Extinction Draws Nigh

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Over 30% of the worlds song birds migrate to and from the boreal forest of Canada where huge swaths are completely leveled so giant machines can can dig down to bedrock and scoop up the sand which contains the rock hard bitumen tar. The sand is then heated using fracked natural gas plants so the tar will ooze out. In order to facilitate this process huge quantities of water and proprietary chemicals are added to the sand and tar mixture to separate out the bitumen and make it into a liquid slurry. image

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 It is this incredibly toxic and even radioactive slurry that is to be put into the Keystone XL pipeline and pumped two-thirds of the depth of the North American continent over rivers, farmlands and the Ogallala Aquifer down to tank farms in Oklahoma and then on to refineries along the Gulf Coast. A little known fact is that the tank farms, pipeline infrastructure, refineries and about 1/2 of the produced oil(bitumen) all belong to Koch industries. This oil will then be refined into Diesel fuel. It cannot be refined into anything else. This diesel fuel is slated to be shipped to South America, Asia and Europe provided the Obama Administration is able to get the EU to relax its global warming standards and allow the importation of the product of world’s dirtiest oil.

The Koch’s stand to make upwards of $100 billion on this deal. They’ve already spent over $140 million lobbying(READ: corrupting) our corrupt government and President.

Here’s more on the politics and corruption behind this whole thing.

Yeah, sure seems like there’s no net effect on the environment.

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If such an accident occurred in a remote area, so that leakage to the press could be prevented, no information ought to be made public… . If the accident has been compromised and public statements become necessary, they should depict the accident as an occurrence which has no bearing on the safety of other weapons. In some circumstances it might be treated as if it had been an experiment… . Internally, of course, information about the accident should not be suppressed. An official “board of inquiry” should be established, headed by military experts and prominent politicians, as an “important device for temporizing.” Ideally, the board would take a few months to reach any conclusions: During this delaying period the public information program should provide the news media with all possible news about rehabilitation and relief. There is always a strong and continued interest in such news after a disaster. Within a relatively short time the interest in rehabilitation tends to crowd out reports about destruction and casualties.
I’m reading Eric Schlosser’s new book Command and Control about our nuclear strategy and weapons during the cold war. The book is very enlightening and I am increasingly stunned that we have made it to this point without an accidental nuclear detonation. One of the interesting revelations is the degree to which the US government and military is willing to lie directly to its citizens. It has been taken as a matter of course since the beginning of the so called national security state after WWII. The above quote is from a RAND report that underpins the policy of every administration including the current one since 1956. The report was concerned with the safety of nuclear weapons, or the lack there of, and what to do if one should accidentally go off. Still trust your government?
Black Friday Thought Experiment

Let’s consider our role as consumers vis-à-vis a our role as citizens for a moment. Suppose there is an item you want and you tend to purchase this class of item at least once a month. Further, suppose there are five places to purchase this item. There are three “brick and mortar” establishments at varying distances all within five miles of your house. There is one “brick and mortar” establishment 20 miles from your house and there is one website.

  • The three physical stores are within five miles of your house and are all locally owned. The item you want is priced within 2% of each other at these local stores.
  • The store 15 miles away is of the “Big Box” variety which is owned by a large corporation headquartered thousands of miles away from your region and the price of the item you want is 15% less than the local businesses.
  • The website is a giant clearinghouse website that sells everything and the price is 12% less than the local stores after shipping.
  • At the local stores, you know at least one person working at each of the businesses. In most cases you know the owners of these businesses and they all live in your community.
  • At the “Big Box” store you don’t know any of the employees directly. You do know that the employees are actually paid less than the local shops pay their employees. The “Big Box” place is reported to treat its employees pretty poorly and the management of the corporation is constantly lobbying against issues you care about and against basic democracy in general.
  • The website is headquartered in another state and similar to the “Big Box” place, it has management that pays lobbyists to weaken consumer protections and to weaken workers rights. The PR image of the website is more socially aware than that of the “Big Box”, but their business practices are similar. They pay their employees a little better; on a par with the local employees of the local stores, but the workplaces, mostly warehouses, are extremely harsh and turnover is pretty high. 

In order to level the playing field for the website, we’ll assume you don’t need the item immediately.

As a CONSUMER you are taught that the only thing that matters is the price. Using this math, you would naturally shop at the “Big Box” or the website. If you and all of you neighbors behave in this manner, your local shops will go out of business, people you know in our community will go bankrupt and become unemployed, money will be siphoned out of your local economy increasing poverty and capital will be consolidated in ever fewer hands, your governments will be corrupted and hard won reforms and progress will be turned back.

As a CITIZEN… what should you do?

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Somehow, this is the mascot of the Japanese refrigeration company tasked with stemming the flow of radiation into the Pacific from the #Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster. HIs name is Fukuppy. Indeed. #nuclearpower

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Finally The Big Fix is available on Netflix. It’s funny, when the film came out in 2011, people questioned what we were saying. Now, everything we’ve said has been totally vindicated. Also funny that none of the “news” organizations confirming our reporting ever give us credit for the exclusives.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/70189510?strkid=1492432918_1_0&trkid=222336&movieid=70189510

#NewOrleans, #BP, #Documentary, #corruption, #NOLA, #Oil, #OilSpill, #ChrisHedges, #JoshTickell, #Corexit

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Finally our documentary about the BP oil disaster, The Big Fix, is available on Netflix. It’s funny, when the film came out in 2011, people questioned what we were saying. Now, everything we’ve said has been totally vindicated. Also funny that none of the “news” organizations confirming our reporting ever give us credit for the exclusives.

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/70189510?strkid=1492432918_1_0&trkid=222336&movieid=70189510

#NewOrleans, #BP, #Documentary, #corruption, #NOLA, #Oil, #OilSpill, #ChrisHedges, #JoshTickell, #Corexit

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Mr. Fish is the best.

Mr. Fish is the best.

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As usual, Mr. Fish nails it.

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Such a total and complete disappointment.

Such a total and complete disappointment.