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Extinction Rebellion climate activists block Faslane nuclear base

Extinction Rebellion block Faslane nuclear base entrance,  Climate activists set up a blockade at the Faslane nuclear base by attaching themselves to plant pots.  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-56941041 30 Apr 21,

Members of Extinction Rebellion Scotland staged the protest at the north gate of the base on the Gare Loch in Argyll and Bute.

The all-female group placed three planters painted with the words “Safe”, “Green”, and “Future” on the road.

Police Scotland said they were made aware of the incident at 06:20 and officers were at the scene.

HMNB Clyde – known as Faslane – is the Royal Navy’s main presence in Scotland.

It is home to the core of the submarine service, including the UK’s nuclear weapons, and the new generation of hunter-killer submarines.

The protest group said they were demanding a future “safe from the threat of nuclear weapons and environmental destruction”.

Extinction Rebellion said the action was part of the Peace Lotus campaign, a global day of anti-war resistance celebrating the anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

An HMNB spokesman confirmed police were in attendance and assisting Ministry of Defence officers in dealing with the protest. He added: “Well-established, fully co-ordinated procedures are in place to ensure the effective operation of HMNB Clyde is not compromised because of protest action.”

May 1, 2021 Posted by | UK, weapons and war, Women | 1 Comment

Women in government – the key to getting rid of nuclear power

Nuclear withdrawal was thanks to women, says former energy minister, https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/nuclear-withdrawal-was-thanks-to-women–says-former-energy-minister/46423854  5 Mar 21, Having four women in Switzerland’s seven-person government played a key role in the decision to phase out nuclear energy ten years ago, according to Doris Leuthard, who was energy minister at the time of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima on March 11, 2011.

The three other female cabinet ministers at the time were Micheline Calmy-Rey and Simonetta Sommaruga from the left-wing Social Democratic Party and Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf from the centre-right Conservative Democratic Party.Leuthard, from the centre-right Christian Democratic Party, admitted that she didn’t immediately realise the scale of the disaster at Fukushima.

“My first reaction was to say that that’s very far away from us, in Japan, in a country that deals seriously and professionally with events of this kind. I didn’t realise right away that it was a major disaster,” she told Le Temps.

In an interviewExternal link with Swiss newspaper Le Temps on Thursday, Leuthard said she would have had a hard time convincing men on the political right to abandon nuclear power.

“I think women are generally more sensitive to the environment and to the risks to which the population is exposed. When safety is at stake, they are willing to look at new solutions, even if it means paying a little more. They were more quickly convinced that we could opt for a new energy mix,” said Leuthard, who stepped down from the government at the end of 2018.

Only gradually did it become clear how serious the disaster was and that Switzerland had to act. On March 14 the government imposed a moratorium on nuclear projects.

“It was a decision that had to be taken quickly because, at the time, we intended to replace the three oldest [nuclear] plants with a modern, new-generation facility. We had to carry out a new risk analysis and see whether we could maintain the nuclear option in our energy policy. We informed the owners of the Swiss power plants, who had submitted applications to build this new-generation facility. It was a difficult moment, as our decision could cause them significant damage. […] I must admit that I didn’t sleep very well for two nights.”

In the end Switzerland did decide in 2011 to phase out nuclear power, which supplies about a third of the country’s electricity production.

In 2017 Swiss voters endorsed a new energy law that aims to promote renewable energy by banning new nuclear power plants and reducing energy consumption.

In December 2019 the 47-year-old Mühleberg nuclear power plant near Bern was permanently switched off – the first of five Swiss nuclear power reactors to be decommissioned. The event was considered so important that viewers could follow the progress live on Swiss television.

March 6, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Switzerland, Women | Leave a comment

I am appalled at the idea of ”Mothers For Nuclear”

As a mother myself, I am appalled that such a group as ”Mothers For Nuclear” even exists.  Dont

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

they know about the effects of ionising radiation on women, especially pregnant women?   Don’t they know about the breast cancers, the birth deformities in irradiated areas such as Pacific atomic bomb sites, and Belarus-Ukraine, near the Chernobyl site.  No, they don’t seem to.  (Perhaps that ‘s the beauty of a narrowly S.T.E.M. education?)

Both Heather Hoff and Kristin Zaitz work at the Diablo Nuclear Power Plant.   Hoff worked as a plant operator, and now as a procedure writer.  Zaitz works as a civil engineer.

Hoff was inspired by none other than that top nuclear schill Michael Shellenberger, and by the glossy  nuclear advertising film ”Pandora’s Promise”.

They sound very sincere, but also very ignorant of the negative issues around the nuclear industry.

Why am I not surprised?   The nuclear industry is busting its guts trying to get women onside.  Their favourite thing is getting (preferably young and attractive) women into engineering, and at the top of nuclear companies.    (This is good in two ways  – good to promote the industry’s ‘gender equality’ image, and good if they muck up, as Leslie Dewan did, in her bogus claims for Transatomic’s molten salt reactor –  let a woman take the flak!)

The thing is – lots of women have expertise in biology, genetics – and an understanding of the effects of ionising radiation.  But the nuclear industry has got us all conned that these are ”soft”sciences.  So – if you’ve got ”hard” scienvce knowledge – like engineering, then you can be an authority on nuclear issues.

These two women sound very sincere – alarmingly so.

The Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power, New Yorker, By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, February 19, 2021

“……… But Hoff and Zaitz work at a nuclear plant and have been flown to give talks at industry-sponsored events; Mothers for Nuclear has received small donations from others who work in the industry. There is no denying the conflict of interest posed by their employment; even within the pro-nuclear community, their industry ties provoke uneasiness. Nordhaus, the executive director of the Breakthrough Institute, wrote in an e-mail that, although he thinks Hoff and Zaitz are “well-intentioned,” nuclear advocacy should be independent of what he called “the legacy industry.” ……..
On the air, Hoff explained who they were. “Mothers for Nuclear offers a different voice,” she said. “Nuclear power plants are run by lots of men, and women have been more scared of nuclear energy. We’re here to offer the motherly side of nuclear—nuclear for the future, for our children, for the planet.”…….

To be fervently pro-nuclear, in the manner of Hoff and Zaitz, is to see in the peaceful splitting of the atom something almost miraculous. It is to see an energy source that has been steadily providing low-carbon electricity for decades—doing vastly more good than harm, saving vastly more lives than it has taken—but which has received little credit and instead been maligned. It is to believe that the most significant problem with nuclear power, by far, is public perception. ………..—the pro-nuclear world view can edge toward dogmatism. Hoff and Zaitz certainly seem readier to tout studies that confirm their views, and reluctant to acknowledge any flaws that nuclear energy may have. ……https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-activists-who-embrace-nuclear-power

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes, spinbuster, USA, Women | 3 Comments

Dr Helen Caldicott as mentor for anti-nuclear activists

My Six Mentors,  “…….Helen Caldicott, MD,  by Mary Olson, Gender and Radiation Impact Project, 1 January 20121

Helen Caldicott deserves a much greater place in our histories of the Cold War and ending the USA / USSR arms race than she generally gets. This is, perhaps, because she is powerful and a woman. A pediatrician, who in the 1970’s would not tolerate the radioactive fallout she and her patients were suffering from nuclear weapons tests in Australia, Helen and her family came to the USA. She and another physician named Ira Helfand revived what had been a local Boston organization of physicians and created a Nobel Prize winning organization called Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), which later participated in the creation of another Nobel Prize winning group, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). These two along with hundreds of other organizations committed to peace and nuclear disarmament formed the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which has helped to create the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (see http://icanw.org/the-treaty ) and also won the Nobel Prize (2017).

Helen herself is a powerful communicator and will move audiences at a level that can change the course of someone’s life and work. She followed her own destiny to winning meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, where she educated him about Nuclear Winter and the fact that nuclear is not a war that anyone can win. She also met with President Reagan in the era and diagnosing early-stage dementia… Her ability to bring the reality of the world to these men, and reality of these men to the world set her aside, in a class by herself—and was an enormous contribution to us all.

I first met Helen in the body of her Cold War block-buster book “Nuclear Madness.” I was in the midst of an existential crisis that could have become an even bigger health crisis.  After college I needed a job (not yet a career) because I was broke, broken up from my first “true” love, and far from home. I got a job as a research assistant in a lab at a prestigious medical school; it was 1984.

Within 2 weeks, I was inadvertently contaminated with radioactivity (without my knowledge) by carelessness of a lab-mate. The radioactive material, Phosphorus-32 is used in research to trace biochemical activity in living organisms. This type of radioactivity is not deeply penetrating, so there was some reason not to panic, however the I was exposed continuously for over a week, and I also found radioactivity at home– my toothbrush was “hot”—so I had also had some level of internal exposure. I was terrified. The lab used concentrations of the tracer thousands of times higher than is typical.

The institution told me there was no danger, but because I was upset, they helped me transfer to a different job. No accident report was filed, and in the midst of transition, my radiation detection badge was never processed. It is not possible to know the dimensions of my exposure—I began having symptoms that were not normal for me. Many people, including some family members told me I was imagining things. No one in my circle understood how terrified I was.

I was fortunate that Helen had already written “Nuclear Madness”—the first edition came out in 1978, just before the March 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown in Harrisburg PA—an event that propelled the book into multiple printings including a Bantam Paperback edition that I found. It turned out that 7 years later I helped Helen to revise and update the same text for the 1994 WW Norton edition. It was Helen’s deep commitment to truth, to speaking and writing that truth, to empowering people to take action for good. Helen’s words accurately described radiation and its potential for harm, and in my panic about the unknown, this calmed me.

Every other authority I had encountered was trying to tell me there was no problem—when I knew they had no right to dismiss what had happened to me.  I am quite certain that had I remained alone with my fear, despair, and confusion my panic would have resulted in behaviors that would have compounded any harm bodily from that radioactive contamination. Reading Helen’s work let me know there was at least one woman walking the Earth who did know what I was going through… it made it possible for me to choose recovery and walk away from a legal battle that would have forced me to maintain, hold and prove a myself a victim. Instead, following in Helen’s wake, I chose Peaceful Warrior. Thank you Helen! : ……….. https://www.genderandradiation.org/blog/2020/12/31/my-six-mentors

 

January 2, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear, Reference, Women | Leave a comment

Mary Olson pays tribute to Rosalie Bertell, the great explainer of radiation impacts on health

My Six Mentors,   by Mary Olson, Gender and Radiation Impact Project, 1 January 20121 

“……………. Rosalie Bertell, PhD

It was Rosalie who most let me know that I am able to contribute original work towards the day that People, to decide not to split atoms any more. Human beings began splitting atoms in Chicago, in 1942. Rosalie, a PhD in mathematics and member of the Order of Gray Nuns, knew more than anyone else I have worked with, that all of it—every last nuclear license, and radioactive emission, all the waste and all the bombs and all the money congress gives to nuclear activities are choices. People made, and continue to make these decisions…and we can change our mind.

Rosalie studied radiation impacts and was committed to service on behalf of future generations. She won the Right Livelihood award for her work with communities impacted by nuclear industry. Often called the “alternative Peace Prize” – she was one of the first women to be honored. As a laureate, she was encouraged to find and mentor students. Rosalie hoped that I, and my coworker Diane D’Arrigo would go to graduate school and she could be our mentor. We decided since we were already in our 50’s to simply study with her, informally. We traveled, 5 or 6 times to the Mother House where she resided and she generously met with us in the last two years of her life. She was always small in stature, but at that point her back was bent and she barely came up to my chest, but still had the intensity of a wolverine!

It was Rosalie Bertell who helped me tackle one of the biggest challenges I have faced. After a public talk on radioactive waste policy that I gave during this time, a woman asked me if radiation was more harmful to women, to her, compared to a man. Even though I had studied and known many of the top independent radiation researchers, including Bertell, I had never heard that biological sex could be a factor for harm—other than in reproduction (pregnancy)—but that is more about the embryo and fetus than the woman. I told her that I was sorry, I did not know and would get back to her. In fact, I forgot.

Two years later, when nuclear reactors exploded in Japan at a site called Fukushima Daiichi, I remembered that question and knew it urgently needed an answer. I was unaware that Dr Arjun Makhijani and a team had written on sex differences in radiation harm in 2006 (see www.ieer.org ) and also did not turn that up as I searched for any information on differences between males and females. My findings, five years later are an independent confirmation of the IEER work.

Since I found nothing on a basic google dive, I called Rosalie, who was at that point nearing the end of her life, to ask if she had studied biological sex. She had not, and the one report she pointed me to was out of print. It was my second call, a week later, that prompted her to tell me that I would have to look at the data myself.

I had no idea that the National Academy of Science (NAS) had published tables with 60 years of data on cancers and cancer deaths among the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Rosalie told me to find out for myself. I was shocked. I had stopped any formal study of math in the 6th grade…she was a mathematician—I asked her to do it, and she reminded me that she was dying. I protested again. It was her next words that pushed me. Rosalie said, “The data is divided by males and females so you can look at this question—and if there is a difference, it will be a simple pattern. It is good you do not have more math because if there is a difference, you will find it and not make it more complicated than it is.” She said to get a few pencils, a sharpener, an eraser and lots of paper, and go to it. I did.

The result was my first paper on the topic, “Atomic Radiation is More Harmful to Women,” (October 2011) published to the web in time for Rosalie to congratulate me. Three years later the paper was the basis for my invitation to speak at the global Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons. Three years later as the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was in the work, I founded the Gender and Radiation Impact Project. Rosalie is the one who put rocket fuel in my determination to help. If the world decides to base radiation protection on Refence Little Girl—make every regulation in terms of protecting females who are infants—five years old, future generations have a chance. Rosalie is the one who modeled for me that it is possible to reach for the best possible outcome, and, indeed, we have an obligation to do so………..……  https://www.genderandradiation.org/blog/2020/12/31/my-six-mentors

 

January 2, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, history, PERSONAL STORIES, radiation, Reference, women, Women | Leave a comment

Mary Olson on 4 mentors about radiation -Diana Bellamy, Sharon Barry, Judith Johnsrud, Joanna Macy

My Six Mentors,   by Mary Olson, Gender and Radiation Impact Project, 1 January 20121 

…in these atomic times…

[September, 2020] I was born in 1958—full-on Cold War… my family lived upwind of the Nevada nuclear weapons test site in California and even there air quality was the reason my parents gave when they moved our family back to the Midwest… I was in kindergarten in a tiny town in Illinois during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a bomb drill caused me to become aware of nuclear annihilation at that age. I opted out: that very night I got sick and stayed chronically ill dropping out of kindergarten and was mostly homeschooled for the next 12 years. I am fortunate that my brilliant parents were my teachers and I learned a lot on that journey. When I emerged well enough to go college and work, I learned even more from amazing women. These six, my MENTORS:

Diana Bellamy, MFA

At Reed College I majored in Biology—focused on evolution, and History of Science. As a Junior I fulfilled an arts requirement by taking a theater course, for the first time. Professor Diana Bellamy was a working actor, and in her Introduction to Acting class I discovered that embodiment of an experience is something that others can see and recognize, and at times, experience with the actor. My ability was spotted by Bellamy. She invited—urged me–to change my major and come to the Theater Department, even so late in my coursework. I was shocked into an evaluation of my own priorities and goals.

The following summer was a deep-dive into determining whether to stay the course in my original science major, or jump. The process of discernment, largely via discussions with my father, brought me to a deep understanding of WHY I was studying science: I knew that society’s decisions and actions would be, more and more, made in the worlds of research and technology, and I also knew that ordinary people do not speak those languages. I wanted to become fluent enough in that world to be able to help translate for those who are affected, but outside that bubble. Eventually, ten years out, I attained that role…and have stayed with it.

Diana’s recognition of my ability to project experience challenged me to find the reason I would stay in Biology besides a more stable work-life. It was an empowerment for me to find how to use my gift as a communicator.  I bow to her every time I take the stage to speak to 10’s or to 1000’s of people, and help them experience the vital importance of what I am there to say. …………

Sharon Barry, CPA

As I left research behind at age 25, I needed stability, clean air and water, and a different kind of stress as I rebuilt my health. In 1986 I got a job running the retreat, conference center, and camp in Michigan where my parents had been summer staff when I was a toddler—and I had attended camp. Circle Pines Center is both legendary, and unknown. I created, and served on a Management Team for five years and built a strong tool-box of non-profit organizational skills. That portfolio includes business management and administration. It was my dear friend and mentor, Sharon who helped me learn. Our relationship was not easy—but Sharon stood by me as she taught me the craft, and helped with the art by serving on the Finance Committee of the Board. We rebuilt the Center which had been in tough shape…to its strongest financial footing in decades. Sharon went on to win her own CPA and has been part of my financial life ever since as my accountant. I am not wealthy, but I am also deeply committed to accountability. Sharon taught me, and continues to support me in this. It is her strength I pull on to get through my own tough times. THANK YOU!

Judith Johnsrud, PhD

I met Judy in 1990 at the Backyard Eco Conference in Michigan. I left my submersion job at Circle Pines and drove to the gathering, expressly to hear Johnsrud speak about radioactivity in the environment. I had been recovering from my radiation exposure, and learning about new proposals from the federal government to deregulate a large share of the radioactive waste generated in the processing of uranium for nuclear fuel, and the operation of nuclear reactors for energy and nuclear weapons materials production. The Below Regulatory Concern Policy would put metals, building materials, soil and many other materials that were measurably radioactive into unregulated county landfills and also allow recycle into consumer products, with no warning or label. The deregulation is what I wanted to talk to her about. It seemed to me that what happened in the lab with a tiny plastic petri dish might happen in a Walmart to someone who never knew what had happened since radioactivity is invisible, has no smell or taste…

When I got to the conference, event organizers were looking for a volunteer to drive Judy across the state to the airport near Detroit. I immediately volunteered—it was a 5 hour drive and that gave us plenty of time to get to know each other. Judy remained my friend, my confidant and my teacher for the next 20 years as I moved into working at the national and global level for the peaceful end of the nuclear era—ending the production of more nuclear waste and better protection for our living systems from the waste we already have made. Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) was founded by a small group, including Judy Johnsrud. I was hired in 1991 as Staff Biologist and Radioactive Waste Specialist, and Judy was always there—and in the first decade, we were often the only women in the room. Judy died in 2014; I retired from NIRS, five years later, in 2019.

 

Joanna Macy

The paths of Joanna Macy and I have crossed and re-crossed—I first met her work in her first book, ‘Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age,’ published in 1983, before my radiation accident…I actually met her in-person, briefly at that time because of her leadership in the Buddhist Peace Fellowship… and our paths crossed again, briefly, when she and her husband Fran introduced me to their concept of Nuclear Guardianship. It was not until a younger friend and protégé of mine convinced me to attend a short-course at Schumacher College in Devon England (1998) led by both Fran and Joanna that I got to know her…a little. It was a two-week session rooted in community work that formed the later book, ‘Coming Back to Life’ (1998). I include Joanna here, as a Mentor, even though we have spent little time together, because when I open my mouth to speak, it is most often her influence I hear. The basic insight that we are all one is a foundation for me—and she brings that insight to the nuclear work. I honor her, and in doing so, I hear echoes of her in me……  https://www.genderandradiation.org/blog/2020/12/31/my-six-mentors

 

January 2, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, women, Women | Leave a comment

Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) if they work, will arrive too late to make a difference to global heating

Is nuclear power the answer?, DECEMBER 8, 2020 JOHN QUIGGIN

The last (I hope) extract from the climate change chapter of Economic Consequences of the Pandemic. I’m in two minds about whether this is really needed. The group of pro-nuclear environmentalists seems to be shrinking towards a hard core who can’t be convinced (and some of them, like Shellenberger turn out to have been concern trolls all along). But every now and then I run across people who seem open-minded enough, but haven’t caught up with the bad news on nuclear.

Debates about decarbonizing electricity generation inevitably raise the issue of nuclear power. Since nuclear power generates no carbon dioxide emissions (except in the construction phase) it is a potential solution to climate change, with a strong body of advocates.

Some of this advocacy may be dismissed as point-scoring. Rightwing pundits who oppose any action on climate change simultaneously promote nuclear power as carbon free, with the aim of embarrassing environmentalist. There is, however, a small but vocal group of nuclear power advocates who are convinced that a massive expansion of nuclear power is the only way to replace coal-fired power………

Today the choice is not between new nuclear and new or existing coal. It is whether to allocate investment to building nuclear plants or to accelerating the shift to solar and wind energy.

The key problem is not safety but economics. New plants are safer and more sophisticated than those that failed in the past, but they are also massively more expensive to build, and quite costly to operate. The capital costs of recent projects in the US, France and Finland (none yet complete) have been around $10/kw, compared to $1/kw or less for solar. And, whereas solar PV is essentially costless to operate, the operating costs of nuclear power plants are around 2c/kwH. Even when solar PV is backed up with battery storage, it is cheaper to build and to operate, than new nuclear.

The facts speak for themselves. Over the last decade, only two or three reactors have commenced construction each year, not even enough to replace plants being retired. This isn’t the result of pressure from environmentalists or alarm about the safety of nuclear plants. The slowdown is evident in countries like China, where public opinion has little influence on policy decisions, and in countries where public opinion is generally favorable to new nuclear power. China failed to reach its 2020 target of 58 GW of installed power, and currently has only about 15 GW of nuclear power under construction. That compares to 55 GW of new solar and wind capacity installed in 2019 alone.

It is clear by now that large-scale nuclear reactors have no future. The last hope for nuclear power rests on Small Modular Reactors. The idea is that, rather than building a single large reactor, typically with a capacity of 1 GW, smaller reactors will be produced in factories, then shipped to the site in the required number. The leading proponent of this idea is Nuscale Power, which currently has a contract with UAMPS to supply a pilot plant with a dozen 60MW modules.

It remains to be seen whether SMR’s will work at all. Even if they do, it is not clear that the reduced costs associated with off-site manufacturing will offset the loss of the scale economies associated with a large boiler, let alone yield power at a cost competitive with that of solar PV.

In any case, the issue is largely irrelevant as far as the climate emergency is concerned. NuScale’s pilot plant, with a total capacity of 720 MW, is currently scheduled to start operation in 2029. Large-scale deployment will take at least a decade more .

If we are to have any chance of stabilising the climate, coal-fired power must be eliminated by 2030, and electricity generation must be decarbonized more or less completely by 2035. SMRs, if they work, will arrive too late to make a difference. ….https://johnquiggin.com/2020/12/08/is-nuclear-power-the-answer/#more-17451

December 8, 2020 Posted by | climate change, Women | Leave a comment

The world’s banks must start to value nature and stop paying for its destruction

The world’s banks must start to value nature and stop paying for its destruction, Guardian, Robert Watson 28 Oct 20, As a new report spells out how financial institutions contribute to biodiversity loss, the clamour is growing for a new approach.

  • Banks lent $2.6tn linked to ecosystem and wildlife destruction in 2019 – report
  • The scientific community has long been unequivocal about biodiversity destruction. Last month, the UN reported that the world had failed to meet fully any of the 2020 Aichi bioiversity targets that countries agreed with fanfare in 2010, even as it found that biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, and the pressures driving this decline are intensifying.This week’s Bankrolling Extinction report finds that financial institutions provide the capital that is funding over-exploitation of our lands and seas, putting biodiversity in freefall. Last year, the world’s 50 biggest banks provided $2.6tn (£1.9tn) in loans and other credit to sectors with a high impact on biodiversity, such as forestry and agriculture. Bank by bank, the report authors found a cavalier ignorance of – or indifference to – the implications, with the vast majority unaware of their impact on biodiversity.

    In short, this report is a frightening statement of the status quo.

  • Fortunately, signs are emerging that some governments are – slowly – taking aim at financial backers of the destruction of the natural world. They must now push more forcefully. In the wake of Covid-19, treasury cupboards may be bare, but with new policies and limited recovery funds, they can steer trillions of dollars of private capital towards a nature-positive response to coronavirus, to spur growth, prosperity and resilience without returning to business as usual over-consumption and climate and biodiversity risk.
  • Voices from economics and finance are starting to add impetus and rationale for such momentum. One of the world’s foremost business groups, the World Economic Forum (WEF), has recognised the economic importance of nature. In its annual Global Risks Report, published earlier this year, WEF found that for the first time environmental risks dominated perceived business threats. Biodiversity loss was considered among the five most impactful and most likely risks in the next decade, with concerns ranging from the potential collapse of food and health systems to the disruption of entire supply chains. ……………. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2020/oct/28/the-worlds-banks-must-start-to-value-nature-and-stop-paying-for-its-destruction-aoe

October 29, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, environment, Women | Leave a comment

Womankind arise! — Beyond Nuclear International

Still no equal protection under radiation law

Womankind arise! — Beyond Nuclear International

Nuclear exposure standards discriminate on the basis of sex

By Linda Pentz Gunter, 20 Sept 20,

As we mourn the passing of Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we look back at her landmark victories against discrimination “on the basis of sex” and wonder how nuclear regulations might have stood up to her legal scrutiny. As things currently stand, the nuclear power industry gets away with “allowable” radiation exposure levels that discriminate against women……….

And despite RBG’s immense contribution to our greater wellbeing, as women, we still face discrimination in so many walks of life. That could be about to get worse.

That discrimination remains most infuriatingly true when it comes to the nuclear power industry which is not, it turns out, an equal opportunity poisoner, as we have shown in our earlier articles about Native American and African American communities.

Women and children, and especially pregnant women, are more vulnerable — meaning they suffer more harm from a given dose of radiation than the harm a man suffers from that same dose.

One should quickly add here that scientists still agree that there is no completely safe dose of radiation. In fact, when a dose is described as safe, it doesn’t mean harmless. It means something called “As low as reasonably achievable”, which means as safe as we are prepared to protect for — or, really, as safe as the nuclear industry is willing to pay for.

 

So not really safe then, and when they say “safe”, the question women must ask is: safe for whom?

In the US, that means safe for someone called Standard Man or sometimes Reference Man. That is on whom the “allowable” radiation exposure standards are based.

Who is Standard Man? ….

Discrimination strikes again here, on the basis of race and age, because the amount of radiation exposure that is considered “safe” for an individual in the US is based on what would be safe for a healthy, robust, 20-30-something white male…….. more https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/2922365220

September 21, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Women | Leave a comment

Nuclear bomb testing – the cruellest legacy of environmental injustice and racism

July 18, 2020 Posted by | civil liberties, indigenous issues, weapons and war, Women | Leave a comment

Climate change is seriously hitting women, right now

Climate woes growing for women, hit worst by displacement and migration

by Megan Rowling | @meganrowling | Thomson Reuters Foundation, Tuesday, 7 July 2020 

Extreme weather and rising seas are increasing the burden of work, ill-health and violence faced by women who are forced to leave home or left behind as menfolk seek jobs elsewhere

BARCELONA, – From sexual violence in displacement camps to extra farm work and greater risk of illness, women shoulder a bigger burden from worsening extreme weather and other climate pressures pushing people to move for survival, a global aid group said on Tuesday.

Scientists expect forced displacement to be one of the most common and damaging effects on vulnerable people if global warming is not limited to an internationally agreed aim of 1.5 degrees Celsius, CARE International noted in a new report.

“This report shows us that climate change exacerbates existing gender inequalities, with women displaced on the frontlines of its impacts bearing the heaviest consequences,” said CARE Secretary General Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro.

For example, women and girls uprooted by Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in 2019, are still facing serious health threats due to poor access to basic services and sanitary products, the report said.

And in Ethiopia, where about 200,000 people were forced from their homes last year by drought and floods, women living in overcrowded shelters face higher levels of sexual violence there and on longer, more frequent trips to fetch water and firewood.

Sven Harmeling, CARE’s global policy lead on climate change and resilience, said displacement linked to climate stresses was already “a harsh reality for millions of people today”.

If global warming continues at its current pace towards 3C or more above pre-industrial times, “the situation may irrevocably escalate and evict hundreds of millions more from their homes”, he added.

Climate change impacts are likely to strengthen and “unfold over the next couple of years, and not only in the distant future”, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Failure to prepare for them will lead to more suffering and people having to abandon their land, he said. Many places already are affected by multiple climate shocks and rising seas, making it harder for those displaced to return, he added.

“(Climate extremes) may mean more men are leaving to try to find income elsewhere, and that puts additional burden on the women who stay back and have to try to earn (money) while taking care of the family,” he said. ……….

In most countries, climate measures supported by public finance do not adequately prioritise women, CARE noted, calling for at least 85% of funding for adaptation projects to target gender equality as an explicit objective by 2023 at the latest.

But some projects are making women a priority, it said……… https://news.trust.org/item/20200707051425-a5d5v/

July 9, 2020 Posted by | climate change, Women | Leave a comment

University boffins discuss the eternal problem of nuclear wastes

Amazing – still none of these scientists suggests stopping making this radioactive trash!

The problem of nuclear waste, The Naked Scientists, 07 April 2020    Interview with Claire Corkhill, University of Sheffield

Part of the show The Rise of Radioactivity

  Our issues with radioactivity though are obviously not behind us. A major headache today is how to handle and safely store nuclear waste. Here in the UK, we’ve got 650,000 cubic metres of the stuff – enough to fill Wembley Stadium – and it’ll be radioactive and dangerous for 100,000 years. ……..
Chris – So what do we do with all this stuff? We end up with these barrels of what looks like glass or concrete; that sounds fine. What do we do, just bury them?
Claire – Well, they’re currently packaged in specially-engineered containers and stored in over 20 different secure nuclear sites around the country, and most of it is at Sellafield in Cumbria. And these stores are designed to withstand extreme weather and earthquakes. But the problem that we have is that the waste is so radioactive, we can’t actually go anywhere near it. If you were to touch the outside of one of the glass waste containers, the radiation dose that you’d receive is 200,000 times more than a fatal dose of radiation. So whilst it’s okay to store the waste securely for the time being, it’s clear that we need a more permanent solution that requires less security. So remember, these wastes will be radioactive for over a hundred thousand years and they’ll be highly radioactive for several thousands of years, so we can’t just leave them in their warehouses and hope that future civilizations will know what to do with them.
 ……………………These nuclear waste materials will change over the hundred thousand years that they’ll be radioactive. And there are some different ways that this might occur. One would be corrosion, so the natural corrosion of the materials once they’re buried deep under the ground, which is their final disposal route; if they slowly corrode in groundwater they may release their radioactivity. But the other issue is, as you rightly noted, that the radioactivity inside the waste might actually cause the waste itself to break down. And you can think of this as a highly energetic particle, a bit like was described before with breaking DNA; instead of breaking DNA we’re actually breaking the intrinsic chemical bonds inside our nuclear waste material, and this will essentially cause the waste to disintegrate. And this is something that we have to understand.

Chris – So what you’re saying is, if we’ve got say something that looks like glass, because it’s spitting out all these energetic particles of radiation all the time, it’s slowly going to shatter the glass. It’s almost like shaking the glass very, very hard for hundreds of thousands of years; it’s eventually going to fall to pieces and it will no longer be any good at retaining and constraining the radioactive products inside.

Claire – Essentially yes…….

Adam – How do we design something in the future so that this stuff stays where it is, and isn’t archeologist bait, and they suddenly dig up a radioactive cube of glass?

Claire – At the present time we are thinking that we will not mark when nuclear waste is kept. It’s going to be buried deep below the ground and nobody will know it’s there. The worry about putting a marker on the surface is that it will automatically draw, humans particularly because we’re very inquisitive, to that site to find out what’s going on. …… the plan at the moment is to not mark the waste and hope that people forget about it; and that if in the future they decide to dig there, they have the technology to dig that deep – so we’re talking between 500 metres and a kilometre below the ground – and if they have that technology, then they will also have some technology to be able to detect the radiation and know that they shouldn’t go there. https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/interviews/problem-nuclear-waste

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Reference, wastes, Women | Leave a comment

Male dominated climate talks falter, while women’s perspective is excluded

December 17, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Women | Leave a comment

The toxic gender norms in the nuclear weapons establishment

discussion of nuclear weapons is informed by and perpetuates toxic gender norms. In this world, strength, force, rationality, and destruction are masculine. Things like weapon design, targeting, and nuclear strategy fall into this category. Weakness, emotion, the very concept of peace, and the human costs of nuclear weapons are feminine.

 

December 16, 2019 Posted by | USA, Women | Leave a comment

The woman who was first to scientifically show, in 1856, how atmospheric C02 caused global warming

Climate-science sexism reheated, Canberra Times, Ian Warden  11 Oct 19
  The climate crusading Greta Thunberg, a famous contemporary target of sexist criticism and misogyny, may be interested to learn of the struggles of Eunice Foote who in 1856 published the first scientific paper to link CO2 and global warming.

One of my favourite obscure journals, The Public Domain Review, in touch with our climate-debating times, has just dusted off Eunice Foote’s paper Circumstances Affecting the Heat of the Sun’s Rays. It was published in the November 1856 American Journal of Art and Science.

The Review explains that In a series of experiments conducted in 1856, Eunice Newton Foote – a scientist and women’s rights campaigner from Seneca Falls, New York – became the first person to discover that altering the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would change its temperature.

“Foote’s seminal experiment was ingeniously homemade. Using four thermometers, two glass cylinders, and an air pump, she isolated the component gases that make up the atmosphere and exposed them to the sun’s rays … Measuring the change in their temperatures, she discovered that carbon dioxide and water vapour absorbed enough heat that this absorption could affect climate.”

“[Foote’s] discovery of the relationship between carbon dioxide and the Earth’s climate has since become one of the key principles of modern meteorology, the greenhouse effect, and climate science. However, no one acknowledged Foote was the first to make this discovery for more than a century, in large part because she was a woman.

Entirely because she was a woman, Foote was barred from reading the paper describing her findings at the 1856 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held in Albany, New York. Instead, Professor Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian had the honour of introducing her, announcing that science was ‘of no country and of no sex. The sphere of woman embraces not only the beautiful and the useful, but the true.’ Perhaps this was Henry’s attempt to shield Foote and her findings from sexist criticism .”

It would not surprise if, just as Greta Thunberg is so often accused of only reading speeches written for her by some grown-up Green Svengali (for she is surely too much of a girly flibbertigibbet to really be as knowledgeable and articulate as she pretends) Eunice Foote was suspected of having lots of (unacknowledged by her) cerebral male help with her paper.

Likell thinking Australian atheists/agnostics I am both appalled and fascinated by our prime minister’s extreme religiosity……https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6430152/climate-science-sexism-reheated/?cs=14246

October 12, 2019 Posted by | climate change, history, Women | Leave a comment