Sea Level Rise in Miami and Politics. Let’s just say no to the “deniers.”

Sea Level Rise in Miami and Politics. Let’s just say no to the “deniers.”

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The last election was the first election I participated in a long time. I felt very disenfranchised and I realized how important it was to get people out to vote. I put together a list of clean water candidates because I thought it would bring us together and it did. It did in a way. In a way it didn’t. We really really need to do this all together.

Now we need this more than ever. Miami is floating away.

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When Michael Grunwald was here he talked about the tides comes up to his house.

What’s going to happen? What’s going to happen is what has happened. People are going to stick their necks in the sand and its going to get worse and our fellow citizens are in danger.  Please go talk to your party and tell them they need to start paying attention to the infrastructure. Even Libertarians believe in infrastructure. What is up with the denying this? What is the end game of that. Are we selling Miami at a good price? Will Miami be on sale if it gets destroyed? Why is no one helping? There has got to be money involved. Why else would all these people deny that the water is rising in Miami?

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/texas-gop-what-climate-change

Texas Republicans have a new policy on climate change: There is no climate change.

While traditionally the state’s GOP has focused on abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency while ignoring climate change, this year’s temporary policy platform is taking it one step further, calling for party members to explicitly dismiss it, too.

“While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, ‘climate change’ is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or ‘climate justice’ initiatives,” the platform writes.

So funny I just wrote the above and then I found this. This article is from 2010. Like most things American until we actually feel the pain we’re not  interested.

http://grist.org/article/2010-09-09-the-rights-climate-denialism-is-part-of-something-much-larger/

“However! It does seem to me that the right’s climate denialism hasn’t been properly linked to the larger phenomenon of epistemic closure on the right. When Jim Manzi, everyone’s favorite sensible conservative, criticized fellow conservative Mark Levin for peddling intellectually shoddy skeptic arguments in his bestselling book Liberty and Tyranny, Levin went nuts, joined by a half-dozen other NRO writers. How could they not? The very same skeptic talking points in Levin’s book appear in thousands of blogs and comment sections across the interwebs. If they are intellectually bankrupt, a whole lot of people are going to look stupid.”

We are sick of talking points. You put them out. The news picks them up and repeats them over and over until you believe it.

This has got to stop.

“The right’s project over the last 30 years has been to dismantle the post-war liberal consensus by undermining trust in society’s leading institutions. Experts are made elites; their presumption of expertise becomes self-damning. They think they’re better than you. They talk down to you. They don’t respect people like us, real Americans.”

And you thought these people just wanted to keep your taxes lower. I don’t think so

“The decline in trust in institutions has generated fear and uncertainty; where there are fear and uncertainty, there are reactionaries to exploit them. Stress reinforces in-group bias — tribalism, nationalism, and xenophobia. Today’s conservative movement has created a self-contained, hermetically sealed epistemological reality, a closed loop of cable news, talk radio, and email forwards, meant to stoke in-group anxiety and reinforce group identity.

Consider what the Limbaugh/Morano crowd is saying about climate: not only that the world’s scientists and scientific institutions are systematically wrong, but that they are purposefully perpetrating a deception. Virtually all the world’s governments, scientific academies, and media are either in on it or duped by it. The only ones who have pierced the veil and seen the truth are American movement conservatives.”

They don’t care about us. That’s for sure.

I was told recently that one of our State Rep Marylynn Magar said at a forum that with the ten bucks we’re saving on our cell phone tax a small family could treat themselves to a Pizza. Where Marylynn is this ten dollar pizza? What does each child get? Here’s a half a slice honey. Eat it and praise RIck Scott!

Or Gayle Harrell saying that people who are sick can go to free clinics and then those free clinic’s funding was taken away.

Sorry rant.

You get the picture. OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY.

So what do we do when the people running are OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY? Do we vote for these people even though they are in your party?  Don’t we help our own friends that are out of touch with reality?

How about this? How about YOU take control and not let people run who are OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY.

So here’s REALITY so you can be IN TOUCH WITH REALITY.

Climate change is here and residing in Miami.

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I’m going to post some articles and you can read them. Reading them will put you back in touch with the present and with reality.

Maybe you could send to the people who are running for things like President who live in Miami but have no clue the people will drowning soon and clue them in so they can be IN TOUCH WITH REALITY!

and if they’re not. Please! Just say no.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/11/miami-drowning-climate-change-deniers-sea-levels-rising?CMP=share_btn_fb

“Climate change is no longer viewed as a future threat round here,” says atmosphere expert Professor Ben Kirtman, of the University of Miami. “It is something that we are having to deal with today.”

Every year, with the coming of high spring and autumn tides, the sea surges up the Florida coast and hits the west side of Miami Beach, which lies on a long, thin island that runs north and south across the water from the city of Miami. The problem is particularly severe in autumn when winds often reach hurricane levels. Tidal surges are turned into walls of seawater that batter Miami Beach’s west coast and sweep into the resort’s storm drains, reversing the flow of water that normally comes down from the streets above. Instead seawater floods up into the gutters of Alton Road, the first main thoroughfare on the western side of Miami Beach, and pours into the street. Then the water surges across the rest of the island.

The effect is calamitous. Shops and houses are inundated; city life is paralyzed; cars are ruined by the corrosive seawater that immerses them. During one recent high spring tide, laundromat owner Eliseo Toussaint watched as slimy green saltwater bubbled up from the gutters. It rapidly filled the street and then blocked his front door. “This never used to happen,” Toussaint told the New York Times. “I’ve owned this place eight years and now it’s all the time.

Today, shop owners keep plastic bags and rubber bands handy to wrap around their feet when they have to get to their cars through rising waters, while householders have found that ground-floor spaces in garages are no longer safe to keep their cars. Only those on higher floors can hope to protect their cars from surging sea waters that corrode and rot the innards of their vehicles.”

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Hence the construction work at Alton Road, where $400m is now being spent in an attempt to halt these devastating floods – by improving Miami Beach’s stricken system of drains and sewers. In total, around $1.5bn is to be invested in projects aimed at holding back the rising waters. Few scientists believe the works will have a long-term effect.”

This is from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

I mean really what do you know? Maybe you should call Rush Limbaugh on the phone.

Call the Rush Limbaugh Show Program Line

Between 12 noon and 3pm Eastern Time: 1-800-282-2882

This is from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/blog/2014/10/03/sea-level-rise-in-miami/

“The mean sea level has risen noticeably in the Miami and Miami Beach areas just in the past decade.  Flooding events are getting more frequent, and some areas flood during particularly high tides now: no rain or storm surge necessary.  Perhaps most alarming is that the rate of sea level rise is accelerating.

Diving Into Data

Certified measurements of sea level have been taken at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School on Virginia Key since 1996 (Virginia Key is a small island just south of Miami Beach and east of downtown Miami)[1].  Simple linear trends drawn through annual averages of all high tides, low tides, and the mean sea level are shown below, and all three lines are about 3.7″ higher in 2014 than they were in 1996.”

We have a senator in who lives in Miami who apparently can’t even find the time to go to leading academic oceanographic and atmospheric research institutions in the world?

Just say no.

This is the “World Resources Institute.”

Miami-Dade County, Florida has more people living less than 4 feet above sea level than any U.S. state, except Louisiana.

This fact sheet provides information specific to Miami-Dade County, Florida including the local impacts of—and near future vulnerabilities to—sea-level rise and extreme weather events.

Here is Eye on Miami. You have to go and listen to the audio.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/04/sea-level-rise-in-miami-dr-harold.html

Sea level rise in Miami: Dr. Harold Wanless on podcast, “This Can’t Be Happening” … by gimleteye

Harold Wanless, a leading climatologist and geologist based at the University of Miami, returns to the “This Can’t Be Happening!” program after a year to revisit his claim that global warming and sea level rise are going to be much more dramatic than the consensus predictions of the UN Climate Committee, NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and other groups. With recent reports of faster melting on Greenland and in both the Eastern and Western Antarctic, Wanless tells host Dave Lindorff we are now facing a catastrophe that could see sea levels rising by more than 20 feet by the end of the century, and perhaps, if methane begins seriously erupting from the Arctic seafloor, even reduced oxygen levels that could threaten mammals, including humans.
Are you sick of me yet?
Here is some video. Excellent and well done and also talks about the Biscayne Aquifer and salt water intrusion. Richard Grosso also in this.
This is here. We cannot have anyone running for President who ignores this. Either address it or we will just say no.

Florida! Let the Good Times Roll!

Florida! Let the Good Times Roll!

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Sometimes I think I live in this other world where we see things and then there is this other place where things get reported and the only thing I can say is “huh?”

From the Florida Water Daily

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-lake-water-waste-20150704-story.html

What if instead of draining away about 2 billion gallons of water a day, there were better ways to put that water to use?

“nearly 200 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water was drained to the east and west coasts to ease the strain on the erosion-prone dike that protects South Florida from flooding.”

*SEVEN MONTHS OF DRINKING WATER: The amount of Lake Okeechobee water drained east and west and out to sea was enough to supply about seven months of drinking water for the nearly seven million people in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. Water plants in southeast Florida churn out about 840 million gallons of drinking water a day.

*NEARLY 40 PERCENT OF EVERGLADES’ WATER NEEDS: Everglades advocates have called for moving almost 500 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water south each year to help replenish Florida’s struggling River of Grass. The volume of lake water drained east and west for flood control between January and June equated to almost 40 percent of that Everglades restoration goal.”

What can I say. I have posted hundreds of hours of video of people pleading to save our water.

This is recent letter to the Miami Herald from Maggy Hurchella.

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article28476553.html

When you kill the environment to get more water, you end up with less water and you end up with very dirty water.

This is the same James Moran who lectured a crowded meeting room in May.

The crowd was there to ask the SFWMD Board to buy land and send the water south.

Moran said that was impossible and unnecessary, “And I don’t know why you claim it will save the Dade County water supply. They get their water from wells.”

He finally seems to have figured out that Miami-Dade’s wells are in aquifers that are recharged by water flowing south from Lake Okeechobee.

Too late.

Maggy Reno Hurchalla, Miami”

These are people in charge of our water. We know what’s happening. They don’t.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/levelthree/water%20conservation

On the website on SFWMD they have loads of information about water conservation and have been on the news multiple time even having the nerve to tell us to conserve ( I don’t have an issue conserving but I do have an issue with them not conserving. Not just not conserving. Just totally wasting millions and millions of gallons of water send out to tide and destroying our estuary.

Then this happened and i knew the world was just turned upside down.

Rick Scott gets an environmental award.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-developer-to-give-gov-rick-scott-environmentalist-award-7782775

“But Rodney Barreto thinks Scott has been a tree-hugging warrior for Mother Gaia. The Miami developer, who also chairs the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, announced via email this week that at the BlueGreen gala this fall, he’ll honor Scott for his conservation work.

“Governor Scott has been instrumental in helping develop a strong connection between fish and wildlife conservation and traditional outdoors activities like hunting and especially fishing,” Barreto says in a release.

Local environmentalists are aghast at the news. “It’s laughable,” Alan Farago, president of Friends of the Everglades, tells New Times. “In terms of the environment, I think he’s the worst governor in modern Florida history.”

Aghast doesn’t even cover it.”

Fishing. Yes I dare you Rick Scott to come swimming in the Indian River Lagoon.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/07/gop-puzzled-by-gov-rick-scotts.html?spref=tw

“Today, a report by AP’s Gary Fineout, “Florida Gov. Scott against at odds with Florida Republicans” sheds light on the award, in the context of a deeply strained relationship between court-penalized Republicans, shuddering at the prospect of having to draw fair districts, and an isolated governor.

What to do with a governor hunkered down in his coastal multi-million dollar estate from which he doesn’t emerge, except to his private jet clutching talking points? Give him an environmental award! Cheer up his mysterious spirits, unknowable except to special interests and cronies.”

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-environment-award-rick-scott-maxwell-20150728-column.html

“On Tuesday morning, I began reaching out to other sponsors of the event. But Tuesday afternoon, the foundation had removed all the sponsors’ names from its website.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

Even the sponsors know its BS. But it will interesting to see who sponsors this event. Let’s stay tuned for that one.

Here is the new guy he picked for the SFWMD board.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article29209648.html

Accursio, 52, whose family owns and farms 2,000 acres in South Miami-Dade County, has been among farmers bitterly complaining about Everglades restoration efforts flooding fields and causing crop losses in the region.

Finding Austin and Perry

Update August 4th DEEMI joins search and dogs are on the way! Many people up and down the coast had prayer vigils.

http://archive.wcsh6.com/video/4399393483001/1/DEEMI-joins-search-for-missing-Florida-boys?fullsite=true

Update August 3

Update: The contact numbers that we previously gave are incorrect. for the time being, anyone that is wanting to help in the search for Austin and Perry please contact findperryandaustin@gmail.com. The love and support from the community, state, and nation is above and beyond what I could have hoped, wished, or prayed for. We love these boys with all of our heart and look forward to tell them how so many people never, never, never gave up on them. Greatly appreciated from my heart to yours

findperryandaustin@gmail.com

and here is a new facebook group if you can help walk the coast!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/100354650317901/

Update August 2, 2015

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BOLO these items: Shimano Tigras spinning reels, orange life vests, White Yeti Cooler 65 quart, white throw cushion, white bait bucket, white rain boots,white short sleeve that says “grand slam events”\tranulcent plane tackle box
black long sleeve tt shirt
silver grey yamaha 115 hp engine
get a date and a timestamp and call 866-750-7770 or email

AustinAndPerry@tigerswan.com

Update July 31, 2015

The coastguard is suspending the search tonight. Here is new info. Prayers needed.

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#findaustinandperry

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Last night instead of writing my blog I sat on Facebook with some friends listening to the Facebook Feed from JAX.

Many of you know we have two boys missing. They went out in their boat last Friday and have not been heard from since. Their boat was found way up north capsized but we are praying they had their cooler and life jackets. Last night something was going on in Tybee, Georgia. This morning the Coast Guard is going back out there.

I saw some really nasty remarks online. I know it’s hard. When something happens the first place you go is to the judging place. This is not a time for judging but a time for prayers.

Many people were upset about  the Go Fund me site. As far as I know that’s to help with volunteers in boats and planes that have been searching for these kids.

The Coast Guard will be going back out there this morning. Here is the feed.

http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/18939

Last night there was about 19,000 people listening to this feed with their hearts in their mouth.

Here is the Facebook Page

Find Austin and Perry

https://www.facebook.com/groups/804437522987481/

Here is a prayer candle

If they are not found this morning please if you live along the east coast please go to the beach and see if you can find anything. Lifejackets, coolers.

Please go to the Facebook page. It is being updated constantly.

Someone Save Pahokee’s Old Prince Theater! Former Mayor was too busy obsessing.

 Someone Save Pahokee’s Old Prince Theater! Former Mayor was too busy obsessing.

When I lived in Palm Beach County Pahokee was that place way out there. I don’t even think when I worked in home health from Boca I ever went out there. It’s pretty torn up. Yet the people that live there are so nice. Real people. I’d rather spend a day in Pahokee than a day in Palm Beach. Truly.

I feel like the whole area are the forgotten people but whats so funny is they haven’t forgotten themselves. They just go on with their day. This is their life.

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So if you go to downtown Pahokee you see this: An old movie theater and the base is made from coral.

Here is some info about the “Prince Theater.”

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/26826/comments

Joe Vogel on April 4, 2015 at 4:40 amThe original Prince Theatre was replaced in 1940. The April 5, 1940, issue of The Film Daily had this item:

“Dobrow to Erect New Theater Building, Refurnish Another“Pahokee, Fla. — A call for bids is being made by Abe Dobrow of the Everglades and Prince Theaters, for a new structure to replace the present building housing the Prince theater. Bids will be opened April 8. Plans also call for complete refurnishing of the Everglades theater.”

This follow-up item is from the January 3, 1941, issue of The Film Daily:

“Open New Pahokee House“Pahokee, Fla. — New $40,000 Prince theater, has been opened. The 600-seater is owned and operated by Gold & Dobrow. Don Hiller & Sons, Pahokee, were the contractors.”

Listings of the Prince Theatre in FDY’s from the 1930s consistently give it a capacity of 250, so it was less than half the size of the new house. It seems unlikely that the original Prince Theatre would have been demolished in 1940 if its building was only nine years old, so it’s likely that it was either an older theater that had operated under a different name earlier in its history, or it was in an older commercial building that had been converted into a theater in 1931.Architect Chester A. Cone was still in practice at least as late as 1985, so it seems likely that it was the 1940 rebuilding of the Prince Theatre that he designed, rather than the original house.

In 1966, the Gold-Dobrow chain leased three of their five theaters, including the Prince, to a Miami-based chain. An article about the transfer in the December 21 issue of The Palm Beach Post said that the Gold-Dobrow chain had been “…organized about 35 years ago….” That would be consistent with the 1931 opening of the original Prince Theatre, whether it was a new operation or an old house renamed by the new owners.

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http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/pahokee-sues-business-owner-demands-teardown-of-th/nL9xX/

From 2010:

“A fight is brewing over the crumbling, pink Prince Theater on Main Street, where country music singer Mel Tillis got his start and Glades children spent countless Saturday afternoons.

But city leaders aren’t fighting to restore the 70-year-old landmark. They want to force its new owner to tear it down.

The city sold the theater to businessman Emilio Perez for $8,500 on March 1, with the understanding he would demolish the building and use the site to expand a gas station for economic development. Now the city is suing Perez for breach of contract after he started to repair the building instead.

“The bottom line is: ‘Just do what you said you would do,'” Mayor J.P Sasser said. “All we want him to do is honor his original agreement.”

In a June 29 letter to the city, Perez said he had a change of heart about demolishing the theater after residents asked him to fix and re-open it.

The 500-seat theater was built in 1940 and showed first-run movies and live performances for about 25 years until it closed in the mid-1960s. Tillis, who grew up in Pahokee, said he got his start singing at talent shows at the Prince Theater in the late 1940s

The theater sat dormant for more than a decade, and its owners donated it to the city in 1976. After residents led by Harriet Seldes raised more than $100,000 to renovate the building, it reopened in 1980 for community events and later for movies.

“We were doing this not only for the adults in the community but also the children,” said Seldes, who now lives in Port St. Lucie. “There was no other theater, nothing else for children to do but football.”

The theater closed again after a few years. Tropical Storm Fay in 2008 damaged the roof so badly that city officials decided it was beyond hope of repair, Sasser said.

Pahokee resident Larry Wright said the Prince should not be torn down. He suggested that a nonprofit theater group could be organized to put on plays there using local children.

Sasser said that before being elected this year he had worked with a group that tried to find money to save the Prince, but it was a lost cause because of the extent of roof damage and other needed repairs.”

Seriously JP you spend too much time obsessing about the septic tanks in Martin County to pay attention to your own town the wonderful place it could be. You could find a roof company and try to raise the money to fix this. You want it replaced with a Gas station?

You could fix this place out. Have a children’s theater. Show some good movies. Have some concerts. Who would want to demolish such a gem. You could have brought people to pahokee!

We need to help Pahokee!

Maybe someone from the Island of Palm Beach could invest in this. It would be awesome. We need to invest in the children of Pahokee.

Pahokee out by Lake O. Forgotton building could be something wonderful.

Pahokee out by Lake O.
Forgotton building could be something wonderful.

Hopefully the new mayor will fix this place up!

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http://florida.newszap.com/belleglade/121121-113/walkes-named-new-pahokee-mayor

“Sasser has been one of the most visible representatives of the Pahokee area on the state and federal level, taking trips to Tallahassee and Washington D.C. to argue his case for his hometown and for the Glades area. Along those same lines, it was his sharp tongue and his haranguing of other elected officials that landed him in the headlines. Sasser defended the area in a distinct way, and a harsh scolding of the county or state was one of the many cards Sasser played to get his message across.

With a convincing loss to a political newcomer, Sasser said his political career in Pahokee in over.”

Oh Goody!  The water issue has got to be fixed! But looking at the old Prince theater which is a jewel that you want to tear down instead of putting effort into having something for the children of your town is beyond me. Good for the guy who bought  it and changed his mind.

http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/former-pahokee-mayor-dont-let-lake-o-flood-us

JP Sasser’s belief that we want to flood out Pahokee.

“He said, “The first thing Senator Negron did was to sit me down and assure me that nobody wants to flood Pahokee. I told him, ‘Oh, yes, they do. They want all the lake water flowing south. Do that and we’re done.'”
It’s very hard to deal with someone who has their own belief system and just won’t listen. I wrote this a while back. I’m so sick of rehashing this point. But you can watch the Sugarland Video and see that we all sincerely wanted to work together and it was the people that lived out on the Lake that started this whole ‘They want to flood us out thing.” I know where it came from.. That’s not what was said. You all are still in danger.
I know where it came from.. That’s not what was said. You all are still in danger. And no you can’t build giant cities out there with new Walmarts. Because you can’t have it both ways. We discharges to protect you guys. No one in their right is going to put anyone else in danger.
No one wanted to flood them out. This is just Big Sugar BS for lets change the subject and make all those tree hugging liberals look bad.
metree

yes this is me hugging a tree.

No one wanted to flood you out JP. We wanted you to do your job and take care of the people of Pahokee. If you weren’t so obsessed with us perhaps you could have done that.
Now JP is suing the River’s Coalition.
It’s so absurd that I can’t post parts of the article. I read it and laughed.  Seriously are you kidding me?
Why not take the money your spending on lawyers and fix the Prince theater and ask some famous local actor to come out there and have a program for the children you were supposed to represent.
Here is the new mayor of Pahokee!
Glad to see a new face and hope to see some good changes out there.
This is what the people want. I know this because I saw it painted on their store fronts.
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 Let’s all be aware of what is going on in Pahokee and perhaps the people of Palm Beach County which has a population of 1,397,710 – If each person sent one buck they could save the prince theater and there would be money left over to do something else for the kids out there.

Water Inc: The Water Story of Bolivia. Aqua Para Todos

Water Inc: The Story of Bolivia  Aqua Para Todos

What do you even know about Bolivia? I know this: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid may or may not have died there.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=968&sid=17130775

Ernesto Che Guevara was murdered there October 9, 1969 in La Higuera, Bolivia when he executed by a firing squad that was sponsored by the American Government.

Here is a quickie wiki about Bolivia which is a very interesting place and very multicultural.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivia

“Deforestation in upper river basins has caused environmental problems, including soil erosion and declining water quality. An innovative project to try and remedy this situation involves landholders in upstream areas being paid by downstream water users to conserve forests. The landholders receive $20 to conserve the trees, avoid polluting livestock practices, and enhance the biodiversity and forest carbon on their land. They receive $30, which purchases a beehive, to compensate for conservation for two hectares of water-sustaining forest for five years. Honey revenue per hectare of forest is $5 per year, so within five years, the landholder has sold $50 of honey. The project is being conducted by Fundación Natura Bolivia and Rare Conservation, with support from the Climate & Development Knowledge Network.”

Bolivia has gained global attention for its ‘Law of the Rights of Mother Earth‘, which accords nature the same rights as humans.

This is amazing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_the_Rights_of_Mother_Earth

Investing nature with rights

“The law defines Mother Earth as “…the dynamic living system formed by the indivisible community of all life systems and living beings whom are interrelated, interdependent, and complementary, which share a common destiny; adding that “Mother Earth is considered sacred in the worldview of Indigenous peoples and nations.

In this approach human beings and their communities are considered a part of mother earth, by being integrated in “Life systems” defined as “…complex and dynamic communities of plants, animals, micro-organisms and other beings in their environment, in which human communities and the rest of nature interact as a functional unit, under the influence of climatic, physiographic and geologic factors, as well as the productive practices and cultural diversity of Bolivians of both genders, and the world views of Indigenous nations and peoples, intercultural communities and the Afro-Bolivians. This definition can be seen as a more inclusive definition of ecosystems because it explicitly includes the social, cultural and economic dimensions of human communities.

The law also establishes the juridical character of Mother Earth as “collective subject of public interest“, to ensure the exercise and protection of her rights. By giving Mother Earth a legal personality, it can, through its representatives (humans), bring an action to defend its rights. Additionally, to say that Mother Earth is of public interest represents a major shift from an anthropocentric perspective to a more Earth community based perspective.”

I love this! We will see below that corporations think they are people. But in Bolivia Mother Nature has rights!

http://www.thewaterblog.org/bolivia-water-privatization

“2000, California based Bechtel Corporation took over control of all water systems in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third largest city.  At first, many thought the move would be one that was beneficial to Bolivia.  To bring that type of business into such financially crippled country was considered to be a savvy win-win move.  Bolivia water privatization was welcomed.”

Bectel.. Bectel… Where do I know that name from?

oh ya!

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=6975

Bechtel: Profiting from Destruction

On April 17, Bechtel received one of the first and largest of the rebuilding contracts in Iraq. Worth $680 million over 18 months, the contract includes the rebuilding, repair and/or assessment of virtually every significant element of Iraq’s infrastructure, from power generation facilities to electrical grids to the municipal water and sewage systems. The contract was granted in backroom deals without open and transparent bidding processes and the content remains hidden behind a veil of secrecy. The contract has not been publicly disclosed to American taxpayers, who will be paying the majority of the bill. While there is no doubt that Bechtel has experience in these areas, it is an experience from which the people of Iraq should be spared.

War profiteering and political cronyism is just part of this story.”

Yes this Bechtel

http://www.thenation.com/article/six-rigged-rules-corporations-use-to-dodge-taxes/

Bechtel’s “Mini” Masquerade“Though Bechtel is the world’s largest telecommunications, engineering and construction firm (with $32.9 billion in revenue and 52,700 employees), in terms of corporate structure it is one of America’s largest “small businesses.” That’s because the giant corporation takes advantage of a 1958 law intended to extend limited liability protection to owners of small, family-owned businesses. Companies that qualify for this law’s “S Corporation” status do not have to pay federal corporate income taxes. Instead the company’s profits are reported as personal income by individual owners. While the Bechtel empire was hardly the intended beneficiary, their firm technically qualifies for the S Corporation status because it is family run and has less than 100 shareholders.
At the time the law was enacted, the wide differential between top corporate tax rates (52 percent) and top individual rates (91 percent) was a disincentive for gaming the system to dodge taxes. Fast forward half a century and top tax rates have collapsed to only 35 percent for corporations and individuals, erasing the previous disincentive for big corporations to change their business status. By incorporating as an S Corporation, enormous businesses like Bechtel pay just individual taxes, rather than having their corporation pay taxes on corporate profits and shareholders pay taxes on their dividends.
S Corporations, and other businesses where income is taxed only at the individual level, have become the new tax haven, where large businesses have fled to avoid US corporate income taxes. In 2008, more than 14,000 S Corporation tax returns were filed by firms with more than $50 million in revenue, according to the IRS. These 14,000 firms, with an average profit of $6.4 million each, collectively reported 29 percent of the total profit on nearly 4 million S Corporation tax returns. Preserving S Corporation status for real small businesses can help level the playing field, but closing the loophole that allows giant multinational corporations to avoid the corporate taxes that their peers have to pay is key to bringing more fairness to the tax code and more funds into public coffers.
As the 99% Spring unfolds, restoring fairness to our tax code must be at the center of the debate. As it stands, our tax system rewards those at the top, robbing the rest of us of the public money we need to transform the economy from one that works for the 1 percent to one that works for the 100 percent.A note on the chart. Corporate tax rates were calculated using current federal corporate income taxes paid in 2011 divided by 2011 US pretax income, as reported in company 10-K annual reported filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Deferred taxes, which might be paid some day in the future, were excluded, as were income taxes paid to state or local governments. Individual tax rates were taken from a recent Citizens for Tax Justice report.”

Many Cochabambans objected to the rates that Bechtel imposed on its customer. Their water bills tripled and quadrupled. Half their monthly income went to water. To fuel the fire, Bechtel was granted control to seize homes of delinquent customer when ownership arrangements were defined.  Large groups of enraged Cochabamban residents took to the streets and began the protest against Bechtel.

Also just an FYI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Bolivia

Agricultural runoff is one of the main contributors to water pollution in Bolivia, together with domestic municipal wastewater and dumping by industries and mines. The greatest percentage of the pollution load is due to diffuse dumping from agricultural and fishing activities and runoffs of urban areas. There are no regulations or controls over major dumping from non-specific sources, despite its volume and toxicity.

Sound familiar?

bolivia-water-privatization-protest

“Unable to survive under these conditions, the citizens
demanded that the water contract be terminated. After
suffering civil rights abuses, injuries and even death at the
hands of the police and military, the protesters were heard
and their water rights were restored”
Bolivia

http://www.citizen.org/documents/Bolivia_%28PDF%29.PDF

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bolivia#2000_Cochabamba_protests

In 2001, Bechtel filed suit against the Bolivian government, citing damages of more for $25 million. Bechtel argues that its contract was only to administer the water system, which suffered from terrible internal corruption and poor service, and that the local government raised water prices. The continuing legal battle attracted attention from anti-globalization and anti-capitalist groups. This topic is explored in the 2003 documentary film The Corporation and on Bechtel’s website. In January 2006, Bechtel and the other international partners settled the lawsuit against the Bolivian government for a reported $0.30 (thirty cents) after intense protests and a ruling on jurisdiction favorable to Bechtel by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

So what’s going in Bolivia right now.

http://www.coha.org/on-water-scarcity-and-the-right-to-life-bolivia/

Political Implications of Current Scarcity

“Despite political strides after the “Water Wars,” much of Bolivia still suffers from limited access to water and from poor sanitation. Currently, access to water in rural areas is only 71 percent, while sanitation coverage is often as low as 10 percent. [9] This continuing water scarcity is a humanitarian and a human rights issue that must be addressed from a public policy perspective. Nongovernmental organizations such as Water for People have developed local initiatives with area governments to increase access to clean water in rural parts of the country, but the impetus for change must come from the central government in order to create sustainable policies. To be effective, these policies must incorporate the citizen participation that drastically altered Bolivian politics after its transformative “Water Wars.”

Past social demonstrations in Cochabamba still demand domestic and international attention and should inspire natural resource policy internationally. As stated by David Solnit of Upside Down World, “Bolivian social movements catalyzed by [the “Water Wars”] are, perhaps, the most radical and visionary in the world with their mass participatory, democratic and horizontal way of organizing and mobilizing, drawing on the communitarian roots of the majority indigenous country.” [10] While the movement’s previous successes are certainly praiseworthy, the issues it addressed are not fully resolved. The strong collective spirit that mobilized these protest victories is deeply established in much of the country, and it must be respected as a force for national change. The intersection of civilian activism and governmental policy can finally produce the reforms necessary to confirm water as a human right.”

Then we have ingenuity and SCIENCE!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130082250.htm

“Researchers from the University of Oklahoma have discovered a technique to remove pollutants from water that requires minimal labor costs and is powered by nature itself. After 15 years of testing, research has shown this passive water treatment method to be successful in as diverse geography as the flatlands of Oklahoma and the mountains of Bolivia.

The passive water treatment system is created by engineering an ecosystem consisting of a series of filtering ponds. As the water moves through each specifically designed pond, a natural chemical or biological process removes certain contaminants as it slowly moves from one cell into the other before being re-released into natural waterways.

“When the water reaches the last pond, it has gone from looking like orange, sediment-laden sludge to clear water,” said Robert Nairn, associate director for OU’s Water Technologies for Emerging Regions Center and director of the Center for Restoration of Ecosystems and Watersheds.

Here is the trailer to the corporation:

Here is the full movie The Corporation. Please watch and make a donation to these incredible filmmakers.

Here’s a good word to remember

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality

In economics, an externality is the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit.

For example, manufacturing activities that cause air pollution impose health and clean-up costs on the whole society, whereas the neighbors of an individual who chooses to fire-proof his home may benefit from a reduced risk of a fire spreading to their own houses. If external costs exist, such as pollution, the producer may choose to produce more of the product than would be produced if the producer were required to pay all associated environmental costs. Because responsibility or consequence for self-directed action lies partly outside the self, an element of externalization is involved. If there are external benefits, such as in public safety, less of the good may be produced than would be the case if the producer were to receive payment for the external benefits to others. For the purpose of these statements, overall cost and benefit to society is defined as the sum of the imputed monetary value of benefits and costs to all parties involved. Thus, unregulated markets in goods or services with significant externalities generate prices that do not reflect the full social cost or benefit of their transactions; such markets are therefore inefficient.

So all kinds of fun stuff today. Mother Earth has rights, we have a cool doc to watch and we learned all about Bolivia!

To my Bolivian Readers: I loved learning about Bolivia today and I hope there is more you can share with me!

Aqua para todos mi amigos! El agua es vida!

We miss you Larry Hoppin!

#orleans

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Larry in Newport Rhode Island, Rock4christmas tour

I knew it  was around now. I’ve been walking around thinking about Larry. Thinking about what would life be like if he was still here with us. The few days have been frantic and i finally sat and I found this.

and this

I met Larry on a crazy tour called Rock for Christmas. Somehow, I got in my mind that I wanted to go tour and I got this chance to do so and insanity prevailed. I spent a lot of time with Larry in the bus, in the van where he gave me some really good advice that probably saved my life, or at least saved me from mounds of aggravation.

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Larry Hoppen at a Christmas Party somewhere in Newport RI.

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It was like  therapy session for the both of us but he was so proud of his girls , his brothers , his friend Tam Kallman and of John Hall who was a US congressman at the time.

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Larry Hoppen performing at the Hard Rock Cafe at Foxwoods

He was a true blue Dem! He loved Obama. I think his twitter feed is still up and that’s the photo he posted. He was mortified when Trayvon Martin got shot. I know that if he was here today he’d be writing songs about our water issues and Florida issues and try to do what ever could to help.

He was so worried that no one was going to come to the Newport Blues Cafe. He hooked with the mayor and it was right before Christmas and Newport was gorgeous. We made the rounds of people’s Christmas parties and events inviting people. Then he calls John Caffferty to come too. We also had James Montgomery, and Eddie Money.

I gave my video to the main video guy and he made something but I had a lot of video from behind the scenes that i’m even sure if I have it anymore. Crazy funny but some things are better off in a giant box of tapes. Maybe one day i’ll pull them out and put something together.

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Larry Hoppen with Grace Morrison at the Newport Blue Cafe, Newport, RI Rock for Chrismas

After this Larry always called  me to join in. Bring my camera. SIt behind the scenes and take it all it in. When ever I showed up he would say “Cyndi Lenz is good people.”

Here is some fun video of “sound check from I think the last RPM show at weston.

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Larry Hoppen with John Cafferty and James Montgomery at the Newport Blues Cage in Newport RI Rock4Christmas Tour

As I sit here and cry I miss this guy so much. He was a mensch. One of the good guys.

Here is Larry and Joe Bouchard from Blue Oyster Cult

We miss you!

Here is Tommy, Larry is playing bass. What fun! hahaha

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Larry Hoppen from #orleans at the Newport Blues Cafe, Newport Rhode Island.

Water Inc: The Privatization of Water

Water Inc: The Privatization of Water

I think I’ll keep my well.

I think one thing is important. We need to stop reacting. We need to be proactive. In order to do this we need to be educated. In order to understand the future we need to understand the past. The week I want to talk about the privatization of water. I want you guys to help me. ALL OF YOU GUYS! You! Bolivia guy speak up! If people do not want to speak up here please feel free to send me an email at clenz@mac.com.  I’m psych nurse. I’m a secret keeper. So your info is safe with me.

Also I’d like to put a list together of all the water documentaries and even narratives  about water.

Here is an example:

Here is a list of all kinds of documentaries about water from around the world. It’s time to end the cranial rectal inversion.

http://waterfortheages.org/water-films

This is what wiki has to say about the privatization of water.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_privatization

Broadly speaking, there are two forms of private sector participation in water supply and sanitation. In a full privatization, assets are permanently sold to a private investor. In a public-private partnership, ownership of assets remains public and only certain functions are delegated to a private company for a specific period. Full privatization of water supply and sanitation is an exception today, being limited to England, Chile and some cities in the United States. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are the most common form of private sector participation in water supply and sanitation today.

The three most common forms of PPPs, in the order of increasing responsibilities for the private partner, are:

  • a management contract, under which the private operator is only responsible for running the system, in exchange for a fee that is to some extent performance-related. Investment is financed and carried out by the public sector. The duration is typically 4–7 years.
  • a lease contract, under which assets are leased to the private operator who receives a share of revenues. He thus typically bears a higher commercial risk than under a management contract. Investment is fully or mostly financed and carried out by the public sector. The duration is typically 10–15 years.
  • a mixed-ownership company in which a private investor takes a minority share in a water company with full management responsibility vested in the private partner.
  • a concession, under which the private operator is responsible for running the entire system. Investment is mostly or fully financed and carried out by the private operator. The duration is typically 20–30 years.

Concessions are the most common form of PPPs in water supply and sanitation. They are followed by leases, also called affermages, that are most commonly used in France and in Francophone West Africa. Management contracts are used in Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Armenia, among others. Mixed-ownership companies are most common in Spain, Colombia and Mexico.

A concession for the construction of a new plant is called a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract. Under a BOT contract the private operator signs an agreement with a utility that purchases treated water or wastewater treatment services.

External influences

External influences, such as from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), often play a role, as it was the case in Bolivia and in several African countries. This may take the form of structural adjustment programs. Other aid agencies have also supported water privatization. These include the Inter-American Development Bank (e.g., in Ecuador, Colombia and Honduras), the Asian Development Bank (e.g., in China), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Eastern Europe, German development cooperation through KfW (e.g., in Albania, Armenia, Jordan and Peru), French development cooperation (e.g., in Senegal) and British development cooperation (e.g., in Tanzania and Guyana). In the UK, the World Development Movement campaigned against the support of water privatization through aid from the UK.

Forms of regulation

water works

Being monopolies, all water utilities – public or private – need to be regulated concerning tariff approvals, service quality, environmental compliance and other aspects. The awareness for the need to regulate typically increases substantially when profit-oriented private operators become involved: Monitoring the performance of both the private and the public partner, applying sanctions in case of non-compliance and dispute resolution become particularly important. The regulatory tasks depend on the form of private sector participation: Under a management contract the monitoring of the achievement of performance standards, on which the remuneration of the private company depends, is typically carried out by an independent consulting firm. Under a concession contract or in the case of an asset sale, tariff regulation through a regulatory agency or the government is a key regulatory function. Water concessions are frequently renegotiated, often resulting in better terms for the private company. For example, negotiations of concessions in Buenos Aires and Manila resulted in investment requirements being reduced, tariffs being increased and tariffs being indexed to the exchange rate to the US dollar.[40] The quality and strength of regulation is an important factor that influences whether water privatization fails or succeeds.[41] The tasks, form and capacity of the public entities charged with regulation vary greatly between countries.

Impact on tariffs

In almost all cases, water tariffs increased in the long run under privatization. In some cases, such as in Buenos Aires and in Manila, tariffs first declined, but then increased above their initial level. In other cases, such as in Cochabamba or in Guyana, tariffs were increased at the time of privatization. In some cases in Sub-Saharan Africa, where much of the investments are funded through development aid, tariffs did not increase over a long period. For example, in real terms tariffs remained stable in Senegal, while in Gabon they declined by 50% in five years (2001–2006) and by 30% in ten years in Côte d’Ivoire (1990 to 2000).[74] These exceptions notwithstanding, tariff increases are the rule over the long term. However, initial tariffs have been well below cost recovery levels in almost all cases, sometimes covering only a fraction of the cost of service provision. Tariff increases would thus have been necessary under public management as well, if the government wanted to reduce subsidies. The magnitude of tariff increases is influenced by the profit margin of private operators, but also to a large extent by the efficiency of utilities in terms of water losses and labor productivity.

I found this

http://www.waterjustice.org/

Thanks for listening and lets do this. It’s so hard when we are living our own nightmare but if we can see other peoples issues around the world it will help us to be proactive not reactive. You folks from other places. You write me blogs about your water woes and I’ll put them here. Send photos! We are all in this together for clean water!

ladyliberty

Send me your blogs, your photos, your films.