Science & Technology


PIELC The Best Environmental Conference in the Country

Posted 19 months ago|10 comments|451 views
Thomas Linzey Ending Corporate Abuse
Written by
Eugene, OR
The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) took place from Feb. 28 to March 3 in Eugene Oregon. This is one of the largest environmental conferences in the country, with over 140 workshops and presentations.

There were thousands of participants coming from all over the country, and from as far away as China. The impression I got from attending many of the workshops is that our understanding of environmental Science has become much more comprehensive. Data has increased exponentially, and computer modeling has become even more accurate. As a result many States are now turning to ecosystem management systems, which we have known for 20 years, works much better than just managing one species or area.

The entire conference was organized and paid for by the students of the U of O, and it was encouraging to see so many young people working to preserve their future. One 12 year old has already made a film and sued the government to protect the environment.

On the negative side there is a growing concern that due to the increasing influence of corporate money, that the rules and regulations are now doing less to protect the environment and the people, and doing more to protect corporations. There is a need for more rights based regulation that values nature and protects the basic right of people to have clean air, water, and food, free from toxins. Thomas Alan Linzey, one of the main keynote speakers, gave a stirring call for the end of corporate governance and a return to democracy.
19 months ago: I'm going to read this later on tonight, Al.
Eugene, OR
19 months ago: Thanks Sunny. If you get a chance listen to the Thomas Linzey talk. (the 2nd video) That was the best of the conference.
19 months ago: You're welcome. I'll comment on it later today, Al.
Blue sky day to relax and be out and about. Have a great day.
19 months ago: Al, this is the first I heard of this conference. I didn't think there were any large groups in existence to fight for the environment. When the conference ended, did you walk away feeling positive? I'm happy to see that the youth of today is getting involved.
I see these problems stemming from carelessness, lack of information, and greed.
I believe that our Constitution should include a environmental protection act. We should have laws protecting the framework of global survival.
When it gets to a point where people are unable to breathe the air without gagging and have to wear masks, those politicians who have stood in the way, will be pointing fingers at each other to take the fall.
Large Corporations and politicians who have been the problem, and those supporting the negligence won't have a chance against the people's rage if this continues. As long as there is money to be had, big corporations don't care what they destroy to acquire it, and they arrogantly impose their enterprises on exploiting the environment until the damage is irreversible. Some of the chemical byproducts from oil refineries don't decay at all as you know.
Thomas Linzey's speech was very plain and clear. It's about time people moved away from a defense position as that shows that the people honestly believe in what they are fighting for and are strong and won't accept less.
In our Country we don't have to subject ourselves to anything that damages the entitlements to clean air, the farm lands, and pristine beauty of the mountains, lakes and streams, and the preservation of wildlife. This is a given to the people.

I was going to move to Tom's River but it is polluted from a nuclear plant. Little by little things are being destroyed. It may take billions of years for some chemicals to react on the environment, but we are losing this battle entirely early on if it isn't protected and stopped in its tracks.
NJ has nuclear plants, buried hazardous waste; the list goes on and on.
It is very disheartening and disturbing because I love nature and all it gives to us.
Eugene, OR
19 months ago: I came away from the conference encouraged in some ways but discouraged in others. The folks protecting the coastlines in California are doing a good job protecting fisheries using ecosystem management and they have put 15% of the coast off limits to fishing to allow species to rebuild, but the agency is being starved for funds. The US is way ahead of other nations as far as knowing how to help the oceans, but I was discouraged that a few radical conservatives object to our signing the Law of the Sea treaty which would allow world wide management because they are obsessed with one world conspiracies.

We heard from Natives that lived in the area of Alberta where the Tar Sands are destroying their sacred lands forever. The Bitumen "oil" that comes from the tar sands is described as hot liquid sandpaper. It is acidic and eats through pipes quickly and if it spills in waterways, it can't be cleaned up because it sinks. Now the State Dept. said the pipeline would be perfectly safe.

Canada pulled out of Kyoto and have given up on the environment which is discouraging, but at the same time British Columbia has the world's first Carbon Tax which is very effective at reducing fossil fuel usage. The Carbon tax is revenue neutral which means that people's income taxes and corporate taxes have been reduced, so everyone there loves the carbon tax, and the economy has actually grown more than the rest of the country. Of course the conservative politicians are vowing to eliminate it.

The conservatives want to eliminate unions and all regulations so that we will become as bad as China, but at the same time that we are going backwards, China is getting tired of the pollution and unsafe conditions and insisting on better conditions, less pollution and more renewable energy.
Content Removed by Sunny1
19 months ago: Sorry I had to fix this:
Al, At least California has done something to protect the coastal waters for the fishing industry that the people depend on for jobs. I travel about 100 miles round trip to pick up quality fish every week. I can't find it around my area, and it is essential for health and nutrition. What is sold here is usually not fresh and tasteless. The seafood market I go to gets its shipments from far away daily, usually from Nova Scotia. I have seen a big increase in people fishing along the waterways in NJ. I think food is so expensive people are fishing and hunting more. The chemicals in the water get into the fish. I don't trust it.

I'm wondering what Truth has to say about Canada being the worse offenders of pollution. Once that pipeline is in place, what will the processing accomplish? Does this process diminish the destructive properties? How will it be disposed?

It stands to reason some bureaucrats would get it piped directly to American refineries in the Gulf? Why would our Gov. want this? I am visionalizing they are in it for gain. Somebody made money off of that arrangement. There had to be no other reason.

Carbon tax works for Canada, but of course, anything that works and makes it better for the people, the conservative politicians will monkey with it. I am starting to believe they are sadist. They want the economy weakened to use it for their own benefit to buy up everything they can. From the past experiences we had these last few years, I truly believe they love watching people suffer.
What do we have that works for us in our Country any more?
China let themselves in for it and caused their own problems with the pollution. They want to be world leaders so badly that nothing else matters, and they don't keep a watchful eye on the shop. It's catching up with them. Let's see how much it is going to cost them to clean it up. Again, it doesn't figure. If China is going to put in more coal fired plants, they only are impacting the problem. I would think cleaning up the environment and going into hyper drive will be a waste of time and money with coal plants existing. How does China say their actions are based on the people's needs? I never thought that the people were first and foremost to their philosophy. You think they would learn from the US on what the consequences are from burning coal. The carbon dioxide causes all kinds of respiratory diseases.
This is a big fight. The conference I am sure is made up of people that will battle back and not worry about what anyone thinks.

19 months ago: Al, here is a piece written on geoengineering.
Eugene, OR
19 months ago: Conservatives like to push easy bumper sticker solutions like geoengineering to complex problems so they don't have to change their polluting ways. I read that putting a lot of sulfur into the atmosphere would cool the earth down - quick and easy. But sulfur turns into acid rain and the oceans are already too acidic.

One of the groups that put on a workshop were oyster growers up in Washington. All of their baby oysters started dying off because the sea is too acidic to grow shells so they had to move their operation to Hawaii.

I usually agree with Fareed Zacharia, in his recent piece he thought that the Keystone pipeline should be approved because the oil will be developed anyway and the pipeline would not waste as much energy as moving it by rail. I think the way to defeat the tar sands is to provide cheaper alternatives like Oilgae for half the price. All these things like Tar sands and deep sea drilling have been too expensive until the recent price hikes.
The truth about the pipeline is that it would create few jobs and the real reason they want to get it to the gulf refineries is so they can sell it on the world markets so it wouldn't help our energy independence much at all. If they wanted to do that they would just build a refinery up there and sell the fuel in country and we wouldn't have to worry about toxic oil spills all across the country.

Up here in Oregon the big fight is trying to stop mile long coal trains going from Wyoming to the coast, to be shipped to China. We are shutting down our coal plants finally because natural gas plants are cheaper and have half the pollutants and none of the mercury or acid rain. It costs the mine owners $130/ton to mine the coal and the Chinese are willing to pay $1300/ ton for it, so I think the economics will push it through. Some say that it would be better to sell our low sulfur coal to the Chinese because otherwise they will burn their dirtier coal. A lot of the pollution we get here in Oregon comes across the ocean from China. Things are always more complicated than you hear about.

I think I am optimistic overall because the price of fossil fuels will just keep getting more and more expensive because the supply will continue to diminish (Peak oil) while the demand will continue to grow (China and India). At the same time the capital cost of photovoltaics and wind, wave, tidal, and geothermal will continue to go down, and the sun, wind and waves are all free.

It is inevitable that renewables will take over, because they are already cheaper in many areas. All we need is to prime the pump a bit, but the Republicans are too short sighted and pound foolish to allow investments in the future.
Eugene, OR
19 months ago: Regular crude oil has an energy ratio of about 140 to 1 (140 btu of energy out for every btu needed to extract it) Tar sands has a ratio of 3 to 1 making it the most expensive and energy intensive fuel. Oil prices have to remain at about $85-$90 per barrel to be economically feasible. (and that doesn't count the environmental cost of destroying pristine forests and turning the land into a permanent wasteland).

Meanwhile oil from algae is now competitive at $50/barrel and doesn't add to climate change, doesn't require farm land. or clean water, and can be used to clean up sewage and protect our clean water, and what is left over can be used for a high protein feed for animals. smoke from power plants can be bubbled through the water and the CO2 helps the algae grow and it keeps the pollutants out of the air. Costs will continue to go down as they develop the technology.
19 months ago: My Gosh! So much going on. The average person doesn't have all this information so they don't get involved in trying to keep the environment safe.

I have to read this over and look at the links. Very very interesting.

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