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    The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:16 pm

    The Chevron Tapes: Oil Giant's Corruption & Toxic Pollution Exposed in the Amazon Rainforest

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l618BhvWkz4



    Leaked videos suggest Chevron cover-up of Amazon pollution

    Environmental advocacy group calls footage ‘smoking-gun evidence,’ while energy giant says it’s taken out of context

    April 10, 2015 3:00PM ET
    by Kaelyn Forde   @kaelynforde    
    Videos reportedly leaked by a whistleblower at the Chevron Corp. purport to show employees and consultants paid by the energy giant finding petroleum contamination at sites in the Ecuadorean Amazon that the company claimed was cleaned up years earlier.
    According to the environmental advocacy group Amazon Watch, which released the videos, the recordings arrived at the nonprofit’s office in 2011 with no return address and a note that read, “I hope this is useful for you in the trial against Texaco/Chevron. [Signed] A friend from Chevron.” Amazon Watch said the videos show Chevron employees conducting preinspections in 2005 and 2006 to find clean soil samples ahead of court-monitored inspections.  
    The videos are the latest twist in a decades-long court battle between the California-based Chevron and plaintiffs from the Lago Agrio area of the Amazon. The plaintiffs and their attorney Steven Donziger allege that a consortium run by Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001, polluted the rain forest for decades, causing serious health problems for the thousands of indigenous people in Ecuador’s Oriente region.
    In one of the videos, which Amazon Watch says was filmed at the Shushufindi 21 site, a Chevron employee identified only as Rene and a consultant from engineering firm URS identified only as Dave can be seen laughing about finding petroleum in a soil sample they have taken:

    Rene: “Nice job, Dave. Give you one simple task: Don’t find petroleum.”
    Dave: “Who picked the spot, Rene?”
    Rene: “Don’t, don’t find petroleum.”
    Dave: “Who picked the spot, Rene? Who told us where to drill, Rene?”
    Rene: “My fault? I’m the customer. I’m always right. Where’s that URS attitude that the customer is always right?”

    read on: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/10/leaked-videos-suggest-chevron-covering-up-amazon-pollution.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:45 pm





    What future for Australia's Aboriginal People as they are forcibly evicted from their homelands, their human rights denied by a fanatically right wing government. Photo: Johanna Alexis via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)
    Forced evictions are Australia's latest racist assault on Aboriginal People

    John Pilger

    28th April 2015

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    Australia's deliberate and calculated attacks on its indigenous population carry many of the hallmarks of genocide, writes John Pilger. And things are getting worse, not better, as states that have grown rich by exploiting Aboriginal land evict and demolish remote Aboriginal communities.


    Australia has again declared war on its Indigenous people, reminiscent of the brutality that brought universal condemnation on apartheid South Africa.



    Aboriginal people are to be driven from homelands where their communities have lived for thousands of years.

    In Western Australia, where mining companies make billion dollar profits exploiting Aboriginal land, the state government says it can no longer afford to "support" the homelands.



    read on: Arrow http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2847089
    /forced_evictions_are_australias_latest_racist_assault_on_aboriginal_people.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:48 pm


    It's not just glyphosate and neonicotinoids! Why we need a pesticide-free future


    The risk of cancer from the world's top herbicide, glyphosate, is just the tip of the iceberg of health damage caused by exposure to pesticides and other toxic agrochemicals, writes Georgina Downs. It's time for governments to correct their scandalous failure to protect rural residents from the cocktails of poisons sprayed on crops.



    Agrochemicals are routinely sprayed right up to the boundary line with residential properties, causing severe ill-health to rural residents. Photo: UK Pesticides Campaign.

    Agrochemicals are routinely sprayed right up to the boundary line with residential properties, causing adverse health impacts to rural residents. Photo: UK Pesticides Campaign.
    More articles about
    health | toxics | farming | corporations | regulation
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    Chinese environmentalism: driven by a deep desire for healthy living and wholesome food

    It's not just glyphosate and neonicotinoids! Why we need a pesticide-free future

    Georgina Downs

    30th April 2015
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    The risk of cancer from the world's top herbicide, glyphosate, is just the tip of the iceberg of health damage caused by exposure to pesticides and other toxic agrochemicals, writes Georgina Downs. It's time for governments to correct their scandalous failure to protect rural residents from the cocktails of poisons sprayed on crops.

    People across the UK who live near conventionally farmed cropland have no protection from any of the poisons currently permitted to be sprayed on fields.

    Furious debate has been raging over the recent conclusion of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate, the world's most widely used weedkiller, is a 'probable human carcinogen'.

    But hardly anything has been said about the many millions of rural residents across the country who have no protection at all from exposure to this pesticide that is often sprayed near our homes.

    Although Roundup is probably the most well-known glyphosate product there are in fact 431 products currently approved for use in the UK containing glyphosate [1], the majority of which are for use on farm crops.

    The latest Government statistics [2] on pesticide usage show that in 2013 the total area treated with glyphosate on all crops in Great Britain was 1,743,735 hectares, with the total weight applied being 1,471,997 kg.

    Considering the widespread use of glyphosate in agriculture worldwide then it is not surprising that IARC noted in its statement that glyphosate has been detected in the air during spraying, in water, and in food. [3]

    'Convincing evidence'

    Having reviewed the science, IARC concluded that there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma based on studies of exposures, mostly agricultural, in the USA, Canada, and Sweden published since 2001. [4]

    In addition, IARC concluded that there is convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in laboratory animals. [5] IARC also noted that one study in community residents reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) after glyphosate formulations were sprayed nearby. [6]

    Glyphosate has also been previously linked in other scientific studies to Parkinson's disease and infertility, [7] as well as other health problems.

    It has been reported that dermal exposure to ready-to-use glyphosate formulations can cause irritation and photo-contact dermatitis. Inhalation from spray mist can cause oral or nasal discomfort and tingling and throat irritation. Eye exposure may lead to mild conjunctivitis, and superficial corneal injury is possible if irrigation is delayed or inadequate. [8]

    read on:http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2848400/its_not_just_glyphosate_and_neonicotinoids_why_we_need_a_pesticidefree_future.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri May 01, 2015 1:13 pm

    Mayday, Mayday - Tesla's battery just killed fossil and nuclear power

    Oliver Tickell

    1st May 2015

    Tesla Energy's new mains power battery has just transformed the energy market - giving a huge boost to small scale renewable energy and killing off both fossil fuelled and nuclear power in the process.




    With low cost batteries returns to home owners from solar systems like these will soon get a whole lot better. Photo: Edmund Tse via Flickr.  


    As wind and solar power get cheaper all the time, and now battery costs are collapsing into the bargain, nuclear power represents a very slow, expensive and completely inflexible solution to a 'problem' that no longer exists.

    Tesla Energy's new mains power battery has just transformed the energy market - giving a huge boost to small scale renewable energy and killing off both fossil fuelled and nuclear power in the process.

    The announcement of its two domestic-scale lithium batteries, rated at 7kWh and 10kWh of energy storage was widely trailed.

    But what no one expected was the price - which came in at a half to a quarter of market expectations: "Tesla's selling price to installers is $3,500 for 10kWh and $3,000 for 7kWh. (Price excludes inverter and installation.) Deliveries begin in late Summer."

    And according to energy analyst Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds Energy Education, that equates to a life-cycle cost of about $0,02 per kWh stored and released, or a little over 1p in UK money.

    And that is transformational. With grid power prices typically 14p / kWh in the UK, or $0.12 in the US, it's just a fraction of the cost of buying power in - for the first making it economic for small scale generators to 'save and re-use' their power surpluses.

    read on: Arrow http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2852623
    /mayday_mayday_teslas_battery_just_killed_fossil_and_nuclear_power.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sat May 02, 2015 2:20 pm

    Injection Wells: The Poison Beneath Us

    Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation's geology as an invisible dumping ground.
    No company would be allowed to pour such dangerous chemicals into the rivers or onto the soil. But until recently, scientists and environmental officials have assumed that deep layers of rock beneath the earth would safely entomb the waste for millennia.




    There are growing signs they were mistaken.

    Records from disparate corners of the United States show that wells drilled to bury this waste deep beneath the ground have repeatedly leaked, sending dangerous chemicals and waste gurgling to the surface or, on occasion, seeping into shallow aquifers that store a significant portion of the nation's drinking water.

    In 2010, contaminants from such a well bubbled up in a west Los Angeles dog park. Within the past three years, similar fountains of oil and gas drilling waste have appeared in Oklahoma and Louisiana. In South Florida, 20 of the nation's most stringently regulated disposal wells failed in the early 1990s, releasing partly treated sewage into aquifers that may one day be needed to supply Miami's drinking water.

    There are more than 680,000 underground waste and injection wells nationwide, more than 150,000 of which shoot industrial fluids thousands of feet below the surface. Scientists and federal regulators acknowledge they do not know how many of the sites are leaking.

    read on: Arrow http://www.propublica.org/article/injection-wells-the-poison-beneath-us

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sun May 10, 2015 12:27 pm

    Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK

    Slaves forced to work for no pay for years at a time under threat of extreme violence are being used in Asia in the production of seafood sold by major US, British and other European retailers, the Guardian can reveal.
    A six-month investigation has established that large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of prawns (commonly called shrimp in the US) sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: Walmart, Carrefour, Costco and Tesco.

    The investigation found that the world's largest prawn farmer, the Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, buys fishmeal, which it feeds to its farmed prawns, from some suppliers that own, operate or buy from fishing boats manned with slaves.

    read on: Arrow http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/10/supermarket-prawns-thailand-produced-slave-labour

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sun May 10, 2015 12:30 pm

    Tristram Stuart: The global food waste scandal
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWC_zDdF74s



    Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it's inedible -- but because it doesn't look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Mon May 11, 2015 10:41 am

    Victor Cauduro Rojas
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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:01 pm

    U.S. Factory Farms Produce Enough Waste to Fill the Empire State Building … Every Single Day!

    We know that the factory farm system in the U.S. is responsible for producing an enormous amount of meat and dairy products. What you probably didn’t know was that along with all of that meat, eggs, and dairy comes a whole lot of crap! Yup, we’re talking animal waste.

    A new study from Food & Water Watch found that the number of animals kept on factory farms has increased exponentially in the past 15 years with the number of chickens on farms up by 80 percent, and pigs up by 70 percent. The size of factory farms is also skyrocketing as the American population increases along with our appetite for animal products.

    So while some might think that this bump in factory farm numbers is a good thing for hungry consumers, this increase in the factory farm system spells disaster for the environment. When you concentrate an enormous number of animals in one area with the sole purpose of fattening them up for sale, you’re bound to be left with an equally enormous waste problem.

    Food & Water Watch estimates that the amount of waste produced by factory farms is 13 times higher than that of the entire human population combined which presents a serious dilemma with what to do with 396 million tons of manure. This is enough to fill the entire Empire State building every single day!

    read on: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/u-s-factory-farm-waste/

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:46 pm

    Bee collapse is the result of their enslavement in industrial monocultures

    Bee 'colony collapse disorder' cannot be ended by easy technofixes, writes Allan Stromfeldt Christensen. The real problem is the systematic abuse of bees in vast industrial monocultures, as they are trucked or flown thousands of miles from one farm to the next, treated with insecticides and antibiotics, and fed on 'junk food'.


    Over the past several years there's been a steadily growing awareness that a problem exists with our honeybee populations.

    Although not quite a household term, what has been called 'colony collapse disorder' (CCD) has evoked enough concern that a chorus of observers have suggested in various ways that if honeybees go the way of the dodo bird, so do us humans.

    These warnings stem from what I'd say are two main understandings of the situation.

    First off is the fact that honeybees are used to pollinate about one-third of the food we eat, be it directly by pollinating vegetables, fruit, and nut trees, or by pollinating plants such as clover which get eaten by herbivores and so indirectly supply us with meat, milk and other animal products.

    Secondly, there is the more general 'canary in the coalmine' interpretation that posits that if we can't manage to live in this world in a manner conducive to the existence of our honeybees, what does that ultimately say about our chances? That is, if our honeybees can't live in the toxic milieu we force them into, will we ultimately be able to?

    The real problem - industrial agriculture

    However, while CCD poses a significant problem, the sensationalist reactions that such occurrences evoke have effectively clouded over the much greater issue of industrial beekeeping - or in other words, that honeybees are generally confined to living out their lives amongst fields of monocultures.

    With the creation of monocultures encompassing hundreds and sometimes thousands of acres, farms are no longer able to provide the living environment necessary to maintain wild honeybee colonies.

    Although, say, a large blueberry 'farm' may provide an immense supply of flowers for nectar and pollen, being a monoculture means that there is only one plant, and this sole plant may only flower for a few weeks or even a few days of the year.

    This doesn't provide enough time for the honeybees to collect their needed supplies for the remainder of the year while the monoculture fields are essentially floral deserts. It also eliminates the various 'wild pollinators' from bumblebees to beetles, who are likewise unable to survive amongst the dearth of flowers.

    In fact, there are now parts of China where bees have already gone extinct, requiring apple orchards to employ between 20 and 25 people to pollinate a hundred trees - something wild pollinators or a couple of hives worth of bees would normally do.

    But rather than being generally seen as an example of bad farming and something to rectify, these circumstances have resulted in a whole new industry of their own, for honeybee pollination has become big business indeed.

    read on: http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2847847/bee_collapse_is_the_result_of_their_enslavement_in_industrial_monocultures.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:49 pm

    The Honey Industry

    Although there were 3,500 native bee species of bees pollinating the flowers and food crops of North America when European settlers landed on its shores in the 17th century, the colonists were interested only in their Old World honeybees’ wax and honey. They imported the insects, and by the mid-1800s, both feral and domesticated colonies of honeybees were scattered all over the United States.(1) As a result of disease, pesticides, and climate changes, the honeybee population has been nearly decimated, but since the demand for the bees’ honey and other products remains high, these tiny animals are factory-farmed, much like chickens, pigs, and cows are.

    The Complex Lives of Bees

    A honeybee hive consists of tens of thousands of bees, each with his or her own mission that is determined by the bee’s sex and age as well as by the time of year. Each hive usually has one queen, hundreds of drones, and thousands of workers. Queens can live for as long as seven years, while other bees have life spans ranging from a few weeks to six months.(2)

    Worker bees are responsible for feeding the brood, caring for the queen, building comb, foraging for nectar and pollen, and cleaning, ventilating, and guarding the hive. The drones serve the queen, who is responsible for reproduction. She lays about 250,000 eggs each year—and as many as 1 million over the course of her lifetime.(3)

    When a new queen is about to be born, the old queen and half the hive leave their old home and set up in a new place that scouting worker bees have found.(4)

    As the temperature drops in the winter, the bees cluster around the queen and the young, using their body heat to keep the temperature inside the hive steady at around 93 degrees F.(5)

    A Language All Their Own

    Bees have a unique and complex form of communication based on sight, motion, and scent that scientists and scholars still don’t fully understand.(6) Bees alert other members of their hive to food, new hive locations, and conditions within their hive (such as nectar supply) through intricate “dance” movements.(7)

    Studies have shown that bees are capable of abstract thinking as well as distinguishing their family members from other bees in the hive, using visual cues to map their travels, and finding a previously used food supply, even when their home has been moved.(8,9,10) And similar to the way that smells can invoke powerful memories in for humans, they can also trigger memories in bees, such as memories of where the best food can be found.(11)

    Why Bees Need to Keep Their Honey

    Plants produce nectar to attract pollinators (bees, butterflies, bats, and other mammals), who are necessary for successful plant reproduction. Bees collect and use nectar to make honey, which provides vital nourishment for them, especially during the winter. Since nectar contains a lot of water, bees have to work to dry it out, and they add enzymes from their own bodies to convert it into food and prevent it from going bad.(12) A single worker bee may visit up to 10,000 flowers in one day and, in her lifetime, produce only a teaspoonful of honey.(13)

    Honeybees Do Not Pollinate as Well as Native Bees

    Approximately one out of every three mouthfuls of food or drink that humans consume is made possible by pollinators—insects, birds, and mammals pollinate about 75 percent of all food crops.(14) Industrial beekeepers want consumers to believe that honey is just a byproduct of the necessary pollination provided by honeybees, but honeybees are not as good at pollinating as many truly wild bees, such as bumblebees and carpenter and digger bees. Native bees are active earlier in the spring, both males and females pollinate, and they are unaffected by mites and Africanized bees, which can harm honeybees.(15) But because most species of native bees hibernate for as many as 11 months out of the year and do not live in large colonies, they do not produce massive amounts of honey, and the little that they do produce is not worth the effort required to steal it from them.(16,17) So although native bees are more effective pollinators, farmers continue to rely on factory-farmed honeybees for pollination so that the honey industry can take in more than 176 million pounds of honey every year, at a value of more than $215 million.(18)

    read on: Arrow http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/animals-used-food-factsheets/honey-factory-farmed-bees/

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:42 pm

    Seed Freedom! A last chance to thwart the great African seed grab

    Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah

    29th June 2015

    Nineteen African nations meet today in Arusha, Tanzania, to finalise a 'plant protection' protocol that would open up the continent's seeds to corporate interests, taking away farmers' rights to grow, improve, sell and exchange their traditional seeds, while allowing commercial breeders to make free use of the biodiversity they embody, to sell them back to farmers in 'improved' form.

    This is a crucial week for millions of African farmers - the week in which, under the guise of 'plant protection', they may lose the right to use their ancient seed heritage to grow the food crops on which the continent depends.

    The policy is being driven through an opaque, little known body, the African Regional Intellectual Property Association (ARIPO), whose Diplomatic Conference opens today at the plush Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.

    In meetings taking place over the coming week, ARIPO plans to adopt the highly contested draft ARIPO Plant Variety Protection Protocol (ARIPO PVP Protocol), which guarantees the rights of commercial seed breeders while cancelling farmers traditional rights to save seed, grow crops from traditional seed varieties developed by our ancestors over countless generations, and sell or exchange such seeds.

    In addition to severely restricting farmers rights to saving, sharing, selling, and planting seeds and propagating material, the Protocol facilitates biopiracy. The seed industry can take the seed DNA from ARIPO member African countries, manipulate it in a laboratory, and then claim intellectual property rights to DNA developed over centuries by African farmers.

    This IPR grab has potential to be one of the largest resource thefts in human history. Seed diversity would disappear and African farmers would be forced to buy back their own seeds every planting season.

    read on: Arrow http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2927351/seed_freedom_a_last_chance_to_thwart_the_great_african_seed_grab.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:50 am

    Potato or Tomato?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGYs4KS_djg


    Watch as kids in an elementary school class in Huntington, West Virginia have trouble identifying fresh fruits and vegetables. Huntington has been called the unhealthiest city in America where nearly half of the adults are considered obese.

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:17 pm

    Noy Thrupkaew: Human trafficking is all around you. This is how it works

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIGBBPspTKM


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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:18 am

    Banana Land: Blood, Bullets and Poison

    Bananas are by far the most popular fruit in the United States, but consumers know little about the conditions in which they are produced. Banana Land provides a fascinating and surprising peek behind the curtain into an underworld marked by great turmoil and sacrifice.

    Delicious taste aside, the unanimous popularity of the banana lies in its low cost to the consumer; it's decidedly cheaper than other fruits in the supermarket such as apples or pears. Banana Land lays bare the ultimate result of these low prices in the form of cheap pesticides, abusive labor practices and comprised environmental standards.

    As illuminated in the film, the crisis in the banana industry harbors even more nefarious implications than those already cited. The banana business model began in 1899 with the formation of the United Fruit Company (UFC). The company monopolized the industry, attracting investments from wealthy and powerful players throughout the globe, which in turn led to the protections and support of lawmakers in Washington. In order to ensure that bananas would remain the lowest cost fruit on the market, the UFC partnered with repressive regimes throughout Central America. These regimes worked to stifle any objections from the industry's exploited workers, even in the form of massive bloodshed.

    As argued by the film's esteemed interview subjects, these practices set a precedent which remains intact today. This is evidenced by the Chiquita Corporation's admitted financial support of the United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia, a paramilitary group which worked to defend the economic interests of the region by violently attacking its opposition.

    read more and watch documentary Arrow http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/banana-land-blood-bullets-poison/

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Dec 25, 2015 5:26 am

    Unstoppable California Gas Leak Being Called Worst Catastrophe Since BP Spill

    Methane gas continues spewing, unchecked, into the air over southern California from a fractured well to an underground storage site — at such an alarming rate that low-flying planes have necessarily been diverted by the FAA, lest internal combustion engines meet highly volatile gas and, well, blow the entire area to hell.

    This is, indeed, the biggest environmental catastrophe since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010; and for now, there is no way to stop it.

    This methane disaster is worse than can be sufficiently described in words, because while it’s estimated well over 100,000 pounds of methane spew into the atmosphere every hour, the leak can’t be halted, at least until spring. Even then, that stoppage depends entirely on the efficacy of a proposed fix — which remains a dubiously open question.

    According to the California Air Resources Board, methane — a greenhouse gas 72 times more impactful in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide — has been escaping from the Aliso Canyon site with forceequivalent “to a volcanic eruption”for about two months now. So far, the total leaked gas measures somewhere around 100,000 tons — adding“approximately one-quarter to the regular statewide methane emissions”during that same time frame.

    “The relative magnitude of emissions from the leak compared to other sources of methane in the State underscores the urgency of stopping the gas leak. This comes on top of any problems caused by odor and any potential impacts from exposure,” states the initial report on the Aliso leak by air quality officials.

    “The enormity of the Aliso Canyon gas leak cannot be overstated. Gas is escaping through a ruptured pipe more than 8,000 feet underground, and it shows no signs of stopping. As the pressure from the weight on top of the pipe causes the gas to diffuse, it only continues to dissipate across a wider and wider area,” explained Erin Brockovich, who spent time in nearby Porter Ranch investigating the leak.

    Officials and experts are concerned, and they can’t recall another leak of this magnitude in decades — if ever. “I asked this question of our staff of 30 years,” said Steve Bohlen, who recently left his position as state supervisor of oil and gas. “This is unique in the last three or four decades. This is an unusual event, period.”

    read on: Arrow http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/unstoppable-california-gas-leak-being-called-worst-catastrophe-since-bp-spill/

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:13 pm

    Heavy metal poisoning in Scotland's beached whales

    The Ecologist

    15th February 2016

    High levels of toxins mercury and cadmium have been found in all organs of the whales recently beached on Scotland's North Sea coast, including the brain. The research shows that rising mercury levels in the oceans leads to toxic stress in the long-lived marine mammals.

    They found very high concentrations of mercury in the brain of all the whales older than nine years and in three the concentration was higher than levels at which severe neurological damage would occur in humans.

    A pod of whales stranded in Fife in 2012 had high concentrations of toxic chemicals, some of which had reached the mammals' brains, scientists have discovered.

    The pod of long-finned pilot whales were stranded on a beach between Anstruther and Pittenweem in Scotland, on 12th September 2012.

    Out of the 31 mammals which beached only 10 could be refloated and 21 - 16 females and five males - died.

    Scientists from the University of Aberdeen, in collaboration with the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, found mercury at levels high enough to cause severe neurological damage in humans. They also demonstrated for the first time that the toxic element cadmium can cross the blood-brain barrier.

    "This pod of whales provides unique new insights because we were able to look at the effects on a large number of whales from the same pod and how this varied according to age", said author Dr Eva Krupp, an environmental analytical chemist from the University of Aberdeen.

    "We were able to gather an unprecedented number of tissue samples from all the major organs including the brain and as a result we can see for the first time the long term effects of mammalian exposure to the environmental pollutants.

    read on: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2987145/heavy_metal_poisoning_in_scotlands_beached_whales.html

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:30 pm

    250 People taking part in oil spill clean-up in Peruvian Amazon

    Around 250 people are participating in clean-up efforts in an area of the Peruvian Amazon affected by an oil pipeline spill, an indigenous organization in that region told EFE.

    Employees of state-owned oil company Petroperu, operator of the North Peruvian Pipeline from which between 2,000 and 3,000 barrels of crude spilled, and inhabitants of the hamlet of Villa Hermosa and the municipality of Chiriaco, located in the northern region of Amazonas, are taking part in the remediation effort.

    The president of the Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Northern Amazon of Peru, or ORPIAN -P, Edwin Montenegro, said Sunday that the spill had affected the Chiriaco River, although Petroperu says there is no danger of any rivers becoming contaminated.

    Montenegro said several families were working diligently to clean up the area because the river serves as a main source of food and a watering place.

    A commission from the Agency for Environmental Assessment and Enforcement, or OEFA, has traveled to the site of the spill to investigate its environmental impact and obtain water samples for analysis.

    The spill, which occurred on Jan. 25 at Kilometer 441 of the North Peruvian Pipeline, damaged nearby cacao crops and extended along a 3.5-kilometer (2.1-mile) section of the Inayo, a stream that flows into the Chiriaco, the OEFA said.

    The spilled oil reached the Chiriaco River, a tributary of the Marañon River, a major regional waterway, because rains caused water levels to rise and overflow the protective barriers set up by Petroperu, according to the indigenous organization and local residents.

    read on: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/02/15/250-people-taking-part-in-oil-spill-clean-up-in-peruvian-amazon/

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    Kathleen "I live in real poverty and it's not what you think"

    Post  B.B.Baghor on Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:43 am

    VIDEO:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2016/feb/24/i-live-in-real-poverty-and-its-not-what-you-think-video

    "Kathleen Kerridge’s family food budget is £40 per week – to feed five people. She says there is a big gap between the public perception of poverty
    and what it means for people like her. We should stop talking about poverty, she argues, until we know what being poor in this country really means".

    My words: That country is England. And it's the same in Holland and all over the world. Poverty isn't a moral condition, it's an economic and political one. Although stiff upper lip aristocrats in the UK, those scaly dinosaurs on the brink of extinction groping for a hold, manage to keep up appearances
    to this day. They have to of course, I would probably do the same, if I was that scaly. My happiness for having ended my working life is deepening,
    as you may understand. No struggles for me anymore, I only need to cope with those brought on by myself Cheerful


    For reference, also see this:
    In 2013, Sir John Major has criticised the 'truly shocking' dominance of the upper echelons of power in Britain by the affluent middle class.
    Quote:
    "Sir John Major has expressed his shock at the way in which every sphere of modern public life is dominated by a private school-educated elite and well-heeled middle class. He also suggested interest rates should go back to "normal levels of 3% to 5 %" as one way of helping pensioners deal with
    the recent squeeze on earnings.

    The former prime minister has been warning for months about the threat of so-called net curtain poverty, and claimed the government needed to do more to address the quiet poverty gripping the responsible middle class. He blamed the slowdown in social mobility on Labour policies, including the abolition of grammar schools".

    Source: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/11/john-major-shocked-elite-social-mobility
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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sat May 21, 2016 2:10 pm

    In this photo by Jason Ondreicka, we witness the repercussions of our actions.



    A raccoon stands atop his former home, searching for his family. His forest home had just been cleared, and now he’s left abandoned and confused.

    We often think of deforestation happening elsewhere in the world, but in reality, it is happening right here in the U.S., putting native species, like raccoons, in danger. While they might not be endangered, they live in an ecosystem that’s being systematically destroyed.

    So who’s the culprit? Many things are at play, including clear cutting for human habitation. But another major player is – you guessed it – animal agriculture. In fact, it’s estimated that 260 million acres of forest in the United States have been clear-cut to grow crops for livestock feed. That’s 260 million acres of forest homes that were destroyed. Animal agriculture is also the leading driver of deforestation and habitat loss which has pushed countless endangered species to the brink of extinction.

    Is this any way to treat our fellow inhabitants? Luckily, we have the power to fight against this destruction, starting with what we put on our plates. Not only will we help to save this precious raccoon’s home and life, but we’ll be doing so much to fight climate change and save millions of lives in the process.

    As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, it is One Green Planet’s view that our food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, give species a fighting chance for survival, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future. By choosing to eat more plant-based foods, you can help ease the rampant deforestation caused by animal agriculture, join One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet movement to start today. To learn more about what you can do to end deforestation, click here.

    All Image Source: Jason Ondreicka/Alamy

    Arrow http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/baby-raccoon-standing-on-the-remains-of-his-home-will-make-you-want-to-act-for-the-planet/

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Sat May 21, 2016 2:33 pm

    The whales’ deaths are symbolic of humanity’s shocking disregard for marine life.



    n January, 29 sperm whales were found stranded on shores around the North Sea, an area that is too shallow for the marine wildlife. Only recently were details of the animals’ necropsy released. However, scientists were deeply disturbed by what they found in the animals’ stomachs.

    According to a press release from Wadden Sea National Park in Schleswig-Holstein, many of the whales had stomachs FULL of plastic debris, including a 13-meter-long fishing net, a 70 cm piece of plastic from a car and other pieces of plastic litter.

    Some suggest that the animals thought the items were food, such as squid, which is their main staple. Others, however, believe that the travesty is largely a result of humanity’s shocking disregard for marine life, which has resulted in an overabundance of plastic in the oceans.

    Said Robert Habeck, environment minister for the state of Schleswig-Holstein:

    “These findings show us the results of our plastic-oriented society. Animals inadvertently consume plastic and plastic waste, which causes them to suffer, and at worst, causes them tostarve with full stomachs.”

    read on: Arrow http://www.realfarmacy.com/sperm-whales/

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:06 pm



    President of Indonesia Stands on the Wreckage of His Country, Burnt for the Sake of Palm Oil

    Palm oil is a seemingly ubiquitous commodity that can be found in an estimated 50 percent of consumer goods, including snack bars, pet food, cleaning fluids, and cosmetics. However, few people realize just how harmful the palm oil industry has been to the nations of Indonesia and Malaysia, which collectively produce 90 percent of the world’s palm oil. The production of this commodity typically involves clearing large areas of forested land using a “slash-and-burn” method. The Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra – which are home to a vast range of animal species not found anywhere else on the planet – have been particularly hard hit by palm-oil-related deforestation.

    300 football fields’ worth of Indonesian rainforest are destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations every single hour. Between 1990 and 2005, more than 28 million hectares of rainforest were lost due to palm oil production and illegal logging. On the island of Sumatra alone, some 10.8 million hectares of forest have been converted into palm oil plantations … and this has had a devastating impact on the wild animals who once called these forests home. Orangutans are shot on sight if they happen to wander onto a palm plantation, while pygmy elephants, Sumatran tigers, and Sumatran rhinos (to name a few) are also being pushed toward the brink of extinction as a result of the palm oil industry’s relentless demand for land. No doubt about it: commercial palm oil production has spelled disaster for these animal species.

    However, the impact of this industry has extended far beyond the country’s wildlife. Fumes from the burning forests have also an extremely adverse effect on the health of local children and communities. For the past year, extensive forest fires (the majority of which were started by palm oil companies) have raged through the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua. In late 2015, Zamzami Arlinus, a media campaigner for Greenpeace, visited a town called Pontianak on the island of West Kalimantan. Arlinus observed that during the mornings, “visibility reached out to only about 50 meters; more than 12 students aged between 15-17 at a vocational school fainted, unable to breathe properly; and the Air Pollution Index (API) reportedly passed 1,000 (PM10) making Pontianak effectively the most polluted city in all of Indonesia.”

    The extensive rainforest clearance Indonesia has experienced in recent years has ensured that the country is now listed by the World Resources Institute as one of the top ten heaviest carbon polluters in the world. Deforestation accounts for an incredible 97 percent of the country’s carbon footprint.

    Arrow http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/president-of-indonesia-stands-on-wreckage-of-his-country-burnt-for-palm-oil/

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

    Yet Another Oil Spill Wreaks Havoc On The Gulf Of Mexico And Nearby Coastal Communities

    May 13, 2016

    A Shell oil facility has leaked nearly 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, according to federal authorities. The spill has left a two-mile by thirteen-mile sheen in the Gulf, approximately 165 miles southwest of New Orleans. A helicopter first noticed the spill near Shell’s Brutus platform on Thursday morning, according to Shell spokeswoman Kimberly Windon.

    “There are no drilling activities at Brutus, and this is not a well control incident,” Windon told the Associated Press. Instead, authorities believe the leak came from a release of oil from subsea infrastructure, from a line connecting four wells. According to the Wall Street Journal, Shell had dispatched boats Friday to begin cleaning up the spill.

    “We are working with the United States Coast Guard and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association to define the best approach to contain and clean up the sheen,” Windon said.

    According to the United States Coast Guard, the leak has been secured, and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is reporting no injuries from the spill.

    Local activists, however, are unconvinced by reports that the spill is over. The spill occurred a little less than 100 miles due south of Lousiana’s Terrebonne Parish, which is home to one of the country’s largest communities of Houma Native Americans, who still depend on subsistence lifestyles. If the spill impacts marine life, or washes ashore, it’s likely that these communities might be some of the first impacted.

    “You sit down for dinner and you watch the news and you see another spill with tens of thousands of gallons of oil and reports that no one is hurt or the leak has stopped and you know, just from experience, that that’s probably not true,” Colette Pichon Battle, executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, told ThinkProgress “Who is really going to be hit? It’s going to be our Native American communities that live on, and depend on, the coast. It’s going to be the poorest people on the coast that depend on the ecosystem to be healthy.”

    read on: Arrow http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/05/13/3778155/shell-gulf-spill/

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:43 am

    Biggest Secret They Don't Want You To Know - Sand Smuggling

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKQaJ4akm50


    We can't clearly go on like this .

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    Re: The Price of Our Comfortable Lives

    Post  mudra on Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:18 pm

    North Dakota Crude Pipeline Shuts Down After 'Unknown Amount' Spilled

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhlYRwSbe7w


    A crude oil transmission pipeline has been shut down in western North Dakota following a leak that spilled oil into a creek. The state’s health department said it has sent personnel to the site.
    "A series of booms have been placed across the creek to prevent downstream migration and a siphon dam has been constructed four miles downstream of the release point," Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager for the North Dakota Department of health, said, according to Reuters.

    The health agency said the spill was discovered on Monday and an unknown volume of oil leaked from the pipeline operated by Bell Fourche Pipeline Company into Ash Coulee Creek, 16 miles northwest of Belfield in Billings County. The leak is 200 miles away from protests taking place over the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline.


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