Energy

The Copenhagen Fix?

Submitted: Dec 10, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Those interested in reading the "Danish text" can find it through the link to the article. - ed.s


12-9-09
The Guardian (UK)
Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak:
Developing countries react furiously to leaked draft agreement that would hand more power to rich nations, sideline the UN's negotiating role and abandon the Kyoto protocol
John Vidal in Copenhagen
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/08/copenhagen-climate-summit-disarray-danish-text

The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change negotiations.

The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

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Loss of faith in the political process and its consequences

Submitted: Dec 10, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The question on my mind: Can we swiftly mobilize such a heavily propagandized population to take mass non-violent action?
A growing population does not believe we can do so, and is on the verge of launching a heavily armed insurgency.--David DeGraw, "Af-Pak War Racket"

George Orwell once noted: "To see what is in front of your nose needs a constant struggle."

The subject of DeGraw's essay is the strategic advantage of the financial capital elite at the moment, the destruction its behavior is causing, the growing anger against it and the forms resistance against it may take.

He reminds us that the loss of faith in the political process at all levels of government is a mounting crisis in the United States and that political crises have a pace and consequences. Government and the people in whose name it claims to govern are moving in opposite directions. What is the velocity of this centripetal motion? Is it accelerating? As the people move away from a center that has been destroyed, which way will they move, left, right, or both? What are the prospects for the mass non-violent action that has restored a living center to political debate in the nation at times in the past?

To the public, American politics today sounds like the alarm of a vehicle being burgled. It also sounds like the new cop crowd-control noise machines, intended to shock, stun, immobilize. It sounds like anything but a call to wake up.

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Reaping riches in a wretched region -- Lloyd Carter

Submitted: Nov 01, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Now, even with new legislation that will determine the future viability of Westlands’ critical import irrigation infrastructure, it seems inevitable that the political clout of the nation’s most powerful irrigation district will somehow prevail to perpetuate this culture of social, economic and natural inequity. – Carter, p. 40.

 

“Reaping riches in a wretched region:  Subsidized industrial farming and its link to perpetual poverty,” by Lloyd Carter, Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal, Symposium Edition, Fall 2009

http://www.ggu.edu/lawlibrary/environmental_law_journal/eljvol3/attachment/Carter.pdf

 

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Welcome to the Age of Ordinary

Submitted: Oct 27, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The claims for economic, social and environmental justice are ultimately based a moral claim not to waste, oppress or despoil the biosphere. The idea is that if people rationally consider the arguments, they will go and do better in these areas. However, a completely different side of those arguments is provided by natural reality: the economy is based on oil, the quantity of oil is diminishing, therefore the economy will have to

change; systematic impoverishment of the working class destroys the market for the nation's industries and leads to sharper and sharper criticism of the rich and finally to social unrest; and impacts of accelerating global warming are themselves the greatest material argument for the existence of a grave environmental crisis.

 

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Subprime/junk carbon credits

Submitted: Oct 11, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Today, as the twentieth anniversary of the Rio summit rapidly approaches, the world ecological struggle is more polarized than ever. A considerable part of the environmental movement (including many formerly on the left) has gone over to strategies of "green capitalism" and "ecological modernism." Sustainable development has become increasingly identified with the promotion of accumulation within the system, and even with some kind of alliance with neoliberalism. Environmental reform is no longer seen mainly as the reformist creation of an environmental state on top of the capitalist economy (in a manner akin to the old welfare state), but is now frequently conceptualized, even more conservatively, as an investment-driven process that is simply the leading edge of the economy. This view has been popularized by the Breakthrough Institute and Thomas Friedman's market-driven model of a "green revolution." The business of "sustainability," in this view, is simply a new frontier for accumulation, in which carbon trading is the model scheme." --John Bellamy Foster, The Ecological Revolution, p. 139.

 

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Water and alternative energy in the West

Submitted: Oct 04, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Daniel M. Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, predicted that as intensive renewable energy development spreads, water issues will follow.

9-29-09
New York Times
Alternative Energy Projects Stumble on a Need for Water...Todd Woody
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/business/energy-environment/30water.html?hp
AMARGOSA VALLEY, Nev. — In a rural corner of Nevada reeling from the recession, a bit of salvation seemed to arrive last year. A German developer, Solar Millennium, announced plans to build two large solar farms here that would harness the sun to generate electricity, creating hundreds of jobs.The German developer Solar Millennium hopes land in the valley, above, can be home to solar plants. Public opinion, partly because of water issues, appears to be split.

But then things got messy. The company revealed that its preferred method of cooling the power plants would consume 1.3 billion gallons of water a year, about 20 percent of this desert valley’s available water.

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Welcome to Pipelineistan

Submitted: Oct 04, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

At the most basic level, it's a matter of the West yet again trying, in the energy sphere, to bypass Russia. For this to happen, however - and it wouldn't hurt if you opened the nearest atlas for a moment - Europe desperately needs to get a handle on Central Asian energy resources, which is easy to say but has proven surprisingly hard to do.

10-3-09
Asia Times
Jumpin' Jack Verdi, it's a gas, gas, gas
By Pepe Escobar
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/KJ03Ag01.html
BRUSSELS - Oil and natural gas prices may be relatively low right now, but don't be fooled. The new great game of the 21st century is always over energy and it's taking place on an immense chessboard called Eurasia. Its squares are defined by the networks of pipelines being laid across the oil heartlands of the planet. Call it Pipelineistan. If, in Asia, the stakes in this game are already impossibly high, the same applies to the "Euro" part of the great Eurasian landmass - the richest industrial area on the planet. Think of this as the real political thriller of our time.

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The WalMart project public comment period

Submitted: Sep 27, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The Merced City Council is to be commended for holding two lengthy public hearings on the WalMart distribution center project including citizens with sharply opposed views on health, human safety and economic growth, who spoke their mind in an orderly, safe process. This begs the lie of Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the Pimlico Kid, that citizens in his district could not meet together in town hall meetings to discuss health care reform. In fact, on another contentious issue, Riverside Motorsports Park, a large number of town hall meetings were held, some by proponents, some by opponents. We observed several moments of tension and name calling in those meetings, held without security, but only feelings were bruised.

 

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Corruption at the Department of Interior

Submitted: Sep 19, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The federal Justice Department is looking into the alleged corruption of former Interior Secretary Gale Norton. Under Norton, Interior’s corruption reached baroque proportions, particularly in issues involving California, as stories beneath indicate. For underlying documentation, readers are urged to consult Interior’s Office of Inspector General’s special reports at http://www.doioig.gov/index.php?menuid=2&viewid=-1&viewtype=REPORT&pgid=598&rpttype=special

 

 

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

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Nunes, the tragic hero

Submitted: Jul 19, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

You have to hand it to Rep. Devin Nunes, Tragic Hero-Visalia, he’s a performer. In fact, you have to stand in line to hand it to him, behind national PACs, agribusiness and oil and gas to hand it to him. He’s raised nearly a million dollars for his campaign next year and if some strong Democrat contender lurks in Nunes’ district, that contender lurks below the surface so far.

 

The Costoza, representatives Jim Costa, D-Fresno and Dennis Cardoza, Fairy Shrimper- Annapolis/Merced, are not in Nunes’ league. The political theater-going public, knowing this, has dispensed a mere $350,000 and change to each of these chorus boys. . The fourth member of the Valley congressional delegation, Jerry McNerney, Goose Egg-Pleasanton, who represents the actual Delta, tries to keep the Altamont between him and the Valley as much as possible. Closer to Mother Nancy, McNerney gets nearly half a million.

 

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