Friday, 19 September 2014

Guy McPherson in Wellington

Details of Guy's visit to New Zealand are firming up.

I shall post details of his Auckland lecture seperately

Guy McPherson in Wellington,
24 -25 October, 2014

Public lecture by Professor Emeritus Guy McPherson

"Abrupt Climate Change: Evidence and Options for the Future to Preserve a Living Planet."

When: Friday, 24 October, 7.30 pm
Where: Dowse Art Gallery, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt 5010

Entry by koha

Climate change is not something that we need only worry about in the future.

Abrupt climate change is a reality. The atmosphere has already reached 400 ppm, something we haven't seen for 800,000 years. We have already triggered many positive self-reinforcing feedbacks including most worryingly, the release of methane clathrates which accelerate warming many times.

Rapid warming of the planet threatens the habitat of the living planet and the future existance of species that are unable to adapt to the rapid change.

There is about a 40-year lag between carbon dioxide emissions and warming, suggesting abundant warming is already locked into the planetary system.

Guy McPherson, as a professor emeritus of conservation biology, will present the scientific evidence and draw conclusions which make a connection between the findings of climate change scientists and conservation biologists.

Abrupt Climate Change: An exploration of our options to preserve a Living Planet
- An afternoon presentation and informal discussion

Tapu te Ranga Marae, (Whare Ukaipo)
44 Rhine Street,
Island Bay, Wellington

Saturday, 25 October, 2014 2pm

We are putting aside a whole afternoon for a presentation by Professor Emeritus Guy McPherson and informal discussion in a marae setting.

Tapu te Ranga marae, set in the bush and hills of Island Bay, Wellington provides a unique venue for discussion of how we as individuals, and as society will live in light of abrupt climate change.

There will be a powhiri (welcome)at 2 pm that will be followed, after refreshments, by a presentation by Guy.

Following this, it is foreseen that plenty of time will be set aside for informal discussion and reflection – a chance to absorb and respond to the challenging and confronting information that Guy will present.

The marae will offer tea and refreshments so prior registration is necessary.

Cost is $10 plus koha (donation)

Contact: Robin Westenra and Pam Crisp
ph. 04 972 0284 or 021 258 5174

Further information HERE

Scottish referendum

Scottish referendum live: first results brings gloom to yes camp

Rolling coverage of the results of the Scottish independence referendum as they come in, with reaction and analysis of the vote that could lead to Scotland leaving the United Kingdom


## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Nearly a third of some 350,000 workers in Malaysia's electronics industry - a crucial link in the international consumer supply chain - suffer from conditions of modern-day slavery such as debt bondage, according to a study funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.
In the past five years, the firm that took the largest U.S. bank bailout of the financial crisis increased the total amount of derivatives on its books by 69 percent, surpassing most U.S. peers and closing the gap with the market leader, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) At the end of June, Citigroup had $62 trillion of open contracts, up from $37 trillion in June 2009, company filings show. JPMorgan trimmed its holdings 14 percent to $68 trillion.
High-cost Australian miners are battling for survival as plunging iron ore prices push many to breaking point, with analysts seeing no significant short-term recovery as Chinese demand for steel wanes in line with sliding property prices.

## Airline Death Spiral ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Obama administration, working through the Russian government, has secured an agreement from the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to permit U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in parts of Syria, according to a source briefed on the secret arrangements.
Economies will inevitably shrink as energy and other resources become more expensive, and in an energy-constrained world, small political/economic units make much more sense. Also watch for more secessionist talk in the US. -- RF

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##

## Energy/resources ##
3Legs Resources, a company exploring the shale natural gas potential in Poland, said Wednesday it was giving up because of a lack of commercial prospects.
Belgium could keep two of the country's oldest nuclear reactors running for up to 10 years longer than planned if other plants remain offline because of safety shutdowns, two sources close to government coalition talks said.
A lack of water threatens Iraq's plans to raise its oil output, boost its stumbling economy and become a leading producer in the region after Saudi Arabia.
Members of the European Parliament passed a resolution Thursday calling for the cancellation of contracts for Russia's planned South Stream gas pipeline.
Just imagine the astronomical costs involved. It's going to be some very pricey oil. -- RF

## Got food? ##
The price of a burger or steak is the highest it has ever been and prices could continue to skyrocket.

## Environment/health ##
Public health experts have set up port controls to detect mosquitoes entering the country from France that it is feared could be carrying deadly dengue fever

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hackers associated with the Chinese government have repeatedly breached the computer systems of U.S. companies, including airlines and technology firms, that are involved in the movement of U.S. troops and military equipment, a U.S. Senate panel has found.
Maybe, unless the blackouts come first. -- RF
In its latest software update, the company is prevented from accessing any information about users that may be requested by authorities. A feature that won't change even if a search warrant is issued.
After registering slightly higher trust last year, Americans' confidence in the media's ability to report "the news fully, accurately, and fairly" has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%. Americans' trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.
DO NOT run, perspire, or wave your arms! -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## Japan ##
A new airport started operating on Etorofu Island — one of four Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands off Hokkaido — as a special plane carrying Russian officials arrived Wednesday, Russian residents said.

## China ##
It won't help. HK will collapse, anyway. -- RF

## UK ##
According to the Health and Safety Executive, 64 explosions have been reported so far in 2014 compared to 51 for the whole of last year. There were 32 cases in 2012, thus indicating a steady rise over the past few years.

## US ##

And finally...
"Things were said that can never be taken back," says one witness; the paper reports that family members were yelling of their hatred for each other.

Fukushima news

Fukushima radiation damages rice genome

 by Gregory McGann

The Ecologist,

18 September, 2014

Research on the biological effects of radiation near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site finds a powerful response in rice seedlings, writes Gregory McCann. The discovery will do nothing to boost consumer confidence in resumed rice exports from the Fukushima region.

2011's Fukushima disaster continues to taint the Japanese environment. And now it is rice itself - the dietary staple of Japan and other countries across south and east Asia - that's taking the hit.
A study in the American Genetic Association's Journal of Heredity examines the detailed genetic alterations of the all-important young rice plant when exposed to low-level radiation - that emitted by the Fukushima nuclear plant a year after the disaster.

Previous experiments had provided evidence of"ultralow-level gamma radiation triggering changes at the molecular level in the multi-layered defence / stress-related biological processes in rice leaves".

The Fukushima disaster presented an opportunity to confirm these findings outside the laboratory. This was especially important since the ultralow dose of radiation the researchers desired to study could not feasibly be replicated in a lab setting.
The result? Multiple modes of cellular response were observed, ranging from the triggering of DNA repair mechanisms, to oxidative stress, often culminating in cell death.
Alteration to the East's dietary staple

Working in collaboration with the Society for Radioecology, the researchers took two week old plants and exposed them to the environment with more than 100 times the natural background level. This was on a farm 31 kilometres from the reactor explosions in 2011.
Crucially, there was no direct contact between the studied seedlings and the contaminated soil so as to witness only the effect of radiation still present in the atmosphere. The exposed plants received a dose of radiation eighty to one hundred times greater than background.
The tips of plant leaves, unlike those of the control plants, dried and withered and this damage continued even after the plants were removed from the studied farm.
Over the test period, genetic alteration affected many aspects of gene function including"DNA repair, antioxidant defence, photosynthesis, secondary metabolism and cell death".

The study demonstrated that many different types of genetic material are altered or induced by gamma radiation. Some such alterations are unique to radiation but others are shared with responses made to other stresses, such as weather conditions.
The scientists noted both early and late alteration, for example one protein that was induced strongly at six hours is implicated in cell death. The collected data suggest a multi-faceted effect on the rice's 'self-defence mechanisms'.
The study did not attempt to answer the question of dose-dependency, which is to say the relationship between alteration and radiation dosage, rendering the study more qualitative than quantative.
The repercussions of a lost confidence

The findings possess a special significance, as the report keenly presses, because rice is the essential Asian foodstuff. As the report pithily puts it, "rice is life".

That is not to say that Fukushima, or nuclear crises in general, pose an existential threat to Asia's paddy fields - but that rice contamination is an issue of concern to the entire country.
It is this emotive quality to the contamination that has damaged consumers' confidence in the region's rice, and driven farmers to distraction in their efforts to reassure them.
Farmers, desperate to restore their product's image, have looked to strategies as varied and bizarre as applying to their fields powdered scallop shell, liquid potassium and the mineral Zeolite, which can absorb radioactive caesium with mixed results.

The report emerges as Japan resumes the export of rice from the Fukushima area, which began last month (August 2014) having been banned in 2011. Officials have sought to assuage fears of continued contamination through rigorous testing before shipments are sent to market.

Much of the newly exported rice derives from Sukagawa, some 60 kilometres from Fukushima power plant. The study, however, took place at a farm only 31 kilometres away from the crippled nuclear facility.
A strong economic incentive exists to resume a semblance of normality since, prior to the 2011 disaster, Fukushima sent over 100 tonnes of agricultural products abroad. While the export of rice is only now restarting, 2012 saw the resumption of trade in peaches and apples from Fukushima.

Fukushima worker fell ill, sent to hospital by air ambulance / Tepco rejects announcing the name of disease

Fukushima Diary,

18 September, 2014

On 9/6/2014, another Fukushima worker fell ill and sent to Iwaki Kyouritsu Hospital by air ambulance.

The person is a male subcontract worker. Doctor comments he needs 1 ~ 2 additional inpatient hospital care.
Regarding the incident, Tepco had stated it had nothing to do with his work in Fukushima plant in the beginning, however negated their own word in the press conference of 9/16 and stated “They don’t know the connection between his work and the sudden illness”.
They still comment they are not going to announce the name of disease and his age “for privacy”.
Additionally, Tepco stated that even if more workers have serious disease or die, they will not announce the details of the disease or the cause of death.

Latest Headlines:

Leader of Fukushima Study: “Intense exposure” headed toward US west coast; Plume traveling very fast via oceanic jet — “High concentrations” to impact California coastal areas; Prolonged period of radioactive upwelling expected (VIDEO)

Fukushima radiation a “major threat” to survival of baby birds — “Immediate and worrisome” impacts on marine wildlife discussed — More damage to come as radioactive material biomagnifies in food chain

VIDEO: Gov’t experts highly suspicious of Japan’s claim that nobody suffered acute radiation syndrome after Fukushima — So many workers were ill they had to lay on cardboard after running out of beds — Officials “repeatedly talked of death” — CBS: There were reports of people with radiation sickness

Gov’t Scientists: “Something very unusual occurring” off west coast of US, Canada — “Unprecedented in historical record” — “Will dramatically reduce productivity” in 6,500 sq. miles of ocean — Anomaly extends “across Pacific to Japan” — “Who knows what will happen?” (MAP)

AFP: Strong quake rocks Eastern Japan, “biggest this year” — Fukushima Officials: Experts say Magnitude 8 quake “will occur” offshore; “Temporary seawall built as measure against the accompanying tsunami aftershock” (VIDEO)