The SCOC's Historic Tsilhqot'in Decision Granted Aboriginal Tiltle Plus Rights and Responsibilities

Chief Francis Laceese, of the Tl'esqox First Nation, who still oppose the NGP after the SCOC Tsilhqot'in decision

i live in B.C.. Two days ago was a day of celebration among everyone i know because of the historic unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada [SCOC] about the granting of aboriginal title to the Tsilhqot'in people. Then yesterday a more 'sober' attitude caused me to remember that rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin. After spending hours yesterday reading the opinions of legal experts, politicians, environmentalists, industry spokespeople, investment analysts and just plain folks, i went to bed with my mind muddled and my questions multiplied.

The ruling, according to legal experts, is historic in terms of First Nations land title and their future financial compensation for resource extraction and jobs for their peoples. This is very important as so many First Nations throughout Canada live in 3rd world conditions [or worse] despite the fact the lands they traditionally have lived on for centuries are so abundant in natural resources.

However the ruling, according the experts does not give First Nations a 'veto' over development on their lands. The government can still bypass the consent of First Nations to any project, including the Northern Gateway Project "by establishing a pressing and substantial public purpose" which is exactly what the Harper regime will do in each and every court case.

Yes the ruling does mean that First Nations will be compensated for the value of the imposition on their 'rights' [think Eminent Domain] but that's all it means in terms of environmental protection. In the Tsilhqot'in decision the SCOC defined not just the rights we were jubilantly celebrating but also some of the responsibilities on the other side of the coin. As i went to bed last night after trying to assemble a coherent picture of all this i realized i was still muddled.

This morning it became clearer that my BIG question is: Can First Nations [ceded or un-ceded land, new decision type of title or not] say NO to things like pipelines on the grounds of long term devastation to the biosphere or must they, like in the case of Eminent domain in the US, grant an easement then negotiate a compensation package based on the monetary 'market' value of the imposition?

The Supreme Court's ruling on the Tsilhqot'in case makes clear that this new aboriginal title does not give a band a veto on development. Governments must notify and consult bands whose rights may be infringed upon, and try to meaningfully accommodate the concerns. The bands must negotiate to reasonably resolve their concerns.

What about the Wet'suwet'en people, and many others, who never signed a treaty [unceded lands], who don't, as of now, have this type of Aboriginal title to their traditional lands but vow to keep all pipelines off their land? The Supreme Court stated, "the provincial or federal government can only pass laws impacting on lands under Aboriginal title if it shows a compelling and substantial benefit to the general public." But what about the Wet'suwet'en people's blockade? How about the many other First Nations living on unceded lands not covered by this new Aboriginal title who strenuously oppose the plans of developers [think Site C, LNG/fracking, forestry, mining, etc], who have stated numerous times they have no intent to permit the destruction of the web of life that supports us all on their traditional lands regardless of environmental protection or mitigation efforts?

The environmental destruction war up here in B.C. is far from over. One important battle for First Nations rights has been won, but that's all. First Nations have been being screwed for a long time up here. As of a couple days ago, they are now less screwed financially, but the biosphere is just as endangered, maybe more so, than it was before the ruling. IMO, most First Nations have been fighting for their traditional integrated biosphere worldview, for the web of life that supports us all, not compensation. But that's most, not all. First Nations are just people, they have different views, like all of us, they live under different conditions and pressures. The  Tsilhqot'in leaders, for instance have talked almost exclusively about the compensation due them and the third world conditions that their people and so many other First Nations live under and how this ruling will change that.

Below are some interesting quotes that, IMO, show how this 'clear and consise' ruling, like all human utterances, is being interpreted through the worldviews of the interpreters. Of course, i too chose those quotes that resonate best with my often muddled worldview.

“This [decision] gives them the right to determine, subject to the inherent limits of group title held for future generations, the uses to which the land is put and to enjoy its economic fruits, wrote McLachlin in a decision joined unanimously by seven other judges.
McLachlin rooted her definition of Aboriginal title in the oldest of legal authorities, the English common law, and its equation of ownership with general occupancy of the land:" which says "A general occupant at common law is a person asserting possession of land over which no one else has a present interest or with respect to which title is uncertain.” - Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun

"The court established strict environmental rules that aboriginal groups and the government can do nothing to harm land for future generations. She said that in cases where aboriginal consultation on projects is in question, the government may be required to begin those processes over." - West Coast Environmental Law attorney Jessica Clogg

"The Supreme Court's unanimous ruling that governments must consult in good faith on proposed uses of aboriginal lands that could impair aboriginal rights will apply to decisions by all levels of government on major resource projects. The court also said governments may have to reassess prior conduct and legislation, which could prompt court challenges of past government actions, including controversial 2012 amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the Navigable Waters Protection Act." - Jean Crowder, aboriginal affairs critic for the New Democratic Party in the Canadian Parliament. 

"All of which raises an interesting question. If we are agreed to constitutionally protect the property rights of some Canadians, why do we shrink from doing the same for others? Recall that the same Constitution that entrenched aboriginal rights, from which we now see derived aboriginal title, declined to protect the right to own property - a right that is also founded in common law, and that is often spelled out in statute, but was deemed unworthy of constitutional entrenchment. Like aboriginal title, the right to property is not absolute: In the constitutions of other countries, it is typically expressed as the right not to be deprived of one's property except by due process of law, and with just compensation. And yet at the time it was considered expendable. It would be too costly to have to compensate property holders for infringing on their rights. It would be inconvenient." - Andrew Coyne, The Leader Post, Regina


Joy in Mudville, Canadian Supreme Court Grants Title to the Tsilhqot'in Nation in Historic Case

Chief Roger William of Xeni Gwet'in speaks about the SCOC decision on aboriginal land title 

First Nations leaders were jubilant and more than a bit surprised this morning by the clarity and scope of the Supreme Court of Canada's precedent setting decision today recognizing an aboriginal title claim to land for which there is no treaty - land that was never ceded. Most First Nations communities in B.C. never signed treaties or land agreements, but the band argued it could claim title because the band has traditionally occupied the land since before European settlers arrived.

The unanimous ruling, written by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, also said all economic projects on traditional Aboriginal territories will now require “consent” as well as consultation before they proceed. Reacting to the decision Thursday, Tsilhqot'in Nation Chief Roger William [pictured above] said, "Once the first people of this country have title, then only good things are going to come. We have come from our land, we come from our people, from our history. We are part of the land."

The Vancouver Sun's article 'Landmark Supreme Court ruling grants land title to B.C. First Nation' says, "A room full of surprised veteran B.C. Aboriginal leaders erupted in “cheers and tears” after the Supreme Court of Canada, in the most important aboriginal rights case in the country’s history, ruled that the Tsilhqot’in First Nation has title 1,750 square kilometres of land in south central B.C."

Aboriginal title isn't absolute, but the ruling means agriculture, forestry, mining, and hydroelectric or pipeline development proposed for the area will require consent from the Tsilhqot'in Nation. One of the lawyers who worked on the Tsilhqot'in case, David Rosenberg, of Woodward and Company Lawyers, said, "This is a majorly important precedent with far-reaching implications for other First Nations."

Congratulations are rolling in from First Nations and environmental groups all across Canada and beyond. Everyone, including the mr. mud, understands the huge difference between the words 'consultation' and 'consent'. Before today's decision the governments and industry simply had to have some meaningless meeting with a First Nation and claim that as the required consultation, which is what they did time and time again, to fulfill their legal obligations was met. Now, it's a new ballgame.

For sure the Harper government, the provincial governments and corporate 'developers' will be using every type of bribery and every lie they can think of to convince First Nations to grant their consent on all the present controversial projects in western Canada, including the Northern Gateway, the Kinder-Morgan Expansion, Site C and B.C.'s fracking/LNG nightmare. But given the strong opposition of First Nations groups who now have the right to title and control of lands that each of this projects requires to proceed, this is a great day for trillions of living creatures, for the future non-renewable fresh water resources, or the air we all breathe and the futures of our children and grandchildren.

Of course, the war isn't over, but it sure feels good to win even one battle for a change. The billionaires and their corrupted government lackeys won't just quit, they'll wiggle and squirm and try other tactics. The already fast paced expansion of 'pipelines by rail' will quicken, so will the movement of tar sands crud and other heavy oils by truck and the pipelines that go directly from Alberta to the U.S. on existing rights of way will be expanded as fast as possible.

As Adam Brandt, an energy expert at Stanford University, pointed out recently, “With growing global demand, the economic pressure to develop unconventional resources is enormous and not going away. Can environmental groups expect to win a series of fights for decades to come, when the economic forces are aligned very strongly against them in each round? The answer is obvious: no. The emphasis should be on demand, not supply."

This morning my inbox was alive with perhaps more enthusiasm and joy from every quarter than ever before. So today there's joy in Mudville because we're all - flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and faeries - in this together. And untold trillions of our cousins will live another while in harmony with the Great Mother of us all.


Fracking Protestors Don't Need Secret Russian Conspiracies to Empower Them, They Have Facts

Ya gotta hand it to the dis-information folks in the fossil fuel industry, this time they've managed to fill the rightwing media with ridiculous stories that say the evil Russians are orchestrating the worldwide. anti-fracking protests. In case you haven't heard about it, two days ago the out-going Secretary-general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen,  said it was his personal opinion that the Russian government was secretly working with green organisations to paint the process of extracting shale gas in a bad light and that, "that he believes Russia is working with environmental groups to oppose fracking developments in Europe, so that countries stay hooked on Russia’s gas supply."

Of course, the claim has sparked ridicule from environmentalists who know full well that outrage against fracking, the fossil fuel industry's latest scheme to get rich by destroying the biosphere, needs no support beyond common sense. Rasmussen offered zero proof of his claims and Greenpeace, the major focus of Rasmussen's dis-information statement that Russia is involved in a secret anti-fracking plot, says, “The idea we’re puppets of Putin is so preposterous that you have to wonder what they’re smoking over at NATO HQ,” a Greenpeace spokesman said,. "Mr Rasmussen should spend less time dreaming up conspiracy theories and more time on the facts.”

The story has grown like a California brush fire throughout the fracking friendly media. Some now saying that, "Russian secret agents have infiltrated Greenpeace and other campaign groups to co-ordinate the war against fracking, it has been alleged. The Kremlin's distaste for shale gas fracking is not down to a keenly-felt concern for its environmental impact. It is pure economics, born from a desire to keep Europe dependent on gas imports from Moscow." [notice the lawyerly use of 'alleged'].

Methane bubbling up through to the surface through the fractured geologic structure that contained it before fracking destroyed that containment.

The last couple of weeks The Mud Report has focused on the fracking facts in detail complete with links to peer reviewed scientific studies from the world's leading researchers about the existential dangers that this short-sighted, stupid scheme poses. In short, fracking's abuse of our globe's limited and non-renewable fresh water resources, it's release of fugitive methane emissions from both drilling and geological fracture into groundwater and it's deleterious impact on the people and environment make the fracking industry and the corrupt governments who genuflect at its alter the 'Real Terrorists'.

The fossil fuel industry knows that studies by scientists maybe true but they are inconvenient hurdles that must be neutralized in the minds of consumers lest they begin to question the system that's delivering their world consuming exceptional lifestyles. Questioning by consumers must be avoided above all, and what better way to avoid those questions than to blame the evil Russians.

As one commentor wrote, "Drilling holes in the earth and using explosives to destroy sub-strata to release coveted fossil fuel located thousands of feet down? What could go wrong? The science is well-proven? Like all science, there are assumptions that are made based upon risk-reward modeling. I suggest that there are many more outcomes and consequences to fracking than the energy companies and regulators are willing to admit. It's against their best financial interests to do so. It's why tobacco companies maintained smoking was safe for years...until the mountain of evidence was so great, and the pool of retrievable monies so great, that the lawyers changed their allegiances to where they could reap their next class action pot of gold."

IMO, the worldwide fracking outrage is based solely on the ability of everyday people to study and learn for themselves what the truth is about any and every issue. The capitalist democratic governments can't be trusted, they are all on the corporate payroll. The authoritarian, totalitarian governments [including Russia] can't be trusted either. The corporate media is totally controlled by their owners [though by reading a very wide spectrum of their bullshit a person can often find by 'telemetry' a few bits of content that slipped through here and there, then, by accumulating those bits and following them by personal investigation, find answers to their questions].


The Enbridge Pipeline Divide is More Than Politics, it's Individual Self-Interest vs. The Web of Life

Protestors in Vancouver yesterday supporting the 'Web of Life'

In the last couple days since the Harper regime, as expected by all observers, gave Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project the thumbs up i've been watching and reading the responses by as many people as possible from both sides of this great divide. My conclusion is that this divide is deeply philosophical in nature. We all see and except those things that fit into our worldview and efficiently filter out everything that doesn't. i realize, at least intellectually, that this must be the truth in my case as well as everyone else's on both sides of the pipeline divide.That said, the divide between supporters of the Northern Gateway Project [NGP] and the opponents seems to broadly be defined by two very basic and almost totally opposite worldviews.

Time after time i've heard/read supporters give the same sort of answer when asked why they support the project. Basically it boils down to: We all have the lifestyles and comforts we enjoy because of the sale of natural resources. There are a few deviations, some supporters will say "God given natural resources" or "we all need jobs and growth". After listening/reading at least a hundred supporters' answers, from my perspective, every one of them is saying that their, and their family's, economic well being is the paradigm through which they view the question. This paradigm is totally understandable both because in an evolutionary and survival sense without that focus our ancestors would have been saber-tooth tiger chow and the fact that even in today's saber-tooth tiger challenged times, up to a point [needs not wants], our individual and family survival depends on having enough food, fuel, shelter to live.

From the opponents group, of which i am a proud member, the answer to the same query boils down to: Our existence, individual, familial and as a species is totally dependent on the web of life that underlies and supports us. That without the immeasurable and unaccounted for services that the web of life provides for us and every other part of the planet, economics is meaningless. Opponents' answers might deviate a bit too, some will say that if consumer driven extractive capitalism paid the full costs of its dastardly actions instead of being allowed to externalize them onto every species present and future there would be no debate about consumer comfort, any and all activity beyond that needed for survival would be recognized as the suicide it is.

So, IMO, when First Nations and other NGP pipeline opponents say "This Means War" they are talking about a far deeper 'war' than a political one. Yesterday Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, who is president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told reporters and a huge crowd in downtown Vancouver that people are prepared to go to jail over this fight, "because that’s what it’s going to take. It’s official. The war is on,” Mr. Phillip told the crowd, rallying them to a path of protest ahead against the $7.9-billion pipeline between the Alberta oil sands and the B.C. coast. “There will be the need to go out onto the land and onto the waters and physically stop any effort on the part of Enbridge to do preparatory work, site preparation, surveying while this matter is in the courts,” said Mr. Phillip.“Some of us here are going to jail because that’s what it’s going to take.”

"We will defend our territories whatever the costs may be", said the alliance of 31 First Nations in their press release. And Mr. Mud is with them in body and spirit. i'll do everything i possibly can in word and deed to support the web life that this idiotic, short-sighted, self-centered scheme represents. But along with that i'll understand that Harper and all those others who support this scheme do so because that's how they honestly see the world. Harper represents a worldview opponents consider suicidal because we are all in this together.

When Harper stands up in Parliament and says his government's approval of the NGP is in accordance with the 'independent and scientific' review panel's recommendations he sees no contradiction because he and his fellow believers chose the panel members by choosing the bureaucrats that were tasked with choosing the individuals on the panel. Harper sees no contradiction to calling the panel's conclusions scientific just because he received a letter signed by over 300 hundred of scientists from around the world urging Harper and his government to reject a federal panel report from universities across Canada - Newfoundland to Vancouver Island -  along with colleagues from international institutions including Stanford, Cornell and Oxford.

Harper 'believes' that the world and its resources were put here by his "God" for the use of the chosen few. Harper 'believes' that we can do no lasting or meaningful harm to the biosphere because his "God" says so. i 'believe' Harper and those who agree with him are deluded and very dangerous to all of us humans and every living thing we share fair Gaia with.


Jessica Ernst's Lawsuit Against EnCana + Alberta Govt. a Battle for Every Canadian's Charter Rights

Jessica Ernst on her land in Rosebud Alberta

Every Canadian resident owes their gratitude to landowner Jessica Ernst for standing up to EnCana and the Alberta government's regulators over the contamination of the water on her property in Rosebud Alberta. As her excellent and informative website explains, the landmark $33-million lawsuit alleges that industry activity including the hydraulic fracturing of shallow coal seams between 2001 and 2004 in central Alberta contaminated local aquifers with methane, making Ernst's water flammable.

For those who don't know much about Jessica's ongoing 6 year battle with Encana and the Alberta regulators, the timeline and details of her suit on her website are very educational, especially for others considering taking on the fossil fuel industry and its bought and paid for governments. Jessica's lawsuit isn't unique, hundreds of groups and individuals including first nations and local governments have launched suits before. In almost every case the lawyers representing the fossil fuel giants found some dubious arcane detail that the courts found in favor of.

But never before has the government itself intervened to successfully claim that their regulators were exempt from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada or the Bill of Rights in the U.S. But last year, Alberta's Chief Justice Neil Wittmann dismissed the claim against the Alberta energy regulator for negligence and breach of Charter of Rights.on the grounds that a statutory immunity clause excepted it from civil action and Charter claims. Ernst's lawyer Murray Klippenstein argued that no government or province can legislate themselves out of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights, on which Ernst's claim is based. He called the Charter "the supreme law of the land."

Isn't the reason why citizens in democracies have bills and charters of RIGHTS to defend themselves against the tyranny of their own governments? Of course, Jessica has supporters throughout the legal community including Ecojustice and Unanima International who named Jessica Woman of Courage for 2011. In addition, Jessica has the unanimous support of the environmental community - you know, all those of us that Harpo and his asshole henchmen like Joe Oliver call 'terrorists'. The Mud Report's last post asked, 'Who Are the Real Terrorists? The People Protecting the Land or the Fossil Fuel Corporations and Govt.?' From Jessica's story, the answer is clear.

But just to make the point about RIGHTS perfectly clear, today's headlines in The Calgary Herald '‘National disgrace’ explains that the Harpo regime, in response to Alberta First Nations suing the Harper government over drinking water, has broken it's promise and legislated liability protection for the government if citizens get sick or die from drinking water in an attempt to preempt the courts from ruling in favor of the First Nations. Canada's fossil fuel corrupted governments are both a National and an International disgrace.

Everyone, Canadian or not, owes their gratitude to landowner Jessica Ernst for standing up to the fossil fuel billionaire bullies and their bought and paid for tyrants in governments worldwide. Who are the real terrorists? They are those who undermine our liberty in the service of big money, those who pollute our commons in the service of their own avarice, those who terrorize every living thing in pursuit of more money, more power, more-more-more for the exceptional few.


Who Are the Real Terrorists? The People Protecting the Land or the Fossil Fuel Corporations and Govt.?

Wet'suwet'en vow to keep all pipelines off their land

Toghestiy, a Wet'suwet'en blockader has been living at the Unist’ot’en Protest Camp beside the Morice River for over three years now. He spoke recently about the Harper and Clark governments criminalization of protest against the destruction of the scared land, water and air by attempting to label those who resist the fossil fuel corporations as terrorists. In his talk Unis’tot’en Camp member Dini Ze Toghestiy asks, "Who are the real terrorists? Certainly not the people working to protect the land."  Adding, "Indigenous land defenders are protecting their lands and communities from the terrorism of colonialism and industrial resource extraction."

The Unist’ot’en Camp is in Wet'suwet'en territory in northern BC on the route of the Pacific Trail Pipeline that threatens to bring fracked gas from the N.E. of B.C. to proposed LNG facilities around Kitimat. The Wet'suwet'en vow to keep all pipelines off their land.

Resistance to the un-natural gas industry runs coast to coast to coast in Canada, with many communities, of all types, united in solidarity on this crucial issue. "The pipeline would represent a quick dollar at the expense of destroying the land, water and people's livelihood," Unis’tot’en Camp member Dini Ze Toghestiy said. "And don't say 'natural gas.' There is nothing natural about fracking or the gas it produces."

In addition to the criminal abuse of non-renewable water that hydraulic fracturing [fracking] requires and the atmospheric destruction caused by the fugitive methane emissions that the Canadian governments refuse to study, the fracking/LNG/pipeline resistors are condemning the other health effects coming to light in recent studies as well as the legacy of toxic waste left behind by the out-of-control frackers.

Fracked Gas extraction produces a range of potentially health-endangering pollutants at nearly every stage of the process, according to a new paper by the California nonprofit Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy, in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institutes of Health. “It’s clear that the closer you are [to a fracking site], the more elevated your risk,” said lead author Seth Shonkoff, from the University of California-Berkeley. “We can conclude that this process has not been shown to be safe.”

Citing the recent research, the report continues: "Shale gas development uses organic and inorganic chemicals known to be health damaging in fracturing fluids (Aminto and Olson 2012; US HOR 2011). These fluids can move through the environment and come into contact with humans in a number of ways, including surface leaks, spills, releases from holding tanks, poor well construction, leaks and accidents during transportation of fluids, flowback and produced water to and from the well pad, and in the form of run-off during blowouts, storms, and flooding events (Rozell and Reaven 2012). Further, the mixing of these compounds under conditions of high pressure, and often, high heat, may synergistically create additional, potentially toxic compounds (Kortenkamp et al. 2007; Teuschler and Hertzberg 1995; Wilkinson 2000). Compounds found in these mixtures may pose risks to the environment and to public health through numerous environmental pathways, including water, air, and soil (Leenheer et al. 1982). [...]."

Another recent U.S. federal study found that natural gas mining pollution in rural areas can increase the incidence of congenital heart defects among babies born to mothers living near wellsites. Easy to understand considering that more than 75% of the chemicals identified are known to negatively impact the skin, eyes, and other sensory organs, the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal system, and the liver; 52% have the potential to negatively affect the nervous system; and 37% of the chemicals are candidate endocrine disrupting chemicals.

The fucking fracking boom began in earnest in 2007 in Pennsylvania. The uproar by residents about flaming water coming out of their taps and the massive increase in earthquakes began almost immediately [as did the denial by industry of their reality]. By 2009 a study by Alberta scientists Stephan Bachu and Theresa Watson found that so-called "deviated wells" (the same kind right angling used for fracturing shale gas and tight oil formations) typically experienced leakage rates as high as 60 per cent as they age. Moreover "high pressure fracturing" increased the potential to create pathways to other wells, the atmosphere and groundwater. The health implications are serious. The migration of methane or fracking fluid has repeatedly contaminated groundwater across North America.

Despite repeated industry denials, geologists have known for years that various forms of hydrocarbon production, from drilling and pumping to injecting and fracturing, can cause man-made earthquakes. Experts call the phenomenon 'induced seismicity'. In B.C. the industry, which uses three times more water and often at higher pressures than other shale gas formations, set off more than 200 quakes in the Horn River Basin between April 2009 and Dec. 2011.

The Wet'suwet'en blockaders know that as Karlis Muehlenbachs, a geochemist at the University of Alberta, says, "With hundreds of thousands of new fracking wells expected to be approved here in Canada and millions more globally, fracking contamination will get worse not better."

Destruction and pollution of the non-renewable resources essential to every life form, birth defects, fugitive methane emissions so bad that mining fracked gas is even worse than either coal or tar sands crud for our already overloaded atmosphere. Why? So an already gluttonously rich few can have more money, so that consumers can continue consuming needless crap, so that in the very near future our children and grandchildren face the prospect of obliteration. Who are the real terrorists?  The people protecting the land or the fossil fuel corporations and the corrupt governments that support them?


Headwater Initiative Project Director Bruce Hill Says "LNG dream now more like a nightmare."

Bruce Hill, Project Director at Headwaters Initiative wrote the moving and information packed letter [reprinted below] recently to The Terrace Daily. In case you haven't heard of the Headwaters Initiative, Bill or the book 'SACRED HEADWATERS' The Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass by Wade Davis, their website is very beautiful and very compelling. It begins with this descripion and call to action:

In a remote corner of northern British Columbia lies the Sacred Headwaters, a vast alpine basin that is the shared birthplace of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers. Royal Dutch Shell wants to drill more than 1,000 coalbed methane gas wells in the Sacred Headwaters, threatening communities, wildlife and wild salmon. Fortune Minerals wants to turn Mount Klappan into an open pit coal mine. Concerned citizens from around the world are calling for steps to safeguard the Sacred Headwaters from Shell and Fortune Minerals. Please join us.

Bruce Hill's letter:
Dear Sir,

Well, the provincial budget is out, and guess what – Christy Clark’s promises of BC’s debts paid off by LNG, a $100 billion legacy fund and jobs for everyone, have turned to ashes.

What she and her cabinet are actually delivering is a nightmare of monumental proportions.  The provincial budget proposes that 100 per cent of the capital costs of building any new LNG facilities will be deducted from the revenues due the owners of the resource, which is us.

Every penny Petronas, Shell, Sinopec, et. al.,  spends on LNG infrastructure gets 100 per cent subsidized by the BC taxpayer.

Instead of what she promised, a tax on revenues that would lift BC to wealth and prosperity, what she delivered is tax-free revenues to the wealthiest corporations on earth.

It gets worse.  Recent investigations show that the claim of 100,000 new jobs was the creation of consultants hurriedly hired pre-election to make up that particular fantasy, which  BC’s electorate bought, hook, line and sinker.

It gets worse.  Now it seems there are not enough skilled workers in Canada to build these plants and pipelines, and her cabinet ministers are starting to ask the feds to “relax” restrictions on hiring even more foreign workers.

Seems like everyone in Canada who has the skills to actually build pipelines, is already working. Do you think the pipes will be built with Canadian steel?

Do you really think Chinese and Malaysian tycoons give a damn about the 14 per cent of Canadian youth without jobs?

These corporations are now bitterly complaining that once they are reimbursed by BC’s taxpayers for building their own plants and pipes, the 7 per cent tax on revenue makes us uncompetitive.

So kiss the $100 billion legacy fund goodbye as well.  And by the way, the promise that BC will eliminate all its debt in a few years?  Seems real economists are calling BS on that too. It was a lie also.

And Harper, Redford, Oliver and the rest of the oil soaked crew keep insisting that this is all good for Canada, that it is in our “national interest”.

This is not some whack job  conspiracy theory.  A few weeks ago the Chinese Consul, in Alberta, speaking to the oil industry, demanded that Canada “loosen up” regulations so it’s easier for Chinese to take Canadian jobs if Canada wants continued Chinese investment.

Our kids can’t afford to rent a basement suite and Harper is ramming oil tankers down our throats.

The highest paying job in the tar sands is selling crack in Fort McMurray, and those jobs go to our highest paid foreign workers, Somali drug lords.

Welcome to Harper and Christy Clark’s Canada circa 2014. Welcome to Fort McTerrace. I wonder how good the fishing will be with 50,000 in Fort McTerrace?  Is this your vision for your hometown?

And just in case you think this is some NDP attack on conservatives – the NDP supported all this madness unequivocally in the last election – and Robin Austin criticized the Liberals for being too aggressive with the LNG industry!

The BC NDP fell all over themselves trying to out neo con the neo cons, because they were taking the largest corporate donations in their history from LNG corporations.

And our local leaders don’t really want to know about the other promise – the “cleanest LNG in the world”.

Coastal First Nations offered up a pathway to that, real and ethical investment in sustainable energy, and Shell told them to get lost. We need a rational, civil conversation on energy policy and development, however we are actually being steered in the opposite direction.

We need to be smart about how we use natural gas to build real jobs, for Canadians. We need to start acting like owners, not victims, instead of trying to liquidate our most valuable and strategic energy resources for the lowest possible prices, as quickly as possible.

And for who? To benefit mostly foreign companies? Even Barack Obama couldn’t get away with that crap, but it seems Harper and Christy Clark can. Oh Canada, who is standing on guard for thee?

Bruce Hill, Terrace, B.C.


Numerous Studies Prove That Fugitive Methane Emissions Make Fracked Gas Dirtier Than Coal

Peer-reviewed studies published in the leading scientific journals are unanimous - fugitive methane emissions from British Columbia's natural gas industry are at least 7 times greater than official numbers. DeSmog's Investigation into 'Faulty Natural Gas Emissions Reporting' shows that fugitive natural gas emissions are nearly all methane and since methane is such a powerful climate warming gas these unreported emissions mean the total CO2 equivalent emissions for the entire province are nearly 25% higher than is being reported.

The DeSmog investigation caused quite a stir including an international investigation into BC and Canada's carbon emissions which said in its conclusions, "Canada appears to have vastly underestimated fugitive emissions from gas exploration in British Colombia, putting into question its entire emissions reporting on fugitives." according to the Climate Action Tracker. In reality, actual measurements of the amount of methane escaping gas fields and pipelines in BC and Canada by the industry are rare and none are done by the the various Federal or Provincial Ministries because they'd only create bad news headlines and would make the bogus understatements by 'authorities' impossible in the future. Accordingly DeSmog's investigation was met with scorn by government spokespeople. Nonetheless, Stephen Leahy's well documented article contains numerous links to the unassailable truths that support DeSmog.

Most recently a new study, 'Methane Leakage from North American Natural Gas Systems' by researchers at Stanford University.confirms that Methane emissions are worse than the conventional wisdom would have you believe. The key take-away from the study: the EPA is likely underestimating U.S. methane emissions from natural gas by at least 50% or more. The researchers concluded that the argument that industrial-scale use of natural gas to replace coal had an advantage now has been blown out of the water.

Recent in-field measurements at two different locations in Colorado and Utah found methane leakage ranging from 4% to 9% according to a report in the science journal Nature. These numbers and others wherever measurements are taken by independent researchers are significant because most of BC's natural gas comes from unconventional fields requiring extensive hydraulic fracturing [fracking]. Natural gas only has a lower footprint than coal in energy systems where the methane leakage rate from wells, pipelines, gas plants and infrastructure is 3.2 per cent or less.

Notice too how even these numbers don't consider the huge fugitive emissions coming from the general area surrounding the fracking plays caused by the geologic disturbance that creates pathways to other wells [including drinking water], the atmosphere and groundwater. These numbers are even harder to discern because they are widespread leakage not just leakage from the hardware itself but beyond a doubt they'll only heap on more reasons why oil and gas mined by hydraulic fracturing are dirtier than coal of tar sands crud in terms of GHG emissions.

Another important study, this one by Prof. Howarth, Prof. Ingraffea, and Rene Santoro of Cornell University, led to an excellent series of articles Andrew Nikiforuk at the Tyee. Please read through Nikiforuk's articles as each of them covers the details of this important issue. IMO, the self-interest of the executives and shareholders along with the bought and paid for politicians and media are a crime that proves beyond a doubt we are living in a corporatacy. These people are criminals, they are stealing the health and welfare of our children and grandchildren. They should be arrested, prosecuted and jailed, instead they live lionized lives of luxury paid for by the rest of us.

'Shale Gas: How Often Do Fracked Wells Leak?' When industry says hardly ever, that's a myth. It's a documented, chronic problem.

'Shale Gas Plagued By Unusual Methane Leaks' Scientists investigate high levels of damaging gas released in fracked areas.

'Natural Gas Is a Bridge to Nowhere': Recent studies by Cornell methane experts have found leakage rates of four per cent in an unconventional gas field in Colorado, and nine per cent in a Utah shale gas field. Most of BC's natural gas comes from unconventional fields requiring extensive hydraulic fracturing. Natural gas only has a lower footprint than coal in energy systems where the methane leakage rate from wells, pipelines, gas plants and infrastructure is 3.2 per cent or less.

Canada's 500,000 Leaky Energy Wells: 'Threat to Public' Badly sealed oil and gas wellbores leak emissions barely monitored, experts find.


Fracking is an 8 Lane Bridge to Environmental Hell

Only 1% of the world's vast water supplies are freshwater. There is no new water, we drink the same water the dinosaurs did. Yet everyday we allow the fracking industry to murder freshwater by pumping it into the ground with a chemical soup that makes the water un-useable forever. A new report, 'Fracking by the Numbers', calculates that 280 billion gallons of toxic wastewater was generated by fracking in 2012 -- enough to flood all of Washington, D.C., in a 22-foot deep toxic lagoon.

Studies by Harvard and the EPA both conclude that the amount of water needed to drill and fracture a horizontal shale gas well generally ranges from about 2 million to 4 million gallons, depending on the basin and formation characteristics. The total number of fracked wells in the US is very difficult to ascertain for a variety of reasons though the 'Fracking by the Numbers' report found that fracking has occurred in at least 17 states with about 82,000 wells operating nationally. Worldwide the total is a well concealed mystery but it's staggering.

In Canada nobody knows for sure how many fracked wells there are or how much non-renewable fresh water is being destroyed. Why not? Well it's not in either the industry or the government's interest to know because it can only be negative headlines and bad news in their opinions. Ecojustice is in court trying to find out. When asked: "How much water does fracking use in BC?" The Ecojustice spokesman says, "No one knows for sure. This means that the regulator and the public do not know for certain how much water has been taken, and from where, at any given time. The Commission now requires self-reporting by companies for approvals but this does not capture all water use by the oil and gas industry." One BC specific website i found, STOP FRACKING BRITISH COLUMBIA - DEATH BY A THOUSAND FRACKS, has some good articles and links to more info.

A 2013 report by the group Ceres, 'Hydraulic Fracturing Faces Growing Competition for Water Supplies in Water-Stressed Regions', examined 25,450 fracked wells across the United States and found that 47 percent lie in areas that face high or extremely high water stress. The extraction of so much water for fracking has raised concerns about the ecological impacts to aquatic resources, as well as dewatering of drinking water aquifers.

As the documentary 'Last Call at the Oasis' - a frightening look at the global water crisis - explains, 90% of the freshwater humans use currently goes to agriculture, much of that at the expense of aquifers whose levels are dropping faster every year as we race to build bigger pumps that reach deeper. Watching this doc. on CBC recently touched me deeply because, like the climate, the weather and the air we breath, water connects us all. 'Last Call at the Oasis' starts out somewhat as an extension of another great book and movie, 'Cadillac Desert', that nearly 20 years ago focused on our culture's abusive and unconscious waste of this most precious and irreplaceable resource.

Where irrigation depends on aquifers We are depending on fossil water that is also effectively a non-renewable resource, Water tables are falling by several feet per year in many parts of the developing world dependent on groundwater sources, notably beneath rapidly growing urban centres with an insatiable demand for water, but also beneath agricultural regions. With a liquid treasure below their feet and a global market eager for their products, farmers here and around the developed world have made a Faustian bargain - giving up long-term conservation for short-term gain. To capitalize on economic opportunities, landowners are knowingly “mining” a finite resource.

For instance, the Ogallala Aquifer, the vast underground reservoir that gives life to the breadbasket of Ameria - the region that supplies at least one fifth of the total annual U.S. agricultural harvest. If the aquifer goes dry, more than $20 billion worth of food and fiber will vanish from the world. In some places, the groundwater is already gone.and scientists say it will take natural processes 6,000 years to refill the Ogallala….

Where the Colorado River ends and no longer reaches the ocean.

Another example: For six million years, the Colorado River ran its course from its soaring origins in the Rockies to a once-teeming two-million-acre delta, finally emptying 14 million acre-feet of fresh water into the Sea of Cortez. But now, a multitude of straws are drinking from the river….Indeed, the Colorado River has not reached the sea since 1998 but ends rather in a cracked and desolate expanse of barren mud flats and abandoned boats - a dry river cemetery.

As Raúl Ilargi Meijer explains in 'Physical Limits to Food Security: Water and Climate', "Our relentless human expansion is running up against hard, non-negotiable limits to food security, which is already threatened in so many places. Our current extractive methods amount to a draw down of natural capital, allowing us to feed (most of) ourselves today, but in highly wasteful ways which are already compromising our ability to feed ourselves and our descendants tomorrow. Those in a position to do so chase short term economic gain at the expense of burning through non-renewable resources in ways which clearly make no sense with respect to any logic other than short term economic benefit. Those at the other end of the financial food chain also prioritize what could, in a sense, be called short term gain, but for them is in fact a matter of short term survival."

Even more frightening is the fact that most of the data used in these studies and reports was collected before the worldwide fracking insanity really started to gain momentum. Fracking is about the most suicidal thing humans have come up with so far. The next couple Mud Reports will focus on how fracked gas actually is the dirtiest GHG polluter because of the widespread methane leakage and why the various governments refuse to look into the facts being exposed almost everyday by new scientific reports.

Fracked Gas is a 8 lane bridge to environmental hell.


Obama's New Emissions Standards are Politics Designed to Decieve Not Mitigate Global Warming

Yesterday, June 2nd, 2014, the Yanquis Liar 'n Thief Obama announced new emissions standards for U.S. power plants. By this morning my Inbox contained a disturbing number of emails from people who want desperately for there to be a magic bullet that will allow them to stop feeling hopelessly depressed enough to continue shopping guilt free. The truth is a bitter pill. Obama's bullshit  may save the Senate for the Democrats in November by alienating the coal proucing states that wouldn't vote Democrat anyway and temporarily ass kissing those that are currently being hoodwinked into believing that fracked gas is their stairway to heavan.

Obama's plan, you may have noticed, allows each state 2-3 years to come up with a plan to cut their electrical generation GHG output by 30%. As Food and Water Watch said this morning, "In addition, by allowing states the option of using cap-and-trade and offsets, the administration has cut the legs out from under its own rule. Carbon trading is designed to benefit big corporate polluters. It lets industry decide for itself how to limit carbon emissions based on profit motive, and makes it cheaper for the dirtiest power plants to simply pay for permits instead of cleaning up pollution."

Cap and Trade is a boondoggle through which lesser-polluting corporations can sell credits to greater-polluting corporations, so that the former can make a buck helping the latter ignore the emission standard so as to continue polluting profitably. It should be called CAPITALIST TRADING, not "Cap-and-Trade". Think Wall Street, the banking cartel's Fed, derivatives, insider trading, corporate off-shoring tax dodges, selling debts as assets.

2-3 years eh. Isn't that when the next presidential election is? Could it be that the Obummer is setting up these new EPA regs for Hillary? Who knows maybe it's just a co-incidence. But one thing is for sure somewhere long before 2030 a Republican will win the White House and just as this edict by Obama doesn't need congressional approval neither does its dispatch.

Back to other 'alternative' energies that can keep Americans shopping and motoring to their malls guilt free. What are the undefined clean energy alternatives? Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, hydro-electric power? As soon as a person researches the science underlying every 'green' solution they run into the same reality - because oi the energy embedded in the manufacture, transport and gird reconstruction required, there are no 'green' solutions to the environmental degradation being caused by human over-consumption only green illusions. Clean energy is an oxymoron, the only green solution to over-consumption is CONSERVATION.

Of course there are plenty of self-interested entrepreneurs and the bankers who want to finance the latest gizmo and who see big profits in selling the 'magic bullet' hopefuls on one clean energy scheme or another. Their 'don't worry, be happy' articles are everywhere nowadays. They understand the numbers, the science, the embedded energy involved. They are the deceivers, they understand the materialistic mentality of the believers who want a free lunch. The capitalists know that the government pigs will go along with anything, and provide huge subsidies to boot, to keep themselves in power and near the trough.

One article 'Obama's EPA Plan vs. Climate Catastrophe: 'Fighting a Wildfire with a Garden Hose' by Jon Queally at Common Dreams is worth a look-see in that it gives short quotes by many of the mainstream environmental movement's most well known spokespersons and provides links to their sites' articles on this topic. Almost all of these folks are critical of the White House plan to cut emissions. They all seem to agree that the new rules simply don't go far enough. Which IMO is the type of understatement that may get each of them an invitation to lunch with the Liar Obama but actually mislead folks into thinking these new regs are something other than the cynical political ploy they are.

This diatribe against Obama's bullshit could go on and on but for today let's just take a quick look at who Obama's bullshit will benefit - the frackers. The new EPA regs focus on the CO2 coming out of the stacks of the America's coal burning power plants. Everybody knows burning coal is a dirty business, we've seen the pictures of Beijing's crunchy air. Coal is dirty, but over and over again we're told that burning natural gas is a much cleaner alternative. And it sorta is as long as you only consider the burning part not the total footprint.

Fracked gas isn't the same as conventional natural gas. Fracked gas is plagued by many disgusting added features like the massive abuse of water [murder actually, because once polluted by the unknown chemicals involved in fracking, this non-renewable resource essential to all life becomes unusable forever]. Fracking creates fissures that allow what were trapped gas to migrate into out groundwater, aquifers and wells contaminating them. Scientists investigating fracking leaks say high levels of methane is released in fracked areas. Methane is nearly 100 times more potent as a GHG than CO2.

Recent studies by Cornell experts explored in Andrew Nikiforuk's article 'Natural Gas Is a Bridge to Nowhere' have found leakage rates of four per cent in an unconventional gas field in Colorado, and nine per cent in a Utah shale gas field. Most of the U.S.'s additional natural gas will come from unconventional fields requiring extensive fracking. Natural gas only has a lower footprint than coal in energy systems where the methane leakage rate from wells, pipelines, gas plants and infrastructure is 3.2 per cent or less.

So to conclude, dirty coal is getting the boot, at least for now, maybe, depending on when the Republicans win the White House except wherever the bastards can trade their pollution for bogus carbon credits or it'll be replaced by either some green illusion that will consume and outgas just as much crap and with the added benefit of all those yummy profits and interest to build that infrastructure. Or, the electrical generation power plants will be re-built to burn fracked gas, again more yummy profits for the renovators more yummy interest for the bank's shareholders, more fossil fuels consumed to rebuild. All so that under no circumstances can the evil ideology of CONSERVATION be allowed to be entertained.


The Bilderberg Way Destroys Us and the Planet - The Zapatista Way Heals the Heart, Spirit and Gaia

Small farmers - like Ndomi Magareth, planting beans here on her land in Cameroon feed the world not agri-business.

The great cultural, financial, environmental world war between the peasants and the plutocrats has been vividly on display this past week. Not that the fawning, corporate owned western MSM is about to mention it.

On May 24th Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.issued his final communique as spokesperson for the Zaptistas from La Realidad [Reality], Planet Earth. Titled 'Between Light and Shadow', it explains why Marcos feels his 'star power' has become a deceptive focus for the MSM media and that his continued presence in the role of spokesman is more a detriment to outsiders understanding the Zapatista Way than a help.

Beyond that Marcos explains the evolution of the Zapatista Revolution best exemplified by their decision to turn their backs on the despoiling of Mother Earth by the corrupted plutocrats and begin to build a new way. Marcos explained that new way in 'Us and Them' last year saying, "And here is where democracy, the rule of the many, seems to defer to a new form of government: dromocracy, from the Greek word 'dromos', meaning the street."

Marcos has been, to much so in his opinion, the spokesman not just for the Zapatistas but for the peasants and small farmers everywhere. As Stephen Leahy explains, "The world is increasingly hungry because small farmers are losing access to farmland. Small farmers produce most of the world’s food but are now squeezed onto less than 25 percent of the world’s farmland, a new report reveals. Corporate and commercial farms, big biofuel operations and land speculators are pushing millions off their land. Despite this they still provide most of the world’s food because they are often much more productive than large corporate farms. Small farmers give each hectare of their precious land far more attention and care.”

"Small farmers can feed the future nine billion people on the planet if they have the land," Frederic Mousseau, policy director of the Oakland Institute told IPS. “The current global food system is set up to provide fuels and food for western markets,” he said. “It’s not about feeding the most people.” Another tireless advocate for the small farmer, for peasants, for all of us in the long run is La Via Campesino. Another is Vandana Shiva who's most recent article 'We Are the Soil' explains both intellectually and emotionally why "living seeds and living soils are the foundation of living and lasting societies."

These folks are some of those whose grace and intelligence could, like beacons of light, lead humanity from the darkness of materialism.

The five star Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, site of the Bilderberg meetings

No group better represents that darkness than the Bilderberg Group who's meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark is taking place this week.The Bilderberg Group is a six-decades-old club for some of the world’s most influential individuals, politicians, officials, businessmen, academics and European royalty, who gather yearly in secret meetings to perform the plutocratic incantations. befitting those acting as a shadow unelected government, would-be rulers of the world, which take decisions affecting billions of people behind closed doors, with little regard for the needs or wishes of the general population.

Inside sources confirmed to Infowars that Bilderberg's agenda, which was leaked earlier, will center around how to derail a global political awakening that threatens to hinder Bilderberg’s long standing agenda to centralize power into a one world political federation, a goal set to be advanced with the passage of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will undoubtedly be a central topic of discussion at this year’s meeting.

Of course the MSM, especially in the U.S. and Canada, have been silent on both the Zapatistas and the Bilderbergs. The Americans, who rely on 4 major television networks and cable TV news to deliver them information regarding important world events - ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and CNN.  Predictably, have failed to find time to inform the public of the secretive and extremely exclusive meeting of central bankers, CEOs, public officials and world dignitaries taking place this weekend. The CBC, Global and CTV networks in Canada each mentioned Bilderberg in one short sentence.

The outcome of this 'Great War' we are in the midst of between the haves and have-nots, between the peasants and the plutocrats, between the indigenous and the machine people will determine the fate of our species and that of many of our innocent cousins. Though the plutocrats have guns, drones, cops etc. to impose their darkness and though they have hypnotized many with their materialistic incantations there are still outliers, there are still those like Marcos to show us Another Way.

We can each of us start in our own backyards, rooftops, empty lots and balconies to live the life we dream, to escape the darkness of materialism by living within our one small planet's means, by refusing to consume needless crap, by refusing consumer debt and by following, with worn through knees and soil stained hands, the inner light of the peasant's way.

IMO one place to start and perhaps the single greatest service each of us can provide to our planet, our families and ourselves is to grow our own organic food from non-hybrid seeds. To save our own seed in turn, and in so doing be part of the future solution to the present day destruction being sown by GMO's, agri-business and the bio-technology giants. But whatever way you choose let it be one that undermines the Bilderbergs one tiny bite at a time.