But what is good will? How is it shown? The answer is in respect for one another. Respect means listening to the other’s point of view, and clearly saying your own point of view. It means discussion, argument – communication.
It can be difficult and time consuming. It often seems easier to just hit someone, show them who’s boss, as we have seen in countless Hollywood films – where might is right.
The world is pretty much at the crossroads now. Some Israeli and USA politicians threaten military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran threatens retaliation. North Korea continues to be a nuclear weapons worry and China, India, USA, Russia, UK ramp up their nuclear weapons. Threats, decisions for violent action – it all seems simpler quicker, easier – easier than communication, negotiation, diplomacy.
Climate change to make ‘Super El Nino’ events twice as likely, ABC 12 Dec 13 PENNY ORBELL The drought conditions brought on by extreme versions of the El Nino weather phenomenon are likely to happen twice as often as climate change takes hold.
AUSTRALIAN RESEARCHERS have found that extreme versions of the cyclical weather pattern El Niño — dubbed ‘super El Niños’ — will double in frequency under projected global warming scenarios, with repercussions for many countries across the globe…….”Our results show that a warmer climate will increase the probability for the occurrences of super El Niños, and lead to a higher probability for associated extreme weather.”
The most extreme scenarios of global warming modelled by the researchers predicted more intense El Niños, and are most frequently associated with water current reversals…….
If emissions continue to increase at their current rate, some researchers warn that extreme weather events caused by super El Niños will become more frequent, with those most at risk being fishermen in developing nations and farmers.
“El Niño events typically bring dry conditions for Australia. So an increase in the occurrence of extreme El Niños will mean more frequent droughts, which will have an impact on our water resources and agriculture,” said Santoso. http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2013/12/11/3908868.htm
CEFC saved in the Senate – a rare win for Australian renewables REneweconomy,By Giles Parkinson on 11 December 2013 In a welcome piece of good news for the Australian renewable energy industry, efforts to close the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation have been thwarted in the Senate, and the innovative green investment bank is set to continue at least until next July, when a new Senate will sit. Read more »
Japan’s New ‘Fukushima Fascism’ Eco Watch, 12 Dec 13, Harvey Wasserman Fukushima continues to spew out radiation. The quantities seem to be rising, as do the impacts.
The site has been infiltrated by organized crime. There are horrifying signs of ecological disaster in the Pacific and human health impacts in the U.S.
But within Japan, a new State Secrets Act makes such talk punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Taro Yamamoto, a Japanese legislator, says the law “represents a coup d’etat” leading to “the recreation of a fascist state.” The powerful Asahi Shimbun newspaper compares it to “conspiracy” laws passed by totalitarian Japan in the lead-up to Pearl Harbor, and warns it could end independent reporting on Fukushima.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been leading Japan in an increasingly militaristic direction. Tensions have increased with China. Massive demonstrations have been renounced with talk of “treason.”
Tokyo Electric Power has begun the bring-down of hot fuel rods suspended high in the air over the heavily damaged Unit Four. The first assemblies it removed may have contained unused rods. The second may have been extremely radioactive.
But Tepco has clamped down on media coverage and complains about news helicopters filming the fuel rod removal.
By all accounts, whatever clean-up is possible will span decades. The town of Fairfax, CA, has now called for a global takeover at Fukushima. More than 150,000 signees have asked the UN for such intervention.
As a private corporation, Tepco is geared to cut corners, slash wages and turn the clean-up into a private profit center.
It will have ample opportunity. The fuel pool at Unit Four poses huge dangers that could take years to sort out. But so do the ones at Units One, Two and Three. The site overall is littered with thousands of intensely radioactive rods and other materials whose potential fallout is thousands of times greater than what hit Hiroshima in 1945.
Soon after the accident, Tepco slashed the Fukushima workforce. It has since restored some of it, but has cut wages. Shady contractors shuttle in hundreds of untrained laborers to work in horrific conditions. Reuters says the site is heaving infiltrated by organized crime, raising the specter of stolen radioactive materials for dirty bombs and more.
Thousands of tons of radioactive water now sit in leaky tanks built by temporary workers who warn of their shoddy construction. They are sure to collapse with a strong earthquake.
Tepco says it may just dump the excess water into the Pacific anyway. Nuclear expert Arjun Makhijani has advocated the water be stored in supertankers until it can be treated, but the suggestion has been ignored.
Hundreds of tons of water also flow daily from the mountains through the contaminated site and into the Pacific. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen long ago asked Tepco to dig a trench filled with absorbents to divert that flow. But he was told that would cost too much money.
The fallout has been already been detected off the coast of Alaska. It will cycle down along the west coast of Canada and the U.S. to northern Mexico by the end of 2014. Massive disappearances of sea lion pups, sardines, salmon, killer whales and other marine life are being reported, along with a terrifying mass disintegration of star fish. One sailor has documented a massive “dead zone” out 2,000 miles from Fukushima. Impacts on humans have already been documented in California and elsewhere.
Without global intervention, long-lived isotopes from Fukushima will continue to pour into the biosphere for decades to come.
The only power now being produced at Fukushima comes from a massive new windmill just recently installed offshore.
Amidst a disaster it can’t handle, the Japanese government is still pushing to re-open the 50 reactors forced shut since the melt-downs. It wants to avoid public fallout amidst a terrified population, and on the 2020 Olympics, scheduled for a Tokyo region now laced with radioactive hot spots. At least one on-site camera has stopped functioning. The government has also apparently stopped helicopter-based radiation monitoring.
A year ago a Japanese professor was detained 20 days without trial for speaking out against the open-air incineration of radioactive waste.
Now Prime Minister Abe can do far worse. The Times of India reports that the State Secrets Act is unpopular, and that Abe’s approval ratings have dropped with its passage.
It’s the cancerous mark of a nuclear regime bound to control all knowledge of a lethal global catastrophe now ceaselessly escalating.
Visit EcoWatch’s NUCLEAR page for more related news on this topic.
Renewable Energy Target Review Red Alert , Renewable Energy News, 12 Dec 13 The Abbott government will soon release its terms of reference for another Renewable Energy Target review says the Australian Solar Council. Given the general vibe; it doesn’t bode well for remaining small scale solar subsidies.
“The future of the small-scale scheme for solar PV is in considerable doubt,” states Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes…….
The solar power industry currently employs more than 18,000 people in 4,500 small and medium businesses across Australia – many in rural and regional areas.
With Renewable Energy Target related support still providing subsidies of up to a couple of thousand dollars on solar panel systems and that support continuing after the review not something to bank on; the best time to go solar may be right now……..http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4074
Yingli Green Energy Hold. Co. Ltd. (ADR) : EnviroGroup Installs Australia’s Largest Grid-Connected Enphase Microinverter Project in Conjunction with Yingli Solar, 4 Traders Group, 12/11/2013 |Glenlyn Aged Care Facility to power 50 percent of its energy needs with solar power
Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENPH), today announced that EnviroGroup, a specialist provider of renewable energy products and systems for commercial applications, government clients and residential home owners, has successfully installed Australia’s largest grid-connected solar power system with Enphase microinverters, in conjunction with Yingli Green Energy, known as “Yingli Solar”, at the Glenlyn Aged Care Facility in Glenroy, Victoria.
Below – Brisbane’s solar powered nursing home
Japan to spend $970 mn on nuclear soil store Phys Org News 12 Dec 13 Japan is planning to earmark 100 billion yen ($970 million) for a storage facility for tens of thousands of tonnes of soil contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima disaster, a report said Wednesday.
The government will set aside the cash to buy some 3 to 5 square kilometres (1.2 to 2 square miles) of land somewhere near the crippled plant, the Asahi Shimbun reported.
But finding a candidate site for the facility, which the government envisages using for 30 years, is a political challenge as no local authority has so far raised its hand.
Tokyo would like to use land in three heavily contaminated towns near the plant, said the paper, adding environment minister Nobuteru Ishiara will speak with local officials this weekend.
The mayors of the towns—Futaba, Okuma and Naraha—along with the governor of Fukushima prefecture Yuhei Sato, are believed to be concerned that the temporary site could easily become permanent………No one from the environment ministry was available for comment on the report.
As of the end of August, the total amount of contaminated soil and debris collected through decontamination efforts, in which the top layer of soil is stripped from the land, stood at 132,738 tonnes, about 80 percent of which is from Fukushima prefecture.
Experts say a more long-term solution needs to be found because storage capacity at these facilities is reaching its limits. http://phys.org/news/2013-12-japan-mn-nuclear-soil.html#jCp
an economic model based on perpetual growth continues on its own terms to succeed, though it may leave a trail of unpayable debts, mental illness and smashed relationships. Social atomisation may be the best sales strategy ever devised, and continuous marketing looks like an unbeatable programme for atomisation.
Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out Buying more stuff is associated with depression, anxiety and broken relationships. It is socially destructive and self-destructive George Monbiot The Guardian, Tuesday 10 December 2013 “……There has long been a correlation observed between materialism, a lack of empathy and engagement with others, and unhappiness.
But research conducted over the past few years seems to show causation. For example, a series of studies published in the journal Motivation and Emotion in July showed that as people become more materialistic, their wellbeing (good relationships, autonomy, sense of purpose and the rest) diminishes.As they become less materialistic, it rises……. Read more »
BHP Warms to Partnerships, But Olympic Dam Remains in the Cold WSJ 10 Dec 13, BHP Billiton Ltd. wants to share the love to get its $10 billion Jansen potash project in Canada off the ground. But the world’s biggest mining company is being a determined single when it comes to another costly development: Australia’s Olympic Dam…….
BHP’s reluctance to seek a partner for an expanded Olympic Dam project in South Australia may surprise as it’s stuck on the back burner, squeezed by low commodity prices and high development costs estimated by analysts at around $30 billion. In August last year, BHP said it would look for a less costly design for the Olympic Dam mine, which had been expected to bring in billions in tax dollars and create thousands of jobs. Up to now, it hasn’t announced any new plans for the site.
At first glance, finding a competitor to share development costs and risks with BHP makes sense. If they also bring in new technology then so much the better.
The problem for BHP is that a partner might actually want to get the project moving, even at a much-reduced scale. That would test BHP’s desire to keep annual spending below $15 billion in future, down by a third from last year’s bill totaling $21.7 billion. With uranium prices continuing to hover near eight-year lows, and several countries debating nuclear power in their energy mix, BHP can avoid such tough decisions by keeping full control of the asset.
“We like partnerships,” Mr Mackenzie told U.S. investors. Where Olympic Dam is concerned, it’s the outlook for the main commodity—uranium—rather than potential investors that it mostly dislikes. http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/12/10/bhp-warms-to-partnerships-but-olympic-dam-remains-in-the-cold/
Nuclear war would ‘end civilization’ with famine: study , NewVision, 11 Dec 13 A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization, a study said Tuesday.
Even if limited in scope, a conflict with nuclear weapons would wreak havoc in the atmosphere and devastate crop yields, with the effects multiplied as global food markets went into turmoil, the report said.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility released an initial peer-reviewed study in April 2012 that predicted a nuclear famine could kill more than a billion people.
In a second edition, the groups said they widely underestimated the impact in China and calculated that the world’s most populous country would face severe food insecurity.
“A billion people dead in the developing world is obviously a catastrophe unparalleled in human history. But then if you add to that the possibility of another 1.3 billion people in China being at risk, we are entering something that is clearly the end of civilization,” said Ira Helfand, the report’s author.
Helfand said that the study looked at India and Pakistan due to the longstanding tensions between the nuclear-armed states, which have fought three full-fledged wars since independence and partition in 1947.
But Helfand said that the planet would expect a similar apocalyptic impact from any limited nuclear war. Modern nuclear weapons are far more powerful than the US bombs that killed more than 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
“With a large war between the United States and Russia, we are talking about the possible — not certain, but possible — extinction of the human race……..
ultimately, the only answer was the abolition of nuclear weapons.
“This is a disaster so massive in scale that really no preparation is possible. We must prevent this,” he said.
President Barack Obama pledged in 2009 to work toward abolition but said that the United States would keep nuclear weapons so long as others exist. Nine countries are believed to possess nuclear weapons, with Russia and the United States holding the vast majority. http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/650353-nuclear-war-would-end-civilization-with-famine-study.html
Australian veterans affected by nuclear testing lose final bid for case to be heard http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-10/veterans-affected-by-british-nuclear-testing-lose-court-bid/5147678 By Sally Block 10 Dec 2013 Australian veterans of British nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s have lost their bid to have their case investigated.
About 300 surviving members of the Australian Defence Force applied to the Australian Human Rights Commission to have their case heard.
The veterans were involved in the nuclear tests by the British at Maralinga, Emu Field and Monte Bello islands. Their lawyers argued the Menzies government at the time exposed them to the harmful effects of radiation in full knowledge of the damage to their health and that is a breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Commission knocked them back, saying it is out of their jurisdiction to inquire into the acts or practises by the Commonwealth that are alleged. Read more »
Iran Nuclear Accord Is a Good Deal, BU Today, Critics of agreement miss the lessons of history 12.09.2013 By Robert Loftis Strip away all the rhetoric, and the November 23 agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear program emerges as an exercise in realism. It recognizes that three decades of enmity and distrust will not be erased overnight, nor can the knowledge of how to make a nuclear weapon be destroyed. This interim agreement represents a first step in verifiably ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program can be strictly limited to peaceful purposes. It is definitely a path worth pursuing.
The outlines of the agreement are simple: in return for a six-month halt to certain construction and enrichment activities, conversion and dilution of an existing 20 percent of enriched uranium stocks, and intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States and other powers will offer limited relief from crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy.
In essence, it deprives Iran of the opportunity to readily further enrich uranium to levels of purity necessary for nuclear weapons. Over the course of this six-month agreement, the sides will explore the possibility of a comprehensive pact that will ensure Iran’s nuclear program is limited to civilian purposes and that treats Iran as any other signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. If, during the next six months, it becomes clear that the Iranians are cheating or trying to hide a military program, then the sanctions can be reimposed immediately and further steps considered. It is worth highlighting that the Iranians made this agreement not just with the United States and its European allies, but also with the Russians and the Chinese. The Iranians would have to weigh the costs of crossing its most sympathetic global powers by failing to live up to the agreement.
Far from being the “historic mistake” that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contends, the accord is the first step toward a goal that we all claim to share: an Iran that does not pose a nuclear threat to our friends and allies. …………….http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/pov-iran-nuclear-accord-is-a-good-deal/
Israel wants Australia to use its influence in UN Security Council to amend nuclear deal with Iran SMH, December 11, 2013 Peter Hartcher, Israel has urged Australia to use its new found influence to force a much tougher deal on Iran over its nuclear program.
Israel’s Minister for the Economy, Naftali Bennett, told Prime Minister Tony Abbott that Israel ”badly wants a deal” to halt Iran’s nuclear progress, Mr Bennett said.
Israel is deeply unhappy with the terms of the interim deal negotiated by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the so-called P5 – plus Germany on November 24. ……..Australia can be an important factor in shaping the final deal, due in six months, Mr Bennett said, because it is a member of the UN Security Council next year and also the chairman of the council’s sanctions committee on Iran.
Iran has agreed to freeze parts of its nuclear program and dilute its most highly concentrated uranium in return for a partial easing of the international sanctions that have forced it into recession.
Israel’s essential demand is that Iran be forced to surrender its nuclear fuel-making machinery. Where the P5+1 deal has allowed Iran to keep its centrifuges for concentrating uranium into nuclear fuel, Israel wants them removed. : http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/israel-wants-australia-to-use-its-influence-in-un-security-council-to-amend-nuclear-deal-with-iran-20131210-2z42x.html#ixzz2nBQ2kJxj
The commentary also says that Australia has worked with Japan and the US on a revised version of the controversial annex which deals with government regulation of medicine prices, including Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, while most other countries are opposing it.
Trade Minister Robb said last week that Australia was prepared to agree to give investors the right to sue governments over Australian laws which they claimed harm their investment, which we have experienced in the Philip Morris case.
It is also worrying that the government appears to have agreed with the US refusal to support proposals from the World Intellectual Property Organisation, which assist developing countries to get access to cheaper generic medicines. Most other countries have agreed to support these proposals
TPP talks in Singapore rocked by leaked document By Dr Patricia Ranald (AFTINET Convener) 11 DEc 13,I arrived in Singapore after a week in Bali at the World Trade Organisation talks, at which the US tried but did not succeed in blocking developing countries, led by India, from taking measures to ensure they can make basic food available for the poorest in their countries. A compromise was reached which means that developing countries can continue to do this. AFTINET working group member Peter Murphy was also at the WTO meeting and has done a longer report……
The TPP negotiations here in Singapore are of course still secret, and governments are not making any public statements. The US has set the agenda of bilateral and small group meetings. They are desperate to pressure others to agree to their proposals so they can announce that the agreement is on track to be finalised by the end of the year. Read more »
One of the most controversial provisions in the talks includes new corporate empowerment language insisted upon by the U.S. government, which would allow foreign companies to challenge laws or regulations in a privately run international court.
Previously leaked TPP documents have sparked alarm among global health experts, Internet freedom activists, environmentalists and organized labor, but are adamantly supported by American corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Obama administration has deemed negotiations to be classified information — banning members of Congress from discussing the American negotiating position with the press or the public. Congressional staffers have been restricted from viewing the documents
Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal HUFFINGTON POST 12/09/2013 WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations, increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos obtained by The Huffington Post. Read more »
Back then we were closer to WWII and the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We knew the destructive power. Now, time blurs memories and people don’t realize how devastating those weapons are. The kilotons in nuclear bombs today dwarf the power of nuclear bombs when we grew up. ……..
Thanks Kat for bringing awareness in an industry that is more prone to “Hangover III” than hard-hitting documentaries.
When ActivistsMake Movies: The Nuclear Arms Race is Relevant Again With ‘Fallout’ The Wrap, HOLLYBLOGS | By Richard Stellar on December 10, 2013 The documentary details the making of Stanley Kramer’s epic “On the Beach”
Below – Lily Tomlin, Dr Helen Caldicott, Kat Kramer, Karen Kramer
You wouldn’t know that Kat Kramer was an activist. The daughter of director Stanley Kramer (above, second from right) looks as if she’d be more comfortable on the cover of Vogue than she would in a cramped editing room, poring over footage of films that, in her estimation, “change the world.”
One such film that efforts to do just that premiered a few weeks ago at the famed Sunset-Gower Studios lot,…… “Fallout” details the making of Stanley Kramer’s epic “On the Beach” — adapted from the fertile mind of Nevil Shute’s novel of a post-apocalyptic world ……..“Fallout” is about a movie about “the bomb” — and its relevance to today is staggering. Read more »