Big Carbon

The Arctic Is the First Line of Defense Against a Climate Transition to an Uninhabitable Earth

By DH Garrett, Truthout

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 09:46

Humanity – and the Earth system it is a part of – is moving toward an Anthropocene Thermal Max (ATM), which will be cataclysmic for the ecosystem and the human societies it sustains. Despite the fact that climate scientists are uniform in stating that remaining hydrocarbon energy resources must be kept in the ground if we are to have a chance of stopping at a peak temperature that affords a chance of adaptation, the world’s major transnational energy companies and the world’s arctic nations are moving at breakneck speed to develop arctic resources. This is the story of three ATMs. First: the earth system can no longer be treated as an ATM; capitalistic economics as currently configured is dangerously out of kilter with real costs. Second: the great focus of both global and local efforts must be on making the ATM (Anthropocene Thermal Max) as low as possible. Third: an ATM (Arctic Transnational Moratorium) must be put in place now if the great majority of humanity is to have a reasonable prospect of adapting to climate-change-induced, nonlinear changes already programmed into the Earth-climate system.

TransCanada Begins Injecting Oil Into Keystone XL Southern Half

By: Steve Horn, Firedog Lake

Tuesday December 10, 2013 1:48 pm

Keystone XL’s southern half is one step closer to opening for business. TransCanada announced that “on Saturday, December 7, 2013, the company began to inject oil into the Gulf Coast Project pipeline as it moves closer to the start of commercial service.”

According to a statement provided to DeSmog by TransCanada, “Over the coming weeks, TransCanada will inject about three million of [sic] barrels of oil into the system, beginning in Cushing, Oklahoma and moving down to the company’s facilities in the Houston refining area.”

In mid-January, up to 700,000 barrels per day of Alberta’s tar sands diluted bitumen (dilbit) could begin flowing through the 485-mile southern half of TransCanada’s pipeline, known as the Gulf Coast Project. Running from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas, the southern half of the pipeline was approved by both a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12 and an Executive Order from President Barack Obama in March 2012.

Residents living along the length of the southern half will have no clue about the rest of the start-up process, as TransCanada says it won’t provide any more information until the line is already running. “For commercial and contractual reasons, the next update we will provide will be after the line has gone into commercial service,” the company announced.

The Keystone XL line fill comes just weeks after Public Citizen released an investigation revealing potentially dangerous anomalies such as dents, faulty welding and exterior damage that the group suggests could lead to pipeline ruptures, tears and spills.

Public Citizen] and its citizen sources uncovered over 125 anomalies in that half of the line alone,” DeSmogBlog [reported on November 12. “These findings moved Public Citizen to conclude the southern half of the pipeline shouldn’t begin service until the anomalies are taken care of, and ponders if the issues can ever be resolved sufficiently.”




Chief Seattle is said to have said, “The Earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the Earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” It is ironic that an American such as myself should quote a Native American, a people we perpetrated genocide upon. It is tragic that an American would quote a fellow human being who had a different relation with nature than the one my culture imposed upon his continent. I do not mean to romanticize traditional lifestyles, but the indigenous view of the world, in terms of the human intimate, important, connection with nature is correct. The understanding of the interconnection of all living things is perfectly scientifically accurate. It is we “moderns” in our boxes, in our cars, in our shopping malls, who have become very sick.

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