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Facebook allows climate denial propaganda, and restricts climate scientists

On Wednesday, a coalition of environmental and political groups wrote a letter to Facebook’s oversight board asking the company to crack down on climate denial and to close the opinion loophole that allows climate misinformation to be posted on the platform (Climatewire, July 1).

Hayhoe has declined to comply with Facebook’s requirements for promoting her posts. She says the platform created inappropriate burdens for scientists who want to share objective information about climate change.

“These are the facts,” she said. “These videos have been peer-reviewed, and I still can’t boost them on Facebook.”

Climate Denial Spreads on Facebook as Scientists Face Restrictions https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-denial-spreads-on-facebook-as-scientists-face-restrictions/ 6 July 20 The company recently overruled its scientific fact-checking group, which had flagged information as misleading    By Scott WaldmanE&E News on July 6, 2020   A climate scientist says Facebook is restricting her ability to share research and fact-check posts containing climate misinformation.

Those constraints are occuring as groups that reject climate science increasingly use the platform to promote misleading theories about global warming.

The groups are using Facebook to mischaracterize mainstream research by claiming that reduced consumption of fossil fuels won’t help address climate change. Some say the planet and people are benefitting from the rising volume of carbon dioxide that’s being released into the atmosphere.

Facebook is an effective way to expand their reach to larger audiences, say members of the groups, which have traditionally been tied to conservative media outlets. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of people have been exposed to misleading and false claims about rising temperatures, according to an E&E News analysis.

Now, Facebook appears to be weakening a firewall it has built to fact-check such climate denialism. The company recently overruled a fact-check from a group of climate scientists, in a move that concerns researchers about a potentially new precedent by the platform that permits inaccurate claims to be promoted if they’re labeled as opinions.

At the same time, Facebook has placed restrictions on one of the country’s most visible climate scientists, Katharine Hayhoe, of Texas Tech University and a lead author of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. She has been blocked from promoting videos related to climate research, a move that has limited her efforts to refute false claims.

Facebook has previously identified Hayhoe’s educational climate videos as “political.” As a result, they are categorized by the platform as a social issue that requires Hayhoe to register them by in part providing personal information that she fears could expose her to personal attacks.

Hayhoe said Facebook is a valuable platform for reaching people outside of partisan boundaries. She said it’s where she is connected to friends and family, former college roommates, and other people who might be skeptical about climate change.

It’s a way to share science with them that doesn’t feel like a political attack, she said. Placing her work on the same level as groups that seek to confuse the public about climate science gives climate denial organizations equal footing that’s unwarranted, she said. Continue reading

July 7, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | 1 Comment

Mega-rich Americans prepare fpr nuclear war, with luxury bunkers

Inside the luxury nuclear bunker protecting the mega-rich from the apocalypse

A volcanic-ash scrubber, a decontamination room, a waterslide — when it comes to surviving a nuclear apocalypse, the Survival Condo has everything you could need, at a price.   CNet.com,   Claire Reilly, July 6, 2020  ……. after visiting my first real nuclear bunker, my apocalypse plan has been upgraded. Now my list of needs includes “underground swimming pool” and “postapocalyptic rock-climbing wall.” I’ve become fussy about how I’ll spend time during the planet’s dying breaths. My bug-out bag has gotten bougie. I’ve seen the world’s most high-tech bunker, and I want in.

Welcome to the Survival Condo. This former Atlas Missile silo turned luxury condominium complex offers the world’s rich and powerful a chance to buy into the ultimate life insurance: an apocalypse bunker that promises the perfect combination of shelter and style.

……. The starting cost for a unit in this complex is $1 million, plus an extra $2,500 per month in dues to cover your living expenses: electricity, water, internet, all the tinned eggs you could dream of.

For the ultra-rich and paranoid, though, you can’t put a price on safety…

The end of the world as we know it

Nuclear winter isn’t like spending Christmas upstate. It’s a global nightmare realm, where Ice Age-like temperatures last for years, populations perish and life as we know it becomes the stuff of sci-fi nightmares.

At least that’s according to Brian Toon, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Colorado and world-renowned expert on the global effects of nuclear war.  ……

Toon says a nuclear explosion is like “bringing a piece of the sun down to the Earth,” and the aftermath of that kind of explosion causes huge fires — think citywide infernos. Those fires push huge amounts of smoke up into the stratosphere. And because it never rains in the stratosphere, sunlight can’t reach Earth. Welcome to nuclear winter.

“The temperatures become colder than the last Ice Age,” says Toon. “So we have sub-Ice Age temperatures over the whole planet for about 10 years.”

That’s exactly why the Survival Condo exists — to protect the mega-rich from the devastation of global nuclear war, and to make sure the world’s most powerful people can survive in comfort, rather than shivering in the wasteland, waiting to have their billionaire brains eaten by hungry hordes. ……..

I’m at the very top of a bunker that descends 15 floors and 200 feet underground. On this upper level, a wide dome set into the hill houses the main entry and communal recreation facilities. That’s where you’ll find the pet park, climbing wall and swimming pool (complete with a water slide).

Beneath the dome, the cylindrical silo houses a further 14 floors — the top three floors are where you’ll find the mechanical rooms, medical facilities and a food store (complete with a full hydroponics and aquaculture setup), followed beneath by seven levels of residential condos. At the bottom, the final four floors house the classroom and library, a cinema and bar, and a workout room (with a sauna). ……..

what if there’s radiation because of a dirty bomb? You would have to go in this room, which is a decontamination scrub room. The chemicals in here can take care of everything. We have iodine pills to treat you for radiation, we have Geiger counters that detect radiation, and we have special chemicals to scrub both biological and radioactive contaminants from you. But you would lose your clothes. You’d be naked and afraid.”

As we wind our way through the Survival Condo, it’s like I’m in an episode of Cribz, set in a dark, alternate reality. This is where we keep the camo gear! This is the gun range! Here’s how we scrub the volcanic ash out of the air in the event of a supervolcano! …….

As a bonus, if the world is really ending, these windows display a real-time view of the carnage outside, thanks to the Survival Condo’s external surveillance cameras. Everyone come to the kitchen! The surface-dwellers are hunting in packs now!….

I guess there’s a grim irony in the idea that even when the nukes drop and the very fabric of society has disintegrated beyond recognition, the rich and powerful will still have it better off than the rest of us.

We’ll still be a society of haves and have-nots. Except in this case, the haves will be watching Armageddon from the comfort of their air-conditioned, underground cinema. And the have-nots will be out in the wilderness, freezing through nuclear winter and picking over the bones of our loved ones, trying to survive the real thing.  https://www.cnet.com/features/inside-the-survival-condo-nuclear-bunker-protecting-the-ultrarich-hacking-the-apocalypse/

July 7, 2020 Posted by | safety, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Week to 7 July in Climate, Nuclear, Coronavirus news

Well, I do leave the biggest news – coronavirus  – to others, although Jane Goodall eloquently reminds us that the pandemic is utterly connected with our onslaught on the natural world and may well be a foretaste of worse to come, if the human species does not respect nature.  It’s time to get emotional about climate change.

But anyway, Covid 19 – climate change – global phenomena that don’t care about borders, are affecting  above all, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable – what are we to do?  Some media are rejoicing about hot weather in the Arctic, but the reality is that the persistent Arctic heatwave is wreaking havoc, with uncontrolled forest fires in Siberia, thawing permafrost destabilising buildings and industry, especially oil and gas, in Northern Russia and the Arctic North of America.  Meanwhile, the South Pole is warming at triple the global average.   Climate change will make world too hot for 60 per cent of fish species.

It’s hard to get concerted action on global heating, with powerful influencers like Facebook and the oil industry sabotaging efforts and information about climate change. Climate denialists are increasingly spreading misinformation on Facebook, while Facebook  is actively discouraging fact-checking.

Meanwhile – don’t let’s forget, even a limited nuclear war, whether started by intent or by accident, would bring a rapid climate change, a nuclear winter, which the human species might not survive.

A bit of good news –  Meet the Nuns Who Created Their Own Climate Solutions Fund.

Nuclear power is incompatible with a Green New Deal.

Misinformation about Energy Economics, from nuclear companies and their propagandists

US, Russia nuclear arms talks end with plans for second round. Murdoch press enthusiastic about nuclear propagandist Michael Shellenger. Michael Shellenberger mucked up the pro nuclear “climate action” propaganda.

ARCTIC.  The Arctic’s climate disaster-Verkhoyansk goes from record cold to record heat.

IRAN.    Iran Says Fire At Natanz Nuclear Facility Caused Significant Damage; ME Intel Official Said Israel Planted a Bomb.  Following fire at nuclear site, Iran warns it will retaliate if it suffers cyber attacks.  Board of IAEA issues mild rebuke to Iran.  UN nuclear watchdog seeks to inspect old nuclear sites in Iran.

EUROPE. European Council stands firm on excluding nuclear power from energy transition money. European Union countries agreed to exclude nuclear, fossil gas from green transition fund.  An Unexpected Radiation Spike Has Been Detected Over Europe.  Ruthenium and Caesium radioactive isotopes over Europe due to mismanagement at a nuclear reactor – says IAEA.  Europe’s effort to save Iran nuclear deal.

RUSSIA.  What caused radioactive releases from Russia?  Russia’s nuclear imperialism in Africa.  Russia’s priority is to involve UK, France in future nuclear arms control talks — diplomat.  Russia’s nuclear workers in long lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.  Russia’s environmental groups protest nuclear waste imports.

ROMANIA. European Commission demands that Romania adopt a national radioactive waste management programme.

ESTONIA. Long process ahead, if Estonia to get nuclear power – at least 15 years.

BOSNIA.  Unacceptable to build a radioactive waste repository on the BiH border, Bosnia forming an expert team to plan Croatian nuclear waste disposal .

HUNGARY. Hungary to apply for nuclear plant expansion licence.

UK.

FRANCE. France’s EDF in a financial pickle over huge costs of UK’s Hinkley C nuclear project.

CANADA.  Small modular nuclear reactors distract from real climate solutions.  Safety documents by Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) are vague, inadequate and put Canadians at risk  .

INDIA.  Climate change blamed for surge in India’s deadly lightning strikes. Explaining the India-China conflict.    No economic benefit in nuclear power for India.

SOUTH KOREA. Investigative journalism –   Is South Korea’s scandal-plagued nuclear industry a model for others to follow?  South Korea’s corrupt and dangerous nuclear industry.

USA.  USA financing nuclear projects abroad – but what if Small Nuclear Reactors are a flop?  Groups in 5 other States challenge Holtec’s plan to transport nuclear waste to New Mexico. Donald Trump intervenes in Wylfa, UK,  nuclear project discussions.  Swarm of insects cause nuclear reactor to lose power in Michigan.  USA’s secret plan for “dominance”by exploding a nuclear bomb on the moonPentagon to get more control over nuclear weapons funding under Senate proposal,  but  Senate undoes proposed power shift in nuclear arms budgeting

GERMANY. Germany the first major economy to phase out coal and nuclear.

CHINA. Many experts question Trump’s claim on China’s nuclear weapons buildup.

NORTH KOREA.  North Korea to ‘counter nuclear with nuclear’ against US.

JAPAN.  The suspension of the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 AUSTRALIA. Julian Assange’s fight for freedom.  Julian Assange’s father in tireless fight to free his son, calls on Scott Morrison to help Australian citizen Julian.  USA’s Deputy Sheriff goes for bloated military expenditure. Australia seen as successful in Covid-19 response, deplorable in climate response.

July 7, 2020 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment