Navy Plans Electromagnetic War Games Over National Park and Forest in Washington State

Published on Truthout, 10 November 2014.

Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest in Washington State are two of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the United States. Majestic glacier-clad peaks rise above temperate rainforest-covered hills. Gorgeous rivers tumble down from the heights and the areas are home to several types of plants and animal species that exist nowhere else on earth.

These protected national commons are also the areas in and near where the US Navy aims to conduct its Northwest Electromagnetic Radiation Warfare training program, wherein it will fly 36 of its EA-18G “Growler” supersonic jet warplanes down to 1,200 feet above the ground in some areas in order to conduct war games with 14 mobile towers. Enough electromagnetic radiation will be emitted so as to be capable of melting human eye tissue, and causing breast cancer, childhood leukemia and damage to human fetuses, let alone impacting wildlife in the area.

If it gets its way, this means the Navy would be flying Growler jets, which are electronic attack aircraft that specialize in radar jamming, in 2,900 training exercises over wilderness, communities and cities across the Olympic Peninsula for 260 days per year, with exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day.

What is at stake is not just whether the military is allowed to use protected public lands in the Pacific Northwest for its war games, but a precedent being set for them to do so across the entire country.

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Assigning a Cost to BP’s Gulf Oil Spill: Four Years On, Debate Continues

Published on Truthout, 5 November 2014.

In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded, causing the single largest marine oil disaster in US history.

While the oil gushed from nearly a mile below the surface, BP promptly began to lowball the daily flow rate.

The US government established the Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) led by Marcia McNutt to determine the true amount of oil being injected into the Gulf of Mexico. The FRTG was composed of scientists from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US Geological Survey, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the US Department of Energy and outside academics.

According to the FRTG, BP’s disaster led to at least 4.9 million barrels of oil being injected into the Gulf of Mexico. BP has challenged this calculation for numerous reasons, including asserting that this figure includes 810,000 barrels that was collected before it could enter the Gulf.

Yet a scientist who is part of the FRTG said early on that even the 4.9 million barrel figure, which means an average of roughly 56,000 barrels per day during the 87 days BP’s oil flowed, could be nearly three times too low.

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On Climate Disruption, Washington Governor Inslee Vows “Disruptive Change”

Published on Truthout, 27 October 2014.

The Chehalis River Valley is stunningly beautiful, verdant and home to some of the most bountiful farms in Washington State. From Christmas trees to flowers to some of the most luscious tomatoes you could ever eat, on a sunny day, it feels like one has landed in paradise here.

Unfortunately, the valley is also the site of some of the worst floods in the Pacific Northwest. The flooding has devastated farms, left bloated cattle corpses hanging from barn rafters and left some farmers themselves dead.

This is the location Gov. Jay Inslee chose to include as part of his climate tour in order to make a point.

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As Casualties Mount, Scientists Say Global Warming Has Been “Hugely Underestimated”

Published on Truthout, 20 October 2014.

As we look across the globe this month, the signs of a continued escalation of the impacts of runaway anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) continue to increase, alongside a drumbeat of fresh scientific studies confirming their connection to the ongoing human geo-engineering project of emitting carbon dioxide at ever-increasing rates into the atmosphere.

A major study recently published in New Scientist found that “scientists may have hugely underestimated the extent of global warming because temperature readings from southern hemisphere seas were inaccurate,” and said that ACD is “worse than we thought” because it is happening “faster than we realized.”

As has become predictable now, as evidence of increasing ACD continues to mount, denial and corporate exploitation are accelerating right along with it.

The famed Northwest Passage is now being exploited by luxury cruise companies. Given the ongoing melting of the Arctic ice cap, a company recently announced a 900-mile, 32-day luxury cruise there, with fares starting at $20,000, so people can luxuriate while viewing the demise of the planetary ecosystem.

This, while even mainstream scientists now no longer view ACD in the future tense, but as a reality that is already well underway and severely impacting the planet.

It is good that even the more conservative scientists have come aboard the reality train, because a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-led (NOAA) study published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has provided yet more evidence linking ACD with extreme heat events.

To provide perspective on how far along we are regarding runaway ACD, another recent study shows that the planet’s wildlife population is less than half the size it was four decades ago. The culprits are both ACD and unsustainable human consumption, coupling to destroy habitats faster than previously thought, as biodiversity loss has now reached “critical levels,” according to the report. More than half of the vertebrate population on the planet has been annihilated in just four decades.

Let that sink in for a moment before reading further.

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