The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Religious groups lobby at UN on nuclear weapons ban

Faith groups state nuclear weapons ‘incompatible with values of faith traditions’ at UN General Assembly First CommitteeFifth joint statement highlighting moral and humanitarian aspects of nuclear weapons,Religion News Service, 13 Oct 16     NEW YORK — On October 12, a joint statement by religious organizations calling for abolition of nuclear weapons was introduced during the civil society presentations at the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

Dr. Emily Welty, Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs, introduced the Public Statement in Support of the Multilateral Negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Ban in 2017, which reads in part: “Nuclear weapons are incompatible with the values upheld by our respective faith traditions which are also foundational elements in the development of international law—the right of people to live in security and dignity; the commands of conscience and justice; the duty to protect the vulnerable and to exercise the stewardship that will safeguard the planet for current and future generations… ”

This is the fifth time the group, calling itself “Faith Communities Concerned about the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons,” has issued such a statement. On this occasion, individuals representing 11 faith-based organizations from the Christian, Buddhist and Islamic traditions have signed the statement so far. The statement can be read in full here……….

October 14, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The inherently immoral nuclear industry and its radioactive trash problem

There’s been the usual evasion and wilful dishonesty on the part of both EdF and the Government as to exactly how the costs of managing that waste over the projected 30-year lifetime of Hinkley Point will be paid for. In the first instance, how best should EdFbe required to accrue for a sufficient share of revenue to cover those costs arising during the reactor’s lifetime – and then for decades/centuries beyond that once HinkleyPoint has stopped generating?

This is such a huge issue – financially and morally. The sums of money involved in treating, storing and finally disposing of nuclear waste are eye-watering, and if they were properly factored into the day-to-day operating costs of all nuclear power stations, it would make the whole ludicrous edifice finally topple over.

this is not just a managerially incompetent, technologically redundant, financially bankrupt and wilfully dishonest industry – it is inherently immoral.

The Hinkley Horror Story: Don’t Mention the Waste! I haven’t been able to bring myself to write anything about Hinkley Point since the UK Government gave the go-ahead on 15th September. I suppose I’ve lived for so long with the inevitability of this insane project being approved, at some point, notwithstanding the endless delays, that I wasn’t particularly surprised when it happened. Just a weird mixture of resigned, weary and enraged.

Deep down, I still don’t believe that Hinkley Point will ever be completed. I’ve no doubt work will start in one or two years’ time (just as soon as a mountain of continuing problems at EdF’s project at Flamanville have either been resolved or permanently buried), but it won’t be long before the inherent ‘unconstructability’ of this particular reactor design (the EPR) sees exactly the same inevitable delays and cost overruns kick in – and keep on kicking in from that point on.

And somewhere along the way, there’s an equally strong likelihood of EdF/Areva going bust – or having its role comprehensively redefined by the French Government so that it focusses solely on managing upgrades in the French reactor fleet and dealing with all the legacy issues.

And those legacy issues are vast. As they are for all nuclear operators all around the world. Which is the main reason, I suspect, why hardly anyone has been talking about what’s been agreed in terms of dealing with all the new nuclear waste that would be generated by Hinkley Point.

There’s been the usual evasion and wilful dishonesty on the part of both EdF and the Government as to exactly how the costs of managing that waste over the projected 30-year lifetime of Hinkley Point will be paid for. In the first instance, how best should EdFbe required to accrue for a sufficient share of revenue to cover those costs arising during the reactor’s lifetime – and then for decades/centuries beyond that once HinkleyPoint has stopped generating?

This is such a huge issue – financially and morally. The sums of money involved in treating, storing and finally disposing of nuclear waste are eye-watering, and if they were properly factored into the day-to-day operating costs of all nuclear power stations, it would make the whole ludicrous edifice finally topple over.

Nobody’s thought more about these legacy issues, going back to the origins of the nuclear industry here in the UK in the 1950s, than Andy Blowers. His new book, ‘The Legacy of Nuclear Power’, has just been published, and even for those who have been tracking this particularly wretched aspect of an almost entirely wretched industry, it’s a pretty mind-boggling story that emerges.

Here are the words that I contributed by way of an endorsement for ‘The Legacy of Nuclear Power’:

“The nuclear industry invites us, all the time, to look forward – never to look back. Andy Blowers’ compelling study shows why: its legacy, all around the world, is a shocking one, with no long-term solutions to the problem of nuclear waste in sight, and countless communities blighted, in one way or another, by the nuclear incubus in their midst.”

Unbelievably, the UK’s dismal record in managing its nuclear waste (for both military and civilian facilities) is no worse than that of the USA (with the Hanford site in Washington State posing equally horrendous, ongoing legacy issues as Sellafield here in the UK) or of France, with its reprocessing waste management facilities at La Hague. Only Germany can demonstrate a rather better record – though that has little to do either with the industry or with the German Government, and everything to do with an implacably hostile anti-nuclear movement which has fought for decades to ensure that Germany’s nuclear waste should not be dumped at the designatedGorleben site and then forgotten about.

Andy has written an excellent summary article about these four sites.

(And for the story about what’s going on at Sellafield – in terms of the UK’s nuclear fuel reprocessing debacle – check out this article from Ian Fairlie, commenting on BBC Panorama’s recent exposé.)

What I most admire about Andy’s analysis is that it not only covers the all-but-unbelievable financial consequences of our nuclear legacy, but forces people to confront the moral implications of an industry that defers costs not just into the future but across generations.

One of the reasons why I’m still passionate about the concept of sustainable development (rather than the environment per se) is its unwavering advocacy ofintergenerational justice: being explicit about what any one generation owes to all those generations that succeed it. The nuclear industry today only survives by ruthlessly ignoring those intergenerational obligations: the economics of nuclear power only ‘work’ because it dumps the intractable problems of managing its waste onto future generations.

In other words, this is not just a managerially incompetent, technologically redundant, financially bankrupt and wilfully dishonest industry – it is inherently immoral.

And yet, even now, there are a few misguided environmentalists who tell us that our low-carbon future depends on investing yet more countless billions of dollars in this failed horror story of an industry.

October 8, 2016 Posted by | Religion and ethics, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

The tragic illusion of nuclear deterrence – the Vatican

Vatican Radio , 26 Sept 16 The Vatican told the United Nations on Monday “nuclear arms offer a false sense of security, and that the uneasy peace promised by nuclear deterrence is a tragic illusion.”

“Nuclear weapons cannot create for us a stable and secure world,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

He was speaking at an event marking the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

“Peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of total annihilation,” the Vatican diplomat said. The full statement of Archbishop Auza can be found below……….

September 28, 2016 Posted by | Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Pope encourages revival of negotiations over contentious nuclear situation on Koren Peninsula

diplomacy-not-bombsPope concerned over North Korea’s nuclear testing, Crux, Inés San Martín

September 27, 2016 VATICAN CORRESPONDENT   The United States has flown nuclear-capable supersonic bombers over ally South Korea in a show of force meant to cow North Korea after its fifth nuclear test and also to settle rattled nerves in the South.

 “The Holy See supports continued efforts by the international community to revive negotiations over denuclearization and to enable the IAEA to resume its critical role in nuclear verification there,” says Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Vatican Undersecretary for Relations with States. ROME-Watching the continuing tension on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea carrying out nuclear tests, a Vatican’s representative has expressed Pope Francis’s concerns to Vienna’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said on Tuesday that he could confirm that, considering the “delicate situation on the Korean Peninsula,” the Vatican’s Undersecretary for Relations with States, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, had reiterated in Vienna “the concern of the Holy Father and the Holy See about the continuing tensions in the area on account of the nuclear tests carried out by North Korea.”

Last Tuesday, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) had reported that North Korea had successfully conducted a ground test of a new type of high-powered rocket engine.

Camillieri was speaking as the Vatican representative in the 60th General Assembly of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEG), taking place in Vienna Sept. 26-30.

“We view the situation in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] with grave concern,” Camillieri said in his remarks. “The Holy See supports continued efforts by the international community to revive negotiations over denuclearization and to enable the IAEA to resume its critical role in nuclear verification there.”

The Vatican representative also said the Church welcomes the IAEA’s participation in the “verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” adding that the Holy See sees this agreement positively…….. Talking about disarmament, he again quoted Francis, but this time from the pontiff’s message to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in 2014, when the Argentine pope said that spending on these weapons squanders a country’s wealth.

“To prioritize such spending is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty. When these resources are squandered, the poor and the weak living on the margins of society pay the price,” the pope had said in the message Camillieri quoted on Tuesday.

September 28, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, Religion and ethics, South Korea | Leave a comment

Catholic churches and other religions taking action against climate change, switching to green energy

church greenChurches put their faith in green energy, , Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent, 1 Sept 16  Wind and solar farms have always had faithful adherents in the environmental movement but now more than 3,500 churches have turned their back on fossil fuels to embrace renewable energy.

Churches from a range of denominations have either made such a switch or registered their interest in doing so, but Roman Catholics have proved especially keen, according to figures from religious charities released on Thursday.

Nearly 2,000 Roman Catholic parishes have forsaken conventional energy in favour of green electricity in 16 dioceses, the charities said. Some made the decision after Pope Francis issued an encyclical last year urging the world to cut its dependence on fossil fuels.

“Pope Francis challenges us all to ‘care for our common home’, and by adopting renewable energy we will directly help people threatened, and already most severely affected, by climate change,” said John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, one of the 16 dioceses to have switched.

“There are many ways in which we may respond to the threat and the reality of climate change and adopting renewable energy for our church buildings must be a priority.”

In some cases, churches had banded together to use their collective buying power to secure green energy tariffs from companies that bought or produced at least 80 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources, said Tim Gee, campaigns leader at Christian Aid……

The overriding reason for acting, he added, was to send a message to governments and investors that there needed to be a shift away from fossil fuels if the world were to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.

“There really is a wave of enthusiasm for it,” Mr Gee said. “It’s relatively recent and it’s really sped up in the last year.” Some synagogues and mosques had also made the shift, he said.

Some of the companies benefiting from the churches’ shift are smaller green energy groups such as Ecotricity and Good Energy rather than the larger “big six” suppliers.

At least 100 Quaker meeting houses have switched to renewables by dealing directly with seven-year-old Good Energy……

More than 900 Salvation Army buildings have switched to renewable energy suppliers, according to the charities’ data.

Nearly 700 churches from several denominations have individually signed up for green power tariffs through the Big Church Switch website, which offers a simple way for churches to shift to green tariffs…….

September 2, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, renewable | Leave a comment

USA’s African Methodist Episcopal church speaks out on climate change

text-relevantWorld can’t afford to silence us’: black church leaders address climate climate-change

One of the largest and oldest black churches in the US warns that black people are disproportionally harmed by global warming and fossil fuel pollution, Guardian, , 24 July 16, African American religious leaders have added their weight to calls for action on climate change, with one of the largest and oldest black churches in the US warning that black people are disproportionally harmed by global warming and fossil fuel pollution.

The African Methodist Episcopal church has passed its first resolution in its 200-year history devoted to climate change, calling for a swift transition to renewable energy.

“We can move away from the dirty fuels that make us sick and shift toward safe, clean energy like wind and solar that help make every breath our neighbors and families take a healthy one,” states the resolution, which also points to research showing that black children are four times as likely as white children to die from asthma.

 The resolution was passed at the church’s general conference in Philadelphia, where more than 30,000 members gathered. The AME church, the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by black people in the world, has about 7,000 congregations and 2.5m members.

“Damage to our climate puts the health of children, elderly, and those with chronic illnesses at greater risk and disproportionately impacts African Americans. We believe it is our duty to commit to taking action and promoting solutions that will help make our families and communities healthier and stronger,” stated Bishop John White, president of the council of bishops of the AME church.

The resolution follows an open letter sent by African American clergy last year that called for political leaders to take “bold action to address climate change”……..

Dupont-Walker said that the church’s voter mobilization campaign will work throughout the 2016 election cycle to question candidates on climate change. Local officials and landlords will also be put under pressure over inadequate housing and infrastructure that helps spread pollution to black communities.

According to the NAACP, African Americans emit far less carbon dioxide per person compared with white people and yet will bear the brunt of heat-related deaths, due to the concentration of black people in cities…….

July 25, 2016 Posted by | climate change, indigenous issues, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Reject nuclear weapons – say Scottish bishops

church-&-radScottish bishops urge Britain to reject nuclear weapons, Crux, Simon Caldwell  July 14, 2016 

All eight bishops issued a joint statement calling for nuclear disarmament ahead of a July 18 vote in Parliament on whether to renew the Trident submarine-based nuclear weapons system.

The bishops also suggested the $272 billion cost of replacing the aging arsenal of nuclear weapons could not be morally justified.

“The bishops of Scotland have, for a long time, pointed out the immorality of the use of strategic nuclear weapons due to the indiscriminate destruction of innocent human life that their use would cause,” they said.

“Lives are being lost now because money that could be spent on the needy and the poor is tied up in nuclear arsenals,” the bishops said, adding that they endorsed the words of Pope Francis that “spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations.”……..

Theresa May, the incoming prime minister and leader of the ruling Conservative Party, is keen to retain a nuclear capacity, but the Labor Party leadership and the Scottish National Party want to scrap the warheads.

The intervention by the Scottish bishops represents the second time in a decade and the third in 35 years that they have called on Britain to rid itself of nuclear weapons.

The statement comes less than a year after Pope Francis marked the 70th anniversary of the day the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, by inviting humanity to reject war and to “ban nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction.”

It also comes as the Washington Post reported that U.S. President Barack Obama will use his final six months in office to push for a radical reduction of nuclear weapons globally, in the hope that the policy might lead to eventual abolition.MANCHESTER, England – The British government must take “decisive and courageous steps” toward ridding the country of nuclear weapons, the Catholic bishops of Scotland have said.

They said Britain had an obligation under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty “to work toward the disposing and elimination of all nuclear weapons.”

“Britain should take more decisive and courageous steps to revive that aspect of the treaty and not seek to prolong the status quo,” the bishops said in the July 12 statement.



July 15, 2016 Posted by | Religion and ethics, UK | Leave a comment

“This is far worse than what the general public are perceiving. At the moment we are facing the challenge to conquer denial. This is simply organised denial

Fukushima provides a perfect case study for the meltdown of truth. It is beyond reckless and immoral for governments and mainstream media to downplay and cover up such disasters……

Let us not forget that the global economy is ruled by those who control the money system….The way profits are extracted have nothing to do with a healthy environment and humanity

text-relevantFukushima – the story continues... BY: ROGER METCALFE, BIZCOMMUNITY. South Africa, 29 Apr  16, The 5th anniversary of the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant on the east coast of Japan has come and gone, and, still the whole story hasn’t been told.

The cover-up began almost immediately after the 11 March 2011 disaster, and Japanese journalists who dared write about it, risked criminal action.

Besides Japanese pride, there are many reasons for the cover-up. Some include the 2020 Olympic Games, payment of compensation to victims and the negative impact on Japan’s economy.

Cracks starting to show

However, the smokescreen is beginning to show cracks, and the head of the Japanese nuclear regulatory authority Shinji Kinjo, has just admitted that they have anemergency on their hands. He also criticised Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company), the utility that runs Fukushima, saying: “Their sense of crisis is weak.”

Death and contamination

Currently if an unprotected person approaches the damaged Fukushima buildings, the radiation level is so high that death could occur in less than an hour. Entering the damaged building, even wearing protective gear, is out of the question, and three remote controlled robots have also failed, due to intense radiation.

Daily over 300 tons of highly radioactive water continues to spill into the Pacific Ocean. Besides poisoning the Pacific and bringing the Japanese fishing industry to a halt, there is growing evidence that radioactive contamination has reached the west coast of America. Tepco now warns that it could take another four years to rectify the problem of leakage into the Pacific Ocean. But to rectify the ocean is incalculable.

Outside opinion

Mycle Schneider is a Paris-based nuclear energy consultant, and advisor to the European parliament on nuclear matters. He is also lead author of The World Nuclear Industry Status Reports and does not mince his words.

He says Japan’s escalating situation is: “Far worse than we truly know. There are hundreds of issues at stake here,” he told the Huffington Post UK.

“Whether it is meltdown temperature, radiation exposure, or the number of people exposed – all of these statistics are flawed. We don’t know anything yet.”

“This is far worse than what the general public are perceiving. At the moment we are facing the challenge to conquer denial. This is simply organised denial,” he said.

Pushing ahead with nuclear development

Yet, even as the Fukushima disaster continues to play out, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has reaffirmed his commitment to nuclear power and is pushing to restart other nuclear plants. With 70% of Japanese population opposed to nuclear energy, this proposal goes totally against public opinion. While many scientists and Greenpeace are alarmed by the continuing contamination of the atmosphere and of the Pacific Ocean, Abe insists that the situation at Fukushima is under control.

Morality and survival

Fukushima provides a perfect case study for the meltdown of truth. It is beyond reckless and immoral for governments and mainstream media to downplay and cover up such disasters. Besides being well researched on environmental crises, I have written many articles and have aired my views on radio several times.

Not wanting to be branded a ‘scare monger’, I’m beginning to shift focus from radiation damage to life, to the immorality and hypocrisy that lies behind such disasters.

With such disasters, truth is often the first casualty. Yet truth (in whatever form) is the key to health and survival, especially regarding unprecedented life-threatening disasters like Fukushima.

The South African scenario

South Africa is no different and we are witnessing the collapse of truth on many levels. Besides vested interests, there is no good reason for South Africa to even consider purchasing nuclear power. Our solar energy potential is one of the highest on the planet. And yet the issue of purchasing costly nuclear power plants is shrouded in secrecy.*……….

The dark side of capitalism

Let us not forget that the global economy is ruled by those who control the money system. Multinational corporations, including multi-trillion dollar nuclear industries, seek to monopolise control of the markets, such the energy sector. The way profits are extracted have nothing to do with a healthy environment and humanity.

This is the dark side of capitalism, working systematically to undermine democracy and common sense, as well as the environment and the health of humanity.

*At the beginning of April 2016, minister of energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said in parliament that a deadline in the nuclear procurement programme had been missed. Opposition parties took this to mean that the programme had been mothballed, but this was denied by the government.

May 2, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Japan, Religion and ethics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Ethics and nuclear power – theme for May 2016

I have been managing this site for 9 years. With viewers, the most popular posts and pages have been on ETHICS. Isn’t that extraordinary, in this world where money, growth, and material consumption are generally seen as the top priorities!

There is nothing ethical about the nuclear industry. It began with making weapons of mass murder, and with uranium mining poisoning indigenouss lands. Then came all the lies about ‘peaceful nuclear ‘ (always still a front for nuclear weaponry)

doomsday's pic copy


Today, the economically failing nuclear industry tries to save itself with big lies – about climate change, about Chernobyl and Fukushima being “OK”, about ionising radiation being harmless.

Human society now faces big ethical dilemmas. Will it succumb to the blandishments of this immoral nuclear industry?

The public interest in subjects about ethics gives me hope that the world will say “NO” to nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and endless growth and consumption.

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, Religion and ethics | 2 Comments

ETHICS and NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY- theme for May 2016

The unethical nature of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and the entire nuclear fuel cycle is becoming more obvious, as its history unfolds. On grounds of nuclear weapons spread, unsolved wastes problem, health and environment, effects on indigenous and poor peoples, injustice to today’s and future generations – and even the sheer financial costs for now and the future – it is clear that “atoms for peace” is a false and unethical enterprise.

Given the mounting negative evidence about the nuclear industry, it is concerning that so many world political, scientific and economic leaders continue to promote the industry. Sir Mark Oliphant, (below) one of the founders of the atomic bomb, was one who had the courage to change his mind, and to speak out against nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Why is it so rare for ‘important’ people to face up to the evil nature of the whole nuclear fuel cycle? It’s not just money. Is it that so much of their reputation, their work has already been invested in nuclear? just too much effort to change track

Like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, who said For mine own good,
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er”

Rather than pause to think about the whole picture, they concentrate on their own important actions. Again like Macbeth ” Strange things I have in head, that will to hand; Which must be acted ere they may be scann’d.”

(Image from MACBETH IS A BAD, BAD MAN design by Dave Shanker&Danilo Groppa, Charles W. Flanagan High School, Macbeth – Webquest)

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, Religion and ethics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Widespread support for Church of England’s stand against Exxon Mobil

Church of England takes on energy giant ExxonMobil  Mark Woods CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 13 April 2016 The Church Commissioners have won widespread support for a move to put pressure on energy giant ExxonMobil to disclose the impact of climate change policy on its business.

The Church Commissioners manage a fund of around £6.7 billion, whose revenues are used to support the Church of England. The Commissioners co-filed a shareholder motion with the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. It asks Exxon to disclose the effect on its business if measures to restrict global warming to two degrees are successful.

More than 30 institutional investors have so far said they will vote for the motion.

Exxon’s competitors Shell and BP have already agreed to disclose how much they will be impacted by efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions. They were targeted by similar shareholder proposals co-filed in 2015 by the Church Commissioners and other investors. Exxon had attempted to have the resolution struck down by the Securities and Exchange Commission but its request was denied last month.

Church Commissioners spokesman Edward Mason said: “We are delighted with the scale of support this resolution has received so far. The resolution is part of a much wider trend following the Paris Agreement for investors to ask companies to improve disclosure on how they are positioned for the risks and opportunities posed by climate change.”

Exxon has funded groups spreading information denying human-induced climate change and lobbying politicians against climate change legislation. While it pledged to cease doing so in 2007, a Guardian report last July claimed it was continuing the practice.

It has a long history of rejecting shareholder motions on climate change and of rejecting the scientific consensus.

When Exxon challenged the most recent shareholder motion, DiNapoli said: “ExxonMobil risks becoming an outlier among its peers who have publicly supported reining in climate change.

“As investors, we need to know how ExxonMobil’s bottom line will be impacted by the global effort to reduce emissions and what the company plans to do about it.”

Exxon is also under under pressure from a coalition of 17 US attorneys general, Attorneys General United for Clean Power (AGUCP), who have banded together to enforce climate change laws. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced at a press conference on March 29 that the coalition was working to find “creative ways to enforce laws being flouted by the fossil fuel industry and their allies in their shortsighted efforts to put profits above the interests of the American people and the integrity of our financial markets”.

Schneiderman referred to a “relentless assault from well-funded, highly aggressive and morally vacant forces that are trying to block every step by the federal government to take meaningful action” to fight climate change.

The initiative by the attorneys general was criticised by some religious conservatives, however.

Jeffrey Riley, professor of ethics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, told Baptist Press: “Few deny that the climate is changing – it always has. The debate is on the cause. In spite of the public rhetoric that declares scientific consensus, the debate is still out. Public and political rhetoric on this issue is neither truth nor an argument for truth. Christians who hold that we are stewards of the earth ought to be interested in truth, and for that reason should not support any action that stifles legitimate scientific and economic debate.”

April 15, 2016 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics, UK | Leave a comment

Religious groups urge US lawmakers to approve funding for Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Faith groups call for more international climate funding The Hill,  By Devin Henry – 04/11/16 More than 120 religious groups are encouraging lawmakers to approve President Obama’s proposed $750 million contribution to an international climate change fund.

In a letter to members of Congress, the groups say the climate-change is an important way to “build resilience and stability in the face of the unavoidable impacts of climate change,” an issue they say their faith backgrounds call them to focus on.

 “We are guided by principles of stewardship, compassion and justice in confronting the moral crisis of our changing climate,” the groups wrote in their letter. “The Green Climate Fund represents an important step in global cooperation needed to build a more resilient world and to move us along the path toward a low carbon future.”

The GCF is an international pool of money designed to help poor and developing countries cope with climate change. Obama has requested Congress provide $750 million for the fund in 2017. …….

April 13, 2016 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Russian naval officer who saved the world from nuclear war

ethics-nuclearYou (and Almost Everyone You Know) Owe Your Life to This ManCURIOUSLY KRULWICHA Blog by Robert Krulwich NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, FRI, 03/25/2016 “……The world owes an enormous debt to a quiet, steady Russian naval officer who probably saved my life. And yours. And everyone you know. Even those of you who weren’t yet born. I want to tell his story.

The sub is hiding in the ocean, and the Americans are dropping depth charges left and right of the hull. Inside, the sub is rocking, shaking with each new explosion. What the Americans don’t know is that this sub has a tactical nuclear torpedo on board, available to launch, and that the Russian captain is asking himself, Shall I fire?

This actually happened.

The Russian in question, an exhausted, nervous submarine commander named Valentin Savitsky, decided to do it. He ordered the nuclear-tipped missile readied. His second in command approved the order. Moscow hadn’t communicated with its sub for days. Eleven U.S. Navy ships were nearby, all possible targets. The nuke on this missile had roughly the power of the bomb at Hiroshima.

“We’re gonna blast them now!”…….

Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov steps into the story…. He was Savitsky’s equal, the flotilla commander responsible for three Russian subs on this secret mission to Cuba—and he is maybe one of the quietest, most unsung heroes of modern times.

What he said to Savitsky we will never know, not exactly. But, says Thomas Blanton, the former director of the nongovernmental National Security Archive, simply put, this “guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world.”

Arkhipov, described by his wife as a modest, soft-spoken man, simply talked Savitsky down.

The exact details are controversial. The way it’s usually told is that each of the three Soviet submarine captains in the ocean around Cuba had the power to launch a nuclear torpedo if—and only if—he had the consent of all three senior officers on board. On his sub, Savitsky gave the order and got one supporting vote, but Arkhipov balked. He wouldn’t go along.

He argued that this was not an attack……

The debate between the captain and Arkhipov took place in an old, diesel-powered submarine designed for Arctic travel but stuck in a climate that was close to unendurable. And yet, Arkhipov kept his cool. After their confrontation, the missile was not readied for firing. Instead, the Russian sub rose to the surface, where it was met by a U.S. destroyer. The Americans didn’t board. There were no inspections, so the U.S. Navy had no idea that there were nuclear torpedos on those subs—and wouldn’t know for around 50 years, when the former belligerents met at a 50th reunion. Instead, the Russians turned away from Cuba and headed north, back to Russia……..

the world is very, very lucky that at one critical moment, someone calm enough, careful enough, and cool enough was there to say no.

April 11, 2016 Posted by | Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Secret radiation experiments carried out on people

Some of the classified government experiments included:

Book Human Radiation Experiments* Exposing more than 100 Alaskan villagers to radioactive iodine during the 1960s.

* Feeding 49 retarded and institutionalised teenagers radioactive iron and calcium in their cereal during the years 1946-1954.

* Exposing about 800 pregnant women in the late 1940s to radioactive iron to determine the effect on the fetus.

* Injecting 7 newborns (six were Black) with radioactive iodine.

* Exposing the testicles of more than 100 prisoners to cancer-causing doses of radiation. This experimentation continued into the early 1970s.

* Exposing almost 200 cancer patients to high levels of radiation from cesium and cobalt. The AEC finally stopped this experiment in 1974.

* Administering radioactive material to psychiatric patients in San Francisco and to prisoners in San Quentin.

* Administering massive doses of full body radiation to cancer patients hospitalised at the General Hospital in Cincinnati, Baylor College in Houston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York City, and the US Naval Hospital in Bethesda, during the 1950s and 1960s. The experiment provided data to the military concerning how a nuclear attack might affect its troops.

* Exposing 29 patients, some with rheumatoid arthritis, to total body irradiation (100-300 rad dose) to obtain data for the military. This was conducted at the University of California Hospital in San Francisco.

highly-recommendedThe Human Radiation Experiments
 By ALAN R. CANTWELL Jr., M.D.October 8, 2001 By   

—In preparing America for nuclear attack during the Cold War years following World War II, thousands of US citizens became the innocent victims of over 4,000 secret and classified radiation experiments conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and other government agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the Public Health Service (now the CDC), the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration (VA), the CIA, and NASA.

Millions of people were exposed to radioactive fallout from the continental testing of more than 200 atmospheric and underground nuclear weapons, and from the hundreds of secret releases of radiation into the environment. Over 200,000 “atomic vets” who worked closely with nuclear detonations at the Nevada test site during the 1950s and 1960s were especially vulnerable to radiation fallout.

Also affected were the thousands of so-called “downwinders”, who lived in nearby small towns in Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. These downwinders (along with the animal populations) suffered the worst cumulative radioactive effects of fallout, along with a contaminated environment teeming with radioactive food and farm products. The plight of these poor country people exposed to government-induced radiation sickness has been recorded in Carole Gallagher’s remarkable photo-essay American Ground Zero: The Secret Nuclear War (The Free Press, 1993).

In reviewing declassified AEC records (now the Department of Energy) from the 1950s, Gallagher was shocked to discover one document that described the people downwind of the Nevada Test Site as “a low use segment of the population.” Her shock at such callous bigotry caused her to eventually move West to research, investigate and document those who lived closest to the Test Site, as well as workers at the site, and soldiers repeatedly exposed to nuclear bombs during the military tests.

Disinformation and Nuclear Fallout

In the nuclear arms race, government doctors and scientists brainwashed the public into believing low dose radiation was not harmful. Some officials even tried to convince people that “a little radiation is good for you.” Totally ignored was the knowledge that the radiation from nuclear fallout could lead to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders, immune system disease, reproductive abnormalities, sterility, birth defects, and genetic mutations which could be passed on from generation to generation. The full extent of this radiation damage to the American public during the Cold War years will never be known. Continue reading

January 4, 2016 Posted by | radiation, Reference, Religion and ethics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

The message of Mahatma Ghandi is relevant today

world-in-handsEcological Meltdown And Nuclear Conflict: The Relevance Of Gandhi In The Modern World By Colin Todhunter Global Research, January 03, 2016    ………. Gandhi was ahead of his time. Although he might not have used today’s terms, ideas pertaining to environmentalism, agroecology, sustainable living, fair trade, local self-sufficiency, food sovereignty and so on were all present in his writings. He was committed to inflicting minimal damage on the environment and was concerned that humans should use only those resources they require and not amass wealth beyond their requirements. People have the right to attain certain comforts but a perceived right to unbridled luxuries would result in damaging the environment and impinge on the species that we share the planet with. His own lifestyle was a highly sustainable one, focusing on simplicity, austerity and need rather than want…………. government after government aggravates the problems by creating an impression that the villagers are a backward, inefficient and unproductive lot who can survive only on relief. With proper investment and appropriate policies, India’s rural economy could once again thrive.

T N Khoshoo argued that Gandhi’s advocacy of an ‘non-interventionist lifestyle’ provides the answer to the present day problems. The phrase ‘health of the environment’ is not just a literary coinage, he argues. It makes real biological sense because, as Gandhi argued, our planet is like a living organism. Without the innumerable and varied forms of life that the earth inhabits, without respecting the species we share this place with, our world will become lifeless.

Alternatively, before that happens, humans will become extinct and the planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas. But, in the meantime, how much damage will have done by then and how much suffering will we have caused by a system that thrives on turning people into slaves to their desires and allowing imperialism to reign free?

Gandhi was “an apostle of applied human ecology,” according to T N Khoshoo. He offered a vision for a world without meaningless consumption which depleted its finite resources and destroyed habitats and the environment. Given the problems facing humanity, his ideas should serve as an inspiration to us all, whether we live in India or elsewhere.

Unfortunately, his message seems to have been lost on many of today’s leaders who have capitulated to an out-of-control ‘capitalism’ that is driving the world towards resource-driven conflicts with the ultimate spectre of nuclear war hanging over humanity’s head.

January 4, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, India, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment