Anglican priest on the hypocrisy of rich countries’ apathy about climate change effects on Pacific Islanders
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
we cannot ignore it, because the sheer volume of land ice on Earth is enormous – equivalent to more than 65m of global sea level rise; Greenland alone accounts for 6 to 7m, West Antarctica for some 5-6m, and East Antarctica for the remainder. These melting ice sheets will dominate major sea level changes for centuries to come.
Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come,Skeptical Science By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton 17 Oct 14 Ice sheets respond slowly to changes in climate, because they are so massive that they themselves dominate the climate conditions over and around them. But once they start flowing faster towards the shore and melting into the ocean the process takes centuries to reverse. Ice sheets are nature’s freight trains: tough to start moving, even harder to stop. Continue reading
One mistake the alternative media analysts are making is that they are confusing the huge amount of radiation presently on site at Fukushima versus the amount that was released from the accident and has since leaked out.
There is no question that the amount of nuclear inventory at Fukushima, a site placed on a weak soil foundation and prone to earthquakes and tsunami, is terrifyingly huge:
The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (14).
But that material has not yet dispersed, therefore the ocean die-offs now cannot be blamed on harm that could potentially occur in the future. ……….
“World’s largest” hybrid renewable energy project unveiled in Jamaica (incl video) Gizmag, By Stu Robarts July 18, 2014 Generating renewable electricity at home or in commercial buildings is becoming increasingly viable. WindStream Technologies has installed what it says is the world’s largest wind-solar hybrid array on an office roof in Kingston, Jamaica. The array is expected to generate over 106,000 kWh annually.
The array is expected to generate 25kW of wind power and 55kW of solar power. Windstream says it will return its investment within four years and will produce savings of around US$2 million over the course of its estimated 25-year lifespan.
Russia announces enormous finds of radioactive waste and nuclear reactors in Arctic seas August 28, 2012 by Bellona Enormous quantities of decommissioned Russian nuclear reactors and radioactive waste were dumped into the Kara Sea in the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia over a course of decades, according to documents given to Norwegian officials by Russian authorities and published in Norwegian media. “…..The catalogue of waste dumped at sea by the Soviets, according to documents seen by Bellona, and which were today released by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, includes some 17,000 containers of radioactive waste, 19 ships containing radioactive waste, 14 nuclear reactors, including five that still contain spent nuclear fuel; 735 other pieces of radiactively contaminated heavy machinery, and the K-27 nuclear submarine with its two reactors loaded with nuclear fuel.
Bellona’s two decades on the case
“Bellona has worked with this issue since 1992 when we first revealed the dangerous nuclear waste laying at the bottom of the Kara Sea,” said Bellona President Frederic Hauge.
He acknowledged, however, that a precise accounting from the Russian side could hardly be expected given Russia’s own ignorance of the extent of the dumped radioactive waste………
Making way for oil exploration
Bellona’s Igor Kurdrik, an expert on Russian naval nuclear waste, said that, “We know that the Russians have an interest in oil exploration in this area. They therefore want to know were the radioactive waste is so they can clean it up before they beging oil recovery operations.” He cautiously praised the openness of the Russian report given to Norway and that Norway would be taking part in the waste charting expedition.
Bellona thinks that Russia has passed its report to Norway as a veiled cry for help, as the exent of the problem is far too great for Moscow to handle on its own.
The most crucial find missing
Kudrik said that one of the most critical pieces of information missing from the report released to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority was the presence of the K-27 nuclear submarine, which was scuttled in 50 meters of water with its two reactors filled with spent nuclear fuel in in Stepovogo Bay in the Kara Sea in 1981.
Information that the reactors about the K-27 could reachieve criticality and explode was released at the Bellona-Rosatom seminar in February…….http://bellona.org/news/uncategorized/2012-08-russia-announces-enormous-finds-of-radioactive-waste-and-nuclear-reactors-in-arctic-seas
Tokelau Wins EECA Renewable Energy Award http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4326 29 May 14, The Pacific territory of Tokelau has been named the 2014 EECA Renewable Energy Award winner for its solar efforts.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is a New Zealand government agency that supports energy efficiency, energy conservation and the use of renewable energy in New Zealand and its Territories.
Like many island nations, Tokelau has in the past relied heavily on expensive and polluting diesel generators for electricity supply.
Thanks to the Tokelau Renewable Energy Project, three large solar panel arrays arrays are now operating on Tokelau’s three atolls, some powered by SMA inverters. The project was completed last year.
These solar farms are now providing 90% of Tokelau’s electricity needs and place it among the world’s top nations for renewably-sourced electricity. Harvesting the sun’s energy is expected to save Tokelau roughly NZD $900,000 (~ AUD $824,500) per year in diesel costs.
The Tokelau Renewable Energy Project (TREP) was a joint undertaking between the Government of Tokelau and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“Island communities such as Tokelau, with few energy alternatives, are ideal sites for solar-generated electricity,” EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill.
“This project showed immense vision and drive from the leaders and communities of Tokelau. They are showing other Pacific nations the way – as well as highlighting to the world the need for more renewable energy and less carbon-intensive fossil fuels.”
Solar power represents so much more to Tokelau than just a stable, clean electricity supply. It’s a flagship for the battle against climate change and a signal to the world.
At their highest point, the islands rise around 2 metres above sea level. Tokelau is a nation in the front-line of the effects of climate change – and it is already experiencing the effects of rising seas. It is believed Tokelau could be the first nation to disappear under the waves unless dramatic action is taken to rein in carbon emissions.
The Nuclear Zero Lawsuits: Who will speak for the people? http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/homeland-security/206271-the-nuclear-zero-lawsuits-who-will-speak-for-the-people#ixzz3216oOGyg By Jody Williams and Robert Dodge, M.D. 16 May 14, The U.N. just concluded the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee with representatives from the 189 signatory nations and of civil society. The meeting was in preparation for next year’s NPT conference and to discuss the current status of fulfilling the obligations under the treaty and in particular, the mandate of the nuclear weapons states for global disarmament. The outcome was a continued foot dragging by the nuclear states motivating a demand for meaningful steps and progress toward disarmament by the other 184 nations in view of current international events.
Recent scientific studies by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War on the humanitarian consequences of limited nuclear war have shed additional light on the danger these weapons pose. Describing a hypothetical conflict between India and Pakistan using less than ½ of 1 percent of the global nuclear arsenals, the studies confirm 2 billion people would be at risk of dying due to global climatic change.
Combined with recent scandals involving U.S. ICBM missile controllers and a growing accounting of nuclear mishaps and near misses in our nuclear forces over the years, the sense of urgency for disarmament is greater than ever. It has become a question of who will step forward and speak for humanity.
On April 24, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) filed the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits in the International Court of Justice against all nine nuclear-armed nations, as well as against the United States in U.S. Federal District Court. RMI claims that the nuclear weapon states are in breach of Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which entered into force 16,121 days prior to the filing. In this David vs. Goliath action this tiny island nation has found the voice to speak on behalf of the world and the other nations signatory to the Treaty.
The case for the Nuclear Zero Lawsuit comes directly from the NPT where Article VI states: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
This was the grand bargain that convinced many non-nuclear weapon states to sign the treaty and agree not to develop nuclear weapons of their own. Forty-four years later, with no meaningful negotiations on the horizon and no end in sight to the “step-by-step” process heralded by the permanent five members of the UN Security Council (P5), the RMI has stepped in to change the discourse on nuclear disarmament.
RMI is seeking declaratory relief from the courts that will compel the leaders of the Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) to initiate good-faith negotiations for an end to the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament. They are challenging the leaders of the NWS to answer, on the record, why 44 years have passed and nuclear arsenals continue to be modernized, national security strategies continue to place nuclear weapons at the top of the list, and the P5 don’t even expect to have a “Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms” to talk about nuclear disarmament until 2015.
In addition to the five Nuclear Weapon States named in the NPT, the lawsuit also includes the four nuclear weapon states that are not parties to the NPT – Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea – which, RMI argues, are bound to Article VI obligations under customary international law.
The RMI is a small sovereign nation, among the smallest in the world. However, their courage could not be greater. Having been a testing ground for 67 nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958, the Marshall Islanders have seen their land, sea and people poisoned from radiation. These tests had an equivalent explosive force greater than 1.5 Hiroshima bombs being detonated daily for 12 years. The Marshall Islanders paid a heavy price in terms of their health and well-being for these destructive tests. They have experienced firsthand the horrible destruction caused by nuclear weapons and those that possess them. They are willing to stand up to the nine nuclear giants and say, “Never again. We have seen the destructive impact of these horrific weapons and vow to do all we can so the world never sees such atrocities again.”
The RMI does not act alone in this action. A consortium of NGOs working to highlight the legal and moral issues involved in the Nuclear Zero Lawsuit has come together around the world coordinated by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara. Respecting the courage of the plaintiff in bringing these lawsuits against some of the most powerful nations in the world they have developed a call to action.
The consortium urges everyone to join them by raising your voice in support of the Nuclear Zero Lawsuit. Go to www.nuclearzero.org, where you can read more about the lawsuits and sign the petition encouraging leaders of the Nuclear Weapon States to begin good-faith negotiations.
Williams received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and is chair of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Dodge is a family physician on the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles. PSR is the U.S. affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.
In a 1956 Atomic Energy Commission meeting, Merril Eisenbud, director of the AEC Health and Safety Laboratory, described the Marshallese thus: “While it is true that these people do not live, I would say, the way Westerners do, civilized people, it is nevertheless also true that these people are more like us than the mice.”.
The Militarized Pacific: An Anniversary Without End 14 May 2014 By Jon Letman, Truthout | Op-Ed March 1, the 60th anniversary of the Castle Bravo test – a nuclear detonation over a thousand times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima – has come and gone. Predictably, major decadal events, like a 15-megaton explosion over a Micronesian atoll, garner fleeting attention, but it’s all the days between the anniversaries that tell the real story of those who live with the impacts.
For the people of the Marshall Islands, where Enewetak, Bikini and neighboring atolls were irradiated and rendered uninhabitable by 67 nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958, the brief anniversary recognition only underscores what little attention the Marshallese and, in a broader sense, millions of peoples of the Asia-Pacific are given by the US government and public……..
places like the US-backed naval base being built on South Korea’s Jeju island and the enormous military testing and training ranges in the Northern Mariana Islands (larger than much of the western United States) receive almost no attention. Names like Pagan, Rongelap and Kwajalein are scarcely known in the country that uses these islands for its own military testing……..
increased levels and types of cancers in the Marshall Islands, based on National Cancer Institute (NCI) research and firsthand accounts by Marshallese, are the result of nuclear testing. Continue reading
the importance of the lawsuit is based on its ability to highlight the emergence of a new politics of nuclear disarmament, a politics that challenges the very legitimacy and legality of nuclear weapons possession.
The import of the Marshall Islands nuclear lawsuit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Avner CohenLily Vaccaro 8 May 14, The tiny Republic of the Marshall Islands recently filed an extraordinary lawsuit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, suing all nine nuclear weapons possessors for failing to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. The legal basis of the case is derived from Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which obligates the five nuclear weapons states under the treaty (the United States, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, France, and the People’s Republic of China) “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.”
The lawsuit also charges the four nuclear weapons states outside of the NPT—including one, Israel, which has never even acknowledged possessing nuclear weapons—with violating international customary law. But is this lawsuit more than a publicity gimmick? How seriously should it be taken? What does it tells us about current international nonproliferation regime?
It is easy, of course, to dismiss the lawsuit as an exercise in futility, or at best an act of moral inspiration that will have almost no political impact on the real world. Continue reading
This Island Is The First In The World To Be Powered Fully By Wind And Water BY ARI PHILLIPS MAY 1, 2014 THE SMALLEST AND SOUTHERNMOST OF SPAIN’S CANARY ISLANDS IS ABOUT TO MAKE AN OUTSIZED MARK ON THE PATH TOWARD A MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY-POWERED FUTURE. HTTP://THINKPROGRESS.ORG/CLIMATE/2014/05/01/3433002/SPANISH-ISLAND-RENEWABLE-ENERGY/
With the opening of a new wind farm next month, El Hierro, population just over 10,000, will become the first island in the world to be fully energy self-sufficient through combined wind and water power. The five wind turbines will provide 11.5 megawatts of power, enough to meet the demand of the population and the desalination plants on this small crop of land off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean.
When the wind isn’t blowing, hydropower will fill the void. When the wind is blowing, power will be used to pump water into a reservoir in a volcanic crater about 2,300 feet above sea level. Then when power is needed, that water will be released down to a lower reservoir and used to generate electricity on the way. This process is known as pump-storage hydroelectricity, and is used in many other countries across the globe — including the world’s largest outside of Washington, D.C.
“This system guarantees us a supply of electricity,” said the director of the Gorona del Viento wind power plant, Juan Manuel Quintero.
With the $75 million project set to come online, El Hierro will no longer have to rely on costly and dirty diesel generators for electricity — although it will maintain an oil power station just in case. According to Phys.org, the island’s transition to renewable energy will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20,600 tons per year and save the island from using 40,000 barrels of oil a year.
Other islands are taking advantage of renewable resources to become wind- and solar-powered, but El Hierro is believed to be the first to do so exclusively with wind and hydro power and without having any connection to an outside electricity grid.
NZ Lends A Solar Helping Hand In Pacific Nations http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4277 New Zealand is supporting the construction of the Pacific’s largest solar panel array in Samoa and also providing a helping hand for other Pacific Nations to pursue clean energy.
According to New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, the country is working in partnership with the Government of Samoa, the European Union and the Asia Development Bank to increase renewable energy in Samoa.
Part of the project includes the construction of 2.2 MW installation at the Apia Sports Complex, a smaller array on the rooftop of one of the gymnasiums at the Complex; plus another solar power system in Salelologa, Savaii.
“Renewable energy is a strong focus of New Zealand’s support to developing countries. The investments in Samoa reflect commitments made at the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland last year,” Mr McCully said.
Elsewhere in the Pacific, New Zealand has been assisting in Tuvalu where 95 percent of electricity is currently gained from diesel generation.
New Zealand has funded the construction of four small scale solar-hybrid systems on the Islands of Niutao, Nanumanga, Nanumea and Vaitupu; which will provide 90 per cent of the islands’ electricity needs and improve continuity of service.
Last week, New Zealand also entered into a partnership with the European Union (EU), and Tuvalu to continue this work
“This in an excellent example of New Zealand’s cooperation with the EU on renewable energy and the sort of practical projects we can deliver in partnership with Pacific countries,” Mr McCully says.
On Kiribati’s Kiritimati Island, which also has a heavy reliance on imported diesel fuel for electricity generation, New Zealand and the EU have entered into an agreement to allow for greater technical cooperation relating to renewable energy project development on the island.
Many Pacific nations are low-lying and particularly threatened by sea level rises spurred on by global warming; so the shift from fossil fuels is as much about survival and setting an example for the rest of the world to follow as it is about saving money.
New Zealand, EU push ahead with renewable energy initiatives in Pacific http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=213961 Apr 22,2014 WELLINGTON, (Xinhua) — A joint New Zealand-European Union (EU) mission will tour four Pacific island countries this week to assess progress on renewable energy projects, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced Tuesday.
The tour follows up on the Pacific Energy Summit in New Zealand in March last year and the launch of the European Union-New Zealand Energy Access Partnership to fund renewable energy projects in the region. The summit’s aim was to move Pacific nations closer to achieving 50 percent of their electricity from renewable means and 635 million NZ dollars (545.02 million U.S. dollars) was secured for Pacific energy projects.
“This mission is an opportunity to see the progress being made on renewable energy initiatives in Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Cook Islands, and to meet with the Pacific governments and organizations to discuss opportunities for further cooperation,” McCully said in a statement. “Representatives from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Renewable Energy Agency are also joining the mission to gain further insight into the potential for sustainable energy across the Pacific,” he said.
“Renewable energy is a strong focus of our support to developing countries and we are committed to working with partners like the European Union to deliver clean, safe and reliable energy projects.”
European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who will accompany McCully on the mission, said the EU projects included solar panels installed to renewable provide electricity in Apia, extending the availability of reliable electricity with solar panels for Tuvalu’ s outer islands, and agreeing with the Asian Development Bank to construct six photovoltaic power plants in the Cook Islands.
In Kiribati, Piebalgs would also launch a barge that would protect Tarawa’s beaches from silt build-up and open a laboratory dedicated to monitoring and responding to environmental diseases.
Both projects were necessary to mitigate the effects of climate change in Kiribati, Piebalgs said in a statement.
Birds Could Be Flying Japan Radiation Around Pacific Rim http://www.earthweek.com/2014/ew140404/ew140404b.htmlApril 4, 2014 MigMig Mi
Migratory seabirds that spend part of the year around New Zealand after flying in from Japan’s coastal waters are being checked for contamination from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
A study by the University of Auckland is investigating whether radioactive cesium has entered the New Zealand ecosystem or food chain via the shearwaters, known in New Zealand as muttonbirds. Physicist David Krofcheck told NZ Newswire that the “detection of gamma rays would tell us whether the birds spend sufficient time near Fukushima to accumulate cesium-134 from nuclear fission.”
Vast amounts of contaminated water from the meltdown-plagued Fukushima Daiichi plant have poured into the Pacific since the disaster began in March 2011. Fish have since been measured with unsafe levels of nuclear contamination. Because the shearwaters feed on seafood, it is feared the long-haul birds could be carrying radioactive debris for many thousands of miles around the Pacific Rim.
“During the campaign we saw the impacts of climate change. We know those islands are among the most vulnerable to climate change.”The desire to more effectively conduct projects in the Pacific was also the reason the UAE signed the partnership arrangement with the New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs and trade.
Renewable energy projects key to UAE’s diplomatic efforts http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/renewable-energy-projects-key-to-uaes-diplomatic-efforts 26 Jan 14 ABU DHABI // Renewable-energy projects are now a mainstay of diplomatic efforts with developing nations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.
At Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week last week, technology partnerships were signed with New Zealand and Denmark, and plans announced to give US$20 million (Dh73.4m) in aid to Pacific Island states.
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, director of energy and climate change at the ministry, said clean energy had been identified as a major area of focus for UAE diplomacy. Dr Al Zeyoudi said the money would go to Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Continue reading
U.S. Human Radiation Experiments Covered Up by Public Broadcasting Op Ed News, By William Boardman — Reader Supported News 10 Jan 14 ”……..director [of film Nobles Savages] Adam Horowitz has been angry about American treatment of the Marshall Islands for a long time. In late 2013 he told a reporter the U.S. “destroyed an entire country that we were not at war with, that we were at peace with. Not only did they blow up all these islands, but they purposely contaminated all these people as human experiments. It’s a very unknown story here.”
The story was classified top secret until the 1990s, when the Clinton administration declassified documents related to nuclear testing that including previously unknown information on the Project 4.1 program to use Pacific Islanders as human guinea pigs for assessing the impact of ionizing radiation. Even the official historian of U.C. nuclear testing, Barton Hacker, who tries to minimize the criminality of Project 4.1, ended up writing in 1994 that an “unfortunate choice of terminology may help explain later charges that the AEC [Atomic Energy Commission] had deliberately exposed the Marshallese to observe the effects. Like the American radium dial painters of the 1920s and the Japanese of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the Marshallese of 1954 inadvertently were to provide otherwise unobtainable data on the human consequences of high radiation exposures.” Continue reading
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