Monday, December 30, 2013

GreenWorld | News, Views, & Musings for a Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free future

GreenWorld is published by Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS, As you might expect, we will be covering nuclear power in all its manifestations and issues: nuclear reactors, old and new; radioactive waste; uranium and the front end of the nuclear fuel chain, the effects of radiation, and more. We make no effort to shroud our position: NIRS was founded in 1978 to work with grassroots groups and individuals across the world for the speediest possible end to nuclear power. In short, we’re against it–and for good reason: the facts show that it is a dangerous, dirty and expensive way to produce electricity, among other drawbacks.
But it’s not, of course, enough to be simply against something. If nuclear power were the only way to generate electricity, the facts might look differently. Context matters. Electricity is a necessity, and we’re not Luddites. For that matter, no one who publishes an internet blog could seriously claim such a title anyway. Fortunately, there are many ways to generate electricity, and increasingly many ways to store and distribute electricity. Some, like coal, are also dangerous and dirty. We’re against those too.
What we’re for, what we strive for, is a clean, sustainable, affordable energy future; one that we encapsulate in the phrase “nuclear-free, carbon-free.” That means renewable energy, especially solar and wind, but also geothermal in appropriate locations, and some types of biomass–though certainly not the industrial, forest-clearing, polluting technologies that currently encompass far too much of what is termed “biomass” these days. It means energy efficiency and distributed generation; energy storage too, which is becoming increasingly practical on almost a daily basis.
As we move further into the 21st century, it’s clear we are beginning to develop entirely new models of electricity production and distribution. The model that initially served well to electrify the nation and much of the world last century, that relied on large “baseload” power plants with their electricity distributed through centralized electric utilities private and public to homes and businesses, is growing obsolete, as are the technologies–nuclear, coal and the like–that formed the basis for the model. Too much electricity–about two-thirds of that generated–is simply wasted as heat or on long-distance power lines. Too much carbon is emitted into the air, endangering our entire planet. Too much radioactive waste is created and radiation routinely released into our air and water. There are better ways to meet our planet’s need for power.
We’d like to say that the sustainable energy future we envision is inevitable. And in the long run–if indeed our planet still has a long run to go despite the best efforts of some to destroy it–it probably is inevitable. But the electric utility industry is large and powerful–in many Congressional districts for example, the local utility is the largest single employer. That gives them clout. And the nuclear, coal and other polluting energy industries are also large, powerful, and persistent. They’re not going to just give up. The natural gas fracking revolution shows that dirty industries can take advantage of new technology just as clean ones can: change is always inevitable; the right change requires people to care, to learn, and to act.
All of which makes this, from the perspective of an advocate and an author, an exciting time. Times of great transition and conflict usually are–and that’s what GreenWorld will be covering and commenting upon.
We’ll be linking to the most interesting and/or important news stories of the day, and often writing about them–providing background journalists and other scribes either leave off or don’t know themselves. We’ll be providing in-depth coverage of issues otherwise entirely uncovered. We hope we’ll be doing this in a manner that is both informative and fun to read. You, the readers, will be the ones who will let us know if we’re accomplishing those goals.
At the onset, GreenWorld will be written and produced by NIRS’ President, Michael Mariotte. In the coming weeks and months, all of NIRS’ staffers will be provided their own pages on this site to write about their own areas of expertise and their own opinions. While this is a NIRS site, opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of NIRS–we want to give our staff free reign to comment how they please...

GreenWorld | News, Views, & Musings for a Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free future

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Inspector General Finds EPA Justified in Intervening to Protect Drinking Water from Fracking | EcoWatch

 December 24, 2013
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General found EPA Region 6 was justified in legally intervening to protect Parker County, TX residents’ drinking water from drilling impacts. At Sen. Inhofe’s (R-OK) request, the Inspector General investigated to determine if Region 6’s intervention against Range Resources was due to political influence by the Obama administration.

Lipsky sets fire to gas flowing through the hose that he attached to the vent, Oct. 13. Range Resources claims the use of the hose made it seem like Lipsky was setting his water on fire. Photo credit: Julie Dermansky
Steve Lipsky, who lives near a fracking operation in Weatherford, TX with his flammable water. Photo credit: Gasland Part II.

“The EPA’s internal watchdog has confirmed that the EPA was justified in stepping in to protect residents who were and still are in imminent danger,” said Sharon Wilson, Gulf regional organizer of Earthworks. “Now we need an investigation as to whether political corruption caused EPA to withdraw that protection.”

The EPA invoked its power to protect drinking water in 2010, prompting Oklahoma Sen. Inhofe to request the Inspector General’s investigation in 2011. The EPA withdrew its legal complaint against Range Resources in 2012 despite having a report from an independent scientist showing that a gas well drilled by Range likely polluted nearby water supplies.

The EPA’s withdrawal from Parker County appears to be part of a larger pattern, in which the Obama administration has blocked or abandoned investigations of whether drilling or hydraulic fracturing polluted drinking water. In addition to the case in Parker County, reports in major news outlets indicate that the Obama administration caused the EPA to abandon studies of potential drilling or fracking pollution in Pavillion, WYand Dimock, PA despite evidence of drilling-related harm.

“The Obama administration appears to be more concerned about protecting corporate interests, not the public interest,” said Steve Lipsky, a Weatherford, TX homeowner who sued Range Resources after the EPA named the company the party responsible for contaminating his drinking water well. “President Obama promised that hydraulic fracturing would occur safely. With this IG report, it now seems clear that he is determined to squash any evidence to the contrary.”

Just prior to the release of the Inspector General report, the Texas Railroad Commission (regulator of oil and gas, not railroads) opened an investigation into the case. The EPA intervened in 2010 to protect area drinking water only after the commission refused to do so. The Commission’s new investigation prevents the EPA from legally intervening now as it did in 2010.

“Regulators shouldn’t have to be pressured into doing their job to protect people like me from drilling impacts,” said Shelly Perdue, a Parker County resident with drilling-polluted drinking water. “If what has happened to me is happening to others, I completely understand why communities across the country are voting to ban fracking and drilling.”

“Releasing this report at noon on Christmas Eve shows the Obama administration is obviously embarrassed by its findings,” said Earthworks energy program director Bruce Baizel. “As they should be. The withdrawal of Obama’s EPA is an abject failure of its mission to protect Americans’ health and environment.”

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

Inspector General Finds EPA Justified in Intervening to Protect Drinking Water from Fracking | EcoWatch


California -

#NoFracking #FRACKING :: Gov. Brown, Be a true climate champ: Ban Fracking Now.

Jerry Brown talks a big game on #climate, but actions speak louder than words. Take action to join our latest campaign:

LIKE and SHARE on Facebook to help spread the word!

Timeline Photos - Oil Change International

Californians Against Fracking | The statewide coalition to ban fracking in California.

Friday, December 20, 2013

New Baucus tax proposal takes an Orwellian approach: would redefine dirty energy as clean



6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 340, Takoma Park, MD 20912 
301-270-NIRS (301-270-6477); Fax: 301-270-4291 

For Immediate Release
  Michael Mariotte, 301-325-8014 (mobile)
Tim Judson, 301-270-6477

December 20, 2013

New Baucus tax proposal takes an Orwellian approach: would redefine dirty energy as clean

The nation’s leading tax code writer, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D- MT), Wednesday unveiled a radical proposal to revise the nation’s energy policy through the tax code.

The draft bill introduced by Sen. Baucus would end forty-two different tax incentives for the energy industry, projected to cost $150 billion. In their place, it would create “technology-neutral” incentives for energy projects that meet a narrow standard for carbon emission reductions. However, the bill would also end incentives that promote energy efficiency improvements and zero-emissions vehicles, by definition two of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases. At the same time, by focusing solely on carbon, Sen. Baucus’s proposal would continue to subsidize other toxic and polluting energy sources, such as nuclear power and natural gas.

“I think they coined the phrase ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’ just for ideas like this,” said Tim Judson, NIRS’ Associate Director. “Tax breaks for the oil and coal industries are irresponsible, unnecessary and counterproductive, but so are subsidies for nuclear power and natural gas. Cutting tax breaks to help people make their homes more energy efficient and giving those dollars to companies to make radioactive waste is simply wrong-minded and counter-productive.”

“We’re getting a little tired of politicians, not to mention self-serving industries, who argue that the only pollutant of concern in the world is carbon,” said Michael Mariotte, executive director of NIRS. “Nuclear power inherently brings with it plutonium, strontium, cesium and the whole alphabet soup of poisonous radionuclides that are released routinely intoour air and water; that form one of our world’s largest unsolved environmental problems— safely managing radioactive waste; and that can at any moment be unleased in a catastrophic accident.”

“Our climate condition is a crisis,” Mariotte added. “But the solution is not to subsidize dirty energy technologies, nor try to portray them as somehow clean. It’s really not hard: we need to renew the tax credits for genuinely clean renewable energy sources like wind and solar, provide greater encouragement for energy efficiency measures, incentivize distributed generation—especially rooftop solar; and support already rapidly-improving energy storage. The clean energy technologies of the 21st century that can quickly and affordably reduce carbon emissions are here: it’s time to take advantage of them.


Please act now and tell your Senators: No tax breaks for dirty nuclear power.

see also
Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service; December 20, 2013
> whats up: Tell your Senators: No tax breaks for dirty nuclear power | NIRS

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tell Congress: don't slide backward on renewable energy | Friends of the Earth

Tell Congress: don't slide backward on renewable energy.

Solar and wind power have seen an explosion of growth in recent years, due in large part to tax credits.
Unless Congress acts by December 31, a critical incentive for investment in renewable energy will expire.

Tell your senators not to let critical funding for renewable energy expire on December 31.

sign now > Friends of the Earth

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fighting the Good Fight

Fighting the Good Fight from

Have you ever dreamed of quitting your day job to work on something you really believed in? That's exactly what this week's guests, Jill Stein and Margaret Flowers, did when they left their careers behind as medical doctors.
Both saw that holding political office largely depended on how much money you have, which in turn enabled injustices to be fashioned into law and public policy. Outraged and angry, they decided to stand up and take action.
"When people ask me 'what kind of medicine are you practicing?' I usually say, 'I'm practicing political medicine because it's the mother of all illnesses,'" Stein tells Bill. Flowers adds: "Once you start speaking truth to power and standing up for the right things, it's very empowering."
Stein and Flowers serve as the president and secretary of health, respectively, for the Green Shadow Cabinet, an organization offering alternative policies to the "dysfunctional government in Washington, DC."
This week, Bill talks with them about their personal journeys fighting for policy change -- including arrests for acts of civil disobedience -- and the pressing challenges they're focusing on, such as the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stand with the Philippines | #climatechange

Stand with the Philippines: Superstorm Haiyan is a climate nightmare -- carbon pollution is driving more frequent and intense storms which are devastating vulnerable communities. New realities require new politics, I urge you to stop the sad tradition of feet-dragging on commitments to cut pollution, and breaking promises on finance. We must acknowledge the new climate reality and put forward a new system to help us manage the risks and deal with the losses to which we cannot adjust. I call on you to stand with the Filipino people by taking major steps forward on these issues at the Warsaw climate talks.

Monday, November 11, 2013

NASA Views Our Perpetual Ocean | NASA

click here to watch the animation

"This is an animation of ocean surface currents from June 2005 to December 2007 from NASA satellites. Watch how bigger currents like the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean and the Kuroshio in the Pacific carry warm waters across thousands of miles at speeds greater than four miles per hour (six kilometers per hour); how coastal currents like the Agulhas in the Southern Hemisphere move equatorial waters toward Earth's poles; and how thousands of other ocean currents are confined to particular regions and form slow-moving, circular pools called eddies." Credit: NASA/SVS

The swirling flows of tens of thousands of ocean currents were captured in this scientific visualization created by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

"There is also a 20-minute long tour, which shows these global surface currents in more detail," says Horace Mitchell, the lead of the visualization studio. "We also released a three-minute version on our NASA Visualization Explorer iPad app."

Both the 20-minute and 3-minute versions are available in high definition here:

The visualization covers the period June 2005 to December 2007 and is based on a synthesis of a numerical model with observational data, created by a NASA project called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, or ECCO for short. ECCO is a joint project between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. ECCO uses advanced mathematical tools to combine observations with the MIT numerical ocean model to obtain realistic descriptions of how ocean circulation evolves over time.

These model-data syntheses are among the largest computations of their kind ever undertaken. They are made possible by high-end computing resources provided by NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

ECCO model-data syntheses are being used to quantify the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle, to understand the recent evolution of the polar oceans, to monitor time-evolving heat, water, and chemical exchanges within and between different components of the Earth system, and for many other science applications.

In the particular model-data synthesis used for this visualization, only the larger, ocean basin-wide scales have been adjusted to fit observations. Smaller-scale ocean currents are free to evolve on their own according to the computer model's equations. Due to the limited resolution of this particular model, only the larger eddies are represented, and tend to look more 'perfect' than they are in real life. Despite these model limitations, the visualization offers a realistic study in both the order and the chaos of the circulating waters that populate Earth's ocean.

Data used by the ECCO project include: sea surface height from NASA's Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1, and Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2 satellite altimeters; gravity from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment mission; surface wind stress from NASA's QuikScat mission; sea surface temperature from the NASA/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS; sea ice concentration and velocity data from passive microwave radiometers; and temperature and salinity profiles from shipborne casts, moorings and the international Argo ocean observation system.

NASA Views Our Perpetual Ocean | NASA

Sunday, November 3, 2013


We Citizens of the world, of many nationalities, support the earnest sincere action of the young Japanese lawmaker Taro Yamamoto, breaking customary protocol to remit a letter to the Emperor of Japan, wishing to draw the Emperor's attention on the plight of his people, Fukushima's people and children left to live in an environment heavily contaminated by the ongoing 2 years and 8 months catastrophe of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant.

我々多くの国々からの、世界の市民は、若き日本の山本太郎参議の、慣例的作法を破りながらも天皇に手紙を手渡し た、真剣で誠実な行動を支持します。福島第一原発事故は二年八ヶ月経った今も収束されていません。高度に汚染された地域に取り残されている福島の人々の悲 惨な現実があります。彼の行動はこの窮状を伝えたいという真摯なものであったからです


Friday, November 1, 2013

Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council Statement on Fukushima | Indigenous Action Media

mirrored at whats up nuclear blog

Council Statement
This statement reflects the wisdom of the Spiritual People of the Earth, of North and South America, working in unity to restore peace, harmony and balance for our collective future and for all living beings.This statement is written in black and white with a foreign language that is not our own and does not convey the full depth of our concerns.

View the original statement with signatures here (PDF): COUNCIL_FUKUSHIMA_STATEMENT_OCT_2013.

The Creator created the People of the Earth into the Land at the beginning of Creation and gave us a way of life. This way of life has been passed down generation-to-generation since the beginning. We have not honored this way of life through our own actions and we must live these original instructions in order to restore universal balance and harmony. We are a part of Creation; thus, if we break the Laws of Creation, we destroy ourselves.

We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, have no choice but to follow and uphold the Original Instructions, which sustains the continuity of Life. We recognize our umbilical connection to Mother Earth and understand that she is the source of life, not a resource to be exploited. We speak on behalf of all Creation today, to communicate an urgent message that man has gone too far, placing us in the state of survival. We warned that one day you would not be able to control what you have created. That day is here. Not heeding warnings from both Nature and the People of the Earth keeps us on the path of self destruction. This self destructive path has led to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Gulf oil spill, tar sands devastation, pipeline failures, impacts of carbon dioxide emissions and the destruction of ground water through hydraulic fracking, just to name a few. In addition, these activities and development continue to cause the deterioration and destruction of sacred places and sacred waters that are vital for Life.

Powerful technologies are out of control and are threatening the future of all life The Fukushima nuclear crisis alone is a threat to the future of humanity. Yet, our concern goes far beyond this single threat. Our concern is with the cumulative and compounding devastation that is being wrought by the actions of human beings around the world. It is the combination of resource extraction, genetically modified organisms, moral failures, pollution, introduction of invasive species and much much more that are threatening the future of life on Earth. The compounding of bad decisions and their corresponding actions are extremely short-sighted. They do not consider the future generations and they do not respect or honor the Creator’s Natural Law. We strongly urge for the governmental authorities to respond with an open invitation to work and consult with us to solve the world’s problems, without war. We must stop waging war against Mother Earth, and ourselves.

We acknowledge that all of these devastating actions originated in human beings who are living without regard for the Earth as the source of life. They have strayed from the Original Instructions by casting aside the Creator’s Natural Law. It is now critical for humanity to acknowledge that we have created a path to self destruction. We must restore the Original Instructions in our lives to halt this devastation.

The sanctity of the Original Instructions has been violated. As a result, the Spiritual People of the Earth were called ceremonially to come together at the home of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle. These Spiritual Leaders and those that carry great responsibility for their people from both North and South America came together with the sacred fire for four days at the end of September 2013 to fulfill their sacred responsibilities. During this time it was revealed that the spirit of destruction gained its’ strength by our spiritually disconnected actions. We are all responsible in varying degrees for calling forth this spirit of destruction, thus we are all bound to begin restoring what we have damaged by helping one another recover our sacred responsibility to the Earth. We, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, offer our spiritual insight, wisdom and vision to the global community to help guide the actions needed to overcome the current threats to all life.

We only have to look at our own bodies to recognize the sacred purpose of water on Mother Earth. We respect and honor our spiritual relationship with the lifeblood of Mother Earth. One does not sell or contaminate their mother’s blood. These capitalistic actions must stop and we must recover our sacred relationship with the Spirit of Water.

The People of the Earth understand that the Fukushima nuclear crisis continues to threaten the future of all life. We understand the full implications of this crisis even with the suppression of information and the filtering of truth by the corporate owned media and Nation States. We strongly urge the media, corporations and Nation States to acknowledge and convey the true facts that threaten us, so that the international community may work together to resolve this crisis, based on the foundation of Truth. We urge the international community, government of Japan and TEPCO to unify efforts to stabilize and re-mediate the nuclear threat posed at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. To ensure that the Japanese government and TEPCO are supported with qualified personnel and information, we urge the inclusion of today’s nuclear experts from around the world to collaborate, advise and provide technical assistance to prevent further radioactive contamination or worse, a nuclear explosion that may have apocalyptic consequences.

The foundation for peace will be strengthened by restoring the Original Instructions in ourselves Prophecies have been shared and sacred instructions were given. We, the People of the Earth, were instructed that the original wisdom must be shared again when imbalance and disharmony are upon Mother Earth. In 1994 the sacred white buffalo, the giver of the sacred pipe, returned to the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people bringing forth the sacred message that the winds of change are here. Since that time many more messengers in the form of white animals have come, telling us to wake up my children. It is time. So listen for the sacred instruction.

All Life is sacred. We come into Life as sacred beings. When we abuse the sacredness of Life we affect all Creation

We urge all Nations and human beings around the world to work with us, the Original Caretakers of Mother Earth, to restore the Original Instructions and uphold the Creator’s Natural Law as a foundation for all decision making, from this point forward. Our collective future as human beings is in our hands, we must address the Fukushima nuclear crisis and all actions that may violate the Creator’s Natural Law. We have reached the crossroads of life and the end of our existence. We will avert this potentially catastrophic nuclear disaster by coming together with good minds and prayer as a global community of all faiths.

We are the People of the Earth united under the Creator’s Law with a sacred covenant to protect and a responsibility to extend Life for all future generations. We are expressing deep concern for our shared future and urge everyone to awaken spiritually. We must work in unity to help Mother Earth heal so that she can bring back balance and harmony for all her children.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Filmmaker Robert Stone, Other Pro-Nuke Advocates Should Make Expedition to Fukushima | Common Dreams

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a scene from PANDORA’S PROMISE. (Image credit: Courtesy of Robert Stone for CNN)
We are in desperate need of documentary filmmakers at Fukushima.

The Japanese government is about to pass a national censorship law clearly meant to make it impossible to know what’s going on there.

Massive quantities of radioactive water have been flowing through the site since the 3/11/11 earthquake/tsunami.

At thousand flimsy tanks hold still more thousands of tons of radioactive water which would pour into the Pacific should they collapse.

An earthquake and two typhoons have have just hit there, flushing still more radioactive water into the sea.

The corrupt and incompetent Tokyo Electric Power Company will soon try moving 400 tons of supremely radioactive rods from a damaged Unit Four fuel pool, an operation that could easily end in global catastrophe. The rods contain 14,000 times as much radioactive cesium as was released at the bombing of Hiroshima.

Nobody knows the exact location of the melted cores from Units One, Two and Three or whether they are still fissioning.

Reuters and others report criminal involvement, slashed wages, inhuman working conditions, serious shortages and lack of training in what has become an extremely dangerous labor crisis.

Intensely radioactive hotspots have turned up throughout Japan, including some that threaten human life in Tokyo and make cast a pall on the upcoming Olympics.

At least one report indicates a massive dead zone in the Pacific apparently caused by radiation pouring in from the site. Tuna contaminated with radiation from Fukushima have been caught off the California coast, and there are widespread reports other marine life disappearing throughout the Pacific.

With the information flow from Fukushima apparently about to go dark, the presence of independent media and researchers has become more critical than ever.

Petitions with more than 140,000 signatures asking for a global takeover of the Fukushima site will be delivered to the United Nations November 7. The ask is for a transnational team of world’s best scientists and engineers to guarantee that all necessary resources are available to deal with this crisis.

Robert Stone has made a high budget dis-infomercial sponsored by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, whose cohort Bill Gates has bet heavily on new nukes. Called “Pandora’s Promise,” Stone’s promoters have refused to send us a review copy. We’re told it mocks industry opponents without actually interviewing them, while downplaying the killing power of atomic radiation. It’s scheduled to air on CNN without a balancing point of view.
Here is the film's trailer:
A trip to Fukushima might change Stone’s mind. He’s worked in the past with Michael Moore, one of our greatest investigative documentarians. Using Michael’s aggressive techniques, we want him to bring back critical information that could make a difference.

At very least we desperately need to know more about the11,000 intensely radioactive fuel rods on site, the three missing reactor cores, the proposed bring-down of the Unit Four fuel rods, the potential for still more explosions, the labor crisis, the unending flow of potentially lethal radiation into the biosphere, and much more.

The fate of the Earth may now hang at the mercy of a widely distrusted corporation and far-right government intent on blacking out that site.

Dr. James Hansen, an important climate scientist, has expressed his support for atomic energy, and would make a fitting co-worker on this trip.

Along the way, Mr. Stone, you might check out Japan’s massive new offshore wind turbines whose promise is to replace all the reactors this disaster has forced shut.

But as a hired industry gun, you need above all to tell us what’s happening at Fukushima...before the lights go out.

Our future could well depend on how honestly you undertake this critical task. Please report back as soon as possible.

Filmmaker Robert Stone, Other Pro-Nuke Advocates Should Make Expedition to Fukushima | Common Dreams