This 15-minute segment was produced by ABC TV’s investigative program “Prime Time,” and aired in December 1990. The piece features Lijon Eknilang, a Marshallese woman who was 8-years old at the time of the U.S.’ largest and dirtiest H-bomb at Bikini in March 1954, a fission-fusion-fission bomb 1,000 times the Hiroshima A-bomb.
Caught in the high-level radioactive fallout downwind from Bikini and the H-bomb [Bravo], Lijon subsequently contracted many radiation-induced disorders along with seven miscarriages leading to her eventual sterility.
Lijon Eknilang died last month after leading a life dedicated to both educating the global community about the inherent dangers of nuclear weapons, and also of working tirelessly for the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons.
Bikini community demands US relocation amid flooding
Tuesday 24th March 2015
A TINY Pacific community forced to evacuate their homes because of US nuclear testing is demanding refuge in the United States.
“We want to relocate to the US,” said Bikini atoll mayor Nishma Jamore at the weekend, as Pacific waters continued to eat away at the small Kili and Ejit islands in the Marshall Islands archipelago.
This 13 September 2013 video is called Climate change impact on the Marshall Islands: One island has all ready gone as sea levels rise.
Mr Jamore heads a community of about 1,000 islanders who have lived in exile on the islands for decades because their original Bikini home remains too radioactive for resettlement.
There were 24 nuclear tests conducted on the atoll in the 1950s, including the largest hydrogen bomb detonation ever conducted by the US.
Unable to return to Bikini, the islanders are now faced with increasing flooding from high tides and storms hitting their tiny island refuges, with waves washing over the islands and wiping out food crops.
“Kili has been repeatedly flooded since 2012 and we’ve asked the Marshall Islands government for help with no response,” said Mr Jamore.
There is also serious concern over a recent attempt by the Marshalls’ parliament, known as the Nitijela, to take authority for Ejit island away from the Bikinians.
This is the second time that the islanders have asked to be resettled in the US because of their plight.
In the 1980s, following an aborted resettlement on Bikini that ended with the islanders exposed to high levels of radiation, they attempted in vain to buy a tract of land on Maui in Hawaii.
BP is a British global energy company that is also the third largest global energy company and the 4th largest company in the world. As a multinational oil company (“oil major”) BP is the UK’s largest corporation, with its headquarters in St James’s, City of Westminster, London. BP America’s headquarters is in the Two Westlake Park in the Energy Corridor area of Houston.
The company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world, and one of the six “supermajors” (vertically integrated private sector oil exploration, natural gas, and petroleum product marketing companies). The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
The company has been convicted of two felonies for environmental crimes, including one felony for which BP pleaded guilty in connection with the Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 that caused 15 deaths, injured 180 people, and forced thousands of nearby residents to remain sheltered in their homes.
On 20 April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in excess of 200,000 gallons of oil (approx. 5,000 barrels) leaking every single day after a blow-out preventer designed to stop oil from flowing out during an emergency failed to activate. The spill was expected to continue until the blow-out preventer could be activated or another containment method implemented. Though 115 workers were evacuated from the site, eleven missing workers were presumed dead. On 28 April 2010, the US Coast Guard set fire to some sequestered portions of oil which had leaked from the uncapped well located five thousand feet below the Gulf of Mexico.
Climate-sceptic US senator given funds by BP political action committee
Sen Jim Inhofe, who opposes climate change regulation, has received $10,000 from PAC funded by donations from US staff at oil group
Sunday 22 March 2015 17.14 GMT
One of America’s most powerful and outspoken opponents of climate change regulation received election campaign contributions that can be traced back to senior BP staff, including chief executive Bob Dudley.
Following his re-election, Inhofe became chair of the Senate’s environment and public works committee in January, and then a month later featured in news bulletins throwing a snowball across the Senate floor.
Before tossing it, the senator said: “In case we have forgotten – because we keep hearing that 2014 is the warmest year on record – it is very, very cold outside. Very unseasonal.”
The BP PAC is funded by contributions from senior US executives and company staffers who sent in contributions to the PAC totalling more than $1m between 2010 and 2014. Over the same period the committee paid out $655,000 to candidates, with more than 40 incumbent senators benefiting.
Dudley has personally given $19,000 since June 2011 to the BP PAC – very close to the $5,000-a-year maximum allowable by law. Although Dudley is resident in Britain, he is eligible to give via the BP PAC because he is a US national.
Yet, BP and Dudley have long called for world leaders to intervene and impose tough regulatory measures on the fossil fuel industry. Publishing its 98-page research paper, Energy Outlook 2035, last month, BP warned: “To abate carbon emissions further will require additional significant steps by policymakers beyond the steps already assumed.”
While the sums channelled to Inhofe’s campaign represent only a small proportion of the BP PAC’s election spending and the senator’s own campaign funds, they show how unafraid the committee has been to spread its donations to the most controversial candidates. According to the BP PAC website, it financially supports election candidates “whose views and/or voting records reflect the interests of BP employees”.
Records suggest Inhofe’s 2014 campaign was a funding priority for the BP PAC, ranking as one of the top recipients of committee funds when compared with disbursements to other serving senators.
This was despite Inhofe’s senate battle not being a close one. His opponent, Matt Silverstein, who Inhofe beat comfortably in last November’s midterms, had a tiny campaign war chest by comparison.
BP was asked whether it was appropriate for the PAC to make campaign contributions to such a vocal opponent of action on climate change, or for Dudley to be contributing towards such payments.
In a statement BP replied: “Voluntary donations [by staff] to the BP employees’ political action committee in the US are used to support a variety of candidates across the political spectrum and in many US geographies where we operate.
“These candidates have one thing in common: they are important advocates for the energy industry in the broadest sense.”
The company declined to comment on Dudley’s own donations.
PACs exist in the US where companies and trade unions cannot give directly to the campaigns of those running for office. Instead funds are pooled from staff – often senior executives – into a PAC, and disbursed by a committee board, often in a manner sympathetic to the company’s lobby and other interests.
But Tillerson and other peers have not been as outspoken as BP and Dudley in calling for state intervention to tackle climate change, making the BP boss’s links to Inhofe campaign finance more controversial.
Last week Obama said it was “disturbing” that Inhofe had been made chair of the senate environment committee. In broader criticism of unnamed political opponents, he then went on to say: “In some cases you have elected officials who are shills for the oil companies or the fossil fuel industry. And there is a lot of money involved.”
Inhofe is unabashed about election campaign financing he receives from the industry. In his 2012 book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, he wrote: “Whenever the media asked me how much I have received in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, my unapologetic answer was ‘not enough’.”
According to data compiled from public filings by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), Inhofe’s campaign raised $4.84m between 2009 and 2014, with $1.77m coming from PACs, many of them sponsored by fossil fuel companies.
BP’s PAC was more active in the US 2014 election cycle than any other for more than a decade. Despite insisting it is non-partisan, 69% of contributions to federal election candidates in recent years have been to Republican politicians. This is a stronger bias than most other corporate PACs, according to the CRP.
There are, however, other leading recipients who have attracted criticism from climate change campaigners, including Republican House speaker John Boehner and fellow Republican, Sen Mike Enzi from Wyoming.
When asked his views on climate change in January, Boehner said: “We’ve had changes in our climate, although scientists debate the sources, in their opinion, of that change. But I think the real question is that every proposal out of this administration with regard to climate change means killing American jobs.”
“I don’t see [Obama] as trying to control pollution. I see him trying to put business out of business,” Enzi said last year.
Campaign contributions is just one aspect of US political engagement linked to BP and its staff. Filings show the oil and gas group spends millions on lobbying efforts.
The CRP classifies BP as a “heavy hitter”, ranking it among the top 140 biggest overall donors to federal elections since 1988. Its PAC ranks as the six largest such body with a sponsor company that is ultimately part of a non-US multinational.
Those on the PAC board, deciding how to spend staff donations, are senior executives and lawyers at the company. The board’s vice-chair is Bob Stout, BP’s Washington-based head of regulatory affairs, who also sits on the group’s global policy making body. Dudley does not sit on the PAC board.
According to its website, the PAC makes donations to “candidates who support the principles of free enterprise and good government, support a fair and reasonable business environment for the energy industry and share our philosophy that energy diversity advances energy security.” It says staff contributions are encouraged but stresses they are voluntary.
The first BP PAC contribution to Inhofe’s 2014 campaign was a given on 12 March 2012. This $1,000 donation came just two weeks after the publication of Inhofe’s book The Greatest Hoax, cementing his credentials as the most outspoken denier of climate change in US politics.
Publicising the book, the senator gave a radio interview on Voice of Christian Youth America. “God is still up there,” he said. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what he is doing in the climate to me is outrageous.”
Officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been told that the words ‘climate change’ when used together has been banned, according to former and current employees including attorney for DEP’s Office of General Counsel Christopher Byrd. Byrd stated that along with climate change that the words ‘sustainability’ and ‘global warming’ were also banned.
Chief officials of the DEP refused to answer why. The policy went into effect after Florida Governor Rick Scott came to office.”
Decades ago, there was a lot in NATO countries’ media about people in the then Soviet Union who had been declared to be mentally ill. Political abuse of psychiatry, the media said. These people were not mentally ill; they just disagreed with the (Soviet) government. Such an outrage, of course, would never happen in the western ‘free world’ …
In a complaint against the state, worker says he was accused of violating policy and instructed to get a mental health evaluation after mentioning climate change
Katherine Krueger in New York
Thursday 19 March 2015 18.05 GMT
An employee of Florida’s environmental protection department was forced to take a leave of absence and seek a mental health evaluation for violating governor Rick Scott’s unwritten ban on using the phrases “climate change” or “global warming” under any circumstance, according to a complaint filed against the state.
Longtime employee Barton Bibler reportedly included an explicit mention of climate change in his official notes from a Florida Coastal Managers Forum meeting in late February, during which climate change, rising sea levels and the possible environmental impact of the Keystone XL Pipeline were discussed.
Bibler was instructed to stay away from the office for two days and told he could return to work only after a mental health evaluation from his doctor verified his “fitness for duty”, the complaint said. In the letter to Florida’s inspector general, Candie Fuller, the state’s Peer director calls for a full investigation to the matter.
Bibler told the Miami Herald that he “didn’t get the memo” about the gag order, so when he introduced himself by congratulating other officials on the call for the “exciting” work they were doing to address climate change, the “reaction was mostly shock”.
Guardian requests for comment from Scott, the Florida inspector general and the environmental protection department were not immediately returned on Thursday, but Scott and representatives from his office have ardently denied such a policy exists.
Scott has also long dodged questions about climate change with a refrain of “I’m not a scientist” and consistently misrepresented the state’s preparedness for rising sea levels.
Florida is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as 80% of the state’s residents live or work near the coasts and damage from recent storms, including hurricane Wilma, has caused billions of dollars in damage since 2005.
Republicans’ new climate strategy: just ban the words ‘climate change': here.
Waterways Episode 268 – Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in South Florida
6 January 2014
Sea level rise is submerging the coastal communities of Florida, and jeopardizing investments and the state economy. Along with the personal and financial loss of property, comes a loss of habitat and wildlife. Climate change is real and is impacting the people and the landscape of south Florida. What is happening here in south Florida is happening everywhere on the planet. Half the world’s population lives within 60 miles of the coast; just about 3 to 6 feet above sea level.
The unwritten policy – in a state that experiences some of the worst effects of climate change in the US – has potentially affected around 3,200 employees with a $1.4 billion budget to safeguard natural resources and enforce environmental laws.
Miami is named as one of the most vulnerable cities in the country and the fourth largest population in the world at danger of extreme weather conditions caused by rising sea levels. Heavy destructive floods are likely to escalate and continue over at least the coming decades, according to University of Miami.
“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’” said Christopher Byrd to the FCIP, formerly a lawyer for the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”
Another former employee, Kristina Trotta, said her supervisor said during a staff meeting last year not to use the terms as they were “not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact.”
Last year, the worst flooding the state has seen in decades – more than two feet of water in 26 hours – ruined homes and caused the death of at least one man in Florida, who drowned after his car got stuck in rising water, as reported by CBS News.
Byrd, who worked with the government body from 2008 to 2013, added: “It’s an indication that the political leadership in the state of Florida is not willing to address these issues and face the music when it comes to the challenges that climate change present.”
Tropical turtle discovery in Wyoming provides climate-change clues
Published: February 23 2015
Tropical turtle fossils discovered in Wyoming by University of Florida scientists reveal that when the earth got warmer, prehistoric turtles headed north. But if today’s turtles try the same technique to cope with warming habitats, they might run into trouble.
While the fossil turtle and its kin could move northward with higher temperatures, human pressures and habitat loss could prevent a modern-day migration, leading to the extinction of some modern species.
The newly discovered genus and species, Gomphochelys (pronounced gom-fo-keel-eez) nanus, provides a clue to how animals might respond to future climate change, said Jason Bourque, a paleontologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History at UF and the lead author of the study, which appears online this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology</em>.
The wayfaring turtle was among the species that researchers believe migrated 500-600 miles north 56 million years ago, during a temperature peak known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Lasting about 200,000 years, the temperature peak resulted in significant movement and diversification of plants and animals.
“We knew that some plants and lizards migrated north when the climate warmed, but this is the first evidence that turtles did the same,” Bourque said. “If global warming continues on its current track, some turtles could once again migrate northward, while others would need to adapt to warmer temperatures or go extinct.”
The new turtle is an ancestor of the endangered Central American river turtle and other warm-adapted turtles in Belize, Guatemala and southern Mexico. These modern turtles, however, could face significant roadblocks on a journey north, since much of the natural habitat of these species is in jeopardy, said co-author Jonathan Bloch, a Florida Museum curator of vertebrate paleontology.
“If you look at the waterways that turtles would have to use to get from one place to another, it might not be as easy as it once was,” Bloch said. “Even if the natural response of turtles is to disperse northward, they have fewer places to go and fewer routes available.”
To put the new turtle in evolutionary context, the researchers examined hundreds of specimens from museum collections around the country, including turtles collected during the 1800s housed at the Smithsonian Institution. Co-author Patricia Holroyd, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said the fossil history of the modern relatives of the new species shows they could be much more wide-ranging, if it were not for their restricted habitats.
The Central American river turtle is one of the most endangered turtles in the world, threatened by habitat loss and its exploitation as a human food source, Holroyd said.
“This is an example of a turtle that could expand its range and probably would with additional warming, but — and that’s a big but — that’s only going to happen if there are still habitats for it,” she said.
The Spectacled Warbler shows a strictly Mediterranean distribution which is expected to expand northward in response to climate warming. To test this hypothesis, we defined the regular distribution of the species based on the literature and we tested whether: (1) spring temperatures in this area significantly increased between 1967 and 2010; (2) breeding attempts north of the regular range occurred progressively at northern latitudes.
Both of these hypotheses were confirmed, supporting the hypothesis that the species is expanding northward because of climate warming.
This video was produced as a gift to humanity by Sustainable Human (sustainablehuman.me). Visit us to find out how you can support and create videos like How Whales Change Climate in collaboration with a global team of volunteers. Together, we can change the story of the world.
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir
When whales were at their historic populations, before their numbers were reduced, it seems that whales might have been responsible for removing tens of millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year. Whales change the climate. The return of the great whales, if they are allowed to recover, could be seen as a benign form of geo-engineering. It could undo some of the damage we have done, both to the living systems of the sea, and to the atmosphere.
A stunning video produced by Sustainable Human and narrated by British writer George Monbiot shows just how this process works — and how increasing whale populations can change the world around them.
As Monbiot says in the video, the effect that whales have on the oceans — and on the entire atmosphere — is so powerful that it could even mitigate some of the effects of climate change. By releasing nutrients in their fecal plumes to fertilize plankton and by mixing up the water column to allow plankton to reach the photic zone, whales create what’s called a “trophic cascade” throughout the entire ocean ecosystem.
“The return of the great whales, if they’re allowed to recover, could be seen as a benign form of geoengineering. It could undo some of the damage we’ve done, both to the living systems of the sea, and to the atmosphere.