I wish Shell’s plan to drill the arctic were a bad joke but it’s not. Share a bad joke with greenpeace to remind the world that drilling in the arctic is not a joke.


It’s a drill that shoots frickin’ laser beams 

by Michael Keller

And it was built by a company called Foro Energy with funding assistance from the Department of Energy’s advanced research projects agency, ARPA-E. The agency says the innovation makes drilling for petroleum and geothermal sources of energy faster and cheaper.

Foro engineers overcame major physical obstacles to make their high-powered lasers. They can now deliver laser energy through fiber optic cable over long distances because they figured out how to counter an effect called stimulated Brillouin scattering. This physics problem occurs when the electric field of a high-energy laser triggers vibrations in the fiber that interfere with the movement of photons. The vibrations cause the photons to scatter, often back in the direction from which they traveled. 

See the video below.

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A few miles outside Glacier National Park in northwest Montana is land known as the Badger-Two Medicine, the ancestral home of the Blackfeet tribe.

But it’s also the site of 18 oil and gas development leases, and an energy company is heading to federal court March 10 to fight for the right to drill there after decades of delay.

Blackfeet tribal historian John Murray doesn’t want the drilling to begin.

Tribe Says Drilling Project Would Have ‘Heartbreaking’ Consequences

Photo credit: Corin Cates-Carney/Montana Public Radio


The Gates of Hell

In the hot, expansive Karakum desert in Turkmenistan, near the 350-person village of Derweze, is a hole 230 feet wide that has been on fire for over 40 years.

Locals know the crater as “The Gates of Hell.” Its glow can be seen for miles around.

The Gates of Hell were created in 1971 when a Soviet drilling rig accidentally punched into a massive underground natural gas cavern, causing the ground to collapse and the entire drilling rig to fall in. Having punctured a pocket of gas, poisonous fumes began leaking at an alarming rate. To head off a potential environmental catastrophe, the Soviets set the hole alight. The crater hasn’t stopped burning since.

The Soviet drilling rig is believed to still be down there somewhere, on the other side of the “Gates of Hell.”

Four years after Deepwater Horizon disaster, US agrees to let BP oil rigs back into the Gulf
March 14, 2014

Get ready, Gulf: BP is back.

The U.S. government on Thursday announced that it will lift the ban that prevented BP from seeking new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico, ending a lawsuit filed by the British oil company that said it was being unfairly punished for its disastrous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The announcement comes nearly four years after the Deepwater explosion, which killed 11 crewmen and resulted in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

“This is a fair agreement that requires BP to improve its practices in order to meet the terms we’ve outlined together,” Craig Hooks, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Administration and Resources Management, said in a statement. “Many months of discussions and assessments have led up to this point, and I’m confident we’ve secured strong provisions to protect the integrity of federal procurement programs.”

Following the Deepwater spill, BP wasn’t always banned from seeking federal oil leases in the Gulf. For more than two and a half years after the disaster, the U.S. government continued to purchase fuel under contracts with BP. The last lease sale BP participated in was in June 2012, when they acquired deepwater leases. The U.S. government only announced that it would ban BP and its 21 related entities from seeking government contracts in November of 2012 and January of 2013.

BP filed its lawsuit against the U.S. government in August 2013, claiming the ban was unfair and didn’t take into account the company’s “strong safety record,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit sought to make the ban “null, void, and unenforceable,” and asked the court to prevent the EPA from enforcing it.

The agreement announced by EPA to let BP back into the Gulf will end that lawsuit, and will also establish a so-called “administrative agreement” designed to keep BP in check. Under the agreement, BP will be required to retain an EPA-approved independent auditor to conduct annual reviews and report on BP’s compliance. The agreement, EPA said, will include requirements on ethics, corporate governance, and safety procedures. There will be “zero tolerance” for retaliation against employees or contractors who raise safety concerns, the EPA said.

Just because BP wasn’t allowed to bid for new oil leases in the Gulf for the last few years, however, doesn’t mean that the company wasn’t drilling in the Gulf. BP had existing leases it was allowed to operate — more oil leases in the Gulf than any other driller, in fact. It also holds leases in the Gulf from non-U.S. contractors. In November, for example, the companyadded two new drilling rigs to its offshore Gulf of Mexico operations, under a long-term contract to BP from Seadrill Ltd, an international offshore drilling contractor.

That November announcement brought the company’s total number of Gulf rigs to nine. Now, with the ban on federal drilling leases lifted, the sky’s the limit.




Q was sat opposite, tied to a chair, watching Bond with wide and horrified eyes.

“And you love your Quartermaster, don’t you James?” Blofeld was saying, watching the pair of them watch each other. “Now, wouldn’t it be just terrible if you, say, forgot who he is?”

For the first time, Q could see a genuine flicker of fear in Bond’s expression; Blofeld was threatening something neither had known could be threatened.

Prosopagnosia, Q thinks to himself, with a fair degree of desperation, even if he forgets my face, he’ll remember me. He has to remember me.

The drill bores into the side of Bond’s skull, and Q can see him fighting already, trying to print Q’s face into his memory, examining every single feature and thinking, trying, fixing as best he humanly can.

Q has never been so frightened in his life. There is nothing worse he can think of in the world than seeing Bond, and Bond not knowing who he is.

“Let me go to him.”

Blofeld looks at Q as though he’d forgotten the man was there. To be honest, he probably had.

A long moment passes, and Blofeld nods.

Somebody undoes the binds around his wrists, and Q darts forward, finding Bond’s warmth and knowing, knowing he has to recognise him, he has to.

“Please, James,” he murmurs under his breath, fingers skimming over the needlepoint hole and praying to gods he hadn’t known he could pray to in the desperate hope that Bond would open his eyes and see.

Bond opens his eyes.

Q feels the tension drain out of him.

“I love you,” Q breathes.

“And I love you too,” Bond replies, almost inaudibly.

Everything calms to a quiet moment, a bubble in which all that exists is the two of them and the ridiculous relief.

Q can’t help the smile. “Your watch.”

Bond understood, and the look in his eyes is all Q’s, all admiration and knowing precisely what he means and loving him entirely for being so bloody intelligent that he has somehow got them out of this situation.

Q’s fingers brush over his bound hands, and the watch slips into his grip.

Behind them, Blofeld is speaking, and Q knows they are very short on time.

Bond can only watch as Q – and good god, there is no power on this earth that would blot him from memory, nothing – frisbees the watch towards Blofeld’s chair.

The explosion is extraordinary. Even Q seems vaguely impressed with himself, although this is swallowed by him extracting Bond from the chair.

“Thank you,” Bond says quickly, smiling at Q, who releases him and immediately liberates a gun from one of the men who’d been floored; he checks it, primes it, and shoots through Blofeld’s head while the smoke is still gathering.

Now, it is Bond’s turn, and he just needs to get them out.

“Follow my lead,” he tells Q, and they run.

If you look at those places where they are drilling oil, those are the regions most people live with terrible health conditions and no education. Those are the regions that are most poor. People thought that they could come here and exploit oil and then just wash their hands and they would move on. But that did not happen. We’re a pain in the ass for the government right now. Haha! And that makes me hopeful. That makes me know that we can get further. You can not justify human rights abuses with economical arguments. We’re also human beings just as anyone else. And we have the same rights as anyone else to choose our way of life and to have that choice respected.

Nina Gualinga, Kichwa Nation on the Oil Drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon