Friday 20 January 2012

"Hold up! Buried Treasure!"

(a garbage collector overheard in the alley).
Should have been called: Roots in the Energy Drain.
Up, Down, Appendices, Postscript.

Alberto Benett.BBB
Attention: This program will violently insult your intelligence.

What intelligence?

You have to know that BBB is 'Big Brother Brazil', a bourgeois-porn TV reality show in which lovely young people live in a 'mansion' together; flirt, feel & fuck (sometimes, just off-camera); and then get voted out of the plastic Eden one-by-one. (Ho hum.)

[Original from Alberto Benett Charges – Ideias – Esboços – Rabiscos. This site merits a word or two of praise - he not only publishes cartoons as they have appeared in various newspapers, but sketches too - if you look carefully you can see something of his process.]

A guy I know, good person, university graduate ... so (partly) in jest I offered him $100 to read the last blog post and make a comment. He replied (by email), "I haven't read all of this because it is just messy for me the blog post, and I can't really focus on the blog post. The other problem is that some of the words you are using is above my heads. Do you want me to post my comments here or on your blog?" A rich vein to mine for meaning ... some (other) when.

[Oh right. I'm supposed to respond to that? Because I like and even admire this fellow? Sorry but I really am an asshole I guess.]

Oh, you must turn it into something beautiful, but conventionally beautiful, demonstrable; it cannot be love, it must be only proofs.

Someone somewhere, an editor, a marketeer, has got this all figgured out: knows about literacy levels in k-k-Canada; knows close to precisely how many copies of a certain book will sell; can quote from memory how many copies of Ethical Oil have sold so far and what the curve looks like - how many will be remaindered, how many of Requiem for a Species, and of this latest one I have been 'hypeing' - Our Dying Planet.

Things that go 'bump' in the night:

Wikipedia SOPA protest.Wikipedia SOPA protest.Google US SOPA whimper.Google Canada nothing!Demonoid SOPA protest.I guess I just do not see the leverage? The money comes from ads right? And Internet access fees. And the idea that this kind of protest is going to change anything much doesn't quite compute.

No matter how you cut it, sliced diced or julienned, thievery is thievery and hypocrisy is an energy drain. (You did note that the last image there is from Demonoid right?)

Google - reported?Images like this are floating around. I didn't see anything like it.

SOPA is 'Stop Online Piracy Act' and PIPA is 'Protect IP Act'; some details here.

#2 - Keystone XL (?)

Aislin."A Good Call" says the NYT below, and for a moment I wonder if they have now got Billy-We-Won McKibben writing their editorials - but it covers most of the ground, so just the headline is bogus. Enough angles and spin-vectors to bring on vertigo - almost exclusively irrelevant. The pundits go on and on and on - better to go to the source, here is the 'Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline' below (not that he says anything except to repeat the phrase "the health and safety of the American people" twice in what? 250 words?).

More and more often I see an image of our Barack that reminds me of Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray - in fact, they all do; here, watch this wee video of Joe Oliver from the Guardian (original here). Why does he have to look at his notes so closely to get out a 25 second sound byte?

"Thousands upon thousands of jobs ..." he says, but it seems to me he is primarily concerned with his own (in several senses).

#3 - A disconnect in the dead zone.

Baltic Sea map with scale.Baltic Sea algae blooms, 2010.Baltic Sea algae blooms, 2010.Harnessing the energy of the dead zones! It conjures up visions in green and yellow of designer GMO algae - one species per polymer in a giant machine with some kind of rotary dial on the front of it. Lookin' good, from Gene scientist to create algae biofuel with Exxon Mobil:
"Algae consumes carbon dioxide and sunlight in the presence of water, to make a kind of oil that has similar molecular structures to petroleum products we produce today," said Jacobs. [Emil Jacobs is the Exxon/Mobil connection; and Craig Venter is the eminent scientist.]
But the picture has a moustache; from Cargo boat and US navy ship powered by algal oil in marine fuel trials comes:
The exact nature of the algae, one of 30,000 single-cell organisms known to exist in the wild, is a secret closely guarded by Solazyme, the company that manufactures the fuel in giant fermentation tanks in Pennsylvania. The fast-growing algae are fed crop or forest waste and convert their sugars to oil.
So ... how does the sunlight get into those giant fermentation tanks then exactly?

#4 - Toronto Budget Victory (!)

Great White North.We taught that slob Rob Ford a lesson huh? (Sez the leftards.) Paddy-whacked his pee-pee! And spent the surplus, and failed toe-telly to stop the gravy train - it was imaginary gravy anyway wuzzun'it? Do farts have lumps?

Next step is 'revitalizing the left', starting with the unions according to Rick Salutin (original here).

And anyways, Rob & Doug are on a diet eh? What's that about? Are they the kind of vegetarians who only eat old women?

#5 - More than just a pretty face?

Renewable subsidies of $66 billion in 2010 compared with $409 billion for fossil fuels - six times more for fossil fuels.Fatih Birol.Three links around Fatih Birol from the Guardian: 1) Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies 'could provide half of global carbon target',    2) Fossil fuel subsidies: a tour of the data, and,    3) OECD Inventory of estimated budgetary support and tax expenditures for fossil fuels (.pdf including all the dirt on k-k-Canada).

A-and a plug for their environmental coverage (timely, well-researched, a-and often, usually, with links to the relevant documents); best thing to do would be stop looking in The Globe & Mail at all, abandon it, and make a shortcut on your desktop to the Guardian Environment Section.

[Previously here on our Fatih in November & December 2011.]

Oroborus."We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it."

(From Macbeth, though you may want to remember who is speaking and about what - or not.)

Placard front: Hungry for LEADERSHIP ¡Ya basta!Peter Sale is apparently not amused. I sent him a link to my 'review' and it has been almost a week and no acknowledgement. Too crazy I guess. Oh well.

I offered to help Occupy Toronto maintain a vigil at Peter Kent's office every day for an hour or two during rush hour - they weren't interested. I heard of someone planning a hunger strike in Ottawa and offered to go along - and got no answer. So ...

There were a few euphoric moments when I realized that Joe Oliver's riding office is in Toronto too - and slightly more accessible by TTC than Kent's - but the TCC people did not answer my request to borrow the 'Hungry for Climate Leadership' banner.
(Oh well.)

Meanwhile, a hunger strike does seem to be the next thing on the list. The place, I think, is on the steps of wherever it is the National Energy Board's tribunal - or JRP? Joint Review Panel? Is that it? Anyway there are three of 'em on it - is holding the hearings on the Northern Gateway pipeline. It's a travelling show so following them around would mean ferries & flights & motels & B&Bs to book. It would be good to see Bella Bella again.

Placard back: The Northern Gateway pipeline should not even be a gleam in someone's eye.It is not clear to me that anything will come of it. I doubt I can do it by myself - obviously I CAN do it - I have the will and the skills & resources, but the energy? Well ... anyone who thinks things happen in a vacuum is simply ... mistaken.

I got as far as designing a placard to carry. Not hungry for any specific kind of leadership - since there is none at all on any side as it is ... one could quote Robert Frost's Considerable Speck. For the flip side it is still a toss-up: "George Soros is not paying me to do this," is one I thought of; or "100% owned and operated by a Canadian with no affiliation to any radical foreign celebrities." (Or domestic for that matter.)

No one speaks to me, and no matter what you say it does take two to tango. The sweet girls in Brasil send pictures of themselves on the beachTo thine own self be ... enough. :-) with their kids (Beleza!) and that's about it. (And that's enough too :-)

Oh I know I know I know I know I know - letting it out of the bag like this probably does it in as effectively as any energy drain; but it is all 'faint hope' around here now y'unnerstan'. The odds are so long that it really doesn't make much sense indulging in niceties.
I read Ondaatje's latest The Cat's Table - ho hum - the high point is when he quotes Beckett's "Despair young and never look back," as if he knows what it means; poser, milking the literary cash-cow for his retirement. Should novels have footnotes? (Maybe there was one and I didn't notice.)

"On any sheet the least display of mind."

(Uh oh! ... )
Portal Rio+20 Construindo a Cúpula dos Povos Rio+20Portal Rio+20 Construindo a Cúpula dos Povos Rio+20
Portal Rio+20 Construindo a Cúpula dos Povos
Rio+20 Gateway - Building the People's Summit

I get a monthly newsletter from the CPT - Comissão Pastoral da Terra. It came a few days ago and one of the items was this: Rio de Janeiro: Encontro dos Povos sobre a Rio+20 / Meeting of the people about Rio+20. And it's not far from there to Rio+20 Gateway - Building the People's Summit.

Ai ai AI!

Damned airplanes! I wonder if I could get there by land somehow? Or by sea?

Could I possibly be of any use or ornament if I did manage to get there?
(What'm I gonna do now?!)
Be well.


I often hear the garbage men in the back lane at 5:00 AM as they load the bins from the Tim's just up the street. When he shouted "Hold up! Buried Treasure!" I went to the window to see what it was he had found - but they were out of view.

I saw the crow scavengers at work in Ocean Falls. Someone scrawled "Scouse Bootle!" in big red letters across the wall of the ruined sawmill. The only serious fire we had to put out while I was there was in the paper mill where two of the lads had been taking pieces of stainless pipe out of the pulp with a cutting torch one Sunday morning (which is what caught me in the clip below).

Now two women, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, have made a film on the take-down of Detroit. This short clip Dismantling Detroit has two distinct sets of voices in it (from this NYT article, the clip is also here on Vimeo). 'Exceptionalism' is a new one to me - I get stuck between the authentic dialog and the stale vege-pap rationale it is wrapped up in.

The two film-makers have voices too (which make it all clearer in a way, to me at least).

A friend sent me along a link to Greedy Lying Bastards in the Guardian. This is all good - education going on at the meme level. But how long does it take for the memes to take root and bear fruit? Just a question y'unnerstan' but ... Don't we already know they are greedy lying bastards? Haven't we known that for ... a decade and more?

Time is short friends.
As this edition goes to press the world has still not ended.As this edition goes to press the world has still not ended.
As this edition goes to press the world has still not ended, but they are working on it with all their energies.
Alberto Benett - Chevron.Alberto Benett - Chevron.


1. A Good Call on the Pipeline, NYT Editorial, January 18 2012.

2. Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline, Barack Obama, January 18 2012.

A Good Call on the Pipeline, NYT Editorial, January 18 2012.

President Obama has properly rejected, at least for now, the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the Gulf Coast. He rebuffed the demand of House Republicans that the controversial project be decided in haste under an election-year deadline.

The foolish requirement that Mr. Obama issue a decision on the pipeline by Feb. 21 — cynically inserted into the payroll tax bill passed in December — could never be met given the need for a thorough environmental study before any judgment is made.

The president made the right call in accepting the recommendation of the State Department, which has primary jurisdiction over the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline that would cross through ecologically sensitive areas in the Midwest. Mr. Obama said his judgment was based not on the merits but on a timetable that was “rushed and arbitrary.” He has maintained that a decision on the current proposal could not be made until some time next year. The pipeline sponsor, TransCanada, could submit a proposal to build along another route, but that, too, would require time for a comprehensive environmental review.

Republicans intent on scoring campaign points immediately repeated their fallacious cries that “tens of thousands of jobs” would be lost by not instantly approving the project. They made no mention of the risks inherent in the project: harm to the Canadian boreal forests and threats to water supplies in the Midwest. Bipartisan opposition to the pipeline has notably been led by Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, a Republican.

The extraction and production of tar sands oil in the fields of northern Alberta would also cause far more greenhouse gas emissions than drilling for conventional crude. Lobbyists and House Republicans have tried to sell the project as a reduction in America’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil. But much of the pipeline oil that would be refined on the Gulf Coast would be destined for foreign export.

Far more important to the nation’s energy and environmental future is the development of renewable and alternative energy sources. This is the winning case that Mr. Obama should make to voters in rejecting the Republicans’ craven indulgence of Big Oil.

Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline, Barack Obama, January 18 2012.

Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.

This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil. Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down. In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security –including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico – even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.


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