”The future of the human race requires the co-operation of its members.”
our planet can no longer withstand the assaults of an increasingly destructive industrial civilisation.
Learning To Shine Through The Ruins, By Vincent Di Stefano, 30 October,2011, Countercurrents.org “…….The cultural awakening of the 1960s had made many aware of the presence of deepening flaws within industrial civilisation: Of the rampant militarism that had unleashed two unspeakably destructive World Wars; of the atomic slaying of the inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; of the slash and burn methods of US imperialism that disgorged blistering gifts of napalm and poisonous defoliants into the wasted landscapes of Indo-China;
……..this abundance and the freedoms it has bestowed appear to have benumbed rather than sharpened our capacity to perceive and to interpret the divided reality that underlies our illusions of comfort and prosperity.
Despite the fact that the Chernobyl melt-down 25 years ago has already cost nearly a million lives , and despite the fact that hot Strontium from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant has been detected on the rooftops of houses in Yokohama 250 kilometers away, the nuclear industry, together with its marketing arm, the International Atomic Energy Commission continues to aggressively pursue their deadly interests….. Continue reading
Depleted uranium, used in some types of ammunition and military armour, is the dense, low-cost leftover once uranium has been processed….
A high-ranking official from Veterans Affairs says a handful of vets mistakenly believe their bodies have been damaged by depleted uranium…..
the Federal Court of Canada has found depleted uranium to be an issue. The court ruled the Veterans Affairs Department must compensate retired serviceman Steve Dornan for a cancer his doctors say resulted from exposure to depleted uranium residue.
Poisoned soldier plans hunger strike at minister’s office in exchange for care, Montreal CTV.ca Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press, 30 Oct 11, MONTREAL — An ex-soldier who says he was poisoned while serving overseas is planning to go on a hunger strike outside the office of Canada’s veterans affairs minister until he gets medical treatment.
Or until he dies.
MoD survey shows three in four nuclear test veterans fear radiation has affected their health, Mirror, by Susie Boniface, 30/10/2011 A devastating new report shows that eight in 10 of Britain’s nuclear test veterans went on to develop multiple medical conditions.
Asked if they believe their health had been affected by being at a nuclear test site, 28 per cent said they were certain it had, 23 per cent thought it had and 24 per cent said it may have done – a total of 75 per cent. Only eight per cent said it definitely had not.
The study, the first MoD funded-research since 1993, vindicates 10 years of campaigning by the Sunday Mirror which has highlighted the crippling legacy of ill health veterans have suffered. Many have developed cancers and rare medical complaints.
Studies have shown they have six times the national rate of leukaemia and 10 times the rate of birth defects among their children. It was only after massive pressure from the veterans and this newspaper that the last government finally agreed to fund a £412,000 study into their health.
SPENDING SLASHED The Coalition slashed the spend to £75,000 but 633 veterans still came forward to answer questions developed by two doctors with the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association.
The survey shows only 18 per cent of those polled are in “good health” and of those with a serious condition, only 16 per cent thought it was because of other than radiation. Veterans made a series of demands in the study, including a medical centre, better access to service medical records and a detailed genetic study of their descendants.
But experts did not look at the illnesses of vets’ children and grandchildren, saying the evidence was “of too variable a quality”. Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/10/30/mod-survey-shows-three-in-four-nuclear-test-veterans-fear-radiation-has-affected-their-health-115875-23524038/#ixzz1cOe5PLWA
Japan Closer to Exporting Nuclear Technology to India, Vietnam, WSJ By TATSUO ITOTOKYO, 30 Oct 11 —Nearly eight months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, Japan is resuming steps it hopes will lead to exports of commercial nuclear technology to India and Vietnam, even as Japan itself is scaling back the use of nuclear energy at home.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung, will likely discuss nuclear power cooperation when they meet Monday, a government official said. Japan has already signed off on talks toward a nuclear power pact with Vietnam, but the parliamentary approval needed to ratify the agreement has been put on hold…..The agreement with India may draw criticism, as it comes at a time when the Fukushima crisis isn’t yet resolved. Moreover, India isn’t a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, while promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy…. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204528204577007712071441558.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
In hours, Murdoch could secure his stranglehold on the Australian media by acquiring our public international TV news network — and rob a struggling ABC of $223 million in funding. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is under pressure to give control over the network to Murdoch instead of the ABC – Murdoch’s mouthpiece The Australian has been leaking details of insider support for Murdoch in a blatant attempt to force Labor into backing his bid. Conroy knows that giving the network to Murdoch would greatly increase the media mogul’s corrupting influence and hurt the ABC, and is looking for a way out.
Rupert Murdoch already owns 70 percent of Australia’s newspapers. Now he’s on the hunt for more media control, and he’s hoping we won’t notice. Through his stake in Australian News Channel, he’s been pushing hard to take over the crucial but low-key ‘Australia Network’: an Australian international public broadcaster that’s available in 44 countries. Murdoch has shown that his empire ruthlessly puts profits above all else — even hacking a murdered school girl’s phone to increase sales. With this extra network, Murdoch would vastly increase his power and take control of Australia’s public image abroad.
The move is also a key part of his strategy to destroy public broadcasting and silence independent voices. Murdoch knows that the loss of $223 million in funding would severely weaken an already stretched ABC. It would mean the loss of many ABC journalists, and potential closures of overseas news offices. If we let Murdoch win, Australia will become the first country in the world to privatise its international news service…. Continue reading
The rebirth of renewable energy, October 27, 2011|By Daniel Yergin, Special to CNN Renewable energy is generating a lot of political heat. The bankruptcy of solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, after a half billion dollar loan from the Federal government, has set off a hot debate on Capitol Hill. And a group of American-based solar companies are demanding 100% tariffs on imports of Chinese solar panels. They charge that China unfairly competes by subsidizing the Chinese industry, which Beijing resolutely denies.
All this, however, is occurring against a larger backdrop. Around the world renewable energy is going through a rebirth. It is becoming a big business. It is also becoming a more established part of the world’s overall energy supply. Last year, $120 billion was spent to install renewable electricity generation worldwide. Yet it is still a relatively small business compared to the overall energy business, and one that still faces big challenges in getting to scale on a global basis….. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-10-27/opinion/opinion_yergin-renewable-energy-rebirth_1_renewable-energy-renewable-electricity-generation-energy-policy?_s=PM:OPINION
In policy reversal, Rick Perry opposes federal aid for Texas nuclear plants blogchron.com October 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm by Richard Dunham Texas Gov. Rick Perry rarely concedes that he has reversed himself on a policy issue. But he did just that today when he said on national TV he had “changed my position” and now opposes any federal assistance for nuclear plants or other energy projects.
The flip-flop is significant because the current Republican presidential candidate asked the U.S. Department of Energy three years ago to approve a federal loan guarantee for the construction of a Texas nuclear power plant in Matagorda County.
“We were asking at that particular point in time for the federal government to support the nuclear power industry in the state of Texas or across the country, from that standpoint,” Perry said today on Fox News Sunday. “But from a general standpoint, any type of federal dollars flowing into these industries we (now) think is bad public policy.”….
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace challenged Perry’s consistency, noting that Perry in 2008 asked Bush administration Energy Secretary Sam Bodman to approve an application by NRG Energy Inc. for nuclear reactor construction. The company sought federal loan guarantees of the sort Perry has denounced this year on the campaign trail… http://blog.chron.com/rickperry/2011/10/in-rare-policy-reversal-rick-perry-says-he-now-opposes-federal-aid-for-texas-nuclear-plants-or-any-energy-projects/
Uranium passing through NZ ports, Sky News October 30, 2011 A Greens MP has called for an inquiry into Australian shipments of radioactive uranium passing through New Zealand waters and ports in breach of its anti-nuclear stance.
Fortnightly shipments of Australian yellowcake uranium, totalling five thousand tonnes annually, are being shipped through New Zealand ports, according to documents provided to the Sunday Star Times by Green MP Gareth Hughes.
The paperwork shows the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) was unaware of the shipments for 13 years, until late 2009.
That agency had since been replaced by the new Environmental Protection Authority, and an EPA spokeswoman told the newspaper that even though ERMA was unaware of the shipments, the regime that permitted them to pass through New Zealand’s ports had still followed international best practice…..
A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key told the Sunday Star Times yellowcake was ‘Australian dirt, which is essentially harmless’…..
Hughes is calling for an independent inquiry, saying the shipments had no place in a nuclear-free country.
‘Why did the authority fail to approve it for so long, do we have adequate safeguards and response strategies, and what role is New Zealand playing in the international nuclear cycle?’ he said. http://www.skynews.com.au/eco/article.aspx?id=679499&vId=
Japan, India to jointly develop rare earths, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 31 Oct 11 Japan and India agreed Saturday to promote at the private level joint development of rare earths, which are indispensable for automobiles and information technology products.
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Indian Foreign Minister Shri S.M. Krishna also agreed to step up negotiations toward conclusion of an India-Japan nuclear agreement during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry’s Iikura Guest House in Minato Ward, Tokyo, according to officials.
In addition, they agreed to enhance cooperation in security policies by carrying out joint exercises by the Maritime Self-Defense Force and Indian Navy and in other ways, they said.
The exercises are likely to focus on ensuring the safety of sea-lanes in the Indian Ocean, observers said….. India, which has nuclear weapons but does not participate in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, is cautious about Japan’s stance in promoting nuclear arms reduction and nonproliferation through conclusion of a bilateral nuclear pact.
Japan wants to hold negotiations with India on the export of nuclear technologies and nuclear-related equipment, but it may be some time before an agreement is reached, the observers said… http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111029002574.htm
The Bloated Nuclear Weapons Budget, NYT October 29, 2011 Twenty years after the end of the cold war, the United States still has about 2,500 nuclear weapons deployed and 2,600 more as backup. The Obama administration, in an attempt to mollify Congressional Republicans, has also committed to modernizing an already hugely expensive complex of nuclear labs and production facilities. Altogether, these and other nuclear-related programs could cost $600 billion or more over the next decade. The country does not need to maintain this large an arsenal. It should not be spending so much to do it, especially when Congress is considering deep cuts in vital domestic programs. Continue reading
The government’s objective is to keep the company afloat. Without public funds, Tepco would have to report a capital deficit for the July-September quarter, results of which are due by Nov. 14. Even the slightest hint of bankruptcy of a company with ¥13 trillion in liabilities could trigger major financial turmoil. Public assistance is expected to sustain Tepco in a state of positive net worth of about ¥700 billion at the end of the current business year in March, even after booking an expected annual net loss of about ¥570 billion.
But if the bleeding continues at the current pace, much of the capital would be lost in the next business year. This makes it crucial for Tepco to secure either an electricity-rate increase or an early restart of idled nuclear reactors to deal with the cost increases resulting from the prolonged stoppage of nuclear power plants and greater reliance on expensive thermal power, a government official familiar with the matter said….Public funds will be provided via the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund, an organization set up jointly by the government and power companies last month to provide insurance for nuclear accidents.
Under the interim plan, a supervisory committee comprising the top executives of the fund and Tepco will monitor cost-cutting progress. Tepco is required to produce a more comprehensive business plan in March, when there should be more clarity on rate hikes and reactor restarts…
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