Thirty Something Years Too Late To Fix Big Climate Changes

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Every other year a team of geophysicists and weather geeks told the Bloomberg administration about the storm surge that would come and why it would be exceptionally flooding to areas of the city. They explained why protection was necessary while there was still time to do something about it and why it was needed. They used charts and briefs with clear explanations but each time were sent away with nothing done, not one thing accomplished. When Hurricane Sandy came, there was no protection whatsoever.

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In the late 60’s, the scrubbers being requested of oil industry facilities and other high polluting industries would’ve cost between $30 and $60 per smokestack and effluent release pipe – but, no – they wouldn’t do any of it and hired millions of dollars worth of lawyers, pr firms, lobbyists and “experts” to prevent having to do anything.

In the 70’s, it would have cost about $80 each to put that same filter on each stack and about $120 each for the effluent streams. In the 80’s, it would’ve cost about $300 each and $450, respectively. Then in the 90’s, it would’ve been from $600 to $3,000 depending on the system required to be placed, based upon the chemicals being discharged into the air, soil or water by the industry. But, no.

After the year 2000, some of those prices actually went down because of better and cheaper systems and materials with a much better understanding of treating whole systems in a more integrated way – but still, no. All the while, the damage was being done to the environment, to people, to communities and to entire regions of our nation.

And, all the time this damage was continuing to be done to the environment on massive scales across multiple industries, they were spending literally hundreds of millions of dollars on not doing anything. Industries, both individually and collectively as well as their industry associations spent far more on not doing anything or not being required by government to do anything than would’ve been spent if they had simply done something appropriate about it at any given point.

In some jurisdictions, in some states, EPA standards were applied but in many, many others, they were not. After 9/11 because of demand for filtration systems to prevent possible terrorist attacks or at least ameliorate them, and because the value of our US dollar having changed generally negatively, those 1960’s $30 scrubber filters would’ve cost more like $12,000 – $18,000 each even with the newer materials and methods.

Industries and industry groups spent decades of spending what became billions, maybe even trillions of dollars all told, across all of the polluting industries. These costs for attorneys’ fees, fines (occasionally), paying lawyers to appeal the fines till hell freezes over, retaining pr firms, supporting climate denial think tanks, hiring lobbyists and paying lobby firms retainers, supporting PACs, making campaign contributions to anti-EPA and climate denial candidates, and paying “experts” to discredit and decimate the reputations of climate change supporting scientists far exceed the imagination. And, industries supporting those costs spent real money far in excess by many times over what it would’ve ever cost to have stopped sending pollutants into the air, water, soil and forever altering the environment with it.

Thirty something years too late to fix it and now, they’re saying they want to be responsible corporate citizens as politicians they’ve bought are starting to say we might ought to do something about this. As our weather becomes more extreme by each day forward, as our sea levels rise and flooding entrenches entire areas of our country month after month where it had not been expected but once every hundred years or thousand years, when rains come with twenty inches or more in numbers of hours over a couple days rather than across months or weeks, and as arctic glaciers melt that have been there longer than humanity has existed – yeah, now it becomes a thing. It is too late. We have passed the tipping point and it is way too late to worry about it now.

Tree huggers they laughed and smirked, mocking the shunned hippy folks they thought them to be. But now, as it turns out – trees lower the temperature of the climate by two degrees. And, wouldn’t that be handy about now? But the corporate giants of industry cut all the old growth forest and jungles down that they could get their hands on and still to this day, what is left of them are being cut down, clear cut, burned into more carbon in the atmosphere across the globe as if there is not one reason not to do it. And today, see this if nothing else –

“The average peak temperature each day this month has been above 104 deg. Fahrenheit, with the mercury spiking one day to 111.7F”

 

‘There Is No Doubt’: Exxon Knew CO2 Pollution Was a Global Threat By Late 1970s

ICYMI: 2015 was the hottest year on record. 2016 is already hotter images via

‘And then we wept’: Scientists say 93 percent of the Great …

Apr 20, 2016 – Australia’s National Coral Bleaching Task Force has surveyed 911 coralreefs by air, and found at least some bleaching on 93 percent of them.

Great Barrier Reef: 93% of reefs hit by coral bleaching …

http://www.theguardian.com › Environment › Great Barrier Reef

The Guardian

Apr 19, 2016 – Almost 93% of reefs on the Great Barrier Reef have been hit by coral bleaching, according to a comprehensive survey revealing the full extent ..

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AND FOR AT LEAST ONE SOLUTION – INDUSTRY COULD NOW BE USING THIS – 

New material shown to remove CO2 from smokestack effluent and other sources

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The Racism and Classism of Color in Design

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I’ve been designing a long time and studying design even longer across the years of my life. Noticeably absent from wonderful popular trends most often in America, is color – bright, vibrant, beautiful diversity of color.

So, I got to thinking about that. What is it about color that very often causes it to socially fall out of favor or become muted, greyed out or darkened versions in popular use? What causes vibrant color to not be commonplace among fashions people wear or want in their homes in American culture?

What about diversity and intensity of color in American social context says something undesirable about color to the point of an ever-present tendency toward milktoast neutrals, whites, bland and homogenized looks? What does that?

For a stretch of mental exercise, and not necessarily rational nor factually based – I’ve been thinking about what I’ve seen in America across designs and trends in my lifetime. And I’m conjecturing some purely subjective based thoughts about it.

  1. Across many cultures and races, vibrant color is part of their world, part of their expression of identity. Is it racially motivated to steer clear of vibrant and expressive colors? Is it to turn away from those “lesser classes” who are allegedly not sophisticated enough to want a muted, neutral or greyed down palette?
    157587886-canal-with-colorful-houses-burano-veneto-gettyimages

    Canal with colorful houses – Burano, Veneto Italy – Credit: Romaoslo, Getty Images

  2. Rich enough to wear white, light grey, tan and muted pastels or to own a white couch because it says you don’t work, don’t get dirty, can afford someone else to clean it and are rich enough to do so? Is it classism and class defining to live in and wear designs that are within a strict limited palette that can’t get dirty without being totally ruined? Is it really sophistication to live in an environment where you don’t sit, wear clothing you can’t live in and support color palettes that aren’t appropriate for any real engaged lifestyle? 

     

     

  3. Houses that are painted brightly in the US are harassed. criticized and sued by homeowners associations and local jurisdictions, no matter how beautifully they are done. Why is that? What happened to freedom of expression and the freedom to express identity through style and color choices, whether in house colors or choices of landscaping with flowers of color rather than only hedges and trees, or in choices of clothing colors and the colors of furnishings? Is it really better for every house to be of a drab grey, tan, dirty white and black shutters variety that look dismal?
    513751375-colorful-houses-nyhavn-copenhagen-gettyimages

    Colorful Houses Nyhavn Copenhagen – Credit: Mlenny, Getty Images 

    557615245-colorful-house-in-christiania-commune-gettyimages

    Colorful house in Christiania commune, Copenhagen – Credit: Anna Gorin, Getty Images

  4. There are modern houses with modern furnishings that are kept streamlined in having not one thing where it is visible, no vibrant color – unless grey or tan are considered colors, and where not one person may have ever sat for longer than ten minutes, though people do live there. And are they to determine for everyone else what a color palette of sophistication should be when that appears to be the least qualified space as a living environment to qualify for anything but a photograph?

  5. Tribal and folk arts offer vibrant colors as part of their acceptable palette and are well loved by people everywhere despite not being born into that culture. In some cities and towns, bright vibrant colors define each home individually with an overall look that is stunning and beautiful with a happy, joyous feel to its place. Why is that not an acceptable practice in America – not in any subdivision, not in any city or town, not in any of NYC’s many boroughs despite its cultural “acceptance of diversity”?
    517840413-rajasthani-embroidered-tribal-dress-fabric-gettyimages

    Rajasthani embroidered tribal dress fabric – Credit: Glen Allison, Getty Images

 

 

Draft of Useful Ways to Harness CO2

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Recycling Carbon Dioxide to Make Plastics | Department of …

energy.gov/…/recycling-carbondiox

United States Department of Energy

May 20, 2013 – Novomer’s thermoplastic pellets incorporate waste CO2 into a … has the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously …

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RESEARCH: Turning CO2 emissions into plastic with algae …

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060023524

Environment & Energy Publishing

Aug 17, 2015 – Turning CO2 emissions into plastic with algae? It may not be as crazy as it sounds. Niina Heikkinen, E&E reporter. ClimateWire: Monday …

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Renewable plastic made from carbon dioxide and plants …

Mar 9, 2016 – Renewable plastic made from carbon dioxide and plants … CO2 required to make PEF could be obtained from fossil-fuel power plant emissions …

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Conventional vs biodegradable plastics – UNEP

http://www.unep.org/…/Conventional…

United Nations Environment Programme

completely metabolize them to carbon dioxide (and water). … Life cycle analyses show that bioplastics can reduce CO2 emissions by 30-80 percent compared to …

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New Plastic Could Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions

http://www.livescience.com/4663-plastic-reduce-carbondioxideemissions.html

A plastic tweaked to mimic cellular membranes can separate carbon dioxide from natural gas and could help reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, …

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These 5 companies strive to convert CO2 to cash | GreenBiz

Sep 22, 2014 – Not only is carbon dioxide readily abundant, it is three to 10 times cheaper than other feedstocks used to make plastics and chemicals, according to Cole. … Eventually, it hopes to harness carbon emissions there and convert it …

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Artificial photosynthesis breakthrough turns CO2 emissions …

Artificial photosynthesis breakthrough turns CO2 emissions into plastics and biofuel. Dario Borghino April 23, 2015. 3 pictures. Researchers have developed an …

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Sustainable Plastics: Environmental Assessments of …

Joseph P. Greene – 2014 – ‎Technology & Engineering

The most common areas of pollution concern are for ozone layer depletion, … Atmospheric emissions can include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, …

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Could future chairs, clothes and even buildings be made …

http://www.theguardian.com › … › Sustainable design

The Guardian

Feb 26, 2014 – Could future clothes, bottles and chairs be made from carbonemissions? … The vast majority of plastic is produced from petroleum, which means that … By combining methane and carbon dioxide with a proprietary catalyst, …

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Converting carbon dioxide into plastic – YouTube

Feb 24, 2015 – Uploaded by ChemistryWorldUK

The world’s demand for energy, and the resultant carbon dioxide emissions, are drastically changing our …

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State-Level Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions …

http://www.eia.gov/…/emissions/state/analy…

Energy Information Administration

Oct 26, 2015 – Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions at the State Level, 2000- …plastics are subtracted from reported emissions for the states where they …

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Will hacking nature protect us from climate change? – CNN …

http://www.cnn.com/…/pioneers-carbon-sink-geoengineering-climate-hac…

CNN

Oct 27, 2015 – Watch this video. Could plastic trees end air pollution? … As air flows over the plastic resin sails, they grab CO2 and hold on to it. CO2 binds to …

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Transforming pollution into sustainable polymers & chemicals

Converting Pollution Into Sustainable Polymers and Chemicals … proprietary catalyst system that transforms waste carbon dioxide (CO2) into high performance, …

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Groundbreaking Technology Transforms Greenhouse …

http://www.takepart.com/…/plastic-bag-sucks-carbon-out-air-and-may…

TakePart

Aug 19, 2014 – … a way to make plastic from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. ….. Ocean Plastic Pollution Costs $13 Billion a Year, and Your Face …

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How to make the most of carbon dioxide : Nature News …

http://www.nature.com/…/how-to-make-the-most-of-carbondioxide-1.186…

Nature

Oct 28, 2015 – Pellets of urea fertilizer are made from carbon dioxide in a plant in … can convert CO2 emissions from coal and natural-gas power plants into useful … fuels and raw material for the manufacture of plastics and other chemicals.

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Energy-related emissions by state 2013 chart from US EIA

Energy-related emissions by state, 2013 chart from US Energy Information Admin

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The Link Between Plastic Use and Climate

Change: Nitty-gritty

https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=30619

Worldwide, we consume approximately 100 million tons of plastic each year. From the EPA’s more conservative estimate to the more liberal one, that’s anywhere from 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted to 500 million tons.

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Living in America in the Front Side of the Twenty-First Century

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We live in a time when shelves are kept for decoration’s sake filled with books chosen for the color of their binding rather than to read the words inside.

We live in a time when middle class families support their personal shopping expeditions to retailers and groceries buying food that spoils uneaten because it was bought to hoard rather than use and brand new goods sit idle without purpose.

We live in a time when outdoor play space, a yard and swings mean very little to the families who have them because there is no shade to protect from the excessive UV rays and cool down the excessive heat when it is nice enough to be outside. And, it is easier to be playing video games anyway.

We live in a time when extraordinary amounts of money are no longer available in communities to start or foster businesses because those funds are being used to play the stock market, to buy exotic and often risky products from Wall Street as well as to hoard in remote investment vehicles suggested by paying a broker to decide.

We live in a time when houses and buildings with apartments, condominiums and living spaces are bought and never lived in by the buyers because they are purchased as an investment which does no more than to increase the square footage price to the people who need places to live.

We live in a time when those with the most kitchen space, kitchen gadgets, cooking equipment of the highest grade are rarely in their homes to cook and would prefer to eat out anyway, so they do. Most would prefer not to clean it up regardless, eating out most meals, most days for almost any or no excuse.

We live in a time when people know more about their favorite team’s players stats than the stats on their stock broker, investment broker, insurance company, bank, doctor, lawyer or any other business they deal with and don’t care until it is too late to ask.

We live in a time when people have more information and yet don’t make the connections about what that information means in application, nor the principles involved in that knowledge, rendering it useless in many ways.

We live in a time when the most resourced among us do the least to provide and those with the greatest amount of excessive gains are the least willing to be any real participant in any of the vast communities available to them.

We live in a time when facts are skewed by opinion without any regard for the implications of that misuse of will and judgment which creates an abundance of applied misjudgments on a truly staggering number of other things, some of a life threatening nature to themselves and others.

We live in a time with better weather forecasting than has ever been possible and people who choose not to believe the facts being presented whether it is about severe rain and extreme cold coming or about climate changes that are occurring.

Their very identities have become wrapped up in choosing to believe what they want to believe or not, and misled to some extent by those they consider beyond question, these same people are running their cars into flooded roadways, ignoring extreme cold warnings and dressing themselves and their children improperly resulting in frostbite and illnesses, and passing out from heat stroke when it could have been avoided.

In New York City and many other places, there are the new wondrous developments of technology and what it can do resting side-by-side with adults who are educated and literate but don’t understand any of it, not its uses, not its accessibility to them, not how to learn what can be done with it – nothing.

Now people have started to become accustomed to using their smart phones to look up things on the internet and yet, have no idea that online learning courses are available to them, that they could build their own websites and blogs, that vast resources from all over the world are standing in front of them on their computer, laptop, tablet – or phone.

Most people capable of jumping into almost any video game platform (as adults right now) seem skittish when it comes to “playing” with 3d modeling or computer graphics programs, online learning courses, wikipedia, youtube video editing and production, using other kinds of cameras and technologies, exploring robotics or science videos online. It is beyond the imagination to understand their unwillingness to even touch it.

And, most of all – what I find extraordinary about this time in which we live – is not the inventions and discoveries that are amazing. It is that those inventions, innovations, and discoveries must go through a financing and funding process that looks more like feudal Europe than America today.

It denies us many of the innovations that would improve our lives and stuffs money into the pockets of those whose work it isn’t at the expense of those whose work it is by using their investment into these startups in order to get a greater return in a shorter period of time than any other source would give them.

It means that in two – three years, when a business should be focusing on expanding its market reach and establishing a greater viability for their product, invention, innovation or discovery, those business owners are having to run around and find second round seed money and new funding sources to continue because initial investors have pulled their money out plus a significant return on their money on top of that amount from all the resources owned by the new business.

This finance process has destroyed more businesses than it has made whole and successful, but the investors and funding sources benefit doing it this way because they have all the return and none of the responsibility, work, or sacrifice. It has destroyed entire industries that would have been of great service to mankind from solar energy to alternative fuels to sensors that detect the chemicals of bombs to a desk sized laboratory for field testing samples that uses nano-technology and web apps to new alloys, new concretes and new materials, among many, many others.

So, we live in a time of wonder and horror, of the brightest most amazing things and some of the stupidest mankind has ever seen. We let generations of Americans who we’ve paid to educate languish rather than bringing them forward to greater excellence in the world. Why is that? Why is any of it?

And on one final note, an educator on twitter the other day was complaining about parents not helping their children learn leadership skills in the US. Well, yeah, of course not. The Kardashians and reality tv shows have proven one thing if nothing else, that leadership skills and intelligence, education and fortitude are not those qualities that make for a rich, rewarding and successful life in America. Our children can see that for themselves and most of them are simply trying to figure out how to plan the right celebrity to screw and post it on “dah web.”

  • cricketdiane, 04-07-16

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For What It’s Worth …..

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When decadence is honored

And good is not

When sadistic tyrants are given feasts and worship

But the fair and honest are not

When those who fight for what’s right

Are treated like lepers rather than heroes

When decency and tolerance

Are treated like sins and shunned

Then what can you really expect our children to do?

  • cricketdiane, 04-03-16

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I wrote this the other day and then got to thinking about it. Probably, the greater problem is that every group believes a little differently or a lot differently about what is right, what is decency and tolerance, what is worth accepting from leaders or not.

During the Republican administrations that have run our nation for the 30 some odd years before President Obama came into office and have run most states across the US even during his administration, it was said that single women with children and generally, the poor were the enemy of our nation’s good. But at the same time, they feted and worshiped the very tyrants of the world who made Satan himself look good compared to their sadistic torture and massive destruction of people’s lives. They were given the best of the best in Washington, DC and New York, offered billions – sometimes even trillions of dollars in cash, grants, payments, goods, military hardware and training, business grants, economic and educational grants and funding ad infinitum to serve their public good (which often they were known to pocket instead.)

It didn’t matter that they were among the most horrific and sadistic people of any period in humanity’s history. It didn’t matter that they diverted the funds, used the resources to destroy, maim and decimate entire parts of their own populations and that of their neighbors, nor did it matter that they used those funds to sponsor terrorism AND solid gold toilets for their own shitty asses. Our leaders in every respect treated those nightmares of humanity with our taxpayer dollars as if the keys to our treasury belonged to them and not us. At the same time, every single mother and child in this nation was told that she was the enemy of the United States and the reason for its ruin. Even as Wall Street brokerage houses were perpetrating the most decadence seen in history since Nero and Caligula.

Now, the Republicans want us to go back to that because to them – it was all so “perfect” and served the United States better than this today or anything else in their estimation. It is insane.

But can I see it from their point of view – or do I want to? Maybe. Is it the set of linear thinking that said to each policy maker, conservative thinktank member and politician that these tyrants could serve our national needs for petroleum or mining resources or a regional spot to land our planes, so therefore, give them anything they want and treat them as heroes and saints regardless of the facts to the contrary so horrifically? Maybe.

Is it that Republicans though every single woman and her children was bleeding the system rather than able to make a contribution to it by offering some significant weapon, financial powerhouse or needed resource? Was it that simple?

I don’t know – but it makes me sick thinking about it.

  • cricketdiane

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Five Ideas to Help Nuclear Security Summit Deciding on Terrorism Threats

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Wanting to write about the terrorist possibilities with nuclear materials, but a part of me wants to believe that our authorities and agencies responsible for these materials have them well secured. Time and time again, it becomes evident that there are lapses in both the security of facilities and nuclear materials as well as lapses in common sense in handling events that occur.

If a few simple things were done, security would certainly be better at anyplace housing, using, storing or creating electricity with nuclear materials.

  1. Is to make sure all security cameras are far removed from access by a person wanting to simply turn them away.
  2. Is to make sure that all security personnel and workers of every kind at any facilities with nuclear materials have been well vetted beyond a normal random check done for other types of businesses.
  3. Is to make sure that all ID badges used by facility personnel of any kind, any contractors, any plumbers that come out to fix something, any technicians, any company executives inclusively – have RFID tracking on the badges.
  4. Is to make sure that local constabulary, police supervisors, police and fire chiefs, and whoever else might make stupid or egotistical decisions locally about any event at a nuclear materials using facility – knows to immediately inform appropriate intel and counter-terrorism agencies about any and all irregular events concerning the plant. That would include murders of any personnel that works there, any loss of materials, any stuck valves that are made to look like they weren’t done intentionally though proof is visible that intentionality was likely, AND any bizarre occurrences out of the ordinary, such as having all the oil drained from a pump expected to be lubricating the turbines that causes significant damages, etc., etc., etc.,
  5. IS TO MAKE SURE that every country using nuclear materials for civilian uses and any other uses understands that the international community will not accept pretense about these materials because of their inherent dangers to us all.

When TEPCO executives made statements straight out of a playbook of damage control for public consumption, they first downplayed the incidents and their dangers even as those events were unfolding and they knew the magnitude of the disaster. This is not an acceptable path for executives, decision-makers, industries, industry spokespeople, industry pr firms, politicians or even local officials to take when events can unfold quickly and impact such a massive swath of humanity and civilization for years to come.

This is to say, that as our leaders meet for the Nuclear Security Summit, the greatest danger we face is to watch events unfold concerning nuclear materials and it be a week later before some local executive or supervisor at the facility or other business using those materials actually tells somebody who can do concrete measures to fix it. Or, in the case of terrorist use of those materials, to tell a group of agencies from Interpol to counter-terrorism and national security agencies that the materials are missing in a timely and effective manner.

The same is true for local police jurisdictions in areas near nuclear and other chemical industry facilities. It cannot be up to them to say a matter is no more than criminal when in fact, it could be very likely tied to terrorism or a terrorist network intending greater harm. That information needs to be in the hands of those who are collecting it, analyzing it, interpreting its connectivity to other known information about terrorists operations and then acted upon appropriately. That can’t happen when the information is circumvented by jurisdictional ego building tactics.

There, I’ve had my say about it. But, I do want to believe that our authorities and security / intel agencies have it all well in hand. And, they’ve thwarted countless terrorist plans, prepared events of terrorism and some really incredibly stupid stuff that would’ve been massively dangerous to us all. So, maybe. Maybe with the addition of just a few simple things – it can be made safer. I hope so.

  • cricketdiane, 04-01-16

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At the same plant where these jihadists once worked, an individual who has yet to be identified walked into the reactor No. 4 in 2014, turned a valve and drained 65,000 liters of oil used to lubricate the turbines. The ensuing friction nearly overheated the machinery, forcing it to be shut down. The damage was so severe that the reactor was out of commission for five months.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/26/world/europe/belgium-fears-nuclear-plants-are-vulnerable.html?_r=0

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Fire causes shutdown at Belgian nuclear reactor | Business …

http://www.business-standard.com/…/firecausesshutdown-at-b

Business Standard

Dec 1, 2014 – Read more about Fire causes shutdown at Belgian nuclear reactor on Business Standard. A fire caused the shutdown of a nuclear reactor in …

Fire shuts down Belgium′s Tihange nuclear reactor | News …

http://www.dw.com/en/fireshuts-downbelgiums…nuclearreactor/a-18929156

Dec 19, 2015 – Fire shuts down Belgium’s Tihange nuclear reactor … discovered in the walls of Belgian nuclear reactors are causing unease among experts.

Belgian nuclear plant’s reactor shuts down days after reboot …

https://www.rt.com/news/327763-belgiumnuclearreactor-offline/

RT

Jan 3, 2016 – Another mishap rocked Belgium on November 1, when an explosion occurred overnight at a nuclear power plant in Doel, causing a fire.

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Brussels attacks: Nuclear alert after security officer ‘found dead with his pass missing’

12:30PM GMT 26 Mar 2016

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/12204863/Brussels-terror-attacks-nuclear-isil-suspects-victims-latest.html

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Easter Thoughts

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Extreme profiteering without conscience

Extreme ideologies that pervert conscience

Extreme hedonism that lays waste to conscience

Extreme religious views that ignore conscience

All decimate everything that they touch, not building to life, nor to humanity.

Why would anyone tolerate that in themselves or others?

  • cricketdiane, 03-27-16 (Easter Sunday, 2016)

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8 Things I Didn’t Know about Terrorism, Law Enforcement and Security / Intelligence

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Reading this article from The Telegraph UK, I discovered a number of things I didn’t know about terrorism, about law enforcement and how it all fits with national security and intelligence resources. Take a look – the article is great and has a wonderful map explaining where the terrorists from the recent Brussels bombings were arrested and operating in relation to the bombings.

Brussels attacks: Nuclear alert after security officer ‘found dead with his pass missing’

12:30PM GMT 26 Mar 2016

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/12204863/Brussels-terror-attacks-nuclear-isil-suspects-victims-latest.html

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  1. A security guard who worked at a Belgian nuclear facility was murdered two days after the Brussels bombings, but prosecutors have denied that the killing was related to terrorism.  [ . . . ]The murder is being handled as a criminal, not a terrorism case.[Telegraph, UK]This is the first thing I noticed is that local law enforcement, local prosecutors, local law enforcement supervisors, local politicians maybe too – get to decide which category an event fits. In this case, the first response places an event involving murder of a security team member from a nuclear plant into the category of criminal activities rather than terrorism. I didn’t know that could happen to divert information from national security and counter-terrorism intelligence resources.That would mean intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies both nationally / regionally and internationally would not typically receive all events that could likely be terrorist perpetrated, terrorism related or terrorism based.
  2. Prospero, who worked for the G4S security company, was found dead in his bathroom by his three children when they returned from school, Belga reported. He was shot four times.[ . . . ] The guard, Didier Prospero, was shot dead at his home in Froidchapelle. [ . . . ] He was the chief security officer at a nuclear research facility in Fleurus, near Charleroi.

    This begs the question, given this man’s authority and access to areas of a nuclear plant, why wouldn’t it have automatically been considered critical information to forward into intelligence and security forces, counter-terrorism agencies and their databases? What could possibly be the advantage to downplaying the possibility that his murder and it’s value to access the nuclear plant’s secure facilities by use of his card, is part of a terrorist based plan or planned event? This downplaying of an event’s relationship to possible terrorism is something I would’ve never guessed, especially two days after a major bombing event conducted by terrorists in the same country.

  3. According to reports, officials have cancelled the guard’s pass amid fears that terrorists were planning a dirty bomb strike on a nuclear power facility. [ . . . ] The prosecutor’s office in the city of Charleroi, south of Brussels, also denied a report in the newspaper Derniere Heure that his work pass was stolen, according to the Belga news agency.

    This indicates that work passes / id cards / security passes to a nuclear facility have no RFID chip that can be tracked – and why not? There are more security features on every piece of merchandise in a store in any city, European or American, than there are on security passes for people going in and out of what are supposed to be the most secured facilities in the world – nuclear plants. If it had a tracking feature, the officials at the plant and in counter-terrorism units could know exactly where the pass is located right now, and who has it, possibly who killed the security man from the plant and would’ve certainly known sooner why, two days after massive bombings in Brussels – the chief security officer of a nuclear plant was late or a no-show for work.

  4. In the process of searching the home of another ISIS suspect, who was arrested and charged with terrorist activity and murder over alleged links to the Nov. 13, 2015, Paris terror attacks, police found more than 10 hours of secretly recorded video showing the unnamed scientist coming and going from his home. [ . . . ] Investigators said the camera used to record the official was left at a static location under a bush, and was picked up by the two unidentified assailants. [ . . . ] A U.S. official did confirm to CBS News, however, that the Bakaroui brothers were involved in carrying out the covert surveillance of a Belgian nuclear official, and possibly a nuclear facility, as well. (from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brussels-attacks-ibrahim-khalid-bakraoui-plot-belgium-nuclear-abdeslam/ )

    However, it was only two weeks after the filming was discovered that soldiers were deployed to guard nuclear facilities — at the beginning of this month. After the filming was discovered in February, the interior minister, Jan Jambon, rejected the proposal, saying: “Nothing indicates a specific threat to nuclear power plants… This is why we are not planning any military support.”

    The government soon changed its mind and on March 4 approved the deployment of 140 soldiers to guard five nuclear facilities.

    (from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/12204863/Brussels-terror-attacks-nuclear-isil-suspects-victims-latest.html )

    This article along with another from CBS News indicates that the entire civilian nuclear industry would have known that there was a likely potential for serious terrorist enacted planning that involved their plants as of the discovery of surveillance video in the hands of known terrorists / jihadists with sworn allegiance to ISIS after the Paris attacks. Until reading this article, I didn’t know that the nuclear power plant owners and those around them at nearby petrochemical plants could be so casual about the security and potential risks of terrorism on their facilities.

  5. In another disturbing incident, a turbine at the same Doel 4 reactor was sabotaged in 2014. Someone deliberately turned security cameras the other way and then emptied 65,000 litres of oil used to lubricate the turbine. “Then they put the lid back on to make everyone think all was well,” according to Eloi Glorieux, a nuclear expert at Greenpeace Belgium. (Telegraph, UK)

    Whether it is Las Vegas casinos or any discount retailer or restaurant, there is no way for a customer or unauthorized person to get to security cameras and turn them. Why would it be possible with security cameras at a nuclear facility where their importance is so much greater? It also proves malevolent access to what is supposed to be and in fact, MUST be, a highly secured facility whose damage, disaster, destruction or terrorist caused event will impact millions and possibly even billions of lives over a long period of time and create horrors for generations.

  6. The nuclear plant in question is within range of a string of petrochemical plants and one of the most densely populated regions in Europe, with 1.5 million people in a 30km range. (Telegraph, UK)

    Nuclear facilities and their nearby industries, such as these petrochemical plants have an impact range far in excess of a 30km circle. What I learned from this article, is how little importance is thought of these impact potentials by the highest level of decision makers and their local counterparts as well. (note – it is indicated by their responses, by failures to assign the appropriate level of importance and criticality to both events and situations concerning these facilities, as well as their immediate willingness to downplay the seriousness of known events that have occurred and failing to include them in terrorism event databases and resources.)

  7. Others are far more disconcerting. In 2012, two employees at the nuclear plant in Doel quit to join jihadists in Syria, and eventually transferred their allegiances to the Islamic State. Both men fought in a brigade that included dozens of Belgians, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, considered the on-the-ground leader of the Paris attacks.

    One of these men is believed to have died fighting in Syria, but the other was convicted of terror-related offenses in Belgium in 2014, and released from prison last year, according to Pieter Van Oestaeyen, a researcher who tracks Belgium’s jihadist networks. It is not known whether they communicated information about their former workplace to their Islamic State comrades.

    At the same plant where these jihadists once worked, an individual who has yet to be identified walked into the reactor No. 4 in 2014, turned a valve and drained 65,000 liters of oil used to lubricate the turbines. The ensuing friction nearly overheated the machinery, forcing it to be shut down. The damage was so severe that the reactor was out of commission for five months.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/26/world/europe/belgium-fears-nuclear-plants-are-vulnerable.html?_r=0

    This goes back to number 5, but is even more descriptive of the event’s criticality. It both answers and asks an even more important set of questions. Most importantly, how could there be sensors on car engines for the amount of oil available to the engine at any given time, but on nuclear plant turbines, there was no such indicator available to tell the operating team before or during its operation until its parts were overheated and severe damage was great enough that it simply didn’t go anymore? And, after this obvious and intentional sabotage of a nuclear plant in Europe has occurred, why would there be any question as to whether the nuclear facilities were in threat of terrorist actions when subsequent events happened including the murder of a security team member and his id card being taken? What could possibly be important enough to override all common sense and pretend that the threat is not real, valid or likely?

  8. The new identity card has been hacked into in twelve minutes, according to a report.Using simply a laptop PC and Nokia mobile phone, IT expert Adam Laurie was able to copy all the data on a card, create a clone and change the information on the clone, said a report in the Daily Mail.

    http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/security/id-card-hacked-cloned-in-12-minutes-16114/

    This is about a new id card for the UK from an article in 2010. The fact that the work pass / security ID card from the man murdered in this Telegraph article was taken, and can likely be hacked, cloned or otherwise used illegitimately to gain access to nuclear facilities including the one where he worked, means “cancelling it” wouldn’t really help much. This card in the hands of terrorist could give access to a number of resources that no one would ever want them to have. Could they show it somewhere to buy things that should not be available to them? Could they use it to hack another person’s identity as the owner of a similar ID card to gain access to that facility or others? Could it be used to travel elsewhere to another country’s facilities and gain access by seeming to be someone they are not? Could it be access to companies that sell only to security personnel? The list is endless in the hands of whoever has it now and their networks of people intent on bringing about the end of times.

This discussion of these eight things I learned from this Telegraph articles and others about the same subject is not intended to say, let’s all get crazy about this. It is intended to help understand, convey and help fix this very dangerous situation. Some things could be very simple – like

  • increasing sensors on oil / lubricant systems to know how much is or is not available to the machinery,
  • changing the location of security cameras where they are not accessible to turn away from their established view as it was determined to be needed by security teams,
  • considering the critical importance of greater common sense security measures involving nuclear plants and other dangerous chemical / industrial facilities,
  • adding tracking / RFID or something that works to work passes, security ID cards and personnel / security personnel cards at all nuclear facilities & chemical / petrochemical / industrial facilities that may represent terrorist targets,
  • taking with seriousness and acting upon with a higher level of seriousness, any and all events that are both criminal and likely terroristic in nature, especially those of sabotage, murder, missing persons who work at nuclear facilities.
  • making it common practice for these events, regardless of what local officials and law enforcement / prosecutors want to call them – to be sent immediately to the counter-terrorism agencies and databases (within the same day or hour of the event.)
  • AND, if that cannot be done for some reason, to develop the app / software / real time interactive platform that can do it and establish its reasonable expectation of ALL nuclear operators, local law enforcement, facilities managers in industry and petrochemical plants, etc. USING IT, this time and every time. Then security professionals involved in counter-terrorism and regional / national / international security can understand how all the pieces fit together and indicate networks of individuals involved in and actively engaged in perpetrating events to do harm.

The putting together of all of these facts, along with this explanation from The Atlantic (and many experts) of what this particular caliphate of ISIS jihadists believe, indicates that there are few things they will not do to kill, to maim, to destroy, to decimate, to sadistically torture, to cause generational destruction, to disrupt modern life, to cause massive deaths and to perpetrate absolute destruction of humanity.

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

cricketdiane, 03-26-16

P.S. Do security teams involved in counter-terrorism even know if there are missing professionals who would have extraordinary knowledge of secured facilities like nuclear power plants and similar dangerous industrial facilities? Would it be no more than a missing persons report by some local law enforcement office without sending the information to any significant authority or database involved in counter-terrorism? Can local authorities be that dismissive, or territorial about a case, and can simply call it criminal rather than terroristic to assert their proprietary rights to any and all investigation contents such that we would all be at risk? Really?

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Terrorism

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1970s Terrorism Mideast declaration of war on the West –

The 1970s and the birth of contemporary terrorism

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/249688-the-1970s-and-the-birth-of-contemporary-terrorism

Nearly 9,840 incidents of terrorism were recorded worldwide during that decade [the 1970s], and more than 7,000 people were killed. During the recent surge from 2002 through 2013, 72,185 terrorist attacks occurred — and nearly 170,000 died because of them.

(from the article above)

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/249688-the-1970s-and-the-birth-of-contemporary-terrorism

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The golden age of terrorism

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/28/opinions/bergen-1970s-terrorism/

The U.S. Department of Transportation found that between 1970 and 1979 there were 112 domestic plane hijackings. [. . . ]

During the decade of the 1970s terrorists killed 184 people in the States and injured more than 600 others. In the decade and a half since 9/11, terrorists have, by contrast, killed 74.

(from the article above)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/28/opinions/bergen-1970s-terrorism/

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The Evolution of Islamic Terrorism: An Overview
By John Moore

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/etc/modern.html

[2] Political versus Fundamentalist Islam
Political Islam, as opposed to fundamentalist or neo-fundamentalist Islam, posits a worldview that can deal with and selectively integrate modernity. In contrast, fundamentalist Islam calls for a return to an ontological form of Islam that rejects modernity; groups such as Al Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad are representative of fundamentalist Islam.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/etc/modern.html

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Category:Terrorist incidents in the 1970s

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Terrorist_incidents_in_the_1970s

See also the preceding Category:Terrorist incidents in the 1960s and the succeeding Category:Terrorist incidents in the 1980s.

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Brussels attacks: More urgency needed to fight terror – May

03-23-2016 (about an hour ago) BBC News UK –

The UK and its allies must work with “greater urgency and joint resolve” to defeat terrorism, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.[ . . . ]

An emergency number for those worried a relative may have been affected has also been issued – 020 7008 0000.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35883246

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The Iranian dream of a reborn Persian Empire
By Ralph Peters
February 1, 2015 | 6:00am

ISIS craves the old empire of Saladin the Turk, the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria, who founded the Ayyubid dynasty and ruled from 1174–1193. [ . . . ]

The odds are against Islamic State or successor fanatics building and sustaining a sprawling caliphate. Extremists create a valley of death, not a Silicon Valley. The effort to revive the caliphate has ruptured the Arab world — while renewing the old collision of empires between Arabs and Persians. It’s a 7th century conflict replayed in the 21st century.

http://nypost.com/2015/02/01/the-iranian-dream-of-a-reborn-persian-empire/

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Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, alternatively translated as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, is a Salafi jihadist militant group that follows an Islamic fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam. Wikipedia
Founded: 1999
**

16-year-old Australian girl faces charges of financing Daesh

FRENCH PRESS AGENCY – AFP
SYDNEY
Published March 22, 2016

A 16-year-old schoolgirl was set to be charged Tuesday with raising money to support the Daesh terrorist group, Australian police said, warning of a “trend of teenage children” involved in such activities.

The girl and a 20-year-old man were arrested in the western Sydney suburb of Guildford in the morning, New South Wales state police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said.

“The 16-year-old girl is not somebody who is well-known to us, however it is disturbing that we are continuing to see a trend of teenage children involved in activities that they should really not be involved in at all.”

**

What ISIS Really Wants

“The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.” [ . . . ]
“Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.”
**

U.S. charges Iran-linked hackers with targeting banks, N.Y. dam

March 24 at 10:25 AM

The crimes include disrupting U.S. banks’ public websites from late 2011 through May 2013 and with breaking into a small dam in upstate New York in an apparent attempt to stop its operation.

The indictment marks the first time the government is charging people linked to a national government with disrupting or attempting to disrupt critical U.S. infrastructure or computer systems of key industries such as finance and water.

The indictment will name the hackers and describe their government affiliation as well as their role in the hacking campaigns, said U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity. [ . . . ]
(from)
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Sent back to bomb Brussels: Outrage as Turkish president reveals they arrested ISIS fanatic in June and deported him BACK to Belgium – and even warned authorities he was a militant

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ibrahim El Bakraoui, who blew himself up at Brussels Airport on Tuesday, was arrested in Gaziantep in southern Turkey close to the Syrian border last summer. Officials said he was deported to Holland before being passed back over to Belgium.

The president said Belgian authorities had failed to confirm the suspect’s links to terrorism ‘despite our warnings that he was a foreign fighter’. [ . . . ]

All of the men named as bombers yesterday were ‘well known’ to detectives because of their links to ISIS and all had significant criminal records. The El Bakraoui brothers had been in jail recently for gun smuggling, burglary and car crime.

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Paintball Futuristic Warrior Chainmail Armor

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Paintball Futuristic Warrior Chainmail Armor

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