Tag Archives: Energy

Chernobyl Radiation Surge ‘Cause for Concern,’ Say Scientists

One nuclear scientist said the situation is “like the embers in a barbecue pit.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-13-2021

The New Safe Confinement arch over what was once Reactor Four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine is the world’s largest mobile steel structure. (Photo: Clay Gilliland/Flickr/cc)

Scientists monitoring the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine are detecting increased fission reactions inside an inaccessible chamber built around the radioactive ruins of a reactor that suffered a catastrophic meltdown in 1986—and they aren’t sure why.

New Scientist reported this week that since 2016, researchers have detected a 40% surge in neutron emissions from a sealed room containing large amounts of corium, a highly radioactive and hardened lava-like material containing much of the uranium fuel from Reactor Four of the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear Power Plant, the site of history’s worst nuclear disaster. Continue reading

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Report Reveals Major Corporations Are Funding Lawmakers Behind Anti-Democracy Bills

“It is now more urgent than ever to build a just transition away from fossil fuels and fight off attacks against protest and our freedom to vote, so that we can have a planet our communities can thrive on.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-10-2021

Washington, DC erupts in celebration following the defeat of Donald Trump. Photo: Heartland Alliance

Numerous corporations have funded the political action committees of state lawmakers backing the recent spate of anti-voter and anti-protest bills, even as many of the companies have spoken out in defense of voting rights and democracy, a report published Monday by Greenpeace USA revealed

The report (pdf)—entitled Dollars vs. Democracy: Companies and the Attack on Voting Rights and Peaceful Protest—says that 44 state lawmakers sponsored at least one anti-protest bill and one anti-voter bill in the past year. It also reveals that 53 of the 100 top corporate donors to lawmakers sponsoring anti-voter bills also rank among the top 100 contributors to anti-protest measures. Continue reading

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Climate and Indigenous Protesters Across 4 Continents Pressure Banks to #DefundLine3

“Those who financially back Enbridge are directly implicated in its crimes,” says a Red Lake Anishinaabe citizen and organizer. “To put it bluntly, blood is on their hands.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-7-2021

Activists across four continents held protests on Friday calling on banks to stop backing the Line 3 tar sands pipeline. (Photo: Stop the Money Pipeline)

From fake oil spills in Washington, D.C. and New York City to a “people mural” in Seattle spelling out “Defund Line 3,” climate and Indigenous protesters in 50 U.S. cities and across seven other countries spanning four continents took to the streets on Friday for a day of action pushing 20 banks to ditch the controversial tar sands pipeline.

“Against the backdrop of rising climate chaos, the continued bankrolling of Line 3 and similar oil and gas infrastructure worldwide is fueling gross and systemic violations of human rights and Indigenous peoples’ rights at a global scale,” said Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law. Continue reading

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Green Groups Sue Army Corps of Engineers Over Nationwide Pipeline Permit

“There’s simply no justification for allowing destructive and dangerous pipelines to avoid rigorous environmental review.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-3-2021

In December 2016, the Belle Fourche pipeline spilled 180,000 gallons of crude oil into the Ash Coulee Creek in North Dakota, just three hours’ drive from the site of a massive Indigenous-led protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. (Photo: Jennifer Skjod/North Dakota Department of Health)

Five eco-advocacy groups sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday for allegedly violating federal law by issuing a nationwide fossil fuel pipeline permit without adequate analysis of its environmental impacts.

The lawsuit (pdf)—filed in a federal district court in Montanta by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Sierra Club, Montana Environmental Information Center, Friends of the Earth, and Waterkeeper Alliance Inc.—accuses the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act by reissuing Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) “without adequately assessing its significant direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects.” Continue reading

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Ramadan Brings No Relief for Yemen as Saudis Block Charities and Turks Unleash Foreign Mercanaries

Just as it transferred mercenaries from Syria to the conflict zones in Libya and Azerbaijan, Turkey — the financial and spiritual capital of the Muslim Brotherhood — is now doing the same in Yemen’s oil-rich Marib.

By Ahmed Abdulkareem  Published 4-21-2021 by MintPress News

Tribesmen allied with the Houthis patrol a frontline near Al-Jadafer village in Marib, along the governorate’s border with Al-Jawf, on September 6, 2020. Ali Owidha | Sana’a Center

Adel al-Hajajji is a proud man but, with a pregnant wife and three young mouths to feed, he can’t afford to wait around for a miracle. Instead, he has taken to wandering the streets of Sana’a, gathering discarded plastic water bottles to sell to the recycling center near his home in al-Rawdah. The meager earnings net him just enough to provide his family with a modest iftar, the evening meal that marks the end of the day’s fast during the month of Ramadan. The meal usually consists of bread and water but on occasion neighbors will bring by Saltah, Yemen’s national dish made of rice and potatoes, with meat blended in during more prosperous times.

Before the war, Adel was relatively well off, with a stable government job. He fasted during Ramadan without a passing thought about where his next meal would come from. In 2015, when the Saudis invaded and food become harder to find, he began to receive Ramadan meals courtesy of Muslim charities from wealthy patrons in the Gulf. This year, though, Adel says those charities have told him they could no longer donate to Yemen due to the blockade and subsequent crackdown from Saudi authorities, who claim that charity could fall into Houthi hands. Continue reading

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Oil exploitation is threatening the Ecuadorian rainforest – and the planet

‘No to Block 28!’ Indigenous and peasant communities are fighting to protect nature and their way of life in a remote corner of the Amazon

By Andrés Tapia.  Published 4-21-2021 by openDemocracy

Clear water coming down from the ‘blue mountains’ in Pastaza, Ecuador | Andrés Tapis

 

I grew up in the Ecuadorian countryside. My first memories are from around 1990, when my family and I were living on a 28-hectare farm, a pioneering conservation project in the tropical rainforest.

Often, I would sit with my sister on the front steps of our house, gazing at the “blue mountains”. It was my father who coined that phrase, after their distinctive colouration. Decades later, while studying field biology at university, I learned that these were the subtropical Andes. Specifically, the Abitahua Protected Forest of the Llanganates Sangay Ecological Corridor, a transition area (also known as an ecotone) that connects the eastern slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes with the Amazonian lowlands. Continue reading

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‘Watershed Moment’ as Haaland Revokes Trump-Era Orders, Creates Climate Task Force

“Today’s orders make certain that the Interior Department is no longer going to serve as a rubber-stamp for the coal and oil and gas industries.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-16-2021

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16, 2021. (Photo: U.S. Department of the Interior)

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government’s federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

“Today is a watershed moment in the history of the U.S. Department of the Interior,” declared Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians. “With Secretary Haaland’s actions today, it’s clear the Interior Department is now working for communities, science, and justice. We are grateful for her leadership and bold action to put people over polluters.” Continue reading

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Federal Court Ends Trump Effort to Open 128 Million Acres of Atlantic, Arctic Oceans to Drilling

“As the Biden administration considers its next steps, it should build on these foundations, end fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters, and embrace a clean energy future.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-14-2021

A Shell drilling vessel drifted aground off Sitkalidak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. (Photo: Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis/U.S. Coast Guard)

A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt the final blow to former President Donald Trump’s attempt to open nearly 130 million acres of territory in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans to oil and gas drilling.

In April of 2017, Trump signed an executive order aiming to undo an Obama-era ban on fossil fuel exploration in that territory, but a federal judge in Alaska ruled the move unlawful in 2019. Continue reading

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Greenpeace Says Japan’s Plan to Contaminate Pacific Ocean With Fukushima Water Would Violate International Law

“The government has taken the wholly unjustified decision to deliberately contaminate the Pacific Ocean with radioactive wastes.”

By Kenny Stancil, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-13-2021

Contaminated water storage tanks at Fukushima. Photo: Svein T veitdal/Twitter

In a decision that sparked condemnation from environmental advocates, fisherfolk, and neighboring countries, Japan announced Tuesday a plan to dump over 1.2 million tons of stored contaminated wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

The decision made by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet gives Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) the green light to release Fukushima’s wastewater into the sea just over a decade after one of the worst nuclear disasters in history; discharges won’t begin for two years, as TEPCO prepares for a process that is expected to take decades. Continue reading

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Global Just Recovery Gathering Kicks Off to Harness ‘Collective People Power’ and Create a ‘Better Future for All’

The event is being called “an invitation for us all to build a movement that is massive and that shakes the foundations of power and money and greed that seem to hold all the cards right now.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-9-2021

Organizers circulated a promotional image for the Global Just Recovery Gathering. (Image: 350.org)

A three-day event called the Global Just Recovery Gathering kicked off Friday and is aimed at being “a space to design new pathways for a better future for all.”

“There is nothing we can’t achieve if we pool our collective people power together, and create the forces of change necessary for a just recovery for all,” organizers declare.

The free and virtual event, scheduled with time zones around the world in mind,
features 200 interactive sessions and high-profile progressives including Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, Greta Thunberg, and Nnimmo Bassey. Continue reading

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