Thursday, September 19, 2013

Innovation meets Activism: “SaveCanada” Spoof of “TransCanada” Reveals New Tactics in War on Tarsands and Pipeline Projects

YouTube Movie: "SaveCanada" punks TransCanada - Energy East Tar Sands Pipeline
" -- TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline (from the Tar Sands to the East Coast) 

needs voices like yours to say, "nope, no thanks, etc." Join SaveCanada!
Energetic people vs Energy East Pipeline."
Published by Yan Piebird

Let’s pretend for a moment you represent the interests of a proposed trans-continental oil pipeline. Faced with the inevitable community consultations, you’re struck with an idea: replace the traditional town hall style meeting (which invariably turns to into a big-business-bashing session by the “local yokels”) with a tradeshow approach and take the wind out of the small town’s sails.

A brilliant…in theory. But what were to happen if a group of wily volunteer “yokels” managed to infiltrate your event, cleverly disguised, and managed to propagate their anti-pipeline message to greater effect than your own paid propagandists?

The result is not only a great story in innovative guerilla activism, but the “SaveCanada” movement. Complete with a website,, this organization provides a complete “how-to” guide to kyboshing TransCanada events, complete with a schedule of stops along the TransCanada East Pipeline public relations tour, along with everything you’ll need for an effective operation:
  • Replica TransCanada “SaveCanada” shirts
  • Brochures
  • Oil spill sticky notes you can use to ‘illustrate’ the possible outcomes of the pipeline in your community

So if you’re opposed to the litany of proposed Alberta oil sands pipelines in the works, and are in the mood for some clever guerilla activism, you too can transform yourself from ‘concerned citizen’ to a thorn in the side of TransCanada at one of their own events.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Playing with Nature: Genetically Engineered Rapeseed Out of Control?

Image: GMO Rapeseed (Canola)

Canada Implicated in Uncontrolled Spread of GMO Oilseed Rape

“Canada grows genetically engineered oilseed rape on a large scale. For about ten years it has been known that these plants are spreading uncontrolled into the environment. But so far no measures have been taken to stop them…What we are observing is a lack of accepting responsibility especially on the part of industry.”
~ Dr. Christoph Then, Testbiotech.
Source: Plants can no longer be withdrawn from the environment
Testbiotech is a German-based non-profit organisation founded in 2008 by a group of experts which, among other activities, “aims to make independent research and transparency higher priorities in political decision making.”

Today they published a global overview of countries where the spread of genetically engineered rapeseed (for processing into Canola Oil) is out of control, and Canada tops the list, among the U.S., Japan, Australia and Europe.

The announcement was made to coincide with the ABIC 2013 Conference in Calgary, Alberta, a forum for bio-agro-business professionals “discuss and learn from senior business development leaders, investors, government policy makers and scientist who, by working together, can achieve significant progress in the commercialization of ag biotechnology.”

This kind of announcement made at such an event illustrates what we categorize as evidence of exploitation. It highlights the unintended consequences of treating the natural world not with reverence, respect and dignity; rather, looking upon it as a big box of biotechnological Lego, ripe for the picking apart. Which we, behaving not unlike immature children, have gleefully done unchecked for decades now.

According to Testbiotech, it may now be too late to reverse any impending damages on the horizon of our callous carelessness. As for what those damages may be, we are in the dark since,
Mind you, we do know of one company, Monsanto, who is taking decisive action on the unintended spread of GMO crops in the environment, having filed—or threatening to file—nearly 850 lawsuits against farmers between 1997 and 2010 for patent infringement after finding evidence of contamination of their fields by Monsanto-brand GMO seeds.

Image: Comic strip spoofing Monsanto’s response to spread of GMO crops, posted by Seppo

For more details on the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issues of contamination and patent infringement, we highly recommend the Activist Post article by Randy Anada from August 10, 2013: Monsanto can sue farmers when GMO contamination goes over one percent of their crop.

It seems then, in the topsy-turvy world of genetically engineered agri-biz, neither compassion nor common-sense rule. Exploitation is the norm, not the exception. Is it any wonder that our lack of corporate conscience in relation to nature gets reflected in how large companies deal with farmers?

Is it any wonder that the GMO organisms themselves spin out of control in farmers’ fields, in just the same way as the science and the lawsuits do in their respective fields? There is a kind of terrifying poetry to it all, like the geometry of a fractal as it spirals outward at an exponential rate.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Life from Lifelessness – has gone Live!

Genesis Eco Fund for Advanced Human Habitat: Air, Water, Food, Shelter
Image: Genesis Eco Fund for Advanced Human Habitat: Air, Water, Food, Shelter 

“Genesis is life from lifelessness”
~ Carol Marcus, Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan (the proper one).

Three things:

First, unlike Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan, we do not advocate the use of any technology which, “replaces existing life in favour of its own matrix.” (as demonstrated in Hollywood’s first ever CGI sequence which won the film an Academy Award for best special effects).

YouTube Video: Genesis effect
Uploaded  by galeria3D

Second, is your go-to source for all information about Advanced Human Habitat which in a way does relate to Star Trek in that any hope of human colonization of space in the near future will have to include ecosystem technology if it hopes to be sustainable.

Third, we’re not here to review the failings of J.J. Abrahms’ Star Trek: Into Darkness which recently came out on Blu-Ray (as tempted as we may be to do so; watch this Honest Movie Trailer instead:

YouTube Video: Honest Trailers - Star Trek Into Darkness (feat. HISHE)
Uploaded  by Screen Junkies

Checkout today and stay tuned for updates including details on proposed research projects and related fundraising (and crowd funding) campaigns.
“The Benefits of the many, outweigh the benefits of the few…or the one.”
~ Spock, Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan

Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mars One Project: One Giant Misstep for Humankind, without a Small Leap to Ecosystems

The search for life on Mars begins on Earth - apply now at 
Directed by James Yeats Smith 
Published by MarsOneProject 

Would you want to take a one-way ticket to Mars? Over 165,000 others would. That’s how many people applied for the ‘Mars One’ project, the first manned mission to Mars, slated to arrive on the red planet in 2023.

Official Mars One Project Website:

Of interest to us at Genesis is the notion that they plan to grow their own food indoors. Currently, there is no proven way to grow food sustainably indoors with zero inputs from outside the closed system.

Industrial agricultural methods are certainly off the table. As for permaculture or other more ‘natura’ and/or ‘holistic’ approaches to farming, the fact of the matter is: soil dies indoors. Period. And there is no soil on Mars.

Hydroponics is not feasible for the simple reason there is no way to supply the chemicals required to replenish the nutrients in the water needed to grow food. As for getting that much water to Mars in the first place? One litre of water=1 kilogram.

Aquaponics? How are you going to get that many fish to Mars? As eggs? Embryos? In stasis? And are you going to be able to regulate and sustain a balanced system of animals to plants? How? For how long?

Now, Genesis isn’t saying this mission is doomed from the outset, not at all. What we’re saying is that without an in-depth comprehension of indoor ecosystem technology, the mission has very little hope of being a long-term success.

But a long term success it must be. The 165,000 applicants signed up for a one-way trip. There is no return trip; no rescue mission. And if there’s one thing history has taught us about human-conceived systems is this: they break down. They fail. They are unsustainable by very definition.

And it comes down to much more than food. What about atmosphere? Air quality? Habitat? There is a limit to how long astronauts can stay in space (and no, it’s not just because of zero-gravity and the effects of muscular atrophy).

It’s called going stir-crazy. It’s called being cooped up in a tin can breathing stale recycled air that’s mechanically filtered. Music, e-books and video games will only distract Homo sapiens’ need for interaction with nature for so long. Imagine living the rest of your life under such conditions.

Mars One needs a true life support system. One which provides the occupants with the comforts of home and feeds and nourishes them body, mind and spirit. They need a system designed on the matrix of all life support systems: the ecosystem.

To permanently colonize Mars requires a new kind of “Genesis.” Only then, will the inhabitants of Mars One have a fighting chance.  

Here is an interesting interview done by CBC News via Skype with Ken Flack, one of the 6,000 Canadians (and over 165,000 earthlings) who applied for the Mars One project. 

Image: CBC New Interview with Ken Flack, one of 6,000 Canadians who applied for the “Mars One” manned mission to Mars.
Image Credit: CBC Player: Science: One-way trip to Mars