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It’s time for honesty about climate change: our children should know

Do we have the courage to tell our children the truth about climate change? KATHARINE CUKIER, l Montreal Gazette: November 4, 2014  “………. Naomi Klein’s book on climate change This Changes Everything maps out the particular role of our fossil-fuelled economic system and its dynamics in bringing our civilization to the brink of extinction. She also points out that it is the innocent — our children, their children and those Book-Naomi-Kleinsocieties that are not responsible for even a fraction of the current climate altering emissions — that will be harshly punished. They will be both impeded in their economic development and they will bear the full brunt of the catastrophic impacts of runaway climate change.

Klein is not the first to demonstrate that unless our priorities are urgently altered, our fossil-fuelled economy-culture will push us to a level of warming that will be impossible to mitigate. Our current path will lead to an average of between three and five degrees of warming by the end of the century and threaten the vast majority of humanity and most non-human life as well.

Our predicament, if unprecedented, is constructed on familiar ground. As with all the major crimes against humanity of the past century, we know what is going on at the same time as we deny the evidence that piles up around us. ……..

I have read hundreds of articles and books on climate change, and unlike my prime minister and his corporate backers, I have been convinced by the scientists that we are heading for catastrophe…..I feel a profound need to lie to my children — the ones in my house and the ones in my classroom. I haven’t the guts to contradict the central premise of my culture, and tell all my children that the world is not their oyster, that they must not do as I have done. That in fact, not only is the oyster’s shell disintegrating because of the acidification of our oceans, but my children cannot have the lifestyle I have had. How do I admit that I and a handful of generations before me have exposed our unique, perfect pearl of a living planet to gradual, then probable rapid extermination of life?…

climate-poster

I am no role model. For my children must not live like me, eat like me, shop like me, travel like me, dream like me, because our planet cannot cope with another generation of middle-class North Americans treating the planet like its private sewer……..

Our kids earnestly recycle and reuse, but they are not really given much guidance in how to reduce. To reduce, consume less, do less, buy less, in our value system is ideologically associated with being less.

Nor are they given much guidance by their overworked parents about how to  engage in our admittedly flawed political landscape.  The fundamental changes required to slow down global warming demand that young people speak out as citizens, not just as consumers,  for policies that defend their right to clean air, water, soil and survival. Without such engagement, Klein argues, our democracy is a façade spinning PR for corporate interests.

Klein insists that the only thing that will save us is a collective standing up and telling the truth to power, both political and corporate, and that we must demand that our  leaders  guide  us and if needs be, regulate and yes, tax the bejeesus out of carbon at the source. It is the only path for urgently protecting this planet and the future of humanity.

But we must do the hardest job first: We must start by telling the truth to our children. http://montrealgazette.com/business/energy/opinion-do-we-have-the-courage-to-tell-our-children-the-truth-about-climate-change

November 6, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | 1 Comment

Nuclear power companies won’t be bankrupted by the next nuclear accident, but the USA might

exclamation-The chances of radiation disasters will increase further if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows US reactors to run for 80 years.

Captured by the industry it’s supposed to govern, the NRC has approved 149 reactor “power uprate” applications and has denied exactly one. Power uprates boost the output of old reactors beyond what their original licenses permit. It’s done by packing reactor cores with extra fuel rods and, feeling lucky, running them harder.

Chillingly, 23 operating US reactors are duplicates of the Fukushima-type General Electric Mark 1

Meanwhile, down at the nuclear power plant, something’s going wrong http://lasvegas.informermg.com/2014/11/02/meanwhile-safety-symbol-SmFlag-USAnuclear-power-plant-somethings-going-wrong/ November 2, 2014    Posted by:  By John LaForge

Weakening radiation standards, a cap on accident liability, reactor propaganda vs improvements, old units running past expiration dates, revving the engines beyond design specs …. You’d think we were itching for a meltdown.

The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended increased radiation exposure limits following major releases. It would save the industry a bundle to permit large human exposures, rather than shut down rickety reactors.

The EPA proposal is a knock-off prompted by Fukushima, because after the triple meltdown started three years ago, Japan increased — by 20 times — the allowable radiation exposures deemed tolerable for humans. Prior to the meltdowns of March 2011, Japan allowed one milliSievert of radiation per year in an individual’s personal space. Now, the limit is 20 milliSieverts per year. This is not safe, it’s just allowable, or, rather, affordable, since the cost of decontaminating 1,000 square miles of Japan to the stricter standard could bust the bank.

regulatory-capture-

The Price Anderson Act provides US reactor owners with a liability cap and a tax-payer bailout in the event of serious radiation releases. The law relieves utilities of hundreds of $billions in financial risk posed by our ongoing meltdown roulette game. The owners won’t be bankrupted by the next loss-of-coolant disaster, but the US might. Continue reading

November 6, 2014 Posted by | safety, USA | 1 Comment

Republican control of Congress a boost for nuclear power companies

money-lobbyingFlag-USANuclear Power, Banks Seen Gaining in Republican Congress, Bloomberg,  By Todd Shields and Jim Snyder  Nov 5, 2014  Republican control of Congress may boost nuclear power and give banks eased enforcement of consumer laws, though it’s unlikely to yield a rollback of Obamacare over objections of a veto-wielding president.

Oil pipeline builder TransCanada Corp. (TRP) may find a way to advance the Keystone XL pipeline ……Success on these and other items backed by U.S. business will come only from negotiations between President Barack Obama and top leaders of the House and Senate, who in January will be Republican……..

Resolving where the nation sends nuclear waste may be an issue that brings Democrats and Republicans together after Obama and Harry Reid, the Nevada senator and until January majority leader, blocked funding for the proposed nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Solutions such as promoting on-site storage or establishing regional waste sites may now be possible, said Colin Hayes, a lobbyist at McBee Strategic and former Senate energy committee Republican aide.

That would be a boon for nuclear producers such as Chicago-based Exelon Corp. (EXC)……..http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-05/nuclear-power-banks-seen-gaining-in-republican-congress.html

November 6, 2014 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

End failed nuclear loan program – 35 organisations urge USA Dept of Energy

text-my-money-2Flag-USA35 clean energy organizations urge DOE to end nuclear loan program Green WorldMichael Mariotte November 3, 2014 Today, 35 clean energy organizations from across the country submitted formal comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) urging it to end its nuclear loan program. The comments are in response to a DOE solicitation seeking to revive the failed program which, after seven years, has succeeded only in providing one loan to a nuclear project (the Vogtle reactors in Georgia) whose executives publicly said they didn’t need it and offering a loan to another project (Calvert Cliffs-3 in Maryland) for which it would have been illegal for its principal to receive it.

Given that record, which the 35 groups termed an “abject failure,” DOE is now attempting to reframe its program–in direct conflict with its intent under the 2005 Energy Policy Act that created the program–to allow it to provide loans to “small modular reactors” that don’t yet exist and to bail out uneconomic reactors by providing low-interest loans to nuclear utilities to enable power uprates and to meet NRC-required safety upgrades.

In short, DOE still has $10.2 Billion available in this program that clearly has not worked as either its Congressional or DOE supporters had expected, or at least hoped. At this point, you’d think DOE would just want to cut its losses; instead, like a child with a dollar in a candy store, that money is burning a hole in DOE’s pocket.

The groups, however, were kind enough not to lay the blame on DOE for the program’s inability to spark the “nuclear renaissance” it was intended to do.

Instead, they wrote:

The DOE’s nuclear loan program has been an abject failure, even on its own terms. The reasons for that are many, and for the most part have been out of the control of DOE. They include increased competition in the electricity generation marketplace; the explosive growth in renewables as costs for renewable technology continue to plummet—a trend expected to continue for years if not decades; and, unfortunately, the rise in fracking-produced natural gas…………

The full comments are available here.

http://safeenergy.org/2014/11/03/35-clean-energy-organizations/

November 6, 2014 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Sound reasons for co-operation and a nuclear deal with Iran

highly-recommendeddiplomacy-not-bombs7 reasons not to worry about Iran’s enrichment capacity, ALMONITOR  5 Nov 14 Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are aiming to end the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program by Nov. 24. Iranian and US officials have confirmed that progress was made in the extremely complicated nuclear talks in mid-October in Vienna. …………The following are seven reasons not to be too overly concerned about Iran’s breakout capability:
  1. Under the current International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rules and regulations, the maximum level of transparency for nuclear activities would be secured by the implementation of its three arrangements: the Safeguard Agreement, Subsidiary Arrangement Code 3.1 and the Additional Protocol. The world powers negotiating with Iran have a clear understanding that Iran is ready to commit to all three arrangements in a final comprehensive agreement.
  2. Iran would be cooperative in capping its level of enrichment at 5% for the duration of the final agreement to assure non-diversion toward weaponization. The fissile uranium in nuclear weapons contains enrichment to 85% or more.
  3. To ensure that Iran’s enrichment activities do not lead to a bomb, Tehran would be willing to synchronize the number of centrifuges or their productivity to its practical needs and convert the product to oxide for a number of years. Iran’s major practical need is to provide fuel for the Bushehr plant in 2021, when its fuel-supply contract with Russia terminates. Practically, out of the current 22,000 centrifuges, Iran would need around 9,000 to 10,000 to provide enough fuel annually for the four fuel elements (out of a total 54 fuel elements) for Bushehr that Russia is contractually required to supply.
  4. Regarding the heavy water facility at Arak, Iran would be cooperative in placing greater monitoring measures and modifying the reactor to reduce the annual enriched plutonium production capacity of 8-10 kilograms (18-22 pounds) to less than 0.8 kilograms (1.7 pounds). Furthermore, the 0.8kg of material will be 78% fissile, which is too low for the production of nuclear weapons, and the timeline for redesigning and building the reactor will require another five to six years.
  5. Secularizing the supreme leader’s fatwa banning the production and stockpiling of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction would be a strong objective guarantee. Once the fatwa is secularized and operationalized, violation would be a criminal matter for the courts to pursue and punishable by law. Iran’s history makes it hard to dismiss the fatwa. After all, despite an estimated 100,000 deaths from Iraqi use of chemical weapons against Iran, it was a fatwa issued by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that kept Tehran from retaliating during the Iran-Iraq war.
  6. Iran has paid a high price for its nuclear program, having endured a barrage of draconian multilateral and unilateral sanctions to date. The sanctions imposed against Iran are far beyond those imposed on North Korea, which does possess nuclear weapons. The fact is that Iran has already paid the price for making a bomb, but neither wants nor has one, a clear indicator of its steadfastness on nonproliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
  7. If anyone were going to have made the decision to build nuclear weapons, it would have been former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet, during his eight years in the presidency, the IAEA found no evidence of an Iranian nuclear program geared toward weaponization, and his administration sought to normalize bilateral relations with the United States more than all his predecessors.

I am confident that Iran, the United States and the world powers genuinely seek to reach a deal and that there is no reason to extend the deadline beyond late November. The best strategy is to pursue a broad engagement with Iran to ensure that the decision to pursue a nuclear breakout will never come about. Iran and the United States are already tacitly and indirectly cooperating in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). A nuclear agreement would be a great boost to mutual trust and provide greater options for dealing not only with IS and the Syrian regime but also Afghanistan and Iraq — where both Washington and Tehran support the new governments in Kabul and Baghdad. Rather than focusing onenrichment capacity, Washington should weigh its capacity for relations with Iran.  http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/11/iran-nuclear-enrichment-uranium-iaea-fatwa-sanctions.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=a39e197e64-November_5_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-a39e197e64-93115393##ixzz3IKFLTdR3

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Reference, Uranium | Leave a 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

Ace Hoffman on USA’s Dept of Energy as a criminal organisation in its nuclear policies

text-wise-owlThe DOE demands that we keep the nuclear waste here for what may be eternity, because if there is an accident, it will be virtually impossible to clean up.  Areas around Chernobyl and Fukushima are not going to be open to human habitation for tens of thousands of years — and only then because the poisons, active down to the last atom, have spread out amongst the rest of the biosphere to kill, maim, disfigure and deform there as well.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is committing treason. Ace Hoffman, 5 Nov 14   They are playing with American’s minds by forcing us to accept nuclear waste in our midst.  They are usurping our rights as citizens, they are appropriating weapons of mass destruction, and they are targeting US with those weapons.

The DOE is a criminal organization.  No doubt about it.

They are playing a high-stakes game with Russia which, if it results in just 1% of the nuclear arsenal of each country being used, would effectively permanently destroy both countries.  Several other countries are involved in this high-stakes game (China, Britain, France, etc..) but America and Russia are the bully players.

The cost of the “game”?  Obama plans to put another trillion dollars into it.  And he’s the “peace” president!  In two years, who knows what a Republican might spend?  Two trillion? Three?

And to think that it’s spent under the name of “stewardship”!  Keeping the weapons cache safe.  Keeping it current. Continue reading

November 6, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Urgent need now for a nuclear deal with Iran

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranThe time for a nuclear deal with Iran is now The Guardian, Thursday 6 November 2014 We urge the the EU3+3 countries (the UK, Germany and France and the US, China and Russia) and Iran to reach agreement on a comprehensive nuclear deal by the 24 November deadline. Postponing the final tough decisions ahead is likely to provide more opportunities for those opposing the diplomatic track to spoil this process. This is especially so when creative technical solutions have been formulated and a deal is within reach – a deal that will peacefully and effectively address proliferation concerns of the EU3+3 over Iran’s nuclear programme, while respecting Iranian legitimate aspirations and sovereignty.The interim nuclear deal signed in November 2013 provided the most robust assurances for the EU3+3 to date by placing rigorous monitoring over Iran’s nuclear programme while capping and rolling back its enriched uranium output. To reach this stage of negotiations, Europeans have invested extensive resources by carrying the economic costs of an unprecedented sanctions regime against Iran as well as the regional consequences of pursuing isolation of Tehran.  Europe must seize this moment to encourage the negotiating parties to address the outstanding areas through reasonable compromises while steering clear of issues that are not essential to a good deal. Europeans should also work with the US administration in reassuring sceptical regional allies of the long-term strategic benefits entailed in a final nuclear deal.

The cost of failed negotiations should also be borne in mind. …….http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/05/time-for-nuclear-deal-with-iran-now

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Germany to speed up the phase-out of coal, as well as of nuclear power

logo-Energiewendeflag_germanyGermany looks to fast-track exit from coal, as well as nuclear http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/germany-looks-dump-coal-well-nuclear-16716  By  on 5 November 2014 Germany is looking to achieve exactly what Australia says is not possible – and wean one of the world’s largest manufacturing economies off coal – as well as shutting down nuclear.

The conservative government of Chancellor Angela Merkel last week issued a discussion paper proposing to implement the strictest controls on coal fired generation yet to be seen in Europe, and to redesign its energy system around renewables, which will account for around two thirds of supply within two decades.

The discussion paper has been prompted by the need to deal with massive over-capacity in its energy system, and as Germany commits to phasing out the remainder of its nuclear generators by 2022 and sourcing nearly half of its electricity supply from renewables – hydro, biomass, wind and solar – within a decade.

The government discussion paper said too many fossil-fired power plants are in the system and overcapacities “have to be cut” to help meet climate targets. The response is in stark contrast to the situation in Australia, where the conservative government of Tony Abbott is using the argument of “overcapacity” to shut down the pipeline of new renewable energy projetcs, rather than forcing coal to exit the market. Continue reading

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

Risk of tsunami – a threat to at least 8 countries with nuclear power plants

nuke-&-seaL8 Countries With Nuclear Power Plants Most At Risk Of Tsunamis. Oil Price, By Andrew Topf | Tue, 04 November 2014 The tsunami that destroyed a nuclear reactor at Fukushima, Japan, caused a major re-think of nuclear power, which up to the accident in 2011, had been considered a relatively safe, clean form of electricity generation……..

Oilprice.com took a look at the countries whose nuclear power plants would be most vulnerable to a tsunami. We based our list – which is in no particular order – on a report by the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS), part of the European Commission, which mapped out the world’s geographic zones that would be at most risk of large tsunamis. We then cross-referenced those countries with information from the World Nuclear Association, on each country’s nuclear program. According to the CORDIS report, 23 nuclear power plants with 74 reactors were identified in high-risk areas. The riskiest country was China, which has 27 reactors currently under construction, the largest number in the world. Of those 27, 17 are being built in areas considered dangerous for tsunamis.
China….
Taiwan…..
Japan…..
South Korea…..
United States….
Pakistan….
India ….
Iran…..  http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/8-Countries-With-Nuclear-Power-Plants-Most-At-Risk-Of-Tsunamis.html

 

November 6, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, oceans, safety | Leave a comment

UK’s Windscale nuclear disaster spread radiation much further than previously thought

map-radiation-from-Windscalflag-UKWindscale fallout underestimated Rebecca Morelle  Science reporter, BBC News 6 Oct 2007 The radioactive fallout from a nuclear accident that rocked Britain 50 years ago was underestimated, scientists say.

In 1957, a fire at the Windscale nuclear reactor in Cumbria led to a release of radioactive material that spread across the UK and Europe.

But new research claims the incident generated twice as much radioactive material and could have caused more cancers than was previously thought.

The research was published in the journal Atmospheric Environment. Risky act 

The Windscale site was home to Britain’s first two nuclear reactors – the Windscale Piles – which were constructed to produce plutonium and other materials for the UK’s nuclear weapons programme.

But the rush to build them when little was known about nuclear reactors led to what was at the time the world’s biggest nuclear disaster, although it was later dwarfed by Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

On 10 October 1957, a failure to properly control the temperature of the graphite moderator within the Windscale No 1 pile sparked a devastating fire, which caused radioactive contamination to spew into the atmosphere.

The fire was eventually put out by restricting the air flow, and with water – a risky act which could have caused an explosion – but a radioactive cloud was already spreading far and wide.

At the time of the accident the levels and spread of the radioactive materials was estimated, and measures were put in place to limit radioactive contamination. But a new study carried out by John Garland, formerly of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, and Richard Wakeford, a visiting professor at the University of Manchester, suggests the contamination of the environment may have been much higher………http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7030536.stm

November 6, 2014 Posted by | environment, history, UK | Leave a comment

Australia’s Alternative Peoples Summit

Australia: Alternative G20 ‘People’s Summit’ planned for Brisbane, Asian Correspondent, By  Nov 04, 2014 An alternative G20 People’s Summit led by an indigenous people’s group will be held separately in Brisbane in response to the Coalition Government’s exclusion of climate change from the G20 Summit 2014 agenda. The three-day People’s Summit will take place on Nov. 12-14, ahead of the G20 leaders summit on Nov. 15-16.

While Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will welcome delegations of the G20 for talks on global economic issues and cooperation, climate activists and  civic groups will take to thestreets and other venues in Brisbane to highlight what is missing in the leaders’ summit agenda. The Brisbane Community Action Network – G20 (BrisCAN–G20) was created to question the policies enshrined in the free market ideologies of the G20. BrisCAN-G20 wants “to reframe public G20 discourse around issues that impact people, communities and environment; issues that are not addressed or have been ridden roughshod over by the G20 to date.”

Abbott argued that G20 is an economic summit, not a climate summit. He stands by his word, ignoring his disappointed European counterparts and US President Barack Obama.

In September this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted the UN Climate Summit in New York, but Abbott did not show. Managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, later noted that climate change should be discussed during the G20 Summit in Brisbane, but Abbott said the G20 is meant to focus primarily on economic growth. He said other issues would only clutter the issue and distract from the summit’s focus. Obama’s international adviser, Caroline Atkinson, also expressed disappointment and was reported to have said, “the idea that Abbott is preventing a discussion on climate change is laughable.”………

Abbott is a self-confessed climate sceptic. He already scrapped the carbon tax, and the nation’s renewable energy target is under threat……..http://asiancorrespondent.com/127944/australia-alternative-g20-peoples-summit-set-in-brisbane/

November 6, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Ponzi economics: endless growth in a finite ecology

Ponzi schemes are stable for a short while in their initial operations, but depend on unrestricted growth through finding ever-more new investors. Ponzis have to collapse because of their growth and they can’t exist without it.

To grow or not to grow

So it is with modern economics; growth is the central mantra, but no system dependent on finite resources can continue to grow forever.

economics-falseModern economics count on Ponzi ecology ABC Science Capitalist economies suffer from

the lack of scope and accounting for all the environmental resources needed to make them work, argues Paul Willis. 5 Nov 14  Recently an ecologist friend of mine commented that modern capitalist economies are little more than elaborate Ponzi schemes, complicated frauds that can only end in their own spectacular collapse in direct proportion to their stratospheric success………

The problem with a Ponzi scheme is that it can only sustain paying profits in the initial stages, as long as an increasing number of new investors enter the scheme. Once there is a decline in the number of new investors, the profits cannot be paid to the older investors and the whole scheme comes undone with most investors losing their investment without seeing any profit………

Ecological flaws

Continue reading

November 6, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, environment | Leave a comment

Heat-related deaths from climate change: Australians particularly vulnerable

climate-AustCoal exports a killer for thousands’, says ANU academic Elizabeth Hanna  THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 04, 2014 TONY Abbott’s declaration that coal is good for humanity has been attacked by Australian ­National University academic ­Elizabeth Hanna, who warns thousands of people will be ­sentenced to death if Australia keeps exporting it.

Dr Hanna, whose research was included in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, predicted Australia faced days hotter than 50C within 10 or 15 years under continuing global warming and this would dramatically increase the number of heat-related deaths.

If that happens, “we are at risk of mass-death events in Australia, similar to the death tolls due to ­extreme heat overseas’’, she said.

“In 2003, 70,000 people died in Europe and 55,000 died in Russia in 2010 due to extreme heat.”

Asked on Radio National about the Prime Minister’s support for coal, Dr Hanna said that Mr Abbott’s government was “captive to the vested interests” and eventually would be held to account. “Now if they continue to ­ignore this message they are sentencing thousands and thousands to their deaths,” she said.

Dr Hanna, the president of the Climate and Health Alliance, in a following interview with The Australian, stood by her comments and went further:…….http://m.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/coal-exports-a-killer-for-thousands-says-anu-academic-elizabeth-hanna/story-e6frg6xf-1227111379081

November 6, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

German power companies discreetly trying to sell their holdings in URENCO

highly-recommendedflag_germanyTicking nuclear time bomb up for grabs URANTRANSPORT.De 3 Nov 14 As discretely as possible, the German power companies EON and RWE are trying to sell their holdings in URENCO, the tri-national company that produces weapons-grade uranium. The prominent German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, reported that not only respectable potential buyers are lining up to bid and that intelligence services are on alert.

The German URENCO plant is located at Gronau, a small town only a stone’s throw away from the border with the Netherlands. And not far into that country is another URENCO plant at Almelo.

The newspaper incorrectly describes Gronau as “the last bastion of the nuclear industry in Germany”, which it is not. There is also a nuclear fuel plant at Lingen and centrifuge research and development in Jülich, run jointly by a Urenco/Areva subsidiary.

With a world market share of 31% the German-Dutch-British URENCO, which also operates plants in the UK and the USA, is one of the major suppliers of nuclear fuel. Almost unnoticed by the general public, URENCO keeps Germany a major player in nuclear power, which officially is planned to end in the country in 2023.

As the newspaper points out, “URENCO possesses highly sensitive knowledge: the key to the atom bomb“.  The one-third-each owners, which apart from the two power companies include the British and Dutch governments, want to sell the firm to investors.Ten billion euros is one figure being mentioned. Bids to be accepted until the end of December.

It’s a scary scenario: “Up for sale is the simplest path to the atom bomb,” suggests Michael Sailer of the Eco-Institute in Darmstadt, an advisor on nuclear matters to the German government.

Finance circles say the list of potential buyers includes firms and hedge funds around the world, in Canada, Japan, Britain, Hong Kong, India and the Middle East. There’s even talk of questionable billionaires and states.

Experts say in Gronau alone enough highly enriched uranium to make a bomb could be produced in a few weeks.

If the state owners give up their controlling majority, it will get ever harder to protect the technology against unpermitted access, notes Sailer. “I find it irresposnible to leave a technology with such destructive power to the market.“

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung says secret documents from the Netherlands make clear how far plans to sell up are advanced in London and The Hague.

German parliamentarians have been told by the government that intelligence services have been brought in to study potential buyers. The same is said to be happening in Britain and The Netherlands.

“Every transfer of knowledge of uranium enrichment technology also increases the knowledge of atomic weapon technology,“ warns Sylvia Kotting-Uhl of the German Greens, and calls on the German government to veto the sale.

“We demand the immediate closure of the Gronau uranium enrichment plant,“ writes a group of activists in Muenster, which is close to Gronau, as well as centrifuge research and development in Jülich, run jointly by a Urenco/Areva subsidiary, ETC.

The Aktionsbündnis Münsterland gegen Atomanlagen (SOFA) will host an international uranium transportation conference from 28-30. November in Münster.

 

www.sofa-ms.dewww.urantransport.dewww.kein-castor-nach-ahaus.de

 

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Germany, safety, Uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment