Look at these hippies! These are the faces of the radical “eco-terrorists” who dare stand up and complain when a foreign company takes their land through threats of eminent domain and starts bulldozing to clear a track for the Keystone XL pipeline, which will cart tar sands crude through these local Texans personal property. OUTRAGE!
“[T]he greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor.” -Aristotle
It’s ridiculously tricky to explain the links (known and unknown) between climate change and extreme weather. Here’s a solution: sports metaphor!
Watch the video above to hear Jerry Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (a real, true scientist!) explain how climate change is to the planet’s weather what steroids were to Barry Bonds.
Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed has said that he was forced to resign “at gunpoint” by police and army officers in a coup.
He said the move was planned with the knowledge of Vice-President Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik, who has replaced him. Mr Hassan denies the claims.
Several of Mr Nasheed’s supporters were injured in clashes as riot police used tear gas and batons against demonstrators in Republic Square.
The Maldivian Democratic Party party also says that police have attacked Nasheed a day after he left office. ”We strongly condemned the violent attack by the Maldivian Police Service on President (Mohamed) Nasheed and senior officials of the MDP,” according to a statement. “President Nasheed is being beaten up as of now in an ongoing peaceful protest.” Nasheed’s resignation came amid rising controversy over his ousting of a judge. He was the country’s first democratically-elected leader.
Our friends at 350.org, who have deep ties to Nasheed and the Maldives, have a way to help. I know a petition doesn’t feel like doing much, but it will be delivered to national leaders and diplomatic forces who can put pressure on the military to ensure Nasheed’s safety. Just do it.
On Tuesday, House Republicans released a transportation package that environmental groups have labeled as a massive giveaway to oil and gas interests.
It’s got everything that oil companies have asked for over the years and more: drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, increasing oil shale production, allowing much larger trucks on highways, and cutting funds for high-speed rail. And Speaker John Boehner has said he wants to attach a provision to the bill that would force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as well.
But here’s where it gets really sad: The bill would also cut the Safe Routes to School program, a $202 million grant program that helps states and school districts make improvements so that kids and their families can walk to school without getting run over.
President Obama said Wednesday that it could be “several months” before he decides whether to OK TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipelineand pledged that he would not put safe drinking water, fertile croplands, and public health at risk.
“My general attitude is, what is best for the American people? What’s best for our economy both short term and long term, but also what is best for the health of the American people,” he said Wednesday in an interview with KETVin Omaha, Nebraska.
“I think folks in Nebraska, like all across the country, aren’t going to say to themselves, ‘We’ll take a few thousand jobs if it means that our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health,’” Obama said, “or, if rich land that is so important to agriculture in Nebraska ends up being adversely affected, because those create jobs and when somebody gets sick that’s a cost that the society has to bear as well.”
The comments, Obama’s most comprehensive to date about the Keystone XL project, highlighted the sensitive political balance the president is trying to strike. The issue has become a political hot potato that threatens his relations with a core contingent of his progressive backers.
The whole affair may reach a tipping point this week, when Robert Kennedy Jr., environmental activist Bill McKibben, and thousands of other pipeline opponents are expected to join aSunday rally at the White House in what could be the largest pro-environment demonstration of Obama’s presidency.
With the Obama administration about to decide whether to green-light a controversial pipeline to take crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to the United States Gulf Coast, e-mails released Monday paint a picture of a sometimes warm and collaborative relationship between lobbyists for the company building the billion-dollar pipeline and officials in the State Department, the agency that has final say over the pipeline.
Environmental groups said the e-mails were disturbing and evidence of “complicity” between TransCanada, the pipeline company, and American officials tasked with evaluating the pipeline’s environmental impact.
The e-mails, the second batch to be released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the environmental group Friends of the Earth, show a senior State Department official at the United States Embassy in Ottawa procuring invitations to Fourth of July parties for TransCanada officials, sharing information with the company about Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s meetings and cheering on TransCanada in its quest to gain approval of the giant pipeline, which could carry 700,000 barrels a day.
“You see officials who see it as their business not to be an oversight agency but as a facilitator of TransCanada’s plans,” said Damon Moglen, the director of climate and energy project for Friends of the Earth. While the e-mails refer to multiple meetings between TransCanada officials and assistant secretaries of state, he said, such access was denied to environmental groups seeking input. Environmental groups argue that the pipeline, known as the Keystone XL project, would result in unacceptably high emissions and disrupt pristine ecosystems.
Before he was TransCanada’s chief Washington, D.C., lobbyist, Paul Elliott was a top official in Mrs. Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign.
Many of the new e-mails are between Mr. Elliott and Marja Verloop, the counselor for energy and environment at the embassy in Ottawa. On Sept. 10, 2010, in response to an e-mail from Mr. Elliot announcing that Senator Max Baucus was supporting the pipeline, Ms. Verloop wrote: “Go Paul!” In an e-mail to David Jacobson, United States ambassador to Canada, she described TransCanada as “comfortable and on board” with some developments in the review process.
Wendy Nassmacher, a State Department spokeswoman, disputed that the e-mails showed a pro-pipeline bias. “We are committed to a fair, transparent and thorough process,” she said in an e-mail Sunday. “Throughout the process we have been in communication with industry as well as environmental groups, both in the United States and in Canada.” She noted that the State Department had conducted hearings in communities along the route of the proposed pipeline last week.