August 31, 2005

The Writing on the Wall Series #43: Has Katrina Blown Away The Bush/Oil Cartel Stubbornness?

Hello everyone!

As is obvious from the title of this compilation, I'd hope that with the stunning devastation left in the wake of hurricane Katrina, the Bush Administration and their corporate sponsors will finally let go of their stubborn denial of the obvious direct link existing between the runaway global warming and all the air pollution humans generate. Although this disaster is merely one more recent example of the far-reaching consequences of the greenhouse effect - many more telling examples in "Katrina's real name" - it could very well be the event that tips the balance towards much more aggressive efforts in the U.S. and abroad to curb all fossil fuel emissions, wean our civilization from its lethal dependency upon oil and coal, and set it onto a sustainable path that could help stop the mad dash into oblivion we are caught in right now because of the blind complacency of most everyone and all the shenanigans of powerful corporate interests bent on protecting their bottom line, even if it means dooming the entire planet in the process.

Imagine what would happen if another nation had cause as many deaths and as much damage in a single night to the United States... The whole country would mobilize itself to fight back this external "threat" and all resources would be diverted to wage war against this "enemy"... Except in this case the enemy is the American Way of Life, replicated everywhere on Earth, and 99% of the decisions taken since Bush illegally took power have only exacerbated the problems and dragged the whole planet in the wrong direction, instead of showing the way towards a brighter future for all through enlightened, farsighted leadership.

I cannot emphasize enough how urgent it is either for those laggard souls leading the world to ecosuicide to shift their tune and start being peaceful, environmentally conscious proactive humanitarian leaders - a near impossible utopia judging from past behavior - or for ordinary US citizens to take matter in their own hands and make sure by all possible, peaceful means that their nation becomes again a true, valued leader of the free world, showing to all the way ahead towards a selfless, soulful, love and compassion-driven future where the sanctity of all Life truly matters...

Otherwise the sad example set by the self-destructive people of Easter Island will become the dark fate of our whole planet - see The End of the World is Inevitable and it's Going to be our Fault below.

If you have any thoughts to share with us all of this, you are welcome to come forward...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator

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"Jean, i have been reading your compilations for several years now, and i want to express to you the awe and admiration i feel towards the work that you are doing. you are an inspiration to others like myself who've found themselves walking the same path. i just want to write and say thank you for all that you have been doing. if you're interested, i started a weblog recently, and i thought i'd send the address along. maybe you'll find something that interests you. regardless, i look forward to your compilations every week, and in my opinion, for what it's worth, you're doing a great service to humankind. thank you again."

- Brooks> - - Note posted in the ERN guestbook on 2005-08-27

Here is a quote from his site...

"(...) That a verifiable truth about everything and anything anywhere is the universe is accessible for the mere asking is so astonishing that it challenges every basic human assumption. Upon investigation, it becomes starkly obvious that all existence throughout all time, beyond all duration and location, including the human experience thereof in all of its possibilities, is an expression of one single, all-encompassing energy field of infinite potential, and that a quality of the field itself is its capacity to actualize potential from the formless into actual, identifiable form. Whether one chooses to label the omniscent, omnipresent, omnipotent, universal, all-encompassing, all-present, beyond-all-time-and-space field as 'divine' or not is a personal choice."

- Brooks

"Dear Jean, Your newsletter has become the only news I ever read any more, as it contains what one needs to know, so once again, a tip of the hat to your fine efforts on behalf of the planet. I've been working with the inventor of a new healing technology called "electro-regenesis," and, incredibly, he managed to get it approved in Australia for mainstream medical use, although the FDA in America is still stalling him. His clinic is now packed daily with the most formerly "hopeless basket cases" tossed aside by allopathic medicine, and the results are incredible. Anyway, I wrote a piece about it... Amazing Grace: Healing a Weary Wounded World with Electro-Regenesis
- Daniel Reid

"Coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are dying because of rising water temperatures. Butterflies are migrating northward. Antarctica is melting. Northern hemisphere forests are being decimated by climate-related fires and insect infestations. The Great Plains states are becoming deserts, as are areas of Southern Europe. Tropical diseases such as malaria and West Nile fever are spreading northwards as temperatures rise.

These are all facts that are incontestably documented by science today, and each of them is directly linked to the climate change brought about by global warming. The earth and its species are in for a tough time in the century ahead. Extreme weather patterns caused by the heating up of the planet is already creating climatic chaos: horrible downpours and snow in some areas, rising temperatures and drought in others, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and so on. And for the most part it's been caused by the incredibly high rate of fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions--6 billion tons (and counting) a year.

Ross Gelspan argues that the science is clear; most of the world's leading scientists agree that fossil fuels are causing the problem. The rub is that the oil and coal industries--at $10 trillion, the largest in human history--have an obvious vested interest in convincing the public and lawmakers that global warming is all Chicken Little stuff. So they fund a handful of dissenting scientists who, like tobacco industry scientists a few years ago, are in the business of convincing the public that global warming is a myth. Conservative lawmakers have been particularly receptive to their line, and this in turn has affected public policy for the worse.

Gelbspan's book is horrifying in its diagnosis of global warming and the extent to which the fossil fuel industry has protected its own interests at the expense of the planet's. But the book also makes clear that the technology to replace the world's use of fossil fuels already exists, and concludes with a plan of action for weaning ourselves from our oil addictions.

Make no mistake about it, however: things will get worse, and perhaps much worse, before they get better. We're only beginning to feel the effects of carbon dioxide emissions from 50 years ago. We've yet to feel the whammy from our current frenzied use. When we do, God help us."

- Kerry Walters - Taken from “Invasion of the weather-snatchers,” a book review of “The Heat Is on: The Climate Crisis, the Cover-Up, the Prescription” by Ross Gelbspan posted on March 20, 2004

“Take a good look around you. The signs are numerous and unmistakable. The Arctic glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. Entire island nations in the South Pacific are being permanently evacuated and tropical diseases are spreading as birds and insects migrate farther and farther north. Hardly a week goes by without another bizaare weather event dominating the headlines.

It is against this backdrop that Ross Gelbspan brings us "Boiling Point". This is the authors clarion call for the peoples of the world to take their heads out of the sand, set aside their differences and work together to solve a problem that threatens the world as we know it. According to Gelbspan, an overwhelming majority of scientists around the world agree that the world must reduce carbon emissions by some 70%! And we have less than two decades to get the job done.

Obviously, there are major obstacles everywhere, not the least of which is the Bush administration who is clearly in the hip pocket of the oil and coal industry. In fact, less than two months after his inauguration, the President broke a campaign promise and stated that he would no longer seek to regulate power plant emissions. And throughout the remainder of his first term the President fought any kind of regulation on the energy industry tooth and nail. The author quotes longtime Bush supporter Robert Luft, President of Entergy Corp who flatly states "Still, I cannot express my frustration with his performance in this area...

Make no mistake. If today's leaders of government and business don't start understanding the need to take emissions reductions seriously, we will leave a grim, grim legacy for a children and our grandchildren." After reviewing what divides us, Ross Gelbspan proposes a challenging three point plan that would help to bring about the dramatic changes that are needed to help avoid an environmental calamity. And while I will not enumerate his proposal here it is safe to say that all of us as individuals and all of the nations of the world must put aside our many and deep differences and work for the common good. The author is cautiously optimistic that given the right set of circumstances that this could actually happen. Let's hope and pray that it can. As another reviewer so aptly put it, "Boiling Point" is a must read for the responsible citizen. Highly recommended.”

- Paul Tognetti - taken from “We cannot say that we did not know”, a book review posted on January 14, 2005 of “Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists and Activists Are Fueling the Climate Crisis--And What We Can Do to Avert Disaster” by Ross Gelbspan

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."

- Albert Einstein

"The lesson Rapa Nui holds for our world has not gone unremarked. In 1992, the archaeologists Paul Bahn and John Flenley wrote that the Easter Islanders “carried out for us the experiment of permitting unrestricted population growth, profligate use of resources, destruction of the environment and boundless confidence in their religion to take care of the future. The result was an ecological disaster leading to a population crash … Do we have to repeat the experiment on [a] grand scale? … Is the human personality always the same as that of the person who felled the last tree?” The last tree. The last mammoth. The last dodo. And soon perhaps the last fish and the last gorilla. During the 20th century, the world’s population multiplied by four and the economy by more than 40. If the promise of modernity was even treading water – in other words, if the gap between rich and poor had stayed proportionally the same as it was when Queen Victoria died – all human beings would be 10 times better off. Yet the number in abject poverty today is as great as all mankind in 1901. (...) If civilisation is to survive, it must live on the interest, not the capital, of nature. Ecological markers suggest that in the early 1960s, humans were using about 70% of nature’s yearly output; by the early 1980s, we’d reached 100%; and in 1999, we were at 125%. Such numbers may be imprecise, but their trend is clear – they mark the road to bankruptcy. (...) The most compelling reason for reforming our system is that the system is in nobody’s interest. It is a suicide machine. All of us have some dinosaur inertia within us, but I honestly don’t know what the activist-dinosaurs – the hard men and women of Big Oil and the far right – think they are doing. They have children and grandchildren who will need safe food and clean air and water, and who may wish to see living oceans and forests.Wealth can buy no refuge from pollution; pesticides sprayed in China condense in Antarctic glaciers and Rocky Mountain tarns. And wealth is no shield from chaos, as the surprise on each haughty face that rolled from the guillotine made clear."

- Ronald Wright - taken from "The End of the World is Inevitable and it's Going to be our Fault" below - an excellent MUST read article!

Worthy of Your Attention

New Earth Circle
The New Earth Circle is a wonderful service to humanity and to Mother Earth. The Spiritual Light Realms are calling on all souls to join their energies. Here's how it works: On a planetary level, an intensified, healing Force Field will be generated to assist the Earth and all its inhabitants in the process of inner-healing and elevation to a higher Dimension. Every spiritual soul intuitively knows that we energetically are all connected to one another ('one mind, one heart'). In this CONNECTION lies the seed for transformation of the Heart. If enough people can bundle their heart-energies, the earth will be bathed in a gigantic field of Light. Then, miracles of positive change start happening all over the world ... CLIP (see also Patrick Brusselaers' message in the ERN guestbook at

Global Calendar Reform
To: United Nations - The worlds civil timing standard should be a fair, accurate and harmonious standard of measure. Replacing the Gregorian Calendar with a 13 Moon Count will equalise and restore the balance between humanity and planet and help co-ordinate the creation of a globally sustainable society. One Time! One Planet! One People!

The 17 Chakra System The 17 Chakra System was channeled and received from the Elohim by Jhadten Jewall the day after the Conclave of Lord Michael in Banff Canada in March 1994.  It is the foundation of his work in the world, activating the Cities of Light and the Lightbodies of Mankind. Born in Canada, he is one Heart with the Mission of Canada: to breathe the Breath of God into the crystalline structures of Reality, activating the Lightbodies of Earth and Mankind for the New Millennium of Peace on Earth. The following diagram will illustrate the transpersonal and Earth chakras as well as how they are integrated into the body. The Elohim explained that during this time of an expansion of our localized consciousness to a place of global consciousness (media, internet, satellites etc express the outward manifestation of our global consciousness), a new system of energy awareness would be needed. Up until this point the traditional 7 chakra System as we have inherited it from India and other cultures, has served us well in understanding our energy fields. In this time of transition from 3rd through 4th into 5th density realms of energy and awareness, we need to be aware of more aspects of our energy fields. As everything in our lives has become more complex to make life easier, so our understanding of our energy fields becomes more complex in order to live with ease and grace during these times of transition. The vague idea or visualization of grounding now becomes a science of clear levels of awareness. As the Earth has definite geological layers and levels, so too our body consciousness. Grounding into each successive layer of the Earth is creating a definite connection to a level of body awareness, being conscious of a level of energy in our bodies; this is absolutely necessary in order to know where to ground, embody the higher vibrations of our soul energy, the transpersonal chakras. Becoming familiar with the Earth Chakras means creating the space and possibility to actually embody the higher frequencies of your soul: the deeper the grounding, the higher the frequencies that can be embodied. Becoming familiar therefore, means to embody a level of energy awareness. This is the step from 3rd into 4th density reality. This is the step from an instinctive and reactive reality based on fear, separation and romance to a reality of inner freedom through detachment. Here we begin to become 'we' instead of 'me'. As the integrated, embodied chakras fuse with the traditional chakras and lift the vibration even higher, shifting the centre of the chakra higher to a more precise centre (crown and base), we experience the shift from 4th to 5th density realms of energy: this is the shift from inner freedom to realizing that nothing can be more fulfilling and satisfying than becoming pure channels of divine will. This is a movement towards enlightenment and the 'we' now becomes 'one', unity in diversity, global peace and harmony, a golden age is born. This is an alchemical process, that is described by the Elohim in Jhadten's channelings. CLIP
More on Jhadten at Recommended by "Adi Gaia">


1. Major Developments in Katrina's Aftermath
2. Rooftop rescues mount along with fires, floods
4. Storm Turns Focus to Global Warming
5. Hurricanes and global warming
6. Katrina’s Real Name — Global Warming
7. The End of the World is Inevitable and it's Going to be our Fault
9. It's Time to Demand More Polls on Impeaching Bush!!!
10. Spraying of coca crops in Columbia
11. JFK vs. Federal Reserve
12. Amazing Grace: Healing a Weary Wounded World with Electro-Regenesis

See also:

Mayor: Katrina May Have Killed Thousands (August 31)
NEW ORLEANS - Hurricane Katrina probably killed thousands of people in New Orleans, the mayor said Wednesday — an estimate that, if accurate, would make the storm the nation's deadliest natural disaster since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. "We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and other people dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said. Asked how many, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."The frightening estimate came as Army engineers struggled to plug New Orleans' breached levees with giant sandbags and concrete barriers, and authorities drew up plans to clear out the tens of thousands of people left in the Big Easy and practically abandon the flooded-out city. Many of the evacuees — including thousands now staying in the Superdome — will be moved to the Astrodome in Houston, 350 miles away.There will be a "total evacuation of the city. We have to. The city will not be functional for two or three months," Nagin said. And he said people will not be allowed back into their homes for at least a month or two.Nagin estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people remained in New Orleans, a city of nearly half a million. He said 14,000 to 15,000 a day could be evacuated.

Brace for More Katrinas, Say Experts
For all its numbing ferocity, Hurricane Katrina will not be a unique event, say scientists, who say that global warming appears to be pumping up the power of big Atlantic storms. More and more scientists estimate that global warming, while not necessarily making hurricanes more frequent or likelier to make landfall, is making them more vicious. (...) The New Zealand Herald reports that Katrina's force should be seen against the backdrop of unusual weather events in Europe. "From deluged south-eastern Europe, where 43 died in tumultuous rainstorms, to tinder-dry Portugal, where 11 new fires flared [August 27] despite weeks of desperate firefighting, Europeans have been assaulted by weather extremes unknown for generations," the paper said. "Hardest hit was Romania, where 31 died, many of whom drowned when water engulfed their homes. Austria, Germany, Bulgaria and Switzerland reported 12 dead, with vast areas under water. Fears remain that floodwaters could cause the Danube to burst its banks and present further hazard.

New Rules Could Allow Power Plants to Pollute More
The Bush administration has drafted regulations that would ease pollution controls on older, dirtier power plants and could allow those that modernize to emit more pollution. The language could undercut dozens of pending state and federal lawsuits aimed at forcing coal-fired plants to cut back emissions.

Nuclear Energy: A Fallacious Response to the Oil Crisis
In fact, France, "kingdom of the atom," has a 75% dependence on fossil energies (oil, gas, coal) and remains one of the major greenhouse gas emitting countries. (...) After having lied to citizens to make them believe in the "nuclear miracle" for decades, France was forced to adopt international conventions with regard to energy accounting in 2002. The nuclear share was automatically dropped to its real value, some 17%, rather than the 50% unduly advertised. CLIP

How Katrina Turned Off the Oil
A detailed facility-by-facility report on Gulf Coast refineries and pipelines. The amount of lost production is enormous. Roughly 1.9 million barrels per day of refining capacity on the Gulf Coast went off-line, with many plants down completely and others operating at reduced rates.

Response to Katrina Poses Chances for Bush (August 31)
WASHINGTON - President Bush, who crafted a take-charge image from the Sept. 11 attacks, faces a stiff challenge in responding to Hurricane Katrina. Cutting short his vacation and marshaling the power of the federal government could help reverse his sliding job approval rating. But the president's hands-on approach seems a bit too political for some, and makes him an easy target should Katrina's victims start looking for somebody to blame during the long, costly road to recovery.In purely political terms, the question is whether Bush can live up to the tough, can-do reputation he cultivated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Or whether he falls short of expectations and pays a political price, as his father did after Hurricane Andrew slammed Florida in 1992."There is a sense here that he's still the 9/11 president, and could bring the same magic here," said Elliott Stonecipher, an independent political consultant from Shreveport, La.At the same time, Stonecipher and other political analysts said people are aware that Bush benefited politically from the Sept. 11 attacks, and they may be skeptical of his response to the natural disaster that has rocked the Gulf Coast. "I can hear it already, `He's just doing it because his poll numbers are at bottom,'" Stonecipher said.Rising gas prices and the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq have dropped Bush's job approval ratings to the lowest levels of his presidency, according to polls. (...) Even so, Key bitterly noted that the federal response may be hurt by the Iraq war."If we didn't have all our National Guard troops in Iraq, we could probably do a lot more," she said.That may not be the only line of criticism. Bernie Pinsonat, a bipartisan pollster with Southern Media and Opinion Research in Baton Rouge, La., said the president — along with local political figures — may eventually be blamed for circumstances that led to the flooding of New Orleans. "When the people of Louisiana quit being awed by the destruction, they're going to start asking questions. What happened to the water pumps? Why didn't the levees hold? I think there will be a lot of fingerpointing once political officials stop trying to get face time on TV and the public demands answers," Pinsonat said. Some Democrats circulated an article on the Editor & Publisher Web site suggesting that spending pressures from the war in Iraq, homeland security and Bush's tax cuts drained money from New Orleans flood-control projects."As these facts get out, and the American people learn that decisions were made not to fund improvements of the levees because of Iraq, they will not be happy," said Chris Kofinis, a Democratic consultant in Washington. CLIP

Bush Cut Hurricane, Flood Protection Funding to New Orleans (06 June 2005)
In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding. It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said. I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction, said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district... The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.

Republicans accused of witch-hunt against climate change (August 30, 2005),3604,1558780,00.html
Some of America's leading scientists have accused Republican politicians of intimidating climate-change experts by placing them under unprecedented scrutiny. A far-reaching inquiry into the careers of three of the US's most senior climate specialists has been launched by Joe Barton, the chairman of the House of Representatives committee on energy and commerce. He has demanded details of all their sources of funding, methods and everything they have ever published. Mr Barton, a Texan closely associated with the fossil-fuel lobby, has spent his 11 years as chairman opposing every piece of legislation designed to combat climate change. He is using the wide powers of his committee to force the scientists to produce great quantities of material after alleging flaws and lack of transparency in their research. He is working with Ed Whitfield, the chairman of the sub-committee on oversight and investigations. The scientific work they are investigating was important in establishing that man-made carbon emissions were at least partly responsible for global warming, and formed part of the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which convinced most world leaders - George Bush was a notable exception - that urgent action was needed to curb greenhouse gases. The demands in letters sent to the scientists have been compared by some US media commentators to the anti-communist "witch-hunts" pursued by Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. CLIP

Situation Deteriorating In Hurricane Aftermath (30 Aug 2005)
New Orleans, LA (CBS) - Martial Law has been declared in parts of New Orleans as conditions continued to deteriorate. Water levels in The Big Easy and it's suburbs are rising at dangerous levels and officials stated they don't know where the water is coming from. Residents are being urged to get out of New Orleans in any way they can as officials fear "life will be unsustainable" for days or even weeks.Gulf Coast residents were staggered by the body-blow inflicted by Hurricane Katrina, with more than a million people sweltering without power, miles of lowlands under water and unconfirmed reports of as many 80 people dead in Mississippi alone. "We heard one report of 30 dead at just one apartment complex on the beach in Biloxi," said CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta. Much of the devastation is being blamed on a storm surge. "It's not like when you see big tornadoes or hurricane force winds come through and the house is blown away," said Acosta. "A storm surge rises up to the house and clears out everything in its path, moving furniture and cars around." CLIP

Hurricane Could Turn City into Toxic Cesspool
Though Hurricane Katrina didn't deliver a direct hit on New Orleans Monday, there still were fears that the storm could turn one of America's most charming cities into a vast cesspool tainted with toxic chemicals, human waste and even coffins released by floodwaters from the city's legendary cemeteries.

Venezuela offers fuel, food to hurricane-hit US (Aug 29)
CARACAS (AFP) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered to send food and fuel to the United States after the powerful Hurricane Katrina pummeled the US south, ravaging US crude production. The leftist leader, a frequent critic of the United States and a target himself of US disapproval, said Venezuela could send aid workers with drinking water, food and fuel to US communities hit by the hurricane."We place at the disposition of the people of the United States in the event of shortages -- we have drinking water, food, we can provide fuel," Chavez told reporters.Chavez said fuel could be sent to the United States via a Citgore finery that has not been affected by the hurricane. Citgo is owned by Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) .In the Gulf of Mexico, which accounts for a quarter of total US oiloutput, 92 percent of crude and 83 percent of natural gas production were shut down due to Hurricane Katrina, which slammed Louisiana and Mississippi, according to US government data.Venezuela is the fourth-largest provider of oil to the United States,supplying some 1.5 million barrels a day. Last week, Chavez offered discount gasoline to poor Americans suffering from high oil prices and on Sunday offered free eye surgery for Americans without access to health care.

Gas Crisis Looms
The impact of Hurricane Katrina on US oil production and refinery capabilities may be worse than initial reports estimated and could lead to a national gas crisis in the short-term. "The story is all about oil," said Michael Englund, chief economist with Action Economics. "This is still a fluid situation but we have enough information to feel comfortable lowering our economic growth estimate even further."

Gas Prices Leap in Katrina's Aftermath (August 31)
Gasoline prices leaped nationwide Wednesday as key refineries and pipelines remained crippled by Hurricane Katrina, crimping supplies and leading to caps on the amount of fuel delivered to retailers. To boost supplies, the U.S. government said it would loan oil to refiners facing shortfalls and relax environmental restrictions on the type of gasoline sold during summer. Crude futures prices fell but remained close to $69 a barrel.Just how bad the situation becomes for motorists, who are facing pump prices in excess of $3 a gallon in a growing number of markets, depends on how quickly electricity can be restored to Gulf Coast pipelines and refineries, analysts said. Flooding may have left some important refinery equipment submerged and it will be days before a full damage assessment is completed, industry officials and analysts said. (...) In another attempt to ease the crunch on motor fuel supplies, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would temporarily allow retailers nationwide to sell gasoline and diesel that does not meet stringent summer air-quality standards. Even before Katrina plowed through the Gulf Coast, oil producers and refiners had been struggling to meet rising demand around the globe, particularly in the U.S. and China. Energy markets have been on edge for about two years because the amount of excess oil production capacity worldwide is only about 1.5 million barrels a day, or less than 2 percent of demand. "The hurricane has made a bad situation worse," said oil analyst Fadel Gheit at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York.Eight Gulf refineries remain out of service, and will be for days if not weeks, according to analysts, though most of their owners have not yet publicly announced the extent of any damage. CLIP

Here's the Funny Part
George W. Bush coughed up his latest rationale for continuing the Iraq war - I think this is the fourth or fifth one of these to this point - by saying that because so many American soldiers have been killed, we have to keep sending American soldiers to get killed as a means of honoring the American soldiers who have been killed. William Rivers Pitt says this is big talk from a guy who spends more time on vacation than a French aristocrat.

Baghdad Stampede Toll Likely to Reach 1,000
Scores jumped or were pushed to their deaths into the Tigris River, while others were crushed in the crowd. Most of the dead were women and children, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman said.

Bush Gives New Reason for Iraq War: Oil
President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.

Catapulting the Propaganda
As his poll figures continue on a downward spiral, Tom Engelhardt says Bush has found it necessary to put extra effort into "catapulting the propaganda." Though he struck a new note or two in each speech, these were exceedingly familiar, crush-the-terrorists, stay-the-course, path-to-victory speeches.

The Vietnamization of Bush's Vacation
In the wake of Ms. Sheehan's protest, the facts on the ground in America have changed almost everywhere. Frank Rich states that, for one, the president has been forced to make what for him is the ultimate sacrifice: jettisoning chunks of vacation to defend the war in any bunker he can find in Utah or Idaho.

Halliburton Whistle-Blower "Removed" by Army
A high-level contracting official who has been a vocal critic of the Pentagon's decision to give Halliburton a multibillion-dollar, no-bid contract for work in Iraq was removed from her job by the Army Corps of Engineers, effective Saturday.

Rove's Role
Rove's record, according to the Boston Globe, has been consistent. Over 35 years, he has been a master of dirty tricks, divisiveness, innuendo, manipulation, character assassination, and roiling partisanship.

US Forces Kill Reuters Journalist
The death brings to 66 the number of journalists and their aides killed in Iraq since the start of the invasion in 2003, said Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based news media rights group. That surpasses the 63 journalists killed over 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, the group said.

Iran's Oil Gambit and Potential Affront to the US
Is the biggest threat Iran poses to the United States really its nuclear ambitions - or is it petropolitics? The Iranian government's plans to create an oil exchange fit into a strategy of weakening US economic hegemony.

New Global Warming Strategy
How Environmentalists are Overlooking Vegetarianism as the Most Effective Tool Against Climate Change in Our Lifetimes

Destroying the National Parks
The New York Times editorializes against the Bush administration's rewrite of national park management rules, saying "it essentially undermines the protected status of the national parks."

Go Truck Yourself (Grist summary)
Bush administration unveils weak new fuel-economy rules for light trucks - The Bush administration surveyed the landscape -- gas prices rising, fears of oil dependence spreading -- and concluded that bold leadership was required. So it invaded an oil-rich country. Heh, well ... on to Plan B! Last week, the administration proposed a new set of auto fuel-economy rules. Tightening the standard for passenger cars? Uh, no, that would stay at an average of 27.5 miles per gallon. Finally imposing some requirements on mega-SUVs like the Hummer H2? Wrong again. Instead, most SUVs, pickups, and minivans would be divided into six categories based on size, each with its own fuel-economy requirements. The administration says the plan would increase the average mileage of these vehicles a whopping 2.8 mpg by 2011, to 24 mpg. Amazing but true! Despite the obvious logic of the plan, it has critics, some of whom point out that it would actually provide an incentive for auto manufacturers to make their light trucks larger, so they'd be bumped into categories with lower mileage standards. "The proposal is almost embarrassing in terms of its effect on fuel consumption," said Eric Haxthausen of Environmental Defense. Details at and

Raider of the Last Parks (Grist summary)
Proposal to change national-park rules stirring up controversy - National parks are cool and all, but you know what they really need? More people on cell phones! That -- along with more snowmobiling and off-roading -- could happen under revisions to National Park Service policy proposed by Bush appointee Paul Hoffman, deputy assistant secretary of the interior. His plan, leaked to the press last week, would cut back on environmental protections on numerous fronts, from allowing cell-phone towers to reducing air quality standards to permitting more mining and grazing. While the Department of Interior is trying to cast the proposal as a mere effort at dialogue, past and present National Park Service employees aren't buying it. A group of 400 NPS retirees has announced a campaign to block the changes, and current directors are openly voicing dismay over them. Says J. T. Reynolds, superintendent of Death Valley National Park, "They are changing the whole nature of who we are and what we have been. I hope the public understands that this is a threat to their heritage. Details at

Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked (28 Aug 2005)
A FORMER Scottish police chief has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated.
The retired officer - of assistant chief constable rank or higher - has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people.

South Polar ozone hole makes big comeback (30 August 2005)
This season's Antarctic ozone hole has swollen to an area of ten million square kilometres from mid-August - approximately the same size as Europe and still expanding. It is expected to reach maximum extent during September, and ESA satellites are vital for monitoring its development. This year's hole is large for this time of year, based on results from the last decade: only the ozone holes of 1996 and 2000 had a larger area at this point in their development.

Ozone Layer Decline Leveling Off (30 August 2005)
A new global study involving long-term data from satellites and ground stations indicates Earth's ozone layer, while still severely depleted following decades of thinning from industrial chemicals in the atmosphere, is no longer in decline. Betsy Weatherhead, a researcher with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a joint institute of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and corresponding author of the study, said the team documented a leveling off of declining ozone levels between 1996 and 2002, and even measured small increases in some regions. "The observed changes may be evidence of ozone improvement in the atmosphere," said Weatherhead. But we will have to continue to monitor ozone levels for years to come before we can be confident. "It most likely will be decades before the ozone layer recovers, and it may never stabilize at the levels measured prior to the mid-1970s, when scientists discovered human-produced chlorine and bromine compounds could destroy ozone and deplete the ozone layer, Weatherhead said. CLIP



Major Developments in Katrina's Aftermath

• New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says Hurricane Katrina probably killed thousands of people — an estimate that, if accurate, would make the storm the nation's deadliest natural disaster since at least the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

• Health and Human Services Department declares a public health emergency, sends medical supplies, hospital beds and public health officers.

• Officials make plans to evacuate at least 25,000 of Hurricane Katrina's refugees, a majority of them at the New Orleans Superdome. They are being sent to the Astrodome in Houston.

• Pentagon mounts one of largest search-and-rescue operations in U.S. history, sending four Navy ships with drinking water and other emergency supplies. A hospital ship, search helicopters and elite SEAL water-rescue teams also are being sent.

• American Red Cross workers from across the country converge on the devastated region in the agency's biggest-ever relief operation.

• National Guard troops from at least eight states are dispatched for law enforcement support, communications, medical help, debris removal and other assistance. There are about 11,000 Guardsmen now deployed in the region.

• State officials and the Army Corps of Engineers said the water levels between the city and Lake Pontchartrain have equalized. Water has stopped rising in New Orleans, and even appeared to be falling, at least in some places.

• The Army Corps of Engineers says it plans to use helicopters to drop 20,000-pound sandbags into a 500-foot gap in a failed floodwall.

• Five offshore Louisiana oil rigs are reported missing and two more adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.

• Gasoline prices surge above $3 a gallon in many parts of the country and shortages crop up in some areas as supply disruptions from Katrina widen.

• In Washington, the Bush administration decides to release crude oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners whose supply was disrupted by Katrina. The announcement helped push oil prices lower.


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Rooftop rescues mount along with fires, floods

August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina left much of New Orleans in ruin, and the search for victims unfolded along the Gulf Coast. A former mayor of New Orleans said, `We've lost our city. I fear it's potentially like Pompeii.'

NEW ORLEANS - The second day brought more horror, greater despair: The regional death toll exceeded 100 and will rise. Rescuers acrobatically plucked thousands from the crests of roofs. Levees failed, a city began drowning and panic flared and spread.

New, terrifying floods swept through New Orleans on Tuesday. Up to 15 feet of water swamped at least 80 percent of the city. And yet fires raged, fed by leaking gas.

Medics transformed part of the Superdome into a triage center, but three feet of water lapped at the edges of the arena. Looters roamed freely.

The governor prepared to essentially shut New Orleans -- a major American city perilously close to utter ruin -- and move tens of thousands of refugees . . . somewhere.

"We've lost our city," said Marc Morial, a former mayor of New Orleans. "I fear it's potentially like Pompeii."

The awful panorama of Hurricane Katrina's devastation stretched across four coastal states, and a rag-tag, numbed army of refugees searched desperately for the bare necessities of life -- water, food, shelter and, to escape from it all, gasoline.

"There's nowhere, nowhere to go," said Robert Smith, a truck driver who fled New Orleans with his family of six and ended up stranded on Interstate 10 near Gulfport, Miss. "There's nowhere to eat, get gas or stay."

Water surrounded the road, and it was getting deeper. At the eastern entrance to New Orleans, over Lake Pontchartrain, the interstate lay ruined.


More than 100 people died in the Biloxi and Gulfport areas of Mississippi, according to Jim Pollard, a Harrison County spokesman. Other county officials said twice that number likely were killed by the worst hurricane to strike the U.S. in memory.

"The death toll rises every time we go out," said Joe Spraggins, the county's emergency manager.

Overwhelmed by the number of dead, county workers marked bodies with satellite-based locator devices for later pickup. The county only had enough space on refrigerated trucks for 80 bodies. Officials ordered more trucks but wouldn't say how many.

"We don't want to start a panic," said a logistics officer who refused to disclose his name. Other deaths were reported in Louisiana, Alabama and -- late last week -- in South Florida.

In Biloxi, authorities and volunteers pulled bodies from 12-foot piles of rubble while hearses and trucks assigned to carry the corpses cruised Howard Avenue. Five bodies were recovered in five blocks in only a few hours.

"I've never seen anything like this in my life," said resident David McCaleb.


In Biloxi, New Orleans and across the vast expanse of disaster, Coast Guard, National Guard and other crews saved countless victims, sometimes by boat, frequently by air.

Like angels, the rescuers floated, fluttered, sailed from the clouds, embraced the needy, lifted them to safety.

The experience was electric, the vista heartbreaking.

"To be elevated and have a bird's-eye view of the neighborhood that I grew up in and love was awful," said Gene Daymude, a New Orleans art dealer carried over floods and into a helicopter by a wire basket.

At least 1,500 people were rescued from rooftops in New Orleans alone, and many more needed immediate assistance. For some, however, it will come too late.

"We know that many lives have been lost," said Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

In California, aides said that President Bush will return to Washington to monitor post-storm assistance. "We have got a lot of work to do," Bush said.

And the workload kept growing. Regional damage estimates ranged well beyond $26 billion.

In New Orleans, two levees failed -- one with a breach as wide as a football field.

Water suddenly rose in the French Quarter and other areas of the sodden city of 485,000 people, a place that sits like a bowl between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River.

"The levee broke!" one woman yelled outside Johnny White's Bar on Bourbon Street.

Workers planned to drop sandbags from helicopters into the breaches, but rescue missions took priority and no sand bags were dropped, Mayor C. Ray Nagin said, so the water kept coming.

It could take more than a month to pump it out, he said.

"It appears that now the bowl is beginning to fill -- not rapidly but slowly," said Walter Maestri, emergency operations manager for Jefferson Parish, a county just west of New Orleans.

Nagin told city workers to flee for their lives. Staffers at the Times-Picayune newspaper hastily evacuated their building. Canal Street became a canal.


Still, the Gulfport and Biloxi area of southern Mississippi bore much of the brunt of the storm.

Katrina's 145-mph wind and huge storm surge shattered multimillion-dollar casinos, turned bridges into nothing but pylons, bulldozed harbors, courthouses, entire business districts in Long Beach, Pass Christian and Moss Point.

"This," said Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway, "is our tsunami."

Several people said they saved themselves by perching in trees. Huong Tran, 50, and her fiancé were among them. As the water rose, they spent six hours in a live oak tree.

"I thought I was going to die," Tran said. "The water was over the house."

She prayed to a Buddhist goddess.

'I called to her, `Help me, help me. I think I'll die.' "

Many perished on Point Cadet, at the southeastern tip of Biloxi's peninsula, officials said. A portable morgue was being brought in. Authorities feared some victims may have been washed away, never to be found.

In many counties, emergency operations centers crumbled or were swamped.

In Harrison County, 35 people swam out of their emergency operations center with life jackets on. "We haven't heard from them," said Christopher Cirillo, the county's emergency medical services director.


Back in New Orleans, medics converted part of the Superdome -- already the steamy home of 10,000 people -- into a center for scores of the injured and sick, many of them found on rooftops and street corners. Some were sent to hospitals in Baton Rouge.

The narrow, debris-filled streets of the tourist-oriented French Quarter filled with more than two feet of water. Terrified by what they heard on the radio, some people ran down the streets, screaming and warning others.

"Get out of town if you can," said Ed Freytag, a city worker at a temporary City Hall.

At the Hyatt Regency Hotel, next to the Superdome, flood waters engulfed cars and blocked passage to the rest of the city.

"People are afraid of drowning," said Greg Reaves, 45, who tried to flee the city but turned around after confronting high water on Interstate 10. "I think that's what's causing the panic."

Officials had warned that if Katrina hit New Orleans dead-on, flood waters could rise up to 20 feet immediately. The storm wobbled slightly eastward, offering a partial reprieve that seemed like ancient history Tuesday.

"We're damn close right now to that worst-case scenario," said radio host Dave Cohen, whose radio station steadfastly transmitted emergency information during the storm and its aftermath.


People frantically tried to get through the water to the only exit out of town that wasn't flooded -- the Crescent City Connector, which leads westward along U.S. 90 toward Baton Rouge.

Police couldn't communicate with each other, so beat cops drove where they could, on alert for looters and people in distress.

A security guard at a hotel in the French Quarter reported hearing gun shots. He wasn't able to sleep, fearful of increasingly hungry, desperate mobs.

"The situation is untenable," Gov. Blanco said. "It's just heartbreaking."


See also:

Governor: New Orleans must be evacuated
Everyone needs to leave New Orleans due to flooding from Hurricane Katrina, the governor of Louisiana said today. Thousands will be relocated to Houston's Astrodome. The city is 80 percent under water and is getting worse. Hundreds feared dead on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. About 25,000 people sheltered in New Orleans' Superdome will be moved to Houston's Astrodome, after Louisiana's governor said everyone must evacuate New Orleans. The first wave is due to arrive in Houston Thursday morning. On Mississippi's Gulf Coast, the storm cost more lives and destroyed more property than any disaster in that regions' history. Repairing New Orleans' breached levees has been "an engineering nightmare," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. "The National Guard has been dropping sandbags into it, but it's like dropping it into a black hole. "We've sent buses in. We will be either loading them by boat, helicopter, anything that is necessary," she said. The governor this morning called for today to be a day of prayer, as the residents of her state and of New Orleans faced what could be their most daunting day yet following Katrina. "We need all the strength, all the fortitude, all the courage that we can possibly gather to make it through this time," Blanco said. "I don't think our state has ever seen anything like this before and I hope we never see it again." At least 25,000 of Hurricane Katrina's refugees, a majority of them at the New Orleans Superdome, will travel in a bus convoy to Houston and will be sheltered at the Astrodome, which hasn't been used for professional sporting events in years. Evacuees with special problems already have been evacuated to hospitals in other Louisiana cities, but the 23,000 people now confined to the stuffy, smelly Superdome, as well as some other refugees will go to Houston, about 350 miles away. The marathon bus convoy should take two days, officials said. CLIP

Lives, homes are reduced to mere rubble
As emergency officials in Gulfport, Miss., rescued residents, survivors searched shattered homes and wept for the dead and missing. - GULFPORT, Miss. - Just past a starved and growling 80-pound Rottweiler, Ben Powers' guitar case beckoned him, wedged between a piece of nail-spiked roof and a television set in the shattered mosaic of what was his neighborhood. Powers and his wife witnessed the destruction as their seaside house was smashed away from them Monday. Ever since, he has mountain-climbed the storm-surged rubbish with a strip of torn window molding that also helps him fend off the dog as he surveys and salvages what little he can. Truly, though, nothing's left, despite the stark appearance of everything blended and twisted and smashed by Hurricane Katrina's 20-foot-plus storm surge in the Georgia Place community. A beach condo was swept from its piers, a fire station was blown apart, and the only clean patches are the concrete home foundations, wet from the snapped and gurgling plumbing. The trashed neighborhood of little middle-class cottages is just one of the thousands of devastating buzz cuts Katrina sawed into the Gulf Coast and the minds of tens of thousands of residents. Tuesday, as some survivors searched through the rubble or were being rescued from the roofs of flooded homes, others wept for the hundreds of dead and missing scattered over hundreds of miles of coast. So far, the Gulfport-Biloxi area has borne the brunt of fatalities from Katrina -- more than 100, according to state emergency management officials. CLIP

Area 'looks like Hiroshima'
Biloxi has weathered its share of bad hurricanes -- including Camille -- but nothing prepared the residents of this coastal Mississippi city for Katrina. - BILOXI, Miss. - Shellshocked residents of the string of coastal Mississippi towns that took the brunt of Katrina's savagery emerged Tuesday to find death and destruction block by never-ending block. ''It looks like Hiroshima,'' said Blake Beckham of D'Iberville, just north of Biloxi. Biloxi and nearby Gulfport resembled bombed cities, with walls of buildings gone and most streets impassable due to debris, downed trees and missing chunks of road. Boats were tossed into trees, abandoned cars were smashed into houses, sunk into ravines and stranded along Interstate 10 on top of the cement median that divides the highway. The casinos that lure tourists and provide much of the economic engine for the area were uprooted from their moorings and tossed inland. And without power, water or phone service, local officials were at a loss to say when distribution of food, water or ice would be available.The damage is unprecedented, even for a town that has weathered its share of storms, said Vincent Creel, a spokesman for the city of Biloxi. ''It's been a horror story,'' Creel said.Search-and-rescue teams were still searching through rubble for survivors, and martial law may soon be declared in Biloxi, where looting began to break out, Creel said. (...) State officials expect the number of casualties, which they say now tops 100, to climb.MORE DEATHS''What I'm authorized to say now is we expect the death toll to be higher than anything we've ever seen before,'' Jim Pollard, civil defense spokesman for Mississippi's Harrison County, which includes Biloxi and Gulfport, told the AP. CLIP

Superdome takes on air of the Alamo
With nowhere else to go, thousands of New Orleans residents packed into the Superdome in an epic battle against rising flood waters. - NEW ORLEANS - The rescuers on the boat only had room for Lee Coleman's wife, his two daughters and his mother-in-law. So he trudged -- more than two miles -- through black water coated in rainbow-tinged oil. Past the abandoned cars swallowed by the flood waters. Past a single blue flip-flop floating next to the bombed-out bank. His final destination: the Louisiana Superdome, the designated refuge of last resort from Hurricane Katrina's onslaught. On Tuesday, though, the signature stadium was transformed into the city's Alamo. Surrounding it was the enemy -- millions of gallons of water from Lake Pontchartrain that flooded most of the city. ''At home, the water was six feet high,'' sighed a defeated Coleman, carrying only a plastic grocery bag of snacks. Coleman was one of hundreds of refugees who flocked to the Superdome in scenes that seemed biblical in scope. They came loaded in the backs of fatigue green and desert tan Army trucks. Some arrived on the backs of commandeered U-Haul trucks, while others were dropped off after being ferried from rooftops by Coast Guard helicopters. Many more just walked -- or rather waded -- into a dome that was more tense and chaotic than the previous day, when few realized the flooding would increase dramatically and the ranks inside the shelter would swell. The tally of people was expected to rise to as many as 20,000 -- double the number who arrived the day before. And officials are considering whether to evacuate the stadium. (...) The stadium aisles, where football fans normally buy beer, were crammed with people who had not showered in days. The air was sour and suffocating. People waited, not always patiently, in long lines for a chance to go out onto the outdoor patio, where officials allowed them to smoke, mingle and breathe some fresh air. Inside, babies napped quietly amid the bustle. One woman, lost and overwhelmed, cried uncontrollably. At least two people died from apparent heart attacks, said Assistant Police Chief Warren Riley. Another man died after a plunge from the upper-level seats -- a possible suicide. CLIP

Toxic floodwaters pose hazards
While the flooding in New Orleans presents widespread public health risks, doctors were most concerned about just trying to keep sick patients alive - Flooding in New Orleans could cause major public health problems ranging from diarrhea to West Nile virus, experts said. But on Tuesday, beleaguered medical workers were struggling to keep patients alive. Contaminated floodwaters can spread such bacteria as E. coli and salmonella, which can be fatal for the very young, the very old and others with weak immune systems, says Dr. Delia Rivera, an expert in infectious diseases at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Experts said it could be several weeks before the floodwaters -- contaminated with toxins including human feces, gasoline and chemicals from industrial sites -- are pumped from the city. Toxic chemicals in the water can cause skin rashes and other ailments, Rivera said. CLIP

Complete coverage at

Much more on the aftermath of Katrina at


From: "Mark Graffis">
Date: 30 Aug 2005


Maybe you have seen some of the news by now -- but it seems that by the hour, we are learning more and more about the true scope of the disaster in the Gulf. By 5PM there are 'bodies floating' in an area about 5-7 miles east of New Orleans where hundreds of sq miles of land and 'suburban homes' are under 15 feet of water. Search & Rescue Teams, including the Canines from Miami, are heading for New Orleans now. It has taken over 14 hours for this scene to become visible to the world. Downtown New Orleans 'survived' with only 2 feet of flood and 'sewage' water -- but just east of the city proper -- the scene is horrific as no one knows how many people actually have died, or are fighting for their lives right now since rescue teams seem unable to get to many locations right now. So far, 55 people are known dead, including 30 found in apartment complex in Biloxi. Considering the reports still trickling in from the New Orleans area where rescue efforts are intense but somehow very limited -- the death toll could go much higher.

What is really hard to fathom is right now, at 1AM in the morning, water is still rising in many areas around New Orleans, and even within the city itself, water is not going down at all.

This area east of the city itself is the same area where positively catastrophic wind damage was reported by 2PM today - with images of whole brick structures leveled. Across from New Orleans -- the devastation is complete in many locations from Gulfport where the all-time record tidal surge was 22ft, and water reached inland up to 5 miles. This type of storm surge damage extends to near Keesler AFB some 40 miles to the east. Ocean Springs, right near the base -- is flattened -- live coverage showing scenes that match in every way those of Camille and Andrew -- but covering 3 times the aerial extent. Right NOW, winds are still gusting to 50Kts in Mobile Bay where it appears the storm surge has set a record near 12 feet. Downtown Mobile BIZ District - at the north end of Mobile Bay - is under 8 ft of water right now - which extends inland for 8 city blocks.

-The Environmental Protection Agency dispatched emergency crews to Louisiana
and Texas because of concern about oil and chemical spills.

FEMA just announced that this relief effort is going to be far greater than all of last year's 4 Major storms in Florida put together. NOT including the oil industry, Insurance company risk managers have pegged the cost of cleanup at $15-$30bil. And with each hour the scope of what is being discovered seems to make the $30bil seem more likely. As I type this, the Mayor of MSY along with the FEMA lead are talking about this as in fact being a Catastrophic disaster - only the buildings and people within the New Orleans city limits seemingly have been spared. Catastrophic damage is absolutely the proper characterization for the Gulfport to Biloxi to Ocean Springs ocean front. Inland wind damage was generally CAT 3 to Cat 4 -- but the storm surge was CAT 5 with an exclamation mark. In many ways -- this was our Tsunami Afternoon.


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">


Los Angeles Times: Storm Turns Focus to Global Warming

August 29th, 2005

Is Global Warming Causing More Devastating Hurricanes Worldwide?

Hurricane Katrina forced a mass evacuation of New Orleans and may leave up to a million people homeless. As this unprecedented storm deluges the South, we look at new evidence that human-induced global warming is causing the increased strength of tropical storms. [includes rush transcript]


Hurricane Katrina was downgraded from a level five to a level four storm just before it made landfall in Louisiana this morning. The storm is judged by weather experts to have the strongest central force, or intensity, of any recorded storm in the United States except the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Torrential rains are inundating the coast and winds around 250 kilometers per hour are ripping through New Orleans. The massive storm prompted an unprecedented evacuation of the city.

a.. Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans

The city of New Orleans is below sea level and faces major flooding from Hurricane Katrina. More than half a million people have been ordered to evacuate the city and the storm could leave up to one million people homeless.

President Bush declared a state of emergency for Louisiana and Mississippi over the weekend. Federal emergency workers are preparing staging centers to deal with the fallout of the storm.

As Katrina pounds New Orleans, we are going to look at how this storm compares to others that have hit the United States and at the link between climate change and hurricane strength.

Tropical storms may be growing in overall intensity due to human-induced global warming, according to a new study by leading hurricane researcher Kerry Emanuel. His report, which has generated controversy among climate specialists, was published earlier this month in the journal Nature. Emanuel looked comprehensively at storm data since the mid-1970s and concluded that the destructive power of hurricanes has nearly doubled over the past three decades at least partially because of human-induced global warming. Critics of the study say hurricanes are not intensifying and that the cause of the rising ocean temperature is natural, not human-made.

a.. Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He authored the study in "Nature" on the link between human-induced global warming and increasing hurricane strength. His new book is called "Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes."




AMY GOODMAN: Professor Emmanuel is author of Divine Wind. Now, these two words that we almost never hear in weather coverage in this country, global warming, can you talk more about this phenomenon and whether it relates to what we're seeing right now in New Orleans?

KERRY EMMANUEL: Well, it's very hard to say that, and the problem is purely a statistical one. What my study did, the one that was alluded to earlier, is to look at hurricanes worldwide and not just at the time that they make landfall, but during their entire lifetimes over the ocean, and when you do that and you look at their intensity and you look at how long the hurricanes lasted and you measure the total amount of energy released by the hurricanes, that is going up decidedly in most of the world's oceans, and we have tried very hard to see whether this might be an artifact of the way hurricanes are measured or the data, but no matter what you do, you get this signal. And that signal lies on top of regional phenomena.

So if you look at just the Atlantic, and everyone's always focused on the Atlantic, which has only 11% of the total number of storms in the world, what you see is a dominance of perfectly natural cycles that tend to last a few decades. So, unfortunately in the 1970s and 1980s, we were in a lull, and during that lull, the population of the coastline in the U.S. increased quite a bit, and a lot of construction went on very close to the coastline. Those natural signals very much dominate any signal you would see from global warming. So, of course, it's tempting. We have had this very active last ten years, along the U.S. and gulf coasts to blame that on global warming, but looking at it statistically, that's a very difficult connection to make. I think what you are seeing mostly is a natural cycle in this case.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Emmanuel, speaking to us from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Can you talk about the significance of what it means to be at or below sea level?

KERRY EMMANUEL: Yes. I mean, New Orleans is in that situation. It's -- the Mississippi River is held back by a long series of levees, and this has been a big source of concern. The Army Corps of Engineers over the years have done a great job trying to build up those levees and to put in massive amounts -- massive system of pumps to try to keep the water out of the city. And I'm not intimately familiar with the system, but I understand that it's been designed to handle as much as a category three hurricane. But most of the people down there yesterday were fearful that it would not be able to handle a storm of this magnitude. And what happens is that the combination of the storm surge, which is created by the winds of the hurricane piling up the gulf waters into the lake in this case and the enormous amount of fresh water starting to come down the Mississippi River because of the torrential rains would put the city in danger of having those levees over-topped, and water then would rush into the city. This has happened before. It happened in Hurricane Betsy in 1965, and a lot of the city went underwater.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk overall about your new study, talking about the destructive power of hurricanes in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific in the last 30 years?

KERRY EMMANUEL: Sure. It took us a little bit by surprise for two reasons. There is a body of theory that's been developed over the last 20 years that suggests that the intensity, as measured by, say, the maximum wind speeds in the hurricane, should go up if you warm the tropical oceans. And the calculations we did suggested that for every degree centigrade of warming of the tropical oceans, you might get about a 5% increase in the peak winds. The data, when people started to look at the historical hurricane data, the first thing you look at is the frequency of events. That is, how many hurricanes occur every year around the world, and if you look at that, you don't see any trend. It's a fairly constant number. There are about 90 storms worldwide per year, and that's not changing very much. So, what we thought a few years ago was, well, global warming should have an effect on hurricanes, but it's small enough that you won't really see it for many decades to come.

When we looked at this other measure of total energy consumption by hurricanes, we were a bit surprised to see a much bigger trend than one had expected. And in hindsight, part of the reason for that is that these storms seem to be lasting longer. That is, they're maintaining high intensity for a longer period of time, and this is certainly contributing to this. But I think it's fair to say that we don't fully understand it. The intensity seems to have gone up a little bit more than we would have expected it to, based on theory and models of global warming. And so, we're in the process now of trying to reconcile the theory with the observations.

AMY GOODMAN: And for those who criticize you, those scientists like William Gray of Colorado State, saying that hurricanes are not intensifying and that the cause of rising ocean temperature is natural, not man-made?

KERRY EMMANUEL: Well, Bill has spent his career looking at the Atlantic hurricanes. And I want to emphasize again that the Atlantic is only 11% of the total. If you look at the Atlantic, it's perfectly fair to say that both the increase in ocean temperature in the last couple of decades and the upswing in hurricane activity is mostly natural. If there's a global warming signal in that, it's very hard to see. And that natural cycle, we don't fully understand it, by the way, I don't think anyone pretends that we do, but there have been in history, you know, periods of 20 or 30 years of inactivity followed by 20 or 30 years of activity. It's nothing new, in fact. Before the 1990s, a lot of hurricane specialists had forecasts that we were going to go back to an active period in the Atlantic, and again, this has nothing to do with global warming.

So, when you focus on the Atlantic, it's the natural cycles that are the big thing, at least up until now. And I don't think anybody, certainly I wouldn't look at the Atlantic record all by itself and say, oh, there's global warming. It's when you look at the global record of storms that this signal really starts to stand out. And we're interested in that, of course, because we're interested in how the climate responds to global warming. But there is the other question of what does this mean for actual damage done by hurricanes? And the surprising answer is that in the last -- next 20 years or so, probably not much, simply because of statistics. I mean, big hurricanes hitting land are a comparatively unusual phenomenon, only a few per year globally. And you just don't expect to see a trend like this in the land-falling statistics, at least not for another 50 years or so.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Emmanuel, I want to thank you for being with us, professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of the book, Divine Wind.




Storm Turns Focus to Global Warming Though some scientists connect the growing severity of hurricanes to climate change, most insist that there's not enough proof.

August 30, 2005

Is the rash of powerful Atlantic storms in recent years a symptom of global warming?

Although most mainstream hurricane scientists are skeptical of any connection between global warming and heightened storm activity, the growing intensity of hurricanes and the frequency of large storms are leading some to rethink long-held views.

Most hurricane scientists maintain that linking global warming to more-frequent severe storms, such as Hurricane Katrina, is premature, at best.

Though warmer sea-surface temperatures caused by climate change theoretically could boost the frequency and potency of hurricanes, scientists say the 150-year record of Atlantic storms shows ample precedent for recent events.

But a paper published last month in the journal Nature by meteorologist Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is part of an emerging body of research challenging the prevailing view.

It concluded that the destructive power of hurricanes had increased 50% over the last half a century, and that a rise in surface temperatures linked to global warming was at least partly responsible.

"I was one of those skeptics myself — a year ago," Emanuel said Monday.

But after examining data on hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the Pacific, he said, "I was startled to see this upward trend" in duration and top wind speeds.

"People are beginning to seriously wonder whether there is a [global warming] signal there. I think you are going to see a lot more of a focus on this in coming years."

Hurricane activity in the Atlantic has been higher than normal in nine of the last 11 years, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This month, the agency raised its already-high hurricane forecast for this year to 18 to 21 tropical storms, including as many as 11 that would become hurricanes and five to seven that would reach major-hurricane status. That could make 2005 one of the most violent hurricane seasons ever recorded. A typical storm year in the Atlantic results in six hurricanes.

But the agency believes that the increase in hurricanes is most likely the result of a confluence of cyclical ocean and atmospheric conditions that tend to produce heightened tropical storms every 20 to 30 years. If global warming is playing any role in the hurricanes, it is a minor one, the federal agency maintains.

Computer models have shown for years that rising sea-surface temperatures resulting from global warming could create more ideal conditions for hurricanes.




Hurricanes and global warming

Dave Roberts

29 Aug 2005

It's hard to know what to say about the ongoing disaster in New Orleans. Good luck to all our readers there.

It sounds like it's not going to be as bad as feared, which is some comfort. For a glimpse at how bad it could have been, read Mooney's prescient AP piece from three months ago. And for a lament about the woeful lack of preparation, read his followup: "prescience sucks."

Katrina is sure to reignite the ongoing debate over hurricanes and global warming. A few thoughts on that debate below the fold.

Let's take the following two premises -- both argued repeatedly by Roger Pielke Jr. (see here and here) -- as given:

* There is no solid scientific case tying current hurricane frequency or severity to global warming. Global warming is widely expected to increase the severity of hurricanes and the frequency of severe weather events in coming years, but anyone who points at Katrina and says, "look, global warming!" is, to put it charitably, way out ahead of the scientific consensus.

* If our primary goal is preventing hurricane-related deaths, slowing the rise of global CO2 emissions is about the slowest, most inefficient possible course of action. Almost anything else -- improving coastal wetlands, training local disaster-relief personnel, building better sea walls -- would save more lives, more quickly, for less money.

But. Let's also remember the following:

* When greens discuss hurricanes and global warming, preventing hurricane-related deaths isn't their primary goal (though presumably all support it). Their primary goal is to raise awareness of, alarm about, and support for action on global warming, the ultimate effects of which will dwarf any individual severe weather event. If global warming represents the scale of disaster greens believe, then arguably the urgency of generating a large-scale response is great enough to warrant some fudging on strict rules of accuracy and precision. Many, many lives are at stake.

* There will likely never be any bulletproof scientific link between global warming and any particular severe weather event. Global climate is extraordinarily, almost incomprehensibly, complex. Billions of variables are involved. All climate scientists can say for now (and this seems to me unlikely to change) is that global warming raises the probability that severe weather events will occur. Consider an analogy: Crime rates rise during heat waves. But no individual criminal is likely to say, "I robbed that little old lady cause it's so damn hot." The reasons people commit crimes are many and varied. But this doesn't cast doubt on the link between heat and crime.

* Large-scale action on environmental issues tends to follow on the heels of dramatic events: the Cuyahoga River burning, Exxon-Valdez, Love Canal, etc. A cat5 hurricane like Katrina is nothing if not dramatic. It opens up a cultural space for dialogue and action at a time when getting the collective attention of the American public is extraordinarily difficult.

In the end, greens concerned about global warming face a choice. Do they stick to scrupulous standards of scientific accuracy, with all the hedging and qualifying that entails, at the risk of being boring and losing an opportunity to galvanize action? Or do they fudge a bit, propagandize a bit, indulge in a little bit of theater and showmanship?

And a further question: what role do scientists play? Are they, or should they ever play the role of, advocates? Or should the separation of green advocacy and science be strictly enforced?

These are tough questions, not as simply answered as many on both sides would have it.


The wrong angle. Storms-warming case is KEY!

Roberts makes some accurate individual points, but he's missing the storm for the raindrops. No, we shouldn't undermine credibility by claiming that Katrina or any other specific hurricane was a direct consequence of global warming. But we should be SHOUTING from the ROOFTOPS (not fudging and agonizing over details) that Katrina and other storms ILLUSTRATE the world that we're creating through climate change.

There is strong science behind this claim. Furthermore, it is intuitive and easy for the non-scientific public to understand. Flames under a pot of water make it boil. Heating up sea surface temperatures increases evaporation and storms.

There is also strong science behind the fact that people make decisions irrationally, and respond more to visually dramatic events than to more dangerous, but less concentrated or dramatic ones. It follows that big storms are likely to be the NUMBER ONE WAY to communicate the dangers of climate change to the public. But I see green groups asleep at the wheel on this one. (At least I haven't heard a peep through the mainstream media.)

Any person or organization serious about mobilizing political will to slow global warming should be throwing tons of energy into the storms-warming argument RIGHT NOW. The timing is right, in the wake of Katrina and last year's big hurricanes. And it honors the victims to work on reducing the severity of future storm tragedies.

I'll close by reiterating that while the messaging is a bit subtle and requires some care, it's not hard. No, we can't say Katrina was due to warming (though her severity well might have been). But we can say out loud she illustrates warming's danger.

Suppose you wanted to warn people of the threat posed by a new and powerful kind of bomb, in the hope of preventing its first use. An asteroid strikes the earth, causing an explosion of the same magnitude as would be generated by the bomb.

Would you use the asteroid damage to communicate what the bomb is capable of? Or would you shy away, worried that this would be unscientific? After all, the only way really to know the capability of the bomb would be to try one out. Is that what the public deserves?

by bstrauss at 5:08 AM on 30 Aug 2005


Hurricanes and Global Warming

Prior to seeing these blog posts, I had written to people in my organization that we should consider how we could help people appreciate the connection between Katrina and global warming. Ross Gelbspan has a column in today's Boston Globe doing a good job of making the connection.

We also need to provide people some hope that they can do something about global warming. That's one of our biggest challenges because it feels, and is, so big.

One thing they and we can do is participate in an education and action campaign that is developing building toward local actions around the country and the world on December 3rd. This is at the same time that the COP/MOP U.N. conference on climate change is happening in Montreal, and it is likely that there will be a major press focus on this event. It's an appropriate time to make visible the emergence of a growing popular movement demanding serious action by government at all levels on this urgent crisis.

More information can be found at or by writing me at
Ted Glick 973-338-5398


Hurricanes and Global Warming

Hurricanes gain strength as they pass over warm waters. One news item pre landfall, was that the waters were 90 degree F, certainly warmer than in past years. Global warming causes increased temperatures of both water and land areas. Because there are no 100% credible explanations for climatic events, there can be no actions justified if the threshold iks 100%. However, to deal with this enigma, it is useful to employ the Precautionary Principle, which, in essence, states: "When an action has the potential to cause significant harm to humans or to the environment, it is not necessary to have 100% proof to justify preventive or mitigating actions."

Bottom line: Global warming should be considered a significant contributor to Katrina and future hurricanes.


Message points

As you might hear on NPR this evening in a story about CAFE standards and the new CO2 emissions rules for cars here is one attempt at telling this story and connecting it to real efforts to curb emissions:

1. The transportation sector is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Science tell us that greenhouse gas emissions are destabilizing our climate and that this destabilization will lead to more frequent catastrophic events like Katrina.

Seth Kaplan, Senior Attorney Conservation Law Foundation 62 Summer Street Boston MA 02110 (617) 850-1721 (voice)



Katrina’s Real Name — Global Warming

Republicans want to deny that it’s happening, but some know better than to believe their phony science and lies. All one has to do is look at the weather patterns over the past year or so and the undeniable Arctic Melting to understand that Global Warming is happening and we better do something about it before it is too late.

Ross Gelbspan, the author of ‘’The Heat Is On” and ‘’Boiling Point” tells it like it is, in his OP/ED in the Boston Globe: Katrina’s real name.

The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.

When the year began with a two-foot snowfall in Los Angeles, the cause was global warming.

When 124-mile-an-hour winds shut down nuclear plants in Scandinavia and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the driver was global warming.

When a severe drought in the Midwest dropped water levels in the Missouri River to their lowest on record earlier this summer, the reason was global warming.

In July, when the worst drought on record triggered wildfires in Spain and Portugal and left water levels in France at their lowest in 30 years, the explanation was global warming.

When a lethal heat wave in Arizona kept temperatures above 110 degrees and killed more than 20 people in one week, the culprit was global warming.

And when the Indian city of Bombay (Mumbai) received 37 inches of rain in one day — killing 1,000 people and disrupting the lives of 20 million others — the villain was global warming.

Gelbspan explains, “As the atmosphere warms, it generates longer droughts, more-intense downpours, more-frequent heat waves, and more-severe storms.” Katrina he explains was relatively small hurricane that was supercharged ” with extraordinary intensity by the relatively blistering sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Very few people equate Katrina with Global Warming, Gelspan says because “the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue.”

In 1995, public utility hearings in Minnesota found that the coal industry had paid more than $1 million to four scientists who were public dissenters on global warming. And ExxonMobil has spent more than $13 million since 1998 on an anti-global warming public relations and lobbying campaign.

Big Coal and Big Oil scored big when Bush was elected in 2000 and he “subsequently took suggestions from the industry for his climate and energy policies.” And, as Gelbspan explains the media is duplicitous in the cover-up about Global Warming, as well…

When the US press has bothered to cover the subject of global warming, it has focused almost exclusively on its political and diplomatic aspects and not on what the warming is doing to our agriculture, water supplies, plant and animal life, public health, and weather.

For years, the fossil fuel industry has lobbied the media to accord the same weight to a handful of global warming skeptics that it accords the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries reporting to the United Nations.

Today, with the science having become even more robust — and the impacts as visible as the megastorm that covered much of the Gulf of Mexico — the press bears a share of the guilt for our self-induced destruction with the oil and coal industries.

Check out Ross Gelbspan’s “The Heat Is On” and “Boiling Point”


See also:

The Ravages of Hurricane Katrina and the Global Warming Connection
(...) The destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina is “overwhelming“ and catastrophic. Not only has our dependence on Big Oil effected our environment, but those effects have ricocheted to create another problem we now face from the damage caused by Katrina, the storm has shut down oil production in the Gulf, which will drive oil prices even higher. It’s time for the Bush administration to wake up to the reality that their courting of Corporate Oil giants and other big industry is hurting our country more and more each day.

Katrina's Real Name -- Global Warming

Book review of “The Heat Is on: The Climate Crisis, the Cover-Up, the Prescription” by Ross Gelbspan

Powerful, Compelling Book about Global Warming

March 6, 2000

"The Heat is On" is a well-researched, detailed description of how the coal and oil industries are trying (and succeeding) to confuse the issue of global warming today. In this frightening exposé, Ross Gelbspan shows how the fossil fuel industries are spending millions of dollars to confuse the public through misleading advertising and PR tactics in order to protect their financial interests. The story behind this campaign of lies is astounding.

Try a little experiment: talk to several people about global warming. Just bring it up in the conversation, and watch their reaction. I did, and I found that most people laughed, or said, "Yeah, but I heard there's no conclusive evidence to support that." This is the direct effect of the fossil fuel industry's PR campaign. Gelbspan describes how they have done this largely through industry-created groups with misleading names (such as the "Information Council on the Environment"), and pseudo-scientists paid by the industry.

Gelbspan explains that the industry's groups and scientists have received a great deal of media coverage because journalists, as part of their duty, are compelled to cover both sides of the story. The problem is that the "other side of the story" in this case is a small group who is paid by the industry. The confusion and lies promoted by the fossil fuel industry has been enough to drown out the 2,500 climate scientists around the world who all agree that global warming is a fact.

"The Heat is On" offers irrefutable facts to debunk the myth that global warming evidence is inconclusive. For example, many people claim that recent extreme colde and winter weather refutes the theory. Wrong, says Gelbspan: "severe winter weather perfectly consistent with global warming. One effect of climate change is to produce more extreme local temperatures--leading to hotter hots, unseasonal colds, and more severe snowstorms." And temperature changes are just the beginning of the problem. Other effects include outbreaks of disease, proliferation of pests, and extinction of species, among others.

The only solution is to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions, probably as much as 60%. This is no easy task, but Gelbspan does offer a plausible "prescription". He suggests that we (1) divert all fossil fuels subsidies ($20 billion/year!) to renewable energy development, (2) implement efficiency standards to require generating facilities to be highly efficient (instead of the current 35% efficiency average), and (3) support developing nations in the conversion with an international currency transaction tax.

This is a very powerful book. Hopefully it will help to re-educate the public, and serve as a model for global change. I strongly recommend it.

- Erik J Wheeler


Forwarded by Ethan X>

Date: 28 Aug 2005
Subject: The End of the World is Inevitable and it's Going to be our Fault

Excellent Piece.

Please read and pass on. The future may depend on it.

Traci Bear



The End of the World is Inevitable and it's Going to be our Fault

28 August 2005

Ronald Wright explains why this is our last chance to save the planet.

OUR main difference from chimps and gorillas – with whom we share a common ancestor – is that over the past three million years or so, we have been shaped less and less by nature, and more and more by culture. We have become experimental creatures of our own making. With the discovery of agriculture, which began about 10,000 years ago, and the consequent growth of civilisation in the Near East, Asia and the Americas, our experiment in material progress began to expand and accelerate; it is now moving very quickly and on a colossal scale. We have reached a stage where we must bring the experiment under rational control. If we fail – if we blow up or degrade the biosphere so it can no longer sustain us – nature will merely shrug and conclude that letting apes run the laboratory was fun for a while but in the end a bad idea. The wrecks of our failed experiments lie in deserts and jungles like fallen airliners whose flight recorders can tell us what went wrong. Unlike written history, which is often highly edited, archaeology can uncover the deeds we have forgotten, or have chosen to forget.

The devastation of Easter Island is a case in point. On Easter Day, 1722, a Dutch fleet in the South Seas, far to the west of Chile and below the Tropic of Capricorn, sighted an unknown island so treeless and eroded that they mistook its barren hills for dunes. They were amazed, as they drew near, to see hundreds of great stone images, some as tall as an Amsterdam house.

Captain Cook later confirmed the island’s desolation, finding no wood for fuel, nor any fresh water worth taking on board. He described the islanders’ tiny canoes, made from scraps of driftwood stitched together like shoe leather, as the worst in the Pacific. Nature, he concluded, had “been exceedingly sparing of her favours to this spot”. The great mystery of Easter Island was that the stones seemed to have been put there without tackle, as if set down from the sky.

We now know the answer to the riddle, and it is a chilling one. Pace Captain Cook, Nature had not been unusually stingy with her favours. Pollen studies of the island’s crater lakes have shown that it was once well watered and green, with rich volcanic soil supporting thick woods. No natural disaster had changed that: no eruption, drought, or disease. The catastrophe on Easter Island was man.

Rapa Nui, as Polynesians call the place, was settled during the fifth century AD by migrants from the Marquesas or the Gambiers who arrived in big catamarans stocked with crops and animals: dogs, chickens, edible rats, sugar cane, bananas, sweet potatoes and mulberry . The island was also rich in seafood: fish, seals, porpoises, turtles, and nesting seabirds.

Within five or six centuries, the population had reached about 10,000 – high for 64 square miles. They built villages and cleared all the best land for fields. Socially they split into clans, each of which honoured its ancestry with impressive stone images hewn from the yielding volcanic tuff of a crater and set up on platforms by the shore. Over time, the statue cult became increasingly rivalrous and extravagant, reaching its apogee during Europe’s high middle ages, while the Plantagenet kings ruled England.

Each generation of images grew bigger than the last, demanding more timber, rope, and manpower for hauling to the altars. Trees were cut faster than they could grow, a problem worsened by the settlers’ rats, who ate the seeds and saplings. By AD 1400, no more tree pollen is found in the annual layers of the crater lakes: the woods had been utterly destroyed by both the largest and the smallest mammals on the island.

We might think that in such a limited place, steps would have been taken to halt the cutting, to protect the saplings, to replant. We might think that as trees became scarce, the erection of statues would have been curtailed, and timber reserved for essential purposes such as boat-building and roofing.

But that is not what happened. The people who felled the last tree could see it was the last, could know with certainty that there would never be another. And they felled it anyway. All shade vanished from the land except the hard-edged shadows cast by the petrified ancestors, whom the people loved all the more because they made them feel less alone.

For a generation or so, there was enough old lumber to haul the great stones and still keep a few canoes seaworthy. But the day came when the last good boat was gone. The people then knew there would be little seafood and – worse – no way of escape. The word for wood, rakau, became the dearest in their language.

Wars broke out over ancient planks and worm-eaten bits of jetsam. They ate all their dogs and nearly all the nesting birds, and the unbearable stillness of the place deepened with animal silences. There was nothing left now but the moai, the stone giants who had devoured the land. And still these promised the return of plenty, if only the people would keep faith and honour them with increase. “But how will we take you to the altars?” asked the carvers, and the moai answered that when the time came, they would walk there on their own. So the sound of hammering still rang from the quarries, and the crater walls came alive with hundreds of new giants, growing even bigger now they had no need of human transport.

The tallest ever set on an altar is over 30 feet high and weighs 80 tonnes; the tallest ever carved is 65 feet long and more than 200 tons, comparable to the greatest stones worked by the Incas or Egyptians. Except, of course, that it never budged an inch.

By the end there were more than 1000 moai, one for every 10 islanders in their heyday. But the good days were gone – gone with the good earth, which had been carried away on the endless wind and washed by flash floods into the sea. The people had been seduced by a kind of progress that becomes a mania.

When Europeans arrived in the 18th century, they found only one or two living souls per statue, “small, lean, timid and miserable”, in Cook’s words. Now without roof beams, many people were dwelling in caves; their only buildings were stone henhouses where they guarded this last non-human protein from one another day and night. The Europeans heard tales of how the warrior class had taken power, how the island had convulsed with burning villages, gory battles, and cannibal feasts. The one innovation of this end period was to turn the use of obsidian (a razor-keen volcanic glass) from toolmaking to weapons.

Daggers and spearheads became the commonest artefacts on the island, hoarded in pits like the grenades and assault rifles kept by modern-day survivalists. Even this was not quite the nadir. Between the Dutch visit of 1722 and Cook’s 50 years later, the people again made war on each other and, for the first time, on the ancestors as well. Cook found moai toppled from their platforms, cracked and beheaded, the ruins littered with human bone.

Whatever its animus, the destruction on Rapa Nui raged for at least 70 years. Each foreign ship saw fewer upright statues, until not one giant was left standing on its altar. The work of demolition must have been extremely arduous for the few descendants of the builders. Its thoroughness and deliberation speak of something deeper than clan warfare: of a people angry at their reckless fathers, of a revolt against the dead.

(Some observers, most recently Benny Peiser, have challenged this interpretation, claiming that Europeans – who undoubtedly killed off most of the remaining Easter Islanders in the 19th century – were also to blame for the ecological carnage. But the archaeological evidence for deforestation, erosion, and population collapse before any Europeans turned up is, in my view, overwhelming.)

The lesson Rapa Nui holds for our world has not gone unremarked. In 1992, the archaeologists Paul Bahn and John Flenley wrote that the Easter Islanders “carried out for us the experiment of permitting unrestricted population growth, profligate use of resources, destruction of the environment and boundless confidence in their religion to take care of the future. The result was an ecological disaster leading to a population crash … Do we have to repeat the experiment on [a] grand scale? … Is the human personality always the same as that of the person who felled the last tree?”

The last tree. The last mammoth. The last dodo. And soon perhaps the last fish and the last gorilla. During the 20th century, the world’s population multiplied by four and the economy by more than 40. If the promise of modernity was even treading water – in other words, if the gap between rich and poor had stayed proportionally the same as it was when Queen Victoria died – all human beings would be 10 times better off. Yet the number in abject poverty today is as great as all mankind in 1901.

By the end of the 20th century, the world’s three richest individuals (all of whom were Americans) had a combined wealth greater than that of the poorest 48 countries. In 1998, the United Nations calculated that $40 billion, spent carefully, could provide clean water, sanitation, and other basic needs for the poorest on earth. The figure may be optimistic, and it may have grown in the past seven years. But it’s still considerably less than the funds already set aside for the obscenely wasteful fantasy of a missile shield that won’t work, isn’t needed, yet could provoke a new arms race and the militarisation of space.

Joseph Tainter, in his book on societies of the past, identified three aspects of collapse: the runaway train, the dinosaur, the house of cards. The rise in population and pollution, the acceleration of technology, the concentration of wealth and power – all are runaway trains, and most are linked together.

Population growth is slowing, but by 2050 there will still be three billion more on earth. We may be able to feed that many in the short run, but we’ll have to raise less meat (which takes 10 pounds of food to make one pound of food), and we’ll have to spread that food around. We can’t keep consuming as we are. Or polluting as we are. We could help countries such as India and China industrialise without repeating our mistakes. But instead we have excluded environmental standards from trade agreements. Like sex tourists with unlawful lusts, we do our dirtiest work among the poor.

If civilisation is to survive, it must live on the interest, not the capital, of nature. Ecological markers suggest that in the early 1960s, humans were using about 70% of nature’s yearly output; by the early 1980s, we’d reached 100%; and in 1999, we were at 125%. Such numbers may be imprecise, but their trend is clear – they mark the road to bankruptcy.

None of this should surprise us after reading the flight recorders in the wreckage of crashed civilisations; our present behaviour is typical of failed societies at the zenith of their greed and arrogance. This is the dinosaur factor: hostility to change from vested interests, and inertia at all social levels.

Reformed currency speculator George Soros calls the economic dinosaurs “market fundamentalists”. I’m uneasy with this term because so few of them are true believers in free markets – preferring monopolies, cartels, and government contracts. But his point is well taken. The idea that the world must be run by the stock market is as mad as any other fundamentalist delusion, Islamic, Christian or Marxist.

In the case of Easter Island, the statue cult became a self-destructive mania. In the United States, market extremism (which one might expect to be purely materialist, and so open to rational self-interest) has cross-bred with evangelical messianism to fight intelligent policy on metaphysical grounds. Mainstream Christianity is an altruistic faith, yet this offshoot is actively hostile to the public good: a kind of social Darwinism by people who hate Darwin.

President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of the interior told Congress not to bother with the environment because, in his words: “I don’t know how many future generations we can count on until the Lord returns.” George W Bush surrounded himself with similar minds and pulled out of the Kyoto Accord on climate change. Adolf Hitler once gleefully exclaimed: “What luck for the rulers that the people do not think!” What can we do when the rulers will not think?

Civilisations often fall quite suddenly because as they reach full demand on their ecologies, they become highly vulnerable to natural fluctuations. The most immediate danger posed by climate change is weather instability causing a series of crop failures in the world’s breadbaskets. Droughts, floods, fires and hurricanes are rising in frequency and severity. The pollution surges caused by these – and by wars – add to the gyre of destruction. Medical experts worry that nature may swat us with disease: billions of overcrowded primates, many sick, malnourished and connected by air travel, are a free lunch waiting for a nimble microbe.

“Mother Nature always comes to the rescue of a society stricken with … overpopulation,” Alfred Crosby sardonically observed, “and her ministrations are never gentle.” The case for reform that I have tried to make is not based on altruism, nor on saving nature for its own sake. I happen to believe that these are moral imperatives, but such arguments cut against the grain of human desire.

The most compelling reason for reforming our system is that the system is in nobody’s interest. It is a suicide machine. All of us have some dinosaur inertia within us, but I honestly don’t know what the activist-dinosaurs – the hard men and women of Big Oil and the far right – think they are doing. They have children and grandchildren who will need safe food and clean air and water, and who may wish to see living oceans and forests.

Wealth can buy no refuge from pollution; pesticides sprayed in China condense in Antarctic glaciers and Rocky Mountain tarns. And wealth is no shield from chaos, as the surprise on each haughty face that rolled from the guillotine made clear.

There’s a saying in Argentina that each night God cleans up the mess the Argentines make by day. This seems to be what our leaders are counting on.

But it won’t work. Things are moving so fast that inaction itself is one of the biggest mistakes. The 10,000-year experiment of the settled life will stand or fall by what we do, and don’t do, now. The reform that is needed is not anti-capitalist, anti- American, or even deep environmentalist; it is simply the transition from short-term to long-term thinking. From recklessness and excess to moderation and the precautionary principle.

The great advantage we have, our best chance for avoiding the fate of past societies, is that we know about those past societies. We can see how and why they went wrong. Homo sapiens has the information to know itself for what it is: an Ice Age hunter only half-evolved towards intelligence; clever but seldom wise.

We are now at the stage when the Easter Islanders could still have halted the senseless cutting and carving, could have gathered the last trees’ seeds to plant out of reach of the rats. We have the tools and the means to share resources, clean up pollution, dispense basic healthcare and birth control, set economic limits in line with natural ones. If we don’t do these things now, while we prosper, we will never be able to do them when times get hard.

Our fate will twist out of our hands. And this new century will not grow very old before we enter an age of chaos and collapse that will dwarf all the dark ages in our past.

Now is our last chance to get the future right.

This is an edited extract from AShort History Of Progress by Ronald Wright, Canongate, £12.99

(More on this book at )


Forwarded by "Mark Graffis">

The Rude Awakening

Wall Street, New York

August 31, 2005

The Rude Awakening PRESENTS: Hurricane Katrina smashes "Energy Alley," a concentrated area of oil production in Gulf of Mexico that supplies about 35% of America's domestic oil.


By Sean Brodrick

- Hurricane Katrina smashes "Energy Alley," a concentrated area of oil production in Gulf of Mexico that supplies about 35% of America's domestic oil.

- White House says oil will get cheaper, but makes hush- hush plans to increase the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 42% to ONE BILLION barrels of crude. Why are they so eager to add to the SPR when oil prices are high?

- Saudis reveal they won't be able to meet oil demand – first time EVER they've admitted the awful truth

Hurricane Katrina delivered a devastating blow to America even before it slammed into Louisiana. The Massive storm smashed through "Energy Alley," a concentrated area of oil rigs off the coast that supply about 35% of America's domestic oil production and 20% of its natural gas. It damaged much of our nation's oil production.

At the same time, workers rushed to shut down the offshore Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which processes loads from tankers too large for mainland ports. The LOOP is the nation's largest oil import terminal, handling 11% of U.S. imports. And refiners shut down more than a million barrels a day of production as they braced for the impact from the monster storm. Those refineries will probably be out for at least two weeks, setting the stage for a potential gasoline shortage.

Panicked oil traders are pushing oil prices over $70 per barrel. And now for the really scary part. A devastating hurricane strike at America's oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico is just one of the major forces that could send oil to $80 ... $100 ... $150 a barrel. Other forces that could send oil prices surging are potentially much more serious...and permanent!

The Saudis are the "central bank of oil," right? So how come the central bank is scrounging for loose change under the couch cushions?

Earlier this month came news that Saudi Arabia hired five Rowan jackup oil rigs for drilling offshore oil wells on a three year contract. Those rigs are currently under contract in the Gulf of Mexico, so that means Saudi Arabia outbid somebody to get those rigs – and rig rates have already run up to obscenely high levels – 30% to 50% more than a year ago.

Drilling for oil underwater is very expensive. You'd expect the Saudis to be drilling out their cheapest oil first. Don't they have a desert full of this stuff? So why are they suddenly digging deep for underwater oil, and willing to pay a premium to do it?

Unless... maybe the Saudis don't have as much oil as they say they do.

We already know that the Saudis have confessed that OPEC won't be able to meet western oil demand in 10 to 15 years. I'm starting to think they might come up short a lot sooner than that.

Are the Saudis lying? Well, at least it seems like they're not telling the whole truth. What's more, I believe there's a whole lot our own government isn't telling us. I'll get to that in a moment. First, some ugly facts...

· The world uses a BILLION barrels of oil every 12 days. Do we find a billion barrels of oil every 12 days? NO! In fact, if everything goes perfectly, we'll find just 30 million barrels of oil in the same time period. If things go badly, we'll find less. Much less.

· The global depletion rate runs at least 5% a year, perhaps much higher , as once-reliable sources of oil are in serious decline. Oil production in Britain fell the steepest of any country last year, with production in the once-prolific North Sea falling by 10% (230,000 barrels per day) last year ... Production in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay has fallen 75% from its peak in 1987 ... Iraq's oil production is still half of what it was before the war ...Mexico's production is declining so quickly it will have to start importing oil in the next 10 years!

· The U.S. Energy Information Agency has fallen in line with the International Energy Agency and admits that oil demand will exceed supply starting in the fourth quarter of this year. Total world demand is expected to be 86.4 million barrels per day, according to the EIA, while total world supply is expected to be 85.4 million barrels per day. The EIA ups the ante by saying there will be a shortfall in the first quarter of 2006 as well.

Publicly, the White House urges calm and predicts that oil prices will retreat from their current high levels. But privately, the U.S. government is quietly planning to add to existing oil reserves at a furious pace.

Squirreled away in new energy legislation is a directive to increase the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 700 million barrels (70 days' supply of imports) to ONE BILLION BARRELS. They're adding to the SPR when oil prices are sky- high. What are they afraid of?

A confidential source in the Department of Energy gave me the scoop on the addition to the SPR. This stunning new directive was placed inside the 1,724-page Energy Policy Act of 2005 without any fanfare whatsoever – it's hidden in plain sight. And the mainstream media is too busy going to beltway cocktail parties to notice.

This 42% jump in reserves is so huge, the government doesn't even have a place to put it all – yet. The plan is to fill the SPR to capacity with a minimum of market disruption or undue influence on the market, blah-blah. If you're planning to fill the SPR when oil is over $60 per barrel, you aren't planning on getting that oil on the cheap.

I don't know what is motivating the Bush administration to boost petroleum reserves. But I do know that two oil men are in the White House right now. They probably have access to raw data on America's oil fields – including depletion rates – that the rest of us don't. Again, what are they afraid of? I'm certainly not going to buy the "don't' worry, be happy," line peddled by the White House.

Still, there are plenty of people still willing to push the government line. An analyst recently quoted in a Bloomberg story tried to push the idea that oil is still cheap, explaining: "A barrel of Starbucks latte would cost you $1,500, compared to a barrel of crude, even at $66 a barrel."

Ri-i-i-i-i-ight! Starbucks coffee is a luxury – that's why they can charge so much for it. Is oil a luxury? Not right now. But it might be down the road.

I believe we're careening toward a good ol' fashioned oil panic. I believe the government knows a lot more than it's letting on. And I believe anyone who doesn't invest for the coming energy emergency is a bloody fool.

The time to take action is now. Today's energy crisis is transforming the world – from geopolitics to the financial markets to the gas pump to the production cost of almost every product we consume on a daily basis.


Forwarded by Katie>

From: Jim>
Date: 2005/08/27
Subject: It's Time to Demand More Polls on Impeaching Bush!!!


It's Time to Demand More Polls on Impeaching Bush!!!

Submitted by Bob Fertik on August 24, 2005


On June 30, a Zogby poll found 42% of Americans said "if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment."

According to the Washington Post, even pollster John Zogby "couldn't believe his eyes." "It was much higher than I expected," Zogby said.

Despite the explosiveness of this poll -- or because of it -- the poll received virtually no media coverage. A week later, Washington Post blogger Dan Froomkin wrote:
"More than four in 10 Americans, according to a recent Zogby poll, say that if President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment.
"But you wouldn't know it from following the news. Only three mainstream outlets that I can find made even cursory mention of the poll last week when it came out.
"You also wouldn't know it judging from the political discourse in Washington, but that makes a little more sense. After all, impeachment is for all practical purposes a political act, not a legal one. So with a Republican-controlled Congress that doesn't even like to perform basic White House oversight, it's basically a moot point.
"Nevertheless, could there be anything that 42 percent of Americans agree on that the media care about so little?"

At the time, Bush's approval rating was just 43%. Since then, Bush's approval has dropped even lower -- down to 36%.

It's time for other pollsters to follow up on the Zogby Poll and to ask about impeaching George Bush. When the Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998, just about every pollster in the business started polling on impeachment:

So why is Bush being treated differently?

Here's what you can do:
1) Write Zogby ( to thank them for asking about impeachment in June, and encourage them to keep asking the question.

2) Write all the other MAJOR POLLSTERS and ask them why they haven't asked voters about impeaching Bush:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

You can also use these forms:


Here is a form letter you can personalize:

In 2003, George Bush invaded Iraq primarily because Iraq allegedly had Weapons of Mass Destruction that could threaten the United States.

But last October, the Duelfer Report proved there were no WMD's in Iraq in 2003. And this May, the Downing Street Memos proved the pre-war "intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" to sell an illegal invasion of Iraq to Congress, the American people, and the world.

On June 30, a Zogby poll found 42% of Americans said "if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment."

Why haven't you asked Americans whether they believe Bush should be impeached for lying about Iraq?

When the Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998, nearly every pollster asked about impeachment:

Why are you treating George Bush differently from Bill Clinton?

Are you biased against Democrats and towards Republicans?


Bob Fertik's blog

Comment viewing options

Impeachment Question based on lies bush-impeachment-polls>

Submitted by lockerh on August 24, 2005 - 9:13 p.m.

Here is what I wrote to the various polling addresses:

Zogby Poll is to be congratulated for being so forward-thinking that they asked about impeachment in their June survey. It's hard for me to believe that only 42% responded affirmatively as to whether this president should be impeached if it is discovered that he lied to the country to get us to go to war. After all, what more horrible act could a trusted leader do to his people to betray them? I'm appalled that nearly 60% of the people would NOT think this an impeachable offense.

However, I also remember that at the time the Congress was intent upon impeaching President Clinton for possibly lying about a sexual peccadillo, the populace was 70% AGAINST that Congressional effort. As I remember, the populace continued to be 70% against that impeachment effort throughout its duration. (Personally, I can't understand why that was not 99.9%; nevertheless, that is my memory.)

And so I ask you to make and publish a comparison of the impeachment polls for Clinton during the months running up to and through his impeachment proceedings.

I also ask you to continue to monitor today's opinions about impeachment as we move forward and as more and more solid and documentary evidence about Bush's lies, cover-ups, and manipulation of intelligence (such as exposed in the Downing Street Minutes) are made public.

Thanks very much for your good efforts at the truth.

Robert Locke
Retired Librarian


Date: 29 Aug 2005
From: Keith Willcock>
Subject: Re: Spraying of coca crops in Columbia

Hi Jean I thank you so much for sending all these materials so faithfully. You may not hear from me but I am always here and appreciate your efforts.

I chose to live here in central America some years ago and I work here as a healer. As I live very simply in one of the pueblos in Nicaragua I see first hand a lot of the poverty that abounds in Third World countries and I am very close to the effects of the US policies as they have affected these countries past and present.

For a long time I have been very disturbed by the spraying of coca crops in Columbia, Peru and so on. The fallout from the abuse is incredible and it has killed many innocent people and threatened a life style that is very old. The fact is that anyone who has traveled in the high Andes knows that you cannot walk at those altitudes, let alone work without chewing coca leaves.

There have been no proven results of this spraying, if results are to be measures by reduced coca production. However there is a lot of documented evidence with respect to the deaths of plant, animal, and human life as a consequence of US policy

I could go on but really I have a question. Do you know of any organization that is speaking out against this abuse because I would like to lend my energy to such a group. Any leads you can give me will be appreciated.

OM Shanti



Note from Jean: Anyone with suggestions to offer to Keith please contact him directly

Much more on this at



JFK vs. Federal Reserve


On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed by President John Fitzgerald Kennedy with the intention to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. This matter has been exhaustively researched by the Christian Common Law Institute through the Federal Register and Library of Congress, and the Institute has conclude that President Kennedy's Executive Order has never been repealed, amended, or superceded by any subsequent Executive Order. In simple terms, it is still valid.

When John Fitzgerald Kennedy, author of Profiles in Courage, signed this Order, it returned to the federal government, specifically to the Treasury Department, the Constitutional power to create and issue currency -- money -- without going through the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank. President Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 gave the Treasury Department the explicit authority: "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury" [the full text is displayed below]. This means that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury's vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation based on the silver bullion physically held therein. As a result, more than $4 billion in United States Notes were brought into circulation in $2 and $5 denominations. Although $10 and $20 United States Notes were never circulated, they were being printed by the Treasury Department when Kennedy was assassinated.

Certainly it's obvious that President Kennedy knew that the Federal Reserve Notes being circulated as "legal currency" were contrary to the Constitution of the United States, which calls for issuance of "United States Notes" as interest-free and debt-free currency backed by silver reserves in the U.S. Treasury. Comparing a "Federal Reserve Note" issued from the private central bank of the United States (i.e., the Federal Reserve Bank a/k/a Federal Reserve System), with a "United States Note" from the U.S. Treasury (as issued by President Kennedy's Executive Order), the two almost look alike, except one says "Federal Reserve Note" on the top while the other says "United States Note". In addition, the Federal Reserve Note has a green seal and serial number while the United States Note has a red seal and serial number. Following President Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963, the United States Notes he had issued were immediately taken out of circulation, and Federal Reserve Notes continued to serve as the "legal currency" of the nation.

Kennedy knew that if the silver-backed United States Notes were widely circulated, they would eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve Notes. This is a simple matter of economics. USNs were backed by silver and FRNs were (still are) backed by nothing of intrinsic value. As a result of Executive Order 11110, the national debt would have prevented from reaching its current level (almost all of the $9 trillion in federal debt has been created since 1963). Executive Order 11110 also granted the U.S. Government the power to repay past debt without further borrowing from the privately owned Federal Reserve which charged both principle and interest and all new "money" it "created." Finally, Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S.A. the ability to create its own money backed by silver, again giving money real value.

Perhaps President Kennedy's assassination was a warning to future presidents not to interfere with the private Federal Reserve's control over the creation of money. For, with true courage, JFK had boldly challenged the two most successful vehicles that have ever been used to drive up debt: 1) war (i.e., the Vietnam war); and, 2) the creation of money by a privately owned central bank. His efforts to have all U.S. troops out of Vietnam by 1965 combined with Executive Order 11110 would have destroyed the profits and control of the private Federal Reserve Bank.


By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 301 of Title 3 of the United States Code, it is ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 10289 of September 19, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended (a) By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j): "(j) The authority vested in the President by paragraph (b) of section 43 of the Act of May 12, 1933, as amended (31 U.S.C. 821 (b)), to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury not then held for redemption of any outstanding silver certificates, to prescribe the denominations of such silver certificates, and to coin standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver currency for their redemption," and (b) By revoking subparagraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 thereof.
SECTION 2. The amendment made by this Order shall not affect any act done, or any right accruing or accrued or any suit or proceeding had or commenced in any civil or criminal cause prior to the date of this Order but all such liabilities shall continue and may be enforced as if said amendments had not been made.
June 4, 1963

As said, Executive Order 11110 is still valid. According to Title 3, United States Code, Section 301 dated January 26, 1998: Executive Order (EO) 10289 dated Sept. 17, 1951, 16 F.R. 9499, was as amended by:

EO 10583, dated December 18, 1954, 19 F.R. 8725;
EO 10882 dated July 18, 1960, 25 F.R. 6869;
EO 11110 dated June 4, 1963, 28 F.R. 5605;
EO 11825 dated December 31, 1974, 40 F.R. 1003;
EO 12608 dated September 9, 1987, 52 F.R. 34617

The 1974 and 1987 amendments, added after Kennedy's 1963 amendment, did not change or alter any part of Kennedy's EO 11110. A search of Clinton's 1998 and 1999 EO's and Presidential Directives has shown no reference to any alterations, suspensions, or changes to EO 11110.

The Federal Reserve Bank, a.k.a Federal Reserve System, is a Private Corporation. Black's Law Dictionary defines the "Federal Reserve System" as: "Network of twelve central banks to which most national banks belong and to which state chartered banks may belong. Membership rules require investment of stock and minimum reserves." Privately owned banks own the stock of the FED. This was explained in more detail in the case of Lewis v. United States, Federal Reporter, 2nd Series, Vol. 680, Pages 1239, 1241 (1982), where the court said: "Each Federal Reserve Bank is a separate corporation owned by commercial banks in its region. The stockholding commercial banks elect two-thirds of each Bank's nine member board of directors." In short, Federal Reserve Banks are locally controlled by their member banks.

Also, according to Black's Law Dictionary, these privately owned banks are "allowed" to issue money: "The Federal Reserve Act, created Federal Reserve banks which act as agents in maintaining money reserves, issuing money in the form of bank notes, lending money to banks, and supervising banks as administered by Federal Reserve Board (q.v.)." Thus the privately owned Federal Reserve (FED) banks are allowed to actually issue (create) the "money" we use.
In 1964, the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Subcommittee on Domestic Finance, at the second session of the 88th Congress, put out a study entitled Money Facts which contains a good description of what the FED is: "The Federal Reserve is a total moneymaking machine. It can issue money or checks. And it never has a problem of making its checks good because it can obtain the $5 and $10 bills necessary to cover its check simply by asking the Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving to print them." Any one person or any closely knit group that has a lot of money has a lot of power. Imagine a group of people with the power to create money. Imagine the power these people would have. This is exactly what the privately owned FED is!

No man did more to expose the power of the FED than Louis T. McFadden, who was the Chairman of the House Banking Committee back in the 1930s. In describing the FED, he remarked in the Congressional Record, House pages 1295 and 1296 on June 10, 1932:

Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal reserve banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government Board, has cheated the Government of the United States and he people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and the iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal reserve banks acting together have cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States; has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the maladministration of that law by which the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.

Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are not Government institutions, departments, or agencies. They are private credit monopolies, which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers. Those 12 private credit monopolies were deceitfully placed upon this country by bankers who came here from Europe and who repaid us for our hospitality by undermining our American institutions.

The FED basically works like this: The government granted its power to create money to the FED banks. They create money, then loan it back to the government charging interest. The government levies income taxes to pay the interest on the debt. On this point, it's interesting to note that the Federal Reserve Act and the sixteenth amendment, which gave congress the power to collect income taxes, were both passed in 1913. The incredible power of the FED over the economy is universally admitted. Some people, especially in the banking and academic communities, support it. On the other hand, there are those like President John F. Kennedy, that have spoken out against it. His efforts were lauded about in Jim Marrs' 1990 book Crossfire:

Another overlooked aspect of Kennedy's attempt to reform American society involves money. Kennedy apparently reasoned that by returning to the constitution, which states that only Congress shall coin and regulate money, the soaring national debt could be reduced by not paying interest to the bankers of the Federal Reserve System, who print paper money then loan it to the government at interest. He moved in this area on June 4, 1963, by signing Executive Order 11110 which called for the issuance of $4,292,893,815 in United States Notes through the U.S. Treasury rather than the traditional Federal Reserve System. That same day, Kennedy signed a bill changing the backing of one and two dollar bills from silver to gold, adding strength to the weakened U.S. currency.

Kennedy's comptroller of the currency, James J. Saxon, had been at odds with the powerful Federal Reserve Board for some time, encouraging broader investment and lending powers for banks that were not part of the Federal Reserve system. Saxon also had decided that non-Reserve banks could underwrite general obligation bonds, again weakening the dominant Federal Reserve banks."

In a speech made to Columbia University on Nov. 12, 1963, ten days before his assassination, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said: "The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizen of this plight." In this matter, John Fitzgerald Kennedy appears to be the subject of his own book... a true Profile of Courage. According to the Constitution of the United States, (Article 1 Section 8), only Congress has the authority to coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures. However, since 1913 this Article has been ignored by creation and existence of the Federal Reserve Act, which has given a private owned corporation the power and authority to "create" and coin the money of United States. The Federal Reserve is comprised of 12 private credit monopolies who have been given the authority to control the supply of the "Federal Reserve Notes," interest rates and all the other monetary and banking phenomena.

The way the Federal Reserve works is this: 12 private credit monopolies "create", (print), Federal Reserve Notes that are then "lent" to the American government. This is a circular affair in that the government grants the FED power to create the money, which the FED then loans back to the government, charging interests. The government levies income taxes to pay the interest on the debt. It is interesting to note that the Federal Reserve Act and the sixteenth amendment which gave congress the power to collect income taxes, were both passed in 1913. The Federal Reserve Notes are not backed by anything of "intrinsic" value. (i.e., gold or silver).

On June 4, 1963, President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy signed a Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, which stripped the Federal Reserve Banking System of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. This decree meant that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury's vault, the U.S. government could introduce new money into circulation based on the silver bullion physically held therein. As a result, more than $4 trillion in United States Notes were brought into circulation in $2 and $5 denominations. $10 and $20 United States Notes were never circulated but were being printed by the Treasury Department when Kennedy was assassinated. Kennedy knew that if the silver backed United States Notes were widely circulated, they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve Notes. By giving the U.S. Treasury the Constitutional authority to coin U.S. money once again, EO 11110 would thus prevent the national debt from rising due to "usury" that the American people are charged for "borrowing" (i.e., using) FRN's.

Kennedy knew that, if Congress coined and regulated money, as the Constitution states, the national debt would be reduced by not paying interest to the 12 credit monopolies. This in itself would have allowed the American people freedom to freely use all the money they have earned, enabling the economy to grow. Now, Executive Order 11110 is still in effect, even though no U.S. President has had the courage to follow it. As Americans, it is our duty to question the Federal Reserve System and the power that we have given it by electing presidents that lack the courage of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

More on JFK's Executive Order 11110:

Make sure also to read ...

The People v. The Banks: The Greatest Battle
John Ruiz Dempsey BSCr, LL.B, a criminologist and forensic litigation specialist filed a class action suit on behalf of the People of Canada alleging that financial institutions are engaged in illegal creation of money. The complaint filed Friday April 15, 2005 in the Supreme Court of British Columbia at New Westminster, alleges that all financial institutions who are in the business of lending money have engaged in a deliberate scheme to defraud the borrowers by lending non-existent money which are illegally created by the financial institutions out of “thin air.” Dempsey claims that  creation of money out of nothing is ultra vires these defendants’ charter or granted corporate power and therefore void and all monies loaned under false pretence contravenes the Criminal Code. The suit which is the first of its kind ever filed in Canada which could involve millions of Canadians alleges that the contracts entered into between the People (“the borrowers”) and the financial institutions were void or voidable and have no force and effect due to anticipated breach and for non-disclosure of material facts. Dempsey says the transactions constitutes counterfeiting and money laundering in that the source of money, if money was indeed advanced by the defendants and deposited into the borrowers’ accounts, could not be traced, nor could not be explained or accounted for. CLIP


From: "Kathleen Roberts">
Subject: Boylan on Star Visitors' Plan to Hold Cabal Responsible
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005

Most Important: Star Visitors' Plan to hold the Cabal accountable for violations of universal laws

Friends and Star Kids,

The Star Nations have observed the machinations of the Cabal (geoplutocratic "elite") for a long time. A very long time.

Some humans, who imagine that the Star Visitors are sort of like guardian angels, wonder why the Visitors do not swoop down and stop the Cabal from continuing their abuses. But in general, the cosmic Laws established by Supreme Source do not permit gratuitous interference by outside civilizations in the development of civilization on another planet, (such as Earth). This has prevented the Star Nations from stepping in just whenever major segments of Earth society went down morally wrong paths.

But in the 1930s it became obvious to the Star Nations that the way things on Earth were headed, the then-leaders of the Cabal were pushing events towards an unprecedented, totally-monstrous, global fascist totalitarian regime. Remember your history: In Germany, Hitler had taken over and installed a Nazi state, with aims at world conquest. In Russia, Stalin was in charge as a brutal dictator, who also sought vast territorial expansion. In Italy, Mussolini exercised brutal dictatorial power not only over his own country but in northern Africa as well. Generalissimo Franco set up an oppressive fascistic regime in Spain. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the Japanese War Generals invaded China, Manchuria, etc. and set out to create a Greater East Asia Empire by force. Furthermore, Hitler welded Italy and Japan into an "Axis" military alliance. Hitler then forged an alliance with Stalin, while also helping Franco to establish a dictatorship in Spain and forged ties together with Franco.

With the United States inactivated by an isolationist political stance, it looked like an alliance of fascist dictators was going to take over the world.

In 1937 the Star Nations set up a formal Hearing on human rights violations. Charges against these Cabal dictators were presented to the High Council of the Star Nations by a Watcher [Star Visitor observer stationed on Earth]. Then the High Council ruled that the Cabal were in violation of the Law of Free Will, (a principal cosmic law) (1). But the Cabal said that there was no human on the High Council, so therefore they (Cabal) did not have proper representation. Because Humans were not represented, how could any charges be heard or even considered? This was correct by the cosmic Laws. And so the Star Nations were not able to intervene against the Cabal under those circumstances.

Shortly following this 1937 Hearing‚s disastrous stalemate, an Elder Councillor of the High Council of the Star Nations determined to reincarnate as a completely human being and grow up on Earth, and thus to be in a position to serve at the next Hearing as the previously-missing Human Representative on the High Council of the Star Nations.

Meanwhile the Cabal dictators of the 1930s came and went, dying off and replaced by more sophisticated fascists. Many of these are in pin-striped suits, elected or hereditary heads of state, officers of international planning councils, and international financiers. Their iron fists are often masked by the velvet glove of cultural sophistication and powerful connections behind the scene. Their power has been vastly increased by utilizing mind-control techniques refined from Nazi research, as well as anti-gravity and directed-energy technology back-engineered from recovered Star Visitor craft. The modern-day Cabal are well along in their plans to utterly rule the world, and to reach out into space for additional conquest there.

The Star Nations have not lost sight of the grave danger the Cabal represent to the survivability of the human race. The Star Nations have also been tracking the growing numbers of monstrous abuses of Earth and human rights by the Cabal. And so, the Star Nations have determined that it is time for a new Hearing.

A Formal Hearing on Reported Cabal Violations of Universal Laws (2) is scheduled to take place before the year is out!

Only this time the Cabal will not evade answerability for their misdeeds because of non-representation. For the High Council Elder who reincarnated as a human is fully grown now, and stands ready to serve as the human representative, as the Councillor of Earth.

Once again, at this Hearing charges will be presented to the Councillor of Earth in front of the entire High Council. The charges will consist of rights violations that the Star Nations have observed. These charges concern whether the Cabal were in violation of the Law of Free Will in their treatment of fellow humans. If they are in violation, and the collective High Council agrees on these things, then "action can be taken to handle the energy pattern of Cabal members as not being the same as other humans," as one Star Visitor put it. In other words, the Cabal will be treated differently than other humans. Very differently. If convicted, the Cabal will not have any interactions with the Star Visitors, and will be screened from any technical assistance the Star Nations offer other humans. Other substantial consequences will also ensue, which will not be spelled out at this time. Suffice to say, a substantial part of what the Cabal have built their power base on will be removed.

One Star Visitor has told me that the consequences of the Cabal‚s conviction will mean "a whole new ball game" as to how things will soon start going on Earth.

The news of the Star Nations holding the Cabal accountable soon is shared with you so that you may understand that we have concerned allies "out there", who are far from indifferent to the terrible plight of Earth being and her beloved children, us humans, at this time. And that the Star Nations are anxious, within the parameters of the cosmic laws of Supreme Source, to do what they can to remove a major obstacle to humanity‚s having a viable future.

Lend your thought energy or prayer that the Hearing holding of the Cabal accountable may go well, as it unfolds later on this year, with consequences into the following years.

In the light,

Richard J. Boylan, Ph.D.

Richard J. Boylan, Ph.D., LLC

Director, Star Kids Project, Ltd
Author: "Star Kids: the Emerging Cosmic Generation"
P.O. Box 22310
Sacramento, California 95822, USA


1. See:

2. Idem.


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