September 12, 2012
By: Kenneth Schortgen Jr

On Sept. 11, Pastor Lindsey Williams, former minister to the global oil companies during the building of the Alaskan pipeline, announced the most significant event to affect the U.S. dollar since its inception as a currency. For the first time since the 1970′s, when Henry Kissenger forged a trade agreement with the Royal house of Saud to sell oil using only U.S. dollars, China announced its intention to bypass the dollar for global oil customers and began selling the commodity using their own currency.

Lindsey Williams: “The most significant day in the history of the American dollar, since its inception, happened on Thursday, Sept. 6. On that day, something took place that is going to affect your life, your family, your dinner table more than you can possibly imagine.”
Read the complete Post.

New York Times
Aug. 29, 2012

I’m a huge supporter of wind powered commercial sailing. Even though I fully understand the need to be food secure with local production, I still want tea and coffee, cane sugar, citrus fruit, and so on. I envision the future where we continue to trade internationally but don’t rely on trade for our “daily bread.” Vandy

If the world’s shipping fleet were a country, it would be the world’s sixth leading emitter of greenhouse gases. To reduce those emissions — and, not incidentally, to conserve expensive fossil fuels — cargo ship designers are now turning to the oldest source of power there is: the wind.

The new vessels, mainly still on drawing boards and in prototype, look nothing like the graceful schooners and galleons of centuries past. Last spring, for example, the University of Tokyo unveiled a model of its UT Wind Challenger at the Sea Japan trade show. It has nine masts, each 164 feet tall, with five rigid sails made of aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastic; the sails are hollow, designed to telescope into one another in rough weather or at anchor. Read the complete Post.

By Andrew Nikiforuk
August 27, 2012

Shipping dirty tar sands oil could rip apart Canada’s wilderness — and its democracy

You should know a few things about the Gitga’at people. They live in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, just south of Alaska, and speak the Tsimshian language. They dance and sing like spirited Maori warriors. The women speak softly to living cedar trees when they harvest a single strip of bark for basket or hat making. Every summer the Gitga’at greet returning schools of pink and chum salmon with smiles and shouts of “Ayoo, ayoo.” Each member of the Gitga’at nation possesses a traditional name — Gu thlaag, for example, means “the very instant that lightning hits a tree and the tree splits apart.” For the past 10,000 years the Gitga’at have set their dinner tables with bounty from the sea, including salmon, cockles, crab, and halibut. In recent years they have struggled as commercial fisheries have declined in the region, yet the Pacific Ocean still defines them.

WATERS AT RISK The Northern Gateway pipeline would cross hundreds of rivers like this one, prime habitat for bears and salmon. Photograph by Bryce Duffy
Read the complete Post.

There is so much we are still learning about how climate change is affecting the arctic and its species.

September 13, 2012

By Subhankar Banerjee

Last week as Shell was getting ready to poke the first hole in the Chukchi Sea floor in Arctic Alaska to begin exploratory drilling, I was getting ready to give two talks in Alaska—the concluding lecture of the Next North Symposium [3] at the Anchorage Museum on 9/8, and one at the Noel Wien Library in Fairbanks on 9/11 as part of the Northern Voices Speaker Series [4] hosted by Northern Alaska Environmental Center in partnership with the Gwich’in Steering Committee. While there something remarkable happened over the weekend—perhaps the shortest–lived “beginning” of drilling anywhere. “Only a day after Shell Alaska began drilling a landmark offshore oil well in the Arctic, the company was forced on Monday to pull off the well in the face of an approaching ice pack. With the ice floe about 10 miles away, the Noble Discoverer drilling rig was disconnecting from its seafloor anchor Monday afternoon in the Chukchi Sea, about 70 miles from the northwest coast of Alaska,” the Los Angeles Times reported [5]. There is much more to this story of ice and Shell.
Read the complete Post.

A top petro engineer for wealthy Norway says Canada is ‘a fantastic country’ that’s ‘totally mismanaged by design.’

By Mitchell Anderson, 22 Aug 2012,

Clearly Canada could use it’s natural resources more strategically but burning oil is still destroying our planet. Conundrum. How should Canada control it’s oil for the benefit of Canadians while weaning itself off all fossil fuels? Vandy

Rolf Wiborg is sizing me up — something I imagine he does with most people sitting across his desk. I am in his modest office at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, an organization he helped lead for many years. He leans close with a practiced and penetrating gaze, raising his voice as he recounts how he once dealt with a visiting American oil executive who he felt was “bullshitting” him.

“I told him, ‘Stop! We have 45 minutes left and you’ve spent 15 talking about nothing. My time is paid by the Norwegian taxpayer and your time in Norway is deducted from your company’s taxes, so we pay for around 80 per cent of your time as well. So we better spend that 45 minutes EFFECTIVELY!’”

I am trying to imagine a Canadian public servant having a similar interaction with a foreign oil delegation, and appreciating just how far removed our country is from replicating what has been achieved in Norway. Yet this attitude is exactly what Wiborg believes is required to establish a productive working relationship with representatives from the world’s most powerful industrial sector. Read the complete Post.

PEAK OIL – more from SSP

vlsavage | News | 0 Comments | Aug 29 2012

peak oil 2012 update

VPOE member, Rick Balfour, gives a quick explanation about Peak Oil and why the new oil discoveries are merely Bandaids and that, indeed, we are running on fumes.

NY Times August 27, 2012

ON the northern tip of Delaware County, N.Y., where the Catskill Mountains curl up into little kitten hills, and Ouleout Creek slithers north into the Susquehanna River, there is a farm my parents bought before I was born. My earliest memories there are of skipping stones with my father and drinking unpasteurized milk. There are bald eagles and majestic pines, honeybees and raspberries. My mother even planted a ring of white birch trees around the property for protection.

A few months ago I was asked by a neighbor near our farm to attend a town meeting at the local high school. Some gas companies at the meeting were trying very hard to sell us on a plan to tear through our wilderness and make room for a new pipeline: infrastructure for hydraulic fracturing. Most of the residents at the meeting, many of them organic farmers, were openly defiant. The gas companies didn’t seem to care. They gave us the feeling that whether we liked it or not, they were going to fracture our little town. Read the complete Post.

Eyeless shrimp and fish with lesions are becoming common, with BP oil pollution believed to be the likely cause.
Dahr Jamail Last Modified: 20 Apr 2012 15:57

New Orleans, LA - “The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. “And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.”

Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.

Cowan’s findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP’s oil and dispersants.

Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP’s 2010 oil disaster.

Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp – and interviewees’ fingers point towards BP’s oil pollution disaster as being the cause.

Eyeless shrimp

Tracy Kuhns and her husband Mike Roberts, commercial fishers from Barataria, Louisiana, are finding eyeless shrimp.

“At the height of the last white shrimp season, in September, one of our friends caught 400 pounds of these,” Kuhns told Al Jazeera while showing a sample of the eyeless shrimp.

According to Kuhns, at least 50 per cent of the shrimp caught in that period in Barataria Bay, a popular shrimping area that was heavily impacted by BP’s oil and dispersants, were eyeless. Kuhns added: “Disturbingly, not only do the shrimp lack eyes, they even lack eye sockets.”

Eyeless shrimp, from a catch of 400 pounds of eyeless shrimp, said to be caught September 22, 2011, in Barataria Bay, Louisiana [Erika Blumenfeld/Al Jazeera] Read the complete Post.

By Michael Jessen
Vancouver Sun – Letter to the Editor

August 24, 2012

Re: Refinery talk refocuses debate

David Black’s refinery proposal should indeed be the catalyst to reframe the debate about Northern Gateway.

According to Black, the refinery idea will create 6,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.

That’s a big improvement on the 1,000 construction jobs and 78 long-term jobs Enbridge says the pipeline will create in B.C.

There is, however, a much better idea. If we took the $6 billion allocated for the pipeline and the $13 billion to be spent on the refinery and invested it in retrofitting buildings in the province to make them as energy efficient as possible, we could create close to 380,000 jobs for electricians, heating/air conditioning installers, carpenters, insulation workers, building inspectors and others. As an added bonus, their work is done in local communities, not remote work camps.

All this work would create $38 billion in tax revenues for the B.C. government as the Ministry of Energy and Mines says retrofit programs are revenue positive, returning two dollars in taxes for every dollar invested.

Sanity, not science, should decide the fate of Northern Gateway. I vote to end the debate and get on with the retrofits.

Michael Jessen Energy critic, Green Party of BC

Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2012

By Greg Gordon | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — For President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney, the race for the White House seems indisputably centered around one issue: Who can do more to bolster the sputtering U.S. economy.

But to some experts, spikes in oil prices over the last several years have signaled an ominous turn that could make it nigh on impossible for any president to expand the economy as it has in the past.

Unlike previous oil price jumps stemming from turmoil affecting Middle East oil producers, prices surged over the last eight years because tightening supplies couldn’t keep pace with Third World demand, researchers have concluded.

“The question is how much can we keep growing without a growing supply of energy?” said James Hamilton, a University of California-San Diego economics professor who has been on the leading edge of research into the impact of high energy costs. Read the complete Post.

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