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Exposing The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud

The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed, How US military spending keeps rising even as the Pentagon flunks its audit. The Nation , By Dave Lindorff, NOVEMBER 27, 2018 In November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government’s largest discretionary cost center—the Pentagon receives 54 cents out of every dollar in federal appropriations—after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself. The firms concluded, however, that the DoD’s financial records were riddled with so many bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors that a reliable audit was simply impossible………..

December 1, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The danger of nuclear war through irrational decision-making by Donald Trump

December 1, 2018 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

 World Meteorological Organization warns: world running out of time to combat climate change

Past four years hottest on record, data shows https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/29/four-years-hottest-record-climate-change Fiona HarveyEnvironment correspondent 29 Nov 2018 

World running out of time to combat climate change, warns meteorological organisation Global temperatures have continued to rise in the past 10 months, with 2018 expected to be the fourth warmest year on record.

Average temperatures around the world so far this year were nearly 1C (1.8F) above pre-industrial levels. Extreme weather has affected all continents, while the melting of sea ice and glaciers and rises in sea levels continue. The past four years have been the hottest on record, and the 20 warmest have occurred in the past 22 years.

The warming trend is unmistakeable and shows we are running out of time to tackle climate change, according to the World Meteorological Organization, which on Thursday published its provisional statement on the State of the Climate in 2018. The WMO warned that, on current trends, warming could reach 3C to 5C by the end of this century.

“These are more than just numbers,” said Elena Manaenkova, the WMO deputy secretary general. “Every fraction of a degree of warming makes a difference to human health and access to food and fresh water, to the extinction of animals and plants, to the survival of coral reefs and marine life.”

The world has committed to keeping warming to no more than 2C above such levels, with an aspiration to limit rises to 1.5C, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said will cause the dieback of coral reefs, sea-level rises and extreme weather in many regions.

Greenhouse gas levels were also recently found to be at record levels, and a UN report this week said the world must triple its emissions reduction efforts to stay within 2C – and to stay within 1.5C, those efforts needed to be five times greater.

The IPCC found that continued rises in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 12 years could result in a breaching of the 1.5C limit.

On Monday, the Met Office said summer temperatures in the UK could be 5C hotter by 2070, making this year’s heatwave the norm for the future, while winters could get much wetter. London could become increasingly vulnerable to storms and flooding owing to sea-level rises, with the water level in the capital likely to rise by 1.15 metres by the end of the century.

The WMO found the extent of Arctic sea ice in 2018 was much lower than normal, with the maximum in March the third lowest on record and the September minimum the sixth lowest.

The oceans have been absorbing record or near-record amounts of heat at certain periods. The year started with a weak La Niña event but by October there were signs of a return to El Niño conditions, which can raise global temperatures further.

There were a greater number of violent storms than usual, including 70 tropical cyclones in the northern hemisphere, compared with the long-term average of 53. Storms brought devastation to the Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Vietnam, the Korean peninsula and Tonga, while hurricanes Florence and Michael caused substantial damage in the US.

Wildfires raged in Greece, Canada, California and other areas, while floods devastated Kerala in India and displaced more than 1.4 million people. Japan also experienced serious flooding, as did east Africa.

Petteri Taalas, the secretary general of the WMO, a leading authority on climate change, said: “We are not on track to meet climate targets and rein in temperature increases. If we exploit all known fossil fuel resources, the temperature rise will be considerably higher.

“We are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it.”

Manaenkova added that every effort to reduce greenhouse gases and the impacts of climate change was worthwhile. “Every bit matters,” she said, citing the harm done by temperature rises to every aspect of life, including economic productivity, food security, glacier melt and water supplies, and the future of low-lying islands and coastal communities.

Jens Mattias Clausen, Greenpeace’s head of delegation at the UN climate change conference (COP24) in Poland, said: “The evidence, if we needed any more, continues to stack up. The record-high heatwaves, record-low Arctic sea ice, above average tropical cyclones and deadly wildfires are an alarm bell impossible to ignore. We’re in the midst of a climate crisis and this meteorological report spells out the worsening threat in startling clarity. It’s no longer our future that is in peril; our today is at risk.

“The recent IPCC report also showed that we still have hope. We have 12 years to move the needle and any leader who comes to COP24 unprepared to step up and take action needs to read the WMO report and understand it’s time to stop talking and start acting on climate – while we still have the chance.”

December 1, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Australian schoolchildren on strike for action on climate change

Kids across Australia walk out of school to protest climate inaction

Climate change is the biggest threat to our futures, not striking from school https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/29/climate-change-is-the-biggest-threat-to-our-futures-not-striking-from-school Milou Albrecht, Harriet O’Shea Carre and Jean Hinchcliffe, 29 Nov 2018

We are walking out for a day to send the Australian government a message: you can no longer pretend we are not here. his month, hundreds of children are going on strike from school to demand urgent action on climate change. From rural Victoria to Townsville, we are walking out of school for a day or more to tell our politicians to listen to us and protect our futures.

We are Milou, Jean and Harriet and we are 14 years old.

Two of us – Milou and Harriet – live in rural Victoria. Throughout our lives, we’ve witnessed the impacts that drought, bushfires and extreme weather have on a community. We have been forced to evacuate when a bushfire came through our town. It was scary. But it is something that will happen more and more as climate change gets worse.

We feel frustrated and let down when we think about the climate crisis and our future. There is so much our politicians could be doing that they aren’t. It seems they are in denial. Our government is supposed to protect us, not destroy our chances of a safe future. Continue reading

December 1, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, PERSONAL STORIES | Leave a comment

World’s Worst Public Health Crisis  – Climate Change

A New Report Finds That Climate Change is the World’s Worst Public Health Crisis https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/11/climate-change-public-health-report/

Researchers forecast more disease and disaster as the planet warms.

The report, written by a team of international researchers, focuses on several climate-related impacts, including extreme heat and its effect on labor productivity and the spread of disease. In 2017, 153 billion hours of labor were lost due to heat—an increase of more than 62 billion hours since 2000. This correlates with a rise in exposure to heat waves and extreme weather events such as hurricanes and wildfires that have already made thousands of climate refugees and are expected to create millions more.

Many of those refugees, one of the report’s author notes, are American. In a press call on Tuesday, Renee Salas, a doctor of emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of the Lancet Countdown US Brief, described a recent experience close to home. “I had a patient who came from Puerto Rico, came with bag of luggage, bag of medication she hasn’t taken in days. She was truly a climate refugee who was in my emergency department,” Salas said. “I can’t think of a population more at risk of health effects than a displaced individual.”

Even small changes in temperature and precipitation can result in large changes in the transmission of vector-borne and water-borne diseases, the report notes. In 2016, there were significant increases in the the capacity for insect-borne bacteria and viruses—especially those that cause dengue fever, cholera, and malaria—to be transmitted. (This finding was echoed in last week’s federal climate assessment, which found that climate change would “alter the geographic range and distribution of disease-carrying insects and pests” in the United States.)

Meanwhile, the world’s capacity to grow food also appears to be under threat. An examination of agricultural yields shows declines in every region; 30 countries produced less food in recent years.

The Lancet Countdown’s report does include cause for hope. More electric vehicles were on the road in a 2017 than ever before, and investment in renewable energy has significantly increased, while coal consumption continues to decline. China is responsible for many of these changes. It claims more than 40 percent of all electric cars sold, and it is leading in the installation of renewable energy sources.

Yet spending on climate change adaptation remains well below the amount outlined by the 2015 Paris Agreement, which President Donald Trump has announced the United States will not abide by. And only 3.8 percent of that spending is dedicated to human health. Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, now the director of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University, says it is crucial to recognize the impacts of climate change on health. She describes visiting California in the midst of the recent wildfire that spread smoke across the state. “It was so clear to see people with masks on literally walking on the streets of San Francisco and downtown Palo Alto,” McCarthy says. “This didn’t look like the United States of America.”

Fine particulate matter—what the masks McCarthy saw Californians wearing are designed to filter out—accounted for nearly 3 million premature deaths in 2015, according to the report. Pollution has actually worsened in nearly three-quarters of the world’s cities since 2010. Road fuel use increased by 2 percent from 2013 to 2015, and cycling—a main alternative to driving in cities—made up less than 10 percent of commutes.

The report, which is aimed at health professionals, argues that they must do more to educate the public about climate change. The impacts of inaction, the report’s authors write, cannot be overstated. As McCarthy notes, “I don’t think people question a diagnosis from their physicians just because a president decides he might not believe in something. This is not about a belief system. This is about science and facts.”

December 1, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, health | Leave a comment

U.S. Congress could stop the endless wars

Will Congress Stop the Endless Wars?  Mike Ludwig, Truthout, November 30, 2018  Lawmakers in both parties had plenty of reasons to advance a Senate resolution this week that would end the United States’ participation in Yemen’s bloody civil war. Death is rapidly spreading across Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Houthi rebels is blocking the flow of food and aid, leaving up to 14 million people on the brink of the world’s worst famine in over a century. Bombs made in the US have been found alongside dead civilians.Then there is President Trump, who appears all too eager to defend the Saudi royal family, even after his own intelligence agents concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was likely behind the brutal killing and dismemberment of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who introduced the resolution back in February, said the legislation is certainly about addressing famine, bloodshed and Trump’s troubling embrace of Saudi monarchs. It’s also about Congress reasserting its constitutional authority over when and where the US makes war overseas. This has major implications for the peace movement, which is calling on Sanders to become a leading voice against US militarism.

The US military supplies the Saudi coalition with military equipment, intelligence and targeting assistance, and only recently agreed to stop refueling the Saudi warplanes bombarding Yemen. Congress never authorized participation in the civil war, even as the Obama administration began leveraging military assistance to the Saudis back in 2015. Speaking on the Senate floor on Wednesday, Sanders made this clear as he urged his colleagues to bring the resolution out of committee.

“It is a vote … that says that the United States Senate respects the Constitution … and understands that the issue of war making, of going to war, putting young men and women’s lives at stake, is something determined by the US Congress, not the president of the United States,” Sanders said.

The Senate voted 63-37 to advance the resolution on Wednesday, just months after tabling the measure with a solid majority that included several Democrats. The resolution invokes the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which compels the president to remove US forces from overseas military operations that are not authorized by Congress. A vote to pass the legislation is expected next week, and the antiwar movement now has a hard-fought victory in its sights.

“It’s enormous. This is the first time in the Senate’s history that they have ever gotten this far in invoking the War Powers Resolution,” said Hassan El-Tayyab, a peace activist and co-director of Just Foreign Policy who lobbied Congress on Yemen, in an interview.

The Constitution places the power to declare war with Congress, not the White House, but Congress has not declared war since World War II. From Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, a succession of presidents led US troops into major foreign wars and a long list of other conflicts, rapidly expanding the size of the military and the power of the Oval Office along the way. Each time, these presidents sidestepped Congress. Today, the US has an estimated 800 military bases outside the 50 states, and US troops have regularly engaged in military operations in a long list of countries across the world. ……… https://truthout.org/articles/will-congress-stop-the-endless-wars/

December 1, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Appeal lodged to stop commissioning of Flamanville EPR nuclear reactor vessel.

December 1, 2018 Posted by | France, Legal | Leave a comment

USA Senate votes to advance Yemen War Powers resolution to end US complicity in Saudi Assault on Yemen

Senate Advances War Powers Resolution to End US Complicity in Saudi Assault on Yemen https://portside.org/2018-11-28/senate-advances-war-powers-resolution-end-us-complicity-saudi-assault-yemen

“Today’s victory is a testament to the power of grassroots activism across the country to bring about change. This vote sets a historic precedent for future action Congress can take to reclaim its constitutional authority over war.”

In a historic vote that could “mark the beginning of the end of American complicity” in Saudi Arabia’s mass atrocities in Yemen, the Senate on Wednesday voted to advance Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Yemen War Powers resolution by an overwhelming margin of 63-37.
“Today’s victory is a testament to the power of grassroots activism across the country to bring about change.”—Diane Randall, Friends Committee on National Legislation

“I’ve been at this for three years, and I am blown away by this,” wrote Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who sponsored the resolution alongside Sanders and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah.). “The Senate just voted, for the first time, to move forward with a debate on ending American involvement in the Yemen war.”

According to Sanders communications director Josh Miller-Lewis, Wednesday marks “the first time the Senate has voted to advance a War Powers resolution.” Every single Democratic senator joined 14 Republicans in voting to move the measure forward.

“Cutting off military aid to Saudi Arabia is the right choice for Yemen, the right choice for our national security, and the right choice for upholding the Constitution,”  Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, declared in a statement. “Three years ago, the notion of Congress voting to cut off military support for Saudi Arabia would have been politically laughable.”

While applauding the unprecedented rebuke of Saudi Arabia’s vicious, years-long assault on Yemen—which has been carried out with the help of U.S. weaponry and intelligence—anti-war advocates warned that there is still a long road ahead, with debate and a final vote on the measure expected as early as next week.

“Today’s victory is a testament to the power of grassroots activism across the country to bring about change,” said Diane Randall, executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). “This vote sets a historic precedent for future action Congress can take to reclaim its constitutional authority over war and end American involvement in wars around the world.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep

December 1, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Political connections in Holtec’s plans for boosting nuclear power in India

Holtec’s Singh plans to build $680 million factory to boost nuclear power in India, The Inquirer, by Joseph N. DiStefano,  November 26, 2018 On a flower-decked table in Mumbai, India, last week, a Holtec International delegation led by Krishna P. Singh, the India native and triple-degree Penn grad, joined with a group headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, of Maharashtra, India’s second-most populous state, to sign a memo of understanding allowing Holtec to build a factory the company says will “give India autonomous capability” to make systems and parts for “the country’s planned expansion of nuclear generation.”……….

December 1, 2018 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Belgium re-authorised nuclear power without having an environmental assessment – EU Magistrate critices.

December 1, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

A mistake to expect Kim Jong Un to give a full renunciation of nuclear weapons in advance

Why Insisting on a North Korean Nuclear Declaration Up Front is a Big Mistake, 38 NORTH BY: SIEGFRIED S. HECKER, NOVEMBER 28, 2018,  My reply to the frequently asked question if Kim Jong Un will ever give up North Korea’s nuclear weapons is, “I don’t know, and most likely he doesn’t know either. But it is time to find out.” However, insisting that Kim Jong Un give a full declaration of his nuclear program up front will not work. It will breed more suspicion instead of building the trust necessary for the North to denuclearize, a process that will extend beyond the 2020 US presidential election.

However, the time it will take to get to the endpoint should not obscure the progress that has already been made. Since this spring, Kim Jong Un has taken significant steps to reduce the nuclear threat North Korea poses. He has declared an end to nuclear testing and closed the nuclear test tunnels by setting off explosive charges inside the test tunnel complex. He also declared an end to testing intermediate- and long-range missiles including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). I consider these as two of the most important steps toward reducing the threat North Korea poses and as significant steps on the path to denuclearization.

Whereas the North still poses a nuclear threat to Japan and South Korea as well as US military forces and citizens in the region, the threat to the United States has been markedly reduced. In my opinion, North Korea needs more nuclear and ICBM tests to be able to reach the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile. Freezing the sophistication of the program is a necessary precursor to rolling it back in a step-by-step process.

At the September 2018 inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, Kim also told President Moon that he would commit to dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear complex if the US takes commensurate measures—unspecified, at least in public. The Yongbyon complex is the heart of North Korea’s nuclear program. Shutting it down and dismantling it would be a very big deal because it would stop plutonium and tritium production (for hydrogen bombs) and significantly disrupt highly enriched uranium production.

Yet, Kim’s actions have been widely dismissed as insignificant or insincere by both the left and the right of the American political spectrum. In many of these quarters, the sincerity of Kim’s denuclearization promise is judged by whether or not he is willing to provide a full and complete declaration and to agree on adequate verification measures. But Kim’s willingness to provide a full declaration at this early stage tells us little about his willingness to denuclearize. Moreover, I maintain that insisting on this approach is a dead end, certainly as long as Washington continues to apply “maximum pressure” instead of moving to implement the steps on normalizing relations that President Trump agreed to in the June Singapore statement.

A full declaration is a dead end because it is tantamount to surrender, and Kim has not surrendered, nor will he. A complete account of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities would, in Kim’s view, likely be far too risky in that it would essentially provide a targeting list for US military planners and seal the inevitable end of the nuclear program and possibly his regime.

Furthermore, a declaration must be accompanied by a robust verification protocol. That, in turn, must allow inspections and a full accounting of all past activities such as production and procurement records as well as export activities. And, once all these activities are complete, an inspection protocol must provide assurances that activities that could support a weapons program are not being reconstituted. This would be a contentious and drawn-out affair.

It is inconceivable that the North would declare all of its nuclear weapons, their location, and allow inspections of the weapons or of their disassembly up front. But in addition to the weapons themselves, a nuclear weapon program consists of three interlocking elements: 1) the nuclear bomb fuel, which depending on the type of bomb includes plutonium, highly enriched uranium (HEU), and forms of heavy hydrogen—deuterium and tritium; 2) weaponization—that is, designing, building and testing weapons, and; 3) delivery systems, which in the case of North Korea appear to be missiles, although airplane or ship delivery cannot be ruled out. Each of these elements involves dozens of sites, hundreds of buildings, and several thousand people.

Let me give an example of what is involved just for verification of plutonium inventories and means of production. ………..

It should be apparent that the declaration plus commensurate verification of the amount of plutonium North Korea possesses, which I believe is only between 20 and 40 kilograms, will be an enormous job. I cannot see it being accomplished in the current adversarial environment and certainly not within the timeframe that has been specified by the US government.

A similar sequence of declarations, inspections, and verification measures would have to be developed for the other bomb fuels, namely HEU and the hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium. Verification of HEU inventories and means of production will be particularly contentious because very little is known about the centrifuge facility at the Yongbyon site. As far as we know, my Stanford colleagues and I are the only foreigners to have seen that facility, and then only in a hurried walk-through in 2010. In addition, there exists at least one other covert centrifuge site.

The situation is even more problematic for the second element of the North’s nuclear program, that of weaponization, which includes bomb design, production, and testing because we know nothing about these activities or where they are performed. Although we have some information regarding the nuclear test site at which six nuclear tests were conducted, we do not know if there are other tunnel complexes that have been prepared for testing.

The third element includes all of the North’s missiles and its production, storage and launch sites and complexes. These will also represent a major challenge for complete and correct declarations, inspections and verification.

Once all of the elements have been declared and the dismantling begins, then the focus will have to change to verifying the dismantlement and assessing the potential reversibility of these actions—a challenge that is not only difficult, but one that must be ongoing. ………

At this time, the level of trust between Pyongyang and Washington required for North Korea to agree to a full, verifiable declaration up front does not exist. Hence, my colleagues Robert Carlin and Elliot Serbin and I have suggested a different approach. Negotiations should begin with an agreed end state: North Korea without nuclear weapons or a nuclear weapon program. Civilian nuclear and space programs would remain open for negotiation and possible cooperation. But all facilities and activities that have direct nuclear weapons applicability must eventually be eliminated.

Rather than insisting on a full declaration up front, the two sides should first agree to have the North take significant steps that reduce the nuclear threat it poses in return for commensurate movements toward normalization—the details of which would have to be worked out during negotiations. …………

The Trump team claims progress is being made but insists on maintaining maximum pressure. The North’s Foreign Ministry has pointed outthat the “improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible.” Also, most US North Korea watchers are either wedded to old think that you can’t negotiate with Pyongyang or they are determined to prove President Trump’s claims on North Korea wrong.

With nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula dramatically reduced, it is time to find out if Kim’s drive to improve the economy will eventually lead to denuclearization. He may determine that his nuclear arsenal poses a significant hindrance to economic development that outweighs the putative benefits it confers. Washington and Seoul should work together to encourage rather than inhibit this potential shift. https://www.38north.org/2018/11/shecker112818/

December 1, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

France abandons plans for the Astrid (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration)

Reuters 29th Nov 2018 , The French government has informed Japan that it plans to freeze a next
generation fast-breeder nuclear reactor project, the Nikkei business daily
reported on Thursday. Japan, which has been cooperating with Paris on the
fast-breeder development in France, has invested about 20 billion yen
($176.27 million) in the project, the report added. The French government
will halt research into the Astrid (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor
for Industrial Demonstration) project in 2019, with no plans to allocate a
budget from 2020 onwards, the report said, without citing sources.
https://www.reuters.com/article/france-nuclearpower-astrid/update-1-france-to-freeze-fast-breeder-nuclear-reactor-project-nikkei-idUSL4N1Y41OU?rpc=401&

December 1, 2018 Posted by | France, Japan, technology | Leave a comment

The over-looked solution to climate change – equality for women

Gender equity is the most overlooked solution for climate change https://www.fastcompany.com/90274155/gender-equity-is-the-most-overlooked-solution-for-climate-change

Gender and climate are inextricably linked.” BY ADELE PETERS, 30 Nov 18

The list of solutions to climate change usually focuses on technology: solar power, electric cars, devices that suck carbon out of the atmosphere. But one impactful solution is often overlooked.

At TEDWomen, TED’s conference focused on women and girls, environmentalist Katharine Wilkinson explained why gender equity is a critical piece of addressing climate change. “Gender and climate are inextricably linked,” said Wilkinson, one of the authors of Project Drawdown, a book that takes a deep dive into the most effective ways to fight global warming, and found that empowering women and girls was one of the top solutions.

Women and girls face more risks as the climate changes, from higher odds of being killed during a natural disaster to a greater risk of being forced into an early marriage or prostitution if prolonged drought or floods destroy a family’s finances. But improving gender equity can also directly impact emissions.

In lower-income countries, female farmers grow most of the food on small farms. But women don’t have the same access to resources as men who farm–from credit to training and tools. “They farm as capably and efficiently as men, but this well-documented disparity in resources and rights means women produce less food on the same amount of land,” said Wilkinson. When farms are less productive, that leads to deforestation, as farmers clear more land to grow the same amount of food. If women had the same tools as male farmers, Project Drawdown calculates that they could grow 20-30% more food on the same amount of land. That translates into 2 billion tons of emissions that could be avoided between now and 2050.

Gender equity in education also matters for the climate. One-hundred-thirty million girls still don’t have the right to attend school. When girls go to school, it changes many things–their health, their financial security, and their agency. But it also means that they’re more likely to marry later and choose to have fewer children. Family size is also obviously impacted by access to contraception; hundreds of millions of women say that they want to decide when to have children, but aren’t using contraception. If women have the right to choose to have smaller families, it could lead to one billion fewer people inhabiting Earth by midcentury, and dramatically reduced demand for food, electricity, and other basic services. That could mean avoiding 120 billion tons of emissions.

“If we gain ground on gender equity, we also gain ground on addressing global warming,” Wilkinson said.

December 1, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Women | Leave a comment

U.S. Energy Dept plans to reclassify Hanford nuclear sludge – from “high level”to “low level”

Stripes 29th Nov 2018 After spending billions of dollars over several decades to remove
radioactive waste leaking from a plant where nuclear bombs were made, the
Energy Department has come up with a new plan: leave it in the ground.
The shuttered Hanford Nuclear Reservation, which produced plutonium for U.S.
atomic weapons from World War II through the Cold War, is the nation’s
largest nuclear cleanup site with about 56 million gallons of waste stored
in leak-prone underground tanks in south-central Washington State.
The Energy Department has proposed to effectively reclassify the sludge left in
16 nearly empty underground tanks from “high-level” to “low-level”
radioactive waste. The re-classification would allow the department to fill
the tanks with grout, cover them with an unspecified “surface barrier,” and
leave them in place.
But environmental groups and others say the plan
amounts to a semantic sleight of hand that will leave as much as 70,000
gallons of remaining nuclear sludge — some of which could be radioactive
for millions of years — in the ground.
https://www.stripes.com/news/us/plan-to-leave-buried-nuclear-bomb-waste-underground-draws-fire-1.558527

December 1, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Trump may need Congress approval to withdraw from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

December 1, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics international, USA | Leave a comment