Environment

Officials: Much of Pacific Ocean threatened by Fukushima releases, an area covering 1/3 of globe — US: “States in region understandably concerned for safety”… “Urgent need” to assess impact on food, water — IAEA begins testing around Pacific

July 1, 2015

Marshall Islands Journal, Jul 18, 2014 (emphasis added): Seawater check for radioactivity… the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the Marshall Islands earlier this month to train local officials to sample seawater for radioactive cesium… the IAEA Project [is] called “Marine benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima radioactive releases in the Asia-Pacific Region.”… During a field exercise on July 2, two sets of seawater samples were collected… The samples were collected on filter cartridges coated with chemicals that will bond to the cesium element… This is the start of monitoring Marshall Islands seawater for cesium radioactivity which will be carried out every three months… IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Ambassador Glyn Davies, Permanent U.S. Representative to the IAEA, 2011: Today the Secretariat has presented to us a new Technical Cooperation project entitled “Marine benchmark study on the possible impact of the Fukushima radioactive releases in the Asia-Pacific Region.”… Member States in the region are understandably concerned for the safety of their marine environments. The IAEA has unique expertise to offer in helping them to assess how recent events in Japan may affect their food and water resources… The United States fully supports this project… While the Secretariat has demonstrated admirable flexibility and agility in

McKibben to Clinton: 5 Reasons environmentalists distrust you; and what you can do about it by VL Baker

July 1, 2015

FIVE REASONS ENVIRONMENTALISTS DISTRUST YOU1)Climate change has not been your issue. 2)You were terrible on Keystone .Even before the State Department began its review of the project, you said you were “inclined” to approve it. That’s been your last public word on the project, but your team performed an intellectually corrupt review of the plans, your campaign bundlers landed rich lobbying contracts, and your former advisers took jobs with Transcanada. 3)You took the Obama administration’s affection for fracking and ran with it.Working with a deep team of oil company advisers, you set up a whole office at the State Department whose job it was to push fracking all over the world (Cambodia, China, New Guinea); you gave speech after speech in country after country. This was bad policy in the extreme 4)As the world’s top diplomat, you presided over the monumental failure that was the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009. Six crucial years were lost as a result. Enough said. 5) All that endless money. The right-wing attacks on the endless speaking fees and foundation gifts aren’t actually just a concern to the right wing. my bold It’s no longer enough for a politician to state that climate change is real.

Radio Frequency Climate Manipulation Amounts To Weather Warfare By Dane Wigington

June 30, 2015

Climate engineering is a completely runaway juggernaut of total insanity. The planet’s climate system is unraveling by the day as the geoengineers try frantically to control it with ever more desperate and destructive measures (which were a primary cause of the climate disintegration in the first place). As the photograph below clearly shows, powerful radio frequency transmissions have a profound effect on clouds that have been aerosolized by the jet aircraft spraying of toxic electrically conductive heavy metals. RF transmissions over the Prince Edward Islands can be seen in the image below. Massive Aerosol operations off the west coast of the North American continent, such heavy spraying is used in conjunction with RF transmissions. Bizarre cloud configurations commonly occur due to the radio frequency bombardment of the atmosphere for climate modification purposes. Read

Cuba’s warming relations with the US may undermine its agroecological city farms – Julia Wright & Emily Morris

June 30, 2015

Cuba is a global exemplar of organic, agroecological farming, taking place on broad swathes of land in and around its cities, write Julia Wright & Emily Morris. These farms cover 14% of the country’s agricultural land, employ 350,000 people, and produce half the country’s fruit and vegetables. But can they survive exposure to US agribusiness? For more than 20 years, Cuba has been developing a sophisticated urban and suburban food system, producing healthy food, improving the environment and providing employment. But how will the sector survive if the economy opens up to US agricultural and industrial trade and investment? The first urban farms emerged spontaneously in Cuba out of the hardships of the early 1990s. People in towns and cities began to cultivate urban waste land and keep small livestock as a coping strategy. Possibly the first co-ordinated effort was the Santa Fe project in the north-west of Havana City, initiated in 1991. Taking advantage of the available resources within the community, empty urban space was reclaimed for food production to help overcome irregular and inadequate food supplies. The principles of organic, or agroecological, farming were used to overcome the lack of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. These included making compost from local

Is Fukushima Getting Worse? by ROBERT HUNZIKER

June 30, 2015

The Fukushima multiple nuclear disasters continue spewing out hot stuff like there’s no tomorrow. By all appearances, it is getting worse, out-of-control nuclear meltdowns. On June 19th Tepco reported the highest-ever readings of strontium-90 outside of the Fukushima plant ports. The readings were 1,000,000 Bq/m3 of strontium-90 at two locations near water intakes for Reactors 3 and 4. Tepco has not been able to explain the spike up in readings. The prior highest readings were 700,000 Bq/m3. (Source here). Strontium-90 is a byproduct of nuclear reactors or during the explosion of nuclear weapons, e.g., it is considered the most dangerous component of radioactive fallout from a nuclear weapon (Source: HyperPhysics, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University). It is a cancer-causing substance because it damages genetic material (DNA) in cells. Strontium-90 is not found in nature. It’s a byproduct of the nuclear world of today, e.g., strontium-90 was only recently discovered, as of August 2014, for the first time ever, by the Vermont Health Department in ground water at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (Source here). Coincidentally, Vermont Yankee, as of December 29, 2014, is being shut down. When a fission chain reaction of uranium-235 or plutonium-239 is active in a nuclear

Scientists Detect Mysterious Warming in U.S. Coastal Waters By Tim Radford

June 29, 2015

Oceanographers are puzzled by an accelerated burst of warming sea that threatens the fisheries of the American Atlantic coast. Meanwhile, off the US West coast, scientists report that they have been baffled by a mysterious “blob” of water up to 4°C warmerthan the surrounding Pacific, linked to weird weather across the entire country. Jacob Forsyth and research colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution(WHOI) in Massachusetts report in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceansthat the ocean off the US north-east continental shelf has been warming at unprecedented levels for 13 years. Their findings came after analysis of data from sensors—called bathythermographs—dropped 14 times a year from the container ship Oleander, which for 37 years has travelled between New Jersey and Bermuda. Each detector takes the temperature of the water column as it sinks up to 700 metres. Startling discovery What they were startled to discover was an unexplained, and unprecedented, rise in the water temperatures that may be linked with an equally mysterious sea level anomaly: sea levels are going up, but they are going up faster off the north-east coast of the US than almost anywhere else. “The warming rate since 2002 is 15 times faster than from the previous 100 years,” says Glen

What Makes a Poison? By Genna Reed

June 29, 2015

The chemicals that we’re exposed to in our daily lives are often approved by the government under the assumption that they’re safe in small doses, even over a long period of time. For years, regulators relied on the old adage “the dose makes the poison” to try to explain their logic. While that might have appeared true for certain chemicals for many years, we now live in a world where exposure to a large variety of chemicals is unavoidable and it’s finally becoming clear that we can’t evaluate these chemicals in isolation. Think about a simple picnic in a city park. The air you breathe is filled with particulate matter from car exhaust, the landscaping was likely treated with chemical fertilizers and Roundup or another weedkiller, the plastic surrounding your food or drink items might contain BPA or phthalates, your drinks could contain preservatives, the antibacterial spray you use on your hands after eating might contain triclosan and the sunscreen you apply on your skin probably contains nanomaterials. Now extrapolate that scenario to each and every activity you partake in on a daily basis. The agriculture sector experiences this chemical cocktail at a more extreme level. The inputs that may go

Veganism, Harm Reduction, Moral Baselines, etc. – Mickey Z.

June 29, 2015

“Veganism must be the baseline if we are to have any hope of shifting the paradigm away from animals as things and toward animals as nonhuman persons.” These are the words of Gary L. Francione, renowned white middle-aged male vegan guru. “Yes, animal agriculture is a plague upon our shared landbase, but… it’s still a symptom. To ‘save’ the planet, the disease we must address and eradicate is capitalism in all its deceptive and myriad incarnations.” These are the words of another white middle-aged male vegan who is absolutely not a guru and would prefer no association with all the justifiable disdain the word “vegan” provokes. Yeah, that would be me. All About that Baseline? Many if not all consumerist vegans love to declare (without a shred of evidence) that their lifestyle “saves animals” while they conveniently ignore how capitalism works. As a result, it’s typically the carnists (or curious vegans) who present the more compelling arguments (e.g. it’s less ecocidal to eat insects instead of grains or opt for a diet of, say, invasive carp or bi-valves). Before you assume I’m positioning anti-capitalism as the “moral baseline” or touting the consumption of oysters, please allow me to clarify: I’m not. I am simply — and yet again — begging readers (especially vegans) to open

Pope Francis’s Unreserved Embrace of Animal Protection – Wayne Pacelle

June 26, 2015

The Vatican released Pope Francis’s new encyclical on the environment, and it is truly historic. The encyclical, or letter, from the Pope is full of references to animals and calls on all of us to embrace a more humane path. The encyclical is named “Praised Be” (Laudato Si) after St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Sun, in which the Saint praises God for animals and creation. In the encyclical, the Pope reminds us, “We read in the Gospel that Jesus says of the birds of the air that ‘not one of them is forgotten before God’ ( Lk  12:6). How then can we possibly mistreat them or cause them harm?” The Pope also calls on us all to be better stewards of all creation, noting that “[e]ach organism, as a creature of God, is good and admirable in itself.” He condemns the view that humankind has “absolute domination over other creatures” as a misinterpretation of God’s grant of “dominion” over creation. The Pope notes that “our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other human beings. We have only one heart, and the same wretchedness which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be

Scientists Say Geo-Engineering the Sky Necessary to Save Coral Reefs By Derrick Broze

June 26, 2015

A group of scientists from universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia have released a new study calling for geoengineering of the climate in order to save the coral reefs from a process known as “bleaching.” The researchers, including authors from the Carnegie Institution for Science, the University of Exeter, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of Queensland, call for geoengineering the climate using a practice known as Solar Radiation Management (SRM). This involves spraying aerosols from planes in an attempt to reflect the sun’s light with the purpose of preventing rising sea surface temperatures. “Our work highlights the sort of climate scenarios that now need to be considered if the protection of coral reefs is a priority,” lead author Dr. Lester Kwiatkowski of the Carnegie Institution for Science told Exeter University. read
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