Syria has drifted from the headlines, but the U.S. is still stealing their oil, occupying large swaths of their land, and economically obliterating them. This month, UN special rapporteur Alena Douhan came back from Syria and demanded an end to all sanctions imposed by US and its allies. In her statement, Douhan said, “The economy is hostage to a protracted economic crisis with growing inflation and frequent devaluation of the national currency” – Basically, most Syrians can do nothing but hope to survive. These are not fighters, these are not terrorists hurling grenades at Americans. These are completely regular people who spend every day trying not to die from American sanctions.
Oil and Gas
In a 2014 “oil war,” the US pressured Saudi Arabia to overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. The United States and Saudi Arabia waged a very important yet little-known “oil war” in 2014, which had huge geopolitical and economic consequences for the world. Washington pressured Riyadh to significantly overproduce crude and intentionally crash prices on the global market, in order to hurt the export-reliant economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. Multipolarista host Ben Norton analyzed this crucial historical episode in the video above.
An Italian social scientist and professor, Marco Grasso, has resigned from his post as director of a research unit at Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB) in Milan, Italy, over the academic institution’s partnership with oil and gas major Eni, DeSmog can exclusively report. In February this year, UNIMIB and Eni signed a five-year “Joint Research Agreement,” (JRA) in which the university and the fossil fuel company pledged to collaborate on “research projects of common interest” related to the energy transition, according to an Eni press release. In a video promoting the partnership, the company’s CEO Claudio DeScalzi said it would be “crucial for the [energy] transition but also the transformation of Eni.”
Just Stop Oil supporters have blocked Horseferry Road and sprayed paint on 55 Tufton Street, the headquarters of the Global Warming Policy Foundation and other fossil fuel lobby groups. They are demanding that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents.  At 11:00am today, 6 Just Stop Oil supporters walked onto Horseferry Road at the junction with Tufton Street and disrupted traffic by sitting in the road with banners. Some supporters glued onto the tarmac, while others locked themselves together. Two supporters have sprayed paint on the outside of 55 Tufton Street.  A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said: “We’re on the streets of London because politics is broken. It was broken here in Tufton Street by shady, opaquely funded lobbyists who now stalk the corridors of power, thanks to Liz Truss.
The pay of oil company executives has jumped 52%, but the bosses bitterly resist raising production worker salaries by 10%. While many European countries have had strikes and protests, France is where hundreds of thousands of workers have taken to the streets. The oil refinery strikes began Sept. 27 and are now in their third week. The strikes have closed about a third of all French gas stations, when these ran out of fuel, and created hours-long waits at the open ones. Workers in at least one refinery have been “requisitioned” — legally forced by the government to go back to work — but gasoline and diesel are still scarce. Workers at the largest nuclear power plant in France have reduced their output by a third in solidarity with the refinery workers.
The state of New Jersey filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against five oil companies and the oil industry’s most powerful lobbying group for covering up and misleading the public about climate change, the latest round of state and municipal-led climate litigation seeking accountability from the oil industry. The lawsuit, filed in the New Jersey Superior Court, states that the companies knew about climate change for decades and actively sought to conceal that information from the public. Instead, they funded PR campaigns aimed at confusing and misleading the public. The oil companies “concealed and misrepresented the dangers of fossil fuels; disseminated false and misleading information about the existence, causes, and effects of climate change; and aggressively promoted the ever-increasing use of their products at ever-greater volumes,” the complaint states.
Everyday outside Downing St at 11am, Just Stop Oil has been welcoming new supporters and communicating the demand to Stop New Oil and Gas Today’s actions follow over two weeks of continuous disruption by supporters of Just Stop Oil in which they have experienced over 440 arrests. On Saturday, there were 27 arrests of Just Stop Oil supporters, who blocked roads at Shoreditch High Street. Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 1,700 times, with 5 currently in prison.  This is not a one day event, expect us every day and anywhere. This is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project. Our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.
In perhaps their most controversial protest yet, two Just Stop Oil activists poured tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” painting in London’s National Gallery. The gallery said the painting itself was not damaged because the canvass was protected by glass. The action comes as Just Stop Oil has been protesting in London for two weeks with a demand that the UK government stop all new oil and gas exploration. “What is worth more, art or life?” 21-year-old demonstrator Phoebe Plummer said as she glued her hand to the wall below the painting. “Is it worth more than food? More than justice? Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?”
Supporters of Just Stop Oil have blocked a key south London roundabout today on the thirteenth day of action during October. They are demanding that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents. At 9am, 26 Just Stop Oil supporters established a series of roadblock on the roads adjoining St. George’s Circus in Southwark. They are sitting in the road with banners and some have glued themselves to the tarmac. Today’s actions follow twelve days of continuous disruption by supporters of Just Stop Oil in which they have experienced over 337 arrests. On Wednesday, there were 2 arrests of Just Stop Oil supporters, and 25 people from Insulate Britain were arrested. The group, which is part of the Just Stop Oil coalition, returned to the road after an absence of 13 months and established a roadblock on Parliament Square. Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 1,600 times.
A pair of natural gas pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, which were built to transport natural gas underwater through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, were sabotaged in a series of explosions on September 26. These suspicious attacks came mere hours before NATO members Norway, Denmark, and Poland officially opened their own natural gas pipeline, called the Baltic Pipe, which was built with European Union funding in order to compete with Nord Stream. The Nord Stream pipelines are operated by company that is majority owned by Russia’s state gas giant Gazprom. Authorities in Norway and Denmark have blocked that company from inspecting the damage done to its own pipelines. That is to say, NATO member states have prevented the Switzerland-based company Nord Stream AG from conducting an investigation into the attacks on its property.
The sabotage of the two Nord Stream pipelines leaves Europeans certain to be much poorer and colder this winter, and was an act of international vandalism on an almost unimaginable scale. The attacks severed Russian gas supplies to Europe and caused the release of enormous quantities of methane gas, the prime offender in global warming. This is why no one is going to take responsibility for the crime – and most likely no one will ever be found definitively culpable. Nonetheless, the level of difficulty and sophistication in setting off blasts at three separate locations on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines overwhelmingly suggests a state actor, or actors, was behind it.
Rania Khalek of BreakThrough News explains the various aspects of the crisis faced by Lebanon. Banks have been shut down following heist attempt by desperate account holders and electricity and telecom networks are crumbling. Most Lebanese are struggling to purchase essentials. Meanwhile, the country is locked in a dangerous dispute with Israel over offshore gas fields – all of this while having no government.
Colombia’s first ever left-wing President Gustavo Petro delivered a historic speech at the United Nations declaring, “The war on drugs has failed.” Petro emphasized that drug addiction is a social problem, and cannot be solved with violence and militarization. Rather, he argued, it is a mere symptom of a much deeper problem: the capitalist system itself, with its “addiction to money and oil.” The Colombian leader warned that the infinite greed of capitalism is destroying the planet, threatening life on Earth. “The cause of the climate disaster is capital – the logic of dedicating ourselves to consume more and more, to produce more and more, and so that a small few can earn more and more [money],” Petro proclaimed. The “logic of increasing accumulation of capital” is ravaging the environment, he warned. “The increasing accumulation of capital is the increasing accumulation of death.”
New analysis shows that US fossil gas exporters have raked in huge financial gains since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while a seperate report exposes how President Biden’s response to the war includes a set of measures demanded by a secretive gas industry lobby group. We found that Cheniere, the US’s biggest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), increased its cash earnings by $3.8 billion in the first half of 2022, compared to the previous year. US LNG exporter Freeport’s revenues from sales to Europe also rocketed in the first five months after Russia’s attack on Ukraine, up from $490 million over the same period in 2021 to more than $1.4 billion this year. Meanwhile Sempra, another major US exporter of LNG, saw an almost eight-fold increase in revenue from LNG sales to Europe from the start of the war to the end of July compared to the same period in 2021, from $250 million to $1.7 billion.
“We were wondering if Mayor Paine is available?” I asked. My words were muffled by the dog mascot costume I was wearing. Next to me was a canvasser and the two camera operators filming us. We were at City Hall in Superior, Wisconsin on April 25 to spread the word about Husky Friends — the name we’d given to a so-called community outreach initiative from Husky Energy, owner of the local refinery that exploded in 2018 and triggered an evacuation of much of the city. With the refinery possibly reopening, Husky Friends was there to “assuage residents’ concerns.” “Oh sure! Let me see if he has a moment,” the receptionist responded. Wait, what!? This wasn’t supposed to be happening. We thought it’d be interesting to get footage of a dog mascot trying to meet the mayor, but we never thought he’d actually come out and talk with us.