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Showing posts from August 8, 2015

Coal’s War On America

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[A little-known fact about Canada is that, despite the tar sands, coal is still one of our biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Canada's coal reserves are the second largest in the world: this "represents more energy than all of the oil and gas in the country combined." More than 70% of Canadian coal consumed used to be burned in Alberta and Ontario, mainly for power generation. Now it's mainly burned in Alberta; the last Ontario coal-fueled power plant closed last year. See also: The King of Coal Reveals $1 Million Bet on Jeb Bush. *RON*]

By Samantha Page, Think Progress, 7 August 2015
At its peak, some 3,000 people worked in Portal 31 and more than 1 million tons of coal per year passed through the mine, the largest in the world when it was built in 1917. Today, roughly 747 residents remain outside the mine in the town of Lynch, down from the 10,000 at its heyday.

Coal stocks are falling. Coal companies are declaring …

9 Industries That Are Cashing In as Our Planet Heats Up

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[Nine ways, some obvious, others less so, that Big Oil, Monsanto and Wall Street, among others, are all cashing in on climate change. *RON*]
By Larry SchwartzAlterNet, 7 August 2015

Despite the fact that 98% of climatologists accept manmade climate change as a fact, almost a quarter of Americans still believe that climate science is junk science and that global warming is a grand hoax. Major oil companies have poured a lot of money into fueling climate skepticism. But while Big Oil wants to keep the public fooled, the major players in the industry, like Exxon and Shell, know better. They also stand to profit handsomely from a hotter planet. And they are not the only ones. Manmade climate change, caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting widespread emission of CO2 into the atmosphere, may be a catastrophe for most humans and non-human species, but for a select group of industries, global warming represents just another opportunity …

Capitalists, Arise: We Need to Deal With Income Inequality

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[I suppose, at least, he's honest enough to admit that as a plutocrat he's equally afraid of death (by pitchfork wielding minions) and taxes. *RON*]

By Peter Georgescuaug, New York Times, 7 August 2015

I’m scared. The billionaire hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones is scared. My friend Ken Langone, a founder of the Home Depot, is scared. So are many other chief executives. Not of Al Qaeda, or the vicious Islamic State or some other evolving radical group from the Middle East, Africa or Asia. We are afraid where income inequality will lead.

For the top 20 percent of Americans, life is pretty good.

But 40 percent are broke. Every year they spend more than they have.

While so many people are struggling, even those on the higher end of the middle class have relatively little after paying the bills: on average, some $1,300 a month. One leaky roof and they’re in trouble.

If inequality is not addressed, the income gap will most likely be resolved in …

A ‘Massive Deposit’ of Mining Waste From BC’s Mount Polley Mine Spill Is Still Lingering

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[And now, on to provincial regulatory capture. It's been a year now since the Mount Polley mining disaster, and Imperial Metals has not even touched the tailings that were dumped into Lake Quesnel. *RON*]

By Carol Linnitt, Vice, 6 August 2015

On August 4, 2014 an estimated 24 million cubic metres of mining waste and water spilled from the Mount Polley mine tailings pond and flowed down Hazeltine Creek and into Quesnel Lake, a source of drinking water for the town of Likely, BC, and home to an estimated quarter of the province's sockeye salmon.

The volume of contaminated waste escaping the tailings pond was so enormous it took 12 hours to pour into the depths of Quesnel Lake, one of the deepest fjord lakes in the world. The sheer violence of the spill scoured the banks of the Hazeltine of trees which themselves were stripped of their bark and branches. The base of the Hazeltine, where it meets Quesnel Lake, had been transformed from a six…

Canada Gives Shell Permission to Leave Future Offshore Well Blowout Uncapped for 21 Days, the U.S. Gives 24 Hours

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[On Canadian regulatory capture and ignoring the public good in Canada in favour of big oil and gas. The title pretty well speaks for itself, and the differences between the Obama and Harper administrations could not be plainer. *RON*]

By Darcy Rhyno • Friday, August 7, 2015 - 09:44

Canada’s Environment Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, gave Shell Canada up to three weeks to cap any subsea blowout that might result from future petroleum exploration off Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Similar legislation in the U.S. requires companies to cap a ruptured well within 24 hours.

The three-week time period is included in Shell Canada’s capping plan, apart of the company’s proposed Shelburne Basin Venture Exploration Drilling Project. Minister Aglukkaq green-lighted the project on June 15 following an assessment by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Under the plan, a blowout would spill oil or gas into the ocean for up to 21 days before Shell would be requir…

The Religious Roots of Domestic Terror

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[It seems transparently obvious to me that Dylann Roof is a terrorist, but not to many others who want to see Islam as unique. Wexler's definition helps: someone who strikes at citizen noncombatants for the purpose of advancing their political and ideological ends.  Looking at how events in Canada have been twisted to Harper's political ends, one is tempted to amend the definition so it either specifies "except when these actions are plainly the result of severe mental illness" or to include Harper himself in the definition. Via my friend Harry. See also: Father of arson attack Palestinian toddler dies. *RON*]
Stuart Wexler, The Daily Beast, 7 August 2015 The same critics who are quick to link terrorist acts and Islam have been equally slow to recognize the warped Christianity motivating white supremacist violence.

From Charleston to Chattanooga to Lafayette, a series of mass murders has reignited debates over the nature of terr…