Posts filed under ‘Nature’

Pro-Fracking Group Kills Push for a New National Park

Colorado National Monument

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve been to the Colorado National Monument and yes, it is breathtaking and worthy of national park status:

A more than century-old effort to transform the breathtaking Colorado National Monument into a full-fledged national park has been thwarted by a pro-fracking organization called Friends of the Colorado National Monument (FCNM).

And while the group sounds harmless enough, and professes to include hikers, bikers, ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and conservationists, its website includes little more than complaints about EPA air and water regulations, and the inability of the oil and gas industry to drill in national parks and the surrounding areas.

FCNM lead a petition fight against changing the monument’s status while decrying what they call “frackophobia.” The also complained that fracking is over-regulated and bemoaned the protests and legal proceedings that have taken place in Colorado in recent years. In fact, says Colorado has become “protest central when it comes to opposition to energy development.”

Democratic Senator Mark Udall and GOP Congressman Scott Tipton, both up for reelection in November, had backed the plan to change the monument to a national park in Congress. Udall says that residents seem evenly split on the plan. But after receiving a 2,500 signature petition against the plan from FCNM, Tipton backed down. Moreover, the Republican Congressman now says that he will actively oppose any plans for changing the monument into a park. Tipton now says he’s worried on how it will impact the local economy and he’s concerned over “executive-branch rulemaking,” referring to the Republican Party’s fight against President Obama using the power of executive orders.

[...]

Udall also withdrew his support for the effort, saying that there needed to be more of a consensus among Colorado residents. However, he said that he is only withdrawing for  the short term, and  hopes to address this question again in the future.

More…

Udall’s facing an election in November so like a chickenshit, he’s trying to play both sides of the fence.  The fracking issue is very contentious here in Colorado.  Longmont, a town up the road from me, voted to ban fracking in the town limits but the governor (a Democrat) has joined with the oil companies and is suing the city to have the will of the people overturned.  It’s getting real nasty around here.

July 15, 2014 at 2:46 PM Leave a comment

Ozone Alert Issued in Boulder, CO Due to Smoke From Fires…in Canada

As soon as the Sun started to rise this morning I noticed how hazy it was. Initially I thought it was caused by humidity but then I saw this:

Ozone Alert Issued for Boulder County, Front Range Due to Smoke From Canadian fires

 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Regional Air Quality Council have issued an ozone alert for Boulder County and other counties along the Front Range due to smoke from fires in Canada.

The alert says ozone concentrations are expected to reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range this afternoon and evening, and warns that unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

The alert is in effect until at least 4 p.m. today.

According to the alert, smoke from fires in Canada is causing hazy skies across portions of Colorado.

More…

I did a bit more digging and the smoke isn’t just from fires in Canada, it’s from fires in northern Canada, as in the Northwest Territories. Here’s a map:

Fores in Northwest Terrorities

(Image via County10.com)

 

Wow.

July 2, 2014 at 10:33 AM Leave a comment

Police and Soldiers in Peru May Now Kill Civilians Protesting Environmental Degradation Due to Mining

I suppose we’d all better get used to this because it’s probably coming to a country near us as governments are increasingly controlled by the corporatocracy.  Corporations don’t want to hear from We the Peons about how they’re destroying the planet.

If this is what a mining company was doing to forests in my area, I’d want to protest too but not at the risk of being killed by my local police department.

Illegal gold mining has led to acres of rainforest in Peru’s Madre de Dios region being destroyed via Independent.co.uk

Illegal gold mining has led to acres of rainforest in Peru’s Madre de Dios region being destroyed. (Image via Independent.co.uk)

Five years after more than 30 people died in a bloody battle between police and environmental protesters in Peru, police and the armed forces have been granted a “licence to kill” demonstrators.

The move has sparked fears among human rights groups that there will be no reprieve for any excessive use of force as the mining industry continues to push into indigenous lands in Peru.

The country is one of the world’s largest producers of silver, copper and minerals and the Peruvian Government has granted mining licences for huge parts of rural provinces.

Local communities worried about its effect on their farmland and way of life, as well as pollution in rivers, have come into conflict with authorities through years of protests.

[...]

Andrew Anderson, the deputy director of FLD, said: “Front Line Defenders has noted with deep concern a trend across the region of governments trampling over the rights of local and indigenous communities and of those defending them in their rapacious search for raw materials and profit.

[...]

Law 30151, which was adopted in January, states that members of the armed forces and the National Police are “exempt from criminal responsibility” if they cause injury or death through the use of their guns or other weapons while on duty.

More…

What a terrifying development.

And check this out: On Fifth Anniversary of Peru FTA Bagua Massacre of Indigenous Protestors, State Department Cables Published on Wikileaks Reveal U.S. Role.  Now, Obama Administration Seeks to Further Expand the Foreign Investor Privileges That Led to Amazon Standoff Via the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact.

July 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM Leave a comment

The USDA’s “Wildlife Services” Killed Two Million Animals in Fiscal 2013

Dead Fox via Wikimedia Commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

One would think the USDA’s “Wildlife Services” was involved with ah, oh, I don’t know, serving wildlife or their interests, right?

Nope.  Not in this corporatocracy.  This is what they’re doing with our tax dollars:

Wildlife Services, the highly secretive arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has released new data showing that the agency killed more than 2 million native animals during the last fiscal year.

The new numbers reveal a 29 percent increase in the program’s killing, up almost a half-million animals since fiscal year 2012, despite an increase in public awareness.

Wildlife Services target animals deemed as pests by powerful special interests groups from the agribusiness, hunting and livestock sectors, according to Center for Biological Diversity.

“Wildlife Services has long been out of step with the values of Americans, and the new figures make clear it has no interest in changing,” said Amy Atwood, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, which petitioned to reform the program last December. “These appalling new numbers show that Wildlife Services is simply thumbing its nose at the growing number of Americans demanding an end to business as usual at Wildlife Services.”

[...]

The covert killings—which includes aerial gunning, traps and exploding poison caps—has gone on for decades with little oversight and according the Center for Biological Diversity, the agency has killed more than 26 million native animals  since 1996.

More…

Here’s a list of the dead (2013):

  • more than 320 gray wolves
  • 75,326 coyotes
  • 419 black bears
  • 866 bobcats
  • 528 river otters
  • 3,706 foxes
  • 12,186 black-tailed prairie dogs (as well as destroyed more than 30,000 dens)
  • 3 golden eagles

June 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM Leave a comment

Outrageous: Louisiana’s Republican Governor Signs Bill Blocking Lawsuits Against Oil and Gas Companies

Wow, what hutzpah and what a huge middle finger to all the people, animals, sea creatures and land damaged or destroyed by British Petroleum (BP) and oil companies past, present and future.  Talk about a corporatocracy.  This is just sickening. Talk about outrage overload:

BP Oil Spill via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia.)

Rejecting the advice of his own attorney general and dozens of legal scholars, Louisiana governor and potential presidential contender Bobby Jindal effectively blocked a New Orleans-area levee board from suing oil and gas companies for allegedly destroying the state’s coasts – and in so doing, may have also derailed state and local claims against BP for damages and tax revenue lost following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

[...]

Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, was also quoted in the statement distributed by the governor’s office, hailing the measure as a “huge victory for the oil and gas industry.”

The law, SB 469, essentially bars a levee district in New Orleans’ East Bank – the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, or SLFPA-E – from pressing forward in its lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies, which it blames for exposing New Orleans to catastrophic damage from hurricanes Rita and Katrina by cutting thousands of miles of pipes and canals through sensitive barrier islands and wetlands that otherwise would have protected the coastal city.

The lawsuit, filed last summer, sought to force energy companies to restore the wetlands, fill in the canals, and pay for past damages.

“We are looking to the industry to fix the part of the problem that they created,” SLFPA-E vice president John Barry told the Times-Picayune last year. “We’re not asking them to fix everything. We only want them to address the part of the problem that they created.”

More…

Impeach the bastard for crimes against humanity and nature.  Not only that, what, he wants to use taxpayer dollars to clean-up BP’s mess?  What, he probably doesn’t care about clean-up at all.

Everyone in the country, er, the world needs to know about this.  This is what politicians who are owned by oil and gas companies do.

 

 

June 7, 2014 at 1:16 PM 7 comments

#NotAScientists (i.e., Republicans) On How Global Warming is a Bunch of Hooey

This is good, via Act.TV/Americans United:

The GOP may be a lot of things, but “climate scientists” is not one of them. But that won’t stop them from ignoring a 97% consensus among actual scientists, along with 7 out of 10 Americans, that climate change is man-made and needs to be dealt with.

 

 

 

 

June 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM 3 comments

Chart Shows How Environmental Regulations Destroy the Economy

Oh, ah, wait. Maybe not.

Despite what Republicans and their corporate masters are screaming about with regard to Obama’s proposed cuts to power plant emissions, history shows that environmental regulations do not — repeat — do not slow and/or destroy economies.  They might force corporations to spend money to retrofit plants (the real reason for all the screaming) but implementing them doesn’t mark the end of life as we know it.  To those of us who’ve been around for a while, that meme is as old as dirt.

From Peter Gleick:

 

Enviro rules Don't destroy the economy

(Via Peter Gleick)

BTW, a huge majority of Americans support regulations like the ones proposed.

 

June 3, 2014 at 1:42 PM 1 comment

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