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Reposted from James Wells by John Crapper

Activists have chained themselves to the anchor chain of Shell's drilling support ship Arctic Challenger in Bellingham Bay, WA, in a protest to raise awareness of the serious impacts of Shell's proposed oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

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Reposted from Holy $h*tters by John Crapper Editor's Note: In researching a book I'm writing I've been collecting CC prognostications. It's an eye opener -- John Crapper
In researching a book I'm writing I've been collecting prognostications about climate change. These have been gathered over time from numerous sources.   But they are projections and hence a best guess as to what is in our collective future. (Obviously the past dates are accurate.)  

I must confess that during the time I have been compiling these predictions the timeframe has been trending towards an acceleration of events rather than an elongation of them.   There have been a shitload of Holy Shit moments in the process of putting this together.  

Even if you allow that only 50% of these predictions will occur you must come to the conclusion that life as we know it will be dramatically altered.  

*A city hits "climate departure" when the average temperature of its coolest year from then on is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of its hottest year between 1960 and 2005. For example, let's say the climate departure point for D.C. is 2047 (which it is). After 2047, even D.C.'s coldest year will still be hotter than any year from before 2005. Put another way, every single year after 2047 will be hotter than D.C.'s hottest year on record from 1860 to 2005. It's the moment when the old "normal" is really gone.
The Timeframe

2008

In 2008 Arctic sea ice hit its second lowest summer ice extent on record (the lowest extent was in 2007). A massive chunk of ice breaks away from Greenland's Petermann Glacier. Several breakups of ice shelves in Antarctica are observed. (NSIDC; Jason Box, Ohio State University; ESA, NSIDC)

The Bush Administration enacts changes to the Endangered Species Act that affect reviews of government projects.

Polar bears and beluga whales are placed on the Endangered Species List.

2009

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declares carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

An ice bridge connected to the Wilkins Ice Sheet of Antarctica breaks apart.

Many of the world's major rivers are found to be losing water. (Aiguo Dai, NCAR, Journal of Climate)

2010

China became the largest energy consumer in the world, overtaking the USA

China added 15,000 car to its roads every day and a new power plant every week.  

2012

The first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, an international environmental treaty created to limit the production of greenhouse gases, expires. Nations will have to draw up and enact a successor treaty to further limit emissions, should they choose to do so.

2013 - The amount of carbon pollution has already locked in more than 4 feet of sea level rise past 2013 levels. That is enough, at high tide, to submerge more than half of 2013's population in 316 coastal cities and towns (home to 3.6 million) in the lower 48 states.

See below the orange hairpiece for the future!  

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Reposted from momomia by ratcityreprobate
One of four staging areas as I arrived
There was a festival feeling all around
Colors were everywhere
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From King 5 news
Right now all entranceways to Terminal 5 in the Port of Seattle are blocked in protest of Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic.  Hundred of people converged on the terminal around 7:am this morning.  It is the top news event on local TV channels.  
“Everyone is out here today, we have scientists, teachers and city councilmembers risking arrest because they understand the severity of this moment,” said Sarra Tekola a student with Divest University of Washington who recently won a vote to divest their school’s endowment from Coal. “Climate change isn't a polar bear issue it's a human rights issue, climate change displaces people from their countries, 40 years ago desertification kicked my father out of his country in Ethiopia and it's going to get worse. This is our lunch counter to sit on, this is our history to be made, we hold the world in our hands.”
A loose network of several dozen groups calling themselves the sHell No! Action Council (SNAC) organized today’s action. SNAC has focused their opposition to Arctic Drilling on the impacts of Global Warming on the impacts on peoples in the Global South and indigenous communities.

The latest fromKing 5 news in Seattle.

Update:  

Live Blog here

Update:  10:22 am

Food, music, toilets and people calling friends to join from their smart phones.  Terminal shut down.  City Councilperson Kshama Sawant, a political maverick in our midst spoke to the crowd.  

From all indications looks like this will be going on for a while.  

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Reposted from Climate Hawks by John Crapper
Not good, but nowhere near the catastrophic California drought. Yet.

With only 16% of normal snowpack this year, half of Washington State is in drought condition; putting 1.2 bn of crops in jeopardy.

The Guardian

With more than two-thirds of Washington state experiencing abnormal dry conditions and more than half of the state experiencing moderate drought, Governor Jay Inslee on Friday declared a statewide drought emergency.

“We are really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack drought,” Inslee said. “Impacts are already severe in several areas of the state. Difficult decisions are being made about what crops get priority water and how best to save fish.”

Andrea Thompson at Climate Central explains the difference between the dry California drought and the Washington state 'wet drought':
Unlike the intense drought that has plagued California, which is a factor of both heat and lack of precipitation, the drought across the Pacific Northwest is what has been called a “wet drought.” The region had plenty of storms blow across over the winter, but because of record warm temperatures, most precipitation fell as rain and not snow.
Clearly, warmer temperatures are a factor in the Western Drought. As climate warming advances changes will have to be made especially reconsideration of crop choices as I've written about here, here, here and here.
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Reposted from momomia by John Crapper
Before all the attention/I took this from the Jack Block side
Thursday afternoon, 05/14/15, I heard you could see the Polar Pioneer coming into view from Alki Beach. I went to Jack Block Park adjacent to terminal 5 where it was towed to check it out. Following are just a few (and too many) photos of the 3 hours I spent there.
Now it's even with the Space Needle, there are 4 Foss vessels with it
Center is Cheif Seattle's great great grand neice Cecile Hansen
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Reposted from Pacificshift by John Crapper Editor's Note: Let's help keep the momentum going! -- John Crapper

Washington state legislators are concerned that a $25/ton carbon tax proposed in Carbon Washington’s ballot initiative, I-732, will be too “blunt” an instrument.  So they are reviving a more nuanced carbon-pricing plan proposed by the governor.  This demonstrates the power of citizens to place climate action pressure on elected politicians, and the need for citizen to keep the pressure up.

Meanwhile, Carbon Washington and the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, which has been considering its own initiative, have achieved a public rapprochement. The two groups have been in some tension, but have now issued a joint statement committing to avoid competing 2016 initiatives.  They could build further collaboration by joining in an urgently needed public campaign to illuminate the promise of clean energy and the need for some form of carbon pricing to drive it forward.

Crossposted from Cascadia Planet

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Reposted from DK GreenRoots by ratcityreprobate
Otto Braided Hair speaks at a press conference against coal exports. He is a traditional leader from the Northern Cheyenne and does not represent the tribal government.
"We collectively stand together to protect what we love; the earth is a part of who we are."

So said Reuben George, Ceremonial Sundance Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation at a press conference this week, during a historic gathering where tribes from Montana, Washington and British Columbia stood together to oppose North America's largest coal export terminal. That's George in the blue shirt, above, listening to Otto Braided Hair of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

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Reposted from Holy $h*tters by John Crapper Editor's Note: Just a reminder of an important connection we need to remind our leaders about constantly. -- John Crapper

I recently had a conversation with a young man who had just finished serving a tour of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  I asked him what, in his opinion, was the reason we had become militarily involved in those countries.  Without hesitation he immediately said, "oil".  

Connecting the dots!
U.S. intelligence officials revealed in September 2014 that they believed the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, was reaping as much as $3 million a day in revenue, making it one of the wealthiest terrorist groups in history
That report listed the main sources of ISIS funding.

1. WEALTHY DONORS

Much of the fundraising for Syria's extremist groups occurs in the Arab Gulf states, where wealthy private donors raise millions to hand over to Islamist fighters at the Turkey-Syria border. The governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait also covertly provide millions in aid to radical Sunni groups fighting Assad.
2.LOOTING
"It's cash-raising activities resemble those of a mafia-like organization," a U.S. intelligence official told the AP last week. "They are well-organized, systematic and enforced through intimidation and violence."
3.  SMUGGLING AND TAXES

The Islamic State also levies taxes in the areas it conquers.

The group is also believed to have earned millions of dollars from illegally trading antiquities. The Guardian reported in June that the Islamic State had made at least $36 million in one particular Syrian region by selling items that were up to 8,000 years old.
4.OIL As reported in the Huffington Post 9/14.
Oil appears to be the largest source of income for the Islamic State today. The militants pump crude oil from about a dozen oil fields they have captured in Syria and Iraq. They either sell the crude oil directly or send it to small refineries to produce low-quality fuels. It is then transported via decades-old smuggling routes over the border and sold at low prices on the black market in Turkey and in smaller volumes to the Syrian regime.
The price the Islamic State group fetches for its smuggled oil is discounted—$25 to $60 for a barrel of oil that normally sells for more than $100 — but its total profits from oil are exceeding $3 million a day, said Luay al-Khatteeb, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Doha Center in Qatar.
In the early days of the Syrian civil war, the Islamic State group was funded in large part by donations from wealthy residents of Gulf States, including Kuwait and Qatar, American officials have said.

"A number of fundraisers operating in more permissive jurisdictions — particularly in Kuwait and Qatar — are soliciting donations to fund ... al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)," David Cohen, the Treasury department's top counterterrorism official, said in a speech in March. ISIL is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

That stream of funding has diminished in recent months as the group's violent tactics have drawn worldwide attention, U.S. intelligence officials say.

The group's reliance on oil as its main source of revenue could easily be disrupted by American airstrikes, officials say. But so far, no decision has been made to target Iraqi or Syrian oil infrastructure, which is serviced by civilian workers who may have been conscripted.

Well more recent reports point to that disruption in oil revenue coming true.  

As reported by Berlin (AFP):

The Islamic State group has lost control of "at least three large oil fields" in Iraq, depriving the jihadists of a crucial source of income, a German newspaper report said Thursday.

In the face of a large-scale Iraqi counteroffensive, the extremist group now controls just a single oil field in the country.

But the success has been achieved through military means. Military options continue to be our weapon of choice in the fight against terrorism since 9/11 and the limits with this method should be self-evident.

I would like to posit a new approach. What if the United States, along with our Western allies made a concerted and sustained effort to unplug from these Muslim countries?

This begs the question: why are we involved with them? Is it because we consider Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq  our natural allies as we do Great Britain? I think not. I think it is because of oil just like the soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan said to me.

Follow  below the orange hairpiece for more.

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Wed May 13, 2015 at 09:21 AM PDT

Arctic Nightmare

by Michael Brune

Reposted from Michael Brune by John Crapper Editor's Note: #shellno -- John Crapper

I had a terrible nightmare: President Mitt Romney approved Shell Oil's drilling plans for the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. He did it even though his own Department of the Interior calculated that the odds of a large oil spill were 75 percent. He did it even though no proven method exists to respond to such a spill. He did it even though indigenous Alaskan culture has centered on traditional harvests of marine resources for thousands of years. He did it even though all known, extractable Arctic oil and gas reserves must remain undeveloped if the world wants to avoid the worst effects of climate disruption. He did it even though such a spill would affect fish, birds from around the globe, and marine mammals such as polar bears, walruses, seals, and bowhead and beluga whales. He did it in spite of Shell's abysmal track record in the Arctic, which could inspire the next Dumb and Dumber sequel.

When I woke up and realized that Romney had lost the election, I was momentarily relieved. But then the nightmare started all over again. Because everything else really did happen—only it was President Barack Obama, the man we worked so hard to put in the White House, whose Interior Department decided it would be OK to spill oil in the Arctic.

How are we supposed to make sense of this?

Is it because Obama is worried about his next election? There isn't one. Is it because he's beholden to the petroleum industry? They never supported him. Is it because he thinks the U.S., as the new chair of the Arctic Council, should lead by some kind of perverse counterexample? Here's what Secretary of State John Kerry said at the council's annual meeting last month: "The Arctic Council can do more on climate change... we all know the clock is ticking, and we actually don’t have a lot of time to waste." OK, so let's release millions more tons of greenhouse gases and melt the Arctic even faster.

If this is U.S. climate leadership, then I'd hate to see what climate irresponsibility looks like.

Why is it so hard for so many of our leaders to recognize what Martin Luther King, Jr., once called "the fierce urgency of now"? We really don't have time to waste, yet our government keeps promoting drilling, fracking, and mining as if the laws of nature could be suspended at our convenience.

As for America's Arctic, President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will have long since left office when, as predicted by their own experts, disaster strikes on the dark, stormy waters of the Chukchi. The nearest Coast Guard station is more than 1,000 miles away. As strong currents and winds spread oil to the most sensitive marine areas and coastlines, all anyone will be able to do is watch and wish we had not been so reckless.

But it's still not too late to change the odds. The chances of a major spill are three-in-four, but only if Shell is allowed to go through with its crazy plans. Already, the idea that our government would take such an appalling risk is inspiring outraged citizens to rise up and say "no way!"

Even before the Obama administration's approval of Shell's drilling plans, "kayaktivists" in the Pacific Northwest were planning to protest the oil company's plans to lease a terminal in the Port of Seattle for its drilling fleet. This Saturday they'll stage a "sHell No Flotilla" and an accompanying rally on dry land. There will also be a solar and wind-powered, crowd-funded "People’s Platform" marine barge—with the message "Next Time Try Solar."

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Reposted from Paul Bland for Public Justice by ratcityreprobate
Huge factory-like dairies in Yakima, Washington, that confine tens of thousands of cows were applying millions of gallons of manure onto a few fields and calling it “fertilizer.” In fact, some people in the U.S. dairy industry have referred to that [fertilizer] as 'liquid gold.' The best thing that can be said of that characterization would be that it was a euphemism; it might be better characterized as, metaphorically, a bigger load of shit than they were dumping into the environment.

The cost to the environment, the water, the community, and the animals of operating in this dirty manner was huge. The picture painted above doesn’t even account for the acres covered in piles of dry manure or the cow pens so filled with manure that the dairy cows lived standing knee deep in their own waste. Each dairy cow produces as much raw sewage as 20-40 people, so these dairies were producing about the equivalent amount of waste as all of the residents of Hoboken, NJ and dumping it, untreated, onto the ground. The tons of excess waste drained out of the cesspools and manure piles and overloaded the fields, leaking into the groundwater and contaminating it with high levels of nitrates.  That groundwater just happened to also be the nearby community’s sole source of drinking water.  

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Reposted from Climate Hawks by John Crapper
Seattle has launched the first salvo in the fight to stop the Obama administration decision to allow Shell to drill in Arctic. Seattle city council has just voted to advise against letting Shell use its terminal 5 as base for Arctic drilling.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/11/2015

Council Urges Port to Reconsider Terminal 5 Lease

SEATTLE - Council today unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Port of Seattle to reconsider its lease at Terminal 5 to host Shell Oil's Arctic drilling rigs. The action also officially put the City of Seattle on record in opposing federal permits and leases relating to Arctic drilling.

"Maintaining a healthy working waterfront and maritime economy are essential for Seattle's long-term success.  But we can achieve that without contributing to the catastrophic and irreversible impacts to our climate that Arctic drilling represents," said Councilmember Mike O'Brien, the legislation's sponsor. "I am willing and able to sit down with the Port to identify alternative operations at Terminal 5 that would better serve Puget Sound residents."

On May 9, the Council and Mayor Murray asked the Department of Planning & Development (DPD) to investigate terms of the Shoreline Master Permit that the City issued the Port in 1996 allowing certain operations to occur at Terminal 5.  DPD found that repairing and mooring Shell Oil's rigs at Terminal 5 was inconsistent with the existing shoreline permit for container operations.  Foss Maritime has appealed DPD's ruling.

The Port of Seattle meets tomorrow to discuss the Terminal 5 lease.

Seattle is in the cross hairs of Arctic drilling because Shell hopes to stage its drilling operations from terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle.

Let's support Seattle in this decision. First boycott Shell. Hell, boycotting all fossil fuels is the best thing you can do.  And we must put ourselves on the line to stop this insane decision by the Obama administration to allow Shell to drill in Arctic.

The battle at the Port of Seattle matters everywhere, let's join them.

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