One wedding and several funerals

[ UPDATE : SEVERAL NEW PLAUSIBLE FACTOIDS HAVE EMERGED NECESSITATING CHANGES. ]

Jubilant scenes across New York as mass flag-waving breaks out to celebrate.

Are they congratulating Wills and Kate ? The Americans probably reviewed the TV ratings for the right royal wedding and decided they too needed something to boost the morale of the nation. So they went and killed Osama Bin Laden.

Or not. He could have been dead for days, because the plans were made weeks ago. Was he killed pre-emptively ahead of the collective British regal marital hysteria ? Why did the young newlyweds ship out to an “undisclosed location” instead of jetting off on honeymoon, pronto ? Was there a “credible threat” made on their lives in retaliation at the death of the Al Qaeda spiritual leader ? Or was an unarmed Osama bin Laden murdered by a surprise military attack at night at his family home after an Al Qaeda threat was made on Prince William and his new wife ? You have to admit the timing of the news is interesting…

Bin Laden “buried at sea” ? Yeah, right. If his body was dumped at sea, that could cause considerable affront to his supporters, but at least it would cover the fact that he had been dead for well over 24 hours, which would be an even worse affront according to Muslim burial traditions. If the body was no longer fresh enough for a photo shoot a hypothetical burial is necessary, one that can obscure the facts from international cameras and mobile phones. The Americans sent in a hit squad rather than dropping bombs from drones. Why go in person ? To make sure they have video and photographic evidence of the killing to show to Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama a few days later ? And by what moral and legal justification did Barack Hussein Obama issue a kill order instead of capturing Osama bin Laden for trial for his alleged crimes against humanity ?

Meanwhile, back in Libya, several other funerals have taken place after a NATO bombing raid in Tripoli, at night, targeting the Gaddafi family home, the victims of which included a son and some grandchildren of Colonel Gaddafi (and possibly even Muammar Gaddafi, the Brother Leader, himself, was killed too, although we don’t know that for sure yet) and sparked massive protest, which may lead to foreign troops “on the ground” to “finish off” the war – maybe disguised by gas masks, or under cover of enacting war crimes warrants. Various world leaders have declared they want to see the end of the current regime in Libya. NATO might be used to protect energy supplies. It could get a whole lot nastier now. What had Libya and Libya’s leader done to deserve this ? Declare energy independence ? :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/67d1d02a-5314-11e0-86e6-00144feab49a.html#axzz1LD4mxQ1w
“Oil companies fear nationalisation in Libya : By Sylvia Pfeifer and Javier Blas in London : Published: March 20 2011 : Western oil companies operating in Libya have privately warned that their operations in the country may be nationalised if Colonel Muammer Gaddafi’s regime prevails. Executives, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the rapidly moving situation, believe their companies could be targeted, especially if their home countries are taking part in air strikes against Mr Gaddafi. Allied forces from France, the UK and the US on Saturday unleashed a series of strikes against military targets in Libya…”

Osama bin Laden was arguing for a end to foreign interference in Arab territories, which naturally would have involved reasserting national control of oil and gas resources, and retaining wealth in the countries of origin. And many western strategists believe that this “threat” should never be allowed to happen. Osama bin Laden, in poor health, had probably negotiated a deal where he was allowed to live peacefully in retirement, but things changed, and the American Navy stormed his house at night and killed him and attacked his family. If the United States go after a sick man, and nearly murder his wife just because she happened to be in the way when they shot him (no taking prisoners, then), what will they do now ? Take out Pakistan for harbouring him (even though they agreed to host Osama bin Laden’s retirement in the first place) ? Or cut international aid intended for disaster relief in Pakistan ? It is now a distinct possibility that by encouraging universal joy over the death of the “sinner” bin Laden, a great piece of media entertainment, the world audience is being warmed up for overpowering violence against Libya, whipped up by American hawks. The deal breakers. All the wrong actions for all the wrong reasons.

And what did Barack Hussein Obama say ? “No Americans were harmed“, whilst “bringing Osama bin Laden to justice…Justice has been done“. Internal moral compasses may flinch at these words. Justice normally involves a court of law, not the President of the United States watching an “enemy of America” being liquidated on a secure webcam. Two victims of extensive and enduring negative American propaganda have been attacked with full military might whilst tucked up in bed at home. Who’s next ? Julian Assange ? Hugo Chavez ? Some other man made out to be a demon ? And while Ed Miliband, Labour Party leader in the United Kingdom says the world is now a “safer place”, Americans are being issued with travel advisories.

Ethical Investment

I met several people in the finance-with-conscience crowd the other week, when I went for a spot of champers and Marmite soldiers at the House of Commons for National Ethical Investment Week.

I learned about various views on social and positive impact investment, and about elements of the Coalition Government’s “Big Society” and the proposed Green Investment Bank.

Ethical Investment appears to have come a long way since I put some money into a Fair Trade company many moons ago, where I knew I would never see a dividend, or even be able to sell the shares at some point.

Grown up people in sharp suits and big name frocks now do moral banking, and often reap a healthy return on their investment – “doing well” as well as “doing good”, as Adam Ognall of UK Sustainable Investment and Finance says.

I was challenged to think about what faith communities do with their money around a month ago, all precipitated by a conversation I had with Martin Palmer of the Alliance of Conservation and Religions, and then I heard something at a recent meeting that caused me to investigate a little… Continue reading Ethical Investment

And Now For Something Completely Different

[ WAIT FOR IT… a video will appear shortly in the space below…if not, reload the page, will you ? ]

http://www.crudeawakening.org.uk/

Just what are they brewing ?

Continue reading And Now For Something Completely Different

Go Beyond Oil

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gt9FazoUMIDxODUKwX2TF5LxndsQ

“Protesters condemn ‘dirty oil’ at World Energy Congress : (AFP) : 14 September 2010 : MONTREAL — Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in the streets of Montreal Sunday, calling for an end to “dirty, risky” oil exploration, ahead of a global gathering of energy experts. A dozen protesters covered in molasses staged a “Black Tide Beach Party,” while dozens of others carried banners that read “Too dirty, too risky, go beyond oil.” A blond baby boy smeared in brown sticky molasses wailed in his activist father’s arms, while protesters used megaphones to slam the provincial Quebec government of Jean Charest for inviting oil companies to the five-day World Energy Congress at the sprawling Palais de Congres. Some 5,000 participants from industry, government and academia, were expected to attend the conference, slated to officially open Sunday evening. The event is expected to tackle global energy issues, such as improving access to energy in the world’s poorer regions and the role of new technologies in ensuring a sustainable energy future. Many protesters directed their anger at BP over a devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year. But Julien Vincent, a campaigner for Greenpeace International, said BP was only part of the problem. “British Petroleum is one part of a big industry that’s got an abysmal safety record and an abysmal record in terms of its obligations toward protecting communities,” he told AFP. “You also have oil from Shell dripping out over Nigeria right now. You have oil spills that have taken place in China that have flooded ports,” he added. “The entire industry needs to be told to sit back and listen up.” …”

http://www.wecmontreal2010.ca/en.html

Continue reading Go Beyond Oil

Rethink Fossil Fuels

We all love the inputs, but what about the outputs ?

Fossil Fuels have been providing an easy life and easy pickings for the citizens and enterprises of the industrialised world for some time.

People love their jet-fuelled lives. One man will move one kilometre from his home to a restaurant in two and a half metric tonnes of steel and glass believing he is admired for his larger-than-car-sized car. He will wear sunshades, and oil-slicked hair (if he has any) and sport a tan from his recent holiday over the ocean. A life of glory and feeling good about himself.

But what about the emissions ? What, indeed, about the environmental devastation at the places the Fossil Fuels (and metal and glass) were mined and refined and manufactured ?

What do we leave behind ?

Continue reading Rethink Fossil Fuels

“Kill Kill Kill This”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TINzvWrtjYI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyutuErxPo8

Carol Browner, Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the United States of America, has been all over the Media, announcing the policy to “kill kill kill this” BP nightmare story, telling the world that a turning milestone point has been reached :-

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/PDFs/OilBudget_description_%2083final.pdf

Have they decided that BP have been punished enough now for the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher, and the reputation of the company needs to be rehabilitated sharply in order to protect the Economy ?

I made the mistake of taking in a BBC TV news bulletin on the matter. I heard several talking heads say it’s “good news” that roughly three quarters of the accountable oil from the spill has “disappeared” :-


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10870159

Breaking this story is “good news” for the stability of pension funds, maybe. But what is the real extent of the real damage to the real world, the world of oceans and fish and plankton ? Will the world be watching as the researchers scavenge data and clues to the marine ecotastrophe that is still unfolding ?

Continue reading “Kill Kill Kill This”

They Shall Beat Their Destroyers Into Marine Turbines

OK, so it’s a ham paraphrase on a Biblical quotation, but as the world loses its appetite for big military assault (particularly for no discernible just reason), we could see more weapons manufacturers turn their metal-working skills over to the production of Renewable Energy :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/25/bae-green-energy-project

“BAE to assist green energy project : Britain’s biggest arms manufacturer will contribute its marine engineering expertise to a wave-power project off Orkney : Terry Macalister, guardian.co.uk, Sunday 25 July 2010”

Isaiah 2:4 (New International Version) : “He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”

The great energy revival could contribute to world peace, after the fading of a Century of competition and conflict over Fossil Fuel resources.

BP Tony Hayward’s Marching Orders

Did he jump, or was he swamped ?

And is he really leaving, or is he being hounded out by propaganda ?

The reports of his demise may be premature, but the clock is probably ticking on his tenure anyway.

You know as soon as the board of a company, or a central government expresses “full support” for an executive or a minister, their job is at risk.

At least BP didn’t have to invent a scandal about his private life to get shot of him, like the (I think, despicable) way they ousted John Browne, the “sun king”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10753573

“25 July 2010 : BP chief Tony Hayward ‘negotiating exit deal’ : Mr Hayward has been with the company for 28 years BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward has been negotiating the terms of his exit, with a formal announcement likely within 24 hours, the BBC has learned. Mr Hayward has been widely criticised over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. An official statement issued by BP in response said he had the “full support of the board and senior management”. BBC business editor Robert Peston says Mr Hayward is likely to be replaced by his American colleague, Bob Dudley, who is in charge of the clean-up operation…”

Is Bob Dudley a fan of solar and wind power ? Only asking…

And will a change of figurehead on the prow stop the BP vessel sinking ?

The Worst Is Yet To Come

The Transnational Institute are carrying a story warning of further oil industry nightmare scenarios :-

http://www.tni.org/article/bp-style-extreme-energy-nightmares-come-four-scenarios-next-energy-mega-disaster

“BP-Style Extreme Energy Nightmares to Come: Four Scenarios for the Next Energy Mega-Disaster…Michael Klare : The Huffington Post : July 2010 : The BP Gulf oil spill is not an anomaly but the result of industry-wide recklessness, as companies employ more and more risky methods to reach inaccessible reserves as the conventional ones run dry. On June 15th, in their testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the chief executives of America’s leading oil companies argued that BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was an aberration – something that would not have occurred with proper corporate oversight and will not happen again once proper safeguards are put in place. This is fallacious, if not an outright lie. The Deep Horizon explosion was the inevitable result of a relentless effort to extract oil from ever deeper and more hazardous locations. In fact, as long as the industry continues its relentless, reckless pursuit of “extreme energy” – oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium obtained from geologically, environmentally, and politically unsafe areas – more such calamities are destined to occur…Until then, prepare yourselves. The disaster in the Gulf is no anomaly. It’s an arrow pointing toward future nightmares. [ Michael Klare is a professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire University, a renowned analyst on oil politics and US defence policy and was TNI’s first Phd graduate when TNI used to run an academic programme through a virtual US university. ]”

Continue reading The Worst Is Yet To Come

Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Image Credit : Gilbert & George, “Nettle Dance”, White Cube

I’m in the Climate Union. Are You ?

Soon we could all be, if the expansionist plans of a group of social campaigners come to fruition.

Taking in the unions, faith communities and the usual rag-tag bunch of issues activists, the Climate Union aims to establish itself as a political force for Low Carbon.

First of all, however, it has to tackle the uneasy and prickly problem of the exact name of the movement, and the principles under which it will operate.

The flag has been flown : a set of principles has been circulated for discussion amongst the “Climate Forum”. I cannot show you the finalised document yet, but I can offer you my comments (see below).

If you want to comment on the development of this emerging entity, please contact : Peter Robinson, Campaign against Climate Change, mobile/cell telephone in the UK : 07876595993.


Comments on the Climate Forum Principles
Jo Abbess
28 June 2010

I am aware that my comments are going to be a little challenging. I made similar comments during the review of the ClimateSafety briefing, which were highly criticised.

I expect you to be negative in response to what I say, but I think it is necessary to make sure the Climate Forum does not become watered-down, sectorally imprisoned and politically neutered, like so many other campaigns.

Continue reading Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Obama : Tough on Grime

Image Credit : McClatchy

Tough on grime; tough on the causes of grime.

American President Barack Obama declares that as regards environmental pollution, “we shall fight them on the beaches”.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-nation-bp-oil-spill

“Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it’s not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.”

“But make no mistake: We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long as it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”

Continue reading Obama : Tough on Grime

The Price of Carbon

The Price of Carbon

by Jo Abbess
20 April 2010

1.   Introduction

Policy strategy for controlling risky excess atmospheric greenhouse gas (Gowdy, 2008, Sect. 4; McKibben, 2007, Ch. 1, pp. 19-20; Solomon et al., 2009; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 6, pp. 205-208) mostly derives from the notion that carbon dioxide emissions should be charged for, in order to prevent future emissions; similar to treatment for environmental pollutants (Giddens, 2009, Ch. 6, pp. 149-155; Gore, 2009, Ch. 15 “The True Cost of Carbon”; Pigou, 1932; Tickell, 2008, Ch.4, Box 4.1, pp. 112-116). Underscoring this idea is the evidence that fines, taxes and fees modify behaviour, reigning in the marginal social cost of “externalities” through financial disincentive (Baumol, 1972; Sandmo, 2009; Tol, 2008). However this approach may not enable the high-value, long-term investment required for decarbonisation, which needs adjustments to the economy at scale (CAT, 2010; Hepburn and Stern, 2008, pp. 39-40, Sect. (ii) “The Consequences of Non-marginality”; MacKay, 2008, Ch. 19; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 2, pp. 40-41). Continue reading The Price of Carbon

Anthony Giddens : Blaming Consumers

Anthony Giddens, as a “key architect of New Labour”, disappointingly brings to the table a less than razor-sharp understanding of what is responsible for Global Warming Pollution.

He seems to be content to be cynical about the Consumers in the Free Market Economy, without questioning the role of the Producers of the Energy and goods consumed.

Continue reading Anthony Giddens : Blaming Consumers

OPEC Compensation

You can bet your bottom petrodollar that there will be some bailouts at Copenhagen.

There will be the obvious benefactors, in the form of the Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, which will be set up to get money flowing from the industrialised countries to the developing countries, to enable the developing countries to buy technologies from the industrialised countries, to save the developing countries from Global Warming.

But behind the headlines, there will be some other deals being cut, in fact, one in particular may already have been sliced, judging by this article (OPEC = Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) :-

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article6926219.ece

Continue reading OPEC Compensation

Spot The Fatal Flaw #1 : Oil From Algae

ExxonMobil have a plan : harness the natural lifecycle of billions of little photosynthetic critters and make oil, oil, lots of lovely, slimy, rainbowy algal oil.

http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE56D0O120090714?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews
Continue reading Spot The Fatal Flaw #1 : Oil From Algae

The Weyburn Warning : Carbon Capture and Enhanced Oil Recovery

UPDATE : I have been advised to be more precise about what Beulah actually is. The update is bolded for your convenience.

The Weyburn Oil Field field in Saskatchewan, Canada has been the centre of attention for several good reasons over the last few years.

Some of the grease-brained petroleum engineers had a brilliant idea one day : how about trying to pump extra oil out of the field by injecting waste gas into it ?
Continue reading The Weyburn Warning : Carbon Capture and Enhanced Oil Recovery