2016

In 2016 I began focusing on climate change.

Climate Change is Here – Now What? Professor Bill Collins (ONE of TWO)

The Berkeley Lab, short for: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, overlooks the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. They conduct scientific research on behalf of the US Department of Energy, and are managed and operated by the University of California.
In September 2015 the Berkeley Lab established the Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division. The mission of the new Division is to understand, predict, and advance stewardship of the Earth’s Climate and Ecosystems. They pay attention to water, energy, and agriculture.
The Director for the new Climate and Ecosystem Science Division is Dr. Bill Collins. He is an internationally recognized expert in climate modeling and climate change science and also serves as director of the Climate Readiness Institute, a new multi-campus initiative to [ . . . ]

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Palestine is Still the Issue (TWO of TWO) – by Israeli Historian Prof. Ilan Pappé

NOTE:
Since tempers can flare on any issue critical of Israel you may want to precede this program with a disclaimer that the opinions offered here a that of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the station, it’s staff or board of directors.
I do hope that you will play this important program but also want to be sure that you know that you may draw criticism. Maria Gilardin
INFO ON THE PROGRAM:
Prof. Ilan Pappe is the best known member of Israel’s generation of “new historians” who have been rewriting the history of Israel’s founding in 1948. Pappe’s seminal book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, was published in 2006 while he was teaching at Haifa University. The publication led to [ . . . ]

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Palestine is Still the Issue (ONE of TWO) – by Israeli Historian Prof. Ilan Pappé

Prof. Ilan Pappé is the best known member of Israel’s generation of “new historians” who have been rewriting the history of Israel’s founding in 1948. Thanks to the declassification of British and Israeli documents in the 1980s Pappé has dedicated himself to exposing the truths behind the long established myths around what Israel calls its war of independence in 1948. That war led to the ethnic cleansing of three quarters of a million Palestinians and the destruction of over 500 of their villages in what is now Israel.
That’s described in Pappé’s seminal book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, published in 2006 while he was chair of the Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies at Haifa University. The publication led to [ . . . ]

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Climate Scientist Kevin Anderson on The Unforgiving Math for Staying Under 2 Degrees

Part TWO of TWO
Two numbers haunted the climate negotiations of COP 21 in Paris in December 2015: 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius. Finally the vast majority of the world’s countries agreed that global warming may not go over 2 degrees and that we really ought to stay under 1.5 degrees to save the island states and low coastal areas that are already flooding at the current 1 degree C warming.
Politicians and some scientists claim that we will invent technologies that remove carbon from the atmosphere and therefore no urgent action is required now. Anderson explains BECCS, Biomass energy carbon capture and storage, the so far elusive promise to extract the already emitted CO2 from the air and store it underground. [ . . . ]

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Climate Scientist Kevin Anderson on: The Unforgiving Math for Staying Under 2 Degrees

Part ONE of TWO
Much was made of the April 22, 2016, signing of the Climate Treaty negotiated in Paris last December. At the ceremony in New York UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon said that we are in a race against time, and that the window for the goal set in Paris for keeping global temperate rise well below two degrees Celsius, let alone 1.5 degrees, is “rapidly closing.”
During the negotiations in Paris in December 2015 some scientists had already warned that even a 2 degrees Celsius limit in temperature would be almost impossible to maintain unless we were to make significant changes within the next 5 years. Kevin Anderson is one extraordinary and important voice among them.
Anderson is Professor of Energy [ . . . ]

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The Atomic Age: Humans and Other Living Beings Come Last

In all the memories recorded about the nuclear technologies and the disasters of our time the fate of humans exposed to radiation comes last. That was the leading concept of a Fukushima/Chernobyl anniversary talk by Norma Field. She hopes to rescue humans and other living things from oblivion and from the real harm inflicted upon them now and into the future.
Some argue that Norma Field risked her academic standing as professor of East Asian studies at the University of Chicago by not only teaching Premodern Japanese Poetry and Prose, and Women Studies, but also by being public and vocal in her indictment of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
Born in Tokyo in 1947 to a Japanese mother and American serviceman father [ . . . ]

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Chernobyl 30 Years Later: Lucas Hixson’s Diary

Anniversary Date: April 26, 1986
In September 2015 a next generation nuclear field engineer from Chicago went to Chernobyl to join the 3,500 workers on site. They are completing the largest movable structure humans have ever built: Tall enough to enclose the Statue of Liberty and wide enough to cover the exploded Unit Four of the Chernobyl power plant including the sarcophagus that was built over the plant in 1986.
Bechtel corporation, the lead contractor, says the $1.3 billion confinement structure will keep water out and radioactive dust and debris in — for at least a century. Radiation levels in some locations are still high enough to cause premature failure of structural materials. The gigantic arch had to be built away from the destroyed [ . . . ]

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Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson – Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?

Against the background of an increasingly more urgent debate over the sources of conflict in the Middle East, the growth of ISIS, the refugee crisis, and the role of the US armed interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria; this question takes on great importance: Who is setting Middle East policy in the US? These and other topics were addressed at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on March 18, 2016, at the conference on Israel’s Influence.
Retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson is the highest ranking US foreign policy whistle blowers to date. He was Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff from 2002-05 during the fateful time of the US war on Iraq.
Before coming to the State Department, Wilkerson served [ . . . ]

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Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald on Privacy and Surveillance

Excerpt from the March 25, 2016, event at the University of Arizona
Edward Snowden, Glen Greenwald, and Noam Chomsky were exploring the urgent topic of privacy in todays surveillance state at the event entitled: “Conversation on Privacy”.
NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden was participating by video-stream from Russia. The excerpts in this program focus on him and Glen Greenwald. Greenwald is best known as having met with Edward Snowden on his way into exile in Hong Kong in 2013. He received the documents that Snowden had taken in order to prove the extraordinary depth of government spying that Snowden had observed while employed by the CIA and as contractor for the NSA.
Greenwald was a columnist for the British Guardian and is now founding [ . . . ]

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Michael Parenti: Cuba, the Spanish American War and the Rise of US Imperialism

Updated as essential backstory for Obama’s visit to Cuba
As President Obama became the first sitting US President in almost 90 years to visit Cuba he took the same stage where Calvin Coolidge in 1928 lectured the Cubans on democracy. The US then controlled Cuban national and foreign politics and the Cuban economy and had done so since the end of the Spanish American War in 1898. The US had refused to end the military occupation of Cuba unless Cuba changed its constitution and ceded its sovereignty to the US.
The infamous Platt Amendment of 1901 gave the U.S. the right to intervene unilaterally in Cuban affairs and included a clause that eventually led to the perpetual lease of Guantanamo Bay.
All this [ . . . ]

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Arnie Gundersen Visits the Refugees of Fukushima

After the explosions and melt-down of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, 160,000 people were evacuated. Five years later almost 100,000 of them are still living in refugee housing because their homes, land and towns are still too radioactive for life. The current Abe government of Japan has begun a campaign to end the refugee crisis by a variety of measures: by changing the radiation standards and telling the exiled that it is now safe to go home, by ending disaster payments as well as cost of living allowances unless they return to the broken down ghost towns or relocate to other parts of Japan.
In several cases Arnie Gundersen was the first outsider who came to [ . . . ]

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Silent Summer – Professor Timothy Mousseau – Radiation and Birds

What happens to the lives of birds, insects and plants in the radiation zones around Chernobyl and Fukushima?
Tim Mousseau is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. For 15 years he and his scientific collaborator Anders Moller from the University of Paris, Sud, have done research in the most contaminated areas of Chernobyl. When Fukushima Daiichi exploded they began field work there as well. They study birds, insects, microbes, and plants at over 1,000 sites, creating the most diligent inventories of each study area and returning year after year. They found significantly increased rates of genetic damage in proportion to the level of exposure to radioactive contaminants.
This is an update given on September 2, 2015, at [ . . . ]

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A Conversation with Maggie and Arnie Gundersen

From Fairewinds Energy Education
The Gundersens came to California for a speaking tour at the end of 2015 and offered to meet me in the afternoon before giving a Fukushima update at the Point Reyes Dance Palace. Both worked in the nuclear industry, Maggie in public information, Arnie as an engineer and executive. He was fired from Nuclear Energy Services in 1990.
I started by asking them a question that had troubled me for a long time – given that Arnie Gundersen is one of only a handful of whistle blowers. How early did people in the nuclear industry become aware that they were dealing with a monstrously dangerous technology?
Arnie and Maggie Gundersen are a close team in the nuclear [ . . . ]

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Fukushima, Five Years Later – Arnie Gundersen

As of February 2016 Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates is on a one month speaking tour of Japan to assess the status of the cleanup. He arrives at a crucial moment. Even though polls show that at least 70% of Japanese do not want the nuclear power plants reopened that were shut down 5 years ago, the Abe government is determined to put many of them back on line and has begun the process. And to make things worse the Japanese government is planning to burn plutonium mixed with uranium in their aging reactors, a practice that has been abandoned in the US due to the high risk.
This program includes a phone report from the ghost towns around Fukushima [ . . . ]

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Arnie Gundersen: WHAT DID THEY KNOW, WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT?

TUC Archive UPDATE.
On the 5th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster the new Japanese State Secrets Law enacted in 2014 limits information and threatens journalists with jail time. And even Western media make it appear as if the worst has passed.
Acknowledging the reality of this accident with global consequences at least 100 years into the future is not only frightening for just plain folk but would be economically devastating to the energy corporations. When former nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen was asked by his family in early 2011 where the next nuclear power plant accident would take place he said he was unable to say where but that he was convinced that it would be a Mark I or II General Electric [ . . . ]

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