Category Archives: d-sustainable

Is there a future for nuclear energy?

Here are some key indicators from the 2019 edition of the World Nuclear Report, which show that the use of nuclear energy is declining.

1. Over the past two years, the largest historic nuclear builder Westinghouse and its French counterpart AREVA went bankrupt.

2. In 2018, ten nuclear countries generated more power with renewable than with fission energy. In spite of its ambitious nuclear program, China produced more power from wind alone than from nuclear plants. In India, in the fiscal year to March 2019, not only wind, but for the first time solar out-generated nuclear, and new solar is now competitive with existing coal plants in the market. In the European Union, renewables accounted for 95 percent of all new electricity generating capacity added in the past year.

3. The number of units under construction globally declined for the sixth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 46 by mid-2019, of which 10 are in China, but there is still no construction start of any commercial reactor in China since December 2016.

4. The nuclear share of global electricity generation has continued its slow decline from a historic peak of about 17.5 percent in 1996 to 10.15 percent in 2018.

5. Over the past decade, levelized cost estimates for utility-scale solar dropped by 88%, wind by 69%, while nuclear increased by 23%. Renewables now come in below the cost of coal and natural gas.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

If we can connect up the planet through Internet, can’t we agree to preserve the planet?

This expression, “If we can connect up the planet through Internet, can’t we agree to preserve the planet? “, was inspired by an article by Len Yannielli in the beginning of CPNN back in 2002: Chilean Fisherpeople Fight Salmon Introduction.

Over the years since then, we have carried many articles on this theme. See many of them listed here and .here.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

How can we ensure that science contributes to peace and sustainable development?


This discussion question applies to the following articles:

Moroccan Researcher Karima El Azhary Wins International Sustainable Development Award

Environmental damage is a war crime, scientists say

Youth for climate: 130 scientists support the youth climate strike

Spain: A group of professors creates ‘Manifesto for the Survival of the Planet’

Researchers Develop Artificial Photosynthesis System that Generates Both Hydrogen Fuel and Electricity

Città della Pieve, Italy: The Declaration of the Scientists for Peace

Tunis: Strengthening the scientific partnership between Iran and the Arab countries

Jordan: Peace through science

The Senegalese winners of the “Next Einstein Forum” present the results of their scientific work

Science for Everyone, for More Democracy

Les sciences pour tous, pour plus de démocratie (France)

International Symposium 2013 “Science, Technology and Culture of Peace (France)

English bulletin August 1, 2018

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

Last month we reported on reforestation projects in Africa: the Great Green Wall that streteches from one side of Africa to the other; and the Million Tree Initiative in Zambia. And previously we reported on reforestation projects in China , Pakistan and Brazil.

This month we add reports on the Greentrees Sequester initiative in North Americ and the project Defenders of the Forest in Madagascar. The Greentrees initiative recerived an award from the American Carbon Registry “in recognition of exceptional implementation of the world’s largest reforestation project both in terms of volume of high-quality verified emissions reductions issued and number of participating landowners and acres.”

The Madagascar project is important because the island is one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots with the vast majority of its species of fauna and flora endemic to the island. Much of Madagascar’s wildlife is under threat, particularly its humid forests.” The Mitsinjo Association, composed of the local conservationists, hires local youth to plant trees and conserve the animals that are in danger of extinction. The Association engages in a variety of education and capacity building programs for the communities they support, including schools.

Meanwhile the divestment from fossil fuels continues to gather force. We have previously reported on divestment initiatives by a wide variety of local and global organizations, including the World Bank, Catholic institutions, Norway and New York City. Go Fossil Free, a group that advocates for fossil fuel divestment, estimates that $6.15 trillion worth of fossil fuel assets have been sold off since the movement started in 2010.

In Japan, which has been one of the biggest financiers of coal technology in the world, Nippon Life Insurance, Japan’s largest life insurer, with assets of $667 billion, has announced that they will stop financing coal-fired power plants.

This month we report that the Parliament of Ireland has voted to sell off its estimated $370 million in fossil fuel investments “as soon as is practicable.” Ireland’s vote is particularly important because it reflects a major shift in the divestment movement, Originally, fossil fuel divestment was entirely driven by moral concerns—institutions pulled their money out of oil, gas, and coal companies because they didn’t want to be contributing to the destruction of a stable climate. Now, divestment is increasingly seen as a smart financial move for investors.

Perhaps most important of all, there continues to be progress in renewable energy that does not pollute the atmosphere. A few months ago, we reported on increased investment in solar power in China, Australia, Sweden, UK and Germany, including electric cars and a solar highway in China. And this month we see that India is making strides towards leadership in wind and solar power. Although renewable energy currently supplies only 20% of the country’s needs, this is beginning to change as a result of financial considerations. New renewable energy is less expensive to build than it costs to run most of the existing coal fired power in the nation—let alone construct new plants.

Finally, for a holistic approach, we can recommend that of Agroecology. In Brazil, the National Association of Agroecology has brought together several hundred farmers’, women’s, artists’ and activists’ organizations over the course of the last fifteen years to promote a new model of development based on farming and land use practices in an ecological and common good perspective centered around traditional and popular knowledge and culture. The very nature of agroecology is transversal and holistic. Considering the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, agroecology covers the majority of them: climate, water, the fight for gender equality, against poverty, hunger, decent work, etc.

      

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



India strides towards clean energy leadership

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY



Campaign Nonviolence National Convergence in Washington, DC this September 21-22, 2018

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace: Madrid, 5-8 November

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION



Peace Boat returns to Cuba with a message of peace and global solidarity

WOMEN’S EQUALITY



Women in school to promote a sustainable peace in Cameroon

HUMAN RIGHTS



9th International Conference on Human Rights Education

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



USA: A call to resist immigrant concentration camps

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



Peru: Law to promote the culture of peace and non-violence in basic education

When you cultivate plants, do you cultivate peace?

The initial articles on this subject were written by Marielza Cunha Horta about the The Eco Citizen project in Brazil, and she gave us the title: “Cultivate plants, Cultivate peace.” Since then, subsequent articles bear out this approach.

According to the CPNN article about the largest tropical reforestation effort in history that aims that aims to restore 73 million trees in the Brazilian Amazon, “The reforestation project fills an urgent need to develop the region’s economy without destroying its forests and ensuring the well-being of its people.”

When announcing a great tree-planting project in Zambia, the President emphasized that it would involve young people, especially school children so that “when our learners appreciate the importance of trees, it will in turn create a positive impact in families and the communities at large.”

And describing the Green Belt Project that will cross the entire African continent with trees, CPNN noted that “Although the project was conceived on a grand scale, continental in scope, the actions must take place at a local level. . . [so that] the populations of different villages, communities and cities will develop mutual understanding, respect and confidence.”

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Faces Of Africa – Defenders of the Forest [Madagascar]

Greentrees Sequesters Another 1 Million+ Tons of Carbon via Reforestation; Wins Award

‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ transforms arid Pakistan region into green gold

Great Green Wall Brings Hope, Greener Pastures to Africa’s Sahel

Leading from the Front: Zambia Launches Plant a Million Trees Initiative

China Reassigns 60,000 Soldiers to Plant Trees

World’s Largest Tropical Reforestation to Plant 73 Million Trees in Brazilian Amazon

Trees talk to each other and recognize their offspring

African women organize to reclaim agriculture against corporate takeover

This new initiative out of Paris will help fight climate change with trees

A Great Green Wall Across the African Continent

Une muraille verte transcontinentale

Eco Cidadão commemorates the International Day of Peace

Eco Cidadão comemora Dia Mundial da Paz

The Eco Citizen project: Cultivate plants, Cultivate peace

Eco-Citizen Programme : Urban Agriculture for Vulnerable Youth

What is the relation between the environment and peace?

One way to understand the relation between environment and peace is to turn the question on its head and ask what is the relation between the environment and the culture of war.  Here is what I say in my book The History of the Culture of War :

The exploitation of the culture of war involves not only exploitation of people, but also exploitation of the environment. In recent years everyone has become more aware of the dangers of environmental pollution, with special attention to carbon emissions which have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and resulted in global warming. This is also related to the loss of the world’s forests which redress the problem by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Insufficient attention has been paid, however, to the great environmental destruction and pollution caused by military activity.

Historically, military-related activity has been one of the primary causes of deforestation. This was already evident in ancient times as described above in the case of Greece and Rome. More recently, the British Empire was a major destroyer of forests, as described for India in an article by Budholai (available on the Internet) :

“The early days of British rule in India were days of plunder of natural resources. They started exploiting the rich resources present in India by employing the policy of imperialism. By around 1860, Britain had emerged as the world leader in deforestation, devastation its own woods and the forests in Ireland, South Africa and northeastern United States to draw timber for shipbuilding, iron-smelting and farming. Upon occasion, the destruction of forests was used by the British to symbolize political victory. Thus, the early nineteenth century, and following its defeat of the Marathas, the East India Company razed to the ground teak plantation in Ratnagiri nurtured and grown by the legendary Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre. There was a total indifference to the needs of the forest conservancy. They caused a fierce onslaught on Indian Forests. The onslaught on the forests was primarily because of the increasing demand for military purposes, for British navy, for local construction (such as roads and railways), supply of teak and sandalwood for export trade and extension of agriculture in order to supplement revenue.”

I have not been able to find precise evidence of the environmental damage caused by the contemporary American Empire, but the following description of military pollution by Schmidt (2004) gives some idea of the problem which includes contamination of the land by poisonous chemicals as well as air pollution:

“Preparing for war is a heavily industrialized mission that generates fuel spills, hazardous waste, and air pollution. The DOD owns more than 10% of the 1,240 sites currently on the National Priorities List, and has estimated the cost of cleaning up these sites at approximately $9.7 billion. In addition to lead and a variety of solvents, training facilities release munitions constituents including perchlorate (a thyroid toxicant), RDX (an explosive compound and neurotoxicant), and TNT (an explosive compound linked to anemia and altered liver function).

Nearly 1 in 10 Americans live within 10 miles of a DOD Superfund site – a sometimes perilous proximity. The Massachusetts Military Reservation, for instance, a 34-square-mile multi-use training facility in Cape Cod, is slowly leaching solvents, jet fuel, RDX, and perchlorate into the area’s sole aquifer, a drinking water source for up to 500,000 people at the height of tourist season.

Military aircraft from DOD facilities also generate noise and air pollution. For instance, in 1996, the most recent year for which data are available, more than 50,000 military flights contributed to the heavy air traffic over Washington, D.C. According to the Democratic Committee on Energy and Commerce, these flights emitted 75 tons of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, which generate smog. In 1999, the Sierra Army Depot, located 55 miles northeast of Reno, was California’s leading air polluter, according to the EPA Toxics Release Inventory. The base released some 5.4 million pounds of toxic chemicals that year, including aluminum, copper, and zinc fumes.”

Military testing and seeding with anti-personnel mines and unexploded or spent ammunition such as cluster bombs and depleted uranium have rendered large tracts of land around the world uninhabitable and unapproachable. I have not been able to find any full accounting of this. However, we know that many people, often children, are still being injured by anti-personnel mines, cluster bomb fragments and other ammunition around the world. Furthermore, any seasoned traveler will have encountered zones that are “off limits” because of military use, often because they have been used for target practice and weapons testing and still contain live ammunition. In addition, does anyone know how much of the world’s land is now contaminated with so much radiation from the disposal of radioactive waste or from accident nuclear explosions such as that of Chernobyl that the land will not be habitable for hundreds or thousands of years?

Of course, the above damage is dwarfed by what would happen to the environment if even a small fraction of today’s nuclear weapons were used in a nuclear war. At the height of the Cold War, scientific calculations were made showing that the world would enter a “nuclear winter” caused by the clouds from such war, not to mention the lethal levels of radioactivity that would result. It is frightening to realize how close we have come to such a nuclear war. Several years ago, a CPNN article described how a Soviet colonel saved the world from a nuclear holocaust when all the signals required him to fire the Soviet nuclear arsenal. Until recently, this topic was rarely mentioned in the media despite the fact that the same potential for nuclear destruction remains on attack-alert ready for deployment. However, the recent adoption of a UN resolution and Nobel Prize for Peace has brought back attention to the danger.

This question pertains to the following articles

International Peace Bureau: the ‘carbon boot-print’

World animal protextion: Five amazing Sea Warrior women tackling ghost gear on a global scale

Greenpeace: Great news for the Arctic AND the Antarctic!

Ghana: WANEP builds capacity of front line Peace Actors

Kenya: Construction of Wangari Maathai institute starts

Africa: Sustainable development: The future of the land is in green energy

On Earth Day, Commit To The Great Turning

Mozambique: Maputo Declaration of African Civil Society on Climate Justice

Book review: War, peace, and ecology. The risks of sustainable militarization

Livre: Guerre et paix… et écologie. Les risques de militarisation durable

Reflection on the Life of Wangari Maathai
Sumak Kawasay: Full Life

Sumak Kewesay: Vida Plena

PROYECTO plantea crear la Defensoría de Madre Tierra (Bolivia)

Bolivian Project Proposes to Create a Defense of Mother Earth

Earth Hour, March 23: Uniting people to protect the planet

Pangolins, elephants win big protections at United Nations wildlife gathering

Kenya: Construction of Wangari Maathai institute starts

Initial count from Amboseli is good news for elephants

Big Win for Species at Risk (Canada)

Governments commit to tackling wildlife crime in major declaration

Life-Link Friendship Schools in Iran

World Heritage Site a Haven for African Wildlife

Environmental Sustainability as a Tool for Peace Building

International Conference on Environmental Diplomacy and Security

The Law of Mother Earth: Behind Bolivia’s Historic Bill

Water for Peace

Global Balance Sheet

Nobel Peace Prizewinner Calls for Culture of Peace

2004 Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Wangari Maathi

Indigenous peoples, Are they the true guardians of nature?

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Brazil’s indigenous tribes protest Bolsonaro assimilation plan

Meet the Trailblazing Maasai Women Protecting Amboseli’s Wildlife

Canadian police block journalists from covering indigenous pipeline protest

First Indigenous woman is elected Federal Deputy in Brazil

Indigenous Peoples Link Their Development to Clean Energies

16 Days of Activism: Meet Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, Honduras

16 Days of Activism: Meet Anne Marie Sam, Canada

Colombia: When indigenous knowledge heals and prevents the wounds of war

USA: Update from Standing Rock

IUCN Congress boosts support for Indigenous peoples’ rights

El Congreso de la UICN refuerza el apoyo a los derechos de los pueblos indígenas

Le Congrès de l’UICN stimule les droits des peuples autochtones

USA: Standoff at Standing Rock: Even Attack Dogs Can’t Stop the Native American Resistance

On remote Philippine island, female forest rangers are a force to be reckoned with

15 Indigenous Rights Victories That You Didn’t Hear About in 2015

Indigenous Elders Send Stern Message to UN Paris Delegates: Preventing 2°C Is Not Nearly Enough

Terrace Farming – an Ancient Indigenous Model for Food Security

Mayan People’s Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

Mining interests in Guatemala challenged by indigenous direct democracy

Brazilian Indians secure nationwide land victory

Los indígenas de Brasil consiguen una victoria territorial a escala nacional

Canada: Kinder Morgan leaves Burnaby Mountain in win for pipeline protesters

People’s Summit in Peru: “The Earth is burning, let´s change the system!”

Confederación Campesina del Perú presente en marcha de Cumbre de Pueblos

United, We Will Never Be Defeated: Guatemala’s Victory Over Monsanto

Unidos, Jamas Seremos Vencidos: La Victoria de de Guatemala En Contra de Monsanto

Colombia: The Indigenous of Cauca: “We are a people with a culture of peace”

Indígenas del Cauca: “Somos pueblos de cultura de paz”

English bulletin May 1, 2017

. MARCHING TO SAVE OUR PLANET .

Two major mobiliztions to preserve the planet took place this month in the United States and Canada. Close to a million people turned out across the United States and Canada for the March for Science on April 22. A week later, at least a quarter of a million turned out for the Peoples Climate March.

At the main March for Science in Washington, D.C., the American scientist Bill Nye, an honorary co-chair of the event, delivered a speech to a crowd of tens of thousands in pouring rain. ‘Show the world that science is for all. Our lawmakers must know and accept that science serves every one of us,’ Nye said before shouting out, ‘Save the world!’

For the Peoples Climate March a week later, over 200,000 people took part in the Washington, D.C. march and another 50,000 or so in 370 sister marches across the country. According to its national coordinator, ““This march grew out of the relationship building among some of the country’s most important progressive organizations and movements. . . . to pressure global leaders to act on climate change. There was a simple demand – act . . . act on climate while creating family-sustaining jobs, investing in frontline and indigenous communities and protecting workers who will be impacted by the transition to a new clean and renewable energy economy.””

If one were to map the largest turnouts, it would look almost the same as the map we published back in January for the women’s marches against the inauguration of President Trump, which, in turn was almost the same as the map for the election results.

The marches for science were appropriately set for April 22, which is recognized by the United Nations as Mother Earth Day.

The UN initiative came from Latin America, and, indeed, it was celebrated this year in most Latin American countries, including statements from the Presidents of Bolivia and Venezuela that linked it to the culture of peace and to socialism. In addition to Bolivia and Venezuela, we gave some details from celebrations in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Argentina.

For example, in Honduras, public and private environmental organizations planted thousands of trees in urban and rural areas to raise awareness of the importance of caring for the planet, while in Argentina there were workshops, ecological activities and even the country’s first “bio festival” of music, held in the city of Rosario.

In addition to the science marches, there were many other celebrations of Earth Day across the United States and Canada. These included Earthday fairs with educational activities, tree planting and community environmental cleanups. Especially unique and appropriate was the earthday event in North Dakota, where the horseback riders of the Dakota Exile Healing Ride celebrated the “Sweet Corn Treaty” that occurred in 1870 with the Chippewa and Sioux tribes. They called for “sharing our homelands and responsibilities to the lands, and water as well as respect for each other’s cultures and traditions by sharing once again as Dakota did”.

One would have hoped that Earth Day would be celebrated around the world and would indicate a growing consciousness for the culture of peace, given that sustainable development is one of its eight program areas. Indeed, some claim that these celebrations involved “a billion people.” in “195 countries.” Unfortunately, our survey of Earth Day activities around the world failed to confirm any large participation outside of North and South America.

Certainly, there is a growing consciousness around the world that we must act to save our planet, a consciousness that complements the anti-war consciousness that we have seen on the UN International Day of Peace. Although the consciousness is worldwide, perhaps it is appropriate that the largest mobilizations at this time are taking place in the United States, since it is the American empire that poses the greatest threat to the environment.

      

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION



Earth Day around the World – 2017

TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY



Beirut Declaration enhances role of religions in promoting human rights

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Paraná, Brazil: Draft Law for Culture of Peace as public policy

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



USA: Peoples Climate March a Huge Success: Final Count: 200,000+ March in D.C. for Climate, Jobs and Justice

WOMEN’S EQUALITY


Togo: Women’s groups in the Plateaux region sensitized on social cohesion and the culture of peace in Atakpamé

HUMAN RIGHTS


Sanctuary city leaders vow to remain firm, despite threats from U.S. attorney general

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY



The Inside Story on Our UN Report Calling Israel an Apartheid State

EDUCATION FOR PEACE


Mexico, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur: Theater show celebrated on Theater Day

Opposing tax havens and global exploitation: part of the culture of peace?

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .


In drafting the United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace, we included the following:

“It is increasingly recognized that in the long term, everyone gains from the implementation of sustainable human development for all. The poverty and exclusion of some increases the vulnerability of all. This represents a major change in the concept of economic growth which, in the past, could be considered as benefitting from military supremacy and structural violence and achieved at the expense of the vanquished and the weak. . . . Special consideration should be given to the reduction of sharp economic inequalities among nations and peoples so as to avoid potential sources of violent conflict.”

It turns out that tax havens are a major method of structural violence achieved at the expense of the poor countries and leading to more and more inequality between the rich (exploiting) North and the poor (exploited) South. The key data are kept secret, but have been unmasked recently by a team of academics at the US-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and the Centre for Applied Research at the Norwegian School of Economics and published by the Guardian.

“Multinational companies also steal money from developing countries through “same-invoice faking”, shifting profits illegally between their own subsidiaries by mutually faking trade invoice prices on both sides. For example, a subsidiary in Nigeria might dodge local taxes by shifting money to a related subsidiary in the British Virgin Islands, where the tax rate is effectively zero and where stolen funds can’t be traced. GFI doesn’t include same-invoice faking in its headline figures because it is very difficult to detect, but they estimate that it amounts to another $700bn per year. And these figures only cover theft through trade in goods. If we add theft through trade in services to the mix, it brings total net resource outflows to about $3tn per year. That’s 24 times more than the aid budget. In other words, for every $1 of aid that developing countries receive, they lose $24 in net outflows. These outflows strip developing countries of an important source of revenue and finance for development. The GFI report finds that increasingly large net outflows have caused economic growth rates in developing countries to decline, and are directly responsible for falling living standards.”

Hence, the answer would seem to be, “Yes, opposition to tax havens and global exploitation is a key part of the culture of peace!”

See the following CPNN article for information on the movement for tax justice:

Global Alliance for Tax Justice: #EndTaxHavens campaign update: (6 April)

Can UN agencies help eradicate poverty in the world?


This question applies to the following CPNN articles:

Global Solutions Lab: Eliminating Urban Poverty

Latin America and the Caribbean could be first developing region to eradicate hunger

Amérique latine et Caraïbes: première région en développement susceptible d’éradiquer la faim

América Latina y el Caribe podría ser la primera región en desarrollo en erradicar el hambre

Developing Nations Seek Tax Body to Curb Illicit Financial Flows

UN: Consensus Reached on New Sustainable Development Agenda to be adopted by World Leaders in September

Les Etats membres de l’ONU s’accordent sur le nouveau programme de développement

ONU: Líderes mundiales logran consenso sobre la nueva Agenda para el Desarrollo Sostenible

WFP Launches Major Study Into Brazil's Success In Buying From Smallholder Farmers

Oxfam agrees with IMF on 'Redistribution, Inequality, and Growth'

Tackling Economic Poverty in Afghanistan

Report on the UN Millennium Development Goals: we can eliminate world poverty by 2030

The Hungry Know No Peace