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Montenegro’s farmers & environmental protesters ruin army’s plans for mortar shelling exercises

Activists and farmers camp in protest on the mountain Sinjajevina where the army planned a live-fire exercise on October 18, 2020 in Krnja Jela, Montenegro. © Getty Images / Filip Filipovic
RT | October 21, 2020

Montenegro’s Defense Ministry has postponed military training exercises after local shepherds and activists staged a protest over environmental concerns.

The mountain region of Sinjajevina was selected to host military drills including mortar shelling by the Montenegro army. However, the plan didn’t sit well with local farmers and environmental activists, who set up camps in the area and staged non-stop protests to oppose the drills.

The exercise was scheduled for this week, but the army had to retreat. Colonel Aleksandar Pantović, the Chief of Staff of the General Staff, announced that the drills have to be delayed. “We conducted a reconnaissance… the conditions for shooting were not met and that this is not possible,” Pantović told local media. “When all the conditions are met, we will continue with the realization of the exercise.”

A local MP from the URA party supporting the protest, Dritan Abazovic, called the decision a “significant victory” for Montenegro’s citizens and ecology.

The region in question, Mount Sinjajevina, consists of the largest stretch of grassland in the Balkans and makes up part of a location designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve. It was chosen as a place for a military polygon last year – something that triggered public discontent. Farmers and activists argued that explosives risk damaging the delicate environment and would contaminate the water supply.

“We will certainly not clash with the citizens,” the country’s Defense Minister Predrag Boskovic said in an interview. However, he noted that it is impossible to have an army unable to train on its own territory.

Montenegro is a NATO member state currently possessing an armed force of 2,400 active duty soldiers.

October 22, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Israeli occupation authority seizes vast West Bank areas after declaring them nature reserves

Palestine Information Center – October 19, 2020

RAMALLAH – The Palestinian Environment Quality Authority has said that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has imposed its control over 36 areas in the West Bank under the pretext of nature reserves.

Senior official of the authority Issa Mousa told Voice of Palestine radio that there are many West Bank areas that had been declared nature reserves by the IOA with the aim of using them as military posts or Jewish settlements.

Mousa affirmed that the IOA recently announced its decision to seize 11,000 dunums of Palestinian land in the West Bank to turn them into nature reserves, adding that those seized areas are actually fertile agricultural lands in Jericho, southern Jiftlik, Deir Hijleh and eastern Tayasir in Tubas.

He pointed out that the conversion of lands into nature reserves cannot be done by military decisions but rather through field studies, and there are special criteria and conditions for taking such measure according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Palestinian official said that the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority documented all the Israeli violations in those areas as a prelude to submitting them to the UN General Assembly.

October 19, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

An Environmental Nakba: The Palestinian Environment Under Israeli Colonization

Artwork by Andrea Settimo
By Mazin B. Qumsiyeh and Mohammed A. Abusarhan | Volume 23, number 1, Science Under Occupation

Prior to the 1948 war and even the Zionist Congress of 1897, Palestine had some thirteen hundred villages and towns, each with a small and manageable population living sustainably with nature. The land was owned or worked by the Palestinian people, who were 85 percent Muslim, 9.2 percent Christian, and 5.3 percent Jewish.1 This structure changed radically when mostly European Jews mobilized for massive migration to Palestine and began to assume colonial control over the land. In its long recorded history, Palestine has indeed undergone significant environmental and demographic changes, but it is really only in the past century that these changes took on a colonial dimension. The best-known of these changes is the forcible removal of the indigenous population, which reached its peak between 1948 and 1950. During those years, five hundred villages and towns were destroyed by Zionist militias, resulting in the largest wave of refugees after the Second World War.2 But the environmental dimensions of the catastrophe, or Nakba, is little talked about.3 In 1967 Israel occupied the remaining 22 percent of historic Palestine, namely Gaza and the West Bank, and built settlements throughout these occupied territories in contravention of to international law (the Fourth Geneva Convention).4 These dramatic transformations were detrimental to the people and nature of Palestine. Here, we focus on the environment and sustainability in Palestine, an often overlooked casualty of the colonial occupation.

Colonial Impact on the Environment

Once Israel was declared a Jewish state in May 1948, native trees (such as oaks, carobs, and hawthorns) and agricultural crops (olives, figs, and almonds) were systematically uprooted and replaced by European pine trees. These planted pines reduced biodiversity and harmed the local environment.5 Pines shed leaves that are acidic and prevent the growth of underbrush plants. These trees are also very susceptible to fire because of their resins. Indeed, fires are now a common occurrence in the areas in which they were planted. Trees, however, were not the only targets of Israel’s colonial practices. Natural resources, primarily water aquifers, have also been confiscated from the Palestinians. This often happened by deliberately building Israeli colonies on hilltops to ensure effective access to these resources and to maintain surveillance over the Palestinians.6 Environmental sustainability was never a priority for Israel, whose practices detrimentally affected the landscape, resulting in the destruction of diverse habitats and water runoff.7

The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 opened opportunities for Israeli industries. Many of the highest polluting companies moved to the West Bank and were provided with tax incentives to do so.8 There the companies only faced the opposition of the Palestinians who had no way to stop them. For example, pesticide and fertilizer manufacturer Geshuri, which faced significant court setbacks in its original plant in Kfar Saba, was moved to an area adjacent to Tulkarm inside the West Bank in 1987. Significant pollution caused by Geshuri and other companies in this area has damaged citrus trees and vineyards.9 Moreover, research on genotoxicity in the Occupied Territories shows the significant impact of the Barkan industrial settlement on the Palestinians of Burqeen village.10 As DNA and chromosomes are damaged, there are increasing cases of miscarriage, cancer, and congenital birth defects. Air and water pollution has also caused diseases ranging from respiratory illness to gastrointestinal failures. Other health-related problems have resulted from the Israeli practice of sending trash, including electronic debris, across the Green Line.11 This debris is often recycled by destitute Palestinians in environmentally harmful ways, such as using fire to remove plastic from useful metals. This practice releases substances that cause serious ailments, including cancer and lung diseases.

Israel has also built an extensive network of roads and other infrastructure serving settlers. Trees and any buildings within seventy-five meters of these roads are bulldozed and declared closed military zones to the Palestinians. The total area used in the West Bank for settler roads was 51.2 km2 in 2000 and has doubled since. Added to the 150.5 km2 of built settlement-colonies, this is a huge area that was previously used by Palestinians for agriculture, pasture, or leisure.12 The disparity between settlers and natives in land control and standard of living is compounded by disparity in access to other natural resources, especially water.13 Israeli officials have deliberately ignored facts and selectively presented falsified or inaccurate data to serve their political interests in the Jordan River while catastrophically impacting Palestinian access to water. For example, 91 percent of the total water of the West Bank is expropriated for Israeli settler use.14

The Israeli occupation has resulted in considerable loss of biodiversity in the Palestinian territories. This began many years ago when Israel diverted the waters of the Jordan Valley, and when trees surrounding destroyed Palestinian villages were replaced by monoculture crops.  More recently the apartheid wall in the West Bank obstructs human activities and animal movement, causing a loss of both human and animal biodiversity.15 Humans and nature have been intertwined in Palestine for thousands of years, and the continuing loss of biodiversity irreversibly damages Palestine’s cultural and natural heritage, threatens endangered species, and harms agriculture and environmental sustainability.16

There are many other practices through which the occupation has undermined sustainable development and protection of the environment. These include refusal to issue building permits in most of the West Bank and destruction of any “unauthorized” structures, even including cisterns and solar panels.17 Another example is the policy of Israel to absorb the Palestinian tourism sector, including ecotourism.18

One of the major threats to the Palestinian landscape is the confiscation of land for settlements, sometimes with temporary false excuses of preventing damage to nature.19 For example, the Palestinian village of Ras Imweis and six adjacent areas were initially confiscated under such an excuse then turned into the settlement of Nahal Shilo. In many other instances, the Israeli occupation authorities prevented Palestinian sustainable development by claiming certain stretches of land as “green areas,” then turning them into Jewish settlements within the span of two to three years. Such exploitation was also obvious in the Bethlehem district, where Abu Ghuneim Mountain, one of the largest forests in the Bethlehem district, was turned into the Har Homa settlement in 1997. This is how Israel is “green-washing” the occupation.20

International Failure

Israel’s colonial settlements have had a devastating impact on the Palestinian environment and on indigenous Palestinian lives. This raises significant questions about the possibility of sustainable development under occupation.21 Indeed, there are ample grounds, backed by solid scientific and legal research, to bring claims of environmental injustice to local, national, and international forums.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (which Israel ratified) states that “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies,” adding that life in military occupied areas must be allowed to proceed as normally as possible. UN Security Council Resolution 465 of 1980 reads in part that “all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Israel has largely ignored international law. This impunity is enabled by the international community. For example, a 2003 United Nations Environment Program report identified key effects of the occupation on the environment and made over one hundred recommendations but failed to prioritize them or set target dates. This failure of the international legal system to hold Israel accountable is not just related to environmental issues, but extends across many other areas including Israel’s abuse of prisoners and destruction of civilian life.22 Israel’s aggressive political lobby has also influenced many governments and shapes decisions at the UN, where the United States has veto power. [Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle (London: Pluto Press, 2004).] The international failure to hold Israel accountable has left the issue—like in South Africa under apartheid—up to organizers and activists on the ground.23

Grassroots Organizing for Environmental Justice

In situations where international law fails, civil society often intervenes, as we have seen in the movements for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) in South Africa and in Palestine against the respective apartheid regimes. The BDS movement and other forms of civil or popular resistance do make a difference.24 That we have not yet reached the post-apartheid era like South Africa is due to the fact that the settler-colonial occupation of Palestine has been strengthened by international complicity and by agreements, such as the Balfour Declaration and resolutions by the League of Nations and the UN, that exclude the Palestinians. The international community has long abrogated its responsibilities and has thus given Israel a green light to engage in significant violations of human rights (including environmental rights). Civil society must increase pressure on international leaders to assume their responsibility to return dignity and sovereignty to the Palestinian people. International bodies must enforce law and implement sanctions against Israel to rectify the rampant environmental injustices that disproportionately harm the indigenous Palestinian population. Palestinians have no recourse to domestic laws since what laws are available are those of an apartheid settler-colonial state.25 There is recent scholarly and activist interest in using international law to buttress environmental justice claims, especially in developing countries, but as Noura Erekat pointed out, this is undermined by the imbalance of power and influence of the Zionist movement around the world.26 Although we are witnessing the growth of the BDS movement, we need much more pressure and mobilization to enforce recognition of Palestinian rights.27

Nevertheless, a significant movement for environmental justice and sustainability is growing even under the very difficult conditions of occupation and colonization. People are working at the grassroots level to build popular institutions that enhance and promote sustainable natural and human communities in the context of a larger anti-colonial struggle.28 Educating new generations of Palestinians in their culture and history can also help address some of the challenges Palestinians are facing.29 Because colonizers work to separate the colonized from their land and destroy their culture and history, strengthening the connection between the indigenous people and their land will help new generations understand the value of nature beyond the exploitative framework imposed by colonialism.30 Environmental struggles are an integral part of the struggle for freedom and justice in Palestine as elsewhere.

Acknowledgement: We thank the Darwin Initiative (UKaid) and the European Union for their support of some of our work at PMNH/PIBS/Bethlehem University.

About the Authors

Mazin B. Qumsiyeh is a professor and researcher at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke University, and Yale University. He and his wife returned to Palestine in 2008 to start a number of institutions and projects, including the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) at Bethlehem University. He, his wife, and volunteers and staff at PIBS have “joyful participation in the sorrows of this world” and make a difference for sustainability of nature and human communities.

Mohammed A. Abusarhan is a masters student in biotechnology at Bethlehem University and Palestine Polytechnic University. He earned a degree in Biology from Bethlehem University. Since 2017, he has worked at the Palestine Museum of Natural History as a Museum Biologist conducting animal collecting, taxidermy, and identification. His research interests are focused on conservation, museum digitization, biodiversity databases, and bat echolocation. He has published several research articles and spent the summer of 2019 in Germany in a prestigious laboratory as an exchange researcher.

References

  1. “Demographics of Historic Palestine prior to 1948,” Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East CJPME, July, 2004, https://www.cjpme.org/fs_007.
  2. Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld Publication, 2006).
  3. Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, “The Coming Environmental Nakba” in The Third Palestinian Environmental Awareness and Education Conference. EEC (Bethlehem, 2013), 57–59.
  4. Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of “Transfer” in Zionist Political Thought, 1882–1948 (Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992). See also Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle (London: Pluto Press, 2004).
  5. Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.
  6. Meron Benvenisti, Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002). See also Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation (Brooklyn: Verso Books, 2012).
  7. ARIJ, Status of Environment in OPT (Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem, 2015).
  8. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, “The Economic Costs of the Israeli Occupation of the Palestine People: The Unrealized Oil and Gas Potential,” United Nations, 2019 Report.
  9. ARIJ, Status of Environment in OPT.
  10. Khloud M. Hammad and Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, “Genotoxic Effects of Israeli Industrial Pollutants on Residents of Bruqeen Village (Salfit District, Palestine),” International Journal of Environmental Studies 70, no. 4 (2013): 655–62.
  11. Nadia Khlaif and Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, “Genotoxicity of Recycling Electronic Waste in Idhna, Hebron District, Palestine,” International Journal of Environmental Studies 74, no. 1 (2017): 66–74.
  12. ARIJ, Status of Environment in OPT.
  13. Neve Gordon, “From Colonization to Separation: Exploring the Structure of Israel’s Occupation,” Third World Quarterly 29, no. 1 (2008): 25–44. See also Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation.
  14. Clemens Messerschmid and Jan Selby, “Misrepresenting the Jordan River Basin,” Water Alternatives 8, no. 2 (2015): 258–79.
  15. Qumsiyeh, Mazin B. Unpublished data.
  16. Alon Tal, Pollution in a promised land: An environmental history of Israel (Berkeley, Calif:Univ. of California Press, 2002); International Union for Conservation of Nature – Regional Office for West Asia (IUCN – ROWA), State of Palestine Fifth National Report to the Convention on Biodiversity. Amman, Jordan 2015; Abdallah T, Swaileh K. “Effects of the Israeli Segregation Wall on biodiversity and environmental sustainable development in the West Bank, Palestine,”  International Journal of Environmental Studies 68: 543-555 (2011).
  17. MOPAD, “State of Palestine National Development Plan 2014-2016’” (Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development, 2014).
  18. Talia Shay, “The Ethnocracy of the Palestinian Urban Space and the Indigenous Approach: Praxis and Theory,” Archaeologies 12 (2016): 73–90. See also Rami Isaac, C. Michael Hall, and Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, eds., The Politics and Power of Tourism in Palestine (London: Routledge, 2015).
  19. Dror Etkes and Hagit Ofran, “Construction of Settlements and Outposts on Nature Reserves in West Bank,” Peace Now, February 13, 2007, https://peacenow.org.il/en/nature-reserve.
  20. Sara Hughes, “‘Greenwashing’ the Occupation: The Role of Environmental Governance and the Discourse of Sustainability in Sustaining the Israeli Occupation of Palestine,” in The Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, 2018.
  21. Jad Isaac, Khaldoun Rishmawi, and Abeer Safar, “The Impact of Israel’s Unilateral Actions on the Palestinian Environment,” (Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem, 2004).
  22. Susan M Akram et al., eds., International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Rights-Based Approach to Middle East Peace (London: Routledge, 2010). See also Noura Erakat, Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2019).
  23. Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment (London: Pluto Press, 2012).
  24. Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance in Palestine.
  25. “Environmental Injustice in Occupied Palestinian Territory: Problems and Prospects,” Al-Haq, August 4, 2015.
  26. Ruchi Anand, International Environmental Justice: A North-South Dimension (London: Routledge, 2017); Erakat, Justice for Some.
  27. Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, “A Critical and Historical Assessment of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) in Palestine,” in Conflict Transformation and the Palestinians (Routledge, 2016), 114–29.
  28. Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, “Nature Museums and Botanical Gardens for Environmental Conservation in Developing Countries” BioScience 67, no. 7 (2017): 589–90. See also Mazin B. Qumsiyeh et al., “Role of Museums and Botanical Gardens in Ecosystem Services in Developing Countries: Case Study and Outlook,” International Journal of Environmental Studies 74, no. 2 (2017): 340–50, https://doi.org/10.1080/00207233.2017.1284383.
  29. Mazin. B. Qumsiyeh, “Ethnoecology of Palestine: Preserving Culture Heritage of Palestine’s Natural History,” presented at the 4th Hyperheritage International Seminar Proceedings (International Conference): Smart Heritage, 2018.
  30. Michael R Dove, “Indigenous People and Environmental Politics,” The Annual Review of Anthropology, 35 (2006): 191–208.

October 17, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

Japan to release Fukushima contaminated water into sea: Reports

Storage tanks for radioactive water at TEPCO’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. (Photo by Reuters)
Press TV | October 16, 2020

Nearly a decade after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan’s government has decided to release contaminated water from the destroyed plant into the sea, media reports said on Friday, with a formal announcement expected to be made later this month.

The decision is expected to rankle neighboring countries like South Korea, which has already stepped up radiation tests of food from Japan, and further devastate the fishing industry in Fukushima that has battled against such a move for years.

The disposal of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been a long-standing problem for Japan as it proceeds with a decades-long decommissioning project. More than one million tonnes of contaminated water are currently stored in huge tanks at the facility.

The plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., suffered multiple nuclear meltdowns after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

On Friday, Japan’s industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said no decision had been made on the disposal of the water yet, but the government aims to make one quickly.

“To prevent any delays in the decommissioning process, we need to make a decision quickly,” he told a news conference.

He did not give any further details, including a time-frame.

The Asahi newspaper reported that any such release is expected to take at least two years to prepare, as the site’s irradiated water first needs to pass through a filtration process before it can be further diluted with seawater and finally released into the ocean.

In 2018, Tokyo Electric apologized after admitting its filtration systems had not removed all dangerous material from the water, collected from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting when the plant was crippled.

It has said it plans to remove all radioactive particles from the water except tritium, an isotope of hydrogen that is hard to separate and is considered to be relatively harmless.

Last week, Japanese fish industry representatives urged the government not to allow the release of contaminated water from the Fukushima plant into the sea, saying it would undo years of work to restore their reputation.

South Korea has retained a ban on imports of seafood from the Fukushima region that was imposed after the nuclear disaster and summoned a senior Japanese embassy official last year to explain how Tokyo planned to deal with the Fukushima water problem.

During Tokyo’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 2013, then-Prime minister Shinzo Abe told members of the International Olympic Committee that the Fukushima facility was “under control”.

The Games have been delayed to 2021 because of the pandemic and some events are due to be held as close as 60 km (35 miles) from the wrecked plant.

October 16, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | | 1 Comment

‘Poisoning the Pacific’ details US military’s secret dumping of poison into Far East

Press TV – October 11, 2020

A new book has revealed that the US military has contaminated the Pacific Ocean with radioactive waste and weapons-grade chemicals for decades.

The new book titled Poisoning the Pacific, written by British journalist Jon Mitchell, details how the US military has been disposing toxic substances, including plutonium, dioxin, and VX nerve agent at the Pacific.

Based on more than 12,000 pages of US government documents, Poisoning the Pacific narrates the story of soldiers, their families, and residents who have been exposed to poisonous substances.

The documents have been obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and through interviews with local residents, military veterans and researchers.

The US government, however, has covered up the extent of the damage and refused to help the victims.

In one case, Leroy Foster – a US Air Force master sergeant who was assigned to the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam in 1968 – was ordered to mix “diesel fuel with Agent Orange” and spray “it by truck all over the base to kill the jungle overgrowth.”

Soon after, Foster suffered serious skin complaints and eventually fell sick with Parkinson’s and ischemic heart disease. Later, his teenage daughter had cancer, and his grandchild was born with 12 fingers, 12 toes, and a heart murmur. Foster died in 2018.

“My reporting has helped these sick men and women to receive compensation from the US government. Investigative journalism is ultimately a job that ought to help people suffering from mistreatment to receive the justice they deserve,” Mitchell says in his book.

The voices of the suffering indigenous groups in the Pacific region, however, consistently go unheard, said Mitchell, who in 2015 was awarded Japan’s Freedom of the Press Lifetime Achievement Award for his work about the environmental impact and damage caused by US military presence in Okinawa.

Researchers report that villages where herbicides were believed to have been sprayed by the US suffered higher rates of infant deaths from birth defects.

The US government was split over claims of herbicide use on Guam following an investigation in 2017. The Department of Defense reported that tests on soil did not contain herbicides, but the Environmental Protection Agency reported the opposite.

The health and environmental impacts on Guam mirror those that have happened to local residents and US soldiers based in Okinawa, Japan, where the US has maintained a base for decades.

October 11, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Environmentalism | | Leave a comment

Calls for France to reveal location of nuclear waste dumped in Algeria

MEMO | October 5, 2020

France should take initiative to solve the problem of the nuclear waste buried in the Algerian Sahara in the early 1960s, as no one knows its exact location, which is a classified military secret, the head of the Paris-based Observatory for Armament said.

In an interview with Radio France Internationale yesterday, Patrice Bouvre said: “When France suspended its nuclear tests in 1966, it simply buried the waste of the 17 experiments it conducted over the years.”

He added that Paris classified the location or locations of the buried nuclear waste and the documents related to the affair as “a military secret”, which remains to date.

As a result, there is no information available about the exact location of the nuclear waste buried in the Algerian desert, Bouvre explained.

He called on the French authorities to reveal the truth about this file and to cooperate with Algeria to clean up the areas contaminated by the nuclear waste that still exposes these regions to serious environmental damages.

France conducted 17 nuclear tests between 1960 and 1966 in the Algerian Sahara, and the waste from these experiments is buried in an unknown location in the area, hindering attempts to remove the radioactive materials and protect the population and the environment.

October 5, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Climate or Environment?

Klimaatwaarheid | September 19, 2020

The dirty side of so called green energy is somewhat underexposed. In this video I try to shed some light on that dark side.

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

The impossibility of Windmills

Klimaatwaarheid | September 8, 2020

In this video I try to explain in simple terms why a 100% production of energy using windmills is impossible in practice, despite all the positive information coming from green power advocates.

September 12, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular, Video | 1 Comment

‘Eco-modernist’ Germans pitch Nukes over reliance on Russia

As Renewables Falter, Environmentalists Stand Up For Nuclear

By Michael Shellenberger | Forbes | September 9, 2020

Environmentalists have long promoted renewable energy sources as better for nature.

But a new study suggests that the expansion of mining for the materials to make solar panels and wind turbines may pose a greater threat than climate change to endangered species.

“Most mining areas (82%) target materials needed for renewable energy production,” note the authors in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications. And, they add, “these new threats to biodiversity may surpass those averted by climate change mitigation.”

The study comes at a moment when the expansion of solar and wind energy is increasing local oppositionraising electricity prices, and contributing to electricity shortages.

Recent electricity outages in California forced the state’s governor to acknowledge the dangers posed by attempting to rely on unreliable sources of renewable energy.

“We cannot sacrifice reliability,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said on August 17. “We have to sober up to the reality that… we’re going to have to do more, and be much more mindful, in terms of our capacity to provide backup and insurance.”

The problem with relying on solar panels is that the sun sets during peak demand, which is between 5 pm and 10 pm, requiring a massive ramping up of natural gas power plants. And the same lack of wind behind the heatwaves has also meant a lack of electricity from industrial wind turbines.

Meanwhile, environmental resistance is blocking and slowing the expansion of industrial wind and solar energy projects.

In Britain, Greenpeace has opposed a massive new solar farm, “arguing that ‘vast continuous fields of panels on agricultural land” are not “the best way to go solar.’” New York environmentalists, meanwhile, “say large-scale solar installations will spoil beautiful farmland,” reported Financial Times.

As renewables have faltered, pro-nuclear environmentalists have become increasingly vocal, even in Germany, the world’s most anti-nuclear nation.

Europeans Protest Greenpeace

Last Saturday pro-nuclear activists organized by the German pro-nuclear organization Nuklearia dropped a banner in front of Greenpeace’s Germany headquarters. It read, “Climate Crisis? Nuclear energy!”

Pro-nuclear activists similarly protested in front of Greenpeace’s Paris headquarters in late June, denouncing the NGO’s role in replacing nuclear plants with fossil fuels.

“Several dozen protesters — wearing face masks — carried banners in front of the Greenpeace headquarters in Paris, with slogans such as ‘Less nuclear means more coal,’” reported Reuters.

“In the following weeks, there will be similar rallies,” reported the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) last week, “where the five other German nuclear power plants that are still running but whose operating licenses will soon expire.”

Over the next six weeks, there will be over forty pro-nuclear demonstrations around the world organized by the Nuclear Pride Coalition. (My nonprofit organization, Environmental Progress, is a member of the coalition, but did not organize the demonstrations in Germany, France, or other nations.)

The chairman of Nuklearia is Rainer Klute, a computer scientist and eco-modernist. That’s someone who, according to FAZ, ”wants to save the world by relying on modern technology, not on using jute bags.” FAZ noted that Klute is finding allies “among those who oppose wind turbines out of concern for noise and the landscape.”

It wasn’t the first pro-nuclear demonstration in Germany. In December 2019, 120 people from Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic rallied near the Philippsburg nuclear power plant, forty-five minutes from the French border, which the German government had forced to close prematurely.

While Klute emphasizes the need for nuclear to combat climate change, Peters stresses the need for nuclear energy to avoid over-dependence on imported natural gas from Russia. … Full article

September 11, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

US agrees to pay South Carolina $600 million, dispose of plutonium by 2037

Press TV – August 31, 2020

The US Energy Department said on Monday it has reached a settlement with South Carolina on removing weapons-grade plutonium by 2037 from a Cold War-era site and shipping most of it to a disposal facility in New Mexico.

South Carolina, which had sued the energy department, will receive an upfront payment of $600 million. The state will waive its right to bring any more lawsuits over the plutonium until 2037.

“Today’s announcement is a guarantee to the people of South Carolina that plutonium will be removed safely from this state,” said US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.

The US government had planned to build a mixed oxide (MOX) plant to convert the material into fuel for nuclear power. But a MOX plant had never been built in the United States, and the Trump administration axed the program in 2018 saying it would cost about $48 billion more than $7.6 billion already spent on it.

That decision was a blow to South Carolina politicians, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who had touted the jobs it would provide.

The department said 9.5 metric tons of plutonium will be removed from the Savannah River site. Much of the material will be sent to New Mexico, where it will be diluted and disposed of in a nuclear waste site near Carlsbad.

A notice in the Federal Register on Friday indicated that the department and its arm the National Nuclear Security Administration will dispose 7.1 metric tons at New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

The energy department was required by law to either build the MOX plant or remove the plutonium but it had done neither.

The US government had secretly shipped plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada sometime before November 2018, the Trump administration revealed last year. Democratic officials in Nevada were angered when they learned the news.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said the deal was the largest single settlement ever in the state’s history. The deal will prevent the state from becoming a dumping ground for nuclear waste and the money will help its economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

September 1, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power | | 1 Comment

The Birth of a Global Nation: What Makes a Modern Rhodes Scholar?

By Matthew Ehret | Strategic Culture Foundation | August 13, 2020

In my previous article, I discussed the role of the Brookings Institute’s founder Strobe Talbott as an integrated part of the puzzle behind Russia Gate and also his indoctrination as a Rhodes Scholar in Oxford alongside his room mate Bill Clinton in 1966.

I addressed the rise of the Rhodes Trust in 1902 as think tank designed explicitly to sabotage the spread of a multipolar model of sovereign republics applying “American system practices” of protectionism, national banking and internal improvements in the post Civil War era.

In this follow up article, I would like to pursue the deeper philosophical structure of the Rhodes Scholar world view as it expressed itself in Strobe Talbott’s 1992 Time Magazine manifestoThe Birth of a Global Nation” which he wrote in preparation for the new phase of his career swarming into the White House with dozens of other Rhodes Scholars who sought to define the conditions of the new unipolar age.

All Talbott quotes in this text are taken from this 1992 manifesto.

The Birth of a Global Nation

Standing on the cusp of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the rise of a unipolar era in 1992, Talbott couldn’t help but celebrate the dissolution of sovereign nations and the creation of a world government stating that within the next century “nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority…”

Ignoring the fact that sovereign nation states were created as instruments to protect citizens from empires, Talbott falsely defines nationalism in the following terms: “All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary. Through the ages, there has been an overall trend toward larger units claiming sovereignty and paradoxically, a gradual diminution of how much true sovereignty any one country actually has.”

This false definition of nationalism (which has become hegemonic amongst academia in recent generations) then sets up a series of false problems which he proceeds to “solve”.

In the Hobbesian system of zero sum thinking that Talbott imposes onto world history, nation states are assumed to be the natural outgrowth of selfishness, exploitation of the weak and war. Here Talbott entirely ignores all evidence that history’s wars have been artificially manipulated by a transnational financial elite and instead characterizes war as mankind’s natural state of being- thus requiring some sort of resolution of a leviathan or global force of enlightened elites from above:

“The big absorbed the small, the strong the weak. National might made international right. Such a world was in a more or less constant state of war… perhaps national sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”

Then describing the hoped-for era of world government which he believes to be a utopian future age, Talbott lists the creation of the wonderful 20th century innovations of the League of Nations, NATO, the IMF and Globalization.

Talbott describes NATO as “history’s most ambitious, enduring and successful exercise in collective security” and then celebrates the International Monetary Fund. Talbott said “the free world formed multilateral financial institutions that depend on member states’ willingness to give up a degree of national sovereignty. The International Monetary Fund can virtually dictate fiscal policies, even including how much tax a government should levy on its citizens.”

Forecasting the Blair-Cheney R2P protocol which would soon justify the humanitarian bombings of Kosovo, Iraq, Libya and Syria, Talbott championed the destruction of national sovereignty made possible by the invasion of Kuwait in 1991 saying “the internal affairs of a nation used to be off limits to the world community. But the principle of ‘humanitarian intervention is gaining acceptance.”

Straussian Neocons vs Rhodes Scholars

So far, if Talbott’s worldview looks pretty similar to that of your typical neocon, then don’t be surprised.

The goals of a neoliberal Rhodes Scholar imperialist and a neoconservative Straussian imperialist are essentially the same. Both types ultimately seek a post-nation state world order governed by a financial oligarchy and their technocratic alpha managers, and both define “power” in absolutely Nietzschean terms of “force”.

There are however several important differences which may seem superficial yet are important to understand if one wishes to avoid “left vs right” traps in thinking that many well-intentioned analysts are inclined to fall into.

One primary difference is that while neocons of a Kagan-Cheney-Bolton variety are much more willing to accept the fact (at least amongst themselves) that their ideal world order necessitates constant states of asymmetric “forever wars” of each against all- managed by their alphas from above, the left-wing imperialists of Talbott’s mindset prefer to promote a more pacifist narrative which I have no doubt some of them- including Talbott himself- actually believe to be true. Theirs is an “enlightened” rainbow fascism with a democratic face and a green Malthusian veneer which Aldous Huxley once described as “a concentration camp without tears.”

The Green Path to World Government

Returning to Talbott’s manifesto, the green path to the new world order that differentiates a neo con from neo liberal is introduced along with his admiration for a powerful individual:

“Last month’s Earth Summit in Rio signified the participants’ acceptance of what Maurice Strong, the main impresario of the event, called ‘the transcending sovereignty of nature’: since the by-products of industrial civilization cross borders, so must the authority to deal with them.”

In a 1992 essay entitled ‘From Stockholm to Rio: A Journey Down a Generation’, Maurice Strong (whom Talbott has always revered) wrote:

“The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation.”

Two years earlier, Strong gave an interview wherein he described a “fiction book” he was fantasizing about writing which he described in the following manner:

“What if a small group of world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? The group’s conclusion is ‘no’. The rich countries won’t do it. They won’t change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”

Much like his sociopathic counterpart George Soros, Strong’s entire career had been devoted to the cause of a green world government from his earliest days as a Canadian Rockefeller asset and vice-president of Power Corporation, to his entry into the new Liberal Government of Lester Pearson in 1963. It was here that Strong created the Canadian International Development Corporation that helped accelerate 3rd world debt slavery (granting loans to poor nations on the condition that they adhered to IMF/World Bank conditionalities which kept them forever undeveloped and colonized.) Strong’s great innovation during this time was his enforcement of the idea of “appropriate technologies” which poor nations were expected to invest in rather than advanced “dirty technology” like nuclear power which “modified natural tribal ecosystems” too much.

In many ways, Maurice Strong along with Prince Philip (who was President of the World Wildlife Fund while Strong was WWF Vice President in 1977) and Laurence Rockefeller (controlling hand behind both America’s conservation movement and UFO disclosure movement), were founders of the Green New Deal which is currently being pushed as the “solution” to the imminent economic collapse.

The ‘One and the Many’

An important philosophical concept must be tackled by all truth seekers in order to fully appreciate the imperial games and manipulations which have defined our collective history as well as our collective future. While this concept can be formulated in many ways, its most simple expression is “the paradox of the One and the Many”.

The paradox in three short steps:

  • ALL processes which are ponderable exist simultaneously as “one”, “many” and “infinites”.
  • According to the rules of logic, a thing can be either “A” or “Not A”, but it can never be both “A” and “Not A”
  • Thus, how could something simultaneously be both one, many and infinite?

Let’s get out of the abstract realm for a second by looking at a concrete example.

A human being can be conceptualized as a one (ie: a person with one body and one identity), but also as a many (ie: the sum total of limbs, organs, cells, bones etc…). It can also be defined as an infinitely subdivided entity of atoms, and sub-particles ad infinitum. The same goes for a building, a chair, tree, dog, a poem, a painting or even HUMANITY itself.

In his beautiful Philebus dialogue (on how we judge “Good/Evil”), Socrates describes the discovery of this trifold character of all reality as a Promethean gift which must then be harnessed responsibly:

“A gift of heaven, which, as I conceive, the gods tossed among men by the hands of a new Prometheus, and therewith a blaze of light; and the ancients, who were our betters and nearer the gods than we are, handed down the tradition, that whatever things are said to be are composed of one and many, and have the finite and infinite implanted in them: seeing, then, that such is the order of the world, we too ought in every enquiry to begin by laying down one idea of that which is the subject of enquiry; this unity we shall find in everything. Having found it, we may next proceed to look for two, if there be two, or, if not, then for three or some other number, subdividing each of these units, until at last the unity with which we began is seen not only to be one and many and infinite, but also a definite number; the infinite must not be suffered to approach the many until the entire number of the species intermediate between unity and infinity has been discovered,—then, and not till then, we may rest from division, and without further troubling ourselves about the endless individuals may allow them to drop into infinity. This, as I was saying, is the way of considering and learning and teaching one another, which the gods have handed down to us.”

As if to warn future lazy-minded Rhodes Scholars who prefer to skip steps in their understanding of the system of humanity which they wish to manage politically- Plato says:

“But the wise men of our time are either too quick or too slow in conceiving plurality in unity. Having no method, they make their one and many anyhow, and from unity pass at once to infinity; the intermediate steps never occur to them.”

The question then presents itself: How do we define the relationship of the infinite to the many and the many to the one? Is the one merely a sum-total of parts? Or is it something more?

An empiricist (or one who has enslaved their metaphysical capacities to sense perceptive rules) would have to conclude: Yes.

Since metaphysical notions like Justice, Goodness, Soul, Purpose, Creativity, etc… have no parts, are not bounded by time or spatial constraints (you can’t cut a “Justice” in half and share it) and are thus not subjected to sense perception- the empiricist asserts that they cannot actually exist in any meaningful way. Like Plato’s Callicles featured in the Gorgias dialogue or the brutish Thrasymachus in Book one of the Republic, such “abstract” concepts are just social conventions (like Talbott’s “nation states”), used for utilitarian reasons of managing society but never assumed to be true by an “enlightened” master class.

Pick up any Platonic dialogue and you will encounter rigorously dialectic treatments of this problem from a multitude of angles. It is worth the exercise.

Rhodes Scholars, Straussians, and other imperialists across the ages, have always been and will always be very aware of this paradox. All imperialists who enslave their reasoning powers to sense perception all suffer from the same inability to resolve ontological paradoxes which Socrates warned us of in the Philebus Dialogue above… They wish to rule without first having taken the time to know either the nature of the species they wish to rule, the universe they wish to rule in, and consequently they don’t even know themselves (breaking the cardinal rule of philosophy extolled by both Socrates and Confucius: “Know thyself”).

This small philosophical sojourn takes us back to Talbott’s 1992 manifesto.

Talbott’s Failed Solution to the One and the Many

Talbott ends his treatise with a telling insight into the oligarchical “false resolution” to the One and the Many paradox: describing the Balkanization process that would soon be imposed upon the Soviet Union and the larger spread of subdividing separatist movements across the world, Talbott states that they are a “basically positive phenomenon: a devolution of power not only upward toward supranational bodies and outward toward commonwealths and common markets but also downward toward freer, more autonomous units of administration that permit distinct societies to preserve their cultural identities and govern themselves. That is being defined locally, regionally and globally all at the same time.”

Defining society “locally, regionally and globally”, Talbott lays out an infinite [locally sub dividable], many [regional ever-more Balkanizable nations] and inescapable one [the global community].

Since this configuration is rooted in the belief that “wholes = the sum of their parts”, Talbott’s ilk choose to promote forms of “world federalism” that impose order onto society from above.

If humanity can be socially engineered to think locally, subdivided according to race (see: Black lives Matter), creed, micro states, genders (also infinitely sub-dividable), etc… then the slaves can happily vote for whichever local CHAZ warlord or parliamentarian on their tiny section of the board game as they see fit. In the end their choice won’t matter very much since the rules of the world game system would be forever out of their sphere of “democratic” influence.

This utopian subdivided world of micro-democracies would be “harmonized” by a global order of non-elected social engineers and enlightened elite who would scientifically manage the diminishing returns of resources to be allocated to the useless eaters in this Brave New World. The new world religion would have a decisively green tint, morality would become reduced to the liberal nothingness of “tolerating infinitely subdividing opinions and genders” and Orwell’s vision would be complete.

The only problem was the Multipolar Alliance

We have been introduced to the false resolution of the One and the Many adhered to by imperialists and technocrats. Let us now look at a more healthy resolution to the paradox which has been adopted by leaders of the Multipolar Alliance which took on a powerful character with Xi Jinping’s 2013 announcement of the New Silk Road, and Putin’s entry into Syria in 2015. Since 2015, both the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, Arctic development and New Silk Road (that has seen 135 nations join) has integrated into one unified system along with an alternative multipolar financial architecture, increasingly independent from western oligarchical manipulation.

The re-assertion of national sovereignty tied to this multipolar alliance enrages technocrats like Talbott and other British Imperial deep staters to the ends of the earth for the simple reason that it is based not upon “structural controls of the many” under stasis, but on scientific and technological progress. This principle of creative change is the resolution to the ontological paradox raised in every Platonic dialogue. When one takes creative reason and its fruits into account as the defining characteristic of humanity as a One, then we come to recognize that humanity will always be more than the sum of its parts. Humanity, is a self-perfectable species capable of boundless discoveries of principles of the universe, and self-reflexively translating those concepts back upon our species through scientific and technological progress which has allowed our species to leap far beyond the limits to growth bounding all other species of life, to the point of sustaining nearly 9 billion souls on the earth today.

Since this open system/creative character is intrinsically uncontrollable, and a cause of disequilibrium, Rhodes Scholars and neocons who are obsessed with godlike control can do nothing but hate and fear it.

The return of nationalistic impulses to America in 2016 after decades of neocon/Rhodes Scholar controls represented the deep state’s greatest fear and for this reason, a desperate and sloppy dossier was concocted to undo the election at all costs.

Luckily, the near-absolute controls which the oligarchy enjoyed in 1992 as it celebrated the New World Order have fast slipped away, and the jig, as they say, is increasingly up.

Today, nation states (including the USA itself) have the first chance in decades to save themselves from a new global bankers’ dictatorship by jumping on board a new system of win-win cooperation both on earth and, increasingly in space.

The first item on the agenda must be the immediate acceptance of President Putin’s call for a five-nation emergency summit followed soon thereafter by a new economic system driven by great projects, long term growth and CREATIVE CHANGE.

August 13, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

No more water pollution from oil? Russian scientists create method to effectively clean petroleum products from industrial waste

By Jonny Tickle | RT | August 10, 2020

Scientists from Siberia have developed a technique that effectively removes petroleum from wastewater. Using a sorbent, the new system separates impurities, meaning waste released into the environment will cause much less damage.

The research, published by the United Kingdom’s IOP Publishing, was conducted by scientists based in Krasnoyarsk, a large Siberian city 3,300km east of Moscow.

According to Olga Dubrovskaya, associate professor at Siberia Federal University (SibFU), cultures “eat away” at oil, cleaning the water of “impurities.” Current wastewater treatment technologies only capture about 30 percent of dangerous substances, meaning that many toxicants enter the environment and cause significant environmental damage. By contrast, SibFU’s method removes over 99 percent of all surface and emulsified oil.

The newly developed technique was tested on heat and power equipment at Krasnoyarsk CHP-2, one of the largest thermal power plants in Siberia.

“Bacteria are placed in special spores in the structure of the sorbent,” Dubrovskaya explained. The bacteria sit dormant and activate when oil is detected, at which point the water purification begins.

August 11, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism | | 3 Comments