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Nuclear test veterans: Stik sculpture unveiled at Kent army museum By Tanya Gupta, 5 Oct 22, BBC News

A model of a soldier ordered to turn his back and cover his face against a nuclear blast has gone on display at the Royal Engineers Museum in Kent.

London street artist Stik spent a year listening to veterans who witnessed nuclear tests in the 1950s to come up with the “terrified, lone figure”.

He said he wanted to show the vulnerability of the soldiers, but also their resilience and strength.

The model will be cast into bronze to create the final sculpture.

In a rare interview, the reclusive artist said he wanted to show human vulnerability, adding: “They were boys when they were sent out to witness an atomic bomb. Some were 16, 17, 18.”

Witnesses have described sitting with their back to the blast but feeling the heat and the force, and being able to see the light through their hands

The sculpture was unveiled at the Gillingham museum during the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association’s (BNTVA) annual conference, which is staged in Ashford on the 70th anniversary of Britain’s first weapons test off Western Australia.

For decades, the veterans have fought campaigns for medals, recognition, compensation and an apology from the government, after they witnessed tests with their backs turned to the blast, hands over their eyes, and with no protective clothing.

Many are concerned there is a link between their radiation exposure and ill-health, including cancers.

The Cabinet Office has said it is providing nearly half a million pounds to support veterans. It also said it would hold an oral history project and a commemorative event.

The Ministry of Defence has previously said there was “no valid evidence” linking the nuclear tests to ill-health.

October 5, 2022 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear fusion – public money wasted on this unproven technology

 UK ministers have been criticised for “pouring billions of pounds of
public money into unproven technology” by pressed ahead with nuclear
fusion investment. The warning comes after North Ayrshire lost out on
becoming the site of the UK’s first fusion energy plant having been

 Herald 4th Oct 2022

October 5, 2022 Posted by | technology, UK | Leave a comment

Another week in nuclear AND CLIMATE news

Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts activist holds a sign asking Pacific governments to “Vote YES for Climate Justice” as the Vanuatu Government and civil society organisations seek an advisory opinion at the International Court of Justice. Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Pacific Island Students Fighting Climate Change (PISFCC) and the Pacific Island Climate Action Network (PICAN) were joined by 40 climate activists for two days of mobilisation training in Suva, Fiji. The training was held in the lead up to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Fiji, where activists will call on PIF leaders to endorse an advisory opinion on climate change from the International Court of Justice.

Some bits of good news – UN declares healthy environment a human right.  – and other good developments – collated by Greenpeace.   World’s Largest Container Line is Rerouting its Fleet to Avoid Collisions with Endangered Blue Whales..  Patagonia company Gives Away Its Entire $3 Billion Worth to fight climate change  .  Climate.   The world in denial about the climate crisis.Tipping Point Hell Approaches.

Coronavirus. The pandemic has gone away – yeah, right! – 

 Health leaders urge vaccination and return to mask-wearing as hospitalisations rise by 37 per cent in a week.

Nuclear. I got distracted from  this main subject this week-  because of the climate’s urgent reality.  It was about King Charles – being told, by that apparently mindless flibbertigibbet Liz Truss,  not to attend the COP 27.  And he obeyed . Isn’t that just symptomatic of the whole damn problem?  We’re all supposed to be ‘nice’ don’t rock the established boat –   even though the bloody boat is on fire!.

Here comes the catastrophocene

“End War in Ukraine” Say 66 Nations at UN General Assembly.

What are tactical nuclear weapons? An international security expert explains and assesses what they mean for the war in Ukraine.

US, UK sabotaged peace deal because they ‘don’t care about Ukraine’: fmr. NATO adviser.

 These ‘nuclear bros’ say they know how to solve climate change.


RUSSIA. Kremlin steps back from call to use nuclear weapons. Russia open to in-person talks with U.S. on nuclear arms treaty. Russia’s oil and gas sanctioned, – but its profitable nuclear trade allowed to roll on!

CANADA. Canada and the International Fools-Based Order.

EUROPE NATO ‘not obliged’ to assist Ukraine — German ambassador. NATO in the horns of a dilemma after former Ukrainian regions vote to join Russia. 

Nuclear power classed as “amber”, not “green”. Is it officially accepted as Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG) ? EU parliamentarian calls to sanction Vanessa Beeley and all observers of Donbass referendums. Sanctions against Russian exports – but that doesn’t apply to NUCLEAR EXPORTS, (while they bring in funding for Russia’s war!).

POLAND. Poland starts handing out anti-radiation tablets as battle rages around Ukraine nuclear power plant.

SWITZERLAND. Swiss Government wants command centre in case of ‘nuclear event’.


UK.S UK Government to speed through nuclear development by making a bonfire of existing environmental regulationsLabour’s ‘Great British Energy’ Company likely to be a nuclear turkey. Giant pensions group Phoenix considers investing in nuclear, but wary of the financial risks. 

Save the fish: Nuclear Free Local Authorities call for acoustic deterrent at Sizewell C. Sizewell C nuclear plan – an insane legacy for our grandchildren. Two UK nuclear stations were due for closure in 2014. Now EDF wants to extend their lifetime yet again

‘People’s Plan for Nature‘ – a response to UK government’s attack on environmental protection laws. King Charles abandoned plans to speak at Cop27 climate summit, now will not attend, on instruction from Prime Minister Liz Truss

Honouring Britain’s nuclear testing veterans. Truss caves in to Mirror’s demands to mark ‘Plutonium Jubilee

JAPAN.   Fukushima Reaches a Turning Point . Current State of Post-Accident Operations at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Jan. to Jun. 2022).     Fukushima: Novel Fixes Fail, Waste Dumping Threatens Pacific Ocean. Japan asking world to pay too high a cost.  Fukushima radioactive sludge storage container will be full of nuclear wastewater purification may be hindered. Businesses worry about reputational damage from Fukushima water discharge.    

Inside the Primary Containment Vessel of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1.   The TEPCO Shareholders’ Lawsuit: Why TEPCO Executives Have Been Ordered to Pay 13 Trillion Yen in Compensation. Nuclear fuel reprocessing plant hit by 26th postponement. New head of nuclear regulator vows to maintain ‘transparency‘.

SOUTH KOREA.  Seoul asks IAEA for verification of Japan’s plan to discharge treated water from Fukushima plant

FRANCE. Electricite de France, (EDF) loaded with debt and safety problems , gets a new CEO.

CHINA. India makes sure that China withdraws proposal against AUKUS nuclear submarines plan at IAEA.

NEW ZEALAND . New Zealand Calls It Quits On Aiding Ukraine’s Military. Opposition in New Zealand to Military Space Launches.

IRANConditions for Fair Nuclear Deal Outlined Iran Nuclear Deal Talks at Dead End, Biden Admin Tells Congress in Classified Briefing.
SWEDEN. Amid increased threats to military and civilian targets, Sweden increases security around nuclear power stations.

AUSTRALIA. War Powers Reform: those in favour say aye … or maybe “no comment”. Who are the war criminalsTaiwan “is not a vital Australian interest — we do not recognise it as a sovereign state”. 

October 4, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Kremlin steps back from call to use nuclear weapons

Kremlin takes distance from Kadyrov’s call to use nuclear bomb in Ukraine with Reuters, Oct 3, 2022,

The Kremlin on Monday (3 October) said it favoured a “balanced approach” to the issue of nuclear weapons, not based on emotion, after a key ally of President Vladimir Putin called over the weekend for Russia to use a “low-yield nuclear weapon” in Ukraine.

Asked about the comments by Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Chechnya region, who also criticised Russia’s military leadership over battlefield setbacks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had the right to voice his opinion, but that Russia’s military approach should not be driven by emotions.

“This is a very emotional moment. The heads of regions have the right to express their point of view,” Peskov said in a call with reporters on Monday.

“But even in difficult moments, emotions should be kept out of any kind of assessment. So we prefer to stick to balanced, objective assessments.”

Peskov said the basis for any use of nuclear weapons was set down in Russia’s nuclear doctrine.

Those guidelines allow for the use of nuclear weapons if they – or another weapon of mass destruction – are used against Russia, or if the Russian state faces an existential threat from conventional weapons.

“There can be no other considerations when it comes to this,” said Peskov.

The Kremlin has made clear that those nuclear protections extend to the four regions of Ukraine that Moscow is in the process of formally annexing……………………………….

October 3, 2022 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Truss caves in to Mirror’s demands to mark ‘Plutonium Jubilee’ with gift for nuclear test vet

The heroes of Britain’s Cold War radiation experiments and their families welcomed the news, but said it did not go far enough to address the tests’ legacy of cancers, early death and birth defects

Mirror, By Fleet Street Fox, Columnist, 3 Oct 2022,

Prime Minister Liz Truss has caved to the Mirror’s demands to mark the ‘Plutonium Jubilee’ with a £450,000 gift for nuclear test veterans.

The heroes of Britain’s Cold War radiation experiments and their families welcomed the news, but said it did not go far enough to address the tests’ legacy of cancers, early death and birth defects.

More than half the money – £250,000 – will go to an academic or cultural institution to record oral histories of survivors. The remaining £200,000 will be available for veterans’ charities to bid for.

But that will be equivalent to just £133 a head for the estimated 1,500 ex-servicemen still alive.

The government will also host an event to “celebrate the unique and significant contributions of those involved in testing and developing our nuclear deterrent”.

It was announced on the same day as the 70th anniversary of Operation Hurricane – the Plutonium Jubilee, which marks Britain’s first atomic bomb test.

Alan Owen, of campaign group LABRATS, said: “It’s very welcome news, and a direct result of the meeting we had with Boris Johnson following the Mirror’s Look Me In The Eye campaign.

“In fact, it was the Mirror that asked, in that meeting, for a ceremony of national acknowledgement to allay veterans’ anger, and that will be a huge leap forward if we get it. But this money is a pittance in the grand scheme of things, and there’s still no medal, no apology, no acknowledgement.”

The money won’t be available until April next year – and there are fears some survivors, who are now all in their 80s, may not benefit from it.

Minister for the Armed Forces and Veterans, James Heappey, said the test veterans “played a crucial role in keeping Britain and our NATO allies safe”.

He added: “Their sacrifice contributed to achieving the ultimate guarantee of UK sovereignty and they forever have this nation’s gratitude.

“I look forward to commemorating the incredible service and efforts of our veterans.”

October 3, 2022 Posted by | health, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NATO ‘not obliged’ to assist Ukraine — German ambassador 2 Oct 22, Berlin’s envoy to the military bloc clarifies that NATO won’t actively fight for a non-member state.

Germany’s permanent representative to NATO has explained that the US-led bloc is not obliged to offer direct military assistance to Ukraine. Ruediger Koenig added that its members want to avoid a major war.

He was speaking to Dein Spiegel, the youth version of Der Spiegel magazine, which published the interview on Saturday.

The Ukraine conflict dominated much of the article, with Koenig describing Russia’s decision to launch its offensive against its neighbor in late February as a watershed event…….

Germany’s representative to NATO stressed that the military alliance as a whole, however, has no legal obligation to help Kiev repel Moscow’s attack as Ukraine is not a member state. This means that Article 5 of NATO’s treaty cannot be activated, the official explained. Under it, an attack on one ally is considered to be an attack against the whole of NATO, with all member states having to stick up for the targeted nation.

According to Koenig, the military bloc is anxious to avoid getting actively involved in the conflict at all costs because “this would mean a very big war.

Such a scenario, which would see 30 more nations join the fray, is something “nobody wants,” the diplomat noted…………..

He concluded that the prospect of peace is rather slim as Ukraine and Russia’s positions seem to be irreconcilable. Koenig clarified that Ukraine “rightly” demands that Moscow cede all former Ukrainian regions in the south and east of the country that recently voted to join Russia, as well as Crimea, which joined the country in 2014. The official pointed out that the Kremlin, however, is unlikely to agree to such terms.

October 3, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sizewell C nuclear plan – an insane legacy for our grandchildren

 Letter: Dave Haskell, Cardigan: It is the height of madness to fund
another nuclear fission power station at Sizewell costing £34 billion,
with Hinkley C currently costing £24 billion and yet to come on stream.

What a legacy to leave to our children and grandchildren – foreign owned,
very expensive and years to build, dangerous, hazardous waste and
horrendous decommissioning costs – not to mention a potential target for

 Cambrian News 1st Oct 2022

October 3, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Honouring Britain’s nuclear testing veterans

 Britain’s nuclear testing programme veterans to be honoured in £450,000
project. Government will commemorate the ‘incredible service’ of the
veterans who witnessed hundreds of atomic tests and were exposed to

 Telegraph 3rd Oct 2022

October 3, 2022 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Don’t nuke the future

even the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (WHEJAC) have declared nuclear power to be a false solution to climate change.

Regrettably. powerful nuclear lobbies, the Biden Administration, and nuclear supporters in Congress have ramrodded legislation (the 2021 IFA; the 2022 IRA) through Congress worth as much as $70+ billion dollars to bail out this false climate “solution”.

Time to focus on real climate solutions

Don’t nuke the future — Beyond Nuclear International By David Kraft, NEIS, 2 Oct 22,

As we strike for climate, we must strike nuclear power from our energy plans

The Fridays for the Future Climate Strike on September 23 called out tens of thousands of people worldwide – over 300 in downtown Chicago — to protest the inadequate governmental response to the Climate Code Red, and identify the many corporate criminals who are responsible for the bulk of the crisis.

While it is necessary to identify and hold accountable those who are the source of the problem, if the Planet is to survive the predicted catastrophic temperature rise and resulting environmental impacts, it is equally important to identify real and viable solutions to the crisis, given the limited amount of time left to act.

On that note it cannot be stressed more emphatically that nuclear power is not a viable climate solution.

Why is this the case?  With eight years left before the IPCC’s 2030 deadline to literally reinvent and implement a climate friendly energy infrastructure, nuclear power serves as a drag and barrier to reaching that target.  It is too costly; to slow to build out to the levels needed; displaces less atmospheric carbon per dollar spent than cheaper and quicker alternatives; and not only fails to solve its current list of unsolved problems (for example, nuclear waste disposal), but adds to this list the threat of increased nuclear proliferation and accidents, especially in war zones like Ukraine, and potentially elsewhere (India/Pakistan; China Taiwan; Iran/Saudi Arabia, etc.).

Worse, money spent on bailing out the economically failed nuclear power plants we have is money not available to be spent on real climate solutions we already know  work: more renewable energy, more energy efficiency, improved transmission/distribution systems, and energy storage.

Who says so?  Only:  two former CHAIRPERSONS of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; former public utilities chairs and utility CEOs from the states of California, New York, and Maine; energy experts and scientists like Amory Lovins and Mark Jacobson of Stanford University, and Dr. Andy Stirling of University of Sussex. 

Cost analysts at Lazards demonstrate that nuclear (both the present old generation, and the proposed “next generation” of so-called small modular nuclear reactors) is too expensive compared to renewables and other alternatives; while those at Moody’s point out that reactors will be at severe risk of operating safely in a climate disrupted world without extraordinary added expense to enhance safety – again, money that won’t be available for real alternatives.

Environmental justice activists loudly label nuclear power as a false climate solution.  Statements by the Climate Justice Alliance and Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and even the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (WHEJAC) have declared nuclear power to be a false solution to climate change.  Scores if not hundreds of environmental organizations nationwide share the same sentiment.

Who else?  Mother Nature herself.  The heat wave experienced in France this year (and in previous years) shuttered 32 of 54 French reactors due to lack of river water to cool them and make steam – precisely when they were needed most.  The laws of physics state that reactors will also produce less electricity the warmer the water they take in to make steam.  And climate induced swarms of jellyfish, mayflies and other creatures have led to reactor shutdowns on multiple occasions.  These will only become more frequent with the worsening climate disruption.  These incidents have led former Union of Concerned Scientists staff scientist and NRC consultant David Lochbaum to sardonically ask, “And what will save nuclear power from climate change?

Finally, the war in Ukraine has forced to world to examine whether nuclear power even belongs on a planet where war seems omnipresent.  Nuclear power plants are now targets in war.  Do not think this will be the end of it.  The war and what has happened at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine now forces the nuclear industry, military planners and governments of the world to face what they have long avoided and refused to discuss: nuclear power plants are gigantic, pre-positioned radiation dispersion devices. The thought of sprinkling literally thousands of so-called “small modular nuclear reactors” (SMNRs) worldwide like fairy dust — without containment buildings and with reduced emergency planning/response zones and plans, as nuclear proponents eager to market their new techno-toys currently suggest —  almost seems to be the quintessential confirmation of Einstein’s admonition that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

Regrettably. powerful nuclear lobbies, the Biden Administration, and nuclear supporters in Congress have ramrodded legislation (the 2021 IFA; the 2022 IRA) through Congress worth as much as $70+ billion dollars to bail out this false climate “solution.”  This is one time when trying to jam a square peg down a round hole will not work.  You can’t build an energy future by bailing out the past.

Today’s demonstrations make two very important points:  we are out of time; and we must declare a climate crisis – and act like it is a crisis, to paraphrase climate activist Greta Thunburg.  We do not have the time or money for “all of the above”, business as usual false solutions like those proposed by Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Chuck Schumer.  We must act now to implement real energy solutions.

Nuclear power is simply a false solution to the climate crisis.  Anyone who says otherwise is as much a “denier” as those who still falsely claim that climate change does not exist. 

This article also appeared as a September 23, 2022 press release from Nuclear Energy Information Service,  a non-profit organization committed to ending nuclear power and advocating for sustainable ecologically sound and socially just energy solutions.

October 3, 2022 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Interviews With Donetsk Residents After Joining Russia

Eva Bartlett 1 Oct 2022Given the predictable Western negation of the referendum to join Russia, and following having done many interviews with people during the referendum, yesterday I did some follow up interviews with Donetsk residents, asking their opinions on joining Russia

October 2, 2022 Posted by | public opinion, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Zelensky pledges never to talk to Putin 2 Oct 22

Ukraine will not negotiate with Moscow until Putin is replaced as president, Zelensky and his cabinet said

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky refuses to negotiate a peace settlement as long as Vladimir Putin remains president of Russia. He made this claim in a post on his official Telegram channel on Friday.

………….. “We are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but … with another president of Russia,” he wrote. Unlike the majority of his Telegram posts, this one was written only in Ukrainian, without an accompanying English translation.

Zelensky has repeatedly rejected overtures of peace from Moscow, most recently turning down Putin’s offer on Friday to resume negotiations. What made the offer a non-starter for Kiev is that Putin refused to relinquish the regions that voted this week to join Russia…..

Zelensky also confirmed that Ukraine had submitted an accelerated application to join NATO on Friday, something he previously admitted was probably never going to happen. While Western media described the move as “more symbolic than practical,” the Ukrainian president argued that Sweden and Finland were able to apply on an accelerated basis even without a Membership Action Plan and it was thus only “fair” that Ukraine do the same.

De facto, we have already completed our path to NATO,” he said in another Telegram post. “De facto, we have already proven interoperability with the Alliance’s standards … We trust each other, we help each other and we protect each other.”

Zelensky has previously acknowledged Ukraine might struggle to secure the consent of all 30 NATO member nations…………………………….

October 2, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | Leave a comment

‘Not wise’ to let Ukraine join NATO – Kissinger 1 Oct 22, Russia regarded its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe as a “safety belt,” the former US secretary of state said.

Washington’s attempts to incorporate Ukraine into NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union were not prudent, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said on Friday.

Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-partisan US think tank, the 99-year-old veteran diplomat argued that Washington tried to indiscriminately include all former members of the Soviet bloc under its umbrella after the Berlin wall fell, and that the “whole region between the center of Europe and Russian border became open to restructure.

From the Russian point of view, the United States then attempted to integrate this whole region, without exception, into an American-led strategic system,” he said, adding that this development basically removed Russia’s historic “safety belt.”

Kissinger thus stressed that “it was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.”

He does not believe, however, that this justifies attempts by Russian President Vladimir Putin to re-incorporate Ukraine into Moscow’s sphere of influence by a “surprise attack.”

Kissinger said he does not know if it is possible to make peace with the Russian leader, but stressed that the West “must seek an opportunity for an arrangement that guarantees Ukrainian freedom” and keeps the country part of the European system.

Moreover, Kissinger opined that in a way, Russia has “already lost the war” because its capacity to threaten Europe with conventional attacks, which it had enjoyed for decades or even centuries, “has now been demonstrably overcome.”

Despite that, the former secretary of state signaled that sooner or later, the West and Russia must engage in dialogue. “Some dialogue, maybe on an unofficial level, maybe in an exploratory way is very important,” he reiterated, adding that “in the nuclear environment” such an outcome is preferable to a “battlefield decision.”

In early August, Kissinger warned that the US had found itself “at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created,” arguing that Washington has rejected traditional diplomacy, as it has been “seeking to convert or condemn their interlocutors rather than to penetrate their thinking.

October 2, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | Leave a comment

TODAY. Going blindly into the climate apocalypse

Yeah- I promised myself that my websites and articles would stick to the nuclear threat, and to exposing nuclear lies. Yeah – forget climate – everybody else is doing it.

Trouble is – they’re not!. The rich, powerful, influential people are not paying attention to global heating.

Today – the perfect example of corporate control over our planet’s future! King Charles, of the UK and British Commonwealth of Nations, caves in and obeys Prime Minister Liz Truss – he will now not attend the Cop 27 Climate Summit, where he was scheduled to give a speech.

King Charles will shut up about climate, the environment and our future. That is symbolic of what is happening world-wide

good, supposedly educated, quite affluent people in the so-called developed world are being “nice”, not rocking the boat, not causing others to be anxious, not discussing unpleasant things like global heating – that would be bad taste!

Never mind that our teenagers don’t read books etc, spend their lives on TikTok, with their dwindling attention spans. But some of them are depressed and suicidal. Could that be because those who do think , see that we are giving them a terrible future?

Meanwhile – in the “undeveloped” i.e poor countries, – well, along with drought, hunger, sea level rise, extreme weather, flooding ……. it is a struggle to stay alive, not much energy to deal with climate change. And anyway, their “betters” – powerful , mainly white, people will make their decisions for them. Just a pity that the “betters” are too busy making money, increasing material “goods”, and entertaining themselves.

I still think that I must stick to nuclear. But then again, perhaps it won’t matter – as extreme weather might put a stop to the nuclear industry, along with everything else. Now there’s a silver lining to the gloomy climate picture!

October 2, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

Here comes the catastrophocene…

If humans have become a geological force reshaping the Earth in the Anthropocene, then we need to become a geological force to undo the damage we have caused, and correct the threats we are still causing.

Pearls and Irritations, By Julian Cribb Oct 3, 2022,

The good news is that the Anthropocene is almost over. It will have been the shortest geological epoch in all of Earth history.

The bad news is that the Catastrophocene is just beginning.

This is a period marked by the interaction of ten catastrophic risks which many scientists are now warning could precipitate the end of human civilisation – and potentially bring about the departure of our species from an uninhabitable Earth.

The Holocene, the climatically stable period which enabled humans to develop agriculture and cities, is now over. It lasted about 11,650 years, from the last Ice Age to the latter C20th. And now it is gone and we are into a wholly different world, named in 2000 by Dutch Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen ‘the Anthropocene’ – the epoch in which humans became a truly geological force, reshaping and altering the entire planet, its atmosphere, oceans, the land, and life itself. On present indications, the Anthropocene will last only a century or two.

The evidence is all about us that we’re into something altogether grimmer. Each day, almost, brings fresh reports of colossal unintended consequences of human activity around the planet – vast floods, tens of thousands of fires raging, dust storms sweeping topsoil off our farms, heatwaves, dried-up rivers and lakes, melting glaciers, unimaginable losses of birds, animals, insects and other life, dwindling forests and fish, poisoned water, oceans, food and air, declining oxygen levels, hunger and starvation, the dissemination of new diseases, the mass migration of 350 million people a year, the advent of powerful new technologies whose effects are unknown and uncontrolled, and the insidious worldwide seep of malicious lies about it all.

The evidence is all about us that we’re into something altogether grimmer. Each day, almost, brings fresh reports of colossal unintended consequences of human activity around the planet – vast floods, tens of thousands of fires raging, dust storms sweeping topsoil off our farms, heatwaves, dried-up rivers and lakes, melting glaciers, unimaginable losses of birds, animals, insects and other life, dwindling forests and fish, poisoned water, oceans, food and air, declining oxygen levels, hunger and starvation, the dissemination of new diseases, the mass migration of 350 million people a year, the advent of powerful new technologies whose effects are unknown and uncontrolled, and the insidious worldwide seep of malicious lies about it all.

These phenomena are the physical manifestations of what the Council for the Human Future has termed the ‘existential emergency’ now confronting humanity – a crisis which many scientists and individual citizens now recognise as real, but which most governments, corporates and politicians seem loath to accept the evidence that is before their very eyes.

This crisis is comprised of ten catastrophic risks, not just the one or two most commonly reported in the media. All these risks interact with one another, meaning they cannot be tackled separately or solved one by one. Collectively, they are driven by human overpopulation, overconsumption and over pollution. The risks are:

Extinction and eco-collapse: currently proceeding 1000-10,000 times faster than normal, eliminating the ecosystems that humans and wildlife need to survive. Mainly caused by agriculture and land development.

Overheating: a climate approaching out-of-control as nine huge ‘feedbacks’ from the Earth system itself make it even faster, hotter and more turbulent than man-made factors (like fossil fuels and land clearing) alone.

Global poisoning: five times larger and ten times more deadly even that climate, human chemical emissions are the largest and most underestimated threat to planetary health and survival.

Nuclear holocaust: with 70 nations still committed to nuclear arms and conflict, scientists currently rate the threat at ‘100 seconds to midnight’, the worst level since Hiroshima.

Resource scarcity: a world water crisis is already a reality for half the population. Loss of topsoil, forests, fish stocks and scarcity of other key resources threaten to unleash fresh conflicts.

Pandemics:  there have been seven pandemics since 2000, with a new one striking every 2-3 years. With some 90 wild animal diseases already crossed into humans, more are on the way.

Overpopulation: due to hit 8 billion in November and 10 billion by 2060, human numbers are estimated by some researchers to now be 4 times what the Earth can carry in the long run. Not a threat in itself, population pressure drives all the other threats and must be brough under control.

Famine and hunger: already rising due to loss of soil, water and a stable climate. World food chains increasingly vulnerable to disruption from shortages, conflict and big events, putting megacities at risk.

Ultratechnologies: uncontrolled development and release of powerful new technologies without thought for the consequences will unlock fresh threats for humanity, just as fossil fuels and chemistry already have.

Misinformation: the world is drowning in lies, half-truths and disinformation, mainly spread by the fossil fuels lobby, certain media, politicians and other malicious actors. These are disabling government, breeding mistrust of science and making the task of saving civilisation ever harder.

It is the interaction of these ten mega-threats which now constitutes the new age – The Catastrophocene. This will be a period in which most human lives will be consumed in attempting merely to survive and find workable collective solutions to these threats, to repair our damaged planet and salvage all that is good and decent of our civilisation.

Take heart, solutions do exist. I detail the main ones in a forthcoming book, both global answers and what individuals can do to save themselves. However, as the Council for the Human Future has noted: no government on Earth yet has a policy for human survival. They simply do not grasp the magnitude or the reality of what is unfolding. Or they don’t care. Nor do the giant corporations who now rule the world economically.

If humans have become a geological force reshaping the Earth in the Anthropocene, then we need to become a geological force to undo the damage we have caused, and correct the threats we are still causing. Part of that consists in reducing both our numbers and our material demands to what the planet can safely bear in the long term. If we do not undertake this task, then nature will surely do it for us.  Doing nothing, or doing too little too late, will destroy us.

In other words, controlling the catastrophic risks we now face will save countless lives, help avoid total collapse or even extinction, restore the Earth and preserve what is best about the human endeavour.

It is the greatest, noblest and most urgent cause in all our million year journey.

October 2, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment | 2 Comments

Washington split over Ukraine’s NATO bid – Politico 2 Oct 22,

Zelensky’s unexpected demand to fast-track membership talks has reportedly been met with a mixed reaction

Ukraine’s bid for accelerated accession to NATO caught Washington off-guard, driving a wedge between a number of US lawmakers, Politico reported on Friday.

When the outlet asked US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if she supports Kiev’s demand to join NATO, she stopped short of unequivocally endorsing the move, saying the US is “very committed to democracy in Ukraine.”

Let’s win this war. But I would be for them having a security guarantee,” she told Politico.

Democratic Party colleague Representative Mike Quigley (D- Illinois) said that Washington should support Ukraine’s NATO bid. “Ukraine’s fight is the reason we formed NATO in the first place,” he told Politico, adding that since WWII, the US has recognized “that an authoritarian regime cannot be allowed to wipe out a democratic country.”

On Friday, following the start of the formal accession of four former Ukrainian regions to Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky demanded that the procedure for joining NATO be fast-tracked. This apparently came as a surprise to the Biden administration, according to two US officials cited by the outlet.

Many Western officials fear that if Kiev becomes a full-fledged member of the bloc, it would not only provoke Russia, but would also draw Washington and Moscow into a direct war, as NATO’s charter stipulates that an attack on one member is considered an attack against the entire alliance. The only instance in which this principle has been applied came after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the US.

On Friday, President Vladimir Putin signed treaties on the inclusion of the two Donbass republics, as well as the two southern Ukrainian regions which had declared independence, into the Russian Federation. All four territories held referendums from September 23 to 27, in which the people voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia.

Western leaders have condemned Moscow’s latest moves. US President Joe Biden has vowed to impose further sanctions on Russia and continue to supply Kiev with military aid.

October 2, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment