Archive for October, 2015

Japan Times: “Deadly” radiation levels detected outside Fukushima containment vessel

October 31, 2015


Japan Times: “Deadly” radiation levels detected outside Fukushima containment vessel — “Details behind situation are unknown” — Officials unable to grasp location of melted nuclear fuel — “Impossible” to plan for decommissioning

Posted: 30 Oct 2015 02:21 PM PDT


I think we should be angry

October 31, 2015


Bill McKibben – <> Unsubscribe
10:41 AM (11 hours ago)
Dear Friends,

Earlier this morning, leaders from a wide variety of environmental and civil rights groups sent a short letter Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking for a federal investigation of the allegations that Exxon knew that climate change was real decades ago and lied about it.

This is rare and powerful unity—I don’t remember a moment like it since the first days of the Keystone fight, when the same wide spectrum of leaders wrote a very similar letter.

But encouraging as it is to see this solidarity, the reason for it makes me bitter. Ever since I read the first exposés of Exxon’s mendacity in Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times, they’ve haunted me.

A corporation may never have done anything bigger and badder; just think how much would be different if Exxon had told the truth. We wouldn’t fully have solved global warming but we’d be well on the way—there would have been no 25 year phony pretend debate. There’d be a lot more solar panels, and a lot less carbon in the air. There’d be a lot more green jobs, and a lot fewer communities, most of them low income and communities of color, dealing with the terrible health impacts of pollution. None of you would have had to fight simply to get climate change taken seriously; instead we’d all be hard at work on solutions.1

I think we should be angry. I don’t think we should be cynical and say ‘of course they knew.’ This behavior should shock us—it’s shocking. So can you please join us in asking the federal government to investigate Exxon?

Click here to sign a petition to call on the Department of Justice to investigate ExxonMobil.

Maybe this will be enough to make sure this industry gets the treatment the tobacco industry got a generation ago. Or maybe Big Oil is so big (Exxon, after all, spent many years as the most profitable company on earth) that it will take more. I’ve already spent an afternoon in jail, charged with “unlawful trespass” at an ExxonMobil station; perhaps, like Keystone, more of us will need to go to jail. (Certainly no responsible person can any longer justify investing in Exxon—this is a potent reminder of why divestment is so key.)

At the very least, please don’t let this story die. If global warming is the biggest thing humans have ever done, then Exxon’s conduct is the single most shameful part of the whole sad story.

So please: sign onto our call to the Department of Justice. If only for the sake of history, let’s stand the hell up.

Bill McKibben for

1. “Imagine if Exxon had told the truth on climate change.” The Guardian.

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CBS: Fire erupts at another U.S. nuclear site near major city

October 29, 2015


— Witness: Flames within feet of radioactive waste — TV: “You can see the smoke for miles… A big-time scare” — EPA emergency response specialists deployed (PHOTO & VIDEOS)

Posted: 28 Oct 2015 08:19 PM PDT

ENENews Former WHO Official: Fukushima plant is dumping nuclear waste into ocean on a daily basis; “There’s no foreseeable end to it… and nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it” — Japan gov’t worried that attempts to reduce leakage will cause even more radioactivity to flow into sea (VIDEO) Posted: 27 Oct 2015 04:49 PM PDT

October 28, 2015


Former WHO Official: Fukushima plant is dumping nuclear waste into ocean on a daily basis; “There’s no foreseeable end to it… and nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it” — Japan gov’t worried that attempts to reduce leakage will cause even more radioactivity to flow into sea (VIDEO)

Posted: 27 Oct 2015 04:49 PM PDT

Tony Blair Is Sorry, a Little

October 26, 2015

While George W. Bush is proud of everything he’s ever done, Tony Blair came dangerously close to facing reality this weekend when he admitted there were “elements of truth” in the view that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the principle cause of the rise of ISIS (among other catastrophic results).

At the same time, Blair lied that it was an honest mistake based on bad “intelligence,” and claimed there was no clearly superior alternative anyway:

“We have tried intervention and putting down troops in Iraq; we’ve tried intervention without putting in troops in Libya; and we’ve tried no intervention at all but demanding regime change in Syria,” he said. “It’s not clear to me that, even if our policy did not work, subsequent policies have worked better.”

Now, your average unindoctrinated 10-year-old might conclude that overthrowing foreign governments has been a disaster any which way it’s done, and therefore ought not to be done at all. World Beyond War’s mission is to help unindocrinate those who can’t yet see their way to that conclusion.

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U.S. Wants More “Usable” Nuclear Weapons in Europe

The United States keeps nuclear weapons in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Turkey, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which bans the transfer of nuclear weapons from a nuclear weapon state to a non-nuclear weapon state. Now, the U.S. wants to upgrade its nukes in Europe, to make them “precision” and “guided,” and therefore more likely to be used, even as tensions build between the United States and Russia.

The U.S. plans to deploy newly designed type B 61-12 nuclear bombs. Instead it should remove existing nuclear bombs. The NATO strategy of so-called “nuclear sharing” is a violation of Articles 1 and 2 of the NPT. Those provisions state that every party to the treaty promises “not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly” and also promises that every “non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons.”

The policy of placing U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe also violates local laws. For example, the German Parliament (the Bundestag) voted in March 2010, by a large majority, that the German Government should “press for the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Germany.”

People in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Turkey, the United States, and elsewhere have signed this petition:

To: The Governments of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Turkey

Do not upgrade the U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe. Remove them. People in the United States and around the world would support you in this.

David Swanson
Norman Solomon
Alice Slater
Lindsey German
Hugo Lueders
Fabio D’Alessandro
Robert Fantina
Agneta Norberg
Toby Blome
Ann Suellentrop
Heinrich Buecker
David Krieger
Cynthia Cockburn
Helen Caldicott
Coleen Rowley
Ellen Thomas
Megan Rice

The petition will be delivered in each country. Before it is, please add your name.

The same petition in German is here.


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EPA data shows radiation spike in major US city soon after explosions at nuclear waste facility nearby

October 26, 2015


EPA data shows radiation spike in major US city soon after explosions at nuclear waste facility nearby — AP: Drums of buried waste were blasted over site’s fence; Large crater reported — Emergency Official: US gov’t brought in “resources I’ve never even seen before, it was amazing” (VIDEO)

Posted: 25 Oct 2015 07:40 PM PDT

15,000 Years Ago, Probably in Asia, the Dog Was Born

October 26, 2015


Farmers playing with their dog in China’s Inner Mongolia. A study says Central Asia is the best candidate as the point of origin for the modern dog. Credit Qiu Pan/European Pressphoto Agency
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
Continue reading the main story


Continue reading the main story
Where do dogs come from?

Gray wolves are their ancestors. Scientists are pretty consistent about that. And researchers have suggested that dogs’ origins can be traced to Europe, the Near East, Siberia and South China.

Central Asia is the newest and best candidate, according to a large study of dogs from around the world.

Laura M. Shannon and Adam R. Boyko at Cornell University, and an international group of other scientists, studied not only purebred dogs, but also street or village dogs — the free-ranging scavengers that make up about 75 percent of the planet’s one billion dogs.

Continue reading the main story

Dog ancestors diverged from modern wolf ancestors at least 27,000 years ago, researchers have determined with the help of a Taimyr wolf jawbone and rib fossil.Family Tree of Dogs and Wolves Is Found to Split Earlier Than ThoughtMAY 21, 2015
Peony, a Carolina dog. Some of the breed’s rare traits include a fishhook tail, a pointed, somewhat lupine face and the habit of digging snout pits.DNA Backs Lore on Pre-Columbian DogsJULY 15, 2013
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Dr. Shannon analyzed three different kinds of DNA, Dr. Boyko said, the first time this has been done for such a large and diverse group of dogs, more than 4,500 dogs of 161 breeds and 549 village dogs from 38 countries. That allowed the researchers to determine which geographic groups of modern dogs were closest to ancestral populations genetically. And that led them to Central Asia as the place of origin for dogs in much the same way that genetic studies have located the origin of modern humans in East Africa.

The analysis, Dr. Boyko said, pointed to Central Asia, including Mongolia and Nepal, as the place where “all the dogs alive today” come from. The data did not allow precise dating of the origin, he said, but showed it occurred at least 15,000 years ago. They reported their findings Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Greger Larson of Oxford University, who is leading an international effort to analyze ancient DNA from fossilized bones, said he was impressed by the scope of the study. “It’s really great to see not just the sheer number of street dogs, but also the geographic breadth and the number of remote locations where the dogs were sampled,” he said. He also praised the sampling of different kinds of DNA and the analytic methods.

But in the world of dog studies, very little is definitive. The most recent common ancestor of today’s dogs lived in Central Asia, Dr. Boyko said, although he cannot rule out the possibility that some dogs could have been domesticated elsewhere and died out. Or dogs domesticated elsewhere could have gone to Central Asia from somewhere else and then diversified into all the canines alive today, he said.

Dr. Larson, who was not involved with the study, said he thought the Central Asia finding required further testing. He said he suspected that the origins of modern dogs were “extremely messy” and that no amount of sampling of living populations would be definitive. He said a combination of studies of modern and ancient DNA was necessary.

Dr. Boyko said the research for the first time studied three sources of DNA from purebred and village dogs worldwide. The team analyzed DNA from all the chromosomes in the cell nucleus, from the Y chromosome specifically, found only in males, and from mitochondria, cellular energy machines outside the nucleus that are inherited from the mother.

Dr. Boyko traveled to a number of the locations where blood was drawn from village dogs. He said: “The great thing about working with dogs is that if you show up with food you don’t usually have trouble recruiting subjects. Usually.”

He added: “We showed up in Puerto Rico at a fishing village and the dogs turned up their noses at roast beef sandwiches. They were used to eating fish entrails.”

“Nuclear fire” erupts at radioactive facility near major US city

October 26, 2015


— Footage shows underground explosions, massive smoke plumes — AP: “Unknown amount of radioactive waste burned” — EPA sends emergency radiological team — Residents: “We were flat out lied to… Why didn’t they evacuate the town?” (VIDEO)

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 11:12 AM PDT

“Mystery as scores of dead rare sea animals wash up” in Gulf of California

October 23, 2015


“Mystery as scores of dead rare sea animals wash up” in Gulf of California — AP: Dozens of carcasses found on beaches and floating in water — Gov’t experts ‘baffled’ over mass death of dolphins, sea lions, turtles — “Long stretch of coastline closed off to public” (PHOTOS)

Posted: 23 Oct 2015 02:31 AM PDT

Former US Gov’t Official: “The elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation”

October 23, 2015


Former US Gov’t Official: “The elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation” when it comes to Pacific Ocean animal die-offs… Gov’t has totally failed to inform public about full extent of fallout… Media’s silence is deafening — Mentions coverage by ENENews

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 03:40 AM PDT

TV: ‘Scary’ mystery illness killing off animals “at such a rapid rate” on West Coast — Hundreds of marine mammals found dead in small area — Gov’t Expert: “Something is likely affecting the entire ecosystem… Something is hitting them harder and faster… Something else seems to be involved” (VIDEO)

Posted: 19 Oct 2015 04:11 AM PDT