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Murdoch’s media monopoly misinforms Australia on Climate Change

Nowhere has the reliance on spin been more apparent than during the coverage of the climate “debate” by the Murdoch media and allied shock jocks.

Australia’s climate scientists expose shock-jock distortion tactics, Academics catalogue the deluge of spin and misinformation of climate science by various Murdoch-owned papers, Stephan Lewandowsky   1 September 2011, Guardian UK,  Australia has unwittingly become a social experiment. A ruthless experiment on the fate of a society when a single media conglomerate, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, owns 167 newspapers and controls around 70% of the printed media market. Continue reading


September 7, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, media | Leave a comment

America’s Koch brothers and Climate Change disinformation

‘Inside the Koch Brothers 2011 Summer Seminar    The Brad Blog,By Brad Friedman on 9/6/2011……I’ve been working in the background, for a number of weeks, on an exclusive series concerning the billionaire Koch Brothers, the co-owners of the nation’s second largest private corporation, the oil and chemical conglomerate Koch Industries. They are also massive funders behind much of the Rightwing political disinformation machine. The articles, as I can now reveal, cover audio I’ve obtained as recorded from inside their super-secret, super-confidential, invitation-only Summer Seminar held in late June at the tony Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Resort near Vail, CO

Among this year’s attendees, in addition to hundreds of corporate baron billionaires and millionaires, were GOP public officials such as current Republican Presidential front-runner Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL).

It appears the brothers went to extraordinary measures, particularly on the first night of the event, to assure that none of the uninvited would ever know what went on inside or even who the first night’s keynote speaker actually was.

Nonetheless, a few of their closely guarded secrets are about to spill out.

The first of my two articles in the series is finally published at Mother Jones today.

Part 1 focuses on the opening and closing remarks, as heard on tape, by billionaire brother Charles as he raises still more undisclosed political money and rallies his troops in advance of the 2012 Presidential election — or “the mother of all wars” as he’s heard describing it. On the first night, Charles welcomes his “great partners” to the event, alludes to President Obama as “Saddam Hussein” and proceeds to list — by name — those “partners” who have donated more than a million dollars to the Koch Foundation political causes over the past year. So much for the post-Citizens United“anonymity” that Koch exec Kevin Gentry, the emcee for both evening’s dinners, informs patrons they can “help protect.”

The full audio and text transcript of Charles’ opening and closing remarks are posted here.

In tomorrow’s report, we’ll reveal the identity of that headliner and detail his stem-winder of a keynote! But for now…

• Part 1 of my exclusive report at Mother Jones
• Complete audio & transcripts of Charles Koch’s opening & closing remarks…
• Transcript excerpts from Judge Andrew Napolitano’s closing night speech…

September 7, 2011 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Time for all to ratify and enforce The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

With her “Baby Tooth Study,” the American physician Louise Reiss, who died earlier this year, proved in the 1960’s that radioactive fallout from nuclear testing had entered the food chain — and thus into human babies — all across the US. 
Some isotopes linger for tens of thousands of years. Plutonium-239 from a nuclear test conducted at the end of the Stone Age, for example, would have lost a mere sixth of its radioactivity by now. 

Nuclear lessons unlearned, Times of Oman,  Sep 06 2011 

“……….As of 1961, some 200 nuclear bombs had been exploded, most of them in the atmosphere, but two on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Three years earlier, in October 1958, nuclear testing had ground to a halt after the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom agreed on a moratorium. During most of this period, one could get the impression, although it was deceptive, that nuclear testing was actually over.  Continue reading

September 7, 2011 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Deepening gloom for Australia’s uranium industry

Uranium prices plunge causing issues for Australian producers, Herald Sun, Greg Roberts ,September 07, 2011 URANIUM prices have fallen back to levels last seen after Japan’s nuclear accident in March, causing further grief to struggling Australian producers.

The uranium spot price is $US48.85 ($A46.04) a pound, having plummeted from $US67.75 to $US49 immediately after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

The spot price had recovered to about $US56.50 after the Fukushima accident. Analyst group Resource Capital Research says the dynamics driving the sector have changed in the aftermath of the meltdown, with Germany planning to close all 17 of its nuclear power reactors by 2022.

The “fund implied price” – an indicator of market price expectations – is signalling a further fall in the spot price to $US45.95. The Merrill Lynch Uranium Equity Index, which measures the performance of uranium equities, has fallen 19 per cent over the past month.

It is down 27 per cent over the past three months and 23 per cent over the past year, according to the latest quarterly report by Resource Capital Research. Shares in Australia’s largest uranium producer, the Rio Tinto-backed Energy Resources of Australia, have fallen 13 per cent in the past month and 73 per cent in the past year.

A year ago, ERA shares were $13.49, compared with $3.65 now, with the company posting a $122 million half-year net loss.

September 7, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Virginia Uranium pays politicians for trip to Canada

Local, state lawmakers flying to Canada as part of lobbying push for uranium mining, Washington Post, 6 Sept 11, By About 15 local and state lawmakers are flying to Canada this month on all-expenses paid trips as part of an on-going lobbying effort by a company pushing lawmakers to lift a moratorium on uranium mining in the state.

Virginia Uranium invited state legislators and local elected officials from Southside Virginia to visit an active mine in Canada as it looks to mine what is thought to be the largest deposit of uranium in the United States, in south central Virginia.

Larry Campbell, a member of the Danville City Council, said he had planned to go on the two-day trip, but that he changed his mind when some of his constituents told him they thought he was being “bought off.”

Virginia Uranium already sent Sen. Frank W. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) to Saskatchewan, Canada, this year. The trip is similar to the one about a dozen legislators took this summer to France that came under heavy criticism across the state.

The trips are permissible under Virginia law and must be reported to the state as gifts next year…..

Virginia Uranium hopes to persuade the General Assembly to repeal the nearly three-decade ban on mining at its regular session in January by convincing lawmakers that mining can be done safely. …

September 7, 2011 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Germany’s renewable technologies showing their value

Germany proves the promise of renewable energy: hits 20 percent renewables, By Karimeh September 06, 2011A s many people in the United States question whether renewable energy is a viable alternative to fossil fuels, Germany now derives 20.8 percent of its electricity from renewable sources—a 15 percent increase since 2000, reports Der Spiegel. In contrast, the United States generates only 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, 6 percent of which comes from hydroelectric power, which some environmentalists see as unacceptably damaging.  Continue reading

September 7, 2011 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

Fukushima film will include rare earths radiation pollution

Japanese filmmaker to highlight Lynas controversy, Free Malaysia Today, G Vinod, September 6, 2011“….A foreign documentary on the nuclear meltdown in Japan will also highlight the controversy over the Lynas rare earth refinery in Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA: A Japanese filmmaker plans to include the Lynas rare earth controversy in his upcoming documentary on nuclear radiation which is scheduled to be released in October 2011.The filmmaker, Shunji Iwai, decided to highlight the plight of the people in Gebeng, Pahang after hearing about the matter from his Malaysian counterpart, Tan Chui Mui.

Lynas Corporation Ltd plans to build a RM700 million rare earth refinery in Gebeng, to facilitate transportation of its mining products from Western Australia’s Mount Weld to the plant in Gebeng. The plant is expected to be operational by end of this year.

However, the community in Gebeng are up in arms against the project fearing radioactive contamination in the area surrounding the plant. Although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had said the mine would be safe, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh dismissed its report, saying that most of the findings were made based on data given by Lynas itself…….

Tan herself would be directing a few parody educational video called “Survival Guide in Radioactive Village” to create awareness among the public on the Lynas scare. The documentary is scheduled for release in October for the Japanese market. It will subsequently be released to the global audience via the Internet…

September 7, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan: zero nuclear future. AREVA wants to manage wastes

No. of Japan’s nuclear plants to be zero in future: Hachiro, Mainichi Daily News, Japan September 6, 2011, TOKYO (Kyodo) — Industry minister Yoshio Hachiro said Tuesday that the number of Japan’s nuclear power plants would be “zero” in the future, based on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s policy of not building new nuclear power plants and decommissioning aged ones.

“Considering the premier’s remarks at press conferences, it would be zero,” Hachiro told reporters in answer to the question whether the number of nuclear plants would reduce to none in the future.

Hachiro added that it would be “difficult” to proceed with plans to build new nuclear plants whose construction has yet to begin, such as Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s Kaminoseki plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture. “Public opinion is generally united in reducing (nuclear plants), instead of increasing them,” he said…….

Meanwhile, Hachiro admitted that Japan has received an offer from French nuclear power company Areva SA to take charge of spent nuclear fuel at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant, but he did not reveal Japan’s response to the offer…..

September 7, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Governments’ lies and coverups on nuclear accidents and illnesses

“The government of Japan is lying to its people as well as to the rest of the world about radiation levels at Fukushima. With radiation levels going up, countries like Japan and US have raised the bar on what is considered safe for humans,” 

Query on N-accidents stirs up hornet’s nest   , TNN | Sep 6, 2011, Times of India MUMBAI: The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), in a reply to a Right To Information (RTI) application, has set the cat among the pigeons.

In response to an RTI query filed by activist Chetan Kothari, asking for details of both major and minor accidents that have occurred at India’s nuclear plants, the nuclear corporation said that there haven’t been any such accidents at India’s nuclear power stations.

Scientists, film-makers and campaigners against the use of nuclear power have rubbished NPCIL’s claim and accused the corporation of lying in its response. Greenpeace India lists 20 accidents at India’s nuclear power plants over the last two decades. Continue reading

September 7, 2011 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Abolish all nuclear power plants, says Nobel prize-winner

Nobel winner urges Japan to abandon nuclear powerFuel Fix September 6, 2011 TOKYO — Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe urged Japan’s new prime minister today to halt plans to restart nuclear power plants and instead abandon nuclear energy.

Oe cautioned Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda against prioritizing the economy over safety. Noda has said he will allow idled nuclear plants to resume operation when their safety is confirmed.

“The new prime minister seems to think that nuclear power plants are necessary for Japan’s economy, and how to resume their operation is one of his key political agendas,” Oe said. “We must make a big decision to abolish all nuclear plants.”….

September 7, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Intoxicated nuclear plant employee

FPL nuclear employee found intoxicated, Sun Sentinel, By Julie Patel, September 6, 2011 , Florida Power & Light’s nuclear reactors received attention from regulators last week after a nuclear employee tested positive for alcohol and two of the reactors made a list of 27 that may need upgrades to withstand earthquakes…….

September 7, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

International safety plan for nuclear plants, but only “voluntary”

due to opposition from some member countries, including those planning to build their first nuclear power plants, which regard Amano’s plan as too stringent, the final draft of the plan specifies that IAEA inspections will be “voluntarily” accepted by member states…

Policy focuses on natural disasters, IAEA to call for nuclear crisis team, Japan Times, Kyodo, 7 Sept 11,  VIENNA — The International Atomic Energy Agency will call on its members to establish an emergency team to respond to major nuclear accidents worldwide, part of an agency plan to enhance nuclear safety, according to a draft obtained Tuesday. Continue reading

September 7, 2011 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment