) the pressure put on the Spanish Govenrment by the U.S.A. to drop the case. But as can be seen, his actions have strong public support.

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3 separate trials are now taking place consequatively forcing Garzon to defend himself consistently for up to 5 weeks in Spain’s highest court.

It is relevant to consider that Garzon was investigating the Gurtel corruption case involving up to 70 of Manuel Rajoy’s “Partido Popular” (PP). The Gürtel casefile consists of tens of thousands of pages describing possible financial irregularities and acts of personal favouritism within the Partido Popular. It´s regarded as the biggest political scandal since the corruption case against former Marbella mayor Julián Muñoz, who allegedly pocketed millions of euros from illegal real estate transactions.
The Gürtel investigation was opened by judge Baltasar Garzon, now himself an object of investigation before the supreme court for ordering investigations of crimes during the Franco-era and possible prevarication. Due to Garzon’s suspension, the Gurtel investigation has stopped.

Judge Baltasar Garzón is known for ordering the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and seeking to indict members of the Bush administration for their role in torturing prisoners. Now, Garzón himself is facing a trial in Madrid, after right-wing groups objected to his investigation of atrocities committed by supporters of the dictator Francisco Franco. While prosecutors reportedly disagreed with the charges that Garzón had exceeded his authority, Spanish law allows civilians to lodge criminal charges. If convicted, Garzón could lose his right to sit as a judge in Spain.

Garzón has used the doctrine of universal jurisdiction to investigate war crimes and torture across national lines, famously indicting Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda in 2003 and attempting to indict members of the Bush administration for authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay and overseas.

THE REIGN IN SPAIN – FASCISM ON TRIAL NOT GARZON.

  Judge Baltasar Garzón is being investigated by Spain’s supreme court, charged with ‘perverting the course of justice’.

Thirty-five years after the death of General Francisco Franco, Spain is finally prosecuting someone in connection with the crimes of his dictatorship, and of the Spanish civil war which came before it. Unfortunately, the defendant in the case is Baltasar Garzón, the judge who sought to investigate those crimes.

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Socialist Prime Minister Jose Felipe Zapaterro called a Federal election for November 20th , 2011 –  his term of office was not due to expire until March 2012, he made the decision a full 12 months before then.

Why did he select the anniversary of the death of the fascist dictator Francisco Franco for the election he already knew he would lose?

Even before the full economic picture of Spain’s dire financial situation is revealed by Popular Party (PP) leader Manuel Rajoy, we are witnessing the “Inquisition” style persecution of Baltasar Garzon by the fascist element that lay dormant as the economic good times rolled. Everyone has been feeding at the trough, even the Royal Family is being investigated  as the King’s son-in-law faces charges of mis-appropriation of funds from corrupt regional governments.

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TAR SANDS NORTHERN GATEWAY PIPELINE.

The ancient Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest tracts of temperate rainforest left in the world (2 million hectares), and is home to thousands of species of plants, birds and animals. In this lush rainforest stand 1,000-year-old cedar trees and 90-metre tall Sitka spruce trees. Rich salmon streams weave through valley bottoms that provide food for magnificent creatures such as orcas (killer whales), eagles, wolves, black bears, grizzlies, and the rare and mysterious white Kermode (Spirit) bear.

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..Location: The Great Bear Rainforest is located on the west coast of the British Columbia mainland, stretching from just north of Knight Inlet (off north central Vancouver Island) to Princess Royal Island and all the way north to the Alaskan border.

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The wonders and beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest are detailed in the post “SPOIL” below – the story of the White Spirit Bear.

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WINONA LADUKE has been a big part in raising awareness amongst First Nation groups and the 1 agreement than Enbridge had with an Indian Nation has now disintegrated. ALL FIRST NATIONS NOW OPPOSE THE PIPELINE TO KITIMAT,

Radio Ecoshock’s Alex Smith went to Vancouver to record a public Tar Sands meeting called “Oil Free Coast, Tankers and Pipelines”, a really engaging discussion with information from Coastal First Nations and lone political voice Nathan Cullen. One point it mentions is the danger from increased shipping with heavy oil tankers. It should be noted that shipping emissions produce a large portion of Sulphur Dioxide particles which are extremely poisonous. Shipping contributes almost 5% to global emissions with sulphur dioxide being contributing to the 60,000 deaths attributed to shipping emissions along coastal routes. (More on shipping on this blog soon)

Radio Ecoshock’s webpage on the talk is here There is also a very interesting update on Occupy San Francisco in the second half of the programme.

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A young 10 year old girl, Ta ‘Kaiya has written and recorded a song to mark the protest against the pipeline.

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This is a good visual summary of the destructiveness of Canadian Tar Sands

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And Naomi Klein shares a thought bubble

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The Canadian Government are open CLIMATE CRIMINALS basing ALL assessment of the Tar Sands on purely economic criteria, they abandoned the Kyoto Protoco; because of it, and are now prepared to abandon the hopes of environmentalists all over the globe to export their sad prize to China.

Sign up to a group fighting Tar Sands Here ;

350.0rg – Bill Mckibben and Naomi Klein joined for a brilliant campaign v Keystone XL

PACIFIC WILD – who have an extensive range of articles and film on Great Bear

OIL SANDS TRUTH – a Canadian website with up to the minute news

AND HERE IS THE TWITTER FEED ON TAR SANDS.

Beautiful article in National Geographic

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AUSTRALIAN GOVT SLEEPWALKS INTO PEAK OIL.

“After that, the modelling is forecasting what can be termed ‘the 2017 drop-off’. The outlook under a base case scenario is for a long decline in oil production to begin in 2017, which will stretch to the end of the century and beyond.

Thus beyond 2017 we must begin to cope with the longer-term task of replacing oil as a source of energy.”

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Those readers of the “Oil Drum” or “Energy Bulletin may be up with this report from 2009 commissioned by the Federal Australian Govt, and how it has remained locked away from public discussion since then, displaying the complete absence of any seriousness in preparation for the future.

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 Whilst officials have been aware of the spin over the future of energy supplies, only 1 municipal Council in Melbourne (Maribyrnong) has taken ANY measures to assess what impact PEAK OIL will have. It has been mentioned in Jago Dobson’s groundbreaking research from Griffith University looking at the double impacts to Australia’s car driving society. Rising oil prices and economic hardship are projected to have devastating effects on Australia’s “middle class”. Mortgage payments on expensive housing now leave very little discretionary cash.

The Report clearly agrees with the I.E.A. projection that the “PEAK” of  “easy extraction”, conventional oil, that society has based it’s growth upon, happened in 2006. From that point, current oil supplies have been bouyed by Tar Sands oil and deepwater drilling. These VERY DANGEROUS and expensive extraction methods are temporary NEW sources that are expected to maintain EXISTING demand ONLY UNTIL 2016.

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From then on global supply deteriorates until the end of the century AND NEVER REGAINS THE SUPPLY LEVEL WE HAVE NOW.    2015 – BIG YEAR …………….. PEAK EMISSIONS AND PEAK OIL. Funny how similar the graphs look !!!

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…………………        This is a graph from Prof Kevin Anderson of the Tyndal Institute who provided the Audio presentation at “2015 – PEAK EMISSIONS, or the planet gets it” detailing the emissions reduction needed to PEAK in 2015.

Australian Energy Minister Martin Ferguson is currently Chair of the IEA Ministerial Committee ;

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“New technology, such as floating LNG, will unlock huge resources and boost this major industry. We’re on track to be the second largest exporter of LNG in the next few years.” Ferguson states.

His last BIG IDEA was to bring OPRAH WINFREY AND THE WHOLE SHOW out to Australia to record a couple of programmes. At the cost of millions of tax payer $$’s FERGUSON RECKONS “You can’t buy that sort of publicity”.

It’s really great to know such an “international player” is across so many issues like what’s good for Australia. He maintains his position as an ABSOLUTE DUD with his “planet saving” COAL AND GAS EXPORT DEALS AND REFUSAL TO RECOGNISE THE CLIMATE REALITY.

NO SURPRISE that his new “MATE” FATIH BIRROL and the I.E.A. is projecting a 40% increase in the “gas future”, AND BIG MARTI’s gunner do the Ozzies proud. His “great white hope” of a GAS/GEOSEQUESTRATION answer to a LOW CARBON future is a MYTH.

It is his policy decision making that is RUINING THE GREAT BARRIER REEF with gas and coal export terminals in WORLD HERITAGE LISTED AREAS, this ensures global emissions reduction targets CANNOT BE MET.

With people such as FERGUSON in the “power faction” within the Labour Party THERE CAN BE NO EFFECTIVE CONTRIBUTION TO PREVENTING CLIMATE CHANGE. He remains the man who refused to release the report on the Timor Sea Oil Spill and fire and stuck up for vested FOSSIL FUEL interests..

The Dept of Transport (which commissioned the report), under Anthony Albanese, has still not published it on the Dept’s website, and since the report was finished, HE AND THE TRANSPORT DEPT haVE been busy approving freeway projects all over Australia – DID THEY THINK WE WOULDN’T NOTICE WHEN THE PRICE OF PETROL GOT TO $3 per litre ?

THE FULL REPORT CAN BE DOWN LOADED HERE ; http://ianmcpherson.com/blog/audio/Australian_Govt_Oil_supply_trends.pdf

More Barcelona Fiesta

Christmas in Catalunya is refreshingly uncommercial. The Catholic Church being as influential it is, ensures the 25th December is a family/religious day. The traditions of Christmas are observed rather than the gift giving. This is symbolised by a parade on the 5th Jamuary depicting the 3 Wise Men, Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior following a star to carry gifts of Gold Frankincense and Myrrh to the new born child.

This “tradition” is maintained to the letter with a big “fiesta” and holiday on the 12th Day of Christmas, January 6th. The parade on the 5th January is representative of the 3 wise men visiting all children with gifts. Sweets are catapulted from floats to the masses of children in the crowd who get to stay up late at night. Bad children receive charcoal !!!!! It was a spectacular childrens event which is incredibly well supported even in the northern winter, (albeit Meditteranean).

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The Castellers.

I saw this programme on Barca t.v. on the Castellers and thought I’d show it. It is a Catalan tradition which is also practised in Valencia. Up to 150 people can be involved in 1 tower, with a brave young sole climbing to the top. I am reliably informed that nothing begins until the anbulance arrives !!!  (Sorry, can’t provide translations, but it’s amazing to watch.)

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Dr Martin Luther King Jr, 3 Speeches.

January 15 was the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. His legacy is being sought by environmentalists and social justice campaigners today. The “spark” that ignited people’s souls when Dr King spoke is just not there, so we slide.

Democracy Now brought the spark to mind in their commemoration of a truly great man by replaying his speech on the American war in Viet Nam, and tellingly, in his shockingly prophetic speech the day before his assasination, “I have been to the mountain top and seen the promised land”. The 3rd speech is the Washington Memorial speech, “I have a dream”

Close your eyes, listen to the words, feel the moment.

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Washington Memorial.

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SPOIL 2, THE GREAT BARRIER REEF.

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The search for new energy supply is taking a MASSIVE toll on previously sacred environmental sites as detailed with TAR SANDS, Here is another prime example which exposes the 2 faced government of Australia. On the one hand introducing a Carbon Tax (with a beggarly 5% emissions reduction target to 2020) and on the other digging up and selling as much coal, gas and uranium as it can. This duplicitous strategy can only fool some people for some of the time. Eventually it is brain dead policies such as these that will finish the planet.

This 4 Corners programme perfectly exposes the sugar coated arsenic pill the Australian Government offers as its contribution to climate change. Consciously ignoring the World Heritage Council (under which the Great Barrier Reef is listed) the Gillard Government was only too happy to sign contracts for the development of the gas refineries as the Great Barrier Reef follows the road to destruction. This time its coal seam gas and new coal export terminals that are the issue, and a 10 fold increase in shipping through the Great Barrier Reef. As the Reef faces widespread bleaching from ocean acidification we have to ask what is going to be left for the future.

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“SPOIL” – Tar Sands Nightmare.

GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST.

AS OBAMA “PONDERS” THE pros and cons in an election year of approving the Keystone XL pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico, the “Plan B” may be just too terrible to think about. Pacific Wild (http://www.pacificwild.org/) , have produced this amazing film of the area under threat.

ALL THIS IS UNDER THREAT AS “BUSINESS AS USUAL” ECONOMIC DRIVERS SQUEEZE EVERY LAST DROP OF ENERGY FROM THE EARTH.

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This extreme work of nature’s art is UNDER THREAT FROM A RAPACIOUS CANADIAN GOVERNMENT DETERMINED TO EXPLOIT EVERY SQUARE INCH OF THE 280,000 Ha TAR SANDS.

LEAVE TAR SANDS IN THE GROUND.

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Despite ‘assurances’ that the shipping lanes are “safe” to navigate “A FLOATING CITY, WITH 4,000 people on board ran aground off the coast of Tuscany. The captain, (since arrested), denied allegations that he was sailing too close to the coast.

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“We were 300 metres from the rocks and that outcrop should not have been there,” he said.

MEANWHILE IN ANOTHER CORNER OF THE GLOBE, STRANDED ON THE NEW ZEALAND COASTLINE, A CONTAINER SHIP SLOWLY DISINTEGRATES SHEDDING IT’S CARGO FAR AND WIDE.

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Oil and Energy in 2012.

This Radio WORT-FM broadcast included a “stellar” guest list including. RICHARD HEINBERG, DMITRY ORLOV, NICOLE FOSS, and JAMES H KUNSTLER. Dmitry Orlov left early and Naom Chomsky took part. His sections have been removed from the replay below. The complete podcast can be found at ; http://archive.wort-fm.org/ Look for the Jan 2 “A Public Affair” podcast

Dmitry Orlov’s response to the programme can be found at ; http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/  “A Dismal Public Affair”.

Some very salient points on TAR SANDS, ENERGY FUTURE, ECONOMIC GROWTH.

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Remember to replay this in 12 months time……

TAR SANDS, WINONA LADUKE.

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Some important facts to remember when thinking of the TAR SANDS development.

ALL the rivers run NORTH, TOWARDS THE ARTIC, AWAY FROM THE MAJOR CIVILIZATION CENTRES.

AT PRESENT ONLY 3% OF THE PROJECTED 280,000 Ha IS BEING DESTROYED.

THIS IS THE SECOND LARGEST HYDROCARBON DEPOSIT ON THE PLANET. (After Saudi Arabia).

CURRENT PRODUCTION IS APPROXIMATELY 700,000 bpd, PROJECTED TO RISE TO 3,000,000 bpd BY 2015 – THE SAME YEAR THAT THE DURBAN COP 17 CONFERENCE CALLED FOR A GLOBAL AGREEMENT TO BE REACHED ON REDUCING EMISSIONS 50% GLOBALLY BY 2050.

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http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/     (Excellent articles on Climate Change evidence)

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FROM U.N.E.P. WEBSITE http://na.unep.net/atlas/webatlas.php?id=261

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Vast reserves of low quality oil underlie the boreal forest surrounding Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada in the form of “Athabasca oil sands.” While these reserves have been known since the early 20th century the high cost of extracting usable oil from these “oil sands” limited the development of a viable oil sands mining industry. 
In 2003 the rising cost of crude oil led the Oil and Gas Journal to formally recognize Canada’s oil sands as a viable resource (Woynillowicz et al., 2005).  The oil held in these reserves raises Canada to second place on the list of oil rich countries, behind only Saudi Arabia in total reserves (Oil and Gas Journal, 2004).   The rising price of oil has fueled this oil boom in Northern Alberta.  Canada’s National Energy Board predicts $125 billion in investments for creation and expansion of oil sands mining in the Athabasca area between 2006 and 2015 which will take production to around 3 million barrels per day (National Energy Board, 2006). 
Local people including the Native American population are concerned that exploitation will come at too great a cost to the environment.  The government of Alberta plans to propose a surface mining area of 280,000 hectares, “an area approximately four times the size of the City of Calgary” (Mineable Oil Sands Strategy-Government of Alberta, 2005). 
In 2001 oil extracted from oil sands (271 million barrels) exceeded oil extracted by conventional means (264 million barrels) for the first time (Canadian Centre for Energy Information, 2002-2003).   In 1967 The Great Canadian Oil Sands Company began construction at its Mildred Lake site.  In 1974 they were joined by the Syncrude Corporation which began construction of a mine in the same area.  By early 2006 the mining operations had expanded to cover an area roughly 30 km by 20 km.  Syncrude operates a second mine, the Aurora, approximately 30 km to the north of Mildred Lake.
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WINONA LADUKE – As Winona displayed during her debate with Stewart Brand (below), her passion and commitment to idiginous activism brings a wisdom which the broader activist community need to embrace. The “long haul” activist explains the impacts  Tar Sands is having on the native community .
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BILL McKIBBEN and 350.org ran a brilliant campaign against the KEYSTONE XL pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, to postpone a decision by Obama, but Republican “oil puppets” are forcing a decision before the 2012 election. A few days ago he wrote this in the Guardian ;
 “We waged our struggle against building it out in the open, presenting scientific argument, holding demonstrations, and attending hearings. We sent 1,253 people to jail in the largest civil disobedience action in a generation. Meanwhile, more than half a million Americans offered public comments against the pipeline, the most on any energy project in the nation’s history.
And what do you know? We won a small victory in November, when President Obama agreed that, before he could give the project a thumbs-up or -down, it needed another year of careful review.
Given that James Hansen, the government’s premier climate scientist, had said that tapping Canada’s tar sands for that pipeline would, in the end, essentially mean “game over for the climate”, that seemed an eminently reasonable course to follow, even if it was also eminently political.

A few weeks later, however, Congress decided it wanted to take up the question. In the process, the issue went from out in the open to behind closed doors in money-filled rooms. Within days, and after only a couple of hours of hearings that barely mentioned the key scientific questions or the dangers involved, the House of Representatives voted 234-194 to force a quicker review of the pipeline. Later, the House attached its demand to the must-pass payroll tax cut.”

So Tar Sands is back in the forefront of issues, join your support to 350.org HERE.

SUSAN GEORGE, – “Transforming the Global Economy.”

Susan George has been in the “economic” limelight for many years in Europe, Canada & the U.S. This 2008 lecture given in Ottawa is prescient in many areas, Her tireless calls for an end to tax havens, full tax collection, financial institutions tax are logical, practicle, (given issues such as climate change mitigation/adaptation funding) and moral. The discussion talks across social, economic and environmental crisi that we now face and provides startling figures that show solutions are possible.

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Show me the money…..um, er…

 “THE GOLDMAN SACHS WORLDVIEW – $7 an hour.”

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The last post gave Goldman Sachs predictions for the coming year, “SNAFU” (with a big rider on the Euro staying afloat). Thanks to I.M.F. boss Christine “let them eat cake” Lagarde, it should see the year out. It’s a fair bet that a great many people around the world will have a shit year because of what Goldman Sachs has activated.

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 Whatever happens financially Goldman Sachs wins, betting on winners and losers, currency trading, “hypothetical future value” (Enron) or Credit Default swaps, or “re-hypothecasition”. (For a great explanation of this and the “SHADOW BANKING SYSTEM”  go to ; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/why-uk-trail-mf-global-collapse-may-have-apocalyptic-consequences-eurozone-canadian-banks-jeffe

Still the best article written on Goldman Sachs is Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone at ; http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405

Here the Occupy Movement in U.S. tries to pick up some of the pieces that lay shattered on the ground from Goldman Sachs’ practice of bundling shonky mortgages together and selling them as “financial products.”

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American author Barbara Ehrenreich wrote “Nickel and Dimed” together with “Bright Sided” exploring the difficulties experienced by the “working poor” trying to get by on $7 per hour, the minimum wage in U.S.A., meanwhile the 1% surrounding Lloyd Blankfein’s space fill the air with hubris and nonchalance. This is being repeated in European countries who are now experiencing severe austerity measures ON TOP OF 23% unemployment (SPAIN) to offset the extreme waste and self obsession of the past 10 years.

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LONE VOICES in the fight to free the U.S. from corporate influence are Ralph Nader and RON PAUL. Paul is a Republican Presidential candidate in the current selection process but very rarely gets in the news overseas,

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Al Jazeera gives a specific “root” for the Greek and ultimately European financial crisis and yes GOLDMAN SACHS has its head deep in the trough.

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So the Greek future is clouded with G.S. gas and pressure is building again in the most troubled member of the eurozone. Government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis warned this morning that Greece could be forced out of the eurozone unless it can agree the details of its second rescue package, worth €130bn. Kapsis told Skai TV that:

The bailout agreement needs to be signed otherwise we will be out of the markets, out of the euro…The situation will be much worse.

That €130bn package was agreed in principle last October, at an EU summit in Brussels. Nearly 10 weeks later, the Greek government still hasn’t agreed its side of the deal – yet more austerity cutbacks, and a debt-swap deal with its creditors. Kapsis warned that “The next three to fourth months are the most crucial.”

The immediate priority is to hammer out a deal with Greece’s debt-holders. The original plan was for a 50% haircut, but IMF officials are now indicating that this may not be enough to repair Greece’s finances.

National Bank of Greece president Vassilis Rapanos has also warned that Greeks must either lower their standard of living, or quit the euro and turn the clock back by decades

Rapanos told an audience at the Athens Stock Exchange that the first quarter of 2012 will be decisive for the country, as he conducted the traditional cutting of the New Year cake.

ALL THIS INFORMATION ABOUT THE WAY SOCIETY NOW OPERATES IS OUT THERE AND VISIBLE – WITH A FINANCIAL SECTOR THAT IS ABOVE THE LAW, FREE TO PAY ITSELF WHAT IT CHOOSES ; THAT STEADFASTLY REFUSES TO CONTRIBUTE TO FIXING THE PROBLEMS IT HAS CAUSED AND SEEING THE WORLD IT NOW DOMINATES AND PLUNDERS SUBJECTED TO SLOW ECOLOGICAL DESTRUCTION.

Show me the Money……o.k. (cont)

GOLDMAN SACHS recently released their very own New Year message of “HOPE” with the forecast rising from “despair”. It seems to me they don’t really care, they make money anyway.

The Goldman Boys are now strategically placed to determine the economic future. President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, just pulled a neat Christmas bonus whereby 500+ Euro banks help themselves to cheap funds totalling a half TRILLION euros and then banks turn round and put the money BACK IN the European Central Bank. WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT ????? Is this Goldman Sachs master plan for the future, keep printing money and everyone that touches it gets rich ?

Goldman expects the Footsie to hit a low of 4700 before staging a gradual recovery in the second half of the year – but all bets are off if the euro falls apart. The bank says: “Our economic forecasts assume some resolution to the eurozone debt crisis in the next few months. But the chances of a more chaotic outcome, in particular a break-up of the euro, although still small, have grown.”

Goldman’s economists expect eurozone GDP to contract by 0.8% in 2012, with a short-lived recession in Germany and France, and a longer and much deeper one in the peripheral eurozone countries. “But if a political breakthrough is not achieved before the refunding cycle picks up in earnest in mid-January, the probability of [the European economy] spiralling out of control towards a break-up would substantially increase,” it said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/22/goldman-sachs-forecast-for-2012

AND A HAPPY, “RENEWABLE” NEW YEAR TO YOU TOO !

Auld Lang Syne.

300 years ago in 1711 James Watson wrote a poem called “Old Lang Syne” which became the “basis” for the Robert Burns “hit”, and song that is sung universally on the stroke of New Years Eve, “Auld Lang Syne”.

This is the English translation.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne ?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup ! and surely I’ll buy mine ! And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine ; But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine ; But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend ! And give us a hand o’ thine ! And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

INTELLIGENCE, WISDOM.

AND NOW THE CLOCK POINTS HISTRIONICALLY TO NOON,                                      SOME NEW KIND OF NORTH,                                                                                   AND WHICH WAY DO WE GO ?                                                                                     WHAT ARE DAYS FOR ?                                                                                                   TO WAKE US UP,                                                                                                           TO PUT BETWEEN THE ENDLESS NIGHTS.                                                                  Laurie Anderson, “Another day in America”.

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In a year when “Time” magazine awarded the “Person of the Year” to “The Protester” we are bound to examine the society that gave rise to the nomination. If we are unable, in truth, to question the viability of the society that gives the protester this status, then that society is not free. It is captive to a mindset that is totally subjective.

When a burning man sparks a global movement  in the middle east, against the intellectual conspiracy that maintains brutal dictatorships with oppressive regimes, it is no wonder that the virus of protest spreads to those places where the myth originate, to the west.

The year 2011 has been a defining year, and as another defining year approaches, each successive year will herald a yet more defining year. There is a choice we have to make NOW.

To accept the “neutrality” of progress and all that technology offers as we sleepwalk towards a future made baron for generations to come, or to progressively rid ourselves of the shackles of amnesia and be the advocate of change rather than the victim.

Highlights from Stewart Brand and Winona LaDuke Debate.  A Spirited Exchange on Technology and the Environment.  (Eart Island Journal)

An audience question from Actor/activist Peter Coyote presents the “debate” as one between “Intelligence and Wisdom”.

Winona Laduke, anti-tar sands activist, reminds us what role amnesia plays in the acceptance of lifestyle and the intellectual hubris it promotes. The argument from Stewart Brand to accept the “neutrality” of consumerism and marketing  is totally rejected by La Duke.

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Post war hardships subsided to the illusion of a vision of “You’ve never had it so good” and that was before the credit boom. The 30’s depression mantra that, “my kids will be better off than I was”, will in a very short time, not only be unrealizable, but a fool’s paradise. The next “new bubble” emerges marketing “choice” based on amnesia, but the big economic bubble is now bursting. The “lifestyle” experiment is coming to an end.

When we look to the west, we observe a social form that has tried to engineer world domination with a century of world wars, until it was taken to its science fiction conclusion with star wars.         So the west opted for a more subtle method of ideological domination, “Lifestyle”, free market capitalism, another vote winning  “no brainer.”

The global ”Occupy” virus has exposed amnesia by revealing the extent of the “inequality” that has evolved, both within western society, and between developed and developing. When the attempt is made to share the “pie” with “other than” western society, the magnanimous gesture is based on the unsustainable demand that the “American lifestyle is non-negotiable”.

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 29 experts, including Herman Daly, were asked,  “What do you think should be the two or three highest priority political outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in June 2012?”

His answer succinctly sums up the Steady-State perspective.

“The conclusion of the 1972 Limits to Growth study by the Club of Rome still stands 40 years later. Even though economies are still growing, and still put growth in first place, it is no longer economic growth, at least in wealthy countries, but has become uneconomic growth. In other words, the environmental and social costs of increased production are growing faster than the benefits, increasing “illth” faster than wealth, thereby making us poorer, not richer.

We hide the uneconomic nature of growth from ourselves by faulty national accounting because growth is our panacea, indeed our idol, and we are very afraid of the idea of a steady-state economy. The increasing “illth” is evident in exploding financial debt, in biodiversity loss, and in destruction of natural services, most notably climate regulation.

The major job of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is to help us overcome this denial and shift the path of progress from quantitative growth to qualitative development, from bigger to better. Specifically this will mean working toward a steady-state economy at a sustainable (smaller than present) scale relative to the containing ecosystem that is finite and already overstressed.

Since growth now makes us poorer, not richer, poverty reduction will require sharing in the present, not the empty promise of growth in the future”

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2015 – PEAK EMISSIONS — Here’s why.

Nice time scale film tracks “from where” and “how much” carbon emissions have entered the atmosphere. Good graphic portrayal.

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This is a brilliant real time graph of emissions generation from 1979 to present day in terms of carbon parts per million. It charts the increase from 1979 to present day in time scale on the left then shows the rising graph on the right. When the chart reaches 2011 it then scales back showing todays relative position to the last 800,000 years.

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End of Year message from Occupy Wall St…

OWS Thanks Our Supporters!

Posted 16 hours ago on Dec. 22, 2011, 6:15 p.m. EST on http://occupywallst.org/

‎2011 was a revolutionary year for a new movement that is changing the world. From NYC to Cairo, we are just getting started. We are still busy building this amazing movement, and we couldn’t do it without you — our supporters! Let’s make next year even better!

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OIL SPILL OFF NIGER DELTA

Envisat ASAR satellite radar image showing large slick (outlined in yellow) from major oil spill  off Niger Delta.  Image courtesy European Space Agency.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian drilling operations in the highly productive Bonga Field were officially brought to a halt yesterday after “less than 40,000 barrels of oil” (1.7 million gallons) were reportedly leaked during a transfer of crude to a tanker. We’ve just processed a radar satellite image taken this morning (December 21, 2011) of the field, with the spill clearly visible.  Here it is showing the slick outlined in yellow; it is about 70 km (45 miles) long, 17 km (10 miles) wide at it’s widest, and covers 923 square kilometers (356 square miles) of ocean:

NOW DON’T TELL ME THIS WON’T HAPPEN HERE……………….

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JUST LIKE IT HAPPENED HERE——– AT CAMPOS off the coast of Brazil.

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The most recent image we were able to get that wasn’t cloud-covered is from November 12, 2011.  It shows an apparent oil slick originating from the drilling location   and extending over 2,379 square kilometers (the south end of the slick   gets entrained in an interesting clockwise eddy in the ocean currents).    At 1 micron thickness, that’s a volume of 628,000 gallons (14,954   barrels) of oil

http://www.skytruth.org/

AND HERE IN THE GULF of MEXICO JUST A YEAR AGO———–THERE IS AN AMAZING “INTERACTIVE” MAP OF THE GULF SPILL HERE ; http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/01/us/20100501-oil-spill-tracker.html  4,100,000 barrels of oil.

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Map of the length of time oil was in the Gulf. The lightest orange indicates 1-3 weeks coverage; the darkest is 16-18 weeks. Image: European Space Agency

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Dmitry Orlov, a presentation and an interview.

A recording of the public lecture by Dmitry Orlov on 9 June 2009, at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, Ireland.  This was the opening talk to the 3 day conference The New Emergency: Managing Risk and Building Resilience in a Resource Constrained World.
This conference was organised by Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability. The talk is entitled  “Seizing the Mid-Collapse Moment”

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More recently Dmitry Orlov gave an interview with Tancrede Bastie which is available in FRENCH at http://www.orbite.info/traductions/dmitry_orlov/index.html and at http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/ and                                  http://energybulletin.net/stories/2011-12-16/conversation-dmitry-orlov-about-europe

The last question and response are incisive comments about the difficulties associated with the future.

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“If you read Dmitry carefully, scrupulously separating the factual bad news, which are beyond his control, from his views on what can be done to survive and live in a post-industrial world, you will find evidence of strong optimism.”  T.B.

TB: What difference do you see between American and European close future?

DO: European countries are historical entities that still hold vestiges of allegiances beyond the monetized, corporate realm, while the United States was started as a corporate entity, based on a revolution that was essentially a tax revolt and thus has no fall-back. The European population is less transient than in America, with a stronger sense of regional belonging and are more likely to be acquainted with their neighbors and to be able to find a common language and to find solutions to common problems.

Probably the largest difference, and the one most promising for fruitful discussion, is in the area of local politics. European political life may be damaged by money politics and free market liberalism, but unlike in the United States, it does not seem completely brain-dead. At least I hope that it isn’t completely dead; the warm air coming out of Brussels is often indistinguishable from the vapor vented by Washington, but better things might happen on the local level. In Europe there is something of a political spectrum left, dissent is not entirely futile, and revolt is not entirely suicidal. In all, the European political landscape may offer many more possibilities for relocalization, for demonitization of human relationships, for devolution to more local institutions and support systems, than the United States.

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DURBAN COP 17, success or failure ?

 The recent U.N.F.C.C.C. climate change conference in Durban was largely greeted with howls of derision by the majority of NGO’s and the environment movement. “Just another talk fest with no reductions in targets” was the common response. “Another wated decade”, a “win for the polluters.”

An analysis by Andrew Light, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University.  goes beyond this rhetoric and provides a more in depth view of COP 17.

He gives ” Six Reasons Why the Durban Decision Matters ” and delves into the U.N.F.C.C.C. process as a necessary part of understanding why the Durban outcome and process has significance.

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I’m going to assume that anyone reading this post is driven as I am everyday by alarm at the growing climate crisis and the apparent lack of progress in responding to it.  We all articulate this existential worry in various ways, but I feel that at bottom our alarm is commonly driven by a deep moral concern about what is and is not being done with respect to the welfare of current and future generations and the planet we inhabit, along with moral outrage at the roadblocks that are intentionally thrown up against our efforts.

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Naomi Klein on Occupy and Climate Change.

OCCUPY VANCOUVER interviews NAOMI KLEIN

In this interview with Occupy Vancouver, Naomi Klein gives an appraisal of the Occupy movement and it’s value in redetermining values, communicating and ethics. She offers the opinion that solutions to the economic crisis are the same solutions that are needed for the ecological crisis of climate change, and the political crisis which is advocated by the Tar Sands.

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Naomi Klein’s advocacy is gaining important discussion space as the following post from New York Times columnist Andrew Revkin shows. The discussion centres around her article “Capitalism v Climate” (see below) and her call for a realistic approach to climate change and the massive change that must occur to return to a safe climate.

Andrew Rivkin and the New York Times have acknowledging global warming but staying very close to the “American Way.”

Revkin, although disagreeing with some key aspects of Naomi Kleins essay, welcomes the discussion ;

She challenges the environmental left to embrace this reality instead of implying that modest changes in lifestyle and shopping habits and the like can decarbonize human endeavors on a crowding planet.

Andrew Rivkin. (AR)

First, I was happy to see you dive into the belly of the many-headed beast challenging the need for greenhouse-gas cuts (as was clear from your piece, you recognize that there’s no single species called “deniers”). There are lots of slings and arrows awaiting anyone exploring this terrain, as was the case with the Heartland meeting in 2008. What prompted you to do an in-depth look at global warming stances and the issues underlying this “crisis”?

Naomi Klein (NK)

I got interested after attending the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009. Like a lot of people who watched that train wreck up close, I came away wanting to understand the massive gap between the euphoric expectations of the environmental movement and the real political outcomes. When I got home, I was stunned by a new Harris poll that showed that the percentage of Americans who believed in anthropogenic climate change had plummeted from 71 per cent to 51 per cent in just two years. So here we were thinking that the world was on the verge of some kind of climate breakthrough while a large segment of the U.S. population was rejecting the science altogether. I wanted to understand how that could have happened.

I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment reading a paper by the excellent Australian political scientist Clive Hamilton, in which he argues that a great many American conservatives have come to see climate science as a threat to their core ideological identity. Then I read Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, which explains that many of the key scientists behind the denier movement hold a similar point of view – they are old-school Cold Warriors who came to see fighting environmentalism as a battle to protect “freedom” and the American way of life.

But as I read all this, I found myself thinking that from within the hard-right worldview, these responses were entirely rational. If you really do believe that freedom means governments getting out of the way of corporations and that any regulation leads us down Hayek’s road to serfdom, then climate science is going to be kryptonite to you. After all, the reality that humans are causing the climate to warm, with potentially catastrophic results, really does demand radical government intervention in the market, as well as collective action on an unprecedented scale. So you can understand why many conservatives see climate change as a threat to their identity. Too often the liberal climate movement runs away from the deep political and economic implications of climate science, which is why I wrote the piece. I think we need to admit that climate change really does demand a profound interrogation of the ideology that currently governs our economy. And that’s not bad news, since our current economic model is failing millions of people on multiple fronts.

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2015 – PEAK EMISSIONS, or the planet gets it ……

MORE SCIENCE – PROFESSOR KEVIN ANDERSON GAVE THIS HOUR LONG PRESENTATION IN MAY 2010. It is a discussion on the need to be clear what limiting global average temperature increase to 2 degrees above pre industrial levels MEANS.

Anderson explains the intricacy of “sharing” the remaining CARBON BUDGET between now and 2050 and harks back to the Stern Report which set 2015 as the date when carbon emissions must peak.

THIS IS A “MUST LISTEN TO/WATCH”, AUDIO SLIDESHOW AT ; http://www.slideshare.net/DFID/professor-kevin-anderson-climate-change-going-beyond-dangerous

Below is a link to the slideshow.

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“SHOW ME THE MONEY” …………o.k. (cont)

Joe Romm @ :Think Climate/Climate Progress is a font of information and turns up extrememly reliable information. So when you see an article which proves the lie to “credit freeze”, “recession” etc, it needs to be circulated.

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ONLY A FEW WEEKS AGO FATIH BIRROL FROM THE I.E.A. STATED THAT FOR FUEL SECURITY UNTIL 2035 INVESTMENT “IN OIL” WOULD NEED REACH          $38 TRILLION !!!!!! The money’s out there ……. in TAX HAVENS, FINANCIAL SECTOR BONUSES, UNREGULATED INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT, AND, MORE DAMAGING, TAR SANDS DEVELOPMENT AND FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES

For years, the oil industry has promoted itself as getting cleaner  and investing in alternatives to oil. But when it comes to  transportation fuels – still their main business – are  oil companies  truly going green and investing in cleaner alternatives to oil?

NRDC to Oil Companies: “Actually, We Don’t Agree”

Based on our research of the overall industry, our conclusions is a  resounding “NO”.  The oil industry as a whole has spent at least fifty  (50x) times in producing more dirtier fuels sources such as tar sands  than their entire global investments in producing renewable fuels.

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Thanks to Climate Progress.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/15/389803/oil-companies-dirty-fuels-clean-fuels/

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (2) …..

IMF warns that world risks sliding into a 1930s-style slump…….                                     (By the way; “the Ranch” means the biggest economy in the world)

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The world risks sliding into a 1930s-style slump unless countries settle their differences and work together to tackle Europe’s deepening debt crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund has warned.

The IMF managing director’s call came amid growing concern that 2012 will see Europe slide into a double-dip recession, with knock-on effects for the rest of the global economy. “The world economic outlook at the moment is not particularly rosy. It is quite gloomy,” she said.

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15 DIGITS OF DEBT.

The “ruckus” in question is over this,  $707 trillion, 568 billion, 901 million

the Bank of International Settlements reported a number that quietly slipped through the cracks of the broader media. Which is paradoxical because it is the biggest ever reported in the financial world: the number in question is $707,568,901,000,000 – and represents the latest total amount of all notional Over The Counter (read unregulated) outstanding derivatives reported by the world’s financial institutions to the BIS for its semi-annual OTC derivatives report

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/707568901000000-how-and-why-banks-increased-total-outstanding-derivatives-record-107-trillion-6

Seems like we need some of that “IBANA” that was used in the last session of the Durban COP 17 talks …..

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POPULATION and the MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

I saw an article some time before I got “absorbed” into the machinations of the Durban COP 17 negotiations. It detailed how over 100 MILION Chinese people had just been “classified” as “below the poverty line” WHEN CHINA RAISED THE POVERTY LINE THRESHOLD. It was RAISED to $1 per day FROM 50 cents per day. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/30/china-raises-rural-poverty-line

WHEN THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS WERE AGREED THE (then) POVERTY LINE WAS $1 p.d.

12 YEARS LATER THEY HAVE HAD A 25% PAY RISE !!!!!    That obviously pleases the statasticians who send these figures up to the U.N. in GLOWING reports. The common (misguded) claim that “trickle down economics” has lifted “BILLIONS” out of poverty is RUBBISH.

WESTERN INDUSTRIALISED SOCIETY LAMENTS the destruction of the middle class through debt and we are witness to (what we consider) “poverty”, 10 million people in Spain having to exist on $130 a week. Social Security is a disappearing phenomena in America. It would be healthy to ANALYSE what poverty MEANS.

THE GLOBAL POPULATION is at 7 BILLION. We now add 1 BILLION every 12 YEARS

THE ISSUE OF “POVERTY” IS RELEVANT AS “WEALTH”  is associated with good education leading to a certain level of ECONOMIC “PROSPERITY”. This is undisputed. What is disputed is the level of “POVERTY” which “really” exists.

This film is “an indicator” of progress towards the MDG’s

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George Papandreou and Democracy.

AMY GOODMAN got a scoop when covering the Durban COP 17 when George Papandreou attended the talks. This interview the ex Greek P.M. talks of democracy in Greece, the referendum, the Occupy movement. He defines tax havens and globalisation as the biggest threat to democracy as they remove “power” from the nation. Very interesting to hear him speak after reading so much during the ongoing Euro crisis.

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Dr James Hansen.

Jim Hansen has been researching climate science through Paleontology (ice core samples) since 1988. He heads NASA and is regarded as the leading climate scientist in the world. Not only has he authored many scientific papers and books, he has also taking off his white coat for the principals he advocates, and being arrested – most recently at the anti TAR SANDS Washington rally.

This panel discussion with associates explores climate “sensitivity”, or “at what speed the climate reacts to FORCINGS”. The “FORCINGS” in discussion are the 800 metric tonnes of CO2 -e PER SECOND that “civilization” pumps into the atmosphere.          70,000,000 ( seventy million ) tonnes  a day.                                              25,500,000,000 (25 billion metric tonnes per year)

An “unprecedented” amount of the same stuff that has caused ALL OTHER “NATURAL” ice ages and “interglacial” periods where sea levels are up to 100 metres HIGHER.

Dr Hansen REITERATES that a “safe climate” MUST be regarded as one with CO2 content of 350ppm. To reduce emissions to achieve that target, beginning in 2015, requires a reduction in emissions of 5% per annum. If it is left UNTIL 2020 (AS SOME SIGNATORIES TO THE “DURBAN PLATFORM” (i.e. USA) SUGGEST, the reduction in emissions to achieve 350ppm is 15% p.a. This requires the decarbonisation of the power generation sector – when France introduced nuclear power in the 70’s-80’s, their reduction in emissions was 4% per annum.

CLEARLY THE SOONER WE BEGIN THIS “RENEWABLE AGE” THE BETTER.

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Participants: James Hansen Director, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York, USA;

Ken Caldeira Senior Scientist, Department of Global Ecology Carnegie Institute of Washington, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA;

Eelco Rohling Professor of Ocean and Climate Change, Southampton University, Southampton, United Kingdom.

“The Hero’s” – MICHAEL MANN

The last post “outed” one of the villains of the COP 17 “peace”, Republican Senator Jim Inhofe. Now here is a hero, who has been the subject of Inhofe’s “witch hunts” for the last 8 years or so.

MICHAEL MANN,

Michael E. Mann (born December 28, 1965) is an American physicist and climatologist, currently director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. He is best known as lead author of a number of articles on paleoclimatology and as one of the originators of a graph of temperature trends over the last thousand years, called the “hockey stick graph” because of its shape. The graph was highlighted in an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, receiving both praise and criticism, and has been the subject of a long-running controversy. Mann is also known as a founding member of the RealClimate blog, to which he and a number of other scientists contribute, and is the co-author with Lee R. Kump of Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming (2008).

In November 2009, hackers obtained emails from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia that had been exchanged by Mann and other climatologists and posted them online, triggering the Climatic Research Unit email controversy, dubbed “Climategate” by the media. Two reviews commissioned by Pennsylvania State University cleared Mann of allegations of ethical misconduct arising out of the content of the emails.

Here is a Ted Talk from Michael Mann where he calmly takes us through the trials of a scientist, 100% vindicated by the Berkley Report, part funded by the fossil fuel lobby (Koch Bros). This demonstrates the still VERY REAL problems in U.S. politics.

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Michael Mann gives a personal account of the “inquisitions” that scientific research has exposed him to through the “denial industry” and their paid political henchmen. Mann’s papers have been unanimously endorsed, including the “hockey stick graph”.

COP 17 Problems, a prelude to “villains”.

Oklahoma Republican Senator JIM INHOFE sent this “message of encouragement” to a COP 17 “sideshow” run by Climate Sceptics. (Monckton was there).

THIS IS TYPICAL OF THE BONE HEADED REASONING THAT MAKES ‘PROGRESS’ EXTREMELY HARD, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, MUST GIVE CAUSE FOR ‘PROGRESS’ TO BE RECOGNISED.

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It’s time to “name and shame”, and the top of the pile is the U.S. Republican Party who, to a man (or woman) refuse to accept the science of Anthropogenic Global Warming.  JIM INHOFE is the top of the pile …… Thank you for your intergenerational wishes Jim. He is the man that nominates Monckton to appear at Senate Climate Change hearings and start the whiteanting.

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ANOTHER CHARACTER WHO NEEDS THE TORCHLIGHT TO EXPOSE HIS SILLOUHETTE IS BRITISH P.M. DAVID CAMERON.

Looking remarkably “compatible” with Tony Blair, Cameron has carried out the coup of the millenium by NOT replacing him after Gordon Brown’s election defeat. It was Blair and Brown who guided the U.K. to the edge of bankruptcy with the “LIGHT TOUCH” regulatory approach over the financial sector. But it was Cameron who claimed he would head, “the greenest government ever”

Very quick off the mark with Libya, Cameron’s determination to decide “in the national interest” has just caused a major ruckus in the E.U. Cameron is decidely opposed to a Financial Transactions Tax, (on behalf of the “City of London Square Mile”). The European Union is to introduce a “Robin Hood Tax” soon, but can only do that once the fiscal union is complete.

Cameron decided to act on behalf of the London Financial sector by using power of veto to prevent action. What this has actually done is “cast England adrift, floating somewhere in the north Atlantic” – effectively relegating the U.K. to a role “outside” fiscal union decision making with the other 26 E.U. members framing financial policy.

SMART MOVE DAVID, as one British Euro supporter Paddy Ashdowne commented. “In one night, 38 years of Foreign Policy is washed away.”

Olli Rehn E.U. vice president commented ; “If [Cameron’s] move was intended to prevent bankers and financial corporations in the [City of London] from being regulated, that is not going to happen. We must all draw lessons from the financial crisis, and that goes for the financial sector as well.”

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“SHOW ME THE MONEY”, …..o.k.

As the world staggers at the ability of 194 nations of the world to agree that the planet is, after all, worth saving, and then agree to do something about it, the $100 BILLION per year to finance a Green Climate Fund immediately springs to mind.                 SHOW ME THE MONEY …… Here it is …….

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After 2020 the world will unite to stop global temperature reaching 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The world will reduce its global carbon emissions by 50% (average) to prevent 2 degrees warming. Many countries will have to reduce their emissions ‘drastically’ by over 90% to meet their individual “share” of the reductions.

We are now faced with the “Green Economy” which was discussed here at ; https://awayfromitall.me/2011/09/28/the-green-economy-can-the-current-growth-system-be-the-basis/

The compliance with this “grand plan” depends on replacing the world STATIONARY energy infrastructure, ELECTRICAL  ENERGY GENERATION MUST BECOME EMISSION FREE BY 2050. Australia has a plan prepared by Beyond Zero Emissions for a 10 year transfer of Australia’s energy sector which they estimate will cost $375 BILLION over 10 years. http://beyondzeroemissions.org/

A report issued by the U.N. (W.E.S.S. 2011), “costs” this ‘global transition’ at between $15-20 TRILLION to “rewire” the world with renewable energy. So where is the money coming from?

SUSAN GEORGE, HEAD OF THE “TRANSNATIONAL INSTITUTE” (TNI) here further details the necessity for a Tobin Tax, but ALSO STRESSES THE NEED TO SHUT DOWN TAX HAVENS which deprive global governments of over $100 BILLION p.a.

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Only a few weeks ago, the I.E.A. released its World Energy Outlook stating that cost to maintain and extend the existing and proposed fossil fuel demand would, by 2035, be $38 TRILLION.

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!0 Mw ocean based wind turbine. Prototype by ARUP.

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THIS RENEWABLE STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION HAS MUST BE FINISHED, FROM 2020 – 2050. AT THE SAME TIME, FOR MUCH OF THIS PERIOD, THE EXISTING ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE WILL NEED TO RUN “ALONGSIDE” THIS TRANSFORMATION TO “BUILD IT.”

Hannah Stoddardt from OXFAM states below in a discussion with Chris Huhne, U.K. environment minister the possibility of a bunker fuel tax that would ‘compensate’ for the 6% of global emissions resulting from the SHIPPING INDUSTRY, at present NOT part of the KYOTO PROTOCOL. 10’s if not 100’s of BILLIONS of dollars are owed the planet from the 90,000 FREIGHTERS that deliver goods completely unregulated using the worst fuel possible – bunker fuel,  60,000 DEATHS REPORTED ON SHIPPING ROUTES FROM SULHUR DIOXIDE HELPED DESEASES.

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“CLOWN of COP 17 AWARD” goes to …

PETER KENT, Canadian “ENVIRONMENT” minister.

Tar Sands “runnin’ around his brain” and anodised aluminium skeleton. A man of his word, (he has “renegged” on the Kyoto Protocol) as Canada “sold” their emissions reduction to a 40% INCREASE FROM Tar Sands. KENT KNOWS that the TAR SANDS is only 3% through the 300,000 SQUARE KILOMETERS OF BOREAL FOREST that are planned to be destroyed.                  KENT KNOWS that Canada MUST have distribution lines that destroy high value areas. KENT KNOWS that James Hansen has stated categorically that if all the tar sands are exploited it’s “GAME OVER” as far as ever reducing emissions.

THIS MAN HAD A SEEK AND DESTROY MISSION AT COP 17. He has the stated goal of abandoning Kyoto and yet had the gaul to criticise the Indian delegate, as reported in the Times of India, for holding out on the agreement ;

She rebuked the Canadian minister for pointing fingers at India, “I was astonished and disturbed by the comments of my colleague from Canada who was pointing at us as to why we are against the roadmap. I am disturbed to find that a legally binding protocol to the Convention, negotiated just 14 years ago is now being junked in a cavalier manner. Countries which had signed and ratified it are walking away without even a polite goodbye. And yet, pointing at others.”

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-10/global-warming/30501920_1_climate-talks-climate-change-small-island-countries

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Canadian Youth Delegation turn their backs on Peter Kent as he speaks at COP 17.

 

 

 

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DURBAN OUTCOME, U.N.F.C.C.C. link, nature.com news blog & more.

U.N.F.C.C.C. WEBSITE WITH FINAL DOCUMENTATION.

http://unfccc.int/2860.php

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Alden Meyer from Union of Concerned Scientists commented;

Environmentalists criticized the package — as did many developing countries in the debate — for failing to address what they called the most urgent issue, to move faster and deeper in cutting carbon emissions.

“The good news is we avoided a train wreck,” said Alden Meyer, recalling predictions a few days ago of a likely failure. “The bad news is that we did very little here to affect the emissions curve.”

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nature.com blog ;

After a long debate, South Africa’s Maite Nkoana-Mashabane sought to broker a spontaneous compromise that has been years in the making by forcing negotiators to work out their differences on the floor of the plenary, in plain view and earshot of media and anyone else willing to push their way into a crowd (or onto a chair). All of this took place at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, making Durban the longest of 17 annual conferences convened by signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Be the cause clever politicking, schoolyard peer pressure or sheer fatigue, it worked. After some 45 minutes of shifting scrums punctuated by occasional applause, India, the European Union, the United States and other key players worked out their differences on a host of interrelated issues. This time it came down to five words: “agreed outcome with legal force”. To recap, the final language states that countries will begin new negotiations on “a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force,” which apparently falls somewhere in the legal spectrum between a binding treaty and a nonbinding decision. Both India and the EU promptly dropped their objections.

The so-called “Durban package” was adopted shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday. It extends the Kyoto Protocol and commits the world to negotiating a new agreement by 2015 that covers all countries, developed and developing. Among other things, it also advances some details of the new Green Climate Fund established last year in Cancun as well as language intended to promote efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation. Despite universal acknowledgements that the deal does nothing to reduce emissions or increase funding beyond existing commitments, environmentalists and scientists generally endorsed the decision as a significant step that could put all major emitters onto the same playing field in the years to come

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/12/climate_negotiators_huddle_for_1.html#more

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“Responding to Climate Change”,  reported ;

Speaking to RTCC in the Plenary Hall, the UK’s lead climate diplomat John Ashton said the talks had been a success, adding the roadmap and accompanying measures “represented closure” after Copenhagen.

Chris Huhne, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, warned there was still work to do but was enthusiatic about the deal. “There are still many details to be hammered out, but we now need to start negotiating the new legal agreement as soon as possible and there are still many details to be hammered out,” he said.

Adrian Macey, Chair of AWG-KP, the track of the talks dealing with Kyoto said: “We’ve got a package with clarity on the Kyoto Protocol, and importantly we also have clarity on the long term too, and it’s quite momentus I think looking at this longer term agreement. Better than people expected.”

Norway’s Climate Change Minister Erik Solheim told RTCC they were “very, very pleased, it’s in the upper range of what we hoped for. We’re pleased both with the substantive outcome and also the agreement on this process.

“For us this is a great outcome. The key aspect is that it is crucial, when you have a Kyoto Protocol with limited scope…[it’s] crucial we get a legally binding framework for all major emitters and that’s the core here. It’s also important the deadline for the negotiation process is not too far into the future. So it’s the ambition level and also the urgency. We have somethig to take climate action forward and we now have an ambitious pathway to go forward,” said Solheim.

http://www.rtcc.org/policy/cop17-late-deal-saves-un-climate-talks/

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Rueters.com have a good synopsis ;

U.N. climate change talks in Durban, South Africa, agreed a package of measures early on Sunday that would eventually force all the world’s polluters to take legally binding action to slow the pace of global warming.

After more than two weeks of intense talks, some 190 countries agreed to four main elements — a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the design of a Green Climate Fund and a mandate to get all countries in 2015 to sign a deal that would force them to cut emissions no later than 2020, as well as a workplan for next year.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/49vdVQ/www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/11/us-climate-deal-idUSTRE7BA07F20111211

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New U.N. climate deal struck, critics say gains modest

After a 36 hour extension to COP 17 in Durban there is a new agreement which must be finalised by 2015 to begin in 2020. The Kyoto Protocol will be extended until at least 2017.  These are the Sunday morning press that declare the agreement to the World.

N.B. – It should be noted that emissions reduction tergets have not been addressed to ensure that global warming is reduced to less than 2 degrees as agreed at Copenhagen and Cancun. HOWEVER,  a new I.P.C.C. report is due in 2014 which will update the science and the existing 2007 Data Set from I.P.C.C.

2012 NEEDS TO BE A BIG YEAR FOR THE PLANET – AS WELL AS THE COP 18 CONFERENCE AT QATAR, THERE IS THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF “THE RIO EARTH SUMMIT”,  –  the U.N. conference which began all these discussions in 1992.

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 The 194-party conference agreed to start negotiations on a new accord that would ensure that countries will be legally bound to carry out any pledges they make. It would take effect by 2020 at the latest.

The package of accords extended the Kyoto Protocol, the only global pact that enforces carbon cuts, agreed the format of a fund to help poor countries tackle climate change and mapped out a path to a legally binding agreement on emissions reductions.

But many small island states and developing nations at risk of being swamped by rising sea levels and extreme weather said the deal marked the lowest common denominator possible and lacked the ambition needed to ensure their survival.

“We came here with plan A, and we have concluded this meeting with plan A to save one planet for the future of our children and our grandchildren to come,” said South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who chaired the talks.

“We have made history,” she said, bringing the hammer down on Durban conference, the longest in two decades of U.N. climate negotiations.

Britain’s Energy and Climate Secretary Chris Huhne said the result was “a great success for European diplomacy.”

“We’ve managed to bring the major emitters like the U.S., India and China into a roadmap which will secure an overarching global deal,” he said.

U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern said Washington was satisfied with the outcome: “We got the kind of symmetry that we had been focused on since the beginning of the Obama administration. This had all the elements that we were looking for.”

“It’s certainly not the deal the planet needs — such a deal would have delivered much greater ambition on both emissions reductions and finance,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Producing a new treaty by 2015 that is both ambitious and fair will take a mix tough bargaining and a more collaborative spirit than we saw in the Durban conference centre these past two weeks.”

ANTI – U.S. PROTEST, DEMOCRACY NOW in Durban.

Amy Goodman is at the Durban COP 17 for Democracy Now ! and looks at  perceptions of America and highlights the brave young lady who stood up to say that the U.S. delegate did not represent the people. Great applause met her remarks as she was ejected from the hall, nevertheless, the point was made.

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