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This week in nuclear and climate news

a-cat-CANNuclear Worker Study Affirms that Low Doses of Radiation are Deadly: Increased Cancer Risk Much Worse Than Previously Believed.

Vatican insists that United Nations must work for nuclear disarmament.

CLIMATE CHANGE “Too Furious For Human Intervention” — Climate Feedbacks Spur Out of Control Wildfires From Indonesia to Brazil.  Rich countries put planet on course for irreversible climate change.  Climate change is going to cost even more than was predicted.  Exxon’s campaign to spread doubt on the science of climate change. Political oblivion for ‘climate villains’ – Canada’s PM Harper, Australia’s PM Abbott.

JAPAN Many radiation related cancers to come, as Japan confirms Fukushima worker’s radiation caused cancer.Thyroid Cancer in Fukushima Children: 2011 to 2014.   Fukushima insect study shows there is no safe low level of ionising radiation.

USA.

UK. Sell EDF shares, because of Hinkley nuclear costs – says leading broker. Sheer folly of UK government’s super costly nuclear deal with China, while cutting renewable energy. UK nuclear deal is a golden handout to China.  Solar and storage could supply as much electricity to UK, as nuclear, at half the subsidy cost. Britain’s cost for new nuclear could buy 6 times the amount of wind energy.

CANADA Will Canada now oppose depleted uranium weapons? The legal tangle of corruption and CANDU nuclear company SNC Lavalin.

Pakistan refuses to limit tactical nuclear weapons.

Israel. Iran nuclear deal endorsed by Israel’s Nuclear Advisory Panel.

Russia Dissolves Non-Profit Groups Working for Transparency on Nuclear and Environmental Issues.

Spain. 50 years later, USA will clean up site of nuclear bombs’ crash in Spain.

October 24, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

“Hormesis” Advocates Dodge Scientific Rigor with “Special Pleadings” – Ties to Tobacco Industry & Koch Brother Exposed by CHP Emeritus: November 19th Comment Deadline Looms

text-relevantHormesis

Mining Awareness +

It is unfortunately not an exaggeration to say that the proposed 100 mSv put forth by the US NRC is a mass extermination protocol. The doings of the USNRC and DOE have become so far-fetched, and out of control, that it is difficult to believe even when you read it with your own eyes. Online historical documents, especially Congressional Hearings, suggest that they have been mostly out of control for 70 years, but people were unable, or had difficulty, accessing the information. This 100 mSv protocol appears an attempt to legalize and expand their deadly, nefarious, activities. It is also preparation for an imminent nuclear disaster in the US, and avoidance of clean-up by the public and private sector.

Besides the ties described below, by Robert Applebaum, the US Air Force has provided Ed Calabrese, and the U. of Mass-Amherst, at least $3.2 million from 1997 to 2018, apparently to…

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October 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Residents of St Louis County get cancer from long-term exposure to low level radiation

text-relevantFlag-USAThe threat of low-level radiation http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-radiation-to-blame-for-st-louis-county-cancer-cases/   VINITA NAIR CBS NEWS October 21, 2015, NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo.— A study released Wednesday by the World Health Organization said long-term exposure to radiation — even low levels — can dramatically increase the risk of dying from cancer.

Carl Chappell lost his 44-year-old son Steven to appendix cancer three months ago. CBS News talked with him and six of his neighbors, all of whom either had cancer or lost a parent or child to it.

They all grew up in North St. Louis County, where radioactive material left over from America’s nuclear weapons program was stored — thousands of dirty barrels — near a creek than ran alongside their playgrounds and backyards.

Using social media, the neighbors said they’ve documented more than 2,700 cases of cancer, auto-immune diseases and tumors in their area. Below: Landfill West Lake, St Louis

landfill West Lake St Louis

“They’re not statistics and they’re not numbers,” Mary Oscko, who has stage 4 lung cancer, told CBS News. “They were my neighbors.”

Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers lists 24 other sites in 10 states with low-level radioactive contamination that they are in the process of cleaning up. There are three other contaminated sites still under consideration for clean up. A former chemical processing plant in Queens, New York is one of them. Radiation barriers were installed as a “band-aid” solution in 2013.

Michael Feldmann with the Army Corps of Engineers says the cleanup moves slowly for a reason.

“In general, there are things that we need to move at the pace we are performing in order to protect the health and environment of the area,” Feldmann said.

Dr. Fasial Kahn is the director of public health in St. Louis County.

“Some disasters unfold slowly over time, and their true nature and extent and severity only becomes clear in terms of human cost once you start counting people around you,” Kahn said.

In North St. Louis County, neighbors have a list to keep track of who’s gotten sick — including 21 people who lived on the same street.

The residents told CBS News they believe they had long-term exposure to the low level contamination, a type of prolonged exposure that has never been studied.

October 24, 2015 Posted by | health, USA | 2 Comments

Many radiation related cancers to come, as Japan confirms Fukushima worker’s radiation caused cancer

“Thyroid cancer is commonly developed as a result of acute exposure to radioactive iodine 131, a product of nuclear fission…”

The British journalist also highlighted that the scientists have failed to mention that other radioactive elements emitted in the accident pose even more of a threat to the population’s health (in particular, 17.5 percent Cesium-137 and 38.5 percent Cesium 134).


text-relevantFukushima: Hundreds of Radiation-Related Cancer Cases on the Way in Japan, http://sputniknews.com/asia/20151023/1029014961/fukushima-radiation-cancer-threat-japan.html, 23 Oct 15  
The Japanese government has recently admitted that a worker at the Fukushima nuclear plant contracted cancer as a consequence of radiation exposure of 2011, British journalist Oliver Tickell points out, warning that there are many more cases on the way.

cancer_cells The Japanese government has officially confirmed that a worker at the Fukushima nuclear plant has contracted radiation-related cancer: the man has been diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukaemia.

“But that single ‘official’ cancer case is just the beginning. New scientific research indicates that hundreds more cancers have been and will be contracted in the local population. A 30-fold excess of thyroid cancer has been detected among over 400,000 young people below the age of 18 from the Fukushima area,” British journalist, author and health and environment issue campaigner Oliver Tickell wrote in his article for The Ecologist, citing a report entitled “Thyroid Cancer Detection by Ultrasound Among Residents Ages 18 Years and Younger in Fukushima, Japan: 2011 to 2014.”

The highest incidence rate ratio, using a latency period of 4 years, was observed in the central middle district of the prefecture compared with the Japanese annual incidence (incidence rate ratio = 50; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 25, 90),” the report read.

Tickell noted that during a first screening for thyroid cancer held four years after the Fukushima catastrophe among 298,577 youths, the disease was registered 50 times more frequently among those who lived in the most heavily irradiated zones than among other Japanese youth.

During a second screening carried out in April 2014 among 106,068 young people who lived in less contaminated areas of the Fukushima prefecture, the disease was 12 times more common than for the main population.

“Thyroid cancer is commonly developed as a result of acute exposure to radioactive iodine 131, a product of nuclear fission. Because iodine concentrates in the thyroid gland, thyroid damage including cancer is a characteristic marker of exposure to nuclear fallout,” Tickell elaborated, adding that iodine-131 constituted about 9.1 percent of the radioactive material released during the Fukushima disaster.

Quoting the report, Tickell called attention to the fact that “the incidence of thyroid cancer is high by comparison with the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986,” beating the drums over the possibility of a growing cancer threat in the region in the next four-five years.

That is not all, the British journalist added, emphasizing that the real exposure doses for residents could have been higher than had been reported by the authorities and the World Health Organization.

“We could infer a possibility that exposure doses for residents were higher than the official report or the dose estimation by the World Health Organization, because the number of thyroid cancer cases grew faster than predicted in the World Health Organization’s health assessment report,” the authors of the report underscored, as quoted by Tickell.

The British journalist also highlighted that the scientists have failed to mention that other radioactive elements emitted in the accident pose even more of a threat to the population’s health (in particular, 17.5 percent Cesium-137 and 38.5 percent Cesium 134).

“These longer-lived beta-emitters (30 years and two years respectively) present a major long-term hazard as the element is closely related to potassium and readily absorbed into biomass and food crops,” Tickell stressed.

The author bemoaned the fact the Japanese people also face a danger posed by “long lived alpha emitters like plutonium 239 (which has a half-life of 24,100 years) which is hard to detect.”

“Even tiny nano-scale specks of inhaled plutonium entering the lungs and lymphatic system can cause cancer decades after the event by continuously ‘burning’ surrounding tissues and cells,” Oliver Tickell warned.

October 24, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, health, Japan | Leave a comment

Sell EDF shares, because of Hinkley nuclear costs – says leading broker

cliff-money-nuclearBroker tells investors to sell EDF shares because of Hinkley Point costs,  http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/oct/22/broker-tells-investors-sell-edf-shares-hinkley-point-costs   Guardian, , 22 Oct 15, 

Investec Securities has ‘long-term concerns’ about financial strain the £18bn nuclear project will put the French energy group under.A leading City broker has called on investors to sell their shares in EDF, saying it has “long-term concerns” about the financial stresses on the French energy group from the £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset.

The sell note from Investec Securities comes a day after EDF signed a deal with China General Nuclear Corporation and said it would start work within weeks on the UK’s first new nuclear plant for 20 years.

The government has finally admitted what had been denied for years – that the contract for difference aid mechanism for the power station is effectively a state subsidy.

The fine print of a formal document from the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “The government confirms that it is not continuing the ‘no public subsidy policy’ of the previous administration.”

Coalition ministers always argued that any new nuclear plants would only be constructed if they could be done without subsidy.

“A long-dated project is the last thing that EDF needs, given the existing pressures on its balance sheet. Unless favourable disposals materialise, we fear the dividend will be a casualty,” said a research note from Harold Hutchison, utility analyst with Investec.

EDF, which is largely owned by the French state, has still not taken an irreversible investment decision or received the final documentation from the government on the controversial subsidy system.

But the state visit to Britain of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, was used as a platform to effectively launch the Hinkley scheme that EDF now says will be funded by debt and not underwritten by UK government guarantees.

Investec believes this will be difficult for EDF at a time when a new French energy law means the company must close some of its power stations while being encouraged to bail out its troubled engineering partner, Areva, through a merger.

EDF is also under financial stress because a new nuclear plant at Flamanville in Normandy, north-west France, has run far over budget and been hit by delays.

Opinion is polarised about whether Hinkley will provide useful baseload low carbon power or is a white elephant project that is far too expensive and stands little chance of being constructed on time. The first of two reactors is scheduled to open in 2025 and in theory could provide 7% of the UK’s electricity 24 hours a day for 35 years.

October 24, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, UK | Leave a comment

Los Alamos National Laboratory has radioactive materials stolen

CriminalFlag-USARadioactive material keeps getting stolen from nuclear lab, feds say http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/23/radioactive-material-keeps-getting-stolen-from-nuclear-lab-feds-say/   Federal officials say workers have stolen radioactive materials from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico multiple times this year.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Friday that the items were taken from an area that stores contaminated materials before they’re shipped elsewhere. A federal court filing says there have been 76 thefts by Los Alamos personnel in 2015.

An affidavit says lab officials contacted federal investigators on Sept. 30 to say a subcontractor’s employee had stolen items.

The day before, police responded to a call about a man throwing materials into bushes near the lab. Officers found several radioactive items, including a band saw that tested 500 times above the allowable limit for contamination.

A Los Alamos spokesman referred questions to the FBI, which didn’t respond to a request for comment.

October 24, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Pakistan refuses to limit tactical nuclear weapons

flag-pakistanFlag-USAPakistan tells US it won’t accept limits on tactical nuclear arms October 23, 201 Mehreen Zahra-Malik Islamabad:  Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who met US President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday, has rebuffed attempts to limit his country’s use of tactical nuclear weapons, Pakistani officials said.

Pakistan insists smaller weapons would deter a sudden attack by its  neighbour India, which is also a nuclear power. But the US worries they may further destabilise an already volatile region because their smaller size makes them more tempting to use in a conventional war.

The Obama administration is preparing to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan in an attempt to bolster the two countries’ relationship, despite Washington’s concerns about Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal.

The Federation of American Scientists, a leading US group that monitors the spread of nuclear weapons, published a report on Wednesday that shows that Pakistan has expanded its arsenal to between 110 and 130 warheads, up from 90 to 110 four years ago.

Officials in Washington have said they are exploring whether a deal might be possible to halt Pakistan’s deployment of tactical nuclear weapons that US experts fear are vulnerable to being launched without authorisation, or stolen, on the battlefield.

Pakistan says the US is demanding unreasonable limits on its use of nuclear weapons and not offering much in return apart from a hazy promise to consider Pakistan as a recognised recipient of nuclear technology………The Federation of American Scientists, a leading US group that monitors the spread of nuclear weapons, published a report on Wednesday that shows that Pakistan has expanded its arsenal to between 110 and 130 warheads, up from 90 to 110 four years ago.

Officials in Washington have said they are exploring whether a deal might be possible to halt Pakistan’s deployment of tactical nuclear weapons that US experts fear are vulnerable to being launched without authorisation, or stolen, on the battlefield.

Pakistan says the US is demanding unreasonable limits on its use of nuclear weapons and not offering much in return apart from a hazy promise to consider Pakistan as a recognised recipient of nuclear technology.  http://www.smh.com.au/world/pakistan-to-tell-us-it-wont-accept-limits-on-tactical-nuclear-arms-20151022-gkgees.html#ixzz3phoMZJnK

October 24, 2015 Posted by | Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Vatican insists that United Nations must work for nuclear disarmament

Holy See: world-nuclear-weapons-free (Vatican Radio) The Holy See on Thursday said it was “incumbent”  upon  the  United  Nations  “to  redouble  its  efforts” to implement provisions of treaties which aim to reduce  further  the  role  of  nuclear  weapons in international security.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, was speaking during a General Assembly meeting on Disarmament.

“Non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament are vital elements of advancing global security and  stability,” said Archbishop Auza. “Without them, the achievement of the just  adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is jeopardized.”

The full statement is below

New York, 22 October 2015

Mr. Chair,

My delegation extends congratulations to you as you lead the First Committee, the work of which is critical to the mandate of the United Nations to bring about a more peaceful and stable world.

At the outset of its seventieth  session, Pope Francis addressed the General Assembly and spoke directly of the challenges we deal with in this Committee. He noted that “the constant tendency to the proliferation of arms, especially weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons,” is contrary to the foundations of the fundamental juridical framework set out in the  Preamble and the  first Article of the Charter of  the United Nations,  and in practice denies them.

The  Pope affirmed that “an ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual  destruction  –  and possibly the  destruction of all mankind –  are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the  United Nations, which would end as ‘nations united by fear and distrust.’  There is an urgent need  to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the Non-proliferation Treaty, in  letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons.”

Recalling the words of Pope Francis and noting the failure of the Ninth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons  (NPT)  to agree on a final document,  the Holy See wishes to underline once more that nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction  are  irreconcilable with, and contrary to, an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and among States……..http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/10/23/holy_see_united_nations_must_work_for_nuclear_disarmament/1181365

 

October 24, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear deal endorsed by Israel’s Nuclear Advisory Panel

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-Israelflag-IranIsrael’s Nuclear Advisory Panel Endorses Iran Deal,  http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.681918   Haaretz, Chaim Levinson Haaretz Correspondent, 23 Oct 15 
Countering Netanyahu, government and most of opposition, nation’s Atomic Energy Commission maintains pact will prevent Tehran from developing nuclear bomb, source says. In defense establishment discussions of the Iranian nuclear agreement, Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, which advises the government on nuclear issues, has endorsed the pact, a source familiar with the commission’s stance told Haaretz Thursday. The panel’s position runs directly counter to that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, cabinet ministers and most of the political opposition.
The commission’s members say they are convinced that the April 2 agreement between Iran and the world powers will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. In recent years these experts have been analyzing information about Iran’s nuclear project, and estimating how far away the Islamic Republic was from developing a bomb. The panel’s viewpoint deals only with the technical aspects of the agreement, and not with the geostrategic implications of its non-technical clauses, such as the gradual lifting of sanctions on Iran.
The panel holds that any Iranian violation of the pact would be detected easily due to the outside surveillance and analysis methods being used on the Iranian nuclear project. In recent years Israel has invested considerable resources in developing technologies to locate and analyze nuclear activity, makes its available to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is charged with overseeing Iran’s compliance with the pact.
Thus, the source said, there is effectively no importance in the agreement’s much-criticized clause giving the Iranians 24 days’ advance warning prior to an IAEA inspection of nuclear sites or sites suspected of nuclear activity. The IAEA has technological means that make it possible to recreate the precise nature of the nuclear activity, going back not only 24 days but many years, the source noted.
In defense establishment discussions, the commission’s members stressed their satisfaction with the changes made in the nuclear reactor in Arak, a heavy-water reactor similar to the one in Dimona, in which Iran is trying to produce plutonium for the purpose of assembling a nuclear warhead. The panel maintains that the changes in the reactor that were added to the agreement block any possibility of producing the military-grade plutonium required for a bomb, and that there is no way of bypassing inspection and producing plutonium under the noses of the experienced IAEA inspectors. The committee also noted that the nature of the activity in the heavy-water reactors for producing plutonium can be monitored even without inspectors being inside the facility.
Regarding the enriched uranium reactors in Fordo and Natanz, the panel’s experts said the number of centrifuges for enriching uranium permitted to the Iranians – over 5,000 – is not ideal. However, they said the danger to Israel from bombs built on enriched uranium is not great, because such bombs are so heavy that it would be a daunting challenge for the Iranians to mount one on a ballistic missile that could reach Israel. Thus, said the source, even if the Iranians could enrich uranium to military grade — something barred by the nuclear agreement — they would remain far from being able to threaten Israel with nuclear attack.
The Atomic Energy Commission said that the panel’s position as presented in the article “was never voiced by anyone authorized by the Atomic Energy Commission.”

October 24, 2015 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Fukushima experiences 5.5 earthquake

5.5 earthquake shakes Japan’s Fukushima & Miyagi regions Rt.com : 21 Oct, 2015 A 5.5-magnitude earthquake has hit near the Fukushima prefecture in Japan, with residents of some 10 other prefectures feeling the tremor.

The quake occurred off the northeast coast of Japan. No tsunami warning has been issued.

The epicenter was near the Fukushima coastline, at a depth of 30 kilometers.

People in affected areas of Japan took to Twitter to say they felt the tremor……..https://www.rt.com/news/319243-japan-earthquake-fukushima-miyagi/

October 24, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Decadesof bungling over radioactive landfill in St Louis County

Bridgeton landfill Missouri 14How a six-figure deal from the 1960s blocked clean-up of radiotoxic site, Examiner, Byron DeLear , 13 Oct 15 One hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars. That’s how much money was offered by Contemporary Metals Corporation in 1962 to acquire all the contents of the world’s first nuclear waste dump. It may seem unbelievable and incredibly reckless by today’s standards for the U.S government to even consider off-loading thousands of tons of highly dangerous radioactive material to a small private entity, but at that time the dangers were neither fully known nor appreciated. A subsequent owner illegally dumped a large quantity of this radioactive material at the West Lake Landfill.

Today, an underground fire threatens to ignite these dangerous substances inundated with uranium, thorium, and radium — a radiotoxic concoction found to be unique to nuclear weapons-related waste. Recently, experts brought by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster estimate the fire could reach the radioactive waste in as little as 3-6 months. These same experts cite evidence of the radioactive contaminants leaching off-site into trees and groundwater. Emergency evacuation plans warning of a potential “catastrophic event” have also been released by St. Louis County — naturally, as can be expected, folks are growing restless.

Yesterday, four local school districts have sent letters to parents letting them know of the potential emergency and that the circumstances are being closely monitored. “We remain frustrated by the situation at the Landfill,” said Mike Fulton, superintendant of the Pattonville School District. “This impacts not only our community, but the entire St. Louis region.”

With the underground fire burning for nearly six years, four decades of inaction by a rotating cavalcade of shape-shifting private interests, numerous state and federal agencies, officials, and politicians, one might wonder:

What’s makes the West Lake Landfill case so special? — so absolutely unique a situation to have foisted upon this region a decades-long, ongoing saga of bungled management, finger-pointing, and negligence? Why hasn’t the site been cleaned-up? Continue reading

October 24, 2015 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Exxon’s campaign to spread doubt on the science of climate change

Exxon Sowed Doubt About Climate Science for Decades by Stressing Uncertainty

climate-changeCollaborating with the Bush-Cheney White House, Exxon turned ordinary scientific uncertainties into weapons of mass confusion. Inside Climate News, David Hasemyer and John H. Cushman Jr. 23 Oct 15 As he wrapped up nine years as the federal government’s chief scientist for global warming research, Michael MacCracken lashed out at ExxonMobil for opposing the advance of climate science.

His own great-grandfather, he told the Exxon board, had been John D. Rockefeller’s legal counsel a century earlier. “What I rather imagine he would say is that you are on the wrong side of history, and you need to find a way to change your position,” he wrote.

Addressed to chairman Lee Raymond on the letterhead of the United States Global Change Research Program, his September 2002 letter was not just forceful, but unusually personal.

No wonder: in the opening days of the oil-friendly Bush-Cheney administration, Exxon’s chief lobbyist had written the new head of the White House environmental council demanding that MacCracken be fired for “political and scientific bias.”

Exxon was also attacking other officials in the U.S. government and at the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), MacCracken wrote, interfering with their work behind the scenes and distorting it in public.

Exxon wanted scientists who disputed the mainstream science on climate change to oversee Washington’s work with the IPCC, the authoritative body that defines the scientific consensus on global warming, documents written by an Exxon lobbyist and one of its scientists show. The company persuaded the White House to block the reappointment of the IPCC chairman, a World Bank scientist. Exxon’s top climate researcher, Brian Flannery, was pushing the White House for a wholesale revision of federal climate science. The company wanted a new strategy to focus on the uncertainties.

“To call ExxonMobil’s position out of the mainstream is thus a gross understatement,” MacCracken wrote. “To be in opposition to the key scientific findings is rather appalling for such an established and scientific organization.”

MacCracken had a long history of collaboration with Exxon researchers. He knew that during the 1970s and 1980s, well before the general public understood the risks of global warming, the company’s researchers had worked at the cutting edge of climate change science. He had edited and even co-authored some of their reports. So he found it galling that Exxon was now leading a concerted effort to sow confusion about fossil fuels, carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect.

Exxon had turned a colleague into its enemy.

It was a vivid example of Exxon’s undermining of mainstream science and embrace of denial and misinformation, which became most pronounced after President George W. Bush took office. The campaign climaxed when Bush pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. Taking the U.S. out of the international climate change treaty was Exxon’s key goal, and the reason for its persistent emphasis on the uncertainty of climate science.

This in-depth series by InsideClimate News has explored Exxon’s early engagement with climate research more than 35 years ago – and its subsequent use of scientific uncertainty as a shield against forceful action on global warming. The series is based on Exxon documents, interviews, and other evidence from an eight-month investigation………. http://insideclimatenews.org/news/22102015/Exxon-Sowed-Doubt-about-Climate-Science-for-Decades-by-Stressing-Uncertainty

October 24, 2015 Posted by | climate change, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Public opinion in North Korea about nuclear weapons

flag-N-KoreaAsk a North Korean: what do you think about nuclear weapons? http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/23/ask-a-north-korean-nuclear-weapons

In an ongoing series, NK News poses a reader’s question to a North Korean defector. This week, pride in the government’s atomic exploration, Guardian, Je Son Lee for NK News, part of the North Korea network

Friday 23 October 2015 When I was still living in North Korea, the regime had a successful nuclear test. People were very proud of it, and afterwards we had a town hall meeting where my neighbours talked about how the US would no longer be able to boss us around.

Most North Koreans are very aware of the fact that other countries make fun of them, and look down on the DPRK, but many think it’s because the country is poor.

North Koreans are generally very curious about how they are perceived internationally, and reports are circulated among communities of discrimination and abuse suffered abroad – such as in China – which generate a feeling of self-consciousness.

Therefore, people in the DPRK have become very proud when they hear that the country has become a nuclear state. When they hear news like this, they think: “Our nation may still be poor. But we can [still] be one of the most powerful and influential nations in national defence.”

Justification

North Korea invests heavily in education, especially in teaching people about Japanese imperial rule and the era following independence.

The Japanese committed atrocities against unarmed, innocent Koreans, and Kim Jong-un’s government frequently highlights these acts of brutality when it justifie the possession of nuclear weapons.

Thanks to frequent reminders in school textbooks and history classes, North Koreans show more hostility toward Japanese than Americans.

Pictures and graffiti of Japanese and American soldiers committing acts of violence are painted on the buildings of kindergartens, schools and offices. If you had grown up being brainwashed and exposed to this from a young age, how would you feel? North Koreans begin to realise the importance of protecting their country.

This justifies the nuclear programme and weapons, but the government doesn’t teach its people about the negative sides and ordinary citizens have no way of finding out how dangerous they can be.

Of course, some North Koreans may hold different opinions on this issue. But from what I’ve seen, North Koreans are in favour of their government’s nuclear programme for one reason: they think it will protect them from powerful countries such as the US and Japan, and means they won’t have to go back to the time when Koreans had to suffer under the US military and Japanese imperialism.

Editing and translation by Elizabeth Jae. A version of this article first appeared on NK News, North Korea News

October 24, 2015 Posted by | North Korea, politics | Leave a comment

Italian energy giant Enel and Greenpeace together in aim to develop renewable energy

Former foes Greenpeace and energy giant Enel stand together in low-carbon push, Guardian,   , 22 Oct 15  New CEO, Francesco Starace, is taking the Italian firm in a new direction, investing in solar and wind to become the first ‘truly green energy giant’. Just a year ago the Italian energy giant Enel was in a bitter court battle with Greenpeace, which accused the utility’s coal plant pollution of killing people. Today, the two groups are firm friends and Greenpeace says Enel is on track to be the “first truly green energy giant”.

What changed was the observation by new Enel CEO, Francesco Starace, that the tide was flowing in only one direction for utilities – towards low-carbon energy – thanks to fast-dropping renewable energy costs, smarter and more-efficient grids and increasing government action on climate change.

“There is a huge tide flowing and you can decide in which direction you want to swim,” he told the Guardian in an interview. “The tide is not in our control – it is the evolution of technology. I think it is crazy if there is someone thinking that he can actually influence this.”

Enel, the biggest utility in the world by customer numbers, has taken the plunge and pledged never to build another coal plant and to be carbon neutral by 2050.

A few other major utilities, such as E.ON and Vattenfall are taking a few strokes in the same direction, but Starace thinks a flood of companies making similar waves is imminent. “You will have big surprises,” he says. “In the next 12 months you will see most of the companies more or less go the same way.”……..

He says the coal-fired power station opened in Chile this year will be Enel’s last: “Why would you put €1bn into something that takes 10 years to be built and by the time you finish, you find out there is no point in having it anymore. It is too slow to be fitting this world anymore.”

“Nuclear is the same story, but even worse: a longer time cycle,” Starace says. “Today’s nuclear technology – though not nuclear technology in general – is a dead end. The proof of it is that fact that these huge new plants are typically nightmares of engineering and construction.”

He says the reactors planned by French company EDF for the UK are the “best in class” of current technology but are the same dead end: “I admire that they have the guts to carry on but these plants are over-engineered and incredibly complex and very, very difficult to complete.”……..

Instead of fossil fuel projects, half of Enel’s £18bn growth investment over the next five years is going into solar and wind energy, ….

Another major European utility, Vattenfall, is selling its large German coal mines and power plants, again to focus on renewables. Greenpeace is looking to make friends with them too, suggesting they will raise the money to buy – then close – the coal assets.

And the former boss of another big German utility RWE npower, Volker Beckers, said last year that the fossil-fuel powered energy system had “reached its natural end”: he nowchairs a renewable energy fund and asmart grid company and is a trustee ofForum for the Future, the sustainability advisory outfit founded by environmentalist Jonathon Porritt……… http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/22/former-foes-greenpeace-and-energy-giant-enel-stand-together-in-low-carbon-push

October 24, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Italy | Leave a comment

Mr. Trudeau please stop Lake Huron nuke dump

Mr. Trudeau please stop Lake Huron nuke dump, Times Herald, 22 Oct 15  Dear Mr. Justin Trudeau:

Congratulations on your party’s victory this week in Canadian national elections. ………….One of the things we like hearing is that you and your party are “greener” than Mr. Harper. Already, pundits on both sides of the border are writing their obituaries for the Keystone XL pipeline, even though you’ve supported it in the past. They say you’re OK with the pipeline, but not rabid about it the way Mr. Harper was.

Which brings us to our concern here in Port Huron.

Ontario Power Generation wants to bury tons of nuclear waste at Kincardine, just a few kilometers from Lake Huron and the world’s largest supply of fresh surface water. Mr. Harper’s environment minister was expected to issue a final ruling on OPG’s application in December.

We understand that a new, Liberal Party government means a new environment minister, one who, like you, values the planet Earth and its environment more than the Conservatives did. We’re hoping, Mr. Trudeau, that you and your new environment minister see OPG’s nuclear waste storage facility as the environmental catastrophe it is and put a stop to it. http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/opinion/editorials/2015/10/22/mr-trudeau-please-stop-lake-huron-nuke-dump/74407766/

October 24, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment