oil politics

It’s Thanksgiving which means tables decorated with tiny porcelain figures of Native Americans sharing corn with pilgrims. It’s a holiday about being grateful, coming together, and being at peace but while we use caricatures of a great people, mainstream media ignores their cries for help. While we set tables with servings of food that are far too large, the original inhabitants of this great nation struggle to fight for clean drinking water and respect for their ancestors.

I’m not great at words but this issue is very dear to my heart so here’s some art.

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Trump to sign executive orders pushing forward Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines

  • Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday on the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, according to multiple reports.
  • The orders will push forward the controversial oil pipelines that have drawn fierce protests from environmental and tribal activists.
  • Press Secretary Sean Spicer hinted Monday at a news conference that Trump wanted to move forward with the oil pipelines.
  • Still, it was unclear how sweeping the action on the pipelines would be via executive order.
  • According to reports, the executive order will “advance” both projects, though few other details on that advancement were immediately available. Read more
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President Obama bans drilling in stretches of the Arctic and Atlantic

  • President  Obama declared vast stretches of the Arctic and Atlantic off-limits for future drilling on Tuesday
  • It’s a move seemingly intended to prevent the future administration of Donald Trump from leasing the areas to oil and gas companies.
  • Obama invoked the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to declare sections of the Chukchi sea under U.S. jurisdiction and the majority of the Beaufort Sea “indefinitely off limits” for future energy extraction.
  • According to the Post, while Trump cannot unilaterally reopen the areas to drilling, it is “not clear” if he could do so with the consent of a Republican-controlled Congress.  Read more

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Trump doubles down on aggressive policies in his first White House TV interview

  • In his first sit-down television interview at the White House, with ABC News, Trump defended his most controversial policy proposals.
  • Trump discussed denying visas to persons from seven Muslim-majority countries. “We are excluding certain countries, but for other countries we are having extreme vetting.”
  • Trump reiterated his belief the U.S. should have plundered Iraq’s oil reserves in 2003, raising fears he still thinks Iraq is ripe for pillaging.
  • “We should’ve taken the oil,” Trump said “And if we took the oil you wouldn’t have ISIS. And we would have had wealth.”
  • Taking Iraq’s oil would be a grave violation of international law, specifically the Hague Convention of 1907 and 1949 Geneva Convention, which prohibits signatories from pillaging territories under private or military control for material gain.
  • The president also defended a baseless lie that millions of undocumented immigrants voted for his opponent Hillary Clinton in the general election. Read more

Trump says intel officials told him torture "absolutely” works

  • He also said that intelligence officials have assured him torture is “absolutely” an effective way of extracting information from captives.
  • Torture does not, in fact, “absolutely” work. An exhaustive 2014 Senate report on CIA detention programs launched during Bush’s term found no evidence torture was a reliable or effective intelligence tool. Read more

I’m not saying that free-market economics is bad or dangerous, I’m saying that it doesn’t even exist.

The mythical butcher-baker-candlestick-maker view of capitalism only existed in the very earliest days of capitalist development, when it was little more than a social experiment embarked upon by adventurous minor nobles and desperate peasants in fast-growing early-modern cities. The whole reason capitalism survived as a way of organising economic activity was because the newly-wealthy capitalist elites were best placed to wield influence over tottering European feudal states as they crumbled under their own weight - taking them over to run them as glorified protection rackets for their profit-making schemes. From its earliest inception within feudal societies, capital has sought the benefits of the state - legal regulation, economic protectionism, military repression - and used them to secure its future.

Even the most dimly-conscious free-market ideologue knows this. What ‘free-market’ ideology really conceals is a civil war between staggeringly wealthy elites, over which faction of capitalists should reap the rewards: those who benefit from the huge resources of states being poured into subsidising the profits of manufacturing, industry and trade, or those who can make a killing from bank bailouts, government-secured property deals and state-backed oil ventures.

Modern states, therefore, are to capitalism both nursemaid and childhood playmate: they are utterly inseparable, bound together in a Faustian bargain written in the blood of workers.

Make no mistake, after DAPL is defeated, the fight doesn’t actually end.

There have been two more pipelines approved to be built, and with Trumps’ backing, Keystone is an additional one.

Time and time again, these oil pipelines spring up across the country, and often are either near or on Indigenous land. DAPL is not a new occurrence to Indigenous people and non native farmers alike. The difference this time around has been clear and evident violations, social media and a major outpouring of allies.

At the end of the day, the problem continues because we still run on oil and refuse to look into clean energy projects. Reason being, oil has been the backbone to the Fat Cats wealth and fortune…but it almost always is at the expense of those in poverty and Native peoples.

All credible sources agree that we are using up our resources at an alarming rate, and the impact we have had on our earth is terrifying. If we continue, there WILL NOT be an earth for future generations to inherit. And my generation will experience excessive thirst, hunger and failing health related to events that have occurred.

When I was in college, we talked briefly about the impending “Water Wars” that economists were predicting. If you have zero idea what I’m talking about, I strongly, strongly encourage you to start researching it, because the concept is behind the very fight against DAPL.

Most people are aware of what happened in Flint, and the fact that they STILL don’t have access to clean water. Period. What they have to do to survive, is pay for filters (which are NOT cheap) and all kinds of bottled water imported from other areas etc.

The politicians in Flint have ultimately made water a COMMODITY, something that only those who can AFFORD IT, can utilize. And it has been effective in lining the pockets of greedy assholes.

Mark my words, you will be paying big bucks for clean water in the next decade or so unless something changes.

As scientists and policy experts rush to find solutions to the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced, our institutions are embroiled in a nationwide conflict of interest with the industry that has the most to lose. Our message to universities is: stop ignoring it. 

We are not saying that universities must cut all ties with all fossil fuel companies. Energy research is so awash with fossil fuel funding that such a proposal would imply major changes. What we are saying is that denial – “I don’t see a conflict,” MIT’s Chairman told The Boston Globe – is no longer acceptable. Two parallel approaches can help. First, mandatory standards should be established in climate policy and #energy research for disclosing financial and professional ties with fossil fuel interests, akin to those required in medical research. And second, conflicts of interest should be reduced by prioritizing less conflicted funding and personnel.

One way or another, the colonization of academia by the fossil fuel industry must be confronted. Because when our nation’s “independent” research to stop climate change is in fact dependent on an industry whose interests oppose that goal, neither the public nor the future is well served.

—  Benjamin Franta and Geoffrey Supran  |  The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Invisible Colonization Of AcademiaCorporate capture of academic research by the fossil fuel industry is an elephant in the room and a threat to tackling climate change. | @guardian