February 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm (art, culture, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, Independent film, Indigenous People, life, movies, nature, photography, politics, Uncategorized)
Tags: "Water", alternative energy, Canada, climate change, David, documentary, ducks, Eco Watch, Energy, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, film, First Nations, fish, Glaciers, health, independent, Independent film, Lavallee, mining, movie, natural law, nature, Oil, ponds, random, rivers, safety, tailings, Tar Sands, values, video, White Water Black Gold, Wind turbines, wolves
View entire film on Eco Watch
Eco Watch featured David Lavallee’s very accessible film White Water, Black Gold and I could not resist sharing after viewing it online. It does more than bring the toxic waste of Canada’s Tar Sands into view because it also presents some clean green alternatives that are already being successfully utilized not just in Germany, but ironically in Canada as well. What are the rest of us waiting for? For the Big Oil Companies to milk out all the profits possible while creating waste toxic waste dumps that destroy fresh water all living things depend upon for life? We cannot drink oil. Oil cannot make food crops grow. Plants need water. No wheat crop means no bread.
Make no mistake that Big Oil and corporations like Monsanto do not comprehend the situation despite their public relations denial spins. They do indeed and they want to use it to serve their own ends. There are reasons that Monsanto wants to patent all seeds for their own profit. There are reasons some Americans are NOT allowed to “catch” rainwater in barrels for gardening. The reasons are profits for those who want to control all the natural resources that are basic to all forms of life. If ducks could pay taxes then they’d be taxed for swimming in ponds. Deer would be taxed for eating plants. Wolves would be taxed just for being alive. I suspect the predatory human population feels an innate threat from wolves who don’t care for domestication by humans as dogs do. Wolves don’t need or want us humans. I don’t wonder why not. Perhaps it’s their independence which has set off the curent war on their very existence in the states. Could be. Wolves don’t give a damn about the corporate human economy. They’re bound only by the laws of nature. Oh, come to think of it, so are humans. Because in the end–it will be natural law which decides the survival of our species. It’s about time we all came to terms with that reality. Denial will not change outcome.
Gee, it appears I’ve gotten off the Tar Sands water usage and energy alternatives track of White Water, Black Gold. It may appear so. But since everything is connected–and we are all ‘related’–then I haven’t really gone off track. I’ve just followed a stream of thought. Continuing downstream . . . .
What this boils down to is values. Yes, what do we value? Our lives? All living things? Clean air? Clean water? Oil? Gas? Our oil dependent modes of transportation? What matters most to each of us? Why should each of us consider such questions? Because we’re the ones who will either change our ways for the betterment of all living things or we won’t. Whatever the politicians and corporations do amounts to their choices. We are responsible for ours, what we think, what we do, what we say. Does the state of the Earth reflect our values or those of someone else? Positive change is possible. We can make it. We may have to work very hard for it though. What are we waiting for?
I think we need to do more than get the President of the United States to shut down the Keystone Pipeline. The Tar Sands in Canada need to be shut down. Big Oil needs to be shut down everywhere. It’s time for a healthy change.
For more Tar Sands, Keystone and environmental news from Eco Watch
February 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm (creative writing, culture, entertainment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, humor, life, literary fiction, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: "Water", 2013, Alaska, Alexis M. Smith, Book, creative writing, culture, entertainment, fiction, Glaciers, life, literary fiction, love, Middle East, novel, Oil, Oregon, Portland, publishing, random, review, Tin House, Tin House Books, war, World Book Night, Writing
Hmm, it’s Sensual Saturday and sometimes that means a musical posting. Tell you what, if you click the link to Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith there’s music at the other end via the video playing on the novel’s homepage. Music covered now, okay? Now for those of you searching for something sensual for your Saturday there’s this lovely little novel just stuffed full of stories of scopes large and small. Alexis M. Smith has inked a wickedly sweet little tome with an expanse far beyond its 174 pocket-sized pages. Some folks might be inclined to savor this book tidbit by tiny tidbit over a week’s time. Some other folks, like myself, may savor it whole in the course of a single day of word craft pleasure-seeking. While there’s nothing erotic about Smith’s Tin House Books publication, her prose elicits a certain sort of response some of us experience when stimulated by wordcraft so easy-going that one has no sense of any effort on the writer’s part at all. Glaciers reads like gently flowing stream water encountering a rapid or two along the way to keep you on your toes.
So what’s it about? Love, longing, the past, the future, Amsterdam, war, families, Portland, storytelling, Alaska and glaciers of several sorts. Smith writes about a young woman, a young man, a library, and a war. Yet another anti-war book of the most subtle yet most earnest kind.
Her eyes close, and she begins to drift. She thinks of these things: Spoke and the war; the oil in Alaska and the oil in the Middle East’ the glaciers melting’ and the water that connects them all. the glaciers will melt and the water will rise. Everything will be washed though. All the young lovers in their hats and party dresses. All the plane trees and the elms. All the tall houses. All the narrow brick lanes and city squares. Glaciers take the cities, cities take the architecture, the architecture takes the bodies. (p. 151)
Glaciers melt. Glaciers are melting. Keep in mind ever-expanding scopes.
What postcards are you saving? Why?
Alexis M. Smith
Tin House Books
Take note: I discovered this literary delight via World Book Night 2013–it’s one of the selections for the free books being given away. What a wonderful reading gift!
November 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm (culture, entertainment, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Independent film, Indigenous People, life, movies, nature, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: all roads film project, Amazon Watch, CA, Children of the Jaguar, documentary, environment, film, grants, Indigenous People, movie, movies, National Geographic fim festival, nature, news, Nov. 29, Oil, Point Reyes, poster
Visit Amazon Watch –>>
There are days when I really appreciate the news feed on Facebook and this is one of them. Today several things of interest to moi were connected in a moment on Facebook–Point Reyes, California, the best documentary film–Children of the Jaguar, and the incredible fight of this village against a huge corporation run by people with absolutely no morals, scruples or conscience. So if you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of Point Reyes, this might be your destination on Nov. 29. It would be mine. If you’re ready, willing and able to view this National Geographic film festival documentary best of winner–please report back to moi with your thoughts. Gracias.
Check out National Geographic’s all roads film project–grants available–
May 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm (culture, education, entertainment, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, food, history, humor, life, nature, politics, publishing, random, Writing)
Tags: "Water", Book, books, business, culture, Deepwater Horizon, delta, entertainment, environment, ethics, food, gulf, history, industry, interconnectedness, life, Louisiana, Mississippi, nature, Oil, oysters, politics, random, reading, review, river, Rowan Jacobsen, Science, Shadows On the Gulf, swamp, wetland, writer, Writing
“Today, we tell Congress that we ‘sacrificed’ ourselves for the national good,” Oliver Houck wrote in the Tulane Environmental Law Journal. “Never has there been such a willing, complicit sacrifice. We made a bundle of money, wasted most of it, and blackballed anyone who questioned what it was doing to the Louisiana coast. About 70 years ago, Louisiana made a deal with the oil and gas industry. The industry would get what it wanted; the state would get a piece of the take.”
Ah yes, you all know the drill–find a writer whose voice, intelligence, and style you enjoy in one book then go out and see if they’re consistent enough writers to work their word magic on your imagination AGAIN. Having enjoyed the horror story that is Fruitless Fall, o yes it is a modern version of a very very scary story, I was game for more of Rowan Jacobsen’s work. I decided to venture to the great ghostly delta of the mighty Mississippi via Shadows On the Gulf, A Journey Through Our Last Great Wetland. If you’re fans of Jacobsen’s A Geography of Oysters don’t fret–the agony and ecstasy of gulf oysters is part of Shadows. It couldn’t be otherwise. Now if you’re looking for an intense screenplay like blow-by-blow of events in slow motion about the Deepwater Horizon go search elsewhere. Jacobsen provides a sequence of such events but, unlike several other slick tomes, this is not the foundation of this book. If you’re looking for where to lay blame for oily events in the Gulf look no further than your mirror. Yes, you read correctly–the nearest mirror. Jacobsen does not flinch at laying blame for the ongoing insanity of the oil industry smack dab on those who fuel the DEMAND for oil every single day. This is a basic principle of supply and demand economics–really. We create the demand for more oil by our lifestyles, especially in the United States, and the oil industry profits, literally, by providing the supply. Face it, in general we are a bunch of hardcore oil addicts with no 12 step program on the boards.
Now don’t get me wrong, Jacobsen raises this very important ethical issue but that’s not all he does as he provides some fundamental history about the Gulf area. We get a history of a prominent oyster supplier, the workings of the huge Mississippi River as the garbage dump of the midwest of America, the levees, the oil industry, the wetlands and the people. Now the element of ‘people’ is the real wild card in play here. Perhaps the major issue here, as in Fruitless Fall, is that people indoctrinated with western European (yes, that is the origin of our mode of thinking in the states) mentality just can’t leave well enough ALONE. People have this nutty idea that humans are capable of improving on the complex perfection of Nature. We do this with every dam we build, every river we divert, every wetland we destroy. Ah the poor Army Corps of Engineers–sorry folks, at least beavers know what the hell they’re really doing when they build dams–and more importantly ‘why’. Guess what we get in return? The destruction of the very system upon which we are dependent for survival of our species. If we just let Nature be itself and operate correctly and lived in accord with how the system works –well, we might not be facing the operating system crisis heading our way like a tsunami of incredible magnitude.
If you don’t have any idea about the BIG picture regarding the Gulf of Mexico–and how the rest of America ties in– then Jacobsen’s book provides a very decent foundation for getting an idea of the interconnectedness of many things–including all the crap chemicals used to scrub toilets every day. The destruction of your environment is not out of sight and out of your mind. It’s just out of mind because we don’t pay any attention to the things in plain sight–such as every petroleum product–and the products that ‘clean’ all that oily stuff down the drain.
The other thing in plain sight is “us” in all our incarnations. You’ll meet a few folks via Jacobsen’s explorations of the gulf area–locals, scientists, fisherman, etc. And it’s a very mixed big of individuals for sure. I don’t know how the likes of Virgil Dardar and Gene Cossey would mix on the same boat. But I do know what a vast swamp of thinking exists that allows for the existence of such men and women – and the mentality of oil executives and politicians all on the lookout for the almighty DOLLAR.
Near the end of the book, “The Most Important River You’ve Never Heard Of,” Jacobsen takes us to a wonderful still functioning wetland area-the Atchafalaya swamp-and leaves us with not the ”if” but the “when” it will be destroyed by us in our infinite ignorance, boundless greed and shortsighted view that humans dominate Nature. We will not have the last laugh in this global drama in which we deny our own role in the web of life on Earth. So read and think about what sort of lifestyle can you imagine that might benefit all living things. Come on, stretch your cranial membranes–if you dare. Imagine Life without Oil.
More about Rowan Jacobsen’s books:
April 23, 2012 at 7:25 pm (culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, food, history, Indigenous People, journalism, life, nature, politics, random)
Tags: "Water", Alberta, Arctic, Bruce Parry, business, Canada, cancer, culture, Economy, environment, First Nations, fish, Fort, history, industry, Issues, life, money, nature, news, Oil, people, politics, random, sustainable, Tar Sands, values, video
These videos from Bruce Parry’s Arctic series on the Tar Sands offer a certain perspective on the Tar Sands oil issue for everyone. Some folks may not appreciate some of the content. But people do seem to speak for themselves–including the woman who “hasn’t read the script.” Questions are raised about ethics, responsibility and our relationships to the land and water and the lacks thereof. No solutions are presented. But it’s clear that every person who drives a vehicle plays a role in the oil industry’s continuing existence. We need to get our minds out of the boxes of conventional thinking if we’re really going to save Earth and create a sustainable future worth living on the only planet we have. We need to do more than just stop another Keystone Pipeline from being constructed across America. We need to shut down the Tar Sands completely. We need to implement alternative energy sources and create new means of transportation that are not dependent on oil. This needs to happen today–not 5, 25 or 50 years from now. We have the knowledge. Do we have the will?
March 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm (culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, journalism, life, nature, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: alternative press, auction, Bidder 70, business, climate change, Congress, DeChristopher, defence, Democracy Now, Economy, education, email, environment, ethics, Goodell, Herlong, history, illegal, independent media, Issues, journalism, land, law, legal, life, nature, news, Oil, Orwell, Peaceful, people, political prisoner, politics, prison, privacy, protest, random, Rolling Stone, Tim, Uprising
It’s been a strange morning here where spring has apparently sprung right into summer: herons nesting in residential area, magnolia blooms come and gone, rose bushes budding and balmy warm winds. It seems things are just a wee bit out of sync in the natural scheme of things. But one early morning email made it even stranger because of the news it carried regarding environmental activist Tim DeChristopher being placed in solitary confinement via the demand of an unidentifed US congressman. Apparently one of DeChristopher’s emails disturbed the mental health of some congressman because of content regarding some financial matters discussed regarding a contributor to his own legal fund. Now why does a US congressman get to request the solitary confinement of a political prisoner in a minimum security prison based on the content of their email concerning the business practices of a contributor to his defence fund? Why has this elected US congressman remained unidentified? Who is this person? What right do they have to dictate the practices of a prison in California regarding a low risk prisoner? Why does Tim DeChristopher’s concerns about who funds his legal defence concern any US congressman? Who gave any congressman the right to wield political influence in such a manner? Whose money is behind this harassment of DeChristopher? What is the incognito congressperson soo threatened by in Tim DeChristopher’s email? Personally I have no specific answers. But–as this seems to center on a discussion of business practices, values, a legal defence and the only thing respected in the USA aka MONEY– my imagination is having a free-for-all this morning with this news. Btw, this little chess move on the prison political game board was covered by Democracy Now! in headlines for March 28, 2012. I suspect the alternative press may begin racketballing the item as soon as they get their heads out of their symbolic hoodies over the senseless murder of young Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Now, since I’ve been following Tim DeChristopher’s journey ever since learning about his gig as Bidder 70 at an illegal land auction of oil and gas leases—wait–there’s that special special word ‘oil’–oops—yes, DeChristopher upset the oil carts of some oil people by throwing a monkey wrench in their plans to acquire public lands on the cheap during an illegal federal auction. Do I really need to write anything more? Hmm? Do I?
Yes I do. I need to share the request of Peaceful Uprising asking for support for Tim DeChristopher to be removed from solitary confinement. What is going on in America? For more information about Tim DeChrisptopher aka Bidder 70
and Peaceful Uprising visit
Also see Democracy Now!’s coverage of DeChristopher www.democracynow.org
President Obama is earnestly ignoring number 9 on Jeff Goodell’s Rolling Stone list of “10 things to do for the environment”–”pardon Tim DeChristopher.”
Apparently putting Tim DeChrisptoher in prison for protecting America’s environment from illegal oil development leases is not enough for some people. They want in him in solitary confinement to further restrict his communication with the rest of the world beyond Herlong Prison. Why?
Oh the tea kettle is whistling–time for a chat with George Orwell.
The following is copied directly from Peaceful Uprising:
In response to Tim’s transfer into isolated confinement, we’re asking you to please take a few moments to call the following contacts (or whomever you have time to call from this list) and ask that:
“Tim DeChristopher inmate #16156-081 be immediately removed from the Special Housing Unit (SHU) and placed back in the Minimum Security Camp at FCI Herlong.”
If you’d like to say more, here are a few key talking points we suggest:
- Moving Tim DeChristopher to SHU based on the complaint of an unidentified Congressman doesn’t make sense. Why is Congress intervening in one inmates detention status, anyway?
- Keeping inmates in isolated confinement for an indefinite amount of time awaiting a hearing is not humane and is not acceptable.
- *FOR CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS* If they are your congressperson, tell them about the situation, [read here] and ask them if they know who ordered the transfer, and that you’d like them to take a look into it and get back to you promptly. Ask them why Congress is taking such an interest in the emails of one inmate. Tell them that Tim is a nonviolent offender who was wrongly charged and convicted to begin with, and was placed in a minimum security camp because he posed no threat to anyone. If you have time, mention that an oil and gas company owned by William Koch was recently found to have conspired to defeat a BLM oil and gas lease auction, but was merely fined, while Tim sits in isolated confinement after being charged with two felonies. If you call Jason Chaffetz, ask him to launch an investigation in his oversight committee.
Richard B. Ives, WARDEN
Eloisa DeBruler, Public Information Officer
BOP Central Office
Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and
Homeland Security Congressional Members:
PRIORITY CONGRESSIONAL CALLS:
Jim Sensenbrenner, WI, Chairman of Subcommittee
Louie Gohmert, TX, Vice Chairman of Subcommittee
Jason Chaffetz, UT
|Bob Goodlatte, VA
|Sandy Adams, FL
|Dan Lundgren, CA
|Mark Amodei, NV
|Randy Forbes, VA
(202) 225 – 6365
|Bobbi Scott, VA
|Ted Poe, TX
|Steve Cohen, TN
|Timothy Griffin, AK
|Hank Johnson, GA
|Tom Marino, PA
|Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico
|Trey Gowdy, SC
|Judi Chu, CA
|Ted Deutch, FL
|Shelia Jackson Lee, TX
|Michael Quigley, IL
Are you worried yet? I am.
February 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm (culture, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Independent film, Indigenous People, journalism, life, nature, politics, random)
Tags: "Water", B.C., businesss, Canada, Chevron, climate, culture, Durban, Earth, Ecuador, environment, ethics, history, Indigenous, interconnectedness, Ireland, Issues, journalism, Keystone, love, media, nature, news, Nigeria, Oil, Pipeline, pollution, poltics, Prince Rupert, Shell, Tar Sands, Texaco, videos
On February 14 people everywhere express their love with actions, flowers, cards, gifts and more. Some people express their love for Earth by protesting its ongoing destruction by our continuing dependence on oil for meeting our energy needs. Some write these lovers off as foolish hippies and idealistic tree huggers but they are neither foolish nor idealists. These are the hardcore realists of our world. Today there is another effort underway to stop the Keystone XL pipeline development yet again in spite of the public outcry. If you’ve signed any petition for this effort previously I’m sure your email box is currently awash in urgent requests for your signature again because big oil and its supporters don’t give up. Their intention is to wear everyone down until big oil gets its way AGAIN. Apparently the American government has learned nothing from the BP oil spill and its continuing consequences in the Gulf of Mexico. There is an upside to all this lobbying for more pipelines and greater development of an oil project that is already the size of Great Britain–more people are learning about the Tar Sands. And more people are saying NO to it and to big oil. Change makes many uncomfortable but change we must–or kill the only planet that supports us with air to breathe, water to drink, and soil for food. Nature is not dependent upon us. We are dependent upon nature for our survival. As you drive along in your car fueled by oil you may feel far removed from the heartbeat of the world. Everything except your next chore of the day may be far from your mind. But consider how different your daily life would be if there was no clean air to breath, no clean water to drink, and no fresh food in your grocery store. Shall we all live on little purple pills popped into our mouths while we breathe through gas masks? Shall we? Isn’t it time to write your own “love letter” to Earth? Folks–big oil has to ”go.” It’s literally killing people and the Earth. It will kill you and your loved ones–make no mistake about it. And the people who own and operate big oil will also die by their own actions. Denial will not prevent their demise. So, take some time and figure how you can show some love.
Indigenous protest at Durban. Climate Conference
Prince Rupert, B.C.
The People of Erris – Ireland
February 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm (culture, drama, education, environment, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Independent film, life, music, politics, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Australia, business, Economy, education, environment, Ireland, Issues, life, media, nature, news, Oil, people, politics, protest, random, Rossport, Shell, Shell to Sea, videos
For many the mention of Ireland conjures thoughts of W.B. Yeats, lush green grass and dark guiness beer freely flowing in crowded pubs. Who thinks of Ireland being the battleground for a war against the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell being waged by young people, fathers, mothers, grandparents. For over 11 years Irish people have taken action against the destruction of their land and communities by Shell. Yes there is much more in Ireland than pubs and poetry.
The first FAQ on the Shell to Sea list. More FAQs and information at
- Why is Shell’s Corrib gas project unsafe?
There are major health and safety issues with the high pressure raw gas pipeline planned so close to people’s homes – regarding an earlier pipeline route Shell admitted that homes would be put within a kill-zone from heat radiation in the event of a pipe failure. The refinery itself is in the catchment area of the local drinking water supply which would be forbidden in most other European countries.
Where there are profits to be made who gives a damn about tourism, fishing, swimming and the safety of the local residents? Clearly not Shell nor the corrupt politicians who made this deal which offers no benefits to the Irish people at large nor in the communities affected by the pipeline or refinery.
Resistance in Mayo 2008
Solidarity from Australia to Ireland–yes, Australia.
November 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm (culture, education, environment, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, journalism, life, Native Americans, random)
Tags: action, culture, education, environment, events, history, Indigenous, Indigenous Environmental Network, journalism, Keystone, life, livestream, March, media, nature, news, Nov. 6, Oakland, Oil, people, Pipeline, politics, protest, random, strike, Tar Sands, Tar Sands Action, video, White House
click logo to visit Tar Sands Action
It’s November 6, 2011 aka Surround the White House Day to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline from the Tar Sands. Join the people circling the White House today at 2pm ET by sending a message to President Obama. Apparently our public comments have been LOST. Yep, they’re MIA. Now that’s audacity on the part of whomever “lost” the public’s comments. So don’t wait, use the nifty form on the Tar Sands Action site, call (202) 456-1111, or fax 202456-2461 to lend your voice to this protest of environmental destruction.
Will the mainstream media cover this event? Let’s not hold our breath considering the blackout of Oakland’s General Strike and the march of THOUSANDS of people who shut down the port on Nov. 2. If mainstream media has th gall to ignore that massive turnout they’ve definitely got no problem ignoring this Tar Sands Protest today.
The Indigenous Environmental Network offers great information on the Tar Sands, the pipelines and Indigenous work to save Mother Earth. Connect with their network today. November is Native American Heritage Month and Earth is common ground for all of us. Discover your place in the web of life.
- Visit the Indigenous Environment Network by clicking here.
Tar Sands Action Livestream :
September 30, 2011 at 4:28 am (environment, ethics, humor, journalism, life, nature, politics, random)
Tags: culture, Democracy Now, Energy, environment, ethics, farm, history, journalism, July 7. 2011, life, media, nature, news, Oil, politics, pollution, spill, Tar Sands, Yellowstone
Democracy Now! coverage of the July 7, 2011 Exxon Yellowstone Pipeline.
Keystone 1 has spilled 12 times already. Shall we add another Keystone Pipeline and double the spills?
Oh and I have yet to learn any more about that conflict of interest issue running amok in an earlier post about TransCanada and who is running the public hearings on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Having attended the public hearing in Topeka it seems that people who support the pipeline there just want one thing–JOBS. Considering the fact that pipeline has already been laid in Kansas I fail to comprehend the logic of those claiming the construction of XL will bring thousands of long-term jobs into Toto-land. But, after all, Kansas is Kansas.
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