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polly7

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Saskatchewan
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 11,468

Journal Archives

Wall Street’s Buying the World’s Water Supply at an Alarming Pace

By Jo-Shing Yang, www.globalresearch.ca
May 26th, 2014



A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The new “water barons” — the Wall Street banks and elitist multibillionaires — are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace.

Familiar mega-banks and investing powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank, Barclays Bank, the Blackstone Group, Allianz, and HSBC Bank, among others, are consolidating their control over water. Wealthy tycoons such as T. Boone Pickens, former President George H.W. Bush and his family, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, Philippines’ Manuel V. Pangilinan and other Filipino billionaires, and others are also buying thousands of acres of land with aquifers, lakes, water rights, water utilities, and shares in water engineering and technology companies all over the world.

The second disturbing trend is that while the new water barons are buying up water all over the world, governments are moving fast to limit citizens’ ability to become water self-sufficient (as evidenced by the well-publicized Gary Harrington’s case in Oregon, in which the state criminalized the collection of rainwater in three ponds located on his private land, by convicting him on nine counts and sentencing him for 30 days in jail). Let’s put this criminalization in perspective:

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens owned more water rights than any other individuals in America, with rights over enough of the Ogallala Aquifer to drain approximately 200,000 acre-feet (or 65 billion gallons of water) a year. But ordinary citizen Gary Harrington cannot collect rainwater runoff on 170 acres of his private land.

It’s a strange New World Order in which multibillionaires and elitist banks can own aquifers and lakes, but ordinary citizens cannot even collect rainwater and snow runoff in their own backyards and private lands.


“Water is the oil of the 21st century.” Andrew Liveris, CEO of DOW Chemical Company (quoted in The Economist magazine, August 21, 2008)


More: http://www.popularresistance.org/wall-street-mega-banks-are-buying-up-the-worlds-water/

How Nature Affects the Carbon Cycle

Posted on Jun 1, 2014



By Tim Radford, Climate News Network

This piece first appeared at Climate News Network.

LONDON—The great drylands of the planet – and they cover almost half of the terrestrial surface—may be bigger players in the carbon cycle than anyone had suspected. The world’s semi-arid regions may absorb huge volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere whenever it rains enough.

Benjamin Poulter of Montana State University and colleagues report in Nature that they used a mix of computer-driven accounting methods to work out where the carbon goes after fossil fuel burning emits extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Decades of meticulous measurement confirm that, overall, carbon dioxide levels are increasing inexorably, and the world is warming accordingly.

But inside this big picture is a lot of seasonal and inter-annual variation. So climate scientists, when they try to work out what all this means for future climates, need to understand the carbon cycle better.

The assumption has always been that the most important terrestrial consumers of carbon dioxide were the tropical rainforests. But the match of terrestrial biogeochemical and atmospheric carbon dioxide and global carbon budget accounting models by 13 scientists from the US, Europe and Australia has revealed a different story.

In 2011 more than half of the terrestrial world’s carbon uptake was in the southern hemisphere—which is unexpected because most of the planet’s land surface is in the northern hemisphere—and 60% of this was in Australia.

Natural brake:

More at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/how_nature_affects_the_carbon_cycle_20140601

Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice

Published on Monday, June 2, 2014 by Peralta Colleges

Eric Holt-Gimenez, the Executive Director of Food First, gives the kick-off talk at Berkeley City College's Earth Week.

There are a billion hungry people in the world today, yet we produce over 1.5 times enough food to feed every person on the planet, Holt-Gimenez says.

"The question is: why?"

"Why are people going hungry in the midst of abundance... in the midst of overproduction?"

The agroecologist, political economist and author explores answers to those questions, the institutions of power, social movements, and more in the video below:




Long, but a fantastic talk.

Jane Goodall: Governments Must Challenge Fossil Fuel Corporations

Published on Monday, June 2, 2014 by Common Dreams

Primatologist stresses need for urgent climate, conservation action

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer


Chimpanzee expert, conservationnist Jane Goodall. (Photo: Kristoffer Tripplaar / World Bank)

Jane Goodall has stressed the need for governments to challenge the fossil fuel industry in order to confront the climate crisis.

The noted primatologist and conservationist, who has been in Australia in May and June, made the remarks in an interview with Tim Barlass for the Sydney Morning Herald.

She also singled out the government of Australia, which has been described as being part of "the carbon cartel," for its current state of environmental affairs.

The "window of time" left to act on the climate crisis requires individual action, the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace said. But politicians must act as well, and that means "governments standing up to the big corporations, the oil and gas industry," and "putting caps on industrial emission of CO2."


More at: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/06/02-1

Good for her, she's a fantastic woman and advocate. I wish more well-known people would speak out.

When Fat Cats Meet in Munich: Welcoming the International Monetary Confernce

Global Power Project: Part 4 of 4 Part Series

by Andrew Gavin Marshall / June 1st, 2014

In Part 1 of this series, I examined the history and early evolution of the annual meeting that takes place among world bankers and financial and monetary officials at the International Monetary Conference. Part 2 looked at the role of the IMC in the lead-up to the 1980s debt crisis. Part 3 examined the influence of the IMC throughout that decade’s debt crisis. This last installment – published just as the IMC prepares for its June 1-3 meeting at Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, Germany – looks at what the IMC has done since the 1990s to maintain its status among the world’s most highly influential bodies in economic, financial and monetary affairs. Included is a rundown of bankers who run the IMC along with leaked documents from the 2013 meeting in Shanghai......"

".....Indeed, as recently as the IMC’s 2013 meeting in Shanghai, we can see that the importance and relevance of the annual meeting has not diminished. Though the IMC has no publicly-accessible website, I managed to compile a rough list of leading officials and board members of the International Monetary Conference, drawing information from references on their official CVs and publicly-available biographies, as well as from leaked documents including a program overview of the 2013 conference.......:"

......"One of the key issues Yellen discussed in her speech to hundreds of global bankers assembled at the 2013 IMC was the concept of “too-big-to-fail” banks, what the regulatory agencies (and, notably, central banks) refer to as “systemically-important financial institutions,” or SIFIs. Yellen noted that there have been proposals for a “sweeping restructuring of the banking system,” including the possibility of the “resurrection of Glass-Steagall-style separation of commercial banking from investment banking and imposition of bank size limits.” However, Yellen reassured the financiers, “I am not persuaded that such blunt approaches would be the most efficient ways to address the too-big-to-fail problem.”

Indeed, systemic problems of the global monetary, financial and economic system will likely remain unresolved so long as forums like the International Monetary Conference are permitted to take place outside public scrutiny. Such meetings, where central bankers, regulators and leading financial policy makers meet in private with the world’s most influential bankers, only encourage consensus, closer cooperation and, ultimately, collusion between our so-called public officials and the bankers who profited off the financial and economic destruction which they themselves caused."

Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/06/when-fat-cats-meet-in-munich-welcoming-the-international-monetary-confernce/

Living in the Shadow of the Bhopal Chemical Disaster

Thirty years after the Union Carbide leak killed thousands, residents are still dealing with contaminated water, toxic waste, and lingering diseases.

Photographs by Alex Masi, oral history by Sanjay Varma, introduction by Maddie Oatman

Mon Jun. 2, 2014 6:00 AM EDT


Rashid Ali hugs his seven-year-old son, Rahil, who has been diagnosed with torch infection and lissencephaly. Children with similar conditions have an average life expectancy of less than 10 years. Alex Masi

Before dawn on December 3, 1984, a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, exploded and leaked 45 tons of methyl isocyanate. Half a million people came in contact with the toxic gas and other chemicals, and thousands died within days. As many as 25,000 people are thought to have eventually perished after exposure to the gas, which causes nerve and respiratory damage.

Union Carbide, the American company that owned the plant, initially tried to avoid any liability for the disaster, claiming sabotage by an employee. In 1989, it finally agreed to pay out $470 million—which worked out to about $550 per victim. The corporation's CEO, Warren Anderson, spent years ignoring Indian criminal charges in his abode in the Hamptons. (A 2006 Mother Jones story explores the tangled the legal fallout from the tragedy.) Dow Chemical, which acquired Union Carbide 17 years after the accident, has also avoided responsibility for its subsidiary's troubled past, maintaining that the legal case was resolved with the 1989 settlement and that cleanup now falls to the Indian government.

Unlike these corporations, Bhopal's residents don't have the luxury of moving on. In 2010, the disaster site still contained 425 tons of uncleared waste. An estimated 120,000 to 150,000 survivors still struggle with serious medical conditions including nerve damage, growth problems, gynecological disorders, respiratory issues, birth defects, and elevated rates of cancer and tuberculosis, explains Colin Toogood, spokesperson for the Bhopal Medical Appeal, which runs free health clinics for survivors. And tens of thousands of families continue to rely on heavily contaminated water from around the abandoned factory.

Sanjay Verma was orphaned by the gas leak, though he didn't know it until he was five. He doesn't remember the night of the explosion, but he lives with the nightmare of Bhopal's second disaster: The failure to fully clean up the leak and the ongoing neglect of its victims. Verma's story, excerpted below, is included in Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy, a new anthology of testimonies from laborers from around the world from the Voice of Witness book series.


Full article: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/06/photos-bhopal-india-union-carbide-sanjay-verma-pesticides-explosion


Poonam, 6, soaks up monsoon rain in Oriya Basti. When monsoon season hits, the rain seeps through the buried waste of the abandoned Union Carbide plant and pollutes underground water reservoirs. Alex Masi

Photos: Living in the Shadow of the Bhopal Chemical Disaster

Thirty years after the Union Carbide leak killed thousands, residents are still dealing with contaminated water, toxic waste, and lingering diseases.

Photographs by Alex Masi, oral history by Sanjay Varma, introduction by Maddie Oatman

Mon Jun. 2, 2014 6:00 AM EDT


Rashid Ali hugs his seven-year-old son, Rahil, who has been diagnosed with torch infection and lissencephaly. Children with similar conditions have an average life expectancy of less than 10 years. Alex Masi

Before dawn on December 3, 1984, a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, exploded and leaked 45 tons of methyl isocyanate. Half a million people came in contact with the toxic gas and other chemicals, and thousands died within days. As many as 25,000 people are thought to have eventually perished after exposure to the gas, which causes nerve and respiratory damage.

Union Carbide, the American company that owned the plant, initially tried to avoid any liability for the disaster, claiming sabotage by an employee. In 1989, it finally agreed to pay out $470 million—which worked out to about $550 per victim. The corporation's CEO, Warren Anderson, spent years ignoring Indian criminal charges in his abode in the Hamptons. (A 2006 Mother Jones story explores the tangled the legal fallout from the tragedy.) Dow Chemical, which acquired Union Carbide 17 years after the accident, has also avoided responsibility for its subsidiary's troubled past, maintaining that the legal case was resolved with the 1989 settlement and that cleanup now falls to the Indian government.

Unlike these corporations, Bhopal's residents don't have the luxury of moving on. In 2010, the disaster site still contained 425 tons of uncleared waste. An estimated 120,000 to 150,000 survivors still struggle with serious medical conditions including nerve damage, growth problems, gynecological disorders, respiratory issues, birth defects, and elevated rates of cancer and tuberculosis, explains Colin Toogood, spokesperson for the Bhopal Medical Appeal, which runs free health clinics for survivors. And tens of thousands of families continue to rely on heavily contaminated water from around the abandoned factory.

Sanjay Verma was orphaned by the gas leak, though he didn't know it until he was five. He doesn't remember the night of the explosion, but he lives with the nightmare of Bhopal's second disaster: The failure to fully clean up the leak and the ongoing neglect of its victims. Verma's story, excerpted below, is included in Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy, a new anthology of testimonies from laborers from around the world from the Voice of Witness book series.


Full article: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/06/photos-bhopal-india-union-carbide-sanjay-verma-pesticides-explosion


Poonam, 6, soaks up monsoon rain in Oriya Basti. When monsoon season hits, the rain seeps through the buried waste of the abandoned Union Carbide plant and pollutes underground water reservoirs. Alex Masi

Why Do These Tank Cars Carrying Oil Keep Blowing Up?

Millions of gallons of crude oil are being shipped across the country in "the Ford Pinto of rail cars."
—By Michael W. Robbins | Tue May 27, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

Video:
Above: DOT-111 tank cars carrying crude oil exploding in Casselton, North Dakota, in December 2013
Early on the morning of July 6, 2013, a runaway freight train derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, setting off a series of massive explosions and inundating the town in flaming oil. The inferno destroyed the downtown area; 47 people died.

The 72-car train had been carrying nearly 2 million gallons of crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken fields. While the recent surge in domestic oil production has raised concerns about fracking, less attention has been paid to the billions of gallons of petroleum crisscrossing the country in "virtual pipelines" running through neighbor­hoods and alongside waterways. Most of this oil is being shipped in what's been called "the Ford Pinto of rail cars"—a tank car whose safety flaws have been known for more than two decades.

HOLEY ROLLER: THE DOT-111
The original DOT-111 tank car was designed in the 1960s. Its safety flaws were pointed out in the early '90s, but more than 200,000 are still in service, with about 78,000 carrying crude oil and other flammable liquids. The DOT-111 tank car's design flaws "create an unacceptable public risk," Deborah Hersman, then chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, testified at a Senate hearing in April. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has compared the car to "a ticking time bomb." While the rail industry has voluntarily rolled out about 14,000 stronger tank cars, about 78,000 of the older DOT-111s remain in service. Retrofitting them would cost an estimated $1 billion.



Chris Philpot

THE BAKKEN FACTOR

The sudden flood of Bakken crude (currently 1 million barrels a day), which is potentially more flammable, volatile, and corrosive than traditional crude, also poses a new hazard. The violence of the Lac-Mégantic blast and other recent wrecks involving this variety of crude stunned railroads and regulators. In May, the Department of Transportation issued an emergency order requiring state crisis managers to be notified about large shipments of Bakken oil. The agency also advised railroads to stop carrying the oil in older DOT-111s, citing the increased propensity for accidents. Meanwhile, as US officials decide what to do next, Canada has ordered its railways to stop all crude shipments in the cars by 2017.



Tank cars carrying crude oil derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, in July 2013, killing 47 people.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson

Full article: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/05/oil-tank-trains-bakken-crude-accidents

The Age of Climate Warfare Is Here and the Military Industrial Complex Is Gearing Up For It

The Guardian / By Nafeez Ahmed

The Age of Climate War

The very companies most responsible for climate change are set to make a killing from it.


Photo Credit: Sangoiri / Shutterstock.com

.......... "The securitisation of climate change - and with it the entire planet - is not leading to meaningful transformative action to transform the social relations necessary to mitigate and prevent dangerous global warming. Instead, while climate change accelerates, the corporate-military-industrial complex accelerates profits. Indeed, the very companies most responsible for climate change are set to make a killing from its intensification......."

......"That cable describes a briefing by FAO Syrian Representative Abdullah bin Yehia on drought impacts, which he described as a 'perfect storm' when combined with other economic and social pressure. Concerns expressed at that time also noted that the population displacements 'could act as a multiplier on social and economic pressures already at play and undermine stability in Syria.'"......

........"I think climate change is a real opportunity for the aerospace and defense industry," said Lord Drayson, then British Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform, in 2009.

One of the world's largest defence contractors, Raytheon, agrees. In a briefing to the Carbon Disclosure Project last year, the corporation said that "expanded business opportunities will arise" as a result of "security concerns and their possible consequences," due to the "effects of climate change" both at home and abroad in the form of "storms, droughts, and floods......."


Full article: http://www.alternet.org/environment/age-climate-warfare-here-and-military-industrial-complex-gearing-it?paging=off¤t_page=1#bookmark

Sandwiches from the sky: Aussie pop-up parachutes grilled cheese down to customers Read more: http:

Taylor Poelman, Special to CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, June 2, 2014 1:40PM EDT

http://www.ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.1848588!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_620/image.jpg

A woman chases after a grilled cheese sandwich falling to Earth in a parachute in Montreal on June 1, 2014

Why order a grilled cheese sandwich in a restaurant, when you can catch one falling from the sky?

That’s exactly what Montrealers in the city’s Mile End neighbourhood were thinking Sunday night when they signed up to have their dinner dropped down to them.

Gathering where X marked the spot, hungry patrons looked to the heavens for delicious floating sandwiches, courtesy of the aptly-named Australian pop-up restaurant, Jafflechutes.

For those who don’t already know, a “jaffle” is what a grilled cheese is called Down Under.
Originally from Melbourne, Jafflechutes describes itself as the first “float-down eatery.” It rains meals down on customers by way of a home-made parachute that recipients can then catch, unwrap and enjoy.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/sandwiches-from-the-sky-aussie-pop-up-parachutes-grilled-cheese-down-to-customers-1.1849235#ixzz33VPcS7LX
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