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NB: The latest updates will be on top, so that daily readers will not have to scroll-down. Time is UTC-GMT. This is a continuation of: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/the-ongoing-saga-2-news-updates-tidbits-trivia/ and https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/the-ongoing-saga-news-updates-tidbits-trivia/

Sunday 6 October 2013

Judge Joseph post updated: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/part-iv-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/

Russia dismisses Dutch legal action over Greenpeace activists
Posted: Sat, 05 Oct 2013 15:44:44 GMT
MOSCOW/LONDON (Reuters) – Russia shrugged off Dutch legal action over its detention and prosecution of Greenpeace activists for piracy on Saturday as protesters took to the streets internationally to call for the 30 detainees to be freed.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/11GQ4IE-_6w/story01.htm (story continues at link)

The Russian government is thumbing its nose at 18 countries of the world, so really it is time for those citizens of the 18 countries and all those who do not want to fall under the thumb of oppression, to thumb our noses back through economic boycott. You would think that we were dealing with North Korea! It will also save Russia’s environment.  Why should they pollute their land by exporting oil and gas elsewhere?  Do the Russian people get anything out of Gazprom or Rosneft exporting oil and gas other than pollution?  Russia is paying most dearly for climate change through extreme weather.

It is all well and good to march around with signs or write articles to raise awareness, but it seems generally more effective to hit where it hurts: economically.

What is a boycott?  What is its origin?   

A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for social or political reasons…

The word boycott entered the English language during the Irish ‘Land War’ and is derived from the name of Captain Charles Boycott, the land agent of an absentee landlord, Lord Erne, who lived in Lough Mask House, near Ballinrobe in County Mayo, Ireland, who was subject to social ostracism organized by the Irish Land League in 1880.  As harvests had been poor that year, Lord Erne offered his tenants a ten percent reduction in their rents.  In September of that year, protesting tenants demanded a twenty five percent reduction, which Lord Erne refused.  Boycott then attempted to evict eleven tenants from the land.  Charles Stewart Parnell, in a speech in Ennis prior to the events in Lough Mask, proposed that when dealing with tenants who take farms where another tenant was evicted, rather than resorting to violence, everyone in the locality should shun them.  While Parnell’s speech did not refer to land agents or landlords, the tactic was first applied to Boycott when the alarm was raised about the evictions.  Despite the short-term economic hardship to those undertaking this action, Boycott soon found himself isolated — his workers stopped work in the fields and stables, as well as in his house. Local businessmen stopped trading with him, and the local postman refused to deliver mail.[1]” The story continues here along with examples and references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott It is noteworthy that Parnell and the later Sam Maguire were both Anglo-Irish/Church of Ireland (Anglican), not Catholic, and were committed to freeing Ireland from England. Sam Maguire, in fact, wanted full independence for Ireland, whereas others were satisfied with a quasi independence. For information on these two: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Stewart_Parnell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Maguire 

My Feets is tired, But My Soul is Rested” Boycott may involve suffering as in the Montgomery bus boycott: 

http://youtu.be/FzUqXcfE4RU

Mother Pollard (ca. 1882–1885 – before 1963) was one of the participants in the 1955–1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott, a seminal event in the U.S. civil rights movement that produced a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. Martin Luther King Jr. recounted in his writings[2] that after several weeks of walking to her destinations rather than take the bus, Mother Pollard was asked if she was tired, to which she replied, ‘My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.’[3] It was also told, in Freedom Walkers that she was close to being 72 years old. She was old, yet she had more faith and courage than any other person could have asked of her.[4]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Pollard

Examine your country’s dependency on Russia. Here’s a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia_in_the_European_energy_sector Unless you are elderly (old), you can reduce your heat use this winter (or summer cooling) by the percentage that your country is dependent upon Russia for heating, at least until the hostages are returned. (Hopefully they will be returned before you need heat anyway). If possible reduce more so that extra energy from elsewhere can go to those who are totally dependent or who are elderly (old). Ask shops and stores to turn their heat down to colder (or air conditioning to warmer).  

This same concept should also be considered to break dependency on nuclear energy. New fuels are on the horizon, but in the mean-time go buy a couple of wool blankets, down comforters (duvet), or fleece. Buy some wool socks. To cool off dress in light cotton and sit under a tree or in a forest.  Fans can be effective (and reduce mold) while using less energy. Also, windows and doors open can create cross-ventilation.  Think about if you can make yourself energy independent, on your own, through proper construction, solar panels, small windmills, or bio-waste.  Better to do it by your own free will than wait for Russia to cut your oil and gas off due to political disagreement, as they have done to other countries. Better to do it before there is another Fukoshima. Gazprom also has interests in other parts of the world (e.g. Dominican Republic).  It goes without saying that if you must have a car that it should be small, fuel efficient and if possible run on biowaste fuel.  No to SUVs and other needlessly large vehicles.  Until the hostages are free do not buy gasoline (petrol) from Petrogaz subsidiaries or BP. If you prefer to be ruled by the Russian government, and are not already, then go apply for citizenship-asylum.  They seem to have plenty of room.  It appears a lovely country with some nice architecture.  Russia (as well as some parts of Europe) still had serfs until the 1860s and some parts for longer. So, if you descend from free peoples, Russia’s style of governance may not be your cup of tea. Think about that. Haitian slaves freed themselves over half a century before Russia freed its serfs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom_in_Russia  

It is important to know that global warming is supposed to make Europe colder or more extreme:  
Scientists link frozen spring to dramatic Arctic sea ice loss Melting sea ice, exposing huge parts of the ocean to the atmosphere, explains extreme weather both hot and cold” by John Vidal, environment editor. theguardian.com, Monday 25 March 2013 17.03 GMT http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/25/frozen-spring-arctic-sea-ice-loss Over a decade ago it was predicted that melting of ice would cool and hence disrupt the Gulf Stream-North Atlantic current, which warms most of Europe.  This would lead to colder weather in Europe. The Russian government is probably banking on this.      

Boycott Europa Park’s Blue Fire Roller coaster and Gazprom Hall

Blue Fire is a roller coaster located in Europa Park in Germany and officially sponsored by Gazprom.  There is a Gazprom Hall.  The theme is “Discover Pure Energy”. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Fire_Megacoaster http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Fire_Megacoaster http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Fire
If you must go to such a place then you can go to Hassloch Germany’s Holiday Park instead.

This is but one example, there are certainly more. We have already discussed the important need for aa Pre-Olympic boycott of tickets and merchandise which can be stopped when and if the 30 hostages are freed. Also, the boycott of Russian Vodka, as long as there are hostages.    

While we are speaking of boycott:  for routine readers it should go without saying, by now, that you should refrain from buying metallic and mined stone jewelry and avoid other metals in order to save trees and the earth. Yes, there is recycled metal and antique jewelry but they need to be shared by an ever-growing world population.

We have reblogged the following post: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/sellafield-unions-and-mps-have-expressed-shock-at-new-contracts-misdirected-shock/

Saturday 5 October 2013

Hurrah! It’s About Time!
Netherlands takes legal action against Russia over Greenpeace activists
Posted:Fri, 04 Oct 2013 14:42:32 GMT
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Netherlands launched legal proceedings against Russia on Friday, saying it had unlawfully detained Greenpeace activists on a Dutch-registered ship for protesting against oil drilling in the Arctic
.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/hyn0ejJlDew/story01.htm The ship is their responsibility.  They certainly took their sweet time, but perhaps they were trying to negotiate.  At least this makes clear that Russian government actions were wrong both ethically and legally.    

Activist detained by KGB calls on Tony Abbott to help free Greenpeace protester held on piracy charges” By Nonee Walsh, Australian Broadcasting Corporation http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-05/activist-detained-by-kgb-calls-on-abbott-to-help-greenpeace-act/5000504

All Things are Connected, a Reblogged Post with our comments:  

The UK’s beloved Paddington Bear’s homeland of Peru is endangered by proposed uranium (and lead) mining, uranium which may be sent to the UK…Andean Bears live in Peru. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/stop-and-contain-reprocessing-at-sellafield-is-insane/  PS:  We are for a nuclear-free, teddy-bear filled future!  

Friday 4 October 2013

Our New Post, explaining and calling for a pre-Olympic boycott of Olympic tickets, merchandise, Gazprom, Rosneft, BP, and all Russian products until the 30 hostages are freed. This means that if they are freed prior to the Olympics then everyone can still buy tickets, merchandise, etc. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/a-call-for-pre-olympic-boycott/

Thursday 3 Oct 2013

Greenpeace gets the ball going; still winning against Russia:

The longer Russia keeps the 30 Greenpeace hostages the worse Russia looks. Not good for Russia with the second round of Olympic tickets about to go on sale…. Citizens of 18 countries in prison with no bail. This does not sound like the Olympic values of friendship and respect: 
Olympism and values:  A life philosophy — Promotion of three core values:  excellence, friendship and respect.” http://www.olympic.org/Documents/Reports/EN/en_report_670.pdf

Russia is indeed both a great and old nation, but their government must then act like an elder statesman and liberate these hostages. A pardon seems in order. That would be an Olympic gesture of friendship and respect. A bit late, but, as they say, better late than never.  

Meanwhile, everyone can wait to purchase their tickets and any Olympic related items.  

May the Games Begin!  Love it!  
Greenpeace protest disrupts Basel v FC Schalke 04 Champions League
http://youtu.be/tkNWhxGb8V8 
Greenpeace activists interrupt Tuesday night’s Champions League clash between Basel and FC Schalke 04, unfurling a banner protesting against the competition’s main sponsor Gazprom.  Play was stopped for five minutes when four protesters in boiler suits descended from the stadium roof with a banner saying ‘Gazprom, don’t foul the Arctic
theguardian.com Wednesday 2 October 2013 video at link: http://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2013/oct/02/greenpeace-protest-basel-fc-schalke-video (bold added; clip at website a bit longer)

Boo, hiss!
Russia charges Greenpeace activists with piracy
Posted:Wed, 02 Oct 2013 20:57:59 GMT
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia charged Greenpeace activists with piracy on Wednesday over a demonstration last month against Arctic oil drilling, a charge that could bring long prison terms for a protest in a region the Kremlin sees as a key to future prosperity.
http://feeds.reuters.com/reuters/environment
(Note regarding reuters feeds. We have to show the feed as is.
The entire articles appears at link)

Russia’s Arctic Buddy BP Untrained-Unprepared for Well Blowout 

BP’s well control exec says he was unprepared for U.S. Gulf blowout
Posted:  Wed, 02 Oct 2013 22:46:31 GMT
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – BP’s manager in charge of controlling the Macondo blowout in 2010 was never trained to permanently plug a ruptured oil well and said in court on Wednesday the British company was not fully prepared for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/Y0ef0ekNrIQ/story01.htm  

From Radioactive Fracking to Fukushima 

New Fracking Study, Peer Reviewed, Published yesterday:
Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania” by Nathaniel R. Warner et. al., Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/es402165b Publication Date (Web): October 2, 2013

The safe disposal of liquid wastes associated with oil and gas production in the United States is a major challenge given their large volumes and typically high levels of contaminants.  In Pennsylvania, oil and gas wastewater is sometimes treated at brine treatment facilities and discharged to local streams.  This study examined the water quality and isotopic compositions of discharged effluents, surface waters, and stream sediments associated with a treatment facility site in western Pennsylvania.  The elevated levels of chloride and bromide, combined with the strontium, radium, oxygen, and hydrogen isotopic compositions of the effluents reflect the composition of Marcellus Shale produced waters. The discharge of the effluent from the treatment facility increased downstream concentrations of chloride and bromide above background levels.  Barium and radium were substantially (>90%) reduced in the treated effluents compared to concentrations in Marcellus Shale produced waters.  Nonetheless, 226Ra levels in stream sediments (544–8759 Bq/kg) at the point of discharge were 200 times greater than upstream and background sediments (22–44 Bq/kg) and above radioactive waste disposal threshold regulations, posing potential environmental risks of radium bioaccumulation in localized areas of shale gas wastewater disposal.http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/es402165b (bold added)

Stop Mining Uranium!  It is Bad News from Start to Finish!

Sellafield nuclear decommissioning a ‘huge challenge’ By Chris Jackson, 23 September 2013 Last updated at 05:29 GMT 
Chris Jackson goes inside Britain’s nuclear site at Sellafield in Cumbria, one of the most complex and hazardous in the world
Continue reading the main story
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-24167091

Sellafield’s nuclear evaporator ‘giant kettle’ part arrives
1 October 2013 Last updated at 10:53 GMT 
Continue reading the main story
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-24345924

Fukushima nuclear plant operator says another tank is leaking toxic water
Posted:Thu, 03 Oct 2013 01:00:51 GMT
TOKYO (Reuters) – The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Thursday said another tank holding highly contaminated water is leaking, and that some of the liquid may have reached the Pacific Ocean, the second such breach in less than two months.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/u1rsa-A9YLI/story01.htm

According to Greenpeace:  “General Electric, Hitachi and Toshiba designed, built and serviced the reactors which directly contributed to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, yet these companies have not paid one cent of the cost for the reactor failures.  The cost of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is estimated at $250 billion US dollars.” http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/getinvolved/They-profit-you-pay/

Tokyo Electric set to receive $5.9 billion financing: source
Posted:Mon, 30 Sep 2013 06:16:59 GMT
TOKYO (Reuters) – Creditors are set to provide $5.9 billion in financing to Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), a person involved in the talks told Reuters on Monday, offering a lifeline to the embattled owner of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant
“. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/_66aY-sF5og/story01.htm

According to the above article HUNDREDS OF TONNES of contaminated water are entering the Pacific from Fukushima each day!  

Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, speaks out!
Nobel laureates press EU leaders on tar sands law
Posted:Wed, 02 Oct 2013 23:00:01 GMT
* Nobel laureates say oil sands have ‘devastating impact’
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/kR7tf_CUYrY/story01.htm

Southern part of Keystone Pipeline:
UPDATE 2-TransCanada says Keystone leg to start on time; Brent premium shrinks
Posted:Wed, 02 Oct 2013 21:15:35 GMT
CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 2 (Reuters) – The southern portion of TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL oil pipeline is 95 percent complete and the company is focused starting the line by the end of 2013, a TransCanada spokesman said on Wednesday.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/DG2BhCc298w/story01.htm

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The word Arctic comes from the Greek ἀρκτικός (arktikos), ‘near the Bear, northern’ and that from the word ἄρκτος (arktos), meaning bear. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic 
Ursus maritimus us fish
Photo: US Fisheries and Wildlife
The name refers either to the constellation Ursa Major, the ‘Great Bear’, which is prominent in the northern portion of the celestial sphere, or to the constellation Ursa Minor, the ‘Little Bear’, which contains Polaris, the Pole Star, also known as the North Star.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic 
Star Trails Shoreline
Star Trails Shoreline by Kevin Hadley via Wikimedia
Over the course of an evening, stars appear to rotate about the north celestial pole.  Polaris, within a degree of the pole, is the single nearly-stationary star just to the right of the centre of this image.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_pole

Letter from a Russian Arctic Prison
(Murmansk is north of Arctic Circle):

“Faiza: ‘The uncertainty is driving me crazy” Blogpost by Jessica Wilson – October 1, 2013 at 22:06 ‘I have no idea how this will end, how long it will take.  The uncertainty is driving me crazy,’ writes Greenpeace Netherlands campaigner Faiza Oulahsen in a letter from her cell in Murmansk, Russia.  She writes about her experiences from entering the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise until a few days ago when she along with 29 others lost their freedom to the Russian security forces. ‘Two months in jail is one thing, but then? What then?’…” Post continues here (includes picture of letter, etc): http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/faiza-the-uncertainty-is-driving-me-crazy/blog/46841/

Free the Arctic 30, and lock up fossil fuels
Blogpost by Truls Gulowsen, Head of Greenpeace Norway – September 29, 2013 at 11:29
“On Friday, peaceful activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise woke up in a freezing jail cell in Russia for trying to protect the Arctic and fight global warming. At the same time the UN panel on Climate Change released its latest report on the status of the world’s climate.
http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/mindex.shtml
Both events can be summed up in one word. Grim.”  Entire post here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/lock-up-fossil-fuels-and-free-the-arctic-30/blog/46809/

Russian Arctic Oil Buddy BP Still on Trial for Gulf of Mexico Spill
(BP owns almost 20% of Rosneft who has designs on the Arctic, along with Gazprom neft)

At trial, BP denies dithering during response to U.S. Gulf spill
Posted:Tue, 01 Oct 2013 19:25:47 GMT
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Dithering and indecision at BP Plc delayed the capping of its Macondo well and worsened the extent of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to allegations by plaintiffs’ lawyers at trial on Tuesday that the British company denied
.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/tpNXuL88hWE/story01.htm

REUTERS SUMMIT-Russian large pipe demand could rise 50 pct in 2014
Posted:Wed, 25 Sep 2013 16:00:54 GMT
(For other news from Reuters Russian and Eastern Europe Investment Summit, click on
http://www.reuters.com/finance/summits) http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/07BcSgzmv5k/story01.htm  
However, this Reuters article explains that this growth is dependent upon starting to build the delayed South Stream gas export pipeline and the Power of Siberia link to China.  

What is South Stream?  (We thought we had discussed it but can’t find it in the posts.  Recall that we did post an article about Macedonia and South Stream yesterday)  It is one of the pipelines which comes up in discussions of European reliance on Russian gas, even in relation to the Syrian war.  See for instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar-Turkey_pipeline and “The Geopolitics of Gas and the Syrian Crisis” by Dmitry Minin, 31.05.2013, Strategic Culture Foundation online journal http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/05/31/the-geopolitics-of-gas-and-the-syrian-crisis.html
South Stream map
South Stream (Russian: Южный Поток, Bulgarian: Южен поток, Serbian: Jужни ток/Južni tok, Hungarian: Déli Áramlat, Slovene: Južni tok) is a proposed gas pipeline to transport Russian natural gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further to Greece, Italy and Austria.  The project is seen as rival to the planned Nabucco pipeline.[1]  Construction started in December 2012, with a first commercial deliveries in late 2015.[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Stream (detailed article and references at link)

Serbia, Bulgaria Back South Stream Project
October 01st, 2013 3:56pm, by Natural Gas Europe 
Serbia and Bulgaria backed the South Stream project, with Bulgaria’s Economy and Energy Minister waiting for the financial scheme for the project to be clear before taking steps to overcome the present delays. ‘To me and to the government this is a huge infrastructure and investment project worth €3.3 billion, which will create many jobs, influence trade and service in Bulgaria,’ Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev said at a meeting in Sofia with Serbian Minister of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection Zorana Mihajlović.  Mihajlović said that the project is of extreme importance to increase security of supply for the Balkan country.  ‘Serbia currently receives gas supplies from one place only and it essential for us to secure at least one more route,’ she claimed at the sidelines of the meeting, stressing the importance of the Bulgaria-Serbia gas grid interconnection.  The project will be partially finance by EU under the program for the 2014-2020 period“. http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/serbia-bulgaria-back-south-stream-pipeline-project

Finding a Solution:  South Stream and the Third Energy Package” September 29th, 2013 11:00pm by Natural Gas Europe
Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister has stated that his nation and the European Union will find a solution to the present impasse over the Third Energy Package.  Speaking in Milan on Friday at a conference hosted by Natural Gas Europe | Gas Dialogues, Anatoly Yanovsky said that negotiations will ensure a solution to the problems raised by the EU’s legislative package of gas market reforms, which seeks to ‘unbundle’ ownership of natural gas production and transmission lines such as those operated by Gazprom, and is seen as a roadblock to the development of South Stream Pipeline project. ‘The South Stream pipeline represents a long term solution to ensuring a secure energy supply to all European citizens, thanks to the direct connection between customers and the most important gas reserves in the world, in Russia’, said the Deputy Minister.  Yanovsky’s comments are significant, and may indicate positive momentum, particularly following recent downcast statements by the EU Energy Commissioner. In remarks at the conclusion of recent meetings of EU energy ministers, Günther Oettinger said,  ‘South Stream is an addition, but it does not give us access to any new sources of energy and it does not increase the competitiveness of the energy market in European Union.” http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/russia-eu-third-energy-package (bold added for emphasis)

Oettinger Says South Stream not a Project of Common Interest
September 22nd, 2013 8:25pm, by Natural Gas Europe
The EU Energy Commissioner has stated that the South Stream Pipeline project, which plans to move Russian gas to European markets through Southerm and Central Eastern European nations, does not qualify for EU priority funding.  In remarks at the conclusion of recent meetings of EU energy ministers in Vilnius, Günther Oettinger said that South Stream did not meet the criteria for receiving the designation of a “Project of Comon Interest,” which would allow for accelerated planning approvals, as well as potential funding from the EU.  ‘South Stream is an addition, but it does not give us access to any new sources of energy and it does not increase the competitiveness of the energy market in European Union,’ commented Oettinger.  ‘South Stream is an idea that comes from our eastern partners. We have no problems with South Stream, but we don’t think it’s a particular EU priority.’  The European Commission is expected to disclose a list of approximately 200 Projects of Common Interest, deemed significant to more than one EU nation.  Sources have indicated that the failed Nabucco West pipeline will remain on the list of favoured projects, even though it lost out to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline in the ‘Southern Corridor’ contest to move Azeri gas to Europe from the second phase of the Shah Deniz project.” http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/south-stream-eu-priority-project (bold added for emphasis)

What then is the Southern Gas Corridor?

The Southern Gas Corridor is an initiative of the European Commission for the gas supply from Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. The initiative was proposed in the European Commission’s Communication ‘Second Strategic Energy Review – An EU Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan'(COM/2008/781).[1][2] The European Union has identified a number of partner countries for this initiative, such as Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Egypt and Mashreq countries. Uzbekistan and Iran should represent, when political conditions permit, a further significant supply source for the EU.[2] In the Trans-European Networks – Energy (TEN–E) programme, ‘the European Union has designated (…) three of the pipelines as of strategic importance (ITGI, Nabucco and White Stream).'[3] Also the Trans Adriatic Pipeline is identified as a Southern Corridor project.[1] Together, the Southern Corridor projects could provide the necessary transportation capacity to deliver the 60 to 120 billion cubic metres per year of Caspian and Central Asian gas that the European Commission aims to bring directly to Europe.[4]  On 8 May 2009, the summit ‘Southern Corridor – New Silk Road’ was held in Prague.[5]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Gas_Corridor

More recently: 
American expert: ‘Implementation of the Southern Corridor project will be the beginning of the policy to end dependence from Russia” posted September 30th, 2013 3:30pm by Natural Gas Europe
The project of the Southern Corridor is of special importance for Europe’s energy security.  In view of dependence of Central and Eastern Europe on Russia’s gas, the diversification of energy supply is necessary. Azerbaijan is the best option to deliver gas to the European markets,” (continues here:  http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/southern-corridor-beginning-of-end-dependence-from-russia

US NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) Information regarding Powertech’s Dewey Burdock ISL Uranium Mine proposal for the Black Hills of South Dakota http://www.nrc.gov/materials/uranium-recovery/license-apps/dewey-burdock.html
Contact:  Ron Burrows, FSME/DWMEP/DURLD  (301) 415-6443  Ronald.Burrows@nrc.gov
Note that Ron Burrows is the Safety Review Officer and Environmental Review officer is Haimanot Yilma.  

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH says: 
Russia: Drop Piracy Charges against Greenpeace
Release Activists from Custody”

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
“Both Russian and international law provides protections to protesters, whether on land or at sea,” Cooper said. “Detaining these activists for piracy is a wildly disproportionate response to Greenpeace’s protest.” Read the entire article here: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/09/30/russia-drop-piracy-charges-against-greenpeace

Australian officials visit Greenpeace activist Colin Russell in Russian prison:  Consular staff have passed on family messages and set up an account for him to buy essentials from the jail’s store”, Australian Associated Press, theguardian.com, Tuesday 1 October 2013 05.29 BST http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/01/consular-visit-activist-colin-russell

Biodiversity Banner on Christ the Redeemer Statue
© Greenpeace / Daniel Beltrá 3/16/2006 http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/photosandvideos/photos/slideshows/40-years-of-Greenpeace/Biodiversity-Banner-on-Christ-the-Redeemer-Statue/

Good News: Norway will give up some Artic oil aspirations:
Norway’s new government concedes on oil, immigration for support, Posted: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 20:15:19 GMT
OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s Conservative leader Erna Solberg said she would form a minority cabinet with the populist Progress Party after talks with two centrist parties broke down on Monday, giving ground on oil exploration and immigration.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/Ntzs7PV9Ans/story01.htm

US Environmental Protection Agency will be Hit by Shutdown:  
EPA to be hit hard in shutdown, could delay renewable fuel standard
Posted:Mon, 30 Sep 2013 20:30:41 GMT
Sept 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will take one of the biggest hits of any federal agency if the government shuts down this week, operating with under 7 percent of its employees, according to guidance issued by the agency
.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/0z_mvVpz7eg/story01.htm

Russia Oil News:
Since they are keeping 30 people, including both activists and journalists and crew, hostage with no bail, we have to keep focus on them.  Since BP owns almost 20% of Russia’s Rosneft, which will be drilling in the arctic, along with Gazprom, we have placed today’s BP oil spill lawsuit information here.  Halliburton is drilling partner to Gazprom, and Halliburton probably contributed to this and other spills as well.          

Russia introduces tax breaks to encourage new oil exploration
Posted:  Mon, 30 Sep 2013 15:24:21 GMT
MOSCOW, Sept 30(Reuters) – Russia introduced new tax breaks on Monday encouraging oil firms to explore hard to reach undersea fields, in the hope of unlocking new reserves as the country approaches full production capacity from its dwindling oil deposits in West Siberia.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/GJbt_VJ4AiI/story01.htm Less money for the people and more for big oil!  

Since Putin wants to wrap himself in the mantle of Christianity – atheism is less popular as one ages – he should bear in mind that if he does not change paths this is his future:     

Hell-fresco-from-Raduil
Hell fresco, St. Nicolas Church in Raduil village, Bulgaria. Photo by Edal Anton Lefterov via Wikimedia.
(Obviously there are many discussed in this blog who face the above future if they don’t change paths.  Many people enjoy prostituting themselves to the mining and petroleum industries, upon the altar of money).  

Perhaps Putin wants to rewrite Marx from “Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks.” Karl Marx. Capital Volume One, [1867], 1887, to “ Capital is dead labour that, vampire-like, lives by sucking oil, gas and minerals, and lives the more, the more oil, gas, and minerals it sucks“.
  
Rosneft-Gazprom Conflict, of oligarchs or of transnational corporations?:  
UPDATE 2-Russian energy majors clash as gas export reform looms
Posted: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 12:45:20 GMT
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia/MOSCOW, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Rivalry between Russia’s two state energy majors broke out into the open on Wednesday as gas export monopoly Gazprom denounced a push by oil company Rosneft into its core business
.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/6gCApDZs8WQ/story01.htm Note that we discussed Sakhalin 1 and 2 discussed in this article on Wednesday, September 25th. If you missed it do a text search for Sakhalin.  

BP owns almost 1/5th of Rosneft.  Do we need BP in the Arctic?  
BP knew 2010 U.S. Gulf spill was risk, lawyers tell trial
Posted: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 17:27:45 GMT
NEW ORLEANS, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Long before the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, BP knew its Macondo well could explode and then lied about how much oil leaked, plaintiffs’ lawyers said at the opening of the second phase of the company’s trial on Monday.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/Q4U4X4hy8vc/story01.htm  

UPDATE 1-BP lied about size of U.S. Gulf oil spill, lawyers tell trial
Posted:Mon, 30 Sep 2013 21:01:22 GMT
NEW ORLEANS, Sept 30 (Reuters) – In the frantic days after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP lied about how much oil was leaking from its Macondo well and took too long to cap it, plaintiffs’ lawyers said on Monday at the opening of the second phase of the company’s trial
.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/r4hA2sx-gug/story01.htm  

Halliburton may be implicated in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 oil spill and in other spills.  They pled guilty to destruction of evidence so it seems that no one can know for sure.  Do we need them in the Arctic as Gazprom Neft’s new offshore drilling partner?    
Gazprom Neft’s New Partner for Offshore Drilling is Haliburton:
Gazprom’s Oil Arm Signs Strategic Deal With Halliburton
News | 13.08.2013 | 21:46″  (strategic-culture foundation online journal
“: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/08/13/gazproms-oil-arm-signs-strategic-deal-with-halliburton.html
Russia’s Gazprom, American Halliburton sign major energy dealhttp://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/08/14/318659/gazprom-halliburton-sign-major-deal/

Does the Arctic Need This?
Deepwater Horizon oil spill - May 24, 2010 - with locator
NASA Deepwater Horizon oil spill, May 24, 2010

Do we need Halliburton Helping to Drill in the Arctic?   
On September 8, 2010, an internal report released by BP into the Deepwater Horizon explosion claimed that poor practices of Halliburton staff had contributed to the disaster. Investigations carried out by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling found that Halliburton was jointly at fault along with BP and Transocean for the spill. The cement that Halliburton used was an unstable mixture, and eventually caused hydrocarbons to leak into the well, eventually causing the explosion that started the crisis.[47]
Halliburton pleaded guilty to destroying evidence after the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster – the company destroyed computer simulations it performed in the months after the accident, simulations that contradicted Halliburton’s claim that it was BP who had not followed Halliburton’s advice. BP had employed Halliburton to oversee the process by which cement is used to seal pipes in oil and gas wells, thereby preventing leaks. Government investigators had ordered companies involved in drilling the well to preserve all relevant evidence.[48] Halliburton director Anthony Badalamenti in Texas has been charged for deleting data related to the deadly BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in September 2013.[49]
….
Halliburton may also be implicated[59] in the oil spills in the Timor Sea off Australia in August 2009 and in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 for improper cementing.  Halliburton staff were employed on the Transocean operated Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Mexican Gulf.  Halliburton staff completed cementation of the final production well 20 hours prior to the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, but had not yet set the final cement plug.[60]  In July 2013, Halliburton Co agreed to plead guilty to charges that it destroyed evidence relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  This incurred a $200,000 fine; the firm also agreed to three years of probation and to continue cooperating with the criminal probe into the spill.[61]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halliburton (references at link)

Is Halliburton perhaps what has changed, as far as Russia’s treatment of protestors?  Apparently last year Greenpeace was allowed to peacefully protest in Russia.  

Most have heard of Gazprom but What is Rosneft?  
Rosneft (Russian: Росне́фть, IPA: [rɐˈsnʲeftʲ]; MCX: ROSN, LSE: ROSN) is an integrated oil company majority owned by the Government of Russia.  Rosneft is headquartered in Moscow’s Balchug district near the Kremlin, across the Moskva River.  Rosneft became Russia’s leading extraction and refinement company after purchasing assets of former oil giant Yukos at state-run auctions.  In March 2013, after completing acquisition of TNK-BP, Rosneft became the largest publicly traded oil company.[1][2]

Rosneft conducts oil and gas exploration and production activities on Sakhalin island, Siberia, Timan-Pechora field and in southern Russia, including Chechnya.  It owns and operates two refineries.  The refinery in Tuapse, on the Black Sea, focuses on refining high-gravity oil from western Siberia.  Another plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur is the easternmost refinery in Russia.  The Komsomolsk Refinery benefits from its technological integration with Nakhodkanefteprodukt, while the Tuapse Refinery is noted for its favorable location on the Black Sea coast and is part of an integrated complex with Tuapsenefteprodukt.  Rosneft operates shipping (Arkhangelsknefteprodukt), pipeline and marketing companies.  As of 29 December 2006, the company’s market value was US$83.908 billion.[3] Rosneft net income fell 20% for the first quarter of 2009 from $2.56 billion to $2.06 billion due to the weakness of oil price.[4]  Rosneft is 75.16% owned by the Russian state, BP a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, England, United Kingdom owns a 19.75% stake while around 5% of the shares are in free float.[5]

Rosneft was established in 1993 as a Unitary enterprise on the basis of assets previously held by Rosneftegaz, the successor to the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Oil and Gas.  During the early 90s almost all Russian local oil companies and refineries were extracted from Rosneft to form ten integrated companies.  Later their number was halved as a result of acquisitions. On 29 September 1995, a resolution of the Government of Russia №971 transformed Rosneft into an open joint stock company.  In October 1998, the Russian government appointed Sergey Bogdanchikov as president.  The company had only two obsolete refineries in addition to several low-productive and poorly managed oil-producing assets.  Several plans for the company’s privatization were formed in the late 1990s, but due to competition equal influential pretenders they were never fulfilled.
Rosneft increased oil output from 98.56 million bbl (13.47 million tonnes) in 2000 to 148.26 million bbl (20.27 million tonnes) in 2004.  In 2001, the company became Russia’s official representative on projects with production sharing agreements (PSA).  In 2003, it began production at the Aday block near the Caspian Sea in Western Kazakhstan.  In 2004 the Rosneft agreed to merge with Gazprom.  The merger plans were discarded in May 2005, allegedly because Bogdanchikov did not wish to take a lesser role in the integrated company answering to Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.

Since 2004, a series of government auctions have been organized to sell Yukos assets, the majority being won by Rosneft.  On 22 December 2004, Rosneft purchased a little known Russian oil company called Baikal Finance Group.  Three days earlier, the previously unheard-of Baikal Group had purchased former Yukos subsidiary Yuganskneftegaz (Yugansk) at a state-run auction, supposedly to satisfy tax debts.  This was viewed by many as a de facto nationalization of Yugansk, and was denounced by Andrei Illarionov, then a senior Putin economic advisor, as “the scam of the year.”[6]  However, despite criticism, the addition of Yungansk resulted in Rosneft becoming Russia’s second-largest producer of oil and gas by 2005, with an average output of 1.69 million bpd.  In June 2007, Rosneft paid $731 million for Yukos transportation assets.[7] Although the Yukos acquisition increased debt considerably, the company still plans to triple refining capacity and expand into China.  Bogdanchikov has said the company plans to reduce debt to 30% of the total assets by 2010.[8] Rosneft wants to extract 140 million tonnes of oil by 2012 and become a global top three energy company.  The group also hopes to increase production from 80 million tonnes in 2006 to 103-million-tonne by the end of 2007.[9]

On July 14, 2006, Rosneft conducted one of the largest initial public offerings (IPO) in financial history, after placing nearly 15% of its shares on the Russian Trading System (RTS) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).  The offering raised USD 10.7 billion.  Shares were priced at $7.55, near the upper end of the range forecast when the IPO was announced, resulting in Rosneft being valued at $79.8 billion.  Rosneft achieved its objective largely by arranging bilateral deals with strategic investors, such as British Petroleum (BP), Petronas and CNPC, which bought almost $2.6 billion worth of shares during the IPO.  Three oligarchs invested over $1 billion each on the LSE (Roman Abramovich, Vladimir Lisin, and Oleg Deripaska). Critics of the deal included financier George Soros, who called on investors to boycott it on ethical grounds, and Andrei Illarionov, who called the deal illegal and ‘a crime against the Russian people,’ because none of the proceeds will go into the state budget.  The British Financial Services Authority authorised the flotation of Rosneft shares despite an appeal from Yukos, which claimed that allowing the Rosneft IPO would be tantamount to facilitating the sale of stolen goods.[10]

Arctic shelf deals with BP and ExxonMobil
See also: East-Prinovozemelsky field
EPNZ 1-3 oil and gas areas
Location of the EPNZ-1, EPNZ-2 and EPNZ-3 oil and gas areas in the Kara Sea, Map by Norman Einstein via Wikimedia

On 15 January 2011, Rosneft and British Petroleum (BP) announced a deal to develop the East-Prinovozemelsky field on the Russian arctic shelf between the Yamal Peninsula and Novaya Zemlya island.[11]  As part of the deal Rosneft was to receive 5% of BP’s shares (worth approximately $7.8 billion, as of January 2011) and BP would get approximately 9.5% of Rosneft’s shares in exchange.[12]  According to the deal, the two companies would also create an Arctic technology centre in Russia to develop technologies and engineering practices for safe arctic hydrocarbons extraction.[13]  The BP–Rosneft deal was blocked in international courts by AAR – BP’s Russian partners in the TNK-BP joint venture – as breaching earlier contractual arrangements between BP and AAR.[14] The TNK-BP partners had previously signed a shareholding agreement which stipulated that their Russian joint venture would be the primary corporate vehicle for BP’s oil and gas operations in Russia.[15]  On 30 August 2011, Rosneft announced that instead of BP the partner for EPNZ-1, EPNZ-2 and EPNZ-3 in the Kara Sea will be ExxonMobil. In exchange, subject to approval by U.S. regulators, in addition to a share in oil production in Russian fields, Rosneft was granted participation in U.S. fields in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.[16][17]
Black sea shelf deal with ExxonMobil
On 27 January 2011, Rosneft and the American company ExxonMobil signed a deal to establish a joint venture for the purpose of prospecting and extracting oil from the Tuapse field deepwater area on the Black Sea shelf, near the coast of the Krasnodar Krai. The value of the deal is unknown, but ExxonMobil is expected to invest $1 billion in the project. The venture will be shared 50–50 between the companies during prospecting phase, and 2/3 – 1/3 in Rosneft’s favour during the extraction phase. The Tuapse Trough is estimated to contain 7.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The first well could be drilled in 2012.[18] The joint venture will benefit from ExxonMobil’s innovative technology and Rosneft’s resources and experience in the region, enabling production from the difficult-to-develop offshore area.[18][19] The deal also contains options for additional cooperation, such as extended exploration and production, deliveries to Rosneft’s oil refinery in Tuapse, development of transport infrastructure and research on offshore oil production technologies.[20] According to analysts, offshore areas are central to Rosneft’s expansionist plans, and the company is looking for foreign cooperation to bring in new technology and share risks.[18]
TNK-BP acquisition
On 22 October 2012, it was announced that Rosneft will take over TNK-BP International, a parent company of TNK-BP Holding, which is the third largest oil company in Russia.[21] BP will receive in exchange of its stake $12.3 billion of cash and 18.5% of Rosneft’s share, while ARR will receive $28 billion in cash.[22] According to Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin, no discussion had been held on a buyout of minority shareholders in TNK-BP Holding.[23] The deal was completed on 22 March 2013. [1][2]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosneft (references at link)

Gazprom Interested in Macedonia for South Stream Project” September 05th, 2013

“Russia’s Gazprom eyes opportunities in Macedonia while maintaining its focus on the South Stream project, President Aleksey Miller said on Wednesday according to a note released by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. Miller said his company is interested in cooperating with the Balkan country, adding that Macedonia is already in Gazprom’s development plans. In a meeting with Macedonia’s Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Miller said that Gazprom is interested in future investments in the country. ‘Gruevski and Miller discussed on the further realization of the South Stream project and concrete steps for its setting into operation,’ reads the note.  On July 23, Macedonia signed an agreement with the Russian Federation on cooperation in the construction of an offshoot of the South Stream gas pipeline.http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/gazprom-macedonia-south-stream-project For more on South Stream see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Stream

Monday 30 September 2013

Environmental Blackmail:  What’s Really at Stake with US Budget Showdown is the Environment

Don’t be fooled! The healthcare issue at stake is rollback in environmental regulations, increased offshore oil drilling, and the Keystone XL pipeline.  With clean water and air and food grown in clean soil, most people will need less of any sort of medical care.  Without environmental regulations and with increasing cancer and other illnesses caused by air, water, and soil pollution the Medical Industrial Complex will remain big business with or without Obama care. Certain Republicans are practicing environmental blackmail:

The House Republican bill will also reportedly demand approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, increased offshore oil drilling and a rollback of environmental regulations.
From BBC News:  “Republicans demand healthcare law delay for debt rise “, 26 September 2013 Last updated at 19:57 GMT http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24289829

A polluted process: Keystone XL, the State Department and conflicts of interest.” Posted Sep. 27, 2013 by Adam Russell

Following  scandals with the first two environmental reviews, the job was given to Environmental Resources Management, which lied on its conflict of interest disclosure form when it said it had no business relationship with TransCanada or other oil companies with a stake in the tar sands. ERM’s lies, and its longstanding deep connections with the global petroleum industry, have led to an inquiry by the State Department’s inspector general, which is expected to be done early next year. Follow the trail of the tainted process, and it’s clear that the pipeline’s review has been severely compromised at every turn.” – See more at: http://www.foe.org/news/news-releases/2013-09-a-polluted-process-kxl-state-department-conflicts-of-interest (bold added for emphasis)

See last Wednesday, 25 September, below for more info on the topic.

How Russia is Losing and Greenpeace is Winning:

Contrary to the way it might appear Greenpeace is actually winning. Why?  They are showing the Russian government and justice system’s true face just as peaceful marching in the US Civil Rights movement showed up police brutality in Alabama. In short, Russia is losing the PR Campaign and they risk losing more. If they do not hurry up and free the 30 prisoners, who are being held, unjustly, without bail, then there will most surely be a boycott of the Olympic Games.  If two of th activists might have been arrested for trespassing upon the oil rig, the others were doing nothing.  Does anyone in their right minds want to go to a place where you can be doing nothing and arrested on trumped up charges and kept in jail with no bail?  Even those believed guilty are supposed to get out on bail in countries which have rule of law.  Sounds like Haiti to us.  However, Haiti is not hosting an Olympics and no one except missionaries is interested in Haiti anyway.  So, poor Enold Florestal and his brother continue to waste away in prison, because no one outside of Haiti cares.  However, people do care about the Arctic and people do care about the 30 people stuck in a Russian jail. In mid September, 3 million people signed a giant polar bear puppet, calling for a ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.  These people are OUTSIDE of Russia and hence the Russian government cannot stop them.  So, Russia’s actions are seriously bad PR.  Think about how many Facebook and twitter friends each of those 3 million people has? President Putin better do the Math if he wants his Olympics.  The US President sprang Dr. Martin Luther King from an Alabama jail. President Putin could surely spring the Greenpeace workers and activists from prison. See:
Giant polar bear leads Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic protest – video” The Guardian, 16 September 2013
“A polar bear the size of a double-decker bus marched through London on Saturday along with up to 3,000 people for Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign. The puppet, named Aurora, was animated by 15 puppeteers and carried the names of 3 million supporters to call for a ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic
“. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2013/sep/16/polar-bear-greenpeace-save-the-arctic-video

Russian court remands last of Greenpeace Arctic oil protesters”
Posted: Sun, 29 Sep 2013 19:16:23 GMT
MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian court has ordered eight remaining Greenpeace activists be held in custody for two months over a protest against Arctic offshore drilling, the environment advocacy group said on Sunday, dashing any hope some might be released quickly.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/5KqcaxaUpro/story01.html

Russia must drop unfounded ‘piracy’ charges against Greenpeace activists.”  24 September 2013, Amnesty International.  http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/russia-must-drop-unfounded-piracy-charges-against-greenpeace-activists-2013-09-24

What do the experts say?
Feature story – September 29, 2013
A great number of legal experts have commented on the boarding and seizure of the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise and on the potential piracy charges against the Arctic 30. Here is a selection:
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/legal-experts-on-arctic-sunrise/

10 steps to dictatorship:  Why the grassroots movement in Haiti is taking to the streets against President Michel Martelly
September 25, 2013, by Charlie Hinton, Haiti Action Committee
http://sfbayview.com/2013/10-steps-to-dictatorship-why-the-grassroots-movement-in-haiti-is-taking-to-the-streets-against-president-michel-martelly/

Judge Joseph post has been updated. The lawyer in the case was supposed to leave Haiti yesterday to seek help. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/part-iv-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/

Sunday, 29 September 2013

From Coup to Coup or How Haiti got in its Current Predicament

According to the UN:  “On 16 December 1990, Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was democratically elected President of Haiti by 67 per cent of Haitian voters.  He took office on 7 February 1991.  The validity of the election was upheld by the United Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Caribbean community.  It was hoped that the election would put an end to a long period encompassing the dictatorship of François and Jean-Claude Duvalier followed by five years of political instability under five different regimes, and mark the beginning of an era of democracy and economic and social progress.  However, on 30 September 1991, President Aristide was overthrown in a coup d’état, headed by Lieutenant-General Raoul Cédras, and forced into exile.” http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unmihbackgr2.html

From October 1991 to September 1994, a military junta governed Haiti. From the outset, the military regime was characterized by widespread and systematic human rights violations—government and paramilitary forces killed an estimated 4,000 Haitians and forced hundreds of thousands to flee the land border to the Dominican Republic or risk the high seas.[6][7]http://www.cja.org/article.php?list=type&type=250 (references at link, bold added)

Haiti:  Harvest of Hope 2 minute trailer
http://youtu.be/3bBP1UuPuFc
(Shows from the run-up to the election to the 1991 coup)

Haitian President Martelly appears to have been a vocal supporter of Cedras and his coup.  Cedras is also cousin to Martelly’s first Prime Minister pick, Daniel Rouzier.  Gary Lissade, Sr., of Lissade Law – recently made infamous due to an alleged meeting with Judge Joseph, shortly before the Judge suddenly died, was Lt. General Cedras’ legal representative.  Lissade’s late wife Mireille Hudicourt (mother of Gary, Jr.), was  second cousins with Raoul Cedras (i.e. their grandmothers were sisters)  (For the geneaology see: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/mystery-along-the-road-to-jesus/ )

There are many theories about these two coups and about the players.  While US involvement in both is widely written about, and French and Canadian for the second coup, we speculate that Cosa Nostra was a major player in the first and perhaps the second coup.  Regardless, it is important to recognize the role played by Haiti’s Morally Repugnant Elites in these coups.

Mining and Coup d’Etat

Does this have anything to do with mining?  Yes it does.  However, we doubt that it is either the only or the most important reason.  But, it is there.  Aristide wanted profits from any mining (or oil) to benefit the Haitian people, and was the first to make people aware of the possibility of mineral wealth, not long before the second coup.  We note, as well, the lack of transparency by other governments, including Martelly-Lamothe, over mining and petroleum, even though the mineral rights are supposed to belong to the Haitian State and by extension the Haitian people.

Furthermore, according to Claude Prepetit (2000) of Haiti’s Bureau of Mines and Energy (BME), the Societe Miniere Citadelle received an EXPLOITATION permit on the 11 February 1992, for Morne Bossa and Grand Bois.  This was shortly after the first coup d’etat against President Aristide.  Citadelle also signed a Mining Convention for EXPLOITATION of Morne Bossa and Grand Bois in 1997, which was renewed-published in 2005, shortly after the second coup against Aristide.  This and another Mining Convention, renewed-published in 2005, are the Conventions under which the mining companies allege to be currently operating in Haiti, although the companies do not appear to have upheld the terms of the Convention agreements, in the proper time frame, and thus the Conventions appear null and void.

The Windward Passage

Windwardpassagemap

We believe that the main reason for the coups has to do with the Windward Passage:
The Windward Passage is a strait in the Caribbean Sea, between the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola.  The strait specifically lies between the easternmost region of Cuba and the northwest of Haiti.[1]  80km wide, the Windward Passage has a threshold depth of 1,700m.  Navassa Island lies on its southern approach.  It connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, and is in the direct path of shipping between the Panama Canal and the eastern seaboard of the United States.[2]  From either the eastern tip of the Guantánamo Province of Cuba, or the western tip of Haiti’s Nord-Ouest Department, it is possible to see lights on the other side of the Windward Passage.[3]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windward_Passage (references at link)

It is thus geo-strategically of vital importance for the United State’s both economically and militarily.  However, Haiti is also vitally important for the mafia or mafia-like elements involved in shipping drugs from Latin America.  Unlike some authors, we are not suggesting a relationship between the two, but rather that both the US government, and those involved in drug-trafficking, would have an interest in controlling whoever is in power in Haiti, to assure access to this passage.  Who rules Haiti would have been of grave concern for the US while Castro was still in power in Cuba.  Unfortunately, he waited to step down until shortly after Haiti was saddled by Martelly.  Aristide had accepted medical workers from Cuba around 2002. There were more Haitian doctors in Montreal than Haiti, so what other choice was there? And, Martelly has also welcomed Cuban medical teams. Martelly and Lamothe, bizarrely enough, attended Chavez’ funeral in twin red shirts.  With Castro out of power and Chavez dead, it is really time for the US to do the right thing and help Haiti rid itself of Martelly and Lamothe and have democratic elections.  No more excuses.

Might there be a relationship between mining and drug trafficking in Haiti?  Besides that mining can act as a cover for drug trafficking and provides infrastructure which can facilitate drug trafficking “One way that mining companies can launder money is to claim more gold sales than the volume that was actually exported.  As a result, proceeds of crime can be placed ‘in the books’ and made to appear legitimate.  Alternatively, precious metals can be used as a medium of exchange and be directly traded for weapons and other goods, allowing criminal groups to bypass financial institutions.” http://www.fintrac-canafe.gc.ca/publications/watch-regard/2012-01-eng.pdf (Money Laundering and Terrorist Activity Financing Watch, July-September 2011, Unclassified,© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2012)
Note that exploration in Haiti is often by helicopter and exploration and mining is by FIFO, Fly in Fly out, all of which could act as ample cover for drug trafficking.  We are not saying that it does but it could.

Coup d’Etat Political Killings

What did John Shattuck who, from 1993 to 1998, was Assistant US Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor have to say about the coup:
Haiti is a country not far from the shores of the United States.  In 1993 and ’94, a human rights catastrophe was unraveling in Haiti.  The democratically elected president had been overthrown in a coup by a military regime that then conducted massive political killings in Haiti.  Anyone aligned with the president, President Aristide, was likely to be picked up and killed or rounded up.  Many people started to flee from Haiti in small boats, and many of them tried to make it and did succeed in making it to Florida and other places on U.S. shores.  That, naturally, became a political question, the whole question of how you deal with the refugees. At the same time, the Congressional Black Caucus became very interested in the plight of the Haitians. There are a lot of Haitian-Americans in the United States.

President Clinton began to feel that this crisis not far from our shores required the kind of attention which a very distant catastrophe like the one in Rwanda didn’t receive. So he did go on national television, he did take the bully pulpit, and he did work to assemble a multinational force and got UN approval of that force to go into Haiti and help restore the democratically elected president and remove the military regime that was causing such havoc.” http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people4/Shattuck/shattuck04-con0.html

From the Center for Justice and Accountability:
FRAPH: Haiti’s Most Notorious Death Squad

The commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Haiti (FADH), Raoul Cédras, was the head of the new military government.  The three pillars of Cédras’s regime were: the FADH; the National Intelligence Service, led by Col. Michel-Joseph Francois; and the paramilitaries, the most notorious of which organized under the banner of the Front Révolutionnaire Armé pour le Progrés d’Haïti (Armed Revolutionary Front for the Progress of Haiti, aka, FRAPH). Their acronym, FRAPH, was a pun on the French and Creole verb ‘frapper’: ‘to hit.’  Led by the flamboyant Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant,  FRAPH participated in a broad campaign of extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, torture and arbitrary detention.  In addition to a massive campaign of sexual violence against women, FRAPH became notorious for the collection and display of the scalps and faces of its political opponents.  U.S. investigative reporters later revealed that FRAPH had been founded with support and funding by the C.I.A. and the D.I.A.[8]http://www.cja.org/article.php?list=type&type=250  (references in original at link)

Refugee Crisis:  Haitian ‘Boat People’ 

During the violent years of 1991-1994, tens of thousands of Haitians crowded into unseaworthy boats to seek asylum in the United States.  The George H.W. Bush administration responded with a controversial policy of interdicting refugees on the high seas.  Over 30,000 Haitian refugees were detained in a legal limbo at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In the fall of 1994, President Bill Clinton ordered U.S. forces to prepare to launch a military intervention to restore the democratically elected Aristide to power.  Faced with the prospect of invasion, Haiti’s military leaders agreed to step down and Aristide was returned to office in 1995. Unfortunately, Aristide was unable to arrest and neutralize many of Haiti’s former military leaders.  Compounding the problem of impunity was the fact that a number of Haitian human rights abusers, including FRAPH leader Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant, came to the U.S. for safe haven. [10]

http://www.cja.org/article.php?list=type&type=250  (references in original at link)

On the second, 2004, coup against Aristide
(first 15 min from the documentary, Aristide and the Endless Revolution):
http://youtu.be/xTDPKxE_o5o

Judge Joseph post was updated: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/part-iv-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Please take a look at our reblog of a post from someone attending the Powertech Dewey-Burdock Uranium Mine Hearings in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  There is a link to the hearings at the blog.  You can also get an idea of what it takes to win a grassroots campaign.  And, we believe that they will win: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/day-four-on-not-being-alone/
Note that this ISL Uranium Mine uses lots of water in an area which is almost totally dependent on farming and which often suffers from drought.  To us it is obvious that it will poison the aquifers, although Powertech denies this.  The Uranium Mine will only provide a handful of jobs compared to agriculture, which provides over 122,000:
Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, generating over $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 122,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=15149 http://www.agclassroom.org/sd/index.htm
See also:
Shrinking water supply under threat in U.S. farm breadbasket – report
(Reuters) — A critical water source for U.S. farmers and ranchers is being depleted at a rapid…” Aug. 27th, 2013  
http://www.producer.com/daily/shrinking-water-supply-under-threat-in-u-s-farm-breadbasket-report/
There is so much more to say about why Powertech should be stopped.  But, given their long-term grass roots organization and strength of argument we feel convinced that the opponents to Powertech will prevail.  If they do not we will feel certain that the Board was bought off.

How About Cow Power?

Hereford bull large
(USDA, Hereford bull)
Cow Power
Transforming Greenhouse Gases to Renewable Energy

The good news is that methane from dairy manure can be captured and converted into energy using existing technologies. The resulting biogas can be used to create:
Renewable electricity;
Renewable vehicle fuel (biomethane); or
Renewable natural gas that can be can be injected into existing pipelines for a wide range of uses (heating, power plants).

Read the rest and more info here: http://www.suscon.org/cowpower/

As for the picture: Yes, yes, Hereford are beef cattle and not dairy cows and that is a bull, not a cow, but all cattle produce manure which can be used for methane (as can sewage). There is also a possibility of capturing cow flatus (burps, etc).

We have a new Judge Joseph Senate Report post.  The Senate Report was finally approved.  We include a letter by Senator Benoit about the current state of affairs in Haiti.  He presented this letter during the US Congressional Black Caucus Conference in Washington, DC.  Then we continue with translation of the report. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/part-iv-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/

Common Sense Sorely Needed:

Spain halts EU-backed Castor gas storage project
Posted:Fri, 27 Sep 2013 12:55:52 GMT
MADRID, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The Spanish government has halted activity at the European Union-backed Castor gas storage plant after more than 200 minor earthquakes were detected near the area off the eastern coast of Valencia.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/YJNZT2pFHgo/story01.htm

This is about natural gas and not castor oil gas. You can read about this Castor project and watch a video on their web site. There is also a video at youtube. Now this underground storage of gas looks to us like too much creative intelligence by engineers with no concrete common sense. If pumping water for industrial purposes caused Venice Italy to sink, and sometimes there is subsidence from drilling for oil, isn’t it obvious that putting natural gas into the pores of limestone is going to cause problems? In this case a cluster of 200 mini-earthquakes.  And, then they wonder why the earthquakes kept going after they stopped putting natural gas into the rock?  Maybe because it takes some time for the gas to migrate through the pores? (Although we did not notice it mentioned in their video, Castor is apparently the depleted Vinaroz oil field).  Now, of course, there is plenty of evidence from earthquake swarms from fracking and other injections into the earth. See for instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_seismicity_in_Basel and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_geothermal_systems . At any rate they should have studied these things with computer models BEFORE wasting money on this project.  Who wants to think about how much this project cost and how much better the money might have been spent on renewable energy.  Dr. James Flynn has pointed out that historically people were not abstract thinkers and only concrete thinkers.  Now they can think abstractly.  But, how about marrying concrete common sense and abstraction together?

Hubris, Pride and Greed are Destroying the Earth (and Poisoning Us All)

Hubris ….means extreme pride or arrogance.  Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.  Hubris is usually associated with the ‘simple-minded”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris (references at link; bold added)

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” Proverbs 16:18  (KJV)

Greed Needs No Introduction

The following web site discusses using pre-emptied cavities or emptying cavities (salt domes) to store natural gas: “Underground natural gas storage in the UK” http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/energy/undergroundGasStorage.html

The first type is apparently causing earthquakes. But, the second one, the salt domes might also sound like a grand idea until you look what happened and is still happening in Louisiana with a storage salt dome (and this is not the first salt dome sinkhole):
http://youtu.be/CbT1Mu4mj5Q

Or, read about it here:
Mining Madness: 750-Foot-Deep Sinkhole Swallows Louisiana Town
The 24-acre cavity was caused by the collapse of an underground salt dome
.”  August 22, 2013  By Douglas Main. http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/08/22/louisiana-town-destroyed-mining-induced-sinkhole-750-foot-deep-24-acre-wider

For an account of everything about the Louisiana Sinkhole check out this link:   http://lasinkhole.wordpress.com/

Friday 27 September 2013

Know Before You Go to Russia:  No Bail Allowed

The Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe, of which Russia is a member, has criticized Russia for denying bail to 30 Greenpeace crew and activists, from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK, and the US.

Read:
UPDATE 2-Russian court order activists held over Arctic oil protest
Posted:Fri, 27 Sep 2013 04:42:25 GMT
* Thirty activists ordered held over protest at oil platform
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/lhmu_OnTn6E/story01.htm

Alex Harris, who works in Greenpeace communications “was hoping to see polar bears, she did not envisage this sort of thing would happen”.
See:  BBC, 23 September 2013
Greenpeace worker Alex Harris’s mother talks of fears for daughterhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-24205489

Russia:  Worst of the Czars and of the USSR?

Of course, anyone who has watched news in English and French over the years and spoken with those who have been to or lived in Russia is easily left with the impression that Russia has morphed into a country which combines the worst of Czarist Russia with the worst characteristics of the former USSR.  Actually didn’t the USSR take its worst characteristics from the Czarist State anyway?  Read the articles above before you travel to Russia.  Make sure that Russia’s beauty is worth it.  There are lots of pretty places to travel.

If you think your country will save you, wait and see which nationalities get out first.  And, read about Charles Horman who was apparently sacrificed in Chile to US corporate interests.  His country did not save him, on the contrary.  It is not a given that countries fight for their citizens.  Know before you go!

We hope that those climbing the Platform knew that Russia is not Greenland, and knew the risks they were taking for a greater good. However, it seems that those who were staying on the Greenpeace boat did not understand the risks.

Of course, this is supposed to be the point of peaceful civil disobedience – it unveils the true face of your opponent.  So, now we see the true face of Russian Justice.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

No accounting for Mean-spiritedness nor for Folly

We start with the former (aren’t you glad we came up with a word that doesn’t start with “a”, which more readily springs to mind?). It is clear that Russia is not Greenland who released the activists promptly, even though they had succeeded at climbing the Greenland rig:

Russian courts order activists held over Arctic oil protest Posted: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 14:34:20 GMT
MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian court on Thursday ordered seven Greenpeace activists and a photographer held in custody for two months pending further investigation over a protest against offshore Arctic oil drilling, drawing criticism from the environmental group. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/a9OWtFGO7Xs/story01.htm
The above lists some, but not all, held. The Greenpeace twitter feeds list some more. One missing from reuters seems to be a Swiss man – probably a mountain climber putting his skills to good use on the oil platform. https://twitter.com/Greenpeace

Now here’s the Kicker Regarding the Prirazlomnye Platform:

Without tax breaks the project would be uneconomical:
Exploration and production in Timan-Pechora has been somewhat disappointing. For example, LUKoil’s development of the Khylchuikoye project appears to have reached its peak as early as June 2010. Gazprom is planning to develop the 530-million barrel Prirazlomnoye field in the Pechora Sea after the company was granted tax breaks in July 2012, without which the project would have been uneconomical. Much like Prirazlomnoye, fields in these areas are challenging and expensive to develop, particularly under the current tax and tariff system.” http://www.eia.gov/countries/analysisbriefs/Russia/russia.pdf

9,000 anti-nuclear advocates protest in Tokyo against reactor restarts” Sep 16, 2013 By Faith Aquino. http://japandailypress.com/9000-anti-nuclear-advocates-protest-in-tokyo-against-reactor-restarts-1635960/

The above was not the first protest either:
Anti-Nuclear Power Plant Rally on 19 September 2011 at Meiji Shrine Outer Garden 03
Anti-Nuclear Power Plant Rally, 19 September 2011 at Meiji Shrine Outer Garden.  By 保守 via Wikimedia

Here’s the Part on Folly:

But, thank goodness Reuters has a misleading title. They only got permission to seek a permit. However all nuclear power plants are pure folly and you see the opposition, above, as well:

Tokyo Electric gets OK to seek restart of world’s largest nuclear plant
Posted:Thu, 26 Sep 2013 13:49:00 GMT
TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power Co took an initial step forward on Thursday in its plan to recover from the Fukushima nuclear disaster by winning approval from a previously reluctant local governor to apply to restart a plant in western Japan.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/wjG4-m-jxH8/story01.htm

The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the world’s worst nuclear accident since 1986, displaced 50,000 households after radiation leaked into the air, soil and sea.[7] Radiation checks led to bans of some shipments of vegetables and fish.[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-nuclear_power_movement_in_Japan (references and much more at link) As we have already mentioned it continues to leak. ALL companies involved in its construction need to be held accountable to pay for containment.

Update 2, Wednesday 25 september
Putin says Greenpeace activists not pirates, but did break law
Posted: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 14:21:37 GMT
SALEKHARD, Russia (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday Greenpeace activists arrested for staging a protest at Russia’s first Arctic offshore oil platform had violated international law but signaled they should not face charges of piracy.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/J1b2ZfCZrww/story01.htm This appears progress, though it is not technically in his hands. And what would have happened if they did not have the backing of a vocal and large organization like Greenpeace? And, with no forthcoming Winter Olympics?

According to the article the 30 activists were separated and sent to different investigative detention facilities. It also indicates that they are being questioned without their lawyers and diplomatic representatives, who are not even being allowed to visit them, according to Greenpeace Russia.

Time to Boycott Exxon-Mobile, Eni, Statoil and any others

And, sure enough, according to the above article, they are not only fighting Russia (Rosneft) but also Exxon-Mobile, Italy’s Eni and Norway’s Statoil who made deals “with Russia’s state-owned Rosneft to enter Russia’s Artic offshore waters.”
Which, of course means that if you must buy gasoline (petrol) you should NOT buy from these companies. Greenpeace makes everyone aware but after that boycott must be most effective.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Trying to Stop Uranium Mining in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Blog of someone attending the public hearings. Includes link to recording of the public hearings: http://legislation.dakotarural.org/2013/09/23/powertech-hearings-begin/

Cost to add more solar, wind to U.S. West power grid is small – study
Posted: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 14:55:41 GMT
(Reuters) – Wear-and-tear costs on coal and natural gas power plants from adding high levels of wind and solar energy in the U.S. West is small compared with the benefits of generating less power using fossil fuels, a federal study said Tuesday.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/ySrl1gaInbw/story01.htm

BBC:  24 September 2013 Last updated at 14:55 GMT
Russia accuses Greenpeace crew of ‘piracy’ in Arctic
The BBC’s Daniel Sandford: ‘This is the first time that Greenpeace have found themselves at the criminal end of the piracy law

Article 227 of Russia’s penal code defines piracy as ‘an attack on a ship at sea or on a river, with the aim of seizing someone else’s property, using violence or the threat of violence’. It can be punished with a jail term of up to 15 years, depending on the gravity of the offence, and a fine of up to 500,000 roubles (£10,000; $15,000).” (bold added for emphasis) Read the entire story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24222392
We have to agree with someone who commented that Russia’s actions look more like piracy than Greenpeace’s do.  It is clear that those few climbing the oil platform would have to know that there would be fines or some prison term.  However, accusations of piracy and taking the boat hostage are far-fetched, but are in line with the reputation which Russia has developed in recent years.

UPDATE 3-Russia to prosecute Greenpeace Arctic oil rig activists
Posted: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 17:45:11 GMT (Reuters)
* Greenpeace accuses Russia of illegality (Updates with diplomatic visit)
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/5dpTKI1lNYc/story01.htm

Greenpeace activists have climbed other oil platforms (and at least once even stayed attached and blocked drilling for days).
Global Head of Greenpeace Deported from Greenland
Kumi Naidoo will spend night in Danish jail before release tomorrow

Press release, Greenland, June 21 2011 – The International Executive Director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo, has been deported from Greenland after four days in jail. He is being flown to Copenhagen, where he will be held in prison for the night before being taken to Amsterdam, where he will be released.
Naidoo and fellow activist Ulvar Arnkvaern were arrested on Friday morning after breaching an exclusion zone and scaling a controversial Arctic oil rig 120km off the Greenland coast.  They were charged with trespassing and fined 20,000 DKK.  The rig’s operators Cairn Energy used powerful water cannons to try to prevent him climbing a 30 metre ladder up the outside of one of the rig’s giant legs, but Naidoo braved the freezing jets and made it to the platform
“. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/Global-Head-of-Greenpeace-Deported-from-Greenland/ (bold added)
Trespassing is the proper charge NOT piracy.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
(Matthew 6: 21, KJV)

Greenpeace Canadians held by Russia receive diplomatic visit” By Tom Parry, CBC News Posted: Sep 24, 2013 3:08 PM ET Last Updated: Sep 24, 2013 3:08 PM ET
Russian authorities say the Greenpeace activists could face piracy charges.
Ferguson calls that absurd.
‘Piracy applies very specifically to cases where there is a violent assault for a commercial gain,’ she said. ‘These activists were acting peacefully.’….
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, asked Tuesday in Montreal about the incident, said he hasn’t seen the charges against the Canadians, but he noted that Greenpeace in the past has taken ‘provocative actions’ on the high seas
.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/greenpeace-canadians-held-by-russia-receive-diplomatic-visit-1.1866694 (bold added by us)
It is clear that the treasure of the Russian and Canadian governments is the resource extractive industries, and there also are their hearts.

Canadian Natural told to drain Alberta lake due to oil sands leak
Posted:  Tue, 24 Sep 2013 21:44:07 GMT
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd has been ordered to drain a lake on the site of its northern Alberta oil sands project so that contamination on the lake’s bottom, from a leak that has been spilling tar-like bitumen for months, can be cleaned up.http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/1OoGXfj3q1o/story01.htm

All Things are Related: Keystone

House Republicans Considering Tying Keystone Pipeline Approval To Debt Ceiling Hike” by Luke Johnson and Sam Stein. Posted: 09/18/2013 10:50 am EDT http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/18/house-republicans-keystone-debt-ceiling_n_3947878.html

It’s Baaack! GOP puts US economy at risk (again) over the Keystone Pipeline” by Liz Iacobucci on September 23, 2013 http://bluehampshire.com/2013/09/23/its-baaack-gop-puts-us-economy-at-risk-again-over-the-keystone-pipeline/
Why is the House GOP obsessed with the Keystone pipeline?  By Liz Iacobucci, March 14, 2013
Read article here: http://nhlabornews.com/2013/03/why-is-the-house-gop-obsessed-with-the-keystone-pipeline/

For those, like us, who have had their heads in non-bituminous sand…
What are Oil Sands?

http://youtu.be/YkwoRivP17A
(11 minute video)

From Wikipedia: “Oil sands, tar sands or, more technically, bituminous sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit.  The oil sands are loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone containing naturally occurring mixtures of sand, clay, and water, saturated with a dense and extremely viscous form of petroleum technically referred to as bitumen (or colloquially tar due to its similar appearance, odour and colour).  Natural bitumen deposits are reported in many countries, but in particular are found in extremely large quantities in Canada.[1][2] Other large reserves are located in Kazakhstan and Russia….Oil sands reserves have only recently been considered to be part of the world’s oil reserves, as higher oil prices and new technology enable profitable extraction and processing.  Oil produced from bitumen sands is often referred to as unconventional oil or crude bitumen, to distinguish it from liquid hydrocarbons produced from traditional oil wells. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_sands  (references in original)

Athabasca Oil Sands map
Map by Norman Einstein via Wikimedia

The Athabasca oil sands (also called the Athabasca tar sands or Alberta tar sands) are large deposits of bitumen or extremely heavy crude oil, located in northeastern Alberta, Canada – roughly centred on the boomtown of Fort McMurray.  These oil sands, hosted in the McMurray Formation, consist of a mixture of crude bitumen (a semi-solid form of crude oil), silica sand, clay minerals, and water.  The Athabasca deposit is the largest known reservoir of crude bitumen in the world and the largest of three major oil sands deposits in Alberta, along with the nearby Peace River and Cold Lake deposits.[3]

Together, these oil sand deposits lie under 141,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi) of boreal forest and muskeg (peat bogs)….” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athabasca_oil_sands (references at link, bold added)

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_River_oil_sands http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_Lake_oil_sands http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabasco_oil_sands
and
The Melville Island oil sands are a large deposit of oil sands (sometimes referred to as tar sands) on Melville Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.[1][2]
Exploration for petroleum deposits in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago began, on Melville Island, in 1961.[3] Oil sands deposits were found in the Marie Bay region in 1962, and other locations that are part of the Bjorne Formation.[4][5][6]”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melville_Island_oil_sands (references at link, bold added)

From “Corroding Our Democracy: Canada Silences Scientists, Targets Environmentalists in Tar Sands Push” Democracy Now, Tuesday, September 24, 2013:

Tzeporah Berman:  It’s really dirty because it’s — the oil is mixed with sand.  So, in order to get that oil out, they have to use natural gas.  More natural gas is used in the tar sands than all homes in Canada.  It’s — so, they use natural gas and freshwater to actually remove the oil from the sand, and the result is that each barrel of oil from the tar sands has three to four times more emissions, more climate pollution than conventional oil.
Amy Goodman:  And explain how this pipeline would traverse Canada and the United States and where it goes, what it is for.  Does the U.S. benefit from the oil going through the pipeline?
Tzeporah Berman:  No, this is an export pipeline.  What the industry wants is, they want to get this oil off the continent because they’ll get a better price.  And so, all of the pipelines that are currently being proposed are in order so that the industry can export the oil.  So, the Keystone, for example, will go all the way from Alberta straight down through the United States and out to the Gulf, and it’s not for U.S. consumption.  The majority of that oil is destined to — the U.S. is really just in the Canadian oil industry’s way.  The result is that this is a pipeline that is — presents enormous risk to the American people as a result of the terrible records of oil spills and leaks. And not a lot of benefit.
…..
“Neil Young:  The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima.  Fort McMurray is a wasteland.  The Indians up there and the Native peoples are dying.  The fuel’s all over, there’s fumes everywhere.  You can smell it when you get to town.  The closest place to Fort McMurray that is doing the tar sands work is 25 or 30 miles out of town, and you can taste it when you get to Fort McMurray.  People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this.
” (bold added) Video and entire transcript here: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/24/corroding_our_democracy_canada_silences_scientists

Deep sea recovery from U.S. Gulf spill could take decades: study
Posted: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 21:14:11 GMT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The muddy deep-sea ecosystem around the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could take decades to recover from the effects of the disaster, researchers reported on Tuesday.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/yyugvu08ydk/story01.htm

More grandfathering in:
Current U.S. coal plants excluded from new carbon capture rules – EPA Chief
Posted:Mon, 23 Sep 2013 17:34:31 GMT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Power plants already in operation in the United States will not be required to be retrofitted with equipment to capture carbon emissions, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/X-6glCFPerA/story01.htm Grandfathers are good. Grandfathering in is generally bad!

For those interested in Pipeline Politics:
UPDATE 2-Iraq asks Kurds to link new oil pipeline to its networkhttp://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/5dpTKI1lNYc/story01.htm

REUTERS SUMMIT-Gazprom says no talks on gas from Exxon’s Sakhalin-1
Posted: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 17:49:32 GMT
* Gazprom may link China gas deal to Asian products basket
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/_EjCWN_ElZc/story01.htm

Where is Sakhalin 1?  Pechora and the Greenpeace activists are in the far west of Russia and Sakhalin is on the Far Eastern side

Sakhalin, Russia is off the east coast of Russia, and just north of Japan: “The indigenous peoples of the island are the Ainu, Oroks and Nivkhs.[2] Sakhalin has been claimed by both Russia and Japan over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.  This has led to bitter disputes between the two countries over control of the island…[3]” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin (references at link)
Before the arrival of Russians, the Oroks “differed economically from similar peoples due to their herding of reindeer. Reindeer provided the Oroks, particularly in northern Sakhalin, with food, clothing, and transportation. The Oroks also practiced fishing and hunting…Some northern Oroks still practice semi-nomadic herding alongside vegetable farming and cattle ranchinghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orok_people (references at link)
For the Ainu see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people
The Nivkh “are an indigenous ethnic group inhabiting the northern half of Sakhalin Island and the region of the Amur River estuary in Russia’s Khabarovsk Krai. Nivkh were mainly fishermen, hunters, and dog breeders….As of the 2002 Russian Federation census, 5,287 Nivkh exist….
The Nivkh are physically and genetically different from the surrounding peoples, and scholars believe they are the indigenous inhabitants of the area…[9]
” Scientists believe that they were the first to migrate eastward into the Americas.[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nivkh_people (references at link)

Thus, the Nivkh may well be the ancestors to First Nations being poisoned by Oil Tar Sands in Canada

Sakhalin I and II and Pipeline

Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok pipeline
Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok pipeline Map by Shigeru21, Creative Commons via Wikimedia

The Sakhalin-I (Russian: Сахалин-1) project, a sister project to Sakhalin-II, is a consortium to locate and produce oil and gas on Sakhalin Island and immediately offshore, in the Okhotsk Sea, from three fields: Chayvo, Odoptu, and Arkutun-Dagi.[1]
In 1996, the consortium completed a production-sharing agreement between the Sakhalin-I consortium, the Russian Federation, and the Sakhalin government. The consortium is managed and operated by Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL).[1]
Since 2003, when the first Sakhalin-1 well was drilled, six of the world’s 10 record-setting extended reach drilling wells have been drilled at the fields of the project, using the Yastreb rig. It has set multiple industry records for depth, rate of penetration and directional drilling. On 27 August 2012, Exxon Neftegas Ltd beat its previous record by completing Z-44 Chayvo well. This ERD well reached a measured total depth of 12,376 meters (40,604 ft), making it the longest well in the world.[2]…
As part of the project, Russia is in the process of building a 220-kilometre (140 mi) pipeline across the Tatar Strait from Sakhalin Island to De-Kastri oil terminal on the Russian mainland. From De-Kastri it will be loaded onto tankers for transport to East Asian markets.[1]
Environmental controversies
Scientists and environmental groups voice concern that Sakhalin-I threatens the critically endangered western gray whale population. Approximately 130 western gray whales remain, of which only 30-35 are reproductive females. These whales only feed during the summer and autumn, in feeding grounds which happen to lie adjacent to Sakhalin-I project onshore and offshore facilities and associated activities along the northeast coast of Sakhalin Island.[9]
” (bold added) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin-I (references at link)

The Sakhalin-2 (Russian: Сахалин-2) project is an oil and gas development in Sakhalin Island, Russia. It includes development of the Piltun-Astokhskoye oil field and the Lunskoye natural gas field offshore Sakhalin Island in the Okhotsk Sea, and associated infrastructure onshore. The project is managed and operated by Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. (Sakhalin Energy).
Sakhalin-2 includes the first liquefied natural gas plant in Russia. Therefore, the project is of vital importance to Russia’s energy policy. This was seen as a reason why the foreign owners of the development were forced to sell a majority stake in the project to Russian gas company Gazprom.[1] The development is situated in areas previously little touched by human activity, causing various groups to criticize the development activities and the impact they have on the local environment.[1]….
In July 2005, a Russian court upheld the appeal of environmentalists who claimed in a petition that Sakhalin Energy’s environmental impact assessment, was inadequate. Sakhalin Energy denied the claims and stated them as vague and inaccurate.[22] The environmental and social concerns came to a head at the end of November 2005 when the chief executive of WWF, Robert Napier, said that it would have a “negative impact on Sakhalin’s people and environment”.[citation needed] The WWF asserted that Sakhalin-2 threatens marine life as well as potentially damaging the local communities in the region.  Sakhalin Energy responded to the WWF’s assertion by saying that the project meets lenders’ policies and that environmental and social issues have been met.[23]
In September 2006, Sakhalin Energy briefly suspended construction work on its pipelines. Oleg Mitvol, the deputy chief of the Russian Federal Service for Natural Resources, had announced in early August 2006 that, according to his data, Sakhalin Energy failed to take all actions required to eliminate the danger of the mud flow.[24]  This was supported by President Vladimir Putin.[25]
Energy analysts believed alleged violations of the environmental regulations were a pretext by the Russian government to pressure Sakhalin Energy to sell a large stake to Gazprom.[1]
Threats to gray whales
One key concern from environmental groups is that the Sakhalin-2 project will harm the western gray whale population. The whales summer feeding grounds are close to the project’s offshore platforms in the Sea of Okhotsk.[26][27]….
Salmon fishing
Other concerns are that the project will threaten the livelihood of tens of thousands of fishermen, destroy the key salmon fishing area off the island by dumping one million tons of dredging spoil waste into the sea, and imply a long-time threat of a large oil spill in the Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan.[35]….
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin-II (Sakhalin Environment Watch list of environmental changes and references at link, bold added)

The Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok pipeline is a natural gas pipeline in Russia, transporting Sakhalin’s gas to the most populated and industrialized regions of the Russian Far East (Khabarovsk Krai and Primorsky Krai). It is also projected to become a part of an international export route, carrying Russian gas to East Asian countries, such as the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and Japan. The pipeline is owned and operated by Gazprom. It was opened on 8 September 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin–Khabarovsk–Vladivostok_pipeline (references at link, bold added)

U.N. aviation emissions deal in sight but possible hurdles loom
Posted:Tue, 24 Sep 2013 23:04:47 GMT
MONTREAL (Reuters) – United Nations aviation chiefs said Tuesday that thorny issues still loom heading into two weeks of negotiations aimed at finalizing a deal to address greenhouse gas emissions from the global aviation sector.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/CidX9zm7Ibg/story01.htm

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Majescor Stock closed still at one half of a Canadian cent

Judge Joseph post updated. Apparently he was so scared after the alleged meeting with Martelly-Lamothe that he got a gun. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-witnesses-part-iii-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/

Climbing the Gazprom Oil Rig and Being Held at Gunpoint

http://youtu.be/gXvY8_ydnvI
More pictures: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/multimedia/slideshows/Action-at-Gazproms-Arctic-Oil-Platform/

Who will be Freed First?

The Greenpeace activists in Russia or the Haitian political prisoners Enold Florestal and his brother?
Note that as of Friday, 21 September, Enold Florestal is still in prison; another sit-in in front of the Parquet of Cap Haitian protested this. http://www.touthaiti.com/touthaiti-actualites/2666-mobilisation-sit-in-des-sympathisants-du-mopod-devant-le-parquet-du-cap-haitien-pour-reclamer-la-liberation-des-prisonniers-politiques
The reaction of governments to their citizens having apparently been taken hostage or arrested by Russia may tell everyone the degree to which the various governments are beholden to oil and gas interests.  Recall that when Charles Horman was taken prisoner (and executed) in Chile, 1973, the US government did not try to help him and appears to have encouraged his arrest (see more info a few days ago). The US government was more beholden to corporate interests in Chile than to its own citizens.  Although various corporations may compete for Artic oil, in the end, if Petrogaz can move forward with oil drilling then it seems that other oil companies will move more easily forward with drilling the Artic, in a piggyback effect.

ArcticLocationMap2
Photo USGS via Wikimedia

Special Hazards of Artic Oil Spills

Oil Spills” by http://oceansnorth.org/oil-spills :

Documents supporting the U.S. government’s 2007-2012 offshore oil and gas leasing program assume that one large oil spill would likely occur in Bristol Bay in the southeast Bering Sea and two large oil spills would occur in U.S. Arctic waters as a result of exploration and drilling activities. The threat is amplified because no adequate technology or infrastructure to clean up oil in broken sea ice has been proven to work in the Arctic. Spill response could be delayed for weeks at a time due to the often hazardous conditions, especially during the winter.

Oil persists in Arctic environments longer than anywhere else. It can become trapped under sea ice. It also evaporates at a slower rate in cold temperatures. The environmental conditions that characterize the Arctic – sea ice, subzero temperatures, high winds and seas and poor visibility – influence the effectiveness of clean up strategies and how much oil is recovered.

The longer the oil remains in the environment, the higher the probability that marine mammals will come in contact with it. Oil can affect wildlife in three major ways:

An inability to keep warm if oil on feathers or fur reduces thermal properties.
Toxic contamination from ingesting, inhaling or absorbing toxins found in oil.
Reduction in food if prey or other resources become unavailable or inaccessible.” (bold added)
Article continues here and includes references: http://oceansnorth.org/oil-spills

According to the Arctic Council’s
Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report“:
Black carbon emissions from ships operating in the Arctic may have regional impacts by accelerating ice melt. Other ship emissions during Arctic voyages, such as SOx and NOx, may have unintended consequences for the Arctic environment …..
Arctic Marine Infrastructure:  There is a general lack of marine infrastructure in the Arctic, except for areas along the Norwegian coast and northwest Russia, compared with other marine regions of the world with high concentrations of ship traffic.  Gaps in hydrographic data exist for significant portions of primary shipping routes important to support safe navigation.  In addition, for safe operations in the Arctic there is a need for the same suite of meteorological and oceanographic data, products and services as in other oceans, plus comprehensive information on sea ice and icebergs.  Except in limited areas of the Arctic, there is a lack of emergency response capacity for saving lives and for pollution mitigation.  There are serious limitations to radio and satellite communications and few systems to monitor and control the movement of ships in ice- covered waters.  The current lack of marine infrastructure in all but a limited number of areas, coupled with the vastness and harshness of the environment, makes conduct of emergency response significantly more difficult in the Arctic
.” (bold added) http://pame.is/images/stories/AMSA_2009_Report/AMSA_2009_Report_2nd_print.pdf (194pp)

Herding Reindeer across Artic Waters and Ship Coming 
(Truly Amazing)
http://youtu.be/jq9pLiNLNrY

U.N. panel to blame mankind for global warming, explain ‘hiatus
Posted:  Mon, 23 Sep 2013 12:52:52 GMT
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A United Nations panel of experts met on Monday to review a draft report that raises the probability that climate change is man-made to 95 percent and warns of ever more extreme weather unless governments take strong action.”
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/GZ3ynEW0gvc/story01.htm

Scientists set to prepare strongest warning that warming man-made’
Posted:  Sun, 22 Sep 2013 22:22:17 GMT
OSLO (Reuters) – Scientists meet on Monday to prepare the strongest warning yet that climate change is man-made and will cause more heatwaves, droughts and floods this century unless governments take action.
http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/3Jq28c_iiBs/story01.htm

Monday, 23 September 2013

September equinox 2013: September 22, at 20:44 UTC

Our Judge Joseph post today discusses the Senate visit to the Bernard Mevs Hospital: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-witnesses-part-iii-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/

Greenpeace Twitter feed https://mobile.twitter.com/Greenpeace

Russia 2014 Winter Olympics and its Mascots Threatened

Russia has threatened to keep Greenpeace activists in jail for up to 15 years. http://www.rferl.org/content/greenpeace-russia-ship-arctic-sunrise-charges-oil/25113153.html

If so, they can say hello to a major Olympic boycott. Over 300,000 people have reportedly signed petitions asking for the release of the activists.

Even most of the Olympic Mascots are threatened species, including the one which is reportedly President Putin’s favorite, the Snow Leopard.  If he loves the snow leopard and other animals then he should free the activists and join Greenpeace!

The 3 Mascots are the (Snow and Amur) Leopard, the Polar Bear and the European Hare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Winter_Olympic_and_Paralympic_Games_mascots (Cartoon mascots are at wiki link. Since the images may be under copyright, we show you the real animals.)

Threatened Mascot 1 a:  Snow Leopards (Endangered) [Said to be President Putin’s favorite]

Uncia uncia
Photo by Bernard Landgraf, creative commons via Wikimedia

According to Defenders of Wildlife:
Snow leopards are facing a distinct threat from climate change.  Their typical habitat range is between where the tree line stops and the snow line begins on the mountains.  As climate change causes temperatures to rise, snow lines are receding, which means that snow leopards must move further up the mountain slopes as well. As snow leopards get to higher elevations, the vegetation becomes more scarce, which means that the herbivores that they prey on are in limited supply as well, and the leopards are having trouble finding enough food.” http://www.defenders.org/snow-leopard/threats http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_leopard

Threatened Mascot, 1 b:  Amur Leopards (Critically Endangered)

Amur Leopard (P.p. amurensis)
Photo, Amur Leopard, Creative Commons via Wikimedia

Amur leopards are threatened by poaching, encroaching civilization, new roads, exploitation of forests and climate change.[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amur_leopard (references at link)

Cute Mascot 2:  The European Hare

Lepus Europaeus
Photo by Furu Maru, Creative Commons via Wikimedia

If the European hare is currently listed as Least Concern, population declines have occurred since the 1960s and have possibly been caused by the intensification of agricultural practices.[23] “In low population densities, hare are vulnerable to local extinctions.[2] The Bern Convention lists the hare under Appendix III as a protected species.[18] Several countries have placed the species on their Red List as ‘near threatened’ or ‘threatened”.[24] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_hare  (references at links, bold added)

Threatened Mascot 3:  the Polar Bear (Vulnerable)

Ursus maritimus us fish
Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia

The Polar Bear and its relationship to the Artic region needs no introduction.  It is classified as vulnerable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_bear http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Polar_bear_range_map.png http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/special/polar_bears/docs/USGS_PolarBear_Durner_Habitat_highres.pdf

If there is an oil spill do you know that polar bears will have to be washed?  According to Defenders of Wildlife:  “Removing oil from a polar bear’s fur is important because the bear may ingest some of the toxic oil when they clean themselves or when they feed their cubs.” http://www.defendersblog.org/2013/09/being-proactive-for-polar-bears/ You may not mind washing the cute cubs above, but who wants to wash a 350–700 kg (770–1,500 lb) adult male polar bear? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_bear It will be a good photo op for President Putin, we guess.
Polar Bear - Alaska
Photo by Alan Wilson, Creative Commons via Wikimedia

And, you thought that washing oil off a Louisiana pelican was tough!
http://youtu.be/-XPuvPE2vH4

Our favorite Olympic Mascot:  1980 Olympic Bear Misha

RIAN archive 104727 Moscow Olympic Games
Attribution: RIA Novosti archive,image #104727/Boris Babanov / CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misha
Let President Putin keep the Snow Leopard, Misha is the all-time cutest!  It is not clear if Misha is a toy teddy bear or a brown bear.  Brown bears are not considered endangered:  “While the brown bear’s range has shrunk and it has faced local extinctions, it remains listed as a least concern species by the IUCN with a total population of approximately 200,000.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_bear (references at link) Compare that to human populations!  Then 200,000 sounds rare.

Endangered Teddy Bears, Being Famous Doesn’t Save You:
Mississippi and Louisiana Black Bears

TheodoreRooseveltTeddyBear
Teddy Roosevelt refuses to kill a Mississippi “Teddy” Black Bear

Today, the once majestic bottomland hardwood forests of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley have been reduced to scattered and isolated remnants of their former glory.  Many of the vast swamps and lowland areas which served as safe havens for thousands of bears throughout Mississippi have been drained and cleared so that the fertile black soils can be used for agriculture.  By 1980, more than 80 percent of the bottomland hardwood forests of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley had disappeared.  And what became of the black bear population that was once so great as to bring the President of the United States to the Mississippi Delta?  Black bears were listed as endangered in Mississippi in 1984.  The Louisiana black bear, which is the subspecies that occurs in the southern half of the state, was listed as federally threatened in 1992.  There are only small differences in skull size and shape between the American black bear in north Mississippi and the Louisiana black bear which is found in the south. MDWFP biologists currently estimate the Mississippi bear population at 40 to 50 bears in the entire state and that’s being generous.” “Black Bears in Mississippi: Past and Present.” By Brad Young, Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/black-bear-program/black-bears-in-ms.aspx?alttemplate=mobileSubcategory (we added bold for emphasis)

The Best Animal for Deforestation and Climate Change

The stuffed Teddy Bear does not need habitat for it wanders no further than your bed.  It does not need to be fed or taken for a walk.  It can live forever, if clothes moths don’t eat it, and the only real risk is theft.  The population of Teddy Bears is now so high that this last risk is low.  However, my 1980 Olympic Bear Misha appears stolen, as it has gone missing for 20 to 30 years. Nonetheless, the world Teddy Bear population has increased exponentially and hence the risk of theft is now low.
Teddy bear 27
Teddy Bear born in Germany about 1954.  Photo by Waugsberg, Creative Commons via Wikimedia. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Majescor stock closed Friday at one half cent

The Judge Joseph post was updated today: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-witnesses-part-iii-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/

To hell and back to Save the Arctic
Blogpost by Camila Speziale – September 18, 2013 at 17:2837 http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/arctic-action-gazprom/blog/46670/
This is a blog post from one of the courageous people, an Argentine lady, who started climbing the Gazprom oil platform. It describes their inflatable boats being rammed and their being shot at. The comments are interesting but some miss the point. Whether or not they were breaking the law is not the point. They are practicing Nonviolent Civil Disobedience like Dr. Martin Luther King and the US Civil Rights Movement; like Gandhi….”Against the clergymen’s assertion that the demonstration was against the law, he [King] argued that not only was civil disobedience justified in the face of unjust laws, but that ‘one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.’
King addressed the accusation that the civil rights movement was ‘extreme’, first disputing the label but then accepting it. He argues that Jesus and other heroes were extremists and writes: ‘So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love?'[6]…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_from_Birmingham_Jail (references at link; bold added)

What is at Stake that Greenpeace is Taking Such Measures?  

Pechora Sea

The below was written almost 10 years ago by the United Nations warning of the dangers of oil drilling and transport in that region.  As you will see, not only are there the general concerns, of which we must all be aware after the US Gulf Coast oil spill, but special concerns which are specific to this region.  Those who want to think about the weather challenges of this area, in depth, may want to look at this article, before looking at the UNEP article:
Working under extreme conditions, December 11, 2012,
(Article from University of Stavanger):  The northward shift of Norway’s oil industry means it must adjust to temperatures down to -30°C, storms, sleet and snow, and drift ice.  And to the blackest night.
”  By: Karen Anne Okstad http://sciencenordic.com/working-under-extreme-conditions
It seems that the weather in this area is both extreme and unpredictable.

After reading the UN article below and everything else you should be considering buying two wool blankets, which, by the way, are both resistant to dust mites and naturally resistant to fire, as well as wool or fleece clothing and throws to wear in the house to reduce your heating use and selling any large vehicles to get a smaller one; running your car off of biowaste, or better – using a bicycle and comfortable shoes.  Those in hot climates may need solar panels for air conditioning and to charge electric cars.  That being said, with trees and proper house construction there would be little need for air conditioning even in subtropical climates.  As well, apparently one company has developed an adhesive product to stick on buildings to keep heat out.  There is also the potential for running public transit, etc. off of kitchen and other biowastes.

UNEP, 2004. Matishov, G., Golubeva, N., Titova, G., Sydnes, A. and B. Voegele. Barents Sea, GIWA Regional assessment 11. University of Kalmar, Kalmar, Sweden. (118 pp.) http://www.unep.org/dewa/giwa/areas/reports/r11/giwa_regional_assessment_11.pdf
Excerpted from the above research study:
The most pressing issues for the Barents Sea ecosystem were identified as the overexploitation of fish, oil spills, radionuclide contamination… Currently, the impacts of pollution by oil spills and radioactive wastes remain slight.  However, due to the expansion of the oil and gas industry in the region, as well as increased shipments of oil and gas through the Barents Sea, the risk of accidental oil spills is likely to increase in the near future.  There are also apprehensions that storage facilities for radioactive wastes could result in radioactive contamination of the environment, as the Murmansk Region houses more radioactive wastes than any other region in the world. …..Another problem, linked to oil transportation, is the risk of unintentional introduction of alien species in the ballast water of oil tankers. ……..
p. 62 http://www.unep.org/dewa/giwa/areas/reports/r11/giwa_regional_assessment_11.pdf
Oil spills
Environmental impacts
No severe effects of oil spills have been registered in the Barents Sea. However, as a potential threat to the ecosystem of the Barents Sea oil spills should be taken into account in the light of the rapid development of activities on the Russian Arctic shelf and the dramatically increased oil Tand gas exploitation and transport in the Barents Sea.  Table 35 presents likely effects oil spills in the Barents Sea ecosystem.  The coastal zone of the Kola Peninsula (the Barents and White Seas) is notable for high levels of biodiversity, including rare and especially protected birds and mammals. (bold added)
Socio-economic impacts
According to the strategy for the development of the Murmansk
Region until year 2015, the restoration of coastal settlements of the Kola Peninsula is dependent on the development of coastal fishery and aquaculture (western Murman).  In the 12-nautical mile zone about 40% of cod and 32% of haddock, most of the Red king crab and other valuable bioresources are concentrated.  The aquaculture production of salmon by 2015 is planned to be 15 000 tonnes per year.  Deterioration of the environment in the coastal zone because of oil spills will upset the planned socio-economic programme and cause unemployment in coastal settlements.  The Barents and White Seas coasts of the Kola Peninsula are of important cultural and historical value, and constitute perspective resources for tourism and recreation.  With the development of the region, all this will attract numerous tourists.  Oil spills will likely decrease the economic, recreational and aesthetic value of most prominent sites for tourism.
Immediate causes
Increased oil transport through the Barents Sea
At present, the shipping of crude oil and oil products is carried out along the coast of the Murmansk Region from the ports of Vitino, Arkhangelsk, and Murmansk for further export to European countries and the United States.  Some petroleum products from ports in the White Sea and oil deposits located in the east of the Barents Sea are transported to the Murmansk area where they are reloaded onto large-tonnage tankers to be further exported to the west.  This technology is expected to be further developed in the very near future and the export volume is expected to increase up to 9 million tonnes.  For these purposes, three reloading complexes are planned in the Kola Bay (in the area of Kulonga, Belokamenka, and Mishukovo).  The annual volume of petroleum products transported from the port of Vitino in 2002 was 2.8 million tonnes.  In winter the oil was shipped by tankers of 20 000 tonnes deadweight, while in summer tankers of 40 000 tonnes were used.  From the port of Arkhangelsk 2 million tonnes of oil were shipped in 2002 by tankers of 20 000 tonnes.  From the Varandey terminal 240 000 tonnes of oil were transported in 2002; from Kolguev Island 120 000 tonnes; and 100 000 tonnes of gas condensate from the basin of the rivers Ob and Lena. Some of the oil transported from these points was reloaded on tankers of 100 000-150 000 tonnes in the Murmansk area. In 2002, 700 000 tonnes of oil were transported to the Murmansk area from the Barents Sea to be further reloaded and transported to European ports. In addition to this, 600 000 tonnes of petroleum products were transported by railway to the Murmansk fishing port, and then reloaded on tankers for further export. Thus, in total 5.86 million tonnes of oil were shipped for export along the coast of Kola Peninsula in 2002 (Murmansk Region Administration 2003).

In addition to the oil transport for export, the shipping of fuel oil for icebreakers and other types of vessels is carried out along the Murman coast in the period from May until October. The volume of fuel oil shipped through the Barents Sea constitutes 5 000 tonnes. The transport of petroleum products to the ports of the Novaya Zemlya (p. 63) Island and Vil’nitskiy Island and to the ports on the Pechora Sea and the Yenisey Bay, constitutes about 10 000 tonnes.

Table 35 Possible effects of oil spills on marine organisms and communities in pelagic (1) and littoral (2) zones.
Group of organisms
Situation and parameters of impacts Possible impacts
Phytoplankton 1 Changes in photosynthesis, species composition, and other impacts, which disappear after the dissipation of the oil spill (within hours or days).
Zooplankton 1 Physiological and biochemical anomalies, local decrease in numbers, and other impacts, which disappear within several days after the dissipation of the oil spill. Zoobenthos (pelagic zone) 1 Negative changes are unlikely due to the absence of oil contamination in bottom sediments.
Zoobenthos (littoral zone) 2 Possible sub-lethal reactions, decrease in numbers, and local destruction of species composition of benthic communities with the period of rebuilding up to 1 year and more.
Ichthyofauna (pelagic zone) 1 Behavioral reactions in the form of avoidance of contaminated areas by fish; ichthyoplankton lesion; population changes are indistinguishable on the background of natural fluctuations. Ichthyofauna (littoral zone) 2 Decrease of food for fish; possible changes in fish migration and population changes of local character.
Mammals 1, 2. Reaction of avoidance of contaminated areas by mammals, destruction of habitats, physiological stresses, injuries. For animals with hair cover, direct contact with oil can lead to lethal outcome.
Birds 1, 2 Stresses and death from the contact with oil, deterioration of habitat and reproduction conditions in the contaminated areas, reversible population changes of local character. 
Notes: 1 = Temporary (up to several days) contamination by oil of the surface water layer with the concentration of oil hydrocarbons up to 1 mg/l at depth of 1 m. 2 = Temporary (up to several months and more) contamination of the coastal zone with concentration of oil hydrocarbons in the water in the range 0.1-1 mg/l and their accumulation in bottom sediments up to a level of 102 mg/kg.(Source: Patin 2001) (some titles have bold in original; other bold added for emphasis)
p. 63 http://www.unep.org/dewa/giwa/areas/reports/r11/giwa_regional_assessment_11.pdf
The volumes of oil transport planned for 2005, 2010 and 2015 along the coast of the Murmansk Region are shown in Table 36.  The total transport in 2005 is planned to be 8.5 million tonnes.  In 2010, 6.5 million tonnes of oil is planned to be transported from the port of Varandey if ice-class tankers with a deadweight of 70 000 tonnes are constructed by that time.  If not, the volume of oil transport from the port of Varandey will be 3 million tonnes.  In total 19.6 million tonnes of oil are planned to be transported along the coast of the Kola Peninsula in 2010. 

In 2015, 12 million tonnes of oil are planned to be shipped from the port of Varandey if ice-class tankers are constructed by that time.

In addition, construction of a new pipeline is planned, by which oil will be piped from deposits in West Siberia to Murmansk, to be reloaded there on large-capacity tankers.  The pipeline will be laid either on the bottom of the White Sea Gorlo (the strait connecting the White Sea with the Barents Sea) or on land from the Leningrad Region.  The planned volumes of oil transport by the pipeline are 80 million tonnes per year (Murmansk Region Administration 2003).

Lack of experience in large-tonnage tanker navigation under Arctic conditions

Tanker transportation under Arctic conditions entails a set of natural factors; polar night, seasonal ice and frequent storms. All this presupposes special requirements of the crew. With the increase of tonnage (from 20 000-49 000 tonnes to 150 000-300 000 tonnes), hydrometeorological and navigational risks grow correspondingly, especially in narrow passages, close by the coastline and under ice conditions when icebreakers pilot the tankers.

Oil and petroleum products in the Arctic are mainly shipped by ice-class tankers. Most tankers have a deadweight of less than 20 000 tonnes. A binding requirement for ice-class tankers is double hull and sides regulated by the International MARPOL Convention. To ship oil products in the Arctic, until recently the ice-class tankers of the Ventspils and Partizanok Classes with deadweights of 16 500 and 2 500 tonnes were used in Russia.

In 1984-1985 a series of six Ventspils Class tankers with double hull was constructed. At present, these vessels are out of date and their operation under Arctic conditions are limited. To replace them the Astrakhan’ Class tanker was proposed, which can operate without being escorted by an icebreaker and which is able to break ice 0.5-1 m thick. Eight such vessels with a deadweight of 20 000 tonnes have been constructed. These are exactly the vessels that are in focus when speaking of the increased oil transport in the region. During recent years, Finnish tankers of Vikia, Tebo Olimpia and Kihu Classes mainly carried out the shipping of oil from Murmansk. Some of them have double hulls.

Insufficient potential of emergency services

The main controlling body over oil spills in the Russian part of the region is the Murmansk Basin Agency for Emergency Situations equipped with necessary equipment for cleaning up relatively small oil spills (up to 500 tonnes) in the vicinity of the Kola Peninsula coast.

However, this organisation is unable to cope with large-scale oil spills especially any occurring under ice conditions in the remote areas of the Pechora Sea. http://www.unep.org/dewa/giwa/areas/reports/r11/giwa_regional_assessment_11.pdf (original has some bold-italics for titles; other bold added by us for emphasis)
(To be continued) 

Saturday 21 September 2013

The Judge Joseph post was updated today and yesterday: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-witnesses-part-iii-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/ Yesterday we discussed another presidential security guard who dropped dead last autumn, and whose parents suspect assassination; we translated former dictator Prosper Avril’s recent letter to the media where he wants to clarify that the Minister of Justice, Jean-Renel Sanon, was dismissed from the military ca 1989 not for drug trafficking but for involvement in an attempted coup d’etat (against Avril, it seems). However, given the timing he could have been expelled for either or both reasons. Today we translated Judge Sanon’s testimony, which is mostly to deny that he went to the meeting at Gary Lissade’s office.

Haitian Senator(s) attend-speak at the US Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 43rd Annual Legislative Conference and tell of what they perceive as Martelly-Lamothe’s misdeeds (we are being nice here). (in English): http://omegaworldnews.com/?p=5474 http://www.radiokiskeya.com/spip.php?article9760

Greenpeace activists could be charged with terrorism after ship stormed,  Crew of Arctic Sunrise were in custody of armed Russian security forces after being prevented from disrupting oil rig work” By Shaun Walker in Moscow. theguardian.com, Friday 20 September 2013 18.49 BST http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/20/greenpeace-ship-stormed-russian-coastguard

Updates and Petition http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/
SAVE THE ARCTIC – FREE OUR ACTIVISTS
On the morning of September 18, two Greenpeace International activists were arrested as they protested Arctic oil drilling on the Gazprom platform, Prirazlomnaya, in the Pechora Sea off the Russian coast. They were held overnight without charges or legal representation aboard a Russian Coast Guard vessel.
The following day, September 19, the Russian Coast Guard then illegally boarded the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise while in international waters and arrested 30 activists on board at gunpoint. We are demanding the urgent release of all activists, the immediate withdrawal of the Coast Guard from our ship, and an end to offshore oil drilling in the Arctic for good
.” http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/arctic-impacts/free-our-activists/

Rancher convicted over murder of US nun Dorothy Stang”  BBC:  20 September 2013, 14:01 GMT http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-24177359

Sister Dorothy Mae Stang, S.N.D., (7 July 1931 – 12 February 2005) was an American-born, Brazilian member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.  She was murdered in Anapu, a city in the state of Pará, in the Amazon Basin of Brazil.  Stang had been outspoken in her efforts on behalf of the poor and the environment, and had previously received death threats from loggers and land owners.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Stang

Nordkappsami
Photo by Ernmuhl via Wikimedia

The Sami people, also spelled Sámi or Saami, are the indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway.  The Sámi are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples, and hence the northernmost indigenous people of Europe.[7] Sami ancestral lands span an area of approximately 388,350 km2 (150,000 sq. mi.), which is approximately the size of Sweden, in the Nordic countries.  Their traditional languages are the Sami languages and are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.  Traditionally, the Sami have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding.  Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding.  Currently about 10% of the Sami are connected to reindeer herding and 2,800 are actively involved in herding on a full-time basis.[8]  For traditional, environmental, cultural and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in certain regions of the Nordic countries.[9]
….
Sápmi is the name of the cultural region traditionally inhabited by the Sami people.  Non-Sami and many regional maps have often called this same region Lapland as there is considerable regional overlap between the two terms.  Lapland can be either misleading, offensive, or both, depending on the context and where this word is used, to the Sami.  Among the Sami people, Sápmi is strictly used and acceptable.
Sápmi is located in Northern Europe, includes the northern parts of Fennoscandia and spans four countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (references at link)

Note, at least some of this area is supposed to be protected by UNESCO, World Heritage Conventions:
The Arctic Circle region of northern Sweden is the home of the Saami….  It is the largest area in the world (and one of the last) with an ancestral way of life based on the seasonal movement of livestock.  Every summer, the Saami lead their huge herds of reindeer towards the mountains through a natural landscape hitherto preserved, but now threatenedhttp://whc.unesco.org/en/list/774 Really all of it is supposed to be protected under the spirit of UNESCO 2003 “Intangible Cultural Heritage” Convention, as should other reindeer herding areas;  Macusani-Corani, Alpaca herding Capital of the World, and the Black Hills of South Dakota.  These last two are critically endangered by proposed uranium (and other) mines. http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00006 http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/?pg=00003 http://whc.unesco.org/en/criteria/
Reindeer herding
Photo by Mats Andersson, Creative Commons via Wikimedia
Sapmi is rich in precious metals, oil, and natural gas. Mining activities in Arctic Sapmi cause controversy when they are in grazing and calving areas. Mining projects are rejected by the Sami Parliament in the Finnmark area. The Sami Parliament demands that resources and mineral exploration should benefit mainly the local Sami communities and population, as the proposed mines are in Sami lands and will affect their ability to maintain their traditional livelihood.[49] Mining locations even include ancient Sami spaces that are designated as ecologically protected areas, such as the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve…[50]  In Russia’s Kola Peninsula, vast areas have already been destroyed by mining and smelting activities, and further development is imminent.  This includes oil and natural gas exploration in the Barents Sea.  There is a gas pipeline that stretches across the Kola Peninsula. Oil spills affect fishing and the construction of roads. Power lines may cut off access to reindeer calving grounds and sacred sites.[51]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (references at link)

A few days ago, the Saami Council reported “that there was currently a mining boom in the Sami areas.  Nordic States had to fulfil their obligations under international law, and revise their mining and other extractive industry legislation in order to respect the Sami reindeer herding communities’ right to say no to industrial projects in their respective territories.”  From “HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL HOLDS INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE ON RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Special Rapporteur on Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Chairperson of Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Present Reports,”  18 September 2013
http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/84EC8262B9099B7DC1257BEA003C7B89?OpenDocument

For ongoing information about their fight against Beowulf Mining, etc. see: http://saamiresources.org/about/ http://saamiresources.org/2013/07/05/saami-communities-attend-beowulfs-agm-in-london/
and here: http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674saami_in_sweden_seek_support_for_struggle_against_an_iron_mine_on_trad/#.Ugm0Bw0igKE.twitter
http://kolonierna.wordpress.com/the-struggle-in-kallak-gallok/

Note that we still intend to get back to the promised Near Eastern (and some Central America) oil and gas topics, but there are several updates or posts, including on Majescor, which have jumped to the front of the queue (line). We still need to do Caribbean oil and gas too.

Friday 20 September 2013

Black Ice:  Reindeer and Oil Spills

Reindeer pulling sleigh, Russia
Photo Credit here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reindeer_pulling_sleigh,_Russia.jpg

Reindeers need wide, free land.  Today Komi land is marred by more than 3,000 drill holes, thousands of kilometers of pipelines, numerous roads, paths and oil industry facilities.  Kanev says that he had to drive his animals further and further south to provide them untouched pastures.  The reindeers refused to eat the moss and the lichens from the contaminated region.  The spread of the oil industry makes breeding reindeers impossible and it is no longer a viable livelihood….

In the oil development area, the spilled oil forms toxic lakes, suffocates the vegetation, penetrates the soil, and seeps into the groundwater….

A fisherman in Kolva shows his meager catch. ’40 years ago they arrived, drilled oil and just let it bubble into the landscape and the rivers, until the fish swam with the stomach upward.  Then we knew what the future would be like.’  Fishing, hunting and farming were the traditional professions of the Komi, but nowadays nobody can live off them anymore.

In the long Arctic winter, oil leaks unnoticed from numerous underground pipeline ruptures.  With the rising temperatures in summer, huge amounts of oil are flushed with the melt-water into the rivers.  ‘In springtime it is the worst,’ say the inhabitants of Ust’-Usa.   ‘Then you have got oil in the water, in the air, in the food, everywhere.  It stinks of oil.  The spring is one of the worst seasons.”   For more, including a video,  see here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/arctic-impacts/The-dangers-of-Arctic-oil/Black-ice–Russian-oil-spill-disaster/

BBC News, 19 September 2013 Last updated at 22:56 GMT
Russia ‘seizes’ Greenpeace ship after Arctic rig protest
The BBC’s Anna Holligan says the situation is, potentially, ‘a very awkward diplomatic standoff in the Arctic’

Greenpeace says 29 activists, including six Britons, are being held at gunpoint by Russian security officers who stormed the group’s ship in the Arctic.  One of the activists told the BBC that about 15 men in balaclavas seized the Arctic Sunrise ship in the Barents Sea.

This comes a day after four Greenpeace members tried to board a Russian oil platform to prevent it from drilling.

The group says this threatens a unique and fragile environment – a claim denied by Moscow.”  For the video and the rest of the article see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24170129

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Judge Joseph post has been updated: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-witnesses-part-iii-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/ We discuss how shortly after the Senate asked to speak with police responsible for Martelly’s security, one of the police-security officers suddenly felt ill and dropped dead at age 32. Like Judge Joseph he was dead in less than 24 hours. His symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea which were Judge Joseph’s symptoms. Could he have been a witness to Judge Joseph’s alleged meeting with Martelly-Lamothe at Gary Lissade’s office? It certainly looks bad. What looks worse is that no one is talking or doing anything about this nor about what looks like an increasing assault on Haiti’s judicial system.

More on Majescor’s New-Old CEO, Marc-André Bernier

What is the Centre d’Étude Appliqué du Quaternaire (CEAQ) which Majescor’s new-old (2006-2009) CEO, Bernier, worked for from 2003-2011?
The CEAQ was put in place by the TJCM [which he was also working for] with the help of the financial collaboration of Economic Development Canada and of the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Exportation.  Additionally, the CEAQ has numerous other institutional partners such was MRNF (Ministry of Natural Resources and of Fauna), Employment-Quebec (Emploi-Québec), the  Cree Mineral Exploration Board, the Geological Commission of Canada, the Bay James Development Corporation, the Regional Conference of Elected Officers of James Bay (la Conférence régionale des élus de la Baie-James) and the Center of collegial studies in Chibougamou (Centre d’études collégiales à Chibougamau)” http://www.mrn.gouv.qc.ca/mines/quebec-mines/2008-02/etude.asp
(our translation)

From a Press Release during Bernier’s tenure as Majescor CEO, 10-11-2007: “Majescor Resources is a dynamic and well funded exploration company with uranium properties in Quebec’s Otish Mountains, two large uranium projects in the Nunavik district of northern Quebec, as well as a significant uranium interest in the Thelon Basin of Nunavut through its ownership position in Uranium World Energy.  In addition to uranium, Majescor has the largest portfolio of diamond properties in Quebec, as well as diamond projects in Nunavut and in Madagascar.  Majescor has further diversified its property portfolio by recently acquiring gold and base metal properties in Quebec and in Madagascar.” (bold added)

Map-regions-inuit
Nunavik-Nunavut by Inuit Region via Wikimedia

Note that Bernier remained on Majescor’s Board, and from 2009 to 2011 was TJCM senior “mining industry adviser” to Makivik Corp, which is essentially the Nunavik government:
The Makivik Corporation (Inuktitut: Makivvik Kuapuriisat) is the legal representative of Quebec’s Inuit people, established in 1978 under the terms of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, the agreement that established the institutions of Nunavik. As such, it is the heir of the Northern Quebec Inuit Association (Inuktitut: Kupaik Tarrangani Inuit Katujjiqatigiingit) which signed the agreement with the governments of Quebec and Canada.  Its principal responsibility is the administration of Inuit lands and the over CAN$120 million in compensation funds it has received under the terms of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of 1975 and the more recent offshore Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement that came into effect in 2008. It has a mandate to use those funds to promote the economic and social development of Inuit society in Nunavik. The Makivik Corporation is also empowered to negotiate new agreements with governments on behalf of the Quebec Inuit and to represent them on bodies like the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Inuit Circumpolar Council.
The corporation is run by a five member executive committee including a president, and an 16 member board of directors.  Members of both bodies are elected by the Inuit of Nunavik.  The executive committee and board of directors together appoint a board of governors to act as an elder’s council. Makivik’s current president is Jobie Tukkiapik.  It is headquartered in Kuujjuaq, Quebec, and has offices in Inukjuak, Montreal, Quebec City, and Ottawa. It has roughly 100 employees.
Makivik has donated some CAN$60 million to non-profit and cultural institutions in Nunavik, including funding the construction of recreation facilities in each of Nunavik’s communities.  However, the bulk of its financial activities have been in the form of investments, both in Canadian and international markets and in economic activities directly relevant to Nunavik.  It has a number of wholly owned subsidiaries and joint ventures active in Nunavik.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makivik_Corporation (references at link)

From Majescor’s February 20, 2009 web site via the Wayback Machine, when Bernier was CEO:
FOCUSED ON EXPLORING EMERGING URANIUM, GOLD AND BASE METAL DISTRICTS
Majescor is a junior explorer focusing on emerging mineral districts. Majescor’s project portfolio includes two uranium exploration projects in Quebec and one in the Baker Lake basin in Nunavut. The Quebec properties include Mistassini (100%-owned; under option to Strateco Resources Inc.) and Lac Laparre (100%-owned; under option to Santoy Resources Inc. and Otish Energy Inc.). In Nunavut, the Company holds 100% mineral rights to the Baker Lake uranium property. In addition to uranium, Majescor owns 100% mineral rights to four gold and base metal properties in Madagascar (under option to Sunridge Gold Corp.) as well as 100% mineral rights to the Mirabelli gold and base metal property in Quebec
.”

Although Nunavut is not in Quebec, some Inuit would like Nunavut to join with Inuit Nunavik in Quebec (and Labrador) to make a “Grand Nunavut”.
See: http://www.axl.cefan.ulaval.ca/amnord/Quebec-Nunavik.htm

As for uranium mining in Nunavik:
NGOs and local government oppose uranium exploration and mining near proposed Kuururjuaq Park in Nunavik (Québec):  Uranium exploration companies don’t want Kuururjuaq, Nunavik’s second provincial park, to prevent them from mining near the area.  But several other groups want to see park boundaries expanded by 1,800 sq km to protect rare fossils, pristine lakes, and caribou breeding grounds nearby.  Arguments for the two opposing views surfaced during public hearings held March 14 and 15, 2007, in Kangiqsualujjuaq on planning for Kuururjuaq Park.  Azimut Exploration Inc., a Montreal-based firm with a uranium property near Kuururjuaq, strongly opposes any limits on mineral exploration or mining near the park. 
But Makivik Corporation  said the birthright organization has ‘very serious reservations; about plans for uranium mining near Kuururjuaq, which includes a scenic mineral-rich belt near the Torngat Mountains.  And the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society  and the Kativik Regional Government  (KRG) want to see a buffer zone as well as an expansion of the park’s boundaries at Mont Nuvulialuk and around Tasikallak Bay.  These groups want the park’s boundaries expanded by 1,800 sq km at the south and north ends to protect fossils and lakes near Tasikallak and unique land features near Nuvialuk that date back to the last ice age, including rocky ice fields and remnants of ancient shorelines. (Nunatsiaq News Apr. 20, 2007)
http://www.wise-uranium.org/upcdn.html

So, it would seem that Bernier’s job as TJCM senior “mining industry adviser” to Makivik Corp, which is essentially the Nunavik government, was to change their mind regarding uranium mining.

Chile, September 19, 1973, Charles Horman, an American who “knew too much” was assassinated

http://youtu.be/iHKO8Emj8dU
(transcript here: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/9/was_us_journalist_charles_horman_killed  )

Charles Horman, an only child, and an American who seemingly “knew too much” was killed by Pinochet’s regime, apparently with the complicity of the US government.  He was disappeared on September 17th and assassinated on the 19th.  The following excerpt of an interview with his wife Joyce Horman on Democracy Now suggests why:

Excerpt from the interview about the day he disappeared:
Joyce Horman:  ‘We were living in Santiago.  And he had just managed to get back from Viña del Mar, where he had taken a friend of ours from New York right before the coup and was trapped there for five days.  So, he returned on Sunday, and then, Monday, he was going to go and find out about airplane tickets downtown.  The curfew had been lifted during the day.  So he and our friend, Terry, went down to the center of Santiago to look for tickets or a way out.”

On what he had seen and how he knew too much:
“Amy Goodman:  ‘What did he see, where he was?

Joyce Horman:  ‘Where he was, well, he saw American battleships off the shore.  He saw the launch of the coup in Viña del Mar.  They experienced that all the roads had been blocked and the trains had been stopped that night, Monday night before the coup, which is why he knew that was happening.  But he also—he also met, in the hotel that they stayed, military—U.S. military people who were taking quite a large credit for the coup and were very excited about the success. And my husband, the journalist, knew that that was not something that anybody in the United States knew about. So, he was aware that it was incredible information at that point.’

Amy Goodman:  And so, he comes back to Santiago, to the capital of Chile.  You see each other on the morning of the coup.

Joyce Horman:  Yes, I guess I have to start back.  He was brought back to Santiago, to the search-and-destroy mission that was Santiago at that time, by the head of the U.S. MILGROUP, Military Group, who had come through blockades to get to Viña del Mar to see his military people in Viña, and then, because they had asked him if he would give a lift to Charles and Terry back to Santiago.  His name is Ray, Captain Ray Davis, and he is an extraordinary figure in our story, and the extradition request for him was issued—well, was approved by the Chilean Supreme Court recently.  But let me go back.  So, he’s the one who went—again, drove through all the roadblocks, because he had all of the connections with the Pinochet forces, and brought them back to Santiago, dropped them in Santiago on Saturday…” http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/9/was_us_journalist_charles_horman_killed (we added bold for emphasis)

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Judge Joseph post has been updated: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-witnesses-part-iii-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/ Today in a related “aside” we discuss the dismissal of the Port-au-Prince Chief Prosecutor last October, as well as the dismissal of the Cayes Public Prosecutor a few days ago. This last was subsequent to the Caye Public Prosector’s arrest of one of Martelly’s friends on allegations of drug trafficking. Guilty or innocent the friend was freed and the prosecutor fired.

Majescor’s new-old CEO, Marc-André Bernier (continued from the yesterday’s update which is below today’s)

Besides being past president and CEO of Majescor from 2006 to 2009, as discussed yesterday, Marc-André Bernier was formerly senior geoscientist with the James Bay Joint Action Mining Committee (TJCM) of Chibougamau and its wholly-owned applied research facility, the Centre d’Étude Appliqué du Quaternaire from 2003-2011.  He was also “TJCM senior mining industry adviser to Makivik Corp.” from 2009-2011.  Isn’t this a conflict of interest since Majescor has and had mining interests in Quebec and Nunavik? There is an overlap between his stint as CEO of Majescor and these other positions. Additionally he has remained on Majescor’s board. This looks sleazy to us. Furthermore, we do not know if his advice to Makivik was solicited advice or unsolicited advice.  Makivik (To Rise Up) Corporation is actually the legal representative of Quebec’s Inuit people, established in 1978 under the terms of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makivik_Corporation So, we suspect that his “job” as “TJCM senior mining industry advisor” was actually lobbying Makivik Corporation, i.e. the Inuit,  on behalf of the mining industry.

As we noted yesterday, the TJCM is a publicly funded pro-mining (and apparently anti-environmental protection) agency.  See for instance this announcement:

Government of Canada grants funding to James Bay Joint Action Mining Committee‘  Chibougamau, Quebec, February 8, 2012 – The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, announces that the James Bay Joint Action Mining Committee has been granted financial assistance to support the implementation of its 2011-2014 action plan.

‘The Government of Canada is pleased to once again lend its financial support to the James Bay Joint Action Mining Committee, an organization that, through its efforts to promote the growth of James Bay mining companies, is also helping to build the economy and employment in the region,’ explains Minister Lebel.

The mission of the James Bay Joint Action Mining Committee is to support the development of the James Bay mining industry with a view to promoting its sustainable development and to maximizing socioeconomic spinoffs for local populations.  Through its leadership, activities and research and the quality of services provided by its applied research centre, the Centre d’étude appliquée du Quaternaire, the organization is contributing to the emergence of a competitiveness pole in the region. The financial assistance from the Government of Canada will enable the committee to pursue its mission.

Information:
This $200,000 in non-repayable funding has been granted through Canada Economic Development’s Business and Regional Growth program.

Sources :  François Bélisle, Communications, Canada Economic Development, Tel.: 819-825-3976, E-mail: francois.belisle@dec-ced.gc.ca”
http://www.dec-ced.gc.ca/eng/media-room/news-releases/2012/02/3149.html  (we added bold)

18 September 1973  (Day 8 of the 1973 Chilean Copper Companies’ (and IT&T) Coup against Allende)

According to the Complaint recently filed by Joan Jara in an attempt to have the alleged murderer of her husband, singer-songwriter, Victor Jara, extradited from Florida to stand trial:
On September 18, 1973, a Civil Registry employee Hector Herrera witnessed trucks full of bodies being brought into the morgue.  Upon recognizing Victor Jara’s body, the civil servant went to Plaintiff Joan Jara’s house and told her in person that her husband had been killed.  Upon hearing the news, Plaintiff Joan Jara accompanied the civil servant to the morgue and identified the tortured body of her husband and observed the gunshot wounds he had sustained.http://cja.org/downloads/COMPLAINT.9.4.pdf

As recounted by Joan Jara in one of her books:
We go down a dark passageway and emerge into a large hall.  My new friend puts his hand on my elbow to steady me as I look at rows and rows of naked bodies covering the floor, stacked up into heaps in the corners, most with gaping wounds, some with their hands still tied behind their backs … there are young and old … there are hundreds of bodies … most of them look like working people … hundreds of bodies, being sorted out, being dragged by the feet and put into one pile or another, by the people who work in the morgue, strange silent figures with masks across their faces to protect them from the smell of decay.  I stand in the centre of the room, looking and not wanting to look for Victor, and a great wave of rage assaults me. I know that incoherent noises of protest come from my mouth, but immediately Hector reacts. ‘Ssh! You mustn’t make any sign … otherwise we shall get into trouble … just stay quiet a moment. I’ll go and ask where we should go. I don’t think this is the right place.’

We are directed upstairs.  The morgue is so full that the bodies overflow to every part of the building, including the administrative offices.  A long passage, rows of doors, and on the floor a long line of bodies, these with clothes, some of them look more like students, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty … and there in the middle of the line I find Victor.

It was Victor, although he looked thin and gaunt … What have they done to you to make you waste away like that in one week?  His eyes were open and they seemed still to look ahead with intensity and defiance, in spite of a wound on his head and terrible bruises on his cheek. His clothes were torn, trousers round his ankles, sweater tucked up under his armpits, his blue underpants hanging in tatters round his hips as though cut by a knife or bayonet … his chest riddled with holes and a gaping wound in his abdomen. His hands seemed to be hanging from his arms at a strange angle as though his wrists were broken … but it was Victor, my husband, my lover….” http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/jaraunfinsong.html (bold added)

After burying Victor Jara in secret, Plaintiff Joan Jara and her daughters, Plaintiffs Amanda Jara and Manuela Bunster, fled for their safety to the United Kingdom, where Joan Jara was already a citizen.” http://cja.org/downloads/COMPLAINT.9.4.pdf

“The Resurrection of Victor Jara” Documentary Trailer
http://youtu.be/IT5pGOyAnDU
(And, yes, that is Bono talking about Victor Jara)

We note that Kennecott Copper and Anaconda Copper, the mining companies in question, are now subsidiaries of other companies.  Under Pinochet the Mines remained nationalized. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennecott_Utah_Copper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaconda_Copper

Jane Jara’s mention of fascism yesterday was neither theoretical nor hyperbole.  The connections between European fascism and Chile, as well as other South American countries, were well-known, real and direct. Nazis fled to South America after the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich: “Unfortunately, after World War II, former members of Nazi Germany also tried to take refuge in South America, including Chile, fleeing trials against them in Europe and elsewhere; one such successful escapee was SS Standartenführer and war criminal Walter Rauff.  Paul Schäfer, a former army medic, founded Colonia Dignidad, a German enclave in the Maule Region, in which abuses against human rights were allegedly carried out.  The precise number of Nazi refugees hidden in Chile after WWII remain unknown and it represents and eventual topic of historic research.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Chilean

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

We still plan to look briefly at Genie Energy in the Golan Heights, Noble Energy (Levant Basin; Nicaragua), Dolphin Energy, and related topics, and a bio-energy project (with unexpected potentially negative impacts) as soon as we can, although not necessarily in that order, before turning to Haiti oil and gas. But, we must stop and look at Majescor for today, tomorrow and maybe the next day.  We actually found the bio-energy project because we were informed at around 6 pm Sunday night, Montreal time, that something was going on with Majescor. However, nothing about Majescor appeared online until almost 24 hours later. Looking for SOMINE we found SONAMAR, which deals in biofuels.

Majescor News:  Goodbye Hachey; What’s Next? 

Daniel Hachey is finally gone. Initially one may think that was a poor choice since Majescor needs a banker like Hachey to find money for them.  Trouble was he raised less money than his salary it seems.  So, appointing Mr. Bernier back as CEO (again) seems an economical choice.  However, Hachey appeared also qualified to be CFO.  The new CFO, Mr. Di Paola, will likely be a costly addition to a company which seems to have no money. Our first thought was that Mr. Bernier’s appointment was indicative of an intent to get a new mining prospect, near James Bay.  Our guess is that Majescor will be acquired by Mincom Capital, whose Board Bernier serves on, which seems to need to acquire something to keep its listing. It is an identical twin (CEO and Board) to Stria Capital, but Stria has acquired a property already.  More on this after the Majescor Press Release and tomorrow.

Montreal, Quebec–(Marketwired – Sept. 16, 2013) -…
Majescor Resources Inc. (“Majescor” or the “Corporation”) (TSX Venture:  MJX) announces the following changes to its Management and Board of Directors, which are effective immediately:  On September 13, 2013, Mr. Daniel Hachey resigned from his positions of President, CEO, interim CFO, and Director of Majescor.  As his replacement, Mr. Marc-André Bernier, Director and technical adviser to the Board, has been appointed as President and interim CEO, effective immediately.  The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Hachey’s for his efforts and accomplishments on behalf of the Corporation over the past three years.  The Board also wishes to announce that Mr. Sabino Di Paola has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation effective immediately. Mr. Di Paola, who is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CPA, CA, and member of the Chartered Professional Accountants Ontario and Ordre des CPA du Québec, is also President and owner of Accounting Made Easy, a consulting firm which specialises in private and public junior exploration companies. He has close to a decade of experience in audit, finance and accounting while working as an auditor for international accounting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and BDO Canada. This has allowed him to gain a wide variety of experience in accounting and auditing for private and public companies as well as non-profit organizations.  Mr. Di Paola is involved with numerous financing and spin-out transactions and is responsible for all aspects of financial services, financial reporting, and corporate governance. He currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Undur Tolgoi Minerals Inc., Melkior Resources Inc., and Everton Resources Inc. which are all junior exploration companies.
The Board is currently conducting a review of its mineral exploration projects and its corporate development strategy and will provide updates with respect to these matters on a timely basis…..
On Behalf of Majescor Resources Inc.,
“Marc-André Bernier”
President & Interim CEO

Who is Marc-André Bernier?

Senior geoscientist with the James Bay Joint Action Mining Committee (TJCM) of Chibougamau and its wholly-owned applied research facility, the Centre d’Étude Appliqué du Quaternaire (2003-2011)
“TJCM senior mining industry adviser to Makivik Corp. (2009-2011) Senior technical adviser and QP, Focus Metals Inc. (2011)
“Past President and CEO of Majescor Resources Inc. (2006-2009) Consulting Quaternary geoscientist and exploration geochemist, Ontario, Nunavut, and Central Africa (2001-2003)
“Managed Asquith Resources’ Central African Republic gold exploration program from 1996 through to the successful takeover by Axmin Inc. in 2000
“[1] http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Marc-André_Bernier

What is the James Bay Joint Action Mining Committee (TJCM) and the Centre for Applied Quaternary Studies?

The TJCM seems to be a publicly funded spokesman-organization against the formation of public parks for environmental protection and an advocate of the mining industry.  In short it appears a pro-mining, anti-environmental group.  It is clear that the goal of their research is encouraging mining in the James Bay territory:

From the TJCM’s “Mémoire présenté au Ministre Thomas J. Mulcair, dans le cadre de la consultation sur le projet de Plan de développement durable du Québec“:
In the framework of its policy targeting the promotion of the mining potential of the territory of James Bay, the acquisition of real knowledge of glacial deposits as well as the development of related expertise, and following the results of regional consultations, the TJCM desires, in the context of public consultation on the project of sustainable development of Quebec to make the Quebec government aware of the need and urgency of putting into operation a policy of acquisition of geo-scientific knowledge of the territory which will be removed from mining exploration.
The elaboration and the promotion of a policy of acquisition of geo-scientific knowledge on the totality of the Bay James territory, especially in the areas of glacial deposits and of diamond exploration, remains a priority of the action plan of 2005-2006 of the TJCM.
The hasty creation of large parks and areas where mining exploration will never be allowed, and by this fact all sorts of geological knowledge of the Bay James territory will not be acquired, serves not only to confirm the urgency to act in this case, it risks compromising the competitiveness of Quebec in the mining sector on the national and international level and to deprive future generations of the establishment of a mining industry of which the potential level of economic and social fallout [transl. note, ok, they mean benefits but they say fall-out, which is more accurate] is undeniable. http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/developpement/2004-2007/memoires/0517/autre/574-TJCM.pdf (original French, translation our own)

Chile, 16 September 1973

As recounted by Jane Jara:
The boxing stadium lies within a few yards of the main railway line to the south, which, on its way out of Santiago, passes through the working-class district of San Miguel, along the boundary wall of the Metropolitan Cemetery.  It was here, early in the morning of Sunday 16 September, that the people of the población found six dead bodies, lying in an orderly row.  All had terrible wounds and had been machine-gunned to death. They looked from face to face, trying to recognise the corpses and suddenly one of the women cried out, ‘This is Victor Jara!’ – it was a face which was both known and dear to them… Almost immediately, while they were wondering what to do, a covered van approached.  The people of the población quickly hid behind a wall, in fear, but watched while a group of men in plain clothes began dragging the corpses by the feet and throwing them into the van.   From here Victor’s body must have been transferred to the city morgue, an anonymous corpse, ready to disappear into a mass grave.  But once again, he was recognised – by one of the people who worked there.  When later the text of his last poem was brought to me, I knew that Victor wanted to leave his testimony, his only means now of resisting fascism, of fighting for the rights of human beings and for peace.
There are five thousand of us here in this small part of the city. We are five thousand…..
http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/jaraunfinsong.html
(For new readers:  we have been discussing Victor Jara every day (except the 16th) since the September 11, 2013 update (The Ongoing Sage 2).  We also discussed the relationship between the September 11, 1973 Chilean coup and copper mining companies).

8 minute Interview of Victor’s wife, Jane Jara, from the new film “The Resurrection of Victor Jara”.  She notes that he became both a symbol of the victims of the coup and a symbol of resistance (to oppression).
http://youtu.be/7pLcXMjQT2k

Monday 16 September 2013

The Judge Joseph post has been updated: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-witnesses-part-iii-of-the-senate-inquest-report-on-the-troubling-death-of-judge-jean-serge-joseph/

Sunday 15 September 2013

Guatemalan Indigenous Organizations File Complaint over Mining Law with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
“Source:  Western Peoples’ Council (CPO) – Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) – MiningWatch Canada – Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
(Guatemala City/Ottawa/Washington)
Tuesday, Guatemala’s Western Peoples’ Council of Mayan organizations (CPO) filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) alleging that the country’s mining law was approved without their prior consultation as required under both national and international law. The IACHR is the last resort for the CPO, which has exhausted all domestic recourse to halt violations as a result of current mining legislation
.” http://www.miningwatch.ca/news/guatemalan-indigenous-organizations-file-complaint-over-mining-law-inter-american-commissions

Landmark Ruling in Holding Mining Companies Accountable

Ontario court rules that lawsuits against Hudbay Minerals regarding shootings, murder and gang-rape at its former mine in Guatemala can proceed to trial in Canada. In a precedent-setting ruling [22 July 2013] with national and international implications, Superior Court of Ontario Justice Carole Brown has ruled that Canadian company Hudbay Minerals can potentially be held legally responsible in Canada for rapes and murder at a mining project formerly owned by Hudbay’s subsidiary in Guatemala.  As a result of Justice Brown’s ruling, the claims of 13 Mayan Guatemalans will proceed to trial in Canadian courts. As a result of this ruling, Canadian mining corporations can no longer hide behind their legal corporate structure to abdicate responsibility for human rights abuses that take place at foreign mines under their control at various locations throughout the world. There will now be a trial regarding the abuses that were committed in Guatemala, and this trial will be in a courtroom in Canada, a few blocks from Hudbay’s headquarters, exactly where it belongs.  Hudbay argued in court that corporate head offices could never be held responsible for harms at their subsidiaries, no matter how involved they were in on-the-ground operations.  Justice Brown disagreed and concluded that “the actions as against Hudbay and HMI should not be dismissed.
Read the Judgment – July 22, 2013
and the Press Release: Ontario court rules claim can proceed to trial and additional info here: http://www.chocversushudbay.com/

Why are the Rights of Indigenous People Constantly Violated?  

As routine readers of this site have noticed there is a constant onslaught against the rights of indigenous people, especially in conjunction with mining.  Why is this so?  We can think of several reasons, which we give, not necessarily in the order of importance.  First, habit.  Peoples have been run over by other peoples pretty much since the dawn of human history. Historically this often had to do with overpopulation in relation to food supply – famine in a particular area, even though, at the time, there were far fewer people on earth. Of course, more recently is the massive colonization of the Americas (and Australia).  In the US this meant a constant forced movement of American Indians westward and then to “reservations” and ultimately when there is no more space the end to this appears either assimilation or complete genocide.  History tells us that the indigenous peoples the world over often fled to the highlands to escape invading peoples.  However, what is often in the highlands but minerals to exploit, leading the invaders to lust for the highlands as well.

However, there is another reason. The mind-set of those maintaining traditional lifestyles is often different from the only acceptable mind-set given our current economy. Their mind-set is often about living in harmony with nature; sustainable living.
Population curve
The current world economy is based on an unsustainable concept of growth.  Much lip-service is given to sustainable living without looking at the basic problem.  While economic growth can be linked to increasing living standards in poorer areas, it also appears inextricably linked to population growth.  If you don’t believe us just listen to BBC and CNN International business news for awhile and you will see how tightly these are intertwined.  They present population decline as catastrophic, when in fact, the opposite is true. Population growth is unsustainable.  People may be able to survive in one room high-rise apartments, however it is improbable that the world can feed them all and the weather impacts of a world with no trees are believed to be deadly.  The world has a carrying capacity, which may already have been exceeded.  It is something that people are not willing to speak of, because it is somehow not “politically correct”.  Those with the fastest growing populations accuse the slow growing or stagnant populations, who tell them about birth control, of wanting their genocide, whereas the opposite is true.  It is the shrinking, stagnant, and even slow growing populations, which are in danger of cultural and genetic extermination, due to the fast-growing populations. In the end, everyone is endangered by uncontrolled population growth, because this growth is unsustainable and we live on one planet.

And, the human species needs all of its genetic types, all of its diversity, in order to survive. Genetic diversity strengthens species.  The real problem is that, excepting China and perhaps one other country, people want everyone else to practice population control and not themselves.  This is exacerbated by certain religious leaders who find population growth an easy way to gain and keep adherents (who pay their salaries) rather than focusing on winning converts. It can be hoped that those religious leaders opposing birth control are not hypocritical enough to eat (unfertilized) chicken eggs as that would be killing a potential chicken, much as birth control stops a potential baby from being born, by stopping fertilization. The Chinese were far-sighted enough to see that the alternative to population control was famine, and the painful death this entails. It has been a great hardship for the people of China, where respect for parents and ancestors is so important, to practice the one child policy. This is especially true for farmers who need children to work their fields. But, would starving or watching one’s children starve be a better alternative?  Now China’s historic challenge of famine will soon face the world, but most countries refuse to face the challenges as bravely as China has.  An older Chinese man interviewed by BBC, and living in the countryside, although impoverished, felt that he had benefited from Chinese governmental policy for that reason — he was able to have food.

With increasing population comes increased resource consumption, not only of food, but also of other resources.  The greater the population requiring energy, for instance, the greater the challenges of finding environmentally sustainable energy choices.  There is, of course, the option of putting a lot of people in one room to keep each other warm as a heating solution but that does not appear an ideal solution for most people nor is it a solution for keeping cool.

We see the two elephants in the room, being largely ignored in relation to the environment and social justice as
1) overpopulation and its relationship to 2) mining and other resource extraction. A third is the issue of water, especially clean water (also related to mining).  This is a critical problem already in some countries. How can people even start to speak of either environmentalism or equitable distribution of resources, if some insist on having more than their fair share of children?

We also notice that the issue of mining in relation to deforestation and in relation to land disputes has been largely ignored.

For those who are too young to notice that the world feels increasingly crowded look at this, along with the graph above and the population clock below:

Population[2]
Year    Billion
1804    1
1927    2
1959    3
1974    4
1987    5
1999    6
2011    7
2020    7.7
(estimate)[18]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_overpopulation

Population clock:
Check out this or any other live population clock; Amazing: http://www.census.gov/popclock/

Carrying Capacity:  Let’s Talk Mice or even Rats

If you feed mice all they want and leave them uncontrolled they will fill up the first floor of your house and keep moving up floor by floor until the house is totally full.  Although this author’s high school biology teacher, who gave this example, didn’t mention it, the mice will destroy the house and its contents in the process.  Anyone who has dealt with mice (or rats) knows this is true.  Anyone who has not, imagine a house where everything has been chewed on and shit on by an endless number of mice.  Eventually, so the teacher said, the mice will be so numerous that they will kill each other off (we take her word for it).  Now what are the alternatives?  If we are really talking about mice you hope not to have a mouse in the first place, and especially two mice who can reproduce, and you keep your house clean so they can’t find anything to eat and no water so they cannot drink, and no nesting materials.  And, if that fails you get a cat or a terrier or a barn owl, (who will perhaps get them before they get in the house).  You hope that the cat is a good mouser and not one which just loves to throw living mice in the air while you are watching TV.  And, that you don’t end up with a poor-natured terrier or cat who is more destructive to your house than the mice!

If we are speaking of mice as an analogy for humans then the obvious benefits of birth control for population control before there is starvation, war over resources or due to overcrowding, disease from overcrowding, or destruction of the environment (the house) are clear.

As for those worrying about who will take care of older people we need to get over ageism and realize the importance of wisdom and that people between 80 and even 100 plus sometimes exceed younger people in physical abilities and especially in intellectual abilities.  People in their 90s sometimes must care for those in their 70s, for instance.  Respect for one’s elders and their abilities is something that the world needs to regain in order to survive.  For those who do not age well, there are robots being developed.

“World Population Balance” Fact Sheet

Why is population an important topic?
The human race has an enormous impact on this planet! We control and modify the Earth more than any other species. How do we meet the needs of human beings and also preserve Earth’s finite resources, biodiversity, and natural beauty? This is the fundamental question of our time, and the challenge is becoming more problematic as we add more people. Meanwhile, in every locality, it’s important to know how fast population is growing, so that we can build sufficient sewers, roads, power plants, and schools.

Do we know exactly how many people there are in the world today?
No. There are so many people on this planet that counting them up, exactly, is impossible. However, experts believe there are more than 7 billion people in the world today. This is a fairly reliable estimate. World population in 2012 was 2 times greater than it was in 1965, 4 times greater than 1910, and 10 times greater than 1730. After growing very slowly for tens of thousands of years, world population has grown very rapidly in the last few centuries and continues to do so.

How fast is the world’s population growing?
In terms of net gain (births minus deaths), we are adding over 200,000 people to this planet every day, or 140 EVERY MINUTE. That equates to 70 million more people every year, about the same as the combined population of California, Texas, and Washington. Although we have made encouraging progress in slowing the growth rate, any rate of growth is unsustainable in the long term, so we must stabilize population soon for the good of future generations.

Are there any parts of the world where population is not growing?
Yes. Roughly speaking, populations are holding stable in Japan and Western Europe. Populations are decreasing somewhat in Russia and some Eastern European countries. Growth in several southern African countries has slowed due to higher death rates because of AIDS. But population is growing either rapidly or very rapidly in every other part of the world right now, including India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, the United States of America, Australia, Ethiopia and China. In other words, population has stabilized where about 1.2 billion people live and is still increasing very rapidly where 4 billion people live — those who can least afford it. Result: the annual net gain of over 70 million people!

I’ve heard some say the world population crisis is over and that it’s not a problem anymore. Is this true?
No, absolutely not. First of all, 7 billion people may well be too many already. Cornell University professor David Pimentel’s research shows that about 2 billion people is the number the planet can sustainably support, if everyone consumes the same amount of resources as the average European (which is less than the average American). Secondly, U.N. experts predict that world population will increase for at least the next 50 years, with a “most likely” prediction of 9 billion people by the year 2050. There probably will be additional growth beyond that.

There’s no doubt that the worldwide average number of children per woman has come down over the last 50 years — from more than 5 to less than 3 — but: (1) the current average is still well above replacement level, which would be 2.1 children per woman, and (2) the number of women having children is about TWICE what it was in 1960. There is also huge “demographic momentum,” since half the world’s population is age 24 or younger — either having children now, or poised to have them in the next 10 to 15 years — so that any changes we make today may not have a visible effect until a generation has passed!

Finally, people are living longer all over the world and will continue to do so, with a resultant slowdown in death rates. Thus, there’s a big imbalance in the birth to death ratio: currently about 5 births for every 2 deaths worldwide.

So much of the world is still empty space — can’t people just move to less crowded places?
A lot of that space isn’t empty: vast tracts of farmland are necessary to feed the people who live in cities and towns, and forests are necessary to produce wood and oxygen. Much of the land that hasn’t been settled by people simply isn’t habitable: it’s too dry, too cold, or too rocky.
Besides, the people who are most overcrowded are struggling to exist on less than a dollar a day… they don’t have the money to move!

The United States and other countries with low birth rates let in millions of immigrants each year. Doesn’t this act as a “safety valve” to relieve the population pressure of the faster-growing countries?
Not really. Think of it this way. Each year the U.S. currently allows about a million people to immigrate legally (And another 500,000 to a million come in illegally.) But each year most countries of the developing world add almost 70 million more people to their numbers, net gain! The one to two million coming into the U.S. hardly make a dent to relieve the crushing problems created by the almost 70 million more people into these resource stressed countries — each year!

If we continue letting in as many immigrants for the next 50 years as we have for the past 25, we will absorb only about 4 percent of the population growth from the less-developed countries! Although migration can greatly improve the lives of the immigrants themselves, it is not an effective way to relieve the population growth of the countries they come from.

I’ve heard that as population growth slows, countries like the U.S. are going to have to support increasing numbers of dependent elderly people. Don’t we need to have more kids and increase immigration so that we’ll have enough workers to support all these retired people?
No. First of all, people are dependent in their retirement years for only a fraction of the time they’re dependent in their childhood.  Right now retirement lasts only half as long as the dependent period before a young person enters the workforce. If trends continue, it may decrease to a third or even a quarter of that youthful dependency. So children are far more expensive to the economy than the elderly! Secondly, population growth has to stop sooner or later, so bringing in more people is not a long-term solution. The long-term solution is to restructure our system so that we don’t need a constant influx of more people. The sooner we stop the increase in numbers, the more intact we leave our resource base for our children of the future.

What do you mean by “humane” population stabilization?Population continues increasing because the death rate worldwide dropped much farther than the birth rate. Of course no one wants to see death rates rise. That would be an unthinkably inhumane way to stop population growth!

The humane way is for birth rates to drop and balance with today’s lower death rates. Repeated studies in countries all around the world show that the longer children stay in school, the fewer children they will have. Smaller families can provide more resources for each child, and entire nations benefit when they have fewer children to drain their limited, declining resources. So education is the key to humane population stabilization.

See much more here.  And, look at their board of directors.  Some are religious people. http://www.worldpopulationbalance.org/faq (some bold in original; some added by us for emphasis)
(We would point out that forests are critically important in climate control and weather patterns).

From Wikipedia:
Some problems associated with or exacerbated by human overpopulation and over-consumption are:

Inadequate fresh water[92] for drinking as well as sewage treatment and effluent discharge. Some countries, like Saudi Arabia, use energy-expensive desalination to solve the problem of water shortages.[93][94]
Depletion of natural resources, especially fossil fuels.[95]
Increased levels of air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination and noise pollution…[96]
Deforestation and loss of ecosystems[97] that sustain global atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide balance; about eight million hectares of forest are lost each year.[98]
Changes in atmospheric composition and consequent global warming.[99][100]
Irreversible loss of arable land and increases in desertification.[101]

Mass species extinctions[103] from reduced habitat in tropical forests due to slash-and-burn techniques that sometimes are practiced by shifting cultivators, especially in countries with rapidly expanding rural populations; present extinction rates may be as high as 140,000 species lost per year.[104] As of February 2011, the IUCN Red List lists a total of 801 animal species having gone extinct during recorded human history.[105]
High infant and child mortality.[106]…
Intensive factory farming to support large populations. It results in human threats including the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria diseases, excessive air and water pollution, and new viruses that infect humans.[citation needed]
Increased chance of the emergence of new epidemics and pandemics.[108] For many environmental and social reasons, including overcrowded living conditions, malnutrition and inadequate, inaccessible, or non-existent health care,…[109]
Starvation, malnutrition[110] or poor diet with ill health and diet-deficiency diseases (e.g. rickets)…
Low life expectancy in countries with fastest growing populations.[113]
Unhygienic living conditions for many based upon water resource depletion, discharge of raw sewage[114] and solid waste disposal…
Elevated crime rate due to drug cartels and increased theft by people stealing resources to survive.[116]
Conflict over scarce resources and crowding, leading to increased levels of warfare.[117]
Less personal freedom and more restrictive laws. Laws regulate interactions between humans. Law ‘serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people’.[citation needed] The higher the population density, the more frequent such interactions become, and thus there develops a need for more laws and/or more restrictive laws to regulate these interactions. It was even speculated by Aldous Huxley in 1958 that democracy is threatened due to overpopulation, and could give rise to totalitarian style governments.[118]
Many of these problems are explored in the dystopic science fiction film Soylent Green, where an overpopulated Earth suffers from food shortages, depleted resources and poverty and in the documentary “Aftermath: Population Overload”.
…Most biologists and sociologists see overpopulation as a serious threat to the quality of human life.[97][120] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_overpopulation (references at link)

For those who are still not convinced we issue a challenge:  find a very small room and 19 other people and do all of your life activities in that room and eat only one bowl of rice per day and see what happens and how long everyone lasts. Here we are assuming that you are not already living in such an environment. Second challenge:  on a very hot sunny day sit on asphalt all day.  We will allow you to sit on a chair because otherwise you may suffer from burns.  We wash our hands of all responsibility for any troubles which befall you while doing these experiments.  In fact, we prefer that you use your imagination, rather than to actually do them.

Chile, 15 September 1973
(much more information is in our previous post)

From the complaint recently filed by Jane Jara and her children, in a Florida court, against Lt. Barrientos:
On or about September 15, 1973, after three days of arbitrary detention, during which Victor Jara was restrained and beaten, he was again separated from the other detainees and taken to an underground locker room of the Stadium, which the Chilean Army used to violently interrogate and torture civilians.

Throughout his detention in the locker room of the Stadium, Victor Jara was in the physical custody of Lieutenant Barrientos, soldiers under his command, or other members of the Chilean Army who acted in furtherance of the Chilean Army’s common plan, design, and scheme to commit human rights abuses against civilians at the Stadium.

While detained in the locker room of the Stadium, soldiers under Lieutenant Barrientos’s command blindfolded, handcuffed, interrogated, brutally beat, and otherwise tortured Victor Jara. Lieutenant Barrientos ordered soldiers under his command to further beat and torture Victor Jara to punish him for his political beliefs and support for President
Allende.

Following this cruel treatment and torture, Lieutenant Barrientos put a pistol to the back of Victor Jara’s head and proceeded to “play” rounds of “Russian roulette.” Lieutenant Barrientos loaded one bullet in the chamber of his pistol, spun the chamber and pulled the trigger, knowing that each shot could be lethal. During the course of this “game,” Lieutenant Barrientos shot Victor Jara in the back of the head at point blank range. He then ordered the five military conscripts under his command to repeatedly shoot Victor Jara’s corpse. The subordinates then shot Victor Jara’s corpse at least forty times.

After the execution, Lieutenant Barrientos ordered his subordinates to dump Victor Jara’s body. The subordinates complied and his body was ignobly and unceremoniously discarded outside the Stadium, along with the bodies of other civilian prisoners who had been killed by the Chilean Army. http://cja.org/downloads/COMPLAINT.9.4.pdf