U.S. Congress and President Obama Give Oil Producers and Shippers a Big Christmas Present But More Global Warming and Sea Level Rise for World’s Children and Future Generations
Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending measure last week and President Obama signed it, averting a U.S. government shutdown. However, legislation also ends a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, paving the way for more global warming and sea level rise as thirsty travelers are predicted to burn increasing amounts of gasoline, jet fuel, diesel oil and other petroleum products this Christmas holiday and beyond.
The Senate passed the bill 65-33 on Friday, shortly after a 316-113 House vote. Obama signed the bill the day he left for a vacation in Hawaii.
The end of the 40-year ban on most U.S. crude oil exports is a “big win,” according to House Speaker Paul Ryan, and it’s a top priority for Republicans. Democrats call it a giveaway to oil companies, and in exchange they negotiated extensions of environmental measures including solar and wind energy tax credits.
New Earthrise Photo by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft
Above, new Earthrise photo showing Earth straddling the limb of the Moon, as seen from above Compton crater on the lunar farside, taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. The large tan area in the upper right of Earth is the Sahara desert, and just beyond is Saudia Arabia. The Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America are visible to the left.
On 24 December 1968, astronaut William Anders of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Apollo 8 mission, the first manned voyage to orbit Earth’s Moon, took his now famous picture of Earth rising above the lunar landscape. Image AS8-14-2383, which NASA later name “Earthrise”, would become the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.
Earthrise not only vividly displayed to the American people and people all around the world how stunningly beautiful our planet is, but it also showed its vulnerablity – as the one and only place that billions of people and an equally large number of other animals and life forms have as their home, from Earth’s ancient past to time immortal.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft’s photo new earthrise photo also shows Earth’s beauty, as well its vulnerability. We here today are challenged with keeping this only known planet hospitible and livable for future human populations and other animals and life forms who have no choice but to live on this planet as there is no other place available.
Rally Planned at Madison Capitol Steps to Voice Wisconsin People’s Opposition to Enbridge Crude Oil Pipeline Capacity Expansion Through Dane County and 12 other Wisconsin Counties
Local and National Speech will be delived at a public rally on the State Street side of the Wisconsin Capitol Building Saturday, at 3;00 o’clock pm on Saturday, 12 December. All people concerned about oil spills and the warming planet will be in attendance.
A federal judge says courts don’t have the authority to question U.S. State Department decisions in a cross-border pipeline dispute.
Environmental groups brought a lawsuit against Enbridge Energy, claiming the firm is illegally transporting more oil from Canada by switching it between lines at the border. But a U.S. district judge ruled this week that because the State Department OK’d the reroute, it’s not subject to legal challenges.
Enbridge proposed to nearly double the amount of oil on its Line 67 pipeline that runs from Alberta to Superior. According to Wisconsin Safe Energy Alliance co-founder Carl Whiting, the pipeline switch at the border is already sending that much more to Wisconsin. He said the move skirts national laws on cross-border expansions and expressed disappointment with the judge’s ruling.
“The last thing this region – Wisconsin in particular – needs is to become the major corridor for tar sands at a time when we’re facing climate issues,” he said.
Whiting said parties to the suit are considering other options. Enbridge spokeswoman Lorraine Little said the judge’s ruling affirms the State Department’s decision that the company is operating its pipelines at the border in accordance with existing permits.
Little provided the following statement:
“Wednesday’s decision leaves in place the State Department’s approval of Enbridge’s use of Line 3 and Line 67 consistent with its existing permits. The interconnections are simply leveraging the flexibility we have under our existing permits to meet our obligations to shippers and to continue the vital service of transporting reliable, secure supplies of North American crude oil.”
Winona Laduke, executive director of the group Honor the Earth and member of the White Earth Nation called the ruling “baffling” in a press release.
“The federal government has allowed Enbridge to violate federal laws, but the federal courts don’t feel they have jurisdiction to intervene … Ojibwe tribes stand united in opposition to this pipeline invasion and we will continue our resistance until justice is served.”
WPR Article By Danielle Kaeding, 11 December 2015
Human Rights Day 2015
As representatives of 196 world countries conclude their two-week long meeting in Paris, France this week – the 21st annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties meeting (COP 21), it is noteworthy that “Human Rights Day” occurs 10 December every year, which is the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
This year’s Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.
The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings.
“Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always.” aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear — which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago.
So, too, are the lyrics to The Steve Miller Band’s 1976 song Fly Like An Eagle (Recording)The revolution is the solution, provided too much time is NOT allowed to slip away before Earth’s people take the now critical actions without delay to lesson the human global footprint on Earth’s biosphere, while ensuring that all current and future human populations have clean water to drink, food to eat; shoes on their feet; and do not have to live on the street. It is therefore of the utmost importance that Earth’s land, soil, air, water, plant and animal life are preserved in a life-sustaining state for not just today’s human population but also for all future generations of people.
Watch and hear Ta’Kaiya Blaney a 14-year-old activist, singer and actress from the Tla’amin First Nation, north of Vancouver, Canada, perform her song “Turn the World Around” at the International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature in Paris, France. She told Democracy Now! that a Haida elder told her that “to turn the world around, you have to turn it upside down” after singing her song in Paris Saturday, December 5, 2015.
President Obama Should Request U.S. Congress to Issue Declaration of War to Fight Global Warming
On December 8, 1941, the United States Congress declared war on the Empire of Japan in response to its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor in the U.S. Territory (soon to become state) of Hawaii the morning of December 7, 1941.
The Declaration of War was formulated an hour after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Infamy Speech at 12:30 pm on December 8, 1941. The declaration quickly passed the Senate and then the House at 1:10 p.m the same day. Roosevelt signed the declaration at 4:10 p.m., December 8, 1941. The power to declare war is assigned exclusively to Congress in the United States Constitution; however, the president’s signature was symbolically powerful and resolved any doubts.
Two days later, a similar war declaration against Germany and Italy passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
In the Joint Resolutions declaring war against the Imperial Government of Japan, Germany and Italy, the Congress pledged “all the resources of the country of the United States” … “and the president is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the government to carry on war … to bring the conflict to a successful termination.”
The magnitude of the threat of accelerating global warming and a rapidly changing climate that would undeniably accompany the continued and increasing accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as a direct consequence of human actions, mainly from too much fossil fuel burning and continuing and increased deforestation, especially in the tropics, upon the United States of America and the rest of the world, both now and into the future, easily dwarfs the loss of life, injury and misery to humans and animals wrought by all known wars, and therefore justifies a declaration of war by all countries of the world to slow and ultimately halt global warming and climate change, worldwide. Such declarations should be made now, without delay, to ensure an hospitable and safe world for all Earth’s current and future generations.
It is morally essential that Government, businesses, individuals and families begin to meet this challenge of increasing global warming and climate change that has already begun to cause loss of human lives, other species living in the world, and brought pain and misery to so many. To ignore and campaign against actions that reduce this growing threat, which will unquestionably hurt the people of the world’s poorer countries and Earth’s millions and millions of species, is utterly and morally reprehensible and is a practice that ought stop immediately because it needlessly delays progress in attacking this major problem of untold negative consequences for centuries to come.
NPR Wrong In Reporting Purpose of Climate Change Summit
I heard NPR’s Jack Speer say on National Public Radio at 4:00 pm today that the world’s leaders were meeting to find a way to “reverse climate change”.
As reputable scientists have been saying for years, it’s not possible to reverse global warming, even if the world stops emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) entirely. That’s why many of us were saying an urgent reduction in GHGs emissions was needed, as early as 1999, or before. Once carbon dioxide and most other GHGs are emitted (in the pipeline), there is no easy way to retrieve them.
They can remain in the atmosphere for centuries. Each year’s emissions thus add to the heat-trapping strength of the atmosphere, causing more warming at the earth’s surface.