I agree with Klein – By banning protest at COP21, France is silencing those facing the worst impacts of climate change.

Originally posted on Talesfromthelou:

Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Whose security is casually sacrificed, despite the means to do so much better? Those are the questions at the heart of the climate crisis, and the answers are the reason climate summits so often end in acrimony and tears.

Source: What’s Really at Stake at the Paris Climate Conference Now Marches Are Banned | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Nov 23, 2015

By banning protest at COP21, Hollande is silencing those facing the worst impacts of climate change and its monstrous violence

People hold placards at last year’s climate march in Paris. (Photograph: Tom Craig/Demotix/Corbis)

Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Whose security is casually sacrificed, despite the means to do so much better? Those are the questions at the heart of the climate crisis, and the…

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Atmosphere of Hope

Pirate TV (2015)

Film Review

Atmosphere of Hope is a recent talk in which Australian environmentalist Tim Flannery summarizes the prospects for limiting and reducing atmospheric CO2 levels. Flannery is a new breed of environmentalist who questions the value of climate alarmism.

The upcoming COP21 conference in Paris will be very different from past climate conferences in that participating countries have already committed to specific emission reduction targets. Because these commitments have been made public (see How COP21 commitments stack up) environmentalists can already predict the effect they will have on total CO2 levels.

Thanks to the recent “decoupling” of reduced fossil fuel use and economic growth, Flannery is extremely confident that most governments will keep their commitments. While these targets are inadequate to limit global warming to 2 degrees centigrade (and preserving civilization as we know it), Flannery is extremely confident that new carbon capture technologies will make up the shortfall.

Successfully Decoupling Fossil Fuels and Economic Growth

The main argument our political leaders give against reducing fossil fuel consumption is the negative effect on economic growth. Thanks to a big drop in the cost of renewable energy (and a big increase in energy efficiency), this argument no longer holds water. Between 2013 and 2014 there was no increase in global fossil fuel consumption (causing an oil glut that dropped prices to $40 a barrel). Yet the global economy continued to grow, thanks to the substitution of cheap renewable energy for fossil fuels.

Flannery also believes that “wavy energy” technology also played a big role in this decoupling. “Wavy energy” refers to a distributed grid technology (developed in Germany) that compensates for the intermittent nature of solar and wind energy – at any given moment some place in Germany is generating some form of renewable energy.

The Role of Carbon Capture Technologies

For me the most interesting part of the talk was the discussion of all the new carbon capture technologies being developed. Flannery divides geoengineering technologies into two categories. The first, which he refers to as “second way, “involves blocking sunlight by injecting sulfur based chemicals into the stratosphere. In his view, this is highly dangerous due to the risk of climate rebound effects (to say nothing of the health effects of the chemicals).

In contrast, “third way geoengineering” technologies remove CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it. There are further subdivided into biological (natural) and chemical (industrial) based technologies. The latter require external energy input, which means they only reduce CO2 concentrations if they employ renewable energy.

Examples of biological third way technologies include
• Reforestation
• Biochar (charcoal produced from plant matter and stored in the soil as a means of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere)
• Wood waste based plastics
• Carbon farming – Australia rewards farmers for replacing annual grasses and crops with perennial varieties that store carbon.

Examples of chemical third way technologies include
• Carbon negative concrete which absorbs CO2 over its lifetime
• Crushed serpentinites – minerals that capture CO2 as they weather and can be used for beaches, playgrounds, smoke stacks and carbon negative roof paint.
• CO2 based plastics
• CO2 based carbon fiber (used in the Boeing dream liner and carbon fiber cars) – would be cheaper than current carbon fiber, aluminum or steal
• A South Korean technology that employs used coffee grounds to capture methane.
• Chiller boxes in Antarctica – powered by wind energy, they would cause CO2 to solidify and fall as snow and then bury it under regular snow.


With western civilization (and cute cats) on the line, Belgium imposes martial law.

Originally posted on OffGuardian:

In what may well be a test case for the rest of Europe,the capital city of Belgium is placed under what amounts to martial law. People are being advised to “avoid places where a lot of people come together like shopping centers, concerts, events or public transport stations wherever possible.” The transport system is shut down. Armed soldiers and police and military vehicles are patrolling the streets. Residents are told to stay inside. In photos the city appears deserted, apart from military gentlemen carrying automatic weapons.


And all this in response to a completely theoretical “terror threat”, that has not, as yet, harmed a single Belgian citizen.

But never mind about that – the Guardian tells us it’s all cool, because Belgians are Tweeting funny pictures of cats!


So, laugh. Take your meds. Stay indoors. Get in the cattle trucks when we tell you to. Don’t ask where they’re…

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Bittersweet Harvest: Mexicans Tackle Trump Over Migrant Row

SBS (2015)

Film Review

Bittersweet Harvest is an Australian documentary about a special training camp for Spanish-speaking labor activists who organize immigrant farm workers in the US. It takes its title from a ludicrous claim Donald Trump made accusing Mexican immigrants of being druggies, criminals and rapists. The film profiles two “undocumented” student organizers who, based on stellar academic achievement, have won university scholarships.

As the film ably documents, American’s $400 billion agriculture industry would collapse without the one million immigrant workers who comprise the bulk of its labor force. Americans don’t want these jobs: the living and working conditions are too obscene and the pay too meager. Ironically the substitution of immigrant labor for black slaves has enabled the southern US to maintain the plantation system it developed prior to the Civil War.

Following the trainee activists as they visit farm worker camps, the filmmakers raise thorny questions, such as why neither federal nor state governments enforce basic labor laws, eg child labor, minimum wage and occupational safety laws (limiting exposure to cancer causing pesticides like Roundup and green tobacco sickness).

The film effectively highlights the total hypocrisy of politicians like Trump who use the immigration crisis to score political points. The federal government could shut down illegal immigration tomorrow by a) prosecuting the agro-businesses that employ undocumented immigrants or b) requiring them to pay minimum wage and provide safe living and working conditions. Clearly our elected officials have no interest in doing either: the current system allows Food Inc to reap immense profits at the expense of the illegal labor they exploit.


I think most people agree that it’s easier to believe in Santa Clause (and the Easter Bunny) than the official government version of 9-11.


HO HO HO.22222222222222

By Santa Clause

Seasons greeting from your old friend Santa! My, my, Christmas is just two short weeks away, and everyone here at the North Pole can’t wait to deliver presents to all you nice boys and girls this year. Yes, Jolly ol’ St. Nicholas hopes you’re all being as good as can be!

But today, Santa would like to tell you all about something very naughty, something very, very naughty indeed. Dear children, have you not heard? Why, 9/11 was an inside job! Oh, ho, ho, my, yes it was!

I mean, look at the facts, boys and girls! We already know the Bush administration was itching to go to war in Iraq, now, don’t we? Yes, indeed we do, my darling ones! The Downing Street memo proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Then you look at the Presidential Daily Briefing of Aug. 6, 2001…

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peaceful protest

According to today’s Guardian, the London Metropolitan Police have issued an apology and a generous settlement to four female activists tricked into having sexual relationships with undercover cops who infiltrated their political organizations. The apology and settlement comes four years after the women filed suit against the police, claiming damages for emotional trauma.

Assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt, who issued the apology, maintains such relationships are illegal and contrary to police policy – that they only occurred owing to “a failure of police supervision and management.”

He claims the undercover cops’ superiors had no idea they were fucking activists. Activists (such as myself) with direct experience with government infiltration and disruption of their political organizations will recognize this is total bullshit.

Police and intelligence operatives have a long history of deliberately using sex (the old “honeypot” strategy)  to infiltrate and disrupt peaceful protest activities. This has been well documented in academic research and journalistic investigation, including a 1992 MIT study study into undercover police and intelligence activity, a 1995 University of Leicester study into British undercover seduction and a We Are Anonymous article about an undercover FBI agent named “Anna,” who lured animal rights activist Eric McDavid into a sexual relationship. Following his release from a nine year prison sentence, in January 2015 Eric was interviewed on Democracy Now.

The real story behind today’s apology is that five years ago six undercover cops were exposed for infiltrating peace and animal rights groups. The women they seduced recognized their photos and in 2011, began the difficult and distressing process of initiating legal action. If, as the Met claims, the behavior of the six undercover cops was so at odds with official policy, you have to ask 1) why none of the undercover cops have been criminally charged and 2) why it took the police four years to settle and apologize to the victims.

I think it’s pretty obvious that sexual seduction is a standard accepted strategy in undercover operations. The only difference here is the police got caught doing it.

While the Guardian article fails to identify the six undercover cops by name, they are profiled in a January 2015  Green is the New Red article.

  • Police Constable Mark Kennedy (see Mark Kennedy: the spycop who disappeared into the cold) posing as Mark “Flash” Stone, infiltrated Nottingham environmental and leftist networks for approximately eight years (~2001-2009). During this period, he had sexual relationships with at least two activists, one lasting at least four years. Kennedy has always maintained his superiors knew about his sexual relationships. He also denies that sexual relationships with targets were forbidden. In a 2011 Guardian article, he claims they were encouraged. “Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence.” I believe him.
  • Bob Lambert, posing as Bob Robinson, infiltrated leftist and animal liberation networks, using a job at Greenpeace London as an activist cover. Lambert has admitted to having sexual relationships with four women while working as an undercover cop in the 1980s. Lambert  posed as a left-wing animal rights activist from 1983 to 1988, fathering a child with an unsuspecting activist during his deployment. At present he works as a lecturer in Terrorism Studies at the University of St Andrews and a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University’s John Grieve Centre for Policing.
  • Detective Constable Jim Boyling, 28-years-old, posing as Pete James Sutton or Jim Sutton 34-years-old, infiltrated the pro-bicycle movement Reclaim the Streets for five years (1995-2000) as a lead organizer, as well as having contact with additional environmental campaigns. During this period he had sexual relationships with two of the activists he was assigned to monitor. He married one of them and had two children with her prior to their divorce.
  • Mark Jacobs, 44-years-old, posing as 29-year-old Marco, infiltrated anarchist, anti-globalization, animal rights, and other social justice networks for five years (2004-2009) in the Cardiff area. Jacobs was known for taking on logistics and financial roles in his circles, and used the reputation he built within the Cardiff Anarchist Network (CAN) to infiltrate the Dissent! anti-G8 planning committees. During 2008, Jacobs maintained a sexual relationship with two female activists.
  • Sergeant John Dines, posing as “John Barker” infiltrated London Greenpeace and various anti-capitalist groups from around 1987-1992. He worked with the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad and began infiltrating Greenpeace following the departure of Bob Lambert. In 1990, Dines began a sexual relationship with an activist he abandoned in 1992.
  • Mark Jenner, presenting himself as “Mark Cassidy,” infiltrated UK protest groups from 1994-2000 as an officer in the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad under the direction of Bob Lambert. During his tenure, Jenner was married yet maintained a five year relationship (1995-2000) with a 29-year-old female activist, living with her in a London.

For more details on the female victims and the supervisors who failed to adequately monitor the behavior of their spycops see The spycops and their supervisors remain accountable (fraud, abuse, rape…

photo credit: Chicago Fur Free Friday 2010 via photopin (license)


In a remarkable show of courage, Manbij residents stage public protest against ISIS occupation in Aleppo

Originally posted on OffGuardian:


An image purporting to show an anti-ISIS protest in Manbij, Aleppo. (Facebook/Manbij News Press)

Lebanon’s Now. reports:

BEIRUT – Residents of Syria’s northern Manbij have held an unprecedented set of protests against ISIS’ draconian policies in the Aleppo town, according to activists.

A popular pro-rebel Facebook page reporting on events in Manbij and Syria in general said that several small protest gatherings had taken place in the town on Thursday and posted what it said were pictures of the unusual event.

“In response to the oppressive practices of ISIS against residents of the city of Manbij… tens of citizens came out to criticize the group last Thursday afternoon and called on it to leave the city,” Manbij Mubasher reported on Sunday.

“Demonstrations took place on the Jarablus road and several streets [in the city] in the form of small gatherings, which the group met with gunfire and…

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