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RiverLover

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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Dec 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 7,830

About Me

FDR Populist Progressive who believes the environment trumps all. We\'re sinking the only ship we\'ve got, and govt leaders are ignoring it.

Journal Archives

Death by Fracking



Published: October 20, 2015 | Authors: Chris Hedges | Truthdig | Op-Ed

DENVER—The maniacal drive by the human species to extinguish itself includes a variety of lethal pursuits. One of the most efficient is fracking. One day, courtesy of corporations such as Halliburton, BP and ExxonMobil, a gallon of water will cost more than a gallon of gasoline. Fracking, which involves putting chemicals into potable water and then injecting millions of gallons of the solution into the earth at high pressure to extract oil and gas, has become one of the primary engines, along with the animal agriculture industry, for accelerating global warming and climate change.

The Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers who are profiting from this cycle of destruction will—once clean water is scarce and crop yields decline, once temperatures soar and cities disappear under the sea, once droughts and famines ripple across the globe, once mass migrations begin—surely profit from the next round of destruction. Collective suicide is a good business, at least until it is complete. It is a pity most of us will not be around to see the power elite go down.

I met recently in Denver with three of the country’s leading anti-fracking activists: Gustavo Aguirre Jr. of KEEN (Kern Environmental Enforcement Network) in California; Kandi Mossett with the Indigenous Environmental Network and from the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota, the second-largest oil-producing state because of hydraulic fracturing; and Shane Davis, a longtime campaigner against fracking and the founder of fractivist.org, a data mining organization that exposes what fracking corporations are doing in communities around the country.

The activists are waging a war against a corporate state that is deaf and blind to the rights of its citizens and the imperative to protect the ecosystem....

........big SNIP........

There is a low-level insurgency, in many of the sacrifice zones and elsewhere, against the corporations that carry out destruction and plunder, including fracking. This is an insurgency worth joining. It is a battle far more important than the charade of presidential elections. Real change will come only from below. It will come from those participating in efforts such as the Black Lives Matter movement, the anti-fracking movement and the movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. It will come from radical organizations that organize outside the system and physically impede corporate destruction. It will come through open revolt.

Our fate as a species will be determined on these lonely and difficult battlegrounds.

The fracking industry, bolstered by the security and surveillance state, has devoted tremendous resources to monitoring, demonizing and criminalizing anti-fracking activists. Activists are followed, harassed, arrested and defamed in corporate-funded propaganda campaigns even as their communities see their drinking water poisoned, air polluted, greater earthquake activity, the dumping of radioactive waste on their land, and farm animals sickened, born with birth defects and killed by drinking contaminated water.

The oil and gas industry, often backed by state governments, routinely sues communities that have asserted their democratic rights to ban fracking.....

..................“A lot of people around me have cancer,” said Mossett. “I’m a cancer survivor. It has become something that is normal for us. It comes in all forms—bone cancer, lung cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer, amongst others. Even before the fracking began we had seven coal-fired power plants in North Dakota. Every inch of our over 11,000 miles of rivers, lakes and streams are already contaminated with mercury. Then fracking started to take off around 2006. People, at first, had no clue what was coming. Infrastructure started to be built. We got water towers through the rural water department. Many saw this as positive. A brand new bridge was built over Lake Sakakawea.”

But once the infrastructure was in place it became apparent that it had been built to facilitate the extraction of oil by fracking, not improve the lives of those on North Dakota’s reservations.

....Cancer rages like a plague across the reservations............................

Please read full article here~
http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/death_by_fracking_20151018

This is SUCH an important article.

Thank you Chris Hedges!!

May it be spread far & wide....

How Monsanto Took Control of Our Food System - graph



http://ecowatch.com/2015/08/26/monsanto-control-food-system/


This puts it all in perspective! I didn't know a lot of this history. Like what happened in 2003 in Alabama...hope some of you find it as interesting & eye-opening as I do!

We need to stop this monster.

Welcome to the Third Industrial Revolution: Climate Change, Connectivity & a Unifying Global Purpose

Welcome to the Third Industrial Revolution: Climate Change, Connectivity and a Unifying Global Purpose
Arianna Huffington
Oct 20, 2015

In his 2009 book "The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis," Jeremy Rifkin posed one of the defining questions of our time: in a hyper-connected world, what is the goal of all that unprecedented technological connectivity? "Seven billion individual connections," he wrote, "absent any overall unifying purpose, seem a colossal waste of human energy."

Now, I'm delighted that The WorldPost is featuring a new series by Rifkin exploring how the possibilities of an even more connected world can lead to solutions to one of our greatest crises: climate change.

With 2015 widely predicted to supersede 2014 as the hottest year on record, the topic's relevance and timeliness are obvious. According to analysis by Climate Central, "13 of the hottest 15 years on record have all occurred since 2000 and ... the odds of that happening randomly without the boost of global warming is 1 in 27 million."



.........For all the promise and possibility of official gatherings, much of the change we need will come from outside the halls of power. This is where technological advances and innovations, including the Internet of Things, are especially important. Rifkin sees tremendous potential in this aspect of increased connectivity: "For the first time in history," he writes, "the entire human race can collaborate directly with one another, democratizing economic life." Advances in digital connectivity, renewable energy sources and smart transportation are allowing us to responsibly shift the way we see the world and our place in it.

Rifkin labels all this the "Third Industrial Revolution" because, "to grasp the enormity of the economic change taking place, we need to understand the technological forces that have given rise to new economic systems throughout history."

In the coming weeks, our series will outline the path ahead for the realization of this Third Industrial Revolution.

Full article~
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/third-industrial-revolution_b_8337742.html



Excerpt from the first in the 4 part series~


Jeremy Rifkin
Author, 'The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism'

How the Third Industrial Revolution Will Create a Green Economy
Posted: 10/20/2015



...........Now, a new economic paradigm is emerging that is going to dramatically change the way we organize economic life on the planet. The European Union is embarking on a bold new course to create a high-tech 21st century smart green digital economy, making Europe potentially the most productive commercial space in the world and the most ecologically sustainable society on Earth.

The plan is called Digital Europe. The EU vision of a green digital economy is now being embraced by China and other developing nations around the world.

The digitalization of Europe involves much more than providing universal broadband, free Wi-Fi and a flow of big data. The digital economy will revolutionize every commercial sector, disrupt the workings of virtually every industry, bring with it unprecedented new economic opportunities, put millions of people back to work, democratize economic life and create a more sustainable low-carbon society to mitigate climate change. Equally important, this new economic narrative is being accompanied by a new biosphere consciousness, as the human race begins to perceive the Earth as its indivisible community. We are each beginning to take on our responsibilities as stewards of the planetary ecosystems that sustain all of life.

To grasp the enormity of the economic change taking place, we need to understand the technological forces that have given rise to new economic systems throughout history. Every great economic paradigm requires three elements, each of which interacts with the other to enable the system to operate as a whole: new communication technologies to more efficiently manage economic activity; new sources of energy to more efficiently power economic activity; and new modes of transportation to more efficiently move economic activity.

In the 19th century, steam-powered printing and the telegraph, abundant coal and locomotives on national rail systems gave rise to the First Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, centralized electricity, the telephone, radio and television, cheap oil and internal combustion vehicles on national road systems converged to create an infrastructure for the Second Industrial Revolution....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremy-rifkin/third-industrial-revolution-green-economy_b_8286142.html


ETA: Meant to add this link~

http://www.digitaleurope.org/

Join a "This Changes Everything" screening near you!

There may be one coming up close to where you live very soon. I just got this notice from 350.org, and the screening is this Tues pm, Oct 20th. Not much notice, but maybe some of you might having more time to plan for it? They want people going out to theaters to see it....let the world know in ticket sales that people give a damn. (Its only 5 bucks at my local theater.)

But you can also watch it online starting October 20th, it will be available on iTunes.

Here's a map of the US, just enter your zip to find out if it will be in a theater near you~
http://350.org/tce/?akid=8049.984204.fLXyq1&rd=1&t=4

It looks REALLY good~



Synopsis:

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.


I'm so grateful that creative, motivated people put this film together. Even if it sucks (it won't tho!), it will get more heads out of the sand & wake more people up to what is at stake here. And what is possible.

Here's a talk by Naomi Klein on the subject~



It goes without saying, we are all grateful to her!!! (or we should be)

April '14: "Hillary Clinton and the Future Failure of Progressive Hope and Change"

Why a run by the undeclared frontrunner demands upending the corporate wing of the Democratic Party
by John Atcheson
Common Dreams

..........And yes, gender equality is a critical issue, but don’t hold your breath looking for progress from Hillary. She’s likely to do as much for women, as Barack Obama has done for African Americans – which is to say damn little, other than a better brand of rhetoric.

So before we proceed with her coronation, maybe it’s time to think back to the 2004 campaign, and the early days of Barack Obama’s candidacy and Presidency.

Remember “hope and change?” At the time, few thought to ask what exactly we were hoping for and what exactly we were changing to.

And of course, what we got was a great slogan, better speeches, very little change and even less hope.

Here’s what Obama promised:

Shutting down Gitmo;
Ending warrantless wiretapping;
Ending foreign wars;
An end to trickle down economics;
Greater regulation of Wall Street and the financial sector;
A public option for health care;
Protecting social security, Medicaid and Medicare;
Serious action on climate change;
Greater equality in opportunity and more broadly shared prosperity …

Here’s what we got: An administration that set up Goldman Sachs south in the Treasury, doubled down on domestic spying; expanded a drone policy that creates between 40 to 60 new terrorists for every one it kills; health care reform that is better than the status quo, but which rewards corporate insurers as much or more than it does citizens; international trade agreements that favor corporate interests, while eviscerating domestic wages, scuttling environmental performance, and crippling US industrial infrastructure. It’s so bad, they’re trying to negotiate it in secret …

The list goes on and on, and so do the betrayals.

Apologists for the DLC branch of the Democratic Party will say Obama had no choice – he was constrained by Congress. But he practiced a brand of preemptive capitulation that meant we always ended up carrying corporate water, and satisfying military imperialists while ignoring or discounting citizens’ civil rights and welfare.

So now enter Hillary Clinton and the deluded Democrats who jones for her Presidency. Maybe it’s time to ask what, specifically, we will get; what we can hope for, and whether it will usher in changes Americans overwhelmingly want (more about this, in a bit).

And here’s the answer – If we nominate Hillary Clinton we will get another DLC Democrat who mouths progressive values during the campaign, then shifts to the right when (and if) elected. In short, citizens get no real choice.


The problem with this isn’t simply that it’s morally bankrupt; economically bad for 95% of Americans; bad for the economy in general; bad for the environment; bad for US competitiveness; and devastating for our children’s future climate – it’s ultimately bad politics, too.

Here’s the deal – the dirty little secret that plutocrats and corporatists in both Parties don’t want us to know: The vast majority of Americans favor progressive policies. Consider:

— 90% of the citizens support legislation requiring background checks for gun purchase, but Congress can’t pass one.

— 74% of Americans want to end subsidies to big oil – but there’s no chance of it happening;

— The majority of citizens favored allowing tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 to expire, but the best we could do is compromise on $400,000

— 70% of Americans consider climate change to be a high priority issue, yet Congress has taken no action;

— Some 80% of Americans favor shoring up Social Security even if it means higher taxes and a similar number support retaining Medicare as is, but we’ve twice offered cuts to both programs as part of a “grand bargain”;

— Or take this gem … more than 80% of Americans want to clamp down on Wall Street but the best we could get was weak-sister legislation that is being completely eviscerated as it is translated into regulations.

This list could be extended across a broad range of issues. The fact is, the people’s interests aren’t being represented in Washington and they won’t be if Hillary Clinton is elected. Her record is clear. She’s an ardent proponent of trade agreements; she’s consistently supported the interests of Wall Street over Main Street; she’s been hawkish on foreign policy; weak on civil protections; hawkish on the deficit (until very recently) and mum on many other issues that demand a progressive advocate.

Yes, she’s beginning to veer to the left in preparation for the primaries, but haven’t we had enough of this?

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a candidate who actually represented the peoples’ interests tackle the usual corporatists who win the Democratic nominations? Not to mention the sycophantic Republicans who so obviously dance to the tunes of the likes of Addelson, the Koch Brothers and Wall Street?


The fact is we can wage and win a war for a progressive candidate, and we have potential candidates who speak for the people. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, the Progressive Congressional Caucus – each offers common sense and popular alternatives to the corrosive forces of corporatism that is eroding our Democracy.

Corporate money can trump everything but the vote. In the age of the Internet, we can take over this Party. We can raise our own money and turn out our own candidates. We can bypass the bought and paid for media and reach people directly with a message they are dying to hear.

Doubt that? Think back to 2011, when income inequality was a non-issue, ignored by the media and candidates alike. Between September 2011 and October 2011, the Occupy movement erupted, making income inequality one of the main issues in the 2012 election.

We must occupy the Democratic Party. Yes, as constructed, it’s little more than Republican lite – answerable to corporate overlords. But we can change that. We can insist on candidates who represent the people.

Take a look at those polling numbers again – if we used the tools of the Internet to raise money and advocate popular progressives, we just might be able to beat back the plutocrats. It’s at least worth a try.

So let’s go for it. Let’s occupy the Democratic Party.

(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. )

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/04/17/hillary-clinton-and-future-failure-progressive-hope-and-change


(Bold for emphasis is my own)

^^^^^^ This is pretty much what it is all about for me personally, and I suspect many others here. And it helps explain why we are so against this likely "Democratic" front runner.

I totally agree. Thank you.

This is a manipulative, malicious OP. Why? To try to help get Hill into the oval office, a person we all know won't do a darn thing for institutionalized racism & police brutality. She will definitely help Wall Street, BigOil, & BigAg though.

Life is too short to have to read the BS like this OP. It isn't worth the bad energy it generates any more....



How Clinton tipped her Neoliberal hand during the debate

This is an excerpt from a post-"Tues Night Football" round table discussion~

Jesse A. Myerson:

It was difficult enough eight years ago when Hillary Clinton only had to defend her vote for the Iraq War. This time around, the insurgent candidate she faces, in important ways outpacing even the last guy, talks about “revolution” and “the working class” in the same sentence, and thus puts her in the unenviable position of having to defend capitalism itself.

Not to worry: Clintonian triangulation is nothing if not versatile. Reminding the audience that “we are not Denmark,” Clinton deployed the frame lately popularized by her husband’s one-time labor secretary, Robert Reich, that it is imperative to “save capitalism from itself.”

Sure she wants to “rein in the excess of capitalism so that it doesn’t run amok and doesn’t cause the kind of inequalities we’re seeing in our economic system.” But the baby mustn’t go out with the bathwater: “We would be making a grave mistake to turn out backs on what built the greatest middle class in history,” she said, praying in aid “all the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country for people to do that.” The characteristically Clintonian drive to pander to everyone at once was so strong as to enable her to gracefully drop the implication that there are no small Danish businesses and move right along.

She tipped her hand, though: pressed repeatedly to agree or disagree with Sen. Sanders’s preference for expanding Social Security, Clinton insisted that she’d rather “enhance the benefits for the poorest recipients of Social Security.” Similarly, as to whether she agrees with Sanders’s health care approach, extending Medicare to everyone, Clinton declined to answer (she doesn’t, though), insisting vaguely that “we agree on the goals, we just disagree on the means.”


Here was the vintage neoliberal approach with which the Clintons are justly associated, unchanged by the financial crises and social movements that have shifted the political terrain since its heyday in the 1990s. The means Sanders favors, the ones that work in Denmark and elsewhere, are universal programs aimed at providing the working class with relief from our dependence on capitalist firms for deriving the means of our own subsistence: public pensions so we aren’t at the mercy of a perfidious “savings industry” and public health care, so we go not merely by the grace of a sector Clinton cited as one of her most prized enemies, but which has contributed more than $11 million to her over her career.
(With enemies like this . . .)


Clinton, instead, clings to the idea that small, politically vulnerable, means-tested programs are preferable to large, universal ones, and that the mediation of a marketplace of profit-obsessed firms is just what America’s sick need to help them heal. The question of means is crucial, and we should take great heart that the grassroots foment — the movement for black lives, the climate movement, Occupy Wall Street, the low-wage worker movement — whose salience was in constant evidence throughout the debate, are wide open to unconventional means.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/10/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-democratic-primary-debate/


Please check out all the opinions in the link above! There are more insightful, intelligent observations on the candidates. It won't waste your time.

To me, Jesse's words above really drill down to the heart of the difference btn Sanders & Clinton. And more importantly, it distinguishes btn the US continuing on its current Neoliberal path vs the possibility of going back to being a great nation For the People, By the People.

GO Bernie!


JetBlue Opens Urban Farm at JFK Airport to Feed Passengers and Local Food Banks

JetBlue Opens Urban Farm at JFK Airport to Feed Passengers and Local Food Banks
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow | October 8, 2015

JetBlue’s Terminal 5 (T5) at New York’s John F. Kennedy is now home to a 24,000 square-foot farm that will provide a variety of fresh produce for the terminal’s restaurants and to local food banks.



According to a report from the Associated Press, “the airline expects to grow 1,000 potato plants, yielding more than 1,000 pounds of spuds every four to six months, along with an additional 1,100 plants such as mint, arugula, beets, garlic, onions and spinach.”

Unlike a traditional crop field, the produce at T5 grow in plastic milk crates inside a structure that’s strong enough to withstand 160 mph hurricane-force winds, a requirement of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the AP reported.






AP report~

........"We know people like green space. It's what they have at home. Why not put that at an airport if that's what they love and want?" says Sophia Leonora Mendelsohn, the New York-based airline's head of sustainability. "Your flying experience starts on the ground."

Building a farm at an airport is not simple: It took JetBlue three years to get approval.

Airports are concerned about anything that would attract wildlife, especially birds. That means no growing tomatoes, corn, berries, seeds or sunflowers in its new garden. (The airline originally wanted to grow wheat and use it to make its own JetBlue JFK beer.)

So instead, JetBlue is focusing on potatoes, chives, basil, carrots and other plants deemed safe.

...The project is in partnership with GrowNYC, a non-profit environmental group that focuses on improving New York City block by block. Students will be brought in from local schools to learn about gardening.

Some of the herbs and produce will be used by restaurants in JetBlue's terminal, others will be donated to local food banks....

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8084f70a7c31486090d0321fcf111259/jetblue-plants-seed-farm-tray-table-concept


Very cool!

So do you believe the Climate Summit coming up in Paris is a big old waste of time?

And maybe it doesn't matter to you that people deny climate change, because we can't/won't do RIGHT NOW what's been deemed by some as necessary to save us from our collective murder/suicide anyways?

Maybe its us lefties who are the real science deniers thinking renewables will make a bit of difference?

.........If so, we just disagree.

Elizabeth Warren torches Big Oil in a signature Elizabeth Warren moment:

Elizabeth Warren torches Big Oil in a signature Elizabeth Warren moment: “We weren’t sent here to work for them”
SALON
10/7/2015

Republicans want to lift the ban on crude oil exports -- but Warren demands to hear from the experts first

by
Sophia Tesfaye

Big Oil would like to export unlimited amounts of crude oil outside of the U.S. to increase their profits, but there is a longstanding ban on crude oil exports standing in the way. What’s a Big Oil executive to do? Spend millions to lobby Congress to change the rules, of course.

...Snip..........

The oil industry has financed organizations whose scholars have generated reports praising the proposal. It has placed op-eds in Capitol Hill newspapers and paid for television spots in key markets..........Industry executives have even pressed foreign governments to communicate their support through “diplomatic channels.” And they have enlisted help from lawmakers from major oil-producing states...........Think tanks have been a critical part of the repeal effort, with prominent centers like the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute issuing reports or sending scholars to Capitol Hill endorsing the move. These same organizations have taken large donations — in some instances exceeding $1 million a year, as was the case for Brookings — in combined contributions from industry donors.........



While the offensive will likely work in the Republican-led House, which is set to vote on repeal this Friday, the White House has already intimated it has no interest in reversing the ban, citing environmental concerns associated with increased production, and at least one Senate Democrat is fed up with the so-called “experts” Big Oil has trouted out before Congress to downplay the effects of climate change.

“We’ve held a hearing on the export ban in July,” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said during a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee last week. “But the only witnessthe only witness testifying on the climate effects of this bill was a conservative economist who thinks, quote, ‘No one really knows’ the extent to which humans are causing climate change,” she added incredulously.

“The most obvious effect of lifting the crude oil export ban would be to produce enormous profits for a number of big oil companies,” Warren continued. “And that is a reason by itself to be skeptical of study after study and expert after expert that have been funded by big oil to try to sell this deal.”.........

http://www.salon.com/2015/10/07/elizabeth_warren_torches_big_oil_in_a_signature_elizabeth_warren_moment_we_werent_sent_here_to_work_for_them/




God I love her. I wish we could clone her!




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