Daily Archives: September 8, 2014

Colorado fights over who decides where to frack


PBS NewsHour

Published on Sep 8, 2014

In Colorado, the debate over pumping pressurized water underground to extract oil and natural gas has turned local and state governments into rivals. When one city banned fracking altogether, the state launched two lawsuits. Special correspondent Dan Boyce of Rocky Mountain PBS reports on how the friction between activists and industry has turned into a fight over local and state control.

Global Climate Change
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Yellowstone supervolcano eruption to be a countrywide disaster


RT America

Published on Sep 8, 2014

Although the odds are low for a major eruption happening anytime soon, a new study is once again raising fears over the Yellowstone supervolcano. A paper in the “Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems” journal lays out the suffering the US would undergo in a worst-case scenario disaster, predicting most major cities in the US being covered in layers of potentially deadly volcanic ash. RT’s Lindsay France takes a look at the study and breaks down its findings.

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Guardian reader event: Naomi Klein | Guardian reader events

http://www.theguardian.com/reader-events/naomi-klein-guardian-reader-event
theguardian.com

Naomi Klein Photograph: Ed Kashi

Monday 6 October, 7pm
Central Hall Westminster, London SW1

Book now

Naomi Klein, the award-winning journalist and author of global best-sellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo discusses her most provocative book yet, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. Klein challenges the myths that cloud the climate debate, refutes the argument for dependence on fossil fuels and aims to show how our current economic model is waging and winning a war on earth.

In conversation with columnist and writer Owen Jones, Klein will discuss why she believes climate change is a wake-up call for civilisation, why it’s now about changing the world and not just lightbulbs and how tearing up the “free-market” playbook may be the answer.

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Activists promise biggest climate march in history | Environment | theguardian.com

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/08/activists-promise-biggest-climate-march-in-history

People’s Climate March in New York and cities worldwide hopes to put pressure on heads of state at Ban Ki-moon summit

People’s Climate March advert to be put up on the London Underground tube network. Photograph: Avaaz

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of New York, London and eight other cities worldwide in a fortnight to pressure world leaders to take action on global warming, in what organisers claim will be the biggest climate march in history.

On 23 September, heads of state will join a New York summit on climate change organised by Ban Ki-moon, the first time world leaders have come together on the issue since the landmark Copenhagen summit in 2009, which was seen as a failure.

The UN secretary general hopes the meeting will inject momentum into efforts to reach a global deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2015, at a conference in Paris.

Ricken Patel, executive director of digital campaign group Avaaz, one of the organisers of the People’s Climate March on 21 September, said the demonstration was intended to send a signal to those world leaders, who are expected to include David Cameron and Barack Obama, though not heads of state from China and India.

…(read more).

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Doctors Struggle To Treat Ebola Patients In Liberian Border Town

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton September 8, 2014

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This story takes us to a remote section of Liberia, one of the West African countries facing an Ebola outbreak. Liberia in fact faces the worst of a disease that has killed about 2,000 people across the region. Much attention is focused on the crisis in the capital city, Monrovia, but the situation in the far North of the country near the border with Guinea is also causing alarm. And Doctors Without Borders is struggling against the disease there. NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: This is Lofa County, lush, green countryside where Ebola reportedly first landed in northern Liberia with an infected person crossing the border from neighboring Guinea. Here at the Doctors Without Borders tent hospital, an orange, plastic fence isolates the medical zone from the local community in Foya. They’re seeing Ebola patients and suspected cases. Dr. Masood Jivadi says the pace has kept up during the three weeks he’s been there.

MASOOD JIVADI: We continue to get very sick patients and from very far-flung areas. I mean, not just the immediately surrounding areas, but we sometimes send teams two, two-and-a-half hours into the countryside to bring patients back, so the patients come from all over.

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Health

Think Tanks as Lobbyists: Exposé Shows U.S. Groups Receive Millions to Push Foreign Nations’ Agendas


democracynow

Published on Sep 8, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – A New York Times exposé reveals more than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials. Some scholars funded by the think tanks say they faced pressure to reach conclusions friendly to the government financing their work. The groups named in the report include the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council, and most of the money comes from countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including the oil-producing nations of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Norway. Few of them have registered with the Justice Department as “foreign agents” that aim to shape policy, as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act. We are joined by Brooke Williams, a contributing reporter at The New York Times who co-wrote the new article, “Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks.”

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Big Tobacco’s Child Workers: Young Laborers Endure Health Risks, Harsh Conditions on U.S. Farms


democracynow

Published on Sep 8, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – Even as tobacco companies are legally barred from selling cigarettes to children, they are reportedly profiting from child labor. Investigations by The New York Times and Human Rights Watch reveal hundreds, if not thousands, of children are working on tobacco farms in the United States. Many suffer from “green tobacco sickness,” or nicotine poisoning, which can cause vomiting, dizziness and irregular heart rates, among other symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable to toxic pesticides since their bodies are still developing. Workers can absorb as much nicotine as if they were actually smoking simply by handling wet tobacco leaves. We speak with Steven Greenhouse, longtime labor and workplace reporter for The New York Times, who went to North Carolina to meet the young laborers. “I was shocked that a lot of these kids said, ‘I work in the fields from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,'” Greenhouse says of the 60-hour weekly schedules the young workers commonly endure, often in grueling heat. Under U.S. law, tobacco farms can hire workers as young as 12 years old for unlimited hours, as long as it doesn’t conflict with their school attendance.

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Bad News For Obama: Fracking May Be Worse Than Burning Coal | Bill McKibben

New science shows that thanks to methane leaks, gas won’t work as a “bridge fuel.”

—By Bill McKibben   | Mon Sep. 8, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

Obama: Charles Dharapak/AP; Methane: Michelangelus/Shutterstock

If you’re a politician, science is a bitch; it resists spin. And a new set of studies—about, of all things, a simple molecule known as CH4—show that President Obama’s climate change strategy is starting to unravel even as it’s being knit. To be specific: most of the administration’s theoretical gains in the fight against global warming have come from substituting natural gas for coal. But it looks now as if that doesn’t really help.

In a very real sense it’s not entirely the president’s fault. When Obama took office in 2008 he decided to deal with health care before climate change, in essence tackling the biggest remaining problem of the 20th century before teeing up the biggest challenge of the 21st. His team told environmentalists that they wouldn’t be talking about global warming, focusing instead on ‘green jobs.’ Obama did seize the opportunity offered by the auto industry bailout to demand higher mileage standards—a useful move, but one that will pay off slowly over the decades. Other than that, faced with a hostile Congress, he spent no political capital on climate.

But he was able nonetheless to claim a victory of sorts. His accession to office coincided (coincidentally) with the widespread adoption of hydraulic fracking to drill for natural gas, resulting in a sudden boom in supplies and a rapid drop in price, to the point where gas began to supplant coal as the fuel of choice for American power plants. As a result (and as a result of the recession Obama also inherited), the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions began to fall modestly.

For a political leader, it was the very definition of a lucky break: Without having to do much heavy lifting against the power of the fossil fuel industry, the administration was able to produce results. In fact, it gave Obama cover from the right, as he in essence turned the GOP chant of “Drill Baby Drill” into “Frack Baby Frack.” Not only that, the cheap gas was a boost to sputtering American manufacturing, making it profitable once again to make chemicals and other goods close to home. As Obama said in his 2012 State of the Union address, as his re-election campaign geared up, “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly a hundred years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.”

…(read more).

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Significant Discrepancies: Greater leaks from oil and gas operations than expected

CIRESvideos

Published on May 8, 2014

CIRES, NOAA study confirms leaks from oil and gas operations

During two days of intensive airborne measurements, oil and gas operations in Colorado’s Front Range leaked nearly three times as much methane, a greenhouse gas, as predicted based on inventory estimates, and seven times as much benzene, a regulated air toxic. Emissions of other chemicals that contribute to summertime ozone pollution were about twice as high as estimates, according to the new paper, accepted for publication in the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

More: http://cires.colorado.edu/news/press/…

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The Rebellion to Save Planet Earth: Why Civil Disobedience Could Be Our Last, Best Hope

Salon.com / By Ted Hamilton

The Rebellion to Save Planet Earth: Why Civil Disobedience Could Be Our Last, Best Hope
Traditional methods for fighting global warming have proven fruitless.

September 7, 2014 |

The politics of climate change are shifting. After decades of halfhearted government efforts to stop global warming, and the failure of the “Big Green” NGOs to do much of anything about it, new voices — and new strategies — have taken the lead in the war against fossil fuels.

Jeremy Brecher, a freelance writer, historian, organizer and radio host based in Connecticut, has documented the environmental movement’s turn toward direct action and grass-roots activism. A scholar of American workers’ movements and author of the acclaimed labor history “Strike!,” Brecher argues that it’s time for green activists to address the social and economic impacts of climate change and for unions to start taking global warming seriously.

His latest book, “Climate Insurgency: A Strategy Against Doom,” which will be released early next year by Paradigm Publishers, examines the structural causes of our climate conundrum and calls for a “global nonviolent constitutional insurgency” to force environmental action from below. Brecher spoke to Salon about his vision for dealing with global warming, the changing face of environmental activism, and why he thinks the People’s Climate March in New York on Sep. 21 is so important.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
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