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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Vulnerable to Climate Change – Philippines

From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots  Global warming will not affect everyone equally. Here we look at seven key regions to see how each is tackling the consequences of climate change, Guardian, John Vidal, 23 June 17

an emotional powerful speech on climate change

……Manila, Philippines

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the city of Tacloban in November 2013, Yeb Sano was the Philippines’ climate commissioner. He was distraught when I met him. He believed that his brother who lived there had been killed along with many thousands of others.

One hour later Sano broke down as he addressed the world’s diplomats. It was the third super typhoon to hit the Philippines in three years, and five of the 10 strongest typhoons had come in the previous eight years. “Climate change is real and now,” he told them in tears.

The Philippines is regularly ranked in lists of the top few countries most affected by climate change. “We are already experiencing climate change impacts, including sea-level rise, hotter temperatures, extreme weather events and changes in precipitation,” says Sano, who has now left government to direct Greenpeace SE Asia.

“These in turn, result in human rights impacts, such as loss of homes and livelihoods, water contamination, food scarcity, displacement of whole communities, disease outbreaks, and even the loss of life.”

Scientists widely agree that the country, along with nearby Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, is a hotspot. Analysis of 70 years’ of government data, published in the International Journal of Climatology last year, shows a small decrease in the number of smaller typhoons that hit the Philippines each year, but more intense ones. It is not conclusive evidence, but previous studies have suggested the increase may be due to rising sea-surface temperatures since the 1970s.

There is no doubt temperatures are rising on land. In Manila and the surrounding metropolitan area, which has a population of more than 12m, the tropical storms are more intense, the floods are more frequent, the nights are hotter and there are fewer cool days, says the state meteorological office, Pagasa.

“There has been a significant increase [in the last 30 years] in the number of hot days and warm nights and a decreasing trend in the number of cold days and cold nights,” Alicia Ilaga, head of climate change in the government’s agriculture department, told me in 2015. “Both maximum and minimum temperatures are getting warmer. Extreme rainfall events are becoming more frequent. In most parts … the intensity of rainfall is increasing.”

It’s not just Manila feeling the heat. In its latest 2014 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it expects life in major Asian and African coastal cities like Manila, Guangzhou, Lagos, Ho Chi Minh City, Kolkata and Shanghai to worsen as temperatures rise.

“Urban climate change–related risks are increasing (including rising sea levels and storm surges, heat stress, extreme precipitation, inland and coastal flooding, landslides, drought, increased aridity, water scarcity, and air pollution) with widespread negative impacts on people (and their health, livelihoods, and assets) and on local and national economies and ecosystems,” it says. “These risks are amplified for those who live in informal settlements and in hazardous areas and either lack essential infrastructure and services or where there is inadequate provision for adaptation.”

Food supplies are also threatened. I visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) outside Manila. This research centre, funded by the world’s richest nations to develop better strains of the crop that feeds nearly half the world, has seen temperatures soar.

A few years ago, IRRI’s deputy director general, Bruce Tolentino, called climate change the greatest global challenge in 50 years. “The challenge now is to rapidly adapt farming to climate change with modern varieties and feed a fast-growing global population, half of which depends on rice as a staple food. One billion people go hungry every day. In the 1990s, rice yields were growing 2% a year; now they are just 1%. Temperatures here have risen 2–4C. Climate change will reduce productivity. Rainfall is unpredictable and rice is grown in areas like deltas that are prone to sea level rises. We have to gear up for more challenging agro-ecological conditions, we need to be able to use swampy areas and develop varieties that can be grown in salty or flooded areas.”

RRI has been working to develop rice varieties that can withstand extreme climatic conditions such as droughts, floods, heat and cold, and soil problems such as high salt and iron content. New drought-tolerant varieties that can produce up to 1.2 metric tons more per hectare [0.54 tons per acre] than varieties that perform poorly under drought conditions have been introduced to India, Nepal and elsewhere.

“Every city and every sector of society in the region is at risk,” says Sano. “The IPCC tells us it will probably get 4C warmer. That means everything will be compromised, from food and energy to settlements. We are not ready. The challenge is too huge. We are very vulnerable.”…..

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/23/from-heatwaves-to-hurricanes-floods-to-famine-seven-climate-change-hotspots?CMP=share_btn_tw

June 24, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Philippines | Leave a comment

Philippines government needing to set up a pro nuclear ‘massive information campaign’

Energy dept seeks to calm nuclear power fears, Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News Jun 20 2017 MOSCOW – The Department of Energy on Monday stressed the need to calm the public’s fears over nuclear power, as it studied the feasibility of adding it to the country’s energy mix. The department aims to provide President Rodrigo Duterte with a menu of nuclear energy sources, including using the three-decade-old Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos told ABS-CBN News.

“The biggest challenge is social acceptability,” said Marcos on the sidelines of a summit hosted by the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp.

 “We need to come up with a massive information campaign so that the people will know. They need to be educated on nuclear power,” he said.

The $2-billion Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never used due to worries over its safety……

The energy department last month signed a memorandum of understanding with ROSATOM on nuclear energy cooperation, including winning public support.

Russian companies have also offered nuclear power barges to the Philippines to help meet growing demand in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/06/19/17/energy-dept-seeks-to-calm-nuclear-power-fears

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Philippines, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Russia keen to put Philippines into debt as it markets its Rosatom nuclear reactors

Duterte dials Russia for nuclear power future, Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News,  Jun 19 2017 “…….President Rodrigo Duterte is bringing the Philippines closer to tapping nuclear power than any of his immediate predecessors by dialing Russia, which is offering its technology to the world. Duterte’s government forged an agreement with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corp. (ROSATOM) for the possible development of nuclear infrastructure, personnel training, and courting public support for the technology following his visit to Moscow last month.

Russia also offered to supply the Philippines with nuclear power barges and capsules.

ROSATOM on Monday opened an showcase of Russian nuclear technology, hoping to attract new clients from around the world, including the Philippines.

“We want to cooperate and be partners” said Sergey Kirienko, first deputy chief in the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin……

Project financing is the biggest concern of developing economies that seek to tap nuclear power, said Iliya Rebrov, economic and finance director at ROSATOM.

Rebrov said ROSATOM helps its clients secure funding from various sources, including loans.

“The key competitive factor is the ability of the contractor to arrange financing,” Rebrov said, citing a recent wind-farm project in southern Russia that was financed with Gazprombank.

ROSATOM is “very confident” in the world market as it diversifies its offerings to meet growing demand, said Kirill Komarov, the company’s First Deputy Director general for corporate development and international business. http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/06/19/17/duterte-dials-russia-for-nuclear-power-future

June 21, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Pacific island leaders at UN Oceans Conference push for nuclear clean-up

FSM and Marshalls urge nuclear clean-up, Radio New Zealand 9 June 17 A number of Pacific leaders have used the UN Oceans Conference to bring global attention to nuclear contamination and World War Two wrecks that have become environment hazards.

Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands have led the charge in highlighting what they call ‘real concerns’ confronting their people in the event of nuclear contamination or an oil spill from shipwrecks in their territorial waters.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) said since 2005, when its regional strategy on marine pollution from World War 2 wrecks was adopted, not much had been implemented because coastal states preferred to deal with the issue bilaterally with the flag states.

The two flag states for most of the 800 wrecks that litter the territorial waters of five Pacific countries are the United States and Japan.

Most of the wrecks are remnants of World War 2……..

Nuclear Contamination

Also speaking at the Oceans Conference the President of the Federated States of Micronesia Peter Christian said nuclear contamination was a serious threat for small island countries in the north Pacific as there were claims the fall-out from the nuclear tests conducted in the Marshall Islands may have reached as far as Palau.

The FSM pointed out a storage dome for radioactive waste on Enewetak Atoll was cracking and leaking and plants around it were dying.

The FSM called for the Pacific Islands Forum to invite countries responsible for the nuclear contamination and Second World War shipwrecks to the Forum leaders’ summit later this year to explain what they intended to do about the waste.

The Samoan Prime Minister and Forum chair Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the issue will be on the agenda at the September meeting. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/332467/fsm-and-marshalls-urge-nuclear-clean-up

June 12, 2017 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Auckland commemorates 30 years of nuclear-free New Zealand

Aucklanders celebrate anniversary of nuclear-free New Zealand, 11/06/2017, Newshub staff   It’s been 30 years since New Zealand became the first country in the world to declare itself Nuclear Free.

On Sunday, hundreds formed a human peace symbol at the Auckland Domain, similar to the one made in 1983, in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act. …….

The anniversary comes just days before a United Nations conference involving 132 countries which will negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/06/aucklanders-celebrate-anniversary-of-nuclear-free-new-zealand.html

June 12, 2017 Posted by | New Zealand, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Polynesia vastly affected by radioactivity from French nuclear bomb testing

French nuclear tests ‘showered vast area of Polynesia with radioactivity’ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/03/french-nuclear-tests-polynesia-declassified
Declassified papers show extent of plutonium fall-out from South Pacific tests of 60s and 70s was kept hidden, says French paper,
Guardian, Angelique Chrisafis in Paris, Thursday 4 July 2013, French nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1960s and 1970s were far more toxic than has been previously acknowledged and hit a vast swath of Polynesia with radioactive fallout, according to newly declassified ministry of defence documents which have angered veterans and civilians’ groups.

The papers, seen by the French paper Le Parisien, reportedly reveal that plutonium fallout hit the whole of French Polynesia, a much broader area than France had previously admitted. Tahiti, above, the most populated island, was exposed to 500 times the maximum accepted levels of radiation. The impact spread as far as the tourist island, Bora Bora.

Thousands of veterans, families and civilians still fighting for compensation over health issues have insisted France now reveals the full truth about the notorious tests whose impact was kept secret for decades.

From 1960 to 1996, France carried out 210 nuclear tests, 17 in the Algerian Sahara and 193 in French Polynesia in the South Pacific, symbolised by the images of a mushroom cloud over the Mururoa atoll. For decades, France argued that the controlled explosions were clean. Jacques Chirac, the French president, controversially resumed nuclear atoll explosions in the South Pacific shortly after being elected in 1995.

Le Parisien said the documents “lifted the lid on one of the biggest secrets of the French army”. It said papers showed that on 17 July 1974, a test exposed Tahiti to 500 times the maximum allowed level of plutonium fallout.

Bruno Barillot, who has investigated the impacts of the nuclear tests for the Polynesian government, complained of the high levels of thyroid cancers and leukaemia in Polynesia. He said the declassified documents revealed Tahiti had “literally been showered with plutonium for two days” during the Mururoa test; from the outset France knew the impact spread further than it publicly admitted. But of the 2,050 pages declassified, 114 remained blacked out.

Richard Oldham, a member of the Polynesia nuclear workers’ association Mururoa e Tatou, told Radio New Zealand International : “It’s the right for our future generations to know what has happened in this country.”

In 2006 a French medical research body found nuclear testing had caused an increase in cancer on the nearest inhabited islands. The French judiciary began investigating health implications. It was not until 2010 that France acknowledged that there could be a compensation process for veterans and civilians. But that is complex and limited to a small geographical area and certain ailments.

About 150,000 veterans and civilians worked on, or were present during, nuclear tests, including 127,000 in Polynesia. But of 800 dossiers, only 11 people have received compensation.

Troops who worked on the tests have described a staggering lack of precaution for workers. During the Mururoa tests in French Polynesia in the late 1960s, one veteran described how he was stationed in shorts and a T-shirt on a boat only about 15 miles from the explosion before having to sail immediately to the area of the vast mushroom cloud to examine the damage.

Others on different tests wore shorts and had no sunglasses; they were told simply to shield their eyes and turn their backs at the time of the explosion.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia and Philippines – Nuclear Marketing

Philippines, Russia forge nuclear cooperation deal, ABS-CBN News, May 26 2017 MANILA – The Philippines and Russia have agreed to develop cooperation on nuclear energy under an agreement signed in Moscow, Russia’s state nuclear agency said Friday.

Under the memorandum of cooperation, the two nations will pursue the “development of the nuclear infrastructure” in the Philippines, including personnel training and securing public acceptance of nuclear power, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corp said in a statement……Duterte has approved a study on the feasibility of nuclear power to augment the country’s electricity supply.

The Philippines has a nuclear power plant in Bataan, which has never been used.http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/05/26/17/philippines-russia-forge-nuclear-cooperation-deal

May 27, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia and Philippines Military Cooperation Agreement

Russia, Philippines forge Defense Cooperation Agreement, UPDATE PH, May 26, 2017 Caleb Velasquez The defense cooperation will expand exchanges in terms of training, seminars and best practices between the two countries, with the end to develop relations in the field of military education, including military medicine, military history, sports, and culture as well as experiences in consultation, observer participation in military training exercises, and military port calls…..

Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines and the State Atomic Energy Corporation, otherwise known as ROSATOM on Cooperation on the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes was also forged. https://www.update.ph/2017/05/russia-philippines-forge-defense-cooperation-agreement/17735

May 27, 2017 Posted by | marketing, Philippines, Russia | Leave a comment

Vanishing Pacific island calls on Australia for help

Our country will vanish’: Pacific islanders bring desperate message to Australia, Guardian, 14 May 17,   Kiribati and other low-lying countries are under threat from climate change, and while their people would rather stay behind, they may be left with no choice “……… i-Kiribati man Erietera Aram is in Australia delivering his message about the reality of climate change in his country, and of its immediacy. Each discussion, he says, is like a drop of water, adding to the one before it, slowly building understanding of the existential threat to his people and place.

“Climate change is not something off in the future, it’s not a problem for later. We are living it now,” he says.

The archipelago of Kiribati – 33 tiny coral atolls spanning 3.5m square kilometres of ocean – is the world’s lowest-lying country, with an average height above sea level of just two metres.

Most of the 113,000 i-Kiribati live crammed on to Tarawa, the administrative centre, a chain of islets that curve in a horseshoe shape around a lagoon.

“My place is very small,” Aram says. “If you stand in the middle, you can see water on both sides. We are vulnerable. One tsunami, one tsunami and our whole country will disappear.”

Already, there is less and less of Kiribati for its inhabitants. The coastline is regularly being lost to king tides and to creeping sea levels, and in a very real sense, there is nowhere to go.

The loss of land is causing conflict – Tarawa is growing ever more densely crowded, as families living on the coastline are forced inwards, infringing on another’s claim.

The next round of multinational climate talks in November – COP 23 – will be chaired by Fiji, and is expected to swing particular focus of the global climate debate to the Pacific, where comparatively minuscule amounts of carbon are produced, but the effects of climate change have been felt first, and most acutely.

Assuming the COP presidency, the Fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, said he would “bring a particular perspective to these negotiations on behalf of some of those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change – Pacific Islanders and the residents of other small island developing states and low-lying areas of the world”…….https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/14/our-country-will-vanish-pacific-islanders-bring-desperate-message-to-australia

May 15, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

America neglects Guam atomic test victims – hopes they all die?

January 12, 2014 Aloha, It is now 01/2014 (24 years) since RECA was enacted. We are still waiting for justice. Our country denied, deceived, has no integrity or values by denying victims of radiation they caused. The justice system denied and dismissed most litigation cases claiming the Congress had to enact better laws to address radiation.

They claimed radiation does not cause cancer, of course we know better in the PACIFIC, Micronesia, Guam, Johnston
Island and many other location. The unfortunate thing is 70 years have passed and many have already died which is our countries hope.

May 13, 2017  It is now May 2017, yes Terry is still alive and still seeking equity, HA. Our delegates never heard such a word, denial is more like it. I will advocate for loyalty till I die. Hard to believe our nation does things I thought only others did.

I was a range rat, many friends on Midway, Eniwetok, Wake, French Frigate Shoals, Christmas, Johnston, Jarvis, Canton damn so many.

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Way back in 2010, we made a small post about the the plight of residents of Guam, who were suffering from illnesses resulting from radiation exposure. Research presented to the National Academy of Science and National Research Council described the effects on this community, of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.  The Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors, a nonprofit organization, was lobbying U.S. Congress to include Guam in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Program, so that they could receive help and compensation for their radiation-induced illnesses.

Well, what happened about this?

Thanks to one reader of this website, we have been kept up to date over the years:

TERRY R SCHEIDT by Terry R Scheidt  January 6, 2011 I WAS A 1962 JOHNSTON ISLAND PARTICIPANT. I WAS AT GROUND ZERO AND EXPOSED TO HIGH LEVELS OF RADIATION FOR WHICH I GOT CANCER. I HAVE NOT BEEN COMPENSATED UNDER THE DOE/EEOICPA ACT BECAUSE I DID NOT WORK FOR DOE. I WAS DENIED. I RECEIVED UNEQUAL COMPENSATION FROM DOJ (RECA) BUT AT A MUCH LESSER AMOUNT THAN DOE (EEOICPA). NO MEDICAL AND LESS THAN HALF THAT OF DOE. PLEASE SUPPORT HR 5119/S3224.

April 23, 2011 Do our representatives really care? Why have both HR5119/S3224 both died in committee. Our government does not live up to responsibility. They cause us harm than ignore us as if we do not exist. Aloha.

April 26, 2011 I am a 1962 ground zero victim of the Johnston Island PPG. Senators Pangelinan, Udalls and Rep Lujan have done nothing. All legislation died in committee. They turned their backs on us again. Shame.

June 25, 2012 Continue reading

May 14, 2017 Posted by | health, Legal, OCEANIA, PERSONAL STORIES, USA | Leave a comment

Tiny New Guinea frogs endangered by climate change

Tiny frogs face a troubled future in New Guinea’s tropical mountains, ABC News, The Conversation, 30 Mar 17, By Paul Oliver and Michael Lee At night, the mountain forests of New Guinea come alive with weird buzzing and beeping calls made by tiny frogs, some no bigger than your little fingernail.

These little amphibians — in the genus Choerophryne — would shrivel and dry up in mere minutes in the hot sun, so they are most common in the rainy, cooler mountains.

Yet many isolated peaks, especially along northern New Guinea, have their own local species of these frogs.

So how did localised and distinctive species of these tiny frogs come to be on these isolated peaks, separated from each other by hotter, drier and rather inhospitable lowlands?

Our new study of their DNA, published this week in the open access journal PeerJ, reveals how they achieved this feat. It reveals a dynamic past, and more worryingly it highlights the future vulnerability of tropical mountain forests and their rich biodiversity………

During past phases of global cooling (glacial periods), the colder, wetter, mountainous habitats of New Guinea expanded downhill, a process termed elevational depression.

If depression was extensive enough, the frogs on one mountain might have been able to travel across tracts of cool, wet lowlands to colonise other mountains.

Later, a warming climate would wipe out the lowland populations, leaving two isolated mountain populations, which might eventually become new species………

The little frogs and the future

Why does it matter how the tiny frogs moved to their mountain habitats? Because it could be a warning to their future survival……..

As we’ve shown, the global cooling in past glacial periods allowed the mountain-dwelling frogs to move down across the lowlands to find new mountain peaks.

But today, as global temperatures soar to levels not seen for millions of years, their habitable cool zones are heading in the other direction: shrinking uphill.

We have no idea how quickly these frogs will respond to these changes, but recent research elsewhere in New Guinea has found birds are already shifting upslope rapidly.

We don’t yet know what could happen to these cute little amphibians should temperatures continue to climb, and they in turn run out of mountainside to climb……… http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-31/tiny-frogs-face-a-troubled-future-in-new-guineas-mountains/8403936

April 1, 2017 Posted by | environment, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

A legal breakthrough for French Polynesia’s nuclear test victims.

Mururoa-test-1971Big shift afoot in French nuclear compo law  http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/323947/big-shift-afoot-in-french-nuclear-compo-lawThe French joint law commission has decided to remove the term negligible risk from the nuclear compensation law in what is seen as a breakthrough for French Polynesia’s test victims.

The unanimous decision is now to go to the National Assembly and the Senate for approval as Paris is to make good on its promise to loosen the law.

The compensation law, drawn up by Herve Morin when he was the defence minister in 2009, has been widely criticised for being too restrictive because almost all claims have been thrown out.

A month ago, two French lawmakers urged the social affairs minister Marisol Touraine to amend the decree on compensation to ensure that unsuccessful claimants can resubmit their files.

One of the MPs Jean-Patrick Gille said veterans would find it incomprehensible if the earlier rejection of their compensation bids were to be final.

France tested its atomic weapons first in Algeria and then from 1966 to 1996 in the South Pacific in a programme which involved more than 100,000 personnel.

February 8, 2017 Posted by | Legal, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Pacific island ditches fossil fuels to run entirely on solar power

Ta’u island in American Samoa will rely on solar panels and Tesla batteries as it does away with diesel generators, Guardian Eleanor Ainge Roy, 28 Nov 16, A remote tropical island has catapulted itself headlong into the future by ditching diesel and powering all homes and businesses with the scorching South Pacificsun.

Using more than 5,000 solar panels and 60 Tesla power packs the tiny island of Ta’u in American Samoa is now entirely self-sufficient for its electricity supply – though the process of converting has been tough and pitted with delays……https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/28/south-pacific-island-ditches-fossil-fuels-to-run-entirely-on-solar-power

November 30, 2016 Posted by | decentralised, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Marshall Islands, ,nuclear bombed decades ago, still afflicted by American bombing today

Bikini-Atoll-bombBikini was just the beginning, bombs still threaten the islanders, New Internationalist DECEMBER 2016  John Pilger visits the Marshall Islands and its bomb survivors, still blighted by US nuclear weapons. “……..The explosion vaporized an entire island, its fall-out spreading over a vast area. There was a ‘miscalculation’, according to the official history; the wind ‘changed suddenly’. These were the first of many lies, as declassified documents and the victims’ testimony have since revealed.

Gene Curbow, a meteorologist assigned to monitor the test site, said, ‘They knew where the radioactive fall-out was going to go. Even on the day of the shot, they still had an opportunity to evacuate people, but [people] were not evacuated; I was not evacuated… The United States needed some guinea pigs to study what the effects of radiation would do.’

The secret of the Marshall Islands was Project 4.1. Official files describe a scientific programme that began as a study of mice and became a study of human beings exposed to the radiation of a nuclear weapon. Most of the women I interviewed had suffered from thyroid cancer; many in their communities did not survive.

The US Navy returned the population of Rongelap atoll, which is downwind of Bikini, even though the food was unsafe to eat and the water unsafe to drink. As a result, reported Greenpeace – which eventually sent a ship to rescue them – ‘a high proportion of their children suffered from genetic effects’.

Archive film refers to them as ‘amenable savages’. A US Atomic Energy Agency official boasts that Rongelap is ‘by far the most contaminated place on earth’, adding, ‘It will be interesting to get a measure of human uptake when people live in a contaminated environment.’

Holding a photograph of herself as a child, with terrible facial burns and most of her hair missing, Nerje Joseph told me, ‘We were bathing at the well. White dust started falling from the sky. I reached to catch the powder. We used it as soap to wash our hair. A few days later, my hair started falling out.’

Lemoyo Abon said, ‘Some people were in agony. Others had diarrhoea. We were terrified. We thought it must be the end of the world.’

Human radiation experiments

As a nine-year-old, Tony de Brum witnessed the Bravo bomb. He became foreign minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, an indefatigable voice demanding justice for his people. Clutching the evidence, he stood up at the United Nations in 2005 and said, ‘United States government documents clearly demonstrate that its scientists conducted human radiation experiments with Marshallese citizens. Some of our people were injected with or were coerced to drink fluids laced with radiation. Other experiments involved the resettling of people on islands highly contaminated to study how human beings absorbed radiation from the food and environment.’

The Marshall Islands were, until 1986, a Trust Territory administered by the United States with a legal obligation to ‘protect the inhabitants against the loss of their land and resources’ and to ‘protect their health and well-being’. In 2004, the US Cancer Institute reported to Congress that future Marshallese generations were likely to contract 530 cancers.

The US relinquished direct control of the islands only after the Marshallese had agreed to accept a mere $150 million as compensation for their suffering and to allow the huge US base on Kwajalein atoll, with its ‘mission to combat communist China’ and known as the Ronald Reagan Missile Test Facility.

Commanding the Pacific all the way to Asia and China, the base continues to subject the islanders to the testing of weapons of mass destruction. Missiles are launched at night, or fired into the lagoon from California. Following each ‘shot’, islanders fall sick with a ‘mystery illness’. The Environmental Protection Agency says fish in the bay cannot be eaten; fish was once the staple. The cost of firing one missile is $100 million, or two-thirds of the compensation paid to the islanders……..

In 2014, President Obama announced that the US was ‘creating the world’s largest marine reserve in the Pacific, banning fishing and other commercial activities across pristine sea dotted with coral atolls’.

In fact, as part of Obama’s military build-up in the Pacific, known as the ‘pivot to Asia’, the US has taken control of nine million square miles of ocean – an area double the size of the mainland United States. Under cover of a marine reserve, a ‘marine range complex’ will be run by the Pentagon, with torpedoes, underwater mines and numerous other detonations. Bikini was just the beginning. https://newint.org/features/2016/12/01/bikini-was-just-the-beginning/

November 28, 2016 Posted by | OCEANIA, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pacific Island Nations appeal to USA to save them from global warming

The participants also agreed the Marrakech Proclamation, a statement re-affirming the intentions of all 197 signatories to the Paris deal.Seen as show of unity on the issue in the light a possible US withdrawal, countries stated they would live up to their promises to reduce emissions. The proclamation also called on all states to increase their carbon cutting ambitions, urgently.

Some of the poorest nations in the world announced that they were moving towards 100% green energy at this meeting.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum said that the 47 member countries, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Yemen, would achieve this goal between 2030 and 2050. And they challenged richer countries to do the same.

Despite these steps forward there were still some areas of significant difference between the parties, especially over money. The talks will continue in 2017 with a new US delegation picked by the Trump administration.

sea-level-rise_mainClimate talks: ‘Save us’ from global warming, US urged http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38034171 19 November 2016  The next head of the UN global climate talks has appealed for the US to “save” Pacific islands from the impacts of global warming.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said that the islands needed the US now as much as they did during World War Two. He was speaking as global climate talks in Marrakech came to an end.

Mr Bainimarama said that climate change was not a hoax, as US President-elect Donald Trump has claimed. Mr Trump has promised to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and scrap all payments for UN global warming projects.

But as he accepted the role of president of the Conference of the Parties for the year ahead, the Fijian leader took the opportunity to call on to the next US president to step away from his scepticism.

“I again appeal to the President-elect of the US Donald Trump to show leadership on this issue by abandoning his position that man-made climate change is a hoax,” said Mr Bainimarama.

“On the contrary, the global scientific consensus is that it is very real and we must act more decisively to avoid catastrophe.” He also made a direct call to the American people to come to their aid in the face of rising seas, driven by global warming. Continue reading

November 21, 2016 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment