Tag Archives: Environment

Enbridge Dakota Access Pipeline and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stopped by who else but Standing Rock Sioux


Native American activists have been converging in North Dakota to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline which is encroaching without permission on tribal lands. They’ve delayed construction though the industry already secured an injunction against them. Their main complaint is that it threatens their water. Fittingly the first step authorities took against the growing protest was to take their water. Purportedly because some campers were allegedly endangering corporate surveillance planes with laser pointers.

The People’s Climate March will move the United Nations if marchers push it

I heard a dispiriting conceit at yesterday’s 350.ORG whistestop rally at Denver’s Union Station to cheer climate activists bording the Amtrak Zephyr destined for the New York City #S21 People’s Climate March. This young, otherwise energetic and charismatic environmentalist told the crowd that she did not expect anything to come of the hoped-to-be-massive demonstration but would attend anyway. Ironically this was addressed to supporters who’d already decided not to join the march based I’m guessing on the same logic. Yet we cheered, chanted about the imperative to act, and applauded a successive speaker who added that if world leaders ignored this people’s march, there would follow another and another, ever larger. Hmm. I doubt it. Activism is already showing diminishing returns and drawing numbers to unsuccessful actions doesn’t help. I appreciate not wanting to seem to hold foolish expectations, but I’d rather accept defeat having believed it was not inevitable. The antiwar movement laments the election of Barack Obama because he herded the populist anti-Bush groundswell toward supporting the other corporate war party. But I blame Obama for a larger malpractice: innoculating Americans against hope. Extended generations of altruists lost their cherry to the hope-change-artist and while they wise up incrementally, I have yet to see hopefulness normalize the defeatism. This doesn’t mean that hopefuls don’t keep falling for smooth promises, but the promises are smaller, to be believable. Bill McKibben’s 350 march for example doesn’t even want to make demands, yet insists that your personal attendence will be the biggest impact you can make against climate change. And if the march doesn’t move UN leaders, come back and do it again. Until what? Until world leaders are convinced that the public is serious. Why are we not serious? Should McKibben admit that traveling to New York could be distracting activists from where their bodies really need to be, in front of coal plants, blocking pipelines, and organizing communities against fossil fuel extraction? Pressuring the UN is similarly immediate but we have to apply veritable pressure. If a march is meant to impress, even as a gesture, it must be more than a parade.

BIDDER 70 doc reduces super-activist Tim DeChristopher to a number, lonely

BUMMER. I was thrilled a documentary would tell the world about Tim DeChristopher. You might think his achievement would be more widely know. It’s a testament of the power he’s up against, added to the meager support he has received, that even here I have to explain who he is and what he did. Tired of the futility of outdoor protests to prevent BLM land sales to the extraction industry, Tim DeChristopher attended an auction of particularly dubious legitimacy and successfully thwarted it by posing as a bidder and buying many of the lots. This happened at the close of Bush’s presidency, but Obama’s administration pursued a successful prosecution. DeChristopher has just been released after serving two years in federal prison. The documentary “Bidder 70” recounts the ordeal in a manner that provides neither encouragement nor inspiration, and leaves me to question how DeChristopher might have been better represented in court, publicized in actions, and celebrated in film. To say Bidder 70 reduces Tim DeChristopher to a number distorts the idiom. No mere number, DeChristopher is the important but solitary number one, among a casualty count always rising. In the sea of ineffectual activism that prompted his improvisational escalation, DeChristopher emerges more singular than when he started, but that’s to judge based on a flawed documentary. Hardly an surprising result.

It’s certainly armchair quarterbacking to suggest Tim DeChristopher’s legal team failed him miserably, likewise his publicity crew, but I can unequivocally conclude that DeChristopher would have served the environmental movement much more successfully had he been free to apply his imagination and energies, literally. Jail time helped Mandela, MLK and Thoreau, but that’s because you heard about it. The makers of “Bidder 70” can’t be faulted for their subject’s obscurity, but they are applying themselves to sealing his fate with coffin nails.

“Bidder 70” has major shortcomings: you are left with an informed impression that one, there is nothing to be done, two, you don’t want to do it in prison, and three, our collective impotence is inescapable. What’s the point then of attending the movie?

Of all the questions left for a post-screening Q&A, probably one should not be whether the subject is other than he appears. Explain this, how does a protagonist gain inspiration from being told there’s nothing to be done, by a Nobel Prize winner, whom he believes and holds as his mentor? Everyone loves a good challenge, but DeChristopher comes off as a poor listener. Nothing? I’ll see your nothing and raise you nothing. Futile? Count me in! Everyone loves an underdog, but he gathers no recruits.

Never mind his in-denial heroics, the audience takeaway is that his cause is lost. This is swiftly reinforced with the story of Tim DeChristopher’s road less traveled to prison. Offered encouragement by other activists who’ve served time, who we’ve also not heard of, it’s painted to be a fate of unimaginable awfulness and given an ominous soundtrack.

Who could not to admire Tim DeChristopher and respect his dedication and courage? The filmmakers painted in super-heroic light, notwithstanding his irrational adjustments, and so their thematic choice look awfully suspect. Are we likely to learn that they’re new to activism and have no idea what does or doesn’t motivate?

Filmed between 2009 and 2011 and released last year, “Bidder 70” makes no mention of “fracking.” The environmental movement has been literally bursting with opposition to hydraulic fracturing and these filmmakers were at the forefront of the national rallies. This omission is juxtaposed with a clip of 350’s Bill McKibbon praising the consumption of natural gas over coal.

Fracking protest message at Denver 350 rally cuts through nebulous “Forward on Climate” theme


DENVER, COLORADO- Score another success for Colorado Fractivists who crashed this weekend’s climate rally with their unequivocal anti-fracking message. The February 17 event was intended to urge President Obama “Forward on Climate”, to borrow his most recent campaign vagarity, but when official speeches began, and the prefab signs were distributed, it became unclear who might be trying to co-opt whom.

Gas
The 350.ORG sponsored march, coinciding with a rally and civil disobedience in DC, called specifically for a halt to the Keystone XL Pipeline and Tar Sands extraction which climate scientists have dubbed “game over” for hopes of averting climate disaster, but the dominant signage spoke vaguely of “Climate Action” and “It’s Time to Cut Carbon” and “Big Coal Makes Us Sick”, all of which are slogans used by proponents of natural gas. 350-ORG has been raising awareness of the imperative to reduce carbon emissions, while recognizing that the groundswell driving environmentalists across the country is opposition to oil & gas hydraulic fracturing.

It’s all the same fight to reduce burning of fossil fuels, but moderate allies like the Sierra Club haven’t been prepared to denounce their new-found bed partners urging consumers to get “Beyond Coal.” To her credit, local 350-ORG coordinator Micah Parkin incorporated fractivist groups into the Feb 17 rally, but Democratic Party panderers didn’t get the memo. A representative read a letter of support from Senator Michael Bennet and was able to sneak past: “I stand with Obama” and even “in favor of US energy independence” although that’s code for oil & gas exports, dependent on construction of the XL pipeline. But when Mark Udall’s representative referred to “clean burning natural gas” the crowd booed. Even as he pleaded “we’re on your side,” the crowd wouldn’t relent, making sure his takeaway would be that fracking compounded global warming, among its other horrors.

The highlight of the rally occurred immediately afterward when the master of ceremonies, a twelve-year-old rapper and member of the Boulder based Earth Guardians, thanked Udall’s rep affably but then assured the audience that “of course there’s no such thing as clean natural gas!”


Occupy
A word about Occupy Denver’s part in Sunday’s march. Occupiers took the black-tie invitation to heart and turned up in black bloc attire with bandanas and balaclavas. OD then pushed the envelope to the consternation of parade marshals, stepping into the street at one point, blocking cars at another, in the spirit of their banner which read “ONLY DIRECT ACTION WILL STOP THE PIPELINE.”

To what end, creating friction during an event otherwise running smoothly? Who knows. The demonstration was uneventful and garnered scant media attention. Mixing it up might have helped, or not. The turnout was large but not up for a confrontation. Occupy didn’t push it.

The irony of 350-ORG supporters being upset by the antics of the Occupiers, was that behind the masks were many activists who’d actually gone to Texas to stop the XL pipeline, who’d gotten arrested, some out on $25,000 bond. How unfortunate that those troublemakers weren’t recognized from the stage. It was a real missed opportunity, this having been a rally to, um, STOP THE PIPELINE. These rowdy boring-party crashers were actually its unsung, veritable heroes. What the crowd wanted to mistake for infantile grandstanding, was really the infantile audacity that stops pipelines. Yes you get in trouble if you step off the sidewalk. Do you think the police are going to let you stop the pipeline?

Punxsutawney Phil fails to see eclipse of mankind, declares early spring for nature

You know it’s GROUNDHOG DAY when newspaper weather forecasts read like articles in the Onion. The unseasonably warm winter that followed a record breaking hot summer has been declared by Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania’s mascot meteorologist to be an “Early Spring”. FOR NATURE. The rat.

Broomfield Police play rough game of Cowboys & Indians with Idle No More Native Americans, literally

Photo by Jolynne Locust WoodcockBROOMFIELD, COLO.- Fellow Occupy members and I joined in a “round dance” flash mob at a local mall on Wednesday night, as part of the growing IDLE NO MORE actions whose First Nations grievances include the despoiling of indigenous treaty lands by tar sands extraction and the XL pipeline, and sovereignty issues about which Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is now on a 22 day hunger strike. Two previous round dances in Colorado had proceeded uneventfully but no sooner had we begun in the Flatirons Crossing Shopping Center, located between Denver and Boulder, that mall security and police began routing the round dancers out the door. It was a rather comical scene, peaceful dancers, many of them children, being blocked and herded straight out into the cold, no warning or explanation being given. Of course the round dance stopped in its tracks, people instead dancing in place, gently waving their signs, as security told them they had to leave or face arrest. Apparently, because we didn’t hear it. Drummers were let to finish the first song, after which they packed up to leave. Once the drumming stopped however, we were surprised to hear security and police officers relaying their instructions, that “anyone who looked Native American” should be made to leave.

Of course we questioned what we were hearing, and were then threatened with immediate arrest and ushered out the door. At the same time, police officers were running in a continuous line into the mall to conduct sweeps as many flash mob participants were still arriving from all directions. Many got lost on the way, or miscalculated the traffic they’d encounter, so arrived late. In essence however, people without signs, not singing or dancing or drumming or holding their ground, were summarily being ordered to leave the mall immediately, based upon the clue that they looked Native American.

If my “Cowboys and Indians” analogy seems kinda flip. Imagine squads of Broomfield and Westminster police, roaming throughout the FlatIrons Mall checking people’s faces to see if they qualify to be expelled. The mall wasn’t cleared of all shoppers, just those who looked indigenous. A fairly scarey game, considering that many of the Idle No More participants were children.

I can tell you part of the thrill for me, of the round dance flash mobs, as a European immigrant, is feeling the surroundings begin to fill with indigenous faces. That is turned around in the hostile atmosphere created by the police, as western law enforcement resumes its traditional role of hunting down those it pretends don’t belong.

I had invited a friend to bring her young family, part Native American, to join the dance. Thankfully they couldn’t make it. What if they’d had, and come late, and were walking through the mall full of shoppers, and were encountered by squads of police who sought them out of the crowd and inexplicably ordered them to leave the premises? What’s any American child to think of that?

I have a young nephew who just that day I’d seen playing in his policeman’s costume, with a new policeman’s badge he got for Christmas. What would he have thought of that?

Plus, how’s that for irony? Natives considered trespassers. Even the mother of a girl being detained, was not allowed past to inquire what was happening, because she didn’t fit the profile of Americans who have rights, or a profile the police thought should be afforded a status of dignity or respect.

Meanwhile, three female participants, one of them 17-year-old Idle No More organizer Cheyenne McCallister, were being detained inside.

When Occupy Colorado Springs activist Patrick Jay tried to document the actions of the police from outside the mall window, he was pounced upon by Bloomfield Police for not having removed himself sufficiently from the area and thus was held to be trespassing. When I tried to take pictures of his arrest, I was arrested.

Held in separate police cruisers we could hear over the police radio that fifteen Westminster Police Officers were on their way armed with “shields and gas”. An officer on the scene told the dispatcher to turn them back because they were no longer need. As we’d seen, the mall and even the parking area filled with police vehicles had been completely cleared. But then a report came that a Native American group was reconstituting itself in “Parking lot E” and so the officers in riot gear were summoned. We learned later that they did arrive to menace the crowd, which decided to reconvene across the street at a McDonalds instead.

And now consider the further travesty, when a local news crew arrived to cover the story, they told only the mall’s side, because the IDLE NO MORE folks were prevented from reaching the news crew because it would mean trespassing! They could only watch, then watch on television as the story completely misrepresented the facts.

Patrick and I were eventually booked and held for several hours, like the others, then released to a warm welcome from Idle No More organizers who’d waited the whole evening. Our court date is February 20, the two women and one minor have court the next day, February 21.

Photo by Jolynne Locust Woodcock
(First and last photo credit: Jolynne Locust Woodcock)
See more at Facebook/OccupyColoradoSprings

Denver Canadian Consulate closes its doors to IDLE NO MORE round dance and a very polite letter

Idle No More Round Dance at Canadian Consulate in Denver
DENVER, COLORADO- Indigenous activists paused only one day before assembling a second IDLE NO MORE gathering to perform a round dance at the Canadian Consulate in Denver today, to deliver a letter urging the Canadian government and the British Crown (the Queen!) to meet with Chief Theresa Spence and end her hunger strike over recent legislation which gutted First Nation treaty protections. After a rally of dance, song and orations, a delegation sought to enter the consulate but was denied. After filling the downstairs lobby, being told picture-taking was not allowed, and the building’s security crew receiving a squad of reinforcements from DPD, the activist were finally sent a representative to accept the letter without comment.

Gazette not only blocks story of local fracking protest, but assigns goon to disrupt it

City Hall, December 11, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.- This past Tuesday saw the largest demonstration yet against oil and gas drilling in Colorado Springs and the ugly practice of hydraulic fracturing. Several dozen fractivists allied with Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights (CSCCR) and Occupy were joined on the steps of City Hall by Colorado College students who’d marched from their campus with banners and posters denouncing fracking. You didn’t hear about it did you? After the rally everyone filled the council chamber to give 3-minute personal testimonials that ran for two hours. That too went unreported, in particular by the Gazette, who had two reporters in the room, one who’d conducted interviews, and both who took notes during the presentations. But neither produced a story — an odd dereliction of responsibility you might say. Even more odd was the role played by Gazette editorial page writer Wayne Laugesen who ultimately opined on the city council’s decision to postpone their vote, as “caving to anti-energy activists”, offering no details. Laugesen actually interjected himself into the rally outside as a lone counter-protester, interrupting interviews being filmed for TV stations KRDO and KKTV. When they asked Laugesen to let them do their job, the goon replied that he was doing his. So the Gazette was not satisfied to blackout reports of the community rally, but aimed to sabotage it as well.

Whose job was Wayne Laugesen doing exactly? Was he confusing his publisher for the overseers who hold his tether: the pro-industry PR mill Americans For Prosperity? It could be. But the Gazette is now hardly distinguishable from contract stink-tank corporate profiteering advocacy. When conservative mummies Freedom Communications supervised the Gazette, the pretense was tax-cutting, tax-dodging libertarianism. The Gazette’s new owner made his billions in corrupt oil, real estate and privatization schemes, so prospects are looking dim for the region’s daily paper to offer authentic news. Having their editorial hit-man on the ground as a pretend grass root weed killer is a disturbing development that must not go unchallenged.

Contrast the Gazette blackout and the relatively tepid coverage by the weekly Independent, with the monthly African American Voice which gave the previous anti-fracking rally a front-page, full color, two-page article, whose theme accurately accused the city council of being “out of touch with the community.” AAV publisher James Tucker has participated in several of the rallies and understands whose interest he represents.

On the other hand, Tuesday was the umpteenth time the Gazette has ignored the rising community effort to oppose the oil and gas lobby. For many months of city council meetings, Gazette correspondent Daniel Chacon has dutifully sat at his stenographer’s seat and witnessed testimony after testimony from community voices without reporting a single one. On one particularly contentious council meeting in November, Chacon summarized the council’s decision without mentioning the overwhelming community presence.

This Tueday’s voices were joined by EPA-whistleblower Wes Wilson and environmental activist Phil Doe, who’d come from Denver to testify before the Colorado Springs council. Phil Doe made an earnest plea for council to support the people of Longmont, who had just succeeded in voting in a ban against facking. It seemed an improbable request, to ask the Springs city council to back the people of Longmont, while council opposed supporting their own. But Doe’s request highlighted the incongruity of our council’s stand. Would they take the side of the oil industry against the electorally established will of the people of Longmont? How utterly undemocratically corrupt of them if they do not.

But that’s council, and there is still time for their constituents to pin their ears if they continue to pretend their only masters are the oil players. With his gentle logic, Phil Doe offered city council a redemption it can’t refuse. Unless of course, his act and their response goes unreported.

It’s time the Gazette is called out for what it is, not just a propaganda arm for regional kleptocrats, but a corporate mercenary spoiler, willing to stoop to unprecedented lows to fowl public well-being.

NOW: Support the Tar Sands Blockade, includes DIY direct action supply list!


BREAKING: Does effective direct action get more exciting than this?

You can support the ongoing action: here’s their wish list. At the same time, an excellent inventory of what YOU’LL NEED to scramble a tree-sit if the XL Pipeline is coming your way.

To read this list is like being there, and I think, it brings you one step closer.

CLIMB GEAR
• 91/2-12 mm static kern-mantle/ arborist climb lines
• 5/8ths CWC truck rope or Tytan
• arborist throw lines and throw bags.
• 6mm accessory cord (climb rated)
• 1” tubular webbing
• rock/tree climbing harnesses all sizes mostly medium
• locking climb rated steel and aluminum carabiners
• climb rated pulleys (preferably tandem speed)
• Petzl steel quick links
TECH
• gmrs radios with silent and ear bud options
• Energizer XP18000s
• batteries (AA/AAA/Go Pro Batteries)
• GoProHero2?s & extra batteries
• Netbooks
• small portable solar panels with battery
• Pelican cases (large and small)
• deer/trail cameras
• satellite phones
• MacBook Pro’s
• MiniDV tapes
• 16GB SDcards (Class 10 preferred)
• 8GB+ flash drives
• Canon VIXIA HF R300?s (and extra batteries & charger deck)
• verizon wifi hotspots
• ATN PVS7-3A 3rd Gen or similar Night Vision Binocular Goggles
• Field watches
• car inverters
• 1TB USB External Hard Drives (mac&pc compatible)
MEDICAL
• splints
• coband
• braces (limb)
• disinfectant/antibacterial swabs
• compact girny
• saline
• epsom salt
• joint braces
• gauze rolls
• ace bandage
• Benedryl (anti-allergy)
• nitrile gloves
• trauma shears
APPAREL
• rain gear
• warm clothes (wool or synthetic earth tones) and socks!
• tarps/tents
• wool blanketss
• sleeping bags
• camping hammocks
• headlamps with blue or green (preferred) or red LED option
• work gloves
• towels
TOOLS & MATERIALS
• angle grinder
• chopsaws
• battery powered drills and impact drivers (makita, delta, bosch)
• welder (arc)
• handsaws
• shovels
• pickaxes
• rope: seriously, anything
• 550 parachute cord
• chain
• knives
• multitools (Leatherman or Gerber)
• plywood (3/8”-3/4” – 4?x8? sheets)
• 2×4?s
• decking screws
• 3/8-1/2” bolts and nuts
FOOD
• coffee (good and strong)
• bulk grains
• produce
• spices
• condiments
• non-perishables
• EmergenC
• tea
• MRE’s
ART
• muslin/canvas
• paint (buckets and spray)
• general art supplies
• projector (mac/pc compatible)
• gromet kit
• paint brushes
• paint sticks /mops
• supplies for building 15 ft + puppets
OTHER
• cans of rolling tobacco
• vehicles (junk or drivable)
• All Terrain Vehicles ATV’s
• thermoses
• dirt bikes
• toilet paper
• soap
• water filters
• backpacks
• all-natural cleaning supplies
• camelbaks
• generator 600watt plus
• all-natural mosquito repellant
• condoms
• tampons
• verizon prepaid phone cards

Oil and Gas Lies

From Lotus: The oil & gas industry is similar to the tobacco industry – almost everything it tells us is a lie. It has even hired the same PR firm as the tobacco industry used. The biggest lie, and one that the Colorado Springs City Council has accepted, is that local governments cannot legally stop oil and gas drilling.

Pittsburg Pennsylvania and eight other local governments across the US have successfully stopped oil and gas drilling by the use of a rights ordinance. Rather than challenging a state statute, a rights based ordinance is based on our basic rights to things like health, clean water, air and soil. Our basic rights are higher law than the laws passed by the State of Colorado.

It is easy to prove that this rights based ordinance approach works. Just go to CELDF, then to Resources, then ordinances. Or contact the mayor of Pittsburgh, or watch the movie The Sky Is Pink.

Because our City Council was given bad legal advice, the City Oil & Gas Committee it created did not focus much attention on the dangerous practice of fracking, nor evaluate its effect on our health, ground water, air and soil.

Based on comments made by Councilors Val Snider and Scott Hente it seems unlikely that when the Committee’s recommendations are considered by the City Council on July 10 that discussion about fracking will be allowed. Comments about fracking will be allowed during Citizen Discussion.

Many within our City only see dollar signs, but the facts are that France, Germany, Bulgaria and Vermont have banned fracking; South African professor Tonder says contamination from fracking well casings will be one of the biggest water pollution disasters in the world, Cornell professor Ingraffea says 60% of well casings leak after 20 years, eventually 100% will leak; Dr. Tom Myers says fluid migration into aquifers will occur even without casing failures, and faster than almost anyone thought; a health study of Garfield County says people living within less than half a mile of fracked wells have a 66 percent greater chance of developing cancer, and the dangers to people are moderate to high.

This Is Nuts: Colorado Springs Public Input Gagged On Gas and Oil Fracking

Just in from Lotus: This is nuts. Not only is it nuts to allow a mostly unregulated, major polluting industry inside a city of half a million people, but also citizens are being largely gagged on this issue. Oil and gas drilling is dangerous! 60% of well casings in Pennsylvania leaked over a 20 year time span. A new study indicates that fluid migration into aquifers will occur, and faster than almost anyone thought. An increasing number of scientists are now coming forward with similar warnings.

The Health Impact Assessment for Battlement Mesa, Garfield County Colorado concluded that people living within half a mile of fracked wells have a 66 percent greater chance of developing cancer.

A presentation by the Sierra Club called Fracking in Colorado What are the impacts? says that the dangerous chemicals used pose a long term health risk to workers and local communities.

The oil and gas industry has been exempted from most of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is not typically covered under the Clean Air Act. See Affirming Gasland. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission is understaffed and very weak on regulation.

Public officials are often afraid to pass strong regulations for fear of a law suit. However, whatever has been used to regulate the oil and gas companies previously is legal now, and at least two important Colorado court cases were won by local governments. An example of a local Colorado government with very strong regulations is Saguache County; and Saguache has NO oil and gas drilling! Another local government with strong regulations located in Texas is Flower Mound.

City Council’s Oil and Gas Committee during its 13 meetings allowed no public input. The May 24 “town hall meeting” was very controlled except toward the end of the meeting. There will be NO hearing on what may be the most important decision this community will ever face.

Council President Scott Hente said in an email recently in reference to the June 26 Council Meeting, “I plan to limit comments to 3 minutes.” It also appears that comments will only be allowed on what the Committee has recommended.

At the May 24 meeting when a member of the audience said he was tired of hearing people say we cannot regulate this or that or we might be sued, and that he thought our health, water, air, and soil are worth suing over, there was a very loud ovation far louder than any other.

At least 7 communities across the US, including Pittsburgh, have avoided a court battle and yet prevented oil and gas drilling by the use of an ordinance based on civil and community rights to health, clean water, air, soil etc. See CELDF, Ben Price.

A C S Gazzette poll on 5-25-12 asked: Will windmills, solar gadgets and other non-traditional energy sources wean us off fossil fuels in the next 30 years? A whopping 68% said yes! Surveys done by our local utility have had similar results. The fact is that we could save trillions of dollars and transition to a solar, wind and other renewables economy fairly quickly. But we do need to stop the massive subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear power. See Scientific American, Nov, 2009; ; and Reinventing Fire by Amory Lovins ; and Renewable Communities.

Creepy Congressman Doug Lamborn knows his pornography when he sees it

Image which Doug Lamborn disallowed from committee hearing on mountaintop removal
The image was one frame of a photo essay by photojournalist Katie Falkenberg illustrating the human toll of mountaintop removal mining, but Colorado’s own Congressman Doug “Tar-Baby” Lamborn called it child pornography and disallowed the evidence from being seen by his energy subcommittee. The creepy unapologetic Lamborn has so far weathered local fallout from his ceaseless racist outrages, but will this porn slip prove terminally Freudian? Obscenity is in the eye of the beholder: where everyone else see a pitiable child of indeterminate sex suffering polluted bathwater that passes for indoor plumbing in locales around mountaintop removal, US Representative Lamborn gets an erection. Is this picture obscene? It depicts a humanitarian obscenity, but Doug Lamborn doesn’t see it that way.

Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline

DC protest against TransCanada Tar Sands Keystone XL Pipeline
Want to protest our corporate government’s determination to foist the catastrophic Keystone XL Pipeline unto our precariously climate? Here’s a great slogan: TAR SANDS = DIRTIEST OIL ON EARTH. More below:

DC protest against TransCanada Tar Sands Keystone XL Pipeline
TAR SANDS KILL, PIPELINES SPILL.

DC protest against TransCanada Tar Sands Keystone XL Pipeline
And the definitive: THE XL PIPELINE IS “GAME OVER” FOR OUR CLIMATE & COMMUNITIES.

Stubby the tractor warns animal pals: move out now, Stubby’s ready to plow

 
1963 Whitman Tell-a-tale book by Marion Borden, illustrated by Art SeidenMy new favorite children’s book is a 1963 story by Marion Borden, about a little red tractor named Stubby who delays plowing the meadow until all of his wild animal friends have resettled to safety. It’s a comprehensive list, considering the reading level, of the biodiversity displaced by agriculture. How unwitting is the portrayal of man’s clueless arrogance? It’s suggested by the story’s presentation of farming as inherently natural as Manifest Destiny.

“Listen, all! Move out now! Stubby’s here, ready to plow!”

Mr. Rabbit poped out of his burrow. “Thank you, Stubby. I’ll tell my family,” he said.

And Mr. Rabbit, and his wife and four bunnies, seek another meadow in which to burrow.

The gentle relocation is joined by a woodchuck, a pair of song sparrows, a butterfly, two meadow mice, a chipmunk, a grass snake, grasshoppers, crickets, a grass spider, a long parade of ants, a box turtle, and a toad. But when Mrs. Meadowlark tells Stubby that her four babies have yet to learn to fly, the tractor delays his duties until they do.

Naturally Farmer Turnipseed fails to understand Stubby’s hesitation. He has the tractor checked for malfunctions. Fortunately the little meadowlarks grow strong enough to fly before the farmer becomes angry, and work resumes on the farm.

You wonder if children asked in 1963 whether all farmers have tractors as considerate as Stubby. Or whether man need depend on technology to show a requisite respect for nature.

Local cyclists shred Garden of the Gods

Jason MemmelgnarGARDEN OF THE GODS, COLORADO SPRINGS– Mountain bike X-tremists and thrillcraft eco-vandals Jason Memmelaar and Chris Heath weren’t apprehended by the El Paso County Sheriff or the CSPD, but interrupted by off-duty park ranger Stephanie Stover, who saw them cutting tree limbs to expand an illegal downhill run. When she scattered the limbs across the trail to ameliorate erosion, she later found a note which warned:
“Why would you do that? You will hurt my friends. If I see you do this I will hurt you and no one will hear you scream.”KHS rider Chris Heath
Reached by the Gazette via Facebook, Heath denied he left the note, or that he’d built the mile-long trail across protected park land, though he did brag about using the trail “a bunch.” So there it is, CSPD, let the citations fly. Trail repairs won’t begin until May, so there’s still time if you want to make their downhill track a surprise obstacle course. Will screams go unheard? We can test that hypothesis.

I don’t really recommend leaving malicious booby traps like tire spikes, barbed-wire, or a chest high bailing wire strung with tensioners because that could injure others, for example children on bikes however errant, and then too, wildlife. Branches across the path are enough to interrupt the course and can be seen and avoided by hikers. Best of course to safeguard the vicinity by hiking nearby with a camera and cellphone and report the offenders directly to park authorities. Curious to see what the bikers would do if they came upon YOU scattering branches, if you’re not a woman alone on that stretch of the Garden of the Gods.

In the case of Messrs. Memmelaar and Heath, they’re not just asshole despoilers of nature, they’re pro-racers for some kind of circuit for environment-scarring sports. Probably the exposure in Barry Noreen’s column is the last thing their sponsors want. It will be interesting to see how much they care about a public outcry.

I should think they might want to orchestrate a public apology for their “rogue” bikers. Maybe the white Dodge Spirit van with New York plates mentioned in the Gazette is already ferrying friends to the site where they are volunteering to repair the damage before official efforts begin.

If not, keep a lookout for the two elsewhere around town. Perhaps with the heat on Rampart Range Road, they’ll now be looking to foul fresh topsoil of other open spaces, like that of Red Rock canyon.

Have a look at this photographic confession offered at Memmelaar‘s website:
Jason Memmelaar rides in Garden of the Gods

Can you manage a World Car-Free Day?

The publishers of Car Busters have proclaimed every September 22 to be WORLD CAR-FREE DAY. Consider taking the bus, riding a bike or walking to work today. Where possible, the World Carfree Network suggests you walk in the middle of the street where the automobile-dependent will get the point. It’s not your fault the MSM hasn’t told everyone we have a chance today to rethink the sustainability of how to get around.

Apropos to how to get people out of their cars, Vancouver scholar Patrick Condon has released a text about Design Strategies for a Post Carbon World, titled Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities, published by the University of British Columbia Press. The table of contents offers talking points enough:

SEVEN RULES FOR SUSTAINABLE, LOW-CARBON COMMUNITIES

1. Restore the Streetcar City
The Streetcar City as a Unifying Principle
Urban Form and the Pattern of Walkin and Riding
Continuous Linear Corridors, Not Stand-alone Nodes
Buses, Streetcars, Light Rail Transit, and Subways
Streetcar as an Urban Investment
Cars, Buses, Streetcar, or Heavy Rail?
Case Study of the Broadway Corridor in Vancouver
What Is the Optimal Transit System?

2. Design an Interconnected Street System
Challenges of the Denritic Street System
Four Types of Interconnected Street Systems
Ideal Block and Parcel Size
Road Width, Fire Access, Queuing Streets
The Corner, Lanes and Alleys
Greenhouse Gas and Street Pattern

3. Locate Commercial Services, Frequent Transit, and Schools within a Five-minute Walk
Sense of Place in Corridors
Transit, Density, and the Five-minute Walk
Designing for the Bus or Streetcar
The Walk to School

4. Locate Good Jobs Close to Affordable Homes
The Historic Relationship between Work and Home
Metropolitan and Community Scale

5. Provide a Diversity of Housing Types
The Influence of Building Type on GHG Production
The Sustainable Single-family Home
Build and Adapt Neighborhoods for all Ages and Incomes
Buildings with a Friendly Face to the Street

6. Create a Linked System of Natural Areas and Parks
Fredrick Law Olmsted and Linked Natural Areas and Parks
Ian McHarg and the Greenway Revival
Case Study at the Regional Scale:
The Damascus Design Workshop
Case Study at the Neighborhood Scale: Sustainable Fairview
and the Pringle Creek Community, Salem, Oregon

7. Invest in Lighter, Greener, Cheaper, Smarter Infrastructure
Watershed Function
Four Rules for Infiltration
Green Infrastructure for Parcels
Impervious Paved Infiltration Streets

BP strikes again.

Oil and Dispersant filled crabs showing up on the Gulf seafood market.
BP is playing the jobs card here the same as they do on the Gulf. They’re wanting to re-open “extraction” of the oil shale beds near Guffey and Florissant CO.. Park County… near the non-fiction town of Southpark. To do it they’ll be basically mining the oil, taking rocks, crushing them and boiling the oil out. Using the really scarce water resources, every drop of which is claimed by people as far east as the Mississippi and all the way to the West Coast, Brownsville, and Mexico. The watersheds from here flow to everyplace lower than here, which means, everyplace in the Western two thirds of the United States. Which was why the Shale Oil enterprises were shut down before they could even get started back in 1974. We’ve got at least 8 candidates on the ballot who say that cost Colorado jobs.

They neglect to mention the jobs which will be destroyed when the ecosystem is destroyed, when more water than is actually available is used for cooking the shale, and the runoff from it is going to be Toxic. BP and Exxon-Mobil are the biggest contractors wanting to do this. The ones who say their little Ooopsie Moments aren’t destroying every non-Oil job in the gulf either, the ones Sarah Palin “Stood up to” in Alaska, the ones who the Government of Alaska “negotiated a tough settlement” with over Exxon Valdez, real tough, about a penny on the dollar worth of tough.
Spill, baby, Spill.
The same kind of “Tough Negotiations” that Tancredo, or Maes, perhaps, would do. Maybe have a bankrupt and imprisoned for life ex-Exxon employee held responsible for the rest of the money. Real tough… tough on the Non-Oil Corporation workers who will be displaced by such a disaster. Speculative? Until late this spring the Oil Spill in the gulf from Deepwater drilling was “speculation”. Nothing to see, citizens, keep moving, nothing to see…

Oh, and they’ve got Halliburton involved. Not surprising, Halliburton is the largest Oil Facility construction company in the world. Halliburton which cut loose its subsidiary Industrial Labor Services just before they broke my feet up. Neat little idea, subsidiaries. The CEO of ILS was taking out Social Security employee payments, the FICA tax, but not paying it to Social Security, nor of course the Employer Contribution. And got busted. So rather than the whole corporate umbrella, who were also beneficiaries of the scam, walked away from it unscathed. A very few financial officers of ILS actually did “hard time” — three years at Club Fed, for their theft. Compare that to comment 15 about a person getting a Life Sentence for a different money fraud, a $750 hot check also perpetrated in Texas. Rich folks get all the breaks because they own the courts and the cops.

Just like they own the Colorado judges, prosecutors and cops who will be responsible for deciding their liability when they do an Oopsie-moment in our water supply.

Just like the gold mine Toxic Waste Dump Gold Hill Mesa that local Real Estate Tycoons are selling as residential properties, starting at the $160K all the way to a half million apiece to own a home on top of Toxic Waste.

Just like Massey Energy is skating after the 29 deaths of Mine WORKERS and Massey CEO and TeaBag “hero” Don Blankenship not losing a penny on the settlement or a moments sleep over his guilt for their Murder.
11 workers died on the oil rig too. But they were only workers so BP and their mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin don’t give a measurable fraction of a dead rats ass about them or their families either. Far less the Alaskan fishermen from the Exxon-Valdez spill, or the people on the even larger and far less contained Spill, baby, Spill!! off the coast of Louisiana. The Oil Corporations don’t give a shit about their own employees, why would they care about the workers who Aren’t their employees?

James J. Lee, caricature eco-vigilante, assails Discovery Channel offices, puts his money and life where his Malthus

The plus side of eco-vigilante James Lee’s Falling Down routine at the Discovery Channel headquarters is that viewers might be prompted to wonder what’s there to protest. Will the media paint the 43-year-old Lee as a kook, without addressing to what in particular the would- be superhero took offense? Maybe that the cable propagandists purport to inform as they dumb their national audiences to adolescence? No, it turns out Lee’s message is even less palatable, but made to order.

Why did James Lee want to task the Discovery Channel to “save the planet” instead of the major networks? Why Discovery, other than the peculiarity that some of their programs glorify large families, obviously a root cause of overpopulation and thus mankind’s disastrous impact on nature.

So far the reporting has avoided that line of question because it turns out James Lee’s crusade centers on a Malthusian epistemology not off limits to the MSM, in fact it’s right up Bilderberg Alley. Cries Lee:“All human procreation and farming must cease!” as he cites My Ishmael author Daniel Quinn for ideas of how to cut back food production to effect such a strategy.

Quinn’s 1992 “novel” received a one-of-a-kind 1/2 million dollar grant from Ted Turner, for its fearless anti-human prognosis. Which dovetails with the interests of another oligarch eugenicist of the Club of Rome ilk, Bill Gates, proponent of sterilization.

Cutting back on agriculture is no new idea. Genghis Khan had no use for agriculture. It supported city populations which threatened the open range. Modern times have restored the ultra rich who now seek to reestablish hunting grounds void of their subjects. No time like the present to prep the common man on the necessity of sacrificing oneself so that the sustainable few can survive.

What a golden opportunity to have a kook broach the subject, float the balloon so to speak, to set environmental do-gooders on the thought-path of rationalizing having to do themselves in.

The failed hostage-taker left a web page where he explained My Demands. My guess is that James Lee’s exclamation-point-ridden protestations remain unadulterated, a match for his ill-conceived and unpromising armed assault. Instead of elevating the debate, Lee has given America’s security agencies further excuse to demonize environmental activists as “terrorists” under the theme of The Green Scare.

The web page at savetheplanetprotest.com is reprinted below: “the demands and sayings of Lee.”

The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY:

1. The Discovery Channel and it’s affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn’s “My Ishmael” pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other’s inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!

2. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs’ places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.

3. All programs promoting War and the technology behind those must cease. There is no sense in advertising weapons of mass-destruction anymore. Instead, talk about ways to disassemble civilization and concentrate the message in finding SOLUTIONS to solving global military mechanized conflict. Again, solutions solutions instead of just repeating the same old wars with newer weapons. Also, keep out the fraudulent peace movements. They are liars and fakes and had no real intention of ending the wars. ALL OF THEM ARE FAKE! On one hand, they claim they want the wars to end, on the other, they are demanding the human population increase. World War II had 2 Billion humans and after that war, the people decided that tripling the population would assure peace. WTF??? STUPIDITY! MORE HUMANS EQUALS MORE WAR!

4. Civilization must be exposed for the filth it is. That, and all its disgusting religious-cultural roots and greed. Broadcast this message until the pollution in the planet is reversed and the human population goes down! This is your obligation. If you think it isn’t, then get hell off the planet! Breathe Oil! It is the moral obligation of everyone living otherwise what good are they??

5. Immigration: Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that. Find solutions to stopping it. Call for people in the world to develop solutions to stop it completely and permanently. Find solutions FOR these countries so they stop sending their breeding populations to the US and the world to seek jobs and therefore breed more unwanted pollution babies. FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH! (The first world is feeding the population growth of the Third World and those human families are going to where the food is! They must stop procreating new humans looking for nonexistant jobs!)

6. Find solutions for Global Warming, Automotive pollution, International Trade, factory pollution, and the whole blasted human economy. Find ways so that people don’t build more housing pollution which destroys the environment to make way for more human filth! Find solutions so that people stop breeding as well as stopping using Oil in order to REVERSE Global warming and the destruction of the planet!

7. Develop shows that mention the Malthusian sciences about how food production leads to the overpopulation of the Human race. Talk about Evolution. Talk about Malthus and Darwin until it sinks into the stupid people’s brains until they get it!!

8. Saving the Planet means saving what’s left of the non-human Wildlife by decreasing the Human population. That means stopping the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies! You’re the media, you can reach enough people. It’s your resposibility because you reach so many minds!!!

9. Develop shows that will correct and dismantle the dangerous US world economy. Find solutions for their disasterous Ponzi-Casino economy before they take the world to another nuclear war.

10. Stop all shows glorifying human birthing on all your channels and on TLC. Stop Future Weapons shows or replace the dialogue condemning the people behind these developments so that the shows become exposes rather than advertisements of Arms sales and development!

11. You’re also going to find solutions for unemployment and housing. All these unemployed people makes me think the US is headed toward more war.

Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what’s left of the planet with their false morals and breeding culture.

For every human born, ACRES of wildlife forests must be turned into farmland in order to feed that new addition over the course of 60 to 100 YEARS of that new human’s lifespan! THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FOREST CREATURES!!!! All human procreation and farming must cease!

It is the responsiblity of everyone to preserve the planet they live on by not breeding any more children who will continue their filthy practices. Children represent FUTURE catastrophic pollution whereas their parents are current pollution. NO MORE BABIES! Population growth is a real crisis. Even one child born in the US will use 30 to a thousand times more resources than a Third World child. It’s like a couple are having 30 babies even though it’s just one! If the US goes in this direction maybe other countries will too!

Also, war must be halted. Not because it’s morally wrong, but because of the catastrophic environmental damage modern weapons cause to other creatures. FIND SOLUTIONS JUST LIKE THE BOOK SAYS! Humans are supposed to be inventive. INVENT, DAMN YOU!!

The world needs TV shows that DEVELOP solutions to the problems that humans are causing, not stupify the people into destroying the world. Not encouraging them to breed more environmentally harmful humans.

Saving the environment and the remaning species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.

The humans? The planet does not need humans.

You MUST KNOW the human population is behind all the pollution and problems in the world, and YET you encourage the exact opposite instead of discouraging human growth and procreation. Surely you MUST ALREADY KNOW this!

I want Discovery Communications to broadcast on their channels to the world their new program lineup and I want proof they are doing so. I want the new shows started by asking the public for inventive solution ideas to save the planet and the remaining wildlife on it.

These are the demands and sayings of Lee.