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Oil And Gas Companies Seen As Vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks

26 Jun

Timothy Gardner / Reuters

U.S. oil and natural gas operations are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks that can harm the competitiveness of energy companies or lead to costly outages at pipelines, refineries or drilling platforms, a report said on Wednesday.

The energy business, including oil and gas producers, was hit by more targeted malware attacks from April to September last year than any other industry, said the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) report, citing data from a Houston-based security company, Alert Logic.
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FBI Chases Anti-GMO Activists While Ignoring Monsanto’s Transgressions

25 Jun
Hot on the trail of the bad guys — depending on your definition of “bad.”

Hot on the trail of the bad guys — depending on your definition of “bad.”

by John Upton / Grist.org

Some experimental GMO crops were torn out of a field in Oregon this month. That means it’s time for the federal government to freak the fuck out and do its best to clamp down again on eco-activism.

The sugar beet plants, which were genetically engineered by Syngenta to survive applications of the herbicide Roundup, were uprooted in the middle of the night from a couple of fields, presumably by anti-GMO activists. The destruction of the experimental crops occurred in the same state where a strain of Monsanto’s illegal herbicide-resistant wheat recently showed up in a farmer’s field, threatening America’s multibillion-dollar wheat export market.

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Experimental Geoengineering Could Create Food Scarcity

23 Jun

rabaulby Martin Lukacs / The Guardian

Two Harvard engineers are to spray sun-reflecting chemical particles into the atmosphere to artificially cool the planet, using a balloon flying 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

The field experiment in solar geoengineering aims to ultimately create a technology to replicate the observed effects of volcanoes that spew sulphates into the stratosphere, using sulphate aerosols to bounce sunlight back to space and decrease the temperature of the Earth.

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Crops of Genetically Engineered Sugar Beets Sabotaged in Oregon

21 Jun

by Kimberly A.C. Wilson / Oregon Live

GMO_sugar_beetsFederal investigators are asking the public to help solve middle-of-the-night crimes that left ruined fields of genetically engineered sugar beets in rural Jackson County.

The crop destruction took place over the course of two separate nights in early June, when an unknown individual or group destroyed about 6,500 sugar beet plants genetically engineered to stand up to the herbicide Roundup on a pair of privately-owned plots of land leased and managed by Syngenta.

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The Oregon Extinction Event: 25,000 bumblebees killed, dropping from trees in Wilsonville; pesticide suspected

20 Jun

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by Elizabeth Case / The Oregonian

An estimated 25,000 bumblebees have been found dead in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville since Saturday, the largest known incident of bumblebee deaths in the United States, according to the Xerces Society. Preliminary information suggests pesticides may be at fault.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture received reports of bees and other insects falling out of 55 blooming European linden trees Monday from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

The bees were still dying on Wednesday. Yellow-faced bees fell from the trees, twitching on their backs or wandering in tight circles on the asphalt. Some honeybees and ladybugs were also found dead. A few dead bumblebees even clung to linden flowers, while hundreds littered the lot.

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Indonesia to Use Rain-Making Technology to Stop Forest Fires. Seems Legit.

19 Jun
indonesiapalmoil

Credit: Coalition to save Tripa Forest / Handout / 3/05/2012

by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire

The Indonesian rainforest is in an unbalanced tug-o-war between corporations and the wild, and the government’s problem-solution/problem-solution/problem dance of reactionary politics is spiraling out of control.

In Indonesia, you have one of the most biologically diverse forests on the planet (ranking third in the world for number of species) being sold to giant conglomerates. Generally, these conglomerates decide to do one of two things with the rainforest: shred it into pulp and paper; or burn it down, in football field-size chunks, and replant the ashen land with palm trees.

Why palm trees? Though I’m sure the smoldering burial grounds of the once-tropical forest will be as good a tourist destination as any once the sea levels and super-storms catch up with atmospheric CO2 levels, these imported palm trees are not being planted for ambiance, but rather being squeezed for their palm oil.

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Pentagon Bracing for Public Dissent Over Climate and Energy Shocks

16 Jun

NSA PRISM is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism

by Nafeez Ahmed / The Guardian

US domestic surveillance has targeted anti-fracking activists across the country. Photo from tarsandsblockade.org

US domestic surveillance has targeted anti-fracking activists across the country. Photo from tarsandsblockade.org

Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. New Zealand court records suggest that data harvested by the NSA’s Prism system has been fed into the Five Eyes intelligence alliance whose members also include the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis – or all three.

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Human Impact on Water Cycle Ushering In a New Age

15 Jun

from EcoWatch

“Water in the Anthropocene” is a three minute film charting the global impact of humans on the water cycle. Evidence is growing that our global footprint is now so significant we have driven Earth into a new geological epoch—the Anthropocene.

Human activities such as damming and agriculture are changing the global water cycle in significant ways.

As datasets build upon one another, the film charts Earth’s changing global water cycle, why it is changing and what this means for the future. The vertical spikes that appear in the film represent the 48,000 large dams that have been built.

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Infographic: 1950s Futurists Take On 21st Century Problems

14 Jun

by Eric Rhey / Qualcomm Spark

Air pollution, food shortages, disease, dependence on fossil fuel—these are all big issues. And thanks to the rapid technological innovation of the 1950s, many thinkers had big ideas on how to solve these problems. The concepts they came up with ran the gamut from visionary to absurd. Here’s a whimsical look at some of the more fanciful ideas ’50 futurists devised to solve humans’ biggest challenges. 

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Armed Permaculturists Explain Strategy of Seed Bomb Explosives

12 Jun

from Earth First Newswire

This beautiful short documentary sheds some light on a little-known international perma-eco-terra-ist group calling itself SLF-NAG (Seed Liberation Frontier-North Aegean Guerrillas). The mysterious organization has gone public to explain the motives behind their seed-bombing campaign:

“Seed control is an issue of growing importance not only for the consumers, but also for the producers. The current state of affairs endangers not only the public health but also the freedom of the people. Hence, there is an urgent need for innovative and radical means of reaction.

“In our days it is the mass media which shapes the reality. Documentaries, on the other hand, often act as key instruments for deconstructing the ‘”reality” and unveil the truth behind. Therefore, documentaries should also be used to inform the public, challenge well-established views of reality and, subsequently, to turn the propaganda upside down.”

Wait a minute… Do those accents sound a little fishy to anyone else?