Authors of research papers and articles on global issues for this month
Neven Acropolis, Walden Bello, Candice Bernd, Philippe CHENUAUD,
Common Dreams, Taj Hashmi, Chris Hedges, Richard Heinberg,
Naomi Klein, Lise, Kevin McKinney, Brook Meakins,Charles Mercieca,
George Monbiot, Thomas C. Mountain, Gideon Polya, Pablo Solón, Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Neven Acropolis, Why The Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral Matters
Walden Bello, How to Break the International Deadlock on Catastrophic Climate Change
Candice Bernd, Tar Sands Blockade Activists Halt Construction
Philippe CHENUAUD La Paix commence toujours à l'intérieur de soi
Common Dreams, Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks To Smallest Ever: Satellite Data
Taj Hashmi, American Militarism And Its Short- And Long-Term Implications
Chris Hedges, Life Is Sacred
Richard Heinberg, Building Resilience In A Changing Climate
Naomi Klein, Video: Unacceptable Risks In Pipeline Expansion To Vancouver
Lise, Messages des Élohim
Kevin McKinney, Why The Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral Matters
Brook Meakins, An Inside Look at the One of the First Villages Forced to Relocate
Due to Climate Change
Charles Mercieca, Role of Governments in Promoting Peace
George Monbiot, Along With The Arctic Ice, The Rich World's Smugness Will Melt
Thomas C. Mountain, Accomplice In Genocide; UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay
Gideon Polya, Are We Doomed? Too Late To Save Earth?
Pablo Solon, How to Break the International Deadlock on Catastrophic Climate Change
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bush, Blair Should FaceTrial At The Hague
|Day data received||Theme or issue||Read article or paper|
|September 4, 2012||
by Chris Hedges , TruthDig.com, Countercurrents.org
I retreat in the summer to the mountains and coasts of Maine and New Hampshire to sever myself from the intrusion of the industrial world. It is in the woods and along the rugged Atlantic coastline, the surf thundering into the jagged rocks, that I am reminded of our insignificance before the universe and the brevity of human life. The stars, thousands visible in the night canopy above me, mock human pretensions of grandeur. They whisper the biblical reminder that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Love now, they tell us urgently, protect what is sacred, while there is still time. But now I go there also to mourn. I mourn for our future, for the fading majesty of the natural world, for the folly of the human species. The planet is dying. And we will die with it .
The giddy, money-drenched, choreographed carnival in Tampa and the one coming up in Charlotte divert us from the real world—the one steadily collapsing around us. The glitz and propaganda, the ridiculous obsessions imparted by our electronic hallucinations, and the spectacles that pass for political participation mask the deadly ecological assault by the corporate state. The worse it gets the more we retreat into self-delusion. We convince ourselves that global warming does not exist. Or we concede that it exists but insist that we can adapt. Both responses satisfy our mania for eternal optimism and our reckless pursuit of personal comfort. In America, when reality is distasteful we ignore it. But reality will soon descend like the Furies to shatter our complacency and finally our lives. We, as a species, may be doomed. And this is a bitter, bitter fact for a father to digest.
My family and I hike along the desolate coastline of an island in Maine that is accessible only by boat. We stop in the afternoons on remote inlets and look out across the Atlantic Ocean or toward the shoreline and the faint outline of the Camden hills. My youngest son throws pebbles into the surf. My daughter toddles over the rounded beach stones holding her mother’s hand. The gray and white seagulls chatter loudly overhead. The scent of salt is carried by the wind. Life, the life of my family, the life around me, is exposed at once as fragile and sacred. And it is worth fighting to save.
When I was a boy and came to this coast on duck hunting trips with my uncle, fishing communities were vibrant. The fleets caught haddock, cod, herring, hake, halibut, swordfish, pollock and flounder. All these fish have vanished from the area, victims of commercial fishing that saw huge trawlers rip up the seafloor and kill the corals, bryozoans, tubeworms and other species that nurtured new schools of fish. The trawlers left behind barren underwater wastelands of mud and debris. It is like this across the planet. Forests are cut down. Water is contaminated. Air is saturated with carbon emissions. Soil is depleted. Acidity levels in the oceans skyrocket. Atmospheric temperatures soar. And someone, somewhere, makes obscene sums of money from it. Corporations, indifferent to what is sacred, see the death of the planet as another investment opportunity. They are scurrying to mine the exposed polar waters for the last vestiges of oil, gas, minerals and fish. And since the corporations dictate our relationship to the ecosystem on which we depend for life, the chances of our survival look bleaker and bleaker. The final phase of 5,000 years of settled human activity ends with collective insanity.
“All my means are sane,” Captain Ahab says of his suicidal pursuit of Moby-Dick, “my motive and my object mad.”
The ocean floor off the coast of Maine, which this summer has seen a staggering five-degree rise in water temperature, is now covered in crustaceans—lobsters and crabs—that no longer have any predators. The fish stocks have been killed for profit. This crustacean monoculture carries with it the fragility of all monocultures, a fragility that corn farmers in the Midwest also have experienced. Lobsters provide 80 percent of Maine’s seafood income. But how much longer will they last? When a diverse and intricately balanced biosystem is wiped out, what future is there? After you dismantle nature and throw away the parts, what happens when you desperately need to put them back together? And even if you can nurture back to life the fish stocks decimated by the commercial fleets, as valiant organizations such as Penobscot East Resource Center are attempting to do, what happens when sea temperatures and acidity levels continue to rise amid global warming, dooming most life in the oceans?
The warmer water this year caused lobsters to shed six weeks earlier than usual. What happened to the sea further south is now happening off New England. Long Island Sound, two decades ago, had an abundance of lobsters. Then as the water heated up they disappeared. They fell prey to parasite infestations and shell disease, and the survivors migrated to colder water.
All natural resources are being exploited until exhaustion. They will diminish and soon vanish. Droughts are affecting forests in the Northeast as well as the Northwest. The wintertime die-off of pine beetles and other pests—a reduction vital for the health of the forests—is no longer happening as the planet steadily warms. The traditional hardwoods of the northern forests and the great conifer trees are dying. They are being replaced by oak-hickory forests, dooming the biodiversity, eradicating the habitat of a variety of songbirds and other wildlife and ending the maple syrup industry. Maple syrup was produced a few decades ago in Connecticut and Massachusetts. As a child I would hike in snowshoes to the farmers’ sheds deep in the woods containing vats of boiling syrup. We would pour syrup on the blanket of snow outside to make brittle winter candy. But production in the southern New England states has been largely extinguished and shifted to northern Maine and Canada. These are the small natural indicators that something is terribly wrong.
The daily loss of Arctic sea ice this summer is the most severe on record. The amount of sea ice has fallen by 40 percent since satellite tracking began in the late 1970s. The complete disappearance of summer Arctic sea ice may be no more than a decade or two away. And with the disappearance of the summer ice our planet’s weather patterns will become dominated by freakishly powerful and sudden storms and other violent natural disturbances. Droughts will devastate some parts of the Earth, and in others there will be unrelenting rainfall. It will be a world of extremes. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Floods. Dust bowls. Fire and water.
Our political leaders, Democrat and Republican, are complicit in our demise. Our political system, like that in the declining days of ancient Rome, is one of legalized bribery. Politicians, including Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, serve the demented ends of corporations that will, until the final flicker of life, attempt to profit from our death spiral. Civil disobedience, including the recent decision by Greenpeace activists to chain themselves to a Gazprom supply vessel and obstruct a Russian oil rig, is the only meaningful form of resistance. Voting is useless. But while I support these heroic acts of resistance I increasingly fear they may have little effect. This does not mean we should not resist. Resistance is a moral imperative. We cannot use the word “hope” if we do not fight back. But the corporations will employ deadly force to protect their drive to extract the last bit of profit from life. We can expect only mounting hostility from the corporate state. Its internal and external security apparatus, as the heedless exploitation and its fatal consequences become more apparent, will seek to silence and crush all dissidents. Corporations care nothing for democracy, the rule of law, human rights or the sanctity of life. They are determined to be the last predator standing. And then they too will be snuffed out. Unrestrained hubris always leads to self-immolation.
Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.
|September 4, 2012||
by Gideon Polya, 300.org, Countercurrents.org
The World is facing a climate emergency due to global warming from man-derived greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution. The atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is now 394 parts per million (ppm) and increasing at 2.4 ppm per year. We need to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentration to about 300 ppm for a safe planet for all peoples and all species. We understand the problem and have the technological solutions – the impending catastrophe simply does not have to happen. Are we going to be able to overcome the current political stasis and act before it is too late for Humanity and the Biosphere? Is it too late? Are we all doomed? This article records the opinions of leading scientists and writers on this terminal question for Humanity
|September 4, 2012||
by Naomi Klein, Countercurrents.org
Author Naomi Klein speaks out against plans to expand the Kinder Morgan pipeline to the Port of Vancouver. She presents a case to 'stop this outrageous plan to turn Vancouver into a major port for dirty oil'. Klein says that opposition to dirty oil pipelines is growing all over the North American continent. Naomi Klein was one of many speakers at the Salish Sea Festival in North Vancouver on September 2, 2012. Please see http://CityHallWatch.ca for further details on the event.
|September 3, 2012||
by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Countercurrents.org
George Bush and Tony Blair, the US-UK leaders, are still being criticized and condemned for the aggression they made in Iraq in 2003. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu called on September 2, 2012 for Blair and Bush to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court at The Hague for their role in the US-led invasion of Iraq .
AP in a news datelined London reports:
Desmond Tutu, the retired Anglican Church's archbishop of South Africa , wrote in an op-ed piece for The Observer that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to "answer for their actions."
The Iraq war "has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history," wrote Tutu.
"Those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in The Hague ," he added.
Playwright Harold Pinter has previously called for Bush and Blair to face prosecution at the Hague .
"The then-leaders of the U.S. and U.K. fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand ? with the specter of Syria and Iran before us," said Tutu.
The U.S. is one of the countries that do not recognize the ICC.
In response to Tutu, Blair accused him of repeating inaccurate criticisms of the Iraq war.
"To repeat the old canard that we lied about the intelligence is completely wrong as every single independent analysis of the evidence has shown," Blair said.
In Britain , a two-year long inquiry examining the buildup to the Iraq war and its conduct is yet to publish its final report. The panel took evidence from political leaders including Blair, military chiefs and intelligence officers.
The Guardianin a report on the article by Desmond Tutu said:
Tutu accuses the former British and US leaders of lying about weapons of mass destruction. Writing in the Observer , Tutu also suggests the controversial US and UK-led action to oust Saddam Hussein created the backdrop for the civil war in Syria and a possible wider Middle East conflict involving Iran .
Claiming that different standards appear to be set for prosecuting African leaders and western ones, Tutu says the death toll during and after the Iraq conflict is sufficient on its own for Blair and Bush to be tried at the ICC.
In his article, the archbishop argues that as well as the death toll, there has been a heavy moral cost to civilization, with no gain. "Even greater costs have been exacted beyond the killing fields, in the hardened hearts and minds of members of the human family across the world.
"Has the potential for terrorist attacks decreased? To what extent have we succeeded in bringing the so-called Muslim and Judeo-Christian worlds closer together, in sowing the seeds of understanding and hope?" Blair and Bush, he says, set an appalling example. "If leaders may lie, then who should tell the truth?" he asks.
"If it is acceptable for leaders to take drastic action on the basis of a lie, without an acknowledgement or an apology when they are found out, what should we teach our children?"
The immorality of the United States and Great Britain 's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history.
Instead of recognising that the world we lived in, with increasingly sophisticated communications, transportations and weapons systems necessitated sophisticated leadership that would bring the global family together, the then-leaders of the US and UK fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart.
If leaders may lie, then who should tell the truth? Days before George W Bush and Tony Blair ordered the invasion of Iraq , I called the White House and spoke to Condoleezza Rice, who was then national security adviser, to urge that United Nations weapons inspectors be given more time to confirm or deny the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq . Should they be able to confirm finding such weapons, I argued, dismantling the threat would have the support of virtually the entire world. Ms Rice demurred, saying there was too much risk and the president would not postpone any longer.
On what grounds do we decide that Robert Mugabe should go the International Criminal Court, Tony Blair should join the international speakers' circuit, bin Laden should be assassinated, but Iraq should be invaded, not because it possesses weapons of mass destruction, as Mr Bush's chief supporter, Mr Blair, confessed last week, but in order to get rid of Saddam Hussein?
The cost of the decision to rid Iraq of its by-all-accounts despotic and murderous leader has been staggering, beginning in Iraq itself. Last year, an average of 6.5 people died there each day in suicide attacks and vehicle bombs, according to the Iraqi Body Count project . More than 110,000 Iraqis have died in the conflict since 2003 and millions have been displaced. By the end of last year, nearly 4,500 American soldiers had been killed and more than 32,000 wounded.
But even greater costs have been exacted beyond the killing fields, in the hardened hearts and minds of members of the human family across the world.
Leadership and morality are indivisible. Good leaders are the custodians of morality. The question is not whether Saddam Hussein was good or bad or how many of his people he massacred. The point is that Mr Bush and Mr Blair should not have allowed themselves to stoop to his immoral level.
If it is acceptable for leaders to take drastic action on the basis of a lie, without an acknowledgement or an apology when they are found out, what should we teach our children?
My appeal to Mr Blair is not to talk about leadership, but to demonstrate it. You are a member of our family, God's family. You are made for goodness, for honesty, for morality, for love; so are our brothers and sisters in Iraq , in the US , in Syria , in Israel and Iran .
I did not deem it appropriate to have this discussion at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg last week. As the date drew nearer, I felt an increasingly profound sense of discomfort about attending a summit on "leadership" with Mr Blair. I extend my humblest and sincerest apologies to Discovery, the summit organisers, the speakers and delegates for the lateness of my decision not to attend.
[ Sections of the article have been taken out as those have been quoted in news reports .]
|September 2, 2012||
by Neven Acropolis & Kevin McKinney , Climate Progress, Countercurrents.org
In the past week the Arctic sea ice cover reached an all-time low, several weeks before previous records, and several weeks before the end of the melting season. The long-term decline of Arctic sea ice has been incredibly fast, and at this point a sudden reversal of events doesn’t seem likely. The question no longer seems to be “will we see an ice-free Arctic?” but “how soon will we see it?”. By running the Arctic Sea Ice blog for the past three years I’ve learned much about the importance of Arctic sea ice. With the help of Kevin McKinney I’ve written the piece below, which is a summary of all the potential consequences of disappearing Arctic sea ice.
Arctic sea ice became a recurrent feature on planet Earth around 47 million years ago. Since the start of the current ice age, about 2.5 million years ago, the Arctic Ocean has been completely covered with sea ice. Only during interglacials, like the one we are in now, does some of the sea ice melt during summer, when the top of the planet is oriented a bit more towards the Sun and receives large amounts of sunlight for several summer months. Even then, when winter starts, the ice-free portion of the Arctic Ocean freezes over again with a new layer of sea ice.
Arctic sea ice extent reconstruction – Kinnard et al. 2011
Since the dawn of human civilization, 5000 to 8000 years ago, this annual ebb and flow of melting and freezing Arctic sea ice has been more or less consistent. There were periods when more ice melted during summer, and periods when less melted. However, a radical shift has occurred in recent times. Ever since satellites allowed a detailed view of the Arctic and its ice, a pronounced decrease in summer sea ice cover has been observed (with this year setting a new record low). When the IPCC released its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007, it was generally thought that the Arctic could become ice-free somewhere near the end of this century. But changes in the Arctic have progressed at such speed that most experts now think 2030 might see an ice-free Arctic for the first time. Some say it could even happen this decade.
Sea ice albedo feedback – NASA
What makes this event significant, is the role Arctic sea ice plays as a reflector of solar energy. Ice is white and therefore reflects a large part of incoming sunlight back out to space. But where there is no ice, dark ocean water absorbs most of the sunlight and thus heats up. The less ice there is, the more the water heats up, melting more ice. This feedback has all kinds of consequences for the Arctic region. Disappearing ice can be good for species such as tiny algae that profit from the warmer waters and extended growing season, but no sea ice could spell catastrophe for larger animals that hunt or give birth to offspring on the ice. Rapidly changing conditions also have repercussions for human populations whose income and culture depend on sea ice. Their communities literally melt and wash away as the sea ice no longer acts as a buffer to weaken wave action.
Polar jet stream – NC State University
But what happens in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The rapid disappearance of sea ice cover can have consequences that are felt all over the Northern Hemisphere, due to the effects it has on atmospheric patterns. As the ice pack becomes smaller ever earlier into the melting season, more and more sunlight gets soaked up by dark ocean waters, effectively warming up the ocean. The heat and moisture that are then released to the atmosphere in fall and winter could be leading to disturbances of the jet stream, the high-altitude wind that separates warm air to its south from cold air to the north. A destabilized jet stream becomes more ‘wavy’, allowing frigid air to plunge farther south, a possible factor in the extreme winters that were experienced all around the Northern Hemisphere in recent years. Another side-effect is that as the jet stream waves become larger, they slow down or even stall at times, leading to a significant increase in so-called blocking events. These cause extreme weather simply because they lead to unusually prolonged conditions of one type or another. The recent prolonged heatwave, drought and wildfires in the USA are one example of what can happen; another is the cool, dull and extremely wet first half of summer 2012 in the UK and other parts of Eurasia.
Greenland ice sheet surface melt – NASA
The accumulation of heat in Arctic waters also influences other frozen parts of the Arctic, such as glaciers and ice caps on Greenland and in the Canadian Archipelago. As there is less and less sea ice to act as a buffer, more energy can go into melting glaciers from below and warming the air above them. This has a marked effect on Greenland’s marine-terminating glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet. Not only are glaciers flowing faster towards sea, but there is also a rapid increase in the summer surface melt Greenland experiences, leading to accelerating mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet. As the Arctic warms, an increased contribution to sea level rise is inevitable.
Permafrost distribution in the Arctic – GRID-Arendal
Another way Arctic warming could have worldwide consequences is through its influence on permafrost. Permanently frozen soils worldwide contain 1400-1700 Gigatons of carbon, about four times more than all the carbon emitted by human activity in modern times. A 2008 study found that a period of abrupt sea-ice loss could lead to rapid soil thaw, as far as 900 miles inland. Apart from widespread damage to infrastructure (roads, houses) in northern territories, resulting annual carbon emissions could eventually amount to 15-35 percent of today’s yearly emissions from human activities, making the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere a much more difficult task.
Atmospheric methane concentration – NOAA ESRL
An even more worrying potential source of greenhouse gases is the methane in the seabed of the Arctic Ocean, notably off the coast of Siberia. These so-called clathrates contain an estimated 1400 Gigatons of methane, a more potent though shorter-lived greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Methane clathrate, a form of water ice that contains a large amount of methane within its crystal structure, remains stable under a combination of high pressure and low temperature. At a depth of 50 meters or less the East Siberian Arctic Shelf contains the shallowest methane clathrate deposits, and is thus most vulnerable to rising water temperatures. Current methane concentrations in the Arctic already average about 1.90 parts per million, the highest in 400,000 years.
Russia plants flag at North Pole – Reuters
Apart from these unrecoverable sources of fossil fuel the Arctic is also endowed with large amounts of recoverable oil and natural gas. As the sea ice retreats, the Arctic’s fossil treasures are eyed greedily by large corporations and nations bordering the Arctic Ocean. Not only might this lead to geopolitical tensions in a world where energy is rapidly becoming more expensive, it is also highly ironic that the most likely cause of the disappearance of Arctic sea ice – the extraction and burning of fossil fuels – could lead to more extraction of said fuels. Another feedback loop.
News articles referring to the Arctic and its sea ice usually have pictures of polar bears accompanying the text. But although many animals in the Arctic will be impacted negatively by the vanishing of Arctic sea ice, much more is at stake. After thousands of years in which the sea ice played a vital role in the relatively stable conditions under which modern civilization, agriculture and a 7 billion strong world population could develop, it increasingly looks as if warming caused by the emission of greenhouse gases is bringing an end to these stable conditions. Whether there still is time to save the Arctic sea ice, is difficult to tell, but consequences will not disappear when the ice is gone. It seems these can only be mitigated by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and out of the air. Whichever way you look at it, business-as-usual is not an option.
For more information on Arctic sea ice, check out the Arctic Sea Ice blog.
|August 28, 2012||
by George Monbiot , The Guardian, Countercurrents.org
There are no comparisons to be made. This is not like war or plague or a stockmarket crash. We are ill-equipped, historically and psychologically, to understand it, which is one of the reasons why so many refuse to accept that it is happening.
What we are seeing, here and now, is the transformation of the atmospheric physics of this planet. Three weeks before the likely minimum, the melting of Arctic sea ice has already broken the record set in 2007. The daily rate of loss is now 50% higher than it was that year. The daily sense of loss – of the world we loved and knew – cannot be quantified so easily.
The Arctic has been warming roughly twice as quickly as the rest of the northern hemisphere. This is partly because climate breakdown there is self-perpetuating. As the ice melts, for example, exposing the darker sea beneath, heat that would previously have been reflected back into space is absorbed.
This great dissolution, of ice and certainties, is happening so much faster than most climate scientists predicted that one of them reports: "It feels as if everything I've learned has become obsolete." In its last assessment, published in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that "in some projections, Arctic late-summer sea ice disappears almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century". These were the most extreme forecasts in the panel's range. Some scientists now forecast that the disappearance of Arctic sea-ice in late summer could occur in this decade or the next.
As I've warned repeatedly, but to little effect, the IPCC's assessments tend to be conservative. This is unsurprising when you see how many people have to approve them before they are published. There have been a few occasions – such as its estimate of the speed at which glaciers would be lost in the Himalayas – on which the panel has overstated the case. But it looks as if these will be greatly outnumbered by the occasions on which the panel has understated it.
The melting disperses another belief: that the temperate parts of the world – where most of the rich nations are located – will be hit last and least, while the poorer nations will be hit first and worst. New knowledge of the way in which the destruction of the Arctic sea ice affects northern Europe and North America suggests that this is no longer true. A paper published earlier this year in Geophysical Research Letters shows that Arctic warming is likely to be responsible for the extremes now hammering the once-temperate nations.
The north polar jet stream is an air current several hundred kilometres wide, travelling eastwards around the hemisphere. The current functions as a barrier, separating the cold, wet weather to the north from the warmer, drier weather to the south. Many of the variations in our weather are caused by great travelling meanders – Rossby waves – in the jet stream.
Arctic heating, the paper shows, both slows the Rossby waves and makes them steeper and wider. Instead of moving on rapidly, the weather gets stuck. Regions to the south of the stalled meander wait for weeks or months for rain; regions to the north (or underneath it) wait for weeks or months for a break from the rain. Instead of a benign succession of sunshine and showers, we get droughts or floods. During the winter a slow, steep meander can connect us directly to the polar weather, dragging severe ice and snow far to the south of its usual range. This mechanism goes a long way towards explaining the shift to sustained – and therefore extreme – weather patterns around the northern hemisphere.
I have no idea what is coming to Europe and North America this winter and next summer, in the wake of the record ice melt, but it's unlikely to be pleasant. Please note that this record represents a loss of about 30% of Arctic sea ice, against the long-term average. When that climbs to 50% or 70% or 90%, the impacts are likely to be worse.
Our governments do nothing. Having abandoned any pretence of responding to the environmental crisis during the Earth summit in June, now they stare stupidly as the ice on which we stand dissolves. Nothing – or worse than nothing. Their one unequivocal response to the melting has been to facilitate the capture of the oil and fish it exposes.
The companies that caused this disaster are scrambling to profit from it. On Sunday Shell requested an extension to its exploratory drilling period in the Chukchi Sea, off the north-west coast of Alaska. This would push its operations hard against the moment when the ice re-forms and any spills they cause are locked in. The Russian oil company Gazprom is using the great melt to try to drill in the Pechora Sea, north-east of Murmansk. After turning its Arctic lands in the Komi republic into the Niger delta of the north (repeated oil spills are left unremediated in the tundra), Russia wants to extend this industry into one of the world's most fragile ecosystems, where ice, storms and darkness make decontamination almost impossible.
As I write, activists from Greenpeace, whom I regard as heroes, are chained to Gazprom's supply vessel, preventing the rig from operating. These people are stepping in where all governments have failed. David Cameron, who still claims to lead the greenest government ever, is no longer hugging huskies. In June he struck an agreement with the Norwegian prime minister "to enable sustainable development of Arctic energy". Sustainable development, of course, means drilling for oil.
Is this how our children will see it: that we destroyed the benign conditions that made our world of wonders possible, and then used the opportunity to amplify the damage? All of us, of course, can claim to have acted with other aims in mind, or not to have acted at all, as the other immediacies of life seemed more important. But – unless we respond at last – the results follow as surely as if we had sought to engineer them.
Stupidity, greed, passivity? Just as comparisons evaporate, so do these words. The ice, that solid platform on which, we now discover, so much rested, melts into air. Our pretensions to peace, prosperity and progress are likely to follow. "And like the baseless fabric of this vision, / The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, / The solemn temples, the great globe itself, / Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve."
George Monbiot is the author of the best selling books The Age of Consent: a manifesto for a new world order and Captive State: the corporate takeover of Britain. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian newspaper. Visit his website at www.monbiot.com
|August 26, 2012||
by Common Dreams , CommonDreams.org, Countercurrents.org
Arctic sea ice coverage shrank to a record low 4.21 million square kilometers as of Friday, declining below the previous record low of 4.25 million sq. km marked in 2007, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Saturday, citing satellite data.
And according to the latest report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the extent of the Arctic sea ice in the first two weeks of August was below the record low daily ice extents registered in 2007 and by August 13, "ice extent was already among the four lowest summer minimum extents in the satellite record". The report states that there was a rapid ice loss between August 4 and August 8, which coincided with an intense storm in the Arctic Ocean.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said earlier this month that July was the fourth-hottest month on record worldwide.
Yet, an Obama aide on Thursday told The Hill that climate change would not surface as a main campaign topic, saying President Obama's positions on the matter are well-known.
“Clearly [climate change] is something that is important to the administration, but right now we are obviously going to be focusing on jobs and the economy and talking about what our contrast is,” said Tom Reynolds.
|August 25, 2012||
by Richard Heinberg , Post Carbon Institute, Countercurrents.org
Climate shocks are on the way. We’ve already spewed so much carbon into the atmosphere that a cascade of worsening crop failures, droughts, floods, and freak storms is virtually guaranteed. You, your family, and your community will feel the effects.
Ironically, however, avoiding climate change also has its costs. It makes sense from a climate-protection standpoint to dramatically and rapidly reduce our use of fossil fuels, which drive global warming. But these fuels largely, well, fueled the spectacular economic growth of the past 200 years, and weaning ourselves from them quickly now—while most industrial economies are over-indebted and starved for growth—could risk financial upheaval.
Oil, the most economically pivotal of the fossil fuels, is getting more expensive anyway. Cheap, onshore, conventional crude is depleting; its replacements—deepwater oil, tar sands, and tight oil—cost more to produce, in both dollar and environmental terms. Though high oil prices discourage driving (good for the climate), they also precipitate recessions (bad for the economy). While renewable energy sources are our hope for the future and we should be doing everything we can to develop them, it will be decades before they can supply all our energy needs.
In the face of impending environmental and economic shocks, our best strategy is to build resilience throughout society. Resilience is the subject of decades of research by ecologists and social scientists who define it as “the capacity of a system to tolerate disturbance without collapsing into a qualitatively different state that is controlled by a different set of processes.” In other words, resilience is the capacity to absorb shocks, reorganize, and continue functioning.
In many respects a resilient society defies the imperative of economic efficiency. Resilience needs dispersed inventories and redundancy, while economic efficiency—in its ruthless pursuit of competitive advantage—eliminates inventories and redundancies everywhere it can. Economic efficiency leads toward globalization, resilience toward localization. Economic efficiency pursues short-term profit as its highest objective, while resilience targets long-term sustainability. It would appear that industrial society circa 2012 has gone about as far in the direction of economic efficiency as it is possible to go, and that a correction is necessary and inevitable. Climate change simply underscores the need for that course correction.
Building resilience means helping society to work more like an ecosystem—and that has major implications for how we use energy. Ecosystems conserve energy by closing nutrient loops: plants capture and chemically store solar energy, which is then circulated as food throughout the food web. Nothing is wasted. We humans—having developed the ability to draw upon ancient, concentrated, cheap, and abundant (though ultimately finite) fossil fuels—have simultaneously adopted the habit of wasting energy on a colossal scale. Our food, transport, manufacturing, and dwelling systems burn through thirty billion barrels of oil and eight billion tons of coal per year; globally, humans use over four hundred quadrillion BTUs of energy in total. Even where energy is not technically going to waste, demand for it could be substantially reduced by redesigning our basic systems.
For example, we could reduce transport energy used in food systems by producing food more locally; at the same time, we could reduce other fossil fuel inputs to those systems (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and packaging) by changing farming practices and consumer habits. We could retrofit our buildings so they require far less energy for heating and cooling. And we could reduce the need for motorized transportation by redesigning cities around mixed-use neighborhoods that are friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists.
By cutting our reliance on fossil fuels, by reducing energy requirements in general, and by eliminating our economic system’s need for perpetual growth (and hence for perpetually increasing energy consumption), we can make our way of life less vulnerable to energy shortages and price spikes while also reducing carbon emissions.
Ecosystems build resilience through biodiversity. Thus if the population of one organism that plays a crucial role in an ecosystem is greatly reduced, another organism that performs a similar function will be there to take its place. When we reduce diversity in human systems in the name of economic efficiency, we trade away resilience and increase vulnerability to systemic collapse. For example, industrial agriculture favors monocrops, which present a huge opportunity to any pest that manages to evolve immunity to the chemicals that farmers use to keep it at bay.
Communities can build economic diversity and resilience by encouraging and investing in small businesses and family farms, rather than offering incentives to giant retail or manufacturing companies to locate in town, only to see them move or outsource jobs a few years later.
Feedback loops (either balancing or self-reinforcing) control energy flows and populations in ecosystems, stabilizing or destabilizing the system. Climate change is itself subject to both kinds of feedbacks: forests and oceans absorb carbon and help keep the climate system in balance, while melting permafrost releases greenhouse-enhancing methane, thus reinforcing global warming. Part of the challenge of building community resilience is to identify reinforcing and balancing feedback loops, to learn how they affect human systems, and to make them work for us.
Once we start down the path of building resilience, the positive effects become synergetic. For example, by reprocessing recycled materials locally rather than sending them to far-off countries for reprocessing, and by composting local food waste and sewage, communities can conserve energy while creating jobs, building topsoil, and reducing dependence on increasingly unreliable distant sources of food and materials. Again: resilience helps us adapt to inevitable shocks and changes, while also aiding proactive efforts to reduce energy consumption and thus avert future global warming. Building resilience helps us address a range of problems with just a few basic strategies.
Resilience can’t remove all the challenges and hardships ahead. For example, people typically don’t adapt to intense, prolonged drought—they move elsewhere, as tens of thousands did during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. No strategy will guarantee immunity to impacts from acidifying oceans, melting glaciers, and weird weather. But resilience buys us a better insurance plan. And in the bargain, it might also revive our communities, create economic opportunity, and make life more satisfying.
Richard Heinberg is Senior Fellow-in-Residence at Post Carbon Institute. He is the author of ten books, including The Party’s Over, Peak Everything, and the soon-to-be-released The End of Growth. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s most effective communicators of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels.
|August 23, 2012||
by Thomas C. Mountain, Countercurrents.org
The UN’s Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has spent her entire time in office as an active accomplice in the genocide being conducted by the western funded Ethiopian regime against the people of the Ogaden.
A report on the genocide in the Ogaden remains under lock and key in Navi Pillay’s office under her direct order. The investigations this report was based on were conducted by at least two teams sent to the Ogaden in 2007 after the independence war and counterinsurgency being waged there first hit the worlds stage with the killing of a dozen or so Chinese oil workers exploring for oil despite being warned off by fighters from the Ogaden National Liberation Front.
According to persons with first hand participation in the investigation in the Ogaden in 2007 the report contains words such as “murder”, “mass murder”, “scorched earth policy”, “food blockade”, “medicine blockade”, “crimes against humanity” and even “genocide”.
With both the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders expelled from the Ogaden since 2007, before the investigation was completed, there is little possibility of any really independent observers providing any alternative to the still secret report. Two Swedish journalists who attempted to do so were nearly murdered by the Ethiopian death squads in the region and are now rotting in an Ethiopian dungeon, convicted of “terrorism”.
After years of demands from authors of the report Navi Pillay still is refusing to release it.
One person from within Ms. Pillay’s office reports that when challenged to provide a reason for suppressing this well documented expose of the worst ongoing crime in the world Ms. Pillay blamed the Obama White House and in particular President Obama’s Senior Advisor for Africa Gayle Smith.
Apparently Navi Pillay knows where and when she must kneel down to Pax Americana and would prefer to be an accomplice in genocide rather than lose the position marking the pinnacle of her career in service to the USA and its bosses and underbosses at the UN.
Today Navi Pillay, for the first time, is expressing “deep concern” over the actions of the Ethiopian regime formerly headed by the now deceased Meles Zenawi, decades long head of a regime that is now in the beginning stages of collapse.
It seems she can see the handwriting on the wall and doesn't want to be caught out completely in distancing herself from the most corrupt, brutal and murderous dictator in Africa if not the world, Meles Zenawi.
With the Ethiopian empire crumbling and the independence of the Ogaden seemingly inevitable it will be up to the liberation fighters turned new government to try to bring Ms. Pillay to justice, though the list she is a part of includes many much more powerful, and ultimately responsible, than she.
Thomas C. Mountain is the most widely distributed independent journalist in Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. His interviews on the genocide in the Ogaden can be seen on PressTV and RTTV. He can be reached at thomascmountain at yahoo dot com.
|August 23, 2012||
by Taj Hashmi , Countercurrents.org
Truth is treason in the empire of lies . There is an alternative to national bankruptcy, a bigger police state, trillion-dollar wars, and a government that draws ever more parasitically on the productive energies of the American people.
Ron Paul, US Presidential Candidate (2008 & 2012)
Washington's empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power. That is how the American Empire functions.
-- Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of Treasury (1981-82)
American duplicities, arm-twisting diplomacy and overpowering influence of the Military-Industrial Complex have already undermine American values leading us to decades of devastating warfare in almost every continent. Meanwhile, as an Iranian insider Hossein Mousavian believes, if attacked by Israel or the US, the already nervous and estranged Iran would definitely go for the nuclear option by withdrawing from the NPT. Now, in view of the growing nuclear buildup in Pakistan and Iran's potential to become a nuclear power, how the US is likely to react to these developments is anybody's guess. Since America is fast moving towards The Golden Age of Special Operations, drone operations or wars by remote on a massive scale by abandoning the boots-on-the-ground policy, will be the new way of fighting America's new wars in the coming years, and mostly in the Muslim World.
It appears that by the 2020s the unipolar world having America, as the global superpower will nearly disappear. The newly emerging democracies in the Arab World, including Egypt and Iraq; and possibly, an assertively pro-Muslim Turkey with very loose to non-existent ties with NATO and Israel; and possibly a nuclear-armed Iran in league with avowedly anti-American Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the long run will challenge American hegemony in the greater Middle East, South and Central Asia. By then the centers of economic development will further drift from the West to Asia, mainly to China and India. China is most likely to emerge as the main patron of this conglomerate of oil-rich and nuclear-armed nations. On the other hand, in view of the growing Russian influence in the region as reflected in its veto against any UN-led invasion of Syria in early 2012 (China also vetoed against the proposal) Russia is also expected to join the anti-American / anti-NATO conglomerate. As losing face or losing global hegemony is least desirable to American hawks and imperialists, they will try to reverse the process through major wars, first against some manageable foes like Iran, Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and then possibly against Pakistan and others. Rising Saudi defense budget, $46 billion in 2011, is likely to further polarize the Middle East between pro-Saudi and pro-Iranian forces. American client states in the Arab World are likely to join the fray. Direct confrontation and even a prolonged war between Sunni Gulf states and Iran under Saudi leadership with American support and instigation is another most likely scenario in the coming years.
Meanwhile, America has made total mess of Iraq and Afghanistan, albeit to the advantage of the Military-Industrial Complex who made most of the trillion-dollar-profit of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As we know, America started messing up with Iraq since the 1950s. Saddam Hussein was in CIA's payroll up to the early 1960s and later he was in the best of terms with Reagan and Bush Sr. until he was duped into invading Kuwait in 1990 by the US Ambassador. During the Iraq-Iran War (1980-1988), America provided intelligence and logistics to Saddam Hussein against Iran. The whole world watched Donald Rumsfeld meeting Saddam Hussein in Baghdad during the War. However, soon after the end of the Iraq-Iran war in a stalemate, America clipped the wing of Saddam Hussein after he had become menacingly powerful to the detriment of its allies in the Middle East. American Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie on purpose misled Saddam Hussein, and sort of, gave him the green signal. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 led to the American-led invasion of Iraq, the Operation Desert Storm, in early 1991, which Saddam Hussein classified as the Mother of All Battles. The US ambassador is said to have told Saddam Hussein, it appears, only to encourage him to invade Kuwait:
But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait. I was in the American Embassy in Kuwait during the late 1960s. The instruction we had during this period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and that the issue is not associated with America. James Baker has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction. We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via Klibi (Chedli Klibi, Secretary General of the Arab League) or via President Mubarak. All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly.
We all know how preposterous was the American argument in favor of the second US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Although many Americans still believe that there was an intelligence failure on part of the CIA it misread and thought Saddam Hussein had the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and was building nuclear bombs from Bush Jr. to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and almost every big wig in the US administration deliberately lied to the Americans and the whole world about the so-called WMD. We also know the real motive behind the invasion, giving the most powerful lobbies in America, Britain, Italy, Spain, Australia and other allied powers the opportunity to make billions as profits or dividends of the war. We also know that directly or indirectly the invaders killed more than a million Iraqis and the country is in total mess. It is, however, an irony that the liberated Iraq (and Afghanistan) is very close to Iran, America's main nemesis in the Middle East. It is only a question of time when Iranian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Afghan, Pakistani, Arab and Central Asian Shiites will come closer to each other to threaten American interests in the Middle East, South and Central Asia.
Finally, one may re-iterate the following positions in the light of the foregoing discussion on the nature and extent of American imperialism; if the Empire is likely to hit again on a massive scale to prolong the ongoing conflicts; and if there is a way out of a devastatingly destabilizing future in the coming decades. We know nothing in particular has all of a sudden gone wrong with Islam, and so many things seem to be going wrong with America (since 1492), we need an understanding of the factors people, events and ideas that have turned the richest country into the most hated empire in our times. Thanks to Reagan's Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts's succinct definition of the American Empire, we already know that the Empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power . He also tells us that the empire-builders have modified the US Constitution in the name of national security in such a manner that Americans' incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. Craig Roberts' appraisal is a good follow up of what President Eisenhower singled out in 1961 as the main perpetrator of all modern wars that America participated in after the Second World War, America's Military-Industrial-Congressional Lobby.
The foregoing discussion leads us to the conclusion that we are fast entering the post-terrorist phase of history where state-terrorism and state-sponsored violence in the name of global peace, freedom, democracy, religion and sovereignty have been destabilizing the world. Several millions have already fell victims to state-sponsored violence, from Hiroshima to Vietnam, Rwanda-Burundi to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And many more are likely to follow them in the coming decades, mostly from the Muslim World. Now, one may raise the question: Is there a way out of the foreseeable mega wars in the names of the War on Terror or Islam-in-Danger We know the answer, which might sound very sophomoric, that is the American people should force their government to restrain the Military-Industrial Complex from promoting wars and conflicts; make the Israeli Lobby accountable to US laws and regulations; and America should help resolve inter-state conflicts, especially over disputed territories (such as the Palestine, Taiwan and Kashmir problems) by simply not exercising its veto power in the UN and by not supporting either of the parties with money, arms or troops. America should also withdraw support from autocracies, especially in the Muslim World, as lack of democracy and freedom proliferates extremism and terrorism. Last but not least, there is no reason to assume that the ongoing Hundred-Year-War will remain confined to the asymmetric wars between the Empire and smaller states and non-state actors in the Muslim World. If not addressed, the conflicts would proliferate to engulf many more countries, including superpowers like China and Russia. One must always keep in mind that apparently insignificant event, such as the Sarajevo Incident, led to World War I and Hitler's invasion of Poland to World War II. Unfortunately, we have already crossed the threshold of many more similar events, including 9/11 and unlawful invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. How America behaves with regard to Iran and Syria will be the most important catalysts in this regard.
It is time American civil societies, veterans and their family members, and common people take pro-active measures to demilitarize the American psyche for the sake of global peace and justice. They should know as Eisenhower pointed out American Military Industrial Complex is at the roots of all major wars America has fought since 1945. They should all take General Wesley Clark (ret) seriously, who revealed the US secret plan to invade seven countries, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Iran even before it invaded Afghanistan. The plan was revealed to the General ten days after 9/11 by some top brasses at the Pentagon. As General Clark reveals, what is most worrisome is that the US loves to use the hammer (its military) to fix whatever it thinks has gone wrong anywhere in the world. The US loves to invade countries because its military is great to take down governments. The American Congress (Eisenhower's Congressional Lobby) and policy makers at the State Department (Senator Fulbright's Voodoo Magicians) are too powerful and manipulative to be restrained by half-hearted peace initiatives by Americans. Last but not least, the bulk of Americans are so naïve, politically inert and indifferent that they hardly raise any question about their country's foreign policy and invasions of one country after another (America wages a major war almost after every ten years) in the name of freedom and security of America. Again, Americans are too patriotic to question the justifications for the wars their country initiates in distant lands, or the ones their leaders are contemplating to wage in the near future.
Taj Hashmi teaches at Austin Peay State University Clarksville, Tennessee
|September 17, 2012||
by Brook Meakins AlterNet
For the most part, many people still experience climate change on an academic rather than a personal level. But for the villagers of Vunidogoloa on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island, climate change has become a daily intrusion on every day life. The villagers of Vunidogoloa are currently relocating to drier and higher land because of sea level rise, erosion, and intensifying floods. I had the opportunity to visit the village midway through this process – one of the very first village relocation projects in the world – and spoke with people young and old about their upcoming move.
Throughout 2012, these Fijian villagers have been in the process of moving from their current home village – a tract of land overlooking Natawa Bay, the largest bay in the South Pacific, to their new home which they named Kenani, Fijian for Canaan, the biblical “promised land.” Last month, I visited both sites - the seaside village that is now uninhabitable and the mountaintop site of their intended new home. I talked with the villagers about their feelings, hopes, and fears, as they become one of the very first villages in the world to be wholly relocated as a result of the effects of climate change.
An increasing number of coastal communities around the world are faced with the issue of relocation because of sea level rise, among other environmental and climate change related issues. In most cases, these individuals and their communities contribute very little to anthropogenic climate change, yet they are feeling the proverbial heat in a much more profound and potentially devastating way. Some villagers, like those in Vunidogoloa and their promised land, eagerly and proactively participate in the process of relocation. But for others, everything that comes along with relocation, including property rights issues, a lack of finances, the inevitable culture loss, and a host of other complex problems, is a much more traumatic topic. Scientists and academics predict that this phenomenon will worsen as global emissions rise and polar ice continues to melt. There is no time like the present to learn from those villages around the globe that are testing the waters of relocation.
From the cosmopolitan and tourist-friendly city of Nadi on Fiji’s main island of Vitu Levu, I took a short plane flight to Suva, Fiji’s busy and industrial capitol. From there, I caught a plane to the Indio-Fijian sugarcane town of Labasa on the island of Vanua Levu, which is, to my delight, off the radar for most international tourists. It was impossible to find Vunidogoloa village on Google maps (I tried), so I drove to the seaside town of Savusavu on Vanua Levu’s southern coast to pick up Tomasi, a Fiji Ministry of Health official who works with the local villages on climate change issues as they relate to public health and welfare.
Tomasi was well aware of the village of Vunidogoloa and was kind enough to escort me for the hour’s drive down the twisted, potholed, barely marked road. Once we arrived at the village, it was pouring rain - a sobering and very visual reminder to me that this is not a story with a fairytale ending. Fijian beauty abounded along the drive – tropical yet bucolic scenery of coconut palms, the farmers and their children eagerly grinning and waving down the passing cars, and baby pigs scurrying across the road. But, it was important to remember that my destination was a village that, despite its lack of contribution to global warming, was being forced to move from its ancestral home due to a rising sea level.
However, in typical Fijian fashion, after a wet and bumpy sojourn down a long path towards the water, I was jovially met with smiling friendly faces and warm hugs. The villagers were gathered in a rudimentary open-air hut, where the women were making brightly colored handicrafts for an upcoming wedding. We were beckoned to join, and ran to escape the rain.After making the rounds of introductions, I settled in next to Tomasi, who agreed to interpret some of the more nuanced aspects of the interview. The mood changed and now matched the weather -- the atmosphere grew solemn as I began asking questions about the upcoming move.
Samuela Banicau, a village elder and one of the masterminds behind the relocation project, took the lead in answering my questions. He explained his sadness about the need to move to higher ground, and those sitting around him nodded in agreement. He talked about how much the children love their beachside location and playing in the water. He told me that decades ago the village was truly an idyllic spot. There were home gardens, breadfruit and coconut trees, and houses that stayed dry most of the year. Now, high tide frequently meant that the plants and crops were bathed in salt water. In fact, the village site was probably the most barren area that I saw during my entire trip. Their homes are now on stilts, and even so, villagers reported frequent flooding into their dwellings.
Samuela also described the new home site, up in the hills, just one kilometer inland from where we were currently sitting. At this point women jumped in to answer my questions, often barely audible through generous giggles. I asked if they were able to choose the orientation of their homes, or in any way direct and design any aspect of the move. Even more giggling ensued, and several women took the time to describe aspects of the move that they were excited about.
The issue of climate change relocation is a topic I broach often with people in low-lying coastal regions around the world. I can safely say that this particular conversation was one of the most cheerful I have ever been a part of. The villagers of Vunidogoloa chose their “promised land” site, which goes a long way in explaining their enthusiasm for their upcoming move. But, considering the fact that the village is relocating close by, and that the move is well supported by the government, their enthusiasm is less surprising.
The Fijian government is contributing two-thirds of the capital for the move, which includes labor, materials, finances, and design work. When the elders of Vunidogoloa asked the government to move them, the government simply asked for the village to cover a third. In the end, the village provided local wood as building material and labor to the cause.
As we made our way to the new village site, the rain subsided. We drove up the sloping hill to the site and walked around the leveled area -- an expansive piece of property. I spoke with Manoa Rokotobitobi, one of the leaders of the building project, a man already living in a house adjacent to the site. He said that the village had been discussing the move for ten years and finally decided to ask for help. There was one house already positioned and ready in the new village site, and the other 29 are anticipated to be completed in approximately six months. He reported that many other village leaders had stopped by to ask questions and seek advice for their own potential moves. (I informally verified this through the village “guest book,” which has signatures from visitors from numerous other villages.)
This project is the first settlement or village in Fiji to have made a formal request to the government to be moved due to climate change impacts, and in fact, one of the first villages to make this formal request, successfully, in the world.
Rokotobitobi told us that he realizes there are low lying communities in the world who face similar impacts that have not received the same support. He goes so far as to call his village “lucky.” Of course, he is right. Yet his village is tragically unlucky in that they have no choice but to move. At the same time, they are also incredibly fortunate in that they have government backing.
The estimated new 30 homes, which will cost about $15,000 each, will house the approximately 150 villagers who are relocating.The village will include improvements such as solar power and a natural water supply system. In the meantime, while waiting for their houses to be finished, the village has conducted workshops that memorialize their history and experience with the land, and also teach about climate change impacts and future projections.
While I was at the village, Samuela Banicau took me down to the water, where several young boys were playing in the bay. Despite the stormy weather, they seemed at ease in their play, running and jumping into the sea, wild and boyish. I spent some time with them in the mushy wet sand, trying to get a sense of their feelings about the upcoming move. It was all giggles though, as school had just let out for a two-week holiday and playing was the only thing on their agenda.
However, as we turned to leave, with our cameras rolling, the boys broke out into an unscripted Maori Haka-like warrior dance. They moved together with synchronicity and command. As I walked away towards the car, I realized that they may have no choice but to move, but it will take a lot more than one kilometer to separate this village from their traditional way of life. Other villages may not be so lucky.
Photos by Brook Meakins.
Brook Meakins is an activist and attorney in Berkeley, California with a practice that specializes in providing legal assistance and advocacy for the populations of low-lying island countries who face imminent threat of climate-related disaster.
|September 7, 2012||
by Walden Bello, Pablo Solón, Foreign Policy in Focus
The Bangkok meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ended this week, with no progress among countries to commit to increasing the level of emission reductions for this decade. Why are the climate talks stalemated and what should be done to break the deadlock
Over the last year alone, the Greenland ice sheet has virtually vanished. This July was the hottest July ever recorded in the United States. A normally dry Beijing had the worst flooding since 1951. Long-delayed monsoon rains in India resulted in the second drought in four years. The ensuing bad harvest and the worst power outages in the country's history could cause a 5-percent decrease in GDP growth. Last month, a protracted "rainstorm with no name," as many Filipinos termed it, persisted for over a week in the Philippines and plunged Manila into a watery disaster that is probably the worst in recent history. And, of course, Thailand itself was a water world for over a month last year due to floods.
Climate change is triggered by the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The developed countries, termed in UNFCCC parlance as “Annex 1” countries, contributed 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions from 1890 to 2007. Yet these countries have also been the most difficult to persuade to seriously address global warming by curbing their emissions, limiting consumption, and providing finance and technology for developing countries to deal with climate change.
The U.S. Congress is populated by Republican climate skeptics who continue to believe, against all evidence, that climate change is a figment of the liberal imagination and have prevented the passage of any meaningful legislation on the climate. The European Union's false face in climate diplomacy was clearly seen here in Bangkok too, as it insisted on a pledge of 20-percent emission cuts instead of 25 percent, calling the latter "wishful thinking" and unrealistic. The EU's commitment will be accomplished largely through weak or unrealistic containment measures like carbon trading or techno-fixes like carbon sequestration and storage, not by moderating economic growth or reducing consumption.
The North-South dimension has added a deadly dynamic to this process, as the so-called emerging capitalist economies of the South—notably China, India, Brazil, and South Africa—make claims to their share of ecological space to grow, even as the North continues to refuse to give up any of the vast ecological space it now occupies and exploits. China is now the world's biggest contributor of greenhouse gases, but the basis of its refusal to entertain mandatory limits is that its accumulated emissions have been quite low, about 9 percent of the historical total.
The refusal of the North to curb its high consumption and the intention of big emerging economies to reproduce the Northern consumption model lies at the root of the deadlock in the climate change negotiations —one symbolized by the failure of the talks in Copenhagen in 2009, Cancun in 2010, and Durban in 2011 to agree on the contours of a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. What was agreed in Durban is a "laissez faire" regime where only "voluntary pledges" for emission reductions will be made until 2020. The tragedy is that these nonbinding pledges are going to represent only a 13-percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels, which will lead to an increase in the global mean temperature of at least 4-6 degrees Celsius in this century. Leading climate scientists have said that any increase must be limited to 2 degrees Celsius at most.
Reflecting what many see as the incomprehensibly rigid attitude of Washington, U.S. climate official Todd Stern recently urged governments to be "more flexible" with the 2-degree Celsius target. This can only provide the governments of Annex 1 countries an excuse to postpone making commitments, if not junk mandatory reductions altogether.
In reality, both the United States and China want a weaker climate agreement. In the United States, influential politicians and corporations are not committed to deep real cuts. And China's leaders realize that the longer they can put off a legally binding agreement, the better, since China will be far ahead in GHG emissions in a few years and a weak agreement will be in its interest.
The climate talks stalemate is not therefore the result of a disagreement between the two biggest powers, but rather of a common desire not to be obliged to change their policies of consumption, production, and gaining control of natural resources around the world.
The position of the U.S. and Chinese delegations, as well as those from many other countries, reflects more the concerns of their elites than of their people. In China, there are massive protests against environmentally destructive development projects. In the United States and Canada, the movement against the exploitation of tar sands is the expression of a civil society that wants to stop polluting our planet.
The elites of emerging economies are using the just demand of "historical responsibility" or "common but differentiated responsibility" in order to steal time and secure a weak binding agreement. The deliberate prolonging of the stalemate means allowing business as usual. Given that this strategy has led to a dead end, it is imperative that civil society regain its independent voice and articulate a position distinct from that of the Group of 77 and China.
Forging a new approach
We must demand that Annex 1 countries make legally binding commitments to real deep cuts (40-50 percent by 2020 without offsets) and commit to them in the coming Conference of Parties in Doha. They must commit substantial new funds immediately to the Green Climate Fund and guarantee transfer of technology as part of their historical responsibility.
At the same time, we should demand that China, India, Brazil, and South Africa also agree to mandatory cuts without offsets, although of course, these should be lower than those for the Annex 1 countries, in line with the UNFCCC principles. Big emerging economies—which are launched into high-speed, consumption-dependent, and greenhouse gas-intensive growth paths—can no longer hide behind the rubric of the Group of 77 to avoid making mandatory greenhouse gas reduction commitments.
Even as we demand that both Annex 1 and the emerging economies make mandatory commitments, other governments, though they may not be significant greenhouse gases emitters, must be encouraged to make binding commitments. This will send a very strong message to both the Annex 1 and emerging economies that a real binding agreement is needed now. Many developing countries have the capacity to commit to reducing their emissions now. Mitigation must be a collective effort, and developing countries can't be seen demanding cuts while increasing their own emissions, in many cases for the benefit of their upper classes.
We can no longer tolerate a situation in which the United States and China portray themselves as opponents but actually provide each other with the rationale to pursue their environmentally destabilizing trajectories.
Parts of this commentary were adapted from "Weapons for the Weak in the Climate Struggle," Walden Bello's August 16 column for Foreign Policy in Focus.
|September 11, 2012||
TransCanada Attempts to Reroute Keystone XL Pipeline, But Tar Sands Blockade Activists Halt Construction
by Candice Bernd, Truthout, AlterNet
Those meddling blockaders are at it again.
Three environmental activists chained themselves to a TransCanada feller buncher last week in Saltillo, Texas, stalling the project as construction workers and police abandoned the site for the day.
A feller buncher is used in construction and logging to rip trees from their roots - in this case to clear a path for the Keystone XL pipeline. Two other blockade activists stayed at the site to provide support to those who were locked down.
Unlike a similar action the week before in Livingston, Texas, there were no arrests at the Sept. 5 Saltillo protest, which ended when members of the Tar Sands Blockade unchained themselves and declared victory for a full day of climate justice.
Activist Michael Lowe tells Truthout he participated in the lockdown to protect native water rights. The Keystone XL threatens ground water supplies across the pipeline route, and many indigenous communities will be directly affected if there is a leak or spill along the pipeline, he says.
"I've stayed on a lot of native lands during my travels, and became really close with their communities. We went to a lot of their community meetings where they were talking about how they would not have water rights for the next ten years.
It just made me think, 'What is a more basic right than water'"
The action comes a week after seven blockaders were arrested in a lockdown action in Livingston, which successfully shut down Keystone XL construction on August 28.
The Tar Sands Blockade is coordinating a series of rolling protests along the proposed southern route through Texas and Oklahoma.
The day blockaders were locked down in Saltillo, TransCanada announced a proposed new pipeline route in Nebraska that would avoid the ecologically sensitive sand hills region in an attempt to assuage the concerns of local ranchers and environmental advocates.
The sand hills sit atop one of the most important agricultural aquifers in the nation.
The broad-based public outcry over the sand hills region in Nebraska - both from Republican politicians and grassroots activists - as well as an arbitrarily rushed deadline on an environmental review, were cited as major reasons President Obama in January rejected the permit for the cross-border portion of the pipeline.
"Based on feedback from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the public, we have refined our proposed routing of the Keystone XL pipeline," TransCanada's president, Russ Girling told the Los Angeles Times. "The preferred alternative route...reflects our shared desire to minimize the disturbance of land and sensitive resources in the state."
Pipeline opponents maintain no matter what route the pipeline takes, the toxic tar sands slurry it carries will devastate any land it touches, and any water body it sinks into.
No matter what path the pipeline takes, hundreds of thousands of acres of boreal forest will be cleared. No matter what route the pipeline takes it could still spell "game over" for the climate, as NASA climatologist James Hansen, suggested in a scathing New York Times opinion piece earlier this year.
"I've realized that the traditional means to effect change, while still useful, can only go so far, and not far enough," says Occupy Dallas member Gary Stuard who locked down Wednesday. "It is completely clear to me now that massive nonviolent direct action is really the only way to protect the rights of citizens, to protect our land, water, air - and to prevent ecological catastrophe from happening."
Stuard told Truthout that he is thrilled to be a part of the burgeoning Summer of Solidarity movement. Stuard says a long spiritual and philosophical journey gave him the strength to lock down. He was a Zen Buddhist monk for more than four years.
"I was brought up in an evangelical fundamentalist congregation. As a gay person, that did some serious damage to me psychologically. At the same time, being exposed to the life and example of Jesus of Nazareth made a very powerful and deep impression on me," he says. "I'm no longer religiously affiliated, but I still live by the above principles."
In Texas and Nebraska, conservative ranchers and landowners, as well as Republicans, are joining hands with the likes of environmentalists and occupiers to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, no matter what path it takes.
If the Blockade movement reaches its goal, the pipeline won't take any route at all.
|September 9, 2012||
by Philippe CHENUAUD, Cercle Univ. Ambassadeurs de la Paix firstname.lastname@example.org
La Paix commence toujours à l'intérieur de soi
Si vous voulez la Paix dans le monde, faites d’abord la Paix à l’intérieur de vous,
Ne jugez pas, ne critiquez pas,
Et cultivez à l’intérieur de vous un sentiment positif envers les autres,
Et cultivez à l’intérieur de vous la Paix,
Soyez en Paix avec vous-même en vous acceptant comme vous êtes,
Ne vous jugez pas, ne vous critiquez pas,
Aimez-vous simplement comme vous êtes,
Et ainsi soyez en Paix,
Cette Paix intérieure rayonnera et amènera plus de Paix autour de vous,
Donc de plus de Paix dans le monde,
Faisons d’abord la Paix avec nous-mêmes,
Et nous connaîtrons la Paix dans ce monde.
Peace always starts within itself,
If you want peace in the world, first made the peace within you,
Not, do not criticize
And grow within you one positive feeling towards others,
And grow within you peace,
Be at peace with yourself by accepting you as you are,
Do you think not, you not criticize.
Love you just as you are,
And thus be in peace,
This inner peace will extend and will bring more peace around you,
Thus more peace in the world.
First make peace with ourselves,
And we will have peace in this world.
Paz começa sempre dentro de si, Se você quer paz no mundo, primeiro fez a paz dentro de você,
Não, não criticar
E crescer dentro de você um sentimento positivo em relação aos outros,
E crescer dentro de você a paz,
Estar em paz consigo mesmo por aceitar você como você é,
Você acha que não, você não criticar.
Amo você como você é,
E, assim, estar em paz,
Esta paz interior vai estender e vai trazer mais paz ao seu redor,
Assim, mais paz no mundo.
Primeiro fazer as pazes conosco mesmos,
E vamos ter paz neste mundo.
Paz siempre empieza dentro de sí misma,
Si desea paz en el mundo, primero hizo la paz dentro de TI,
No, no critico
Y crecer dentro de un sentimiento positivo hacia los demás,
Y crecer en paz,
Estar en paz consigo mismo por acepte como eres,
¿Crees no, que no criticar.
Te amo tal como eres,
Y así estar en paz,
Esta paz interior se extenderá y traerá más paz que te rodea,
Por lo tanto más paz en el mundo.
En primer lugar hacer la paz con nosotros mismos,
Y tendremos paz en este mundo.
|August 16, 2012||
Role of Governments in Promoting Peace
by Charles Mercieca
Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.
International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University
Hon President & Professor, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich
Download full WORD document by author
Governments of all kinds seem to have at least one thing in common. They want to convince everyone that all their actions are performed in the best interest of their respective population. Of course, experience demonstrates that this is not necessarily true in any way whatsoever. All we need to do is simply to analyze their behavior in terms of results, since actions are stronger and more credible than words. Unfortunately, there seems to be not one government in the whole world that could be termed as perfect.
Need for Good Government Officials
At least, we need to do our best to create the best government possible. We need government officials who genuinely and sincerely try to do their very best to alleviate problems and diminish needless suffering as much as possible. Every government has the potential to contribute by all means toward the promotion of peace or war both within the nation and the world at large. In other words, government officials must make it a point to do everything in their power to perform actions that are merely positive and constructive.
Besides, they must keep in mind that the whole world is one single unit where all people from every walk of life and profession live. If the water and air of one nation is polluted, other nations are going to be affected as well. This means that all people of all nations tend to be physically strong or weak on a mutually beneficial or destructive basis. Hence, no government in the world has the right to perform actions that are harmful to people’s health in any way whatsoever. This would be abusive and criminal.
In view of this, we may realize and understand that those who seek governmental positions out of lust for power should not be there in the first place. The only government officials that seem to be fit for the position they hold are those who genuinely and sincerely view the government’s job as a means of good and effective service. Those who occupy governmental position are merely the servants of the people. They must listen to what the people have to say.
Afterwards, they must try to fulfill the people’s needs by all means. Like good parents, government officials are obligated to look after the vital needs of all the people without exception. Among such vital needs, which may be viewed as sacrosanct human rights, are health care, education, and adequate home facilities. A nation may be viewed as strong or weak by the health of the people. When people are healthy and strong, then we do have a healthy and strong nation. When every citizen is given the opportunity to develop one’s talents to the maximum possible, then we will have an affluent nation.
Fulfillment of People's Dire Needs
When all people have adequate home facilities, then most of the anxieties are soon gone before we even know it. This way, people are enabled to spend their full time performing positive and constructive work. As a matter of fact, they are given the opportunity to become more creative in the best interest of the entire nation and even, very often, the whole world. Yet, we do have a number of governments, whose philosophy does not seem to be healthy at all that, very sadly, view weapons and wars as their source of hope and security!
They seem to forget for all practical purposes, as revealed in a recorded history of 6,000 years, that weapons and wars have always served to create nightmares and to make people suffer mercilessly. We learn from history that weapons and wars have always instigated more weapons and more wars. Besides, like Pope Pius XII said on the eve of World War II to both the Germans and the British: In a war everyone is a loser and no one is a winner. Germany lost the war and its economy collapsed and people were poor everywhere.
On the other hand, the United Kingdom won the war and its economy equally collapsed. People were, likewise, poor everywhere. Not only so, but the victorious United Kingdom lost its British Empire as a result. This means that the choice is crystal clear. Governments, as a whole, are faced with a dilemma. They must view their role as one that promotes war or as one that promotes peace. As the Romans used to say: Si vis pacem para pacem and si vis bellum para bellum --- If you want peace prepare for peace and if you want war prepare for war.
One US President, whose name was Richard Nixon, tried to reverse this 2,000 years traditional dictum by saying: Si vis pacem, para bellum – if you want peace prepare for war. This explains why the USA, at this stage of history, gives top priority in its expenditure on the manufacture and sales of weapons and the never-ending development of the military industrial complex. And we know the rest of the story. The USA is today the greatest debtor on earth with trillions of dollars in debt and the American people are suffering immensely as a result.
The world at large is convinced that the two wars the USA waged on Afghanistan and Iraq could have been avoided. Instead of accumulating trillions of dollars in debts, the USA might have accumulated all of that money in surplus. But the American addiction to war is so deep and so strong that this nation continues to build up more military bases around the world, in addition to the 746 foreign military bases it already accumulated. Jesus of Nazareth was right when he said: Homo hominis lupus -- man is his own worst enemy. The USA emerged to become its worst enemy with its belligerent policies.
Achievement of Permanent Peace
Ironically, in statistical studies made among people in countries around the world, it was found out that almost all of them prefer peace than war. They all feel safer when they live in peace than in war. If such is the case, then why is it that a substantial number of governments continue to accumulate more weapons and never cease to resort to war each time they find an opportunity Many answers were given to this question. The most popular seem to be the fact that those in government that promote war tend to make a lot of money.
They view war as a business venture and for money they seem to be ready to do anything conceivable, including the needless suffering and massacre of their own people! If governments want really to create in the world an atmosphere of perpetual peace, they must take the initiative, the sooner the better, to take drastic steps to have the very concept of war erased from the surface of our planet. Let us keep in mind that in our earthly community only governments create and promote war, which they could always avoid.
Similarly, in this world governments have the power to create and promote peace on a perpetual basis. In his farewell speech to the US Congress, former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower reminded the entire members of the US governments saying emphatically: Remember that all people of all nations want peace, only their government wants war. Unfortunately, the words of this famous US President seemed to have been taken lightly by both the news media and the members of the US Congress as a whole.
Let us keep our hopes up and never be discouraged. All of us have the opportunity to make substantial contributions, both by both words and actions, to enable our government officials do a more positive and constructive job. We should continue with our effort to help them see that they would reveal greater wisdom in their efforts to promote disarmament and arms control than the other way round. As stated earlier, let us bring once more to our mind the words of Pope Pius XII: In a war everyone is a loser and no one winner.
|July 24, 2012||
Message envoyé par Marielle
Download full WORD document by author
Download full WORD document by author
Download full WORD document by author
Download full WORD document by author
C'est avec consternation que nous sommes obligés de remettre à l'ordre une fois de plus le messager des Élohim relativement à ses propos contraires aux messages des Élohim qu'il a fait connaître à l'humanité en 1973-75-78.
Pourquoi relever de telles erreurs?
1. Afin que les messages ne deviennent pas lettre morte. Car toute déviation des messages sur le plan de l'infini est une trahison envers les Élohim en regard de leur volonté nous concernant. Durant toute l'histoire de notre humanité, les prophètes des Élohim ont été déifiés par les hommes au détriment de leurs messages. Tout est cyclique. C'est la même histoire qui revient. Car, à notre époque, les raëliens ont décrété en 1995 que Raël est comme un Éloha parmi nous. Cela ressemble beaucoup aux gens d'il y a 2000 ans qui ont fait de Jésus un homme-dieu. Encore aujourd'hui, le Mouvement raëlien donne droit à Raël d'agir contre les messages reçus en 1973-75-78. Pire, les raëliens ne réagissent pas aux égarements du prophète par rapport aux messages.
2. Afin que jamais plus dans notre histoire planétaire nous ne reproduisions une telle trahison des messages des Élohim. J'espère de tout cœur que les historiens spirituels des époques futures ne suivront pas l'exemple des raëliens d'aujourd'hui qui agissent contre les Élohim par leur refus de défendre les messages, tout en adulant le dernier prophète qui bifurque des messages au détriment de la volonté des Élohim. En d'autres termes, que jamais plus dans l'histoire de l'humanité nous n'adulions le dernier prophète au détriment de l'esprit des Élohim concernant leurs messages. J'espère de tout cœur que les gens des temps futurs ne privilégieront pas les opinions erronées de Raël dans sa vision de la réalité au détriment des messages des Élohim.
Je vous présente ces trois documents, ils forment une trilogie visant à sauvegarder les messages des Élohim par rapport aux égarements de Raël qui ont été entérinés par les gens de son propre mouvement. Je le fais aussi pour que les gens du futur n'oublient jamais qu'à notre époque beaucoup de personnes n'avaient pas compris les messages de nos créateurs. En effet, les gens de notre époque n'ont pas saisi l'esprit des Élohim véhiculé dans leurs messages. Ils n'ont pas mis en application dans leurs actions les demandes des créateurs. Pire, ils ont entériné Raël qui affirme que les messages évoluent, lui permettant ainsi de les contredire et de faire en sorte que ses enseignements erronés aient préséance sur les messages de 1973-75-78.
Même les raëliens ont décidé, après le départ de Victor en 1992, que tout ce qui sort de la bouche du prophète sur le plan spirituel est considéré comme de nouveaux messages, donc des messages véridiques, et ce, même s'ils contredisent les messages originels (ceux de 1973-75-78). Ils ne se rendent même pas compte alors que les propos de Raël viennent en contradiction avec les messages originels.
Pourtant, les Élohim ont bien précisé que tout ce que les hommes doivent savoir ou presque est contenu dans leurs messages originels de 1973-75-78. Or, si nous comprenons bien leurs messages et si nous les mettons en application dans nos actions, notre survie sera assurée à condition que le plus grand nombre reconnaisse les messages. Car les messages originels nous permettent de maintenir l'équilibre de notre planète dans le but ultime d'arriver à l'âge d'or de notre humanité. Raël, en les contredisant, met en péril notre équilibre planétaire et notre survie.
Car, plus les gens du futur comprendront leurs messages, plus ils seront en mesure de les défendre, mais surtout de les sauvegarder intacts sans aucune bifurcation ni aucune trahison. De plus, autant à notre époque qu'à celle des temps futurs, si nous ne mettons pas en pratique dans nos actions la volonté des créateurs concernant le plan de l'infini, volonté inscrite dans leurs messages, nous courrons à notre perte en tant qu'humanité. Seul, à ce jour, en date de mes écrits, "un petit reste" a compris les messages de nos créateurs. Tous les membres du MADÉ (Mouvement d'accueil des Élohim), sympathisants et actifs, appuient le conseil des apôtres dans ses démarches de défendre les messages.
Dans les trois documents qui forment une trilogie, je me réfère au bulletin News381f publié sur le site Web du Mouvement raëlien international. Voici donc présentés, dans un même esprit, les 3 volets d'une trilogie sur des propos erronés de Raël. Je les rectifie à la lumière des messages des Élohim de 1973-75-78:
" 1er: erreurs par rapport à l'attente des Élohim à l'endroit de l'humanité.
" 2e: erreurs par rapport au bien-fondé de l'intelligence.
" 3e: erreurs par rapport à l'interprétation du plan de l'infini.
Après la lecture de la trilogie, je vous suggère de relire le document Prélude à la réconciliation du MR (Mouvement raëlien) au MADÉ (Mouvement d'accueil des Élohim). Vous le trouverez sur notre site Web.
le 26 août 2012 (l'an 67 a.H.)
Postal address: 186 Bowlsby Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada V9R 5K1
Copyright 2012: Â© Global Community, Global Parliament, Federation of Global Governments