Back-Door Tar Sands Scheme Blocked by Local Community
by Lauren McCauley for commondreams.org
Victory for environmentalists may be near in one of the more overlooked battles in the war against Canadian tar sands oil.
A backdoor plan by Canada’s Enbridge and the US-based ExxonMobil to establish an alternate tar sands pipeline has met fierce resistance in the small town of South Portland, Maine where the proposed export terminal would be built.
In a proactive initiative to block the scheme, a local citizens group has collected nearly 4,000 signatures—roughly 4 times the amount necessary—in support of a referendum to place the matter before voters on the November ballot. The question will ask whether the city should enact a zoning change to permanently restrict new development of petroleum-related industry on its waterfront.
“It’s clear the people of South Portland want this initiative in November,” said Carol Masterson, an organizer with the anti-pipeline group Concerned Citizens of South Portland.
According to the group, “any pumping of tar-sands oil through the city’s port would require construction of two smokestacks near [a local park] that would emit an unknown combination of volatile organic compounds and other harmful gases and particles.”
South Portland Mayor, Tom Blake, and his wife were the last to add their signatures to the list Monday, the Portland Press Herald reports.
“No amount of jobs are important (enough) if we can’t drink the water, breathe the air or work the soil we stand on,” he said.
The plan employs an existing pipeline that carries oil from freighters docked in South Portland’s harbor across northern New England to Montreal. The Oil Giants hope to connect this line to crude tar sands oil being mined in western Canada and reverse the direction of flow making the coastal Maine town an alternate export terminal for the heavily polluting bitumen.
In addition to concerns about the toxic byproducts of processing or a potentially devastating spill or leak near vital water sources, those against the pipeline fear that by opening up the vast Canadian reserves we will essentially be spelling “game over”—as former NASA scientist James Hansen has said—for the planet.
Click here to see a map of the Portland-Montreal pipeline route.
A boy stands on an oil pipeline in the Ecuadorian Amazon near the town of Lago Agrio. (Lou Dematteis and Kayana Szymczak)
In a case that dates back two decades indigenous groups and subsistence farmers successfully sued oil giant Texaco…
good article relating to the future of Coal in Australia and the shift from fossil fuels
International Day of Action: March Against Monsanto
May, 25, 2013
Submit your photos of March Against Monsanto here.
Over the last few days, there has been intense interest in our consensus paper and The Consensus Project website. The fact that the paper has been reported widely in mainstream media across the world is an important step towards reducing the gaping chasm between public perception…
Crowd-Sourcing Helps Map Global Emissions
Climate science researchers from Arizona State Univ. are launching a first-of-its-kind online “game” to better understand the sources of global warming gases. By engaging “citizen scientists,” the researchers hope to locate all the power plants around the world and quantify their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The game has officially begun and is housed on a website called “Ventus.” Ventus (the Latin word for wind) has a simple interface in which users enter basic information about the world’s power plants. By playing the game, people around the globe can help solve the climate change problem.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/videos/2013/05/crowd-sourcing-helps-map-global-emissions
Looks like a nice project.
A group of volunteers have given up their time over the last few years to answer the question, once and for all, as to whether the “science is settled”.People will generally defer to the judgment of experts, and they trust climate scientists on the subject of global warming.
To resolve this question once and for all, we reviewed the abstracts (paragraph-long summaries) of over 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers published between 1991 and 2011 with the keywords “global warming” and “global climate change.” Our team was comprised of a citizen science team of two dozen volunteers from around the world. Team members’ home countries included Australia, USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, and Italy.
Most of the ratings were done by a dozen team members, who each read more than a thousand abstracts in their spare time over the span of several months. Analysing the data and writing the paper took close to another year after that. We didn’t receive any funding or compensation for our efforts; it was entirely a voluntary effort driven by the desire to settle the issue of scientific climate consensus once and for all.
PSA Poster for school.