This video says about itself:
This video from the USA says about itself:
24 March 2014
The 25th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is an important reminder as to why we cannot let that disaster happen in the Arctic. Join Dan Ritzman, Sierra Club‘s Arctic Campaign Director and Rick Steiner, a professor and international oil spill expert involved with the Exxon Valdez oil spill clean-up and restoration on Monday. We’ll celebrate the fact that the Arctic Ocean will not be drilled this summer, and highlight what we’ll do to keep it that way.
Then, the bloody war in Ukraine marked a shift toward: “
Oceania … err … NATO is now an enemy of Eurasia … err… of Russia. Oceania … err … NATO has always been an enemy of Eurasia … err… of Russia.” Both ‘enemy’ sides have nuclear weapons; but don’t mention that, as that would be bad for making people in NATO countries war-minded.
While the pro-war propaganda rages, warmongering politicians don’t allow it to interfere with military industrial or oil industrial profits.
While French President Hollande spews anti-Russian militarist rhetoric, his government keeps helping French corporations to sell warships to Russia.
While British Prime Minister David Cameron spews anti-Russian militarist rhetoric, British corporations keep selling weapons to Russia.
And the wife of Putin’s ex-deputy finance minister, Ms Lubov Chernukhin, plays tennis with Cameron and Boris Johnson, as she had been so kind to pay Cameron’s and Johnson’s Conservative party lots of money for that sporting highlight.
Today, from Bloomberg news agency:
Exxon Drilling Russian Arctic Shows Sanction Lack Bite
By Stephen Bierman and Eduard Gismatullin
Aug 8, 2014 12:03 PM GMT+0200
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) will start drilling a $700 million well in the Arctic Ocean tomorrow, Russia’s government said, showing that for all the talk of action against Vladimir Putin’s oil industry, the largest U.S. energy company is undeterred.
As Russia’s relations with Europe and the U.S. deteriorated to the lowest point since the Cold war over the conflict in Ukraine, the European Union imposed a third round of sanctions last week, restricting the export of equipment used for offshore oil production. That doesn’t impact Exxon’s plans because the contract to hire the rig was signed before the measures were announced. …
For Exxon, where output fell to a five-year low in the second quarter, a discovery would offer a vital new source of crude.
Since the crash of the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane MH17 over eastern Ukraine, the anti-Russian propaganda campaign in the German press has taken on a new quality. A confrontation with the second largest nuclear power in the world is being ever more openly demanded, with Germany’s leading news magazine Der Spiegel playing a leading role: here.
This video from Canada says about itself:
5 March 2011
Canada’s foremost naturalist recounts the impact of our culture on life in the Northwest Atlantic ocean, over the last 500 years, and explains what must be done now. This very important 2 part documentary was produced by CBC at the expense of Canadian taxpayers, including me. Farley Mowat’s book, Sea of Slaughter, which he considers his most important work, was the basis for this film.
Book and film are both brutally honest enough to make many people uncomfortable. Only now has science come to understand exactly how the former multitudes of large sea animals preserved their own food base, while conditioning both the marine environment and the atmosphere of the planet (via accelerated nutrient cycling/fertilization). This adds to the current urgent imperative that we face up now to the full consequences of what we have done to life in the sea. (both parts are posted here in sequence)
By John Green in Britain:
Farley Mowat: writer, socialist and environmentalist
Tuesday 20th May 2014
THE Canadian author Farley Mowat, who died on May 12, wrote with humour, keen perception and passionate social commitment, completing over 40 books and numerous articles.
He is sadly not so well known in Britain but deserves to be. His family came from Scottish immigrant stock and he retained a special fondness for Scotland.
His works were translated into 52 languages and his books sold more than 17 million copies. He achieved fame with his works on the Canadian North such as People Of The Deer (1952) and Never Cry Wolf (1963).
Mowat’s advocacy for environmental causes and his own claim to never let the facts get in the way of the truth earned him both praise and criticism, yet his influence is undeniable.
Never Cry Wolf, a fictional narrative of a man living among wolves in the sub-Arctic was made into a successful film.
His stories are fast-paced, gripping, personal and conversational and descriptions of Mowat refer to his commitment to ideals, poetic descriptions and vivid images.
His first non-fiction work People Of The Deer became a classic. In it he documented the disappearing communist way of life of Canada’s native Inuit people, among whom he lived while writing the book.
He showed how a colonial arrogance and an exploitative system had driven the Inuit and their culture to the edge. …
Mowat became a lifelong advocate of indigenous people’s rights, labelling Canada’s treatment of them abominable. Never one to shy away from controversy, Mowat was outspoken about many environmental and social issues.
During the second world war, Mowat was commissioned as a second lieutenant, rising to the rank of captain. After the war he returned to Canada, desperate to escape from what had been and seemed likely to remain a world run by maniacs. He fled north to live among the Inuit people.
Many of his works such as Owls In The Family about childhood and And No Birds Sang about his experience fighting in the second world war are autobiographical,
Mowat published a denunciation of the destruction of animal life in the north Atlantic entitled Sea of Slaughter in 1984. In 1985, as a part of the promotional tour for the book, Mowat was invited to speak at the university in Chico, California, but US officials denied him entry.
His security file indicated he should be denied entry for violating any one of 33 statutes. Reportedly, these statutes included being a member of a group considered radical by the US government.
The result was a media circus, which brought worldwide attention to Mowat. The negative publicity eventually forced the Reagan administration to allow Mowat to enter the US but he declined because to accept would be undignified as the permission was valid for only one visit [of] his book tour.
Mowat documented the reasons why he was refused entry to the United States in his 1985 book, My Discovery of America.
He won a number of prestigious awards for his books and environmental work and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship RV Farley Mowat was named in honour of him.
Mowat, a strong supporter of the Green Party of Canada, died less than a week before his 93rd birthday.
Farley Mowat, May 12 1921–May 6 2014.
From Wildlife Extra:
A study of the genes of polar bears reveals how quickly they evolved to handle the extremes of life in the high Arctic, and why, and how they cope with being profoundly obese. A comparison between polar and brown bears has found that the former is a much younger species than previously believed, having diverged from brown bears less than 500,000 years ago to spend life on sea ice. There, the bears subsist on a blubber-rich diet of marine mammals that would result in cardiovascular diseases in other species. The relatively short time that has passed in its evolution and how it evolved was what interested the scientists.
The study, published in the journal Cell, was a collaboration between Danish and Chinese researchers and a team from the University of California Berkeley, including Eline Lorenzen and Rasmus Nielsen.
Unlike other bears, fat comprises up to half the weight of a polar bear. “For polar bears, profound obesity is a benign state,” said Lorenzen. “We wanted to understand how they are able to cope with that. The life of a polar bear revolves around fat. Nursing cubs rely on milk that can be up to 30 per cent fat, and adults eat primarily blubber of marine mammal prey. Polar bears have large fat deposits under their skin and, because they essentially live in a polar desert and don’t have access to fresh water for most of the year, rely on metabolic water, which is a by product of the breakdown of fat.”
The genome analysis comes at a time when the polar bear population worldwide, estimated at between 20,000 and 25,000, is declining and its Arctic sea ice habitat is rapidly disappearing. As the northern latitudes warm, the polar bear’s distant cousin, the brown or grizzly bear is moving farther north and occasionally interbreeding with the polar bear to produce hybrids that have been called ‘pizzlies’. This is the possibly the same process that led to the emergence of polar bears in the first place.
The bears’ ability to interbreed is a result of a very close relationship, Nielsen said, which is one-tenth the evolutionary distance between chimpanzees and humans. “It’s really surprising that the divergence time is so short. All the unique adaptations polar bears have to the Arctic environment must have evolved in a very short amount of time.”
These adaptations include not only a change from brown to white fur and development of a sleeker body, but big physiological and metabolic changes as well. The genome comparison revealed that over several hundred thousand years, natural selection drove major changes in genes related to fat transport in the blood and fatty acid metabolism. One of the most strongly selected genes is APOB, which in mammals encodes the main protein in LDL (low density lipoprotein), known widely as “bad” cholesterol. Changes or mutations in this gene reflect the critical nature of fat in the polar bear diet and the animals’ need to deal with high blood levels of glucose and triglycerides, in particular cholesterol, which would be dangerous in humans.
What drove the evolution of polar bears is unclear, though the split from brown bears coincided with a particularly warm 50,000-year interglacial period known as Marine Isotope Stage 11. Environmental shifts following climate changes could have encouraged brown bears to extend their range much farther north. When the warm interlude ended and a glacial cold period set in, a pocket of brown bears may have become isolated and forced to adapt rapidly to new conditions.
There is potential for the polar bear research also to have applications in the study of human’s lifestyles. “Polar bears have adapted genetically to a high fat diet that many people now impose on themselves,” said Nielsen. “If we learn a bit about the genes that allows them to deal with that, perhaps that will give us tools to modulate human physiology down the line.”
See also here.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain, about the Netherlands:
31 Greenpeace activists detained in the Netherlands
Thursday 1st May 2014
Dutch police detained 31 Greenpeace activists today as they attempted to prevent a Russian tanker carrying oil from a new Arctic platform from mooring in Rotterdam.
Activists painted “No Arctic oil” in white letters on the hull of the ship and hung a banner sporting the slogan on one of their own ships.
But the Mikhail Ulyanov was able to dock safely after several hours.
Rotterdam police said Rainbow Warrior captain Peter Willcox had disobeyed police orders to move his ship.
Officers towed the vessel to a different part of the port and the ship was returned to Greenpeace after the action ended.
A further 30 activists were also detained, some for trespass and some for attempting to stop the tanker docking by blocking its mooring with rubber rafts.
No-one was injured, though one activist fell in the water and was treated for hypothermia.
Captain Willcox was one of a group of activists charged with piracy after a protest near Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya offshore Arctic platform last year.
They spent months in a Russian prison before being released earlier this year.
“Thirty of us went to prison for shining a light on this dangerous Arctic oil and we refuse to be intimidated,” said Dutch activist Faiza Oulahsen.
“This tanker is the first sign of a reckless new push to exploit the Arctic.”
UPDATE: Dutch police reports that they had arrested 44 Greenpeace activists. One of these is still in jail. The others were released after paying fines.
This video says about itself:
4 April 2014
This clip, taken from the presentation of Shell‘s Q4 2012 results in London on 31st January 2013, shows former CEO Peter Voser being blatantly ‘economical with the truth’ over the ‘tax avoidance reasons’ for the towing of Shell‘s Arctic drilling rig Kulluk.
Peter Voser was employed by Shell Switzerland until the end of March 2014 as adviser to the new Shell CEO Ben van Beurden. He likely received 635,000 Swiss Francs ($730,000) for three months’ work (source: http://reut.rs/1gtP1Ue).
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Saturday 5th April 2014
Senator blasts ‘reckless’ tax-avoidance and ‘disregard’ for legal protections and calls for Shell to be held accountable
The US Coastguard said on Thursday that the grounding of a Shell oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Alaska in 2012 was in part driven by tax-dodging.
It said Alaska’s tax laws had influenced the decision to tow the drilling rig Kulluk to Seattle for maintenance.
Shell believed the rig would have qualified as taxable property on January 1 2013 if it was still in Alaskan waters.
The Kulluk broke away from its tow in late December 2012 after it ran into a vicious storm — a fairly routine winter event in Alaskan waters.
Multiple attempts to maintain tow lines failed and the vessel ran aground on New Year’s Eve just off Kodiak Island.
Several days before the tow initially broke, the master of the tow vessel Aiviq sent an email to the Kulluk’s towmaster expressing concerns about the conditions.
“To be blunt I believe that this length of tow, at this time of year, in this location, with our current routing, guarantees an ass kicking,” said the email.
The Aiviq’s master and towmaster asked Shell’s marine manager for permission to change course but the request was “not formally granted.”
The coastguard concluded that sufficient evidence existed for the relevant authorities to consider penalties.
“This report shows Shell ran through every single safety and common sense red light in moving this rig because of financial considerations,” Mr Markey said.
“This kind of behaviour should raise major red flags for any future Arctic drilling plans.”
Environmental groups said the oil industry and government were ill-prepared to deal with oil development in the Arctic Ocean.
“Today’s report again shows that Shell did not appreciate or plan for the risks of operating in Alaskan waters, prioritised financial considerations ahead of safety and precaution and simply disregarded important legal protections,” said conservation group Oceana staff lawyer Mike LeVine.
“The report again confirms what common sense dictates: companies and government agencies are not ready for the Arctic Ocean.”
See also here.