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limpyhobbler's Journal
limpyhobbler's Journal
June 29, 2012

Months After Protest, Russian Rockers Still Jailed

The Russian government is facing a growing chorus of criticism over its harsh treatment of three women from an all-female rock band who staged a "punk" prayer service last winter in Moscow's most prominent cathedral.

Back on Feb. 21, two weeks before Russia's presidential election, several members of the band Pussy Riot, wearing brightly colored balaclavas, rushed onto the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

They briefly sang one of their songs, "Holy Crap," which includes the line, "Holy Mother, deliver us from Putin," a reference to Vladimir Putin, who easily won the election.

Two women, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were arrested about a week later; a third, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was taken into custody in mid-March. All three have remained jailed, and a Moscow judge recently extended the pretrial detention for the women.

more: http://www.npr.org/2012/06/26/155767665/months-after-protest-russian-rockers-still-jailed
June 28, 2012

STUDY: Kardashians Get 40 Times More News Coverage Than Ocean Acidification

Carbon dioxide emissions are not just warming up our atmosphere, they're also changing the chemistry of our oceans. This phenomenon is known as ocean acidification, or sometimes as global warming's "evil twin" or the "osteoporosis of the sea." Scientists have warned that it poses a serious threat to ocean life. Yet major American news outlets covered the Kardashians over 40 times more often than ocean acidification over the past year and a half.

Rising carbon dioxide emissions have caused the oceans to become around 30 percent more acidic since the Industrial Revolution, and if we do not lower the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, the ocean surface could be up to 150 percent more acidic by 2100. At that level, the shells of some plankton would dissolve, large parts of the ocean would become inhospitable to coral reef growth, and the rapidity of the change could threaten much of the marine food web. According to the National Research Council, the chemical changes are taking place "at an unprecedented rate and magnitude" and are "practically irreversible on a time scale of centuries."

Despite a boom of recent scientific research documenting this threat, there has been a blackout on the topic at most media outlets. Since the end of 2010, ABC, NBC and Fox News have completely ignored ocean acidification, and the Los Angeles Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, CNN and CBS have barely mentioned it at all.

While most coverage described the basic scientific phenomenon or listed ocean acidification as a serious environmental challenge, the Wall Street Journal dismissed the problem. All three mentions of ocean acidification from the Journal were from columns that downplayed the threat—there was not a single straight news article interviewing scientists. One of those columns was a full article devoted to distorting and cherry-picking the science on ocean acidification. The Journal also published a letter to the editor (not counted in this study) from the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner who summarily dismissed ocean acidification as “the latest nominee to supplant troubled CO2-warming theory.” But the threat is nothing to shake off.


more: http://mediamatters.org/blog/201206270006
June 28, 2012

David Harvey interview: Tarlabasi Istanbul


Acclaimed geography academic and Professor of Anthropology at City University of New York provides an interview on urban issues in the district of Tarlabasi Istanbul, an area in the last throes of evictions for the long-standing residents. Tarlabasi is in the process of a gentrification programme to create an upscale housing and shopping district in the centre of the city.
via http://davidharvey.org/
June 22, 2012

Shell fracking methane leak in PA. Residents evacuated.

DEP Investigating Potential Shell Methane Migration
As Gov­er­nor Cor­bett pushes to give Royal Dutch Shell a $1.65 bil­lion tax credit, the Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion is inves­ti­gat­ing a poten­tial methane migra­tion prob­lem in Union Town­ship, Tioga County, involv­ing the company’s nat­ural gas drilling arm.

A Shell spokes­woman says the company’s tests show “a very low haz­ard risk to peo­ple, veg­e­ta­tion, and fish in the imme­di­ate area,” but Shell has nev­er­the­less asked the hand­ful of peo­ple who live within a one-mile radius of the drilling site to tem­porar­ily evac­u­ate their homes.

Shell has also sent a well con­trol spe­cial­ist team to the site.

DEP spokesman Daniel Spadoni con­firmed the probe in an email to StateIm­pact Penn­syl­va­nia. “DEP was noti­fied of the prob­lem by Shell on June 17,” he writes. “Shell is fully coop­er­at­ing with the response and investigation.”

more: http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2012/06/21/dep-investigating-potential-methane-migration-by-shell/
June 20, 2012

The Sky is Pink (New York Anti-Fracking video)



by Josh Fox
I know I don’t have to tell any of you what a vulnerable moment this is for New York and all New Yorkers. The New York Times has reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo will soon announce that drilling will be permitted in parts of the following five Southern Tier New York Counties—Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga. The Governor’s office has made no official announcement as yet, but all indications suggest that the counties listed above will be the first to be sacrificed and that drilling may be permitted as early as this summer.

We’ve made a new short film, The Sky is Pink, which has just been released at Rolling Stone Magazine online. The Sky Is Pink details the shocking campaign of misinformation perpetuated by the gas industry, their flagrant disregard for the health and safety of the communities they ravage, and the historic decision that Governor Cuomo is about to make.

We’re telling Governor Cuomo that there are no expendable counties or communities in New York State and that we are not willing to allow the gas industry to exploit or endanger any of our fellow citizens. Governor Cuomo and his administration must be held to their promise to make decisions on behalf of New Yorkers based on sound science and they must provide the people of New York with a full Health Impact Assessment. We demand that no weak compromises or deals are cut that send New York down the slippery slope toward a full-scale assault by the gas industry.

I’m asking you to help us make sure this film reaches far and wide. Clearly the 60,000 comments received by New York’s Department of Environmental Protection have been ignored. Clearly, we’re going to need to be even louder this time if we are going to be heard.

more: http://ecowatch.org/2012/the-sky-is-pink/
June 20, 2012

Citizens Ban Fracking at Ohio Statehouse Rally

From June 14 to June 17, activists from all over the U.S. gathered in Columbus, Ohio to oppose the controversial drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, toxic wastewater injection wells, and the lack of policies that support a renewable energy future for Ohio and the U.S.

The first three days of events were attended by more than 200 activists who participated in workshops, trainings, strategy sessions and community-building. People shared their stories about what’s happening in their communities as their neighbors sign leases with the natural gas industry. Others detailed the water and air contamination, increased truck traffic and reduction in property value once wells are drilled.

Youngstown, Ohio residents shared their fear of more earthquakes hitting their town as toxic wastewater continues to be injected in wells 8,000 feet below ground. Other issues discussed included water withdrawal, silica sand mining, non-disclosure of fracking chemicals, and the impacts to human health and the environment as the drilling frenzy continues in Ohio, including in its state parks and possibly its only national forest, the Wayne National Forest.

The Don’t Frack Ohio event culminated on Sunday, June 17, when more than 1,000 people gathered at Arch Park in downtown Columbus to hear speeches by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, Josh Fox, director of Gasland, and Mary Clare Rietz from Ohio Alliance for People and Environment.

more: http://ecowatch.org/2012/citizens-ban-fracking-at-ohio-statehouse-rally/
June 20, 2012

Jamie Frederick Speaks at Don't Frack Ohio

1000+ Ohio residents marched in Columbus and took over the statehouse June 17 to protest unsafe natural gas drilling, or fracking.

The state government is currently just a front organization for the gas and oil companies who are making big profits while pushing of all the costs and dangers onto local residents. The gas companies have slobbered millions of dollars on the state and national lawmakers to make sure they get their way.
June 18, 2012

We should change our election system so we don't need to have this conversation anymore.

We expend significant energy on this subject that could be better spent on something else.

If we had a two-round presidential election such as in France this conversation would be meaningless. The top two from the first round go on to the 2nd round.

We would be free to vote Green (or whatever) in the first round and and then for Obama in the second round vs. the Republican.

Other forms of ranked-choice voting or instant-runoff voting are also options.

I had hoped the Democratic leadership would have seen the value in this after what happened in 2000 with Nader.

A lot of people think the whole political system is awash with money and is so broken that the Democrats are not much better than the Republicans on their issues.

So I think it's time to talk about changing the way we vote to allow for our Green friends to vote their conscience without having to worry about throwing the election to the bad guys.

June 16, 2012

How Can Labor Combat Obama's Secret 'NAFTA of the Pacific'?

The latest project of corporations seeking to ease movement of capital around the globe is the Trans Pacific Partnership, known by activists as “NAFTA of the Pacific.”

Text of the proposal that leaked this week, released by the consumer group Public Citizen, indicate the free trade proposal will continue strong rights for investors and weak protections for labor, the environment, and local democracy.

The agreement is drafted to include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. Discussion of inviting Canada, Mexico, and Japan has inspired protests in all three countries.

The TPP is being negotiated in secret. While the public has no access to the full text, 600 representatives from lobby groups like the American Petroleum Institute and corporations like Johnson & Johnson do have access, and negotiators seek those representatives’ advice.

This Trans Pacific free trade deal is a steaming pile of poop.

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