TAR SANDS, Avaaz petition, new documentaries.

As Tar Sands production steadily increases it is news of hunger strikes by Indigenous Americans of the Lakota Nation. and the emergence of the 3rd global supply line to the east, that reminds us that this activity must stop.  http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/rkistner/in_the_dakotas_members_of.html#.T39FMuI5opI.twitter  

Details have been released of a proposal to export tar sands oil from the east coast of America. Strong opposition met the proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the U.S. although a “section” of the pipeline has ominously been approved by Obama. The western route through the pristine Great Bear National Park on Canada’s west coast must be seen as the least possible option. The 3rd option is a doozy. Why build a pipeline when you have a leaky old one there already ? Opposition is beginning to mount within Canada and the U.S. as the pernicious nature of tar sands oil and its destructive planetary potential – emissions from Tar Sands oil are 20% greater than “conventional” oil emissions, due to the highly energy intensive processing of tar sands. http://blog.nwf.org/2012/04/speak-up-now-help-stop-big-oils-tar-sands-agenda-for-new-england/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See previous Tar Sands posts

https://awayfromitall.me/2012/03/07/canada-home-to-white-bears-boreal-forests-tar-sands-and-climate-criminals/

https://awayfromitall.me/2012/01/15/spoil-tar-sands-nightmare/

A “global” petition has been set up by AVAAZ to send to the Canadian government at https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_Enbridges_Northern_Gateway_pipeline/sign/

A new documentary “White Water, Black Gold”, is now being screened throughout Canada http://www.whitewaterblackgold.com/. Here is a trailer.

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Desmogblog  http://www.desmogblog.com/ has produced a film showing the silent damage to wildlife, including wolf culls and decreasing caribou numbers due to tar sands encroachment of habitat. It also highlughts the ridiculous “ethical oil” campaign, the film is called “Cry Wolf”.

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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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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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“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.

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.

Continue reading

“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/

“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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Good news from the Home of the Brave.

Despite this blog being quick to point out the failings of Obama, it is also prepared to acknowledge and give credit where due. Today’s statement regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline is one such occasion. Bill McKibben and 350.org has produced a completely unexpected turnaround which has countered the lobby groups intent on seeing tar sands proliferate, to the extreme detriment of ALL those that call this Earth Home.

No doubt the fact that over 1,250 people were prepared to be arrested helped, including some very eminent people, which gives an indication of how hard the victories of the future will become. It should also be noted that this “review” merely postpones the ultimate decision until after the Presidential election. Nonetheless, we have to say thanks Obama, this is why you were elected.

Naomi Klein interrupted her discussion of Occupy Wall St to announce the decision.

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President Obama released this statement:

I support the State Department’s announcement today regarding the need to seek additional information about the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.  Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.  The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people.  At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we’ve made towards strengthening our nation’s energy security, from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean energy economy.

Extract from the State Department statement: “Keystone XL Pipeline Project Review Process: Decision to Seek Additional Information.” It states:

… given the concentration of concerns regarding the environmental sensitivities of the current proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, the Department has determined it needs to undertake an in-depth assessment of potential alternative routes in Nebraska….

Based on the Department’s experience with pipeline project reviews and the time typically required for environmental reviews of similar scope by other agencies, it is reasonable to expect that this process including a public comment period on a supplement to the final EIS consistent with NEPA could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2013. After obtaining the additional information, the Department would determine, in consultation with the eight other agencies identified in the Executive Order, whether the proposed pipeline was in the national interest, considering all of the relevant issues together. Among the relevant issues that would be considered are environmental concerns (including climate change), energy security, economic impacts, and foreign policy.