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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


   The Pinelander Navy 

   The beach in Marmora in the shadow of the BL England power plant as it spewed  dirty exhaust fumes from burning coal. This dinosaur power plant has been actively poisoning the area now for over 50 yrs. Yesterday, 30 protesters from 5 different Environmental groups, some new & Int'l like SJ and others like the Sierra Club (one of our nations oldest  environmental groups) brought their various Earth Day messages to this site. The reason was simple, BL England as Jeff Tittel the director of the NJ chapter of the Sierra Club told us high lites the on going struggle world wide, which is pitting the forces of EVIL ( the Fossil fuel Barons et. al.) against the forces of LIGHT ( the world's growing movement to stop the use of Fossil fuels before we toast the plant and all the life on it.) Its really that easy. 99% of the scientific community is telling us we either switch to renewable /sustainable sources of energy ASAP or we risk bringing on the 6th great extinction event on planet Earth. An event most of humanity might very likely not survive. An event in our near term future not in some distant Hollywood style sci-fi drama. The Press was in attendance. 
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Monday, April 21, 2014


The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...


Join us on April 22nd to stand together in opposition to the Pinelands pipeline and the air and water pollution spewing from the BL England power plant.

In January the Pinelands Commission REJECTED this dirty energy deal and now politicians and fossil fuel interests are attempting to circumvent the democratic process and strong arm this ill-conceived project through. 

We cannot allow that to happen!  On April 22nd, Earth Day, we will come together to show our support for New Jersey’s clean energy future and our opposition to more dirty fossil fuels through the Pinelands region.   

WHEN:          April 22nd at 12:30 pm
WHERE:       Beesley’s Point Beach, Harbor Rd, Marmora, NJ
                        This public beach is located between the Tuckahoe Inn and Garden State Parkway Bridge. 

Rally Speakers include:
Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club, Maya K. van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Georgina Shanley, Don’t Gas the Pinelands Coalition, Dave Pringle, Campaign Director, Clean Water Action, Emily Reuman, Organizer, Food and Water Watch, Representative from Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Meaghan Netherby, Secretary, the Surfrider Foundation, South Jersey Chapter

Following the Rally there will be a series of teach-ins from 1:15pm to 2:30pm focusing on different aspects of the pipeline battle:
-          BL England’s permits and litigation against the plant
-          Fossil fuel pollution and climate change
-          Cumulative Impacts of Natural Gas Infrastructure: from fracking to pipeline construction
-       Water Quality Monitoring
-          The construction of the SJG pipeline will cause long term harm to Pinelands forests & waterways: habitat loss, compaction of soils, more runoff and erosion in waterways, changes to hydrogeology potentially impacting aquifers and groundwater
-          Under Pinelands regulations this type of project is forbidden in the sensitive Forest Area of the Pinelands region.  If this goes forward it opens the door for all types of private developments in the Pinelands.
-          The pipeline does not serve the needs of the Pinelands.  The region will see more water and air pollution as the electricity and gas goes to Atlantic City and the City of Cape May

-          BL England is under an agreement with DEP to either close down or convert to gas
-          With the pipeline BL England would run full time!  The plant currently runs 20-40 days a year but when converted to natural gas will become a base load plant, spewing carbon and particulate matter into the atmosphere year round
-          The pipeline will allow BL England to continue destroying the Great Egg Harbor Bay.  One of the plant’s units uses a once through cooling system, killing billions of fish & aquatic organisms every year.  Super-heated water discharges from the plant have resulted in the Bay failing to meet state and federal water quality standards. 
-          Changing the fuel source does not mitigate the impacts the plant is having on the Bay
-          Sierra Club, American Littoral Society, and Clean Ocean Action are in court now challenging BL England’s pollution discharge permit and urging the DEP to require cooling towers at the facility 
-          A closed-cycle cooling system will reduce B.L. England’s water withdrawals and the environmental impacts by 90%, at an affordable cost, without disrupting B.L. England’s electricity generating operations
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Monday, April 14, 2014


Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now

Humanity’s choice (via IPCC): Aggressive climate action ASAP (left figure) minimizes future warming. Continued inaction (right figure) results in catastrophic levels of warming, 9°F over much of U.S. The latest IPCC report finds the annual cost of avoiding that catastrophe is a mere 0.06% of annual growth.The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued its third of four planned reports. This one is on “mitigation” — “human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.”
"So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries."
The first two reports laid out humanity’s choice as depicted in the figure above, which appeared in both reports. The first report warned that continued inaction would lead to 9°F warming (or higher) for most of the U.S. and Northern Hemisphere landmass, resulting in faster sea level rise, more extreme weather, and collapse of the permafrost sink, which would further accelerate warming. Thesecond report warned that this in turn would lead to a “breakdown of food systems,” more violent conflicts, and ultimately threaten to make some currently habited and arable land virtually unlivable for parts of the year.
Now you might think it would be a no-brainer that humanity would be willing to pay a very highcost to avoid such catastrophes and achieve the low emission “2°C” (3.6°F) pathway in the left figure above (RCP2.6 — which is a total greenhouse gas level in 2100 equivalent to roughly 450 parts per million of CO2). But the third report finds that the “cost” of doing so is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%.
You read that right, the annual growth loss to preserve a livable climate is 0.06% — and that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.” So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries. As always, every word of the report was signed off on by every major government in the world.
Mitigation costs for 450 ppm
Global mitigation costs for stabilization at a level “likely” to stay below 2°C (3.6°F). Cost estimates shown in this table do not consider the benefits of reduced climate change as well as co-benefits of mitigation. The green columns show the consumption loss in the years 2030, 2050, and 2100 relative to a baseline development without climate policy. The light green column shows that the annualized consumption growth reduction over the century is 0.06%. Source: IPCC 2014.
Moreover, this does not even count the economic benefit of avoiding climate catastrophe. Afew years ago, scientists calculated that benefit as having a net present value of $615 to $830trillion. That means our current do-nothing plan is actually far, far costlier than aggressive climate mitigation.
And the IPCC warns “Delaying is estimated to … substantially increase the difficulty of the transition to low, longer-term emissions levels and narrow the range of options consistent with maintaining temperature change below 2 degrees C.”
These are not new findings. In its previous Fourth Assessment (AR4) in 2007, the IPCC found the cost of stabilizing at 445 ppm CO2-eq corresponded to “slowing average annual global GDP growth by less than 0.12 percentage points.”
These conclusions should not be a surprise since they are based on a review of the literature — and every major independent study has found a remarkably low net cost for climate action — and a high cost for delay. Back in 2011, the International Energy Agency warned “Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.”
As German economist Ottmar Edenhofer, a co-chair of the IPCC committee that wrote the new report, put it, “We cannot afford to lose another decade. If we lose another decade, it becomes extremely costly to achieve climate stabilization.”
The new IPCC report notes that renewable energy (RE) technologies have advanced substantially since 2007:
Since AR4, many RE technologies have demonstrated substantial performance improvements and cost reductions, and a growing number of RE technologies have achieved a level of maturity to enable deployment at significant scale (robust evidence, high agreement). Regarding electricity generation alone, RE accounted for just over half of the new electricity generating capacity added globally in 2012, led by growth in wind, hydro and solar power.
The IPCC notes, “In the majority of low stabilization scenarios, the share of low carbon electricity supply [RE, nuclear, and carbon capture] increases from the current share of approximately 30% to more than 80% by 2050.” That kind of rapid growth in near-zero-carbon energy over the next 3 1/2 decades leaves very little room for any new fossil fuel generation. The IPCC asserts that natural gas can act as a short-term bridge fuel if “the fugitive emissions associated with extraction and supply are low or mitigated” — which multiple recent studies make clear is not currently the case (see “By The Time Natural Gas Has A Net Climate Benefit You’ll Likely Be Dead And The Climate Ruined“).
In the scenario that gives us the best chance of avoiding catastrophe, stabilizing at 450 ppm CO2-eq by 2100, natural gas power generation must peak and fall “to below current levels by 2050″ — and decline further post-2050. So the world is already using more natural gas than it can safely afford to be using in just 36 years.
One final interesting factoid in the report that reveals just how stunning the increase in global emissions have been since 1970:
In 1970, cumulative CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, cement production and flaring since 1750 were 420±35 Gt [billion metric tons] CO2; in 2010, that cumulative total had tripled to 1300 ±110 Gt CO2.
The world has emitted more than twice the industrial CO2 emissions since 1970 as we did from the start of the Industrial Revolution through 1970. That is especially sobering because lags in the climate system mean we’re only now experiencing the temperature and climate changes from CO2 levels of a couple decades ago. The time to act is now.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

AC CASINOS DOWN 35% in 2013 !!

English: A view of the Atlantic City Boardwalk...
English: A view of the Atlantic City Boardwalk from the Tropicana Casino Hotel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The  headline in the AC Press yesterday. Atlantic City's Casinos down 35% in 2013 from 2012! The slide into oblivion continues for its 7th straight yr. for AC's Casino Industry. What happened to the Governor's great rescue plan for AC? He was to take over we were told and all would be well or at least that's what  his local fan club was shouting just a few yrs. ago. What excuse  for him will they drag out now? The truth is Gov. CRISCO's actual intentions for AC were always just the opposite. That's why he's been threatening to make gaming a Statewide affair if we didn't somehow get ourselves going again. What happened to his part in that? How did his promise to help somehow morph into a threat to destroy us if we didn't pull off some kind of miracle? What a joke the man is. The Bully is now in our face, whose surprised.  Anyway, the sad truth is someone is DOING AC alright but, not the way the stupid ass slogan says. DO us up is more like how its said on the street. 35% drop in revenue in 1 yr. folks!! Maybe its time to get a new promotional slogan and a new group to promote us as well. The so called AC alliance has done a dismal job these last yrs. To be blunt they don't know what the F*CK their doing. Go back to NYC already and let us be!! The reality is that gaming as the core of our economy here is game over! As for a future path for AC I leave that to the next generation to figure out. Maybe the new leadership in AC should get together a council of young people locally and ask them what they think is a better way forward. They can't do much worse then the so called experts have done these past 7 yrs. 35% drop in 1 yr. LOL !! What  a joke. Pathetic is the only word that comes to mind.

"Matt Levinson, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said receipts from the luxury tax, hotel tax, tourism tax and sales tax hit record highs last year.
"These numbers show that Atlantic City's casinos are continuing to broaden their appeal and the casino industry's focus on developing non-gaming amenities is clearly bearing fruit," he said."
I only have this to say to Mr. Levinson, tell the thousands of laid off Casino/Hotel workers that  Sir. You can start by telling the ex-employees of the Atlantic Club. For them its bitter fruit!
Unfortunately, the reality is failure only seems to effect the staffs, not the upper managements of these places, nor the groups like the CCC and the CRDA etc., people like Matt don't seem to have to worry about losing their jobs, no matter how poorly things turn out. Ever ask yourselves why that is? 
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Monday, April 07, 2014


Call Climate Change What It Is: Violence

Social unrest and famine, superstorms and droughts. Places, species and human beings – none will be spared. Welcome to Occupy Earth

Will our age of climate change also be an era of civil and international conflict? (Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters)If you're poor, the only way you're likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it – by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car.
But if you're tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part. You can, say, build a sweatshop factory that will collapse in Bangladesh and kill more people than any hands-on mass murderer ever did, or you can calculate risk and benefit about putting poisons or unsafe machines into the world, as manufacturers do every day. If you're the leader of a country, you can declare war and kill by the hundreds of thousands or millions. And the nuclear superpowers – the US and Russia – still hold the option of destroying quite a lot of life on Earth.
So do the carbon barons. But when we talk about violence, we almost always talk about violence from below, not above.
Or so I thought when I received a press release last week from a climate group announcing that "scientists say there is a direct link between changing climate and an increase in violence". What the scientists actually said, in a not-so-newsworthy article in Nature two and a half years ago, is that there is higher conflict in the tropics in El Nino years, and that perhaps this will scale up to make our age of climate change also an era of civil and international conflict.
The message is that ordinary people will behave badly in an era of intensified climate change.
All this makes sense, unless you go back to the premise and note that climate change is itself violence. Extreme, horrific, longterm, widespread violence.
Climate change is anthropogenic – caused by human beings, some much more than others. We know the consequences of that change: the acidification of oceans and decline of many species in them, the slow disappearance of island nations such as the Maldives, increased flooding, drought, crop failure leading to food-price increases and famine, increasingly turbulent weather. (Think Hurricane Sandy and the recent typhoon in the Philippines, and heat waves that kill elderly people by the tens of thousands.)
Climate change is violence.
So if we want to talk about violence and climate change – and we are talking about it, afterlast week's horrifying report from the world's top climate scientists – then let's talk about climate change as violence. Rather than worrying about whether ordinary human beings will react turbulently to the destruction of the very means of their survival, let's worry about that destruction – and their survival. Of course water failure, crop failure, flooding and more will lead to mass migration and climate refugees – they already have – and this will lead to conflict. Those conflicts are being set in motion now.
You can regard the Arab Spring, in part, as a climate conflict: the increase in wheat priceswas one of the triggers for that series of revolts that changed the face of northernmost Africa and the Middle East. On the one hand, you can say, how nice if those people had not been hungry in the first place. On the other, how can you not say, how great is it that those people stood up against being deprived of sustenance and hope? And then you have to look at the systems that created that hunger - the enormous economic inequalities in places such as Egypt and the brutality used to keep down the people at the lower levels of the social system, as well as the weather.
People revolt when their lives are unbearable. Sometimes material reality creates that unbearableness: droughts, plagues, storms, floods. But food and medical care, health and well-being, access to housing and education – these things are also governed by economic means and government policy. That's what the revolt called Occupy Wall Street was against.
Climate change will increase hunger as food prices rise and food production falters, but we already have widespread hunger on Earth, and much of it is due not to the failures of nature and farmers, but to systems of distribution. Almost 16m children in the United States now live with hunger, according to the US Department of Agriculture, and that is not because the vast, agriculturally rich United States cannot produce enough to feed all of us. We are a country whose distribution system is itself a kind of violence.
Climate change is not suddenly bringing about an era of equitable distribution. I suspect people will be revolting in the coming future against what they revolted against in the past: the injustices of the system. They should revolt, and we should be glad they do, if not that they need to (though hope they will recognize that violence is not necessarily where their power lies). One of the events prompting the French Revolution was the failure of the 1788 wheat crop, which made bread prices skyrocket and the poor go hungry. The insurance against such events is often thought to be more authoritarianism and more threats against the poor, but that's only an attempt to keep a lid on what's boiling over; the other way to go is to turn down the heat.
The same week during which I received that ill-thought-out press release about climate and violence, Exxon Mobil Corporation issued a policy report. It makes for boring reading, unless you can make the dry language of business into pictures of the consequences of those acts undertaken for profit. Exxon says:
We are confident that none of our hydrocarbon reserves are now or will become 'stranded'. We believe producing these assets is essential to meeting growing energy demand worldwide.
Stranded assets that mean carbon assets – coal, oil, gas still underground – would become worthless if we decided they could not be extracted and burned in the near future. Because scientists say that we need to leave most of the world's known carbon reserves in the ground if we are to go for the milder rather than the more extreme versions of climate change. Under the milder version, countless more people – species, places – will survive. In the best-case scenario, we damage the Earth less. We are currently wrangling about how much to devastate the Earth.
In every arena, we need to look at industrial-scale and systemic violence, not just the hands-on violence of the less powerful. When it comes to climate change, this is particularly true. Exxon has decided to bet that we can't make the corporation keep its reserves in the ground, and the company is reassuring its investors that it will continue to profit off the rapid, violent and intentional destruction of the Earth.
That's a tired phrase, the destruction of the Earth, but translate it into the face of a starving child and a barren field – and then multiply that a few million times. Or just picture the tiny bivalves: scallops, oysters, Arctic sea snails that can't form shells in acidifying oceans right now. Or another superstorm tearing apart another city. Climate change is global-scale violence, against places and species as well as against human beings. Once we call it by name, we can start having a real conversation about our priorities and values. Because the revolt against brutality begins with a revolt against the language that hides that brutality.

Friday, April 04, 2014


McCutcheon, and the Vicious Cycle of Concentrated Wealth and Political Power

If wealth and income weren’t already so concentrated in the hands of a few, the shameful “McCutcheon” decision by the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court wouldn’t be as dangerous. But by taking “Citizen’s United” one step further and effectively eviscerating campaign finance laws, the Court has issued an invitation to oligarchy.(Photo: Public Citizen / cc / flickr)
Almost limitless political donations coupled with America’s dramatically widening inequality create a vicious cycle in which the wealthy buy votes that lower their taxes, give them bailouts and subsidies, and deregulate their businesses – thereby making them even wealthier and capable of buying even more votes. Corruption breeds more corruption.
That the richest four hundred Americans now have more wealth than the poorest 150 million Americans put together, the wealthiest 1 percent own over 35 percent of the nation’s private assets, and 95 percent of all the economic gains since the start of the recovery in 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent — all of this is cause for worry, and not just because it means the middle class lacks the purchasing power necessary to get the economy out of first gear.
It is also worrisome because such great concentrations of wealth so readily compound themselves through politics, rigging the game in their favor and against everyone else. “McCutcheon” merely accelerates this vicious cycle.
As Thomas Piketty shows in his monumental “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” this was the pattern in advanced economies through much of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. And it is coming to be the pattern once again.
Picketty is pessimistic that much can be done to reverse it (his sweeping economic data suggest that slow growth will almost automatically concentrate great wealth in a relatively few hands). But he disregards the political upheavals and reforms that such wealth concentrations often inspire — such as America’s populist revolts of the 1890s followed by the progressive era, or the German socialist movement in the 1870s followed by Otto von Bismarck’s creation of the first welfare state.
In America of the late nineteenth century, the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of money on the desks of pliant legislators, prompting the great jurist Louis Brandeis to note that the nation had a choice: “We can have a democracy or we can have great wealth in the hands of a few,” he said. “But we cannot have both.”
Soon thereafter America made the choice. Public outrage gave birth to the nation’s first campaign finance laws, along with the first progressive income tax. The trusts were broken up and regulations imposed to bar impure food and drugs. Several states enacted America’s first labor protections, including the 40-hour workweek.
The question is when do we reach another tipping point, and what happens then?