Archive for August, 2012


Saturday Sept 1: Arrive in Rome

Tuesday 4: Rome: Rewild Cruelty-Free Club: “The New Abolitionism: Animal Liberation and Social Revolution”

Wednesday 5: Rome: The University of Rome La Sapienza: “Animal Liberation and Moral Progress: The Struggle for Human Evolution”

Thursday 6: Rome: Ex-Mattatoio Di Aprilia, Aprilia (LT): “The Paralysis of Pacifism: In Defense of Militant Direct Action and `Violence’ for Animal Liberation”

 Friday 7: “The Global Vivisection-Industrial Complex and Militant Liberation Struggle,” Sala Buozzi – Camera del Lavoro conference room in the “Camera del Lavoro, Brescia

Friday 14th: “The Rise and Fall of the Human Empire,” Luxembourg Conference

Sunday 16th: “The War on Animals,” Luxembourgh Conference

Wednesday 19: The University of Lisbon, Portugal, “Total Liberation: Revolution for the 21st Century” 

Friday 21st: Porto, Portugal: “Everything You Know About Homo sapiens is Wrong

Wednesday 26: Performance #1  with Blendeskil, Barcelona, Spain

Saturday 29: Performance #2 with Blendskil, Mallorca, Spain

This sickening article from the Huffington Post sheds light on the politics of speciesism and how Romney (a dog abuser) cynically chose Paul Ryan for his vice presidential candidate due to his bloodlust for killing animals and the points this would score with conservatives and the NRA. So those in this society who grow up learning it is acceptable and good to kill animals either become serial killers or Representatives and vice-presidential candidates, among two top career options. The quotes from Ted Nugent are as choice as can be and elevate violence and murder to the realm of spirituality and a fine art. Once again, the American people are presented with a stellar cast of talent to chose from as to who will best represent the interests of corporations, the military-industrial complex, the national security state, and the transnational elite.

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When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his vice presidential pick over the weekend, he wasn’t just injecting a heavy dose of conservative values into his campaign. Ryan, a noted outdoorsman, also brings a genuine respect for hunting to a campaign that has had very few credentials in that area.

Dickless Sociopath Paul Ryan Looking for Manhood in All the Wrong Places

Romney, who has struggled with his own record on gun rights in general, famously flopped in his effort to connect with hunters during his 2008 presidential campaign when he claimed that “small varmints” were his quarry of choice. That has helped fuel some awkwardness between the presidential hopeful and the National Rifle Association over the years.

With the addition of Ryan, however, the ticket now has a few trophy bucks to add to its showcase.

The conservative blogosphere was abuzz in the wake of Romney’s Ryan pick with reminders of his “A” rating from the NRA. Jay McAninch, president of the Archery Trade Association, praised Ryan for his well-documented proficiency with a bow. And rocker Ted Nugent, a Romney supporter and vocal advocate for hunting and gun rights, lauded Ryan for his record as a sportsman.

“He’s an addicted bowhunter. He loves the mystical flight of the arrow,” Nugent told Newsmax over the weekend. “I defy you to come up with a person that has a more spiritual relationship with the pulse that drives Paul Ryan’s life than me.”

He continued, claiming that the finely tuned skill needed to wield a bow competently enough to take down a deer would translate over to the executive qualities needed to serve as vice president.

“This kind of discipline is just what America needs in leadership, and I know it appears to be a huge leap from what some consider recreational activities,” Nugent said. “Paul and I could go to the grocery store if we wanted to, but we have chosen this original, primal pursuit of game with a self-limiting weapon. And that says volumes for what drives this man to do the right thing in spite of political correctness.”

NASA’s James Hansen, the ‘Godfather of Global Warming,’ says earlier predictions “too optimistic”

James Hansen, The Washington Post, August 3, 2012

When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988, I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.

In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summerthe United States is suffering through right now.These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills.

Twenty-four years ago, I introduced the concept of “climate dice” to help distinguish the long-term trend of climate change from the natural variability of day-to-day weather. Some summers are hot, some cool. Some winters brutal, some mild. That’s natural variability.

But as the climate warms, natural variability is altered, too. In a normal climate without global warming, two sides of the die would represent cooler-than-normal weather, two sides would be normal weather, and two sides would be warmer-than-normal weather. Rolling the die again and again, or season after season, you would get an equal variation of weather over time.

An clean energy economy … is a simple, honest and effective solution.

But loading the die with a warming climate changes the odds. You end up with only one side cooler than normal, one side average, and four sides warmer than normal. Even with climate change, you will occasionally see cooler-than-normal summers or a typically cold winter. Don’t let that fool you.

Our new peer-reviewed study, published by the National Academy of Sciences, makes clear that while average global temperature has been steadily rising due to a warming climate (up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century), the extremes are actually becoming much more frequent and more intense worldwide.

When we plotted the world’s changing temperatures on a bell curve, the extremes of unusually cool and, even more, the extremes of unusually hot are being altered so they are becoming both more common and more severe.

The change is so dramatic that one face of the die must now represent extreme weather to illustrate the greater frequency of extremely hot weather events.

Such events used to be exceedingly rare. Extremely hot temperatures covered about 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of the globe in the base period of our study, from 1951 to 1980. In the last three decades, while the average temperature has slowly risen, the extremes have soared and now cover about 10 percent of the globe.

This is the world we have changed, and now we have to live in it — the world that caused the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed more than 50,000 people and the 2011 drought in Texas that caused more than $5 billion in damage. Such events, our data show, will become even more frequent and more severe.

There is still time to act and avoid a worsening climate, but we are wasting precious time. We can solve the challenge of climate change with a gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100 percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs. It is a simple, honest and effective solution.

The future is now. And it is hot.

Dr. James Hansen is director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor in the department of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University. He was the first scientist to warn the US Congress of the dangers of climate change and writes here as a private citizen. Hansen is the author of “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.
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Media Matters, April 2012

STUDY: Climate Coverage Plummets On Broadcast Networks

Research››› April 16, 2012  1:55 PM EDT ››› JILL FITZSIMMONS & JOCELYN FONG

A Media Matters analysis finds that news coverage of climate change on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX has dropped significantly since 2009. In 2011, these networks spent more than twice as much time discussing Donald Trump as climate change.

Time Devoted To Climate Change Has Fallen Sharply Since 2009

Despite Ongoing Climate News, Broadcast Coverage Has Dropped Significantly. Since 2009, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed a climate bill and a major climate conference took place in Copenhagen, the amount of climate coverage on both the Sunday shows (Fox News Sunday, NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’ Face the Nation, and ABC’s This Week) and the nightly news (NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, and ABC World News) has declined tremendously. This drop comes despite a series of newsworthy stories related to climate change in 2010 and 2011, including a debate over comprehensive climate and energy legislation in the U.S. Senate, a series of record-breaking extreme weather events, notable developments in climate science, the rise of so-called “climate skeptics” in the House of Representatives, and a deal struck at the most recent UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa.

Sunday Show Coverage Of Climate Change Fell 90% Between 2009 And 2011. Since 2009, climate coverage on the Sunday shows has dropped every year across all networks. The Sunday shows spent over an hour on climate change in 2009, compared to 21 minutes in 2010 and only 9 minutes in 2011.

  • Fox News Sunday covered climate change the most, for just under an hour, but much of Fox’s coverage promoted the “Climategate” controversy and downplayed the threat of climate change. In fact, at no point did Fox News Sunday explicitly affirm the scientific consensus that human activity is changing the climate.
  • CBS’ Face the Nation covered climate change the least, for a total of just 4 minutes in 3 years.

Nightly News Coverage Decreased 72% Between 2009 And 2011. Coverage of climate change on the nightly news programs dropped from over 2 hours in 2009 to just 27 minutes in 2010 and 38 minutes in 2011.

  • NBC Nightly News covered climate change the most – for more than an hour and a half in 3 years.
  • CBS Evening News covered climate change the least, for a total of 40 minutes in 3 years.

Priorities? The Donald Trumps Climate Change In 2011

Each Network Covered Donald Trump More Than Climate Change In 2011. Every program included in our analysis devoted more airtime to Donald Trump’s flirtation with a presidential run and birther antics than to climate change in 2011, with the exception of ABC World News, which gave equal time to the two topics. Together, the broadcast networks spent more than twice as much time covering Donald Trump. The discrepancy was most glaring on NBC’s Meet the Press, which devoted 23 minutes to Trump but did not cover climate change at all in 2011.

Sunday Shows Feature Twice As Many Republicans As Democrats On Climate Change

Sunday Shows Featured More Republicans Than Democrats On Climate Change. In total, 68% of the political figures interviewed or quoted by the Sunday shows were Republicans, and 32% were Democrats. In 2011, the only people interviewed or quoted about climate change on the Sunday shows were Republican politicians. Fox News Sunday was the most skewed, featuring eight Republicans and only two Democrats over the three years.

Scientists Were Shut Out Of Climate Change Discussions On Sunday Shows. Our study finds that the Sunday shows consulted political and media figures on climate change, but left scientists out of the discussion. Of those hosted or interviewed on climate change, 50% were political figures — including elected officials, strategists and advisers — 45% were media figures, and none were scientists. By comparison, 32% of those interviewed or quoted on the nightly news programs were political figures, and 20% were scientists.

Almost Every Mention Of Climate Change Was About Politics. Our results show that on the Sunday shows, 97% of stories mentioning climate change in the past three years were about politics in Washington, DC or on the campaign trail. One story — on Fox News Sunday — was driven by extreme weather, and none were driven by scientific findings.

Broadcast Networks Play Important Role In Public Discourse

Pew: Network Evening News “Remains An Extraordinarily Popular News Source For Americans.” From the Pew Research Center’s 2012 State of the News Media report:

For all the losses, however, the network evening news remains an extraordinarily popular news source for Americans. More than four times as many people watched the three network evening newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC during the dinner hour than watched the highest-rated shows on the three cable news channels (CNN, Fox News and MSNBC) during prime time.

And more than twice as many people watch the lowest-rated broadcast evening news program (CBS Evening News) than watch the highest-rated cable news program (The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News). [Pew Research Center, accessed 4/12/12]

Sunday Shows Help Set Scope Of Official Debate In Washington. The Sunday shows occupy a singular place in the American media landscape. Their audience of a combined 9 million or so viewers includes virtually the entire journo-political establishment. The discussions held on the shows frequently determine the scope of official debate in Washington, legitimizing some views and — by nature of their absence — marginalizing others. [Media Matters, March 2007]

Methodology

This report analyzes coverage of “climate change” or “global warming” between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2011, on four Sunday morning talk shows (ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday) and three nightly news programs (ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News). Fox Broadcasting Co. airs Fox News Sunday, but does not air a nightly news equivalent; Fox News is a separate cable channel. Our analysis includes any segment devoted to climate change, as well as any substantial mention (more than one paragraph of a news transcript and/or or a definitive statement about climate change). Timestamps were acquired from Media Matters’ internal video archive and were applied generously. For instance, if a segment about an extreme weather event mentioned climate change briefly, the entire segment was counted as climate coverage. For those segments not available in our archive, we estimated the length of the segment based on its word count.

The following chart displays the coverage included in our study:

New satellite images show polar ice coverage dwindling in extent and thickness

The Guardian, August 11, 2012

The view from a yacht’s mast

The view from a yacht’s mast. Summer pack ice is showing a rate of loss 50% higher than anticipated. 

Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps.

Preliminary results from the European Space Agency‘s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year.

This rate of loss is 50% higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes.

Using instruments on earlier satellites, scientists could see that the area covered by summer sea ice in the Arctic has been dwindling rapidly. But the new measurements indicate that this ice has been thinning dramatically at the same time. For example, in regions north of Canada and Greenland, where ice thickness regularly stayed at around five to six metres in summer a decade ago, levels have dropped to one to three metres.

“Preliminary analysis of our data indicates that the rate of loss of sea ice volume in summer in the Arctic may be far larger than we had previously suspected,” said Dr Seymour Laxon, of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at University College London (UCL), where CryoSat-2 data is being analysed. “Very soon we may experience the iconic moment when, one day in the summer, we look at satellite images and see no sea ice coverage in the Arctic, just open water.”

The consequences of losing the Arctic’s ice coverage, even for only part of the year, could be profound. Without the cap’s white brilliance to reflect sunlight back into space, the region will heat up even more than at present. As a result, ocean temperatures will rise and methane deposits on the ocean floor could melt, evaporate and bubble into the atmosphere. Scientists have recently reported evidence that methane plumes are now appearing in many areas. Methane is a particularly powerful greenhouse gas and rising levels of it in the atmosphere are only likely to accelerate global warming. And with the disappearance of sea ice around the shores of Greenland, its glaciers could melt faster and raise sea levels even more rapidly than at present.

Professor Chris Rapley of UCL said: “With the temperature gradient between the Arctic and equator dropping, as is happening now, it is also possible that the jet stream in the upper atmosphere could become more unstable. That could mean increasing volatility in weather in lower latitudes, similar to that experienced this year.”

CryoSat-2 is the world’s first satellite to be built specifically to study sea-ice thickness and was launched on a Dniepr rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on 8 April, 2010. Previous Earth monitoring satellites had mapped the extent of sea-ice coverage in the Arctic. However, the thickness of that ice proved more difficult to measure.

The US probe ICESat made some important measurements of ice thickness but operated intermittently in only a few regions before it stopped working completely in 2009. CryoSat was designed specifically to tackle the issue of ice thickness, both in the Arctic and the Antarctic. It was fitted with radar that can see through clouds. (ICESat’s lasers could not penetrate clouds.) CryoSat’s orbit was also designed to give better coverage of the Arctic sea.

“Before CryoSat, we could see summer ice coverage was dropping markedly in the Arctic,” said Rapley. “But we only had glimpses of what was happening to ice thickness. Obviously if it was dropping as well, the loss of summer ice was even more significant. We needed to know what was happening – and now CryoSat has given us the answer. It has shown that the Arctic sea cap is not only shrinking in area but is also thinning dramatically.”

Sea-ice cover in the Arctic varies considerably throughout the year, reaching a maximum in March. By combining earlier results from ICESat and data from other studies, including measurements made by submarines travelling under the polar ice cap, Laxon said preliminary analysis now gave a clear indication of Arctic sea-ice loss over the past eight years, both in winter and in summer.

In winter 2004, the volume of sea ice in the central Arctic was approximately 17,000 cubic kilometres. This winter it was 14,000, according to CryoSat.

However, the summer figures provide the real shock. In 2004 there was about 13,000 cubic kilometres of sea ice in the Arctic. In 2012, there is 7,000 cubic kilometres, almost half the figure eight years ago. If the current annual loss of around 900 cubic kilometres continues, summer ice coverage could disappear in about a decade in the Arctic.

However, Laxon urged caution, saying: “First, this is based on preliminary studies of CryoSat figures, so we should take care before rushing to conclusions. In addition, the current rate of ice volume decline could change.” Nevertheless, experts say computer models indicate rates of ice volume decline are only likely to increase over the next decade.

As to the accuracy of the measurements made by CryoSat, these have been calibrated by comparing them to measurements made on the ice surface by scientists including Laxon; by planes flying beneath the satellite’s orbit; and by data supplied by underwater sonar stations that have analysed ice thickness at selected places in the Arctic. “We can now say with confidence that CryoSat’s maps of ice thickness are correct to within 10cm,” Laxon added.

Laxon also pointed out that the rate of ice loss in winter was much slower than that in summer. “That suggests that, as winter starts, ice is growing more rapidly than it did in the past and that this effect is compensating, partially, for the loss of summer ice.” Overall, the trend for ice coverage in Arctic is definitely downwards, particularly in summer, however – a point recently backed by Professor Peter Wadham, who this year used aircraft and submarine surveys of ice sheets to make estimates of ice volume loss. These also suggest major reductions in the volume of summer sea ice, around 70% over the past 30 years.

“The Arctic is particularly vulnerable to the impact of global warming,” said Rapley. “Temperatures there are rising far faster than they are at the equator. Hence the shrinking of sea-ice coverage we have observed. It is telling us that something highly significant is happening to Earth. The weather systems of the planet are interconnected so what happens in the high latitudes affects us all.”

Marc Bekoff,  Psychology Today, August 10, 2012

Every now and again I receive an email message I ignore after reading the subject line. I know I’m not alone in following this rule of thumb, but today I broke down and opened a message the subject line of which read “Scientists Declare: Nonhuman Animals Are Conscious“. I honestly thought it was a joke, likely from one of my favorite newspapers, The Onion. However, it wasn’t.

My colleague Michael Mountain published a summary of a recent meeting held in Cambridge, England at which “Science leaders have reached a critical consensus: Humans are not the only conscious beings; other animals, specifically mammals and birds, are indeed conscious, too.” At this gathering, called The Francis Crick Memorial Conference, a number of scientists presented evidence that led to this self-obvious conclusion. It’s difficult to believe that those who have shared their homes with companion animals didn’t already know this. And, of course, many renowned and award-winning field researchers had reached the same conclusion years ago (see also).

A 5 1/2-year-old chimpanzee named Ayumu performs a memory test with randomly-placed consecutive Arabic numerals, which are later masked, accurately duplicating the lineup on a touch screen computer. Chimps could memorise the nine numerals much faster and more accurately than human adults.

Michael Mountain was as incredulous as I and many others about something we already knew. It’s interesting to note that of the 15 notables who spoke at this conference only one has actually done studies of wild animals. It would have been nice to hear from researchers who have conducted long-term studies of wild animals, including great apes, other nonhuman primates, social carnivores, cetaceans, rodents, and birds, for example, to add to the database. Be that as it may, I applaud their not so surprising conclusion and now I hope it will be used to protect animals from being treated abusively and inhumanely.

Some might say we didn’t really know that other animals were conscious but this is an incredilby naive view given what we know about the neurobiology and cognitive and emotional lives of other animals. Indeed, it was appeals to these very data that led to the conclusions of this group of scientists. But did we really need a group of internationally recognized scientists to tell us that thedata are really okay?  Yes and no, but let’s thank them for doing this.

I agree with Michael Mountain that “It’s a really important statement that will be used as evidence by those who are pushing for scientists to develop a more humane relationship with animals. It’s harder, for example, to justify experiments on nonhumans when you know that they are conscious beings and not just biological machines. Some of the conclusions reached in this declaration are the product of scientists who, to this day, still conduct experiments on animals in captivity, including dolphins, who are among the most intelligent species on Earth. Their own declaration will now be used as evidence that it’s time to stop using these animals in captivity and start finding new ways of making a living.”

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

The scientists went as far as to write up what’s called The Cambridge Decalration on Consciousness that basically declares that this prominent international group of scientists agree that “Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.” They could also have included fish, for whom the evidence supporting sentience and consciousness is also compelling (see also).

So, what are we going to do with what we know (and have known)?

It’s fair to ask what are these scientists and others going to do now that they agree that consicousness is widespread in the animal kingdom. We know, for example, that mice, rats, and chickens display empathy but this knowledge hasn’t been factored into the Federal Animal Welfare Act in the United States.

I’m frankly astounded that these data and many other findings about animal cognition and animal emotions have been ignored by those who decide on regulations about the use and abuse of other animals. However, the Treaty of Lisbon, passed by member states of the European Union that went into force on December 1, 2009, recognizes that “In formulating and implementing the Union’s agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies, the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage.”

Let’s applaud The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness and The Treaty of Lisbon and work hard to get animals the protection from invasive research and other forms of abuse, in many cases horriifically inhumane, they deserve.

Some recent essays I’ve written point out that there still are some people who feel comfortable killing individuals who they call “unneeded” or “surplus” animals and at least one animal welfarist, Oxford University’s Marian Dawkins, continued as of a few months ago to claim we still don’t know if other animals are conscious and that we should “remain skeptical and agnostic [about consciousness] … Militantly agnostic if necessary, because this keeps alive the possibility that a large number of species have some sort of conscious experiences … For all we know, many animals, not just the clever ones and not just the overtly emotional ones, also have conscious experiences.”

Perhaps what I call “Dawkins’ Dangerous Idea” will now finally be shelved given the conclusions of the Cambridge gathering. I frankly don’t see how anyone who has worked closely with any of a wide array of animals or who lives with a companion animal(s) could remain uncertain and agnostic about whether they are conscious.

It’s said that repetition is boring conversation but there’s now a wealth of scientific data that makes skepticism, and surely agnosticism, to be anti-science and harmful to animals. Now, at last, the prestigious Cambridge group shows this to be so. Bravo for them! So, let’s all work together to use this information to stop the abuse of millions upon millions of conscious animals in the name of science, education, food, amusement and entertainment, and clothing. We really owe it to them to use what we know on their behalf and to factor compassion and empathy into our treatment of these amazing beings.

By Usnea, Earth First! Journal,  2011

I state without fear—but with the hope of rallying our collective courage—that I support radical actions. I support tools like industrial sabotage, monkey wrenching machinery and strategic arson. The Earth’s situation is dire. If other methods are not enough, we must not allow concerns about property rights to stop us from protecting the land, sea, and air. Today, more than ever, the Earth needs our effective action using all the methods of resistance at our disposal. Radical actions and radical movements grow out of supportive cultures. Let us once again build a strong supportive base for them.

Don’t get me wrong. During the Green Scare, in which dozens of activists  were incarcerated, our movement got seriously screwed with, and we   have had some extremely hard times because of the outstanding repression   we have faced for the last six years. I want to remember that we were   targeted by the powers that be because we were effective. Not only was EF! a growing force with which the state and corporations were fearful to reckon, but also that other more radical affinities were being   forged in our communities.
To state it clearly, ELF actions came out of our communities and shared struggles. The FBI knows that. Its been said in court by their officers. Its been written in their documents. Instead of shying away from that, let’s say it proudly. We already face major repression. Pretending that is not the case does nothing but mislead new folks and create more fear. Let me say it again: the majority of underground ecological actions that took   place over the last decades grew out of our movements that were supportive of them. Our movements were the incubator.

Are you disheartened that there are less radical actions attacking the root causes of the ecological crisis? Me too. So let’s take one effective, tangible step towards changing that by openly celebrating all tools in the box.

However, when celebrating, we should be mindful of practical lessons of security culture learned from the Green Scare. The best practical advice in celebrating sabotage is to publicly celebrate, but not to publicly incite. Inciting is illegal. For example, yelling, “The logging trucks are coming, everybody get into the road, block it, and then firebomb the fucker!” Not so smart.

But, it is not illegal, for example, to get excited around the camp fire, stand up, and read a particularly eloquent communiqué out loud while others clap, cheer, and celebrate how the bad guys got their asses kicked that round. It is not illegal to talk about how awesome the blockade and sabotage was (in the hilarious communiqué below, for example) and say proudly that you wish there were more like it. And, it should not be illegal to openly support and generally advocate the use of incendiary devices. But please note, there are no promises in love and eco-war; the state and its courts have proven over the years that if they want you bad enough, universal human rights of speech and expression may not matter. A friendly lawyer checked this part of this article out and agreed that the do’s and dont’s listed here are indeed the case.

With that all said, I propose that EF! gets back to openly and publicly celebrating radical, underground tactics, in our songs, our stories, our Journal, and on our T-shirts (anyone remember the one that read: I torched Vail, ask me why).

ELF arson attack on Vail, Colorado ski lodge, October 18, 1998. The lodge was built on clear-cut forest and prime lynx habitat.

If there is a knock on your door by the agents of state repression (supposedly because of your undying, unabashed support of pouring abrasive compounds into gas tanks, loosening bolts that hold up power lines, or smashing computers at your local biotech facility.) So what. Yep, just more evidence, that we live in a police state. Let’s use that knock as a springboard to organize stronger and more effective resistance to state harassment.

And a quick note about security culture, because I feel like our movement has gotten way off track with that subject. Security culture is the building of awareness intended to keep one safe from repression. It is essentially a set of guidelines on how to live in an active resistance movement where individuals may or may not be breaking the law, and minimize risks of the state cracking down on us. It is not a bunch of paranoid random rituals or estranged superstitions, nor is it folks being alienating to new people or a way to act cool and superior. It is, in fact, a whole bunch of behaviors and, for lack of a better phrase, social protocols—which are always evolving—for how to behave in order to keep yourself, and everyone else you interact with, safer. It is something that should be done so fluidly that most of the time, others don’t even know you are doing it. And when eventually it is needed for you to “call someone out” you will do it in a way that makes them feel all the more welcomed and a part of a learning movement, as opposed to alienated and even more unsure as to how to act responsibly, right?

Perhaps the most damaging events from the Green Scare are behind us. But the brunt of the cleanup and lessons we still must learn lie ahead. The Green Scare cracked some of the foundations of our movement leaving us unstable and, in my opinion, in desperate need of shoring up.

One of the reasons I think our movement continues to get smaller and smaller is because we have, out of fear, limited and censored ourselves. Our support of radical direct action is one of the main things that made us unique. There are no other groups like us around; no other above ground ecological activist group that vocally supports, unabashedly and un- apologetically, the use of every tool in the tool box to take down this fucked up system and hopefully save what little we have left, so that it can recover from the plague of industrial civilization.

Long live the Earth Liberation Front!

Yours for the rev, —USNEA (ALSO KNOWN AS EMMA “COME AND GET ME, FUCKERS” MURPHY-ELLIS)

P.S. Since its not illegal, I wanted to share some excerpts from a communiqué that was sent out October 13, 2008, after the Canadian Pacific Railway sabotage took place. Pass it along! Share it with friends! Enjoy!
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“In an attempt to cause a shitload of economic damage to the infrastructure of the CP rail main-line, we cut down two telephone poles across the tracks just to the north of their main intermodal yard outside Toronto. A pile of fallen trees was ignited with gasoline across the tracks, and we molotov’d one of those weird grey box things that look pretty important and are full of electrical shit. We also tied copper wire across the tracks to signal the blockage so no one would get hurt. That was way more exciting than a turkey dinner!

…For us the Spirit Train is every train, they’re all spread- ing “Olympic spirit,” or more like the spirit of capitalism: construction materials, military equipment, useless consumer products, tourists…

Fuck it all. Every ride on the rails is a ride for the same invasion that’s been goin on since the railway was built to colonize this whole place. This rail system has been developed and is utilized to serve our exploiters and enemies. As long as the exploiters exist, infrastructure will always be their weapon. So we wanna destroy it all… their railway, highways, cameras, telecommunications, it’s all serving the masters and their police. We’re not interested in expressing our dissatisfaction at a symbolic part of the problem. We want to actually dismantle the whole system and hit these cracker-ass-capitalists where it hurts. It’s not just the Spirit Train; it’s every train, the tracks and the social structure they maintain!
This is solidarity with all the comrades raisin’ hell wherever they live. Keep the struggle burning locally, and your solidarity reaches globally. This chaos was for the warriors everywhere who are still facing charges for their involvement in acts of resistance quite like this one. It don’t matter how hard they come down on us cause there are too many of us waiting to explode. Let’s show’em what we can do and aim for our actual objective! … Every train—stopped, every track—untied, every jail—destroyed!”

Yet another concession from the vivisection-industrial complex that militant direct action (MDA) tactics (liberation, sabotage, and intimidation) have been all too effective weapons against them. As reported in the UK blog, Animal Warfare:

“An article in the Guardian about 2 activists convicted of peaceful protest and free expression reveal some interesting admissions from those inside the vivisection industry – old school animal rights tactics work! While many peoples response will be ‘no shit’, it is a point worth re-emphasising as the movement becomes increasingly pacifistic in the UK.

The Guardian reports that `In 1981 there were 34 companies breeding laboratory animals. Today there are just three because of activists’ intimidation of staff and of companies supplying services and products to laboratories.’

This is confirmed by Andy Cunningham, a Harlan manager who admits `Part of the overall reduction in company numbers has involved consolidation of businesses, but there is no doubt that intimidation has led to the closure of many other companies.’

Replace ‘intimidation’ with ‘robust protest’ and they are totally right! The animal rights movement has the formula for success. While we must adapt to the changing legal framework we must not abandon the time-tested methodology.

We must focus our energy and get back to old school animal rights. But focus on what? Professor Roger Morris, head of bioscience at King’s College London gives us a clue `We are now down to our last three major breeders in the UK. We can manage with that, but if we lose another we will be in a very uncomfortable situation.'”

Here are some more juicy confessions:

“Because of terrorist acts by animal activists, crucial research projects have been delayed or scrapped. More and more of the scarce dollars available to research are spent on heightened security and higher insurance rates. Promising young scientists are rejecting careers in research. Top-notch researchers are getting out of the field.” Susan Paris, president of the pro-vivisection group Americans for Medical Progress

“Where the direct, collateral, and indirect effects of incidents [of sabotage] are factored together, the ALF’s professed tactic of ‘economic sabotage’ can be considered successful, and its objectives, at least toward the victimized facility, fulfilled.” Report to Congress on Animal Enterprise Terrorism

“[Militant direct action tactics are] changing the kind of work people will do in the future. If students come to me interested in primate research, I would tell them to think about other things.”UCLA vivisector, Dario Ringach, who reluctantly abandoned nonhuman primate research in 2006 after relentless ALF attacks on his colleagues.

So next time a pacifist tells you that MDA “doesn’t work” and is “counter-productive,” tell them where to shove their ignorant, treacherous lies.

In the August 2, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, noted environment writer Bill McKibben published a must-read piece of great importance. McKibben cuts through reams of complexity to find the simple math that determines the accelerating rate of climate change, what the threshold point is, and how the current global corporate-state plan is to exceed it. Whatever the flaws in his liberal politics or limitation of his proposed solution to the mother of all problem, McKibben deftly shows how urgent a crisis climate change really is.

Some highlights from the article:

“The official position of planet Earth at the moment is that we can’t raise the temperature more than two degrees Celsius – it’s become the bottomest of bottom lines. Two degrees….”

“Since we’ve increased the Earth’s temperature by 0.8 degrees so far, we’re currently less than halfway to the target. But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere. That means we’re already three-quarters of the way to the two-degree target.”

“With only a single year’s lull in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, we’ve continued to pour record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, year after year…carbon emissions will keep growing by roughly three percent a year – and at that rate, we’ll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance [before crossing the tipping point of 2 degrees Celcius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) average global temperature rise] in 16 years, around the time today’s preschoolers will be graduating from high school. `The new data provide further evidence that the door to a two-degree trajectory is about to close’, said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist. In fact, he continued, `When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of about six degrees.’ That’s almost 11 degrees Fahrenheit, which would create a planet straight out of science fiction.”

“We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We’d have to keep 80 percent of those reserves  locked away underground to avoid that fate. Before we knew those numbers, our  fate had been likely. Now, barring some massive intervention, it seems certain.”

“The three numbers I’ve described are daunting — they may define an essentially impossible future. But at least they provide  intellectual clarity about the greatest challenge humans have ever faced. We know how much we can burn, and we know who’s planning to burn more.”

“What all these climate numbers make painfully, usefully clear is that the planet  does indeed have an enemy – one far more committed to action than governments or  individuals. Given this hard math, we need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a  new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on  Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary  civilization.”

“Climate change operates on a geological scale and time frame, but it’s not an impersonal force of nature; the more carefully you do the math, the more thoroughly you realize that this is, at bottom, a moral issue; we have met the enemy and they is Shell.”

“I can say with some confidence that we’re losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in.”

Another salient sign of a possible turning point in the climate change debate that relegates the denialists to the flat-earth society. The time for debate should be over, the time for action is urgent and now.

***********************************************

Michael E. Mann, The Daily Climate, August 6, 2012

James Hansen’s latest findings linking extreme weather to climate change is science society cannot afford to ignore.

The first scientist to alert Americans to the prospect that human-caused climate change and global warming was already upon us was NASA climatologist James Hansen. In a sweltering Senate hall during the hot, dry summer of 1988, Hansen announced that “it is time to stop waffling…. The evidence is pretty strong that the [human-amplified] greenhouse effect is here.”

I was a young graduate student researching the importance of natural – rather than human-caused – variations in temperature, and I felt that the “signal” of human-caused climate change had not yet emerged from the “noise” of natural, long-term climate variation. As I discuss in my book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, scientists by their very nature tend to be conservative, even reticent, when it comes to discussing findings and observations that lie at the forefront of our understanding and that aren’t yet part of the “accepted” body of scientific knowledge.

Dire warning

Hansen, it turns out, was right, and the critics were wrong. Rather than being reckless, as some of his critics charged, his announcement to the world proved to be prescient – and his critics were proven overly cautious.

Given the prescience of Hansen’s science, we would be unwise to ignore his latest, more dire warning.

In a paper published today in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hansen and two colleagues argue convincingly that climate change is now not only upon us, but in fact we are fully immersed in it. Much of the extreme weather we have witnessed in recent years almost certainly contains a human-induced component.

Hansen, in his latest paper, shows that the increase in probability of hot summers due to global warming is such that what was once considered an unusually hot summer has now become typical, and what was once considered typical will soon become a thing of the past – a summer too improbably cool to anymore expect.

We need to view this summer’s extreme weather in this wider context.

Not random

It is not simply a set of random events occurring in isolation, but part of a broader emerging pattern. We are seeing, in much of the extreme weather we are experiencing, the “loading of the weather dice.” Over the past decade, records for daily maximum high temperatures in the U.S. have been broken at twice the rate we would expect from chance alone. Think of this as rolling double sixes twice as often as you’d expect – something you would readily notice in a high stakes game of dice. Thus far this year, that ratio is close to 10 to 1.  That’s double sixes coming up ten times as often as you expect.

So the record-breaking heat this summer over so much of the United States, where records that have stood since the Dust Bowl years of the 1930s are now dropping like flies, isn’t just a fluke of nature; it is the loading of the weather dice playing out in real time.

The record heat – and the dry soils associated with it – played a role in the unprecedented forest fires that wrought death and destruction in Colorado and New Mexico. It played a role in the hot and bone-dry conditions over the nation’s breadbasket that has decimated U.S. agricultural yields. It played a role in the unprecedented 50 percent of the U.S. finding itself in extreme drought.

Other threats

Climate change is also threatening us in other ways of course, subjecting our coastal cities to increased erosion and inundation from rising sea level, and massive flooding events associated with an atmosphere that has warmed by nearly 2˚F, holding roughly 4 percent more water vapor than it used to – water vapor that is available to feed flooding rains when atmospheric conditions are right.

The state of Oklahoma became the hottest state ever with last summer’s record heat. It is sadly ironic that the state’s senior senator, Republican James Inhofe, has dismissed human-caused climate change as the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Just last week he insisted that concern over the impacts of climate change has “completely collapsed.” This as Oklahoma City has just seen 18 days in a row over 100˚F (with more predicted to follow), Tulsa saw 112˚F Sunday, and 11 separate wildfires are burning in the state, with historic Route 66 and other state highways and interstates all closed.

The time for debate about the reality of human-caused climate change has now passed. We can have a good faith debate about how to deal with the problem – how to reduce future climate change and adapt to what is already upon us to reduce the risks that climate change poses to society. But we can no longer simply bury our heads in the sand.

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