I don’t watch television, but I almost wish I had caught this one live. (What would I do without YouTube?) I found two glorious nuggets in Barack Obama‘s victory speech after the Iowa Caucus on Thursday night. The first:
I’ll be a President who harnesses the ingenuity of farmers and scientists and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil once and for all. And I’ll be a President who ends this war in Iraq and finally brings our troops home, who restores our moral standing, who understands that 9/11 is not a way to scare up votes but a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st century — common threats of terrorism and nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty, genocide and disease.
OK, so that probably qualifies as six or eight. Wow! A US presidential possibility talking about the tyranny of oil, the threats of nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty? w00t! Not surprising this dude won! I hope he has excellent security around him because the KKK can’t be too happy about it.
Here’s the second shining nugget:
Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it and to work for it and to fight for it. Hope is what I saw…Hope is what led me here today…
After he won the SK election in November 2007, Brad Wall shouted, Hope beats fear! Hope beats fear! I cringed when I heard that language. Hope doesn’t beat anything. It’s scientifically wrong. And, there was certainly no evidence contrary to a definitive Sask Party win before the SK election in November.
Obama understands hope. Hope is something we can have and hold. We can dare to choose it. We can choose to find the courage to work towards that for which we hope. We can use that courage to make change in our personal and public lives. Tommy Douglas knew about that, too. It’s evident in his epitaph, Courage my Friends, ’tis not too late to make a better world. I think Barak and Tommy would be buds were the times different.
I don’t know if Barack Obama is the right guy to lead the Democrats to victory. My sense is he’s a good guy, a little less radical than I would want. But he could pull the vote from where it’s never been pulled and the USA is long overdue for a black president. Here’s his full victory speech, if you’re interested.
With thanks to that bastard logician with three t’s, mattt, for the nudge.
Veering ever-so slightly off my no nukes agenda to slip in an I told you so. Mayor Fiacco would not reveal the plans for this before the municipal election and now that he is safely back in office he can reveal his real plan. Today P’n’P learns of the plan for a Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port which is part of the NAFTA Highway, the Security and Prosperity Agreement, the ecological devastation called the Tar Sands, and North American Union.
This gateway involves moving the rails from central Regina to the west side where industrial development is taking place and will likely increase dramatically without our approval. It will increase land and air traffic which means more air and noise pollution. It will move us closer to BushCo’s & HarperCo’s dreams of not only continental unity but also a continental currency. At a time when we need to be doing our utmost to curb green house gas emissions, our City is promoting increased consumption and an increased use of fossil fuels!
Thanks for what amounts to lies, Mayor Pat, and for selling us out to the corporatist extremists. We’ll see you at the polls in less than two years. And we will remember.
Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port
Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port
The Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port, or “Prairie Gateway” is a virtual combination of services and a cluster of numerous transportation, distribution and assembly players working and investing together. This is the best way to maximize the existing transportation assets across an integrated region, with many transportation, production, storage, trans-loading, assembly, product identification and research resources working as a team. This base will draw additional investment, labour and technology as a catalyst for a host of new ancillary business service companies.
What is an Inland Port?
An Inland Port is defined less on the physical aspects of one location and more on the intelligent logistics and coordination of a multitude of services. It has the following qualities:
- Is an organization or coalition made up of key transportation stakeholders
- Serves the regional trading area businesses and economy
- Facilitates growth for both import and export trade logistics
- A mechanism for cooperation, marketing the regions trade processing abilities
- Provides national coordination and collaboration among ocean port users
Like the Kansas City Smart Port regional model, the Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port will be anchored by “connecting” the three major cities of Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Regina. This will promote regional asset and system optimization. It is proposed that Saskatchewan’s central continental location and lower costs would be of sufficient appeal to attract international investor attention. The high level of cooperation among the principal transportation centres of Saskatchewan, through the tri-cities will generate distinct advantages, including:
- Integrate and maximize the unique sub-regional advantages of each community to generate even greater synergies than each community could achieve by working separately;
- Provide a value-enhancing alternative to the various less coordinated and smaller scale and scope terminals, hubs or trans-loading sites existing in other parts of Canada;
- Foster freight movement productivity through modernization of regulatory reform (i.e. highway road weight limits) and preservation of freight-corridor efficiency on road, rail and air.
The US backtracked yesterday on the climate change agreement reached after marathon talks in Bali, saying it had “serious concerns” about the new global consensus and that developing countries had to do far more if there was to be any pact in two years’ time.
The reality check followed the drama and euphoria of the weekend when the US was shamed into joining the rest of the world in working towards a new climate change agreement to come into force after 2012. All 190 countries have agreed to take the talks further.
But the White House press secretary, Dana Perino, poured cold water on the Bali result, saying the talks had not adequately addressed the responsibilities of developing countries. “The US does have serious concerns. Negotiations must [now] proceed on the view that the problem of climate change cannot be adequately addressed through commitments for emissions cuts by developed countries alone.”
In a clear signal that the US would agree to nothing unless China and India, the two largest developing countries, agreed to significant cuts, she said that account had to be taken of the size of countries’ emissions as well as their level of economic advancement. China’s emissions are on a level with those of the US but on a per capita level, each American emits far more than a Chinese. “For these negotiations to succeed, it is essential the major developed and developing countries be prepared to negotiate commitments that will make a due contribution to the reduction of global emissions,” she said.
Not really surprising, eh? In fact, it makes Environment Minister John Baird’s behavior at the plenary make sense. He wasn’t expecting the US to agree to anything. But they did do so, we now see, just to shut everyone up. They had to; they need NAU, GNEP and the Tar Sands to go ahead as planned.
Edited to add Monbiot’s point that this is an echo of the Kyoto round.
It just keeps getting more and more interesting, how these pronukers and oil barons collude and collaborate. I found the following buried in a Globe and Mail article:
Bruce Power Corp. announced that it has agreed to purchase assets of Energy Alberta Corp., a small company that has proposed building a reactor in Alberta to supply electricity and, possibly, hydrogen.
Bruce Power said it would forge ahead with plans to build a Candu reactor near Peace River, Alberta, with the launch of a full environmental assessment.
Isn’t it just so convenient that the Energy Alberta Corporation (EAC) is being consumed by the Bruce Power Corporation (BPC)? EAC is the little unknown Alberta company that introduced itself in 2005 with a mission to “to provide clean, emission-free energy, utilizing advanced and proven nuclear technology to supply oil sands operators and the province of Alberta with a reliable flow of electricity at a competitive cost.” [Note: EAC’s corporate mission statement has been revised since P’n’P first reported on this issue.] EAC teamed up with the federal crown corporation, Atomic Energy of Canada Corporation, in its bid to build a new-fangled and untested CANDU nuclear reactor in northern Alberta.
BPC bills itself as “Canada’s first private nuclear generating company.” Basically, it’s an all-male consortium with representatives from the uranium giant, Cameco, which purchased “nearly a third of Bruce Power LP” in 2003 according to Friends of Bruce. Also represented on the Bruce Power board is TransCanada Power Corporation, a pipelines and energy business which includes gas transmission, power generation, gas storage and their plans for the Keystone Pipeline which is proposed to run from the Alberta Tar Sands and south into the USA. The Communications, Energy, Paperworkers (CEP) Union of Canada, an affiliate of International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions, has called on the feds to refer the matter to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources for broader discussion and on Canadians to take actions to stop this proposed pipeline.
“There is no way this pipeline benefits Canada in any way,” says CEP President Dave Coles. “It’s all about boosting the bottom line of multinational oil companies.”
“This ruling is not in the public interest economically, socially or environmentally. CEP studies submitted to the NEB — that show the loss of 18,000 potential new jobs — have been ignored. Environmental concerns have been similarly ignored as has the issue of Canada compromising the energy needs of its own citizens to feed U.S. markets.”
“Clearly, this is the wrong decision for Canada, and it brings into question the role of the Board and the need for a domestic energy policy to protect Canadian interests. This discussion belongs in the political arena, and the federal government should take the necessary steps to make that happen.”
Interestingly, there is now a vacancy at the National Energy Board.
The tar sands giga-project is the single largest industrial project ever undertaken in the history of humanity, according to Oil Sands Truth. The community-based organization is working to shut down the tar sands project as part of Canada’s plan to tackle climate change and stop environmental devastation. Apparently, the MSM forgot to send a reporter to their end of November conference, Everyone’s Downstream, which brought together representatives from First Nations communities, environmental organizations, northern communities and migrant workers’ rights groups as well as the general public.
The proponents of the plan to nuclearize northern Alberta have been working tirelessly. Wayne Henuset of EAB was in Saskatoon in October, speaking at a Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce luncheon about Nuclear Power in the Oil Sands. All the players are moving ahead as though this project will not be stopped. We can be sure that Saskatchewan’s new premier, Brad Wall, will be eager to help his friends in the energy industry by supplying them with all they need.
To those who love this planet, it is essentional that we come together and stop this project. Greenpeace has named the threats of this project and they are huge:
I believe the capacity of the human spirit to overcome problems is greater than the threats we face. All we need to is to live into our intention to love this planet. Take action now!
I was particularly interested in these points about “America’s emotional and moral malaise” before the writer launches into how the Iraq Resistance shows the American State for what it is.
America’s Emotional and Moral Malaise
The explanation of Bush’s hold on the United States developed in The Business of Emotions over the past few years, can be summarized thus:
1. Without authentic emotions, the vital connection between thinking and feeling is lost and the ability to act, morally and politically, for oneself and for others, is compromised…
2. People who lack emotional authenticity are incapable of recognizing its absence in others…
3. People who lack authentic emotions are susceptible to the predations of emotional marketers…
4. Thinking without feeling, talking without meaning…
I guess oil is soooo important that women and girls lives don’t really matter to GWB & Co…
The Independent on Sunday ~~ June 24, 2007
‘50,000 Iraqi refugees’ forced into prostitution
Women and girls, many alarmingly young, who fled the chaos at home are
being further betrayed after reaching ‘safety’ in Syria
By Nihal Hassan in Damascus
It’s Monday night in a dingy club on the outskirts of the Syrian
capital. Two dozen girls are moving half-heartedly on the dance floor,
lit up by flashing disco lights.
They are dessed in tight jeans, low-cut tops and knee-high boots, but
the girls’ make-up can’t disguise the fact that most are in their
mid-teens. It’s a strange sight in a conservative Muslim country, but
this is the sex business, and it’s booming as a result of the war in Iraq.
Backstage, the manager sits in his leather chair, doing business. A
Saudi client is quoted $500 for one of the girls. Eventually he beats
it down to $300. Next door, in a dimly lit room, the next shift of
girls arrives, taking off the black all-covering abayasthey wear
outside and putting on lipstick and mascara.
To judge from the cars parked outside, the clients come from all over
the Gulf region – many are young Saudi men escaping from an even more
conservative moral climate. But the Syrian friend who has brought me
here tells me that 95 per cent of the girls are Iraqi.
Most are unwilling to talk, but Zahra, an attractive girl with a bare
midriff and tattoos, tells me she’s 16. She has been working in this
club since fleeing to Syria from Baghdad after the war. She doesn’t
like it, she says, “but what can we do? I hope things get better in
Iraq, because I miss it. I want to go back, but I have to look after
my sister”. Zahra points to a thin, pubescent girl with long black
hair, who seems to be dancing quite happily. Aged 13, Nadia started in
the club two months ago.
As the girls dance suggestively, allowing their breasts to brush
against each other, one winks at a customer. But these girls are not
just providing the floor show – they have paid to be here, and they
need to pick up a client, or they’ll lose money. If successful,
they’ll earn about $60, equivalent to a month’s wages in a factory.
There are more than a million Iraqi refugees in Syria, many are women
whose husbands or fathers have been killed. Banned from working
legally, they have few options outside the sex trade. No one knows how
many end up as prostitutes, but Hana Ibrahim, founder of the Iraqi
women’s group Women’s Will, puts the figure at 50,000.
I met Fatima in a block of flats operating informally as a brothel in
Saida Zainab, a run-down area with a large Iraqi population. Millions
of Shias go there every year, because of the shrine of the prophet
Mohamed’s granddaughter. “I came to Syria after my husband was killed,
leaving me with two children,” Fatima tells me. “My aunt asked me to
join her here, and my brothers pressured me to go.” She didn’t realise
the work her aunt did, and she would be forced to take up, until she arrived.
Fatima is in her mid-20s, but campaigners say the number of Iraqi
children working as prostitutes is high. Bassam al-Kadi of Syrian
Women Observatory says: “Some have been sexually abused in Iraq, but
others are being prostituted by fathers and uncles who bring them here
under the pretext of protecting them. They are virgins, and they are
brought here like an investment and exploited in a very ugly way.”
Further viewing: Nihal Hassan and Nima Elbagir’s report will appear on
‘More 4 News’ at 8pm tomorrow
Begin forwarded message:
Subject: [Rad-waste] Unresolved questions remain about environmental implications and costs. (nuke waste)
Nuclear energy endorsement may be linked to tar sands and climate change pressure
Unresolved questions remain about environmental implications and costs.
Ottawa, June 18, 2007 Why is the minority Conservative government proceeding on nuclear energy at a time when it is fighting to regain public support after a difficult spring?
Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn announced Friday the Harper government’s endorsement of nuclear power and its approval of going ahead with storing high-level radioactive waste underground.
“Really, what this will allow is a permanent storage and a deep geological depository,” Lunn said. “This is an important decision for the government of Canada. As you know, the nuclear industry is very, very important.”
For years, the lack of long-term disposal plans has hobbled the nuclear industry, which has lobbied heavily for burying waste deep. Canadians, however, have always said no when asked to have nuclear waste disposal sites in their communities. At the news conference, Lunn dismissed concerns raised by environmentalists about the risks of nuclear energy as well as economic concerns about safe storage plans.
“This is just the beginning of a long process but they (the industry) will be able to begin that process today. It will allow the fuel to be retrieved as technology moves forward and, more importantly, allow it to be monitored continuously as it’s going through the storage process.”
The announcement makes sense for three key corporate sectors: tar sands, nuclear and construction/development. With the government under pressure to do something about greenhouse gas emissions related to the growth of oil extraction in the Alberta tar sands, nuclear seems an ideal option.
In the June 8, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review, Rob Ainsworth, of the arch-right-wing Canadian LaRouche Youth Movement reports, as have others, of “a project in the Alberta tar sands to construct two 1,100-megawatt reactors, providing power to the area, as well as heat and steam for industrial purposes.” It takes an enormous amount of energy to extract oil from tar sands, and nuclear is been touted as a way to greatly reduce the amount of oil burned to support the process.
Every aspect of nuclear power development is both enormously expensive for governments and profitable for the corporations involved. “Most of the top engineering and heavy construction firms serve the energy sector in one form or another,” writes Vance Cariaga in Investor’s Business Daily. “Some go straight to the wellhead by offering design and management services for oil and gas production. Others build hydrocarbon processing plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and nuclear power facilities.”
The licensing of more reactors would also be a great boon, at potentially greater public expense, to Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, which has received subsidies of $17.5 billion over 50 years, according to the Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout.
The Conservatives’ announcement allows existing reactor sites to continue accumulating waste indefinitely, and it initiates a search for an “informed community” willing to host a “deep repository” for burial of wastes. It will also explore moving wastes to a central location for temporary, shallow underground storage and recycling of nuclear fuel.
As Susan Riley writes in today’s Ottawa Citizen, “Apart from the experimental nature of the proposed solution, many hurdles remain notably, finding a community desperate enough to become a nuclear dumping ground. It has been long supposed that some remote northern town would be the lucky winner, given the technological preference for disposing of the waste deep in the Canadian shield. But recent research suggests the sedimentary rock underlying much of southern Ontario would also be suitable. That said, the prospect of a bidding war between Oakville and Rosedale appears unlikely.”
With these plans, the Harper government has made an unequivocal commitment to nuclear power and ignores difficult issues of radioactive wastes that have never been resolved by scientists or the Canadian public. Nuclear power remains vulnerable to human carelessness, as well as deliberate acts of terrorism or other sabotage. Even the best-designed radioactive waste repository will leak and expose future generations to radiation. The federal environmental assessment panel concluded in 1998 that from a social perspective, the safety of deep geological disposal has not been adequately demonstrated, has never been officially contradicted or disproved.
“From a technical perspective, safety of the AECL concept has been on balance adequately demonstrated for a conceptual stage of development, but from a social perspective, it has not,” the report stated. “As it stands, the AECL concept for deep geological disposal has not been demonstrated to have broad public support.”
Nuclear power has left unresolved environmental problems in Canada. Uranium mining has killed Saskatchewan lakes. Processing uranium has created a permanent toxic legacy in the town of Port Hope, Ontario. CANDU reactors routinely release radioactive carbon dioxide and radioactive water contaminated with tritium during their operations, polluting air and water and jeopardizing human health, as confirmed last week in a report commissioned by Greenpeace Canada.
The government announcement reflects recommendations in a report by the government-appointed Nuclear Waste Management Association, which is largely made up of nuclear industry or ex-industry personnel. The Sierra Club of Canada’s Emilie Moorhouse said, “Its interests are not public health. Its interests are the promotion of this industry.”
Related individuals, organizations and significant events
Intensity-based targets promote oil industry frame
Harper Conservative vs. Public Values Frame
Long process / Unstoppable expansion
Green / Unresolved public safety questions
Economical / Massive subsidies
Links and sources
Feds back underground disposal of nuclear waste , Canadian Press, June 15, 2007
Susan Riley, Going nuclear by stealth , The Ottawa Citizen, June 18, 2007
The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Canadian LaRouche Youth Movement.
Rob Ainsworth, Will Canada Join the Rail and Nuclear Renaissance? , Executive Intelligence Review, June 8, 2007
Vance Cariaga, Heavy Construction Firms Busy Helping Thriving Energy Sector , Investor’s Business Daily, May 22, 2007
Tyler Hamilton, Hot granite and steam could clean up oil sands, Toronto Star, May 30, 2007
Environmental Assessment Report on High Level Waste Disposal Concept, 1998
Chinta Puxley, Radioactive tritium in Great Lakes puts kids at risk: study , London Free Press, June 13, 2007
Canadian Nuclear Subsidies: Fifty Years of Futile Funding, Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout
Posted: June 18, 2007 at http://www.harperindex.ca/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=0057
Rad-waste mailing list
It seems the back-assward Sask NDP are proud to invest more money in the oil and gas industry at a time when oil and gas are being recognized as great contributors to global warming. It’s economic racism, I think, to put First Nations people into this situation.
But you go figure, because I give up trying to figure out this bunch of red-necked neo-cons that call themselves progressive and kiss-ass the corporate sector!
People in northwest Saskatchewan will soon be better equipped to investigate business opportunities and find employment in Saskatchewan’s booming oil and gas industries. Canada’s New Government and the Government of Saskatchewan are providing a total of $1.67 million to the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) to implement three projects in the area of business development and employment training.
The investment was announced today by Saskatchewan First Nations & Métis Relations Minister Maynard Sonntag, on behalf of Industry and Resources Minister Eric Cline and Northern Affairs Minister Joan Beatty, and the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification.
“It is important that our governments help First Nations and Metis peoples and northerners take advantage of opportunities in their regions and make the most of our strong economy,” Sonntag said. “These projects will contribute to northern development and lead to a better quality of life for people in this area.”
“Canada’s New Government is proud to invest over $1.3 million in these projects which will give residents of northern Saskatchewan, including First Nations people, the resources and training they need to capitalize on the increasing business and employment prospects in oil and gas,” said Minister Ambrose. “We are proud to get things done for the residents of northern Saskatchewan by working in partnership with other orders of government.”
The largest project, involving $1.4 million, will provide the MLTC funds to establish an Oil and Gas Secretariat to pursue emerging business opportunities in the oil and gas sector on behalf of its members. The other two projects will provide job training to northerners seeking employment on oil drilling rigs or as heavy equipment operators in the oil, gas, mining or construction industries.
Meadow Lake Tribal Council represents nine First Nations in northwestern Saskatchewan with a combined membership of 11,000. According to tribal Chief Helen Ben, oil and gas initiatives will provide MLTC members with additional employment, training and business opportunities. “We have been fortunate in the past to become significant players in the forest industry and this new funding will help us to become involved with an even larger industry. We realize that the real effort will be made by the young men and women who are still in school today, getting a better education and better training. But we know they can do it and our Tribal council intends to be there to help.”
“Investments made into training programs under the Northern Development Agreement are providing access to gainful employment for Northerners in all sectors,” Northern Development Board chair Al Rivard said. “Early results of the oil and gas exploration in northern Saskatchewan are encouraging, these training programs provide northern residents with transferable skills so that once this new exciting sector comes to fruition, we will have trained northerners ready and willing to take on these new opportunities.”
Funding for the MLTC capacity building project is being provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement. This Agreement funds initiatives that increase Aboriginal participation in the economic mainstream, develop Saskatchewan’s small and medium-sized business sector, support economic and technological innovation, and assist with diversifying Saskatchewan’s economy. This contribution reinforces the commitment of both governments to increase First Nations involvement in the development of Saskatchewan’s non-renewable resources.
The drilling rig and heavy equipment operator programs are receiving funding from the Canada-Saskatchewan Northern Development Agreement (NDA). The NDA is providing $20 million over six years (2002 to 2008) for a variety of northern economic development initiatives. About $13.8 million has been announced to date to support 43 projects. In addition to a broad range of training and employment programs, the Agreement has invested in expanding high-speed Internet service to more than 35 northern communities.
For more information, contact:
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Saskatchewan Industry and Resources
Saskatchewan Northern Affairs
Meadow Lake Tribal Council
Northern Development Board
If I knew what to do I would embed the video here, but alas and alack, I don’t so you’ll have to click the link to see Dispatches: IraqThe womans story at Google Video.