Monday, April 22, 2013


Do the Math: A Movie to Spark a Movement

The fossil fuel industry is killing us.

They have five times the amount of coal, gas and oil that is safe to burn -- and they are planning on burning it all. Left to their own devices, they'll push us past the brink of cataclysmic disaster -- life as we know it will be irrevocably altered forever. Unless we rise up and fight back.

Do The Math chronicles follows the climate crusader Bill McKibben as he works with a rising global movement in a David-vs-Goliath fight to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis.

This growing groundswell of climate activists is going after the fossil fuel industry directly, energizing a movement like the ones that overturned the great immoral institutions of the past century, such as Apartheid in South Africa. The film follows people who are putting their bodies on the line the Keystone XL Pipeline and leading universities and institutions to divest in the corporate polluters hellbent on burning fossil fuels no matter the cost.

The film also features a veritable who's who of the climate movement including Dr. James Hansen (Director, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies), Naomi Klein (Author, The Shock Doctrine), Lester Brown (President, Earth Policy Institute), Michael Brune (Executive Director, Sierra Club), Majora Carter (Founder, Sustainable South Bronx), Jessy Tolkan (Co-Executive Director of Citizen Engagement Laboratory), Phil Radford (Executive Director of Greenpeace), James Gustave Speth (Co-Founder of Natural Resources Defense Council), Mike Tidwell (Executive Director, CCAN), Van Jones (CNN Correspondent & Author, The Green Collar Economy), Bobby Kennedy Jr. (President, Waterkeeper Alliance ), among others.


  1. While the funding is being cut to indigenous schools and boarding houses this is on the Feds menu.

    Marines lodging bill to hit $1.6bn

    INFRASTRUCTURE costing an estimated $1.6 billion will need to be built in Northern Australia to accommodate a fully-equipped, 2500-strong US Marines task force due in Darwin in about 2016.

    And it is not clear yet who will foot the bill to accommodate the potent and self-contained Marines Air Ground Task Group, which will come to Australia on six-monthly rotations.


    And Australias defence department continues to waste 10's of billions of dollars on the terrible Joint Strike Fighter.
    The Howard government was advised against buying this lemon but Howard on a visit to Washington went ahead and signed the papers in a hotel room against all the advice.


    Because Australia loves crawling up the Yanks assh*le even if taxpayers dollars are poured down the drain in the untold billions.

  2. This has become mainstream thinking very quickly.

    Damian Carrington from the Guardian.

    Carbon bubble will plunge the world into another financial crisis – report

    Trillions of dollars at risk as stock markets inflate value of fossil fuels that may have to remain buried forever, experts warn


    The world could be heading for a major economic crisis as stock markets inflate an investment bubble in fossil fuels to the tune of trillions of dollars, according to leading economists.

    "The financial crisis has shown what happens when risks accumulate unnoticed," said Lord (Nicholas) Stern, a professor at the London School of Economics. He said the risk was "very big indeed" and that almost all investors and regulators were failing to address it.

    The so-called "carbon bubble" is the result of an over-valuation of oil, coal and gas reserves held by fossil fuel companies. According to a report published on Friday, at least two-thirds of these reserves will have to remain underground if the world is to meet existing internationally agreed targets to avoid the threshold for "dangerous" climate change. If the agreements hold, these reserves will be in effect unburnable and so worthless – leading to massive market losses. But the stock markets are betting on countries' inaction on climate change.

    The stark report is by Stern and the thinktank Carbon Tracker. Their warning is supported by organisations including HSBC, Citi, Standard and Poor's and the International Energy Agency. The Bank of England has also recognised that a collapse in the value of oil, gas and coal assets as nations tackle global warming is a potential systemic risk to the economy, with London being particularly at risk owing to its huge listings of coal.

    Stern said that far from reducing efforts to develop fossil fuels, the top 200 companies spent $674bn (£441bn) in 2012 to find and exploit even more new resources, a sum equivalent to 1% of global GDP, which could end up as "stranded" or valueless assets. Stern's landmark 2006 report on the economic impact of climate change – commissioned by the then chancellor, Gordon Brown – concluded that spending 1% of GDP would pay for a transition to a clean and sustainable economy.

    The world's governments have agreed to restrict the global temperature rise to 2C, beyond which the impacts become severe and unpredictable. But Stern said the investors clearly did not believe action to curb climate change was going to be taken. "They can't believe that and also believe that the markets are sensibly valued now."

    "They only believe environmental regulation when they see it," said James Leaton, from Carbon Tracker and a former PwC consultant. He said short-termism in financial markets was the other major reason for the carbon bubble. "Analysts say you should ride the train until just before it goes off the cliff. Each thinks they are smart enough to get off in time, but not everyone can get out of the door at the same time. That is why you get bubbles and crashes."

    Paul Spedding, an oil and gas analyst at HSBC, said: "The scale of 'listed' unburnable carbon revealed in this report is astonishing. This report makes it clear that 'business as usual' is not a viable option for the fossil fuel industry in the long term. [The market] is assuming it will get early warning, but my worry is that things often happen suddenly in the oil and gas sector."

    HSBC warned that 40-60% of the market capitalisation of oil and gas companies was at risk from the carbon bubble, with the top 200 fossil fuel companies alone having a current value of $4tn, along with $1.5tn debt.

    Lord McFall, who chaired the Commons Treasury select committee for a decade, said: "Despite its devastating scale, the banking crisis was at its heart an avoidable crisis: the threat of significant carbon writedown has the unmistakable characteristics of the same endemic problems."

  3. cont...

    The report calculates that the world's currently indicated fossil fuel reserves equate to 2,860bn tonnes of carbon dioxide, but that just 31% could be burned for an 80% chance of keeping below a 2C temperature rise. For a 50% chance of 2C or less, just 38% could be burned.


    Carbon capture and storage technology, which buries emissions underground, can play a role in the future, but even an optimistic scenario which sees 3,800 commercial projects worldwide would allow only an extra 4% of fossil fuel reserves to be burned. There are currently no commercial projects up and running. The normally conservative International Energy Agency has also concluded that a major part of fossil fuel reserves is unburnable.

    Citi bank warned investors in Australia's vast coal industry that little could be done to avoid the future loss of value in the face of action on climate change. "If the unburnable carbon scenario does occur, it is difficult to see how the value of fossil fuel reserves can be maintained, so we see few options for risk mitigation."


    Ratings agencies have expressed concerns, with Standard and Poor's concluding that the risk could lead to the downgrading of the credit ratings of oil companies within a few years.

    Steven Oman, senior vice-president at Moody's, said: "It behoves us as investors and as a society to know the true cost of something so that intelligent and constructive policy and investment decisions can be made. Too often the true costs are treated as unquantifiable or even ignored."

    Jens Peers, who manages €4bn (£3bn) for Mirova, part of €300bn asset managers Natixis, said: "It is shocking to see the report's numbers, as they are worse than people realise. The risk is massive, but a lot of asset managers think they have a lot of time. I think they are wrong." He said a key moment will come in 2015, the date when the world's governments have pledged to strike a global deal to limit carbon emissions. But he said that fund managers need to move now. If they wait till 2015, "it will be too late for them to take action."

    Pension funds are also concerned. "Every pension fund manager needs to ask themselves have we incorporated climate change and carbon risk into our investment strategy? If the answer is no, they need to start to now," said Howard Pearce, head of pension fund management at the Environment Agency, which holds £2bn in assets.

    Stern and Leaton both point to China as evidence that carbon cuts are likely to be delivered. China's leaders have said its coal use will peak in the next five years, said Leaton, but this has not been priced in. "I don't know why the market does not believe China," he said. "When it says it is going to do something, it usually does." He said the US and Australia were banking on selling coal to China but that this "doesn't add up".

    Jeremy Grantham, a billionaire fund manager who oversees $106bn of assets, said his company was on the verge of pulling out of all coal and unconventional fossil fuels, such as oil from tar sands. "The probability of them running into trouble is too high for me to take that risk as an investor." He said: "If we mean to burn all the coal and any appreciable percentage of the tar sands, or other unconventional oil and gas then we're cooked. [There are] terrible consequences that we will lay at the door of our grandchildren."


    NOW anyone with an ounce of sense would question the plans for the Fitzroy Valley.


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  5. The DARKSIDE of the mining boom.

    Looking through the papers this morning I was struck by the Doom and Gloom our country is wrapped in and had to ask myself,again,"who are these people who are doing so well because of this mining boom?"

    Not the government.

    THE Gillard government has gone into overdrive in its efforts to prepare the public for a run of big budget deficits.

    Not people working in non mining jobs.

    Mining boom causing housing crisis in WA

    The mining boom has brought untold riches to Western Australia, but there is also a dark side.

    With the rising cost of living, social welfare groups say low-income earners are struggling to find affordable housing, and many are facing homelessness.


    It's a common story in Western Australia as the mining boom prices middle and low income people out of the housing market.

    The resource riches have made WA the strongest economy in the country, with more than 1,000 migrants flocking to the state each week.

    But the state is not building enough homes to house its rapidly expanding population.

    Social welfare groups say that is creating a housing crisis, and homelessness is on the rise as low-income people struggle to find a place to rent.

    Mandy Whitton, from the Housing Crisis Committee, runs a social welfare centre at Koondoola Primary School in Perth.

    "Families who can't get somewhere to rent sleep in the car," she said.

    "We had one family, a mum and dad, and four little ones, sleeping in a car outside the school.

    "We have families sleeping in the park and more and more we have families who are split up.


    The median weekly rent in Perth is nearly $500 a week. That's too much for a low-paid worker to afford.

    The housing market is even worse in mining boom towns like Port Hedland, where the median weekly rent for a house is $2,000.

    Families who can't get somewhere to rent sleep in the car.

    Western Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Irina Cattalini says renting your own place is becoming a dream for many people.


    "For those in the services and manufacturing industry and some of the lower paid and minimum wage workers, and obviously those who are not working and are unemployed, they are really finding that housing is out of reach," she said.

    "We are seeing homeless rates start to increase and essentially the demand for financial assistance.

    "People are using so much of their income to keep a roof over their head they don't have enough to balance the rest of their household bills."


    Not the traditional owners.

    'People are just drinking themselves to death', warns Ceduna mayor Allan Suter

    EVERY afternoon on the outskirts of Ceduna, a seaside community on the edge of the Nullarbor, groups of dedicated drinkers shuffle along the Eyre Highway towards town to spend their welfare dollars on booze and drink themselves into oblivion.

    Mayor Allan Suter, shop owners and residents in the town fear a core group of about 75 will drink themselves to death. That's if they survive the B-Doubles thundering down the highway


    Legal limbo as unconvicted disabled held in prisons

    SCORES of unconvicted prisoners who suffer serious cognitive impairment are being indefinitely locked up in state prisons because of a lack of secure care facilities.

    The predominantly Aboriginal population of prison inmates who have not been found to have committed a crime yet remain in a legal limbo of indefinite detention are being denied remedial programs and behavioural therapy.


    Manufacturing has been told to expect a very long haul to get out of the trouble they are in.

    The resource states are a terrible place to live without a mining job,(for that matter they are a terrible place to live WITH a mining job).


  6. Woodside to address investors at annual meeting

    West Australian oil and gas producer Woodside will address investors at its annual general meeting in Perth this morning, just days after scrapping plans to build its multi-billion dollar Browse project onshore in the Kimberley.

    It has been less than two weeks since the company announced it would walk away from the $45 billion gas hub project at James Price Point north of Broome to study cheaper options.

    Investors will be watching today's meeting with interest after the company yesterday unveiled plans for a special dividend payout to investors.

    The announcement sparked the biggest one day share price surge for the company in more than four years, with shares jumping by almost 10 per cent.



    Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region


    Broome Ratepayers Slugged as Woodside Shareholders Pocket Millions

    Tuesday 23 April 2013

    Greens WA Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC is outraged at the latest turn of events in the James Price Point saga.

    “The Broome Shire President today revealed the “considerable” losses suffered by the Shire in its work associated with the abandoned Browse LNG plant at James Price Point (JPP),” Mr Chapple said.

    “There is no way this can just be dismissed as part of the normal running of a local government authority – Broome Shire has never had to handle anything on this scale, and was even at the point of hiring extra staff.

    “The Premier, through his Department of State Development, has apparently rebuffed efforts by the Shire to recoup any of its losses.

    “I am simply appalled that the proponent, Woodside, has delivered an even greater slap-in-the-face to their long-suffering Broome hosts. This very day, Woodside has announced a half-billion dollar handout to its shareholders, from spare cash the Chairman claims is sloshing around in the corporate coffers, as a result of its withdrawal from JPP.

    “This so-called ‘Special Dividend’ contrasts starkly with the ‘Not so Special’ increase in rates the Broome people can probably expect later this year.

    “I don’t know exactly how much Broome is out-of-pocket, but I’m sure it’s a very long way short of half a billion – what a scandal!,” concluded Mr Chapple.

  7. Hopes swell as northern ghost net numbers fall

    An environmental alliance group says there has been a noticeable fall in the number of abandoned fishing nets found in coastal waters off the Northern Territory.

    GhostNets Australia co-ordinator Riki Gunn says it is too early to tell if it is a permanent trend but statistics and anecdotal evidence from the last year show encouraging signs.

    She says the change flows from increased efforts to clean up discarded fishing nets, known as ghost nets, on the western side of Queensland's Cape York.

    "It is extremely encouraging," she said.

    "What it means is, down the track, when all the sort of accumulated nets from decades ago are finally gone, then we would be able to really target maintenance programs."

    Ghost nets have long endangered sea life in waters off the Northern Territory and north Queensland coasts.

    GhostNets Australia is an alliance of more than 30 Indigenous communities and ranger groups from across northern Australia, stretching from the Territory, across the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Torres Strait.

    The net capture program began in 2004 and is funded by the Commonwealth.

    Since then, nearly 10,000 ghost nets of various sizes, some weighing several tonnes, have been removed.


    Martu people to take control of massive land area

    An Indigenous group in Western Australia's north is to take control of an area of land bigger than Tasmania, in the Little Sandy and Gibson deserts.

    The Federal Government has declared 6.6 million hectares of land along the Canning stock route as a Birriliburu Indigenous Protected Area.

    Until the late 1970s, Aboriginal people were still living traditionally on the land.

    The Martu people will now receive federal funding to manage the land.

    The Pew Environment Group's Patrick O'Leary says it is good news for traditional owners and the environment.

    "It's really important to be able to look after those threatened species out there, manage feral animals and fire; there's some important Bilby habitat in the region so a whole range of things to manage," he said.

    "That's good for the whole of Australia and it's great that it's able to support Aboriginal people, managing their own land, in providing jobs in remote areas that allow them to support their families.

    "It's quite a busy day to day proposition, they might be surveying for threatened species.

    "And, of course for the local people culturally it's so important to maintain their cultural practices over that area."