Thursday, July 21, 2016

Who Can You Trust?

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Trusting anyone means knowing they will tell you the truth. 
 
How many lies does it take to kill the credibility of the liar, and kill trust? One time, twice? How about three times? What about if it is a huge lie, one that costs you? What if your life, and the lives of those you love are endangered by those lies? 
 
Read this carefully. These are direct quotes, most of them written by Exxon's own scientists. Lives depend on what happens in the next years. All of us are at risk. Instead of trusting anyone, get the facts. 
 
Additional sources listed on the Exxon Knew site.

1968 - Stanford Research Institute communicates to Exxon and the American Petroleum Institute, “If CO2 levels continue to rise as present rates, it is likely that noticeable increases in temperature could occur.”

1977 – 1978 Exxon's Products Research Division informs their employer,Man has a window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding energy strategies might become critical.”

1980 – Imperial Oil, Exxon's Canadian subsidiary, publishes a “Review of Environmental Protection Activities for 1978-1979,” which states, There is no doubt that increases in fossil fuel usage.... are aggravating the potential problem of CO2 in the atmosphere.” Exxon and industry leaders are meeting regularly to discuss the problem. 
 
1981 – Exxon knows they are causing Climate Change. They choose between responsibility and profits. Responsibility lost. 
 
1982 – Exxon's Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences Laboratory: “The consensus is that a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial value could result in an average global temperature rise of (...5.4± 1.7° F.) There is a unanimous agreement in the scientific community that a temperature increase of this magnitude would bring about significant changes in the earth's climate.”

1983 - ExxonMobil slashes climate research. This is the five year limit set by Imperial Oil in its 1978 – 1979 Review. 
 
1988 – We pass the ten year mark. Climate Change Denial is well launched. 
 
Climate Change Denial begins, continuing until 2016.

  From: Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies

April 19, 2016 – Exxon claims their statements are protected under the First Amendment.

In the wake of oil spills, explosions, and more ExxonMobil left behind them a stark record of deceit along with a consistent refusal to pay for the damage being done to people and their property. 
 
What does this tell us about Exxon, the largest oil company in the world? 
 
They lie to us routinely even when they know our lives and property are at risk.

Trust Exxon's own words, which indict them. 


Coming Next: Part II - Death by Profits  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Three Strikes. Time for real changes, government and their sheltered corporations.

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster


Southern California is in no wise prepared for a major earthquake. We should be, however. Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, said at the National Earthquake Conference in Long Beach, California, that the San Andreas fault is “locked, loaded, and ready to roll.” He added, “a massive earthquake could strike anytime.” Thomas's comments were quoted in the Inquisitor. Strike One.

Southern Californa is also unprepared for the perfect storm of brush fires which the long drought, die off of trees and vegetation, and high temperatures have delivered. Notice the news today. If you live in several parts of the southland just open your window and sniff the air. Strike Two.

These are problems caused by nature. We should have been prepared for these – but we weren't. Since we pay a lot for governmental agencies at the local, county, and state levels who claim they are in charge of ensuring we are safe it is fair to say they 'did not do their job.'

It is also fair to say they should held accountable for their failure to do so. If we survive we should ask this question loudly and accept no excuses. Strike Three.

The third danger hanging over our heads makes these first two impinging hazards far more serious. This involves a significant lack of oversight by those same agencies and the corporations they were supposed to be watching. The corporations, the utilities and oil companies who expect prompt payment from us, had all the control necessary to prevent the present situation. 
 
Quoted in the Times they said, ““Southern California’s smaller cities and large businesses must take the threat of a crippling earthquake far more seriously than they have been, a committee of business, public policy and utility leaders said Thursday, saying action is needed to “prevent the inevitable disaster from becoming a catastrophe.””

We thought the enormously expensive infrastructure of government and the utility companies were handling our safety and their own business. We were wrong. 
 
The most revolting and telling sign is the number of utilities and government agencies lining up, joined by Disney, to recommend (Your not going to believe this) another organization be formed to look at the problem. This is like starting a committee while the ocean is coming over the deck of the Titanic. Notice the attempt to slide out of the line of fire from the public outrage which should engulf them. 
 
Among these pampered individuals are, according to the Times article cited above, “executives for Southern California Edison, the Southern  California Gas Co., the Walt Disney Company, and Wells Fargo, along with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, USC, the Port of Los Angeles and the Southern California Assn. of Governments.”
Mickey Mouse can be overlooked. The rest cannot. They had well paid and qualified experts on tap but nothing happened – unless you look at their end of the year bonuses and raises.
These folks want to, create a Southern California Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative, intended to highlight the unresolved earthquake risks and convince decision makers to fix them. The group issued a report with recommendations on Thursday.”

Convince decision makers?” How stupid are these people? Send them to Kern County to fight the fires there, then they will not need to be convinced. 
 
This is a CYA moment if I have ever seen one. You have the same players who have never maintained their infrastructure lining up to justify, in advance, what is now poised to happen to people and property for which they are, by government, not held responsible when they cause a disaster. As you may know, their 'natural monopolies' are treated as an extension of government which also holds itself as not responsible for what happens to us, the people who are being squeezed to pay the bills, which includes their salaries and bonuses. 
 
These hazards include the potential for disaster in the Cajon Pass. This is where the San Andreas fault cuts through California, and where the full force of an earthquake is most likely to be felt. 
 
Consider for a moment this looming threat on the edge of Southern California’s sprawling metropolis. The Cajon Pass is a narrow mountain pass where the San Andreas fault, which travels down the length of California and then, intersects with combustible natural gas and petroleum pipelines, electrical transmission lines, train tracks and Interstate 15 north of San Bernardino. Did it, along with the petroleum infrastructure suddenly appear, perhaps caused by Harry Potter? No, it did not. 
 
A huge earthquake on the San Andreas could move one side of the fault as much as 30 feet from the other. Such an earthquake would rupture flammable pipelines and lead to a catastrophic explosion so powerful it leaves behind a crater.” Read that again. 
 
This is a time to remember Porter Ranch clearly and distinctly. 
 
Governor Brown just declared Kern County a Disaster, which is certainly true as the wild fire there is continuing its merry course and has already burned more than 46 square miles, destroyed over 100 buildings and killed at least two people, maybe more. Do you want to bet more is not coming? 
 
Edison and other utilities have, historically, resisted vigorously any attempt to enforce readiness for disaster and with maintaining their facilities. But now they are faced with the meltdown of the petroleum industry and realize their very existence is now in question. Therefore, instead of admitting their culpability, they are attempting to create a false record showing concern for the dangers they knew all along existed for us for which they could not be held accountable. They sat there, like steaming dog turds until the fires had started and the media was trumpeting the imminent threat of a major quake. 
 
It is also likely these unnatural monopolies will be seeking subsidies to upgrade. They must realize the public remembers all too well the wrongs done by the petroleum industry within the last 18 months. 
 
This comes at a time when ExxonMobil is still facing the possibility of impacting more than a quarter million people living within three miles of the Torrance Refinery. Pause to consider the impact of an earthquake, and fire on that facility.
 
The problems Edison now admits must be handled, itemized in the Times article, include:
  1. Reduce the risk of catastrophe at the Cajon Pass would be to put shutoff valves on both sides of the San Andreas fault on petroleum and natural gas pipelines. If the pipelines are automatically turned off during the earthquake, it could prevent huge amounts of fuel from being ignited if the pipelines break.”
What an interesting idea. Now ask yourself why they did not take these steps 20 years ago.
  1. In cities, water pipes and natural gas lines will burst during shaking.
The reality is disturbing — burst water pipes could leave parts of Southern California without running water for six months. Natural gas pipelines can fuel dangerous city fires.”
 3.Large businesses and local politicians may be underestimating the worst-case scenario.

This 'advice' from the petroleum industry is truly ironic as it is their irresponsibility and the lack of awareness of existing building technologies which would have largely reduced these hazards, along with the failure of government to carry out the duties they are paid to perform. 
 
4.Many Southern Californians don’t know their neighbors, and that’s going to hurt neighborhoods’ ability to recover.”

And whatever happens it is someone else's fault, not theirs because you don't have time to socialize when you and your wife are each working three jobs to make ends meet. 
 
5.Many cities do not require collapse-prone buildings to be retrofitted.”

And yet fees are extracted from those building structures using the justification this money is paid to ensure the structures are safe. But most are not safe, and the affordable sustainable technologies are very slow to be approved by these same agencies. 
 
Cities and towns refuse to allow the use of proven technologies exist which can provide safety from earthquakes, fires and flooding. While others around the world are already using these in America they remain largely unknown because of the collusion between government and existing construction interests. 
 
The first reconstruction which Californians should demand is of government and the corporations who run government. Visit Agents Green to contact us and get information on sustainable materials what else should be done.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Refugio Retrospective - One Year Later



Note: One year ago, through our former organization, Disaster Alert News Service (DANS), we provided modeling, analysis, correlations and background on the oil industry in the immediate aftermath of the Refugio Spill. 

This was our first sample of what we can do. No one else had this and both the 'environmental organizations' and the media ignored our news releases with the information.  Some used these.  No one attributed.  Being continuously ripped off by news outlets and organizations which pay large salaries to multiple employees disgusted us.  Some quit.  Dave and I kept going. 

This blog went online in early 2005.  I generally stopped publishing articles here out of frustration since it seemed no one cared about what I was uncovering.  Today I stopped by and noticed large spikes in traffic even though I have published nothing here since January.  Would you like to share  why you come?  I am perplexed.  

For a list of other attempts made to break through visit this page.  I think I have most of the sites on the list.  

The article below was originally published on ACP Vision & Action the  article and announcement site for EcoAlert.

(From DANS SHEET 1, one of two models supplied)
Marplot map of Hydrogen Sulfide from the spill point appears in purple, extending to the Threat Point 2 miles downwind (blue cross) and beyond, as indicated.

   This is one of the worst oil spills in Santa Barbara history. Therefore, we, now EcoAlert, prepared this review for what we knew then and what actions we recommended. This could impact some of the indictments revealed this week and perhaps expand the criminal investigation to hold all responsible parties accountable.
      Shortly after the spill we asked about the locations and timelines of the 5 Plains employees who reportedly worked out of EXXONMobil’s Las Flores Canyon Facility. We recommended that each of the workers involved provide signed affidavits as to their whereabouts and actions. We emphasized that all correspondence including emails, telephone logs and faxes by the operator in the first 24 hrs. be included in the body of evidence in case criminal action is eventually pursued. We provided an article with, time line from the available information. This went out as a news release on July 7th .

We argued that,
Plains knew the names and whereabouts of all of their employees during the first few hours of the spill incident. We further claimed that they knew the condition of their little ten miles of pipe. They surveyed it in 2012 and again in 2015, and they made numerous repairs and external inspections. We know it does not take months to pull up these records on a 10-mile stretch of their 18,000 mile pipeline network. So, if they failed to release this information voluntarily, they should have been subpoenaed.”

        We also questioned EXXONMobil’s role in creating and responding to the pressure anomalies in the Plains Line 901 pipeline located only a short distance from their temporary storage tanks at the oil treatment center. We pointed out that Plains owned only ten miles of pipeline in the Refugio area, the rest of pipeline upstream from the spill is owned by EXXONMobil, who also controlled the offshore platforms where the oil originated.
          Secondly, we criticized the function of the Unified Command in providing explanations and public relations for Plains actions which might have been criminal. We pointed this out at the time. This has been borne out by the 46 count indictment against Plains and their Environmental and Regulatory Compliance officer.
         One year ago we recommended alternatives to the way spills and other similar disasters be handled. We were right and strongly suggest our proposal be adopted.
      Furthermore, we expressed concern for the health of clean-up workers and recommended a list of names and contacts for everyone who was involved with clean-up or remediation be obtained.
      Nothing has been done about this. At the time, we sent information on the symptoms of petroleum poisoning to the Santa Barbara County Medical Society, asking they distribute the information, by email, to their members. The information supplied was based on the BP Gulf Spill and supplied by Science Corp. It was prepared by Michael R. Harbut, MD, Professor, Clinical Medicine Director, Environmental Cancer Initiative, Chief, Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine. Petroleum poisoning follows patterns. We wanted local physicians to know what to look for.
     Finally, we recommended 21st century technologies (like drones and modeling) to monitor and track the initial stages of the spill dispersal. We had supplied some of these for the first hours after the Refugio Spill.
       Few of these recommendations have been implemented so far, but it is not yet too late. The Attorney General can still subpoena all communications between Plains and EXXONMobil in the region within 24 hours of the spill in the region. The Unified Command can be pressured to release all of its monitoring and modeling data of the spill and its associated air and water pollution dispersal. The health department still needs to collect medical histories on all cleanup workers who are potential victims.
      Ultimately, the entire spill response bureaucracy needs to be updated with the latest technologies and modernized with geospatial real-time assessment and decision making. Grounds existed for criminal indictments immediately after the spill. Essential upgrades and improvements for all of their facilities, including refineries, are long over due, as we have witnessed in California and across our country. (Graphs from article)



Graph by Company


We emphasize, ExxonMobil should also be charged.

       The best way to protect innocent people and minimize the environmental impacts on the ecosystem is to ensure those who ignore the obligation to carry out maintenance and deliberately but people and the environment at risk are held accountable to the full extend of the law, paying reparations which make the victims whole.

David Lincoln & Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Eco-Alert
May 19, 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Real Conservative


The short article below was published in Observations from Melinda's World, a sort of journal of short pieces which appeared occasionally in the local paper in Ashtabula, Ohio, where I was marooned for a while by circumstances beyond my control.  I met many good people there - but it was never home.  

A local Congressional race moved me to call all the candidates and ask them for their positions on issues which defined Conservatism in the era of Barry Goldwater, a real American hero. 

The only candidate who came close to Goldwater's positions was the Democrat, who positioned himself as a left-Liberal.  

This is the first in a series to help all of us understand how a slow policy of repositioning can change our world and our perceptions. 

I was, and remain, a real Conservative, translated as Classical Liberal, Libertarian and advocate of compassion, community, and living the values of Christ, Master and Savior.

I'm going to start publishing short articles on Observations about once a week.  They will also appear on Here. 

 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

No. 95 – April 29 – Will the real Conservative Please Stand?

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster  
 
A friend forwarded me a letter written by J. Craig Lewis urging support for Matt Lynch as the Republican candidate for the 14th Congressional District in the coming primary. Lynch is the GOP challenger David Joyce will face on May 6th. Lewis, with fevered urgings worthy of an oncoming tsunami, urged voters to act immediately. The reasons given were Obama Care and the accusation the incumbent, Joyce, is part of a cabal of “sleeper cell socialists” of Liberals.

Both candidates claim to be Conservatives.

Let's take a pause here to understand the word, “Conservative.' Brace yourself.

Today's Republican Party is controlled by Marxists who identify themselves as 'Conservatives.' NeoConservativism was introduced to the GOP by a Trotskyite (Marxist), Irving Kristol, in the 1970s. Kristol was also a follower of Leo Strauss who taught lying is their natural right because they are 'destined to rule.'

Most registered Republicans are, at present, entirely unaware of what has happened over the last 40 years.

Robert Taft, Republican candidate for President from Ohio, was a Conservative. Barry Goldwater was Mr. Conservative. The present misunderstanding of the word, “Conservative,” is the result of a covert operation carried out by Rockefeller Republicans beginning in the 1950s.

A real conservative follows the Constitution, keeping government local and the people in direct control.

Goldwater's left copious quotes which left no doubt about what it meant to be a Conservative. Brevity is a virtue here.

Gays in the Military - “You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.” ~Barry Goldwater

A woman's right to have an abortion 
- “Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.” ~Barry Goldwater

Legalization of marijuana - Goldwater endorsed an Arizona initiative to legalize medical marijuana.

Position on damage to private property and health resulting from oil spills and fracking 
          - “While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.” ~Barry Goldwater

So, will the real Conservative please stand up?