And that marks Democrats’ first job in this new era: We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans — on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever.
ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond
Professor Iain Stewart
Letter written to Professor Stewart by Lack of Environment, author Martin Lack: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond
Herewith appended below is an email I sent today to Professor Iain Stewart (and copied to all those named in it).
Dear Professor Stewart,
I wanted to express my appreciation for the sensitive way in which you handled the issues in last night’s Horizon programme and for all the facts, figures and research findings it contained. I was particularly interested in the evidence that shale gas has escaped from poorly-constructed wells in the USA. Even if the UK can improve on the 6 to 7% failure rate in the USA, 100% success (i.e. no failures) is highly improbable. Therefore, if fracking must be pursued (for whatever reason), this would make it imperative that the BGS establish baseline monitoring for methane as soon as possible. Would it be possible to get a copy of the transcript of the programme (or a list of References)?
Given my geological background and my MA in Environmental Politics, I have written a great deal about Fracking and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) on my blog. However, having started out very much opposed to both Fracking and CCS, my position has evolved as a consequence of ‘exchanges of views’ I had last year with Professor Peter Styles (Keele) and with Professor Robert Mair (Cambridge/Royal Society). As a result of these exchanges – summarised or linked to here on my blog – I would agree with Peter that we probably need shale gas. However, I believe Peter also agrees with me that we probably cannot afford it*. I also understand that the remit of the Royal Society specifically excluded the long-term sustainability implications of pursuing fracking.
Nevertheless, this leaves me wondering whether you could encourage the BBC to do a second programme to address the consequences of humans burning all the Earth’s fossil fuels simply because they are there; and/or the need for ‘Western’ per capita energy consumption to be drastically reduced? Having read David MacKay’s book, Sustainable Energy: Without The Hot Air, I think our biggest problem is that most people do not think holistically about the problems we face or, even worse, they seem to think concepts such as ‘ecological carrying capacity’ are just eco-Marxist propaganda. However, although it would seem that CCS is now going to be essential in order to minimise anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), I think it is also the biggest obstacle to getting politicians to take decisive action to decarbonise our power generation systems.
Even if such a second Horizon programme is not likely, I remain very appreciative of all you have done – and are doing – to raise the profile of ACD as an Earth Science issue that should be of concern to all.
Kind regards, [etc]
ReBlogged from Lack of Environment: http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/my-final-word-on-fracking/#respond
* If fracking becomes the new energy boom, it is very hard to see how CCS will ever be able to be rolled-out on a global scale to keep pace with unabated CO2 emissions.
A documentary that chronicles how a generation of artists, thinkers, and activists used their creativity as a response to the reactionary politics that came to define our culture in the 1980s.
Director Antonino D’Ambrosio took seven years interviewing various artists who discuss how their work stems in large part from reactions to the conservative politics of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. They explain how their creative responses to what they felt were dehumanizing social changes allow them to find a way to affect the world. Among the many interviewees are Chuck D, Tom Morello, John Sayles, and Eve Ensler.
Director: Antonino D’Ambrosio
Writer: Antonino D’Ambrosio
- Win A Let Fury Have The Hour Prize Pack Through ShockYa’s Twitter Giveaway! (shockya.com)
- Let Fury Have The Hour To Be Released December 14 (shockya.com)
- Eve Ensler: Suddenly, my body (anygoodwoman.com)
- Review: In the Body of the World by Eve Ensler (annecarolinedrake.com)
- A new climate report looks at likely impacts of present day, 2°C, and 4°C warming across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia.
- It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia.
- Turn Down the Heat warns that poor communities will be the most vulnerable to climate change.
As the coastal cities of Africa and Asia expand, many of their poorest residents are being pushed to the edges of livable land and into the most dangerous zones for climate change. Their informal settlements cling to riverbanks and cluster in low-lying areas with poor drainage, few public services, and no protection from storm surges, sea-level rise, and flooding.
These communities – the poor in coastal cities and on low-lying islands – are among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change and the least able to marshal the resources to adapt, a new report finds. They face a world where climate change will increasingly threaten the food supplies of Sub-Saharan Africa and the farm fields and water resources of South Asia and South East Asia within the next three decades, while extreme weather puts their homes and lives at risk.
A new scientific report commissioned by the World Bank and released on June 19 explores the risks to lives and livelihoods in these three highly vulnerable regions. Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience (Read it in Issuu, Scribd, Open Knowledge Repository) takes the climate discussion to the next level, building on a 2012 World Bank report that concluded from a global perspective that without a clear mitigation strategy and effort, the world is headed for average temperatures 4 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times by the end of this century.
Small number, big problem
Communities around the world are already feeling the impacts of climate change today, with the planet only 0.8 ºC warmer than in pre-industrial times. Many of us could experience the harsher impacts of a 2ºC warmer world within our lifetimes – 20 to 30 years from now – and 4ºC is likely by the end of the century without global action.
The report lays out what these temperature increases will look like, degree-by-degree, in each targeted region and the damage anticipated for agricultural production, coastal cities, and water resources.
“The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “In the near-term, climate change, which is already unfolding, could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and the hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the Earth’s temperature.”
The report, based on scientific analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, uses advanced computer simulations to paint the clearest picture of each region’s vulnerabilities. It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia that can lead to flooding in some areas and water scarcity in others, as well as affecting power supply.
“The second phase of this report truly reiterates our need to bring global attention to the tasks necessary to hold warming to 2ºC,” said Rachel Kyte, the Bank’s vice president for sustainable development. “Our ideas at the World Bank have already been put into practice as we move forward to assist those whose lives are particularly affected by extreme weather events.”
The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones.
President, World Bank Group
- World Bank and Climate Change
- Reuters Newsmaker: A Conversation with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim
- Press Release: Warmer World Will Keep Millions of People Trapped in Poverty, Says New Report
- Infographic: What Climate Change Means for Africa and Asia
- Full Report
- Executive Summary (English)
- Executive Summary (Arabic)
- Executive Summary (Chinese)
- Executive Summary (French)
- Executive Summary (Russian)
- Executive Summary (Spanish)
- Warmer World Threatens Livelihoods in South East Asia
- Warming Climate to Hit South Asia Hard with Extreme Heat, Floods & Disease, World Bank Report Says
- Blog: Why a 4-Degrees World Won’t Cause Just One Water Crisis
- World Bank Warns Global Warming Woes Closing In (thejakartaglobe.com)
- Small global warming rise would have ‘alarming’ impact: World Bank (rawstory.com)
- World Bank highlights climate-poverty link (star-telegram.com)
- Time for the World Bank to fund a clean energy future – Greenpeace (dominicantoday.com)
- Coping with Climate Change (southasiaeconomicsummit.wordpress.com)
- South Asia and Climate Change (manikgang.com)
- World Bank rethinks stance on large-scale hydropower projects (guardian.co.uk)
- Reuters allows skeptics to debunk the 97% Nonsensus (junkscience.com)
- World Bank Finds 60 Carbon Pricing Systems In Place Or In Development (cleantechnica.com)
Full Show: Big Brother’s Prying Eyes
Whatever your take on the recent revelations about government spying on our phone calls and Internet activity, there’s no denying that Big Brother is bigger and less brotherly than we thought. What’s the resulting cost to our privacy — and more so, our democracy? Lawrence Lessig, professor of law and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and founder of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, discusses the implications of our government’s actions, Edward Snowden’s role in leaking the information, and steps we must take to better protect our privacy.
“Snowden describes agents having the authority to pick and choose who they’re going to be following on the basis of their hunch about what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense. This is the worst of both worlds. We have a technology now that gives them access to everything, but a culture if again it’s true that encourages them to be as wide ranging as they can,” Lessig tells Bill. “The question is — are there protections or controls or counter technologies to make sure that when the government gets access to this information they can’t misuse it in all the ways that, you know, anybody who remembers Nixon believes and fears governments might use?”
Few are as knowledgeable about the impact of the Internet on our public and private lives as Lessig, who argues that government needs to protect American rights with the same determination and technological sophistication it uses to invade our privacy and root out terrorists.
“If we don’t have technical measures in place to protect against misuse, this is just a trove of potential misuse…We’ve got to think about the technology as a protector of liberty too. And the government should be implementing technologies to protect our liberties,” Lessig says. “Because if they don’t, we don’t figure out how to build that protection into the technology, it won’t be there.”
“We should recognize in a world of terrorism the government’s going to be out there trying to protect us. But let’s make sure that they’re using tools or technology that also protects the privacy side of what they should be protecting.”
A former conservative who’s now a liberal, Lessig also knows that the caustic impact of money is another weapon capable of mortally wounding democracy. His recent book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It, decries a pervasive “dependence corruption” in our government and politics that should sound a desperate alarm for both the Left and the Right. Here, Lessig outlines a radical approach to the problem that uses big money itself to reform big money-powered corruption.
Producer: Gail Ablow. Editor: Rob Kuhns.
Intro Producer: Robert Booth. Intro Editor: Paul Desjarlais.
Photographer: Alton Christensen.
- Full Show: Big Brother’s Prying Eyes (billmoyers.com)
- Lawrence Lessig on Using Coders to Protect Our Privacy (billmoyers.com)
- Preview: Big Brother’s Prying Eyes (billmoyers.com)
- Cenk: Glenn Greenwald’s arrest ‘would be the death of journalism.’ (current.com)
- Lawrence Lessig “Code is law” (copyrightmit.wordpress.com)
- Ignorance is bliss (z3379889.wordpress.com)
- Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim (forwardsojourner.wordpress.com)
- On Corruption: 5 Questions with Lawrence Lessig (pogoblog.typepad.com)
- Watch this, go there: TED-talk, Lawrence Lessig on lobbyism/corruption/democracy in the U.S. (stratkomuncut.com)
Who are we as a nation, and what ideals do we represent?
I know that our lives are so busy; family issues, job security, day-to-day survival; I recommend that we speak out while we still can. Will we be willing to trade our freedom’s for security from ‘terrorists’?
- Corbett Video Report: The Transformation of Society (boilingfrogspost.com)
- The Transformation of Society (theinternetpost.net)
- – The Transformation of Society (freedomportal.net)
- James Corbett: The Transformation of Society (MUST See Video) (consciouslifenews.com)
NSA Director Keith Alexander
- Friday (not) funny: NSA information gathering (exploringpixie.wordpress.com)
- How to stop the NSA spying on your data – tech – 13 June 2013 – New Scientist (aptgetgnulinux.wordpress.com)
- Which Big Brother do you prefer? (techi.com)
- How likely is the NSA PRISM program to catch a terrorist? (bayesianbiologist.com)
- Sales of Orwell’s “1984″ spike in wake of NSA security leaks (redalertpolitics.com)
- 5 reasons why I’m sick of the NSA (metronews.ca)
- Want to See Your NSA or FBI File? Here’s How… (theinternetpost.net)
- Apple and Tim Cook getting sued over NSA’s PRISM intelligence program (idownloadblog.com)
Bill Moyers and Sheldon Wolin 2008 Video II
Wolin’s work addresses participatory democracy with primary focus on the United States.
He makes a distinction between democracy as system of governance
and any of the formal political institutions of the state.
In other words,
he decouples democracy from governance
and towards a political system based on democratic principles.
Sheldon S. Wolin (born August 4, 1922) is an American political philosopher and writer
on contemporary politics.
He is currently Professor Emeritus at Princeton University.
His most famous work is Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought.
In 1950, Wolin received his Harvard University doctorate for a dissertation titled Conservatism and Constitutionalism:
A Study in English Constitutional Ideas, 1760–1785. After teaching briefly at Oberlin College,
Wolin taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1954 to 1970.
In a political science department that was largely composed of empirical studies of micro-political issues,
Wolin was a political theorist who managed to build that component of the program by bringing
He was a major supporter and interpreter to the rest of the world
of the theory behind the Free Speech Movement,
and he became a mentor to one of the FSM’s more prominent activists,
Michael Lerner on whose Ph.D. committee he served.
He also published frequently for The New York Review of Books during the 1970s.
From 1973 through 1987, Wolin was Professor of Politics at Princeton University
where he mentored a large number of students
who have subsequently become leading figures in contemporary political theory,
including most notably: at Berkeley, Hanna Pitkin (Emeritus, Berkeley),
J. Peter Euben (Duke University) and Harlan Wilson (Oberlin), and at Princeton, Uday Mehta (Amherst College),
Dana Villa (Notre Dame), Nicholas Xenos (Massachusetts), Kirstie McClure (UCLA)
and Cornel West (Princeton).
At Princeton, Wolin led a successful faculty effort to pass a resolution urging university trustees
to divest from endowment investment in firms that supported South African apartheid.
Aside from Oberlin, UC Berkeley and Princeton,
Wolin has also taught at UC Santa Cruz, UC Los Angeles, International Christian University (Tokyo, Japan),
Cornell University, and Oxford University.
- Has American Democracy Become an Inverted Totalitarian System? (shadowedforest1000.wordpress.com)
- Managing Democracy in an Iron Cage (wmills.wordpress.com)
125 girls, 3 teachers poisoned at Afghan school
Posted on: 11:03 am, May 23, 2012, by Cary Docter, updated on: 08:53pm, May 23, 2012
The incident occurred in the provincial capital of Talokhan,
in the Bibi Hajera girls school, said Dr. Hafizullah Safi,
the province’s director of public health.
Forty of the girls were still hospitalized, he said, with symptoms including
dizziness, vomiting, headaches and loss of consciousness.
Blood samples have been sent to Kabul in an effort to determine the substance used, he said.
“A number of girls from 15 to 18 were brought from a school to hospital today,”
said Dr. Habibullah Rostaqi, hospital director.
“Generally they are not in a critical condition.
We are looking after them, but let’s see what happens later.
We understand so far from the situation, they are more traumatized.”
“The Afghan people know that the terrorists and the Taliban
are doing these things to threaten girls and stop them from going to school,”
said Khalilullah Aseer, spokesman for Takhar police.
“That’s something we and the people believe.
Now we are implementing democracy in Afghanistan and we want girls to be educated,
but the government’s enemies don’t want this.”
There have been several instances of girls being poisoned in schools in recent years.
In April, also in Takhar province, more than 170 women and girls were hospitalized
with suspected poisoning after drinking apparently poisoned well water at a school.
Local health officials blamed the acts on extremists opposed to women’s education.
While nearly all the incidents involve girls,
earlier this month nearly 400 boys at a school in Khost province fell ill
after drinking water from a well that a health official said may have been poisoned.
I will punish the student,” Education Minister Ghulam Farooq Wardak told
a press conference on Tuesday.
ReBlogged from PRESS INSIDE :http://saccsivdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/80-school-girls-poisoned-in-faryab-province-of-afghanistan/
80 school girls poisoned in Faryab province of Afghanistan
By SAYED JAWAD – 21 May 2013, 9:36 pm
According to local authorities in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan,
at least 80 school girls were poisoned in Sherin Tagab district on Tuesday.
District chief for Sherin Tagab, Syed Luqman confirming the report said
the school girls belonged to Islam Qala girls school.
Mr. Luqman further added the incident took place after an unknown individual
attacked the compound of the school with toxicant gas,
leaving at least three girls unconscious.
He said the number of school girls later increased
to 80 after inhaling the poisonous gas.
This comes as several girls were poisoned in north-eastern Takhar province of Afghanistan last month.
However, education ministry officials denied militants involvement
behind the poisoning of school girls and
called it a psychological issue.
Education officials also warned to try
those school girls who ‘claims’ of being poisoned in the future.
Yahoo! News Singapore
Afghan minister vows punishment for fainting girls
I will punish the student,” Education Minister Ghulam Farooq Wardak told
a press conference on Tuesday.
“From now on, if I find anyone saying ‘I’m poisoned’
and the poisoning is not proved by the hospital,
“I will punish the teacher, I will punish the head teacher and
I will punish the school director,” he added.
Afghanistan’s education minister
has threatened to punish schoolgirls who
claim to suffer from alleged “poisonings” that many officials
believe are actually temporary psychological illnesses.
Scores of girls’ schools over recent years have seen mysterious mass faintings,
nausea and similar symptoms that are often blamed by police and the local media
on poisoning by Taliban insurgents or toxic gas leaks.
But no laboratory evidence of poison or other toxins has ever been found at schools
and no deaths have occurred,
with the girls often released from hospital after only a few hours.
In the latest case, 200 girls were reported to have been “poisoned”
at a school in Kabul on May 1,
causing an outbreak of screaming, stomach aches and vomiting.
The education department said the government was determined to
crack down on the causes of outbreaks of
‘psychological illnesses among young girls’.
“When one student faints,
it spreads around and everyone might think it’s poisoning,”
Mohammad Kabir Haqmal, spokesman for the ministry, told AFP.
“If tests prove it is mass hysteria or any other natural cause,
of course no one will be punished”.
What the minister said was that we will pursue those who disrupt the classes.”
Wazhma Frouqh, a female education activist,
criticised the minister’s stance and said
that previous cases of “poisonings” had dissuaded families
from sending their daughters to school.
“The minister should not have said that he will punish schoolgirls,”
she told AFP.
“His job is to find out what has happened and protect schools.”
Girls were banned from going to school under the Taliban,
but numbers have risen since the extremist regime was ousted in 2001
and the government says 40 percent of pupils are now female.
‘Poison’ scare at Afghan girls’ school
More than 100 Afghan schoolgirls were taken to hospital Tuesday after
drinking water believed to have been poisoned by opponents
of education for girls, an official said.
“I think some radical elements who oppose girls going to school are behind this act,”
said district governor Mohammad Hussain, adding that police were looking into the incident.
The schoolgirls fell ill after drinking water from a tank at their high school
in the small town of Rustaq
in the northeastern province of Takhar, Hussain said.
Education ministry spokesman Abdul Saboor,
however, cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the cause of the incident.
“According to our reports a number of these schoolgirls
were panicked and taken to hospital
and they were then quickly dismissed.
“But some others are still there.
We think it is a small incident,
but we are continuing our investigations.”
Afghan girls were banned from going to school or working in offices by the hardline Islamist Taliban
regime until it was overthrown by a US-led invasion in late 2001 for sheltering Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The Taliban have since waged an insurgency against the Western-backed government of
President Hamid Karzai and some 130,000 NATO troops in the country.
Millions of girls now go to school,
but they and their teachers are occasionally attacked.
Provincial health director Hafizullah Safi said 140 schoolgirls had
been admitted to local health facilities
but most were released after recovering from symptoms which included headache and nausea.
“Most of the schoolgirls who were brought to the hospital after falling ill have been dismissed,
the other girls in the hospital are in stable condition,” he said.
In similar cases last year hundreds of girl students were taken to hospitals across the country
after falling ill from suspected gas attacks or water poisoning.
Authorities at the time mostly blamed the Taliban,
though some suggested that the cause might have been mass hysteria,
‘a phenomenon recorded around the world, often among young girls’.
Also printed in the New Zealand Herald : http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10799685
ReBlogged from Morning Cup O’ Joe: http://morningcupojoe.com/2010/06/29/afghanistan-school-for-girls/
In Afghanistan from 2006 to 2008, there were 461 attacks on schools for girls,
and in 2008,
15 girls were attacked with battery acid on their way to school.
- Girls School Poison Gas Attack Suspected in Afghanistan (theepochtimes.com)
- #myjihad:Dozens of Afghan schoolgirls taken to hospital after poison attack by Taliban (iranaware.com)
- Afghanistan – Province of Takhar, Taluqan [Bibi Hajira Girl School] : Over a dozen students of a girl school were mysteriously poisoned in Takhar province 245 km north of Kabul on Thursday (familysurvivalprotocol.com)
- The ‘Poisoned’ Girls of Afghanistan (latitude.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Afghanistan Girls’ School Feared Poisoned By Gas (educationviews.org)
- Over 60 school girls poisoned in Takhar province of Afghanistan (sgt-jim.blogspot.com)
- Afghan Girls School Poisoning: 74 Girls Poisoned in Suspected Taliban Gas Attack (secularnewsdaily.com)
- Up to 74 schoolgirls taken to hospital in Afghanistan after suspected poisoning (metro.co.uk)
- Afghan girls’ school feared hit by poison gas (endtimebibleprophecy.wordpress.com)
- Afghan girls’ school feared hit by poison gas (dawn.com)
Dear MoveOn member,
Sexual violence in the U.S. military is a crisis.The Pentagon estimates that sexual assaults increased from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 in 2012. That’s 71 sexual assaults EVERY DAY, and in roughly 56% of cases, the victims are men.
Making matters worse, each branch of the armed forces has its own judicial system, and it’s currently legal for base commanders to overturn a jury’s guilty verdict, as happened at Aviano Air Force Base in February 2013.
The STOP (Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention) Act takes the prosecution, reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the normal military chain of command—which has proven grossly ineffective—and places jurisdiction in an autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.
That’s why I started a petition to the United States Congress, which says:
I stand with Congresswoman Jackie Speier in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.
–Congresswoman Jackie Speier
This petition was created by the Courage Campaign on on MoveOn Petitions Political Action Edition, which is licensed to and paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action. We are not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site. The Courage Campaign didn’t pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the MoveOn.org list.
Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
- Epidemic rape in the US Military! Ask Congress to take action! (friendnature.wordpress.com)
- Facebook shutters page taunting lawmaker, female Marines (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Rep. Jackie Speier outs obscene Marine Facebook page (sfgate.com)
- Congresswoman Takes on Sexual Assault in Military (abcnews.go.com)
- Rep. Speier forces shut down of Facebook page promoting violence against female Marines (rawstory.com)
- New figures show sexual assault in the U.S. military is on the rise (cbsnews.com)
- Boxer, Speier Back Bills Dealing with Sexual Assault in the Military (blogs.kqed.org)
- Senator Inhofe Claims Military Sexual Assaults “Not A Serious Problem” (lezgetreal.com)
- GOP Senator Says Military Handling Of Rape Cases ‘Not A Serious Problem’ (businessinsider.com)
- Rep. Jackie Speier demands action against Marine Facebook page denigrating women (seattlepi.com)