Elections are over and it seems the first order of business in Washington DC is shoving the destructive Keystone XL Pipeline down USA's throat. Another in a long line of self-destructive actions our politicians do too much of, without ever learning from mistakes. KeystoneXL is a big issue and I've pretty much stayed away from it (only so much I can focus on) but now with a Senator I voted for in the middle of the storm, along with my pondering the how and why of people deliberately ignoring real, in your face, inescapable evidence. I was inspired to write an open letter to Senator Bennet, and his colleagues, all told it included a couple dozen links to further information and support for the claims I make. Most listed at the end of my letter. It's an important timely issue, and there's always that hope, gotta at least try - So I'm reposting it here and invite others to pass it along, if you see fit. ~ Senate vote is this Tuesday, November 14th ~
The bill was narrowly defeated, with no help from Senator Bennet, who voted in favor !
Keystone XL pipeline bill dies in Senate
WASHINGTON Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:50pm EST
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Senate Defeats Bill on Keystone XL Pipeline in Narrow Vote
By ASHLEY PARKER and CORAL DAVENPORTNOV. 18, 2014
March 25, 2013, 11:23 am
Senator Michael Bennet says yes, Udall says no in split vote on Keystone Pipeline
~ ~ ~As one of those who voted for you, it seemed to me during the 2010 campaign you sure sounded like you appreciated the destructiveness and shortsightedness of the Canadian Tar Sands project on general terms, which was reflected in your implied opposition to allowing Keystone XL pipeline to cut through the US. Now there's this:
Two Senators who should NOT be voting for Keystone XL
- - -
Michael Bennet brings Senate’s pro-Keystone count to 59
The House approved its Keystone bill by a 252-161 vote Friday.
By Elana Schor | 11/14/14
- - -
Keystone XL backers counting votes in Senate
Jennifer A. Dlouhy | November 13, 2014This time, rather than merely shaking my head in disappointment, I want to share this letter with you, your colleagues and others it might interest. I doubt I'll influence your vote, but I do hope to spark some introspection next time you look in the mirror.
The Worst Voter Turnout in 72 Years
By The Editorial Board of the New York Times | November. 11, 2014
"Over all, the national turnout was 36.3 percent; only the 1942 federal election had a lower participation rate at 33.9 percent."
Why is that? I'll offer some thoughts, we the people are seeing a Senate full of self-interested posers, rather than the intelligent elders who are supposed to be guiding our nation through a challenging future. I keep hoping and waiting for you Representatives of The People to prove us wrong, but it never seems to happen.
~ ~ ~
The land, rivers, mountains, forests, fields and farms, and so much more - our biosphere and life support system.
You know, our biosphere (or do you?),
the thing that makes our life and prosperity possible -
Why keep ignoring that it is being battered from every direction?
Why destroy yet more of it, while drastically increasing our atmosphere's insulation ability, thus speeding global warming yet more?
What's up with that?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Kevin P. Timoney and Peter Lee
The Open Conservation Biology Journal, 2009, 3, 65-81
Buried under Canada’s boreal forest is one of the world’s largest reserves of oil. Bitumen—a very thick and heavy form of oil (also called asphalt)—coats grains of sand and other minerals in a deposit that covers about 142,200 square kilometers (54,900 square miles) of northwest Alberta. According to a 2003 estimate, Alberta has the capacity to produce 174.5 billion barrels of oil.
Only 20 percent of the oil sands lie near the surface where they can easily be mined, and these deposits flank the Athabasca River. The rest of the oil sands are buried more than 75 meters below ground and are extracted by injecting hot water into a well that liquefies the oil for pumping. In 2010, surface mines produced 356.99 million barrels of crude oil, while in situ production (the hot water wells) yielded 189.41 million barrels of oil.
This series of images from the Landsat satellite shows the growth of surface mines over the Athabasca oil sands between 1984 and 2011. The Athabasca River runs through the center of the scene, separating two major operations. ...~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Bitumen extracted from tar sands has the consistency of peanut butter and must be diluted to flow through pipelines. And that's just the beginning.
When emergency responders rushed to Marshall, Mich. on July 26, 2010, they found that the Kalamazoo River had been blackened by more than one million gallons of oil. They didn't discover until more than a week later that the ruptured pipeline had been carrying diluted bitumen, also known as dilbit, from Canada's tar sands region. Cleaning it up would challenge them in ways they had never imagined. Instead of taking a couple of months, as they originally expected, nearly two years later the job still isn't complete. ...~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
EDMONTON—The fish are hard to look at.
One whitefish has a golfball-sized tumour bulging from its side. Another is simply missing part of its spine, its tail growing from a stumpy rear end.
One has no snout. Another is coloured a lurid red instead of a healthy cream. Others are covered with lesions and still others are bent and crooked from deformed vertebrae.
All were taken from Lake Athabasca, downstream from the oilsands in northern Alberta, and were on display Thursday. All are reasons, say a group of scientists and aboriginals, for the federal government to conduct an independent study on what’s happening to the Athabasca River and its watershed after decades of industry expansion.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
More oil spilled in the Lac-Mégantic train disaster than was previously reported, according to new information made public by Quebec’s environment department.While the department had previously estimated that the 72-car train that crashed July 6 was carrying 7.2 million litres of crude oil, it now says it was in fact carrying nearly a half million litres more of oil — an estimated 7.6 million litres.
In July the environment department estimated 5.6 million litres of that oil spilled from the crashed train cars or burned in the ensuing fire. But the department’s October update now says nearly 6 million litres — 5.978 million to be precise — burned or was spilled in the devastating accident that left 47 people dead.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Chinese firm closes $15.1-billion acquistion
TORONTO — The contentious $15.1-billion takeover of Canadian oil and gas company Nexen Inc. by Chinese state-owned entity CNOOC Ltd closed on Monday, more than seven months after China’s largest-ever foreign takeover was announced.
Nexen, based in Calgary, Alberta, said in a statement on Monday that the deal had closed and its shareholders would receive $27.50 in cash for each Nexen share.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
'The Big Chill' Survey
By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press | 10/21/2013
OTTAWA - A large survey of science professionals in the federal public service has found that almost 25 per cent of respondents say they have been directly asked to exclude or alter information for "non-scientific reasons."
Some 71 per cent of those surveyed said political interference is compromising policy development based on scientific evidence, and almost half of those who took part said they were aware of cases in which their department or agency suppressed information.
The study, entitled "The Big Chill," was commissioned by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, and paints a disturbing picture of government scientists who feel they are being muzzled. ...
The Nightmares About Canada Oil Sands
Canada's economic boom depends on tearing up 54,000 square-mile of pristine Alberta wilderness.
Development of the world's third largest oil supply is proceeding rapidly. It already represents a $3.5 billion annual paycheck to the Canadian government and 75,000 immediate jobs.
But many are aghast at the project, which is also the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas in Canada. . .~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Reuters photographer Todd Korol recently traveled to Alberta to photograph some of the mines, facilities, and surrounding landscape.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Top 10 Facts About the Alberta Oil Sands
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
January 23, 2013 |By David Biello
To constrain climate change, such unconventional oil use needs to be stopped, according to scientists ...~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Climate Science denialist types have ripped into this story, but they've done so by misrepresenting the substance of this op-ed from one the leading experts on our atmosphere, which ironically also makes him one of the biggest targets of dirty tricks and misrepresentation by certain special interests.
It's as though 'scientific fair-play' and 'honesty in reporting' are dead principles these days. In any event, we should all be paying attention this down to earth information that the experts have to share with us.
GLOBAL warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening. That is why I was so troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves “regardless of what we do.”
If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate. Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now.
That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk. ….link to the rest of the story