A few Tweets from club de cordeliers to Consider

“A phalanx of billionaires are backing a new mining initiative in Greenland, in what they hope will boost access to minerals used to manufacture electric cars. It’s significant news in a country that has not always celebrated natural resource exploration. And it has some environmental scientists concerned.

The source of the billionaire money is an initiative founded by Bill Gates, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, whose investors include Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Jack Ma, Ray Dalio, and Michael Bloomberg. Gates founded Breakthrough Energy in 2015 as a vehicle for combating climate change, and it has raised $2 billion to date, including a $1 billion funding round completed earlier this year. The organization has invested in dozens of startups in the sustainable energy space.” [...]

“As The New York Times reported in May, consumers often greatly underestimate the environmental toll required to produce electric vehicles. One lithium mine in Nevada that the newspaper highlighted has drawn scrutiny because it will pollute some groundwater for up to three centuries, “while leaving behind a giant mound of waste.” [...]
“As The New York Times reported in May, consumers often greatly underestimate the environmental toll required to produce electric vehicles. One lithium mine in Nevada that the newspaper highlighted has drawn scrutiny because it will pollute some groundwater for up to three centuries, “while leaving behind a giant mound of waste.”

Natural resource extraction has been hugely controversial in Greenland as well. Last spring, the nation of 56,000 people headed to the polls in part to weigh in on the future of an enormous mineral deposit. In the end, the left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit party carried the day, a boon for environmentalists. Authorities reportedly plan to ban uranium mining in the country, and have stopped issuing new licenses for offshore oil exploration.”

“In 2020, Gates made headlines for becoming the largest private farmland owner in the U.S. He had accumulated more than 269,000 acres of farmland across 18 states in less than a decade. His farmland grows onions, carrots and even the potatoes that are used to make McDonald’s french fries.

“It’s an asset with increasing value,” American Farmland Trust CEO John Piotti said. “It has great intrinsic value and beyond that, it is a limited resource.”

Wanna bet they’re Genetically Modified potatoes? Related:

One Empire Over Seed: Control Over the World’s Seed Banks
11/01/2020, by Vandana Shiva, regeneration international

“A great seed and biodiversity piracy is underway, not just by corporations — which through mergers are becoming fewer and larger— but also by super rich billionaires whose wealth and power open doors to their every whim. Leading the way is Microsoft mogul, Bill Gates.
When the Green Revolution was brought into India and Mexico, farmers’ seeds were “rounded-up” from their fields and locked in international institutions, to be used to breed green revolution varieties engineered to respond to chemical inputs.1 [...]

“The Seed Freedom movement has been calling for the CGIAR gene banks to return these stolen farmers varieties back to the farmers. The lessons of the Green Revolution since the 1960’s have shown us that the chemical path of monocultures has undermined Earth’s capacity to support life and food production by destroying biodiversity, soil and water6, 7 as well as contributing to climate change.8 It has dispossessed small farmers through debt for external inputs. And it has undermined food and nutritional security.9 The experience of the last half century has made clear that Seed Sovereignty, Food Sovereignty and Knowledge Sovereignty is the only viable future of food and farming.”

Besides taking control of the seeds of farmers in the CGIAR seed banks, Gates (along with the Rockefeller Foundation) is investing heavily in collecting seeds from across the world and storing them in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic archipelago – aka the Doomsday Vault – created to collect and hold a global collection of the world’s seeds. It is in association with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Crop Trust.10

It should come as no surprise that Gates is also funding Diversity Seek (DivSeek), a global project launched in 2015 to map the genetic data of the peasant diversity of seeds held in gene banks to then take patents on these seeds through genomic mapping.12 Seven million crop accessions are in public seed banks.

Biopiracy is carried out through the convergence of information technology and biotechnology where patents are taken on seeds through “mapping” their genomes and genome sequences.”

Pinned at the top, from Dec. 2020:

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usefewersyllables's picture

Shit, Starlink has us right on the threshold of the Kessler syndrome already, and nobody seems to have any regulatory control over that either. It’s very clearly their world now, and we just pay rent to live in it.

It was nice while it lasted. Time to make another Adult Beverage and pop some corn.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

wendy davis's picture

@usefewersyllables

what the Kessler syndrome is (please advise), but i'll add: August 20, 2021
An Open Letter to Bill Gates About his Wyoming Atomic Reactorby Arnie Gundersen, counter punch

"I am writing this open letter to you because I believe you have crossed the line by leveraging your fortune maneuvering State Governments and indeed the US Government to syphon precious taxpayer funds in support your latest atomic contrivance in Wyoming. How you spend your personal fortune is your decision and yours alone, but I question your zeal to leverage that fortune by securing additional public funds for an unproductive techno-solution[1] that claims to solve the climate crisis! Your latest technofix is the scheme to have taxpayers fund your new nuclear power concept in Wyoming, claiming that it will mitigate the climate crisis. It won’t!

Atomic power generation is not part of your skillset, but it is mine. The many facets of nuclear energy have been areas of my professional focus for the last 50 years. Beginning in 1971 with two nuclear engineering degrees, a Reactor Operator’s license, a corporate Senior Vice President position for an atomic licensee, a nuclear safety patent, two peer reviewed papers on radiation, and a best-selling book on Fukushima, nuclear power is in my wheelhouse, not yours.
;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
Let me explain why Natrium is doomed. As you probably have already been told, all present-day atomic reactors are cooled by water and are called Light Water Reactors (LWRs). Similarly, all US coal, oil, and gas-fired electric plants heat water, not exotic coolants. While some Small Modular Reactors concepts retain water cooling, Natrium’s proposed design deviates from this pattern by cooling the atomic chain reaction using an exotic coolant and specially designed steam generators to remove the atomic heat. Nuclear power concepts that do not use water for cooling are called Non-Light Water Reactors (or NLWRs), and Natrium claims that cooing with liquid sodium is safer and more reliable than traditional water-cooled reactors. What evidence exists to support that assertion?"

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

Big Green Bill Mckibben had always advised us to Trade in your gas-guzzling SUV for an electrric one!

given that few know from whence the electricity comes when they pull into a station (even our valley of 1700 pop. in SW has one), did it come from coal? to me, hybrids make more sense.

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usefewersyllables's picture

@wendy davis

Is one name for the disaster that can occur if too much stuff in low earth orbit starts colliding with other stuff in low earth orbit resulting in a chain-reaction series of collisions, completely jamming up access to orbit by making it impossible to get through the debris…

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

wendy davis's picture

@usefewersyllables

i'd wondered if it might refer to the magpies on our roof who often toss largish stones at the skylights. do they see their reflections as enemies? ; )

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Cassiodorus's picture

On the one hand, you have the promoters of the electric-car solution (which, I am told, includes people in the Biden administration), who assume that there will be no problem finding enough lithium for all of those electric cars ("We can extract it from seawater," they tell us) but whose rhetoric looks suspiciously like a collective sales pitch.

On the other hand, you have people like Jeff Gibbs, producer of the movie "Planet of the Humans," and Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert, authors of "Bright Green Lies" (which I presume you can find at Library Genesis), who argue with a combination of dawning realization and bold assertion that the "environmentalists" will say anything to make a buck and so therefore they must all be wrong. "Bright Green Lies" goes as far as to assert that industrial society will never wean itself off of oil. It sounds right, but, still, I'd like to see the hard math behind it.

The rest of this "debate" is combative interaction, for which I have no time or energy. It seems to me that the primary instrument of doom in this regard is the capitalist system. Capital simply doesn't want to let go of fossil fuels.

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"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

of an electric SUV? not just the source of the electricity, but mining and building electric batteries? i'm assuming that hybrid batteries are much smaller...

some now socialist nations depend on fossil fuel, as well, esp. oil. but i do get your drift, esp. in the US consumer society.

the SA indigenous who weren't let inside the Rio 2012 earth sustainability conference knew what the perils were, and the many green capitalism false solutions only too available.

lots to unpack, but i need to go for now. and by the by, i did comment on your chomsky/ pollin diary.

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