OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

When things are stressful as they are today, I turn to nature for a connection that offers peace, beauty and today, some good news.

Oceana

Tuesday, Belize’s Supreme Court declared offshore drilling contracts issued by the Government of Belize (in 2004 and 2007) null and void, effectively ending the Belizean government’s immediate effort to allow offshore oil drilling in the Meso American Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world and providing definitive setback to The Government of Belize and the petroleum prospecting companies issued the contracts. In 1842, in his study of the evolution of coral reefs, Charles Darwin declared that Belize was home to “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies.”

The ruling, was in response to a case brought by Oceana, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. Oceana has long voiced its concern about the potentially devastating impact of an oil spill on Belize’s reef and it's economy, which depends heavily on tourism and the barrier reef.

Remark from Oceana lauding the courts decision:

“This is a great day for the people and country of Belize and its democratic process and it shows that we, as ordinary citizens, need not sit back and only complain about all the wrong decisions our Government makes, but that we can use the Judiciary system to settle them.”

The court overturned the contracts after determining that the government failed to assess the environmental impact on Belize’s ocean, as required by law, prior to issuing the contracts. The court also found that contracts were made to companies that did not demonstrate a proven ability to contribute the necessary funds, assets, machinery, equipment, tools and technical expertise to drill safely.

Oceana has campaigned against offshore drilling in Belize for more than two years.  In 2011, after collecting the 20,000+ signatures required to trigger a national referendum that would allow the public to vote on whether or not to allow offshore oil drilling in Belize’s reef, the Government disqualified over 8,000 of these signatures effectively on the basis of poor penmanship - stopping the possibility of a vote. Oceana answered by quickly organizing the nation’s first ever “People’s Referendum” on February 29, 2012 in which 29,235 people (Belize’s entire population is approximately 350,000) came from all over the country to cast their votes.

In this historic vote, 96 percent of voters voted against offshore exploration and drilling.  The government subsequently almost lost its majority in the national election that followed these votes. Oceana is fighting for a complete ban on offshore drilling in Belize and believes the Government of Belize should allow the people to express their opinion in an official referendum.

I've done some diving and snorkeling in barrier reefs and can attest to their great beauty. Take a look at what was saved by this court decision; coral from the Meso American Reef off Belize:

           Flower Coral, Belize
                                               Flower Coral by Optical Allusion,flr

                    Gorgonian and Sea Fan, Belize
                                        Gorgonian and Sea Fan by Optical Allusion,flr

          Brain Coral and Neon Gobies, Belize
                                    Brain Coral and Neon Govies by Optical Allusion,flr

                   Gorgonian and Pink Vase Sponge, Belize
                                Gorgonian and Pink Vase Sponge by Optical Allusion,flr

                                          Knobby Cactus Coral, Belize
                               Knobby Cactus Coral by Optical Allision,flr

This was a hard fought two year battle. We have to celebrate each victory in the battle against climate change

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.