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An investigative report. [Part 1: | Part II: ]

By Cory Morningstar

Part III

The Spin Doctors | Spinning the Potential for Abrupt and Catastrophic Climate Change

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

It is now beyond obvious that those who control the world’s economy are hell-bent on burning all of our planet’s remaining fossil fuels – including those that not long ago, were considered impractical to exploit. Corporate-colluded states, corporate-controlled media and corporate-funded scientists will be red-lining the well-oiled engine of the propaganda machine as it works overtime.

They will try to convince you the methane hydrates in the world’s oceans are deep enough that the inevitable increased temperature will not affect them. (Think again. Take a look at the map – the methane hydrates, even outside of the Arctic, are almost all located on shallow continental shelves.) And if that doesn’t work they will try to convince you that mysterious bacteria will rapaciously devour all methane gas.

In the following paragraphs, the danger that this misinformation presents is outlined. Layered upon the aforementioned spin, at the same time they will try to convince you that because the methane hydrates are now destabilizing and melting (because governments have done nothing for decades to halt global warming), we have no choice but to extract the methane and burn it – for the safety of humanity. If the misinformation contradicts itself, this in itself is of little to no importance – as long as the key message is allowed to weave itself into the collective subconscious. The key message being: “There is no emergency. Methane risks are non-threatening.”

The truth is, there is one option, and one option only. We must stop burning fossil fuels. Completely.

“In an energy hungry world any new fossil fuel resource will only lead to additional carbon emissions.” – Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at the Tyndall Centre at Manchester University, January 2011

Corporatized states, media and scientists who have pledged allegiance to protect the current economic system will try to convince us that methane hydrates will provide society with a “clean,” “sustainable” fossil fuel. [14] Make no mistake – they are not clean or sustainable. Nor are they renewable. [15] The burning of fossil fuels – including natural gas/methane – creates CO2. All the spin in the world will not make this fact any less true. On 14 January 2001, Dr. Gideon Polya explains that a further phony approach that is now being implemented on a massive scale around the world is a coal-to-gas transition on the basis that natural gas is “clean”. He states, “The reality is that gas burning seriously threatens the Planet because (a) humanity should be urgently decreasing and certainly not increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution; (b) Natural Gas (mainly methane, CH4) is not a clean energy greenhouse gas-wise; and (c) pollutants from gas leakage and gas burning pose a chemical risk to residents, agriculture and the environment.” The asserted “clean-er” status of gas as a fossil fuel is contradicted in the recent analysis by Professor Robert Howarth of Cornell University, who has concluded that ” A complete consideration of all emissions from using natural gas seems likely to make natural gas far less attractive than oil and not significantly better than coal in terms of the consequences for global warming. ” It is grossly negligent to spend billions of tax dollars on a dangerous scheme that will lock humanity into what is essentially a promissory note for the annihilation of our children, grandchildren and all life. Polya states: “Top climate scientists state that we must urgently reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration from the current damaging 392 parts per million (ppm) to a safe and sustainable 300 ppm for a safe and sustainable planet for all peoples and all species.” This is absolutely true. It is also true that only zero carbon can achieve any reduction in atmospheric CO2; only zero carbon can reduce ocean acidification.

If we do not stop burning all fossil fuels, the runaway greenhouse scenario will be upon us. The global scheme to drill methane hydrates ensures that there will be no real transition to clean, safe, renewable energy alternatives. Arctic carbon feedbacks are heating the oceans – enough to melt the slightly deeper methane hydrates on all of the continental shelves. Today, there are methane hydrates (for example, off of California) emitting methane gas into the oceans. Methane seeps have been identified along many passive and active continental margins. It will take very little additional warming (perhaps even no additional warming is needed) to add more methane emissions via methane hydrate feedback into the oceans. It is true that in relatively deeper water, much more methane will be dissolved and relatively less will be emitted to the air. (Yet this also produces catastrophic results in the form of further ocean acidification.)

This is why the stability of Arctic methane hydrates is so critical; they do not have this depth of water, therefore they are able to emit far more easily into the atmosphere. The East Siberian Arctic Shelf represents 25% of the Arctic Shelf and 8% of the total area of the World Ocean’s continental shelf. Of this shelf, 75% is shallower than 50 metres in depth (the mean depth of the continental shelf is 130 m); this provides a very short conduit for methane to escape to the atmosphere with almost no oxidation. The Arctic shelf methane hydrates are more vulnerable because they have naturally been experiencing warming by as much as 17°C, while deep oceanic hydrates have been warmed by less than 1°C. [16] Methane hydrates are only stable under specific pressure and temperature conditions.

Most scientists continue to ignore the oceans. Scientist David Archer, who has been pivotal in minimizing methane risks of late, proposes that increased leaking of methane will all dissolve in the oceans for a hundred thousand years – therefore inferring that destabilizing methane hydrates should not be considered a high risk “within our lifetime”. Yet, methane is oxidized in ocean water to CO2 – which acidifies it. It is a possibility that the increase in ocean acidification could be attributed to the melting of methane hydrates.

More acidic oceans must exchange additional CO2 to the atmosphere. Yes, methane-consuming bacteria will digest methane, however, this further depletes oxygen from the oceans and causes further acidification. The result of this is dead oceans. Dead oceans can be imagined as sewers spewing toxic gases like hydrogen sulphide into the air and onto an unrecognizable landscape void of life. Scientists continue to observe critical aspects of climate in a reductionist fashion – failing to acknowledge (or at least convey) that all elements of nature are interconnected. There will be no free lunch. Read the rest of this entry »

An investigative report. [Part 1: | Part II: ]

By Cory Morningstar

Part II

Post Cancún: North America. The New Energy Kingdom

On 13 December 2010 directly following the disastrous Cancún conference (“one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War” [10]), a revealing post is found on the “” website. The article is titled North America: The New Energy Kingdom. From the article: “Beyond shale oil and shale gas, there’s the awesome energy promise of methane hydrates, frozen crystals of water and gas that lie beneath the northern permafrost and beneath oceans floors around the world in quantities that boggle the imagination.”

“Assuming 1 per cent recovery,” the US Geological Survey says, “these deposits [in US territory] could meet the natural gas needs of the country (at current rates of consumption) for 100 years.” The obstructionist corporate-colluded states – the ones responsible for climate change in the first place – have no intention of going to zero carbon in the single decade as direly warned by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) in 2009 – what is necessary for the world to avoid reaching and exceeding a global catastrophic 2ºC. They have no intention of going to zero, ever, until the Earth is literally drilled to death – or we annihilate humanity. Whichever comes first.

NASA Has Known All Along

As we work like the busy little worker proles we are, amusing ourselves with irrelevant trivia and nonsense, the global power structures that form the plutocracy have long understood our future demise at the expense of an insatiable economy – and have kept silent. In a 2007 NASA report titled Methane Hydrates: More Than a Viable Aviation Fuel Feedstock Option, NASA unequivocally states that it is not a matter of if the methane from hydrates escapes, rather it is only a matter of when: “The unabated release of methane sequestered in these hydrates could impact the planet to the point of extinction of life as we understand it. Considering the predicted Earth thermal events, the stability of methane hydrates, and the impact of methane on the environment, the question is not will this methane be released, but when. It is suggested in this report that enhanced efforts be placed on a comprehensive program to locate, assess, and recover the sequestered methane at surface levels to meet the energy demand rather than permitting natural release into the environment.” The report later states, “Still, the world energy producers and consumers are encouraged to turn to the Sun and learn to capture, store, condition, and transmit that energy to meet energy needs and to maintain planetary stability.” Fat chance. Corporations would only be interested in the sun if they could drill it.

Blinded by Addiction: Methane Hydrates – The Oil of the Future

The OECD originated in 1948 as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC). In the early 1990s, intergovernmental negotiations soon transformed the vision of prevention into a more restricted mitigation/adaptation agenda. By 1992 it is clear that influential interest groups and powerful institutions had become heavily involved in the negotiations, including the OECD, OPEC countries, oil-importing developing nations and private industry/corporations. The OECD has been heavily criticized by several civil society groups as well as developing states. The main criticism has been the narrowness of the OECD on account of its limited membership to a select few wealthy states. [11]

An unclassified document was prepared in May 2003 by the OECD and the International Energy Agency (IEA) Secretariats at the request of the Annex I Expert Group on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The acknowledgements cite Cédric Philibert at the IEA who prepared the document while thanking the US’s Jonathan Pershing for the information, comments and ideas he provided.

From the unclassified document: Technology Innovation, Development and Diffusion – OECD/IEA Information Paper:

“No technology currently exists to use this enormous energy resource. Depressurisation, thermal stimulation and solvent injection are possible candidates for commercial exploitation – but a prerequisite would be to develop tools for identifying and characterising concentrated deposits. If a technology were to be developed, it could have, with respect to climate change, a kind of Janus’ double face. On the one hand, it could prolong the era of fossil fuels and ultimately add a supplementary 10 000 Pg of carbon into the atmosphere (on top of the 5 000 Pg from the combustion of the currently known fossil resource base). Absent associated developments of CO2 capture and storage technologies, such uses would imply an increase in atmospheric concentrations of up to 20-fold (substantially higher than the seven-fold increase projected with full combustion of current resources). On the other hand, such developments could stimulate the near-term replacement of coal and oil.” [Gas hydrates may contain three orders of magnitude more methane than exists in today’s atmosphere. Because hydrate breakdown, causing release to the atmosphere, can be related to global temperature increases, gas hydrates may play an even more important role in global climate change.]

The introduction within this document correctly identifies that only zero carbon can stabilize our planet: “… the ultimate objective of the UN Convention on Climate Change: ‘stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.’ Such an achievement is likely to eventually require near elimination of CO2 emissions. Without radical changes in lifestyles, only a massive deployment of carbon-free (or close to carbon-free) energy technologies can power the world economy and satisfy growing energy needs, especially of the developing world, while making stabilisation sustainable over the long term.”  Yet, the authors of this document cite the solution of “new technologies” as playing the critical role in achieving the UN objective of avoiding dangerous atmospheric interference — outlining pages of false solutions that will continue to line the bank vaults of corporate powers and keep the power structures intact.

The truth that few wish to acknowledge is that a radical change in our economic system must be the imperative central role and task of this ultimate objective, along with the existing clean, safe, renewable technologies we already possess – the ones that serve to benefit citizens throughout the world with energy independence but which are the greatest threat to the very foundation of corporate powers. A further truth is that we are already beyond dangerous climate interference in the climate system – made clear by John Holdren in 2006.

The OECD report says “without radical changes in lifestyles” – omitting the fact that the wealthiest 15% are responsible for 75% of global emissions. The remaining 85% of humanity emit only 25% of all emissions while the poorest 3 billion emit essentially nothing. Such brilliant tactics using language and framing have been essential in ensuring that current power structures remain unthreatened. Such tactics have thus far succeeded in keeping global citizens in the dark by essentially employing “big green” co-opted NGOs who reverberate the same messages and language. These co-opted groups serve their vital purpose – to successfully lend the illusion of democracy, which is critical in ensuring the public is kept passive, thereby ensuring the system will not be threatened in any meaningful way. The message is consistent and repetitive: place the emphasis on the individual, frame the climate issue around false solutions of green consumerism and symbolic actions, keep the dialogue successfully away from the root causes of climate change – thereby ensuring business as usual and uninterrupted profits.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), who wrote the unclassified document mentioned above:

  • Fossil fuels account for almost 90% of the growth in energy demand between now and 2030. Energy trade between regions more than doubles by 2030, most of it still in the form of oil.
  • Global emissions grow 62% between now and 2030.
  • Global oil demand for transport increases very closely in line with GDP.
  • World emissions increase by 1.8 % per year to 38 billion tonnes in 2030 – 70% above 2000 levels.

Make no mistake that world governments have no plans of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Global emissions are set to soar and no one disputes this. A MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) video filmed in September 2010 showcasing the views of Shell and ExxonMobil executives begins with the statement: “But the truth is that a civilization is largely defined by the energy technologies they use.” If this is true, we can easily and truthfully define, at minimum, our own ethically bankrupt society 1) by the unconcealed disrespect for our Earth, which graciously sustains us; 2) as a society that commits and condones infanticide, genocide, ecocide and now progenycide; 3) as a society that condones occupations and invasions; 4) as a socially bankrupt society that easily exploits others with no empathy; and 5) as a society that places economic value over the value of life. In the film, a comment follows: ” … powering the planet we actually possess.” The narcissistic tendencies of those at the centre of the energy dialogue are spectacular beyond imagination. Read the rest of this entry »

Monday, July 19, 2010
10:00am – 3:00pm
BP America and BP Chemical headquarters
4101 Winfield Road
Warrenville, IL [outside Chicago]


Come out Monday July 19th to send BP a STRONG message: We will not allow corporations to trash our land, our water, and they will be held accountable! If they have the same rights as humans, they should have the same responsibilities and same punishments!

Want to get involved? Contact:

Mariana Jiminez, a 71-year-old grandmother from the Ecuadorean Amazon, dips her hand
into the oil-black water in the precious marshlands off Louisiana's Gulf coast and
holds a dying, oil-drenched crab in her hand. She warns of the petroleum-laced
water, "This is very very dangerous. This is a poison that kills. Not instantly, but
it will kill slowly." 

This week, four Indigenous and community leaders from Ecuador (Mariana, Emergildo,
Humberto and Luis), as well as advocates from Rainforest Action Network and Amazon
Watch, are deep in Louisiana's sweltering Bayou witnessing the depth of BP's oil

The Ecuadorean delegation has come to share the hard-won lessons from Chevron's
Amazon oil disaster [
] with the United Houma Nation and Atakapa-Ishak tribes, American Indian communities
dependent on a healthy Bayou for their very survival.
[from RAN]
 Read the rest of this entry »
[what better way to spend Labor Day weekend working for the planet! -ed]

Start Time:         
Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 7:00am
End Time:         
Monday, September 6, 2010 at 7:00pm
The National; Mall, Washington, DC

A world run by the people only works if the people show up to remind
the powerful that it is indeed a world of the people. This is the BIG
ONE. We are looking at Labor Day weekend, and we need help with
fundraising. We also need volunteers in all major cities to organize
charter buses to get everyone to Washington!! Also check out the
Discussions tab for info on Fundraising, Transportation (Hey! I need a
ride!), Website, Speakers, etc. Please go the link below and LIKE so
that we can get the momentum going and partner with One Million Strong
for the Separation of Corporation and State (Riki Ott), Millions
Against Monsanto,, and all the other wonderful pages
that have fought this before it happened and others that cropped up in
the wake of this disaster. Get the finger pointing in ONE direction
and show THEM that we are gonna TURN THIS SHIP AROUND! A single bee is
easily swatted, but a swarm of bees is terrifying. Git bizzy and
message to all your friends, and post to your groups if not already
there! Thanks a million!..!/group.php?gid=128192210550148&ref=ts.


BP protest: Sun., May 30, 1 pm, Jackson Square, New Orleans

There’s growing anger at both BP and the federal government regarding the Gulf oil catastrophe; three-quarters of Americans think that BP has muffed the response and — are you listening, President Obama? — a slim majority think the Obama administration has done the same. Now an ad hoc group called Murdered Gulf has announced a formal protest to take place this Sunday at 1 p.m. in Jackson Square, demanding the government do more. Who is behind this Murdered Gulf, you ask?

This event is being put together by a handful pissed-off New Orleanians… it is not a political action committee, community group or activist organization although we absolutely WELCOME and INVITE anyone and everyone to join us!

PLEASE spread the word… come and bring as many as you can!

We will have legal observers on-hand to deal with any police problems (although we don’t expect any).
There will also be speakers and media present.

That’s all we know now; more as it comes out.


Protest for Justice in the Gulf of Mexico

Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: Washington, DC


Protest at 5:00 pm on May 27, 2010 at am/pm Mill & Kietzke.

National Protest begins Memorial Day Weekend May 29 & 30. Spread the word! Team up with friends and stand in front of a BP, Arco, and Safeway gas station. Keep the protest going until BP puts every $$$ to stop the oil gush, clean-up every ounce of in the Gulf and restore the environment already damaged.

*Note: If you are organizing a protest, please post it on our wall and I will put it on this Roster.


**Also check out the “Protest BP” Facebook page:

UK Protestors shut down the Islington based Shell petrol station on the 15th of May 2010 for 5 hours on a sunny Saturday in protest against Shell’s involvement in the Canadian Tar Sands project.

Crank up the volume and enjoy…….

Party at the Pumps is in solidarity with communities around the world who are resisting Shell and BP’s destruction of lives and livelihoods, poisoning of lands and waters, and fuelling of climate chaos. In Northern Canada, Shell’s tar sands projects are ignoring First Nations treaty rights, causing rare forms of cancer and killing wildlife.

This action is jointly called by London Rising Tide/London Tar Sands Network and Climate Camp London.

Day of Action Night of Mourning

Day of Action, Night of Mourning
Against Offshore Drilling

Once again the fossil fuel industry has brought crisis to the Gulf Coast. Devastation of untold proportions spews non-stop from BP’s oil well as politicians try to save face with empty promises, and oil companies preserve their profits with PR campaigns. This catastrophic spill comes on the heels of Obama’s plan to expand offshore drilling. The price of burning fossil fuels is too high. From combustion to extraction the oil industry poisons our communities, destroys ecosystems, and destabilizes the climate. Now is the time to stop offshore drilling dead in its tracks and drive another nail into the fossil fuel industry’s coffin.


Map of actions up soon.  Let us know about your action here!

Take action Friday May 14 to demand:

-An immediate ban on all offshore drilling

-A rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels

-No bailouts for the oil industry. All recovery costs must be paid for by BP, Halliburton, Transocean and other implicated companies.

-The federal government must remove any caps on liability for oil companies.

-BP provides full compensation for impacted communities and small businesses.

-BP provides full funding for long-term ecosystem restoration for impacted areas.

-Oil companies operating in the Gulf fully fund restoration of coastal ecosystems damaged by canals, pipelines, and other industry activities.

Take action at:

-BP gas stations and offices

-Halliburton and Transocean offices

-Federal buildings

-Offices of members of Congress

-State government officials in states affected by Obama’s offshore drilling proposal.

-Critical Mass bike rides

-Vigils to mourn the unspeakable loss brought by this spill

-Get creative!

Please report your actions to

Andy Rowell on the Oil Change blog

Whilst the media have been focussing on the untested nature of the 4 story dome or “cofferdam” that is going to be lowered over BP’s spill at the sea bed, its use of dispersant is also coming under scrutiny.

Alarmingly, according to the dispersant manufacturer, no toxicity tests have been conducted on this product.

The New York Times reports this morning that BP has sprayed some 160,000 gallons of chemical dispersant on the water’s surface and pumped an additional 6,000 gallons directly onto the leak, a mile beneath the surface.

When he gave his interview to the BBC the other day, Tony Hayward the CEO of BP was at pains to stress how the use of dispersants at such depths had never been tried before.

What he did not mention was that these dispersants are highly toxic and the ecological impact of doing it is completely unknown.

The NYT reports that the main dispersants applied so far, from a product line called Corexit, are so toxic they had their approval rescinded in Britain a decade ago “because laboratory tests found them harmful to sea life that inhabits rocky shores, like limpets”.

I should point out that, whilst the dispersant failed the “limpet test” it passed an offshore safety test.

Read the rest of this entry »

The oil major BP spends aggressively to influence US regulatory insight, and many would argue this has bought it leniency

Antonia Juhasz in The Observor

While the explosion of BP/Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was a horrific event, it was neither surprising nor unexpected.

BP is one of the most powerful corporations operating in the United States. Its 2009 revenues of $327bn are enough to rank BP as the third-largest corporation in the country. It spends aggressively to influence US policy and regulatory oversight.

In 2009, the company spent nearly $16m on lobbying the federal government, ranking it among the 20 highest spenders that year, and shattering its own previous record of $10.4m set in 2008. In 2008, it also spent more than $530,000 on federal elections, placing it among the oil industry’s top 10 political spenders.

This money has bought BP great access and, many would argue, leniency. “I personally believe that BP, with its corporate culture of greed over profits, murdered my parents,” Eva Rowe testified before Congress in 2007. The Congress was investigating the worst workplace accident in the US in more than 15 years, a massive explosion at BP’s Texas City Refinery in March 2005 that killed 15 workers, including Rowe’s parents, and injured 180.

The US Chemical Safety Board, an independent federal agency, investigated the blast and released a devastating indictment of BP. “The Texas City disaster was caused by organisational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP corporation,” the 2007 report found. “The combination of cost-cutting, production pressures and failure to invest caused a progressive deterioration of safety at the refinery.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Andy Rowell on the Oil Change blog

If you have never been to an oil company AGM it is worth going to watch two parallel words colliding for a few hours.

On the one side are the protestors arguing passionately for the company to listen to how their activities are destroying someone’s homeland or are polluting the earth.

Up on the top table sit the company’s top brass, who go through the motions of this annual public inconvenience.

They bat the questions away like an experienced cricketer annoyed to be outside in the mid day sun. In the middle are the shareholders who shuffle in, listen and then shuffle out.

In the early nineties, I routinely attended both BP’s and Shell’s AGMs, as a whole host of environmental and social concerns was put to their boards and raised before shareholders.

But questions about corporate pollution or human rights abuses would be dismissed by the board and booed from the floor.

The shareholders were there for their day out, that included a free lunch and as much free wine they could drink in the proscribed time limit.

Any questions from the floor were an inconvenience that ate into the amount of time they had to scoff their free wine. But scoff they did.

So if they were doddery before they came in, they were certainly doddery on the way out.

Read the rest of this entry »

Action in the UK

An excellent day of action, including the closure of three BP petrol stations!


BP hit by tar sands protests in London, Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge

Oil company targeted by nationwide protests in advance of crucial AGM vote

Protesters demand BP pulls out of “the most destructive project on Earth” – the Canadian tar sands

For photos, see and Brief reports of the London and Oxford actions can be seen at and

Today, oil giant BP was struck by multiple protests over its controversial plans to extract oil from the Canadian tar sands (1). Hundreds of climate activists in London, Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge (2) targeted the company with simultaneous demonstrations and street parties, including forecourt invasions which closed three BP petrol stations in London and Brighton (3), (4).

Read the rest of this entry »