In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and religion, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Lakotas arrested halting Keystone XL pipeline trucks

Lakotas on Pine Ridge Indian land in South Dakota are being arrested as they halt trucks of the Keystone XL pipeline from entering their territory.

Lakota human rights activists Alex White Plume, Debra White Plume, Andrew Ironshell and others were reported arrested late Monday. They were taken to the jail in Kyle, S.D.

An action alert was sent out shortly before the arrests: “Calling all Lakota men on the Pine Ridge Reservation to come to Wanblee, South Dakota. XL Pipeline trucks are being held there at the border by our Lakota Oyate, Oglala Sioux Tribal Police and State Troopers in an effort to keep them from entering our territory. Even the state troopers told the trucks they have to turn around and cannot bring their pipeline or other materials on to our reservation. The XL Pipeline trucks are refusing to turn around claiming they have corporate rights that supersede any other law.”

I guess we’ll see how effective it is to try to build and operate a pipleine through communities that don’t consent to it. I hope to hear many more stories of resistance.

(Source: sarahlee310)

TransCanada to Build Texas Segment of Keystone XL Pipeline

imall4frogs:

TransCanada Corp. will proceed with building a $2.3 billion segment of its Keystone XL oil pipeline from Oklahoma to the Texas coast so that it isn’t delayed by U.S. approval for the rest of the line.

The company, based in Calgary, expects the segment to begin carrying crude from the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast as soon as mid-year 2013, according to a statement today. TransCanada is separating the Cushing line from its application to President Barack Obama for approval of a Keystone expansion that will bring crude into the U.S. from Canada’s oil sands.

“We remain committed to building this overall project in a timely and efficient manner and to meet demand of shippers,” said TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling in an interview today. Shippers are making multi billion dollar commitments spanning decades and “they haven’t wavered from Keystone,” he said.

Texas Landowner Group Forms To Fight Keystone Pipeline

“President Obama’s decision to halt construction of the Keystone tar sands pipeline has not stopped plans for segment passing through East Texas. And KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports a group of landowners has organized to fight back.”

Texas landowners thwarted the ambitious Trans-Texas Corridor, and Texas landowners just might be able to stop the construction of the last leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. […]

So, the oil industry plans on laying its pipe, with or without our consent. TransCanada: “They say no, but I know they mean yes.”

(Source: kileyrae)

Top climate scientists warn Congress over Keystone XL | 350.org

Over a dozen of the nation’s top climate scientists just released this letter to Congressional Leadership that we will deliver along with the over 500,000 signatures against Keystone XL that we hope to collect during out “24 Hours to Stop the Pipeline” drive.

Feb 13, 2012 

Dear Senators Reid and McConnell, and Representatives Boehner and Pelosi,

We are researchers at work on the science of climate change and allied fields. Last summer, we called on President Obama to block the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s tar sands. We were gratified to see that he did so, and since some in Congress are seeking to revive this plan, we wanted to restate the case against it.

The tar sands are a huge pool of carbon, one that it does not make sense to exploit. It takes a lot of energy and water to extract and refine this resource into useable fuel, and the mining is environmentally destructive. Adding this on top of conventional fossil fuels with leave our children and grandchildren a climate system with consequences that are out of their control. It makes no sense to build a pipeline that would dramatically increase exploitation of this resource.

When other huge oil fields or coal mines were opened in the past, we knew much less about the damage that the carbon they contained would do to the earth’s climate and its oceans. Now that we do know, it’s imperative that we move quickly to alternate forms of energy—and that we leave the tar sands in the ground.

We can say categorically that this pipeline is not in the nation’s, or the planet’s best interest.

Sincerely,

James Hansen, Research Scientist, The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

et. al.

Obama rules out trading Keystone pipeline for payroll tax cut

He’s taking it slow but I can’t see him not approving of the pipeline, eventually. The interested parties carry way too much weight. The thing is that by the time it’s approved and built, the trend in solar technology might be making oil obsolete.

mohandasgandhi:

Is the Keystone Pipeline Really Dead? The president postponed the project - but Big Oil is already looking for another way to burn Canada’s tar sands

The oil industry fought hard to keep Keystone alive, making wildly  exaggerated claims that the pipeline – the country’s largest  infrastructure project – would create tens of thousands of jobs and  decrease America’s reliance on oil from the Middle East. TransCanada,  the company building the pipeline, had already spent nearly $2 billion  buying land and parts for the project, anticipating approval by the end  of the year. But Keystone took another blow when The New York Times unearthed evidence revealing an unsavory relationship between TransCanada and the State Department.
Even worse, scientists warned, the amount of carbon locked up in the  tar sands – 230 billion tons – would be more than enough, if burned, to  spike global warming to catastrophic levels. James Hansen, NASA’s  leading climate scientist, predicted that if Keystone went through it  would be “game over” for the planet. “The pipeline became more than an  environmental or energy issue,” says Michael Brune, executive director  of the Sierra Club. “It was almost a philosophical referendum on who we  are as Americans, and what we care about.”
Although  most Americans don’t know it, the U.S. gets more oil from Canada than  it does from the entire Middle East. Of the 9 million barrels of oil we  import each day, 2 million come from Canada – half of them from a vast  expanse in Alberta called the tar sands. Most of the major oil companies  have operations there, including two of the biggest funders of the  climate disinformation machine: ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, the  Kansas-based refining and pipeline operation that handles 25 percent of  the tar sands oil currently heading into America.
Extracting oil from the tar sands is a nasty, polluting,  energy-intensive business. To get at the tar sands, oil companies must  first cut down huge tracts of the boreal forests that cover Alberta  before deploying huge, industrial-scale shovels and draglines to dig up  the tar sand itself – a black goo that resembles roof tar mixed with  beach sand. After dumping the goo into enormous vats of superhot water  to separate out the sand and skim off the oil, refiners use an expensive  and complex process called hydrocracking to turn the thick, sulfury  gunk into gasoline or diesel. Finally, all the water and sand left over  from the process – laden with heavy metals and toxins – is pumped into  giant holding areas that form massive lakes of toxic sludge. In Alberta,  all this takes place on a scale so large that it can be seen from  space; the “lakes” of sludge alone are among the largest human-built  projects in the world. It has also wreaked enormous environmental  destruction in Canada: killing off scores of migrating ducks, polluting  local water supplies and coinciding with an alarming increase in cancer  rates for indigenous people who live downstream from the tar sands  operations.
Right now, the tar sands produce some 1.5 million barrels of oil a  day – but by 2030, oil producers in Alberta hope to double that output.  There’s only one problem: The tar sands are landlocked. Unlike Saudi  Arabia, where oil can be quickly and easily transported to the sea, the  tar sands are transported to market through an extensive network of  pipelines. And with the Midwest currently experiencing an oil glut,  thanks to a boom in shale oil, Canada’s tar sands can receive top dollar  only if they’re transported all the way to the Gulf Coast, where they  can be refined and shipped overseas. The Keystone XL pipeline, in  effect, was a way for oil companies to leapfrog the United States by  digging a four-foot-deep trench and laying a three-foot-wide steel pipe  nearly 2,000 miles long to get their product from Canada to Europe and  Asia.
[…]
To counter [opposition to the pipeline], TransCanada preyed on the public’s economic  insecurity, claiming that the pipeline would create 20,000 jobs in  construction and manufacturing, plus an additional 118,000 spinoff jobs  that would inject $20 billion into the U.S. economy. Fox News went even  further, suggesting that the pipeline “could provide up to a million new  high-paying jobs” in the U.S. The numbers came from a report by a Texas  consulting operation called the Perryman Group – which, upon closer  inspection, turned out to be little more than an ex-professor from  Southern Methodist University who accepted funding from TransCanada for  predicting a jobs boom. The State Department, by contrast, estimated  that building the pipeline would employ no more than 6,000 construction  workers – and that once Keystone was finished, the number of permanent  pipeline jobs could be as few as 50.
As for the idea that the pipeline would increase America’s energy  security: Much of the tar sands shipped to Texas would likely wind up  overseas. Valero, one of the biggest refiners contracted to buy the oil  from the pipeline, already exports six percent of its gasoline and 18  percent of its diesel, mostly to South America. What’s more, the most  profitable market for refiners right now is selling diesel to Europe.  “For the refiners, this is all about buying low-cost tar sands crude and  selling into high-profit markets in the European Union,” says Stockman,  the researcher at Oil Change International. “This oil is not going to  replace oil from the Middle East. That’s not the way the global oil  market works. This is not instead of – it’s as well as.” The Keystone pipeline, in short, wouldn’t increase our energy independence – it would just further fuel our oil addiction.
Steven Anderson, a retired brigadier general, became an outspoken  opponent of the pipeline based on his experience overseeing the U.S.  Army’s supply chain during the Iraq War. “That’s where I really saw the  absurdity of our addiction to oil,” he says. “It was not just the  strategic costs of maintaining our military presence in the Middle East,  but the operational costs of keeping our troops moving and viable  during a time of war.” Anderson estimates that of the 1,000 trucks the  Army had in motion each day during the height of the war, 300 of them  were devoted exclusively to moving fuel around. By Anderson’s estimate,  at least 1,000 American soldiers died transporting fuel. “It was absurd  and tragic,” he says.
The pipeline, Anderson says, would actually undermine our energy  security by perpetuating the fantasy that America can drill its way to  freedom and prosperity. “It allows us to think we can keep driving our  SUVs, that everything is fine,” he argues. “It is not fine. We need to  make big changes to how we think about energy in America. The Keystone  pipeline is not the solution to our problems. It is emblematic of it. If  we build this pipeline, we will look back on this in 50 years and see  how foolish we were.”
[…]
But the decision [to postpone the Keystone pipeline permit], while a major victory for the environment, may prove  short-lived. In postponing the pipeline, the president offered no bold  statement about the need to curb America’s addiction to oil or to invest  in clean energy. In the end, Obama opted to delay the pipeline with a  bureaucratic shuffle, arguing only that the route through Nebraska  needed further study. The failure to take a firm stand against  converting Canada’s tar sands into oil leaves the door open for Keystone  – or another pipeline just like it.
(Read the full article here)

[Image via Esquire]

mohandasgandhi:

Is the Keystone Pipeline Really Dead? The president postponed the project - but Big Oil is already looking for another way to burn Canada’s tar sands

The oil industry fought hard to keep Keystone alive, making wildly exaggerated claims that the pipeline – the country’s largest infrastructure project – would create tens of thousands of jobs and decrease America’s reliance on oil from the Middle East. TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, had already spent nearly $2 billion buying land and parts for the project, anticipating approval by the end of the year. But Keystone took another blow when The New York Times unearthed evidence revealing an unsavory relationship between TransCanada and the State Department.

Even worse, scientists warned, the amount of carbon locked up in the tar sands – 230 billion tons – would be more than enough, if burned, to spike global warming to catastrophic levels. James Hansen, NASA’s leading climate scientist, predicted that if Keystone went through it would be “game over” for the planet. “The pipeline became more than an environmental or energy issue,” says Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “It was almost a philosophical referendum on who we are as Americans, and what we care about.”

Although most Americans don’t know it, the U.S. gets more oil from Canada than it does from the entire Middle East. Of the 9 million barrels of oil we import each day, 2 million come from Canada – half of them from a vast expanse in Alberta called the tar sands. Most of the major oil companies have operations there, including two of the biggest funders of the climate disinformation machine: ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, the Kansas-based refining and pipeline operation that handles 25 percent of the tar sands oil currently heading into America.

Extracting oil from the tar sands is a nasty, polluting, energy-intensive business. To get at the tar sands, oil companies must first cut down huge tracts of the boreal forests that cover Alberta before deploying huge, industrial-scale shovels and draglines to dig up the tar sand itself – a black goo that resembles roof tar mixed with beach sand. After dumping the goo into enormous vats of superhot water to separate out the sand and skim off the oil, refiners use an expensive and complex process called hydrocracking to turn the thick, sulfury gunk into gasoline or diesel. Finally, all the water and sand left over from the process – laden with heavy metals and toxins – is pumped into giant holding areas that form massive lakes of toxic sludge. In Alberta, all this takes place on a scale so large that it can be seen from space; the “lakes” of sludge alone are among the largest human-built projects in the world. It has also wreaked enormous environmental destruction in Canada: killing off scores of migrating ducks, polluting local water supplies and coinciding with an alarming increase in cancer rates for indigenous people who live downstream from the tar sands operations.

Right now, the tar sands produce some 1.5 million barrels of oil a day – but by 2030, oil producers in Alberta hope to double that output. There’s only one problem: The tar sands are landlocked. Unlike Saudi Arabia, where oil can be quickly and easily transported to the sea, the tar sands are transported to market through an extensive network of pipelines. And with the Midwest currently experiencing an oil glut, thanks to a boom in shale oil, Canada’s tar sands can receive top dollar only if they’re transported all the way to the Gulf Coast, where they can be refined and shipped overseas. The Keystone XL pipeline, in effect, was a way for oil companies to leapfrog the United States by digging a four-foot-deep trench and laying a three-foot-wide steel pipe nearly 2,000 miles long to get their product from Canada to Europe and Asia.

[…]

To counter [opposition to the pipeline], TransCanada preyed on the public’s economic insecurity, claiming that the pipeline would create 20,000 jobs in construction and manufacturing, plus an additional 118,000 spinoff jobs that would inject $20 billion into the U.S. economy. Fox News went even further, suggesting that the pipeline “could provide up to a million new high-paying jobs” in the U.S. The numbers came from a report by a Texas consulting operation called the Perryman Group – which, upon closer inspection, turned out to be little more than an ex-professor from Southern Methodist University who accepted funding from TransCanada for predicting a jobs boom. The State Department, by contrast, estimated that building the pipeline would employ no more than 6,000 construction workers – and that once Keystone was finished, the number of permanent pipeline jobs could be as few as 50.

As for the idea that the pipeline would increase America’s energy security: Much of the tar sands shipped to Texas would likely wind up overseas. Valero, one of the biggest refiners contracted to buy the oil from the pipeline, already exports six percent of its gasoline and 18 percent of its diesel, mostly to South America. What’s more, the most profitable market for refiners right now is selling diesel to Europe. “For the refiners, this is all about buying low-cost tar sands crude and selling into high-profit markets in the European Union,” says Stockman, the researcher at Oil Change International. “This oil is not going to replace oil from the Middle East. That’s not the way the global oil market works. This is not instead of – it’s as well as.” The Keystone pipeline, in short, wouldn’t increase our energy independence – it would just further fuel our oil addiction.

Steven Anderson, a retired brigadier general, became an outspoken opponent of the pipeline based on his experience overseeing the U.S. Army’s supply chain during the Iraq War. “That’s where I really saw the absurdity of our addiction to oil,” he says. “It was not just the strategic costs of maintaining our military presence in the Middle East, but the operational costs of keeping our troops moving and viable during a time of war.” Anderson estimates that of the 1,000 trucks the Army had in motion each day during the height of the war, 300 of them were devoted exclusively to moving fuel around. By Anderson’s estimate, at least 1,000 American soldiers died transporting fuel. “It was absurd and tragic,” he says.

The pipeline, Anderson says, would actually undermine our energy security by perpetuating the fantasy that America can drill its way to freedom and prosperity. “It allows us to think we can keep driving our SUVs, that everything is fine,” he argues. “It is not fine. We need to make big changes to how we think about energy in America. The Keystone pipeline is not the solution to our problems. It is emblematic of it. If we build this pipeline, we will look back on this in 50 years and see how foolish we were.”

[…]

But the decision [to postpone the Keystone pipeline permit], while a major victory for the environment, may prove short-lived. In postponing the pipeline, the president offered no bold statement about the need to curb America’s addiction to oil or to invest in clean energy. In the end, Obama opted to delay the pipeline with a bureaucratic shuffle, arguing only that the route through Nebraska needed further study. The failure to take a firm stand against converting Canada’s tar sands into oil leaves the door open for Keystone – or another pipeline just like it.

(Read the full article here)

[Image via Esquire]

Keystone XL pipeline protesters encircle White House

ryking:

But I’m sure you’ve already heard about this, as our liberal media has been talking about nothing else. At all. Because it’s so liberal.

cwnl:

cultureofresistance:

Robert Redford: Join the Nov. 6 Keystone XL Protest

http://tarsandsaction.org 

Join us at the White House on November 6 for a major protest against the Keystone XL pipeline.


Please watch this, especially those of you who support Obama. Seeing how he recently gave the go-ahead on the construction of the pipeline despite mass public disapproval due to its environmental implications.

(Source: socialuprooting)

We have the knowledge and the fact that oil sands are more CO2-polluting than other kinds of fuel.

Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Chief

Science Shows Canada Oil Sand Fuels Are High-Risk

Canada’s plans for tar sands will put the world on track for 6 degrees of warming, way past the globally accepted limit of 2 degrees,” said Franziska Achterberg of Greenpeace.

“Six degrees would be game over.”

The proposed ranking assigns oil sands crude a default greenhouse gas value of 107 grams of carbon per megajoule, compared with 87.5 grams for conventional oil.

Two of the other unconventional fuel sources have higher values than oil sands. They are oil shale at 131.3, found in EU-member Estonia, and coal-to-liquid at 172.

(via jtotheizzoe)

cwnl:

jtotheizzoe:

James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was arrested yesterday as part of the ongoing protests against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
That’s what I call putting your money where your scientific mouth is.
(via Discovery News)



God speed. Leave it to this country to either shut the scientists up or put them in jail in favor of company. I’m surprised not as much people are raging over this.

cwnl:

jtotheizzoe:

James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was arrested yesterday as part of the ongoing protests against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

That’s what I call putting your money where your scientific mouth is.

(via Discovery News)

God speed. Leave it to this country to either shut the scientists up or put them in jail in favor of company. I’m surprised not as much people are raging over this.