You are hereEnergy
By Ann Wright
It seems as though most Americans don’t know that the Obama administration has backed off its commitment to stop a Canadian oil firm from bringing dangerous and toxic tar sands from the fields in Alberta, Canada to oil refineries in Texas. But in East Texas, the farm lands and forests have been seized for the Canadian company through eminent domain and are already being destroyed for the foreign pipeline.
Yesterday, October 24, Leslie Harris of Dallas, Texas and I visited the “boys” in the trees, the great activists who have been living in the trees along the Trans Canada Keystone XL pipeline that is carving a terrible scar in the countryside of East Texas. Earlier in the day we had been meeting with dozens of Tar Sands Blockade (TSB) activists who are preparing campaigns in East Texas and Houston to challenge the XL pipeline.
Activism in the Air
But still nobody, um, died in, um, vain.
New Book for Ages 6 to 10: Tube World
Parents: Have your kids been tired in the morning? Have you found wet bathing suits in their beds? Do they know things about far-away places that you didn’t teach them and they didn’t learn in school? Do children visiting your town from halfway around the world always seem to be friends with your kids, and to only be around during certain hours of the day? You won’t believe the explanation, but your kids might grin and wink at each other if you read it to them.
Kids: Did you know the center of the Earth was hollow? Do you know the words that can take you there, if you’re under the covers in your swimming suit and prepared for the trip? Can you imagine traveling anywhere in the world where there’s a swimming pool — and being home again in time for breakfast? If you haven’t been to Tube World yet, this book will tell you the secrets you need to know. And it will tell you about some children who discovered Tube World and used it to make the whole world a better place.
The paperback has been published in two versions, one with slightly better color, slightly better paper, and a dramatically higher price.
Buy the standard paperback from Amazon,
(If you order from Amazon it will ship right away even if Amazon says it won't ship for weeks; it is print-on-demand.)
Buy the premium paperback from Amazon,
Your local independent bookstore can order the book through Ingram.
Anyone can order the book in bulk at the lowest possible price right here.
Buy PDF, Audio, EPUB, or Kindle for $8 right here:
Advance Praise for Tube World:
“This book will make you laugh till water comes out your ears!”--Wesley
“This story is super flibba garibbidy schmibbadie libbidie awesome, mostly!”--Travis
“The best part is we saved 2,000 islands and pretty much the whole world in our swimming suits!”--Hallie
About Shane Burke:
Shane Burke lives in Denver Colorado and has been drawing and painting since he could hold a pencil. He took private art lessons when he was young and began winning awards and contests by the age of seven. His first big commission came at age nine when he created artwork for a billboard near his home town of Tracy California. His greatest influences came from his grandfather and elementary school teachers. He loved watching his grandfather paint landscapes and wanted to be just like him. Shane is a creative day dreamer and at complete peace when putting ink to paper. You can see more of Shane's work at www.beezink.com
|When:||September 21, 2012 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm|
11545 Rockville Pike
Rally NO NUKES NO WAR!! / Occupy The NRC @ 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, This will include a peaceful protest outside the building and a public meeting inside the building if possible. This Rally will have a NO NUKES/NO WAR theme and is taking place on what the United Nations has designated as the International Day of Peace or “Peace Day”. Speakers will address radiation and public health, the NRC’s reclassifying of depleted uranium to be used for weapons making, uranium mining and enrichment, nuclear weapons and war, and the relationship between the nuclear energy industry and the war machine. Confirmed speakers for this historic demonstration include Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, Sierra Club environmental justice organizer and native Rights Activist Robert Tohe, Congressional Fellow for the Physicians for a
National Health Program Dr. Margaret Flowers, War is a Crime.org peace activist David Swanson, Its Our Economy activist Kevin Zeese and grassroots voices from across the country from Vermont Yankee to Indian Point to North Anna to Palisades to Davis Besse to Fermi to Hanford to San Onofre and beyond! The rally will also address the NRC’s reclassifying of depleted uranium to be used for weapons making, uranium mining and enrichment, nuclear weapons and war, and the relationship between the nuclear energy industry and the war machine. 2pm – 5pm (confirmed)
As the Coalition Against Nukes prepares for a series of events in Washington, D.C., September 20-22, including a Capitol Hill rally, a Congressional briefing, a fundraiser at Busboys and Poets, a ceremony at the Museum of the American Indian, a rally at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a film screening, and a strategy session, the time seems ideal to take in the wisdom of Gar Smith's new book, Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth.
Most dangerous indeed, and most useless, most inefficient, most destructive, and dumbest. How does nuclear energy make the human species look like the stupidest concoction since the platypus? Let me count the ways:
1. After the mining, processing, and shipping of uranium, and the plant construction, maintenance, and deconstruction, a nuclear plant only produces about as much energy as went into it -- not counting the need to store the only thing it actually produces (radioactive waste) for hundreds of thousands of years -- and not counting the sacrifice of areas of the earth, including those poisoned with uranium, which has a half life of 4.5 billion years and causes lung cancer, bone cancer, and kidney failure.
2. Wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal have far better net energy ratios.
3. If nuclear power actually worked against climate change, that fact would not be useful, because there is no way enough nuclear power plants to significantly contribute to the required difference could be built quickly enough.
4. If nuclear power plants could be built quickly enough, that wouldn't matter, because the financial cost is prohibitive. Only with multi-billion-dollar bailouts from the government can a tiny number of nuclear plants be considered for construction at all. The sainted Private Marketplace of Freedom will never touch nuclear construction on its own -- or insure it. And the small number of jobs created by the "Job Creator" lobbyists who push for the generous public loan guarantees mostly show up in Japanese and French nuclear companies, thus depriving the whole enterprise of its anti-foreign-oil xenophobic appeal. (Not to mention, most of the uranium used in U.S. nuclear plants comes from abroad just like oil.) Deconstructing the plants when they grow too old to operate costs so much that the job is routinely and recklessly put off -- and that doesn't count the fairly common expense of compensating the victims of accidents.
5. The nuclear industry is in debt up to its ears already, without our feeding its habit any longer. For example, Washington State's Hanford Nuclear Reservation has dumped 1.7 trillion gallons of contaminated waste into unlined trenches. The latest plan to try to deal with the mess comes with a $12.3 billion price tag.
6. Even if nuclear power worked when it worked, it's remarkably unreliable. Between 2003 and 2007, U.S. nuclear plants were shut down 10.6 percent of the time, compared to 1 or 2 percent for solar stations and wind farms.
7. Nuclear power produces greenhouse gases in the mining, production, deconstruction, shipping, and waste storage processes. It also discharges 1000 degree Fahrenheit steam directly into the atmosphere. Considering the entire fuel cycle, a nuclear reactor burning high-grade uranium produces about a third as much carbon dioxide as a gas-fired power plant. As high-grade uranium runs out, low-grade ore will result in a nuclear plant producing just as much carbon dioxide as a gas plant.
8. Climate change may have reached a tipping point. Radioactivity could as well. Birds and insects near Chernobyl are adapting. Humans, too, may be beginning to evolve within the Radiocene era to which the earth has been condemned.
9. Climate change limits nuclear energy, as the heat forces plants to shut down for lack of cool water.
10. The Three Mile Island disaster killed birds, bees, and livestock. Pets were born dead or deformed. In humans, cancer, leukemia, and birth defects spread. Chernobyl gave cancer to about a million people. Fukushima looks to be far worse. Meltdowns and other major malfunctions are common, in the United States and abroad. Gar Smith documents dozens. The worst nuclear disaster in the United States was in Simi Valley, California, and no one was told about it. The rates of disease and death led residents to investigate. I shouldn't use the past tense; the disaster is still there and not going anywhere in the span of human attention.
11. The rate of break downs and failures thus far is very likely to grow as nuclear plants age. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), subservient to the nuclear profiteers, is drastically reducing safety standards.
12. In the normal course of proper nuclear power production, the water, air, and earth are poisoned.
13. The NRC publicly dismisses concerns about earthquakes, but privately panics. Earthquakes are on the rise. Fracking may cause even more of them. Fukushima should scare us all; but closer to home, a plant at Lake Anna, in Virginia, was shut down by an earthquake last year, possibly caused by fracking, and the first response was the publication of lies about the damage.
14. If anticipated solar flares (or anything else) collapse power grids, nuclear plants could overheat, melt down, or explode.
15. An average nuclear plant produces 20-30 tons of high-level waste and 70 tons of low-level waste per year. No proven long-term storage site exists. If one ever does, we won't know what language to post the warning signs in, as no human language has lasted a fraction of the time the nuclear waste will remain deadly.
16. When a country develops nuclear energy, as the United States encouraged Iran to do in my lifetime, it brings that country very close to developing nuclear weapons, which has become a leading excuse for launching and threatening wars. It doesn't help for the CIA to give Iran plans for building a bomb, but ridding the world of that sort of stupidity is just not within our reach. Ridding the world of nukes needs to take priority.
17. There is no purpose in a nation developing nuclear weapons if it wants to target an enemy that possesses nuclear power plants. Sitting duck nuclear catastrophes waiting to happen -- by accident or malice -- exist in the form of nuclear power plants within 50 miles of 108 million people in the United States. Nuclear reactors could have been somewhat protected by being built underground, but that would have cost more. Haruki Murakami, a Japanese novelist, commented on Fukushima: "This time no one dropped a bomb on us. . . . We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives."
18. The latest designs in nuclear reactors don't change points 1-17.
19. The Associated Press in 2011 found that, "Federal regulators [at the NRC] have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them."
20. Helping to shake the nuke habit would take 30 seconds and be ridiculously easy, and yet many won't do it.
Eva Westheimer was recently arrested for shutting down a strip mine in West Virginia, along with Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival ( http://rampscampaign.org ). Westheimer is a junior at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She describes the recent action she took, the ongoing campaign, and what motivates her.
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Iraqis wait to see gains from oil boom
BAGHDAD — Iraq is fast becoming an oil producing powerhouse, but you’d never know that by looking at the faded Unknown Soldier gas station in downtown Baghdad. There’s no repair garage or mini-mart, just a cramped office with tattered vinyl couches. Horns blare as a string of waiting cars backs up into busy Sadoun Street, slowing traffic.
Electricity from the power grid is available only for a few hours a day, so a noisy generator burns through 200 liters (53 gallons) of fuel daily just to keep the lights on and pumps running. That eats into what little profit is left over after government-imposed price caps, says manager Anmar Abdul-Sattar.
From Dennis Kucinich
Washington D.C.(August 8, 2012) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) who has led the effort in Congress to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants, today issued the following statement after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced it will suspend licensing and relicensing of nuclear power plants until the NRC can find a way to deal with nuclear waste disposal.
“We have had half a century to find a good solution to the problem of nuclear waste, and we are no closer now than we were in the 1960s. That is because there is no ‘good solution.’ We will never be able to find a risk-free method of storing nuclear waste.
Greg Muttitt Speaks About His Book "Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq"
July 24, 2012
Random Row Books
by Common Dreams - Common Dreams staff
Environmental activists shut down dozens of Shell gas stations across the UK, Denmark and Germany on Monday. The action was part of environmental group Greenpeace's Save the Arctic Campaign -- a bid to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic slated to begin within the next three weeks. Greenpeace has ramped up its efforts against oil company Shell as its drilling vessels drift closer to its targets in the Arctic.
Earlier this week Shell's first drill rig to near the Arctic, Noble Discoverer, lost control during high winds and ran aground near Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
"Shell can't keep it's drill rig under control in a protected harbor, so what will happen when it faces 20 foot swells and sea ice while drilling in the Arctic? Shell's whole drilling program seems to be running aground...Shell cannot be trusted, and President Obama should not let its Arctic drilling program move forward," stated Greenpeace Lead Arctic Campaigner Jackie Dragon.
On Monday the activists scaled the roof of a Shell gas station, many in sickly polar bear costumes, used barriers to block off access to pumps, and covered a Shell sign with a Save the Arctic banner. In one instance they placed a life-sized polar bear model on a station's roof. Other campaigners chained themselves to pumps, a Greenpeace spokesman told the Independent.
Activists shut down pumps by switching emergency shut-off levers, which stop gas flow.
24 were arrested over the course of the planned actions.
Published July 2012 by the New Press
"Nothing short of a secret history of the war" - Naomi Klein
Tour dates (details):
WASHINGTON, DC: Tuesday, July 10
NEW YORK: Thursday, July 12
MADISON, Wisconsin (TBC): Tuesday, July 17
PORTLAND, Oregon: Wednesday, July 18
SAN FRANCISCO: Thursday, July 19 AND Sunday, July 22
BOSTON: Thursday, July 26
The departure of the last U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011 left a broken country and a host of unanswered questions. What was the war really about? Why and how did the occupation drag on for nearly nine years, while most Iraqis, Britons, and Americans desperately wanted it to end? And why did the troops have to leave? Now, in a gripping account of the war that dominated US and UK foreign policy over the last decade, investigative journalist Greg Muttitt takes us behind the scenes to answer some of these questions and reveals the previously untold story of the oil politics that played out through the occupation of Iraq.
Drawing upon hundreds of unreleased government documents and extensive interviews with senior American, British, and Iraqi officials, Muttitt exposes the plans and preparations that were in place to shape policies in favor of American and British energy interests. We follow him through a labyrinth of clandestine meetings, reneged promises, and abuses of power; we also see how Iraqis struggled for their own say in their future, in spite of their dysfunctional government and rising levels of violence. Through their stories, we begin to see a very different Iraq from the one our politicians have told us about. In light of the Arab revolutions, the war in Libya, and renewed threats against Iran, Fuel on the Fire provides a vital guide to the lessons from Iraq and of the global consequences of our persistent oil addiction.
Which came first, the oil business or the war machine that protects it? Who started this madness, the military that consumes so much of the oil or the corporations that distribute and profit from the filthy stuff?
An answer of sorts can be found in Timothy Mitchell's book, "Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil."
Western oil corporations were never strong enough, Mitchell finds, to monopolize the flow or stoppage of Middle Eastern oil without major military and financial assistance. So, they began talking about their control of Middle Eastern oil as being an imperial interest. When "imperial" went out of fashion, the phrase shifted to "strategic interest."
Mexican President Felipe Calderon has signed a law introducing binding targets on climate change.
Mr Calderon said on Twitter that the law would make Mexico the "first developing country with integral legislation against climate change".
The law, which sets targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy, is only the second of its kind in the world.
The measures had been passed by the Senate in April by 78 votes to nil.
"Mexico is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 and by 50% by 2050," Mr Calderon said in another tweet.
WASHINGTON, May 8 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), will hold a news conference Thursday to announce legislation that would eliminate all oil, coal and gas production subsidies.
The measure would do away with tax breaks, financial assistance, royalty relief, direct federal research and development and many loopholes that benefit the fossil fuel industry. Under current law, more than $110 billion in federal subsidies would go to oil, coal and gas industries in the coming decade.
The bill is supported by 350.org, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife. Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, and Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense will join Sanders and Ellision.
Who: Sen. Sanders, Rep. Ellison, Bill McKibben of 350.0rg, Erich Pica of Friends of the Earth and Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense
What: News conference to announce legislation to end fossil fuel subsidies
When: 11:45 a.m., Tuesday, May 10, 2012
Where: Senate swamp Map
By Dave Lindorff
We may yet lose Tokyo….not to mention Alaska…and now Georgia, too
Federal Judge Strips Vermont of Power to Terminate Nuke: State Government Diddles but Vermonters Take Matters into Own Hands
By Dan DeWalt
Entergy Nuclear of Louisiana, which operates the Vermont Yankee (VY) nuclear reactor in Vernon Vermont has launched an attack on the state of Vermont with the help of the federal courts.
Vermont state law gives the state the power to decide whether to allow further operation of the reactor past March 21, 2012 (the expiration date for VY). When Entergy bought VY, they agreed to this law and swore that they would not try to abrogate it. This was an outright lie on Entergy's part, and they sued the state as soon as it was decided that further operation of this crumbling, leaking and led-by-liars reactor would NOT be in the interests of the state and they were not given permission to continue operation past March 21.
From VA State Senator Creigh Deed's email today:
This week has also seen the uranium issue perhaps come to a head for 2012. The Governor is proposing that his agency heads look at ways to develop a regulatory scheme for mining of uranium in Virginia. While this will give everybody some more breathing room, and more time to digest the multitude of "studies" that have already been conducted in this area, it seems to me that the development of regulations is putting the cart before the horse. The development of a regulatory scheme is technical and will require a significant investment of time and resources. I am uncertain from where the resources will come to do the work.
Politico tweeted: "The Obama administration, via State Dept, will formally reject the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline today, multiple sources say."
Oil Drilling in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska About to Begin, But It's a Good Thing Because Obama Is President
(Reuters) - ConocoPhillips on Monday won a key permit that will allow construction of an oil field that is expected to provide the first-ever production from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska on the western North Slope.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it granted a modified wetlands-fill permit that will allow ConocoPhillips to build a road, bridge and above-ground pipeline connecting its CD-5 project with the Alpine oil field on state land just east of the petroleum reserve.
The wetlands-fill permit -- initially denied to ConocoPhillips nearly two years ago -- is the last major government authorization that ConocoPhillips needs to build CD-5, said Natalie Lowman, a company spokeswoman in Alaska.
Student Interrupts US Climate Destoyer, You Can Tell It's an International Forum Because They Applauded Rather Than Yelling U-S-A
By Steve Horn
On November 12, ExxonMobil signed an oil production deal with the Kurdish Regional Government to drill in Iraqi Kurdistan, located in northern Iraq. This comes on top of an existing oil deal it landed in 2009, to drill for oil in the West Qurna Field, located in southern Iraq.
The LRA, whose horrific deeds have been have been well-documented by scores of human rights reports and the documentary film, Invisible Children, can best be described as a Christian cult militia engaged in violent armed rebellion against the Ugandan government, located primarily in northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan. An arrest warrant was issued in 2005 by the International Criminal Court against the LRA leadership for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Kony, the LRA ringleader, possibly has over 80 wives (i.e. sex slaves), according to a 2009 story by the Guardian, and has fathered over 40 children.