Stephanie MacMillan’s work can be found here : Daily Affirmations for the Revolutionary Proletarian Militant
Stephanie MacMillan’s work can be found here : Daily Affirmations for the Revolutionary Proletarian Militant
From The Ecologist.org, a very good article by ecologist writer Luke Dale-Harris on the EU’s Natura 2000 goals and the brewing conflict between conservation ideology and renewable energy development – once thought to be allies in the struggle to save the planet. A very prescient analysis that applies to the US and its struggles with the same conflicts. Can we make the claim that renewable energy encompasses modern values of conservation? Wind developers have used the claim of meeting the balance of providing for modern energy needs while also meeting the need to conserve the environment. As time goes on and growing experience begins to tell us wind and hydro developers have under scrutiny shown their own conflicts with preserving biodiversity in our environment.
Also most troubling as this article points out through experience provided in Eastern European countries (many of which have only recently been freed from the yoke of dictatorial control), that these new “renewable” energy industries use the same imperialist, non-democratic and hierarchical strategies of their more destructive predecessors. The exercise of sustainable practice must include involvement of all parties that make the earth their habitat, from humans to the natural environment that humans depend on.
The birds that migrate freely across Europe are unaware of the invisible borders that lie below them. They follow the same routes that have carried them to warmth every year for an eternity, marked out by the indomitable features of the landscape – the coast of the Atlantic on one side and the curve of the Carpathian Mountains on the other. But it is what they miss that matters most; their future, along with that of the rest of us, is dictated by the political and economic tides that shift shape across the continent.
In this day, with growth and progress honoured above all else, the natural world is at the mercy of human endeavour. Allowed to run its course, the open market will drain the land of all life over and above what is fundamental for its own survival. The more fragile and economically superfluous species of the world – the lynxes and lesser spotted eagles, right down to the field cricket or river jelly lichen – remain only for as long as we consider their existence a moral imperative, and their extinction as a cause for shame. It is this that drives conservation.
To continue reading: The Hidden Conservation Costs of Renewable Energy
The New Hampshire senate will be voting on an important moratorium bill, SB 99 tomorrow in full session. This bill will put a temporary halt to the approval of any industrial wind turbine approvals in the New Hampshire western highlands region and also, as the original bill proposed, any new transmission line projects.
The original SB 99 as proposed by Senator Jeannie Forrester (R) and Senator Jeff Woodburn (R) would have contained language referencing not only the wind industry projects but also the Northern Pass transmission line project. As noted on our post of the 25th, Senator Jeb Bradley bowed to the wishes of PSNH and the near wholly PSNH owned Manchester Chamber of Commerce and removed language pertinent to Northern Pass from SB 99.
Tomorrow the Senate will convene and voting will commence on Senate Bill 99 [note this version online does not represent the version with the Jeb Bradley amendment as passed by the Senate Energy Committee which will be what will go before the whole Senate] as amended by Jeb Bradley, both Senator Jeannie Forrester and Senator Jeff Woodburn have amendments to return language to the bill regarding Northern Pass. It is imperative that everyone, particularly those in the southern and eastern regions of the state call their senators and make them aware of this issue. Please tell our Senators to support the amendments proposed by either Sen. Woodburn or Sen. Forrester.
NH Wind Watch is asking that people focus on their local Senator to educate them on the importance of this bill for the future of New Hampshire. We will be posting testimony that was submitted from different stakeholders for your further information. Please make yourself familiar with the wind power issue as the industry has told many myths and half-truths that are easily debunked with the facts. We have a summary for your reference here: Top Ten Myths of Wind Power Generation. For more information on Northern Pass, refer here to our heavily linked article of June 12, 2012, Northern Pass – Not the Option for New Hampshire.
Here’s a list of some claims the industry and their supporters are making against a moratorium and our answers to that:
1. A moratorium bill will chill business.
Answer: This claim falls down in the face of the truth that where there’s a buck to be made, there is a group ready to exploit it. Its cynical and almost silly to propose that there won’t be an industry ready at some point to exploit a potential dollar to be made. The moratorium will allow the state and the stakeholders on all ends of the spectrum time to develop better policy renewable energy development that balances community needs with concerning economic balance, the responsibility of encouraging conservation and how to develop green energy and most importantly, what defines green energy and how to meet the ultimate goal of reducing green house gas emissions.
2. The Site Evaluation Committee does not need to stop operations in order to improve them.
Answer: While Mr. Burack, the chairman of the SEC did testify that although he had made statements in the past that reflected concern for the number of applications now coming, he carefully back-walked on these statements and said that while the committee is overhwelmed, it can still function.
Many believe that this statement alone reflects the troubling conflict of interest inherent in the structure today of the SEC. The undo influence and pressure that the industry is able to put upon the SEC is relfected in Mr. Burack’s waffly testimony. The SEC currently is an all volunteer group, their membership is made up mostly if former or current bureaucrats from various energy agencies in the state. These people have a tendency by virtue of the nature of their jobs which entail continue communication with the energy industry, to have very comfortable and familiar relationships with energy industry professionals.
It is especially troubling to many that like many review agencies, stakeholders in the community do not have a place at the table, but instead are relegated to a reactionary role in the process and not empowered as equal partners. How this process has taken place is demonstrated by the very quick slide-through of the Jericho Wind Project in Berlin New Hampshire, wherein few if any members of the public participated, only a notice in the public notices section of the paper informed on the one public hearing. Jericho Wind was approved and the wind industry succeeded in evading the larger approval process because of the lax rules that exist today.
What is the motivation to continue on with a process that doesn’t work? What is the motivation to continue to put New Hampshire’s fragile economy at risk? What is the motivation to pass projects that will change the New Hampshire landscape forever? Possibly we’d want to take a lesson from our country’s past when it comes to listening to or allowing industry to decide what’s best for the planet and for a region?
3. The only people against wind are ignorant NIMBY’s and tools of the Koch Brothers/coal industry.
The Sierra Club, 350.org and other national environmental organizations have worked hard to support wind energy as the easy alternative to coal. Unfortunately wind presents its own myriad problems including serious environmental threats to delicate mountaintop ecosystems. Land based wind has only an average 10% – 17% efficiency and thus can’t replace dependence on coal, oil or gas or even make a serious dent in use.
In addition, true conservation includes community empowerment. What is the difference between the global coal industry that grew up with the tacit support of governments ignorant of its effects in the beginning and now dependent on its income today? Do we want to develop a dependance on another form of destructive, poorly performing energy that will change our natural landscape forever? Have we not learned from our past mistakes?
The mere fact that the wind industry has support from major energy producers who currently rely on coal should send a strong hint that just possibly even they don’t see wind as a threat. Instead its another area to exploit for quick profits — communities and the environment be damned: business as usual.
Please call your Senator today and tell them to support SB 99 — particularly the amended versions that will put all new transmission line construction back into the bill.
We have word that the following Senators need particular attention:
Senator David Boutin – Concerned about renewable energy and following the RPS, asked the question, “So if you’re not for wind and solar hasn’t worked in forty years, what are you for?” This question needs your answer.
Senator Nancy Stiles – position not known at this time
Senator Martha Fuller Clark – Senator Martha Clark has a strong history of environmental concern and has been sitting on the fence on this issue. Please call Senator Fuller-Clark and let her know that wind does not represent viable green energy and that disempowering communities is not the way to move forward on renewable energy development.
Senator Bob Odell – Mr. Odell claims confidence in the SEC process and also claims that his community has “learned to live with” the turbines in Lempster on Lempster Mountain. We’d dispute Mr. Odell’s assessment of wind as being something people must get used to, also there’s no doubt that a difference exists between 12 wind turbines on a hill top and residents being surrounded with as many as 75 wind turbines in all directions.
Tell Mr. ODell that industry will come after the moratorium and that the democratic process for the approval of wind and energy projects is broken and needs serious fixing. In addition, let Mr. ODell know that tourists don’t have to “live with” wind turbines — they can just choose to go somewhere else on vacation and those considering home purchases will consider other areas.
Call your senators now! If the Senator cannot be reached, talk to their secretary as also, see if you can get their cell number. Ask their aid where they stand on the issue.
Also, for further information you can talk directly to the sponsors of the original SB 99:
Senator Jeannie Forrester : Her office aid Liz in Senator Forrester’s Concord office is very knowledgeable and helpful as well. Senator Forrester comes from the Newfound Lake region and represents land owners and businesses that thrive and prosper on the pristine environment of the western highlands and Newfound Lake region.
Senator Jeff Woodburn: A man represents the largest district in New Hampshire encompassing Coos County and more communities than any other senator, Sen. Woodburn has been out in front in the battle against Northern Pass and joins the effort against the onslaught of the wind industry as well.
In voting that wasn’t a surprise to most people involved closely in the issue of encroaching wind power and transmission line projects, the NH House Science, Energy and Technology Committee voted to retain most of the bills related to those projects.
Garnering the most controversy and attention lately was House Bill 580 that would have stopped all power infrastructure construction in the state immediately upon passage. Representative Rappaport requested an “ought to pass” on the bill with vocal support from Representative Khan, Representative Bradley and Representative Vadney. While Representative Babar spoke of reservations about the wording of the bill, but the most vocal resistance to the moratorium idea came from Representative Nicholas Levasseur. Levasseur seemed to speak a straight industry line, saying that the moratorium will “send a bad message” to businesses that New Hampshire is “fickle” in their support of business decisions.
Representatives Bradley, Khan and Vadney spoke in favor of the bill. While some said that they felt that retaining the bill for study over the summer will give the legislators time to consider the issue of wind power more carefully, many reps disagreed. Rep. Vadney said that prime New Hampshire areas, such as the Newfound Lake region are currently threatened with pending turbine construction that without a moratorium, could in fact come online very soon. He said that he has his doubts that without the moratorium there would be any way to stop such activity, “I worry it will be too late before we come up with an energy policy if we retain, important sites are under threat now.”
Rep. Bradley also weighed in on the issue, speaking from his military background saying that one thing he learned was the value of deadlines and also the value of delay, that when in doubt oftentimes a delay is the best option to avoid mistakes.
Representative Nicholas Levasseur made the final weigh-in, responding that the RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) mandate may not be met, that business will lose interest in investing in the state and that the SEC process will assure that delicate regions will not suffer damage or destruction.
All bills relating to the electrical power infrastructure in the state were referred to retention which means that the bills will remain within the committee for study. There was discussion of setting up a sub-committee to take on the task of doing more research on the issues that the bills bring up and formulating more substantial bills or one bill to handle these contentious issues.
The following is a summary of the bills and some of the discussion that went before related to electrical infrastructure development, specifically wind power and transmission lines. The respective votes up or down are listed as well. Each bill is linked for further information:
HB 166 – “An act requiring the public utilities commission to make specific findings as to the public need for proposed transmission lines.” Motion to retain – passed unanimous
HB 449 – “…requires the site evaluation committee to consider economic impact and findings and recommendations from local planning boards or governing bodies prior to issuing a certificate for an energy facility.” Motion to retain – passed with Rep. Bradley voting no
HB 484 – “requiring public approval prior to issuance of certain site evaluation certificates…” Motion to retain – passed with Rep. Bradley and Rep. Calli-Pitts voting no
HB 568 – “requiring new elective transmission lines in New Hampshire to be buried.“ Rep. Rappaport moved for “ought to pass”, Reps Khan, Murotake and Bradley voted yes. Rep. Nicholas Levasseur, Rep. Vadney and Rep. Pasteur urged a no-pass saying the issue needed more study. Motion for passage defeated.
Rep. Townsend made motion to retain the bill – passed with no votes from Rep Khan and Bradley
HB 569 – “requires that all electric transmission lines in the state of New Hampshire be placed within state transportation rights-of-way to the extent possible.” Motion to retain – passed, Reps Bradley, Khan, Murotake and Reilly voted against.
HB 580 – “establishes moratoriums on the construction of wind turbine plants and on electric transmission line projects until the state issues a comprehensive energy plan.”
Motion to retain by Backus who said, “I believe that issues that underlie this bill merit consideration and retention.” Reilly, the author of the bill said he supports retention to avoid a possible loss on the whole floor. Vote was taken, motion to retain passed with the following voting against retention: Rep. Khan, Rep. Rappaport, Rep. Vadney, Rep. Bradley. Rep. Babar made the general statement, “citizen input is important” possibly in reference to wanting to hear more from his constituents on the issue. Rep. Richard Levasseur wanted to know if the reference to power lines in the moratorium included Northern Pass or if it just referred to power lines related to the wind turbines.
HB 586 – “establishes a one-year moratorium on new and pending applications for certificates for electric transmission facilities.” Motion to retain – Rep. Khan, Bradley, Borden and Vadney voted against, motion passed.
At this point the committee will be in session tomorrow to discuss options such as setting up a sub-committee to work the bills. This is the time to call your representative in your area, to discuss the importance of preserving the western highlands of New Hampshire and the White Mountain region. The link below will get you to your representative. Also important is to talk to members of the committee that are on the fence on this issue and let them know how that you cannot destroy the environment in order to save it.
This Tuesday, March 5 at 1pm the New Hampshire House Science, Technology and Energy Committee will vote on two important bills effecting New Hampshire environmental and energy future: HB 580and HB 484.
Both of these bills relate to the expansion of wind turbines in the western and northern regions of the state. Both of these bills currently rest in committee. A large portion of representatives considered “retaining” the bills which essentially means they sit without action for an indefinite period — while energy industries continue unabated with their development within currently outdated and insufficient guidelines and rules.
We urge people to call the committee members and their house representatives to tell them to pass these two bills and get them out of committee and onto the house floor for a full vote. Click on the link below for a full listing of committee members with links to their email address and telephone numbers. Most NH Reps are very responsive to citizen inquiries and will answer phones and emails promptly and always will read them.
Senators in support of or acting sponsors of the HB 580:
– Sen. Jeannie Forrester – sponsor
– Sen. Jeff Woodburn – supporter
HOUSE BILL 580 proposes a moratorium on any further construction of wind turbines or transmission lines. Linked above, the bill text is short and to the point.
A moratorium on any further construction or approval of transmission lines (as originally intended by the bill’s authors) and wind turbine development will allow communities and all stakeholders a chance to develop stricter and more appropriate guidelines for renewable energy development. Industry has threatened that the renewable energy time table will be lost causing the RSP to spin out, they have threatened that they will leave the area, never to come back again if they don’t get what they want now. They also threaten that federal tax credits will soon expire, presumably never to be resurrected again. None of these claims have any basis in reality.
Ironically committee members expressed their desire for more information on the issue, many of them stating that they just didn’t have all the facts. Without the moratorium, the SEC will continue its approval process unabated and the people will not have the information and the facts so desperately needed on this issue.
The wind turbine industry has threatened that waiting will cause them to look elsewhere; that a wait signals ‘bad to do business in New Hampshire’. Seems rather disingenuous when at the same time industry lobbyists say that they have the communities’ concerns at heart, that they are confident of the quality and sustainability of their product and that they will work with communities.
HOUSE BILL 484 sets parameters for the SEC to consider aesthetic issues relating to the placement of structures, particularly their visibility “without amplification by the human eye”. Most importantly HB 484 will add to the existing SEC rules of RSA 162-H the following regarding public input:
“6 New Section; Public Approval. Amend RSA 162-H by inserting after section 10 the following new section:
162-H:10-a Public Approval.
I. The site evaluation committee shall determine whether any part of any structure of any proposed project is visible without amplification to the human eye from public property in a particular city or town. Its determination shall be based on information provided in the application and any change in or amendment thereto, any petition filed under RSA 162-H:7, VII, at any public hearing, and in any other balanced way deemed appropriate by the committee.
II. For each city and town in which the committee finds in the affirmative and for which a petition under RSA 162-H:10, VII was submitted, a vote shall be taken in such city or town at the next regular meeting of its legislative body. The question before the voters shall be as follows: “Are you in favor of the state approving the energy facility project proposed by ________________ for the city/town of _____________, specifically a [insert “power plant,” “windmill farm,” etc.] off _______________ road?”
III. The town or city clerk shall certify to the site evaluation committee the result of the vote in his or her community, and the committee shall total the votes for all participating communities taken together.
IV. No proposed project shall be granted a certificate where the total of the negative votes of all participating cities and towns taken together exceeds the total of the positive votes; provided, however, that such a certificate may be granted if subject to the condition that no part of any structure of the proposed facility is visible without amplification to the human eye at any time or season from any public property.”
LET THE SEC DO ITS WORK:
When this writer talked to some members of the committee, the trust in the SEC and its process was remarkable. But assumptions can be dangerous. Currently the rules that govern the SEC (Site Evaluation Committee) fall under RSA 162-F and RSA 162-H and deal mostly with traditional power generation plants such as gas, coal and nuclear. Unfortunately although the wind industry has developed on some small scale within New Hampshire there exists no firm guidelines for the SEC to follow regarding the development of wind energy in the state. In 2007 a group of industry experts and other stakeholders put together a proposal of guidelines for wind, but the SEC has failed to adopt the proposed guidelines.
An amendment was proposed by Bob Backus (d) and Susan Arnold of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) that would demand that the the committee recommend that these guidelines be updated and adopted by the SEC. But this amendment was proposed as a compromise to the resistance of some members of the committee to move on a moratorium. While the updating and adoption of the 2007 rules is needed, many see this as still allowing a loop hole through which current applicants can jump through. The amendment fails to mandate that all applications stop until further research and updating is complete.
At the working session last Tuesday an industry rep for PSNH spoke of her familiarity with the working group that drew up the 2007 guidelines, noting “I was around then.” She noted that the process took at least a year. Can we or should we depend on the industry to be willing to wait a year or more for the new guidelines to come online? Can we have faith that they will not pressure the SEC to continue their current permitting process and allow development unabated?
One has to wonder if the SEC is willing or ready to deal with the complex issues of wind energy if they have not bothered to adopt or even request an update of the proposed guidelines of 2007. Most markedly, if one bothers to scan the guidelines, it is clear that the working group admits that they have only a small amount of data to go on and that further study on the issue of wind energy generation is urgently needed and that was in 2007!
THE SEC PROCESS:
Many of the representatives in the committee pointed to the “Antrim Decision” as proof that the SEC does in fact do their job in hearing out a communities concerns and will rule accordingly. Unfortunately, as was pointed out in testimony at the February 19th hearing in Representative’s Hall by an Antrim resident and activist, it took four long hard years for the community to come together — all volunteer — to combat the paid wind industry lobbyists. It is worth noting as well that Antrim was the only town that was able to stop a wind project from gaining SEC approval even though numerous projects have gone online over the years, not all with shining success. Groton Wind Farm, LLC (Iberdrola satellite) already has caused problems that are currently pending before the SEC. Although the issues, placement of buildings and poor road maintenance are disturbing in and of themselves, most troubling is Iberdrola (in this instance Groton Wind Farm, LLC) seems to demonstrate poor management if not outright dishonesty in its practices.
The rules governing the SEC process, 100-300 spell out in detail the process by which hearings are held. It is clear from reading the guidelines that general court procedure is followed with rules of discovery, cross examination and petition by the public or “interveners” that may be cumbersome and difficult to navigate for those not legally trained. HB 484 gives more direct empowerment to communities at least on the issue of site placement a more direct and democratic process.
TRULY GREEN OR JUST ‘GREEN WASHING’?
You know, the “green” packaging at stores, touting that a product has a better carbon footprint of some competitor, that a product’s production used less energy or that a small portion of the product’s content is made up of recycled material? Ever cynically wonder if all that is really true or just a lot of fluff? Ever stop to consider that possibly there’s a certain irony to a company making a profit off of increased consumption while calling itself ‘green’?
In our haste to reduce greenhouse gas emissions we must examine all options carefully and intelligently. Enough data exists from wind turbine energy production around the globe to draw serious questions that must be answered. The core cause of our current environmental crisis has more to do with past ignorance of the grave costs of energy generation to our environment and health. It seems that now in the 21st century we should have the wisdom to know that the first order of business is to all options consider carefully. While wind energy may not, in the simple view produce CO2, many portions of its construction do:
– wind turbine sites require extensive deforestation for access roads and maintenance buildingsas one person notes on windeffects.org, deforestation removes vital natural environmental scrubbers for CO2 gas.
– the irregularity of energy generation by wind requires backup from traditional fossil fuel resources in order to balance out its lackluster and irregular contribution to the power grid.
– wind power can only provide an efficiency of around 10-17%, figures of 30% efficiency touted by the industry constitute only the highest efficiency in the best conditions, such is never consistently provided by wind. In fact the only locations in New Hampshire where turbines might have a “good” to “moderate” rating are on the tops of currently valued and protected mountaintop ridgelines.
– wind turbines as proposed for New Hampshire and elsewhere are expected to tower at 454′, requiring footings as large as 20′ square, some estimates are as high as 60′ x 20′ deep. The excavation required for any footing is always far larger than the footing itself, so consider this estimate conservative for the destruction of landscape. This is particularly important when considering the ‘bony’, that is rocky terrain of New Hampshire.
– currently EPD Energy has plans to move forward on a project that will directly impact the Mount Cardigan State Park and the surrounding towns. Mount Cardigan is a popular tourist destination and part of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s system of with a lodge that hosts nearly 8,000 overnight guests a year and maintains a network of trails throughout the western region. It is estimated that the Mount Cardigan trails serve over 15,000 hikers a year in all seasons. EPD energy’s proposed wind installations will sit directly on current trails impacting this vital gem of New Hampshire’s western region.
– the owner of the Rumney Village Store recently told this writer that his business jumps up 600% in the spring and summer months as tourists come to enjoy Newfound Lake, Rock Rumney and the surrounding mountains and hills in the area. They don’t come to walk wide deforested access roads to wind turbines. While a few turbines may not be intrusive, an industrial wind “farm” of nearly 500′ turbines planted close together along ridgelines with access roads to each carved out of the forest is quite another matter.
Finally, the elephant in the room when discussing energy use and generation is conservation. The acceptance of the paradigm of expanded consumption to drive economic expansion and profit must be challenged at its root. While the reduction of greenhouse gasses in the production of energy must continue, this cannot carry on in a vacuum. The time when energy was seen as cheap and easy has come and gone; manifest destiny has played out. We’ve drilled, blasted, dug, carved, scraped and soiled our planet to the point where we lay on the precipice of near destruction.
In addition, in the vein of continued consumption and individualized technology we’ve become more disparate and more disconnected from our communities and ourselves. Our national government has become enmeshed with global corporate power on a level never before seen. Disconnected from local communities and their needs, giant corporations intrude on communities to exploit the local citizenry and extract their resources, whether natural or human, for their own profit, returning little if any benefit back. Sustainability for the future must consider the long term health and growth of a community — for its own sake, not for the profit of a few large companies that will inevitably leave the unprofitable mess for the community to deal with.
For further information see links below:
Proving that the in-your-face reality of unfettered climate change is not about to recede in the new year, a national disaster is unfolding only days into 2013 in Australia, where rampaging wildfires are burning huge swaths of the country. Australians are used to the annual “bushfire season,” but the recent string of massive fires that have charred millions of acres and killed dozens of people are unprecedented and only getting worse thanks to climate change. Now the nation faces a fire “catastrophe”; not just a lurid term of description, it is an official designation of the most destructive and serious level of wildfire. This year’s violent eruption of blazes are fueled by temperatures quite literally never seen before in Australia, with all-time record heat baking the country.
Holding nearly 100 percent of the world’s glacier ice, Greenland and Antarctica are the “air conditioners” of Earth and also a ticking time bomb of potential devastation. This is because of climate change and the rapid polar warming now being recorded that has surpassed many previous estimates of what was possible. With temperatures rising faster and instances of massive ice melt already experiences this past year, scientists now say that global sea level rise from ice loss in these two regions has been “seriously underestimated.” The total melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice would boost global sea levels by over 200 feet. While no one expects that apocalyptic catastrophe, experts now confirm a sea level rise of several more feet than previously anticipated is likely by 2100, causing immeasurable damage and disruption across the world.
(All via Principled Progressive)
Of course where the picture comes from (CBS News online), the Australian weather change is referred to “milder”. Obviously that’s an understatement as we can see here.
Of course here in New England, in the middle of January, the one layer of snow fall we’ve had is already melting down to reveal soft, unfrozen earth underneath and we’re expecting higher spring-like temperatures this weekend:
Yes, there are idiots who will chime in, “Well I’m just enjoying the good weather!” apparently completely oblivious to the natural life cycle up here that depends on freezing ground, snow cover and long term cold in order to prepare for a good spring and summer season following. It seems that the average American has begun to think that the earth and seas are as solid and dead as a slab of concrete or asphalt, but they aren’t.
Not only could (or does) climate change radically change environments by killing off species of animal or insect life, it also dramatically changes agricultural production and existing plant-life because of the lack of the old “killing frost”, as biologists said in an abstract for an article available here, “The main effect of temperature in temperate regions is to influence winter survival; at more northerly latitudes, higher temperatures extend the summer season, increasing the available thermal budget for growth and reproduction.”
The intro to a World Bank sponsored report on climate change and its effects on world agricultural production are telling and this was written in 2003:
“Climate change is widely agreed to be already a reality, and its adverse impacts on the vulnerability of poor communities are superimposed on existing vulnerabilities. Climate change will further reduce access to drinking water, negatively affect the health of poor people, and will pose a real threat to food security in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. consequently, the World Bank is moving towards mainstreaming climate risk in all its work, and integrating climate-change adaptation, where appropriate, in projects, strategies and policies. We believe this is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of our investments in poverty eradication and sustainable development.”
This report ironically was written in America by mostly Yale academics; America, where we still consume nearly the majority of the world’s resources and participate in the global financial machinery that runs the consumptive engine that drives global warming.
Here in New Hampshire, as reported often, but not often enough for people to listen, such projects as the Northern Pass electrical line project and the proposal to sit windmills on the western mountains do not feed existing need. They exist to provide the forecast infrastructure that will arise out of increased global warming. Yes, that’s right. The power lines and the windmills all will exist to provide for anticipated increased demand in electrical service. (Read here for extensive information and research documentation or our past article on Northern Pass) Increased demand specifically anticipated for the “cooling season” when people will be baking under the increasingly heated earth.
What happened to the idea that capital will make us all safe and sound? Where’s the invisible hand to sweep in and save us from burning up slowly, starving to death, watching our towns drown in the sea or scrambling with thousands of fleeing refugees? At what point will capital come in and bring some sense to the shareholders who sit at the boards of these corporations who decide that their dividend share means more to them than the public welfare?
While the majority of the world lives on a small fraction of what the developed world lives on and while we know that most of what we use and consume we really don’t need, we continue on our path. We have been sold a bill of goods; that mindless consumption feeds our economy and that our economy feeds the economy of other countries because we put people to work. But the facts tell a different story; that our needless consumption in piles of plastic throw-away goods, needless travel in individual gas-powered vehicles and the northeast’s stubborn refusal to give up fossil fuel based heating are killing billions of people and the planet.
But of course the money pumped by capitalists to provide disinformation campaigns serves to obscufate and confuse the issue and the people who will suffer the effects of global warming if nothing is done to change the current trajectory. The bleating of the combined efforts of the oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy consortiums usually go something like this headline and tagline from a article out of the Spectator on 1/04/12:
“Wind farms vs wildlife: The shocking environmental cost of renewable energy
Because of course, renewable energy hurts more than the fossil fuel consumption now currently in use. Again, where is the invisible hand? Locked behind someone’s back and wrapped around a bundle of currency we’d hazard to guess.
Capitalism represents an outdated, outmoded and now nearly out-run system that threatens to slowly strangle us in our own capital based consumption, unless of course we as a people begin to take the steps to change their habits and their priorities. Capital will not save us; we will.
From the Conversation Law Fund site regarding the DOE and its corrupt decision making process involved in approving the Northern Pass project.
Two weeks ago, CLF exposed and brought to the public’s attention internal government documents showing that the Department of Energy (DOE) has illegally allowed the developer of the Northern Pass transmission project, Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT) to have significant and improper influence over the ongoing permitting process and environmental review of the project. After filing its concerns about the information with DOE, CLF issued a call to action, urging the public to join CLF in demanding that DOE replace the contractor team charged with preparing the crucial Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which was handpicked by NPT, with a new, unbiased contractor or internal team with no conflict of interest.
We’re pleased to report that the responses – your responses – to the revelations and our call to action has been remarkable.
In the past two weeks, more than 300 members of the public (and counting) filed comments with DOE demanding replacement of the contractor team and a new commitment to a fair and open permitting process for Northern Pass. (You can take action yourself and file your own comment via this link.)
Yesterday, in a joint letter to DOE, a group of nine organizations representing New Hampshire’s conservation community and the grassroots opposition to Northern Pass, along with more than 60 individuals, expressed their deep concerns about the information exposed by CLF and called for a new EIS contractor with no conflict of interest. (Coverage on NHPR here.)
Read more on the CLF blog.
Yum, yum! Bite into some BT today! If there was ever a good reason to find your local grower’s market for some fresh sweet corn, this may be the year. Well, according to the article, grocers have been selling to product for awhile — without anyone noticing. You can thank the corporate controlled FDA for their non-action.
Once again, consumers will be left in the dark when it comes to what food they’re purchasing at the grocery store – in this case, thanks to Monsanto and Walmart. The largest retailer in the world, Walmart confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that it wouldn’t restrict sales of Monsanto’s new genetically engineered sweet corn.
Like other foods containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, the sweet corn does not require labeling to keep shoppers fully informed about what they’re eating (a different story in the European Union, China, Russia, Australia and Japan, where it’s required). Some food safety advocates say directly consuming GE foods necessitates more long-term, transparent health studies.
For the from Whistleblower.org