Most Jerusalem Palestinians Live in Poverty

Most Jerusalem Palestinians Live in Poverty: Israeli Study
May 10 2010

Jerusalem.
Most Palestinians in east Jerusalem, including three out of four children, live below the poverty line, an Israeli rights group said on Monday, accusing Israel of neglect and discrimination.

“A unified Jerusalem does not exist,” the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said in a report released as the Jewish state begins celebrations to mark the 43rd anniversary of its 1967 capture of Arab east Jerusalem.

“The truth is, two cities exist side by side,” the report said, challenging Israel’s claim that it unified the Holy City after annexing the Arab sector in a move not recognized by the international community.

Seventy-five percent of Palestinian children in east Jerusalem live in poverty compared with 45 percent of the city’s Jewish children, the report said.

“Over 95,000 children in east Jerusalem live in a perpetual state of poverty,” ACRI said.

Despite the rampant poverty, only 10 percent of east Jerusalem’s 300,000 Palestinians have access to social services, it added.

The neglect extends to just about every sector of life in the Arab sector, and ACRI blamed this on the authorities.

“Israel’s policy for the past four decades has taken concrete form as discrimination in planning and construction, expropriation of land, and minimal investment in physical infrastructure and government and municipal services,” the report said.

The office of Nir Barkat, the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, told AFP it had no immediate comment on the report.

Israel has expropriated more than one-third of east Jerusalem land which was privately owned by Palestinians, on which it has built more than 50,000 homes for the Jewish population.

Virtually no permits for Palestinian housing construction have been issued for decades, there is a shortage of about 1,000 classrooms and rubbish collection is sporadic at best, as are postal services, the report said.

The annual budget allocation per elementary school child in east Jerusalem was 577 shekels (152 dollars) compared with 2,372 shekels (627 dollars) in west Jerusalem.

About 160,000 Palestinian residents have no suitable and legal connection to the water network and 50 kilometres (30 miles) of main sewage lines are lacking, the report said.

At the end of 2009 approximately 303,429 Palestinians lived in east Jerusalem, which equals around 36 percent of the city’s total population of some 835,450.

Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its “eternal” capital, while Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The status of the Holy City, as well as that of Jewish settlements built on occupied Palestinian land, have long been among the thorniest issues in Palestinian-Israeli efforts to reach a peace deal.  Source

Israel building 14 units in al-Quds

May 10 2010

Settler groups have started building 14 new units in the Palestinian neighborhood near an old police station in Ras al-Amoud, in al-Quds (East Jerusalem).

The Israeli far-left Peace Now organization revealed on Sunday that 1,900 settlers already live in 119 units in that area and own them.

It added that since elected as the mayor of East al-Quds in 2008, Nir Barkat has remained “faithful” to the settlers in al-Quds. It warned that the increasing number of settlers in occupied al-Quds would lead to a future of no political deal with the Palestinians.

It is not known if the settlers have obtained permits for the new construction. As per reports, the settlers have received 1,213 permits, while only 136 permits have been issued to the Palestinians in the same neighborhoods.

An expert on the settlement and maps, Khalil al-Tufkaji, said: “The construction in Ras al-Amoud settlement is one of the most dangerous plans in al-Quds, especially when the Israeli occupation seeks to establish a large settlement there.”

The Israelis have plans to build more units in the area and to integrate the settlements of Ma’aleh Oztenem consisting of 200 units, and the settlement of Givat David with 104 units, al-Tufkaji pointed out.

This plan obstructs any possibility of a Palestinian capital in the holy city, he added.

As the proximity talks began on Sunday, this is a clear message to the Palestinians that al-Quds is outside the framework of any negotiations, and construction in the city is “just like the construction in Tel Aviv,” as Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.  Source

Settlers can get permits but Palestinians cannot. Bigotry/Discrimination at it’s finest.

The whole idea is to make the lives of Palestinians as horrid as possible. Israel wants all their land.  Seems they don’t care who or how many live in poverty or are removed from their land and homes.

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Today is World Water Day, Did You Know?

Today is World Water Day: How did Americans begin to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap???
Annie Leonard: The Story of Bottled Water
March 22, 2010

The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industrys attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.

Our production partners on the bottled water film include five leading sustainability groups: Corporate Accountability International, Environmental Working Group, Food & Water Watch, Pacific Institute, and Polaris Institute.

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The story of bottled water

Inside the Bottle

“The Story of Cap & Trade”

Bottled Water often much worse than Tapwater !

Report on the World Water Forum in Mexico

Water shortage in Fiji, not for US Water Corporation however

Fiji Water Burning Trash?

Q: When is a lake not a lake?

A: When the Canadian Government says it should be a dump for mine waste.

Lakes across Canada are being destroyed by mining waste. Lakes that would normally be protected as fish habitat by the Fisheries Act are now being redefined as “tailings impoundment areas” according to a 2002 “schedule” added to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations of the Act. Once added to Schedule 2, healthy freshwater lakes lose all protection and become dump sites for mining waste. Mining companies have the go-ahead to dump their tailings into perfectly healthy bodies of water, such as Sandy Pond in Newfoundland and Fish Lake in British Columbia. Twelve pristine water bodies are currently slated for destruction under this law.

Vancouver-based Taseko Mines Ltd is proposing to drain Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) in B.C. in order to stockpile solid waste and use Fish Creek and Little Fish Lake as tailings impoundment areas for a gold-copper mining project called Prosperity Mine. Read more about Teztan Biny here and find out what you can do to help save this lake.

Sandy Pond, near Long Harbour, N.L., is also on the hit list. The mine tailings that Vale Inco plans to dump into the lake will destroy the lake, causing irreversible damage.

Click here for Environment Canada’s list of 12 lakes proposed for destruction.

We also have the pop industry which uses water and uses plastic which is also a real problem. Pop has no real value other then flavor. There are few facts about then in the thread below.

PepsiCo to stop selling pop in schools worldwide

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Marine Current Turbine’s to power 750,000 homes

‘Energy bonanza’ to power 750,000 homes

A Marine Current Turbine’s SeaGen tidal energy converter. Picture: PA

March 17 2010
By Jenny Fyall

SCOTLAND has taken a world-leading role in the emerging multi-billion-pound marine energy industry by approving ten projects with the potential to power almost a third of the country’s homes.

In the first initiative of its kind in the world, companies were granted leasing rights for schemes that could result in up to 1,000 wave and tidal energy devices being installed in the sea off the north of Scotland.

The leasing round attracted interest from global utilities firms that will invest an estimated £4 billion attempting to bring the 1.2-gigawatt schemes to fruition. If successful, the power of the sea in the Pentland Firth between Caithness and Orkney could provide electricity for 750,000 of Scotland’s 2.3 million homes by 2020.

First Minister Alex Salmond said Scotland could “rule the waves”, as he unveiled the seven winners of a fierce two-year competition for leases that attracted applications from 20 companies worldwide. It is estimated the projects could create as many as 5,000 jobs in Scotland.

Today, the UK government will unveil its latest energy strategy, which includes more funding to drive forward the low-carbon industry.

However, there were warnings that huge challenges remain before the marine energy sector, which is relatively unproven, can take off. And taxpayers will have to fork out an estimated £1bn to create new infrastructure, such as an upgraded electricity grid and overhauled ports.

The Pentland Firth is the first area of sea around the UK to be opened up for marine renewables. The seven winning companies, ranging from global utility giants to small Scottish renewables firms, were yesterday granted leasing rights for ten Pentland Firth sites by the Crown Estate, which owns the seabed.

Experts claimed the schemes would have four times the peak output of the former Dounreay nuclear power station, and a similar amount to an existing nuclear plant, such as Torness.

Mr Salmond told an audience at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh that Scotland had the potential to become the “powerhouse of Europe”, adding: “We can say in a real sense that Scotland rules the waves.”

He went on: “Leading international energy companies and innovators continue to be drawn to Scottish waters, which boast as much as a quarter of Europe’s tidal and offshore wind resource and a tenth of the continent’s potential wave capacity.”

Max Carcas, business development director at Leith company Pelamis, one of the winners, said Scotland had a genuine opportunity to play a leading role in the development of the emerging wave and tidal technology sector.

Whereas Scotland missed out to the likes of Denmark in building wind turbines – a global industry now worth £18bn – marine renewables could provide thousands of jobs and become an “export-led industry”, he said.

“We have a lot of challenges and it’s early days, but if we can deliver, the potential is huge,” he said.

He added that, whereas the British wind industry was dependent on foreign suppliers and the nuclear power sector used mainly French technology, this gave the opportunity for Scotland to become the leader in building, and eventually exporting, wave and tidal devices.

He went on: “This ticks the box environmentally. It ticks the box in terms of security of supply. There’s no risk of the price of the fuel doubling or tripling, because it’s free (from the wave or tides], and it also ticks the box of economics because it could create an export-led industry.”

At least four of the ten schemes will use devices designed and built by Scottish companies – Pelamis and Aquamarine Power, both based in Edinburgh.

Even companies such as utility giant Scottish Power Renewables, which plans to use a device designed in Norway for a 100-megawatt site at Ness of Duncansby, are likely to build the machines in Scotland, so they can easily be transported to the Pentland Firth. However, yesterday’s optimism came with warnings of huge challenges: from providing the necessary grid infrastructure to developing the expertise needed.

The investment needed for the ten projects would be, at about £4bn, similar to the cost of a new nuclear reactor. This will have to be funded entirely by the companies that won the ten leases, which also include Scottish and Southern Energy and E.on, bringing a likely cost to the consumer.

Already, the government’s Renewables Obligation scheme, which provides incentives for utilities to focus on renewables development over new conventional power, adds about £12 a year to consumers’ electricity bills.

Rob Hastings, director of the marine estate at the Crown Estate, said the schemes would show the world marine renewables could produce “meaningful” amounts of power. He added: “Nobody has attempted to do anything on this scale anywhere in the world.”

Mr Hastings told The Scotsman that ultimately the Pentland Firth could generate up to 10GW – almost ten times the potential amount from the schemes approved yesterday, and more than enough to power all the homes in Scotland.

Meanwhile, one of the fathers of wave power, Professor Stephen Salter from the University of Edinburgh, said the potential of the Pentland Firth had been hugely underestimated.

“That area could generate more than the whole of the UK’s needs,” he said. “We should be putting huge amounts of effort into developing renewables there. It could be enormous, but what will probably happen is we will screw it up in the same way we did with wind and it will all be done in China.

“We have got to get cracking now. If we had worked steadily from the Seventies, we could have got the wave thing working very well now, but we wasted an awful lot of time.”

Prof Salter called for more financial support from government and added: “All they have done is say, ‘Right, you can use your allotment, here’s your licence’. They are not giving them the money for it. We are not doing enough at the moment.

“The guys who are doing this are desperately short of money.”

‘Many hurdles must be crossed for this to work’

THE process of taking the ten wave and tidal projects destined for the Pentland Firth from the drawing board to reality is riddled with difficulties, experts have warned.

Installing up to 1,000 machines in the fierce waters off the north of Scotland, and then transporting the electricity to towns and cities many miles away, will require huge expertise, developments in infrastructure and billions of pounds of investment.

Even if 1.2 gigawatts of electricity was generated from the seas between Orkney and Caithness, there is currently no grid network to transport it to the mainland.

And once it got to shore, the existing electricity grid is so full that energy generators currently have to wait in a queue for up to a decade to get permission to connect.

The Beauly to Denny power line upgrade will provide greater capacity, but it has faced fierce opposition.

Installing huge devices, some the length of small trains, in the crashing waves of the Pentland Firth – infamous for its fierce tides – will require huge expertise.

And the marine renewables industry will be competing with the offshore wind industry for transportation vessels that are already in short supply.

Ports will have to be able to cope with increased activity, and shipping and fishing interests will need to be considered.

Then there is the as yet unknown impact on marine life of turbines turning under the waves, and the need to develop the expertise when renewables companies are already struggling to fill vacancies with adequately qualified employees.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, emphasised the need for the Beauly to Denny power line upgrade.

“Without the extra grid capacity to transport electricity to homes and businesses in the Central Belt, there would simply be no future for wave and tidal power in the north of Scotland, just a massive missed opportunity,” he said.

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL

A RANGE of bizarre machines from “oysters” to “sea snakes” could be installed in the seas off Scotland within ten years.

They include a wave machine made by Edinburgh firm Pelamis. Resembling a 180-metre red snake writhing on the surface of the water, it is the length of five train carriages.

The Oyster, made by another Edinburgh firm, Aquamarine Power, is a mechanical hinged flap connected to the sea bed. Each passing wave moves the flap, driving hydraulic pistons to deliver high-pressure water via a pipeline to an onshore turbine.

The Hammerfest Strom tidal machine that will be used by Scottish Power Renewables resembles an underwater wind turbine, with three blades.

THE MASTERPLAN

Marwick Head

Developer: ScottishPower Renewables

Size: 50 megawatts

Type: Wave project

Number of devices: 66

Type of device to be used: The P2 “sea snake” machine created by Edinburgh firm Pelamis Wave Power. Each is the length of about five train carriages and sits on the surface – like a sea snake

West Orkney South

Developer: E.on

Size: 50 megawatts

Type: Wave project

Number of devices: 66

Type of device: Pelamis’s P2 “sea snake” machine

Brough Head

Developer: Edinburgh firm Aquamarine Power, plus Scottish and Southern Energy

Size: 200 megawatts

Type: Wave project

Number of devices: 80

Type of device: Aquamarine Power’s Oyster 2. Each is 2.5MW and twice the length of a double-decker bus. Energy is captured from near-shore waves

Westray South

Developer: Scottish and Southern Energy

Size: 200 megawatts

Type: Tidal project

Number of devices required: up to 200

Type of device to be used: Not yet decided

West Orkney Middle South

Developer: Utility giant E.on

Size: 50 megawatts

Type: Wave project

Number of devices: Up to 50

Type of device to be used: Not yet decided

Costa Head

Developer: Utilities giant Scottish and Southern Energy

Size: 200 megawatts

Type: Wave project

Number of devices required: up to 200

Type of device to be used: Not yet decided

Ness of Duncansby

Developer: ScottishPower Renewables

Size: 100 megawatts

Type: Tidal project

Number of devices: Up to 95

Type of device to be used: HS1000 turbines developed by Norwegian firm Hammer-fest Strom. Already tested in Norway for five years, they look similar to underwater wind turbines, with three blades. They are 22m high

Armdale

Developer: Edinburgh firm Pelamis Wave Power, operating as Ocean Power Delivery

Size: 50 megawatts

Type: Wave project

Number of devices: 66

Type of device to be used: Pelamis’s own P2 “sea snake” machine

Brough Ness

Developer: Bristol firm Marine Current Turbines

Size: 100 megawatts

Type: Tidal project

Number of devices: 66

Type of device to be used: Marine Current Turbine’s SeaGen. First deployed in Northern Ireland in 2008, it works like an underwater windmill. The rotors are driven by the power of the currents

Cantick Head

Developer: Dublin firm OpenHydro in conjunction with Scottish and Southern Energy

Size: 200 megawatts

Type: Tidal project

Number of devices: Up to 200

Type of device: OpenHydro’s Open-Centre tidal turbine. A turbine hidden out of site under the surface of the water, mounted on the seabed and designed to be installed in “farms”

Source

Well if this works it certainly would be better then Nuclear Power Plants.

There will always be tides. If this works it would cause little to no pollution as well.

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Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 1:51 am  Comments Off on Marine Current Turbine’s to power 750,000 homes  
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Water shortage in Fiji, not for US Water Corporation however

Only cyclone can fix water woes: Prasad

By Elenoa Baselala
February 20, 2010

A TROPICAL depression or cyclone is what it would take to end water supply shortages in the country.

Director of the Fiji Meteorological Office, Rajendra Prasad, said a tropical depression or cyclone would get us out of the situation.

While February is regarded as part of the wet season, he says it has only rained in some parts of the country.

“There are places where the grass has turned green while there are others where the grass is still brown,” he said.

“We are still receiving below average rainfall and it was not as widespread as we had expected.”

Mr Prasad has urged companies that rely on rainwater to prepare themselves. He said reservoirs and dams could have a trouble with supply this season. The dry season begins in May.

Last month, the weather office classified certain areas to be under a “meteorological drought”.

These areas were Navua, Koronivia, Nausori, Labasa, Savusavu, Taveuni and Lakeba. Those in the “warning” stage are Yasawa-i-rara, Viwa, Vatukoula, Ba, Tavua, Sigatoka, Dobuilevu, Dreketi, Seaqaqa, Suva, Nabouwalu, Kadavu and Udu Point.

A meteorological drought is declared if rainfall is well below expected levels for an extended period.  Source

Update March 17 2010:

Well they got a Cyclone. I really do not see how this will help anyone however. Other then maybe some reporters will make it into the disaster area to survey and talk to the people. Seems Reporters have a hard time in Fiji however.

Cyclone Tomas hits Fiji 165 MPH Winds

Of course Guess who makes huge profits at the expense of all concerned.

They take the resources and the hell with the people who should have access to them.

Fiji Water: So cool, so fresh, so bad for the environment?

By SARAH GILBERT

August 24 2009

The story of Fiji Water, as detailed in a startling investigative piece in Mother Jones magazine this month, seems familiar. Leafing through the story, I found myself trying to remember where I’d read this tale before; like an old melody at the back of my brain, it hovered, just beyond memory.

Suddenly it came to me: it’s Dole, it’s United Fruit, it’s West Indies Sugar Corporation, it’s the old, old story. A company located in a lush, tropical location with a totalitarian government that welcomes foreign interests with deep pockets. It doesn’t tax them, gives them access to the country’s most precious natural resources, and stands by with heavy artillery in hand, protecting them while they strip the country.

Meanwhile, the country’s citizens struggle with terrible poverty, hunger and squalid conditions. The only part of the story that Fiji Water has not yet repeated is the inevitable depletion of the resource — in this case, a 17-mile-long aquifer to which Fiji Water has “near-exclusive access” — and the subsequent abandonment of the country.

What makes this story so difficult to swallow is how eagerly the U.S. seems to have embraced Fiji’s co-owners Stewart and Lynda Resnick. On this side of the Pacific, the pair cheerfully line the pockets of any political figure in sight (they supported both McCain and Obama in the past election) while selling Fiji’s best, cleanest water at a huge profit. On the other side of the ocean, the people of Fiji suffer under terrible water conditions that have led to outbreaks of typhoid and parasitic infections.

It appears that America adores the Resnicks: Lynda brags that she knows “everyone in the world, every mogul, every movie star.” These relationships have proven handy, as the Resnicks have reaped $1.5 million a year in water subsidies for their almond, pistachio and pomegranate crops in the U.S.

These agricultural water subsidies must be viewed in context: the stress from travelling to pollinate the almond “monoculture” crops like the ones the Resnicks grow, along with the pesticides they sell, are considered to be some of the major reasons that bees are succumbing to colony collapse disorder. And the Resnicks control an enormous amount of California water infrastructure that was built by public funds. They have a 48 percent interest in the Kern Water Bank, which was meant to collect water from aqueducts and the Kern River and to redistribute this water in times of drought.

%Poll-33708% The Resnicks and their Paramount Farms and Paramount Citrus could use the water to irrigate their fields (which are already subsidized by the government), or they could sell it to municipalities. According to critics, the Resnicks are “trying to ‘game’ the water market the way Enron gamed the energy market.”

So the Resnicks are not known for their even-handedness with politicians or water, and their practices in the U.S. are not the greenest of all possible greens. In fact, they could share responsibility for many of our environmental woes. They could have a hand in California’s future water shortages, during which they could profit gloriously. All the while, they are loudly and proudly marketing Fiji Water as the most environmentally friendly bottled water company in the world.

This, of course, is not saying much. Bottled water is notorious for its position in top five lists of “what not to do” for the planet. One day, future civilizations will look back on this decade and wonder in disbelief why it was that we pumped water out of one part of the planet, encased it in plastic, then encased it again for shipping, and spent many many non-renewable resources to bring it to another part of the planet where clean water was already plentiful. It’s patently ridiculous.

The story is disturbing because of the truths it tells us about ourselves and our society. It’s not just the water thing. It’s the marketing. Lynda Resnick has been repeatedly described as a marketing genius for her ability to transform Fiji Water into a must-have accessory for environmentally-conscious celebrities and politicians, despite its heavy use of plastic and questionable commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. And oh, we are drinking the marketing at far greater rates than we are drinking the water. Our celebrities both enormous (Obama, Paris, and their ilk) and minor (the geekarati at the SXSW festival) can’t live without it. So neither can we. Whatever celebrities sell us? YUM. Damn the consequences.

It’s troubling, at the end of the story, that the company is not, as Anna Lenzer writes in her follow-up to the story (after Fiji Water spokesman Rob Six defended his company) doing anything about the military junta now controlling Fiji. “A UN official . . . in a recent commentary . . . singled out Fiji Water as the one company with enough leverage to force the junta to budge.”

The commentary, by the way, was titled “Why Obama should stop drinking Fiji water.”

Update: A spokesman for Roll International Corporation, the parent company of Fiji Water, contacted DailyFinance, claiming that there are factual errors in the piece. Roll International maintains that Fiji Water is not profitable, and that the company does not receive subsidies from the state of California.

Source

One has to wonder how many other Corporations are stealing Fiji Resources?

Considering the Poverty one would think any company or corporation would be a bit more responsible. Seems of course this is not the case however.

What is Poverty in Fiji

Poverty is a difficult concept to understand and maintain an objective perspective.

Poverty in Fiji identifies those households, which cannot afford the basic minimum nutritionally adequate and palatable diet. It also define as that situation in which people are unable to obtain sufficient amounts of food, water, shelter, clothing, education and health care to meet their basic needs.

This  poverty line is simply a certain level of income or expenditure below which an individual or family will be deprived of the basic necessities of life for a specified time  and period. It is calculated in terms of expenditure for a nutritionally adequate diet plus expenditure for non-food items such  rent, clothing, fuel etc.

Overview  of  Poverty in Fiji

In a recent study in Fiji it was found that one quarter of the household’s were classified as poor, but many more were in constant danger of sliding into poverty or destitution because their household income was so small. The study also found that the poor were not a homogenous group –poor people were not necessarily subsistence farmers, the unemployed or the lazy.  Most poor households had someone in employment. The basic needs poverty line in Fiji was $83 (gross income) per week at national level. Source

Of course with poverty comes Prostitution.

Poverty linked to prostitution

Monday, February 15, 2010

Prostitution can not be wiped out in Fiji as long as poverty exists, says the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) co-ordinator Shamima Ali.

Ms Ali says tougher laws on prostitution will impact but it will still exist.

“There are higher chances that prostitution will be pushed into being an underground activity,” she said.

“It is a very old profession and goes back so many years, and the poverty and lack of education for women is not helping either.”

Ms Ali said prostitution was fuelled by men’s desire for sex.

She said the Crime Decree was a good approach to fight sex crimes and the sex trade.

But, she said, the root of the problem was poverty and this had to be eradicated first.

Ms Ali said the level of poverty in some areas of the country was extreme and the FWCC was aware of cases where wives turned to prostitution to earn money for the family.

She said the sex trade provided easy and more money than legal employment.

Meanwhile, police, on the other hand, will crackdown on all those involved in the sex trade industry.

Police suspect that massage parlours and some hotels are involved in the trade.

An investigation by the police has come up with startling revelations that people are getting much more than just a massage at parlours, said the police spokesman, Sergeant Suliano Tevita.

“Our investigations have shown us that people are given rooms in massage parlours and we suspect that this is for the purpose of prostitution.”

Sgt Tevita said the implementation of the new anti-prostitution law in the Crimes Decree had given the police power to prosecute people associated with the sex trade industry.

“Similarly, hotel and motel owners and management can also face charges if police find them facilitating prostitution in their establishments,” he warned.

The Crimes Decree states that people who make a living off prostitution are liable for a jail term of six months, while people caught hiring prostitutes can get jail terms of up to 12 years.

Anyone found operating a brothel or services which procure prostitution are liable for prosecution. The penalties are harsher when the crime involves people under the age of 18.

Under the new decree, this crime is punishable by a prison sentence of 12 months. The decree also states that any person residing with a prostitute is also liable.

Punishment in regards to prostitution ranges from 12 years to three months in jail and also includes fines.  Source


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The Toxic 100: Top Corporate Air Polluters in the United States

Rank Corporation Toxic score
(pounds released
x toxicity x
population exposure)
Minority share of health risk Low-income share of health risk

1

E.I. du Pont de Nemours

285,661

36.0%

17.3%

2

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

213,159

32.0%

22.5%

3

Dow Chemical

189,673

42.7%

13.%0

4

Bayer Group

172,773

24.3%

6.8%

5

Eastman Kodak

162,430

26.2%

13.4%

6

General Electric

149,061

32.4%

13.4%

7

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134,573

61.6%

24.9%

8

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129,123

36.8%

17.8%

9

ExxonMobil

128,758

69.1%

25.4%

10

AK Steel Holding

101,428

7.9%

17.8%

11

Eastman Chemical

98,432

9.9%

25.4%

12

Duke Energy

93,174

20.3%

16.9%

13

ConocoPhillips

91,993

34.7%

15.1%

14

Precision Castparts

87,500

15.8%

9.8%

15

Alcoa

85,983

20.3%

15.2%

16

Valero Energy

83,993

59.9%

12.8%

17

Ford Motor

75,360

24.6%

11.7%

18

General Motors

73,248

29.5%

19.8%

19

Goodyear

67,632

27.3%

11.2%

20

E.ON

65,579

21.6%

15.6%

21

Matsushita Electric Indl

65,346

54.6%

15.7%

22

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold

63,911

62.1%

13.2%

23

Apollo Mgt. (Hexion Specialty Chemicals)

63,880

40.2%

13.1%

24

Avery Dennison

62,740

37.7%

14.8%

25

BASF

60,984

31.9%

13.3%

26

Owens Corning

59,609

42.6%

9.7%

27

Dominion Resources

58,642

29.3%

15.9%

28

Allegheny Technologies

58,375

8.3%

14.2%

29

BP

54,336

54.7%

11.3%

30

Honeywell International

50,417

42.1%

13.1%

31

International Paper

49,385

30.6%

16.2%

32

Ashland

43,492

30.7%

18.9%

33

Constellation Energy

42,972

35.5%

11.2%

34

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

41,773

57.0%

16.5%

35

AES

39,789

29.8%

15.1%

36

Progress Energy

38,027

24.0%

11.2%

37

Nucor

36,963

51.3%

21.2%

38

United Technologies

36,526

30.6%

7.6%

39

Timken

36,047

17.6%

17.4%

40

Berkshire Hathaway

35,285

37.8%

13.2%

41

SPX

34,559

39.8%

11.2%

42

Royal Dutch Shell

34,556

43.5%

13.8%

43

Southern Co

33,577

33.6%

12.5%

44

Allegheny Energy

31,539

10.2%

14.1%

45

American Electric

31,364

9.3%

124%

46

Reliant Energy

30,821

14.0%

10.7%

47

Boeing

30,453

33.7%

13.6%

48

General Dynamics

30,337

69.0%

20.9%

49

Occidental Petroleum

30,069

43.6%

16.9%

50

KeySpan

29,008

53.7%

17.8%

51

Lyondell Chemical

28,591

33.6%

14.9%

52

Sunoco

27,851

33.5%

16.6%

53

Anheuser-Busch Cos

27,032

41.0%

16.7%

54

Ball

25,709

38.5%

14.8%

55

Deere & Co

25,346

19.9%

15.6%

56

Procter & Gamble

25,238

41.2%

16.1%

57

Tesoro

24,708

24.6%

10.0%

58

Temple-Inland

24,537

47.0%

20.1%

59

Pfizer

24,508

38.3%

19.8%

60

Rowan Cos.

24,389

46.2%

21.6%

61

Leggett & Platt

23,870

28.2%

12.6%

62

Northrop Grumman

23,798

56.6%

22.6%

63

Weyerhaeuser

22,708

23.0%

17.1%

64

Rohm and Haas

22,489

40.9%

16.5%

65

Tyco International

22,115

32.7%

9.3%

66

Terex

21,730

17.3%

9.4%

67

Corning

20,942

17.6%

12.6%

68

Exelon

20,811

33.6%

13.6%

69

Fortune Brands

20,583

19.5%

8.0%

70

FirstEnergy

20,441

16.8%

10.0%

71

Suncor Energy

20,378

45.3%

12.9%

72

Crown Holdings

19,447

30.5%

14.3%

73

Masco

18,572

6.7%

12.0%

74

ThyssenKrupp Group

18,133

21.7%

12.1%

75

Textron

17,443

33.6%

13.6%

76

Sony

16,426

12.5%

5.3%

77

Mirant

16,337

42.4%

9.2%

78

RAG

16,080

52.9%

18.4%

79

Alcan

15,231

10.8%

12.1%

80

Huntsman

15,119

47.7%

20.4%

81

Bridgestone

14,952

15.9%

10.1%

82

Danaher

14,621

23.9%

15.7%

83

PPG Industries

14,300

23.2%

13.0%

84

Hess

13,687

66.5%

26.4%

85

Akzo Nobel

13,453

58.6%

25.2%

86

Dynegy Inc.

13,439

25.6%

10.1%

87

Federal-Mogul

13,435

28.0%

13.6%

88

Stanley Works

13,196

32.1%

10.2%

89

Komatsu

13,132

30.9%

19.2%

90

Saint-Gobain

13,012

38.6%

16.7%

91

PPL

12,972

11.6%

8.0%

92

Caterpillar

12,924

24.2%

11.0%

93

Smurfit-Stone Container

12,868

29.9%

12.0%

94

Siemens

12,649

32.8%

12.8%

95

MeadWestvaco

12,465

40.9%

18.3%

96

Marathon Oil

12,454

33.0%

14.3%

97

Emerson Electric

12,258

13.1%

15.1%

98

Northeast Utilities

11,115

11.7%

7.9%

99

National Oilwell Varco

11,042

78.0%

26.5%

100

Dana

10,638

36.2%

17.6%

Toxic 100 firms

4,713,588

34..%

15.2%

Other 500-list firms

459,798

31.1%

13.3%

Non-500-list firms

9,403,595

35.2%

15.5%

All Firms

14,576,982

34.8%

15.3%

U.S. population

31.8%

12.9

Source

Death Tolls from Wars Estimates include civilian and military casualties, and indirect deaths from conflict-related famine, disease, and disruptions as well as violent deaths.

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2002 in US

The World Bank and IMF in Africa

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

Alberta Oil Sands a Pollution Nightmare/ Air car videos at the bottom of the page.

Privatization, Pollution and Free Trade, WTO

Pollution Costs Trillions Annually

US Air Testing Bombs

Uranium Mining, Grand Canyon now at Risk, Dangers, Pollution, History

Depleated Uranium Information

Israel’s Dirty Nuclear Secrets, Human experiments and WMD

The world’s worst radiation hotspot

How UK oil company Trafigura tried to cover up African pollution disaster

A Few of the World’s most polluted places

New US gov’t study shows mercury in fish widespread


Jan 7 : India- Protest in New Delhi over Israel raids

January 7  2009

NEW DELHI

The echoes of bombings on Gaza Strip were heard in the Capital on Tuesday. The coordination committee for Indian Muslims (CCIM) a group of five Muslim organisations came together with students of Delhi University (DU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia at Jantar Mantar to protest against Israel for its ongoing raids against Palestinians.

The protestors demanded that the government raise its voice against Israel and snap all ties with it, if need be. “The Indian government should respond to this terrorist onslaught by Israel on Palestinians,” said Mujtaba Farooq, convenor, CCIM. The protestors comprised not only students and members of Muslim organisations, but also housewives and children. “We have come here to protest against the killings of innocent people in Gaza. We had all received an SMS, urging us to be a part of this protest. We wanted to show our solidarity with the people of Palestine. Israel should stop its bombings rightaway,” said a student from Jamia.

Protestors also said that the fight against the Israeli attack was not of Muslims alone. “We should bring together our Hindu and Sikh brothers to demand that these attacks end now. People in Gaza are suffering without any electricity, water, food and money because of these raids,” said John Dayal, member of the Christian Council. Pallavi Deka, secretary, JNU Students’ Union, added, “People in Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Palestine are suffering alike. If we come together, we can bring an end to the conflict across the world.”

Another protestor, Mohammad Adib, member of parliament said, “Why is our country silent? Our government should tell Israel to either stop these attacks or take away its embassy from our country.”

Source

Jan 7: Lebanese children demonstrate for Gaza Children

Jan 7:Israel’s Gaza invasion provokes protests throughout Latin America

Jan 7: Australian Jews protest against Israel’s action

Jan 7: Canadian Jewish women protesting against Gaza War, Arrested after occupying the Israeli Consulate

An Open Letter From Jewish Youth in Canada – Support of Gaza0 all Jewish youth can sign

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza -Petitions

Egypt floats truce plan after 42 killed in Gaza School and Bars Doctors from Gaza

Gaza (3): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (2): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Israel strike kills up to 60 members of one family

Israel rains fire on Gaza with phosphorus Shells/Targets UN School

Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead and wounded

Foreign Press still banned from Gaza/Israel attacks Media Building in Gaza City

Gaza wounded die waiting for ambulances

War on Gaza – Timeline: June 19 2008 to January 3 2009

Published in: on January 8, 2009 at 6:01 am  Comments Off on Jan 7 : India- Protest in New Delhi over Israel raids  
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Poverty crushing the People of Haiti

By Dawn House
November 28 2008

Poverty is so crushing in Haiti that a simple cut or broken bone can become so infected in slums plagued with filth and raw sewage that the only remedy is amputation.

Adding to the misery in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation are hurricanes — Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike this year left 790 people dead and hundreds more injured, and now facing life-threatening infections.

But amputation can be a death sentence in Haiti, which depends on manual labor for survival, said Salt Lake City physician Jeff Randle, who has treated Haitians for a decade. It’s not uncommon for impoverished families, sometimes believing the injured are under a voodoo curse, to abandon disabled adults and children in the streets.

Randle, who first witnessed such despair while on an LDS Church mission, founded Healing Hands for Haiti in 1998. The nonprofit charity, based in Salt Lake City, has become the only agency in Haiti to provide wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and braces for people who have lost limbs or were born with a disability.

The group needs donations, medical supplies and health-care professionals willing to volunteer a week or two to help staff its clinic in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

The first year, 14 volunteers headed by doctors and social workers from LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City paid their own way to Haiti, where they provided rehabilitative therapy for more than 300 patients in 10 days. Despite political unrest and corruption in the country, almost all signed up to go the second year.

In the ensuing years, Randle has been joined by medical teams from 16 states. Most, including Randle, pay their own way while donations help with travel costs for the younger professionals. Last year, 21 medical workers from Canada raised $39,000 to finance their trip and fund treatment and training projects. The volunteers filled 42 large hockey bags with equipment and supplies and used 112 donated teddy bears as padding.

Healing Hands for Haiti has grown to a paid staff of 40 at its 7-acre compound in the foothills of Port-au-Prince. The group supports a clinic, school and shop where Haitians are trained to make prosthetic limbs and provide therapy for disabled adults and children. The group also conducts classes for workers from orphanages in taking care of their disabled charges, and lobbies schools to accept disabled children.

The annual budget is $180,000, “and each year I have no idea where the money is going to come from,” said Randle, who chairs the foundation. “But somehow, it comes.”

Said the group’s executive director, Jim Stein of Minneapolis: “Our most immediate need is money to support our staff in Haiti and to buy equipment and supplies.”

Last year alone, 399 wheelchairs were distributed throughout the island. And recently, an anonymous donor gave $250,000 to help jump-start the construction of what will be Haiti’s first rehabilitation hospital.

Recently, Healing Hands gave seminars after the November collapse of a ramshackle school on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, where more than 90 people, many of them children, were killed and more than 160 were injured. Haitians were taught about evacuation planning, survival skills and managing emotions in a country where little attention has been paid to building codes.

The need is desperate.

In October, a top United Nation’s official warned that the devastation from this year’s hurricane season has dealt a severe blow in efforts to combat poverty, according to the U.N. News Service.

Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said that the four successive hurricanes have left an estimated 1 million people needing humanitarian relief and major recovery assistance.

Even before the storms, 80 percent of the island’s population lived under the poverty line and more than half in abject poverty, according to a report from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on small-scale subsistence farming and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters made worse by the country’s widespread deforestation in lands cleared for food and fuel. The report said that inadequate supplies of potable water and soil erosion remain major environmental problems.

Source

They need a lot more help then they are getting.

Don’t turn your back on girls – Sexual violence in Haiti

27 November 2008

Sexual violence against girls in Haiti is widespread and pervasive and, although already at shocking levels, is said to be on the increase. While information on the true levels remains scarce, there is much evidence of sexual violence both in the family and within the wider community, particularly by armed gangs.

Public security and the legacy of sexual violence
Against a backdrop of kidnappings, criminal violence and gang warfare, violence against women and girls in the community has soared. One trend is the prevalence of rapes involving groups of armed men.

For the three years that followed the military coup in 1991 when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted, rape was used as a political weapon to instil fear and punish those who were believed to have supported the democratic government. During this time, there were widespread reports of armed men raping women.

Since the fall of the military regime, this has become a common practice among criminal gangs. In run up to Haiti’s annual carnival in February last year, 50 cases of rape were reported in just three days in the capital against women and girls in the capital Port-au-Prince.

Violence in the family is also prevalent and often hidden. Children often lack the resources and support they need to report violence in which family members participate or collude. The result of the failure to acknowledge and address this problem is a social climate in which violence in the family is seen as normal and inevitable.

Poverty in Haiti is extreme and plays a major role in putting girls at greater risk of sexual violence. Girls are bribed to remain silent by perpetrators, who are able to give them money to pay their schools or accommodation fees. Others who go in search of a public place with lighting by which to do their homework because their home has no electricity are attacked by groups of men.

Girls who become pregnant as a result of sexual violence find themselves at risk due to the lack of adequate healthcare. Only one in every four births in Haiti is assisted by qualified health personnel and large numbers of women and girls are dying as a result of pregnancy related complications.

The consequences of sexual violence on girls are profound and lasting. In addition to immediate physical injuries, survivors may have to face unwanted pregnancy; sexually transmitted diseases; and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

These consequences can have particularly series long term effects on girls, who are at higher risk of dying during childbirth or pregnancy and may also find their education disrupted, or find themselves excluded from school due to pregnancy.

One girl who raped when she was eight years old said: “I was going to school, but I left after I came here [to a shelter] because my father raped me. I was in the first year. I loved copying the lessons, writing. When I grow up I would like to be a doctor.”

Barriers to justice
Girls are often unwilling to report cases of rape, largely due to shame, fear, and social attitudes that tolerate male violence. Another major disincentive to reporting is the lack of confidence that girls will experience a positive and supportive response from law enforcement officials.

In some rural areas, the sole representative of the justice system is the justice of the peace. It is not uncommon for the justice of the peace to encourage girls who have faced violence accept an “amicable settlement” with the family of the perpetrator.

The justice system in Haiti is weak and ineffectual. The Police unit in charge of protecting minors is woefully under-staffed. In March 2008, the unit had 12 officers to cover the entire country and not a single vehicle. It is not surprising that so many of those who attack girls are never brought to justice, and so many girls feel there is no purpose in reporting crimes of sexual violence.

The authorities in Haiti have taken steps in recent years to address the problem of violence against women and girls. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs was established in 1994 and has been involved in important initiatives to address the problem.

In 1995, a National Plan of Action to Combat Violence Against Women was adopted. If implemented, this could bring about significant improvements in prevention and punishment.

The Haitian authorities face major challenges posed by the ongoing public security crisis, a succession of humanitarian disasters, and high levels of poverty and marginalization. These important concerns cannot be allowed to drown out the needs of Haitian girls.

Amnesty International is calling on the Haitian authorities to take immediate action to safeguard the rights of girls:

  • Collect comprehensive data on the nature and extent of violence against women and girls. The lack of data currently stands in the way of devising effective solutions;
  • Investigate and prosecute all complaints of sexual violence;
  • Ensure that police provide a safe environment for girls to report sexual violence, and ensure that all complaints are promptly and effectively investigated.

Source

Sanctions have played a role in the poverty. Recovery could take decades or longer unless outside help is increased.

Haiti Sanctions

Study Says Haiti Sanctions Kill Up to 1,000 Children a Month

By HOWARD W. FRENCH,  November 9, 1993

International Sanctions on Haiti Fueled Repression, UN Official Says

By Don Bohning,  March 1, 1999

Seems to me Sanctions are a form of extermination, of innocent people.

Economic sanctions are a “Weapon of Mass Destruction”

Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 5:09 am  Comments Off on Poverty crushing the People of Haiti  
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Economic sanctions are a “Weapon of Mass Destruction”

As many of us well know , Zimbabwe is under Sanctions. By the US and EU among others as well.

This bit of information may give you a bit of enlightenment as to how Sanctions are used and most importantly are abused by those in charge.  This typical of what is done.  Everyone should be aware of how Sanctions really work and what is really happening.  Sanctions are just another “Weapon of Mass Destruction”.
By Joy Gordon

Economic sanctions as a weapon of mass destruction

In searching for evidence of the potential danger posed by Iraq, the Bush Administration need have looked no further than the well-kept record of U.S. manipulation of the sanctions program since 1991. If any international act in the last decade is sure to generate enduring bitterness toward the United States, it is the epidemic suffering needlessly visited on Iraqis via U.S. fiat inside the United Nations Security Council. Within that body, the United States has consistently thwarted Iraq from satisfying its most basic humanitarian needs, using sanctions as nothing less than a deadly weapon, and, despite recent reforms, continuing to do so. Invoking security concerns—including those not corroborated by U.N. weapons inspectors—U.S. policymakers have effectively turned a program of international governance into a legitimized act of mass slaughter.

Since the U.N. adopted economic sanctions in 1945, in its charter, as a means of maintaining global order, it has used them fourteen times (twelve times since 1990). But only those sanctions imposed on Iraq have been comprehensive, meaning that virtually every aspect of the country’s imports and exports is controlled, which is particularly damaging to a country recovering from war. Since the program began, an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five have died as a result of the sanctions—almost three times as many as the number of Japanese killed during the U.S. atomic bomb attacks.

News of such Iraqi fatalities has been well documented (by the United Nations, among others), though underreported by the media. What has remained invisible, however, is any documentation of how and by whom such a death toll has been justified for so long. How was the danger of goods entering Iraq assessed, and how was it weighed, if at all, against the mounting collateral damage? As an academic who studies the ethics of international relations, I was curious. It was easy to discover that for the last ten years a vast number of lengthy holds had been placed on billions of dollars’ worth of what seemed unobjectionable—and very much needed—imports to Iraq. But I soon learned that all U.N. records that could answer my questions were kept from public scrutiny. This is not to say that the U.N. is lacking in public documents related to the Iraq program. What is unavailable are the documents that show how the U.S. policy agenda has determined the outcome of humanitarian and security judgments.

The operation of Iraq sanctions involves numerous agencies within the United Nations. The Security Council’s 661 Committee is generally responsible for both enforcing the sanctions and granting humanitarian exemptions. The Office of Iraq Programme (OIP), within the U.N. Secretariat, operates the Oil for Food Programme. Humanitarian agencies such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization work in Iraq to monitor and improve the population’s welfare, periodically reporting their findings to the 661 Committee. These agencies have been careful not to publicly discuss their ongoing frustration with the manner in which the program is operated.

Over the last three years, through research and interviews with diplomats, U.N. staff, scholars, and journalists, I have acquired many of the key confidential U.N. documents concerning the administration of Iraq sanctions. I obtained these documents on the condition that my sources remain anonymous. What they show is that the United States has fought aggressively throughout the last decade to purposefully minimize the humanitarian goods that enter the country. And it has done so in the face of enormous human suffering, including massive increases in child mortality and widespread epidemics. It has sometimes given a reason for its refusal to approve humanitarian goods, sometimes given no reason at all, and sometimes changed its reason three or four times, in each instance causing a delay of months. Since August 1991 the United States has blocked most purchases of materials necessary for Iraq to generate electricity, as well as equipment for radio, telephone, and other communications. Often restrictions have hinged on the withholding of a single essential element, rendering many approved items useless. For example, Iraq was allowed to purchase a sewage-treatment plant but was blocked from buying the generator necessary to run it; this in a country that has been pouring 300,000 tons of raw sewage daily into its rivers.


Saddam Hussein’s government is well known for its human-rights abuses against the Kurds and Shi’ites, and for its invasion of Kuwait. What is less well known is that this same government had also invested heavily in health, education, and social programs for two decades prior to the Persian Gulf War. While the treatment of ethnic minorities and political enemies has been abominable under Hussein, it is also the case that the well-being of the society at large improved dramatically. The social programs and economic development continued, and expanded, even during Iraq’s grueling and costly war with Iran from 1980 to 1988, a war that Saddam Hussein might not have survived without substantial U.S. backing. Before the Persian Gulf War, Iraq was a rapidly developing country, with free education, ample electricity, modernized agriculture, and a robust middle class. According to the World Health Organization, 93 percent of the population had access to health care.

The devastation of the Gulf War and the sanctions that preceded and sustained such devastation changed all that. Often forgotten is the fact that sanctions were imposed before the war-in August of 1990-in direct response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. After the liberation of Kuwait, sanctions were maintained, their focus shifted to disarmament. In 1991, a few months after the end of the war, the U.N. secretary general’s envoy reported that Iraq was facing a crisis in the areas of food, water, sanitation, and health, as well as elsewhere in its entire infrastructure, and predicted an “imminent catastrophe, which could include epidemics and famine, if massive life-supporting needs are not rapidly met.” U.S. intelligence assessments took the same view. A Defense Department evaluation noted that “Degraded medical conditions in Iraq are primarily attributable to the breakdown of public services (water purification and distribution, preventive medicine, water disposal, health-care services, electricity, and transportation). . . . Hospital care is degraded by lack of running water and electricity.”

According to Pentagon officials, that was the intention. In a June 23, 1991, Washington Post article, Pentagon officials stated that Iraq’s electrical grid had been targeted by bombing strikes in order to undermine the civilian economy. “People say, ‘You didn’t recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage,’” said one planning officer at the Pentagon. “Well, what were we trying to do with sanctions-help out the Iraqi people? No. What we were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to accelerate the effect of the sanctions.”

Iraq cannot legally export or import any goods, including oil, outside the U.N. sanctions system. The Oil for Food Programme, intended as a limited and temporary emergency measure, was first offered to Iraq in 1991, and was rejected. It was finally put into place in 1996. Under the programme, Iraq was permitted to sell a limited amount of oil (until 1999, when the limits were removed), and is allowed to use almost 60 percent of the proceeds to buy humanitarian goods. Since the programme began, Iraq has earned approximately $57 billion in oil revenues, of which it has spent about $23 billion on goods that actually arrived. This comes to about $170 per year per person, which is less than one half the annual per capita income of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Iraqi diplomats noted last year that this is well below what the U.N. spends on food for dogs used in Iraqi de-mining operations (about $400 per dog per year on imported food, according to the U.N.).

The severe limits on funds created a permanent humanitarian crisis, but the situation has been worsened considerably by chronic delays in approval for billions of dollars’ worth of goods. As of last July more than $5 billion in goods was on hold.

The Office of Iraq Programme does not release information on which countries are blocking contracts, nor does any other body. Access to the minutes of the Security Council’s 661 Committee is “restricted.” The committee operates by consensus, effectively giving every member veto power. Although support for the sanctions has eroded considerably, the sanctions are maintained by “reverse veto” in the Security Council. Because the sanctions did not have an expiration date built in, ending them would require another resolution by the council. The United States (and Britain) would be in a position to veto any such resolution even though the sanctions on Iraq have been openly opposed by three permanent members—France, Russia, and China—for many years, and by many of the elected members as well. The sanctions, in effect, cannot be lifted until the United States agrees.

Nearly everything for Iraq’s entire infrastructure—electricity, roads, telephones, water treatment—as well as much of the equipment and supplies related to food and medicine has been subject to Security Council review. In practice, this has meant that the United States and Britain subjected hundreds of contracts to elaborate scrutiny, without the involvement of any other country on the council; and after that scrutiny, the United States, only occasionally seconded by Britain, consistently blocked or delayed hundreds of humanitarian contracts.

In response to U.S. demands, the U.N. worked with suppliers to provide the United States with detailed information about the goods and how they would be used, and repeatedly expanded its monitoring system, tracking each item from contracting through delivery and installation, ensuring that the imports are used for legitimate civilian purposes. Despite all these measures, U.S. holds actually increased. In September 2001 nearly one third of water and sanitation and one quarter of electricity and educational—supply contracts were on hold. Between the springs of 2000 and 2002, for example, holds on humanitarian goods tripled.

Among the goods that the United States blocked last winter: dialysis, dental, and fire—fighting equipment, water tankers, milk and yogurt production equipment, printing equipment for schools. The United States even blocked a contract for agricultural—bagging equipment, insisting that the U.N. first obtain documentation to “confirm that the ‘manual’ placement of bags around filling spouts is indeed a person placing the bag on the spout.”

Although most contracts for food in the last few years bypassed the Security Council altogether, political interference with related contracts still occurred. In a March 20, 2000, 661 Committee meeting—after considerable debate and numerous U.S. and U.K. objections—a UNICEF official, Anupama Rao Singh, made a presentation on the deplorable humanitarian situation in Iraq. Her report included the following: 25 percent of children in south and central governorates suffered from chronic malnutrition, which was often irreversible, 9 percent from acute malnutrition, and child—mortality rates had more than doubled since the imposition of sanctions.

A couple of months later, a Syrian company asked the committee to approve a contract to mill flour for Iraq. Whereas Iraq ordinarily purchased food directly, in this case it was growing wheat but did not have adequate facilities to produce flour. The Russian delegate argued that, in light of the report the committee had received from the UNICEF official, and the fact that flour was an essential element of the Iraqi diet, the committee had no choice but to approve the request on humanitarian grounds. The delegate from China agreed, as did those from France and Argentina. But the U.S. representative, Eugene Young, argued that “there should be no hurry” to move on this request: the flour requirement under Security Council Resolution 986 had been met, he said; the number of holds on contracts for milling equipment was “relatively low”; and the committee should wait for the results of a study being conducted by the World Food Programme first. Ironically, he also argued against the flour—milling contract on the grounds that “the focus should be on capacity—building within the country”—even though that represented a stark reversal of U.S. policy, which consistently opposed any form of economic development within Iraq. The British delegate stalled as well, saying that he would need to see “how the request would fit into the Iraqi food programme,” and that there were still questions about transport and insurance. In the end, despite the extreme malnutrition of which the committee was aware, the U.S. delegate insisted it would be “premature” to grant the request for flour production, and the U.K. representative joined him, blocking the project from going forward.

Many members of the Security Council have been sharply critical of these practices. In an April 20, 2000, meeting of the 661 Committee, one member after another challenged the legitimacy of the U.S. decisions to impede the humanitarian contracts. The problem had reached “a critical point,” said the Russian delegate; the number of holds was “excessive,” said the Canadian representative; the Tunisian delegate expressed concern over the scale of the holds. The British and American delegates justified their position on the grounds that the items on hold were dual—use goods that should be monitored, and that they could not approve them without getting detailed technical information. But the French delegate challenged this explanation: there was an elaborate monitoring mechanism for telecommunications equipment, he pointed out, and the International Telecommunication Union had been involved in assessing projects. Yet, he said, there were holds on almost 90 percent of telecommunications contracts. Similarly, there was already an effective monitoring mechanism for oil equipment that had existed for some time; yet the holds on oil contracts remained high. Nor was it the case, he suggested, that providing prompt, detailed technical information was sufficient to get holds released: a French contract for the supply of ventilators for intensive—care units had been on hold for more than five months, despite his government’s prompt and detailed response to a request for additional technical information and the obvious humanitarian character of the goods.

Dual-use goods, of course, are the ostensible target of sanctions, since they are capable of contributing to Iraq’s military capabilities. But the problem remains that many of the tools necessary for a country simply to function could easily be considered dual use. Truck tires, respirator masks, bulldozers, and pipes have all been blocked or delayed at different times for this reason. Also under suspicion is much of the equipment needed to provide electricity, telephone service, transportation, and clean water.

Yet goods presenting genuine security concerns have been safely imported into Iraq for years and used for legitimate purposes. Chlorine, for example—vital for water purification, and feared as a possible source of the chlorine gas used in chemical weapons—is aggressively monitored, and deliveries have been regular. Every single canister is tracked from the time of contracting through arrival, installation, and disposal of the empty canister. With many other goods, however, U.S. claims of concern over weapons of mass destruction are a good deal shakier.

Last year the United States blocked contracts for water tankers, on the grounds that they might be used to haul chemical weapons instead. Yet the arms experts at UNMOVIC had no objection to them: water tankers with that particular type of lining, they maintained, were not on the “1051 list”—the list of goods that require notice to U.N. weapons inspectors. Still, the United States insisted on blocking the water tankers—this during a time when the major cause of child deaths was lack of access to clean drinking water, and when the country was in the midst of a drought. Thus, even though the United States justified blocking humanitarian goods out of concern over security and potential military use, it blocked contracts that the U.N.’s own agency charged with weapons inspections did not object to. And the quantities were large. As of September 2001, “1051 disagreements” involved nearly 200 humanitarian contracts. As of last March, there were $25 million worth of holds on contracts for hospital essentials—sterilizers, oxygen plants, spare parts for basic utilities—that, despite release by UNMOVIC, were still blocked by the United States on the claim of “dual use.”

Beyond its consistent blocking of dual-use goods, the United States found many ways to slow approval of contracts. Although it insisted on reviewing every contract carefully, for years it didn’t assign enough staff to do this without causing enormous delays. In April 2000 the United States informed the 661 Committee that it had just released $275 million in holds. This did not represent a policy change, the delegate said; rather, the United States had simply allocated more financial resources and personnel to the task of reviewing the contracts. Thus millions in humanitarian contracts had been delayed not because of security concerns but simply because of U.S. disinterest in spending the money necessary to review them. In other cases, after all U.S. objections to a delayed contract were addressed (a process that could take years), the United States simply changed its reason for the hold, and the review process began all over. After a half-million-dollar contract for medical equipment was blocked in February 2000, and the company spent two years responding to U.S. requests for information, the United States changed its reason for the hold, and the contract remained blocked. A tremendous number of other medical-equipment contracts suffered the same fate. As of September 2001, nearly a billion dollars’ worth of medical-equipment contracts—for which all the information sought had been provided—was still on hold.


Among the many deprivations Iraq has experienced, none is so closely correlated with deaths as its damaged water system. Prior to 1990, 95 percent of urban households in Iraq had access to potable water, as did three quarters of rural households. Soon after the Persian Gulf War, there were widespread outbreaks of cholera and typhoid—diseases that had been largely eradicated in Iraq—as well as massive increases in child and infant dysentery, and skyrocketing child and infant mortality rates. By 1996 all sewage-treatment plants had broken down. As the state’s economy collapsed, salaries to state employees stopped, or were paid in Iraqi currency rendered nearly worthless by inflation. Between 1990 and 1996 more than half of the employees involved in water and sanitation left their jobs. By 2001, after five years of the Oil for Food Programme’s operating at full capacity, the situation had actually worsened.

In the late 1980s the mortality rate for Iraqi children under five years old was about fifty per thousand. By 1994 it had nearly doubled, to just under ninety. By 1999 it had increased again, this time to nearly 130; that is, 13 percent of all Iraqi children were dead before their fifth birthday. For the most part, they die as a direct or indirect result of contaminated water.

The United States anticipated the collapse of the Iraqi water system early on. In January 1991, shortly before the Persian Gulf War began and six months into the sanctions, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency projected that, under the embargo, Iraq’s ability to provide clean drinking water would collapse within six months. Chemicals for water treatment, the agency noted, “are depleted or nearing depletion,” chlorine supplies were “critically low,” the main chlorine-production plants had been shut down, and industries such as pharmaceuticals and food processing were already becoming incapacitated. “Unless the water is purified with chlorine,” the agency concluded, “epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid could occur.”

All of this indeed came to pass. And got worse. Yet U.S. policy on water-supply contracts remained as aggressive as ever. For every such contract unblocked in August 2001, for example, three new ones were put on hold. A 2001 UNICEF report to the Security Council found that access to potable water for the Iraqi population had not improved much under the Oil for Food Programme, and specifically cited the half a billion dollars of water- and sanitation-supply contracts then blocked—one third of all submitted. UNICEF reported that up to 40 percent of the purified water run through pipes is contaminated or lost through leakage. Yet the United States blocked or delayed contracts for water pipes, and for the bulldozers and earth-moving equipment necessary to install them. And despite approving the dangerous dual-use chlorine, the United States blocked the safety equipment necessary to handle the substance—not only for Iraqis but for U.N. employees charged with chlorine monitoring there.


It is no accident that the operation of the 661 Committee is so obscured. Behind closed doors, ensconced in a U.N. bureaucracy few citizens could parse, American policymakers are in a good position to avoid criticism of their practices; but they are also, rightly, fearful of public scrutiny, as a fracas over a block on medical supplies last year illustrates.

In early 2001, the United States had placed holds on $280 million in medical supplies, including vaccines to treat infant hepatitis, tetanus, and diphtheria, as well as incubators and cardiac equipment. The rationale was that the vaccines contained live cultures, albeit highly weakened ones. The Iraqi government, it was argued, could conceivably extract these, and eventually grow a virulent fatal strain, then develop a missile or other delivery system that could effectively disseminate it. UNICEF and U.N. health agencies, along with other Security Council members, objected strenuously. European biological-weapons experts maintained that such a feat was in fact flatly impossible. At the same time, with massive epidemics ravaging the country, and skyrocketing child mortality, it was quite certain that preventing child vaccines from entering Iraq would result in large numbers of child and infant deaths. Despite pressure behind the scenes from the U.N. and from members of the Security Council, the United States refused to budge. But in March 2001, when the Washington Post and Reuters reported on the holds—and their impact—the United States abruptly announced it was lifting them.

A few months later, the United States began aggressively and publicly pushing a proposal for “smart sanctions,” sometimes known as “targeted sanctions.” The idea behind smart sanctions is to “contour” sanctions so that they affect the military and the political leadership instead of the citizenry. Basic civilian necessities, the State Department claimed, would be handled by the U.N. Secretariat, bypassing the Security Council. Critics pointed out that in fact the proposal would change very little since everything related to infrastructure was routinely classified as dual use, and so would be subject again to the same kinds of interference. What the “smart sanctions” would accomplish was to mask the U.S. role. Under the new proposal, all the categories of goods the United States ordinarily challenged would instead be placed in a category that was, in effect, automatically placed on hold. But this would now be in the name of the Security Council—even though there was little interest on the part of any of its other members (besides Britain) for maintaining sanctions, and even less interest in blocking humanitarian goods.

After the embarrassing media coverage of the child-vaccine debacle, the State Department was eager to see the new system in place, and to see that none of the other permanent members of the Security Council—Russia, Britain, China, and France—vetoed the proposal. In the face of this new political agenda, U.S. security concerns suddenly disappeared. In early June of last year, when the “smart sanctions” proposal was under negotiation, the United States announced that it would lift holds on $800 million of contracts, of which $200 million involved business with key Security Council members. A few weeks later, the United States lifted holds on $80 million of Chinese contracts with Iraq, including some for radio equipment and other goods that had been blocked because of dual-use concerns.

In the end, China and France agreed to support the U.S. proposal. But Russia did not, and immediately after Russia vetoed it, the United States placed holds on nearly every contract that Iraq had with Russian companies. Then last November, the United States began lobbying again for a smart-sanctions proposal, now called the Goods Review List (GRL). The proposal passed the Security Council in May 2002, this time with Russia’s support. In what one diplomat, anonymously quoted in the Financial Times of April 3, 2002, called “the boldest move yet by the U.S. to use the holds to buy political agreement,” the Goods Review List had the effect of lifting $740 million of U.S. holds on Russian contracts with Iraq, even though the State Department had earlier insisted that those same holds were necessary to prevent any military imports.

Under the new system, UNMOVIC and the International Atomic Energy Agency make the initial determination about whether an item appears on the GRL, which includes only those materials questionable enough to be passed on to the Security Council. The list is precise and public, but huge. Cobbled together from existing U.N. and other international lists and precedents, the GRL has been virtually customized to accommodate the imaginative breadth of U.S. policymakers’ security concerns. Yet when U.N. weapons experts began reviewing the $5 billion worth of existing holds last July, they found that very few of them were for goods that ended up on the GRL or warranted the security concern that the United States had originally claimed. As a result, hundreds of holds have been lifted in the last few months.

This mass release of old holds—expected to have been completed in October—should have made a difference in Iraq. But U.S. and British maneuvers on the council last year makes genuine relief unlikely. In December 2000, the Security Council passed a resolution allowing Iraq to spend 600 million euros (about $600 million) from its oil sales on maintenance of its oil-production capabilities. Without this, Iraq would still have to pay for these services, but with no legal avenue to raise the funds. The United States, unable in the end to agree with Iraq on how the funds would be managed, blocked the measure’s implementation. In the spring of 2001, the United States accused Iraq of imposing illegal surcharges on the middlemen who sell to refiners. To counter this, the United States and Britain devised a system that had the effect of undermining Iraq’s basic capacity to sell oil: “retroactive pricing.” Taking advantage of the fact that the 661 Committee sets the price Iraq receives from each oil buyer, the United States and Britain began to systematically withhold their votes on each price until the relevant buying period had passed. The idea was that then the alleged surcharge could be subtracted from the price after the sale had occurred, and that price would then be imposed on the buyer. The effect of this practice has been to torpedo the entire Oil for Food Programme. Obviously, few buyers would want to commit themselves to a purchase whose price they do not know until after they agree to it. As a result of this system, Iraq’s oil income has dropped 40 percent since last year, and more than $2 billion in humanitarian contracts—all of them fully approved—are now stalled. Once again, invoking tenuous security claims, the United States has put in place a device that will systematically cause enormous human damage in Iraq.


Some would say that the lesson to be learned from September 11 is that we must be even more aggressive in protecting what we see as our security interests. But perhaps that’s the wrong lesson altogether. It is worth remembering that the worst destruction done on U.S. soil by foreign enemies was accomplished with little more than hatred, ingenuity, and box cutters. Perhaps what we should learn from our own reactions to September 11 is that the massive destruction of innocents is something that is unlikely to be either forgotten or forgiven. If this is so, then destroying Iraq, whether with sanctions or with bombs, is unlikely to bring the security we have gone to such lengths to preserve.

Source

The Cholera epidemic is just one of the problems of Sanctions. What happened in Iraq,  Afghanistan  and other countries that have been sanctioned is also happening in Zimbabwe.

Those behind the Sanctions, are in great part to blame.  They will let people die. They will deliberately withhold supplies needed for clean water, medical necessities and food. Their rational, of course is rather pathetic.

Those in charge don’t want anyone to know the truth. They don’t want anyone to know what they do and how they kill people.  They do however want natural resources among other things.

Some of the Minerals produced in Zimbabwe

Ammonia
Asbestos
Bentonite
Chromite
Cobalt
Copper
Feldspar
Ferrochromium
Gold
Graphite
Hydraulic Cement
Industrial Sand And Gravel (Silica)
Iron Ore
Lithium Minerals And Brine
Magnesite
Nickel
Perlite
Pig Iron
Platinum-Group Metals
Raw Steel
Silver
Vermiculite

Source

Today Zimbabwe received a bit more help.

ZIMBABWE

Byo receives 5 600 kgs of chlorine

November 28 2008
In the advent of high cholera alert in Bulawayo, the City Council has benefited from a consignment of 5 600 kilograms of chlorine donated by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority and 600 litres of fuel from the Civil Protection Unit.

In the advent of high cholera alert in Bulawayo, the City Council has benefited from a consignment of 5 600 kilograms of chlorine donated by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority and 600 litres of fuel from the Civil Protection Unit.

Due to the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the west the council, like other national institutions, is facing cash flow problems which are affecting service delivery.

As a result of the current financial crunch Bulawayo faces sewage reticulation challenges with a risk of a possible cholera outbreak.

Bulawayo is currently under water rationing due to the shortage of water chemicals and residents are concerned that this may worsen the cholera situation.

Commenting on the donation Governor and Resident Minister of Bulawayo Metropolitan Province Ambassador Cain Mathema said government will continue to assist local authorites with resources to improve service delivery.

He said through ZINWA government is providing complementary resources to the local authority to contain a possible cholera outbreak.

Source

Help For Zimbabwe with Cholera Epidemic is on the Way

Published in: on November 28, 2008 at 11:45 pm  Comments Off on Economic sanctions are a “Weapon of Mass Destruction”  
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China: Official warns environmental pollution no longer acceptable

November  27 2008

BEIJING

China’s environmental protection chief has warned local governments that pollution in the name of economic growth is no longer tolerable.

“At the primary stage of socialism, slowing or halting economic development for environmental protection is not acceptable. But pollution is not acceptable too,” Environmental Protection Minister Zhou Shengxian was quoted by Thursday’s People’s Daily assaying.

In Yunnan Province to discuss the arsenic pollution of Yangzonghai Lake, Zhou asked officials: “What’s the point of development if we developed economy and improved people’s living standard, but people had to suffer from environmental pollution and degradation?

“If people have to drink polluted water while driving BMWs, that’s a bitter irony of modernization,” he said. “We definitely don’t want such development.”

Describing the contamination as an “evil consequence of sacrificing the environment for temporary local interest”, Zhou told officials to learn from the incident, according to the paper.

“China has made significant achievements since it started economic reform 30 years ago,” Zhou said. “But no one can deny that we have paid a big environmental and resource price for the fast development.”

Yangzonghai Lake, famous for its springs, was found to contain arsenic in June in the Yuxi City section. A local company named Jinye Industry and Trade Co. Ltd. was blamed for the pollution.

Zhou said the company, since it was opened three and half years ago, had paid 10 million yuan (1.5 million U.S. dollar) in taxes, but “its pollution cost billions and affected the lives of 26,000 people”.

Three company executives were arrested and 12 government officials fired in connection with the contamination. The city has invited bidders globally to clean up the pollution. The lake water is expected to be safe within three years.

Compared with the pollution in Yangzonghai, a small lake, the condition of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers and other big lakes was more worrisome, Zhou said.

“They were surrounded by many chemical factories and smelters,” he added.

Zhou said the core principle of the Scientific Concept of Development, promoted by the government, was “people first”. “Its basic requirement is to cherish life.”

A monitoring report in September showed that surface water in China generally suffered from medium pollution. About 26.7 percent of 759 samples of surface water were graded “V”, the worst level of pollution.

Source

Published in: on November 28, 2008 at 3:45 am  Comments Off on China: Official warns environmental pollution no longer acceptable  
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Privatization, Pollution and Free Trade, WTO

Watch this new 11-min short documentary, “Rivers at Risk: Glacier & Howser Creeks,” by POWERPLAY producer Damien Gillis on the battle to protect a treasured piece of Kootenay wilderness from private power development.

This video is the second installment in Save Our Rivers Society’s new “Rivers at Risk” series, which profiles different rivers around BC threatened by private power development – told in the words of the local citizens batting to protect them.  Featuring stunning high definition footage of this spectacular BC wilderness, revered by outdoor enthusiasts.

Watch video – high resolution
Having trouble streaming the high-res version?  Watch video – medium resolution

Five pristine rivers around Duncan Lake – near Kaslo in the spectacular West Kootenays – are threatened by a 120 MW private river power proposal by Axor Corp.  The plan is to divert up to 90% of each of these rivers, including beloved Glacier and Howser Creeks, into a 4.5 metre-wide 16 KM tunnel to generate electricity and private profits for Axor Corp. and its investors.  As the water will never return to the original creeks from which it is diverted (instead dumping it into the Lake below) this cannot be rightly called “run of river” power.

The impacts on the local environment – including further degradation from the 25 roads and 250,000 cubic metres of waste-rock muck generated by project – will further endanger resident blue-listed bull trout and other important ecological values.

One of the most environmentally troubling aspects of the proposal is the plan to get the power out of the valley by way of a 100 metre-wide 91KM transmission corridor carved out of old growth forests through the pristine Purcell mountain range.  But perhaps opponents’ biggest concern is the erosion of democratic values and loss of public control over our resources, especially our watersheds.

In a time of climate change and shrinking natural resources, it’s imperative that we hang onto our water and energy security – two values that are directly undermined by the BC Liberal government’s secretive agenda to privatize our rivers and public power system under the false guise of “energy self-sufficiency” and “green power.”  As this video and the situation around the Glacier/Howser proposal illustrate, there is nothing in this private river power scheme that benefits the public or the environment.

Source

Privatization also drives up the cost for consumers. Have to pay owners and dividends to investors.

This of course drives up the price of hydro. We all remember Enron Right?

There are other companies like Enron out there and who wants to be stuck with that.

What private Corporations do to land is everyone’s concern.

Environmental concerns are extremely important.

Here is a report about Free Trade and how it has affected a few things.

NAFTA rights arising from private sector hydroelectric generation in British Columbia

By Wendy R. Holm P.Ag.

Friday, 26 September 2008

It is a commonly held belief that the greatest risks to Canada’s water resources under NAFTA are related to exports. In fact, the more immediate area of public policy concern is not water exports but water use in Canada by firms that are American or have US investors.

Private sector firms issued water licenses by government – be it for hydroelectric generation or for snowmaking – hold NAFTA rights far superior to any rights held by Canadians if those firms are American or have American investors.

Investment Provisions of the NAFTA

Investor rights – which trump conflicting provincial legislation – include the right to national treatment and compensation for losses to investment, profits, markets and goodwill if those rights are expropriated by the Government of Canada or any province

For many years, I and others have held up Alberta’s oil patch as the clearest example of water rights arising from domestic takings. Whether by water flooding (conventional oil and gas drilling) or by deep steam injection (extracting bitumen from the oil sands), water used by US firms (or firms with American investors) for energy extraction in Alberta’s oil patch is covered by NAFTA.

In a paper published in The University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review March 9, 2007, Joseph Cumming and Robert Froehlich examine in detail the effect of NAFTA on Alberta’s ability to use regulation as a public policy measures to protect its water resources.

Assuming a cutback in water use due to extended drought mandated under the Alberta Water Act, the authors present a case law review of relevant NAFTA Chapter XI Tribunals (Ethyl Corporation, SunBelt, Pope and Talbot, Metalclad, SD Meyers and Methanex) then go on to look at the success of a potential compensation claim by American firms whose investments in energy extraction suffer as a result of reduced access to the province’s water resources. Their conclusion:

“… the Government of Alberta, and therefore the Government of Canada, may face difficult financial consequences if the Director suspends or cancels a water license for environmental protection purposes. There are strong arguments available to a US investor that support the position that a cancellation or suspension of a water license is an indirect expropriation, or a measure tantamount to an expropriation, thereby resulting in substantial compensation being payable. In the case of an oil sands operation that is shut down as a result of a loss of its water license… a successful Chapter XI claim could be exceptionally high. Consider the loss of capital expenditures, the nullification of past expenditures, and the lost marketability of the future oil production.”

And while Canada could attempt to “settle” such suits before they reach a NAFTA panel, this “may allow environmental legislation and regulation to survive, but would do so at a tremendous cost” requiring Canada to, in effect, “purchase its environmental sovereignty by settling its way out of Chapter XI claims.”

Arguing the presence of external pressure by foreign investors undoubtedly constrains Canada’s ability to enforce its environmental policy, the authors go on to note:

“the implications for Canadian environmental sovereignty in this circumstance are clear. A private investor could essential force the hand of a Canadian legislative body. A US investor, who is not accountable to the Canadian public and who may have no concern for the Canadian environment, could potentially influence how internal Canadian environmental policy and legislation is treated. As a result of the potential for a significant compensation award to be issued, a single US investor, through the threat of use of a Chapter XI claim, may be able to cause Canadian legislation to be altered or even repealed.”

To read the full review, click on this link: Cumming, Joseph and Robert Froehlich. NAFTA Chapter XI and Canada’s Environmental Sovereignty: Investment Flows, Article 1110 and Alberta’s Water Act, The University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review March 9, 2007.

It also contains a few cases, previously litigated. Very enlightening indeed.


Implications of NAFTA Investment Provisions on Hydro Privatization in BC

There is no difference between water used for bitumen extraction, water used for hydroelectric production, or water used to make snow for a ski hill. When the entity holding rights to Canada’s water is American or has American investors, all such takings are covered by NAFTA.

NAFTA investment defenses would trump (and, experts fear, eventually influence the direction of) provincial and federal environmental laws. Even when water licenses are reduced or canceled on a non-discriminatory basis, for a public purpose, and pursuant to provincial legislation, they give rise to NAFTA claims for compensation under Chapter 11.

The result is an erosion of Canadian policy sovereignty and a denigration of the rights of Canadian communities vis a vis foreign investors.

This risk is unacceptably high when the commodity in question is water.

Source

This affects all countries not just Canada, but this is a good example of things that have and are being done around the world.

Water is also used in mining operations. Contamination from mining is quite devastating.

Many of the problems with Free Trade is also applied to air pollution.

If a Government tries to stop air pollution the Corporations can also sue for lost profits and probably win.

However are we to stop climate change, as long as Trade agreements do nothing to protect the environment?

Read the Review and think about the implications to water and air pollution.

Moving and entire water way is not something we should allow. It would destroy the eco system around it.

Are one of these companies in your neighborhood?

Many are in other countries around the world and they pollute there as well as in the US.

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US


Links on company names lead to detailed company reports.

Rank

Corporation

Toxic score
(pounds released
x toxicity x
population exposure)

Millions of
pounds of toxic
air releases

Millions of
pounds of toxic
incineration transfers

1

E.I. du Pont de Nemours

285,661

12.73

23.00

2

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

213,159

12.92

0.00

3

Dow Chemical

189,673

11.12

42.02

4

Bayer Group

172,773

0.72

6.93

5

Eastman Kodak

162,430

2.66

0.36

6

General Electric

149,061

4.14

7.14

7

Arcelor Mittal

134,573

0.94

0.00

8

US Steel

129,123

2.21

0.09

9

ExxonMobil

128,758

12.70

0.39

10

AK Steel Holding

101,428

0.27

0.00

11

Eastman Chemical

98,432

6.98

0.31

12

Duke Energy

93,174

80.21

0.00

13

ConocoPhillips

91,993

6.56

0.01

14

Precision Castparts

87,500

0.09

0.02

15

Alcoa

85,983

13.11

0.15

16

Valero Energy

83,993

4.46

0.14

17

Ford Motor

75,360

6.24

0.00

18

General Motors

73,248

8.37

0.02

19

Goodyear

67,632

3.16

0.00

20

E.ON

65,579

20.96

0.00

21

Matsushita Electric Indl

65,346

0.06

0.00

22

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold

63,911

4.01

0.00

23

Apollo Mgt. (Hexion Specialty Chemicals)

63,880

1.06

2.80

24

Avery Dennison

62,740

0.21

1.09

25

BASF

60,984

4.60

2.05

26

Owens Corning

59,609

6.29

0.00

27

Dominion Resources

58,642

14.31

0.00

28

Allegheny Technologies

58,375

0.72

0.03

29

BP

54,336

5.42

0.19

30

Honeywell International

50,417

5.20

1.73

31

International Paper

49,385

44.75

0.01

32

Ashland

43,492

0.24

0.08

33

Constellation Energy

42,972

16.40

0.00

34

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

41,773

7.64

0.00

35

AES

39,789

10.41

0.00

36

Progress Energy

38,027

40.97

0.00

37

Nucor

36,963

0.49

0.00

38

United Technologies

36,526

0.11

0.00

39

Timken

36,047

0.06

0.00

40

Berkshire Hathaway

35,285

9.36

0.05

41

SPX

34,559

0.04

0.00

42

Royal Dutch Shell

34,556

2.95

4.79

43

Southern Co

33,577

76.67

0.00

44

Allegheny Energy

31,539

25.31

0.00

45

American Electric

31,364

91.41

0.00

46

Reliant Energy

30,821

34.39

0.00

47

Boeing

30,453

0.48

0.00

48

General Dynamics

30,337

0.48

0.06

49

Occidental Petroleum

30,069

1.09

2.38

50

KeySpan

29,008

1.16

0.00

51

Lyondell Chemical

28,591

15.52

3.09

52

Sunoco

27,851

2.99

0.39

53

Anheuser-Busch Cos

27,032

2.24

0.00

54

Ball

25,709

3.99

0.02

55

Deere & Co

25,346

0.36

0.00

56

Procter & Gamble

25,238

0.16

0.00

57

Tesoro

24,708

3.76

0.01

58

Temple-Inland

24,537

8.33

0.00

59

Pfizer

24,508

0.28

12.36

60

Rowan Cos.

24,389

0.08

0.00

61

Leggett & Platt

23,870

0.06

0.00

62

Northrop Grumman

23,798

0.46

0.05

63

Weyerhaeuser

22,708

17.56

0.00

64

Rohm and Haas

22,489

1.07

1.33

65

Tyco International

22,115

0.64

1.58

66

Terex

21,730

0.03

0.00

67

Corning

20,942

0.13

0.00

68

Exelon

20,811

0.97

0.00

69

Fortune Brands

20,583

1.84

0.00

70

FirstEnergy

20,441

16.72

0.00

71

Suncor Energy

20,378

0.12

0.00

72

Crown Holdings

19,447

3.50

0.00

73

Masco

18,572

3.47

0.00

74

ThyssenKrupp Group

18,133

0.51

0.01

75

Textron

17,443

0.30

0.08

76

Sony

16,426

0.16

0.02

77

Mirant

16,337

18.53

0.00

78

RAG

16,080

0.86

0.02

79

Alcan

15,231

0.90

0.00

80

Huntsman

15,119

1.84

8.01

81

Bridgestone

14,952

2.13

0.01

82

Danaher

14,621

0.06

0.00

83

PPG Industries

14,300

2.27

0.70

84

Hess

13,687

0.79

0.04

85

Akzo Nobel

13,453

0.51

0.27

86

Dynegy Inc.

13,439

3.57

0.00

87

Federal-Mogul

13,435

0.14

0.00

88

Stanley Works

13,196

0.11

0.00

89

Komatsu

13,132

0.00

0.00

90

Saint-Gobain

13,012

1.65

0.05

91

PPL

12,972

12.32

0.00

92

Caterpillar

12,924

0.35

0.00

93

Smurfit-Stone Container

12,868

17.93

0.01

94

Siemens

12,649

0.46

0.00

95

MeadWestvaco

12,465

8.81

0.00

96

Marathon Oil

12,454

1.49

0.04

97

Emerson Electric

12,258

0.15

0.00

98

Northeast Utilities

11,115

4.18

0.00

99

National Oilwell Varco

11,042

0.40

0.00

100

Dana

10,638

0.09

0.01

Explanatory notes:

  • Toxic score: Quantity of air releases and incineration transfers reported in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory for the year 2005, adjusted for dispersion through the environment, toxicity of chemicals and number of people impacted. Adjustments are from the EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators project. For details, see the technical notes.
  • Quantity of toxic air releases and incineration transfers: Millions of pounds of toxic chemicals released to the air on-site at each TRI facility or transferred off-site for incineration, without weighting for toxicity or population.
  • Coverage: This table presents the highest toxic scores for corporations that appear on certain Fortune, Forbes, and/or Standard & Poor’s top company lists in the year 2007. Individual facilities are assigned to corporate parents on the basis of the most current information on the ownership structure.

Source

The Top 10
Worst Pollution Problems

Also:

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2002 in US

Includes

2008 Reducing pollution

2008 Study details deadly cost of pollution

2008 California Air Pollution Kills More People Than Car Crashes, Study Shows

2008 Manila Metro’s air pollution kills 5,000 annually

2007 Pollution kills 750,000 in China every year

2007 Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says

2005 Environmental Pollution kills 5 million children a year, says WHO

2007 Shipping pollution kills 60,000 every year

2002 How pollution kills around the world

1998 Report Cites Declining Environment as Major Killer

World Bank Promotes Fossil Fuel Pollution


Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2002 in US

The Toxic 100: Top Corporate Air Polluters in the United States

This index identifies the top air polluters among corporations that appear in the “Fortune 500,” “Forbes 500,” and “Standard & Poor’s 500” lists of the country’s largest firms. 2002 list.

Rank Corporation Rank Corporation
1. E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. 51. The AES Corp.
2. United States Steel Corp. 52. Procter & Gamble Co.
3. ConocoPhillips 53. Lyondell Chemical Co.
4. General Electric Co. 54. Leggett & Platt Inc.
5. Eastman Kodak Co. 55. Sunoco Inc.
6. Exxon Mobil Corp. 56. Emerson Electric Co.
7. Ford Motor Co. 57. MeadWestvaco Corp.
8. (1) 58. FirstEnergy Corp.
9. Alcoa Inc. 59. Ball Corp.
10. Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) 60. Textron Inc.
11. The Dow Chemical Co. 61. Rowan Cos. Inc.
12. Eastman Chemical Co., Inc. 62. Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.
13. The Boeing Co. 63. Mirant Corp.
14. Nucor Corp. 64. Chevron Corp.
15. Georgia-Pacific Corp. 65. Southern Co.
16. AK Steel Holding Corp. 66. ArvinMeritor Inc.
17. Northrop Grumman Corp. 67. Lear Corp.
18. Deere & Co. 68. Visteon Corp.
19. Dominion Resources Inc. 69. Monsanto Co.
20. General Motors Corp. 70. 3M Co.
21. Delphi Corp. 71. Xcel Energy Inc.
22. Tesoro Corp. 72. Crown Holdings Inc.
23. Phelps Dodge Corp. 73. Rohm & Haas Co.
24. Temple-Inland Inc. 74. Federal-Mogul Corp.
25. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 75. PPG Industries Inc.
26. Allegheny Technologies Inc. 76. Great Lakes Chemical Corp.
27. International Paper Co. 77. ICI American Holdings Inc.
28. Valero Energy Corp. 78. Corning Inc.
29. Progress Energy Inc. 79. El Paso Corp.
30. Kerr-McGee Corp. 80. Heartland Industrial Partners LP
31. Danaher Corp. 81. Amerada Hess Corp.
32. Engelhard Corp. 82. Allegheny Energy Inc.
33. Constellation Energy Group Inc. 83. Exelon Corp.
34. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 84. Marathon Oil Co.
35. American Electric Power 85. Goodrich Corp.
36. Reliant Energy Inc. 86. Armstrong Holdings Inc.
37. Teco Energy Inc. 87. The Shaw Group Inc.
38. Becton, Dickinson & Co. 88. Praxair Inc.
39. Premcor Inc. 89. Pfizer Inc.
40. Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc. 90. Brunswick Corp.
41. Tyco International Ltd. 91. Ameren Corp.
42. Weyerhaeuser Co. 92. Dana Corp.
43. United Technologies Corp. (UTC) 93. Altria Group Inc.
44. Honeywell International Inc. 94. Hercules Inc.
45. Owens Corning 95. The Stanley Works
46. Duke Energy Corp. 96. Kimberly-Clark Corp.
47. Occidental Petroleum Co. 97. Harley-Davidson Inc.
48. Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) 98. Mohawk Industries Inc.
49. Cinergy Corp. 99. Plum Creek Timber Co. L.P.
50. Ashland Inc. 100. Illinois Tool Works Inc.

Source


2008 Reducing pollution

2008 Study details deadly cost of pollution

2008 California Air Pollution Kills More People Than Car Crashes, Study Shows

2008 Manila Metro’s air pollution kills 5,000 annually

2007 Pollution kills 750,000 in China every year

2007 Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says

2005 Environmental Pollution kills 5 million children a year, says WHO

2007 Shipping pollution kills 60,000 every year

2002 How pollution kills around the world

1998 Report Cites Declining Environment as Major Killer

World Bank Promotes Fossil Fuel Pollution

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US

The World’s Top Ten Worst Pollution Problems 2007

  • Indoor air pollution: adverse air conditions in indoor spaces;
  • Urban air quality: adverse outdoor air conditions in urban areas;
  • Untreated sewage: untreated waste water;
  • Groundwater contamination: pollution of underground water sources as a result of human activity;
  • Contaminated surface water: pollution of rivers or shallow dug wells mainly used for drinking and cooking;
  • Artisanal gold mining: small scale mining activities that use the most basic methods to extract and process minerals and metals;
  • Industrial mining activities: larger scale mining activities with excessive mineral wastes;
  • Metals smelting and other processing: extractive, industrial, and pollutant-emitting processes;
  • Radioactive waste and uranium mining: pollution resulting from the improper management of uranium mine tailings and nuclear waste;
  • Used lead acid battery recycling: smelting of batteries used in cars, trucks and back-up power supplies.

Source

Sierra Leone: A mission for MSF(Doctors Without Borders)

One the young children at the therapeutic feeding center at the MSF-run Gondama Referral Center in Sierra Leone.

MSF

November 17 2008

By James Blunt

I was a reconnaissance officer in the British army in the Kosovo conflict of 1999. As such, I was the eyes and ears of my commanders, send ahead to give them information about what their main formations might encounter as they advanced. As the Vanguard, we thought we were doing a tough job, but on ­numerous occasions we would run into a hut or shed in the middle of nowhere with a queue of civilians waiting to see the doctor inside.

These doctors and nurses from all over the world were volunteers for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and selflessly risked their safety to bring medical attention to the civilian victims of man-made or natural disasters. In a celebrity-obsessed world, I clearly remember thinking that these are the people who should be celebrated.

Today in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Médecins Sans Frontières teams are working to meet the immense humanitarian needs of hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced by renewed fighting in the North Kivu ­region of Eastern DRC and are living in extremely precarious conditions. The teams are providing water and sanitation services, life saving surgical support, and primary medical care to people injured in the fighting or who have been uprooted and have fled for their lives.

Even at a time of financial crisis, people uprooted by war and conflict and those affected by disease and malnutrition remain just as vulnerable and in need of assistance. That is why it is vital that we maintain support to those in desperate need right now. Doctors Without Borders relies on the generosity of individuals to carry out its essential life-­saving work.

Contributions can be made online at doctorswithoutborders.org

Life with the MSF

Metro followed Médecins Sans Frontières onsite as the organization works to improve the ­conditions for those living in Sierra Leone, one of the worst countries to live in, according to the United Nations.

“This is what I wanted to do for a very long time,” says Monica Thallinger. It’s the 29-year-old Norwegian pediatrician’s first MSF mission.

Monica Thallinger ­enjoys working for Médecins Sans Frontières even though it’s not quite the same as her job back at the hospital in Fredrikstad, Norway: “It’s interesting, but hard work, but it also gives you a lot back.”

Malaria is just one of the diseases she never treats back home, and child mortality at the Gondama Referral Center outside Bo is much higher. Here, two or three children die every day as many parents wait too long to seek help. By then it’s often too late.

“Back home a child dies very seldom, so it’s quite tough,” Thallinger says.

But things have improved since Medecins Sans Frontieres set up their operation in the area. “You can imagine how it would be if we weren’t here.”

Even though many traditional doctors have seen the number of clients dwindle since MSF started providing free health care, it happens that patients come in with two conditions — even though it ought only be one.

“Traditional herbs are very common. Some of them actually work but some have been given herbs for months and are intoxicated when they come in.”

But still, Thallinger sees her job as very rewarding. “You see children become better even if they are very ill when they come in and it’s very rewarding to see most of them become healthy.”

Malnutrition is also a common problem in the area. “I especially remember one patient. I had seen malnourished children before, but she was just skin and bones. But for some reason she kept her head up. She was too unstable for x-rays, but we gave her TB drugs and two weeks later she was smiling. Now she is this healthy child running around and you cannot see she was sick.”

Patrick Ekstrand, Metro Sweden

Prevention part of the plan

A young girl is treated for malaria in MSF’s intensive care unit at the Gondama Referral Centre. Her condition is aggravated by herbs given to her by a traditional doctor. The case is far from unique, says MSF doctor Monica Thallinger.

In Sierra Leone, malaria is the main cause of death among children under five. Statistics compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) explains part of the reason: only 5 per cent of children under five sleep under an insecticide-treated net. The percentage is higher around Bo, where MSF has provided communities with 65,000 insect nets. A survey done last year in the area where MSF operates shows two-thirds of children sleep under nets. Also, under-five mortality decreased by two-thirds in 2007 compared to the previous year.

Malaria is a child killer. Out of an estimated 1 million malaria deaths in Africa, 900,000 occur among children under the age of five. It is also a disease of poverty — and a cause of poverty. The WHO estimates that malaria costs Africa $12 billion US annually. Breaking this evil circle is as easy as breaking the life cycle of malaria. There is no vaccine, but insecticides, mosquito netting and medicines are part of the ­solution.

However, the GDP per capita in Sierra Leone is only $600 US and health expenditure is just over 3 per cent of the GDP — $20 US per person per year — and those without access to adequate health care have to find other ways. Those living around Bo are better off as MSF provides free health care for children and expecting mothers.

Working with community volunteers to fight malaria

MSF volunteer Mohamed Sandi tests a child for malaria.

Mohamed Sandi, a carpenter, rips open a packet of latex gloves, dons them and pricks the finger of Massah, a two-year-old girl with a fever.

A droplet of blood is placed in a paracheck, a malaria test kit similar in appearance to an off-the-shelf pregnancy test. He keeps looking at his battered digital watch. ”She’s positive,” he says after 15 minutes.

By then Massah has forgotten the sting of the lancet and snatches the foil-enclosed strip of anti-malarials from Sandi’s hand as if they were sweets.

Sandi is one of some 140 community malaria volunteers (CMV), trained by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to diagnose and treat malaria. He also knows which patients to refer to a clinic, among them pregnant women.

“Sometimes a person is very weak and at times they are bleeding from their nose and I send them to the clinic,” he says. By the end of next year the number of CMVs will double to nearly 300, as the project has been highly successful.

“Malaria was very plenty here, at times maybe seven or eight per week, but it is better now,” Sandi says. “I’m not a doctor, but people in the village call me doctor.”

Anyone can be a CMV as long as they are committed and literate — writing journals and collecting statistical data is a vital part of the job. In return for their voluntary work, other villagers supply the CMVs with food and help them tend to their gardens.

The most severe cases end up at the Gondama Referral Centre, an MSF-run hospital outside Bo, the second largest city in Sierra Leone. The GRC provides free health care for children and expecting mothers.

“A Cesarean section at the government hospital is 100 dollars and it’s impossible for the patients to pay,” explains Noemie Larsimont, the Belgian doctor responsible for the GRC.

The world’s forgotten crises, according to MSF

Burma. Humanitarian aid is limited in Burma since the military seized power in 1962. Despite enormous needs there are few relief organizations that work in the country. Only a small amount of the regime’s budget is allocated to health care.
Central African Republic. The political crisis has caused a collapse of the health care system. Poor living conditions cause illnessess.
Colombia. After more than 40 years of civil war with the military more than 3 milion people have fled their homes. Children are forced to be soldiers.
Democratic Republic of Congo. One of the world’s poorest countries. Several hundred thousands have fled their homes the last year. The Congolese have a high prevalence of malnutrition and malaria.
Somalia. The country has lived through chaos for 15 years. But the humanitarian aid has decreased. Violence makes the situation difficult for aid organisations.
Sri Lanka. The conflict between the government and Tamil rebels LTTE has struck hard against the civilian population. Bombings, mines and suicide attempts are everyday events.
Chechnya. The Caucasus is still unstabile after the war against Russia. There is shortage of basic health care.
Zimbabwe. Political instability, inflation and shortage of food has weakened the country. Three million people have fled the country. Prospects for the future are not good, medical staff is leaving the ­country.
Malnutrition. Every year five million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition. Despite new forms of treatment, starvation is still an enormous problem, especially in Africa.
Tuberculosis. Every year 11 million people are infected with tuberculosis. Two million die from the disease. Most victims live in poor countries without sufficient health care.

Source

More information:

Doctors Without Boarders Providing Assistance in North Kivu, DRC

Congo ‘worst place’ to be woman or child

An displaced woman receive a bucket from the Red Cross as they distribute non food items  in Kibati, just north of Goma, in eastern Congo, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. (AP / Karel Prinsloo)

An displaced woman receive a bucket from the Red Cross

as they distribute non food items in Kibati, just north of Goma,

in eastern Congo, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008. (AP / Karel Prinsloo)

People carrying their belongings flee fighting in Kiwanja, 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Goma, eastern Congo, Friday, Nov. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

People carrying their belongings flee fighting in Kiwanja,

90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Goma, eastern Congo,

Friday, Nov. 7, 2008. (AP / Karel Prinsloo)

November 12 2008

Government officials in Angola say they’re mobilizing troops to send to Congo, a country one aid worker is calling “the worst place” in the world to be a woman or child.

The mobilization is raising fears that violence in that country would spread through the region.

Angolan Deputy Foreign Minister Georges Chicoty said the troops will support the Congo government in its fight against rebels led by a former Tutsi general. Congo had asked Angola for political and military assistance last month.

However, there are concerns that neighbouring Rwanda may see the presence of Angolan troops, which will not act as a peacekeeping force, as a provocation.

There are also worries that tensions between Tutsis and Hutus — who escaped to the Congo from Rwanda during an ethnic genocide in the 1990s — will increase. The current conflict is fuelled by concerns by Tutsi leaders in Congo that they’ll be targeted by Hutus who participated in the genocide and then fled to the country.

Earlier this week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said 3,000 more UN peacekeeping soldiers were needed in Congo to bolster a 17,000-member UN force.

Ban also called for a ceasefire so aid workers could get help to at “at least 100,000 refugees” cut off in rebel-controlled areas.

“The conditions in (the refugee camps) are as bad as I have seen them anywhere in Africa,” World Vision spokesperson Kevin Cook told CTV’s Canada AM on Wednesday morning.

Displaced people are in urgent need of water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and other supplies and protection from escalating violence.”

Cook said aid workers are also concerned about the spread of diseases such as malaria, cholera, measles and diarrhea. He also noted that he is not sure how long relief workers would be able to stay in the country if the situation worsens.

UN officials have noted that both sides in the dispute have committed crimes against civilians, including rapes.

“This is probably the worst place in the world to be a woman or a child,” Cook said.

Source


open cast mining in the DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most volatile parts of the world and also one of the most mineral-rich.

That provides an explosive combination.

The United Nations says illegal mining operations are providing funding for the rebel groups behind the renewed conflict, including the forces of the rebel general Laurent Nkunda.

Many people have died in the latest eruption of violence, and over 250,000 people have fled their homes.

Blessing or curse

International efforts to bring peace to the region are increasingly focussed on the way that factions in the region have been using its mineral wealth to buy arms.

Workers toil to extract diamonds, gold, copper and cassiterite in the thousands of open mines which litter the contested eastern region.

The untapped wealth of the forested landscape is worth billions of dollars but only a tiny fraction of that reaches the pockets of ordinary citizens.

The recent battles in the eastern Kivu region partly stem from the same Hutu-Tutsi rivalry which prompted the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s but crucially, the fighting is financed by Kivu’s buried treasure.

Many people complain that the natural riches of the region are the main cause of their misery.

Blood money

Rebel groups, as well as the Congolese army, trade in the minerals and that provides the money to enable them to keep fighting.

For some armed groups the war has become little more than a private racket with the minerals themselves providing the motive for carrying on the fighting, according to Carina Tertsakian of the international campaign organisation Global Witness.

The region accounts for 5% of the global supply of cassiterite, the primary ore of tin and a crucial element of all kinds of electronic circuitry, and is worth $70 million a year.

“To reach the world market the ore is flown to the regional capital of Goma and then, via Rwanda and Uganda, it reaches to east African ports of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania,” says Harrison Mitchell of the Resource Consulting Service.

The ore is then shipped to smelters who buy tin on the open market.

Located predominantly in India, China, Malaysia and Thailand, these smelters sell tin to component manufacturers.

Provenance required

Public pressure has forced the diamond trade to monitor sources and Mr Mitchell says the same should now apply to the trade in cassiterite.

“We talked to some high profile electronic companies and we found that the final end-users of tin were generally unaware of where the product was coming from,” he says.

There are many legal mining operations within the Democratic Republic of Congo but in the contested Eastern region, there are now proposals to limit the illegal trade.

These range from calls for a total ban, to the idea of chemically identifying the varieties of tin coming out of each area, which would allow exporters to filter out the worst sources.

Campaigners say that any indiscriminate ban will severely hurt the long-suffering and impoverished local population.

Source

Also see

Search for peace ‘doomed’ by scramble for minerals in Congo

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 11:47 pm  Comments Off on Congo ‘worst place’ to be woman or child  
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The World Bank and IMF in Africa

A little History

The World Bank and IMF in Africa

August 2008

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are two of the most powerful international financial institutions in the world. They are the major sources of lending to African countries, and use the loans they provide as leverage to prescribe policies and dictate major changes in the economies of these countries. The World Bank is the largest public development institution in the world, lending over $24 billion in 2007 – of which over $5 billion (or 22 percent) went to Africa.

The World Bank and IMF are controlled by the world’s richest countries, particularly the U.S., which is the main shareholder in both institutions. The World Bank, headquartered in Washington, DC, follows a “one dollar, one vote” system whereby members with the greatest financial contributions have the greatest say in decision making. The U.S. holds roughly 17% of the vote in the World Bank and the 48 sub-Saharan African countries together have less than 9% of the votes. The Group of 7 rich countries (G-7) control 45% of World Bank votes. This system ensures that the World Bank and IMF act in the interest of the rich countries, promoting a model of economic growth (called neo-liberal) that benefits the richest countries and the international private sector.

Over the past two decades, the poorest countries in the world have had to turn increasingly to the World Bank and IMF for financial assistance, because their impoverishment has made it impossible for them to borrow elsewhere. The World Bank and IMF attach strict conditions to their loans, which give them great control over borrower governments. On average, low-income countries are subject to as many as 67 conditions per World Bank loan. African countries, in need of new loans, have had no choice but to accept these conditions.

The World Bank and IMF have forced African countries to adopt “structural adjustment programs” (SAP) and other measures which cut back government spending on basic services. They have required African governments to reduce trade barriers and open their markets, maintaining their economies as sources of cheap raw materials and cheap labor for multinational corporations.

As a result of World Bank and IMF policies, average incomes in Africa have declined, and the continent’s poverty has increased. Africa’s debt crisis has worsened over the past two decades, as the failure of World Bank and IMF intervention has left African countries more dependent than ever on new loans. These institutions have also undermined Africa’s health through the policies they have imposed. Forced cutbacks in spending on health care, and the privatization of basic services, have left Africa’s people more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other poverty-related diseases.

The policies of the World Bank and IMF have come increasingly under fire, for the negative impact they have had on African countries. But these institutions, and the U.S. and other wealthy countries that control them, refuse to address these concerns. Instead, they continue to use Africa’s debt as leverage to maintain control over the economic policies of African countries. Even as Africa faces the worst health crisis in human history, these institutions insist that debt repayments take priority over spending on the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS. African countries continue to spend up to five times more on debt servicing than on health care for their populations.

In response to growing criticism of their policies, the IMF and World Bank have continuously repackaged their structural adjustment programs over the last two decades. In 1999, the institutions began a funding system that requires a country to create a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), which purports to outline programs that will promote growth and reduce poverty over the next several years. Through the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF), which disburses funds, the World Bank and IMF approve and then finance these poverty reduction programs. While the World Bank and IMF claim that this allows greater flexibility for countries receiving assistance, the degree of ownership that countries have in PRSPs is exaggerated. Parliaments and civil society are often excluded from developing and adopting PRSPs.

In 2005, the IMF created the Policy Support Instrument (PSI). PSIs do not provide financial assistance to the countries that choose to participate. Rather, the IMF provides economic policy advice to a country, and then monitors it to determine whether or not the country has earned the IMF’s endorsement. Creditors and donors can then base their decision to offer loans or grants to a country on the IMF’s PSI assessment. In practice, this program continues to enforce IMF economic reforms and compromise the ability of African governments to decide on their development path.

To address the external debt crisis of poor countries, the IMF and World Bank introduced the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative in September 1996. Designed by creditors, this initiative was intended to extract the maximum in debt repayments from poor countries. It has failed even to meet its stated objective of reducing Africa’s debt burden to a “sustainable” level, and the strict HIPC eligibility requirements prevent many countries from receiving much-needed assistance.

In July 2005, the Group of 8 (G-8) proposed a debt cancellation deal for 18 countries, 14 of which are in Africa. That September, the World Bank and IMF approved this deal through the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). The MDRI grants debt cancellation to countries that meet certain eligibility requirements, including adherence to economic policies and programs that the World Bank and IMF deem satisfactory. As of December 2007, the World Bank and IMF have approved MDRI debt relief for 25 countries, 19 of which are in Africa. Although the MDRI provides some progress on the issue of debt, it still leaves many African countries trapped under the burden of illegitimate debt. Furthermore, it establishes the precedent that future debt cancellation will only be offered to countries that have submitted their economies to the draconian dictates of the World Bank and IMF’s structural adjustment policies.

The benefits of debt cancellation have been proven repeatedly. While in 2003, Zambia was forced to spend twice as much on debt payments as on health care, partial debt cancellation allowed the government to grant free basic healthcare to its population in 2006. In Benin, more than half of the money saved through debt cancellation has been spent on health. In Tanzania, the newly available funds were used to eliminate primary school fees, increasing attendance by two-thirds. Uganda is currently using the $57.9 million of savings it gained from debt relief in 2006 to improve primary education, energy and water infrastructure, malaria control, and healthcare. Cameroon is using its $29.8 million in savings for poverty reduction, infrastructure improvement, and governance reforms.

Since 2007, there has been talk of the IMF selling its gold reserves to offset its growing administrative budget deficits. In order for the IMF to sell any part of its gold reserves, the sale must be approved by an 85% majority of its members. The United States controls about 17% of this vote, giving it an effective veto over this action. In February 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced that it would support the sale if the IMF takes part in a package of reforms that would put more emphasis on surveillance and financial stability and less on lending.

By law, however, the U.S. Congress must authorize the sale of IMF gold before the U.S. Executive Director may support such a decision. This puts Congress in a unique position to greatly influence the future actions and operations of the IMF. In contrast with Treasury’s modest reform proposal, Congress could seize this opportunity and condition its approval of the IMF’s gold sales on a bold reform agenda that eliminates IMF policies that have restricted investments in health, education and HIV/AIDS spending. Specifically, gold sales should be approved only if the IMF ceases use of overly restrictive deficit-reduction and inflation-reduction targets, eliminates budget ceilings for the health and education sectors and de-links debt cancellation from such harmful macroeconomic conditions. Gold sales could also be used to finance expanded debt cancellation.

African countries must have the power to shape their own economic policies and to determine their own development priorities. This requires the cancellation of all of Africa’s illegitimate external debts, and an immediate end to the harmful policies the World Bank and IMF have imposed in Africa.

Source

South Africa: IMF Can Only Bring Misery

by Trevor Ngwane and George DorThe Sowetan
July 12 2000

Last Friday, Horst Koehler, newly-appointed head of the International Monetary Fund, received a hostile response from the anti-privatisation forum, Jubilee 2000, the campaign against neoliberalism and the South African Communist Party. We are trained to be hospitable in the African tradition, but this was a fair exception.

The Anti-Privatisation Forum includes two campaigns. The first is the anti-Igoli Forum which opposes Johannesburg’s “iGoli 2002” plan to privatise our city. The second is the Wits University Crisis Committee, which opposes a similar strategy, “Wits 2001,” which has led to massive job losses and the decline of arts education at South Africa’s main university.

The campaigns oppose the privatisation of social goods, like water and education, that in a just society should be under the control of communities, workers and students. The unity of our struggles is all the more urgent in view of this week’s Urban Futures Conference, at which the powers behind iGoli 2002 and Wits 2001 are hoping to showcase the sale of our city and our university.

If Horst Koehler thought his visit to South Africa would be widely applauded, he should know that workers, community activists and students in Johannesburg have been protesting his institution for many years.

The last such visit by an IMF leader was in October 1996, when Michel Camdessus came to meet workers, community activists and students, as requested by finance minister Trevor Manuel. But our leadership in Cosatu, Sanco and Sasco boycotted the meeting on grounds that the IMF would do harm to South Africa.

The subsequent events in East Asia, which shamed Camdessus, proved that a firm stand against the IMF was correct. We know that firsthand in our country and our continent, where for more than two decades people have suffered immensely, due to IMF interference.

The IMF made billions of dollars of loans to apartheid South Africa during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Our allies in the Jubilee 2000 South Africa movement have demanded that these loans, which were repaid by South African society during one of the most repressive, bloody periods in our history, now in turn be the basis for reparations by the IMF to a democratic South Africa.

During the late 1980s, when the apartheid regime began to sell state assets to white-owned conglomerates and raised interest rates to the highest levels in our history, the IMF was prodding it to do so. The IMF consistently argued that South African workers were overpaid, and that South Africa should implement a Value Added Tax to shift the burden of tax payment further to lower-income people. The apartheid regime generally followed this advice and was applauded by the IMF for doing so.

In December 1993, the IMF granted a US $750 million loan (about R5,1 billion) which was purportedly for drought relief. Actually, the drought had ended eighteen months earlier. The loan carried conditions such as a lowered budget deficit to prevent a new government spending more on social programmes, and lower wages for civil servants. These conditions have subsequently become government policy in the form of Gear. The loan was a secret agreement, only leaked to the business press in March 1994.

Again and again in Southern Africa and across the Third World the IMF’s free-market economic advice and conditions on loans have been disastrous. These disasters have led to a profound crisis of legitimacy for the Washington institution. Former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote in the April 2000 New Republic magazine that the IMF is populated by “third-rate economists.”

One reason for the IMF’s crisis of legitimacy is the control exercised by the US government. This power is based on ownership of 18% of the IMF’s shares, enough to veto anything the US disagrees with.

The IMF remains a profoundly undemocratic institution, whose economic policies have been roundly condemned for the misery caused throughout the Third World and especially in East Asia, Russia and Latin America when “emerging market crises” occurred during 1997-99.

The IMF’s fraternal institution, the World Bank, has had an especially obnoxious role in Johannesburg. Bank staff were responsible for a 1995 infrastructure policy which recommended low standards and high prices for household water and electricity, even though the Reconstruction and Development Programme mandated the opposite. Bank staff recommended that low-income households be not given flush toilets but instead use pit-latrines, without considering the public health risks of excrement leaking into Johannesburg’s water table through its dolomitic rock.

When a similar scheme was established in Winterveld in 1991, hundreds of people got cholera as a result.

The Bank also promoted privatisation of municipal services across the country. In Johannesburg, it took the lead on research to promote a one-sided, pro-corporate perspective on iGoli 2002. It is no wonder that the Johannesburg privatisation plan has been renamed “E.Coli 2002”.

For all these reasons, the visit of Horst Koehler and the ongoing role played by the World Bank in Johannesburg represent very serious dangers to poor and working-class people and the environment.

When 30,000 people joined in protest against these institutions, in their hometown Washington DC in April, it was clear they were not listening to us but we all are surprised by how quickly they have followed us back to Johannesburg to do their damage. They must not be allowed to arrange the junk-sale of our university, our city, our country and our continent.

Trevor Ngwane is a Johannesburg councillor and Wits master’s degree student, while George Dor is chairman of the campaign against neoliberalism in South Afric. Both are affiliated to the Alternative Information and Development Centre in Johannesburg.

Source

Is Africa being bullied into growing GM crops?

David Fig

27 June 2007

Africa must not let multinational corporations and international donors dictate its biotechnology agenda, says David Fig.

Africa is rapidly becoming a focal point for multinational crop and chemical corporations clearing the way for the extended uptake of their products and technologies. In particular, African governments are facing enormous pressure to endorse and adopt genetically modified (GM) crops.

Organisations like the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa — bankrolled by the Gates and Rockefeller Foundations — are partly to blame through their heavy investment in infrastructure aimed at supporting the development and distribution of GM crops and seeds.

But the African Union (AU) itself is now also encouraging the adoption of GM technology. Working in tandem with its development wing, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), the AU’s High Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology is soon to release a Freedom to Innovate plan — the clearest expression yet of the trend to back this controversial and risky technology. And it does so uncritically, rather than taking a more rational precautionary position that would safeguard Africa’s rich biodiversity and agriculture.

The AU is also engaged in efforts to revise the carefully crafted African Model Law on Biosafety, which outlines the biosafety provisions necessary for African environmental conditions.

The revisions emanate from those seeking to make the biosafety content less stringent, placing Africa under even more pressure to conform to the needs of the gene corporations.

Saying no to the GM bandwagon

Support for GM technology, though, is by no means universal across the continent. The AU’s efforts in shaping the Freedom to Innovate plan and model law contrast with the leadership role that the Africa Group took in developing the Cartagena Protocol to ensure more stringent biosafety precautions.

Indeed, a number of African governments and civil society organisations are increasingly speaking out against the pressures from gene companies — and the foundations that back them — to adopt their technologies.

For example Angola, Sudan and Zambia have resisted pressure to accept GM food aid, while nongovernmental groups such as the African Biodiversity Network, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, defend community and farmers’ rights to reject GM seed. At one stage Burkina Faso implemented a moratorium on the planting of GM crops.

The Freedom to Innovate document does little justice to the debate raging around Africa. Instead it seeks to institutionalise the pro-GM position of larger countries like Nigeria and South Africa for the entire continent.

Offering unbiased advice

There is no question that Africa needs technology to develop. But it must be appropriate to a country’s chosen path of development.

New technologies aimed at development must be evaluated in depth by, among others, scientists with no vested interests.

Natural scientists must assess GM technology’s likely impacts on both the environment and human and animal health. Social scientists must also examine the potential socio-economic consequences of such innovation — such as impacts on local food security, trade or indebtedness. Stakeholders, including those who safeguard traditional knowledge, could further enrich such assessment by indicating proven alternatives.

This model of technological assessment could serve Africa very well. It could enable governments to formulate appropriate policies and development priorities.

Most importantly, if a technology is found to be questionable or negative in terms of its impacts — or if there are no clear development benefits to be derived from its adoption — a precautionary mechanism must exist that can delay and carefully regulate its introduction.

The freedom to choose

The Freedom to Innovate plan tries to advocate the idea that all biotechnology benefits Africa and fails to analyse the risks attached to their adoption. While some aspects of modern biotechnology might prove useful in African agriculture, this does not mean that one aspect of this — GM crops — can increase continental food security and farmer prosperity.

GM technology forces Africa into high-input, chemical-dependent agriculture which impacts on biodiversity and creates debt burdens for small farmers.

In addition, the regulatory steps required for control of GM crops are so demanding of resources that, even when other budgetary areas relating to food security may need more pressing attention, Africa is forced to prioritise their set up.

Gene corporations, together with the scientists that work for them, have invested a lot of time, effort and money in developing GM crops. Not surprisingly, they are the ones who propound the idea that transgenic crops can rescue Africa from poverty and underdevelopment.

But Africa must not let itself be bullied into accepting a technology that has yet to prove itself as appropriate for solving the continent’s hunger problems. The AU’s role should be one of providing governments with well-reasoned technological evaluation, rather than acting as a proxy for promoting a specific industry’s commercial needs.

David Fig is an independent environmental policy analyst based in Johannesburg, and a trustee of Biowatch South Africa.

Source

Africa and the IMF: In Defense of Economic Correction

August 6 1993

Regarding “To the World Bank and IMF: Africa Has Its Own Agenda” (Letters, July 1) from Hassan Sunmonu:

The writer, secretary-general of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, suggests that World Bank and IMF-supported economic adjustment programs in Africa have increased African indebtedness and poverty. This assertion flies in the face of the evidence wherever these programs have been carried out in a sustained manner.

It also ignores the fact that the pace of progress achieved has varied across countries, depending on the nature and the severity of the pre-existing economic conditions, the effects at times of unfavorable external developments (such as worsening terms of trade and drought), and domestic political realities.

Mr. Sunmonu calls on the IMF and the World Bank to abandon their “anti-people and anti-development programs,” accept the rights of all countries to formulate their own development plans, give to African governments sovereign authority over their economic policies, withdraw all experts from African central banks and finance ministries, and compensate African countries for the harm done them and write off their debts.

Such extreme views ought not to go unanswered.

IMF-supported macroeconomic and structural adjustment programs aim at helping countries attain higher growth, lower inflation and improved balance of payments and external debt positions. In most cases, the IMF is called upon for assistance when economic imbalances become very severe and growth has slackened, or even turned negative.

In assisting member countries to develop policies to restore economic health, the IMF is, together with the World Bank, helping them direct public spending away from nonessential or unproductive uses, including excessive military spending, to social, infrastructural and other priority needs. It is only through successful stabilization of their economies and determined structural adjustment – to expand supply capacities – that countries will eventually generate resources to promote development and reduce poverty, strengthen debt-servicing capacities and withstand external shocks.

Because the IMF is fully aware that adjustment policies may have temporary adverse effects on some of the poor, it is helping countries design social safety nets and otherwise formulate targeted social programs to assist the poor during periods of adjustment. It takes great care to tailor its macroeconomic policy advice to the individual needs and circumstances of each member country. At the request of several African member countries, the IMF has assigned a small number of resident representatives and technical experts in specific areas.

The IMF currently has committed more than $4 billion under its concessional loan facilities to 30 African countries. Writing off IMF loans to African countries would be counterproductive. IMF loans are drawn from a limited revolving pool of funds, and are made available temporarily to countries in balance of payments needs. If loans were written off, the pool would contract, with the risk of depriving other countries in need – many in Africa – of IMF financing.

I certainly share Mr. Sunmonu’s disappointment at the slow and uneven pace of economic progress in Africa. While those countries with records of determined implementation of strong reform policies have shown progress on growth and inflation, there is still indeed a long way to go. Far too many of the countries that have embarked on programs of economic correction have let them slip at the first hurdle.

MAMOUDOU TOURE,

Director.

African Department.

International Monetary Fund.

Washington.

Director

Source

World Bank pushes Malawi agriculture privatisation

April 5 2004

The World Bank is demanding the privatisation of the Malawian agricultural marketing board as a condition of its latest structural adjustment loan. The way the Bank has manoeuvred to persuade Malawi’s parliament to accept this shows the limits of ‘country ownership’. It also demonstrates key weaknesses in one of the World Bank and IMF’s new tools, Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) studies which are supposed to outline likely consequences of key reforms so as to enable a better debate on policy design. A Malawian civil society campaign coalition which has mobilised against these planned reforms expressed its concern with how the World Bank and other donors have pushed their agenda on this issue “at the expense of the food security of the poor”.

The privatisation of the state marketing board in Malawi (ADMARC) has been an objective of the World Bank for 10 years. It represents a central element in an approach to agriculture that holds that full liberalisation of the sector will be best for poor women and men. This approach has been increasingly questioned in Malawi and other countries in the region, particularly in the context of the recent food crisis. Many commentators believe the full liberalisation of other elements of the agriculture sector under Bank and Fund advice was a major cause of the food crisis and the subsequent deaths in 2002.

Because of the controversy over the proposed reforms, including studies by civil society groups, the Bank agreed to commission a Poverty and Social Impact Analysis. This research showed that ADMARC’s important role in supporting the lives of poor women and men would be destroyed by privatisation. But, presumably embarrassed by the results, the Bank delayed publication of the study for two years, withholding it until just after the Malawian parliament had agreed to the reforms.

In late December 2003 legislation was rushed through a special parliamentary session turning ADMARC into a limited company, the first stage in the privatisation process. This session was boycotted by many MPs, partly because they had already expressed opposition to the privatisation of ADMARC in two previous hearings. Civil society campaigners expressed concern that ADMARC privatisation was being “used as a carrot for grants and loans”. This was borne out by the Bank’s response to the parliamentary vote, a February announcement of a new $50 million structural adjustment credit with the privatisation of ADMARC as one of its conditions.

The civil society and official impact analysis studies agreed that ADMARC is clearly in need of reform, but demonstrate that it plays a vital social role in ensuring market access for the rural poor by running subsidised markets country-wide. These markets would close under privatisation and the small and weak private sector would be unlikely to fill this gap, leaving a dangerous vacuum in service provision that directly threatens people’s livelihoods.

Civil society groups have mobilised to publicise these issues, with a major campaign during 2002 against the privatisation of ADMARC. An active media campaign resulted in a series of high-profile national debates. Parliament was closely involved, and in particular the Agriculture committee which carried out its own analysis showing the harm that privatisation would cause to the poorest.

The decision-making process and its outcome are being declared unacceptable by Malawian civil society groups. They are “demanding that any conditionality regarding ADMARC is immediately removed from the new loan” and encouraging civil society groups in other countries to take action in their support. Groups pushing the Bank to conduct Poverty and Social Impact Analyses will also need to ensure far greater control over the process of commissioning, reviewing and disseminating such studies, to ensure that they enrich debate rather than sit on shelves until the World Bank or IMF browbeat parliamentarians to accept their agendas.

Source

A few years back it was well known what was going on.

50 Years is Enough: U.S. Network for Global Economic Justice

50 Years Org

Had a Call to Action for Mobilization
in Washington, DC

Reasons being:

For six decades, the World Bank and IMF have imposed policies, programs, and projects that:

  • Decimate women’s rights and devastate their lives, their families, and their communities;
  • Subjugate democratic governance and accountability to corporate profits and investment portfolios;
  • Trap countries in a cycle of indebtedness and economic domination;
  • Force governments to privatize essential services;
  • Put profits before peoples’ rights and needs;
  • Abet the devastation of the environment in the name of development and profit;
  • Institutionalize the domination of the wealthy over the impoverished – the new form of colonialism; and
  • Facilitate corporate agendas through the economic re-structuring of countries enduring conflict and occupation, such as East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

In the 60th anniversary year of the IMF and World Bank, we demand the following measures from the institutions and the governments which control them. Add your voice, endorse the demands:

  • Open all World Bank and IMF meetings to the media and the public;
  • Cancel all impoverished country debt to the World Bank and IMF, using the institutions’ own resources;
  • End all World Bank and IMF policies that hinder people’s access to food, clean water, shelter, health care, education, and right to organize. (Such “structural adjustment” policies include user fees, privatization, and economic austerity programs.);
  • Stop all World Bank support for socially and environmentally destructive projects such as oil, gas, and mining activities, and all support for projects such as dams that include forced relocation of people.

We furthermore recognize the urgency of the world’s most catastrophic health crisis, the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We assert the culpability of the international financial institutions in decimating health care systems of Global South countries, and reject the approach of fighting the pandemic with more loans and conditions from these institutions. We call on the world’s governments to best deploy their resources by fully funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. We demand the elimination of trade rules that undermine access to affordable life-saving medications.

Help end global economic injustice driven by the policies and programs of the international financial institutions!

A few Projects Related to Pollution

1. Guinea

Gold Mining and Mercury Emissions in Northern Guinea

The Project aims to reduce occupational health and environmental hazards of artisanal (small-scale) gold mining communities in northern Guinea. The total population of the area covered by the project is estimated at 150,000 of which over 40,000 people are involved every year in gold mining activities. The unregulated burning of mercury amalgam is the primary method for gold extraction. It is widely reported that this method yields 1 kg of gold for every 1.3 kg of mercury employed.

2. Guinea

Leaded Gas Phase Out Task Force

Guinea, on the Atlantic coast of Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. Conakry, the capital, is a bustling, colorful and vibrant city of about 2 million struggling with the side effect of urbanization—pollution.
The lack of sewage and water treatment directly impacts human health in the city. Only a fraction of households, primarily in the wealthiest neighborhoods, have reliable access to running water at all, while well water is contaminated by bacteria and parasites. The city has no wastewater treatment facilities, and only 8% of households are connected to a piped municipal sewage system. The overwhelming majority of households have only basic latrines; in better homes, the floor is tiled and the hole is deep. As a result, diseases such as diarrhea, hepatitis A, poliomyelitis, typhoid, cholera, and meningitis run rampant.

Major Environmental Concerns

 Air Pollution – From leaded gasoline, automobile exhaust, traffic jams and old cars. Also from fuel sources: charcoal, plastic bags and tires used to cook, and the burning of garbage. Leads to elevated cases of respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

 Water pollution – Lack of sanitation services pollutes coastal marine ecosystem, contaminates food supply , increases instance of waterborne diseases (malaria, diarrhea, hepatitis A, poliomyelitis, typhoid, skin diseases, cholera, meningitis), and renders water undrinkable.

 Lack of Infrastructure and Public Services – Residential and commercial garbage collection is just beginning to be put into place. No waste water treatment plant exists, although plans are afoot to install a sewage treatment facility in the western part of town. Human waste, when collected, is disposed of directly into the ocean or local dump.

3. Guinea

PCB Clean-up and Removal

Abandoned PCB capacitors from France, England, Germany and the US have contaminated approximately 3 acres in the center of Conakry. There have been significant observed impacts on human health and the environment because the water is entirely saturated with PCB waste. The black PCB oil runs directly through the site into a shallow channel that empties into the ocean. The site is within 100 yards of a village that relies on the water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

4. Mozambique

Center for Environmental Research and Advocacy

The capital of Mozambique, Maputo, lies on Maputo Bay. City residents rely on considerable amounts of fishery resources, both for consumption and economic reasons. Maputo Bay beaches also serve many residents and tourists as a leisure spot throughout the year. Yet despite its beauty, there is growing evidence that the waters inside the bay are polluted by untreated sewage coming from new developments in the city that are not connected to the existing sewage and drainage facility and water treatment plant.Groundwater contamination from pit latrines and storm water effluent is polluting the bay to the extent that swimming is inadvisable in all but the most distant areas of the bay. The Ministry of Health tests fecal coliform levels regularly, and there is a general ban on the consumption of shellfish from the bay.

5. Mozambique

Environmental Journalists Group

Although pollution from industry, automobiles and domestic waste continue to adversely affect the quality of life in Maputo and in Mozambique in general, the majority of the population lacks education and awareness of pollution issues and their relation to human health. A lack of public debate on the subject means a general lack of pressure on relevant institutions to act where human health is threatened by pollution contamination. The media, and especially the radio, is an important source of environmental information and education due to national coverage and transmission in local languages.

6. Mozambique

Gold Mining and Mercury Emissions in Manica, Mozambique

This project seeks to contribute to the reduction of occupational health hazards of small-scale gold miners in the Manica District of Mozambique by promoting the use of mercury retorts, while at the same time leading to overall reduction of environmental degradation in the region. Manica is a district of Mozambique in the Manica Province with a population of 155,731 people. Manica District borders with the Republic of Zimbabwe in the west, the District of Gondola in the east, the District of Barué to the north through the Pungué River, and the District of Sussundenga in the south, which is bounded by the Revué and Zonué Rivers. In the Manica District of Mozambique, more than 10,000 people are directly and indirectly involved in artisanal (small-scale) gold mining activities (garimpagem) as their main source of income.

7. Mozambique

Leaded Gas Phase Out Task Force

Mozambique, like many other developing countries, uses leaded gasoline. While the adverse health effects of lead have been well-documented and many of the world’s countries have either completely phased out use of leaded gasoline or lowered lead concentrations, Africa remains as a bastion of leaded gasoline use. The primary lead exposure pathway is via airborne lead and lead in dust and soil. In congested urban areas vehicle exhaust from leaded gasoline accounts for some 90 percent of airborne lead pollution.

8. Senegal

AfricaClean

Air pollution in Dakar, the capital, is a source of concern for local authorities. Large quantities of atmospheric pollutants emitted by vehicles are starting to pose serious environmental and public health problems, especially for the most vulnerable population (children, pregnant women, people suffering from diseases and respiratory complications such as: tuberculosis, pneumonia, cancers, bronchitis, asthmas, and allergies). Common pollutants emitted are: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and suspended particles.

9. Senegal

Baia de Hanne, Senegal

This project takes the first steps to initiate the clean up of the most polluted region of Senegal – Hann Bay. The bay wraps around the industrial zone of the city of Dakar, Senegal. It is highly populated area, with local residents bathing in the water, and numerous fishing boats along the crowded shore. Industrial pollution along the banks from 1968 – 1997 has rendered the bay exceedingly toxic. This work will fund and support a group both within the Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Environment to create a credible implementation plan that will install an industrial waste treatment plan for the factories of the Hann region. Once the effluent treatment plant is in operation, work can begin to remediate legacy contamination from historical toxins.

10. Swaziland

Bulembu Legacy Asbestos Mines

Havelock is a town on the northwest border of Swaziland and is home to one of the world’s largest asbestos mines, which is now closed. The town and mine are dominated by Bulembu, Swaziland’s highest peak. The asbestos mine in Bulembu operated from 1939 to 2001 and was closed without rehabilitation of the environment. The mine dumpsite has contaminated the Nkomazi River and poses a grave contamination risk to the multi-million dollar Maguga dam, which is about ten kilometers away. Huge fiber-rich dumps dwarf the school, which is less than 200 meters from the old mill.

11. Tanzania

ENVIPRO

EnviPro is an environmental engineering NGO working on a project in the neighborhood of Vingunguti, in Dar es Salaam, to manage waste effluent from Vingunguti Abattoir, a local slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse is dumping waste directly into the Msimbazi River, posing a significant health risk to residents of Dar es Salaam and surrounding areas, and EnviPro has designed a plan to install a wastewater treatment program for the plant.

12. Tanzania

Environmental Management Trust

Mikocheni, a neighborhood in Dar es Salaam, is home to four heavily polluted streams that run directly into the Indian Ocean. Untreated industrial and domestic waste is dumped into the waterways upstream, or into storm drains. Environmental Management Trust (EMT) is undertaking a project to monitor and stop this pollution of marine habitats and breaches. The project goals are to make wastewater treatment mandatory for all polluting industries, to stop residential houses from releasing waste from septic tanks into streams, and to ensure that sewers, storm drains and pumping stations are properly maintained to prevent leaks into the stream.

13. Tanzania

Leaded Gasoline Phase-Out, Tanzania

The government of Tanzania has developed a leaded gas phase-out action plan and it was discussed at a national stakeholders’ meeting in Dar es Salaam in September, 2003. The country’s planned phase-out of leaded gasoline is part of a larger initiative to ban the use of leaded gasoline in Sub Saharan Africa, as stated in the Dakar Declaration of 2001.

14. Tanzania

Msimbazi River Action Network

The Msimbazi River flows across a third of Dar es Salaam City and eventually discharges into the Indian Ocean. The river is an important water resource for residents of some of Dar es Salaam’s poorest neighborhoods. Residents use the water in various ways – for drinking, bathing, support for agriculture and industry, and as an environmental buffer. Nevertheless, many industries continue to pour unwanted end products from human and industrial activity into the river, threatening most of its functional benefits, and even its usefulness as an irrigation source.

The Msimbazi River Action Network (MRAN) brings together current Blacksmith partners (EMT, Envipro and LEAT) in an effort to organize clean-up and oversight activities focused on the Msimbazi River in Dar es Salaam. This network connects community and government representatives with the aim of minimizing industrial and domestic pollution sources on the river, and to protect the over 100,000 people living on the river from heavy metal contamination as well as deadly diseases such as cholera.

15. Tanzania

Pollution Prevention in Lake Victoria

The Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT) works in Mwanza and surrounding regions with community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the Mwanza City Council to identify problems and educate both polluters and victims of pollution about environmental laws. LEAT also conducts public interest litigation to force the cessation of polluting activities by both local factories and Mwanza City authorities. And LEAT works with surrounding towns and villages affected by polluting industries. Village and municipal leaders and residents have been educated about existing environmental laws used to combat environmental pollution, and they have been briefed on the Village Land Act of 1999 which stipulates rights of villagers regarding their land and other natural resource laws.

16. Zambia

Advocacy and Restoration of the Environment

Zambia is a land-locked country in Central/Southern Africa with a population of about 10 million people. About 1.25 million people inhabit the capital, Lusaka, with another 2 million in the northern Copperbelt region. Major pollution-related problems are due to mining and industrial waste. In 2001, Blacksmith Institute helped to found ARE, an NGO focusing on a heavily polluted industrial area on the Kafue River. The Kafue River, part of the Zambezi basin, is a source of potable water for over forty percent of Zambia’s population. It is also host to wildlife and birds. For decades, industries such as copper mines, metallurgical plants, textile plants, fertilizer factories, sugar processing plants, cement factories, various agricultural activities, and the Kafue Sewage Treatment Plant (KSTP) have polluted the river. Mineral deposits, chemicals, and suspended solids have led to overgrowth of aquatic weeds, choking river life. The continuous discharge of raw sewage into the Kafue River from the KSTP has contributed to the steady supply of nutrients (ortho-phosphates, nitrates, ammonia, etc.) ensuring the proliferation of various types of weeds, like the Salvina molesta, thereby causing eutrophication. Both aquatic life and human health are in danger. High incidences of environmentally mediated disease, such as gastro-enteritis, intestinal worms, and diarrhea diseases mostly in children have been reported from communities around the river and have been linked to drinking water from certain parts of the river. The raw sewer pollution of Kafue River could inadvertently lead to outbreaks of epidemics like cholera.

Bata Tannery uses various chemicals in tanning animal skins. Amongst these chemicals is chromium sulfate, which can easily be converted to either hexavalent or trivalent chromium. The effect of these chemicals on human and aquatic life is potentially lethal. Equally, the yeast production from Lee Yeast results in high concentrations of both chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in the wastewater. The net effect is the reduction in the river system’s oxygen concentration, leading to toxic anaerobic conditions.

17. Zambia

Kabwe Environmental Rehabilitation Foundation

For almost a century, Kabwe, a city of 300,000 in Zambia, has been highly contaminated with lead from a government-owned lead mine and smelter, Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). Although the mine has been closed since 1994, residents continue to get sick and die from the contamination due to a lack of cleanup efforts on the part of the company and the government.

Lead is one of the most potent neurotoxins known to humans. When breathed in, lead directly attacks the central nervous system. It is particularly damaging to infants and children, and can cross the mother’s placenta, putting unborn and nursing infants at risk. Yet, remarkably, the citizens of Kabwe have until recently been completely unaware that they are living in one of the most poisoned cities on earth. Blacksmith founded a local NGO, Kabwe Environmental and Rehabilitation Foundation (KERF), that has been bringing educational services to the community on how to limit exposure to lead, and nursing support for those who are ill.

18. Zambia

Kabwe Lead Mines

Kabwe, the second largest city in Zambia with a population of 300,000, is located about 130km north of the nation’s capital, Lusaka. It is one of six towns situated around the Copperbelt, once Zambia’s thriving industrial base. In 1902, rich deposits of potentially dangerous lead were discovered in the mine and smelter located in the center of the town. Ore veins with lead concentrations as high as 20 percent have been mined deep into the earth and a smelting operation was set up to process the ore. Mining and smelting operations were running almost continuously up until 1994 without the government addressing the potential danger of lead. The mine and smelter, owned by the now privatized Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines, is no longer operating but has left a city with poison and toxicity from deadly concentrations of lead in the soil and water.

During the operation there were no pollution laws regulating emissions from the mine and smelter plant. In turn, air, soil, and vegetation were all subjected to contamination, and ultimately, over some decades, millions of human lives were also affected. Some recent findings reveal the extent to which one of the most potent neurotoxins to man, lead, has affected the health of Kabwe citizens. In the U.S., normal blood levels of lead are less than10 mcg/dl (micrograms per deciliter). Symptoms of acute poisoning occur at blood levels of 20 and above, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and leading to muscle spasms and kidney damage. Levels of over ten are considered unhealthy and levels in excess of 120 can often lead to death. In Kabwe, blood concentrations of 300 micrograms/deciliter have been recorded in children and records show average blood levels of children range between 60 and 120 mcg/dl.

Children that play in the soil and young men that scavenge the mines for scraps of metal are most susceptible to lead produced by the mine and smelter. A small waterway runs from the mine to the center of town and had been used to carry waste from the once active smelter. There is no restriction to the waterway, and in some instances local children use it for bathing. In addition to water, dry and dusty backyards of workers’ houses are a significant source of contamination for the locals. One of the most common ways that workers and residents become exposed to toxic levels of lead is through inhalation of contaminated soil ingested through the lungs.

19. Zambia

Maamba Coal Mines

The only coal mine in Zambia is located in Maamba where coal is extracted by open-pit quarrying. Since 1967 coal has been continuously produced by the Maamba Collieries in Southern Zambia near Lake Kariba. Although it has a production capacity of one million tons of coal per year, actual production is less than half this capacity.

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IMF approves $16.5 billion Ukraine loan

Big deficits may force Turkey towards IMF

Iceland lifts interest rates to record 18% to secure IMF $2bn loan

And this Happened in India

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

(Jamaica) IMF decimating one country after another

Once in debt you are their slaves. They go in destroy the agriculture and make your country depend on their subsidised food imports. What happens if they decide not to provide the food? Mass famine or should I say mass depopulation.

Added November 3 2009

Life and Debt is a feature-length documentary which addresses the impact of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and current globalization policies on a developing country such as Jamaica.

Life & Debt is a woven tapestry of sequences focusing on the stories of individual Jamaicans whose strategies for survival and parameters of day-to-day existence are determined by the U.S. and other foreign economic agendas. By combining traditional documentary telling with a stylized narrative framework, the complexity of international lending, structural adjustment policies and free trade will be understood in the context of the day-to-day realities of the people whose lives they impact.

4 Videos detailing the problems

Cause and affect.

Network Platform & Demands to the IMF and World Bank at 50 years is enough

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

New stories are added as I find them.

All new links are at the bottom of the page.

Iraq War Pollution Equals 25 Million Cars

Burning Oil in Iraq

Photo: Burning oil fields in Iraq by Shawn Baldwin

The greenhouse gases released by the Iraq war thus far equals the pollution from adding 25 million cars to the road for one year says a study released by Oil Change International, an anti petroleum watchdog.  The group’s main concerns are the environmental and human rights impacts of a petroleum based economy.

The study, released last March on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, states that total US spending on the war so far equals the global investment needed through 2030 to halt global warming.

Of course skeptics and oil companies will be right to ask how these numbers were calculated.  The group claims Iraq war emissions estimates come from combat, oil well fires, increaesd gas flaring, increased cement manufacturing for reconstruction, and explosives.

The Report: A Climate of War

Source


“Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.” – 1992 Rio Declaration

The application of weapons, the destruction of structures and oil fields, fires, military transport movements and chemical spraying are all examples of the destroying impact war may have on the environment. Air, water and soil are polluted, man and animal are killed, and numerous health affects occur among those still living. This page is about the environmental effects of wars and incidents leading to war that have occurred in the 20th and 21st century.

Timeline of wars

Africa

“My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can’t deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars” – Guns ‘n Roses (Civil War)

In Africa many civil wars and wars between countries occurred in the past century, some of which are still continuing. Most wars are a result of the liberation of countries after decades of colonialization. Countries fight over artificial borders drawn by former colonial rulers. Wars mainly occur in densely populated regions, over the division of scarce resources such as fertile farmland. It is very hard to estimate the exact environmental impact of each of these wars. Here, a summary of some of the most striking environmental effects, including biodiversity loss, famine, sanitation problems at refugee camps and over fishing is given for different countries.

Congo war (II) – Since August 1998 a civil war is fought in former Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The war eventually ended in 2003 when a Transitional Government took power. A number of reasons are given for the conflict, including access and control of water resources and rich minerals and political agendas. Currently over 3 million people have died in the war, mostly from disease and starvation. More than 2 million people have become refugees. Only 45% of the people had access to safe drinking water. Many women were raped as a tool of intimidation, resulting in a rapid spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV-AIDS. The war has a devastating effect on the environment. National parks housing endangered species are often affected for exploitation of minerals and other resources. Refugees hunt wildlife for bush meat, either to consume or sell it. Elephant populations in Africa have seriously declined as a result of ivory poaching. Farmers burn parts of the forest to apply as farmland, and corporate logging contributes to the access of poachers to bush meat. A survey by the WWF showed that the hippopotamus population in one national park decreased from 29,000 thirty years previously, to only 900 in 2005. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed all five parks as ‘world heritage in danger’.

Ethiopia & Eritrea – Before 1952, Eritrea was a colony of Italy. When it was liberated, Ethiopia annexed the country. Thirty years of war over the liberation of Eritrea followed, starting in 1961 and eventually ending with the independence of Eritrea in 1993. However, war commenced a year after the country introduced its own currency in 1997. Over a minor border dispute, differences in ethnicity and economic progress, Ethiopia again attacked Eritrea. The war lasted until June 2000 and resulted in the death of over 150,000 Eritrean, and of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians. During the war severe drought resulted in famine, particularly because most government funds were spend on weapons and other war instrumentation. The government estimated that after the war only 60% of the country received adequate food supplies. The war resulted in over 750,000 refugees. It basically destroyed the entire infrastructure. Efforts to disrupt agricultural production in Eritrea resulted in changes in habitat. The placing of landmines has caused farming or herding to be very dangerous in most parts of the country. If floods occur landmines may be washed into cities. This has occurred earlier in Mozambique.

Rwanda civil war – Between April and July 1994 extremist military Hutu groups murdered about 80,000-1,000,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda. Over 2,000,000 people lost their homes and became refugees. Rwanda has a very rich environment, however, it has a particularly limited resource base. About 95% of the population lives on the countryside and relies on agriculture. Some scientists believe that competition for scarce land and resources led to violence prior to and particularly after the 1994 genocide. It is however stated that resource scarcity only contributed limitedly to the conflict under discussion. The main cause of the genocide was the death of the president from a plane-crash caused by missiles fires from a camp.

The many refugees from the 1994 combat caused a biodiversity problem. When they returned to the already overpopulated country after the war, they inhabited forest reserves in the mountains where endangered gorillas lived. Conservation of gorilla populations was no longer effective, and refuges destroyed part of the habitat. Despite the difficulties still present in Rwanda particularly concerning security and resource provision, an international gorilla protection group is now working on better conditions for the gorillas in Rwanda.

Somalia civil war – A civil war was fought in Somalia 1991. One of the most striking effects of the war was over fishing. The International Red Cross was encouraging the consumption of seawater fish to improve diets of civilians. For self-sufficiency they provided training and fishing equipment. However, as a consequence of war Somali people ignored international fishing protocols, thereby seriously harming ecology in the region. Fishing soon became an unsustainable practise, and fishermen are hard to stop because they started carrying arms. They perceive over fishing as a property right and can therefore hardly be stopped.

Sudan (Darfur & Chad) – In Sudan civil war and extreme droughts caused a widespread famine, beginning in 1983. Productive farmland in the southern region was abandoned during the war. Thousands of people became refugees that left behind their land, possibly never to return. Attempts of remaining farmers to cultivate new land to grow crops despite the drought led to desertification and soil erosion. The government failed to act for fear of losing its administrative image abroad, causing the famine to kill an estimated 95,000 of the total 3,1 million residents of the province Darfur. As farmers started claiming more and more land, routes applied by herders were closed off. This resulted in conflicts between farmers and rebels groups. In 2003, a conflict was fought in Darfur between Arab Sudanese farmers and non-Arab Muslims. The Muslim group is called Janjaweed, a tribe mainly consisting of nomadic sheep and cattle herders. Originally the Janjaweed were part of the Sudanese and Darfurian militia, and were armed by the Sudanese government to counter rebellion. However, they started utilizing the weapons against non-Muslim civilians. The tribe became notorious for massacre in 2003-2004. In December 2005 the conflict continued across the border, now involving governmental army troops from Chad, and the rebel groups Janjaweed and United Front for Democratic Change from Sudan. In February 2006 the governments of Chad and Sudan signed a peace treaty called the Tripoli Agreement. Unfortunately a new rebel assault of the capital of Chad in April made Chad break all ties with Sudan. The Darfur Conflict so far caused the death of between 50,000 and 450,000 civilians. It caused over 45,000 people to flea the countries of Sudan and Central Africa, into north and east Chad. Most refugees claim they fled civilian attacks from rebel forces, looting food and recruiting young men to join their troops.

America

Pearl Harbor (WWII) – When World War II began, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Consequentially, the United States closed the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping, and initiated a complete oil embargo. Japan, being dependent on US oil, responded to the embargo violently. On December 1941, Japanese troops carried out a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, aimed at the US Navy stationed there. Despite the awareness that Japan might attack, the US was surprisingly unprepared for the Japanese aggression. There were no aircraft patrols, and anti-aircraft weapons were not manned.

For the attack five Japanese submarines were present in the harbor to launch torpedos. One was discovered immediately, and attacked by the USS Ward. All five submarines sank, and at least three of them have not been located since. As Japanese bombers arrived they began firing at US marine airbases across Hawaii, and subsequently battle ships in Pearl Harbor. Eighteen ships sank, including five battleships, and a total of more than 2,000 Americans were killed in action. The explosion of the USS Arizona caused half of the casualties. The ship was hit by a bomb, burned for two days in a row, and subsequently sank to the bottom. The cloud of black smoke over the boat was mainly caused by burning black powder from the magazine for aircraft catapults aboard the ship.

Leaking fuel from the Arizona and other ships caught fire, and caused more ships to catch fire. Of the 350 Japanese planes taking part in the attack, 29 were lost. Over sixty Japanese were killed in actions, most of them airmen.

Today, three battle ships are still at the bottom of the harbor. Four others were raised and reused. The USS Arizona, being the most heavily damaged ship during the attack, continues to leak oil from the hulk into the harbor. However, the wreck is maintained, because it now serves as part of a war memorial.

World Trade Centre explosion – The so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ the United States are fighting in Asia currently all started with the event we recall so well from the shocking images projected on news bulletins. On September 11, 2001, terrorists flew airplanes into the buildings of the World Trade Centre. It is now claimed that the attack and simultaneous collapse of the Twin Towers caused a serious and acute environmental disaster.

We will live in the death smog for a while,
breathing the dust of the dead,
the 3 thousand or so who turn to smoke,
as the giant ashtray in Lower Manhattan
continues to give up ghosts.
The dead are in us now,
locked in our chests,
staining our lungs,
polluting our bloodstreams.
And though we cover our faces with flags
and other pieces of cloth to filter the air,
the spirits of the dead aren’t fooled
by our masks
.” Lawrence Swan, 05-10-2001

As the planes hit the Twin Towers more than 90.000 litres of jet fuel burned at temperatures above 1000oC. An atmospheric plume formed, consisting of toxic materials such as metals, furans, asbestos, dioxins, PAH, PCB and hydrochloric acid. Most of the materials were fibres from the structure of the building. Asbestos levels ranged from 0.8-3.0% of the total mass. PAH comprised more than 0.1% of the total mass, and PCBs less than 0.001% of total mass. At the site now called Ground Zero, a large pile of smoking rubble burned intermittently for more than 3 months. Gaseous and particulate particles kept forming long after the towers had collapsed.


Aerial photograph of the plume

The day of the attacks dust particles of various sizes spread over lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, for many miles. Fire fighters and medics working at the WTC were exposed, but also men and women on the streets and in nearby buildings, and children in nearby schools. In vivo inhalation studies and epidemiological studies pointed out the impact of the dust cloud. Health effects from inhaling dust included bronchial hyper reactivity, because of the high alkalinity of dust particles. Other possible health effects include coughs, an increased risk of asthma and a two-fold increase in the number of small-for-gestational-age baby’s among pregnant women present in or nearby the Twin Towers at the time of the attack. After September, airborne pollutant concentrations in nearby communities declined.

Many people present at the WTC at the time of the attacks are still checked regularly, because long-term effects may eventually show. It is thought there may be an increased risk of development of mesothelioma, consequential to exposure to asbestos. This is a disease where malignant cells develop in the protective cover of the body’s organs. Airborne dioxins in the days and weeks after the attack may increase the risk of cancer and diabetes. Infants of women that were pregnant on September 11 and had been in the vicinity of the WTC at the time of the attack are also checked for growth or developmental problems.

Asia

Afghanistan war – In October 2001, the United States attacked Afghanistan as a starting chapter of the ‘War on terrorism’, which still continues today. The ultimate goal was to replace the Taliban government, and to find apparent 9/11 mastermind and Al-Qaeda member Osama Bin Laden. Many European countries assisted the US in what was called ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’.

During the war, extensive damage was done to the environment, and many people suffered health effects from weapons applied to destroy enemy targets. It is estimated that ten thousand villages, and their surrounding environments were destroyed. Safe drinking water declined, because of a destruction of water infrastructure and resulting leaks, bacterial contamination and water theft. Rivers and groundwater were contaminated by poorly constructed landfills located near the sources.

Afghanistan once consisted of major forests watered by monsoons. During the war, Taliban members illegally trading timber in Pakistan destroyed much of the forest cover. US bombings and refugees in need of firewood destroyed much of what remained. Less than 2% of the country still contains a forest cover today.

Bombs threaten much of the country’s wildlife. One the world’s important migratory thoroughfare leads through Afghanistan. The number of birds now flying this route has dropped by 85%. In the mountains many large animals such as leopards found refuge, but much of the habitat is applied as refuge for military forces now. Additionally, refugees capture leopards and other large animals are and trade them for safe passage across the border.

Pollution from application of explosives entered air, soil and water. One example is cyclonite, a toxic substance that may cause cancer. Rocket propellants deposited perchlorates, which damage the thyroid gland. Numerous landmines left behind in Afghan soils still cause the deaths of men, women and children today.

Cambodia civil war – In 1966 the Prince of Cambodia began to lose the faith of many for failure to come to grips with the deteriorating economic situation. In 1967 rebellion started in a wealthy province where many large landowners lives. Villagers began attacking the tax collection brigade, because taxes were invested in building large factories, causing land to be taken. This led to a bloody civil war. Before the conflict could be repressed 10,000 people had died.

The rebellion caused the up rise of the Khmer Rouge, a Maoist-extremist organization that wanted to introduce communism in the country. In 1975 the organization, led by Pol Pot, officially seized power in Cambodia. The Khmer considered farmers (proletarians) to be the working class, as did Mao in China earlier. Schools, hospitals and banks were closed, the country was isolated from all foreign influence, and people were moved to the countryside for forced labor. People were obligated to work up to 12 hours a day, growing three times as many crops, as was usually the case. Many people died there from exhaustion, illness and starvation, or where shot by the Khmer on what was known as ‘The Killing Fields’.

The Khmer Rouge regime resulted in deforestation, caused by extensive timber logging to finance war efforts, agricultural clearance, construction, logging concessions and collection of wood fuels. A total 35% of the Cambodian forest cover was lost under the Maoist regime. Deforestation resulted in severe floods, damaging rice crops and causing food shortages. In 1993, a ban on logging exports was introduced to prevent further flooding damage.

In 1979 the Khmer Rouge regime ended with an invasion by Vietnam, and the installation of a pro-Vietnamese puppet government. Subsequently, Thai and Chinese forces attempted to liberate the country from Vietnamese dominance. Many landmines were placed in the 1980’s, and are still present in the countryside. They deny agricultural use of the land where they are placed. In 1992 free elections were introduced, but the Khmer Rouge resumed fighting. Eventually, half of the Khmer soldiers left in 1996, and many officials were captured. Under the Khmer regime, a total of 1.7 million people died, and the Khmer was directly responsible for about 750,000 of those casualties.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki nuclear explosions – Atomic bombs are based on the principle of nuclear fission, which was discovered in Nazi Germany in 1938 by two radio chemists. During the process, atoms are split and energy is released in the form of heat. Controlled reactions are applied in nuclear power plants for production of electricity, whereas unchecked reactions occur during nuclear bombings. The invention in Germany alarmed people in the United States, because the Nazi’s in possession of atomics bombs would be much more dangerous than they already where. When America became involved in WWII, the development of atomic bombs started there in what was called the ‘Manhattan Project’. In July 1945 an atomic bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert. The tests were considered a success, and America was now in possession of one of the world’s deadliest weapons.

In 1945, at the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, nuclear weapons were applied to kill for the first time in Japan. On August 6, a uranium bomb by the name of Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima, followed by a plutonium bomb by the name of Fat Man on Nagasaki on August 9. The reason Hiroshima was picked was that it was a major military centre. The bomb detonated at 8.15 p.m. over a Japanese Army parade field, where soldiers were already present. Nagasaki was picked because it was an industrial centre. The bomb, which was much larger than that used on Hiroshima, exploded at 11.02 a.m. at an industrial site. However, the hills on and the geographical location of the bombing site caused the eventual impact to be smaller than days earlier in Hiroshima.

The first impact of the atomic bombings was a blinding light, accompanied by a giant wave of heat. Dry flammable materials caught fire, and all men and animals within half a mile from the explosion sites died instantly. Many structures collapsed, in Nagasaki even the structures designed to survive earthquakes were blasted away. Many water lines broke. Fires could not be extinguished because of the water shortage, and six weeks after the blast the city still suffered from a lack of water. In Hiroshima a number of small fires combined with wind formed a firestorm, killing those who did not die before but were left immobile for some reason. Within days after the blasts, radiation sickness started rearing its ugly head, and many more people would die from it within the next 5 years.

The total estimated death toll:
In Hiroshima 100,000 were killed instantly, and between 100,000 and 200,000 died eventually.
In Nagasaki about 40,000 were killed instantly, and between 70,000 and 150,000 died eventually.

The events of August 6 and August 9 can be translated into environmental effects more literally. The blasts caused air pollution from dust particles and radioactive debris flying around, and from the fires burning everywhere. Many plants and animals were killed in the blast, or died moments to months later from radioactive precipitation. Radioactive sand clogged wells used for drinking water winning, thereby causing a drinking water problem that could not easily be solved. Surface water sources were polluted, particularly by radioactive waste. Agricultural production was damaged; dead stalks of rice could be found up to seven miles from ground zero. In Hiroshima the impact of the bombing was noticeable within a 10 km radius around the city, and in Nagasaki within a 1 km radius.

Iraq & Kuwait – The Gulf War was fought between Iraq, Kuwait and a number of western countries in 1991. Kuwait had been part of Iraq in the past, but was liberated by British imperialism, as the Iraqi government described it. In August 1990, Iraqi forces claimed that the country was illegally extracting oil from Iraqi territory, and attacked. The United Nations attempted to liberate Kuwait. Starting January 1991, Operation Desert Storm began, with the purpose of destroying Iraqi air force and anti-aircraft facilities, and command and control facilities. The battle was fought in Iraq, Kuwait and the Saudi-Arabian border region. Both aerial and ground artillery was applied. Late January, Iraqi aircraft were flown to Iran, and Iraqi forces began to flee.

The Gulf War was one of the most environmentally devastating wars ever fought. Iraq dumped approximately one million tons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf, thereby causing the largest oil spill in history (see environmental disasters). Approximately 25,000 migratory birds were killed. The impact on marine life was not as severe as expected, because warm water sped up the natural breakdown of oil. Local prawn fisheries did experience problems after the war. Crude oil was also spilled into the desert, forming oil lakes covering 50 square kilometres. In due time the oil percolated into groundwater aquifers.

Fleeing Iraqi troops ignited Kuwaiti oil sources, releasing half a ton of air pollutants into the atmosphere. Environmental problems caused by the oil fires include smog formation and acid rain. Toxic fumes originating from the burning oil wells compromised human health, and threatened wildlife. A soot layer was deposited on the desert, covering plants, and thereby preventing them from breathing. Seawater was applied to extinguish the oil fires, resulting in increased salinity in areas close to oil wells. It took about nine months to extinguish the fires.

During the war, many dams and sewage water treatment plants were targeted and destroyed. A lack of possibilities for water treatment resulting from the attacks caused sewage to flow directly into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Additionally, pollutants seeped from bombed chemical plants into the rivers. Drinking water extracted from the river was polluted, resulting in widespread disease. For example, cases of typhoid fever have increased tenfold since 1991.

Movement of heavy machinery such as tanks through the desert damaged the brittle surface, causing soil erosion. Sand was uncovered that formed gradually moving sand dunes. These dunes may one day cause problems for Kuwait City. Tanks fired Depleted Uranium (DU) missiles, which can puncture heavy artillery structures. DU is a heavy metal that causes kidney damage and is suspected to be teratogenic and carcinogenic. Post-Gulf War reports state an increase in birth defects for children born to veterans. The impact of Depleted Uranium could not be thoroughly investigated after the Gulf War, because Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate. Its true properties were revealed after the Kosovo War in 2001 (description below). DU has now been identified as a neurotoxin, and birth defects and cancers are attributed to other chemical and nerve agents. However, it is stated that DU oxides deposited in the lungs of veterans have not been thoroughly researched yet. It was later found that this may cause kidney and lung infections for highly exposed persons.

After the Gulf War many veterans suffered from a condition now known as the Gulf War Syndrome. The causes of the illness are subject to widespread speculation. Examples of possible causes are exposure to DU (see above), chemical weapons (nerve gas and mustard gas), an anthrax vaccine given to 41% of US soldiers and 60-75% of UK soldiers, smoke from burning oil wells and parasites. Symptoms of the GWS included chronic fatigue, muscle problems, diarrhoea, migraine, memory loss, skin problems and shortness of breath. Many Gulf War veterans have died of illnesses such as brain cancer, now acknowledged as potentially connected to service during the war.

Iraq & the United States – The war in Iraq started by the United States in 2003 as part of the War on Terrorism causes poverty, resulting in environmental problems. Long-term environmental effects of the war remain unclear, but short-term problems have been identified for every environmental compartment. For example, some weapons are applied that may be extremely damaging to the environment, such as white phosphorus ammunition. People around the world protest the application of such armoury.

Water
Damage to sanitation structures by frequent bombing, and damage to sewage treatment systems by power blackouts cause pollution of the River Tigris. Two hundred blue plastic containers containing uranium were stolen from a nuclear power plant located south of Baghdad. The radioactive content of the barrels was dumped in rivers and the barrels were rinsed out. Poor people applied the containers as storage facility for water, oil and tomatoes, or sold them to others. Milk was transported to other regions in the barrels, making it almost impossible to relocate them.

Air
Oil trenches are burning, as was the case in the Gulf War of 1991, resulting in air pollution. In Northern Iraq, a sulphur plant burned for one month, contributing to air pollution. As fires continue burning, groundwater applied as a drinking water source may be polluted.

Soil
Military movements and weapon application result in land degradation. The destruction of military and industrial machinery releases heavy metals and other harmful substances.

Read more on restoring water systems in Iraq

Israel & Lebanon – In July 2006, Hezbollah initiated a rocket attack on Israeli borders. A ground patrol killed and captured Israeli soldiers. This resulted in open war between Israel and Lebanon.

The war caused environmental problems as Israelis bombed a power station south of Beirut. Damaged storage tanks leaked an estimated 20,000 tons of oil into the Mediterranean Sea. The oil spill spread rapidly, covering over 90 km of the coastline, killing fish and affecting the habitat of the endangered green sea turtle. A sludge layer covers Beaches across Lebanon, and the same problem may occur in Syria as the spill continues to spread. Part of the oil spill burned, causing widespread air pollution. Smog affects the health of people living in the city of Beirut. So far problems limiting the clean-up operation of oil spills have occurred, because of ongoing violence in the region.

Another major problem were forest fires in Northern Israel caused by Hezbollah bombings. A total of 9,000 acres of forest burned to the ground, and fires threaten tree reserves and bird sanctuaries.

Russia & Chechnya – In 1994 the First Chechen War of independence started, between Russian troops, Chechen guerrilla fighters and civilians. Chechnya has been a province of Russia for a very long time and now desires independence. The First War ended in 1996, but in 1999 Russia again attacked Chechnya for purposes of oil distribution.

The war between the country and its province continues today. It has devastating effects on the region of Chechnya. An estimated 30% of Chechen territory is contaminated, and 40% of the territory does not meet environmental standards for life. Major environmental problems include radioactive waste and radiation, oil leaks into the ground from bombarded plants and refineries, and pollution of soil and surface water. Russia has buried radioactive waste in Chechnya. Radiation at some sites is ten times its normal level. Radiation risks increase as Russia bombs the locations, particularly because after 1999 the severeness of weaponry increased. A major part of agricultural land is polluted to the extent that it can no longer meet food supplies. This was mainly caused by unprofessional mini-refineries of oil poachers in their backyards, not meeting official standards and causing over 50% of the product to be lost as waste. Groundwater pollution flows into the rivers Sunzha and Terek on a daily basis. On some locations the rivers are totally devoid of fish. Flora and fauna are destroyed by oil leaks and bombings.

Vietnam war – The Vietnam War started in 1945 and ended in 1975. It is now entitled a proxy war, fought during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union to prevent the necessity for the nations to fight each other directly. North Vietnam fought side by side with the Soviet Union and China, and South Vietnam with the United States, New Zealand and South Korea. It must be noted that the United States only started to be actively involved in the battle after 1963. Between 1965 and 1968 North Vietnam was bombed under Operation Rolling Thunder, in order to force the enemy to negotiate. Bombs destroyed over two million acres of land. North Vietnam forces began to strike back, and the Soviet Union delivered anti-aircraft missiles to North Vietnam. The ground war of US troops against the Viet Cong began. The United States would not retreat from Vietnam until 1973, and during those years extremely environmentally damaging weapons and war tactics were applied.

A massive herbicidal programme was carried out, in order to break the forest cover sheltering Viet Cong guerrillas, and deprive Vietnamese peasants of food. The spraying destroyed 14% of Vietnam’s forests, diminished agricultural yield, and made seeds unfit for replanting. If agricultural yield was not damaged by herbicides, it was often lost because military on the ground set fire to haystacks, and soaked land with aviation fuel en burned it. A total of 15,000 square kilometres of land were eventually destroyed. Livestock was often shot, to deprive peasant of their entire food supply. A total of 13,000 livestock were killed during the war.

The application of 72 million litres of chemical spray resulted in the death of many animals, and caused health effects with humans. One chemical that was applied between 1962 and 1971, called Agent Orange, was particularly harmful. Its main constituent is dioxin, which was present in soil, water and vegetation during and after the war. Dioxin is carcinogenic and teratogenic, and has resulted in spontaneous abortions, chloracne, skin and lung cancers, lower intelligence and emotional problems among children. Children fathered by men exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War often have congenital abnormalities. An estimated half a million children were born with dioxin-related abnormalities. Agent Orange continues to threaten the health of the Vietnamese today.

“Drafted to go to Vietnam
To fight communism in a foreign land.
To preserve democracy is my plight
Which is a God…Given…Right.
Greenery so thick with hidden enemies
Agent Orange is sprayed on the trees.
Covering me from head to toe
Irate my eyes, burns through my clothes.
Returned home when my tour was done
To be told “You have cancer, son”.
Agent Orange is to blame
Government caused your suffering and pain.
Fight for compensation is frustrating and slow
Brass cover-up, not wanting anyone to know.
From cancer many comrades have died
Medical Insurance have been denied.
Compensation I now receive
My health I hope to retrieve.
In Vietnam , I was spared my life
Just to be stabbed with an Agent Orange knife” Yvonne Legge, 2001

Today, agriculture in Vietnam continues to suffer problems from six million unexploded bombs still present. Several organisations are attempting to remove these bombs. Landmines left in Vietnam are not removed, because the Vietnamese government refuses to accept responsibility.

Europe

Kosovo war – The Kosovo war can be divided up in two separate parts: a conflict between Serbia and Kosovo, and a conflict between Kosovo and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The first conflict originated in 1996 from the statement of Slobodan Milocevic that Kosovo was to remain a part of Serbia, and from the resulting violent response of Albanian residents. When Serbian troops slaughtered 45 Albanians in the village of Racak in Kosovo in 1999, the NATO intervened. NATO launched a 4-month bombing campaign upon Serbia as a reply to the massacre at Racak.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) investigated the environmental impact of the Kosovo war. It was concluded that the war did not result in an environmental disaster affecting the entire Balkan region. Nevertheless, some environmental hot spots were identified, namely Belgrade, Pancevo, Kragujevac, Novi Sad and Bor.

Bombings carried out by the United States resulted in leakages in oil refineries and oil storage depots. Industrial sites containing other industries were also targeted. EDC (1,2-dichloroethane), PCBs en mercury escaped to the environment. Burning of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM) resulted in the formation of dioxin, hydrochloric acid, carbon monoxide and PAHs, and oil burning released sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead and PAHs into the air. Heavy clouds of black smoke forming over burning industrial targets caused black rain to fall on the area around Pancevo. Some damage was done to National Parks in Serbia by bombings, and therefore to biodiversity. EDC, mercury and petroleum products (e.g. PCBs) polluted the Danube River. These are present in the sediments and may resurface in due time. EDC is toxic to both terrestrial and aquatic life. Mercury may be converted into methyl mercury, which is very toxic and bio accumulates. As a measure to prevent the consequences of bombing, a fertilizer plant in Pancevo released liquid ammonia into the Danube River. This caused fish kills up to 30 kilometres downstream.

In 1999 when NATO bombed Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, the resulting environmental damage was enormous. Petrochemical plants in suburbs started leaking all kinds of hazardous chemicals into air, water and soil. Factories producing ammonia and plastics released chlorine, hydrochloric acid, vinyl chloride and other chlorine substances, resulting in local air pollution and health problems. Water sources were polluted by oil leaking from refineries. The Danube River was polluted by oil more severely, but this time hydrochloric acid and mercury compounds also ended up there. These remained in the water for a considering period of time and consequently ended up in neighbouring countries Rumania and Bulgaria.

Clean drinking water supplies and waste treatment plants were damaged by NATO bombings. Many people fled their houses and were moved to refugee camps, where the number of people grew rapidly. A lack of clean drinking water and sanitation problems occurred.

Like in the Gulf War, Depleted Uranium (DU) was applied in the Kosovo War to puncture tanks and other artillery. After the war, the United Kingdom assisted in the removal of DU residues from the environment. Veterans complained of health effects. It was acknowledged by the UK and the US that dusts from DU can be dangerous if inhaled. Inhalation of dust most likely results in chemical poisoning.

World War I: Trench Warfare – In 1914, the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary resulted in the First World War, otherwise known as The Great War, or WWI. It started with Austria-Hungary invading Serbia, where the assassin came from, and Germany invading Belgium. The war was mostly in Europe, between the Allies and the Central Powers.

Allies: France, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Montenegro, Rumania, Albania, Greece, Portugal, Finland, United States, Canada, Brazil, Armenia, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Liberia, China, Japan, Thailand, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama
Central Powers: Austria-Hungary, Germany, Turkish Empire, and Bulgaria

The war was fought from trenches, dug from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. In 1918 when the war was over, empires disintegrated into smaller countries, marking the division of Europe today. Over 9 million people had died, most of which perished from influenza after the outbreak of the Spanish Flu (see environmental disasters). The war did not directly cause the influenza outbreak, but it was amplified. Mass movement of troops and close quarters caused the Spanish Flu to spread quickly. Furthermore, stresses of war may have increased the susceptibility of soldiers to the disease.

In terms of environmental impact, World War I was most damaging, because of landscape changes caused by trench warfare. Digging trenches caused trampling of grassland, crushing of plants and animals, and churning of soil. Erosion resulted from forest logging to expand the network of trenches. Soil structures were altered severely, and if the war was never fought, in all likelihood the landscape would have looked very differently today.

Another damaging impact was the application of poison gas. Gases were spread throughout the trenches to kill soldiers of the opposite front. Examples of gases applied during WWI are tear gas (aerosols causing eye irritation), mustard gas (cell toxic gas causing blistering and bleeding), and carbonyl chloride (carcinogenic gas). The gases caused a total of 100,000 deaths, most caused by carbonyl chloride (phosgene). Battlefields were polluted, and most of the gas evaporates into the atmosphere. After the war, unexploded ammunition caused major problems in former battle areas. Environmental legislation prohibits detonation or dumping chemical weapons at sea, therefore the cleanup was and still remains a costly operation. In 1925, most WWI participants signed a treaty banning the application of gaseous chemical weapons. Chemical disarmament plants are planned in France and Belgium.

World War II: – World War II was a worldwide conflict, fought between the Allies (Britain, France and the United States as its core countries) and the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy and Japan as its core countries). It started with the German invasion of Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1939, and ended with the liberation of Western Europe by the allies in 1945.

Estimates for the total casualties of the war vary, but most suggest that some 60 million people died in the war, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians.

World War II: Hunger winter – In late 1944, the allied troops attempted to liberate Western Europe. As they reached The Netherlands, German resistance caused the liberation to be halted in Arnhem, as allied troops failed to occupy a bridge over the River Rhine. As the Dutch government in exile in Britain called for railway strikes, the Germans responded by putting embargo on food transport to the west. This resulted in what is now known as the Hunger Winter, causing an estimated 20,000-25,000 Dutch to starve to death. A number of factors caused the starvation: a harsh winter, fuel shortages, the ruin of agricultural land by bombings, floods, and the food transport embargo. Most people in the west lived off tulip bulbs and sugar beet. Official food rations were below 1000 cal per person per day. In May 1945 the Hunger Winter ended with the official liberation of the west of The Netherlands.

Source

The there is this.  So what do they do with weapons of mass destruction?  Coming to an Ocean Near YOU! The cost in dollars for the pollution caused by war is staggering. The cost to human life is horrendous. The price of war to the Environment is deadly.  This is of course a Global problem.  What you don’t see can hurt you.  If you don’t know it is only because they don’t want you too. They will never tell you the true unless we as a Global community force them to. This will affect our children for many years to come. War is probably one of the worst polluters on the planet.  Stopping the WAR MACHINE is in everyone’s best interest.

Here you find tons of weapons that were dumped into the oceans among other things.

Depleated Uranium Information

The US Dumps staggering amounts of Chemical weapons in the oceans.

THE DEADLINESS BELOW

The US  still air testing bombs in the US.
US Air Testing Bombs

This to is a form of pollution a very deadly one.

Injuries and Deaths From Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance in Afghanistan, 2002-2006

This is part of the war pollution as well.
Uranium Mining, Grand Canyon now at Risk, Dangers, Pollution, History

Plague of bioweapons accidents afflicts the US

US Nuclear Weapons accidents – 1981 report

Added January 9 2009

Israel killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction again Gaza

Added November 18 2009

Doctors report “unprecedented” rise in deformities, cancers in Iraq (Photos)

Added January 9 2010

Cancer and Deformities – The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq

NATO bombings: Aftermath takes toll on Serbia, now left with DU Poisoning (Radiation and DU fallout maps included.)

Addiction is also part of war pollution. Because of the NATO and US invasion in Afghanistan, Heroin addiction has grown like wildfire around the world. Millions are now addicted to Heroin.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Hush’ over Afghan mission must end

Switzerland’s explosive war effort threatens environmental disaster

Pentagon’s Role in Global Catastrophe: Add Climate Havoc to War Crimes and War Pollution

“Military emissions abroad are exempt from national reporting requirements under U.S. law and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

Added January 3 2010

Gaza sees more newborns of malformation

Added January 24 2010

Study finds: Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination

Added March 1 2010

2.5 million Iraqi women were widowed by Iraq war

Added March 17 2010

Another Gulf War Syndrome? Burn Pits

Added March 18 2010

More Toxic waste for Veterans to deal with.

Erroneous Reports Deny our Veterans Benefits

Added July 22 2013

Najaf: A toxic “health catastrophe” – US weapons blamed for Iraq’s birth defects