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Paris the beginning of climate action – not the end

Paris offers a chance at a different story. Ambitions are more modest, and more realistic. No one is expecting the agreement to comprehensively achieve the 2-degree target. In fact, documents already released suggest it would allow temperatures to rise at least 2.7 degrees.

Success at Paris will be more subtle. It will be measured by whether incremental steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continue to be seen as a priority for the world, long after the excitement of the conference has passed away.

It will be the intangible measure of how the world’s attitude on climate change has shifted.

 

logo Paris climate1Don’t rely on grand treaties from the Paris climate summit http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-27/phillips-don’t-rely-on-grand-treaties-from-paris/6979176OPINION

By Sara Phillips If we want to avoid the disappointment we felt after the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference, we need to accept that the Paris meeting next week won’t be about signing some grand treaty, but about keeping up momentum for change, writes Sara Phillips.

Calm your farm, Greenies. Paris is an amazing city, but the United Nations conference on climate change to be held next week is not going to save the world. Continue reading

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November 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

How Radioactive was your Thanksgiving Dinner? How Radioactive will future Thanksgiving Dinners be?

Mining Awareness +

NRC Thanksgiving
Inane Thanksgiving greeting from the US NRC, which constantly whittles away public safety, making a major nuclear disaster imminent. They also allow legal leakage of lethal radioactive materials into the environment from nuclear reactors and other nuclear facilities on a routine basis.

How radioactive was your Thanksgiving Dinner? Unless it was organic and tested, or homegrown on tested soil, covered and watered with tested water, you will never know.

However, the US (FDA) allows 15 times more radiation (1500 Bq per kg) in US food than allowed in Japan (100 Bq). A kilogram (kg) is 2.2 pounds. This amount is called the DIL (Derived Intervention Level). It is so high that most food is apparently not tested at all. For Europe the level is 600 Bq, and if it comes from Japan the EU demands 100 Bq so that there is no radioactive food dumping. (Canada, Australia and New Zealand…

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November 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 27 Energy News

geoharvey

World:

¶ China’s emissions tied directly to burning fossil fuels may rise only 0.24% in 2015, the slowest pace in at least 15 years, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance preliminary estimate based on coal consumption data drawn from government customs reports, company production filings and port inventories. [Macau Daily Times]

China is boosting renewable energy at a time its coal consumption is dropping. China is boosting renewable energy at a time its coal consumption is dropping.

¶ Pakistan is looking to increase the share of renewable energy in its overall energy mix substantially and has announced a roadmap that will see around 3.5 GW wind energy capacity operational by 2018. Over 40 wind energy projects in various stages of development should contribute around 2,050 MW capacity by 2017-18. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Government of Bangladesh approved construction of a solar power project that is expected to play a critical role for the country to meet its renewable energy…

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November 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The unmentioned apocalyptic ISIS terror – attack on nuclear reactors

And official reports on the 9/11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center confirm that Al Quaeda also considered targeting atomic reactors.

The obvious answer to this global nightmare is to speed the transition to a renewable energy world.

No terror group can ever cause an apocalypse by blowing up a solar panel.

Nuclear Reactors Make ISIS an Apocalyptic Threat, EcoWatch,  | November 25, 2015 As you read this, a terror attack has put atomic reactors in Ukraine at the brink of another Chernobyl-scale apocalypse.

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Transmission lines have been blown up. Power to at least two major nuclear power stations has been “dangerously” cut. Without emergency backup, those nukes could lose coolant to their radioactive cores and spent fuel pools. They could then melt or explode, as at Fukushima.

Yet amidst endless “all-fear-all-the-time” reporting on ISIS, the corporate media has remained shockingly silent on this potential catastrophe.

Nor has it faced the most critical step needed to protect our planet in a time of terror: shutting all atomic reactors.

The world’s 430-plus licensed commercial nuclear plants give terrorists like ISIS the power at any time to inflict a radioactive Apocalypse that could kill millions, destroy huge parts of the Earth and devastate the global economy…… Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear energy not an option at climate talks, even if just because it’s uneconomic

globalnukeNONuclear energy off the table at climate change talks, EuroNews, 27 Nov  “….Essentially, world leaders will have to choose between atomic and renewable energy; a move welcomed by critics who say it is too risky as an energy source. Cyrille Cormier, is a energy and climate specialist for Greenpeace: “Nuclear energy is dangerous and dirty. It produces nuclear waste which is dangerous because we don’t know how to store it safely in the long-term, it has to be managed for between 100 and 1,000 years in some cases. Everyone knows that it’s also an energy which can cause terrible accidents.

The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster pushed many countries to draw up phase-out plans or a massive switch to renewables. ………. the demise of nuclear energy may be more linked to money. Costs for solar and wind energy have plummeted while the price of producing nuclear has soared because of increasing safety requirements. http://www.euronews.com/2015/11/26/nuclear-energy-off-the-table-at-climate-change-talks/

November 27, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear power to fix climate change? It’s just not going to happen

Future Prospects…….. Can nuclear power grow as rapidly as desired by those advocating it to mitigate climate change? For that to happen, nuclear power would have to increase its share of global generation relative to sources that are proving more economically competitive, such as natural gas and renewables — and that in turn would require vastly accelerated and expanded reactor construction at prices that make sense relative to these other sources.

globalnukeNOAll of this is quite apart from the other well-known and widespread concerns about nuclear power: the potential for severe accidents, the linkage to nuclear weapons and the production of long-lived radioactive waste. These challenges will not disappear and indeed may only grow worse, which is why nuclear’s prospects as a significant climate change mitigator are feeble to nonexistent.

Nuclear Power Is No Fix for Climate, Energy Intelligence, M.V. Ramana27 November 2015

As we approach this year’s climate talks in Paris, several policymakers and organizations dealing with energy have stated publicly that an expansion of nuclear power is needed to combat global warming. The Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have argued on their websites that “to limit the rise in global mean temperatures to 2°C” nuclear energy has to increase its share of global electricity production from “11% in 2014 to 17% in 2050.”What are the prospects of an expansion of nuclear power such that it increases its electricity market share by over 50% in about 35 years? The short answer is that they are slim at best.

Several technical and economic challenges confront such a large and relatively rapid expansion of nuclear reactor construction; these challenges suggest that although nuclear power will remain part of electricity generation in several countries, its prospects for significant growth are limited. In addition, there are social problems; in particular, sustained public opposition in most countries around the world, a sentiment that was clearly apparent in 2011 after the multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant……..

As of November 2015, the IAEA reported a total of 441 “operational reactors” in 31 countries and Taiwan, with a combined generating capacity of nearly 382 gigawatts of electricity. However, not all of these “operational reactors” are necessarily operating. Apart from reactors that are shut down for routine maintenance or refueling, this count includes 43 reactors in Japan, only two of which are operating and generating electricity. Most of these reactors are concentrated in just a few countries — over half are in just four countries, if one counts the ones in Japan.

The IAEA also lists 65 reactors under construction with a total capacity of over 64 GW. Some of these will likely never be completed (e.g. two reactors in Japan), and some have been under construction for lengthy periods of time — most notably the US Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar-2 which may see commercial operation next year after a 43-year on-again, off-again construction period………

As with the reactor fleet, construction is also concentrated in a few countries: China alone accounts for nearly a third of the reactors under construction, and, with Russia and India, comprises over half the total number. This growth, in particular China’s rapid pace of building nuclear plants, has led some to expect an increase in nuclear power’s market share. But this is not a valid conclusion for two reasons.

First, China’s targets for nuclear power have declined significantly after Fukushima. In 2010, the official target for nuclear capacity in 2020 was 70 GW, and there were reports that it was or had been as high as 114 GW. The current target is 58 GW by 2020, and even meeting that lower target is a challenge. Second, China is not constructing only nuclear reactors, but also coal power plants, hydroelectric dams, wind turbines and solar plants at a tremendous rate. Hence, it is easy to see that nuclear power’s share of the electricity production in China — only 2.39% in 2014 — is unlikely to increase significantly for decades even if current Chinese nuclear plans go through without any further hitches.

India’s nuclear share has also remained in the 2% to 4% rangefor a couple of decades. Its nuclear program, which dates back to the 1950s, is notable for ambitious expansion plans that have never been met and there are good reasons to expect the same in the future. For example, in 2010, the head of India’s Atomic Energy Commission projected a capacity of 35 GW by 2020. The current expectation is for a little over 10 GW of installed capacity by that time.

In fact, even the IAEA, which historically has always been very optimistic about nuclear energy’s prospects, and which has as one of its objectives “to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy,” has lowered its sights:  : The latest of its projections for nuclear power’s share in 2030 ranges from 11.3% to 8.6%, with even lower projections for 2050. This is much lower than foreseen by the agency a decade ago, when it projected the nuclear share declining only to 15%-17% by 2020 and 13%-14% by 2030, and far lower than the 17% by 2050 target it claims is necessary for climate mitigation. This decline in future projections is a function of both anticipated reactor shutdowns due to aging and a reduced rate of construction of new reactors.

Is Nuclear Power Competitive?……

Future Prospects…….. Can nuclear power grow as rapidly as desired by those advocating it to mitigate climate change? For that to happen, nuclear power would have to increase its share of global generation relative to sources that are proving more economically competitive, such as natural gas and renewables — and that in turn would require vastly accelerated and expanded reactor construction at prices that make sense relative to these other sources.

All of this is quite apart from the other well-known and widespread concerns about nuclear power: the potential for severe accidents, the linkage to nuclear weapons and the production of long-lived radioactive waste. These challenges will not disappear and indeed may only grow worse, which is why nuclear’s prospects as a significant climate change mitigator are feeble to nonexistent…..http://www.energyintel.com/pages/worldopinionarticle.aspx?DocID=906841

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Fukushima: pressure of groundwater causing underground wall around reactors to lean and crack

safety-symbol-SmTV: Underground wall around Fukushima reactors started “leaning” — Cracks developing due to rising water levels — Problems seen along almost entire length of sea wall — Trying to make repairs to keep groundwater from surging (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/nhk-underground-wall-around-fukushima-reactors-started-lean-rising-water-levels-causing-cracks-develop-problems-occuring-along-almost-entire-length-sea-wall-tepco-trying-make-repairs-keep-gro?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

NHK World, Nov 25, 2015 (emphasis added): Groundwater wall at Fukushima plant leans slightly — The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has found that a wall it built 30 meters into the ground to block the flow of radioactive water is leaning slightly. {TEPCO] built the steel barrier along a coastal embankment to stop contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea… TEPCO inspectors found that the wall is leaning up to some 20 centimeters toward the sea. They say this is due to the pressure of the groundwater flow. The officials also blamed rising groundwater levels for cracks found in the embankment’s pavement. The utility says workers are buttressing the wall with steel pillars…

NHK (Google translation), Nov 25, 2015: In TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, it can be seen that the equipment called “impervious wall”, which was completed last month in order to reduce the outflow of the contaminated groundwater, are slightly tilted to the sea side… [T]he pavement of the seawall also cracked… When depends on the Tokyo Electric Power Company, after the “impervious wall” has been completed, it is that it’s because thewater level of the land side of the groundwater is rising.

Fukushima Minyu Shimbun (Google translation), Nov 26, 2015: …  sea side wall is inclined about 20 centimeters at the maximum to the sea side, cracks of up to about 1 centimeter has occurred in the pavement of the seawall. That inclination and cracks have occurred in almost the entire sea side wall… TEPCO, rain water enters the cracks of the pavement, so that the groundwater does not surge, is promoting the repair to block the cracks spraying resin.

Watch NHK’s broadcast her

November 27, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste storage in rock salt not as safe as they thought

wastes-1Nuclear waste storage sites in rock salt may be more vulnerable than previously thought, Phys Org 
November 26, 2015 
Research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that rock salt, used by Germany and the United States as a subsurface container for radioactive waste, might not be as impermeable as thought or as capable of isolating nuclear waste from groundwater in the event that a capsule or storage vessel failed.

text-wise-owlA team of researchers from the university has used field testing and 3-D micro-CT imaging of laboratory experiments to show that rock salt can become permeable. Their findings, published in the Nov. 27 issue of Science, has implications for oil and gas operations, and, most notably,  storage. The team includes researchers from the university’s Cockrell School of Engineering and Jackson School of Geosciences.

“What this new information tells us is that the potential for permeability is there and should be a consideration when deciding where and how to store nuclear waste,” said Maša Prodanovic, assistant professor in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. “If it’s an existing nuclear waste storage site, you may want to re-evaluate it with this new information.”

Salt generally blocks fluid flow at shallow depth, a feature that allows oil reservoirs to form. But scientists have long suspected that salt becomes permeable at greater depth. Jackson School professor James E. Gardner confirmed this theory through laboratory experiments with synthetic rock salt……

The critical takeaway is that salt can develop permeability, even in absence of mining activity,” said assistant professor Marc A. Hesse of the Jackson School’s Department of Geological Sciences. “Further work is necessary to study the quantity of flow that can occur.”

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, in Carlsbad, New Mexico, stores low-level nuclear waste in salt beds beneath the ground. However, high-level waste from the nation’s nuclear energy sector is stored at the power plants in pools or dry casks, methods that are considered temporary solutions. For decades there has been a proposal to build a permanent central repository under Nevada’s Yucca Mountains, but that proposal has stalled because of political and regulatory hurdles. This has renewed interest in rock salt as an alternative permanent storage solution for high-level nuclear waste. In this context, the findings of the team from UT Austin provide a timely reminder that  is a dynamic material over long timescales.

Ghanbarzadeh hopes that “our discovery encourages others to ask questions about the safety of current and future disposal sites.”  http://phys.org/news/2015-11-nuclear-storage-sites-salt-vulnerable.html#jCp

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear operators want to extend reactor lives to 80 years!

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If the nuclear reactor is 75 years old and faulty – will the company still be around to pay the costs? 

“Just like a car and plane, power reactors get old year by year,” Yoshiaki Himeno, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, said by e-mail. While owners refurbish parts and renew the systems, “the question is how long they can continue those repairs and renewals from economical and safety points of view.

America Set to Decide Whether a Nuke Can Outlive a Human, Bloomberg,    , 26 Nov 15

  • Dominion Resources first to request extension to 80 years
  • Move to push reactor life beyond 78.8-year human average
 The U.S. is set to become the first nation to decide whether it’s safe to operate nuclear power plants for 80 years, twice as long as initially allowed.

The majority of the nation’s 99 reactors have already received 20-year extensions to their original 40-year operating licenses. Now, operators led by Dominion Resources Inc. want to expand the time frame further, potentially creating a precedent for an aging global fleet at a time when the economics of the industry are undergoing dramatic change.

Dominion said earlier this month it will request an extension from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the industry. The plan has already raised the ire of anti-nuclear campaigners who cite decades of wear and tear on the nation’s reactors, as well as the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. The NRC will release a draft report next month outlining safety measures needed to extend the time line.

 “The reality of life is the risks go up” as plants age, Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Natural greenhouse gases increase with higher temperatures: will ,accelerate global warming

highly-recommendedGlobal warming will be faster than expected http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/climate-change2015/11/151126104037.htm November 26, 2015

Source:
Linköping Universitet
Global warming will progress faster than what was previously believed. The reason is that greenhouse gas emissions that arise naturally are also affected by increased temperatures. This has been confirmed in a new study that measures natural methane emissions.
“Everything indicates that global warming caused by humans leads to increased natural greenhouse gas emissions. Our detailed measurements reveal a clear pattern of greater methane emissions from lakes at higher temperatures,” says Sivakiruthika Natchimuthu, doctoral student at Tema Environmental Change, Linköping University, Sweden, and lead author of the latest publication on this topic from her group.

Over the past two years the research team at Linköping University has contributed to numerous studies that all point in the same direction: natural greenhouse gas emissions will increase when the climate gets warmer. In the latest study the researchers examined the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from three lakes. The effects were clear and the methane emissions increased exponentially with temperature. Their measurements show that a temperature increase from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius almost doubled the methane level. The findings was recently published in Limnology and Oceanography.

While increased anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are expected and included in climate predictions, the future development of the natural emissions has been less clear.

Now knowledge of a vicious circle emerge: greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels lead to higher temperatures, which in turn lead to increased natural emissions and further warming.

“We’re not talking about hypotheses anymore. The evidence is growing and the results of the detailed studies are surprisingly clear. [DB1] The question is no longer if the natural emissions will increase but rather how much they will increase with warming,” says David Bastviken, professor at Tema Environmental Change, Linköping University.

This means that warming will be faster than expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions alone. According to Professor Bastviken this also means that any reductions in anthropogenic greenhouse emissions is a double victory, by both reducing the direct effect on warming, but also by preventing the feedback with increased natural emissions.

 

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | 1 Comment

Nuclear giants AREVA and Hitachi to help dismantle Japan’s nuclear recators

French group to help Japan dismantle nuclear reactors November 26, 2015http://phys.org/news/2015-11-french-group-japan-dismantle-nuclear.html   French nuclear giant Areva said Thursday it had linked up with Hitachi GE Nuclear Energy to help Japan dismantle boiling-water nuclear power stations. Following a massive accident at the Fukushima reactor, hit by a tsunami in 2011, Japan said it would shut down 11 nuclear reactors, although it has put two back on stream this year.
money-in-wastes-2

Areva was involved in the Fukushima clean-up, but that reactor is not covered by the new agreement, the French group said in a statement. It has been working with Hitachi to improve Japanese reactors’ safety for the past two years.

Areva’s role will now be to participate in preliminary studies for dismantling boiling-water reactors.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has been pushing for a return to nuclear  to generate electricity after Japan’s several dozen  went offline in the wake of the 2011 disaster.

The resource-poor nation’s energy bill has soared since it was forced to turn to fossil-fuel imports to plug the gap.

But the Japanese public remains wary of atomic power, and Abe’s push has prompted rare protests and damaged his popularity.

November 27, 2015 Posted by | decommission reactor, France, Japan | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dump a danger to water, threat to Nevada’s farming community

Oscar-wastesNevada says national nuclear dump could harm farm community,Naples
Herald, By Nov 23, 2015 BY KEN RITTER  
LAS VEGAS (AP)
water-radiationRadioactive well-water contamination could threaten some 1,400 people in a rural farming community if federal regulators allow the nation’s deadliest nuclear waste to be buried in the Nevada desert, state officials said in a report issued Friday.

A 53-page document submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission derides environmental assessments of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository as legally inadequate. It also characterizes the project itself as “an unworkable waste management plan at an unsafe repository site.”

 The state says groundwater studies don’t properly address the danger to people in nearby Amargosa Valley or the cultural and spiritual effect that construction of the repository would have on Native Americans.

“In the end, there are real people there,” said Robert Halstead, chief of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects and the top state official leading opposition to the project.

“That’s the thing about the way the NRC has approached the whole process,” Halstead said Friday. “Their maps imply there is no population there. They label it as the Amargosa desert.”

George Gholson, chairman of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, submitted additional comments Friday accusing commission officials of failing to evaluate effects that building the project would have on tribal members.

“Radioactive contamination of groundwater and springs … affronts the Timbisha’s way of life, is disrespectful to cultural beliefs, and constitutes an environmental justice infringement on the rights of a sovereign nation,” the letter said.

The documents amount to the state staking its legal ground to oppose the Yucca Mountain project. They came on the last day of an environmental study comment period ahead of yet-to-be-scheduled licensing hearings and amid calls from some in Congress to restart the long-mothballed project.

Commission officials didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

More than three decades of study yielded findings that water seeping through tunnels containing some 77,000 tons of spent nuclear reactor waste could become contaminated and slowly migrate into groundwater west along the normally dry course of the ancient Amargosa River, toward Death Valley in California……..

A federal appeals court breathed new life into the project in 2013 with an order that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission either approve or reject the Energy Department license application.

Officials say a full slate of licensing hearings could take at least three years. http://naplesherald.com/2015/11/23/nevada-says-national-nuclear-dump-could-harm-farm-community/

November 27, 2015 Posted by | USA, wastes, water | Leave a comment

France’s new energy law to drastically limit electricity from nuclear power

radiation-sign-sadflag-franceFrance’s nuclear industry on back foot over new energy law, Ft.com Michael Stothard in Paris ,26 Nov 15  Designed to shift France on to a greener footing ahead of next week’s climate change conference in Paris, the adoption of a new energy law has instead alarmed the country’s powerful nuclear industry and raised fundamental questions about the country’s energy mix.

The long-awaited energy transition law was finally passed with nearly 1,000 amendments and after a gruelling 150 hours of parliamentary debate.

Under the controversial legislation parliamentarians agreed to drastically reduce the country’s output of nuclear energy from 75 per cent of the current total to 50 per cent by 2025. They also committed to sizeable increases in the use of renewable energy to make up for the shortfall in nuclear energy production and targeted a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Overall energy consumption would fall by a fifth by 2030 under the new law……..
The energy debate has raised questions about the future of France’s nuclear industry, long a source of national pride, and comes on the eve of a climate conference in Paris aimed at reaching a new global accord on reducing carbon emissions.“All the world is watching,” said Ségolène Royal, France’s energy minister, at a climate change event this month in Paris. “Changing the way we consume energy is key to our preparation for the climate summit.”……

November 27, 2015 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Coal ash is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste

text-radiationCoal ash is NOT more radioactive than nuclear waste http://www.cejournal.net/?p=410   The idea that coal ash is 100 times more radioactive than nuclear waste has been making the rounds among bloggers and Twitterers discussing the coal ash catastrophe in Tennessee, thanks to a headline which makes that assertion in Scientific American online. In fact, Google the words in the headline and you’ll come up with dozens of Web sites that have repeated this statement.

The problem is that it is a profoundly preposterous idea unsupported by a single shred of evidence. Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Be an unreasonable activist – it’s the best way

protestThe Unreasonable Activist  NOVEMBER 24, 2015 BY THESHITTYACTIVIST – by The Shitty Activist
If you’re an activist, probably one of the most common complaints you get is that you’re not being “reasonable.” That you’re refusing to see the other side. That you won’t compromise and find common ground with opponents.

I’d like to propose that not only isn’t “unreasonable” activism a bad thing, it’s essential to the long-term success of a given movement.  Continue reading

November 27, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment