The Acts of Man – Concerns about ‘Mark 1’ nuclear reactors go back years

The unfolding crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors has begun to prompt a re-examination of Japan’s failure to respond to decades of concern about the design of the Mark 1 reactors used at the Fukushima Daichii plant and a wholesale refusal by that country’s Government and Courts to address citizen-led concerns about the inadequacy of reactor designs for earthquake-prone locations. Wikileaks Central writer kgosztola has reviewed Japan’s  history of downplaying accidents and lax regulation.  The Citizens Nuclear Information Centre in Tokyo has … Read more

Viva Palestina

Iran’s Press TV has interviewed a number of Irish activists entering Gaza with the Viva Palestina convoy, led by the Respect MP, George Galloway. The Viva Palestina aid convoy crossed over from Egypt where a number of activists were injured during scuffles with police at the port of el Arish. A group of five Derry activists are among the 500 who travelled with over one hundred vehicles carrying medical and other equipment in what has been billed as an attempt … Read more

Copenhagen Discord – Obama’s lesson in realpolitik

The Copenhagen Accord negotiated by US President Obama together with Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, will help smooth the passage of the Senate Energy and Climate Bill and serves notice on a UN climate negotiations framework that could not deliver a binding agreement in the absence of a clear political framework. It has been apparent for some time that fault lines in the UN negotiating framework threatened to undermine progress. The G-77/China grouping has been particularly dysfunctional, as it has sought … Read more

Greens decide that the perfect must not become the enemy of the possible

There was no shortage of realism at the special Green Party Convention to discuss the revised Programme for Government at the RDS on Saturday. As the result of votes on two Motions indicate, a significant minority (31 percent) held out against support for NAMA, while an overwhelming majority (84 percent) sided with the Party’s leadership in their determination to…fight the next election having given themselves time to deliver in Government and begin to address some of the deep flaws in … Read more

American Prayer

This American Prayer was posted to my Facebook page Sunday by Hollywood actor, Michael O Keefe! It’s a music video featuring some celebrity friends of Obama and is doing the rounds among Democrat supporters in the United States….with funds raised from the song going to the Political Action Committee, MoveOn.org Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame put the words together with Bono, and Joan Baez and Martin Luther King feature. Barack Obama will accept the Democratic Party Nomination for President 45 … Read more

Answers on a postcard please?

The following description has been passed on to me by a walker who spent Saturday on the North Coast. The scene is beside the car park at the carrick-a-reed rope bridge. “I was with a friend doing some sightseeing on the wettest day of the year, and having set out for a stroll to get a better view of the rope bridge (which was closed due to bad weather) we came upon three men in a piece of exposed ground … Read more

Sammy Wilson’s climate scepticism

Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson, is quoted in this morning’s Newsletter on the flooding of the Broadway underpass. He claims, erroneously, that the flash floods contradict scientific climate change predictions of warming in the northern hemisphere. Wilson’s comments are not supported by the most recent findings. For example, Jonathan Cowie’s Climate Change: Biological and Human Impacts (2007), concludes that increased major floods could well happen in the summer despite European summers becoming drier. Seemingly paradoxically, computer models predict an increase in … Read more

How Cowen lost the Treaty

This video essay on Brian Cowen’s response to the loss of the Lisbon Treaty vote is doing the rounds in government circles in Dublin. Peter DoranI am a lecturer in sustainable development and governance at the School of Law, Queens University Belfast. I also conduct work at United Nations negotiations on the environment for the International Institute for Sustainable Development. My book on the attention economy and mindfulness as commons was published by Routlege in June 2017. See A Political … Read more

Albert Reynolds and the Global Environmental Energy Corporation (GEECF)

As reported in the Irish News on 29 May, Albert Reynolds made an advance announcement about a ‘plan’ to create jobs in Derry. The reported plan would involve the construction of high-temperature Biosphere waste burners in China, with associated employment in Derry. Reynolds is a former Chair of the company, which has attracted unwelcome press attention for both Albert and his Irish friend Chris McCormack. The Sunday Business Post and The Times are just two of the publications that have … Read more

Foster puts bid for Westminster seat before environmental protection

Few will be surprised that Arlene Foster has opted to rebadge the failed Environment and Heritage Service as Northern Ireland’s new ‘Environment Agency’. Ironically, the DUP Environment Minister demonstrated the need for a truly ‘Independent’ Environment Protection Agency today when she used her position to pander to the special pleading of the Ulster Farmers Union rather than take the expert advice of Tom Burke’s Review of Environmental Governance (NI). In the process, Foster has ensured that she does nothing to … Read more