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Friday, Jul 25th

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‘A Government Of Thugs’: How Canada Treats Environmental Journalists

Canadian tar sandsI attempted to enter Canada on a Tuesday, flying into the small airport at Fort McMurray, Alberta, waiting for my turn to pass through customs.

“What brings you to Fort Mac?” a Canada Border Services Agency official asked. “I’m a journalist,” I said. “I’m here to see the tar sands.” He pointed me to border security. Another official, a tall, clean-shaven man, asked the same question. “I’m here to see the tar sands.” he frowned. “You mean oil sands. We don’t have tar here.”

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This Ice Sheet Will Unleash a Global Superstorm Sandy That Never Ends

Ice sheetIf you want to truly grasp the scale of Earth's polar ice sheets, you need some help from Isaac Newton. Newton taught us the universal law of gravitation, which states that all objects are attracted to one another in relation to their masses (and the distance between them).

The ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland are incredibly massive—Antarctica's ice is more than two miles thick in places and 5.4 million square miles in extent. These ice sheets are so large, in fact, that gravitational attraction pulls the surrounding ocean toward them. The sea level therefore rises upward at an angle as you approach an ice sheet, and slopes downward and away as you leave its presence.

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House Directs Pentagon To Ignore Climate Change

PentagonThe House passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill on Thursday that would bar the Department of Defense from using funds to assess climate change and its implications for national security.

The amendment, from Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), passed in what was nearly a party-line vote. Four Democrats voted for the amendment, and three Republicans voted against it. The bill aims to block the DOD from taking any significant action related to climate change or its potential consequences. It reads:

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Ecuador issues oil-drilling permit for Amazon reserve

Amazon drillingEcuador's government has issued an environmental permit for oil drilling in the pristine Amazon reserve that President Rafael Correa initially offered to exempt from exploration if rich countries would pay his government.

Correa abandoned that effort last year due to insufficient interest and has spurned pleas by environmentalists to spare the Yasuni reserve.

Earlier this month, Ecuador's electoral council declared invalid a petition drive seeking to prevent drilling in the 6,500-square-mile Amazon reserve.

TVNL Comment:  Every evildoer has a price.  Correa, obviously, has his....and this is it.

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In big public push, White House seeks to smooth way for carbon curbs

Obama on carbon emissionsLast month, Washington's top environment advocate went to the Cleveland Clinic to talk about how President Barack Obama's landmark efforts to crack down on power-plant carbon emissions would ease a range of respiratory illnesses.

Speaking separately to historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta in April, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy also framed proposed new rules in terms of social justice, as poor black communities are disproportionately affected by air pollution.

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Gaslands Josh Fox turns the tables on anti-fracking scam

James O'KeefeOn Wednesday, conservative activist and controversial video sting artist James O’Keefe made an appearance in Cannes during the Film Festival with a new, secretly recorded 20-minute video that he said exposes the hypocrisy of two environmentalist documentarians and two Hollywood actors.

At the end of the clip, after Josh and Rebecca Tickell, Mariel Hemingway, and Ed Begley Jr. appear to have unwittingly agreed to accept financing for an anti-fracking film from Middle East oil interests, O’Keefe claims he’s caught other allegedly altruistic actors and filmmakers in his trap, teasing a clip of a phone conversation with filmmaker Josh Fox.

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Is Climate Change a Crime Against Humanity?

Climate changeWho could forget?  At the time, in the fall of 2002, there was such a drumbeat of “information” from top figures in the Bush administration about the secret Iraqi program to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and so endanger the United States.  And who -- other than a few suckers -- could have doubted that Saddam Hussein was eventually going to get a nuclear weapon?

The only question, as our vice president suggested on “Meet the Press,” was: Would it take one year or five?  And he wasn’t alone in his fears, since there was plenty of proof of what was going on.  For starters, there were those “specially designed aluminum tubes” that the Iraqi autocrat had ordered as components for centrifuges to enrich uranium in his thriving nuclear weapons program.  Reporters Judith Miller and Michael Gordon hit the front page of the New York Times with that story on September 8, 2002.

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