Riches in the Arctic: the new oil race

The Independent

New geological surveys show as much as a fifth of the world’s undiscovered but exploitable gas and oil reserves lie under the Arctic ice. As the ice melts, the pristine wilderness could become ‘the new Houston’.

By Michael McCarthy

It is the increasingly rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice which is opening up the possibility of the once frozen wasteland providing a natural resources and minerals bonanza The future of the Arctic will be less white wilderness, more black gold, a new report on oil reserves in the High North has signaled this week. The first- comprehensive assessment of oil and gas resources north of the Arctic Circle, carried out by American geologists, reveals that underneath the ice, the region may contain as much as a fifth of the world’s undiscovered yet recoverable oil and natural gas reserves. Continue reading Riches in the Arctic: the new oil race

Appalachian Residents Have Found the Antidote to Coal

New America Media

On the frontlines of one of the most tragic environmental and human rights scandals in modern American history, the community of Coal River has devised a plan to break the stranglehold of King Coal on the central Appalachian economies.

If Senator Barack Obama ever needs a living symbol of change we can believe in, and a hopeful way to transcend the dirty politics of our failed energy policies, he should go and see the future of renewable energy in the Coal River Valley in West Virginia.

Yes, renewable energy in Appalachia.

Something historic is taking place in West Virginia this summer. Faced with an impending proposal to stripmine over 6,600 acres — nearly 10 square miles — in the Coal River Valley, including one of the last great mountains in that range, an extraordinary movement of local residents and coal mining families has come up with a counter proposal for an even more effective wind farm. Continue reading Appalachian Residents Have Found the Antidote to Coal

G8 falls short on climate change

CAFOD

Gabriel Murwa and his wife with their last remaining cow from a herd of 100. The others have all died. [Richard Wainwright]

CAFOD is disappointed that the G8 Summit in Japan has not gone far enough on cutting the necessary carbon emissions to stem global warming

CAFOD says plans announced by G8 leaders to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050 falls short of what is needed to save the planet.

The new pledge by the world leaders strengthens last year’s G8 pledge to “seriously consider” the cuts – but still does not go far enough. Continue reading G8 falls short on climate change

USCCB introduces study guide that examines torture as moral issue

Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The dignity and respect of the human person is the cornerstone of a new study guide on torture as a moral issue published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The guide, titled “Torture: Torture Is a Moral Issue, a Catholic Study Guide,” looks at church teaching as it relates to the use of torture by government authorities around the world and mixes in biblical passages that evoke Jesus’ call to “love your enemies.” The guide was written by David Gibson, retired editor of Catholic News Service‘s Origins documentary service, in cooperation with the Catholic Leadership Council within the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It was developed for use by discussion groups and classes in Catholic settings as well as individuals, families and others interested in studying the issue. The guide was introduced June 23 in the midst of Torture Awareness Month as designated by religious, human rights and civil liberties organizations. The guide is available for downloading on the Web at: www.usccb.org/sdwp/TortureIsAMoralIssueCatholicStudyGuide.pdf.

Ecologist Says Power Plant Will Pollute More Of Mountain Empire

by Debra McCown

ABINGDON, Va. – Pollution from the new coal-fired power plant proposed for Wise County would cause negative health and economic effects across the Mountian Empire region, an ecologist told local activists at a Wednesday meeting.
“The haze that we see today, as I noticed driving up through Mountain City and Damascus and all of that … there’s nothing natural about it,” said Matthew Wasson, program director of Appalachian Voices, who said he was speaking for the five environmental groups leading opposition to the plant. Continue reading Ecologist Says Power Plant Will Pollute More Of Mountain Empire