Recently, the Japanese mass media are busy reporting on the bullying of evacuated children at school. As a matter of fact, this kind of bullying has existed for quite a while. However, after a long silence, the mass media have suddenly started reporting about it. Often, it tends to be reduced to the common bullying found in the education system without reference to the particular environmental hazards caused by the nuclear accident. Akiko MORIMATSU analyzes the bullying from the viewpoint of the nuclear disaster evacuees. She was interviewed in “Minna no News Wonder” at Kansai TV on December 5th 2016.
【3.11 evacuees’ voices】
“The courage to escape” and “the power to ask for help”
I am worried about what children will learn when they face a society incapable of helping people who have fled from calamity and are asking for aid.
I think that when society does not show how it is possible to help, children won’t be able to have the “courage to escape” or to deploy the power to “ask for help” at school.
I’ve noticed the following through my exerience with the nuclear disaster. We accept too easily that people facing danger will be able to escape without difficulty, and that it is natural to do so.
However, it is possible to create social situations which won’t allow for people to escape from danger, which won’t let them flee, or which pose such big obstacles that people can’t escape even when they are told that they are allowed to do so. This has indeed been our situation for the last 5 years and 8 months. I feel this way as an internal nuclear refugee.
This is how adult society is. In this society in which our evasion is not fully accepted, children are exposed to the risk of bullying, which can happen anywhere unfortunately, amplified by incomprehension, indifference, prejudice and discrimination of the society. I must say that they are facing even greater risks in response to the recent reporting by mass media.
At anytime, evacuee children are facing “the risk which is present here and now”.
This may be true for any children in this country.
And the “bullying” is not limited to children’s society.
It can be certainly said that there are second and third levels (TN 1) of damage from the nuclear disaster.
This is why society as a whole should accept the real situation of the nuclear disaster and set our eyes more directly on the truth.
The evacuees and evacuee children really exist all over Japan.
“They continue being evacuees because it is necessary to evacuate (TN2)”.
That is the truth and reality.
The only thing which counts is to start from this fact and decide how society should deal with it.
(Akiko MORIMATSU evacuated with two children from Fukushima to Osaka)
Broadcasted by Kansai TV on December 5th 2016
Sources: 東日本大震災避難者の会 Thanks & Dream
Facebook of Akiko MORIMATU
(TN 1) For example, psychological, familial or social levels.
(TN2) because the environment is contaminated
(EnviroNews DC News Bureau) — “It is not a question any more: radiation produces cancer, and the evidence is good all the way down to the lowest doses,” says the late Dr. John Gofman, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkley, in his book Nuclear Witnesses: Insiders Speak Out.
On December 12, 2016, EnviroNews USA‘s own Editor-in-Chief Emerson Urry touched off a firestorm with his news article titled, “It’s Finally Here: Radioactive Plume From Fukushima Makes Landfall on America’s West Coast,” which claimed “medical science and epidemiological studies have demonstrated time and again that there is no safe amount of radiation for a living organism to be subjected to — period.”
In his piece, Urry also exposed other news agencies like NBC, the New York Post, USA Today and The Inquisitr, catching them with their pants down, in the act of repeating the false assertions of the U.S. and Canadian researchers, telling people not to worry about the recently detected low amounts of cesium 134 found in salmon, and that the levels were within “safe” or “accepted” thresholds for human health. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Emerson Urry recused himself from all editorial duties on this news story.]
Thom Hartmann picked up the article by Urry and read it on his show. Then Hartmann offered up his own journalistic explanation on how radiation works, and addressed the problem with the proclamation that there is a “safe” level of radiation to consume or be exposed to.
“As the element is decaying it is throwing off radiation, and the radiation, if it hits the DNA in the nucleolus and the nucleus of a cell, can alter that DNA in ways that can produce things like cancer,” Hartmann said. “Now it can also cause simply the cell to die or it can mutate the cell in all kinds of other weird ways, and so it’s kind of a numbers game. If you irradiate a million cells… you might get two or three that become cancerous. That’s all it takes, right? You’ve got cancer,” Hartmann continued in his video report. “The cesium could cause no cancer, or it could cause cancer in the first cell it irradiates. To say that there is a safe level of radiation is frankly wrong. It’s just wrong.”
Urry said later in a statement, “It’s one thing for the media to regurgitate trivial facts on trivial matters, but to blindly repeat that consuming low levels of radiation is ‘safe,’ is irresponsible reporting and borders on dangerous. News editors should take care to do their due diligence on a matter as serious as leading readers to believe consuming any amount of radiation is ‘safe’ when medical science and epidemiology, dating back 50 years to the present, have demonstrated repeatedly that that’s just not true. Even the smallest exposures increase the risk of cancer to the subject.”
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) report titled, “Public Health Statement for Cesium” from 2004, “stable and radioactive cesium can enter your body from the food you eat or the water you drink, from the air you breathe, or from contact with your skin. When you eat, drink, breathe, or touch things containing cesium compounds that can easily be dissolved in water, cesium enters your blood and is carried to all parts of your body… No known taste or odor is associated with cesium compounds.”
Cesium is similar enough to potassium that it can fool the body. This results in its bioaccumulation. When cesium enters the biological system of a fish, which is then eaten by a larger fish, the larger fish becomes contaminated. As the larger fish eats more, it becomes more contaminated. The cesium accumulates in its body. When a person eats that fish, he or she also ingests the cesium that hasn’t decayed or been excreted. The more seafood that person eats, the more radioactive material he or she will be exposed to.
The researchers who discovered the cesium recently also made the mistake of equating the dangers of consuming seaborne isotopes to that of receiving an x-ray, missing the point entirely that ingested or inhaled “internal particle emitters” are known to be especially hazardous.
“Consuming food containing radionuclides is particularly dangerous. If an individual ingests or inhales a radioactive particle, it continues to irradiate the body as long as it remains radioactive and stays in the body,” said Dr. Alan Lockwood, MD in an article on Fox News Health.
“Children are much more susceptible to the effects of radiation and stand a much greater chance of developing cancer than adults,” said Andrew Kanter, MD, President of the Board for Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in that same Fox News Health article. “So it is particularly dangerous when they consume radioactive food or water.”
Those who might expect the government to protect them from contamination by radiation have only to look at the downwinder situation in Utah or the consequences of Gofman’s research in the late 1960s. According to Gofman’s obituary in the L.A. Times, “Gofman and his colleague at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Arthur R. Tamplin, developed data in 1969 showing that the risk from low doses of radiation was 20 times higher than stated by the government. Their publication of the data, despite strong efforts to censor it, led them to lose virtually all of their research funding and, eventually, their positions at the government laboratory.” Their conclusions were for the most part, later validated.
“There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources, period,” said Jeff Patterson, DO, immediate past President of PSR, in late March of 2011 in the immediate aftermath of the meltdowns. “Exposure to radionuclides, such as iodine 131 and cesium 137, increases the incidence of cancer. For this reason, every effort must be taken to minimize the radionuclide content in food and water.”
“There is no safe dose of radiation,” says Prof. Edward P. Radford, Physician and Epidemiologist as quoted by GreenMedInfo.
In an email to EnviroNews, nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen said Japan had raised the maximum allowable exposure by 20 times the previous number for civilians to be able to return to their homes. The U.S. and the EPA have considered such plans in the case of a nuclear accident. In food, the U.S. has an allowable dosage of radiation that is 12 times what Japan allows.
“Corporations get the benefit, civilians take the risk,” Gundersen wrote.
While Urry and Hartmann have sounded the alarm, there remain unanswered questions that desperately need to be resolved. Who will clean up the contamination in the food chain? How much radiation exposure will governments continue to say is safe in spite of the medical research? How can people trust what’s on their plate and in their corporate owned media?
HIRONO, Fukushima — A doctor who chose to stay in an area affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis and continued to provide medical services may have died in a fire at his home here, police said.
At around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 30, a fire broke out at the home of Hideo Takano, 81, director of Takano Hospital in Hirono, Fukushima Prefecture. Part of the wooden structure was destroyed in the blaze, local police said.
The body of a man was found in one of the rooms. Investigators believe the corpse is that of Takano, whom they have been unable to contact, and are trying to confirm the identity of the body.
A security guard at the hospital, located on the same grounds as Takano’s home, noticed smoke coming out of the home and alerted a local fire station. Takano had lived alone at the address.
A hospital official told the Mainichi Shimbun that until recently, Takano had treated patients as usual.
Takano Hospital is situated about 22 kilometers south of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. Takano chose to stay home and continued to treat inpatients at his hospital even after the town of Hirono was designated as a zone in which residents were urged to prepare for evacuation following the outbreak of the nuclear disaster. He also examined local residents and those engaged in the decommissioning of the nuclear plant.
The Tokyo District Court has dismissed an appeal by Tepco shareholders calling for disclosure of a government panel’s records of questioning of executives over the March 2011 crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
“The decision accepted all of what the government claimed and therefore is regrettable,” the shareholders said in a statement following the ruling Tuesday. They said they would file an immediate appeal.
The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission was formed in 2011 to investigate the causes of the nuclear disaster by questioning executives of the utility, now called Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., including Tsunehisa Katsumata, former chairman of the utility, and others.
The questioning was conducted on condition that it would not be used to assign blame.
Only the records of the interviews of those who agreed that their answers would be made public have been disclosed, including Masao Yoshida, the late former chief of Fukushima No. 1.
The shareholders are seeking disclosure of the records on 11 Tepco officials and three officials of the now-defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
“If the records are disclosed, it would be extremely difficult to gain cooperation from related parties in future investigations,” presiding Judge Akihiko Otake said, deciding that the disclosure could disrupt the execution of official duties.
The court also concluded that the undisclosed portion of the records that was not revealed in previous disclosures should be kept confidential.
Initially, the records of questioning of some 770 Tepco and government officials in 2011 and 2012 were all kept under wraps. But following media reports on the Yoshida interview, the government decided to change its policy and disclose them with interviewees’ consent.
Since September 2014, the government has disclosed the records of some 240 interviewees.
BERLIN (Reuters) – RWE will be able to pay the 6.8 billion euros ($7.15 billion) requested by the government to fund the storage of nuclear waste in one lump sum by the middle of 2017, newspaper Die Welt reported, citing the firm’s chief executive.
German utilities RWE, E.ON , EnBW and Vattenfall [VATN.UL] agreed with the government in October to start contributing this year to a 23.6 billion euro fund in exchange for shifting liability for nuclear waste storage to the state, giving investors greater clarity over their future finances.
The companies had been pushing to get favourable terms of payment and the October deal allows them to transfer the funds at one stroke or in several more costly instalments over the next decade.
“We don’t need to draw on the possibility of payment by instalments,” RWE CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz said in an interview with the daily newspaper published on Monday, adding that RWE was “well positioned” after raising billions in a stock listing of a minority holding in energy group Innogy .
But the firm will step up cost-cutting efforts and cut 2,300 jobs in Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain between 2015 and 2020 to cushion the impact of low wholesale electricity prices, Schmitz said.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
In major blow to the nuclear programme of Pakistan, the US slapped sanctions on 7 Pakistani entities who were involved in its missile programme.
An official notification of the US Department of Commerce said that the 7 entities have been added to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The reason cited for the sanctions is that the US government has determined that these entities were acting in contradiction to the foreign policy & national security interests of the US.
They have been identified as – Ahad International, Air Weapons Complex, Engineering Solutions Pvt Ltd, Maritime Technology Complex National Engineering & Scientific Commission, New Auto Engineering, & Universal Tooling Services.
The US has determined this on the basis of specific facts that these governmental, parastatal, & private entities in Pakistan have been involved in activities that are contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States.
What the sanctions mean?
- A licence requirement for all items subject to the EAR
- A licence renew policy of presumption of denial
- The licence requirements apply to any transaction in which items are exporter, re-exported, or transferred to any of the entities or in which such entities act as purchasers, intermediate consignee, ultimate consignee, or end-user
- Also, no licence exceptions are available for exports, re-exports, or transfers to the persons being added to the entity list
As usual Pakistan denies that any of these entities are involved in any wrongdoings. It is a down-in-the-dumps economy surviving on Chinese money & support, yet it has the world’s fastest growing nuclear program,& wants the world to believe it needs nuclear weapons. In 2016, Pakistan received around $700-800 million in FDI, whereas India received around $45 billion – this shows the trust that the world has in Pakistan’s economy, & where its headed for.
Even so, Pakistan isn’t ready to see the writing on the wall. It has severe power & water crisis, unemployment is rising rapidly, terror is eating it up from the inside…all this is happening yet all that Pakistan cares about is how it can create missiles to deter India from engaging in a conflict.
Although, the relevance & impact of these sanctions will be known with time, the mere act of imposing sanctions by Pakistan’s ‘historical friend’ is significant in itself. It could very well be seen as a drastic shift of the US toward India, & with Donald Trump soon to govern the nation, numerous such pro-India moves might be seen.
The United Nations non biased official rapporteur for peace in the world was surprised!
PYONGYANG – Top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un said Sunday in a televised New Year address that the DPRK would continue to strengthen national defense including nuclear capabilities as long as nuclear threat from the United States exists.
“Unless the United States and its vassal forces stop nuclear threat and blackmail and unless they stop the war exercises which they stage right at our noses under the pretext of annual exercises, the DPRK would keep increasing the military capabilities for self-defense and preemptive striking capacity with nuclear force as a pivot,” he said.
Kim emphasized the need to foil challenges posed by anti-reunification forces at home and abroad who are against the national desire for reunification.
Kim also called for taking active measures to improve north-south relations and defuse military conflict and the danger of a war between the two Koreans, appealing to the whole nation that a wide avenue should be paved toward independent reunification through joint efforts.
“All the Koreans in the north and the south and abroad should solidarize and get united on the principle of subordinating everything to national reunification, the cause common to the nation and activate the reunification movement on a nationwide scale,” Kim added.
On economic growth, he stressed that in 2017, efforts should be concentrated on implementing the five-year strategy for national economic development with a focus on self-reliance to elevate the country’s economy to a higher level.
Electricity, metal and chemical industrial fields should take the lead, he said.
Kim also reviewed the achievements made in the year 2016, calling it “a year of revolutionary and auspicious event and great turn.” He added that the DPRK has emerged as “a nuclear and military power in the East.”
The conflicts between Washington and Moscow keep on growing: Ukraine and Syria, rival war games, “hybrid” wars and “cyber-wars.” Talk of a new Cold War doesn’t do justice to the stakes.
“My bottom line is that the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War,” declares former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry.
If a new Trump administration wants to peacefully reset relations with Russia, there’s no better way to start than by canceling the deployment of costly new ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. One such system went live in Romania this May; another is slated to go live in Poland in 2018. Few U.S. actions have riled President Putin as much as this threat to erode Russia’s nuclear deterrent.
Only last month, at a meeting in Sochi with Russian military leaders, to discuss advanced new weapons technology, Putin vowed, “We will continue to do all we need to ensure the strategic balance of forces. We view any attempts to change or dismantle it, as extremely dangerous. Our task is to effectively neutralize any military threats to Russia’s security, including those posed by the newly-deployed strategic missile defense systems.”
Putin accused unnamed countries — obviously led by the United States — of “nullifying” international agreements on missile defense “in an effort to gain unilateral advantages.”
Moscow has reacted to this perceived threat with more than mere words. It is developing new and deadlier nuclear missiles, including the SS-30, to counter U.S. defenses. It has rebuffed new arms control negotiations. And it has provocatively stationed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad to “target . . . the facilities that . . . start posing a threat to us,” as Putin put it last month.
If a new arms race is underway, it’s not for lack of warning. The Russians have voiced their concerns about missile defenses for years and years, without any serious acknowledgment from Washington. From their vantage point, the apparent bad faith of successive U.S. administrations, Democratic as well as Republican, is a flashing red light to which they had to respond.
From the earliest days of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense (“Star Wars”) Initiative to make ballistic missiles “impotent and obsolete,” an alarmed Moscow has viewed U.S. efforts to build a missile shield as a long-term threat to their nuclear deterrent.
In 2002, President Bush one-upped Reagan and unilaterally canceled the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. He did so after Russia’s foreign minister, Igor Ivanov publicly pleaded with Washington not to terminate this landmark arms control agreement.
Writing in Foreign Affairs magazine, Ivanov warned that such a move would set back recent progress in Russian-U.S. relations and destroy “30 years of efforts by the world community” to reduce the danger of nuclear war. Russia would be forced, against its desire for international cooperation, to build up its own forces in response. The arms race would be back in full force — leaving the United States less secure, not more.
But with Russia still reeling from the neoliberal “shock therapy” that it suffered through during the 1990s, the neoconservatives (then in charge of U.S foreign policy) were confident of winning such an arms race. In 2002, President Bush adopted a National Security Strategy that explicitly called for U.S military superiority over every other power. To that end, he called on the Pentagon to develop a ground-based missile defense system within two years.
Since then, that program has lined the pockets of major U.S. military contractors without achieving any notable successes. Critics – including the U.S. General Accountability Office, National Academy of Sciences and Union of Concerned Scientists – have blasted the program for failing more than half of its operational tests. Today, after the expenditure of more than $40 billion, it enjoys bipartisan support mainly as a jobs program.
Russia fears, however, that it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. perfects its missile shield technology enough to erode the deterrent capabilities of Moscow’s nuclear arsenal.
Source links and More of the story on this link;
SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile could strike the entirety of South Korea when armed with a 1-ton nuclear warhead, foreign missile experts said recently.
The claim was made in a report, titled the “North Korean Ballistic Missile Program,” released in the December edition of the Korea Observer published by the Institute of Korean Studies (IKS).
Theodore A. Postol, an emeritus professor at MIT, and Markus Schiller, an aerospace engineer at Munich-based ST Analytics, said there are many uncertainties in our current knowledge of the KN-11 system, but there is enough known to provide at least a lower bound estimate of its capabilities.
The KN-11 SLBM is capable of carrying a 1.5-ton warhead nearly 450 kilometers or a 1-ton warhead to 600 km or more. It could have a range of 800 km with a 1-ton warhead though more details are necessary to finalize the maximum range of the long-range missile, the IKS report said.
“This means that when the KN-11 is eventually deployed on diesel-electric submarines, it will almost certainly have the payload and range to carry a heavy first-generation nuclear warhead designed for ballistic missile delivery from large areas of ocean,” it said.
Missile defenses like the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) that are designed to intercept incoming missiles from a relatively well-defined direction will not be able to readily engage such an “all azimuth” SLBM, the experts said.
North Korea successfully conducted an SLBM test in August, sending the missile some 500 kilometers over the East Sea, the greatest distance the communist nation has achieved since it began SLBM tests last year. Two other tests were conducted in April and July that ended in failure.
This Yonhap News TV image shows an SLBM fired from a North Korea submarine on Aug. 25, 2016. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)(ie NOT FOR VIEWING BY THE WEST by orders of the Pentagon in case it scuppers their nuclear wet dreams_ Arclight)
In a separate paper titled “North Korea’s Stockpiles of Fissile Material,” Siegfried S. Hecker, a senior fellow at the Center of International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, said the North is rapidly increasing the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal after conducting five nuclear tests in the past decade.
“Increased sophistication, particularly the ability to miniaturize nuclear devices, requires more nuclear tests. The size of the arsenal is limited primarily by the stockpile of fissile material — plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEC),” Hecker said.
Pyongyang currently holds 20-40 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium, sufficient for the manufacture of four to eight plutonium bombs. It is expected to have an additional 6 kg of plutonium each year, he said.
ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan exchanged a list of their nuclear installations on Sunday, a measure which is a part of the treaty signed between the two countries since 26 years.
January 02, 2017
As part of the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations between India and Pakistan, the two nuclear-armed neighbours exchanged a list of each other’s nuclear installations on Sunday. The exchange was done through proper diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad.
“India and Pakistan today exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations between India and Pakistan,” read an official statement from the Indian External Affairs Ministry.
Sunday marked the 26th such exchange of list between India and Pakistan, who have both honoured the agreement since it was signed on December 31, 1988 and came into force on January 27, 1991. The first exchange of list took place in January 01, 1992. The treaty binds both nations to inform each other of their nuclear installations and facilities that will be covered under the agreement on January 1 of each calendar year.
Relations between both nuclear armed neighbours are tense since Indian security forces committed atrocities in occupied Kashmir after the killing of freedom fighter Burhan Wani. After Wani’s killing, thousands of protesters in held Kashmir took to the streets and protested against the Indian government, who resorted to opening fire and killing more than 80 unarmed protesters. Thousands were injured by the Indian security forces’ use of pellet guns.
Relations further suffered between the two states when 19 Indian soldiers were killed in the Uri attack. India blamed the incident on Pakistan, which Pakistan vehemently denied. Since the past couple of months, both countries have exchanged fire across the Line of Control and had to suffer casualties.
ISIS and nuclear Armageddon? – Exclusive to nuclear-news.net
December 24, 2016
“…Following the article (Link ref 1 below) I picked up from India and posted to nuclear-news.net, I shared it to Fukushima 311 Watchdogs (F311W) . As an Admin on F311 W I later checked the statistics and found a small number of posts not getting any hits. Its as though they were being blocked. I had discovered in 2013 that this was possible and did a video (Link ref 2 below) showing that evidence.
I then did a video (Link ref 3 below) showing the issue of the blocked posts on the Uranium story and also showed that the Uranium story was being ignored by all the western Main Stream Media and that Google was blocking the nuclear-news.net story About 5 hours after posting the video the Google block to the nuclear-news.net story became unblocked.
I then checked out the stats on the video (Screenshot ref 4 below) and saw that some parties in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were interested in that post. Also i noted that Pakistan came up on the stats earlier but with no observable clicks (maybe Pakistan Secret Service computer whizz kids were trying to cover their tracks?). It looks like ISIS are seeking and succeeding in their efforts to acquire nuclear materials
So, what did I conclude with on all this? Firstly a non story about Donald Trump was beginning to go “viral” and in this Post Truth world I wondered why? The USA and Russia had already said they would be renewing and expanding their nuclear weapons arsenal and also with “safer” mini nukes earlier on in the year.
The fact that many outlets in India were posting articles on the story led me to think that the western Trump Tweet story was being manufactured to hide the Indian story that was going viral there….”
China is also seeking market dominance in clean energy technology.
The nation’s ambient air pollution and its greenhouse gas emissions would both decline if China could produce more electricity using clean renewables rather than relying on coal. It has been the largest producer of solar photovoltaic cells in the world since 2007, and overtook Germany as the nation with the largest installed photovoltaic capacity in 2015.
As the price of renewable power equipment declines, the law of demand predicts that more U.S. companies will go green.
For China, Climate Change Is No Hoax – It’s a Business and Political Opportunity Desmogblog, , December 31, 2016 By Matthew Kahn, University of Southern California
In mid-November, while Americans were preoccupied with election returns, China sent some of its clearest signals yet that it will continue to pursue an international leadership role on issues including climate.At an international climate change summit in Marrakech, the Chinese government reasserted its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The government announced that its aggregate emissions will peak by 2030 or earlier, and that its emissions per dollar of economic output will decline sharply.
For 25 years I have taught my economics students that climate change represents the ultimate “free rider problem.” To slow global climate change, we need to reduce aggregate global emissions.
Yet each individual nation’s efforts are too small to “solve” the problem, so it has only weak incentives to take costly mitigation actions, and strong incentives to “free ride” on the benefits of emission reductions by other countries.
From this perspective, President-elect Trump’s pledges to “cancel” the Paris Agreement and dismantle President Obama’s carbon mitigation initiatives follow standard economic logic. If the United States backs out of commitments to reduce national emissions, it still benefits from other countries’ efforts.
Why, then, is China is pressing ahead with low-carbon initiatives?
My research suggests several motives. Chinese leaders want to improve the quality of life in their nation’s cities by reducing air pollution; win large shares of promising export markets for green technologies; and increase China’s “soft power” in international relations.
Taking aggressive action to cut carbon emissions helps China in all three areas.
Reducing Coal’s Cruel Impacts
Much of the staggering rise in China’s carbon dioxide emissions in recent decades came from burning coal to produce electricity for the nation’s industrial sector. While this growth has created millions of jobs and wealth for the nation, coal-fired power plants are major sources of greenhouse gases and conventional air pollutants that affect millions of people.
A large body of research, including joint work by U.S. and Chinese scholars, has demonstrated that air pollution in China causes thousands of premature deaths yearly. Coal also provides winter heating in China’s colder cities. Recent epidemiology research has found that coal use for heating greatly increases fine particulate air pollution, which has raised morbidity and mortality rates.
Using data from around the world, economists have found that when countries develop economically they move up an “energy ladder.”
The richer a country grows, the more likely it is to swap out cheap polluting fuels in favor of cleaner, more expensive fuels. A natural experiment that occurred in Turkey as natural gas pipelines were built throughout the nation between 2001 and 2014 showed as people gained access to natural gas, air quality improved and mortality rates declined.
China has more coal than natural gas resources, but as its citizens grow wealthier, their willingness to pay to avoid pollution increases. This trend will encourage substitution toward cleaner fuels. As such, China’s political leaders will likely prioritize policies that substitute natural gas for coal, which should reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions……….
China is also seeking market dominance in clean energy technology.
The nation’s ambient air pollution and its greenhouse gas emissions would both decline if China could produce more electricity using clean renewables rather than relying on coal. It has been the largest producer of solar photovoltaic cells in the world since 2007, and overtook Germany as the nation with the largest installed photovoltaic capacity in 2015.
U.S industrial regulators have accused China of engaging in predation and dumping low-cost solar panels that compete with U.S products.
But environmentalists should cheer that potential buyers in importing nations now face lower prices — especially global companies like Wal-Mart which are pledging to shrink their carbon footprints. As the price of renewable power equipment declines, the law of demand predicts that more U.S. companies will go green.
There is a key synergy between electric vehicles and green power generation.
As studies have shown, driving an electric vehicle that runs on electricity generated from coal can produce more greenhouse gas emissions than operating a conventional gasoline vehicle. If Chinese exports of electric vehicles and renewable generating technologies lead to their joint adoption by suburbanites, greenhouse gas emissions from both transportation and power generation will fall.
Investing in Soft Power
For decades, the world’s media have portrayed China as a bully and trade cheat abroad and a repressive power at home. In cutting carbon emissions, the Communist Party seeks to boost its own political legitimacy in the international arena as well as with the Chinese people.
By committing to pursue ambitious environmental goals, Chinese leaders hope to signal to both domestic constituents and international actors that China is an international leader and cares about its own people. A “leading nation” plays an active role in international relations, helps to keep the peace and promotes global public goods.
At a time when the United States appears to be stepping back from its leadership role, the CCP may see a chance to fill the vacuum, and make money in the process. https://www.desmogblog.com/2016/12/31/china-climate-change-no-hoax-business-political-opportunity
What a Twitter-Happy Trump Might Mean For Nuclear Diplomacy, The Wire, BY ON 01/01/2017
Far from making America great again, Trump is more likely to make America grope again in the darkness of the post-nuclear age. Hillary Clinton lost the election, but a question she tweeted during the campaign remains critically important for the world. Can a man so easily baited by Twitter be trusted with the nuclear codes?
Donald Trump’s likely policies after assuming office later in January require triangulation of three known character traits. First, his twitchy thumbs can jump into action to spray his thought bubbles over the Twitter-sphere before his brain is engaged. Second, he possesses a unique capacity to deny outright something he said, even if digitally recorded. Third, he is a professional deal maker.
Trump’s nuclear Twitter spray
During the US election campaign, Trump thrice asked a foreign policy adviser: if we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?. In a New York Times interview, he seemed to suggest Japan and South Korea could obtain their own nuclear arsenals. On December 22, President-elect Trump tweeted: “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability.” The same day President Vladimir Putin also spoke of the need to do the same with Russia’s deterrent………
The number of times that we have come frighteningly close to nuclear holocaust is simply staggering.
In January 1961, a 4MT bomb (that is, 260 times more powerful than Hiroshima) was just one ordinary switch away from detonating over North Carolina when a B-52 bomber on a routine flight went into an uncontrolled spin.
In the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the US strategy was based on intelligence that no nuclear warheads were present in Cuba. In fact there were 162 warheads already stationed there, the local Soviet commander had taken them out of storage to deployed positions for use and the top three commanders split on whether or not to launch them against US targets.
On October 28, 1962, a missile launch base in Okinawa received an authenticated order to launch missiles. The local commander used rare common sense and further clarifications confirmed the order was a mistake. Other veterans dispute this account.
On June 3, 1980, amidst the tension of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was awakened close to the proverbial 3 am by his military aide General William Odom with the news that the Soviets had launched 220 SLBMs at the US. Brzezinski asked for confirmation and Odom called him a second time with a correction: the number of missiles hurtling towards the US was 2,200. Brzezinski decided not to wake his wife, preferring she die in her sleep. As he prepared to call President Jimmy Carter to authorise US retaliatory strikes, Odom phoned for the third time: it was a false alarm triggered by a 46-cent defective computer chip.
In November 1983, in response to NATO war games exercise Able Archer, which Moscow mistook to be real, the Soviets came close to launching a full-scale nuclear attack against the West.
On January 25, 1995, Norway launched a scientific research rocket in its northern latitude whose stage three mimicked a Trident SLBM. Within seconds, the Russian early warning radar system tagged it as a possible US nuclear missile attack. Fortunately the rocket did not stray into Russian airspace owing to system malfunction and the alert subsided.
Following the Ukraine crisis, in the one year period March 2014 to 2015, one study documented 67 specific incidents between Russia and NATO – 13 of which were “serious” and five, “high risk.”
The nuclear equation is biased against peace
For nuclear peace to hold, deterrence and fail-safe mechanisms must work every single time. For nuclear armageddon, deterrence or fail safe mechanisms need to break down only once. This is not a comforting equation. Deterrence stability depends on rational decision-makers being always in office on all sides – a dubious precondition. From later this month, leaders with their fingers on the nuclear buttons will include Trump and Kim Jong-un. It depends equally critically on no rogue launch, human error or system malfunction. The above examples prove conclusively that this is an impossibly high bar.
The more the number of nuclear weapons in existence and the more countries that possess them – the more the risk of a nuclear war multiplying exponentially. If not by design and intent, this could result from an accident, a rogue launch, human error or system malfunction. When we combine this with the proliferation of fake news, the risks of a nuclear launch by mistake are magnified manifold under current conditions. Recently, for example, Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif threatened a nuclear attack on Israel – via a tweet, of course – in response to a fake news story that Israel had threatened Pakistan with nuclear weapons. https://thewire.in/90831/trump-tweets-nuclear-diplomacy/
Did Sweden Make America’s Nuclear Submarines Obsolete? The National Interest, 30 Dec 16 Nuclear-powered submarines have traditionally held a decisive edge in endurance, stealth and speed over cheaper diesel submarines. However, new Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology has significantly narrowed the performance gap on a new generation of submarines that cost a fraction of the price of a nuclear-powered boat……..
Nuclear vs. AIP: Who Wins?:
Broadly speaking, how do AIP vessels compare in performance to nuclear submarines? Let’s consider the costs and benefits in terms of stealth, endurance, speed and cost.
Nuclear powered submarines have become very quiet—at least an order of magnitude quieter than a diesel submarine with its engine running. In fact, nuclear-powered submarines may be unable to detect each other using passive sonar, as evidenced by the 2009 collision of a British and French nuclear ballistic missile submarines, both oblivious to the presence of the other.
However, there’s reason to believe that AIP submarines can, if properly designed, swim underwater even more quietly. The hydraulics in a nuclear reactor produce noise as they pump coolant liquid, while an AIP’s submarine’s engines are virtually silent. Diesel-powered submarines can also approach this level of quietness while running on battery power, but can only do so for a few hours whereas an AIP submarine can keep it up for days.
Diesel and AIP powered submarines have on more than one occasion managed to slip through anti-submarine defenses and sink American aircraft carriers in war games. Of course, such feats have also been performed by nuclear submarines.
Nuclear submarines can operate underwater for three or four months at a time and cross oceans with ease. While some conventional submarines can handle the distance, none have comparable underwater endurance.
AIP submarines have narrowed the gap, however. While old diesel submarines needed to surface in a matter of hours or a few days at best to recharge batteries, new AIP powered vessels only need to surface every two to four weeks depending on type. (Some sources make the unconfirmed claim that the German Type 214 can even last more than 2 months.) Of course, surfaced submarines, or even those employing a snorkel, are comparatively easy to detect and attack.
Nuclear submarines still have a clear advantage in endurance over AIP boats, particularly on the long-distance patrols. However, for countries like Japan, Germany and China that mostly operate close to friendly shores, extreme endurance may be a lower priority.
Speed:……..Obviously, high maximum speed grants advantages in both strategic mobility and tactical agility. However, it should be kept in mind that even nuclear submarines rarely operate at maximum speed because of the additional noise produced.
On the other hand, an AIP submarine is likely to move at especially slow speeds when cruising sustainably using AIP compared to diesel or nuclear submarines. For example, a Gotland class submarine is reduced to just 6 miles per hour if it wishes to remain submerged at maximum endurance—which is simply too slow for long distance transits or traveling with surface ships. Current AIP technology doesn’t produce enough power for higher speeds, and thus most AIP submarines also come with noisy diesel engines as backup.
Who would have guessed nuclear reactors are incredibly expensive? The contemporary U.S. Virginia class attack submarine costs $2.6 billion dollars, and the earlier Los Angeles class before it around $2 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. Mid-life nuclear refueling costs add millions more.
By comparison, AIP powered submarines have generally cost between $200 and $600 million, meaning a country could easily buy three or four medium-sized AIP submarines instead of one nuclear attack submarine. Bear in mind, however, that the AIP submarines are mostly small or medium sized vessels with crews of around 30 and 60 respectively, while nuclear submarines are often larger with crews of 100 or more. They may also have heavier armament, such as Vertical Launch Systems, when compared to most AIP powered vessels.
Nevertheless, a torpedo or missile from a small submarine can hit just as hard as one fired from a large one, and having three times the number of submarine operating in a given stretch of ocean could increase the likelihood chancing upon an important target, and make it easier to overwhelm anti-submarine defenses.
While AIP vessels may not be able to do everything a nuclear submarine can, having a larger fleet of submarines would be very useful in hunting opposing ships and submarines for control of the seas. Nor would it be impossible to deploy larger AIP powered submarines; China has already deployed one, and France is marketing a cheaper AIP-powered version of the Barracuda-class nuclear attack submarine.
It is no surprise that navies that operate largely around coastal waters are turning to cheap AIP submarines, as their disadvantage are not as relevant when friendly ports are close at hand. ……..http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/did-sweden-make-americas-nuclear-submarines-obsolete-18908?page=2
http://fukushimawatch.com/2015-11-05-multiple-studies-confirm-exposure-to-low-levels-of-radiation-can-cause-cancer.html The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed what Fukushima Watch has been reporting for quite some time now — namely, that exposure to low doses of radiation overtime increases the risk of cancer.
The results of the study, published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMI), provide “direct evidence about cancer risks after protracted exposures to low-dose ionizing radiation,” said the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization.
The findings demonstrate “a significant association between increasing radiation dose and risk of all solid cancers,” the study’s co-author, Dr. Ausrele Kesminiene, told sources.
“No matter whether people are exposed to protracted low doses or to high and acute doses, the observed association between dose and solid cancer risk is similar per unit of radiation dose,” he added.
Nuclear workers around globe at heightened cancer risk Continue reading
http://www.helencaldicott.com/common-myths-of-the-nuclear-industry/ by on 18 December 2015
Myth: the new generation of nuclear reactors are designed to recycle nuclear waste
BUST: These reactors don’t exist
These reactors often spoken of by advocates of nuclear energy are hypothetical. There are none of these “Generation IV” reactors commercially operating anywhere in the world:
- Even the demonstration plants are still decades away
- Various designs are still under investigation on paper and have been for many years.
- The first demonstration plants are projected to be in operation by 2030-2040, so they are yet to be tested and still many years away.
- Problems with earlier models
- The specific type of Generation IV reactor that would recycle waste – the Integral Fast Reactor – only exists on paper, but earlier models of fast reactors have been expensive, underperforming, and have had a history of fires and other accidents, with many countries abandoning the technology.
- These reactors would still produce some waste
- The Integral Fast Reactor is called “integral” because it would process used reactor fuel on-site, separating plutonium (a weapons explosive) and other long-lived radioactive isotopes from the used fuel, to be fed back into the reactor. It essentially converts long-lived waste into shorter lived waste. This waste would still remain dangerous for a minimum of 200 years (provided it is not contaminated with high level waste products), so we are still left with a waste problem that spans generations.
- The theory is that these reactors would eat through global stockpiles of plutonium
- When thinking about recycling waste it’s important not to confuse recycling existing stockpiles of waste with these reactors perpetually running off of their own waste, which they could also be operated to do. If they ran off their own waste, they would not consume existing waste beyond the initial fuel load.
Myth: nuclear is the only alternative to coal for baseload power
BUST: We don’t need baseload Continue reading