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Archive for April 15th, 2011

Navy Vessel Used Against Deep Sea Drilling Protesters

Posted by feww on April 15, 2011

Bloggers Down Under call it

“Gunboat Democracy”

When a government uses the military against protesters

No it wasn’t Egypt or Saudi Arabia this time, not even the tiny dictatorship of Bahrain using the military to suppress citizens freedom of speech or their right to demonstrate; it was the [allegedly] democratic government of New Zealand  sending out a task force to threaten ordinary kiwis protesting against deep sea drilling off New Zealand coast.

The united front of te Whānau ā Apanui, Greenpeace and the flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling is holding its position in the Raukūmara Basin as the HMNZS Pūkakī arrived after eight days of surveillance by an Air force Orion. Source: Greenpeace

In an act that would make the cruelest police state dictators fume with envy,  New Zealand police and naval forces dispersed environmental activists and protesters opposed to deep sea oil drilling off New Zealand’s East Cape.

Petrobras, the Brazilian oil giant,  ignoring the wishes of indigenous Maori, was attempting to carry out seismic test in the Raukumara Basin, when their work was disrupted by environmentalists.

New Zealand govt have since served notice that any protester blocking the “oil exploration off the East Cape would face fines of up to $10,000, a year in prison, or probably both,” a blog report said.

NZ ex-banker prime minister sends military against peaceful protest

High Noon in the Raukumara Basin as the naval inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Pukaki is sent to prevent environmentalists having their say.

“Tuesday 12th April, 2011. We picked up an unexpected visitor steaming directly towards us at 20 knots – it was the Navy, with their 55m coastal patrol vessel HMNZS Pukaki.” Source:  Vanessa Atkinson

Raukumara Basin

Map: Blocks offered under the offshore Northland and Raukumara Licensing Round. Source: PetroView®

The 25,000sqkm Raukumara Basin extends about 300km north of East Cape.  Source NZ gov.

License to Pollute

Without consulting the local Maori, New Zealand government granted Petrobras a five-year permit for exploration of the Raukumara Basin, off the East Cape of New Zealand in June 2010.

Local Maori feel the pollution risk to the water and fish stocks in the regions is too great, should oil be found off the East Cape of New Zealand.

Ironically, Raukumara Basin sits between Kermadec Trench and Kermadec Ridge, and has an inherently unstable geology. FIRE-EARTH believes any oil-drilling in the exceptionally seismic area would most certainly prove disastrous for the entire region. See blog content for New Zealand earthquake forecasts.

Related Links

Posted in Deep Sea Drilling, Maori Soverignty, offshore Drilling | Tagged: , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Tornadoes, Severe Thunderstorms, Heavy Snow

Posted by feww on April 15, 2011

“A very active weather day,” NWS forecast


The NWS Storm Prediction Center in Norman OK has forecast the development of

  • Strong Tornadoes
  • Very Large Hail
  • Damaging Winds

Areas most likely to experience this activity include

  • W Arkansas
  • SE  Kansas
  • Extreme SW Missouri
  • E  Oklahoma
  • Extreme NE Texas

Severe storms also possible from the central Plains to the Mid-South.

Click image to enter NWS portal.

“A disturbance will emerge from the Four Corners region to the southern and central High Plains this afternoon, where it will begin a rapid intensification as it is fed by a strong surge of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected in the south-central Plains today with a strong possibility of tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds. Heavy rainfall is also possible.” NWS said.

Little Rock, AR,  Base Reflectivity Radar. Click image to enlarge. Click here to update.

Click image to enlarge.

TEXAS Wildfires

Meanwhile, large wildfires continue to burn across portions of Texas. As of posting, 33 states are helping Texas to fight some 21 large to major wildfires.

Picture of the Swenson fire in Stonewall County taken on April 7, 2011.  Photo is courtesy of the Texas Forest Service.

Related News Links

Related Link

Posted in extreme weather, Extreme weather events, SEVERE WEATHER, US weather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Food Prices Surge 36 pct

Posted by feww on April 15, 2011

Another 44 million people pushed into poverty

 1.2 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day: World Bank

About 1.2 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day, the World Bank president estimates.

[NOTE: The true figures may exceed 2.5 billion. FIRE-EARTH]

“More poor people are suffering and more people could become poor because of high and volatile food prices,” said Zoellick.

“We have to put food first and protect the poor and vulnerable, who spend most of their money on food.”

So why don’t we?

Food price changes  (Q1 2010 to Q1 2011)

  • Maize: 74%
  • Wheat: 69%
  • Palm oil: 55%
  • Soybeans: 36%
  • Beef: 30%
  • Rice: -2% (Source: World Bank)

Another 30% rise would force 50 more million or so below the extreme poverty line ($1.25 per day), World bank has warned.

World Bank Report Summary: Global food prices have increased substantially since mid-2010, as have prices in many developing countries. In this study we assess the poverty impact of the price changes between June and December 2010 in twenty-eight low and middle income countries. This is done by gathering detailed information on individual households’ food production and consumption levels for thirty-eight agricultural and food commodities to assess the impacts on household welfare. This study estimates that this sudden food price surge increased the number of poor people globally, but with considerably different impacts in different countries. The heterogeneity of these impacts is partly related to the wide variation in the transmission of global prices to local prices and partly to differences in households’ patterns of production and consumption. On balance, the adverse welfare impact on net buyers outweighs the benefits to net sellers resulting in an increase in the number of poor and in the depth of poverty. We estimate that the average poverty change was 1.1 percentage points in low income countries and 0.7 percentage points in middle income countries with a net increase of 44 million people falling below the $1.25 per day extreme poverty line.

Full Report:  Estimating the Short-Run Poverty Impacts of the 2010–11 Surge in Food Prices 

Posted in agricultural commodities, food commodities, food production and consumption, household welfare | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »