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16 April 2014
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Houston Oil Spill in Bird Sanctuary a Marine-Fuel Disaster, While Sail Transport Remains Untapped
by Jan Lundberg   
Image The world appears far from getting a grip on world oil-fueled shipping. The ongoing consequences are well known, but periodic disasters get our attention. A collision and spill of at least 168,000 gallons of marine fuel happened on March 22 near Houston, Texas. It closed a major petrochemical shipping route.

Each spill, we have seen over the decades, does practically nothing to stop the next one, and the next one. News items surface for a couple of days, only to disappear unless there was dramatic loss of human life. The public's glimpse of every major pollution event is fleeting, while the polluting interests and impotent "relevant" government agencies carry on.

 
Springs Eternal: Hopes against Collapse, Hopes for Consuming
by Albert Bates   
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Albert Bates
We actually know what must be done to save our planet, and it is not the propping up of a consumer society.

More people want more. “We need better health, better education and more jobs” and “My sons work from 5 in the morning until 10 at night for only 400 euros per month” and “We were promised better!” said protesters interviewed by RT at this month's March for Dignity, a road show en route to Brussels after converging on Madrid. Karl Marx is getting a surge in Amazon sales as capitalism catches the blame for the energy famine, a megatrend that none of the people in the street seem to grok. “We want our energy slaves!” might be a more apt protest.

 
Tres Hombres Tall Ship Loads Rum and More in Caribbean; Additional Ship Readied for Europe Only
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageImage The Tres Hombres schooner brig continues its trade mission for European markets. On this its fifth voyage to the Caribbean, cargo was sailed to the Western Hemisphere as well: wine and olive oil to Brazil. From there, local "superfoods" were loaded. A BBC documentary crew hopped on board and has departed, and supporters of the Tres Hombres look forward to more publicity.

A second vessel has been added to the Fair Transport (Dutch company that owns the Tres Hombres) fleet: a 21-meter 141-year-old Norwegian ketch.

 
Wild: What Is Sustainable
by Richard Adrian Reese   
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Jay Griffiths
If you only have time for one sentence, hear this: Jay Griffiths’ book, Wild — An Elemental Journey, is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. Wild is a celebration of wildness and freedom. It celebrates societies that work, societies that have complete respect for their ecosystems, societies that have survived for thousands of years without suffering destructive whirlwinds of mass hysteria.

Griffiths is a brilliant heretic and a proud one. Her book shows us what happens when madness collides with wildness.

 
The Flight from Science
by V.I. Postnikov   
Image It is not allowed that the sciences rule over life, no-one is sanctioned to exert violence over life... What I preach, is, consequently, to a certain extent, a revolt of life against science, or rather against its rule, not a destruction of science –- but to assign it to a proper place, so that it shall never leave it again. - Michail Bakunin (1814 – 1876)

Science remains an activity of "dedicated" people, with its own philosophy and hierarchy. The scientific world is not unlike a medieval order. The exclusive place of science is acknowledged not only by scientists, but many ”lay” people worldwide.

 
Time to leave GDP behind: eco-economists support activists' dreams
by Jan Lundberg   
Image “GDP -- Gross Domestic Product -- is dangerously inadequate as a measure of quality of life.” - Robert Costanza et al

In a rapidly changing world posing more deadly risks, it is time that the average working person takes part in the debate on economic growth. To date it is only at a rarified level that specialists and visionaries are saying that out-of-control growth, or growth for its own sake, is tantamount to the philosophy of the cancer cell. Meanwhile, growth in quality-of-life stalled decades ago and is falling, according to key measurements.

 
The wind kicks up... and the wind kicks down: Appreciating Life and Going with Infinity
by Jan Lundberg   
Image It's a probability of less than one in seven billion that you are here, alive on Earth. The probability of being alive in the Universe in any form is one out of .00000000000...1 -- absolutely unknown, teeny-tiny.

So, don't blow it! While you have life, it can be about enjoying good health while appreciating all life and humanity. If not, it is to diminish yourself and waste the full cosmic experience you are receiving.

 
Emission-free sail cargo arrives in Belém, Brazil from Europe
by New Dawn Traders   
Image The adventures of the Tres Hombres, 32-meter schooner brig, continue. In Sail Transport Network's previous report Sail Freight Voyage: Holland, Norway, Portugal, Caribbean and Back we neglected to mention the port of call of Belém, Brazil. Joyfully, she made good time across the Atlantic, accomplishing her trade missions as scheduled. Here is the press release from New Dawn Traders, that has assisted Tres Hombres on this voyage with fish trade and supplying crew:
 
Ecocentric Ukraine: a vision
by V.I. Postnikov   
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Kiev mass protest
Editor's note: the following piece is from an eye-witness to the fierce political upheaval in Ukraine. It is also a follow up to Peter Crabb's recent Collapse: The Post-peak Narrative. Postnikov's photos from the weekend's clashes are at bottom.
A growing sense of “oppression” has had ecological roots – less visible, perhaps, but more inexorable than the ideologically touted tyrannies of ruling classes or regimenting activities of overzealous bureaucracies. – William R. Catton, Jr, “Bottleneck: Humanity’s Impending Collapse”, p. 187
 
Preparedness Matters More than CO2 Targets
by Aaron G. Lehmer-Chang   
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corporate capture
In the wake of another failed climate change summit last month in Warsaw, some fine minds not too weary of persistent ecocide make constructive suggestions. This is what Aaron Lehmer-Chang has done below. At bottom is a Culture Change editorial comment.

If we environmentalists were honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that several decades of heroic efforts to curb carbon emissions have yielded very little progress. Despite repeated warnings from scientists and the inspiring rise of climate activism, global emissions continue to grow, having recently passed the dangerous threshold of 400 parts per million (ppm).

 
Collapse: The Post-peak Narrative
by Peter Crabb   
ImageA consensus appears to have been reached that the world's production of conventional oil peaked in recent years. And to many observers, it means that from this time forward the supply of oil and natural gas, along with peaking coal and uranium, will decrease toward zero, leaving global Industrial Culture without the precious energy that made that culture possible. With such a precipitous future awaiting the Industrial Tribe, it is curious that one does not hear much about declining energy supplies in the mainstream media. Instead, we are bombarded daily with the “Industrial Progressive Narrative” (Princen et al, 2013), a comforting meme that portrays society as having ever-more energy resources that will drive never-ending growth into the future:
 
Naming Names: Two-Thirds of Industrial Emissions Are from Only 90 Institutions
by Jan Lundberg   
ImageNew peer-reviewed research has found that just 90 entities are responsible for extracting most of the fossil fuels that have been burned over the past 150 years. These “carbon majors” include 50 investor-owned companies, such as ChevronTexaco and Exxon-Mobil, 31 state-owned companies, such as Saudi Aramco and Pemex, and nine government-run industries in the former Soviet Union, China and other countries.

Emissions from burning these fuels total nearly two-thirds of all the carbon that has been emitted into the atmosphere during the industrial era.

 
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