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Monday, 15 February


Despite threats, Africa is looking to nuclear with Russia and China’s help

Scott Firsing, Monash University Many African countries are in the grip of a nuclear fad. They believe nuclear energy will bring with it an international currency of prestige. Countries with nuclear energy programs are seen as rich and technologically advanced and as a result possess advanced status compared to other […]

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Jakarta governor proposes lighter environmental permitting Mongabay Environmental News

Last year, Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama signed a gubernatorial instruction meant to change Indonesia’s reputation as a cumbersome, bureaucratic place to invest. He proposed reducing the number of permits needed to start a business. First up on the governor’s cutting block was environmental impact assessments, or AMDALs. Ahok recommended that in lieu of an AMDAL investors be required to submit an environmental management and monitoring form (UKL-UPL). At the end of January 2016, the national environment ministry rejected this proposal. Unfazed, Governor Ahok said he would send the proposal to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who initiated the national One-Stop Integrated Services Agency in January 2015. The center was designed as an office where foreign investors could find projects and process permitting all in one place. “Perhaps this is a step that the governor is taking to meet the president’s 2016 target of making it easier for companies to get permits,” said Ariesta Riendrias Puspasari, head of public relations at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. “AMDALs are definitely harder to get than UKL-UPLs.” [caption id="attachment_179117" align="aligncenter" width="800"] A view of West Jakarta. Photo courtesy of Jpatokal/Wikimedia Commons[/caption] The environmental impact assessments are detailed analyses. To compile them, companies have to hire teams with a minimum of three members (including a team leader, a writer and a subject expert). The assessment team must lay out a study method for each of the AMDAL’s four documents. The entire process can take up to 125 business days to complete and ends in a…


Genocide in Yemen Fire Earth

Saudi-led coalition exposing Yemeni population to a ‘deadly combination of violence, disease and deprivation’ The following statement is attributable to the UNICEF Representative in Yemen  “With no end in sight to the deadly conflict in Yemen, nearly 10 million children inside the country are now facing a new year of pain and suffering. “Continuous bombardment […]


Gomeroi Emu Ceremony Front Line Action on Coal


Gomeroi Traditional Custodians were today joined by concerned locals and supporters near the gates of Whitehaven’s Maules Creek Coal Mine in the Leard State Forest for a traditional ceremony.

The Emu Ceremony was supposed to be held at the Gomeroi sacred site, Lawlers Well, the last remaining of 11 sites in the forest. Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, Whitehaven authorities did not provide a permit for the Gomeroi to access their own land, and the site that is earmarked for clearing.

Roughly 80 people were there to show solidarity to the mob who warmly welcomed the larger community to attend the ceremony. Uncle Neville and his sister performed a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony in their own language, igniting emotions about the devastation and loss this community has faced from the mining projects and the threats these clearings pose to the rich Gomeroi culture and heritage.

As Twitter commenter @meretmacdonald points out –


Foreign owned mining companies not good corporate citizens in PNG Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Foreign owned mining companies operating in PNG are abusing our hospitality and trust by failing to pay any corporate tax.

Companies like Barrick Gold, Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold make millions of dollars from their “World Class” gold, copper and silver mining in PNG.

But they manipulate their income and expenditure to avoid declaring profits and thereby avoid corporate income tax, according to figures released by the PNG government [pdf file].

The table below shows the corporate taxes paid by the mining industry in PNG in 2013.

corporate income tax

Foreign owned Barrick Gold (zero), Lihir Gold (K4.5million), Hidden Valley (zero), MCC Ramu nickel (zero), Simberi Gold (zero), and Harmony Gold (zero) paid a total of K4.5 million in Corporate Income tax.

In contrast, PNG owned Ok Tedi Mining paid a whopping K105 million – so clearly 2013 was not a bad year for mining in PNG.

To compound the injustice, Lihir, Porgera and Hidden Valley actually produce 3 times as much gold (1.5 million ounces) as Ok Tedi (500,000 oz) – so these foreign owned entities should be paying the most in tax, but they manipulate the rules to avoid their liabilities.



Corporate vision of the future of food promoted at the UN - english

Just when the biotech companies that make transgenic seeds are merging, the corporate vision of biotechnology is showing up at FAO. At today’s opening of the three-day international symposium on agricultural biotechnologies convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, more than 100 organisations  have issued a statement denouncing both the substance and structure of the meeting, which appears to be another attempt by multinational agribusiness to redirect the policies of the UN agency toward support for GMOs.


Regional research project shows dangerous folly of PNG seabed mining experiment Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

SPC fisheries ESM 2016

PNG is playing a dangerous game with people’s livelihoods, environment and culture by embarking on experimental seabed mining without understanding the potential impacts on the regions fish and fisheries, according to a South Pacific Community research proposal.

The major research project will look at the potential impacts of seabed mining on fisheries across all the 15 island states of Polynesia, Melanesia (including PNG) and Micronesia.

“There are still many uncertainties about the environmental, socioeconomic and technical risks and potential impacts that DSM might have on Pacific island environments, economies, societies and cultures”, says the SPC.

In particular there are, “significant concerns about the potential impacts of DSM [Deep Sea Mining] on fisheries and fishery resources”.

This is particularly worrying, says the SPC, “given the extremely high importance of fisheries, including commercial, artisinal and subsistence fisheries, to Pacific Island economies, societies and cultural identities”.

But while the Pacific Community will be investigating the impact experimental seabed mining could have on vital fish stocks, Papua New Guinea has already licensed the first seabed mine and poured K110 million of tax payers money into building the mining machines.

How could a responsible government sanction an experimental new form of mining when its potential impacts on a vital resource are still unknown?



Region 2497 produces M1.0 solar flare The Watchers » Latest articles

'Beta-Gamma-Delta' classified Active Region 2497 produced an M1.0 solar flare at 19:26 UTC on February 14, 2016. The event started at 19:18 and ended at 19:29 UTC. After M1.0 at 10:47 UTC on February 12 and M1.8 at 15:24 UTC on February 13, this is the third...... Read more »



Every peer-reviewed paper ever published offered free of charge - illegally, of course The Watchers » Latest articles

If you are not a scientist trying to publish your latest research in any of the "respected" and high-impact journals or in one of the open access journals, you might not be aware that there is a real battle going on here. The stakes are free knowledge and,...... Read more »


Hawaii declares state of emergency over Zika virus, dengue fever outbreak – Zika spreads in South America The Extinction Protocol

February 2016HAWAIIHawaii Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency to fight mosquito borne illnesses including dengue fever and the Zika virus. The state has been in the midst of a dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii’s Big Island, where there were more than 250 confirmed cases. There have been no locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus in Hawaii, Ige said in a news conference Friday. But there’s concern that the islands could be at risk because mosquitoes that can carry dengue fever also can carry the Zika virus. “We are doing everything we can to be prepared, to be proactive, to prevent vector borne diseases here in Hawaii,” Ige said. The emergency proclamation could help the state acquire more money to control outbreaks.
Hawaii is rushing to build up its mosquito control staff after a December report from the Centers for Disease Control highlighted deficiencies in the state’s vector control department. The state slashed its mosquito control and entomology staff during the economic downturn, from 56 employees in 2009 to 25 positions in 2016. Health officials are now searching for funding to rebuild the staff, and the Department of Health plans to hire 10 new staffers with money the governor released, said Virginia Pressler, director of department, on Friday.
“We are actively hiring new staff, an entomologist that will be dedicated to Hawaii Island that will be starting next week as well as additional communications and vector control staff,” Pressler said. Officials stressed that Hawaii is still a safe place to visit. No travel advisories have been issued ab...


Cliff collapses as 5.7-magnitude earthquake rocks New Zealand The Extinction Protocol

Quake NZ

February 2016NEW ZEALAND – A cliff near New Zealand city of Christchurch collapsed on Sunday after a 5.7-magnitude quake struck the South Island city. The New Zealand government’s GeoNet monitoring service said the moderate quake was centered 15 km east of the city at a depth of 15 km, Xinhua reported. The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the temblor at 5.8 with a relatively shallow depth of 8.2 km. Emergency services said part of a cliff collapsed in Sumner district in Christchurch. A video clip posted on the social media showed a huge dust cloud following the collapse.
Police cordoned off nearby access to the fallen cliff and local electricity service said at least 450 homes were left without power. Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee said he has not received reports of injuries or deaths and engineers were on the ground to assess any damage. “It’s clearly not a state of civil emergency at the present time,” he said. The service of cable car in Christchurch was halted after the quake, according to Shu Pei, a Chinese resident in the city. The University of Canterbury evacuated its Christchurch campus as part of normal safety precautions but there were no reports of damage, a spokesperson said. The quake struck just a week before the fifth anniversary of a deadly 6.3-magnitude. –Business Standard



Strong 5.1 magnitude earthquake strikes Oklahoma – series of aftershocks ripple through state The Extinction Protocol

Quake Oklahoma
February 2016FAIRVIEW, OklahomaA big earthquake rattled residents throughout Central and Northern Oklahoma Saturday morning. Just after 11:00 a.m., several viewers called in to report the earthquake shaking their homes and businesses. The 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck at approximately 11:07 a.m. Its epicenter was located 17 miles northwest of Fairview, 39 miles east of Woodward, and 44 miles west of Enid. It was less than a mile deep. Multiple aftershocks were reported Saturday afternoon in the area including magnitudes of 3.9, 3.7, 3.6, 3.5, 3.1 and 3.0. At 11:17 a.m., a 3.9 magnitude struck in the same area. It was about two and a half miles deep. At 11:44 a.m., a 3.1 magnitude struck in the same area. It was almost seven miles deep. At 12:21 p.m., a 3.5 magnitude earthquake struck. It was about eight miles deep.
At 2:18 p.m., a 3.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded. It was more than three miles deep. At 6:32 p.m., a 3.7 earthquake was reported. It was about three miles deep. At 10:13 p.m., a 3.6 magnitude quake was felt. It was about three miles deep. At this time, there are no reports of damages or injuries associated with the earthquakes. Three other earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or higher were reported in other parts of the state. At 11:25 a.m., a 3.1 quake struck about five miles north, northwest of Medford, 32 miles north of Enid and 97 miles north of Oklahoma City. It was more than one mile deep. At 2:55 p.m., a 3.2 earthquake was reported about 19 miles south of Alva, 45 miles west of Enid and 97 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. It was more than four miles deep.


Guatemala’s fire volcano, Fuego, spews ash on nearby towns The Extinction Protocol

Fuego Volcano
February 2016GUATEMALAA restive volcano near Guatemala’s capital spewed ash on nearby towns Wednesday, including on a colonial-era city popular with tourists, officials said. The overnight eruption of Fuego Volcano – whose name means “fire” in Spanish -sent ash billowing up to five kilometers (three miles) into the sky and rivers of lava up to two kilometers long, according to Guatemala’s Volcanology Institute. Light tremors were also felt up to 25 kilometers away.
Strong gusts of wind could carry the clouds of “fine ash particles” to Guatemala City, 45 kilometers distant, said David de Leon, a spokesman for the government’s disaster coordination service. But thus far authorities were maintaining a yellow alert and were not ordering evacuations. However schools in the vicinity were ordered closed. De Leon said the ash had so far fallen on three towns — including Antigua Guatemala, a small, UNESCO-listed city dating back nearly five centuries and which served as the capital until the 18th century. Antigua’s Spanish colonial history and many language schools are a draw for foreign tourists. Fuego Volcano is 3,763 meters (12,346 feet) high and has been active for a long while. In February 2015, it erupted powerfully, prompting an alert and the closure of Guatemala City’s airport. –9News


Nature-Inspired Rugs Transform Your Home Into a Natural Landscape EcoWatch


Kehayoglou creates stunning patchworks that resemble natural landscapes, including...


So You’re a Sun Worshipper But Worry About Skin Cancer … Here’s What You Need to Know EcoWatch


We know that sun exposure can cause skin cancer, but we also know that...


Mexico: Residents Blockade Construction Site Entrance Earth First! Newswire

from Milenio

translated by Earth First! Journal

cerro-de-loma-largaSan Pedro Garzas Garcia–Neighbors of the Fuente del Valle  colony in San Pedro blockaded the street in peaceful protest against the construction of multi-family units on the hills of the Cerro de Loma Larga mountain. The construction threatens the environment and the natural resources of this residential area, argue residents who shut off the entrance to the construction site.

A statement released expresses their worry about future land-dwellers, “Property owners and friends who make up this colony, we gather here together against those that threaten what little green space we have left which protect our families and are for future generations.

Those present claim that the Urban Development Plan forbade construction of apartment towers but it...


The Ultimate in Off-Grid Transportation: Mini-Fleet-in-a-Box EcoWatch


"Mini-Fleet-in-a-Box" comes with four of the company's electric cargo motorcycles nestled inside a...


10 Health Benefits of Adding Honey to Your Diet EcoWatch


Since ancient times, honey has been used as both a food and a ...


Epic Battle Begins Over Scalia’s Vacant Supreme Court Seat EcoWatch


Within hours of the news of Scalia's death, high-profile Republicans all issued statements arguing that...


150,000 Penguins Die After Huge Iceberg Blocks Route to Sea EcoWatch


An estimated 150,000 Adélie penguins living in Cape Denison, Antarctica, have died after a...


There’s no such thing as a coincidence… Head Space

There is a formula for proof – “Mass delusion is an important tool of oppressors because they can’t survive free expression. “ “Only when we stop being afraid, can we even begin to imagine what it means to truly be free.” “The most common characteristic of all police states is intimidation by surveillance. Citizens know […]

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Sunday, 14 February


U.S. Northeast Entombed in Ice Fire Earth

Deep freeze plagues U.S. northeast A bitterly cold airmass has invaded the eastern U.S this weekend bringing the coldest temperatures of the season. Gusty winds will combine with these cold temperatures to create dangerous wind chills well below zero in many parts of the Northeast. Meanwhile, a developing storm in the Plains will bring wintry […]


Severe M5.7 earthquake hits Christchurch, New Zealand The Watchers » Latest articles

A large and shallow earthquake registered by New Zealand's GeoNet as M5.7 hit 15 km east of Christchurch, New Zealand at 00:13 UTC (13:13 local time) on February 14, 2016. The agency is reporting a depth of 15 km (9.3 miles). USGS is reporting M5.8 at a depth of...... Read more »


Significant Earthquakes Strike Oklahoma and Christchurch, NZ Fire Earth

M 5.1 quake rattles Fairview, OK Centered at 36.490°N, 98.741°W, about 33km (21mi) NW of Fairview, the induced event occurred at a [signature] depth of 7.7 km, USGS/EHP reported. At least 14 aftershocks/related events have occurred in the region, as of posting. The quake was third largest recorded shock to strike Oklahoma. At least 941 […]


Zika spreads like wildfire, and there are more questions than answers CHANGING TIMES

_88082024_zika_virus_past_present_624_01022016The Zika virus is spreading like wildfire in Brazil and other countries of South America, and is causing international alarm. The symptoms of the virus itself are usually relatively mild and it is suspicions that Zika may be causing complications after infection that are causing the most concern.

However, some specialists have cast doubt on the suspected link between Zika (ZIKV) and the birth defect microcephaly, saying there could be other reasons for the increase in microcephaly cases in northern Brazil.

It is the suspicion that Zika is causing microcephaly that prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a global health emergency.

It is also believed that Zika may be to blame for an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), in which the body’s immune system attacks peripheral nerves. The syndrome can cause devastating paralysis, and can be fatal.

Colombian health officials say that three people who died after contracting GBS were infected with the Zika virus.

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier urges caution, however, and says the connection between Zika and GBS has not yet been proven.

The Venezuelan authorities report that three people have died from complications related to the Zika virus and officials in Brazil are investigating three deaths that they also think may be Zika-related.

There is now active local transmission of the Zika virus in 33 countries and territories, mostly in the Americas, and there are millions of reported cases.


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Saturday, 13 February


Arms, agribusiness, finance and fossil fuels: the four horsemen of the neoliberal Apocalypse The Ecologist

The world is in the grip of a structural war against people, land, economies and ecosystems, writes Colin Todhunter. It is being waged by a quartet of organised criminal interests bent on monopolizing energy, money, food and violence across the globe. But a deep-rooted resistance against their 'neoliberal' doctrine of death and destruction is fighting back.


In the footsteps of Gandhi: an interview with Vandana Shiva The Ecologist

Vandana Shiva is more than just a leading scientist, author and campaigner on green issues and anti-globalisation, writes Scott London. She is also the most prominent of Mahatma Ghandi's intellectual heirs, and in this interview, she discusses how this led her to be an outspoken voice on such crucial environmental issues as seed legacy, biopiracy and economic injustice.

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Friday, 12 February


Why Norway may open up its spectacular Lofoten archipelago to oil and gas firms The Ecologist

The Lofoten peninsula Norway’s Arctic North is not just stunningly beautiful. It's also home to the world’s largest deep water coral reef and full of wildlife. So why is the government saying it will have to be opened up to the oil and gas industry? Never mind the country's warm words on environment and climate change, writes Joseph Dutton. It's fossil fuels that rule the roost.


Heavy metal poisoning in Scotland's beached whales The Ecologist

High levels of toxins mercury and cadmium have been found in all organs of the whales recently beached on Scotland's North Sea coast, including the brain. The research shows that rising mercury levels in the oceans leads to toxic stress in the long-lived marine mammals.

Wednesday, 10 February


New Zealand rocked by earthquake measuring 5.7 magnitude The Extinction Protocol

NZ Quake
February 2016NEW ZEALANDNew Zealand’s capital city Wellington was rocked by 5.7 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, according to the country’s earthquake monitoring service. The quake’s epicenter was 35 km southeast of St Arnaud, a small town in the north of the country’s South Island, at a depth of 62 km, according to Geonet’s website. Reuters witnesses felt shaking in Wellington, which has a population of about 450,000. There were no initial reports of damage or injury.
Earthquakes are common in New Zealand, whose two islands lie along the Australia-Pacific tectonic plate boundary. A shallow 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated the South Island’s Canterbury region in February 22, 2011, resulting in nearly 200 deaths and leveling Christchurch, the country’s second-largest city. –AFR

Crisis of the Ages


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