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 on: Oct 09, 2015, 05:34 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
BP oil spill in Great Australian Bight would be catastrophic, modelling shows

Wilderness Society report shows spill would likely affect fishing and tourism, and threaten whales, seabirds, sea lions and sea turtles, along the southern coast

Oliver Milman
Thursday 8 October 2015 21.02 BST

An oil spill from BP’s planned drilling in the Great Australian Bight could affect most of Australia’s southern coastline, shutting down fisheries and threatening wildlife including whales, seabirds and sea lions, new modelling has shown.

BP would need to bring equipment from Texas to contain South Australia oil spill..Read more:

BP plans to drill the first of four exploratory wells off the South Australian coast next year and submitted an environmental plan (pdf) for approval to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority last week. A decision is expected this month.

Oil spill modelling commissioned by the Wilderness Society found that a failure in BP’s deep sea drilling would probably prove calamitous to wildlife and the fishing and tourism industries, causing up to 265,000 sq km of ocean – about three times the size of Tasmania – to contain enough oil to close fisheries.

Even under a “low-flow” oil spill – 5,000 barrels a day spewing into the ocean – oil would flow to Western Australia and Victoria, the analysis found.

A worse scenario of 50,000 barrels of oil a day, slightly less than BP’s disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, would have oil stretching throughout the Bass Strait and a 10% chance it would reach the coast of New Zealand.

In summer the oil would drift towards Western Australia’s whale areas and in winter a swell would push oil towards Kangaroo Island, the Spencer gulf, the Eyre peninsula and further east. Whatever the scenario, the modelling found there was a 70% to 80% chance of oil reaching the shoreline at levels of up to 424g per square metre.

BP has not released spill modelling but has said it would be able to plug any leak within 35 days, although Guardian Australia previously revealed this depends upon shipping and installing capping equipment from Singapore, 4,800km away, and a containment system from Houston, more than 14,000km away.

A federal government assessment has said this plan was “optimistic”. It took 87 days to stem the leak after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 people and thousands of marine animals. Any recovery mission would have to deal with the Great Australian Bight’s strong winds and high seas; waves reach as high as 10 metres in winter.

BP hopes to open up a potentially lucrative new oil field with its exploratory drilling, which is earmarked for an area 395km west of Port Lincoln and 340km south-west of Ceduna. Each well will take between 45 and 170 days to drill. The first is planned for spring next year.

Environment groups are opposed to the drilling and claim it puts a pristine area of biodiversity at risk. The Great Australian Bight is a breeding and feeding ground for a large array of species, including blue whales, southern right whales, great white sharks, sea lions and various seabirds. Endangered loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles are also found in the area.

The Wilderness Society says an oil spill would threaten a $1.2bn tourism industry that relies upon the scenic South Australia coast, as well as the state’s $442m fishing industry. The losses to fishing and tourism would be multiplied if fisheries in the Bass Strait were shut down.

The oil spill modelling was conducted by an oceanographer, Laurent Lebreton, and was peer-reviewed by Matthias Tomczak, emeritus professor of oceanography at Flinders University. Lebreton analysed four key scenarios, based on the amount of oil spilled, whether BP could cap a spill in 35 days or not, and whether it occurred in summer or winter.

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are closer than ever to catastrophe..András Tilcsik and Chris Clearfield..Read more:

“You take wind, ocean conditions; you look where oil particles are going and we tracked trajectories based on 20 years of data,” Lebreton said. “I don’t think our results would be much different [from BP’s].

“The Great Australian Bight is quite remote; the industry isn’t as well established as the Gulf of Mexico. We are looking to find solutions for global warming and yet we’re spending billions to drill deeper and deeper for oil. I’m sure there are a lot of brilliant people working at BP and I hope nothing goes wrong, but it’s a big risk. It’s just not worth it.”

BP said its modelling allowed it to plan for a “range of credible spill scenarios” and that it had commissioned the Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre to chart the southern coast and devise contingency plans.

A company spokeswoman said BP’s analysis showed that “in a worst-case scenario oil would take several weeks to reach shore and the direction in which it could drift varies due to seasonal differences in current and wind direction”.

“The environment plan contains an oil pollution emergency plan that details how in the unlikely event of a spill, BP will be able to stop it, recover oil and support rehabilitation.”

BP insists it would be able to halt an oil spill within 35 days by bringing in equipment from Singapore and Norway via Fremantle’s port. Offshore oil containment and protection booms would be available immediately from Adelaide, BP said.

Peter Owen, the Wilderness Society’s South Australia director, said: “An oil spill in the Great Australian Bight from a deep-sea well blowout would be a disaster for fisheries, tourism and marine life.

“The damage would be irreversible. We don’t need a Gulf of Mexico disaster in the Great Australian Bight.”

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority has 30 days to consider BP’s environmental plan. It may ask for more information and extend this process before approving or rejecting the plan.

 on: Oct 09, 2015, 05:26 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Danish zoo to dissect lion in front of public

Odense zoo, which put down animal nine months ago, plans to proceed despite outcry last year after Copenhagen zoo dissected a giraffe

Agence France-Presse
Thursday 8 October 2015 23.45 BST

A Danish zoo has said it will dissect a lion in front of children, undeterred by the international outrage that hit a Copenhagen zoo that last year did the same thing to a giraffe.

“The reason we are dissecting it is that we believe there is a lot of education involved in dissecting a lion,” said Michael Wallberg Sorensen, a zookeeper at the Odense zoo in central Denmark.

The animal was put down nine months ago because the zoo had too many lions and it has since been kept in a freezer. It will be dissected on Thursday next week, to coincide with Denmark’s autumn school break, in front of a crowd that is expected to include children as well as adults.

“Although we are in contact with a lot of other zoos and try to relocate them, we can get a surplus,” Sorensen said, explaining the reason why the lion was put down. The zoo has performed public dissections of lions in the past without prompting any negative reactions, he added.

Visitors are mostly “really interested in it and find it interesting to see a lion up close”, he said.

Copenhagen zoo prompted a storm of criticism in February last year for putting down a healthy giraffe and dissecting it in front of children.

The zoo’s scientific director received death threats after Marius, a healthy 18-month-old giraffe, was put down despite numerous offers for him to be rehoused and thousands signing an online petition to save him. After the dissection the animal’s meat was fed to lions.

 on: Oct 09, 2015, 05:24 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
'Lucky' pig who fell off truck on Colorado highway gets a new home

The three-year-old pig was probably destined for a slaughterhouse, but will instead be headed to Hog Haven Farm, a cozy home east of Denver

Associated Press
Thursday 8 October 2015 17.03 BST

A 650-pound pig that fell off a trailer in Colorado is getting a new name – “Lucky” – and a new home at a sanctuary for abandoned pigs.

The Daily Times-Call reports that Lucky rolled on to Interstate 25 on 30 September. He was probably destined for a slaughterhouse, but will instead be headed to a cozy home east of Denver.

The Weld County sheriff’s office couldn’t find the three-year-old pig’s owner, so the boar was given to Hog Haven Farm owner and director Erin Brinkley-Burgardt.

Brinkley-Burgardt says she primarily cares for pot-bellied pigs, which people buy as pets but often abandon as they grow larger. The veterinarian who treated Lucky says he appears to be a Yorkshire pig.

Brinkley-Burgardt says Lucky can expect to live about 13 years in captivity.

 on: Oct 09, 2015, 05:22 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Chinese 'ivory queen' charged with smuggling 706 elephant tusks

Yang Feng Glan, kingpin between east African poaching syndicates and Chinese buyers, accused in Tanzania of smuggling ivory worth £1.62m

by David Smith
Thursday 8 October 2015 19.38 BST

A Chinese woman dubbed the “ivory queen” for her alleged leadership of one of Africa’s biggest ivory smuggling rings has been captured and charged.

Yang Feng Glan is accused of smuggling 706 elephant tusks worth £1.62m from Tanzania to the far east. The Elephant Action League, a US-based campaign group, described her as “the most important ivory trafficker ever arrested in the country”.

The 66-year-old is said to have been a crucial link between east African poaching syndicates and buyers in China, where ivory is prized for ornamental use, for over 14 years. Tanzania’s national and transnational serious crimes investigation unit had been tracking Glan for more than a year, according to the Elephant Action League.

“She recently disappeared from Tanzania, moving to Uganda, but returned one week ago, when the task force swiftly moved and arrested her,” the league said. “After confessing to many of her crimes she has been taken to the high court of Dar es Salaam facing a maximum sentence of 20 to 30 years imprisonment.”

On Wednesday Glan appeared at the Kisutu magistrates court, along with Tanzanians Salvius Matembo and Manase Philemon, in the city of Dar es Salaam. She was charged with smuggling ivory between 2000 and 2014, although some reports suggested she may have been active since the 1980s. Glan did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody to await a further hearing.

Tanzania’s elephant population is one of Africa’s biggest but has been hit hard by the illegal ivory trade. In June, a government census revealed it had lost a “catastrophic” 60% of its elephants in five years. The data showed that between 2009 and 2014, the number dropped from 109,051 to 43,330.

The government has been heavily criticised for its inability to stop the flow and for turning a blind eye to so-called kingpins linked to the large and influential Chinese community in the country. It is extremely unusual for an ivory kingpin, especially a Chinese national, to appear in court.

The Elephant Action League said Glan is originally from Beijing and owns several properties and many cars. She learned Swahili and moved to Tanzania in 1975 as a translator when China was building a railway.

“According to the first information collected by the task force, she has been trafficking ivory since at least 2006, working with the most high-ranking poachers in the country and in the region. She is connected to various companies abroad, all Chinese-owned, and circulates in the upper echelons of Chinese citizens living and working in Tanzania.”

She is the vice-president and secretary-general of the Tanzania China-Africa business council, it added, and owns the biggest Chinese restaurant at Dar es Salaam station.

Andrea Crosta, co-founder of the Elephant Action League and WildLeaks, said: “It’s the news that we have all been waiting for, for years. Finally, a high-profile Chinese trafficker is in jail. Hopefully, she can lead us to other major traffickers and corrupt government officials. We must put an end to the time of the untouchables if we want to save the elephants.

“Everyone she has been dealing with will now become a target for law enforcement,” Crosta added.

Yang’s court appearance came just a week after another Chinese woman, Li Ling Ling, was charged by the same court along with four Tanzanians with aiding the smuggling of ivory to Switzerland.

Last December Kenyan national Feisal Ali Mohammed, a suspected organised crime boss alleged to be a leading figure in the illegal ivory trade, was arrested by Interpol agents in Tanzania.

 on: Oct 09, 2015, 05:14 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
California bans captive breeding of SeaWorld killer whales

California Coastal Commission approves a $100 million expansion of tanks SeaWorld uses to hold killer whales in San Diego, but attaches ban on breeding

Associated Press
Friday 9 October 2015 05.58 BST

The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a $100 million expansion of the tanks SeaWorld uses to hold killer whales in San Diego — but it banned breeding of the captive orcas that would live in them.

Animal rights activists praised the decision as a death blow to the use of killer whales at the California ocean park.

My film Blackfish plunged Seaworld into crisis – but it’s not only killer whales we must protect
Gabriela Cowperthwaite - Read more:

The vote “ensures that no more orcas will be condemned to a non-life of loneliness, deprivation and misery,” said a statement from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“These 11 orcas would be the last 11 orcas there,” Peta lawyer Jared Goodman said after the meeting, referring to the whales at the California marine park.

The last-minute amendment would ban breeding of captive orcas, including through artificial insemination, at the California park but not at SeaWorld facilities in other states.

It also prohibits the sale, trade or transfer of captive orcas. The amendment does provide a potential exemption for certain whales caught in the wild but it wasn’t immediately clear whether that applied to any of the orcas at the San Diego park.

In a statement, SeaWorld said it was disappointed by the conditions attached to the approval of its Blue World expansion, set to open in 2018, which would triple the size of existing killer whale enclosures.

“Breeding is a natural, fundamental and important part of an animal’s life and depriving a social animal of the right to reproduce is inhumane,” the park said.

The panel’s decision raised an array of questions, including whether the company would proceed with the project or raise a legal challenge, possibly on whether the commission overstepped its authority. SeaWorld said it was considering its options.

The vote followed a day-long hearing during which dozens of speakers argued for and against expansion. Although the permit involved a request to expand tank space, the discussion evolved into a wide-ranging debate over the conditions in captivity for the huge marine mammals, including breeding and the use of pharmaceuticals.

The commission that regulates land and water use along the California coast attached several conditions to the approval, including that no new whales from the wild will be kept there. SeaWorld says it hasn’t captured wild orcas in more than 30 years.

“Blackfish” tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that caused the death of several people while working as part of a live show: click to watch full documentary....

Attendance at the California park has declined since the release of the population documentary “Blackfish” in 2013, which suggests SeaWorld’s treatment of captive orcas provokes violent behavior. The company’s stock price also has dropped over the past two years.

At the meeting, SeaWorld veterinarian Hendrik Nollens disputed what he called “outlandish accusations” from critics of the park. The whales are enriched and stimulated, he said, not stressed or depressed.

California agency sides with SeaWorld on expansion of killer whale tanks..Read more:

“We care for these animals as if they were family,” Nollens told the panel. “We have nothing but the whales’ best interest at heart.”

Animal rights activists said the new tanks would only lead to more captivity for orcas.

John Hargrove, a former SeaWorld trainer in California and Texas who has written a book about his experiences and appeared in the film Blackfish, said whales are heavily medicated and family structures that define life in the wild are broken.

The whales gnaw the edges of their pools, breaking or wearing teeth, and inbreeding has created “hybrid orcas who have no true social identity”, he said.

About 500 people filled the meeting room to capacity, roughly divided between SeaWorld supporters wearing blue and white shirts and holding signs saying, “Educate, Inspire, Conserve,” and critics waving signs saying “Vote no on SeaWorld Tanks” and “SeaWorld hurts Orcas.”

Coastal Commissioner Gregory Cox, who favored the expansion, said it would be a good thing to increase the size of the orcas’ habitat.

But the commissioner, Dayna Bochco, who brought up the no-breeding amendment, said she agreed with scientists who believe that the killer whales are suffering in captivity.

“They don’t belong in captivity,” she said.

Under the expansion, SeaWorld would demolish portions of a 1995 facility that included a 1.7 m gallon pool and replace it with a 5.2 m gallon tank and 450,000 gallon pool.

The Orlando, Florida-based company had said the orca population at the San Diego facility would not significantly increase due to the Blue World project.

 on: Oct 09, 2015, 04:48 AM 
Started by Sree - Last post by Skywalker
Hi Cat,

Things do operate in cycles to my knowledge. It´s the yugas, yet I don´t think there is de-evolution because it´s not like we gain awareness in the rising part of the cycle to then lose awareness. What makes sense to me is that these are universal cycles that mankind goes thru, and as souls we grow thru being alive in all stages of the yugas or in specific stages as necessary to the individual needs of each soul. So it´s not like we go round and round the yugas becoming more aware to then lose all that awareness cyclically, in my understanding at least. What would be the point of that? We grow in awareness no matter where we are in the yuga cycle and in our evolutionary process. The objective is to refine ourselves to the point that we no longer need to come back to earth for our evolution and can move on to other planes of existence.

About evolution being an illusion, all you need to validate evolution as fact is to observe yourself and your personal journey, either thru this life or thru various lives. What evolves is the individual awareness thru the emotions which also evolve. Isn´t maturing emotionally an evolutionary progression? The thing is that evolution isn´t necessarily linear and what evolves essentially is the soul/individual consciousness itself. This evolution takes a very long time because of the past that is familiar to us and conditions us, and because of our desire natures which are all over the place. If we would have the single desire to evolve and act upon those desires then evolution would be much much faster. It really is a matter of desire and conditioning that comes from within and is reflected in the outer environment. In that sense yes it is all Maya or illusion as many say, yet that illusion persists why? To me, because our consciousness has focused, evolved and crystallized into what we are today and there are all of these attachments to layers of beliefs that hold our reality together. Again, by removing the false beliefs and simply turning inwards to whatever is actually there, we evolve our awareness back to where we came from. And the whole process of separating from the Source to then return is the process of awakening from ignorance and evolving our awareness to what it is, awareness as co creators. Co creators as awareness itself and not human or animal or alien, because all there is in essence is awareness or consciousness or the Source. If we were perfect then why even incarnate and go thru all the hassle? Why suffer? What is perfection anyway and as compared to what? To me perfection is relative to something else or perfect because whatever is perfect serves a specific purpose to a “T” and needs no further refinement. As JWG taught, the Source itself isn´t perfect and all experiences of any conscious being, compound on those experiences, leading to knowledge and an increased awareness of itself, with accompanied emotions that change and mature. Isn´t that evolution?

This is my understanding, it isn´t total or "perfect" but the understanding itself is evolving.

All the best

 on: Oct 08, 2015, 06:40 PM 
Started by Daniel - Last post by Daniel
To me the best way to proceed is to succinctly discuss the core history of any country and correlate that with the symbols in the country's birth chart. This then provides essential context in order to try to understand where any given country is now, and, thus, where it may be headed into it's future.

Yes, the historical context surrounding the birth times, that makes a lot of sense. Perhaps major progressions and transits could then be observed and correlated to the initial planetary assessments as well?

A simple example of this would be how America was formed around not only it's religion but how that religion was used as rationalizations to make black people slaves, and of course the genocide of the American Indians.

Isn’t it significant that the original settlers who risked all that they had to escape religious persecution, should turn around to become the persecutors themselves? Could this be the result of SN in Aquarius being in trine to both its ruler(s) Uranus and Saturn? Will this signature show up as the sometimes more reactionary expression of Aquarius? Is the American mindset anchored in subjective ethical judgements?

The 'doctrine' called manifest destiny being used to do so. This sort of thing is symbolized by the natal Pluto in Capricorn where Capricorn as an archetype correlate with the races of people,

Are you saying that because of Capricorn’s social dynamic that collectively it correlates to races of people?

and in the 9th with the S.Node in Aquarius, religion, and the N.Node being in Leo: manifest destiny.That N.Node is ruled by the Cancer Sun in the 2nd along with Venus and Jupiter there which correlates with 'owning' people, in this case the blacks as slaves, and taking over the original homeland of the American Indians and calling it their own: manifest destiny.

Sun square Saturn, 5th to 2nd, what mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine?

Now put this context, as well, of the S.Node of it's Moon being conjunct the S.Node of Neptune, and the N.Node of the Moon conjunct the N.Node of Neptune. What does that mean, how does  it add to these facts ?

Neptune in Virgo 5th suggests a cultural spiritual angst, divine discontent, that attracts periodic cycles of the crises of collective consciousness. Can we say that Neptune’s nodal polarity indicates evolutionary pressure to decondition the centuries old ethical and moral standards; work towards connecting the planet as single community, populated with diverse thought and intellectual dialog? 

And how do these facts correlate to the present moment in America concerning all the African Americans there now ? What about the core of the American economic system that is rooted in capitalism ? American is the most capitalistic country in the world. This is rooted in the same symbolism of the ruler of it's N.Node being in Cancer in the 2nd with Venus and Jupiter. These are ruled by the Moon in Aquarius in the 10th which is also conjunct, by the way, the USA's natal Lucifer. If I remember right right now in American less than one percent of the population control's and owns over 40 percent of it's total wealth. So what is the projected future for America and it's current economic system that creates such extreme imbalances for the majority of it's citizens?

These is just examples of how we can move this thread forwards.

Yes, yes, and yes…so, where shall we start with a more thorough analysis of Pluto?

Thank you so much for working through this with me Rad.

Blessings and prayers for peace,


 on: Oct 08, 2015, 01:30 PM 
Started by Maya - Last post by Maya
Thank you Skywalker.


 on: Oct 08, 2015, 09:26 AM 
Started by Rose Marcus - Last post by Gonzalo
Peter Abelard, the famous French monk and theologian, believed that this status of nuns made their prayers more powerful. Many scholars question the sincerity of his stance and its influence on other scholars, given his scandalous relationship with his student Heloise, who later became a nun, according to a Stanford report.

Here's a link to some of the letters between Abelard and Heloise:

 on: Oct 08, 2015, 08:57 AM 
Started by Sree - Last post by cat777
"So my question is that in matriarchy society do there exist this Consensus,Individual,Spiritual levels - especially when we thing with respect to the opportunity a soul have as part of matriarchy structure for accelerated growth."

Sometimes I wonder if "evolution" is an illusion. When thinking about how things were during the matriarchy vs how they are during the patriarchy, it seems to me that we have devolved rather than evolved. It's something I think about from time to time.

One of the things I have learned over time is that everything occurs in cycles. This would apply to evolution as it does to everything. It is very likely that we experience cycles of evolution followed by devolution and then repeat this over and over again.

As for the soul, is it not perfect? Does it only become imperfect when it chooses to incarnate in this world and/or other worlds? Once it chooses to incarnate it becomes part of a world which is really an illusion created by the collective consciousness of its members. It is this collective consciousness and the individual consciousness of each individual within it that seems to evolve and/or de-evolve until such time that it manages to rreturn to the source and experience itself as its perfect self again.

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