The Resurrection of St. Francis,
and the Arrival of a John the Baptist??
” “It’s easy for bullies like Sheriff Arpaio to pick on people who have no power. If I am elected president — the President of the United States does have power. So watch out, Joe. “
Bernie Sanders, after Sheriff Joe Arpaio ambushed his wife Jane
at the Tent City….
Could this be another clear Sign from my Father Jesus
of the Resurrection of the Just,
in this Last Day??
The Real St. Francis and the Resurrection of the Just
“….The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image
in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy
which is faceless and lacking any truly human goal…”
The Pope and the Moneychangers
Bernie Sanders and the Pope:
on the Same Page
Speaking at Liberty University today, Sept 14th 2015
“….I am not a theologian, I am not an expert on the Bible, nor am I a Catholic. I am just a United States senator from the small state of Vermont. But I agree with Pope Francis, who will soon be coming to visit us in the United States.
I agree with Pope Francis when he says, and I quote,
“The current financial crisis originated in a profound human crisis, the denial of the primacy of the human person,” and this is what he writes: “We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose,” end of quote.
And the pope also writes, quote,
“There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. Money has to serve, not to rule,” end of quote.
Now those are pretty profound words, which I hope we will all think about. In the pope’s view, and I agree with him, we are living in a nation and in a world, and the Bible speaks to this issue, in a nation and in a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth. I do not believe that is the country we should be living in.
Money and wealth should serve the people. The people should not have to serve money and wealth. (APPLAUSE)…..”
Jim the Evangelist bears Witness from that Night
Hi my name is Jim. I am the guy who recently posted onto Reddit under the Sanders4President Subreddit that I’m a Liberty University Alumni, and that I support Bernie, and think that he’s a good spokesman for justice.
I thought I would take a second to, sort of, unpack that, because I could tell there’s a lot of people, both Evangelical conservative folk and more liberal Bernie-supporting folk, who are very confused that I could occupy both worlds. So, I thought, I’ll take a few seconds and explain myself, and maybe that will be helpful for the conversation.
So a little bit about me. I am not a current student at Liberty. If I was, I actually wouldn’t have been able to post onto that Reddit board and say that I’m supporting Bernie. There is an Honor Code at Liberty University, and while it’s not always enforced, if you support a candidate who is pro-choice or pro-gay marriage, you can be punished by the University, up to and including expulsion from the school. So as a graduate of Liberty University, I’m in a good position to represent folks that might go there and people from the Evangelical tradition, but not be within the world that they can, you know, punish me for my opinion.
So I got my Bachelors degree in Religion from Liberty University, and I also got my Masters degree from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. In 2004 I worked for the George W. Bush campaign. I spent about 8 years as a Conservative pastor. And also as a schoolteacher at a conservative Christian academy. And today I serve my community as a therapist and also a pastoral counselor, somebody that folks from churches might go see to get counseling whenever they want to see somebody who’s both a clinical counselor but also a pastor.
So I serve all those roles. I think I’m pretty much a card-carrying Evangelical Christian. I still subscribe to a conservative evangelical theology. And what that means, a lot of people get confused when they hear the word ‘conservative,’ they assume you mean politically. ‘Conservative theology’ means that I believe the Bible is trustworthy, I think that God inspired it, Jesus was absolutely real, and really died on the cross, and really did resurrect three days later; and I am an Evangelical Christian in that way.
So, how did I come to find myself supporting Bernie Sanders? How did that evolution take place? How could it be that in 2004 I was working for the George W. Bush campaign, and today in 2015, as a double Liberty University graduate, under Jerry Falwell—when I went to school, Jerry Falwell was the Chancellor—how is it that I could be now supporting Bernie Sanders, who’s a very progressive, very liberal guy; he describes himself as a ‘democratic socialist.’ How do I find common ground on those two things?
Well a lot of people I think falsely believe that in order to do that you have to give up one of your sides. Either you have to not really be a progressive, and you’re just an Evangelical who just likes Bernie, or you have to not really be an Evangelical, and just secretly be a Progressive who’s faking it and pretending to be an Evangelical, but wouldn’t actually pass the litmus test of being an Evangelical.
I pass both tests, I am very much 100% legitimate in both camps, and I want to explain why that’s not a mythological thing, that’s not a disconnect. Some people call that a contradiction, or hypocrisy, it is absolutely not. I believe that my views are 100% consistent. And so I think that the shock value for that comes in beginning to appreciate that the Bible and Jesus, in my opinion and in my very moderate reading of the Bible and the words of Christ, leads us to a Progressive worldview.
And that is shocking to a lot of people, especially folks back home in the Evangelical community, they hear that and go, “What are you talking about? That’s heresy—”… it’s like, hold on. Hear me out. There is a Biblical argument for voting for Bernie Sanders, believe it or not, and I’m gonna walk you through it really quick on some key issues.
So that first issue that I’d kind of point your attention to is kind of what Bernie brought up during his speech at Liberty. Basically, the wealth inequality problem—and see a lot of us, on the Evangelical side think that what Jesus really cares about is gay marriage and abortion. And of course, the great irony is if you read the red letters of Jesus, there are no statements on abortion. There are no statements on gay marriage. Now, that’s not to say the Bible doesn’t speak about these things, but it certainly is to say that Jesus, founder and master of our faith, did not see fit to make these high-priority topics. It’s not to say he doesn’t care. But it is to say that we need to be careful not to ‘major on minors.’ We should be focused on the things Jesus did talk about.
So what did Jesus talk about?
So here’s the interesting thing. When I was watching Bernie Sanders talk at Liberty University, I was just really shocked, and something kind of magical happened for me, because as I watched that guy stand up on that stage, here’s what I saw. I saw a wild-haired Jew crying out in a hoarse voice, in a very forceful and forth-speaking way, he was convicting the Christian leaders and religious leaders in that University and calling us out for being complicit in the abandonment of those who suffer:
“The least of these.”
And siding with the powerful and the rich and the masters of this world.
And he was convicting us, and calling us out. And we scorned him, and we stared him down, and with sour faces we thought, “Who is this whacko? And why do all these people seem to follow him, seem to like him? This wild-haired Jew, crying out from the wilderness of the political Left, in his hoarse voice?”
And if you’re an Evangelical listening to me today, you already know where I’m going with this. When I heard Bernie speaking in that way, when I saw that guy on stage at Liberty University, I saw John the Baptist.
I saw the wild-haired, roughly-clothed John the Baptist, eating honey and wearing camel’s hair, and crying out to the religious leaders, the Pharisees of his day, calling them corrupt and complicit with those who have all the power and all the money and all the wealth, and for abandoning the people that God loves, that God cares about. For the Pharisees, who were siding with those who already have power and wealth and saying that they will be the last in the Kingdom of God, and that the weak, and the meek, and the simple, and those who need help—they are first in the Kingdom of God.
And I saw that guy, that John the Baptist figure, who is standing up and saying
“There is coming a messenger, there is coming a messenger who will bring equity and justice to the poor, and to the weak, and who will stand for ’the least of these.’”
That’s the wild-haired Jew that I saw up on that stage. I saw, and felt, the same voice coming from the Bible when I read about John the Baptist, who cried out in the desert to the Pharisees, warning them that Jesus was coming, the messenger of God. And that he was coming to restore justice, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and to value ’the least of these’ when the Pharisees had failed.
And as I heard Bernie talking, and as I listened to his cries for justice, I remembered, suddenly, what Jesus had actually said in the Book of Luke, when he unravels the scroll in the synagogue, and he quotes the Book of Isaiah, which says that the Son of God was coming. And then he says, “This has been fulfilled in your presence here today.” He quotes the book of Isaiah which says that the Son of God is coming to bring justice, and Jesus says “it is now come to pass in your presence.” And he says, “I have come to bring Gospel to the poor.”
Gospel—is that word we Evangelical Christians have based everything on. Gospel means ‘good news.’ And Jesus said “I have come to bring good news to the poor.” To restore sight to the blind, to stand with the suffering, to set the captives free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
As I heard Bernie Sanders crying out to the religious leaders at Liberty University, in his hoarse voice, with his wild hair, this Jew, and he proclaimed justice over us. He called us to account for being complicit with those who are wealthy and those who are powerful and for abandoning the poor, ‘the least of these’ who Jesus said he had come to bring good news to.
And in that moment, something occurred to me, as I saw Bernie Sanders up there, as I watched him I realized: Bernie Sanders, for President, is good news for the poor. Bernie Sanders for President is good news for the poor. Bernie Sanders is Gospel for the poor.
And Jesus said, “I have come to bring Gospel—good news—to the poor.”
And lightning hit my heart in that moment. And I realized that we are Evangelical Christians, that we believe the Bible. We believe in Jesus. We absolutely shun those who attempt to find nuance and twisted and tortured interpretation of scripture that they would use to master all other broader interpretations, to find some kind of big message that they want to flout. We absolutely scorn such things.
And yet somehow, we commit to the mental gymnastics necessary that allows us to abandon ‘the least of these,’ to abandon the poor, to abandon the immigrants, to abandon those who are in prison.
I listened to Bernie Sanders, as he said he wanted to welcome the immigrants and give them dignity. As he said he wanted to care for the sick children, and mothers, and fathers, who do not have health care. As he said he wanted to decrease the amount of human beings who are corralled like cattle in the prisons. As he said he wanted to do justice for those who have nothing and live homeless.
And I remembered the words of Jesus, who warned his disciples that there will be judgment, and on that day he will look to his friends, and he will say ‘Blessed are you, for you cared for me, for I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick, and you cared for me; I was hungry, and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was in prison, and you came to visit me; I was homeless, and you gave me shelter.” And the disciples said, “Jesus, when did we do any of those things for you?”
And he said, “If you have done it for ‘the least of these,’ you have done it for me.”
And those words echoed in my heart. As I listened to that crazy, hoarse-voiced, wild-haired Jew, standing in front of the religious leaders of the Evangelical movement, calling us to account, as a Jew once did before. Telling us that he intends to care for ‘the least of these.’ To clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, to care for the sick, to set the prisoners free.
Yes. I am an Evangelical Christian. I believe in the Bible. I follow Jesus. When I look at Bernie Sanders, and I hear the things that he’s saying, it’s like he’s ripping them out of the pages of scripture. I would have to try to avoid the meaning of those words. I would have to bury my head in the sand to continue to support conservative policies. I am religiously conservative but I am not politically so. And I think here is the heart and soul of it:
When we chose to follow Jesus, we decided that the Kingdom of God, and the men and women and children of this world, were more important than us. And that accidentally made us all liberals. The day we decided to follow Christ, and the day we decided that we value other human beings more than ourselves, we accidentally became liberals.
And so there is no contradiction between being a Bible-believing Christian and a Bernie Sanders supporter.
I follow the teachings of Christ: to care for ‘the least of these.’
And I believe that just as John the Baptist once cried out in the desert for justice, and called the religious establishment to account, and hearkened unto the day that Jesus would walk among us, and declare equity and justice and good news for the poor; and just as that day came, that Jesus stood in front of the multitudes at the religious institution and said “I have come to bring gospel to the poor,” I believe that Bernie Sanders now stands in front of us, wild-haired and hoarse-voiced, and he now declares justice for the poor. He declares good news for ‘the least of these.’
He has come to bring gospel. And I wouldn’t be much of a Christian if I didn’t stand on the side of gospel for the poor. Because the last time I checked, that’s where my master Jesus stood, and I’ll stand with him. And for now, that means I stand with Bernie Sanders.
Call To Arms
Here’s the core message driving Pope Francis’s global revolution to save the world from “the dung of the devil,” out-of-control capitalism which will play well when he addresses Congress this month.
So it’s time for Congress to listen closely to the man in the white suit:
1. Capitalists … are new worshipers of the biblical golden calf
Pope: “Money must serve, not rule, yet we calmly accept its control over us. Money originated in a profound human crisis, the denial of the primacy of the human person. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money.”
2. Invisible hand of God … replaced by greedy hands of capitalism
Pope: “Never trust in the so-called ‘invisible hand’ of the markets and economic remedies like cutting workers to increase their profits. The world needs a better distribution of income.”
3. New Tyranny … capitalists are destroying democracy worldwide
Pope: “Ideologies increase the wealth of a minority exponentially, increasing the inequality gap, separating the most humans from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. A new tyranny is thus born, unilaterally and relentlessly imposing its own laws and rules.”
4. Trickle-down economics … is a total capitalist disaster
Pope: “Free market trickle-down economics causes injustice. A naïve trust in the culture of prosperity and those wielding economic power deadens society.”
5. Inequality … is the root cause of all ‘social ills’ in the world
Pope: “Inequality is the root of social ills. Help the poor, reject markets and speculation, attack the structural causes of inequality, or you will never solve the world’s problems.”
6. Consumerism … is out-of-control, destroying family/social values
Pope: “Today’s economics promotes inordinate consumption, increases inequality, damages the social fabric, increases violence and serious conflicts. Blaming the poor and poorer countries for their troubles is misplaced, solve the corruption spreading at the top.”
7. Competition … capitalist addiction to profits is killing morality
Pope: “The laws of capitalist competition, the survival of the fittest rule. The powerful feed upon the powerless, the vast majority are marginalized: No work, No opportunities. No escape. News is a two-point loss in stocks, but not the death of elderly homeless?”
8. Conservatism … encourages free destruction of natural resources
Pope: “In a world where everyone has their own subjective truth, citizens cannot develop common solutions that transcend personal ambitions. We need a new way of living and thinking that’s more humane and noble, that brings dignity to all humans on this earth.”
9. Exploitation … treating humans as mere economic commodities is sin
Pope: “Yes, humans are now consumer goods, used then discarded in our widespread throwaway culture. It is no longer about oppression and exploitation. Today, the excluded ones are no longer society’s underside, no longer even a part of it, but outcasts, leftovers.”
10. Capitalism has lost its moral compass, turned its back on God
Pope: “Behind capitalist economics lurks a rejection of ethics and God that debases humans. This lack of morality and ethics results in God calling for solutions outside marketplace economics, to make it possible for a more balanced and humane social order.”
Pope Francis is now the world’s moral conscience, as well as leader of a new peoples revolution. Francis is seen by billions worldwide as a revival of the moral values missing in today’s world because of our obsessive consumerism, self-centered wealth-building, and an out-of-control capitalist ideology with no moral conscience … so Rush isn’t the only conservative going bonkers … because Pope Francis’s new commandments really are an historic game-changing challenge to the core conservative values if the Republican Party.
A New Day Arises; The Pope and the Immorality of “Cardboard Christians”
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is insisting that his concern for the poor and critique of the global economic system isn’t some novel, communist-inspired ideology but rather the original and core “touchstone” of the Christian faith.
Some U.S. conservatives have branded the first Latin American pope a Marxist for his frequent critiques of consumerism and focus on a church “that is poor and for the poor.” But in an interview contained in a new book, Francis explains that his message is rooted in the Gospel and has been echoed by church fathers since Christianity’s first centuries.
“The Gospel does not condemn the wealthy, but the idolatry of wealth, the idolatry that makes people indifferent to the call of the poor,” Francis says in “This Economy Kills,” a study of the pope’s economic and social teachings, excerpts of which were provided Sunday to The Associated Press.
Specifically, Francis summarized a verse from the Gospel of Matthew which is the essential mission statement of his papacy:
“I was hungry, I was thirsty, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me, clothed me, visited me, took care of me.”
“Caring for our neighbor, for those who are poor, who suffer in body and soul, for those who are in need: this is the touchstone.
……. Is it pauperism? No.
It is the Gospel…….”
He cites church fathers dating to St. Ambrose and St. John Chrysostom as expressing the same concerns, and noted somewhat wryly that if he had said the same “some would accuse me of giving a Marxist homily.”
“As we can see, this concern for the poor is in the Gospel, it is within the tradition of the church, it is not an invention of communism and it must not be turned into some ideology, as has sometimes happened before in the course of history,” an apparent reference to the Latin American-inspired liberation theology.
“This Economy Kills,” by two seasoned Vatican reporters, comes out this week in Italian
Right-wing, anti-Muslim “Christians” love Pope Francis’ strong message against ISIS and religious extremism.
Alas, they missed his point entirely.
Raw Story reports that on day one of Pope Francis’ tour in Turkey, His Holiness sharply condemned ISIS’ “barbaric violence” against Christians and other non-Muslim minorities, and denounced those who use religion as an excuse to violate human rights:
“As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights… As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace.”
The Blaze adds that that while Pope Francis urges leaders to explore a peace process through interfaith dialog, he also cautiously supports using force against ISIS.
Francis sought to offer a balanced message as he met with Turkish political and religious officials at the start of his second trip to the Middle East this year. He reaffirmed that military force was justified to halt the Islamic State group’s advance, and called for greater dialogue between Christians, Muslims and people of all faiths to end fundamentalism. (As narrow “literalism” )
And — NOTE TO THE US – Pope Francis adamantly opposes unilateral force:
Too many times, Francis said, countries have used the “excuse of stopping the unjust aggressor” to launch a “true war of conquest.” He adds, “One single nation cannot judge how you stop this, how you stop an unjust aggressor.”
Furthermore — unlike America’s right-wing Christians — Pope Francis does not see all Muslims as extremists and potential terrorists. In fact, Al Jazeera reports he even went to pray at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey’s capitol city.
Francis stood on Saturday morning with his head bowed and hands clasped in front of him in a two minutes of silent prayer inside the 17th-century Sultan Ahmet mosque, aiming to show respect for Islam and encourage stronger ties between the two faiths.
“May God accept it,” Rahmi Yaran, the Grand Mufti of Istanbul told the pope at the end of the prayer.
And here in America, some right-wing “Christians” actually do understand that Pope Francis’ anti-ISIS message is more nuanced. They just don’t like it, as they let their followers know on Twitter.
The Blue Mosque
The The Return of St. Francis
The Pope at the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia
“…..Upon arrival he was welcomed by the Governor of Istanbul and by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I, and then transferred by car to the Blue Mosque, or the Mosque of the Sultan Ahmed.
Built between 1609 and 1917 by Ahmed I on what had been the site of the great palace of Constantinople, the mosque became the most important place of worship of the Ottoman Empire. The name “Blue Mosque” derives from the 21,043 turquoise ceramic tiles adorning the walls and the dome. The ceramics used to cover the walls, columns and arches originated from Iznik in ancient Nicaea, and range in colour from deep blue to green. Benedict XVI visited the mosque during his trip to Turkey in 2006.
Pope Francis was received by the Grand Mufti and remained a moment in silent prayer.
The Holy Father then proceeded to the Museum of Hagia Sophia, the basilica dedicated to Divine Wisdom, first built in the year 360 by the emperor Constantine on a site previously occupied by pagan temples.
Pope Says God Not ‘A Magician,
With A Magic Wand’
Some of the Catholic Church’s most stalwart cardinals and their congregations have now been given a rather large shock: a “sandblast of Reality”, as we used to say in the Church of Synanon. The trouble is that now the leadership of the Church will no longer be able to hide from scientific reality like children playing in a sandbox of fantasy.
Let us peruse some headlines:
“…..Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’ …..”
Earthshaking, for a Church that made Galileo recant the fact the earth revolves around the sun!!!
…..and there was then this….
“……In a move that could be aimed at healing a rift between science and religion, Pope Francis has said that evolution and the Big Bang are consistent with the notion of a creator. And according to the pontiff, believers should not view God as “a magician, with a magic wand…….”
Francis made the remarks at an assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, billed as meeting to discuss “Evolving Concepts of Nature.”
He then goes further and says…..
“……When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis told the gathering, where he also dedicated a statue of his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
God, Francis said, “……created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment…….”
To be sure, the Catholic Church’s views on the origins of the universe and life, unlike those of many Protestant sects, have for years been largely in line with the scientific consensus. The church has long leaned toward what some describe as “theistic evolution,” i.e., a God supernaturally created the universe and life but allowed natural processes to work over billions of years.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed that evolution was not at odds with Catholic teachings, and Pope John Paul II endorsed the view himself in 1996.
But the Pope clarified things with this statement…..
“…..The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared.
“…..I would rather be mad with the Truth than sane with Lies…”
Mark 8:34 – 9:1
8:34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them,
“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
37 For what can a man give in return for his life?
38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation,
of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
9:1 And he said to them,
“Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
Theodore Roszak and the Wise-woman of the Wintu Tribe of California.On page 245 we have the simple but profound words of a Wintu woman in the book “Making of a Counter Culture“; having written in the Chapter entitled “Eyes of Flesh, Eyes of Fire” some observations dealing with the environment in a remarkable section comparing our environmentally lacking vision, in contrast to how the native consciousness of the American Native population disagrees with the unnatural and scientifically driven view kept in place by the dominant European culture now currently in place; but it is more than that; it is an authentic representation of the “Voice of the Earth” that gave birth to the Ecology Movement. The “organic” revolution that came after “The Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson followed by a flood of our own material about chemicals in our bodies from pollution for “the Greening” of My Generation was also adopting the concept of the “balance of nature” defined by the Native Indian philosophy they tried to emulate in hundreds of communes when they “got back to the Land” and indeed; set their souls free from the Materialistic, Atheistic and Consumerist Flood of the Great Red Dragon seen in chapter 12 of the Revelation, and who represented Great Britain as well, the First and Last Global Empire. It is no great stretch to view the “spewing” of violence against this youngest of the nations was indeed a “destructive sending”; and the “river” from the mouth of this Serpent is of the commerce by this Global Empire by which they tried to “drown” America economically, after they could not destroy us militarily; but could not even then, as we had Tobacco, which the world, including themselves, had become addicted to. Here are her words; “……The white people never cared for the land or deer or bear. When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes….We shake down acorns and pine-nuts. We don’t chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the white people plow up the ground, pull up the trees, kill everything. The tree says ”Don’t. I am sore. Don’t hurt me.” But they chop it down and cut it up. The spirit of he land hates them…..The Indians never hurt anything, but the white people destroy it all. They blast rocks and scatter them on the ground. The rock says “Don’t! You are hurting me.” But the white people pay no attention. When the Indians use rocks, they take little round ones for their cooking…….How can the spirit of the earth like the white man?……Everywhere the white man has touched it, it is sore...” Here is what is written of this exchange in the Revelation at Chapter 12, verses 12-16; to wit, 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
The Divine Tipponi of my Father’s servant John:
the Eagle of the Revelation
Part One: The Native Americans
and the Voice of the EarthThe Testimony of Black Elk……The prophecy of the Advent of the Pahana……the Barley Harvest of 1917 and the Wheat Harvest of 1967….the Ending of Time at the New Age….. the 144,000 Baktun of the Maya and the 144,000 Virgins of the Lamb…..… The Eternity that arrived December 25th, 2012 after Three Days and Three Nights in the Heart of the Earth…..my Wedding as Wantok of the Cinders with the Great Spirit as the New Earth …….the Kingdom of the Great Spirit and the Double Sabbath at the Feast of the Great God The Apocalyptic Vision of Black Elk:
One more version….of the Glyph of the Hopi
and The Great Supper of the Great GodThere are few people on this earth outside of the Hopi, and some of the other remaining Indian Tribes like the Lakota and a few remaining, like the Yakima Nation of the Columbia River, that have kept their integrity, who even know or care what the term “Pahana” means; for the Native Tribes here on what is known as “Turtle Island” are just now awakening from their endemic poverty and governmentally- sanctioned alcoholic stupor, ( as the North American Continent which became a seperate Continent when the Panama Canal cut North America off from South America ); thus the term “Pahana” first meant “the Lost White Brother“, as the White Brothers who were estranged from their relationship with the Red Race; but the White Brother is called this because Quetzacoatl, the Prophet after which the Mississippi is named, was White; not a Native American. In time the Pahana came to mean “The True White Brother” when the native Tribes saw that some of the white race and also those of the black race did indeed care deeply for them and their culture and values: and their vision of the land and the plave of man on it and with it in a partnership built of respect for and to this earth; and coupled with an attitude of organic spirituality and not greed-enslaved westernized justification of capitalistic exploitation; replacing such polluted ideology with a love and awe for the Land and it’s beauty, and profound respect for the pristine grandeur in this Sacred Land that the Nation of America now occupies , a land that was once formerly that of hundreds of Native Tribes here in the West. The so-called “Mound Civilization” that vanished in what is now the vast forgotten area around St. Louis is a prime example. The White English settlers played these tribes off against each other in a strategy of “divide and conquer” that worked quite well in exterminating the tribes with their own consent by inciting jealousy and hatred of some of the tribes in feuds with each other; some of which were rivalries that went back many generations; thus the Indian Nation of the Cheyenne and not a few others were led into US Army backed wars with other tribes and then destroyed by the very same US Army; always when they were then so weakened by internecine strife with their own people and neighboring tribes that they could mount no defense to repel the pitiless decimators of both them and their naturalistic and ecologically sound way of life. Even those who were advanced and politically savvy like the Cherokee, who tried to dodge the ongoing genocide by learning to adapt themelves to the White European model were then soon betrayed, even though they had become practicing Christians; but they were made expediently unpopular at the drop of a politically inspired hat; as when on “The Trail of Tears” they were led out to be killed off by cold and disease on their arduous and inhuman ordeal of a “Bataan Death March”, a very real “forced march”; planned so they would very likely die in large numbers on the way to then live in a desert; and one very far away from their native lands; gold had been found on their land, which spelled their doom. Black Elk was what we would call a Seer; as the name given by the original 13 Tribes of Israel to those who were able to pierce the Veil which hides the invisible but quite real World of the Spirit from those mortal men cut off from the Source of Life, that enlightened men call the Spirit of God. His book “The Sixth Grandfather” is far closer to the real testimony of Black Elk than the badly truncated text of “Black Elk Speaks”; and is a true prophetic document of an active spiritual dimension of which he was the last great Lakota visionary to witness and chronicle. His conversion to Christianity has many points of view swirling around it and him to this very day.
WHY IS BLACK ELK SO CONTROVERSIAL?
“…….The undeniable facts are that from 1881 to 1904 Black Elk was an active, respected medicine man among the Lakota and that from 1904 to 1950 he was an active, respected catechist (or instructor) for Christianity among the Lakota. However, interpretations of his life vary widely.
Here are several that have been proposed by scholars:
1. Black Elk believed only in his native Lakota religion; he practiced Christianity only to make money.
2. Black Elk totally rejected his native religion for Christianity.
3. Black Elk accepted the truths of both the Lakota religion and Christianity but regarded them separately.
4. Black Elk accepted the truths of both religions and developed a sophisticated framework in which Christianity became the fulfillment of his Lakota religion.
In recent years the last hypothesis is gaining some acceptance. Black Elk was a profound religious thinker (far more profound than his elitist biographer John Neihardt). In spite of being nearly blind Black Elk had taught himself the written Lakota language.
He not only read the Bible but felt obligated to have scholars (John Neihardt and Joseph Epes Brown) record the ancient, sacred beliefs of the Lakota.
To learn Black Elk’s actual testimony, avoid the doctored book “Black Elk Speaks” in favor of the more accurate “The Sixth Grandfather“.
To get the flavor of the raging controversy, sample The Black Elk Reader (2000)—as supposed scholars fling misinformation, distorted facts, and self-serving interpretations at each other.The very summer (1930) that John Neihardt discovered his supposedly “defeated old man” named Black Elk the author Mari Sandoz’s friend, Eleanor Hinman, also met Black Elk: and was stunned by what she called “….one of the most expressive faces….” she ever saw on any man:
“……For just that fraction of a second I saw ‘Tashunkeh Witco,’ [Crazy Horse] reflected in his cousin’s face, as in a mirror…”
Why is Black Elk so important?
Because he was the bearer of a great weapon from the spirits ( the soldier weed that could cause immediate death ) that he never used against the White Man; and felt he had perhaps betrayed his people on one hand; but yet that seeming betrayal was done out of a sense of very real mercy toward those of a race he felt were ignorant and therefore blameless in their blind and shortsighted actions, due to their tragic lot in life by being “cut off’ from the wisdom of the “Great Spirit”; that he himself had access to on several momentous occasions.
And it is written “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain Mercy”
This is something Black Elk himself believed in personally. Let us review his own words in light of the Blue Star of the Hopi.
The Coming of the Second Helper after the fall and death of the First Helper “the Shining Truth” Sun Myung Moon; who became “that Evil Servant” ( Matthew 24:48 ) of the White Goddess, and the vestige of the Flood of the Great Red Dragon who is the Creature of Darkness that symbolizes Egypt as the “kingdom of Darkness“: seen in the Blue Man as the Fallen Christ “Mun Yong-meyong“, as Moon’s first or “birth name” in Korean, which means “the Shining Dragon“, as ” the “lucifer” of North Korea…..and his brother Kim Il Sung, the Discarnate Christ of the Scarlet Colored Beast of Revelation that is Red China.
The Advent of Eviternity; the Dawn of Eternity
Entering a New Century and a New Millennium
“It is now that the message of Divine Humanity needs to be heard more than ever before, as the predicted “blue man” is alive and well today. The Lakota holy man and visionary, Black Elk, prophesied the coming of the “blue man” in the 19th Century.
According to Ed McGaa’s enlightening book, “Mother Earth Spirituality“:
“The blue man of Black Elk’s vision is seen as a symbol of those who have harmed Mother earth and all her creatures.
The blue man, the great violator, symbolizes greed, corruption, dishonesty, and selfishness.
( This was indeed what Sun Myung Moon embodied at the End as he “fiddled” while the House of Joseph over Egypt “burned”; a modern day Nero, gambling away money people worked entire lifetimes to give him; living a life of ease eating off his gold plates in Las Vegas; only to die the death of one rich man who embraced the lifestyle of the Gomorrah of Sin City America, acting as a spiritually corrupt creature; living one way whilst speaking another; thus espousing the doctrine of what is a discarnate Christianity, that is Spiritual Materialism itself.
Yet he began as the “Faithful and Wise Steward”; given a mission by the Angel of Christ to give My Generation their “meat in due season”, as the teaching about the 7 levels of the Providence of Restoration, in his book “Divine Principle”; the information revealed that we were to “digest” and carefully weigh and study, to discern it’s true import; and who was directly mentioned in Luke and Matthew in the New Testament; as he who could have gone from the position of Messenger to that of Messiah in one lifetime…had he met me before he died; and corrected his mistakes. )
Mother Earth, represented by the four directions, has fought back against the one who has made the grass and animals sick and the streams and air unclean.
Mother Earth has natural self-healing powers, but without the help of knowledgeable humans, she cannot set herself right. A reversal of world values, a spiritual concept of earth as God-created and sacred, is in order before we two-leggeds can be environmentally effective on a global basis. The blue man will meet his death when this comes about.”
There are some who believe these visions are just the incoherent ramblings of some animist healer who was no more than a deluded witch doctor. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
THE REVELATION of my Father’s servant John the Divine; and the Time of the DeadThe mission of the “Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” was one of real prophecy; but for a specific time and place.
As stated by Ed McGaa, Black Elk’s vision also included the rising of the daybreak star—the morning star:
“…..Black Elk was told that the star would be as a relative to the people; those who saw it would see much more, because the star represented wisdom…”
“…..The sacred herb, the daybreak star, symbolizes the powerful knowledge and serenity that flow from knowing and applying the ultimate values that only a nature-based value system can provide.
Those who become close to nature, and respectful of her, discover these powerful truths. By viewing the world through the clear crystal lens of this kind of value system, one can see the great power of healing, as the Grandfathers promised.
It must be remembered, it is God that has created nature. We are learning directly from God’s creation.
There is no middle person to alter, or confuse, the direct perception of real, God-designed knowledge…
The herb of understanding is imparted to humanity at the end of Black Elk’s vision.
The great opening of modern communication leaves no question that we are; indeed, at the threshold of this time…….”
In addition, Black Elk spoke these words about the importance of the morning star:
“Morning Star, there at the place where the sun comes up, you, who have the wisdom which we seek, help us in cleansing our-selves and all the people, that our generations to come will have light as they walk the sacred path. You lead the dawn as it walks forth, and also the day which follows with its light, which is knowledge. This you do for us and for all the people of the world, that they may see clearly in walking the holy path, that they may know all that is holy, and that they may increase in a sacred manner.”
Returning to our text we must look at what is written after the Seventh Trumpet at the Seventh Trump to see what is to come.
Part Two: The Seven TrumpsPerspective is Wisdom; and now that the scripture has been almost completely fulfilled it seems we have come to the point where Hell and Death are to be cast into the Lake of Fire; all that stands in our way is: the Last Judgment. But let us look at the 7 Trumps. Each Trump consists of the Overcoming at One Church and it’s Lampstand; and by the Repenting of One Angel, and it’s Star. The 7 Overcomings on the Path of the Just are then revealed as the vertical Ascent throught the new 7 heavens of the 7 churches; the Classic Ascension itself. It is for this reason he said “Follow me”. When I overcame by following John who had followed the Lamb all the way to the End I was thus led in John’s footsteps to overcome at every Step of the Lamb in his 7 Overcomings on the Path of the Just. Thus it was my servant John, in the position of the Amen, who would then put a Star on the Lampstand as signifying the Sense of Knowledge of that Experience moving that Mountain of Mystery from my Path which I had then Overcome; thus the Star on each Lampstand standing to Illuminate the Path was a “Sense of Understanding” in and of itself, and the Star was it’s Light. Thus so seen were the 7 Angels of the 7 Churches now known as those original 7 Angels of the Body of Adam at the Fall written of in the little open book of Enoch; now repenting and coming back in the soul of a “New Creature in Christ Jesus”, and the Glorified Body which is seen as the Tabernacle of God at the End, in which He dwells with Mankind forever as His Kingdom. The difficulty in explaining the path of the Just to all people of the Patience and Kingdom of Jesus Christ at the End is that they cannot understand that the “meeting of the Lord in the Air” has to do with the 7th overcoming itself; and not anything else.
For it is Written
“…The Day of the Lord
……so comes as a thief in the Night…”
The Final And Last Jihad: to Save this Earth
As it is written in the Revelation of St. John the Divine; at the 7th trumpet; the last Trump…
“…….And to destroy those who destroy the earth…….”
Did the current cardboard Christians think that those words mean nothing?
But the Native Americans do; both in the US and in Canada, thus they will replace these cardboard Christians with those who DO see the peril our planet is plunged in….the Red Race is that one who opened the mouth of the earth to swallow up the flood of the Dragon: Materialism, Atheism and Consumerism: and Societal Darwinism
It is now the culmination of what became known as the Ecology Movment in the 60’s, and now we see what it stood for was something far larger…..and that the True White Brother embraced with his Red Brother; for that one called the Pahana is My Generation entirely; as I am their Voice…
……as he who returned from the dead…Corporations are “persons” according to the Supreme Court; if so then they are the beasts of the earth; whose love of money as their bottom line shows why that love of filthy lucre is the root of all evil. Money is the Excrement of the Devil; that is why his Mark is on all who use it…it’s the Stain of his filth we have rubbed all over ourselves….an evil inanimate object that rules animate beings; the living enslaved by what is dead..
…but the Corporate Feudalism that would make us all techno-serfs of a New Dark Ages is the real maleficient brand of Satanic Mills “…cog upon cog, and gear tyrannic..”: now bent on killing all life on this planet…for money. Did they consider how useless money is if there are no crops that can grow or air that we can breath?But these beasts worship only one god: Mammon; who is Dis, the god of Hades, the Osiric king of the Plutonian Underworld…now seen as our atomically infested world….of our coming Universal Megadeath; the extinction of all life.
It is this one characteristic that shows the Corporations are the ravening destroyers of all resources and everything they can defile and package for a profit: thus they are the universal enemy of mankind and the nemesis of this fragile earth… and will certainly have to be destroyed, before they destroy us and hasten the progression unto Gehenna for our rapidly growing wasteland of a Planet.To sit and watch these pitiless capitalistic beasts of profit tear down an entire mountain range for money; and do nothing as they empty the oceans of all their fish for a few more dollars; like the robber baron fishing vessels of the Unification Church and Japan also; bent on despoiling the seas for ever larger revenues; as the Sushi monopoly of the Unification Church has now has taken over the American seafood industry entirely..but not a whisper from Washington DC…not a word of protest heard from the fishermen whose jobs have now been lost….
…….but money is not my God even if it is theirs…..corrupt and hellbent liars who practice deception as their philosophy of deceit that leads to their coming reward: to go sit in the Lake of Fire; made especially…
“…for all liars…”.
Shall we: the True White Brother of the Red Race and all Mankind, standing as the Pahana in one single generation: who ARE My Generation; shall we stand idly by forever???….watching Red China burn more and more coal…….and poison the sky of humanity and their own people without conscience; and then merrily go live in air conditioned splendor, while we who do not live in climate controlled dwellings choke to death on soot, or melt in the incredible soaring heat blanketing the Midwest in the US now every summer; or freeze in the uncommon cold we now find in in Southern California???
It is time that the Servants of the Great Spirit of the Great God stand up and begin to fight…….and help all people of this earth to find, as they now at last see in Red China; that we cannot breath worse and now worsening pollution….and the acidic and stifled waters where our fish now gasp for oxygen have also now risen, and Venice is no more……and worse is to come….for every coastal plain…..every town or city by the Sea….It is at this time we must see what is meant by these words of the coming global environmentalists for “immediate planetary change”, where the spiritually conscious people of this world must actively save this planet that all of our irresponsible governments seem oblivious to doing a thing about; as they embrace nihilistically driven schemes for political gain, and totally suicidal economic policies; continuing to ignore the environment and refusing to doing anything about it;
“…..Apres moi; les deluge…..” is their motto;
…..as of King Louis the 17th;
“After me; the Deluge“.The next king of France was beheaded, of course. The 18th……I believe there was some kind of a popular national revolt about some very bad conditions……looks like we in America are way overdue…..for a needful change….
I suggest people notify the President and all their elected representatives that the tar sands will spell the death knell for saving this Planet: period.
Stand with the tribes of the Native Americans and the Canadians; NOW
But here we have little Wantok; the little scout of the great Spirit is now revealed who is the Bride of the Cinders; it would be best if the people of the earth here on this Turtle Island heeded her word; for to ignore it means this world will perish; and soon, five years is all we have left to reverse this trend to Gehenna; the Garbage-it of our Western Civilization…
…..here is some evidence she has gathered for the readers..
James Hansen, Champion of the Creation of the Great Spirit,
…… and the Holy War of God in the Providence of Salvation: to Save the Earth.
“……James Hansen has been publicly speaking about climate change since 1988. The NASA climatologist testified to Congress that year and he’s been testifying ever since to crowds large and small, most recently to a small gathering of religious leaders outside the White House last week. The grandfatherly scientist has the long face of a man used to seeing bad news in the numbers and speaks with the thick, even cadence of the northern Midwest, where he grew up, a trait that also helps ensure that his sometimes convoluted science gets across.
This cautious man has also been arrested multiple times.
His acts of civil disobedience started in 2009, and he was first arrested in 2011 for protesting the development of Canada’s tar sands and, especially, the Keystone XL pipeline proposal that would serve to open the spigot for such oil even wider. “To avoid passing tipping points, such as initiation of the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, we need to limit the climate forcing severely. It’s still possible to do that, if we phase down carbon emissions rapidly, but that means moving expeditiously to clean energies of the future,” he explains. “Moving to tar sands, one of the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet, is a step in exactly the opposite direction, indicating either that governments don’t understand the situation or that they just don’t give a damn.”
He adds: “People who care should draw the line.”
Hansen is not alone in caring. In addition to a groundswell of opposition to the 2,700-kilometer-long Keystone pipeline, 17 of his fellow climate scientists joined him in signing a letter urging Pres. Barack Obama to reject the project last week. Simply put, building the pipeline—and enabling more tar sands production—runs “counter to both national and planetary interests,” the researchers wrote. “The year of review that you asked for on the project made it clear exactly how pressing the climate issue really is.” Obama seemed to agree in his second inaugural address this week, noting “we will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”
At the same time, the U.S. imports nearly nine million barrels of oil per day and burns nearly a billion metric tons of coal annually. China’s coal burning is even larger and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Partially as a result, global emissions of greenhouse gases continue to grow by leaps and bounds too—and China is one alternative customer eager for the oil from Canada’s tar sands. Neither developed nor developing nations will break the fossil-fuel addiction overnight, and there are still more than a billion people who would benefit from more fossil-fuel burning to help lift them out of energy poverty. The question lurking behind the fight in North America over Keystone, the tar sands and climate change generally is: How much of the planet’s remaining fossil fuels can we burn?
THE TRILLION-TONNE QUESTION
To begin to estimate how much fossil fuels can be burned, one has to begin with a guess about how sensitive the global climate really is to additional carbon dioxide. If you think the climate is vulnerable to even small changes in concentrations of greenhouse gases—as Hansen and others do—then we have already gone too far. Global concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached 394 parts per million, up from 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution and the highest levels seen in at least 800,000 years. Hansen’s math suggests 350 ppm would be a safer level, given that with less than a degree Celsius of warming from present greenhouse gas concentrations, the world is already losing ice at an alarming rate, among other faster-than-expected climate changes.
International governments have determined that 450 ppm is a number more to their liking, which, it is argued, will keep the globe’s average temperatures from warming more than 2 degrees C. Regardless, the world is presently on track to achieve concentrations well above that number. Scientists since chemist Svante Arrhenius of Sweden in 1896 have noted that reaching concentrations of roughly 560 ppm would likely result in a world with average temperatures roughly 3 degrees C warmer—and subsequent estimates continue to bear his laborious, hand-written calculations out. Of course, rolling back greenhouse gas concentrations to Hansen’s preferred 350 ppm—or any other number for that matter—is a profoundly unnatural idea. Stasis is not often found in the natural world.
Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may not be the best metric for combating climate change anyway. “What matters is our total emission rate,” notes climate modeler Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, another signee of the anti-Keystone letter. “From the perspective of the climate system, a CO2 molecule is a CO2 molecule and it doesn’t matter if it came from coal versus natural gas.”
Physicist Myles Allen of the University of Oxford in England and colleagues estimated that the world could afford to put one trillion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere by 2050 to have any chance of restraining global warming below 2 degrees C. To date, fossil fuel burning, deforestation and other actions have put nearly 570 billion metric tons of carbon in the atmosphere—and Allen estimates the trillionth metric ton of carbon will be emitted around the summer of 2041 at present rates. “Tons of carbon is fundamental,” adds Hansen, who has argued that burning all available fossil fuels would result in global warming of more than 10 degrees C. “It does not matter much how fast you burn it.”
Alberta’s oil sands represent a significant tonnage of carbon. With today’s technology there are roughly 170 billion barrels of oil to be recovered in the tar sands, and an additional 1.63 trillion barrels worth underground if every last bit of bitumen could be separated from sand. “The amount of CO2 locked up in Alberta tar sands is enormous,” notes mechanical engineer John Abraham of the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota, another signer of the Keystone protest letter from scientists. “If we burn all the tar sand oil, the temperature rise, just from burning that tar sand, will be half of what we’ve already seen”—an estimated additional nearly 0.4 degree C from Alberta alone.
As it stands, the oil sands industry has greenhouse gas emissions greater than New Zealand and Kenya—combined. If all the bitumen in those sands could be burned, another 240 billion metric tons of carbon would be added to the atmosphere and, even if just the oil sands recoverable with today’s technology get burned, 22 billion metric tons of carbon would reach the sky. And reserves usually expand over time as technology develops, otherwise the world would have run out of recoverable oil long ago.
The greenhouse gas emissions of mining and upgrading tar sands is roughly 79 kilograms per barrel of oil presently, whereas melting out the bitumen in place requires burning a lot of natural gas—boosting emissions to more than 116 kilograms per barrel, according to oil industry consultants IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. All told, producing and processing tar sands oil results in roughly 14 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than the average oil used in the U.S. And greenhouse gas emissions per barrel have stopped improving and started increasing slightly, thanks to increasing development of greenhouse gas–intensive melting-in-place projects. “Emissions have doubled since 1990 and will double again by 2020,” says Jennifer Grant, director of oil sands research at environmental group Pembina Institute in Canada.
Just one mine expansion, Shell’s Jackpine mine, currently under consideration for the Albian mega-mine site, would increase greenhouse gas emissions by 1.18 million metric tons per year. “If Keystone is approved then we’re locking in a several more decades of dependence on fossil fuels,” says climate modeler Daniel Harvey of the University of Toronto. “That means higher CO2 emissions, higher concentrations [in the atmosphere] and greater warming that our children and grandchildren have to deal with.”
And then there’s all the carbon that has to come out of the bitumen to turn it into a usable crude oil.
In the U.S. State Department’s review of the potential environmental impacts of the Keystone project, consultants EnSys Energy suggested that building the pipeline would not have “any significant impact” on greenhouse gas emissions, largely because Canada’s tar sands would likely be developed anyway. But the Keystone pipeline represents the ability to carry away an additional 830,000 barrels per day—and the Albertan tar sands are already bumping up against constraints in the ability to move their product. That has led some to begin shipping the oil by train, truck and barge—further increasing the greenhouse gas emissions—and there is a proposal to build a new rail line, capable of carrying five million barrels of oil per year from Fort McMurray to Alaska’s Valdez oil terminal.
Then there’s the carbon hidden in the bitumen itself. Either near oil sands mines in the mini-refineries known as upgraders or farther south after the bitumen has reached Midwestern or Gulf Coast refineries, its long, tarry hydrocarbon chains are cracked into the shorter, lighter hydrocarbons used as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. The residue of this process is a nearly pure black carbon known as petroleum (pet) coke that, if it builds up, has to be blasted loose, as if mining for coal in industrial equipment. The coke is, in fact, a kind of coal and is often burned in the dirtiest fossil fuel’s stead. Canadian tar sands upgraders produce roughly 10 million metric tons of the stuff annually, whereas U.S. refineries pump out more than 61 million metric tons per year.
Pet coke is possibly the dirtiest fossil fuel available, emitting at least 30 percent more CO2 per ton than an equivalent amount of the lowest quality mined coals. According to multiple reports from independent analysts, the production (and eventual burning) of such petroleum coke is not included in industry estimates of tar sands greenhouse gas emissions because it is a co-product. Even without it, the Congressional Research Service estimates that tar sands oil results in at least 14 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than do more conventional crude oils.
Although tar sands may be among the least climate-friendly oil produced at present—edging out alternatives such as fracking for oil trapped in shale deposits in North Dakota and flaring the gas—the industry has made attempts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, unlike other oil-producing regions. For example, there are alternatives to cracking bitumen and making pet coke, albeit more expensive ones, such as adding hydrogen to the cracked bitumen, a process that leaves little carbon behind, employed by Shell, among others.
More recently, Shell has begun adding carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS) technology to capture the emissions from a few of its own upgraders, a project known as Quest. The program, when completed in 2015, will aim to capture and store one million metric tons of CO2 per year, or a little more than a third of the CO2 emissions of Shell’s operation at that site. And tar sands producers do face a price on carbon—$15 per metric ton by Alberta provincial regulation—for any emissions above a goal of reducing by 12 percent the total amount of greenhouse gas emitted per total number of barrels produced.
The funds collected—some $312 million to date—are then used to invest in clean technology, but more than 75 percent of the projects are focused on reducing emissions from oil sands, unconventional oils and other fossil fuels. And to drive more companies to implement CCS in the oil sands would require a carbon price of $100 per metric ton or more. “We don’t have a price on carbon in the province that is compelling companies to pursue CCS,” Pembina’s Grant argues.
In fact, Alberta’s carbon price may be little more than political cover. “It gives us some ammunition when people attack us for our carbon footprint, if nothing else,” former Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert told Scientific American in September 2011. Adds Beverly Yee, assistant deputy minister at Alberta’s Environment and Sustainable Resource Development agency, more recently, “Greenhouse gases? We don’t see that as a regional issue.” From the individual driver in the U.S. to oil sands workers and on up to the highest echelons of government in North America, everyone dodges responsibility.
Price of carbon
A true price on carbon, one that incorporates all the damages that could be inflicted by catastrophic climate change, is exactly what Hansen believes is needed to ensure that more fossil fuels, like the tar sands, stay buried. In his preferred scheme, a price on carbon that slowly ratcheted up would be collected either where the fossil fuel comes out of the ground or enters a given country, such as at a port. But instead of that tax filling government coffers, the collected revenue should be rebated in full to all legal residents in equal amounts—an approach he calls fee and dividend. “Not one penny to reducing the national debt or off-setting some other tax,” the government scientist argues. “Those are euphemisms for giving the money to government, allowing them to spend more.”
Such a carbon tax would make fossil fuels more expensive than alternatives, whether renewable resources such as wind and sun or low-carbon nuclear power. As a result, these latter technologies might begin to displace things like coal-burning power plants or halt major investments in oil infrastructure like the Keystone XL pipeline.
As it stands, producing 1.8 million barrels per day of tar sands oil resulted in the emissions of some 47.1 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent in 2011, up nearly 2 percent from the year before and still growing, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. In the same year coal-fired power plants in the U.S. emitted more than two billion metric tons of CO2-equivalent. “If you think that using other petroleum sources is much better [than tar sands], then you’re delusional,” says chemical engineer Murray Gray, scientific director of the Center for Oil Sands Innovation at the University of Alberta.
In other words, tar sands are just a part of the fossil-fuel addiction—but still an important part. Projects either approved or under construction would expand tar sands production to over five million barrels per day by 2030. “Any expansion of an energy system that relies on the atmosphere to be its waste dump is bad news, whereas expansion of safe, affordable and environmentally acceptable energy technologies is good news,” Carnegie’s Caldeira says.
There’s a lot of bad news these days then, from fracking shale for gas and oil in the U.S. to new coal mines in China. Oxford’s Allen calculates that the world needs to begin reducing emissions by roughly 2.5 percent per year, starting now, in order to hit the trillion metric ton target by 2050. Instead emissions hit a new record this past year, increasing 3 percent to 34.7 billion metric tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
Stopping even more bad news is why Hansen expects to be arrested again, whether at a protest against mountaintop removal mining for coal in West Virginia or a sit-in outside the White House to convince the Obama administration to say no to Keystone XL and any expansion of the tar sands industry. The Obama administration has already approved the southern half of the pipeline proposal—and if the northern link is approved, a decision expected after March of this year, environmental group Oil Change International estimates that tar sands refined on the Gulf Coast would produce 16.6 million metric tons of CO2 annually just from the petroleum coke, which would be enough to fuel five coal-fired power plants for a year. All told, the increased tar sands production as a result of opening Keystone would be equal to opening six new coal-fired power plants, according to Pembina Institute calculations.
Even as increased oil production in the U.S. diminishes the demand for tar sands-derived fuel domestically, if Keystone reaches the Gulf Coast, that oil will still be refined and exported. At the same time, Obama pledged to respond to climate change and argued for U.S. leadership in the transition to “sustainable energy sources” during his second inaugural address; approving Keystone might lead in the opposite direction.
For the tar sands “the climate forcing per unit energy is higher than most fossil fuels,” argues Hansen, who believes he is fighting for the global climate his five grandchildren will endure—or enjoy. After all, none of his grandchildren have lived through a month with colder than average daily temperatures. There has not been one in the U.S. since February 1985, before even Hansen started testifying on global warming. As he says: “Going after tar sands—incredibly dirty, destroying the local environment for a very carbon-intensive fuel—is the sign of a terribly crazed addict.”…….”
For those who believe there is no Justice I suggest they study this matter with interest; something is indeed happening; a line has been drawn…..