Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Trends in global carbon emissions

 Having been distracted by the issues of democracy,  of conflict, and community development, I want to return to the central crisis of Global warming and Climate Change.

If we accept that human intervention is the cause of climate change, then we must recognize that human behaviour has to change. The increase in CO2 and methane emissions is the direct result of human enterprises, in the form of generators, furnaces, engine combustion.

The EC Joint Research Centre have recently presented a report in collaboration with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency looking at the trends in Global CO2 Emissions.[November 2013]
The report makes it clear how difficult it is to identify such emissions and how to present findings that tell governments and corporations what is going on in terms of the pollution of the atmosphere, and creation of climate change and global warming. The researches indicate that while CO2 emissions are at their highest level, there is evidence that the levels are lower in the ‘developed world’; [that more is less.]
The trends are based on measurements taken in 2012. The actual global emissions were 34.5 billion tonnes, which was an increase of 1.4% over 2011, but was significantly less than the annual increase of 2.9% since 2000. [more is less].
The report noted that there was a global shift to more renewable energy, and increased energy saving along with less intensive fossil-fuel activities: oil gas, coal.
The report did not focus only on global trends, it also told us about regional developments. CO2 emissions increased in China [6.3%], India [7%], and Japan [6%], and decreased in the USA [4%], the EU [1.6%], Russia[1%].
The increases in carbon emissions in China for 2012 did represent a decrease compared to the 10% annual growth since 2000. This decrease was the result of the reductions in the generation of electricity from coal, and increases in the use of  hydro-power.
The decrease in carbon emissions in the USA is the result of  the use of more gas [shale gas]. The decrease is significant, given that  the USA  has the highest emissions levels in the world!
The decrease of emissions in the 27 countries of the EU are the direct result of  the economic recession and the reduction in the consumption of  oil and gas.
The report concluded that while there was a global shift from the use of  coal to gas, to bio-mass, and the development of carbon capture systems, there was a decrease of nuclear power in the face of the Fukushima disaster.
It was noteworthy that  renewable energy from hydropower, solar panels, wind mills, and bio fuels was increasing, at last !
Will there be continuous decreases in CO2 emissions over the next decade?
An important step is for the increasing use of gas: shale gas , LNG.
High prices of coal and gas will effect the fuel mix of public utilities.
A prolonged recession in the EU will reduce the use of fossil fuels.
A change to a service based economy in China will reduce the production of electricity by coal.
Whatever is happening to the levels of carbon emissions, the particles of carbon dioxide  continue to rise. In 1990 there were 355particles of CO2 per million particles . In May 2013 this had increased to 400 ppm.

. Ted Trainer, of the University of New South Wales, in his analysis, published in The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, (October 2008) argued that once the concentration of carbon dioxide and other gases has reached 450 parts per million,  the greenhouse problem cannot be solved without large scale reductions in the volumes of economic production and consumption.

He asserts that the greenhouse problem cannot be solved within a society committed to free market capitalism and affluent living standards, maximum levels of economic output, and economic growth.  Ted Trainer, has been arguing for half a century that consumer societies are fundamentally unsustainable. He argues that the alarming greenhouse/ energy/ equity problems now threatening us cannot be solved within any capitalist/consumer society but require a vast and radical transition to very different economic, political and value systems and structures. A simpler way is the only way forward. We must drastically reduce economic production and consumption. Is it possible to stop climate change and environmental pollution if we stop the emissions of heat trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane? A report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2009, proposes that it is too late and that it will not be possible to stop climate change and environmental pollution. Many people who worry about global warming hope that once emissions of heat-trapping gases decline, the problems they cause will quickly begin to abate. Now researchers are saying that such hope is ill founded, at least with regard to carbon dioxide. Because of the way carbon dioxide persists in the atmosphere and in the oceans, and the way the atmosphere and the oceans interact, patterns that are established at peak levels will produce problems like inexorable sea level rise and Dust-Bowl-like droughts for at least a thousand years. According to this view, the damage has already been done!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


Nozomi Hayase raises a great number of issues about the crisis of democracy in an  article in ROARmag. October 11. I want to examine the implications of some of the issues, and place them in a wider context.

The development of ‘existentialism’ as a philosophy and psychology has given rise to the assertion of individualism, and the expression of selfishness, and personal desires, needs, and wants as paramount.
Nozomi Hayase argues that the agencies of governments and corporations, in association with the media, are involved in the manipulation of individuals and their desires, needs, emotions, drives, ambitions. As a result of these actions there has been an increasing assertion of individual autonomy through the egotistical self; the existential self: what she has called the ‘empty self’. The empty self is filled by the rewards and punishments, the propaganda and projections of the agencies of control, government, manufacture, production, news, magazines, television, video.

But at the same time, the expression of existentialism, and individualism has been countered by the growing awareness of the essentials of social interaction, and community action. I want to argue that community development is as important as individual autonomy!

In the future we need to liberate ourselves from the delusion and fantasy of autonomy and social independence by re-affirming our sense of community, interdependence, social interaction. We will have to discover who we are? and what  we want? Many communities are discovering what they have to do together to gain freedom of expression, and control over  governance .

The crisis of democracy today is that voters have come to realise that many of the people they have voted to be their representatives are serving their own interests and sacrificing the electorate to corrupt and illegal agendas. The emergence of the demands for ‘real democracy’ arise from the demands to be directly involved in their governance. For these demands to be met, it will be necessary for the establishment of active communities with the skills to enact the government of their locality, as well as their country. The skills necessary will include organizing meetings, agendas, discussion, negotiation, compromise, decision-making, planning and setting priorities. A ‘real democracy’ will involve the rejection of the central powers of the State, including civil servants and military forces. However, recent events in Egypt have shown how difficult this will be! 
President Obama and the USA are taken by Nozomi as examples of the totalitarian state pursuing dangerous, illegal, corrupt, and unconstitutional agendas. The murder of citizens in Syria since 2011 reveals that a military totalitarian government  can stifle any attempts at liberation by communities.
What is the nature of power in the USA? The recent embargo of the US government’s budget and the refusal by Congress to approve the  funding of any of the government’s plans brings into question the nature of the power of the President. If the President was a dictator, he would have ordered the military forces into the Congress to arrest all Representatives and Senators. Clearly the government is not totalitarian!  It can be easily blocked by the Congress. However one has to worry about the values of the Representatives and Senators.
State of the Union

The US government is one of the members of the G 8/20/G50 groups of trading partners. They have all been subjected to the consequences of the global banking fraud as led by Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan as well as Lehmans and Royal Bank of Scotland along with a multitude of banks and hedge funds across the world. Why haven’t governments prosecuted ‘banksters’ for fraud? Whereas they have adopted ‘austerity’ strategies that in effect  punish their citizens!
The G20 and the UN Security Council and NATO have all taken global  actions to stop traitors and terrorists. The US is one of many countries, including UK, Germany, China, Russia, India, that are taking direct action to prevent terrorism.                                          
 We have to find out who are carrying out dangerous and illegal actions against their own citizens, or the citizens of other countries? Is it the elected representatives? Or the civil servants? Or the military officers? Or the security agents?

My impression from newspapers in the USA is that ‘fascism’ is alive and well in the USA. Despite the Civil Rights movement, Afro-American citizens are still discriminated against in employment and education. Native Americans are segregated into reserves and deprived of any equality of opportunity.  Migrants from Mexico and other parts of Central America are subject to human rights abuses. Many states in the USA  have passed anti-migrant laws, and place migrants in prison for minor offences. The abuse of civil liberties occurs across the US. The Governor of California recently repealed rules that prevented migrants from having driving licences, and being able to drive. Migrants in California can now drive cars, trucks, motorbikes on the public highways.
In the face of increasingly oppressive military regimes across the ‘developing world’, and the flight of refugees/migrants to the EU, the USA, the AU, Russia, the UK, Australia, Turkey, the ‘developed world’, we see a wave of  rigorous anti-migrant legislation, stopping them from seeking a better life in democratic regimes.

Finally, we may want to have a ‘free press’ whereby journalists should be able to investigate and reveal corruption and violence against citizens. But in the UK the Levenson Enquiry 2012/13 indicated that the rights of journalists to intrude into the private lives of families who have suffered tragedy and loss, such as the McCanns and the disappearance of their daughter; or individuals who are of minor interest to the public; must be carefully regulated. Evidence to the Enguiry revealed an extensive network of hacking, tapping, spying on families so as to generate enough information to create a story! In the UK, a free press has been brought into question by the behaviour of the journalists and their editors.

Monday, 7 October 2013




October saw the publication of two significant reports concerning climate change, the warming of the oceans, the release of  greenhouse gases, the emission of  pollutants. 
The first report was the 5th. Assessment Report,  published by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] . 
The second report was produced by IPSO, [the International Programme on the State of the Ocean].

Working Group 1 of the IPCC declared that there was clear evidence that the Earth climate system  is warming:
1. the oceans and the atmosphere have warmed;
2. amounts of snow and ice have decreased;
3. Sea level has risen;
4. greenhouse gases have increased;
5. heat waves have increased in Europe, Asia, Australia;
6. the troposphere has warmed since 1950 and become more disturbed by convection.

Their work revealed that ocean warming leads to increases in the energy stored in the climate system. The upper 75m of the oceans have risen in temperature, giving rise to greater evaporation, and increased salinity. Since 1971 the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass. Glaciers have shrunk. Arctic sea ice, and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover decreased. Permafrost will reduce.

Ocean warming has resulted in glacier mass loss, and ocean thermal expansion.  Sea level has risen every year since 1850. Working Group 1 suggests that ocean warming will continue during the 21st Century and the heat will penetrate to deep ocean and effect the circulation, and initiate changes in the climate system.

The researches of the IPCC indicate that the atmospheric concentrations  of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels not seen for 800,000 years. What is more, the increases since 1750 are due to human activity. The continued emission of greenhouse gases are the result of industrial processes by humans.

IPSO declared that ocean degradation is greater and faster than previously thought.
IPCC noted that the global ocean is absorbing much of the warming as well as unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide.
IPSO reported that there are decreasing levels of oxygen in the ocean as the result of climate change; nitrogen run-off; chemical pollution; rampant over fishing.
IPSO found that the ocean is subject to
7. De-oxygenation - the result of increases in coastal hypoxia with eutrophication; that is, lack of oxygen with too much organic matter such as sewage
8. Acidification - due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide and the lack of calcification resulting in the extinction of coral, and loss of bio-diversity;

9. Warming - leading to reduced seasonal ice zones; disappearance of sea ice; increased venting of methane from the Arctic seabed; increased anoxic and hypoxic events :too little oxygen associated with pollution; stratification of the ocean and temperature zones; oxygen depletion;
10. Over fishing undermines the survival of key species. World fish populations are unsustainably exploited.

IPSO identified actions that must be taken if ocean degradation is to be controlled.
11. If  temperature rise is to be controlled, global carbon dioxide emissions must be limited and reduced to 350 ppm at least;
12. Fishing must be managed so as to control the catch. Small scale fisheries are to be implemented;

13. the UN should implement structures for the governance of the high seas. For example, seas like the Baltic Sea should  be kept clear and clean, and not  left to become increasingly polluted, filling up with sewage!

The IPSO report has categorically placed the state of the Ocean as a key factor in planning for the conservation of the natural environment.[www.stateoftheocean.org].

Both reports have made it clear that while there are many factors in play in the climate system, human influence is paramount in generating green house gas emissions, and raising temperatures; as well as creating sewage pollution and depriving waters of oxygen and reducing biodiversity.

The researchers acknowledge that there are natural processes and cycles that contribute to changes in the climate system. But their effects are magnified by the consequences of  human activity across the globe. Any rises in temperature are increased by the emission of carbon dioxide. The degradation of the levels of oxygen in the oceans is exaggerated by the accumulation of sewage and bio-pollutants in river deltas, coastal zones, and inland waters.

The reports assert that the cycles of  rapid climate change are the result of human behaviour in the troposphere.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013



I am a European citizen, who came  to live in Greece in 2006.
I want to argue that the rise of   the Fascist movement  in Greece has been directly associated  with the bankruptcy of the Greek Government, the economic collapse of industry, and the imposition of  austerity.
During the time that I have lived in Greece, it has been in a state of humiliation: a ‘bankrupt’ appealing for bailouts to enable the Treasury to confront its debts, and to organize itself to become solvent. And yet at the same time rejecting the help offered as unnecessary interference! leading to civil disorder.
Its creditors, the  so-called Troika [the EU, the IMF, the World Bank] have insisted on the adoption of austerity measures and the severe reduction of spending, and costs.
As a result of spending cuts, many workers have lost their jobs.  Civil servants have not only lost their jobs, they have lost their privileges. Anyone who still has a job has to come to terms with lower wages and no pensions.      
During this time, the privileged elites [the rich and millionaires] have been able to freely move their monies from one investment centre to another so as to protect their wealth and to maximize their profits. They have been actively avoiding paying tax by placing their money in tax havens. They have been the direct targets of the Troika, who are determined to increase tax income for the Greek government and the EU.
During this time, these privileged elites have pursued  campaigns against the EU, the IMF, and the World Bank. They have been concerned to emphasise the viability of  Greek entrepreneurs, and the superiority of the Greek culure. Economic collapse has prompted political nationalism.
In a society in which the government has failed, and gone bankrupt, several times, and been subject to constant criticism and ridicule by the Germans, and French, Spanish, Italians, these campaigns have led to the emergence of Fascism against the Socialists, and  anti-German attitudes. The collapse of employment and the rise of unemployment within many Greek communities has given rise to anti-immigration politics and racist actions against any ‘foreigners’.
The development of fascism in Greece is directly linked to the imposition of austerity and the punishment of the bankrupts! It has been further emphasized by the necessity for the coalition ‘to do as they have been told’! if they want to be given the bailout loans.

In the last few days, the ruling coalition has moved against, and arrested the MPs of the new Fascist Party, Golden Dawn.
Their actions raise a number of issues concerning the nature of democracy in Greece.

If one is living in a society ruled according to a legal framework in which anyone and any group is free to stand for Parliament, and say what they want, and do what they wish, then it is to be expected, even acceptable, that Nazis/fascists/communists/racists/anti-equalitarian/ anti-homosexuals and any extreme group will be voted to Parliament. It would be normal for such groups as ‘Golden Dawn’, a nazi/fascist group to have representation.

But Greece is not that sort of Democracy. It is a constituent member of the European Community, the European Union.
The EU has set up a legal framework in which right-wing and left -wing groups are formally illegal, and any support for the Nazis, the purveyors of hatred and war, is prohibited. Expressions of Nazi ideas were prohibited in Europe following the defeat of the German Nazis after 1945, and the persecution of the Jews, Romanis, Slavs in the Holocaust [1933-1945].  Any political group must not express Nazi ideas-even though they are known to support National Socialism. It is to be expected that the 'Golden Dawn' will deny being a Nazi party - even though all their policies are Nazi!
Greece is intended to be a democracy in which all official political groups are open, democratic,  power sharing and not war-mongers. The emergence of Nazi parties is not to be allowed.
The ‘Golden Dawn’ party should not have come into existence. However……..
It came into existence…….. in the wake of  the bankruptcy  of the country; the imposition of austerity by the EU led by the Germans, French, Italians, Spanish.; the humiliation of the peoples of Greece through debt, and unemployment.

On reflection, it has become clear that the governments of the day [2005 -2013] did not feel confident to rule a country through economic collapse in the face of  the opposition of  political  nationalism. On the other hand, by a twist of fate, the governments have managed  the economic collapse  by organizing the support of political nationalism by means of  the help of  the Golden Dawn, a Nazi party. The Golden Dawn was supposed to be part of the solution but have become the problem! when that party  refused to cooperate, and  started to attack and murder its opposition, openly declaring its criminal intentions.

The ways in which the coalition governments have incorporated the fascists into the government, leads us to ask whether the coalition governments of Greece are fit for purpose? In operating a democratic government by promoting right wing fascism has threatened the very basis of representative democracy.
The next steps it has taken has challenged the whole concept of  voter representation. The present government has  arrested  and imprisoned  fascist MPs. In this way it has re-structured the House of Representatives and returned to the days of the Junta when MPs were voted for by the electorate, and then further selected by military forces.
If the coalition government had ruled according to democracy then the rights of citizens would have been upheld and extreme repressive groups kept out of Parliament The fascists would not be allowed to form political parties. Even now, in their attempts to remove extremist politics, by arresting MPs, the coalition has resorted to anti-democratic actions and called into question their ‘fitness to rule’.
In a democracy the arbiters of power  are the voters, not the voted.
But we have to confront the ‘catch 22’ situation that is operating in Greece at the moment whereby anti-democratic groups are well organized to gain democratic power  and challenge  the coalition government, and render the country bankrupt, If the coalition called an election now  it  may  have to confront more rigid  austerity, and more street violence!
The coalition government has to work to resolve the financial future of Greece without sacrificing the people to the demands of creditors.
Alternative economics is essential for a viable future.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013



In  recent articles about ‘democracy’, ROARmag. has emphasized the concept of ‘autonomy’: as an expression of independence from the state or the government or the elites. Never mind that 'autonomy' is often used in relation to individual behaviour, asserting the independence of the individual from the group.
 I want to focus on what was called 'community politics' in which it is vital that the group has a strong sense of identity, and the individuals interact, collaborate, cooperate
There have been attempt for several decades, as in North Africa and Southern Europe, and the countries of South America, to foster community politics and community action  with a view to limit the powers of  the elites across the world, and liberate poor minorities. In every case community dissent has been greeted by the armed force of the military or the police  Direct action and direct democracy depend upon the pursuit of dependence, coalition, collaboration, equality, not discrimination nor inequality.

During the 1960’s and 1970’s  there was the development and the rapid expansion of the Civil Rights Movement. In the USA and UK, the African communities, [the Afro-Americans, and the Afro-Caribbeans,] along with their allies, organized marches, protests, riots, direct action; occupations as sit-ins; boycotts, all designed to express their dissent against discrimination, and segregation, and to emphasise community life and their rights as citizens.

The Civil Rights Act was passed in the USA in 1964 following extensive campaigns by Malcolm X [who was assassinated in 1965] and Martin Luther King[assassinated in 1968]
The Race Relations Acts in the UK in 1965; and in 1976, were passed in the wake of civil disobedience, and civil disorder.
Civil Rights, when applied to the UK, was exercised  particularly in Northern Ireland, to support the Catholics against the Protestants and put a stop to community militancy and terrorism.

The Civil Rights Movement gave expression to the cycles of struggles over inequality, and poverty amongst the ‘racial’ communities. In the USA the discrimination was based on ‘skin-colour’ and applied to  black not white citizens. In the UK, the hostilities were also about skin colour, but the ‘black’ communities were of African/Indian/Bangledeshi/Pakistani/ Caribbean origins, and all British Commonwealth citizens, following the 1948 British Nationality Act.
In all cases the legislation is demanding that ‘the whites’ stop discriminating against ‘the blacks’; and men against women.
Sex discrimination was, and still is, endemic to all communities, and was seen as part of the equal opportunities agenda.  It was part of the Civil Rights Act 1964/1968, and the Equal Pay Act 1963 in the USA. It was made illegal in the UK in 1975.
These examples indicate that community politics had been common and dependent upon the intervention of governments. Racial and sexual discrimination was rampant and was not going to go away. It is clear that the Civil Rights movement supported the emergence of social movements in general and community politics in particular.

The ROAR Collective wants to examine the ways in which the Real Democracy Movement is striving to establish independence [autonomy] from the ‘state’.
The movement has been involved in a cycle of struggles over poverty and inequality, capitalism and banking, oppression and military  force. In Syria, the struggle against the state has been a struggle by the majority Sunnis against the Armed forces of the Alawite minorities..  In Egypt, the struggle has been against the military dictatorship. In Libya, the struggle became a battle against NATO. In Tunisia and Algeria the poor rose in protest against the rich elites.
ROAR  identifies a global project of cooperation, mutuality, equality, community, and  all attempts to transform democratic systems into community politics. The Arab Spring in North Africa has led to military action in the face of community action, the most extreme form of which has been the gassing of citizens.
Real Democracy is about community action, community decisions, direct democracy, direct action, cooperation, social inclusion, and dialogue, and when necessary, occupation of public and private spaces which should be available for the community.
Any movement for ‘real democracy’ will be ‘anti-capitalist’. Capitalism is elitist, intended to enable the rich elites to get richer, and to exploit workers for lower wages. It is designed to promote inequality, to maximize profits, as well as to increase exploitation of raw materials. Capitalist systems will lead to the destruction of the biosphere, the pollution of the atmosphere, and to climate change.
Community action that is anti-hierarchy, anti-capitalist, anti-elitist , will be the politics of  dissent, and will become the target of those in power!
The model of Real Democracy promoted by ROAR is enacted by communal assemblies. All citizens of the local communities will be able to vote on decisions and priorities for their governance. Within this form of community politics, all property will be owned by the local communities and allocated for community use. Real Democracy will be collaborative, collective, cooperative, and expressed as community action. Communal enterprises will be operated as ‘cooperatives’.
In the discussion about ‘Real Democracy’, it is asserted that the citizens must practice what they preach. For example, a participatory democracy must be participatory.  All citizens must be able to vote.  Of course, it is clear that these ROAR proposals assume a basic model of democracy which is participatory, cooperative, collaborative.    A Civil Rights democracy must exercise the civil rights of all citizens: black and white; male and female; Christian and others; and so on. One group must not act on behalf of another. Each community group will be directly involved in the discussions and decisions
An important aspect of this is that citizens must be able to vote ‘for’ and ‘against’ any proposals without fear of penalty. The politics of dissent is acted out in peace. Another aspect, is that community politics will be based on majority votes, not unilateral votes The minority may want to overturn the decision; Or the majority to get rid of the minority. But they need to organize dialogues, and negotiations in cooperation. Community politics is not a system in which all citizens must vote collectively at all times. Nor one in which a majority vote gives the majority absolute power.!
But if we are to explore the possibilities of the development of  democracy [or what has been called ‘real democracy’], then all citizens must be entitled to decide how to organize their democratic communities. An important part of the concept of democracy is that all citizens are involved in their governance. This can also mean that they are entitled to decide how they are governed. At the moment, the accepted model is ‘representative democracy’ whereby the majority vote for a party, or an individual or local people. If the practice is participatory democracy, then the citizens are free to decide on how they are governed. If they do not want to be involved in the daily routines of committees, or assemblies, they can draw a lottery. Or volunteer. If the citizens are not free to choose what sort of democracy they want, what sort of system is that?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013



The essay written by Camilla Hansen , August 2013, [in NEW COMPASS/ in ROAR,] presents us with the crisis of representative democracy and the need to change the political system to promote democratic societies.

Her analysis indicates that an essential feature of ‘democracy’ is that the votes by the citizens should embody ‘political power’. It is direct, participatory, and gives voters the right to decide, and for their decisions to become laws and rules; priorities and policies.

At the moment, current systems of democracy allow some citizens to vote for others so as to empower them to represent their demands and act on their behalf.

In many places, the only form of direct ‘democracy’ has been the mass street protests, called the Arab Spring, whereby protesters have organized themselves to take votes as in a referendum, about key issues such as finance, austerity, poverty, wages, elections. The biggest street protests involving up to 30million people have been witnessed in Egypt, 2013, during which support was openly given to the military against the elected president.

Other forms of direct democracy, identified by Camilla, developed from popular assemblies in Venezuela, Brazil, Turkey and elsewhere, that enable citizens to meet, to discuss, to vote, and decide.

Municipal assemblies and neighbourhood assemblies and communal councils are designed for residents to participate in meetings, to discuss, to vote on the priorities of budgeting. In all these forms, the ‘votes’ of citizens are the expression of political power as transferred to them in their neighbourhoods from the central government. The citizens make the decisions and the governments carry out the projects.

These forms of democracy have emerged out of particular circumstances. But they are in opposition to other changes to political systems. Recent events across the world have shown that political systems are undergoing change, but not necessarily in any desired direction nor with any known consequences.

Mass street protests in Egypt did not resolve anything other than to confront citizens with armed forces and conflict on the streets and the death of hundreds of citizens. If they are to facilitate votes on priorities and projects, street protests need to be organized as decision-making events.

In contrast, the combination of a ruling minority group and military power in Syria has rendered elections, votes - in fact,  any form of democracy, beyond the pale.

In Greece, the results of national elections, and national bankruptcy, produced a regime that can rule only according to the demands of international agencies such as the IMF, the World Bank, the European Central Bank, and the EU. The demands of the citizens are ignored. What is worse, any action by the citizens to resolve the crisis is regarded by the government as rebellion or terrorism!

In Egypt, presidential elections have been disregarded by ‘the military’, and the elected president has been removed. The wishes of the electorate have been ignored. Any form of democracy can be rejected by the military junta. A state of emergency has been the normal state of political life.

A number of countries are subject to military controls, and democracy is not accepted. With the expulsion of the president, Egypt has returned to military rule, to join Fiji, North Korea, Burma, Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic.

While the demands for participatory democracy have increased, it has become normal practice for the so called 'international community'  to operate international institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, NATO along with the USA, the EU, to oversee the government of failing countries. Direct participatory democracy is suspect, likely to encourage opposition and turmoil

These changes, that have given rise to the organization of international agencies, represent the emergence of specific bureaucracies designed to rule and administer countries that have asked for help or are deemed to be in need of support. In these situations the organization of local assemblies is considered to be undesirable by those in power.

We have to confront the different demands for local democracy by local citizens, and the consequences of the mediation of diplomats and military forces in countries under stress and subject to international supervision by the UN or NATO.

At the moment, it seems that the pressures for changes in global political systems are operating in different directions: local and global. What is more, the international agencies, while imposing the wishes of the ‘international community’ declare that they want the failing countries to assert local democracy.

Saturday, 17 August 2013


Northern Ireland 2013/2014

 The Parades and marches of the Bands are the celebration of the Orange Order, [July 12] and the struggles of Sinn Fein.[August] They represent the Troubles between the Loyalists and the Republicans; the Protestants and the Catholics. Depending upon your point of view, they are ‘triumphalist’!

During this year confusing messages are being sent out across the world about the state of affairs in Northern Ireland.

First, Peter Robinson [First Minister] and Martin McGuinness [Second Minister] proudly declare the ‘conflict resolution’ skills of the members of the DUP and Sinn Fein in their debates at Stormont. They wish to promote’peace’.

Second, there is a constant concern that the votes of the Protestant Unionists will be outnumbered by those of the Catholic Republicans. There is a movement for the unification of the Unionist parties, as well as the Protestant churches, so as to secure their majority into the near future.

Already, in Belfast City Council there is a Republican majority. In December 2012, this Council majority voted to limit the Union Jack flag days from 365 to 19. The vote, and the removal of the flag, has been accompanied by regular protest demonstrations by Protestants in Belfast during this year. At the local level, it seems to be necessary to break links with the past!

Third, the Coalition government at Westminster show their confidence in the coalition Assembly at Stormont and arrange the G8 Summit on June 14/15/16 at Lough Erne, to be followed by an economic conference in October to promote the development of the industries of Northern Ireland. At an international level, it is essential to ‘keep the peace’.

The Queen visits Belfast on June 26/27 2013 to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee and meet the members of the Assembly and leaders of local communities. Such events would not have taken place ten years ago. It is important to remember that the Queen is not neutral. She is directly related to protestant King William of Orange, or King William III, and to the protestant royal family Saxe-Coburg of Germany. Her visit underlines the supremacy of the Protestant Church in England, as well as her position as the representative of the Orange Order in Europe. She represents the values of the Protestant, Loyalist, Unionists in Northern Ireland: they do not make up any threat to her. But sectarian peace has to operate so as to protect her from any risk of republican, catholic military action.

The governments of Westminster and Stormont are acutely aware of the need to police these events, and in response have spent 75 million GBP to bring 8000 extra police officers into Northern Ireland from the UK, so as to keep the peace.

Fourth, the official message from the administration at Stormont, and Westminster, is that the communities of Northern Ireland are at peace.

But the messages from the streets are different. The Orange Parades and Marching Bands of the week of July 12 have been organized to promote violence and attacks against the PSNI. In fact the Orange Parades have become more and more violent in 2010/2011/2012/2013. The more the Orange Men have felt under pressure, the more they have attacked the Republicans, and the Catholics on the street. At the same time, the Republican groups have continued to march and demonstrate and parade and fight: August 9/10/11/12. The government declares ‘conflict resolution’. The Loyalists declare a fight to the death of the Republicans.

Fifth, the key difference between now and ‘yesterday’ is that the British Army is not in occupation. But, the Loyalists continue to believe that they are losing their rights and privileges to the Republicans. These differences of perspectives are often revealed during the debates at Stormont between the Unionists and the Republicans; SinnFein and the Democratic Unionists. The Orange Order feels obliged to uphold the supremacy of the Protestants and reduce the significance of the Catholics. So as to control these patterns of hostility the efforts of the administration must be to maintain negotiation, and control any outbreaks of violence. ‘Conflict resolution’ must focus on cooperation, dialogue, debate, negotiation, compromise. Patterns of hostility between the many parties continue to require non-violent leadership. The administrations of Westminster and Stormont must remain resolute to keep the peace.

Northern Ireland is a classic example  of communities at peace and in conflict at the same time
The Belfast Agreement of 1998 put a stop to the ‘Troubles’, and led to the disarmament  of all the warring parties, and the withdrawal of the British Army.
But the elements of disagreement remain.  
The Protestants wanted to maintain the connection with the British government: the Catholics did not.
The Protestants wanted to be financed  by the British Government: the Catholics did not.
Parades and Marches in memory of the Orange Order, and the victories over the Catholics were regarded by the Unionist as essential. The office of Parades will allow the Assembly to supervise Parades.
Unionist Flags are to be displayed at will within the Unionist communities, and on all public buildings.The Stormont Agreement, 2014 set up a commission on Flags and emblems.
All communities want there to be investigations into the deaths of their families and friends during the ‘Troubles’ and prosecutions of the  perpetrators. The Assembly will set up historical  investigation units and carry out identification of the dead, and  arrange for their  memorial. If the investigations are to  be successful, information must be available A Commission for Information Retrieval will be set up by the Assembly and the Eire Department of Justice.
Protestant [Unionist] citizens want the Police Service, the PSNI, to be armed and fully equipped for their duties of the protection of the Unionist citizens. The Catholics[ the Nationalists] do not. Some citizens of Northern Ireland have re-armed; and threaten to shoot/bomb security forces.
During 2014 the British government  has made it clear that they do not intend to continue to provide the funding for the Northern Ireland Assembly and Civil Service.  This has meant that all expenditures  disapproved by Parliament will cease
The Assembly will have to cut spending.
The PSNI must reduce costs and expenses.
Recent debates in Parliament at Westminster revealed that 80% of the economy  of Northern Ireland is funded by the British government.
In the light of the attempts by the Coalition government to reduce the national debt, and reduce the deficit, and  ‘balance the books,’  Teresa Villiers, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has made it clear that the government is determined to cut costs, and to fine the Northern Ireland Assembly if they fail to meet their financial targets. The annual block grant will be altered according to the demands of the Treasury.
At the same time,the Coalition government has accepted that these cuts  will be difficult for the Assembly, and has agreed to offer a loan up to  GBP 2 billion .The Executive has demanded, that in future, they be able to fund their programmes by private  loans. Furthermore, they want to  be able to vary corporation tax from 20% to 12%, and so be able to attract investors into Northern Ireland,  in competition with Eire.
The arguments  on Welfare Reforms are actually a debate about spending cuts. The Health and Social Services, and the Police, have been directed by the UK Parliament to cut costs, as well as to reduce employees. But the cuts jeopardise the viability of the Northern Ireland government, faced by  threats from militant Nationalists in opposition to  Unionists.
The UK government has finally accepted that the effects of the ‘Troubles’ are on going. For example, it is still necessary to find ‘the disappeared’ : People who were victims and survivors have to be found and supported by a Mental Trauma Service;  and Family Support staff; as well as Historical Enquiries Units so as to find out who killed whom? when? where?
But, it is necessary for Northern Ireland to balance their budget. and get monies from private as well as public sources.
Some are arguing that the policies of austerity  being pursued by the UK government, will result in the unfolding of the Belfast Agreement, and the onset of violence following the armed campaigns by the paramilitary groups.
Nevertheless, the completion of the Stormont agreement  has been welcomed by others as a sign that politicians and communities are more able to negotiate and resolve differences about cultural  practices and historical events .Parades, Marches, and Flags have been a bone of contention for many decades. The Unionists and the Nationalists have negotiated and agreed a settlement.
The Unionists, as led by Peter Robinson, are  actively working to maintain their power base in the Stormont Assembly. As the Catholics visibly increase their numbers  in the light of increasing birth rates, so the available votes for the Nationalists gets bigger.
Peter Robinson, the First Minister, is working to unify the Unionist parties into one party in direct opposition to  Sinn Fein. In particular, he wants to link the Democratic Unionist party, with the Ulster Unionists,and Alliance party.
Sinn Fein has already gained a majority in the administration of the City of Belfast.

We see that the different political groups while they  negotiate for peace, also manoeuvre for power. These transactions  will lead to conflict.

Saturday, 6 July 2013


JULY 2013

The peoples of Egypt may be considered as comprising a coherent unified collection of communities. They comprise Nubians, Berbers, Arabs, who are followers of
Catholic-Christians, and other groups such as Jews, Greek Orthodox.
 For centuries they have struggled to thrive in the Sahara next to rivers, lakes, and oases.
They have built up a unique culture and art and culture that are regarded as among the wonders of the world. Egypt is key to global trade via the Suez Canal, and will be the concern of all trading nations. It is easy to forget that Egypt has been subject to French, British, Ottoman, USA controls and has rarely been free. Egypt was part of the British Empire as a protectorate until 1956; when the British forces withdrew, and General Nasser took control. Since this time there have been multiple coups. Over the last 200 years Egypt has been dependent on foreign aid from France, the UK, the USA, Russia. At this time, Egypt is best regarded as  a military state, a satellite of the USA, dependent on billions of dollars from the USA. Their leaders control the Military, and the military operate corporations in Egypt!

A number of commentators have tended to regard the protests and marches on the streets and in the squares of Cairo and Alexandria as the development of democracy in Egypt. But democracy depends upon more than marching and shouting. In fact, July 4 2013 witnessed the reassertion of military rule in Egypt, [associated with the support of the USA.] and the failure of representative democracy.

The previous four days of street protests had not opened the door to rule by the peoples. The protests had totally weakened President Morsi, and the Muslim Brotherhood, and enabled the military forces to capture and imprison the legally elected president and his key allies. The mass street protests created a vacuum into which the Armed Forces moved rapidly to organize a peaceful coup d’etat, and re-establish military rule. Egypt is a military state. It has the largest armed forces in Africa.

Egypt has been a satellite state of the USA since the Camp David Peace Treaty of 1979. The USA has provided military aid to Egypt. This aid has been up to $4 billion a year for a decade, and enabled Egypt to purchase tanks, combat aircraft, support weapons, along with technical expertise. The latest report from SIPRI indicates that in 2012, Egypt spent 6.5% of GDP on military equipment to make it the 11th largest armed force in the world.

EGYPT: military bureaucracy
Whatever happens in public, no matter how many marches took place, political power in Egypt lies with the military forces……the Army….. the Air force……the Navy…..as well as the police forces and security forces. The military did not approve of the rule of Morsi and have used the protests as the means to destroy democracy. During July 4 the military leaders supervised the initiation of a new President of their choosing, and a new cabinet. The efforts of the military forces have been cheered on by protestors in the squares and streets of central Cairo. The Army has set up a ‘technocrat government’. It is organized by those who are considered by the Armed Forces to be best qualified to rule the country. Egypt is no longer a democracy in which the electorate votes for president and representatives. It is a military bureaucracy.
The military coup has been welcomed by the USA, the UK, the EU.

What we do not know is what the people who voted for Morsi will do. How will they react to the dismissal of their President? They have shown by their interviews on the media that they consider their votes a waste of time in the face of military action.
On July 6th, there was evidence that these supporters of Morsi were willing to take direct action to reinstate the President.

The Egyptian military had worked carefully to identify with the millions of protesters in Cairo. There was no attempt to attack the protesters. They operated in the background, providing tacit approval for them. Once Morsi asserted that he was not going to listen to any of the protesters, he was caught in a trap, ready to be taken by the Army. The mass protests provided a door for the military to assume power as a ‘saviour’ from religious extremism.

What about the implications of the coup in Egypt for the stability of the rule of various governments with large Armed forces. For example, what if the Armed Forces of the USA, the countries of the EU, Russia, China. Japan, UK, among many countries in the world, decided that it was necessary to get rid of their present government? What would happen? How many governments are thinking about this possibility?

On June  30 2013, Egypt was ruled by the first Muslim President, elected freely and fairly by the majority of the electorate. On July 5 2013, the vote of the majority had been overturned and replaced by a military junta.
So we have to confront the reality that the mass protests, or what has been called ‘the Arab Spring’, did not have a mandate nor any stated manifesto and in fact were anti-democratic;
The protests enabled the expression of opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood;
And at the same time, expressed support for the Muslim Brotherhood;
supported Morsi as president;
and rejected Morsi;
promoted the assertion of military power and welcomed the coup d’etat; and the control by the USA;
cheered the removal of the elected government;
allowed the expression of sexual discrimination, and defended attacks on women by men in public demonstration;
the protests can be seen as the assertion of male dominance;
men using their ‘weapons’ to keep women in their place.

It is important to recognize that mass gatherings are not necessarily intended to express ideal objectives. They often demand a return to the old ways and old values!From the evidence, one could argue that the mass protests in Egypt were intended to reinstate a military junta; to
support the USA; eliminate any Muslim principles in government; assert the position of men in society, and deny the modernization of social behaviours. Of course, all these contradictions will be played out over the next years!

                         CONFLICT PREVENTION  

Friday, 10 May 2013


a public health threat

The Blacksmith Institute/GreenCross researchers report that in 2013/14 they identified 3000 sites of critical pollution, in 70 countries. They estimated that more than 200 million people globally are affected by toxic chemicals.
In their latest surveys they want to analyse the health effects of pollution.
Toxic pollution is a public health threat that causes respiratory diseases; cardiac problems; skin damage; cancers.
Exposure to Toxic pollution damages children most in situations when the open spaces and open ground are subject to particles of  lead, mercury; nuclear particles, phenols, manganese, zinc; and smoke, sulphuric acid.
When they are at play, the children are being poisoned.

The Blacksmith  Institute  identified the Most  Polluted Sites

Ghana: Agbogbloshie………...an e-waste dump where the cables of the electrical appliances are burnt to recover the metals inside  with resultant lead poisoning, and smoke pollution. 250000 people live in the area and are subject to pollution diseases.

Ukraine: Chernobyl…………...the site of a major release of  nuclear radiation, affecting up to 400 million people across Russia, Europe, Arabia, China. The 20 km exclusion zone remains empty.

Indonesia: Citarum River Basin ……….. where the local mining and smelting activities poison the river with lead, manganese, zinc. The polluted river is used as the source of drinking water by up to 9 million people. Many of them will suffer diarrhea and vomiting.

Russia: Dzerhinsk………….site of largest chemical works producing many tons of chemical waste, including dioxins and phenols, leading to water/soil/air pollution. The lungs and organs of the local populations are so polluted that life expectancy is less than 50 years.It is identified as  the most polluted city in the world

Bangladesh: Hazaribagh……..this site is well known as the base of leather making and the operation of tanneries. The work involves the use and pollution of water supplies; as well as the poisoning of air by unfiltered smoke. 250000 people live and work in the area

Zambia:Kabwe…………The copperbelt has been the site of mining and smelting copper/lead/gold for 100 years with the poisoning of the air, the ground. the soil,  the water and the workers.

Indonesia: Kalimantan…...many of the local people, up  to 43000,  spend time mining and smelting gold.
The processes involve the use of mercury which poisons the workers, their families, the air, the river waters, the soil. All efforts to stop this work have failed, simply because the gold is a major source of income.

Argentina: Matanza Riachuelo…….The river basin houses many factories making chemicals, and lead and zinc. The factories drain their waste into the river, which is drunk by the local residents all the way to Buenos Aires.

Nigeria: Niger River Delta………...Nigeria has been the source of oil for many years.One of the principal drilling zones is the Niger River delta. As elsewhere, oil spillages are common place, polluting the river water, ground water, the soil. The extensive population of the Delta takes its drinking water from the polluted river and suffer the consequences.

Russia: Norilsk………this is the site of a large and complex metal smelting zone. The processes eject  huge quantities of copper, nickel, sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere and constitute a public health threat to all the 130,000 inhabitants who suffer respiratory diseases, as well as a wide range of cancers.

Traffic pollution

In the UK there is an Environment Committee of Parliament. They have recently issued a report stating that air pollution kills 29,000 people per year. The committee asserts that  the air pollution is generated by traffic emissions. Traffic exhausts emit ammonia, nitrogen, sulphur dioxide.
Their research has indicated that the most polluted areas  are traffic junctions/traffic lights/ all points where traffic ‘idles’ generating exhaust fumes.
They have discovered  that children are most affected by traffic pollution. In particular, schools that are near points of   greatest traffic pollution find that their pupils suffer from respiratory problems, lung cancers.
The Committee is concerned to encourage the Government  to actively support the production of low emission vehicles.
They have rejected the previous promotion of diesel engines on the grounds of recent research findings that ‘diesel’ produces excessive traffic pollution, smoke and  exhaust fumes. The committee is attempting to persuade the Departments of Transport to fit more efficient exhaust systems to buses, lorries, and cars. Of course, the design of new engines and exhausts will take several years. It is highly likely that drivers who don’t want to pay will keep their old, unregulated vehicles.

As the oil companies prepare for the exhaustion of many oil fields, they have taken to Fracking. This involves the injection of water into the layers of rock that house the oils and gas which  flow under pressure along  the drill pipes to be captured at the well head. The residual oil and gas has been found in sands and shales in  sedimentary basins across the world.. The prospects of income from the new sources of hydro-carbons has been too great for many governments. For example, the refusal of local authorities in the UK to licence ‘fracking’, has been ignored by the Prime Minister,and his cabinet, The PM has adopted the policy of allowing oil companies  to search and exploit oil shales and sands in return for the payment of licence fees.
Politicians have adopted the arguments that ‘fracking’ does not pollute the environment. Such a view is contrary to all the evidence.
In the first place, ‘fracking’ requires a huge volume of water for each well and operates  in direct competition with farmers, and local fresh water supplies.  Fracking takes the clean water from rivers and groundwaters, mixes it with chemicals, and injects it into the shales and sands.  The waters return to the surface polluted by hydro-carbons, and chemicals. The waste water is toxic and cannot be returned to the rivers and reservoirs but has to be stored in waste wells. Unlike many other processes fracking deprives the local communities of water. In areas where there is a shortage of water this can have serious consequences.and impacts for the health of the residents.
Secondly, the processes of injection releases methane and carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and creates ozone smogs,  and pollutes the air to form a public health threat .In many cases the well heads are new and require new roads and the transport of water, oil, gas by many lorries. The traffic pollution is intense and localised.
Contrary to the announcements by politicians,
‘Fracking’ pollutes drinking water, ground water, as well as surface waters.
Fracking pollutes air..
Fracking is a public health threat!
Fracking destroys the natural environment.
In many areas, the fracking wells are set up in rural landscapes, and forest lands. Each well requires a specific amount of land to be prepared and flattened for the equipment, and the pipelines. Roads have to be laid out to enable the constant flow of traffic. Forests are cleared. In these areas, and the wild life is so disturbed that they disappear, die, migrate.
In the USA where many fracking wells have been developed in forests,as in Pennsylvania;  the natural landscapes have been turned into ‘industrial wastelands’  
Fracking damages the ‘natural heritage’ of whole landscapes.
Politicians, whether State Governors; Prime ministers; or Presidents are persuaded by the prospects of new oil incomes to support and sponsor ‘fracking’.

UK House of Commons; Environmental Audit Committee. 2014
Environment AMERICA Research Group: Fracking by Numbers

Pollution of the biosphere arises from the actions of humans and other ecological communities.
Pollution of the biosphere is the result of choices made by human communities.
The pollution of the land, sea, water, air is caused by a multitude of toxic matter generated by human activity.
In fact, it seems that global pollution is the inevitable result of all the industrial, mining, manufacturing processes of human societies and the use of specific matter. Pollution is caused by....................

The overuse of fossil fuels including gas and oil and the use of diesel, which comprises 40 toxic chemicals.
Formaldehyde as used in pesticides, insulation, disinfectants.
The creation of particulate matter such as soot, which leads to the formation of smog.
Benzene as used in motor fuel, solvents, detergents, pesticides.
Ozone as formed from nitrogen oxide in reaction to sunlight.
Radioactive fallout and contamination from nuclear bombs and nuclear generators.
The noise of industrial plants, motors, as well as events using loudspeakers.
Oil pollution from oil tankers such as Amoco Cadiz; and oil wells, such as Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.
The manufacture of plastics, and the creation of chemical sludge.
The dispersal of litter.
The presence of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, chloroflourocarbons.
May 11 2013: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the USA announced that their observation stations in Hawaii, and the South Pole had measured carbon dioxide at 400ppm for the first time. These readings indicated that CO2, the greenhouse gas, had increased from 315ppm in 1958. The link between emissions and human behaviour indicates that temperatures are on the increase, and climate change is in progress.

Hydrocarbons, heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and soil contamination.
Untreated sewage, and wastewater.
Toxic pollution arising from the mining of lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, and the manufacture of pesticides.
There are a range of activities that directly lead to toxic pollution problems.
Battery recycling involves handling plastic, lead, sulphuric acid, and chemical sludge resulting in water poisoning and human allergies.
Lead smelting, metal casting, uranium processing, if not done carefully causes local pollution and poisoning.
Coal mining and coal generating plants create soot and smog and directly pollute the atmosphere.
Tanneries use leather, dyes, water, chemicals, and pollute local waterways.
Electronic waste recycling is a modern process that tries to handle plastics, lead, tin, chromium and dispose of televisions, computers, mobile phones, laptops, games consoles, all of which are indestructible!
Municipal dumps are designed to dispose of food waste and solid wastes so as to prevent the spread of litter.
It would seem inevitable that large areas of the globe are polluted, simply because human societies are busy carrying out activities that result in pollution. If we are to limit and reduce pollution, we must alter the ways in which we behave!

The Blacksmith Institute, New York, has identified the most polluted places in the world: 2012

China/LINFEN, smog from soot;

Dominica/HAINA, lead contamination;

India/ RANIPET, chromium poisoning of water;

Kyrgyzstan/MAILU-SUU, radioactive poisoning;

Peru/LA OROYA, lead poisoning;

Russia/DZERZINSK, chemical poisoning;

Russia/NORILSK, heavy metal smelting pollution;

Russia/RUDNAYA PRISTAN, lead poisoning;

Ukraine/CHERNOBYL, nuclear poisoning;

Zambia/KABWE, lead poisoning;

Azerbiajan/SUMGAYIT, chemical poisoning;

China/TIANYING, lead poisoning;

India/SUKINDA, chromium poisoning.

The increase in the global population to over 7 billion, and the continuing rise in urban populations in association with motor transport and motor fuels, has given rise to major air pollution events, and the poisoning of thousands of people from the smog of London in 1952; New York and Los Angeles in the 1960s; to Beijing in 2012. The smog results from the effects of soot, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, methane, and sometimes sulphur dioxide.

Since World War 2 there have been nuclear pollution events, starting from the bombs dropped on Japan by the US. In fact, there have been a number of nuclear meltdowns in Japan : including Tokai 1999; Kansai 2004; Fukushima 2011. However, the first events were in Chalk River, Canada 1952 ; Windscale in UK 1957. Three Mile Island in 1979 in the USA. The most notorious was in Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986, which remains the most toxic site today. In 1993 the Tomsk complex had a nuclear meltdown in Siberia.

Today, oil pollution is the most common. It results from accidents between tankers, or due to storms, or leakage from oil wells.
1976, Argo Oil Merchant was broken in Massachusetts.
In 1978, the Amoco Cadiz was blown ashore in Brittany.
1979, witnessed Trinidad and Tobago polluted by the Atlantic Empress; and the Burmah Agate collided with others in Galveston; an oil well broke in the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez lost its cargo on the shores of Alaska.
In 1991 there was an act of military vandalism when the Iraqi forces set alight to the oil fields of Kuwait.
Three tankers collided in Tampa Bay Florida in 1993.
Spain experienced the grounding of the Prestige oil tanker on the Galicia islands 2002. There was an oil spill off the coast of Queensland 2009.
We have all witnessed the biggest oil spill ever recorded, with the explosion of the BP Deep Water Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico 2011, and the subsequent court actions carried out by the Gulf States leading to the award of $ billions in damages.

It is notable that these major pollution events have all occurred following the development of globalization, and the operation of multi-national corporations. They mark an inability on the part of the corporations to recognize the causes, and the patterns of pollution. The same mistakes are made across time and space!
The Blacksmith Institute observes that these pollution events are not only destroying the natural environment, but also contributing to the continuous ill health of the population


http://worstpolluted.org / Pollution Report 2012: Blacksmith Institute/Green Cross.





www.dnrec.state.de.us /Tucson Arizona