Friday, December 30, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
'via Blog this'
Saturday, December 3, 2011
'via Blog this'
Friday, November 25, 2011
Written by Ryan Leclaire
Thousands of students are united in their outrage over a proposed 24% increase to the price of the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass).
They are equally upset that Ottawa’s transit commission has also recommended the elimination of the student semester and annual pass."
'via Blog this'
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Transit ridership doubles in Strait area - Local - The Cape Breton Post: "SYDNEY — Strait Area Transit has almost doubled its ridership for the transit service it offers in Port Hawkesbury and throughout areas of Richmond and Inverness counties."
'via Blog this'
Friday, November 18, 2011
Many sustainable lifestyle choices are easily motivated with financial initiatives; and choosing public transportation is no different. So why has Winnipeg city council approved yet another 25 cent fare hike to pay for rapid transit? A proper move by a city council would be to motivate their residents to choose sustainable transportation; instead of penalizing those who make this choice.
In rush hour, there’s an average of 1.2 persons per car. At that rate 2 buses can carry as many people as a hundred cars. In a single lane the cars would stretch over a third of a mile; the buses only 90 feet – and that can reduce congestion, noise and air pollution by over 90%. [SOURCE]
Why is this important?
Adding lanes and expressways brings more cars, more congestion--and of course--longer commutes in the long term. In addition, car traffic is, indirectly, the most expensive burden there is for urban taxpayers. City budgets are stretched all over the continent - not just here in Winnipeg.
Coun. Justin Swandel made the motion for the fare hike on Wednesday, saying it is one way to cover the expense of speeding up the construction on the city's rapid transit routes. A transit fare increase would have to be endorsed by the Manitoba government and Premier Greg Selinger appeared supportive of the idea.
Obviously: better transit systems are the most effective way of improving traffic flow. It benefits drivers and transit riders. Most North American cities have learned the inefficient way that emphasizing car traffic over other modes of transportation actually makes things worse for drivers.
Why do we need to petition for this?
As residents of Winnipeg, we also pay taxes. The more cars there are, the more sprawl, and the less efficient your infrastructure is. You have more and more kms of roads serving a lower and lower population density--which is bad for your wallet, and the environment. The relative costs of maintaining this infrastructure skyrockets too.
Everyone subsidizes the roads in the city, even those of us who choose not to live in the the typical suburbs and drive our SUV everywhere. Make your voice heard today, and help make a Change in our beautiful city.
The cities that are doing well in terms of commute times, costs, budgets and tax burdens are the ones that have fought back urban sprawl and congestion with dense communities and effective transit.
Please sign if you endorse a better transit service and to put a stop to rapid and unreasonable increase of bus fares in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Link to Petition
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
L'avenir du transport collectif passe par les redevances sur les cardurants, plaide le groupe TRANSIT | Montréal | Radio-Canada.ca
Selon TRANSIT, une telle mesure permettrait de faire face à une augmentation d'au moins 40 % de l'achalandage dans les transports en commun d'ici 2020.
« Manifestement, le public est au rendez-vous, mais si on veut qu'il continue à préférer le transport collectif au transport individuel, il faudra qu'il y trouve son compte, c'est-à-dire que l'offre réponde à la demande en qualité et en quantité. » —
Karel Mayrand, directeur général de la Fondation David Suzuki"
'via Blog this'
This city spends tens of millions on planning, building and maintaining roads every year, primarily for the benefit of private automobile owners.
The new Transportation Master Plan calls for $2.1 billion in new roads and bridges to be built over the next 20 years. Billions more will be needed to maintain our existing crumbling streets.
But we could potentially save much of that expense if we could simply get more people out of their cars and on to transit.
It wouldn’t be cheap; we’d need more buses, more drivers and more public-operating subsidies. But the benefits are clear. It would reduce traffic congestion, speed up everyone’s commute and eliminate the need for more road capacity. It would benefit the environment, encourage more compact development and enhance mobility for people who can’t drive or afford a car.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Montrealers using public transit like never before: "MONTREAL - Never before have Montrealers used public transit as much as they do today.
In 2011, Société de transport de Montréal expects 405 million trips to be taken on its buses and the métro, STM president Michel Labrecque announced Tuesday.
That will beat the previous record: 398 million trips, set in 1947, when the city had an extensive tramway network. The tramway was gradually removed before being eliminated in 1959."
'via Blog this'
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Public transit also helps reduce road congestion, which each year costs Metropolitan Montreal $1.4 billion, or 1% of Montreal’s GDP. Less road congestion means reduced travel times for all Montrealers, including non-riders. Each public transit user means one less car on the roads, thereby cutting down travel time for goods and people (BTMM, 2010)."
'via Blog this'
Friday, September 30, 2011
'via Blog this'
Thursday, September 22, 2011
If you and your kids sat down to invent the place you would least like to live, the list of features might include: nowhere to play, nowhere to go, nothing to do, no stores, no friends nearby, speeding traffic, lots of crime, and a long drive to school and back every day."
'via Blog this'
Thursday, September 15, 2011
'via Blog this'
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Fare-free transit and sensible liquor laws among policy initiatives passed by Greens | Green Party of Manitoba
Saturday, September 3, 2011
'via Blog this'
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
but it must be told
for some stories are buried with bodies
and while remaining untold
not the rotting flesh nor bones, nor the silent soul
will stop haunting those who seek truth"
'via Blog this'
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
CONSEIL REGIONAL DE L'ENVIRONNEMENT DE MONTREAL | Crise des infrastructures de transport : Sans investissement massif dans les transports collectifs, le sud du Québec sera paralysé
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Crowds descended upon the White House early Saturday morning, prepared to spend two weeks hosting daily sit-ins to denounce a proposed pipeline that would transport oil from Alberta's infamous tarsands to a refinery in Texas.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
'Any commitments that Winnipeg's Council has made in this matter should be delayed till after the public has had an opportunity to vote for zero fare bus service in Manitoba, by voting Green with their October 4 election ballots,” said Beddome.
“I fully anticipate that the Green Party of Manitoba will raise the issue of fare free bus service in the next general election,” said Beddome
“Free public transportation is as Canadian a concept as user free public education, and user free public health care,” Beddome went on to say."
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
What’s even more apalling is the apparent lack of police enforcement of pedestrian rights in this City and the way that pedestrian issues are given so little attention by our City Council."
Sunday, June 12, 2011
James Hansen slams Keystone XL Canada-U.S. Pipeline: “Exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts” | ThinkProgress
And that is the point of Dr. James Hansen in a must-read essay on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline to bring that dirty fuel into this country, “Silence Is Deadly: I’m Speaking Out Against Canada-U.S. Tar Sands Pipeline.”"
Saturday, June 4, 2011
So, just to compare, here's what I can get to from Bow Cliff Seniors in 15 minutes:
And here's what I can get to from my neighbourhood in 15 minutes:
Of course, this is an estimate and doesn't take delays/etc. into account. Still, I can see it being a useful tool for trip planning when thinking about changing work/home locations, for nonprofits thinking about where to locate in relation to clients, etc.
(Cross posted at Witch-Ways, where I've been crafting magic on the internet since 1994.)
Monday, May 9, 2011
praise them; cathedrals are built to worship them." Read More on Facebook
Friday, April 22, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
- She was voted "Rookie MP of the Year" in 2009.
- When she spoke on Bill C-449 (giving seniors free access to transit in off-peak hours) she talked about the impact of free transit ("Free transit would greatly increase the quality of life by removing the terrible choice between rent, food, or heat and bus tickets.") and called for the development of a National Transit Strategy for Canada.
- She's had some great clips recently on CBC because of her role as NDP spokesperson on health.
**Bonus points for her reference of climate-change discussions in this election campaign as an "issue of inter-generational equity" because, really, isn't it?
(Cross-posted at Witch-Ways, where I've been crafting magic on the internet since 1994.)
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Published on Political Context March 26th, 2011.
This is the fourth and final instalment of an investigative report uncovering and analyzing a global plan to capture and utilize the ocean's store of methane hydrates. The investigation reflects upon the decades of planning coordinated by the world's most powerful institutions, including the global banking and investment corporations, global fossil fuel energy corporations, United Nations, the OECD, the United States (US) Department of Defense, US Department of Energy, the administrations of each of the leading greenhouse gas-emitting states, and powerful NGOs. The report details why and how the coordinated planning evolved while keeping the public-at-large in the dark. Finally, the report explains why methane must be considered the most lethal contributor to climate change, according to the most recent and relevant science.
Destination – Hell. Are we there yet?
Drilling and Earthquakes
16 June 2004: Overwhelmed: Tokyo Electric Power Company Managing Director Akio Komiri cries as he leaves after a press conference in Fukushima. 19 March 2010.
16 June 2004: US Department of Energy meeting summary: "Alternatively, an undersea earthquake today, say off the Blake Ridge or the coast of Japan or California might loosen and cause some of the sediment to slide down the ridge or slump, exposing the hydrate layer to the warmer water. That in turn could cause a chain reaction of events, leading to the release of massive quantities of methane. Another possibility is drilling and other activities related to exploration and recovery of methane hydrates as an energy resource. The hydrates tend to occur in the pores of sediment and help to bind it together. Attempting to remove the hydrates may cause the sediment to collapse and release the hydrates. So, it may not take thousands of years to warm the ocean and the sediments enough to cause massive releases, only lots of drilling rigs. Returning to the 4 GtC release scenario, assume such a release occurs over a one-year period sometime in the next 50 years as result of slope failure. According to the Report of the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee, “Catastrophic slope failure appears to be necessary to release a sufficiently large quantity of methane rapidly enough to be transported to the atmosphere without significant oxidation or dissolution.” In this event, methane will enter the atmosphere as methane gas. It will have a residence time of several decades and a global warming potential of 62 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. This would be the equivalent of 248 GtC as carbon dioxide or 31 times the annual man-made GHG emissions of today. Put another way, this would have the impact of nearly 30 years worth of GHG warming all at once. The result would almost certainly be a rapid rise in the average air temperature, perhaps as much as 3°F immediately. This might be tolerable if that’s as far as things go. But, just like 15,000 years ago, if the feedback mechanisms kick in, we can expect rapid melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice and an overall temperature increase of 30°F."
Since writing the first 3 instalments of this investigative series, the race to drill methane hydrates has begun in Japan. New Zealand, in a joint venture with Germany, is the next in line to commence.
1 February 2011: "Seabed drilling exploration for methane hydrate in coastal waters, utilizing a world-class deep sea exploration vessel, is scheduled to start Saturday. In the planned exploration, the Chikyu is expected to drill 100 meters to 400 meters into the seabed, which lies at a depth of 700 meters to 1,000 meters. The geological structure of layers surrounding the hydrate, and the degree of stability regarding drill holes and pipes, are among the subjects to be surveyed. The Chikyu uses state-of-the-art equipment able to drill as deep as 7,000 meters under the seabed."
On 11 March 2011, the world witnessed one of the most powerful earthquakes since 1900, devastating the country of Japan. It has resulted in a nuclear catastrophe still unfolding. Lethal tsunamis followed the earthquake, and were not limited to Japan. A wildlife sanctuary situated on a tiny atoll near Hawaii lay victim to one such resulting tsunami, wiping out thousands of endangered seabirds and other animals. Exposure to radiation continues to threaten citizens as far away as California.
The video below features Dr Helen Caldicott speaking in Montreal, Canada: UN lies about nuclear threat. Caldicott has been named one of the most influential women of the 20th Century by the Smithsonian Institute. (Filmed on 18 March 2011: 5:06)
What is not widely known, is the fact that Japan announced it would commence drilling methane hydrates on 1 February 2011. Also not widely known, is the fact that on 1 June 2010, the corporate giant Petrobras was awarded an exploration permit to drill for oil and gas in the Raukumara Basin of earthquake prone Aotearoa. The Raukumara Basin sits on a major and active fault line. In the last 30 years, there have been 108 earthquakes exceeding the 5 magnitude scale in this basin, and since 1989, this basin has experienced 6 earthquakes exceeding the 6 magnitude scale. Aotearoa, has been identified by conservative think-tank Fraser Institute as the second most attractive country to invest in for petroleum exploration. To describe Aotearoa as 'the new fossil fuel frontier' is beyond reckless as the entire country of Aotearoa is situated on a major fault line. Offshore exploration in Aotearoa has become extensive, with projects planned from the tip of the North Island down to the bottom of the South Island. One must consider that the recent seismic exploration for oil, gas and mining may have contributed to the vast number of earthquakes. The invasive techniques undertaken in such exploration include mass construction, drilling, dynamite, reflection seismology, inducement of seismic waves and 'artificial earthquakes'. One must also consider that the invasive exploration techniques within the Aotearoa Canterbury Plains, and the offshore Canterbury Basin have contributed to the 'newly discovered fault' which scientists believe to have caused the devastating earthquakes. After the September quake, geologists at GNS Science began examining drill-hole data held by Ecan and on-land seismic recordings made by oil and gas exploration companies. The Petrobras permit grants access to 12,330 square kilometres within Raukumara Basin, extending from 4 kilometres off the Aotearoa coast to 110 kilometres from the coast. The Raukumara Basin, a high seismic activity area, covers 25,000 square kilometres, extending about 300 kilometres north and around 100 kilometres wide off East Cape in the North Island. (20 August 2010: Govt's petroleum permit ignored environment) Petrobras claims they are about to begin seismic data collection of the Raukumara Basin. What is most interesting, is the fact that the June 2010 permit (Crown Minerals), gave Petrobras permission to drill, almost immediately. From the legal document: "Within 60 months of the commencement of the permit, the permittee SHALL drill one exploratory well." Councillor Manu Caddie, has made the public aware that there is no legal requirement for Petrobras to apply for a further permit before commencing drilling. It is critical to bear in mind that the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico BP disaster was the result of an exploratory well. As of 1 December 2009, Petrobras had a market capitalisation of US$221 billion. The power and influence of Petrobras runs deep having funded and partnered with 120 universities. (See part III - Universities as Bedfellows | Moral Nihilism)
The scientific community has long suspected that sonar and seismic technology (from survey vessels) creates suffering and anguish for whales and marine life. As fossil fuel corporations in Aotearoa have expanded their invasive techniques of exploration, for further oil and gas production, the frequency of stranded whales upon beaches has dramatically increased: 22 August 2010, 73 pilot whales washed up on Kaitaia beach, Aotearoa – 58 dead; 23 September 2010, 80 pilot whales stranded at Spirits Bay, Aotearoa. 40 dead; 21 January 2011, 24 pilot whales died after becoming stranded on the North Island of Aotearoa;7 February 2011, 82 pilot whales stranded in Golden Bay area, for the 3rd time in 3 days. 17 dead. 20 February 2011, forty-eight hours prior to the Christchurch earthquake, more than 107 pilot whales washed up on Aotearoa’s South Island. All died. On 4 March, 7 days prior to the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, 50 melon-headed whales washed up on the eastern shore of Kashima.
Although mass beaching of whales have been common to Aotearoa in the past, the drastic increase in these tragic events, coupled with the proximity of the earthquakes themselves, in both Aotearoa and Japan, raises many questions. The tectonic plate shifts that occur prior to earthquakes is often cited as a possible cause of such mass beachings. Yet, one must consider the distinct possibility that such tragic events are, more often than not, caused by human interference. In 2009, scientists reported that seismic surveys used for oil and gas prospecting are a disturbance for blue whales, the world's biggest animal and one of its rarest species. Seismic testing employed by the survey vessels has been linked to past events. In June 2003, 100 whales became trapped in a bay in the north of Madagascar, near an area where ExxonMobil was carrying out a seismic survey. Despite denying any responsibility, under intense media scrutiny, Exxon halted its surveying programme. In a world addicted to lethal fossil fuels, such occurrences have become common. The East Cape area in Aotearoa is as a key marine mammal migration area from autumn through to spring, which is the period in which Petrobras will be using underwater sonic shock waves to explore potential oil exploitation of and gas deposits in the area.
On 24 January 2011, a group of international and New Zealand scientists drilled directly into South Island's Alpine Fault - a massive fault line to investigate its structure, mechanics and evolution.
Vast quantities of methane hydrates collect along geological fault lines. Japan sits atop a nexus of three of the world’s largest.
On 24 February 2011, 15 days prior to Japan’s devastating earthquake, Dr Elisabetta Mariani, in an interview with BBC was asked if drilling holes in the major 'alpine' fault running through new Zealand was a good idea. She answered: "As scientists [we can say] ... there is another important drilling going on ... off shore the east coast of Japan ... and is going well and is successful and has not caused problems which the locals were concerned about so this is what we told [the New Zealanders] and what we tell you as well."
On 7 March 2011, in response to the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission, two US gas drilling companies agreed to suspend specific operations at wells near Arkansas after their work was linked to nearby earthquakes. Both Chesapeake Energy, based in Oklahoma, and Clarita Operating of Little Rock, informed the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission that they have halted operation of the wells near Greenbrier and Guy. 800 earthquakes have hit the area in the past six months. One was a 4.7 quake – the strongest in Arkansas in 35 years.
Is it possible, that the massive earthquakes which devastated Japan and New Zealand, can be connected to invasive deep drilling? Is it possible that the scale of seismic testing, coupled with invasive drilling and exploration techniques, provoked these massive earthquakes? Is it possible that humans failed to recognize and understand the dire warnings of what was to unfold, through witnessing the tragic deaths of the ocean’s sensitive whales?
As the late Carl Sagan, NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal recipient, has eloquently stated: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
It appears that the recent drilling into the Nankai Trough fault line is not to blame in the case of Japan, as the fault line which ruptured is said to be different than that of the Tokai area, where the Nankai Trough fault line exists. However, the impact from the methane hydrate drilling, if it did proceed on 5 February 2011, as planned, is unknown. Methane hydrates, deposited on the seafloor, are present all along the Pacific coast from Kyushu to the Tokai district.
The suggestion that human activity can cause seismic activity is widely accepted in the scientific community. A paper in the journal Oilfield Review published in 2000, noted that the connection between oil production and earthquakes dates back to at least the 1920s, when geologists in South Texas noted faulting near an oil field.
In May of 2010, The Royal Society releases 12 research papers in the theme issue titled 'Climate forcing of geological and geomorphological hazards'. Top scientists call for research on climate in connection to earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis and gas-hydrate destabilisation observing that the "ongoing rise in global average temperatures may already be eliciting a hazardous response from the geosphere." From the editors introduction: "The sensitivity to climate change of gas hydrates, in both marine and continental settings, has long captured interest, in relation to its potential role in past episodes of rapid warming, such as in the Palaeocene–Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), and in the context of anthropogenic warming. In the first of a pair of papers on the subject, Maslin et al. review the current state of the science as it relates to gas hydrates as a potential hazard. The authors note that gas hydrates may present a serious threat as the world warms, primarily through the release of large quantities of methane into the atmosphere, thus forcing accelerated warming, but also as a consequence of their possible role in promoting submarine slope failure and consequent tsunami generation."
The Nankai Trough subduction zone, located southwest of Japan, is one of the most active earthquake zones on Earth. This is a region notorious for generating devastating earthquakes and tsunamis with complex geological formations caused by tectonic plate thrusts. On 31 August 2010 scientists returned from the first ever riser drilling operations in Seismogenic Zone, an operation named Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE). The NanTroSEIZE expedition 332 completed expedition on 11 December 2010. Stage 1 (2007-2008) of the operation included discovery of methane hydrates. A third-party representative of the venture is Halliburton.
There are numerous methane-hydrate deposits within the oceans surrounding Japan, shown in red on the map to the far left. They are found in the Nankai Trough, on the Chyoshi Spur, the eastern portion of the Japan Sea, and the southern Okhotsk Sea. The GSJ has calculated that these deposits combined, would yield 6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas (over a hundred times the amount consumed per year in Japan). (Source: Geological Survey of Japan) Image on right represents global methane hydrates.
The overview of the first offshore production test of methane hydrate in the Nankai Trough undertaken by Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) can be read here. The final selection on the test location will be made by the end of March 2011.
The Japanese citizens have been inundated with untold pain and suffering. It is unconscionable to expect the Japanese people to further risk themselves and their children, for corporate wealth, yet, that is exactly what the Japanese government, with support from the Canadian Government and other major greenhouse-gas emitting states are expecting:
- 26 December 2007, Bloomberg, Japan Mines 'Flammable Ice,' Flirts With Environmental Disaster: ''Fifty-five million years ago the world's climate was catastrophically changed when volcanoes melted natural gas frozen in the seabed. Now Japan plans to drill for the same icy crystals to end its reliance on imported energy ... A mass release of methane into the sea and the atmosphere is a risk for global warming ... Massive landslides at the ocean floor must be avoided when drilling at the Nankai Trough.''
- 27 September 2010, The Guardian, Japan to drill for controversial 'fire ice': "Concerns had been raised that digging for frozen methane would destabilise the methane beds, which contain enough gas worldwide to snuff out most complex life on earth ... Jogmec acknowledges the problems, admitting mining of methane ice could lead to landslides and the devastation of marine life in the mining areas."
- 3 October 2010, autobloggreen, Japan's trade ministry seeks $1b investment to drill for controversial methane hydrates: "There's a big risk involved, too. If the drilling is unsuccessful, some experts predict the attempt could destabilize the methane beds and trigger an environmental disaster of epic proportions. So, good luck!"
- 15-17 November 2010, International Symposium on Methane Hydrates Resources from Mallik to Nankai Trough: "The primary goal of the symposium will be to provide an overview of recent research achievements by Japan to characterize methane hydrate in the Nankai Trough area, and by Canada and Japan to quantify the production response of permafrost gas hydrate in the Mackenzie Delta."
In 2010, the Geological Society of America publishes a report: Massive methane release triggered by seafloor erosion offshore southwestern Japan. Their analysis is strikingly similar to the Storegga Slide, an event that resulted in a tsunami as high as 25 metres, as described in part II of this investigative report: ''We hypothesize that erosion of the seafloor via bottom-water currents unroofed buoyant hydrate-laden sediments and subhydrate overpressured free gas zones beneath the anticline. Once triggered, gas-driven erosion created a positive feedback mechanism, releasing gas and eroding hydrate-bearing sediment. We suggest that erosive currents in deep-water methane hydrate provinces act as hair triggers, destabilizing kilometer-scale swaths of the seafloor where large concentrations of underlying overpressured methane exist. Our analysis suggests that kilometer-scale degassing events are widespread, and that deep-water hydrate reservoirs can rapidly release methane in massive quantities.''
Kalev Leetaru, Senior Research Scientist for Content Analysis at the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science at the University of Illinois Coordinator of Information Technology and Coordinator of Information Technology and Research at the University of Illinois Cline Center for Democracy, is unequivocal in his paper titled Methane Hydrate: An Apocalyptic Panacea: ''In our never-ending search to quench our thirst for energy-producing resources, we could end up destroying our planet. This remote, but very real possibility is made all the more real by the global impact of methane, both in the explosive bursts it often triggers on its release, and as a greenhouse gas once it has been released into the atmosphere.''
On a side-note, scientists are planning to drill all the way through the planet's miles-thick crust to Earth's deep, hot mantle in order to retrieve samples for the first time by 2020.
Will we drill ourselves to death? It appears so. The tragedy is this - solar and wind have never been known to cause meltdowns, tsunamis, landslides, cancers or sickness. Yet we all know that a society which is self-sufficient is the greatest threat to the fossil fuel economy and current power structures that exist today. This system has been and will continue to be, protected at all costs. Human life is expendable whereas corporate profits, economic growth and quarterly gains have all become absolutely sacrosanct.
We are now past peak oil (International Energy Agency, 2006). This is leading to an investment drive for Arctic oil and gas, which holds 13 percent of the world's remaining oil and 30 percent of its gas. As conventional oil declines, the price of oil increases. Insatiable corporate lust for further profit results in dangerous high-risk drilling operations, while even the most expensive regions become economically viable.
Oil and gas corporations plan extensive drilling in the Arctic regions. In September 2010 a UK corporation, Cairn Energy, commenced drilling for oil in Greenland's Arctic waters. In January 2011, BP received approval to drill for oil off the Russian Arctic shelf.
Most revealing, on 16 March 2011, a US presidential commission charged with investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill issued recommendations for approval and regulating of oil drilling off the coast of Alaska.
Today: Arctic Feedback Time Bomb
“All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer
Above: Geographical reconstruction for the PETM from the PALEOMAP Project (www.scotese.com). Boxes indicate reconstructed surface temperature anomalies for the PETM relative to Paleocene background temperatures based on oxygen isotopes, Mg/Ca ratios and TEX86 (compiled by Appy Sluijs). The PETM was a mass ocean extinction event, characterized by ocean warming, ocean acidification and ocean anoxia. In 2006, a group of researchers found that during the PETM, tropical algae migrated into the Arctic Ocean when temperatures rose to 24ºC. A recent study in 2010 discovered that even though the Pliocene Epoch (5.3 to 2.6 million years ago) was approximately 19ºC warmer than today, CO2 levels were only slightly higher than they are today. 
Ocean Ice Meltdown + Permafrost Thaw + Venting Methane Hydrates + Tundra Warming/Nitrous Oxide = Arctic Methane Time Bomb.
Today's global warming of less than 1ºC has enabled the oceans to warm to the extent that the unimaginable has happened. The fuse has reached the Arctic methane hydrates, which are melting on the ocean floor. This single factor is the most dire emergency to all life on the planet today.
Detonating the Methane Time Bomb
If this time bomb is allowed to detonate, it will wipe out life on this planet.
Dr. Ira Leifer, researcher at the Marine Science Institute:"The Arctic has enough buried methane that a one percent release would quadruple global concentrations of atmospheric methane. That's the equivalent of increasing CO2 by a factor of ten.... It would be pretty close to the end of civilization as we know it, and this could happen. It doesn't mean it's going to happen … but we want people to be aware [of the possibility]." (In a follow-up communication from Ira Leifer, for clarification, he notes that a factor of 10 has huge uncertainties, that it would probably be something like that but worse. Methane (CH4) has the same forcing on a 20 year time scale (IPCC, 2007) as CO2, but does not overlap with water vapor bands, and is not saturated in its absorption bands, unlike CO2, hence increasing factor of 4 to factor of 10.)
Although governments have been targeting a 2ºC temperature rise – which would be cataclysmic – today (barring technologies to cool the planet and remove CO2 from the atmosphere safely) we are absolutely committed to at least a doubling of today's temperature increase (which is 0.8ºC) within a few decades. (The Ramanathan and Feng 2008 paper, based on GHG emissions alone (without feedbacks), demonstrates a 2.4ºC eventual warming if atmospheric greenhouse gas forcing continues at today's levels: "Lastly, even the most aggressive CO2 mitigation steps as envisioned now can only limit further additions to the committed warming, but not reduce the already committed GHGs warming of 2.4°C.") This paper cites a risk range of up to 4.3°C as the commitment.
All the components for the runaway scenario that James Hansen speaks of are now operant at 0.8ºC. Abrupt runaway warming adding an additional 1ºC per year is a possibility that could start anytime. This understanding comes from ice core studies of the Younger Dryas abrupt global temperature change event. The end of the Younger Dryas, about 11,500 years ago, was particularly abrupt. In Greenland, temperatures rose 10°C (18°F) in a decade or less.
Acknowledging that this rate of warming can occur from an ice age low, as terrifying as it is, is most critical to our understanding of abrupt, non-linear climate change. With the precautionary principle in mind, we must assume that such a non-linear response is more likely today than in the past, due to the continued pouring of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during an already warm period (Shakhova et al., Extensive Methane Venting to the Atmosphere from Sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf).
The Arctic Shelf is, in fact, already perforated. This means it has already reached – or gone beyond – the thaw point. The large underwater permafrost "lid" over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, specifically, is perforated and methane continues to escape into the atmosphere (Shakhova et al.). This may cause a 12-times increase of the modern atmospheric methane burden with consequent catastrophic greenhouse warming. In 2008, Shakhova and Semiletov warned that it is "highly possible for abrupt release at any time." These findings represent the closest humanity has ever approached to a literal doomsday scenario. Venting methane represents the single most catastrophically dangerous effect of global warming to all life on Earth.
In addition to ocean warming, Shakhova is of the belief that there are other factors also contributing to the melting of the hydrates, for example, the flow from rivers. 
The rise in the atmospheric concentration of methane had stabilized since year 2000, however, since 2006 it has been increasing again. Climate scientists have determined that these methane emissions are carbon feedback, meaning, the warming of the planet is causing the planet to emit more methane.
Methane carbon feedbacks place us firmly on the brink of runaway global warming and climate disruption. The most feared effect of global warming has commenced. Methane carbon feedbacks are adding to the heat radiation of global warming by increasing the atmospheric methane concentration. Furthermore, the increase in the concentration of atmospheric methane continues to accelerate. The release of methane into the atmosphere is the greatest threat to date in the realm of our current climate emergency. Yet, scientists, in general, have been remarkably silent on even this issue, the gravest of risks. Some scientists have now taken the position that they cannot make any claims that this is a "new" threat without knowing whether the methane hydrate emissions are new or not. However, this position makes no difference to our plight and perhaps even makes the threat worse, as methane gas escaping from methane hydrates today will increase, most likely rapidly, as the global temperature increases.
250 Plumes of Dire Warning
Sonar data from the West Svalbard continental margin recorded in 2008 have shown the presence of methane bubbles emanating from the seabed up-slope, from the upper limit of the methane hydrate stability zone. In the same area, the ocean has warmed by 1°C during the last 30 years. In 2009, it was discovered that 250 plumes of methane gas bubbles had erupted from the seabed off the West Svalbard continental margin (Westbrook et al.). Ronald Cohen of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, says it is a striking result: "What's amazing is that they see such enormous quantities of methane."
The methane being released from hydrates in the 600-square-kilometre area studied likely adds up to 27 kilotonnes a year, which suggests the entire hydrate deposit around Svalbard could be releasing 20 megatonnes a year. If this process becomes widespread along Arctic continental margins, tens of teragrams of methane per year could be released into the ocean. At present, most of the methane reacts with the oxygen in the water to form carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas. In sea water, this forms carbonic acid, which adds to further ocean acidification. The Arctic ocean water is acidifying rapidly. Research indicates that 10% of the Arctic Ocean will be corrosively acidic by 2018; 50% by 2050; and 100% by 2100. In October 2009, Professor Jean-Pierre Gattuso, of France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, said: "Over the whole planet, there will be a threefold increase in the average acidity of the oceans, which is unprecedented during the past 20 million years." To date, almost none of the Arctic (or anywhere else) has been surveyed in a way that might detect methane releases like the Svalbard releases.
Two things are certain: the two shelves – the East Siberian Arctic Shelf and the West Svalbard continental shelf – are in motion to emit a massive amount of methane; and the IPCC has omitted methane feedbacks, the most dangerous aspect of climate change, from reports and models.
Shakhova's studies have been critical in understanding the dire urgency we have before us. Prior to Shakhova's findings, scientists long feared that this scenario could happen, generating huge positive feedbacks in the enhanced greenhouse effect from GHG emissions, but assumed methane escaping into the atmosphere was not a possibility for at least another century. This delay-in-release theory, now proven to be mistaken, was based upon scientists' assumptions and their models with minimal evidence. This is just one example of why we must stop modelling when we are already acutely aware we are in the greatest emergency our species has ever faced. Models, based on future predictions (which have already proven to be dangerous, optimistic and incorrect – minimizing our sense of an emergency), enable a society and state governments to deny our current reality, effectively eradicating humanity's possibility for survival.
Sergei Zimov, a scientist studying climate change in Russia's Arctic for 30 years, fears that as the permafrost thaws and as the organic matter in it becomes exposed to the air, global warming predictions will have to be drastically accelerated, even beyond some of the most pessimistic forecasts. Zimov: The thawing permafrost "will lead to a type of global warming which will be impossible to stop…. The deposits of organic matter in these soils are so gigantic that they dwarf global oil reserves." Zimov continues: "US government statistics show mankind emits about 7 billion tons of carbon a year. Permafrost areas hold 500 billion tons of carbon, which can fast turn into greenhouse gases…. If you don't stop emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere ... the Kyoto Protocol (an international pact aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions) will seem like childish prattle."
The video below, filmed in January 2008, shows thin ice overlying the methane seep at Atqasuk, which is bubbling like boiling water. (2010: 2:43)
It is critical to reiterate how abrupt shifts in climate can occur in very short timescales. Ice core evidence is key. Greenland ice core records show that during the last glacial stage (100,000 – 11,500 years ago) the temperature there alternately warmed and cooled several times by more than 10ºC. This was accompanied by major climate change around the northern hemisphere, felt particularly strongly in the North Atlantic region. Each warm and cold episode took just a few decades to develop.
Most of Earth's extinction events have now been linked to extreme climate changes and for most of these extinction events, methane hydrates have been cited as playing a role. Today, we CAN reduce our CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, whereas we WILL NOT BE ABLE TO reduce methane emissions once they begin to accelerate once they begin to accelerate from carbon feedback. Such massive natural forces will take over and change our world and be absolutely out of our control. Such an event will initially likely result in the melting of the Antarctic icecap, which would raise sea levels by 50 metres, as well as, completely change the climates of the world.
It is therefore beyond obvious that today's 0.8ºC temperature rise is ALREADY too high to keep the Arctic permafrost safe. Therefore, in order to avoid the possible catastrophic methane feedback that could be imminent, we must prepare to cool down the planet immediately, instead of continuing to aim for a deadly 2ºC target – recently revised upwards by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research from a dangerous level to an extremely dangerous level.
In the following video titled Methane Hydrates: Natural Hazard or Natural Resource? (2008 | 53:08) Renowned geochemist Miriam Kastner discusses whether or not methane hydrates are a hazard to climate change. 19:20 into the video Kastner shows fascinating film footage which clearly demonstrates the extreme instability of hydrates. Ultimately, melting and venting hydrates will, on our current emissions path, prove to be deadly. Ultimately, drilling hydrates to burn further gas will also prove to be deadly. The only solution is to declare a planetary state of emergency – to stop burning all fossil fuels.
Compromised Science | Serving the Propaganda Machine
"It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it." — Upton Sinclair
The role of scientists in explaining the implications of non-decision is critical, yet scientists have been remarkably reticent to publicly criticize what they have privately slammed as totally unacceptable and inadequate targets. The few scientists who are vocal run the risk of being effectively ignored, ridiculed or silenced due to corporate-controlled media and the psychological manipulation of society.
11 January 2011: In an interview with Dr. Peter Carter, a founding director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Carter accurately conveys our dire reality: "Tragically, with few noted individual exceptions (such as John Holdren, James Hansen, Hans Shellnhuber, Kevin Anderson, Andrew Glikson), the climate scientists, and all the science organizations, are sticking to their policy of what is, in effect, dangerous climate change denial. They avoid talking 'dangerous climate change' or warning of climate catastrophe. To eradicate any doubt on accelerating climate dangers, climate scientists would have to say and explain how today's unavoidable amount and duration of global warming, climate disruption, and ocean acidification are now catastrophically dangerous to our survival and to most of life."
Carter continues: "According to Stephen Schneider, 'The IPCC does not determine risks and does not define what would constitute dangerous interference with the climate system. The IPCC says that defining the dangerous climate change is a value judgment that only the policymakers can make.' (The late Stephen Schneider's website is here and he discusses the issue in this paper.) The scientists in general are sticking to this policy. National and international climate policy discussions are being based formally on the absurd assumption that dangerous climate interference is still some time in the future that can still be avoided, so there is no emergency. James Hansen asked the climate scientists to support his 2008 public statement that 'We really have reached a point of a planetary emergency,' but none have. With no prospect of rapid drastic emissions reductions, we all need to be most gravely concerned for the future of humanity and all life. We need climate scientists to understand that public and formal silence on the catastrophic climate change dangers (or risks) to the huge, most-vulnerable human populations, to the future of civilization and to humanity is, in effect, a powerful value judgement."
It is beyond reckless for scientists to continue to insist on, thus wait for, absolute proof. Society must not accept this. Rather, we must demand action based on the risk of unparalleled magnitude, which embraces the precautionary principle. We continue to ignore methane in the same way that world governments and scientists continue to ignore the global food security crisis we will face if temperatures are allowed to further increase.
The universally recognized risk science formula is Risk = Probability x Magnitude. This is a precautionary formula when it comes to large damaging magnitudes.
The IPCC assesses probability for the policy makers, but does not include magnitude. To make matters worse, the probability results are derived from computer models invented by the climate scientists. The probability, is in fact, only as reliable as the models, and the data fed into the models. The models are all experimental – the computer runs are called experiments.
Therefore global heating due to methane hydrate presents a massive risk of planetary catastrophe – today. We are in an abrupt global greenhouse gas heating event right now, with the atmospheric concentration of global warming greenhouse gases being increased thousands of times faster than any previous heating event in the history of planet Earth. By waiting for "absolute" proof, we are effectively guaranteeing that we will have no chance in hell at preventing runaway climate change once these irreversible feedbacks are fully operation. To wait until these feedbacks are ABSOLUTELY underway just so we can say there is no scientific "uncertainty" is nothing less than progenycidal negligence.
Imagine if you will, that it is 1 a.m. You are awake in your home. You look outside only to see, to your horror, that your neighbour's house is on fire. Maybe they are sleeping – should you wake them up? Maybe they are enjoying a glass of wine and would rather not be disturbed. What should you do? What if they don't have any house insurance? Should you wait until the next day and check with them first? What if their children become frightened by the fire? You don’t know with 100% certainty that it will keep burning. It may go out on its own. Maybe it's best not to tell them. Of course this is ridiculous. You would call the emergency number immediately because you recognized an emergency. So why are we not screaming "Emergency!" at the top of our lungs, when our entire planet is burning up and all of our children are in it?
All of the climate change assessment projections are based on computer models developed by climate science modellers. If the models lack reliable data the projections cannot be relied on. All of the model results have wide ranges of uncertainty. The 2007 IPCC Report used the statistical mean of these wide ranges of results, up to the boundary of a 90 percent ‘confidence level’. The range is assumed to achieve practically full scientific certainty, however, a wide range has to mean a high level of uncertainty. This clever playing with numbers practice is in violation of the precautionary principle (adopted by the UNFCCC in 1992) which affirms that where there is a threat of climate change, the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent the threat. Had the IPCC respected this principle from the adoption and onset, they would have explicitly considered risks of higher temperatures and greater impacts above the mean, up to and outside the boundary of a 90 percent confidence level. They would have explicitly considered, thus included, dynamical melting of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets, and non–linear responses to drivers of climate change. This would have provided the world a far more accurate measure of the climate crisis, a crisis allowed to escalate into the emergency situation that we now find ourselves in today.
The Earth's temperature has increased 0.8ºC. While CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased 34 percent, methane gas concentrations have skyrocketed – increasing a staggering 158 percent. Yet, the scientists essentially disregard methane as a major issue. Couple this with the fact that methane is 72 to 100 times more heat trapping than CO2 in the short term and the phrase "don't scare the horses" comes to mind.
The climate system turns out to be far more sensitive than the IPCC has assumed for their global temperature projection models and their global climate change assessment. All of the climate change assessment depends on the value calculated and used for the ‘climate sensitivity’. The climate sensitivity is provided from the results of computer models. All of the models give an immense range - particularly for the upper most sensitive range.
19 October 2010, Rolf Schuttenhelm: "Climate sensitivity is a term used for the expected atmospheric temperature rise for a doubling of CO2 concentrations. Combining all the relevant atmospheric research published up to the end of 2004, the IPCC in its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (WG1, chapter 2) reached the conclusion climate sensitivity would be between 2 and 4.5 degrees Centigrade, with a 3C rise as ‘best estimate’. World leading climate researchers of NASA (James Hansen) and for instance the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Hans Joachim Schellnhuber) have since argued true sensitivity could be twice as high when including slow climate feedbacks, like Arctic methane, deep-sea methane or increased biodegradation of ecosystems, leading to further CO2 emissions, all following an initial (industrial) CO2 induced temperature rise. These slow feedbacks lead to the runaway warming scenarios with exponential damage. Somewhere over the climate politics-filled years of 2008 and 2009 the world lost track of the basics of climate science. While the new insights and publications on slow-acting climate feedbacks were worrisome to many – others hoped for comfort in denying the basic triggering factor, the climate effects of high anthropogenic CO2 emissions, mostly due to the abundant use of fossil fuels. Although the IPCC report clearly mentions fast-acting climate feedbacks, like water vapour and ice albedo, as important contributors to expected temperature rises, somehow we allowed a flawed focus to develop on the molecule of CO2 itself. Meanwhile we risk losing focus on the slow climate feedbacks. If new climate research proves the findings (‘adding slow feedbacks creates another doubling of warming’ -> 6 degrees (PDF)) of people like Hansen and Schellnhuber right, then communicators of climate science should really consider to once again extent the definition of true climate sensitivity – or establish a new term that clearly includes the (long-term) CO2-temperature responses of other Earth systems than solely the atmosphere, like oceans and terrestrial biosphere. "Amongst the most obvious of climate change facts is that abrupt greenhouse gas heat energy situation is happening today, yet scientists are currently doing research into the "probability of abrupt climate change." If this is not a complete reflection of our self delusion and denialism – I'm not certain what is. Just consider the well known IPCC 10,000 year graphs of temperature and radiative forcing. The increase in today's temperature, CO2 and methane is a vertical line. This abrupt rate of heating has never happened before – indeed we are warming over 10 times faster than the ice core record, and this is will become 25 times faster by 2100. Greenhouse gas levels now exceed anything seen over the past 800,000 years or more. Scientists, after telling us for decades we must adapt to a catastrophic 2ºC, are now producing papers on how we will have to adapt to 4ºC.
This is modeling madness. By doing this the scientists are exposing humanity to a huge risk of global climate catastrophe. This madness is effectively preventing any possibility of an emergency climate response. Modelling for future catastrophe, is effectively distracting us from the climate emergency we face, dead on, today. Further madness has made its presence known. As methane hydrate melting and venting accelerates – securing our path to extinction – scientists have now begun to do modelling on the hydrates.
Recently, it appears that leading methane scientists, who have been instrumental in sounding the methane alarm (based on their observations that the warming Arctic is driving the thaw and methane venting due to anthropogenic climate change), are being pressured by other scientists to provide "absolute proof" that the thaw and venting have not been occurring for reasons other than human-made warming. If my daughter is pushed off the playground equipment, causing a broken arm – her arm needs a cast. Urgently. It makes no difference who pushed her.
Given the unparalleled enormous risks, the precautionary principle should certainly take precedence. The risk formula can be applied for such a colossal catastrophic impact, even when there is too little data to calculate a reliable probability.
The grim reality coupled with common sense tells us unequivocally that the Arctic temperature is only going one way – upward. Therefore, at some point it will hit the thaw point (if it has not done so already) and no modeling is necessary to understand this simple fact.
"Catastrophic emissions cannot be ruled out." That is a main statement when pouring over scientific papers on methane. It reads like a disclaimer along with the cautious language of possible, could, and other select language that allows us to continue denying our reality. Today, the majority of published climate science is all framed to allow the fossil fuel industry to not only survive, but continue growing and globalizing.
When reviewing scientific papers, one cannot find any references that address the absolute necessity of stopping fossil fuel combustion. The most important component of stabilizing our planet's climate simply is not addressed. It is both revealing and ominous that proponents of the exploitation, which includes scientists, are suggesting that we now have to extract the methane to make the hydrates safe. Extracting the methane is unavoidably dangerous as this would depressurize the local environment. The gas extracted from the methane hydrates will be burned to drive the fossil fuel world economy – emitting huge amounts of CO2 in the process. All of the IPCC scenarios currently used, accept that our world economies are dependent and locked into fossil fuels - thereby legitimizing the fossil fuel industry.
In the past, IPCC scenarios consisted of two varying extents: i) some areas in which the world was dependent on fossil fuel for energy, and ii) a scenario (A1T) that was essentially non fossil fuel-based (as found in the 1992 IPCC assessment). One must wonder when the A1T scenario disappeared. We can safely assume why. It's not so difficult to control the information. It takes only one phone call from a CEO at the controls of a billion-dollar fossil fuel corporation to blacklist a research scientist, an institute or a university for corporate funding.
Don't Alarm the Public
"The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed but the vast majority who sat idly by." — Martin Luther King Jr.
If we wait for "100% certainty" in the midst of a planetary emergency, we are dead. But why this "don't scare the horses" approach when faced with the greatest threat to life on Earth?
i) Both scientists and NGOs wrap themselves in a blanket of denial in order to protect the current economic system.
ii) Both scientists and NGOs are fearful of climate sceptics.
iii) Both scientists and NGOs protect their funding sources at all costs.
iv) The false belief that technology will save us.
The end result is that the entire global civil society is being kept in the dark. As the scientists hide behind the claim they cannot define what constitutes dangerous atmospheric interference with the climate system as that is a value judgment only civil society can make, powerful NGOs, who (falsely) claim to speak for civil society are completely silent in order to protect their powerful brands and incoming funding. These actions are both incomprehensible and inexcusable; only a massive mobilization at breakneck speed towards a zero carbon society can possibly avert a cataclysmic mass-extinction event. The question is – who, if anyone, is going to tell the world the truth?
The Seafloor is Teeming with Recently Discovered Life – A Vital Component of Earth’s Carbon Cycle that Governs Climate
“Deep in the mud and slime of things, even there, something sings.” – author unknown
Only recently have scientists discovered that nearly one third of all life on Earth consists of microbes living under the seafloor in a dark world without oxygen.  And only recently was it discovered that the seafloor methane cycle, run by microbes, is that of a critical loop in the Earth's carbon cycle that governs our climate. This vital discovery remains unknown to the vast majority of citizens.
Killer in our Midst: "As scientists have continued their investigations of the Archaea, they have made some stunning discoveries. Unknown and unsuspected until just two decades ago, archaeans turn out to be major, if not dominant, constituents of the biota of oceans and soils, and significant contributors to essential biochemical processes therein. In both oceans and soils, archaeans oxidize ammonia, a critical step in the production of biologically usable nitrogen compounds (a process called nitrogen fixation). It used to be thought that this process was carried on solely by bacteria, but it is now known that archaea oxidize tens to hundreds – and, in some situations, perhaps thousands – of times more ammonia than bacteria (Leininger, 2006; Wuchter, 2006). 'Higher' plants, like photosynthesizing land plants, cannot accomplish this task on their own, and are completely dependent on microbes to provide them with this essential nutrient. In the oceans, it has been discovered, Crenarcheota 'are the most abundant single group of prokaryotes' (Wuchter, 2006)."
A tiny fraction of all the methane that is created bubbles up from the seafloor at cold seeps. Under normal conditions most of the methane never makes it into the water. Rather, it is eaten by other species of archaea, which in turn supply energy to microbial partners: bacteria that can reduce sulfate in the mud to hydrogen sulfide. It is this compound that provides food for the clams, tube worms, and other animals that cluster around cold seeps on the seafloor. This consortium has been discovered everywhere researchers have looked, including a mud volcano in the Arctic Ocean, and at cold seeps and hydrate mounds in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2002 in a crater off the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 10,000 feet down, a team discovered a magnificent cold seep with a vast field of clams and mussels, blue shrimp, purple sea cucumbers, and six-foot-long tube worms growing in bushes next to mounds of gas hydrate. The microbes were found here in the mud also. The microbe consortiums are at the base of the food chain for these incredible seafloor oases. In the Black Sea, on the other hand, the consortium is the food chain. The mats on this seafloor are a thick interwoven patchwork of methane-eating archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria.
Imagine an Earth where these microorganisms didn't exist. All the methane that is now being converted to carbonate and biomass would, instead, be bubbling freely up from the seafloor – everywhere.
While we all understand how our Earth would be a completely different planet if not for the existence of plants, we neglect to understand what exists that keeps Earth from having a methane atmosphere.
The existence of the deep biosphere has been established. And it remains an astonishing paradox. The energy requirements necessary to simply stay alive are much higher than the energy these microorganisms have. The secret may be their incredible slowness. Unbelievably they are dividing only every thousand, ten thousand and hundred thousand years. Scientists suggest that the microbes living under the seafloor today might have survived the growth and division of our continents as well as the opening and closing of Earth's vast oceans. While humans race to their own extinction, these living creatures bear witness to our planet's evolution over billions of years – living in time with our planet's deepest, slowest rhythms. They have been living almost like rock, which is exactly what made these little creatures so easy to miss. They have always been there, buried in Earth's deepest past, but only recently have scientists uncovered their humble presence.
Seafloor mud is alive. It is powerful. It is grossly underestimated. 
A seafloor ecosystem alive with microbes who vigilantly control the planet's methane cycle must be considered an essential and most significant component of our planet's natural mechanisms that have allowed life to evolve. Surely an intelligent society would respect and protect such a vital and key living element of our carbon cycle – rather than risk destroying it with drilling. There is an entire world that exists that we know nothing about. We have only just discovered this cycle within an ecosystem that has existed for perhaps billions of years. Yet we understand little about it, beyond the fact that this system contributes to a cycle that allows life to exist. We do know that this fascinating cycle is also extremely unstable. Only a short-sighted, delusional and narcissistic culture would believe they can dominate nature without severe consequences. Everything is connected.
Listen carefully to the following video (2010 | 1:19) from the UNEP Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates Project (as covered in part II) featuring Tina Treude, a Biological Oceanographer from IFM-GEOMAR. At the end of the video, Treude states "Then at some point maybe there will be not ... not enough methane available for these communities, so that's something we should think about, whether exploitation of gas hydrates could, at the end ... kind of, yeah ... turn off the mechanism that is driving these communities."
Renowned oceanographer, Ian MacDonald, states that "the ecosystem depends on these kinds of organisms, and if you start wiping them out, you don't know what happens." Macdonald stresses the ominous predicament that many other ecologists recognize – that the entire service model is flawed. Macdonald believes that even if it was proven that ocean life such as tube worms and brittle stars "do nothing" for people, "they have their own intrinsic value – it matters that these organisms are healthy or not healthy." The world needs scientists like MacDonald.
“How do we stop the abusers who perpetrate a perpetual-growth economy? Seeing oiled pelicans and burned sea turtles won’t move them to stop. Nor will hundred-degree days in Moscow. We can’t stop them by making them feel guilty. We can’t stop them by appealing to them to do the right thing. The only way to stop them is to make it so they have no other choice.” - by Derrick Jensen, Orion
So what would an intelligent global society do? We should, with both extreme caution and the utmost urgency, undertake everything that is absolutely necessary if we don't want to risk starting the sequence of events described above. To do this we must reduce total CO2 emissions from now onwards – at breakneck speed - until we reach virtual zero / negative CO2. In addition, we must take measures to protect carbon sinks such as the Amazon rainforest. If we continue to burn fossil fuels, we will be securing an unstoppable methane-fuelled runaway global warming event within the foreseeable future. Only major absolute reductions in CO2 emissions NOW will avoid this risk. The highest greenhouse gas-emitting developed states, including the US, Canada and Australia, have mere years to reach zero emissions if the world is to avoid an extremely dangerous catastrophic rise of 2ºC. Yet we know states have no plans to stop fossil fuel extraction, production and use and only plans to further expand their fossil fuel industries.
Outside of abolishing corporate personhoods (which will not happen as corporations now control most all governments), we have few examples of societies protecting themselves from corporate ecocide and genocide. However, we do have some examples, such as the Coconut Revolution. The award-winning documentary The Coconut Revolution tells the story of the remarkable victory of Bougainville, a tiny Pacific island community who were forced to defend their lives, their land and their children against western colonial power – the giant mining corporation Rio Tinto Zinc. Despite a military occupation and blockade, the citizens of the island won. This could be considered the world's first eco-revolution, and a good-versus-evil story of the 21st century.
Such revolutions may sound radical today to those still clinging to the illusions that brilliantly distract us, but as repression sets in and food becomes scarce, as rights and freedoms continue to be abolished, such revolutions are certain to be our future.
Greenhouse gas pollution caused by a global fossil fuel economy is now the greatest ever crime against humanity, against all life and against Earth herself. Those who are complicit in keeping the truth hidden from global society are also complicit in the most severe human rights violations and potential genocide. Scientists, governments and civil society NGOs who knowingly choose not to declare that we are beyond dangerous interference with the climate system and who choose not to declare a planetary emergency are clearly complicit.
In the end, destroying our own habitat to protect a global economy that serves few – on the backs of many – has brought us to precipices on several fronts. This has been possible because delusional psychopathic tendencies are allowed to proceed unchecked. Recently, the technology of digital photography destroyed the billion dollar industry of film processing almost overnight. With it, the market for silver crashed. But again, no problem – corporations created a new market for silver in the form of nanoparticles, which are now dangerously being pumped into our food, bodies and ecosystems. Why leave anything in the ground when you can rape, pillage and sell it? Don't need it? Create a market for it. Just call the TckTckTck creator Havas – they will help you. The insatiable quest for corporate profits has become full-blown pathological and suicidal. To save humanity, the corporations must be destroyed. The only question is how.
While We Sleep | Corporate Greed – How to Create a Market
“If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves."- Howard Zinn
In the 1980s and 90s, silver recycling was initiated in local industries (with the passage and implementation of environmental legislation such as the Clean Water Act in the USA in 1972) and the use of silver in photography declined in a massive way due to the advent of digital photography. Recognizing that no single approach could rival the popularity of photography, in order to revive the failing market of silver, the challenge was to create a diversity – ultimately hundreds of dispersive products. These products, containing the nanoparticle (literally meaning billion; one billionth of a metre in size), would go untested for safety.
Above graphs: The silver market, 1981 -1990 and 2000-2009
Mission accomplished, the market entry of antibacterial soaps alone was explosive. Nanosilver doesn't distinguish between good bacteria and bad – rather it kills all bacteria (even essential bacteria that both humans and other animals depend upon), therefore a stealth psychological advertising campaign was key. A brilliant clusterfuck campaign was designed and framed around the subtle, underlying message of fear – fear of germs. And in reality, a campaign designed to instill fear in people – essentially fear of themselves and each other – is nothing less than brilliant. Couple this onslaught with corporate media blitzes of virus outbreaks and flus and you have created a money-printing enterprise that would make the corporate-owned Federal Reserve blush. As our shopping malls and other places of worship installed "antibacterial stations," we entered into a new realm of danger. Indeed we are playing with fire, at a time when anti-bacterial resistance is an ever increasing global medical problem.
Bloomberg Business Week, 2008: "Now it's time to start cashing in." Bloomberg reports that throughout 2005, companies large and small will be rushing more nano-based products from labs to the marketplace. Bloomberg further reports that consumers will encounter nanotechnology in the form of nick-proof trims on Hummers, Wilson tennis racquets with extra pop, even golf balls designed to fly straight.
Today, concentration of silver in aquatic systems has declined (in the developed world) as waterways struggle to recover from high levels of silver introduced by the photography industry during the twentieth century. Environmental studies have shown that many aquatic organisms were only able to survive in natural waters after the silver concentration decreased. Today, silver nanoparticle products, such as antibacterial soaps, result in highly toxic levels of silver being reintroduced into rivers and lakes through water treatment facilities. To protect and ensure corporate profits (projected annual market of approximately one trillion dollars by 2015), the vast environmental problems including health and waste are externalized onto the people. Today we have the most vulnerable peoples in the world mining silver in order to produce golf balls that fly straight, antibacterial socks, toys and hundreds of other items we have never needed in the latest corporate greed game of Russian roulette.
Looking at the present situation in which our self-described "brilliant and educated" western world finds itself, it is safe to say that science has contributed far more damage to our collective society than it has benefits. As the trained masochists we are, instead of rejecting it, we beg for more. The big winners are the corporations and the big losers, as always, are the environment and life itself. We are the rats they test on and the proles programmed to buy what poisons us. Although nanosilver is a pesticide and therefore should undergo the rigorous and extensive testing process involved in registering a pesticide (as well as carry a pesticide label), not surprisingly, Nanotechnology Industries Association and other trade groups insist that nanosilver is antimicrobial (that it goes after germs) and is not a pesticide.
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" - George Orwell
Crimestop is a Newspeak term taken from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. It means to rid oneself of unwanted thoughts, i.e., thoughts that interfere with the ideology of the Party. This way, a person avoids committing thoughtcrime. Orwell: "Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."
Crimestop, coupled with our ignorance and disrespect for a planet that graciously sustains us, apparently knows no bounds.
Blinded by greed and addiction to fossil fuel energy, the delusional are willing to stop at nothing to further drill and rape our Earth as the masses march naïvely yet obediently to their death.
Will we proceed? Are we ready to smash our TVs and start living? Consider the recent quote by Professor Kevin Anderson, of the Tyndall Centre:
"Climate negotiations continue to be informed by the astrological view, where – through either ignorance or a desire to save face – it is assumed the problem will be the same next year as this. The science, however, tells a very different story. Next year, the problem will have become worse – as it has done each and every day that we have failed to reduce emissions since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The difficulty with the science is that it lays bare the inadequacy of our favoured response to climate change.... is it therefore not time for those of us who work in climate change to refrain from finessing our analysis, and instead be as blunt and direct publicly as we are prepared to be privately?"
Fuck Patience. [at END:CIV]
Life or death? You choose.
Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur
References | Part IV:
 Additional anthropogenic GHG forcing and methane emission threaten conditions approaching those of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) 56 Ma, when the eruption of some 1500 GtC (Sluijis et al, 2007), inferred from low d13C values (–2–3% @ 13°C), this resulted in global warming of approximately 6°C, development of subtropical conditions in the Arctic circle (sea temperatures 18–23°C — Sluijis et al, 2007), ocean acidification and mass extinction of 30–35% of benthic plankton. The recent history of the atmosphere, and the presence of thousands of GtC in metastable methane hydrates, clathrates and permafrost, suggests a CO2 trajectory toward 550 or 650 ppm, as projected by Anderson and Bowes (2008), which may lead toward mass extinction of species and breakdown of global civilization (Stipp, 2004). According to the World Conservation Union (2007): “Extinction rates based on known extinctions of birds, mammals and amphibians over the past 100 years indicates that current extinction rates are 50 to 500 times higher than extinction rates in the fossil record.” It has been estimated that continuation of carbon emissions in a “Business as usual” scenario will result in global warming of 3°C over the twenty-first century, eliminating a majority (60%) of species on the planet (Flannery, 2005; Hansen et al,2006). Scientists suggest another cause of mid-Pliocene warm period was a lower height of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge.
 D Nicolsky and N Shakhova, Modeling sub-sea permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf: the Dmitry Laptev Strait: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/1/015006/
 "In 1977, scientists made a stunning discovery on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean that forever changed our understanding of our planet and life on it. They discovered the first deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and—to their complete surprise—a lush community of exotic life thriving around them. Rather than photosynthetic plants, the base of the hydrothermal vent food chain starts with chemosynthetic microorganisms that use sulfur and methane (both of which are poisonous to oxygen-breathing animals) to convert carbon dioxide into organic material. Among these microorganisms are hyperthermophilic (super heat-loving) Archaea, which thrive at temperatures as high as 113š C (235š F). Archaea have now been recognized as a completely separate kingdom of life—as genetically different from bacteria as bacteria are from trees. Archaea means "ancient ones," and scientists suspect they developed early in the history of the Earth. "Discovery of the hydrothermal vent communities is one of the most exciting developments in oceanography in the past 50 years," adds JimYoder, director of NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences." | Source: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12458&tid=282&cid=942
 In 2004, Robert Kunzig guides us through the incredible discovery of Archaea in an article titled 20,000 Microbes Under the Sea: In 1999, biogeochemist Antje Boetius was researching sediments (taken from the Hydrate Ridge) which were loaded with a methane eater. The methane eater was not a bacterium at all, rather it was a species of Archaea, an ancient group of microbes that diverged from bacteria billions of years ago. These microbes are as distinct from bacteria today, genetically speaking, as humans are. The discovery: Boetius was attempting to count the archaea and sulfate reducers (bacteria), to determine how many there were in her sediment samples. The cells were clumped together which made the task most difficult. She then noticed the clusters of archaea and the clusters of sulfate reducers in a very strange shape. The archaea looked like clumps – lots of cells together whereas the sulfate reducers were like shells, a circle of sulfate reducers with nothing in the middle. Then it struck her. The sulfate reducers were stuck to the archaea, forming a shell around them. The idea of a microbial consortium was compelling. Researchers later performed the same experiment that had been done so many times in vain – the injection of methane into the sediment. However, this time it vanished with sulfide appearing in its place. Each clump contained hundreds of cells. There were about 900 million clumps in every ounce of sediment at Hydrate Ridge. The archaea found in these clumps were close relatives of the archaea that further down the seabed (one quarter to a half mile down). These are the archaea that produce the methane in the first place. While the ‘methane makers’ assemble the gas (from hydrogen and carbon dioxide), the ‘methane eaters’ do something like the reverse – however, not quite, as they do not appear to give off hydrogen. In a way that remains unclear (as of 2004) they pass energy onto the sulfate reducers that surround them. What the archaea get in return is also not clear. There was found to be a delicate interaction that scientists did not understand.
A Killer in Our Midst | http://www.killerinourmidst.com/
Only Zero Carbon | http://www.onlyzerocarbon.org/
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