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Feb 2

The same stream of life that runs through the world runs through my veins night and day and dances in rhythmic measure. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth into the numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of flowers.

- Rabindranath Tagore 

Sophia - City of Dreams - Land and Sky Island Continent - Atlantis Avalon Stormhold

Sophia – City of Dreams – Land and Sky Island Continent – Atlantis Avalon Stormhold
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http://joshuastarlight.wordpress.com/dreampoetryvisions

Sophia - City of Dreams - Land and Sky Island Continent - Atlantis Avalon Stormhold

Sophia – City of Dreams – Land and Sky Island Continent – Atlantis Avalon Stormhold

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http://joshuastarlight.wordpress.com/dreampoetryvisions

Today, ALEC Brings Lawmakers And Big Oil Together To Undermine Clean Energy | ThinkProgress

'Today, behind closed doors in Charlotte, North Carolina, legislators from 15 states will meet with the oil and gas industry to discuss so-called “model legislation” as part of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The result could be laws that handicap renewable energy targets — while creating loopholes for fossil fuels, written directly by the oil and gas industry itself.

ALEC has faced backlash recently for its role in crafting Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws. Now the organization is taking the same secretive approach to kill renewable energy developmentacross the country.

Oil and gas corporations have a very strong role in politics through groups like Americans For Prosperity, American Petroleum Institute, and, of course, ALEC. Four of the largest oil and gas corporations and two of the most profitable U.S. corporations overall, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP, sit on ALEC’s task forces. And so today, according to documents posted by Common Cause, representatives from these and other energy groups will discuss potential legislation that would undermine clean energy standards and limit regulations of polluting industries.’

Conservative Thinktanks Launch Campaign to Turn Americans Against Wind Energy | Environment | AlterNet

'A network of ultra-conservative groups is ramping up an offensive on multiple fronts to turn the American public against wind farms and Barack Obama's energy agenda.

A number of rightwing organisations, including Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, are attacking Obama for his support for solar and wind power. The American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which also has financial links to the Kochs, has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy.

Now a confidential strategy memo seen by the Guardian advises using “subversion” to build a national movement of wind farm protesters.’

(via A Better World)

(via A Better World)

Anything built from now on that produces carbon will do so for decades, and this “lock-in” effect will be the single factor most likely to produce irreversible climate change, the world’s foremost authority on energy economics has found. If this is not rapidly changed within the next five years, the results are likely to be disastrous. “The door is closing,” Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said. “I am very worried – if we don’t change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever.” If the world is to stay below 2C of warming, which scientists regard as the limit of safety, then emissions must be held to no more than 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the level is currently around 390ppm. But the world’s existing infrastructure is already producing 80% of that “carbon budget”, according to the IEA’s analysis, published on Wednesday. This gives an ever-narrowing gap in which to reform the global economy on to a low-carbon footing. If current trends continue, and we go on building high-carbon energy generation, then by 2015 at least 90% of the available “carbon budget” will be swallowed up by our energy and industrial infrastructure. By 2017, there will be no room for manoeuvre at all – the whole of the carbon budget will be spoken for, according to the IEA’s calculations. Birol’s warning comes at a crucial moment in international negotiations on climate change, as governments gear up for the next fortnight of talks in Durban, South Africa, from late November. “If we do not have an international agreement, whose effect is put in place by 2017, then the door to [holding temperatures to 2C of warming] will be closed forever,” said Birol.

-

World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns | Environment | The Guardian - If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will ‘lose for ever’ the chance to avoid dangerous climate change

Energy demand Energy demand Source: IEA

Christiana Figueres, the UN climate chief, said the findings underlined the urgency of the climate problem, but stressed the progress made in recent years. “This is not the scenario we wanted,” she said. “But making an agreement is not easy. What we are looking at is not an international environment agreement — what we are looking at is nothing other than the biggest industrial and energy revolution that has ever been seen.”

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Sep 4
(via The Human Cost of Energy: Scientific American)

(via The Human Cost of Energy: Scientific American)

Sep 4
‘WASHINGTON– The largest environmental civil disobedience in decades concluded at the White House this morning with organizers pledging to escalate a nationwide campaign to push President Obama to deny the permit for a new tar sands oil pipeline.

“Given yesterday’s baffling cave on ozone standards, the need for a fighting environmental movement has never been more clear,” said Bill McKibben, who spearheaded the protest. “That movement is being born right here in front of the White House and reverberating around the country.”
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has become the most important environmental decision facing President Obama before the 2012 election and sparked nationwide opposition, from Nebraska ranchers to former Obama campaigners. A petition with 617,428 names opposing the pipeline will be delivered to the White House today.
Over the course of the two-week sit-in 1,252 people were arrested, including top climate scientists, landowners from Texas and Nebraska, former Obama for America staffers, First Nations leaders from Canada, and notable individuals including Bill McKibben, former White House official Gus Speth, NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, actor Daryl Hannah, filmmaker Josh Fox, and author Naomi Klein.
“Back home we are fighting to protect our land and water. This week, we decided to bring that fight to the President’s doorstep,” said Jane Kleeb, Director of BOLD Nebraska, who led a delegation of Nebraskans who were arrested this morning. “We are acting on our values and expect our President to act as well.”
McKibben also announced at the protest that the movement will continue organizing, with a Phase Two announcement within 48 hours. Click here to be the first to know details when they’re announced: www.tarsandsaction.org/next-steps
Protest organizers are already planning ways to capitalize on the surge of energy the sit-in has created. In a number of cities, people have already begun to visit Obama for America offices to tell the campaign they will volunteer and donate only after President Obama stands up to Big Oil and denies the Keystone XL permit. Along the pipeline route, groups are preparing to drive turnout to State Department hearings later this month. Thousands are expected to descend on Washington, DC for the final hearing on October 7.
Last week, nearly every major environmental group in the country signed on to a letter demanding President Obama deny the pipeline permit. “There is not an inch of daylight between our policy position on the Keystone XL pipeline, and those of the protesters being arrested daily outside the White House,” wrote the groups in their letter.
Vice President Al Gore also added his support to the protest, writing, “the leaders of the top environmental groups in the country, the Republican Governor of Nebraska, and millions of people around the country—including hundreds of people who have bravely participated in civil disobedience at the White House—all agree on one thing: President Obama should block a planned pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. The tar sands are the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet.”
Many of the people arrested at the White House wore Obama 2008 buttons as they were taken away in handcuffs.
“We are not going to do President Obama the favor of attacking him,” said McKibben. “We are going to hold the Obama campaign to the standard it set in 2008. Denying this pipeline would send a jolt of electricity through the people that elected this president.”
Executive director of the 1.4 million-member Sierra Club, Michael Brune, warned of the consequences if President Obama approved Keystone XL: “We will see an enthusiasm deficit. We won’t see our members volunteering 20 or 25 or 30 hours a week. We won’t see the same passion and intensity.”
Courtney Hight, a former Youth Vote Director in Florida and White House Council on Environmental Quality staffer, now co-director of the Energy Action Coalition, said, “Young people mobilized in record numbers in 2008 to elect a leader they believed would fulfill his promise. Yesterday, I was arrested with other young voters to call on President Obama to fulfill his promise and stand up to Big Oil.”
The White House is receiving pressure from citizens north of the border, as well. Activists in Ottawa are planning a civil-disobedience protest on Parliament Hill this September 26.
“The Canadian government is acting as the global advertising agency of the tar sands oil industry,” said author and activist Naomi Klein, who was arrested Friday. “Canadians have come to appeal directly to President Obama, to demand that he stop this pipeline and make good on his 2008 election promises.”

The proposed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would carry dirty, tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. A rupture in the pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 20 million people. NASA’s top climate scientist says that fully developing the tar sands in Canada would mean “essentially game over” for the climate.’
(via September 3 Press Release: “Movement being born” | Tar Sands Action)

WASHINGTON– The largest environmental civil disobedience in decades concluded at the White House this morning with organizers pledging to escalate a nationwide campaign to push President Obama to deny the permit for a new tar sands oil pipeline.

“Given yesterday’s baffling cave on ozone standards, the need for a fighting environmental movement has never been more clear,” said Bill McKibben, who spearheaded the protest. “That movement is being born right here in front of the White House and reverberating around the country.”

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has become the most important environmental decision facing President Obama before the 2012 election and sparked nationwide opposition, from Nebraska ranchers to former Obama campaigners. A petition with 617,428 names opposing the pipeline will be delivered to the White House today.

Over the course of the two-week sit-in 1,252 people were arrested, including top climate scientists, landowners from Texas and Nebraska, former Obama for America staffers, First Nations leaders from Canada, and notable individuals including Bill McKibben, former White House official Gus Speth, NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, actor Daryl Hannah, filmmaker Josh Fox, and author Naomi Klein.

“Back home we are fighting to protect our land and water. This week, we decided to bring that fight to the President’s doorstep,” said Jane Kleeb, Director of BOLD Nebraska, who led a delegation of Nebraskans who were arrested this morning. “We are acting on our values and expect our President to act as well.”

McKibben also announced at the protest that the movement will continue organizing, with a Phase Two announcement within 48 hours. Click here to be the first to know details when they’re announced: www.tarsandsaction.org/next-steps

Protest organizers are already planning ways to capitalize on the surge of energy the sit-in has created. In a number of cities, people have already begun to visit Obama for America offices to tell the campaign they will volunteer and donate only after President Obama stands up to Big Oil and denies the Keystone XL permit. Along the pipeline route, groups are preparing to drive turnout to State Department hearings later this month. Thousands are expected to descend on Washington, DC for the final hearing on October 7.

Last week, nearly every major environmental group in the country signed on to a letter demanding President Obama deny the pipeline permit. “There is not an inch of daylight between our policy position on the Keystone XL pipeline, and those of the protesters being arrested daily outside the White House,” wrote the groups in their letter.

Vice President Al Gore also added his support to the protest, writing, “the leaders of the top environmental groups in the country, the Republican Governor of Nebraska, and millions of people around the country—including hundreds of people who have bravely participated in civil disobedience at the White House—all agree on one thing: President Obama should block a planned pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. The tar sands are the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet.”

Many of the people arrested at the White House wore Obama 2008 buttons as they were taken away in handcuffs.

“We are not going to do President Obama the favor of attacking him,” said McKibben. “We are going to hold the Obama campaign to the standard it set in 2008. Denying this pipeline would send a jolt of electricity through the people that elected this president.”

Executive director of the 1.4 million-member Sierra Club, Michael Brune, warned of the consequences if President Obama approved Keystone XL: “We will see an enthusiasm deficit. We won’t see our members volunteering 20 or 25 or 30 hours a week. We won’t see the same passion and intensity.”

Courtney Hight, a former Youth Vote Director in Florida and White House Council on Environmental Quality staffer, now co-director of the Energy Action Coalition, said, “Young people mobilized in record numbers in 2008 to elect a leader they believed would fulfill his promise. Yesterday, I was arrested with other young voters to call on President Obama to fulfill his promise and stand up to Big Oil.”

The White House is receiving pressure from citizens north of the border, as well. Activists in Ottawa are planning a civil-disobedience protest on Parliament Hill this September 26.

“The Canadian government is acting as the global advertising agency of the tar sands oil industry,” said author and activist Naomi Klein, who was arrested Friday. “Canadians have come to appeal directly to President Obama, to demand that he stop this pipeline and make good on his 2008 election promises.”

The proposed 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline would carry dirty, tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. A rupture in the pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 20 million people. NASA’s top climate scientist says that fully developing the tar sands in Canada would mean “essentially game over” for the climate.’

(via September 3 Press Release: “Movement being born” | Tar Sands Action)

Sep 3
‘“Given yesterday’s baffling cave on ozone standards, the need for a fighting environmental movement has never been more clear,” said Bill McKibben, who spearheaded the protest. “That movement is being born right here in front of the White House and reverberating around the country.”’
(via A Climate Movement Is Born: Ozone Decision Spikes Total Arrests to 1,252 at White House Pipeline Protest | ThinkProgress)

“Given yesterday’s baffling cave on ozone standards, the need for a fighting environmental movement has never been more clear,” said Bill McKibben, who spearheaded the protest. “That movement is being born right here in front of the White House and reverberating around the country.”’

(via A Climate Movement Is Born: Ozone Decision Spikes Total Arrests to 1,252 at White House Pipeline Protest | ThinkProgress)

National Clean Energy Summit 4.0: The Future of Energy

Watch live streaming video from nationalcleanenergysummit at livestream.com
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Veteran business executives, energy policy innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and senior public officials from both parties, along with citizens, students, and the media, will gather in Las Vegas, Nevada for a day-long clean energy summit, hosted by the Center for American Progress, Clean Energy Project, MGM Resorts International, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. National Clean Energy Summit 4.0: The Future of Energy, will bring together the nation’s top minds to chart the course for the future of energy in America.

‘One simple reason: If this thing gets built, it’s game over for the planet.

—By Bill McKibben’

(via Why I Got Arrested Over the Keystone XL Pipeline | Mother Jones)

One simple reason: If this thing gets built, it’s game over for the planet.

(via Why I Got Arrested Over the Keystone XL Pipeline | Mother Jones)

solar disks, truth, and integration of opposites.

solar disks, truth, and integration of opposites.

How Energy Reform Can Break the Partisan Stalemate - It’s Getting Hot In Here • by Teryn Norris #environment #p2

I’m all for any good strategy to bridge the partisan divide as long as the progress is actually progress… which is easier said than done. It would be nice if the Climate Change / Carbon Tax / Green Jobs bill that was passed in the House almost one-and-a-half years ago would actually be taken up by the Senate for at least a debate on the floor, but judging by the already packed schedule for this lame-duck Congress, I am not sure how that would work out under even the best of scenarios. But we have to do something. Not doing anything is a choice too, one that I don’t wish to see made any more.

http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/2010/11/16/energy-reform-break-stalemate/

Amplify’d from www.feedly.com

Published by National Journal
Energy & Environment Expert Blog

By Teryn Norris
November 16, 2010

In the aftermath of the mid-term elections, it’s unlikely that Washington can overcome the crippling gridlock in Congress. Yet one critical opportunity for bipartisan compromise stands out among the rest: energy policy.

Addressing the country the day after elections, President Obama signaled a clear opening by pressing the reset button on cap and trade and calling for a new agenda. “I don’t think there’s anybody in America who thinks that we’ve got an energy policy that works the way it needs to, that thinks that we shouldn’t be working on energy independence,” he declared. “And that gives opportunities for Democrats and Republicans to come together and think about… how do we move forward on that agenda.”

Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) quickly agreed. “I think energy is an area where there is potential for a bipartisan accomplishment of some consequence,” Senator McConnell told the Wall Street Journal. “There are a variety of other things there could be pretty broad agreement on… Nobody thinks it is a bad idea to reduce carbon emissions, the question is how do you do it.”

President Obama and Senator McConnell both cited electric vehicles and nuclear power as areas for compromise, and indeed these are both important areas to support. But electric vehicles and nuclear power are only two pieces of a much larger puzzle, and without a larger framework, Congress risks taking a small-bore approach and missing a larger opportunity to achieve energy independence.

So what’s the fresh new idea that Democrats and Republicans alike can embrace? A growing number of experts have endorsed one approach, summed up on Sunday in a prominent piece by the Washington Post editorial board:

“Where can President Obama and ascendant House Republicans find compromise? … The American Energy Innovation Council, a group of business leaders that includes Bill Gates, hopes that the parties might yet be able to agree on a more ambitious and cohesive policy. It recommends a $16 billion annual investment in clean energy innovation, including research and support for getting new technologies to market. An ideologically diverse group of think tankers from the Breakthrough Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution agrees and argues that Congress should supplement that investment with subsidies that lower the price of new energy sources.”

The Brookings/AEI/Breakthrough report, “Post-Partisan Power,” was released just before the election and has since received a wide variety of endorsements. The heart of the plan is to overhaul the U.S. energy innovation system with strategic federal investments in clean energy, on the scale of $25 billion annually, to drive down the cost of low-carbon energy technologies for deployment in the U.S. and abroad. It would also support energy science and engineering education, similar to the National Energy Education Act my colleague and I proposed with Breakthrough Institute back in 2008.

Of course, even with such fertile ground for compromise on a critical national issue, the current anti-investment and deficit-centric mentality in Washington doesn’t add up to hopeful prospects for the next Congress, as the Post editorial recognized.  Not that there’s any shortage of smart revenue streams for such strategic federal investments, which eventually would easily pay for themselves.  But as Andrew Revkin noted at New York Times Dot Earth, “This election almost guarantees an end to the brief stimulus-driven period of increased investment in advancing energy technologies that could supplant finite fossil fuels.”

In the near-term, then, the measure of success for this new energy innovation agenda should not be whether it can immediately advance in lame-duck session or the next Congress — although advancing specific pieces is an urgent cause. Rather, the measure of near-term success should be whether this approach can continue building support among thought leaders, advocates, reporters, and a group of committed policymakers.  As one prominent economist once wrote, “That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”

But in the absence of growing momentum behind this approach, it is hard to see how any large and cohesive clean energy agenda can develop in the aftermath of cap and trade for the foreseeable future.  There is simply no clear or viable alternative. In the meantime, the United States will continue falling behind in a major strategic growth sector, shipping hundreds of billions of dollars overseas annually to pay for foreign oil, and damaging the conditions for a livable global climate system. Given the enormous stakes, the leaders capable of breaking the energy stalemate will no doubt be counted among the great legislators of the early 21st century – if only they will step up and seize this opportunity.

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