Daily Archives: March 3, 2014

XL Dissent 398 Youth Arrested at Anti Keystone XL Pipeline Protest at White House


freespeechtv

Published on Mar 3, 2014

On Sunday, 398 opponents of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline were arrested in front of the White House in what could be the largest youth sit-in on the environment in a generation. Students from more than 80 colleges rallied at Georgetown University and then marched to the White House, wearing mock “hazmat suits” and holding banners with slogans like “Keep your oil out of my soil” and “Even Voldemort Hates Tar Sands.” President Obama is expected to issue a decision in the next few months on the pipeline, which would transport 830,000 barrels of crude every day from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. gulf coast.

Published on Mar 3, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org – On Sunday, 398 opponents of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline were arrested in front of the White House in what could be the largest youth sit-in on the environment in a generation. Students from more than 80 colleges rallied at Georgetown University and then marched to the White House, wearing mock “hazmat suits” and holding banners with slogans like “Keep your oil out of my soil” and “Even Voldemort Hates Tar Sands.” President Obama is expected to issue a decision in the next few months on the pipeline, which would transport 830,000 barrels of crude every day from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. gulf coast. We speak to American University student Deirdre Shelly about why she was arrested on Sunday and the growing student-led movement to convince universities, colleges and cities to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

We Have the Right to Know What’s in Our Food

freespeechtv

Published on Mar 3, 2014

The Obama administration’s new food labeling requirements are a good start – but they don’t go far enough – and don’t mention GMOs.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

US shows hypocrisy in telling Russia to stay out of Ukraine


RT America

Published on Mar 3, 2014

Washington has threatened Russia several times since Saturday to stay out of Ukraine. President Barack Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about it over the phone. Then, on Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of the unacceptability of invading a sovereign country on phony pretexts in order to assert one’s own interests in the 21st century. But no, he was not speaking about the United States, as one might have thought. RT’s Anastasia Churkina takes a look at the hypocrisy of the US rhetoric towards Russia over the situation in Ukraine.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Climate Change Speaker Series: Bob Massie – 03.04.14

03.04.14 – Climate Change Speaker Series: Bob Massie

03.04.14 – Climate Change Speaker Series: Bob Massie

Rev. Dr. Bob Massie

Tackling Climate Change: The Compelling Logic of Fossil Fuel Divestment

Tuesday 3/4, 5:30-7:00PM, 35-225 [Map]

We are very excited to be joined by Rev. Dr. Bob Massie for our second Climate Change Speaker Series event. Massie is President of the New Economy Coalition, an author, environmentalist and social activist. He is the former Executive Director of CERES, the largest coalition of environmental groups and institutional investors in the United States. In 2002, Massie was named one of the financial world’s 100 most influential people by CFO Magazine. His award-winning book, Loosing the Bonds, is the seminal account of the grassroots movement that compelled American corporations to divest during the Apartheid era.

Dr. Massie will be sharing with us his first-hand insights into the theory and effectiveness of divestment, and discussing how these translate into a compelling logic for fossil fuel divestment as a strategy to tackle climate change.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Nuclear Security Matters

Nuclear Security Matters provides accessible analysis from the world’s leading experts on nuclear security and nuclear terrorism. This website is intended to help inform researchers, reporters, government officials, and the interested public on policy options for strengthening nuclear security and reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism.

This website was produced by the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The Project on Managing the Atom conducts and disseminates policy-relevant research on nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The project supports an international group of pre- and post-doctoral fellows and other experts working on these issues and helps to advance their research work through seminars, workshops, and conferences.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Nuclear

Fracking fluids dumped into the ocean

E120, e145, e130

China’s looming water crisis – News – The Ecologist

China-Water

This scene from Dujiangyan illustrates traditional harmony of water in the Chinese landscape. Photo: Joshua Bateman.

Joshua Bateman 25th February 2014

One unintended consequence of China’s spectacular economic growth is a growing water shortage, reports Joshua Bateman. As rivers run dry, aquifers sink, climate harshens and pollution spreads, he asks: can China solve its water crisis?

As more water infrastructure projects are built, hundreds of thousands citizens must relocate every year to accommodate the construction.

In a report by the Chinese News Service, Jiao Yong, Vice Minister of Water Resources, said, “China has more than 400 cities short of water, some 110 of which are facing serious scarcity.”

A study by the China’s Ministry of Water Resources found that approximately 55% of China’s 50,000 rivers that existed in the 1990s have … disappeared.

According to Jiang Liping, senior irrigation specialist at the World Bank in Beijing, China is over-exploiting its groundwater by 22 billion cubic meters a year – yet per capita water consumption is less than one third of the global average.

“China faces a severe water scarcity issue in water resources right now and it’s getting more serious because of rampant economic growth … Right now, the economy takes too much water from the environment so the ecological environment has been degraded.”

The Issue

According to a 2012 joint UNICEF and WHO study, 593 million Chinese have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990. However, even with the increased access to cleaner water, China still faces a significant supply deficit.

As more people migrate to cities and join the middle class, their water consumption increases. With urbanization, the use of toilets, showers, and washing machines increases as does the consumption of nondurable goods such as meat, alcohol, clothes and electronics, all of which require water for production.

The Water Footprint Network reports that Chinese annual per capita water consumption is 1,071 m3. Data from the Ministry of Water Resources show that in 2008, agriculture accounted for 62% of demand, industry for 24%, domestic for 12%, and replenishment for 2%.

However, industry and domestic will drive future demand. According to McKinsey data, in 2030 agriculture demand will account for 51%, industry 32%, and 16% will go towards municipal and domestic uses.

China’s water efficiency is another problem. Industry in China continues to expand and compared to other countries, is highly inefficient. Liping said, “water use efficiency and water productivity in both industry and agriculture are very low.”

According to Andreas Fruschki, Portfolio Manager of the $268 million Allianz Global Water Mutual Fund, “most emerging markets continue to rely on bottled water in plastic or tap water which is not potable and has to be boiled before consumption, which is expensive and inefficient.”

A catalogue of problems

Another challenge China faces is logistics. More than 60% of China’s water is in the southern part of the country, but most of the usage is in the north and coastlines.

As Debra Tan, Head of China Water Risk, a Hong Kong-based non-profit explains, “45% of China’s GDP is derived from water-scarce provinces. It is not easy to grow your economy with limited water and geographical issues beyond your control.”

….(read more).

See also: The Ecologist: China

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

After the deluge – Britain’s new politics of climate change

Oxford-Climate

Jonathon Porritt 20th February 2014

Jonathon Porritt has been an environmental campaigner since 1974, and is still hard at it nearly 40 years on. His latest book is The World we Made.

This article was first published on Jonathon Porritt’s blog under the title ‘The New Politics of Climate Change

Jonathon Porritt 20th February 2014Floods, giant waves and billions of pounds of destruction to the UK’s homes, businesses and key national infrastructure could revolutionise climate politics, writes Jonathon Porritt. But no thanks to the increasingly pathetic BBC!

Listening to mad old Tory say climate change doesn’t exist always reminds me that many such wanted to surrender to Hitler on Day One.

There is now a distinct possibility that the recent flooding and extreme weather will transform the politics of climate change here in the UK.

That may seem like a pretty dodgy prediction – given that the polls would seem to indicate, right now, that around 50% of people in the UK are still not persuaded that today’s weather is directly linked to climate change.

That remains the case, I suspect, partly because the immediate debate about that potential linkage has been so lamentable.

And I’m not just getting at those parts of the UK media whose grasp of science is completely obscured by their ideological world view – including most of our right-wing newspapers.

The real disappointment for me has been the BBC

For the most part, in the early weeks, the BBC clearly discouraged any discussion about climate change: stick to the stunning visuals and increasingly horrendous personal stories.

And then they spiced it up with a bit of blame-game politics, but no attempt was made to step back and reflect on what that told us about the complex weather / climate relationship.

And then, after all that soft-shoe shuffling, the BBC’s ‘flagship’ Today Programme tees up a quite ludicrous debate between Nigel Lawson (former Chancellor of the Exchequer, political street-fighter and spinner, and notorious climate denier as front-man for a shady ‘think-tank’ called The Global Warming Policy Foundation) and Brian Hoskins (brilliant, gentle climate scientist who knows little about the dark arts of the media, let alone dealing with the likes of Lawson).

….(read more)

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Rising sea levels threaten Los Angeles

LA-Port

Tim Radford 2nd March 2014

As much of California and the western US endures a severe drought, the city of Los Angeles is at increasing risk from rising sea levels. Tim Radford reports on the risks to the 12,000 square mile conurbation.

A serious storm could exact financial losses up to $700 million.

Los Angeles, City of the Angels in southern California, sits on a flat shelf of the Pacific coast of America, with a view of the sea. And if climate scientists are right, it could soon have an even closer view of the sea.

The city of more than 12 million people occupies 12,000 square kilometres of land, much of it no more than three metres above sea level. By 2050, rising sea levels could pose a threat to the infrastructure, museums and historic buildings of this great capital of entertainment, education, business, tourism and international trade, according to a new study by the University of Southern California.

“Some low-lying areas within the city’s jurisdiction, such as Venice Beach and some areas of Wilmington and San Pedro, are already vulnerable to flooding”, says Phyllis Grifman, lead author of the report, commissioned by the city and the USC Sea Grant Program.

“Identifying where flooding is already observed during periods of storms and high tides, and analyzing other areas where flooding is projected, are key elements to effective planning for the future.”

The city has already started to prepare for climate change: in June last year it published a report from the University of California Los Angeles on the pattern of snow fall and spring melt over recent decades and the ominous message for winter sports and summer water levels.

Double bind

Climate scientists expect the south-west of the US to become more arid as the century advances, and California has been in the grip of recent, unprecedented drought. But as glaciers melt and retreat, and the oceans warm and expand, the City of the Angels could find itself between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Sea levels are expected to rise somewhere between 0.6 metres and 1.7 metres by the close of the century. Peak tides and storm surges already present problems: as sea levels rise, these will become more damaging.

The drains that carry off its storm water and sewage, and deliver clean water from the mountains, could all be at risk from marine incursion. Floods and erosion could wear away the coast roads, and many museums and historic buildings, including the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, could face damage. In 2012, Los Angeles attracted 41 million tourists who accounted for a total spending of more than $16 billion.

Some coastal communities, the report says “are home to highly vulnerable populations” already struggling with low incomes, linguistic isolation, older housing stock and lower education levels.

….(read more)

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

The US Navy knew: Fukushima’s ‘hard rain’ on USS Ronald Reagan

Harvey Wasserman 27th February 2014

March 23, 2011 – The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan conducts a wash down while the ship is operating off the coast of Japan, to remove potential radiation contamination. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kyle Carlstrom. 27th February 2014A telephone transcript released under the Freedom of Information Act shows: the US Navy knew that the USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its ‘3/11’ meltdowns and explosions.

You picked up stuff that was ambient which indicated that you actually were in the plume? ‘That’s correct.’ And this was – this was 30 times higher than what you would have expected? ‘Yes sir.’

The revelations cast new light on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the sailors against Tokyo Electric Power.

Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy.

The Reagan had joined several other U.S. ships in Operation Tomodachi (“Friendship”) to aid victims of the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami.

Photographic evidence and first-person testimony confirms that on March 12, 2011 the ship was within two miles of Fukushima Dai’ichi as the reactors there began to melt and explode. In the midst of a snow storm, deck hands were enveloped in a warm cloud that came with a metallic taste.

Sailors testify that the Reagan’s 5,500-member crew was told over the ship’s intercom to avoid drinking or bathing in desalinized water drawn from a radioactive sea.

The huge carrier quickly ceased its humanitarian efforts and sailed 100 miles out to sea, where newly published internal Navy communications confirm it was still taking serious doses of radioactive fallout.

A wide range of ailments have been reported

Scores of sailors from the Reagan and other ships stationed nearby now report a wide range of ailments reminiscent of those documented downwind from atomic bomb tests in the Pacific and Nevada, and at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

A similar metallic taste was described by pilots who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and by central Pennsylvanians downwind of Three Mile Island. Some parts of the atolls downwind from the South Pacific bomb tests remain uninhabitable six decades later.

Among the 81 plaintiffs in the federal class action are a sailor who was pregnant during the mission, and her ‘Baby A.G.’ born that October with multiple genetic mutations.

The US Navy knew

Officially, Tepco and the Navy say the dose levels were safe. But a stunning new report by an American scholar based in Tokyo confirms that Naval officers communicated about what they knew to be the serious irradiation of the Reagan.

Written by Kyle Cunningham and published in Japan Focus, “Mobilizing Nuclear Bias” describes the interplay between the U.S. and Japanese governments as Fukushima devolved into disaster.

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics