The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Millions of people displaced by floods – India, Nepal and Bangladesh

Floods across subcontinent displace millions in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, Millions of people have been displaced across India, Nepal and Bangladesh after monsoon rains triggered flash floods and landslides over the past week. ABC News, 15 July 19 

Key points:

  • Monsoon rains have triggered widespread flooding and landslides across three countries
  • Over two million people have been displaced as a result of the floods
  • Nepal has recorded the most fatalities, with 55 people confirmed dead

India’s north-eastern state of Assam has been hit hard by the floods brought by the monsoon, with at least 1.5 million people displaced and 10 dead.

In the Chittagong division of Bangladesh, there have been 10 deaths and about 500,000 displaced as 200 villages have been flooded.

The disaster’s death toll has been highest in Nepal, which recorded 55 fatalities on Sunday, with 30 missing and 33 injured, the Government said.

Ten thousand people have been displaced from their homes as incessant monsoon rains pounded many areas in the country since Thursday, submerging large swathes of land, inundating homes and destroying bridges and roads across the country.

Nepalese cabinet spokesman Gokul Banskota said, “the disaster has caused a big loss to the economy”……..


July 15, 2019 Posted by | ASIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Climate change taking its toll on mental health

Feeling Anxious About Climate Change? Therapists Say You’re Not Alone

There’s no official clinical diagnosis, but the psychiatric and psychological communities have names for the phenomenon of worrying about the Earth’s fate: “climate distress,” “climate grief,” “climate anxiety” or “eco-anxiety”, People, By Victoria Knight , July 15, 2019 

Therapist Andrew Bryant says the landmark United Nations climate reportlast October brought a new mental health concern to his patients.

“I remember being in sessions with folks the next day. They had never mentioned climate change before, and they were like, ‘I keep hearing about this report,’” Bryant said. “Some of them expressed anxious feelings, and we kept talking about it over our next sessions.”

The study, conducted by the world’s leading climate scientists, said that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, by 2040 the Earth will warm by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). Predictions say that increase in temperature will cause extreme weather events, rising sea levels, species extinction and reduced capacity to produce food.

Bryant works at North Seattle Therapy & Counseling in Washington state. Recently, he said, he has been seeing patients with anxiety or depression related to climate change and the Earth’s future.

Often these patients want to do something to reduce global warming but are overwhelmed and depressed by the scope of the problem and difficulty in finding solutions. And they’re anxious about how the Earth will change over the rest of their or their children’s lifetimes.

Although it is not an official clinical diagnosis, the psychiatric and psychological communities have names for the phenomenon: “climate distress,” “climate grief,” “climate anxiety” or “eco-anxiety.”

The concept also is gradually making its way into the public consciousness.

In a June 23 episode of the HBO series Big Little Lies, one of the main character’s young daughters has a panic attack after hearing about climate change in school. And other recently released TV shows and movies have addressed the idea.

An April survey by Yale and George Mason universities found that 62% of Americans were at least “somewhat worried” about climate change. Of those, 23% were “very worried.”

Both younger and older generations express worry, although younger Americans generally seem more concerned: A 2019 Gallup poll reported that 54% of those ages 18 to 34, 38% of those 35 to 54 and 44% of those 55 or older worry a “great deal” about global warming.

There is no epidemiological data yet to show how common distress or anxiety related to climate change is. But, people say these feelings are real and affect their life decisions.

Los Angeles residents Mary Dacuma, 33, and her husband decided not to have children because they worry about how difficult the world might be for the next generation. ……..

July 15, 2019 Posted by | climate change, psychology - mental health, World | Leave a comment

Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial

The ‘Historical Jigsaw of Climate Deception’: Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial DeSmogBlog, By Mat Hope • Thursday, July 11, 2019 We’ve all heard the dodgy arguments: ‘the science is uncertain’, ‘climate change is natural, not down to humans’, ‘science has been hijacked by politics’… Now a new cache of documents sheds light on the origins of the disinformation.

In another verse of a now familiar refrain, a fossil fuel industry group in the 1990s publicly promoted arguments to undermine confidence in climate science while internally acknowledging their products were driving up temperatures.

A cache of meeting minutes, briefings, and emails uncovered by the Climate Investigations Center shows how industry group the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) used its financial clout and political connections to cast doubt on mainstream climate science until its disbandment in 2002. The GCC would for decades cast doubt on the veracity of climate science and strategically spread the message that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was a politicised body, to discourage regulatory reform that would hit coalition members’ profits.

The documents show that the group, which counted fossil fuel giants Exxon, Shell, and Peabody among its members, knowingly pushed misinformation on climate change even as the GCC internally acknowledged humans’ impact on the climate “cannot be denied”. Some of those same companies have been the recent targets of lawsuits seeking damages for climate change impacts.

These documents are another stain on the fossil fuel industry’s track-record as a disingenuous rogue agent in climate science and politics,” Geoffrey Supran, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University researching climate science denial, told DeSmog. “They further illustrate the sophisticated combination of inside- and outside-lobbying used by the fossil fuel industry to protect their status quo business operations.”

Peddling Denial

Within the GCC, the Science and Technology Assessment Committee (STAC) took responsibility for assessing contemporary climate science and formulating strategic arguments to undermine it. The STAC was chaired by Mobil Oil’s Lenny Bernstein. Mobil, Exxon, and Texaco (now part of Chevron) all contributed five staffers to the committee.

An internal 1994 document outlining “issues and options” for the GCC to consider regarding “potential global climate change” shows the group’s outright climate science denial.

The document concludes that “the claim that serious impacts from climate change have occurred or will occur in the future has not been proven” and “consequently, there is no basis for the design of effective policy action that would eliminate the potential for climate change.”

In the same document, the GCC cites the work of infamous academics known for spreading climate science denial including Richard LinzenPatrick Michaels, and Robert Balling. The document asserts that these academics’ arguments disputing mainstream climate science  “have received far less attention than they deserve”. ……….


The GCC’s disinformation strategy extended beyond casting aspersions on the science to the process of gathering evidence for the major IPCC reports, the documents show.

Porter Womeldorff, an Illinois Power Company employee and co-chair of the STAC, suggested the group focus on the politicisation of the IPCC process.

And that’s exactly what the GCC did. In an internal document from 1996, the GCC boasted that its criticism of the IPCC’s processes had been picked up more widely by the mainstream media:

Publications which have joined in questioning the IPCC approach to conforming technical reports to summaries include the NYTimes, Wall St. Journal, Energy Daily, and Nature.”

This followed a 1995 report that noted with glee a Nature editorial taking aim at the IPCC for a press-release that the erstwhile journal considered to be needlessly attention seeking.

Harvard’s Supran, who recently testified to the European Parliament about Exxon’s history of climate science denial, told DeSmog that the documents “help fill in pieces of the historical jigsaw of climate deception by the fossil fuel industry”.

History teaches us that when it comes to the fossil fuel industry’s rhetoric on climate change and energy, we take them at face value at our peril.”

July 15, 2019 Posted by | climate change, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

New research – climate change is exacerbating wildfires

Climate change is worsening wildfires, new study highlights
Research shows that warming temperatures are likely fueling more deadly and devastating fires.
Think Progress

July 15, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Prioritise growth, or prioritise life. We can’t do both

Climate change: Why aren’t we changing our lives to combat it? The National, Scotland, By Mairi McFadyen, –  WHETHER we want to admit it or not, climate breakdown is already upon us: there are record-breaking heat waves, flash floods, wildfires. Climate change does not cause all of these things to happen, it amplifies them. This is not happening in some far-off place, it is the weather where you are.

If we read the science and we acknowledge climate breakdown to be true, what is our response? What does it really mean to face up to our climate reality?…….

The reality is that “normal life” – a privilege we in the West have enjoyed for the past 70 years or so – cannot continue……..


IN the course of my adult lifetime, we could have stopped this. More than half of the carbon emitted through burning fossil fuels has happened in the past………

OVER the past year I have been working with a collective of activists called Enough!, a Scottish response to our global social, economic and ecological crises. We see that our current economic system and climate crisis are fundamentally linked. We see that inequality, oppression, injustice, power and ecological breakdown are all connected by the same story: that the economy must keep growing – no what matter what the cost.

The deep logic of capitalism is to grow more capital, achieved through the processes of exploitation, accumulation and extraction:

“We’re already taking far more than can be replaced and we can see the consequences all around us: climate change, deforestation, soil depletion, perpetual war, mass extinction of species. It has got so bad that we are threatening the very basis of all of life itself … We have a choice to make: prioritise growth, or prioritise life. We can’t do both.”


Any climate action must therefore challenge and prefigure alternatives to economic growth. If we don’t, our economy will be our endgame.

Mainstream approaches to climate solutions, however, have been based on maintaining current economic systems.

Policymakers have responded by advocating “sustainable growth” or “green growth” – the idea that we can somehow keep growing our economy while simultaneously reducing our impact by “decoupling” GDP from the use of natural resources.

A new report published this month by Make EuropeSustainable for All (MESA) concludes that there is no empirical basis for this approach. It is impossible.

If we are serious about the climate, our only option now is to degrow. We need to explore new economic models that undercut the drivers of growth and find new ways of measuring progress and wellbeing. We need to discuss caps on resource use, tradable energy quotas and targeted downscaling of specific industries.

The kind of transformation that is called for is much more radical than a large-scale decarbonisation and conversion to renewable energy, as many imagine. It’s about radically relocalising, drastically reducing the amount of transportation of goods and people around the world, changing our approach to agriculture and much, much more………..

July 15, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Huge carbon footprint of Hinkley nuclear project, and itself threatened by climate change

Somerset County Gazette 14th July 2019 Jo Smolden: AT a time when climate change discussions are in everyone’s minds, and individuals are looking at what energy they are
using and the waste they are producing, the French company EDF is moving
thousands of HGVs full of aggregate across the county and making the
biggest pile of concrete this country has ever seen at Hinkley next to the
Severn Estuary.

Taking into account the carbon footprint of such large
infrastructure projects, remember this starts with uranium mining where
around 1% is usable, the rest is immediately radioactive waste for
indigenous people to deal with. The end of the nuclear process is high
level, dangerous, radioactive waste having to be looked after for hundreds
of thousands of years.

Should we not be questioning how something with such
a huge carbon footprint is being dumped on the next generations to somehow
deal with?

The biggest concern of all this having been planned using last
century technology so long ago, is the impact of global warming and sea
level rise predictions of today. Is the base of the structure high enough
to keep the nuclear reactor and waste stores safe for the next 160-plus
years? There is no flexibility with nuclear, do we want such a hazardous
fixed structure on our coastline? So many questions and EDF can’t
possibly reassure us with any of this as they have committed themselves, to
this white elephant.—want-coastline-39/

July 15, 2019 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

You don’t hear much about this, but the nuclear industry is worried about floods

Louisiana braces for epic flooding from Tropical Storm Barry

Strengthening Storm Spins Toward Rain-Soaked Louisiana Coast, Bloomberg,By July 13, 2019,
  •  Barry seen making landfall on Saturday, possibly as hurricane
  •  Ship traffic disrupted on the Mississippi River as waters rise
“………Entergy Corp., which runs two nuclear power plants in Louisiana, said it’s keeping a close watch on the storm. Cleco Corp., which supplies power to about 288,000 retail customers in the state, said it’s monitoring Barry and has crews on standby to respond to outages……”

July 13, 2019 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

Global nuclear industry now threatened by heat, lack of water

Weatherwatch: heatwaves test limits of nuclear power

Global heating is threatening supplies of water needed in large volumes to cool reactors   Paul Brown, Tue 9 Jul 2019 

Enthusiasts describe nuclear power as an essential tool to combat the climate emergency because, unlike renewables, it is a reliable source of base load power.

This is a spurious claim because power stations are uniquely vulnerable to global heating. They need large quantities of cooling water to function, however the increasing number of heatwaves are threatening this supply.

The French energy company EDF is curbing its output from four reactors in Bugey, on the Rhône River near the Swiss border, because the water is too warm and the flow is low.

Some reactors in the US are also frequently affected. This matters in both countries because the increasing use of air conditioning means electricity demand is high during summer heatwaves and intermittent nuclear power is not much help.

This does not affect nuclear power stations in the UK because they draw their water supplies from the sea, which stays relatively cool. However, it may affect plans to build small reactors on a lake in Trawsfynydd, Wales. And it may also reduce some of the UK’s power supplies during the summer.

As heatwaves intensify, the flow of electricity from French reactors through the growing number of cross-Channel interconnector cables cannot be relied on.

July 9, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, water | Leave a comment

The rich and the dead: UN warns of ‘climate apartheid’

The rich and the dead: UN warns of ‘climate apartheid’  by  

The United Nations predicts that climate change will push 120 million people into poverty by 2030 – and only the rich will be left standing.  A shocking new report by the United Nations has revealed that the world is facing a “climate apartheid” between the rich and poor.

While the rich can afford to relocate to more habitable areas, the report predicts that climate change will push more than 120 million people into poverty by 2030 – and many more will die.

“Even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to widespread displacement and hunger,” said Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

“Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction.”

The price to pay

Most disturbingly, an Oxfam study has found that the richest 10% of the population are responsible for half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. On the other end of the scale, the world’s poorest (3.5 billion people in 2015) are responsible for less than 10 per cent.

“While people in poverty are responsible for just a fraction of global emissions, they will bear the brunt of climate change, and have the least capacity to protect themselves,” says Alston.

He explains that instead of putting their money towards preventing or reversing the effects of climate change, the rich can pay to avoid the problem.

“We risk a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger, and conflict while the rest of the world is left to suffer.”

Alston believes climate change also poses a threat to democracy and human rights.   Even the best-case scenario of 1.5°C of warming by 2100 will see extreme temperatures in many countries, leaving disadvantaged populations with food scarcity, lost incomes and poor health.

“People in poverty tend to live in areas more susceptible to climate change and in housing that is less resistant; lose relatively more when affected; have fewer resources to mitigate the effects; and get less support from social safety nets or the financial system to prevent or recover from the impact,” Alston explains.

This is why, he believes, people in poor countries have died from disasters at rates up to seven times higher than those from wealthy countries.

For many – it will be a choice between starvation and migration.

How do we avoid this ‘climate apartheid’?

Alston calls for “deep structural changes in the world economy”, blaming not only governments and the private sector for their inaction on climate change, but also human rights bodies and the UN itself.

He asks for a safety net for workers who temporarily lose their jobs during the transition to a green economy, and he urges human rights institutions to “step up and engage determinedly and creatively with climate change”.

Alston acknowledges the enormity of the task but sees no alternative given the world’s current trajectory.

“Climate action should not be viewed as an impediment to economic growth but as an impetus for decoupling economic growth from emissions and resource extraction, and a catalyst for a green economic transition, labour rights improvements, and poverty elimination efforts.”

Here’s what you can learn from the thriving businesses listed in Corporate Knights’ 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations.

July 9, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

One climate crisis disaster happening every week, UN warns

One climate crisis disaster happening every week, UN warns  

Developing countries must prepare now for profound impact, disaster representative says  Climate crisis disasters are happening at the rate of one a week, though most draw little international attention and work is urgently needed to prepare developing countries for the profound impacts, the UN has warned.Catastrophes such as cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique and the drought afflicting India make headlines around the world. But large numbers of “lower impact events” that are causing death, displacement and suffering are occurring much faster than predicted, said Mami Mizutori, the UN secretary-general’s special representative on disaster risk reduction. “This is not about the future, this is about today.” Continue reading

July 9, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

USA. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez move to declare climate crisis official emergency

July 9, 2019 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Far from stopping climate change – nuclear reactors are being stopped by climate change

Nuclear Power, Once Seen as Impervious to Climate Change, Threatened by Heat Waves
The nuclear power sector is often portrayed as resistant to unpredictable weather associated with climate change. Heat waves, however, are punching holes in that narrative.   U
S News,
By Alan Neuhauser, Staff WriterJuly 1, 2019,   THERE’S A REASON nuclear plants are built close to water.

Harnessing the enormous power of nuclear fission, plants generate steam, which shoots through pipes to spin a turbine that generates massive amounts of electricity. To keep from getting dangerously hot, the plants suck up surrounding water from the nearby rivers, lakes or oceans around which they’re built to cool the steam.

Now, increasingly, more frequent heat waves and hotter average temperatures are making those waters so warm that engineers are concerned that it can’t do the job. Analysts say climate change is to blame.

In little-noticed but publicly available reports to regulators, nuclear plant owners revealed that unusually hot temperatures last year forced them to reduce the plants’ electricity output more than 30 times – most often in the summer, when demand from nuclear plants is at its highest. In 2012, such incidents occurred at least 60 times. At one plant in Connecticut a reactor was taken offline for nearly two weeks when temperatures in the Long Island Sound surged past 75 degrees.

The incidents, submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, reflect a sharp uptick from even a decade ago, when plants appear to have submitted only nine such reports in 2009. In 1988, 1989 and 1991, there was just one such report. The dramatic increase mirrors the rise in average U.S. and global temperatures spurred by climate change.

“I’ve heard many nuclear proponents say that nuclear power is part of the solution to global warming,” says David Lochbaum, a retired nuclear engineer who compiled the reports based on data submitted to the NRC, and former director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union for Concerned Scientists. “It needs to be reversed: You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.” 

Regulations set strict temperature limits for the water around each plant: 75 degrees for Millstone Generating Station in Connecticut, 85 degrees for Braidwood Generating Station outside Chicago, as high as 90 degrees for Turkey Point Generating Station south of Miami. Nuclear plants are now more regularly bumping up against those limits.

And even when water temperatures only approach those thresholds, plants can still be forced to dial down their output if the water used to cool their reactors will cause the temperatures in surrounding waterways to rise so much that it will endanger the habitats of fish and plants.

Limerick Generating Station outside Philadelphia, for example, reported turning down its output 79 times between 2008 and 2016……..

Climbing temperatures are not the first climate impact to strike nuclear power plants: The sector has also faced challenges from periodic but increasingly frequent droughts that can cause local water sources to run low.

And it’s not just water temperatures that plants have to contend with. Air temperatures can also cause conditions inside the plant to get too hot to operate. So desperate was a power plant in France during last year’s heat wave that it began spraying water on the outside of the building to keep the interior from overheating. Plants in the U.S., meanwhile, have regularly slashed their output by anywhere from 3% to 60%.

Such dynamics could cause output from nuclear plants to fall by as much as 16% in the coming decades, according to a 2012 analysis. Moreover, climate concerns threaten to pierce nuclear’s carefully constructed – and increasingly embattled – narrative that it’s the only reliable source of zero-emissions power. Already, the country’s aging fleet of nuclear plants is facing stiff competition from cheap natural gas and, more recently, falling prices for solar and wind paired with battery storage.

Rising temperatures, by forcing nuclear plants to reduce their output, have “made this already problematic resource even less viable in the current energy environment and economy, says Dan Kammen, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of California-Berkeley……

July 4, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear power projects not economically viable, and adding to global warming

Nuclear power is helping to drive the climate crisis, Guardian, 3 July 19  Linda Rogers says the CBI has its head in the sand over nuclear reactors and Iain Climie wants politicians prepared to fund action to combat the climate emergency

Has the Confederation of British Industry got its head in the sand, or in the record levels of carbon-intensive concrete just poured at the Hinkley C nuclear site (Build more nuclear reactors to help climate crisis, says CBI, 28 June)? Nuclear power, apart from destroying biodiversity throughout its life cycle, produces up to 37 times the CO2 emissions of renewable energy sources, owing partly to the mining and refining of uranium. The impact of this process on people and the environment is not included in the rationale for nuclear power in the UK.

As the CBI looks for investment from abroad, UK taxpayers will pick up the bill for the likely time and cost overruns of new nuclear build under the regulated asset-based funding proposals so welcomed by the CBI. Nuclear has failed to achieve the investment needed so far because it is no longer seen as economically viable. Even Hitachi (one of the world’s largest multinationals) cannot magic Wylfa Newydd into a commercially viable business. In January this year, Hitachi announced it had failed to squeeze the UK government for the very high levels of subsidies desired by large investors upfront for Wylfa. Nobody can afford the costs or the many risks attached to building new nuclear power stations.
Linda Rogers

July 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Climate change at G20: nuclear included in plans, but not with enthusiasm

David Lowry’s Blog 2nd June 2019 Climate change was the only issue where consensus failed to be reached at the G20 meeting of leaders of the globe’s biggest economies, held in in
Osaka, Japan at the end of last week. Nuclear still is seen as having a
place in the energy mix, but without any real enthusiasm.

July 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, politics international | Leave a comment

Europe’s heatwave – climate change’s new normal

‘Worst is still to come’: Sizzling Europe battles wildfires, health risks, New records are being set as Europe swelters, sparking forest fires – and debates over public nudity.  SBS News, 29 June 19, Wildfires raged across Catalonia and French authorities stepped up restrictions on water use and driving in cities as swathes of western Europe remained in the grip of an intense heatwave.Temperatures climbed towards 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of northern Spain and southern France, driving many people to seek relief in the sea, rivers, lakes, fountains and swimming pools.

Grid operator RTE said French electricity demand on Thursday was close to a summer record seen two years ago, as people turned on fans and coolers to full blast for relief from the scorching temperatures……….

The stifling heat has elsewhere prompted traffic restrictions in France and fanned debate in Germany over public nudity as sweltering residents stripped off. …….

Exceptional for arriving so early in summer, the heatwave will on Thursday and Friday likely send thermometers above 40 degrees in France, Spain and Greece.

In Spain, hundreds of firefighters and soldiers, backed by water-dropping aircraft, battled on Wednesday to put out a wind-fuelled forest fire that erupted in Torre del Espanol in the northeastern region of Catalonia…….

Scientists warn that global warming linked to human fossil fuel use could make such scorchers more frequent.

“Global temperatures are increasing due to climate change,” said Len Shaffrey, professor of climate science at the University of Reading.

“The global rise in temperatures means the probability that an extreme heatwave will occur is also increasing.”……… European heatwave could be the norm in a climate change affected world……..


July 2, 2019 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment