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Mines, Minerals, And ‘Green Energy’: A Reality Check

By Mark P. Mills – Manhattan Institute – July 9, 2020

mineral miningAs policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy.

Green energy advocates are doubling down on pressure to continue, or even increase, the use of wind, solar power, and electric cars.

Left out of the discussion is any serious consideration of the broad environmental and supply-chain implications of renewable energy.

As I explored in a previous paper, “The New Energy Economy: An Exercise in Magical Thinking,”[1] many enthusiasts believe things that are not possible when it comes to the physics of fueling society, not least the magical belief that “clean-tech” energy can echo the velocity of the progress of digital technologies. It cannot.

This paper turns to a different reality: all energy-producing machinery must be fabricated from materials extracted from the earth.

No energy system, in short, is actually “renewable,” since all machines require the continual mining and processing of millions of tons of primary materials and the disposal of hardware that inevitably wears out.

Compared with hydrocarbons, green machines entail, on average, a 10-fold increase in the quantities of materials extracted and processed to produce the same amount of energy.

This means that any significant expansion of today’s modest level of green energy—currently less than 4% of the country’s total consumption (versus 56% from oil and gas)—will create an unprecedented increase in global mining for needed minerals, radically exacerbate existing environmental and labor challenges in emerging markets (where many mines are located), and dramatically increase U.S. imports and the vulnerability of America’s energy supply chain.

As recently as 1990, the U.S. was the world’s number-one producer of minerals. Today, it is in seventh place.

Even though the nation has vast mineral reserves worth trillions of dollars, America is now 100% dependent on imports for some 17 key minerals, and, for another 29, over half of domestic needs are imported.

Among the material realities of green energy:

  • Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society.
  • A single electric car contains more cobalt than 1,000 smartphone batteries; the blades on a single wind turbine have more plastic than five million smartphones; a solar array that can power one data center uses more glass than 50 million phones.
  • Replacing hydrocarbons with green machines under current plans—never mind aspirations for far greater expansion—will vastly increase the mining of various critical minerals around the world. For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery’s life, each mile of driving an electric car “consumes” five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.
  • Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green machines. The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent of one barrel of oil.
  • By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over three million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.

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Read more at Manhattan Institute

August 3, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

An Israeli Charity Group is uprooting Palestinians not planting Trees

By Jonathan Cook | The National | July 22, 2020

The Jewish National Fund, established more than 100 years ago, is perhaps the most venerable of the international Zionist organisations. Its recent honorary patrons have included prime ministers, and it advises UN forums on forestry and conservation issues.

It is also recognised as a charity in dozens of western states. Generations of Jewish families, and others, have contributed to its fundraising programmes, learning as children to drop saved pennies into its trademark blue boxes to help plant a tree.

And yet its work over many decades has been driven by one main goal: to evict Palestinians from their homeland.

The JNF is a thriving relic of Europe’s colonial past, even if today it wears the garb of an environmental charity. As recent events show, ethnic cleansing is still what it excels at.

The organisation’s mission began before the state of Israel was even born. Under British protection, the JNF bought up tracts of fertile land in what was then historic Palestine. It typically used force to dispossess Palestinian sharecroppers whose families had worked the land for centuries.

But the JNF’s expulsion activities did not end in 1948, when Israel was established through a bloody war on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland – an event Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe.

Israel hurriedly demolished more than 500 cleansed Palestinian villages, and the JNF was entrusted with the job of preventing some 750,000 refugees from returning. It did so by planting forests over both the ruined homes, making it impossible to rebuild them, and village lands to stop them being farmed.

These plantations were how the JNF earned its international reputation. Its forestry operations were lauded for stopping soil erosion, reclaiming land and now tackling the climate crisis.

But even this expertise was undeserved. Environmentalists say the dark canopies of trees it has planted in arid regions such as the Negev, in Israel’s south, absorb heat unlike the unforested, light-coloured soil. Short of water, the slow-growing trees capture little carbon. Native species of brush and animals, meanwhile, have been harmed.

These pine forests – the JNF has planted some 250 million trees – have also turned into a major fire hazard. Most years hundreds of fires break out after summer droughts exacerbated by climate change.

Early on, the vulnerability of the JNF’s saplings was used as a pretext to outlaw the herding of native black goats. Recently the goats, which clear undergrowth, had to be reintroduced to prevent the fires. But the goats’ slaughter had already served its purpose, forcing Bedouin Palestinians to abandon their pastoral way of life.

Despite surviving the Nakba, thousands of Bedouin in the Negev were covertly expelled to Egypt or the West Bank in Israel’s early years.

It would be wrong, however, to imagine that the JNF’s troubling role in these evictions was of only historical interest. The charity, Israel’s largest private land owner, is actively expelling Palestinians to this day.

In recent weeks, solidarity activists have been desperately trying to prevent the eviction of a Palestinian family, the Sumarins, from their home in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers.

Last month the Sumarins lost a 30-year legal battle waged by the JNF, which secretly sold their home in the late 1980s by the Israeli state.

The family’s property was seized under a draconian 1950 law declaring Palestinian refugees of the Nakba “absent” so that they could not reclaim their land inside the new state of Israel.

The courts have decreed that the law can be applied in occupied Jerusalem too, in violation of international law. In the Sumarins’ case, it appears not to matter that the family was never actually “absent”. The JNF is permitted to evict the 18 family members next month. To add insult to injury, they will have to pay damages to the JNF.

A former US board member, Seth Morrison, resigned in protest in 2011 at the JNF’s role in such evictions, accusing it of working with extreme settler groups. Last year the JNF ousted a family in similar circumstances near Bethlehem. Days later settlers moved on to the land.

Ir Amim, an Israeli human rights group focusing on Jerusalem, warned that these cases create a dangerous legal precedent if Israel carries out its promise to annex West Bank territory. It could rapidly expand the number of Palestinians classified as “absentees”.

But the JNF never lost its love of the humble tree as the most effective – and veiled – tool of ethnic cleansing. And it is once again using forests as a weapon against the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, survivors of the Nakba.

Earlier this year it unveiled its “Relocation Israel 2040” project. The plan is intended to “bring about an in-depth demographic change of an entire country” – what was once sinisterly called “Judaisation”. The aim is to attract 1.5 million Jews to Israel, especially to the Negev, over the next 20 years.

As in Israel’s first years, forests will be vital to success. The JNF is preparing to plant trees on an area of 40 sq km belonging to Bedouin communities that survived earlier expulsions. Under the cover of environmentalism, many thousands of Bedouin could be deemed “trespassers”.

The Bedouin have been in legal dispute with the Israeli state for decades over ownership of their lands. This month in an interview with the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Daniel Atar, the JNF’s global head, urged Jews once again to drop money into its boxes. He warned that Jews could be dissuaded from coming to the Negev by its reputation for “agricultural crimes” – coded reference to Bedouin who have tried to hold on to their pastoral way of life.

Trees promise both to turn the semi-arid region greener and to clear “unsightly” Bedouin off their ancestral lands. Using the JNF’s original colonial language of “making the desert bloom”, Mr Atar said his organisation would make “the wilderness flourish”.

The Bedouin understand the fate likely to befall them. In a protest last month they carried banners: “No expulsions, no displacement.”

After all, Palestinians have suffered forced displacement at the JNF’s hands for more than a century, while watching it win plaudits from around the world for its work in improving the “environment”.

July 22, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

British nuclear submarine close to disaster after NEAR MISS with packed passenger ferry, report finds

RT | July 16, 2020

A British nuclear-powered submarine was at “serious risk of collision” with a passenger ferry with hundreds on board after the commanding officer made decisions on “inaccurate information,” an investigation has found.

A report conducted by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) – published on Thursday – found that the two vessels came within 50-100 meters of each other during the incident on November 6, 2018. The investigation revealed that it was the third time in four years that a submerged Royal Navy submarine had narrowly missed a calamitous collision with another vessel.

The Stena Superfast V11 ferry was travelling from Belfast to Cairnryan in Scotland when it was forced to take “immediate action” and alter its course to save the 215 passengers and 67 crew onboard – having spotted the submarine’s periscope just 250 yards (229 meters) ahead.

The two-year probe found that the sub had miscalculated that it was 1,000 yards away when the ferry swerved. It was actually a quarter of that distance away from disaster.

This was an unsafe event and placed the ferry’s passengers and crew, as well as the submarine and its crew, in immediate danger.

The report said that the Royal Navy vessel’s control room team “overestimated the ferry’s range and underestimated its speed.” It goes on to say that the commanding officer and its officer of the watch made “safety-critical decisions” that might have appeared rational at the time but were in fact “based on inaccurate information.”

The sub – which is based at Faslane in Scotland – is part of Britain’s nuclear-powered fleet, although it has not been revealed whether it was one of four that carry nuke missiles.

July 17, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power | | 2 Comments

Reality Is Gradually Catching Up To Green Energy

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | June 8, 2020

If you dutifully read your U.S. mainstream media, you undoubtedly have the impression that “clean” and “green” energy is rapidly sweeping all before it, and soon will supplant fossil fuels in powering our economy. After all, many major states, including California and New York, have mandated some form of “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050, or in some cases even earlier. That’s only 30 years away. And reports are everywhere that investment in “renewables,” particularly wind and solar energy, continues to soar. For example, from Reuters in January we have “U.S. clean energy investment hits new record despite Trump administration views.” In the New York Times on May 13 it’s “In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S.” The final victory of wind and solar over the evil fossil fuels must then be right around the corner.

Actually, that’s all a myth. The inherent high cost and unreliability of wind and solar energy mean that they are highly unlikely ever to be more than niche players in the overall energy picture. Politicians claim progressive virtue by commissioning vast farms of wind turbines and solar panels, at taxpayer or ratepayer expense, without anyone ever figuring out — or even addressing — how these things can run a fully functioning electrical grid without complete fossil fuel backup. And the electrical grid is the easy part. How about airplanes? How about steel mills? I’m looking for someone to demonstrate that this “net zero” thing is something more than a ridiculous fantasy, but I can’t find it.

To stay grounded in reality, there is no better source than the multiple-times-weekly email from the Global Warming Policy Foundation. If you do not already receive these emails, you can go here to subscribe. As is typical, today’s email searches out back pages and specialized sources to bring us multiple pieces showing green energy running into its inevitable wall, with no known way to get past. (Full disclosure: I am on the Board of the GWPF’s American affiliate.)

We go first to green energy champion Germany, where Bloomberg reports on June 5 that “Germany’s Green Power Finance Is Becoming Unaffordable.” Excerpt:

The German program that’s spurred the nation’s switch to green power is buckling under the weight of surging costs and needs an urgent fix. That’s the assessment of one of the scheme’s chief designers, Hans Josef Fell. . . . Yet the system’s increasing costs have become glaring during the coronavirus pandemic, the veteran Green Party lawmaker said. High and guaranteed payments made to investors in clean power plants are the problem Fell said in an interview.

It seems that to get its wind and solar facilities built, Germany put in place guaranteed payments to producers that would kick in if market prices for power were insufficient. The guaranteed payments are divvied up and added to consumer electricity bills. This year, with prices for alternative fossil fuels plummeting, the guaranteed payments are projected to come in at some 26 billion euros — which is around $100 per month for every German household, on top of electricity prices that were already about triple the U.S. average. Of course, Chancellor Merkel is proposing a “fix,” which is a government bailout as part of a supposed coronavirus relief package. That may work for a little while. Then what?

Also from Germany, we have a piece from the Financial Times of June 8 with the headline “Environmentalists on back foot as Germany’s newest coal plant opens.” What?? — Opening a new coal power plant right in the midst of a transition away from fossil fuels?? What happened here is that they are closing all their nuclear plants, and they need something that works all the time, unlike the wind and the solar. Just in January, Germany enacted legislation to completely phase out coal power generation by 2038; and then in May, they went right ahead and opened this new Dateln 4 coal plant. The Financial Times piece quotes Greenpeace activist Lisa Göldner as calling the new plant a “climate crime.” Meanwhile, the crew members of a barge bringing coal to the plant are described as “whooping and whistling in mockery” at environmental protesters seeking to block the opening of the plant.

The fact is that Germany has nowhere further to go by building more wind and solar facilities. When the wind blows on a sunny day, they already have more power than they can use, and they are forced to give it away to Poland (or even pay the Poles to take it). On a calm night, no matter how much wind and solar they build, it all produces nothing. Without the coal plant, the lights go out. Talk about climate virtue all they want, but no one has yet even begun to work on a solution to get past this hurdle.

Which brings me to the most important piece in the GWPF email, from Cambridge Professor Michael Kelly, appearing in something called CapX on June 8, with the headline “Until we get a proper roadmap, Net Zero is a goal without a plan.” Kelly makes the point that seems to me obvious, but that somehow has slipped past the New York Times and all the rest of the MSM, which is that if wind and solar energy are ever going to surpass niche status, there is a gigantic engineering problem to solve. Somebody has to engineer an electrical system based on the intermittent sources that works 24/7/365. But in fact, even as major states and countries have piously proclaimed commitment to “net zero” energy, nobody has even started the engineering project. And as soon as you start to consider the question, you quickly realize that the whole endeavor is almost certainly impossible. As an example, Kelly addresses batteries:

Take batteries. It is estimated that current battery manufacturing capabilities will need to be in the order of 500-700 times bigger than now to support an all-electric global transport system. The materials needed just to allow the UK to transition to all electric transport involve amounts of materials equal to 200% the annual global production of cobalt, 75% of lithium carbonate, 100% of neodymium and 50% of copper. Scaling by a factor of 50 for the world transport, and you see what is now a showstopper. The materials demands just for batteries are beyond known reserves. Would one be prepared to dredge the ocean floor at very large scale for some of the material? Should securing the reserves not be a first priority?

And that’s just one of the issues. Others include vast costs constituting a multiple of current energy costs; the environmental impact of mining and transporting huge amounts of materials; need for vast amounts of rare elements, far beyond known world reserves; incredibly huge amounts of material to recycle when facilities wear out; and on and on.

Read enough of this stuff and you gradually realize that almost everything you read about supposed solutions to climate change is completely delusional.

June 13, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | Leave a comment

Destroying the environment to save it

Pseudo-green energy will wreak devastation, pretending to prevent exaggerated climate harm

By Paul Driessen | Watts Up With That? | May 31, 2020

“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” The infamous Vietnam era quotation may or may not have been uttered by an anonymous US Army major. It may have been misquoted, revised, apocryphal or invented. But it quickly morphed into an anti-war mantra that reflected attitudes of the time.

For Virginians and others forced to travel the path of “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” energy, it will redound in modern politics as “We had to destroy the environment in order to save it.”

Weeks after Governor Ralph Northam signed Virginia’s “Clean Economy Act,” which had been rushed through a partisan Democrat legislature, Dominion Energy Virginia announced it would reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To do so, the utility company will raise family, business, hospital and school electricity bills by 3% every year for the next ten years – as these customers and state and local governments struggle to climb out of the financial holes created by the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown.

Just as bad, renewable energy mandates and commitments from the new law and Dominion’s “integrated resource plan” will have major adverse impacts on Virginia and world environmental values. In reality, Virginia’s new “clean” economy exists only in fantasy land – and only if we ignore “clean” energy CO2 emissions, air and water pollution, and other environmental degradation around the world.

Dominion Energy plans to expand the state’s offshore wind, onshore solar and battery storage capacity by some 24,000 megawatts of new “renewable” energy by 2035, and far more after that. It will retain just 9,700 MW of existing natural gas generation, and only through 2045, build no new gas-fired units, and retire 6,200 megawatts of coal-fired generation. This will reduce in-state carbon dioxide emissions, but certainly won’t do so globally. The company intends to keep its four existing nuclear units operating.

To “replace” some of its abundant, reliable, affordable fossil fuel electricity, Dominion intends to build at least 31,400 megawatts of expensive, unreliable solar capacity by 2045. The company estimates that will require a land area some 25% larger than 250,000-acre Fairfax County, west of Washington, DC. That means Dominion Energy’s new solar facilities will blanket 490 square miles (313,000 acres) of beautiful croplands, scenic areas and habitats that now teem with wildlife.

That’s almost half the land area of Rhode Island, eight times the District of Columbia, 14 times more land than all Fairfax County parks combined – blanketed by imported solar panels. Still more land will be torn up for access roads and new transmission lines. All this is just for Dominion Energy’s solar panels.

The panels will actually generate electricity maybe 20-25% of the year, once you factor in nighttime hours, cloudy days, and times when the sun is not bright enough to generate more than trifling electricity.

Dominion and other Virginia utility companies also plan to import and install 430 monstrous 850-foot-tall bird-chopping offshore wind turbines – and tens of thousands of half-ton battery packs, to provide backup power for at least a few hours or days when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. The batteries will prevent the economy from shutting down even more completely during each outage than it has during the Corona lockdown. Similar policies across America will impact hundreds of millions of acres.

Most of these solar panels, wind turbines and batteries – or their components, or the metals and minerals required to manufacture those components – will likely come from China or from Chinese-owned operations in Africa, Asia and Latin America … under mining, air and water pollution, workplace safety, fair wage, child labor, mined land reclamation, manufacturing and other laws and standards that would get US and other Western companies unmasked, vilified, sued, fined and shut down in a heartbeat.

It is those minimal to nonexistent laws and regulations that govern most of the companies and operations that will supply the “clean” technologies that will soon blight Virginia landscapes and serve the new “clean” Virginia economy. As Michael Moore observes in his new film, Planet of the Humans, other states that opt for “clean” energy will face the same realities.

Thus far, no one has produced even a rough estimate of how much concrete, steel, aluminum, copper, lithium, cobalt, silica, rare earth metals and countless other materials will be needed. All will require gigantic heavy equipment and prodigious amounts of fossil fuels to blast and haul away billions of tons of rocky overburden; extract, crush and process tens of millions of tons of ores, using acids, toxic chemicals and other means to refine the ores; smelt concentrates into metals; manufacture all the millions of tons of components; and haul, assemble and install the panels, turbines, batteries and transmission lines, setting them on top of tens of thousands of tons of concrete and rebar. All of it beyond Virginia’s borders.

No one has tallied the oil, natural gas and coal fuel requirements for doing all this “Virginia Clean Economy” work – nor the greenhouse gases and actual pollutants that will be emitted in the process.

Nothing about this is clean, green, renewable or sustainable. But Virginia politicians and Dominion Energy officials have said nothing about any of this, nor about which countries will host the mining and other activities, under what environmental and human rights standards.

Will Virginians ever get a full accounting? Just because all of this will happen far beyond Virginia’s borders does not mean we can ignore the global environmental impacts. Or the health, safety and well-being of children and parents in those distant mines, processing plants and factories.

This is the perfect time to observe the environmentalist creed: think globally, act locally. Will that be done?

Will Dominion and Virginia require that all these raw materials and wind, solar and battery components be responsibly sourced? Will it require independently verified certifications that none of them involve child labor, and all are produced in compliance with US and Virginia laws, regulations and ethical codes for workplace safety, fair wages, air and water pollution, wildlife preservation, cancer prevention and mined lands reclamation? Will they tally up all the fossil fuels consumed, and pollutants emitted, in the process?

Science journalist, businessman and parliamentarian Matt Ridley says wind turbines need some 200 times more raw materials per megawatt of power than modern combined-cycle gas turbines. It’s probably much the same for solar panels. Add in the millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels and billions of backup batteries that would be required under a nationwide Green New Deal, and the combined US and global environmental, human health and human rights impacts become absolutely mindboggling.

If you ignore all the land and wildlife impacts from installing the wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and transmission lines – you could perhaps call this “clean energy” and a “clean economy” within Virginia’s borders. But not beyond those borders. This is a global issue, and the world would likely be far better off if we just built modern combined-cycle gas turbines (or nuclear power plants) to generate reliable electricity – and avoided all the monumental human and ecological impacts of pseudo-renewable energy.

When it’s time to select sites for these 490 square miles of industrial solar facilities, will Virginia, its county and local governments, its citizens, environmentalist groups and courts apply the same rigorous standards, laws and regulations that they demand for drilling, fracking, coal and gas power plants, pipelines, highways, timber cutting and other projects? Will they apply the same standards for 850-foot-tall wind turbines and 100-foot-tall transmission lines as they demand for buried-out-of-sight pipelines?

Virginia’s Clean Economy Act will also plunge almost every project and jurisdiction into questions of race, poverty and environmental justice. Dominion Energy and other utility companies will have to charge means-tested rates (even as rates climb 3% per year) and exempt low-income customers from some charges. They will have to submit construction plans to “environmental justice councils” – even as the companies, councils and politicians ignore the rampant injustices inflicted on children and parents slaving away in Chinese, African and Latin American “clean energy” mines, processing plants and factories.

Government officials, utility industry executives, environmentalists and anyone else who promotes wind, solar, battery and biofuel energy need to explain exactly how they plan to address these issues. Future town hall meetings and project approval hearings promise to be raucous, entertaining and illuminating.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues.

May 31, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Progressive Hypocrite | | 1 Comment

Michael Moore film Planet of the Humans removed from YouTube

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | May 26, 2020

Regardless of the so-called copyright issues, this is clearly a politically motivated attempt to censor the film, as Toby Smith himself admits to the Guardian :

YouTube has taken down the controversial Michael Moore-produced documentary, Planet of the Humans in response to a copyright infringement claim by a British environmental photographer.

The movie, which has been condemned as inaccurate and misleading by climate scientists and activists, allegedly includes a clip used without the permission of the owner Toby Smith, who does not approve of the context in which his material is being used.

In response, the filmmakers denied violating fair usage rules and accused their critics of politically motivated censorship.

Smith filed the complaint to YouTube on 23 May after discovering Planet of the Humans used several seconds of footage from his Rare Earthenware project detailing the journey of rare earth minerals from Inner Mongolia.

Smith, who has previously worked on energy and environmental issues, said he did not want his work associated with something he disagreed with. “I went directly to YouTube rather than approaching the filmmakers because I wasn’t interested in negotiation. I don’t support the documentary, I don’t agree with its message and I don’t like the misleading use of facts in its narrative.”

Planet of the Humans director Jeff Gibbs said he was working with YouTube to resolve the issue and have the film back up as soon as possible.

Watch the full documentary on Bitchute.

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | 1 Comment

Dutch emergency services battle fire at abandoned NUCLEAR PLANT, urge residents to lock windows and doors

RT | May 21, 2020

Dozens of firefighters have been deployed to tackle a blaze at a disused nuclear facility in Dodewaard in the Netherlands. Police have asked the public to stay away and lock all doors and windows to avoid exposure to the fumes.

The fire broke out shortly before noon local time on Thursday in Dodewaard, which is roughly 100 km from Amsterdam. Eyewitness video from the scene shows fire crews battling the blaze on the roof.

The cause of the fire is as yet unknown, but it may have started after work was carried out on the roof recently, according to a spokesperson for the Gelderland-Zuid Safety Region, who added that there may be gas bottles up there. Nearby residents have been told to remain indoors and lock all doors and windows and cut off any ventilation systems.

Police have established a security cordon, while asking cyclists, motorists and other passers-by eager for a look at the incident to leave the area immediately.

The plant has been out of service since 1997 but is not expected to be dismantled until 2045, when radiation at the site drops to safe levels. All fuel rods were removed from the site in 2003, so there is no immediate danger of radioactive fallout.

The main operational areas of the plant were bricked up and contained within a so-called ‘safe zone’, to prevent areas that previously housed radioactive material from being exposed to the outside world.

The power company conglomerate behind the facility is embroiled in a legal battle with the government over who should cover the estimated €80 million cost of decommissioning.

May 21, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Planet of the Greens: why eco-activists turn on each other

GWPF | May 18, 2020

Attempts by eco-activists to censor and shut down Planet of the Humans reveals the green movement’s authoritarian nature that turns most aggressively on its own apostates.

Jeff Gibbs’ and Michael Moore’s new film, Planet of the Humans has been watched more than eight million times. It has cast doubt on the green movement’s claims to be concerned with the environment and questioned the motivations and integrity of its leaders and backers.

In reply, environmental activists have attacked Moore and Gibbs, and called for their film to be censored. What this reveals is that the green movement is incapable of responding to criticism and that it turns most aggressively on its apostates.

Gibbs and Moore’s film has been attacked for supporting the interests of fossil fuel companies. But the film itself exposes deep links between even the most vilified energy producers and the green agenda. Other critics have accused the pair of ‘ecofascism’ for their allusions to population control, yet Planet of the Humans says nothing that celebrated green film makers such as David Attenborough have not said.

Neither the film revelations nor the green movement’s hostility should surprise anyone. A deep contradiction lies at the heart of the green agenda, the exposure of which has triggered campaigners whose interests depend on it. Since its first days, it has been wealthy industrialists such as oil tycoon Maurice Strong who have used their power to establish environmental concerns on the global political agenda. And it is wealthy philanthropists, whose fortunes were made from fossil fuels, such as the Rockefeller family, who have backed green organisations.

Despite the failure of greens’ dire prognostications, the green movement’s message of despair and its demands for draconian and authoritarian policies have change little over the last half century. And the very nature of the green movement has changed little, too – it is still the PR tool of billionaires such as Jeremy Grantham, who, having made part of his fortune from fossil fuels, now profits from the environmentally-destructive technologies that the green movement campaigns for.

Campaigners’ anger at Gibbs and More is not owed to the pair making false technical arguments about the shortcomings of ‘renewable’ energy technology, but for their exposing the lie at the heart of the green movement.

Watch the full documentary on Bitchute.

May 18, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Film Review, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Nations Spent $73bn on Nuclear Arms Amid COVID-19, UK in 3rd as US Tops at Half of Global Costs

By Demond Cureton – Sputnik – 13.05.2020

Despite being the global epicentre of COVID-19 cases and deaths, the world’s leading nuclear power accounted for roughly half of total global spending on nuclear arms, a shock report from a major Swiss nonprofit coalition found.

Nuclear armed states spent a record $73bn on nuclear weapons amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a report from the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) revealed.

The report, entitled Enough Is Enough: 2019 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending, found an increase of nuclear weapons spending in 2019, up $7.1bn from 2018.

The findings, which assessed the world’s leading nuclear powers – The United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea – revealed that top nuclear powers spent $138,699 on over 13,000 nuclear weapons every minute of 2019.

The amount of money the US spent in 2019 alone could pay for 300,000 intensive care unit beds, 150,000 nurses, 75,000 doctors and 35,000 ventilators, the report found.

But the United Kingdom was the third highest spender at $8.9bn after the US and China at $35bn and $10.4bn, respectively, according to the report.

“It is absurd to be spending $138,700 every single minute on weapons that cause catastrophic human harm rather than spending it to protect the health of their citizens. They are abdicating their duty to protect their people,” ICAN executive director, Beatrice Fihn, said in a statement.

Nuclear arms were banned by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which the UN will enforce after all participating 50 nations ratify or accede the document, effectively criminalising such expenditures under international law.

But the figures only included direct spending on nuclear warheads and delivery systems costs for operation and deployment, with real numbers skyrocketing after factoring in costs due to environmental damage and victim compensation, with ICAN calling on governments to remain transparent in disclosing expenses, the statement read.

2019 Nuclear Defence Spending ICAN

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Alicia Sanders-Zakre, author of the report, said: “The figures do not include the massive humanitarian costs and the environmental toll from a legacy of nuclear testing and production. Even in the unlikely chance these weapons are never used, governments are paying massive sums to poison their environments and put their people at grave risk.”

The news comes as British MPs slammed the Ministry of Defence for wasting £1.3bn ($1.6bn) on upgrading the country’s nuclear Trident programme, which is currently six years behind schedule. Costs were estimated at £2.5bn for the three upgrade programmes, which have spiked an additional £1.35bn, according to reports.

May 13, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 2 Comments

New “Chimera” to Target the World

By Valery Kulikov – New Eastern Outlook – 06.05.2020

Nowadays, as the attention of the global community is drawn to discussions about whether the Coronavirus is man-made or not and the potential involvement of US biolabs in its creation, it is certainly worth mentioning the latest invention: a new “mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic bottles for recycling in hours.”

According to The Guardian, scientists from the company Carbios created a mutant bacterial enzyme “that recycles plastic bottles in hours.” An article about this research was even published in Nature, a highly respected journal. “It’s a real breakthrough in the recycling and manufacturing of PET (polyethylene terephthalate),” said Dr. Saleh Jabarin, a Professor at The University of Toledo, Ohio and a member of Carbios’ Scientific Committee. “Our goal is to be up and running by 2024, 2025, at large industrial scale,” Martin Stephan, the Deputy Chief Executive at Carbios, stated. With that in mind, the Consortium, Carbios and L’Oréal, has partnered with other companies, such as Pepsi and Nestlé Waters, which will “help support the circular plastics economy using Carbios’ breakthrough enzyme-based enhanced recycling technology.”

Considering the fact that billions of tonnes of “plastic waste have polluted the planet, from the Arctic to the deepest ocean trench”, the bacterial enzyme is already being promoted as a novel solution to a global problem. According to the article in The Guardian, 100,000 micro-organisms were screened to find promising candidates, such as the “leaf compost bug”. Mutations were subsequently introduced into it “to improve its ability to break down the PET plastic from which drinks bottles are made.” It also said that the research team had “used the optimized enzyme to break down a tonne of waste plastic bottles, which were 90% degraded within 10 hours.”

In 2018, another team of scientists revealed “that they had accidentally created an enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles.” A separate report has stated that German researchers identified a strain of bacterium that can metabolize some of the chemical components that make up polyurethane (PU). PU in landfills decomposes slowly releasing toxic and carcinogenic chemicals that usually kill most bacteria. It was, therefore, surprising that the identified strain not only survived, but also used polyurethane to thrive. “This finding represents an important step in being able to reuse hard-to-recycle PU products,” said microbiologist Hermann Heipieper from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ in Germany.

In light of recent developments, a cautionary tale comes to mind. It is about the creation of another “Chimera” in the United States: Mycoplasma laboratorium or Synthia, a synthetic species of bacterium. It can self-replicate and has numerous uses. Although there have not been many reports in mainstream media that Synthia was used to clear an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, some suspect that it was. Apparently, in 2011, synthetic bacteria were introduced into the ocean to eliminate oil droplets that posed a threat to the environment. The poorly researched and thought through decision soon resulted in disastrous consequences, as the microorganisms became uncontrollable. There were several reports about diseases caused by bacteria, and deaths of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. Incidentally, all the aforementioned articles about the negative impact of the measures taken to deal with the oil spill were published by media outlets and not by scientific journals.

A number of news sources printed photographs that showed the effect of the cleanup on people and marine life. And according to The Huffington Post, the number of oil-eating bacteria, including the genetically modified strains, had been expected to soar as a result of the oil leak. Vibrio vulnificus (a species of Gram-negative bacteria) was suspected of proliferating in ocean waters polluted with oil and chemicals used to clear it. Vibrio can infect humans through contact with a cut or wound. Once in the body, “the bacteria infiltrates the layer of flesh between muscle and skin, where it releases a toxin that destroys the tissue.”

There were also reports about people whose deaths were attributed to Vibrio. Some of them passed away after having swum in the Gulf of Mexico. According to The Guardian, Vibrio vulnificus had “infected the shores of the Gulf Coast”, from Texas to Florida. In fact, there is no central authority tracking such infections in the USA, as individual states are not “required to report cases to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in Atlanta” but can do so voluntarily. The article stated that several people got sick after swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Vibrio can also cause sickness in humans who consume raw seafood, such as oysters. According to experts, the potentially lethal bacteria can infect people through raw or undercooked shellfish or through scratches and open wounds.

The scale of the impact of the efforts to clear the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been covered up by the US government.

There is no known treatment for Vibrio vulnificus and people can die as a result of infection with this pathogen. Having entered the blood stream via a small wound, the bacteria proceeds to damage tissue unless the infected part of the body is amputated.

Vibrio vulnificus, which can adapt to different environments, can eventually spread to the rest of the world via the Atlantic Ocean and rain clouds, and then cause fear among swimmers in oceans, seas and even rivers, and among those who consume raw sea food (including oysters and sushi).

As for Synthia, researchers who had created it said that they were creating new life from existing life. The synthetic bacterial cell can be utilized to develop more effective pharmaceuticals and efficient new biofuels, etc. However, experts also believe that the knowledge used to synthesize Mycoplasma laboratorium could also be employed to create a pathogen.

Researchers are currently studying the rate at which the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, mutates.

Microbiologists are well aware of spontaneous mutations caused by chance errors during replication of bacteria and viruses that can lead to changes in structural or colony characteristics.

Hence, we sincerely hope that the latest Chimera from Carbios does not play a similar dirty trick on us.

May 6, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

It is Time for Japan to Become a Truly Independent State

By Valery Kulikov – New Eastern Outlook – 03.05.2020

As the entire world suffers the tragic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the latest anti-American scandals are gaining momentum in Japan.

The Kyodo News agency was the first to report the announcement made by Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono on April 17 that a joint investigation would be conducted by the Japanese and United States military into a leakage of carcinogenic organic substances (firefighting foam) at the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on the southern island of Okinawa. However, the Japanese Minister did not provide any details on the nature of this investigation. The article briefly mentions that before this announcement, the Vice Governor of Okinawa Prefecture Kiichiro Jahana had met with the Marine General in charge of the American air base to voice his protest over this spill.

The incident took place on April 10, when about 143 thousand liters of firefighting foam leaked out at the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which contains PFOS, suspected to be carcinogenic to humans. In terms of area, 70% of all American military facilities in Japan are located on this island. All kinds of accidents have been a regular occurrence at the Futenma military base. Okinawa authorities have long been calling for the Futenma air base to be closed, which is located in the densely populated urban area of Ginowan City.

The incident that took place on April 10 has heightened the demands being made by Okinawa Island’s residents and the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly to have operations at the US Futenma air base shut down, but the US have not taken any action in response to these demands, nor have they done anything to prevent these undesirable accidents from taking place.

Another scandal that is gaining momentum also has to do with the military and political alliance between the United States and Japan. As noted in the Japanese Shūkan Gendai magazine, Japan has fallen into America’s trap, and is now effectively their loyal little “vassal state”, which is the cause of the new misfortunes than have befallen Japan. The publication emphasizes that America is to blame for the chaos that the Middle East has long been mired in, and now it seems that Japan will have to answer for all of America’s actions. However, is an alliance with America worth all of this? That is the question posed in the Shūkan Gendai, which has published information about the plight that the Japan Self-Defense Forces stationed in the Middle East have been suffering, who have practically been immured in their ships, as they come face-to-face with the coronavirus pandemic.

In order to get to the bottom of the problems Japan is currently experiencing, the Shūkan Gendai reminds readers of a special plan adopted by Abe’s Cabinet in December 2019 without having received prior approval from the Diet. Under the pretext of the worsening political and military situation “amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran”, two P-3C anti-submarine patrol airplanes with more than 100 flight and technical personnel were deployed to the region for “intelligence-gathering” purposes at the beginning of 2020, as well as a Takanami guided-missile destroyer, which began operating in the Gulf of Oman, where no coalition forces are providing Japan with any serious back up. The Japan Self-Defense Force Base is in Djibouti. It is worth noting that even though the United States invited more than 60 countries to participate in an anti-Iranian coalition (formally created by Washington in November 2019), only 6 countries have joined the US-led Persian Gulf naval coalition. Apart from America,  they are the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Albania. The coalition was joined by Lithuania at a later stage. Japan is not officially a member of the coalition, but the Japanese military says that if the Japanese troops were to pull out of the region, a gap would be created, leaving the coalition vulnerable.

Since March, the likelihood of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces remaining there has been seriously jeopardized due to the outbreak of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. This is mainly due to restrictions on the 200 crew members on the Takanami destroyer, who are refraining from leaving the ship to avoid becoming infected with Covid-19, and also due to the closure of Djibouti’s borders, which is not allowing the crews and maintenance personnel for the two P-3C anti-submarine patrol airplanes to be rotated. As the sailors cannot leave the ship, they are living in cramped and crowded conditions, and the Japan Self-Defense Forces were deployed to the Middle East without the necessary medical test kits, have not had enough rest, and are suffering severe stress. Given this situation, the Shūkan Gendai questions whether it is worth risking the lives of these crew members in order to clean up the mess made by the US, whose actions have unleashed chaos in this region.

At the same time, the Japanese press recall a statement made by Defense Minister Taro Kono back in January after holding talks with Pentagon chief Mark Esper, who said that Japan would not be participating in US operations to protect the Persian Gulf from possible attacks from Iran. Even the largely conservative Mainichi Shimbun newspaper has stressed that Japan’s complete dependence on the United States has led to Japan “blindly” following American foreign policy, and the decision taken by Abe’s Cabinet to deploy a limited Japan Self-Defense Forces unit to the Middle East is a clear proof of this. The controversial plan to build a new American military base at Henoko is further proof of this. The newspaper emphasizes that the Japanese government is wrong to be cracking down on the protests held by local residents against this new base being constructed. The government also needs to take urgent action to address the numerous civil rights and security violations that citizens living on Okinawa Island have suffered at the hands of the US military. This erodes mutual trust between the parties to the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan and weakens it.

A common theme runs through an article published in the liberal Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which is the belief that since President Trump was elected with slogan “America first!”, America’s own short-sighted military and political decisions have exposed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the United States and Japan to risks. The question of how Japan should cooperate with America is currently a real headache, as the United States has gone from being the “guardian” of the current world order to the instigator of disorder and chaos.

The Hokkaido Shimbun daily recalls the mass protests that broke out in Japan when the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the United States and Japan was signed in 1960, as well as the fact that its approval by the Diet was practically forced through.

The Akahata newspaper draws particular attention to the fact that a number of secret annexes were included when the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the United States and Japan was signed, according to which the American army can deploy nuclear weapons on Japanese islands and carry out military operations from them without notifying Japan, and this is not limited to operations in the Far East, they can be anywhere in the world. The US has already used Japanese territory to launch attacks on Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

To this day, Japan remains one of America’s closest partners in East Asia. This situation is certainly a paradox, given how many times the actions taken by the US have been unfriendly towards Japan and Japanese citizens. One example which stands out was the internment of Japanese Americans from March 17, 1942, when 120 thousand US residents who were ethnic Japanese or of Japanese descent were forcefully relocated and incarceration in concentration camps, even if these were American citizens who only had one Japanese ancestor, a great-grandmother or great-grandfather who was a Japanese national. What was happening to the Japanese on the territory of the United States at that time was purely fueled by racism, and there was no military justification for it. Then, on the night of March 9-10, 1945, the Bombing of Tokyo took place, which is regarded as the single most destructive bombing raid in human history, even more so than the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Time and time again over the 60 years that have passed since the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the United States was signed, Japan has had to endure lawless acts committed by American occupying forces in their country.

It is therefore no wonder that although there is a desire among today’s Japanese government circles to demonstrate a practically servile willingness to follow in Washington’s footsteps, the Japanese public are taking to the streets in rather frequent demonstrations, and are clearly trying to voice their rejection of US policies and America’s actions, both in Japan and in other parts of the world.

May 3, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments