Ecology and Environment
The culture of minimising and hiding the true extent of nuclear danger raises its ugly head again. A fire at Aldermaston nuclear bomb making establishment on August 3rd was reported in the newspapers as a minor incident which, although neighbours were evacuated for some hours, did not really represent a nuclear risk. Well, not exactly…
Almost 25 years after Spielberg’s film *Back to the Future* predicted the use of rubbish as a fuel for cars several projects that transform household waste into fuel are on their way thanks to bacteria originally used for compost heaps, which have been now genetically engineered to produce Ethanol by braking down the cellulose in food and other organic substances.
Walking through many places in the world to call for people to plant trees, protect the environment and on the occasion of this interview, telling of his exploits in Vietnam, Yuji Miyata shares with Earthwalker Paul Coleman on a visit to Patagonia some anecdotes from his chosen path in life as Japan’s “Johnny Appleseed”.
“The present technological era has meant an impoverishment of the relationship of human beings with nature”. This is one of the conclusions of the report “Harmony with Nature” that United Nations General Secretary will present to the General Assembly as a Bolivian initiative, that counts with the sponsorship of other 61 countries.
In Pakistan, it has been a month since torrential monsoon rains triggered the country’s worst natural disaster on record. As many as 20 million people have been left homeless due to the massive flooding. UN officials say an estimated 72,000 children in flood-affected areas are at high risk of death because of severe malnutrition.
Last month experts published a series of studies indicating that, contrary to previous conclusions, the animal populations are decreasing in the exclusion zone which surrounds the site where the former Soviet nuclear plant functioned, and that the effects of the radioactive contamination following the explosion have been “overwhelming”.
The United Nations says the number of people suffering from the massive floods in Pakistan has now exceeded 13 million which is more than the combined total of people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined, though the death toll in Pakistan is far lower.
Muscovites have brought airports to a standstill with attempts to leave the Russian capital where the air has become unbreathable and visibility enormously reduced due to the dense smoke clouds from fires which in the last hours have been growing, due mainly to the very high temperatures of this summer; the highest registered in decades.
The proposal to legalize whale killing went down in flames in recent Morocco meeting.
In a few short weeks, the biggest whale-saving petition in history, signed by an extraordinary number of 1.2 million of worldwide people, will be delivered directly to the key delegates at the International Whaling Commission meeting.
Alice Slater from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation reacts to 38 million dollars of US funding for new nuclear research projects. “It’s just so 20th century!… It’s time to invest in a clean energy future that will create millions of jobs and enable the US to earn an honest dollar by developing desirable new technology to offer to the world.”