Archive for September 22nd, 2011

BP oil is not degrading on floor of Gulf of Mexico, study says


BP oil is not degrading on floor of Gulf of Mexico, study says


Posted 22 September 2011, by Jay Reeves (Associated Press), New Orleans Net (NOLA),



Tar balls washed onto Gulf of Mexico beaches by Tropical Storm Lee earlier this month show that oil left over from last year’s BP spill isn’t breaking down as quickly as some scientists thought it would, university researchers said Tuesday. Auburn University experts who studied tar samples at the request of coastal leaders said the latest wave of gooey orbs and chunks appeared relatively fresh, smelled strongly and were hardly changed chemically from the weathered oil that collected on Gulf beaches during the spill.

Melissa R. Nelson, The Associated Press archive. Tar balls are seen among the seashells at Gulf Islands National Sea Shore near Pensacola Beach, Fla., on Sept. 14.

The study concluded that mats of oil — not weathered tar, which is harder and contains fewer hydrocarbons — are still submerged on the seabed and could pose a long-term risk to coastal ecosystems.

BP didn’t immediately comment on the study, but the company added cleanup crews and extended their hours after large patches of tar balls polluted the white sand at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach starting around Sept. 6. Tar balls also washed ashore in Pensacola, Fla., which is to the east and was farther from the storm’s path.

Marine scientist George Crozier said the findings make sense because submerged oil degrades slowly due to the relatively low amount of oxygen in the Gulf’s sandy bottom.

“It weathered to some extent after it moved from southern Louisiana to Alabama … but not much has happened to it since then,” said Crozier, longtime director of the state sea laboratory at Dauphin Island.

Crozier said remnants of the spill are “economically toxic” for tourism, but he doubts there is much of an environmental threat. The oil lingering on the seabed is of a consistency and chemical composition somewhere between crude oil and tar, he said.

The company refused a request by the city of Gulf Shores to expand the latest cleanup efforts to include heavy machinery.

Auburn analyzed tar balls dredged up by Lee at the request of the city of Orange Beach with outside funding from the city, the National Science Foundation and the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium. The study wasn’t reviewed by outside scientists before its release.

Jay Reeves of The Associated Press wrote this report.



At Least Six Arrested In Solidarity March For Troy Davis


At Least Six Arrested In Solidarity March For Troy Davis


Posted 22 September 2011, by , Occupy Wall Street,



At approximately eight in the evening a group protesting the execution of Troy Davis at Union Square Park began a march towards Liberty Square, formerly known as Zuccotti park. The two groups joined up and marched on Wall Street. At least six protesters were arrested. They are being held at either the first or seventh precinct. As of now we only have four names: Joseph Jordan; Brandon Kang; Augustine Castro; Freddy Bastone.

Please call both the first and seventh precinct, and central booking.

First precinct (212)-334-0611

Seventh precinct (212)-477-7311

Central booking (212)-374-3921

Please call and urge the police to release these peaceful protesters.



Life at Liberty Plaza

Life at Liberty Plaza


The resistance continues at Liberty Plaza, with free pizza 😉


Posted 22 September 2011, by OccupyWallSt,


So far, all that many of you from across the world have seen are the big events like arrests, marches, general assemblies, etc. One thing people don’t often get a chance to see is what everyday life is like in the square. This video does an excellent job of showing what it feels like, occupying wall street:


Communiqué From Anonymous – USA Day Of Vengence Sep 24th

Communiqué From Anonymous – USA Day Of Vengence Sep 24th


Posted 22 September 2011, by , Occupy Wall Street,


Press Release –

Flyer/Poster –

Wednesday – September 21, 2011

On September 17, 2011 approximately 15,000 peaceful demonstrators in dozens of cities around the USA gathered, marched – and occupied public space to protest the unjust policies of the US government and the corruption in our financial institutions. The central protest site was in the financial district of New York City, where peaceful protesters faced phalanxes of heavily armed paramilitary police officers from local and federal jurisdictions. The arrests began almost immediately, many for violating the 1845 so called “mask” laws.

Later that day, and according to plan – many of these protests ended with a peaceful occupation of public space. Again, the central occupation occurred in NYC. More arrests continued to take place. All of this was expected, it is part of progressive activism. Anonymous was content to challenge these stupid “mask” laws in court. Not only is the Guy Fawlkes mask covered under freedom expression as a symbol of our movement, but we believe that everyone has a right to protest anonymously using bandanas, masks – etc.

But then on Tuesday – September 20, 2011 everything changed in a flash of police instigated violence. As rain began to fall on the NYC encampment, heavily armed police moved in; Removing tarps used to cover media equipment, arresting independent journalists, confiscating media equipment – and using excessive force against and arresting innocent peaceful protesters, several of whom were abused and injured.

This year, we heard President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton say over and over in country after country from the Balkans through the mid-east to Africa that the right to peacefully protest and occupy public space is a right that MUST be respected in every instance. And they are correct, and this also applies to the USA. In fact, even more so. In the USA of all countries in the world, the police should have been deployed to PROTECT the protesters – not a giant brass bull that is the ultimate symbol of greed and corruption in America. And yet we were treated to the grotesque picture of dozens of armored police surrounding this brass bull, while thousands more police were deployed solely to harass, arrest – and abuse peaceful protesters.

Anonymous & the other cyber liberation groups around the world together with all the freedom loving people in the USA will NOT stand for this. We will peacefully yet forcefully resist the abuses of the NYC Police Department. And so Anonymous announces a nationwide “Day Of Vengence” to take place in dozens of cities across the USA on Saturday – September 24, 2011 at High Noon.

Poster –

Video –

In coordination with these protests across the USA on September 24th, Anonymous and other cyber liberation groups will launch a series of cyber attacks against various targets including Wall Street, Corrupt Banking Institutions – and the NYC Police Department. We encourage the media to follow the Twitter feed @PLF2012 for ongoing reports throughout the day.

We Are Anonymous – We Are Everywhere – We Are Legion – We Never Forget – We Never Forgive

EXPECT US — Anonymous


The Permaculture Revitalization Act of 2011

The Permaculture Revitalization Act of 2011

A Vision by Willi Paul, Magazine



Posted 19 September 2011, by Willi Paul, PlanetShifter Magazine,


GOAL: To revive, reconnect and re-focus the Country and begin the permaculture’s charge into local, national & global politics.

The mirror sight:

The Public Works Administration (PWA), part of the New Deal of 1933, was a large-scale public works construction agency in the United States headed by Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes. It was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act in June 1933 in response to the Great Depression. It built large-scale public works such as dams and bridges, warships, hospitals and schools. Its goals were to spend 3.3 billion in the first year, and $6 billion in all, to provide employment, stabilize purchasing power, and help revive the economy. Most of the spending came in two waves in 1933-35, and again in 1938. Originally called the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, it was renamed the Public Works Administration in 1939 and shut down in 1943. The PWA spent over $6 billion in contracts to private construction forms that did the actual work. It created an infrastructure that generated national and local pride in the 1930s and remains vital seven decades later. The PWA was much less controversial than its rival agency with a confusingly similar name, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), headed by Harry Hopkins, which focused on smaller projects and hired unemployed unskilled workers.

* * * * * * *

Possible components of The Permaculture Revitalization Act of 2011:

  • Projects for Neighbors with neighbors; community building projects for resilience awareness and a new ecological balance
  • Permaculture Training and Jobs Czar – Cabinet-level Secretary post
  • Combining jobs and training under one program to promote self-sufficiency
  • Permaculture design certificate demo projects in all levels of schools
  • Building more Community Gardens – like the eco village farm, sf
  • Design and implement training for permaculture design certificate grads
  • Promote and better connect new Permaculture Guilds
  • Provide a database of available lands for revitalization & Community Network for Permaculture

Permaculture is a Green Technology, Mr. Obama!

Join – then discuss this vision with us at Permaculture Hub

* * * * * * *

Related Work:

Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.

The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.

“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”


Whose ears, will you whisper into: Journalist or Policeman?


Whose ears, will you whisper into: Journalist or Policeman?


Posted 21 September 2011, by Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency (GNA),



Accra, Sept 21, GNA – Once a while I love to join public transport (Trotro) to enjoy the tick-chat, tick-chat, tick-chat that goes on among passengers.

Recently I joined a Trotro from Kwame Nkrumah circle to North Kaneshie, the usual gossips, shouts, argument over practically nothing started, and then suddenly I overheard an argument between a lady and gentleman as who can keep a secret; a Journalist or a Police Officer.

As media practitioner, Trotro has sometimes served as information gathering centre for me, what am looking for determines the route I use, and the value of the gossips depends largely on the route.

Information you gather onboard Trotro from Circle to Madina through 37 Military Hospital, Airport, Legon Campus is different from what you gather onboard Tema Station Trotro to Teshie Nungua through Osu, La or Labadi, and Teshie.

What about Circle to Dansoman route, or Tema Station to Achimota, “I tell you in Trotro you see things, you smell things, you hear things and you are likely to touch some things”. You must also know the time and the season for boarding Trotro for good information.

Anyway back to the debate on: Whose ear will you whisper into? The two Trotro debaters have picked entrenched positions; the gentleman noted: “My sister, can you confidently whisper into the ears of a Police Officer that you know for a fact that your boyfriend deals in narcotics, and be sure that he will not be arrested?

The lady retorted: “Yes that’s easy just whisper into his ears and seal it with a stamp (money that’s bribe). The colour (denomination) of the stamp is very important for the security of the information provided.

“But for the Journalist, my brother, I will not dare, whether you give him or her a brown envelop or not, trust me so far as its newsworthy information you will see it the next minute in the news”.

As the argument developed I started reflecting over the issues raised and decided to talk to some few people on the topic.

Ms Cynthia Naa Aryee, a trader shouted: “eeeeh none of the above, they are all the same, they survive on information, so how on earth do you want me to whisper into their ears, never!

Mr Kofi Obeng Wiafe, a businessman noted: “I will whisper into the ears of the Journalist as I have learnt to live at hands length with a Police Officer.

You know what? A Policeman will always hide behind a colleague to act on your secret. It’s very dangerous to whisper into the Policeman’s ear.

A legal practitioner said: “I trust the Journalist more than the Police Officer. Even though some few Journalists have let me down, but overall, they have respected the confidence I have reposed in them”.

As I conjecture on the debate I realised that majority of Ghanaians are ignorant that both the Police and the Journalist perform effectively in the interest of the public based largely on whispering.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, a Senior Police Officer explained that the Police classified what you civilians called whisper as “Tip-off,” – a piece of confidential, advance, warning or hint, or inside information.

“We process whisper ‘Tip-off’ through security intelligence platform to review its sensitivity then act; to a security personnel knowledge is the only effective tool to prevail in the face of the wide range of asymmetric threats to national security,” he stated.

He revealed that the standard for intelligence gathering now is “need to share” not “need to know,” which is sometimes gathered through wide range of platforms including the whispering platforms in town.

Intelligence is critical to ensuring national security, especially with asymmetric threats making up most of the new challenges. Knowledge, rather than power, is the only weapon that can prevail in a complex and uncertain environment awash with asymmetric threats, some known, many currently unknown in the public domain.

In their scheme of functions – the detection of crime; the apprehension of offenders; the maintenance of law and order; and the maintenance of internal peace and security the Police thrive mainly on information tip-off.

A senior Journalist on the other hand noted that media practitioners consider whisper as a lead – vital exclusive information with aspects of importance and excitement acquired by luck or initiative.

Similarly; a journalist cultivates information sources “lead” to collects and disseminates news about current events, people, trend, and issues.

Society is therefore endangered if citizens failed to feed the Police as well as the Journalist with vital information. They both seek the interest of the public but unfortunately due to the misdeeds of some few bad nuts among them a proportion of the general public are scared to venture information or whisper into their ears.

I concluded that based on the discussion; the two professional bodies are gradually losing the public trust-reliance on their integrity, ability, surety to the usage of protected information passed on to them.

(A GNA feature by Francis Ameyibor)



Abokobi women farmers hold traditional food exhibition


Abokobi women farmers hold traditional food exhibition


Posted 20 September 2011, by Staff, Ghana News Agency (GNA),



Abokobi (GAR), Sept. 20, GNA – Women farmers in Abokobi in the Ga East District of the Greater Accra Region on Tuesday organised a traditional food exhibition in an effort to drum home the need to patronise local foods and promote women in farming.

The exhibition was organised by Rural Women Farmers Association in collaboration with Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD), an NGO.

It was on the theme: “Women! We are the Solution for Food Security in Ghana”.

Foods on display included yekeyeke, abolo, mpotompoto, kpoikpoi, tugbani, banku with okro stew, fufu with variety of soups, akyeke and bankye akakro.

The exhibition was organised as part of the three-year Pan-African campaign targeted at five West African countries, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Ghana, to build a first mass rural women farmers movement managed by rural women farmers.

The campaign is aimed at educating women on the importance of traditional foods and their nutritional values.

Addressing the women, Madam Fatima Addy, Southern Sector Coordinator of RUWAG, noted that the association was formed to serve as a platform for rural women farmers to share knowledge and experiences on traditional farming practices.

“We seek to educate our members on the need to adopt safe and sound farming practices devoid of chemicals which are harmful to the human body.”

She explained that the association also served as a platform to educate members on the values of indigenous seeds and food recipes that had high nutritional value but getting extinct due to neglect.

Mr Bernard Guri, Executive Director of CIKOD, said the campaign was to promote good practice and knowledge that had been known and handed down for generations in Africa.

He said those good practices and knowledge had sustained food sovereignty on the continent, to influence decision makers and promote better governance and value family agricultural production.

Mr Guri noted that the campaign would also build the organisational and individual capacities of selected rural women associations and their leaders, build awareness and empower rural women to engage in decision making processes in on-going local, regional and global campaigns.

The women would organise, mobilise and sustain an Africa-wide action oriented network for information sharing and advocacy.

“The impact of this campaign will be to ensure that the Rural Women Association have the skills to improve, promote and share their traditional agricultural knowledge and ensure that this rich knowledge is not lost and indeed promoted as an alternative to the Green Revolution Methods,” he added.

Mr Wilberforce Laate, Deputy Executive Director of CIKOD, expressed dissatisfaction about the deplorable manner in which vegetables and other crops were cultivated.

He bemoaned instances where vegetables were forced to become ripe and ready for the market before their time by the use of chemicals which were injurious to human health.

Mr Laate expressed his dissatisfaction about the use of genetically modified crops as seeds of such crops could not be replanted after harvest due to the application of chemicals.

He urged farmers to use manure for their crops instead of fertilizer because it was cheaper and devoid of chemicals.




The Magic of Chickens


The Magic of Chickens


Posted 20 September 2011, by Robyn Lawrence, Care2,



If Harvey Ussery were stranded on a desert island and could bring only one thing, he would bring a flock of chickens.

“They would feed themselves by foraging over the island, keep me supplied with eggs, one of the most perfect foods,” says the Virginia homesteader and author of The Small-Scale Poultry Flock. “In the process, they would continually improve my island’s soil by working in plant covers and their droppings, increasing its productivity for whatever food crops I was able to grow. Hens who went broody would hatch out chicks to renew the flock each year.”

Harvey Ussery makes his chickens partners in food production. Photo courtesy of Harvey and Ellen Ussery/Mother Earth News

Harvey, a Mother Earth News writer who produces much of his own food on 3 acres, manages chickens holistically, enlisting them as partners for soil improvement, making compost, insect control and more. He’s been raising a mixed poultry flock, which he considers a key to greater food independence, for almost 30 years. “I am constantly reaching for new ways to integrate the flock with the work of food production, to make them happy and content, and to provide them more live, natural foods right on the homestead,” he says.

Harvey’s been experimenting for years to find new ways to convert organic “wastes” (chicken poop) into resources for greater soil fertility. “To truly imitate nature, we must banish all notion of ‘waste,’ remembering that in natural systems one critter’s waste is another’s priceless resource,” he says.

He’ll talk about this alchemy during his workshop, “Trash to Treasure: Bioconversion of Waste to Resources” at the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, on September 24. Harvey says he looks forward to “sharing ideas with people who are passionate about finding saner, more sustainable ways to produce our food.”

Harvey’s chickens are housed in a comfortable roost with room to roam. Photo courtesy of Harvey and Ellen Ussery/Mother Earth News

I was at the Fair last year, and I wholeheartedly agree with Harvey–there’s nothing quite like this opportunity to swap ideas and learn from masters. I can’t make it this year, but I’m having fun reading about the passionate, sane voices that will be heard there at the Mother Earth News Fair blog. Check it out to join the conversation–and possibly win free tickets if you live near Seven Springs. There’s just nothing quite like connecting with likeminded others in a beautiful mountain setting (and checking out chickens and livestock while you’re at it).

Robyn Griggs Lawrence writes the daily Natural Home Living blog for Mother Earth News, the original guide to living wisely. The editor-in-chief of Natural Home magazine from 1999 until 2010, Robyn’s goal is to help everyone create a nurturing, healthy and environmentally friendly home. Her book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House, introduces Americans to the 15th-century Japanese philosophy of simplicity, serenity and authenticity.


More on Birds (104 articles available)
More from Robyn Lawrence (31 articles available)





Rare whales surface in Robson Bight

 Threatened fin whales showing up near Island in increasing numbers

One of the two fin whales that paid a rare visit to Robson Bight this week. Fin whales, the second biggest species, are listed as threatened and are more usually seen in the open ocean. Photograph by: JARED TOWERS, DFO


Posted 20 September 2011, by Judtih Lavoie, The Victoria Times Colonist,


The sound of lengthy whale blows echoing through the fog in Robson Bight caught whale researcher Marie Fournier’s attention Monday as she kept watch at an OrcaLab outpost.

Then, out of the fog, swam two massive fin whales — something never previously documented in Robson Bight, located off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.

Fin whales, the second largest animal after blue whales, are starting to return to B.C. waters after being almost wiped out by decades of whaling, but they usually prefer the open ocean. Recent sightings have been several kilometres offshore.

“I was completely surprised. I had to do three or four double takes to make sure what I was seeing,” Fournier said.

The identity giveaway was the size of the animals, estimated at about 22 metres, and their huge blows, reaching five metres into the air, said Fournier, who called Jared Towers, a Fisheries and Oceans research technician.

When Towers arrived to take identification photographs, he discovered that he photographed one of the whales in Hecate Strait last summer.

“Just by luck it turned out to be the same animal,” Towers said.

It is hoped that the growing catalogue of photos will give some idea of the size of the fin whale population off Canada’s west coast, he said.

Fin whales are listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act.

John Ford, a marine mammal specialist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Biological Station who is conducting fin whale research, said the animals have previously been seen about 10 kilometres away around Malcolm Island, but not around Robson Bight.

“Something like this is very unusual. It’s the first time,” he said.

This year, about 50 fin whales were seen around Langara Island. In previous years, it was considered unusual to see five or 10, so it appears the population is probably increasing, although there is not yet a good estimate of the abundance, Ford said.

“Thousands of them were killed off before the last coastal whaling station closed down in 1967,” he said.

“They have likely been recovering over the last 45 years, and we may now be seeing a steep curve of population growth.”

Scientists in areas such as Alaska have also reported a return of fins, Ford said.

© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist