technology:fracturing

  • Three Theses on Neoliberal Migration and Social Reproduction

    Today there are more than 1 billion regional and international migrants, and the number continues to rise: within 40 years, it might double because of climate change. While many of these migrants might not cross a regional or international border, people change residences and jobs more often, while commuting longer and farther to work. This increase in human mobility and expulsion affects us all. It should be recognized as a defining feature of our epoch: The twenty-first century will be the century of the migrant.

    The argument of this paper is that the migrant is also a defining figure of neoliberal social reproduction. This argument is composed of three interlocking theses on what I am calling the “neoliberal migrant.”

    Thesis 1 : The first thesis argues that the migrant is foremost a socially constitutive figure. That is, we should not think of the migrant as a derivative or socially exceptional figure who merely travels between pre- constituted states. The movement and circulation of migrants has always played an important historical role in the social and kinetic production and reproduction of society itself.1

    Thesis 2 : The second thesis therefore argues that social reproduction itself is a fundamentally kinetic or mobile process. The fact that a historically record number of human beings are now migrating and commuting between countries, cities, rural and urban areas, multiple part time precarious jobs, means that humans are now spending a world historical record amount of unpaid labor-time just moving around. This mobility is itself a form of social reproduction.

    Thesis 3 : The third thesis is that neoliberalism functions as a migration regime of social reproduction. Under neoliberalism, the burden of social reproduction has been increasingly displaced from the state to the population itself (health care, child care, transportation, and other traditionally social services). At the same time, workers now have less time than ever before to do this labor because of increasing reproductive mobility regimes (thesis two). This leads then to a massively expanded global market for surplus reproductive laborers who can mow lawns, clean houses, and care for children so first world laborers can commute longer and more frequently. Neoliberalism completes the cycle by providing a new “surplus reproductive labor army” in the form of displaced migrants from the global South.

    We turn now to a defense of these theses.

    Thesis 1 : The Migrant is Socially Constitutive

    This is the case, in short, because societies are themselves defined by a continual movement of circulation, expansion, and expulsion that relies on the mobility of migrants to accommodate its social expansions and contractions.

    The migrant is the political figure who is socially expelled or dispossessed, to some degree as a result, or as the cause, of their mobility. We are not all migrants, but most of us are becoming migrants. At the turn of the twenty- first century, there were more regional and international migrants than ever before in recorded history—a fact that political theory has yet to take seriously.2

    If we are going to take the figure of the migrant seriously as a constitutive, and not derivative, figure of Western politics, we have to change the starting point of political theory. Instead of starting with a set of pre-existing citizens, we should begin with the flows of migrants and the ways they have circulated or sedimented into citizens and states in the first place—as well as emphasizing how migrants have constituted a counterpower and alternative to state structures.

    This requires first of all that we take seriously the constitutive role played by migrants before the 19th century, and give up the arbitrary starting point of the nation-state. In this way we will be able to see how the nation-state itself was not the origin but the product of migration and bordering techniques that existed long before it came on the scene.3

    Second of all, and based on this, we need to rethink the idea of political inclusion as a fundamentally kinetic process of circulation, not just as a formal legal, economic, or other kind of status. In other words, instead of a formal political distinction between inclusion/exclusion or a formal economic distinc- tion between productive/unproductive, we need a material one of circulation/ recirculation showing how social activity is defined by lived cycles of socially reproductive motions.

    One way to think about the constitutive role played by migrants is as a kinetic radicalization of Karl Marx’s theory of primitive accumulation.

    Primitive Accumulation
    Marx develops this concept from a passage in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: “The accumulation of stock must, in the nature of things, be previous to the division of labour.”4 In other words, before humans can be divided into owners and workers, there must have already been an accu- mulation such that those in power could enforce the division in the first place. The superior peoples of history naturally accumulate power and stock and then wield it to perpetuate the subordination of their inferiors. For Smith, this process is simply a natural phenomenon: Powerful people always already have accumulated stock, as if from nowhere.

    For Marx, however, this quote is perfectly emblematic of the historical obfuscation of political economists regarding the violence and expulsion required for those in power to maintain and expand their stock. Instead of acknowledging this violence, political economy mythologizes and naturalizes it just like the citizen-centric nation state does politically. For Marx the concept of primitive accumulation has a material history. It is the precapitalist condition for capitalist production. In particular, Marx identifies this process with the expulsion of peasants and indigenous peoples from their land through enclosure, colonialism, and anti-vagabond laws in sixteenth-century England. Marx’s thesis is that the condition of the social expansion of capitalism is the prior expulsion of people from their land and from their legal status under customary law. Without the expulsion of these people, there is no expansion of private property and thus no capitalism.

    While some scholars argue that primitive accumulation was merely a single historical event in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, others argue that it plays a recurring logical function within capitalism itself: In order to expand, capitalism today still relies on non-capitalist methods of social expulsion and violence.5

    The idea of expansion by expulsion broadens the idea of primitive accumulation in two ways. First, the process of dispossessing people of their social status (expulsion) in order to further develop or advance a given form of social motion (expansion) is not at all unique to the capitalist regime of social motion. We see the same social process in early human societies whose progressive cultivation of land and animals (territorial expansion) with the material technology of fencing also expelled (territorial dispossession) a part of the human population. This includes hunter-gatherers whose territory was transformed into agricultural land, as well as surplus agriculturalists for whom there was no more arable land left to cultivate at a certain point. Thus social expulsion is the condition of social expansion in two ways: It is an internal condition that allows for the removal of part of the population when certain internal limits have been reached (carrying capacity of a given territory, for example) and it is an external condition that allows for the removal of part of the population outside these limits when the territory is able to expand outward into the lands of other groups (hunter gatherers). In this case, territorial expansion was only possible on the condition that part of the population was expelled in the form of migratory nomads, forced into the surrounding mountains and deserts.

    We later see the same logic in the ancient world, whose dominant polit- ical form, the state, would not have been possible without the material tech- nology of the border wall that both fended off as enemies and held captive as slaves a large body of barbarians (through political dispossession) from the mountains of the Middle East and Mediterranean. The social conditions for the expansion of a growing political order, including warfare, colonialism, and massive public works, were precisely the expulsion of a population of barbarians who had to be walled out and walled in by political power. This technique occurs again and again throughout history, as I have tried to show in my work.

    The second difference between previous theories of primitive accumulation and the more expansive one offered here is that this process of prior expulsion or social deprivation Marx noted is not only territorial or juridical, and its expansion is not only economic.6 Expulsion does not simply mean forcing people off their land, although in many cases it may include this. It also means depriving people of their political rights by walling off the city, criminalizing types of persons by the cellular techniques of enclosure and incarceration, or restricting their access to work by identification and checkpoint techniques.

    Expulsion is the degree to which a political subject is deprived or dispossessed of a certain status in the social order. Accordingly, societies also expand and reproduce their power in several major ways: through territorial accumulation, political power, juridical order, and economic

    profit. What is similar between the theory of primitive accumulation and the kinetic theory of expansion by expulsion is that most major expan- sions of social kinetic power also require a prior or primitive violence of kinetic social expulsion. The border is the material technology and social regime that directly enacts this expulsion. The concept of primitive accu- mulation is merely one historical instance of a more general kinopolitical logic at work in the emergence and reproduction of previous societies.

    Marx even makes several general statements in Capital that justify this kind of interpretive extension. For Marx, the social motion of production in general strives to reproduce itself. He calls this “periodicity”: “Just as the heavenly bodies always repeat a certain movement, once they have been flung into it, so also does social production, once it has been flung into this movement of alternate expansion and contraction. Effects become causes in their turn, and the various vicissitudes of the whole process, which always reproduces its own conditions, take on the form of periodicity.”7 According to Marx, every society, not just capitalist ones, engages in some form of social production. Like the movements of the planets, society expands and contracts itself according to a certain logic, which strives to reproduce and expand the conditions that brought it about in the first place. Its effects in turn become causes in a feedback loop of social circulation. For Marx, social production is thus fundamentally a social motion of circulation or reproduction.

    In short, the material-kinetic conditions for the expansion of societies re- quires the use of borders (fences, walls, cells, checkpoints) to produce a system of marginalized territorial, political, legal, and economic migrants that can be more easily recirculated elsewhere as needed. Just as the vagabond migrant is dispossessed by enclosures and transformed into the economic proletariat, so each dominant social system has its own structure of expansion by expulsion and reproduction as well.

    Expansion by Expulsion

    Expulsion is therefore a social movement that drives out and entails a deprivation of social status.8 Social expulsion is not simply the deprivation of territorial status (i.e., removal from the land); it includes three other major types of social deprivation: political, juridical, and economic. This is not a spatial or temporal concept but a fundamentally kinetic concept insofar as we understand movement extensively and intensively, that is, quantitatively and qualitatively. Social expulsion is the qualitative transformation of deprivation in status, resulting in or as a result of extensive movement in spacetime.

    The social expulsion of migrants, for example, is not always free or forced. In certain cases, some migrants may decide to move, but they are not free to determine the social or qualitative conditions of their movement or the degree to which they may be expelled from certain social orders. Therefore, even in this case, expulsion is still a driving-out insofar as its conditions are not freely or individually chosen but socially instituted and compelled. Expulsion is a fundamentally social and collective process because it is the loss of a socially determined status, even if only temporarily and to a small degree.9

    Expansion, on the other hand, is the process of opening up that allows something to pass through. This opening-up also entails a simultaneous extension or spreading out. Expansion is thus an enlargement or exten- sion through a selective opening. Like the process of social expulsion, the process of social expansion is not strictly territorial or primarily spatial; it is also an intensive or qualitative growth in territorial, political, juridical, and economic kinopower. It is both an intensive and extensive increase in the conjunction of new social flows and a broadening of social circulation. Colonialism is a good example of an expansion which is clearly territorial as well as political, juridical, and economic.

    Kinopower is thus defined by a constitutive circulation, but this circulation functions according to a dual logic of reproduction. At one end, social circulation is a motion that drives flows outside its circulatory system: expulsion. This is accomplished by redirecting and driving out certain flows through exile, slavery, criminalization, or unemployment. At the other end of circulation there is an opening out and passing in of newly conjoined flows through a growth of territorial, political, juridical, and economic power. Expansion by expulsion is the social logic by which some members of society are dispossessed of their status as migrants so that social power can be expanded elsewhere. Power is not only a question of repression; it is a question of mobilization and kinetic reproduction.

    For circulation to open up to more flows and become more powerful than it was, it has historically relied on the disjunction or expulsion of mi- grant flows. In other words, the expansion of power has historically relied on a socially constitutive migrant population.

    Thesis 2: Mobility is a form of Social Reproduction

    People today continually move greater distances more frequently than ever before in human history. Even when people are not moving across a regional or international border, they tend to have more jobs, change jobs more often, commute longer and farther to their places of work,10 change their residences repeatedly, and tour internationally more often.11

    Some of these phenomena are directly related to recent events, such as the impoverishment of middle classes in certain rich countries after the financial crisis of 2008, neoliberal austerity cuts to social-welfare programs, and rising unemployment. The subprime-mortgage crisis, for example, led to the expul- sion of millions of people from their homes worldwide (9 million in the United States alone). Globally, foreign investors and governments have acquired 540 million acres since 2006, resulting in the eviction of millions of small farmers in poor countries, and mining practices have become increasingly destructive around the world—including hydraulic fracturing and tar sands.

    In 2006, the world crossed a monumental historical threshold, with more than half of the world’s population living in urban centers, compared with just fifteen percent a hundred years ago. This number is now expected to rise above seventy-five percent by 2050, with more than two billion more people moving to cities.12 The term “global urbanization,” as Saskia Sassen rightly observes, is only another way of politely describing large-scale human migration and displacement from rural areas, often caused by corporate land grabs.13 What this means is not only that more people are migrating to cities but now within cities and between suburban and urban areas for work. This general increase in human mobility and expulsion is now widely recognized as a defining feature of the twenty-first century so far.14

    Accordingly, this situation is having and will continue to have major social consequences for social relations in the twenty-first century. It there- fore demands the attention of critical theory. In particular, it should call our attention to the fact that this epic increase in human mobility and migration around the world is not just a minor or one-time “inconvenience” or “eco- nomic risk” that migrants make and then join the ranks of other “settled” urban workers. It is a continuous, ongoing, and nearly universal massive ex- traction of unpaid reproductive labor.

    Urban workers have become increasingly unsettled and mobile.The world average commuting time is now 40 minutes, one-way.15 This unpaid transport time is not a form of simply unproductive or unpaid labor. It is actually the material and kinetic conditions for the reproduction of the worker herself to arrive at work ready for labor. Not only this, but unpaid transport labor also continuously reproduces the spatial architecture of capitalist urban centers and suburban peripheries.16 The increasing neoliberal privatization of roadway construction and tollways is yet another way in which unpaid transport labor is not “unproductive” at all but rather continues to reproduce a massive new private transport market.This goes hand in hand with the neoliberal decline of affordable public transportation, especially in the US.

    Unfortunately, transport mobility has not traditionally been considered a form of social reproductive activity, but as global commute times and traffic increase, it is now becoming extremely obvious how important and constitu- tive this migratory labor actually is to the functioning of capital. If we define social reproduction as including all the conditions for the worker to arrive at work, then surely mobility is one of these necessary conditions. Perhaps one of the reasons it has not been recognized as such is because transport is an activity that looks least like an activity, since the worker is typically just sitting in a vehicle. Or perhaps the historical identification of vehicles and migration as sites of freedom (especially in America) has covered over the oppressive and increasingly obligatory unpaid labor time they often entail.

    The consequences of this new situation appeared at first as merely tempo- ral inconveniences for first-world commuters or what we might call BMWs (bourgeoise migrant workers).This burden initially fell and still falls dispropor- tionally on women who are called on to make up for the lost reproductive labor of their traveling spouses (even if they themselves also commute). Increasingly, however, as more women have begun to commute farther and more often this apparently or merely reproductive neoliberal transport labor has actually pro- duced a growing new market demand for a “surplus reproductive labor army” to take up these domestic and care labors. This brings us to our third thesis.

    Thesis: 3: Neoliberal Migration is a Regime of Social Reproduction

    The third thesis is that neoliberalism functions as a migration regime of social reproduction. This is the case insofar as neoliberalism expands itself in the form of a newly enlarged reproductive labor market, accomplished through the relative expulsion of the workers from their homes (and into

    vehicles) and the absolute expulsion of a migrant labor force from the global south to fill this new market.

    Migration therefore has and continues to function as a constitutive form of social reproduction (thesis one). This is a crucial thesis because it stresses the active role migrants play in the production and reproduction of society, but it is not a new phenomenon. Marx was of course one of the first to identify this process with respect to the capitalist mode of production. The proletariat is always already a migrant proletariat. At any moment an employed worker could be unemployed and forced to relocate according to the demands of capitalist valorization. In fact, the worker’s mobility is the condition of modern industry’s whole form of motion. Without the migration of a surplus population to new markets, from the rural to the city, from city to city, from country to country (what Marx calls the “floating population”) capitalist accumulation would not be possible at all. “Modern industry’s whole form of motion,” Marx claims, “therefore depends on the constant transformation of a part of the working population into unemployed or semi-employed ‘hands.’”17 As capitalist markets expand, contract, and multiply “by fits and starts,” Marx says, capital requires the possibility of suddenly adding and subtracting “great masses of men into decisive areas without doing any damage to the scale of production. The surplus population supplies these masses.”18

    What is historically new about the neoliberal migration regime is not merely that it simply expels a portion of the population in order to put it into waged labor elsewhere. What is new is that late-capitalist neoliberalism has now expelled one portion of the workers from a portion of their ownun-waged reproductive activity in order open up a new market for the waged activity of an as yet unexploited productive population of migrants from the global South. In other words reproductive labor itself has become a site of capitalist expansion. Wherever objects and activities have not yet been commodified, there we will find the next frontier of capitalist valorization.

    The consequence of this is a dramatic double expulsion. On the one hand, the bourgeois migrant worker is expelled from her home in the form of unpaid reproductive transport labor so that on the other hand the proletarian migrant worker can be expelled from her home as an international migrant and then expelled from her home again as a commuting worker to do someone else’s reproductive activity. The burden of social reproduction then falls disproportionately on the last link in the chain: the unpaid reproductive labor that sustains the domestic and social life of the migrant family. This is what must be ultimately expelled to expand the market of social reproduction at another level. This expulsion falls disproportionally on migrant women from the global south who must somehow reproduce their family’s social conditions, commute, and then reproduce someone else’s family’s conditions well.19

    Neoliberalism thus works on both fronts at the same time. On one side it increasingly withdraws and/or privatizes state social services that aid in social reproductive activities (child care, health care, public transit, and so on) while at the same increasing transport and commute times making a portion of those activities increasingly difficult for workers. On the other side it introduces the same structural adjustment policies (curtailed state and increased privatization) into the global South with the effect of mass economic migration to Northern countries where migrants can become waged producers in what was previously an “unproductive” (with respect to capital) sector of human activity: social reproduction itself.

    Conclusion

    This is the sense in which migrants play a constitutive role in the kinopolitics of social reproduction and neoliberal expansion. In other words, neoliberal migration has made possible a new level of commodification of social reproduction itself. Waged domestic labor is not new, of course, but what is new is the newly expanded nature of this sector of labor and its entanglement with a global regime of neoliberal expulsion and forced migration.

    One of the features that defines the uniquely neoliberal form of social reproduction today is the degree to which capitalism has relied directly on economically liberal trade policies and politically liberal international governments in order to redistribute record-breaking numbers of “surplus migrant reproductive labor” into Western countries. Global migration is therefore not the side-effect of neoliberal globalization; it is the main effect. Neoliberalism should thus be understood as a migration regime for expanding Western power through the expulsion and accumulation of migrant reproductive labor.

    https://philosophyofmovementblog.com/2019/02/28/three-theses-on-neoliberal-migration-and-social-reproducti

    #migrations #exploitation #néolibéralisme #mobilité #travail #main_d'oeuvre #reproduction_sociale #philosophie

    Mise en exergue d’une citation (fin de l’article) :

    Global migration is therefore not the side-effect of neoliberal globalization; it is the main effect. Neoliberalism should thus be understood as a migration regime for expanding Western power through the expulsion and accumulation of migrant reproductive labor.

    Article publié ici :


    https://polygraphjournal.com/issue-27-neoliberalism-and-social-reproduction


  • ‘Austerity, That’s What I Know’: The Making of a Young U.K. Socialist - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/24/world/europe/britain-austerity-socialism.html

    The general election of 2017 exposed the starkest generation gap in the recent history of British politics. Young voters broke dramatically for the Labour Party, whose socialist leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has promised to rebuild the welfare state and redistribute wealth. Hardened against the centrists of their parents’ generation, they have tugged the party to the left, opening up rifts that are now fracturing Labour.

    #austérité #jeunes #gauche #grande-Bretagne


  • Lost Radicals | Boston Review
    http://bostonreview.net/books-ideas/eric-mann-michael-dawson-radical-black-left-history

    Michael C. Dawson’s important new book Blacks In and Out of the Left expands on Jamal’s diagnosis by characterizing one of its sources: the abandonment of the Black Power movement by white liberals and social democrats who claimed that a black-led movement was inconsistent with their “universalist” ambitions. Yet Dawson’s history shows the immense unifying power that black groups had. They brought together marginalized groups, created networks of support, and built a creative community. Indeed, restoring black politics means restoring a multinational, multiracial left.

    In the ’60s many liberal whites believed black separatism threatened the possibility of a unified left. This belief led a generation of white leftist writers to attack the achievements of the black liberation movement, resulting in the repression, distortion, and caricature of the historical record of black leadership. In this context, Dawson’s frontal challenge to liberal and social democratic pontificates and his passionate defense of the black revolutionary tradition is a great gift to all students, especially black youth who have been robbed of their own history. Dawson brings to life the complexity of building a black and multi-racial left and highlights the profound achievements of black leaders and organizations that were purged from popular history. He emphasizes several important leaders who are too-little known today: Hubert Harrison, Cyril Briggs, Harry Haywood, Claudia Jones, W.E.B DuBois, A. Philip Randolph, Paul Robeson, and Fannie Lou Hamer. By reminding us that black revolutionary action has a long and influential tradition that extends well beyond the ’60s, Dawson challenges the white intellectuals who saw the unification of minority groups as a threat to their own interests. Here, for example, is Todd Gitlin:

    In the late 1960s, the principle of separate organizations on behalf of distinct interests raged throughout ‘the movement’ with amazing speed. On the model of black demands came those of feminists, Chicanos, American Indians, gays, lesbians. One grouping after another insisted on the recognition of difference and the protection of their separate and distinct spheres. . . . from the 1970s on, left-wing universalism was profoundly demoralized.

    As discouraged as white social democratic males may have felt, their domination caused a similar reaction among the revolutionary forces. Separation from the imposed universalism of the imperialist enlightenment allowed black groups to establish their own leadership, explore their own cultures, and use their own identities as the basis for self-determination. For most, separation was not separatism but an attempt to integrate self-determination into the multiracial, world struggle for socialist revolution. Indeed, the common future envisioned by blacks, Chicanos, and American Indians also attracted many whites. Rather than fracturing the left, black radicalism’s internationalist perspective provided an alternative to a universalism that was not universal.


  • Update: “Israeli Soldiers Kill Two Palestinians, injure 270, In Gaza”
    August 18, 2018 2:44 AM IMEMC News
    http://imemc.org/article/one-palestinian-killed-156-injured-at-gaza-border

    The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Friday, two Palestinians and injured 270 others, including 60 who were shot with live fire.

    The Ministry said the soldiers killed Karim Abu Fatayer, 30, by shooting him with a live round in his head, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.


    The Palestinian was shot in his eye, and the bullet exited through the back of his head after fracturing his skill and scattering his brain. The slain Palestinian is from Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza.

    Furthermore, the soldiers killed
    Sa’adi ِAkram Abu Muammar ,
    26, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

    Sa’adi is a married father of two daughters, Rahaf, 5, and Aseel, 3, and his wife is seven months pregnant.

    The Health Ministry also said the soldiers injured 270 Palestinians in several parts of the Gaza Strip, during the Great Return processions; 166 of them were treated in field clinics, and 104 were rushed to hospitals.

    Among the wounded are 60 who were shot with live fire, including 19 children, in addition to nine medics, who were injured by shrapnel or suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

    The Health Ministry in Gaza said the latest Israeli assaults bring the number of slain Palestinians since March 30th, to 170, in addition to 18300 who were injured.

    #Palestine_assassinée #marcheduretour

    • Gaza : deux Palestiniens tués à la frontière
      Le Monde | 17.08.2018 à 20h51
      https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/08/17/gaza-deux-palestiniens-tues-a-la-frontiere_5343636_3218.html?xtor=RSS-3208

      Des manifestations ont donné lieu à des heurts avec des soldats vendredi. Ces événements ne devraient pas remettre en question la trêve en vigueur depuis une semaine.

      Deux Palestiniens ont été tués vendredi 17 août par des tirs de soldats israéliens dans la bande de Gaza, lors de manifestations et de heurts le long de la frontière, en plein effort diplomatique pour instaurer un cessez-le-feu durable.

      Cette journée de vendredi avait valeur de test sur la solidité de la trêve observée depuis une semaine par l’armée israélienne et les groupes armés palestiniens, après des mois de tensions dans et autour de l’enclave.

      Selon le ministère de la santé gazaoui, deux Palestiniens ont été tués et des dizaines d’autres blessés par balle lors de manifestations de quelques milliers de Gazaouis et de confrontations avec des soldats postés sur la barrière de sécurité israélienne.
      (...)
      Ce vendredi était donc attendu. La mobilisation est restée moindre que certains vendredis qui avaient réuni jusqu’à des dizaines de milliers de personnes, mais deux Palestiniens ont été tués. Karim Abou Fatayer , 30 ans, a été mortellement atteint par des tirs israéliens non loin du camp de réfugiés d’Al-Boureij. Sadi Mouammar , 26 ans, a lui succombé à un tir dans la tête à l’est de Rafah, selon le ministère gazaoui de la santé. Soixante-dix personnes ont été blessées par balle et environ 200 autres par d’autres moyens, notamment des gaz lacrymogènes.

      Au moins 171 Gazaouis ont été tués par des tirs israéliens depuis le 30 mars. Pour la première fois depuis 2014, un soldat israélien a été tué, le 20 juillet.


  • “Stephen Actually Enjoys Seeing Those Pictures at the Border” : The West Wing Is Fracturing Over Trump’s Callous Migrant-Family Policy
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/06/stephen-miller-family-separation-white-house

    Meanwhile, as the border crisis spirals, the absence of a coordinated policy process has allowed the most extreme administration voices to fill the vacuum. White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has all but become the face of the issue, a development that even supporters of Trump’s “zero-tolerance” position say is damaging the White House. “Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border,” an outside White House adviser said. “He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS.”

    Avant, ce genre de qualificatif relevait du point Godwin, un débordement typique de l’interwebz. Apparemment, c’est désormais un qualificatif normal dans le shithole country.


  • Egypt Collective action anesthetized: The Doctors Syndicate from 2016-2018 | MadaMasr
    https://www.madamasr.com/en/2018/05/23/feature/politics/collective-action-anesthetized-the-doctors-syndicate-from-2016-2018

    Even after the family of one of his patients assaulted him, fracturing his nose in four places, doctor Mohamed Awad is sympathetic to the structural problems that plague Egypt’s healthcare system under the government’s austerity conditions.

    “People come in frightened that their relative will die, but it’s not our fault that there is a shortage in medical supplies. I understand [this fear], but I cannot tolerate attacking doctors,” says Awad.

    The patient whose family attacked Awad came into the Sahel Teaching Hospital on May 18 with a brain hemorrhage and in need of a place in the intensive care unit. Without a bed to offer her, Awad was forced to deliver the news to her family that the unit was at capacity, and that he’d called the Health Ministry to find space for her elsewhere. Angered by the news, the family attacked Awad and three other staff members at the hospital.

    Awad’s story is part of a larger mosaic of repeated attacks on health practitioners. Coupled with stymied reform measures meant to improve professional and patient care conditions, this violence has tried the patience of many of his colleagues and driven a wedge in the politics of the Doctors Syndicate.


  • Decentralized identity and decentralized social networks | Read the Tea Leaves
    https://nolanlawson.com/2018/01/02/decentralized-identity-and-decentralized-social-networks

    It’s unreasonable to expect people to speak in the same voice in every social setting offline, so it’s equally unreasonable to ask them to do it online.

    In the world of centralized social networks, users have responded to “real name policies” and “please use one account” by fracturing themselves into different proprietary silos. On decentralized social networks, we can continue fracturing ourselves based on instances, but these disparate identities are allowed to comingle a bit, thanks to the magic of federation.

    I don’t expect everyone to use the same techniques I use, such as having a joke account and a serious account. For some people, that’s just too much of an investment in social media, and it’s too hard to juggle more than one account. But I think it’s a partial solution to the problem of context collapse, and although it’s a bit of extra effort, it can pay dividends in the form of fewer misunderstandings, fewer ambiguities, and less confusion for your readers.

    #Identité #Médias_sociaux #Effondrement_contexte #Mastodon


  • We just found the strongest evidence yet that fracking affects human health
    http://www.sciencealert.com/we-just-found-the-strongest-evidence-yet-that-fracking-harms-human-hea

    #Fracking – aka hydraulic fracturing – has long been criticised for its negative effects on the environment, but a new study analysing more than 1 million births provides what scientists say is the most damning evidence yet that fracking is bad for human beings.

    #fracturation_hydraulique #santé


  • Inside X, Google’s Moonshot Factory |The Atlantic (novembre 2017)
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/11/x-google-moonshot-factory/540648

    (…) The decline in U.S. productivity growth since the 1970s puzzles economists; potential explanations range from an aging workforce to the rise of new monopolies. But John Fernald, an economist at the Federal Reserve, says we can’t rule out a drought of breakthrough inventions. He points out that the notable exception to the post-1970 decline in productivity occurred from 1995 to 2004, when businesses throughout the economy finally figured out information technology and the internet. “It’s possible that productivity took off, and then slowed down, because we picked all the low-hanging fruit from the information-technology wave,” Fernald told me.

    The U.S. economy continues to reap the benefits of IT breakthroughs, some of which are now almost 50 years old. But where will the next brilliant technology shock come from? As total federal R&D spending has declined—from nearly 12 percent of the budget in the 1960s to 4 percent today—some analysts have argued that corporate America has picked up the slack. But public companies don’t really invest in experimental research; their R&D is much more D than R. A 2015 study from Duke University found that since 1980, there has been a “shift away from scientific research by large corporations”—the triumph of short-term innovation over long-term invention.

    The decline of scientific research in America has serious implications. In 2015, MIT published a devastating report on the landmark scientific achievements of the previous year, including the first spacecraft landing on a comet, the discovery of the Higgs boson particle, and the creation of the world’s fastest supercomputer. None of these was an American-led accomplishment. The first two were the products of a 10-year European-led consortium. The supercomputer was built in China.

    As the MIT researchers pointed out, many of the commercial breakthroughs of the past few years have depended on inventions that occurred decades ago, and most of those were the results of government investment. From 2012 to 2016, the U.S. was the world’s leading oil producer. This was largely thanks to hydraulic fracturing experiments, or fracking, which emerged from federally funded research into drilling technology after the 1970s oil crisis. The recent surge in new cancer drugs and therapies can be traced back to the War on Cancer announced in 1971. But the report pointed to more than a dozen research areas where the United States is falling behind, including robotics, batteries, and synthetic biology. “As competitive pressures have increased, basic research has essentially disappeared from U.S. companies,” the authors wrote.

    It is in danger of disappearing from the federal government as well. The White House budget this year proposed cutting funding for the National Institutes of Health, the crown jewel of U.S. biomedical research, by $5.8 billion, or 18 percent. It proposed slashing funding for disease research, wiping out federal climate-change science, and eliminating the Energy Department’s celebrated research division, arpa-e.

    The Trump administration’s thesis seems to be that the private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive technology. But this view is ahistorical. Almost every ingredient of the internet age came from government-funded scientists or research labs purposefully detached from the vagaries of the free market. The transistor, the fundamental unit of electronics hardware, was invented at Bell Labs, inside a government-sanctioned monopoly. The first model of the internet was developed at the government’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, now called darpa. In the 1970s, several of the agency’s scientists took their vision of computers connected through a worldwide network to Xerox parc.

    “There is still a huge misconception today that big leaps in technology come from companies racing to make money, but they do not,” says Jon Gertner, the author of The Idea Factory, a history of Bell Labs. “Companies are really good at combining existing breakthroughs in ways that consumers like. But the breakthroughs come from patient and curious scientists, not the rush to market.” In this regard, X’s methodical approach to invention, while it might invite sneering from judgmental critics and profit-hungry investors, is one of its most admirable qualities. Its pace and its patience are of another era.

    #innovation #États-Unis #Google_X #Internet #histoire


  • Commentary: A win for Trump’s #gas_diplomacy
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-grigas-lng/commentary-a-win-for-trumps-gas-diplomacy-idUSKCN1BB01K

    Last week, American liquefied natural gas (LNG) made its way to the somewhat unlikely market of #Lithuania. The former Soviet republic traditionally bought its gas from Russian state company Gazprom; this was its first shipment from the United States. For President Donald Trump, that must have been a gratifying sign of the success of his administration’s nascent energy diplomacy.

    The U.S. became the world’s largest producer of natural gas around 2011, overtaking its long-time competitor Russia and starting to rival Saudi Arabia in oil production. This was made possible by the shale revolution – the breakthrough of hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” that could split rock formations below ground and boost the extraction of oil and gas resources from shale rock formations. Environmentalists oppose LNG exports on the grounds that methane leakage from fracking can make natural gas as harmful to the climate as coal and that the LNG trade involves the energy-intensive measures of freezing gas, shipping it across oceans, and then regassifying – a process that further increases the carbon footprint.
    […]
    Nonetheless, Cheniere launched its inaugural delivery of LNG to Poland in June. During his visit to Poland the following month, Trump reiterated the implications of this delivery: “We are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never held hostage to a single supplier of energy,” he said.

    While reducing Gazprom’s dominance is part of Washington’s long-standing agenda, the Trump administration is the first to explicitly link the trinity of diplomacy, LNG trade, and national economic interests in Europe, Asia, and beyond. However, U.S. officials should be wary of implying that Washington’s LNG diplomacy is centered on making America’s friends buy gas to prove their loyalty. It’s already in Washington’s economic interests to support its allies’ energy security. There is no need for the White House to belabor the point.


  • The #EPA Once Said Fracking Did Not Cause Widespread Water #Contamination. Not Anymore.
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/13122016/fracking-water-contamination-oil-gas-hydraulic-fracturing-epa-tru

    The new final version does not conclude that there is widespread #pollution of drinking water, cautioned Robert Jackson, professor of environment and energy at Stanford University. The available data do not support that either. Rather, the report helps to characterize and assess risk throughout the fracking process, from the withdrawal of water to be mixed with chemicals, through the mixing stage, injection of fracking fluid into an oil or gas well, handling of the water that returns up the well and the eventual disposal of the waste.

    “These activities can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances,” the report said.

    “Cases of impacts were identified for all stages of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle,” it continued. “Identified impacts generally occurred near hydraulically fractured oil and gas production wells and ranged in severity from temporary changes in water quality to contamination that made private drinking water wells unusable.”

    Jackson said the new report more closely reflects what other fracking research has found. “The revised summary much more accurately captures the content of the original report and the state of science today,” he said. “Fracking writ large doesn’t usually contaminate water but it has and the report acknowledges different ways that that happens.”

    #fracturation_hydraulique #eau


  • How Fracking Impacts Water-Stressed Regions
    http://www.ecowatch.com/impact-fracking-water-2074553674.html

    Weld County is not alone. Fracking activity throughout the arid south and west is placing increasing pressure on ever-tighter water supplies, with Colorado and Texas being ground zero.

    Ceres researchers mapped water use in hydraulic fracturing across the U.S., using data from FracFocus.org and the World Resources Institute, and found that 57 percent of hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells between Jan. 1, 2011 and Jan. 1, 2016 were in regions of high water competition.

    Our newly released interactive map shows water use by shale play and operator.

    https://www.ceres.org/static/fracking-map
    #fracturation_hydraulique #eau #États-unis #cartographie


  • How #Comets are born
    http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2016/07/28/how-comets-are-born

    This story is mirrored from the ESA Web Portal. Detailed analysis of data collected by #Rosetta show that comets are the ancient leftovers of early #solar_system #formation, and not younger fragments resulting from subsequent collisions between other, larger bodies. Understanding how and when objects like #Comet_67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko took shape is of utmost importance in determining how exactly they can be used to interpret the formation and early evolution of our Solar System. A new study addressing this question led by Björn Davidsson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (USA), has been published in Astronomy & Astrophysics. If comets are #primordial, then they could help reveal the properties of the solar nebula from which the Sun, (...)

    #Instruments #Science #comet #rosetta #rubble_pile #TNOs


    • Evidence that Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is composed of ancient material preserved from the formation of the early Solar System and that came together under low speed. The evidence collected by Rosetta lies in the comet’s structural properties, the gases detected leaving the nucleus, and observations of surface features.
      © ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

    • The unusually high porosity of the interior of the nucleus provides the first indication that this growth cannot have been via violent collisions, as these would have compacted the fragile material. Structures and features on different size scales observed by Rosetta’s cameras provide further information on how this growth may have taken place.

      Earlier work showed that the head and body were originally separate objects, but the collision that merged them must have been at low speed in order not to destroy both of them. The fact that both parts have similar layering also tells us that they must have undergone similar evolutionary histories and that survival rates against catastrophic collision must have been high for a significant period of time.

      Merging events may also have happened on smaller scales. For example, three spherical ‘caps’ have been identified in the Bastet region on the small comet lobe, and suggestions are that they are remnants of smaller cometesimals that are still partially preserved today.

      At even smaller scales of just a few metres across, there are the so-called ‘goosebumps’ and ‘clod’ features, rough textures observed in numerous pits and exposed cliff walls in various locations on the comet.

      While it is possible that this morphology might arise from fracturing alone, it is actually thought to represent an intrinsic ‘lumpiness’ of the comet’s constituents. That is, these ‘goosebumps’ could be showing the typical size of the smallest cometesimals that accumulated and merged to build up the comet, made visible again today through erosion due to sunlight.

      According to theory, the speeds at which cometesimals collide and merge change during the growth process, with a peak when the lumps have sizes of a few metres. For this reason, metre-sized structures are expected to be the most compact and resilient, and it is particularly interesting that the comet material appears lumpy on that particular size scale.

      #grumeaux #planétésimaux


  • ’Let them stay’: backlash in Australia over plans to send asylum seekers to island detention camps | Australia news | The Guardian

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/10/let-them-stay-australia-backlash-267-asylum-seekers-island-detention-ca

    Australia’s famously hardline refugee policies – in particular its practice of sending asylum seekers to remote foreign islands for processing and resettlement – are facing unprecedented pressure from widespread public protests and fracturing political support.

    #réfugiés #australie


  • Hey, California: Oklahoma had 3 times as many earthquakes in 2014 | Reveal
    https://www.revealnews.org/article/hey-california-oklahoma-had-3-times-as-many-earthquakes-in-2014

    Earthquakes are synonymous with California to most Americans, but West Coasters might be surprised to learn they’re far from the new center of the seismic landscape in the United States.

    Oklahoma recorded more than three times as many earthquakes as California in 2014 and remains well ahead in 2015. Data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that Oklahoma had 562 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater in 2014; California had 180. As of Jan. 31, Oklahoma recorded 76 earthquakes of that magnitude, compared with California’s 10.

    According to the Advanced National Seismic System global catalog, in 2014, Oklahoma even beat Alaska, the nation’s perennial leader in total earthquakes, though many small events in remote areas go unrecorded there.

    In California, earthquakes always have been relatively common, but in Oklahoma, they were much more rare – at least until 2009.
    Earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and higher, 2000 to Jan. 31, 2015


    Numerous studies agree that wastewater disposal from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a major factor in increasing seismic activity.

    Massive amounts of water, along with other fluids, are used in the fracking process to break rocks, release natural gas and push it to the surface. That water, along with brine pulled from those rocks, comes back to the surface and has to go somewhere. So drillers inject it into underground disposal wells. In Oklahoma, more than 50 billion gallons of wastewater went into disposal wells in 2013 alone, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey. The fracking process itself also has been linked to earthquakes, though those generally have been smaller than those associated with wastewater disposal.


  • Do #comet fractures drive #surface evolution ?
    http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2015/08/18/do-comet-fractures-drive-surface-evolution

    Extreme thermal stresses experienced by a comet as it orbits around the Sun could explain the extensive fracturing thought to drive its long-term surface erosion, say #Rosetta scientists analysing high-resolution #Images of #Comet_67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s surface. The study, which is published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, is based on images taken between 6 August 2014 – when #rosetta first arrived at the comet – and 1 March 2015, and includes detailed images acquired from between just 8 and 18 km from the comet’s surface. Ramy’s team identified three distinct settings in which the fractures occur: networks of long narrow fractures, fractures on cliffs and fractured boulders. In addition, several unique features were identified: the parallel fractures running across (...)

    #Instruments #Science #nucleus #osiris


  • It’s Official: New York Bans Fracking
    http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/29/new-york-bans-fracking

    New York State officially banned fracking today by issuing its formal Findings Statement, which completed the state’s seven-year review of fracking.

    “After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative,” said New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens in a statement. “High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated. This decision is consistent with DEC’s mission to conserve, improve and protect our state’s natural resources, and to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state.”


  • It’s Official: #EPA Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water
    http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/04/epa-fracking-pollutes-drinking-water

    “Despite industry’s obstruction, EPA found that fracking pollutes water in a number of ways,” said Earthworks policy director Lauren Pagel. “That’s why industry didn’t cooperate. They know fracking is an inherently risky, dirty process that doesn’t bear close, independent examination.”

    The report looked at water use at five stages of the water-intensive process: use of the available water supply for fracking; the mixing of chemicals with water to create fracking fluid; the flowback of the fluid after it has been injected underground to fracture shale deposits to release oil or gas; treatment of the wastewater byproduct of fracking; and the injection wells frequently used to dispose of fracking wastewater when the process is complete.

    #fracturation_hydraulique #eau #pollution

    • La fracturation hydraulique n’aurait pas d’impact majeur sur l’eau, selon l’EPA | Martin Croteau | Gaz de schiste
      http://www.lapresse.ca/environnement/dossiers/gaz-de-schiste/201506/04/01-4875452-la-fracturation-hydraulique-naurait-pas-dimpact-majeur-sur-leau-

      L’agence relève cependant plusieurs cas où des forages pétroliers ou gaziers ont entraîné la contamination de sources d’eau. Dans certains cas, des failles dans la conception ou la construction du coffrage de ciment des puits ont entraîné les fuites de produits chimiques ou d’hydrocarbures dans la nappe phréatique.

      « Le nombre de cas, par contre, était petit en comparaison du nombre total de puits de fracturation hydraulique », peut-on lire dans le document.

      Le site Inside Climate News, citant une demi-douzaine d’anciens employés de l’EPA, des sources politiques et plus de 200 pages de correspondance officielle, a rapporté en mars que l’étude de l’agence avait été minée par le manque de coopération de l’industrie pétrolière et gazière.

      L’EPA reconnaît d’ailleurs qu’elle n’est pas en mesure d’établir le nombre de fuites dans la grande majorité des États producteurs. Elle ajoute qu’elle dispose de données « insuffisantes » sur les sources d’eau avant et après les forages.

    • Le cœur de l’Executive summary (qui fait tout de même 25 pages…)
      http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/hfstudy/recordisplay.cfm?deid=244651

      Major Findings
      From our assessment, we conclude there are above and below ground mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities have the potential to impact drinking water resources. These mechanisms include water withdrawals in times of, or in areas with, low water availability; spills of hydraulic fracturing fluids and produced water; fracturing directly into underground drinking water resources; below ground migration of liquids and gases; and inadequate treatment and discharge of wastewater.
      We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The number of identified cases, however, was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells. This finding could reflect a rarity of effects on drinking water resources, but may also be due to other limiting factors. These factors include: insufficient pre- and post-fracturing data on the quality of drinking water resources; the paucity of long-term systematic studies; the presence of other sources of contamination precluding a definitive link between hydraulic fracturing activities and an impact; and the inaccessibility of some information on hydraulic fracturing activities and potential impacts.
      Below, we provide a synopsis of the assessment’s key findings, organized by each stage of the hydraulic fracturing water cycle.

      Donc,
      • oui, il peut y avoir des effets (on a identifié les mécanismes)
      • on n’en a pas trouvé beaucoup (relativement au nombre de forages)
      • mais on n’a pas toutes les informations
      C’est bien ce que décrit La Presse.

      Le reste est à l’avenant. Il y a eu des forages dans 25 états, au total entre 25000 et 30000 par an entre 2011 et 2014. Le pourcentage de puits où il y a eu des fuites n’a pu être estimé que pour 2 états et il est compris entre 0,4% et 12,2%.

      La conclusion de l’Executive Summary (beaucoup de redites…) sur le même mode : #oui_mais_pas_beaucoup_cependant_on_n'a_pas_les_données

      Through this national-level assessment, we have identified potential mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing could affect drinking water resources. Above ground mechanisms can affect surface and ground water resources and include water withdrawals at times or in locations of low water availability, spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid and chemicals or produced water, and inadequate treatment and discharge of hydraulic fracturing wastewater. Below ground mechanisms include movement of liquids and gases via the production well into underground drinking water resources and movement of liquids and gases from the fracture zone to these resources via pathways in subsurface rock formations.

      We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The cases occurred during both routine activities and accidents and have resulted in impacts to surface or ground water. Spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid and produced water in certain cases have reached drinking water resources, both surface and ground water. Discharge of treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater has increased contaminant concentrations in receiving surface waters. Below ground movement of fluids, including gas, most likely via the production well, have contaminated drinking water resources. In some cases, hydraulic fracturing fluids have also been directly injected into drinking water resources, as defined in this assessment, to produce oil or gas that co-exists in those formations.

      The number of identified cases where drinking water resources were impacted are small relative to the number of hydraulically fractured wells. This could reflect a rarity of effects on drinking water resources, or may be an underestimate as a result of several factors. There is insufficient pre- and post-hydraulic fracturing data on the quality of drinking water resources. This inhibits a determination of the frequency of impacts. Other limiting factors include the presence of other causes of contamination, the short duration of existing studies, and inaccessible information related to hydraulic fracturing activities.

    • UPDATED: Newsweek, Wash. Times Publish False Headlines About EPA Fracking Study | Blog | Media Matters for America
      http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/06/04/newsweek-wash-times-publish-false-headlines-abo/203890

      Within hours of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releasing a study on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” Newsweek and The Washington Times published online articles with headlines that falsely claimed the EPA determined fracking does not pollute drinking water. However, while the EPA said it found no evidence that fracking has led to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” the study also identified “specific instances” where fracking “led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells.”  

      In its headline, Newsweek asserted: “Fracking Doesn’t Pollute Drinking Water, EPA Says.” The Washington Times’ similar headline, “EPA: Fracking doesn’t harm drinking water,” was also adopted by The Drudge Report, a highly influential conservative news aggregator. 

      But the EPA study said none of those things.


  • Dimock, PA Lawsuit Trial-Bound as Study Links Fracking to Water Contamination in Neighboring County | DeSmogBlog
    http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/05/08/dimock-pennsylvania-lawsuit-trial-study-fracking-water-contamination

    A recent peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed what many fracking critics have argued for years: hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas can contaminate groundwater.

    #fracturation_hydraulique #eau


  • Despite Historic Drought, California Used 70 Million Gallons Of Water For Fracking Last Year

    Even in the midst of its historic, ongoing drought, California used millions of gallons of water for hydraulic fracturing last year, according to state officials.


    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/06/3643184/california-70-million-gallons-fracking
    #eau #sécheresse #Etats-Unis #USA #Californie #gaspillage


  • Libya Against Itself by Nicolas Pelham | The New York Review of Books
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2015/feb/19/libya-against-itself

    Libya in its current shape is a recent, fragile construct, originating in Italy’s invasion of 1911, exactly a century before the Arab Spring. It has been fracturing and reuniting ever since. Unable to overcome the Arab Bedouin tribes in the east, Italy’s first wave of colonizers sanctioned the creation of an autonomous Emirate of Cyrenaica. In 1929 Benito Mussolini tried again, and succeeded by imprisoning tens of thousands of Bedouins in concentration camps, where half of them died. After World War II, the British backed the revival of the Cyrenaican emirate replete with a king, Idris I. But the discovery of oil, whose fields and pipelines straddled boundaries, drew Libya’s disparate provinces into ever closer union. In 1951, Cyrenaica established a federation with the Fezzan region in the south, hitherto under French hegemony, and Tripolitania in the northwest, also under the British. King Idris added a green and a red band below and above his black flag with a white crescent. And in 1963, under King Idris, Libya abolished the federation and declared itself a single unified state.

    For forty-two years, Qaddafi, who called himself Il Duce with overtones of Mussolini, suppressed these separate identities. But once he had fallen, vulnerable Libyans floundering for some means of protection turned to their closest kin. In Tripoli each district of the city assembled its armed wing. Islamists organized anti-vice squads, and the Imazighen established “rapid deployment forces” to support neighborhoods with high concentrations of Berbers. Libya’s new power brokers revived and inflamed ancient grievances to consolidate their hold.

    (...)

    Bernardino León, the UN’s special envoy to Libya, recalls how careful he was to separate the negotiating parties before the start of the discussions he organized on the Algerian border last September, only to be taken aback when they bumped into each other in the hotel lobby and hugged and kissed.


  • New York state to ban fracking over ’red flags’ to public health | Environment | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/17/new-york-state-fracking-ban-two-years-public-health

    The state of New York said it would ban the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing on Wednesday because of “red flags” about its risks to public health.

    The ban puts one of the last great areas of untapped potential in the Marcellus Shale off-limits to the oil and gas industry.

    The decision was reached after a two-year study into the effects of fracking on the state’s air and water, and announced at a cabinet meeting in Albany.

    “The takeaway that I get from the data is that there are serious questions about public health,” the governor, Andrew Cuomo, said.

    New York state has had a moratorium on fracking for the past five years – and more than 120 towns across the state have outlawed the practice.

    #fracturation_hydraulique


  • A trip to Kuwait (on the prairie)
    http://mondediplo.com/openpage/a-trip-to-kuwait-on-the-prairie

    the region displays all the classic contemporary markers of hell: toxic flames that burn around the clock; ink-black smoke billowing from 18-wheelers; intermittent explosions caused by lightning striking the super-conductive wastewater tanks that hydraulic fracturing makes a necessity; a massive Walmart; an abundance of meth, crack, and liquor; freezing winters; rents higher than Manhattan; and far, far too many men. To oil companies, however, the field is hallowed ground, one of the few in history to break the million-barrel-a-day benchmark, earning it “a place in the small pantheon of truly elite oil fields,” (...) Source: Le Monde (...)


  • The UK : latest front line in the European #shale_gas battles
    http://multinationales.org/The-UK-latest-front-line-in-the

    The #United_Kingdom is full of strong opinions when it comes to shale gas, which requires hydraulic fracturing (or ‘fracking’) – the controversial technique where a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is injected at high pressure into rock followed by depressurisation – to extract it. David Cameron’s conservative coalition government is pushing harder than ever on both a domestic and European level to promote the practice (and the lucrative rewards assumed to go with it). Meanwhile, thousands of (...)

    #Investigations

    / #Extractive_Industries, #Energy, United Kingdom, #Total, #GDF_Suez, #Cuadrilla, #Extractive_Industries, #Fossil_fuels, #Lobbying, #local_communities, shale gas, #greenhouse_gas, #social_impact, #environmental_impact, #extractive_industries, #energy, regulations and (...)

    #regulations_and_norms #influence
    « http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21120-how-fracking-caused-earthquakes-in-the-uk.html »
    « http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/28/fracking-office-single-unit-shale-gas-produced »
    « http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geoffreylean/100282976/want-to-know-how-fracking-will-affect-you-sorry-thats-a-state-sec »
    « http://www.ukoog.org.uk/about-ukoog/press-releases/131-new-survey-shows-57-of-britons-support-natural-gas-from-shale »
    « http://www.leparisien.fr/environnement/exclusif-environnement-72-des-francais-contre-l-exploitation-du-gaz-de-sc »
    « http://www.renewablesinternational.net/german-government-wants-shale-gas/150/537/79666 »
    « http://www.northernenergy.co.uk/mainnews/fracking-supported-by-majority-of-uk »
    « http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/campinfo »
    « http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/uncategorized/breaking-operation-mums-and-grandmas-omg-occupy-proposed-drilling-s »
    « http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/18/fracking-protesters-occupy-blackpool-office-cuadrilla »
    « http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/europe »
    « http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-promises-fracking-tax-boost-for-councils-willing-to-app »
    « http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/01/13/fracking-councils_n_4587143.html »
    « http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/04/decc-energy-statistics,-march-2013 »
    « http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3284/British-public-split-on-nuclear-power.aspx »
    « http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/25/labour-regulation-uk-fracking-industry »
    « http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/company/news-and-updates/speeches/shale-gas-american-success-story »
    « https://www.chathamhouse.org/media/comment/view/187991 »
    « http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26735000 »
    « http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/06/shale-oil-boom-over-energy-revolution-blackouts »
    « http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/31/uk-shale-gas-fracking-cuadrilla »
    « http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geoffreylean/100222841/drilling-set-back-regulator-caught-out-as-fracking-opponents-draw »
    « https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency »
    « http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/06/fracking-trespass-law-changes-opposed-by-74-of-britons »
    « http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/04/ban-fracking-from-national-parks-say-majority-of-uk-public »
    « http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-25695813 »
    « http://www.wwf.gr/crisis-watch/issues/21-issue-21-december-2013/shale-gas-lobby-wins-war-against-strict-environmental-rules/28-shale-gas-lobby-wins-war-against-strict-environmental-rules »
    « http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/08/05/support-fracking-not-my-backyard »
    « https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/economics-of-shale-gas »
    « http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/energy/shaleGas/home.html »
    « https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/potential-greenhouse-gas-emissions-associated-with-shale-gas-production-and-use »
    « http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/fracking-regs-tarnished-new-report_05062014 »
    « http://www.foeeurope.org/fracking-brussels-240714 »


  • Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability & Business Risks
    http://www.wri.org/publication/global-shale-gas-development-water-availability-business-risks


    – 38 percent of the world’s shale resources face high to extremely high water stress or arid conditions.
    – 386 million people live on land above shale plays—increased competition for water and public concern over hydraulic fracturing is more likely in densely populated areas.
    – In China, 61 percent of shale resources face high water stress or arid conditions.
    – In Argentina, 72 percent of shale resources face low to medium water stress.
    – In the United Kingdom, 34 percent of shale plays face high water stress or arid conditions.

    #gaz_de_schiste #eau