Wilful Blindness or a wilful criminal act? What will we bequeath to our children's children?

This week more than 2,000 people travelled to Washington DC to carry out a 2 week protest from August 20 through September 3, to urge President Obama to deny the permit for a 1,700 mile pipeline which would transport Canadian Tar Sands oil from Alberta right through the US heartland to Gulf Coast refineries and ports.
Despite this being a peaceful protest many of the citizens protesting have been arrested for civil disobedience, and still they come to make their views known.
http://youtu.be/u45sOa_G6GE

Travel north to where the mighty rivers Athabasca, Smoky, Peace, Chinchaga and Hay, drain north and east from the Rocky Mountains into the Arctic Ocean and you will find yourself in the Boreal Forest; a region comprising almost half of Alberta. The landscape is heavily forested and home to a great diversity of vegetation and wildlife including the arctic grayling, river otter and black-throated green warbler and endangered species such as the whooping crane and the woodland caribou.
The boreal forest has remained wilderness for much of this century, however oil sands now cover 140,000 sq km of this forest - just over one fifth of the province of Alberta; an area larger than England UK.

Imagine driving the length and breadth of England through a wilderness of tar sands.

More than 1,400 known pollutants are emitted by oil sands operations taking the oil sands industry anywhere from third to twelfth place—depending on the pollutant—among all Canadian industrial sources for pollution.

Massive tailings ponds associated with surface mining contain numerous toxic contaminants that can leach at low concentrations through dams and dikes. Volatile contaminants can be transported by air, and the Royal Society of Canada panel, having reviewed reams of publicly available information on factors such as health status, air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, land disturbance, and energy and water consumption, concluded that

"for Canada and Alberta, the oil sands industry involves major environmental issues on many fronts which must be addressed as a high priority"

The operation has already had many breaches of safety including numerous spills from processing plants and pipelines, 23 fires and explosions at facilities, fires on wastewater ponds and the deaths of more than 2,000 waterfowl that landed on various tailings ponds.

Many toxins, (such as PACs, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, and zinc,) occur at higher concentrations downstream of oil sands operations than upstream and some of these are elevated enough to kill fish as far away as Lake Athabasca.

Making liquid fuels from oil sands requires energy for steam injection and refining. This process generates two to four times the amount of greenhouse gases per barrel of final product as the production of conventional oil. If combustion of the final products is included, the so-called "Well to Wheels" approach, then oil sands extraction, upgrade and use emits 10 to 45% more greenhouse gases than conventional crude

All this AND an area the size of England UK, once awarded a "Special Places" designation by the Canadian Government because of great natural beauty, has been turned into a wasteland; cleared of forest and vegetation and cleared of the wildlife who once relied on this habitat.

This has been called "the most environmentally destructive project on earth" and yet this is but one of the profoundly destructive and dangerous projects that has been sanctioned by governments in the name of commercial enterprise. Others commercial projects that cause massive and often irreparable damage to the complex ecosystems that support life on this planet include Arctic or deepwater drilling; deepwater mining; bauxite mining and deforestation of the Amazon.

Margaret Heffernan coined the term "Wilful Blindness" in her book of the same name. Sticking our heads in the sand (no pun intended) and pretending that this massive and dangerous destruction of the very ecosystems that sustain us is necessary in order to maintain our energy supplies is indeed wilful blindness.

Polly Higgins, lawyer and award winning author believes that the law created this mess by making it a legal requirement that boards of listed companies deliver shareholder profit. She states that the law must also fix this and has put a proposal to the United Nations to protect the earth by making it a criminal offence to cause such radical destruction. Under a new international and national law on Ecocide business leaders and heads of state would become personally liable for the destruction caused to the environment.

This proposed law will be tested in the UK courts at the Supreme Court in London on 30th September 2011 when a mock trial will take place.


Michael Mansfield QC, the prosecuting barrister, and Nigel Lickley QC, the defence barrister together with supporting legal teams, will lead the case for and against a fictional Mr X, CEO of a major corporation. Before the case is heard, legal argument will be put as to whether Ecocide and the Earth Right to Life should be applied to the charge against Mr X. Mr X will be played by an actor and has been charged with a number of ecocides - which one will be tried will be determined on the day. It could be:

Deforestation of the Amazon
Arctic drilling
Fracking for shale gas in Nigeria
Major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
Bauxite mining of the Niyamgiri mountain
Unconventional tar sands extraction in Canada
Deep sea mining of the Central and Eastern Manus Basin

The trial will examine how the crime of Ecocide protects the Earth Right to Life and will be tried as though the proposed crime of Ecocide has been adopted by the UN. What will happen is not pre-scripted; it is ultimately for the jury to determine whether the crime of Ecocide is made out and whether the Earth Right to Life is breached.

It will be an interesting day which will be open to the public and live streamed onto the internet and will open debate and discussion on this whole subject.


Fiona Hayes
Fiona Hayes
Orion Initiatives Ltd
+44 (0)7590 425621
fiona@orioninitiatives.com
www.orioninitiatives.com


The caterpillar loses all contact with its old reality — it under- goes a drastic reorganisation before it becomes transformed into a butterfly.

Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

The Canary in the Mine

Hi Michael, Once again I am agreeing with you, the tar sands is not the only threat to birds; that is not my point at all. However, as it happens, the oil company in question, having been fined £3million CAD for the incident of 500 birds, two years later had done nothing to change the dangers and blamed a similar incident involving about 350 birds on freezing rain. Sadly this is not an isolated incident and whilst it is not the Oil Company's intention to kill birds they are nevertheless failing to protect the environment and did not engage with experts who could help them solve the problems, on the contrary they initially tried to cover up the incident, claiming that it was just 8 birds, and it was concerned workers in the company who leaked the true scale of the tragedy. On the company web site it still states just 8 birds, though the known toll to date, jsut from these 2 incidents is 850. My point Michael is that fact and fiction, are not always so easy to distinguish from each other and also how facts are interpreted is heavily influenced by our own interests and biases no matter who we are. The birds incident, the deformed fish, and many other incidents act like the canary in the mine. A warning that we are endangering our Planet. AGAIN, my point and that which, Michael you are so beautifully underlining is that human beings have a major impact on the sustainability of the very ecosytems that support us. We ignore the warning signs at our Peril because we are reaching critical impacts on the Planet's natural resources. As I keep saying, it is not only consumers who need to change, in the same way that it is not just the oil companies who are to blame. It is far more complex than that! It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

not beyond the wit of man!

Hi Howard, thankyou again for pointing out the error in my interpretation of the research for tar sands mining, the last thing that I want to do is be putting my argument forwards on flawed research. Interestingly and pertinent to discussion on this blog, and to Michael's points, my whole point is not at all about tar sands, nor about 500 birds; on the contrary, I was simply using this as an example of a possible ecocide if the proposed UN law comes into being. I could just as easily have used the fact that whale populations are in serious decline and that in some places dead whale bodies are treated as hazardous waste because of the level of toxins in their bodies; toxins created by man and which have found their way into the sea and into the whales' food chain and which have been demonstrated to seriously affect the whales' immune system and reproductive capability. Howard; Your pointing this tar sands mining error out to me was most useful, it focused me on the question "why have the companies taken out contracts on land that isnt mineable?" and the answer is they dont call it mineable when they are using in situ extraction. By 2015, in situ extraction is expected to dominate bitumen production. In situ extraction creates different problems to surface mining extraction. I also discovered the area quoted as mineable or being mined does not include the area covered by tailing ponds (into which they put the toxic waste) or the treatment plants. Tailing ponds, full of toxic waste cover 65 square miles of land, which was once forest and have been described as one of the most dangerous and absurd facets of this industry. Tailings ponds are some of the largest dams in the world, constructed purely for the toxic waste which means that 65 square miles of forest, once important habitat for wildlife has been turned into toxic waste dumps. The governments of Alberta and Canada are also responsible for allowing the existence and growth of these enormous dams of toxic sludge, despite the fact that they are prohibited by the laws that regulate protection of migratory birds and fisheries. The tar sands developments have polluted the Athabasca river, and an abnormal number of fish in the river have tumors and deformities, communities downstream from the tar sands developments are experiencing elevated rates of cancer, meanwhile, the Canadian and Alberta governments are busy concealing these truths. University of Alberta's David Schindler has found in a recent study that water concentrations of 13 poisoning elements - including lead, arsenic and mercury - are higher downstream from industrial tar sands activities than upstream. Further, despite claims to the contrary, these concentrations are not just due to natural leaching from the tar sands fields. If leaching had been the primary cause of the pollutants, high levels of these pollutants would have been found upstream from the industrial tar sands activities in the undeveloped tar sands areas -- not just downstream. In June this year, the Canadian Federal government canceled an 18-month investigation into tar sands pollution in water and shredded the draft copies of the final report, without an adequate explanation of why. Hence, my using the birds and the water in the tailing ponds as an example of how fact versus fiction. There is misnformation on many sides and many people have many different perspectives. The next mine proposal moving through the process of approval is by French company Total for the Joslyn tar sands mine. More than 30 groups, including NRDC, registered their opposition to this mine during the comment period in August of this year (2011). The Joslyn mine would produce 3.3 billion gallons of toxic tailings waste each year, and over the project life it will create a volume large enough to fill more than 100 sports stadiums, without any proven plan to keep these toxic materials from entering the region's lands and waters. It is a very complex operation, and Ecocide is a very complex issue. Take the Whales, we banned DDT and PCB's many years back but these are found in high concentrations in many bodies of dead whales. It turns out that it takes about 100 years for these so called organic chemicals to fully degrade, in the meantime, whilst they are no longer sprayed on crops that we eat they are found in the bodies of fish and shellfish...which we eat. If we want the people/consumers to change we have to change the availability of product such that they can see how to change and have choices; and we have to educate people about the dangers and destruction that goes into such high demand of current day products; we have to incentivise companies to invest in research and development of better products that damage our world less and we have to educate people to recycle and better manage their possessions and to fully appreciate this complex and beautiful world that we live in. We have to change so that growth, growth, growth is not the "god" both of industry and individuals, but that rather we are aiming at sufficiency and at protecting the earth's limited resources. We have to change the systems that currently enable and encourage the current situation, this includes legal and financial systems and we have to create new systems that enable and encourage change. This is not beyond the wit of man and whilst it is an enormous challenge it has to start somewhere. I believe that currently the greatest leverage points are in the systems and the education and awareness. It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)

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Michael Heaney

michaelheaney-53285

Wilful Blindness or a wilful criminal act? What will we bequeath

Lets place this undoubted tragedy for 500 birds in some sort of context. The Boreal area of Canada hold a population of somewhere between 1 billion to 3 billion birds from at least 300 species known to regularly breed there. Source http://www.nrdc.org/wildlife/borealbirds.pdf But it is not the Oil Company's intention to kill birds They already had prevention measures in place. If these mitigation or prevention measures were demonstrated to be insufficient, rather than a single failure due to extreme weather conditions, these will have revisited this and further measures will have been deployed. There are much more significant threats to the bird population. Figures are from the Mammal Society, which estimates that the UK's cats catch up to 275 million prey items a year, of which 55 million are birds. Source: http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/gardening/unwantedvisitors/cats/birddeclines.aspx All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this blog or comment for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Michael Heaney's content, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Michael Heaney. Benchwhistler Associates Ltd and its logo and tag lines are trademarks of MIchael Heaney or Benchwhistler Associates Ltd. © Michael Heaney 2011 Benchwhistler Associates Ltd Planned People Maintenance - Enhancing the Performance of your most important asset™ www.benchwhistler.com Know Better™

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

Facts or fiction Which will we tell our children's children?

In Spring 2008 500 wild ducks died having landed on one of the tailing ponds in which the toxins are stored during tar sands mining in Alberta. The company is Syncrude a joint venture whose owners include ConcoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Murphy Oil. On the Conco Phillips website it states that 8 (rather than 500) migratory birds landed on the blowdown pond at the Surmont oil sands ... "We took the matter very seriously and worked with the provincial regulator to manage the situation to protect the birds' wellbeing. Five of the birds died despite our efforts. The remaining three birds we sent to a wildlife rehabilitation centre near Edmonton. It is highly unusual for wildlife to settle on our blowdown pond because it is small and not a food source. We believed the lack of open water in the area due to the late spring thaw may have been a factor at the time of this incident." In Fact, far from it being "highly unusual" for birds to try to land on the tailing pond, each year so many ducks try settle on the pond that the company had installed 13 propane-powered cannons surrounding the pond to scare them off. The cannon weren't working because of a snow storm. Its rolls back to the same thing every time. Ecocides of many varieties, not just tar sands mining is a complex rather than a simple problem and as such requires a multifaceted solution that includes the consumers, the producers and the system that is producing the current issues It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

Wilful Blindness or a wilful criminal act? What will we bequeath

Hi Michael, and I am still agreeing with you; I am wondering if you or someone else has an explanation/theory as to why it is that the population not only of the USA, but also of other countries are continuing to use "using ever increasing quantities of oil and gas that is the driver for all these developments." and are not changing and ideas regarding what can be done about this. "Every system is uniquely and perfectly designed to produce the results it is currently producing." Peter Senge "going after the leverage point of changing the rules of the system in a way that can engage the heart, mind and imagination and pull us toward the vision of a new system." Lisa Chacon Fiona It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)

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Michael Heaney

michaelheaney-53285

Facts or fiction Which will we tell our children's children?

If you are going to worry about every seismic event of magnitude 1.5 then you will never sleep. Earthquakes with magnitude of about 2.0 or less are usually called microearthquakes; they are not commonly felt by people and are generally recorded only on local seismographs. A four year old having a temper tantrum in their bedroom could probably create a local shockwave equavalen to 1.5 on the richter scale The "documentary" Gasland is good alarmist propaganda - but the claims it makes do not stand up to scruitny It is a work of fiction dressed up as a documentary. For the facts rather than the fiction, consider for example the report from the US Environmental Protection Agency In its review of incidents of drinking water well contamination believed to be associated with hydraulic fracturing, EPA found no confirmed cases that are linked to fracturing fluid injection into CBM wells or subsequent underground movement of fracturing fluids. Further, although thousands of CBM wells are fractured annually, EPA did not find confirmed evidence that drinking water wells have been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing fluid injection into CBM wells. Source: http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw000/uic/pdfs/cbmstudy_attach_uic_final_fact_sheet.pdf Its rolls back to the same thing every time. Its not THEM - the nasty companies producing the oil and gas - its US demanding and using ever increasing quantities of oil and gas that is the driver for all these developments. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this blog or comment for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Michael Heaney's content, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Michael Heaney. Benchwhistler Associates Ltd and its logo and tag lines are trademarks of MIchael Heaney or Benchwhistler Associates Ltd. © Michael Heaney 2011 Benchwhistler Associates Ltd Planned People Maintenance - Enhancing the Performance of your most important asset™ www.benchwhistler.com Know Better™

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

Somewhat closer to home

Somewhat closer to home for those of us in the UK; interesting article "The UK's lack of fracking regulation is insane" by George Monbiot In this he points out that "One year ago, a company called Cuadrilla Resources began drilling exploratory shafts into the rock at Preese Hall near Blackpool, in north-west England... ...In June, Cuadrilla temporarily suspended its operations as a result of two small earthquakes in the area, which might have been caused by the fracking. The experiment is likely to resume soon. Cuadrilla has also started exploratory drilling at two other sites in the region... ...Of 260 chemicals, (used in the fracking procedure) it finds that 58 give rise to concern. Some are known carcinogens, some are suspected carcinogens, some are toxic to people, some are toxic to aquatic life, some are mutagenic (which means they can cause genetic defects) and some have reproductive effects. The fluids returning to the surface carry not only the chemicals injected into the rocks, but also those picked up in travelling through them. Among these, the Tyndall report shows, are heavy metals and radioactive materials... ...Both the fracking fluids and the flowback fluids can contaminate water either through the cracks forced open in the rocks by the fracking process, or through drilling bores through aquifers. In the US this has happened repeatedly. The Tyndall Centre found that water supplies have been contaminated not only by the fracking chemicals and dissolved pollutants from the rocks, but also by gas bubbling out through the cracks. The documentary Gasland shows people turning their taps on and setting light to the water. In some cases, gas bubbling up from underground fractures has caused explosions in the basements of people's homes."

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Howard Wright

howardwright-119366

Wilful Blindness or a wilful criminal act? What will we bequeath

You are confusing the leased area with the area that is mineable. The area which is mineable in Athabasca is just 5352sqkm, or 5.75% of that area according to: http://www.energy.alberta.ca/LandAccess/pdfs/OSAagreesStats_July2010.pdf Howard

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

Wilful Blindness or a wilful criminal act? What will we bequeath

Howard, Thank you for bringing that to my attention. That was not a deliberate misinformation - I checked my source as I thought the information I have is different to your quote from wikipedia. It appears though that I did misquote, the total area is 140,000 square Km, just a bit bigger than England,of which 60% has been leased to companies for extraction but not all is being mined as yet. Please go to http://www.pembina.org/oil-sands/os101/alberta for the source of my information regarding the area being mined. If you would like the full list of references for where my information comes from please email me and I will supply it. Fiona It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)

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Howard Wright

howardwright-119366

Wilful Blindness or a wilful criminal act? What will we bequeath

"All this AND an area the size of England UK, once awarded a "Special Places" designation by the Canadian Government because of great natural beauty, has been turned into a wasteland; cleared of forest and vegetation and cleared of the wildlife who once relied on this habitat." I read this, and thought that this can't possibly be true. Following the link to Wikipedia, it seems that it is, as I thought, misinformation. The whole area of oil deposits is about the area of the UK. That doesn't mean that this whole area has been despoiled. In fact, only a tiny fraction of that area has been mined. I am not particularly in favour of shale oil production, but any merit in the argument of the OP in this posting is undermined by what appears to be a lack of truthfulness. Howard

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

crowdfunding

This trial is being crowdfunded Just 13 days left to reach target http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/my-pitch-investors/page/p-7? "Ecocide Trial - what an interesting emergence - going after the leverage point of changing the rules of the system in a way that can engage the heart, mind and imagination and pull us toward the vision of a new system." Lisa Chacon "Every system is uniquely and perfectly designed to produce the results it is currently producing." Peter Senge

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

why have people/consumers not already changed?

Michael, why have people not already changed? Currently people cannot see what to change to. Can't see what system would replace the current one. Many people feel that change means going backwards to living as we did before the industrial revolution and of course that is not something people will accept. Changing the rules of the system in a way that can engage the heart, mind and imagination and pull us toward the vision of a new system enables that vision to emerge and then become reality. Howard Bloom in "the Genius of the Beast" wrote "The problem does not lie in the turbines of the Western way of life—industrialism, capitalism, pluralism, free speech, and democracy. The problem lies in the lens through which we see. Capitalism works. It works clumsily, awkwardly, sometimes brilliantly, and sometimes savagely. So we need to dig down to find out why. We need to reveal the deeper meaning beneath what we've been told is crass materialism and see how profoundly our obsessive making and exchanging of goods and services has upgraded the nature of our species. This is not a mindless consumer culture destroying the planet in an orgy of greed. It is the most creative and potentially idealistic bio-engine this planet has ever seen. We desperately need a reinvention and a re-perception of the system that has given Western civilisation its long-term strength and its recent weaknesses. We need to wake up capitalism to its mission—a set of moral imperatives and heroic demands that are implicit in the Western way of life. By reinventing capitalism and injecting our own souls into the machine, you and I can raise the bar of human possibility.' It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

copper, gold, silver, zinc,,Aluminium,Hard wood,

Michael, we are in agreement! I am agreeing with you!! And the solution will be multifaceted. No one is trying to demonise the producers, on the contrary... The proposed law is designed to free up 'producers' to be able to behave responsibly towards the Planet by putting the planet, the very source of our futures ahead of financial profit growth in the eyes of the law. At the moment the law protects the earth in war to a greater extent than it protects the earth in peace time and requires that Directors of listed companies deliver profit to the shareholders above all else. The last thing that people want is a witch hunt; rather there have to be a reasons to change that reach all, whatever their drivers and whatever their value systems and we need a legal structure that allows them to change; and as you point out, we also need to change our consumer habits. Which comes first; the chicken or the egg? The proposed law has not been tested and is not in the main stream media and so is not being discussed openly; the mock trial is aimed at changing this situation, creating open discussion, testing the law in a situation that doesnt hurt any business, the ficticious CEO's will be played by actors skilled in improvisation, though all other personnel are for real. Open discussion then will raise the awareness; and I agree that we need to change our lifestyles, we need to behave differently; as I said, it is a complex situation which needs a multi-faceted approach to solutions, none of which will happen unless people start to REALLY discuss the issues. May I suggest that you apply to be a juror at this trial? It will be on the 30th September at the Supreme Court in London and the jurors, who will be chosen by the court officials and vetted by the judge ahead of the trial have yet to be chosen. If you are interested let me know your contact details and I will pass your name on, or write to me privately and I will give you the contact details for you to apply. It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)

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Michael Heaney

michaelheaney-53285

copper, gold, silver, zinc,,Aluminium,Hard wood,

Cotton, Tuna, Wheat, Beef,Eggs, Milk Its the same demand led production issue - we have to reduce our demands rather than point the finger elsewhere and demonise the producers. Nobody mines bauxite for the joy of it. we drinks our millions of cans of fizzy juice every day and we expect them to be available as cheap as possible tomorrow. Its not the pixies that deliver all that we demand to feed our consumer appetites That is where the major change has to take place. But that would involve us changing our lifestyles - so its far easier to organise protests that blame the pig farmers of sumatra or the okra plantations in Khatmandu or to characterise as evil the giant supemarkets that work on a 3% profit margin and that we visit every week, because that allows us to kid ourselves that we are pushing for a solution when deep down because of our lifestyle - we are the problem. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this blog or comment for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Michael Heaney's content, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Michael Heaney. Benchwhistler Associates Ltd and its logo and tag lines are trademarks of MIchael Heaney or Benchwhistler Associates Ltd. © Michael Heaney 2011 Benchwhistler Associates Ltd Planned People Maintenance - Enhancing the Performance of your most important asset™ www.benchwhistler.com Know Better™

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Fiona Hayes

fionahayes1-435654

Wilful Blindness or a wilful criminal act? What will we bequeath

Michael, I couldnt agree more. We need a complete paradigm shift in order to solve this problem which is not a simple problem but a highly complex one; thus there will not be one simple answer, we will need multiple levels of solutions. Note also this is not just about oil! Deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems are attracting considerable interest from commercial mining companies. Vent systems precipitate seafloor massive sulfide deposits that are rich in copper, gold, silver, and zinc and which harbor unique species or ecosystems. The risks, including benthic disturbances, sediment plumes, and toxic effects on the water column are judged to be so large and unpredictable that a number of studies recommended the abandonment of manganese mining efforts to avoid a large-scale and long-term risk to Pacific ecosystems and fisheries. Back on land and Bauxite, an aluminium ore and main provider of aluminium is mined in the mountains in India. Since 2003, the Bauxite mine in Lanjigarh, Kalahandi District, Orissa is waiting for environmental clearance while Vedanta's subsidiary's refinery is operating on bauxite ore taken from other mines. Villages close to the current plant have seen increased morbidity, mortality, irritation in the eyes, loss of cattle. The proposed new mine covers an area of 660.749 ha of leased land included 270.489 ha of forest growth. More than 12 medicinal plants valuable in treatment of cancer, diabetes, leprosy, malaria, paralysis and hypertension (among others) have been identified in Niyamagiri. If the mine goes ahead 50 000 trees will be cut down, 3,55,300 cubic meter of top soil will be removed and 2,000,000 cubic meter of waste will be dumped. An independent report concluded the ecosystem at Niyamgiri will not survive introduction of further stresses and recommends to not allow any further diversion of forest land. No one is pretending there is an easy solution to all of this, however sticking our heads in the sand and carrying on, wilfully blind to the consequences will negate the need to find any sort of a solution but will perpetuate and worsen the damage. It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. (Charles Darwin)

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Michael Heaney

michaelheaney-53285

Where would you like the oil to come from?

Collectively the world consumes over Eight six Million barrels of oil every day. Before it comes out of the petrol pump as refined gasoline it has to come from somewhere. Crude oil comes from local deposits where it is plentiful and that can be in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, or deep under the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, or hundreds of other places- including the Tar sands deposits in Alberta. If there was not the crushing demand for cheap oil then these would remain pristine wildernesses - but the USA, with only 6% of the worlds population uses 25% of the worlds daily consumption. The problem we should be addressing is not the particular sources of supply - it is the growing voracious consumption. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this blog or comment for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Michael Heaney's content, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Michael Heaney. Benchwhistler Associates Ltd and its logo and tag lines are trademarks of MIchael Heaney or Benchwhistler Associates Ltd. © Michael Heaney 2011 Benchwhistler Associates Ltd Planned People Maintenance - Enhancing the Performance of your most important asset™ www.benchwhistler.com Know Better™

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