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"If sound vibrations are both encoded into and generated by crop circles, is it not possible that they, too, can arouse the individual at a spiritual level? After all, it's through music that whole human experiences are celebrated and carried from generation to generation. It is very probable that it is for this reason that the very shape of the human ear - more specifically the cochlea - is a spiral constructed according to the harmonic laws of tone, just as the same spiral forms the primary basis from which thousands of crop circles have sprung.Music is a carrier for social change. The effects of Handel's music is believed to have reversed the state of morality in Victorian England, just as the anarchic overtones of Punk corralled disillusioned youth into fighting an establishment that held no tolerance for those who stepped outside the system. The effects in people's states of awareness through contact with crop circles is similarly documented. In 1990 a pictogram at Alton Barnes sported the trident of Shiva the Transformer. Ironically, it was through exposure to this crop circle that millions around the world were transformed, just as images of crop circles today continue to enlighten the awareness of those who come into contact with them. If sound is one of the formative principles behind crop circles, it is not surprising that they are leaving psychological impressions on those whose antenna is extended and receptive to their tune."
"I have e-mailed and petitioned for the senate NOT to grant retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies who aided in the illegal wire tapping of American citizens, thereby protecting the administration from being accountable for their actions. This was the FISA bill. Senators Feingold and Dobbs had tried to strike the immunity language from the bill. I have had no problem with the need of the administration to monitor possible terrorist communications... but was deeply troubled by the idea that ALL e-mails and phone calls were being swept up and could not see any reason for that unless it would be to block any civilian criticism of the government, or spying on innocent civilians the way J Edgar Hoover did....years ago. The Senate passed the FISA bill and granted retroactive immunity. I was disappointed and did not realize how angry it made me until I called Bayh's office and started leaving a verbal message with the secretary there. I began to talk faster and faster and louder and louder... the anger spewed out of me to my embarrassment. I do not recall all the things I said... but I was shaking when I ended my call. I did not check my blood pressure... but I realized that I must say the serenity prayer and stop calling ....I had intended to call each and every one who voted to pass that bill and leave a calm message of dissent. I decided I was too angry to continue. This administration believes it is ok to blanket survey and spy on it's people. It believes that torture is not illegal.... it believes it is alright to lie and cheat and spend tax payer's money on killing fields... I can do nothing about it. I am poor... I am old.... I have no influence.... and no voice. The people in Congress, with an exception of Senator Feingold and Congressman Obey, are not listening... there are others who are listening but the voting keeps turning against the people who are right. Bush keeps winning... Cheney keeps smiling his crooked smirk. This FISA bill now goes to the house. Bush says he will veto it if there is not immunity for the telecommunications folks.... (I believe that if they are investigated the full extent of the law, the administration's part in it will come to light) Senator Dobbs said as much... so did Senator Feingold. It is with a sad and heavy heart that I conclude that I am not going to make a difference. I will continue to pray and to read the Psalm that starts out... "Fret not thyself over evil doers".... I wanted Dennis Kucinich to be able to stay in the race for president. After he was forced out...I then began to support Edwards.... now there are only two democratic candidates.... I pray to God that the right one will win."
Talks William McDonough: The wisdom of designing (20 min, 11 sec) http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/104
Architect and designer William McDonough asks what our buildings and products would look like if designers took into account "All children, all species, for all time." A tireless proponent of absolute sustainability (with a deadpan sense of humor), he explains his philosophy of "cradle to cradle" design, which bridge the needs of ecology and economics. He also shares some of his most inspiring work, including the world's largest green roof (at the Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan), and the entire sustainable cities he's designing in China. Architect William McDonough believes that green design can prevent environmental disaster -- while also driving economic growth. He champions cradle to cradle design that considers the full life cycle of a product, from its creation with sustainable materials to a recycled afterlife. recommended by David Fiske (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Germany Admits to Clandestine Chemtrail Ops - with 2 pictures and 2 videos
(BUT THEIR SPURIOUS CLAIM THAT IT'S FOR WEATHER CONTROL IS PROBABLY ONLY HALF-TRUE...) http://www.chycho.com/?q=Chemtrails
For all those activists who have been investigating and reporting on clandestine government operations around the world to manipulate our weather patterns, this news from Germany is groundbreaking. The TV news report states that "the military planes of the German Federal Army are manipulating our climate; this is what the weather researchers are presuming and their suspicions are confirmed. "We can state with a 97% certainty that we have on our hands chemical trails (chemtrails) comprised by fine dust containing polymers and metals, used to disrupt radar signals." This is their main purpose, but I was surprised that this artificial cloud was so wide-spread. The radar images are stunning considering the needed tons of dispersed elements -- although, the federal army claims that only small amounts of material were propagated. The military heads claim that the substances used are not harmful. In the United States of America there are protest after protest for many years now, against these military operations and now people are mobilising in Germany as well. Per example JOHANNES REMMEL of the Greens. It's obvious that enormous regions are being polluted with clandestine actions, but all of this has to be made public. The government must provide explanations to the unsuspecting population. This is a very significant development in the battle to find out why our governments are spraying chemicals into our atmosphere, however it is only the tip of the iceberg. As far as researchers have been able to conclude, chemical spraying by our governments have been in full operation since mid-to-late 1990s (possibly earlier). The following video presentation is a great introduction to chemtrails and some of its possible implication: Aerosol Crimes (1:39:23). Right now we can only speculate as to what type of chemicals are used in these operations, however one thing is certain, if we saw a car driving down the road, spewing out a plume of smoke the way these planes are doing we would be very concerned. Considering that half the species in the world could be wiped out due to global warming, the least we could do is to demand that our governments explain what it is that they are spraying us with, specially if military heads are claiming that the substances used are not harmful. As we know, when the militaries of the world say we have nothing to be concerned about then we have everything to be concerned about. Keep in mind that chemtrails have been categorized as an exotic weapons systems by the 107th CONGRESS of the United States in House Bill H. R. 2977.
MY ASPARTAME EXPERIMENT (Pretty convincing picture!!) http://www.myaspartameexperiment.com/
When Victoria Inness-Brown contacted me about explosive information concerning aspartame (Equal,NutraSweet) the controversial, artificial, chemical sweetener, I didnt know what to expect. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence of aspartames danger to human health (tires have been recalled for less) it remains in 6,000 food, drink and medicinal products. Who could imagine a private citizen would do an aspartame experiment with 108 rats for 2 years and 8 months? The late Dr. Adrian Gross explained that rodent experiments are the means to find out what a particular substance will do to human beings. Look at Victorias pictures of her animals that ingested the equivalent amount of aspartame (in human terms) of less than one diet coke a day, until their spontaneous death. Importantly, the control groups, those fed no aspartame were free from visible effects. (1)The artificial sweetener, Aspartame, was approved by the FDA, in 1981. By the 1990s, the FDA had a list of 92 symptoms reported to them by 10,000 consumers, a list revealed to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. (2)Personally, I have read thousands of cases from aspartame victims, many who post on Yahoos Aspartame Victim Support Group list, but Victorias photographs, the first ever to be released from any study, give meaning to the hypothesis, A picture is worth a thousand words. Following is Victorias gutsy account of why she did her experiment, the protocol she used to conduct it and the remarkable pictures of the rats. I WANTED VISUAL PROOF - I did my aspartame experiment because my family was addicted to diet soda. After researching the effects of aspartame, I strongly believed the artificial sweetener might one day lead to their illness and even early death. CLIP - Recommended by Carol Guilford (email@example.com)
STEPHENVILLE TEXAS UFO COVER UP? Part 1 (10 min 23 sec) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW9-U1-oIto
Larry King of CNN and panel discuss January 8, 2008 Texas UFO sighting. LOTS of interesting UFO footage and testimonials.
Confirmation & Update on Secret United Nations Meeting Discussing UFOs & Extraterrestrial Life (Feb 20, 2008) http://www.exopolitics.org/Exo-Comment-66.htm
I recently circulated an article describing a secret meeting that allegedly occurred at the New York office of the United Nations discussing UFOs/extraterrestrial life. The confidential source (A) for the meeting is presently working as a member of the diplomatic community who relayed this information to two New York based researchers, Shawn and Clay Pickering. I am pleased to announce that I have received independent confirmation that the alleged meeting did occur on the morning of February 12, 2008 as Clay's and Shawn's source claimed. I was also given information by an independent source (B), who I believe is very reliable, on what transpired at the meeting. It was claimed that a document had been circulated at the meeting, and was now being relayed to key ministries of many nations for further study and comments.I have yet to witness the document which allegedly refers to an offer by extraterrestrials to help prepare humanity for the disclosure of extraterrestrial life. The meeting also apparently discussed how the UN was being encouraged to take a proactive stand on the release of secret technologies that will enable the development of free energy. The date 2013 was given as the time when extraterrestrials would unambiguously appear. This was consistent with the date given in my earlier article. I will share more information on the alleged document circulated at the UN meeting and the independent source (B) confirming the meeting in my next communication on this unfolding UN initiative on UFOs/extraterrestrial life. CLIP
Global Strategy of Nonviolence FOR the CHILDREN http://www.gsofnv.org/
this is a people movement, led by women, but not exclusive to women, and its main initiative is a Call to Women, a World-Wide Unity Campaign - MISSION STATEMENT: Respond to the urgency of the world situation, specifically in preventing war, by globally enlisting the actions of millions of women and men committed to nonviolence. Recommended by Andre Sheldon (firstname.lastname@example.org) who wrote: "I have been receiving your compilations for about one year and would like to compliment you and thank you for all your hard work. I am a peace activist and would like to announce my new website.
Python and 7-year-old Cambodian boy have become best friendsss (Feb 3, 2008) http://tinyurl.com/2wbu7p
Bond between boy, 7, and massive python draws attention - SETBO VILLAGE, Cambodia. The little boy regularly sleeps in the massive coil of a 16-foot-long, 220-pound python. He rides it. He kisses it. He even pats it down with baby powder. "There is a special bond between them," said Khuorn Sam Ol, father of 7-year-old Uorn Sambath. "My son played with the snake when he was still learning to crawl. They used to sleep together in a cradle." The boy and his reptile have become a tourist attraction in Setbo, about 12 miles south of the capital Phnom Penh, as well as a source of wonder to the locals." People sometimes call the boy and the snake husband and wife," said neighbor Cheng Raem. "Maybe they were a couple from a previous life."The python joined the family when Uorn Sambath was 3 months old. His mother, Kim Kannara, discovered the thumb-sized creature coiled beneath a woven mat on their bed.Khuorn Sam Ol took the snake to some bushes by a local river but two weeks later found it back inside the house. He decided to keep it and named it Chamroeun, which means progress in English.Wildlife and police officials used to come by to try to take the snake to a zoo. But they relented after seeing Uorn Sambath cuddling with the reptile."I will not let anyone take her away from me, either," the little boy declared, kissing his pet on the head. "I love her very much."
Three great magic shows http://www.komando.com/videos/2-16.asp
Some people think magic is cheesy. I dont; I find magic shows fascinating. Here are three magic acts by some of the best. Even if you know how a trick is done, its fun to watch. But some of these tricks I just cant explain.
It's Time to Dump the Federal Reserve (21/02/08) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19401.htm
(...) The country is now headed into a deep and protracted recession. Low interest credit and financial innovation have paralyzed the credit markets while inflating a monstrous equity bubble that is wreaking havoc with the world's financial system. The new market architecture, structured finance has collapsed from the stress of falling asset-values and rising defaults. Many of the banks are technically insolvent already, hopelessly mired in their own red ink. Public confidence in the nations' financial institutions has never been lower. Monetary policy and deregulation have failed. The system is self-destructing. (...) But Feldstein is right; the Fed refused to perform its oversight duties because its friends in the banking industry were raking in obscene profits selling sketchy, subprime junk to gullible investors around the world. They knew about the massive off balance-sheet positions which allowed the banks' to create mortgage-backed securities and CDOs without sufficient capital reserves. They knew it all; every last bit of it, which simply proves that the Federal Reserve is an organization which serves the exclusive interests of the banking establishment and their corporate brethren in the financial industry. Surprised? The upcoming global recession/depression will give us plenty of time to mull over the ruinous effects of Fed policy and to devise a plan for abolishing the Federal Reserve once and for all. That is, if they don't destroy us first.
Does Ben Bernanke Have to Go? http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021808A.shtml
Truthout's Dean Baker writes: "It is becoming increasing clear that we are facing the worst financial meltdown since the Depression, and Mr. Bernanke was caught asleep at the wheel. We are just at the beginning of the housing crash recession. It will get much worse, as the economists who never saw it coming are now recognizing. There will be many more credit freeze-ups and debt write-downs that are an order of magnitude larger than what we have seen to date. There will be plenty of blame to go around in this story, but it is not too early to start holding people accountable. There was a colossal failure of economic policy, and its perpetrators should not be able to walk away unscathed."
America's economy risks the mother of all meltdowns http://tinyurl.com/2p424m
He first predicted a US recession in July 2006. At that time, his view was extremely controversial. It is so no longer. Now he states that there is "a rising probability of a 'catastrophic' financial and economic outcome"
Wall St. Banks Confront a String of Write-Downs http://tinyurl.com/ysez8m
Wall Street banks are bracing for another wave of multibillion-dollar losses as the crisis that began with subprime mortgages spreads through the credit markets.
Oil, gold prices strike historic highs http://tinyurl.com/2xzcm5
The price of oil touched an all-time peak of 101.32 dollars a barrel on Thursday, lifted by fears of supply disruptions according to traders.
More Guns, No Butter http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021508G.shtml
Editors for The Nation Magazine say: "Americans are worried about the impending recession and the Wall Street crisis, as well as the exhilarating and unpredictable presidential contest. But another threatening force is bearing down on the nation: our out-of-control military machine."
Permanent U.S. Army command taking shape in Kuwait http://snipurl.com/201g3
U.S. Army Central is establishing a permanent platform for "full spectrum operations" in 27 countries around southwest Asia and the Middle East, its commander says.
NYT Exposes McCain Affair With Lobbyist http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/us/politics/21mccain.html
"A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, in his offices and aboard a client's corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself - instructing staff members to block the woman's access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity."
US Soldiers Kill Unarmed Iraqis and Afghanis http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021508F.shtml
Robert Parry, of Consortium News, reports on the killing of Iraqi and Afghan civilians: "By forcing repeat combat assignments to Iraq and Afghanistan -- and by winking at torture and indiscriminate killings -- George W. Bush is degrading the reputation of the U.S. military, turning enlisted soldiers and intelligence officers into murderers and sadists."
Counting Iraqi Casualties - and a Media Controversy http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021808F.shtml
John Tirman of Editor & Publisher writes: "One puzzling aspect of the news media's coverage of the Iraq war is their squeamish treatment of Iraqi casualties. The scale of fatalities and wounded is a difficult number to calculate, but its importance should be obvious. Yet, apart from some rare and sporadic attention to mortality figures, the topic is virtually absent from the airwaves and news pages of America. This absence leaves the field to gross misunderstandings, ideological agendas, and political vendettas. The upshot is that the American public - and US policy makers, for that matter - are badly informed on a vital dimension of the war effort."
Global Push to Ban Cluster Bombs at Crossroads - Governments Called Upon to Keep Protection of Civilians at Forefront of Negotiations http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0218-03.htm
WELLINGTON - February 18 - At the opening of a five-day conference to develop a historic treaty banning cluster munitions, the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) called on governments to keep humanitarian concerns at the top of the agenda by rejecting efforts to weaken the treaty with exceptions, delays or loopholes. The Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions represents a crucial crossroads where states must either formally commit to negotiate the prohibition on cluster munitions or opt of out the process which is set to secure the most significant advances in disarmament since the 1997 treaty banning antipersonnel mines. (...) More than 500 representatives from over 100 governments as well as campaigners and survivors of cluster bombs from 38 countries are gathering in New Zealand today for the penultimate meeting of the Oslo Process. This global effort initiated by Norway is set to culminate with the adoption in Dublin in May 2008 of a treaty to ban cluster munitions, assist survivors and ensure clearance of their land. The Oslo Process has drawn the support of two-thirds of the worlds nations. CLIP
US Accused of Stalling Weapons Talks http://tinyurl.com/yrhkdd
Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams accused the United States on Wednesday of trying to stall negotiations on an international agreement to ban cluster bombs - without even attending talks on the treaty.
Pakistanis Deal Severe Defeat to Musharraf in Election http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021908L.shtml
Carlotta Gall and Jane Perlez, of The New York Times, report, "Pakistanis dealt a crushing defeat to President Pervez Musharraf in parliamentary elections on Monday, in what government and opposition politicians said was a firm rejection of his policies since 2001 and those of his close ally, the United States."
Kenyan Rivals Sign Peace Deal (Feb. 14, 2008) http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1713358,00.html
(NAIROBI, Kenya) - Political rivals trying to lead Kenya out of weeks of violence that left more than 1,000 people dead signed an agreement Thursday, a U.N. spokesman said. No details were released and the talks were to continue next week. (...) Top negotiators said Tuesday that the opposition was proposing sharing power with the government for two years, then holding new elections.Opposition leader Raila Odinga accuses President Mwai Kibaki of stealing the Dec. 27 vote, and domestic and international observers have said was deeply flawed. Odinga and Kibaki have been under pressure to share power as a solution.The political dispute sparked clashes that killed more than 1,000 people and forced 600,000 to flee their homes. Much of the violence has pitted other groups against Kibaki's Kikuyu people, long resented for their prominence in government and business.The violence has been shockingly brutal in a country once considered among the most stable in Africa, and the ethnic component to the bloodshed has polarized Kenyans as never before. The conflict has drawn international condemnation, with several countries threatening to cut aid, impose travel bans or freeze the assets of anyone suspected of inciting violence. CLIP
Officials: U.S. to try to shoot down errant satellite (Feb 14, 2008) http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/02/14/spy.satellite/index.html
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. military may try within days to shoot down a failed satellite using a missile launched from a Navy ship, officials announced Thursday. A Delta II rocket lifts off in December, carrying a reconnaissance satellite that failed hours later.Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon that the window to accomplish the mission could begin in three to four days, and remain open for seven to eight. While much space trash and debris have safely crashed to Earth after burning up in the atmosphere on re-entry, authorities said what makes this 5,000-pound satellite different is the approximately 1,000 pounds of frozen toxic hydrazine propellant it carries. Without any intervention, officials believe the satellite would come down on its own in early March. If it came down in one piece, nearly half the spacecraft would survive re-entry and the hydrazine -- heated to a gas -- could spread a toxic cloud roughly the size of two football fields, Cartwright said. Hydrazine is similar to chlorine or ammonia in that it affects the lungs and breathing tissue, the general said. (...) Experts said that with three-quarters of Earth covered in water, there's a 25 percent chance the satellite's remnants will hit land -- and a 1 percent chance they will hit a populated area. There will be three Navy ships involved in the operation. The USS Lake Erie, an Aegis cruiser, will fire the missile, while trajectory information comes from a second ship. The third ship will be used as a backup, U.S. Navy officials said. (...) In January 2007, China used a land-based missile to destroy a 2,200-pound satellite that was orbiting 528 miles above Earth. But the impact left more than 150,000 pieces of debris floating above Earth, NASA estimates. The space agency characterizes nearly 2,600 pieces as "large," meaning greater than 4 inches across, which pose a potential threat to satellites and spacecraft. China is responsible for 42 percent (!!!!!!!) of all satellite debris in orbit as of January 1, most of it from that Fengyun-C meteorological satellite. NASA has called it the worst satellite breakup in history.
China Accuses US of Double Standards Over Satellite Strike http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022108O.shtml
James Randerson and Mark Tran reports for The Guardian UK, "China today accused the US of double standards after the US navy fired a missile to destroy a failed satellite 150 miles above the Pacific. Beijing, which was criticised by the US and others when it shot down one of its own satellites last year, turned the tables on the Bush administration after this morning's space shot."
China 'on alert' over US space hit http://tinyurl.com/ysfk3o
A foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday: "China is continuing to closely follow the possible harm caused by the US action to outer space security."
UN Weighs a Ban on Weapons in Space, but US Still Objects http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021308P.shtml
Nick Cumming-Bruce reports for The New York Times, "The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, on Tuesday presented a Russian-Chinese draft treaty banning weapons in space to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, an idea that was quickly rejected by the United States."
Join the Army, Buy a House? (Feb 14, 2008) ... and spend the rest of your short life haunted by the horrors done and seen in the slaughterhouse of Iraq, while enduring excruciating pain because of the depleted uranium accumulated in your body, on top of whatever physical and psychological trauma reaped there, while contaminating your wife with radioactive semen and fathering horribly deformed kids. Yeah! Join the US Army and go to hell! http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1713414,00.html
(ALBANY, N.Y.) - How's this for a recruiting slogan? Join the Army, Buy a House. Faced with the challenge of expanding the U.S. Army in wartime, the military is testing an incentive program that pays enlistees up to $40,000 toward a home or a startup business after their commitment. CLIP
Trafficking in women a worldwide epidemic, Malarek says. Up to 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone http://www.venusproject.com/ethics_in_action/Israel_Sex_Slavery.html
MONTREAL - Calling human trafficking one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time, Canadian journalist and social activist Victor Malarek addressed the Jewish community at a Montreal synagogue last Thursday. Promoting a book he has written on the subject, Malarek said destitute Third World and Eastern European females as young as 12 are tricked into leaving their homelands with promises of wealth and prosperity in the West, as well as Israel. Instead, they are sold into the sex trade by organized crime, gangs, pimps and brothel owners."Newspaper ads from modelling and employment agencies promise exciting jobs, but the women are duped," Malarek told the Jewish Tribune. "They must submit, or they are raped, beaten and tortured. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone. It is a human rights issue the Jewish community knows about. They have a voice and they must use it."The United Nations has cited human trafficking as an international crime generating more than US $12 billion worldwide. More than 800,000 people are trafficked annually, forced into prostitution and threatened with death should they attempt to escape the clutches of their captors. Canada is both a means of access to the United States, as well as a final destination for approximately 2,000 women each year."Governments should be held accountable," said Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who also addressed the crowd. "It is a very serious problem in Israel, and Canada has been inadequate in the protection of victims of trafficking. It is a global slave trade." CLIP
Attacks on the Homeless Rise, With Youths Mostly to Blame http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021508H.shtml
Amy Green, reporting for The New York Times, says, "Nationwide, violence against the homeless is soaring, and overwhelmingly the attackers are teenagers and young adults."
Most Destructive Project on Earth http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/021908EA.shtml
According to Mike De Souza of Canwest News Service, "Federal and provincial health officials in Alberta are trying to cover up 'the most destructive project on Earth,' aboriginal leaders said yesterday during the release of a report on the oilsands sector."
Climate Change Will Spur Seven Trillion Dollars In New Investment By 2030 (02/06/2008) http://tinyurl.com/2g9mll
The result of this rising public and private momentum is an increase in worldwide clean energy investment that could surpass US$7 trillion by 2030 in cumulative real 2007 dollars, according to the CERA report Crossing the Divide: The Future of Clean Energy."We are seeing a major shift in public opinion, reinforced by the expectation that carbon policies could fundamentally change the competitive landscape of the global energy business," said Daniel Yergin, CERA Chairman and IHS Executive Vice President. "This is providing a vital impetus that is moving clean technology across the great divide of cost, proven results, scale and maturity that has separated it from markets served by mainstream technologies and processes. "Key Insights" The rapidly advancing new paradigms of climate change, energy security, and policy implementation and cooperation among the United States, the European Union, China and others will produce a broad range of opportunities, risks and pitfalls as the modern energy industry increasingly moves to adopt clean technologies that will be part of the alternative, low-carbon pathway to the energy future," said Robert LaCount, head of CERA's Climate Change and Clean Energy Group."All participants in the global energy business, from traditional incumbents such as electrical power companies and major oil and gas companies to new entrants such as venture capital firms," he added, "will play a role in shaping this alternative energy future. CERA's Crossing the Divide analysis offers a number of key insights about potentially significant clean energy opportunities for almost every energy sector participant:- There is already a "bubbling" of clean energy clusters - Some places are becoming concentrations of political, technical, institutional and financial clean energy specialization and experience. Examples include Brazil in biofuels, Germany in photovoltaic (PV) technology, Spain in wind technologies.- Renewable power technologies are poised for substantial growth - Wind will make the largest gains, followed by solar power and biomass - despite near-term bottlenecks in wind turbine manufacturing, supply shortages in silicon, and competitive pressures from escalating component costs.- Government policy remains a key driver for clean energy advancement - Putting a price on CO2 emissions, setting mandates, and providing subsidies all work to kick-start clean energy technologies by overcoming the economic advantage of conventional technologies. CLIP
Sumatran tigers being sold into extinction, report reveals (February 13 2008) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/feb/13/conservation.wildlife
Laws to protect the Sumatran tiger are failing to prevent body parts of the critically endangered animal from being sold openly in Indonesia, according to a report released today.Body parts including canine teeth, claws, skin pieces, whiskers and bones were found on sale in one in 10 of the 326 retail outlets in 28 cities and towns across Sumatra that were surveyed during 2006 by the wildlife trade monitoring body, Traffic.Its report, The Tiger Trade Revisited in Sumatra, found tiger parts being sold in goldsmiths, souvenir and traditional Chinese medicine shops, and shops selling antique and precious stones. Trade was concentrated in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, and Pancur Batu, a smaller town nearby, the report found.Based on the number of teeth on sale, the survey estimates that 23 tigers were killed to supply the products found.Traffic says this figure is down from its last survey in 1999-2000, which estimated that there were 52 tigers killed per year for the trade in body parts."Sadly, the decline in availability appears to be due to the dwindling number of tigers left in the wild," said Julia Ng, programme officer with Traffic south-east Asia and lead author of the report. "The Sumatran tiger population is estimated to be fewer than 400 to 500 individuals. It doesn't take a mathematician to work out that the Sumatran tiger will disappear like the Javan and Bali tigers if the poaching and trade continues." CLIP
Fishing Pressure Pushing Sharks Toward Extinction http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/021908EB.shtml
Environmental News Service says that "Once-plentiful sharks are vanishing from the world's oceans, and some species are even at risk of extinction, a shark expert told fellow scientists at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science."
The spineless menace: Jellyfish overwhelm the sea (16 February 2008) http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/the-spineless-menace-jellyfish-overwhelm-the-sea-783036.html
For years, Mediterranean beaches have been plagued by jellyfish. Now scientists are reporting that the problem is far worse than they had feared - and that a new generation of the poisonous creatures is poised to overwhelm the sea (...) Last year, jellyfish were frequently found in concentrations as high as 100 per cubic metre.Millions of jellyfish washed up on Spanish beaches last year, and tens of thousands of holidaymakers were treated for painful allergic reactions to their stings.Overfishing is the main cause, the scientist insists. And the only solution is to change the fishing practices of countries that have stripped the world's seas of big fish such as swordfish and red tuna which feast upon jellyfish. The other traditional predator of jellyfish - the leatherback turtle, Caretta caretta - has been driven to the point of extinction. The beaches where it lays its eggs have been lost to tourism. It's not just a Mediterranean problem. Increases in the populations of jellyfish have been "spectacular" from Japan to Africa, from Alaska to Australia, Professor Gili says. "Every time we are swamped with jellyfish, the sea is sending us the message that it is sick and we are mistreating it. We face a huge problem of ecological imbalance."Overfishing on a global scale has left jellyfish without the big fish and crustaceans that are their natural predators, and without small fish, such as sardines and whitebait, that compete with them for minute marine creatures and plankton. "Jellyfish are left with all the food they want, so they can reproduce without limit," says Professor Gili. To make matters worse, jellyfish gorge voraciously on fish eggs and larvae. The common Aurelia species, for example, whose variant Aurelia Aurita or "moon jellyfish" is common in the Mediterranean, can hoover up to 10 young herrings an hour. Jellyfish, as a result, are taking the place of fish in the global ecosystem. (...) For all their undulant mobility, jellyfish have little control of their movements. They are not actually fish, but a kind of giant plankton that cannot swim, driven this way and that by winds and currents. In an extreme demonstration of imminent ecological breakdown, they come ashore to die. "Jellyfish are a natural part of the marine environment, but the scale of what's happening now is a warning that something's going very wrong," says Dr David Santilo, a marine biologist for the Greenpeace research laboratories at Exeter University. CLIP
Panic in the beehive (12 February 2008) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7240456.stm
If the UK lost its honey bees the countryside would face devastation, and that is exactly what beekeepers fear could happen.Imagine a country lane. Hawthorn hedgerow on either side, clouds scudding overhead, apple blossom drifting gently by, the only noise the gentle hum of honey bees and the chirping of birds. What could be a more idyllic vision of British country life? Then fast-forward 10 years.The hedgerow is deteriorating, the birds are silent, the orchard is disappearing and the countryside is changed. Why? The hives are empty. Their once-buzzing occupants mysteriously vanished. Environment and rural affairs minister Lord Rooker envisaged just such a scenario recently when he warned: "Bee health is at risk and, frankly, if nothing is done about it, the fact is the honey bee population could be wiped out in 10 years." BEE PROBLEMS: Varroa destructor mite - Tracheal mites - Small hive beetle - Israel acute paralysis virus - European foul brood - Kashmir bee virus - Deformed wing virus - DysenteryPesticide
Are You Sleeping in a Dangerous, Electrically Polluted Bedroom? http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/2/21/are-you-sleeping-in-a-dangerous-electrically-polluted-bedroom.aspx
(...) In the typical sleeping area, electrical exposure from external sources (live electrical wiring in ceilings, walls and floors) is thousands of times stronger than your bodys own electrical system. Long-term exposure to these high-level electric fields can impair your bodys ability to communicate within itself, and impact health. The average person spends approximately one-third of their life sleeping. Doesnt it make sense to reduce exposure to electric fields in our sleeping areas? Some people develop symptoms when they experience long-term exposure, especially at night, to elevated levels of electricity, such as: Headaches - Hyperactivity - Nightmares - Depression and fatigue - Eyestrain - Muscle cramps - Biological problems associated with electromagnetic stressors fall into two major categories: 1. Brain (behavioral abnormalities, learning disabilities, altered bio-cycles and stress responses)2. Growing tissue (embryos, genetics and cancer) CLIP
Date: 14 Feb 2008
From: Joe (email@example.com)
Subject: Request for unsub with explanation
Jean, please unsubscribe me from this mailing. I find that many of the items in it stretch my credulity to the breaking point, specifically the global warming items and some of the channelings. How many outworld beings is Mike Quinsey channeling, anyway?
More and more scientists are stating that we are facing global cooling, not warming, and the winter in the northern hemisphere has been the worst in 50 years, everywhere, even in Hawai'i and China.
All this talk of TerraPass, carbon credits, ordinary people being told to reduce carbon emissions while the elites continue to do whatever they want, or going vegetarian/vegan to save the Earth while consuming GMO soybeans that are grown in former rainforest areas, etc etc etc... These are just ways for the gullible to be parted from their money by the corporate interests and hucksters.
I appreciate all you've done over the years, but it's time for me to go.
AND MY REPLY WAS:
No problem. I'll take care of this shortly. As to the uncertainty about global warming versus global cooling, it all depends on which stats you look at and which perspective you want to choose.
IMHO the cooler winter we are having has probably more to do with the ever-changing El Nina phenomenon than with a global cooling trend. Warming has been the clear trend for the past decades. Or it may be caused by the slowing of the Gulf Stream heat-conveyor belt that is slowing down (thus carrying less heat from the tropics to Northern Europe) due to the vast quantities of fresh (non salted) water from the melting glaciers in Greenland flowing into the Atlantic and preventing the cooled salt water of the Gulf Stream to sink down (because the fresh water mixed with it makes it less heavy) to perpetuate the planet's girding current cycle.
Or it may be because the sun is currently cooler because it is now near the lowest point of its 11 year cycle. Or it may be because man's activities generate so much soot in the atmosphere that is blocks the infrared rays of the sun much like the eruption of Mount Pinatubo did years ago, cooling the whole planet for 3 years because of all the ashes it projected in the higher levels of the atmosphere.
Or most probably it is due to a combination of all these factors.
Or there may be even some other yet undetected or poorly understood phenomenon. One thing sure, predicting and understanding the behavior of utterly complex atmospheric cycles is a very complex science that hardly lends itself to oversimplification which, admittedly, many politicians are using as a means to put their message across in the short sound-bites most media retain from their speeches.
Yet, I tend to choose the perspective that we ought to apply the precautionary principle here and avoid doing ever more damage to our fragile and sole life support system. Doing otherwise is utterly foolish.
As for your incredulity regarding the many sources Mike Quincy channels, I'll readily admit that when approached from a purely analytical and even skeptical viewpoint, it may all sound farfetched and I respect your view on this. Yet what matters to me is not from who these messages allegedly come from - frankly they all look the same because the human instrument transcribing them obviously use the same style for all of them - but the feeling tones and soul-tingling reactions they stir in me. The key with such encouraging, positive messages is to not adopt a waiting stance in the false belief that we simply have to wait for our Elder Brothers on the spiritual path to come clean our mess for us, but instead take these as a pat on the back supporting cue that we are on the right track with the changes we are undertaking through assuming full responsibility for what we all participated in co-creating. The learning experiences we therefore derive from taking the planetary mess bull by the horns are to be invaluable assets from which we will be able to co-create a far-reaching, millennia spanning cosmic civilization that will bring a most unique contribution to the multifaceted universal Self-exploring experiences of Source Creator, the ability to manifest zillion watts of Love-Energy despite insurmountable odds being one of the Greatest Prizes of all.
I know that such talk may not make much sense to you at this point in time, but it may ring true for others who will read this - because with your permission I'd like to share your letter and this reply with everyone in my next compilation, as I'm sure the motives you evoke for stepping out of the inflow of ERN news and views are on the minds of other subscribers as well who may benefit from reading the thoughts your concerns have elicited from what replied to you through me.
A PLEA FOR SPIRITUAL ASSISTANCE FOR A DEMOCRATIC AND PEACEFUL CHANGE IN ZIMBABWE. THERE WILL BE A SPECIAL VIGIL FOR PEACE ON THIS IN THE NEXT MEDITATION FOCUS, ALONG WITH RELEVANT COMPLEMENTARY INFO, BUT YOU MAY WANT TO ALREADY INCLUDE THIS CONCERN IN YOUR MEDITATIONS.
From: Usha Patel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Zimbabwe Elections - 29 March 2008
Date: 20 Feb 2008
Zimbabwe goes to elections on 29 March 2008. eight years ago you sent out a plea for us for "peaceful" elections. This did happen. Now we want a change. We want a democratically elected government that is accountable to the people. There are 3 contenders at the moment, the current President Mugabe, and independent candidate Dr Simba Makoni (who has always been a member of the ruling party), and Movement For Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirayi.
Our country is in turmoil at the moment, basic necessities, such as food and shelter are luxuries for many Zimbabweans. Inflation is now running at 66,720% per month. A loaf of bread costs $6 million Zimbabwean. The official rate of exchange to the US$ is Zim$30,000.00 to US$1.00. Medical costs are phenomenal. A consultation at a Trauma Centre that took all of 10 minutes cost Zim$120 million. Prices for all commodities, be it food or doctors fees or luxury items increase on a daily basis. Ambulance services refuse to attend to patients if they are not given cash up front. Whilst the rich get extremely rich, the poor get very very poor.
I think that the worst month was December 2007, when there was no cash available in the banks, people queued for days, to get $5 million which could not but a lot. Queues formed outside banks as early as 03:00 hours. There was no guarantee that cash would be made available on that day. But Zimbabweans persisted in queuing.Then the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe decided that he wanted to change the currency and threaten citizens to return all $200,000.00 (bearer cheques - as we do not use cash, this is our money. A nephew of mine (12 years old) who lives in neighbouring Zambia, was very concerned as he wanted to know what would happen when the money expired! There is no telling what will happen.) This fiasco lasted until 29 December, then we were told that the currency was not going to be withdrawn. I think that the powers that be forgot to tell Zimbabweans that Christmas and New Year would be delayed due to lack of finances. We were told by the Governor of the Reserve Bank that we should use cheques or charge cards. Suppliers in Zimbabwe do not accept cheques, nor are we a country that is automated to a charge card paying facility.
In February this situation has somewhat eased, but we do not know for how long.
Please circulate as part of your meditation focus. Zimbabwe needs a change in government that will be held accountable to the people of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe needs a change in government that will be held accountable to the people of Zimbabwe.
From: Kathy Roberts (email@example.com)
Subject: Europe for 9/11 Truth Evening at the European Parliament Feb. 26th
Date: 15 Feb 2008
MUST READ !! SHARE WIDELY !! IMPORTANT EARTHSHAKING GLOBAL EVENTS CREATE A CACOPHONY OF SCREAMING TRUTHS, COMPILED IN THIS IMPORTANT OPED -- SHARE WIDELY. PLUS A PLAN TO STOP U.S. CORPORATE MEDIA CENSORSHIP!
Europe for 9/11 Truth Evening at the European Parliament !
And now the European Parliament is holding a 9/11 truth presentation . . . but US corporate media continues to sit on all of this. How long can their dam hold? What can we do about this censorship around 9/11 ?
The Film "Zero inquires over September 11" 911 in the European Parliament of Brussels Evening organized by Italian Euro député Giulietto Chiesa. Europe for an Independent Board of inquiry over September 11, 2001 Follow-up of a debate with Andreas von Bulow, Giulietto Chiesa, David Ray Griffin, Yukihisa Fujita.
A few weeks after the Japanese Parliament, it is with the turn of Europe to begin the debate on what it really occurred on September 11, 2001. Whereas the journalists and political French continue to relay the version of the islamist plot defended by the Bush administration, Italian Euro deputy, Giulietto Chiesa organizes one evening historical in the European Parliament of Brussels on next 26 February by proposing the projection of its film ZERO - Inchiesta sull' 11 settembre.
This documentary is the fruit of eight month a collective work of investigations, reports and interviews in Europe and in the United States. It proposes all the inconsistencies, handling, omissions and lies of the official version.
This evening will be followed of a debate with, inter alia, Giulietto Chiesa (journalist and Italian politician, Member of the Commission of investigation of the European Parliament on the secret prisons of the CIA), Andreas von Bulow (former German Minister and specialist in the secret service), Pr. David Ray Griffin (author of four books of reference over September 11 and specialist in the processes of study) and Yukihisa Fujita (appointed Japanese).
We've seen a former Italian Prime Minister accuse the Bush Administration of complicity in the 9/11 attacks.
We've seen the Senior Project Design Engineer for the entire World Trade Centers come out to demand a new 9/11 investigation, because the plane strikes and building fires could not have caused the global collapse of 3 buildings, one not even hit by a plane on 9/11. http://www.911blogger.com/node/13840
We've seen Willie Nelson come out as everyman's man, to say that he believes the government is insulting our intelligence with its cock and bull official 9/11 story.
We've seen a video revolution on youtube where neocon thugs like David Frum have been confronted on their deception of the American people and world to launch two illegal wars.
We've seen cointelpro hack and so-called "Skeptics Magazine" editor, Shermer, who is absolutely not skeptical at all when it comes to believing everything one of the most dishonest administrations in American history has fed him, challenged by people demanding 9/11 truth.
And now the European Parliament is holding a 9/11 truth presentation . . . but US corporate media continues to sit on all of this.
How long can their dam hold?
What can we do about this censorship around 9/11 ?
"The Shell Game" by best selling author Steve Alten hit #31 on the New York Times Best Seller list two weeks ago. This explosive novel is about false flag terror perpetrated by our government to fool Americans into illegal oil wars. Sound familiar?
This author is urging listeners when he appears on media to realize that the 9/11 truth movement activists are heroes they should all be supporting.
By doing so, we guarantee it will appear in supermarkets, Target stores, gas stations, etc. etc. exposing possibly millions of Americans to information including REAL 9/11 truth research within the book, as well as most major 9/11 truth websites at http://www.TheShellGame.net
Spread this POWERFUL 911 truth trailer throughout the internet, and help do your part to spread 9/11 truth to a mass mainstream public, as this author appears on media and demands a new 9/11 investigation.
This initiative falls under the movement of resistance, now international, initiated by the families of the victims and which calls with the installation of an international and independent board of inquiry over September 11, 2001. ReOpen911 of course is associated this true event, and will make any possible sound to retransmit you the videos this extraordinary meeting.
Everyone contact the below and email them the above entire 2 page OpEd:
Kucinich to Investigate 9/11 Insider Trading (February 20, 2008) http://www.jonesreport.com/article/02_08/200208_kucinich_trading.html
Congressman Dennis Kucinich revealed that he is initiating an investigation the insider trading that took place leading up to 9/11, particularly in regards to put options placed on American Airlines and United Airlines stock. Kucinich said that he had personal questions about the implications insider trading had. "I've indicated a long-standing interest in gathering information and trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened with respect to all the stock activity that took place preceding 9/11." Kucinich said. Kucinich said it was the bizarre record-level put options that caught his attention initially. The odd trades heavily indicate prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks and have raised a number of questions that Kucinich hopes to probe. "First of all, I'm not afraid to ask questions about 9/11," Kucinich told the Alex Jones Show. "From my own personal standpoint, I've had long-standing questions about why this volume, why those airlines, why that time, who made the buys, why did they buy them, who told them to make the buys, who was involved? There are questions there that need to be answered as part of an effort to get to the truth," Kucinich said. He made clear he was not yet pointing the finger. "I don't know what happened. I'm not alleging anything here. But I sure want to find out how it happened." CLIP
The grandson of Lucky Luciano, Gambino, 63, just released from prison also sets the record straight about the JFK and Hoffa assassinations.
Tony Gambino of the infamous Gambino New York crime family said besides Mob Bosses, the outfits that Benefit Most from Organized Crime are the Corrupt Vatican and U.S. Govt.
The grandson of Lucky Luciano, Gambino made a guest appearance Tuesday on Greg Szymanski's radio show, The Investigative Journal on Liberty Radio at www.libertyradiolive.com The entire interview can be heard at www.arcticbeacon.com as well as Liberty Radio.
The high-level former mobster talked openly for an hour, indicting top Vatican and U.S. government officials with complicity in high crimes, treason and assassinations as they worked together "like a tight-knit happy family" with the Gambino and other Mafia families.
With America's fascination of the Mafia, Gambino's statements should shake the halls of St. Peter's Basilica, as well as Capitol Hill, since he talked about his first hand knowledge of George Bush, the Pope and other high level Jesuit's complicity and knowledge of 9/11.
"When you grow up in "The Family" like I did, you learn right off the bat that protection comes from everywhere, including the CIA, FBI and blessings from the Vatican who are at the top of the ladder when it comes to benefiting from Mafia street crime," said Gambino, who became a "Made Man" at the age of 5, a Mafia term used for their top street captains.
"The Vatican officials, federal judges, top politicians all used to get regular pay-offs from the Gambino Family and, in fact, the Vatican and U.S. government make more money off the illegal drug trade then we did.
"That is why I am talking after just getting out of jail after 20 years. I am talking because people need to know the U.S. govT. and the Vatican are more dangerous and corrupt then the Mafia ever was.
"For example, I know for a fact the Cardinal in Palermo runs the Sicilian mob and former Cardinal Spellman of New York was considered the Vatican's American Godfather since he pulled the strings and had his hands deep into organized crime.
"I know for a fact Bush, the Pope and other top Vatican and U.S. government leaders had prior knowledge and help organize 9/11. They did it for many obvious reasons, one being instigating the war in Iraq.
But they also did it to get their hands on all the gold that was hidden below in the Twin Towers.
"My grandfather's construction company built the Twin Towers and after it was completed, I know they went in and put in Big Underground Vaults to house an Enormous Amount of Gold which is now in Bush's and Vatican hands in order to fund the war."
Besides implicating the Vatican and Bush in 9/11, Gambino set the record straight about the JFK assassination, saying he was in Dallas when Kennedy was shot and the fatal bullet came from a shooter located in an underground storm drain.
"I was there when he was shot and I know for a fact Rosselli was in the storm drain doing the shooting and Frank Sturgiss was also part of the hit team," said Gambino. "The same group of guys we have talked about in the Vatican and U.S. govt. gave the orders and asked the Mafia families for help in taking down Kennedy."
Growing up on the streets of New York in one of the top crime families, Gambino recalls getting his first lesson of Mafia life at the age of 13.
"My grandfather was Lucky Luciano so I had it made," said Gambino, now 63 and living on the East Coast with a probation stipulation that he can't associate or talk with any organized crime figures.
Lucky had all the politicians and even the Vatican heads in his pocket. He was making $55 to $100 million a week and when Vegas opened the money really started to roll in.
"He got Frank Sinatra and many others like Marylin Monroe, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Clint Eastwood, Sammy Davis started in Hollywood. He then would take a percentage of their earnings and this went on for their entire careers.
"Remember, the horse's head being cut-off in Godfather I and then put in the Hollywood producer's bed? That really happened and it had to do with forcing a Hollywood producer to star Sinatra in one of his movies."
Gambino also had inside information about how union boss Jimmy Hoffa was really killed, saying his time ran out when a huge Mafia debt wasn't repaid.
"Hoffa was working behind the scenes with crack head and truck hi-jacker, John Gotti," recalls Gambino. "That's all Gotti was good at and when they brought in a $5 million drug truckload, Hoffa got deeper in debt to the other Mafia bosses.
"He never gave his courtesy calls to the bosses for repayment and finally his time ran out so he was killed. They picked him up, put him in a body bag alive and then dumped his body in one of the concrete abutments at the George Washington Bridge while the concrete was being poured. All they did was pay the concrete man $150,000 and the whole thing has been covered up.
But that is where Hoffa's body is today and I know that for a fact."
Although Gambino knows he's crossing a sensitive line for going public about the inner-workings of the Mafia and its complicity with the Vatican and U.S. government, he added that it's important for Americans to finally understand how things "really work on the streets" and how Church, State and big business are working together to destroy America.
And if there remains any doubters that the Vatican and Jesuit Order have had its dirty hands in organized crime in order to destroy the moral and financial fabric of the U.S., Gambino's confessions should lay that to rest.
"If you don't believe the hard facts and the hundreds of researchers who have implicated the Vatican to the demise of America, then believe Gambino because he learned it first hand from being on the streets and working with the top crime bosses.
He has nothing to gain from lying since he has already served his time and wants to set the record straight once and for all regarding who are the real controllers of the New World Order," said one patriot close studying and alerting America of Vatican and Jesuit intrigue.
Check amongst others link in the left-hand column...
BushLaden Network http://vaticanassassins.org/bushladen.htm
The multi-billion dollar Carlyle Group, headquartered in Washington, D.C. - which capital city has been in the hand of the Jesuit Order's Georgetown University since the day Lincoln was assassinated at the direction of the Jesuit B. F. Wiget (Mary Surratt's confessor) - is a Vatican-controlled international corporation. Its Chariman is a Knight of Malta and a former Deputy Director of the Black Pope's Central Intelligence Agency, Frank C. Carlucci. Another brother Knight of Malta working for the Group is none other than America's former Gulf War President, a former Director of the CIA and accomplice in the Kennedy Assassination, George H. W. Bush - the former business partner of both Islamic Freemasons, CIA operatives Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Carlyle, controlling America's Military Industrial Establishment known as "the Iron Triangle," is nothing more than thee cartel-capitalist corporate-fascist profiteer and one of the Papacy's mightiest bulworks and invisible driving forces behind President George W. Bush's neo-Nazi, fascist dictatorship. The Gestapo of the American Reich is the Office of Homeland ("Romeland") Security, which has now absorbed the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Secret Service, the Coast Guard and a host of other federal agencies. The OHS is presently commanded by a "Jesuit of the short robe," the Roman Catholic Knight of Columbus, Tom Ridge, who in turn is being "advised" by a former Director of the Soviet KGB. CLIP
From: Larry Stell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Economic & Political Information
Date: 19 Feb 2008
From: Michael Wells Mandeville mailto:mwman%40earthlink.net"> (email@example.com)
GEO-ECONOMIC FLUX - - No new update in this department. As previously advised, ABOVE ALL REMEMBER ROOSEVELT'S ADVICE: THE MAIN THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF. Once again THE PLUNGE PROTECTION TEAM of the Central Bankers will be working over time this week. You no doubt have noticed that they are weakening. Their inability to pick the market up this Monday is a significant marker that the bundling and turnover problem is so large that logistics are drifting out of their orbit. As previously advised, don't expect 12,200 on the DJI to hold well. THE PANIC is ever greater and in full force and a substantial sag yet will be seen during the following days and weeks in the U.S. The rest you already know the essence. It will be a miracle if they can hold the line at 10,000, some extreme Bears are predicting something in the range of 6000. Cayce gave the formula for predicting what is happening some 70 years ago and once again is RIGHT ON THE MONEY. Start focusing on the real opportunities which are coming. SOLARIZE AMERICA is the industrial redevelopment scheme for the next 30 years and it will drive a great wave of prosperity once the War On Terror Scam and the dying hands of the Globalist Cabal are removed from the backs of the North American peoples. For additional details go to Geo-Political - Economics. (nothing new there this week, too busy with other issues).
GEOPOLITICAL FLUX - - The game continues but by now is horribly threadbare. McCain-Huckebee versus Obama- Clinton. Or is it Clinton-Obama? Probably Obama with Clinton disappearing back into the Senate. Bill keeps "stepping in it", demonstrating why ex-presidents SHOULD NOT be involved in election campaigns, and Hillary is too insecure to ignore Obama. Her every effort to turn Obama traits into negatives have simply provided Obama with room for more high ground from which he has easily made Hillary's comments appear silly. Doubtless we can see that Obama is turning into a masterful politician on the American stage. More probable than not, Obama will sweep the remaining primaries. His mantra "change" is not vague at all for the huge numbers of new voters who are thronging to his events, it is "code" for dump the establishment, beginning first with the Clinton Globalists, then the Republicans. Naturally, the Clintons and the Republicans don't get it.
THERE IS STILL A RISK OF FALSE-FLAG TERRORIST OPERATIONS INSTIGATED BY RIGHT-WING THUG ELEMENTS IN THE CIA, MOSSAD, MK5, AND ALLIED MOBS WORKING AS AGENTS FOR AN INTERNATIONAL CABAL composed of Anglo-American-Jewish elements through to Spring, possibly October 2008. http://www.michaelmandeville.com
British Prewar Intelligence "Sexed Up" http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/021908N.shtml
Nigel Morris reports for The Independent UK: "Fresh evidence that the Iraq weapons dossier was 'sexed up' emerged as the Government finally published the secret first draft of the document. As expected, the earliest version of the document did not include the now notorious claim that Saddam Hussein could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of an order to do so."
T.S. Eliot may have thought that April was the cruelest month, but as far as Hillary Clinton is concerned, it's got nothing on February. As Barack Obama was racking up his sixth, seventh and eighth consecutive wins in the week that had passed since Super Tuesday - trouncing her in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and moving into the lead in the delegate count - Clinton was doing her best to turn the page of the calendar in search of an early sign of spring. She spent primary day in her campaign headquarters in downtown Arlington, Va., doing interviews by satellite with radio and television stations in Ohio and Texas, states that don't vote until March 4. By the time the ballots were being counted in the Potomac primaries, Clinton had landed in El Paso, Texas, where she declared, "We're going to sweep across Texas in the next three weeks."
This is not the race that Clinton thought she would be running. Her campaign was built on inevitability, a haughty operation so confident it would have the nomination wrapped up by now that it didn't even put a field organization in place for the states that were to come after the megaprimary on Feb. 5.
Clinton's positions, most notably her support for the Iraq invasion and her refusal to recant that vote, were geared more to battling a Republican in the general election than to winning over an angry Democratic base clamoring for change. Not until last fall did she seem to acknowledge that she faced opposition in the Democratic primaries, so focused was her message on George W. Bush and the GOP.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the victory podium at the Democratic National Convention. While Clinton was busy running as a pseudo incumbent, Obama donned the mantle of change and built a fund-raising and ground operation that has proved superior to hers by almost every measure. As a veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns who is not affiliated with any candidate this time around puts it, the Clinton forces "get to every state later. They spend less. They don't get the best people."
And now Obama is making inroads with every Democratic constituency, including the ones that Clinton counted as hers. In deeply Democratic Maryland, for instance, Obama won rural voters, union households, white men, independents, African Americans and young people, and held his own among Hispanics - the makings of a broad and tough-to-overcome coalition. Obama's campaign now claims a 136-vote lead among pledged delegates, those elected through primaries and caucuses. "We believe that it's next to impossible for Senator Clinton to close the delegate count," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters the morning after the Potomac primaries.
Much of the blame, from both within and outside the campaign, has been aimed at Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn. "He never adjusted," says a prominent Democrat. "I don't think he knows how to do primaries. He doesn't know how to do what is essentially a family fight." But that explanation misses a larger possibility: that Bill and Hillary Clinton, who came of age in politics a generation ago, no longer have the touch for the electorate they once did.
Now, having blown through more than $120 million, Clinton's campaign is struggling to build a campaign from scratch in Ohio and Texas, with political observers in near agreement that a failure to win both could be fatal.
One of the continuing challenges for the Clinton campaign in the lead-up to the March 4 primaries could be money. Political veterans say Clinton will need a minimum of $3 million to $5 million to compete in Ohio, and even more in Texas. Both states are large: Ohio has seven major media markets; Texas nearly three times as many.
Clinton's fund-raising has picked up considerably since the day after Super Tuesday, when the campaign revealed she had been forced to loan herself $5 million to make it through January. "People know she really needs the money," says national finance co-chairman Alan Patricof. But her fund-raising is still no match for Obama's Internet-fueled money machine, which has been bringing in about $1 million a day. On the invitation to a luncheon meeting on Feb. 13 in New York City, top Clinton fund raisers were "encouraged to bring at least one prospective Finance Committee member" and "asked to commit to raising a minimum of $25,000 for Hillary Clinton for President."
And the campaign's most effective fund raiser of all will be picking up the pace. Bill Clinton has scheduled more than a dozen fund raisers before Texas and Ohio. That included one on the night of the luncheon, at the Clintons' residence in Washington. The alert went out to money men: "We have a handful of slots available tomorrow evening for cocktails with President Bill Clinton at Whitehaven, the Clintons' home. Do you know of one person who would be interested in attending and contributing $1,000?" That, in politics, is what passes for hand-to-hand combat. The battle has been joined; the question for the Clintons, however, is whether it is already too late.
Clinton's campaign in disarray as staff squabble over 'attack adverts' ( 16 February 2008) http://tinyurl.com/yqrstc
Hillary Clinton is filling the airwaves with negative ads attacking Barack Obama as the race for the Democratic nomination enters a decisive three-week period. But her strategy of going on the offensive against a likeable candidate is causing disarray inside her campaign team. Spats between her senior staff have leaked to the press and are causing embarrassment for Mrs Clinton as she struggles to find a message that resonates with voters and blocks Mr Obama's progress in the crucial states of Ohio and Texas. Mrs Clinton badly needs to come up with a successful advertising strategy if she is to win the 4 March primaries. This week she launched her first negative ad in Wisconsin - which votes on Tuesday - saying that Mr Obama was refusing to debate with her. But as fast as it went on air, the Obama campaign fought back saying there had already been 18 debates. Mrs Clinton seems to be staking everything on a strategy of launching expensive attack ads in Texas and Ohio, where she still leads in the polls.In the past month, the Obama campaign has spent $36m (£18.5m) on uplifting ads while Mrs Clinton, who is short of money, spent less than $30m without appearing to break through to the public. Much of the blame is being heaped on her chief strategist, Mark Penn, who caused further embarrassment yesterday when it was revealed that the PR company he heads received hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from a nuclear power company that Mrs Clinton accused Mr Obama of being too close to. (...) The seeds of the implosion in Mrs Clinton's campaign were sown months ago. From the outset she surrounded herself with a tight group. These were friends and former aides whose loyalty was tested in her days as First Lady.Running far ahead in the polls, Mrs Clinton's campaign was top-down and media driven. She believed it would all be wrapped up by 5 February, Super Tuesday, and didn't bother building an organisation in those states voting later in the primary calendar. The organisation burned through more than $100m in cash. Most of the money was spent on private polling, advertising and transfers of large amounts of cash to local Democratic Party hacks in the belief that they would get out the Hillary vote.
The Price of Overconfidence (Feb 7) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1711104,00.html
(...) Some liberals criticize Hillary Clinton because, having spent the bulk of her career in the conservative era, she is too cautious. She lives in terror of a latent conservatism that no longer exists in the land. The country has moved left, they say, and Barack Obama is the candidate of audacious liberal hope.
The Meaning of Obama's Momentum (Feb. 12, 2008) http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1712803,00.html
(...) After Tuesday night's results, many observers will be tempted to declare that his current momentum is different, and that Obama is now truly unstoppable. In Virginia, Obama won around 64% of the vote, doing especially well not just with his expected bases of independents, young voters and African-Americans, but also besting Clinton at the segments touted as her strengths - older and blue-collar voters, and even women. His performance in Maryland, where he took around 60% of the vote, was equally impressive and broad-based.Both Clinton and Obama have run textbook versions of victorious campaigns - one deftly executing the Establishment Juggernaut strategy, the other ably pulling off the Insurgent Newcomer strategy. Some years, the nominee is the one who fails the least, but not this year. Hillary Clinton has piled up more votes and more money than any previous Democrat in a contested primary. And Obama has still more of both.Momentum is most powerful, according to political scientists, when the field is fairly evenly matched. Imagine a group of a half-dozen or so candidates, each with a mix of strengths and weaknesses - the 2004 Democratic field, for example. Most of the country knows relatively little about any of them until the first contests. If one candidate appears to be surging in Iowa and New Hampshire, that success becomes a settled and powerful reality in the minds of voters in later states. Success breeds more success. That's how John Kerry did it. CLIP
Texas's Complicated Rules May Favor Obama http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022108J.shtml
Nedra Pickler and Beth Fouhy report for The Associated Press: "Unlike other states that allocate delegates by congressional districts, Texas distributes 126 of its delegates among its 31 state Senate districts using a formula based on Democratic voter turnout in the 2004 and 2006 general elections. The 31 districts contain from two to eight delegates. The March 4 primary vote in each Senate district will allocate that district's delegates."
Clintons to face fraud trial - Judge setting date, testimony to include ex-president, senator (Feb 19, 2008) http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=56868
While Hillary Clinton battles Barack Obama on the campaign trail, a judge in Los Angeles is quietly preparing to set a trial date in a $17 million fraud suit that aims to expose an alleged culture of widespread corruption by the Clintons and the Democratic Party.At the conclusion of a hearing tomorrow morning before California Superior Court Judge Aurelio N. Munoz, lawyers for Hollywood mogul Peter F. Paul will begin seeking sworn testimony from all three Clintons Bill, Hillary and Chelsea along with top Democratic Party leaders and A-list celebrities, including Barbra Streisand, John Travolta, Brad Pitt and Cher. CLIP NOTE: Often this ultra conservative source worldnetdaily is not the most reliable... Yet there seems to be indeed an upcoming trial as shown in http://reddit.com/r/politics/info/69f0g/comments/ and in...
Clinton Is Ordered to Testify In Ex-Partners' Fraud Trial (February 6, 1996) http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E4DA1439F935A35751C0A960958260&sec=&spon=
A Federal judge ordered President Clinton today to testify next month as a defense witness in the bank fraud and conspiracy trial of his former Whitewater business partners.Ruling on a request by Susan McDougal, a former partner of the President and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Whitewater land venture, Judge George Howard Jr. of Federal District Court in Little Rock, Ark., ruled that the President's testimony was vital to allowing the defendants "a fair trial and an adequate defense."David E. Kendall, the Clintons' private lawyer, said tonight that he had received the order and would review it carefully. CLIP
Toxic souvenirs http://www.newint.org/features/2007/11/01/keynote/
Will the whole truth about depleted uranium ammunition ever come out? It depends on who's looking, discovers Dinyar Godrej. Depleted uranium weapons have left behind a trail of human misery and vituperative debate. What's not known about them is just as disturbing as what is.
Don't look, don't find http://www.newint.org/features/2007/11/01/health/
Can Iraqi doctors break through the wall of indifference? As crisis after crisis engulfs Iraq, calls for a thorough examination of DU contamination and the huge rise in cancers and birth defects get lost in the din. Doug Weir reports.
'We were expendable' (JUST MIND-BOGGLING - A MUST READ!) http://www.newint.org/features/2007/11/01/health-reed/
US Army veteran Herbert Reed's blistering testimony. Herbert Reed served the US Army in Iraq and now he's sick. He's also sick of the lies and denials of the powers-that-be.
Depleted Uranium - the facts http://www.newint.org/features/2007/11/01/the-facts/
(...) The chief radiological hazard from DU is alpha radiation. However, as DU particles decay, both beta and gamma radiation are released, increasing the radiation burden further. Chromosome damage from internalized alpha particles is about 100 times greater than that caused by an equivalent amount of other radiation. In one day, one microgram (one millionth of a gram) of DU can release 107,000 alpha particles. Each particle is charged with more than four million electron volts of energy; this goes directly into whichever organ or tissue it is lodged in. It only requires 6 to 10 electron volts to break a DNA strand in a cell. Internal alpha radiation also has other effects.7 The Bystander Effect - cells adjacent to those struck by alpha particles also exhibit signs of radiation damage. Genomic Instability - the descendants of radiation-damaged cells show increased rates of mutations, the precursor to cancer growth.Ionizing radiation is a carcinogen at every dose-level; there is no threshold dose and any alpha particle can cause irreparable genetic damage. CLIP
Who's the real criminal? http://www.newint.org/features/2007/11/01/arms-trade/
John LaForge squares up to the largest DU munitions manufacturer in the US. (...) Alliant Techsystems, or ATK as it calls itself, is the US's number one producer of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. It has produced over 18 million DU rounds (including 15 million 30mm rounds for the Air Force, and 2 million 120mm shells for tank warfare). In February 2006, the US Army placed a new $38 million order for more of the 120mm DU rounds. With 16,000 employees in 21 states and $3.9 billion in annual revenue, ATK (a spin-off of US multinational Honeywell) is the Pentagon's biggest supplier of ammunition. The company claims it made 1.2 billion bullets in 2005; in 2006 this had risen to 1.4 billion. ATK also sells machine guns, rocket motors, cluster bombs and (formerly) landmines. As the prosecutor told the jury during our December trial, 'ATK doesn't make anything you'll be giving your kids at Christmas.'ATK says it produces '27 million rounds of ammunition each production day'. It also sells ammunition to the torture boys at the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. CLIP
'Well, you don't have the torn-off limbs for a start.' I'd asked a campaigner why depleted uranium hadn't achieved the same kind of public presence as the anti-landmines campaign and this was part of her reply. She was right, of course.
It was easier to make the case against landmines as indiscriminate weapons - they were blowing up all over the place and maiming civilians. No-one could deny their horrific impact. With the remnants of depleted uranium weapons it's often a much slower story of toxic and/or radioactive poisoning, the cause and effect less easy to demonstrate without recourse to technical complexities. And then there are the unknowns. Among them the biggie - that nobody fully knows what lies in store for future generations.
There are alarming signs from the ailments of people exposed to DU and from the bewildering disorders manifesting in some of their children. But they are chronically under-researched. Doctors don't know how to explain them. The governments who have used these weapons and who claim they are safe don't seem particularly bothered.
In March of this year two American soldiers active during the Gulf War of 1991 tested positive for DU contamination a full 15 years after their return from Iraq. Apart from a whole host of disabling symptoms, one of them was also separated from his wife who had suffered from burning semen syndrome since his return and had developed cervical cancer. Their Government has responded by assuring them they haven't been exposed.
As for the civilians in countries where DU contamination persists, they rarely get tested and their suffering is 'far away' from us. It must be brought near.
Pour les abonnés francophones, il y a un article fort révélateur à ce sujet...
Nos guerres: un cauchemar toxique http://www.horizons-et-debats.ch/index.php?id=732
Si nous n'arrivons pas à stopper la guerre, notre avenir s'annonce catastrophique, il faut que nous coopérions tous pour la stopper!» Entretien avec Doug Rokke, Etats-Unis*
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI - Associated Press Writer - Feb. 11, 2008
TEHRAN, Iran -- Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad struck a defiant tone as he spoke to giant crowds marking the 29th anniversary of the Islamic revolution Monday, vowing never to slow down nuclear development and announcing plans for more rocket launches in Iran's space program.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched through the capital Tehran, chanting "Death to America" and burning effigies of President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
The leader's speech before the crowd appeared aimed at showing an image of strength of his hard-line camp ahead of key parliament elections in mid-March.
Iran's ruling clerical establishment has worked to keep reformists out of the vote. Earlier this month, Ahmadinejad's Interior Ministry disqualified more than 2,000 pro-reform candidates from running in the election. The hard-line constitutional watchdog, the cleric-run Guardian Council, is to announce the final list of approved candidates in early March.
Ahmadinejad's popularity has been deeply hurt by Iran's economic woes over the past year and the vote is seen as a key test of the president's hold on power. The barring of the reformist candidates has infuriated liberals who were hoping to stage a comeback in the vote.
One reformist faction, called the "Mujahideen of the Islamic Revolution," issued a statement on its Web site Monday calling the barring of the candidates "one of the ugliest events in the history of the revolution, creating deviations from the ideals of the most humane revolution."
It called on Iranians participating in ceremonies marking the anniversary to "make all efforts to prevent the transmuting of the revolution's ideals."
State-run television said millions of Iranians took to the streets across Iran to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled the pro-U.S. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and brought hard-line clerics to power.
In Tehran, Ahmadinejad vowed to push ahead with both the nuclear and space program and rallied Iranians against U.N. Security Council demands that Iran stop enriching uranium.
Like Iran's nuclear activities, the country's space program has provoked unease abroad because the same technology needed to put satellites into space can be used to deliver warheads. Iranian officials have insisted both programs are intended for peaceful purposes.
"I ask the people's view. Would you agree if I ... gave in, surrendered or compromised over the nuclear issue? Would you agree to give up one iota of your nuclear rights?" Ahmadinejad asked. The crowd chanted in response: "No!" and "Nuclear energy is our definite right."
The U.S. has led the push for a third round of U.N. sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or material for an atomic bomb. Last month, the five permanent Security Council members - the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France - agreed on a draft resolution for new sanctions.
Ahmadinejad said Monday that Iran won't be frightened by the threat of more sanctions. He also warned the Security Council that it risked losing its credibility.
The Iranian president also said Iran will launch two more research rockets into space before putting the first Iranian-made satellite into orbit hopefully by this summer.
Earlier this month, Iran said it launched its first research rocket into space and unveiled its first major space center and indigenous satellite - called Omid, or Hope.
"Today, we possess all the fundamental sections needed to launch a satellite into space," said Ahmadinejad. "We built all (of the sections) ourselves."
The U.S. called the Feb. 4 rocket launch "just another troubling development", saying it was a cause for concern about Iran's continuing development of medium- and long-range missiles.
Despite the anxiety over Iran's space program, it is not exactly clear how developed it is, and analysts have expressed doubts about such technological achievements announced by the country in the past.
On Monday, Ahmadinejad offered the first details about the Feb. 4 launch, saying the first section of the rocket - called Kavoshgar-1, or Explorer-1 - detached after 90 seconds and returned to earth with the help of a parachute. The second segment entered space for about five minutes, he said, while the final section was sent "toward" orbit to collect information to determine the best future route for the Omid satellite.
Iran has said it wants to put its own satellites into orbit to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation and improve its telecommunications. Iranian officials also point to America's use of satellites to monitor Afghanistan and Iraq and say they need similar abilities for their security.
In 2005, Iran launched its first commercial satellite on a Russian rocket, in a joint project with Moscow, which appears to be the main partner in transferring space technology to Iran.
AP writer Lee Keath in Cairo contributed to this report.
'Iran still developing nuclear warheads' (February 21, 2008) (CIA operative planting false information or real info??) http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=OTMyMzA2MTc5
BRUSSELS: Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program, an exiled Iranian opposition group said sterday, giving details of what it claims is an operational nuclear-warhead development site. The claims run counter to a US intelligence report released in December which said Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. That US report led to calls from Tehran, and some other quarters, for UN sanctions against the Iranian regime to be dropped.The Iranian regime is undoubtedly developing a nuclear bomb," said Mohammad Mohadessin, a leader of the exiled National Council of Resistance of Iran. He presented reporters in Brussels with information he said had been collected on two sites in Iran on top secret studies on nuclear warheads. The site at Khojir, in a Tehran suburb, is an Iranian defense ministry missile-research site which is developing a nuclear warhead for medium-range missiles, he said. The other facility, in another Tehran suburb, was described as the "command and control centre" for production of a nuclear bomb. Mohadessin said the revelations had been handed over to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna on Tuesday.North Korean experts are cooperating with the Iranian regime in the project, the Paris-based group said. "The clerical regime (in Iran) has not ceased its nuclear weapons program, rather it has expedited its activities and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has taken greater control of the program," said Mohadessin, chairman of the group's foreign affairs committee. CLIP
Disinformation flies as US raises Iran bar (Feb 21, 2008) http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JB21Ak01.html
A new report on Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is about to be released and US "pre-emptive" diplomacy, aimed at preventing an IAEA "clean bill of health" that could derail Washington's effort for a new round of UN sanctions on Iran, is at full throttle - with the timely help of disinformation. (...) The IAEA must insulate itself from the disinformation campaign against Iran that has by all indications gone into a higher gear as we draw closer to the upcoming meeting of the IAEAs board of governors, and it must ignore the intensifying American lobbying efforts and those of its junior partners such as France (at a recent meeting of Frances President Nicolas Sarkozy and the IAEA chief, Mohammad ElBaradei, the IAEA was urged to "stay firm" on Iran). More important, the IAEA must stay firm on the rules of game and consider the fact that any overstepping of its bounds - eg, by pressuring Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program in spite of Irans legal rights and its nuclear transparency - will definitely backfire against the agency and, indeed, the entire non-proliferation regime.
US, Israel see eye to eye on Iran threat http://tinyurl.com/2zztny
Israel and the US see nearly eye-to-eye on the threat of a nuclear Iran, differing only on when Teheran will be able to build an atomic bomb, a key American senator told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Israeli MP's to fan out globally to warn of Iran threat http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/956000.html
Some 15 Knesset members from a broad spectrum of parties will soon embark on a tour of Europe and the Far East to explain the dangers of Iran's nuclear program and urge that sanctions against the Islamic Republic be intensified.
Iran shakes pillars of nuclear accord (February 9, 2008) http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JB09Ak01.html
In light of the latest news regarding Iran's rapid advances in nuclear centrifuge technology and Tehran's warning that it will reject any new UN measures aimed at halting its nuclear progress, it's clear that Iran's nuclear standoff has entered a new phase - one that may have global consequences and cause irreparable harm to the pillars of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). (...) In tandem with Iran's cooperation and nuclear transparency, what is needed is a phasing out of the UN sanctions regime on Iran, instead of strengthening it. Iran's former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, who advises the supreme leader on foreign policy matters, has recently stated the importance of Iran's diplomatic dialogue with the "5 +1". This signals a growing Iranian willingness to enter direct dialogue with the US on the nuclear issue. The US must be prepared to revise its defunct and unrealistic positions on Iran's nuclear dossier, to focus on transparency and confidence-building measures pertaining to the various "objective guarantees" that Iran has been putting on the table for some time. The continuation of the present "coercive" course of action against Iran by Washington will neither solve the Iran nuclear crisis nor improve the semi-crisis that the NPT finds itself in today; rather, it will augment both.
11/02/08 " Edmonton Sun" - -- -At this week's NATO conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, an angry U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates accused some Europeans of not being prepared to "fight and die" in Afghanistan in the battle against the Taliban.
The undiplomatic Gates is quite right. Most Europeans regard the Afghan conflict as a) wrong and immoral; b) America's war; c) all about oil; or d) probably lost.
To many Europeans, the NATO alliance was created to deter the real threat of Soviet aggression, not to supply foot soldiers for George Bush's wars in the Muslim world.
While Gates and the Harper government were pleading for more troops, the commander of the 40,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. Dan McNeill, landed a bombshell. If proper U.S. military counter-insurgency doctrine were followed, McNeill admitted, the U.S. and NATO would need 400,000 troops to defeat Pashtun tribal resistance in Afghanistan.
When the Soviets occupied Afghanistan, they deployed 160,000 troops and about 200,000 Afghan Communist troops -- yet failed to crush the mostly Pashtun resistance. Now, the U.S. and NATO are trying the same mission with only 66,000 troops, backed by local mercenaries grandly styled the Afghan National Army.
Canada's calls for 1,000 more NATO troops, and the U.S. decision to send 3,200 marines, will not alter the course of this war, which is turning increasingly against the western occupiers. In fact, the war is spreading into neighbouring Pakistan, a nation of 165 million, stretching U.S. and NATO forces ever thinner.
A primary reason for Gates's recent call for U.S. troops to begin attacking pro-Taliban Pashtun tribesmen inside Pakistan is due to their growing attacks on allied supply lines to Afghanistan.
As this column has reported, over 70% of U.S./NATO supplies come in by truck through Pakistan's tribal belt known as FATA, including all of their oil and gas. Attacks by pro-Taliban tribesmen against these vulnerable supply lines are jeopardizing western military operations inside Afghanistan.
HUNTERS NOW HUNTED
The hunters are becoming the hunted. Cutting off invaders' supply lines is a time-honoured Pashtun military tactic. They used it againstAlexander the Great, the British and Soviets, and are at it again.
What angry Gates fails to see is that by pushing NATO into a distant Asian war without political purpose or seeming end, he is endangering the very alliance that is the bedrock of U.S. power in Europe.
Europeans increasingly ask why they need the U.S.-dominated military alliance, a Cold War relic, in which they continue to play foot soldiers to America's atomic knights, to paraphrase the late German statesman, Franz Josef Strauss.
Why does the rich, powerful European Union even need NATO any more? The Soviet threat is gone -- at least for now. Nuclear-armed France and Britain are quite capable of defending Europe against outside threats. Why can't the new European Defence Force take over NATO's role of defending Europe and protecting EU interests?
In short, most Europeans see no benefit in playing junior members in an alliance whose historic time has passed and that serves primarily as an instrument of U.S. power. Washington's sharpest geopolitical thinker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, calls NATO a "stepping stone" the U.S. uses to project power into Europe.
By pushing NATO towards a bridge too far, the Bush administration may end up fatally undermining the alliance and encouraging anti-American forces in Europe.
In fact, it's becoming evident that the cash-strapped U.S. needs the EU more than the EU needs the U.S.
Final point. If impassioned claims by U.S. and Canadian politicians that the little Afghanistan war must by won at all costs, then why don't they stop orating, impose conscription, and send 400,000 soldiers, including their own sons, to fight in Afghanistan?
Of course they won't. They prefer to waste their own soldiers, and grind up Afghanistan, rather than admit this war against 40 million Pashtun tribesmen was a terrible mistake that will only get worse.
Forwarded by Trevor Osborne (Trevor@world-harmony.com)
Australia Says 'Sorry' to Aborigines for Mistreatment
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pledged to Australian lawmakers on Wednesday "to remove a great stain from the nation's soul" by addressing past mistreatment of Aborigines. Some Aborigines protested government policies in the capital, Canberra.
By TIM JOHNSTON - February 13, 2008
SYDNEY, Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened a new chapter in Australia's tortured relations with its indigenous peoples on Wednesday with a comprehensive and moving apology for past wrongs and a call for bipartisan action to improve the lives of Australia's Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
"The Parliament is today here assembled to deal with this unfinished business of the nation, to remove a great stain from the nation's soul, and in a true spirit of reconciliation to open a new chapter in the history of this great land, Australia," Mr. Rudd told Parliament.
This was "Government business, motion No. 1," the first act of Mr. Rudd's Labor government, which was sworn in Tuesday after a convincing electoral win over the 11-year administration of John Howard, who had for years refused to apologize for the misdeeds of past governments.
Mr. Rudd's apology was particularly addressed to the so-called Stolen Generations, the tens of thousands of indigenous children who were removed, sometimes forcibly, from their families in a policy of assimilation that only ended in the 1970s.
In some states it was part of a policy to "breed out the color," in the words of Cecil Cook, who held the title of chief protector of Aborigines in the Northern Territory in the 1930s.
"We apologize especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country," Mr. Rudd said as hundreds of members of the Stolen Generations listened in the gallery, some with tears in their eyes. "For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.
"To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry."
The 4-minute apology, and the 20-minute speech that followed, received a standing ovation both inside the chamber and from the hundreds gathered on the grounds of Parliament House in the capital, Canberra.
"I thought it was fantastic," said Kirstie Parker, the managing editor of the influential Aboriginal newspaper The Koori Mail.
She said that it was not just the apology that was important: Mr. Rudd recounted stories of the victims, Ms. Parker noted, bringing the reality of the misdeeds to light and publicly confronting those who deny what happened.
But for some people, Mr. Rudd's apology will not have gone far enough because he has ruled out setting up a government fund to compensate the victims of the policies that led to the Stolen Generations.
"There are many people who are saying that they must back this up with compensation," Ms. Parker said. "I get a distinct feeling among Aboriginal people that they feel that compensation is an absolute possibility, notwithstanding the prime minister's very vehement statement about not considering it."
The Howard government had refused to apologize, partially because it did not feel responsible for the misdeeds of past administrations, but also because it feared that the move could lead to sizable compensation claims.
Last year, a court in South Australia awarded 525,000 Australian dollars to Bruce Trevorrow, who was taken from his mother when he was a baby, for unlawful treatment and false imprisonment.
Mr. Howard's government had been criticized for an intervention in the Northern Territory that curtailed the rights of many indigenous communities, including quarantining half of welfare payments to ensure they were spent on food. Mr. Rudd's government has promised to review the intervention.
Mr. Rudd recognized that the apology itself was symbolic, and he asked the opposition to move beyond partisan politics.
Mr. Rudd suggested a "war cabinet" on indigenous policy led by himself and the opposition leader, Brendan Nelson of the Liberal Party. Mr. Nelson agreed.
And there are deep challenges. Many indigenous Australians live on the margins of society. Aboriginal life expectancy is 17 years shorter than for other Australians, indigenous unemployment runs three times the rate of the country as a whole and the incidence of crime and alcoholism is significantly higher in indigenous communities.
Date:19 Feb 2008
From: Daniel Stafford (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Fuel-free sea-borne shipping?
A cargo vessel that uses a towing kite system to achieve better shipping fuel economy completed its first shipment this week as the industry found itself under fire from U.S. and international regulators."
This story is out of today's "Green Buzz," the newsletter post from Green Biz below this. While it's an amazing achievement to use a kite to cut fuel use by 20% on a cargo ship, the sad part is that ALL cargo shipping up until the early 1900's used U.S. - designed "clipper ships" or "Yankee Clippers" that got 100% of their power from wind, averaged nearly 20 knots on wind power alone, and routinely made the New York to Hong Kong run in a month or just over, BEFORE THE PANAMA CANAL EXISTED.
This means that all clipper ships had to round the Cape of Good Hope at the Southern tip of South America, where violent seas were extremely cold and treacherous. If those ships had been able to use the Panama Canal, they likely would have made the trip in a couple of weeks, using not a speck of fossil fuel and spewing ZERO carbon emissions into the atmosphere. (Modern oceanic shipping is one of the most carbon-emission-intense activities we do.)
The reason clipper ships were abandoned was because they could be stuck sitting out to sea if they lost the wind. Being "becalmed" left highly valuable cargo sitting out on the open sea, wasting money, time, and increasing vulnerability to pirate attacks.
This is a different era, however. There are now companies making flexible solar cells that could be incorporated in SAILCLOTH. The technology exists to either use batteries or hydrogen storage and "solar sails" to give a cargo ship auxiliary power for when the wind dies down.
I would even consider combining hydrogen storage with the tow-kite technology. Let the kite double as hydrogen storage, giving it buoyancy, and also bear additional solar cells to help increase power for electrolysis plants onboard the ships.
"Solar Sailing" could revolutionize the cargo industry, making it extremely green and sustainable, using a marriage of the ultra-developed sailing technologies of the late 1800's and the modern technologies of solar power and electric propulsion.
This could also give a boost to solar cell manufacturing, and in the long term, drive down the costs for flexible solar cells, sailcloth, etc. Not to mention, save millions of barrels of oil and tons of coal every year.
The shipyard and shipping company that picks this up and runs with it could lead the world in ultra-low cost shipping, because they would eliminate the cost of shipping fuel.
I am amazed I haven't heard of anyone putting these technologies together - so I am proposing it here, in this space. A little shout out for wind and sunshine from the Zephyr - poetic, isn't it?
Regards, and thanks for reading and feedback in advance,
Action Alert: Global Ecological Emergency: Brazil Must Succeed in Keeping Soybeans Out of Amazon Rainforest
Only soy products that do not directly or indirectly destroy ancient rainforests, or intensify climate change and other problems inherent with large-scale industrial monocultures, will be tolerated in international markets
By Rainforest Portal, a project of Ecological Internet - February 12, 2008
The greatest emerging threat to Amazon rainforests and communities is industrial soy plantations. Huge mechanized, soy monocultures destroy tropical ecosystems, accelerate climate change and cause human rights abuses primarily to produce agrofuel and livestock feed. The soya industry wipes out biodiversity, destroys soil fertility, pollutes freshwater and displaces communities. Soybean production expands the agricultural frontier not only through fire and deforestation to clear ancient rainforests, but more importantly by pushing cattle ranches and displacing forest peoples further into natural rainforest ecosystems.
Biodiesel made from soya oil is taking over huge areas of Brazil's farmland, savannah and forest, with harvests surging from 1.5 million tons in 1970 to 57m in 2006. Soy production has already destroyed 21 million hectares of forest in Brazil, and 80 million hectares, including portions of the Amazon basin, remain that are suitable. As currently scaled, configured and given expected growth, industrial soy monocultures can never be environmentally sustainable, and indeed may push the Amazon into wide-scale die-back while causing abrupt, run-away warming. Destruction of the Amazon forest is expected to increase the rate of global warming by 50 percent, while causing countless species to go extinct.
Agrofuel based biodiesel will never satisfy more than a fraction of global energy demand yet threatens the Planets remaining natural ecosystems. A new scientific report shows plant based biofuels are no climate change solution because they directly or indirectly, intentionally or not, result in land clearing releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide. Clearing rainforests generally releases 86 times more carbon than the annual agrofuel benefit, and Amazon soybeans have a "carbon debt" of 319 years. Agribusiness giants including Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill are amongst those producing and marketing soy while devastating Amazonian ecosystems.
The Brazilian government had trumpeted 50% reductions in Amazonian deforestation over past years. These decreases are now recognized as resulting from temporary declines in agricultural markets rather than fundamental change in deforestation rates. With rising soy and other agricultural commodity prices, there has been a marked increase in fires and Amazonian deforestation to clear new agricultural lands from primary rainforests. In reaction Brazil has again announced increased agricultural deforestation enforcement, including banning the sale of farm products from illegally deforested areas, and imposing fines for buying or trading illegally produced soy and beef, with military enforcement.
Amazon rainforest sustainability critically depends upon new soybean production being kept out of ancient primary rainforest ecosystems. Further, soy's environmental sustainability and social justness depends upon respecting rights of local peoples including their food sovereignty, ensuring local land bases and water resources are not exceeded, halting all new industrial soy monocultures in order to properly scale agricultural development, and stopping the use of toxics.
The alert below encourages the Brazilian government to persist in efforts to end soy production dependent upon rainforest destruction. Let the government and agribusiness know that soybean products that cause ancient rainforest destruction and result in damage to biodiversity, climate, and communities will not be tolerated in the international marketplace. Let's continue the commitment of Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network to strongly speak ecological truth to intransigent power.
Papua New Guinea: How activists and scientists saved a rainforest island from destruction for palm oil (February 13, 2008) http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=92872
In mid-January, Mongabay learned that the government of Papua New Guinea had changed its mind: it would no longer allow Vitroplant Ltd. to deforest 70% of Woodlark Island for palm oil plantations. This change came about after one hundred Woodlark Islanders (out of a population of 6,000) traveled to Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay Province, to deliver a protest letter to the local government; after several articles in Mongabay and Pacific Magazine highlighted the plight of the island; after Eco-Internet held a campaign in which approximately three thousand individuals worldwide sent nearly 50,000 letters to local officials; and after an article appeared in the London Telegraph stating that due to deforestation on New Britain Island and planned deforestation on Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea had gone from being an eco-hero to an 'eco-zero'. Except for the article in the London Telegraph, the issue of Woodlark Island was largely ignored by mainstream western media. For many involved this was disappointing, since the plight of Woodlark Island so perfectly presented the wholesale destruction palm oil plantations have been causing in Asian and Pacific forests for years. Dr. Glen Barry, founder and director of Ecological Internet, referred to the situation as the "epitome of ecological evil" since this "incredibly diverse island would be turned over to a monoculture crop". Although the issue barely touched mainstream media, it still found its way from local protestors to scientists to global organizations, eventually putting international pressure on the decision-makers. (...) Some scientists believe there are ways to counter the current biofuel rush. "I think that part of the solution to countering the 'blitzkrieg' expansion of palm oil plantations into former rainforested lands across Asia and Melanesia is getting the word out globally that the global biofuel industry," says Dr. Helgen, "especially those parts of the industry that involve massive tropical deforestation, involve catastrophic losses of biodiversity... and may have a huge negative impact in worldwide efforts to counteract the acceleration of global climate change." With more attention placed on biofuels by researchers and governments-the EU has already taken noticeit is possible the palm oil industry will begin to wan in South East Asia. CLIP
US scientists puncture the ethanol biofuel bubble (13th February 2008) http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/13/science_biofuel_reports/
Good science news (or bad, depending on your point of view) has arrived with two reports on the carbon footprint of biofuels, in the paper edition of Science magazine. They deal serious damage to the belief - which up to now has been driving the biofuel bubble - that stepped-up ethanol production in the US is an answer to global warming. Writing in "Use of US croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions for Land Use or Change," Timothy Searchinger and many others state: "To produce more biofuels, farmers can directly plow up more forest or grassland, which releases to the atmosphere much of the carbon previously stored in plants and soils through decomposition or fire. The loss of maturing forests and grasslands also forgoes ongoing carbon sequestration as plants grow each year ..." (A companion piece, "Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt" by scientists at the University of Minnesota, covers similar territory.) The scientists step on switch grass, too, a weed peddled by those promoting the still largely theoretical panacea of ethanol production direct from cellulose. "Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on US corn lands increase emissions by 50 per cent," write the authors in the lead paragraph.The news tosses a good deal of water on the biofuel fire.
MANY SUBSCRIBERS ON THIS LIST ARE DIRECTLY CONCERNED BY THIS GROWING WATER-SHORTAGE PROBLEM
Study cites warming, water use and growing Colorado River deficit
Feb. 12, 2008
What are the chances that Lake Mead, a key source of water for more than 22 million people in the Southwest, would ever go dry? A new study says it's 50 percent by 2021 if warming continues and water use is not curtailed.
"We were stunned at the magnitude of the problem and how fast it was coming at us," co-author Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said in a statement. "Make no mistake, this water problem is not a scientific abstraction, but rather one that will impact each and every one of us that live in the Southwest."
"It's likely to mean real changes to how we live and do business in this region," added co-author David Pierce, a Scripps climate scientist.
The experts estimated that the Colorado River system, which feeds Lake Mead and Lake Powell, is seeing a net deficit of nearly 1 million acre-feet of water per year an amount that can supply some 8 million people. That water is not being replenished, they noted, and human demand, evaporation and human-induced climate change are fueling the growing deficit.
The system is already at half capacity because of eight years of drought.
"When expected changes due to global warming are included as well, currently scheduled depletions are simply not sustainable," Barnett and Pierce write in the study.
The two analyzed federal records of past water demand as well as calculations of scheduled water allocations and climate conditions.
'Bucket' being depleted
"The biggest change right now is taking more water from the bucket than we are putting into it," Barnett said.
Lake Mead straddles the Arizona-Nevada border. Aqueducts carry water from the system to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and other communities.
The researchers also noted that their estimates are conservative in other words, the water shortage is likely to be even more dire than they estimate. The conservative approach included basing their findings on:
The premise that warming effects only started in 2007, though most experts consider human-caused warming to have likely started decades earlier.
Averaging river flow over the past 100 years, even though it has dropped in recent decades.
The study has been accepted for publication, possibly next month, in the peer-reviewed Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
Barnett and Pierce also estimated:
A 10 percent chance that Lake Mead could be dry by 2014.
A 50 percent chance that reservoir levels will drop too low to allow hydroelectric power generation by 2017.
The uncertainty about when and if the lake will run dry stems from the natural fluctuations of the Colorado River, which feeds the lake, Barnett said. In recent months the flow has been above average, he said, after years below average.
'At or beyond the sustainable limit'
The system could still run dry even if recently proposed mitigation measures are implemented, the researchers said.
"Today, we are at or beyond the sustainable limit of the Colorado system," the study concludes. "The alternative to reasoned solutions to this coming water crisis is a major societal and economic disruption in the desert southwest; something that will affect each of us living in the region."
Lake Mead, which was created when Hoover Dam was buit, provides 90 percent of Las Vegas' water.
Scott Huntley, a spokesman for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, said his agency overseeing the Las Vegas area's water was concerned about reliance on Lake Mead as the major source for Las Vegas and officials were seeking alternate sources.
"While we wholeheartedly support the authors' call for greater urban water conservation, it is important to also remember that agriculture uses four-fifths of the Colorado River's flows, so meaningful solutions cannot be borne solely by urban users," he added.
Global warming has no shortage of causes - coal-burning power plants, carbon-spewing automobiles - but many European and Asian environmentalists seem to blame one factor above all others: U.S. President George W. Bush. As the world's top carbon emitter and the only major developed country to refuse to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, America is seen as hastening global warming while foiling attempts to slow it down. At December's U.N. climate-change summit in Bali, the frustration toward American intransigence on global warming was palpable. When U.S. negotiators stood in the way of agreement during the summit's final day, the anger boiled over, with delegates, observers from environmental groups and even members of the international press booing the American team. The U.S. eventually dropped its opposition to the Bali road map, but that did little to allay suspicion that Washington would remain a roadblock in efforts to combat the world's most pressing environmental crisis.
The White House deserves the international condemnation. The Bush Administration has stymied action on global warming at home and abroad, questioning and occasionally suppressing compelling scientific evidence that the earth is heating up and man-made pollution is a major reason why. In a damning speech delivered near the end of the Bali summit, former U.S. Vice President and climate-change prophet Al Gore told the rest of the world to carry on the fight against global warming without the U.S. "Save a large blank space in your documents," he said. "Move ahead anyway, on the hope that blank will be filled in."
But as the world's movers, shakers and wonkier celebrities meet in Davos, where climate change is high on the agenda, America may be closer to filling in that blank space than many believe. The Bush Administration may still be in denial, but many Americans are not. Politicians are being forced to respond to mounting public pressure to do something about global warming. Even as White House climate negotiators in Bali were blocking efforts to set a target for international carbon emissions, the first bill that would cap such emissions in the U.S. passed out of the Senate's environment committee. Outside Washington, city and state governments, as well as private industry, are taking action. "Suddenly climate change is at the crossroads of what everyone is interested in," says Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense, a green NGO based in Washington. "There is a coming together on the issue that just hasn't been there before."
There's room at this climate-change crossroads for liberals and conservatives alike. Many of the top American leaders on global warming at the state and local level are Republicans. Most prominent among them is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. California has passed the most aggressive environmental laws in the U.S., setting a goal of reducing the state's greenhouse-gas emissions - which currently amount to about 1.6% of the annual global total - to 1990 levels by 2020. California is part of a coalition of six western U.S. states and two Canadian provinces with plans to set up a regional cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, similar to a market that has been operating for years in Europe. Despite his party affiliation, Schwarzenegger has been willing to challenge the White House, most recently by leading a lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency after it struck down California's stringent rules on carbon emissions from automobiles. "Give me a national policy that says we're going to take this seriously and we're going to fight global warming," Schwarzenegger told TIME recently. "Right now, there has been none."
Other leaders are moving to fill this void. In Florida, Republican Governor Charlie Crist launched a summit on climate change and committed his state to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions 80% by 2050. In Salt Lake City - capital of Utah and among the most conservative states in the U.S. - Mayor Rocky Anderson has emerged as an environmental activist by requiring that all municipal offices be built to green standards. He's one of more than 700 American mayors from across the political spectrum who voluntarily agreed to try to meet or beat Kyoto Protocol targets in their own cities. At her New York City office, Natural Resources Defense Council president Frances Beinecke shows a map of the U.S., with states that have adopted climate-change legislation colored green. Easily half the map is now that hue, a significant change from just a year ago. "Throughout the country, there's a willingness to take on this issue," she says.
More so than many of their European counterparts, America's new environmentalists believe climate change is about more than saving the environment. They care about polar bears, but like Schwarzenegger, they also view global warming as an economic challenge and opportunity - an outlook shared by a growing number of U.S. businesses. Last year some of the country's most influential corporations - including GE, DuPont and the power company NRG - formed the U.S. Climate Action Partnership to lobby Washington for a carbon cap-and-trade system. "This has to be a top domestic issue," says NRG CEO David Crane. "We have low-carbon solutions, but they need to have a little bit of government support."
Others see climate change as a pressing threat to national security. This danger is perceived to be physical, in the form of rising seas and superstorms, as well as geopolitical. Remaining addicted to fossil fuels mires the U.S. in the labyrinth of Middle East politics and keeps the country dependent upon oil-rich antagonists such as Iran and Russia. Conservatives who have jumped the fence on global warming have done so chiefly because of this issue. Many were convinced after a panel of retired generals and admirals delivered a report last year warning of the security implications of rising temperatures, including resource wars and refugees fleeing drought and famine. "I often find people remain skeptical of global warming," says James Woolsey, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency under former U.S. President Bill Clinton. "But when you start talking about the effect it could have on security, suddenly green things like [solar power] sound a lot better."
Politicians in Washington are finally getting the message. In December Congress passed an energy bill that requires automakers, for the first time in decades, to boost the gas mileage of the cars they sell and mandates increased use of biofuels. Just as importantly, the legislation calling for carbon-emission caps - co-sponsored by the independent Senator Joseph Lieberman and the Republican Senator John Warner - passed the first hurdle to becoming law. Bush has always opposed mandatory carbon caps and could veto the bill. But with climate change becoming a bigger issue in this year's presidential and congressional elections, even Bush might find it hard to do that. "You have Republicans and Democrats getting on board with this," says Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, "and the reason why is because the public is increasingly there already."
Even if a climate-change bill bogs down in Congress this year, the consensus is that passage of some kind of carbon-capping legislation would likely pass in 2009. That might seem unforgivably late to Europeans, but the effect on stalled international efforts to combat global warming would be enormous. The U.S. could take a leadership position in negotiations, while China and India - which use American inaction as an excuse for their own foot-dragging - would come under greater pressure to control their rapidly increasing greenhouse-gas emissions. "The world conversation will be joined in a very different way," says Beinecke, the Natural Resources Defense Council president. Europeans shouldn't expect concordance overnight - even if it passes, the carbon cuts called for in the Senate bill fall short of what the E.U. has been pushing for itself. But at the very least, the next U.N. climate-change conference might feature fewer catcalls - and more progress.
Bottom trawling impacts, clearly visible from space
Boston MA: Bottom trawling, an industrial fishing method that drags large, heavy nets across the seafloor stirs up huge, billowing plumes of sediment on shallow seafloors that can be seen from space.
As a result of scientific studies showing that bottom trawling kills vast numbers of corals, sponges, fishes and other animals, bottom trawling has been banned in a growing number of places in recent years. Now satellite images show that spreading clouds of mud remain suspended in the sea long after the trawler has passed.
But what satellites can see is only the tip of the iceberg, because most trawling happens in waters too deep to detect sediment plumes at the surface, say scientists speaking a symposium session called Dragnet: Bottom Trawling, the World's Most Severe and Extensive Seafloor Disturbance at the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2008 Annual Meeting here 3:30-5:00 PM on Friday, February 15 in Sheraton Boston, Back Bay Ballroom D. The session was organized by Marine Conservation Biology Institute.
Speakers at the session include Dr. Elliott Norse, President of Marine Conservation Biology Institute in Bellevue WA; John Amos, President of SkyTruth in Shepherdstown WV, Dr. Les Watling, Professor of Zoology at the University of Hawaii in Manoa HI; and Susanna Fuller, Ph.D. Candidate in Biology at Dalhousie University, Halifax NS.
Bottom trawling is the most destructive of any actions that humans conduct in the ocean, said Dr. Watling. Ten years ago, Elliott Norse and I calculated that, each year, worldwide, bottom trawlers drag an area equivalent to twice the lower 48 states. Most of that trawling happens in deep waters, out of sight. But now we can more clearly envision what trawling impacts down there by looking at the sediment plumes that are shallow enough for us to see from satellites, he said.
Dr. Watling will show startling video and images of the seafloor comparing untrawled and trawled ecosystems. They are available at www.mcbi.org.
Bottom-trawling repeatedly plows up the seafloor over large areas of the ocean said Mr. Amos. Until recently, the impact was basically hidden from view. But new tools especially Internet-based image sites, like Google Earth allow everyone to see for themselves whats happening. In shallow waters with muddy bottoms, trawlers leave long, persistent trails of sediment in their wake.
To see a gallery of satellite images, and take a Google Earth virtual tour of trawl-caused sediment plumes, go to www.skytruth.org and navigate to the Trawling Impacts image gallery.
Susanna Fuller studies impacts of trawling on sponges in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Seafloor animals such as glass sponges are particularly vulnerable to bottom trawling, said Ms. Fuller, a graduate student of Professor Ransom Myers. Dr. Myers, who died last year, had published a series of papers showing that overfishing has eliminated 90 percent of the worlds large predatory fishes and is devastating marine ecosystems.
What is amazing is the level of damage these types of animals have suffered, after the cod fishery in Canada was closed. We immediately started trawling deeper with no restrictions, and continue to do so, she said. There are ways to catch fish that are less harmful to the worlds vanishing marine life. We need to start protecting the seafloor by using fishing gear, besides bottom trawls, especially in the deep sea. Its the only thing left, she said.
For years marine scientists have been telling the world that fishing has harmed marine biodiversity more than anything else, said Dr. Norse. And its clear that trawling causes more damage to marine ecosystems than any other kind of fishing. Now, as the threats of ocean acidification and melting sea ice are adding insult to injury, we have to reduce harm from trawling to have any hope of saving marine ecosystems, Dr. Norse said.
Scientific findings about trawling impacts have led to increasing restrictions on this industrial fishing method. In 2005, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean banned trawling in the Mediterranean Sea below depths of 1,000 meters, and the United States closed vast deep-sea areas off Alaska to bottom trawling. In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly began deliberations on a trawling moratorium on the high seas, which cover 45% of the Earths surface, and South Pacific nations effectively put an end to trawling in an area amounting to 14 percent of the Earths surface.
There are tens of thousands of trawlers worldwide. They fish for shrimp and finfishes. Some bottom trawling operations catch 20 pounds of bykill for every pound of targeted species.
Marine Conservation Biology Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the science of marine conservation biology and securing protection for the worlds marine ecosystems. Founded in 1996, it is headquartered in Bellevue WA, and has offices in Honolulu HI, Glen Ellen CA and Washington DC.
Revealed: Polluting Impact of Humans on the Oceans (15 February 2008) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/revealed-polluting-impact-of-humans-on-the-oceans-782546.html
Almost every part of the world's oceans has been tainted to some extent by the destructive footprint of human activity, whether it is from overfishing and pollution or commercial shipping and coastal development. For the first time, scientists have compiled a comprehensive map of the oceans showing the extent to which they have been damaged by man. The map integrates 17 different kinds of human activity - such as nitrogen fertilisers being washed into the sea from farming - and 20 types of ocean ecosystem, from coral reefs to mangrove forests, to study which parts of the marine environment have suffered most. The scientists found more than 40 per cent of the oceans bear the scars of serious environmental degradation and that only a small percentage have remained as pristine regions free of human influence. The team of American scientists said the extent of the damage caused by man came as a shock although they believe the information they compiled could be used to improve the conservation and future protection of the marine environment. The worst affected waters include large areas of the North Sea, the South and East China seas, the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic off the east coast of North America, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Bering Sea, parts of the western Pacific and the Persian Gulf. (...) "This project allows us to finally start to see the big picture of how humans are affecting the oceans. Our results show that, when these and other individual impacts are summed up, the big picture looks much worse than I imagine most people expected. It was certainly a surprise to me," Dr Halpern said. (...) The worst-affected marine ecosystems were coral reefs, nearly half of which have suffered badly, seagrass beds, mangrove forests in estuaries, underwater "mountain" ranges known as seamounts, rocky reefs and shallow continental shelves, especially those near densely populated areas, such as the North Sea. CLIP
Africans unite in calling for immediate moratorium on switch from food to fuel
By Daniel Howden in Massingir, Mozambique
16 February 2008
Scientists and NGOs across Africa are calling for a moratorium on new biofuels projects as millions of acres of prime agricultural land in sub-Saharan Africa are switched from food to fuel.
African governments, encouraged by counterparts in the industrialised world, have bought eagerly into the "green revolution" with promises of exports, energy security and job creation. The reality is the forced removal of small farmers, rising food costs and scant benefits for local populations.
Food riots broke out this week in Mozambique as government attempts to control bread and fuel costs collapsed under the strain of soaring prices for oil and for food staples, driven in part by demand for biofuels.
The prospect of a "Green Opec" of countries switching to biofuel - or agrofuel - plantations on the most food-insecure continent has prompted an appeal for a "time out" from an alliance of African civil society groups. "We need to protect food security, forests, water, land rights, farmers and indigenous peoples from the aggressive march of agrofuel developments," reads the call for a moratorium.
"Africa is a wide open continent and the energy industry wants to take advantage," said the renowned Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey. "This is a flashback to colonial plantations." Mr Bassey is part of the African Biodiversity Network, an umbrella group who met to discuss the crisis this week in South Africa.
Rich nations concerned with future energy security and climate change have begun to seek alternatives to fossil fuels that won't carry the political costs of calling for consumer restraint. In the US this has meant an epic extension of subsidies for big agricultural interests to switch corn production to ethanol. The European Union has committed itself to switching 10 per cent of all transport fuel to biofuels by 2020 with the shortfall in what can be grown inside the 27-nation bloc to be made up with imports from the developing world.
From the savannahs of west Africa to the rainforests of Congo, the plains of Tanzania and the wilderness of Ethiopia, governments are handing over huge tracts of fertile land to private companies aiming to convert biomass grown on large plantations into liquid fuels for export markets. African leaders like Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade are predicting a "green revolution" and looking eagerly to lucrative exports.
Just as the bonanza is getting into full swing, the scientific argument that biofuels mitigate climate change is collapsing. Last week, the journal Science published a major study concluding that biofuels contributed to climate change as the environmental cost of land conversions generated more carbon emissions than it saved.
The biofuel surge comes despite clear consensus that Africa will bear the brunt of climate change and be the continent hardest hit in the future by changes in our weather systems.
In addition to this, the production of maize, southern Africa's staple food, could drop by as much as one third in the next 20 years, according to a new Stanford University study.
The UN's two leading food agencies both issued warnings this week that demand for biofuels is in danger of leaving the poor hungry. Josette Sheeran, of the World Food Programme, said: "We're seeing many people being priced out of the food markets for the first time. For the world's most vulnerable, it's extremely urgent," she said. The Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Wednesday that some 100 million tons of cereals are being diverted to the production of biofuels each year.
Even organisations which have not joined the calls for a moratorium, such as the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, have expressed serious reservations. "There's a lot of concern about land grabs and displacement," said a senior analyst, Bill Vorley. "Big plantations are back with the help of the 'green revolution' steamroller. It feels like we are back to the bad old days again."
Exposed: The long, cruel road to the slaughterhouse
See the campaigners' video as investigation reveals misery of global trade in animals
By Emily Dugan
13 February 2008
Millions of animals are suffering unnecessarily at the hands of meat traders by enduring cruel, drawn-out journeys across the world to be slaughtered on arrival.
The alarming evidence of their suffering has been revealed after a secret investigation by 10 major animal charities, including the RSCPA, Compassion in World Farming and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). In shocking footage, animals including horses, pigs, sheep and chickens are seen being transported thousands of miles across the world, when they could as easily be carried as meat.
Thousands of animals die en route from disease, heat exhaustion, hunger and stress. The others escape the intolerable conditions only to confront, immediately, the butcher's knife.
The video is the product of the Handle With Care coalition, which has united animal charities to campaign against the abhorrent practice. The coalition, which is lobbying for change in the countries concerned, unveiled an international campaign yesterday in countries including Brazil, Australia, the US, Spain and Italy.
Spain to Italy: Horses driven for 46 hours before slaughter - Please go at the URL above to watch this video
Across the world, more than a billion live animals are transported every week, many over long distances. The video reveals the horror of five particularly gruesome journeys. Australia, the world's largest exporter of live animals, sends more than four million live sheep every year to the Middle East. Shipped in cramped, poorly lit dens, the journey takes 32 days. Three sheep are crammed per square metre in the ship's hold, causing many of the animals to die of suffocation before encountering the slaughterhouse weeks later.
Those sheep that do arrive are fattened before being killed in accordance with Halal butchery laws. Eighty per cent of Australia's abattoirs are Halal-certified, raising the question of why they could not be slaughtered in Australia and transported frozen.
Many live exports are undertaken to make the fraudulent claim that the animals are home-reared. In Spain, thousands of horses are illegally crammed into lorries for a sweltering 46-hour journey to Italy. Canadian pigs, in conditions just as obscene, are condemned to a 4,500-mile journey by land and sea to Hawaii, so that, when slaughtered, their carcasses can be sold as "Island Produced Pork". For nine days, hundreds of pigs are crammed together in the dark, standing in their own excrement. Exhausted and hungry, they become ill, vomiting from motion sickness and waiting for long periods without food.
Canada to Hawaii: Pigs transported for nine days - Please go at the URL above to watch this video
Compassion in World Farming's chief executive, Philip Lymbery, said: "The cruelty these animals endure is completely unacceptable in the 21st century. This trade is one in which millions of animals suffer cruel and unnecessary journeys each year. It must stop."
Despite EU regulations which should protect the animals on the filmed routes, the horses are denied adequate food and water, and endure temperatures of up to 40C.
Speaking on behalf of the International League for the Protection of Horses, Jo White said: "Long distance transport for slaughter is the biggest single abuse of horses in Europe, with around 100,000 involved in the trade. The ILPH is committed to ending this unnecessary suffering and with the review of EU legislation next year, urges the public to demonstrate its objection to this inhumane trade as a matter or urgency."
Rules on the minimum standards of care for the transit of live animals are flouted regularly, with many in such cramped conditions that they have no room to lie down. In Europe alone, some six million animals are taken on long journeys of up to 70 hours, which often cause extensive suffering.
No investigation is usually conducted into a live export unless more than 2 per cent of these animals die in transit; those in the industry say that 1 per cent will die on their journey - equivalent to about 40,000 sheep dying in inhumane conditions each year.
Campaigners say that humans could also be at risk from the live shipping as diseases such as bird flu are spread more easily. Britain's trade in live animal exports is not on the scale of countries such as Australia, but the coalition wants the practice stopped altogether. In this campaign, the coalition hopes to emulate the success of the veal calf campaign of the 1990s, which saw the export of live calves banned in 1996. One woman even gave her life to the cause as she attempted to stop a cattle lorry at Coventry airport.
But after a decade of keeping the trade at bay, pressure from the farming industry prevailed. Traffic resumed in 2006 when the EU lifted the ban after a downturn in the number of BSE cases in the UK.
Each year, 80,000 live sheep and lambs are taken from Britain to continental Europe, and campaigners believe they could be dealt with more humanely by being slaughtered before transportation. David Bowles of the RSPCA said: "We are urging everyone to support this campaign so that we can stop this cruel and unnecessary trade."
'Live animals were living on top of carcasses'
An undercover Compassion in World Farming investigator tells of seeing zebu cattle arrive in Beirut on a ship from Brazil:
"When I boarded the ship the first thing that hit me was the smell. Even before it had docked you could smell it, a combination of ammonia from the stale excrement, the sweat of the packed cattle, and diesel from the ship.
Video footage of the cattle - Please go at the URL above to watch this.
"I didn't have to look hard to see the effect of this. I saw two cows lying dead as soon as I got on board; the crew had been unable to get them out from among the live animals, who were living virtually on top of their carcasses. I'm not a vet, but it looked like the impact of that journey had been too much for them.
"The crew said there were 2,500 cattle on board, and you had animals falling down that couldn't get up again because they were struggling to find the space to stretch their legs. It was so confined they were constantly pushing against each other, even while the ship was stationary. I dread to think what it would have been like when the ship was moving. It was a very stressful environment; the noise of the engines and the dark made it unbearable for me being down there for just a few hours, but I can't imagine what it was like for the animals on that 17-day journey. In Lebanon, the temperature was in the high 30s, but in the metal hold of a confined ship it was unbearable.
"Because these were zebu from Brazil, they had lived wild on expansive ranches. So when they were moved on to trucks and ships, they didn't understand their environment. They bashed against the confines of the lorry in an attempt to find their way out. And, in an effort to keep them as stationary as possible, the traders had packed them in so closely they could hardly move.
"There was no provision made at all for the fact that what they were dealing with was a living thing, not an inanimate object. It was the same with the ship. The space they were kept in on this three-week trip was simply a metal floor with little or no surface to provide grip; they were keeping wild animals in what was basically a tin.
"And at the end of this brutal process, the very reason for their live transportation seemed defunct, as they were slaughtered in front of each other, a practice not considered halal by the experts I consulted.
"As we stood there filming, all I could think was, 'This is so unnecessary and so cruel'."
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