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Call to Texans to oppose nuclear waste transport and dumping

Public Citizen, SEED ask for input on nuclear waste site N ovember 16, 2018  By Royal McGregor    Members of Public Citizen and Sustainable Energy and Economic Development have encouraged the public to voice their opinion on nuclear waste traveling through the state of Texas and being dumped in Andrews County.

In 2017, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted Waste Control Specialists’ application to begin an interim storage facility for nuclear waste at an Andrews County dump.

The public can submit their opinion to the NRC at The deadline for comments is midnight on Monday.

WCS initially hoped to break ground in 2020, but that timeline has been pushed back due to a change in ownership. The license decision from the NRC could be made as early as 2020 and according to NRC spokesperson David McIntyre, the NRC is currently working on an environmental safety and security reviews that won’t be completed until the fall of 2019.

In March, Orano, a French company specializing in nuclear power and renewable energy, and WCS formed a joint venture to license the interim storage facility.

Public Citizen and SEED have intervened in that license application citing a variety of hazards in transporting and storing that nuclear waste. Seven of the eight radioactive waste sites that have been proposed over the last 40 years in Texas have been stopped — the only one to pass is in Andrews County.

“There’s no benefit to Texas taking the nation’s high-level radioactive waste,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, who was the former director of Public Citizen. “This is waste that nobody else wants that other states have said, ‘We don’t want it in our borders.’ It’s waste that people who live around nuclear reactors have organized to politically to send it somewhere else.

“Here in Texas it’s believed because of former governor (Rick) Perry and because Andrews County said, ‘we would like bring this waste to us,’ that somehow we have expressed consent. More than five million people that live in cities have expressed their opposition.”

SEED Director Karen Hadden said one of the reasons behind submitting opinions online is due to the lack of public meetings by the NRC. There was one meeting in Andrews that took place in 2017, one public meeting in Hobbs, N.M. and two meetings were in Rockville, Md.

McIntyre said after the environmental safety and security reviews is completed in 2019, the NRC will return to Texas for the public to voice opinions and concerns.

The interim storage facility could hold up to 40,000 tons of irradiated nuclear reaction fuel over the life of the 40-year permit. There are no restrictions on how many times WCS could renew its permit.

Hadden is concerned the interim nuclear waste site could stay permanently.

“We risk the waste could stay forever,” Hadden said.

The current application states the nuclear waste would be transported by railroads.

Yet, Dallas, San Antonio and Midland have already opposed the transport of nuclear waste in and around the city

Activist attorney Terry Lodge, who resides in Toledo, Ohio, said over the phone there’s an interim storage already in place — onsite storage.

Lodge continued to explain on a daily basis, it’s overseen by the NRC. It means there’s an alternative that’s taking place instead of the plan to ship everything to the middle of the desert — in some instances thousands of miles — through cities and risk accident, sabotage or terrorism.

“A lengthy petition has been filed to intervene rising 14 various technical points including objections to the legality and odd financing scheme that’s being proposed by WCS when there’s no federal law even allows it,” Lodge said.

The concern also arises when the nuclear waste is transported through neighbors.

Adrian Shelley, current Public Citizen director, said over last several weeks the company used EJSCREEN to look at communities along Class I rail routes across Texas. EJSCREEN can see age, race, education level, income level and language along rail routes.

Shelley said some of the urban areas along those routes have as high as 90 percent of minority residents and in other areas that number is closer to 70 percent. A majority of the people that live along these rail routes don’t speak English, Spanish being the most common.

Lodge said there are also safety concerns for thousands of trips — 3,000 minimum — and there are some Department of Energy policies under consideration that would double, triple or quadruple the number of shipments because of the need to reload the fuel rods into smaller canisters, so they could ultimately be disposed in a geological repository.

“It’s a massive transportation campaign, increasing risk with the number of trips and potential for a serious accident in transit that could have effects according to federal agencies as far as 50 miles downwind,” Lodge said.

Smith added that a 10-year survey from the U.S. Department of Transportation website discovered there have been more than 10,000 railroad accidents in Texas. Many of those involved hazardous cargos. During that 10-year period of time, 25 of the cars carrying hazardous materials had some sort of rupture or leak.

Smith said a report submitted that’s part of the Yucca Mountain licensing process stated an accident could cost $3.5 to $45 billion if the casks were penetrated, but not perforated. If there was a sabotage event and the casks were fully perforated, the cleanup costs could be somewhere between $300 and $648 billion dollars.

“The risk of a train accident is not insignificant,” he said.


November 19, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | 2 Comments

ExxonMobil, Southern Company, American Petroleum Institute, and Charles G. Koch Foundation behind climate denialism camps for kids

The Christian Vacation Camp Where Kids Are Taught by Notorious Climate Science Deniers, DESMOG, By Graham Readfearn • Tuesday, November 13, 2018 –Each morning at Camp Constitution’s summer camp, the kids and parents go off to classes while staff members do a room inspection.What we look for is not just cleanliness, but a patriotic and Godly theme,” says camp director Hal Shurtleff in a video of the 2016 camp.

We are looking for creativity — are they learning what we are teaching them?”

And what are they being taught? Conspiracy theories about the United Nations (UN) and how climate change is a hoax, and they’ve drafted in two of the world’s most notorious climate science denialists to do the job.

The rooms — named after “places of refuge in the old testament” — are covered with U.S. nationalistic garlands and flags. A “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat is perched on a wooden bunk post.

Children take quotes they’ve learned from classes, and turn them into posters. One encourages the United Nations to keep out.

Another lists “buzzwords” including CO2, climate change, environmental justice, and endangered species.

You hear these buzzwords and you know the bad guys are behind the scenes,” says a commentating Shurtleff.

Shurtleff is a former regional director of the John Birch Society — the UN-hating, right-wing conservative group known for, among other things, pushing a conspiracy that the UN’s promotion of environmental sustainability was in fact a sinister plot to install a world government.

But as well as learning about the evils of sensible resource use, the kids at this summer’s Camp Constitution attended classes by climate science deniers Lord Christopher Monckton and Dr. Willie Soon………..

Research from Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center has shown Soon’s work to be heavily funded by fossil fuel industry interests, including more than $1 million from ExxonMobil, Southern Company, American Petroleum Institute, and Charles G. Koch Foundation.

Also on the agenda was former John Birch Society president John “Jack” McManus, who told the youngsters, some who stay with their parents, how the U.S. should “Get Us Out of the United Nations” while explaining his full anti-UN “world governement” conspiracy theory. He even sold them a booklet for the discounted price of $2.

Eccentric British climate science denier, Lord Christopher Monckton, was also at the camp to regale the kids with tales of how climate change science is one big con-job. …….

November 19, 2018 Posted by | climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Spain will close the last of its nuclear reactors and coal power plants before 2030

Euractiv 15th Nov 2018 Spain will close the last of its nuclear reactors and coal power plants
before 2030, according to State Secretary for Energy José Dominguez, who
made the announcement shortly after Madrid pledged to work towards a
completely renewable electricity system. Dominguez said on Thursday (15
November) that the current socialist government does not plan to extend the
lifespan of any of its nuclear reactors beyond their current 40-year
shelf-life. Spain’s oldest reactor is more than 37 years old, so
according to current plans will shut up shop in 2021, while its newest just
celebrated its third decade of operation, and will go offline in 2028.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | politics, Spain | Leave a comment

Iran hopeful that Europe can salvage nuclear deal – foreign ministry 

Channel News Asia, 19 Nov 18   Iran is still hopeful that its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers can be saved despite the withdrawal of the United States, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday. DUBAI: Iran is still hopeful that its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers can be saved despite the withdrawal of the United States, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.

“There are some ambiguities on implementation of the EU’s mechanism to protect trade with Iran from America’s sanctions … But we remain hopeful that the Europeans can save the deal,” Bahram Qasemi told a news conference broadcast live on state TV.

Other signatories trying to salvage the deal since May, when U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned it. Washington restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transportation sectors this month.

The European Union has been trying to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for non-dollar trade with Iran to save the deal, under which most sanctions were lifted in 2016 in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme………  (Writing by Parisa Hafezi; editing by Darren Schuettler and John Stonestreet)

Read more at—foreign-ministry-10946216

November 19, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear safety agreement with Ukraine is a nuclear marketing exercise

Silver Post 17th Nov 2018 The signing of the agreement Ukraine-the United States on nuclear safety
will provide America the opportunity to sell the Ukrainians their nuclear
fuel. That is one of the main goals of this agreement is commercial.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Ukraine, USA | 2 Comments

South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s evidence at the State Capture Commission


Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says he advised former President Jacob Zuma that nuclear procurement would be a complex issue. Clement Manyathela 20 Nov 18 JOHANNESBURG – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has told the state capture commission that former President Jacob Zuma was determined to go ahead with the nuclear build programme despite the reality that the country could not afford it. Gordhan appeared before the inquiry on Monday in Parktown.

His interactions with the Gupta family are among other issues he is expected to deal with.

The minister says he advised Zuma that nuclear procurement would be a complex issue.

“I indicated to the former president that it would be lawful to follow procurement processes for such an expensive process to avoid being marred in scandals such as the arms deal.”

He says he wanted Zuma to be aware of the cost implications.

“I wanted to impress upon the former president that that undertaking, the nuclear procurement, required careful consideration of its costs, choice of supplier and due process.”

Last month, former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told the commission Zuma was so determined to proceed with the nuclear build programme that he showed disregard and no appreciation for the financial ramifications for the country.

Gordhan will continue his testimony on Tuesday.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

SCE and G electric utility aims to discredit the testimony of two former employees

In fight over power bills, SCE&G seeks to disparage ex-employees, $1 million nuclear report, Greenville News, Avery G. Wilks, The State Nov. 19, 2018 COLUMBIA — When the S.C. Public Service Commission rules on SCE&G’s electric rates next month, the Cayce-based utility doesn’t want those regulators to put too much stock into scathing testimony by two of its former employees.

Nor does SCE&G want the commission to weigh heavily a nuclear contractor’s late 2015 assessment that concluded SCE&G’s $9 billion nuclear construction project was foundering and way behind schedule.

Fighting allegations of fraud and mismanagement in this month’s PSC hearing into the failed V.C. Summer Nuclear Station expansion project, SCE&G has sought to disparage its former employees and a high-powered construction company that it paid $1 million.

It is a key part of SCE&G’s defense as the state’s utility watchdog, environmentalists and consumer groups cite those witnesses to bolster their arguments that the utility’s power bills – which rose by about $27 a month to bankroll the failing project – should be slashed.

That strategy likely will be on display again Tuesday when former utility executive Carlette Walker, vice president of nuclear finance administration for SCE&G’s parent company SCANA, and retired SCE&G engineer Ken Browne testify before the commission for the first time in this case.

Impeach your own people’

Walker and Browne are star witnesses for the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff, the state’s utility watchdog.

In sworn statements filed with the PSC, both have said SCE&G executives misled the commission in 2015 by testifying the project would cost $698 million more to complete – a number supplied by the project’s lead contractor, Westinghouse.

That number was unrealistically low and based on a productivity rate that never had been achieved at the Fairfield County construction site, Walker and Browne say. A team of SCE&G accountants and engineers worked for weeks to estimate the project actually would cost an additional $1.2 billion to finish — $500 million more than Westinghouse had said.

That half-billion-dollar difference is key to Regulatory Staff’s argument that SCE&G fraudulently won rate hikes and kept its failing nuclear project alive by providing the PSC with low-balled cost estimates. ……..

November 19, 2018 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

UK’s Moorside nuclear project will not go ahead unless the taxpayer pays for it

In Cumbria 16th Nov 2018 A nuclear power station for West Cumbria is unlikely to ever get the
go-ahead without the backing of public money. That was the conclusion of a
heated debate at a full meeting of Cumbria County Council, which saw an
urgent notice of motion agreed after tempers flared among the 80
councillors gathered.

It was the first time the council had met following
the decision by Toshiba to win up NuGen, the developer behind the £15
billion Moorside power station plans in West Cumbria.

The motion raised by David Southward (Lab, Egremont) and seconded by council leader Stewart
Young (Lab, Carlisle) read: “Council calls on the Government to enter
into urgent discussions with all interested parties and to take any
necessary steps to ensure that the nuclear power plant construction project
at Moorside goes ahead.

“Council considers that due to the level of commercial risk involved in projects of this nature, they are highly
unlikely to proceed without Government support, whether that be by way of
equity acquisition, underwriting potential losses or guaranteeing the
strike price.” Cllr Southward called the decision a “devastating
blow” and meant the area missing out on 5,000 construction jobs lasting
eight years, and a further 1,000 operational jobs.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

France’s Environment Minister questions viability of EPR nuclear. France to cut back on nuclear power

France to cut nuclear energy reliance by 2035 – minister, Channel News Asia. 18 Nov 18  France aims to reduce the share of electricity produced by nuclear reactors to 50 percent from 75 percent now by 2035, Environment Minister Francois de Rugy said on Sunday.  PARIS: France aims to reduce the share of electricity produced by nuclear reactors to 50 percent from 75 percent now by 2035, Environment Minister Francois de Rugy said on Sunday.

The French government has long outlined plans to shrink the country’s reliance on nuclear energy to 50 percent, though the deadline for that goal had remained less clear.

A long-awaited government update on France’s long-term energy strategy is expected to be released later this month, setting out in greater detail how it will cut the share of nuclear in its power generation……….

The new environment minister has said he expected there would be fewer nuclear reactors in France in 10 year’s time, though he has given few details on how many of state-owned EDF’s 58 plants will have to close.

De Rugy raised further doubts on Sunday over plans to build more plants using the European pressurized reactor (EPR) design, having previously questioned whether this new generation of reactors were viable……….

Read more at—minister-10944548

November 19, 2018 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

How the USA gave up on protecting its citizens against nuclear attack, and settled for just elite shelters

How the U.S. Government Might Have Survived a Nuclear War,  Yes, this is the real Deep State, National Interest, by Steve Weintz, 18 Nov 18 

With the arrival of the Bomb and its immense destructive power, the efforts to protect elites and commoners alike from swift destruction assumed novel and at times grotesque forms. Civil defense foundered in America upon the sheer scale of the problem—getting tens of millions of urbanites out of cities and into shelters before enemy nukes arrived. Ultimately the United States quietly gave up on protecting the majority of its residents from nuclear attack via shelter, and opted for a grand technological fix in missile defense.

Elite shelter concepts, however, had better success. Ostensibly, this makes sense; targeting the enemy leadership can sometimes win a struggle. The assassination of Admiral Yamamoto by the U.S. Navy in 1943, for example, derailed Japan’s defense of its island conquests. But such a policy opens a door into a very dark room, as many leaders instinctively know.

Tofrom early on in the Nuclear Age the U.S. government explored numerous ways to keep itself safe during and after Armageddon.

The Greenbriar Resort in West Virginia, a grand old vacation destination abounding in stately elegance, now includes a Cold War extra amongst a tour of its premises: the congressional bunker built in the late 1950s under the guise of a resort expansion. The Greenbriar bunker is a true time capsule, its rotary-dial phones and fusty office chairs ready for the cast of a period movie.

The Greenbriar bunker was never used for its intended purpose and was decommissioned in 1992 after a news expose. When members of Congress evacuated the Capitol on September 11, 2001, they flew to the Mount Weather emergency command facility in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Now run by FEMA, Mount Weather can shelter several hundred people from all three branches of government for months.

Along with Congress agencies such as the Federal Reserve made accommodations for apocalypse, including giant vaults full of currency . As Strangelovian as it sounds, the work of returning American society to some semblance of pre-war routine would depend on cash and banking.

As aircraft became faster and missiles faster still the warning times for nuclear attack shrank from hours to minutes. Even as Greenbriar and Mount Weather were conceived and built,  the evolving threat demanded more urgent safety measures. As Mark, the author of Atomic Skies blog writes:

“Two solutions were considered: mobility and hardness. Mobility meant keeping the president on the move, on plane or train or ship, so that the Soviets could not find and kill him. Hardness meant burying the president, deep underground, deeper than even a nuclear weapon could reach.” ………

So are there deep bunkers carved into the American soil still hiding in the dark? Vast sums have been spent since 9/11 and much is unaccounted for. But the same concerns that kept super bunkers from being built – cost, capacity and effectiveness—mitigate against any grand caverns of doom.

Yes, this is the real Deep State.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | history, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment


History Channel – ROCKETDYNE


THEY OCCURRED IN 1959, 1964, 1969, Doug Carrol 19 Nov 18
“Until 2006, the site was operated by private corporations for federal agencies — chiefly NASA. The problems there began in 1959, when a nuclear reactor partially melted down, contaminating portions of the hilltop facility and spewing radioactive gases into the atmosphere. That incident wasn’t publicly disclosed until 1979. By then, more mishaps had followed, including reactor accidents in 1964 and 1969. The worst contamination is thought to be in a parcel known as Area IV, where the meltdown occurred”

20 years of the worst radioactive shit in the universe accumulated in simi valley, where the horrendous fire occured this past week. The place has not been cleaned up. The fires, that englufed Ventura county and Malibu.  3 nuclear meltdowns occured at Santa susana in a 10 year period. Multiple ignitions of shitty nuclear reactor engines, that just spewed radioactive shit into the valley, everytime they fired it off.  The recent fires in ventura county, picked up that cesium 137, plutonium yada yada yada, and suspended it in the air all over so cal. Everyone there is breathing it.

I knew a Doctor raised south of Santa Susana. His one and only child, was born deaf and blind with deformities. His three siblings died of cancer, at relatively young ages.

Frank Zappa was from lancaster, and went to High School close to there. His father was affiliated with government research close to santa susana. FRANK may not have been in Lancaster when the first meltdown occured, but there was nuclear research there in the early 50s.

Watch for a massive uptick in the incidence of Reactive airway disease, intractable respiratory infections in children this winter.  Watch for a large spike cancer, in the next few years in socal.

Pediatric Cancers Near the Santa Susana Field Laboratory

Frank Zappa died of the most hideous, fast growing metastatic-prostate cancer possible. That was at age 53. Continue reading

November 19, 2018 Posted by | history, incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Contrary to U.S. Energy Department’s report, there WAS nuclear waste near New Mexico nuclear site rockfall

Nuke dump managers: There was waste near ceiling collapse , November 17, 2018  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Operations at the federal government’s nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico resumed Friday as managers acknowledged there was radioactive waste in the area where a portion of the underground facility’s ceiling collapsed earlier this week.The acknowledgement came a day after the U.S. Energy Department announced there had been a rock fall at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The agency’s office in Carlsbad initially said there was no waste in the area, but watchdogs voiced concerns.

The radioactive waste included two canisters that were encapsulated in holes bored into the salt formation that makes up the walls and ceilings of the repository and its underground disposal rooms. There also were pieces of equipment in the room where the collapse happened that were contaminated by a 2014 radiation release.

Watchdogs pointed to agency documents and testimony during a recent hearing, saying officials knew what was in the room.

“For them to say there’s no waste, that’s just worse than false,” said Don Hancock with the Southwest Research and Information Center, an Albuquerque-based watchdog group. “Documents available to the public show 320,000 pounds of contaminated equipment in the room. That is waste. They know that.”

Hancock said the equipment contains fuel and other fluids that have never been drained, since crews have been kept out of the area for more than two years due to safety concerns.

Wednesday’s collapse prompted an evacuation. Workers heard a loud thud while doing inspections underground, so they left the area and all work was stopped………..

Access in the underground disposal area has been limited in the wake of the 2014 radiation release, which was caused by an inappropriately packed drum of waste that had come from Los Alamos National Laboratory. That release contaminated part of the area, forcing the closure of the repository for nearly three years and resulting in a costly recovery.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | incidents, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Habitable areas of our planet are shrinking – as climate change exacerbates extreme weather

Until now, human beings have been spreading, from our beginnings in Africa, out across the globe—slowly at first, and then much faster. But a period of contraction is setting in as we lose parts of the habitable earth.

some of the world is becoming too hot for humans.

As some people flee humidity and rising sea levels, others will be forced to relocate in order to find enough water to survive.

escaping the wreckage is, almost certainly, a fantasy. Even if astronauts did cross the thirty-four million miles to Mars, they’d need to go underground to survive there. To what end?

“People think if we fuck up here on Earth we can always go to Mars or the stars,” “It’s pernicious.”

How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet, New Yorker, by Bill McKibben November 18, 2018 With wildfires, heat waves, and rising sea levels, large tracts of the earth are at risk of becoming uninhabitable. But the fossil-fuel industry continues its assault on the facts …

“……For the past few years, a tide of optimistic thinking has held that conditions for human beings around the globe have been improving. Wars are scarcer, poverty and hunger are less severe, and there are better prospects for wide-scale literacy and education. But there are newer signs that human progress has begun to flag. In the face of our environmental deterioration, it’s now reasonable to ask whether the human game has begun to falter—perhaps even to play itself out. Late in 2017, a United Nations agency announced that the number of chronically malnourished people in the world, after a decade of decline, had started to grow again—by thirty-eight million, to a total of eight hundred and fifteen million, “largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks.” In June, 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. found that child labor, after years of falling, was growing, “driven in part by an increase in conflicts and climate-induced disasters.”

Scientists have warned for decades that climate change would lead to extreme weather. Shortly before the I.P.C.C. report was published, Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Florida Panhandle, inflicted thirty billion dollars’ worth of material damage and killed forty-five people. President Trump, who has argued that global warming is “a total, and very expensive, hoax,” visited Florida to survey the wreckage, but told reporters that the storm had not caused him to rethink his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accords. He expressed no interest in the I.P. C.C. report beyond asking “who drew it.” (The answer is ninety-one researchers from forty countries.) He later claimed that his “natural instinct” for science made him confident that the climate would soon “change back.” A month later, Trump blamed the fires in California on “gross mismanagement of forests.

 ……….As a team of scientists recently pointed out in the journal Nature Climate Change, the physical shifts we’re inflicting on the planet will “extend longer than the entire history of human civilization thus far.”

The poorest and most vulnerable will pay the highest price. But already, even in the most affluent areas, many of us hesitate to walk across a grassy meadow because of the proliferation of ticks bearing Lyme disease which have come with the hot weather; we have found ourselves unable to swim off beaches, because jellyfish, which thrive as warming seas kill off other marine life, have taken over the water.

The planet’s diameter will remain eight thousand miles, and its surface will still cover two hundred million square miles. But the earth, for humans, has begun to shrink, under our feet and in our minds.

Climate change,” like “urban sprawl” or “gun violence,” has become such a familiar term that we tend to read past it. But exactly what we’ve been up to should fill us with awe. During the past two hundred years, we have burned immense quantities of coal and gas and oil—in car motors, basement furnaces, power plants, steel mills—and, as we have done so, carbon atoms have combined with oxygen atoms in the air to produce carbon dioxide. This, along with other gases like methane, has trapped heat that would otherwise have radiated back out to space. ……..

When I say the world has begun to shrink, this is what I mean. Until now, human beings have been spreading, from our beginnings in Africa, out across the globe—slowly at first, and then much faster. But a period of contraction is setting in as we lose parts of the habitable earth. Sometimes our retreat will be hasty and violent; the effort to evacuate the blazing California towns along narrow roads was so chaotic that many people died in their cars. But most of the pullback will be slower, starting along the world’s coastlines. Each year, another twenty-four thousand people abandon Vietnam’s sublimely fertile Mekong Delta as crop fields are polluted with salt. As sea ice melts along the Alaskan coast, there is nothing to protect towns, cities, and native villages from the waves. In Mexico Beach, Florida, which was all but eradicated by Hurricane Michael, a resident told the Washington Post, “The older people can’t rebuild; it’s too late in their lives. Who is going to be left? Who is going to care?” ………

According to a study from the United Kingdom’s National Oceanography Centre last summer, the damage caused by rising sea levels will cost the world as much as fourteen trillion dollars a year by 2100, if the U.N. targets aren’t met. “Like it or not, we will retreat from most of the world’s non-urban shorelines in the not very distant future,” Orrin Pilkey, an expert on sea levels at Duke University, wrote in his book “Retreat from a Rising Sea.” “We can plan now and retreat in a strategic and calculated fashion, or we can worry about it later and retreat in tactical disarray in response to devastating storms. In other words, we can walk away methodically, or we can flee in panic.” ………

some of the world is becoming too hot for humans.  ……….

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, increased heat and humidity have reduced the amount of work people can do outdoors by ten per cent, a figure that is predicted to double by 2050. About a decade ago, Australian and American researchers, setting out to determine the highest survivable so-called “wet-bulb” temperature, concluded that when temperatures passed thirty-five degrees Celsius (ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit) and the humidity was higher than ninety per cent, even in “well-ventilated shaded conditions,” sweating slows down, and humans can survive only “for a few hours, the exact length of time being determined by individual physiology.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, increased heat and humidity have reduced the amount of work people can do outdoors by ten per cent, a figure that is predicted to double by 2050. About a decade ago, Australian and American researchers, setting out to determine the highest survivable so-called “wet-bulb” temperature, concluded that when temperatures passed thirty-five degrees Celsius (ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit) and the humidity was higher than ninety per cent, even in “well-ventilated shaded conditions,” sweating slows down, and humans can survive only “for a few hours, the exact length of time being determined by individual physiology.” ………

As some people flee humidity and rising sea levels, others will be forced to relocate in order to find enough water to survive. In late 2017, a study led by Manoj Joshi, of the University of East Anglia, found that, by 2050, if temperatures rise by two degrees a quarter of the earth will experience serious drought and desertification. The early signs are clear: 

………We’ve already overpumped the aquifers that lie beneath most of the world’s breadbaskets …

…….All this has played out more or less as scientists warned, albeit faster. What has defied expectations is the slowness of the response. 

………..Exxon’s behavior is shocking, but not entirely surprising. Philip Morris lied about the effects of cigarette smoking before the government stood up to Big Tobacco. The mystery that historians will have to unravel is what went so wrong in our governance and our culture that we have done, essentially, nothing to stand up to the fossil-fuel industry.

There are undoubtedly myriad intellectual, psychological, and political sources for our inaction, but I cannot help thinking that the influence of Ayn Rand, the Russian émigré novelist, may have played a role. Rand’s disquisitions on the “virtue of selfishness” and unbridled capitalism are admired by many American politicians and economists—Paul Ryan, Tillerson, Mike Pompeo, Andrew Puzder, and Donald Trump, among them.

Trump, who has called “The Fountainhead” his favorite book, said that the novel “relates to business and beauty and life and inner emotions. That book relates to . . . everything.” Long after Rand’s death, in 1982, the libertarian gospel of the novel continues to sway our politics: Government is bad. Solidarity is a trap. Taxes are theft. The Koch brothers, whose enormous fortune derives in large part from the mining and refining of oil and gas, have peddled a similar message, broadening the efforts that Exxon-funded groups like the Global Climate Coalition spearheaded in  the late nineteen eighties…….

Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson are among the billionaires who have spent some of their fortunes on space travel—a last-ditch effort to expand the human zone of habitability. In November, 2016, Stephen Hawking gave humanity a deadline of a thousand years to leave Earth. Six months later, he revised the timetable to a century. In June, 2017, he told an audience that “spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves.” He continued, “Earth is under threat from so many areas that it is difficult for me to be positive.”

But escaping the wreckage is, almost certainly, a fantasy. Even if astronauts did cross the thirty-four million miles to Mars, they’d need to go underground to survive there. To what end? The multimillion-dollar attempts at building a “biosphere” in the Southwestern desert in 1991 ended in abject failure. Kim Stanley Robinson, the author of a trilogy of novels about the colonization of Mars, recently called such projects a “moral hazard.” “People think if we fuck up here on Earth we can always go to Mars or the stars,” he said. “It’s pernicious.”

The dream of interplanetary colonization also distracts us from acknowledging the unbearable beauty of the planet we already inhabit.  …….

November 19, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Rocky Flats still radioactively polluted

CNN Planet Earth: Poisoned Earth – Rocky Mountain Arsenal


The Dangers of Rocky Flats Are Forgotten but Not Gone, Westword,  | NOVEMBER 17, 2018 “……..After nearly forty years of producing plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs, Rocky Flats was closed in 1992 after an endless series of fires, leaking storage containers and other accidents. At that time, it was said that Rocky Flats was likely to become a “national sacrifice zone” — a place so toxic it would never be fit for human habitation.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | environment, USA, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear industry will suffer, in withdrawing from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom)

Power Technology 16th Nov 2018 The draft Brexit agreement, which was released on 14 November, includes a
provision that the UK will withdraw from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), despite concerns that it could damage the UK nuclear energy industry, in particular civil nuclear power production.

Within the document titled ‘Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the
European Atomic Energy Community’, plans are set for the UK to leave the
nuclear regulator when it leaves the European Union (EU).

The agreement states: “The [UK] shall have sole responsibility for ensuring that all
ores, source materials and special fissile materials covered by the Euratom
Treaty and present on the territory of the [UK] at the end of the
transition period are handled in accordance with relevant and application
international treaties and conventions, including but not limited to
international treaties and conventions on nuclear safety.”

November 19, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment