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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Religions unite in speaking out for nuclear disarmament, at Vienna conference

peace-doveFaiths United Against Nuclear Weapons TruthOut , 15 December 2014 By Julia RainerInter Press Service | Report Vienna - “Never was there a greater need than now for all the religions to combine, to pull their wisdom and to give the benefit of that combined, huge repository of wisdom to international law and to the world.”

The words are those of Christopher Weeramantry, former judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and its vice-president from 1997 to 2000, who was addressing a session on faiths united against nuclear weapons at the civil society forum organised by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on Dec. 6 and 7 in the Austrian capital.

Weeramantry strongly criticised the argument of those who claim that nuclear weapons have saved the world from another world war in the last 50 years.

He pointed to the ever-present danger represented by these weapons and said that on many occasions it had been luck that had prevented catastrophic nuclear accidents or the breaking out of a devastating nuclear war.

Noting that nuclear weapons “offend every single principle of religion,” Weeramantry was joined on the panel by a number of different religious leaders, including Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi and peace activist, as well as Akemi Bailey-Haynie, national women’s leader of the Buddhist organisation Soka Gakkai International-USA……………….

Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate and former Anglican Bishop, sent a video message to participants to express his deep solidarity and support for ICAN’s civil society forum initiative.

He argued that the best way to honour the victims of the incidents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was to negotiate a total ban on nuclear weapons to ensure that nothing comparable could ever happen again.

Two of the session’s speakers, Ela Gandhi and Mustafa Ceric, also attended the Dec. 8-9 Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

There, Ela Gandhi delivered a speech in the spirit of her grandfather who, she said, would have joined the movement to abolish nuclear weapons if still alive.

As Gandhi had dedicated his life to teaching humanity that there is a non-violent way of dealing with conflict, he even condemned nuclear weapons himself in 1946 when he said: “The atom bomb mentality is immoral, unethical, addictive and only evil can come from it.”

Pointing out that the mere existence of nuclear weapons leads to similar armament of rival countries, Ela Gandhi warned that these nuclear arsenals could destroy a chance for future generations to survive and have a prosperous life………

Religion played an important role at the conference, where many lobbying groups had religious backgrounds, and the opening ceremony was addressed by Pope Francis.

“I am convinced that the desire for peace and fraternity, planted deep in the human heart, will bear fruit in concrete ways to ensure that nuclear weapons are banned once and for all, to the benefit of our common home,” aid Pope Francis, expressing his hope that “a world without nuclear weapons is truly possibly.”

In a statement on behalf of faith communities to the final session, Kimiaki Kawai, Program Director for Peace Affairs at Soka Gakkai International (SGI), said: “The elimination of nuclear weapons is not only a moral imperative; it is the ultimate measure of our worth as a species, as human beings.”

He said that “acceptance of the continued existence of nuclear weapons stifles our capacity to think more broadly and more compassionately about who we are as human beings, and what our potential is. Humanity must find alternative ways of dealing with conflict.”http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28004-faiths-united-against-nuclear-weapons

December 17, 2014 Posted by | Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons: Pope Francis says nuclear deterrence is not justifiable

antinuke-worldSmThe Pope Says Nuclear Deterrence Is No Longer A Justifiable Doctrine http://io9.com/the-pope-says-nuclear-deterrence-is-no-longer-a-justifi-1668285136  10 Dec 14 Mark Strauss Although the Catholic Church has always opposed nuclear weapons, the Vatican reluctantly acknowledged during the Cold War that mutual assured destruction was the best-worst option for averting catastrophe. Today, a dramatic declaration from Pope Francis reversed that position.

The message was delivered to some 800 delegates from more than 150 countries attending the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons:

“Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states. The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more…. Peace must be built on justice, socio-economic development, freedom, respect for fundamental human rights, the participation of all in public affairs and the building of trust between peoples.”

“I am convinced that the desire for peace and fraternity planted deep in the human heart will bear fruit in concrete ways to ensure that nuclear weapons are banned once and for all, to the benefit of our common home.”

The Pope’s letter was read aloud by Archbishop Silvio Tomasi, the permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, who later clarified at a press conference:

“The consistent position of the Vatican has been against atomic weapons. From the very beginning, from John XXIII in ‘Pacem in Terris’ onward, there has been a consistent line opposing the use, the possession, the development of nuclear weapons. During the ’80s, especially during the cold war, the use of deterrence was accepted as a condition for avoiding worst results, but not as a value in itself.”

But, Tomasi says, the ongoing spread of nuclear weapons in a multipolar world, along with the threat posed by terrorists stealing fissile material, have made the weapons more dangerous than ever. “So we go back to the principal that the possession and use of atomic weapons is not at all acceptable.”

America: The National Catholic Review also reports that the Vatican has released a document, “Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition”:

The document details failures of deterrence that might have led to nuclear war, including nuclear accidents, malfunctions and close calls. The Holy See statement calls for scrutiny of the belief that nuclear deterrence “is a stable basis for peace.” A Vatican official went so far as to describe political fealty to the strategic policy of deterrence as “religion” in its own right.

December 10, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | 1 Comment

Anglican priest on the hypocrisy of rich countries’ apathy about climate change effects on Pacific Islanders

Joseph,-Keith-Angl-Dean-of-Anglican priest shames climate change “hypocrites” after witnessing sinking Solomon Islands 105.7 ABC Darwin  By Emilia Terzon The Anglican Dean of Darwin, Keith Joseph, was living and working on the Solomon Islands when he realised the world was slowly drowning.

“In that time, I could see with my own eyes the damage being done,” he said.

“And I could also see the effect [climate change] was having on my friends, their lives, and indeed their culture and futures.”……..

He said it was undeniable that the ongoing problems being experienced by his former parish were linked to climate change and rising sea levels.

“Firstly, it is affecting island groups across the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Secondly, I’m willing to trust 97 per cent of the scientific evidence and advice,” he said.

“If you were sick and went to 30 doctors and 29 said you’ve got cancer and give up smoking and one said it’s not a problem, what are you going to do?

“It’s the same with climate change. The scientific evidence is in.”

Mr Joseph’s comments follow a report by the world’s top scientists for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on Sunday.

The report warns about climate change’s severe and irreversible impacts and links the burning of fossil fuels to greenhouse gas levels being at their highest in 800,000 years.

Mr Joseph said it made him feel “guilty” that humble communities in the Solomon Islands were facing problems due to carbon emissions by those in richer countries……….

He said there was a “strong Christian argument for looking after the environment” and that the earth was a gift from God that should be looked after. “I do think that appeals to other spiritual traditions. The Aboriginals knew well that the land was their birthright to hand on to others,” he said.

“Sadly, I can’t see much political impetus for [stopping climate change]. There seems no great will to change the way we live or to move away from a coal-based economy.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-04/anglican-priest-speaks-out-about-climate-change/5865438

November 6, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

UK Religious Society speaks out against Trident Nuclear Missile plan

pray-rad British Quakers reject report advising UK to retain ‘Cold War relic’ nuclear deterrent, Ecumenical News, Peter Kenny Monday, July 07 2014 Quakers in Britain strongly disagree with the conclusion of a report published July 1 that says the UK should retain its nuclear deterrent.

A group of former ministers, diplomats and generals in the parliamentary-approved Trident Commission say holding on to nuclear weapons could help deter threats to the UK’s security in future…….

“Quakers say that Trident is a relic of the Cold War and that the Trident Commission has failed to consider the legal obligations of the UK under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to negotiate in good faith for the elimination of nuclear weapons,” said a Quakers’ statement after the report was released July 1.

“Quakers in Britain strongly disagree with the conclusion that Trident is necessary and urge the Commission to rethink its recommendations.”

While welcoming deeper debate around the missile issue, Helen Drewery, general secretary of Quaker Peace & Social Witness said: “The Trident Commission has failed to properly consider alternatives to Trident.

“These are weapons of mass destruction which can never be used and have proved to be a poor deterrent against acts of terror or against recent political events. Trident is a relic of the Cold War.”

The Quakers said they were disappointed the report did not address the legal and moral obligations of the UK under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to negotiate in good faith for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

A final decision on whether to renew Trident nuclear missile system will be taken in 2016……

Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. The group is known for its  commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth. http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/british-quakers-reject-report-advising-uk-to-retain-cold-war-relic-nuclear-deterrent-25462

July 7, 2014 Posted by | Religion and ethics, UK | Leave a comment

It’s a Pro Life issue: Conservative Christians want action on climate change

globe-warmingEvangelical Group: Climate Change Is A ‘Pro-Life’ Issue  CLIMATE PROGRESS, BY KATIE VALENTINE MAY 20, 2014  A GROUP OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS ARE CALLING ON FLORIDA GOV. RICK SCOTT TO CREATE A PLAN TO MITIGATE AND ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE, HOPING THAT THEIR MESSAGE WILL RESONATE WITH SCOTT’S STAUNCH CHRISTIAN VALUES.

Rev. Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), is leading the group’s campaign for Scott to recognize climate change as a major threat in Florida. EEN is collecting signatures for a petition asking Gov. Scott to create a plan for climate change, one which so far has garnered about 12,000 signatures. Hescox told ThinkProgress that EEN chose to focus on Florida because of its vulnerability to climate change — Floridians, especially in the Southeast region of the state, are already struggling to adapt to rising seas that lead to sunny-day flooding and stronger storm surges.

“We wanted to help the evangelical church understand in Florida that climate change is not a liberal issue or any issue other than a people issue,” he said.

Gov. Scott, however, has expressed doubt before that climate change is occurring — in 2010, he told reporters he hadn’t “been convinced” that the problem existed, and last week, he avoided a question on whether his 2010 beliefs are the same today by responding, “I’m not a scientist.”……..

The group emphasizes creation care, the idea that humans have a duty to take care of the Earth, because the Earth and its creatures are the creation of God and to love God’s creation is to love God. The group also notes that the poor are often those who are affected most by pollution, and many Christians believe they have a duty to help the poor.

“The first real handbook of sustainability is the Biblical book of Leviticus. It talks about crop rotation, about how to care about animals,” Hescox said. “That’s why it’s a matter of life for us — everything we do, as human beings, to mess up God’s creation impacts human life.”

Hescox pointed to the suffering climate change has caused around the world as reason why climate change is something Christians should care about. Air pollution is linked to asthmakidney disease and heart problems, and climate change is expected to cause a rise in vectorborne illnesses like malaria and West Nile. These are some of the most compelling reasons to act on climate change, Hescox said.

“For us, it’s a pro-life issue,” he said. “We are pro-life from conception to natural death, and we believe anything that affects the quality of life is something that’s a pro-life value.”………http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/20/3439695/evangelical-environmental-network-rick-scott-petition/

May 21, 2014 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

US Catholic bishops and Iranian ayatollahs discuss nuclear weapons

diplomacy-not-bombsUS bishops and Iranian ayatollahs hold talks on nuclear arms http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/05/15/us-bishops-and-iranian-ayatollahs-hold-talks-on-nuclear-arms/ By  on Thursday, 15 May 2014 It has been revealed that a small group of US Catholic bishops have met with Iranian ayatollahs to discuss nuclear weapons and the role of faith leaders in influencing political moves on the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme. Quietly, a small group of U.S. Catholic bishops and Iranian ayatollahs began in March what they intend to be an ongoing dialogue on nuclear weapons and the role of faith leaders in influencing political moves on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program. Continue reading

May 16, 2014 Posted by | Iran, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

UN conference brings together antinuclear leaders of world’s major religions

Religion-&-nuke-1Anti-Nuclear Weapons Team of Religious Leaders Unite at UN; Catholic Leader Calls Them ‘Useless’ in Fight Against Poverty BY STOYAN ZAIMOV, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER May 1, 2014 NEW YORK – Members of several of the world’s main religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, warned that the grave prospect of a nuclear weapons catastrophe looms dangerously over the world, and urged leaders to move toward disarmament at a United Nations conference on Wednesday.

Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said that although religious leaders are not experts on nuclear weapons, they still have the responsibility to speak out and take the floor on this particular issue.

“We know that we are not experts on disarmament, we do not have technical solutions, but we do have a voice to act,” Chullikatt said, adding that the group of religious leaders have taken on the subject partly so that future generations do not accuse them of not doing anything.

The archbishop noted that the Roman Catholic Church warns that nuclear war is a crime both against God and against man himself. “It is past time for this plan (nuclear disarmament) to be given the serious attention that it deserves. The centerpiece is the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention or a framework leading directly to a global ban on nuclear weapons,” Chullikatt said.

“Nuclear weapons are useless in addressing current challenges such as poverty, health, climate change, terrorism or national crime. The only way to guarantee that these weapons will not be used again, is through a common, irreversible, and verifiable elimination under international (law). He stated that the use of nuclear weapons will be a great moral crime against humanity, and insisted that now is the time to “renew the moral call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” because in the event of a nuclear war, there will be “no victors, only victims.”

The Rev. Tyler Wigg Stevenson, representing the World Evangelical Alliance, noted that evangelicals are “late in coming to the trenches where our brothers and sisters of the Roman Catholic Church and World Council of Churches, including members of other world religions, have labored long and faithfully.”

He shared his hopes, however, that the evangelical “lack of moderation” will “make up for our tardiness.”……….

“In Buddhist ethics, protecting innocent life is a high value. Nuclear weapons offend this value. According to Buddhist understanding, everyone and everything in the world are interconnected and interdependent,” said Ven. Dr. Chung Ohun Lee of Won Buddhism International, to the U.N., adding that people have a responsibility to take care of the world and oppose nuclear weapons out of respect for all human beings.

“Nuclear weapons are immoral. Let us work together to rid the world of all of them,” Dr. Chung Ohun Lee remarked.

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of Fiqh Council of North America said that according to the Islamic position, nuclear weapons “pose a grave danger to all of humanity” and called on the international community to work together to remove this danger.

“Islam teaches that God is the creator and master of everything in this world. All human beings are one family. Human beings must honor each other and live in peace,” Dr. Siddiqi continued.

“Nuclear weapons do not come anywhere in the concept of just war. Nuclear weapons are by nature weapons of mass destruction. They make no distinction between combatants or noncombatants.”

Rabbi Peter Knobel of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, who was the final speaker, drew an example from the story of Noah and the Great Flood in the Bible, when God promises to never destroy creation again, and gives people hope symbolized by a rainbow.

“It is not enough to merely stop proliferation, we are compelled to eliminate nuclear weapons, it is our duty to cherish and protect creation, to learn to love and care for one another, it is time to beat our nuclear swords into plowshares, and not stop beating until they are musical instruments.” 

May 2, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Abolish nuclear weapons – say Buddhist, Christian and Muslim leaders

Religion-&-nuke-SmUS Faith Groups Unite to Call for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Stressing Devastating Humanitarian Impact, Religion News Service April 25, 2014 Buddhist, Christian and Muslim Communities at US Institute of Peace in Advance of UN Non-Proliferation Conference

WASHINGTON DC: On April 24, 2014, Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International (SGI) sponsored “Making a Difference – Faith Communities and the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons,” a one-day interfaith symposium held at the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC.

Over 100 participants from diverse faiths including Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions came together with peace activists and experts to identify common concerns and refresh their determination to rid the world of these inhuman weapons.

At the symposium, representatives of 11 different faith groups adopted a joint statement pledging increased activism by religious communities toward nuclear weapons abolition. This statement will be presented to the chair of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York from April 28 to May 9.

The statement reads, “The continued existence of nuclear weapons forces humankind to live in the shadow of apocalyptic destruction…. The moral insights of our traditions teach us that this threat is unacceptable and must be eliminated.” See http://www.sgi.org/assets/pdf/Joint-Faith-Statement-Antinukes.pdf………

Cosponsors of the event included Abolition 2000, American Values Network, Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Arms Control Association (ACA), Global Zero, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Pax Christi International, Pax Christi-USA and Women’s Action for New Direction (WAND).

Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a grassroots Buddhist association with 12 million members around the world. Its activities to promote peace, culture and education are part of the longstanding tradition of Buddhist humanism. SGI-USA has 120,000 members throughout the U.S.A.

Contact

William Aiken
waiken@sgi-usa.org
301-346-0167

April 26, 2014 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The “ethics” of expenditure on nuclear weapons

 Budgets as Moral Documents Nuclear Weapons and the Fate of Life http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/11/nuclear-weapons-and-the-fate-of-life/by ROBERT DODGE

ethics-nuclearApril 15th, Tax Day, our nation funds our national budget. On this day we fund the nation’s business and provide a proclamation to the world of the U.S. priorities for the next year. Ultimately, because they reveal our choices, budgets are moral documents and are supposed to represent the people’s priorities.

What are those priorities? Surveys show them to be education, economic security, environmental protection, healthcare, climate change, peace and security.  With so many challenges facing us as a nation and planet how will we wisely provide for our future and spend our finite treasure on infinite need?  We must ask, are there opportunities to reallocate funds to more pressing needs?

Flag-USAUnfortunately, in our current dysfunctional national body politic, there lacks the leadership and courage to address and answer these questions.

Nuclear weapons programs provide an obvious example of the misallocation of resources.   This year the United States will spend roughly $57 billion on nuclear weapons programs. Weapons that must never be used, are militarily purposeless, and threaten our very survival every moment of their existence. These illegal, immoral weapons are an example of the disconnect between rhetoric and reality.

The dollars diverted from communities to finance these programs literally rob communities of precious funds that could be spent on urgent needs. Examples of community nuclear weapons programs expenditures for tax year 2013 range from Ventura County, California spending $176 million to Seattle wasting $172 million, Los Angeles misspending $1.7 billion and New York City throwing away $1.69 billion.  To find other examples or calculate your personal contribution go to www.c-p-r.net. Each of us must ask ourselves if this is acceptable.

The impossibility of using these weapons was shown in a report by the International Physicians for Social Responsibility this past year on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. It demonstrated that 2 billion people are at risk of death from catastrophic climate change following a limited nuclear exchange using less than ½ of 1 percent of the global nuclear arsenals.

The world’s nuclear arsenals contain 17,000 nuclear weapons and a full scale nuclear war between the nuclear super powers would end life as we know it.

Last year’s important book by Eric Schlosser, Command and Control, combined with our own military’s recent revelations of compromised nuclear missile officers highlight how sheer luck continues to be an important component preventing the unleashing of these apocalyptic weapons.

The use, threat of use, and even the possession of these weapons was declared virtually entirely illegal by the International Court of Justice in 1996. The United States and P5 nuclear states are in breach of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that commits us to good faith efforts to work toward nuclear disarmament. Here is the disconnect between rhetoric and reality. While professing the vision of a world without nuclear weapons we continue to ‘modernize’ our B-61 nuclear gravity bomb and work on our entire nuclear stockpile and delivery systems projected to cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

Fortunately the non-P5 nuclear nations of the world are taking matters into their own hands. In meetings this year in Germany, Norway and Mexico, approximately 150 nations met to discuss the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war and are moving toward a nuclear weapons convention, a ban on nuclear weapons similar to previous conventions on chemical and biological weapons and landmines.

So ultimately this tax season as so often in the past, we will pay out of our pockets for something most of us abhor, financing our own instruments of national suicide. As a people, the choice is ours—or in the end there may be no choice. Will we stand on the right side of history or will we continue down our present course?

 Robert Dodge is a family physician in Ventura, California. He serves on the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles (www.psr-la.org) and on the board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). He writes for PeaceVoice (www.PeaceVoice.info). 

April 12, 2014 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Consumerism, endless growth brings unhappiness

an economic model based on perpetual growth continues on its own terms to succeed, though it may leave a trail of unpayable debts, mental illness and smashed relationships. Social atomisation may be the best sales strategy ever devised, and continuous marketing looks like an unbeatable programme for atomisation.

Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out  Buying more stuff is associated with depression, anxiety and broken relationships. It is socially destructive and self-destructive   The Guardian, Tuesday 10 December 2013 “……There has long been a correlation observed between materialism, a lack of empathy and engagement with others, and unhappiness.

Father-Christmas-consumer

 

But research conducted over the past few years seems to show causation. For example, a series of studies published in the journal Motivation and Emotion in July showed that as people become more materialistic, their wellbeing (good relationships, autonomy, sense of purpose and the rest) diminishes.As they become less materialistic, it rises……. Continue reading

December 12, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | 1 Comment

Bible-bashing climate change and evolution – an American phenomenon

Why Climate Change Skeptics and Evolution Deniers Joined Forces  Mother Jones, By   Nov. 27, 2013 All across the country—most recently, in the state of Texas—local battles over the teaching of evolution are taking on a new complexion. More and more, it isn’t just evolution under attack, it’s also the teaching of climate science. The National Center for Science Education, the leading group defending the teaching of evolution across the country, has even broadened its portfolio: Now, it protects climate education too.

How did these issues get wrapped up together? On its face, there isn’t a clear reason—other than a marriage of convenience—why attacks on evolution and attacks on climate change ought to travel side by side. After all, we know why people deny evolution: Religion, especially the fundamentalist kind. And we know why people deny global warming: Free market ideology and libertarianism. These are not, last I checked, the same thing. (If anything, libertarians may be the most religiously skeptical group on the political right.)

And yet clearly there’s a relationship between the two issue stances. If you’re in doubt, watch this Climate Desk video of a number of members of Congress citing religion in the context of questioning global warming:

Using the Bible to Resist Climate Action: A Supercut

Indeed, recent research suggests that Christian “end times” believers are less likely to see a need for action on global warming……. http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/11/why-climate-change-skeptics-evolution-deniers-joined-forces

November 28, 2013 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics, USA | 1 Comment

Another chance for a nuclear deal between Iran and the West

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranOmens good for Iran nuclear deal at second bite  Foreign ministers ready to fly to Geneva as diplomats make further progress on draft agreement over uranium enrichment Guardian,   and  in Geneva 21 Nov 13 Foreign ministers from six major powers are poised to fly to Geneva by the end of the week if nuclear talks with Iran lead to an agreement, western officials said on Wednesday night.

A new round of negotiations over the future of Iran’s nuclear programme got under way on Wednesday, bringing together the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and top diplomats from the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Officials involved in the talks – the third session since the election of a reformist Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani – said they were going well, overcoming the disappointment of the previous round, attended by US secretary of state, John Kerry, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, their French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, and other foreign ministers.

Those talks appeared to come close to clinching a historic deal but the talks broke up in early hours of 10 November, amid some acrimony over who was responsible for the failure……http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/21/iran-nuclear-talks-geneva-progress

November 24, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Iran, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Irradiated horses cared for by compassionate Japanese horse breeder

As Iitate’s population plummeted in the spring of 2011, Hosokawa managed to find new homes for more than 80 of his horses. Then, in January this year, he noticed that several among the 30 that remained, mainly foals, had become unsteady on their feet.

Within weeks, 16 had died in mysterious circumstances. Autopsies on four of the horses found no evidence of disease and tests revealed caesium levels at 200 becquerels per kilo – twice as high as the government-set safety limit for agricultural produce, 

Fukushima horse breeder braves high radiation levels to care for animals Despite the departure of all his neighbours and the unexplained deaths of some of his stock, Tokue Hosokawa refuses to budge  in Iitate theguardian.com, Monday 28 October 2013 Until March 2011, Tokue Hosokawa had only to peer through the window of his home in Iitate village to confirm that all was well with his 100-year-old family business.

The 130 or so horses that once roamed this sprawling farm in Fukushimaprefecture have sustained three generations of Hosokawa’s family. Some were sold for their meat – a local delicacy – but his animals were better known for their appearances in commercials, period TV dramas and films, and local festivals celebrating the region’s samurai heritage.

For decades, the 62-year-old horse breeder barely registered that his farm was just 25 miles north-west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant. But the rural idyll was shattered on the afternoon of 11 March 2011, when the facility was hit by a towering tsunami that caused meltdowns in three of its reactors…….

two and half years after the accident, Iitate has become a nuclear ghost town. When Hosokawa looks out of his window these days, it is at empty, irradiated fields. Continue reading

October 29, 2013 Posted by | environment, Fukushima 2013, Japan, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Japan is on the verge of a collapse after Fukushima- Tokyo Professor

ethics-nuclearflag-japanTokyo Professor: I want to stress that Japan is on verge of collapse after Fukushima — Osaka Professor: If you don’t recognize health risks and take action right now, you have no future (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/tokyo-professor-i-want-to-stress-japan-is-on-verge-of-collapse-after-fukushima-osaka-professor-if-you-dont-recognize-health-risks-and-take-action-right-now-you-have-no-future-video
September 24th, 2013  
By ENENews 
  Title: 0.23μ㏜ – Fukushima: Is There a Way Out? 
Source: Arirang TV
Date: Sept. 9, 2013

Fukushima: Is There a Way Out? […] What kind of tomorrow awaits Japan? […] The Japanese public spends every day in fear and anxiety, as the repercussions of the nuclear crisis can be felt everywhere, and there is no end in sight yet. […] Where is Fukushima headed? Will Japan be able to find a way out?

At 42:00 in

Professor Taisei Namura, Ph.D., National Institute of Biomedical Innovation (Under jurisdiction of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, located in Osaka): Cancer doesn’t happen immediately. If you don’t recognize it and take action right now, you have no future. We must raise public awareness. We can’t rest assured just because it’s a small amount. The symptoms will not appear until decades later.

At 46:00 in
Professor Eiji Makino, Hosei Universityy (“One of the most traditional private universities based in Tokyo”): This tragedy has revealed that Japan’s political, social, economic, and moral standards are falling apart. I think we’re facing a big crisis. I want to stress one more time that Japan is on the verge of a collapse.
Watch the 48 minute broadcast here

September 26, 2013 Posted by | Japan, Religion and ethics, safety | Leave a comment

Republican heresy? Religious conservatives promoting renewable energy

As conservatives, we believe that increasing our use of renewable energy will improve public health and help protect the lives of the most vulnerable among us. Study after study demonstrates the negative health effects on people who live near coal plants. They are, by and large, people who are too poor to move. The quality of our air and water impacts not just your health and mine and people across Michigan. They also affect the health and life of the unborn.

As conservatives, we believe that using more renewable energy will reduce the amount of fuel we import from other nations

renewable-republican

Flag-USAConservatives should lead on renewable energy as way to protect God’s creations http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/09/keith_den_hollander_ renewable.html By Keith den Hollander  State Committee Member at Michigan Republican Party Chairman, MI Chapter at Christian Coalition, 22 Sept 13 In the next few days, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder unveiled the first of four reports on renewable energy that could potentially reshape Michigan’s energy economy.

Conservatives have a real opportunity to lead in the area of renewable energy and we should applaud Governor Snyder for his leadership in the energy sector……. Opinions like those expressed by the Mackinac Center’s Ken Braun (9/14/2013), who downplays the importance of renewable energy to Michigan, do not fully reflect the conservative viewpoint on energy.

Humankind has a moral obligation to be good stewards of the Earth and the resources that God has put on this planet for our responsible use. We are free to use coal, natural gas and oil – and also the wind, sun, manure and any other resource that can be economically and responsibly used or harnessed to create energy.

An “all of the above” approach to energy generation is beneficial to our state, economy, and long-term sustainability. This approach can help reduce the amount of energy derived from fossil fuels, and increase the amount generated from renewable sources. Continue reading

September 23, 2013 Posted by | politics, Religion and ethics, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

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