Ball Of Corruption

August 2nd, 2017 No comments

Corporations Have Bought Public Interest Groups

Round and round and around we go, where the world’s headed nobody knows.
Great googa mooga, can’t you hear me talkin’ to you, just a
Ball of Confusion that’s what the world is today. ~~~  Ball of Confusion (The Temptations, 1971)

Chris Hedges has a must watch interview with Russ Mokhiber:

How Corporations Have Taken Over Government, Nonprofit and Regulatory Agencies (Video)

“All the checks and balances—from press to public interest groups to criminal prosecutors—are slowly being cut back,” investigative journalist Russell Mokhiber tells Chris Hedges in a discussion about corporate crime.

Watch the whole thing, especially my NJ friends who know exactly how this corruption works.

Because I’ve witnessed this first hand many times over the span of a 30 year career in a State environmental regulatory agency and non-profit environmental groups, and have been documenting, speaking, and writing about this same corruption for years – and have paid a huge price for doing so – I felt compelled to submit this comment below. Who knows, maybe some intrepid journalist out there will break a sweat and do the research or just Google the work I’ve done already (and I can’t even escape it on the road – see this Trust For Public Land scam):

Dear Chris – right in your own backyard, the State of NJ, corporations (and corporate dominated Foundations) basically created the model of funding “legitimate” conservation and environmental groups to control their agenda and advocacy over 2 decades ago.

The cancer has proliferated today to such a degree that it is brazen – openly celebrated as “partnership” and “stewardship” and “sustainable development” and “watershed management” (all these slogan are frauds designed to mask the corruption).

Take a look at the funding and boards of NJ Audubon Society, Sustainable NJ, Trust For Public Land, Nature Conservancy, NJ Future and Rethink Energy NJ. Look also at The Dodge Foundation (Chris Daggett), PSEG, NJ Natural Gas, WalMart, and the Wm. Penn Foundation.

Even individual billionaire’s, like Peter Kellogg, have bought NJ Audubon to promote commercial logging on public lands and land management to promote hunting (“young forests” and “forest stewardship”).

NJ Audubon even has a “Partnership” with Donald Trump!!!!!!

A guy named Mike Catania, previously with an NGO land conservation group, even formed his own corporate consulting group to institutionalize this corruption. When I outed and criticized him, he took down his own 10 year report that documented all the corrupt deals.

The same financial corruption has infiltrated Rutgers and other NJ universities. Take a look at who is speaking and leading the next “Climate Change” conference at Rutgers, for example. Note especially where it is being held, at corporate Duke Foundation led by “entrepreneur” Mike Catania.

I’ve been documenting and writing about this corruption for years.

As a result, my Foundation funding was zeroed and I was basically driven out of the state and am blackballed. I’m living in a van.

Do a word search on my blog, Wolfenotes.com for links to all the documentation.

BTW, using State DEP funds to muzzle critics is rampant as well – check out “conservation” groups that get grants or funding from NJ DEP or US EPA, including American Littoral Society, Clean Ocean Action, all the local “watershed” and land preservation groups and NY/NJ Baykeeper,, NJCF, PPA, etc

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Cascades Wilderness Fire – Ironic Cold War Link (think Strangelove)

July 31st, 2017 No comments

A Visual Evocation Of Cold War Madness

_DSC3852

[Update – scroll to bottom, below photos]

The photo above is the Diamond Creek fire (taken on 7/27/17) I took on the border of the Pasayten Wilderness, seen from Hart’s Pass in spectacular Okanogan National Forest. Started by a campfire!

[Update: for a disturbing analysis of fire, climate change, and forests, read “The Late Great Whitebark Pine”. I’ve seen all this happening now in many western forests, and conditions now are drier, not wetter as projected, so actual conditions may be worse then predicted.]

I watched for hours as the fire generated an enormous mushroom cloud – I thought this might look like a miniature version of what a nuclear bomb would create. Here’s a broader view:

_DSC3849

Then I read the interpretive sign: the Slate Peak Lookout tower on the top of the mountain was intended to be an Air Force radar station.

During the Cold War hysteria – currently being revived – the US Air Force wanted to monitor for invading Soviet bombers.  They actually blew off the top of the mountain – take a look, Dr. Strangelove!

_DSC3864

The military also built the road to the top – here is USFS description of the history “A Little Off The Top” (is it legible?) And the USAF radar station was never built.

_DSC3836

Aside from the evocative Cold War irony, read this assessment of that road, from “Dangerous roads – the worlds’s most spectacular roads”. Having driven that road, I completely agree.

_DSC3838

We spent the day engrossed in the fire cloud and camped up top.

_DSC3848

It got colder and windier as sundown approached. I had to put on winter hat and coat.

We hiked up to the lookout tower at sunrise.

_DSC3853

_DSC3853

It felt like treading on the edge of the earth – with the wind gusting, I felt like I might just blow away. It was an unsettling landscape, to say the least.

Despite the spectacular beauty, we began the white knuckle drive down as soon as we got back – I didn’t even make coffee.  Take a look:

[Creepy End Note: I brought some books along. I just re-read “On The Road” – and in checking Kerouac’s biography this morning from the fine Carnegie Library here in Port Townsend, Washington, I noted that he spent a few months as a fire lookout on “Desolation Peak”, which is nearby to where the photos were taken.

_DSC3875

_DSC3872

_DSC3826

_DSC3829

_DSC3834

_DSC3831

_DSC3874

 

_DSC3869

[Update – Kerouac let his “beat” mask slip exactly once in “On The Road”, in a serious passage that is highly revealing as to the underlying reality that heavily influenced the “beat” alienation and rejection of social values.

And that reality is the bomb.

Here’s the passage, in the final chapter, where the road takes them to Mexico. It explains everything: (emphasis mine)

… They [the Sierra Madre Oriental] had come down from the back mountains and higher places to hold forth their hands for something they thought civilization could offer, and they never dreamed the sadness and poor broken delusion of it. They didn’t know that a bomb had come that could crack all our bridges and roads and reduce them to jumbles, and we would be as poor as they someday, and stretching out our hands in the same, same way.

Update #2 – 8/5/17 – here’s a good essay that makes the same point: “On The Beach”

(note: that book and “On The Road” were both published in 1957, the year I was born.)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

The View From Pringle Park

July 26th, 2017 No comments

Can’t Get Away from NJ Bullshit

Lake Pend Oreille (Idaho)

Lake Pend Oreille (Idaho)

I had to stop along lovely Lake Pend Oreille when I saw the sign for “Pringle Park”!

_DSC3730

As I was having a yogurt snack, another coal train roared by:

_DSC3731

How many folks reading that fish consumption advisory sign connect the problem with that coal train?

_DSC3733

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Greetings From Libby Montana!

July 26th, 2017 No comments

Hard Times

Down and Out at the (closed) Libby Hotel

Down and Out at the (closed) Libby Hotel

Ironically, the main drag through Libby Montana is named “Mineral Avenue” –

A very sad place, but I felt compelled to visit.

The above photo captures the essence of a devastated downtown, a place that Chris Hedges has called a “sacrifice zone”.

NJ angles on the asbestos disaster in Libby can be found here and here.

Not much more to say.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

A Carbon Bomb Train Runs Through It

July 18th, 2017 No comments

Glaciers Melting – Fires Raging – Tourist Hordes Destroying

Bold And Severe Restrictions Must Be Imposed Immediately

US Border Agent: “You have no Constitutional rights”

Bomb train at base of mountains that form boundary of Glacier National Park

Bomb train at base of mountains that form boundary of Glacier National Park

I’ve visited and written and posted photos about Glacier National Park and the disappearing glaciers before, so won’t repeat or waste your time with more pretty landscape photos (see this and this).

In my view, Glacier is by far the most spectacular and significant National Park.

Apparently, many other folks feel the same way, as I was disgusted to learn last week.

First, the coal trains and carbon bomb trains – I can think of no more tragic juxtaposition, given the melting and projected  elimination of the glaciers in the Park by 2030 (here’s another broader shot. Location of train is literally straddling the Great Divide. On the right (not shown) is where Lewis and Clark National Forest meets Flathead National Forest):

_DSC3712

My prior visit in 2007 was soon after a huge 2003 fire in Flathead National Forest on the western edge of the park. That fire burnt 136,000 acres in the park. I was pleased to see the healthy forest recovery underway there.

But, there was also another huge fire in 2015 on the eastern side of the park that still looks really bad. Both fires were caused by humans.

Worse, last week, the tourist hordes were so massive, I simply drove right through the Park without stopping, not even for a photo.

Instead I camped on the shore of Lower St. Mary’s Lake, just a few miles north of the eastern park entrance/exit (take a look – how’s that for a campsite? No fees, no rules, no rangers, no noisy neighbors):

_DSC3674

After 3 nights there, I drove up to the Canadian side of the International Peace Park and spent some time in lovely Waterton, Alberta (photos – notice how the Canadians emphasize the international aspects and the “Peace Park”! Sadly, that’s something you don’t see on the US “National” side):

Waterton Lake, Alberta Canada

Waterton Lake, Alberta Canada

entering Waterton International Peace Park, Alberta, Canada

entering Waterton International Peace Park, Alberta, Canada

_DSC3693

_DSC3686

We don't need no stinking "Peace Park"! We're #1! USA! USA! USA!

We don’t need no stinking “Peace Park”! We’re #1! USA! USA! USA!

Crossing the border into Canada was a pleasant experience. The officer was courteous and friendly and asked relevant questions (any guns or explosives?, etc). In comparison, on re-entry, the US Border official was a total asshole.

We rolled up for inspection on the passenger side. I had the passenger side window half rolled up to keep the dog from jumping out and to protect the officer.

But before even asking any questions, he immediately demanded that I roll the window all the way down and as I was attempting to do so he opened the door.

I objected, grabbed the door to shut it, and said he should ask permission. He tussled with me and the door and said he could do whatever he wanted without permission because he was conducting an inspection.

I told him I was a US citizen with Constitutional rights – including privacy – and that I had a dog I was trying to protect him from. I said “You don’t just go and open people’s doors without asking”.

But, after briefly acknowledging my valid point about the dog, he railed on. Instead of the usual appropriate questions, he instead first asked if I was working (because I have a work van?). I replied that I was retired. He then demanded to know “from what?”. I told him that that was an irrelevant question and that I had Constitutional and privacy rights that he was violating.

I was absolutely stunned by his reply – which he repeated 3 times: “No you don’t. You have no rights. You are trying to enter the US. I can do anything I want, including inspecting your vehicle without permission and asking any questions I want. You must comply and answer if you want to enter the Country.

Fuck that. I turned the engine off and told him he was wrong – that I had rights and that anything he did must respect them and must have a reasonable basis and that my prior employment was not relevant and private information.

He replied that I might be a retired nuclear physicist trying to smuggle nuclear material!

I told him to X-ray the van!

He said “I’m not going to argue with you” and then walked around back, got my plate number, and began a computer check of me and my visa. A few minutes later I was on my way.

The damn fool didn’t ask me if I had guns! Could the NRA Gun Nuts have made such questions taboo? (similar to the terror watch list and gun purchase screening issues, which do not consider gun ownership questions). How could my employment status be more important than whether I had guns?

But, aside from the US border excess, given the existential and immediate nature of the climate change threat to the Park – compounded by fire and way too many tourists – I write this open letter to park Superintendent Mow to remind him of his moral duty to act in light of the nature and gravity of the threats and the overwhelming science on climate change.

Mow has high profile political experience to understand how to make this happen, see his Bio:

Jeff has served on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and with the NPS Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs. His additional experiences have included: 1) DOI Incident Commander on the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 2) investigator on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska, and 3) Policy Advisor to the fledgling NPS Climate Change Response Program.

.

Dear Park Superintendent Mow:

I am writing regarding existential threats to Glacier NP and your moral and professional duties to act, based on consensus science, the immediacy and magnitude of the threats, and the mission of the Park Service.

According to NPS visitors literature, there will be no glaciers in Glacier National Park by 2030!

The current joint NPS – US EPA national “Climate Friendly Parks Policy”  and the timid Glacier NP “Action Plan are woefully deficient and a prescription for the literal death of Glacier NP!

The climate change threats alone demand immediate and bold actions – but the gross excedance of the park’s ecological and cultural carrying capacity by hordes of tourists driving in cars is of a similar magnitude.

So here’s a few suggestions to illustrate what I’m driving at:

1. Impose an immediate ban on all motorized vehicles entering the park (except electric powered vehicles and bona fide emergency fire, police and rescue service vehicles).

2. Revoke all vendor service and concession contracts and renew them with a contractual demand that all shuttles, vans and bus fleets be limited to electric vehicles and all buildings be zero carbon by 2023.

3. Order all park employees to commute to work by foot, bicycle, or horseback.

4. Order that all buildings in the park become zero or negative carbon emitters by 2023, via energy conservation measures and on-site generation of non-carbon based renewable energy technologies.

5. Rescind the current ban on bicycles between 11 am and 4 pm! It is absurd!

6. convert current NPS vehicle fleet to electric vehicles.

Glacier National Park is internationally recognized and the existential threat of loss of the park’s namesake glaciers due to climate change demands bold action.

I suggest that you write a policy decision memorandum to your boss in Washington -based on the above list and more! – and copy all Park Superintendents, the Congress and news media.

All you have to lose is your job. And just think of the leadership and public education and parallel actions such bold action on your part would generate!

And you can sleep at night knowing that you did all you could do.

Respectfully,

Bill Wolfe

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: